Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Design Wall - BOM Progress

This has been a challenging couple of weeks for me -- with my favorite sewing machine in the shop, I have been going through withdrawals, then sadness, then cleaning (watching too much of the hoarder shows). I did manage to finish the January BOM at the very top above, designed by Quilt Dad, but had to rip -- when you change machines, always test your 1/4" first. Thanks to Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works, this is the perfect little BOM for using a Layer Cake.

For other design walls -- visit Judy at Patchwork Times and say hello.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vintage Block #1

Tuesday, I showed an old block from my Great-grandmother's stash. Here is the block re-created in EQ. If I find the official name for the block, I will come back and update this post.

My main sewing machine will be in the shop a little longer, so I am still going through boxes and cleaning out my room. There are so many projects that I would like to work on, but they will have to wait. If I start getting withdrawals, I can always sew on the spare -- just not as much fun.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vintage Blocks

While my sewing machine is in the shop, I have been cleaning my sewing room and visiting some of the vintage blocks left behind by my Great Grandmother Mary, "Granny". I was 13 when she died (in her 80's), however I was very blessed to have inherited her love for quilting. As a child, I remember her always sewing (by hand). In her later years, the quilt tops accumulated and then passed on to her oldest daughter (my grandmother) for finishing.

Many of the quilts tops finished were given to family members over the years. Following my grandmother's passing, my sister Phyllis and I now have several of those unfinished tops and blocks ready for assembly. Some are beyond use and very fragile -- mostly because the fabric came from worn clothing. What better use of these treasurers? Inspiration for new quilts.

I love the little block above made from shirtings and gingham. Looks like something else loved it too as a snack. Using EQ, I have sketched the block and will save for a special quilt in the future.
The partially made block above must have been a practice block. All hand-pieced, this scrappy block was used many times in Granny's finished quilts -- if only someone had thought to take pictures of them before giving them away.

Although I have already set up one of my spare sewing machines, I have been enjoying this time visiting these old blocks -- not to mention a cleaner space.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Design Wall - January Color Challenge

A couple of months ago, we redid our master bathroom shower. We now have fresh painted walls -- NO MORE WALL PAPER!!! I have yet to hang anything, not wishing to have holes in the wall. Judy at Patchwork Times and Vicki at Field Trips in Fiber have teamed up for a 2012 Color Palette Challenge. I am working on a small little artsy quilt for one of the master bath walls. The blocks will finish at 4 1/2". Although the lighting in my room is a little off, every color in the palette has been used, plus one light neutral. I am undecided on a border -- so time will tell.

Most of us can label our quilting style by now. I am a piecer -- I love cutting fabric up into pieces and sewing them back together. Not "thrilled" with paper-piecing, not "good" with applique'. Let me clarify -- my fingers are not good with hand applique' -- practice does not always make perfect -- it makes sore joints. I have also tried iron-on applique', but not happy with the stiffness.

Recently I decided to try a simple "Starch Applique", which was graciously shared by Natalia Bonner at Piece N Quilt. Let me just say, this girl has it going!!! Natalie is a young mother and wife, a long-arm quilter, pattern designer etc, etc, etc! I love her method of using starch. It washes out, making the quilt so snugly and soft.

I have been enjoying a three-day weekend, which is almost over. DH and DS are hunting -- ahhh quiet -- so I am heading back to sewing, but first I need to check out other design walls at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

ORCA Bay -- Units Done

Another holiday with Bonnie Hunter has come and gone. Orca Bay is coming to an end and I know that I will be happy with the finished quilt. I used aqua blues, orange reds and black/whites -- for the border units, used the same white print fabric -- there was no room on the wall to show the border units. As soon as the rows are labeled, everything comes down and will be stacked for sewing later. Whew!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blogger's BOM - All Caught Up

All ready for January 25th -- when the next BOM goes live! The most recent pair, all the way on top is from Pat Sloan -- love it! Now I wait patiently for the next BOM from John over at Quilt Dad. I am so glad I started this -- it is a nice slow pace to keep up with in-between all the busy work.

I am also glad to have something new for Sarah's Whoop Friday! Head on over to Confession of a Fabric Addict to see who else is cookin'!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quilting to Heal, Quilts for Healing (Get Kleenex)

July 11, 2011 --- Just a short 6 months ago today -- Miss Marie, the family Matriarch left behind her husband of over 60 years, three sons, and four daughters. One of her daughters, Barbara (below) began a mission -- healing her broken heart, and helping to heal those close.

Taking her mom's clothing (and some of her Dad's), Barbara cut squares of cottons and knits; new and old; and stained from life's Journey. Her goal, to make NINE !!!, no, it is not a typo, NINE!!! quilts for her Dad, 3 brothers, 3 sisters and her mom's sister -- and of course herself -- all by Christmas. Was she crazy? No, she just needed to fill this large missing "piece" -- how else, but to "piece" together NINE Healing Quilts.

Did Barbara make her Goal of NINE quilts by Christmas Eve? Before I answer that, did I mention she did not know how to sew??? Did I mention she did not own a sewing machine???

Where does "one" start? Well -- the stars begin lining up -- Her sister-in-law Marie is a quilter, ok, "first base" has been achieved. SIL Marie loans her a cutting mat, rotary cutter, several tips to get started and a little sewing time on SIL's machine. "Second Base" -- Barbara treats herself to a little sewing machine of her own, thread and a walking foot. "Third Base" -- Barbara makes NINE tops, NINE backs, and sandwiches each on the living room floor. Tears! Broken Thread! Needle Problems! Late Nights! More Tears!

