Monday, February 27, 2017

Projects, Projects, Projects……

I love reading about the projects you are currently working on and watching as the quilts come to life. Some of you are working toward finishing “17 in 2017”. Others are determined to make quilts from their present stash without acquiring any new fabric in 2017 (I disqualified myself from this one on January 2nd!).

I literally quilt every day. And although I'm away from my house for over 9 hours a day, it seems like I should have more to show for my efforts. So, I decided to once again count the projects I am currently working on. I found that I have 9 quilts underway that I have in hand on a daily or at least weekly basis. And, my “list to make” includes 35 (yes 35!) more. I find myself looking at the list on a Saturday morning and feeling so overwhelmed that I just have to start an entirely new quilt. So, I made a new “header” on my “make it” list that states “I need to retire so I can quilt full time”!

Bla, bla, bla… so here is what I worked on over the weekend.

Our statewide quilt guild hosts a very fine quilt show every year in July. (read all about it on our website ). This year will be our 40th anniversary. Founding members, Patricia Libby and Virginia Morrell are hosting a special invitation exhibition of 40 quilts from 20 members. They graciously invited me (Cyndi Black – Busy Thimble, is also a participant) to join in the fun.

The rules are that each of us will make two quilts 24” square. The first will be a solid red and white (fabric provided) quilt from a Ruby McKim pattern. It has to utilize 4 10” blocks and a 2” border. 

The second quilt must contain the chosen block in some form, but we are to use our creativity and to make something unique. I won’t show that one here until after July so I won’t spoil the “reveal” at the show. But since the first one is pretty cut and dried, I can show you my progress.

I cut away the excess on the back so it will be easier to hand quilt around the inner blossom. I didn’t back baste this one even the finest pencil line showed through to the front of this “champagne” colored background fabric.

One of my first quilt books (Christmas 1971 – yikes!) was One Hundred and One Patchwork Patterns by Ruby McKim. So, of course I was thrilled to be chosen to be part of this group.

I guess because so much of my work is by hand, I am more “process” than “project”! Not complaining really as it does keep me sane (well, almost).

Hope you get lots of stitching time this week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Give Away Time

Wait a minute, that doesn't sound right. I'm not giving away time! Sorry, but that is one thing that is way too precious!
Sorry, Route 66 fabric in the background is not included. That is for my grandson't new pillow case.

However, once again, my scrap baskets are filled to overflowing. I have realized over the years, that I am not the only one who hoards collects scraps. In fact, it seems to be a problem situation that most of us have. So, instead of burdening you with more “scraps”, I have diligently cut them into 2 ½” x 10” strips. This should allow you to simply pick up a few each day and whip them into magnificent creations.

These are all 18th and 19th century reproduction scraps. So… if you would like to join the “strip club” and add a few 2 ½” strips to your collection just leave me a comment on what you do with your scraps. I will announce the winner on Wednesday, March 1st.

I’m not sure how many there are exactly (over 200), but they fill a gallon plastic bag. This way I can fit squish them into a Global Priority envelope and our overseas friends can join in the fun!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review(s)

I have acquired a few new books this year (yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to buy any more but…) and I wanted to share my 3 favorites with you.

1) – Treasury of Quilts by Betsy Chutchian
I have every one of Betsy’s books and each time I get a new one it becomes my current favorite! This one is no exception. The patterns are easy to follow (even for someone like me who can’t follow a pattern without changing it) and the photographs are beautiful. I want to make every quilt in this book!

Debra (Life’s a Stitch) is already making my favorite one, the “42 Cent Forever Stamp”. Look at this stack of delicious fabrics! Can’t wait to get one started. Thanks for the inspiration Debra!

If you can’t find it at your local quilt shop (to help keep them in business), you can get it directly from Martingale (here).

2) – Little Handful of Scraps by Edyta Sitar 

I think I am going to be very busy in the coming year because not only do I want to make all the quilts in Betsy’s book, I want to make all of these little gems as well. This book is just full of little treasures.

Cyndi at Busy Thimble made this little top from the book. I love it!
 I highly recommend it to anyone who likes vintage quilts and/or small quilts.

