Friday, April 30, 2010

Postage Stamp Quilt Project

One of the greatest things about quilting is that it brings people of different generations together. Way back in the early 1980s when I was a young English teacher and yearbook adviser, I had a student, Amie, who was my yearbook editor. In the 2 or 3 years that I taught her, our first child was born, and Amie's mother became Adam's babysitter. So as far as teacher/student relationships go, ours was closer than most.

In the intervening years, we exchanged Christmas cards, birth announcements; graduation pictures, etc. She married and had 2 daughters, while my husband and I added 2 daughters to join Adam. Gradually, there didn't seem to be a generational difference anymore! My youngest is younger than hers!

Fast forward 25+ the Christmas card I received from Amie this past Christmas, she included a note explaining a project she was going to tackle: a postage stamp quilt with every 1" square out of a different fabric - no repeats. She was requesting from her quilting friends scraps that they would otherwise throw away or hide away forever to be sent to her for use in her quilt! She has no pressing deadline, and seems to be perfectly willing to work on this for a good while, as donated scraps come in. She's keeping a record of all who donate scraps for inclusion on a tag she will attach to the back. I sent her a couple of "squishy" envelopes, and so have others, and here is her first block:

She writes that it took her an hour and 45 minutes to sew this together. She says she forgot to keep track of how long it took her to select and arrange fabrics! This is the first of 63 blocks she will make. Doing the math there (she did it; not me!), she will have 9,072 different fabrics in 1"squares pieced into this quilt.

Isn't that cool?

Since that picture was sent, she has made a second block. In her email she said, "I just completed block 2-only 61 left to go!! I feel really impowered having two finished. Now it doesn't seem like such a huge task. However, I am still perfecting my method of piecing. I find I get lost if I try to chain piece too many at once. And I really do stress over the fabric placement."

That sound so like her! I remember her attention to detail when she was the yearbook editor! Very much the one to catch the little things. Editors and quiltmakers have similar OCD tendencies, maybe! ;-)

Anyway, I am very pleased to send scraps that would otherwise go to waste off to Amie for her project. You Go Girl!!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Something Unusual is Going on Here

What is it,  you ask?? I am actually finishing things. Anyone who's even a sometimes follower of this blog knows that I am really good at starting projects, but quite challenged when it comes to finishing them. Maybe I am turning over a new leaf! Maybe all I needed to do was to retire! lol!

I just this afternoon put on the outer border to my Americana Rose - a mitered border - and I am quite pleased with the results. Here, have a look for yourself!

If you go back a few posts, you will see that this is one of the 5 projects in progress that were cluttering my workspace. No more! Well, that's not exactly true...I do need to clear away remnants and such. A run through with the vacuum wouldn't hurt either!

This quilt was featured in the June 2009 issue of BH&G's American Patchwork and Quilting. I have a great variety of quilt magazines, but the only one I've ever actually made quilts from is APQ. This makes the 3rd, I believe.

So, what's next for me? Well, I cut those 2 bags out awhile back, so I guess I'd better get busy on those. Come to think of it, the pattern I am using is from a BH&G magazine! I will provide details when I post pics of my progress.

Coming up this weekend is my daughter Emma's junior prom - her first prom. She is so excited. I hope you will indulge me next week when I post a pic (or a few) of her and her date in all their finery. Such a big event in the life of a teenager.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fabric Giveaway from TCC and Joanna Figueroa

In an attempt to step up my blogging, I am teaching myself how to network with other bloggers and share information. This is my first attempt at telling others about a fabric giveaway. We'll see how well it works...

If you love the fabrics of Fig Tree Quilts and Joanna Figueroa, then you will want to stop by here to enter a giveaway.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Too Many Starts!

QDD. That's what one blogger calls it--Quilter's Distraction Disorder. The symptoms are an inability to finish a project before beginning another, and another, and another. I suffer from QDD, and to my knowlege, there is no known cure.

At one point last week, I had 5 projects strewn about at the same time. And that's not counting my Broken Dishes blocks which are always out! And I haven't made a new Broken Dishes block in over a month, I'll wager.With all the chaos of these various projects, it was getting to the point that I had no useable workspace to do anything!

First, I had my April Schnibbles going. Since it only needed its borders, I went ahead and finished it.
After getting all the Schnibbles remains out of the way, I started working on Americana Rose, and finished off the 5 blocks with the gazillion-pieced little stars.
Not a very prettty shot, but there are 5 of these buggers. I thought I'd never get those stars made!

Now, for some time I've been telling my daughters that I'd make us some pretty bags. I've collected a few patterns, both purchased and in magazines. Plus, I have loads of Kaffe Fassett fabrics just perfect for a bag. And it only makes sense that if I'm going to make one bag, then why not do 2? I mean really, cut it out in duplicate. Construct them in assembly line fashion. Well, that would work if one had a clean work space... here is as far as I've gotten on bags:

Then, I decided I wanted to make a few more blocks from the Farmer's Wife Sampler book. I have uber-QDD when it comes to deciding which block to make! I haven't printed off all the templates, so I needed to select a block from the templates I had available. That led to just listing the blocks I still want to make along with the templates I needed to print. I also created a list of blocks that could be made from the templates I already had. (You got all that, right?) In some odd free minutes on Saturday, I made these:

Contrary Wife

Puss in the Corner

Rail Fence

And last night I made this beast:
It's called Morning Star, and it was a doozie! I spent a good portion of my effort picking out stitches. Please don't inspect too closely; there are some very uneven edges and unmatched joints.

