Friday, January 30, 2015

January has been a busy month

Month 1 of the Lynette Anderson BOM is done! Well, almost, there is some more embroidery to finish this piece. What a lot of work for one month; it kept me busy that's for sure. Lots of fits and starts and seam ripping and plotting and planning! 

Lynette's quilt calls for nine patches made of nine different fabrics. These blocks finish at 3 inches so I was sewing 1 1/2 inch squares together and I was not happy with the results. The Quilt Show forum I joined suggested using Billie Lauder's method for making nine patches. I got much better results with this method and think I have sufficient variety in my blocks to make an interesting border. 

Have you tried Billie Lauder's way of making nine patches before? The video is from 2011, so this has been around awhile. Sometimes a reminder is good, don't you think?

Had some wooly thread from an embroidery shop and couched it around the outline of sheep. Aren't they cute? I like their little legs, too. 

Can't wait for the February instructions to arrive; I'm ready!

I've been making bags like crazy, too. This one features a cowgirl that I printed on fabric then embellished with beads and embroidery. Vintage lace, buttons, and patchwork for extra goodness.

Another bag, this one with hand embroidery of my own design. 

One wintry afternoon I sat in front of the kitchen fire and embroidered and dreamed of summer. I love pink, coral, and green together.

A few more totebags. No embellishments, the fabrics are enough. These bags are great for toting projects around. They easily hold sock knitting, embroidery, or applique projects.

My great-nephew Max came to visit over Christmas vacation and we had a wonderful day together. This is a pizza we made. Max enjoys baking so we made the dough ourselves. Let me know if you would like the recipe. This is the best dough and sauce I've ever made. Oh, it makes me drool just to think of it!

Max also made white bread that day. Luckily, the recipe made two loaves so he got to take one home to his family.

While waiting for the dough to rise we played board games. What a fun day, thanks Max!

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015-off with a bang!

Do you recognize this quilt or the designer? It is Lynette Anderson, of course. The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims is presenting this quilt called My Country House as the Block of the Month quilt for 2015. The pattern is free for Quilt Show members for the whole year. Each month instructions for a new section of the quilt will be available. Usually there is a free video that goes along with the monthly instructions that gives extra help in making the blocks. 

When I decided to make this quilt my initial thought was to do the center house, the patchwork border, and the vine and flower border only. Then I started looking more closely at other details of this quilt and they appeal to me so much that I want to make the whole quilt. I especially love the vine and heart at the top. 

I've been shopping for similar fabrics at Marden's and even found a jelly roll of Lynette Anderson fabrics that really helped me with color selection. Her color palette is really not what I usually work with so I didn't think I would have anything in my stash that would work. Surprisingly, when brought home my fabrics from Mardens and compared them to my stash, I was able to pull a few pieces that will work. Actually, some of my choices are brighter than Lynette's but that is what makes a quilt so individual, isn't it? 

Month 1 is the house block and the surrounding patchwork, so quite a bit to do in January. I'm not attempting needle turn applique. I'm being realistic about how much time I want to devote to this project. I'm doing fusible applique, some raw edge and some not. I'm using some clear thread to sew the applique pieces and some with thread to match the fabric. All of the embroidery details I will do by hand because that is the part I really enjoy! 

Here are two blocks from a four block wall hanging I am working on. Fusible applique with machine stitching around the details. These hens and rooster were really fun to put together. The pattern is from McCall's Scrap Quilts 2013. I'm ready to machine quilt the top but...well, see the above project...

Did I show you this? I don't think so. I was working on this crazy quilt block before Christmas and it has gotten lost in the pile. I hand dyed the peach and green fabrics. I used an antique hankie in the upper corner. I've added some more stitching on the left but no photo yet. I really like these peach and green colors. The image for photo on fabric is from the Graphics Fairy. 

