Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mountain Crossing-Remembering South Carolina

Okay, I am sentimental. I  like to sneak a little symbolism into the quilts I make. Perhaps it's just a scrap of fabric that brings back a memory or represent something special to the person who will receive the quilt. At times it the theme of the quilt. My granddaughter Jana takes after me in that way. She wanted to make a quilt for her mother who lives in South Carolina. During her last visit  they took a trip to the mountains and  saw a "real live bear".  This made an impression on Jana.

Welcome To My Cabin

We browsed through quilt books, trying to decide what to make, and came across the quilt below in  Welcome To My Cabin by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan.. It perfectly represents the good memories and spirit of that trip south.

Mountain Crossing
We picked this before our recent adventure in applique, which was not so successful. However the instructions say these are done with fusible web. I am not sure what that means. Like....after it's fused on, do we stitch around.the edges?  It does not appear to be stitched in the picture. Another question is did they use the same thread to quilt the entire quilt. The border is certainly quilted with white thread. The patterns seems to be a continuous line, but white is not showing in the darker mountains. Are the bear and footprints fused after the quilt is quilted? Questions, questions!

I was going to machine quilt this myself, but not sure now. Even Jana says, "maybe you should send it to Sandy". I never really know what to do with these, other than stitch in the ditch. That's why the majority of my quilts go to the long arm quilter.

Log cabin blocks. They are easy to do, yes they are, and they are easy to mess up too! Jana turned these blocks over to me, and for some reason I had trouble. I had to keep double checking the orientation of the light and dark strips. I also had to do some ripping when a few blocks were a little wonky. All things considered we are making progress.

Jana shopped my stash and found fabric that is close to the picture in the book.
Mountains and sunset fabric for the sky

I have the first four rows finished and put together, but only have a picture of the first two.I think it looks better in person.

We have decided to add a second border and are auditioning fabric. This quilt is only 48" by 46". We would like it a little larger and I think a second border will work. I'm thinking about flying geese. Jana has learned how to do the spool block, so I think flying geese will be easy for her. I'll see if she agrees. We first auditioned a wild sunset fabric, but decided it overwhelmed the center, so whatever we do it will be subdued. Subdued is not really Jana's style, but she is actually being very thoughtful about the fabric for this quilt, realizing it's not for her, and that it should fit the person receiving it.

Well that is it for now. My machine is getting serviced and Jana is graciously letting me use hers.  I promised to get the dark purple row of mountains done this week. There are just four blocks to do, or two mountains.  I'm back to work and Jana back to school. The upcoming holiday weekend will give us some extended time for sewing. Hopefully the Craftsy BOM for September will be out. It is more applique, leaves and flowers, and I hope to learn something to help with this quilt. Hopefully my machine will be back and we can sew like mad.

Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lazy Sunday - ready for the quilter

I am one happy camper. I finished Bonnie Hunter's Lazy Sunday mystery quilt. I've checked it once and checked it twice.  As far as I can see there are no upside down or sideways blocks. It  looks good. I am pleased with the results. My colors are not too far off Bonnie's. I choose a softer colorway. The colors she used where too close to my Easy Street colors. I didn't want to be repetitive, so I made a little change. She used orange. I used yellow. My greens where softer and my background was pretty much tone on tone. I also use a more controlled scrappy than Bonnie. This is partly by plan, but also because I don't have that much variety in my scraps.

Bonnie Hunter's - Lazy Sunday

I've never done a pieced border and at first I was a little intimidated. It just took lots of pins, some time and the needle down function on my machine to make everything come together as it should. The picture below shows the corner detail.

Pieced borders.

I say it is done, but there are some threads to trim and a final pressing. I hope to get a nicer picture for the linky Bonnie Hunter says she is having in September. If you have never done one of Bonnie's Mystery Quilt I hope you check out her site. She will be doing a new Mystery sometime around Thanksgiving.  Click the  Quiltville tab on this site to connect with Bonnie.

Last week we said we where starting a new quilt for Jana's mother. We got a start, but got side tracked by spools. So next week, we promise. Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Craftsy BOM 2013- The basket block - Whine time

Jana and her basket block

This summer is going by fast and our sampler quilts are getting closer to completion. This month our task was to complete a basket block with a curved handled (appliqued). Well the basket was simple enough. And the instructions for the handle where simple enough, but not simple enough for us to be happy with our work. We had little pleats in the handle. And we decided to go ahead and machine applique the handle. Jana started whining early and when we talked about next month we would applique leaves and flowers she whined ever more. "I can't hand sew. I won't be able to do it. My hand sewing is ugly", said Jana. I told her how practice makes perfect...She didn't buy it.

I told her Bonnie Hunter has a no whining rule, her sassy little comment was "Well this isn't Bonnie Hunter's quilt. It's mine and I'll whine if I wanna!" What a cranky girl. This is a girl who went through 9 hours of back surgery and 7 months in a back brace and she is whining about a little applique. Whoa! A little overwhelmed, I think.

Despite the whining we got the blocks together. As usual her's is snappy looking. She picked bright colors and actually used fabric from the fat quarters she purchased on vacation in Port Clinton.I am sticking with my reproduction fabrics. Mine is going to be a rather dull quilt compared to hers. Being the first to make the block, and making the mistakes, my handle is not exactly centered. What worked? I do think that the blanket stitch in the contrasting color worked on my block handle. It looks rather old fashioned. Jana says if we do another basket block it's won't be appliqued or curved. She is like me, she prefers piecing.

old schools versus modern baskets.

