Friday, October 9, 2015

Rescue Quilt #2 Wedding Ring

Rescue quilt #2 is rather ugly in terms of color and fabrics. Just the perfect strangeness for me - which are quite obviously pieces of old dressed and shirts! It has returned from the quilter. This is unusual for me to hire out quilting - but it seemed fitting for these rescue quilts and I am pleased with the results. The wedding ring has been trimmed and and binding selected and cut while listening to online conference proceedings. It's great getting to accomplish both of these activities at once! Now for pressing and sewing on the binding in this curved edge quilt with inside corners. Should be a fun and interesting challenge.<>

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Rescue Quilt

It is quite fashionable for pet rescue and a worthy endeavor. Not being the biggest fan of furry pets, I have opted to attempt an old quilt top rescue. I have several old quilt tops given to me. This old quilt top was give to me by a friend. I've had it for awhile but thought to perhaps get some use out of it. It is many shades of lovely light pink with equilateral triangles design, but has some stains and imperfections, too.

I found a suitable sweet background print for it and took it to a young machine quilter to get an idea of her work. I have an idea for some custom work later, but this is just some simple pantograph curves and feathery leaves to compliment the angles of the pyramid shapes. I am pleased with the result and have already cut and pressed the matching binding that I will machine sew on - with the goal of getting more practice to improve this skill. Also in the photo is my new rotary cutter - with a big 60mm blade.
It is something new in my tool box and a gift from current guest resident in our home. It came in very handy for trimming this quilt in preparation for binding. AND.... I did it!! A binding - start to finish - machine binding on a full size quilt in one weekend (Fri-Sun) this past week, washed and fluffed an on the couch (for now). This was the most painless binding ever!
And what do I have here? Just what I don't need! More fabric - a little treat on a recent trip to a state-wide meeting with my boss. She was interested in stopping by a quilt store (to look at embroidery machines) since we just happened to be traveling on the road through Hennessey, OK. WOW! It's been awhile since I have been to Prairie Quilt and they have expanded quite a bit into a whole new sewing studio across the back alley. The previous classroom space upstairs in now all the sale items ... a sample of which is pictured here. I also bought some filled "lead' for my marking pencil. With so much applique in the past 2 years, I was almost out of my favorite product. For the fabric, I have a few specific ideas. First thought was the "Sticks" quilt that a couple friends are trying to find a time to get together and do (Maybe November?). Next was "Honey" (pyramid/hexagons honeycomb like design from Modern Patchwork magazine). With my new rotary cutter and some great rulers that I've had for while and not used yet, I am really itching to make a choice and CUT this fabric! Stay tuned for the results.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cherry Tree, CCC #33 progress, & the countdown for SVBA quit

With several project in progress, what fun it is to be able to do a little of this and that as the fancy strikes me! Most attention has been given to Cherry Tree blocks. Mom bought this pattern for my birthday this year and I am making big strides with these beautiful large blocks (18 inch background).

Beyond the Cherry Tree
While the first block I began is still in progress (shown in previous post), I cut out three more and basted some pieces on the background while other pieces are still pinned. I sewed a little on the pineapple stems and one pineapple crown - just because they were calling me to sew them instead of just put in a few basting stitches, I sewed now!
Choosing the fabric and getting in this state of readiness then allows me to pick up and sew or take with me if there is an opportunity for hand sewing. I am using the many green and reds and a few yellows that I have in the stash from other circa 1850s applique work.

Next, the Shennandoah Valley Botanical Quilt block Sew-Along type blog is kicking off on Oct. 1st. As shown previously, I have printed off patterns and prepared a folder for all blocks. Now I have begun to trace off my desired 14" sized blocks. All the time it takes tracing on freezer paper makes me wish for the ability to copy the pattern directly on freezer paper using the printer...but I have neither the proper paper nor the proper printer (it is a laser printer and I think not amiable to freezer paper pages). If someone knows something different let me know. Tracing is at least a mindless easy task when I am too tired to actually put effort into any decent applique work - works well for the late night TV keeping family company (basically that just means politely staying in the same room, LOL!)

CCC #33 Half-way mark
Here is what Chester Co. Criswell quilt block #33 looks like today. I have sewn about one circle at a time now and then. It is difficult to make each the same, (impossible?) but I see that overall it will look fine despite many imperfections. Maybe it will be finished by the end of October :) Then I am looking forward to laying the blocks out and sewing together. However, my design wall will be VERY empty since these blocks have held the place of honor (covering the entire design wall) since mom and I installed the cloth covered feature a year or two ago.

