Quilts for Sale

Monday, November 17, 2014

More Stars

Like most of the country, we got hit with an early blast of cold and a little snow. As an experienced quilter I knew to prepare for some long sessions in the sewing room. I guess I prepared a little too well in the past cause when the Thursday class went shopping for sashing and... All I needed was thread. Of course, that is not saying that is all I bought. One shop we visited is closing so I had to fill my bag with lots of the Civil War prints I love. That's my idea of having fun!

With the time in the sewing room I finally finished my latest star quilt top. I considered adding a border of triangles and then another plain border, but really didn't like it when I arranged a few triangles on the wall.  So this is it. Since I bought enough red to add a border and decided not to, I could actually make more stars and make this to fit the bed, but that would probably get boring. I could just use that extra for the back of the quilt. I think I want to quilt this simply with straight diagonal lines much like so many antique quilts were quilted. I think that would really add to it looking old. I am surprised how much I love it. Thinking of getting it quilted now to use as a couch quilt through the holidays.

Saturday I taught my Infinite Stars class for the guild that meets in Antioch.  That is always a fun class to watch the ladies discover just a few of the possibilities to create a star starting with a traditional patchwork block. This is one of the class samples I bring.

Tomorrow I meet with the ladies at church to work on comfort quilts. Then I quilt again on Thursday and . . . Mark can't get over how much time I spend sewing. Of course, he is not here to see me check out the other blogs linked up to Judy's.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Random nine-patches

Before I forget again I am showing the first antique quilt our neighbor gave me. Musta been busy when I got it, that I didn't share earlier. We'd done a few favors for him and then he asked what he owed us.  I told him that the quilt keeping the dust off the car in the garage would be enough. Too easy. I am looking forward to helping him out some more. I know he has more antique quilts, but I don't know how many or that I even want them. We did see one keeping dust off some boxes in storage, but it looked like an old cheater that was very faded and thread bare.

I find the arrangement of the patches very interesting. Is it rare that you see the fabric arranged randomly like this? I wonder why she didn't fuss with consistent placement of lights and darks. It would be very difficult for me to do this deliberately. Was she working in the evenings by lamp-oil light? Did two people make the blocks and they weren't in agreement that value placement mattered? Was she in a hurry?  Or was it intentional? Is that why I find it so attractive? I tried to count the number of fabrics. I quit at 52. It's not easy. First I counted all the plaids and strips then each color separately and add 'em up.1 pink, 1 green, 2 reds, 4 blues. Lots of plaids and stripes and blacks and browns.

This was entirely hand-pieced and hand quilted. There is some fading, of course. I wonder if  I would have liked it more then or as it is now.  Some of the blacks and browns are starting to rot and split. The back appears to be a hand-dyed homespun. The back was brought to the front to bind. In one corner on the back is written in marking pen "your grandmother made this". and in blue thread below that is stitched "for dads 9". We can't be sure what that means as there are no names or dates. He has poor family records besides. Glad it is mine now.

 I made 8 more uneven 9patch stars and I am ready to sew them together. Hopefully this week. This is more interesting to look at so I am not showing my stars.

I joined Judy's Linky Pary at PatchworkTimes and Leanne's new Linky Party at SheCanQuilt. Thanks ladies.

Monday, November 3, 2014

No Intentions

I'm still catching up from being gone to Quilt Market so haven't had much chance to sew. But Sue came over and saw my new antique quilt (last post) she thought we should make it as on of our sampler blocks in class. So I made a sample block and have to say that I don't think it is a good choice for beginners. Sue won't have any problem with it though and already bought fabric to make a quilt with the pattern. So this is the only thing on my flannel wall.

There is nothing on the wall either at Studio 3. Hope to rectify that situation on Thursday. First I must prepare for a program I am presenting on Wed evening  in Antioch to the Northern Lake County Quilters.
Now to visit a few blogs linked to Judy's.

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Aunt Mary's Double Irish Chain

I've identified the pattern in my quilt from the neighbor as "Aunt Mary's Double Irish Chain". I'm still trying to figure out why he'd want to part with it. I guess there is just no accounting for some people's taste.  I am busy admiring it and as usual wonder how it looked before the fabric had faded.

 The blocks appear to be pieced by hand but joined with the sashing by machine.The edge is also finished by machine. On 3 sides the back is turned to the front and machine stitched in place. The fourth edge is actually seamed front to back. That would have done before it were layered and basted.

