Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shades of Gray and Black

On their own, these gray oak leaf blocks are maybe not so interesting ... they look as flat on my wall as they do in this photo.

Gray and Black scrappy Oak Leaf Blocks

I have been planning on a twin-size bed quilt made from 16 large oak leaf block: 12 monthly blocks made from the color-of-the-month for the Rainbow Scrap challenge and 4 more that I'd figure out at the end of the year.

This month's color choice of brown, gray and black gave me the opportunity to make a couple of those extra blocks. I made the scrappy brown block last weekend, and this morning, added the gray and black blocks.

And now there are 12 big leaf blocks on my wall.

A Dozen Scrappy Oak Leaves

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Last Four Feather Blocks

My Feather Bed quilt is home and on the bed and now I'm using the last four feather blocks to make some big, 24 inch square, pillow covers.  They're on the design wall, along with this month's lotto blocks and that sweet musical kitty tea towel that refuses to be put away because I'm still thinking about it ...

Design Wall - 10/11/2014

I stringed together more of the stringed pieced scraps for the narrow borders on the pillow covers and, miraculously, I still have some small scrappy leftovers ... and a plan for using them.

2 BlocksThe Block Lotto blocks, called Woven Bars, are 7-by-14 inches; there's an A-block and a B-block and when they are alternated in a straight set, you get the illusion of an even weave of strips.

As I mentioned on the Block Lotto blog yesterday, I think a mini-version of this block will become a Rainbow Scraps Challenge project for me next year, combining the color of the month with neutrals.

You can download the block directions from my Free Quilt Block Patterns page.

It's been too long since I participated in Judy's Design Wall Monday. It feels good to be organized enough to be back ;-)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It was a dark and stormy Sunday Afternoon

Auditioning Fabrics for a Bird PincushionUgly overcast days are so rare here that when the wind picks up and it starts to feel a little like the big bad wolf is huffing and puffing at the door ... it makes us all feel a little under-the-weather.

And by all of us, I mean me and the cats.  Their reactions are predictable and very different.  When the thunder started, Grace went into the kitchen and let me know by meowing non-stop that I needed to open the pantry door so she could go curl up in the back of that space.  Then Johnny followed me upstairs into the bedroom when I went to grab a sweater and insisted he needed to go out into all that wind and weather onto the roof deck (it didn't happen).

On days like this all I want to do is wrap up in a quilt and do some hand-stitching ... and that's the plan for tonight.  I'll be trying the new pincushion pattern.  These are the fabrics I pulled for my first effort.

Do you have a project for Slow Sunday Stitching? Check out what everyone else is doing on Kathy's Quilts.  It looks like there's a whole lot of appliqué and hexies going on today.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Scrap-Happy Saturday Night

There's something about being around a bunch of beautiful quilts at a quilt show that makes me want to rush home and quilt.

Tonight I made a couple more scrappy Oak Leaf blocks in orange and brown–last month's and this month's colors for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Here's my set of blocks for the year so far.

10 Scrappy Oak Leaf Blocks

I have fallen behind on a couple of my RSC projects ... but this one is current again. 

Shopping at Quilt Shows

How do you shop at quilt shows?  Do you have a plan?  I usually walk in the door with a list of things I need or short list of vendors that I know I want to be sure to visit, even if it's only in my head.  Otherwise, especially at large shows, I get overwhelmed and come home with nothing or crazy stuff that I don't need and I may or may not ever use. In any event, I'm usually not a big shopper ... as you can see from the photo of my purchases.

The Northern New Mexico Quilt Guild show is a small show with only a dozen or so vendors.  This weekend, I only had one thing in mind–a darling bird on a pedestal wool pincushion in the quilt guild's shop that had grabbed my attention during the preview Thursday night.  It turns out that I wasn't the only one that wanted it and it was grabbed up by the winner of the ribbon topper competition–her prize for winning was early shopping.

Quilt Show Purchases
Instead I picked up another of the sweet wool pincushions made by the same  person and, from one of the vendors from Oklahoma, a pattern for making a bird on a pedestal pincushion similar to the one that got away.

