Saturday, April 19, 2014

Auntie Green's Braided Border

Auntie Green' s Garden (pattern by Irene Blanck) is growing. This is a block of the month from and we are up to the floral sprays around the center medallion. A fellow blogger also working on this quilt asked if I thought there would be enough room for the brown braided border around these floral sprays.

I am a back baster so I trace the patterns of my appliqué projects on the back of the fabric with a pencil.

I must admit I was a little worried about fitting in this border also and I thought it might be a little tricky getting the braids to come out evenly on each side. I decided to make freezer paper templates of the entire braided vine border just to make sure everything fit.

I usually like to have my appliqué fabric background cut a little larger, but I cut the second border fabric the called for 8 and 1/2 inches. (I also zigzagged stitched all of my raw edges to prevent fraying.). Once I had traced the four floral sprays on the back of the quilt top I cut 4 inch wide freezer paper template of the length of the sides and top and bottom of the quilt. I put some registration marks on my templates, the 45 degree corner angle, the one quarter inch seam, and the centers. Next I determined from the pattern that the actual braid is about 3 1/4 inches wide.

Because this border is a tight fit I drew the vine only 1/4 inch from my seam line. I added one more registration line to my freezer paper templates that would run right down the center of the vines. I traced the corner "U" shapes first (the "U" shape is a little further that 1/4 inch from the edges) and then one section of the braid on each side of the corner "U". Next I went to the center of the side template and started tracing the braid from the center back to each corner, this let me adjust the length of braids where needed to match up to the corner. When I had the whole braid traced on my freezer paper templates I traced it onto the back of my quilt top.

As suspected some of my floral sprays overlapped onto the braided vines, So I had to try and erase and change some of my appliqué shapes so there would be no overlapping. (If you appliqué in a different method than back basting I think these freezer paper templates of this braided border will still be helpful in adjusting some of the floral spray leaves and blooms). I did notice on the pattern picture that some of the appliqué is touching this vine, I just preferred that mine did not. I know this is kind of a long explanation, please leave a comment or write me if there is anything I can clear up.

I have another Patchwork of the Crosses block completed and my next one is laid out.

Happy Easter and Happy Spring,

He is Risen!



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hope Quilting

I had a post last summer about helping a young co worker make her first quilt. She wanted a T shirt quilt of sorts using her young children's baby clothes. She did a great job and ended up making two of them.
She has graduated to designing her own quilts. She participates each summer in Race For A Cure and wanted to make a raffle quilt to help earn money for the event. She had the idea of how she wanted the quilt to look and I helped her get it on graph paper
and to decide the overall size of the quilt. She had her colors picked out and we figured out how much fabric she would need to buy. Off she went to all the local quilt store and got everything she need. Back at my house I helped again with the rotary cutting and she started sewing.
The last bit of help I did to this point is applique the word 'HOPE'. We are set to finish it up this weekend, get it layered, and start quilting. The T shirts are specifically for breast cancer, a cause close to Tish's heart because her Mom is a breadt cancer survivor.
My own Mother recently has deteriorated with her Alzheimer's to the point of being moved to a memory care unit.
That is such a simple statement, but it has actually been a heart breaking few months to get to the point we are today with so many ups and downs I just can't bear to think about all we went through to get her where she is currently, which is loved, well cared for, and safe. My mom always did a lot of knitting and quilting and one of the things that she has recently been very interested in is some fabric squares, triangles, and hexagons that I cut out for her and she arranges over and over on flannel.
The nurses even stop by and she 'teaches' them how to lay out the patchwork.
This love of quilting never seems to leave us, it gives me hope that quilting will continue to keep her occupied, less anxious, and content.
Happy Stitching,

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March Doings

I seem to be caught up on my block of the month projects...well somewhat caught up. Auntie Green's Garden is growing,

I have the second border sewn on and the next section of appliqué finished in the right upper hand corner. The colors are so soft and subtle, but very pretty fabrics on close up.

Benjamin Biggs block three is finished,

this month took me longer than I expected for what appears to be a simple block. I am sticking with the 16 inch blocks so far. I have been waffling about starting over and making making them smaller, but in the end decided to go with an alternate petal corner design that Gay showed on Sentimental Stitches. The petals go over the block seams so the blocks maybe can be trimmed down an inch or so but that decision will wait until more blocks are completed.

