Thursday, April 23, 2015

From Sebago Lake to Tulip Fields

Earlier this month I began making hexagons, something I swore I would never do. Never say never. The Lynette Anderson BOM that I am working on called for hexagon flowers last month. Little ones! Despite myself, I enjoyed the handwork, so I thought I would try a larger size. These red hexagons are ready for sewing together. They measure 2 inches on a side. I've been busy in Pinterest looking at hexies. I'll do more of these, but in the meanwhile, I've been distracted with other projects. Sound familiar?

My Tacoma Lakes quilt group worked on this Sebago Totebag recently. It is made from pre quilted fabric. I still need to attach the handles. This is a nice roomy bag, perfect for the summer. 

I joined my Back Roads friends last Saturday for a charity sew-in. We worked on precut squares of fabric to make some small quilts to give out when there is a need in our community. These are a few of the blocks that Judy and Sylvia made. This is the Jacob's Ladder block, an old favorite. 

Krista and Donna worked with purples and laid out this design. There was another sewing day on Sunday that I did not attend. I sewed from 9-3 on Saturday and had a really nice time with everyone. So much gets accomplished when we all join in together and we have such a good time with a lot of laughter and sharing. 

Bonnie Hunter came to Maine again recently. Several of my friends went to hear her lecture and trunk show. I found a quilt I wanted to make in one of her books. The quilt is called Tulip Fields. The block is the Cross and Crown block and it finishes at 7 inches. 7 inches! That means the little blocks in the corners finish at 3.5 inches. I made over 100 of these string pieced blocks. Now I am adding the triangles and squares.

I'm using up many of my scraps for this one! I didn't realize how many bright and novelty fabrics I own. I didn't pay much attention to what I put next to each other. When the total quilt is done it won't matter; it will be a lovely, lively swirl of color. 

Okay, this is a boo boo. I found directions for the cross and crown block online and this is what it said to do. Wrong! This is why you make a block up before you string piece 100+ seams! 

I've been having a wonderful time sewing this quilt. I love working from my stash and seeing many of my old scraps. I used pages from an old telephone book for my foundation and the paper is easily removed. I've been listening to Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel while I work on this. Are you watching the show on Masterpiece? I listened to the audiobook some time back and now that it has been made in to a Masterpiece program I decided to listen again. Very enjoyable. Imagine living in Britain and learning history that goes back hundreds and hundreds of years? Growing up it seemed every school year started with 1776 and we might get up to the Civil War. 

I'm savoring my sewing time because I start a new job on Monday. I won't be able to attend Tacoma meetings anymore and will miss my many friends and all our activities. What a great quilt group with lots of fun things to do and see. However, many of those same friends go to Back Roads, so I will see them there as we meet in the evenings, not during the day. 

I'll be working full time Monday-Friday. This is a Good Thing and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life. 

Happy Quilting!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Bonnie Hunter

This weekend I talked with some of my friends who went to see Bonnie Hunter recently in southern Maine. Bonnie came to our PTQG members meeting in May 2013. Everyone was so enthused by Bonnie's upbeat, practical, and friendly personality. I remember coming away from her lecture feeling really ready to tackle some scrap quilt blocks.

I'm posting this youtube video of one of Bonnie's Quilt-Cams. She posts these very frequently. You can watch her as she sews and chats about her life and what she is working on. Lots of tips and beautiful quilts. She often talks about her collection of old sewing machines. This lady has a lot of energy!

Sew along with Bonnie and let her be your quilting pal at home. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Camp Kieve and more

Earlier this month my quilt group, Back Roads, went to Camp Kieve again for a retreat. This is what I worked on. This is a kit I bought at Whippersnappers. I had been looking at this quilt on the wall of the shop since the summer and I decided it would be a great project for the retreat. I cut the fabric before leaving and it was very simple to sew. Lots of half square triangles and flying geese units made with the square on a rectangle, trim and flip method. I got the rows all sewn together on the second day. 

My other quilt group, Tacoma Lakes, is having a sew-in/pot luck on Wednesday. I am going to take this quilt and sew the two borders. I'll have to find a second project to work on as those borders will take no time at all. Love the colors and large flowers in this quilt. It is going to hang on the wall in my living room. 

While at the retreat, a group of us made a trip to Mainely Sewing quilt shop in Nobleboro. All the rulers were on sale so I bought two Deb Tucker rulers. I bought a square squared ruler and a V block ruler.  When I got home I played around with them and they are really remarkable. So easy to use and very accurate results. The blocks are made a bit larger and trimmed with the ruler.

 Wow, so accurate! The directions are easy to follow and she has videos for extra help. Watching the videos first will let you understand the directions quite readily.

Here's my practise block with the patches using both rulers.

Then I went to town with other fabrics. I made 5 inch squares for this 15 inch block. I don't really want to make this into anything just yet. Maybe I will make more blocks from my stash and have a scrappy quilt someday. I do like practising techniques. 

We are making fidget quilts for Alzheimer's patients in the Tacoma group. We had a workshop and people brought in lots of odds and ends to share. The fidget quilts are meant to sit in someone's lap and have lots of different textures to feel and things to play with. 

I made a little book of fleece. There is an eyelash fabric, lace, and ball fringe. I've also sewn in a shiny brocade, navy blue fringe, some tassle fringe, and a piece of fur that is sewn on the two ends and is open in between so you can slide your hand in to cuddle the fur. 

This little pocket is something that has been kicking around for years. I think it may have been a tooth fairy pocket at one time. I attached a little stuffed kitty that I made years ago, too. It can be tucked into the pocket. 

I did some all over quilting and bound the edges by folding the backing over to the front. We were told to not make these quilts pretty as they are going to a nursing home. Sadly, members who have made quilts for loved ones in nursing homes have found that their pretty quilts get stolen and are never seen again. My quilt is certainly not pretty!

I bought this bird panel at Maine Quilts one or two years ago. I never got around to making it into a wall hanging until this weekend. I cued up Season 2 of the Great British Bake Off on my YouTube playlist and had a blast. I would like to enter this in the Back Roads quilt show in October, so I will get this one completed!

Happy Quilting!