Sunday, July 31, 2011

More of My Red Quilttop

Hope you are not getting tired of this, but that is what is keeping me occupied in the warm, muggy weather.  I have made a change in the layout and will now make 16 blocks that will be set together without sashings.   There will be a first border of the diamonds on a light print that will be approximately 4 inches wide (makes for easy figuring) and then the darker red second border.  I'll decide the width of that later - I have plenty of fabric - but it will probably be 6 to 7 inches wide.  You can get the idea from the upper right hand corner of the picture.  That will result in a quilt of 85 inches or more square - a great size to go on a double bed with a dust ruffle.  This will look so pretty on my bed with the church window headboard.  I think there is still a photo on my sideboard.
Here is the 14th block in progress.  The pieces of the flowers have been sitting with the paper still on the back  and have curled.  Pretty close to having this one done - another flower and some buds.
Next on the agenda.  I do plan to make the grapes smaller - they are pretty large and would look better being smaller and having more of them.  I love grapes and cherries in blocks! After this one, there will be one more to choose from the many books and patterns around here.  I was having trouble enlarging them on my scanner but have now figured out how to put the scanned image into my Microsoft Digital Image program and printing it from there.   You can see that the pattern of the wreath is done in four pieces.  You can even reverse print if you wish.  Such a relief to be able to enlarge or make patterns smaller again without running to Staples.  The light bulb goes on over my head eventually!!   Keep cool, quilting friends.  (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm In Trouble Now

I was trying to add some more favorite places to my list and, guess what, I accidentally deleted the entire thing!  Don't you hate it when something like that happens.  Later today, I will work on getting them back up!  Now I am hungry!  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Work on One, Think About Others

We all do it - I think that's part of being a quilter - thinking about the next projects while you work on another one.   My red applique is coming right along with just one more block to do and then the sashing.   I actually am anxious to get to Hop to It and also thinking about this old reproduction quilt that was one by Nancy Page that was published weekly in newspapers.  From Sentimental Stitches (I gave you a link to that site in the post about Leslie's schlep bags and you can read their information if you enlarge the picture), I ordered this pattern for the Laurel Wreath quilt.
Here is an article with patterns for some of the birds and the wreath that I took from an old Quilters Newsletter Magazine in 2002.   These are such cutie pie birdies.
Three more of the birdies and the wreath pattern. 
The pattern for the quilt is on a dvd and it has all of the flowers and birds so you are able to print them and trace your pieces.  I am mulling over in my mind what fabrics I want to use.  First thought is Aunt Gracie type on some sort of a really cool background which is what the original quilt is.  I have also thought it might be great in Kaffe Fassett fabrics in the manner they are doing quilts on   That may be a tad wild, though.  Solids might be very pretty, also.  Or just all sorts of scraps.  Fun to think about!    (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Still More Red Blocks

Ten down - two more to go.  I have spent most of the day putting these two together and have been fighting with my wonder under.  I must be doing something wrong - but am having a hard time getting the backing off the pieces.  Maybe I am not ironing it long enough.  I have had to use a pin to get it started and that is so frustrating.  It is actually some softer than Heat and Bond Lite but it is certainly taking much longer when you have such a time getting the backing off.  I have some Steam A Seam 2 Lite which is really nice but expensive.  However I'll use those Joann coupons for that. 

I have laid these out on some red fabric that I have lots of and have quickly cut some squares to see how I would like sashing like that with a solid red border.  This is not the finished sashing - just a test sample.   I don't have enough of the background fabric to do much of anything.  Kind of like the look of this and, if I go this route, I will applique the squares on the sashing instead of piecing them.   Will use something other than the wonder under for that!  If you know a secret about easy peeling of the backing, please let me know!   (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Staying in Where It's Cool

There is red fabric all over the basement - and I now have two more blocks ready to applique.  This pattern was about five inches square and I enlarged it to fit my sixteen inch blocks.  It struck me that I have done a very similar block before.............
in my quilt From There to There to There to Here in the late 90's.  The pattern was one I found in a magazine and it was larger but pretty much the same idea.   This quilt was machine appliqued and hand quilted.
The second block fused today.  And the second time I have done this one.  This is from an old Quilters Newsletter Magazine - they used to have so many great applique patterns back in the days.  I have a lot of them that I tore from the mags and have kept in files.
The last block in the middle row is my other tulip bouquet.  The first and third blocks in the first tow have both been used in other quilts.  The one with the bird is in a little white wool quilt I made sometime ago.  

I will have to make myself go outside later this evening and water my poor plants.  I can remember now how hard it was when it was so hot and humid to keep lots and lots of flower beds watered!  Would not be able to handle that anymore.   Stay in where it's air conditioned and relax and sew if you can!  This will eventually go away - soon, I hope!  (Click to enlarge)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Seeing Red Again

Hot, hot weather - not my favorite by any means - and a real downpour this afternoon with lightning, thunder and wind followed by the power going out for several hours.  It's to be really hot through Friday, at least.  There is this about Michigan - it usually isn't as humid as, say, Kansas, for instance.  Every summer I used to wish there would be no July and August and instead have three Octobers!  This old lady is a cool weather kid.