I counted over 37 different fabrics used. All but two are either solids or a plaid or stripe. The black print and the tan dot or flower are shown in the photo above. There are 2 stains in the one block and two small spots where I need to repair the line of stitching.  Several of the fabrics appear to me to be hand woven. ( How does one really know?)  And several were hand dyed including the back. The dye in one of the fabrics bled in two of the blocks. I place it in the first quarter of last century but can't pinpoint it any more than that. His mother or grandmother made it. He has no records of his family since they were lost in a fire at the courthouse and no one is left to ask. Many of the larger triangles  have multiple seams in them leaving me to suspect they were cut from old clothes.

I was going to link to the post about the other quilt he gave me but I can't find it. Must not have posted when I got it.  Stay tuned for details on that one. If you are visiting from the Facebook group you may want to click the link on the right under labels for "antique quilts". Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Never too many

Been a bit too busy to do any of my own sewing lately. I've recovered from Market, but every time I attend, I come back with a new to-do list. That will give me quilty stuff to blog about the next 7 months. Market was exciting as usual. Sometimes things were a little too slow for comfort as in at lunch time when Grace from the Waukesha shop relieved me a spell and was pretty bored so counted the 50+ exhibitors that passed my booth. And they weren't going in the direction of the food court. Only 3 qualified buyers passed the booth in the same time!

If your a member of the facebook group "Quilts, vintage and antique" you already saw that as I was preparing for Quilt Market last week my neighbor called me over again to "see" another antique quilt. He had it all spread out on the car waiting for me, just where I found the other one.  I ooohed and aaahhhed over it (I'd hoped I did that enough to give him the message I was really interested in it.) and told him everything I knew about it. Then I told him I had to go and to let me know when he was done with it cause I'd be pretty interested in having that one too. I guess I ooohhhed and aaahhhhed enough cause he gave it to me on the spot.  Perhaps I should explain that my husband ( I call Mark the neighborhood handyman) helps the guy out off and on throughout the year. Gee, I wonder how many more he's got. He did say that his mom and grandma quilted alot. (Got my fingers crossed here)

 I haven't had a chance to get a good picture but hope to do that in the next day or two. I will share more details about it then. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Juggling Hats

A few weeks ago I started using my Civil War scraps to make these Union Square blocks at Studio 3. Maybe you know this block as Contrary Wife. I kinda liked them all scrappy.

After just making a few I decided not to make the big triangles scrappy. Mainly cause I didn't have those sizes already cut and leftover from another project like all the little pieces. I decided I like these too.

Next thing you know, I  want use even more different fabrics so cut some more little triangles. May as well plan to use one color small triangle per block. And the blue block I found in my pile of orphan blocks. I have no idea when I made it. These I like the best but still don't have a problem with the others.

 Now I need to decide if I want to use all of them together in the same quilt. And why not? And since I didn't start with a plan I need to decide the setting and number I need... Sometimes I stay after class and sew aimlessly. Can you tell?

I've been juggling all kinds of things lately. Classes and my own projects at both Studio 3 and here. Then there are orders to fill  and vending a show and Quilt Market in Houston. I still help our fella friend out with a few things and tomorrow is quilting at church. That one doesn't take much prep on my part, but I am taking things there that I need to gather. It has been difficult to stay inside and work when it's been so pretty out in the woods. I took a walk today and scattered some of the many wildflower seeds I collected earlier.

Preparing for quilt Market has been a bigger job than I thought. Silly me. I thought I didn't have much to do to get ready just cause all the quilt were quilted. Glad I thought to make room and airline reservations a few months ago. But besides that I also should have ordered early the other stuff I need for my booth and could have saved some money. Lots of details to consider. Glad I've done it before cause  I don't feel stressed, just busy.Pretty much just have to pack it all in the suitcases now. That means there is time to join in the Linky parties at Stitch by Stitch and Patchwork Times.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ready, Set, Go

Back from Louisville and all unpacked. Unfortunately the show was not well attended, but we had a good time. The vendors are all so nice and in the same boat. Always talk in a situation like that and it was pretty much agreed on that there are just tooooo many big shows.

 I sorted as I unpacked with my next trip in mind  to Houston quilt market in a few weeks. Not much to get ready for that trip so this afternoon I gave some thought to the sampler classes and what blocks we are doing next. All ready for that, I then went through some of my orphan blocks and am now considering getting back to making a few more sampler blocks to go with these 5 batik orphans.

Of course if I decide to do that, I would put it toward the bottom of the list as I have a few other projects in mind. OH WHY did I pull out that pile of orphans???

I looked for my setting fabric while I was gone but had no luck so I guess it is off to Sawdust and Stitches to find it. No doubt it will be there. Maybe Wednesday. Sharon will like that!

I think its Monday so I will link this post to Patchwork Times  and check out what everyone else is up to. See you around.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Where I Was

Last week I finished the 12 blocks that used the uneven nine-patch for the star centers. I decided I liked them lots and changed my mind about including the brown and blue blocks. While I am in Lousiville at the show I hope to find fabric for setting them.  That means I have to decide on the setting. I am not sure I will put them on point. I am wavering between alternating with plain blocks or setting with wide sashing the OLD fashioned way. I'm hoping to find a red print to finish it that screams "pick me". Maybe a simple half-square triangle border.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Always an Option

I always offer options for my class projects. In Kentucky next week I have 3 half-day classes scheduled. These two samples are for the Thitysomething Stars class on Saturday. I prefer the gold, red and brown sample with leaves in the prints. I tend to like dark colors. I've been told its cause I am from the midwest. Who knows?  I do like the brighter sample too, kinda.

3 hours should be just enough time to get the hang of making basic Thirtysomething units. The rest they have done before.  Wow, just 3 hours. That makes me wanna take a class myself.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prepping Binding

My Thirtysomething sampler is quilted and waiting to be bound. It is supposed to be nice out all week so I may put it off till next week.

When I make my binding I usually cut each end at an angle for my mitered seams before I sew them. When I cut 2 1/2" binding strips I use the Easy Angle triangle or similar tool so I get useable, measured triangles that I can use in the future. Better that corner triangle goes in the scrap basket than the trash.
 I cancelled classes last week at Studio 3 cause it's getting a new roof. But before that some of the ladies helped me sort through the orphan blocks. Now I have to find  coordinating fabric for sashing, borders or whatever they need to make the kits complete. Not in a hurry to do that cause there are still plenty of kits waiting to be completed.

The only thing on my flannel wall is these 3 blocks that I found stuffed in a basket in the living room. And to think they have been in that basket nearly 20 years! I will hang on to one for my orphan block pile the other two  joined the others for comfort quilts at church.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Uneven 9-patch

I had a chance to do some sewing yesterday. After much deliberation I made these uneven 9-patch blocks using some of my least favorite fabrics in my drawer of 1800 repro prints. This was actually a pretty common pattern over 100 years ago.

 I am surprised by how much I like it because it is so simple. Sometimes they were arranged with sashing though usually they alternate with a plain block.Occasionally the quilt history/documentation books show it used in a border. Maybe that's a good idea  for a bed size quilt where repeating the same block throughout gets kinda boring.

I am not sure why I chose my least favorite fabrics to use since my goal here is to make something I like. I think it's cause I like a challenge and Sue thinks I need a challenge. She suggested somethintg with tiny pieces or curved seams like she likes to do. She doesn't know what a challenge it is for me to use fabrics I am not really keen on.Which is kind of funny because she won't help with the comfort quilts cause she doesn't like to work with fabric she doesn't like.   

Anyway my intent is not to make a quilt with just this block. If it were, I would definitely be using my smallest scraps. These are the centers of the blocks. Stay tuned to see how it develops.
Again I am linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday for her weekly linky party.  Thanks Judy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Two Design Walls

Since I am doing some piecing at Studio 3 and I have a flannel wall there I can share what I have on each wall. Here at home I just made this block to see if I would like the size. I just dug into my scraps and cut squares and over-sized triangles. The block finishes at 12.75". I like the size but really don't like piecing this block cause it's on the diagonal so I don't think I will be making anymore. This can go in the orphan block pile. I am glad I made the sample block. I usually do it to test colors or technique. I just wanted to see If I wanted to use 3 1/2" squares. Now I will have to choose a different block.
 I took a box of my Civil War scraps to Studio 3. I started some blocks and have some of the units arranged here on the wall. This is nothing like what I a going to do with them but by now you know I like to play with the units to see if some hidden design speaks to me. Nothing was talking when I arranged these and then arranged them in reverse order. That is just as well sometimes. I don't really need more ideas.

I have not been posting as much lately cause I limit my time at the computer and I signed up again for facebook. Not sure I am going to stick with it again. I mostly understand how it works except I did post a message to someone in error the other day.  Kinda more detail than the blog here. Not so sure I wanna do that. If you'd like to be friends on facebook then invite me and maybe I will stick around this time.

Posting Late to Design Wall Monday. I see it's quiet there. I think it's the time of year.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Making Progress

 Finally some quilting weather this summer. You might think with all the rain that we have had that I'd have been quilting more but for some reason it hasn't been reason enough to quilt. But it has gotten hot and humid so I have been working on the sampler. I have 1 1/2" rows done except I will still go back and do a background fill in each block when the rest of it is done. Here are two blocks.

It's not been hot all week, so on pleasant mornings I have been outside. This white Turtlehead plant I started from a seed I collected two years ago across the street in the sedge meadow. This one is growing alongside our brook with the orange Jewel Weed.

