Book Work

Some people iron as they need something to wear, I iron on Sunday morning.  And I sit while I’m pressing away with the television on.  Most Sundays I am entertained by Jane Pauley as I watch Sunday Morning.  This has been my habit for at least a decade.  Maybe two.  But if there is more pressing time than Jane time I’ll watch Sewing With Nancy or Quilting Arts.

Sewing With Nancy is entertaining and provides some simple approachable lessons, and there are retail opportunities to purchase the products that the program is focused on from Nancy’s Notions.  Of course, if your are a good note taker you don’t have to purchase, but again, the opportunity is there.  Much earlier this year I was watching and this creative quilter, Judy Gauthier, was Nancy’s guest.  She showed this adorable quilt called Packages, Boxes, and Bows.  Very colorful and a great use of scraps.  So was her Color Brick Road and Rectangles Squared quilts.  But she got me with Fretwork.

I enjoyed working on this so much that I made two tops and cut a third.  This will be a wonderful charity quilt!  This is my smaller version.

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The instructions are for a baby quilt that finishes at 60 1/2 x 75 1/2 which I find huge for a baby quilt.  When I finished the first top I decided that for my purposes it doesn’t need to be that big.  Mine is 45 1/2 x 60 1/2 and plenty big enough for me to quilt.  It’s also a great size to have in the vehicle or for a toddler to drag around.

You’ve got to love the simplicity of a nine patch!

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The “pieced” blocks are done reverse applique, and we are instructed not to overthink the process and allow the blocks to be wonky to add more whimsy and visual interest.

What I liked was I had everything I needed.  I didn’t have to go to the store as the pieces are small 5 1/2″ squares and 4 1/2″ squares.  What made me a little uncomfortable was the chance that there might be some raw edges in the corners if I didn’t pay close enough attention to that pressing.  Then again, these are not meant to be heirloom pieces, just working quilts.

And look what I had in my stash for the back!

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Was this perfect!?!  I’m over the moon that it’s done.

The name of the book is Rainbow Quilts for Scrap Lovers by Judy Gauthier.  You can get it at Nancy’s Notions, https://www.nancysnotions.com as well as other retailers.  The book was released in 2017 so it might even be at your local quilt shop.

There will be others to show from this book in the next couple of years.

Oh, and have a Happy New Year!

 

Posted in Accomplishments, Charity Quilts, Fabric exchange, Nine Patch, Quilting, simple, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Cooking Rotation

As I was sitting down to dinner a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that my dinner rotation needed some updating.  I don’t know about you, but I tend to depend on six or seven standard recipes that I rotate through.

Here’s the rub, I also get a couple of magazines a month with new culinary delights in them.  So there is no need for dreary albeit tasty standards.  So I decided to mix it up a bit.

If you still have your Better Homes and Gardens November issue “Sausage Beans & Olives Skillet” is a winner!  It’s on page 88 of the November issue and it serves six as written.  Because there are only two of us, I cut the recipe down slightly, so we would have 4 servings.  We like leftovers, and this is just as good reheated as it was the first night we had it.  The active time was close to the stated 30 minutes and I must say this will be a new go to for me.

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The olives provide a nice brightness to the palate, and the savory sausage is delicious.  On the reheat night, I loved how the beans added a creaminess to the dish.  For the recipe go to:  https://www.bhg.com./sausage-beans-and-olives-skillet if you already passed your magazine forward.

We enjoyed ours with a nice chianti.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 

 

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Kinship Fusion

This was a huge undertaking for me to actually commit to 100 blocks in 100 days.  One of the reasons it was such a big undertaking is that I had just finished the Trinkets sew-a-long only about a month before.

The challenge began the first week in July, and all of the blocks were finished by the first week of October.  There was a lot going on in that time period personally and with my family as well.  But these blocks were my escape with their brilliant colors.   After posting my daily block on Instagram, I would peruse what the other quilters were doing with their blocks.  Check them out on Instagram under #kinshipfusion or #100blocks100days2019. There was a lot of fussy cutting going on and the variety of themes, color combinations, and creativity was inspiring.

Did I make a plan?  Well, not so much a plan as a color story.  Although I love these colors, the quilt is a bit loud.  Cheerful, but loud.  I’m calling it “Juicy Fruit”.  I had pulled these fabrics for a class I had at the Vermont Quilt Festival  (I will finish that project too!) and added a few pieces.

The best part was that I kept up and missed only one day.  ONLY ONE DAY – in spite of everything that was going on around me.

