Monday, June 30, 2014

Design Wall: Independence Day Project

I picked these up last week at Busy Bee Quilts in Edgewood, NM for a door hanging.
 Blue, red, and white Michael Miller Fairy Frost.  The white is so reflective, it almost looks like it isn't there, but it shows up better near the bottom of the photo.

The design is still floating around in my head, but when I saw my sketchbook right next to it, I knew it would deserve some fun quilting.

I'm going to take a break from other projects today and work on this one--as soon as I go to the fitness center and finish exercising and stop by Busy Bee for their birthday sale. Their little shop has been open for five years and is the only quilt shop on this side of the mountains.  There have been other nearby quilt shops that have opened and closed because they were oblivious to the fact that the only thing they really had to sell was service. Busy Bee's owners understand the importance of friendly, high quality service.  Probably their biggest area of business is their block of the month clubs.  I'm going in for some of their $2.00 fat quarters (Monday and Tuesday), some 20% off fabric, drawings, and, maybe, some birthday cake!

I'm linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday, here, because this is what I'm designing.  Clicking the "Home" button just beneath the header will take readers to posts that are probably more inspirational than this one!

Happy quiltmaking and knitting.....

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sweet Loreta Table Runner

I've finished the Sweet Loreta table runner. (She pronounces her name Lo•rēē•tah, accent on the second syllable.)

I'm glad I did, because I was in for some surprises with the quilting threads, all of which are Fil-Tec Affinity (variegated) or Glide (solid).

I thought I'd use a deep teal Glide in the solid areas, but I really didn't like it that well.

 I don't have a light teal, but I do have a light green.  It turned out to be the perfect shade.

 I used the Affinity Cyber in the nine patches and really like that, although I may change up the quilting design on some of the blocks just to add more interest.

 The Affinity doesn't really communicate well on the solid fabric, although it might be fine on the solid in some other setting.

 And I still haven't decided if this butterfly will make it onto Loreta's quilt, although it's okay on the table runner.

Here it is in the border of the table runner.  The border of the quilt is wider, and I still haven't decided if I'll use it on the quilt.  There's time.

I almost always just wing it when I'm quilting, but since the quilt is for Sweet Loreta, I'm very glad I tested threads (and that I have a table runner to show for it).  I have a really hard time doing "little projects," but I'll enjoy having this one around!

Except for the butterfly outline, all these lines were just free motioned.  (I used my Necchi BU treadle.)

I also kept my journal of feather doodles right next to me on the treadle leaf while I was quilting these.  I don't usually need to do that.

Now I'm off to sing with our at an assisted living home where we perform once a month--almost always with more people in our band than people in the audience! It's still an amazing amount of fun!

Happy quiltmaking and knitting.....

Thursday, June 26, 2014

AMB Winners & Quilting Options

The winners of the give aways for New Mexico's stop on the AMB tour are announced at the end of this post.

I've managed to find a bit of time to put the borders on Sweet Loreta's quilt top and picked up a length of green print from Albuquerque's Quilt Works, pieced some extras into it and have the backing ready to go.

 I love what the border is doing for this quilt.  (Not loving the fact that I couldn't find a spot without a breeze or sun shining through in order to photograph it.)

I also love the way the pieces worked into the 10 extra inches I needed in the backing.  If the backing were the quilt, it might have to be named "River of Tranquility."  I'm looking forward to seeing it after quilting.

I did have three blocks left and was wondering how the variegated Affinity thread would look,  so I decided to create a runner to try out the thread  because I thought I might prefer a solid color for the larger spaces.  Of course, for years I've wanted to make a cover for the keyboard of the piano my mother purchased in 1967.  It was a demonstration model for the showroom floor, built to demonstrate the musicality of Wurlitzer workmanship, and, as such, it was built without the usual cover for the keys.  I've kept various fabric runners over the keys, but as I worked with the wonderful fabrics for Loreta's quilt,  I knew those colors would look refreshing in my living room.

I'm glad I decided to do a test run.  This lovely thread doesn't really work that well on the solid fabric, partly because the design requires quite a bit of backtracking and partly because from a distance the design tends to disappear.

