Friday, October 19, 2018

Noah and Matilda 5E and "the big reveal"

I love the stripe in the stem on this one. It reminds me of Pippi Longstocking!

Now that I am nearing my Noah and Matilda “finish” I think it is time to reveal my border treatment. Because I am doing this in the potholder method I opted to not to the original “grapes” border. I think it would not have hung well as one straight individual border piece. I did want to keep the “circle” theme so I came up with a circle treatment that seemed to fit well. I had used this once before in a smaller quilt and really liked the results.                                  
 corner blocks

 border blocks 

Because I used the same backing on all the border blocks, I was able to baste them all on one background piece for easy quilting. Then I cut them apart and bound just the straight edges. I am going to do one long binding along the edge when they have been stitched together. This is a first for me so keep your fingers crossed!

The alternate blocks were going to be just plain, but when I laid them out I decided they needed a little extra boost. My blogging friend, Rose (Something Rose Made) had sent me this fabulous neon that fit the bill. Since I am calling this my “Ruby Anniversary Cake”, (we celebrated our 40th in July) these little neon interlocking circles reminded me of wedding rings – what could be more perfect? I used one of my favorite shirtings (designed byPam Buda for Marcus Fabrics) for the background and backing. I designed a simple “fleur de lis” quilting design around the circles. 

 This project has not been without its problems and “do overs”.

As I was trimming one of the corner blocks I did not realize that there were two blocks “under” the one I was trimming – ouch!! I must admit I haven’t done this for a long time, but stuff does happen… I dried my tears and decided I could salvage them by adding a little to the end. I matched it as best I could and called it “another life lesson”.

As I was about to trim and bind one of the alternate blocks, I noticed a small ink stain along the edge. ARGH! Maybe I can use a toothpick and bleach it out (after all it takes about 2 hours to quilt one of these puppies!). Hmmm, must be a very absorbent toothpick! ARGH! So, I made 31 alternate blocks instead of 30. At least I hadn’t bound it before I noticed it! 

These two blocks had to be made twice as well. This one because, well, I think it is self explanatory - ick!  
The Blob that ate Manhattan!
and the redo - much better! 

And this one I had to redo after I noticed the “read through” color of the backing fabric (click to enlarge the photo and you can see what I mean). It was a combination of the strong pink color on the backing fabric and the extra lightweight “antique” cotton shirting I used as a background. Of course, I didn’t notice it until it was completely quilted and bound! – ARGH! 
This pink is really strong!

So, with any luck I will finish the remaining blocks in the next few months and get this think stitched together before 2018 is over!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pam Buda book review and a new CHALLENGE

Pam Buda’s Vintage Patchwork arrived at my door last week and all I can say is “Oh Boy”! I don’t buy many pattern books because I like to draft my own so it is pretty rare for me to find a book where I want to make every project in it! 

I met Pam (Heartspun Quilts) several years ago when she was teaching at our Maine show. I read her blog and have corresponded with her for some time, but until I read this book, I did not realize just how much we are alike! 

There are 12 different projects in the book and you can make all of them with one 10” precut packet of 40 or more prints. You can buy a precut packet or make your own with forty 10” squares of your favorite fabrics. She has laid out the cutting diagram so that you can make the necessary cuts for every single project all at once. There’s a time saver!

So... I think you can guess the challenge part. Since there are 12 projects in the book, my challenge to myself and anyone who would like to join me, is to do one project  each month beginning in January. This gives you plenty of time to get the book and collect your 40 squares. You can order your copy (here)  and join in the fun! 

I (along with my cohorts) still plan on continuing to make one mini each month in 2019 and would welcome anyone interested in doing the same. You can "pop in" any time throughout the year! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Humble Quilts - Sajou Sew-a-long

I have participated in Lori (Humble Quilts) mini quilt swaps over the years, but have never joined in on her mystery sew-a-long before. The first step of this one looked pretty simple so I took the plunge. I wanted to pick up the colors of the sweet little French shop so I tried blue and yellow.

I wasn’t really happy with it even though I love the Betsy Chutchian fabric in the center. 

So, I tried cheddar and a more tealy blue. I have always loved this Mary Koval fabric in the center.
Now that step two has been posted, I’m not sure if I like either of my choices. I’ll have to sleep on it (or under it)!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Noah and Matilda 3E and 4E

Finished a few more Noah and Matilda blocks. I am beginning to see the light at the end of this delightful tunnel and have been working on my alternate blocks. I think I can make my goal of finishing before the end of the year. 
I needed to add some blue to the mix and I love this Dargate Botanical blue petal. 

I used an antique neon for the leaves on this one. The backing fabric on this block is my all time favorite neon reproduction from Kaye England.  It was a gift from my friend Sue. I adore it.
Enjoy the day!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Update - September mini

My September mini in the nick of time! Can you believe there are only 2 more days until October? 

