Friday, October 30, 2015


Hard to believe, but I have finished all 4 pineapple blocks just in time to start the November block on Sunday.

Since I am exchanging one of the tulip blocks for a pineapple, the only other block that is duplicated is the wreath.

So after that those two, at one each month, I just may be able to keep up with everyone after all! 

Don't forget to "weigh in" on my last post to get a whole pile of yummy scraps! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Free to a good home!

Or any home but mine!

I don’t know how I missed it but my one year blogging anniversary was last month! So, it is time for a giveaway. So if you would like to win a pile of scraps (all I can fit into a medium flat rate priority box) leave me a comment and I will draw a name on Wednesday, November 4. That gives you a week to decide whether or not you want to add all these scraps to your pile!

I love doing giveaways because I get so many comments. I’m still learning about blogging etiquette. I try to answer all comments through e-mail, but if the comment is a question, I like to answer through the blog so that all can see the answer. I appreciate all comments and love to get suggestions as well. I’ve had a lot of fun this year reading, watching and commenting on other blogs too. Keep up the good work and don’t forget to leave your address if you are a no reply blogger. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Let’s Play - “What’s your method”

I am really enjoying this SVBAQ sew-a-long. There are so many different fabrics, colors and methods being used. I would like to challenge everyone participating to show your method of applique. Cynthia at Wabi-Sabi Quilts has posted (here) on her method of machine applique and her blocks are beautiful.

I’m afraid the light wasn’t very good this morning when I took these photos, so I will post more later. I think you can see how enough to get the gist of how I work.

If I am doing a block that requires precision placement (usually a very symmetrical design) I will likely back baste it for best placement. But, for these little guys I prefer the slightly wonky look so I simply mark the piece on the top with my Sewline white (very erasable) pencil and then needle turn as I go along.

If I am going to quilt through an element (like this pineapple top) I will cut out the back so I don’t have to go through so many layers while quilting.

I have decided (like a few others I know) to change up the pattern just a bit. I will be making 4 pineapples (one in each corner) and eliminate the other block that is duplicated. I don’t think of myself as a symmetrical person, but apparently I am in this case! I will be making mine in the potholder method (big surprise, I know) so I will most likely make all my blocks go in one direction. Some people are eliminated the rainbow and Liberty Tree blocks. I like the rainbow although I may modify it a bit and my favorite block is the Liberty Tree. How funky is that one? I LOVE it! In fact, I would like to do a whole quilt of those trees.

So if you all can take a moment and share your method with the rest of us I know we would all appreciate it. Thanks, and have fun!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Slow stitching indeed.

I love watching the progress of the slow stitching Sunday bloggers and I keep meaning to link up, but I’m afraid I’ve placed a whole new meaning on “slow stitching” with this thing. I started this “Burning Leaves” potholder quilt back in June at my retreat (here). Granted I have made 2 wedding quilts and 3 tops for our group’s Veterans quilts project and a few various and sundry projects this summer, but… I guess I just feel like this simple quilt is taking way longer than I anticipated.

I’m not really complaining as I have really enjoyed working on this every morning before work. I just feel like maybe I should start something entirely new (I mean something that isn’t on my list of the 27 quilts already in my head). I just know that I am the only one who feels this way LOL!

Maybe it is just because we have such spectacular Fall color here in Maine this year (best I ever remember) that I need to move on to a different color scheme for a while.

Dare I start something white??? Happy quilting!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Super Nana to the rescue!

The story of the quilt that was “loved to death”. This is the quilt that my son took to college in 1999. Both my children are hopelessly sentimental (hmm, wonder where they got that trait?). When my grandson took possession of the quilt it was washed and loved to the point of no return (as you can clearly see in this picture). My son would not give it up, so one day my daughter in law whisked it out the door into my car. I was determined to use something from the original to carry on to the next quilt (sort of like a plant cutting or sourdough starter that carries on into infinity).

The back must have been a poly blend because it was still intact.

As you can see there wasn’t much to work with. I had to fuse eight pieces together to have enough integrity to make this one 4 patch!

I made it as close to the original as I could except I added some robots and cowboys, on the back since this one is for my grandson. I rarely tie quilts these days, but the original was tied and my grandson likes to fiddle with the ties so it seemed fitting to keep that the same too. It is lightweight and draggable! I rarely use poly batting, but did in this case since I knew it would be washed a lot!

