Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week 48 - West Virginia

As has happened with other blocks for this quilt, we have a slightly different block than the original West Virginia to work with, to make it easier to piece in the 8 inch size. This time it's a pretty substitute:

Four "y" seams later... I did not use the cutting instructions provided. I had to double check in EQ and indeed that's what is provided (though with a bit more accuracy, it is a 1 15/16 inch strip vs a 1 7/8 for the parallelogram.) But it looked to me like those would have bias edges on the outside of the block. It might be nice if you were working with a stripe, but I wasn't so I cut mine from 2.5 inch strips - and the result is a nice square block that will finish at 8 inches.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Several firsts

Here's the story on my latest knitting project completed.

The yarn came from New Zealand - it was a gift from Dorry's sister Kerry who lives in New Zealand. I quilted a Round Robin quilt for her earlier this year and blogged about it here. I can't remember anyone ever giving me yarn before - other than my mother when she taught me to knit years ago. The yarn is a "limited edition" blend of mohair, nylon, and merino wool. I don't know if there are any vendors in North America carrying their yarns - perhaps some of their main lines, but not this one!

It came with the patterns pictured on the box - I had been thinking I'd like a pair of fingerless mitts. The pattern gave directions for three lengths. I made the medium to be able to tuck into long sleeves or cover my arm when wearing with a long sleeved tee like the one I have on in the photos.

I've never had fingerless gloves before, and I've certainly never made any kind of hand wear. Isn't this practical?

It was a fun knit - quick and easy - and I may be the only one wearing them this winter in this hemisphere.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Feathered and Other Fine Friends

I posted photos of this international round robin quilt while I was working on the rays in the upper left part a while back. The quilting is finally finished and it is bound - though not show ready (needs blocking and there's no label or hanging sleeve).

This is how I resolved the quilting in the rays - there's a little alternating curl in the parts that were too narrow for leaves. The rays generally turned out to be more elaborate than I planned, but I like them!

I was also pleased with the way this next photo turned out (I just like the background with rocks and trees). I think you can see the oak leaves in the gray border on the right if you click for the higher resolution photo.

For the rest of the quilting, I started at the bottom with oak leaves, a pine forest and pine boughs, a deer, and a bear - and started doing some freehand leaves and echoes. Then came some cats, a hummingbird and a cardinal, a rooster, flowers, and a music staff. All of these designs were from books of quilting designs my parents gave me when I was quilting for others. I used things I like and took cues from the "I Spy" inclusions in the blocks to choose the motifs. The details didn't show up too well in photos, so I'm not posting all of them.

I was running out of ideas by the time I got to the top, but the little Kiwi inspired some fern fills and the precious Merino sheep needed to be fenced in.

It seemed like there were a lot of quilted feathers, the quilt was made for a round robin, and then there were birds as a repeating motif in the blocks and quilting, so the working name for the quilt so far is my post title, "Feathered and Other Fine Friends." The "other" refers mainly to my quilting friends - but includes all the creatures on the quilt.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Week 47 - Dixie Tea

I think I've always seen this block called Maple Leaf - although that's silly, it doesn't have enough lobes to be a Maple Leaf. But for the purposes of our 150th anniversary of the war, Dixie Tea is a good way to think about it.

I'm getting used to cutting 3 3/16ths inch squares at this stage of the game.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Week 46 - Apple Tree

As I've stated here before, quilt blocks that use triangles and squares to represent organic objects are not my favorites. However, this week's Apple Tree, chosen to represent the feelings of the Unionists towards Jefferson Davis who was elected 150 years ago this week, was also a good symbol for me to make for my brother Roger. The house we grew up in, and that Roger subsequently raised his daughters in, had three productive apple trees in the backyard. Our mother was famous for baking pies, apple pie in particular, and Roger has followed in her footsteps.

The block - simplified by Barbara Brackman from an original 7-patch - was not going to work to represent an apple tree with my fabrics, so I designed a new Apple Tree just for Roger, based on the 8-inch finished size we're working with.

I used my blue with red fabric, and added one of the red florals from the layer cake set I acquired recently, to give a more random smattering of "red apples" than the original Tree of Temptation had. I also eliminated the tree colors at the top corner of the block, so it more resembles the shape of the apple trees we grew up with. Making the trunk in one piece required a bit of partial piecing. I'm pleased with my version of Sour Apple Tree.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Week 45 - Port and Starboard

Yesterday, I almost checked my 1861 History for November, somehow thinking it was time for a maritime theme. Well, maybe it was, though nothing about this particular block except the name seems to fit.

For some reason, everything was going along swimmingly, until it came to the center of the block, in the very last seam. Then, some kind of total inability to match a simple four-patch seam took hold of me. I pulled that out enough times to make up for not having any problems with the rest of the block. I like the result though.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I made a cover!

Well, not me, but my work did! The book is Slash Your Stash (you can see it at the link) and this quilt, by designer Ann Weber, is on the cover - I did the quilting for her back in 2008.

I posted several different photos of it when it was published, on our main blog. You can see those photos here. I cropped a different view for this post, trying to show all the quilting themes and motifs I used. I really love Ann's designs. It's always fun to see how beautiful they look photographed by the pros.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A fine Ravensong

Norris helped with photos of my latest sweater finished - Ravensong, from Lisa Lloyd's A Fine Fleece. I was going to my crop face out, but decided these were o.k. shots.

The yarn is a Royal Llama/Silk blend.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The last baby quilt I put together was shipped off to Kansas a couple of weeks later to the grandson of one of Norris' cousins. So, when it dawned on me that a different cousin was to get a new grandson very soon, I searched through my fabric to find something suitable for a baby boy for fall in Oregon.

I worked on the design in software so that I could use the flannel Cow Jumping Over the Moon print with some others I had collected. Of course I didn't have everything I would need - but the internet is really a nice place to go shopping in a hurry. I ordered a herringbone type black and white flannel, and the backing which is a cow-hide printed cotton.

They keep telling us black and white is the first thing babies can identify, so Carson, born last week, needs to get this quilt right away.

I hand-guided the quilting with a pantograph by talented Australian designer Hermione Agee, called Swirling Clouds.

I decided the striated hand-dyed flannel could be a Western sunset, pulling the whole theme together. Happy birthday, Carson!