Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WIP Wednesday

 It's been a little busy around here as the summer winds down, so there's not much sewing happening.

I finished the applique on my class project from last week. I'll get this Hawaiian pillow layered and quilted soon.

I'm still not completely happy with my inside curves and points, but they are getting better.

Julia is gearing up for her term abroad in Tanzania. Way back in June, she bought fabric and elastic to make these skirts. They were finally sewn up this week. Julia always dresses modestly, but her old skirts were a little too short.

I got to use my new labels even though she did most of the work.

I'm looking for a big chunk of time to start working on the star points of the wedding ring quilt. Maybe tomorrow?

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


 I attended a guild workshop yesterday taught by my friend, Janet Elia. It was a fun, laid back Hawaiian quilting class. No pressure, slow stitching, perfect for the end of summer.

Janet provided a simple bread fruit pattern, but the over achiever in me reared her ugly head. Bill purchased four Hawaiian pillow patterns for me on one of his business trips to Hawaii more than 20 years ago. It was finally time to use one!

I decided to celebrate the Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. I used the small orchid pattern with Kona Crocus.

It took me hours to baste this sucker! By bedtime, I had finished appliqueing 3/4 of the piece. I was enjoying the process so much, I couldn't stop!

It was a fun day with friends, and I think I'm going to love this pillow. Thanks, Janet!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to our little corner of the world in Rhode Island. I was invited to participate in this hop by Helen at Till We Quilt Again.  She's been secretly following me for a while, but she's out of the closet now! We were provided with some prompts to guide these posts, so here we go.

What and I working on?

If you've visited recently, you are probably sick of seeing pics of the latest wedding ring quilt in progress. It is the fourth in a series of wedding ring quilts for nieces and nephews. You can see the others here and here. For this one, the bride asked for blue, and the groom (a Syracuse alumnus) wanted to include some orange. I was only too happy to oblige! The arcs are done (all 160 of them) so I will start working on the star points this week. I am using the Bali Wedding Star pattern by Judy Niemeyer.

When I need a break from this project, I piece a few Farmer's Wife blocks from this book.

 How does my work differ from others?

That's a tough question! I've been quilting for almost 24 years, so I've tried just about every new technique and style. I enjoy quick piecing techniques, especially paper piecing. But I don't mind some occasional handwork like hand binding, applique and English Paper Piecing. I love the aesthetic of the Modern Quilting movement, so I have been trying to combine those fabrics and ideas with the skills I have acquired. 

Why do I create what I do?

There are class projects, 

gifts and swaps,

and ideas that just need to get out!

And now it's time to hop on to a couple of friends who will have you traveling around the world in opposite directions: Northwest US and Munich, Germany. I hope you will visit Debbie and Rike for their posts next Monday, August 18.
 I met Debbie of A Quilter's Table in 2011 when she made this amazing quilt for me as part of the For the Love of Solids Swap. I chose Kona Mango as the focus color and she went above and beyond! You can find her tutorial for this block here

 Rike of Quilts und andere schöne Sachen (Quilts and other beautiful stuff) is a blogger I'd like to introduce you to. Don't worry, she blogs in both German and English. She got married just last week, so do visit and share the love!

Have a wonderful day. I'm off to the beach!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Farmer's Wife Progress

Progress is being made, but no finishes to report this week.

This batch of Farmer's Wife blocks was really fun (no baskets). I was supposed to be using these blocks when I needed a break from piecing wedding ring arcs, but I got carried away and pieced 12 in one day (and no arcs).

I like how the directional prints played so nicely on the Hovering blocks. Jackknife is one of my favorite blocks so far.
 49-Honeycomb, 50-Honey's Choice, 51-Hovering Birds
52-Hovering Hawks, 53-Jackknife, 54-Kitchen Woodbox

I decided to make the leaf red because the red maple is Rhode Island's state tree. I threw in a little fussy cutting on Morning and Mother's Dream. 
55- Linoleun, 56-Maple Leaf, 57- Morning
59-Night & Day, 58-Mother's Dream,  60-Noon & Light

To recap, here are all of my blocks. I don't have a design wall big enough for all of them, so I had to create a mosaic. They are arranged in numerical order, but I will probably move them all around in the final layout.

Here's another view of all 60 blocks.

Today, I'll need to piece twice as many arcs to reach my goal for the week. There was an anonymous message regarding the orange stars. They were the groom's choice, which I fully support!

