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