Monday, March 31, 2014

Finishes, NewFO's, and Where Does the Time Go?!

Wow, how can it be that a full three months have gone by since I last posted on this little blog!  So much has happened, and lots of changes coming up this next year that it may become the new pattern, at least for awhile.  DH will be retiring later this year, and we came to the decision that we need to move back to the east coast to be closer to our kiddos and grandbabies.  So, just after Christmas a flurry of little fix-up and remodeling projects began and we now have our house on the market.  If all goes well, we will be back in upstate New York in time to enjoy the glorious fall colors before winter sets in  once again.

I've been able to do at least a little quilting to keep my sanity, so this post will be a short recap of some finishes and a couple of NewFOs since the New Year.

First, my version of Barbara Brackman's Checkered Past 1862 quilt pattern is finally completed.  This one was hand quilted, and the fabrics are so soft, it has quickly become one of my favorites to snuggle under.  Unfortunately our weather has not been cooperating so the photos were taken in less than perfect lighting/background.
Batting is Hobbs 80/20 cotton and Coats cotton hand quilting thread (pink spool) was used for the quilting.  The star blocks were quilted in a diagonal cross hatch through the middle of each square using a light beige, and the border Baptist Fan pattern was stitched with a dark red.  Hobbs 80/20 is nice for hand quilting, shrinks just a little after the quilt is washed, giving it a nice soft and slightly crinkly texture.  I do rinse the batting in the tub, and throw it in the dryer on low heat before quilting to minimize the shrinkage a bit, and that works well for me.  The finished quilt measures about 53x71 inches.

Last year I found a large remnant of a 1930s fan quilt in an online auction.  I loved the cheery yellow background, and not knowing exactly what I'd do with it, I purchased the piece.  It arrived as expected with binding on only two sides and the piece was somewhat out of square.
Don't you just love these cheery 30's prints!
After trimming the raw edges to square it up as best I could, I was lucky enough to find a piece of yellow solid in my stash that almost perfectly matches the backing fabric which had been brought round to the front to finish binding the original quilt.  I made a narrow binding to finish off the two raw edges, and it now hangs above our entertainment unit.  It measures about 35x31 inches.   The seller later had two additional similarly sized pieces obviously cut from the same quilt.  How unfortunate that the quilt had suffered major damage in its center area and had to be sold as a cutter.  I can only imagine how spectacular it must have been when newly made.  But I'm happy to be able to enjoy this little hanging every day.

Now, on to the NewFO's!

In March my friend Sarah and I were in charge of leading our church ladies group's monthly activity day, and we decided to work on a quilting project.  Since some of the women do not sew frequently and most are not quilters, we decided string piecing on paper foundations would be an easy and fun project for a Saturday morning.  We chose the Rock Island Campfires quilt pattern from the July/August 2013 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting.   Sarah and I provided brunch, then working with childrens and baby prints from both my stash and the church's stash of vintage quilting fabrics the ladies stitched up 96 string squares - enough to make two baby quilts.   Sarah and I will now each work on finishing one of the quilts in time for the church school's annual benefit auction held the first Saturday in May.  Here are some photos of the quilt top I've been working on, right after the borders were stitched  and before pressing the top and sandwiching for machine quilting:
 Note the mix of vintage and modern prints in the string pieced blocks.

Here is the original quilt as pictured in the magazine.  I've decided to make this quilt in the "campfire" version with the smoky/fire colors for our home, and so far have cut all the strips and sashings for my 'official' March NewFO.  I haven't photographed the bin with all the pieces - you'll have to take my word for it, but the sashing strips are made up of an assortment of gorgeous smoky gray batik fat quarters I won more than a year ago that have just been waiting for the right project, and this is it.   Hoping to make this quilt completely from my stash, including the backing.

Linking up, for the first time this year, with Cat Patches March NewFO linky party, where all you have to do is start a project and then link up and visit every one else's blog to see what everyone else is working on this month.

Thanks for visiting!