I also have two more Lucy Boston's Patchwork Of The Crosses blocks prepped and ready to stitch together.

This project is where the "somewhat caught up" comes in,

I am much better at cutting up my fabric and glueing on the paper pieces than actually stitching them together.

Happy Spring and Happy Stitchin all,



Sunday, March 16, 2014

Orphan Blocks

I have been digging through all of my drawers and boxes in my sewing room looking for an old pattern, and have come across a few orphan blocks and even small quilts. Some of these might deserve a second chance at finishing.

I never quite got into the twister craze, but this little quilt has some good fall colors and would be cute as a small quilt on a table.

This one looks nice from a distance, a FAR distance,

But on closer look I remember how these little 1/4 inch strips were just impossible to keep straight.

Here are a few Ho, Ho, Ho blocks sewn together.

This funky little Kaffee Fassett flower became a free motion quilting exercise that I really like, but I don't quite know what to do with. Back in the orphan drawer for you.

Now I need to keep looking for that pattern so I can get some sewing done.

Happy Stitching all,



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Itty Bitty Bias

This morning I have been making more double fold bias for the latest Benjamin Biggs block. I posted about this bias a couple posts ago when making large 5/8 inch bias for another appliqué project and it worked so well I thought I would try it for the tiny 1/8 inch bias needed for the cherry stems. There are three sizes of finished bias from 1/8 to 1/4 inch in this block, my bias strips measured 1/2, 3/4 and 1 inch before double folding.

I usually stitch the bias stems last in an appliqué block but all of the leaves and cherries lie on top of the stem ends in this block so I am going to stitch down all of the stems next.


Happy stitching,



Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day

With all the beautiful heart appliqué patterns available I was surprised this morning when the only one I could find on one of my quilts was this one. It is on the first hand appliqué quilt I completed and I believe it was called Country Album. It was a block of the month by Robert Callahan several years ago in McCalls quilting magazine.

I have a new Patchwork of the Crosses ready but I am on hold stitching it, I ran out of thread- how can a quilter let that happen? English paper piecing must be very popular in Omaha because I could not find any dark colors of Bottom Line thread in the local shops and had to order it online.

I am almost finished with my next Benjamen Biggs block but I am thinking of taking the corner rose buds out. They give the quilt a 'busy' look to me and do not really form a secondary design. Gay showed a picture on of the quilt with a simpler petal design on the block intersections. I am also having second thoughts about the block size and even the yellow, just not contrasty enough. So stay tuned, I really like this block of the month but I may just restart the whole thing.

In looking at the photos on my Ipad for this post I saw some recent family pictures that just say LOVE to me,. Here are some of the valentines in my life, starting with me meeting my new grandson Eli last summer.

And big brother and the loving way he handles his new little brother.

My son coming home from a three month work trip and my grandson so happy to see him.

A few weeks ago my daughter had a long lunch break from work and our house is much closer to her work than her own. She still likes to cuddle under one of the quilts and Jasper the dog loves when she comes over.

And finally my best friend, love of my life, husband of almost 42 years, who is willing to stop at any quilt shop, and get involved in anything I try, like making sushi.

Happy Valentines Day to all of you,


Friday, February 7, 2014

Stitching & Snow

Like most if the rest of the country, Omaha is covered in snow and we have had some bitterly cold days. I can you scrub pants and 8 below zero do not go together. But, in the evenings and on my days off from working at the hospital, I have been getting much accomplished on my current projects. I just finished the first wreath of leaves on the center of Auntie Green's Garden.

I finished stitching the 1792 reproduction sampler by 10 year old Freelove Hazard. I love how she added her numbers (some of them, there is no 5) at the end of random lines of the verse or even down by her name. In true Freelove form I omitted the letter "D" on the first line, I just totally skipped it and did not realize it until I was several lines further. The letter "J" is also missing but that letter was not included in the alphabet samplers of that time. Freelove was stitched with DMC flosses on a white 25 count linen that I tea dyed to give an aged look.

I have my next Benjamin Biggs block all prepped and read to start stitching. I am going to save it for a quilt retreat in a couple weekends.

I have also committed to Lucy Boston's Patchwork of the Crosses. This is my 2nd block, again, prepped and ready to start putting together.

I have seen this bit of advise before but it always tickles me when I read it.

Happy Stitching All

Cheri-whose hair is a wreck, is in slippers, no makeup, and letting her husband make dinner...I am stitching : )