Monday, February 20, 2017

5 Fat Quarter Fun February Quilt

I'm always interested in discovering good inspirations for prayer quilts.  Although I almost always design my own quilts, it's sometimes nice to let someone else do the design work and write the pattern.

So, when I saw Amanda and Amber's Chains of Love quilt, I thought, "That's a perfect weekend of quilting quilt!"

 I decided I'd do it in pinks and fuchsia, and received a notice of a perfectly timed fat quarter sale at Southwest Decoratives/Kokapelli Quilting Company.
 So, I bought some fat quarters from Southwest Decoratives and a lovely pale pink solid from Busy Bee Quilts.

Then after I cut the fat quarters, I remembered the pale pink and ivory quilt I made in the early 1980s that ended up being so bright that I had to throw it in a pot of blue dye to quiet it down. It would not be wise to make another too pink quilt, especially not in this design!

 I switched to a soft grey for the background. (I meant to pick up more gray this morning when I went out to visit the lab for a test, but I forgot--which is just as well since Busy Bee doesn't open until 9:00.)

I'm sure I'll be much happier with this pairing--although if I had recognized the problem I was about to create sooner, I might have used a couple of different pink fat quarters.

This pattern can be found here.

I first recognized the appeal of a pink/grey and pink/black combination when I was seven, and my family went to see some western movie in which the lady in the saloon wore skimpy pink and gray costumes and decorated her upstairs apartment in pink and black.  Of course, I was too innocent to have a clue about what her skimpy clothing and upstairs apartment represented; I have no memory of who the actress was or of the name of the movie.  But I do remember the colors!

I also love the idea of creating quilts with just five fat quarters and some yardage and plan to step up my designing--although I am just as likely to use four or six fat quarters.

I'm planning to finish sub-cutting the gray and to begin piecing today.  I have left-overs for lunch and the rest of my Presidents' Day holiday to enjoy my place of bliss.

Happy quiltmaking and crafting,

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

May Your Week Be Filled with Love

This sweet jacket was made just about 40 years ago.
 Although it was sewn together on the machine and the bias binding was applied by machine, the applique and quilting were  done all by hand. It's my original design.

 If I remember correctly, I created the design for a pillow for my white sofa, and then thought it needed to appear on something else, but I didn't want to make it over and over for a quilt.  Yes, there was once a time when single and childless made white fairly practical.

 Each sleeve was adorned with one applique heart plus two quilted ones.
I was not the kind of gal who wore her heart on her sleeve, but these seemed okay.
The red fabric was left over from a shirt I made my dad as either a Christmas present or a birthday present, probably in 1967 or 1968. The green is by Wamsutta and is one of the few 100% cotton prints available at the time. The white is a  simple unbleached muslin, probably purchased from J. C. Penney.  Yes, every Penney's store had a nice big fabric department back then.

 Each front was also treated to a heart, along with some clam-shell quilting.
 Such fine stitches!  It was hand-quilted on a 14-inch wooden hoop with Coats & Clark hand-quilting thread.

The tiny little applique stitches were learned by studying my paternal grandmother's applique.  She was the first Dolly I knew of, although her full name was Dora Maude Shreve Scheer. She passed away when my dad was ten years old.

I made the jacket because I certainly wasn't inviting people into my bedroom--or at least that's what we joked at the time. Quilt shows were almost unheard of--at least where I lived in Central Illinois.  I think the closest we came to a quilt show was the annual Mennonite Farm Sale at Exposition Gardens in Peoria, Illinois.

I haven't worn it for years.  It's too small for me now because at the time I made it I was ill and quite thin. My daughter is much too thin to wear it, so it lives in my closet, and I take it out occasionally and reminisce about making it and how much simpler life back then seems in retrospect and compared to the lives we live today. I know it merely seems to have been simpler because our healthy brains are smart enough understand that gratitude is life-sustaining, so we've tossed most of the negative memories and experiences.

I hope you're feeling loved today and that you take time to celebrate love all week!

Happy quiltmaking,

Monday, February 6, 2017

Another Unexpected Quilt

A little over a year ago one of our church families lost their high school son in an early morning accident as he drove into Albuquerque on the interstate to attend his high school.  I passed the tragic scene (semi trailer and car charred almost beyond belief) and offered up a prayer for those involved, not finding out until evening that my prayer had been for that sweet boy. He was an immensely talented young man with a great personality.  The family moved away shortly afterward.  I fully understand that the most daunting grief anyone ever experiences is the loss of a child and all the attendant hopes and dreams.  Today, we heard from the mother that now her two year old nephew has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and will be undergoing ten months of radiation and chemo.

These fabrics were gifted to me, but haven't made it into a quilt yet. They've been stacked in my line of sight for the last several months, because they needed to become a prayer quilt for a child. I haven't settled on a design--and am open to suggestions--and will sleep on it tonight, and maybe the next several nights. I often dream great quilts, and that needs to happen now.

