Wednesday, October 16, 2019

October Cheddarback blocks

Are you keeping up with the Cheddarback blocks from Sentimental Stitches?  Here's what I have for October so far...
A couple initials using a Cheri Payne alphabet, and the larger blocks for this month.  I figured out how to do the flower basket by piecing rather than the partial applique.  That would never have looked right to me.  I usually machine applique with a zig-zag or a blanket stitch, and that just didn't seem to be in the spirit of the quilt.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Snow on the River

In my efforts to work on projects I already have planned - rather than chasing off at every new internet idea or sew-along that I find...
I've pulled out a quilt that I first downloaded and set aside fabric for in 2012. 

It's a free pattern by Barbara Brackman which she posted on her Material Cultures blog.  (click here for the link)  She called it "Snow on the River Wandle." 

 I was drawn to it by the lovely rich jewel colors.  Before Mill End Fabrics closed, I found this snowy tree fabric and bought it for this project.  Time to get 'er done!

A rainy weekend at the cabin gave me time to cut out all the blocks, and start sewing.  Here's my progress so far.

The Tri-Recs rulers by Darlene Zimmerman & Joy Hoffman at EZ have been Wonderful!  My points on the stars are coming out beautifully. 

This is kind of a practice quilt for the Storm At Sea quilt that's on my bucket list.  I think I'll have the confidence to do that one fairly soon from the way this one is going. Yay!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Remembering Cheri finish

Remembering Cheri 52 x 58 inches
Besides being one of the loveliest days of autumn today, another quilt was finished!  Remembering Cheri was quilted up this week, and this morning the binding went on. 

A year and a half in the making, it turned out quite nicely.  Quirky, whimsical, primitive.  Not my typical style quilt, but a fun change of pace.

I'm not a big fan of applique, but enjoyed making these monthly blocks.  By the time it came to adding more applique to the borders though, I cried "No more!" 

I used buttons for some of the smaller applique design elements, and they are very cute.  (Flowers in April, May and September, berries in March, eyes in August, October & November, snowflakes & snowman in January and Santa's packages in December.)  A bit of a challenge to quilt around them, but it worked out.  The red star block is my label and the border is quilted in diamonds.  Most of the blocks have echo quilting around the applique.

As in all my Cheri Payne quilts lately, I've liberally used scraps from my Dad's cotton shirts and pajamas.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A few little things

Heritage Days is over!  The past three years I've had a major role in putting together part of our community festival, and the process is all-consuming in the last month before the event.  Last weekend was the big day, and now I finally will have some time to sew again.  Isn't that a great feeling?

I haven't been totally away from the sewing machines though.  Just to keep my sanity over the past month, I've escaped to the sewing room a few times to do a bit of quick and easy stitching.

Bed sheet on the left, Daisy Kingdom on the right.
Only one block of the September 'Cheddarback' blocks was done - the easiest one.  And then, of course I didn't like it, and made a second one.

Searching around for a print fabric that was large enough to make the flowers proved a challenge.  I found one - Daisy Kingdom from the early 1990's left over from a sewing project for our daughter.  Looked lovely, but clearly the wrong era to go with the rest of the quilt so far. 

So, I tried again another day.  Found a bit left from a bed sheet - of all things - and gave that a try.  Better I think.  At least it looks older.

Dashing Through the Snow
Temecula Quilt Company has a little sew-along going on from now till Christmas called Dashing Through the Snow.  Adorable 3-inch Churn Dash blocks in red and white, with an alternate block in green.  I probably won't make all the blocks, but have another half-dozen cut.  I used up the whole scrap of red/white stripe making them.  Maybe a table runner??? 

Can you see the mistake in one?  Taking a photograph will bring out all those little things.  I might have to turn the center piece the correct direction in the lower left block.

Finally, I played with some selvege strips a bit.  I made an adorable basket weave quilt with them a while ago, but the pattern was to alternate color & white (with the selvege white strip being the white), so the lightest selveges kept getting rejected.  Bonnie Hunter does a lot with string blocks, and I thought that some of the neutral fabric selveges would work nicely in one of her patterns.  These are 4-1/2 inch blocks, and the plan is to make a version of Jamestown Landing.  I'll need 160 for a big quilt.  I have 25 done.  Guess I have a ways to go.  On the other hand, those 25 went together super fast, in an evening, so I just have to collect more selveges to keep going.

Neutral selvage string blocks
Basket weave Selveges 2019

Friday, August 9, 2019

A productive weekend

Lots of quilting happened at the Cabin last weekend!

Aunt Addie's Blue Ribbon Quilt, which I finished quilting during the week, received it's binding and is officially FINISHED.  It turned out to be such a sweet little quilt.
Aunt Addie's Blue Ribbon Quilt - sew along
designed by Kathleen Tracy
Three borders went on the Moda Love quilt.  The center blocks are from a gift pack of Pam Buda fabrics that I won through her blog.  The red border - which matches perfectly - is a Thimbleberries fabric I found at the local thrift store a while back.  Inner and outer borders are both chocolate brown.  This one turned out to be queen sized after all.  It will probably go in the pile to be quilted this winter sometime.
Moda Love
I also tried to work on Cheddarback month #6 blocks. Lesson learned - don't try to do these from memory.  Where were the directions? At home.  Typically I stitch and cut 3-inch squares into 2.5-inch half square triangles.  So, off I went, without realizing that Gay from Sentimental Stitches had us cut them down to 2-inch HST's.  Of course, nothing fit right.  I fiddled, I re-cut, I trimmed down... I made a lovely block.  But it's the wrong thing altogether.  Fortunately, I stopped after making just one, and  I had enough extra fabric to re-do the block.
Wrong block on the left, Correct block on the right.
I seem to have to re-make a couple blocks each time.  But, of all the crazy things, the one with the difficult set-in seams (upper left small block) went together perfectly the first time! 
I love this quilt - much more than I expected! 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Remembering Cheri monthly sew along

The last two buttons have been sewn on and Remembering Cheri is ready to pin and quilt.   One block for each month of the year, plus a few odds and ends in Cheri Payne's distinctive primitive style.  The pattern was available through Quilts by Cheri Friendship Group on Facebook. 

The pattern is also supposed to have a lot of applique in the outer border, but I'm just not an applique quilter.  At least for now, I'm saying I'm done! 

I learned so much from Cheri, even though I have a different preferred quilting style.
1.  You don't have to follow the pattern!  Make a quilt your own.  If you don't like a certain element, change it!
2.  You don't have to have things perfectly match.  Colors, fabric lines or points.
3.  Spontaneity brings joy and motion to a quilt.
4.  Work outside your comfort zone for a change.

I have difficulty quilting applique pieces like this with lots of buttons and trim things on it.  Perhaps just a meander that avoids all those things will work.  And what was I thinking when I didn't change the Whale?  There aren't whales in Minnesota!  I think I was just too busy (lazy) last August to change it to a sunfish, bass or walleye.  Do you think it will always bother me?

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Aunt Addie is ready for quilting

Aunt Addie's Blue Ribbon Quilt is a sew-along from Kathleen Tracy and the top is finished!  The pieces are quite eclectic, all scraps with no rhyme or reason, but it works.  In the end, I only re-made two blocks.  Both contained one contemporary fabric that just didn't play well with others.  Now it's all pinned and ready to quilt!

Aunt Addie's Blue Ribbon Quilt  40 x 48 inches