Thursday, September 27, 2012

Silver Anniversary quilt: Kindergarten

Kindergarten Block

September brings autumn leaves and the students head back to school.  I remember taking photos of our children on their first day of kindergarten, all excited to be heading off on a new adventure.  It's a big step for the students, but perhaps even bigger for the parents to let go and see them take those first steps off into the world.

And so, the traditional Kindergarten Block finds it's way into our Anniversary Quilt. 

The block is similar to 'Tennessee' from Nancy Page, but the colors are reversed.  Marcia Hohn has a free pattern that you can find here.  I used plaid fabric from the school uniforms.  It's not cotton, but has way more memories.  The center of the block should be white, but my sister-in-law had given me a cute print when she was moving and reducing her stash.  I fussy-cut the school house to put in my center block. 

Use your children's school colors for this block.  The center can be light, or maybe you can find a fabric that shows their school mascot.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beautiful Leaves

Autumn Leaves block
With the coming of Autumn it seems appropriate to make Autumn Leaves blocks.  Aren't they cute?  It's perfect to put in the little quilt I've been working on this week. It's a five patch block and I added a border to match the alphabet blocks. 
Our family name is French Canadian, and means 'beautiful leaves.'  So of course I had to include some leaves in the alphabet quilt I'm making.

I only have borders left.  If I put a 3 inch border all around it will be 37 inches, and the backing can be cut from one piece of fabric.  I just have to decide on a color.  Time to search the stash!

If you want to make a wall hanging or a quilt with your family name, the alphabet instructions are on Quilts by Cheri.

Monday, September 24, 2012

B is for Monday?

Today is brought to you by the letter B!  Doesn't that remind you of watching Sesame Street with the kids?  Last week I started on some alphabet blocks.  I finished the letter B, and kitted up the rest of the letters that I need. 

Thanks to Quilts by Cheri for sharing her fun alphabet patterns FREE.  The plan is to make a wall hanging with our family name.  I would love to give it to my father-in-law for Christmas!

Let's see how much I can get done this week.  My rule is going to be that I have to go for a walk or do my 30 minute Yoga DVD before I can do any sewing.  Do you think that will motivate me to be more active?  Hope so!  I sure need it. (Don't we all?) 

Linking up with Judy to keep me on track this week.  Check out what some other quilters are up to.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another little quilt from 1905

Here is another little doll quilt from the Bloomington Historical Society.  It's a little blue and red checkerboard. The original was made by Mrs. Valentine Haeg in about 1905.

It's made with four-patch blocks.  Some are red and light blue, and a few are red and white.  She must have used scraps.  Her top border is a different tan plaid fabric than the other three border pieces, and there are at least two light blues.

This week I worked on a pattern and made up a prototype.  Don't you just love it!?  I made this one larger than the original 12 block quilt, by adding another row of four-patches across and down. 

It's been fun working on small quilts this year.  It's something I've never done before. 

Next week's project....finish quilting the borders on MQ6 that I set aside August 1st before we had my cousins come for a summer visit.

Take a look at what other quilters are up to this week at confessions of a fabric addict.  I really enjoy looking at the links each week!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Heritage Days 2012 Quiltathon

Today was the big day.   The Bloomington Heritage Days was today.  We loaded up the van with quilts, donned period costume and headed over for a long day at the Historical Society Area. 

It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky.  The breeze made sitting for hours in the sun tolerable, but it kept blowing the foam quilt tiles off the table.  Only about 25 kids had a chance to design quilt squares before we got tired of chasing errant pieces taken by the wind and packed them away.

But the bright colors attracted a nice steady stream of visitors.  The Double Irish Chain on the long quilting frame was popular, and there were many nice compliments on the Flag quilt we hung in the crabapple tree.  I was able to use one of the first quilts I made as a good example of how fabric deteriorates and fades over time.  It's a good thing I couldn't bring myself to throw it out long ago.

I was able to finish hand stitching the binding on the reproduction doll quilt about a half hour before we packed up for the day at 6pm.  My wonderful niece, Sara, helped out and demonstrated hand quilting on a smaller oval quilt frame.  It was her first time hand quilting, and she did a great job.  Wish I had a photo of her to share, but I think it's on her camera. 

