Monday, May 16, 2022

10th Annual Sweet Retreat

 This weekend the “Seven Sistahs” celebrated our 10th year of quilting together. We had a lovely place on Wells Beach that suited our needs perfectly. Maine reached record high temperatures on Saturday, but we stayed nice and cool in our cottage by the sea. 


 We chugged along with our projects, both by hand and machine. 



 I dumped a huge bag of scraps on the floor and watched the sharks circle and then swoop in for the kill. Kathy and Fotini just dove in.

Karen B. covered her body with her colorful choices.

What fun! 

I finished a lot of bindings and was able to baste this little piece and get a start on some of the applique. 


The one thing we all noticed this year is that as we get older, we accomplish more eating, drinking, and chatting than sewing. But, with all the world’s problems now solved, we can get a jump on next year’s projects! 


 Hope you all had a super weekend with friends!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

April Monthly Mini

 Really?? Did I actually think I would be able to get a monthly mini done with all I had on my plate? Time to pick up my fork and dig in! 



 I knew it had to be simple. Luckily, I had made a one of these years ago that I gave away so I already had all of the little 9-patches. Just a little pull from the scrap drawers and voila! It measures 8 1/2" x 10 1/2". Fun!

 


 I’m calling this one, “Second Spring”. We haven’t really had a first yet, but I gave all those little 9-patches a new lease on life so…

 Pick up the trowel and dig around in our fellow mini makers sites for signs of Spring!

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)

Nancy (Joy For Grace)

Joy (Joyful Quilter)

Julie (Julie K Quilts)

Kathy (Kathy’s Quilts)

Katy (Katy Quilts)

Sandy (My Material Creations)

Meredithe (Pomegranate and Chintz)

Angie (Quilting on the Crescent)

Barbara (Quilts, Gravestones and Elusive Ancestors)

Janet (Rogue Quilts)

Tazzie (Tazzie Quilts)

Kyle (Timeless Reflections)

Cynthia (Wabi-Sabi Quilts)

Friday, April 15, 2022

A Quilt for the Easter Bunny!

 

I’ve made many quilts for dogs and I’ve made a few quilts for rescue cats, but I had never seen one made for a bunny until now.

 My friend Karen M. made this sweet little quilt for her niece’s rabbit, “Ivy”. It is so adorable!

Ivy 

Karen used a variety of reproduction quilts featuring bunnies. I’m sure Ivy will love every inch! 

 Happy Easter to all!

 

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Cecile and Corinne Sampler sew-a-long

 

Finis! 

 The theme for Cecile and Corinne’s quilt-a-long this year was “sampler”. The rules were that it had to be 50% pieced and 50% appliqued with a minimum of 16 blocks.

 My inspiration came from chocolate (of course). I used the soft buttery yellow of the Whitman’s Sampler and added colors and motifs from a few of my old boxes. 

 

 After all the blocks were laid out, I auditioned several border fabrics. I really wanted a lavender, but I just couldn’t find the right one. 

 


This vintage feedsack in a soft pink “cross stitch” look seemed the best fit. 

I was looking for a fabric with chocolates in it for the backing when I found this – more fitting – cross stitch print in the perfect colors.


It is both hand and machine quilted.

 This is my 5th year of participating in this fun quilt-a-long. In the past I have donated the quilts to the American Quilt Study Group and the Maine State Museum. For this one, I am trying to find a place that is selling or auctioning quilts to raise funds for Ukraine as it really isn't big enough to be of use to refugees. If any of you know of any such sites, please let me know.

 Thanks Cecile and Corinne!!

Monday, April 4, 2022

Spectacular Day at NEQM

 

I have been wanting to get down to see Barb Vedder’s (Fun with Barb) quilts at the New England Museum since it opened in January. Finally, I was able to free up a day and it just happened to be the same day that the American Quilt Study Group was holding its regional quilt study day. Win – win!

