buriedinscraps

Decide what to be and go be it.

Archive for the tag “repro fabrics”

One more down!

Last year, my husband and I took a trip to Shipshewanna where I purchased this church window.  I liked the shape of it and I could see an old quilt behind it.

open_window I took it home and put it away for another day.  It was a good idea when we bought it but then I had to actually do something with it.  I’m not one to cut up old quilts…even if I had one.  So, I knew I would have to make something.  There it goes….up on the Later Tater pile!

Then I fell in love with hexies.  So I began to make hexies.  What to do with the hexies I was making?  The church window came to mind so I stitched enough hexies to fit behind the window.  I stitched all the way to Florida and back.  A long as I was stitching with the window in mind, my husband stopped asking me when I was going to do something with it.

hexiesThey were finally pieced.   I knew they needed to be quilted.  This was a perfect opportunity to practice free motion quilting.  It was a nice, big piece, it had a purpose and it would hang above the front door so no one would ever be close enough to see mistakes!  Win-win!

I quilted on this piece for about three hours and when it was done, I thought it looked pretty darn good!

quitingAs soon as the quilting was done, I wanted to staple it to the back of the window.  My sweet husband gave me the staple gun.  I actually thought he would staple it for me.  Ha! Who was I kidding!  He sat in the recliner and offered direction.  I was tempted to use the staple gun on his lips but thought better of it.

windowNow it’s finished…  At least my part is finished.  It’s up to him to figure out how to hang it on the wall.  Let’s see how long it takes him….

 

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Darn you, Bonnie!

Darn Bonnie Hunter!

Why does she have to make such awesome scrap quilts?  And why does she have to be so darn organized?

I love my scrap boxes!

scrapsI love digging through them.  I pull out little reminders of quilts completed, waiting to be completed and those booted out of my life forever! The red, green and black quilt comes to mind…a challenge quilt that my sister and I were going to do.  Fabric looked great in the shop…not so much on the design wall.  No matter how I arranged those squares and triangles, nothing looked right.  I waited for my sister to throw in the towel.  She didn’t.  I blinked first and she happily agreed to trash the project.  So all of those squares and triangles went into the scrap box.  I still shudder when I pull one of them out remembering what almost was.  Then a little smile because I still like the darn fabric!  But, of course. I digress!

As much as I love pawing through the box when I have nothing else to do  (like when does that happen?), I hate digging through it in search of that one print/color for a scrap quilt.  What a time suck!

Enter Bonnie Hunter by way of my sister.  (I have to start ignoring her. 🙂 ) She purchased one of Bonnie’s books and bought into the whole organize your scraps theory.  I can see her now, feverishly cutting strips and squares in various sizes.  Well, maybe not feverishly–but cutting none the less.  What I can’t see is me doing the same thing.  If there’s one thing that anyone who knows me knows it’s that I do nothing-and I mean nothing-feverishly!  But my dear sister (the Enabler) convinced me to try.

OK…my turn.  On her recommendation, I purchased this book.

bookI discover that I love the quilts.  However, I’m pretty sure I’m not cutting up shirts to make scraps.  Here is what I would have to work with.  Obviously, my husband is neither flashy or flamboyant.

shirtsEven if I wanted to go that route (I don’t) I couldn’t.  He’d be a little upset if I did.  He’s still mad at me because I gave away his safari jacket.  Seriously, he still brings it up in the occasional argument.  Now, I have thought about cutting up his Cubs shirts…for that just right Cubbie blue triangle but I like living in this house. 🙂  Would probably be a deal breaker.

So I started slicing and dicing my scraps into usable squares and strips.  I was a human Vegomatic!  I’ll admit it will be very useful when I have enough.  (Do we ever have enough?)  But it will be a long road from this

scrapsto this.

organizedCuz I’d rather stitch ’em than cut ’em!  How about you?

Look here!!

