I know many think of Wednesday as hump day, looking forward to the weekend.
However, we quilters know that Wednesday is the best day of the week.
I made a decision earlier this year to not go to Houston for Quilt Market and Festival, for the first time in over 2 decades. Time to enjoy Autumn in Nebraska. I will miss being there and seeing friends of course, will not miss the 2 day drive down and back, and being gone for close to 2 weeks. Bonus – time at home with Russ!
This weeks block 23 is a lovely 6″ finished block called ‘Broken Windows’, more Jo like in size you will agree. I sewed it with ‘Hickory Road’ (January 2019 shipping).
BH2, Block 23
Followed with pressing, and it isn’t pretty this week. I picked up the corner pieces wrong and had to un-sew, then when I re-sewed, I couldn’t press two corners like I had the first two corners. I’m showing it to you anyway. Wasn’t worth unpicking and sewing again, a girl has other sewing at hand. I’m sure this does not happen to you, does it.
Block 23, pressing
Notice the top corner units the joining is pressed horizontal, and the bottom corner units are pressed vertical. Oh well! I’m not perfect and the front looks good, so carry on!
I was inspired by the cover quilt of Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilt in March 1986.
LCPQ cover, March 1986, inspiration quilt
Fast Forward 24 years (yes I know, sad isn’t it) to circa 2010, began sewing gobs of HST units, 8 identical units at a time, to make my version of this quilt. I selected 1 1/2″ finish size for my small triangles, so I could see the prints and colors. You know I love small blocks and small pieces, but this project was different for me. I ran out of time to make the quilt and write directions before one of the Quilt Markets in 2010, so the triangles were stored in a bin. At quilt Market someone had a similar quilt with a pattern (I do not remember who), so my project went on the back burner . . . for 8 years.
Last Spring I pulled out the bin, began cutting more large triangles and small loose triangles. As luck would have it my cuts of ‘Spice It Up’ arrived and I could cut from them to add to this project. Yea!
Large and Small loose HST
I began to assemble my quilt top, and each row I loved it more and more. The project stalled while Russ and I took our 23 day trip in May that run into early June, I wrote about our trip earlier.
After returning, and getting other things caught up, it was time to work on this project so I could enjoy it this fall. Here are a couple of close up pictures of the fabrics I used.
close up of quilt
another close up
I sent the top out to my friend Maggi Honeyman, to be machine quilted in an all-over meander pattern, so the quilting wouldn’t compete with the quilt. Besides I’m not sure everything lined up ‘perfectly’, and don’t care, I’m human and close counts really big for me.
Finally, here is the picture of ‘one of my favorite’ quilts, shown in a favorite place to display my quilts, in the dining room ‘over the cupboard door’. Earthy colors to complement pottery we’ve collected.
My Triangle quilt, enjoying it this Fall 2018, over the cupboard door
I’m not writing a pattern for this quilt, as there is one out there somewhere!
Time for me to make some of the quilts I’ve wanted to make, and I don’t have to write directions for them.
Thought you might like to know that some designers have aged WIP’s (works in progress), always happy when I can finally finish one of them, and enjoy it in our home. This is the oldest one by far.
I’ve decided to share some ‘stuff’ with you all, of course feel free to delete.
My first quilting class began in January 1980, it was a 14 week class (50 miles drive to Lincoln, Nebraska), once a week on Wednesday, making a Sampler Quilt. 14″ blocks, hand pieced, hand appliquéd, hand quilted in the quilt-as-you-go method. I was working as the bookkeeper (no degree, so not an accountant, LOL) at a car dealership at the time, I asked for Wednesday afternoons off, and I would work Saturday mornings to make it up the time.
Below are the Gingher Scissors that I bought in that first quilting class (1980), because it was before the rotary cutter was available, around here anyway.
The pincushion was a High School Graduation gift from an aunt, pincushion from a jewelry store. FYI, I leaned over and asked my mom, what is it, after opening the box? She whispered ‘a pincushion’. Hummm, at the time all I sewed were clothes. Seems that aunt knew I would need it someday? Like 18 years later.
Gingher Scissors and HS Graduation gift pincushion
I still have both of these items, the scissors rest in a drawer, because we mostly use rotary cutters these days. Those scissors cut out many quilts, and in 1980 $27.00 was a lot of money to spend on scissors. The pincushion turns up every now and then, but we seem to have all kinds of fun pincushions that we make or receive as gifts, and I use those from friends. One of these days will have to talk about where we sewed back then. LOL
Russ and I took vacation time after driving to Portland, Oregon for Spring Quilt Market this year. Visited a friend and her DH in southern Oregon before driving to see Crater Lake. Plans to see another friend in California were changed, one nice thing about our vacation, was no exact time line, we would get home when we got home.
I80 across northern Nevada was gorgeous, the sky was amazing and seems like we could see forever. Western Utah Salt Flats are a wee bit less than gorgeous. However once we made it to I15 south to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, just beautiful! We spent a day in each park.
Our next destination was Santa Fe, we ended up staying there 4 nights, a favorite place to visit. We figured it was 17 years since we were there, it was after Christmas last time, was good to see Santa Fe at a different time of year. However it is pretty special around Christmas time.
Next, on to visit my cousin Fred in Denver, before the last leg home. Fred’s mom and my mom were sisters, we grew up 2 doors apart.
We were gone 23 days, 5,400 miles and it was all very wonderful.
