Sunday, December 20, 2020

2020-my quilting year

 During this year of Covid isolation, I have been happily busy with my quilting projects. 

Barbara Brackman BOM "Cassandra" All the pink and green blocks below are part of this BOM. 

Pincushion I made for a pincushion swap with Back Roads quilt chapter. 

Monday's with Moda free pattern. 

Christmas sofa quilt ready for quilting. This was a free pattern. I have the finished quilt on the sofa, but this is the only picture!

Online acrylic painting on fabric with Helen Godden. 

String quilting this summer, not finished. 

Not sure when I finished this! Baxter State Park summer camping memories.

Another quilt top that I am not sure when I finished. It all started years ago with the red star center and grew from there. I machine quilted this top earlier this year, I believe. 

Meg of Little Women. I wanted to make this pattern from Women's Day magazine many years ago and I finally did!

Using up scraps. Still just a quilt top. 

Online class with Helen Godden using Inktense pencils and machine quilting. So fun!

A little quilt for my sewing room door. 

Another quilt top using my stash. 

This quilt was made for a charity for a child to nap on. I used nine patch blocks someone donated at a quilt auction. I bought the quilt blocks and after a few years made this quilt. The blocks all had tags telling who made them and where they lived. Apparently these were made for a online quilt swap. So many years and many miles in the history of this one!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Joy joy joy! Joy in the Morning! 

I have been working on another BOM from Attic Heirlooms. This wall hanging is called Joy in the Morning by Norma Whaley, Timeless Traditions. 

Two of my friends convinced me to try this applique and embroidery challenge. Most of the applique is wool with a few cotton fabric pieces that make it more varied and interesting. The alternate blocks are all cotton.

I am really enjoying each of these little 6-inch blocks. It has been fun searching through my embroidery threads and silk ribbons to make each block special. I'm using the pattern photo to guide my color choices for the most part, a few changes here and there. 

It is good to have something absorbing to work on in the time of quarantine and isolation. My husband and I were finally able to take our new camper to the North Maine Woods recently. We went swimming and relaxed for a couple of days. It is a long ride to where we like to camp but we enjoy the ride, too. I worked on a simple backstitch embroidery piece while we were there. I'll post about that soon. 

Take care! Stay safe and stay home. Wash your hands. Wear a mask, it's the least we can do, don't you think? Thinking of  you, my quilting friends, as I stitch and dream!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I've been participating in Australian Helen Goddin's online free motion tutorials. It's called Flower Power and is free for everyone. This tulip is the first of nine flowers. Colored with Inktense pencils. I bought a new free motion foot last week and I'm getting used to it. I don't think my stitching is as good as it was. It may be a tension problem with my machine. 

A new little quilt for my sewing room door. I've wanted to make this simple pattern for quite a while. I added the little curtain from an old piece of lace. Happy cat isolating. 

My dear daughter baked me a delicious cake for my birthday in April. Lemon cake from scratch with raspberry jam filling. Homemade buttercream frosting. She also made a scrumptious stir fry for dinner. My dear husband gave me a gorgeous bouquet. Dear son called from Virginia. A wonderful day. 

I made a blue kaleidoscope quilt with some beautiful fat quarters I bought some time ago. The top is about 50 x 60. I don't have quilt batting or a good backing to complete the quilt just now. 

And I've been making masks, just as many of you have done. I spent a lot of time working on a good fitting mask. I tried another style but this style was mostly what I made. 

Stay safe and stay home! I made a foray to a local greenhouse yesterday, but other than that, I really have just been home. Not getting too squirrely yet, but there is a full moon tomorrow and it is making me somewhat tense. We all have to cope with the isolation in our own ways, but let me say that I believe we are doing the right thing by staying home and flattening the curve, a phrase we are all now familiar with. Take care everyone! 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

In the time of isolation

Month 3 of Barbara Brackman's BOM Cassandra's Circle. I've completed the large center block, the first 18inch block and this, the second 18 inch block. Not sure if this one will stay as is, I'll have to see how the next few blocks compare.

