Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

Happy Leap Day to all of you! It is unseasonably warm here, more like April rather than February and my dog-cats enjoyed a stroll together. They are such good friends!

It might be a new millennium when I finish all the courses of my 1½" strip log cabin blocks, LOL! But like eating an elephant, you should just take one bite at a time. This is my second stack of 16.

I feared that they might be wonky, but the tale of the tape showed that they are just fine. Yippee!

Due to my own surname, I really fell in love with the Karen Styles line called, "Victoria Park."

Nothing would do but to buy some of it and make myself a pair of special pillowcases.

At the top of my blog, there is a link to my page for pillowcase directions, if you need them.

You can betcha that I saved that selvage but I didn't use it in the pillowcases.

Not sure yet what I'll do with it.

On another front, Matthew's quilt, the Midnight Blues, from Kim Brackett's book, "Scrap Basket Surprises," continues to elude completion.

My version of her excellent design was expanded to make the quilt larger.

Unfortunately, I seriously underestimated just how many strip-panels I would need to get the piano key borders finished. It's a process, right? Now I have enough to sew together.

But I did get a nice small quilt done for that dolly bed!

The Free Motion Quilting was done on my old trusty vintage White Sewing Machine in tiny garlands of mini feathers. You may click on any picture to enlarge it.

The sachets are an ongoing joy to make from my crumbs of fabric. These two are filled with French Lavender mixed with Dried Rose Petals, or Balsam Fir Needles. The gals at the bank love them.

Hope that you take full advantage of your "extra" day this leap year and enjoy it to the fullest.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Busy Days

It's the last weekend in February and I have some quick pictures from both the Sunshine Club and the Milton Hand Sewing Circle.

First, Bev pinned all her batting to her now newly assembled tee shirt quilt to be sure that it will fit.
Looking good! She's unsure if she wants to quilt or tie it.

Bev and Joyce were clowning around with Joyce's  Mile-A-Minute Log Cabin blocks but they looked great.

Joyce and Sue and Bev were all helping me to sort out the huge bag of donated cotton fabrics that our group was given by a local church lady. Whoohoo!

We all agreed to make some string blocks on fabric foundations for a raffle quilt to benefit the Alton Senior Center. Below, Joyce has the red center strip and a plain 10½" square for starting one string block.

Although I've made a few string quilts, I've given them all away.

Fortunately, my dear neighbor, Ilse, loaned me back the one that I'd given her so I could show it here.

If you'd like to see the instructions for these, here is the link. Link.
Missouri Star Quilt Company also has a helpful video for them. Link.

Later that day, I snapped a few photos at the Hand Sewing Circle at the Evergreen Country Primitives Quilt Shop, where Camille is always our gracious hostess.

Dawn was able to hold up her gorgeous Lucy Boston block for me.

It  was a very full day and very happy!

Happy quilting!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Favorite Stuff

Husband Wonderful, (my Felix) and I celebrated his best birthday gift from Mother Nature, who brought a storm on Saturday, and then took it away a few hours later. Here are the "Before" and "After" photos. We had great family time together in spite of his trade show.

On Friday, the day was calm and sunny for my trip to The Golden Gese Quilt Shop on 22 Liberty Street in Concord, New Hampshire. I was so glad to get to go! No car trouble; no weather trouble.

There, Marianne, below, was nicely started on her pretty batiks and white "Summer In The Park" pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company. She said she liked their video of it, too. Link.

One of Eleanor's friends, Dawn, below, popped in to use the big tables to measure up her big Autumn Antelope panel quilt. It's a  big beauty!

Little Claire, below, (Claire's own daughter), had also been busy making a very modern looking strippy top. She's planning charcoal grey borders and those will look great with this!

Little Claire is also making these Red/White/Black blocks, that I think were for a charity project. Isn't this one stunning? It is a bordered Disappearing 9-Patch.

The big excitement for the day was the cake and ice cream that our Claire had brought to celebrate Maureen's birthday.

We all enjoyed the moment together!

From L to R: Marianne, Claire, Little Claire, Maureen (standing), and Barbara.
In spite of all the celebrations, Maureen, below, got lots of progress on her Civil War reproduction neutrals project. These will become a set of four place mats for a circular table. Sew pretty, Maureen!

They look so elegant! Gosh, did I infect you with the Civil War bug? Heehee, if I did, I'm glad to share it with another convert.

