Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Friends and Companions - the musical

Here's my second version of the Moda Sew-Along "Friends and Companions."
'F & C the Musical' on the piano -
which you can't see at all!

Silly me.  Why would I think to look at the fabric requirements before starting a project?  I just started pulling scraps and put together color groupings.  There was no chance of finding more of my light background fabric. It's a piece that's from deep stash. We're talking 30 years back.  So, when it came to making alternate blocks I looked for something with the same density of pattern.  Music notes to the rescue!  And so this version will be "Friends and  Companions -the Musical."
Trying for similar pattern density.

The red border is narrower than the original.  You guessed it, not enough red left to make a 6.5 inch border.  Well, 4 inches of red will do just fine - and it's all used up!  Can you tell the setting triangles are a different fabric too?  Yep, not enough green either.  I'll just call it "the creative process."  (smile, wink)

My stash report is doing much better this year than the past two.  Purchased 38 yards, used 60 yards. Over 20 more yards used than purchased!  The only fabric purchased for this quilt was the music notes, and some additional solid black.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Make a Little Pumpkin ornament

Just in time for Autumn, Harvest Festivals and Halloween, (and in plenty of time for Thanksgiving,) let's put together some little 3 inch pumpkin ornaments.  So easy, and quick for a gift tag on a hostess gift, or just a little decoration around the house.  Don't let the little pieces scare you!  We'll be sewing them on top of a larger piece, so they're easy to handle.

First let's get the pieces cut.  Dig out that scrap bag!  Find a nice pumpkin orange 2 x 2.5 inches.  A piece of green for the ground at 1 x 4 inches.  From the background fabric cut a piece 1.5 x 2.5 inches, four 1 inch squares and two 1 x 3 inch strips.  And... for the back of the ornament you will need a 4 inch square of fabric.  I used a Halloween print this time, but anything will do - I often use muslin.  Look through your batting scraps and cut a 4 inch square of batting.  Finally, a six inch long piece of narrow ribbon.  Mine is 1/4 inch width.  In your bobbin, use a color that matches the fabric you picked for the back of your ornament.  It makes the back look much neater!

Ready, set, go!

Start by layering backing fabric (right side down), then batting on top of it.  
Next, place the orange square right side up slightly below center. 
 (I have 1.5 inches of batting showing at the top.)

Place four 1 inch squares, right sides down, in the four corners of the orange fabric.  Stitch through the whole works.  Diagonals on the corner, turn and keep going.  Take about 5 or 6 stitches along the top and bottom to get to the next corner block. Flip the corners back and finger press.  No need to trim anything yet.

Using a 1/4 inch seam, stitch and flip open the top piece (1.5 x 2.5), then the two sides (1 x 3's) and finally the green bottom piece. Now we're getting somewhere!

The next step is to stitch a border.  I use the edge of my presser foot as a guide.  
You can see I've gone down the center of the side and bottom pieces, 
and stitched approximately the same distance from the edge on the top piece.   

Grab the pinking shears and let's get this trimmed to size!  
The finished ornament should be 3 inches square.

Fold the ribbon in half and tack the raw edges to the back of the ornament along your border stitching.  The last step is a little free-motion quilting.  Using dark green thread, stitch a couple of curved lines from top to bottom on the pumpkin.  Then scribble-stitch in a stem and tendril.  
All done!

Sharing this design with Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Autumn Friends and Companions

Looking out into the back yard this morning I noticed that the Sumac is at peak fall color.  Just the perfect backdrop to photograph my Autumn version of Moda's Friends and Companions Quilt-Along.  But, it wasn't done yet!   Threw in a load of laundry and headed to the sewing room.

There wasn't enough of any one orange fabric for the final border, so I cut 3 inch strips from what I had for scrappy piano keys.  By late morning a quilt top finished!  And a lovely fall photo.

Let's see some other finishes for the week:
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rediscovering the Pond Dakota Quilt

Sunday, Oct. 19th is the day!  I've been asked to give a presentation about the Pond Album Quilt that I have been researching for the Bloomington MN Historical Society.  I think I'm all ready.  Send good thoughts and prayers that it goes well.  I never know what I'm getting myself into sometimes.  LOL

This week I've learned something new.  My son was teasing me because he learned to make PowerPoint presentations in elementary school, and I have never done one.  And, I needed to have one prepared for Sunday's presentation.  The original quilt is too fragile to bring along with me.  So, with a little help from Hubby, I put together my very first PowerPoint so I can show photos of the original 1893 quilt.

If you are in the Twin Cities area, I invite you to come Sunday, 2PM, to the Gideon and Agnes Pond House at the Pond Dakota Mission .

I keep finding more and more interesting bits of information about the Dakota women whose names appear on the quilt!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Design wall Monday

It was a lovely weekend to quilt awhile at the lake.  I worked on piecing the alternate blocks for the Moda Friends and Companions sew-along.

Here is "Autumn Friends and Companions."

Next step is a 2-inch black border, and then a scrappy orange border.  I had started with one orange fabric and ran out, so I used a second orange fabric for a couple blocks. Then I found some more of the first fabric.  (sigh)  But I still don't have enough of either for the border, so I'll add a few more oranges and give it a scrappy border.

It's always a good idea to give projects a review, and I learned a few things from this project.  Color substitutions can be tricky on a mystery quilt.   I think I may have selected autumn colors that were too similar in value.  Even though I love all the fabrics, the piecing disappears in a couple of the blocks.

On the plus side, a surprising discovery. I love how the designer made the black center of the 'alternate blocks' 1/2-inch larger than the other black pieces in the 'alternate blocks'.  The result is that the alternate blocks end up the same size as the sampler blocks.  Without that little detail, the 'alternates' (based on 5x5 pattern) and the 'samplers' (based on a 4x4 pattern,) would not have ended up the same size without a lot of crazy math on one or the other.

Two more versions ahead.  Stay tuned....

Linking up with Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hostess gift in a hurry

Last Saturday we were invited by some friends up north to have dinner with them at their cabin.  I had planned to pick up some flowers to give as a hostess gift before we left for the lake on Friday.  Oops... completely forgot.  What to do!!?


On Saturday morning I poured through whatever fabrics I had brought with me for the weekend (in case I had time to quilt awhile.)  I had the pattern for the recent Marcus Friends and Companions Sew-along, and some HST leaders and enders.  I had brought up some fleece to use as backing for a lap quilt that was in my to-finish pile, so I laid that out, pinned it up for quilting and was pleased to find I had bought about 1/2 yard extra fleece. (There'll be photos of that once I get it quilted.)

I picked Block #8 from and with a little imagination and that extra piece of fleece for the backing, made a little table topper to give as a hostess gift.  I forgot to measure it, but it's about 12x18.

Hurray!  Hostess gift problem solved.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Market Day finished

This morning I did some sorting and picking up in the office/sewing room.  I made a list of fabric I need to buy at the store today to finish up the Marcus Designer sew along that just finished up today.  I was using up scraps rather than checking to see if I had enough of any of the fabrics, and I need some more black and some red.

As I was putting things away I came across Market Day.  It was so close to being done!  Only the quilting in the outside border remained to be done.  So, I took a deep breath and decided to get in a little free-motion quilting practice.  In no time it was done and ready for the final photo.

I've also been trying to calculate what I've used so far this year.  Looks like 27 yards purchased and 50 yards used.  So I'm in the black for this year!  Woo Hoo!  Starting to whittle away at that stash.  Ten small quilts (under 30 inches square), four queen size, two baby quilts, one lap quilt and a table runner have been finished so far this year. Three months to go!