I've been isolating myself as much as I can. My husband and daughter are continuing to go to work. We are grateful that they have work and a paycheck, but the risk of exposure to Covid 19 is great. I was having stress headaches, but those are gone now.

I miss my friends and wish I could invite them into my home for tea and fun, but that will have to wait for another day. Yesterday I received the very sad news that Maine Quilts 2020 has been cancelled. The Pine Tree Quilt Guild has put on a quilt show for over 40 years. This will be the first time we've had to cancel the show. I know my friends are as disappointed as I am but it was the correct decision, I'm sure. Hundreds of volunteers work to put on the show every year. Teachers come from all over the U.S., Canada, and England. Not sure if we have had anyone come from further afield, but it is certainly an international event.

I did not have any quilts entered in the show this year, but I can imagine how sad those who were exhibiting this year feel right now. This pandemic is one that we will only win if everyone makes the effort to isolate. We are not being asked to fight in the trenches, we are being asked to stay home-home with our loved ones, home with our computers and tvs, home with electricity and heat. Not very difficult is it? Well, of course it is, but by staying in touch with friends and family, by being friendly and courteous to others, we make it easier for all of us to hunker down.

I opened the cupboard door one afternoon and found this funny fellow in among the pots and pans. Weasley is always making us laugh!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Life on Quilt Island

Hello from Quilt Island, my friends. From my little corner in Maine where the coronavirus is beginning to make an impact on all of our lives,it seems that every day the number of cases increases. Being a retired homebody, life has not altered too much for me as I continue to stay at home. My husband and daughter continue to go to work so the routine is much the same. Which is not to say that life will ever be the same, will it? 

I strongly object to the constant use of the large virus image that is used in every newscast about the pandemic. I would prefer to see that symbol with a big X or the "no" symbol on top of the image. I believe that would send a message to all of us that there is hope rather than helplessness. This is a time when all of us in our communities will pull together and help one another.

Okay, so let's look at what I've been doing in my sewing room!

 My Easter Hen is a very old UFO that I have put aside a couple of times. The last time was just before Easter one year and when I had trouble with the basket, I put it aside and another Easter slipped by. I've been finishing up a lot of my other UFOs and recently it occurred to me to finish this one up so I pulled it out of the pile. The only thing left to do was attach the borders and do the quilting! I was rather surprised with how much was done! I will post a picture of the finished wall hanging soon. The pattern was offered on The Quilt Show back in 2010. (hangs her head in shame)

I bought these nine patch blocks at an auction one of my quilt groups held a few years ago. The blocks came from an online swap one member had participated in, so these blocks have been around for many years. The names of participants and their addresses were attached to the blocks. It was fun for me to see where they came from, many from California, Arizona, Colorado, even Hawaii. A long way from Maine, that's for sure. The blocks were meant to be used for an Irish Chain quilt. All the blocks are green and white and there are many shamrocks and other St. Patrick's Day themed fabrics. I added my own prints for the alternate blocks. This is a small quilt for a child and will be donated to a charity. I have quite a few more blocks and have made another quilt similar to this one. Not finished with quilting yet. Oh, and I worked on this on St. Patrick's Day, so it will be a lucky quilt, for sure!

Barbara Brackman has two BOMs going this year. I am participating in the all applique Civil War Quilt that she is calling Cassandra's Circle. My quilt will be all pink and green. Above is one of the eight 18-inch blocks. This one is the Mulberry Wreath. Below is the 36-inch center called Washington's Plume.

