Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Block 33: Autumn Star

This block was a piece of work. A lot of little triangles and seams to match.
I'm a little leery of the dark blue points; I think they contrast too much. I was misled by the fact that the pattern used brown for those pieces. I don't remember specifically thinking that I could use dark dark blue to replace brown but that was probably my logic. I think it's just a little too dark for this quilt. But I'm not redoing it!

The seams needed a lot of different treatments.
A few junctions are joined, some seams are pressed open and some are pressed to one side. Whatever you think is the best tool for the job, right?

Here are all the blocks done so far:
 ___________________
And here is Kim's block:
I love the bright blue in the middle. And you can see that her darkest fabric is in the same place and her hourglass blocks in the corners are very low contrast too.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Block 32: Fresh Pears

My, my, my, this block did not make it easy!

First, when I opened my little fabric kit for the block, I noticed I had forgotten to cut one of the pieces--I cut one but needed two of a certain size. Ok, I thought I'll just sew what I can and cut it out later.

Second, I had a note that I could use a second brown fabric for the stems. My kit had two pieces of the same fabric because that's all I had when I was cutting it out. I knew I had some more now and wanted the variety. Plus one of the greens for the leaves was mostly white, not green so I wanted to switch that out too. A couple more pieces to cut out.

Third, I noticed one of the larger pieces had a cut in from the edge that extended too far to be hidden in the seam. (It was one of those cuts you get from overcutting because you can't stop the rotary cutter exactly at the end of the ruler.) So that's another piece I had to cut out later.

Fourth, in an attempt to keep the pattern on the fabric running the same direction, I sewed the little corner squares and bigger corners squares on the wrong corners and ended up with a pear bottom that was wider and shorter instead of thinner and taller. That's five more pieces I had to cut out....

I think that was the point at which I stopped sewing for the day. It was a lot piling up!
Another day I was up for hauling out the box of fabrics for this quilt and doing some cutting. Once I had all the pieces replaced, I sat down with the pattern again and just started at the beginning. If I had a section already sewn together, great. If it wasn't, then I got it done. I managed not to repeat any mistakes and got my block together! :)
I am reminded now that I am looking at it again that I still have to embroider the seeds on the cut pear, but that will be easy to do anytime I'm in the mood.

Here are all the blocks together:
________________________________
Here is Kim's block, a 12-inch for her this week:
I had mine done when we saw each other a couple weeks ago, but she did not. So after we were home and she was finished, we Skyped so she could show me her lovely block. (Love those fabrics.)

And then she proceeded to tell me a tale of making this block that involved discovering she had not cut enough pieces, sewing the corners on to the wrong part of the leaves (she ended up making five leaves before she had two that would work) and losing pieces that she only found after she had cut replacements....It's spooky how similar our experiences were!

But in the end, two good blocks.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Block 31: Tumbleweed

Lest you think I can't keep up, I did have this block done on time! Kim and I were late to Skype about it and then we were going to see each other the next weekend so we just waited for our "reveals" until we could do it in person.
 The block assembly was uneventful. I like this pinwheel variation.
Here are all the blocks done so far:

_______________________
And here is Kim's block:
We put blue in the same place, but that's about it on this block!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Road Trip: Row by Row

Last weekend I went home to celebrate my mom's 75th birthday, which meant a road trip. My sister and her daughter came along and they were amenable to stopping at quilt shops along the way.

Have you heard about Row by Row? It's a new type of quilt-along that started a few years ago and has swept across the country and into the world! Participating quilt shops offer a free pattern and a kit you can purchase on that year's theme. This year's is "Home Sweet Home." All designs must be 36.5" wide (or tall) so you can fit them together in the same quilt.

The patterns are available for a limited time and if you are the first one to bring a quilt with at least eight rows to a quilt shop, you win a prize! I have been following this program for a couple years, but this was the first year I really collected any patterns.

I think it's ideal for a road trip to collect as souvenirs.

I would have been happy to stop at three stores but apparently once you get my sister going on a list, she wants to do them all! We didn't quite get to all 21 on the list (ha ha) but we did visit five shops. Besides picking up some fun patterns, I discovered some great quilt shops!

Here are the rows that I picked up patterns for: (all pictures from the Row by Row Michigan Facebook page)

The Hen House of Charlotte
The Pincushion, Imlay City
Second design from the Pincushion
Stitchin at the Barn, Imlay City
RMC Quilts, Port Huron
Sew Elegant Quilt Shop, Fort Gratiot
And then, once at my mom's, I discovered the quilt shop in my hometown. It was my first visit and I enjoyed the lovely shop. They also had a great pattern:
The Stitch Witch, Cobourg, Ontario
I don't know when or how I'll put these together but it was fun to collect them. You can get some good ideas looking at the Row by Row Facebook pages where they show the winning quilts and any other quilts people bring in to the shops to share.

And of course, I picked up some lovely fabric at almost all of the shops too.
It's hard to resists rows and rows of lovely fabric!!
It's not something I'll do on every trip home (although I did miss all the stops in Ontario, so maybe...) but I sure enjoyed doing it this time.

Addendum:
I didn't show the patterns when I talked about my trip to the UP, but here are the patterns I picked up then:
Village Fabrics & Crafts, Paradise
Cardinal Creations
Lake City
Delphine's Quilt Shop, Gaylord
Ausable Fabrics & More, Grayling
And I have a few more from local shops when I drove to Shipshewana:
Calico Point, Goshen, IN
Six local shops collaborated on nursery rhyme themes and it would be fun to collect them all. I think there's another local road trip in order! I have until September 6 so I'd better look at my calendar...
Cotton Corner, Shipshewana, IN
Yoder Department Store, Shipshewana, IN
Sew Creative Threads, Elkhart, IN
Pumpkinvine Quilting, Middlebury, IN
The Quilt Shop at Essenhuis, Middlebury, IN
Fortunately these shops were a little closer together so it didn't take long to hit them all!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

County Fair Quilt Show

I've got some quilts I can show you from the fair. Enjoy the eye candy... (Clicking on any picture will give you a larger view.)

First is the completed raffle quilt from last year:
You may recall my block was put on a pillow so it is not on the quilt. The theme was "Up North."

The rest of the quilts are presented as if you were walking around the building.
The Underground Railroad quilt pattern.
I like the friendship stars formed in the sashing.
A real mixup of scraps and memorabilia. Not really
enough embellishment to be a crazy quilt, but certainly
in that tradition.
I love this blanket. I'm not sure how it was made!
Best guess is embroidered stitches on a
woven base.
This piano is not functional but it sure is neat!
I heard it was used for a local group for making
videos in the woods. Fun idea.
This is based on the twelve days of Christmas. Can you
identify all twelve blocks?
Whatever you think about cats (or people who love them),
this quilt is amazing. The little mice in the border are
adorable. Each one finished with a tiny appliqued eye
with a french knot for the reflection.
A fellow haunted house worker also volunteers
and she was so excited to call me over and show
me this entry in "yard art." It's great.
This is a block-a-month quilt. If you go through
the months, you can see the theme for most
of them. (Some are a bit too abstract for me
to figure out.)
When I was at the fair table on Monday night, a lady came up to me and asked what would make a quilt win a white ribbon. I wasn't sure what she was getting at (kind of assumed she was disappointed one of her entries didn't do better) but I went through various things judges look for and the fact that results always depend on what else is entered in the same category.

It turns out she loved this quilt:
and was feeling very bad for the creator who only got a white ribbon. I thought that was very sympathetic of her, but I think she was taking the results more seriously than the people who enter things in the fair. (Maybe.)
And of course, no fair would be complete without an American flag made from shotgun shells!

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