Thursday, January 29, 2015

Super Snow-Sew day

I hope all you New Englanders had a super sew day! I was able to finish up a number of my triangle border pieces on my "Cooking With Jane" potholder quilt. I have almost an entire side done. 

I was also able to make up a few dozen kits for some of my upcoming potholder classes. I am teaching 4 classes in the next few months so it was nice to get a few kits made up. The kits include squares to make two 4-patch blocks, with bating, backing and binding for both. 

And, a friend kindly sent me these photos of my quilt at the "Road to California" this past week. 

I am in very good company between two award winning quilters, Linda Roy (one of my hand quilting idols) and Janet Stone.

 What more could I ask for (except maybe to be standing there with it!). Thanks for the photos and the kind words Pam.
Enjoy the day.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow day - sew day

I usually don't believe forecasters, but it looks like they may be right this time and we are in for some snow. Seems like we had very few "snow days" when I was growing up (in Maine). I remember being glued to the TV in the morning, waiting for the "cancellation" that never came. Unless more than a foot was predicted, we got on the bus (actually a Ford station wagon). 

Well, I think I will predict my own snow-sew day tomorrow. Hope all of you in New England can do the same. Stay warm and safe and happy quilting.

Snow pattern by Simon Beck - he is amazing!! Makes me want to strap on the snowshoes - after my day of quilting of course.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy dance!!!

I just found out that my"No Bake Applique" potholder quilt won 2nd place in the traditional applique category at Road to California. I wish I was there with it! It was great to see the judge's comments.

Good variation in background colors and good color placement throughout.
Fun to see a potholder quilt.
Construction is very well done.
Very good applique technique.
Extremely fine hand quilting stitch.

I especially liked the comment: Fun to see a potholder quilt. It has been interesting to see people's reactions to this historic method. 

Whoop - whoop!

And the winner is...

I am thrilled and a bit overwhelmed by the response to my scrap giveaway. You all have had such great comments on how you manage your scraps. I had 91 comments in all - wow. I couldn't figure out the random generator so I counted every comment from the beginning from 1 - 91 and put them in this bucket (after I tossed the remains) I drew out #62. Congratulations Vic in NH at Park Hill Farm  . Ironic, Victoria since you live in the next state and when I checked out your Blog, your January 21st post is titled "Shopping My Stash". Well, now you can shop from mine! Do check out her Blog, Park Hill Farm. And once again, I thank you all for your comments and words of wisdom.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Turkey red stitch along

I am overwhelmed and delighted by the response to my scrap giveaway and I can hardly wait for Friday! Please check out all the comments to see how others deal with their scraps. I'm having a ball reading them all. Thank you so much for participating. I wish I could send them to all of you!

As I mentioned, my friend Cyndi and I are following Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts stitch along called Stars in a Time Warp. We are making 6" Variable stars. Each Wednesday, Barbara lets us know what color she will feature. Last week was Turkey red, and here are two of my stars. Barbara asks us to think like a 19th century quiltmaker while planning the blocks. This is not easy for people who are precision piecers (myself NOT included). Even though I am not a perfectionist, this first one was a bit of a stretch for me. I tried to use the checked background in a way that it might have been used in the mid 19th century. If the piece wasn't big enough, just add a piece onto it and don't worry about the direction fof the check. Hmmm.

This one was far easier as I often use two or more similar fabrics in a block. This star has 3 different Turkey reds in it.

 Check out Barbara's Blog and join in the fun!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Border triangles and funny story

Well, it wasn't really funny at first. I have started quilting the triangle border pieces for my Dear Jane potholder quilt. I chose all the fabrics for the plain border pieces, cut them out along with the binding for each one, then basted them to their backing and set them aside for quilting.

Here is what they look like when they are basted together and then basted to muslin to fit my hoop.

I prefer to use my Hera marker to mark my quilting lines, but if the fabric is too busy, I have use the white Sewline marker. 

So, what is the funny story you ask? Well, I finished quilting these two on Saturday morning and went to attach the binding, but the strips were NOwhere to be found.

