Friday, July 31, 2020

July mini

A simple finish for this hot and busy month, “Summer Nines”. I started this in a workshop with Leslie Muir Volpe back in early March. It was the last public function I attended before the Covid 19 restrictions.

Leslie is a spectacular quilter, known for her delightful small quilts. I can’t find a website for her, but if you Google her name you will see lots of wonderful mini quilts. 

Take a gander at what my fellow mini makers have come up with in this busy summer month. 

I added my friend Cyndi (Busy Thimble) even though hers will eventually be large it is at present a mini and it is sensational. You will want to pay her a visit. And do check back in case we find a few stragglers as I will update as they come in. I know some of you have had trouble with the new Blogger so if you haven't posted this month, I simply linked in the June mini and we can update it later. 

Quilting Babcia (Amity Quilter)

I hope you are all staying safe and cool in these hot and crazy times!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A Little Diversion

Two friends and I have challenged each other to build a medallion quilt. We contemplated a round robin, but being 3 states apart and shipping being what it is, (not to mention the everyday stresses that we are all sharing now) we decided to keep it simple. Each of us chose a pattern for a “round” and we ended up with, Flying Geese, Half Square Triangles and 4-Patch with stars as an added bonus wherever we could fit them.

Both of my friends have gorgeous appliqued centers. Because my “Community Supper” quilt is taking up so much of my time right now, I decided to go simple. I have wanted to use this Petra Prins and Nel Kooiman panel for quite a while. I adore it!
I am using Moda’s aged muslin for my background and one of my favorite “eccentric” prints as my plain borders. Having a ball so far! On to the next round.

And, in between this project and a few others I made this little baby quilt for a friend’s son who is expecting a baby girl. I love the little vintage Sunbonnet Sue in the center. I have been collecting 30’s novelty prints for years so it was no problem to come up with 150 or so of them. It will be traveling to California so I used a very lightweight cotton batting. 

Enjoy your quilting time today.

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Last Bite

The final block in this crazy project has arrived. And, what an incredible story it has to tell.

Cynthia Nanto, Tokyo, Japan. (Wabi-Sabi Quilts) When I made the request for blocks back in May, Cynthia said she would love to participate but, being that Japan had ceased all overseas shipping with no set opening date, she did not want to hold up my progress. I told her that I truly wanted her to be part of this and especially with this block. It is a leftover from a quilt made for her husband and will carry many memories of their life in Japan. I explained that the beauty of the potholder method is that I could simply leave a “hole” for her block and stitch it into the quilt upon arrival. 

Then lo and behold their son was due to return to the states, so Cynthia assigned him the task of mailing it to me upon his return. Thank you, Tommy for being the “carrier pigeon” and honoring your mother’s request. 

It is a tad off center as I had to add a small strip on the dark side to make it a full 10". I think this cheater print backing with the beautiful crane is perfect for a block from Japan. Thank you Cynthia for this wonderful final addition to the “Community Supper”.

Assembly starts this week, so if you are still hungry, have a seat and wait for the finish.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Feeling Full and Happy!

I'm feeling quite satisfied as the last of the 5" blocks are completed. Only one more 10" block to arrive (and it has a story all its own) before I start to assemble the beast. Enjoy the final fives as we head into the home stretch.  

Cyndi Black, Litchfield, Maine (Busy Thimble) Cyndi and I have been friends since we started the Maine state quilt research project (Maine Quilt Heritage) back in 1986. Her shop (Busy Thimble) is my “happy place”. I can honestly say that she has never made a quilt I didn’t love. Her work is amazing and I cherish her friendship. Cyndi sent me 6 to choose from and they are all outstanding. I went with this Dear Jane orphan as it reminded me of a whirling virus. Thanks Cyndi! 
oops, I realized I forgot to put the label on before taking the photo. I used this cheater as the Log Cabin is one of Cyndi's favorite blocks.

Donette Beimborn, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. Donette’s block had one more outside border that I had to sacrifice to make it fit into the “baby” category. It was the last of the logical choices for cutting it down. I think it looks just fine in its diminutive size. Thanks Donette! 