I forgot to get pictures of my progress on the next grouping of my Civil War log cabin blocks, but that's okay. Instead, I'll tell you that I made yet another foray to the Footprints Quilt Shoppe on Route 202 in East Rochester, New Hampshire, right at the Maine line.

Kelly Jerome is the owner here and her pretty little shop always brings a smile to the faces of her customers, just look at all these goodies!

Kelly's helper, Jackie, rang me up and took this great picture of me, below. Look at all those pretty fabrics that I grabbed.

We laughed and talked about the history behind the quilt block known as "54° 40' or Fight" which was a political campaign slogan from the 1844 Presidential election of James Polk. Link.

 I used the EZ Tri Recs ruler set to do mine. If you need them they are here. Link.

The block itself is a stunner in a quilt. Above is my version of Bonnie K. Hunter's Celtic Solstice. Here is the link to buy her pattern. Link.

If you'd like to try just the block, here is the link to Quilter's Cache.

As for me, I came home and played with my fabrics by arranging them in a pretty bundle.

This makes me more of a fabric hoarder than a quilter, I guess. Sometimes I just play by my petting the fabrics rather than sewing them. LOL! Does that ever happen to you, too, sometimes?

However you use your favorite stuff, enjoy it. Life is short, so be happy!

Ps. Don't forget what Red Skelton used to say, "Today is George Birthington's Wash Day!"

This post is linking up with Love Laugh Quilt. Link.
Happy quilting!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Beating The Blahs

A Monday night snowstorm has blighted my driveway twice in the past two weeks. Here's the Police cruiser and tow truck working on the situation from last week. You may click to enlarge any picture.

That meant that there was no meeting of The Sunshine Quilting Club over at the Alton, New Hampshire, Senior Center.

The hapless driver above was a neighbor who was just trying to get home. She ended up in the ditch and was waiting to be towed out of it.

This is what it looked like in the morning, AFTER plowing and shoveling. Ewwww, it was an icy mess!

Fortunately, a warm low-pressure system traveled up to New England and brought gorgeous Spring-like weather in the 40's to take the ice all away.

But before the storm hit us, I made my trip to "The Mothership" in perfectly delightful calm winter weather. 
"Husband Wonderful," my Felix, insisted on making brunch for me before I left. Mmmmm, Thank you, my honey!

It was all for the Keepsake Quilting's, "Fat Quarter Frenzy", held only at the retail shop, from the 15th until the 20th of February. (Yes, there's still time to get there if you're local. If not, just charter a jet, LOL!)

It was very cold , but I bundled up and shopped 'til I dropped!

Of course, I was completely enthralled by the displays of Civil War era reproduction fabrics located in the entry foyer. Wheee! Mostly Marcus, but a few nice Andovers, Windham, and Henry Glass's  too.

Here is what my Keepsake shopping basket of my final selections looked like; yummy cheddars on top! Yes, and yes, more reds. But you knew that much, right?

When I got home, I was tired but happy. It was time to grab a cup of leftover coffee and a treat from my Secret Valentine. Shhhh, it's Husband Wonderful again, heehee.

Yesterday's all-day rain brought back the winter blahs to me. To ward off evil vibes, I did do some sewing on my Prairie Queen blocks. These are all sewn in my beloved Civil War reproductions. They cheered me right up! I began them around the first of February.

My version of the traditional Prairie Queen block has the lights in the 3½" four-patches all aligned in the same direction. It is my idea to create a secondary pattern of light wreaths when four blocks are joined together.

You can see that the upper photo is much more pleasing to the eye than my original layout trials as seen below.

I flipped some of the blocks for better "random" color placement. You can fiddle for hours getting things to look random, can't you?

When I saw the 12 blocks in a wreath pattern below, I knew that that was the one for me!

Quick, quick, make four more to complete the pattern made by 16 blocks!!!

Miss Emma Lynne thought that a nice phosphorescent lime green tennis ball might be a nice addition to those precious Civil War prints, why, don't you agree? No? Perhaps next time...

I had great fun making these. Wonder if I'll stop now or make more for a big quilt? They are only 9" finished, not 12", so it would take a boatload more to do a big quilt. Hmmm.

"We'll see. And that's final," as my dear old Dad used to say whenever he was stalling for time on one of life's tougher questions.
Like should you eat chocolate just before your supper? Of course, you should! That's intuitively obvious even to the most casual of observers.

Linking up to Oh, Scrap!, check it out! Link.

Sew happy!

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