Thursday, July 31, 2014

Plans for the weekend

Big quilting plans for this weekend!

Today I pin basted three small quilts to work on.  If I can get them quilted I'll really feel like I've accomplished something!

The Patch Pals quilts are coming along.  I've pulled fabric and will start piecing the squares together over the weekend as well.  Sly Fox is first on the list because I'm having trouble finding just the right grey color for Rascal Raccoon.  I have one fabric that I like, but don't think there's enough.  And no chance of getting more.  It's way too 'deep stash' for that!

The Lake Association picnic is this weekend, and I feel so bad that I haven't made a quilt for a door prize this year.  I do have a good excuse if anyone cares.  Two queen quilts finished for family weddings by June 1st, with one more to go this month, plus baby quilts for my niece's twins due in machine has been humming on those projects whenever I've had spare time.  If I can get the Sunshine and Shadows table runner quilted, I could donate that one (upper left in the photo.)  If not, I have a backup plan....

Last night I embroidered this cute bug jar on a tote bag (from Michael's crafts). Since I used the yellow bag, I skipped the yellow glow on the fireflies.  The stabilizer behind the jar gives it a lighter background.  The embroidery download can be found at Urban Threads.  Their embroidery patterns are for both machine and hand embroidery.  Sometimes Urban Threads is a little too 'skulls and tatoos' for me, but they also have lovely simple embroidery patterns that are cute, clever, and stitch up quickly - like this one.

The tote bag should make a nice door prize.  What are your quilty plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Heartfelt, Heartspun Thankyou

With all the things going on here these past couple weeks I haven't had time to share with you a delightful package that came in the mail.  I happened to leave a comment on Pam Buda's Heartspun Quilts blog and was totally surprised to find I had won a gift in her drawing!

This wonderful package of 8 inch squares - 27 in all - and each a different fabric in her new collection A Prairie Gathering by Marcus Fabrics.  I've added a link there so you can see them all a little better.  I can't wait to plan a quilt using them all together.  Looks like a wonderful fall project is ahead!  Thank you so much Pam!!

I have finally decided what quilt patterns to use for the twin boys my niece is expecting in September.  Quiltmaker Magazine came through again with their Patch Pals series.   Rascal Raccoon (July/August 2013) and Sly Fox (July/August 2014) will be just perfect!  By next week I hope I'll have made some progress to show you.

I'm finding it difficult to do any sewing with all the boxes of things we have brought home from my parent's house.  There is so much to sort through, and it's hard to concentrate with such disarray.  But I've sorted through three boxes so far this week.  Perhaps I can find some peace and quiet for quilting this weekend.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Author! Author!

It's been nearly two years since I walked into the Bloomington (MN) Historical Society Museum for the very first time.  I came to drop off something for my dad, and while I was there I asked if they had any quilts in their collection.  Did that question ever send my life in a whole new direction!

Out on display for the 150th anniversary of the Dakota Conflict was an Album quilt.  Not just ANY album quilt.  This one has amazingly complete information inked right onto the quilt.  Not only the year it was hand-sewn, 1893, but the names of many of the women who made it.

Now, it's pretty remarkable that a quilt of that age is even dated at all.  But to have 34 individual names is amazing.  Now, add the fact that most of them were Native American. Can you say RARE?

My curiosity got the best of me.  Who were these women?  What stories did they have to tell?  Was there even any evidence they existed at all, except for their name on an old quilt?  It seemed as if the women called out to me, and it became my passion to know who they were.

So, mostly from my home computer, I have researched the names and the small South Dakota Presbyterian mission where they lived.  What I found could fill a book.  And it has.  Well, a small book anyway.

The basic research has been compiled into a 40 page booklet and printed up for a public presentation I will be giving about the quilt at the Bloomington Historical Society Museum this Sunday afternoon at 2pm.

The quilt was donated by a member of the Pond family, a family with roots to the earliest days of white settlement in Bloomington.  Thus, the quilt has been named "The Pond Album Quilt."

So, even though it's small, and self-published, it IS my first book.  There is a lot of information that didn't make it into the booklet and maybe a larger book could be written in the future.

But for now, if you will indulge me for just a minute...

I'm an Author! (Squeal!) (Happy dance.)
....Ok, I'm back.   Thanks.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Market Day progress

When I headed up north last week, these little blocks were all done and ready for the next step in a Sew Along.

When I got home I was eager to go to Pam Buda's blog Heartspun Quilts and see how they were to go together.  Yep, it was a surprise!  I do love how she puts different simple elements together to make such pleasing designs.

Here's my version so far....

It will have a royal blue binding to corral that red border.  I went to deep, deep stash for that fabric.  Something with tiny red, yellow and blue flower buds straight out of Holly Hobby and the 1970's.  I never thought I'd ever use that when I brought it home from my mother's stash of fabrics, but it was just perfect for this project.  The shade of orangy-red plays so nicely with the other reds in the quilt.  Surprise!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Solstice time

Here's another unfinished project that got some attention last week at the Lake.  Celtic Solstice!

All the blocks are now sewn together.  It's time to figure out borders.  The first will be a narrow white border.  The last will be Kelly green.  (I have enough for a 4 inch border all around, but perhaps I'll head to JoAnn Fabrics some time soon and see if they have more, or if there is another green that will work better.)

As for how to piece a border to go between them....well, it's still a puzzle.  I just know that I want to try something different than the yellow and blue arrows that Bonnie Hunter used in the original, but I'm feeling a little lazy.  I do mysteriously have a lot of the yellow and red pinwheels left over.  Maybe they will find their way into the border.

Oh, and I just realized as I hit the post button that this is my 200th blog post! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Carried away by UFO's

Several unfinished projects (ufo's) came with me to the Lake last week.  It was relaxing to spend time piecing together and playing with fabrics set aside long ago.

First on the agenda was to stitch together some Oklahoma Backroads blocks that were created from a Leader/Ender project.  I had made 24 blocks and it will make a nice lap size quilt for watching television when it's all quilted up.  The pattern is free on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville page.
Oklahoma Backroads lap quilt
The next project was inspired by Kathleen Tracy.  She shared a photo of a small signature quilt and it has such a sweet verse on it.  I need to make a quilt for a door prize at our Lake Association Picnic and perhaps this larger version will work.  My sister says that it looks like little sailboats.  Which way should I put the writing?  Colored sails up?  or White sails up?  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Quilting Holiday

Lake cabin and garage/barn 
July has been a busy month, and we were able to spend a week at our lake cabin in central Minnesota.  I brought several unfinished projects up and was able to make good progress on all of them!  That will at least give me something to write about for the next few posts. (smile)

We brought up an old desk and dresser from my parent's house to make a quilting space at the cabin.   I thought I'd share with you the wonderful view from my new quilting area which is upstairs in the 'barn'.  

It's not really a barn... just a garage for the car, boats and canoes, lawn mowers and storage, plus a workshop for Hubby.
lake side view
road side view- the railing is so that no one accidentally
walks out the door since there's no balcony.

It's a wonder I'll get anything done with such a lovely view!  But it's nice to finally have a place to set up my sewing machine and leave it up for a while.  Usually I sew/quilt at the dining table, and then have to put everything away whenever meal times come along.  And we often want to use the table for board games or cards in the evenings. Having a separate space to sew will be so much better don't you think?