Wednesday, November 19, 2014

HO, HO, HO, and now ho, ho, ho

Yesterday morning when I posted about the little Christmas quilt that spells out "HO HO HO", I said it could be made a little smaller, so last night I tried it, and here's the results:

You will notice by the ruler that it is about 11 inches wide.  I cut the strips 1 inch, and therefore, the pieces should finish at 1/2 inch, and the whole quilt should measure 9 inches (18 pieces by 1/2)..........this demonstrates how important a 1/4 inch seam is when making quilts.  In this case, it's a doll quilt, and if it turns out 11 inches wide as a finished piece - it doesn't matter.  As I don't make quilts to be judged in shows, I don't care.  But I will be checking my 1/4 inch seam allowance again, because it is being sewn a little skimpy.  Most of the time it matters greatly.  

Here's the little doll quilt next to the bigger one, for scale:

I like the striped fabric in the larger quilt better, as it is striped on an angle.  But I wasn't about to cut the little quilt fabric on the bias to get a similar look.  I like to work with small pieces, but I'm not crazy.

Kay commented on my last post about where I saw this idea.  Kay said:
Love your fabric choice!  So cute! I've made a few Ho Ho Ho! quilts.  I saw the idea at on 11/16/12.  Unfortunately it appears as though that blog has been taken down.
Thanks Kay, you are right.  I am sorry the blog is no longer available, she makes wonderful quilts, and her blog inspired lots of quilters.

As soon as the sun comes up this morning, I am heading to Shipshewana, Indiana, for the Dear Jane Retreat.  I am sure there will be lots of laughter and "ho ho ho's" in the conference room there as I finish these two little doll quilts.  

I will have pictures to share of the group's show and tell the next time I post.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ho Ho Ho! Shipshewana Time!

It's time to pack up and go to Shipshewana, Indiana for the annual fall retreat with the Dear Jane quilting group.  I can't wait!  What to pack?

First, let me tell you I just got back home.  Yesterday we arrived at the cabin from a week long trip to see Michigan State's basketball team play Navy, and their football team play Maryland on the east coast.  The highlight of the trip for me, was seeing the Naval Academy and all of the midshipmen there.  What a beautiful place, and it's filled with our nation's finest young men and women.

An unplanned serendipity on the trip was that one night's hotel stay was in College Park, Maryland in a hotel located practically in the parking lot of an Ikea store!!! Since our football game wasn't until night, hubby was watching other football games at the nearby Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.  Guess where I was? I was in the Ikea store, shopping!  I bought a storage unit for my fat quarters and a chair for my new home quilt room in Grand Rapids, MI, and several smaller items.  I love that store!

Anyway, back to packing for Shipshewana - last night by the cozy fire, while it snowed outside - I took out some Christmas fabric to pack for the retreat to make a doll quilt with HO, HO, HO spelled out on it.  While I had the fabric out, I just cut it up a little bit and see what it would look like.....and then I put one row out to see....and then another......

It went together so fast, and was so much fun that I have it about half finished.  
The pieces are all from strips cut at 1.5 inches and was really easy to assemble. One assembly strip is of 3 fabrics (candy cane with white on each side) and another assembly strip is of two fabrics (white and candy cane).  Then I cut the 3 fabric strip into 1.5 inch wide pieces and cut the 2 fabric strip into 3.5 inch pieces.  The row is made up of alternating these two strip pieces.  The very end of each row has a single piece of fabric that is 1.5 by 3.5, and is either candy cane fabric or white fabric, white for even rows, candy cane fabric for odd rows. The 2 fabric strip is flipped upside down every other time it is used.

Here's a picture of the start of the first row (It is blurry - I need a tripod).

The quilt will be seven rows when finished.  While starting it last night, I thought you could even make this smaller - it is so easy to assemble!  Maybe starting with 1 inch strips?  Hmmmmm.

I saw this small quilt on the internet somewhere - I don't remember where, so I can't give credit for it.  I wish I could remember where I saw it.  It will make a nice table topper for this December.  If you know - please let me know and I will give credit.

I'm linking up with "Design Wall Monday" over at Judy Liquidara's blog, even though it is Tuesday morning.  Hop on over there and see what other projects are in the works.  Link is (Here)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hearts and Apron Strings, A Re-Do

Ten years ago, a pattern ran in a series in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, called "Hearts and Apron Strings".  The quilt is designed by Sharon Schamber.

My neighbor, Bonnie, and a few of her friends in the local quilt guild, made the quilt at the same time.  I have always loved Bonnie's quilt, and have wanted to make one like it.  Another lady in the group that made the quilt never quite finished hers, and when she heard that I liked it, she gave me her UFO.  

