Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Letting go...

Back in the mid-1990's I was getting back into quilting so when a found a line of bright almost solids at my local fabric store I bought a yard of each colorway.

Fast forward to 2015...I still have some of that fabric.

It is like the millennium fabric - every time I clean the sewing room I find a some hidden in with other fabrics or projects.

It isn't like I didn't use the bright fabric.

This small project was the first to use these fabrics (which I believe came from Clothworks? If anyone knows please comment!)

It is also the first quilt that I machine quilted...not saying I did a good job but I did machine quilt using only a magazine article for instructions.  (Backing my first machine quilt project in flannel was not a good idea...)

It was also the first time I paper-pieced.

That I did a decent job on.

But really, I have been dragging the little project around from almost 20 years.  I don't see myself using it on a wall (show that stitching...not even sure I should put it on my blog!)

So tonight I am making a bed for my dog Watson.  The last of the fabric is being cut into 2-1/2 inch strips.  The end of an era! (and add that to the 20% of stuff not going back into the sewing room!)

Monday, March 30, 2015

One step closer...

One step closer to having more space in the sewing room...the inspector showed up around noon.  And surprise - she was a quilter!
Goldie with my spider web quilt...
I think she spent as much time looking at the quilts I have hanging on the walls as she did the addition!
Even some of the prints on the wall are of quilts...this one is from a Welsh artist!

I am starting to really miss having my sewing machine accessible...I started cutting fabric today using the kitchen counter and a small rotary cutting mat.  Now that I have piles of strips and 6-1/2 inch squares I miss the machine even more!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

More moving around...

This week my sister and brother-in-law visited from New Hampshire.  It was nice seeing them.  However now that they have headed out to Florida I  can move "stuff" into the guest bedroom and make space in the rest of the house!
1890 9-patch from Pennsylvania.  A good example of black prints from that time period.  These are sometimes called mourning prints.

As I do this I am trying to get some better photos of the quilts I'm moving.
On the wall is a 1940's 4 patch that has fabric that go back 40 years earlier! 
On the bed is a 1930's hexagon.
Not easy as this is pollen time in Georgia...definitely do not want to get this on a quilt.

I ended up giving up on the quilt photos and playing with the dog!

On the sewing room - the electrician worked for two days to get everything ready for the county inspectors who should be here tomorrow!  If...rather when...it passes then work on the inside can really begin!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

making the cut...

I am determined not to pile everything that came out of my sewing room back into the new room.  This means some difficult decisions need to be made...

The good news - my guild has committed to making 80 quilts for a veterans home in town.  That is a lot of quilts!
(scrappy trip around the world in batiks...I made 3 of these!)
So I went through the top pile (at least the top pile I could find!)
(a chinese coins...hope there is a vet that like music!)
I found a few that will work.

Of course if they have female vets there I will have a few more to add to this!

The new space is about 3 weeks out...yesterday they broke through the wall!  It looks much larger from the inside.

I'm going to measure it this week and really start my planning.  The "plans" changed so many times I didn't put anything down on paper...now that I have walls I feel more confident of the measurements!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

National Quilt Day...or weekend!

Duh!  I forgot to post and wish you all a great National Quilt Day!  So I'm a day late...but still working on the same project...

I hope to have this Charleston Basket (photo above) ready for our Quilt show in November.  It will be a stretch but I'll keep on stitching!

Also, since we are in the Spring state of mind...here are some photos of another basket quilt.

This one is from Waynesborough Georgia.  Best know as the "birddog capital of the country" and some great pecan orchards.

I brought this with me to show Pat Sloan since she had commented on it in a Vintage quilt facebook group I posted it in.

I think the blocks were made by a group with different quilters stitching on each block.  The embroider varies greatly and the placement of the flowers is all over the place!

I think this was made circa 1930.  I like quilts made from that time period that aren't too pastel.  This has enough black and red to keep it from being too "cute."  I may just stitch a sleeve on this and hang it up on the wall for Easter!  Also, I need to keep it out to trace off a pattern for a friend in my guild who would like to reproduce it...maybe I'll make a block as a pillow...hummmm.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Progress report...

So many "irons in the fire" right now...

