Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Pastor's Attic Quilt, February OMG & A Critique

I'm still adding leaves to the 25th block for my Pastor's Attic Quilt. This block is a repeat of another corner block. The vase is the same fabric but I'm using different fabrics for the flowers and stems. 

In the original pattern, there are 3 baskets on point in the corners. The 4th corner had this block, which is a nice block, but why have 3 baskets and then the 4th corner not a basket? 

There was an applique block that I simply did not like so I replaced it with this block which was supposed to go in the 4th corner and the basket block will reside in that corner. I mean, my quilt, my way.

The flowers were originally supposed to have embroidery in the centers, but part way through the process, I started using circles. I like the fabric circles better so there are 5 blocks to remove the french knots and replace with circles. I'm afraid the knots would cause wear & tear under the circles.

My goal for the month of February is to finish the applique on the 25th block and to replace the french knots with circles. This doesn't sound like a very challenging goal, but there are five blocks (including the one shown above) that need a total of 26 circles. And, in February, I am going to be gone a week to Arizona, where the sun shines every single day!

Now for the critique - I know I said I would give a review on the Ott light/magnifier in a month. I don't need to wait a month. I love it! Now remember, I wanted/needed the magnifying glass. There is a circle of LED lights on the bottom of the magnifying glass that shine right on my applique. I turn on those lights, and I didn't use the separate Ott light while appliqueing. The lights on the magnifying glass are enough light. 

Using the magnifying glass did take some time to get used to. There is a depth perception challenge, but I've adapted. Threading needles is so easy, the eye is huge. 

If you are experiencing eye strain or blurry vision after needlework, then the Ott light/magnifying glass is for you.

I bought the light on a stand. They also had a table top light/magnifying glass which cost less than the stand. I do not know if the table top version comes with the clamp. 

I like having the light clamped to the end table. The body swivels on the clamp so I can adjust the angle of the light and magnifying glass. I move the glass up and down, I'm not sure how secure it would be if the light were just sitting on top the end table, I would be afraid I would pull it off. Besides, I don't have room for it on the table, I have too much stuff on there.

There is also a clip to hold paper directions or something. I haven't used that at all. 

Linking to - One Monthly Goal, Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Fiber Tuesday, Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, WIP's With Friend's, My Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, WIP's Be Gone

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rainbow Challenge

I was feeling pretty good last Saturday when I posted my purple blocks for the RSC. But then I got to thinking about my blocks, thinking about how big to make the quilt, how to finish it, how to lay the blocks out and on and  on and on. You know what I mean, we all do this.

I figured up how many blocks I needed but then I decided it needs a border to finish it off. What it really needs is an applique border and I have a pattern that will be perfect for a rainbow quilt.

I dug through my pattern basket and pulled out Star Dance designed by Jill Finley. I had purchased this pattern several years ago but never got around to doing anything with it. The border would be perfect for my quilt.

Then I looked at the Star Dance pattern. Those stars are so cute but they finish at 4"! But if I just make a few a month . . . I can do that.

So I did. Here are my 4 purple Star Dance star blocks.

Aren't they cute? There are 39 blocks in the pattern. The pattern says the quilt finishes at 36".  That size is too small for me so this is going to be a 2 year project and made into a larger quilt.
I also made 3 more blocks for the 4-patch rainbow quilt. I'm using the 4-patches left over from my postage stamp journey.

So once again, my blocks have been completed for January and I'm ready for February's color.

Linking to Scrap Happy Saturday, DrEAMi!.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

One Monthly Goal - Blue Churn-Dash Flimsy

My One Monthly Goal has been a success this month. The blue churn-dash quilt is a flimsy.

She's hanging on the side of my quilting frame and measures 95" by 104".

The square in a square border was challenging for me since I didn't have a pattern. I had to figure it out myself! 

A close up of a corner.

I'm very pleased with myself, I've met my goal with a whole week to spare.

Linking up to One Monthly Goal, Fiber Tuesday, Sew Fresh Quilts, Mama Spark's WorldMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Sunday, January 22, 2017

First Finish of the Year & A Little Applique

I don't normally machine sew in the evenings but this week I did on several projects.

One project was quilting the Postage Stamp quilt. After she was finished, I took her outside for the pictures in the lovely sunshine but had problems with the wind. 

Then I spied a trellis in the flower bed. This works!

