Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Challenge

I am a newcomer to the quilting world. I have only been quilting officially since fall of 2004. I knew I wanted to but I just did not understand the concept of buying fabric, cutting it into small pieces and then sewing it together again. Since I have a love of scrap quilts I have been saving my leftover fabric from garment making for years. From time to time I would pass along boxes of scraps to friends that quilted because of the lack of space to store all the boxes.
In September 2004, I went to my Local Fabric Shop for material to make napkins. As I waited in line I looked around at all the quilts they had displayed. Then suddenly a bolt of fabric on a lower shelf grabbed my ankles. It was a lovely purple fabric with a Lily of the Valley design. That is when the lightbulb moment happened. I went from thinking quilts should only be made from scraps to seeing the design possibilities available. I haven't looked back since.............
I spent several weeks organizing the fabric I had on hand for garments into quilts I could make. I began watching "Simply Quilts". The feeding frenzy began. I purchased books that contained quilts I wanted to own. I bought the tools I needed. Alex Anderson introduced me to Dear Jane, I joined the Dear Jane List and found out about Quilted Diamonds by Linda Franz, Dutch Treat by Judy Garden, Little Brown Bird by Margaret Docherty. I discovered miniscule nine patch groups, and Grandmothers Flower Garden quilts.
When I purchased fabric it was with a specific quilt in mind. I got all the fabric I needed at one time for that specific quilt. My workroom was too full so I moved two stacks of totes to another area so that I could concentrate on one quilt at a time.
And then I found out about swaps. I joined the Dear Jane Siggy swap, the Dear Jane Holiday Swap, the Dear Jane Spring Fling, two Round Robins and three Row Janes. I spent hours and hours working on those quilts and blocks for others and it was a wonderful experience.
I discovered "Block of the Month" and signed up for several. Then I found free ones online and started six more projects.
I learned to paper piece and applique. I perfected my 1/4 inch seam and all the while I was adding to my work space more quilts I wanted to do.
Here I am again, unable to move in my little corner of the world. I have gleaned valuable information from many Blog Friends and I am ready to downsize.
Any favorite fabric I have already has a quilt it belongs to. So instead I will tweak Judy's Challenge to fit my needs. I emptied a box of Strips I found into the laundry basket pictured above and during the month of February I will empty it into Heart String Blocks. I wonder just how many I will get from that basket? Any guesses?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The First Pieced Top of 2007

Well, here it is, the New Years Eve Mystery quilt top. No borders on this one and it will be packaged with the excess fabric and put aside until time to quilt it.

I hope some form of long arm quilter is in my future so I am saving up my pieced tops until after we move. By then I will be in a better position to at least machine quilt them because I will have more space to work.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Snowy Monday

This seems like a good start to the week. Already I am having to reschedule errands to accomodate the late start caused by the weather. It is still snowing but I did make it in to work.

I was unable to sit in my favorite chair and stitch this weekend. The weather is cold. Below 30 degrees and the sitting room is too drafty to sit there comfortably even with the fireplace on. When it gets this cold, I snuggle in bed with my knitting instead. I finished 3 more baby hats (almost four) for Jean. I will wait till the skein of yarn is used up before I mail them.

This morning I began prepping some blocks for my Baltimore Album quilt and the Faye Anderson blocks. Next thing I knew it was time to dress for work.................... Time sure goes by when you are having fun.
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Friday, January 26, 2007

Done by a Friend

Vickie is a fabulous talent. This is a quilt she designed and made many years ago. She was kind to let me borrow it for a week and trace the trees. They are hand pieced and look so real. Snowflakes are quilted in in regular thread and also in silver metallic. Some are crocheted and tacked on th the quilt. Such amazing detail..................... How wonderful to have such creative friends. Perhaps some of it will rub off onto me.................

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Here are blocks one and two from the Faye Anderson book. The pattern calls for a sequin to be sewn where I have placed a button in the first block. Some over achievers (Hanne and May) actually appliqued a teeny tiny dot of fabric there. Perhaps one day I too will be that good....................
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Four Done

Here they are........... Four Heart String blocks. While working on these blocks I came up with a system to keep them coming off the assembly line.............. I am going to move a small unused desk into the studio and set up the Janome on it. Then I can leave the Duchess set up for piecing and the Janome for mending and other projects like the Heart String blocks. Every since Patti (scroll down to Sept. 15) gave a lesson on building a wall, I have been able to piece with precision and I am so much happier. I found a box of strips I had cut many years ago (would you believe 10). I dumped them into a small laundry basket and began. I soon realized that I should always have four going at one time. Two being Leader/Ender blocks and two being worked on for completion. Then when two are done start two more as Leader/Ender blocks. See, clear as mud. Rebekah, how about you doing a few of them. I will be glad to send you the instructions............

