Saturday, October 15, 2016

Nearly Insane & a Flower Garden

It felt so good to have sewing time this last week. Here is what I've accomplished, two whole Nearly Insane blocks and two half blocks. I could have pieced one more block this week, but I'm leaving for a week and decided this would be a good time to take my sewing machine to the shop for a cleaning.

I'm not using any certain fabric line for my Insane blocks. Just a variety of blues and some yellow. 

I'm taking a short break from applique to work on another one of the 12 projects on my list. Not all of the 12 projects are start from the beginning projects.

The EPP flower garden crib quilt has been in progress for several years. This has been my go to project when I had no other hand work but now it is time for her to be finished.

This week I finished sewing the rows together, then removed all the papers from the back of the hexies. Since I took this picture, the center has been appliqued to the border fabric.  After I finished piecing the rest of the Nearly Insane blocks for this month, she'll be quilted.

I'm catching an eastbound train and traveling to visit my Pennsylvania grands, and, of course, their parents too. I will be gone all week returning home on Sunday the 23rd. There isn't going to be much time for hand work so I'll take along my dishrag knitting.

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Quilting is More Fun than Housework, A Quilting Reader's Garden, Confessions of a Quilt AddictCrazy Mom QuiltsShow Off Saturday

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Cherry Wreath, Pastor's Attic Quilt

Another applique block completed, block 19, Cherry Wreath from the Pastor's Attic Quilt. Look closely, did you count them? There are 42, yes you read right, 42 cherries in this block!

This block is lighter colored than I intended but that's OK.

Here are the last five blocks. The top three are all rather light, but they're not going to be next to each other in the final layout. I jumped around appliqueing these blocks. Normally I start with the first block and do each block in consecutive order, but not the last month. I just did whatever block I had prepped. The bottom 2 blocks will be next to each other.

And a picture of the fifteen blocks completed to date. I'm over halfway finished with the center blocks! Like I've said before, this won't be the exact layout of the blocks.

This is all I have quilty to show you this week. The rest of my time this week has been spent finishing up the canning and I've also fall cleaned the house! 

I haven't posted about the garden or farm lately, so here is an update.

The garden is basically finished for this year. There are a few sweet pepper plants still growing, that aren't pictured. The butternut squashes are still growing at the west end where the field radishes have gone to seed. 

In the field on the side of the garden, you can the newly sprouted alfalfa. She's coming along good, lush and green. Hopefully the roots will grow deep enough this fall to prevent heaving during the winter freeze.

The hayfield has grown. We will be cutting this hay soon for a 5th cutting. It will be big baled.

You can see corn in the background. It is still slightly green and it will be several weeks to a month before it has dried enough to be harvested.

We are planning on starting soybean harvest Monday afternoon. You can't run beans in the morning, too much moisture. They need sunshine to evaporate the dew. I'm always surprised how fast the beans turn brown and loose their leaves. They were still green a month ago.

Here is a close up of the beans. I didn't pull any of the pods to see how many beans are in them. They should be full, we sure had plenty of rain in August.

We filled silo the middle of September. The chopper cuts the stalks and just leaves the root stems. Here is a post dated October 6, 2014.  I wrote about filling silo on my WordPress blog.

The rest of the corn will be shelled. The combine will pull the ears off the stalks, shells the corn, then spits the stalks and corncobs out the back.

You all have a good week and I hope you get plenty of quilty time.

Linking up to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Quilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh QuiltQuilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, A Quilting Reader's GardenCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Floral Wreath & One Monthly Goal

Block 13 of the Pastor's Attic Quilt has been completed. It is called Ruched Floral Wreath, but my red flowers are not ruched. I'm planning on hand quilting this quilt. I was afraid ruching would present a problem so my flowers are just appliqued. The red flowers and the forget-me-nots are backbasted.

The centers of the flowers were supposed to have embroidered french knots but I decided to fussy-cut black circles and use them. Now I'm think they are kind of creepy looking, like eyes staring at me. 

I did add the french knots to the center of the forget-me-nots.

The two Row By Row wallhangings are finished. The quilting was done on my domestic machine before I ironed on the horse and buggy. I don't do much machine applique, but I did these. The pattern is the 2014 Row By Row from Yoder Dept. Store in Shipshewana, Indiana. Another Christmas present and a spare.

And two more Christmas presents are completed! Since I made the cute Sweetpea Pods for the granddaughters, I was afraid the boys would be upset they didn't get bags too. 

I found a good tutorial on the Missouri Star Quilt Co. for The Zipper Pouch. They sewed up really fast; less than two hours! The zippers are different colors so the brothers can tell the bags apart.

In the middle of October, I will be traveling to visit the Pennsylvania grands. I'm planning to take their Christmas presents along. These bags were the last project on the list.

Now I can start in on my quilting projects. I made a list of all the projects I would like to work on this season. There were 12 projects on that list! 

I haven't pieced any blocks for Nearly Insane since March so that is what I'm going to start with. 

