Monday, December 17, 2012

Giveaway winner and back to applique

The winner (at long last) of the little quilt giveaway is Judith (no blog) from the south end of Vancouver Island.  I have your address so I'll be sending it off to you when I go back to the post office later this week.

I promised myself I would make a challenging quilt in 2013 so I've chosen the Mary Mannakee quilt pattern which is a reproduction of a quilt in the DAR collection.  I visited "Mary" several times over the summer while she was on display and she's quite a looker.  Mary Mannakee lived in Rockville, Maryland back in the 1850s and I was born there a century later.  We're practically neighbors.  I intend for my version to be as true to the original as I can make it with just a few block substitutions.

My first block is pictured above.  I figure I can make some progress if I set the Baltimore Applique Society's monthly meetings as my goal to have a new block for show and tell each time.  A block a month, how original.  This first one was pretty easy but those tight inside curves on the center motif reminded me how much I hate appliqueing tight inside curves.  How exciting it is then that block number two has many more.
The blue lines aren't in my block; they are on the cloth behind it.  I'll have to keep the sheerness of my background in mind when getting ready to quilt the finished top (sometime in the next decade).

Monday, December 3, 2012

More Doll quilts

Wow!  I am overwhelmed by the response to the cheddar giveaway and the doll quilt show.  There were so many more responses than I expected - plus Thanksgiving and a few of those unexpected life situations that pop up - that I am way behind in posting the photos that were sent to me and sending out the cheddar fabric.  But, this is my week for getting my act back together.  Today I am posting the photos of the great quilts shared by those who don't have blogs.  I think I got them all but if you sent a photo and don't see it, please let me know.  I am constantly amazed at the creativity of quilters.

Tune back in tomorrow for the winner of the doll quilt giveaway.

Submitted by Beverly:  She is also an antique quilt lover and most of the quilts she makes (and finishes) are doll or wall quilt size.  This quilt is made of leftovers from a guild challenge and almost fits a doll bed her husband bought for her this summer.

Submitted by Louise:  This little red and white quilt is 11-1/2" x 11-1/2" and was inspired by one of the same pattern at Temecula Quilt Company.

The trio of quilts above was submitted by Tammy.

Submitted by Jeanneke: "Lucky in Love" is Jeanneke's (the creator of Little Houses from Scraps) latest little quilt creation.

"Klosjes" submitted by Linda

Judith from Canada submitted the two doll quilts made from reproduction fabrics above.  Like me, she doesn't have access to much repro fabric where she lives so she frequents the same online shops as me.  She likes to play with the fabrics and patterns and see what she comes up with.

Salley is from Australia and this small applique quilt is her own design.  See how she managed to add dimension to her flowers, leaves and border just using solids?

This little quilt made from bright repros was submitted by Kim.

Susan's little basket quilt is from a Kathleen Tracy patterns. I love her colors!

Submitted by Cyndi: a little fall wall hanging.

Dianne calls this one "Brass Buttons."  I am tempted to try this pattern myself because I have lots of little squares just asking to become four patches.

Submitted by Sue B: gorgeous fall colored hexis.  The leaf props in this photo are so pretty I almost can't believe they are real leaves.

Submitted by Mary in Missouri:  the top quilt is a framed mini and the one below is from the Temecula Quilt Co. 12 Days of Christmas mystery pattern.

Submitted by Marca: a little quilt from a Jo Morton pattern.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cheddar Madness Giveaway

As promised in my last post, it is time for my "Cheddar Madness" giveaway.  First, a little background... Many months ago I embarked on a search for a good solid cheddar fabric.  I found the Moda Bella cheddar was a good choice for a very bold but not too screeching orange-y yellow.  I bought a whole bolt at a very good price from Hancocks-Paducah and started making cheddar quilts.  I used it in was my double nine-patch blocks here.  Then, I got a call from one of my local shops telling me "the fabric I ordered" had come in.  Uhhh, that was nearly six months ago and you never actually told me you could get it.  But, I felt bad since they had really gone above and beyond in their search for the fabric.  I had to take it off their hands.  So, you can see in the photo above that I have a whole lot of solid cheddar fabric and you can help take it off my hands while sharing some little quilts with the rest of us and getting a chance to win the little quilt below.