Here I am working on that little 1905 doll quilt reproduction.  Can you believe I had it all done, quilted and ready for binding, when last night I noticed an entire row of half square triangles was facing the wrong way!  Can you find it in the photo?  Well, they sure weren't coming back out!  It will just have to give 'authenticity' to the quilt.

But the day wore me out entirely, and I'm off to bed as soon as I link up with Judy's Quiltathon report at Patchwork Times. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September Quiltathon


replica of 1905 doll quilt by Mrs. Valentine Haeg
Bloomington Historical Society collection

I have a couple of busy quilting days planned, so I think I'll join in on Judy's Quiltathon.  This morning I finished up the remaining three rows of half-square-triangles for the 1905 replica doll quilt. 

It took a little longer than I thought.  I wasn't paying attention a couple of times and sewed the wrong side of a pair of block together.  Rip Rip Rip. 

By lunch time I had finished the top, pieced together a couple of scraps for the batting, cut the back and quilted it all up.  I'm leaving the binding for Saturday.  I'll be demonstrating quilting at the Heritage Day Festival in the Bloomington Historical Society tent.  They expect 20,000 people from the sounds of things.  That will be a much bigger audience that I ever expected.
Yesterday I cut up some foam sheets into 3 inch blocks and half squares for a hands-on project at the festival .  Kids can make up quilt blocks and see what happens when they change colors or values. 
This afternoon, after a trip to the grocery store (noticed at lunch we're low on milk), I need to sandwich a quilt for hand quilting demonstrating.   I'm going to use a quilt top I made last spring as part of an internet blog hop.  I decided to use it for a tablecloth, so I'm just putting white flannel on the back and no batting.  Sometimes the batting is just fluffy enough to cause stemware to tip, so I'm going to try just two layers.  The quilting deisgns have to be marked first.  I found a pretty design by Hari Walner called Leaves Entwined that I plan to use for the open yellow blocks.  To make it more stable I'll machine quilt or baste it together, and then it will fit into the round quilting hoop that I'm going to bring on Saturday.  Hope I can get it all done!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

1905 doll quilt

This week I've been working on a replica of a doll quilt in the Bloomington Historical Society collection.  Isn't is cute?  It will be about 25 inches square when it's done.  The original quilt was made in 1905 by Mrs. Valentine Haeg. 

Now Bloomington may be a city of over 80,000, but it's a small world.  Mrs. Haeg's grandson and his family lived a block or so from my parents. (I actually think I babysat her great grandchildren one time.)

As you can see there's one more row of half square triangles to finish up.  It's not hard for me to make replica quilts like this, but writing down directions so someone else can understand how to do it is not an easy task.  I certainly have a greater appreciation for anyone who has made patterns or written book of quilt patterns!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Quilter's dilemma...

What to do??? 

On my 'design wall' this week is a decision.  If the decision is 'Go for it!" then I have to design a quilting presentation, and get everything ready.

I've been asked by the Bloomington MN Historical Society to give a quilting demonstration at the upcoming Heritage Days on September 15th.  They have suggested demonstrating and talking about quilting in the early days - in costume - outdoors from noon to 6pm.  That's 6 hours of demonstrating hand quilting - which I. have. never. done.  And it needs to be interactive.  And I have two days to decide and 10 days to get it all together.  Budget - Zero.  I've always machine pieced and quilted, and though I have done hand sewing as a child, I have no hope of my hand quilting work passing inspection. 

Yarn tied scrap quilt made about 1983
(my 4th quilt I think)

On the other hand, I do have a quilting frame - several styles in fact - and do know a lot about quilting which I would love to share.   I have two quilts that are yarn tied from my early quilting days, and many that are machine quilted.  Queen, twin, lap, baby and doll quilts that I wouldn't be too embarrassed to show.  And I have some hand pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks that were made by my friend's mother that I could display.

I have a log cabin sampler quilt top made that I wasn't entirely happy with.  I could pull it out of the UFO pile, find some batting and a back, and put it up on the quilt frame for people to 'practice' hand quilting on.  Maybe make up a coloring page for kids to color quilt blocks and see how different color choices make the blocks look different?  Or cut up poster board in squares and triangles to make 'puzzles' so kids can design quilt blocks? 

What should I do?  Jump in with both feet and do my best, or say 'No.'? 
Linking up with Judy's Design Wall Monday for advice.  Help me decide and leave a comment.  Thanks!