Friday, January 28, 2011

Next 1880 Sampler block

 Pennyslvania Block

I decided to keep it simple this week after last week's challenge.  This Pennyslvania block is not my favorite, but I felt it needed to be included since Barbara Bucher Snyder lived in Lancaster County.  Doreen, my source for all things historically related to these blocks, tells me it was a popular block in the Lancaster area and the design most likely came from the hand woven coverlets that the Pennsylvania German (dutch) women made in the 1790's.
Next up... enjoy this week's block. 
I don't have a name for this one yet.  Many of her blocks were drafted from floor tiles found in churches, so they may not have official block names.  We'll see what Doreen can come up with.
Happy Piecing!

Note: if you are wondering where to find the patterns for these blocks, use the link button on my sidebar for 1880 Sampler Quilt Patterns.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Teaching, Tennis and Time!

I finished my Kim Diehl quilt top, so I rewarded myself with a small quilt from Lori Smith called 'Nine Patch Nostalgia.'  I am handquilting it with my new YLI thread that I had read so much about.  So far, I like it.  I'm using wool batt again, and it is heavenly.

Speaking of heavenly, handquilting is the perfect activity while I enjoy watching the Aussie Open Tennis.  A belated Happy Australian Day to all my Aussie friends!
The 'fly by' over Kim Clisjters' match was quite a sight.

My friend, Doreen, sent me some of her 'gray' reproduction fabrics from her stash.  Now how can I NOT participate in Barbara Brackman's Civil War BOTW.
Here is my Block #4.
The grey stripe is one of the fabrics Doreen sent me.
I am making my blocks 6" finished and when I drafted this one, it came out looking a little strange.  I think the bars in the middle square should have been wider.  Oh well.

Two SAL participants had a little online sew-in last weekend and helped each other finish their quilt tops.
This is Elin's. 
And this is Anne-Mettes'.
Congratulations on finishing them ladies.
 Both of the quilts are stunning.

I must apologize.  I have been up to my elbows with teaching and meeting deadlines that I have had little time for the computer.  I have not been blog hopping and commenting like I would like to.
Hopefully, next week, I can free up some time and get back to perusing all the wonderful and inspiring blogs again.

Today's goal is to write the patterns for 10 blocks for the Farmer's Wife Sampler club, continue hand quilting, prep for Paris in the Fall BOM class tomorrow, hike Pinnacle Peak and of course, watch the tennis. Whew, sounds like a busy day.

Look for the next block in my 1880 Sampler Quilt on Friday. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Road Trip Report

Road To California!
Not as bad as I thought it would be.
Lin didn't mind my driving skills (at least not to my knowledge!) Luckily we were driving in to Ontario opposite rush hour traffic flow. Our accommodations were a stone's throw from the Ontario Convention Center and could not have been more convenient!
And now.....THE SHOW!
You may be disappointed.  I have very few pictures to share.  Tomorrow morning my blog friend Linda will post lots of pictures, so make sure you check here.
 We opted to do the vendors first and you know the rules there...
no photos and no sketching!
Can you blame them?
Primitive Gatherings was our first stop and believe me, I blew my budget all in one place. 
A kit, several patterns, some wool, little 2 1/2" sample packets, and a few spools of Valdani and I had a smile from ear to ear.  Yes, I did pick up the littlest 'twister' ruler known to man!
By midday, I had toyed with purchasing John Flynn's machine quilting contraption and Lin had her eye on a stunning built-in sewing center. 
Stopped by Debbie Busby's booth and picked up a few patterns and YLI hand quilting thread. It is what she uses to stab stitch on her wool. Her patterns can be found at Wooden Spool Designs.
Oh, my gosh!  The quilts!  We must see the quilts.  Credit cards safely secured, we made our way into the center isles so painstakingly adorned with what should have been the center of attraction.
I apologize!  I did not capture many pictures of the quilts.  By this time, my feet ached and I think I had left my enthusiasm back in aisle 100.
This underwater scene intrigued me, being a nut about scuba diving!
Like Houston, the focus of the show was the art quilts and the exquisite machine quilting artists. 
I did love this one for its use of color.
Of course, I loved this sampler and snapped this pic as inspiration on how to set my Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks.
Friday we did 4 quilt shops!
My favorite was by far the Quilters Coop in Temecula. 
I'll be returning to Temecula to do some serious antiquing in the future, as well as some wine tasting! 
Loved the sign in the parking lot of The Fat Quarter Shop.  Lots of Cheri Payne's work was on display and I purchased the border fabric for the one pattern I have of hers.
Last stop was Country Loft.  Coffee and baked goods were a welcome sight.  We barely made it before they closed, but I am thankful we did.  I found a putty colored border fabric I had been searching for.
All in all, a great trip.  Just a little exhausted from the driving and all the chores I had to catch up on today to get ready for a very busy week of classes.
Don't forget to check out Linda for pics in the am!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On the Road to California! WooHoo!

