Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooky, Spooky Night

This is an oldie, but a goodie and currently gracing my mother's apartment. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Modern Baby Quilt Finished

The modern baby quilt is finished. Now I am on to cutting out a new Christmas quilt. It's from "Simply Modern Christmas" by Cindy Lammon. But I am also getting pulled over to by Alex Anderson's tutorials on making her "Holiday Lights" pattern. Hmmm. One or the other or both?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ready for Celtic Solstice

It got painful watching the Red Sox spank the Cardinals (we have the World Series going on right now), so I retreated to my sewing room and pulled fabrics for Bonnie Hunter's next mystery quilt - Celtic Solstice. The name is cool, her reasoning behind the color and name choices is wonderful, and I like the colors. There appears to be plenty of what I need in my stash, with the exception of neutrals. She is offering the mystery in two sizes this year - king-sized bed quilt and a smaller version 75" X 75". I will be making the smaller size.

The great thing about Bonnie's mystery quilts is that you can select your own color scheme. She advises selecting four colors that you like and which contrast each with the other no matter how they are combined. Throw in some neutrals or another color that will act as your neutral and which will also contrast well with the other four colors. Since I have no major objection to any of the four colors, I am  content to follow her lead.

Zen Chic Table Runner Finished!

Yesterday was a fun day on all accounts. First off, breakfast with friends followed by a foray to three of the area's quilting meccas. Jackman's was first up and although I purchased nothing there, I found inspiration in the book section and one of our group did make a contribution to the local economy. Several hours at Batiks Plus followed. This business is open to the public by appointment only. The owner, Cookie Martin, is just wonderful and so generous. She has a die cutting machine and allowed us to use it to cut both fabric and templates for hexies. I am ready for tonight's game! Bring on the Sox!

Next up was Janie Lou's. I needed a small piece of yellow Zen Chic for the binding of the little table runner shown above.  One thing led to another and a book was purchased as well as fabric for a new Christmas quilt. We all went to lunch and by the time I got home it was nearly 4:00 p.m.

But wait! There's more. My daughter plays in an adult women's volleyball league and I have been wanting to go to her games for awhile. So, after a quick dinner (yes, I ate out for all three meals yesterday), the hubster and I swung by the rec complex to see her play. It was a lot of fun. Finally home for the evening I wasted no time in cutting and sewing on the binding for the Zen Chic table runner.

This morning another long-awaited treat arrived. Bonnie Hunter has posted the fabric colors and yardage requirements for her new mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice, on her Quiltville web site. This will be a fabulous quilt and I am in! What about you? I have done two of her mystery quilts. I have never been a fan of these things, but Bonnie's are great every time.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fa La La La La!

Okay, this isn't Christmas-y, but I love old cemeteries and I found this photo on my camera this morning. When we had our guild retreat in early October, we walked out to a nearby historical cemetery where I snapped this shot. In honor of Halloween, I am posting it now.

Here is the the Christmas table runner I started at the same retreat. As you can see, it is a bargello pattern. Eventually it will have ornament appliques in the large black background spaces. It was going along swimmingly for the first four strips and then I wondered, "Why did the instructions have me cut the batting and backing so wide?" A closer look at the pattern showed me the error of my ways. I had left out two black strips in the strip sets and had already cut all the strips crosswise. There was plenty of the black fabric left (that should have been a clue - DUH!) and so now I am cutting little squares to add to the ends of each strip. Needless to say this is slowing things down considerably. That is the bad news. The good news is that I now have enough experience to have figured out what to do to correct my mistakes without throwing up my arms in disgust and relegating the project to the time out box.

Also on the to-do list for today is quilting the Zen Chic table runner from the last post. It is small enough and the quilting plan is simple enough, that an hour or two should see it quilted.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Zen Chic Table Runner

While I was in Germany, I partially hand pieced this small table runner. The fabric is from Zen Chic and I used a charm pack from the line, supplementing from other scraps I had leftover from making other projects with this same line.Using a tutorial found on line for a small travel hand sewing kit, the entire project was packed up into a quart-sized ziploc bag. The borders were machine pieced and now it's ready for quilting.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Updated Baby Quilt

I removed the trial green border fabric and replaced it with another orange print from the High Street fabric line by Moda. Much better.

