Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Village Roof-Making

Roof construction is well underway here in the quilting room. With all the houses made last week at retreat, I have just had roofs to finish off this week. Then assembling the two parts will commence.

Making the roofs for these houses involves some significant trimming. Why? Because we have significant bias edges. Those can be buggers if one isnt' careful. No stretching allowed!

So above, we have a stack of roofs needed to be trimmed. I like that the pattern is so clear in how to measure and cut for the trim. It's nearly perfect every time. If any of them are off, it's because I was less than accurate in my sewing.

The photo above shows what the block looks like before and after trimming. That is some significant size difference, isn't it?

After trimming 10 or 15 houses, the stack of trimmings looks like this. Sigh, I hate waste, but I would also hate dealing with wonky parts that don't fit right because of a stretched bias edge.

Oh, the quilter problems!!

I've linked up today with Silly Mama Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Made at Retreat

In yesterday's post I shared the projects I worked on at retreat - the finishes, anyway. I have a couple of WIPs that saw some action, as well.

I took my Village house parts with the idea of sewing quite a lot of them together. Alas! I only brought house bottoms - no roofs anywhere! So I will be busy with roof construction in the next few days. The pattern calls for 132 houses, but I will end up with just under 100. If I can piece together more parts, I will, but for now, I think I have used about all the Coriander Quilts charm packs I had.

Fortunately, I'd brought along another project just in case. Remember when I cut out the wrong quilt for a retreat challenge two years ago? Here's the post explaining it. Well I'd never taken the time to actually sew that fully cut-out quilt, so I can now report that it is in the initial phase of construction. Yay! I am really going to like it, I think! It's called Best of All, a pattern by Country Threads. Each block has 49 pieces (I think) so it is a time-consuming process, but the results will be oh-so-worth-it!

My retreat friends were also ultra-productive through the last week. I was not totally on top of my photographing and record-keeping game, but I have three finishes to share.

First, Terry finished off a jelly roll race quilt in some lovely Barbara Brackman fabrics. We had a good bit of sunlight and yellow overhead lights, so it's looking a bit washed out, unfortunately.

Next, we have a big quilt from Laura, who typically prefers making mini quilts and doll quilts. She has a thing for scrappy, though, and with leaders and enders, she made this scrappy 9-patch.

And last, but certainly not least, Jan cranked out a Friendship Star quilt made from Crown Royal flannel bags. This is a thing with Jan - she's made several over the years, and since people know she collects CR bags, people from all over save them for her.

It's safe to say that all who attended retreat accomplished quite a lot of sewing. We were together from Tuesday through Friday, and we worked very steadily. We are already signed up for next year and I can't wait!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Our recent quilt retreat proved to be quite productive in that I finished three projects - all WIPs or UFOs. Having these things "nagging" me over the past few weeks and months had become rather a burden, and it feels like a weight has been removed by having them done - to the flimsy stage, at least.

First, I concentrated on the final steps of the Star and Chain quilt - the Thimbleberries project which was left over from last year's retreat. The blocks were all completed, and through the early part of this month I had been working on sashing strips. Basically, all I needed to do at retreat was to stitch the rows together. That required a lot of pinning and pressing, but the resulting quilt is so worth it.

Next on my to-do list was to add borders to my swap quilt - actually, a mini-quilt. Six of us in the Frankfort Girls group exchanged blocks and made the arbitrary goal of having the mini-quilts together for retreat. I needed to add my borders. So here is that quick job completed.

I probably will hand quilt this mini using a Baptist Fan motif with big-stitches. This style of quilting appeals to me as does the muted, low-volume look of this quilt; I am glad to have a chance to see it all coming together.

My third finish of the retreat involved facing a repair job - fixing my Jelly Roll fiasco from last September. I made such a mess of that seemingly easy quilt, that I just stuffed it away for 6+ months in aggravation. It definitely had been the biggest "nagging" quilt of the three, so I did the best I could with it - the old make lemonade out of lemons theory - and I think this finish will be just fine. Should anyone study the construction, they will surely wonder why there's an odd seam going down the length of the quilt. Once it's quilted, though, I suspect it will be nearly invisible.

In a few days, I plan to share the ugly truths about the errors I made with this easy quilt. I need to get my thoughts sorted out, first, and figure out how to explain it simply. Honestly, I am not really sure what all I did wrong at this point.

So those are my finishes. Right proud of this, for sure - I gleefully checked them off my list. Gives me a "clean slate" sort of feeling.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sharon's Latest Finish

Since the beginning of the year, Sharon has been in a blue-and-white mood, and the resulting blue and white quilts are wonderful. We began the year with our Snow Shoo quilts (she made one and I made one). Now she has finished an absolutely stunning Triple Irish Chain. This was the photo shoot from last Monday when she was here for our weekly sewing date. It is gorgeous!


You may recall that Sharon was inspired by the cover of a recent Minick and Simpson book.

The cover quilt has a zig-zag border which Sharon has opted to omit. There will be no borders on hers as she is nearly out of the blue she used. This borderless version looks spectacular, and really does not need anything else - its understated beauty speaks for itself.