I'm having the best morning, unlike a few days ago.
I have the Australian Open Tennis on the tellie and Roger is in a battle in the 5th set.
I'm packing my bags for a road trip to California to attend the quilt show in Ontario.
We are going to include a side trip to Temecula, then down to Vista and The Fat Quarter Shop.
From there, we will head to the Country Loft near San Diego and then home.
I'll be back next week with lots of pics and a bag full of goodies to share.

In the meantime, I have been recruited to teach the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt, so I better get busy making a few blocks.
Here is my progress so far.
Right up my alley, drafting on a small scale and sharing with others.
See you next week!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Auction #2

Christine over at Once Upon a Quilt is auctioning off this beautiful quilt.
All proceeds will go to raise funds for flood relief in Queensland.
The quilt was made from a pattern by Sweet n' Sassy.
You can find out all the details here
I made a cash donation this am through the government agency she lists in her blog posts.
My heart goes out to all the people affected by this horrendous natural disaster.
She is also asking for quilt tops or fabric donations.
Lots of options for anyone who wants to help--the auction for her first quilt donation is still on going.

Although my Saturday started off on the wrong foot (lots of foot in mouth on my part), it ended on a positive note. 
I have hinted previously that TOWQS is a place where you can sometimes rub shoulders with quilting royalty.  Yesterday was one of those days.  The very talented and humorous Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. stopped in to pick up some of the new Primitive Gatherings Muslins.
She was so gracious and offered a few suggestions on how I could deal with my 'unsquare' quilt top.
Thank you Miss Rosie.
I don't prewash my fabrics, more out of laziness than anything else, so I will now press each piece of fabric with steam and a good dose of spray sizing or light starch prior to cutting.
I am positive it would have helped bunches with the homespun project.
You probably know where to find this wonderfully talented designer; but if not, visit her and Rosie here.

Then when I opened up my computer after a long day of teaching new piecers, I found these.
Bettina from Spain has joined in the fun. 
Look how the stripes encircle the middle square of Union Rose. 
She managed to piece all 4 blocks in one day.  Wow!
She will be visiting Lancaster County soon and wants to see the quilt in person.

And Satu also tackled the 72 pieces involved in the making of this block.
The one thing I enjoy most about this journey is making contact with quilters from around the world.  What a joy!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Few Solutions...

Before I get down to the meat of this post, I'll keep it light by sharing Doreen's first 2 blocks for her 1880 Sampler Quilt. Besides, everyone loves pictures.
Tudor or Union Rose and... 

Now for a few solutions to the problems plaguing me.
The other day I came to the realization that I have bitten off more than I can chew!
Too many irons in the fire!
I'm not having fun!
So, I listed my WIPs and UFOs in the order of the priority and all the other things will just have to go on the back burner.  I will take a deep breath and relax.  Then I will start with the first project and work on it in 3 hour increments until it is done.  Then do the same for the next on the list, so forth and so on.
I will withdraw from some of my commitments.

First, no brown bag quilt contest!

Although this one disappoints me, I will have to strike my name off the signature block exchange over at my Small Quilt Talk yahoo group.  The group is getting too large. This one really bothers me, so I will ruminate on it for a day or two before taking action. 

NO MORE sew alongs or exchanges! The Barbara Brackman Civil War BOTW will only get done if I feel I have time.  Did you see this week's block?  I think that is what helped me decide to back away from this one. 
And with that off my chest, I also came up with a plan for my 'unsquare' quilt dilemma.
Upon the advice of my quilting friends, Kristine and Lin, I sprayed the quilt top with lots and lots of spray sizing and steam pressed the heck out of it.
Guess what?
The new center measurement was 69"--what I needed it to be.
However, the top and bottom borders are still at 65"--1" short for the outer border to fit correctly.
Did I mention that the outer border is pieced with homespun?!
So I will be sewing a smidge extra here and there when piecing the outer border and hope the machine quilter will not look at me sideways when I turn the whole thing over to her!
I am praying she can work wonders!
I love this quilt and will enter it anyways, no matter what the outcome.
It is the first thing on my list and I will get the quilt top finished by Wed., because I get to go to SoCal for a few days to the Road to California Show.  Whoopee!

