Monday, February 29, 2016

Resolution Review

Happy Leap Day!! We get an extra day in 2016 and I think I will use it to clarify something I wrote in yesterday's post. My final paragraph yesterday might have come across a bit cryptically for readers, and so it seems a good day to explain my resolution for 2016.

Because I have dozens of unquilted tops, aka flimsies, in my sewing room closet, I decided that I would use this year to select 12 - one per month - and get them quilted. It just seemed such a shame to keep them closed away where no one, especially me, is enjoying them! Below is an old picture of my quilt closet. Quite a few more have been added since this picture was taken. And some that I see hanging here are now quilted and finished.  *hooray*

The January selection was my strippy French-inspired quilt called "Vincent." You can read more precise details here.

I finished it right at the end of January, and actually, I think I was binding it in early February. Oh well, it is still the January quilt. Now let's see what I have chosen for my February quilt.

Sixteen-patch Scrappy Stars will be my February finish. I came up with this design all on my own, although I have seen this sashing treatment done before. All my pieced blocks are leftover 2.5-inch squares that have been hand-stitched together. I machine pieced the sashing and cornerstones, as well as the borders. You can read additional details on this quilt by clicking here

Decisions about the March quilt will likely be made based on the ease with which I can locate backing fabric. I don't mind piecing a back, but I would have to do a rather involved "dig" (in the archaeological sense) through my stash. Here are a couple of candidates.

Possibility #1: my recently made red and white Ohio Star quilt. It would be an easy quilt for which to find backing fabric.

Possibility #2: Hourglass Quilt - made ages ago. I think I could readily find good backing fabrics for this, as well. What makes me love-love-love this quilt is the awesome borders I used. Here's a close up. Aren't they fun?

Thankfully, I don't need to decide right this minute; I guess we will have to wait and see which one ends up going to Terry's in March.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Goldenrod Flimsy is Finished

A February finish! Late last night I put the last border on Goldenrod Patch and today I have pictures for you.

The quilt measures approximately 74x81 inches. The pattern is Goldenrod Patch from Blue Skies, a Thimbleberries book by Lynette Jensen. I reduced my quilt by one vertical and one horizontal row, but it is still big enough to amply cover the double bed in my guest room.

This picture is a closeup of the border corner. I really like putting borders on like this. The opposite color placement in the blocks adds interest, I think. The darker blocks look really good, and if I had more background fabric I think I would make a bunch more. I definitely can see myself making this block again for future quilts.

My next project is a quilt to be gifted. My niece Abby will be getting married in June, and a quilt has been promised. I know what I am making and am in the fabric-selection phase of the process. Since all the fabric will come from my stash, I could conceivably have the quilt cut out today. Of course, this quilt will never get pictured here on the blog until mid-June, so trust me when I say it is an easy pattern and I will have it done super-fast. (The bride's mother - my sister - helped me decide on a design; she is responsible for the simplistic nature of it. Thank you, very much!)

On Tuesday, I will be going to Terry's for a day of quilting at which time I will take the February quilt to her for quilting. I have had it ready to go for about 3 weeks and have just not ever gotten it to her. And now March is knocking on the door so I need to select the next one to get quilted. This New Year's Resolution is proving to make me very, very happy. No longer will my most beautiful flimsies be stuck hanging in a closet.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Border Blocks

Speed certainly is not a concern with finishing this Goldenrod Quilt. I just managed to find the time to make the four corner blocks late last night. As I suspected, I just love the way they look, and will hopefully be able to get this border assembled and attached in the next day or two.

A single block

Four border blocks to be used on the corners
I am at the point where I am beginning to consider what I will work on next. Isn't that always an exciting thing??

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Couple of Finishes

Claudia was over yesterday for some help with finishing her Summer Breeze quilt. After beginning her blocks here back in January, she had finished her blocks on her own. Then she sewed the blocks together and decided she wanted to finish it with piano keys which she had prepped on her own, as well.

Claudia wants to use this quilt on a daybed in her house, so she needed only to put the piano key border on two sided. So we put the light blue inner border around the entire center, and used the piano keys on two sides. She got the top done and it is ready to go to the quilter.

While Claudia sewed her borders, I brought my own Summer Breeze down and figured out how I would finish it. I had 7 blocks completed. Not a particularly conducive number for quilting purposes, right? I could have just used 6 blocks to make a small lap quilt, but I still had bits and parts, so I put my thinking cap on. With a couple of remaining 2.5-inch strips I managed to get an 8th block made. Then I took 4 of the leftover strips which had a 45-degree cut edge. The pictures below show how I utilized those leftovers - as the center block  in a square 3x3 block quilt.

The jelly roll I used was a Three Sister's line called Park Avenue. When finished, I think I can see this being used as a table topper cloth.

That's all for today, Peeps! Gotta' lotta' grading to do!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Students Are Flourishing

Sigh. One of the great things about teaching is that eventually your students don't need you any more! That is becoming the case with both Claudia and Denise, students I have worked with for a few months. Claudia came to sewing and quilting as an absolute newbie; Denise had some background but lacked confidence in certain areas. Today I will show you a few of the projects they have worked on all by themselves. I appreciate their sending pictures and keeping me updated on their progress.