Kathryn Conway, Bath, Maine. 3/9/24 - 1/31-20. I included this block from my friend Kathryn who passed away this winter, just one month shy of her 96th birthday. For 25 years we quilted, dined and fabric shopped together on a regular basis. I miss her very much and although I am thankful she did not have to endure all this madness, I know in my heart she would have taken it in stride like every other challenge she faced in life. She was a prolific quilter and donated so many of her quilts to those in need. Thank you dear friend! 

Laurie LaBar, Dresden, Maine. Although Laurie’s mother was a wonderful and prolific quilter, Laurie is relatively new at it which is why I was so happy that she could provide me with this little gem. She is Chief Curator of History and Decorative Arts at the Maine State Museum and we have worked on a few fun projects together. She is currently making a fabulous pictorial quilt as a tribute to her Mom that I hope to be able to share with you when it is finished. Thanks Laurie! 

Linda Liggins, Laurel Hill, Florida. I love this blue fabric so I really wanted to just add something to the outside to make it larger, but in the end, it was the perfect block to cut down to the 5” size. Thanks Linda for making my job easier! 

Gladi Porsche, Lee, New Hampshire. (GladiQuilts) I consider Gladi to be one of the most talented quilters I know. Her sense of color, pattern and design are truly amazing. Her quilts have been in many publications over the years, but the photos never do them justice. If you ever get the chance to see one of her quilts in person you will know what I mean. Gladi sent me 4 of these little appliqued blocks and it was tough to choose just one. The other 3 will go into my next “pot luck” quilt. Thanks Gladi! 

 Stay tuned for the final bite!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Humble Quilts doll quilt swap

If this quilt could talk! As many of you know Lori (Humble Quilts) hosted another doll quilt swap this Spring. My little quilt was to come from Italy.

Rina (the maker) e-mailed me after she sent it and said that it may take a while for it to get here. Three months later this little gem arrived in my mailbox. I love the quilt and the thought of how it traveled on its journey from across the Atlantic.

I’m sure Rina was relieved when she received my e-mail this morning that her little beauty had finally arrived.

Thanks Rina and thanks Lori for another great swap!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Cassandra's Circle blocks 5 & 6

I’ve been so consumed with my Community Supper that I have forgotten to post my last 2 Cassandra Circle blocks.

Block # 5, “Russian Sunflower” Looks so real to me that I was afraid to work on it outside for fear a bird would come down and try to pluck out the seeds! 

I cheated quite a bit with block # 6, “Briar Rose”, but I love how it came out.

I used a fabulous flower cutout from this delicious “Matters of the Heart” fabric by Kaye England. Yum! 

I am making mine half size (9”) and I am really enjoying this red polka dot background. It does make fabric choices for the appliques a bit of a challenge. It is harder than you think to find fabrics that stand up to this red.

You can find the patterns on Barbara Brackman’s Civil War Blog and view some of the wonderful creations on the Facebook page (here). 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Time for Dessert

I had to make sure I had enough of the 10” blocks before I started on the half size “babies”. There will be sixteen 5" blocks all together. I’ve already posted Fotini’s, so here are the next batch. Yum!!

Kim Barbour, Standish, Maine. I love watching Kim embroider while we sit at one of the volunteer tables at our annual show. I am assuming this is an orphan because of the misdirection of that one corner. Kim is very precise, so for her send me a block with an error (however slight) is an honor. Of course, it is a perfect 5 ½” so for me to make it an exact 5”, I had to clip the points a bit. It is still a beautiful block. Thanks Kim!

Karen Beigh, Melbourne, Florida. (Log Cabin Quilter) Karen and I have been corresponding for years. Several years ago, she sent me a pile of orphan blocks. I have used many of them, but I still have a few left and it was difficult to choose which to use. I chose this one for two reasons; 1) it represents Karen’s fabulous applique skills and 2) the motifs on this fabric look a little like the Covid 19 molecule and Karen has appliqued a pathway out from the center, as if we are escaping from the pandemic. She sent a label with the same sentiment we all feel, “Hit the Road Jack, don’t you come back!”. Thanks Karen!