Friday, January 14, 2011


My queen size applique quilt is ready for the inner border.
After piecing homespun and then appliqueing large shapes onto it, the quilt top is not square.
The middle measures 68 1/4" and the sides measure 68 3/4".
The homespun is very stretchy and my inner borders are cut on the lengthwise grain with no give.
Mathmetically, the borders should have measured 69".
What dimension would you use for cutting the inner border?
I know what quilting rules tell me to do, but I have to ease a lot of fabric in and it looks 'bunched.'

Any and all advice is welcome!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm still here!

My teaching schedule gets a little hectic this week, so I have been busy with the prep work for classes.  I did manage to work on Lori's doll quilt along. 
And I continued to draft and set the blocks for the 1880 Sampler Quilt. 
With so many bloggers posting their quilt and sew alongs on Saturday, I will move up the posting of these blocks to Fridays.  So look for the next block instructions tomorrow.
There were 5 Saturdays in Jan., so look for one more block this month.
I think the next one will be a little more challenging.
Are you ready?

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Sweetheart of a Winner!

Mr. Random Number Generator has selected a winner!
Darlene of Quilting Daze.
 Darlene said...
Wow, Cheryl, what a delightful giveaway! I'd love to win and have been a follower for a long time. :-)
And that is true.  She is one of my earliest followers.
Contact me by email with your snail mail info, Darlene, and your little package of goodies will be on it's way.  Thank you everyone for your interest in this little quilt.
And my applique marathon is done!
This picture will accompany the quilt show form and get posted today, 5 days before the deadline!
Not bad for an avid procrastinator.
I have to the end of the month to get the pieced, yes PIECED, borders on.
I don't think I will be doing any hand work for awhile!

Next Saturday I will be posting the 4th block in my 1880 Sampler Quilt.
Satu has sent me a photo of her first 3.
She is using Julie Hendrickson miniatures and Judie Rothermel fabrics.
Her favorite block, so far, is the Tudor Rose.
I would love to see and share pictures of your blocks as you make them!
Have a great week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Favorite Day of the Month

Today was our monthly meeting of my small scale quilt group.
I could not ask for a better group of quilters to share with, and garner ideas from, than these ladies.
The first one to share was Kristine.
This is her 'Three Barns' designed by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.
There are something like 600 HST's in this quilt!
Kristine never ceases to amaze and thrill me with her quilts.
Her sense of color and her piecing skills are exemplary!
Surprisingly, that was all she got done since our meeting in December.

Merumo was next, and you can see all her work here.
Do go check her out for some real eye candy!
I showed off my meager accomplishments next.

Now Lin has fallen under the spell of Lisa Bongean's technique for making nine patches.
Everyone sighed when they saw these little guys.
Could they be any cuter?
I have my eye on the little 'negative' one!!
The rest of the afternoon was occupied with sewing the binding on the following quilt.
Her 'Mourning Quilt' designed by Kathleen Tracy.
It will be a gift for a family friend who has endured several losses this last year.

Kathy spent most of November and December making a quilt for each member of her family as Christmas gifts!  That was a fete, but she has given them all away!
Now all she wants is to finish something for herself.
She designed this quilt from a book inherited from her mother.
What a special commemorative quilt! 
Kathy believes it was one her mother had earmarked to make for herself.

 Pauline wanted a quilt for her bed and a queen size is never large enough to cover the thick mattresses we own today, so...
she made this.
She had a fat quarter bundle of Daiwo fabrics (hope I spelled that correctly) and this is what she did with them.
Stunning is all I have to say.

Can you blame me for looking forward to these meetings?
Such inspiration!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

North Star and Be Mine!

North Star--the second block in Barbara Brackman's Civil War series.
If you want to sew along, the link is on my sidebar.

And now, my follower appreciation gift. 
'Be Mine'
Be a follower of mine and leave a comment.
Included is the pattern, material, including binding, a Quilt in a Day ruler for squaring up triangles, and a few other sweet treats.
I will draw the winner Monday at 5am.
Thank you again for the great reception I have received since starting my blog last summer.
It has be a fun ride!

P.S.-no need to mention this on your blog.  Just keeping it simple.
Remember, I have to have some way to contact you.  If you are a non-reply commenter, please include an email address where I can reach you if you win!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Over 100 followers!

Last night I reached, then exceeded 100 followers.  A few weeks ago, I posted for the 100th time, although that wasn't hard for me.  I have to exercise some personal restraint or I would blab blog all the time!
In keeping with blogland etiquette, I will be hosting a follower appreciation giveaway.  Just a little pressured to meet some deadlines and my teaching schedule goes full steam this coming week, so I will be back next week with my little giveaway.  I have an idea for it.
Involves Hearts... for my heartfelt appreciation of the warm and encouraging comments I receive from my blog followers.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

Catch Me If You Can-
the first block in Barbara Brackman's Civil War series.
It is so hard to decide which of the many new projects offered in blogland to do!
I've joined Christine's doll quilt exchange and look forward to getting assigned my exchange partner soon.
Next choice is Lori's doll quilt sew along and it is small, just like I like em!
Then there is Madame Samm's mug rug contest, and it has prizes!
Of course, there are all the other ongoing projects out there as well. 
Just too many quilts and sew little time!