I’m sad to say though that this, although being a piece I dedicated myself to, is not really a ribbon quilt.  Heavy sigh.  In really looking it over, I see that I need to make some improvements with my points.

 

I nipped a few of them off.  But every so often I did nail it.

That being said, I don’t think I will be investing in the custom quilting I originally planned for it.  When I get it done I’ll show you what I decided on.  It’s still going to be stunning, and I might still show it, after all not every quilt is a winner and even a quilt that doesn’t win can inspire someone.

Things I would do different.  Well, this is a lot of quilt, and it really doesn’t go with my décor.  When experimenting like this it might have been better to break the project up into two or three smaller quilts for charity and then make something with other fabric choices more suitable to my surroundings.  And with all this practice behind me, it could be even more appealing.

I did add 8 blocks to the bottom so it would fit a queen size bed with a nice drop and tuck.  And it really does brighten a room!

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Eye candy isn’t it!

The block a day, sew a long is a format that I have come to enjoy.  I can see myself participating in another one next year.  The community element is very uplifting.  Have you ever participated in something like this?  What do you think?  Would you do it again?

 

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A Stitch at a Time. A Little Progress

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There was progress in August!

One thing that got done was my one monthly goal with Quilters Corner. I quilted and put the binding on the double four patch baby quilt!

Double four patch baby quilt

This simple block is a standard beginner block and it was a joy to put together. The quilting is done in diagonal straight lines using a standard weight thread alternating red with yellow. Generally it takes me a few evenings in front of the television to get a binding finished. Looking at this, it looked like I could stitch it down by machine. And I did. Seriously, why hadn’t I thought of this earlier. Instead of taking a few evenings it took less than an hour and no one is going to notice. This is a charity quilt that I’m hoping will be well used and laundered and dragged around. Although not very babyish, it measures 36″ x 47″ and it does have color.

Well that wasn’t the only thing I got done. There was mad progress on my Kinship Fusion quilt a long!

100 blocks 100 days Kinship Fusion Quilt-a-long

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with this one. It has been a blast to participate and such an inspiration to see how other quilters have interpreted the blocks in fabric. I’ve used what I have on hand and I’ve dubbed this “selective scrap”. The color story reminds me a bit of Froot Loops. If you would like to take a peek at how others are working their blocks out, go to Instagram and check out #100blocks100days2019. There are over 3900 posts! There are many people participating from all over the world! Check out Gnome Angel at https://www.gnomeangel.com for more inspiration about this project and others.

But wait there’s more! I finished a “two-fer”! This was a piece from several years ago that I finally sent off to Terry Burris Quilting. Well it’s back and I put a binding on it and it to is now complete!

When you flip the Paper Lanterns quilt over you get a more serene look. The panel is beautifully framed by the Asian inspired prints.

The lantern block was very simple to construct and made good use of the prints I had collected over the years.

Paper Lantern Block

Although I don’t recall exactly where I found the block pattern, I suspect it was a magazine from about 10 to 12 years ago.

I also had a wonderful time with my friend Susan who came down and we had quilt camp. She was working on her pizza box project. I kind of got involved in that too.

First Audition of Susans Pizza Box Quilt

This may not be how she assembles it, but it sure did give me ideas on what to do with some of my 2 1/2″ squares. I was totally smitten!

Hope your bobbins are full and you too are making progress!

Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Charity Quilts, Quilting, simple, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Just made it – the July finish, Mellow Yellow

This monthly finish was started as a Project Quilting challenge back in February of 2018. In case you didn’t know, Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams has had a Project Quilting Challenge that begins in January for several years now. On Sunday the prompt is announced and you have one week to produce a quilt. It doesn’t have to be traditional and you can find all of the details on the Project Quilting Page at https://kimlapacek.com/project-quilting. Participating is a lot of fun, but so is checking out how others interpreted the theme. But I do digress.

The prompt Project Quilting 9.4 (season 9, fourth challenge) for February 18 of 2018 was Mellow Yellow. My interest was tweaked and I got to work. I pulled out neckties and background and got started. I got to a certain point and realized that I just wasn’t going to make the deadline. So my Mellow Yellow has really had time to Mellow.

One of my local quilt shops, Quilters Corner in Midlothian VA has started a Finish-A-Long and each month a number is chosen and that number will correspond with a project from your list of six. Well July was my opportunity to finish this project.

All I had left was the quilting, the binding and the buttons. Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I prefer piecing. Quilting is not my strong suit, I don’t enjoy that part of the process, but my skills will not improve if I don’t do more of it. And I love the work of those that quilt professionally. But I gave it a go.

