Friday, December 30, 2011

One of my old quilts - Waterwheels

This quilt was finished in the year 1995. The quilt guild in Dubuque, Iowa, had a color challenge. My color was peach. My first thought when I saw the color written on the little piece of paper was, "I don't have any fabric that's peach!" Guess what? I found 20 plus pieces of fabric on the shelves that were light peach and on into some pretty rusts.

As always, I had no idea where this quilt was going nor what size it would end up. Believe it or not, the guild had put a size limitation on the challenge and I ended up being a couple of inches too long. No, they didn't disqualify me but for a minute, I thought they might!

54" x 63"
This quilt was designed on graph paper, the greens are all one fabric, it's just the peach and rust that is made up of multiple fabrics. This quilt "talked" to me more than most of my quilts.  I had marked the quilting in the solid border with a water soluble pen in a completely different design. The next morning the quilt said, "No, I don't like what you have marked on me." So I got out a wet wash cloth and blotted all the lines out, waited for it to dry, and remarked this design.

Center upper left corner.
Center lower right corner.

This quilt was made back in the days when I still did the little hand stitches. Today, it just the Big Stitch for me.

This quilt had been hanging in my dining room but I did some rearranging lately and my fabric cupboard have moved into that spot. I figured it was about time the quilt got washed and while it was still flat with no wrinkles, a good time for a picture.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shhh! It's a Christmas present so no telling!

This summer I had a friend in the shop wanting Fossil Fern flannel from Benartex. She wanted it for backing fabrics and since she was taking over half the bolt I special ordered for her. Add to that, the fact that I have a grandson going to a college that has red and gold for their school colors, my mind went to work on what I could make that would be easy and fast.

Then, there is that box of denim that has been in the basement for what seems like forever and was I ever going to use it for something? Seems to me I had the necessary ingredients for that easy and fast quilt I wanted to make.

45" x 81"

This quilt is intended to be put in the trunk of his car and can be used for eating McDonald's in the park or sitting on to watch a band concert on the lawn. It's nothing special, just two pieces of fabric, one flannel 10" square and one denim 9" square sewn together. Then sew the blocks together using only the flannel pieces, press the seam open and sew down. I used the serpentine stick on my sewing machine. I made the 5 long rows first. Then sewed the rows together, pressing and stitching the flannel down as I went.

As I stated earlier, I wanted an easy and fast project. No spending hours here with scissors in hand trying to cut all those seam allowances for a rag quilt. I have better ways to spend my time.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Doll Quilts

For a few or maybe some years, I have been subscribing to Benartex's Fat Quarterly magazine (club), not sure exactly what it is called but I love it. What they do is send a little 8 page magazine plus 5" squares of one of their new fabric lines that have come out. You get this 4 times a year. I love getting fabric in the mail, always have.

Most of the time I fondle the fabrics for a while and then end up setting them aside. After a while they go into (another) scappy hexagon flower quilt that I have going.

The last set of fabrics I received with my Fat Quarterly magazine were a set of batiks. Now, as a hand quilter, I don't use batiks in my quilts so these got set on the sewing desk in a stack of other things. When I came across them a few days ago I made the decision that they would work for a doll quilt.

22" x 27"

I think it worked out pretty good.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kona Bay Scrap Bag

A few months back I bought a Kona Bay scrap bag. I really enjoy buying the unknown. Also, I have come to realize that I like a challenge. (Side note: Some of my best quilts have been fabric challenges from the different guilds I belong to.) When sorting the fabrics in the bag I came across some pieces that were more like drapery fabrics so I set them aside (on my sewing desk, of course) to deal with later, meaning, trying to find somewhere else to put them.

Well, the other day I decided that the best way to deal with them was to make a baby quilt top and donate it to a guild. I had 6 different pieces of varying sizes. Mentally I was thinking of making 12" finished squares out of them and just sew them together. Right! First thing I did was to cut the first one at 12" now making the blocks finish at 11.5". Then, one of the smaller pieces wasn't big enough to cut a 12" square so I cut it at 9". Then I started doing some math and figured this wasn't going to work out well.

In the end I cut large squares and small squares out of what was left, I had the medium squares so I cut strips to make the medium squares large squares. I know, I know, I am so capable of mixing myself up but in the end I had a baby quilt, i.e., a very funky baby quilt.

