I began designing an applique border for a guild raffle quilt. Another member & I are planning the next raffle quilt for our biennial quilt show. We've decided to make a simple nine patch with alternating plain squares. The Applique Club has been asked to make borders for the quilt, so I have gotten involved. The pizzazz in the quilt will come from the small inner and outer borders.
Since the quilt show is in the spring, we are looking for bright, crayon colored blocks that members will be asked to make. The light fabric is purchased, providing continuity throughout the quilt top. Several ideas came to mind for the applique shapes - vines with flowers, hearts, birds. I planned an initial design to present at the show committee meeting and everyone liked the idea of flowers and the bluebirds I had drawn. Springy colors and designs were suggested from my original darker shades, additional ideas came to mind. The final draft of the applique design has tulips, stylized roses, leaves and berries, two bluebirds with a tulip between them and a heart beneath them. The quilt top should be fresh and colorful, just like a spring garden in bloom. My fellow guild member and I are excited about the final results.
The plan is to have four guild members take borders to work on at home or in a small group. Therefore, the design will only run along the sides of the quilt, and not turn the corners. Here are line drawings of my design. The two photos connect together and they create only one half of the image, as the other half will be a mirror image. The border will be twelve inches wide and is drawn full size onto freezer paper, which will be used for a placement guide. The central design motif is the three flowers, which will not repeat. This design will run along the side borders, while the top and bottom borders will have the bluebirds as the central image and mirror only the stylized rose and tulips.
Next, I will need to prepare templates and guidelines for the Applique Club members to use while stitching their borders. How exciting that after just two years with our guild club, we are beginning to do more than just make our own projects. I am honored that our group was asked to participate in this guild project.
A few weeks ago, I posted pictures of some vintage quilts that I own. Someone asked to see the wool throw laid out. When I wrote the post, I didn't have any pictures of the full quilt. So, I laid out the quilt and snapped several shots. It wasn't easy, since I am not able to use my right arm yet. And, it took another week to get the photos posted, because I have been so exhausted. Recovering from surgery is a long process, and takes even longer the older that I get. I'm back to working pretty much full time, only leaving work early on days that I have physical therapy. The one hundred mile round trip to & from work is especially tiring, driving with only my left arm. Using my left arm & hand to do all tasks takes a lot of brain power, contrary to the second nature of my right-handedness. I am progressing, though, and hope the surgeon will up the physical therapy after I visit him again next week. So far, it's been just electric muscle stimulation and massage therapy.
Now, to what you all came for. This wool throw is circa 1935. As I indicated in the previous post, the fabrics are wool, some cottons (possibly scraps from men's shirts), some home dec fabrics, and maybe some silk ties. The fabrics may have come from a salesman's sample book of fabrics. The throw is tied, which typically indicates it was made for utilitarian purposes. The backing is cotton, providing an interesting binding as the striped fabric was turned to the front for stitching down. Two sides have a candy cane like affect, while the other two sides have the full length of the stripe along the edge.
The blocks appear to be octagons and squares stitched together. However, some of the small squares are hand stitched on top of the corners of the larger rectangles, while other squares appear to have set in seams. Below is a closeup of one corner of the quilt.
The binding treatment is clearly visible from this shot. The edging has half square triangles stitched at the block corners. The quilt is in fairly good condition, but I do plan to do a few repairs. There are some loose squares that just need a few stitches, while a fine netting in a matching color will be stitched over corners where the fabric has frayed.
I returned to work last week, after three weeks off following surgery. To some, the time off may have sounded nice with extra time for quilting. However, I cannot use my right arm, so my time was spent reading and surfing the internet using my left arm. I spent more time in the QCA forums and reading some of my favorite quilt blogs. Unfortunately, talking about quilts, reading about other quilters' projects, and seeing pictures in the galleries and blogs, just increased my desire to be quilting.
Since I am unable to share any new projects, I thought I might give a look at some of my vintage and antique quilts. Last year, I had a quilt appraiser look over my quilts and give me her verbal appraisal of age and condition of the, as well as, ways to repair and maintain them.
