Friday, July 29, 2016

tip #34--drape the machinery

These recent tips are reflections on my housekeeping skills which are sorely lacking.
I have some lengths of silk habotai 12 momme from some long ago project that I use to drape my Accuquilt Studio. I go through periods of much use of it, followed by it sitting idle. The drape helps keep dust out of the mechanisms.
If away from my sewing machine for a while I also drape it. You can buy dust covers for machines but they look a little crafty to me, and the silk is so much more elegant.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

churn dash, over a decade in the making

I finished the binding on this churn dash this week.
It was started when I was teaching two friends quilting techniques in classes at my home, about 15 years ago. The border is a very lovely early Hoffman I believe. Maybe a Cranston.
I look at the fabrics in this quilt and love the fabrics. Many are still in bits in my stash and cut scrap bins.
The blocks finish 7 1/2 inches
57 1/4 by 65 inches
My design, use at your pleasure
Beautifully quilted by Suzette Fisher
I finally got it to the quilter last year, and have been binding it this summer.
Seth was an adorable child when I started it. The picture of with Eve shows him with a popsicle on his face, about age 4.
And, now, an adorable young man heading to California for college, age 18 with a beard on his face.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

up on the roof--210 North Wells

Looking southeast.
Another in a series of roof top parking garage views.

Monday, July 25, 2016

tip #33--keep a lint roller near the iron

Some pieces of fabric love to collect threads and bits.
Keeping a lint roller near the iron makes it easier to lift off those threads. I usually don't roll it, instead just touch it to the threads.
I have an Accuquilt Studio and use it to roll over the die after cutting. I am very methodical, rolling over the entire die. It picks up much you cannot see, stuff that might damage the blades.

I do not use the lint roller on myself. I am easily identified on the street as a quilter by all the threads clinging to me.
(Every Christmas I give a package of lint rollers to the kids as they do not like to be identified as coming from a quilting household.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

coxcomb, antique quilt

A friend is moving to a retirement community in Arizona and asked me to take this quilt.
It is a lovely coxcomb.
My guess from the fabrics and the feel is it was made in the 1880s
All the green is nearly gone. The red is in shreds where there was printing. The gold and the white background and backing are in perfect shape.
It is the most closely quilted piece I have ever seen.
Measures 76 by 96 inches,
Evelyn wanted to make sure I knew the quilt wasn't abused and I agree--other than the shattered fabrics, the quilt is in beautiful shape and feels so nice to be under. I am sure it kept many people warm over the years.
I am honored to be it's caregiver and, when the time is right, I will pass it on to another quilt lover.
Safe travels, Evelyn!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

welcome Oak Fabrics!

The Needle Shop has re-opened as Oak Fabrics at 3738 North Lincoln Avenue here in Chicago.
My neighbor Sharon, with whom I share and celebrate a birthday month, and we do celebrate all month, stopped in today together to check it out.
It is a delightful place. A small but very interesting selection of great fabrics. A selection of Kona solids at a good price. AND, a free scrap barrel we were welcome to tumble through.
We will be back!
The scraps I scored!

Monday, July 18, 2016

flying geese

I had such fun making the flying geese shape for the pinwheel quilt I decided to keep with them and make a geese in flight block for the next in this series of solid figures on wild fabrics.
(I hope you aren't tired of seeing these, because I am not tired of making them.)
So far there have been ships, churn dashes, shooflys, pinwheels, and now the geese in flight.

This is an old block I've seen in antique quilts. It is a simple idea--sew 4 geese in a row, put a strip of fabric on two sides, and then you have a square block to play with. I have a few blocks done and will see if I end up with the geese in a predictable pattern or all over the place.

