Sharing fabric cuttings with my worldwide friends

Monday, December 26, 2011

Week 52 Christmas Star

Only one more challenge block potential to come after this. Yes, this week was another block that required me to be extra choosy with my fabrics as I did not have color variety to make the pattern successful. And since this was a grey/confederate block my stripe options were almost non existent - I had wanted, at first look, to make the wedding ring version with a striped fabric as shown on BB's blog.

But by digging deep into the grey stash and coming up with a few options I went ahead and cut fabrics. I chose what is meant to look like a Christmas rose for the center and four small triangles cut from the Santa's Beard (Jinny Beyer) fabric to go with the Christmas Star idea - oh, and then the fabric with the small stars on it as well.

I am certainly looking forward to being able to have a tidy up in my sewing room after next Saturday's block is made. Perhaps I'll find the week 50 Grapes of Wrath block then which is temporarily awol!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

New York rev 1

As mentioned last week I was not entirely happy with the big dark square in the top left corner. So I decided to have another try with the star as shown on BB's blog as the original before it was simplified to make an 8" block. The math does cause problems. I entirely drafted the small star square (yes, got out my compass to accurately divide the four inch square into three) and paper foundation pieced it. Now it is pieced into the rest of the block we see what happens with accurately dividing four inches into three as opposed to rounding and trimming. Oh well.

On the flickr site I noticed some people had used this star instead and since it has always been a favorite of mine I decided to try a block with this one in it.

You might note I have not done a redo using the fabrics that had the red in that I had cut into last week as I felt as though I was cheating my own color scheme rule just a little. After several weeks of needing to stitch a blue block I see we get a confederate block today.

Today's block, the Christmas Star, awaits. But I might need to spend some time in the kitchen first cooking for Christmas. Then wrapping for Christmas. Oh, maybe I'll sew the Christmas Star on Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Week 51 New York

For the block today Barbara Brackman suggested that it might be one to consider using in the corners of the quilt. So with that in mind I decided to make three versions.

Even if I do not repeat the use of this block in the corners it will be good to have some choices of colorways to help with layout of the blocks. The blue fabric I used for the stripe above is one that I have had all along but not used. Other fabrics that came from the same collection have appeared from time to time I think but not this one.

Here I went with fabrics with just a touch of red in them which has appeared in a few blocks this year.

Of course again it was a challenge for me today to create what is essentially an American flag block when the very necessary red is not a fabric choice I have to select from. And supposing I have some idle moments I might have a try at making the block that this is based on which uses a pieced star in the top left. BB decided that was a difficult one to turn into an 8" block (good thinking!) but with foundation piecing as an option I'd like to see if I could make it work. The fabrics I have with stars on for the top left position give quite a heavy feel to the block that I'm not sure I am happy with.

In the meantime, I think my favorite is the first block I show. That wavy line of stars looks good even if the blue it uses is a difficult one to work with. What's your favorite?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Week 50 Grapes of Wrath

The block this week is one of those that really is better set on point - so kindly twist your head a little could you?

There were several liberties I needed to take with this weeks block with the color being the most obvious. That said, I notice on the flickr site that some people have commented that concord grapes are blue so that is a little solace. I decided to add in a few extra seams to eliminate piecing on the bias. And this fabric has been sitting quietly waiting to be used and I thought the woven appearance of it was well suited for the basket portion.

Another blue block to put up on the wall while I wait for the last two blocks so I can make my final decision on the setting colors to use.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Week 49 Yankee Puzzle

For this week I felt like a brighter block with some pretty fabrics was needed. And it's another Union block so the blue pile was the place to find what I wanted.

There were a few perplexing minutes when I wondered if I was going to have to recut two of the four striped triangles as I could not seem to get the stripes to all run the right way but then suddenly all was clear and correct.

Only four more Saturdays to be presented with a new block. Will there be another applique block to do?

For the layout I have chosen to do I will need an additional three blocks as well as the setting blocks. The weekly blocks are now pinned up on the design wall so I can keep an eye on them while I work out what those additional blocks should be; it's likely I will make three more the same as the one that I choose for appeal so all four corners can have the same block. Or maybe not.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 48 West Virginia

Now, you must agree that this block does not look all that difficult. But once I read what was on the flickr site on Saturday I thought "uh oh". In the days following there has been mention of having to starch/press/pull the block into submission. On Monday I cut out two diamonds and went to pin the first seam and discovered my diamond was too small so I abandoned the effort.

