Sunday, September 23, 2012

Slow Stitching On the Go?

Today Kathy of Kathy's Quilts asked, "Where do you stitch "on the go" and what are your tips for successful portable hand stitching?" Well, after I thought about it, I can't really say that I ever stitch "on the go". Since I'm retired, I usually am only on the go when I am running errands or traveling. Usually, when I'm traveling, I am the driver. I do need to come up with a project I can take to sit and stitch group meetings. I've only attended one and had a binding to hand-stitch. I am looking for a small project that I can just grab on my way. Any suggestions would be welcome.  Maybe I'll kit up a small quilt that I can hand-piece. I tried hexagons, but they make my hands ache if I do more than a couple at a time.

This morning I was able to get some more redwork done on my Trim the Tree pillow top. For the most part I am liking the Cosmo embroidery thread. It is already 2-ply, so I don't have to divide the threads like with DMC embroidery thread. The Cosmo has a nice sheen to it, too. I finished the ladder.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Quilt History

Last week I went to a Fall festival and while there I signed up to have a quilt evaluated for age and care. The event was free and held today. We have a quilt that we found in my mother-in-law's things after she passed away about 12 years ago. We have no idea if she made it or if it was made by another family member or if it was given to her. The pattern is A Trip Around World. 

As I suspected, the fabrics are from the 1920's and 1930's. The backing is made of ticking that may have been used on a mattress. There are some stains on the backing and a small patch. The front looks good. It is not nearly as worn or stained as some of the other quilts that were brought in.  Here are some of the fabric squares in the quilt. 
The backing, while all the same fabric, is pieced together. The hand-quilting is not excellent, but just straight lines from top to bottom. I'm pretty sure it was hand-pieced, too. 
For years I have just hung this quilt on a quilt rack (made by my Dad) and refolded ever so often to prevent more wear. I do need to repair a few seams. Most of the frayed seams are on squares that look like striped overall material. It will be fairly easy to repair since they are just on the seam line. 
I was really tickled when I realized that my Dresden plate quilt that I am working on has the same pink and lavender checked fabrics. Of course, mine are reproductions. I do wish I had seen this quilt before my M-I-L died and gotten more history. But, I do love it. If there are old quilts in your family, please, try to get some of it's history before it is too late.

I will be labeling this quilt with as much information as I can come up with. It is an awesome find.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday

My WIP is the Dresden Plate quilt I recently started. I have been devoting a good bit time on it. The machine piecing has gone very quickly. I got a shoe box lid and set up rows of blades for each plate. It was like a little assembly line. Went very quickly. Fun, too!
I now have quite a stack of plates to show for it. Love those 30's prints!
Then came the time to put the plate on the 14 1/2" white on white pin dot squares. That's when I had a problem. I tried to machine stitch one on with a stitch on my machine. It was straight for a couple stiches and then a zigzag. I did not like that, especially when I tried to put on the yellow center. 
It was a mess and hard to control. So, I hand appliqued the next plate to the background. Loved it! But, it takes so long to do that. Today, I finally tried a tiny zigzag stitch on my machine to attach the plates. I am hand appliqueing the centers on. I think I can live with that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How You Like Me Now?

For the last several days I have been following a blog hop called Dots on Dots. It is sponsored by Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt and Corrie from Quilt Taffy. If you haven't been following this blog hop you should start with day 1. They are up to day 8 now. There are some very talented quilters out there in blog land.

I'm not a participant of this blog hop, but it was a great time to give my blog a new look that includes polka dots and cute little birds, too.  It looks so bright and fresh. I love it!

I even have my own matching grab button now. Just grab the code on the right sidebar of my page and put it on your blog and link back to my blog. How you like me now?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Festivals and Slow Sundays

Fall is my favorite season. One of my favorite things is the fall festivals. Yesterday I went to a folk festival at the Buchanan Log House located in the Donelson area of Nashville. Sorry that the photo is a little fuzzy. There are several log buildings on the property. It was my first visit there.

They had blacksmiths, women making corn shuck dolls, music, folk dancing, candle-making, and more.  And, of course, there was quilting. I guess I didn't win the quilt raffle. Oh, well. I did see a hand-operated sewing machine. I had never seen one before and it made a great stitch. 
Don't know if you can see it, but there is a  banty rooster sitting on the banjo picker's shoulder.

