Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Go Oft To The House of Thy Dear Friend.....For Weeds Choke Up An Unused Path

Today, my dear friend Dee brought out two old projects that I had made for her years ago, and I thought I'd share them with you.  I love the old fashioned feeling they both have.

Both patterns are from an old needlework magazine that she bought in England while traveling.  The first is a needle case made from four cardboard hearts.  I had such fun making it, and she has treasured it ever since I gave it to her.  The saying embroidered around the edge is:  "Go oft to the house of thy dear friend....for weeds choke up an unused path."  So true!
Two of the hearts are cut into halves so they fold, and the two whole hearts are padded with batting on the inside, to hold needles and pins. The four hearts are whip stitched together.


I braided strands of pearl cotton in a lavender color to make the ties that you use to tie a bow to close the hearts.

The second project is a travel laundry bag that she takes on trips.  It was hanging on a peg in the closet when I visited her, and she says she uses it all the time.


It's made of muslin on the front, and yellow gingham on the back and lining.  I changed the pattern to write "Ocean City" on the towel on the clothesline, since we had vacationed there together.  Here's a closeup of the embroidery.

I'm flying back home tomorrow, and will miss Dee very much.  

Here's a picture of one of her quilts that we worked on together this week.  It's now a completed quilt top, and I just love it.  We have very different styles in quilts, but it really inspires me to visit her quilt room, and see all of her projects.

The circle making the "coffee" in the cups is the cup fabric, but the wrong side of the fabric!  So clever.  She machine buttonhole stitched around each cup.
I think it's so cute!  

I will be flying home tomorrow, and am going to be working on redwork in the airports.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Vacation is Wonderful

Yesterday we were in Paducah, KY at the AQS quilt show, and had a great time!  I especially like to go to the Rotary Antique Quilt Show in Paducah when I am there for the AQS show.  The antique show featured signature quilts this year, and as always, they were spectacular.  Here is a picture of one of them:

Week 29: Seven-Pointed Star for Australia
My progress on blocks and quilts has been slow, but steady.  I completed the pesky 7 pointed star that I wrote about previously (here)
Here's the final version.  It's displayed with a small sewing machine from my friend Dee's collection of toy sewing machines.  

I discovered that each star point was a slightly different shape, and ended up making paper templates for each star point, and sewing the inside points together, then appliqueing the star onto the background.  Then the middle of the star was slightly off, where all the fabrics came together, and so I did a little blanket stitching with embroidery floss to make it look better.  But it's finished, and as they say - "finished is better than perfect".  I think it's the last seven pointed star that I will ever make!

I am now caught up on the blocks of the week from Barbara Brackman's blog, until another block is shown tomorrow morning.  Here's the link to Barbara's blog to see what the blocks are all about.  (go here) 

Week 27: Grandmother's Dream: The Houghtons
Week 28: Ocean Wave: My Friend Erma

Week 30: Broad Arrow: Prison Garb

Week 31: Tinted Chain

Week 32: Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie
Week 33: Contrary Husband
Week 34: Coffee Cup
My much needed vacation is helping me get my mojo back.  I am so happy for that.  How are you doing this week?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Vacation - Much needed!

I'm flying to St. Louis MO today for some R&R with friends, and a trip to Paducah to see the quilt show there.  Can't wait!

My take with project is one that my friend Sharyn started, and I am reworking it with a new background and some of my fabrics added.  It's called Birds of a Feather by Blackbird Designs, and has been out for a few years.  Here are some pictures of some of the blocks from my design wall.

The red fabric squares are the colors I think I'm using for the birds in the last picture.  It has been fun to play with what Sharyn started with and then tweak it.

I hope you have some fun planned this week too!  I'm linking up with Judy L's design wall Mondays even though I'm a little late.  I like to see what everyone else is working on.  Hope you do too.  Design Wall Mondays

Monday, April 8, 2013

Did you ever have one of those days? Or Weeks?