 I knew Barb’s quilts were spectacular. I have seen many of them in person, but to see so many hung so beautifully was truly amazing. I photographed every one of them but I am only going to give you a taste because her exhibition doesn’t end until Saturday and I hope to entice those of you in New England to head down now!

 We took our photo in front of my favorite Barb quilt (although it is hard to choose a favorite!), “My Mother’s Garden”. I have loved it since the first time I saw it and I didn’t even know Barb then. 


 I wanted to focus on her Alice Payne quilt to showcase her talent in reproducing an antique quilt, but in the process making it truly her own. This is the gorgeous original antique made by Alice Payne in the mid 19th century. 


 And, this is Barb’s interpretation.


Some blocks she made close to the original, and in some, she used Alice’s inspiration and added her own fun little elements to make them truly unique. I was so happy to finally see this quilt in person. 

Alice's eagle
 
Barb's eagle

Alice's block 

Barb's block - bullseye or solar system? You decide. 
 
Alice's block
 

Barb's block - her creativity really shows in this one!!

This quilt is also an inspiration to me. I was with her in Vermont when Pepper Cory showed us this quilt. Sorry, I don’t have a photo of the original, but believe me she took the inspiration and then made hers sing with excitement. I love it. 

 I’m not going to show any more of Barb’s quilts. I will let her share the whole thing when the exhibition ends next week.

 As for the quilt study. There were 21 of us and we all brought the earliest quilt in our collection. I can’t share photos of these quilts because people asked that their photos not be published. The one I brought was made around 1840 but of course I was so excited to see all the other quilts, I forgot to take a good photo while it was all laid out. I will show it another time.

I can show you this remarkable bed hanging that belongs to the museum. Marcus Fabrics made reproductions of many of these prints years ago as part of one of JudieRothermel’s collections. Aren’t these amazing? 





 I was so thankful to be able to ride down with my friend Laurie whom I hadn’t seen in ages so it made the whole day truly complete!

 Hope you all had a lovely weekend as well!

Thursday, March 31, 2022

March Monthly Mini

 Remember those tiny scraps leftover from last month’s mini? I cut the remaining pieces into 1 x 1 ½” inch rectangles and just started piecing them together. Oh, how I love the result! 


 Every fabric is a different Betsy Chutchian print and they finish ½” x 1”. I know Janet (Rogue Quilts) will be so proud of me!

 After trying a number of Betsy prints for the border, I settled on this gorgeous soft blue. It really sets off all that tiny mayhem in the center. And, yes, another quilt made without corner blocks. I could be on a new tack.

 I quilted straight lines in the ditch. You can see where my needle slipped out of the ditch in a few places.


Now, I know some of you may cringe, but I cannot stand to “undo” stitches so when this happens to me, I just do a little Micron magic to cover it up.

This never happens when I hand quilt!

 The last of the scraps are in the “scrid” jar with all the other pieces that are “two small to use, but too pretty to through away”. So, I have decided to call it “Finale”.

 Let’s see what our fellow miniacs have finalized this month.

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)

Nancy (Joy For Grace)

Joy (Joyful Quilter)

Julie (Julie K Quilts)

Kathy (Kathy’s Quilts)

Katy (Katy Quilts)

Sandy (My Material Creations)

Meredithe (Pomegranate and Chintz)

Angie (Quilting on the Crescent)

Barbara (Quilts, Gravestones and Elusive Ancestors)

Janet (Rogue Quilts)

Tazzie (Tazzie Quilts)

Kyle (Timeless Reflections)

Cynthia (Wabi-Sabi Quilts)

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Snippet Fun!

 My local “Kaleidoscope” quilt group had such a fun project this month. We made “snippet” quilts. 


 We each brought our own supplies: An inspirational image (painting, photograph, etc.) a roughly 10” square of batting and backing, scissors, glue stick and a bag of scraps. 
This Henry Isaacs painting was my inspiration. 

 Each person starts her own quilt by cutting and gluing pieces onto the batting. After 5 minutes, we pass the quilt, the picture and our bag of scraps (keeping our own scissors and glue stick) along to the person to our right. Each person has 5 minutes before they have to pass it along to the next person. We allotted around 30 minutes, so 6 people had their input onto each quilt. We had a ball!

This is after the fourth person was finished – two more to go. 


 In the end you simply add tulle (I used a light green) over the entire piece (to keep the little pieces contained) and quilt and bind it. 

This is the one I made last time we did this, over 10 years ago! 
I glued the inspiration picture on the back next to my label. 

If your group is looking for something fun to do, I highly recommend it. 


Monday, March 21, 2022

National Quilting Day Lows and Highs

 

I hope everyone had a fun and productive National Quilting Day on Saturday. Mine started out with a giant hiccup, but after a walk to calm the mind, it ended up just fine!

 I started by trimming two of the borders for my “Bird’s Nest Soup” in preparation for binding (you may remember that this is a potholder quilt and all the center blocks are already stitched together). After careful cutting, I decided it would be best to double check my measurements. Yup, they were both an inch and a quarter too short. After a few moments of reflection, I popped the quilt into the washer with about 100 color catchers. After a few minutes in the dryer (I know, just breathe…) I set it out on the bed and picked up the tape measure. It was hard to measure with my fingers crossed so tightly, but miracle of miracles, it had shrunk exactly 1” all around.

 Before I started binding, I spread everything on the floor. Hmm…, second disaster of the day. I didn’t like it at all. Maybe it will look better in a photo


– ah, no!! This is one of the problems of not having a design wall big enough to audition everything at once. This is where I take my (long) walk.

 When I returned, I knew that it truly wasn’t going to work for me and that I had to salvage this somehow. The quilt could stand on its own at this point but I had my heart set on a border and I already have the corner blocks done. So, off to the drawing board. I have a number of things in mind which I will share when they are finalized.

 The good news it that I have been thinking about a “strippy” potholder quilt for a long time and with those silly border pieces, it is already half done!!

 After all this turmoil, I needed a pick me up. I grabbed some happy juvenile novelty prints and started cutting squares. I used Katy’s (KatyQuilts) US map quilt as my inspiration. What fun! Thanks Katy!


The squares finished 2 ½” and I realized it wasn’t quite big enough to be useful for a crib quilt, so I added this marvelous border. 

This was designed by Brandon Mably for the Kaffe Fassett Collection. 

I adore it and am sad to now be down to one 5” strip. I'll quilt it next weekend. I’m sure it will be cheerfully used by some precious child.

 And, to top it all off… I played thread chicken and won!!

So, my day ended on a happy note and I hope yours all did too!

 Happy Spring!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Healing My Heart With My Hands

 

I want to thank each and every one of you for such kind comments on the loss of my mother. It means a lot to me to know I have so many dear quilting friends.

 Needless to say, it was a rough weekend. All of her 5 children and most of her 10 grandchildren were able to be with her. As we sat together, we couldn’t help but feel helpless for our situation and for the world and the Ukrainian people. Mum would have been the first to ask “what can I do to help”.

I spent Sunday after noon piecing blocks to send to Claudia Pfeil in Germany, who will be making them into quilts to give to refugees as needed. There are more organizations who are coming together to help now too, but this was the first I saw. Here is the link to her plea on the Quilt Show. I could only fit 10 into the Global Priority envelope but I am sure I will be sending more as other opportunities open up. 



I made a number of easy pieced ones to fill out the envelope. 

 My mother was an artist and she was always making drawings for her grandchildren. I will leave you with a few she has made for us over the years. 


 




Have a wonderful day! 

Update: It is difficult to know which sites are the best for donating to the Ukraine people. I just went to Pat Sloan's blog (here) and she has a wonderful free pattern and a link to donate money through Unicef. With a smile like Pat's you know it must be trustworthy!