33" x 39"

I really like flowers (on fabric, please note, I am not a gardener) and these large Hawaiian type prints make me smile. I hope someone will be pleased.

Yes, daughters, I can see you rolling your eyes!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 MAQ guild BOM

I've made the decision to unclutter my life, I have too much "stuff" laying around on my sewing desk. No room left to work! So, I pulled out the box with the Maquoketa guild Block of the Month to see how far behind I was. It looked like two or maybe three months. I had the directions for two of the blocks so I decided to make one block of each to give to the guild. I didn't want to take the time to make a set for myself.

Then I started thinking, did I really want to make this quilt for myself? The answer turned out to be NO. So the decision was made to not make any more of the blocks and to give the guild the other set that I had made for myself. The guild gets 16 blocks total and I have an empty box. Wonderful!

Monday, October 24, 2011

JoQuilter Fabrics BOM

Let's go back to Sunday, October 3, 2010. That was the post that I showed my JoQuilter Fabrics Block of the Month blocks laid out on the floor. One of the things I worked on this past month was how to make that quilt longer. I had an idea in my mind for a while, but the "box" it was packed into never came up on the rotation. Finally, it did and I put my idea to work.

What I am going to show you today is what I did with the scrappy blocks I used to test the patterns. The BOM was done using Pat Speth (the Nickel Quilts lady) BOM patterns. Since I had never used any of her patterns before, I figured I should "test" each block with scraps before I started in on my real quilt. I did this for 6 months and, by then, figured the lady knew what she was doing.

When I got my quilt done, I used some leftover blocks for a small quilt. Then while digging to the bottom of the box, I found the 6 scrappy blocks. I decided to put them to good use by making a charity baby quilt top.

36" x 44"

This is the result. Nothing special but a finished baby quilt top. I will be giving this to one of the guilds charity groups to finish and give away. I am trying hard to make the decision that I do not have to finish everything I've started. It's a hard concept but I think I will learn.

In a couple of days I hope to have pictures of the BOM quilt and the little quilt from the extras.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Driving in Style

At the end of July I bought myself a new car. It's the first car I have ever picked out all by myself and was able to buy exactly what I wanted.

Then, with the help of my best friend Lorinda and a company called PrimoWrap in Dubuque, we decorated my new car.

I have gotten loads of great comments from people, including being told my car was "sexy".
Pictures were taken by Joan T. on a fun trip to Galena.
And, yes, the quilts are actual quilts that I have made/own.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pineapple Chunks

I have been feeling very overwhelmed lately, so I did what I do best, I started another project!

A couple of months ago I saw an ad for Gyleen Fitzgerald's book, "Trash to Treasure Pineapple quilts". It sounded intriguing and it had a scrappy pineapple block on the front. So I bought the book and the special ruler.

Now you must understand that I already own 10-12 specialty rulers that I have never used, so I am asking myself, "why am I buying another one!"

Then I joined Gyleen's facebook page. Then she said she was having a Pineapple Chunk Challenge. 

Here are my first 9 blocks. And it may be the last 9 blocks.

Hexagon Black Diamond Quilt

For those of you going to the AQS Show in Des Moines, Iowa. Stop by and say "Hi" to my Hexagon quilt. The show opens on Wednesday, September 28 and closes on Saturday, October 1.
Each full diamond is made with 49 scrappy hexagons, all just leftovers from other projects or cut from my stash. The exact number of hexagons are written on the quilt label, as I recall it is in the vicinity of 4,900 and some. When I started this, I didn't think that it would ever get finished, it was just something to work on when I was visiting my mother in the nursing home, or at guild meetings, or waiting at the doctors office. Start to finish, the hand piecing took about 7 years, then it got set aside for a while. The hand quilting took about 10 months. I named the quilt, "Why do people think I'm crazy?" Do you agree?

New Roof

I was thoroughly entertained for a couple of weeks by watching a new roof being put on the gazebo across the street. They were putting on wooden shingles, that's what had been on it before. And yes, you could see there feet slipping at times as they walked across it. Mostly they were careful.

What I was really looking forward to was watching them put the tin and wooden topper back on.

Then I got distracted for 15 minutes. Next time I looked the topper was on and the guys were packing up to leave. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The tale of the tiger!

Once upon a time there were two ladies and they both had little boys that were 4 years old. These two ladies met because they were both quilters and became very good friends. During the course of their lives, one of the friends moved away to many and various places but they still remained very good friends and would continue to visit each other almost every year. One year they both needed warm robes for the long cold winters of Iowa and Montana. During one of the visits in Montana they decided that they would make nice warm fleece robes so they went on a visit to JoAnne's.

But . . . they only had one coupon! What to do, what to do?

Being the very smart woman they were, they decided to buy the same fabric and make matching fleece robes. They had so much fun wearing their robes when the went to visit each other and at quilt retreats. With a quick glance at their backs it was hard for people to figure out which was who and who from which! That was fun!

Finally, the robes wore out so on a trip to Iowa in 2010 they bought more fabric to make another set of matching robes. The friend from Montana got hers made and wore it that winter but the friend in Iowa was too busy and her robe fabric sat in a basket under the writing desk, totally neglected until her 2nd daughter took pity and cleaned the dining room table, laid the new fleece out and pinned on the pattern - THEN LEFT IT!

When the lady from Iowa came home from her shopping trip that day, the fabric with the pattern pieces was still on the table so there was nothing to do but the cut the robe out! She then folded it up and put it back in the basket under the writing desk. Where it sat again. Finally, she made a promise that it would be the next item she sewed. And she did!
Did I mention that those little boys are now 32 year old men with wives. Paul and Lindsay have 2 little girls and a new baby boy born in April. Hank and Mandy are expecting their first baby in September.

Monday, August 1, 2011

2011 MAQ guild BOM

When I looked back at the last post I was so surprised at the date. July 13th seems like so long ago, but then again I wonder what have I accomplished during that time?

Well, I did get two things done. I accomplished my BOM blocks for the Maquoketa, IA, guild. I am turning in two blocks as I did not get the July block done on time. After making those blocks I immediately set out to make the August blocks. I took the pictures and set them aside, thinking I would post them on the blog right away. Guess what? I've already forgotten which were July's blocks and which were for August. Ugh! I guess it doesn't matter anyway, so here they are in no particular order.
I don't remember anything special about the flying geese block. Except for the fact that I cut the red fabric too small the first time round. Where does my brain go some days? Must have been on a mini vacation when I went to cut that fabric.

Now, as for these blocks!
The story goes like this. I decided to see if I could straighten out the drunk! And I will admit it was a challenge. I probably didn't do right by him but I tried, I suppose he will go back to his drinking and wandering around but guess I can't do much about that.

Have a good day!  Jo

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Purple & Friends

A finished quilt for you to view. I named it Purple and Friends. Why you ask? Because I couldn't figure out if the second color was pink or coral. No, I am not color blind. Yes, my Grandpa was, in fact they wouldn't let him pick the strawberries because he was always picking all the green ones. Grandma got so mad when he would try to help.

Yes, I do have one son and two grandson that are color blind. No, not in the same family. My understanding is, the women are the carriers but it's the guys that get it.

Back to the quilt. I pieced the quilt approximately 15 years ago. Then it just hung in the closet and got dusty. This must truly be my year to finish up. This is the 3rd quilt in 2011 to get finished from something old.
62" x 85"

close-up of quilting motifs

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tie-Dye Table Runner

A good friend of mine stopped in the shop a couple of weeks ago and volunteered to make something out of the new fabric that I had gotten for the shop. She took home 3 of the new fabrics and solid black. After making two blocks she decided the black wasn't quite what she wanted.

So, what do you do with two blocks, why of course, you make a table runner. That she did, then brought it to me and I hand quilted it, big stitch style. It was fun using all four colors of thread.

15" x 28"

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Doll Quilts

And another doll quilt! This was made many days (or was it weeks) ago but I just got around to binding it.
22" x 22"

This little quilt was made with leftovers from a few different projects. I'm slowly getting rid of the little pile of little pieces that were sitting on the sewing table. The rest of the little pieces were sewn together but were not big enough for another quilt so they have gone into a "box". I think I am done with doll quilts for the time being. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Doll Quilts

23" x 23"
Yesterday, I pieced a flannel back for this doll quilt made out of the scraps from Luke's baby quilt. Then I machine quilted and bound it. It seems to have taken me all day to do this. And, evidently wore we out. I am exhausted today!

I now have the center and sashings all quilted on my "Purple & Friends" quilt. I've spent 3 hours playing with different ideas for the borders. Not sure yet what it will be. Two borders are 4" and the other two are 3". That complicated things a little bit. I'm hoping to have a light bulb moment soon!

