Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Happy To Be Staying In

The wind is a-howling and the snow looks like fog because it is so fine and dense as it comes down. In spite of a quick 2 hour power outage this morning, we were restored quickly so I hope that we do not lose it again.

As for me, I've been happily cutting neutral 1½" strips for the February swap over at Quiltvilleswap.

Pictured above are 100 half width of fabric strips neatly sorted into ten piles of ten strips each pile.

Then they are folded once over to fit into a snack baggie (which is half the size of a sandwich baggie) and slapped with an address label.

All are placed into a big gallon bag and mailed off to the hostess for her to swap and return later. So I sent in ten different fabrics, but I get back one hundred different fabrics!

I also have been working on the little nine patch crib quilt that I pieced so long ago it was becoming another UFO.

I used up patched-together unbleached muslin for the backing and used overlapped and sewn together pieces of batting, too. Here is where I spray basted one half of the top at a time with June Tailor basting spray.

It sat for a month without quilting but I did a nice machine loop-de-loop this weekend.

I just set the old trusty 1949 White Sewing Machine at zero stitch length with my generic darning foot and went for it!

I seem to do well working almost backwards by pulling the quilt ever towards me as I loop the loops.

I'm very pleased with it, even though it is far from perfect, and I had a ball doing it.

I used the 100% Cotton Essential Threads in 50 weight from Connecting Threads. Link here.

My attitude for this little quilt was, Be like Nike; just do it!

This post is linked to Love, Laugh, Quilt blog's linky party here: link.

Happy sewing!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Self-Indulgent Quilter

Three contiguous days with at least partial sunshine have lifted me out of a state of semi-depression commonly known here in New England as the "winter blahs." I am as self-indulgent as ever when it happens, LOL!
Last Tuesday at the Senior Center in Alton, New Hampshire, Sue and I chomped some chocolates and had some fun working on our respective projects.

Sue is working on a second quilt top of controlled scrappy Double 4-Patch with unbleached muslin, and she has amassed a nice stack of units.

It is so pleasant to chat and drink the free coffee while quilting there. I spent all my time trimming Moda selveges off the strips from a scrap bag of Sandy Gervais' Pine Fresh Christmas line.

There's nothing nicer than fondling fabric that you picked out just because you just love it! The gal from whom I buy these Moda Scrap Bags is in Texas, so if you are interested, the link is here.

At home, I poked along on assembling another two of the "Grand Illusion" Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt blocks. This superb design is currently free due to Bonnie's generosity, but it must be taken down soon, so if you are interested, download it now at this link.

Whenever I am assembling a big project like these blocks, I like to press them as I go so that I don't need to do all 25 at once.

My counting is usually thrown off by the one that I have pinned up on the wall as a handy reference, and then I forget to count that one in the tally.

I'm about I'm halfway done with them now. They sure are pretty; thank you, Bonnie!

I did take a trip today to the Friday Quilters in Concord, New Hampshire, located at The Golden Gese Quilt Shop on 22 Liberty Street. I chomped more chocolate.

Maryanne was sewing 2½" strips from her personal quilting scraps into blocks. I'm not sure, but there may be a rail fence brewing, stay tuned!

And Heidi has so many purple and pink and magenta batik scraps that she's making whole quilt tops from them.

As for me, I committed the ultimate quilter's indulgence and bought some fabric!!!

All of January is 20% off at The Golden Gese, so it was fun to splurge on some Civil War backgrounds from their very fine collection. You can click on any photo to enlarge it.

The six half-yard pieces were less than $25 and I am counting them as good stocking up for the rest of the year on Barbara Brackman's fabulous sew along. That's one of her fabric designs right on the top of the new stack! Here is her link.

I am so enjoying the Civil War blocks! I even did another Prussian Blue block. This one uses an ivory star point fabric that has indigo hops figured upon it. How fun is that????

Every other one of the fabrics pictured above, is a Pamela Weeks design from the line called Prussian Blue by Newcastle Fabrics. Oh boy, I can just feel my "Certified Fabric Snob" status rising, LOL!

I hope you can indulge a little in your passions, too!

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Shopping My Stash

When I saw Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog earlier today, my heart trembled. Prussian Blues!!! Oh. My. God.
I feared that I had sold all that I'd had to the nice lady in Texas a year or two ago. Oh no, and now I have a use for them! Yikes! I ran downstairs to my Quilt Cave in my partially heated basement and pulled out these.

HAA!!! Some days, it pays to be a hoarder, after all, LOL! I apparently had sold off hunks and reserved some for myself to keep. They are such a bright electric blue that I had many fears about using them.

I had mistakenly thought that they might "spoil" my reproduction quilts if I put in such a bright cobalt colored blue. Okay, I'm just a tourist here, and still learning so much from Barbara Brackman.

Whenever I finally figure out just how to make my blocks up, I'll post them here.
In the meantime, I have some photos to share from back on Friday Quilters at The Golden Gese Quilt Shop on 22 Liberty Street in Concord, New Hampshire.

Why does it take hours to actually accomplish some quilting and then seconds to view the results in a photograph???? It is the nature of the beast, I say!
I got this Clermont Farms by Moda fully pressed so that I could see about some borders for it.

Since I only had those four charm packs and the line is long out of print, I used some Bordeaux & Sienna by Marcus Brothers for the inner borders, and a Nancy Rink floral called Tweet for Two, also by Marcus Brothers, for the outer border.

The Golden Gese has their traditional January 20% off sale going on, and I'm planning to go again this Friday it the weather allows it. Claire worked right out straight cutting for customers!

After a final pressing, my top measured 67" by 76," and I hope to piece a flannel backing for it from my stash. Here is a quick look at some of the fabrics closer up.

Fun, huh? Barbara from Maine took this photo of me holding it up very proudly, thank you, Barbara!

She is pictured here with her cute moose top!

I just thought that this was very well done, thanks for sharing it here, Barbara!

Claire had a really nice example of a red/white/black chicken themed top done, too.

Here's hoping that you get some progress for today, too.

Maybe shop your own stash for viewing forgotten treasures?

And even if you're just treading water while you are awaiting inspiration, that counts in my book!

Happy sewing

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Showers, Dishes, & Laundry, Oh My!

Wheeeeeee! The furnace is all fixed! And since our hot water runs off the furnace, we had been limiting our usage of hot water until repairs were made. Now it's all better and I'm so happy about it!

I did do some play of the turkey reds blocks from the Barbara Brackman sew along over at Civil War Quilts.

Her blog gives directions for a 6" finished-in-the-quilt block, but I am happier doing mine as an 8" block with the center square cut at 4½". Then I can use 2½" squares and strips, which is my favorite way to do the flying geese.

I've done them also by the four at a time speed method, too, but I love just plunking along. Such fun to do the bonus HST's, too.

This red was a Nancy Gere by Windham with tiny bits of yellow, green, and blue.

The next combination I cannot reference because they are from my scraps without selvedge signatures but I just loved them together!

I especially wanted to use some Brackman red and found this Metropolitan Fair Old Curiousity Shop red. It is a trifle on the burgundy side but I think that it qualifies as a turkey red.

The subtle shadings in this piece are wonderful for an aged look. I love it!

Not sure what the background was here as it came from my strips pile and I had just enough to complete the block. Now that's a good feeling; when it all works out!

Of course, they all look their finest after a good pressing with some starch.

Okay, so a lotta starch, LOL!

That's three done, wheee!

And a couple of cute little dividends, too.

Working with historically accurate fabric reproductions always makes me want to go back and do some more sewing. And, honestly, how can you not love reds? LOL!

Happy sewing!

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