It has been fun designing all the 32 pieces in the Gaa Barge series. I have enough scraps taken from the wastebasket or swept off the floor to finish the remainder of my challenge. I had originally planned to make one a week for a whole year, but gardening got in the way and the series wasn’t finished. Maybe, I can finish the series next winter when the snow flies.
The cat and dog pieces were made with purple and other dark fabrics for the background and tan fabrics for the animals. The made fabric was made in the mile a minute method. The patterns for the animals came from a child’s coloring book. The cut out animals were fused down and then zig zaged around the edges with tan thread. The lines of the drawing were zig zaged with black thread.
Shortly after I made these two pieces, I taught a class on this procedure at a local quilt shop. The pieces were my sample pieces. They were at the shop when a photographer came to take a picture of the owners. One of the pieces was grabbed and put under the needle of a sewing machine. The colors went with a piece that was on the wall behind them. I enjoy seeing my animal in the picture on the wall when I go to the quilt shop.
I haven’t been in the sewing room as much as I would have liked. Today, I decided to focus on what I have finished or worked on, not what I think that I should have done.
I did make a list of the oldest ufos. Some are many years old, and some are fairly new. Dear Jane border is on the list and will be the one that I work on first.
The border consists of fifty-two pieced or appliqued triangles and almost as many one colored triangles. Paper piecing seems to be the easiest way to make the triangles. It’s a good thing that I like to paper piece. The first three on the top row are pieced. I am not making the newest block of the month so making Dear Janes will take it’s place.
I did finish piecing the postage stamp quilt. I no longer cut out the small pieces to make a quilt. I’ll use bigger pieces for beginner and enders. The small scraps all go into a flannel pillowcase for dog beds.
Another top finished is the blue basket block of the week. My baskets are not all blue. The border was supposed to be appliqued vine with flowers and leaves. After working two evenings appliqueing a vine, I decided to scrap that idea and use a plain border.
Miss Molly likes this quilt.
I don’t like the quilt top that I pieced at the retreat. The colors are wonderful, but the pattern didn’t take advantage of the colors. The pattern is in the round file. The quilt will be cut in half, a new border on the fourth side and it will be two community quilts.
Spring is here. The early flowers are beautiful and are a reminder of what is to come.
Memories pop up on Facebook from time to time. My neighbor showed me two photos that popped up on hers. She has given me permission to share them with you. Years ago, her daughter came to my house to learn to quilt. She was then and still is my favorite student. While it took me weeks to learn the buttons on my Janome 11,000. Abigail learned the buttons and remembered how to use them when told only once. She was amazing. She even learned how to use the embroidery unit.
There was only one problem. She sewed FAST. I moved the slow down button and she would move it back up again when she thought that I wasn’t looking. Her color sense was awesome. What a joy to teach her. She later made costumes for school and can do so many crafts that her Mom has taught her.
Time has flown by fast. Abigail will celebrate her 18th birthday this month. Where did the time go? I know that she will succeed in whatever she wants to do with her life.
Abigail was 10 when she made this quilt. It is a mile a minute quilt. Miss Molly was her quality control inspector. Mr. Max also inspected her quilt but was not available for the picture.
Spring is here. The temperature is 71 degrees today. It is wonderful to go outside without a coat. Windows are open, letting a breeze into the house. The crocus have bloomed.
Every year I say that I am going to add more bulbs, but then I forget when fall arrives.
The center of the Basket Quilt is finished.
As I thought, this week’s instructions are for the appliqued border. It will take more than a week to finish this assignment. I intend to needle turn the pieces. It will be finished when it is finished.
One of my daughters and I went to the Woodman Museum in Dover, N. H. My great grandfather was the first curator. My grandmother also was a curator. They lived on site, and I spent a lot of my childhood there along with my cousins. It was a trip to the past.
The whole house has been turned into exhibition rooms. I was able to remember the rooms as they were back in my childhood. The museum consists of four units. The museum, the garrison, the John P. Hale house and another house on Summer Street. We visited all of the property.