First, the quilt I wrote about in my last post...the one I had to wash...it came out fine.  Did lose some brightness and some of the ink either came off or took the fabric threads with it but all in all the stain is gone and it smells fine.  Interestingly between shrinkage and just "crinkling" the quilt is almost 2 inches smaller!

This quilt was made in West Virginia.  I bought it back in 1994.  There was a note with it that said it was started in 1890 but finished by the makers daughters in 1941.  A multi-generational quilt for sure!

Next, we had some dry days so the builders made some progress on the new addition!  Of course this was followed by rain and some leaks in the room...nothing major (we just need to tear my husband from the ceiling!)

The room is empty now...looks so much bigger already!
Watson inspects the empty space...
In addition to more space I'll have better lighting, a bamboo floor (easier to clean!), two more electrical outlets (including a dedicated circuit for my large machine) and some built in storage.  Besides better access I will have space for a permanent design wall and large board pressing station.
Plenty of power M&M's...
It is noisy and messy though...I escaped to a friend's house for a few hours this week.
Paula showing us the project that "changed her style of stitching"
Some stitching, friends, candy and lunch...all good!
Julie's hand quilting project 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Quilt Emergency!

For a long time I've been a little smug about my cats and my antique quilts.  When folks warn about having animals near vintage textiles I would smile and tell them I have never had a problem with the two.  (my husband is a whole 'nother story...someday ask me about a turn of the century Ocean waves and Diet cherry Dr. Pepper....)
Goldie on a circa 1870  log cabin....

Well it has all finally come back to haunt me.
Dobby on a stack of quilt tops (only vintage as in I made them more than a decade ago!)

The cats are a bit freaked right now.  I've been ill so not doing all my pet owner duties normally, the coyotes are back in the neighborhood and their calls unnerve all of us, and add to that the workman around the house.  So to top it off yesterday we began the final move out of the sewing-room.  To do this the antique quilts that were hanging in the hallway had to come down...I thought they would be safer that way!  Duh!

Let's just say Dobby or Goldie made their point known.  So most of last night and this morning I've been stressing about washing this quilt.  First time it has ever been washed.

Couple of reasons this hasn't been washed before...The red fabric is circa 1880 and the black "dots" are ink that has eaten through the fabric in spots.  Washing would take away the ink in many areas and could cause the batting to come through the dots.  I was/am also concerned about the green.  Green from this time period can wash out (and of all the colors this is the one that seems to have run onto the back...the quilt isn't dry yet so we'll see if it dries light....)

So guess I'm counting no the luck of the Irish today....

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My four Grandparent's were all born in Ireland and emigrated to the United States.  I've visited Ireland many times and still have some relatives in Killarney, Dublin, Galway, and Cork.

Here is a photo of my paternal Grandfather's family, at the time they were the largest family of voters in Boston...of course women couldn't vote yet.

His surname was Breen and they were from Kerry county.  (just so you know I have heard all the Kerry-men jokes!)  Other family names are Mooney, Nolan and Drummey.

Though I'm still a bit weak I rallied long enough to make a loaf of Irish bread...I make it with loads of caraway seeds and raisins and slather it with lots of Irish butter.  Good thing for my waistline I only bake it a few times a year!

If I'm feeling up to it we may go downtown and listen to some Irish music by the river.  It is a warm and beautiful day here in the south!

So Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pat Sloan visit

me, Pat Sloan, and my friend Paula

This past weekend my Guild sponsored two workshops and a lecture with Pat Sloan. Pat is a quilt designer, teacher, lecturer, fabric designer, author, travel guide, and radio host...yikes!

 Unfortunately I had a fever midweek which kicked my MS into high gear so I was only able to attend the lecture on Sunday.

She is really a wonderful presenter.  Really engages the audience.  Her style is a bit folksy but is inclusive (she also has lines of batiks!)  I've only heard good things from the quilters who took her workshops.

I really enjoyed her explanation of how she uses antique or vintage quilts as inspiration.  Since that is where I get most of my inspirations it is fun to listen to someone on that same path!  I really admire her focus...you all know that is a weakness of mine!

She also mentioned "quilting before the Internet."  Do you remember those days!  How much easier and faster information flies these days...not always sure that is a good thing.  (but that is fodder for a future post...need to think on it awhile longer.)

And of course since there were quilters there were cookies...