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Posts from the ‘LongArm Quilting’ Category

Three Patches with Laura

My church has a retail outlet shop offering a variety of donated items. Sometimes it is someone’s de-cluttering efforts, or unsold garage sale, or an estate cleanout.

Somehow a couple of bags of partiatlly completed quilt blocks were donated–and a friend of mine set them aside for me. I paid less than $5 for three plastic bags with quilt parts.

It is not the oddest thing I have bough there—-one offering included a lot of stuffed doll legs, a couple of arms–not heads or bodies. I really don’t remember what I did with them—but I got a lot of odd looks at the checkout counter—and even odder from my sons and hsuband.

For the past few years I have also dutifully filled out a UFO list for now two different groups; one has 12 items, the other has 6. The one with 6 items offers a chance at a prize drawing of more quilting stuff—I decided I would play along—but not put my name in the pot as I really do not want or need more stuff!

So No. 6 on my list is to work on this bag of quilt parts—a couple of completed blocks, some partials, and some cut out squares.

The squares are 2.25 inches square and are sewn with an 1/8 inch seam—a bit difficult to replicate. They are also sewn by hand with the tiniest of stitchs.

The construction is not how I would sew them.

I’ve been trying to find a gray that will be similar enough to work—or pehraps I should use a variety of whites. I’m not sure how many blocks I will be able to make with the parts I have—but it will certainly be an interesting project.

The fabrics are a mix of prints and stripes. I wish I knew who this person was—her sense of color and pattern and design is intriguiing.

Attached to the bag was a cutout from the newspaper with a photo of a corner of the quilt—it is a Laura Wheeler design. I haven’t been able to find a reference to it in any of my reference books.

Interestingly also, the designer/starter of this project calculated the number of blocks, pieces needed to complete a 72 by 90 quilt—a fairly common size in the early days of the quilting revival.

Don’t look for this to be finished in the next couple of days–I’m still studying about how I am going to insert those missing pieces on the partially fnished blocks—or maybe I should practice on the pieces–the four patches to develop my skill at an 1/8 inch seam—and no it wont’ be by hand–I’m far too impatient.

Chillihowie and I’m too Easy

Several years ago, I had back surgery (first of four so far) and was facing time ‘resting’ and not working. To keep me busy, one of my friends suggested I try the Bonnie Hunnter annual holiday mystery quilt.

Now, mysteries are my favorite knd of reading matter—and I like surprises. I like the randomness of following along and seeing what happens.

So once again, this Thanksgiving I embarked on her latest mystery. It was called Chillihowie after a small town near her current home. I’ve never been there—probably will never be there—but I followed along. She uses scraps–a large variety of scraps–and I’ve done that, gathering up bits and label them according to what I have substituted for her suggested colors.

It gets a bit confusing when she says take your ‘orange’ or ‘purple’ and do such and such with it.

Sometimes I have enough of one color, sometimes I need to use several pieces.

In past years, I bought a lot of fabric—if I liked –many yards. I had saved one featuring large poppies with that lemony green leaves—although poppy leaves are a dull grayish green. That fabric formed my fabric choices—and the amounts I had of each color determined what I would subistitute for Bonnie’s colors—hers were purple, orange, blue, green and large quantites of neutrals.

These are my blocks.with a neutrak planned for the sashing pinned on the side. I’m working on those now. Hopefully I can have the top pieced before the end of this month===and then to the quilting queue..only three ahead of it–and one on the frame.

A Presidential Challenge

I am old enough to remember JFK’s stirring speech asking what ‘I’ could do for my country. It has been repeated and maybe should be a daily thing.

However, I responded to the Calcasies Cut-ups Quilt Guild presidential challenge with this quilt.

There were several steps along the way. Each step offered a selection of two or more options and of course the fabric choices were mine.

It began with the cetner and each step involved another round. I did not quite understand the next to the last round—those bowties are supposed to be just cornerstones—but after I had made enough for over half of the round, I continued.

By the time I finished all those bow-ties I was weary of the whole project and opted for a plain final border.

It is now quilted and will be next up for binding.

Procrastination at its worst

Sometimes I am very orgnaized and task oriented.

I cut the pieces for this quilt out in early January with the idea of focusing on one project to completion.

It got set aside.

Then I could not remember exactly how it went together as I had decided on a variation but did not write or draw anything about it—so I was left to guess.

This was supposed to be an interlocking puzzle block.

But as you can see, there might be a few pieces here and there but more that are not.

Oh, well. It was quilted and I bound it. I sew the binding on by machine but then hand-sew it to the backing. It keeps my hands busy while watching evening Netflix.

Finishing up a Few Things But not making much of a Dent

The time between Christmas and New Year’s tends to be a time during which I tyr to think of what i want to accomplish in the next year. To that end–I want to clear the decks of ‘old’ projects to make ready for something new.

Unfortunately, I have a large stack of half-done projecst along with some on-going ones.

First there is the annual Bonnie Hunter Quiltville holiday Mystery quilt. I really enjoy mysteries of any kind—and although I know her work involves lots of tiny pieces and at the end of each one, I say to myself–lets just watch this year…but then I relent and pull out fabrics and start.

This year’s project was based on the colors of iris blooms—a favorite flower of mine—but poppies are my frist love. I planted them with my dad when I was five. He let me pick out the flowers I wanted and that was what I chose.

I had sufficient fabric for a backing featuring poppies; so I chose colors from it and started.

Here are the first set of blocks—yes those are 2.5 inch hourglass blocks in the corners–I was not saying nice things while sewing half a gazillion of them.

nd yes, there are two other projects underneath….waiting their turn.

An on-going project was a sampler of assorted blocks under the direction of the Pineywoods Quilt Guild. I pulled a variety of blues to work from. I’ve learned to pull fabrics and leave them in a box or container and not allow myself to use them in another project until that one is completed.

