Friday, November 29, 2013
Hope everyone had a lovely day! This adorable holiday greeting was delivered to the door in mid afternoon by our sweet neighbor, age 10.
Once again we failed to take any pictures at all, but the house was full of good smells, tons of family, and lots of laughs, along with plenty of eating. After enjoying appetizers of a relish tray and some delicious homemade guacamole SIL Mariana made, we had two turkeys, gravy, some duck my sister roasted, along with her truffle oil Yukon gold mashed potatoes and House Special mashed potatoes, plus yet another family favorite potato dish made with hash browns DD Erica made, as well as broccoli slaw salad, fruit salad, green beans, corn muffins, stuffing, ham and jello. Then there was apple pie, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and some incredible sea salt chocolate fudge brownies with caramel sauce made by my sister, Kathy, for dessert. There was tons of food left over after all 18 of us had eaten--even with two teenaged boys in the house (Nephew Joey had five pieces of apple pie). My eldest brother and one of his sons stopped by to visit before their own dinner, and DD Elaine and Chris visited after theirs with Chris's family. My dear sister in law Melanie and her eldest daughter did nearly all the clean up of dishes while I played a board game with some of her other children. Kathy's dog is all tuckered out today from all the action with the little ones in the family. It was a wonderful day and worth every minute of cleaning, cooking, rearranging, and planning. I'm so glad I took Wednesday off work--the mad rush was cut down a bit :)
As part of the decorating, I hung my newly frosted (by Mary of Quilt Hollow) but unfinished Picnic quilt over the upstairs railing. You can't really see the texture of my chosen ginkgo leaf design in this photo but trust me, it's perfect!
It remains untrimmed, but one of today's tasks was getting the binding made.
This is really a red fabric with a soft tan dot, despite the color distortion making it look orange.
Here you can see a number of designs were proposed and rejected. I like this print a lot but being directional, has it's difficulties. The final choice will use the WOF in three sections and I'll pull from my very full Christmas fabric box for the three chunks for an offset design. The fabric has already been washed but needs ironing, and after spending 3.5 hours in the last week ironing linen tablecloths and napkins, I'm not really in the mood just yet, today. But it is only Friday and I have two more days off work. Bliss! Hope you are all playing with needle and fabric too this weekend. I see a lot of folks have joined Bonnie of Quiltville's Celtic Solstice mystery; despite my Irish heritage I won't be joining but will download the patterns anyway!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
On my design wall today is a sample for the quilt I'm making for my grandson-to-be, who'll be here in just a few short months. My daughter Elaine and I shopped for the fabrics some weeks ago but until now I hadn't had a chance to work-up the size of the Flying Geese the design calls for. After looking up various ways to size and make flying geese, I decided to use the fast method that makes four geese at a time. Here's one source for that method http://www.patchpieces.com/files/flyinggeese.pdf
After spending some time Saturday night doing quilt MATH, I was ready Sunday morning to cut, sew and press my geese. These will finish at 3x6".
Cutting one large square for four geese saves time right there. The four smaller squares form the "sky" triangles without having to cut triangles and without having to trim excess triangles off the finished geese.
The directions also suggested drawing stitching lines but I thought marking the center line only was fine, since my 1/4" foot is accurate.
The final two squares are applied the same way as the first two, by stitching on either side of the drawn line on the sky pieces. I made sure I pressed well and had 1/4" at the top of the geese for a nice point when joining.
Four geese lickety split without leaving a pile of cut off triangles or having to trim down the unit to size. I wouldn't call this perfect but for a sample mainly to test the desired finished size of the geese blocks, worked just fine.
I did find that hitting this valley on either side of the drawn line was important, since it is the top intersection of the two sky pieces once the unit is sliced along the drawn line.
Looking pretty good on this block.
See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times. http://www.patchworktimes.com/2013/11/18/design-wall-november-18-2013/
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Some years ago my sister's roommate V, knowing I quilt, showed me a bunch of unfinished quilt tops that her Grandmother had made. After she passed away the family found them in a cardboard tube hamper labeled "Dirty Close". V's sister had rejected the tops as "too ugly". I was smitten by the complete wonkiness and make-do and selected 5 tops. Sadly, they are all still tops except for one. I loved the Goose in the Pond blocks but hated the sashing/setting fabric, so I took them apart.
They are all hand pieced and definitely not precise. This is the best one. It is *almost* square :)
Some have the bars turned the wrong way.
The stitching is fairly neat but it looks like kitchen twine was used, it is so thick.
There is no way this block will ever lie flat, but I like it anyway!
Definitely the craziest of the bunch. Look at all the "make do" in that one. There are eight Goose in the Pond blocks--and they are big, variably about 16-18" square (I use the word square lightly!)
In the original top--which unfortunately I don't have a photo of--this ninth block made a 3x3 layout. It was obvious at first glance that it didn't belong with the others.
This was the original sashing fabric, along with some really stained and dirty blue chambray that I ended up throwing away. I'm wondering if the Goose in the Pond blocks belonged to the the generation before V's grandma and she made this one to expand the layout. My idea is to applique the blocks to a plain background. I saw an antique quilt at a show once that had blocks in the double pinks, blue and black that had an alternate plain block that was olive green. It was very eye-catching. I would probably have to tie the quilt rather than quilt it, as nothing will be flat. First these blocks will need to have a bath!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
No sewing has been done since I completed the binding for the tardy baby--whose mother was induced on her 11th day post due date and son Jackson finally greeted his happy parents on November 8th! I hope to get a chance to meet him soon and deliver the quilt. Love that new baby scent :)
Meanwhile, for my future grandson, whose parents are working on his nursery, I've started a little embroidery.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Weird year for our street--started late, ended early, long gaps between groups. We were left with two unopened bags of candy. Very dangerous thing.
My sister said there were a couple of haunted houses a few streets over so that must have held the trick-or-treaters up. Erica was handing out handfuls of treats at the end. It was all over before 8:30. Next year will be different, I'm sure!
Monday, November 4, 2013
I'm up to the finishing stage of the baby quilt, though the baby isn't here yet--he's over a week late. He'll be my grandchild's cousin and we're all anxious to meet him.
Design Wall Monday--see more great quilting projects on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. All the pieced mats I showed last t...
Since I virtuously devoted two evenings this week to clearing surfaces in the sewing room, including hours cutting down and sorting/storing...
Design Wall Monday rolls around again. See more design walls/surfaces on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. I received a messa...
Slow Sunday Stitching on Kathy's Quilts blog has lots of eye candy every week. I put the last stitches into the Blackbird Designs L...