Saturday, April 30, 2011

Catching Up on the Civil War, Finally!

Barbara Brackman, quilt historian, releases a block a week for a civil war quilt along with some civil war history to go along with the block. I was behind several weeks but have finally caught up. See my sidebar for a link to the her blog. It is quite interesting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Farmer's Wife Sampler Blocks

Cut Glass Dish

Churn Dash

Checkerboard (a fruity one)

Bow Tie

Broken Dishes

I'm going to have to count how many I have. I want to finish my quilt by next year. If I remember correctly the Queen Size takes 111 blocks set on point with sashing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


There is a yahoo group for a Grand Motif Swap. Check it out if you want to swap some motifs. I participated in it a couple of years ago and got back some fantastic motifs for use on crazy quilts.  What follows are some of the items I have made so far for the swap.

Ribbon Pansies

Crocheted Sunflowers and Fantasy Flowers

Crocheted Hearts and Baskets

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hotpads or Potholders?

Jars of Cherries
Fronts and back of 4 more hotpads (or potholders) finished for the Christmas box and 1 for a swap.
I love cherries.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Where is Spring?

 English Garden. My stitching on one of my own extra blocks.
I had to stitch spring since it's not around here yet. Maybe I should have stitched in some Easter eggs into her basket along with the roses.  And, darn it...the trellis with rose buds is stitched too close to the little girl. If it were real life she would be stuck in the thorns.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Buckeye Beauties in Fall Colors

This is a quarterly swap I'm participating in with members of a Yahoo group. Sets are 2 HSTs and 2 4 patches in cream and fall colors. The can be combined in many ways to make many different types of blocks. I think this is the layout I will use. I love how secondary patterns form. And I love all the different fabrics that show up in the swaps.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm Irish

An "Anything Goes" RR is coming up. I chose an Irish theme to celebrate my Irish heritage. When complete it will be a bellpull with all blocks hung vertically.  I think it will be a Christmas gift for someone. Or not.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who Says Size Doesn't Matter?

I had written previously about working on blocks for the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. The book said blocks were 6 inches; however, the book didn't say whether that meant finished or unfinished size. So, I printed a couple of templates, made a few blocks and measured. Each block was a consistent 6 inches unfinished. And so, although I figured I didn't even need templates if the blocks were to be 6 inches finished, I figured I did need them for the weird/unstandard size of a 5.5 finished block. And then I joined a FWS list and found people chatting about 6 inch blocks, yadda, yadda, yadda... The fear set in and so I asked on list just exactly if the blocks should be 6 inch finished or unfinished. And, wouldn't you know it...the answer was 6 inches FINISHED. Yikes! And when printing the templates a bunch of adobe boxes and printer boxes dealing with unscaling, yadda, yadda, yadda... had to be changed. Depressed, I let the blocks rest. I let my mind rest. I finally quit cussing. I started on a different project. And then...I decided I'm not a quitter and that 1/2 an inch was not going to get me down.  I have remade blocks to the correct size and I'm on my way again - 30s reproduction fabrics are being cut once again.

Who names these blocks? Some of the names I just don't understand!

Postage Stamp

Autumn Tints

Birds in the Air

Box.  (Why?- I don't get it!)

Calico Puzzle

Contrary Wife (Again - Why?)


Friendship Star

Basket Weave.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Staying Neutral

Neutral: Lacking hue; achromatic; lacking saturation.

I try to keep a pile of different neutrals on hand for all my sane quilting blocks. It's a personal challenge to find different ones when I shop. A lot of swaps call for WOW (white on white) or COC (cream on cream) and it is amazing what variety of neutrals people find. Neutrals are also supposed to give the eye a place to rest.

In the Tone on Tone CQ RR I recently received a set of neutral colored blocks and had to pick one to stitch on. As you can see, there are a variety of neutrals; however, in order to make a difference on the block I had to also create some contrast with my stitching.

Lace, bullions, french knoots, button with cast-on stitch and beads.

Main focus was these bullion stitch flowers and leaves I added in the large middle area of Candji's block. The leaves kind of mimic the ones in the cloth.