Stephanie Hanson, McKinney, Texas. How cute is this tiny house? As the blocks came rolling in and it became evident that I would need to re-work the size of some of them, I was ever so grateful to have this little guy as one of 5” blocks. Stephanie has been making these little houses during her stay at home time. Her message says it all, “Coming home, staying home.” Thanks Stephanie! 

Roxanne Hooper, Vienna, Virginia. Roxanne sent 2 adorable little blocks that were left over from a mini quilt swap sponsored by Lori (HumbleQuilts). It was hard to choose which to use, but rest assured the other will go into my next “pot luck” quilt! Thanks Roxanne! 

Laura Lane, Marlborough, Massachusetts. Laura is the Collections Manager at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA ( I am fortunate to be able to run down to Lowell on occasion and have lunch and quilty time with Laura. I cannot figure out why this little gem is a reject, but it fits perfectly with all the other 5” blocks. Thanks Laura! 

Shasta Matova, Columbus, Ohio. (High Road Quilter) Shasta’s block was rectangular shaped so I figured the best way to utilize it would be to cut it down to the 5” size and use the remainder in my next pot luck quilt. I have quite a collection now. She is working on a wonderful “quote” quilt right now so take a scroll through her blog (here). Thanks Shasta! 

Nancy Messier, Columbus, Ohio. (Joy for Grace) Nancy sent me two blocks and it was really hard to make a choice. It just so happened that the size was the determining factor. I needed another 5” block to complete the final layout. This was an orphan from her Cheddarback project, an online sew-a-long by the very generous Gay Bomers. She also included some little neon squares that I will put to good use. Thanks Nancy! 

Katherine (Kathi) Schaffer, Lima, NY. Here’s the story: “I have 4 year old twin grandsons, one loves stars, the other loves anything blue. So, for Christmas last year I made companion quilts for them: one white with blue stars – the other blue with white stars. Each quilt had 81 hand appliqued stars! Obviously, Grammie cannot count as I made 82 of the white with blue stars!” When Kathi’s block arrived, I was getting pretty nervous that I would not be able to fit one more 10” block into the mix, so I was so happy when I opened the envelope to see that I could work it into one of the 5” blocks. Thanks Kathi! 

Grace Thorne, Fredericksburg, Maryland. (City Mouse Quilter). Grace has to be one of the most prolific quilters out there during this whole pandemic. Do scroll through her posts (here) to see all that she has accomplished during what she calls her “Coronacation”. I specifically asked Grace for a small block so I could fit it in either category. Thanks Grace for this perfect 9-patch! 

Just a few more morsels before assembly begins. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

June Monthly Mini

Pay no attention to the date at the top of this post! I guess I forgot to press the button last night.

Well, another month has flown by. My sewing hours have been happily devoted to my “Community Supper” quilt, so this month’s mini had to be super simple.

Something light to represent the onset of summer with a touch of red to show the frustration we are all feeling these days. I grabbed the basket of “lights” and started whacking. Simple mindless stitching. 

When I started this one I was going to call it, “The Light at the End of the Tunnel” aka “Bye Corona”, but it became evident as I traveled onward that the end was nowhere in sight. Then I thought about, “The Thin Red Line”, to show the courage we have had to muster during this pandemic. But, I feel that term is one of honor for the military and firefighters and I do not want to diminish the respect we all have for them. So, I decided on "Unsettled".   

Take a gander at what my fellow mini makers have come up with this month. Keep checking in as some may (like me) be a bit late in posting. And, some may be having issues with the new Blogger. Argh! I say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Quilting Babcia (AmityQuilter)

And, you may have noticed the way I put triangles in the corners of my minis instead of hand stitching a sleeve across the top.
My friend Shirley goes one better by leaving the top of the corner open so you can slide a dowel right through.

Clever! I’m going to use this method next time. Thanks Shirley!