As you can see, I deal with layering—not a bad idea these days with our temps below freezing for several days.

I pulled out all of those blocks and set them out.

Now to decide on sashing strips and border—leaning toward very simple…and it will need a backing. Although I have been piecing backings, I think this one will get one of those wide backs—maybe from someone’s year end sale.

Finishing Up Projects

As noted earlier this week, I am always full of enthusiasm in January for new projects and just new stuff.

But then the fall comes and it seems to be time to finish some of them up so as to start the new year fresh.

I finished a quilt top that was a challenge issued by a Louisiana Quilt Guild. But it needs to be quilted and to be quilted it needs a backing.

I have a wealth of fabric and have rarely purchased new fabric in the past few years—-I became interested in hand-made books and water color painting and spent my money on THOSE things that are fabric/thread equivalents.

I measure what I have left and then draw out a diagram of how I think I can put it together.

I piece the backing with an eye to the fewest seams on the exterior of the backing.

next I fold it up and label it so I know which side is the ‘top’ side. I can unfold it and see when I am loading it into the Gammill but it’s really easy when I have all the information right there.

The backing and quilt are then folded up together.

I use the small bits and pieces to make the label.

I iron a piece of freezer paper to stabilize the center writing area—everything gets folded up together and transported to my Gammill where it needs to wait in line for the next opening.

There are three ahead of it and one in the frame–so it may be a bit.

Have I Run out of Oomph?

Every January I start the new BOM offered by the Quilt Show with enthusisasm.

I pull fabrics and this year I bought backing fabric–a lovely printed linen. It is not a fiber I have used often in the past…mostly hemming napkins.

Each month part of the project is posted and I work away at it.

Usually I get behind in late summer—hard to be enthusiastic about sewing when it is 100 plus and I’m looking at hurricane warnings/tropical storms predictions of rainfall.

But late fall I get it together and finish up the blocks.

Here was the last block I needed to finish.

As this is nearly all applique….not my expertise; I decided to do this via machine applique. The block bases are cut too large and then after the applique is completed, trimmed to the proper size.

Here is the quilt top completed.

That block on the top right with the urn is not completed.

I needed a lot more leaves.

I am working on finishing the corner blocks. Because it is so large, it is hand-work project.

I have the backing selected—but have no idea of how I am going to quilt it.

I am ready for a new project!!

Garden Party

Each year The Quilt Show features a Block of the Month. It is an exclusive pattern available only to those of us who pay the annual subscription of $49. This is the third one I have worked on. thinking to give them as wedding quilts to my grandchildren—plenty of time–the oldest is not yet 12.

This year I chose a printed linen as the background fabric. It is wobbly and ravels easily, making it a significant challenge to work with. I opted to not do any of the pieced blocks, focusing just on the applqiue.

Applique is not my forte—but I decided to try machine applique with turned edges.

This is the center.

You can also see the rest of my messy work area.

There were more blocks on the right and left side; those are done–a few more berries to add to one of them. After looking at this for several days, I decided I did not like those top and bottom middle blocks, replaced them with the printed linen. I’m contemplating adding some applique to those blocks.

The border is on. and I’m pleased with what I see.

I don’t have a large enough space to show the entire top until after I have quilted it. That will be a challenge as custom quilting is not my forte either. The intended grand-daughter is just 5 so no rush!

Tomorrow the 2023 Block of the Month will be revealed; I’ve seen a tiny image of it and a few detail photos but I’m eager to see it.

Bricks and Scraps

Sometimes a quilt just finishes itself without even planning too much about it. I started cutting up scraps into rectangles, storing them in a small box; adding to it when I used up a fabric and had just a strip left; and suddenly that box was full.

So then I started sewing those rectangles together.,…in between other seams.

And then suddenly it was a top.

And one day I decided to use up some yardage for the backing of another quilt—also a scrap one—and had enough left to quilt this one.

I liked the pantograph on the table and so I quilted it—and now it is done and waiting for a binding.

and then there is this one.

I’m a member of three quilt guilds, two of them quite small-;;;more the size of a large bee—that makes them fun.

The president of one issued a challenge to complete a quilt using mystery directions with two options each month for that month’s round of blocks.

I worked along and then veered off in my own direction. I thought this last round was these bow-tie blocks—but after I re-read the directtions—they are the CORNERS! But I made enough of them to go around—and because I’m not fond of square quilts, I added some extra to top and bottom—-which meant I had to make even more of those bow-ties—-and then that green polka-dot was just overwhelming, and I decided to calm it down with soe appliqued circles.

I did add a border of that avocado green so I would not have seams on the edges—now to sew down all those circles;

Another episode of what was I thinking

For those of you who remember the I love Lucy show, one episode featured her returning from a massive shopping trip with Ethel proudly announcing her score of a hundred pounds of dog food ….and they did not own a dog.

So why did I buy a quilt kit at a quilt show ten years ago?

It was batik.

I liked the colors.

It was on sale.

I liked the pattern–it was simple and looked fun..

I took that kit to a retreat with some friends along with a lot of other projects—it is easier to cut out things with a nice big table. Cutting always takes time and once you have all the tools out–the rulers, a nice sharp rotary cutter blade—and folks to chat while you do one of the more boring parts—

so I cut out the pieces. Except I decided to use part of one version and part of another version offered in the pattern. I discovered the quilt store staff did not cut straight; there were some of the dreaded v shaped strips. But I got it done.

Six months later, I pulled out that bundle. Did I remember what I had planned?


Thought for a bit; slung a few pieces up on the design wall.

Moved them around some.

Sewed it together–does not look anything like the pattern–either version—but it is together; now it is quilted, trimmed and in the queue for binding. It is destined for the guild’s quilt auction in March.