Monday, November 12, 2018

Something New

I've seen dozens of tutorials for making totes, but had never tried my hand at making one, until this past weekend.  Andy at A Bright Corner posted about a cute little French Market Tote she had just finished, and provided a link for a tutorial she had previously posted.  This one looked very simple, no pockets, no zippers, no applied hardware of any kind, just the thing for a quick little project.

Sorting through fabric bins a couple weeks back I found two pieces of a rainwear type fabric, one in navy and the other a burgundy color, probably found at a long-ago yard sale.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them until I saw the tutorial for this tote.  Each had less than a yard left, but enough to meet the fabric requirements, and there was enough yardage of a blue print for the contrasting band, handles and lining.  This is the result.

The only fusible interfacing available in our local store was quite lightweight.  Andy's tutorial recommended Pellon 809 which our store did not carry.  I think this bag is a bit lighter weight than I'd like, and I've ordered some of the recommended Pellon before proceeding to work with the burgundy fabric.  Although the instructions for the interfacing I did have recommended against using it on rainwear, it did work reasonably well, though a few small ripples appeared after the final pressing. 

A closer look at the contrasting print.  Love that fabric!

Now I just need to find a piece of something stiff enough to line the bottom of the bag to provide a bit more stability.  

Moving right along, the binding for Sajou just needs hand stitching on the back, the two Christmas quilts are awaiting their binding, hopefully tomorrow, and another holiday project is waiting in the wings.  Oh yes, the second cataract surgery is scheduled for Thursday, hopefully everything will go smoothly as the first one last week!

Our prayers for all those affected by the utter devastation happening in California this week.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What I've Been Working On

About ten years ago, while I was still working, a retired teacher who regularly visited our office came by with some bags of 'sewing things.'  She was nearly 90 at the time and her daughter was insisting that she sell the family farm and move into smaller quarters in town.  Among the items she was giving away to any and all takers were two Norman Rockwell Christmas panels, which I happily accepted. 

These vintage panels are much larger than those produced currently, measuring 35 inches by over 57 inches from selvedge to selvedge!  They were marked only "Wamsutta" and "Hallmark Cards."  I would love to know when they were produced but so far Google has revealed nothing. 

Anyway, right from the time I received them I had planned to make Christmas quilts for my son and daughter's families.  This is the year that will hopefully become a reality!

So last week I found my bin of Christmas fabrics and went to work to add some borders and make the quilts a little larger than just panels, found a perfect backing fabric from among the flannels and set about quilting them.  Here is the first one, quilting complete and just needing binding attached along with a bunch of threads to tie off and bury.
It was dark and gloomy when these photos were taken, in the one above the red border is more true to color than the left.

I used my go-to allover quilting motif, Wendy Sheppard's Jesters Hat to quilt these since doing anything more elaborate would push the finishes into next year.  The idea is to get them done, and gifted, move some stash out of the closet and off of my UFOs list - this year!   A couple close-ups of the quilting:

This first quilt top measured 73 x 51-1/2 inches before quilting.  And I'm loving this wonderful Thimbleberries flannel backing from 2006 - 6 whole yards sitting in the bottom of the bin, and just exactly enough to back both quilts!  It's so soft and plush, I know the grands will be fighting over who gets to wrap up in this quilt - good thing it's long enough to go over all three if they snuggle up on the couch!

The second one, for my daughter's family, is well on the way, being about 75% quilted at this point.  It has a predominantly green border and different print cornerstones, but otherwise is very similar to this first one.   I'll be taking a break from quilting for a few days as the first cataract surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning.  Hoping that the stitching hiatus is short-lived, cause I'm on a Christmas gift-making roll now and don't want to stop!

Monday, October 29, 2018

One Monthly Goal - October Finish Link-up and a November Goal

It's time to post my goal finish for this month on Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal.

This is my first month posting, and I'll have to say that having that goal in mind kept me on task, and tada, here is my finish, photographed on one of the few sunny mornings we've had in October.

You can find my full post about this finish with a few more photos here.

