Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Mail

After Lori recommended this book on her blog, I decided to look for it online. I found it on Amazon for less than $4! It was a used copy but when it arrived a few days ago, it looked to be in perfect condition and even smelled like a new book. I am so happy to have it because not only does it have great photos of quilts but it has loads of good information (you know how I love a little quilt history!) It's a beautiful book and I would also recommend it. Thanks for the tip Lori!

Enjoy every book!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pickleweeds Quilt Shop

I was lucky enough to visit a "new to me" quilt shop this week called Pickleweeds. I was on my way out Interstate 20 headed towards Carrollton to visit with the West GA Quilt Guild. I decided to go early to avoid rush hour, and spend the extra time shopping.

I'm SO glad I did. It's a cute little shop that is bright and cheery and well organized. The fabrics look like a rainbow...I love that.

There were batiks and brights and neutrals and some really good traditional fabrics as well.

They even had a whole corner featuring Christmas items. And lots of samples...I love samples!

And the owner was as sweet as she could be! It was a fun visit, the only thing I didn't like about the shop was that it is too far from my house! But now that I know how easy it is to get to from the interstate, I'll be sure to go visit again!

Enjoy every stitch!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nancy Mahoney came to visit...

my guild last week. She not only shared her amazing work but she shared some spectacular antique quilts.
I love her perspective on antique quilts and how she likes to "save" them. 

Her idea that if she owns it, she no longer feels the need to make one herself. That lady is smart and talented.

She's also an amazing teacher, so if your guild needs a program, look at her impressive website here. These are just a tiny sample of a wonderful array of quilts that she shared. I apologize that my photos aren't better, but I was really focused on her stories too, so I just snapped these quickly.

Enjoy every stitch!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More pickle dishes...

I've been making these blocks again. I am using my pattern called Under the Mistletoe. This time I'm just going to make one row of blocks (three large circles of four units each) to create a table runner. I wanted a nice colorful table runner for my Thanksgiving table so I choses these fabrics...

I've only made half the blocks so far, but I think I'm going to like it. I plan to use the newsprint fabric for the background, the black and cream fabrics for the squares, and one of the cheddars for the little center pieces. However, if you've been reading for any period of know all of this is subject to change depending on design choices and my mood of the day. I like to think it keeps things interesting. No one is ever going to call me 'predictable', not that that's a bad thing, it's just not me!

In other news, this girl turned 17 yesterday. Please pardon her appearance, she just finished riding a horse! She has been delightful every single day since she was born. I am so lucky to be her mom. Her comment on the occasion..."Now that I'm 17, it's like I'm an uppper classman of teenagers!" I seriously have no idea where she comes up with this stuff, but she was happy about it and we all had a good laugh.

Enjoy every stitch!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Making a Splash!

I've listed a new pattern in my Craftsy shop. It is called Splash because it is made with 'goose in the pond' blocks and I used my dad's plaid shirts for the blocks. The story goes...when my kids were little my parents used to take them to the local park to feed the ducks at the pond. My son David was very enthusiastic about this activity and while throwing bread to the ducks one day, he managed to hurl himself into the pond as well. My dad, being a very vigilant protector of his grandchildren, managed to catch David's foot before he was completely submerged. Nearby visitors remarked "Good Catch!" I never had to worry about my babies when my parents were in charge.

Two years ago, my dad passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. I asked my mom if I could use his shirts to make some memory quilts. This is the quilt I made for my mom. She absolutely loves it, and she says it makes her feel close to him when she's missing him. It makes me smile to think of all the joy he shared with my children.

Enjoy every stitch!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The String Star Saga (epic edition)

This quilt has gotten a lot of time on the ole blog here recently. I have actually enjoyed working on this quilt very much! I originally saw this quilt...

in book of antique quilts and knew immediately that I was going to make my own version of it. I had no idea how big the quilt was, or the star, or the star pieces. So I randomly chose a size that would fit on a page from the phone book. I was going to use the phone book pages for my foundations, so it only made sense that the diamonds be small enough to fit on them.

