Saturday, May 19, 2012

Taking a blog break...........

Taking a break from quilting and blogging to recover from knee replacement surgery.  Ouch.  Had no idea it was going to be so painful.  O my, am I learning a lot.  Looking forward to feeling better and getting my quilting urge back.  Until then, it will only be quilt blog surfing for a while when the mood strikes.  Also hoping time starts flying...................:-).

Monday, April 30, 2012

My tiny flying geese

My friend, Jo, from the last post had given me a small piece of the cheddar she had left over
from her large flying geese quilt.  A few months ago, she also gifted me with the mini Quilt In
A Day fg rulers.  So my mind starting obsessing over a new little project using both treasures
she gave me.  One try at the tiny geese and off I went cutting different indigos and stitching
up my little doll quilt.  She's wobbly and wonky and I am hoping once I wash her  in some
warm water, she will krinkle up and be even more wobbly and wonky to look like a well used
doll quilt.

See that quarter in the bottom left side?  Those little flying geese finish 3/4" by 1.5".  Sweet!
And then I wacked off some of the bottom ones.  Isn't that what they used to do way back
then?  Glad I like things a little primitive.

It's tiny and it was fun.  And I can't resist a little indigo and chedda'!!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Borrowed Flying Geese

My quilting buddy Joan recently finished this queen sized flying geese quilt.  She used the
Quilt in a Day flying geese ruler and her geese are perfect.  Scrappy geese paired with a
great cheddar stripe from Judie Rothermel make her quilt look like an antique.  I asked
Joan if I could post a photo and she said yes.  I needed to share a picture this post because
I have finished the Lemoyne star potholders for the September exchange and finished
my blue willow.  The finishes don't show any differently than previously posted photos so what
better reason to show a friend's project.  Jo's quilt is massive and I could not get it all in one
picture. She said maybe it would inspire someone else to make a strippy flying geese.  A good
"next project" if you need one!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rapid fire lemoyne star tool and pot holder quilt exchange

A few months ago on one of my trips to Good Wives quilt shop, the shop girls were making some lemoyne star blocks.  There was a goofy tool they used to make the blocks and it didn't make any sense
to me because I am not a big ruler fan.  But those star blocks looked so nice in the center.....
It bugged me for a couple weeks because I liked those star blocks and it was "needling" me
how well they turned out.

You might have guessed on my next trip over, I bought the ruler.  Other projects were calling me and
the new tool sat around waiting for me to open it.  So this new book comes on the scene and many of
you have seen it on blogs or have your own copy.  It features the history of potholder quilts and how
they were made for civil war soldiers. (It is a great quilt history book, by the way.) Our applique group decided to make a little group pot holder quilt and in September, eight of us will exchange completed six inch finished squares to make a small potholder runner.

What a fine time for me to try out the Rapid Fire star tool for my block choice since you can make Lemoyne star blocks from 3" up to 12" with one ruler.  I must say my first run thru reading the directions had me scratching my head and even my first block took some time following along, but once made.........I was hooked.

I made my eight blocks and a couple more for good measure.  It was fun and they met in the middle quite well.  I think with more practice, I could even do better and that will be for another time.  If you are interested, you can look this ruler up online and follow a youtube demo to see if you would like
to invest in one.  I give it a thumbs up!
Here is the start of my small potholder exchange.  I am doing simple machine quilting on my blocks.
It will be fun to see which blocks the ladies make for this.  We aren't keeping any secrets and can
follow each others progress every meeting.  It will be fun come September to trade our blocks.
I'm excited!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another small civil war quilt done

This is my third small quilt from The Civil War Sewing Circle book by Kathleen Tracy.  It is my
version of the pink patches doll quilt on page 52.  This is made in faded browns and blues.  It looks
antique-y and actually reminds me of an old wallpaper you might find in the dining room of an old, old house.  Such a fun and quick project once again.  It's a good book and I know a lot of bloggers own
this one as I have seen various finished quilts in blogland.  Now to decide which one to make next
when I need a break from larger projects.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Surprised with a gift

A couple weeks ago the mailman brought me a little bundle.  It was from one of my sisters.  What could it be?  It was a little mug rug that she had made me.  I was totally surprised.  This sister is a rather newbie to quilting and when I saw her lovely work, I was doubly surprised.  Her skills from this project propell her out of the "newbie" category.  She chose great colors and even used the salvage edge.  It arrived at a good time for me as I needed a gift for a fellow quilter and this was a perfect gift
My sister shared the link with me where she found the pattern/directions and I will do the same for
anyone needing a little quilt to gift a friend.  The website should appear here.  You can make this
in color choices to fit your friend's taste.
I am not a coffee drinker so I told my sister that I would be using mine as a candle mat.  How cute!
I copied the Primitive Gatherings fabrics she used in this and started making a few.   Whether you use yours as a mug rug or a candle mat; make as a gift or keep it for yourself, this was a quick, easy and fun little project.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I remember Joan Vibert's great primitives.........