I would like to have another online quilt show like the red and white one I did back in March 2011.  This time it is Little and/or Doll Quilts.  To enter, you need to do a post on your blog about a little quilt you've made or own and link it to the online display below.  Don't have a blog?  Email me the photo and I will post it for you.  Then, leave me a quick comment and I will send you a half yard of solid cheddar fabric.  Make sure you aren't a "no-reply" commenter so I can contact you for your mailing address.  I will enter everyone who posts a link into the giveaway for the little red and brown nine patch quilt above.  I have an extra 15 yards of cheddar so the first 30 unique linkers (is that a word?) will get a half yard of fabric.  You are welcome to link to more than one little quilt post (that will give you another entry into the little quilt giveaway) but I can only send you a single half yard cut -- I want to spread the cheddar love around.

Submissions will close on November 19 and the quilt winner will be picked on the 20th..Adding your link is simple, just click on the link button below and follow the instructions.  On the part that asks for a name you can use just your first name or the name of your quilt if you want.  I will get us started with a link to one of my small quilts...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A what?

I've mentioned more than once that I like to take hand sewing with me everywhere.  It relaxes me and is a productive way to pass time otherwise spent staring at my cell phone and getting a stiff neck.  Sometimes people will ask me, "What are you making?"  When I reply, "a quilt," the response lately has been, "a what?" So, I pick up a couple of blocks and put them next to each other and repeat, "a quilt.  You know, like a blanket."  Suddenly, everyone is a comedian...Three times on my most recent trip I was laughed at and asked,  quite sarcastically, "You gonna get that done by Christmas?"  Puh-lease...Do they really think that star is the first one I've ever made?

Besides, I don't hand stitch to a deadline.  I like to choose the fabrics, match the seams and take even little stitches while watching each star come together.  I did finally decide on a background for my stars.  I think this brown is just luscious with them.

Not always are the people who inquire about "what am I making" so dismissive.  Once, I had a couple of hours to kill in an airport and a gentleman from Chile asked that question.  So, I showed him a couple of stars and he was off.  He asked how I made them, he asked me to show him each time I added a new piece and he exclaimed over my little stars as if they were works of art.  I am not going to lie, he made me feel pretty good.  But there is more...apparently my stars were a 'sign.'  He had been seeing this woman, you see, and he was on his way home to Chile after about six weeks in the U.S.  He was thinking about whether it was time to make his relationship more serious.  As it turns out, his friend was trying to learn how to quilt.  I had been wondering why he was so interested in what I was making.  And it went on from there...he asked my name and when he heard my last name - same as a famous U.S. author - he showed me the book he had just picked up from the airport gift shop which was written by that same famous author.  Another sign in his opinion.  Finally, we got to talking about our families and his son was thinking about going to graduate school in the U.S.  As it turns out, he is an economist and that's just what I recruit for at my school.  Sign number 3!

I never did get to find out if he and his lady friend got together.  I hope they did and are snuggling under one of her quilts right now.

I was working on my Little Houses from Scraps in another airport and they generated another pleasant conversation with a woman a few years older than me.  I had missed my flight this time so had about 3 hours to enjoy stitching.  While I was working on my houses, this lady kept staring at me from across the pedestrian traffic area.  When I got up to throw some trash away she said, "I just have to ask, are you making a quilt?"  Of course, I was.  So she got her bag and pulled out two adorable quilts, one pink and one blue.  She was on her way to see her new twin grandbabies and had learned to quilt just to make them for the babies.

My houses are starting to accumulate, too.  At first I was going to stop at 6, then 9, then 12.  Now I am nearly at 16 and I think I'll just keep going until the Little Houses from Scraps zoning authorities tell me I've reached the maximum capacity for the neighborhood.