This morning, I drafted the block myself (the old fashioned way with paper, pencil and ruler as I do not have EQ/blockbase) and made templates for the diamonds. This was necessary as I wanted to fussy cut and use that wavy stripe fabric. On Saturday I had found the central motif in a fabric in the project pile and I thought it would be a good choice as West Virginia changed sides so often during the war. And finally, the block is done.

A week or two ago I posted a couple of sample setting blocks. Here is an update to that. I know the photo itself is not a good one but it does show the idea of what the setting blocks might look like if I go with this idea. You can see three rough sample blocks: one (too small but for the purpose it'll do) with the inch wide tan colored X, one with a half inch wide blue X and then one with a three quarter inch wide blue X altho I have folded over a small piece of red and stuck it in there too. This was because I was reading an article about color in one of the latest quilt magazines and it suggested that if the majority of your quilt is in "cool" colors then the addition of a small amount of a "warm" color will make it sparkle and visa versa. So if I leave all this up on my design wall and watch it for a few days maybe I'll come up with the answer as to what I might choose to do.

I also wanted to show you a gadget that I like to use. Compared to certain quiltie friends I am not a big gadget person but I do find myself using this tool, the Perfect Piecer, whenever I have a block with diamonds in it and for certain other blocks as well. It is designed by Jinny Beyer who is famous for her hand piecing; all the pin holes you see allow you to make a mark on a shape to aid in correctly hand piecing it to the adjoining shape. Well, I don't hand piece, but I do find that having that mark on the fabric helps me to line up odd shapes and pin them correctly before carefully sewing them on my sewing machine. It certainly helped me with this block and all those Y seams. Come to think of it I did not have to redo any of those seams - they all came out fine the first time.

And working out well the first time is always something to celebrate!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 47 Dixie Tea

It looks as though I am feeling bland this weekend as this is the week 47 block I made. But following on from last Saturday with the tree trunk I cut my leaf stem from the same interesting fabric. It's always good to have some more quiet blocks in a sampler collection and I think this one will come under that heading. And I enjoyed being able to hum along to the Dixie tune while cutting my fabrics.

I have been giving increased thought to the setting of the blocks. After seeing the selection of settings that Barbara Brackman highlighted on her blog a couple of weeks back I am leaning towards using setting blocks rather than sashing. Of course setting blocks require sewing an additional 50 + blocks...h'mm.

Thursday was a very unsatisfactory day so when I got home I thought I would just shut myself away and work on a quilt project. The moral from that day is not to try anything complicated when your mind is fretting elsewhere.

Above is one option. The block would alternate with the weekly blocks so some of the blocks would be framed by the pale grey and some would be framed by the medium grey. This option would give an "on point" look to the blocks without actually setting them on point. I'm wondering if the "x" is too heavy i.e. currently the x is 1" wide and maybe it could do with dropping down a little in size? The tan color was introduced as some of the blue and grey fabrics I have used do have some tan in them and this would provide some variety in color. I could also choose to make the "x" in the dark grey which you'll see in the next option.

This chain style block is a second option. The dark grey could be replaced by the tan fabric. This block will give the same effect as the one above i.e. an "on point" appearance. However, there is more cutting and sewing required to make this block than the first option.

I'll also point out what happens when you sew while stressed. You can see many of the seams in option 2 look wonky. In option 1 the evidence might not seem so easy to see but had I shown these two blocks side by side you would see straight away that the option 1 block came in too small at the odd size of 7 1/4" finished instead of the required 8"; what did happen between making the calculations and cutting the fabric? It is just as well these two are sample blocks.

Linda at the quilt shop and I spent quite a long time happily pulling bolts of fabric on and off the shelves trying to come up with options to try for these setting blocks when I was in there early in the week to pick up my door prize. When we laid down a good number of the blocks we could see that blue blocks well outnumber grey blocks hence the choice to use grey and maybe tan in the setting blocks so the blue is not so overwhelming. Thank you Linda for helping me as well as others who passed by and were equally helpful by pointing out when we were trying too hard to make something work.

Please feel free to make your comments about the options I am considering.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Week 46 Apple Tree

There was another challenge for me with this weeks block because of the colors. The squares were supposed to be green and red to represent an apple tree. Well, that was not going to happen with a blue and grey color scheme now was it!

