Thursday, October 31, 2013

Latest BOW

I finished the Loyal Union Sampler block of the week yesterday and am working on a few more Nearly Insane  blocks to fill in.  Here's this week's LUS, called "Beacon Lights."

It has been a while since I worked on such a "fiddly" block, but as we said during Dear Jane, "finished is better than perfect."  I am really enjoying making these blocks.  The blue and gray combination is soft and offers quite a bit of variety. 

Mostly, I've been working on the 16" flying diamonds blocks this week.  I have six blocks left to make but at least all the fabric is cut and ready.  Rain is forecast for the next few days - perfect conditions for sewing!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A finish and a sale!

Yesterday, I finished sewing down the binding on this traditional lap quilt:

I bought the "brown" fabric on sale, thinking that it was purple, but in different light, it looks purplish brown with a hint of burgundy.  So I went back to the shop and bought the coordinating gold polka dots, for a double whammy of buyer's remorse!  I shuffled it around for a year, trying to figure out what to do with 3 yards of each.  I used it in just about every small piece I could think of, mostly on backs of things.  I still had quite a bit left.  One day, I was playing around with my "BlockFab" app on my phone and spotted a nice setting - Nine patches alternating with Shoo Fly blocks.   I like the way the two go together.  I quilted it on a grid, and now it is fore sale on my etsy shop.  I STILL have some of that fabric which I will probably use in various scrap quilts til the day I die. 

But as luck would have it, I actually sold a quilt that was on my etsy site, my first sale in a year although I have had a few inquiries.  Actually, a friend bought it as a baby gift, so I just deleted the quilt from my site and mailed the quilt out yesterday.  She had me make a baby gift before, for her stepson's new baby.  This baby is on her Canadian side, and I hope they like it.

Now to figure out what to do with the green and red batiks and the coordinating red on cream print - I have about 3 yards of each, too!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Flying diamonds

Monday, as a reward for making a number of gifts using orphan blocks, I started a new quilt.  Lisa had given me a pattern that she used a few years ago during a retreat.  It's called "Aerial Spelunker" and is based on a pattern in Two for Your Money by Jo Parrot.  I decided to use a Moda Marbles black fabric for the background and bright batiks.  Here's the first block:

My photo is a little crooked, but it shows how the bright colors float on the black, hence the name.  I have a lot of cutting left to do, but the bright pieces and the large center blocks are all ready.  There are a lot of black 2.5" squares and 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles left to cut.   I'll do them a little at a time.  It is such fun to work on something new!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Progress so far

One of my newest projects has been Loyal Union Sampler for which there is a block of the week group going on.  Along with these, I'm making blocks from Nearly Insane and maybe Just Plain Nuts, thanks to some books Karen sent me.  I have always liked the Salinda Rupp quilt and thought I might set my 6" blocks her way - on point, with sashing and cornerstones, and with half blocks along the outside.  We'll see how far I get.  I tend to get a little impatient when I do blocks of the week/month, so I thought if I made at least two blocks every time I might have enough in one year to make a quilt.  If I just do one, it will take nearly two years! 

So far the blocks have been fairly easy, but I may lag when/if they get more difficult.  Here are the blocks I've made in the last three weeks.
I'm using blues, grays, and whites and so far enjoying the variety.  Gray seems to be an "in" color these days, and the colors go along with the Civil War theme although I'm mixing contemporary designs with Civil War repros.  Loyal Union Sampler is a companion to a book by Jennifer Chiaverini that details the quilting efforts of some women did during the Civil War.  I especially enjoy her historical novels, and my favorite still is The Runaway Quilt, about runaway slaves. 
Right now our online bookgroup is planning to read Chiaverini's The Christmas Quilt, a more contemporary novel, during the holiday season.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Santa's" workshop

I have been busy making gifts for the holidays.  I'm usually not so organized, but I just happened upon a great tutorial for fabric boxes.  Each of these babies takes about 1/2 hour to make, out of 2 10" squares of fabric and a piece of batting.  There's quite a bit of machine quilting, but the result is really cute.  I still need to finish off the three I made with buttons and a little hand sewing, and I will probably make a few more.  They are perfect for burying gift cards with candy, or just candy, or a few fat quarters, or...

I was on a roll, so I got out all my old Grandmother's Choice blocks and started working with them in various ways.  I made some placemats and then made a reversible table runner using Insul-bright.  All of these use various blocks.  Now I still have about six 8" blocks which don't go well together, so they will probably end up being potholders.  I could just throw them in my box of miscellaneous things which I will eventually put together into a very scrappy quilt.  Anyway, I don't have anything to show for all my work - afraid someone will see what I have made him/her for Christmas!

After I make this week's Loyal Unon Sampler block, I'm going to start on a new quilt from a pattern Lisa gave me.  It's called "Aerial Spelunker" and will have brights with a black background.  Stay tuned!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Abel's Favorite

I did the second block of the week for Loyal Union Sampler last night.  So far, I'm keeping up with the group but I know there will come a time when I'm scrambling to do a whole month's worth in one day!

This was pretty easy.  Now I'm off to make #97 of Nearly Insane (working my way from the back to the front in this book).

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rest in Peace

On Thursday, our faithful 16 year old dog, Max, went to his eternal rest.  We were there to say goodbye, and we really felt we had made the right decision.  He wasn't eating or drinking and walked very slowly outside when he used to trot happily as many times as he could.  Now our routine is way off kilter, and there is no one waiting to greet us when we come home or even come in from a trip out to the garage.  This is going to be an adjustment.  I haven't been without a pet for about 40 years. 

Max was a very popular dog when we owned the B&B.  People used to say he was "just the right size."  All the guests knew his name even though they forgot ours.  He entertained by jumping through a quilting hoop, and was rewarded by guests bringing treats.  In fact, some guests went to the Ben & Jerry's factory gift shop and got him some ice cream cone-shaped biscuits.  They told the clerk it was for the dog at the B&B.  The clerk said, "oh, that's Max, right?"

We don't have many photos of Max because he was very dark and his features didn't show very well.  We are definitely missing our friend.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

State quilt guild block

While I was busy making blocks yesterday, I decided to make the raffle block for the state quilt guild meeting later in the month.  I love red and white in quilts.  This time we are making "Anne and Andy," and it turned out so nicely that I hope I win the whole batch!

It's so cute that I'm thinking of making a few a little larger for placemats.  I have lots of Christmas batiks that might work quite well.

Loyal Union Sampler BOW begins

The first weekly block for Loyal Union Sampler was B-2, Camp Curtin, and it was thankfully easy.  I am making this quilt in grays and blues, mixing contemporary and reproduction fabrics for what I hope will be an interesting sampler.  Here's my first block:
As I work on these blocks each week, I plan to make some blocks from Nearly Insane and Just Plain Nuts (thanks for the books, Karen) to the mix.  I'm afraid I'll get tired of the project if it lasts two years.  I really don't like to stretch things out too long although my Dear Jane  years were a lot of fun.  We'll see how I do.  At any rate, both sets of blocks are 6" finished so they should all work together.  Here's Block #98 from Nearly Insane.  Thought I'd work my way backwards for a change!