Then, in exchange for grilled steaks made by Barbara's hubby Lynn (YUUUUM), I headed to their home to give a quicky lesson on machine quilting using the walking foot.

Again, do you think Barbara hit the "Home Run"??? The quilt above and at the top -- is #9, which is for her Aunt. The quilt below -- #1 (Barbara's), is the one I took home and quilted it especially for her.

Now ... about those other quilts: #2 - #8! All were Delivered Christmas Eve at their Family gathering. HOME RUN!!!

With not a dry eye in the room, Barbara presented each with a memory of their mom. Each quilt, SEVEN blocks across (July) and ELEVEN blocks down (11th of July). Each with the family names and birthdates embroidered by a very close friend. Each with a lock of hair tucked in a shirt-pocket from their mom.

I cannot begin to explain how proud her mom must be of her. I can only assume, she sat by Barbara's side cheering her on, supporting the need for her to finish this mission. Of course, Barbara will continue to miss her mom, but each day will become easier.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blogger's BOM - December Done

I now have September, October and November (on top row) done. This is a great little project to fit in between piecing -- i.e., a leader and ender project for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt and my "Dance of the Tiger" that I am still working on. This BOM project is hosted by Jackie with Canton Village Quilt Works. The November block was designed by Stephanie at Loft Creations, with directions on her site. I only have Pat Sloan's December BOM left and then I will be caught up.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Design Wall -- Slow Piecing Week

October BOM - DONE! I am a late starter in the BOM hosted by Jackie at Canton Village -- but here is Block 2. Vicki, with Field Trips in Fiber designed the above block -- so cute and simple. I am using a layer cake from Moda, Basic Grey/Origins and making 2 blocks each month. Of course, I still need to make November and December to catch up -- January will be posting on the 25th.

Finished quilting my sister's project Sunday -- Phyllis is such a great piecer -- everything is so precise!

Here is a "surprise" project that I finished a couple of weeks ago -- HOWEVER I need to be careful and not be in too much of a hurry, notice the safety pin below. Apparently, while passing the lint brush, I discovered a missed area. Good thing I caught before shipping it off to Amy.

I love reproduction fabric -- which you will see again and maybe again yet. I have enough for at least 3 more quilts. This one (no name yet) will be sent to it's new home in Houston, with an unveiling later on.

It's late, and I won't be sewing tonight -- so I need to rush over to Judy's at Patchwork Times and link up with the rest of Monday Design Walls. AND -- I just read that Judy will be receiving a shipment of her newest book, 60 Pieced Borders very soon. I am so glad I pre-ordered, because my autographed book will be arriving here very soon. CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WIP - Blogger's Block of the Month

Jackie, from Canton Quilt Works is hosting a Blogger's Block of the Month! Each month a guest will introduce a new block -- the first by Sherri, of A Quilting Life was published in September 2011.

Last year, I received a Basic Grey/Origins Layer Cake (Moda) as a gift. I have been holding these beauties for just the right project. The BOM is 8", so I will make 2 of each. I only have 3 months to catch up before the next block is introduced.

Other WIP -- The holidays are over, so I am also back to quilting tops -- my goal is to at least finish the 2011 Monochromatic Tops from the challenge hosted by Judy, at Patchwork Times. I did a project for every month, but quilting them as been the real challenge -- not enough hours in a day.

Behind the scenes, I am working on a special project for Black Cat Creations -- be sure to visit and sign up for their newsletter so as to not miss anything.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dance of the Tiger - Part III, Setting Triangles and Corners

All the setting triangles are pieced and the four pieced corners. The instructions for both are below. Later this month after I assemble all the blocks and come back for the borders -- of course, there is tiger fabric and a beautiful purple. For the other Parts and Progress, visit here.

For the 10 (ten) setting triangles and 4 (four) corners, you will need to cut 66 half square triangles -- I cut from 2 1/2" strips of the background fabric.

For the framing -- you will need 28 - half triangles cut from 1 1/2" strips of background (if using the easy angle).

Using the above diagram, make 10 sets of framing strips. The black strips are 1 1/2" x 10 1/2". The square is 1 1/2" (you will need 10).

The pieced triangles are made from 6 purple 2 1/2" squares, 4 background 2 1/2" squares and 5 half square triangles from the 2 1/2" strips (see above for cutting).

Frame each of the 10 triangles.

For the pieced corners, cut 4 (four) quarter triangles from 1 1/2" strips (I used the Companion ruler).

Above is a corner unit -- 3 purple squares (2 1/2"), 1 background (2 1/2"), 4 half square triangles, 1 quarter square triangle. The framing unit is only on one side, made from 1 - 1 1/2" x 10 1/2" black strip with 2 half square triangles cut from the 1 1/2" strips. Need four.

If you have not done so yet -- be sure to sign up for the Newsletter from Black Cat Creations!

And because it is Tuesday -- it is Quilt Story Time, where I am linking up for a visit.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday Design Wall - Orca Bay Progress

I am running late for the Monday Design Wall link with Judy at Patchwork Times and the Orca Bay link with Bonnie at Quiltville -- but not too late. I have several pieces done, but need to sew more components before putting them on the wall. I used aqua blues and orange/reds. Most of this has been done as leaders/enders to other projects ...... and in between quilting tops. I am very partial to scrappy and my favorite color is red - so naturally, I love this one.

For those following me on the "Dance of the Tiger", I will post the instructions to the triangle setting blocks and the four corners tomorrow. Tiger is no longer on the design wall and is ready for assembly later in the month. I have the inner borders all picked out -- a Tiger print of course, and a beautiful purple.