I purchased my first vintage quilt back about 1998, at an Amish quilt auction and flea market. It is a circa 1935 Butterfly quilt. I found it in a booth, but didn't immediately purchase it. You know that feeling you get, when you pass up an item and it nags you until you find it again and buy it. The quilt is faded, probably from being washed. It also has creases from being refolded in the same place. The hand quilting isn't beautiful. In fact, it's rather large, but consistent, which is considered good. The appraiser was not sure if the batting was wool or cotton; and she felt that the outside border may have been from a later date. But, the butterflies are definitely thirties fabrics and the green & pink setting is also typical of the period.
I picked up a summer throw last year at a local antique shop. The appraiser stated it was circa 1900, making it an antique. It is in a scrappy Rail Fence pattern using various fabrics. She suggested that many were dress weight fabrics, some are fine dress fabrics, and some may have been from silk ties. The layout is noted to be made from blocks and stitched to a foundation. The pieces are hand stitched, but the piece may also have some machine stitching. The top is tied and has a knife edge border.
I also picked up a circa 1935 wool throw at the same antique shop a few years back. It is an interesting pattern made of rectangles that have plain squares sewn on point at the intersections. Some of the squares appear to be set-in to the seams, while others appear to be stitched over the top of the intersecting block corners. The top is made of several different fabrics, notably wools, that may have come from a salesman's sample book. There are also silk ties and home dec fabrics. This top is also tied and likely meant as a utilitarian piece. The back is cotton. There are several loose patches, that the appraiser recommended repairing with a few stitches. And patches that had become frayed could be covered with a fine netting of the same color and stitched with a few stitches to hold it in place. These types of repairs do devalue the quilt, as completely removing and replacing patches would do. The top hangs over the back of a chair under the previous rail fence top.
The last vintage quilt to share today is a circa 1940 Jacob's Ladder. I picked it up at a flea market/antique sale in Ludington, Michigan. It is quite small and likely made for a man or a small bed. The floral fabrics are from the 30's & 40's, but there are also checks and stripes. These may have been leftover shirtings from making men's shirts or cotton pajama pants. The top has hand quilting and the batting is likely cotton. The binding is bias. The quilt has been used and washed with an unknown pink stain on the backing, and she stated that the quilt was in fair condition.
As you can see, the quilts that I have collected are scrappy. I like that this gives a large sampling of the fabric choices during the time period when the quilt was made. The patterns are not elaborate and the quilting is not fancy. When looking for older quilts to collect, I am looking for what appeals to my quilting tastes. You may surmise from my vintage collection, that I make scrap quilts, and you would be correct. Many of my quilts use an assortment of fabrics from my stash and from dressmaking scraps. I guess I like lots of color and texture.
Filed under: hand quilting, Rail Fence, antiques, Jacob's Ladder, butterfly, hand piecing, scraps, vintage, batting, knife edge binding, circa
So, what does one do when one arm is in a sling and you cannot stitch? How about cataloguing all those quilt books. I am able to type with one hand, albeit slowly. So, I began the project a week-and-a-half ago. Each day, I work on 10-12 books, including the author, title, publisher, and publication date; along with a digital image of the book and the price I paid. This last item is sometimes sketchy, if I didn't note it on the back page, which has been a habit of mine.
I have a love of all things books and began purchasing titles back in the early eighties. My interest in quilt history and textiles, led me to look for out of print books at library sales, flea markets and antique shops. My most cherished purchase is a 1929, first edition of Ruth E. Finley's Old
Patchwork Quilts and The Women Who Made Them. I made this purchase online at Alibris for $65.00. This is an online photo, that is a bit more ragged than my copy.
Finley was a well-respected quilt historian and writer of her time, along with Marie Webster, Carrie Hall and Rose Kretzinger.
I have catalogued sixty-four books, with more than that to finish. My collection has really expanded over the years, but is still devoid of many fabric and quilt dating books recommended for quilt appraiser resources. Since my goal is to obtain the certification, I need to beef up this area of my collection. Most notably, I am interested in Barbara Brackman's Clues in the Calico and Patsy & Myron Orlofsky's Quilts in America. I recently checked the latter out of my local library to read. I do have other highly recommended quilt historian texts that I've purchased, not because I was looking for them, but do to my interest in quilt history. I came across Safford & Bishop's 1974 edition of America’s Quilts and Coverlets in a used book store for only $38.00. Later, I discovered that it is often referenced in quilt articles and texts. Quite a find.
Today, I plan to catalog my Gwen Marston books. She is one of my favorite quilt teachers and I have ten of her books. My collection also spans the Elm Creek Quilts novels by Jennifer Chiaverini, and every edition of Great American Quilts, published in the eighties and nineties. I have several texts published by magazine companies like Good Housekeeping and Better Homes & Gardens. Several are block pattern books, that I reference frequently.
I enjoy leafing through the pages of the varied books, just to admire the quilts and provide me with inspiration. I also enjoy reading about the people who made the quilts. When I finish with the books, I may have to document the magazines, patterns and other quilt ephemera that I've collected.
Filed under: books, quilt history, Gwen Marston, Barbara Brackman, Jennifer Chiaverini, Elm Creek Quilts, BH&G, textiles, quilt ephemera, Ruth Finley, magazines, Good Housekeeping, Safford & Bishop
I won't be doing any stitching for awhile. I had surgery on my right shoulder a week ago, to repair a rotator cuff tear and remove a bone spur. I exacerbated the problem while doing a FMQ Numerical Quilts project for my Mid-Michigan Quilters' Guild. It seems I've had the tear for awhile, but it was treated incorrectly as a neck problem. The FMQ irritated the shoulder again and I sought re-treatment, figuring on a steroid injection and possibly physical therapy, but ended up wiyh my arm in a sling, weeks off work and letting my daughter borrow my Bernina, since I cannot use it right now.
Don't feel sorry for me, I'm keeping myself occupied with plenty of quilt related activity. I can still type with one hand, so blogging can continue. I can even share pictures of quilts I've created in the past. Here is String Stars that I made back in 2007, as a part of a guild fabric challenge. Five of the fabrics were supplied and the quilt could be any design and size. I had recently finished another quilt using the liberated piecing techniques taught by Gwen Marston. The inspiration for my quilt was a pattern from Gwen's book, Liberated String Quilts. We were allowed to add fabrics and I chose the green in the blocks and border, along with the blue and red, also used in the borders.
I completed my own FMQ designs, including the swirl in the first border and the feather in the second border. The flower design in the corner squares is from a template. I traced the pattern and quilted in a continuous line, retracing some areas as I quilted. The inside block area was quilted entirely with a meandering design, avoiding the star points.
Well, no FMQ for several months. I want to heal well, so that I can quilt for many years to come.
I am also keeping busy reading quilt history and doing internet searches on several topics. As a new member of the American Quilt Study Group, I hope to participate in the next quilt study. And, I am preparing myself to take the AQS Quilt Appraiser classes and attempt to acquire an appraiser certification. Certainly, this time off work can be well spent studying old quilts, patterns and fabrics. And, there are several quilting and sewing shows on PBS to watch.
My two sisters and I completed a quilt together to commenmorate the birth of a great-niece. We collaborated on making the individual blocks. Then, I put the quilt together with sashing and an outside border. Next, my younger sister completed the free-motion quilting. Finally, my older sister attached the binding. Here is the completed quilt, awaiting a label, before my younger sister flies across the country to hand deliver the quilt.
I have included several close-up pictures of the individual blocks, so that you can see the FMQ that my sister completed. She developed the designs herself, to go along with each block. She has only been FMQ , for that matter-quilting, for a couple of years. She is definitely the artiste in the family.
A fence behind the pig.
The butterfly flutters among flowers.
A meadow scene complete with sun and clouds.
Leaves. Check out the flowers in the cornerstones and the loops in the sashing.
Nothing special...just lots of closely spaced meandeirng lines, and a hunk of cheese.
Carrots for the bunny. Also, note the leaves and loops quilting in the border.
Balls of yarn unwinding around the block.
