Saturday, August 15, 2020

summer stitching

Summer continues to be busy.  I steal away to my sewing room to stitch a block or 2 when I can.  These blocks have been coming together quickly.  This is to be a quilt for my youngest daughter.  She picked the color scheme from a completely different pattern on the cover of a magazine. Mostly we shopped in my stash for fabric but I had zero magenta so a trip to a couple of local shops had to be made ;0)  We found this pattern online it's a Missouri Star pattern called Totally Tulips.  The blocks are huge and easy peasy - not my usual kind of project but its been fun for a change.

I just need to make 5 more blocks and I can start putting it together.  We will chose a teal border fabric and it will fit in in her new teal room. 

This next project got started because I was needing some portable applique for summer trips. I wanted to play around with an appliqued circle design which I could fill in with whatever applique shapes I wanted.   

I'm back-basting the circles with the points and then using regular needleturn applique for the centers.  It's been a lot of fun.  

I've still got lots more center applique ideas so I'll keep making blocks for awhile. 

A few of the blocks together.  Probably I will set these with an alternate pieced block or sashing.

Hopefully once  kids go back to school there will be time to get back to this long progress signature quilt.  The borders need to be attached so I can applique the corners.
It would be very exciting to get this (10 years so far) project to at least a finished top.

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Back to it

After a long and unplanned absence I'm ready to blog again.  The last few months have been very different and unpredictable and there just hasn't been time for blogging.  I always make time for sewing though - it's how I relax at the end of the day.  
 I participated in an Instagram Sunflower sewalong.  The pattern was drawn by Susie @fixer_of_old_quilts from an antique quilt owned by Cathy @quiltingcat2

I did get the 6 inch block quilt top finished.  I enjoyed sewing all of the flying geese units and putting them all together.  I have backing and batting ready and I just need to find time to pin baste this for machine quilting.
I continue to work towards finishing my Hospital Sketches quilt.  Last time I posted about it I was just figuring out the borders.  I did get stuck for a bit on the corners.
I played around with paper shapes for awhile and settled on this design with 2 birds.
The corners were fun to stitch and it was exciting to get the whole top together.
This is the last picture taken in this spot in my old sewing area.  Looking down from above - it was a good way to view projects.  One of the things that made the last 6 months so busy was that we moved.  In our new home I have a dedicated sewing room and a very large kitchen island perfect for basting quilts.
Within a couple of weeks I put it to the test with thread basting my Hospital Sketches for handquilting.  In the past I basted quilts on my old dining room floor.  It was hard on the knees.  The last 2 quilts for handquilting I basted with a long arm machine but with Covid 19 that was not an option.  Basting on the island was easy on the knees but I could still feel it in my neck and back - leaning over it for 5 hours straight to get it done between lunch and supper.  I was thrilled to have it basted though and handquilting is coming along well.

Before we moved I participated in another small Instagram sewalong hosted by Betsy Chutchian.  This cute little quilt was the result and I'm enjoying using it on my nightstand :0)

And I wanted to post this little guy I spent hours working on at guild meetings last fall.  I'm not a very good paper piecer so this was a challenge and I think he turned out really cute. I hope I remember to pull him out near Christmas time and make a little wallhanging.

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

a new old project

I've started to gain momentum on an old ufo.  I'm quite excited about it again.  Back in 2014 I started making 6 inch blocks.  A friend of mine was finishing a Nearly Insane quilt and had started a Farmer's Wife quilt - both sampler style quilts made with 6 inch blocks.  I just wanted to play in my scraps and make some blocks.  I took block books out from the Public Library and chose blocks to make.  I made quite a few blocks with no real plan in mind.  And then...  they got stuck in the ufo bin.
 I happened upon a picture online of Carrie Nelson's Blockheads 1 quilt.  It too was a sampler style quilt made with 6 inch blocks.  I loved her setting.  She added plain sashing around the blocks, grouped them in 4's and then sashing them again with flying geese.
 So I laid out some of the blocks in groups of 4 and started making scrappy flying geese.  Lots and lots of them!
So far I have the blocks grouped in 4's and sashed.  I stitched strips of geese in 10's and I've started to add them.  It's been a fun project to work on and I will get this to a finished top before too long.  I'm still uncertain what I will put in the intersections of the flying geese.  You can see the holes where carpet shows through in the top photo.  I'd welcome any suggestions you might have :0)

I like it when an old project feels exciting like a new project :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


One more post before the end of the year - its hard to believe 2019 is almost over.  
When I was in Houston in November I had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Leah Zieber.  It was so very interesting!  She had many, many small, vintage and antique doll quilts and crib quilts to show us.  She had 2 items that instantly brought me back this - my Susan McCord Trailing vines quit.
 I'm slowly working away at handquilting it - outlining all the leaves takes lots of time!  I'm working down panel #5 out of 13.  But back to Leah's lecture - take note of the sashing fabric.
 It's exactly the same print as this darling little antique child's dress that Leah brought from her collection.
 And the same on the back of this small doll quilt also in Leah Zieber's collection.