I did a cursory look through the giveaway "scrid" pile (yes, they are still sitting on my cutting table) but didn't see them so I frantically searched the sewing room before going through every room of the house (yes, even the kitchen where I am rarely seen on the weekend!). After what seemed like and hour, I gave up the search and went to the stash to find something suitable (but not perfect) to use.

When I got up on Sunday, I forced myself to give the giveaway "scrid" pile one more look before I put the replacement bindings on, and lo and behold, what did I find????

So, whoever wins the scraps will be two pieces shy! What a hoot! Good thing I can laugh about it now!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Scrap Giveaway

Far, far away I hope! From my pile to yours.

I spent all evening sorting and cutting and only made it through 1 1/2 baskets! But I promised to post this today so I will just have to have another giveaway after I finish the sorting. 

My method of sorting: 
I have 3 sizes of scraps in my baskets. 1) large; suitable for almost any project 2) medium; suitable for most piecing or applique scrap quilts and 3) "Scrids"; scrids are what I call pieces that are best suited for applique, as they are often odd shaped and would require to much work for me to sort through and press for piecing.

Heaven forbid, I should giveaway the last bit of any one fabric, so, I first cut a 5" strip for myself and put the remaining piece in a pile (or actually 2) to send away. The pile on the right is what I consider "large" good size scraps suitable for almost any project. The pile on the left is what I call "scrids".

They could ALL be yours. Simply leave me a comment on how you handle your scraps and I will chose one by random. (I have tried to figure out the random generator, but it is more likely I will throw all your names in a hat and let Mr. CG pick one). I am willing to ship anywhere that accepts Global Priority. So please feel free to comment wherever you are. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. I think I fixed my "no reply" comment, thanks to Lori at Humble Quilts, but if you have any trouble feel free to e-mail me.
I will pick the winner and post it next Friday (January 23). Since I am new to this, it will give me an entire week to get organized (and to read all your comments)

This is the result of the cutoff ends. If anyone can figure out what to do with these little gems, I would be happy to send them off to you. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The eagle has NOT landed

Most mornings I have the pleasure of watching our eagles fish (or pluck a duck) from the spindle (aid to navigation) in front of my office. I can tell when it is below zero. The ducks in the cove are in constant motion (to keep the oil in their feathers from freezing) and the eagles are nowhere to be seen.

At 10 below zero it is a perfect day for quilting. These little hexies are going to be part of my next little quilt. Still working out the setting. 

And... my friend Cyndi (Busy Thimble) and I are participating in Barbara Brackman's, Civil War Quilts quilt-a-long, "Stars in a Time Warp". We will be making 6" stars (I call it a variable star, but it has many names). Every Wednesday Barbara will post the colors we will be working with that week. This week it is turkey red. It is my first quilt-a-long and I'm really excited. Check it out and join in the fun!

But, first I have to get all those scraps organized for Friday’s post. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fessing up

I look at all the wonderful sewing rooms that people post on their Blogs( and elsewhere on the Internet) in total admiration. How do people keep things so neat? 

I decided if I was going to change my slovenly ways, I must come clean (literally and figuratively) and show some photos of my sewing room. After all, if my word for 2015 is “acceptance”, I will have to accept that this is the way I am.

I know I feel good when I take the time to neaten up, but the minute I start a new project, out comes the Tasmanian Devil and fabrics fly everywhere, rarely landing in a neatly folded stack.  

I must say, my “annex” stays fairly tidy as I find it easier to find the fabric I am looking for when I need it. But my sewing room is in a constant state of chaos.

I keep my larger quilts on this bed in the annex to eliminate "fold" lines. People often wonder why we have a guest room where NO ONE can sleep! There are about 35 quilts layered on this poor little bed.

I keep my antique fabrics, blocks and tops in boxes under bed and on this shelf. This is at least organized even though it doesn't look very neat right now.

The only part of my actual "sewing" room that stays relatively neat is my fabric storage system. These are all my feedsacks and vintage 20th century fabrics and 20th century reproductions. I love cowboys and have over 250 different "vintage" cowboy prints. They are so much fun!

There, I feel better now that I have “come clean”. I am off to create another mess. And, if I ever do tidy up the sewing room, I’ll take a few more photos.