So after the last affront to my dignity I could stand today...
which is worse??--mammogram, pap smear or the annual all over skin check by a dermatologist with magnifying glasses on!...
all of which I have put myself through this last month...
I made a decision.
I will only add the Civil War Quilts project to my commitments.
It is 52 blocks over 52 weeks.
I think I can handle that.
And besides, I have a use for the end product.
I have been wanting to make a donation quilt for the Quilts of Valor, and this will be perfect for it.
So my colors are chosen--red, grey/white, and blue.
I may decide to join Lori once I get a handle on all the things I have cooking right now.
Her little quilt is so darn cute and a reproduction of an antique!

Finally called the machine quilter today to get my place in her queue.
She is in high demand around quilt show time.
I was secretly hoping she would not have room to fit me in, but alas, I am scheduled the first week in February.  Can't use that one as my excuse and now have a second deadline to meet!
She did call me last minute Miller, though.
My fingers are screaming STOP! They are so sore from the frantic hand appliqueing I am putting them through.  I use a straw needle and it punctures the skin every once in awhile.
My quilt entry form is due Jan. 15th, accompanied by a picture of the quilt.
Off to the quilt shoppe to get something to protect my finger!

Monday, January 3, 2011

1st new project of 2011

Phew! I succeeded in repacking all the Christmas decorations this weekend and cleaning up all the remnants of the holidays, including the dust! However, it left my home looking drab and dreary!
One of the things I miss most is the little quilt I made using Kathie's recipe, so I decided to make a replacement that I can leave out year round!
I had previously made two quilts using this border fabric from Jo Morton and had just the right amount leftover to whip up this little mat. 
This is the coordinating table topper that rests on top of my dining table year round.  The little mat will be on my antique sideboard.
Then there is this Kathleen Tracy designed quilt from Remembering Adelia that will hang on the wall when I retrieve it from display at TOWQS.
It is challenging to incorporate my quilts in my southwest, territorial home!
I don't particularly like southwest fabrics nor quilt designs, but love to display quilts.
However, my home is so eclectic! I have a mix of French and American oak antiques mixed in with carved Spanish Colonial pieces and wrought iron. 
After all it is a home, not a decorator's showcase.
Today, my challenge, after I have the dreaded mammogram, is to find a threesome to create a nice vignette on top of the new addition.  I am thinking wrought iron candlesticks or the like.

Joined a doll quilt exchange over at Christine's blog.
I just love to visit her just to see the quilts in her header photo!

Found someone who adores doll quilts and makes them faster than I do!
Visit Monique over at Only Doll Quilts.
She is planning to make her own version of the 'Welcome Wagon' small quilt.

My goal for this week is to finish my Kim Diehl applique quilt!
Then you will not have to hear about it anymore!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Posting of Patterns for 1880 Sampler Quilt

It is January 1st, 2011!  Can you believe how fast 2010 went?
  Saturday will the day of the week that I will post the patterns for the 1880 sampler quilt.
Remember, this will not be a historically accurate reproduction.  My quilt will have fewer blocks that are 5" finished, instead of Ms. Snyder's 4 1/2" size.  However, the colors and setting will be in keeping with her original quilt. 
 Since the first two patterns have been posted for quite some time, I have given you a new one today.
I will wait 2 weeks before posting the next one and promise not to post more than one for each Saturday this month.
The link to the blog containing the patterns is on my sidebar. 
Enjoy and keep me updated with pictures of your blocks as you sew along!

Barbara Brackman has started a new blog to commemorate the start of the Civil War.
She will post a total of 52 block patterns that are 8" in size.
I will sew along with her and you can too.
Check it out here.
And like all things she does, there is some history and stories thrown in as well!

I may use a lovely fat quarter bundle of Julie Hendrickson's fabrics that I received as a Christmas gift! And then, maybe I will draft them to 4 1/2" in size, in keeping with the miniature nature of the fabrics.
Just a thought!
The mind is always buzzing.  Wish the hands could keep up!

Fell Off the Wagon

 It was bound to happen. I had stuck to my guns until I saw Laundry Basket Quilts' pattern, Alaska Magic. I told myself,  "It is te...