Saturday, August 31, 2013

August NewFO Challenge

While on our trip to Salem to the Oregon State Fair the other day I lamented to Barbara that I had no NewFO for August nor much chance of starting one before the end of the month.   The precious little sewing time I've had has been devoted to completing the piecing and beginning hand quilting the new grandbaby quilt, and time is getting short.  The little bundle of joy is due in about 15 days!

Then yesterday it occurred to me, those leaders and enders stitched as I was sewing together the blocks for grandbaby's quilt count as a new project - tell me they do!  When I finished the Toddler Quilt last year there were not only a huge pile of 2 1/2 inch squares left over but nearly half the panel blocks from the original project.  So I decided to start working on making a second bear family patchwork quilt.  And here is the pile of sewn-together squares along with the scrap bear panels waiting to be cut apart and reassembled.
I think this new one will be a bit smaller than the first quilt, and with any luck I'll have some sort of design inspiration so it won't end up looking just like the first one here:
So, progress on the new grandbaby quilt is coming along, albeit slowly.  I think the hand quilting of the blocks is about 1/4 completed, and the plan is to do a simple double cable in the outer border.  Here it is as of this morning, the traditional top:
and the more modern back:
Though it's a bit difficult to see in the photo, I'm really liking the texture the quilting is adding, especially on the green backing fabric.  The batting is an 80/20 cotton from JoAnn's.  I seem to have tossed the wrapper and can't remember the exact brand name.  Quilting thread is Coats & Clark 100% cotton glace.

I'll be linking up with Barbara at Cat Patches August NewFO Linky Party where you can also add your new August projects and see what others are creating during these lazy (we wish) days of summer!

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oregon State Fair

Yesterday Barbara from Cat Patches and I went to the Oregon State Fair and spent most of our time in the Americraft Center where all the quilts and other textile and crafting projects were displayed.  The absolute highlight of our visit was seeing Barbara's You are My Sunshine quilt with its bright red ribbon and Barbara beaming as brightly as all her stitched and appliqued sunshine blocks!  This was Barbara's first-ever entry of one of her quilts into a show or state fair.  Congratulations to Barbara!

I always gravitate toward the hand quilted entries, and although relatively few of the nearly 200 quilts displayed were hand quilted, those that were entered were beautifully crafted and truly gorgeous.   The names of the quilters were on tiny entry cards and in many cases were totally obscured since most of the large entries were hung on the top of two tiers of quilts along the walls.  However, here are some of my favorites among the hand quilted entries.
Though it took a blue ribbon in its class, had I been a judge, this quilt would have easily captured Best of Show for the exquisite and intricate hand workmanship throughout. 

 I believe the album quilt shown above is hand quilted, though not absolutely certain since it was on the top tier and we could not view it up close.  The stitches are very tiny and close together and it did appear to be hand quilted.  The black/gray/white quilt to the right and also pictured below is hand quilted.

This was another favorite.  The appliques are needle turn and the larger ones are hand buttonhole stitched.  Beautiful quilting stitches!

 Another gorgeous Baltimore album style quilt, detail photos follow:

 The following quilt captured my heart, especially after reading its story.  Truly a treasure for this family and a wonderful treat to see it and learn its special significance.
 Amazing hand embroidery!

All in all a fun day at the fair.  And today it's back to the mundane painting chores and getting my supplies organized for some marathon canning sessions coming up in the next two-three weeks.  I hope you're enjoying these last days of summer, and looking forward to a quieter season of quilting in the next few months.  I know I am!