When I took my first quilting lessons in 1985, I chose blues and browns for my beginning sampler blocks colors and I tended to stay with the dark colors.  I enjoyed learning the new world of traditional
quilt blocks and traditional is still a favorite.  My quilting tendencies stayed on the dark side and soon
muslin wasn't getting it for me..........there needed to be a bit darker muslin for my tastes and that is
when I stumble upon the designs of a lady named Joan Vibert.  Her work opened up the world of
primitive dolls and quilting to me with this book. And she tea dyed muslin for ageing!  Notice that familiar co/author's name, Linda Brannock.

I made tons of primitive dolls from this book with some still surviving.  And being like a
stitcher on the prairie, I mostly stitched these by hand, including the bodies!

See that itty bitty next to the thimble?  I would not make that one again ever!

From then on I collected almost every book Joan Vibert had her name on and I still have them.
She had a little prairie girl character named Sarah Jane and I followed her faithfully.
There used to be a great quilting magazine published back then called Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts.
I didn't dare throw away my copy that featured Joan's work and the work of her like minded primitive designers.  I made a prim flag doll quilt like she did, of course tea dyeing those wickedly white muslins
to get the old and worn look I loved of hers.

In those pre-internet days, I had always wondered why she stopped publishing her books and designs and never did know. Who knew how to find out?  But when her works stopped there seemed to be a couple names that continued the primitives I loved and
they are still designing today.  It wasn't long back then when a great book by these ladies was published, Snowbound, and even a first primitive fabric line only to be followed by many, many more lines.  Can you say Linda Brannock and Jan Patek?  How wonderful!

But when I look at my old prim books, it was Joan Vibert who first opened my eyes to crinkly, wrinkled, tea dyed fabrics and knot haired dolls of all sizes.  I don't know if she was the first or the first of many to begin the primitive era, but it doesn't matter.  I'm glad she/they did.  Thanks, Joan Vibert.........for me, it all started with you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Just a little quilt finish

This is a recent finish from The Civil War Sewing Circle book by Kathleen Tracy.  I like
the simple little quilts she has in this book.  When bigger projects get too boring or when
I need something quick to make and finish, this book has some good little quilts to work
on.  A fast finish is always satisfying.  It is on page 43, One-Patch Doll Quilt.  Look how
different it looks from the book's photo by using some lighter greens, goldie browns
and a few star prints centered in the nine patch.  A fun little project  and I can set it out
for St. Paddy's Day without it screeming kelly green.  It's good for March decorating.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Re-making an old doll quilt and directions for you

A couple weeks ago I was quilt fabric shopping at Good Wives (Marion, Ohio) looking at a new Jo Morton line called Bridgeport when I let out a gasp.  There was a black mourning print in the line that reminded me of a print that was in an antique doll quilt I own.  How neat if I could remake my antique into a new doll quilt.  After all, reproduction mourning prints are hard to find.

After getting home and finding my doll quilt, I rummaged through the scrap basket for some
medium and light blues.  Since the original is machine quilted with diagonal lines thru each
square, I followed along with the new one.  See how similar they look?
This is a simple doll quilt to make and if you would like to make one for yourself, find some scrappy blues and get a bit of Andover Bridgeport #A-5604-K.  I bought a yard and I have a good piece leftover.  You may only need half a yard.
Cut 35 assorted blue squares 2 3/4 inches.  And cut 35 black repro mourning prints 2 3/4 inches square.
Follow the color placements in the photos.  Notice the short blue rows contain the same blue in a line.
The antique doll quilt is backed and bound with a grayish mini check.  I used a smokey gray tiny star
print on mine.

I hope you make one!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rail fence top is finished

I enjoyed working on the rail fence but am happy it is completed.  Will pack this away for
a time before making a decision on finishing it.  I have always wanted to make a summer log
cabin spread and have never started one.  So I am thinking I could make this a summer spread
instead.  Still unsure so I will decide another day.  This actually made a big dent in my
scrap pile of strips.  I will now need to start adding more to the collection.
 How fun it is to see a scrapbook of other projects in this top.

Yesterday our applique group met and had the big reveal from a challenge we have been working on.
We each made a little piece from a Lori Smith pattern and chose our own way to finish it up.  It was
fun to see the various color choices each one made which made them so different and individual.  I
temporarily put mine in an old window frame.  It's just taped in on the back until I find what I
really want to use it the frame, then I can finish this little piece in another project.  Fun challenge
for us.

Now I am back to the stitching room to piece a back for the willow trees for yet another top to
baste.  Ahhhhh.............I should be hand quilting all of these instead of building a big pile of
need to be hand quilted tops.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hot off the presses is my finished blue willow top. She is not de-threaded yet or even hanging straight, but I wanted to take a picture for a look thru the camera lens to get the over all effect. I thought I would post the picture as is. The camera still makes it look brighter than the duller quilt top she is. This will be put in the pile to baste.........argh......didn't I just mention I basted two tops last week. But it is nice to have this one sewn into a top and dream of the next applique project. She is larger than I guessed as each block is 20".

