Monday, December 30, 2013

blue Santa

A few years ago I saw this panel at a quilt show, love Santa, love blue, and well, it came home with me. Then, I needed to get around to make it. One day when I didn't have a lot going on, I pieced the top, it was very simple, two borders. And it went back into its tote. Then this last November I ran into it, and thought it would be nice to decorate my office at work. Thinking that will be next year, since I just got the binding on it. You might have seen it peeking underneath all of the Celtic Solstice units. It was hard to quilt with the layers on it (smile). So tonight I finally just did it.

Celtic solstice - or in my case Autumnal Equinox

For the first time I decided to do Bonnie Hunter's December mystery as it was happening (or at all). I don't normally do mysteries, at least quilt mysteries. I like to have more control I guess. Bonnie's colors were based on the Irish flag. I based mine on the colors in the Bittersweet fabric collection, but pulled fabrics from stash (so I can still use my Bittersweet fabric in something else!) It was a Fall grouping, hence the Autumnal Equinox name.

Bonnie put together directions for a small (lap) and a large (king) quilt. Originally I thought I would make enough units for the king, and did that for step 1. Then I had second thoughts (after cutting all of step 2, and piecing more than half, but not all of the units).

By step 3, I thought I would just do enough for the small size, then add more for a queen size.

Meanwhile, I have been playing around in EQ, mostly to help me with how many units I would really need. Based on past mysteries, I figured it would be two blocks, set in an alternating style. Step 3 was only 25 units for the small size, so it was likely a center of a block. But only one of the two, or both? Don't know. I played around with blocks set 5 units by 5 units, 9 patch based blocks set side by side, and 9 patch blocks with sashing. I still don't know what Bonnie has planned, because none of my guesses uses exactly the number of units she is having us make. But I figured I should make a few more of each step, just to be on the "I won't have as much to do when I do find out her plan" side.

I figured there might be a block made with steps 1 and 4 and a different block made with steps 2, 3 and 5. I still have a lot of step 1 units leftover, so waiting to see what Bonnie has come up with.

Using that logic, I made 41 pinwheels, might need more, might need less.

And there is a ways to go on the last step (these are piles of 10).

I've been having fun playing around with possibilities, some of which might actually get made sometime in the future.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Civil War Legacy in Taupes

This was BOM that I couldn't stop working on, especially as I got close to the end. I did switch out the applique for a Jill Rixman Ginko Leaf design. The quilt pattern was from Kaye England. I used some of the leftover taupes from my Farmers Wife Sampler quilt, and still have a lot left. I did pull some out of the box to make some bags, hopefully for gifts, at least some of them. I hope to make several, number is dependent on how far the fabric stretches :)

Now to baste and figure out how to quilt this beauty. I really like this one a lot!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Piecing square in a square units into a block: G-4 Massachusetts

I chose to make my Massachusetts blocks with Marti Michell templates (A3 for the diagonal square and A6 for the corner units of HSTS). This made it very easy to pick the way I want to press my seams and to align the triangles to the squares.

I sewed HSTs to opposite sides of each diagonal square and pressed the seam allowance towards the square.

Then I sewed HSTs to the remaining corners, pressing towards the corner.

I set the seam, then open the corner with my hand and lightly finger press it, holding it open when I put the iron on the seam.

Press in the direction of the grain of the fabric to keep from distorting it.

Put your units face down and rotate them so at the points you have a seam going up and a seam going down, that will nest together. You can see that all of the units have the first seams that were pressed towards the center in the top right and the bottom left.

Use a positioning pin to align your points, your seams should be nesting nicely (you can feel this with your fingers), pin on both sides of the pin, and on the ends of the seam to keep your edges together. I use the last pin when I get close to the end of the seam to keep the block straight.

Press towards either side, but do it the same way on both halves, and then sew the halves together.

On the last seam, I pressed the seam allowance open.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blue and Yellow blocks

A larger picture, with just the blocks I have done, still with EQ7

Loyal Union Sampler - Blue and Yellow version

I am a bit farther along in my blue and yellow version of the Loyal Union Sampler because I made some blocks for Jennifer and did them in the blue and yellow color scheme before I made a block using her fabric. This is an export of an EQ7 quilt using images of the blocks done so far. I thought this might be better than 20 individual pictures. But if you want to see them, check my flickr link, they are all there.

