Tuesday, February 24, 2015

cold, cold, cold...

I feel like such a wimp complaining about the cold here in Georgia when there are feet of snow in other parts of the country.  But it is cold and wet and I am so tired of walking the dog 8 times a day...

OK, that is it for whining...Above is a quilt my husband brought home from an estate sale.  I can't complain as it was only $7.  It is so late 1970's to early 80's.  The mauve and pale blue are strong clues!  I remember having a difficult time finding brighter fabrics when I first started quilting in the 80's.

This isn't my usual decade to collect.  There are some things I like about it.  The pattern is unusual (though it may have come from a magazine.)  The quilter was brave and machine quilted circles of different sizes all over the quilt.   As I remember there were fewer folks machine quilting back then.

The sorting and folding continues.  Finding some interesting stuff in the piles...like, these yellows.  Had no idea I had so much yellow and orange repro fabrics!  The same thing has happened with purple...
The yellow make me look forward to spring...just like this lone daffodil in my front yard!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vintage twice over...

a block made by me after tracing the blocks...

While emptying baskets I found yet another old project...twice old!

Back in the 1980's I bought this sunbonnet sue crib quilt at an estate sale.  I'm not generally a Sue fan but this one grabbed me.  The sue's held up well but the pink sashing is really faded and since there was only a little quilting the batting has all bunched and shifted.
A gardening and cleaning sue from the original quilt...

First I tried to trace off the design.  Not real happy with that.  So when I saw the pattern for the "days of the week towels" I was really excited!

By now it was the early to mid-90's.  I had just finished my first big applique quilt.  So I started again.

Not 100% sure why it went back into the UFO pile.  I'm going to spend a few hours kitting this up so I can use it as a take-along project.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day off...

Friday I took a day off from working on the sewing room.  I was tired.
Rachel's wool sampler leaf
I did go over to my friend Paula's and stitched a bit.  It felt good.  As much fabric and quilting things I've handled in the past few weeks I haven't actually sewn for what feels like ages!
Paula's current mixed fiber applique project...
Usually we work on our wool projects but I just stitched on my Charleston basket...mainly because I knew where it was!

She does a nice job of displaying quilts at her house.  This is the Carnival corn quilt I made last year hanging in her dining area.  Aren't the berries and the birds on the quilt hanger perfect!

Speaking of birds...saw our bluebird for the first time yesterday....hope he chooses to spend more time in our yard this year!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Light at the end of the sewing room...

I got a few comments wondering why there were no "before" photos of the sewing room...basically there was so much stuff it was difficult to get a photo.

Now that 80% of the material, boxes and bags are out of the room this is what it looks like.  The new room will be almost twice the size.  Furniture will fit much better!

Today I started on the closet.  Surprised how fast that went.  Most of the boxes and baskets contained either UFO's or projects.  Like this basket...

it has the pattern and fabrics all in one place and has so since about the year 2000!

So I made the tough call...I'm never going to make this!  I still like the pattern and the fabric...it just isn't going to ever make it to the list...so the strips went into the 1-1/2 inch strip box and the pattern into the donation box.

which left me with an empty basket to use when we reload the sewing studio!

I also found a bit of repro fabric I thought long gone...this is one of my favorites the Cobb Quilt collection from the Smithsonian (sometime in the early 1990's)

On the building front...the county inspector came by today and it passed the first inspection!  Phew....tomorrow they can lay the foundation....

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Blocks in the piles...

Let me just say it is amazing what I find when I do these sewing studio digouts...one of my husband's shirts that needed a button (about two years ago!), novels I planned to share with quilting buddies, and blocks - lots and lots of blocks.

I always loved finding antique or vintage orphan blocks but felt sort of bad for the quilter wondering why the block didn't make it to a finished quilt.  Reasons like it was a test block, she/he made too many, it was the wrong color were some reason tossed around but "the block was lost in the fabric piles" now needs to join the list!

