Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Photo finish

Just a quick post to show this finished table runner made from border fabric.  The original post is here.  Quilting was done with a walking foot, and the binding is on.  It has an autumn look doesn't it?

I ran a little short on fabric for the backing, so I searched around for ideas and found an 18-inch pieced block to make that would fill in the gap.  A little whimsical for me, but it works.
The rest of this week I'll be scrambling to put together my quilting demonstration booth for Bloomington Heritage Days this Saturday.  Look for photos next week.  I'll be taking my new treadle machine "Peggy" with me for the day.  Praying there won't be rain.  I don't think she'd like that very much, even though there will be a small pop-up canopy!

If you're near Bloomington, Minnesota I hope you can stop in and see me on Saturday.  The History area will be open from noon to 6pm.   Heritage Days is being held on the grounds of Nativity of Mary Church and School.  Free park and ride from Kennedy High School and Normandale College all day.  (There's no room for parking on the festival grounds.)  Music, bands, food stands, historical re-enactors, bingo, inflatable games, car show, lots and lots to do...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Executive decision

A little clean-up was happening in the sewing room this week.  (There's a lot more to do yet! lol)  I came across some Ohio Star blocks and Courthouse Steps that I had been using for Leaders & Enders a  year or so ago.  Other projects are in the works now, and I realized that I probably wouldn't be making more.  So, an executive decision was made.  Time to put a top together and call it good!

A yellow border helps draw out the yellow centers in each Ohio Star.  But, I was a little short on fabric.
What to do?  Well, instead of piecing in several verticals, I went with one horizontal seam.  Odd, but it worked!
And from the front, it's hardly visible.  Makes me feel so connected with quilters a hundred years or more ago who 'made do.'
That little yellow block in the corner was my solution to matching the pieced 'half courthouse steps' blocks in the first border.  I didn't want to figure out how to make a pieced log cabin that looked right.  So lazy!

Here's the whole works so far.  I'm contemplating a piano key border next.  Or maybe it's just good enough as is is.  What do you think?  And should I swap out those yellow corners for a dark pieced block?  It's amazing how different quilts look in photos than in person - to me at least.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Gwennie Stars

Just a quick post to update this past month's sew-along.  The theme was 'stars'.   My quilt was asking for a dark background, so the stars are on a navy and blue mini-print.  I don't usually use these bright colors, but the center basket was an orphan block from a quilt challenge to use these particular colors and work out of my usual comfort zone.  Turns out I loved that quilt, and I'm loving this one too.

The stars aren't sewn on yet, but Labor Day weekend and the Minnesota State Fair are upon us, and it's crazy busy around here.  You get the idea though.

Looks like the next (and last) theme is 'something fishy.'  I browsed through my quilt patterns last night for an idea.  I have a free download of  "Something's Fishy" from Maywood Studio.  The fish blocks are on point, and will be just the thing to use for the four corners to turn this quilt back into a square quilt.  Serendipity!  I'll have to start searching the stash for fabrics.

So much fun to see how all the other quilts are turning out.  Every one a unique artistic creation.  No two alike!  Love every one of them.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tiny pieces

This week the pieces going through my machine have been tiny!  My 1-inch bag is nearly empty, as is my 1.5-inch bag of scraps.   First I worked on some log cabin/courthouse steps alternate blocks to a sew-along from Quilts by Cheri.  They used 1-1/4 inch strips.  An unusual size for me, but it really cleared out my scrap bag!  I've been procrastinating on the applique blocks that go with them.
Courthouse steps 10-inch blocks
Last week I gave away my little mini log cabin quilt, so I made another one.  That used up most of my 1-inch strips.
Log Cabins 11x14.5 inches

Cutting up the 1-inch strips gave me a bunch of little 1-inch square leftover pieces.  A quilt in this month's American Patchwork and Quilting caught my eye.  It featured cheddar blocks in a 9-patch arrangement.  I had some bright cheddar yellow in the 1.5-inch bag that just seems too bright to use for anything.  Bingo!

My interpretation of their Cheddar Broken Dishes quilt used itty-bitty 4-patch blocks with the cheddar yellow.  Those 4-patch blocks finish at 1-inch!  Seriously tiny! It's not easy to work with pieces that small. They tend to twist on me as they go through the machine, and things get wonky.  But it's fun to get those scrap bags cleared out!  I even used up some leftover binding pieces to make a multi-colored binding.
Cheddar 4-in-9 patch  18x22 inches
Binding is just pinned for now.

No more tiny projects for a while.  Nothing left to work with in those scrap bags!  If there's a mini quilt that catches my eye, I'll have to up-size it and start using scraps from my 2-inch bags.  Truly though, I need to get motivated to quilt up some UFO's instead of constantly starting every new project that catches my eye.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fruit on the table

Last week's table runner from a border fabric was so much fun that I did another one!

There was one more piece of border fabric in my stash - fruit this time.

 It cut into five identical blocks, and here's how they ended up.

There's not quite enough for the backing, so some creative piecing happened.  Just have the quilting left to do!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

From border to table runner

While attempting to clean off my desk this week I came across a new-to-me quilting book:  'Wonderful 1 Fabric Quilts" by Kay Nickols, 2007 AQS.

I had picked it up this summer at a book sale that benefits our police department outreach program.  Usually the kaleidoscope-type patterns need 6 or 8 identical pattern repetitions to work.  But, in the back of this book is a table runner and it can work with as few as 4 repeats.

Coincidentally, a while later I was going through a bin of fabric in my laundry room.  Out popped an 18x64-inch piece of border fabric left over from a skirt I made, oh, maybe 30 years ago.  The repeat was 15 inches, and I could get exactly 4 identical blocks out of it.  Score!  I was off and cutting.

It was only after I had stitched together the pieces that I realized I forgot to take a 'before' photo of the border fabric.  Pooh!  There wasn't much leftover, but this might give you an idea.  There was a thin sliver left.

The four identical 15-inch squares were cut diagonally in an X.  Then, by arranging the resulting triangles in mirror image patterns I came up with a pretty good plan.  Had to be careful because all the edges are on the bias.  A little spray starch helped a lot!

It quilted up quickly last night, and I hand stitched binding while in the waiting room during my FIL's eye doctor appointment today.  All done, and at home on the cedar chest in the living room!
20 x 50 One fabric table runner. Super easy!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Stitching along...

painting aprons
This week the sewing room was busy - a retreat from dealing with the impending sale of our childhood home.  I've machine embroidered 8 aprons for a family Women's Retreat day this Saturday.  The pattern was free from Urban Threads a few months ago.  The "sisters"and their "daughters" (by birth or marriage) are going to get together for some family time, games, a painting lesson and lunch.  Should be fun!

The other thing I've been up to is playing  with log cabin blocks for my Basket Medallion quilt.

The first round in this sew-along was "a basket", and I used an orphan block.  Second round was "childhood" and I made Sister's Choice blocks because my childhood memories always include my sister. Third round is "log cabins", and my Circa 2016 got me started on these tiny ones using 1-inch strips.  I had to press and re-square each round, but they turned out pretty well.  Here's an update on how it looks so far....

Basket Medallion rows 1, 2 and 3
The next round will need to have a dark background, don't you think?  We'll see what happens when the next theme is revealed in August.  This has been such fun, because the parameters are so open that every sew-along quilt will be totally different, yet we're all working together.  

On another note, it's been odd to see my page view statistics lately.  Over 200 views from Russia in the last week. What's that all about????