Monday, January 9, 2017

Westering Women - Block Roundup

I haven't posted any blocks for Westering Women since early September when the August block was completed.  Many reasons for this, not the least being September's block, which though very pretty had 12 fiddly little Y-seams - yep, I counted them and said to myself 'no-way'.  There were a couple previous blocks earlier in the year with Y-seams and they got done, but I guess by September my priorities had changed.  Boredom had set in, and there were grandbaby quilts and receiving blankets to finish, quilt ministry chemo patient quilts to work on, Quilty 365 blocks to keep up with, and the list goes on.

But.  I didn't want to scrap this project entirely.  So, though it completely skipped my radar while making up an initial list of goals for the new year, a couple days ago I dug out the eight completed blocks and set about making the final four.  Starting with December, and please excuse the poor quality photos, all taken at night in less than stellar lighting -
Road to California
November -
Bear Paw

Then I worked on October's block, Rocky Mountain Chain.  Somebody remind me that I should never piece triangles after 10 p.m.!  I had the block finished and popped it on the design wall only to discover half of it was totally backwards.  Aargh!   The partial rip-it in progress -

Well now, that's better -
Rocky Mountain Chain

And, now we were down to September's block - still not going to mess with Y-seams again, but what to substitute?  Browsing through an older Quilters Newsletter magazine I found a quilt called Columbia Pinwheel in a 2005 issue.  Nice block but the directions called for 8 inch blocks.  A few pages further on was an article on the math for resizing blocks - OK - this sounded doable.  Many of those Westering Women didn't take the Road to California but headed toward the Willamette Valley in Oregon by way of the Columbia River Gorge, so this block seemed like a good substitute.  Did the quilty math, two or three times, with a calculator, following the directions in QN.  Lots of triangles to upsize (should have been my first clue). Made the block, turned out nice -
Columbia Pinwheel
and, you guessed it - the block came out too big by about 1-1/2 inches.  OK, one for the orphan pile.

Then yesterday while looking through the January 2012 issue of Quiltmania I came across this quilt.
Be still my heart!!  Definitely adding this quilt to my "have to make" list!  And, why not add a snowball block to finish off Westering Women as well?  Those weary travelers would almost surely have run into late autumn snow as they inched their way across the last of the mountain ranges, and that snow would likely have been muddy as well along those worn and rutted trails. Don't you just love all this justification just to get out of doing a few more Y-seams?  Well, if you're still reading along, here is my muddy snowball block to round out the dozen Westering Women blocks!
And, last but not least, in no particular order on the design wall, ta-da -
the finished sampler blocks of my version of Westering Women.

Originally I had planned to set these blocks 4 across and 4 down with a large appliqued medallion in the center.  Still might do that, though at this point the blocks will be set aside to simmer for awhile. I'm just happy to have the delinquent blocks off my list, even if they weren't actually on it in the first place!

Happy Monday, and may no Y-seams cross your path today.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Something New

While I finished the Dresden Christmas runner in time for the holidays, the two matching placemats still need the quilting completed and binding attached.  Hopefully there will be a window of time later this week to complete them and put them away for next year.
As hoped, the chunky candlesticks and little angel did a great job of hiding the less-than-stellar machine quilting around the center of the dresden plates, and I've pretty much decided that a redo of those portions can wait - maybe forever!

Meanwhile our almost-6-year-old granddaughter received one of the 18" dolls for Christmas, and since her birthday is coming up in a little over three weeks, we decided she needed a doll bed, bedding and a quilt for her new friend.  So, while my husband works on constructing the bed, I've begun stitching the quilt.  Here is the top which was my New Years Eve project -
I just love this sweet older bear fabric
and the Bear Paw blocks seemed perfect

All the fabrics came from stash and scraps.  That narrow inner border was a short piece of leftover binding - just enough to slice into narrow strips and go around the blocks - I just love when that happens!  There's a piece of 1980s(?) Springs Mills Strawberry Shortcake fabric that will become the back, with hopefully enough of both the bear and Strawberry fabrics left for a couple of matching pillowcases.  I'll be making a mattress, pillow, the pillowcase(s) a sheet, and hopefully a pair of pajamas to complete her little ensemble.  All in pinks - her favorite color.