Now I hate when this happens...these blocks have been separated from the magazine with the pattern in it!  The quilt was on the cover.  It is about 3 years ago?  Anyone recognize it?  I have a bout a dozen more of the center uneven churn-dash and would like to finish the quilt.

Also have over 60 civil war repro-blocks!  Most of these were from Barbara Brackman's block of the week.  These will finish at 8-inches.  Need to take these to a retreat and just finish!
I did take a moment out of the moving to finish something...the little pillowcase above!  All it took was one more seam.  This was tucked into a box with another project.  I must have been working on them both at the same time...now this pillowcase can go to some child like it was intended!

I am still moving and folding fabric to clear the sewing room.  Making decent progress.

Repro pieces less than a yard are going into the dresser in the guest room...almost out of space there too!

Have moved two bookcases and a storage cabinet out of the room too...the rest of the house will be crowded for awhile!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mini quilts in the UFO pile

The title should read "many mini quilts" in the UFO pile!
A small scale quilt inspired by an antique quilt in my collection
Making these tops are a fun way of trying new colors or new techniques but tend to pile up after a few years.

They are also good for putting up on the wall
This was a blog quilt along...
or on a table top (when finished that is)
Left over half square triangle blocks...
and showing your love of fabric or quilting
(this one is "finished" as I gave the top to my friend Paula!)
thes were leftover pieces that spent a few years in a bowl on top the sewing room cabinet!
I need to make a concerted effort to finish up a few of these or move them along...one way or another!
A chinese coins that used up scraps from my log cabin quilt
some liberated piecing with tiny baptist fans!  this may take awhile!

Just to show I do finish some this Drunkards Path is 14 years old and is less than 10 inches square!

This tiny wedding ring quilt was made by my friend Linda.
So many more...need to put them out where I can finish them and then enjoy them!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The dig out continues...

The digout continues...not of snow like up in Boston but of fabric from the sewing studio!
A box of 9-patches...not sure what the plan was!
Lets just say it is going...slow but steady.  I started out sorting, pressing and organizing (or at least trying to organize) as I move the fabric from the cabinets, boxes, bags and random other places...
Wasn't getting far very fast that way.

So now I am making fabric drifts around the house...

the dining room

the hallways

and just about everywhere!

As this goes on I'm finding lots of older fabrics that I hadn't seen in a long time.

Obviously at one point I really liked formal pillar and border prints.

Just as I was falling asleep last night I remembered why I was buying these...I wanted to make a repro of a Carpenters Wheel circa 1847 that I have in my collection.  Maybe I should revisit this plan!

No, no...must focus on moving more fabric!  The workman moved some equipment next to our house yesterday and the room has to be empty before they can start the extension!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Quilt show challenge

Saturday we announced my guild's 2015 Quilt show challenge.  I've been working on this committee with my friend Paula and I think we came up with a fun challenge.
A quilt from the meeting's show and tell...traditional...

It is called "how do you take your quilt?  Traditional, modern or art?
An example of a "modern" quilt...made by me.  Improvisational piecing with channel quilting done on a home machine.
An example of an "art" quilt..."Hoedown" by PJ Howard.  In my collection

The guild member gets to choose the style of quilt he/she would like to represent in the show display that hopefully, will teach folks about these three styles/categories of quilting.

The finished quilt can be no larger than 120 inches around and must include these three colors (with the option of adding two more.)  There can be multiple fabrics in each colorway.

We did a test run to some local shops and to Mary Jo's to make sure these colors were available.  I was surprised how easy it was!  The only fabric style I couldn't find them in was 1930's...there are loads of batiks, reproduction, solids, and even reproduction available.

And for those who like to find a feature fabric and work out from there these were available too.  (Even a few Kaffe worked!)

To help the guild members get their heads around this we had a stack of fabrics in these colorways for them to study...  We also did a short program on characteristics of the different styles.  I'm really excited to see what these quilters come up with!  (and yes, I'm supposed to be moving everything out of my sewing studio to get ready for the expansion but instead I started my challenge quilt!)