Thursday, April 30, 2015

May Basket

It's May Day!  How did it come so soon?  Spring is in the air, and the violets, bleeding hearts and dandelions are starting to bloom here in Minnesota.

May Basket mini - 15 inches square.
As a child, we used to make May Baskets on the first of May and give them to Mother.  We would use the pint sized square plastic baskets that strawberries came in.  They were perfect for weaving a bit of ribbon through the openings and filling with tissue paper flowers.  (May 1st is still a little early for fresh flowers here, but that didn't stop us.)

Here's a May Basket to share with you that I just finished today using a single traditional May Basket block.

 I was going to make each triangle a different color 'flower', but then I stumbled across this bright mottled fabric that was with some scraps my sister-in-law gifted me when she was cleaning out her sewing room.

Did you ever celebrate May Day?  I don't think many do, but on the other hand, I think every day is worth celebrating!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

In the sewing room

Lots of time spent in the sewing room these past few days, but not a lot of quilting done.  My machine is busily embroidering the Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse on dish towels and aprons for the Ashland, WI museum. They will celebrate the centennial of the 1915 lighthouse this July, and would like to have items for the gift shop.

Lots of thread breaks at first with the embroidery, but after changing brands of thread, and changing the Schmetz needle twice, I switched to an Organ brand needle from a pack I picked up at the Sewing and Quilting Expo this year.  Finally, problems mostly solved!  The count so far:  4 out of 9 aprons and 8 out of 15 towels done.  Each takes about 45 minutes to do.

While I'm babysitting the embroidery machine I've been sandwiching and pin basting some small quilts that are in my pile.  Hopefully there will be finishes ahead to show you next week!  Tomorrow afternoon I plan to visit the Historic Pond House in Bloomington to do some hand sewing with "Mrs. Pond."  Hopefully some hand binding will get finished.

One more UFO finished this past week.  My Autumn version of the Friends and Companions Sew Along that was started last July is quilted and bound.  TA DA!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First finishes since February

Two finishes over the weekend!
First is a little 12 inch mini for Easter.  My neighbor, who is a lovely Greek lady (and makes the best home made baklava), celebrated Orthodox Easter this weekend.  So I think I can still say I finished in time for Easter. I just had to hand sew the binding in the car on the way to the lake.
Easter with my Peeps - mini 12 inch square
A close-up for brighter colors.

The other quilt that had binding hand stitched on this week was a UFO!  I started Shoo Fly Pie in April 2012 as part of a color challenge.  We were challenged to make a quilt from colors from a posted photograph, colors we would not normally use together.

I had a very busy small print floral that I loved, but it never was right for anything!  It had all the right colors in it for this challenge.  It was still too busy for me at first, and I started and stopped, ripped out and re-sewed again to make half dark and half light. I was stuck for a while until my sister suggested adding the navy blue blocks to anchor the colors.  It was just what this quilt needed!  Finally, this is the result.
Shoo Fly Pie quilted tablecloth 51 inches square
I can't make a shoo fly block without humming the song "Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy."  My mother used to sing that all the time in the kitchen.  I was thinking of her, and her home made pies, when I made the pie in the center. The crust is a wide tan rick-rack top-stitched over the seam of the drunkard's path blocks.  I used a lightweight summer cotton blanket for backing and plan to use this quilt as a tablecloth up at the lake.  Especially when we're serving pie!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Celebrating Easter with my Peeps

I've been crazy busy lately, but I was able to sit down and sneak a little piecing in this week.  Paper piecing is not my favorite quilting method.  I just can't seem to get the pieces and angles just right to make the fabric cover the spot it's supposed to when you flip everything back over.  Sigh.

But this was just too cute!  I couldn't resist.  Peeps!

The pattern by Jennifer Ofenstein at  is free on Craftsy.

I think I'll only make four and make up a little mini quilt to put under the foot of the 1952 Singer that sits on the cedar chest in the living room.  So sweet!

Do you love peeps?  Seems like people either love them or don't like them at all.  A little too sweet for me to enjoy as much as I used to, but I think I'll love them in a quilt!

Happy Easter to all!