Monday, August 30, 2010

Mini Sampler

I started this little sampler back in May, and I was sort of using it as a leaders and enders project. I finished the top a couple days ago and put the last stitch in the binding this morning over morning coffee. If the border fabric looks familiar, it's because I had some left over from the Morningstar quilt.

The quilt finishes to 16" x 20", and it is from Lori Smith's pattern "Fat Quarter Quilting: Sampler Quilts". I switched out half the blocks because I wanted blocks with mostly half square triangles units. Then some simple straight line quilting for a quick and easy finish.

Lori Smith has a whole line of fat quarter quilting patterns that all finish to 16" x 20". Quite a few of the individual blocks finish to 4", which is a very doable size for me. The entire line appeals to me tremendously, and I'll be making more of them.

Progress on the Champagne Quilt

I finished up the rest of the Champagne blocks yesterday, right on schedule. I made 49 blocks so I'll be setting them in a 7 x 7 format. In the afternoon I sewed the first three sets of blocks into rows but haven't sewn the rows together yet. I want to get all the blocks sewn together by mid week so I can start on the borders. This quilt must be ready for quilting no later than September 15!

It was beastly hot here in Maine yesterday, 88 in the shade; and we are in for more hot weather the next three or four days. The leaves have already started changing color, so I'm hoping this is summer's last gasp.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

PS I Love You

It's been about a month and a half since I worked on anything in my Power of Ten rotation, but I got the urge to work on one of those quilts a few days ago, and this was the next one in the rotation. This was supposed to be a challenge for the same four of us that made the September Sun quilts. Two of the girls have got theirs quilted and bound already, and two of us are still struggling with fabrics.

In fact I've struggled for months trying to choose fabrics for it, as I always do when choosing fabrics for a planned quilt. I much prefer scrappy quilts or kits.

Some of these fabrics I ordered sometime last year for a pattern I was testing; but when they arrived I was disappointed they weren't at all what I'd pictured. The colors seemed so dull, and the scale of the prints was not at all what I expected. So into the closet they went. I actually considered them several times for this quilt, dismissed them, and came back to them in the end. Now that I've got one block together, maybe they're not so bad after all.

I need 13 star blocks and 12 snoball blocks for my quilt. No idea what I'm doing for fabric for the snoball blocks yet, but I think I've got the sashing and border fabrics picked out. I sewed one block last night to see how it might look, decided it would work just fine, and spent this afternoon cutting up fabric for the remaining 12 star blocks.

I've spent all the time I want to on this quilt for now, so it's going back into the closet, and the next project in my rotation is ready and waiting.

King's Crown Blocks

I'm behind with absolutely everything I can be behind with (even more than usual). My 6-Quilt Stashbuster Challenge blocks for August won't be done either by the end of the month, so I'm sort of combining August and September. Besides I very much liked JudyS's idea of having a look at all of them at once. These are all the King's Crown blocks I've completed so far, including the ones for September. I'm likin' 'em!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Found a Featherweight

See, I told you I had a lot to blog about. And I still have a couple more posts to do with quilt show photos, but I'll do those later this week.

I always wondered what it would be like to own a Featherweight, and yesterday I found one at the Quilter's Yard Sale sponsored by Cottonweeds, one of our local quilt shops. This is the same yard sale I went to last year and found a copy of Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking for $3. It was a good price, I think, too good to pass up; and who knows when the opportunity might arise again? So I bought it.

According to information I found on the internet using the machine's serial number, it is indeed a Singer Featherweight, model 221K, built in 1949 at the Kilbowie plant in Clydebank, Scotland. I know nothing about Featherweights and don't know if it is more desirable to have one built in the US, but it doesn't matter much to me right now. In any case, the machine looks to be in very nice condition, and she runs just fine. I'm going to buy Nancy Johnson Srebro's book on featherweights and shop for a few parts, like extra bobbins; then I should have a nice little machine to take with me on my sew days away.

I Won!

At the Maine Quilts annual quilt show at the end of July, I bought seven raffle tickets for this quilt. I sat across the aisle in Raffle Alley in the Maine Machine Quilters booth all morning long, selling tickets for ours and admiring this one. Finally I walked over and bought one ticket, then went back the next day and bought a book of six more. Yesterday morning, JeanR called and told me I'd won the quilt, and I met her in Augusta this morning to pick it up.

