Thursday, February 9, 2017

Lots of New Stuff!!


New Fabric!  This is "Rising Sun" (18) from Washington Street Studios (P&B)......would like to make a small Medallion quilt  









More New Fabric!  This is "Star of Bethlehem" also by Washington Street Studio.  Sometimes hard to believe the brightness of the mid 19th century colors, but most of the Bethlehem Star, Mathematical Star, Lone Star (whatever you want to call it!) from that time period were bright colors!  Google it!  Here is just one from Barbara Brackman's blog "Material Culture" dated 1838-9!!








This little piece from Edyta Sitar's new book on small quilts "Little Handfuls of Scraps"  (32 darling little patterns!) consumed me for a time.....everything always takes longer than you think it should!  First of all, I thought I had a box of hst's already to go BUT they would finish 2" and I needed 1" so I had to make them.......could not bear to waste the fabric cutting the 2" blocks down!  



Pam Buda very thoughtfully sent me scraps of her new cheddar and taupe line................ first I made 4-1/2"" Shoofly blocks...then...



decided I wanted postage stamps to surround the blocks but the unit size did not compute, so I made 3" blocks...now will wait for yardage to arrive to complete!  




This is what I do when I want to sew but don't know what to work on (too many choices in progress!)...have only a few done and plan to make  49 for an 84" x 84" quilt.  Kinda fun to come across old favorites buried in the bottom of the box!



Sewing 1-1/2" squares together as Leaders and Enders.....still working on the 3" Railfence blocks as Leaders and Enders too!  Then, sometimes, I just spend a Sunday afternoon finishing a bunch of the Railfence blocks!    I like the little paper-mache box that I covered with wallpaper.....need to do more someday!  I like them covered with fabric too.....either neatly or primitively!



Sunday afternoons seem to be a favorite time to sew.....last Sunday I worked on this Tumbler for Jo Club #16.   Am using the small Crumbler template that makes several sizes by Miss Rosie.  Not sure how big I will make it......looks like it will be a runner....have used up most of the tumblers I cut but found I had lots more in the box that I have not yet cut!  So I will keep going until I think I am finished!



Then......had an idea that I should use the large Crumbler by Miss Rosie to make larger Tumblers using 5" charms from "Gratitude" and "Reflections".........may take a while...will cut tumblers in odd moments until they are done BUT the fabric just keeps arriving and keeps me busy cutting half yard cuts and fat quarter bundles!!!  Now the new "Reflections" line is here and Jo's Club 36 are here!









  Better go and check the weather......heavy snow falling!  Might be the biggest snow event for us yet this winter!  Might be a blizzard if these 3 conditions prevail for 3 hours (so we won't know until it is over!)........falling/blowing snow, winds 35 miles per hour (sustaining or gusts) and visibility only 1/4 mile.  Snowblower will get a workout but it is So Much Easier to deal with than freezing rain/sleet/ice buildup!!!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!





Another old postcard from the old family album!  Happiest of New Year's wishes for all.  May all your quilt plans come true! 



Since I received the "Old Plums" bolts by Pam Buda, I was able to finish this little quilt from "Campaign" by Carol Hopkins.....all fabrics used are from Pam's line.




On Thursday a "blizzard" was predicted.  Lost power due to ice buildup at 1am (Friday).  Was off for 35 hours (just came back within the hour).  Don't know why it was called a blizzard as there was no wind!  Anyway we got about a foot of snow;  we are all plowed out and back to "normal life"!  We heat with wood so the house stayed warm and we have a generator so I was able to read, sew, etc.  I am old-fashioned about some things and so I ignore the weekly pleadings from the local cable company to sign on with their TV-Phone-Internet "deal".  I will keep my landline phone as long as there is such a thing, because  Only the cable was out for 35 hours..... I still had  phone and  internet (do not have a smartphone but will likely have to have one someday)!



This is what we woke to Friday morning!  Lovely sunshine and azure blue sky!  And, of course, the white stuff!  The birdies were all aflutter at the bird feeder and I caught one of the Cardinals in the hydrangea bush.  Reminds me that I Really Need to get my new SLR digital with the great lenses fired up and ready to go!!!  Would get much better closeups!




This is the picnic table with its foot of snow!  We were fortunate to get only a foot.....in my son's area, about 60 miles NW of here, 24" fell!  

Now you are going to laugh at me!  Got this book the other day......have most of Kaffe Fassett's books......his fabrics are so much Not Me, tho, there are many that I like!  His quilts do speak to me!   



Love this Hexagon quilt!



Love this Medallion quilt with his bright fabrics too!  But, would also be wonderful using Reproductions....better make note of that on "the list"!       Love the simple quilts that let the Fabrics shine!!!





