Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Back from the Quilter

Sometime ago, Kathi, who quilted my red applique quilt, took this one back up north with her to quilt it for me.  There was absolutely no hurry and we had a very long, snow winter.  The other day she called and said she would be in town and was bringing my quilt back.

It looks beautiful.  I like this one a lot - it's the one that started from a rainbow batik jelly roll and ended up being sliced up and combined with Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  Probably one of the most original quilts I have ever done.

The pictures could be sharper and  my lighting is not so good but you can get the idea.  Batiks and Kaffe fabrics are so rich and have such saturated colors that sometimes it is hard to get them.  Actually, though, my phone takes better pictures than my camera.

The back is really pretty actually much prettier than it shows here.  The fabric goes from dark gold to quite pale yellow.  When I was making the back, I sewed the pale yellow parts together so it has that in the middle and the darkest gold on the outside.  The pattern and thread she used looks really good!  Could be reversible!  Thanks for the great quilting job, Kathi!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Some New Fabric

I took the prize money I got from the quilt guild for my show quilts and had a mini shopping spree in the Kaffe Fassett section of the Park Bench.  Yummy colors!   These, of course, won't all go in the Flower Garden quilt but bits and pieces of them will find a spot there.  Want to do the leaves mainly in greens, turquoises and blues so the piece on the lower right is a treasure for that.  Then I found a few more pieces for the strip pieced backgrounds.

This last picture is what I think I will be using for a pattern to put in the middle of the quilt (medallion style) on the striped background next to it.  Anxious to get started working on this again.  I so love picking out the colors for the different pieces of the appliques.
This is what I am working on now - getting the quilting done on the drunkard's path paper pieced hanging.  Nothing spectacular - quilting doesn't show very well but that is okay.  The dark around the turquoise is being done in straight lines then will go on to more stippling or loops in the red.  It takes quite a while to quilt this but I think it will be pretty when it is done.

Hope you've had a nice holiday weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Short Double Feature

It's been quite a while since I have posted about my absolutely adorable little great grandbabies!  Thought you might enjoy a couple of very short little videos featuring the above little cuties - Lauren and Henry, brother and sister, and Annie, their little cousin.

The first film stars Annie on her front porch.  Not much going on there but just her peeking under the railing and looking for goldfish in her bag - but she is soooo cute when she does it!!

The second feature stars big brother, Henry, holding little sister, Lauren, and the whole family seems to be having a howling contest.  Wolves?  Coyotes?  I am not sure which.  It is entertaining, though, and plenty of cuteness in this one, too.

Hope you enjoyed the show - probably didn't even have enough time to eat much popcorn!  I had one heck of a time getting the pictures up!!!!   Hope I can remember how I finally did it!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Most Beautiful Quilt!

Keeping my promise from the other day, here is the indescribably beautiful wool quilt that Diane has been working on for about two years.  It is a block of the month and she has it almost finished now.   The swag borders are being put on and appliqued.  It is all appliqued and embroidered by hand and is just pure eye candy.

A closer look at one of the blocks and parts of others.  The colors are just so beautiful.  Diane's embroidery stitches are wonderful.

Two more blocks - I adore the sunflower one with the little blue flowers!  You can see she is working on the swag at this corner of the quilt.
This block has a spider and spider web featured.  The more you looked at this the more you saw such as the little beads or french knots at the tips of the stitches surrounding the flowers.  What a wonderful accomplishment to have this work of art almost finished.    I am in awe, Diane!
And here is the really cool lady who brought her really cool quilt to our Sit and Sew yesterday.  Diane is lots of fun with a big smile on her face almost all the time--maybe not when she is paper piecing, but I think that might be one of the only times.   My hat is off to you, Diane!!  You have made a masterpiece!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Nice Thing About Blogging

Way back in June, 2009, I did several posts where I put up patterns for The Flower Garden Quilt as they appeared in the Peoria paper in the 1930's.  I had found the entire set cut out, folded and in with Ray's mother's things.  Several people commented on these old patterns for embroidery.  Today I found this comment--

Carol Toronto Canada said...

Thank you for posting the Ruby McKim flower garden patterns from the Peoria Grandmother made it in 1930's from a patterns published in the Chatelaine Magazine (Canada). all stitched by hand. We found it inside another quilt and the plan is to make a new one, I have some of the pattern squares but now thanks to your post in 2009 I have a complete set.

There is no e-mail address or blog associated with Carol in Toronto, but maybe she reads my blog.   Nice to hear from people you do not know at all.

And I have also received an e-mail with a copy of my butterfly quilt done in 2009 from Siena who saw it and wants to make one like it.  That little wall hanging was in a magazine which I no longer have but I did have the templates and I told her what size the blocks were so she should be able to make one.   I also sent her a couple of closeup pictures of two blocks.  Hope she enjoys making this little quilt - it is one of my favorites.