In the museum there are so many different exhibits. Birds, butterflies, insects, animals including a gigantic polar bear and a bison, rocks, Indian artifacts, dolls, N. H. and Dover history. military paraphernalia, and so much more. It is worth it to just go to see this building, but there is much more.
The garrison is from the 1600’s. It is fascinating to see the objects that they used in their daily life in that time period. Women’s work was much harder then than today,
The John P. Hale house has objects from another time period. The furniture is beautiful. There is so much to see in this building. We kept saying “Look at this.” One of the displays that was interesting is a woman’s dress. It had a lot of yardage. The dress was in two pieces. The skirt was held together with hooks and eyes. They were hidden under a fold in the cloth. Hand embroidery embellished the dress. We imagined washing and ironing this dress.
A piece of fabric that was woven at the Cocheco Mills. I would like to have this fabric for a quilt. Lots of fussy cutting. Maybe, I can just use the colors.
This would make a beautiful quilt.
There were a few quilts. Most of the patterns are still used today.
I want to go back. I’m sure I missed seeing things. The house on Summer Street has special exhibits. My great grandmother, Mary Ann Lombard Smith, was an artist. Our reason for going to the museum was to take some of her paintings there for this exhibit. When the exhibit opens, I intend to attend, and I will plan on time to look around again.
In the meantime, I will keep working on the quilts that I cut out, the community quilts, and a few more things that I plan to learn.
It is supposed to be spring. The snow is going, but the weather is still cold. It will warm up soon. I have seen robins and a blue jay. My knowledge of bird species is very small. I can only identify about eight different birds. The bird feeders in the community have been taken down. We have a resident big bear. Maybe it will move on when there is no food.
I haven’t been in my sewing room for a while. In the short time that I was in there, I was able to finish this week’s blue basket instructions.
This week we made fourteen setting triangles. All the components for the center of the quilt are finished. Maybe next week it will be sewn together. Then the fun. An appliqued border.
I’ve been sewing the binding on two community quilts.
I hope to get back to the sewing room soon to quilt another ufo community quilt. Then, I can start the quilts that I planned on my down time. I have drawn five different quilts on EQ7. All are easy scrap quilts. Three use the Cats Cradle ruler. That is a fun and quick way of making Cats Cradle blocks. It uses squares and rectangles, not triangles. It’s amazing what different look you can get by rotating the blocks or adding sashing. The blocks are accurate when trimmed. The other quilts use 2 1/2″ strips. All have easy sewing.
The Japanese fabric is organized into one drawer. I’m hoping that it will be gone when I finish the planned quilts.
The retreat is coming up. I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to make while there. At first, I thought about the Japanese fabric, but then thought about some 5″ precuts that I have in the drawer. I have two alike and one with white. They will be perfect for the “Next Generation nine patch” quilt. I just have to add some black, some long pieces of white for the borders, and a colored border. The alike precuts are fall colors. I have more than enough for the blocks and may use the leftovers in the colored border. This quilt looks more complicated than it is. It is actually very easy and doesn’t take much thinking. It is perfect for a retreat when one might get sidetracked with all the talking and fun.
Miss Molly is well. She is shaggy with her winter coat. Early next month she will go to her spa for her summer cut. Hopefully it will be warm enough by then.
I’m so very thankful for snow days. Meetings are cancelled and I can stay home and sew all day long if I want to. I wrote a list of the projects that I am currently working on. There were five projects, not counting the ones in the hand sewing basket. There are three in there waiting for the binding to be hand sewn down. I’m not even checking the bins and baskets all around the sewing room. These five are current projects.
The Blue Basket quilt is up to date and even beyond up to date. There are twelve baskets. Each time that instruction come they are the same. We’ve had instructions for six and the other six should be the same. I have completed twelve. Now, I will have a few weeks off by doing advance work.
This week, we made seventeen nine patch units. They will be the corner squares.