Here are a couple of pictures from the back of the quilt, showing the quilting stitches.
Collaborating on a quilt with sister, or friends, can be a rewarding experience. Each individual is able to "shine" in their area of expertise.
My oldest granddaughter is four years old today. I will be decorating her cake later this morning, with a Tangled theme.
Her baby quilt was a pink scrappy Drunkard's Path pattern called Positively Charmed by Jan Bretzel. The border has hearts and flowers machine appliqued around the border. The pattern is from a baby Quilts magazine published by Fon's & Porter's Love of Quilting - Winter 2008. Here is a picture of the quilt, displayed at a local quilt show back in 2009.
I haven't been able to make her another quilt, especially since there are now two additional grandchildren to quilt for. My second granddaughter's baby quilt was given to her & her mom last March. It was the MQV Mystery quilt. While my grandson's baby quilt wasn't finished and given to him & his mom until recently. The pattern was my own design using Hungry Catepillar fabrics by Eric Carle. The five hand appliqued blocks took a little longer to complete.
Now that both of these quilts are done, I can begin work on my oldest granddaughter's next quilt. The pattern is Techno Pets designed by Janet A. Maurer. The quilt is a colorful block design with seven fused applique baby animals. The fabrics are all selected and just waiting for me to begin. I did set a goal at the beginning of the year to finish one UFO each month. So, it will be challenging to begin a new quilt, while I continue to finish older quilt projects. The January UFO is seen in my previous post. It will be raffled at an MS fundraising event next Saturday. The February UFO needs to be sent off to my longarm quilting friend. I'm currently appliqueing a vine on another quilt that I hope to finish sometime later this year. So, I may only be able to pull out the project tote and stroke the fabrics. I'll have to plan specific time to work on this quilt, so that it will be ready next year, on my granddaughter's fifth birthday.
We are now in the home stretch. Let’s put the finishing touches on our mystery quilt. Below are the initial fabric requirements given with the Fabric Selection Instructions.
Fabrics for finishing the quilt top:
1st Border – 5/8 yard ( 3/8 yard) – consider using Fabric #3 or another medium warm color.
2nd Border – 1-1/4 yard ( 1 yard) – consider using Fabric #4 or #5 or another cool color.
Binding – 5/8 yard ( ½ yard) – consider using Fabric #1 or another dark shade of fabric.
Adding Borders: Borders for this quilt are added in the traditional fashion. The side borders are added first; then the top and bottom borders are added.
To ensure that the edge of your quilt is not wavy, lay the quilt top on a flat surface and smooth out the edges. Measure the length of the quilt on both sides and through the center. Add these three lengths together and divide by three. Use this length for both border strips. The length of the border strips is an average, and one strip will be longer and one strip will be shorter than the actual length of the quilt top. Attach the border strip by folding the strip into quarters and finger pressing. Complete the same process with the quilt top. Use these markings to line the border strip up with the quarter folds of the quilt. Stitch with the strip on top, if the strip is shorter than the length of the quilt. Stitch with the strip on the bottom, if the strip is longer than the length of the quilt. Repeat this process for attaching all your border strips.
Cut 7 (5), 2-1/2” WOF strips for the first border. Measure the length of the quilt. Piece 2 strips together and trim to the needed length. The smaller quilt will use half of the fifth strip for each border strip. Make two of these strips and attach to each side of the quilt.
Cut 8 (6), 5-1/2” WOF strips for the second border. Measure the width of the quilt with the added first border. You need to piece 2 strips together for the larger quilt. Use a single strip for the smaller quilt. Trim the border strip to the needed width. Make two of these strips and attach to the top and the bottom of the quilt.
You will note in the picture of my quilt top that there is a third border added. You may recall, from the beginning of this mystery quilt, that I made my entire quilt from fabrics in my stash. Unfortunately, I incorrectly cut the outside border strips and did not have adequate fabric to make them the planned 5-1/2 inch width. I chose to reduce the width of the inside border to a finished 1-1/2 inches and made a third border the same width, so that the quilt top appeared balanced.
