Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gentleman's Fancy

Last week's Grandmother's Choice block was Gentleman's Fancy. I am a tiny bit behind as this morning block number 44 was posted (there are 49 in the series). I have out-of-town company and have been otherwise occupied this week. Hence, almost no sewing and no blogging.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cats and Mice

This week, Barbara Brackman selected this block for her Grandmother's Choice block of the week: Cats and mice. I am not sure which patches are the cats and which are the mice.This is my version.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Look Who I Saw Today

Do you know who this quilting personality is? Ricky Tims and the rest of the crew from the Route 66 bus tour stopped in at the Quilted Fox this morning. They are on a bus tour from Chicago to Los Angeles following the old Route 66 ("Get your kicks on Route 66!"). The tour is a Jim West travel opportunity and Jim was on hand this morning as well as Justin Schultz, Ricky's partner. Ricky wanted everyone on the tour to meet his mentor, award-winning quilter, Suzanne Marshal, who was on hand to meet and greet, show off her quilts, and sign her books.

I had seriously thought about going on this tour. Around the time it was first announced last year I was newly retired and trying to figure out what I was doing and where I was going. Jim promised that he will run this tour again in a couple of years so there will be a future opportunity available.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Witch's Brew (Formerly Halloween Star)

The string pieced star quilt that I started in a workshop on Saturday is finished. I am calling it Halloween Star because of the number of Halloween themed prints in it. Not very original, I know. If you have a better idea, let me know.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

String Pieced Star

Our guild hosted Ami Simms as speaker and workshop leader on Friday and Saturday. OMG, what fun we had! We laughed until we cried. Ami is a seriously fun person. If the quilt thing doesn't work out for her (doubtful), she can always do stand up comedy. Yes, she is that funny. We learned how not to make a quilt, about the Yo-You Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties, and how to make a wonderful string pieced star. This is a great project for using up those scraps. I started out looking for a large enough piece of fabric for the background (3/4 yard needed) and then pulling whatever I thought would go with it. As if anything really goes with cheddar! My eye settled on the stacks of fall and Halloween fabrics and from there it was just a tiny glance to the right to find the cat fabrics. Cats go with Halloween, don't they?

The fun thing about this project is that quarter inch seams don't matter. You make the string sets, and whatever measurement you get after making them, determines the size of the half square triangles and center squares. No stress, just fun. Most of us went home with the top mostly pieced. I will add the string pieced border that Ami suggests. ARs (Alert Readers) will notice a slight smudge in the upper left cheddar square that I will admit is from chocolate icing. Enough said.

To see more of what we made, go to Ami's Facebook page.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pinwheel Daisies

I finished Pinwheel Daisies and have given it to the recipient, the daughter of a former co-worker. This is a quilt top that has been hanging in my closet since around 2006 or so. The pattern is from American Patchwork and Quilting magazine from around that time. I decided to quilt it and get it out of here for a special little girl to enjoy.

Next up is this month's BOM, The Fox has Spots, from Quilted Fox store.

I recently received instructions from a quilt designer to test out one of her new patterns by making several blocks. I am sworn to secrecy and can't show you the block or pattern, but when it's released, I will post about the project.

Last night I attended Hearts 'n Hands Quilt Guild in O'Fallon, IL. Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works, was the speaker. She is a certified Judy Niemeyer instructor and I am now kicking myself that I didn't take her workshop, which was today.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grandmother's Choice: Contrary Wife

We did a Grandmother's Choice block a few weeks back called "Contrary Husband", seen here. This is the mate to that one, "Contrary Wife." Seems a fitting pair of blocks for a blog entitled "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary."

I have also been working sporadically and somewhat diffidently on "My Guy." The challenge is over, all that is left is the mechanics of sewing on borders, a task I truly dislike. I cut up all the pieces for this quilt prior to retreat. Another mistake and one I will not repeat. I didn't like the blandness of the original pattern and in brainstorming with others at the retreat, came up with the idea of adding small red strips in between the columns of blocks. That did the trick as regards blandness, but now the borders aren't long enough. I am in the process of inserting red strips randomly into the outer borders to lengthen them. I think it looks better that way, so it's not a problem, just more fiddling with the hated borders.

Also on retreat the borders for my Bonnie Hunter Easy Street mystery quilt were sewn on. It's a simple task, but - again - BORING. It managed to suck up half of a day of sewing at the retreat. Here's a look at the borders. The top is nicely pressed and quite large, so I didn't unfold it for the photo.

I will be taking a couple of things over to the longarm quilter this week. That will at least free up a bit of space in the old sewing nook.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

One for the Boys

While on retreat I worked on a Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle quilt, "My Guy". This was published in 2009 in American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I have a large amount of plaid fabrics from years ago when they were needed for a nephew's quilt. Determined to use them, I came across the pattern while cleaning out old magazines. After piecing a few blocks, it became clear that something was needed to jazz up the look of the blocks. One of my friends suggested small strips of red between the columns and another suggested confetti like sprinkles of red, orange and yellow across the surface of the quilt. They will be added and fused down after the top is completed so that placement can be determined. And before one of you ARs (Alert Readers, with apologies to Tom Schlafly) points out that the plaids are not necessarily cut on grain - I don't give a rat's you-know-what. This is to be a fun, quirky quilt and will eventually be donated to our guild's upcoming charity project. Some young man will love it. No pink, no purple, no flowers, hearts, fairies, or unicorns, thank you very much.  To see more of what Bill and Weeks are doing, check out their website - Modern Quilt Studio.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Art Square

The Grandmother's Choice block this week is Art Square. My rendition is above. I have been on quilt retreat since last Friday. It was a very productive time and a lot of fun. New friends made and old acquaintances renewed.