At the guild shop, I also  bought a sleeve for my iPad because as much as I keep telling myself to make one ... I haven't yet done it. It's a nicely padded bag that is sized just right with a fun, glitzy zipper pull.

Along the way, I bought some crushed walnut shells for stuffing pincushions because I never seem to be able to find them around here and a few new fabrics for my stash.  Lately, I've been thinking about large scale floral prints–can you tell?

After I came home, I noticed that a couple of the fabrics were from the same collection, Andover's Celebracion, which was created by the Museum of New Mexico.  It's not a new collection ... so if I decide I want more, it might be a bit of a scavenger hunt. I'm thinking that they might become the beginning of next years block lotto sampler.

Do you think that where you live affects your color choices?  When I moved to the South of France a few decades ago, I noticed how I started decorating my apartment in a completely different-for-me, pastel palette.  I do see more turquoise and red creeping into my environment (and my quilts) since I moved to New Mexico ... but whether it's because of fabric color trends of living in Santa Fe, who knows?


When I went back for my volunteer hours today, I thought of Brenda's comment and took this iPhone photo with a couple of the bird pincushions and a better view of the  cover image on the pattern.

Bird Pincushions

I love the hand stitching along the seams. Now, to find an old zinc lid or a small wooden candlestick ... 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

A Shocking Finish

You may be shocked because I actually finished (early!) and met my October goal for a lovely finish.

Shocking Finish

I was shocked to learn tonight at the reception before the show begins tomorrow that it had won a ribbon–second Place in the category Large Pieced Quilts made by two or more quilters.  I credit the lovely Long arm quilting by blogless Lynne Horpedal of Late Night Quilts.

At the beginning of the year, I double DARED myself to, among other things, enter a quilt in a show.  (Yep, believe it or not, this is a first for me).

Sophie's Featherbed - Quilting DetailI loved the punny name of Anna Maria Horner's Feather Bed Quilt Pattern and couldn't resist adding more feathers in the quilting design.

Here is a detail of both types of feather quilting.

And, below, a closer look at the piped binding–the piping was made from the scraps of fabric pieced for the feather blocks.

I'll be back with more photos from the Northern New Mexico Quilt Guild show later this weekend. It's a lovely show.
Sophie's Featherbed - Corner

I updated this post to link to the Lovely Finishes for October.  I hope to finish a pair of Feather pillow covers by month's end, too.  In the meantime, I'm sharing this shocking finish on these lists:

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Binding, Hanging Sleeve and a Plan ...

Binding and a Hanging SleeveMy plans for a Slow Sunday Stitching start with this binding and hanging sleeve.

I'll be stitching along with Carrie, watching the Homeland Marathon this afternoon ... will I finish before the new season begins tonight?

Friday, October 03, 2014

An Optimistic October Goal for A Lovely Finish

Remember these blocks, begun earlier this year at a guild retreat?

Feather Blocks, Rearranged

My goal for a Lovely Finish in October is to finish the quilt.  (I did say I was being optimistic, right?)

Quilters, the Musical

Have you seen the play, Quilters?  It's a musical in which each scene is named for a quilt block.  It is based on a book, first published in 1977, The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art, an Oral History

I saw the play performed, probably a decade ago in Michigan, and so when a message went out to the guild asking for volunteers to make blocks, I said yes ... and then I realized just how long it's been since I made something as fussy as a lone star block.

Lone Star Blocks for The Quilters

The larger 18 inch block is used on it's own in a scene; the smaller 12 inch version becomes part of the quilt that is revealed at the end. In the performance I attended in Michigan, the finale quilt was made from huge blocks and the giant quilt on the stage made such a big impact ... but I'm guessing that, in this effort, someone wants a functional quilt for their bed when the play is done ... which makes me feel a little sad about the mis-matched seams in my little lone star. It has been too long since I made any of these and I guess I'm rusty.

Quilters opens at the end of the month at the Santa Fe Playhouse.


I just learned that the reason for making smaller blocks for a bed-size quilt for the final scene is that it will then be used as a raffle quilt for the Santa Fe Playhouse. 
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