Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blogging is the Best!

One of the things I like best about blogging is all the new people you can meet from all over the world.  I received these pictures of Nive's 1880 Sampler blocks today.  Nive lives in a small town in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy.  She is doing a fabulous job and is using fabrics from her stash.
Then...
a surprise squishy package arrives in the mail from Heather over at Creative Confessions.
She is teasing me with these lovely precut hexagons and the precut paper templates.  I imagine she expects to see my first hexie soon.  We are going on a little getaway (far, far away from my sewing machine...sigh) and so a handwork project seems to be in order.

Just about done with the first experimental Shamrock...
more a four leaf clover...
but it has to be March before I can share!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A February Full of Finishes!

I am quite proud of myself.
February was a very productive and satisfying month for me.
I finished (now that is a word you will not often see me use!)
3 items on my UFO/WIP priority list, in addition to completing 4 small quilts, and managed to fit in 50 siggy blocks.
I have made 3 more CW blocks for Barbara Brackman's BOW.
Decided to add in a little gold...the red, white and blue got a little stale for me.
Kinda like that khaki colored background behind the blocks. 
Just got a new Bonnie Blue basics in TOWQS that might be the perfect sashing color for these puppies.  Hmmm, food for thought.

I have updated my UFO/WIP list to include 3 new projects I am anxious to start and hopefully someday finish.  Kathleen Tracy over at the Small Quilt Talk Yahoo Group is having a UFO challenge.  Even though binding my Calico Comfort, her design by the way, was already on my list, I have entered it as my challenge to complete. 
Yah, I know what you are thinking!

So now I am ready to March right on in to a new month!
Do you think I could come up with a Shamrock Lil Twister design?

Friday, February 25, 2011

A little this and a little that...

Right now, I am busy binding Serendipity found.  Not an exciting process, so I dabble in a few other projects to keep myself entertained (or from going crazy---binding is my least favorite part of a quilt!)
Finished the last block for the Paris in the Fall BOM at TOWQS.
It was a challenging block to say the least.
Then doing what I love to do best... 
drafting and piecing blocks for the Farmer's Wife Quilt.
The rest of the time... 
I keep making siggy blocks for my Album Quilt designed by Kathleen Tracy.
Mine will be 4x4 and I am waiting for a few more signed blocks to return before I piece it together.
I love Kathy's patterns--accurate and easy to follow instructions.
Not all patterns are like that!

Others have been busy too.
Satu's recent additions to her 1880 Sampler (her blog can be found here) and...
Bettina (her blog can be found here) always keeps current.

Charlene in NH just contacted me and I expect pictures of all of her blocks soon.
Another block pattern posted today for a total of 9, enough to assemble the first 3 diagonal rows, so next week I will include sashing and setting triangle cutting instructions.

I haven't made the last two installments in Barbara Brackman's Civil War BOW.
Other priorities right now and they look easy, so I can catch up.

And, BTW, my inspiration for my Valentine Twister quilt came from Jeanne over at Crystal Creek Quilts.
Jump on over and see the beautiful job she did on Lori's doll quilt along.  Tell her Cheryl sent you.

Spring is around the corner, so I think I will head to the plant nursery today for some cheery annuals.  The frost we had in Jan. and Feb. did a number on our yard.  Lots of work trimming and replacing as needed, but I love to work with my hands gardening.  Just not next to those dang jumping cholla cacti!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Serendipity Found!

She's back!
You probably cannot appreciate the wonderful quilting; but after I get her bound, I will try a picture outside in the natural light.
The longarm quilter was a miracle worker, but now I am petrified to cut into her.
Maybe by Wednesday I will stop procrastinating and...
JUST DO IT!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Layout for the Sweetheart of a Lil Twister

So many have queried about the layout of the heart I made using the itty bitty twister ruler from Primitive Gatherings.  Here it is:
Of course, you will need to add the borders prior to cutting it up.
Have fun!