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 MAQ guild BOM

I only have one block to show you this time, it's mine. Why? Well, it's applique and since I don't like applique all that well, I put it off until the last minute. So Monday (6/6) I was only able to finish the block to give the guild. Then I didn't have time to take a picture of it, but it was just like mine only with the tan/beige background. I think they came out pretty good, even if I do say so myself. And no, I will never become an applique person.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

MAQ Guild Library Book Challenge

It's pieced! On Sunday evening, May 29th, I laid the blocks on the floor, then rearranged a few and walked away. On Monday, I started sewing the blocks into rows and the rows into double rows, then the double rows together, finally finishing it on Wednesday, June 1st.

Next I cut, washed, and sewed the backing together. It's a green leafy print. Then I finally figured out that my backing was not going to be long enough! Oh, what to do, what to do! I ended up piecing some of the 6" squares into a row, opening up the seam and inserting the row of squares. On Sunday I sent it off to a long-armer to be basted. I guess that means it will be the next quilt on my list to get hand quilted.

 I'm pleased with the quilt. I love the way the black motifs stand out but more than that I like the way the softer colored motifs slowly make themselves known. It was a fun challenge.

Oh, and before you say anything I will tell you that the picture was taken before I did all the sewing an yes, I did catch the blocks that were turned the wrong way.

Have a good day!  Jo

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blocks to Raffle

Oh please, don't ask me why I do what I do, I just do. Yes, I bought a $1 worth (5) 5" squares of yellow fabric at the Mississippi Valley Quilters Guild (Quad Cities) meeting last month. I guess the reason is that I love yellow and could not resist. You were able to add anything you wanted to make the blocks into 9 patches with yellow centers. I added scrappy, with the four corners light and the four inside squares darker. By doing this, if the winner wants to recut the blocks into 4 pieces, the rectangles would be the darker fabrics.  Will I actually put my name into the drawing? Not sure!
Mostly I have been quilting.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Luke, Hexagon Doll Quilt & Scrappy Hex Flowers

I just have to show you another picture of the newest grandson, Luke. I love this picture.
Just hangin' round.

This is the hexagon doll quilt I gave to the Margaret P., doll quilt chair of the Mississippi Valley Quilters Guild. She was teasing me and said to the whole guild that maybe "Jo, would make a hexagon doll quilt" for them. Well, if it were anybody but her I probably would have said no, but I just had to make one and surprise her. As I recall, the quilt is approx 24" x 29". I used the 1" hexagon papers.

These are the next 7 scrappy hexagon flowers to go on my
 Scrappy Hexagon Quilt.

I am also back to hand quilting a top from 15 years ago. It's approximately twin size so it will take a bit of time.
Have a good day. Jo

Monday, May 2, 2011

MAQ Guild Library Book Challenge

As with most guilds, the Maquoketa guild library was not being used very much so we decided to have a library book challenge. All members were to take home a library book and make something inspired by the book. You can read all about my inspiration on the Blog Post titled "Need Help" on April 3rd.

Here is the quilt so far, this is the first 2 rows out of 4. The basic block is 8"s, four together makes a 16" block. I decided to incorporate the borders as I go (8"s each side). It was a good decision and leaves the quilt with a finished feel already. The width of the quilt is 64" the length will be 80" when finished.

 This is a picture of the lower left corner.

Friday, April 29, 2011

2011 MAQ guild BOM

This is the April blocks for the Maquoketa guild BOM. The one on the left is for my quilt, the one on the right will be given to the guild.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Baby Boy Fifield

Baby Boy Fifield arrived yesterday at 5:06 AM (California time). He weighted in at 8 lbs. 5 ozs. Mom and Dad are doing fine, still a little tired from pulling an "all nighter". He is named
 Luke Joseph.

Since he now has a name, I can show the quilt. No, it really isn't that pink. I am not a photographer and really don't want to be and it shows, badly. Please take the time to notice how well the stripes are aligned both up and down.
The quilting was Big Stitched in blue for hearts to represent kisses from Grandma. And green for the X's to represent the hugs.
It was sent a little over a week and a half ago and both his sisters tried it out to make sure it would work. I got the word from Mom that they both approved.
Proud Papa Paul and Baby Luke

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Box Number 3

Finally, my Box Number 3 quilt is all pieced.  Also, I have the backing made and the binding strips cut. All three are now residing on a hanger in the closet. When will it get quilted? No clue, but it's ready for basting whenever. Did I make any mistakes when sewing the blocks together, of course, The blocks in the thrid row got confused and I did not discover it until after the center was all pieced. No, I did not unsew and make it right, that would have been too much work. The finished size is 63" x 88". Not bad for starting out with (24) 6" squares.