 I was so excited to see the original fabric this reproduction was made from in not only one but 2 items sewn around the 1850's.  The repro is by Margo Krager for Blue hill Fabrics.  I was pretty excited...  It is hard to find someone who understands my excitement - lol

 I've been steadily working on putting together my Hospital Sketches BOM.  I added a border of red and cream hst's.  Triangle paper helped it go quickly.
 Then I am adding an appliqued border.  I'm designing it as I go using shapes from the blocks.  It is in the style of the border of the Buhl Bushong quilt from the Virginia Quilt museum.  (they are having a sewalong but I could NOT start another project)  I saw 2 antique quilts in the exhibits in Houston that also had borders like this.  It's been fun to applique and I'm enjoying revisiting some of the flower shapes and adding birds.
 I made a couple of Canadian themed pincushions to give as gifts.  I tried out my idea in 2 sizes.
Little projects can be so satisfying :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Houston International festival 2019

It was so excited to be able to go to Houston International Quilt Festival again.  I submitted my Lily Quilt for 'In the American Tradition' exhibit and I was delighted they accepted it.  
 The second time around it was still a bit unbelievable to come around a corner and find one of my quilts hanging with all these amazing and beautiful others.
 This year my good friend Catherine was able to come. It was fun to have a travel buddy, someone to stay with and explore the Festival with.
 It is wonderful to see the amazing quilts submitted to the juried part of the show like this one by Midori Horie of Japan.  The appliqué and handquilting are beyond exquisite.
 But my favorite quilts in the show are the antique quilts.
 This one is part of the Texas Quilt Museum's collection.
 and this one too
 This one was in a gorgeous exhibit of some of Mary and Joe Koval's collection.
 I loved the border of this one - also from the Texas quilt Museum.
 Then there are the booths full of antique quilts for sale.  I love hanging out in these booths!!  This one was in Jane Lury's booth and I loved the border.
Another awesome part of Quilt Festival is meeting people.  This is Dawn whose blog is called Collector with a Needle.  
It was so lovely to meet her - I've enjoyed her friendship online for years.
 Deborah Ursell is an very busy vendor who I met last year - she is so fun and enthusiastic.  Her booth of Vintage Quilts and More was packed all the time.
 Julie Silber I met last year too.  Her booth is full of wonderful and interesting quilts and she is full of interesting stories.
 I met Cecile from Patchwork Inspirations who was visiting from France.  She is a sweetheart. It was so interesting to visit with her and her husband.  Together with Lori of Humble Quilts who I met last year.  Lori is full of ideas and issued us a challenge to do something with an antique block which we could choose from some she brought.  I will post more about that later. It was really cool to run into her again at the antique quilt booths and look at some beautiful and some interesting old quilts together.
It also enjoyed meeting Sue from the UK whose blog I have followed for years.  We were in a class together with Lori on my last morning there.
And then it was time to come home to regular life with piles of new quilting ideas in my head :0)

 I didn't get pictures with everyone I was happy to see again like Judith of Juud's Quilts  and Mary Koval, and Bernadette who was busy in the WonderFil Threads booth. (and then I haven't worked up the courage to ask Jane Lury for a picture yet)  However, it is the people and the antique quilts that are my favorite parts about going to this show.

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

a gift given

I was pleased to finish this quilt recently and give it to my mom.  It's a Kim Diehl pattern from the April 2014 Fons and Porter magazine.  I machine quilted it on my Juki machine  
 I wasn't sure how to quilt the appliqued center blocks.  In the end I learned that's it's not too difficult to free motion quilt outlining around the appliqué shapes just like I would do if I was handquilting.
 After that the borders were easy and fun.
 These pictures are all square...  I recently changed Iphones and lost a month's worth of pictures in the process.  Thankfully I had posted these pictures on Instagram so I was able to get them back from there.
 I gave it to my Mom last week when she was visiting.  I think she liked it :0)

The last 2 blocks of Hospital Sketches were quick to stitch up.  I'm a bit sad that the BOM is finished now.  It was fun to look forward to each new block release.
 I really like the triple tulip block.
 I changed around the final block a bit.  There was a picture of all 9 blocks together but I lost it too.  I will have to lay the blocks out again for a complete picture again soon.

This delightful little doll quilt arrived in the mail from Deb Anger from across Canada in the doll quilt swap I participated in.  The pieces are tiny!  I love these little trees.
 It was beautifully handquilted as well and has wonderful texture.
Happy Quilting!!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Still stitching

We are back to the fall routine around here.  There is still lots to do but a little more time to think about quilting.
I finished a little quilt for a doll quilt swap.  There were even still some flowers in my yard to photograph it with.
 I hope it reaches its destination soon.  It had a long way to travel.  I enjoyed using some stencils to mark quilting designs.  It was a fun little break from my big projects.

In August I was too busy to do much applique prep so I got 2 blocks behind in Barbara Brackman's Hospital Sketches applique BOM .
 I decided to add some extra parts to block #7  I sure enjoy playing around with the shapes.  What did stitchers in time past do without freezer paper?
From paper to fabric :0)
I started on the next block right away.  So far only one of 3 flowers appliqued.  I played around with the shapes a little again - I like to make some changes to make the project my own.
 I was invited to a birthday party for a good friend.  I wanted to make her something so I whipped up a little pouch to tuck a couple things into.  I had no time to handquilt it but the applique was done by hand.
Happy Quilting!!