This has been a fun quilt. I had hoped that it would use up more of the Kaufmann fabric, but I still have a lot. I have found three new patterns that will hopefully start deleting that fabric. The Blue Baskets has appliqued flowers on the borders. I’ll save scraps for this and cut out at least one of the quilts for the retreat from the stash,
The Stay at home Round Robin is complete. The last row is the pinwheel block. I have made lots of pinwheels, but for some reason, these pinwheels didn’t want too corporate. I had intended to have pinwheels all around the last row. Most were so terrible that I used the good ones at the top and bottom corners. I do like the way this quilt finished. It may be my most favorite SAHRR to date.
I also finished the Escher Stairs. Illusion quilts are fun to make.
The blue Basket block of the week is in its fourth week. The fourth week is another set of two baskets. Three of the weekly instructions have been for making baskets of different colors. All the baskets have the same pattern. I may just make all the baskets at once and be done with it.
I’m using white scraps for the background. All the fabrics for this project will come from my stash.
The third week, we were instructed to make sashing with a center white and a color on both sides. There are 48 rails that are 3 1/2″ x 11″. These were easy to make but did take time because of the number of rails. Strip piecing and cutting at 11″ was the easy way to make the rails. The center of the quilt is pieced, but the border is appliqued. That will take more time.
This week’s row on the SAHRR is a square in a square. I wanted to do an easy row, so just made four square in a square blocks for the corners.
The side brought in colors from the center. There is one more row. I already have my colors picked out. They may change when I get the hint. This has been fun. I thought that I had a handle on using up the Kauffman Japanese fabric, but along with the drawer, I have a laundry basket full. Checking out the Kauffman free patterns on the Internet, I found some scrap quilt patterns that look like stash busters
Another round of the stay at home round robin is finished. This round was the flying geese block. At first, I made a row of geese with red geese and different colored sky.
When I laid it on the quilt, it was too busy. Four rows were made. Should I add them even though I didn’t like them, or should I go another way? I decided to cut my losses. I can use the four rows of geese in another project at a later date. I could even piece them to the back of the quilt.
This was much better. It brings in the fabrics from the center and is much calmer. I’ve enjoyed working with the Kauffman fabric line. I’ve hardly made a dent in the fabric drawer. Even making the block of the week, Blue Baskets, doesn’t make the drawer less full. I’ m a week behind on Blue Baskets. This week’s pattern was the same as last weeks. The only thing changed is the color. It won’t take too long to catch up.
I’ve been cleaning out quilting files. It’s amazing what I have saved over the years. I did find a great easy pattern that I have used before. The Guild retreat is in May. I may use this pattern with the Kauffman fabric at the retreat. I have a few months to decide. Maybe, as I go deeper into the files, I may find something that I like better. An easy, no thinking quilt is best for a retreat. I usually have all the pieces cut so I can just sew.
I found a pattern for Escher stairs in the file. The Guild quilt show is coming up. The theme is Illusions. I couldn’t resist making four blocks.
The community quilts have been put aside for a little while. I will get back to them later. I do have one on the basting frame to baste. I baste while watching TV. Then they go into the ready to quilt pile. There are still a few left to baste.
I am back on the track with new quilts.
The “Are You Crazy” quilt has over 2000 squares. That is about half of what I need to make a decent size quilt. I have piles of 1 1/2″ squares on the sewing table to put together when I want to do some sewing without thinking. The seams are all pressed to the dark side, so they go together effortlessly.
It will be an awesome quilt when finished. This may be my last little piece quilt. After it is finished, I will put all my little scraps into a flannel pillowcase. I knew there was a reason that I saved the pillowcases. It makes a very comfy dog bed.
The third row is on the Stay at home round robin. The block selected for this row is the hourglass block. At first, I made multicolored hourglass blocks. It was too much color. Then, I made navy and white hourglass blocks. I needed to pull out some white from the center. I surrounded the blocks with red fabric. Half square triangles with a red stripe in the middle was made for the corner squares. The multicolored hourglass blocks are set aside for another quilt at a later date. They will find a home sometime. My orphan block box is filling up fast.