I am leading a Block of the Week, we are on week 5. Upcoming weeks are not necessarily the blocks you see here!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The many projects

My current projects are each holding their own right now. I finally finished the zigzag on Love Entwined, getting it to a photo opportunity.

The Loyal Union Sampler quilt is begun, or that should be quilts are begun. I decided to make two, one like the cover picture using Anneke's Collection from Red Rooster fabrics and the other in blue and yellow and white. The setting is going to be totally different for each quilt. The reproduction is pretty easy, since I am using the same fabrics Jennifer used (I actually bought them thinking that there would eventually be an LUS pattern). The blue and yellow and white takes a bit of thought since it is totally scrappy. Someone was talking about Lollyquiltz and how she set her Farmer's Wife Sampler, and I think it will be perfect for the blue/yellow/white version, see here.Here are a few fuzzy blocks from each type (I am making them both at the same time, except for the few I made when testing blocks for Jennifer).

And finally, continuing on the Civil War BOM with the Stitchin' Witches:

This one is Union Square.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Love Entwined BOM2 and BOM3 progress

Even though I didn't quite finish with the BOM2 assignment, I went ahead and started on parts of month 3. Still have some more of the pink daisies and the zig-zag border, but I am making progress on that. I couldn't make up my mind on fabric for the zig-zag for the longest time, but finally did. I ended up stripping together 20 lights and 20 darks and using a paper template to mark the zig-zag. I started pressing the darks on one side, then decided just to go with needle turn. So far, so good. I am also needle turning the gold blobs. Most of this has been done with freezer paper and starch, but that just seemed harder with these bits than straight needle turn.

Stitchin Witches Civil War BOM

I started up this block of the month a few months ago, keeping up with the blocks but not with the bits in between. Hope to get to those soon.

I've been using the leftover taupes from my Farmer's Wife Sampler, somehow they grew .

Friday, August 16, 2013


So now the quandary begins – when to begin on my Loyal Union Sampler quilt. I have been anxiously awaiting this book, which I actually don’t have yet, but will within the week. I also don’t actually have fabrics picked yet, although I do have a border fabric selected so I can choose block fabrics that coordinate with it, and background fabric (white, to be washed and pressed). I also have a few ongoing projects that I would like to see completed, or caught up, before I begin LUS.
1. Love Entwined BOM – would like to be caught up
2. Civil War Stitchin Witches stitch along – this is a mystery BOM, but I kind of figured out the mystery, and wanted to be caught up and possibly ahead, at least with blocks cut out, before starting LUS.
3. Album of Quilters – get it quilted! And bound.
4. Quad P – would really like to get this into PIQF, and in order to enter it, need to get it bound and photos taken by early September. Yikes!
5. Other quilts to be quilted – Victorian Wheeling collection sampler, Fourth of July Fireworks quilt, Grandmother’s Choice and Out to Sea, none as pressing as the above, but would like to see them done by the end of the year.
6. Other quilts currently piecing – 8” sampler blocks, as the mood strikes, using leftovers from the Victorian Wheeling collection, lately been doing the SBS BOW (when it is a 4-patch based block) and the somewhat neglected Two plus 2 medallion quilt.
So, right now I will continue with current projects, and keep to my original schedule which assumed I would get the LUS book at the beginning of September. I'll start the BOW prep then, and hopefully only be working on LUS and Love Entwined at that point!
Oh, yeah, I have my grandson's quilt to make by his birthday in January! And I want to use some of the leftovers in LUS.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shipshewana Amish QAL - more progress

a few more blocks, getting closer to being done

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Love Entwined progress - BOM2 part2

Still working on the second installement of Love Entwined, and the third BOM was just released. Now that I have a few of my UFOs at least turned into tops, this is getting more of my time. Last night I got the rest of the little green leaves stitched down, and a few more of the "daisies". More of them to go, along with the zig-zag border.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Grandmother's Choice top finished

I got the borders on today - wish I had a better place to take pictures - this is just about 100" square. Pieced the backing with leftover fabrics - so now just need to decide on quilting.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

More Shipshewana Amish blocks

I am afraid I have been forgetting to blog about this quilt's progress. We have had a couple more assignments, both of the eight pointed stars and the Amish square in a square quilt block.
The eight pointed stars are both 9" and the Square in a square quilt block is 12".

