Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2016--It's A Wrap

The last time I posted was two months ago. I guess that's par for the course. I'd like to try and do better this year. The last several months were busy ones, with our chapter quilt show, fall clean up, winterizing the house and cars, a death in hubby's family and a trip to Maryland for the funeral, hubby's knee surgery, weekends with Baby Girl, the holidays and all that entails, and as much quilting and knitting as I could fit in. I finished 18 quilts in 2016, which is a record for me, and in a variety of sizes, from queen to to miniature. 12 of those were UFOs, and it makes me exceedingly happy to see them finished. 8 were charitable donations for Quilts of Valor and NICU. This year I want to continue to focus on quilts for donation and the UFOs, and I'd like to make some quilts for family as well.

A little over half of the quilts I finished last year were linked in the sidebar. What follows never made it on the blog.

A couple years back, these Turning 20 quilts were going to be one twin-sized; but I changed my mind and threw it in the closet. Last summer I dug it back out and made two crib quilts out of the blocks. One was donated, the other went to my granddaughter. Her room is pink and gray, and the quilt adds a lovely touch of color.

Credit where credit is due: Turning 20 Book 9 by Tricia Cribbs

Charity Baby #3 is called Strip Mine, from a Quilt University class by Patti Anderson. I've seen the pattern all over the place, so it's not unique to her; but her method of construction might be. A good scrap buster and easy enough to sew.

True Blue is a 24" square quilt, from a kit I bought one summer at quilt show. Both the pattern and the fabrics are from Kim Diehl.

Charity Baby #5, Jumping for Joy, was from an article in Quiltmaker Nov/Dec 2016 by Paula Stoddard. That issue arrived at the right time for a quick and easy retreat quilt. I finished the top at our October retreat in Jackman and got it quilted a week or so after.

I was in the mood to make a Christmas quilt this year, so I dug this UFO out of the closet and finished it. I appliqued the snowflakes in the blue blocks with my embroidery machine, then machine quilted it with a snowflake design. It's not really a Christmas quilt as much as a winter quilt. I like it because it's cheery, with all the gray days of winter.

Warm Wynter Wishes was designed by a friend of mine when she was designing and selling patterns, but this one was never published. After a couple of years of pestering, she finally let me make it.

The last quilt I finished for 2016 was QOV #3, Stars Over America. I think I used every star fabric I owned, then quilted the whole thing with stars. The stars were paper pieced.

My goal for 2016 was six quilts of valor, which obviously was too ambitious. This year I'm aiming for four.

Credit where credit is due: pattern called Steve's Star, by Steve Bennett (Judy's husband), from Judy Martin's Piece and Play book.
One last project--a selection of small bags for Daughter-in-Law for Christmas. The cloth bags are from Lazy Girl Designs--Sweetpea Pod, Becca, and Fobio. The black vinyl mesh bags are from the pattern Zip It, Screen Play II. My DIL carries a smallish purse, so the large Becca works well for her. Not me, lol, I carry everything under the sun in my purse, so I need a big leather bag.

I will be busy the rest of the week trying to catch up on others' 2016 year end posts. Happy New Year to all.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Quilters Madder

This is my finished top from Lori's latest quiltalong, Quilters Madder. It's a reproduction of a small antique quilt that Lori saw at quilt show, and we were supposed to use madders for the fabric. I don't know how in the heck to identify a madder, so I picked out a collection of Jo Morton fabrics I had in the cabinet and used those.

I had all of the blocks put together at retreat but wanted to lay them out on the design wall before I sewed them together. Huh, after I laid it out, I wound up ripping apart 7 of the 8 Old Maid's puzzle blocks so I could turn those little bowtie units to match the antique. I liked that effect better.  I couldn't discern the pattern for setting the blocks together from either Lori's quilt or the antique quilt, so I set them the way I wanted.

