Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Second September Mini

It's been a good month for finishing up a few mini and small quilts!  This mini is the second in my "Pieced from Lois's Scraps" series.  The first is yet to be quilted, maybe October will see that one finished.

It finished at 16 inches more or less square, after trimming.  An interesting observation, I usually use a square hoop for hand quilting, but in this case used an older round one since my square hoops are too large for this little quilt.  Generally I haven't had to square up a hand quilted project but the edges of this one were seriously distorted after the quilting.  I ended up trimming a good quarter inch or so on each side to square it up as best I could. 

Trying to find an angle to show the quilting a bit better

The backing is another vintage fabric, the texture of the base fabric looks and feels much like the feedsack I used on the back of Palmateer Point, though in this case the printed flower/dot design appears to be some sort of paint?  I wasn't able to needle through those printed flowers as they were just thick enough that the tiny #10 between needle would veer off to the side everytime it came in contact with them.  It would be interesting to know exactly how the design was printed and what that material is.

This fabric was in the same bundle of feedsack and vintage fabrics I had found at an estate sale back in Oregon.  In its most recent life it had been made into a cafe curtain, with rod pocket and nicely (machine) stitched hem.

This will be my last finish for September, as tomorrow will be taken up preparing for our quilt ministry's second quilt show at the annual fall harvest festival held across the road from the church at the old grange hall grounds.  With all the cool rainy weather we've been having I'm happy that our show will be inside the church building.    I hope to have some photos to share early next week.  

Monday, September 24, 2018

Westering Women, a Flimsy at Last!

All those blocks from Barbara Brackman's Westering Women BOM from 2016 have been simmering long enough!  A couple weeks ago I pulled them out of the miscellaneous blocks tote and began the search for sashing and border fabrics.  My blocks are an eclectic mix of fabrics with no central theme, my imaginary westward pioneer having collected bits and pieces of leftover fabrics from members of her family and good friends to remind her of her eastern childhood home when she arrived in Oregon.

Though my original plan was to sash the blocks with a dark blue and cream, the totes revealed no appropriate fabrics, so my thoughts turned to brown.  That plus the fact that there were over 4 yards of a gorgeous repro print just sitting there begging to become the outer border.  How could I possibly say no to Edith? 
 (Windham Fabrics "Edith", c. 1840-1870 by Mary Koval)

My first attempt at sashings turned out to be a disaster, resulting in a really muddy appearing calico overload - sashings and cornerstones that are now being saved for something far in the future. Maybe.  Lesson learned?  I wish!  Choosing color and fabric pattern has never been a strong suit.

Moving on, the solids came out in hopes there was still enough of the deep brown  that had seemed endless a few years ago. There was.  And so we ended up with this

and then this

I know my beloved border fabric seems washed out and stretching out into nothingness especially right next to that gray carpet. I'm hoping to rein it back in and add some life to the whole with a dark binding, possibly even a flanged binding repeating the burnt orange used in the stop border.  I suspect flanged bindings are not authentic to the period, but then there are quite a few other things that aren't authentic about the quilt.  Those of you who also participated in the WW BOM will notice that rogue block in the lower left.  Yep, I rebelled at the block with umpteen Y-seams and opted instead for a snowball block, done in creams, browns and black representing the first snowfall along the muddy trail over the mountains.  The cold, slippery mud must have been horrific for those weary travelers after so many months trekking hundreds of miles across the dusty plains.

At the moment I'm planning to load this top onto my newly acquired $5 hand quilting frame, though probably not until after the Christmas holidays when company departs, since the frame is most likely going to end up in the dining room for actual quilting.  I'm so looking forward to learning to quilt on the frame, and will likely try an easy overall design like Baptist Fans.  Frame quilting for me will always have to be simple linear designs like continuous cable or grid since I've never been able to quilt in all directions.  But won't it be fun to see a quilt loaded onto this beauty?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Palmateer Point - Finished at Last!

