Pieceful Monday

Well, what a weekend. Sometimes things just don’t work out like you plan. There was a big snowstorm headed our way this past weekend. And there was a big ski race in the works. A great combination, you would think. We made some changes to our schedule to avoid driving in the storm, leaving late Thursday evening and heading to Duluth. Friday we would head to our hotel for the ski race.

Friday morning, I woke up to this beautiful view of Lake Superior. Usually the lake is frozen, but with the unseasonably warm winter weather we’ve had this year, Superior is all open water.

BigJ has had it on his bucket list to ski the American Birkiebeiner, a 55k x-country ski race, and this was the year. So after a late breakfast/lunch, we headed for Hayward, Wisconsin to pick up his race gear. Here’s our view as we drove along. Notice anything missing?

No snow, or very little. The storm track, which the race authorities were depending on, went south, so no snow meant no race. Poor guy. He was pretty disappointed, but we picked up the bib, hat and other race items. This is the second cancellation in the history of the race, so it was worth picking up the memorabilia.

We came home to about 4 inches of snow. Life is funny sometimes.

I had packed up some stitching to do while I waited for him to finish the race. I didn’t have time to work on any of them, since we arrived in Duluth around midnight, and we came home on Friday after the race had been canceled.

So this is all basted and ready for me to hand quilt. That will keep me busy for a few days. The saying still makes me chuckle.

Saturday I spent the day working on the commission quilt blocks. I have six blocks ready to be stitched together, which will bring me to almost 2/3rds done with the blocks. Yippee! I’ll work on those today.

While I haven’t been doing much quilting other than the commission quilt, I have been stocking my quilting library. Bernie from Needle and Foot contacted me to let me know I had won this book in one of her giveaways. If you haven’t met Bernie, head over to her blog and get to know her. She’s a gem! I’m very pleased and already have my eye on one of the patterns in this book for a precut that’s been patiently waiting on my shelf. Thanks, Bernie!

I have a quieter week ahead, so I’m hoping to spend a good chunk of it with my sewing machine.

Happy Monday, all!

Wendy

 

Wonky Block Wednesday

I didn’t get anything posted on Monday because I was busy helping my daughter move from one city to another. It all went well, despite the rain. We managed to get things moved between rain showers.

During one of my visits to her earlier this year, we were shopping at one of the antique shops in town. This particular shop had quite a few orphan quilt blocks, so I was preoccupied for quite awhile. I don’t usually buy things like this, so I don’t feel that I have a good eye for them. They were piled in a small plastic shelf system, about 4-5 shelves of all types of handwork.

I found these blocks and was very tempted to purchase them. I didn’t and I regretted that. So I finally had my daughter go back to the shop and pick them up for me before she moved.

Here they are, randomly laid out on the floor. I wanted to see all of them together. I love the colors, they are very bright and bold. Most of the blocks are two color, one center block color, one background. Then there my favorites, especially the one on the bottom right, by the table leg. Random background, random center. It’s almost the signature block of the bunch, I think. The mixed blocks add a bit of feisty flare, don’t you think?

Initially I thought the blocks were made from a poly blend, but they are all cotton. I had my iron on the highest heat when I pressed them (after taking this picture) and they handled the heat just fine.

They are hand pieced and about 10″ square-ish. They are really wonky; some of the background pieces are pretty wavy. No matter. I’ll figure something out as I square them, etc. I would love to hear the story behind these blocks. Were they made by a beginner who lost interest? By a grandma who just stitched blocks together and who just “made do” with what she had? At any rate, they are my blocks now, as a friend reminded me. I can give them a story.

I won’t be working with these right away. They are just going to live in my quilt room for a bit. While I’m working on my other projects, I’ll ponder how to square them, etc.

Max the cat thought he would put his spin on the quilt layout. Silly cat.

Today I’ll be working on the commission quilt blocks. I need to get caught up a bit since I’ve been gone a couple of days.

So that’s my midweek crush; just enjoying some orphan blocks that have found a new home!

Wendy

 

Where’s Wendy?

I have fallen off the proverbial blogging cliff the last couple of weeks. So, where have I been and what have I been up to?

It all began two weeks ago when the cold/flu bug went through our house, taking me with it. I slept more than I ever thought humanly possible, at least for me. Needless to say, there was little quilting going on at that point.

Now that I’m in recovery mode, I have gotten back to my quilt cave, so let me share a little of what I’ve been up to.

Remember that little basket of quilt squares for the commission quilt? The little squares are slowly disappearing from the basket and ending up as blocks on my design wall. Each finished block will be 8″ square. There are 53 pieces in each block. Unlike other quilt blocks, I don’t chain piece these because there are too many bias edges to get messed up. So I am taking my time. Once the blocks are done, there will be many intersecting places when I join the blocks together, so I’m keeping everything crossed that my blocks will match up well.

In the evenings, I’m keeping busy working on the finish of these little woolies. I have twelve of these blocks and I am stitching them onto this large piece of felted wool. I’m also going slowly with this, as it is difficult to stitch around the blocks with so much extra fabric. I attach the blocks first with a few strips of Steam A Seam Lite 2. I use a press cloth so I don’t singe the wool, and I use steam. So far it is working well as far as holding the blocks in place. This is the first of two wool quilts that I’m finishing. The second will be similar, but has more appliqué in the borders.