Look what I got for $6 a bag!!

fabricLast week I saw a post at Inspired by Antique Quilts about scrap bags.  I had to check it out.  I couldn’t get to the site fast enough!  The last thing I need is more fabric, right?  Don’t judge me…you know you do the same thing! 🙂  But I’m a sucker for scrap bags.  I love the mystery.  Crazy, huh?  I feel like a kid when I open them up…Whadyaget? Whadyaget?  These are particularly wonderful because I could choose repro fabrics as opposed to an eclectic mix that I probably wouldn’t use.  Opening the bag and seeing all the little snippets of textile joy brought a smile to  my face.  Big pieces, little pieces, strips and squares all waiting for a spot in some wonderful quilt!  (Of course, knowing me, they have a little bit of a wait.  Maybe they have brought their knitting!)  I take them all out and fold and refold them and envision them in projects.  (I’ve already designated a few for my MarioFan’s quilt.)  And what trip to a quilt shop (online or brick and mortar) would be complete without a trip to the clearance area.  Many a backing is found here!  And I didn’t disappoint.  Found a few things I liked there also!  If you love scrap bags as much as I do, click over to Homestead Hearth and have a look.

Oh yeah!  And look what I found on my porch Friday!

canonAnother learning curve!!!

UNCLE!!

That’s it!  I’m crying “Uncle!”.

hairI’m officially throwing in the towel on Grandmother’s Choice. I love my Grandma and I love all of the grandmas that fought so hard so I could vote and have equality.  But this grandmother is choosing to move on to another project.  I think I have sewn each block on this project at least twice.  And, no I’m not making two quilts.  I’m estimating that by the time I’ve cut and recut and sewn and “unsewn” that I’ve constructed each block at least twice….some of them more.  I don’t consider myself a quilting idiot but I just can’t get these blocks to turn out the correct size without stretching the bejesus out of them.  And then they’re all distorted.  I don’t know if it’s my measurements or if it’s her trying to fit a nine inch block into an eight inch square.  Don’t know.  I just know that I can’t be that bad every week.  I think I made the Capitol T block at least three times…literally.  The first one was not quite right so I tried it again.  The Flying Geese were flying out of formation!  Recut them…three times.  Resewed it and it was even smaller than the first.  I’m sooo tired of wasting good fabric.  So, I’m officially outta there!  Movin’ on up and all that good stuff…

If Barbara Brackman is reading this (and I’m pretty sure she isn’t. 🙂 ) I still love ya!  And I plan to sew along with the new Civil War block of the month tomorrow.  But quilting is supposed to be enjoyable and for me, this isn’t! 😦

Oh happy day!!

Oh happy day!  As much as I love the Christmas holidays, I’m always a little bit relieved when they are over.  It’s finally time to relax just a little bit…a time to do things that don’t involve food.  A time to emerge from the sugar coma that sometimes comes to represent the holiday season.  A time to do some things for ourselves.  Don’t misunderstand…I love to do things for others.  It makes me feel good…makes me smile.  But sometimes I need to selfishly claim some time for me…to do whatever I want to do.  And that’s what I did today.

I tried to do that yesterday but it didn’t work out so well.  I started down to the sewing palace numerous times and was side-tracked almost every time!  Woke up late…started to watch Rachael Ray…liked what she was cookin’ for dinner.  That required a trip to the store.  Which usually means a trip to two stores…no store has everything.  Yesterday was no exception.  Two stores later, I was home and set to sew.  My husband came home for lunch.  After lunch, I caught a glimpse of the People’s Court on television.  (Don’t judge me! 🙂 ).  I finally pulled myself away from the TV and went downstairs…two thirds of the day down the drain.

Since I hadn’t sewn a thing but Barbie clothes and a Christmas stocking for weeks, I knew I had to piece.  But what?  Before the holiday season, I decided that I was going to deep six the Grandmother’s Choice project.  I wasn’t crazy about the fabrics I chose and just generally wasn’t feeling the love for it.  So, with the attitude that life’s too short to make quilts I don’t like, I decided the heck with it!  But when I entered the palace, I thought maybe I’d give it another try.  Of course I only had ten blocks completed and they were already on block seventeen and it seemed a little bit overwhelming.  But I cut out the pieces for the schoolhouse block.  There was a time I loved house blocks.  That time has passed as of last night.  I have no idea why I had so much trouble with this block.  I’m just glad I’m not a contractor…wouldn’t be in business long I promise you!  It was pretty lopsided building.  I pressed the heck out of it and it was OK…except on the bottom.  I was not about to remake the block so I hacked off the bottom and planted grass.  Guess I’m a better landscaper!

block_11After the housing crisis, I decided to give it up for the night.  Today, I got a much earlier start.  And what I also got was something even better than that…time alone!  There was no one here except me,myself and Irene!  I was giddy with excitement!  Then I needed to decide if I truly wanted to catch up with Grandma.  Yeah…I think I did.  So I dove into Block 12.  It looked a little complicated…dang Y-seams again.  But it actually went together quite well!  OK…one success…we’ll try another.

block_12On to Block 13.  I thought the directions were a little bit vague.  I cut a rectangle that was at some point supposed to become a pentagon.  The directions neglected to tell me when that would happen.  There were triangles that didn’t look nearly large enough so I cut others.  Those didn’t work either.  (Of course, they didn’t…they were the wrong size!)  I sat and looked at the pieces for several minutes and the solution finally came to me.  It would have been nice if the directions had included that little bit of information.  I’m hoping that those of you who have made that block know what I’m talking about.  I don’t want to be the only dummy!

block_13Isn’t this fabric just perfect for Grandmother’s Choice?

close_upNext up is Block 14.  No issues at all with this one.  A nice, simple Churn Dash type block.  A nice break from Y-seams!

block_14And finally, Block 15.  This went together very easily!  (Looks a little Christmasy, doesn’t it?) In fact, I decided to quit while I was ahead.  There’s always tomorrow.  I hope to be caught up soon!

block_15I’ve had some issues with these blocks finishing up to 8.5 inches.  They are all just a little bit too small.  I have two quarter inch feet for my machine…one with a blade and one without.  I was frustrated that some of the blocks were a little too small so I started to troubleshoot.  I’ve been using the foot with the blade.  I looked closely at it and I saw that the blade is not right next to the edge of the foot…there’s probably 1/16 or less gap between the blade and the edge of the foot.  Now if the edge of the foot is the quarter inch mark and if I’m lining the edge of the fabric against the blade, my seam is a “smidge” too wide.  Multiply those smidges by every seam and I’m guessing that’s why my blocks are just a “smidge” too small.  The last block I made today was made with the foot without the blade and it was fine. Have any of you had an issue with a quarter inch foot with a blade?

And the winner is……

ME!!

Yep!  I won first place in the Large Quilt category at our quilt show this weekend for my Civil War Tribute quilt.  I feel validated as a quilter.  It’s one thing when your family and friends tell you your work is good.  But it’s something else when strangers think so, too.  See…I guess there are traditional people out there after all!  My husband was looking for the big check.  He’s a funny man!

The Best of Show was a pictoral wallhanging…very pretty.  It was interesting how she made the fabric patterns work for her.  A little broidrey perse I think.  (Yeah, I’m pretty sure I spelled that wrong!)

We had about 20 vendors…most of whom I made very happy with my purchases. 🙂  Picked up some fabrics for Grandmother’s Choice and a couple of  patterns and just lots of things!  A girl can’t have too many things, you know!  I took my grandchildren to the show on Sunday and they bought out the resale shop.  They spent $6 and walked out with two shopping bags of “stuff”.  One man’s stuff is another man’s junk.  I’m just glad the junk stuff went home with them and not to my house.  I have enough junk stuff of my own!

It was a very busy weekend.  Setting up, working at the show and taking the show down.  But my husband and I still managed to go to Shipshewanna on Monday….where I bought more repro fabrics and another pattern.  Laying in supplies for the winter. 🙂  We also bought an old window from a church in Mexico.  I’m planning to make a piece of patchwork to frame behind it and hang it above the door in my front entry.  It will be very nice when it’s finished.  My husband is very smart…he put it right next to my sewing machine so that it’s the first thing I see when I sit down to sew.  Clever man!

Enjoy this slideshow of some of my favorite quilts from the show.  Which is your favorite?  Mine is the one with the ribbon on it! 🙂

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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…….

Millstone Quilts

As promised….the quit shop!

In the Fall/Winter issue of Quilt Sampler,  I was introduced to Millstone Quilts in Mechanicsville, Virginia.  Since we had already planned a trip to Virginia in July ( I know….hot, hot hot!) I convinced my chauffeur that we had to stop!  Besides, I was sure it was air-conditioned!

