Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Collaborative Finish!

First, let me apologize to those who left kind comments on my last post.  This blogger nightmare of not sending your comments to my email has taken more time than I have had lately.  I promise to try to do better this time.  Now if Blogger would just fix the mess they've made!

Anyway, another church camp auction quilt is a finish as of this afternoon!  One of our ministry group members created this beautiful Kim Diehl top, and since she wanted to donate it to the auction but does not do her own quilting asked if I would be willing to finish it up for her.  With more than a bit of fear and trepidation I agreed.  Here is our collaborative finish!

Let us just say, the  background quilting is very 'organic' ... a nice way of saying "not very straight lines!"  If there is one good thing about using black thread for quilting, it is that you can't see the mistakes, and in the end just notice the texture.  This was my first time attempting to machine quilt homespun fabrics, except for the large brown blossom pieces, they behaved pretty well.  I had an extra dark bamboo pole just lounging in the corner of the sewing room and decided to put it to use as a hanger for this quilt, which finished at 47" square.  I'm liking the look, and hopefully the eventual buyer will too.

I'm more than a bit under the gun this summer, with at least three, and possibly four more tops to have quilted before the auction Labor Day weekend.  But one of the largest, a queen size, is down to hand stitching the binding to the back.  Another finish very soon, I hope! 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Finish!

My wild and crazy disappearing nine-patch is finished!  Well, still needing a label, which I'll pick up tomorrow when I get to our quilt ministry meeting.

This one is completely machine quilted, mostly in the Jesters Hat motif, with a single line of serpentine stitch in the first blue border.  It finishes at about 67x80 inches.

The back, where the quilting is a bit more visible:

And its indoor 'glamour' shot, since we've had rain for the past several days, and just too gloomy for outside photography.

Such a good feeling to (finally) have a finish under my belt after what seems a long dry spell!  This quilt is headed for the church camp benefit auction over Labor Day weekend.  More to come, soon I hope!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Pieced from Lois's Scraps and Other Happenings

We're having a heat-wave here in western New York, not entirely unheard of, but 10-20 degrees above the normal temperatures for the end of May is a bit unusual.  Making up for a very late, cold and wet spring I think.  I'm thankful the sewing room manages to stay at a tolerable temperature most days despite the heat.  The grass is growing fast, the industrious farmers are getting their first cutting of hay in, and here in our garden the first iris opened today!  Summer has officially arrived!

One of the gals at our quilt ministry group has been bringing in donations of fabric including some cut-offs and scraps from a few of her recent projects.  A few weeks ago I brought home a baggie of her small scraps and decided to make a doll quilt top, using just one additional fabric, and this is the one that I posted about previously.
I brought the remaining scraps back to quilt group and challenged the other members to make a doll quilt size top using some of the scraps plus one additional fabric, and see how many little quilts we could get from Lois's scraps.  So far one gal, Nancy, has taken me up on the challenge and the following week she came back with this:
At that point she was debating whether to add a border from one of the two fabrics shown at the top of the photo, and we haven't seen it since, so it's probably still awaiting that decision.  She did a fabulous job with this block though, but with farming in full swing now and a wedding quilt for her daughter needing finishing before September, I suspect we won't see this little gem again for awhile.

Another gal took the remaining scraps from that baggie home, so we shall see what transpires next.  Meanwhile a couple weeks ago I discovered another baggie of Lois's scraps in one of the fabric bins, so they came home with me to try again.  I haven't gotten too far yet but this is the first block, and three more are cut and awaiting stitching.  Still deciding what my setting fabric will be for these little blocks.  My play time while machine quilting all those church camp donation quilts! 
I just love the primitive and reproduction fabrics that Lois consistently seems to choose for her quilts, and it's been such fun using some of the bits and pieces to make small quilts from her leftovers.  And setting them against a colorful, sometimes non-vintage fabric occasionally too, since I seem to gravitate toward the bright oranges and golds in my own fabric stash.   So this begins what I hope will be a continuing little series I'm calling "Pieced from Lois's Scraps."  Even sounds kinda vintage, yes?

On to the winners of the blogaversary giveaway posted last week.  My hubby had the honor of drawing the names for the two books, and the winners are Kyle (http://kyleredente.blogspot.com) for the 1718 Coverlet book, and Ruth (http://countrylogcabin.blogspot.com) for the Fantastic Fabric Folding book!  Thank you to those who commented and those who read this little blog, whether occasionally or those who faithfully comment nearly every time I post. I appreciate all of you and your friendship and quilty advice and encouragement! 

Happy stitching!


Friday, May 18, 2018

Time Flies

If memory serves me, the first post on this little blog went public six years ago today!  Yes, time does fly by more quickly now than it did 'way back then.'  I began this blog while taking part in SewCalGal's 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge, and many blogging buddies are also graduates of that fun year of learning free motion quilting from some of the best!

On Tuesday my quilt ministry friends helped me layer and pin the disappearing nine-patch top I made recently, and quilting began on Wednesday.  I'm using an all-over motif learned during that 2012 FMQ Challenge, one shown to us by Wendy Sheppard called Jesters Hat.  It's really a fun and easy motif to quilt, though as usual I manage to stitch myself into a corner and have to break thread more often than I'd like.  But it is a very forgiving motif and provides a nice texture to the quilt.  Here's a closeup of my progress so far.

