“Double Nine Patch” Gifted

17 06 2017

Prayers would be appreciated for my father-in-law, Harold, who began chemotherapy this week. I gave him a “Double Nine Patch” quilt for warmth during the chilly procedures.

     

Have you ever given or received a comfort quilt or crocheted/knitted prayer shawl? What exactly is it about a quilt/shawl that comforts during stressful times? I invite your comments.





“Postage Stamp” Quilt – a Graduation Gift

7 06 2017

My young friend Emily has reached a milestone – graduation from high school!

I love to make “Postage Stamp” quilts for graduates. All the tiny squares can symbolize the bits of knowledge they’ve crammed into their brains for the past 12 years. Amazingly, the bits and pieces combine together to make a beautiful and useful whole. I encourage young people to keep on learning.

“Postage Stamp” quilts are also a metaphor for keeping friendships alive by corresponding. Yes, it is an effort to keep up with friends long distance after graduation, but long-time friendships are worth preserving.

I made this quilt with 1 3/4″ squares that I cut from scraps and save in a box. My friend Linda made a portable design board for me by covering a sturdy piece of cardboard with batting and then with gridded flannel. As I lay out pieces for the wall quilt, my squares will easily stick to the flannel . . . unless I’m outside and it’s windy like on Memorial Day. In that case, I pinned each square to the design board, securing them until I sewed the squares into rows. I think alternating light and dark squares helps the eye to focus on the motifs of the dark fabrics. I arranged the 99 squares in 11 rows with 9 squares each. Click here to see a “Postage Stamp” quilt completely made with bright/dark squares.

The following picture shows how I pressed the seams so they would lock together when I joined the rows. Every other row is pressed to the right; the alternate rows are pressed to the left.

I obtained insider information from Emily’s mom for the border color; her favorite color is turquoise blue. I cut the inner solid border 2″ wide and the outer tone-on-tone border 3 1/2″ wide. The wall quilt measures 20 1/2″ x 23.” Straight line quilting with white thread in a cross-hatch design through the squares is simple, yet enhances the patchwork. I echoed the seam lines with white thread in the inner border and meandered with turquoise thread in the outer border. A congratulatory label on the back completes the gift.





Summer 2017 Projects

5 06 2017

It’s June, quilting friends. Summer vacation has begun! Although my life is no longer tied to a school calendar (my children have left college days far behind), I still anticipate carefree summer days. I always hope there will be more time for leisure pursuits like quilting. It occurred to me that I should write down my summer projects since lists of goals motivate me.

Recently I started two projects, one pieced and one hand applique. I am super excited about both! My extensive piecing project for the summer is a very scrappy “Confetti” quilt designed by Augusta Cole. After seeing several renditions of the design at the NC Quilt Symposium show the third weekend in May, my friend Nancy and I decided we had to make the quilt. We were so determined to put a dent in our scraps that we ordered patterns and organized a Sew Day for other interested Tarheel Quilters this past Friday. I’m happy to say that I’ve completed the 245 required “Four Patches,” and now I’m attaching white rectangles to all, leader/ender style.

My hand applique project is from stashed Civil War reproduction fabrics. Twelve blocks should make a nice lap sized quilt. The photo shows the basic layout. Even though I planned this as a take-along project for car trips, I’ve prepped all the Dresden Plates and have already appliqued half during these summertime evenings. I love how it’s turning out!

After hanging my “Summer 2017 Projects” list in my sewing room, I happened to glance at my clothes hanging rack of quilt tops that need quilting. Oh, yeah, I guess I should put those on my list:  Hubby’s retirement quilt (a mother/daughter effort), “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles” (for the second quarter challenge), “Hunter’s Star” lap quilt, “Splendid Sampler” of 6″ blocks, baby boy quilt. And then there are the UFO’s:  “Chopped” designed by Joan Ford, “Long Road Home” swap blocks, “House” swap blocks.

And just like that, my project list has grown from a manageable 2 to a challenging 10! Deep breath; here we go! One thing is for sure, I will not be bored this summer, and I’ll have something interesting to write in that back-to-school essay, “What I did on my summer vacation.”

What is on your Summer 2017 Project list?





Symposium Inspiration

24 05 2017

Have you ever walked through the campus of William Peace University in Raleigh, NC? It’s just beautiful and so peaceful, right in the heart of the city. The brick architecture is flanked by ancient shade trees, and brick walkways curve between the dorms, educational halls, and dining facility. Splashing fountain and twittering birds complete the serene picture. The college founder, in bronze, seemed a little cold, so I lent him my “Get the Point” quilt.

At the North Carolina Quilt Symposium this past weekend, I enjoyed chatting with “old” friends and meeting new ones. It was fun to share my favorite quick cutting techniques as a hands-on lecture. The evening programs, which all retreat-ers attended were entertaining, inspirational, and informational. Some of the quilters from my local guild (Tarheel Quilt Guild in Fayetteville, NC) met in our dorm lounge after hours to sew and chat together. Fun and laughter, all around.

Here are some pictures from the six hour workshop on “Get the Point.” (This block, designed by Carrie Nelson, was published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 3. I modified the instructions so that 2 1/2″ strips are used throughout.) Since the 6″ quarter-block is shaded diagonally, half dark and half light, it functions much like a “Log Cabin” block with many possible layouts. For example, the blocks could be arranged as “Straight Furrows” or “Pinwheels.”

