Friday, September 30, 2016

RSC16 week 40


My final red block for September is my 8.5-inch improv block.  I was totally uninspired this week with no idea where to begin.  Then I came across a charm pack called Rio, which I had bought for an excellent price at Missouri Star online.  It recalls the Brazilian scenes and colors.
I found an image of a bright parrot and that was my starting point.  I actually finished the whole block in no time. When you're hot, you're hot. 

Only one other piece is from the Rio group, the brights on black.  Can't tell if they are tropical leaves or fireworks; both work fine.

With that finished I had time to work on the new project I mentioned last week.   Ages ago I bought a FQ group of 20 prints,  Just Type by Patty Young for Michael Miller.  I finally decided on a parttern for them.

This is the Color Works pattern, which has been popular in our Monona Quilters group, usually done with batiks.  The black really works well with them.  I'm making a twin size, with appeal for a man or someone in computers.

Since this is the last chance for rose, I have a partial photo of the first quilt I ever bought,  to use on our double bed.  I found it in an antique shop.  The owner asked $35 and that was right in my price range as a newlywed.  I put it through the washer and dryer once.  I thought maybe it was from the 1930's.  A long search began to find out more.  

Guess what?  In the first year of Quilters Newsletter publication I sent for a free issue, number six I think, a few pages in black and white.  There was a diagram of my pattern, a variation of Harrison Rose, named for President William Henry Harrison, and the quilt dates to the 1840's era!  There are more clues, such as the colors, the type of dyes, like the early red which breaks down.  Needless to say, I have not put it through the wash since then.

So that was the start of my study of antique quilts, collecting, studying and dating them for over 50 years.  When I get better photos I will show it in more detail.  It does have hearts quilted in the background, which were used for bridal quilts.  You can see one in the photo.

I've had a good time this month, quilting and blogging, entering the Original Design category in the Festival and seeing lots of wonderful quilts.  I hope you had a chance to visit it also.  Congrats to Cynthia for winning People's Choice.  
Have a good time starting out with October colors.

I link up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at 

Friday, September 23, 2016

RSC16 week 39


I have had a lot of fun this week and reached a goal as well.
My 16-patch block in Rose was easy to make, with plenty of great scraps to use.  It did not even make a dent in the pile.  I was surprised to find just the right touches of gold for variety.

Meanwhile I received the next Modern HST Sampler block, which did not please me at all.  So I decided to substitute another 12-inch block.  I found a great source at PATCHWORK SQUARE, a collection of free block patterns.  It is well organized and I found the 12-inch blocks, all alphabetized with lovely fabric choices in the diagrams.  As I scrolled through them I liked Aunt Suckey's Choice, Blueberry Pie and a surprise, Folded Corners block, which I have seen on Pinterest with other names like Folded Box.  I've been thinking  about making it for months because of the wonderful 3-D effect.  The PDF instructions include three size versions and excellent diagrams.  
I have to give credit for my inspiration here to Julie in GA, who does these blocks so beautifully.

Since I am showing some of my vintage small quilts, here is just a simple potholder, most likely an orphan  block.  It is backed in green plaid, with thick batting and crudely quilted in the ditch.  Very serviceable, but I have it tacked up on my kitchen wall to enjoy daily.

That completes my September blocks except for the improv block.  I was so excited about doing the Folded Corners block that I put everything else aside until next week.

So I hope to see all of your lovely September goodies at Rainbow Scrap Challenge  and wish you all good health.

I'm linking up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at Oh, Scrap! at
Sew Cute Tuesday at

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bloggers Quilt Festival 2016



This wall hanging, 12 inches on each side of the octagon, was made for a challenge to use the purple and blue geometric print provided.  It was awarded first place in Best Use of Fabric at our local quilt show.  It is entirely my own design, dividing it into eight segments and piecing them as I moved outward.

It's the story of the little man in the center, who is coming out of his isolation and is ready to step out and explore the world.  The first area is bright and full of ideas, art, music and writing, any type of creativity.

Beyond that is the world of living things, plants and animals.  Beyond that is the vastness of space with comets, stars and other worlds.   

I free motion quilted it entirely with metallic thread.  That was my first attempt and was not at all easy, but it did get finished.  I used different freehand motifs like swirls in the sky, and leaf and feather motifs in the live plant areas, just improvising in each segment.
     It certainly was a challenge and remains on of my favorite quilts.