It's been a while since I had a giveaway, and a blogaversary is a good time to send some goodies onward.   I've decided to part with two books I've had for a while, realizing that I probably won't make anything from them, and that someone else might appreciate them.  The first is this gem, which I've had for a couple years, having won it from another blogging friend's giveaway.
Though there are several large blocks (especially that goose!) that I thought I'd make, that isn't going to happen. 

The second is this one that I've had for a number of years, again a fun book filled with creative ideas for adding dimension to your quilts.

The rules are simple:  giveaway is open to my United States readers only.  Leave a comment to enter, and if you have a preference for one or the other of these books, please let me know in your comment.  AND, if you are a no-reply blogger and you'd like to win, you must leave your email address in your comment so I can find you!   I'll pick two names out of the proverbial hat at the end of next week and let the winners know via email.  NOTE:  This drawing has ended and the winners have been notified and responded with their mailing addresses.  I'll try to do another giveaway soon!

And now, I'm off to enjoy the sunshine!  It's a welcome change from all the rain we've had of late.
Happy Weekend!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tutti Frutti and other Stuff

Wow, almost a month since my last post.  But, I've been busy, for the past month, stitching slowly, ever so slowly it seems, on a quilt top from a book entitled "Jelly Roll Quilts in a Weekend" by Pam and Nicky Lintott.  Well, obviously they've never encountered the snail's pace of my piecing!  Maybe the fact that I started with fat-eighths and stash scraps instead of a pretty jelly roll ... whatever!

So, here's the completed top, which for lack of originality on my part I'm calling by the same name as the book pattern, Tutti Frutti.


First off, I will say I made my top larger than the pattern which would have made the top 48x64 inches.  I added an additional row of blocks plus a border, bringing this top to 74x74 inches, a nice bed or large throw size quilt. This is the last of the tops I'm planning on piecing for this year's church camp benefit auction.  It seemed to take F.O.R.E.V.E.R. though!  This was also pieced on my faithful Featherweight at the dining room table, as my back issues continue.   At this point, I've seen two chiropractors and my primary care doctor, and had x-rays, which ruled out a compression fracture but won't show if there is a herniated disc, which I suspect is part of the underlying issue.  The sciatic nerve pain has calmed somewhat, though impending rainy weather brings it back with a fury.  The lower back pain is pretty much constant.  But enough of that, this is a quilting blog!

A couple close-ups of these bright and cheerful blocks:


Most of the fabrics used in the blocks are either from a donated fat-eighth bundle or scraps from my stash.  I'm hoping to piece a simple back tomorrow from some donated coordinating yardage, and cut the binding strips.

In other news, I recently entered a giveaway held by Julie of JulieKQuilts, and Saturday morning the mail truck placed a little box on the back porch containing this sweet bundle of goodies:
I've long thought of making a double wedding quilt, at least a small one, and the book she included has some excellent examples of various settings and complete instructions for piecing these blocks. Thank you so much Julie!

Later this month I'll be celebrating my 6th blogaversary, and that day is coincidentally also my birthday, so who knows what my next post will hold.  One thing I can assure you, it won't be another finished flimsy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mindless Piecing Makes a Flimsy

So a week ago I awoke with excruciating lower back and leg pain, but it was quilt group day, so of course you know what I did, lol!   A visit to the chiropractor the next day revealed a twisted tailbone and impingement of the sciatic nerve.  And how did that happen?  No clue, but four visits later it seems to be improving slowly.  Either that or I'm just adapting to the pain, with the help of some over the counter anti-inflammatories and some mild pain meds.

Anyhow, during this hiaitus, about the only chair comfortable enough to sit on was a dining room chair, so I parked the faithful little featherweight on the table and began piecing nine-patch blocks.  These fabrics were donated to our quilt ministry a year or so ago from an anonymous friend, and have patiently awaited their destiny.  There was a fat quarter bundle of lovely deep shades of shot cotton and small yardages of Kaffe Fassett prints.    I'd never tried a disappearing nine-patch before, in fact had only ever seen one recently, so it seemed easy enough and not too complicated that the back pain would interfere with assembling the top in a coherent manner.  Hmm, have 'disappearing nine-patch' and 'coherent' ever been used in the same sentence before?  Hehe! After determining I could wrangle enough pieces for 20 blocks of the featured floral if I made the pieces 5" square, I set about cutting up the fabric, and this is the result.

Pretty wild, huh? You'll have to take my word for it, the colors are FAR lovelier than depicted in my poor photo attempts.  Especially the shot cottons, which are just beautiful in their own right.  The following close-ups provide a little better color rendition, though not perfect by far.


So, this top measures 67 x 80 inches, and is slated to join a group of quilts our group will be donating for the church camp's annual benefit auction over Labor Day weekend.  My sweet hubby who favors deep greens and browns and is generally not a fan of wild color combos thinks this top is pretty cool, so if auction-goers don't get super-excited, it may end up coming home to live with us, who knows? I'll be piecing the back next week, using some of the left-over yardage and another 'coordinating' print - coordinating with the dark shot cottons at least!

I also began another mindless piecing project over the past few days, and will post when there's more to show.  Right now it consists of a few hundred semi-pieced 4-patch blocks, with alternate blocks yet to be cut and assembled.  Fun bright fabrics, with a plain white background, another auction donation quilt in the making.  More later.

I'm happy to say after four adjustments by our chiropractor, including one this morning, things are beginning to look up, and hopefully if I don't move or twist incorrectly the back will be back to some semblance of normal before too many more days.   The interesting thing is, since my back went out, the wrist doesn't hurt a bit!  Guess I'd best get back to some FMQ while that lasts!

Aww Mom, put it on the floor, will ya?