Monday, January 22, 2007

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Last week I stopped at my LQS to pick up some thread. Vicky was looking at this book and mentioned that she wanted to do that quilt. "Wow, I have that book and I bought one for Rebekah at the same time. Lets do a block a month and by next year we will have all the blocks done for this quilt." says I....... We agreed to begin in February. We decided on 20 inch blocks. I went to Staples next to have the pattern enlarged to the size we needed. Rebekah agreed to join us and Friday I mailed her enlargements off to her.

Next we began a discussion of the the fabrics we would use. Vicky is thinking of a black background. Rebekah is looking at a purple background. I will be using the same fabric I am using on the Faye Anderson blocks as I have so much of it. Above are my fabric selections. I will begin prepping my first block this week. Sorry for the blurry picture but I had been sewing for a couple of hours this morning. That makes the back cranky and I cannot hold the camera steady.
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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oh, a package for me and it says fragile....................... (in order to see the entire chain of events you will need to click the "January" button that is listed under archives.)
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This seems well packed.....
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This is a strange looking package.........
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Wow, look at the shine on that case......... And the key has a gold tassel.......
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What............ More wrapping?
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Here he is, "The Duke". Rebekah and Robert got "The Duchess" for me last year. That is my featherweight. Robert did not want her to be alone so he got "The Duke". This is a Singer 99, made in Scotland. What a beauty.
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

First Finish – First Start

The little hat is my first finish for 2007…. Not very impressive but it is a start. My sister asked if I ever got tired of socks could I do a few hats for her. She does numerous projects for others and this is one I could help with. I needed a break so I made this hat this week. I would like to do one a week this year. That seems possible but I am making no promises.

I ordered the book by Faye Anderson “Applique Designs My Mother Taught Me to Sew” I had a hard time finding a copy. I ordered the first one on Amazon from a private seller. They were in California and it was lost in the mail. I tried again and this one came from Georgia. It arrived in a plastic bag with a letter of apology from the post office. Seems it got caught in a piece of equipment and caught fire. They sent the wet, charred remains to me but it was of no use. Finally I got one from a seller in Maine………. Woo Hoo….. I am all set now.

This is the beginning of my first block………. I hope to finish it tonight.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another Machine

I never knew till last week that Treadle Sewing Machines came in such lovely cabinets. I saw one for sale in Florida and Rebekah and Robert said they would pick it up for me so it would not get ruined in shipping. Alas, that one was sold for more than I could budget.

Robert, our E-bay wizard found this one and it is actually in the same state they live in. Rebekah called last night with the number and to let me know that the sale ended in a few hours. I looked it up and knowing that I could not stay up till the auction was over, I entered the amount I could budget and turned off the computer.

Bless his heart, Robert was alert and when I was outbid, he added a few dollars to my bid and won the machine and cabinet for me. Now he and Rebekah have to bring this lovely machine home, refinish the cabinet if it needs it and tune the machine so that it works. I have thought I would enjoy one of the older Singers with the red decals and now I have one. Can't you see this big smile?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


This past weekend we finally got the Singer Treadle moved upstairs. That left a cleared spot at the foot of the stairs. This morning I took 15 minutes to move into that spot a stack of quilts in plastic containers that were in the way in the laundry room.

EIGHTEEN…………. There are eighteen quilts residing there……. Most to be pieced but there are a few appliqué.

As long as I kept them in the sewing area I could curb my purchasing. Then I moved them to the other side of the basement to make more space to work. All that accomplished was the purchase of even more projects. I won’t even get to watch this stack diminish for sometime because of all that I have in the way in the studio.

Knowing that the time I spend in the studio is pure joy, it seems that I will be joyous for weeks to come.

Clue 8

I have 24 blocks done. Now on to the ninth (and last) clue.

One Row Done

An entire row is complete. I have now put that aside in order to work on the assigned task.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Another Row Jane

As you can see in the second row, I have begun the sashing. It is from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville. She did a Dear Jane in a Storm at Sea setting. It is paper pieced and I have all the blocks I need printed. I began a few this morning because I want to make sure I am on the right track here. You will see what I mean when I add the cornerstones.

I still have the New Years Eve quilt in progress and the New Years Day will be the next one I piece. As soon as I determine that this quilt will be what I had in mind, I will slot it into February with Judy's Hour a Day quilt.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Guild Challenge

The theme of our guild's quilt show this year is "A Quilt For All Seasons".

They have come up with a challenge. For $5.00 you could purchase these five fabrics and if you make a quilt following their guidelines you can turn it in for the show and get your $5.00 back.