Complete the quilting on your quilt top according to your personal preferences. A long-arm quilting friend of mine completed the quilting on my finished quilt top. I used polyester batting.
After the quilting is complete, square up the quilt and measure the circumference of the finished quilt. Prepare binding strips to this measurement plus an additional 6-12 inches, for ease in attaching the binding to the quilt. I generally cut 2-1/4 inch width strips and piece them together at a ninety degree bias angle. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together; press. Attach the double fold binding and hand stitch in place.
So, here is my finished quilt:
Hopefully, you have enjoyed making this mystery quilt. Although it was a lot of work putting together the instructions, I enjoyed planning and making this quilt, as well.
Our Mid-Michigan Quilters' Guild is stitching up more quilts for education. This time, the mini quilts are blocks representing numbers from one to thirty. Our Education Committee put together kits using bright solids with a number template. Members just have to add the number, along with as many buttons. The mini quilts finish to a twelve-inch size and must be quilted and finished with binding. I chose number one, then decided that putting together a quilt with just one button was simple enough that I would do two number quilts. The next available number was fiften.
The only creative part of designing the quilt was the choice of number fabric, buttons and quilting. I chose a fabric to coordinate with the solid and the buttons. The number had to be placed in the upper left corner on all the quilts. Mine are machine stitched using a blanket stitch for the number one and a zigzag stitch for the number fifteen. I arranged the buttons on the number fifteen quilt to look like a star, while the number one is just a large button in the center of the quilt.
After securely attaching the buttons, I pinned the blocks together for quilting.
I used micro-stippling throughout the block, although I did outline the numbers. I trimmed the batting to 1/4-inch beyond the quilt top and the backing to one inch. Then, I folded the backing to the front and used 1/4-inch fuseable tape to hold it in place. Lastly, the edge was finished with a straight stitch along the edge of the turnover binding. Here are the two finished Numberical Quilts.
After selecting the fabrics and buttons, the mini quilts were quick and easy to make using a few spare hours over a span of three days. Children at the Discovery Museum will enjoy playing with these blocks.
Check out previous blogs on Education projects by our guild here:
Last year, I completed a mystery quilt with my Michigan Quilt Network Region 3 group. The block was revealed as Godey's Lady Book block. Did you finish all your Mystery Blocks? How about putting them together? If you are still waiting to set together your blocks, here’s the layout that I planned.
My layout is set on the diagonal, so let’s begin by cutting out side setting and corner setting triangles. I used the instructions in Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! The Complete Guile to Quiltmaking by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes, to determine the size and number of triangles needed. The dark fabric number one works well to contrast with the warm colors in the quilt. You will need 1-1/8 yard of fabric for the larger quilt and 1 yard of fabric for the smaller quilt. I used a black muslin, since I have been using up fabric stash and did not have an adequate amount left over.
Lay your blocks out onto a flat surface or design wall. For the Crib/Lap size quilt, you will have eight blocks and will place them in four diagonal rows, one block in rows one and four, and three blocks in rows two and three. You will need six side setting and four corner setting triangles to complete the quilt top.
Here you can see how the smaller quilt will look. The larger quilt has eighteen blocks and requires two additional diagonal rows with five blocks in the center two rows. The larger quilt requires ten side setting and four corner setting triangles to complete the quilt.
To make the side setting triangles, measure a block on the diagonal. Add two inches to this measurement. I rounded my number up to the nearest whole number, to avoid working with fractions. Cut 3 (2) squares to this size. Cut the squares across the diagonal in both directions, making four triangles. Because each square makes four side setting triangles, you will have extra triangles leftover. Don't fret about this, just put them into your scrap stash. Lay the side setting triangles along the edge of the quilt, placing the bias edge against the block and the straight or cross grain edge of the triangle as the outside edge of the quilt center.
To make the corner setting triangles, use the finished block size and add 1-1/2 inches. Cut 2 (2) squares to this size. Cut the squares across the diagonal in just one direction, to make two half square triangles. Lay these triangles at each of the corners of the quilt. Now, you are ready to begin putting your quilt together.
Sew the blocks together in diagonal rows with the side setting triangles at either end of the row. Row one has one block with a side setting triangle on either side.
