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

 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Applique and a Recipe

Just a few quick progress picture from Celebrating Mary Brown (pattern by Corliss Searcey, Threadbear.com.au).

This block finishes the center four for the quilt.

Also some work on Rowdy Flat Library quilt mystery BOM. (pattern by Susan Smith)

I am not much of a cook but I saw this simple 5 ingredient almond crusted chicken dish on a TV show and it really is easy and delish!

Happy Stitching and occasional cooking :)

Cheri