After visiting the Cod Harbor battlefield, we set out to find Millstone Quilts.  It  was nearby.  How difficult could it be to find?  Pretty darn difficult!  But, please, don’t let that hold you back.  When we travel, my husband and I can get lost going around the block!  After driving down some very beautiful backroads, we finally reached our destination.  The shop is in an old nineteenth century grist mill.  You can see some of the workings on the third floor.  Yes, I said third floor.  There are three wonderful floors of fabrics!

I’m so sorry that I didn’t get the name of the woman working that day.  She was so very nice!  She made us feel welcome the minute we walked through the door. There is a small collection of 30s prints in the first room.  Made me think of MiniQuilter.  She loves those prints.  I had to buy her some Sock Monkey fabric.  OK…maybe for me, too.  😉

I nearly made camp in the next room.  It was full of Civil War reproduction fabrics and samples.  I did drop some coin there!  I got a nice bundle of CW fat quarters, some fat quarters for my sister…and for me…and a Kim Diehl book.  I fell in love with the Idaho Girl sample that was displayed.

The two upper floors had a nice variety of Thimbleberries and fabrics with a country feel.  And of course, the mill workings that fascinated my husband!  Guys!

If you’re looking for brights or batiks, this may not be the place for you.  But if you love reproduction fabrics as much as I do, you might want to bring a lunch!

Enjoy the slideshow!

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I feel as though I’ve been MIA….even to my family.  I’ve been hanging out here this past week with Kaye England.  I learned that you can certainly teach an old dog new tricks!

Covered by Glory

Saturday, my husband and I took a road trip to Waterloo, Iowa to see the Covered by Glory quilt exhibit at the Grout Museum.   Five hours one way…worth it to see quilts!!  We first visited the Veteran’s Museum.  It was an interactive museum that traces Iowan soldiers from the Civil War to the present.  You’re given a dog tag at the entrance and you are that soldier throughout the museum.  At many exhibits, you can scan that tag to find out how the conflict affected you.  I learned something that I still find hard to believe.  Apparently only 25% of men fighting in Viet Nam were drafted.  That number seems low and I may have to check that out.  I know that has nothing to do with quilts, but I found it interesting. We spent about ninety minutes there and then on to the quilt exhibit.

In a previous post, I wrote about being too timid to ask about taking photos and many of you encouraged me to at least ask at the museum!  So, I put my camera in my purse and when we entered the museum I asked if photography was allowed. The woman behind the counter said no one had ever asked that before so she asked someone else and I was told photography was OK without a flash.  When we arrived at the quilt exhibit, there was a sign that said No Photography.  Darn!!  Now, my husband and I are people who always follow the rules.  Everyone else is breaking them and there we are watching them get ahead and we putz along following the rules.  So I pointed to the sign and my husband says  “She said you could without a flash”.  We were the only people in the exhibit and I made the decision to take pictures.  I know that flash will harm the fabric, but no flash will do no damage.  It’s just so rare to see Civil War era quilts….   I will apologize in advance for the quality.  Museum light is not the best for flashless photography and it was a pretty small area and I couldn’t always get the best angle.  Not my best work….

The quilt exhibit was quilts from the Civil War and tribute quilts made since then. There were not many actual Civil War quilts in the exhibit…there are very few in existence.  Those that were exhibited were not in pristine condition but I can imagine the stories that they could tell!  There were two Rose of Sharon quilts hung side by side that were interesting.  One was the original made in 1866 and the other was a modern version.  The modern version was made from patterns that were traced from the original.  The maker made a few changes but it was interesting to see them side by side.  There were two embroidered quilts that were made by the Women’s Relief Corps right after the war.  Many of the quilts were modern miniature quilts made with the reproduction fabrics.  A few quilts from the Civil War Diary book and a couple of Dear Janes.  (I am in awe of anyone who finishes a Dear Jane.  That is quite an accomplishment!)   There was an interesting story with one of the quilts about a young girl (three years old) who was very upset that her big brother was going off to war.  He promised her he would come back and bring her a china doll. He didn’t come back but soon a box came in the mail with a china doll inside. Years later, she was talking with a Civil War veteran and he told her the story of a young soldier that he met.  The soldier was dying and told the veteran how he had promised his little sister a china doll and after the soldier passed, the veteran bought a doll and sent it to the young girl.  It certainly brought a tear to my eye.  Even though the exhibit was small, it was definitely worth the trip.  The exhibit is open until September.

Enjoy the slideshow!!

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