The binding was left over from another quilt. There is about 18" left, into the strips box it goes!

Of course the backing is from my mother's stash, a pale lavender. For someone who didn't like purple or lavender, she sure did have a lot of that color.

I quilted this crib quilt with a spiral. Kind of lost the curve on the one end, but, oh well. She measures 40-1/2" by 50-1/2". I'm keeping this one for myself. There are 1200 squares in the center.

Since I was machine sewing in the evenings, I didn't get as much applique completed as I normally do. I do have the main part of the vase completed.

I'm slowly adding the stems to the flower buds. Maybe next Sunday I'll have this block finished.

I have a new tool. I've purchased an Ott light with a magnifying glass. 

I've had excellent lighting in my corner all these years
but I've been experiencing eye strain with all my evening applique. The black thread on black fabric is hard on my eyes. 

The light and magnifying glass can be on a stand or it can be screwed onto the side of an end table. I tried it on the stand, but the magnifying glass was too high. We screwed onto the end table, perfect height. I'll let you know my critique after I've used it a month. They were on sale at JoAnn Fabrics last week, 60% off. I don't know how long the sale lasts, I gave the sale brochure away.

Linking up to  Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt, Fiber TuesdayEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, WIP'S With FriendsMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Rainbow Challenge

I'm joining in the Rainbow Scrap challenge this year over at So Scrappy.  The challenge color for January was purple. I've sewn my blocks, ten of them. 

I decided to try some different lay outs on the display wall. Straight set.

This will look more interesting when there are more colors.

But I like this design better.

I won't make a final decision until next fall.

The small squares are 1" finished and the larger squares are 2" finished. The whole block is 8" finished. 

I'm still sewing 4-patches. Hopefully I will have enough sewn of whichever color is selected for February.  

Linking to So ScrappyFinished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Solstice Challenge & the Two-Step

I'm keeping up with the Solstice Challenge. So far, the blocks have been fairly simple. If Pat decides to make the block patterns more challenging, I'll probably stop participating and just sew the completed blocks together for a crib quilt. 

Here is this week's block.

And the first four blocks. I seem to have a yellow theme going. There are lots of blocks to sew yet, it will even out by June.

Carole, from My Carolina Home, is hosting her third mystery quilt-along, Two-Step. She has had a series of mystery quilts and they all have something to do with dancing. The first clue will be released on Friday, January 20th and on every 3rd Friday of the month thereafter. The mystery will run for 7 months.

I've decided to sew along with this mystery and I have most of my fabric ready to go.

I ordered this fabric from Missouri Star Quilt Co. years ago. It's Edyta Sitar's Snowbird line. I didn't have any idea what to do with it, so it has just sat in the sewing room, waiting all these years. The fabrics have matured and are ready to be sewn. The larger piece of cream fabric is a Fusions from Robert Kauffman. 

My fabric tastes have changed since I ordered this fabric. I like brighter fabrics now; these fabrics just look so blah, boring, subdued. They really need something to brighten them up. What color do you think I should add? It won't take much but they definitely need something to give it some zing!

Linking to Pat Sloan's I Love to Make Quilts, Fiber TuesdaysSew Fresh Quilts, WIP's With FriendsMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pastor's Attic Quilt, the 24th Block

I'm showing the picture of the Pastor's Attic Quilt book. This is a Baltimore Album quilt book written by Marsha D. Radtke in 2009 and published by AQS. She found the original quilt in the attic of the parsonage in which they were living. I call it the Pastor's Attic Quilt (and she does too in the forward) because there are so many Baltimore Album's quilts and I want to differentiate my quilt from the crowd.

There are 25 blocks in this quilt of which 24 of the blocks are appliqued. There is one block which was first pieced, then appliqued to the background fabric. I've looked at that the block ever since I purchased the book so many years ago. I consider myself a very good foundation paper piecer. I mean, I pieced most of my Dear Jane that way and I'm paper piecing Nearly Insane. However, I could not make heads or tails of the directions. 

I decided to leave that block out and come up with another applique block, this is an applique quilt after all. I've been looking at different blocks for years, trying to decide which one to use. I finally decided to use an old stencil pattern. I traced off the design and appliqued her. I love it! There was no name for this pattern on the stencil but I'm sure there is one. Do you know what this design is?  {Updated Sunday evening - My friend Elaine says this pattern is Lancaster Rose. I think this flower may be showing up in another of my quilts someday}

I didn't think I would be able to applique her in a week, but I didn't feel like machine sewing for several days last week because of Nearly Insane burn-out! I had a marathon session of applique while watching season 2 of Poldark. I got her done!