Block finishes 8 inches
All cut from 2 1/2 inch strips
Solid: 4 geese cut with Companion Angle ruler
Print: 8 half square triangles cut with EZ angle and 2 rectangles cut 8 1/2 inches

Saturday, July 16, 2016

pinwheels--top completed

It turned out bigger than I first planned.
120 blocks set 10 to a row for 12 rows.
84 by 96 inches.
I used rectangles at the beginning or end of every row so the pinwheels would stagger.
I decided to make all the pinwheels spin the same direction to bring a little order to the chaos.
I like how some pinwheels stand out strong and others are so low contrast they become ghost blocks.

The blocks finish 8 inches.
All cut from 2 1/2 inch strips
4 geese cut from solid with Companion Angle ruler
4 rectangles cut 4 1/2 inches and 8 half-square triangles cut with EZ Angle ruler
The edge rectangles were cut 4 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches.

My design, use at your pleasure.

Time to make a backing!

Friday, July 15, 2016

postage stamp, quilt completed

The postage stamp is completed!
I loved every minute of making this quilt.
No strip piecing involved--each block has 32 pieces of a constant solid and 32 different scraps.
The scraps include some of my mother and both grandmothers.
You can read more about how it came together by clicking on the label postage stamp below.
Measures 72 by 72 inches.
Beautifully quilted with an all over floral pattern by Sue DiVarco. She worked very hard to keep it square.
Bound with Kona Celery.
The back is a lovely print from Jane Sassaman's first collection for Free Spirit. Hancock Fabrics was down the street, and when they had her fabric I would buy the whole bolt. I was talking to a friend this week about doing this and she said, "I never saw they carried her fabric." I said that was because I got there ahead of her every time.
This was the last of my bolts. There are scraps of all of them remaining in my fabrics.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

...and all ships at sea--quilt completed

I love this quilt.
Thank you to Claire at Cspoonquilt for posting the block and the Barbara Brackman reference to an antique quilt.

This is the quilt that got me started on a series of blocks pieced using solids with wild prints.
Quilted in an all over wind pattern by Sue DiVarco.
Measures 70 by 80 inches.

I used up some wonderful florals for the back.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

tip # 32--weigh down small blocks

Very small blocks tend to curl after pressing.
I press a small stack, then place a ruler on top of them until they cool. They stay flat!

These tiny 3 inch finished blocks are from the Temecula Quilt Co. Circa 2016 sew-a-long.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

tip #31--maximizing fabric use when cutting out flying geese

I am cutting out a lot of flying geese shapes for some pinwheel blocks.
I use the Companion Angle for the geese but I start and end the strip with the EZ angle to get a usable patch at the beginning and at the end of my Companion angle cuts. I don't need the half-square triangle for this project, but they are saved and ready to go for another down the road.

Saturday, July 02, 2016


My making quilts with blocks of a solid figure and a wild print background continues!
It started a year ago with the ships block inspired by Cspoonquilt's post:

Then, my neighbor gave me wild print scraps from her friend who sews for home decorating.
I added these to my fabrics and made the churn dash, the shoofly, and, now, pinwheels!
My method of cleaning up after projects (none) helps move on to each quilt as the fabric is all over the place already.
The simple blocks for these quilts go together quickly. I love the static solids holding the wild cacophony of the prints in check. Like thumbtacks.
I need 105 blocks for my planned set.

Thinking ahead, a framed nine-patch may come next.

The pinwheel is a 8 inch finished block. All cut from 2 1/2 inch strips.
Solid--four flying geese cut using Companion Angle ruler
Print--four rectangles cut 2 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches, 8 triangles cut with EZ Angle ruler

Friday, July 01, 2016

basket medallion sew-a-long first border, pinwheels (childhood)

The Gwen Marston style medallion sew-a-long continues!

Lori at:
started the medallion sew-a-long with the theme basket for the center.

Cynthia at:
chose the first border theme--childhood.

Hence, pinwheels!
I have a few more to make to finish the round.

Cathy at:
chose log cabins for the next round. Hmm.

I am using clearer colors than I usually work with and am loving the light look it gives.

Check out others linking up at: