Decide what to be and go be it.

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Here, Rover….

I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.  In the past few weeks, this old dog has learned a few.  As if I didn’t have enough unfinished projects, crying out for attention.my sister (i.e.  troublemaker) convinced me that I had to take this online class over at Craftsy.  I resisted….honest, I did!  I told myself that I would wait until I returned from vacation and if I still wanted to take the class, I would.  I told myself that I didn’t need a class on piecing.  I’ve been piecing quilts for more years than I care to admit.  And, besides, another Civil War quilt?  Really, Candy?  Then the stinkers at Craftsy sent me a half off offer.  Who could resist that?  So, in a motel room in Richmond, Virginia, I gave into the temptation and ordered the class.  (Had your mind going for a minute, didn’t I?)

OK..once unpacked and settled into a routine, I decided to check out my class.  By this time I was suffering from buyer’s remorse.  After all, I’ve been quilting forever.  I know how to cut.  I know how to piece.  What could I possibly learn here?

Apparently, I could learn a lot!  Kaye England is a wonderful teacher and a delight!  Her methods are easy to learn…even for the mathematically challenged.  The most important thing I learned is accuracy.  I’ve always been a good one for “close enough”.  All “close enough” ever got me was hours of “unsewing”.  Never seemed to learn from my mistakes.  This class taught me how to avoid making them in the first place.  Stop them before they happen.  What a novel idea!  I’ll admit that a couple of her methods fly in the face of everything I’ve ever been taught.  They were difficult for me to grasp.  But my sister the trouble maker  (  🙂  to Mary) told me to just do it…it works.  And, darn if it doesn’t!  I’ve nearly finished piecing the top and I’ve never had such consistently “pointy” points.  My 12″ blocks are 12″.  It was a joy to piece a block without fudging.  OK…there are a couple of “close enough” half-square triangles.  But I tried to fix them…twice.  My theory is this…fix them twice; if they don’t “fix”, God must want them that way.

Look at those “pointy” points!

All these little pieces and it’s still square!

Nice accurate little half-square triangles!

Look at these pretty Flying Geese!

Anyway, if you’d like fudgeless piecing, consider “Re-piecing the Past: Civil War Blocks Then and Now”.

Just a tease…some of the blocks.

Disclaimer…no affiliation–just a happy camper!!


Got any of these?

Raise your hand if you have any of these stashed away someplace.  We all have them lurking in our quilting places.  I have a confession…I love fat quarter bundles!  Hello…my name is Candy and I love fat quarter bundles.  I buy them whenever and wherever I can.  I buy them often and with no regrets!  There’s something about a nice stack of coordinating fabrics, neatly folded and tied up with a ribbon that makes it seem like Christmas.  With one big difference…on Christmas morning, I have absolutely no problem tearing into packages.  Ribbons are no barrier to me!

But fat quarter ribbons…that’s another story all together.  I have the hardest time untying those ribbons to get at the fabric they hold together.  As if the fabrics will somehow lose their beauty or appeal if I separate them.  You can’t split up the children!  I’ll bet you think I’m a little goofy.  You wouldn’t be the first to think that!  To make this story even more strange, when I finally bring myself to untie the bundle and cut into the fabrics, I like to try to put them back with the same ribbon.  (OK–so lock me up!  🙂  )  Seems like once I sort them and put them with friends of the same color or style they aren’t new anymore!  And we all love new fabric!

BUT!!  We all buy fabric to use…to cut …to stitch…  At least most of the time we do.  🙂  Many, many years ago, there was a woman in our quilt guild who loved fabric.  (No, not me!  Although I love fabric, this isn’t about me.)  She went on every bus trip and visited every quilt shop she could and she bought beautiful fabrics—yards and yards of them.  However, they were so beautiful that she would never cut them.  I’d bet the farm she didn’t even own a pair of scissors. ..didn’t need them.  We never saw so much as a potholder made from that glorious stash.  Of course, the new quilter that I was, I was cutting everything that wasn’t fast enough to escape the blades!  Now, I can kind of relate to her…sort of.

I love my fabrics and it takes a while before I cut them.  But I do cut them.  And I do stitch them.  And I think I do pretty darn good job of it!  I realized that those beauties are still with me in my quilts…just transformed into triangles and squares instead of fat quarters.  It’s what they’re meant to be.

Anybody else like this?  Please say yes…….

The quilt whisperer…

Maybe some of you remember this quilt….

This is my Civil War tribute quilt that I was too cowardly to quilt myself.  My fmq skills were nowhere near where they needed to be to wrestle with this guy.  Besides, I just wasn’t confident enough to tackle it no matter what size it was!  I cried “Uncle” and decided to have it quilted by a local long arm quilter.

I was pretty nervous about leaving my “baby”.  I felt like I did when I left my son at college for the first time.  (Although I don’t think I had to worry about my quilt walking on the wild side!)  I was apprehensive to say the least.

One of the biggest reasons I did not quilt this myself is that I’m design challenged when it comes to quilting.  I never know how to begin…I never know where to put which motifs…or if I should put a motif at all!  That’s why I end up stippling or meandering or some such thing.  I feel it’s better to wander than to have to live with botched florals for all eternity!  I looked at that quilt and I had  no idea what to do with it.  So I put myself on the waiting list for the long arm quilter.

The day finally came when I was to take my baby to camp and leave it.  I “dethreaded” it, pressed it, pressed the backing, hung it on a hanger and left for the quilter.  When I arrived at her house she asked me about how I would like it quilted.  I told her I had no idea.  She spread the quilt out and looked at it and ran her hands over it and started to tell me how she would quilt it.  I was stunned when she finished…it was exactly what I wanted…except I didn’t know it until she told me!  It was like the quilt told her how it should be finished.  I’ve seen shows on television about dog whispers and horse whisperers.  I think she must be a quilt whisperer! ( Wouldn’t that be an awesome show!)

Here’s the sort of finished product.  Sort of finished because it still needs the binding.  And I think I’ve documented pretty well just how much I hate love to attach binding.  But it will be finished soon…our guild’s show is early October.

Each block is quilted individually with designs where they were appropriate….some with feathers, some not.  There’s a viney, leafy design in the sashing and the border is quilted with straight lines to give the illusion of a pieced border.  She used three thread colors….something I wouldn’t do…I have enough trouble using one!  She thought that the thread shouldn’t overpower the blocks.  I liked the subtlety of that.

Enjoy my  little slideshow of some of the blocks.  Ah…to quilt like that………………………

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