 

I’ve started another project with wool appliqué blocks, but this time the background is cotton fabric. It is a Norma Whaley pattern, and I’m very excited to see how it turns out. It has alternate blocks that are pieced. Here’s the first two appliqué blocks.

Other than that, I’ve just been piddling around in my quilt cave while I work on the commission quilt. I made this fun little mug mat with some very wonky quilting. I like the bright colors.

I’m linking up today with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Happy Friday, friends!

Wendy

 

The Coming of Age Quilt

I used to say to my mother that quilting was a “coming of age” kind of thing. You had to be a certain age to be able to quilt. This was an ongoing joke between us because of my first attempt at quilting.

I had found a quilt pattern in a magazine, bought and cut the fabrics according to the pattern, and began sewing, diligently following the instructions. It didn’t work. I was so disappointed. I had really wanted to call my mom and tell her I had made a little quilt all on my own.

I called her, likely in tears, telling her I couldn’t quilt. This was a huge disappointment to me because my grandmother was a seamstress, my mother quilted and so did my sister-in-law. I was pretty sure that quilting should come easily to me. She chuckled and told me to pack it all up, magazine and all, and send it to her. I did. After she had taken a look at it, she called me back and told me there was a mistake in the pattern. In spite of that, I still told her that maybe I wasn’t old enough to quilt yet. And that became our little joke.

The very first quilt I did successfully make was this  mini log cabin, which I made a few years later.

The pattern came from the book Little Quilts All Through the House by Alice Berg, Sylvia Johnson, and Mary Ellen Von Holt, which I still enjoy pulling out now and then. The patterns are very basic and simple, and timeless — easily updated with today’s fabrics.

I enjoy making log cabin blocks because they have a rhythm as the strips wrap around the center square — light, light, dark, dark is the way I used to remind myself as a beginner. I went on to make quite a few log cabins in those first years.

I made this quilt in the late 90’s, starting on an afternoon at my friend Connie’s house, while we each stitched on our projects and my two kids ran around us playing. (Those two kids are now both young adults, so this little mini would have quite a few stories to tell.)

I went on to finish all the blocks, pieced them together, hand quilted it and made the binding, all on my own. Close examination of the quilt shows some of the things I still needed to learn, but all in all, I was very pleased with the outcome.

I called my mom and told her I was finally old enough to quilt. We had a good laugh about that.

Linking up today with LeAnne at Devoted Quilter.

Wendy

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Projects

It’s a two-cuppa-coffee morning here, as I sit and try to figure out what to share with you on this post.

While I’ve been productively quilting this past week, I’ve been working on blocks that I won’t be sharing until the project is done. I am trying to figure out how best to work on those blocks but also allow time to get things done that I can post about. I haven’t found a rhythm to that yet.

So here’s what I’m hoping to work on this weekend while I’m also working on the other project. In past posts, I’ve talked about some woolie blocks I’ve been working on. I have had two different woolie projects going. The blocks for both projects are now done. I have the finishing details for one set, and that is what I hope to get going this weekend. It will be good sewing for the evening as the blocks are set onto the background wool by hand. Here are four of the 12 blocks for this project.

The blocks are laid out on a felted wool background. They will be fused to the background, then I’ll handstitch around each block. A few final touches after that and the quilt will be done.

Today is First Friday Coffee with some of the ladies from church. We do this every first Friday of each month, hence the name. Clever, huh? It’s a good break from my work and gets me out of the house. Other than being gone all day Tuesday, I have not left the house this week. It’s time for me to see some friends face to face.

Anyway, the sun is peeking out, the sky is blue, and we have another day to enjoy. Thanks, friends, for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend!

Wendy 

 

January Block Report

Well, here we are, February 1st. These months go by quickly, don’t they?

I’m keeping track of the blocks I make during each month this year. I have a specific page in my planner to note them. I thought I was keeping pretty good track until I reviewed the blocks this morning. I need to add to my total in my planner!

Here’s the review of what I accomplished during January.

182 Days of Winter Solstice Challenge – I am keeping up with this so far, having made 6 blocks this month.

Twirl Me Pillow – This pattern consisted of 16 paper-pieced blocks. I have completed this project. I will add a center button, once I decide on one.

Sundrops Quilt – I completed this quilt top this month, and it is now in the hands of Connie, who will do the quilting for me. This quilt had 39 blocks.

The 70273 Project – So far I have sewn 27 blocks for this project. These go together so quickly!

Little Wool Sampler Quilt – I finished the last of the nine blocks for this project. This was a Quilt Along, so I’m waiting for the final instructions on completing this quilt.

Commission Quilt – I began working on this quilt, which I am making at the request of a friend. I have completed 3 blocks. My goal is to complete 2 blocks per day, at least. I’ll keep you in the dark on this one until it has been given to the new owner.

The Commission Quilt pieces

If I tally up the block count, I have made 92 blocks this month.

I need to do this each month. I often finish a month, or even a week, and don’t feel like I’ve made much progress at all. Reviewing my month is really helpful for me.

Do you follow the progress of your work?

Happy stitching, friends!

Wendy