Farmer's Wife Sampler is perfect for a sufferer of QDD. I was able to whet my apetite for variety; nothing took overly long to make; I made my work space even messier; and I think I now can return to one of the other projects with the focus required to get it done!

Today, I have worked on Americana Rose again. Since the hard blocks were done, it seemed relatively easy to get the remaining blocks whipped up. I will share pics of these tomorrow!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Fun Comparison

Earlier this week I finished the borders on my April Schnibbles called "Tagalong." It was fun to do, and I really liked the Butterfly Garden fabric I used.
This is the old picture (before borders); I will save the finished picture for the Schnibbles Parade on the first of May. The Butterfly Garden fabric is by Kansas Troubles of Moda. Kansas Troubles specializes in creating fabrics that give the feel of sturdy, utility quilts made by our great-grandmothers from old shirts and dresses. They seem to evoke pioneer strength.

A little tangent: The Schnibbles line of patterns are the brainchild of quilting guru Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company. I swore I would not be taken in by these patterns, but alas, I am hooked. I suppose I've got about a dozen of them. The one that hooked me was "Darcy." I am a retired English teacher and a huge Jane Austen fan. Carrie's description on the "Darcy" pattern is a beautiful play on the famous first line of Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Delightful! It won me over.

Now, back to the fun comparison I want to talk about in today's blog post...

"Tagalong" is a smaller rendition of an earlier Miss Rosie full-size pattern called "Tag Sale." I first saw this quilt on display in Waynesville at the Fabric Shack. It was stunning. Sadly, their display must have garnered lots of interest because they had no patterns on hand. Eventually, I did manage to get the pattern, and later it came out in a book that Carrie released.

Here is my "Tag Sale." I loved making it. Both my daughters intimated that it was their favorite quilt of all that I'd ever made. (Makes me consider doing another one, just to avoid a fuss over who gets it!)

My apologies for the poor photo quality. This picture was taken with quite a while ago with my old camera. Perhaps I will  take a better shot of it because I would like some help concerning it...

I wish I could identify the fabric I used. I bought it as a large fat quarter pack at Creations in Chillicothe. The pairing of "Tag Sale" and this fabric just sort of happened. I needed to add about 6 fat quarters from my stash to get the entire top done. I love the floral cottage look. This quilt adorns the bed in our guest room.

Isn't it cool to see how different the same basic pattern looks when done up in vastly different fabrics?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shop Hop Report - Day 2

So, we spent the night at Clifty Inn, a state park lodge on the outskirts of Madison, Indiana. What fun. The day had been unusually hot, so we were pretty well beat after lots of driving, 4 shops, a few potty stops and wong turns. Even with the GPS in Terry's car, we still encountered some inaccuracies. Minor problems, however. We made our way through day one in good spirits, but ready for relaxing.

The dining room at Clifty was very nice, and we had delicious meals which we topped off with a monstrously huge dessert, Chocolate Turtle Sundae - we shared this 4 ways! I couldn't imagine how one person would ever eat this alone. Lois, our waitress, was great - so personable and fun. It's amazing how a great waitress enhances the restaurant experience!

The next morning, after breakfast in the Clifty dining room, we headed out for the remaining 3 shops on the Shop Hop. First up was Loose Threads in Seymour, Indiana.
This shop was spacious and well lit - very inviting. It was here that I got my purse pattern and notions, solely because they had the sample made up for customers to see and "try on," so to speak.

Our 2nd shop of Day Two was Sharynn's Quilt Box in North Vernon, IN.
Here, I finally thought to take a picture of the participants in our group. There's Sharon, Terry, and Sheryll in front of the Quilt Box. This store was also nicely lit, and had the fabric lined up by color and displayed on a very long wall in the shop. Easy shopping. No obstructions to prevent shoppers' access to products. Fun store. Actually, this was the first shop at which I bought yardage - up to this point, I'd only gotten fat quarters. There were some very pretty fabrics I'd not seen before, so I ended up getting 3 fabrics. I'm sure it was the ease of access.

Here is the registration area and the gals at the Quilt Box. Each shop featured products at their registration areas, as well as access to a small snack and drink.Nice touches for the hoppers!

 The final shop on the Shop Hop was Quilt Bug located in Lawrenceburg, IN. There is a casino in this town, and the windfall for the town is readily apparent. There is building, construction and remodeling in every block! Here is a look at Quilt Bug.