Last but not least, I joined Tacoma Lakes Quilt group this month! I was a member, in fact president of the PTQG chapter, back when I was a librarian in Bowdoinham, more than six years ago. I was warmly welcomed back into the fold by this dynamic group of ladies last week. Andrea nominated me for lifetime membership and I was voted in! Thank you, thank you, I'm really honored! You can see photos of the group (and me!) at

So, 2015 is off with a bang for me and I hope it is for you, too. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Bursting Star is finished and hung on the living room wall. This pattern was in the Nov/Dec issue of McCall's Quilting magazine. I made up the design in Electric Quilt with a lot of help from the EQ7 Yahoo group. Thank you, ladies! Such a generous group, I couldn't have managed without them. The original quilt had five different colors and I wanted to play around with other color combinations. I came up with this blue and white/light version.  

Oh, the horror! I did a test before I quilted my bursting star and thought the tension was really off. Well, after re-threading and changing the needle things still didn't look right so I decided to "look under the hood", so to speak. Ack! What a mess! I actually used my vacuum cleaner to clear this accumulation of lint out. The result: perfect stitch tension. 

Back Roads Quilters met for our annual Christmas party recently at a member's home. Isn't this a lovely home? We really appreciate Linda's hospitality and generosity. We had a delicious pot luck supper and then had our Yankee Swap. Chapter members who taught classes during 2014 were given special gifts. See the box on the floor in the center of the room? That is our brand new electric Accuquilt cutting machine. All of our templates from our old crank machine will fit this new one. 

After our Yankee Swap we had show & tell. Brenda showed the quilt she made at Camp Kieve this fall. Someone at the retreat suggested that she use her leftovers and she put together this lovely table runner, too. 

I think these half square triangle units were leftover from her flying geese units. She said she would have thrown them out normally, but followed up on the suggestion to sew them together. Brenda added the Merry Christmas strip on the sides that must have been part of the panel that she used in the quilt. So beautiful! 

Wonderful friends + beautiful quilts = joy, joy, joy!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bursting Star

I have a new subscription to McCall's Quilting. In the November/December 2014 issue there is a wall quilt called Bursting Star.  There are three different color combinations featured and all are pretty but I wanted to be able to create the pattern in Electric Quilt so I could play around with different colors, too. I've made Lone Star quilts so I knew I could make this wall hanging. In the Bursting Star, or starburst quilts there are eight star segments and coloring the different rings is what makes these quilts so amazing and fun. 

I belong to an Electric Quilt group called Steppen and I asked the members if they could help me create the design. Two women who appear to be regular contributors responded quickly and showed me how. A third member sent me her technique a little later. All three had a different approach and I learned a lot. I had fun working on the design and choosing colors. The combination I liked the best, and this is to go in my living room that has soft yellow walls, is this blue and white version. 

I chose a blue batik which is alternated with three different white/light batiks. Lots of bias edges so the tight weave of the batiks helps combat the stretchiness of bias edges.

Construction of the segments is a bit different from the Lone Star but each begins with strip sets that are then cut into 45 degree angle strips. The McCall's instructions show how to pin the diamonds successfully. The seams don't nestle together. In order to get the points exact you have to pierce a pin through the 1/4 inch seam line and then put pins in on either side of that pin. Remove center pin and sew. I thought I could bypass that step and went ahead and just pinned my pieces together. After several sessions with the seam ripper, I decided to give the McCall's technique a try. Well, don't you know, it worked! Perfect match up every time (well, almost).

Here's the wall quilt on my design wall. Five segments done, three more to go. By the time I finished today I had seven done. These segments aren't sewn together yet. The blue diamonds at the outer ring will be cut in two and then a large triangle will finish off the corners. The corners will be in blue so it will look like the white is the final row. It is a beautiful pattern. You will see, I'll post the finished top soon! The finished quilt will be 41 inches square. It will replace a Lone Star quilt that has been up for a few years and I'm very tired of looking at it.

What are you working on? Christmas projects? Is this the time of year you stop quilting and wait until after the holidays? I like this time of year to sew because in the summer my sewing room often is too hot. Now the weather keeps me inside and I can sew comfortably in my room.