Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is it a block or a quilt?

I made this today. For Andrea.
  June is her month for the One Block Over Bee and she requested that we make an improvisational interpretation of a painting by Ton Schulten.  We each were given different pictures of his art to work from. This is the awesome one she sent to me......
 Andrea also sent a selection of solid fabrics organized into packets of lights and darks.  Her idea was for us to make definite distinctions between the sunlight and shadow areas in our block.
 I started by creating the darker outside sections, piecing willy nilly using the fabrics she'd sent, plus some of my stash, as I felt my pallet was lacking enough lights. Here's how I began organizing the center sunset section....I didn't end up using all of the fabrics, however.
Making this quilt..I mean block....was a stretch for me. I've never done anything like it before, but found that I loved doing it! I do think that I may have tried a little too hard in my "first timeness" and my interpretation may be too literal and have more small pieces than Andrea was looking for.

 I spent too much time making the  block, but it is my own fault. I'm too much of a perfectionist sometimes. It would have gone faster, if I hadn't added so much detail. I'm happy enough with the results, though, that it will be hard to tell it goodbye and send it off to New York!
This was so much fun, I think I will try it again sometime! Next time, I'll hang it on the wall!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


It all was going so well. I was feeling so smug. No templates were being used in this block, and I'd started extra early (Tuesday) so I'd be ready to reveal my two Farmer's Wife blocks on Friday. Maybe I would even get them posted before Cindy did. I used all the right tools, I my little ole' noggin' to figure out the math involved to avoid those blasted template things.
I pressed and admired. Then, I measured. Ooops! Uhhh....ya. That's not quite 6.5 inches square, Carla.
Where did I go wrong!? It must have been that Pink Chef lady that helped me figure it all out....she's always getting things mixed up. Yep. That must be it! 
I guess I'll go back to trimming on my Super Secret Project and hope that Pink Lady doesn't show up again tomorrow!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Letter #1: Living In God's Open Air

Like me, you have probably been seeing all the posts across Blogland regarding The Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long. I commented to Cindy about how tempting it was after coveting  the fabrics she was going to use. Her response included using the word "please" three times...once in all CAPS.  What's a girl to do? I said "yes" and now plan to blame it all on her from here on out!!  111 six inch blocks...two each week...hmm....let's get started!

The Farmer's Wife book includes letters from contest winners written in 1922 in response to the question, "Do you want your daughter to marry a farmer?" Each letter is accompanied by two 6 inch blocks. A disc in the back of the book contains the templates for making all 111 blocks. Here are the fabrics I chose for the first two blocks related to the first letter titled "Living in God's Open Air." Cindy is using all solids, so it will be fun to compare as we post each Friday over the next year. I'm using bright pastel prints with an emphasis on turquoise and plan to use white sashing between the little blocks.
The first thing to know about this book of patterns is that it uses templates. Being a bit allergic to templates myself as well as being a bona fide member of the Modern Quilt Guild, I will to attempt to avoid them.
These are the tools I plan to use, if at all possible, in making my blocks. The farmers' wives would have used them, as well, if they had been invented by 1922. I'm certain of it!
The author, Laurie Hird, is not easy on us 21st century quilters....first up: Cut Glass Dish....It contains 24 one inch half-square triangles. HELP!
Like Cindy, I decided that my best option was to create bigger patches and then trim them down to size. Cutting 2.5 inch squares, I drew a line from corner to corner, sewed down each side of the line and then cut them apart with my modern rotary cutter.
 Here's what a pile of 24 one inch half-square triangles looks like! Whew! These farmers' wives don't mess around!!
Three hours later (kidding...maybe), I was ready to make my second block for this week.....Kitchen Woodbox. Not many people can say they have a kitchen wood box anymore and most modern quilters (like me...hee, hee) wouldn't want one nor do they want to make this block using that one funky shaped template.
Thinking....thinking.... thinking. Oh, hey,forget that geometric whatchamacallit.. it's just a log cabin block with flip and sew squares on the corners....I can do that!  Look.....
I measured all the templates and cut the fabric with my rotary cutter and ruler. Using my lovely electric Bernina (not a treadle machine today), I sewed the block together. Then I cut four 2.5 inch squares and drew a line from corner to corner before pinning them to my block.
I sewed on the line and then pressed the square up across each corner before trimming out the extra fabric from underneath.
 Voila! Two modern made Farmer's Wife Sampler Blocks! Mrs. J. E. F. from Valley County, Montana, the author of the first letter, said she could give a hundred reasons for answering yes to the question of a farm life for her daughter, beginning with the chance to live in God's open air. Living in the country, as I do, the June flowers certainly speak of the handiwork of God!
I grew up on a farm in Colorado for the first 10 years of my life. I remember my grandmother sewing clothing and quilts on her treadle sewing machine in front of her picture window. We heated our house with a Warm Morning stove stoked with woodbox. Be sure to visit Live A Colorful Life to see Cindy's blocks and hear about her fabric choices. See you next Friday when we will make Country Path and Silver Lane.( I'll start sooner next week!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Colorado Views

I've been vacationing. Oh, the views that I had....
Breathtaking views from Leadville, Colorado.....
 Hard to believe views at the Great Sand Dunes near Alamosa....
Quirky, quilty roof views near Taos, New Mexico........
Pretty red head views at St. Elmo.....
Silly son-in-law views......
Hard to pass up fabric shop views...........
And many hours in the car with a needle and hexagons views....... I enjoyed my vacation views!
Thanks for the memories, Colorado. I love you.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Something

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is his faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22, 23

Thursday, June 16, 2011

KCMQG Chef Swap

We were given a challenge in the Modern Quilt Guild to use the scraps provided by another member to create something for their kitchen.  Here are some of the pretty fabrics included in the packet that I randomly chose. 
Vicki wanted red and a little bit of aqua.
 Spying a nice set of white bar towels at Target, I decided they would make a great jumping off point for my swap project. I found a tutorial on Sew 4 Home and tweaked it to work with the fabrics I was given.
 Included in the packet were several selvages. Adding some Sherbet Pip squares that I had on hand from another project, I soon created a little pot holder to match the towels.
 Oh, it is so hard to part with this set of new kitchen linens!
 I do love aqua and red together so much! 
 Vicki,have fun using your pretty towels as you cook up something delish this summer!

Mary chose my baggie of scraps. I'd also included red and aqua with some lime green thrown in too. Look what she made for me! There was even a cup to match in my gift bag!
 The cute mug rug is reversible so I can have a new look every time I use it. 
Thanks, Mary!
I treated myself to some Starbucks this morning, as you can see. I must have sounded really excited to be there in the drive thru, because when I picked up my drink at the window, the name on it was "for our happiest customer!"
It also may have had something to do with the fact that i had two beautiful redheaded little girls in the backseat, singing "The wheels on the bus...."
Have a super day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Emotional Sewing

I love to give gifts. Even better, I love to make gifts.  It is especially poignant to make something for someone that you know will be touched by the effort.
Our Modern Quilt Guild here in Kansas City has recently begun an ongoing project to make fetal demise pouches and donate them to local hospitals. These beautiful little pouches will be used when a baby is born very prematurely and does not survive. The parents can hold their tiny child in the pouch as they say goodbye.

The fabric used to make the sweet pouches was donated by Anna Maria Horner and Westminster Fabrics. Alex designed the pattern specifically to hold the remains that are too fragile for clothing. As I sewed these two, I found myself saying a little prayer for the families that will find themselves needing such a gift someday.
It was emotional sewing.
You can learn more about it here and here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Something

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7, 8