And a couple of photos of the interior.
In my humble opinion, the shop hop was a resounding success. I had a wonderful time. We laughed ourselves into hysterics, we shopped, we ate, everything was wonderful! This was the first shop hop any of us had ever done, and we have already made plans for a second one next November in Ohio's Amish Country.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shop Hop Report - Day 1

Terry, Sharon, Sheryll and I made our way from Frankfort, OH, to northern Kentucky last Wednesday, for the first 4 shops of our shop hop. Here is a pictorial diary in chronological order.
Shop # 1 for us was Cabin Arts in Burlington, KY. It is a genuine restored cabin, but way too small to be a quilt shop! Here are some indoor shots.

 Note the bolts of fabric stacked around on the floor. I am sure they had many lovely fabrics, but I was not moved to dig for them. On a more positive note, they had many inspiring wall displays, and the staff was helpful. A second building used for classes and additional displays is situated on the opposite side of the driveway and parking area.

Our 2nd shop of the day was The Quilt Box in Dry Run, KY. This shop is situated in the most picturesque location you can imagine. It is surrounded by hills and hollows which were awash in spring color. Breathtaking! I've taken as many pictures outdoors as I did indoors at this shop.
This shop, too, featured a restored log cabin, but it also had a sizeable addition which made for ease of access to all the fabrics in the store. The Quilt Box carried an extensive line of reproduction fabrics, as well as all the current popular lines. Here are a few more pics of the Quilt Box, both indoors and out.

After lunch at a Cracker Barrel, we headed across the Ohio River to Madison, Indiana, where we located L&L Yard Goods.

And our 4th and final shop for day one was Margie's Country Store, located in the historic district of Madison.

Again, we were in a shop with very little breathing room. Tight aisles plus additional shoppers makes it somewhat frustrating to have an enjoyable shopping experience. I tried to be as forgiving as I could, given the unusual circumstances. If I lived near this shop, I would know that I had a treasure. Again, the main focus, as I saw it, was the reproduction fabrics. Many samples made up and on display helped shoppers to visualize all the possibilities!

This photo is taken in the basement of Margie's Country Store. See that gorgeous stone arch? Very historic. Very cool. I really liked this building.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

After a Long Absence

My sister Sandy is not a quilter, but I am sure she appreciates their beauty as well as the time it takes to make them. Even so, she does follow my quilting blog and yesterday informed me that it had been awhile since I'd updated. Hmmm...10 days, to be exact. I have good excuses! It's been a busy time of year, and we have had the most amazing April weather (so far), too many other things seem to have taken precedence over blogging!

So, 'Hi Sandy!,' and here we go.

I mentioned in the previous post that I bought a couple of Charm Packs in Coshocton for the April Schnibbles called 'Tagalong.' I've finished the main part of it and have cut the inner border, but have not yet attached it. Then I still need to cut and arrange the corner blocks and the outer border. Here is my Tagalong so far:

I'm using a Kansas Troubles line called...hmmm...something with Butterflies in it...I will clarify when I post the finished project.  *Edit: Butterfly Garden; if I'd just looked back at my previous post I would have found it. duh... I just love the pattern. It is a smaller version of 'Tag Sale,' which I made several years ago and which I keep on my guest bed. I hand-quilted Tag Sale, but I am not sure which way I will quilt Tagalong.

Another activity that  has taken up some of my time is my two-day Shop Hop experience with my quilting friends from Frankfort. I've only been with them since last July, but I always have such a great time with these girls! Before I entered the picture, they'd been meeting every other Friday morning for quite a while. (I should ask them how long.) Anyway, I sure am glad they've accepted me into the fold. 

We went to a 7-shop hop in northern Kentucky and western Indiana - just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. We stayed in a lovely town - Madison, Indiana - at Clifty Inn, a state park overlooking the river. Over the next several days, I plan to blog about the shop hop, as I was a good blogger and took pictures at every shop.

I will tease you with 2 today. Here you see my mound of purchases piled onto my ironing board. I mostly bought fat quarters, as I had no real burning desire to add major yardage to my stash. In addition, I bought a purse pattern, a book, a sweet little snipper scissors, and grommets for the purse pattern.

I seem to be in a reproduction fabric mood lately. It's been awhile since I picked up any brights/moderns.

Here is a shot of our hotel, the Clifty Inn, located just outside Madison, IN.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Weekend

You've met my nieces before, but let me show you the sweetest Easter darlings you could ever lay eyes on:
Mary Jean and Anna Rose are 2 years old. Is there any doubt that they are precious?

On Good Friday, we travelled to my father-in-law's for a quick visit. Knowing my love of quilting, he recommended I check out a shop. I didn't think his town had a quilt shop anymore, so I was truly surprised to find Vacshak, Inc. at the Downtowner Plaza in Coshocton, OH. A lovely shop! Friendly salesladies! It's a vacuum shop with quilting fabric, supplies and patterns on the side, as well as a very nicely stocked corner for knitters! Yarns, needles, patterns, samples - even a little class going on! Very cool.

 Here is what I bought. Two charm packs of Butterfly Garden. I've already opened them, organizing for the April Schnibbles.

I picked up a flyer about the 2010 Ohio Amish Country Quilt Shop Hop event scheduled for November. Vacshack is on the hop, along with many others.