I've shared before my green plastic sandwich box that I use to transport my hand stitching supplies.  That was a great hint picked up in a Jo Morton workshop.  Since then, I was turned on to glassine envelopes by Martha at Q is for Quilter blog.  So I make individual little kits for each star or house block and store them in my box.  I love the crinkly sound they make when I pull out the pieces to start a new block.

I also picked up this little cutting/pressing thing last year.  I lay out a house block and it is very handy seeing all the pieces so I can follow a set order in putting them together.  Also, when I keep the finished ones squeezed in the cutting board they get pressed nice and flat before I ever get them to an iron.

So, it's been quite awhile since my last post and I haven't done a whole lot of stitching.  But, taking the hand sewing along does mean there is at least some progress, so that's good.  See that little red and brown nine-patch under the box a couple of photos up?  That is going to be a giveaway when I get my next post up.  Look for my "Cheddar Madness" giveaway soon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Buried Treasure

It's been awhile since I did an antique quilt post so I am trotting out one of my favorites.  Which means, it is red and green, has great applique and is heavily quilted.  But, the exciting thing happened when I was inspecting it again before I decided to write about it.  Hidden in the tremendous variety of quilting was a signature and date!!  Unfortunately, I can only make out Margaret _______ quilt 18__.  There was a bit of pencil marks left in the date so I thought I could get a photocopy to see if that helped darken it enough to see it.  Before that, however, I took it to a sewing bee to share my excitement and one of the ladies there decided to trying smudging off that pencil mark.  Ack!!  Bye, bye date.  Well, it's still there in the quilting so I will keep trying to make it out. 

The quilt is mostly made of solid fabrics and they are in terrific shape.  I call it a Whig Rose but am no expert on block names so feel free to set me straight.

Here is a decent photo of the quilting.  There are wreaths and a lot of floral elements (stems, leaves and flowers) that mimic the applique shapes in addition to adding to them.

Here is a closer photo of the applique fabrics.  Don't you wish a modern fabric manufacturer could somehow reproduce a red that looks like the faded Turkey red fabric from the 19th century?  Prints are much easier and I have two large pieces of reproduction fabric that looks like the pink print above.  I think I bought three yards of each of them.

This is a better photo of the floral elements in the quilting.  You can see quilted leaves, stems and flower buds here.  I like the way the feathered wreath has been turned into a curved motif that follows the curve of the stem in the border.

I also discovered something fun in my photo editing software.  If you change it to a line drawing it brings out the quilting much better.  See the bud quilted to the left of the stem and the leaf to the right?  Are you thinking what I'm thinking?  I am going to take a photo of the signature and date and see if it pops out in a line drawing.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I finally got back to my sewing machine last Sunday.  My motivation was the arrival of a whole bolt of cheddar colored fabric from Moda.  I've been seeking the Moda Bella cheddar and I found it.  I have all sorts of cheddar projects floating around in my head and I thought I would kick things off with a nine patch.  So I pulled out my brown box and cut lots of squares.

I am also trying to find places to stash the part of the stash that is piled around my house.  Where better to stash it than in a quilt.  So, I cut more squares from this brown spot background.  I only wish I could remember where I bought it since I didn't remember to do math before I got busy cutting.  These squares aren't enough to finish my quilt.  Ah, well, who said it couldn't be controlled scrappy.  There's got to be another fabric that I can use, too.

I took my brown and dots and made some of these.

Now, I have one of these.  I want a quilt that's a little bigger than my usual small quilt but not a big quilt.  I am thinking something I can fold over the back of a chair for a pop of cheddar deliciousness.  So, I figure I will need about 17 more of these blocks.

I also found a delightful shop called Two Thimbles in Bellingham, Washington.  One of the things I like about Pinterest is it shows me things I would not find on my own.  The little "T" quilt (see the pattern sticking out of the bag?) was a project the shop did for their anniversary a couple of years ago.  Fortunately, they were still selling kits on their website.  Do you love the cute little brown bag it is packed in?  I also ordered a couple of stacks of fat quarters in (more) cheddar and indigo.  I have a real hankering for a blue and cheddar quilt, too.

