Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Part of the plan

November is always a busy time in the sewing room and this November I did a lot of planning for sewing this winter. It seemed every time I turned around I saw another design I wanted to make. No, I didn't start any of them, and I think I should get credit for that.  I should probably make a list and prioritize them though.

One of the quilts I am going to make is called Twilight Hopscotch by Kim Diehl. Five of the Thursday girls and I plan to start it soon. I found the pattern in The Big Book of Civil War Quilts by Martingale. They recently sent me a copy as they used 4 of my quilts in the book that features 58 designs in 1800's reproduction prints. They also have the  pattern for sale by itself. I've had a hankering to do another quilt with a chain of squares running through it. I've done few of those, so I planned two.

Coincidentally a member of my Stashbusters Yahoo Group has just challenged us to make an Irish Chain quilt in any size or variation. Obviously Twilight Hopscotch would qualify as a variation. The rules of the challenge are simple. Get it cut this next month and finish the top by May. Something like that. I found it interesting that nothing was included about making it a "real" quilt and quilting it. I was kinda relieved about that even though there are no prizes involved. What I thought though was that I should challenge myself instead to get the one Irish Chain quilt top quilted that I did a few years ago. I posted about it here.

So yesterday I wandered through the pile of quilts upstairs looking for a different top and I came across the pink Irish Chain. And, oh yeah, look at this. An antique Irish Chain quilt top, too.  Isn't this a unique variation? A quick search of google images doesn't show one like it. Might be kinda neat in scraps. I like how there isn't quite so much background as most variations. Well, you know what I'm going to do.  Yep, piece the Twilight Hopscotch.

Yet another variation you don't see often is shown in a booklet from 1945. The blocks in this quilt are pieced with strips 1 1/2" wide surrounding the center square cut at 3 1/2". Too many seams for my taste but maybe you can get an idea for coloring yours from this photo.

And just because it's another variation I did and you all know how much I love variations, here again is the single Irish Chain I did in 1930's. I posted about it several times ending here.

Well, I hope I don't loose any sleep over this now. I finally learned how to fall asleep after more than 50 years of difficulty. If you have trouble too consider the app Calm.com.

Linking to
Oh Scrap

Design Wall Monday

Sunday, November 26, 2017


November is always a good month for quilting for me. Not just because it has gotten colder outside but because it is hunting season and I dare not go into the woods.  The month isn't over and I still hope to finish a quilt on the frame.  It may not seem that I have been very productive, but I have planned a lot of projects and begun to cut and kit them up. I also did a little work on some Comfort quilts for the St. Peter's group.

 I finished my tic-tac-toe quilt this morning.  I thought I would wait and do the pieced border at Studio 3 but instead decided to just get it done and out of the way. I can't believe how much I enjoyed the silly little 9-patches. Even the checkerboard border went together very quickly. As you can see I did not round the corners with little squares.   That was because I didn't plan the border I just started sewing.  Like I said it went together quickly. The lights and darks don't match up in the 4 corners in a way that I could use a 4 patch unless I rip.


The 9-patches were strip pieced using 2 strips. Lots of people don't like strip piecing, but I think it's the best. The leftovers from a strip set are never wasted around here and go into anything from 4-patches to crumb quilts. If you don't like the leftovers from a strip set, then simply cut the strips to the length you'd cut the squares from before you begin.

What I did for the little 9-patches here was to start with 1 3/4" strips. The light strip was 7" long and the dark was 9" long. Stitch with top edges even and sew a 1/4" seam allowance with right sides together. Press toward the dark. Then I sliced the strip set into 1 3/4" wide segments. The longer dark strip had a square cut off the end.  The pieces were then rearranged to create the units shown. I didn't bother with the last seam because I like to keep you guessing or some such thing.

I had Mark help me pin the tic-tac-toe  top to the flannel wall so that I could plan the last border width and measure for it. If the quilt fits I like to spread the top on the wall to measure for borders. I don't know what he was thinking but as soon as it was up on the wall he stood back and proceeded to tell me just what shade of blue I should use for the last border. I don't know where he got the idea I wanted some input from him so I got a kick out of that. In the end he agreed that the same blue I used for the sashing should be used for the outer border but not to make it any wider. I just love that he's expressing his opinion about my quilts these days. When I began quilting  over 30 years ago, he couldn't have cared less.  Maybe this is the winter I can get him started on his own quilt project.

I'm planning on doing a tutorial on joining the ends of binding strips once it has been applied to the quilt. So check back in the next few days to see that.
 Never mind. Here's a tutorial that shows how I do it. 

I planning to do some blog hopping,
starting with the blogs that have joined this linky party.
and smallquiltsanddollquilts.com

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A little stimulating

After the trip to Pennsylvania I took a trip with the Thursday girls to Missouri Star Quilt Company. The trip was hardly necessary as there are so many quilt shops in our vicinity. However a road trip was in order so we set our sights on Missouri. I don't know what the talk is about all the shops in Hamilton but the trip was very enjoyable. For as many shops as there are in that town it's a little surprising that they don't carry everything. There were hardly any books or patterns by other designers, a big disappointment to me. And they certainly didn't have all the fabric that's produced in a year from the all the manufacturers. How could they? We knew this of course, so we made multiple stops at quilt shops enroute. I spent my fabric budget for the year but who's counting?
This of course gets one all fired up to get home and get sewing. So I did do a little bit of that but first I had to present a program for a few local guilds. They went very well. they certainly know how to apply the pressure when they introduce me and tell everybody that I'm there to inspire them. Inspire them I did. as usual I brought about 30 quilts and tops with me. I was sure to bring things they hadn't seen before. That can be a bit of a challenge sometimes because I have been to these guilds a number of times in the past.
Now that I am done traveling for the year I can focus on getting some of my sewing done. I have made a short list of the quilt tops that I would like to make next and the tops I would like to quilt as well.

I made the 10 blocks needed  so I could make the nine patch quilt a little bit bigger. And this afternoon I added the first border. I have lots of little squares cut for a pieced border so I need to decide on that next. I'll plan to work on that over at Studio three.

We will be starting a new project at Studio 3 soon so that will make it difficult to focus on finishing the other current tops in progress. That is opposed to UFOs. I differentiate between the two when I can no longer recall or have yet to decide how I want to continue with a project.
I also want to tear into my stash and reorganize.  I do enjoy my stash and perhaps looking at it with fresh eyes I can imagine a few more projects that I could start with what I have on hand.

I also want to squirrel away some of my smaller pieces for several years. I still like them but I am a little tired of them and I think that if I don't see them for 5 years or more I will enjoy them even more when I come across them at that time. Besides maybe then I'll have a limited budget and I won't afford to buy fabric when it's $14 a yard. Maybe I should bury some cash with the fabric wouldn't that be fun.