Make Row 2 by stitching together three blocks and adding side setting triangles to either end of the row. You will notice that the triangles are turned in opposite directions. I like to keep the quilt laid out, and pick up each section as I sew. Then, I do not accidentally lay the pieces together incorrectly.
The smaller quilt will have only three blocks in Row 3, while the larger quilt will have five blocks. Here, you can see the first three rows laid out prior to stitching. To complete the smaller quilt, prepare the last row with one block and two side setting triangles, just as you did Row 1. For the larger quilt, you will repeat the first three rows, but in the opposite direction. Row 4 has five blocks, Row 5 has three blocks, and Row 6 has one block.
Press all seams away from the blocks. Stitch all the rows together. Then, add the corner setting triangles, centering them on the block. To center the corner triangle, fold the triangles across the longest side and finger press the center. Line up this pressed mark with the center seam of the block. Be sure the that triangle points extend beyond the block edge by at least a quarter inch.
The quilt is partially put together in this photo. Since my side setting triangles were cut larger than needed, there is extra fabric beyond the corners of the blocks. Square up your quilt, cutting away this extra fabric, to the quarter inch width needed for seams, when attaching borders.
Borders and finishing of the quilt will be the last installment of this mystery quilt.
I finally made the last stitches on my grandson's baby quilt. I kept putting other projects ahead of completing the binding and label, that it remained unfinished for about two months. I couldn't let the year end without completing it. Last Sunday, I finished the binding, and attached the quilt label on Monday. I named it Whirly Twirly Catepillar since there are Pinwheel blocks throughout the quilt.
Some of you may remember my Hungry Catepillar fabrics blog earlier in the year and several blog posts including blog of finished number blocks, talking about my progress on the quilt. Today, you can see how the baby quilt turned out. I really enjoyed working with the fabrics and colors. The entire pattern was my own design, based upon the book The Hungry Catepillar by Eric Carle. If you like his books, check out the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
Hopefully, many of you make labels to document your quilts. My label for this particular quilt was printed onto June Tailor fabric sheets with my ink jet printer. Then, I used fabric pens to color in different areas and add the vital information. Don't forget to credit longarm quilters and pattern designers on your labels. The label design is from a disc I purchased from a vendor at the National Quilting Association show last June. It has a large variety of designs to print and use in making quilt labels.
I presented the quilt to my daughter earlier this week. She is thrilled and loves it very much. My grandson will have lots of fun sitting on the colorful top and reading the story with Mommy. He turned eight months Monday and should be crawling soon. Mommy beware!
We all seem to have gotten snow. Certainly that was what I wished for, so that I could just stay indoors and just sew. Of course, staying warm becomes a necessity with the colder weather. I've been bundled in several layers and turning the furnace up a little. My DH likes to keep it at 64 degrees. Saves on fuel costs, especially when no one is home during the day. But, I am on a staycation, so turning it up about 5 degrees has kept me warmer. The hot tub feels good, as well.
I finished the PJ's for my grandchildren. They didn't get finished in time for Christmas, but I kept at them until they were done on Thursday. Yesterday, was another Sister's Sewing day. Each of us worked on different projects. My youngest sister pinned together the baby quilt for our nephew and began the FMQ. You may remember the quilt from our last sewing day. It's the Touch & Feel Baby Quilt we collaborated on for a gift. My sister does beautiful machine quilting. She is the artist in the family and talks about FMQ as though she is drawing pictures on fabric. My older sister worked on a table runner and curtains for her kitchen buffet and windows, to go along with the makeover she and her husband are doing. I started work on a new quilt. I promised my daughter that I would make a quilt during my Christmas staycation, for her to raffle for an MS fundraising event that she is planning. I made several 3-inch hourglass blocks.
These are the flannel pajama pants and single knit jersey tops I made for my grandchildren.