Friday, February 18, 2011

1880 Barbara Bucher Snyder Sampler Quilt Update

Karen over at the Log Cabin Quilter has started her blocks.
I love the fabrics she has chosen. 
I see a few familiar Jo Morton's in there. 
Bettina over at Patchwork Passion is keeping up. 
I have 4 diagonal rows set so far.
After next week's block, I will post the cutting dimensions for the sashing and setting triangles for those of you who are like me and just have to start assembling the quilt before all the blocks are made!

Autumn's Bounty is back from the quilter and bound.
It is going to look so wonderful hanging in my breakfast nook.
Click on the picture to enlarge so you can appreciate the beautiful quilting!
Today I pick up my Kim Diehl quilt from the longarm quilter.
We'll see what kind of miracle worker she is...
I can hardly wait.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No Willpower!

Blogland is so full of temptation...
and I have no willpower.
Made with the itty bitty Twister Ruler by Primitive Gatherings.
It is 6" finished. 
I can't decide whether to set it with the stripe or just frame it.
What is your favorite?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Guest Quilter

One Sunday afternoon a month, I participate in a Small Scale Quilt Study Group.
It is somewhat a misnomer...we primarily share all the wonderful small projects we are working on, as well as the large.  Visit Merumo at her blog to get a recap of all the ladies work.

The story of our guest quilter....
I meet Cheryl 3 years ago when we both became teachers at TOWQS.
Cheryl's talent lies in her needle turn applique and her specialty is pictorial quilts. Cheryl taught her first class, but was suffering from a sinus infection at the time.  It was a two part class and she never made it to that second session. We received the news that she was in the hospital...
in a coma...
viral meningitis.
We were all shocked and horrified that our new friend was battling for her life.
After 3 months in a coma, she was transferred to a rehab hospital and that was the last I had heard of her until the end of November 2010.
Her SIL brought her into the shop on a day Lin and I were holding down the fort.
It was so wonderful to see her and she was still that gracious, elegant woman I had meet 3 years prior.
One thing had changed.....she had lost her sight.
The tragedy seemed to effect us more than it did Cheryl.  A deeply religious woman, she found blessings in her situation. 
 "Don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't have wanted this to happen, but so many good things have come my way because of it."
Not being able to quilt was the one thing that saddened her most.
We are working on a plan to get her back to her beloved handwork.
As she says, "It doesn't have to be perfect.  I can't see it anyways!"

I would love now to share Cheryl's exquisite work prior to her blindness.
Believe it or not, this is her first hand quilted project.
I am going to give you a block by block tour so you can begin to appreciate the detail and embellishment.  Of course, I am sorry you all were not there to see it in person.
There are a few buttons, but most of the embellishment is done with ribbon embroidery.
We will start with one of her favorites, the Outhouse.
Remember that you can click on the picture to get a larger view.
She remembers that she was working on this one the day Princess Di passed.
Being a fan of Cardinals (and that has nothing to do with our AZ football team!), this is a favorite of mine. 

The Foxgloves and Calla Lily plants are my favorites in this cottage garden.
Note the path with the dog paw prints, the little fella headed to the fire hydrant and that pebbled foot bridge.


The Wisteria on this center block is so much more vibrant in person.

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of Cheryl's quilt. 
Mark your calendar on March 13th. 
She'll be back to share her lighthouse pictorial quilt with us and start hand piecing the first hexies for her next quilt.
Cheryl remains hopeful that she will regain some sight. 
She saw a small patch of blue sky the other day that brought her to tears.
For me, I know I will gain more from my relationship with her than I can ever give back, but we are sure going to give it our best to get her quilting again.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I have a new participant in my 1880 Sampler Quilt Along. 
Mary from Quilting in OZ (her blog) has joined in and caught up with the rest of us in no time.
And Jill from PA surprised me with this picture of all her SAL blocks.  They are pieced and she is playing with the setting.  She did a fantastic job. 
She made duplicates of some of the blocks that she originally didn't like her color choices for, and then decided she liked them after all.  I try to tell my beginners, who learn to piece by doing a sampler quilt, to wait until the end to make changes to blocks.
I should listen to my own advice.
I cannot tell you how many times I will remake a block until I am happy with my fabric selections!
All 50 siggy blocks are done and ready to be autographed.
I think I was dreaming of Spring when I chose the fabrics for these fellas.