So I decided to go with a totally scrappy tree and to at last use some pieces of fabric that I have had for ages but not yet used. Yes, I had a piece of fabric with the Jefferson Davis image on it; score 1 for me. And to balance it I had this fabric with the Union flag on it; score 2 for me this week. Then for the tree trunk I used a piece that Cheryl had given me a while back - it was intended for the grey pile but with those brownish tones in it I had not yet used it. But by putting Jefferson Davis in there, with the sepia look to it, that fabric, looking so out of place in the grey pile, worked just fine in this block.

This block was not going to be an elegant looking one at this scale but at least it was an easy one to sew while I ponder the setting dilemma.

Today was day four of our local quilt shop hop. I was in the Jinny Beyer shop and on the wall upstairs was her Moon Glow top. It is pieced with alternating chain style blocks and each star block is different. This is similar to the sampler look we will have going with putting these civil war blocks together and echoes an idea one of the participants has as shown on Barbara Brackman's recent posting about setting ideas.

And for a happy finish to the day I got a phonecall after the shop closed to say my name had been drawn as winning a door prize. So that's my big excitement for today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 45 Port and Starboard

This weeks block did not enthuse me and maybe that is why it has taken until today to get the posting up.

I could not really understand why this block was shown in red, white and blue since the colors for port and starboard lights on a watercraft are red and green. And I was not able to use either color scheme anyway.

We are getting close to the end of this project and I thought perhaps I had better use some more of this fabric with Union written on it as it will have very limited use in other projects. As always though with this fabric it was a struggle to find something that goes with that particular shade of blue.

So here it is, a block to represent a major Union victory at sea in the Civil War.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 44 Union

There was a lot of muttering and redoing of seams for this week's block. But I got it done.

Yesterday I was looking through my pile of fabrics trying to make a final decision. Would it feature that fabric with Union written on it? That one is an oddball shade of blue and it is hard to find other blues in my pile to go with it. Could I use a fussy cut image of a young soldier? Well, I might have done if I could decide if he was a Union or a Confederate soldier and besides, that particular fabric is all sepia toned even though it has some great civil war images on it and so does not really fit into the color scheme I have chosen. After rejecting several tentative selections I decided that I wanted to make a pretty block for this week so that is what I went with.

And to carry on with the pretty theme I took my block outside because today, with a good blue sky and the fall colors, is much prettier than the bizarre weather we had yesterday; snow while the autumn leaves are still on the trees and the busy lizzies were looking the best they have all season. Of course the sun is very bright and it has made what I think of as blue asters look purple when providing the backdrop for my block.

But, by then, the memory card flashed full so I had to come inside and in putting the photos on the computer the low battery light came on so this is it for my pretty poses for week 44.

Thank you to Cheryl and her 1/16th" cutting directions for saving my sanity on this weeks block.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 43 Right Hand of Friendship

I'm giving you the guilty conscience view of my block for this week. I have been out these past three days on our quilt group retreat. There is a lot of conversation and sewing going on in the room and past history has taught me not to attempt any projects that might require careful concentration.

The block for this week of the Barbara Brackman Civil War block of the week project was not inherently difficult to construct until you factor in choosing the fabrics in a ten minute burst before you dash out of the house. And then cutting and sewing them amidst the swirl of activity in the room with 18 quilt group members. My blocks usually end up measuring the required 8 1/2" square but this one was a smidgen off in one direction so I decided to edit the photo to make the block look better.

Additionally, I thought it should have both grey and blue featuring.

I believe we are down to the last ten blocks now; wonder if there will be any more applique? Regardless of what the last block patterns are going to be it is certainly time to give consideration to the setting for this quilt. On point? Square on? Plain sashing? Interesting cornerstones? All these are options to ponder in the remaining few weeks.

In the meantime we have surely been treated to some interesting insights into the history surrounding this period in American history - both from a general and a quilters perspective.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Week 42 H is for Hospital

This should have been an easy block to construct but something happened to my accuracy. After a while I decided to leave it a bit wonky since the hospitals then could also perhaps be described the same way.

For the second week in a row we had a block that needed colors used in a certain way to accurately carry through the idea. In the case of H is for Hospital the background was meant to be yellow and the H was meant to be green as a representation of the "flag" used to denote a hospital. Neither of those colors are in my palette for this project so I had to go with what I did.