Rambling ribbon, star button, herringbone stitch with further embellishment plus half wheels on another seam.

Couched rambling satin cord, cream colored roses, kiko stitch flowers, beads, butterfly button.

Entire block. Those stitches in the lower left corner were already on the fabric.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Birds (A Sane and Crazy Plan)

A sane quilt and crazy bedrunner in the works.
The above is a layout for the sane part of the plan.

I'm about a third of the way finished with making blocks for this quilt. Two different 6 inch blocks are involved - snowballs and 9 patches. This is not my normal color scheme - in fact it is rather wild for me but I found some fabrics I liked that dictated my choice of colors - lime green, bright pink and purple.  This quilt will be full sized when finished and hopefully I will have a crazy quilt bed runner to go with it at the end of the bed. A few of the bird blocks are out in an RR now.  This is not necessarily the layout of the blocks for the completed quilt. I just wanted to see how things were looking.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Depression Blocks - Thinking of Grandma

I've been making 3.5 inch HSTs from scraps for quite some time now. I decided to start putting them together since I have a small bin of them. This pattern is called Depression block and is 12 inches finished. So far I have about 20 of them made. I hope to make a double bed sized quilt.

I chose this block because it reminds me of Grandma who taught me to sew. Her quilts were scrappy. I used to love to just sit and look at all the different fabrics. Sometimes she would tell me stories about life during the depression - how she would cut up old clothes to make new ones for the younger kids. Any small scraps that were left went into a quilt. She would point out to me the different fabrics and say - "that was Marie's dress...and that was Betty's that I remade into one for Elsie...and that was one of my favorite dresses...". When my kids were little I used to make all their clothes. And I would use some of the hints and tips she gave me...I especially loved the little blue jeans I made for the kids from the cut off legs of my husband's old jeans. And I made a whole series of blue jean quilts. One was even crazy.

Maybe I also chose this block because depression runs in the family. I wish I hadn't passed it on to all my kids. My youngest is in a severe slump and I wish I could help him. Maybe this quilt will be for him.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jars of Basil Hotpads

Are they hotpads or potholders? I am getting a jump on Christmas by making some hotpads. I don't know why my family loves potholders so much for Christmas gifts but they do.

These are the first in a "series" of hotpads featuring jars. I made a 6 inch jar block and decided I wanted 8 inch finished hotpads leaving me to think I needed to add 2.5 strips all around. When I added the first strip to the side I realized my mistake so only added another strip to the bottom. Then I used a decorative stitch (which sometimes got out of control )on my sewing machine to quilt them. Unfortunately one of the backs had the fabric switched the wrong way. That will be mine now. I padded some with insulbright and batting and others with two layers of old towels.

I think the next jars will be filled with mushrooms for the mushroom hunters on my list.  I guess I will have to make a few candy jars too for those on my list who don't cook, don't eat fruits and veggies and who love candy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tea Time (Again)

This is my work for a Tea Time RR over on CQI Yahoo Group. Lorrie's block came to me with the beautiful cross stitched tea cup in the middle. Lorrie had several requests for her block. 1. Add the other half of the hanky that she had attached below the tea cup. I made a hanky butterly with the other half. She also requested we use some buttons she included. I used them as the center of crocheted flowers and also used cast on stitch around a couple of them that I used to attach some ribbon with fairies on it. That was another of Lorrie's requests - a fairy. I don't have any fairy charms so I added some ribbon I had in my scrapbooking stash with fairies on it. I also added a cross stitched tea kettle and "Tea Party" surrounded by a couple of bullion roses.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

English Garden

This is my stitching for an English Garden RR. Laurie N pieced the lovely background with the adorable little girl and I added daffodils, forget-me-nots, violets, larkspur, roses and rosebuds. Most of the flowers are done in silk ribbon but some are done in perle cotton #8. The violets in the foreground don't show up too well in the photo. I overstitched the photo too but not sure that shows up too well either. What a delight this was to work on!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Comfort Quilt for Japan

I finished a Happy Block comfort quilt for Japan This is about twin size and consists of bright and wild happy blocks from a swap I was in last year. I hope to get one more finished before I mail.