Friday, October 30, 2015

Crazy Hexie Top Almost Complete

My husband says he can't look at it, makes him dizzy.  I guess I'm less than enthralled with it myself. Daughter says she kind of likes it, and to go ahead and finish it, the grandgirl will love it.  Conflicted? Yep!  But here 'tis, for what it's worth.
I've about decided that it should have a narrow outside border of the white-on-white that separates the hexies, so that will be added later today.The problem areas in this top are many, having to scrape together the odds and ends of strips and kluge together the last few half-hexies being the worst of it. So, it is, in its own way, a scrappy quilt even though it's made almost entirely of one fabric line jelly roll, with a couple strips added from the backing fabric. And knowing that it will probably never again be hung for viewing in its entirety but will lay folded (or more likely rumpled) on a young girl's bed, a lot of its imperfections will hardly show.
Looks better folded on the quilt rack.
Waiting for my batting order and an order for some pearl cotton to arrive, then we'll get this one layered, hooped and begin my first big-stitch quilting adventure.  I always like a quilt top a lot more when it's spread out over the batting and the layers begin to be pinned together and I can start to see the added dimension the quilting will add.   In the meantime, there are other projects calling.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Barn Raising Quilt

Yesterday, Lori at Humble Quilts had a post about the annual quilt show held at the Aurora Colony in Oregon's Willamette Valley each fall.   This year's show featured antique log cabin quilts, and Lori's post  photos highlighted some asymmetrical log cabin variations that immediately made me think of another great old log cabin variation I found at an estate sale in Dayton, Oregon several years ago. Dayton is a mere 23 miles by road from the old Aurora Colony, and much less as the crow flies.  So many questions came to mind as I studied the quilts featured in Lori's post:  is it possible that the quilt I found also originated with a member of the Aurora Colony;  was the asymmetrical barn-raising variation  a popular "modern take" on the traditional log cabin design around the turn of the 20th century, etc. My quilt has no label or initials to indicate who might have made it, when, or where. The best clue I have is a relative time period - most of the fabrics appear to date from the 1890-1910 era.
Each corner is different.

 Great old fabrics.

 A wonderful paisley in some of the center squares.

 I love the horseshoe fabric!

The quilt back is a fabulous old "cheater" print, now very thin and worn through in a couple places along the edges.
The batting is thick and appears to be wool, although I haven't tried a burn test to be sure.  The quilt is hand quilted rather sparsely, just enough to hold the layers together.  The wide binding is a woven tape.
The quilt is heavy and warm and obviously made to be used, not a show quilt.  It was well used and now has faded areas and a few tears, especially in the thin backing fabric.  If these old quilts could only tell us their whole story ...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival Time - Fall Edition

I just love this time of year, crisp air, bright blue skies, the red, gold and bronze-tinged hillsides, and of course the fall edition of Bloggers Quilt Festival for early morning inspiration over a steaming cup of coffee.  Thanks to Amy Ellis over at Amy's Creative Side blog for yet again sponsoring this festival!  Your work is very much appreciated!

My entry this fall is a quilt I call "Campfire Memories," a scrappy creation containing bits and pieces of my life and nearly every quilt I've made over the past twenty or so years.  Like a well-loved photo album, this quilt contains memories of my son's high school graduation and leaving for college, his wedding, my daughter's college quilt, grandbaby quilts, a group quilt made for a dear co-worker who had lost her home to fire, donation baby quilts, a tiny memorial quilt for a mom of an angel, our marriage quilt, and so many more.  It also commemorates a more recent event, our retirement and cross-country move to be closer to our kids and grandbabies, since this quilt was made in the midst of that move!  Without further ado:

It's a bit difficult to get accurate photos in our house, the next couple of closer shots provide a better idea of the true colors, and the quilting.

A close-up of the quilting, all stitched on the Janome Horizon using the even-feed foot. Seemed to take forever with all the starts/stops in every corner to change direction, but I do love the four-pointed star-effect as the sashings cross.  Each of the 4 inch string blocks was quilted in the ditch along the outer edge of the blocks, then the X patterns were quilted in each of the sashings and corner blocks. The quilting may be a bit more visible in this next photo of the back.

The stats:  From a pattern in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine (July/August 2013) in which Marianne Fons based her quilt on an antique quilt she had seen; finished size 86x63 inches; string blocks pieced on Casey Jones, my go-to, all-time favorite piecing machine, a vintage 1950s black Singer 301a; machine quilted on the Janome Horizon; Aurifil 50 wt. thread used throughout; Hobbs 80/20 cotton batting.

If you're new to my little blog, I hope you'll stop back again after the festival and check out some of my other projects.  In the meantime, there's a ton more inspiration to be found in every category of the Bloggers Quilt Festival!  Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Country Roads Quilt-a-Long

If you haven't seen it yet, Lori at Humble Quilts has been hosting another of her fabulous little quilt-a-longs, and the linky party is now up and open for another few days if you want to join in!

Lori announced this quilt-a-long while we were vacationing in Oregon, so I've gotten a very late start. I did get a start though, finding the super cheddar fabric that grounds my little entry, plus a couple of blue fat quarters that were quickly turned into some of the blocks.  I dug deep in my stash the other day to find the remaining fabrics, there are at least three fabrics that first appeared in my son's college quilt, begun well over twenty years ago!   Here's my completed flimsy.

I haven't used a lot of cheddar in the past, but oh-my-gosh, how I love this one!  The actual color is deeper than what I'm seeing on my monitor, but my camera wants to read it as yellow rather than cheddar.  I especially like it combined with the black-cheddar print I found in my fat quarter stash.