My latest finish, with the final binding stitch added at 10 p.m. yesterday, is Palmateer Point, the fall 2017 quilt-along hosted by Lori at Humble Quilts.   Though the top was completed last fall, it didn't find its way into my quilting hoop until the heat and humidity this summer prevented hand quilting anything larger in our un-air-conditioned farmhouse.  Without further ado, the finish!

Linking up as my second entry in the Bloggers Quilt Festival, Fall 2018 Edition, hosted by Amy Ellis.  Thanks Amy for your time and effort in providing bloggers a way to meet other bloggers and show off a finish or two each year! 

This little finish measures 32 inches square, and was hand quilted over the past month.  A closer view of the quilting and that buttery yellow border, which made me love this quilt again after not being very thrilled with my choice of the pink and white diagonal units. 

A few years ago I found several feedsacks at an estate sale that have been sitting in a drawer ever since.  I've decided to make use of them as backings for small quilts.  This is the first one to be included as a backing.

This was a developing mash feedsack from the Triangle company, and about as soft and easy to quilt as any fabric I've found.  Here's a closer look at the faded emblem on the sack.

Thanks for visiting my little blog, and I hope you'll use the link near the top of this post to see the other quilts being featured in the Bloggers Quilt Festival!

Monday, September 17, 2018

It's Bloggers Quilt Festival Time Again!

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Each year the wonderful Amy of sponsors a Bloggers Quilt Festival and this year's festival began today and runs for an entire week.  It's a fabulous show and tell, and a chance to meet new quilters along the way!

My first entry is my recently completed Menorah mini quilt, which actually started out as a practice piece during the 2012 Freemotion Quilting Challenge hosted by SewCalGal.  Somewhere along the line I became a bit discouraged with my effort and it was tossed into the pile of FMQ practice pieces, most of which became kitty quilts at some point.  This one languished in the closet, was packed up and moved across country in 2014, moved again in 2015, and remained sequestered in a dark corner until a couple weeks ago. 

When it emerged into the light of day I thought 'hey, this isn't THAT bad' and decided to finish it up.  Funny how that happens isn't it?  So one more day of quilting the radiating lines around the central area, squaring up and binding attached, here is my completed mini, measuring about 11 inches square.

And the original inspiration for my mini, a concrete garden plaque we found in Oregon a number of years ago.  It hung on the front of our garden shed there, and while it has yet to find a permanent home here, I'm hoping to get it hung soon. 

I hope you'll visit the Bloggers Quilt Festival and enjoy all the other beautiful creations.   I hope to be back tomorrow with my newest finish, just as soon as the last stitch is put in the binding.  See you then!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Next Year's Flimsy

Several weeks back I found a bag of blocks and coordinating scraps in one of the bins at quilt ministry, and decided to bring them home and see what could be made from them.  Starting with these seven blocks:

There were enough scraps of the light neutral to piece an additional six blocks.  Then came the quandary of choosing border fabrics.   There was a 3x9 scrap of a wonderful cheddar and a one yard piece of a lovely green/orange border fabric that I really REALLY wanted to put in this quilt.  I even traveled the 50 miles to our "LQS" to see if I could find another cheddar in the same shade that might compliment the hoped for outer border.

In the end though, my second border choice won out, those cheddars were just too bright for the central portion of the quilt.  However there's always another project down the road ...  And I've set them right where I can see them every day in hopes that they can be put to use soon!

And so I ended up with this border, including a Morris print that I absolutely love!

And here is the finished flimsy, measuring about 70x70 inches.

I didn't quite make the August goal, but added the final top border on September 1, finishing this flimsy right after returning home from the auction.  And this will be my first quilt designated for the 2019 church camp benefit auction next Labor Day weekend.

You can see there are some issues with rippling in those setting and corner triangles.  I'm not sure why this occurred, but it's really disconcerting to me as I've never experienced this level of rippling in my setting triangles before.  I've been seeing so many quilters recommend starching fabrics prior to cutting to help stabilize them and reduce fraying.  So I've tried that with a couple tops I've worked on over the summer, both with really disappointing results.  Why?  Is it because of the excessive humidity we've experienced all summer long?  Is it the starch?  I've tried three different kinds, one a heavy spray starch, one a lighter starch, and Magic Sizing, always using a dry iron.  I've come to believe it really isn't helpful, but would certainly love to hear your experience and what may have gone wrong here.  Meantime I'll go back to just pressing my seams with the steam iron as I've always done before until I can resolve the issue. 

