Friday, October 30, 2015

it's hip to be square!

in-between my other sewing, I've still been working on my 16 patches, and they're slowly coming along. I still have lots of the blacks and greys to do (I used those 2 colors in place of the indigo)

there is something so endearing and addictive about these humble and simple little blocks- they are certainly one of my favorites!

with so many different fabrics and backgrounds to choose from, I could never decide which one is my favorite block of them all... and it's good that I don't' have to choose: I have almost 200 at last count! yikes!

I do plan to make 2 quilts from these 16 patches- one for my table at farmer's market (using all the veggie fabrics) and another for the dining room table for family holiday meals. these 16 patches finish at 10"; just a nice size.
here's a picture of the whole top of the Bethlehem Star that I pieced last week. it's 72" X 80", but it sure looks dwarfed in this picture! scroll down one post to see what else i've been up to while I was absent from the RSC link-ups. and be sure to click on over to angela's to see all the RSC goodness for this week!
PS: did you see that the colors for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt came out this morning? I'm so excited- the color combinations are FANTASTIC this year! who's planning on quilting along? 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

There's a lot to be said for the humble square!

even though I haven't joined Mr. Linky for a couple weeks, I've still been busy sewing. (very busy!) I just recently finished a Bethlehem Star quilt for a friend. my friend Leona loves to (hand) quilt, but hates to piece. she's been making a quilt for her children and grandchildren for many years now.

Iris is the last grandchild waiting for her quilt- and the wait is nearly over! Iris is 9 or so, and this is the pattern (and colors!) that she chose. it was a bit tricky keeping all those nearly identical reds separate, but everything went just fine. the quilt finished at 72X80- this picture was taken before I put on the borders.

all the colors in the quilt are Kona- some of the colors are blaze, deep red, red, lipstick, pepper and maize. once it's hand quilted, I know it will be even more stunning!
right now I'm taking a class at our LQS for a double wedding ring quilt. I've never made a DWR, and thought it's about time... (I've made some of the other difficult quilt patterns: apple core, Dresden plate and tumbling blocks...)

now that the growing season is over, I definitely have a bit more time for quilting and piecing, and have been squeezing it in around my other chores. I had 2 matching jelly rolls, and a nice neutral for the background, so I was all set.
this particular DWR technique is sewing 5 jelly roll strips together, and then cutting them into the arch piece, using the acrylic templates. I sorted  all my jelly roll trips, and got busy sewing. that was not too hard (or tedious) and I got all enthusiastic and inspired to make another DWR for my husband. I even picked out the fabrics that I thought I might like to use: I lovelovelove that cheddar yellow, and Dave's favorite color is blue. I thought the *tame* blue, and the *vivid* yellow would make a nice quilt that we could both love.
the second class was on Tuesday, and we started sewing the melons onto our arch pieces. still: not so bad, and definitely not too twiddly. I can manage this....(the quilter said confidently to herself....)
THEN: reality strikes in full force! it was time to sew the second arch onto the half-completed melon. ACK!!! that definitely is the definition of twiddly, and I hate working on twiddly things! SO: one circle down, and only 27 more to go! hopefully the third class will give some pointers on getting those arches onto the center pieces nicely- I just did the one, and it's not as nice as I would like...
BUT: I do plan on finishing this quilt- not dumping it into the UFO pile. my quilting friends would call this an exclusive quilt- and I'm definitely thinking the same!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's time: let's get these quilts together!

after sewing and sewing all these squares together, I decided to start sewing some stuff together (even though technically, I'm a month early for that...) I wanted to see some progress, and not just piles of blocks...

these 16 patches are left over from last year- if i remember, i had just stalled on what to do with them.

last week i decided: why not potholders? my old ones were pretty grimy after using them in the summer kitchen when making applesauce, and what better way to use and enjoy my favorite fabrics than in the kitchen?

let's face it: i spend more time in the kitchen than in the sewing room most days, so i can still get my fabric fix! i cut into some of my all time favorite fabrics for the backings- and I'm so glad i did!

another RSC project i worked on this week was my 9 patch blocks.  after sewing and sewing all year long, i was very surprised to count that i had 189+ of the 9 patches! i knew i wanted to do something interesting, and non-traditional in the setting, so after playing around for awhile, i settled on the layout below.

i really like this layout- and there are so many blocks left over! i'll let the little girls lay out another quilt, and we'll give that to my friend for quilting and send it off to one of the MCC auctions.
thanks for stopping by- click on over to angela's to see what everyone else is working on. and if you have a minute, scroll down one more post, and tell me what you think of my red stars Christmas quilt- I'm looking for some input and advice!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Tell me true!

* we went away last weekend: to the beach in Wildwood, NJ. it was a relaxing time, and the weather was even co-operative! the girls were able to play in the water, and build sand castles. (when we went in March, the weather was 37degrees, and bitterly cold and windy. such is the life of a farmer...) I missed the linky, but I'd still love your opinion! *

I'm pretty sure nobody reads my blog except for the Saturday morning link ups with soscrappy for RSC15. (my MIL doesn't even read my blog anymore! how sad is that?!)

... but it's worth a shot anyway...

here is the *tentative* layout for my JustGottaMakeIt Red Christmas Stars. sorry for the crappy kindle picture- definitely not a strong selling point for the kindle...
I really wanted the stars to be off-set and random~ and no 2 stars are alike! the fabrics vary widely- from vegetables, geometrics, flowers and novelty prints. there are a few Christmas prints thrown in just for good measure. while I was laying out the quilt, I also wanted to avoid (as much as possible) lining up the sawtooth star points. except for the middle row, I managed to do that.
as you're looking at this picture, the right hand side of the picture is the top of the quilt, the left is the bottom. the partial star at the top will have prairie points in the binding to complete that star.
one of the things that really has me doubting is the lightest of the backgrounds- seen in the lower left of this picture. there are actually 4 different cream/gold prints, and 3 of them are nearly identical.

SO: tell me what you think: is the layout to weird? is the negative space odd? and I definitely need to replace those too light background rectangles, right?

give it to me straight- I can take it!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Everything is turning Brown!

after butchering all our (150+) meat chickens last week, I thought this week wouild be much less busy. ha! I could not have been more mistaken!
I did a *tiny* bit of canning and freezing this summer, but the huge bulk of my canning seems to have taken place this week: plum jelly- from our own plum tree (10 pints, plus some for gifts), 9 bushels of apples for sauce- (for 3 families) we got about 60 quarts, jalapeno jelly (14 pints, plus some for gifts) and green tomato relish (16 pints).
it was a week of chop, chop, chop. can, can, can. boil, boil, boil. phew! but now I'm almost done- just need to do the sauerkraut and stewed tomatoes.
I did have a chance to sew late Sunday afternoon and evening, and made some good progress:

I'm second guessing all my brown RSC15 blocks (are they too dull?) but am forging ahead anyway...

but: I love the sawtooth stars for the sampler! I'm WAAAAAAAY behind on the connecter blocks: as in have not even started them, but i'll get to them soon. ( I have the Kona white blocks cut; does that count?)

and here's Millie: my furry sewing room companion!

now go see what everybody else is doing with their browns!


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