Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

One more down......

This is the Hearts and Hand block I was not looking forward to doing. 

Not a 100% perfect, but it is done!

I have to admit that I was stymied as to how to go about this one (so many little pieces), so I messaged a friend,  Ardie, who is a prolific appliquer and asked her advice.  

She suggested that I do the heat resistant template method.  All other blocks have either been needle turn or reverse applique to this point. 

I have done the template method in the past but for very large pieces.  You cut a template and starch the seam line and iron it over the template giving you a piece that is ready to stitch down. 

I got my trusty, little  Clover iron out  and in no time I was ready to stitch away.  

Ok.....that leaves me one more block to do.  This one will be a little tricky.  There are a couple of REALLY small pieces on this one, but I  CAN do it!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Two down, two to go......

I am burning out on these blocks, but trying very hard not to let the burn out interfere with my decision making on fabrics for each block.

The last two blocks.....well.....the second to last I am not looking forward to.  I haven't figured out the best way to tackle it yet. 

The last block is crazy intense, but I am trying not to think about it until I get to it.  

Wish me luck.  I am sooooo close.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Swoon for French General

I am not sure how long I have had my Swoon top done, but it was back when everyone was Swoon crazy.

I actually used left over fabrics (French of my favorite fabric lines) from my Beyond the Cherry Trees quilt.

It has been sitting on this pile of quilts designated (by me) to be custom quilted. 

Well, I searched online for quilting ideas; I stared at this quilt for a long time; and I procrastinated doing custom because it just wasn't talking to me.  Also, I think because it is so large (80x80) that doing custom ruler work was just too daunting of a job for me especially when I have other quilts that are "speaking" to me in regards to custom quilting.  

So, I  recently received three new pantos in the mail and one of them was designated just for my Swoon.....Diagonal Plaid. 

I am just getting started on it here.  

Here's a couple close ups of the finished quilt.

I had this fabric from Red Rooster "Whimsicals" set aside for this quilt for some time, too. I think it is adorable.

Here's a close up of it quilted.

Binding has been cut out since the top was done.  So machine sewing it onto the quilt  and then having some evening hand stitching to do makes for some enjoyable in front of the TV hand work. is it I have 6 yards and 7 inches left over of this binding?  Makes me wonder why I made so much.  I usually make a binding for a quilt with just a little left over.  This must have been made for something else? or two quilts? or was I supposed to use it for something else?  I don't know now.  I don't have any other unfinished quilts that this binding would go with.  I am really puzzled by this and what is even more  interesting is that everything for this quilt other than the background was left over fabric from Beyond the Cherry Trees.  So why so much binding?  It's a mystery.

Oh well...... I don't think I am going to remember this one.  I have put a note on the remaining binding so that I know what I have for the next time I do a French General or a red quilt.  

So here's my finished Swoon. arms aren't wide enough!


Here's a close up of the binding.

Nothing like getting another quilt completed on  my APQS Millennium and off my UFO list.  

On to the next one! Woohoo!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cherrywood fabric has arrived!

Thirteen yards !!  Yikes

Ordered over the weekend.

Processed on Monday.

Arrived today (Wednesday)!!  

Now....that's service!!!

.....and to top it off, it's beautiful!

Now the pressure is on to get my Hearts and Hands blocks done.

I did get two more completed.

I am thinking there isn't enough contrast (the little commas) in this one, but will be lost in and amongst the other 116 blocks.

  I like this one but the blocks are getting more intense.

Four more to go.  

I guess there is no stopping now.....not when one is this close.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Decision is made.....

Bronze it is.

I put out the request for opinions here on the blog as to which background worked best and I got a vote of 2 for camel and 6 for bronze.  I, also, asked on a private quilt group on Facebook and got 1  for camel and at last count 29 for Bronze.  

So, the order for 13 yards of Cherrywood Fabric has been placed.  If this order comes nearly as fast as the fat quarters came (four days!), I had better get busy on those last six blocks that need to be appliqued.

Once the fabric is here, I know it is going to be calling my name and I am going to want to cut into it  right away.  