On another note, I started to sew together the Bargello Christmas table runner which I started on retreat last weekend -only to discover that I had not sewn enough of the black background strips into the strip sets. I have plenty of the black fabric left, but now am faced with the task of sewing individual little pieces to each strip that is already cut. Since my husband's computer has died, I will go with him to the store to get a replacement rather than face this task right now. Sigh.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Owen's Quilt

A young man of my acquaintance, Owen, died at far too young an age from cancer. His birthday was Halloween and he loved that this day was his birthday. I dedicated this quilt to him. It is a pattern by Verna Mosquera of Vintage Spool and was quilted by Sandi Wagner. It is hand appliqued with some embroidery accents. Here are a few closeups of blocks:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another Baby Quilt

I have made this pattern before, in a pink and white colorway seen here. This time around I was inspired by the Moda fabric line "High Street". There were some add-ins from my stash from Riley Blake, Zen Chic, and other lines. I am deliberating about the green polka dot fabric on the left. There is a one inch border and then an outer border of the soft gray that is the background fabric. The green fabric is from the "High Street" line and coordinates with the other fabrics, although from this photo it's not really apparent. Some of the florals have tiny amounts of the green in them, but I am not sure if there is enough for it to be recognizable. I will take it to breakfast tomorrow morning and get the opinion of the other quilters at the table.

Over the weekend our guild hosted a quilt retreat. I pieced these blocks, plus part of a Christmas bargello table runner and some blocks ala Victoria Findlay Wolfe's "15 Minutes of Play." When there is something to show from this effort, I will post photos.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


As promised, here is the original Broad Arrow block from Grandmother's Choice:

I didn't make it exactly like the pattern on the GC blog. The lower right hand pink square is supposed to be the blue fabric, but it was so monolithic with just mostly one color, that I changed out one of the patches. But then, of course, it didn't look like a broad arrow. Here is the replacement:

I redrafted the block to consist of four smaller broad arrows and now you can actually see the arrow pattern.

What do you think of this floral fabric for a border? It is Phillip Jacobs' Grandi Flora. The colors work well with the rest of the blocks, although my husband says he finds all florals iffy. As a matter of fact, so do I except for the Kaffe and company florals, such as this one. I think the movement and texture of the floral works well as a counterpoint to the mostly linear blocks in the top. I am just about ready to order a couple of yards of this and welcome any comments.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


In setting the Grandmother's Choice blocks, it became apparent that some would need to be redone. Little Red Schoolhouse (the name of the block and NOT indicative of mine, obviously) is one such. Above you see the original block I did which more or less disappears into the background setting blocks. I was not really satisfied with this block when I did it. The striped fabric was supposed to look like siding or logs, but for some reason ended up going in the wrong direction. Plus it looks crappy. The second block is the remake. More contrast and not so vertigo inducing.

Rail Fence, called "Endless Stairs" in the Grandmother's Choice series, is another remake. I can't show you the original because I cannibalized it for the new one. There had been a dark purple Kaffe fabric (Aboriginal Dots) where the green now is. It looks 100% better in the newer version. Much more contrast within the block and against the setting patches. The small strip of fabric (another Kaffe - purple Paperweights) to the left in the photo is a try out for the border. A half inch strip of fuchsia will be inserted between the center blocks and border fabrics. I also have another fabric - Phillip Jacobs' Grandi Flora in much the same color way. It is a a large blowzy floral and a nice contrast to the mostly linear looking blocks.

Last but not least, is the remake of Broad Arrow. It is half done and I will show it with the original block when it's completed. The blocks are about one third pieced and I took a break to remake these three as a relief from the tedium of sewing all the blocks and rows together. At this point, once the setting and borders are decided upon, what remains is just a necessary chore to me.