November is going to be an iffy month as far as goal-setting goes, since I'll be having cataract surgery on both eyes and then hubby will have his first cataract surgery at the end of the month.  So I'll keep my goal simple, with the not-so-secret hope of actually accomplishing more.  My little Sajou top is beckoning me to finish the quilting and binding, and so I'll make that my November goal.

Sajou, the flimsy

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal October finish, and linking up a second time with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal for November.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

An October Mini

I've been collecting bits of 1930s fabrics for quite a few years, collecting fat quarters, yard sale finds, gifts from quilty friends, and even purchased some 2-yard pieces a few years back with the intention of making some aprons.  Have never used any of them, until this month.  There's a little pre-holiday gathering coming up in mid-November that required a hand-made gift.   Browsing some of my older quilting magazines I spotted this, on the very last page of the Spring 2012 issue of Quilt Sampler, designed by Leslie Main.

This looked like fun and completely doable, even noting all those miniscule triangles.  I'm sure you can't miss them - the entire quilt measures a whole 18 inches square.  I thought some of my 1930s repros would make for a fun version, and after several evenings of cutting, piecing, and more cutting and piecing, I had this, all pinned and ready for quilting.

Love this backing fabric

I quilted it pretty much as shown in the inspiration piece, and attempted one of my machine's embroidery stitches in the outer green border.  I used two strands of fairly closely matched 50 wt. Aurifil through the needle to do that part of the stitching.  Had to switch from my usual microtex 70/10 needle to a universal 80/12 in order to get two strands through the eye, but it worked well, and I think there is a little better definition to the stitching, though my green threads matched the green fabrics a bit too closely and the stitching isn't as defined as I'd like.  It shows up best on this fabric:

All finished and bound and ready for gifting. 

It's another dreary, rainy day as we're getting the last remnants of Hurricane Willa (or was it William?) this weekend.  Thankfully not snow, at least not yet, that's coming tonight and tomorrow.  The creek is flooding and by tomorrow the basement will be too.  So, with all the dreariness I played around with a couple new-to-me filters while editing the photos, and will continue the amusement by planning borders for two Norman Rockwell Christmas panels that I'm finally getting around to quilting, hopefully in time for a some family gifts this season.   Oh yes, there's a baby quilt to plan too!

"Icarus" filter

"Sunscreen" filter

"Zeke" filter

I'm easily amused on a rainy day!   I hope you all are having a beautiful warm sunfilled fall day!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Sajou, Parts 2 and 3 - the completed flimsy

Lori threw us a bit of a curve when Sajou went from Part 1
to Part 2 - with the center on point!

Thankfully, subconsciously I must have been thinking this might happen as I had oriented my central bird to 'sort of' work in both positions.  Then the dilemma began.  I had hoped to use some of that center fabric again in the project, but where?  My thought had been to incorporate it into the outermost border, but now another opportunity presented itself.  What to do, what to do?

So, it ended up here, in Part 2.  Then, along came part 3, which I loved when I saw Lori's version.  Hard to believe that after making quilts for over 30 years I had never before done a border with this triangular configuration.  After choosing fabrics and carefully cutting triangles, I began stitching them together last Saturday. And ripped.  And stitched.  And ripped.  And stitched.  And ripped.  Arggh!  No matter how I tried to align them the points were going to be haphazard and look terrible.  At that point after a few tears and muttered mumblings, I went back at it, and after 8 hours (yes, 8 hours) I finally had the border added.  Then later that evening I found my Fons and Porter triangle point trimmer thingies in the bottom of my templates drawer - yeah, should have remembered them eight hours earlier!  Lesson learned.

Anyhoo, I bring you Part 3, the flimsy!

And I have to say, even after all the angst, I love this little top!  Then I went looking for a backing and found this, which looks perfect to me

So now Sajou is all layered and awaiting hand quilting, hopefully to begin next week.  Still deciding whether to ditch the major long seams by machine before beginning the hand work.  I think it might stabilize the quilt a bit, so I'm leaning toward doing that.  Also deliberating on whether to attach the binding to the front of the quilt to help stabilize the edges of those triangles.  When I began quilting many years ago I generally attached the binding before the quilting was completed but haven't done that for years.  What could possibly go wrong?!