Finally, I must admit that I have also worked on the Bible Quilt animal block a bit more - just s stitch here and there to finish the elephants and begin on the panthers/foxes? Not enough progress to show this time. Now back to some quilting before the work week resumes!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Needle turn fruit circles & SVBA debut

Needle-turn circles in Bible Block #3 - Garden of Eden
I did a little quilting this holiday weekend while listening to book on tape historical fiction from WWII and a couple TV shows/movies with ds. Hubby was gone all weekend to a family reunion out of state and I vowed NOT to work (much) this weekend, leaving me with lots of time to just relax ad enjoy!

I cut a few more pieces for Bible blocks and based two blocks. Also tried some free-hand needle turn on the circular "fruit"in the Garden of Eden block in Bible quilt. Since this is a primitive style quilt - I thought it would be a good time get in some practice for small circles that would be less than perfect. The circles for the fruit are a hair larger than 1" inch in diameter. I am pleased that they turned out great! (4 circles sewed on so far -and I expect to keep getting better). I have many cherry circles to do on my work upcoming with Beyond the Cherry Tree pattern, of which I also began free hand needle turn circles. If I can master this skill, it will save much time in pre-sewing (gathering and restitching) circles for this project. If I need more precision circles I can gather around a little cardboard and press for future projects which has worked fairly well in the past.

The other quilt project I worked on this weekend was getting organized with Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt blocks (SVBA). This pattern is from the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, VA. The original quilt was made in 1858 by Esther Blair Shaw Matthews at age 82 in Lacy Spring Virginia. The pattern is now a fundraiser for the museum. Quilters are invited to make the quilt one block at a time beginning in October and there is a blog set up for support! Very fun! (See small quilt button - icon link I made on right side of blog feed). I think the blog support part (plus only getting the pattern one month at a time) helped me with the last delightful applique project Chester County Criswell quilt.

This weekend, I printed the patterns (from electronic download purchase). I assembled into a flexible plastic cover notebook made with plastic sleeves for each pattern and a clear cover so the full quilt picture is visible. I did this with other patterns as it works well for me keeping things together, visible and easy to manage.

For the quilt, I decided the size enlargement I wanted - of course different from sizes offered! I made a few printouts to see what I liked. The quilt is 25 blocks in a 5 block X 5 block pattern with no sashing and no borders. The pattern that is sold is 9" an just shows the applique floral design with an asterisk in the center (sort of some were not centered when I went to sectioning each block into quadrants). There are no edges or quadrants marked, no real instructions (I suppose the blog will address this).It calls calls for enlargement of pattern to 20 inch blocks like original. But, I am enlarging to 15 inch.                    The pattern has 9, 16 & 

Background option Shenandoah Botanical Album
20 inch enlargement options although when I tried the pattern's 16 inch size, the patterns seemed to be too small, floating in the background. The actual quilt blocks look very full. The pattern calls for enlarging 160% for 16 inch blocks, but I enlarged 170% to make mine 15 inch blocks and there is still adequate space around the applique. I will cut background 16 & 1/2 inches to allow for 1 inch of "shrinkage" from applique and trimming, and 1/2 inch for sewing blocks together. I also marked each original pattern (9" size) into 4 inch quadrants for ease of enlargement - this way I can print two 11x14 pages that will give me a full size pattern for each block. The next step will be to trace patterns onto freezer paper. I will probably do this one block or two at a time as I go. Watched/listened to some DVDs checked out recently from the library of the series, Berkley Square. It is set in a similar time and fashion as Downton Abby and so far is delightful.

Now, I am contemplating the background fabric for SBVA. Since I have about 3 white background appliques for this era, I think I might try something different for this bright quilt. These are two tonal prints that I might use. I would use both and maybe even additional tonal prints (not enough of any one of them - plus variety make for more interest! Still thinking... :)
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Chriswell & the Cherry Tree

Criswell Final block - Progress inching along (peek at Cherry Tree #1)
August has been busy with working many hours this summer (including weekends), having the pleasure of hosting several Airbnb quests, and driving to NY with dd as she returned to college with her car and set up the new living arrangements for the year in an apartment. All this has put quilting on the back burner. However, now quilting can resume as the semester has begun at work, the ANCC self-study is complete and submitted - albeit with only minor contributions from me - but still felt the crunch and still must read the entire document to be ready for accrediting visit in October.