I'm planning to hand quilt this, and know it won't be completed until well after the linky party closes so I'll just enter this as a completed top.  With the borders this top finished at 26 1/4 inches.  Still pondering a backing fabric, looks like I'll be digging deep in the stash yet again.

This was such a delight to make, a fun change of pace between all the bed-size quilts I've been working on of late.  Thanks Lori for hosting yet another fabulous quilt-a-long!

Monday, October 19, 2015

A "commission" quilt!

During a recent visit:

"Grandma, do you remember the quilt you made for me?"
"Do you mean your pink fairy quilt?"
"Yes.  Well, my quilt is getting old, and I'll be needing a new one (pause) when I'm five."
Out of the mouths of babes!  Now, I happen to know this little gal and her mom have taken very good care of her quilt, and while it's been on her big-girl bed since she received it for Christmas nearly three years ago, it is still in great condition!  But, I guess when you've had something for more than half your life it may seem old, all things being relative.  And how could I resist a sweet request like that!

I remembered a giveaway prize I'd won quite awhile back from Sharon of Vrooman's Quilts.  I'd been waiting for just the right occasion to use these sweet fabrics.
The pattern that came with the kit only uses about half the strips in the jelly roll, so I opted instead for this fun pattern, that makes a slightly larger quilt and amazingly the kit had nearly everything needed to make this quilt top.  The pattern I chose appears in the March-April 2015 issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting.
Gasp!  A hexie-quilt!  Something I swore I'd never, ever make, yet here we are.  Thankfully these hexie shapes are huge, and this looks like the perfect quilt to try out some big-stitch hand quilting. So, after cutting, stitching, pressing, and stitching some more, here's what we have so far.  These half-hexie blocks aren't in any particular order or arrangement, just plopped onto the design wall as I complete each unit.   Miss Abby requested her new quilt have some "pink." That cute pink and green triangle fabric is one of the pieces I picked up while on our Oregon trip, just for this quilt, and a few accents on the front and the backing will be from this fabric.
When I have all the half-hexie blocks stitched, I'll play with various arrangements, haven't decided whether to combine like colors into hexies or make it completely random.  Lots of design wall fun ahead.
Thanks again Sharon for these great fabrics!  I'm having great fun using them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The First Basket Top Complete at Last!

The outer borders were added to the basket quilt top on Monday afternoon.  At first I wasn't sure about this border fabric, thinking it might appear too washed out in contrast to the deeper brighter colors of the baskets, but I'm finding the softness of the caramel background seems just right now that it is all completed.

My husband remarked that this quilt looks like fall, and so it does.  I wish we could have photographed it outside among all the falling leaves, but the weather has turned rainy and windy, so no outside photos until after it is quilted (next fall?).  Meantime, these less than stellar indoor shots will have to do.  There is no really good place to photograph quilts indoors at our house, and the colors never appear quite true or seem to do justice to the quilt.  Not to mention the massive seasonal shedding issue with both the dog and cat!  Fur everywhere, on every surface, constantly - is there ever a season when they don't shed?!  Anyway.
Top finished at 81 x 100 inches

A bit rumpled and ripply - I'm sure it will all "quilt out"!

I'm setting aside the remaining basket blocks for awhile to work on some other projects, one with a fast approaching January deadline.   More on that in a couple days.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Back again

It seems like forever since I last posted, but we are now back home from our cross-country trip.  We spent ten days in Oregon, and enjoyed every minute, several days along the coast, a couple days in the John Day area of eastern Oregon, and some time visiting old friends and also my sister and BIL.

After over a year without stepping inside a quilt shop, my first stop had to be my old haunt, Boersma's in McMinnville near our previous home!
First my blogging friend Ruth at and I met at the coffee shop across the street for a leisurely hour of catching up over our favorite lattes, then it was over to Boersma's for some serious shopping.  With my list and fabric swatches in hand, a couple hours later a great pile of notions, batting and fabrics had built up on the counter, including most of the fabrics in the next couple photos.
My supply of pink fat quarters was practically non-existent before the addition of these pieces (all but two from Boersmas), and the pink and green triangle fabric is slated to become the back of a quilt for a granddaughter - a happy find from Boersma's bargain basement selection!

From the Willamette Valley we headed to the southern Oregon coast, and (for me) one of the highlights was my own little quilt shop hop as we journeyed from Port Orford northward to Astoria, encouraged by an indulgent hubby, who insisted we stop at every quilt shop we encountered.  Of course, after the first couple of stops a theme began to emerge and this group of Oregon coast-related fat quarters and yardage will eventually become a quilt for him.  In all we managed to visit eight quilt shops during our six days on the coast!
Mostly fat quarters and end of bolt pieces, with a couple larger pieces mixed in, including the fabulous yardage featuring old salmon canning labels, most of which were from canneries along the Columbia River in the Astoria area.  Many years ago when my husband first lived in Oregon he worked for the OSU Seafood Lab in Astoria, so this will become the focus fabric for his Oregon quilt.  We found this fabric in a great little shop called Homespun Quilts in Astoria.

I also picked up a few sweet green 1930s repro fabrics to add to my small collection, and hopefully these will become aprons for the cooks in the family before too many months.

Since we returned there has been little time for stitching, what with the last of the garden produce to bring in, and now tons of leaves falling.  We are at peak colors right now in these parts, though today is the last warm day predicted for the month (or perhaps six months).  Anyway, 20 pints of salsa verde are now safely stashed in the basement, the laundry is almost caught up, and it's looking like some extended time in the sewing room might be on the horizon.  The first of the basket quilts is nearly a completed flimsy, with only the final borders to be added, hopefully later today.  Photos of a finally completed top in my next post ...  It's so good to be home again!

Happy Monday!  Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends!