Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Shoo Flys & Snowballs

I don't normally sew Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts or sew along with her leader & ender project. I was curious though to see what she had planned for this year. This year's Bonnie Hunter's Leader and Ender project for the next year involves piecing shoo fly blocks. 

I've been wanting to start a shoo fly project ever since Jayne posted about her project back in December 2017. 

My shoo fly blocks are going to finish at 4 1/2". I pieced 5 blocks so far, just wanted to see how they look.

And I made a couple snowball blocks, just to see what they look like with the shoo fly blocks.

For now I'm going to concentrate on sewing HST's before I piece anymore blocks.

A year from now Bonnie is going to have a bright bold colorful scrappy quilt. My quilt won't look like hers. My quilt will have the quiet gentle dignified beauty that comes with a two color quilt. The important thing is that we'll both be happy with our own quilt.

After I took this picture, I remember another 2 block quilt from Kathy's Quilts that I bookmarked. I see that this quilt involves churn dash blocks and 9 patches, not shoo fly blocks. 

But still I wonder, what would shoo fly blocks look with 9 patch blocks? So of course I made some 9 patches to see.

First 9 patches with dark corners.

Interesting but I don't like the big light center blocks next to each other but I do like the corners. Can you envision a dark chain running through the quilt? 

Next the 9 patches with light corners.

I like that the center light blocks aren't next to each other but I'm not sure about all the light fabric in the corners. 

Both these settings have potential but I think I'll stick with the original alternate snowball block.

I even purchased a special stencil that fits perfectly in the snowball block, because, as you know, hand quilting is what I do.

Since I took the picture, I did peel the lower left sticker off since it was covering up part of the marking line.

If sewing shoo fly blocks isn't your thing, Kevin the Quilter is hosting a Simply Sensational Summer Scrap Quilt mystery this summer.

Meadow Mist also has Mosaic Mystery in progress. Her mystery runs through April 2020.

In the mood to piece a Christmas quilt? Check out Sarah and her Christmas in July sew along.

And then there's the Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt Along that Julie is hosting. It's happened in June - July, so they're at the end of the quilt along but the pattern is still available. Here's a link to week 5 where the participants are displaying their quilts.

Linking to Let's Bee Social WIP's on WednesdayNeedle & Thread Thursday, Peacock Party, TGIFF!, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished Or Not Friday

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Give Thanks

After finishing the quilting on Miss Jane, the first Give Thanks table runner went into the hoop quilting frame. Now remember, I did NOT do the embroidery, my friend Carol did.

It's quilted and the 2nd runner is now on the frame. I'll wait until it's finished to sew the bindings.

Here a close up of the center.

I hand quilted around the embroidery with regular weight quilting thread.

For the 1 1/4" cross hatching I used #12 Sulky thread. It's a variegated cream/beige color. I also used the same thread  to stitch in the ditch by the narrow dark brown border.

The leaves on the trees reminded me of clam shells so that's what I did, I quilted 2 1/2" clam shells on the outside border. 

The clam shell quilting doesn't show much on the front but looks very nice on the backside. I used a variegated gold thread on the outside border, also Sulky #12 weight.

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingOh Scrap, Bambi's Show & Tell MondayMonday Making, Design Wall MondayBOM's AwayMoving It Forward, WIPs On Wednesday

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Dahlia Quilt

I made our children quilts when they were married as I'm sure you have or will.

My daughter told me that she'd be happy with whatever I made, the quilts would be lovely. OK, that gave me free rein. 

After my mother died, I was looking through some of her old quilting magazines (black & white newsprint!) when I ran across a photo of a Dahlia quilt. I hadn't seen any dahlia quilts for many years. There used to be several dahlia's at the relief sale every year but they aren't popular now. I showed our daughter the picture and she said she'd like one of her quilts to be a dahlia. That was 10 years ago.

She's been married 8 years now so I decided it was time to get the dahlia quilt made. I pieced the flower center at the guild retreat in February. The pieced border was pieced at the Jane Stickle retreat in April. I sewed the rest of the quilt together in May.

