Monday, February 29, 2016

My February Homework is done....

Now I'm waiting for March work load.
The Mighty Lucky Sewing Club's lesson for February was using negative space and focusing on one particular fabric.  I hope you are attracted to the purple spirals....if not...oh well!  Many of the participants are doing more piecing and making several blocks.  I need small wall hangings, so while not knowing what the future blocks will bring, I'm hoping for 12 interesting wall decorations.

This block is part of Pat Sloan's Mystery Garden.  I'm hoping to use white/back fabrics for the backgrounds.  

 Stitchery Dickory Dock's BOM February block is shown here.  I'm using yards of dark purple as background for all the blocks with hopes of using it all.

These blocks are from a kit taking up room in my cupboard.  There are at the first stage of completion.  The instructions require this blocks to be paired and made into contrasting half-square triangles.  I've decided to take it one more step and make hour glass blocks.  The batiks are beautiful and fun to work with, but I'm not keen on the recommended pattern.

What have you been working on?  Post pictures in comments, especially if you're doing the same on-line BOM's!

These two blocks are for our Modern Bee that meets at Stitched Studio.  We're almost to the end of the first year.  The snow storms in December and January kept us from meeting so we have two blocks due on the 29th.  

Stitched Studio is continuing the Modern Bee with more times and days.  The book will be changing for some of us, since we've done 10 or more of the blocks.  Vintage Modern Blocks will be our new book incorporating piecing and paper piecing.  Should be fun!  

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Back On the Farm....

Last  Wednesday was Vintage Farm Block of the Month meeting at Attic Window.  Linda, Pauline and Sue have met on the third Wednesday of the month for 6 1/2 years now.  The group has really grown from our Civil War quilt BOM's.  I have the darnedest time with these blocks.  They're not hard but do required reading the instructions.  The block designer makes flying geese and half-square triangles in a variety of methods.

I'm always impressed with Pauline's productivity between meetings.

 Pauline, shown above, shows her Attic Window Quilt.

 She knitted the above sweater for her new grandson.  The baseball button is adorable.
 Pauline paraticipated in El's Kitchen last year.  She now has all the applique and borders on, getting ready for the long arm quilter.  I wish I had done this BOM.  :(

She loves this block the most!

 Several months ago she showed us the sports quilt for another baby grandson.  She made all the logos and balls from scratch.  Below is the back.
A post last year highlighted her family quilt with the old photographs.  She had framed the photos in 30"s fabric.  Quilting has introduced me to such interesting and talented people.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Back in Town.....

While I've been back for more than a week, motivation to do a whole lot must have been left on Paradise Island, Bahamas.  The girls, with their men, and I enjoyed five days without snow and cold.  While the weather was cooler than desired, it was great for walking around and even pool swimming.  My lap swimming is gone for good....I did several laps but it was worse than when I was doing laps all the time.  Back then I described my swimming as keeping up with dead fish, now it's not even that fast.

 Anna was excellent in organizing a trek across the bridges connecting Paradise Island to Nassau on New Providence Island.  Reluctantly I joined in and was glad I did.  Over the years, starting 30 years ago, the girls and I have done the bridges many, many times, even loaded with groceries in our back packs.  Anna decided we were eating lunch at one of the local food booths under the bridges.  I'm so glad I went.  The fried red snapper, very, very fresh, was wonderful; Anna ate the eyes just to gross out her sister!  The kids enjoyed conch salads and fritters.  Daphney's had by far the best fritters.

 Above:  Justin and Anna
 Jeny and Ryan


All in all, the five days did us all well.  Even though the weather could have been  warmer we were able to play games and enjoy each other's company.  I taught everyone Canasta.  They seemed to enjoy it as they always liked playing Rummy.  I forgot my iPad and our phone service doesn't serve Bahamas.  Consequently, I knocked off three books.  Yeah!

The sisters enjoying the walk back after a fun walk for lunch!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Boxes to Bags....

Over the years the Valentine Days' gifts for my two daughters has changed as they have changed.  A day trip of shopping in Holland, MI resulted in some earrings in a specially chosen box.  Boxes were a simple souvenir I began collecting in my twenties.  A box was usually small and easy to pack.  One of my favorites I purchased in Vancouver, BC.  It had been hand carved with the raised carving painted in an off white and the background a subtle orange in Russia.  The Apothecary Shop in Holland was my place to go for a nice but not expensive reminder of Valentine's Day.  This year they're getting the medium sized Stand 'n Stow bag from Atkinson Designs.  It uses a ,new to me, Pellon called Peltex.  Peltex is stiffer and stands the bag up but with this pattern, packs away nicely.  We will be in the Bahamas for this week and it will be good for shopping, but easily packs away in their carry-ons for the journey home.

The bicycle material was purchased probably two years ago for a satchel bag.  The 18" frames are no longer available, so now it's a Stand 'n Store!.  The fabric was tricky.  While it doesn't have a nap to deal with, the pattern was tricky.  My first cut had the bicycles sideways.  Luckily the satchel bag required more than a yard.  To make it work, the fabric was opened and cut on the straight.  The next trick it presented involved the pattern not matching across the fabric.  I chose the front shown, but the other side either has upside writing or upside bikes.....

 The fabric above has been hanging on a closet door for a year or so.  I hung it there to remind me to make a quilt with it:  the colors are WONDERFUL!  The quilt thing wasn't happening - then it came to me.....but did I have enough?  Just enough.  I am so glad it is this bag now....

My friend Caroll D passed along a helpful hint she learned from Carol H, a long arm quilter used by many of us who sew at the Attic Window.  Caroll's hints are pretty good - my seam ripper sails along seams now - with only an occasional blup.

The pin showing on the left side of the presser foot is inserted at a junction with cross stitching.  Many, many times a pucker will occur at this point.  Carol H's HH (helpful hint) places the pin at the junction to set the fabric so when sewn it won't pucker.  I tried it several times and it worked beautifully.  So many times when I'm using my walking foot for quilting a pucker appears - now I'm optimistic that one more problem has been solved.  Thank you to Caroll D and Carol H.

The above bag pattern was purchased at the Attic Window, but I'm sure other stores will carry it once word travels how easy and fast this bag is to make.  BTW, I made both bags at the same time over two afternoons.  One long day would easily provide for making more than one bag at a session.

Fat Sack is a free pattern offered by Atkinson Designs.  I would most definitely try another of her patterns.  This fat sack would make a great a grocery bag, as would the large version of the Stand 'n Stow.

A Happy Valentine's Day to you all......

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Heading West to Oakland or San Franciso?

This morning's New York Times has this article about Oakland's quilting guild comprised mostly of African Americans.  Please read and be amazed by the beautiful art wish I could envision just a spec of what these quilters see.....