Saturday, May 31, 2014

What About That Giveaway?

Aren't they beautiful????? These are the American Made Brand fabrics for the giveaway. No, you can't have ALL of these, but the host company, Clothworks Textiles, will be sending out ONE bundle of EIGHT fat quarters of these gorgeous solids to one of my readers. Wheeee!

Here is the link to Clothworks Textiles so you can see the blog tour, here. Just scroll down to find the AMB blog tour link.
Actually I'm just thrilled that I was able to import this photo for you, LOL! Still not quite sure how I did it...nevermind.
I will be using the comments from my Park Hill Farm AMB blog post on last Friday, the 23rd, so if you are reading this today on the 31st, be sure you comment on THAT date and not this one. The drawing will be done tomorrow on June 1st. If you are a noreply poster, please be sure to include your email in your post so that I may contact you if you win.

Good luck and happy quilting!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Found Quilt

Yesterday was especially busy with a morning that included Sunshine Club at The Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center and my Farmer's Wife group down in Milton, New Hampshire at Evergreen Country Primitives Quilt Shop. Most people would say that I had a conflict of schedules once a month. I just do both, LOL!
Sue and Marjorie were having a great time goofing up their respective projects and then solving their issues. Sue couldn't get her sewing machine to behave, and I think Marjorie dropped a crochet stitch.

I worked on preparing a last minute block for The Farmer's Wife by Lori Aaron Hird that you can see open to the page for the "Bat Wing" block in the above picture.
We got the news that our very dear friend, Pauline, will be returning to her home in Tennessee this weekend. The whole group will miss her and we wish her safe travels and hope that she will keep in touch.
The director of the Senior Center, Roney (pronounced "row- NAY" ), surprised us with her apple snacks carved by hand into sculptures and then doused with lemon juice. Look at this!!!

The apple swan even had seeds for the eyes. It was beautiful and delicious! Thank you Roney!

I munched some Hersey's milk chocolate Nuggets and then hurried away to The Farmer's Wife sewing group.

Shirley is holding up her fabulous on-point setting! She is the farthest along of this group that has chosen to piece every stitch by hand.

I know that we needed rain to cut the fire danger, but now I miss the sun. Here are some spring flowers in bloom in my backyard before all the showers. The forsythia bushes were glorious!

And so was the Alamata crab-apple tree in it's stunning pinks!

Note that I'm not showing you all the weeds and the untamed unmowed lawn, LOL!

I think that I mentioned before that a Senior Center regular named Buddy brought in a big banana box filled with quilty treasures for us to all share.

Inside it was this finished quilt top in all matching circa 1980's cotton fabrics. We are not sure if one of Buddy's lady relatives made it or not. But it is definitely worth rescuing!!!

It is a log cabin and a big twin sized top at 74" by 96". It sure does need a good pressing!

Right now it is unclear to me how much of those wobbles will press out or quilt out. It was a little breezy outdoors on my asphalt driveway where I had spread it out for these photographs, so that wasn't helping!

I hope that you are able to enjoy some of the spring weather before the dreaded heat and humidity set in for the summer.
Happy quilting!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Motherboard Mayhem!

Thank you all for your incredible patience with me as I struggle with my brand new Dell computer with Windows 7. Last week my motherboard failed and left me with zero internet. The experience taught me just how dependent I have become upon the internet, LOL!

Today is the day to show my invitational American Made Brands fabric solids block for the design I made to represent New Hampshire. I wanted to be sure to include a representation of Mount Washington, the tallest peak of the White Mountains, here in New Hampshire. Here is my design:

The host company, Clothworks Textiles, promises that all their fabrics are American grown cotton that is spun in the United States and woven and dyed here, too. 100% American cotton quilting fabrics, wheee!!!!
If you wish to catch the whole blog tour here is the link to the blog tour.
I was one of fifty blogs chosen to represent the 50 United States of America, and I'm honored. All of the "license plate" blocks are made with the beautiful cotton solid fabrics that American Made Brands sent us.
I will be showing a photo-montage of how I made my 12 1/2" by 6 1/2" block. Here goes!

I started with the large pine tree on the right side of the block.

Make two flying geese based on 4 1/2" by 2 1/2" in green and pale blue. Since I was only using two geese, I chose to use the flippy corner's method to make them.

Set the flying geese aside so that you can make the base of the tree.

 I used a 1" brown tree trunk with two 2 1/2"x 1 1/2" rectangles of a pale yellow neutral background.

Join the base to the tree tops next to complete the first one third of the block that should be 4 1/2" by 6 1/2" unfinished.

Now you are going to work on the left side of the block that represents Mount Washington. It is done as two "string blocks," each of which is 4 1/2" wide by 6 1/2" tall. I cut these two foundations of that size from the plain white, as it will not show.

Onto the white foundation fabric rectangles, I laid straight cut strips of two different blues diagonally across to form the mountain peak.

Be sure that the different widths of the two blues are lined up together and pinned when you stitch through all three layers of fabric.

After they are stitched, fold back the upper blue and finger press it down to hide the stitching.

Then pin on the next layer of color, onto the opposite side of the lighter blue one, and again, stitch through all three layers.

Once it is stitched, as you can see it is in the above shot (click on any picture to enlarge it), then you may flip it open, to again hide the stitching, and finger press it open.