I had hand-piecing along, I can stitch in the car, besides other places. I had the corner units for 12 blocks along (48 units to piece), so it was easy to finish up the blocks (still hand piecing) with the bars and center square when we arrived home. That quilt is out for MQ, One of my fastest hand pieced projects ever, because . . . I had the time to work on it, 16 blocks total, 4 were completed before we left. Stay tuned for the reveal one of these days when it returns home.
A fun part . . . we found “the road less traveled” . . . we decided to take some back roads north out of Santa Fe to see different areas, up around Taos, I was enjoying the scenery and seems I missed telling Russ of our turn, the road was blacktop, and according to device would still take us to the Hwy we wanted . . . well it did, but after a few miles, the blacktop disappeared and we drove on this for about 2 1/2 miles:
I told Russ we found ‘the road less traveled’ and it would make a great story when we arrived home. He agreed. LOL We did reconnect with the correct highway, but so glad we got to be on this road, could only drive between 2 and 13 MPH, yep that bumpy. Making memories!!
We lost sweet kitty Chloe May 4th, a week before leaving for Portland. When we returned home the house was so very quiet. We had sort of decided that Chloe would be the last kitty, but she was only 12 when she left us. House was too quiet, even for Russ it seems.
We have always adopted strays, these days there are very few stray cats wandering around. Toward the end of June, Russ saw in the Omaha World Herald that the Humane Society had too many cats and there would be free adoptions. We drove to Omaha July 10th, long story short, we adopted Socks and Abbie (our names for them), Socks is the Tuxedo of course, and Abbie is a Torbie (mix of tortoise and tabby), they are both 2 years old and have settled in nicely. They came to the Humane Society together and needed to be adopted together. Yes of course we left a nice donation, now we are on their mailing list. <g>
Socks and Abbie
Last but not least, Russ joined the Wellness Center after his lower back fuse 3 years ago, 2 years ago he had his right partial knee replacement, and a year later the left partial knee replacement, he is currently patched up and doing well. He walks at the gym and uses machines. He still walks in the park or other sidewalks on nice days. He has been after me for over a year to join him in going to the Gym (as he calls it). I finally gave in later in June this year, as I do like to walk and feel better when I get at least 7,000 steps a day (yes I know the goal is 10,000). Summer is my least favorite time of year, hot and humid and not good for me and asthma walking outside. I’m going to the Gym at least 3 to 4 days a week, walking and using 4 machines.
Also, since it is a Wellness Center, there are also rehab people there daily, working to get back on their feet after a health setback. Makes one feel pretty lucky to have the choice to go, while trying to stay healthy.
Another good thing about being off the road for teaching (2016 was my last year), I’m cooking again, Russ thinks it is a good thing, me, not so much. Best news is that I’m not flying these days!
One more thing . . . since I’m home . . . I’m making what I call “quilts that I’m not writing directions for”. Besides I have bins of blocks already made, blocks from block exchanges, starts that were never finished and it is time for me to finish them, because when I see them, I still want to finish them, but where to start?
Well, start by marking and cutting out another set of hand-pieced blocks that have nothing to do with what you want to finish! I did this because I wanted some handwork for our trip and evenings at home (you read it above).
Since last winter I have hand-pieced a couple other block sets, I’m now figuring out the setting for one of them. I know, one should have a plan up front (or so I’m told), but it is more fun to just make blocks you like/love, then figure out what to do with them! Really it is, for me anyway.
One other fun thing for me is to search through my ‘fabric collection’ and find some oldies but goodies that want and need to be used. Yesterday I dug out a gorgeous floral stripe from probably 20 years ago, perfect border for a smallish (36″ x 36″) hand-pieced blocks top, will ‘fussy cut’ the border, and sew it to the top. Now to decide . . . do I HQ it? or send it out for MQ? hummm
One more really nice thing is that since I’ve pulled back, my friends that have helped me sew my quilts for well over a decade, were released from ‘Jo sewing’ duties the end of 2016. However, we meet up once a month at the studio for a ‘Sit and Sew’, I so look forward to these days and hanging with my long time sewing friends. Anyone that has a stitch group understands, I’m just late coming to that table. Feeling very blessed these days.
Enjoy your week and hope it includes some (or lots of) sewing! Jo
Greetings this fine Wednesday morning! Today is National Friendships Day. Quilters seem to form a special bond of sisterhood, we have more in common than quilting, but that is what brings us together.
I’m happy I was not at the top of the BH2 list. ‘Hickory Road’ has arrived at the studio, ships to quilt shops in January 2019, isn’t that just around the corner?
I’ll share what I’ve made using ‘Spice It Up’ one of these days, it was perfect to add in to an 8 year old project, that was recently completed, and of course made something new.
I selected Moda designer Sherri McConnell to join us in BH2. My stand was across from Sherri and Chelsi at a Quilt Market last year, I had the best time getting to know them. A wonderful mother daughter designing team. Quilt Market is the place to get to know our Moda designer friends and family.
I selected only 4 fabrics for Block 10, Duck and Ducklings. As you know, I opted to make a smaller project this time in BH2.
My block this week finishes at 12″, measures 12 1/2″ . . . I have made quilts smaller than 12″, so this was a stretch for me! LOL
It was fun to make this block, but wouldn’t it also be sweet smaller? This is the story of my life. Small and smaller. It has probably been close to 30 years since I’ve made a 12″ block.