Thanks to everyone who voted and gave an opinion.  Your opinions actually swayed me away from Camel. I know that I like black for backgrounds on other quilts, so it only makes sense to like the dark brown for showcasing my quilt blocks for this one.  

The excitement is building where it comes to finishing this quilt top.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cherrywood fabric auditions..... opinions please!

To refresh your memories, I have been working on Hearts and Hands for some time.  I finally picked it back up with the intention of getting a top finally made.  

There are 117 blocks in total; and I have only six more to make.  

My choices of fabrics for my Hearts and Hands have been in the cream, brown and black families.  With that being said, the name of my quilt is going to be called Cafe au Lait.  So, keeping that in mind, I have chosen three Cherrywood hand dyed fabrics in the brown(ish) tones to use as a background.  

I placed my order for three fat quarters on Tuesday morning of this week and within half an hour I got a confirmation that they had been shipped.  Now that is service!

If you are not familiar with Cherrywood fabrics, I highly recommended giving them a try. They are the most beautiful hand dyes that lend the look of suede but they are 100% cotton.  I am pretty sure there are some Cherrywoods in my blocks and I know for a fact that I have several pieces in my stash that I am having a hard time coming to grips with when it comes to  cutting them out!

Anyways......I am looking for some advice.  Knowing the name that I am giving  to this quilt.... which of these three auditions do you like best?

I am using just a small smattering of my blocks (which I kept consistent on each fabric background), but these blocks are pretty much representative of all of my blocks.

The first one is "Buttercream".

My next choice was "Caramel".

....and the last choice was "Bronze".  

I don't think I have ever felt so much pressure on choosing a fabric for a quilt like I am with this one.  
I think I know which one I like the best, but would really appreciate your opinions and maybe why you chose what you did.  

A decision has to be made fairly quickly.  Cherrywood is already holding two of these fabrics as I need 11 yards and I want to make sure that I get them all in the same dye lot (they only sell in 2 yard increments as their largest pieces).  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Moving right along.....

Still plugging away at Hearts and Hands.

I found that there was one more simple block to do here.  

From here on out though, the rest are getting intense.

This one is four layers thick.

Here's another one.  Not so bad, but those little commas are tricky. 

This one was a doozy with those little fingers. 

Six more to go.

 I've contacted Cherrywood Fabrics to have them send me some fat quarters that I thought might just work out for the background for this quilt.  I was notified within half an hour of ordering them that  they were in the mail. 

Can't wait to see them and audition my blocks.  Eleven  yards are needed to complete this quilt; and now that I am so close, I thought I had better get on the ball and be prepared.

By the next time I post some more of my blocks I will be able to show you my choices for background.  A quick decision will have to be made as two of the colors are already on hold for me.  Since these are hand dyed fabrics and only come in 2 yard increments, they have to set them aside so that there will be enough from one dye lot for me.  

I am getting excited now!  

Friday, April 28, 2017

Plus quilt....

This is another customer quilt.  

My first thought on seeing this quilt was straight line quilting and that did cross the customer's mind, too; but she said she was looking to make this quilt look old.  That is one of the reasons she used red and cream rather than red and white.  

Anyways, designs were running through her head....straight line quilting, a boxy motif and crosshatching were some of her ideas.  

Straight line was definitely modern; and I felt the boxy motif look was modern but too close to the hard lines of the pluses. I like to do the opposite of what the quilt blocks are.  If there are hard edges in the block, then go with curves.   Crosshatching would make the quilt look more antique, but that could get pricey depending on how close the crosshatch was stitched.  

I suggested the Diamonds are Forever pantograph.  It's modern, but gives a bit of a mock up of the crosshatch.

I was liking how the diamonds looked close up.  Once the whole quilt was done though, I think the design really sang for this quilt.

I can't wait to use this panto for something else...maybe for myself!

As always, my customer has great backings for her quilts.

Hope she is pleased with this one.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Customer quilting today......

Ok, I had to drag myself down to the basement to work on the long arm.  I may regret it since it was so nice out today and it's not supposed to be nice out tomorrow, but I got one of my customer quilts on and off the long arm so that is a good thing.

