Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March

March finds me back in Nebraska after our winter in Texas and our RV. I am enjoying my bigger sewing room, cutting table, full size ironing board, and more fabric to look through for just the right bit. I have been trimming the many blocks I worked on over the winter and sewing them together. My big finish is the Rowdy Flat Library quilt.

One of the last things I did in the camper was all the inking of the little bees and lady bugs marching around the borders.

I also have all the center blocks of Celebrating Mary Brown finished, trimmed, and sewn together.

There are two rows of 10 inch blocks that surround this center. The blue bird and sunflower blocks are the beginning of the right upper corner of the quilt.

I think I am about half way on this quilt, I am sure I will still be working on it next winter in Texas.

I plan to machine quilt Rowdy Flat and then it will probably go back in the camper. I found a cute flannel with wine corks for the backing and I think it will be a great quilt as both an extra blanket for chilly nights on the be or just to wrap up in. We miss the beach and our winter time spent in Galveston but it is good to be home.

I look forward to spring and gardening, seeing friends and family here in Nebraska and an upcoming quilt retreat. Time flies and soon I will be thinking about the projects beside Celebrating Mary Brown to work on next winter.

Happy Stitching,

Cheri

 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

February

I feel like I have mostly been doing prepping for different projects this month. There are several papercut (cut as you go) blocks in Celebrating Mary Brown. It is a fun method of needleturn applique that I enjoy. I have one finished and two more ready to stitch.

Generally you trace 1/4 of the applique pattern on freezer paper, fold it and cut it out carefully (like cutting out snow flakes). Then I iron the cut out freezer paper pattern on my applique fabric and trace around it for my needleturn lines. Remove the freezer paper and center the applique fabric on my background. I like to baste the two layers inside the applique design and it is ready to begin stitching. It works best to just cut an inch or so of the applique fabric at a time.

I also finished this pretty ruffle leaf red and green block in the Mary Brown quilt. I think I stitched the center section three times and was about to just applique a circle in the center of the block. I gave it one more try and this time the fourth time was the charm, glad there are no more of those blocks in the quilt.

After I finished that block I laid out all of the blocks I have finished this winter while living in our RV. Lots of nice weather and new campground friends to stitch with outside.

My friend Julie also came to Texas to spend a week camping with us.

Celebrating Mary Brown is actually Julie's quilt. She got the pattern and sent me her fabric background and some starter applique fabrics (we live in different states), I love to applique and am doing the applique. She is the hand quilter and the top will go to her when I am finished. She has been posting the pictures of the finished blocks I send her on the Celebrating Mary Brown Facebook group so it was fun for her to see the finished blocks in person this week.

I also have three of the four borders of the a Rowdy Flat Library quilt finished. Forgive the wrinkles, I did not iron them for this picture.

I have all of the prep work finished for the final applique border of Mariner's Compass. I have hundreds of leaves and piles of flowers all cut out with steam a seam 2 ironed on the back, all ready for raw edge blanket stitch applique. I just have not laid them out because this final border will be 94 inches long and I am just not sure I want to crawl around the RV floor to do that, if there is even room in the camper to try it. I may just have to wait until we are home and I am back to the nice long tables in my sewing room.

A friend from the campground and I traveled about an hour north to the fabulous Painted Pony quilt shop in Houston Texas last week. I just love a quilt shop that requires shopping carts.

That back room Sally is coming out of was all reproduction fabrics! Heavenly!!! I bought a variety of black with tan print reproduction fabrics.

I will be cutting out the background triangles for Panama Pyramids from these fabrics. The completed pyramid count is somewhere in the 50s with another 50 cut out and ready to sew.

So that was my final prepping project this month,

Happy Stitching All,

Cheri

 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January

We are over half way through our winter in Texas. Taking my sewing machine along in the RV has been a big success. I have been getting a lot accomplished on some of my long term quilt projects. The first thing I worked on were those 'blessed' postage stamp blocks on Rowdy Flat Library quilt. They have been without a doubt the most difficult, time consuming blocks I have done in quite a while. That being said, I love the results and they add so much to the quilt. I am now working on the borders and this quilt top may soon be finished.

I have plans to do a couple pieced scrappy quilts this year. I have been following The Panama Pyramids sew along on Facebook.

Last year Australian quilter, Linda Collins, came out with a set of cutting templates for an antique quilt she had written an article about in Quiltmania magazine (issue 94).

I ordered the templates and started cutting and sewing these little habit forming pyramids a couple weeks ago. This quilt is great practice for picking good contrasting fabrics and colors but I don't honestly think you can mess it up-anything looks good.

The little templates make piecing a snap, the triangles line up perfectly and I rarely sew through and cut off points.

There is also plenty of opportunity for fussy cutting in these pyramids.

It is fun to follow everybody's progress on the Facebook group. There are so many good ideas and colors being used for the opposing background triangles.