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sidetracked by Cuteness

I didn't get much sewing done last week with this little cutie visiting. Mollie and her parents (Chris and Jamie) stayed in the Marine Corps guest room. She's wearing the onesie we bought her in Parris Island after Pete's boot camp graduation. The stuffed bulldog mascot is mine!

I finally put a label on her baby quilt. I had gifted it at the baby shower, so I wanted to wait until after she was born to add the label. I love how crinkly and soft and loved the quilt is! You can see the whole quilt there.

 I'm back to work this week on the wedding ring arcs. You're probably getting as sick of seeing these as I am! If I keep up the pace of 20 arcs per day, they will be done on Friday. That is my goal. 80 done, 80 to go.

In the past two weeks, I've finished 12 Farmer's Engineer's Wife blocks. They've been a nice break from wedding ring arcs. The variety is fun, but the piecing is challenging.

 I modified the flower in block 37 slightly to make it easier to paper piece. Four Winds finished about a half-inch too big! Apparently the 1/4" foot on the Featherweight is a little small.

37- Flower Pot, 38-Four Winds, 39-Freindship

 There were a lot of baskets in this batch. They are not my favorite to sew.

40-Friendship Block, 41-Friendship Star, 42- Fruit Basket

 I'm not happy with how dark Gentleman's Fancy is. Might need to remake that one.

43-Garden Path, 44-Gentleman's Fancy, 45-Grape Basket

Again, I modified Homemaker for easier paper piecing. Homeward Bound is on the dark side, too, but it made me think of Pete, so I used some scraps of a Marine camo print.

46-Hill & Valley, 47-Homemaker, 48-Homeward Bound

I think I'll prep another 12 blocks before I head up to the machine today. I'll print the paper piecing templates and cut out all the fabric for the next batch of blocks. Then I can grab a baggie and stitch a block when the mood strikes.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Progress and Backyard Friends

 I'm plugging away at the wedding ring quilt. I'm chain piecing 10 arcs at a time, which takes me about 90 minutes. So far, I'm getting 20 arcs done each day.

It's nice to see the pile of finished arcs growing!

On Sunday, I decided to take a break from the arcs and took out the Farmer's Engineer's Wife project. The last time I pieced any of these blocks was in March! I grabbed a bag full of recent scraps and cut out the next 12 blocks (#27-48). I got six of them pieced, in no particular order. The dark ones don't really go with the rest, but I like them anyway. The blue one is from my mother's tote that she carries every day now. And the olive and red one reminds me of Pete, with little bits of marpat desert camo.

These little cuties are growing up! There are plenty of yummy weeds for them to eat in our backyard. When they are feeling bold, they eat the day lily buds right up next to the house.

Bill spotted this praying mantis on the dining room window. Isn't it a great color?

 I'll spare you the pic of the scary looking stag beetle that was in my bathroom. It scared the crap out of me! I texted a pic to my husband at work and he assured me it was harmless.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Woven Bag

 I finished another long-term WIP this morning. This finish is dedicated to my fiends Karen of Sew Many Ways and Sharon (no blog).  Karen and I are suckers for a good demo at a quilt show. We saw the owner of Red Barn Sewing Center demonstrating this bag at MQX in Providence in 2011, and I had to have it! Fast forward three years... Sharon and I were on a shop hop bus trip that stopped at Red Barn. Sharon was intrigued by the woven baskets made with the same interfacing strips as this bag. She challenged me to finish my bag. So, here you go, friends!

 The pattern is called Breezy Weave Bags by Aunties Two Patterns. Fabrics strips are sewn into tubes and then stuffed with stiff interfacing strips. Shortly after the show, I had the strips woven, but was struggling with basting the edges. It sat in my sewing room for 3 years, waiting for me to put on my big girl panties!

I needed a yard of fabric for the pockets, gussets and straps. When I brought my woven piece into the LQS yesterday, they were shocked that I don't have a single full yard of batik in my stash.  I have small pieces, but no yardage. Anyway, this morning, I got to work. The trickiest part was applying the binding around the bottom corners of the gussets. I have some hand-stitching to do to fix the gaps.

It could use a magnetic snap closure, if I can find one in my stash. I know I have one somewhere!

One last pic to show my dining room table in its natural state, littered with at least three different projects. I'm glad the bag is finished, but I probably won't make another. I do like the size and shape, but it was just too tricky for me.

If I ever feel tempted to buy the strips of interfacing again, I might consider making Biscuit Baskets (also from Aunties Two). This one was a gift for a friend in 2010.

Oh, maybe I bought both patterns at the same time in 2010?