Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:

August 2012 - Posts

Fabrics Galore

We all love fabrics. We love to look at them, touch them, even smell them. I enjoy folding freshly washed and dried cottons and neatly placing them in color coordinated cubbies in my sewing room. Last Friday, I attended the AQS Quilt Show in Grand Rapids. It was WONDERFUL! Too much to do in one day, but that was all the time that I had.

I really didn't need to purchase any fabrics, but I also wasn't going to pass up a deal. I found some beautiful fabrics that I paid only $6/yard. Hard to pass that up. I also purchased a few coordinated fat quarters for $2 each with one free after purchasing ten. Not a bad deal. I plan to use the fat quarters in my guilds Applique Club project for this guild year. We will be making bird blocks using the book, Birds Flowers Album by Bea Oglesby. I also purchased some kids prints in fat quarters, that will go into my collection used for Picture Play quilts. I chose designs that were more boyish looking.

Here are the fabrics I purchased - a total of eleven yards.

I really enjoyed the Tentmakers of Cairo exhibit. The embroidered items (some of you may not call them quilts) are beautiful. It was fascinating to watch the tentmakers at work. If you get a chance to attend an AQS show this year, take in this exhibit.

Enjoy your holiday week-end. Do some stitching!

Posted Wed, Aug 29 2012 8:43 PM by Pamela | 1 comment(s)

Friday with My Sisters

Friday morning is finally here. I am off to Grand Rapids (Michigan) to the AQS show. I have been looking forward to this event for many months. I am most excited about having my youngest sister along. Having never been to a national quilt show, I believe she will be blown away.

She only began quilting with my older sister and I a couple of years ago. She finds machine quilting fascinating and wants to get a long-arm. She has quilted several small items on her domestic machine, a Brother that she purchased last year, and her quilting is phenomonal. She was always the drawing talent in the family. Do any of you recall the gridded drawings in the newspaper? If you followed the lines in the grid, you could duplicate the picture into a larger size. My Dad was always good at that and encouraged all of us to give it a try. My drawings were a little disproportionate. But, my younger sister could nearly freehand without paying much attention to the lines in the grid.

Well, her quilting is the same way. She has already begun creating her own designs. She did a beautiful baby quilt for my daughter. The quilt was just charm squares, but she created wonderful designs in the center and along the borders of the quilt. So, she will be checking out all the long-arm machines at the show. I hope to find some fabulous fabrics, even if it is to just touch them and drool. I have a limited budget and fabric is soooo expensive. Hopefully, someone has a good show deal on fat quarters.

Happy Friday!

Posted Fri, Aug 24 2012 6:33 AM by Pamela | 1 comment(s)

Wednesday Whatnots by Sue

I've had a kit for a toddler's apron, since last Fall. The pattern is from a Groovy Girls club meeting and the Dr. Seuss fabric, in the kit, caught my attention. I planned to stitch it up for my granddaughter to wear when we made Christmas cookies last year. I finally got around to making the apron. The kit included enough fabric to make a hot pad plus, the Atkinson Designs patterns always plan extra fabric, so I had enough fabric to make two aprons and scraps that I can use in a child's quilt. 

I switched up the lining and focus fabrics, so that the aprons are different. I cannot wait for my granddaughter to come over Friday night, so that we can bake cookies.

And, speaking of Dr. Seuss...this week-end is our city's Hometown Fest. Every year, they show a children's movie outside on the Post Office wall. This year, they are showing The Lorax. We'll all take our lawn chairs up to the back parking lot and enjoy the movie, as dusk sets in. Saturday will include a craft show, fireman's waterball event, ice cream at the historical museum, and an annual bed race. As well, there are kid's games & inflatables, a chicken BBQ, car show, musical entertainment and many more activities. Of course, there will be a quilt show, put on by the women of the Presbyterian church. Family and friends come home for the three day event. Small towns are the best place to live!

The American Quilters Society also has their quilt show in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week. My sisters and I will be travelling, the short distance from our hometown, to get a glimpse of all those fabulous quilts. My youngest sister has not been to a major quilt show, so she'll be in for a treat. Her plan is to try out all the different mid and long arm quilt machines. I'll be looking for some fabric.

Enjoy your week-end!

Posted Wed, Aug 22 2012 8:37 PM by Pamela | 2 comment(s)

Saturday Sewing with my Sisters

Today was one of those Saturdays when my two sisters and I get together and sew. I hosted this time, so I had to get my table space cleared, so that I could share it with both of them. We started at about 10 am and they packed up and went home just before 5 pm.

We each accomplished something. My younger sister stitched together a fleece housecoat that she cut out last year. She finished her husband's housecoat, but her own remained a UFO until today. My older sister brought projects that she's had cut out from Groovy Girls meetings. She finished a Zippy Stripy bag like I had made for gifts last Christmas. She also completed most of a Pocket Rollup. Both patterns are Atkinson Designs.