The little blue strip along the side edges is a 1/4" flippy I used in place of a 2nd side border. I didnlt want it any wider, just longer. Below is the doll quilt I made out of the leftovers. It is a 22" square.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Doll Quilts

Can you believe this doll quilt took me approx 7 hours to make? And I didn't even make the blocks, they were given too me. The quilt is approx 24" square. The blocks were 6" and not all the exactly the same size. I decided it would be easiest to frame each block then square them up to 8".
I machine quilted and machine bound but it still took me, what I would consider, a long time. Yes, I do sew slow but ........

I guess that's why I like making big quilts that you know will take forever. I always think you can make something little in an hour or two and I never can, it always takes a day.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Need Help

Will it work?
The story regarding this block is the fact that I am trying to do two things in the same quilt. 1). I am using my 6" squares from the 2010 Maquoketa guild exchange, by cutting them into 2.5" squares. Then I am using them as my leaders and enders as I sew whatever else. 2). The first of the year, all guild members were told to take home a book from the library and make something out of it. The something is due at the July meeting.

The book I took home was Create a Quilt by Joyce Mori. I looked and looked through the book but could not find anything. Then I decided, since I am 72 years old, I would look on page 72 and see what was there. Well, nothing took my fancy on that page but on the opposite page was a quilt named Puzzle Pieces. It inspired me.

When the blocks are put together there will be black units like the lavender one. I think what is wrong with the block is that the lavendar does not show up enough. I think I should have used a solid color rather than a tone-on-tone. Each block will have a different color in the center.

My question is this: If I quilt the lavender in black thread at 1/4 " and cross hatch the scrap squares, will the design show up enough? Remember, this is not a "show" quilt. Just a fun quilt. But I can take the time to unsew and put in a solid if the quilt demands it. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2011 MAQ guild BOM

The next meeting of the Maquoketa Town & Country Quilters is Monday night. Do I have my Block-of-the-Month blocks done? Yes! I actually got them done earlier in the week.

I am pretty much following the fabric colors in the magazine (see block on left), but when I was making the block for the guild I just happened to have four 4.5" squares of blue cut and laying there so I decided to use them. Now I like their block better than mine!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Box Number 2

The quilt top I showed you on December 20th, was finally sent off to be basted the end of January and was returned to me on February 2nd. The quilt is 53" x 79". Of course I started quilting it immediately. I had the quilting done by March 3rd, it took me another 10 days to get it bound, a label made and sewn on. I named the quilt, "Did I Buy This Fabric?"

Yes, I really did buy the fabric. Way back when I started quilting I bought a couple preprint designs. I thought I could "cheat" and made quilt tops faster with them. All I wanted was to rush through the piecing so I could get to the hand quilting stage.

But I have to admit that trying to figure out what to do with this fabric so I could make it into a usable quilt was a lot of fun.

Each log cabin block has two (square) rings of quilting one red, one green. The applique hearts are quilted around the outside of each in green. The sashing is quarter inch quilted in beige. As always, I now "Big Stitch" hand quilt with size 12, Presencia perle cotton. Your can check out my website for a thread color chart.
Hope you have enjoyed!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Box Number 1

In my blog of April 8, 2010, I said I wanted something to piece so I found a pink plastic shoe box filled with 5" squares. Some of which had been made into 4-patch units. After getting them all pieced into 4-patches and into a quilt that would just fit my half of the king size bed, I  took them to my local long-armer to baste for me. When I got it back I decided to quilt it with diagonal rows in two colors of thread.

On January 30, 2011, I declared the quilt DONE!
The label was even on.
40" x 84"

Close-up of the "Big Stitch" hand quiltling.

Next up will be pictures of my Box Number 2 quilt. It's all done, too.

My Box Number 3 quilt is still in the piecing stage but I do have the center pieced. It is waiting for border inspiration.

The baby quilt for Baby Boy Fifield is just waiting for me to bind it.

Box Number 4 is at the long-armer waiting to get basted. That quilt story I will tell you another day.      Jo