This is a jelly roll quilt.  Sorry, I don't know the name of the jelly roll, but it is really pretty with it's soft yellows and light browns.  

I wanted to use a new-to-me panto called Gatsby.  

I really like how it looked on the quilt.  

It has everything....straight lines (which I made sure went in the opposite direction of the jelly roll strips) and it had curves (concave and convex).  For as open as this panto appears, it gave great coverage; and I am really pleased with how it turned out.  

I used a dark taupe thread (So Fine) since the top was light and the backing was very dark.  Overall, I think it blended in quite well. 

My customer always has such great backings for her quilts, too.  Pieced strings in the center and lovely dots on the outside.  

Well, I hope Nancy loves her quilt.  

Now on to the next customer quilt, but maybe a Hearts and Hand block tonight before I start that one.  heehee.....we will see.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Two more down.

Two more of the Hearts and Hands blocks are done.

These were the last of the five that were of the same design.

There are now five more other blocks prepped.

As for how many more blocks are left.......well; I am out of the teens.

Looking good!  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Getting there.

Three more of the Hearts and Hands blocks are done.  These were three of the previously prepped blocks.

I am not even going to count how many are left since my recent attempts at counting kept giving me different numbers, but I can see a light at the end of this tunnel.  There are just a handful of blocks to do.  Of course, I left the more difficult ones to last.  (insert rolling eyes here!)

All I can say is I am getting there and I am getting excited!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Layer cake project.

Recently when I was going through my sewing closet, cupboard, and drawers looking for a hand project, I came across two layer cakes.   I don't remember buying layer cakes, so I am thinking that the two that I have were either gifted to me or won at a retreat.  

This one was Strawberries and Lemonade.  I don't see myself using this one as I have made a whole quilt from this line of fabric already.

Then there is this one.

The name tag is missing, so I don't know what the line is, but I love the fresh colors in this one. 

If you have an idea of what line this is, I would greatly appreciate knowing since at this point, I may want to find something that would look good as a border.  
(Someone from Facebook gave me the name.  It is an April Cornell fabric line called Maypole) 

Anyways, some time back I had pulled this one out and not knowing what to do, I paired up fabrics and was going to make half square triangles out of the whole thing.  I did one set and it just didn't sing to me. It got put away for who knows how many years. 

Well, upon coming across them again, I did some research on line looking for patterns with layer cakes and have decided on the disappearing hourglass found on Missouri Star Quilt's site.  To add to this layer cake, I bought another one that is all white.  

Since I have already used two of the 10" squares, I will be short two blocks in this quilt, but I will work that out in the end.  

I am going to show you the process I took to come up with my block.

Take one colored one and one white one.

Lay them right sides together and stitch 1/4" all the way around.  

Cut diagonally.  

 Press to the colored side, trim the dog tails,and lay them out in an hourglass fashion.

Stitch these four blocks together.

Measure your block and then divide by 3.  

Cut yourself a 9-patch using that measurement.  My measurement is 4 1/4".  

Turn your center block one turn.

Take your four corner blocks and make sure the little points are pointing to the outside corners.  (It's interesting how each turn of a section makes a new  block that could make a whole different quilt!)  

The center block from each "outside" row is turned so that the HST is making a star point on the center block.

Sew your rows together.

You now have your Disappearing Hourglass block.  It makes a lovely star with a tiny hourglass in the outside corner.  

This is what four look like together.

I made these four blocks in preparation for taking the rest of the layer cake to a day-long sew-in at the local quilt shop with my quilting gal pals.  


Spent the day at the local quilt shop for my sew-in (6 hours).

How time flew!

I thought I would come out with a whole quilt top.  I guess I am delusional.  

I did come away with several blocks sewn together, but all fabrics were touched and taken to one stage of block construction or another.  So I can see this becoming a top very soon. 

All left over fabric pairs are sewn together.

Some were already cut on the diagonal

Some are  made into the hourglass blocks and ready for dissection.  

Here are the completed blocks at this point.  

So I guess there was a lot completed, just not a whole quilt yet.

Border/binding fabrics are  ordered and backing fabric is still being decided on; but I am very anxious to see this one come to fruition.  

Stay tuned for the finished quilt.