Isn't it great to have finishes? Time together each week keeps us both on our game - we are now making plans to do another "together" project like we did with Snow Shoo. I think it will be using our Roman Holiday scraps in June. We need this much time to consider blocks and patterns that will accentuate our dwindling remnants. You'll be sure to hear all about it as we move toward the summer months.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

New Tablecloth

On Sunday afternoon, I took a little drive over to visit Mom. She'd hinted earlier in the week that she was pulling things out to donate to the upcoming church rummage sale, and maybe I'd like to sort through what would be donated? Yes, for sure. I seem to serve as the repository of family memorabilia. *grin*

I will show you the box and some of the goodies in an upcoming post, but for today I want to show you the awesome tablecloth I made from a lovely length of fabric tucked down in said box.

I did a rough measure and I believe this was a hunk of about 3 yards. It is heavy-weight home-dec style fabric, and the color is the softest, most appealing blue. I had an immediate need for a tablecloth, so this was a serendipitous "find."

At some point when life slows down a little bit, I will do some research on this fabric to see how old it is. Doesn't really matter though, since I love it in its new life as a tablecloth!

The Frienzies came to dinner on Monday evening, and the tablecloth I had intended to use was the wrong size. I found myself in a quandary until I pulled this fabric out of the box. I spent an easy hour Monday morning cutting off excess and hemming. Voila! It was perfect for my spring-themed table.

Thanks, Momma, for the fun box of goodies! This was an unexpected surprise - a happy accident sort of thing. Yaay!

The centerpiece was a simple one - daffodils from our garden and pink whatever-they-ares from Krogers. *smiles*

My absence this week from blogger-land is because I am at Canter's Cave for our quilt retreat. I will have a plethora of material for posts coming up, so be patient with me! I promise to share it all.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Moda Blockheads

Several Moda designers - some of the biggest names in the quilt world - joined together about a year ago to present a 6-inch block of the week (BOW). All together there were nearly 50, I would guess. I followed along and saved all the patterns - maybe someday I will make these blocks into a quilt, you know? I did make two of the blocks, but I knew I would never keep up, so I collected for that magical "someday."

The designers were Carrie Nelson (remember her from last month?), Lisa Bongean, Jo Morton, Betsy Chutchian, Lynne Hagmeirer, Jan Patek. The blog from Bear Creek offered a thorough explanation of the Blockhead program.

Here's a picture of Carrie with me at the Village workshop. She was so much fun - one of those people you just know could be one of your best buds if you lived anywhere near.

The Blockheads project was a huge success, evidenced by the massive number of quilters who followed them on their Facebook group page. I loved seeing all the variety of colors and fabrics; many made changes to suit individual preferences. That FB group was a wonderfully supportive and encouraging group. True "community."

Well, in the last month or so, many of the quilters who did actually sew along with the designers are now showing off their finished quilts. I have been saving pictures of the ones that I am most enamored with. Granted all of them are beautiful, but a few really appeal to my tastes or style.

I thought I would share a few of my favorites so far. I am sure more and more of these will be posted, so I know I will continue to add to this group.

As I study these three quilts and try to pinpoint why they appeal to me so, I have concluded that there are two factors at play here.

One, I like the idea of a color family, as opposed to a scrappy look. This surprises me, for I have made quite a lot of scrappy quilts, and I love them. But for this project, the controlled color options seem more pleasing. Now, if you study these quilts, two of the three are scrappy-ish. The difference is that the background is consistent, and that offers enough "control" that I don't immediately see a scrappy quilt.

Second, I like the interesting settings. Separating the blocks, which are so varied in their looks, with setting blocks or interesting sashing options lets my eyes "rest" a bit from the otherwise "busy" nature of the quilt.

Soon, like maybe next month, a second round of Blockheads will begin. I have yet to decide if I will join in, but I am certainly going to collect these blocks, as well.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bar Stools Makeover

We have been in our house since 1992. That first Christmas, my sister gifted us with 4 bar stools, unfinished-furniture-style. We did nothing to them for several years, then painted them light blue. A few years ago, I got the bright idea to add padding to the woven-jute seats and cover with fabric. I liked the look of the padded seats, but they wear out over time. Here's the post about that first upholstering effort.

The worn spots had become quite unsightly, but I didn't really have any ideas for changing them out until a big "ah-ha" moment hit me a couple of days ago - use the remnants from the family room curtains I made back in January!

The remnants, however, were all very long, narrow pieces of fabric; I would  have to piece it to make a big enough portion to cover two seats. So I did. With a close inspection, it's easy to see the pieced seam; but do I care? Heck no! It's for sitting on!

I pulled out a ga-zillion staples from the old fabric, cut new fabric to fit, and asked DH to staple for me. (Those staple guns are tough to operate!)

I am very pleased with this new look. I have just done 2 stools, since we have no use for 4 any longer. The spares are in the basement, and if I ever decide to bring them back into service, I still have remnants to use.

Now I am thinking about a new paint color for these stools. Perhaps shabby-chic white?

Happy Quilting, Friends!