Sharing fabric cuttings with my worldwide friends

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.