I got busy piecing LOTS of diamonds. Just sewing strips and strings onto the phone book pages.

I marked this ruler that I happened to have with tape, so that I could trim up the diamonds consistently each time. 

Then I laid them out on the design wall and started swapping them around until I was convinced that it was no longer necessary (and no I'm not going to tell you how many days that took!) And I sewed them into rows...

And then I sewed the rows into star points and the star points into the star. 
Finally it was time for borders...
This was my first idea for a border and I pieced all four of them.

But I didn't like it, even after I added a blue inner border, so it came off.

So I made the half diamonds into full diamonds and sewed them into borders and added them.
And didn't like them so I took them off.

And then I made half star units and got very excited about them. I made them to go all the way around the blue border and was grinning from ear to ear when my husband walked through the room and said, Why are those stars broken? They look really weird. That man needs to learn to keep his mouth closed! (But he has other wonderful qualities so I forgave him!) And then I ripped the half stars apart.

Then I went to the quilt shop and bought two more yards of red fabric. I was asked, Didn't you just buy 5 yards of this? I very politely stated that I did NOT want to talk about it. Luckily, they know me at the quilt shop and understand that these things sometimes happen. 

Are you counting? I have now sewn on and ripped off  FOUR variations of borders. Let me just say that I don't usually have this many versions before I find the right one. Actually, I've NEVER spent this much time with my seam ripper. But the quilt needed borders to make it large enough for a full size bed (we use our quilts around here) but not too large to fit the bed. And NO, I didn't want to make it King Size for my bed because that would require repainting the room. And who has time for that?

So I decided to make the borders simple, and just let stars hug the corners. I think they will look nice on the bed and they will be fun to quilt. So if you need me, I'll be pin basting this quilt top. I plan to machine quilt the star because of all the seams, and hand quilt the red areas with pearl cotton thread in a fun design. And NO I haven't figured out what design that will be yet. I'm still reeling from the border issues!

Does anyone need any red scraps? 

Enjoy every stitch!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August Mini of the Month

This month I chose my pattern When Fall Leaves as my inspiration. It was originally published in QUILT magazine last year.

I have had this bundle of American Jane Potluck for quite a while and decided I really wanted to cut into it.

I reduced the size of the blocks and the number of the blocks to make a table runner. I also eliminated the middle pieced border. You can add it if you like, but my fabrics were kind of busy already, so I left mine off. You will have enough extra pieces from making the blocks, that no additional cutting will be required.
So here are the instructions....

Potluck Table Topper
17" x 31"

Cutting Instructions:

cut two 3 1/2" x 18" outer borders
cut two 1 1/2" x 18" inner borders
cut 24 strips 1 1/2" x 13" for blocks
cut six 4 1/2" squares for background blocks
cut two 5 1/2" squares for corners, cut them in half on the diagonal once
cut three 6" squares for the setting triangles, cut them in half on the diagonal both directions (you will have two extras left over)

Sewing Instructions:

Sew the inner borders to the outer borders lengthwise and set aside.
Sew two strips together lengthwise, repeat until you have 12 strips sets of two.
Cut these strip sets in half, sew together again, alternating the fabrics. This will give you a strip set four across of alternating two fabrics that will be about 6 1/2" long. Repeat with all 12 sets.
Press one direction, then cross cut the strip sets into four 1 1/2" segments. You will have a bit extra for trimming the ends.
Flip every other subcut section, to create a checkerboard.
Sew these units together, matching the seam lines.
Press these seams open.
Trim the blocks to 4 1/2" if needed.


Lay out the blocks and background pieces according to the photo. Sew the diagonal rows together. Once the rows are sewn, sew each row to the next one. Trim the whole quilt top so that one quarter inch seam allowance is left at corners of each block. Add the border units and trim to the correct length.


Sew two fat quarters together and trim to 20" x 35" (or longer if you added the pieced border.) Cut a piece of batting the same size. Layer and baste the quilt sandwich. Quilt as desired. Use a fat quarter for binding. I cut the check on the bias for this quilt.

Enjoy every stitch!

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