Today was Sit and Sew - always a fun time, but today was "funner" than usual.  I have some really cool pictures of a really cool quilt done by a really cool lady that I will do a post on in a day or two!   Stay tuned!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Contemplating Running Away From Home

This is ridiculous!  But it's so much fun picking out the little pieces for applique and especially from Kaffe fabric.  No way can I keep the fabric in neat piles or the scraps off the floor.   I figure I might just as well let everything fall wherever it happens to land and then clean it all up after it is over.   Piles of fabric like this do tend to hide things - such as scissors, marking pens, rulers, etc.   And I just found my 6 and 1/2 inch square Omni ruler at the bottom of the box of Kaffe scraps!  Now I wonder where in heavens name the six inch one is!!!! 
And the mess continues to the floor plus the ironing board.   I have since folded lots of the fabric and have it back in boxes but it will most likely be out again soon.  Do you do this?  I rather imagine there are quite a few quilters who are as messy as I am or almost as messy.

Out of all the chaos comes some very pretty blocks.  The three new ones are all ready to be machine buttonholed.  I am now thinking of either making this bigger or of doing a big one like it with these fabrics and traditional or folk art blocks.  I so love the many fabrics in the backgrounds and would like to do more.  Thinking about putting a folk art basket about four times the size of one of the blocks to use as a center then blocks all around.  Mulling it over in my mind!
Here are all nine blocks waiting to be appliqued.  I see the two bottom left blocks have the same print next to each other.  Will have to do some shuffling around.  And, by the way, I have my paper pieced project all together ready to be pressed and sandwiched for quilting.  It went together slick as a whistle!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's Almost There

Almost pieced!!!   Just have the pieces for the borders to finish now -  the rest are done!!!!!   Needed a break so thought I would just put up a post. 
Don't know why I even have a waste basket by my machine.  This is absolutely neat compared to what I picked up yesterday.  I start out trying to get the trimmings and thread in the basket, but soon caution is thrown to the winds and everything falls where it wants to go.  I have always and forever been a messy sewer, but I do clean it up when things get too deep.

Last night was our quilt guild meeting and they gave all the information on our quilt show the end of April.   The people attending the show vote on their favorites in five or six categories.  I was lucky enough to win prizes in three of them.  My Red Dresden Plates came in third in it's category.  In the challenge quilts (the ones on Michigan), my Michigan Tree farms came in second and my I Am Unique Challenge quilt took first.  So now I have a nice little sum of money which I plan to put back into the quilting world by buying some Kaffe fabrics.   The Bench had lots and lots of pretty ones and you can never have enough fabric.

Think I have my second wind now, so will get back and do the last four little paper pieced pieces!  See you later!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day to All You Moms

Since this is Mother's Day, I thought I would post this old, old picture in memory of my dear mother, Nan Droll, who has been gone a long, long time.   I think of her often--how hard she (and Dad) worked to keep my siblings and me fed, clothed and ready to go out in the world as young adults.  Times were nothing like they are now and life was both easier and harder.   Easier because of the simplicity of  and less hectic times we lived in.   Harder because there were not the huge array of the now necessary things that made the hard, tedious tasks of everyday life much less burdensome.   I am thinking of washers, dryers,  all the equipment for taking care of yards---on and on the list goes.   Mom did the laundry on the old back porch, summer and winter, after heating the water on the coal stove.  Naturally it was a wringer washer.  Drying was done on the line in good weather - but in the winter it was done on the side porch, kitchen, wherever a spot could be found.  That sweet lady worked so very hard!  

The radio was the main form of entertainment when I was a kid.  An occasional movie was a big treat - no electronics!   There was never an abundance of money at our house, but I look back on my childhood and I love what I remember.  We made our own fun - played on the riverbank,  and the field across the road from our house was where all the kids in Rome (Illinois, that is) would get together and play ball - or fly kites.  No organized play back then.  We did not grow up as quickly as the young people do today.  Although I do envy the choices that are so much better especially for girls in this day and age, there is much that I don't envy and am glad I grew up when I did.  And I thank my Mom, and Dad, to, for the love and sacrifices they made for us and for keeping us warm, safe, our tummies full and headed in the right direction.  Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  And don't you just love Mom's cloche hat?

