Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Farmers Wife Blocks

I finally got back to work on my Farmers Wife blocks. It's amazing the progress I have made not so much in blocks made but in the capacity to create the blocks. They are not easy yet but definitely easier and I find that they are coming out the right size. 

I bought electric quilt and EQ Stitch and am really enjoying learning it. I'm able to print out the rotary cutting instructions for the blocks and templates that are absolutely correct.

Farmers Wife Butterfly at the Crossroads
Farmers Wife Buzzards Roast

Farmers Wife Calico Puzzle
Cats and Mice

Century of Progress

Checker Board

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ethan's Blue Jean Project is Finished

It spent almost a year in the drawer but I have finally finished the Blue Jean Quilt I was making for my grandson Ethan. I had gotten discouraged with the process and had to work it out in my head how to do it right. The theory is that I was going to be really green and reuse old blue jeans that had been discarded by my family and it turned into a major project. 

While I grasped the concept of how a rag blue jean quilt went together, my changes made it kind of hard to implement. My changes were to use my new embroidery machine to personalize several of the squares on the quilt and then spell out Ethan’s name. Then I decided to use fleece for the backing. I had not counted on the shear weight and mass of the thing. I ended up using my new Brother pq1500s  sewing machine with the wonderful walking foot that came with it.

I had gotten it semi-assembled and then realized that the fleece on the back had some of the same fabrics touching. That’s what put it in the drawer because I had been aiming for alternating dark and light squares to give it some diagonal movement. I got overwhelmed and it went in the drawer.

Many months later, the quilt had been long forgotten and what should but Ethan came over to Nanna’s house to visit with his mother and he disappears and I found him in the sewing room pulling those cotton picking squares out of the drawer and arranging them into a design. Spelling out his name. Okay, the first time he pulled that trick I was able to shrug it off, because it really was a nightmare project that I wished would go away. But, A couple of months later there he was again in my drawer pulling all those squares out, trying to put that quilt together. What was I to do? So….. I put it together.

I think it turned out okay. I got some really good shears on Ebay for about 30 dollars that cut through the denim like butter so trimming the seam was easy and I got some help from Ethan's mother and my wonderful husband. I spent about 3 days with sore hands from it just the same, but I didn't mind. 

The Border had my husband worried because he thought the edges needed something. I was going to get some kind of ribbon to sew along the edge to make him happy but was unhappy about losing the grunge look. I also considered making double fold tape out of denim but that looked like depressingly too much work. Then .... I came up with using the side seams from the jeans I had cut from the pants in the first place. 
I left about a half and inch on each side.
Leaving a strip that looks like this. 
Then sewed them on top of the edge of the quilt all the way around with the edges even with the cut edges of  the quilt. and sewed them (using a zipper foot very close to the edges). I loved the effect.
Here's the back of the quilt being modeled by Chester. The different fleece fabrics are truly random and I love the them just like they are. Once I faced them the didn't seem so hard to deal with  after all. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

the Caramel Apple Eating Revelation

I think is is safe to say to most people love eating caramel apples but sometimes do not because they don't want to have to take a bath after eating them. I have solved this conundrum and I can't for a minute figure out why I never thought of if before. Pull out the stick and quarter and core it.
No more sticky noses! Yea!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'ts Been A Long Time But I Finally Finished My 2011 Star Quilt

This has been my year to finish all my UFO's before I can start any new projects. 

I got several projects out of the way and finally finished my 2011 star quilt. I added the paper piece border and the little star cornerstones to kind of set them off. I learned a lot making those stars and actually the border as well. I had just finished watching a Crafty class called "Quick Strip Paper Piecing" and I used the New York Beauty border from that class and it only took me a week of piecing every night to get all the border pieces done. And I will never do paper piecing quite the same again. Her way is so much faster. I thought there would be horrible amounts of waste but nothing could be further from the truth.

Here's the back. 
These stars were from a Star quilt along at

I just bought a Brother PQ1500S sewing machine and I used it to free motion quilt this piece. It's my first quilt of this size to free motion. I ought to be right on time for Halloween. After looking at it so long all I can see is candy corn. Ha. The hot design is very appropriate the heat we have been having this year. 

I also finished my "gibbles and bits quilt that I started in guild about 7 months ago. It was made with my old Christmas fabrics. Some of that stuff is 20 years old. I have it at the longarmers right now. It was too big for me to attempt to try for my first big one. But now I've got a machine with a bit bigger harp and I will try it with this one. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finally Finished the 2011 Stars Blocks

October Star 2011

November Star 

December Star

Now I have to decide how this quilts going to be put together. I intend to sash it but am not sure what fabric to use. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

September Star Complete Now I've got to do October!

Here is the September block in October! Now I have to do Octobers block, naturally I am late. But, I got side tracked.
I finished my granddaughters quilt for Christmas
This quilt was done using the quilt as you go method. In other words, I quilted each square separately. I bought some pixey  redwork designs and quilted them on the machine and then filled in using the MacTavish method. I hope each little pixey that she finds comes as a surprise. This is a photo of one from the back, which is flannel.

 Here's the label 

Then I cut out a four patch stack and whack / kaleidoscope that I still have to finish putting together. They showed us how to to it in guild this month. There are only 4 repeats used and they were cut into 3 and 1/2 " squares. By making them square you can keep spinning them till you get the most pleasing arrangement. I have a great time putting these together.  I took them to work and did them while I talked to customers on the phone. My plan is to put a border of of  strips of yellow, red, and black around it. and I've got those square on the bottom to put on the corners. 
And I am also working on this Lady Liberty quilt which is still in the growing process. All of these squares are done on my new embroidery machine. I want to get some more New York Beauty quilt patterns to get some more variety going on. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Finished the August Star

Leah's Star August 2011 BOM
I actually did this one twice and this is my second try. The first one had the colors mixed up and it made the star plainer that I wanted it to look. I think I will still use the star but I may add some embroidery to the center. I just need to find the right design.