Haven't got this quilted yet, hopefully in the next week or so. Thanks, Lori, for a fun quiltalong! You can see other Quilters Madder quilts here.

Jackman Retreat

Last weekend was Fall Retreat up in the mountains of Jackman, ME. Twelve of us from quilt group were in attendance, along with other quilters from around the state for a total of 25 quilters. Despite the fact that it was a tad crowded, we all had a great time and got lots of work done.

The drive up was frightful--rain for most of the two and a half hour drive. 20 minutes away from Jackman, the rain changed over to all snow. The snow was wet and slushy, and driving up on the mountain was more than a little hair raising. After we got settled at the resort, it snowed hard the rest of the afternoon, then changed back to rain. By Sunday, the roads were all clear so a nice drive back home. This was the view from our work room.

A number of tops were completed over the three-day retreat, and this was one of my favorites. The fabrics were all from Jinny Beyer, and I'm guessing it was a kit.

Joyce, a new quilter we met, must have had most of her top together before she arrived and then finished it at retreat. This was her original design.

I spent two weeks before retreat cutting and kitting up about 12 quilts, knowing full well I might touch 3 of them at retreat. And now, all that work is done! I worked on a quilt of valor; a small quilt called "Quilters Madder" from a new
quiltalong on Lori's blog,  humblequilts.blogspot.com; and Charity Baby #5, "Jumping for Joy" from the latest issue of Quiltmaker magazine. The quilt in the magazine was quite a bit larger, but mine is only 36" square, which is the size our quilt group has been making this year and last. I'll bind it in the blue.

 Halloween was Monday, of course, so I made this Sweet Pea Pod from Lazy Girl Designs from black vinyl mesh and crammed it full of candy for, I guess what would be my step-grandson, who lives away. My son, his wife, her son, and Baby Girl all came up for a visit on Sunday, and I was very happy they were all still here when I got back from Jackman. I added a band of Halloween fabric to the mesh.

Baby Girl is 4 months old now and a very happy little baby.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tacoma Quilt Show

My problems with Blogger have apparently been resolved, and thanks to those who wrote to me about the email forwarding issue. I learned a few things I didn't know before.

I spent the latter half of September and the first half of October scrambling to get some quilts finished for our chapter quilt show, which was the weekend of October 15. Not only did I have three quilts to finish, to include two big ones, but I was also on a couple of committees for the show itself, so lots to do.

We do a quilt show every other year, and our theme this year was Log Cabin. Log cabin quilts abounded in the show--nearly a quarter of all the quilts in the show were log cabins. 

I put seven quilts in the show, including two log cabins. One was a 24" mini hourglass log cabin, which appeared on my blog here, and this was the other one, Crooked Cabins. 196 six-inch blocks and all paper pieced from a pattern with crooked logs in the Sew Precise software  (Electric Quilt Co). It started as a block swap between four online friends, and then I spent the next 15 years making additional blocks here and there. Truthfully, I never thought I would get this done. Gave it away just yesterday to a dear friend who needed a proper quilt for her bed.

 The setting for the quilt came from a quilt I saw at the Heritage Quilt Museum in Lancaster, PA some years back. That particular quilt used squares instead of logs and had fewer blocks than mine, so I played around with the corner blocks in EQ7 until I came up with a setting I liked.

I started Indian Summer last fall; and when the trees were finally bare, I lost interest in the quilt and back into the closet it went. Decided to get it finished this year for quilt show, and my husband claimed it right after the show ended.

The pattern was "Fall, Leaves, Fall" from Cozy Quilts.

Someone gave me this pantograph, with loops and leaves, and I love it!

Thanksgiving Dinner, measuring 22" x 28", was another longtime UFO that I finished in time for quilt show. It was a pattern from Pine Tree Lodge Designs (which may not exist anymore), called "Turkey Time". Love that turkey! I enjoy paper piecing; but if I remember correctly, templates were used for all of the piecing. Although you can't see it, the stems on the apples are three-dimensional.