For my one monthly goal, I want to sew the 5 whole blocks and the 2 half blocks for the next row of Nearly Insane. That may not sound like much of a goal, but since I'm going to be gone a full week, I had better set smaller goals this month.

I also want to applique one more block of the Pastor's Attic Quilt then I need to switch to another applique project for a short while. 

I'm linking up to - One Monthly Goal, Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Quilt Story, Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Crossed Laurel Leaves

Block 22, Crossed Laurel Leaves, of the Pastor's Attic Quilt is completed. This block was actually completed by last Sunday . . . but I didn't like it. I think the red and black fabrics overpower the leaves. 

Several of my friends saw this block. They thought it looked fine, but I just wasn't satisfied and thought I could do better.

So, I made another one and this block is much better looking.

Most of my blocks have the red/black/gold-beige combination. I have a few red & black blocks and some red & gold blocks, but this is the only beige & black block.

What do you think? Which block do you like best?

I was eager to see how long it would take me to applique this block because . . .

Hanging on a rafter, on the third floor of the Davis Merchantile in Shipshewana, is a Crossed Laurel Leaf quilt. I have looked at this quilt for years and wondered if I would have the patience to reproduce her. 

There are 20 blocks in this quilt. The two blocks I've made were both appliqued in seven days. If I could keep up that pace, I would have the blocks completed in 10 weeks, but we all know that won't happen. Maybe someday?

I'm not into the Row by Row craze that sweeps the quilting world in the summer. I just don't have the time to participate and most of the row blocks are overwhelming to me with the amount of machine applique involved.

However, Yoder Department Store's rows are for people like me. My favorite of their row's is the 2014 block. The 2014 block came in the four seasons and you could choose which season you wanted. I bought an  Autumn kit and sewed it up. It has been hanging in my kitchen since the fall of 2014.

We had guests last spring and the wife kept admiring the wallhanging. When I had purchased my kit, I had bought an extra one thinking this would make a nice gift for someone. I pulled out the leftover fabric from my block, and between the the leftovers and the new kit, I made these 2 rows, one for a gift, one for a spare gift.

I hope to machine quilt them this week. After the quilting is completed, I'll iron the felted wool applique onto the row.

Linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Quilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh QuiltQuilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Mama Spark's World, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Two Finishes & Vintage Candy Cane Snowman

I have a lot to show you today but first . . .

Some of you are you are confused about the back basting applique technique I talked about last week.  Gay, from Sentimental Stitches, has a step by step tutorial. Gay is left handed so right handed people will be sewing the opposite direction. I noticed she marked on top of her fabric too.

Now onto the show & tell stuff!

Last Sunday afternoon I started quilting this snowman and I couldn't stop! I did all the quilting in an afternoon. Now I admit, there isn't a lot of quilting on this little quilt. I stitched in the ditch along the edge of the border fabric, then just outline quilted the embroidery. 

Since this project was hand quilted, I hand sewed the binding on the back side.
On the backside you can see the straight line quilting in the border fabric.

Several commented on how perfect this stripped fabric was for the border. This was fabric left from the Zippy-Strippy quilt I made DIL 2 in June.

He finishes at 12" square and I'm displaying him in a picture frame. I had to take the picture from the side, there was a glare otherwise. 

I'm not a seasonal decorator. If I think something looks nice, I display it, no matter what the season. 

The pattern is Vintage Candy Cane Snowman by Crabapple Hill Designs. The pattern was purchased from the Pumpkinvine Quilt shop in Middlebury, Ind.

Since the embroidered snowman project is completed, I'm appliqueing again every evening. Block 22, Crossed Laurel Spray, of the Pastor's Attic Quilt has been started. Freezer paper in the back of the leaves is the technique I'm using for this block. Pictures next week.

I also got the king size pillow cases sewed. Yes, I am finished sewing pillowcases! At least I think I am, you never know for sure.

Last spring I finished two flimsies which were to be long arm quilted. They were both quilted by Tammy from the Three Sisters Fabric. Last week they came home. I've finished the binding and they are officially finished!

First is the Summer Lake Log Cabin quilt designed by Judy Martin. The pattern is found in her Log Cabin Quilt book. I purchased a kit from Lolly's Fabrics in Shipshewana years ago. I love how she has turned out.

This log cabin quilt finishes at 95" square which I think is a rather awkward size for a quilt, but it is what it is.
The colors that read as blue in the picture are actually purples.

A close-up of the center star. 

The snail blocks in the center and the border are actually pieced the same as the log cabin blocks. It is just the placement of lights and darks that make a different design.

I used a purple whole cloth for the quilt back. The simple meandering stitch shows up nicely. 

I also stitched both sides of the binding on my machine. The straight stitching on the back beside the binding doesn't bother me at all. I think it looks just fine.
The next quilt is Cherry Blossoms by Karen H. Her blog is Faeries and Fibres. (Click the heading Patterns by Karen H. She asks that people link to her blog, not directly to the patterns.) 