I put out a call to members of my Victory Prayer Quilters group for volunteers to quilt and bind and for backing.  Hopefully, I'll be able to start cutting tomorrow after work and physical long as I have a design in my head by then.

Happy quiltmaking, knitting, etc.,

Serendipity Progress

This is taking much longer than I would have guessed, but it's almost ready for the outer border.
It's just tossed over the sofa right now, waiting to be pressed so I can cut and attach the borders.
I like the flavor these colors and fabrics give it.  Although teal is one of my favorite colors, this is not quite teal.  The colors are pleasant, and I'm thinking abut how I will quilt it.  Usually my quilts have been living in my mind, and sometimes on paper, and almost always in a project box for quite a while.  This was in my mind for mere minutes from the time I saw the Cabin Fever Five Fat Quarter Fun Project until I was pulling and cutting fabrics. My sewing machine has not been happy with the bobbins I've used, although they are the bobbins I always use, and I've re-oiled, cleaned out thread from the bobbin area, messed with the bobbin holder, etc.  Not in the mood for fiddly stuff--despite knowing that I need to shorten the belt just a bit--another fiddly thing that I'm putting off.

Now it's back to work, so I'm hoping for a bit of time throughout the week for a bit more sewing.

Happy quilting, knitting, etc., friends,

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Serendipitous Quilt

Serendipitous because I wanted something quick and easy to piece.
So far, I have these:

They began when I saw Leann's post in my early morning feed last Saturday.
Her post linked to a Five Fat Quarter Fun post with a quilt from five fat quarters and three yards of background fabric. (Amber and Amanda have also posted their February Fun, a heart filled quilt, Chains of Love.)

I chose to start with this fat quarter, graciously gifted to me some time ago, but very unlike the fabrics chosen by Leann, Amanda, or Amber.

 I got busy cutting, sewing and pressing.
 Then real life and the work week intervened, although I tied to piece for a few minutes each day.  Hopefully, this weekend will see the rest of the assembly.

 I also want to share how much I love this SteamFast iron that I use in my tiny sewing room.  It heats rapidly and takes up very little space.
It fits comfortably in my palm, and I've been using it for at least eight years.

The updated version features the following and is on sale from Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day today:
2oz water tank, 3 minute heating time, 8' power cord, dual voltage, 1000 watts. steam burst option, continuous steam, 1 year warranty, easy fill measuring cup, travel bag, Lightweight - 1.32 lbs
While it does make a great travel iron for retreats, sewalongs, etc. it's a great purchase for the home sewing studio.  My older version heats in about a minute and a half!  And it has lasted a lot more than the year or less that is so common with full sized irons these days.

Some friends and I are going to go sing for some Alzheimer's residents this afternoon, so we'll see how much more piecing I can get done. (With a daily commute of 80 miles a day, I like not to drive that far on weekends, but a fellow singer volunteered to drive, so it is our hope to be a blessing to some folks; even if they promptly forget that we were there, they should have an hour of fun with some songs they've stored in long-term memory.)

Happy quilting, crafting, and rejoicing,

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Simply Sweet (1/2017 FNSI III)

I can't believe I finished this quilt top in a weekend!  Of course, I did not finish the laundry and some of the housework!

(I  need a design wall, but I no longer have a good place to put it.)

The four patches were pieced from a charm pack of  Northcote Range (Moda) in 2012.  They were done shortly after the assault/brain injury, and I don't know why I didn't finish them sooner, except that life became even more complicated, and I just persist in designing quilt after quilt in my head, and it takes much, much longer to create a real quilt.

This did take many more hours than I would have predicted.
 The four patches include all but a few of the charms from the pack, because the stripes were large and wouldn't have worked.  Five strips of seven 4-patches.  The rose on white strips were cut 2.5 inches, and the borders were cut six inches. And now that it's all assembled, it still reminds me of quilts from my childhood, except that where I grew up in the Midwest most of the quiltmakers at that time would have used a solid white instead of the rose print.  I just love that rose print.  I also have another pack of the charm squares, but not enough of either the blue or the rose print to make a twin to this quilt.  It's about 46" by 56", and will be smaller after quilting. I don't have yardage that will work for the back (imagine that!), so it will be a while.

It's so quietly sweet and simple. So, I'm naming it Simply Sweet.
While it's just the top, I'm going to count it as my first finish of 2017.  It was good to focus on this quilt top instead of other things, like the national news, for example.  (I'm pretty sure there has never before been this kind of ugliness this long after a Presidential election within my lifetime.) And while I was praying for whoever will receive this quilt, I'm also praying for my 20 year old nephew Thomas who's been hospitalized in Houston.  So, good use of my weekend.

