Thursday, July 19, 2018

Three Basket Versions

Picnic at Daybreak, the current pattern I am making, requires 100 basket blocks made three different ways. This has been fun seeing them take shape. I will be short and sweet today, and just get on with showing you the three versions. Scroll back to yesterday's post to see the pattern.

Block 1 has the fewest HSTs. Isn't it pretty in pale blue?

All my baskets are going to have either green or brown bottoms - the large HST. The small HSTs will be all the other colors in the Roman Holiday line.

Block 2, below, has one more HST added. In the example pictured, I tried using all yellow prints in the basket. I like this, but I don't intend to be "planned" in making all these blocks.

Block 3 has yet another HST added. I have made about 20 of this block so far. I really like this one. Heck, I should be honest - I like all of the combinations in all the versions! I guess with fabric this amazing, I just can't go wrong!

Did you notice the neutrals? I mostly have a wonderful Kona cotton cream-color for the background fabric, but a few of the neutrals from the Roman Holiday line were slipped into the HSTs and those will show up in random fashion throughout the quilt. I think when we see the big-picture quilt, it will make a lovely bit of added interest here and there.

I try to think like our grandmothers would have - they "made do." No fabric was wasted; substitutions were made out of necessity; and "close" was good enough. I did not want to waste the lighter fabrics from the line, so I am incorporating them into the small HSTs.

That's all for today, Peeps! We are off to see our daughters in Columbus, and then to a classic movie at the historic Ohio Theater - tonight's feature: A Streetcar Named Desire.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Endless Half-Square Triangles

Sharon and I designated July to be our month of sewing a quilt top using our precious stashes of Roman Holiday, a gorgeous fabric issued over 10 years ago by 3 Sisters/Moda. Both of us collected it, hoarded it, petted it, and have actually used it for some quilts already. But plenty of fabric remained, so we agreed to use this beautiful stuff together this month. It's so much more fun when one has a partner in crime; we encourage one another and keep each other accountable. I highly recommend this to anyone needed a nudge to get going on something.

Sharon is zipping right along with her quilt, Daisy Chain, a pattern designed specifically for jelly rolls. Click here to see her early work

For my version,  after determining that I would make a basket quilt, I found a free pattern that appealed to me on the Moda website; I downloaded it and have now made a good start.

This particular pattern calls for using Moda's Cake Mix recipe - a pad of papers designed for use with a layer cake of fabric. I did not have any layer cakes of Roman Holiday, so even though I bought the Cake Mix pad, I am not using the it. I did however, take from the cake mix the correct dimensions for cutting; I have made significant progress.

Making 704 2" half-square triangles has been something of a daunting task. The process is by no means difficult; it's just that there are sooo many. *sigh*  From a light and dark pair of 5" squares (charm pack size), I can make 8 of these triangles. I feel like an assembly line in producing these. But its very gratifying to see these little buggers pile up.

Triangles cut from 5" pairs of fabric.

Dog ears trimmed. 

Press open, seam allowance to the dark.
Trim to 2 inches.


More and more and more...

Fully prepped HSTs tossed into a tub.

Neutrals are both printed and solid.

And, still more and more and more...
A careful and conscientious quilter would have kept track of how many of these she'd made. I would not be that quilter. I probably need to make more, but for now I am moving forward with basket construction.

More on that soon!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hillsboro Quilt Show

This past weekend, the quilt guild over in Highland County hosted their quilt show at Hillsboro High School. Since Hillsboro is my hometown, and since I want to see their guild thrive and do well, I try to attend each year. The show is a small one, but I do always enjoy seeing the quilts and visiting the vendors.

Do you ever just have "moods?" I think I was in an antique quilt mood on Friday. While I saw several gorgeous quilts on display, for whatever reason I was particularly enamored with the old ones. Here are two that struck my fancy.

This was called a Horn of Plenty applique. I don't believe I have ever seen this pattern before. Very pretty, and look at the amazing quilting. If memory serves, the tag said it was over 150 years old.

This double wedding ring quilt reminded me of several old quilts that my grandmother made. To my knowledge, she never made a double wedding ring, but she did work with these types of fabrics - most likely feed sacks - in so many of her early quilts.

The quilt above is nothing very spectacular, but I really wanted to photograph it because it would be such a simple quilt to recreate - and fast, as the pieces are large. Only 13 star blocks (the intricate work, but not overly so) and large hourglass blocks for setting. I need to start thinking in terms of fast quilts, as I am not making my way through the fabric stash as quickly as I ought to be. Ha!

The quilt above was the first one I saw as I entered the door. My color doesn't do it justice. The deep burgundy red was very striking, and the whole quilt was just very pleasing to the eye. I found the border to be something quite different from the ordinary. Very nice.

Did I mention vendors? Oh, yes, I did make a small purchase. I found these four fat quarters in a shop and listened to them tell me to take them home with me. No purpose in mind, but they will enhance that stash I mentioned earlier.

Sharon is coming today, and we will continue our work on our Roman Holiday quilts. I will bring you pics of that fun stuff tomorrow.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

About P&B Textiles

I have become a big fan of P&B Textiles after a recent exchange I had with them. I had fabric strewn out everywhere when I was planning for the start of Blockheads 2.

In that auditioning process, I came out with a fat quarter pack of an old fabric group that I've had for years. Here is a picture of the fabrics; I wish I'd taken one while it was all still in tact, but I had them separated before I thought about it.