First, let's take a look at a couple of Denise's projects. First, her Summer Breeze quilt top is finished and looks fantastic. She worked on this quilt with Claudia and me back in January and made the entire finish on her own, right down to the piano key borders. What a fresh, airy quilt.

 Another project Denise has begun all on her own is an Edyta Sitar pattern called Trail Mix. Here is the picture she sent, with the following note, "about 100 more diamonds to go." Gives one an idea of how much piecing will go into this quilt!

Now let's see what Claudia has been up to. First, we will take a look at her version of Summer Breeze.

 She was here today for some work on finishing this quilt, and I will bring you that finish along with my own Summer Breeze activity tomorrow. Today, we are focusing on the progress of these two fantastic students. More from Claudia...

Above, Claudia has figured out a way to cover a basket she uses regularly - she keeps "cow ears" in in for her dogs. Clever gal!

One of the last times Claudia (and Denise) were over for sewing, we did a little paper-piecing project. Click here to revisit those wonky pine trees. Well, Claudia thinks that paper-piecing is a technique she could totally get into, and she went ahead to try other patterns like the one shown above. The picture is supposed to be blue denim inside a range of pink prints. (I think it looks orange and black, but maybe that is just my computer screen.) Claudia intends to use this as the side of a bag.

This house block is another of her paper-piecing efforts. I think she is getting more and more confident all the time. I believe she mentioned that this block, too, may become part of a bag.

The other project we worked on back in January (link above) was the snappy bag; Claudia took the pattern for the bags we made, adjusted it to fit her iPad, and added handles! Look at how inventive she is!

And one last doggie accessory - collars. Claudia and her husband are "dog people." They raise and train Shelties and Border Collies. Dog collars are forever getting chewed, she says, so she has figured out how to make replacements herself. Again, she is inventive. That willingness to risk making mistakes and to problem solve is proving fortunate for her, wouldn't you say?

Well, that 's enough for this post. As I said, Claudia and I sewed together today, and she finished the quilt top of Summer Breeze. I worked on mine, too, so I will bring you those updates tomorrow.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Border Decisions

The center portion of Goldenrod Patch is together. And I love it. I have often admired quilts with low volume contrast, and this one qualifies, I believe. It has been interesting to observe the way the "look" works now that it is contained within those setting side triangles.

The next step was to dive into the stash to find a fabric for use as an outer border. I plowed through several tubs and auditioned several candidates.  This Windham fabric shown below is the winner.

This picture is a closer view alongside the other fabrics. I have plenty of yardage, and could possibly do a pieced back with all the remaining fabric. I will have to think on that awhile. I don't have plans to get this quilted in the immediate future, so I will consider backing more seriously later.

I have given some thought to something else, though. I think I will make corner blocks for the border. Instead of a dark center, though, I would use the gold fabric, and then use the dark where the gold has been used in all these blocks.

Since it would be part of the lighter Windham border, the dark portions of the block would not be lost, and it would give a bit of interest - or perhaps, a bit of the unexpected - to an otherwise "quiet" quilt.

It will be fun, too, to see this block in the alternate color placement.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My Thimbleberries Parade

Awhile back, I mentioned that Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries fame had come out of retirement to host a BOM project. In that same post, which you can read here, I mentioned that over the years I had made many, many quilts using Thimbleberries patterns. I think I will take this opportunity to share a few of them.

Meet Cottage Flower. It is a big quilt, and the thing I remember most about this quilt is that I took forever selecting fabrics. I had the floral for the outer border first, and then I collected the rest of the fabrics from there. Another thing I recall is the sawtooth inner border intimidated me. I'd never done one before; how would I ever get it to fit? Obviously, it did, thankfully.

My grandmother hand quilted it for me. The designs are some of her classic patterns - the cable in the borders and the straight lines in the alternate blocks - these were her go-to designs.

Next up is Winter Lily, another quilt that Grandma quilted for me. I began this quilt at Frienzie Sherrie's house the first year she hosted our Veterans' Day all-nighter.  My green is not the bright Christmas-y green; I selected a duller hunter green. Likewise, my red is burgundy as opposed to bright cherry red. I don't know why I made these choices, but I am still happy with them.

The remaining Thimbleberries quilts have all been shown on the blog before, but I've never pulled them together like this.

Tulip wall hanging; machine quilted.
Confetti Stars 2.0; quilt top
September Stars; quilt top
Nine-Patch Criss Cross; quilt top
Confetti Stars; quilt top

Little Heart Wall Hanging; Machine Quilted.

Sampler; machine quilted
Trail Mix; machine quilted.
Nine-Patch Criss Cross; hand quilted by Grandma.
Fall Foliage; quilt top
Peppermint Pinwheel (the one in the book was a red and white Christmas quilt); quilt top

Snowflake Star; quilt top

Hourglass; quilt top

 Well. that's enough for now. It's been rather nice going back through pictures to see these quilts again. It does confirm that I do indeed love to make quilts using Thimbleberries patterns.

Happy Quilting, Friends!