Friday, September 27, 2013

New Favorite block - octagon star

Here's my new favorite block.  I love it!

 It's from the Fat Quarter Shop's Decade the Halls quilt. You can get the free pattern here.  It's the most adorable star in an octagon which they used for their ornament block.  It's so easy because none of the points have to match up! 

Yes, that's right.  Take a close look at the octagon corners and the star points.  Not an exact half square triangle.  No matching to a corner point.  And the stars have an overlap too.  Lots of wiggle room!

I'm going to try a few without the ornament top and hanger, and alternate with plain blocks.  Should be a great way to use up some scraps!  It makes a 5 inch block (4.5 inches finished) which is a really easy size to work with.  The pieces aren't too tiny.

Here's how far I am with the official pattern...

Monday, September 23, 2013

#7 goes missing

Pam Buda at Heartspun Quilts has been putting out clues for a darling little quilt called Nabby's Dowry.  I've been pretty busy, but I already had the HST's made from leaders & enders and I decided to follow along.

Making up one block each week was really easy - and made for a nice break from my other projects.  Or maybe I just needed an excuse to procrastinate a while.

Anyway, the big reveal, and time to put the blocks all together came.  I laid out all the blocks on the floor and pinned a number to each block to keep them in order.  Then took them into the sewing room and started putting them together with a little sashing.  Got nearly done and suddenly - no block 7.  Not here, not there, not anywhere!

After two days of searching I finally gave up and just made another block.  Now that the top is together I'm sure #7 will show up any minute.

Linking up this week:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Heritage Days

What a beautiful Saturday for our community Heritage Days festival.  Sunny and not too warm.  Near 70 degrees, and just a little breezy in the afternoon.  There was a good crowd, music and food.

The Bloomington Historical Society had a big tent with photos and displays.  The one-room schoolhouse display was next to my quilting area.  Behind me was a blacksmith, and his wife who talked about the supplies needed to come west by covered wagon.  Farther over were old-fashioned games like three-legged races, sack races, and mini pumpkin painting.

Every hour there was a pie-eating contest sponsored by a nearby pie shop!  You should have heard the whooping and hollering after they shouted one, two, three, GO!

A long-time friend, Jenny, helped me this year.  She is a teacher and did such a wonderful job talking to the children who stopped in about quilting and sewing for a pioneer family.  My niece Sara Kay also helped with set up and took some photos before things got too hectic.  I'm so grateful to both of them for their help!

On the card table were the reproduction quilts I have done, or am working on.  The flag quilt in the back drew lots of attention.  The long quilting frame, which once belonged to the mother of my BFF from high school, held a completed Double Irish Chain quilt and Jenny covered her worktable with a Card Trick quilt.

Four quilt racks held examples of quilts made from today's old clothing - denim jeans & t-shirts, and some old quilts that had deteriorated to show how fabric can wear/fade/stress.   An old steamer trunk spilled more colorful quilts out and a couple ladders added some height.  All-in-all, a pretty good day to share quilting with folks in the community.  And I even had a chance to get over to the the food court for a hot dog and an ice cream sundae!  I couldn't have done it at all without the help of my wonderful DH who packed the van, unpacked the van, set up and took down and had a nice glass of wine ready for me when we got home.  What a gem!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Album Quilt Top finished

Just in time for Saturday's quilting demonstration at Bloomington Heritage Days!  It was a real 'nose to the grindstone' week here pulling together the reproduction of the 1893 Album Quilt which is in the Bloomington Historical Society collection.  But, this afternoon the top is finished.  And photographed!

It will be a wonderful hands-on kind of quilt to use when I talk about the original and the stories of the women whose names appear on the quilt.

In addition to the names on the quilt, I have also added married names and birth/death dates if I could find them.  Eventually I'll embroider on any last bits of information I find and then quilt it with Baptist fans - like the original.

Next step is to empty out my quilt chest and fill it with the quilts I plan to take to the demonstration.  I'll be there from 11-6, so stop in if you're in the area!

Linking up on Friday with Sarah and Amanda Jean.  Don't you love seeing what other quilters have been up to this week?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Buttons and Bows

The days this week are full of sitting at the computer and double checking my research on the Antique Album Quilt.  It's so easy to sit down and suddenly it's 4pm!  This morning I really needed a quilting break - so I worked a bit on gingerbread men.  This adorable FREE pattern can be found at the Fat Quarter Shop.

Though their fabrics are very nice... teal and lime are nowhere in my Christmas palette of colors!  So, off to my scrap bag for nice toasty brown gingerbread.  Though it seems I have my mind elsewhere and have not been paying attention.

If you look closely, the buttons and bows on two of them are mixed up.  Time to pull out the seam ripper!  But it should only take about 15 minutes to make them right.

It's funny.  Years ago my mother would always take the time to rip out and re-sew little mistakes and make things exactly right.  I couldn't understand why she would take the time to do that when they weren't THAT bad.  Now I find myself doing exactly what she did.  I am not as satisfied with 'good enough' as I used to be.  Ah, the impatience of youth! (Not saying that I'm anywhere near a perfectionist though. lol)

Monday, September 2, 2013

MN State Fair time

In spite of the excessive heat warnings this week, I managed to spend half a day at the Minnesota State Fair.  How could I end summer without being there?  This is only the second year I've gone alone.   Usually it's a family event but it was just too hot for everyone this year.

The benefit of going alone is that I can spend all the time I want looking at quilts.  My first stop was Roesbud's Cottage in Heritage Square.

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Roseanne and we talked about the Album Quilt I've been working on.  She was so enthusiastic and encouraging, and generously offered to be a resource if the story of that quilt becomes a book someday.

I always feel so bad that I'm not a regular Quilt Shop customer.  Hancock, Jo-Ann and Mill End Fabrics are all so close, that I've never had to venture farther.  Most of my quilts are scrap and utility quilts anyway, and those shops keep me within my limited quilting budget. (at least most of the time!)

This year I concentrated on looking at ideas for quilt settings so I can feature some machine embroidery.
 Here's one with scrappy flying geese in the sashings between blocks featuring redwork birds.

And one with beautiful green embroidered cabins and northwoods Minnesota scenes that have piano key strips to square up the blocks.  Lovely!

And finally some redwork Santas surrounded by traditional stars.
There were so many beautiful quilts on display!  I love to admire all the work and creativity, but have never felt any desire to enter any of my quilts into a competition.  I love them as they are, mistakes and all.