I will be posting the scrap giveaway on Friday so stay tuned!

Monday, January 12, 2015


I know I am late, but I have given a lot of thought to what I would choose as my “word” for the coming year. There were so many in contention (1,025,109 in the English language according to Google) so how do I choose?

I know I could be more patient and more tolerant of others, but I think I have been steadily working on those two.

My dear quilting friend, Kathryn, with her 90 plus years of wisdom asked me recently what I was worrying about 1 year ago. I could only think of one thing that still exists today and this was something I could not change no matter how much I worried about it.

So my word for 2015 is ACCEPTANCE. I will try to accept the things that I cannot change and spend the time I was prepared to worry about it on my quilting. I should get a lot more accomplished this year!!!

Giveway post coming this week! Just have to prepare the scrap bags. Whoop Whoop!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Scrap Attack!

I think I am fortunate to have a husband who has a passion as strong for him as my quilting is for me. He is a boatbuilder and he has a boat shop full of materials that are far more costly than any (yes even the imported) fabrics I could buy. I don’t have to hide my fabrics as some of my quilting friends do. In fact I am privileged to have a sewing room where I keep all of my vintage feedsacks and 20th century reproduction  fabrics AND an “annex” (thank you dear children for moving out) that houses all of my 18th and 19th century fabrics and reproductions.

However, there comes a time when even the most patient of husbands could say – my, but you have accumulated a lot of scraps!

I don’t know how it happens?? I can see having amassed a few scraps with Jane but I would have thought the 9-patch “feeder” project would have helped a bit.

At any rate, as soon as I can figure out how to do a “give away” in Blogland, (I’ll be asking my friend Cyndi to assist me) I will be helping to fill one of your sewing rooms with scraps. 

Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Two, Two, Two quilts in one

As a child, I had done some sewing in 4-H, but I learned to “quilt” from my neighbor, Arzetta Poole. Mrs. Poole taught me not only how to piece and applique, but more importantly she instilled in me the love and appreciation for quilts and quilting. One of the more practical things she showed me was to always keep a “feeder” piece of fabric in my machine, to save thread and to keep the sewing room floor tidy (no excess threads).

After my children started school and I began making quilts more rapidly, I had an epiphany. Why waste scraps of fabric, not to mention time, when I could be running pieces for another quilt through instead. So for over 20 years I have been piecing two quilts at one time. A few years ago, Bonnie Hunter came out with a wonderful book (Leaders and Enders) on this subject. I didn’t really think I had invented it, but it is nice to know others do the same thing as I do.

 So here are some of the 300 plus 9 patches I made during the piecing of my little Jane blocks. I keep a stack of pieces around for my “feeder” blocks so I never run out. I don’t always know what I will use the blocks for but it is nice to have a stack of them when I feel the need to whip up a quick quilt.

BTW – (totally unrelated to this post) if you are at all interested in quilt history, Karen Alexander(Quilt History Reports) has compiled a wonderful list of websites and Blogs on quilt history on the Internet. Of course, if you are like me, you will lose a whole day of quilting while enjoying some of these sites!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It would have to warm up considerably to be cold!

Winter is my favorite season. 

This is the "winter" view from my office. It is killing me that I cannot stay home and quilt on this first day of below zero weather! 

This is the summer view.

Pretty but I'd still rather stay home and quilt.

Monday, January 5, 2015

I made it!

When I started this “crazy” Jane thing back on August first, my goal was to have all the 5” blocks, pieced (or appliqued), quilted and bound before the end of the year. I finished my last binding on New Year’s Eve – 5 months start to finish. Whoop Whoop!

Jane in a Box

I spent the weekend choosing fabrics for the border triangles. I have chosen fabrics as close to the original as I could in the center blocks and for the triangle border pieces. However, I am (at least I think I am) going to do something different with the pieced triangle. I found it very hard to hand quilt some of the blocks with tiny pieces and as I studied the pieced border blocks, I just couldn't imagine hand quilting all those little pieces so I am… no I will wait and surprise you all (I know you are waiting on tender hooks) as soon as I get a few completed. It will of course make the border go faster as well. Wish me luck!