A good beginning for the year, I think.   We'll have our last family Christmas get together later today, then it will really feel like the new year has begun!

The Old and the New

So many goals, so little time.  We all know it.  But still, bloggers, and I suppose all of us have at least some desire to begin the new year with a new slate and a resolve that this year we will "get 'er done." After more than three-score-and-ten years, I've finally begun to look at my quilting life more realistically and therefore my list is short.  Even wimpy compared with most, but then anything that is finished beyond the list is a bonus, and I love bonuses!  You know, those rare days in November or January that dawn bright and clear and the temperature soars to a lovely 65 degrees - now that's a bonus! goes my little list:

Finish piecing the top, layer and hand quilt my Quilty 365 project -

Prepare the back, layer and hand quilt this basket quilt that has been patiently waiting for many months -

Complete this queen size quilt top, and possibly begin quilting -
So far I have the five applique blocks finished and have cut all the components for the pieced blocks and borders -

Finish several small projects from last year - which I'd like to have accomplished in the next week or so -
Rainbow QAL from summer 2016

Matching placemats to go with Christmas Dresden runner

Saving the best for last, begin hand appliqueing a few hundred of these little beauties for a queen size quilt just for me!  I've loved this pattern ever since seeing Audrey's (Quilty Folk) and Ruth's (Country Log Cabin) versions. So far I've appliqued one block and have my fabrics all prewashed and pressed to begin cutting, maybe later today.  I think this one may become my lifetime project -

I'm sure there will be other little projects that interject themselves along the way, and truth be told, one already has, but isn't that what always happens?

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Best Christmas Gift

The safe delivery of a precious grandbaby
who arrived late Thursday evening.   Mama and son went home yesterday, so happy!

Mama said to me yesterday "I never knew I could love anything so much."  Now you know, sweet girl!   Daddy is smitten.

Our little Christmas burrito, snug in his Tardis blanket!

The Christmas placemats remain unfinished ... maybe next year.  Tomorrow the fun begins as we head east to visit this new little family!

May the blessings of Christmas remain in your heart all through the year.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

And the winner is ...

Greetings from snow-now-melting country!  May the thaw continue until the built up snow/ice on the roof is gone at least!

Star production has slowed to a snail's crawl, with only a couple more needed to round out my hoped-for total. Our new grandson has yet to make an appearance, but here is his first Christmas ornament made by Grandma, using bits of his baby quilt fabrics.

And now, the winner of this giveaway
is Dana Gaffney of Stormy Days blog fame, who said:

I need to check out that tool, seeing those annoying threads pop up under a piece of white is one of my big "make me whine" things. I still haven't found time for a star but I bookmarked the tutorial.
Congratulations Dana, I'll get your package out as soon as I have your mailing address!

Still lots to do before Christmas, so if I don't post again before then, wishing each and every one a blessed Christmas with family and friends!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

'Tis the Season ... for a giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.

This post should probably be titled Seeing Stars!

When I wrote earlier this week, 25 of these little stars were finished.  And now there are 48, with another five or six in the queue.  All should be finished later today - yay!  Then it's on to the Christmas baking marathon.

'Tis the Season for giving, and someone who comments on this post will win one of my handmade stars plus this nifty little gadget, which Kyle at Timeless Reflections recommended highly in a post earlier this year.

This is just the tool for when those stray dark threads suddenly appear under the surface of your in-progress quilting or worse yet, in the most visible part of your completed quilt!

So, the usual rules - giveaway is open to U.S. readers, and if you are a no-reply commenter please leave your email address in your comment so I have a way to contact you if you're the lucky one.  I'll draw a name from the proverbial hat on Saturday afternoon and ship early next week.

And the question remains, will this grandma's best Christmas present arrive before the 25th? His mama's birthday is tomorrow, now that would be a perfect birthday gift, don't you think?