Linking up with Lori's linky party at Humble Quilts.  Enjoy the show, there have been a LOT of very inspiring versions popping up on the Humble Quilts Facebook group and I'm looking forward to seeing even more on the linky party.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Autumn Oaks is Finished!

So happy to have this one in the finished pile, sans label but I'll get to that this week. Warning photo-heavy post coming up!

There was one morning last week that dawned bright and clear, and COLD, with early morning temps in the low 20s. But if I was going to get any outside photos that was the morning! So, shall we venture out the back door?  Please say yes!
Standing in for our lack of colorful foliage this fall, due to all the rain I suppose. We were fortunate enough to find beautiful huge mums at our local supermarket for only $5.  Pumpkins were from our garden, and the little sugar pumpkins were all from one volunteer plant that showed up among the green beans.  Yay for homemade pumpkin pies (and quilt holder-uppers)!

By the time I got outside the temperature had risen to a balmy 35 degrees and the frost had mostly left the lawn.

Behind the barn

Back inside at one of my usual spots for photographing quilts.  I like the outside shots better this time.
A closer look at some of the quilting.  You might be able to see the quilting better in this next photo of the back.

This quilt finished at about 90x90 inches, and the pattern can be found in the Fall 2010 issue of Quilt Sampler.  So now it's on to wash and fluff, and set aside in the blanket chest awaiting a special day in the (hopefully near) future as this one is slated to be a wedding gift.  It had been nagging on me since beginning the applique and piecing over three years ago, wanting to be finished before I get too old to be working on quilts this big!  Have I mentioned recently that there are two king and one queen size waiting in the wings - all hand quilted?
All in due time.

We had our second snow last night, only a trace here in our valley, but several inches just a couple hundred feet up the hillsides.  Two quilts on the bed now, with a third folded and waiting in the wings for those really cold nights coming all too soon!

A happy Monday to you all!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Our Little Quilt Show and OMG Progress

A couple weekends ago we had a small quilt show in the church, in conjunction with the fall harvest festival going on at the old grange hall grounds directly across the road.  This year we featured the quilts of one of our quilt ministry group members, Lois.  She is in a league of her own, a wonderful piecer, and her applique quilts - well I'll just say they are fabulous!  She chose to bring a group of her large applique quilts for the show.  None of us had seen these quilts before and we all spent a lot of time drooling over admiring them.  A few photos from the show, beginning with the featured applique quilts.
My personal favorite!

Lois also brought a sampling of her wool work.  She will be presenting a tutorial on working with wool for our group in a couple weeks.  I'm looking forward to learning more about this technique.  Not to mention a few tips on hand applique!

And a few other quilts from the show, either made or owned by other members of our little group, a few of the smaller ones are slated for donation soon:

Vintage double-knit (double-heavy!) found at a yard sale

Another yard sale find - hand cross-stitched, hand quilted!

Over the weekend I finished the quilting on my October OMG, and later today after running errands and getting laundry underway I'll start working on the binding.  Barring any major setbacks, this OMG 'may' be in the finished column before the week is out - YAY!  It's been a long time coming.  Photos when it reaches the finish line, and hopefully we will have a sunny morning with just a bit of mist on the hillsides and leaves on the ground - my favorite setting for photographing fall quilts.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Sajou, Part 1

It's time again for Lori's (Humble Quilts) little fall quiltalong, and I think this is going to be much fun!  So much so that mid-afternoon today I stopped working on my October OMG and dug out a bin of fabrics I hoped would work.  Though Lori has made her version using an assortment of French General fabrics, I knew there were precious few in my stash, so out came a bin of leftovers from my French Country Strippy quilt (still in the hand quilting process).

And look what I found for the center 'medallion' - a Jinny Beyer print from 2006 that has been waiting patiently in my stash ever since!

Isn't it fun finding a hoarded much loved fabric that has been pining away in the totes forever?  The featherweight was set up on the dining room table again and the first block was completed in one evening. 
Can't wait for the next installment!  And I'd wager you will see that focus fabric again before this little quilt is declared a finish.