Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday update

Time for a update on what's been happening in the sewing room here.

Have you ever made a bed runner?  It's new to me, but at about the same time I stumbled across a panel of four State Park motifs in the 'orphan's box,' I found a book called "Quilts with Unique Borders" from Annie's Quilting.  The Classic Elegance Bed Runner designed by Julie Weaver fit them perfectly!

Here's the progress so far....
There are several narrow plain borders to be added, but I'm liking it so far.  Might be lovely up at the Cabin.  In retrospect, the color placements on the Courthouse Steps should have been uniform rather than the random placement.  Though they are the right colors for the panels, there is too much contrast between the greens and chocolate browns.  Live and learn....

There are several other projects in the works.  The kids dropped off a tub of t-shirts for a quilt.  Hope to get it done by Christmas for them, but it will be close.  There may not be photos because I always worry about privacy issues with that type of quilt.  Their names and the location can be easily deduced from the designs on the shirts.  Just know that it's looking great so far and will be queen size, so that will take some time!

And... I promised myself I was NOT going to do Bonnie Hunter's 'En Provence Mystery Quilt.'  I still have the last one in pieces and unfinished and three in line to be quilted.  Haven't touched 'Allietare' since August.   I plan to save the instructions for now and hope to make a small version next year.

But...I'm starting to cave in. Today I pulled fabrics from my stash and put them together.  I've done so many quilts in her really scrappy style and loved them.  But my scrap bins are getting low.  This time I think I'll try and use up some larger pieces of fabric.   What do you think?  The navy has roses similar to the yellow, but they don't show up well here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Angel Tree

Every year during Advent our church has an Angel Tree.  On each of the paper angels is written something that is needed by one of several charities that our church supports.  Some have baby clothes and gifts for the local Pregnancy Support group.  Some have Christmas gift needs for the local Women's Shelter.  Some have gift cards and other needs for our grief and pastoral ministries.
Most years I pick one that has a gasoline gift card.  This year, the first one I picked was "lap throw."   I thought I'd try for a gas card again, so picked another.  "Twin comforter."  OK, it's a sign from the Angels after all.  I went home and searched through my quilts.  Time to pass along some of the quilts I have made to someone who needs them.

Today a basket of seven quilts went up to the church.  Most are lap quilts and a few baby quilts.  Several were made as mystery or challenge quilts.  They were fun to make, and I learned some new skills, but never made them for anyone in particular and never used any of them.  A bit more quilting was added to the borders of two of them before they left the house, and of course they all went through the washing machine one last time too.

I'm usually too self conscious of my quilting skills to give away quilts like this, but strangely, I'm not feeling uneasy about it at all.  I guess the time was right to do some letting go.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Two new finishes

Sew excited this week to have the binding done on these two lap quilts so they can be officially called Finished!

Circa 2016 was the summer sew-along from Temecula Quilt Company.  My version doesn't have the pieced HST border.  I have to admit, I forgot all about it when I was putting on the borders.  Guess I was too anxious to get it done!  But I already was debating whether to use them in a different project anyway.  This one has no batting and a gray fleece backing.  I feel like I'm cheating when I do that, but it's light weight and warm!
Circa 2016 48x56
Something's Fishy is done too!  This one is from blocks that didn't work out in another project and ended up as a quilt all on their own.  This is a free on-line pattern by Maywood Studio.
Something's Fishy 44x55

To round -up this week's progress, a really old Christmas UFO is now quilted and the binding is ready for hand stitching.   AND I cleaned out my fabric closet, adding two shelves to hold Christmas fabric, batting and my stack of UFO's.  Looks like I accomplished more than I realized!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Auditioning the corners

original yellow corners
The past week or two I've been super motivated to get some UFO's finished up.  Good progress is being made - slow but sure.

This morning I came across the perfect red fabric for the final border on Courthouse Stars - a Fons & Porter design.  But first, there's a decision to make and I'm stuck.

Originally, a plain yellow block was put in each corner, but it's bothering me.

The corners want to be dark, and I'm not quite sure how to do it.  So here's a few samples.
Simple dark HST

Rail fence


Log cabin facing outward
Log cabin facing center
It helps to look at pictures, don't you think?  Right now I'm leaning to the Log Cabin facing center, but it might be because of the value of the colors.  Rail fence is probably the easiest. Now is the time to replace those corners before the border is added.

Time to use my "Ask a friend."  What do you think?  Time to vote, everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Apple harvest finish

Another border fabric scrap turned up, and was enough to make a little table topper.  It's been hanging around for over 20 years (1994).  Time to move it along, don't you think?  Stack and whack style squares again.  This time I put little apple buttons in the centers.



When I was into French Sewing I made my daughter this dress from an apple print stripe.  The stripe of the fabric can just barely be seen in the skirt. The bodice was made of strips of the same fabric woven together in a basket-weave, so don't go by that.  It was an interesting technique. (That's Minnesotan for "I only did it once and won't do it again."  lol)

We've been making home made applesauce the past couple weeks from apples my BIL brought from their family farm.  Makes the house smell so wonderful!  I love apples and autumn days!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sew Tweet - Songbirds finish

This little baby quilt has been in the works since May and is finally finished!  It's machine quilted with Baptist Fans. The curves make a nice compliment to the straight lines of music.

I simply adore it!  Maybe it's because I'm a musician.  Who knows?

There was a photo of a similar quilt in an old magazine advertisement, and I realized I had a leftover piece of that background fabric from IKEA.  Of course I had to make it!  Sew easy!  Essentially a background panel with birds applique'd on top.  Even the border is a stripe fabric and not pieced.

ME and Dr. B. say that their nursery will have a north woods theme, but if they have a little girl maybe I can convince them that this one will fit their decor.  If not, I'll have to make another one. What a shame (wink.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Circa 2016 top

Unexpectedly, I had time to work on a quilting project last weekend at the lake between mulching leaves and pulling out boats.  Circa 2016 from Temecula Quilt Co. came up north with me.  It went together more quickly than expected, and today I finished putting the borders on.

My little pieced blocks are in fairly random order.  Following the exact placement just didn't want to work out.  Sometimes I hadn't made the block, other times the colors I used didn't look right.  (Whatever possessed me to use gray backgrounds on a few??)

Fortunately, I had made enough extras of my favorites and it all worked out.  I even have enough left over to make a couple of small quilts for gifts.  Stay tuned!

Temecula Quilt Co. has pulled the free pattern off their blog now, but it can be purchased from their web site.