At any rate, this flimsy has gone to the "waiting closet" to simmer for awhile longer while some personal quilting occupies my time for the remainder of the year.  I'm looking forward to trying several new to me quilting motifs in those two inch 'logs.'  Should be fun.

Keeping all those in the path of hurricane Florence in our hearts and prayers. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

"Menorah" - a September mini finish

Years ago when we lived in Oregon, we would drive by a garden shop on our way home from work.  We both spied a large nearly 4 foot high ceramic pot that we thought would look great by our front deck.  You've seen that pot in many previous posts with finished quilts draped over it.

While my husband and the shopkeeper were loading said pot onto the back of the pickup, I wandered to the rear of the shop and spotted a concrete cast Menorah that spoke to us, and it also came home to grace the front wall of our garden shed for a number of years.

While we haven't gotten around (yet) to hanging it here, I got it out of the garage this morning so we could take a new photo.

Back in 2012 during the year-long FMQ Challenge hosted by SewCalGal I had the idea of trying to create a quilted version of this piece.  Although I can't recall now how I did it, I managed to sketch a slightly smaller edition of the design and began attempting to freemotion quilt it, and tried a bit of threadpainting.  At some point it was tossed aside, then in 2014 we moved cross country and in early 2015 moved again to our current home.  After coming home from last weekend's auction and starting a little hoe-out of the sewing room, it was rediscovered in a back corner of the closet along with five or six other unfinished practice pieces.  I just couldn't toss it back in the closet and decided to finish it, and here is my September mini (the first completed mini of the year).

It could probably use more quilting in the menorah background, but done is also feeling very good!  I added the radiating lines on Monday, squared it up and found some batik binding that I hoped would compliment the golden light background quilting on the piece.  The finished quilt is about 11-1/2 inches square.

So fun to have this one finished at last!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Running with Cucumbers and Auction Finds

Once again I'm a few days late in posting, seems the old computer that holds ALL of my photos and quilting files is dying a slow but sure death.  It is over seven years old, ancient it seems in computer technology though I know quilts that have taken way longer than that just to reach the finished stage!  Anyhow, my dear hubby brought home a newfangled computer that is completely housed in the monitor - imagine that - and we are slowly, laboriously, copying a few files at a time onto a 64 gb thumb drive and transferring them. 

Needless to say my favorite photo-editing program (a 2006 Microsoft photo editing-simple to use program) isn't even available anymore, sigh.  But we persevere.  Sorry for some of the dark photos, I haven't figured out yet how to lighten them.

Last weekend's auction was fun, fun, fun!  This is a small very rural country auction, held every Labor Day weekend to benefit a local church camp that hosts several hundred children and teens during the summer months.  It isn't heavily advertised and doesn't draw city folk with deep pockets, but those beautiful souls who yearly save up any extra cash in order to come and show their support by purchasing the homemade jams, pickles, berry pies, used and newly crafted furniture, and of course quilts! 

So, without further ado, a sampling of the quilts that were sold on Saturday;
That beautiful Trip Around the World is hand quilted.

And, look at what I snagged - as the only bidder - for a mere $5.00!

A 90" Grace frame, which I wondered if we could even fit in the house!  It's in a temporary spot right now, but at least it didn't have to be stored in the barn for the winter.  I see a huge learning curve ahead!  And a lot of shuffling of other stuff so we can move it to a more suitable spot for actually quilting. 

So, if you've ever had a 16-month old Aussie and a garden simultaneously, you know what comes next, lol!  Seems he loves to help 'daddy' dig in the garden, not to mention choosing his own veggies and racing around the yard, then leaving them in places like the front porch, the driveway, or even burying them in the flower beds, and we can't forget his favorite game - keep-away!
Show dog?  Nah, Mud-bucket is more like it!

Guilty as charged