The thread adds a great deal of interest to the patchwork, so I'll use it there, and probably in the quilt border.  I haven't made a final decision.

The runner is giving me a chance to play with some free motion designs that I've been drawing in my head and in my notebook.  I do not yet know if this butterfly will make it onto Loreta's quilt, but it made it onto the runner.
I did something I seldom do; I drew a few lines on the fabric with the blue disappearing marker.  I'm not sure I'd need to do that next time.

I also added a new collage to my blog header, but I haven't yet decided if I like that either.

Now for the winners of the AMB blog tour's New Mexico stop.
Winning the bundle of American Made Brand fat quarters is Quilting Babcia of Amity Quilter.
The winner of the strip set to make the New Mexico Block is Barb of Nana Barb's Musings.
They have been e-mailed, but if I don't hear from them, I'll generate some more random numbers Friday night.  (I made it a little harder on myself, I guess, because I had to insert numbers for the people who e-mailed me directly, but I did want everyone who wanted to enter to have a chance.)
I especially thank AMB for asking me to be part of this tour and all the people who found my blog and started following as a result.  I feel like I was a winner too since I've discovered new blogs to follow as well, not just from the people who posted on the tour blogs but also from those who began following me.  I do love the world of quiltmakers!

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting....,

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

AMB New Mexico Give-Away: Last Chance

Today is the last day to enter New Mexico's Give Away for the American Made Brand Blog Tour. and your chance to win a pack of pre-cuts of this lovely fabric or a mini-kit to make the NM Block.

To enter, read and comment on this linked blog post.

Happy quiltmaking....

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Nine Patch for Quilters

My favorite part of making a quilt is the quilting.  I just do the other steps so I can get to the quilting part!  Actually, I do enjoy most of the other steps too, but, more often than not, the quilting makes the quilt.

So I designed a nine-patch variation that I'm calling "Sweet Loreta."

I purchased the batiks two years ago, give or take a month or two, to make Loreta a quilt.  Our Victory Prayer Quilt group had completed another quilt in similar colors; Loreta had taken it to a dear friend in Arkansas.  I asked Loreta if those were her favorite colors, and she said yes, so I knew she needed her own quilt in these colors. Our group's prayer quilts go to friends and family (of church members) when they face serious health challenges such as cancer, stroke, and injury.  Loreta is in her nineties, and we want her to stay well. I also want her to have a special quilt while she's healthy and can really enjoy it.

I used a few 2.5 inch strips that I cut from yardage. I sub-cut them to one-half the width so I would have more variety when I pieced.

I made a variety of nine-patch blocks. I made some blocks cut on the diagonal with two shades of watery colored solids. For the snow-ball blocks I was able to use some Kona that has been in my stash for at least twenty years (because, of course, it was so beautiful that it needed to participate in a special quilt).

I did visit Busy Bee Quilts and pick up a watery fabric for a border.  (I haven't yet cut the border, but since I'm eager to get to the quilting part, I'm giving it a high priority, or trying to, anyway.) I will quilt it with the wonderful Affinity 3000 yard spool that I won from Fil-Tec when they introduced their new colors.

I pieced in some surprises, eliminated some seams, and made this a quilt with plenty of space for creativity in the quilting.  Of course, it will be no surprise that I will quilt plenty of feathery goodness into this one!

My offer to my readers is that I'm willing to do a tutorial here on my blog if there is enough interest.  Please leave a comment on this post if interested.  This quilt is jelly roll or fat quarter friendly with the addition of a small amount of yardage for the solid areas.

If you didn't get a chance to enter, my stop on the AMB Blog Trip is open for the give-away (to be closed 6/25/14).  Visit that post if you have a U. S. mailing address and would like to win a fat quarter pack of a few of the fabrics in the American Made Brand group or a set of strips for making the New Mexico block.

I'm thrilled to have new readers following by e-mail, Bloglovin, or other subscriptions.  I'd love to know what subjects readers would like me to share on this blog. Of course, I have so many projects on my plate that it can be challenging to decide what quilt to work on.  I've been making quilts for close to 40 years, and my brain is still generating ideas faster than they can become quilts.  Hmmmm, I wonder if God will let me live longer because I have so many quilts that haven't been made yet!

Happy quiltmaking and knitting......

Monday Postscript:  I'm linking to Judy's Design Wall.
I tried to link to Connie's Freemotion By the River yesterday, but failed since either the college's network was on the fritz (as usual) or because it just doesn't work from a Kindle--so I'm a bit late to that party.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tutorial: New Mexico AMB Blog Tour Block

Here's the New Mexico Block for the American Made Brand Blog Tour:

I made a chart to help with cutting, piecing, and organizing.

I also made a chart in EQ7 that showed a bit more detail to help me envision fabric placement:
It's not entirely accurate since I cut the top and bottom strips wider than the colored strips.

We can print this photo and write in colors and measurements or use the chart below.

For this block, cut the top and bottom strips of dark butter fabric 13 inches by 1.5 inches.
All other strips are cut 1.25 inches wide.

New Mexico’s AMB Road Trip Measurements
Column 1
Column 2
Column 3a
Column 3b
60 dark butter 13"
33 aqua*
34 dark aqua*
32 light aqua*
97 light sky*
81 dark tomato 3"
113 forest 4.5 "
85 periwinkle 3"
8 light yellow 4.5"
37 dark orange 4"
22 dark green 4.5"
28 dark purple 2.75
68 gold 3.75”
78 dark fuchsia 5"
24 olive 4.5"
69 dark gold 5"
61 brick 6"
18 lime 4.5 "
72 rust 4"
60 dark butter 13"

When I pieced my block, I began by piecing the brick/lime/rust row and then worked toward the top of the chart. For each of the strips of color we turn the seam toward the darker fabric and finger press (or press with an iron). 

I found I stayed more organized if I sewed each new row to the previous row as I worked upward. I waited until I had finished the entire block to press the horizontal seams toward the top of the block.

*When we reach the blues, piece diagonally, as shown below, placing the fabric to the right in the finished strip on top of the left color; then sew from top to bottom where the fabrics cross.
Once seamed, we can trim the seam to 1/4 inch and turn it toward the darker fabric.
Then choose a pleasing spot to align with the next strips, cut to 13" and sew to the colors.

Once the entire block has been well pressed, trim it so that it measures 12.5 inches wide and 6.5 inches high.

Once the block was pieced, I used a red Micron 01 pen.

I slipped two sheets of card stock between the seam and the top layer to make a smoother surface on which to write. 

I placed a ruler on top of the card stock and fabric so that I could be sure my writing would not end up within the seam when this block gets pieced into a quilt top.

 I centered "New Mexico" on the top dark butter strip.

I wrote "Land of Enchantment" on the lightest blue strip.

Be sure to stitch scant 1/4 inch seams.  Because there are eight rows in this block, it is very easy to to multiply even a tiny error in seam allowances so that the block is not the correct size.

You may have noticed that I added side borders of dark butter to my block.  This is because when the section of strips was finished, it was just shy of 12.5 inches.  Therefore, I revised the chart so that the strips on the ends were longer so that when you trim, there will be no need for those tiny side borders.

The Give-Away for this blog stop is on this linked post (*not* on the one you are reading now).
It includes a little bundle of AMB fat quarters and, for a second winner, a mini-kit of the strips used to make this block. Deadline for the drawings: Wednesday, June 25. This give away is closed.

Links to the other 49 blogs and blocks are available on this linked web page.
The great thing about this cotton is that it is grown, spun, woven, and dyed in the United States. Of course, it is wonderful that it comes in a wide range of colors, has a lovely hand that makes it perfect for quilts, clothing, and a wide range of little projects, and is available at a great price.

Thank you to Clothworks/AMB and all the wonderful bloggers who designed and posted license plate blocks reflecting their states.  Thank you as well to all the bloggers who helped promote this blog tour.

Happy travels.....

