Friday, February 28, 2014

At our annual quilting retreat

 Just a short post today because Jenn and I are at Hearts to Holly Quilt Shop annual quilt retreat. Jenn is working on her Christmas quilt and is determined to finish the top by Sunday.
 I'm quilting my "shirtings" quilt. With any luck it'll be done tomorrow.
This morning at Chattertime one of the quilters brought in her completed star quilt... I just loved the fun, bright colors.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Working on Farmer's Wife Blocks

Worked on some Farmer's Wife blocks the other day and really liked how this one turned out. I used a solid as the background. We are doing Penny Haren's method through Hearts to Holly Quilt shop. She has lots of shortcuts in her way of making these. This one was all foundation paper pieced. Took a while but comes out very accurate.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Christmas block swap quilt finished

This is one of my recent finishes. Finally got my Xmas quilt top off the UFO list. This is three years of swaps with ladies I met online. We swapped the stocking blocks one year, then swapped ornaments  another year and the first year I won a block drawing of Christmas blocks. It'll be a nice memory quilt.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Celebrating Grandma

Last week Grandma, who was 105, passed away very peacefully.
Many of you know that she was the one that taught me to sew... years and years ago. I think I was about 7 when she first sat me down at her machine (so about 50 years ago...WOW!).
There are so many things that she taught me over the years but sewing is what I'm most thankful for. There is hardly a day that goes by that I'm not stitching on something. It's so much more than a hobby.
My parents, cousins, siblings, and other family and friends celebrated grandmas life this weekend. We all had wonderful memories and stories to share. All the old pictures came out which sparked more memories (and lots of tears) of her and grandpa. She had touched so many lives in her 105 years and we feel so lucky to have been able to call her our grandma.
Much of the family is spread out around the country so there were some that just weren't able to make it. And the weather! Bitterly cold with lots of snow...felt like Minnesota (that's where grandma was originally from). How appropriate.
I had a chance to visit with my cousins, Laura and Eric, from "out west". When we were young, we would get SO excited to hear our WESTERN cousin were coming to visit. You know kids...we pictured them living on the wild west, with cowboy hats and horses...:)  Laura and Eric flew in for the funeral. I am so happy they did! We had a good chance to talk and catch up but mostly share memories.
All of us loved the "picnics" in grandma's yard. She had a HUGE garden and lots of lawn for us to run around on. Grandma let us climb around in the house attic (with the secret pull down stairs), the barn attic and the potting shed (what a great playhouse). We would play dress-up with her old hats and dresses. We'd eat tomatoes fresh from the garden (take the salt right out there). She'd make the best potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs and desserts. It's funny that those picnics were just about everyone's favorite memory.... something so simple. Grandma, you'll be missed. 
Deb, Lisa and cousin Laura

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Green Quilting- Making a quilt from old shirts and scraps

This is a quilt on my design "floor"... just playing with the placement at this point. Do any of you remember Happy Blocks from Block Central? Well, that's all these are!
These are very simple blocks (even easier than a 9 patch). The sizes of the happy blocks are 3" (finished size), 6" and 9". I choose these sizes because they all work together (multiples of 3's) to form a large 24" block.

The quilt will have TWELVE 24" blocks (3 across, 4 down) when I'm done so that my quilt is 72" x 96... and no borders :) That should give this quilt the vintage look I'm after. And how will it be quilted?...Still thinking about that...probably something very linear. 

Here's what I'm starting with:

Lots of 100% cotton shirts (all striped ones), a few leftover pieces of striped fabric and my box of solid scraps.

A few of the shirts weren't completely cut up yet so doing that now too.

From this shirt I'm getting 2-1/2" wide strips, a few 3-1/2" wide strips and plenty of 1-1/2" wide. After cutting strips, I sub-cut into top and bottom pieces or side pieces (of my blocks). Then I find a solid that works with my stripe and cut centers. The centers need to stand out so sometimes they match and sometimes they don't.

Here's a navy center on a light green stripe. The center will really "pop" and bring the eye to that block. I line up the center pieces so that the stripe is sideways and then make sure that the top and bottom pieces have their stripes going in the opposite direction.

Stitch the middle, then the top and bottom and the block is done. EASY! Press to the outside when making these blocks and they'll lay nice and flat.

Just in case you want to make this quilt too, here's what you need to cut....
For a 3" block you need:
(2) 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" striped strips (make sure the stripe is going the short way!)
(2) 1-1/2" striped squares and
(1) 1-1/2" solid square.
For a 6" block you need:
(2) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" striped strips (make sure the stripe is going the short way!)
(2) 2-1/2" striped squares and
(1) 2-1/2" solid square.

For a 9" block you need:
(2) 3-1/2" x 9-1/2" striped strips (make sure the stripe is going the short way!)
(2) 3-1/2" striped squares and
(1) 3-1/2" solid square.

Just roughly figuring, I'm thinking I'll need about 36 nine inch blocks, 70 six inch and 150 or more 3" blocks. Seems like a lot but in two days I have about 1/4 of the quilt blocks done.

This is a drawing of a few possible ways to place the 3, 6 and 9" blocks together to get a 24" square. Sometimes it's going to require a set in block.

While writing this blog, I noticed that the bin of striped shirts hasn't gotten any smaller even though over 50 blocks have been made from it. Hmmmm.... that always seems to happen. Make a quilt to use up stash or scraps and usually you'll end up with about what you started with. It's one of the mysteries of quilting!