Monday, October 24, 2011

Jelly Roll Race Results!

This past weekend was a fall quilt retreat for my local quilt guild and my small group did the jelly roll race. We did not really race, we worked at our own pace.We learned a few things about this quick little quilt, first and foremost it is worth your while to take the time before starting to sew to straighten out your long strip of fabric and fold it sort of accordion style like Cheryl has here beside her sewing machine. If you do not you end up with the jelly roll "Twist" or as Leslie called it the Jelly Roll Corkscrew.
But we eventually all got started sewing our jelly rolls and progress was quickly made.The first quilt top finished was by Judy and it took her just a little over an hour.

Here are some more results:
I did my quilt with Kaffe Fassett prints and got a border added.Our little corner of the retreat center looked so cheerful with all of our jelly roll quilts hanging around. These are fun little quilts and we could all think of additional quilts we wanted to do.I also got a lot of work done on the quilt I am doing with my Mom (check back a post or two) and was caught in this picture doing some tracing of embroidery blocks for her. ( I am also in the post header group picture - the tall one in the back)
It was a great retreat, I loved spending time with all of you! I am off to Texas later this week to see the cutest grand baby in the world and spend a day at the International Quilt Festival.
Happy Stitching All!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Lady of the Sea Block Completed

I just finished another Lady of the Sea block (pattern by Sue Garman). The Piccolo Bragozzo is a fishing boat originating in Italy in the late 1700s. This block was fun because of the easier sails and the little embroidered ties on the sails. Sue Garman includes a bit of history of each ship and "sailing trivia" with each pattern. This quilt I am doing by machine applique, my next block will be the Dutch Hooker, I started on the tulips this morning.

I have also done a little prep work on the Susan McCord quilt Trailing Vines. Janet is offering a quilt along on her blog with her interpretation of this quilt and will post a panel each month on the 15th. Follow the link on my side bar. Janet has excellent instructions and patterns, she is doing an amazing amount of work on this and she is sharing with all of us. I have learned so much already from her posts from cutting and prepping the panels, to making piles of bias stems . I love the clover bias maker and until I saw Janet's pictures I didn't realize I was holding the thing upside down and ironing the raw edges on the bottom where I could not see what was going on -DUH.Here is my panel with all of the stems basted on, it is taking a little rest and looks rather naked.And here are the first couple leaves added.
This is a hand applique project for me. I have drawn all of the leaves on the back and have a little pile of fabric squares (I applique by back basting) sitting by my couch to grab and sew on a couple leaves while watching TV in the evening. I seriously doubt I will complete a panel a month but that is not the point, it is the contentment of the hand stitching at the end of a busy day.

Happy Stitching All!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quilting With My Mom


My mother has been diagnosed with early dementia/Alzheimer's and it is easier for my Dad to take care of her in an assisted living environment. A few weeks ago my sisters and I, and our husbands, helped them with the move. This was a very surreal experience for us, seeing our parents leave their home (and ours) of over 50 years. This has been a very good move for them and they are happy in their new smaller home. The sewing machine has become very difficult for my Mom and the decision was made not to take her sewing things. This has been one of the hardest things for me as my Mom and I always had a love of quilting in common. She is still doing a little hand work, she is an accomplished knitter also, but over the past year I have seen her increasing struggles even with knitting.

On our way home from helping with their move my husband and I stopped in a rest area/visitors center in Julesburg, Colorado. There were volunteers manning the information and coffee counter and behind the desk was this quilt.
The hexagon shaped blocks are embroideries of the 50 states with the outline of the state, the state flower, and the state bird. The volunteers at the visitor's center had made this quilt and in the center had appliqued an image of a pony express rider, as Julesburg, Colorado was the only stop that the pony express came through in Colorado in the 1800s.

When I came home and thought about my mom's difficulty with sewing and her missing hand work, I asked if she was interested in doing some embroidery (my Dad thought she could still handle it). The quilt is from a pattern by the Colonial Company,,/ the company that makes Aunt Martha's iron on embroidery patterns. She was very excited to make this quilt with me and so we have begun. I trace out the patterns for her in pigma pens using the colors that the embroidery floss should be and mail her four or so blocks at a time. I can hardly stay ahead of her!

She is on block 18 or 19 already! Besides tracing the blocks for her I have started working on the star blocks and am going to machine applique them.

I also decided to make an eagle applique (header picture) for the center block and will be working on the machine applique of that block also.

I initially really liked the hexagon shape of these blocks, but these will be set in seams to sew together...yuck! I am thinking this is going to be a hand pieced quilt. So far this quilt has reminded me of the quilting my mom and grandmother did many years ago, the large hexagon blocks required a template mounted on sand paper that I had to add the 1/4 inch seam allowance, just like they used to do in their quilts (read between the lines here and know the first yard of red fabric is in the trash as I did not read the directions and cut out all of the half hexagons to0 small). I am tracing and drawing the whole, half, and quarter hexagons on the back of the fabric and then cutting them out so I already have lines drawn on the back of the blocks for hand piecing.
At the rest area where I saw the finished quilt the picnic shelters were in these tee pees. We stopped in this one with our coffee and found these little inhabitants. I am not sure what kind of birds these babies are, but their nest was made of mud and they pretty much owned this picnic shelter, their droppings were everywhere, but they are kind of cute. Happy Stitching All