Despite not feeling very well for the majority of the day, I finally forced myself to go into the quilt room about 4:30 and work on this week’s block. Guess I was feeling a little ready for Fall when I picked the colors! Now, can I make it through the weekend without re-making this block like I’ve done the last couple of weeks??
Friday, August 26, 2011
After making the decision to dump the Thangles block-of-the-month that was causing me frustration (mentioned in a previous post) … I have started taking apart the kits and using the Civil War fabrics in them to start my Dutch Triangles quilt. (The quilt was shown at the November 2007 issue of Quilters Newsletter, p. 96)
The measurements used in the pattern are different from what I’m using – but I don’t mind changing things up. I’m using the Creative Grids Half Square Triangle ruler for making the 2½” half square triangles.
If you haven’t seen the ruler – here’s how it works … You start with two 2½” strips (a light and a dark preferably) …
… you put them right sides together …
You place the notched part of the ruler on the strips … and cut out the number of triangles that you need. (in this case I need four triangles per block) The ruler will make nine triangles if you use the full length of the ruler which is 16.25” long.
Here are the four triangles that result.
You sew the four triangle units together using the standard quilter’s 1/4” seam allowance, and then assemble the four units together …
The ruler also has a 2½” ruler on the bottom edge to help you cut 2½” strips if your using something other than pre-cut 2½” strips.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Didn’t have too much time to work on this quilt today – since I had to bake cookies for a picnic, and then go to the picnic! (had a good time) Here are two more pictures of the progress on this quilt …
In this photo you can see some of the main design elements … I’m doing continuous curve all around the outside perimeter of the design. And then in the middle I’m stitching a 5” daisy … both the daisy and the continuous curve are in a variegated LAVA. The snow white blocks will have straight lines across them … only in one direction, not x’s. That will be done in a snow white Sew Fine! thread. (the blue lines are just water soluble marker)
I tried to get a close-up of the inner most border … I’m using a design called “ribbon candy” and it gives SO MUCH texture it’s AMAZING! Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture when it was in the middle of the frame … forgot about it until it was rolled up towards one of the back bars.
Yes I originally said that I was going to do a modified Baptist Fan design out in these borders, but at the last minute I changed my mind. However, the way the borders are going – I wish that I had stuck with my original plan!
The outer border is a modified feather design, the blue middle border is a wishbone design, and the inner white border will use a ribbon candy design.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I brought this piece upstairs this morning to be photographed … technically I finished it up last night while watching the game (a sad Indians loss).
It was machine pieced and hand quilted. The binding was attached by machine and then turned and stitched down by hand. I ended up using Aurifil Lana wool as the thread for the quilting. I used a gold color in the beige background spaces and a tweed-like brown for the spools and the three borders.
Now, where am I going to hang this?
I tried working on my block-of-the-month blocks tonight … which was a good thing since I’m FOUR MONTHS behind on that program. But you know what? I don’t like them. In fact I think I hate the blocks. Here’s the deal …
- Every month we drive an hour away to go get my block kit … so we’ve already invested time, energy and gas money into doing this 8 times (with another four to go)
- I really dislike Thangles. I’ve tried them on numerous occasions, and each time I want to throw them out the window! And the whole thing is Thangles, Thangles, Thangles (Eeek!)
- I could do the half-square triangles without using the Thangles, but since I really am disliking the blocks and the fabrics, it may not be worth it
- Even though the theme is Civil War, the kits come from a shop that does not specialize (or carry any) Civil War stuff. I think they offered Civil War as one of the themes because they knew some people would pick it – but they don’t carry any of those fabrics in the store. The colors lack a certain zing
- Not only have I already purchased 8 of my BOM kits (Jan. – Aug.), but I have already ordered the finishing kit. (it’s not ready yet – but I had to reserve mine and pay for it in advance)
So now I am stuck – I really hate the blocks that have been done so far … hate the fabrics they chose, and hate the patterns and the Thangles …
Arrgghh! I guess that I should admit to myself that the reason I’m so far behind on this one is that I really don’t like it … I think I’ll just use the fabrics and cut them up for other Civil War-themed projects (of which I have many).
Monday, August 22, 2011
I got a lot of quilting done on my Fall is Here quilt (the white lines are just basting lines) …
… got this panel quilted up with a basic freemotion meander …
… and after that I got another quilt loaded on the frame, but I haven’t transferred the photos yet. You’ll see that one soon!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Okay, I ended up doing this week’s block again (Yes, I know it’s becoming a habit). I got the instructions for this version from Ellen’s site, American Homestead. Her version is more based on half-square triangle units – but it did provide for some interesting measurements! (13/16th’s are kind of quirky – but I’ll do anything for the block to turn out right!) I used the same three colors, but had to make a couple of revisions based on the change in the way Ellen put the block together. This one is a keeper!