Today is the monthly meeting of my SSQSG and we are exchanging signature blocks.
We are also expecting a much anticipated guest.
I'll be back to tell you all about her visit if she makes it.
Hopefully, she will bring some of her exquisite quilts to share!
Lots of applique, ribbon embroidery and hand quilting!

Friday, February 11, 2011

1880 Barbara Bucher Snyder Sample Quilt Update

The instructions for another block posted this morning over at my 1880 Sampler Quilt blog.
You can find the link button on my sidebar.

Several quilters who are playing along with me have sent me pictures of their progress.
These are Bettina's latest blocks.  She has them done practically before I finish getting them posted!
Satu in Finland is keeping on track.

And Doreen made two this week to get caught up.

I made 3 more blocks this week, but only 2 are keepers. 
I'm busy finishing up siggy blocks.
All my quilts should be coming home from the quilter's in the next few days, so panic is starting to set in.
Deadlines are looming.
I am going to give Jean Wells' trick of using grosgrain in the binding so my show quilts will hang nicely.  I'll let you know how it turns out.
Bindings have never been my strong suit!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Had to share...

I have been trying to blog less frequently, but...
just had to share the latest block for the 1880 Sampler Quilt.
It looks wonderful set on point.
I had been postponing making this block
(only 61 pieces),
but it turned out to be easier than I thought.
Don't worry~~you will have 8 other blocks to make before you get to this one!

Back to siggy blocks.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Signature Blocks and a Civil War theme!

This week will be consumed with signature blocks.
First I will make 50 siggy blocks for my Small Quilt Talk Yahoo group's exchange.
The fabric is washed and ironed, ready to start.
Then I'll continue to work on my Album Quilt from Kathleen Tracy's new book,
The Civil War Sewing Circle.
Just waiting on a few signatures.
Love the Civil War Chronicles fabric from Judie Rothermel!
#6-Richmond
and... 
#5 Kansas Troubles
from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts BOTW. 
Here they all are.
Notice the one that is conspicuously missing!!

I finished piecing my doll quilt for Christine's exchange.
I attempted to reproduce an antique doll quilt.
I am very pleased with the result and hope Lisa will like it as well.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Sneak Peak

I joined Christine's Doll Quilt Exchange and was thrilled to be paired with Lisa of Stray Threads.  Lisa is interested in textile history and passionate about antique quilts. 
Check her out! I know you will enjoy what you see and read.
She was recently selected as one of the 50 Best Quilting Blogs by Guide to Art Schools.
Here is a sneak peak at the quilt I am making for her.
That little square measures 3" finished.
I hope she will like the quilt.

Another block posted over at my 1880 Sampler blog this am.  Here is what is in store for next week.
I'll keep alternating difficult and easier blocks.
Please remember to send me photos if you are following along.

I am working on a few quilts from Kathleen Tracy's new book, The Civil War Sewing Circle.
I'll be back to show them to you when they are finished.
This weekend should be quiet for the first time in a long time, so maybe I can catch up on the Civil War Quilt's BOTW.

Any Super Bowl fanatics out there?
Who will you be cheering for?
I'll be putting my money on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Focus

Recently, Madame Samm asked the question, "What will you throw your heart into in February?"
My answer was 'quilts for charity.'
My goal is to make one quilt for the Linus Project, above is a sneak peek.
Machine quilt a Breast Cancer Fundraising Quilt.
Finally, finish the sleeve on my Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative donation and get it in the mail!!
Next in line is to finish the one I started for the Quilts of Valor.  It will be added to my list of 10 WIP/UFOs I am working to finish.  It will take its place after my Kim Diehl quilt is bound and removed from the top of the list.
I really do have good intentions and it helps me to publicly declare them.
Keeps me focused and committed.
How do you stay focused on the finish line?