Today, I have been working on more blocks for the raffle quilt. I planned to use up a lot of my strip scraps and collection of charms. I chose a design that has alternating nine-patch and hourglass blocks. The nine-patches provide the contrast from the light colored hour glass blocks, giving a secondary pattern to the design. The biggest challenge is that the blocks are only 3-inches square. I began pairing 5-inch charms in white and light colors. After sewing them into HST, I stitch across the diagonal again, to form the hourglass shape. The final block is trimmed to the 3-inch size, since the charms are larger than necessary to make the finished size block. The trimming should help to keep the quilt more square with so many small blocks in the overall design. The pattern calls for 128 blocks of each design, but I am planning to make the quilt larger.
I finished reading an old novel last night. I pick up a lot of books at flea markets, antique shops, and library sales. I enjoy historical novels and this one was set in Canada during the gay nineties through the turn of the 20th century. I read in bed before going to sleep and generally finish 15-20 pages at a time. I don't read very fast. I've been wanting to finish this book for awhile, since I purchased the latest Elm Creek Quilts book in November. I was able to pre-order the novel through a book shop in Wisconsin, where Jennifer Chiaverini was doing a book signing. Along with the autographed book, I received a commemorative pin. So, tonight I get to begin the story.
I joined the American Quilt Study Group in November. I have a strong interest in quilt history. They are beginning a new quilt study for the 2014 forum and I would really like to participate. After all, that is why I joined. I have been browsing the internet to find information on the quilt genre being studied. I have found a couple of quilts in the The Quilt Index that fit the study guidelines, but have not made any decision about doing the project.
I seem to have so many projects going that I really need to finish as many as possible next year, rather than starting a major new project. Every year, I make plans to finish at least six old projects. In 2012, I did complete one old project; a blotto block exchange from my Mid-Michigan Quilters' Guild that I won back in 2009. The blocks were put together, but I did not get the quilting done. I decided to finish it off, so that I could put it into the St. John's Mint Festival quilt show. That was back in August. Here's a peek at the quilt hanging in the show. The lighting was poor, so the colors in the photo look blurred. You should be able to see the greenish gray blotto fabric that was used in each of the blocks. I used the scraps to make the sashing cornerstones. What an eclectic set of blocks. The block that I made is the first one in the third row. I didn't like the blotto fabric much, so, of course I won the blotto. I really do like all the block designs, especially the sunbonnet sue and the flower pot with the posies in the first row.
My musings have gotten fairly long. I should put them aside and get back to my cutting mat and sewing machine. With all those hourglass blocks and nine-patches, I will be busy making them into next year; literally.
Filed under: quilt projects, sunbonnet sue, charm square, reading, nine patch, blotto blocks, sisters, MMQG, Jennifer Chiaverini, Elm Creek Quilts, sewing day, Christmas gifts, grandchildren, HST, AQSG, hourglass
My eleven day holiday vacation began today. It began as early as usual, getting up at 6:00 a.m. One's internal clock doesn't change just because you don't have to go into work. I spent part of the day with my DH doing the last of the shopping. We are planning a Mexican Taco/Nachos Bar for Christmas afternoon, with our two daughters and their families. This may become our new tradition. In the past, we had a Christmas morning brunch with a smorgasbord of items. Now that their families are growing, they need Christmas morning to spend at home with the little ones. My DH and I also browsed through a local antique shop, but I decided not to purchase anything, when my DH indicated that he wanted to pick out a Christmas gift for me. He took me to JoAnn's to pick out an OttLite. I came away with the last two 13-watt task lamps on the shelf that were sale priced at $29.95 - 66% off. What a sweet deal! What a great gift!
My granddaughter loves to play with my Nativity set. Last year, I misplaced one of the sheep. When I asked her about it, she went right to the spot where she had hidden it. I began my Nativity set back in 1995, when our family spent Christmas in Frankenmuth, Michigan. We visited the world famous Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, Since I spent quite a bit on the Nativity set, I decided to find something just for my granddaughter and our other two grandchildren.. The local Christian bookstore had a Fisher Price Little People Nativity set on sale; so I purchased two of them. I cannot wait to see the look on her face when she sees it under the Christmas tree.