This afternoon I went with Sue to visit the daughter of a friend and student that had recently inherited some quilts made from great grandma or was it great-great. I admit, I didn't pay close attention. I was busy studying the quilts. They were mostly in pretty poor shape, either treadbare from wear or where the brown dye was disintegrating the fabric or normal fading. This first one was in the best shape. There was another nearly identical to it that was worn out. They looked to be from  about 1880's.

This one was a beaut. This block was faded less than all the others. Would love to have seen it after it was just made. Couldn't guess the age on this one cause it was so faded.

This was an interesting crazy quilt. The patches were sewn to the foundation by hand with a blanket stitch.  Some of the blocks had a thin middle layer. Then the red sashing strips was appliqued between the blocks by machine. They have pretty much rotted away. This one looked more like 1930's or 40's.

Nothing on my design wall. Judy, I hope you don't mind.

Monday, August 18, 2014

In Need of Quilting

I finished the Shoo-Fly quilt the other day. It does not fit on the flannel wall with the border so I didn't take another picture of it. It is ready for quilting and will get added to the pile. If you missed it, I showed it in the last post.

Next up to be quilted is this Thirtysomething sampler from my new Block Book. I need to find a back for it first so that will probably require a trip to a shop. That's always fun. I'll do custom quilting on this so maybe I'll show some pictures as I go.

In the mood to do some piecing. You wouldn't think I'd say that but I guess the Shoo-Fly just wasn't my kinda quilting. Any purple lovers out there wanna buy that quilt top???  I guess I like a little more of a challenge than that was. And I guess I really like the 1800's reproductions more than the batiks.

Time to check out all the other posts linked up to Judy's Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Just the Right Size

My only excuse for not getting these blocks together any sooner is that we've had such a beautiful summer I would rather be outside. When I got my longarm I knew I wouldn't be quilting outside anymore. I didn't do it that many times, but I sure did like it. I pushed a table out the front door onto the porch on the northwest side of the house. I could quilt out there for several months till the bugs chased me in. Normally bugs don't bother me much, but when they bite your legs and make your stitching lines crooked then it's time to go in. That's re: quilting. Cutting and piecing I never did do outside. I didn't like the idea of chasing after patches if the wind picked up.

Just the border to go. I found it in my stash so no need to go shopping for that.  I better put it on before I even begin to procrastinate. The bigger quilts I am making hardly fit on my flannel wall. Maybe it is back to smaller quilts for a while. And I think I just may need a new camera afterall. Unless I can find a setting for my cellphone that allows the flash to go off with/for the shutter or whatever it's called. Anybody know about how to adjust that?

Still feeling the inspiration from the Machine Quilting Show. I straightened out the warehouse a bit. Next perhaps I ought to organize it by which tops I want to get quilted yet this year. Match it to it's backing and take advantage of that inspiration. What a plan!

And thank you Sharon for hosting your "Can I get a Whoop Whoop?" linky party here

Monday, August 11, 2014

I have chickens

We have chickens in our driveway. They are the neighbor's chickens. They come to visit everyday and I love it. They are indeed fun to watch. As soon as we step outside in the mornings they hear us and come running for the corn we put down for them. Then they follow me around in the garden looking for bugs. One old gal doesn't show up till later in the day after she has laid her egg. I've always loved chickens, but never wanted my own, so this is perfect.

The Quilt Show in Oconomowoc was last week. Always a good show. The quilts for the Thirtysomething Tool Challenge were shown. They will be given to soldiers through Quilts of Valor next year but will be displayed at various shows throughout the year. I took one class from Jamie Wallen. It is very rare that I take a second class from any teacher so that should tell you that he is very good. His techniques would work very well for any machine quilter. All freehand and a minimum of marking. If you get the chance to take a class of his, don't miss it. The class I took Saturday was Mystical Grids.I found lots of inspiration to get more of my own tops quilted.  I sure hope I can recall that inspiration this winter when I have the time and inclination to quilt. I entered the show with the cover quilt from The Thirtysomething Block Book. I don't enter shows often but displayed it because of the Thirtysomething Tool Challenge. I don't like heavy quilting so there is no chance I'd ever win a ribbon. That is fine with me. 

Work has stalled on my Shoo-Fly quilt. My cutting table is seeing paper more than fabric. The flowers I found growing along the creek are the invasive lythrum. They were the first bunch I have ever seen blooming along our creek. It's too bad they are so invasive. I saw them driving over the bridge  towards the house (behind me in the picture) and immediately got a shovel and back to the creek with Mark to dig them out so they won't spread. I'm glad they are perfectly safe to enjoy in the house.
Maybe I will find inspiration to finish this top at Judy's. Today is Monday and it's time to check out all the posts linked to Design Wall Monday.