Those bias seams about drove me crazy! I have never been so stressed about piecing a quilt, it was puckery and wouldn't lay flat. There was no way I was going to hand quilt this thing. I had told Tammy and Allison from Three Sisters Fabric that I would be sending them a quilt for quilting so they'd be ready. I had also told them to quilt this thing into submission! They said that was the first time someone had told them that.

Tammy and Allison did a lovely job, the quilting is beautiful! But I'm never!, EVER!, EVER! going to make another dahlia quilt again! One is enough for me.

She measures 88" by 91". 

I persevered and made the flimsy. This quilt did not beat me!

Originally she was supposed to have been larger but this quilt had a mind of her own and wanted to be this size. Enough said, she's gone to her new home now and will be loved.

I almost forgot to show you the label. Normally I make a triangle and sew into a corner with the information on it. This time I used a preprint label. It doesn't really fit with this quilt but I wasn't in the mood for anything else, just get 'er done!

I forgot to take a picture of the back of the quilt. The backing fabric is wide back fabric from Connecting Threads.

To end on a cheerier note, here is a nest of young barn swallows ready to take the big step out of the nest and soar away. There are actually 5 birds in the nest. 

Linking  Needle & Thread Thursday, Peacock Party, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished Or Not Friday

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Miss Jane's Best Finish!

I'm enjoying working on small projects this summer. It's so rewarding, especially compared to piecing a queen or king sized quilt!

Miss Jane is finished. She didn't take long to quilt at all.

I quilted the center as Lori suggested, 1/4" from the seam lines in the embroidered squares and also the QST squares.

She had suggested drawing a free hand curved line in the outside border. I'm not good with free hand drawing so I used this little design. It's perfect for small borders. I also used it on one of the borders of Weeds N Tweeds.

I didn't wash Jane, just liberally sprayed her with water to remove the blue markings. She shrunk up a little though. She measures 14" by 17". 

And the backside. I used squares folded in half diagonally to make holders for the dowel rod. I was lazy and didn't make a separate label, just wrote the information on the back. I always add my maiden name to labels.

If you can't see it good enough, it says: Miss Jane's Best by Lori Smith. Embroidered, pieced & quilted by Gretchen Garber Weaver July 2019. 

There was a slight bit of bleeding onto the backing. There are 4 pieces of this fabric used in this project. I'm surprised there is only 1 bleed. I'll just leave it the way it is, not a big deal to me.

This wall quilt was a kit designed by Lori Smith titled Miss Jane's Best. I purchased the kit several years ago at Lori's booth at the AQS show in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I did make one change from the pattern. Lori says to use doublefold binding. I thought that was too bulky for this little quilt and used singlefold binding. I'm glad I did.

I also finished the 6 larger hexden flowers for the guild quilt.
I measured one flower separately to show you the flowers finish at 4 1/2" wide. These flowers were made with 1" hexdens and are much larger than the ones I showed you last week made with the 1/2" papers.

These flowers didn't need to be finished until the end of August but I made them now so I wouldn't have to think about them for the rest of summer.

If you enjoy hand embroidery, Jenny of Elefantz is having a free embroidery along this summer. Check it out!

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, HQAL, Oh Scrap, Bambi's Show & Tell MondayMonday Making, Design Wall MondayBOM's AwayMoving It Forward, Esther's Wednesday WOW!

I took more pictures of flowers this week. 

The butterfly weed is blooming now. I haven't seen any monarch butterflies yet but that doesn't mean they haven't stopped in.

The clematis is still full of blooms too.

I haven't seen the hummingbird back either but again, that doesn't mean it's not around.

These impatience are looking perky but for some reason the hostas along this wall aren't growing like they should. The hostas in the other beds are huge, it certainly can't be for a lack of water!

Two little roses are blooming. These are a hybrid type, lovely to look at but be careful, they have a lot of thorns.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Flying Geese Wall Quilt

I've always been intrigued with monochromatic quilts that have a splash of color. I decided to see what I could make.

This is the quilt I've designed. He measures  42" by 45" and was straight line quilted on my Elna 720 sewing machine.

You can barely see the one gray flying geese that is very close to the background fabric. You can tell the difference in this picture.

I didn't have enough of the gray for backing. This piece of beige was laying there so I decided to use it. It rather blends in being blah itself. To make it wider, I used the extra flying geese segments.