P.S.  Keep your fingers crossed for my machine sewing projects.  When I turned Bernie on last Sunday she insisted on only sewing backwards - again!  I had this problem last year and she was in the hospital for the whole summer.  I turned her off and on a couple of times and she straightened out.  But, it happened again last night and the on and off trick didn't work.  I cleaned her, told her how pretty and smart she was and even tried giving her a bit of a smack.  I think it was the smack because she went back to straight sewing at last.  I know she needs to go in the shop but I don't have time to take her there until at least Saturday and I really would like to finish this top first.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Baltimore Applique Society - Lady of Victory quilt

Isn't this quilt gorgeous?  It is the new opportunity quilt from the Baltimore Applique Society.  It is hand appliqued and hand quilted.  It is a replica of an original album quilt owned by Mary Koval and the fabrics are by Windham reproduced from the original quilt's fabrics.  Windham did a fantastic job on the reproductions and because the original quilt is in such wonderful shape this replica really has the look of the original.  I particularly like the way the background fabric looks with the bright appliques.  My block is hard to see since it has white roses on a light background but it is third row down and second from the left.  I blogged about it here.  Below is a picture of my block contribution when it was almost finished.  The BAS members appliqued the blocks and then one single member added all of the embroidery embellishments.  That's the touch that made the quilt really come alive.

Information about tickets will be sent to BAS members in the upcoming newsletter and should be on the website soon, too.  There are patterns available on the BAS website if you think you might want to make one of your own Lady of Victory quilts.  Email me if you do decide to make one.  I had my patterns out this weekend and would like to get started on my own version once I find the right background.  We can cheer each other on.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Turkey red

I belong to a quilt study group called the Eastern Shore Quilt Study Group.  The name is indicative of where we meet which is the eastern shore of Maryland.  In addition to the lure of great quilts shared in the company of wonderful women, there is the allure of fertile farmland and a trip away from the congestion of people and cars where I live.  I must remember to include a photo of the bucolic landscape the next time I am heading to a meeting.

Each month we have a theme and the members share examples from their collections.  I brought the quilt above from my collection because I love the quilting and I bought it because It has yards of a single fabulous turkey red print.  While showing it, another member brought out her extensive collection of examples of turkey red prints.  A good discussion of how to identify early vs. later turkey reds prints ensued.  Now I am motivated to start hunting for my own collection of turkey red print swatches.  We were not able to nail down a date for my quilt although one of the swatches had colors that were identical to mine even though the prints were different.

She also had this fabulous European (I think French) antique turkey red scarf.  It looks new because the colors have held up so well but it is very old and delicate.

This is one of many basket blocks that were shared by another member.  She had about 30 of them and we tried so hard to get her to donate one to each of us for a challenge.  Really, we were just dying to snag one each of these fabulous turkey red prints to add to our own collections.  The assortment of prints in the blocks was so tempting.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Perils of Pausing

Get it? Perils of Paus-ing...Perils of Pauline?  Sorry, I could not get that old movie title out of my head ever since I thought about titling this post "the perils of pausing."  Okay, it's out of my system now so I can show you the real perils of pausing.  Caution: graphic image of totally destroyed sewing space.

Every time I go into my sewing room and look at this mess I feel very much like our poor heroine ham-strung and tied to the train tracks.  This isn't one of those creative messes that result from a frenzy of sewing productive-ness.  No, this is the stifled result of too many projects in too little space with too little time and too little energy to clean it and organize it.  I literally cannot get to my machine right I keep hand sewing.

Which, as it turns out is pretty satisfying.  This past weekend I finished TWO of my Flower Garden blocks.  I would like to be cutting up the scraps into 1-1/2" pieces to use for the sashing in this quilt but, well, you've seen my cutting table.

And...I am still piecing little houses and Lemoyne star blocks.  I also think I found the background fabric for my stars but that's another post and a whole bunch more indecision.  It's also another big piece of fabric piled on my chair looking for storage space.  My problem now is I've sewn together all the pieces I prepped ages ago and I don't have anything left that's ready for hand sewing.  I need the cutting table.  And more boxes.  Wish me luck.

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