I goofed when I counted the blocks for the rail fence top I have been working on. I thought I only needed 120 blocks and was almost to goal when I realized, I needed 120 more blocks. O boy. Still stitching on those and I am actually using up a large amount of my 1 1/2 inch scrap strips. I may have to cut more. Fun!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My least favorite part of hand quilting is...........

getting the quilt ready for basting.  Not the basting part itself......I find that part a little relaxing and can catch up on a soap opera or listen to the tv while basting.  It's that "before" part:  getting the cotton batting just right on the backing, trying not to lose my temper and throw needles and scissors into the hereafter while doing this part.  The tugging and the pulling and the stretching and do I admit to a swear word now and then?

O my gosh............calm down, count to ten, yada, yada, yada.

So I prepared myself yesterday to start putting together two tops that are needing to be hand quilted.  I got myself in the right frame of mind to begin.  Actually, the first one went rather well and I was able to
put the basting stitches in nicely.  And the second top is all pinned and awaiting for me to add the big
bastings but I needed a blog break before starting that part.  The enjoyable part is ready for quilt top #2
and my temper is fine thru it all. So far! Here is my progress that I hope to finish tomorrow.

What is your least favorite part of quilting?????

Saturday, February 4, 2012

You know those times when you just need to start a new project?

Yes?  It was time for me to get away from applique for awhile and just do some simple sewing.  You know the kind of sewing where you just start feeding pieces thru your matchy, matchy
colors, no planning.............the kind of sewing where you end up with two blues next to each other
and it's no big deal in the scheme of your quilting life?  Aaahhh, mindless devil-may-care
chain stitching would be perfect.  While thinking of what pattern would fit my needs, I remembered
a rail fence pattern from a few months ago and I was even able to find the!  The pattern I am working on is from the August 2011 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting and
is designed by blogger Kathie.  "Weaving the Rails" is the quilt's name on page 45.

So this week I have been cutting 5 /12" pieces from my hoard of 1 1/2" strips.  Some of these
scrappy strips are very old.........from the 1980's and 1990's...........and I am remembering past
projects fondly while using these fabrics in my blocks.  A trip down memory lane for sure.

If you need a quick project for this time of year, this is a simple, fast and easy one for you to
pick up.  Making these blocks has been very enjoyable and since it is a scrap quilt, it takes
no planning..............just pick up the next piece and stitch it on.

I need to only make 25 more and that will take no time to do since this is a speedy block.  I'm
having so much fun and with my unending pile of scrappy strips, who knows how big this quilt
will end up being.  Fun!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Missie Carpenter of Hallbrook Designs

About ten or eleven years ago, Missie Carpenter passed around a paper in our local quilt guild requesting anyone interested in starting an applique group with her to please sign up.  I was one of the lucky ones to sign the paper.  Our small gathering began and it was a fun group because we just worked on our
own applique projects and had show and committees, no rules, just getting together.  Years
went by and Missie had to move to Iowa because hubby got a job transfer.  During our gatherings she
would talk about patterns and dreaming of making her own, and she did do a few.  Since moving away,
she created a webbie and added some new patterns to her quilting life.

How fun was it to get an email from Homestead Hearth after Christmas mentioning their new BOM
programs and reading Missie's name and seeing one of her quilt designs will be featured as an offering!  How great is that for her!  And I knew her before she was famous!!!  Here is her Life in the Midwest.

To introduce you to Missie and her work, I am inviting you to take a look at her website.  She has
a new pattern listed, In the Orange Grove and I am sure you will be seeing more patterns from her in the
future.  Good luck, Missie, in your  pattern adventures!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oooooo, love those blue and whites

I love blue and white quilts all year long but especially in January. Maybe it is because of the white snow on the ground? Add in a pop of old blue in an antique (or new) quilt and I just shiver............and not from the cold. Me loves a blue and white quilt. The snowmen are residing on this old Irish chain till Valentine's Day. It's worn but in good enough shape. It
features one on my favorite old prints, the tiny stars. But if the camera pans out a little further, you see the problem. Someone at one time got very careless with a bleach bottle.

But I love it all the same. And it is so soft. How many times has this one been washed in its life? My newer quilts that I have washed many, many times do not get as soft as some of these oldies do. I want to know the secret! Here is another oldie that is hanging on a quilt hanger that has seen better days. What a wonderful shade of blue from all the wear and tear. The best part of this one is also showing off. There are many tears and worn holes underneath but she is still a mature beauty, too.

A couple bloggers have been showing blue and whites in their posts this month so I am joining in. Hopefully I can get a few more photos posted soon.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I have missed my needle............

Now that Christmas and New Year's has come and gone and the kids and grand blessings are back in their own cities and states, it is time to get back to stitching. Oooo, how I have missed my needle! But how to find it in the cluttered mess of the stitching problem, I have more than one! Applique time has been scarce, but that will change tonight. Plans are to pick up needle and thread and work on the third block of the blue willow project.
Here is the progress so far.