Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where did the month go? NewFO for July

Indeed, where has this month gone?!  It's prime garden season here in western Oregon and that also means a lot of time spent watering if one doesn't have everything automated.  We drag hoses around and connect sprinklers and soaker hoses, plus do a lot of hand watering.  All this to say, not much time for quilt-making.  I did manage to do some antique quilt shopping by way of a few small local estate sales.  Major fun, estate sale browsing!  My most recent find is shown here, and I'll be posting about the others as time permits. 

July's one and only NewFO is this grandbaby quilt started for a little one expected in mid-September.  I'd been admiring this little antique quilt for some time now, and it seemed perfect to draw inspiration from to create an updated version for the new addition to our family. 
The pictured quilt is found in this book by Eleanor Levie, published in 1990.
I've upsized the blocks somewhat to create a larger crib quilt, as the original, which was created ca. 1930, measured only 27x35 inches.  Here is my version, with 6 of the 12 blocks completed and stitched together.  At this writing I've finished four additional blocks.
And a close-up of one block:
The pattern is called Single Wedding Ring.  At the moment, the plan is to float these blocks on a border of the white tiny print fabric, then surround that with a narrow border of the green and another wider white print border.   The back will be a bit more modern looking with large blocks of the brighter green large print alternating with the white.  Binding will probably be the striped fabric. 
I'm planning to hand quilt this one, and quilt in the baby's name and birth date when I have that.  Mom and Dad decided not to find out baby's gender until the birth, nor are they announcing any possible names, so this one will be a great surprise.  The nursery is a nice apple green, so this quilt should harmonize well, I hope!

Slow progress is being made with the hand quilting of checkered past, though I don't have any updated photos today. 

So, that's my July.  I hope you're all enjoying these warm summer days and all the lovely garden produce that comes our way this season.  Linking up with the July NewFO Challenge at Cat Patches, where you can see the projects that everyone else has begun this month. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Treasures under the Table

We've been having internet connectivity problems again this summer.  I think another tree will need to be sacrificed, and soon, so we can keep our line of sight to the tower across the valley.  So posting to the blog has been intermittent, at best.  And there's so much I want to show you!

For the past couple of years it seems that there has been a real lack of interesting estate/yard sales, you know the ones with no plastic toys or piles of kids clothes and boots heaped on the grass in front of the house.  But, ask and you shall receive - in the past three weeks there have been four terrific sales within 16 miles of our rural home, each one with wonderful treasures to be found, and even better all pretty reasonably priced, meaning really, really inexpensive!

I've learned from my friend Gail who's a yard-sale-aholic, that it sometimes pays to look under the tables of goodies for the seemingly forgotten stuff that the owner figures nobody will want anyway.  So, here's what I found  under a table today, stuffed into one of those plastic zippered blanket bags like you'd bring home from the department store, with this tag attached:

Now, all I could see was a bundle of muslin and batting, and one print blue square showing.  With my hands already full with a pile of vintage table linens, I figured I could wait until I got home to see exactly what I was walking away with.   Some acquaintances who happened to be at the sale just shook their heads that I would even bother hauling 'that old thing' away, figuring it would just find its way to the dump via our trash can.  OK, when I opened the bag and unfolded the muslin this is what was inside:

Wow!  Looking at these fabrics, I think they are vintage 1950s thru about the late 1980s but there may be a few that are earlier.  The quilt is entirely hand pieced, and the white pieces setting off the bowties are from what I think was a vintage tablecloth - the weave is much looser than the other fabrics and has begun to unravel a bit along the edges.  The batting is rather heavy, and the part already hand quilted is stitched at about 4-5 stitches per inch.  It is about 1/3 quilted at this point.  I think this one may be a keeper rather than resold, it doesn't seem like it will take terribly long to finish quilting and binding it and I love it!  It measures about 51 x 71 inches.  The muslin backing is all one piece, selvedge-to-selvedge measuring 80 inches or so.   A few close-ups of some of the fabrics:

So, this was a very good day!  Among my other finds were a pile of the small promotional vintage 1930s cookbooks priced at less than 10 cents apiece including Fleishmann's, Sunkist Lemons, Rennet "Junket" Custard, Knox Gelatin, etc.  And a sweet little 1941 spiral-bound book entitled "Parties for All Occasions for Grown-ups and Children."    All in all, a very good morning indeed! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Finish!! (and a long time a'coming)

Yesterday I had the pleasure of throwing my newly finished 16-year-old albatross queen size quilt into the washer and dryer in hopes of removing the various markings and abundance of kitty fur clinging to the top.  Happily, all of the marks and (most of) the kitty fur are gone.  I've got to warn you, after 16 years in the making, this post is going to be photo-heavy!    So, here we go, first photo was taken right after I finished stitching down the binding, before throwing it in the washer. 
And now, the "after"

A very exciting shot of the back - and a rippled back it is, though not as noticeable now that it has had time in the washer and dryer.
My first attempt at needle-turn hand applique
And some of the individual blocks.  This quilt is titled "Biblical Blocks" and is from a book of the same name by Rosemary Makhan, published in 1993.  

I won't bore you with all my tribulations in putting this quilt together, let's just say I love my rotary cutter after having cut all these little pieces individually from templates!  The needle-turn appliqued border took over a year of evenings, and the hand quilting, probably another 2+ years!  And there were other "must-do" quilts that had to take precedence along the way.   But now it's finished and hanging on the quilt rack in our room awaiting a night cool enough to toss it on the bed.  Of course actually putting it on the bed means more kitty fur ... lots more kitty fur ... and so it goes!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My June NewFOs

Hello Friends,   I've been taking a bit of a break from blogging, and reading only sparingly this past month.  Sometimes life dictates that we change course for a while.

In the midst of everything else I did manage to work on a couple new projects during June, so without further ado, here they are.

First, a set of quilted placemats with coordinating napkins for a bridal shower gift.  The placemats were a great project for practicing my FMQ. 
The mats are reversible, and the next two photos show the two backing fabrics used.

And the napkins ...

My other project is this rendition of a pattern called Checkered Past 1862 shown on Barbara Brackman's blog several months ago:
Getting help while laying out the blocks:
The completed flimsy - the color is not very well rendered in either photo - you'll have to imagine a happy medium between the two shots.

This top will be my winter hand quilting project, it should go fairly quickly as I'm planning to simply quilt diagonally through the squares and then perhaps a double or triple cable in the borders.  It will be a nice change from the more intense quilting I've been doing on my Biblical Blocks quilt, which, by the way, is nearly completed - yay!
And now it's July!  Time to link up with Barbara and Smitty at Cat Patches for the June NewFO Linky Party, where you can see all the projects other quilters have begun during June. 
Happy Summer!