Mellow Yellow started February 2018, Finished July 2019. Neckties, drapery material, and buttons.

The yellows are all necktie pieces sewn to a cotton foundation. The background is a blue chintz drapery fabric that contrasted well with the yellows. Notice that the binding is also neckties!

Piecing is my strength, my passion. Quilting, not so much. I’m not very good at it because I don’t practice. Most of my quilting is done “by check”. For these smaller pieced though, I really need to do them myself. And obviously the practice will do me good.

What I was going for here was the illusion of a radiating line from the yellow. I found some great threads while at a quilt show and couldn’t wait to try them out.

Superior Threads Sew Sassy 12 wt.

I changed my needle did a couple of practice passes, loosened my tension, and had a go at it.

Apparently my machine does not like this thread.

It was tough going with threads breaking, the machine jamming, my top thread going down into the bobbin. Things improved incrementally as the project moved on but still, I know I have a lot to figure out before I use this product for any work that I am going to put into a quilt show.

One thing I may do is go and get a second bobbin case for my machine and play more with the adjustments.

For this particular wall hanging – done is better than perfect. And generally, I’m pleased with the side that will be showing.

Til next time!

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The Finish-A-Long Q3

Often I am not sure about how I find some of the crafty quilty motivational blogs that help me get things done or inspire me to start something new. Sometimes it can be a blog I follow, that leads to another blog that leads to a challenge. This year I found the Trinkets Sew-A-Long sponsored by Alison Glass, and now 100Blocks100Days organized by Gnome Angel. These are fabulous for new projects but what about those that have been languishing incomplete in my sewing room for years (some for decades)?

Locally, Quilters Corner is sponsoring “Ready, Set, Goal 2019”. In July I listed 6 projects that I would like to complete. Each project should have less than a months worth of work to make it finished. This was easy – or at least I think it will be. We shall see and I will share my progress as the months pass. This months project is something I started with Project Quilting organized by Kim Lapacek of PersimonDreams it was the Mellow Yellow challenge and I bit off more than I could finish in the time allotted.

Mellow Yellow 30 Day finish for Quilters Corner. Needs a center and some quilting and binding.

So about those projects that have more than a months worth of work that are crying out for attention welcome 2019 Finish-A-Long! Each quarter you list the projects you want to complete, link up, and work it off. No bad vibes if a project doesn’t get finished, carry it over to the next quarter. For more information about this visit https://sewofcourse.blogspot.com/ or put 2019 Finish-A-Long in your browser and move those projects forward! And do it quickly as Quarter 3 linkup is going on through July 18!

Sew, what’s on my Finish-A-Long list for Quarter 3?

I have had this beautiful pattern and quilt started since around 1998, it’s called Prickle Fish by Karen Stone.

Prickle Fish Pattern by Karen Stone. Project started around 1998ish.

Half of the blocks are done. Leaving 72 more foundations to construct and sew together. There is enough dark and medium fabrics that had been previously pulled and stored with the project, but the lights are a little thin and I may have to scrounge around for more. I’m not certain that I am going to set the blocks like the original pattern. I love the center but not so much the outer corners. I’ll play with it and decide after all of the foundations are done.

Foundations are not on newsprint but on standard copy paper. It appears that I’m light with the lights.

I’m kind of excited about this. I really like the palette I chose for this project! I’ll report back on my progress.

Posted in Challenges, Impressionist, Paper foundations, Quilting, recycling, Ties, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Well that took a while

Well over 20 years ago in a little quilt guild in Fauquier County we had a block exchange.  We broke out into groups of four and each month we would exchange our blocks.  If I remember correctly my group did two sets of four – one bright and one not so bright.

About 12 years ago I put together the first of the two quilts as a challenge to complete a UFO.  I have no recollection of having any problems tearing out the papers or putting the blocks together.  OK maybe the mitered interior borders made me think a little longer but I remember being pleased with the finish.

Foundation Paper Piecing block exchange, Fauquier County Quilters. Approximate start date 1996 approximate finish date 2006. Compiled by Diane Phillips, Quilted by Joyce Gould of ReJoyce Quilting.

After moving several times in the last 15 years I dug into a sweet little box and found these:

Second set of blocks created by Fauquier County Quilters, Paula Rabkin, Annie Morgan, Cathy Konoza, and myself. There may have been a fifth member.

These blocks were so sweet and really deserved to be in a completed quilt. I knew that I wanted this quilt to be different than the original so I pulled out some fun and funky dots. Then I started really looking at the blocks.