Here's the quilt:

I have been working on it this fall, and have removed the applique, which was machine buttonholed on,  and I re-appliqued by hand all of the tulips, birds, hearts, and the center Dresden plate, using my stash of 30s fabrics.  I think when the class was taken, there wasn't the softer applique backing available, and a cardboard stiff backing was used on the applique pieces.  But now there's no backing, and it's as soft as butter.

The second thing I changed was the pattern for the tulip leaves.  The original pattern has little tiny leaves, and I don't think of tulip leaves as being that little, so I drew my own leaves.  Since I was reworking all the applique, I thought - why not!  Here's the original pattern with the little leaves:

Here's one of the four corner applique sets before I put them on the quilt.  In the final version, I switched out the center bit of the purple tulip, as this piece was a little bright for the pastel look of the quilt.

I think the reason the quilt was not completed was the "T" squares - the next to the last border, didn't fit.  The blocks were various sizes, and when they were sewed together, the border was not the right length.   So, I took all of them apart, and sewed them back together again, making sure I was using an exact 1/4" seam, and now the "T" blocks are all the same size.   Next, I'm ready to sew them into borders, and attach them to the quilt.  

Here's the quilt as it is tonight:

And the final two borders, ready to move on to complete this quilt top:

It was not too bad taking the "T" blocks apart, and now it should be smooth sailing until I get to binding the scalloped edges.  This is just one of the projects I have in the works, as I like to work on several things at a time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

AQS Quilt Exhibit in Grand Rapids 2014

This is my third and final post about the beautiful special exhibit of the quilts of Elaine O'Toole Stannis.  The first two posts are (Here) and (Here).  

I will finish showing you her quilts with two more, one of her first and probably one of her last quilts:

Here's the info tag on it.  When I read the taq, I thought "first quilt?"  Wow!!

The main featured quilt of her exhibit:

And the info on it:

I hope the AQS does more exhibits like this one.  There are several of my friends who make exquisite quilts and it is so nice to see a quilter's body of work featured all in one place.

One of my friends had two quilts in the AQS show.  Joan Brink had her Liberty quilt in the show.  Instead of a picture of her just standing by it, I asked her to do a Vanna White thing, and really "show" it to me!  Here's Joan and her quilt:
She does beautiful applique work.

Another one she had in the show was of a fawn.  The inspiration for this quilt was a photo taken in her yard:

Sorry it's a little blurry.  I'm old.  I love the appliqued spots and the leaves.  I am seeing Joan soon in Shipshewanna, IN at the Dear Jane Retreat.  I love to sew with friends, in a room filled with laughter.

Happy Monday everyone.  Next post will be about what I'm working on now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Special Exhibit at the Grand Rapids AQS Show in August-Part 2

Here are more of the quilts of Aileen O'Toole Stannis, from the special exhibit in the AQS Show in Grand Rapids this summer.  If you missed my last post with the first pictures, it's (Here)

Aileen O'Toole Stannis was remembered and honored with a special tribute exhibit of 26 of her quilts.  This display of 35 years of beautiful master quilting was a real treat for me.  It included her quilt "Baltimore Remembered", which received the 1996 Gingher Hand Workmanship Award in 1996. But I enjoyed all of her work just as much as her award winning quilt.

I love log cabin quilts, and Aileen's is beautiful:

The additional info tag on this one says:

Not a fan of rotary cutting, Aileen used templates and scissors to cut the strips for this log cabin quilt.  She wrote, "Stretched quilt Friday, April 28, 1989, and pinned it to my NEW quilting frame bought at AQS Show in Paducah for $250."  Aileen made several log cabin quilts.  It was the only pattern she felt she could accurately sew on the sewing machine.

Here's a close-up: 
How often do you see a log cabin that is hand quilted?

Next is "Wagon Wheel", which is 38" x 42" and was inspired by an antique crib quilt ca. 1890.
Beautiful hand quilting that accents the design so well.
Next is Pomegranate, a copy of an old quilt, and her hand quilting again, is unbelievable:

She "had me at hello" with this one, as I love blue and white quilts:

Savanna Star

Here's the label, which also shows the hand quilting up close:

Next up is Aileen's Amish Star quilt.  I would not think to put these colors together, but it was striking.  My camera doesn't do the colors justice - it's a beautiful warm brown.

Closeup pic:

Next up is her Seven Sisters, another quilt pattern that I want to make someday:

When I make one of these, I will show this picture to the machine quilter, and tell her to do something like this.  Aileen's hand quilting was so beautiful to see, and it fit the piecing so well on each quilt.

Well, that's enough pictures for today.  My next post should finish up the pictures I took of Aileen O'Toole Stannis quilts, and then I'll show you what I've been working on this fall.