Gwen borrowed batik squares made by four workshop participants to plot an off-set hanging diamond on the design wall. And Marva chose a dark brown rather than a light (white) background. The quilters enjoyed  chatting and encouraging each other as they sewed together.

    

Durham/Orange Quilters, host of this year’s Symposium, organized a quilt show and vendors’ mall. When planning to attend a quilt show, I anticipate being inspired by a quilt or two. Sometimes I am awed by amazing quilting or motivated by an unusual yet pleasing color combination. Sometimes the story behind the quilt draws me in. This quilt show did not disappoint. While I admired many, “Confetti” most inspired me. My friend Nancy was also captured by the I-should-make-this-scrappy-quilt sentiment. In our enthusiasm, we planned a sew day for our guild to get started on the bazillion Four Patches required. If you live locally and wish to join us, we’ll be at the North Regional Library (855 McArthur Rd., Fayetteville) from 9 to 5 on Friday, 2 June. Comment below if you need more info.

“Confetti” was designed by Augusta Cole. You can order a pattern from her website augustacolequilting.com.





Dinosaurs say “Raaarh!”

10 05 2017

Last week daughter Trinity visited us ostensibly to help hubby celebrate his birthday. We celebrated, yes, but we also quilted up a storm. I quilted a fall quilt that granddaughter Krystine finished piecing this summer. Click on the picture to enlarge it; you’ll see the leafy edge to edge quilting design.

And Trinity worked on three baby/toddler quilts as well as a large lap quilt her friend pieced. Quilting and bindings progressed smoothly and on schedule . . . and then we paid a visit to our favorite local quilt shop, Loving Stitches on Ramsey Street in Fayetteville, NC. The striped dinosaur fabric called Trinity’s name! She has a two year old great-nephew who loves dinos. So she mentally designed a simple quilt, bought the fabric, and stitched it up. I quilted a simple edge to edge design adding “raaahr” in the orange blocks, and I bound it while she worked on blocks for another quilt.

Needless to say, I had to lend Trinity a suitcase for the return trip. All six quilts would NOT fit in the two backpacks she arrived with. She couldn’t wait to visit Hagen and give him his “I love you this much” dino quilt. He loves playing with it, and the kid who never naps with a blanket fell asleep under the cozy, fun quilt Auntie Trinity made!

It is so rewarding to give a quilt to someone who loves and appreciates it, wouldn’t you agree?





First Quarter Challenge – Yet More Inspiration

30 03 2017

This year I’m making a concerted effort to use some of my pre-cuts, and I’ve challenged blog readers to do the same. If you’ve been following along from January through March, you’ve seen creative ways to use Fat Quarters and/or Quilter’s Candy.

Ilse sent a picture of a modern mini quilt using Brigitte Heitland’s Zen Chic collection. She wrote, “At the 2015 Nürtingen (Germany quilt) exhibition, all helping hands received a Quilter’s Candy pack from one of Brigitte’s many quilt fabric series, with the request to transform them into something special to exhibit at the upcoming 2018 show.”

The simplicity of Ilse’s quilt spells sophistication, don’t you think? I love the wavy quilting lines–close together where the colored squares are densest and farther apart toward the edges of the quilt where the squares are farther apart.

It will be so interesting to see all the quilts made with Quilter’s Candy in next year’s exhibition. (Be sure to send pictures, Ilse!)

 

Several other blog followers were inspired by recent posts. Darla sent a picture of a “Holly Hobby” placemat made by her sister, Anna. My post on the vintage “Little Dutch Girls” quilt reminded her of the placemat made years ago. I love the sweet embroidered flowers on the bonnet and sleeve cuff.

Helga contributed a picture of her “Sternen und Herzen” I Spy quilt in response to my question on the “Eye Spy” post. The quilt is about ten years old and remains at Helga’s house. All the grandchildren and young visitors can enjoy looking at it when they visit her.

Stephanie, inspired by the Polka Tot post, shared a picture of a patriotic quilt she made for Army Chaplain Sam Boone. She increased the block size to 9″ and used scraps and fat quarters from stash. Bowties are Chaplain Boone’s trademark, so this Quilt of Valor design suits him to a T.

With the first quarter of 2017 behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the second quarter’s challenge. Your role is to roll up your sleeves, unroll your jelly roll, and get the ball rolling on a new quilt!

 

 





“Eye Spy” Finish

27 03 2017

“Eye Spy with my little eye . . .”

I raided my box of 3″ squares and cut more from conversation prints for the centers of the patchwork blocks. Frames of primary colors were cut 2″ wide, and I cut 2″ corner squares of black and white polka dot fabric. I decided to extend the Nine Patch secondary design in the borders. (The math actually works out for 3″ finished squares in the outer border, but I forgot and cut 3″ squares as I did for the interior blocks. Extra points if you can figure out how I coped with my “Ooops.”)

While looking in JoAnn’s for sashing, I ran into a quilting friend from my guild. She propelled me toward a white with colorful triangles print instead of the white and gray print I was considering. I am pleased with the fun-loving results. Most of the squares in the interior of the quilt have a “twin” in the outer border so the recipient of this quilt has had fun matching the monkey, cat, cowboy boots, construction equipment, etc.

I quilted the quilt with white thread in a meander and loop, freehand design. And I bound the quilt with black Kona cotton.

Have you made an “Eye Spy” quilt? What was the most interesting conversation print you included?