Monday, February 17, 2014

Finally! Flying Diamonds

This quilt has been done for ages, but I needed a sunny day and two men to hold it while I took a photo.  Many times in the last weeks, when my son has been here, I have forgotten.  But a friend stopped by this morning while the sun was shining - the perfect opportunity.

In this closeup, you can see the grid quilting in the larger solid squares.

So glad I managed to get the pictures taken.  Just finished the listing on my etsy shop.  I love it, so I hope it goes to a good home.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Christmas cactus?

This picture doesn't do the plant justice.  It is just loaded with buds and blossoms - finally!  It used to have hot pink blossoms that came at Christmastime, but it seems to have reverted to this orangey color and bloom at Thanksgiving and Easter (or so).  I used to have one just like this, and I was hoping this one wouldn't be that kind.  It does lend a nice pop of color to these dreary winter days.

Sewing through the storm

Long ago, I got a bunch of 2.5" strips from A Quilter's Garden through the Strip Club and thought they'd make a sweet tote.  I finally got them together in January, based on a pattern by Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Co.  Actually, I watched a YouTube, fast forwarding to the salient portions, and then made it just a bit smaller.  It went togethre quickly, but I got hung up on the closure - button?  magnet?  velcro?  My newer sewing machine doesn't do buttonholes very well, but the oldie does.  When the newer Viking went in for cleaning, I got out the old 100, and a buttonhole was the first thing I made.  The button is one of three handmade wooden ones that have been on several sweaters and other totes.  Now all I need is spring!

I like my bags roomy since I am always dragging papers and books around.  And those outside pockets are important for car keys and pens.  There are quite a few pockets inside, too, which will be great.

We did have a relatively large (14"?) snowstorm Thursday and Friday, so I spent quite a bit of time sewing (I really don't mind!!).  I made a couple of quilt backs, the tops for two table runners, four placemats, four matching napkins, and several quilt blocks, including a couple of Loyal Union Sampler blocks.  Tomorrow I'll do a little sandwiching and, when Rose returns, I'll have four quilts and assorted table pieces to work on.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sunny day before the storm

Apparently, we are again bracing for a snowstorm, to begin tomorrow and going big time into Friday.  This calls to mind what people refer to around here as "The Valentine's Massacre," a 31" snowstorm that hit us in 2007 (I think).  The store was busy this morning with people like me, loading up on provisions - e.g., two loaves of bread instead of the one I needed, Twizzlers just in case, etc.  I also got the usual Conversation Hearts and have to chuckle at how au courant  they are.  "Text me" and "BFF" are prominent!

Yesterday, Polly and I hit the road (and it was a beautiful day) for Yankee Pride over in the Burlington area.  We spent an hour and a half and some bucks buying fabric for backs and tops and just because.  I got enough backing for my navy blue quilt, fabric to go with the table runners/placemats I started Monday, and a very nice shirting printed in burgundy on cream to go with  the Downton Abbey "Sybil" bundle that came in the mail recently.  We had pad Thai for lunch, returned something at Home Depot, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Now I'm off to yoga and then a little fabric washing when I get home.   Hoping the Snow-maggedon passes us by!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I finished the Navy Blue Background Swap quilt top yesterday.  I have a bunch of blocks left, but I may make them into table runners or placemats.  Some friends have a craft show every fall and have invited me to sell, which will be a great way to get rid of some of my excess creations.   Here's the top which I will quilt eventually:

 This morning, I took my sewing machine to be cleaned and checked at a newish rendition of a community sewing machine shop.  Betty and Carl bought the business from a very nice, old gentleman who had sold the business to someone else who didn't do such a good job.  He bought it back and then sold it again after a few years, having found just the right people this time.  While I am without "Rose," I have my old reliable Viking 100 which can't quilt but which makes great buttonholes and sews in a fairly straight line.  I am playing around with scraps for a few days, which will be fine.  And here's a photo of my hearts doorhanging, just for February!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Starts and WiPs

I made my first block for Barbara Brackman's new Threads of Memory series.  This year, the blocks are 12" which should make for a nice-sized quilt.  I'm using Civil War repro fabric from a layer cake, so the blocks will be quite busy.  Brackman's monthly stories are incredibly interesting, and this month's was about a runaway slave who hid in Portsmouth, NH.  The block in honor of Ona Judge Staines is called Portsmouth Star.
After finishing the applique of a center medallion yesterday, I got out a pizza box full of swap blocks and arranged them.  They look pretty busy, too!  But the navy blue background offers a little unity.  This is going to be a little larger than 72" x 72" with a plain navy blue border and (if I have enough fabric) binding.  It looks like everything's on point, but when I got going, I realized that it will end up being a square.  Those tiny nine patches around the appliqued center were my first attempts at an Oh My Gosh quilt.  That pattern, by Sue Garman uses 180+ 1.5" nine patches made from 1" strips.  After making 20, I decided to make the pattern using slightly larger strips.  The background will be various shirtings, which I love, and I thought I could use up some scraps this way, too.

I don't know if I'll get this top put together by the end of the weekend, but putting blocks together always seems to go pretty fast once I figure out what I'm doing.  I'm going to put the top away for a while and finish another top from a round robin before I quilt it.