The quilt is called "Scraps of Green", made by the Narrow Gauge Quilters in Phillips, Maine. It is machine quilted with a small ivy leaf, and I just love it. I haven't measured it yet, but I think it must be a queen sized quilt. After I take the sleeve off and give it a good wash, it's going right on my bed!

I won another raffle quilt four or five years ago, so I was astonished to have won another. I'm still holding tickets for three more raffles that haven't been drawn yet. You just never know, do you?

Hexies #34 and #35

Here are two hexies I finished two weeks ago while the chimney was coming out. I haven't finished the one from last week yet, but I hope to have two more finished by the end of next week.

JudyS wanted to see a picture of all the ones I've finished so far, so here they are. They're not arranged any way, just took them out of the box and slapped them on the wall, so there are pockets of the same colors and fabrics next to each other. The sashing hasn't been sewn to anything yet either, I just wanted to see how it might look.

No More Chimney

Now you see it.....

.... now you don't.

I've had plenty of stuff to blog about lately but the last three weeks have been pretty nuts, and I just haven't had enough time to get on the computer or even behind the sewing machine. Come to think of it, that may be a normal state of affairs for me, it's just usually not this bad.

One of the things that wreaked havoc with my schedule was the removal of our chimney two weeks ago. I sat upstairs and tried to handpiece most of the week so I could be available for whatever the work crew needed.

I was sad to have to take out the chimney and fireplaces, but we've had nothing but trouble with it. Over the years, the mortar has come away from the stones; and we've tried to seal it, but eventually the water soaks through the chimney and runs down into the basement, saturating the carpet and everything on it. We could have had it repointed, but eventually we'd be right back where we started, so we finally decided to get rid of it.

Wet walls also mean carpenter ants, and we thought we got rid of them once but discovered during the renovation they're still there in the walls surrounding the chimney. There's also the occasional bee that wanders down the chimney, and a few weekends ago a bat flew down the chimney and was sailing around my sewing room. At midnight. You know, they don't make a sound when they fly. He was netted and released.

Undoubtedly the scariest part of the whole ordeal was the yawning hole they put in the living room wall when they took out the fireplace and hearth. At one point they actually had that jackhammer in my living room. It was a little disconcerting to be able to see down the street through the hole.

They also leveled my beautiful sedums. We even asked if we should move them and were told the crew would work around them. Not! It's not much of a problem to replace them if they don't grow back next year, but it's a disappointment to lose them just the same.

The job is as finished as it's going to be for now. My husband still needs to put up some sort of siding and do the finish work inside the house. Both the roof and the siding will be redone within the next year I hope, and all the patch work will disappear.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hexies #31, #32, and #33

I am making great progress with these hexagon blocks. I take great pleasure in the variety of fabrics I'm using in the blocks, and it's so enjoyable to watch how each one comes together as I'm handpiecing them. I'm starting two more this evening.

It has been a very pleasant weekend here in Maine. There may a little humidity creeping in today, but it was 59 degrees this morning at 7:30, and I sat and handpieced this morning with a sweater on. I love this weather!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Star Crazy BOM for August

Today was our summer picnic for Casey's Quilters, and the only time we will meet this month. We had a great day, except that I was hot much of the day--crazy hormomes, I guess, because it wasn't really so hot at Helen's. By midafternoon a cold front rolled in and cooled things off. It's supposed to be in the 50s tonight, thankfully.

I got all nine of my blocks done for August's Star Crazy. I could make a whole quilt with these little 6-inch blocks with blocks in the center--love 'em. I think we must be done with half square triangle units now since we only had to make four this month. We've been making 48 every month.

Four more months and we're done!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blocks, Blocks, and More Blocks

I finally finished my 6Q Stashbuster Challenge blocks for July--all of them. In fact, including the blocks for the 6Q Challenge, the Champagne blocks, the Star Crazy blocks, the hexagon blocks, and half of the McCall's Mystery blocks for June that I was behind on, I made 84 blocks in the month of July. That's a lot of blocks! And that doesn't include the blocks from the little Teddy on Vacation quilt.

I've finished 28 of the required 49 Champagne blocks for my niece's quilt. I'm just a few days behind with those, but I'm still right on schedule to get the top done by my target date, mid-September.