Friday, July 27, 2012

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy ....

That's me. It IS summer and I am just doing everything I can to divert myself from getting anything done in my sewing room!  I jump from one distraction to another getting nowhere, it seems. Water a few flowers. Pull a few weeds. Throw in some laundry. Make a batch of blueberry scones. Take a walk. Uff-dah. Now I'm tired!

Sit in the sunporch and read for awhile - with my iced coffee.  (No this is not a food blog - it just looks like it!)

But no sewing. No progress on the many quilt goals I set for this month. Maybe I have too many things in the fire- too much to decide and my brain doesn't seem up to the task. It's been awfully hot here....
Reading seems to be my diversion of choice.Today I went to my public library to pick up a book on hold  (I'm into Swedish mysteries lately) and a garage sale sign beckoned. 

Look what I found!

The yardstick gives you an idea of the scale of the print. It's all cotton - 45" wide

Here's the selvage information - 
How mysterious! 
It's Swedish!!

I got 3 1/4 yards for $3!  Won't this make a great quilt back - or even a quick whole cloth quilt for a child? It joins the many other wonderful fabrics in my stash, all waiting to be considered the perfect fabric for the next project so they can get out of that dark room.

Do I have any Swedish followers? 

I do have some things to share about a recent study group meeting but ---- just  let me finish this chapter, okay?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Log Cabin Puzzler - Vintage Inspiration

Made by Clara Bentley Wooster
c. 1920

I saw this vintage quilt recently and it really intrigued me. It's a log cabin but wait a minute...something is different! How did she do that?

I studied it closely then went to work on EQ (Electric Quilt) and drafted it.  You know, how some things are 'simple' but not 'easy' ? This was the case for me with this project.

(I contacted the owner after making mine and found out that the original quilt is 45" x 54"  and the blocks are 3".

There are two block variations which are set straight, but off-set, to achieve the strong diagonal. Typical log cabin blocks are constructed from the center out. This one, however, starts at the corner of the block and not with a plain square, but with a  triangle square. 

Block A - Dark
Block B - Light

The placement of dark and light values and the orientation of the blocks is crucial.  A design wall really helps but... I still used my ripper quite a bit!

Once I had it drafted, I made the triangle squares  (2" finished ) using Triangles on a Roll...a very easy way to do 72 identical units. I chose a pink and a dusty blue small print.

Pin to secure

Stitch in the direction indicated

p.s. I love my Bendable Bright-Lite

Remove paper
Cut apart

Press open and trim 'dog ears'

Then I pulled out those 1.5" strips I've been trying to use up...did I post previously  about a rail fence quilt I started ?..... anyway...I didn't allow myself to go to my stash and cut more strips...the 'use it up', 'make-do' philosophy.

Here's my completed baby quilt top using 4" blocks

32" x 36" 
and a closer look...

I like to mix a few 'lights' in with the dark and vice versa

You'll see it again when it's quilted and bound. I still want to play with the block size, fabric choices and setting possibilities on another example - probably miniaturized for a doll quilt. 


I sure do love finding fun ways to use up my scraps!

Who says I never throw anything away!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Flower Power" - Baby's Blocks Quilt Completed

17" x 21"

Here's my completed tribute to the 1970's. This time period was my March theme choice. See that post here.

It's hand pieced and quilted. 
I used poly batting which would have been typical of what was being used at the time and I like the effect in this design because the blocks do puff out a bit giving them more dimension. 

I have to say I didn't like quilting it - the needle slides too easily after being used to working with cotton or at least 80/20 blend.

I debated on how to finish the edges. I didn't want to just cut them straight and add a 'slab' border. I wanted the piece to really be a one-patch. Yet I felt it needed something.
The choice of the solid blue partial blocks at the top and bottom was influenced by......

this one patch top which I shared in a post last April.  Partial solid blue lozenge blocks were used for a straight edge at top and bottom.

...and by this quilt I made in 1976. Some of these same fabrics are in Baby's Blocks!

That blue just seemed to work in both cases. Of course, this fabric was a poly blend. Not much in cotton solids to choose from as I recall. 

 Oh. Good news to report. My Alzheimer's piece is SOLD!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Alzheimer's Quilt Update

9" square
I've been checking the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative site  weekly to see when my little bird quilt, Spring Song, might go up for sale or auction. It takes time for them to organize the many donations and assign them to either auction or sale. Today I was rewarded - check it out here. (#10296) It's priced at $50!

If you missed my two previous posts about this project and the vintage quilt which is the pattern source, check here and here. 

I have since made two more blocks using different fabrics. They need to be cut to size - I may finish them individually and donate them, also, or do one or two more blocks and make a small piece to keep. 

I have more ideas for future pieces; I notice the original designs and more contemporary works seem to have the highest prices so I'll give that a try.

Finding a way to prevent the onset of this devastating disease and to cure those already afflicted is crucial. I find contributing in this 'hands-on' way means more to me than making a cash donation. Do you have time to make a 9" x 12" (maximum) piece?

(UPDATE: The piece sold on 7-10-2012 for $50)

Flower Power - 1970's Piece Done!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Seven Sisters - Happy 4th of July!!

Here's a favorite quilt from my collection which happens to be stars in red, white and blue - how appropriate!
The Seven Sisters block, done with just two simple prints and plain white, seems especially summery and fresh. 

Time to update the guest room bed . . .
including the bedskirt

c. 1925

As is the case with many quilt names,  there are several possible explanations about the origin of this name. According to Greek mythology the Seven Sisters were the daughters of Atlas who were metamorphosed into stars.  A star cluster in the constellatioin Taurus is known as the Seven Sisters. 
Another idea relates it to the first seven states to secede from the union; they were referred to as the "Seven Sisters". These seven-star clusters appeared on the first Confederate flag.
The term Seven Sisters also refers to the seven traditionally women's colleges that are comparable to the male Ivy League schools.
The design has been seen as early as 1845 lending more credence to the astronomical theory. According to Judy Schewender, curator of the Museum of the American Quilters Society, a Seven Sisters mail order pattern was sold by the Ladies Art Company in 1898.

Composed of diamonds sewn into six-pointed stars which are then joined into clusters,  it can take on many looks. As usual, fabric and setting choices make for a wonderful variety. Here are a few more vintage examples; most of them scrappy - one is a simple two color. I'll make a guess at approximate dates.

Set with a plain white hexagon c. 1900

Set with a plain green triangle- clusters being 'off-set"
c. 1940

Set in rows like mine but with horizontal sashing.
c. 1935

From the collection of the Quilt Index

Click here to see my post from this day last year with more patriotic quilts. 

Wishing a safe holiday to all as we struggle with various weather events across the country from fires, to floods, storms, excessive heat and power outages for literally millions.