Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December Monthly Goal Flew Out the Window!

My One Monthly Goal was to completely sew the blue churn dash quilt top. I did make some progress but just couldn't make myself concentrate exclusively on her. I needed a break and decided to finish up other projects.

I pulled out the Star Bright crib quilts (which was a free pattern) and got them quilted. I added a flange binding to each one to brighten up the grays.

A year ago I had spiral quilted a charity quilt which turned out rather wonky and would not lay flat. I hadn't had read any tutorials, just jumped in and started quilting. This time around, I read tutorials and I'm pleased with the way the quilting turned out on this quilt. She's not perfectly flat but she's a lot flatter than the quilt a year ago!

And a back view. I didn't have much gray fabric in my stash, just these two darker grays. Now they are mostly used up.

A month or so ago, I was looking through the manual to my sewing machine and noticed a stitch to be used in quilting! I used the stitch on the first two quilts. It's a long stitch then a short back stitch then a short stitch forward. Basically it locks the thread in place so if it is cut or torn, all the stitching doesn't come out. Using this stitch used a lot more thread though and took longer to quilt.

I wanted to quilt each quilt differently and came up with a different quilting on this one. I don't like the way she turned out and it took so much longer than the spiral quilting did. Even though I'm not visually pleased with the quilting, I'm happy there are no puckers, pleats or tucks.

I bought this pretty gray/white dotted fabric to use on the backs of two quilts. I'm like grays more than I used to. Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts is influencing my fabrics choices now.

For the third quilt I decided to do spiral quilting again. It does go fast once you understand what you are doing. I did not use the special quilting stitch for quilting this quilt. I just wanted to get it finished!

The tutorials I read were 10 Tips for Spiral Quilting Success from Flourishing Palms Blog and Spiral or Circular Quilting from Elm Street Quilts. These tutorials were the reason my spiral quilting was a success this time around.

These 3 crib quilts measure 39" by 44". I personally like crib quilts to be bigger than this. I will make this pattern again, but to make it larger, I will add a row of blocks to the top and left side. Or, maybe I'll cut the blocks bigger. I decide whenever I make another one.

These 3 baby quilts will be donated to the Family Christian Development Center in Nappanee.

Day into Night is the second block in the Solstice Challenge. I used a dark fabric since we're talking about night.

I'm enjoying having my daughter home this week. She leaves on Saturday then it will be back to business on the churn dash quilt again.

Linking up to One Monthly Goal, Solstice Challenge, Sew Fresh Quilts, Esther's Wednesday Wow!My Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday, Free Motion Mavericks

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Peaceful Christmas!

I started the next applique block for the Pastor's Attic Quilt but I ran out of steam this week and just couldn't focus on applique or the blue churn dash quilt. I needed a change of pace. I can't knit very many things, but I can knit dishrags. I like to have them on hand for gifts. Knitting was a nice change of pace.

Our daughter and her husband are here from Arizona for the week. Talk to you next Sunday!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Solstice Challenge

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Pat Sloan about her One Hundred Eighty-Two Day Solstice Challenge. We make 1 block a week for 25 weeks. In twenty-five weeks will be the next solstice; summer, warm temps, green grass, no snow, no ice, fresh tomatoes!! I can see myself sewing along.

She released the first block pattern, a simple churn-dash. I can make churn-dash blocks easily, I did make 65 of them in November after all.

What fabrics would I use if I decide to participate? Well, my eye fell on this fabric. I won a $25 certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop for commenting on another blog in November but, of course, I don't remember which blog. I chose these fabrics, but the label is no longer attached. The white fabric selvage does read Paperie, designed by Amy Sinibaldi for AGF. 

I don't know how many blocks I'll get out of these 12 fat quarters but I'll use them until they are gone. I'll worry about what other fabric to use then. 

Here is the first block, a churn-dash. Doesn't this fabric just scream summer? The white was also from the bundle. Can you see the faint gray triangles? The blocks are going to be 12" finished blocks. I haven't pieced big blocks in along time, this was fun!

Link up to Fiber Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, My Quilt Infatuation, Crazy Mom Quilts, Finished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Vase of Rosebuds & Roses

I am so close to having all the applique blocks completed for the Pastor's Attic Quilt. This is a  Baltimore Album quilt written by Marsha Radtke. Here is a picture of the book and the fabrics before I started appliqueing.

The 21st block is finished, Vase of Rosebuds & Roses. Didn't she turn out lovely? I think this block might be my favorite block so far. She is the left bottom corner block.

In the center of the dark flowers I embroidered gold french knots. They didn't look right so I took them out then embroidered black french knots. They didn't look right either. Perfect circles to the rescue and they look perfect.

When I start one of the vase blocks, I always wonder if I can do it. I just stitch slowly, one stitch at a time and it comes together. I don't have a certain time frame that I try to get the block finished; thinking like that definitely leads to stress. This afternoon will be spent prepping the next block. 

Every year the Maple Leaf Guild provides a hand-quilted quilt for the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale. We are in the process of quilting the 2017 quilt now. Last Wednesday Edith and I spent five hours quilting on opposite sides of the quilt and we were both able to roll 2 times! Wow, it really made the quilt smaller. This picture is when we started, I forgot to take one after we rolled.

This quilt is Sweet Surrender by Susanne Cody. The members of our guild either appliqued the blocks or foundation paper-pieced the alternate blocks, depending on each member's preference.

The lighting for the pictures wasn't the greatest. When I had the floor lamps on, there was such a glare in the photos that I took the pictures without the extra light. 

When she is completely quilted and bound, I'll get a good picture to share with you.

My fingers are very sore after 5 hours of quilting but the feeling of accomplishment is so wonderful.

A group of quilters, including me, are working on this quilt. I have all the applique blocks finished, just need to get the alternate blocks pieced. 

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, No linky party this week with Quilting is More Fun than Housework. (They've had an ice storm in  Eugene, Oregon and their electric is out. I hope they are warm and get their electric back on soon.), Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Fiber TuesdayEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

More Blue Churn Dash Blocks

After I had finished sewing the center of the churn dash quilt together, I had 9 churn dash blocks leftover. You know, the ones I had sewed extra at the retreat because I couldn't count. I didn't want the blocks just laying around so I cut more squares and triangles then sewed together a small wallhanging. I'll add a border sometime, I'm thinking of a checkerboard, then a white outside border. Maybe some applique on the plain white blocks and an applique border, or, maybe not. I decide later.

For now she's hanging on the display wall so I can preview the square in a square border. I cut a few pieces then sewed them together to see what I thought, yes! I nailed it!

The rest of prepping for the first border is ready. Whenever I have time, I just run more pieces though the sewing machine. A few minutes here and there add up.

I'm linking to Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, WIP's With Friends, My Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Victorian Vase

The 20th block for the Pastor's Attic Quilt is completed! She's called the Victorian Vase of Folk Art Flowers. This was a fun block to applique, a good variety of different pieces.

I did have a whoops moment after I finished the applique. One of the flower buds was floating on the block,I missed a stem! So I whipped out the black embroidery floss and stitched one. 

I don't have a picture of the 20 blocks together. I'm starting to do clean up in anticipation of the children coming home for Christmas. I've put the blocks away for safe keeping until later. I just hope I remember where they are when I want to lay them out again.

Now, onto the next block, just 5 more to go!

Linking to  Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh QuiltEsther's Wednesday WOW!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Churn Dash Quilt

Since the blocks were already pieced, it didn't take long to sew the center of the churn dash quilt together.
You can see part of her hanging on the quilt frame. I couldn't display her on the clothesline since we have soft, mush snow on the ground.

She measures 72-1/2" by 82". Now I need to get the blocks cut for the first square in a square border.

In my quilt the blocks are smaller than in the original. I couldn't make the math work for the size I wanted using 10-1/2" blocks. My blocks are 7-1/2".

I realize not everyone likes two color quilts, but that's ok. I love them! 

I'm linking to Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Flowering Wild Strawberry Wreath

The Flowering Wild Strawberry Wreath block is finished! This block about drove me crazy; it was so boring to applique. The leaves were all the same and the strawberries were all the same. I was really glad when she was finished. I used two sizes of Karen Kay Buckley's perfect ovals for the strawberries.

There are supposed to be french knots on the strawberries to represent the seeds. I didn't add them, I think they look fine without.

This is 19th completed block from the Pastor's Attic Quilt, a Baltimore Album quilt, written by Marsha D. Radtke.

I didn't feel very inspired to sew the week of Thanksgiving so I did some sewing that I didn't need to think about. 

Several weeks (months?) ago I had cut lots and lots of strips for the Postage Stamps quilt. I got them all sewed!

After they were sewn, I organized them into groups by color. Now they are pressed and ready for cutting.

I did cut enough strips to fill up this cute tin I brought home from the retreat.

People bring treats to the retreat and then don't take the leftovers home with them. I normally bring home at least one tin but this year there were two. This one is perfect to hold the blocks cut and ready to be sewn. I'll run them through the machine while I am sewing on the Churn-Dash quilt.

The applique on the next block, Victorian Vase of Folk Art  Flowers has started and I am very thankful there is a variety of pieces to be appliqued. She should be completed by next Sunday and you can see her then.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh QuiltEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December One Monthly Goal

Several posts ago I talked about all the projects I want to work on this winter. Included in that list was the antique churn-dash quilt made by the farmer's great-grandmother, Fannie Baumgartner Kauffman, 1867-1936.

I've always wanted to make a reproduction of this quilt; my churn-dash blocks are pieced and ready to go.

For my December OMG I want to have the entire quilt top pieced and ready to be quilted. If I can get her marked and in the quilting frame, well, that would be frosting on the cake but I'll be happy with the top completed.

The center part of the quilt won't be a problem and easily sewn. The square in a square border is going to be more challenging, especially since I'm going to make a double border.

At the Jane Stickle Retreat, Barb Larson showed a beautiful applique quilt that took her 8 or 10 years to make (I don't remember how many years for sure). It was an absolutely, gorgeous, wonderful quilt, but what caught my eye was the border, a double square in a square border. That is what I want to do with my quilt! Except there will be no gorgeous applique, just hand quilted feathers.

Sewing time can be challenging in December with children coming and going and family reunions to attend. We'll see what happens. 

Linking up to - One Monthly Goal, My Quilt InfatuationLet's Be Social, Finished Or Not Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vase of Mixed Flowers Completed

I just got home from the Jane Stickle Retreat in Shipshewana, Ind. I had so much fun, I didn't remember to take pictures! I am definitely going to bed early tonight.

I finished a Pastor's Attic quilt block while I was there,Block #15, Vase of Mixed Flowers. 

Total number of blocks completed - 18!

I also sewed this stack of churn-dash blocks for the reproduction quilt I want to make. I need 56 blocks. I sewed and sewed and sewed, then I counted the blocks, I counted 47. So I made 9 more and counted again. I got 64 blocks that count. I'll count them again tomorrow morning. 

Of course I made a purchase from the resale table. I bought this bundle containing 29 fat quarters of Dear Jane II fabrics!

I really think I got the best item on the table!

I purchased some other odds and ends at stores but I need to show you this one. Karen Kay Buckley has Perfect Ovals now. I bought a packet and they will be used on the next Pastor's Attic Quilt block.

Update 11/21/16 - Here is a link to Rosemary Youngs blog. She has a smilebox with the quilts from Rebecca Haarer's lecture and the show & tell.

This is a picture of the super moon I took a week ago. I don't have a high tech camera so the red glow around the moon doesn't show.

This photo was taken at 6am EST.

Linking up to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt,  Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Let's Be Social, WIPs with Friends, My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Starting the Quilty Season

I wrote this post in late September but didn't get it posted. Since being written, 4 of the 12 projects have been completed. I may repost this post occasionally during the winter to share the progress I'm making.

In January I read in many blog posts about the projects planned for the year. My life is different and my quilty season starts in the Autumn. Not on September 1st or the 22nd but when the end of the summer activities end. The garden needs to be put to bed, all the canning/freezing needs to be completed, the fall house cleaning needs to be finished and, hopefully, the flowerbeds are cleaned up (that hasn't hapened this year). When these tasks are completed, I can dive into projects with no guilt.

I'm sharing a list of the 12 projects I'm planning on tackling this season. They are in somewhat order of importance.

Some of the projects are small and will easily be completed. I will not finish all the larger quilts but I hope to make some progress toward completion.

1. Pastor's Attic Quilt - still appliqueing blocks. 16 completed, 9 more to applique for the center. I try to applique every evening, block 11 is under the construction right now. I'm not appliqueing them in consecutive order. Updated November 15 - 17 completed!

I started the Pastor's Attic Quilt in November, 2015 so I've been working on her for a year. My goal . . . to have her sewn into the flimsy stage ready for quilting by November 2017. I plan to hand quilt her.

2. Sweet Surrender - Inside applique blocks completed. Need to piece the triangle blocks. Foundation papers are copied.

    I started Sweet Surrender in January 2016. My goal . . . to have her sewn into the flimsy stage by sometime in 2017. Pastor's Attic quilt has higher priority.

3. Nearly Insane - She was my One Monthly Goal for October. I added a row.

I started piecing Insane in January 2016.

My goal for Nearly Insane . . . to have all the center blocks pieced by January 2018. This is a really slow project.

4. Postage Stamp Quilt - I decided I need to piece 10 blocks a month to get this quilt finished. (I dream kingsized!) When I got the blocks out, I realized why I had put it away; I had used all the yellows and oranges and there was only one purple 4-patch to be used! I went ahead and pieced 5 more blocks so now there are 10 completed blocks. The blocks without yellow and orange just jump out at me though! 
I pulled fabrics and had a marathon cutting session. I cut different sized strips besides the 1-1/2" needed for the postage stamps. I also cut a stack of 5" squares for some other projects. I'll keep sewing the 1-1/2" strips until they're all sewn. Then I'll cut them apart and sew 4-patches. Hopefully I'll be able to piece more blocks starting in January. My goal for this quilt project? . . . I have no idea when she'll be completed. 
5. Tractor crib quilt - This is my One Monthly Goal for November. We have another grandchild arriving in December. (Wow, two in one year!) We won't know the sex of the baby until he/she is born. I have a Sunbonnet Sue quilt I made several years ago so I'm prepared for a girl. 

I have this cute tractor pattern I've been wanting to make, perfect for a grandson of farmers. I have the fabric, just need to get the pieces cut and get started sewing. The pattern is available through Counted Quilts. They have a lot of cute patterns.

My goal for this quilt . . . he needs to be finished by the first of December. The baby is due the 8th! Update Finished November 11, 2016 & the baby came early!

6. Wilfred & Cloves - This is the center of Wilfred & Cloves from the Creating Heirlooms, One Stitch at a Time by Carolyn Konig. I've been want to make this quilt ever since I bought the book several years ago. I appliqued the center of this quilt in the fall of 2014 and nothing has happened since. I have the fabrics pulled for the pieced blocks, just need to get them cut out. My goal . . . again, I have no idea. I need to finish up other quilts first.

7. Churn-Dash Quilt - This antique quilt was pieced and quilted by the farmers great-grandmother, Fannie Baumgartner Kauffman. I've always wanted to make a reproduction of this quilt. The plan is to use the blue fabric left from my Dear Jane quilt. Now I need to get the blocks prepped so they can be pieced at the Jane Stickle Retreat in November. My goal for this quilt . . . I would like to get her completely pieced and in the hand quilting frame by January. Will it happen? We'll see.