We accidentally came up with a solution to Jana's whining and worrying about hand sewing. She was helping organize some of my sewing items and discovered a yo-yo maker. She was curious and wanted to give it a try. She thought they where fun and we realized these would make nice flowers for our basket. We agreed to try to applique leaves and flowers, at least one. If she isn't happy with the results we will cover it over with lots of  yo-yo once it is quilted. It is the happy compromise. I have this feeling this basket will eventually be overloaded with yo-yo flowers. She is finding it a little addictive.She likes adding the buttons to the center.  This is something she can take home with her for rainy days or do in the evening, especially once it starts getting dark early.

We love yo-yos

We finished this and with spare time we cleaned and organized our sewing area. She took more pictures and we are beginning a quilt for her mother that will commemorate a trip to the mountains of South Carolina.
We will report on that next week. In the meantime. School starts today.We are still having fun and looking forward to this coming week's sewing adventure.

Jana organized the sewing area.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Home from the Lake and working on Lazy Sunday with Bonnie Hunter

 Summer fun at the Lake - Port Clinton - Walleye Capital of the World

Athough the weather was cool, we enjoyed getting away for a few days and having special time with our grand-kids. Cool (freezing) water could not dampen Jana's enthusiasm for the pool. She even managed to make a new friend. 

Summer friends
We took Miller Ferry to the Island, and had a lazy day golf carting around the island. We played putt-putt and saw the sights. The area is preparing to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie.

South Bass Island- Bicentennial of Battle of Lake Erie

Once back on the mainland we made a stop at Nautical Needle and as one would expect we HAD to purchase some fabric. Jana fell in love with these fat quarters. We have no plans for them at this time. The girl is learning to build a stash. Oh my!
Jana's fat quarters. Who can resist kitties?

I was just as bad. I bought a batik collection. The fabric that caught my eye was a batik with fish. Don't ask why or what I like about it. I don't know why I like it, I just do.  I also have no idea what I will do with it.

Love at first sight.

Now it's time to sew. The laundry is done, clothes put away and the grand-kids are back  home till this weekend. Quiltmaker magazine came right before we left. Since I'm still on vacation from work I have been able to put a fair amount of work into the quilt top. The center went together fairly easy. A few of my blocks had some imperfections, but the sashes helped even things out.

 I am happy with the way it is coming together. I am also content with my color choices. I went for a softer look and it worked. I still have enough contrast that the secondary patterns show up well. The greens I chose are much softer than Bonnie's. I also substituted  yellow for the orange.  I  limited the variety in fabrics and tried to keep a similar value within each color. It's raining (another good reason to sew), so the pictures are indoor, basement floor, pictures. I should be able to get some in natural light when it's completed and pressed.

All those green and white half square triangles made border 2

A idea of what it looks like.This is laying on my basement floor. Horrid light.

Those blocks with the green corner are the center of the quilt.

You might notice I have one side of border two done. Tomorrow I hope to finish the rest of border two and get the last border (3) done before the end of the weekend. It will take a little longer because when I made the purple units I forgot to cut the extra fabric, so they have just been sitting in the bin, unfinished..

Units for Border 3

Bonnie has said she will have a linky party in September for Lazy Sunday. I will be ready for sure. The only decision left to make is what color for the quilt back? Lavender, green, yellow? Any suggestions?

A touch of Italy-Italian food, a lovely garden and the lake. Happy memories.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

North to Lake Erie

We've continued our adventures in spooling and have added another 40 spool blocks or so to our supply. I purchase a cute little two level craft bin (for the cute little spools). I have one level for  finished blocks and one for the spool kits. This is going to be a long term project, so we are trying to stay organized.

Even more exciting is that Quiltmaker magazine arrived with the instructions for the last step of Bonnie Hunter's Lazy Sunday Mystery Quilt. It is absolutely gorgeous. I  have the first 3 steps completed, and I have everything cut for the final step. But, it's on the back burner till the end of the week.

We are heading north to Lake Erie.  During our stay we will visit our longarm quilter, Sandy Erwin. There is a new quilt top to drop off. Jana wants to check on the status of Papa Don't Peek, as she is anxious to see it quilted. Her dad's birthday is still several months away, so there is plenty of time.

This might seem a little crazy, but on my last visit I joined the Ohio Star Quilt Guild in Port Clinton. Yes, it is nearly a four hour drive. But we visit several times a year. And they are nice. One of their project is quilt blocks on buildings. We will be on the lookout for these and try to identify the name of the quilt blocks.

Quilt Block at Our Sunset Place on Sand Rd, Catawba Island, Oh

There just happens to be a quilt shop, Nautical Needle too, I would not be right to go without checking that out. Finally we are fishing and swimming and doing nothing but relaxing.

In between the Craftsy BOM and Bonnie's Lazy Sunday I did manage to complete a baby quilt for a co-worker. It's the first quilt I designed, pieced and quilted. It's not exactly a masterpiece. But she was happy with it. That's all that matters.

A gift for baby Luna. 
I was so happy to find Goodnight Moon fabric. And I found a fun stripe with bunnies and bears sitting on quarter moons. It is delightful. Part of the fun in making quilts for someone is finding that perfect fabric that is
meaningful to the recipient.

I mentioned that I joined Ohio Star Quilters Guild. They are a great group and very gracious to let me be a long distant member. My first project with this group is a Round Robin. I have never done one and I am looking forward to this little quilting adventure.   The Round Robin starts with a 12.5 inch block. My block is below. I chose it because Port Clinton is a place to meet with quilting friends. (my little symbolism). On our visit, this block gets dropped off and soon I'll receive a block to add a border to. Fun! Fun! Fun!
Have a great week everyone! 

Meeting Point Block