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Love Entwined BOM 2 in progress

BOM 2 attaches the center to the background, adds the triangles, some little flowers, six petaled daisies and a zig-zag border. Obviously, this is not there yet, but the triangles are on and the little double circles for the little flowers. Now to make more of those little green leaves.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Grandmother's Choice - Center complete

The last block of Grandmother's Choice was released Saturday morning, and my center is complete quite a few hours later. Next up, the border.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Love Entwined - first part done

I finally got the circles appliqued around the Mariner's compass. They look so big in this picture, but not really, 5/16", which is barely bigger than 1/4". Not perfect, but done is good.

Grandmother's Choice BOW 47 - Heroine

Another applique block - so I drew it up in EQ to enlarge it. Getting slightly better at drawing, very slightly. I used the freezer paper underneath, starch method, so once it was prepped I took it along on my mini-vacation to Mendocino. Very restful place. Just two blocks left to go! And lots of sashing.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Grandmother's Choice

Getting close to having the blocks done, only three left. So I figured it was time to start adding the sashing. With Love Entwined started and the Loyal Union Sampler to start soon, I want to get some of these unfinished quilts into at least tops.

So I am plugging away on sashing. First two rows are together.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Out to Sea - top done

A quilt for a friend who lives on a boat, for when he retires. He wanted a Mariner's Compass, so when I took a class from Judy Mathieson, I decided to start his quilt. He will be retiring soon, so I pulled it out of the UFO pile and began to work on it diligently! Now a top, and waiting for the backing and batting to arrive.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Grandmother's Choice BOWs 45 & 46

BOW45 was Aunt Mary's Favorite
BOW 46 is Barrister's Block to represent women as lawyers and their legal battles. I opted to go with the simpler version to keep the block in the same scale as most of the others.

Out to Sea - some major progress

The last time I blogged about Out to Sea, the Ocean Wave blocks were really just a pile of HSTs. I have been plugging away at them, step by step, and finally have the blocks finished. This was when just a few were done.

And this is all sixteen of them.

And finally, they are attached to the center, with just one more plain blue border to go. I need a bigger design wall!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ocean Wave blocks for Out to Sea

Piles of half square triangles, 15 of them, eight deep, enough for the 15 remaining Ocean Wave blocks. Also have all of the corners assembled. Enough for tonight.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Love Entwined BOM1 - next step

Looks a little neater now, the "ring" is appliqued around the Mariner's Compass.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Love Entwined Part 1

Esther Aliu posted her first BOM for Love Entwined on Friday. Up until today I was pressing fabric, and dreaming about which ones I would use in the center of the quilt. Today I took the plunge and started piecing, next will be appliqueing or piecing the ring around this 7 1/2" Mariners Compass, then appliqueing 32 tiny dots on that ring. Stay tuned, that will take a few days!

BOW 44 - Star of Hope

This week's Grandmother's Choice BOW is Star of Hope celebrating the French Suffrage movement. One of the other ladies doing this quilt used a French flag in the center, I copied as best I could (I have no red in this quilt!) See my version here

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Out to Sea progress

Working on these Ocean Wave blocks in segments, got one done as a guide, and now all of the centers are bordered with HSTs. Next up, the corners, then everything left can be put together as HST units

Grandmother's Choice BOW 43

Keeping up, but running out of several fabrics. Last bits of a couple more.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fourth of July quilt

I have been wanting to make a quilt for the Fourth of July for a while. The shop hop by the bay 2013 is going on right now. Yesterday I thought about doing it, and actually made it to five shops. At the last one I saw a wall hanging made from a Judy Martin block, Star Spangled Quilt. As it happens, I have that pattern. So I dug around in my stash and came up with this:

It still needs borders, which will be a red star print, large fun stars.
Twas a short break from lots of half square triangles, but during this I found more strata bits! Maybe I won't need to cut any more, time will tell (after I cut them and count what I have).

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Out to Sea progress

I have been working away at the next round, although no blocks are done yet. There will be 16 Ocean Wave blocks in the next border. These blocks have a plethora of Half Square Triangles (HST), 40 units per block plus another 16 small triangles, 4 large triangles and a large center square.
I have been using Marsha McCloskey's method for make batches of HSTs, starting with squares, cutting bias strips, assembling strata and then finally cutting out the HSTs.

I am not done. I need 640 HSTs. I have about 400 done.

Breaking up the cutting a bit, I started assembling the corner units to attach to the center squares.

I've been busy, just not much to show for it yet! This is what it will grow up to be, someday!