Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Whit's End

Oh Whit! You gave me troubles, so I'm naming you Whit's End because I was at my wit's end several times while making you!

First the geese would not line up when I sewed them head to head. Then the cornerstones where the geese meet back to back did not line up either. So I decided to sew all the geese going in the same direction and replace the square geese cornerstones with the backing fabric. But then I ran out of  the backing fabric and had to order more. It didn't arrive until last night so I was frantically sewing the quilt top together this morning. I made so many modifications to the pattern it's barely recognizable.

Still and all, I'm happy with the result. I used scrap fabrics for the geese and stash fabric for the background (except for the little bit additional I needed for the cornerstones).

Also this week, my little great-nephew arrived! Meet Brennan! Isn't he sweet? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bennington Quiltfest

Last weekend I dragged my son to Bennington, VT to attend the Bennington Quiltfest.  He was not totally unwilling to go because one of his college roommates is from Bennington and Chris was familiar with the area and knew of a few good restaurants.  So, with the promise of lunch at the restaurant of his choice, he volunteered to drive me.

The drive from our house took just over an hour and was a ride through beautiful farmland, small towns, and rolling hills.  It will be a  spectacular drive in a few weeks as the leaves start taking on their autumn hues.  Of course, it started raining just as we arrived.

We enjoyed a very nice lunch at Madison Brewery in downtown Bennington.  Both of us had open-faced turkey sandwiches with apple-herb gravy and cheddar mashed potatoes.  It was delicious and the service was fantastic.
The quilt show was held at the Mt. Anthony Middle School.  It was jam-packed with people, displays and vendors.  I thought it was very nicely put together.  Amazingly, I refrained from making even a single purchase!  I did see a number of things I would have liked to buy, but I was on a mission to only purchase the background and backing fabric for my next project, Harvey (the October pattern if you are doing the Schnibbles and a Little Bit More quiltalong hosted by Sinta and Sherri).

I was totally entranced by the miniature quilts on display.  The workmanship and time investment to make them was just amazing.  Many of my pictures are of the miniature quilts, with a few large scrap quilts I liked.  There were a lot more quilts, but these really caught my eye.  Without further ado, here are the pictures I took ( I apologize in advance for the quality of some of the photos). 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Waiting for Baby

The baby quilt for my great-nephew is done – before he is even born – can you believe it?

He’s due any day now and his poor mama, my wonderful, amazing, beautiful, niece, Kate, is suffering while she anxiously awaits his arrival.  Miss Kate has wanted to be a mama since she was a very little girl.  She loves babies so much – I remember one Christmas, her father made her an entire preemie baby incubator out of a clear plastic storage tote on top of one of those rolling storage carts– it was the cleverest thing.  

Well, she’s finally going to have her wish very soon.  In the meantime, the little guy is sitting right on her pelvic bones and she just can’t get comfortable.  There is also the normal end-of-pregnancy issue of just being uncomfortable and awkward because of all that extra fluff in the front!

My advice to her was to try and stay positive and enjoy these last few days of relative freedom – I reminded her that her mother has had a child living with her continuously for over 25 years now!

We can’t wait to meet you, Brennan, so we’ll all be waiting for you whenever you’re ready to make your appearance!

Friday, September 12, 2014

New projects

A few weeks ago I told you that Double Dutch, by Carrie Nelson would be my next project.  I’ve been working away at piecing the components.  

I have all the yellow half square triangles pieced and all the blue four patches pieced.  Now I’m working on assembling the “geese”.  Here’s half of one “goose” done:

In the meantime, I’ve bought three other Carrie Nelson patterns and have started two of them.  

At the beginning of the year, I said I wouldn’t join any quilt-alongs this year.  I lied.  I’m going to participate in the newest incarnation of Another Year of Schnibbles, hosted by Sinta at Pink Pincushion, and Sherri at A Quilting Life.  
September’s project is “Whit”, a Little Bites pattern from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company. 
  (image borrowed from Carrie Nelson's web site)

Little Bites patterns are meant to be used with Moda’s mini charm packs – 2 ½ “charm squares.  For my version, I am using fall-colored scraps.  I try to follow Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap Saver System, so I have a bunch of 2 ½” squares already cut, but for more variety I also cut up some 2 ½” strips and a few leftover 5” charm squares.  I had Kona Ivory on hand that I am using for the “sky” portion of the flying geese units and a brown swirl from Connecting Threads for the background.  I even have an overall leaf design fabric for the backing.  I love it that I can use all stash fabrics for this one and don’t have to buy anything new.

It takes a while to make these little geese, but here's the first 32 of 160.

They still need to be trimmed because I had to order the Mini Fit to Be Geese ruler recommended in the pattern. 

Carrie’s newest Schnibbles patterns result in larger, lap-sized quilts.  Since the quilts are bigger, Sinta and Sherri also released the October pattern, “Harvey” – a giant basket block.  I have a recipient in mind for this one, so I pulled a lot of purple fabrics from my stash to round out all the purple squares from four charm packs of “Lovely”. 
I haven’t decided on a background fabric yet – possibly a white with tiny purple polka dots, very pale lavender or very pale light green solid.  I need to decide soon so I can get working on that quilt too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hello September

What does September mean to you?  Besides being the month the kids go back to school, September is apple picking time in my neck of the woods.

Remember this log cabin block? 

I turned it into an apple block for my new September mini. 

Before cutting out the apple shape, I added fusible web to the back of the block.  I wasn’t sure it would adhere with all the seams, but it worked just fine.  Once the fusible web was attached to the back, I drew the apple shape on the paper backing, and then cut it out.  I also used fusible web for the stem and leaf.   

I used all scraps for this mini, as I usually try to do.  Once in a while, I have something really specific in mind that requires new fabric, but generally, I’m able to use scraps or fabric already in my stash.

After the fabrics were fused to the top, I basted the layers together and then quilted the design.  

I quilted in the ditch in a spiral around the “logs”, and then used a blanket stitch around the outside edges.

I’m really happy with the way this mini turned out!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Goodbye Sweet Maggie

Last Thursday our sweet, beautiful Maggie went to Heaven. We had 14 wonderful years with our girl.  We know she's running free, and digging holes, and in no more pain. Goodbye sweet pup, we'll miss you.