Monday, October 31, 2011

1930's Reproduction Dresden Plates

These are the blocks I've been working on at the hospital while mom was recuperating. There are 16 of them now so I think I'll do 4 more. Twenty (4x5) would make a nice quilt for a child. The blocks get trimmed down to 8" finished size. The dresdens are done with paper pieces cut in that petal shape. Sure makes it easy and it's all hand sewing. Perfect for a take-with project.
I'm still deciding on sashing and setting. I know it's hard to tell in these pictures but the background is a very pretty aqua. I have red and white gingham, solid red plus more of the red and white polka dot that is in the centers. Somehow I want to combine all of those in the sashing design....well, we'll see...

While I was going through the camera taking the pics of these blocks, I found a picture of my mom and my daughter Jenn from this summer. Just before all of these problems started, mom visited me up north. I took this pic of them at the castle.

Mom came home from the hospital today and is doing well. I head home to Charlevoix tomorrow. I'll be playing catch up with my outside work, inside work and sewing... but I can't wait... I miss my bed, my tub and mostly MY SEWING ROOM!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Handsewing At U of M

Lots of hand sewing going on right now... lots of waiting. I'm at U of Michigan waiting for my mom to have a feeding tube put in. She's still having trouble swallowing. They haven't allowed any food or drink for a couple of days now. Hopefully she'll be getting the tube in and within 24 hours will have something in her stomach. Her spirts are amazingly good... I don't think I would have a smile on my face like she does. I'd take her pic but she'd hit me over the head. We curled her hair for the surgery today... want her to look nice for the ride down the hallway.

I'm working on an English paper piecing project I started with my daughter in Shipshewana. It's a small daisy or dresden appliqued on a 9" aqua block. I'm using 30's repros of fav. I have 12 blocks done and am just going to continue until I get home. If I have 16 done then the quilt will be for a baby... If I get all 36 done, it'll be a twin... we'll see.

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers... I know it's helping.

Big Hugs to Rebecca... hope all is going well with Gregg.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

UFO list going down

I've had a chance the last few weeks to work on my UFOs. This first one was going to for a gift but I changed my mind. I'm donating to mom's church for their auction. Hope it's gets them a few dollars. I used lots of 6" squares that I traded with my friends from our old forum, Block Central... sure miss that place. The backing was a sale fabric from Hearts to Holly Quilt Shop. It was bright and had most of the colors from the top. If anyone is interested in how I made this quilt (VERY EASY), go to this page: of my blog.Now here's the quilt that started off being the donation quilt but changed to the gift quilt. The blocks were made by a friend up here in Charlevoix. She didn't have any plans to use them and said if I could make use of them, go ahead. Well they turned out much prettier than I expected. Used plain white for every other block, set them all on point then added a large white border. I had the navy and white floral background in my stash. The batting was in my stash also.
Both of these quilts were quilted on my home machine.... nothing fancy, just a meander/stipple pattern.
I finished up the sample quilt, Aunt Grace's Garden Party and that turned out really nice too. I don't have a picture yet but it's hanging up in the quilt store. It's going to be a block of the month starting in Nov. If anyone wants to make that one, give the store a call.

Now, for anyone wondering how my mom is doing... well, Al and I are downstate at mom's right now. The church auction is tomorrow and I'll be going with my sister, my niece and some of mom's friends. Mom is not up to going since she just got out of the hospital. Her voice is starting to come back, sounds a little stronger to me. She's fed up with her thickened liquids but knows she doesn't have a choice for right now. We all hope that her throat will get back it's ability to swallow. Mom has her bypass coming up in the beginning of November and we're all anxious for that. The hope is that this will be the fix that takes care of the stroke symptoms. Thanks to all of you that have her in your thoughts and prayers.

This past week was Grandma's birthday. She was 103!!! A few of you have asked me how she's doing. Grandma is just like the enegizer bunny...just keeps going. Her vision is gone is one eye and the other is almost gone. She's been legally blind for years. She seems to get around the nursing home just fine though... uses a walker and feels her way down the hallways. I made her a Charlevoix Apple Cake... the same ones we sell every fall at the apple fest. Anyone still making those? (I posted this recipe on block central a few years ago). I know a few husbands that are addicted to this cake ...right Jenell? LOL This is one of grandma's favorite cakes.

Well, off to bed. Busy day tomorrow.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Barn Quilt

Al has been busy painting his barn and adding a little something for me. Here's a picture of Al painting our barn quilt block. This is called "Pat's Pines" named after my mom, Pat. Al painted this while I worked and was busy with other things. Didn't he do a great job?! I'm going to add the directions to this block (12") the next time I'm online. It's really easy if you have the Tri-rec tool.

UPDATE (4-16-12):
I've stiched up the Pat's Pines block so that I can post a tutorial for anyone that would like to make it. You'll need to purchase the Tri Tool/ Rec Tool. These come together and are wonderful acrylic templates for making all kinds of blocks and rows that use triangles.

For my pine trees, I used up scraps of dark green. I had lots of 2-1/2" strips so I stitched three together to form a long 6-1/2" strip. I trimmed this to 5-1/2" wide. If you'ld like you can just cut a 5-1/2" strip of fabric. The strip length I used was half of a WOF (width of fabric) or about 21" long.

Pat's Pines Block Tutorial

Green: (1) 5-1/2" wide strip (mine was a scrappy strip)
Background: (1) 5-1/2" wide strip  AND (2) 2-1/2" strips
Brown: (1) 1-1/2" wide strip
Red: (1) 2-1/2 x 2-1/2" square

From the strip of green, cut FOUR trees by using the Tri Tool. Line up the 5-1/2" line at one edge, the top should line up on the other side, and cut the two angles. Flip the tool to the opposite end to cut another. Repeat cutting until you have 4 trees.
Fold the 5-1/2" background strip in half, right sides together and cut 8 triangles using the Recs Tool. Line up the 5-1/2 line on one edge and cut the two other sides. There is a TINY little extra cut at the tip that you cut also. Seems like a little thing but this little clipped point helps to line every thing up for sewing.
Using one of the "trees" and two of the background triangles, stitch the sides of the tree to for a 5-1/2" square block.
Here's that extra cut you made with the Rec Tool. This makes everything line up nicely.

Here's how the second seam line up. You should be stitching your 1/4" seam so that you stitch right off the end in the V made by the two pieces.
Now stitch together one 2-1/2" background to the brown strip and then add one more 2-1/2" background to SANDWICH the brown between them.
Cut off FOUR 2-1/2" slices.
Lay out all of your pieces to look like the picture above. You have 9 pieces. Put this together as you would any 9-patch block.
On any 9-patch block, I press the seams out for the outer rows (top and bottom) and in for the inner row. This helps to "lock" my seams together when I complete the block. Here's my idea for finishing up the quilt. I would probably put a sashing between my blocks... maybe a 1-1/2" to a 2-1/2 wide....then border the whole thing a few times. The one below would be a lapsize... use 20 blocks (4x5) or more for a bed size.

Orange peel blocks

The orange peels blocks are coming along. I made a cardboard template, cut a bunch of ovals and started to applique them onto the white bac...