I will be giving it to him on his birthday and can’t wait to see the expression on my son’s face, since I am sure he has already chastised his wife for disposing of it.

Oh happy day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

And the winner of the audition is…

I must have auditioned 50 fabrics for this Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt (SVBAQ) sew-a-long.  I narrowed it down to these five and then went in a totally different direction! I would have used the green but I didn’t have enough and it is pretty old so I knew I wouldn’t be able to find it again.

So this is what I came up with. It is a good thing I like cheddar!

Do check out Doreen’s (AuntReen’s Place) blocks, they are beautiful. And I adore Hilda’s (Every Stitch) background. Her applique is always lovely but her background choice of 4 different prints really gives the blocks a different look. It will be interesting to see all the different quilts when (and if – in my case!) they are all done.

BTW - you can chose any size you want. My blocks are 10" finished and Hilda's are 12". I'm not sure what size Dawn (Collector With a Needle) is doing, but Doreen's are 16" finished". 

It's not too late to join in the fun! No racing, just fun! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Time Warp Time

I seem to always be 3 weeks behind. Hmm… you know what comes in threes! Anyway: These last 3 are my least favorites of all the colors and styles we have done thus far.

Week 37:Chocolates & printed Lace
Chocolate, although delicious, is too cool a brown for me. I prefer the warm madders. I like the background fabric in this one though.

Week 38: Black, grey and Asian style design
Black is, well, it’s just black. Still trying to think like a nineteenth century quilter. Somehow wonky comes naturally to me!

Week 39: Claret
We have an antique boat that is painted “Claret” but it is a much warmer color than the traditional “Claret” in printed textiles of the 1890’s to 1920’s. All of these Claret prints came from one fabric that was printed in 6" sections (sorry I don't remember who manufactured it). I have an antique piece of fabric exactly like the one with the double triangle in two of the points. This is the closest reproduction I have ever seen. Scale and color are spot on to the original. 

Have fun with your stars or whatever you are doing today!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Just when you thought it was safe to follow my blog…

the “Jane” saga continues...
                                                         the back

 Warning – long post, so if you are really interested you might want to refresh your coffee. Some of you may remember my 9 month (and numerous posts, here, here, here and well you get the picture) “Jane” journey. I really didn’t elaborate much on my disappointment with the borders.

I thought it was going to be o.k. until I hung it up for the first time. Argh! The borders were flapping in the breeze. I had entered it in our state show and didn’t have time to do anything about it before I had to send it off. So there it hung next to my friend Ann’s beautiful Dear Jane in the show. Ann’s hung perfectly straight and mine looked as if a herd of elephants had used the borders to play tug of war.

Luckily most people were so enamored (or they were just being kind) of the potholder method that no one commented on the wavy borders.  But then, on the last day of the show my friend Cyndi and I walked through the show and she said “what’s all that red there”? In 8 or 9 of the red blocks there was significant bleeding into the white (off white really) background. ARGH! Another disaster. How could this happen (I still don’t know how) and can I rectify it? I wash all my fabrics before I use them and most of the time I wash reds twice. I rarely use a solid white or off white so I have never had this problem before. I was so devastated that I left in the bag after the July show until two weeks ago. As I stated in a former post, my grandson really loves the geometry of it so if the red never came out, I’m sure he would never care. I threw the whole thing (wavy borders and all) into the washer with 7 color catchers (all I had at the time). The color catchers (I’m sold on them now!) came out RED and the quilt came out just fine. Not a trace of bleeding. Who’d a thought it? So now, how do I tackle the border problem?

I started by taking off all 4 borders. I contemplated using them as a valance on my porch, but I put so much hand quilting into them I wanted to salvedge them as some sort of quilt. So this is what I came up with. A “strippy” Jane if you will.


If you recall the original quilt I titled “Cooking with Jane”. Now the middle section of the quilt is titled “Half Baked Jane” and the little strippy is called “Jane’s Leftovers” in keeping with my “cooking” theme for my potholder quilts. I like what I ended up with and the smaller middle segment actually fits better on the wall in my grandson’s room that the original. Can’t beat a Yankee when it comes to ingenuity and frugality! Thanks for staying with me through the whole agonizing story. Go make something fun!