8. Summer Quilt - Several years ago, the farmer told me we need a light quilt for summer. I've been turning that idea over in my mind ever since. This winter it is going to happen. I have 12 quilt blocks I embroidered years ago. I need to come up with an alternate block in between them and some borders to make it large enough for king size. I will have her long-arm quilted so she will be ready for the 2017 summer season. 

9. Quilt  - 3 Star Bright crib quilts - I don't know on which blog I saw this crib quilt, but I went to the link they provided and downloaded the free pattern. It's designed by Katie Blakesley and called Star Bright. How could I resist? Of course I couldn't sew up just one, I made three tops. Now just to get them quilted. Goal . . . to be finished by May 2017. Updated - finished 12-27-16.

10. Grandmother's Flower Garden EPP crib quilt - I would like to possibly start another EPP project the first part of the year but I need to complete this crib quilt first. Update - Finished October 30, 2016 and I've decided I am NOT starting a new EPP project in 2017. I'm going to keep working on the applique quilts.

11. Blocks for 2018 Guild Charity quilt - Every year our guild provides a quilt for the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale. The members of the guild piece the blocks, the committee puts the blocks together into a flimsy. Then the guild hand quilts the quilt top. Finished October 23, 2016
12. Block for Marie Troyer, 2015 Guild President - Every year the members of the Maple Leaf Quilt Guild make a quilt block for the past president as a thank-you for their leadership. The past-president specifies which block they want. Marie designed the pattern. Finished October 24, 2016

Linking up to -  Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Floral Vase Arrangement Block Finished!

Block 11, Floral Vase Arrangement of the Pastor's Album Quilt is finished. She took longer than some of the other blocks but was worth it.

Now I need to prep the next block, Vase of Mixed Flowers

The Pastor's Attic Quilt is a Baltimore Album quilt by Marsha D. Radtke.

I've completed 17 of the 25 center blocks so far.

Linking up with - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh QuiltQuilt Story, Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts

Thursday, November 10, 2016

November Goal Finished!

The tractor crib quilt is finished! I've met my One Monthly Goal of completing this quilt and it isn't even the middle of November.

The baby wasn't due until December 8, but he came early! And yes, it was a boy so he is getting the tractor quilt.
The quilting was completed with my home sewing machine. A clam shell stencil was used for the sky. The tractor body is quilted with diamonds and a Baptiste fan stencil was used for marking the seat. 

The straight line quilting in the tires isn't quite accurate but it got the job done. I wasn't sure how to quilt the soil and mud. I decided to use wide spaced echo stitching. 

For the border I came up with a simple design.

The pattern doesn't have a border, but I thought it needed one, it ended too abruptly. Since this is an Autumn baby, the leaf fabric was appropriate. The flange was added to the binding for extra zing! The brown stripped binding was pulled from my mom's stash, fabric from the baby's great-grandmother needed to be in the quilt too.

I added the JD 4240 myself; that was not included in the pattern. We have a John Deere 42/40 so I wanted to replicate that in the quilt.

The backing fabric was purchased years ago on the markdown shelf at a local quilt store. I took all that was left on the bolt. I knew someday I wanted to make a tractor quilt and this fabric would be a perfect backing fabric.

The pattern is available from Counted Quilts. The directions were well written. The flimsy was pieced in one day and I did do other things that day besides sew. I will definitely make this pattern again.

What project is next? I want to make a bag for my DIL (the baby's mom) and the Jane Stickle Retreat is coming up next week. I need to get prepping.

Linking to - Love laugh Quilt, Em's Scrapbag, Quilt StorySew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt InfatuationFinished or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Free Motion Mavericks, Show Off Saturday, One Monthly Goal