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New Mexico's AMB Give-Away

You've arrived at New Mexico's stop on the American Made Brand Blog Tour.

Here is the New Mexico block, license plate sized.

This 12 X 6 inch block was made to honor Clothworks' new American Made Brand cotton.  The great thing about this cotton is that it is grown, spun, woven, and dyed in the United States. Of course, it is wonderful that it comes in a wide range of colors, has a lovely hand that makes it perfect for quilts, clothing, and a wide range of little projects, and is available at a great price. In exchange for creating this block, I was provided with an AMB color card and a swatch of each color.  I'll be sending this block back to AMB so it can become part of a quilt that will be seen at the 2014 Fall International Quilt Festival.

About New Mexico
New Mexico was the 47th state, admitted to the union January 6, 1912. One hundred and two years later, many people who should know better think we are part of a nation to the south. This link on, accessed today, claims we are a state in Mexico rather than part of the United States of America. Of course, you can glean more information about New Mexico on Wikipedia. I'm going to share some additional, more personal, information about the state where I've lived for nearly 26 years.

As a very young reader, I became intrigued with New Mexico when my family visited Rosemary and Ray Satterfield in El Paso, Illinois. They had a huge stack of New Mexico magazines they had subscribed to for many years. I loved reading the magazines while the grown-ups talked--and dreaming of a future visit.  (Of course, my classmate, Jane Panther, had already visited 47 states, so I knew it was possible.)

When I was in college, one of my former roommates enrolled in a master's program in TESOL at UNM in Albuquerque, and I flew out to spend 10 days visiting her and exploring Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and other nearby sites.  My experience was that New Mexico was living up to its reputation as The Land of Enchantment. (That phrase became part of our license plates in 1941 and our state's official motto in 1999.)

Although most people driving across New Mexico along an east-west route travel via I-40, they encounter constant reminders of Route 66; although various portions of the original Route 66 have been renamed, portions of the original route are still in existence.  When I arrived, I first lived in Gallup and taught on the Navajo reservation. While our state is a "majority-minority" state, meaning Anglos are in the minority,  my teaching jobs for the Gallup-McKinley Schools (the district covers more land area than the entire state of Connecticut) and on the Zuni Pueblo, gave me not only a deep appreciation for those cultures but also new personal experiences being a minority.

While outsiders often assume New Mexicans speak Spanish,  the most common languages are English, Spanish, and Navajo, in that order.  In addition a variety of other languages are heard, including a variety of Native American languages, including seven Tewa dialects.  The Zuni language is not related to the other languages.  In fact, Zuni was an unwritten language until the 1970's when Wycliffe Bible translators arrived on the Pueblo. While some people assume we have some kind of amalgamated Native American Culture, the fact is that each tribe and pueblo is quite distinct. Our state constitution is written in both English and Spanish, both official languages of the state. It is fairly common for citizens to be bilingual or trilingual.

There are countless incidents of otherwise bright people failing to recognize that we are one of the 50 states of the United States.  A couple decades ago a bureaucrat at the IRS called our Senator Domenici reminding him that he needed to fill out his tax return as a resident alien (a failure of reason on several levels)!  Each month New Mexico Magazine publishes several anecdotes of such incidents.  And yes, despite the fact that the New Mexico Territory included portions of present day California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, I have seen a map that acknowledged the other states and omitted us!

A few years ago, the state began adding "USA" after New Mexico; I was glad.  I know that the officer who stopped me in Topeka, KS before the USA was added probably thought I was in the country illegally.  (I've often wondered if he was surprised to see that two of the occupants were Chinese?!)

Aside from sunshine and blue skies nearly every day, one of the things I value most about New Mexico is our diversity and the fact that our citizens value that diversity.  Therefore,  I used  many colors in this block to represent our diversity.

My blog will publish directions for making the New Mexico block on Saturday, June 21 at noon Mountain Daylight Time.

Readers can register for two give-aways.
The first is a bundle of fat quarters from American Made Brand.

A second drawing will be for a kit of strips that are used in the New Mexico block.