And about the fabrics I did use; obviously I had to use my one theme pale grey fabric as my rule is that it must be in every block. I had been waiting and waiting to use the blue bandana fabric that Cheryl had found and given to me weeks and weeks ago. Today, I decided it made a good contrast with the pale grey and the paisley in the blue fabric mimicked the paisley in my theme fabric.

Both armies had to have hospitals so it was fine to combine grey and blue in the one block.

And the scary thought for today? This is week 42 - that means we are only ten weeks away from the end of the year. Can you believe it?!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 41 Red, White and Blue quilt

This one was going to be a challenge no matter which way I looked at it. Since my preset color scheme is grey and blue there is no way I could make a block with red, white and blue in it.

Having regard for that issue I decided that there was no point in making myself crazy and using the instructions which called for not only cutting templates but also precise piecing and a dreaded center point where every difficult seam had to meet exactly. So I went with an alternate and paper(foundation) pieced the block. You'll note that I chose to use a blue fabric patterned with a five pointed star.

The end result is that I have a completed block.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Week 40 Order Number Eleven

When this block was posted last Saturday I knew I needed to do it using a turned under, hand done applique method. And the reason for that is I had just done a class with Karen Kay Buckley who specializes in such a technique. I just did not plan to have so little time to work on it.

But here it is, done at last.

This block was one that I had on my long term "to do" list although I had previously not had a pattern for it. So I was quite pleased when it showed up as the block last week.

I enjoyed the story that Barbara Brackman posted with this block.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 39 Hovering Hawks

I'm not entirely sure if I see the hovering hawks in this block but just in case I gave them (it?) feathery fabric for what I think might be the wings altho looking at the BB posting maybe those are the tail feathers. And I chose one background fabric to look like the hawks are flying over a patchwork of fields scouting out where to swoop down on for the best finds.

Since this week's block was listed as being a symbolic pattern rather than a straight union or confederate pattern I decided to make a blue and grey block this week.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 38 Ohio Star

The Ohio Star block has always appealed to me. Although, since it is essentially a nine patch, I prefer to sew it when the math is compatible with a nine patch and this one is not. All the blocks in this project, as you may recall, are to be 8" finished.

Here it is. I could hear the dog pacing back and forth downstairs all the time I was working on this so I wanted to get it done so we could take him out for a walk. And when you are trying to hurry, well, that is when little things like a loose white thread that shows up in the photo will be an annoyance.

But the dog has been patient all this time so I guess one little white thread is a trifling thing to fret over.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 37 Confederate Rose

Behold, the Confederate Rose. You have heard of a grey hibiscus rose, right?!

Again, another challenge for me to keep within my color scheme as there is no rose in my palette. This project is proving to be a good challenge in many ways. For this week not only was there the question of how to get around the rose colorway suggested but also another of those patterns where there surely had to be an easier way than piecing those Y seams. I went for an approach that not only eliminated the Y seam but called for careful trimming down with the result that my block is exactly the prescribed 8" finished (8 1/2" currently) size.

And I decided to add in some fussy cutting just to make sure I had met the challenge.

Earlier this morning I was looking at a quilt magazine and saw something that reminded me to think about the setting options for this quilt. So I really must start writing some notes and sketch the ideas and put them in the box with the blocks to help with the decision making process. In an ideal way I would also make some mockups but who knows if that will happen?

And now I must go put my camera battery on the charger as it is not feeling very happy with the current battery level.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 36 Kentucky Crossroads

I'm going to have to look back through the pile but I have the feeling we have previously had a block similar to this. However, here we have the Kentucky Crossroads block (and for the second time I had to correct my typing as I had written crosswords - I don't know why as this was an easy block to sew).

I was originally thinking to fussy cut the fabric with Union printed on it for the center but then I realized I had to use my grey main fabric somewhere so I decided to look for a fabric with lines crossing for that square and ended up with the plaid there.

This week I have been working on a quilt and making 12" blocks. After I finished pressing this block just now I looked at it and thought gee, this block looks too small. But no, it is the usual 8" finished size.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 34 Rosebud

It seems as though I have been fiddling with this one for long enough now. It will have to do.

I might actually look forward to an applique one after doing a number of pinwheel centers!

And this has me all caught up at last. But I am going to start cutting a new project tomorrow so I needed to be caught up. Of course that is ignoring at least three other major works in progress that have deadlines looming.

Oh well.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week 35 Star of the West

Hurray! I got this weeks block made on the day. You'll see I took some liberties with the way I made the block. But the instructions did show it colored with just three fabrics in this way.