I do wish now I would have off set the backing geese but oh well, it's finished! 

This isn't my usual style of quilt but I had a lot of fun! I guess I do have a modern quilt gene lurking inside of me somewhere.

Right now this is hanging over the door into my sewing room but it could also be used as a crib quilt.

Here are more pictures just for fun.

Linking to Needle & Thread Thursday, Free Motion Mavericks,  Peacock Party, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or Not Friday, BOM's Away

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Weeds N Tweeds Finished

Weeds N Tweeds is finished.

Weeds measures 33" by 51" and was a practice project in using #12 threads. I like the way he looks. This was a fun summer project. The binding was completely stitched by machine. I did add a sleeve to the back for hanging, now I just need to get it hung!

This is the way the quilting looks on the back before I added the sleeve. You don't see the colors from very far away.

A close up of the back.

I can scratch this project off the UFQ list.

What's next for hand quilting? Miss Jane of course.

But she won't be going in the large quilting frame. For this small project I use a hoop on a stand I purchased years ago at the Topeka quilt show. 

I've lifted the edge of Jane up so you could see the stand underneath. 

I like this frame so much better than a plain hoop. I'm so used to not having to hold the hoop. This way I can balance the frame in my lap and use both hands for quilting. I can sit straight in my chair and not lean over.

I also EPP'd the last 3 small flowers for the guild's relief sale quilt. I pressed them well, lightly sprayed with Niagara spray starch, pressed again and let them dry. 

After they were completely dry, I removed the basting stitches. Now they're ready to be appliqued.

I took a picture of all 12 flowers and added the ruler so you could see their size. An individual flower measures under 3". Glad they're finished, now I'm going to start working on the larger flowers.

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap, Bambi's Show & Tell Monday, Monday MakingDesign Wall MondayBOM's AwayMoving It Forward

I'm still enjoying the green grass and now I have a variety of flowers blooming.

I showed you these flowers several weeks ago but the lilies weren't blooming then.

A year ago I purchased a variety box of lily bulbs at Lowe's.  Now they're starting to bloom. I didn't have any tall lilies before. This week I saw a hummingbird flitting around them. 

The pink clementius ( I don't know if this is the correct spelling but spell check says it is) has been blooming for awhile. Just to the left of the clementius is a butterfly weed plant. It's just starting to turn color. The small irises in the front I grow for the foliage but they do have pretty light lavender flowers. They don't spread fast unlike their solid green relatives.

Here is another lily from the box.

Not as vibrant as the others but still a welcome sight.

The tall phlox in the west part of the flowerbed are taking over. 

Here are 2 lilies peeking out of the phlox, I really need to thin out the phlox!

The daisies are also blooming along with this small phlox. This phlox has mutated into a very pale lavender color. As long as this one behaves, I'll leave it here.

This is clementius really old, probably close to 40 years. 

End of flower tour. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Give Thanks

I've completed 2 small table toppers ready to be quilted.

This project was a collaboration between my friend Carol and I. She wanted to make a autumn table runner for a friend. I had a pattern but really didn't want to embroider the design. So . . .

SHE did the embroidery and I added the borders and will do the quilting. She actually finished the embroidery more than a year ago, I just couldn't decide how to finish them. I had thought about piecing maple leaves but wasn't very excited about that idea.

# 1 measures 17" by 24".

I told her to make them slightly different. I like # 1 better because the Give Thanks shows up better.

# 2 is a tad bit smaller and measures 16" by 23". Carol embroidered the Give Thanks in soft yellow and it doesn't show very well.

I made this one slightly smaller so I could use leftover pieces from #1.

When I saw this fabric at Yoder Department Store, I knew I had found the perfect fabric for borders. The fabric is Sound of the Woods, design #17499, original artwork by James Weins Atelier Licensed by Wild Apple for  Robert Kaufman

The embroidery is from the Give Thanks Table Runner designed by Meg Hawkey for Crabapple Hill Studio. I only used the embroidery design and didn't sew the table runner the way the pattern was designed.

Two more small projects ready for hand quilting!

Linking to Let's Bee Social, the Peacock Party, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished Or Not Friday