Another mini that went into the show was Cascadia, from a quiltalong on humblequilts.blogspot.com. I discovered it quite a while after the quiltalong ended, but the directions are still on Lori's blog. She does these mini quiltalongs from time to time, and they all seem to be based on antique quilts that she's seen one place or another. She's just finished another quiltalong called Quilters Madder, and I cut out the pieces for that one yesterday. The Cascadia quilt measures roughly 16" x 17".

The other two quilts I put in the show were my Dakota Farmer, from the last post, and It's Not Plaid, which was on the blog here.

You can see more of the quilts from our quilt show, including the quilt that won Viewer's Choice, here.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Problem with Blogger?

Is anyone else having trouble with Blogger these days? I accidentally discovered that Blogger is not forwarding comments to my email address. I've checked my settings and think everything is set correctly. My apologies to anyone to whom I have not responded! Maybe it's time to switch to Wordpress or something.

Dakota Farmer

Bonnie Hunter's latest book was released a few weeks ago, and I already have a copy in my hot little hands. It is based on the column that she writes for Quiltmaker magazine, "Addicted to Scraps".

Dakota Farmer was one of the blocks I found in her column. At the time, I was just getting onboard with soscrappy's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so I started making these blocks. I did change the outer border to suit myself.  I think Bonnie usually puts up on her blog a mockup of what a quilt using that month's block might look like, and that's where this layout came from. Finished it in August.

These cute little 3" flying geese blocks were another block featured in her column. I started making light and dark versions and have in mind a particular setting. Heaven knows how long it will take me to get enough done to make a quilt because I am paper piecing mine. One nice thing about these little blocks is that they use up a lot of small scraps.

We had a very long, hot, dry summer, and I'm glad we're finally down to the 60s. 38 degrees here last night. Fabulous! Despite the dry weather, my sedums still look beautiful. They'll deepen in color to a burgundy by the time fall is over.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A New Obsession

I'm on the last quarter of the Stars Over America quilt. Still have four more red star halves to sew for the corner border blocks; but since there's only one border, I anticipate having this top finished by bedtime tonight.

Paper piecing 88 star halves got tedious at times, so occasionally I switched out the project with another from a class I bought on Craftsy. I discovered Craftsy sometime late last year and have come to love it. It started with knitting, then expanded to quilting, a few cooking classes, and a few gardening classes. They have some other kinds of classes too, and I wish they'd have one on refinishing furniture.

A few weeks ago while I was surfing the internet, I came across Joan Hawley's blog--she owns Lazy Girl Designs. She wrote about a new technique she developed using half of a zipper, with a different colored pull, to sew into a bag. My interest was piqued, so I bought her three patterns that feature the technique. Before I could get started, she started offering a class on Craftsy, so I signed up. A worthwhile investment, because she offers some tips that are not in the printed patterns, and the videos make it a whole lot easier to understand what to do. Too bad I had already bought the patterns because all three are included in the class materials, which makes it a great value.

Using only half of a zipper makes it easy to install, then you can use the other half for another project. You can also see I've added different colored pulls to each of the three pieces I made. In fact, the key fob actually has two different pulls on it. I could have added three or even six. How fun is that?

The other thing I really like about this technique is that using one half of a zipper allows the bag to sit wide open when it's unzipped, which makes it easier to see and reach into the bag. This is Joan's Sweetpea Pod pattern. I've been keeping one of my charger cords in it, but a friend made one from vinyl mesh (which I thought was brilliant) and keeps her little red binding clips inside. The larger bag is Becca, and the key fob is Fobio. The split ring on the Fobio is small enough to put through a zipper pull, so you can put one on the Sweetpea too.

You can also purchase a bag of extra zipper pulls so you have colors to choose from. I have always detested putting in a zipper, but Joan made a believer out of me. I had so much fun in this class, and now it's spawned a new obsession--stashing zippers and zipper pulls.