I took it a step further and eliminated some seams. And chose fabrics with stars in them.

The outside light was fading fast and the rain (Hurricane Irene) has already started so I did not have a lot of opportunity for getting the photography just right.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Week 32 Carolina Lily

So, today I had a bonus afternoon and I was at last able to get this fearsome block finished.

You might note that I have edited the photo more so than usual. That is because it did not come out quite so perfect. But it is salvageable. Without the usual red background the color might look a little "off" but it is the usual grey background fabric that has appeared in every block.

I had a lot of difficulty with the dimensions and the templates for this block - and I take comfort that I was not alone in this.

And the reason for the bonus afternoon? We had a 5.9 (or was it 5.8) earthquake here mid afternoon. It happened as I was gathering my keys and purse to go out (on a drive to a lovely quilt shop!) and I was in the kitchen rooted to the floor by terror. I decided I could not leave the dog home alone for fear of an aftershock and I could not leave him alone in the car outside the quilt shop. So we stayed home. For a while we sat outside on the deck (I deemed us safer out there) but then I came in and decided that I might as well go and sit and sew and see if I could get a block finished.

And voila, I did just that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week 28 Next Door Neighbor

When I got out of bed this morning I decided I could not have breakfast until I had made this block. Sew I did. Then I had my bagel . The next ultimatum is that I cannot get ready and leave for church until this posting is done. Nothing like a few priorities to get some action.

I did want to include something feminine looking in this block because of the haunting image of that poor mother Bursheba Younger, a widow who could find no peace; it was her story that was posted along with this block.

There are some pieces cut out and waiting to be sewn for week 32's Lily block. I cut those while at a friend's home yesterday. As I was leaving her home what should I see draped over her Tin Lizzie frame but a quilt top featuring the Rosebud block which is the week 34 block posted yesterday. The co-incidences that keep happening to me boggle my mind.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Week 33 Indianna Puzzle

I think I was trying too hard on this block. Too much fussy cutting. But, it is done. It seemed to me that this was essentially a Southern block (after all it said that on the label line at the end of the posting) and so I should use grey. But I needed to have Lincoln get in there (since I did have the fabric!) and I let just a little blue creep in as well. Another block where my color scheme meant I had extra work to make the block work as I could not get that copper penny effect with grey and blue.

Technique wise I think it would have been done sooner if I had just gone ahead and hand appliqued but oh, no, I had to say it would be quicker to machine piece it. And that is why it is Wednesday before I am posting this.

Guess I am going to have to back up and do week 32 huh?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week 30 Peterson's Stars and Stripes

As I continue to lurch along trying to get back in order, here is my block for week 30.

This one was going to be a challenge as a blue and grey color scheme was never going to work for a block that was meant to have red and white stripes in the background. So I compromised as you can see.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Week 31 Empty Spools

I needed some time at the sewing machine today so I got this weeks block done on the day it came out.

There are weeks it is a real challenge to keep my own rules. And this was one of those weeks. I made the block to the 8" size and I used my background in the right place. But I just did not like how the block looked following the instructions on the BB posting with all those seams in the middle of the spool. So I disregarded the instructions and made the block with a center square for the spool part even though I had those corner diagonal seams to achieve. Several others had used a striped fabric to represent the thread on the spool and I liked that idea despite the title of the block being Empty Spools.

My technical director has just fixed me up with Willie Nelson playing on the computer speakers so I just might go back into the sewing room and search out some fabrics for last weeks block. And I can hear Willie while I get a start on that block.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week 29 Railroad Crossing

I'm a little late and out of order but anyway, here is the block for week 29. When I had all the blocks out for week 26 I noticed that there was only one that had used this dark grey so I needed to use it again so it did not stand out too much.

As always, my stitching is better than my photography. The two small silver dots near the top are the pins holding the block down.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Week 27 Irish Chain

For this week's block I decided it was going to be all about the fabric - the motif on the fabric rather than the color of the fabric. Had I been following my own recent rule this should have used a blue fabric in the square areas as this is a Union block. But I had been recently gifted this great fabric with shamrocks on it and it seemed serendipitous for this week.

There was an amount of fussy cutting. And sadly, as I finished the last seam I discovered a mistake. For right now I am going to leave it. But I might have to let my conscience win out and fix the error at a later time.