The rules are: No one side should be smaller than 12 inches nor larger than 18 inches.
All challenge fabrics must be included in the quilt.
Others may be addes
Quilt must be made by only one person
Ouilt needs to be handed in no later than Oct. 2007.

I have sketched my idea....... I am not sure it is a good one but I like it.............

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Looking for Daley

In one of the comments I received, there was a request for information. The e-mail is "no-reply" and the profile information has not been entered.

I would be pleased to provide the information but I need to know an email address.

Recap of 2006

Below is a list of the projects I completed in 2006. I am surprised by how much I managed to complete. This does not include the 2 Round Robin and 3 Row Janes that I participated in or the quilt tops I pieced but have not finished quilting. There are also other projects that were begun but are not yet finished. It will be interesting to see if I can do better next year.

Brooke's Wedding Sampler
You're a Grand Old Flag
Jean's Scarf
Linus Quilt for Kate - 1
Linus Quilt for Kate - 2
Linus Quilt for Kate - 3
Linus Quilt for Kate - 4
Linus Quilt for Kate - 5
Heart with Flowers
Afghan for Angus
Beaded Shawl
Sampler for Laura & Hans
Freedom's Wings
Sampler for Leslie and Winn
Birdseye Shawl
Lori's Wedding Sampler
Blue Bag
Burgundy Vest
Lu's Purse
Green and Blue Socks
Preemie Hat and Socks - Pink
Preemie Hat and Socks - Pink
Navy Blue Socks with Inserts
Care Quilt for CFQG
Jean's Quilt
Holiday Swap Quilt
Little Purple Purse
Fields and Fences Quilt
Blue Fortissima Socks
Carnival Socks
Table runner to swap
Table runner for me
Abigail Leander
Blue Metallic Socks
Primary Color Socks
Carnival Socks
Insipid Geranium
Brothers Quilt
65 Tassels for Guild
Blue Socks
Watch for Vickie
Two Christmas Stockings
Pink Socks

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Jane Goes to Ohio

Well, here she is.......... At long last............
The Dear Jane Blocks are from a swap I did last year. There were six people involved and we did 6 blocks a month and then passed it on to the next person. I used Mary Hickory's information from the Dear Jane site to set the blocks in the middle of the Ohio Star block. I had already begun the quilt and cut all the fabric before I learned to make "no-waste" flying geese. I sure will know better next time.......... With all those little HST's left over it was easy to make the sawtooth border. The quilt is packed up and ready to send UPS to be quilted by Judy at Sunshine Quilts.

How glorious it is to have one so close to being complete.

That is one quilt top pieced in January. Now one more to do in order to reach my goal.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Dr Seuss

My new Google Home Page gives me several quotes each day. This one is worth sharing.....

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities."
- Dr. Seuss

Thursday, January 04, 2007

There is Pink & Then There is Pink

Some of you might remember that in August, my daughter Rebekah and I began a quilt together. We went totally over the top in the “marked down” section at a Tumbleweed Quilts buying pink fabric. The idea was to make a quilt that I had seen on the cover of the “Quilts from the Henry Ford” book by Fons and Porter. She is doing ½ of the blocks and I am doing the other half. The deadline we established is Feb. 14th. I just didn’t realize until we got a few blocks competed that I had taken a turn in the wrong direction. Since we both want that quilt we are adjusting our thinking on the assembly.

I have found a fabric at Thousands of Bolts that should be the perfect sashing. Now if I could just remember to measure the blocks I have I can figure out how much fabric to purchase. We could use the pink part as the sashing with black cornerstones and pink heart shaped buttons sewn to the cornerstones. At least that is the plan now. Even this can change as nothing is written in stone yet.

Rebekah is coming to visit again in June and we will assemble the quilt together. Then we will have a nice soft hug from each other as comfort when we are apart.

Thank you to everyone for the support and kind words. Darlene is right, I need to remember that it is process over product and enjoy the journey. She has a grand idea for 2007 and I plan to follow her.....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Already my plans for 2007 have taken a down turn. I had hoped to complete two quilt tops each month. I had previously planned projects ahead that would make that goal possible without even one fabric purchase. I should have gotten off to a good start with my Mystery Quilt Plans for New Years Eve and New Years Day. It didn’t exactly turn out that way.

I will not be able sew as much as I would like in 2007. An old injury is causing me such discomfort that I will need to curtail my sewing time. Perhaps it will improve but until then I am moving rather slowly.

Instead of completing all 9 clues on New Years Day, I am just finishing clue 5. This is going to be a lovely quilt when it is done. It just will take a bit longer.

The Thread and I

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, Do it with thy might.

Ecclesiastes 9:10