In the evening I still like to just applique. Here are the latest finished blocks from Celebrating Mary Brown.

I love seeing the Gulf Of Mexico daily. We take wonderful beach walks and rides around the island of Galveston. There have been plenty of shrimp poboy (fresh fried shrimp on a hoagie bun with coleslaw-YUM) picnics taken to the north end of the island to watch the big ships coming and going out of Galveston Bay. I am always amazed how the sea varies so much in color and size of surf.

Happy Stitching,

Cheri

 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

In Memoriam -Sue Garman

I have sadly learned about the passing of quilt designer and teacher Sue Garman this week. She eloquently and bravely documented her journey with lung cancer on her blog, suegarman.blogspot.com, for the last few months. I have spent the morning rereading many of her blog posts, she had so much to share and teach. She saw so much in quilts, things I don't even notice, her designer's mind must have always been filing away ideas.

I was lucky enough to take an applique class with Sue in September 2014 at Baltimore on the Prairie. My friend Leslie and I could not write down the wonderful tips fast enough.

We look at our pattern sheets handed out in the class that day and the margins and back of each page are covered with notes.


She has left us with a beautiful legacy of patterns and quilts to add to our bucket lists.

My deepest sympathies to her family and friends and all who will miss her dearly.

 

 

 

The Stitcher's Prayer - E. Field

 

I pray that risen from the dead,

I may in glory stand,

A crown perhaps upon my head,

But a needle in my hand.

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Christmas

My favorite Christmas quilt is along with us on our RV travels. I made these wonky Christmas trees (pattern from Buggy Barn) a few years back and I used flannel backing fabric so it is a very cuddly quilt.

As I worked on my latest blocks for Celebrating Mary Brown I was influenced by the season and did one block in red and green.

I also finished another of the long center blocks and it really does not matter if it is Christmas or not I just love red and green applique and manage to get some in almost every applique block I do.

Merry Christmas from Galveston, TX

Cheri

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Quilting on the Road

My husband and I are in the beginning of our cold weather escape to Texas. We have been on the road for a couple weeks and have reached our winter destination in the Houston area. This is our third year of being Winter Texans and besides missing snowy weather our biggest draw is the opportunity to live near our son's family and getting to be a part of their family and getting lots of Grandparent time over the holidays. Because we have enjoyed this RV experience we have moved up to a larger 5th wheel camper.

This move up to more space has allowed me to take more than just hand quilting projects along. I found a small used Bernina 220 on eBay and promptly named her "Sally" after a girl I met camping last year who brings her embroidery sewing machine, serger, and Singer featherweight in her RV. Sewing Machine Sally, as I affectionately think of her, and her husband are full time RVers. They sold their home and live in their RV, they are work campers for KOA and spend their summers working in campgrounds and winters escaping the cold much like us. Sally's RV is called a toy hauler and the back is a small garage that carries motorcycles or golf carts, when they get to a destination the vehicle is moved out and the toy hauler garage becomes Sally's sewing room. My set up is not nearly so grand but my little "Sally" and I are getting accustomed to the space and getting some projects worked on.

I sew at the dinette table and brought a small trunk that holds my projects and doubles as my ironing area and a coffee table/ foot stool.

Quilting in an RV is a bit like going on retreat, you hopefully pack more than you can possibly have time to work on and hope you organized your projects and remembered to take everything.

So, what have I been working on since we have been on the road? Well the Mariner's Compass quilt has a new border.

The scrappy octagon border is machine appliquéd and next will be a final applique border.

I have decided to tackle the large postage stamp blocks again on the Rowdy Flat Library quilt. I tried one earlier this summer and all my carefull peicing and measuring resulted in a block that measured an inch and a half two large. Ever since I have put off these blocks (there are 4 in the quilt) and seriously thought about appliqueing the squares onto a background block or hand piecing it, but I am going to give it another try by machine.

All of the pieces are laid out on a scrap of batting to stay somewhat organized in my smaller quilt space and I am just going to go for it, no adjusting my needle position like I did on the first try in an attempt to get a perfect 1/4 inch seam.

And of coarse there is still time for hand applique. Here are the latest Celebrating Mary Brown blocks.

In our travels we camped at an alpaca ranch and had perfect timing to see two new baby alpacas. Brown boy was 24 hours old and already running through his little pasture.

And Kismet's new baby was born a few minutes before our arrival, we witnessed the baby's first steps out of the birthing barn.

The herd of about 15 alpacas were so gentle and unafraid of strangers even with new young ones nearby. They were eager to greet campers and be petted, the camp hosts were so proud to show off their little herd.


We celebrated our stay with 4 skeins of Kismet's latest trimming spun into the softest yarn.

We have also noticed tiny houses popping up among the campers at some of the places we have stayed.


There have been many new quilt shop visits along our way but mostly we are settled in one place now for a couple weeks . After Thanksgiving we will be making a move to the beach on Galveston island.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy stitching from the road,

Cheri