Would you fix this mistake?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 26 Barbara Frietchie Star

I'm really not sure why it took me so long to get this weeks block done. It was Saturday when I started with it by trying to select fabrics but nothing seemed to be working out to my satisfaction (perhaps because I was not at home but was stitching with friends for the afternoon). Once I got home I decided to get all the blocks out and have a look at them as a set. This really helped as I could see which other fabrics I had used with that one troublesome colored fabric with the union motif on it that I wanted to use.

Next up was a lesson in how to cut a striped fabric when you want all the stripes to go in the same direction. And then a humbling effort to try and get points to match up and there were quite a few in this block. Finally I decided "enough" and went to take the photo. Now after all that effort to fussy cut those corner motifs wouldn't you think I would be careful with them? Nope, got inside and looked at the photos on the screen and I had taken the photo with the block upside down. So back outside I went much to the bewilderment of the dog who could not understand why I didn't want him to follow me.

Twenty five weeks of blocks made for an easy way to lay them out. And then there is the troublesome week 26 hanging out all alone in the bottom row. I have placed the blocks in the weekly order so it is intriguing to see how the darker ones seem to cluster together.

I hope everyone else is satisfied with their progress on this project. For sure making blocks that you are then going to photograph and post on the blog makes you acutely aware of mismatched points and less than accurate sewing. So overall this is a good way to encourage slower and more careful stitching.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Week 25 Calico Puzzle

With great excitement I actually got the block for this week finished today, Saturday, the day it was posted. It has been weeks since I was able to do this.

Some weeks ago I noticed that each block was noted as being either a Union or Confederate block. I took that as a cue to select from either the blue or the grey stash for that days block. But maybe I need to get the pile of 25 blocks out and lay them out together and see if this is a good thing to do or if I should revert to my prior practice of combining blue and grey in the same block.

Looking at the name for the block I wondered if it might have been more apt to dub it "math puzzle". The first sentence in the instructions read "These measurements will give you pieces a bit large which you can then trim to an 8 1/2" square (8" finished) block." That was a clue to say "proceed with caution". Once again I wondered if these blocks came originally as 12" blocks that have been scaled back to 8". This was a 9 patch block made to 8" finished size and so the math was challenging. I did trim pieces all the way through and not just at the end. My last task was to trim the 8 3/4" block down to 8 1/2" by trimming 1/16" from all sides. Not what I like to have to do.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Week 24 Ladies Aid Album

Here I am with this week's block. I had to ponder this one for a little while since red is not really in my fabric selections for this project and the block is meant to show an early "red cross". In the end I decided to go with the blue colorway as this is a union block and choose floral fabrics in honor of the ladies who provided all that aid.

My supply of the pale grey fabric that I have used in every block so far is getting close to being used up. Unless I can find a new source for it (it has been discontinued from the Jinny Beyer palette in that colorway) I will need to switch to another similar fabric.

I am still expecting an applique block - surely that seven sisters star applique way back in week 3 will not be the only one. And I better do some more serious thinking about how I am going to set these so I can be on the lookout for a sashing fabric.

Another couple of weeks and we will be halfway on this project.

Monday, June 6, 2011

In response

to a request I am going to show you a "full frontal" of two of the quilts shown briefly in a recent post.

Here again is "Welcome to Chestnut Ridge".

And here is "Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue".

Please understand the quality of the photographs is impacted by the circumstances of taking them i.e. in a show, looking up with bright lights from above.

Week 23 Illinois Roads

Such a simple block for this week. In common with many I tried to complicate the issue by trying to find the perfect fabric such that it looked like a road or that it was a fabric that said something about Stephen Douglas or Abraham Lincoln. And I gave up on the perfect fabric search and settled for this pretty blue stripe that I added to my fabric collection while shopping at our show this weekend. My roads look like the multi lane highways of Illinois today and not the roads of history.

In the end I had to bend one of my own self imposed rules that say I should follow the directions; for this block the darker fabric is meant to be on the outer edge but as you can see I reversed that.

I was happy to hear from someone who was at Quilt Market (the big show where store owners go to make their purchases for their shops) this spring that grey is a new "in" color. I hope it turns up in time to make an impact on my quilt top. If anyone would see a blue and grey stripe fabric do think of me and let me know as it might be something I could use. In the back of my mind I know I need to be thinking about sashing and setting these blocks.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

While you're waiting

for the posting showing this week's civil war block I thought you might like to see some photos from our quilt show which has kept me occupied from Thursday thru today. What I will post will be photos of quilts I had some connection with that were displayed at the show.