In my last post, I practically prayed for snow. Well, we got a little Thursday and Friday. The blowing wind was the worst part of the weather, but it sure made the hot tub feel good. I wouldn't mind if we get a little bit more of the white stuff for Christmas, as long as, our daughters are able to drive to and from Grandpa & Grandma's house safely. Our youngest daughter has already requested logs on the fire to keep her toasty warm, which works better when "it's cold outside". Isn't that a song?
One of my favorite Christmas decorations is this wall-hanging, Christmas Reflections. The bargello design, Underwater Reflections is from the book Bargello Quilts by Marge Edie. I completed the quilt in 1997, a year after taking the class at a quilt shop in Lansing, Michigan. Thinking back, my quilt friends and I drove quite a distance to take quilt classes. The shop was one of only a few in a fifty mile radius of my home. It's amazing the number of quilt shops, now. My quilt is centrally displayed on the wall behind my sofa.
I have a Christmas table topper that needs quilted. As usual, the project was begun in a previous year and left unfinished, when the holiday passed without completing it. The project included matching cloth dinner napkins, which have been used twice. I really need to get it finished, before the napkins fade and no longer match the table topper. Beyond this project, I still need to finish stitching the PJ's I began for my grandchildren. I still have tomorrow and Christmas Eve to finish them. Over the years, I have always been working on sewing projects right up to the big day. This year is no different. And, if they don't get finished, there's always next year.
I've been out of commission since Thanksgiving, it seems. Everyday, there is something clamoring for my time. Whether I've been sewing, working, shopping, or watching my grandchildren, my time has been elsewhere from blogging. Christmas is just a week away. The tree was decorated a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't get any lighs put up outdoors. I baked Christmas cookies and candies over the week-end, with my three-year-old granddaughter helping out. All the shopping is done and I mailed the Christmas cards today. I've even celebrated with two family Christmas gatherings. Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, even without the snow.
The only thing that I haven't done as much as I wanted to do is my sewing. I finished a dress for one of my granddaughters, but didn't have time to make the other granddaughter a dress. Luckily, she was able to wear the dress I made her older sister when she was a baby. I spent one week making several pillowcases as gifts for my great-nieces and nephew, but I haven't gotten back to making anymore gifts. I had planned to make aprons for all my staff at work. I picked up this cute vintage apron at an antique shop a few months ago and wanted to duplicate it. But, alas, I have not had the time. They will be getting homemade English muffin and cinnamon breads from our bakery, instead.
I've had PJs for my grandchildren cut out and ready to sew since before Thanksgiving. I should be able to work on them this week-end and have them completed by Christmas eve. That's the goal, anyway. But, all my quilting projects have been on hold. That should change with an eleven day stretch off from work, beginning this Saturday. Oh, the things I should be able to accomplish. I kinda hope it will snow, so that I can just stay indoors with a blazing fire and inspirational music playing in the background.
Merry Christmas! Enjoy the time with family and friends. And, remember that Jesus in the manager brought the hope of the cross. Be sure to celebrate the reason for the season.
My two sisters and I used our Black Friday Sewing Day to finish the last four baby animal quilt blocks for the quilt we will be gifting to our nephew and his wife. My sisters finished stitching their designated blocks, while I cut out the sashing and border strips. Eight of the twelve blocks were completed during our last two Saturday sewing days. You can see the blocks at my Baby Quilt Blocks post and Saturday Musings post.
Here are the final four blocks: a yellow fleece chick, a black squirrel with a raggy tail, a blue chenille lamb, and a plaid mouse with a 3-D ear. My sister fussy cut an acorn from a piece of fabric and fused it under the paws of the squirrel.
I spent Saturday putting the quilt top together. Now, my youngest sister will complete the machine quilting on her new Janome. My eldest sister will finish the binding. It should be ready to be sent off across the country by Christmas. Our great-niece was born on Thursday, November 15th and they named her Fiona. Now, the oldest of our two younger brothers, has joined the ranks of us grandparents. Here's a peek at the quilt top.
The textures of this quilt will be so much fun for the baby to check out with her little fingers, and the colors will be visually stimulating. We are pleased with our second quilt collaboration and hope to work on more projects together.
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