Today I was a little late with my slow Sunday stitching. I had to go visit a neighbor in the hospital. But, I have made some headway on the Trim the Tree pillow. Because the pattern says to put two pieces of fabric together, I was afraid it would be difficult to stitch. But, it is going very well. I just love redwork.

Drop in on Kathy's blog to see what else was being slow-stitched this Sunday.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Slow Sunday Stitching

On Labor Day I took my 50% off Michael's coupon and bought myself a light box. Half off was a really good deal, especially since I'd wanted it for a while.

I have several projects that I needed it for. I used to have a glass top kitchen table and used a lamp under it for projects that required a light box. That's how I made Sierra's redwork crib quilt shown here in a post. 

So, I decided to join my friend Teresa at A Quilt and a Prayer and Kathy of Kathy's Quilts and others for Slow Sunday Stitching. I've had a project on my radar for a while now. I ordered the pattern months ago. It is this cute pillow by Crabapple Hill Studio called "Trim the Tree". I love anything with snow people. Don't you?
The pattern is NOT a transfer. You have to trace it onto your fabric. This morning I traced it onto this white on white snowflake fabric. Not the easiest to work with, I must say. I am using the red Cosmo thread for the embroidery. I've never used it before and it's very expensive. The star is filled in with Cosmo sparkle floss. The balls on the tree are cut from red pompom fringe and sewn on.

Now, I'm ready for the Slow Sunday Stitching!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A New Project On the Design Board

Last week I de-stashed and tried to organize some of my fabrics. I put all my 1930's reproduction fabrics into one drawer. I think I bought the first ones about 15 years ago. I had never cut into them. Part of them are pictured below. I love the bubblegum pinks and jade greens that were so popular in the 30's. I have a lot of Aunt Grace fabrics. They remind me of the aprons of my childhood.
I wanted to do a traditional block with them. I just could not choose a pattern. Then, one day I saw a YouTube video by the Missouri Star Quilt Company. I love their videos. This one was how to make a Dresden Plate quilt. It looked so easy. You can see it here. So, when I was at JoAnn's last week I used a 40% off coupon to get the Easy Dresden tool. 

In the video she uses 5" blocks to cut the pieces from. I just simply cut a 5" wide strip and then used my tool to cut the pieces. The directions that came with the tool also cut 5"strips. The cutting went very quickly. 

Yesterday, after my quilt guild meeting I started the piecing. (I am always motivated by the beautiful quilts shown at my guild.) The blocks really are as easy to put together as it appears in the video. First you fold and sew across the wide end of the piece. I chain-pieced a lot of these, snipped apart, and turned. Then, I lined up the 20 pieces I needed for each Dresden plate. Here are some waiting on my sewing table ready to stitch together.
And, here was the result:
I made a couple of plates and they both laid flat. I was so excited that they turned out so well. My husband loved that they looked like neckties. I plan for the centers to be cut from a solid yellow fabric I found in my stash last week. The background fabric is a white on white pin dot. The sashing will be from the 30's prints and the cornerstones will be from the solid yellow. I am trying to calculate how to make this a bed-sized quilt. I love it!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Stash Enhancement

This past week I spent some time trying to organize my fabric stash. In the process I also discovered some fabrics I had forgotten about. Some were perfect for upcoming projects. Yeah! 

But, of course none of that stopped me from picking up some great deals to further enhance my stash. JoAnn's emailed me a coupon for 60% off a single cut of fabric. It could not already be on sale. I found a beautiful piece of 108" backing that was not marked as "on sale". When I got to the cutting table I was told it WAS on sale. I complained and they gave me the 60% off. The non-sale price was $14.99 yd. I got 3 yards for a total under $18. How's that for a bargain?
It's the white on ivory print shown below, but the photo is not very good.

Then, I went to The Quilter's Attic in Goodlettsville, TN for their fat quarter sale. If you bought 20 or more fat quarters they were $1.25 per each or batik fat quarters for $2 each. You could mix and match as long as you bought at least 20. No problem with that!

I fell in love with these greens. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. But, aren't they pretty?
I added some more plaids to my growing collection.
Over the years I have collected 1930's reproductions. I added these 2 this week, bringing the total to about 60 fat quarters and a jelly roll of these fabrics. Today I am going to finally cut into them for the first time.
Just added these because I liked them. 
And, of course, I had to add to my growing collection of batiks.