3) – Feed Sacks by Linzee Kull McCray

I have every feedsack book published in the last 20 years and I do love them all, but this is (currently) my favorite. It is chock full of the most fabulous photos of feedsack prints I have ever seen. Linzee is a wonderful writer and it is a joy to read. She has packed the pages with an amazing amount of information on vintage feedsack manufacturers.

It is published by Uppercase magazine and available (here).

Hope you all find some time to drool over your favorite books too!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Gather Ye Gwennie Inspired Medallions In time for May

Lori at Humble Quilts has found us a venue for showing our “Gwennie Inspired Medallion” quilts.

She is organizing a show at First Friday quilts in Bend Oregon for May 1st. They have room for around 12 quilts. The 5 host quilters – Cynthia, Lori, Katy, Cathy and Wendy (me) will have theirs on display along with a few more. If yours is ready to display and you want to show it inspire others, let Lori (Humble Quilts) know. What fun to see these all together!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SVBAQ - Red Tulip

Wow – it is mid February already and time for the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt link up. 

This month’s offering is the Red Tulip. I think our wonderful hosts, Doreen (Aunt Reen’s Place) and Dawn (Collector with a Needle) chose an easy one because February is such a short month!

I love the simplicity of this block and it was a cinch to stitch.

Enjoy all the delightful blocks on the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt link up here

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Snow Day - Sew Day

I want to know if you like snow,
Do you like it, yes or no?
Do you like it in your face?
Yes, I like it anyplace!
(from one of my grandson’s favorite books,  “Snow” by Roy McKee & P.D. Eastman)

Boy did it snow and boy did I sew! Because of the blizzard conditions, it was pointless to shovel until the wind and snow had stopped (24” in 24 hours!). So, of course I had time to sew.

I had enough time to finally finish my “Pot Luck” potholder quilt.



One of the great things about the potholder method is that the back can be as much fun as the front. I used different cheater prints (known as "printed patchwork in the 19th century) on the back and I love the results.

I have posted (here) about how I put these potholder blocks together. But I wanted to share a few things I forgot to mention. First, I did talk about the fact that if I am going to use one of my potholder quilts rather than just hanging on a wall, I secure my stitches every inch of so. But, what I forgot to mention is that I also wax my thread. 
This keeps the thread from raveling or breaking as I am stitching and “sets” the threads neatly and securely.

One very important factor is that your binding corners need to be very accurate and pointed. 

This is especially important when going around corners as in the case of a few of the connecting seams in this quilt. If your corners are perfectly “pointed” they will fit snuggly together at the intersection.

The biggest challenge in the whole process was getting the half square triangle blocks to come together neatly. By some miracle I aced both on the first try. 

This quilt has been a joy from start to finish. Even though there is quite a bit of hand quilting in this, I have learned that I CAN machine quilt as long as it is no more than 24” square! I have no patience for jamming a large quilt through my machine and since I don’t see a longarm anywhere in my future, I will continue to enjoy my potholder method.

I would like to leave you with a small tribute. Renowned artist Dahlov Ipcar died peacefully at the age of 99. She was indeed a treasure to our town, our state and the world. 

She and her husband Adolph bought a farm here in Georgetown and were an important part of our community for the rest of their lives. Although she was famous for her painting as well as a few wonderful soft sculptures, Dahlov made only one quilt in her life. Years ago, while looking at some of my quilts, she told me that I was the real artist. That is a compliment I will never forget. We will miss you Dahlov!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Log Cabin Party!

It is time to link up our log cabins with Bea and Cecile. I have been experimenting with a new “potholder method”. I am bringing the back around to the front for binding and then machine stitching them together. 
I trim the backing to 1" around the edge of the quilted block, then turn it under and stitch. 
I cut out a bit of the corner piece to make it less bulky. 
I am alternating red and beige backings so that the back will look like patchwork too. I am stitching them together at a scant 1/8" seam allowance. 



I’m not 100% happy with the outcome, but I am willing to keep trying to perfect the method.

This one will be for one of our veteran’s so I chose red, white and blue as my color scheme. 

Please check in with Cecile and Bea to see all the great blocks thus far.