Now, I hope back to quilting!... my very uplifting avocation :) Below is all I have to show for the past month. I have completed some tedious work on Chester County Criswell Quilt final block with the intricate cutwork and did a little in-the-car-on-the-way-to-NY work on the primitive Bible quilt critters sewing the elephants and ostrich/emu's? The giraffes and wolves are patiently waiting to emerge from their fabric trap. I also made a few stitches on Beyond the Cherry Tree.

I'm looking forward to fall and feeling inspiration for lots of quilting!
Beyond Cherry Tree pieces for future blocks

Bible Quilt Block #2 - now half complete

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beyond the Cherry Tree - Why not?!

Starting Beyond the Cherry Tree - Block #1
I've waited for awhile until this quilt pattern Beyond the Cherry Tree was on a big sale and purchased the download a couple weeks ago. I even bought the the entire 11 yards of background fabric from my local quilt show last week so I can cut it all out. It was 3 years ago on my birthday that I began the Chester Criswell Quilt - block of the month as a gift from my mother. I have enjoyed it so much! However, since all the block patterns have ended and I am sewing my last one, it must be time to start something new! So, the Cherry Tree is an early birthday present for me this year. Here I go on block #1. This is a more primitive - folksy design with crooked stems and uneven circles. It will be fun!! Blocks are huge - 17" so that is different too. I have much red and green fabric in my collection from the other blocks so I am ready to go. I have not about the Bible Quilt and other projects...I sew or trace patterns or cut fabric or audition fabric a little at a time on which even project suits my fancy. Work is crazy - but life is good! Sentiments in the Serenity Prayer help me keep perspective with the craziness, and quilting is a good therapy and diversion :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Another block finished!

Chester Co. Criswell quilt block #32 is finished! It is a little wonky. Somehow I had trouble getting the center rounded - oval shape, and with the bumps sticking out of each side in the center. After sewing so many blocks well, not sure what happened with this! HA! I guess it will add to the overall charm and historic look!I have a start sewing on the last block #33. I think I should only sew when I am not tired so that there is a better chance of doing it well. The pattern has some tiny reverse applique areas that will take some attention. But, so far so good :)
CCC Block #32

CCC Block #33 The last one!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

CCC Block # 33 Begins!

The end is near for the Chester County Criswell applique blocks and I must think about sewing together and quilting...hummm.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CCC Blocks 32 (& 24 in Green! )

CCC Block #24 - repeated in green ombre fabric

CCC Block # 32 in progress
This is the second to last block now in progress for the Chester Co. Criwell quilt. I also finished another oak leaf and reel (Block 24 Alice Richmond). I originally cut it out when auditioning fabrics for the block last year (green, red & mixed versions) and now finally sewed it. I have yet to determine how to lay out the blocks. I like how Sharon has one of each block for the pattern, but I have some additional special blocks swapped with others that I will be adding. I also want to write verses - sentiments from the past and scripture on most blocks. I'll be thinking about that and how to make it fit in with the overall look :)

I'd love to hear your suggests for historic verse or sayings to add to many blocks in this quilt. Ideas??

Friday, June 19, 2015

CCC Blocks #30 & 31 Finished!

What an amazing quilting journey since Sept. 2012 when I began the Chester County Criswel Quilt Blocks. Here are the last two blocks that I recently finished. #31 laurels photo is not sharp. I may have to re-take. I did some fussy cutting and it turned out OK. #30 is from an angle just for fun! These are in progress to finish off this beautiful quilt. Once finished I will hand quilt it. YAY!

#31 Crossed Laural Leaves

Block #30 Elizabeth Crosby

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Flowers in bloom!

Magnolia bloom: Notice the holes and tears and brown jagged marks? That is hail damage on leaves. In addition to thrashing the leaves, you can even see how big some of the hail was with holes clear through the leaves.
7 ft small magnolia tree with hail marks on leaves

Fancy lilies - no name
Newly obtained Rosey lily - 3 blooms this year!

Peonies a few weeks ago.
My favorite huge pink lilies right outside front big window.

Little Garden Friend - size of a pencil

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May was a happy blur!

May in pictures! It was a blur - lots of time on the road, some beautiful sites at Cleveland Art Museum, Indianapolis, St Louis & Ithaca... but most of all celebrations of life, health, and time with family! (Photos courtesy of my wonderful mother - DJ!)
Cleveland Art Museum

IUPUI 2015

Art Therapy - Cleveland Clinic

HUGE Interactive touch screen - Cleveland Art Museum
St Louis, MO
Dogwood in Ohio

Early morning at Ithaca's splendid falls
Back home!