I couldn't remember anything regarding my history of buying and owning this fabric. I just knew it seemed like I'd had it for a really long time. I went to the google-machine to see if I could learn anything about it, and that really didn't yield much information, either. Since I couldn't even close in on a decade for when I purchased this, the search turned up a whole lot of nothing.

That's when I decided to search for the company - P&B Textiles. I figure that these fabric companies have an archive of all their fabrics and the dates each were released. So I began a new search. Wow. That proved interesting. I gave up on the internet search and opted for the Facebook search. I was sure they would have a business page. And I was right. You can click here to see it.

On June 15, I sent a private message to the company: 
I want to know the year of release on a fabric pack I own. It’s called Treasures of the York County Heritage Trust presented by Roberta Benvin and Joan Hamme. Can you provide the year? Thanks. 
On June 19, I received this response:
  I put a post up about the release date and someone came back with 2007 based on a post she found about a York County Heritage Trust release party.
 Interestingly, as this representative spent time searching the internet for the requested information, he came across my blog! How nice for him to mention it! Soon, he sent a pdf of a pattern that was released when the fabric came out.

I was blown away by the prompt attention to my query, and I am now a brand new fan of P&B Textiles. Here is another look at the fabrics in the pack.

 They are quite a vivid group of prints. I really am curious how my BH2 will look in this stack of fabrics. You will see it all as I move on along through the quilt-along.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, July 9, 2018

One Pattern; Two Looks

You saw my first blocks of the current Blockheads QAL on the last post. The look those blocks seemed to be creating was quite "busy," and I had the thought that I would be dissatisfied with that chaotic look. For that reason, I pulled out a second set of fabrics to make a tamer version of BH2. It is proving to be quite a study in contrasts.

Version 1

Version 2
Version 1 has all the primary colors and lots of movement in the designs. Version 2 fabric is understated, almost pastel in nature. The designs are subtle as opposed to vivid.  I hope I like the first version when all is said and done, but I know right now I LOVE the second version. It's been fun doing this QAL in two colorways, and I can make minor creative changes as I go - this is something I am seeing the designers do, and many quilters show their changes on the Facebook group page and Instagram. The whole experience has really been fun.

One of the biggest differences to this point is how I handled block 4 with the two colorways. I would not have thought to do this had I not seen similar variations on the social media sites. Take a look - both these blocks are the exact same pattern.

Making this block gave me more to consider than any to date; I spent a good bit of time studying the blocks made and shared by others before beginning my own. I like the way each one turned out, too, and I hope I continue to be challenged as future blocks are released.

And, now that I am working on the block for week 5, this wish is coming true. Block 5 is a whopping-sized block, and I don't have fabric pieces big enough to make it like the original. Some "creative changes" are inevitable.

I am working on block 5 today; sharing to come soon.
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Blockheads 2

When Blockheads 1 began over a year ago, I was late - way late - to the game. I backtracked, though, and printed off each pattern and continued to do so until it ended. Through it all, I probably only made two blocks. Maybe someday I will do them all, for I have seen some of the finished blockhead quilts on Facebook, the blogs, and Instagram - they look spectacular! So, someday...

Once I learned that Blockheads 2 was in the works, I made sure I was ready for it. I am still printing off the patterns, but this time I am actually making the blocks! And I am doing 2 quilts! I know, sorta' unbelievable. Let me show you the first quilt now. I will share the second quilt soon.

Block 1 - 12"

Block 2 - 6"

Blocks 1 and 2 for side-by-side comparing.

Blocks 1-4 - I must not have taken a pic of the 3rd block by itself.

Block 4 - Roman Cross; 12"
For these four weeks I am caught up; the 5th block has been released, and I will probably make it today or tomorrow.

The fabric I am using for this quilt is from a very old FQ pack I had in my stash called Treasures of the York Country Heritage Trust from P&B Textiles. I have a bit of a backstory on the fabric, which I will share in a day or two. I need to pull together some pictures and emails to properly explain it.

Our weather is, at last, delightful here in Ohio! We have been under such a scorching heat wave, this new fresh, cool air is certainly refreshing. Tonight we are going to Picnic with the Pops at the Columbus Commons with friends; bonus: our DD Erin and her DH Jeff will be joining us!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Organizing Mountains of Papers

I am a slob, in case anyone wonders. Some seamstresses need totally neat and tidy spaces. Not me. I can function just fine with piles and stacks all around me. Additionally, I have very little skill with organizing. I try, but I cannot for the life of me stay ahead of the clutter.

Here's proof:

The picture above was taken about 2 weeks ago. I was auditioning fabrics for blockheads, and the cutting table was an absolute fright of a mess. I have placed 4 arrows on the picture to indicate places where I had loose papers cluttering an area that was already cluttered. I am a hopeless collector of freebies from the internet and clippings from magazines. I was inundated with all these papers, and no system of keeping them organized.

I am happy to say things have changed, to a great extent, though. I bought a large box of page protectors and found a stack of empty 3-ring binders (we were both teachers and, consequently, have these in bulk quantities).  I moved to a side table and in a rare bout of systematic organizing, I tamed my massive quatities of papers.

Over the course of a few days, look at what I accomplished! Amazing! This is so unlike me!

All the items that I filed are held in plastic page protectors. I separated all into what I considered logical categories. I think I will find that this newly organized material will be easy to navigate - to find what I want when I want it. No wasting of time digging all over the place. (I have that tendency.) I am very pleased with this system! It is so out of character for me, and I am feeling quite smug at having done it!

And my table did get cleaned off, too. Cutting space on both ends has been reclaimed, and (almost) all that clutter has been put away. Whew. Now back to stitching.

Happy Quilting, Friends!