Here is a distant shot of "Welcome to Chestnut Ridge". This quilt is not mine; I made the top as a house warming gift for my friends Cheryl and Norris when they moved into their new home built for their retirement. Since Cheryl likes to quilt I made the top and gave it to them for Cheryl to finish. I named the top "Welcome to Chestnut Ridge". The quilt features bears paw blocks with a central block depicting a bear among the trees, because I thought they would see lots of bears in their new location. The flying geese border was made with a variety of grey fabrics to represent all the rock that was found on the site of their new home; a lot of rock was made into retaining walls for their property so this was an important part.

Cheryl did her magic with the quilting of this. The title I gave it was because they found evidence of chestnut trees having grown on their property but that had become victims of disease. In the upper left corner I placed a twig of chestnut leaves.

Next is my quilt "Don't it Make your Brown Eyes Blue". This quilt was made for our quilt group President's Challenge called "Color my Quilt with Song". All participants chose a bag with the name of the quilt written on it; inside the bag were two fat quarters of fabric. We had to make a quilted item for the show with the song as the inspiration. The focal color of the quilt was to be the color in the song title and there was to be something musical depicted on the face of the quilt along with use of the two fat quarters and other inspiration from the song title or singer.

I researched the meanings for "eye"; on the online dictionary there were at least 28 definitions of the word and I chose to use the one that was "the small colored portion at the center of a flower". Flowers that I grow in my garden were to be the focus of my quilt. The brown eyed susan's were a central feature and I changed the "eye" on a couple of them from brown to blue. Those two blue eyed flowers had crystals sewn dropping from the eye to pay homage to the singer Crysal Gayle. The central yellow flowers are from a pattern by Bobbie Jarrett and portions of the quilt were inspired by or adaptations of portions of patterns by Edyta Sitar, Kate Laucomer and Lisa Bongean. The truly amazing quilting was done by my friend Cheryl.

And finally the raffle quilt. Each year at our show we have a raffle quilt and for this year's show it was the responsibility of our chapter to provide the quilt. A couple of years back I put up my hand and volunteered to be in charge of making a quilt to raffle. It has been a long two years but this afternoon at the show the winning ticket was drawn.

Here are members shown selling tickets. Our quilt is in the background - the one on the right. I am proud to say that it was an effort solely of our quilt chapter beginning with the design by a member (Ann) then the cutting, piecing and applique, by selected members, and the quilting by another member (Cheryl). We called our quilt "Autumn in Reston - A Hometown Celebration". In addition to all the labor being done on a volunteer basis by members we also purchased all the fabrics locally to give support to local quilt shops.

Our show is over for this year and I must now get busy if I am to have more than one quilt to enter in the show next year.

And now I better get busy with week 23, Illinois Roads, for the BB civil war block of the week project.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week 22 Blockade

After my marathon effort last week when I got all caught up here I am several days late in sewing this weeks block. Oh well.

The lesson for this week indeed is seams and pressing as mentioned in Cheryl's blog. At one stage this afternoon as I passed through the kitchen someone asked was I making progress. Oh yes, I replied, for every three seams I sew I unpick (rip out) one. But it rapidly became for every seam I sew I redo it three times.

For color selection I saw this one as being the Union surrounding the Confederates. Thus while most participants were making the center four triangles the same fabrics as the outer four I wanted to have confederate grey in the center with the union blue on the outer edge holding them in with the snake - I am a tiny bit out of order by making the snake grey but it is important to the block to make that on point effect with pale colors. And, since my plan all along has been to make the block using the directions given by BB, I could not substitute those pieced triangles for a single piece of fabric as others have done.

Oh and let me tell you this is not the most perfect sized of my blocks. Plus I had to indulge in the little clipping trick on the seams on the reverse side. But I have a finished block!

And here it is:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 21 Underground Railroad

This block has a number of different names but for the purpose of this project Barbara Brackman has settled on Underground Railroad. It was an easy one to make while I was away from home and not having all my usual sewing/electronic equipment with me to use.

Here is the block:

I will be interested to hear your thoughts on the red paisley fabric I have used as my backdrop. It is from the Simple Abundance collection by Bonnie of Cotton Way and Camile of Thimble Blossoms for MODA.