I mentioned the other day that I had gotten two books at the bookstore while we were out visiting quilt shops. I finally took a picture of it …
This one is called Amish Abstractions.
It really is a neat book, and it was under $10 at one of those bookstores that carry out-of-print, second quality and overrun books. I saw one on the shelf, and looked through it a little bit, and decided to get it. A few seconds later I looked down and there were two shrink-wrapped copies laying on the floor. So I returned the opened one to the shelf and got one of the pristine ones! (very cool!) It would have been neat to see quilts from the Amish areas of Richland or Ashland counties, but there are many from Holmes County, Ohio, which is just a couple counties over to the east. It’s a great inspiration book …
Well, I actually finished piecing this top on 10/7/2008, and I just started the quilting of it today. (eeek!) I decided to put it on my HQ-16 frame, baste it, and then pull it off to hand quilt it in the “big stitch” quilting style.
The curvy white lines are the basting stitches done with Vanish Extra. So far I’ve been working on the colored areas of the quilt, using a #8 Pearl Cotton in black for the quilting. I have some variegated Valdani pearl cottons that I may end up using for the quilting in the black areas.
Sorry that the photo isn’t better – I used my iPad2 to take the photo down in the family room – which has notoriously bad lighting. (and the iPad2 doesn’t zoom or have a flash) Then I emailed it to my main computer to brighten it up a bit before posting it.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Hubby and I were out ALL day yesterday … driving all over creation as it turned out. We headed down through Mt. Vernon to get to Newark, OH to visit a shop called Bunny’s Sew Fine Fabrics. Since we hadn’t done the Central Ohio Shop Hop in a couple of years, it had been awhile since we visited that shop. Their website mentions Civil War fabrics – so that had been kind of calling to me since my Mom and I drove close to that area a few weeks ago when we visited Longaberger land. She was having a sale on Civil War fabrics, so I ended up getting a few (had to get full one-yard cuts though for the sale which was a bit of a bummer). And I got a FQ bundle that just was calling out to me. And, would you believe that they had the Dresden ruler that I had been wanting for the past couple of years?? It was something I had seen at the JoAnn Fabrics website where it was listed as “coming soon” for several weeks. Then it disappeared from the website so I was never able to get it. Here’s what I got at Bunny’s …
I got three shirtings and five directional prints, those should be fantabulous for doing blocks where fussy cutting can really make a block POP! The FQ laying on top of the ruler was thrown in free!
It took us FOREVER to get from Newark over to Columbus – of course it didn’t help that it was getting to that early rush hour time of day, and we were heading into the heart of downtown Columbus. I swear we hit EVERY red light all of the way down Broad Street and all of the way up High Street. We had to head that direction because I wanted to hit Glass Thimble to get some backing fabric. (of course a new email from them arrived in my email box TODAY telling me of a 25% sale that would have come in VERY handy if I had known about it – uggh!) Here’s what I got at Glass Thimble …
… and yes, you’ll see that NOT EVERYTHING in this group is Civil War stuff. I needed backing for my Civil War Soldier’s Cot Quilt, and I needed 4 yards of backing for my Row By Row quilt that was done in 1930’s prints. Then of course the notions were calling out to me – and I just had to have three more rulers! I’m collecting all of the colors of Aurifil’s wool thread now (for my machine quilting AND for my big stitch quilting) and the kid stuff will be a present for my nephew!
We stopped at one of those book stores that sell over runs and close-outs on the way home … it’s housed in an old church. The last time we stopped I got about 6-7 quilt books, but yesterday I just found a couple. Here’s a picture of one of them … a book called Japanese Sashiko Inspirations by Susan Briscoe. It’s a really neat book and a steal for about $6.00. I’ll have to share the other one tonight or tomorrow since it’s downstairs …. I spent less than $15 for the two books (awesome!). The other one has lots of Amish quilts (cool beans!.
Finally it was over to Quilt Beginnings on Sawmill to get my block-of-the-month kit for August. And while there I had a Buy 2 get 1 free coupon for thread. I used that to get 9 more spools of Aurifil wool thread (it’s downstairs so I don’t have a photo of that) but here’s the Thangles kit this month …
… I’m doing it in Civil War colors.