Back to work tomorrow, and expecting more winter weather.

I linked to Freemotion by the River, Let's Bee Social and My Quilt Infatuation.

Happy quiltmaking and creating,

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January FNSI Two

This is how far along I am now....

I've finished three strips of seven four-patches.  I haven't decided whether to make two more or just one more.

 First I added smaller triangle to the top block and bottom block of the strip set.

 Then I began attaching the larger triangles to each four-patch on the diagonal and setting those sets together.

 This is the large print I plan to use for the borders and the spacers between the pieced strips.

My brother-in-law pointed out that my niece Blanche is now five, and I've had this fabric since she was a baby.  Of course, it's far from my oldest fabric, but given how much I like it, I'm not sure why it took me so long to use it.  The four-patches were already pieced when I opened the project box.

I'm getting a bit frustrated about how little I get done, but chores like laundry pull me away from piecing.  Oh, and I did have to use my seam ripper several times.

The wind is howling, so I'm going to bathe and snuggle in bed with my knitting and a book--and try not to think of how little I accomplished because I have a lot more done than when I opened that box yesterday.

Happy quiltmaking, knitting, and creating,

January FNSI Sewing

This is all I managed last night, and all I've managed as of 11:00 this a.m.  I have spent hours looking for rulers, specifically for a 25 year old Omnigrid triangle ruler that is no longer being manufactured.

I'm thinking this means I am probably going to have to order Bonnie Hunter's new Essential Triangle Tool. For today, I'll have to make do with something else, and rejoice that I relocated some rulers I'd stashed on a shelf and forgotten. I didn't forget the rulers; I merely forgot where I stashed them!

We had wind, rain, sleet, and snow this morning, so we cancelled our Victory Prayer Quilt Sew-In. Now the snow clouds have dissipated, but the wind is so high that with the temperature a little above freezing, the snow is both melting and evaporating.  I'm thinking I don't need to go out and check how bad the mud is, right?

Happy creativity, dear readers,

Friday, January 20, 2017

Decisions, Decisions!

I get to participate in Friday Night Sew In!

The hard part is in deciding what to do on this rainy/snowy night.  (Yes, we need the moisture--someone should write an anthem to that theme!)

I've narrowed it to these choices:

Borders for Mrs. Lebo's Legacy.  The two fabrics at the top may or may not become inner borders.  The red on the right will be the outer border.

I may use either the blue or the yellow for inner borders, or maybe both, if I have enough blue left for binding as well.

 This is the College Girl's panda quilt, for which she chose fabric in intermediate school or mid school and which finally was bordered with five different sets of unpieced strips because for years I thought I'd do piecing around the blocks.  Then I decided finished was more important.  She cuddled with it until she went back to the university, and it still needs a binding.

These are for my eldest brother's prayer quilt.  (The tactor panel is under the fabrics.)  Quilt is planned, but nothing is cut.

This is an unfinished prayer quilt from years ago--I'm leaning toward this one because I'd have to do only some minor triangle cutting to get it together.

This is the honeybee quilt I said I'd work on next, but I haven't finished designing it.  Since I want to spend time actually sewing, this probably won't win.

These are my newly arrived Anne of Green Gables fabrics--from Penny Rose Fabrics.  But I haven't designed anything yet.
 I do love these Anne fabrics--not only are the colors restful but happy; the prints seem to have more fidelity to one of my childhood favorite books, which I reread every few years.
(I was sooo excited when the Little House on the Prairie fabric line was announced, but they just weren't that true to what I imagined was in the novels.  So Little House on the Prairie will have to wait until someone else designs a line.)

This preprinted panel is almost quilted, but I think I'll wait until tomorrow to quilt it.  It's a workday for our Victory Prayer Quilts group, but snow and ice could change my mind about making the 40 mile round trip drive despite the fact that I'd love to have some social time with the ladies in our group.--I'd also probably want to drag along a sewing machine, which would probably be my turquoise hand-crank Singer 15 clone, although if the snow is light I may just use one of the sewing machines that are already there.
I need to decide so the evening can be productive as well as treasured.  I'm thinking hot chocolate would be helpful--as soon as I spread out my hand-knit wool socks to dry.

I hope all my readers get time to Friday-night-sew too--even if it's something small or knitting or embroidery.

Happy creativity, everyone,...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Moda Bread 'n' Butter on Sale

If you love the jelly roll in my Dresden quilt, you might want to know that Eleanor Burns' Quilt In A Day has it on sale today for $19.97.

In addition to this jelly roll, I used four strips of other fabrics, less than 1/4 yard for the yellow centers, several yards of white, fabric for a first border, and have ordered three yards from this line for a larger outer border.

I have no financial interest in Quilt In A Day, although I do make purchases there.

Happy Quiltmaking--especially if you are about to get socked in by winter weather!
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