Sunday, April 11, 2021

Mystery nearing completion

     My quilt guild is currently working on the last clue of our mystery. I like to do mystery quilts occaisonally because it provides another quilt I can give without doing a lot of planning or thinking. I like to support our guild, especially when we are still meeting remote.
     I am working on another mystery with Alycia because it assures me I will make a RWB veteran quilt and I don't have to plan it out. 
     I laid out the blocks for the guild quilt and saw it was a square. I am not fond of square quilts, especially for a comfort quilt. After some mental back and forth battle, I decided to add another row and had to figure out how to do the blocks without going through the mystery clues.
     I used graph paper for the 2 alternate blocks and wrote dwon what pieces I needed to cut. I always make some extra blocks when doing a mystery quilt, but there were not enough for 3 star and 2 lattice blocks. It took me longer than I wanted to figure out and cut out because I still have a vaccination brain and am not the sharpest crayon in the box.

The square layout, blocks finish at 12"

Layout with the extra row. I like the size much better.

Working on the extra blocks for the last row.
     Currently, the quilt is webbed on the wall waiting for the horizontal rows to be sewn. More photos later.
     The borders on the Mystery quilt were an add on at the last clue and I thought the blocks were way too fussy with such a strong overall design, so I will use some dark blue batik for the border. Once the quilt is all sewn, I will audition border fabric and size.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Up and down again

     First, wishing everyone a Happy Easter! I am in the middle of making an early dinner, so I wrote this yesterday!

      No, I am not referring to my condition after the second shot, which has been hard and fatiguing for over 4 weeks, but to another Upstairs/Downstairs quilt. This one is from two batik jelly rolls. First set of 6 blocks is sewn, 7 more down to go.

Two identical rolls

Sorted 8 sets

Strip sets sewn, 2 sets of same strips

The 8 sets of strip sets, 2 each of each strip set, ready to be cut into 2 1/2" strips

8 sets of block strips, 2 1/2" wide

The first 6 blocks of set 1 out of 8 sets, 7 more sets to go.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Almost a finish

     A number of years ago, I participated in a block swap with Barb. It was a bowtie block and we had to use grays and a bright fabric. I was happy with what I received and made it into a top. Which sat. And sat.
     In my resolution to make backs for all my tops, I made one for this and because it is a bit smaller than I usually make, I put it on the longarm this week. Although smaller (53" x 63"), it took a long time to quilt. The bowties were quilted with three diagonal lines (used a ruler, but I stink with rulers- they are always slipping on the ends) and the gray has small semi-spiral lines. The thin gray border had sawtooth triangles. The piano key border had square spirals that covered two keys at a time. I used Glide celery top and bottom. I think that this design flattened out the piano keys to be more subtle. The diagonal lines on the bow ties emphasized the changing directions, and the small scrolly lines lent a softness. I do not think an overall design would have achieved the result I was after. That is my story and I am sticking to it. 
     I have to put a binding on it and can't decide what fabric. When I get the binding on, I will photograph it so you can also see the back.

Blocks as received


Quilted, needs binding

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Appreciation, help and friendship

      One of the hardest things this past year has been the lack of being with friends and family. Fear was mass communicated to keep us "safe" and locked down. People have not fared real well with this strongarmed message. Some have cut off all connections, watch news nonstop and review the numbers every day. I feel I lost them. Others will not get together even outdoors, distanced. 

     I am grateful I have this blog to communicate with dear people that I have not met or met briefly and they are willing to keep in touch. I have sent many cards, got my guild on Zoom, and read and respond to emails everyday, just grateful for those people I know.

    I have had a huge number of request for comfort quilts, especially for cancer patients- some unknown to me and some close friends and relatives, in the past three months especially. I feel I can do so little for them but a comfort quilt care package. Not sure for the spike- I think it is the stress induced by the times.

     For non-cancer requests, I put in a book called "The Scars that Shaped Me" by Vaneetha Risner. Vaneetha is a gifted writer that has endured much suffering and writes encouraging words. Her new book, "Walking through Fire" has just been released. We have communicated for some years through email, and she has become a friend. She asked me to make a small quilt that she could use in her speaking engagements to illustrate a story she tells. It had to be compact to travel easily and not heavy because she has little arm strength. She needed it quick and I came up with this design, pieced, quilted and shipped it this week. I hope she likes it and it works in her presentation. It is 18" square. I put triangle facings in the back corners so she could hold it easily, and a rod to hold it straight to hang.

    I feel so privileged to be a quilter and be able to provide some concrete comfort to those who need it. Quilting is not a hobby. 

     Today, I heard from Debbie of Stitchin Therapy and she has just received a horrible diagnosis and could use your prayers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Giveaway winners and spring has sprung

     Today, when my grandkids were here for virtual school, I had them draw the names for the Star and the Plaid Giveaways. They had a hard time understanding the concept.
     I had a number of people who were no reply commentors, so I could not send you an email. Please check your status so you can be contacted in situations like this. I can't even notify you that you can't be notified.
     The Winner of the Rapid Fire Lemoyne stars, pattern and template is: JustCallMeElle. I am just waiting for an address to send it out.

     The Winner of the Plaids is: Cathy, (catkiz). Please send me your address.
     Spring has sprung around here with the early birds showing off.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Orphan Block Adoptions, anyone?

          Cynthia Brunz is hosting one of her Orphan Adoption Events  Good news for me to clear some things out.

Quilting is more fun than Housework

     First up, is a complete small quilt cut that I started in a workshop with a trained Studio 180, Deb Tucker teacher. I have the small pattern, the template, 2 extra project sheets and all the fabric cut for this small star quilt. It is a Lemoyne Star template. It works well, I liked doing it, but it is not my area of interest. I love the batiks I chose, but I will never finish it. The direction are included and there are great videos on Deb Tucker's Youtube channel. The template is pricey, but I will give all this away for free if you will use it.

      The second is my attempt to try and use plaids. I had this brain wave to make flying geese in plaids and make a quilt top. I collected all cotton plaids, mostly shirts. I made a few blocks and my anti-plaid brain vetoed the idea. You could make flying geese or whatever other block you wanted.

      If you really want to work on these, I would be happy to send them. Just make a comment below telling me you are interested, and on Tuesday, when my granddaughter is here again for virtual school, she will draw a name from the comments. Let me know which one you want or both. Make sure you are not a no reply commentor.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

More at retreat

     One of the perks having a retreat at Stella Niagara is to be able to walk outside on the grounds. The complex sits above the Niagara River just north of Lewiston, NY. When you look across the river, you see the Parkway in Canada, which is as close as I have been to Canada in over a year. You can walk down right to the river edge across a wild meadow. Most of the US shoreline is cliffs along here, so it is rare to walk to the shoreline. The British crossed here during the War of 1812 from Canada.
     It was a sunny day, but there was a huge cloud lingering above us making too much shade.

The chapel sits on the shore, Canada is across the river.

The main Stella Niagara campus

Closer to the chapel, Niagara River behind, Canada across

     I was able to finish some hearts for Deanna's daughter's wedding quilt (Sparkle Jane) that I mailed yesterday.

      I usually teach a fun project to build up our companionship. I found a tutorial for quilted 45 records. Here are our attempts.

     As we work, we display our finishes on the railing on the ramp. Our goal is to fill it before the time is over.

     I am so grateful for the time I had and the women that worked together.