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you know how much I love vintage feedsacks. I have boxes full of vintage novelty and feedsack scraps leftover from other projects. As you can see cowboy prints are among my favorites. I just started in the center and worked my way outward, cutting as I went along. Wasteful you say? Oh no, the little cutoffs went into my glass jar full of “pieces too small to use, but too pretty to throw away”!
The backing is a reproduction, but it is one of my favorites! Sorry Kyle, I hadn't put the label on before I took the photo! It is done now, I promise.

Of course, this little guy didn’t make a dent, but it was fun to play in those boxes again!

Kyle , Barbara and Janet  have posted their minis and you will most definitely want to "click" and see them! They are all worth a visit! I love how different all these little minis are and yet, I love them ALL.  And, here's Randy's - It was quilted in September, just a tad late in posting - wink!! I love it!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Noah and Matilda Pineapple

Another “prickly” block in my Noah and Matilda sew-a-long quilt! However, unlike the cactus, the pineapple was often seen on mid 19th century album quilts. The pineapple motif was a symbol of hospitality and was used as decoration on many household objects. It would have been pretty rare to have a real pineapple in your home in 1850. They had to come from the Caribbean and were frightfully expensive. (Come to think of it they aren’t cheap today!!).

I like the original block with its crisscrossed appliqued strips, but when I saw this fabric, it just screamed "pineapple" and I instantly thought of all the time I would be saving if I just let the fabric do the work for me.
As I near the end of this project, I find that I am simplifying the process more and more. I know it isn’t a race and heaven knows I can (and really do) work on more than one quilt at a time, but since I have decided to call it my “Ruby Anniversary Cake” I need to finish it in 2018 (our 40th anniversary was in July).

I think I can make it if I don’t take on any new projects of this magnitude…. Oops, too late, I hear MaryWitherwax calling my name!!

Actually, I owe this entire post to Dawn Cook Ronningen, because not only did she (and her daughter) produce the Noah and Matilda and Mary Witherwax patterns, Dawn's new book arrived on Saturday and - oh wow!
It is a fabulous book! I don't even collect sewing tools, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every page of this. This jockey cap pin cushion is among my favorites. It is packed with wonderful treats like this one.
You can order it from her Etsy site (here). Fun!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2018

I’m participating in “Amy’s Creative Side” Blogger's Quilt Festival. Check it out (here) and join in the fun! Amy makes it easy to enter. The hardest part will be choosing what quilt to feature! 

I chose my “Thanks Judie” quilt. I made this as a tribute to Judie Rothermel for her 25th anniversary with Marcus Fabrics. There are over 600 different Judie Rothermel prints in this one. It will be in Houston this year as part of the Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine contest. If you are at the show this year stop by and say hello to it for me!

Do visit Amy's blog and see all the great quilts!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Noah and Matilda - Prickly Business

I think it is pretty rare to see a cactus on a mid 19th century quilt and this one has two. The research that Dawn has done so far, finds Noah and Matilda (and family) in Kansas, Illinois and Indiana, hardly cactus territory. One of Dawn’s theories (here) is that the inspiration may have been from botanical prints such as this one. Sounds plausible to me. She is a super sleuth! 

I had a lot of fun with this one! I used this fabulous fabric that I bought in St. Bart’s (in 1993!) to fussy cut the flowers. I had to really be fussy with the neon fabric in this one. I had just enough of the green portion of this print to fit.
As for the greens, I thought these two fabrics looked “prickly”. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

A Sprig of Cherries

My latest Noah and Matilda block reminds me of the chokecherry jam my mother used to make. One year the pectin she used must have been bad because it never jelled. With 5 hungry children to feed you just don’t throw it out, so we enjoyed chokecherry syrup for the entire winter. In the spring when my mother poured fresh maple syrup on my little brother’s pancakes, he cried “No, I want the red syrup! Fun memory! 

I’m trying to get a wiggle on with dear sweet, Noah and Matilda. We had our one year anniversary last month, so it is time to finish up and move on to Mary Witherwax and another applique project that has been roaming around my head. More hours please!!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Trunk Show

Last night I gave a trunk show at the Boothbay Harbor Historical Society. It was very well received despite the fact that there were only two quilters in the room. It is always a challenge to portray what I feel about my work to non quilters. I’m sure the fact that I am also very passionate about quilt and quiltmaker history helped to keep people from falling asleep. 

 It is a lovely historical society and if you are ever in the area I recommend a visit.

As those of you who do this kind of thing know, it is not an easy task to pack up 50 plus quilts and replace them all in their appropriate living quarters when they return home. Something has to suffer and it is usually my sewing room!  

Guess I will be doing a bit of straightening this weekend!!

Meet & Greet

I’ve been invited to join the 2018 Online Quilters Meet & Greet hosted by Benita Skinner's Creative SpaceThis post is to tell people a little about myself. My name is Wendy, I live in Maine and I work in the marine industry. I have a wonderful, loving family who understands and accepts (and often benefits from) my passion for quilting.

I am a very traditional quilter, but I love seeing all types of quilting and textile art. I prefer hand work to machine and quilt almost every day. My favorite technique of late is the historic "potholder" method, whereby each block is individually quilted and bound and then stitched together to form the quilt. I like to inspire others to give it a try.