Keep building the layers of the mountain evenly, but have fun and do not obsess about making everything perfect. Mountains are, after all, organic, LOL!

I chose to show the summer season with a meadow green at the base of Mount Washington. Be sure that your green strip is plenty fat enough to cover over all of that base corner once it is flipped.

Do not worry that all of the fabric strips hang over the edge of the white foundation fabric, they are supposed to do that for now.
Next we do the sky color at the top of Mount Washington, which matches the pale turquoise blue of the sky beyond the large pine tree in the section we did earlier.

Again, be sure that you've cut a big enough hunk of the pale turquoise sky color to cover over that white area of the foundation when it is sewn on and then folded over.

Now you should have the two mirror images with all the white foundation fabric completely covered up. Take the two block-sections and flip them over to reveal the "wrong" side and rotary trim them to match the edges of the white foundation fabric.

Place the two sections into a mountain arrangement beside the pine tree and sew them together.

I chose a very dark richly saturated purple for the lettering of the words, "New Hampshire." In the photos, it looks black, but it really is purple!

 It stands for our State Flower, just now in bloom, the common lilac. To adhere the letters, I just followed the instructions for some Pellon Wonder-Under, which is a paper-backed fusible web.

You fuse the bumpy side of the web to the wrong side of the fabric for 5 seconds, then cut your shapes of the letters. Peel off the paper from the wrong side of the letter shapes, position them and heat set for 12 seconds with a damp pressing cloth. Be careful not to cut out a letter backwards. I used an exacto knife on a cutting board for the tiny windows of the letters that needed cut-outs in them.

New Hampshire is a lovely place with lovely people. I hope you get to visit us someday! If that is not possible, perhaps you will make your own version of the New Hampshire block for the 50 states quilt.
These American Made Brand fabrics are superb quality and the colors in the solids are rich and even. I highly recommend them! I hope you will continue to support American workers by asking for these fabrics in your local quilt shops.

Please leave a comment for the giveaway. In the meantime, Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dribs & Drabs

Every morning around here begins with a freshly brewed pot of coffee made on my two-burner drip style Bunn coffeemaker. We usually drain it dry with the three of us, but sometimes there is a bit left over. If the spirit moves me, I'll make an afternoon pot around 3pm and there are always leftovers from that.
If you save the dribs and drabs of coffee with a little vinegar as a preservative, it makes a great "tea-dye" to take the harshness out of whites that look garish. I simmer the pre-wetted fabric for about 20 minutes with fine results. Thank you to my dear friend, Janet O. of Rogue Quilter for her help and encouragement with this process!

Today was cool and cloudy for The Sunshine Club and we had a grand time with our various projects. One of our guys who often pops in on us is Buddy, who likes to share a milk chocolate Hersey's Nugget or two. Today he amazed and thrilled us all by bringing in a big banana box filled with cotton fabrics and even a couple of quilt tops! We had a ball looking through what his lady relatives had left behind. Everybody claimed something from the box and we were all happy and grateful. Thank you Buddy!
The other big news at the Senior Center was that the outdoor construction crew accidentally disturbed the water supply line as they were installing new storm drains to prevent icing during the winter.

Whoops! All of a sudden we were without flush toilets, no hand washing, nor drinking water for lunch.

Then, as you can see above, my camera batteries died, too! LOL! As my dear old Dad would've said, "It all went to hell in a handbasket!" But we muddled through and had a fine chicken drumstick dinner.

Here is the very last of the Chelmsford Quilt Show from Saturday: Please click to enlarge the photos, and remember that the legend card is after the quilt photo/s.

 Miss Tanner wanted to stroll through my post, too.

Happy quilting even through Murphy's Law, "Whatever can go wrong, usually will."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Smattering Of Riches

Saturday, I took an excursion to "the-land-of-many-impatient-drivers-and-traffic-jams", also known as Massachusetts. It was well worth the nerve-wracking driving to visit a stash-reduction sale in Billerica and the Chelmsford Quilt Show. But the pictures do not do justice to the show. It was fabulous! It was also very dark inside the Chelmsford Grace Church, as shown by this photo taken without a flash.

In no particular order, here are a few photos of the beautiful quilts, with their corresponding legend card shown directly after the quilt picture/s. Please click on the photo to enlarge it.

 Pauline posed with this one.

I know that Bonnie Hunter will do the "Happy Dance" if she gets the chance to read this legend card! There were other "Bonnie Quilts" too!

Look at the beautiful workmanship on the Orca Bay and the Jamestown Landing quilts! Thank you, Bonnie!!

One quilt that caught my eye was this 9-Patch Hourglass combination in a low volume color scheme.

Here is a close up of the fabrics.

There will be some more quilts from this show at another time. When we were at the stash reduction sale we had a great time, too!

So many 2-6 yard hunks of fabric, Wheeee!

Shop 'til you drop!

Stephanie was our chief cutter and she is also the quilter of her own longarmer business right there. It is called, "Quilting The Top", at 1B Shawsheen Road in Billerica, Massachusetts, 508 314-9276. She explained that she is helping to reduce her Mom's stash for one more Saturdays, May 17th.I bought quite a bit, as you can see, LOL!

This blog post has been brought to you by my Forsythia bushes in full bloom, LOL! I hope you are able to honor your Mother today in some special way.

Happy quilting!

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