We stopped at World Market after dinner at Carrabbas, and got some Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate wafer cookies for me … and then hopped over to the Polaris mall for hubby to exchange some OSU basketball shorts that he had gotten in the wrong size.
So we didn’t get home until 9:45 last night … and my knee was killing me. Whew … what a day!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Decided to use the big stitch quilting on the August Table Topper that I finished up in April of 2010. So far the stitching in the open (beige colored) areas is done. Now I just need to do the stitching in the spools and the borders.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
I didn’t like the Carolina Lily block that I did last week – it just didn’t look right. So I did it again tonight … this time using Ellen’s directions at her American Homestead site. Her method used half-square triangles for most of the construction. I think it came out much better.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Well, I grabbed a ball of pearl cotton #8 and a needle and sat down to watch the Indians game (a sad loss to the Tigers – boo hoo!) wanting to try my hand at “big stitch quilting”. I had a hand quilting practice piece in my lap hoop already – so I decided to just stitch over the outer lines of the star design drawn on my fabric.
The good news – I love it!
I may not have mentioned it – but I’ve been struggling to teach myself how to hand quilt for the past few months off and on. And each time I end up totally frustrated. My inability to hand quilt really gets to me because I have done various forms of needlework since I was in 2nd. grade … counted cross stitch, chicken scratch and candlewicking were things I learned in grade school from my Mom. I did various projects for myself, and as gifts, all the way through middle school and high school. Of course this earned me quite a reputation at school (and not a good one).
When I was in college I learned some advanced needlepoint techniques from books and my mother-in-law (very accomplished with the needle), and tried my hand at hardanger too. I’ll have to post some pictures of those projects at some point. (why haven’t I done that before?) Anyway, after trying every combination of thimble, needle and thread – I had all but given up. BTW, the quilt stores love me – since I keep buying every thimble manufactured on the planet!
Anyway, I really do like this “big stitch quilting”. I think my first attempt was fairly successful! It will NOT have me putting up any For Sale signs on my HQ-16 or my Aurora, but for some projects, I think this style of quilting could be quite stunning!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Well, if it weren’t for the Indians game going into extra innings tonight (an eventual win over the Tigers – wahoo!), I probably wouldn’t have started this tonight. So, here it is – 2:05 a.m., and I’m just now getting ready to call it a night! These are the first two (of nine) hexagon flowers for this table runner called Bonita’s Flower Garden. The pattern was kitted up with the fabrics by Good Wives Co. (yes, another kit from there!) I’m sure you’ll be a little startled by the turn this will take as it progresses.
This is yet another quilt from the book, The Civil War Sewing Circle, by Kathleen Tracy. It’s just a small piece (as the name implies). I got the kit at the Good Wives Co. in Marion, Ohio a couple of weeks ago.
I quilted this on my Bernina Aurora 440, using #100 silk. I used a medium dark blue to do grid quilting in the outer border, and for the freemotion meandering all over the nine star blocks. I used a dark blue silk to do ditch quilting on either side of the dark blue inner border.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Once again, the computers were turned off last night with the storms coming through so I couldn’t post a picture last night. So here’s a picture of how the quilt looked when I stopped for the night. All fifteen blocks are done, and all sewn together. Today I’ll be adding the skinny border and the wide border. In fact that’s where I’m heading right NOW!
It’s really funny, but a few years ago I wouldn’t have even imagined using these colors in the same quilt. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s experience … but I just love the Civil War colors now. They are inspiring me to redecorate our whole house!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Since the storms were rolling through in waves last night, I had the computers shut down. So I’m just now posting a picture of the beginning of the Soldier’s Cot Quilt. It will be about 54” x 79” when done. This is another of the great quilts from The Civil War Sewing Circle book by Kathleen Tracy. I’ve already done the One-Patch Doll Quilt, the Double Hourglass and the T Is For Temperance quilts from this book, and I’ve got the kit for the Civil War Stars Doll Quilt ready and waiting to be started! This book was definitely a good purchase!
Here are the first blocks of the Soldier’s Cot Quilt …
And just like the others from this book, I got the kit from Good Wives Co., a great quilt shop in Marion, Ohio.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
This is another wall hanging from book, The Civil War Sewing Circle by Kathleen Tracy. I started it a a couple of days ago, but only had enough time that evening to get all of the pieces cut out and one T block made. Tonight after the Indians game (a late loss to the Red Sox – boo hoo!) I was able to finish the other three T blocks, and add the two borders. The binding is another dark blue Civil War repro.