Have had some questions about how I accumulate my Half-Square Triangles.  I use 6-6-1/2" squares (Makes eight 2" finished hst's), separated into a pile of lights and a pile of darks.  Then match up light/dark.....some I use just as they come in the pile and some I match up because I like them together!  Then, when I get near the end of the piles, the Most Interesting (odd!) combinations are made!  I mark the diagonal pencil lines  and then use them as my "Leaders and Enders"......sew one line each time I finish regular block sewing!  Huge pile accumulated in what seemed like no time!  

Generally, I press open first and then square up.  It's kinda boring but I just do some as I feel like it or to fill in odd moments.  The method shown above was found somewhere on the internet.  Place the diagonal line of the 2" square ruler on the seam line and trim just Two Sides.  Press open.....but, there are dog ears to trim. Just have to take your pick which method suits you best!  (I will probably mostly use my old, tried and true method!)



Found this postcard in the album.....it is dated Jan 7, 1878.....last day of school.  Guess they closed school for the winter Back in The Day!  The True family lived in this house at least Civil War era to 1950's.




Friday, December 23, 2016

New Books! New Fabric! New Jo Morton Club!


Two new books arrived this week that are screaming "Make me!  No, Make Me!"
Edyta Sitar has outdone herself with "Little Handfuls of Scraps" containing "A Sprinkling of Vintage Finds" and 32 patterns for small quilts, using  wonderful assortments of antique reproduction fabrics for authentic inspiration!   Kathleen Tracy's new book "Small and Scrappy" has sixteen patterns for pint-sized quilts as well as  hints about building your fabric collection to make the small quilts!  The quilts in both books use lots of reproductions, both old and new, that I have in stock!!





Pam Buda's "Old Plums" arrived!!  11 bolts of various purples, accompanied by  6 bolts of lights!  And, a great thing about some of the purples is that they reverse to Great Solids!  Especially useful for Variety!  Have a little quilt from a Carol Hopkins pattern started from some scraps Pam so graciously sent to me that I now will finish!  






Another book I've recently enjoyed reading is Gwen Marston's "Free Range Triangle Quilts".  She also relies on antique quilts for inspiration and who knew so much could happen with Triangles!  A "must-read" for those as interested in creating quilts with triangles as I am.  That reminds me of yet another little quilt I've been working on......All half-square triangles of mostly darks .......a little doll quilt I saw online (ebay, I think)....Another couple rows and it will be done (tho I am thinking of making it larger!...Can't I just leave well enough alone!)  It's been fun going thru fabrics to find the old, dark and "dirty" fabrics!   Oh, and I finally got my newer Jo fabrics that had been stacked on the floor onto one of my antique shoe factory racks......that displaced my homespuns but they are neatly packed into boxes for pretty quick access (love those boxes I save from my Moda shipments for stackable storage!) in a re-organized (and very slightly purged!) walk-in closet that was thoughtfully built by someone years ago at the top of the back stairs.........these old houses are notorious for not having enough closet space!  



The month of December is usually slow in the shop, but that's okay........I love having free time to read, sew, cut out for projects, daydream, spend too much time on Pinterest, peruse blogs, etc, etc!
Then, there is also the quandary I have when I can spend time in my sewing room and can't decide what to do first!  I have way too many WIP's in progress that I can choose.......what to do?  Of course, start something New!  I often have this idea about something that I think I can whip up in one setting or at least during the off days!  Rarely happens tho!  I had a Lori Smith pattern staring at me so I decided to whip up a Courthouse Step small (11" x 14") quilt.  Managed to get all but the last 4 strips on during a Sunday afternoon (listening to audiobook by Ken Follet, "On Wings of Eagles".)
Now it is done and will join the pile of tops to be quilted Someday!






Jo Morton's Little Women Club #16 patterns will arrive after the first of the year!  Love all the projects and have started the Tumbler!   Let me know if you want to sign up (either in person or by mail order) so I will know how many pattern sets to order.  Club Requirements remain the same.......purchase of 25 Jo Morton fat quarters and $5 per pattern. 

Lots of  Jo fabrics to choose from!  Using Miss Rosie's small Crumbler.


Also in some of this month's "spare time" I've been adding to Wendy's (and my box also---everything cut in two's------one for Wendy, one for me!)  1-1/2" square box.....I think there are about 1200 more ready!   That makes about 2400 so far with another 1000 or so to go!

Will leave you with a photo of a Christmas present to myself to replace one I lost years ago....... 




Merry Christmas to all who choose to celebrate it.......in whatever manner you choose to do so!  Grateful that I will be sharing it with family at my grandson's house (and father of the new baby here in Maine!), and will be thinking of two granddaughters and their precious, darling babies who live in FL and AZ.
Maybe next year will be a year for all to be Together at Christmas!