And an added note - I am going along great on the paper piecing now!!  Just have the last five halves of the final blocks to piece.  There are eight small pieces to do which go in the border.   Hallelujah!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Paper Piecing, The Perils of

Last week, I took the class given by Linda and Leslie for a paper pieced hanging that is also a drunkard's path block.  There were some absolutely lovely color schemes picked out by the students.  This is mine - but I did change it from my original pick. I had picked out green where the yellow is and the yellow was where the white with black dots is now.  I do like this much better.  The little touches of yellow make everything pop.    I have paper pieced before so am not a complete novice at this method.
This was my first attempt at this kind of paper piecing - it was a pattern in one of the quilt magazines quite a few years ago.  It has some of the ugliest fabric in it, but I love the way it looks.  And how pleased I was with me (named it Attagirl Carol) for the curved piecing which I had not done before.
This was another pattern from a old Quilters Newsletter done in batiks.   This was lots of fun to do.
A New York Beauty done in oriental fabrics - one of my favorites.  
And this is a smallish wallhanging I did in a class with Linda several years ago.  Some really small pieces in this one.  The colors aren't true in this picture.  This hangs over the stairwell to my basement.
So I have paper pieced quite a bit.  Then why am I making so many goofy mistakes and ripping, ripping, ripping!  All five of the blocks that I have finished or nearly finished have been taken apart to some extent at least once and some twice.  One thing that could be part of the reason is that I didn't get home with my "road map" that shows the line drawings for each block and how many to make.  I am going by a small colored picture of the piece and have divided it into blocks.  I will get the block almost done and then nasty words will come from my mouth as I discover I have screwed up again!!  However, I think I am getting more in the groove with it and may finally make a complete block without ripping!  Not having any trouble with the curved seam - well, not yet, anyway!  So five blocks down and eleven to go!! 

A gorgeous bright spot to my day in the form of this bouquet for Mother's Day from Bill and Ann, my kids in Kansas!!  It is beautiful and I thank you two sweeties so much. 
Don't know whether I used this one before or not, but it certainly is appropriate!

Monday, May 5, 2014

More Scrappy Flowers

It's like eating potato chips!!  Can't stop picking out the fabric for the flowers.   I really must stop and get ready to go to the grocery store as the cupboard is getting bare.  The bottom left flower will probably get new leaves as they are pretty spotty.  Might be okay if I went around them in the darker green - which I plan to do.  No big problem in retracing the two leaves and cutting two more, however.   I have also decided that it will be 3 x 3 blocks plus a narrow sashing and a wider one around the outside.   That would make it in the neighborhood of 36 x 40 which is a nice size wall hanging. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cake Walk Done and Scrappy Flowers Started

Here is Cake Walk quilted and the binding ready to be sewn down.  Only thing after that will be a necklace and bracelet from amber beads for the girl.  The snippets of black and red "confetti" were fused to the background and then I caught each one with a stitch or two as I quilted.  Enjoyed making this little piece.

This is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  The flowers are from Kim McLean's Flower Garden quilt.  Quite some time ago I saw a great version of the center of that quilt on    It had a pieced background and was done in panels.  So yesterday I cut a lot of 8 1/2 strips in varying widths for the background blocks.  I think I will have three rows of four flowers--a nice sized wallhanging.  Will definitely find something to border it with - maybe polka dots.  Using all Kaffe fabric scraps for the flowers.  So fun to work with.  How I love scrappy!!!  This afternoon I did all the tracing of the parts for the 12 flowers on fusible web then comes the fun part of picking the fabric.   I pressed all the seams in the pieced blocks open and think that will work fine.

On Wednesday, Linda and Leslie taught a class on a paper pieced drunkard's path hanging.  Nice turnout!   Leslie brought along her daughter's lightweight machine for me to use.  It's getting pretty hard for me to haul my heavy Bernina and all the trappings so I really appreciated being able to use Elle's sewing machine.  I have done quite a bit of paper piecing - very simple kind - and this really wasn't that hard but I did a lot of screwing up.  I think  I flunked!   But, not to worry, when I got home I got everything straightened out, organized and I think I will be doing much better when I get back at it.  I do know that I needed to change one color out and when I did I liked it much better.  However this scrappy flower thing called me and I could not resist!!   Applique will always be my first love in quilting.
Hope I haven't already put this one up!!    True words!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Few More Quilts from the Show

 Loons, forests, lighthouses, sailboats, pastoral

all the many beauties of Michigan were represented in the challenge quilts we displayed at our show.

 Each had a gray road running across the width of the piece and they were hung so that the roads were connected.
The bottom one shows the road in front of the barn  connecting to the one with the loons on the lake - that road ran around the lake.  Very nice! 
 Here is Linda's amazing paperpieced  hanging!  This was chosen to be in the Quilt Art Engagement Calendar for 2015 (the month of August).  It is so beautiful.
This is my red dresden plates quilt.  I am very proud of this and it is surely one of the favorites of all of the quilts I have made.  Hard to catch the gorgeous colors - it is just drenched in color.

I gleaned some of the pictures of the show from Facebook and hope the ladies who posted them do not mind my using them on my blog.  I took a few the day of set up and planned to take more Sunday.  Could not find my camera in my purse.  But, of course, when I got home - it was in my purse!  Some days I am a bit ditzy in my elderly age!!