Someone used glue to adhere the first fabric to the block. After a couple of decades, the glue still held. There was no getting that off. Some of the seams were skimpy while others were not trimmed. I used them anyway. I recognize one or two of the fabrics as mine but I don’t remember ever using glue on my fabrics.

With a little coaxing and cajoling I found a layout that worked. This second piece is not nearly as large as the first, but I’m liking it.

Foundation Paper Pieced Block Exchange with the Fauquier County Quilters. Piece 2. Blocks from approximately 1996, compiled and finished 2019. Quilted by Terry Burris Quilting

Terry used a higher loft batting to “fill out” the blocks and the quilting is extraordinary. Some of these blocks are similar to the ones in the “original” quilt. The quilting really makes this quilt even more special!

I was so thrilled with this I pulled out a couple more UFO’s to finish. Isn’t it amazing how a little success can inspire!

Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Exchanges, friendship quilt, Paper foundations, Terry Burris Quilting, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

#trinketsal

From the beginning of March until the last week I’ve been obsessed.  I participated in my first SAL (Sew A Long).  Alison Glass, creator of the Trinkets pattern, organized a project where each day the assigned block (one of the 40) was posted on Instagram with the hashtag  #trinketsal.

Although the Alison Glass fabrics are absolutely fabulous, I felt I had to use what I have, and those that know me, know I’ve got plenty.  I culled through my stash and decided on my fabrics and had a go at it.  The first week was easy, as the blocks were pretty simple.  I was able to get all of my blocks done and photographed in a couple of days so I just had to post daily.  If  you posted all week you were put in the running for some wonderful prizes by quilt industry sponsors.  I was even able to get a little ahead once in a while so I could work on other projects, and go on vacation.

What I observed.  Several people took wonderful photos of their blocks using creative props.  I figure I need to up my game, as I was merely photographing the completed blocks on my cutting board.  I didn’t get as involved as some who actually gave much thought to what the blocks meant to them or how they were inspired by the blocks.  To see what I mean check out the AG sewalong community on FB, the pictures and stories are very creative.

As the blocks grew into more blocks I got excited.  It was fun to see them all stacked in a pile, or spread out like a deck of cards.  And I was beginning to feel like I was actually accomplishing something.    I learned a little about hashtags.  Which really doesn’t mean much as I knew nothing about this hashtag thing to begin with.

Then the time came where the blocks were complete and the top had to be put together.  The checkerboard (as seen on the cover of the pattern) was nice, but I did not want my quilt to look like hundreds of others made with the same pattern.  So the auditions began.

I was getting nowhere fast.  Too many ideas in my head and I just wasn’t sold on any of them.  Finally I settled on this:IMG_3830

I am satisfied that there is enough negative space for my favorite quilter and sister, Terry Burris to make this special.  If I look closely I can see that technically it may not be perfect, so I won’t look too close.

All in all it was a fun project that allowed me to share the creative process with many other quilters.  I have been inspired and amused and saw a few things differently.

Check out the many other works on Instagram using #trinketsal, you might be inspired too!

Posted in Accomplishments, Paper foundations, Sewalong, trinketsal, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

#5 of Nine Patch Nine Ways

IMG_2239The humble Nine Patch, is so simple to construct, yet this workhorse can look very complicated.

Several years ago the Fauquier County Quilters had a Nine Patch Nine Ways retreat that was coordinated by Annie Morgan of the Quilting in Vermont page on Facebook and myself. It was a novel approach where we were going for a more themed retreat than we had experienced in the past. Many of us were “over” the mystery quilts yet wanted a little inspiration or structure to the retreat.

Decades have come and gone since that retreat, and so have many of the quilts that were made for samples. Although this one was not a sample, in recreating a Nine Patch Nine Ways trunk show it truly fits the bill.

The Blooming Nine Patch is truly easy to make. The fabrics were all pulled from my stash at the time, with the exception of the border. Believe me I had no idea of what my finished product would look like when I was pulling these beauties. It all goes together easily, and the  3 1/2″ nine patches are built using the fabrics from the surrounding squares.

The pattern I used was from Traditions With A Twist by Blanche Young and her daughter Darlene Young Stone, originally published in 1996.  The instructions are easy to follow. This quilt teased at my compulsive nature, as I wanted to see how it would change with every additional fabric.

Several moves and life changes put this quilt on the back burner. But after final construction and the magic of Terry Burris Quilting it has new life in a completed quilt. This one I would definitely do again, look how well it fits on the bed!

I do see another of these in my future…maybe batiks, maybe Kaffe.  You can see why I am so smitten with it! 

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