Saturday, July 31, 2021

July Monthly Mini


My mini this month, is reminiscent of one of the many summer jobs I had in my youth. Our neighbor, Howie Davison was a well seasoned square dance “caller” who owned and operated the historic, “Merry Barn” in Edgecomb, Maine. He held square dances every Saturday night from June through September.

 He also took his microphone on the road to teach at many of the summer camps that are so prevalent in our beautiful state of Maine. It was my job to demonstrate the dances and help keep everyone “in step”. We lived a pretty sheltered life in our rural setting so it was a great experience to meet children from various walks of life. It was definitely my favorite summer job. Of course, given that babysitting and filling bait bags for lobster traps were some of my other obligations, it seems an obvious choice. 

 The center of this mini is from one of my vintage feedsacks. It is a border print and I have it in 3 colorways. The 4 corner blocks are from another vintage feedsack and the yellow print is a c1940 fabric. After I had stitched the border on, I noticed that the poor guy in the center had a boot on top of his head!

I didn’t have enough fabric to cut another piece so I simply appliqued a semicircle over the boot. Hardly noticeable after quilting! 

The backing is also a vintage feedsack.

Obviously square dancing was a popular theme for early 20
th century fabric manufacturers.  I’ve named it, “Swing Your Partner” as that was my favorite “call” in square dancing.

 Get your toes and fingers tapping and click to see what our friends have been up to.

Quilting Babcia (Amity Quilter)

Randy (Barrister’s Block)

Cathy (Big Lake Quilter)

Cyndi (Busy Thimble) 

Grace (City Mouse Quilter)

Barb (Fun with Barb)

Gladi (Gladi’s Quilts)

Shasta (High Road Quilter)

Julie (Julie K Quilts)

Kathy (Kathy’s Quilts)

Katy (Katy Quilts)

Sandy (My Material Creations)

Angie (Quilting on the Crescent)

Barbara (Quilts, Gravestones and Elusive Ancestors)

Kyle (Timeless Reflections)

Cynthia (Wabi-Sabi Quilts)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Bird's Nest Soup

 My summer applique project is now in full swing. Most people call this style of applique “tile”, but here in New England (or at least in Maine) we call it “stonewall”. I prefer that name anyway since they are among my favorite things. You will never get lost in the woods if you simply follow a stonewall. 

 There will be a bird in the center of each 9” block surrounded by random bits of delicious fabrics. I have tried to stay with reproductions from before 1850 to give it an early feel. I am also trying not to use the same fabric twice so I may have to break my pre1850 rule. I am having a ball grabbing fabrics and simply chopping them into weird shapes and stitching them down. So satisfying!

 This one just begged for me to use the potholder method. When I went to layer my first block for quilting, I discovered that I had mismeasured. Yup – the very first block measures 9” x 9 ½”!

I could have remedied that by simply taking off the corner circles on that one side. However, I am cutting the backs out and placing a tiny bit of batting behind each one (just the corner circles, not the other applique shapes) to make them “pop” a bit more. 

Of course I had already cut out the back out of these so... into the “orphan block” box it goes!

 The next block was perfectly square! I’m using toiles for the back of each block. This is one of my favorites from my friend Judy Roche (and Corinne Kramer). I just adore it. 

 I’m going to call it “Bird’s Nest Soup”, which fits my method of using some reference to cooking when naming my potholder quilts.

 Hope you are getting lots of fun sewing in too.

Friday, July 23, 2021

What a Noodle!!


So sorry!

 I had some bad spam comments and when I went to delete them, I must have hit the wrong button so no one could comment!

 I simply cannot be trusted to fix my own internet problems. It always gets me in hot water, and in this outfit that could be dangerous! 

 Hope it is fixed now. Will be posting more about the summer applique projects soon. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Summer Stitching - Circles and more


I’ve been sewing a bit every day, but can’t seem to muster the time (or energy) to post. 

 I have finished 220 of the 238 appliqued circle blocks needed for my Betsy quilt. I am now waiting for “Maria’s Sky” to arrive to finish the final 18. They finish 4” and no fabric was duplicated. Yes, that amounts to 476 Betsy Chutchian fabrics! Haven’t decided on a border yet. I’ve had fun with the circles. Mindless applique each morning helps get me ready for the day! 

I am not a ruler collector. I have used the same 12 ½” Optima ruler for years. When the numbers faded away, I was able to find one online but it came in a set of 4 different sizes. I took the smallest (4 ½”) one and taped a circle in the center to make the trimming of these little guys a breeze. 

I cut the backs out of all my circles and sent them to a friend who loves to applique circles as much as I do! 

 And, since there was a lull in the circle applique, I decided to start something new. I have wanted to make another “stonewall” (aka “tile”) quilt for quite a while. The center of each block will be some sort of bird surrounded by simple, random shapes of early reproduction prints. And yes, I am once again utilizing the potholder method. There will eventually be thirty two 9” finished blocks and one 18” block in the center. This should keep me busy for the rest of the summer!  

 Hope you are all getting some summer stitching in.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Maine Quilts: 250 Years of Comfort and Community


I have been remiss in posting about the publication of a most marvelous book. My friend Laurie LaBar’s “MaineQuilts: 250 Years of Comfort and Community”  is finally here!

It was to be published in conjunction with the Maine bicentennial, but we all know what happened in 2020 to delay and delay and delay the process. But good things come to those who wait and this one is really a gem. You can get a copy (here).

 Lots of wonderful photos and history of Maine quilts. 

 My local group’s charity endeavors are featured. 

 And, a few shady Maine characters are mentioned as well… 

 One of my favorite parts is the story of my friend Judy Roche’s quilt. Judy followed along with Audrey’s (QuiltyFolk) Quilty 365, making one circle block a day. What is unique about Judy’s quilt is that she recorded the day’s events along the seam allowance of each circle. What a marvelous thing to do. It is a real treasure. 

Judy's quilt reminds me of Shasta’s (High Road Quilter)  “quote” quilt that I have been enjoying immensely and am now inspired to do something like this myself. Stay tuned!