Now, just one more block to be appliqued! But these completed blocks are for the center section of the quilt; there will be the applique border to applique after the center blocks are sewn together.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Quilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Fiber Tuesday, Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, WIP's With FriendsMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Nearly Insane Blocks

I haven't sewn any Nearly Insane blocks since October. I'm sewing a row at a time but since the quilt set is diagonal rows, each row has more blocks. This row has 9 blocks, two of which are cut in half.

These are the four half blocks; the inset triangles. I piece each half separately. Two will be used in this row, the others will be saved to use in a different row. 

A close up of block 22 which has 132 pieces. I'm pretty proud of myself, I've completed this block but of course there is something I would change but I didn't see it until she was completed. I wish I would have put yellow fabric in the center square. But I am NOT going to make a second block. I can easily live with it the way it is.

When you piece blocks with lots of little pieces, you end up with a pile that looks like this.

Apparently Lucinda did too because in amongst the many stars in this row is this block, a good use for the little scraps. Sorry it's blurry.

Pictures from the rest of the blocks because they want their five minutes of fame.

Sometimes my fussy cutting turns out great. I think this little flower in the center looks nice.

The dark fabrics all look the same in the pictures but I am trying to vary the fabrics.

The soft blue fabric in the borders is one of my favorite fabrics. 

These fabrics are more muted but the yellow brightens them up.

I really like this block even though I got the dark and medium fabric mixed up in the inner border. You never know what you are going to end up with.

Now the blocks are attached to the body. I still have room for the body to hang on the display wall. As you can see, my quilt is pieced with scrappy blues and yellows. She is making very slow progress but I enjoy looking at her as she is displayed.

I would like to have the quilt halfway pieced by the beginning of May. Three more rows and she'll be there but each row has more blocks!

There are two blogs I peruse in my Insane journey, Nearly Insane Fans and Nearly Insane Quilts. Sometimes I have trouble visualizing fabric in the blocks when I have the copied pattern. I check these blogs to see the light, medium and dark fabrics. It is interesting how different they are even though they both made the same block patterns. What really amazes me is they both pieced these blocks! I wouldn't be making this quilt if I weren't foundation paper piecing her.

Alyce, from Blossom Heart Quilts, is having a paper piecing BOM, the Milky Way Sampler. The block pattern is free for a month, then there is a charge. If you are interested in learning to paper piece, I encourage to you to download these patterns when they are free and try them. They look like fairly simple blocks and would be good ones to learn with.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pitcher of Ruched Flowers

The 23rd block of the Pastor's Attic Quilt is completed! This block is called Pitcher of Ruched Flowers but, as you can see, the flowers are not ruched. I plan to hand quilt this quilt and I didn't know if it would be difficult to quilt those layers of fabric. I took the easy way out and made flat flowers.

I like circles in the center of the flowers so much better than embroidered french knots. 

The bottom of the vase looks wonky but she is going to stay that way. My blocks all have a rather rustic aspect to them.

I'll be starting on the next block this afternoon. She probably won't be completed by next Sunday, but I'll will show you the progress I've made.

Mama Spark's World is starting an Ocean Waves quilt-along. Ocean Waves has been on my list of quilts to make for many years. I may have to think about this project.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Quilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

One Monthly Goal, Quilting Plans for 2017

In my November 15, 2016 blog post, I wrote about the 12 quilting projects I had planned for this winter. This is an updated list. Five of the original projects have been completed, most of those were very small projects, but they still needed to be made.

So this is the list for 2017.

1. I got stalled in December piecing the borders. This is the official One Month Goal, to get the borders pieced and sewn onto the center! This quilt was started November, 2016

2. Pastor's Attic Quilt - I've completed 22 blocks, just 3 more center blocks to applique. This is my top priority applique quilt. 

I couldn't fit all of the blocks in picture. The first photo is the left side. The second picture includes the right side.

I started appliqueing these blocks in November, 2015.
3. Sweet Surrender - Applique triangles are finished, need to piece the pieced triangles. 

I started appliqueing the triangles in January, 2016.