Although I have been quilting for over 50 years, I am fairly new to blogging. I lurked around the internet for years reading other people’s blogs until finally (in 2014) my friend Cyndi (BusyThimble) convinced me to give it a try.

Quilting is a major part of my life. Sharing bits and pieces of my quilting journey with others helps to keep me moving forward. I truly enjoy the time I spend reading and conversing with my fellow bloggers. They help to keep my creative juices flowing! 

To enter for the prize – through your site – you need to link to this one:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I did it for you!

As much as I have enjoyed working on my Noah and Matilda sew-a-long, I realize my readers must be getting tired of watching my snail’s pace progress. I just know that you are all longing for me to start something. Because I care about all my blogging friends, I have decided to take your advice and start a new applique sew-a-long!

Once again, I will be making my journey with the amazingly talented (and productive), Dawn of Collector witha Needle. She reeled me in with her amazing reproduction of her Mary Witherwax quilt. I waited 3 whole days before caving in. I highly recommend any of their patterns but, Dawn’s daughter has outdone herself this time. These little gems are beautifully done and, they come with history too!

I’d like to invite all of you to join in the fun! You can order your patterns (here). Before you say “I can’t possibly take on one more project”, think about taking it one bite at a time. I may even do a number of smaller quilts to begin with. Dawn has an excellent example (here). And, there is even more inspiration on the Facebook page.

When you order the patterns, you will be invited to join the Facebook group. Facebook is often frustrating for me, but Dawn makes it easy to follow and very welcoming! Hope to see you there! 

Oh yes, here are my latest Noah and Matilda blocks: 

I love how this one came out even though I cheated changed the shape of the flowers to circles. I just let the fabric do the work for me!
Thanks for sticking with me!!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Update - August Mini

My childhood neighbor, Arzetta Poole, instilled in me a love of quilting and fabrics. She had piles of brightly colored feedsacks and vintage novelty scraps mounded in her sewing room. But she also had a small box of treasured pieces she said were too old to use. I remember peering into the box and seeing tiny little pieces of white fabrics with animals and bugs doing strange things like playing baseball or catching fish. I was mesmerized and I have loved these special conversational (c1890) prints ever since.

So here is my August mini with 60 different reproduction conversational prints. I was going to call it "Just Making Conversation", but I think "Small Talk" seems more appropriate for its size (16" x 20").
My favorite fabric is the cricket playing pool!

I was going to use a soft Cadet blue as an alternate color, but my May mini was blue and white so I chose my favorite Mary Koval red print instead.

I used a bamboo batting (from Busy Thimble) for the first time as an experiment. It has much the same feeling as Warm and Natural cotton which is really a bit heavy for such a small quilt, but I like how it came out anyway. I really wanted to hand quilt it, but… well, you know! 

Kyle's (Timeless Reflections) August mini is gorgeous and really picks up the colors of summer (here)

Barbara's (Quilts, Gravestones and Elusive Ancestors) August mini is perfect for this summer month (here)

Barb (Fun With Barb) has been working on a fabulous summer spread and made this little adorable mini to match (here). Barb and I have worked independently on similar things more than once - spooky or just kismet?!

 All I can say about Janet's (Rogue Quilter) is wow! She has done it again with her mini magic! 

And Randy's (Barrister's Block) touch of wool is magnificent! What talented quilters we have! 

Happy end of August!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Noah and Matilda - Mexican Rose

Noah and Matilda sew-a-long update. This is one my favorite blocks so far! I just love this design. 

I contemplated using the yellow (my favorite color) in the center circle, but thought it looked better with the neon there. 
The antique neon in this one came from a dear friend and is perfect for this block. It has been used enough so that it is now colorfast. Many of the antique neons are not and I have to be careful not to use any that will “bleed” onto the shirtings.

I like the repro on the back as well.
I have started to work on my alternate blocks and border pieces. I will post when I get a better handle on how they will work with the rest of the quilt. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I should be done before Christmas!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

AQSG Auction

I am packing up some vintage quilt “stuff” for the annual American Quilt Study Group annual auction. I was going to donate my Moda Blockheads quilt, but I think “Cecile’s Fruit Cake” is a better choice for an organization devoted to quilt history. 

Cecile (PatchworkInspirations) hosted a fun sew-a-long where we were all to make 16 basket blocks of our choice.  I chose the “cake stand” block because it is easy and it is one of my favorites.  

The center panel is printed by Kay and Lori Lee Triplett and you can find it in 3 sizes (here). I cut the panel apart and needle turned the center onto the background and used a simple blanket stitch (broderie perse) on the corner pieces. I hand quilted most of it, but added a bit of machine quilting in the ditch in the border. 

I had an absolute blast at last year’s seminar in Manchester, NH. I hadn’t been to one in a while so it was great to reconnect with friends and to meet new members. If you are at all interested in quilt related history, I highly recommend you join AQSG. It is such a great organization!