Earn entries to the drawings by leaving a comment on this post and following my blog by e-mail or a feed such as Bloglovin (links in column to the right) or other format.  (If you subscribe by the e-mail subscription link to the right of this column, you will need to check the e-mail address with which you subscribe and verify your subscription or you will not be subscribed.)

1. You may earn one entry by leaving a comment that includes the name of the state where you live.
2. Earn a second entry by leaving a comment that lets me know how you are following this blog. 

Please note that this blog does not allow anonymous comments and that I must be able to e-mail the winners (so if your profile does not include your e-mail address, please include it).  For this drawing, winners must have a U.S. mailing address; this is a condition required by AMB due to the expense of foreign postage (very sorry, world-wide readers).

If any spam gets through, of course I will delete it.

The winners will be drawn on Wednesday, June 25 and will be notified via e-mail. Failure to respond will result in another winner being drawn on June 27. (While I usually reply to comments, that's probably not going to happen this time; however, I rejoice in every comment and in every opportunity to make new friends.)
      As of 8:39 PM Wednesday, June 25, 2014, comments are closed for this post.

Good luck!

You can find links to the other 49 blog stops here.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting.....,

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lucky Again!

I just found out I've won again!
This week Fil-Tec Threads are introducing their new Affinity Colors.  Affinity is the variegated version of Glide Thread.  Over at their page on Facebook they are having a week of twice-a-day giveaways of their new Affinity colors before all of the new colors are available for purchase on Friday.

This is the color that I've won; it will be used to quilt a watery-colored batik prayer quilt for a lovely 93-year-old named Loreta.

I'm amazed to have won two things within two weeks.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting......

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Little Update....

Have spent some time quilting a prayer quilt that I started over a year ago...
Treadling my vintage Necchi BU....

Progress came to a standstill about a year ago because I didn't have suitable border, binding, and backing fabrics....and, let's face it, because I just have a hard time working with these kinds of colors.  I would love to have a better understanding of why different brains react to different colors in different ways.  Despite the wild popularity of Civil War color themes, I just don't respond to those, although I did love making the Mark Twain Quilt for my brother-in-law ( part 1 here, part 2 here,  part 3 here). I think the pleasure in making that quilt had a lot to do with whom it was for, that  I made it at an idyllic place to which I'll likely never return (because my wonderful friend feels that at her age she can no longer maintain two homes), and because I used so many blues and greens in it.

I keep thinking that if I'm going to continue making prayer quilts for men, I need to come up with some new strategies. Now that Clothworks has started American Made Brand (AMB) totally American grown and milled cottons, I could make some quilts with solids that I like, so they wouldn't be so "girly." By the way, this blog will be a stop on the AMB Blog Tour, June 19 on Day 24 of the 25 day tour.  (That's because New Mexico was one of the last four states to be granted statehood.)

Quilting progress was also slowed by the fact that I had to get a new water heater this week.  They are warranted for only six years, so I'm glad mine lasted almost nine years.  However, the price has doubled, and I wonder how elderly people with limited incomes manage to deal with such sudden expenditures.

The other thing that died was my Kindle Fire HD.  No, I did not drop it, spill liquid on it (apparently I just spill liquid on my clothes!), nor crack the screen.  My phone calls to Kindle support kept getting dropped, but eventually we managed to sort things out, so a new one is on its way.  (However, I'm left wondering why Amazon 2-day shipping ends up taking five to seven days!) I do like the Kindle Fire because I can take it with me when we make our long trek to CNM's Westside campus and read blogs and knit while my daughter is in class.
More busy stuff this weekend--including a Duke City Sound concert this afternoon.  Then tomorrow our church Jugband will take part in church services in Estancia and Mountainair.  By the way, the J.U.G. stands for "Joy Under God."  There are only two jugs, one of which is antique but silent so far, and plenty of singers, guitars, usually an amazing pianist who plays by ear, a couple mandolins, one or two real washtub basses, and sometimes a fiddle or harmonica, and a lovely 93 year old who plays the washboard.  We do make a joyful noise!

Happy quiltmaking..and knitting,
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...