4. Nearly Insane - This is a very slow project I only work on when I feel like it. I have to be in the right mood to piece those many pieced blocks.

Started this project in January, 2016.

5. Postage Stamp Quilt - What was I thinking? I had big plans for a king sized postage stamp quilt using a whopping total of 12,000 pieces!

While evaluating my projects last week, I decided I didn't want to make it like I had planned. I pieced two more blocks so I had a dozen blocks, then I sewed them together into a crib quilt. This crib quilt has 1200 pieces in the center and measures 42" x 52". I will quilt this myself this winter sometime, probably with spiral quilting since I know how to do it now. 

I slept on this decision over night before I sewed the center together. I am so glad I decided to call it quits now. When it isn't fun anymore, it is time to either finish it or else get rid of it!

6. Wilfred & Cloves - Still need to piece the blocks to finish this quilt. Someday I'll get to her. I think this would be a good project to work on at the Jane Stickel retreat in April.

I finished the applique on this block in November, 2015. She's still waiting for the finish!

Summer Quilt - I haven't thought of anything and it probably won't happen this winter. So I'm not going to give this project a number anymore and it is officially off the list. Maybe next winter? Maybe tie it into the Rainbow Challenge? (See #8 below)

I've added 2 more projects to the list.

7. Solstice Challenge - I've joined in the challenge. Pat Sloan sends us a pattern every Wednesday. So far I've kept up!

8. I'm participating in the Rainbow Challenge this year from So Scrappy. The color for January is purple. I'm using the 4-patches I sewed for the postage stamp quilt and revised my block. I especially liked the rainbow quilt I made one of my granddaughters last winter. I thought I'd do it again.

I get tired of working on the same project all the time. These projects have plenty of variety to keep me challenged.

I hope 2017 is a very productive quilting year for you!

Linking to - One Monthly GoalSew Fresh Quilts, WIP's With FriendsMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Tulip Square

I've finished the Tulip Square block from the Pastor's Attic quilt. I don't think the flowers look like tulips but she's completed. Just 3 more blocks to applique! I'm prepping the next block today.

It's the season for Sew-Along & Mystery Quilts. Just in case you have nothing to work on right now, here are a list of the projects I'm aware of. The first project is from several months ago but still relevant.

Kaaren from the Painted Quilt has shared the pattern for Stopped Me in My Tracks! I really like the quietness of this quilt. This sew-along was in the spring of 2016 but it is still a beautiful quilt.

Pat Sloan is hosting The One Hundred Eighty-Two Day Solstice Challenge which started December 21st. Pat is also having a Mystery BOM, 2017 Children's Library. The fabric information was released yesterday for the library quilt.

So Scrappy hosts a Rainbow Scrap Challenge every year. You make the block(s) you want to make but she says which color to use. Some beautiful quilts have been created using this idea.

Carole from My Carolina Home has a mystery quilt starting the end of January.

Just in case you've been in a coma for the last 6 weeks, Bonnie Hunter has her annual mystery quilt in progress, En Provence. The pattern is a free online pattern but only until June.

Cindy from Quilt Doodles is organizing a traditional mystery quilt. She says the quilt will be like one you can find at grandparents home.

The Surrounded by Scraps Mystery Quilt is hosted by Charlotte Hawks and starts on January 11th, 2017.

Barbara Brackman's Yankee Diary sew-along starts the 25th of January.

Quiltmaker Magazine is continuing their 100 Blocks Sampler sew-along. The blocks are from different issues of Quiltmakers 100 Blocks issues.  This sew along started in 2016 and will continue into 2017. The blocks have been resized to 6". 

Of course if you are really into sew-along, there's the 365 Day Challenge Quilt. There was a challenge for 2016 and they are doing it again in 2017. You will be creating the same quilt that was made in 2016. I was insane enough to sign up but now I realize there is no way I want to participate. I don't like sewing with a deadline; why stress myself out trying to keep up?

Update - Myra from Busy Hands Quilts has a big list of sew-alongs to peruse. Maybe your project is there waiting for you!

I don't usually jump into a sew-along. I like to complete quilts, not just start them, but I have joined Pat's Solstice Challenge. I have also selected a block pattern to make during the year and will be joining in Rainbow Scrap Happy this year. The color selected for January is purples! Are you sewing along with any challenges this new year?

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh QuiltsCrazy Mom Quilts.