It’s important to take a picture of the block. I thought that the piece was finished and took a picture for the blog. it was very obvious that one of the hourglasses was turned the wrong way. I unsewed it, turned it and it is fine now. It’s a much better picture.
Instructions for the second week of the Blue Basket Quilt have come. They are the same as last week, except they are made with a different blue fabric. The instructions are for making two baskets each week. Where I’m using the Kaufmann Japanese fabric, I’ll use a different fabric for each basket. They are easy to make, and I only have to make two blocks a week. Eventually, I’ll have a nice quilt.
Along with basting while watching TV, I’m hand quilting a nine-block star quilt. The blocks were hand pieced also. I started quilting by hand piecing and hand quilting. It’s going back to the beginning. I am on the fifth star. Before I started hand-quilting this one, I hadn’t hand-quilted in a while, It’s very relaxing.
The stay at home round robin 23 is in the third week. The Robert Kaufmann Japanese fabric is perfect for it. I chose one of the small blocks for the center. The first row is the spool block. I set the small block on point and placed the spools in the corners.
The second row is a star block. I made four little Ohio stars for the corners and added three strips to the side.
Between the spool and the star block, I placed an inchy. An inchy is an inch strip of fabric. When placed between two blocks, the size does not change. It is a nice accent. The fabric is the back side of this fabric. After all, we pay for both sides of the fabric.
The color is exactly the same as the background of the front of the fabric. There is no problem in matching colors. I will probably make inchys in several places during the construction of this piece.
So far, the piece is small. and doesn’t use much fabric. In order to use all that I have I’ll have to make a few more quilts before the bin is empty.
January is almost over. It has been a busy month in the sewing room. I decided to slow down on making community quilts for a while. I will have the completed tops on the basting frame to baste in evenings while watching tv, but the actual quilting will be on hold.
A baby quilt is finished and will be heading to Florida for a friend shortly. The blocks and pieces of blocks were won at a teacup raffle many years ago. I just had to complete the unfinished blocks and put the quilt together.
There was a small box in the corner of the sewing room. When I finished a quilt, I cut the scraps into 1/2″ strips or small square pieces. They went into the box. One day this month, I decided to work on these tiny pieces. They were jammed in and pressed down. My sewing machine has been working hard to put these pieces together.
This is just a small image of the mounds of small squares. I sewed two together. Then, two twos for a four patch.
Four of these squares will be sewn together for a 4 x 4. I’ll keep sewing until I have a bed quilt or two. There are a lot of tiny pieces in the box. This is a no think quilt. Just a dark and a light. While sewing, I was thinking about what people would say when this was finished. They would say “Are you crazy/”? It’s a good name for this quilt. There are times when you just have to sew and not think about what you are doing. The seams are pressed so that they nest. There are so many fabrics that color doesn’t matter.
I follow a blog that is called Daily Fiber. Laura Kate is the ultimate artist. She belongs to a group that does Stay At Home Round Robins. The SAHRR has started for 2023. I have never met a round robin that I didn’t like. I’m going to follow along after Laura Kate gives the clue of the week. The center block is a found item in the sewing room. I have auditioned several pieces. At first, I found two blocks that were made with Robert Kaufmann Japanese fabric. They were both too big. Then, I found some blocks for thread painting. They would take too much time. Down in the bottom, I found a strip of three small blocks made with the Japanese fabric. Perfect. I’ll use one of them for the center. It fits into my plan for purging all the Japanese fabric. The next row is a spool block. I’ve already thought about how I would attach spool blocks to the center. I’m not sure which block will be the center.
There is also another block of the week pattern on another blog. It’s supposed to be blue baskets on a white background. I have lots of white scraps. They don’t have to be the same white. I could also use some of the Japanese fabric for the baskets. If there is any fabric left after that, I could cut the remainder into a Potato Chip quilt. Or two. You can’t make just one. Then, there is a pattern for strips that I found on the internet this morning. That Japanese fabric will be gone by the end of the year.