Thursday, May 28, 2015

Roman Stripe in progress

Looking through some boxes of fabric recently I stumbled across some blocks and partial blocks made by Shirley, my friend's late mother.  There were a couple whole blocks, and lots of striped triangles.  Looks like she made a red/black/white Roman Stripe quilt for a grandson.

A quick trip was made to the fabric store to pick up some solid red and solid black to match what she used.  I cut some triangles and finished up some blocks over the weekend.

Problem.  The pieced triangles are all different sizes.  Rejects from her project obviously.  So why wasn't it obvious to me that I needed to make them the same before adding the solid triangle? So now some blocks are 8", some 8 1/2, some 8 3/4 and some 9 inches.  Two are 9 1/4!   I'm trying to keep as much of the top corner fabric as possible, so just lopping off two sides doesn't work. And, of course, the diagonal seam needs to be from corner to corner exactly.

Undaunted, I'm stitching a few of her seams a little deeper, measuring from the diagonal and re-cutting so they are all 8 inches square.  I'm not going to be crazy about things matching up perfectly.  It's just exciting and challenging to make a little something from leftover scraps.

There are 25 blocks with black and 9 with red.  I tried a layout using them all, but in the end, two separate small quilts looked best.  Here's the red one that I finished up today....

Wow, the flash really made that solid red POP!  In daylight it is much closer to the border color.  Perhaps because the solid red is a blend and not 100% cotton.  But, that's what she was using in the 80's and it looked better to keep the same fabric for all of the blocks.  I'm looking forward to trying some free motion feathers or something interesting in those big red triangles.  Any suggestions?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Quilts at Civic Plaza

It's been a busy week!  One thing that was accomplished was putting up a new display at Bloomington Civic Plaza.  It's Quilts!
The display includes:
1930's Nursery Rhyme embroidered quilt
1885 Victorian Crazy Quilt
1920's Yo-Yo coverlet
Late 1800's Log Cabin Quilt, courthouse steps layout
Two wool lap quilts from the 1940's or so
Reproductions of two 1905 doll quilts
Reproduction of 1893 Pond Dakota Album Quilt
and a 1910 Singer sewing machine.

I was glad to see today that they are keeping the lights off in the cabinet to protect the quilts, even though the display cabinet has special conservator lights and glass.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sailing along

Just popping in to post a photo of a little quilt finished yesterday.  I worked on hand stitching the binding while spending the afternoon as volunteer receptionist at our Church.
Sailboats 32-1/4 x 23-1/4.  
This is a larger version of a Kathleen Tracy signature quilt.  I had larger sized scrap blocks on hand, so that's what I used.  My sister thought the blocks looked like sail boats, so I wrote a little poem to write on the sails.
"Sail boats on a sunny day
Little do they mind,
They skip along
The sparkling waves and
Leave their cares behind."
and I signed and dated the last block.

Sis has an electrical panel box that she would like to hide with a small quilt.  This might be just the right size.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Oh, Danny Boy...

Danny Boy  18.5 inches square  - traditional block
This little one-block table-topper was started on St. Patrick's Day/  Though it didn't take long to make, it sat in the hand-binding pile for a few months.  Finally, it is finished!

It is a traditional block pattern which I found in Maggie Malone's book "5,500 Quilt Block Designs."  Sometimes I just look through the book and find a design name I like - and make one for fun.

I remember my Irish grandfather singing 'Danny Boy' in his old Irish tenor voice.

Today my nephew Dan graduates and we couldn't be prouder of all he has accomplished.  It has been a long road for him, but today he receives his Bachelors degrees in Clinical Medical Technology and Microbiology.  Hooray for our Danny Boy!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Friends and Companions finish

The third version of Friends and Companions is done.  Someone remind me to just make a decision and only make one mystery quilt next time!   Here is the version closest to the original colors, and another UFO completed (this one was started July 2014).

The quilting is mostly stitch-in-the-ditch, but I did some free motion stippling in the blue setting blocks and it went very well.  I'm getting much more confident at it and will probably do more in the future.

As you can see, we were up at the Lake when I finished the binding.  The leaves are barely peeking out on the trees.  The dock and boat are in, and we took our first pontoon sunset cruise of the season!

After much deliberation I've decided to put off quilting up Grand Illusion.  For some reason it just doesn't look right to me.  I suppose it's the colors I used - or perhaps the light/dark values aren't working for me.  On the other hand, I LOVE the border.  At any rate, after consulting with Hubby and Sis, both of whom find it too busy, I'll set it aside and ponder whether or not to make some changes.   So, the next UFO on the list will be one of my Bonnie Hunter tops that I like much better.  Easy Street?  Celtic Solstice? Lazy Sunday?  There are several to choose from!

I've now quilted up all the smaller UFO's on the list and only have 5 queen size remaining.   I'll have to clear off the dining room table again to have a surface that will support quilting a queen size quilt.  No long arm quilting here I'm afraid.  There are also several small quilts that just need bindings hand sewn, so you'll be seeing those get finished up one by one.  Plus, I'm always starting something new.