Friday, January 28, 2011

Hopefully Winter

The big middle section of wool with pile was very difficult for me to stitch anything on. Everything seemed to get lost in it. So, I added things that would stay on the surface - a button with straight stitch and bullions hopefully looks like a snowflake, the white silk ribbon flower hopefully looks like a white poinsettia and finally, I made a ribbon streamer with bells that actually make a tiny jingling sound. The embroidered snowman has a rounded button on the ground near him that hopefully looks like a snowball. And, next to that is some angora snow with some evergreen trees growing out of it. You can't really see it but the feather stitch has some sparkly beads attached that hopefully look like ice and the sky-looking patch has what hopefully looks like twinkly snowflakes and stars. This is for a Winter RR so hopefully Meg likes it. And hopefully Winter here will be over soon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Texas Tears

The latest block in the Civil War block of the week. I may have to remake this one. The upper right corner is off. Arghhh (and then some)!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seams Only for Helina

This was a block from an RR where you are only supposed to embellish the seams. I first added lace to each seam mainly because I love lace, have lots of it from thrift store finds and yet rarely use it.  Then since Helina requested a flower theme I gave her some flowers along the lace seams - rosebuds, pansies, and other fantasy flowers. And finally, I added a tatted butterfly along a very short seam.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Sane Birds

Previously I showed different bird themed crazy quilt blocks I made - six of them to be used in a crazy quilt RR- in this post and in this post. I will embellish the remaining blocks, make more and embellish them and make them into a bed runner to go over a sane bird quilt.  I started on that quilt this weekend. I decided to use the snowball/nine patch combo for blocks and have made 27 out of the approximate 144 blocks I need. (Actually, I think I need more than that but I wil use 144 as a goal to work toward). Some peacock fabric actually sparked my idea and off I went from there.

I don't know what it is but I actually hate lime green and I'm not fond of purple, but there it is - the most used fabrics in the blocks I made. I'm breaking out of my safe mode (in bird talk have I "flown the coop"?) of blues, browns and neutrals. Above are some of the nine patch blocks and below are some of the snowball blocks.

And, here's how they will look together. And, now imagine the cq bedrunner at the bottom of the bed over all this. Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

HSTs (Half Square Triangles)

If you arrange half square triangles in different ways you get an entirely different block. I made 3 blocks this weekend for the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. All used HSTs only and all are different.
This block is called Whirlpool.

Above is Windblown Square. It's so wild it does look windblown.

And this is Peace and Plenty. Note to self: I don't like the plaid (at least with HSTs) and when did I start liking orange so much?

Saturday, January 22, 2011


My work on Paula's blocks for the Encrusted RR at CQI Yahoo Group.

 I added silk ribbon pansies and roses, bullion roses...

...hearts, tatted butterflies, a few beads, loop stitch and Kiko's flower stitch flowers. It was close to fifteen hours of work in total.

And this is Paula's entire block after 3 stitchers. Pretty, huh?

Friday, January 21, 2011


My spool block for the Farmer's Wife Sampler (see link on sidebar). This is a pretty wild looking block even for me. I think it was the only 30s repro striped fabric I had in my stash and I wanted the spool to look like it had thread on it with the stripes going a different direction. And then...after I had the block together I thought I should have sewn small scraps together to make the spool thread. Maybe next time, next spool block. I have about 60 calico spools in a WIP bin.

I chose 30s fabrics for this quilt because they remind me of grandma who showed me how to quilt. I loved looking at all the pieces of clothing she used in her quilts. She told me stories of how many times a piece of fabric was used before it finally ended up in a quilt and other stories of how they survived during the Depression era. She was sort of a bitter, cranky old woman - nearly 40 when dad was born and each year, according to stories, made her a bit crankier. I must say, though, that when she was showing me how to sew or smock or embroider that she was a very pleasant, loving, beautiful grandma.

And this is my Farmer's Wife Snowball block. Of course I had to use fabric with circles on it. I hate snow now. Well, sometimes it looks beautiful, especially when there is hoare frost, but most times it is dirty and too cold for me. I've been meaning to make snow ice cream with the grandkids when they are here after a fresh snow but it hasn't happened yet. Snow...when I was younger I used to love tobaggoning down Fejervary Park hill with friends and then go home and drink hot chocolate. Sometimes my memory starts tricking me and I wonder if I just wished I went home to hot chocolate or if I really did. With an absent mom (who went off somewhere to find herself...with other men) and a dad rarely at home (either at work or out drinking somewhere) I think I wished it. I know hot chocolate in a pouch didn't exist in the olden days and I don't remember much milk in the frig, now that I think about it. I'll have to ask some of my siblings what they remember in re hot chocolate.

And this is my Seven Sisters block for the Civil War Sampler (also see sidebar). I'm not much for applique since I'm not good at it and don't really know what I'm doing, but I won't ever know how to do it if I don't try. So I tried. I know...wonky stars. I can imagine several civil war era ladies had the same.

I think I will start on another sampler soon - Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. I don't think I will use reproduction fabrics for it but you never know, er, I mean, I never know. Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sick and Tired and Crazy

As I mentioned yesterday I have been drinking Pepto Bismol cocktails, doing the bathroom dash and taking catnaps the last few days. I hope an end to the misery is here soon. The stomach cramps are horrible. I haven't been sick in years. I'm thinking it comes from having two granddaughters who started school this year. Otherwise I don't know where the cooties came from. In between I have managed to go a little crazy and get some stitching done.
"For the Birds" DYB (Do Your Block) for Cathy K. This block made me laugh when I first saw it. I think the birds were searching for a statue down below; however, all I could manage was a cat who is oblivious to the birds since he is chasing a butterfly.