I decided that every time that we sisters get together to sew, I had to work on part of a UFO. I pulled out a tote with a quilt I started in a Mystery class taught by a quilt friend in the 1990's. I stitched and pressed several 2 inch, 4-patches for the center of the blocks. I also worked on my MQN mystery quilt. Finally, I showed my sisters a fun and easy block that the speaker taught at my Michigan Quilt Network Region meeting last Saturday.

Using a light and dark fabric, stitch two 8 inch squares, with right sides together, along all sides; leaving a 2 inch opening on the bottom left and the upper right side. Cut the stitched squares from corner to corner opposite the corners with the openings, to make two triangles. Line the triangles up on top of each other. Without moving the triangles, make a cut two inches in from the bottom, and another cut two inches in from the side. Now you have all the block sections needed to make the Magic Block. Use the two patch squares to make a 4-patch for the center of the block. Stitch two of the rail strips to the center 4-patch, being sure to alternate the dark and light sections. Stitch a triangle to each side of the remaining two rail strips, again, alternating lights and darks. Finally, sew the two previous rail strips with triangles to the center strip with the 4-patch center. The block appears on point during construction.

Here is the sample block I made. If you set blocks together alternating the dark and light side triangles, you will get a different look than if you set them together so that the dark triangles match the darks and the light triangles match the lights.

After all the sewing was put away, my DH and I went cycling. We haven't been able to ride with so much rainy weather. Our county was under a flood warning yesterday. I worried that the five mile rides that we had worked up to would be difficult with the four day break since our last outing. But, we easily completed the ride, with minimal huffing and puffing. We are definitely building up our endurance for the trek down the Meijer Heartland Trail, planned for Labor Day week-end. We enjoyed homemade navy bean soup for our supper, afterward.

Keep on Stitching!

Posted Sat, Aug 11 2012 7:24 PM by Pamela | 2 comment(s)

MQN Mystery Quilt - Step 5 Piecing Instructions

We are in the homestretch to complete the mystery quilt. Here is the piecing for the last row of the block.

Clue to the pattern:

The hexagon quilt is thought to be the first published quilt pattern, published in 1835 in the previously mentioned magazine. The hexagon is also known as the honeycomb or six-sided patchwork block. Most of you know it best as Grandmother’s Flower Garden.

Step 5 Piecing Instructions:

1)      Go to Clue #3 baggie and remove the remaining HST sections that look like flying geese. These are sections with a warm color triangle in the center and the cool color #1 side sections. Go to Clue #5 baggie and remove the HST sections. These also look like flying geese sections with the cool color #2 triangle in the center.

2)      Place the sections so that the center triangles face to the outside and the tips of the triangles touch. Because the seams are pressed open, you will easily be able to match the triangle points. Pin the sections together at the triangle points and at either side. Stitch the seam. Repeat with all remaining HST flying geese sections.

3)      Press seams toward the side with the warm color triangle. The resulting section is now a 4-1/2” square.

4)      Go to Clue #2 baggie and remove the 4-1/2” light squares. Make a row using the light square in the center and a pieced square from above on either side. Piece so that the warm color triangle is next to the light square on each side, while the cool color #2 triangle faces the outside. Stitch the seam; repeat using all the 4-1/2” light squares and stitched HST squares from above.

5)      Press seams in toward the light center square. This is the third completed row of the block.


The next step will put together the block and reveal the block name.

Happy Stitching!

Posted Tue, Aug 7 2012 12:39 PM by Pamela | 1 comment(s)

Summer Daze

One can tell summer is winding down when the sunset causes light to fade before 9 PM. The hot days of June, with the sun brighter and longer, are beginning to dim. Back-to-school sales are advertised on television and in the newspapers; and football practice will begin soon. August is more hushed, with laziness and monotony dulling the senses. Children begin to long for interaction with friends and anticipate beginning another school year. Week-end trips to the lake are mingled with packing up belongings and shutting up the summer house. Recall the scene from Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Bingley and his sisters return to London, leaving the furniture covered in sheets and the hearts of the Bennett sisters forlorn. That is the feeling one begins to sense as the summer draws to an end - sadness and longing for what has gone away.

Of course, I am of the disposition to anticipate the end of summer. I prefer the crispness of Fall, with it's colorful foliage, bountiful fresh foods, and bonfires. My DH and I have begun some serious cycling. We purchased bicycles last Spring and have been taking short jaunts around town. But, during our camping trip, we enjoyed daily rides around the campground and noticed a couple of bike trails on the drive home. We decided that our next vacation would be a bike trip. Michigan has a lot of Rail Trails, with one close to home. We've started training for an 18.7 mile trek down a portion of the Meijer Heartland Rail Trail. Last week-end, we purchased bike helmets and attached water bottles to our bikes. We have trekked four and five miles, on an every other day basis, for the last week. The plan is to increase two miles weekly, as we build our strength and stamina. We're definitely having fun together while making plans for a Labor Day week-end trip.

Enjoy the rest of your summer! 


Posted Wed, Aug 1 2012 8:47 PM by Pamela | 1 comment(s)