Last week I was going through fabric in the basement and came across the red blocks I started maybe two years ago.  So I have put two more of them together - the two on the left of each row.  I have decided that the bottom one will have it's middle big flower changed - it needs more contrast.  These are fun to do and actually seem to applique faster than the small ones.    These are sixteen inch blocks.
I also fused another block for the Hop to It quilt.  There will probably be a couple of changes made here, too, before I applique it.  I was going along really well when the lights went out so that was that for today.  (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Check Out These Great Schlep Bags

Earlier this year, I made a cute schlep bag I found on Sentimental Stitches.  My friend, Leslie,  liked the pattern and has made these six gorgeous bags for all the girls at a family reunion which she and her family won't be able to attend this year.  Wouldn't you be thrilled to be gifted with one of these beauties?  The fabric she used is perfect and I just love the black handles and probably lining in most of them.  Beautiful job, Leslie! 

If you would like to check out Sentimental Stitches (lots of free stuff there) then click on the following link--
(Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hop To It

I have had Edyta Sitar's "Hop To It" for some time now and have been wanting to do the quilt.  After I finished getting the hexagon top together, I fused one of the blocks and have done all the buttonhole stitch on it except for nine of the berries or grapes.  It will be scrappy and batiks - not sure yet whether I will make it really, really scrappy or more controlled with fewer fabrics that coordinate. 

This block is okay, but maybe needs some punch.  All the backgrounds will be different light batiks.  I will give all this more thought and do some auditioning of fabric and see what I come up with.  I just love her work - she really has the touch.  (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Adorable Little Outfit

The other day, Jane, my up-the-street neighbor, called and asked if I was going to be home - she and her great granddaughter had something for me.  This is that something - an adorable little knitted sweater and hat with a tassel for my little great grandson who is on his way.  What a lovely surprise - isn't it absolutely adorable?  I love the little rolled neckline. 
The buttons are so cute - it is such a wonderful gift.  It was sent off to Norah in Colorado the other day along with some little outfits Sherry and I bought at Macy's the other evening and they have arrived now.  The new mommy is very happy with the box of cute little things for the eagerly awaited little babe.  Thanks so very much, Jane - that was so special.  (Click to enlarge)

Monday, July 11, 2011

So Pretty!

I don't have much of a garden anymore, but what I do have is doing well.  The mandevilla lost all of its buds after I repotted it, but look at it now.  Such a glorious pink.
I just leaned the trellis up against the wall and put the pot in front so the vines can climb.  I have some low plants in the front of that pot plus two other containers beside it.  There is a pretty hanging basket right near it, also.  When I glance out my sliding door, I see this pretty little mass of flowers.  Good for the soul.
(Click to enlarge)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Senility Coming on?

Here it is coming even further along - and it should have been ready to finish piecing today.  Alas and alack, it is not.   On Thursday, we had one of our monthly three all day sewing get togethers and I took along the makings of two hexagon flowers that I needed to finish the fifth row which I decided to add.  I finished them - took probably three hours.  Naturally, there was lots of chatting and laughing going on but that makes that sort of sewing easier to do.  Yesterday, when I went to find my little posies - I found that they have disappeared into thin air.  I am sure I brought them home in the little plastic project box that held all of my fabric, thread,etc.  I have looked high and low and they are no where.  I do imagine I will find them - probably after I have sewn two more.  One was a bright blue and the other a bright yellow so they certainly would stand out.  Don't you just hate it when things like that happen?  However, I am loving how this top is turning out and loving the fact that it is very easy to do.  Except for the time it takes to make the flowers, it was a snap.  And what is so cool, the flowers could be just plain appliqued flowers with a circle center - or a tulip - or whatever flower you wanted and you would not have to mess with the hexagons.  There will be a narrow green strip along both the top and bottom and a plain light strip also.  Then I will bind it in the green.   (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Coming Along on the Hexie Quilt.

After appliqueing all the hexagon flowers, stems and leaves to the blocks,  I added a green strip on the side of each one.  The applique went fast.  Now I have pressed and trimmed all the blocks and cut long strips strips from the background fabric to go between the rows. 
This is kind of how it will be - there will be room for some pretty quilting between the rows of flowers.  I'm liking this very much.   I have to make two more flowers as I will be making five rows of six each.  Twenty-eight are finished.  (Click to enlarge)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Our Foremothers

Lost in what she is doing, this woman reminds me of the way most people feel when they are working on a project and it has their complete attention.  Easy to get lost in the task and lose all track of time.
Here is a woman at her sewing machine.  It appears that she is seated there a lot making clothing for her family and pretty quilts for them also.  Note she is wearing an apron.  I would guess these pictures are from the 30's or 40's.
Another quilter with a gorgeous quilt on the frame diligently quilting.  Did she just start?  Or is she about finished.  I love the fans in the quilt.  Note to the left of the woman the little baby stroller.  That  is the kind I had for my babies.  Also, the ironing board has the familiar scorched, stained cover which needs to be changed.  And you can betcha the iron was a heavyweight, too, with a cloth cord.  Back in the day, when something went wrong with a small appliance such as iron, we had them fixed.  Now they go out in the trash - or maybe recycle.

You can find pictures like this at the website of the Library of Congress.  They have many many subjects to check out.  Also, one of my quilting friends sent me a link to new videos on the national quilt collection at the Smithsonian which you might want to check out  -

And Happy Fourth of July!