Here is another UFO that has been languishing for many years. It feels so good to finish a UFO, doesn't it? I feel quite virtuous.
This quilt started when I made the red toile star blocks in the center. I made the center stars and had no idea what to do with next. Eventually I added the green border and from there it grew. I machine quilt most of my quilts on my domestic machine. I saw Cindy Seitz-Krug on The Quilt Show where she showed quilting on a grid. I thought that looked easy (it is but it takes practice!) I mostly do free motion meandering and loop-di-dos but I thought I could try the grid system on this quilt. I wasn't too thrilled with the quilt and I really wasn't too thrilled with my quilting when I was working on it, but by the time I put it on my bed, I thought it was quite nice. I hope you agree. I always wash my quilts when I finish them and I think that covers up a lot of imperfections. 

Stay safe, stay happy, and keep on stitchin'. Aren't you glad you have a stash?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Art in Bloom

Barbara Morgan's Martha Graham Every Soul is a Circus
Marcia Davis Flowers
Neil Welliver's Two Boys in a Canoe
Dodge the Florist
Chris Martin's Red Yellow Green #2
Pretty Flowers
Katherine Bradford's Flying Woman
Electric Flora
Jean Hans Arp's Is
Plant Office
Marguerite Thompson Zorach's Diana of the Sea
Yellow Twist Design
James Abbott McNeill Whistler's Miss Florence Leyland
Flora's Muse
William Morris Hunt's A Constantinople Woodchopper
Rockwell Kent's Wreck of the D.T.Sheridan
Farmhouse Floral
Justin Richel's Endless Column
Harmon's Floral Company
Plate, early 19th century
Mimi + Mum Floral Designs

I went to the Portland Museum of Art yesterday with my friend Carolyn to see the annual Art in Bloom show. Floral designers chose a work of art as their inspiration. I've shown a few of the offerings. Last year we were part of a small tour group and were given some information about what we were seeing and that led to some interesting discussions. This time we went on our own. Plenty of inspiration for quilters, too! This last photo doesn't convey the delicious scents of spring flowers, unfortunately, but use your imagination. I can't remember which plate was the starting point for this piece but the container is a work of art in itself. Wow! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Finished UFOs 2019

In no particular order, here are some projects I finished in 2019. 

"Jingle" a free online project from Erin Russert. Her quilt had a large central applique with these blocks around the center. There were more pieced blocks. I decided to make a long narrow quilt. The center block was no longer available and I wanted a quilt to hang on my door so I made mine like this. I used the classic Pennsylvania Dutch palette. I discovered Karen Kaye Buckley's leaf templates when I was half way through making this quilt and that sped up the project a lot. 

"Baxter" is my memory quilt from the days when my son and daughter were young. My husband and I would take the kids to Baxter State Park every summer vacation. So many happy memories.

"Beacon of Hope" is a pattern in Women of Grace, a tribute to the women in WWII.

I made a Dresden Plate quilt earlier in 2019. I finally made this sample block into a pillow. 

"A Year with Edyta" is my version of the quilt Edyta Sitar designed for The Quilt Show BOM in 2018. I changed the layout and the center block (which is a Lori Holt house block). Each month the BOM pattern was three different quilt blocks that were made three times. So nine blocks each month. Shown at the Back Roads Quilt Show in West Gardiner October 2019

"A Year with Jan" was my version of a BOM by Jan Patek offered by Attic Heirlooms in Damariscotta. I made some changes to the pattern. I put kittens in the baskets instead of birds! I omitted a border at the top and bottom of the applique blocks; this is a LARGE quilt and the extra borders would have been too much for me. The applique borders were a real challenge for me. I had to get the quilt top done so I could machine quilt it before the show. I wish I had added more elements to the vines but its done and I am mostly happy with it. 

Little quilt made of little scraps. Now used as a mat for one of my cats to sleep on. Peppermint added for size perspective. :-)

"Unit Quilt" Block offered by klein meisje quilts blog. She makes all kinds of simple and intriguing quilts. I really enjoyed using solids and prints. I made a lot of the blocks at a quilt retreat-easy to do while talking!

Little zippered pouch from a workshop we did at Back Roads, offered by Kathy B. This has been languishing forevvvvvvvvvvvver! All it needed was binding!