This quilt is different colors than I normally use but I think she looks so peaceful and elegant. The 9-patches finished at 3" and the little HST are 1" finished. 

Karen had a plain fabric border on her quilt but I added a pieced border. I thought the border was needed to add a definite stop to the center, it looked too plain. The binding is a flange binding.
Again this binding is machine sewn on both sides.

The backing fabric for both quilts came from Calico Point. They have the most reasonable priced quilts back of anywhere, including the online fabric stores.  I like whole cloth backing, no piecing!
Here is a close up of some of the blocks.

This quilt was made entirely from my stash, even the background fabric!

She is quilted with meandering and measures 90" x 102". Karen's pattern finishes at 69" x 82" but I wanted it to be bed sized.

Both of these quilts will go on the pile to be given to the grandchildren as they become adults. 

Linking to - Log Cabin LooniesKathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Super Mom - No CapeQuilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, Silly Mama Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, A Quilting Reader's Garden, Show Off Saturday

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back Basting Applique

Several of you had questions about back basting for hand applique. I'm sure if you google that phrase, you'll find many sources to check out.
I've taken pictures of the block I'm working on for the Pastor's Attic Quilt. This is block 24, Crossed Pinecone Variation. The 4 corner fronds are completed and I'm ready for the center. I mark the design on the back side of the background fabric with a black Frixon pen. Straight pins go around the design so I can see on the front the position of the applique. (The outsides fronds have been appliqued, but the cream colored thread doesn't show.)

I lay my fabric on top, pin it outside the pins on the back. Next I turn it over to the back; remove the back pins and then with a larger needle and a high contrasting thread, I basted the design onto the red fabric. 

After the fabric is basted to the front, I remove the pins. Using a pair of very sharp scissors, I trim the large piece of fabric from the design, making sure I leave a good 1/2" from the basting.

Then I very carefully trim around the outside of the design. Once that is completed, I very, very, very carefully cut between the curvy pieces.

Here is a blurry close-up photo.

There is a design in the center of the block but I won't trim that until I have the outside applique completed. I'm afraid the raw edges would fray too much.

I know this sounds complicated but it really isn't, it is just time consuming. I can't do freezer paper on the back of the design, too many problems removing it because of all the small protrusions. 

Some people will cut slits in their background fabric under the applique to remove the freezer paper. I won't do that. We've all seen old antique quilts with the applique  worn off. If there are slits in the back when the applique wears off, that quilt is ruined.  

I've tried freezer paper on the top of my design, but it never stays attached.

Some people mark the top of the fabric with the design, baste to the background fabric, then needle turn. That is fine too, whatever works.

Two sides completed.

The four sides completed.

Inside star is appliqued. This was the hardest part to applique on this block. Not the best of applique, but I got her done!

Back side of the block. Since I used red thread, you can see how it lines up with the black pen. I don't always stay on the line, but I'm normally pretty close.

All pressed and looking pretty for the camera.

What's next? I'm going to take a vacation from applique and quilt my little snowman wallhanging.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh QuiltQuilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, A Quilting Reader's Garden, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sister's Choice - Gretchen's Headache

Last week I told you about starting a Sisters Choice quilt since I already had the 9-patch blocks completed, and how I decided to cut the mutant flying geese differently than Bonnie Hunter said. I thought I would be saving some time by not messing with flippy corners and the extra HST's.

And remember, I didn't cut the rectangles the right length so I was needing to trim the 9-patches. I planned to trim the 9-patches after the mutants were sewn; which I am still waiting to do.

As I was sewing the star point rectangles or mutant flying geese (I don't really care what they're called) I realized that some of the rectangle length were cut slightly shorter than the other rectangles. UGH! 

I finished sewing the HST's to the rectangles, pressed them, then started trimming them all to the same size. The width needed to be downsized to 2" (1-1/2" finished) and the length 5-1/2" (5" finished). I trimmed maybe 20 then decided I didn't want to spend time doing this right now. I want to sew! I did trim 1 9-patch block to the correct size and sewed the mutants onto her.

Then I wrote up notes, so I could know what I had been doing; then gently, neatly and carefully placed all the blocks and pieces into a ziplock bag and put the bag into a tub. Sister's Choice - Gretchen's Headache is now an official  UFQ (unfinished quilt). I'll work on this project next winter when I have more time and patience.

I pulled out my embroidered snowman, trimmed him up and added a border.

Yes, this is actually what I needed, a finish! He may be only   13 1/2" by 15" but it is a flimsy and I have a sense of accomplishment.

These strips are 3" wide but that is more width than I will need. I'll trim after he is quilted. Mitering a printed stripe fabric is more challenging than a woven stripe. That is why the bottom left corner looks goofy.

I'll get him marked, then he'll be all ready for quilting.

Linking to - Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, Jo's Junction, Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkMy Quilt Infatuation, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, A Quilting Reader's Garden, Show Off Saturday