Saturday, April 25, 2015

In the sewing room

Lots of time spent in the sewing room these past few days, but not a lot of quilting done.  My machine is busily embroidering the Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse on dish towels and aprons for the Ashland, WI museum. They will celebrate the centennial of the 1915 lighthouse this July, and would like to have items for the gift shop.

Lots of thread breaks at first with the embroidery, but after changing brands of thread, and changing the Schmetz needle twice, I switched to an Organ brand needle from a pack I picked up at the Sewing and Quilting Expo this year.  Finally, problems mostly solved!  The count so far:  4 out of 9 aprons and 8 out of 15 towels done.  Each takes about 45 minutes to do.

While I'm babysitting the embroidery machine I've been sandwiching and pin basting some small quilts that are in my pile.  Hopefully there will be finishes ahead to show you next week!  Tomorrow afternoon I plan to visit the Historic Pond House in Bloomington to do some hand sewing with "Mrs. Pond."  Hopefully some hand binding will get finished.

One more UFO finished this past week.  My Autumn version of the Friends and Companions Sew Along that was started last July is quilted and bound.  TA DA!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First finishes since February

Two finishes over the weekend!
First is a little 12 inch mini for Easter.  My neighbor, who is a lovely Greek lady (and makes the best home made baklava), celebrated Orthodox Easter this weekend.  So I think I can still say I finished in time for Easter. I just had to hand sew the binding in the car on the way to the lake.
Easter with my Peeps - mini 12 inch square
A close-up for brighter colors.

The other quilt that had binding hand stitched on this week was a UFO!  I started Shoo Fly Pie in April 2012 as part of a color challenge.  We were challenged to make a quilt from colors from a posted photograph, colors we would not normally use together.

I had a very busy small print floral that I loved, but it never was right for anything!  It had all the right colors in it for this challenge.  It was still too busy for me at first, and I started and stopped, ripped out and re-sewed again to make half dark and half light. I was stuck for a while until my sister suggested adding the navy blue blocks to anchor the colors.  It was just what this quilt needed!  Finally, this is the result.
Shoo Fly Pie quilted tablecloth 51 inches square
I can't make a shoo fly block without humming the song "Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy."  My mother used to sing that all the time in the kitchen.  I was thinking of her, and her home made pies, when I made the pie in the center. The crust is a wide tan rick-rack top-stitched over the seam of the drunkard's path blocks.  I used a lightweight summer cotton blanket for backing and plan to use this quilt as a tablecloth up at the lake.  Especially when we're serving pie!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Celebrating Easter with my Peeps

I've been crazy busy lately, but I was able to sit down and sneak a little piecing in this week.  Paper piecing is not my favorite quilting method.  I just can't seem to get the pieces and angles just right to make the fabric cover the spot it's supposed to when you flip everything back over.  Sigh.

But this was just too cute!  I couldn't resist.  Peeps!

The pattern by Jennifer Ofenstein at  is free on Craftsy.

I think I'll only make four and make up a little mini quilt to put under the foot of the 1952 Singer that sits on the cedar chest in the living room.  So sweet!

Do you love peeps?  Seems like people either love them or don't like them at all.  A little too sweet for me to enjoy as much as I used to, but I think I'll love them in a quilt!

Happy Easter to all!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hopping like a bunny

Seems like a long time since I've written, and it's time to catch up!
Not much quilting going on here, but I did a bit of sewing this week.  I'm making a few more pot holders for the Ashland, WI Museum.

The mitt didn't turn out too well, though it looks great in the photo. (It's a little small, and the thumb didn't turn correctly and is bunchy inside.)  I love the sailboat fabric I found for the back side of the hot pads! I need to run down now and pop them in the washer to fluff up the edges.

And... I've machine embroidered a couple of dish towels for hostess gifts for Easter.

But a big chunk my time these past few weeks involves this....

A couple evenings of rehearsals and lots of guitar playing!  Life isn't all about quilting....I play 12-string guitar for two different music groups at two different local churches.  (The one our family attends, and another where I used to work.) With Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter here I'll be hopping like a bunny to keep up with both music schedules.  Usually I only have to play a couple times a month, so my fingers are getting a workout now!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Oh Danny Boy...

I remember my Irish grandfather singing "Danny Boy" in his wonderful Irish tenor voice.  How proud he was to be an Irishman!

So I couldn't resist making up this block called 'Danny Boy' that came into my e-mail this week from Quilt-Pro System's Block of the Day.

Here it is, up on my design wall with three borders.  I didn't use the published size, but made my hourglass blocks from those 3.5-inch squares that I was working with over the past weekend.  I adjusted the rest of the pieces accordingly, and came up with an odd size of 3.25 inch blocks.  But that's OK.  With borders it's about 19 inches, which will make a nice little table topper or wall hanging.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, whether you are Irish by birth, Irish by marriage, Irish by association, or just Irish at heart today!

Monday, March 16, 2015

A turn of the hourglass

Spring is coming to Minnesota!  With the warming temperatures the snow has melted away earlier than normal this year and we couldn't resist heading to the Lake for the weekend.  Of course a few bags of fabric scraps for quilting came along too.

The change of seasons became the inspiration to try out hourglass blocks.  I loved how easily they went together!
Pull out one background and one color 3.5-inch squares.
Mark on the diagonal and stitch 1/4 inch on each side of the line.
Cut on the line and press to the colored fabric.
Flip one over so the seams nest and draw another line across the diagonal.
Stitch 1/4 inch on each side again.
Cut on the line and press open.
TA DA! Two hourglass blocks.  Then make two more the same way.  Pair up with three background and one gold 2.5-inch blocks (9-patch style) and they turn into Ohio Stars!
Adorable Ohio Stars!
Can you see the frozen lake in the background and the last of the snow along the shoreline?  Puddles were forming on the lake by Sunday afternoon, and it will only be a few weeks before we can put this dock into the water and launch the boat.  Hubby can't wait!  Do you think we'll have open water by Easter?

Monday, March 2, 2015

A trip to Temecula

Last week while visiting cousins in San Diego, CA, Hubby and I took a day trip to Temecula.

Once a stage coach town, the Old Town Temecula area is a delightful mix of shops, antique stores and restaurants.  We especially enjoyed the new Museum and we stopped at the Old Town Root Beer Company for root beer floats.  (Yum!)  

 In the newer part of town we made sure to stop in at the Temecula Quilt Shop.  Such a cute shop!  I had the chance to chat with owner Sheryl Johnson and share a couple photos of quilts I have made from designs she has shared on her blog.  She told me that she's working on a new mystery quilt that will be out fairly soon.

The area is booming as a wine region, and after we left the quilt shop we stopped at a couple wineries. What lovely scenery!  The vines are bare for the winter right now, but I can just imagine how lovely they will look in the summer.