And this is my work on Lorrie's "Spring has Sprung" DYB. Fans and butterflies and roses seem pretty Spring like to me. I can't wait for my garden to show signs of the same.

And, finally, my work on Margreet's Summer DYB. I guess I keep dreaming of butterflies and roses.

Margreet included a button with each block and requested us to use it on the block we stitched. I think it is fun to see how everyone uses the button.

Here is what Beryl did with it.

And below is how Ritva used the button. Sorry, the flash makes it look yellowish but it's not.

And below is what I did with the button. I added a crocheted flower under it and drizzle stitch through the button holes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lottery Tickets

The last couple of days between chugging down Pepto Bismol cocktails and doing the bathroom dash I've done a little sewing. One of my Yahoo groups is having a lottery. Very simply just sew together a black 3.5 strip to a black on white 3.5 strip then cut into 6.5 inch lengths. Lottery winner will get 150+ blocks. Blocks can be used in many different ways. So...I have made the maximum number of blocks...16 lottery tickets.

Monday, January 10, 2011

North Star - Civil War Sampler Block 2

North Star quilt block for week 2 of the civil war quilt sampler from quilt historian Barbara Brackman.  See sidebar for a link that will take you to her blog and some civil war history to go along with the block.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

I've always liked samplers. Back when I used to do a lot of cross stitch I usually made samplers. And, with quilting I have made several samplers. I guess you don't get bored doing the same thing over and over again. Well, anyway...I've started on a "Farmer's Wife Quilt Sampler" made in 30s reproduction fabrics. My side bar has a link to the book and blog. It's a very interesting book of letters and the quilt blocks inspired by them. Did I mention I like history too? I will post my blocks as I go and if the name of the block prompts me to write something as it relates to my life then I will write something.

I just started this weekend and I have 4 out of the 111 completed. I think it will be a long journey but hopefully there won't be any detours in the road.

Broken dishes. I like the secondary pattern of pinwheels you can see in this quilt. I've made a large broken dishes quilt out of fall fabrics and may make another someday.
Broken Dishes
When my granddaughters were 3 1/2 years old I invited a friend and her granddaughter (and daughter and mother) who had come to visit from Alabama to lunch at our house. I set the table with my collection of Cabbage Rose depression glass before our guests arrived and told the girls to stay away from the table so they didn't break the dishes. When the guests arrived granddaughter Kayla introduced herself and then proceeded to tell everyone to be careful and "don't break the dishes". We all had a fine lunch of quiche and strawberries from the garden. And no one broke any dishes.

Speaking of breaking dishes...the name of this block is "Broken Sugar Bowl". While I was making the block I wondered why in the world it had such a name. But now that I've put it on point I can see why.

Rainbow Garden.
That's what I strive to have. But I actually have a rainbow garden with weeds.

And finally...this one is called "Strawberry Basket". Again, you can't really see it until you set the block on point. I have a large strawberry patch. Last year we made strawberry jam that will probably last us the rest of our lives, ate a lot of them fresh from the garden and my husband made melomel which is a mead with fruit added. It's delicious but a few bottles exploded in the wine rack. Darn. And, if we gathered our strawberries in a basket I would think they would get punctured. I gather them in large plastic bowls. Did I mention that the deer eat a lot of them? Darn again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


First I canned. Then I rested with a cup of tea.
4.5 inch blocks for an on-going "4.5 Anything Pieced Goes (APG)" swap.
I got fancy this month.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Love a Good Mystery

If I had seen a picture and pattern of this quilt before I started I would have told myself there were too many triangles, too many little pieces, too much cutting and that in no way did pink, red, green and brown look good together. I never would have made it.

But...since I didn't know what was in store for me when I decided to follow along with a Quiltville mystery here I am between clues 6 and 7 and thrilled with how things are turning out and how this quilt is starting to look and how many scraps I have used up. I also found I could make a quilt with lots of pieces, lots of triangles, lots of cutting and like it. Even during the busy Christmas season I could not wait to get the next clue (set of instructions).

I didn't think I would even like a mystery quilt until I tried it this summer when I tried two different mysteries on a couple of yahoo groups I belong to. They turned out just fine (well, they are still UFOs - just tops) but they turned out blocks with all the same fabrics and didn't use up any of my scraps. When I saw a scrappy mystery I jumped at the chance.

Ugh...I hate to iron but it must be done.

Several blocks so far. I didn't realize I had so many polka dot scraps. I don't even like polka dots! More on progress of this quilt later. I hope to finish up soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Another Fairy in the Midnight Garden

This is another fairy for block 2 (of 16) of my Midnight Fairy Garden (CQ by 2012). I used a "glow in the dark" marker to paint the fairy body and used white "glow in the dark" DMC to embellish part of her wings. I have yet to see if she glows in the dark. And she shall remain faceless until I can decide I can do faces.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Catch Me If You Can

Quilt historian Barbara Brackman will release a free 8" block pattern each week during the 2011 sesquicentennial year on her new blog Civil War Quilts. Also each week she will tell a true story about persons who lived during that time. As a genealogist and quilter I LOVE the idea and took up needle and thread yesterday to participate. Since I have been hoarding cw reproduction fabrics for a couple of years, now is the time for me to make a dent in the stash. The first block is "Catch Me If You Can" and this is my version of it.