This week I've had little success in quilting.  Here's my slow progress on Barbara Brackman's block of the week (Link here).  They are working on block #32, and I'm stuck on block #29.  It's a star with seven points, and the first one I machine pieced was like a little bowl.  :(  I discovered that the star points had a different angle on each end, and it mattered which ends you used as the center of the star.....o.k.  progress made - won't make that mistake again.  So Mr. Seamripper and I took it apart, and re-machine sewed it.  Now the star does lay flat, but the center where all the star point seams meet is a hot mess, with a hole, and it's in the wastebasket.  Here's the wastebasket, with the poor fallen star in it.

This is my third attempt at it.  I've machine basted around each star section, and am going to hand piece the center of the star together, forcing those points to meet and greet each other.  If successful, I'll applique the outer points to the background.

The quilt that I kitted up into thirty plastic bags, has a little progress too.  Again, it was slow and painful, but it's progress.  I made one block, and it didn't measure 13.5 inches when completed, as it should have.  I made another one, and watched my seam allowances carefully.  Better results, but not satisfactory yet.  I then taped together four pieces of graph paper, and made a big pattern of the block - with all the seams right where they should be....but in pencil on paper.  I took it to the copy store, and made five copies, intending to paper piece my way through five blocks.   I made one more attempt without resorting to paper piecing, and measured each round against the paper pattern.  It worked, and I found that correctly cutting off the ends of each round at the correct angle was the key.  One block finished, and it measured 13.5 inches!  

I didn't want to paper piece mainly because the copies were $0.50 each, and I didn't want to pay for 30 of them, plus do all that paper ripping.  So next, I measured the first two blocks, Mr. Seamripper and I did some adjustments, and now there are three blocks on the design wall.  Here's my design wall picture, and I'm linking with Judy Laquidara's Design Wall Mondays, for show and tell.  I love to see what others are working on each week.  (link here)

I have binding on one of the small quilts, and intend to take all three little quilts with me to finish at Shipshewana, IN.  This week is the Dear Jane quilt retreat! I am so ready to spend three days with all the other quilters there.  I always leave Shipshe with so much inspiration and so many new ideas, and as you can read, I'm very ready for some of that this week!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1st - Boy Am I Tired!

While growing up, I rolled my eyes all the time at my father's repeated jokes. One of them was told every year on April 1st.  At the breakfast table he would say:  "Boy, am I tired!!"  Someone would always ask him why, and he would say with a great smile......"Well, who wouldn't be, after a March of 31 days!!!"  Little did I know, that all these years later as I approach my 70th birthday, his old jokes would come to my mind so very often.  

One year, on April 1st, my brother and I got up early and switched salt for sugar in the sugar bowl, and as he ate his cereal, he tried his best to pretend that nothing was wrong......that the salt on his cereal was sugar........but he was finally not able to pull it off.  It was really hard for my brother and I to get him to admit that he had been fooled, but that year we did!  Happy April Fools Day.  May your foolery be kinder than our trick was.

I have been away for quite a while from my quilt room, and am leaving again next week, so there are lots of projects partially finished.  This week my goals are:

Put the binding on this little quilt (below).  It's 14" x 14" and is a copy of one on page 107 of the book "Childhood Treasures - Doll Quilts By and For Children" by Merikay Waldvogel.  I was waiting until I found the red used in the quilt to make the binding, and it is now found.

And choose a backing and quilt this one:  These are left-over pieces from my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll".  It measures just 9" x 12", and I plan to use it as a mug rug on the bed tray, when the large quilt is on the bed.  A nice mental picture of me in bed, pillows fluffed up behind me,  with a cup of tea and this little quilt on the tray, looking at a quilt book.  But first, it must move along into a finished quilt. 

And choose a backing and quilt this doll quilt. This is a simple quilt made from repros and shirting.  I wanted to see little pieces of all of my shirting stash in one quilt.  I did have to use a few repeats, but clearly, I have plenty of shirting.  It was fun to make and measures 17" x 20".  The squares are 1.5 inches.  I believe this is in the book "Simply Charming" by Tara Lynn Darr.  I didn't use a pattern, and just played with the darks and lights.

Today I am linking up with a blog post called "Get It Done - April, 2013" over at Patchwork Times, where I like to look at what everyone else is working on.  (Link)