Linked up with Bloggers Quilt Festival at 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

RSC 16 week 38


"My Baby's Gone and Left Me"

Back in the 1980's I tried lots of different quilting techniques.  Paper piecing had become very popular and one of our guild members in the Seattle area started manufacturing the precut pieces, a real step forward in English paper piecing.  This quilt was my only finished example of that work.

My daughter started college that year, so that was the inspiration for this picture of a child's wood blocks scattered on the floor when she left. I found this piece of striped fabric for a color basis and appliqu├ęd the blocks.  Then I hand quilted the vertical stripes and added lines for the block shadows.

The name seemed so appropriate and it has hung in my home ever since.  The only time she truly left us was to Ivory Coast, Africa for three months of volunteer nursing on board the Mrecy Ship.
We now live only a mile apart, but she has traveled much of the world in the past years.

The second significant quilt for me was my first Project Linus quilt.  I had joined the Monona Quilters group and was eager to take part in their biannual charity quilt collection.  

This Rail Fence was super easy with my new stash of jelly rolls.  I used a colorful fleece blanket. 50 X 60 inches, for backing.  I tied it, which was a mistake with fleece.  It fights back when you try to push that needle through.  But no batting was needed and the fleece was very inexpensive.  On the next one I used machine tacking, so much easier and no pliers needed!

Here is my latest block for Modern HST Sampler, Cross Angle, done in rose for RSC16.

I did not like the white center block it called for. So once again I searched for something more colorful.  I found the floral scrap stuffed in the bottom of a drawer.  It saved the day for me.  Once I get an idea of what I want I hang in there until I find a way to do it.  However, I'm not as persistent when it comes to perfect seams and matching corners.  It has to be fun and not work.  Don't you agree?  Have a fun week! 

I'm linking up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at soscrappy 
Sew Cute Tuesday at
Young Texan Mama 

Friday, September 9, 2016

RSC16 week 37


During the history of American quilt making, pink was a difficult color to produce.  Red was very popular, as in the Baltimore Album quilts of the 1850's.  After the Civil War a process of printing red and white tiny figures produced what was called ""double pink".  

Here is a small quilt top from my collection, 8 X 8 inches, 

The binding is a stable red dye from the late 1800's. It is printed with tiny black leafy twigs.  The dark blue printed with white dots has not faded at all.  That's what is good about an old flimsie which shows the unfaded colors on the back.

The reddish pink is a fine fabric and, when magnified, shows that the pink is actually woven with white and reddish warp and weft to produce the pink.  The two HSTs in the corner are faded tan with tiny rosy flowers and green leaves overprinted on white.  This block is hand pieced and dates to the second half of the 1800's.

Aren't we fortunate today to have thousands of fabrics in every color imaginable?

My little boat for September is taking off to join the fleet

I also finished my Twinker star last night after only one stint of ripping.  It took me quite a while to decide on which fabrics to use to represent colorful roses.  One of my very favorites is "Joseph's Coat", a tall climber with many shades or red, orange and gold.  That was my inspiration.

It's so nice to be working with these cheerful colors.  I hope all of you friends will enjoy this month.  After this past summer it is looking great already.  

I'm linking up with
Rainbow Scrap Challenge at soscrappy
Sew Cute Tuesday at
Young Texan Mama

Friday, September 2, 2016

RSC 16 week 36


Looking back over the last few months has been fun.  I want to finish showing you my group photos of my monthly blocks.

The first one has been the most difficult to make, but also the most satisfying  because I just love these Twinkler stars.

I'm also happy with my improv blocks, where the colors were sometimes a challenge.  I found that batiks will often have the right mix, such as brown and pink, and also have some designs good for fussy cutting.

I've done two each month of the Modern HST Sampler 12-inch blocks.  Again I've used the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors for the most part.  Lately I've switched around because I've ended up with too much purple.  So for August I made another aqua beachy block, the Whirligig.

 Here are blocks 7-12, which were for the latest Modern HST Sampler progress photo.

My only problem is having little for show and tell at our quilt group.  However, I've just been inspired to start a new quilt project, using a collection of fat eights I've had for two years.  It is Just Type by Patty Young for Michael Miller.  I have chosen a pattern very popular at our quilt group.  More next week.

Are all of you excited, relieved or exhausted now that school has started?  I hope all you moms will have some extra time for catching your breath and doing some stitching.  Fall is a great time for starting new projects, even better than the New Year I think.  I wish everyone a happy September.

I link up with RSC16 at soscrappy
Sew Cute Tuesday at Young Texan Mama