Sunday, July 26, 2015

When Inspiration Hits

Sometimes we see something that clicks in our brain and we just HAVE to do something with the spark.  It might be a piece of fabric, an architectural design, a new way of looking at a ruler or template, or it might be........a rug.


This isn't my story, but I must share it with my fellow quilters as it's quite remarkable.  My phone rang one day in June and a lady on the other end says, "I have a quilt that needs to be finished".  She was referred to me from another customer, (thank you Nancy) and showed up at my studio with this quilt.  MLW started telling me she wasn't a quilter, but that she has been working on this project, on and off, for 10 years.  Apparently it was "lost" for a few years.  We wouldn't know anything about that, right? (*wink*) 


After much searching online and pondering design ideas for the navy blue negative space, we finalized a design that was both circular and linear.  She also wanted Stitch in the Ditch around all the patchwork.  Can you see me tremble?  This baby is 116" wide.....


And now click on the picture below.  See all that jute cording around the piecing?  She couched that on every block before she constructed the quilt, and in the process, this covered up the ditch.


The upside of that? It was much easier to do the ruler work around all the blocks.  The sashing running through the blocks was all diamonds, with a fabulous Kaffe stripe and MLW rotated every second block to achieve the same look as the rug that sits at the foot of her bed in her Mexican getaway.


There were a few issues along the border of the patchwork that needed a bit of cleaning up, and after 10 years, we found that that the back was not big enough .  So off to the store she goes, and returned with this fabulous cheddar piece that I inset down the middle and it is gorgeous. 


For someone who claims to "not be a quilter" the work was extraordinary. The ruler work was a delight, as her piecing was spot on, the pressing was suburb, and this makes a machine quilter's job so much more enjoyable. Since the navy rows were hand guided, they are not perfect. I loved stitching out this motif, I could see it as a fabulous border design on something. It was a perfect combo for this quilt.
When MLW picked up her quilt, I told her she should continue to quilt. The workmanship was so wonderful and she made this whole piece because of the inspiration she got for her rug. Can you imagine what else she might make? I hope to see something else from this talented crafter.

Keep stitching,
Sharon

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sacagewea Sampler Update

Hello out there!  Is anyone still listening?  How did I have time to blog and have so much to blog about and now nothing??   I started down the slippery slope of Instagram and my blog had withered away.  Kind of like my lawn these days.  I'm not complaining, but geez, can we get some moisture in the Pacific NW? 

OK onto quilting, that's what this blog is supposed to be about. 

I'm still poking along on my Sacagawea Sampler by Minnick and Simpson.  Here is an appliqued block I started Dec 8th, 2014. How can I remember that?  Because I prepped it in a frantic moment when I realized I didn't have anything to do on a 6 hour plane trip Dec 9th!    I  have finally got everything stitched down and all the Mark B Gone, thankfully, washed out with a quick bath in cold water.

Next up is the Lone Star block.  Thank goodness I have made one of these before and that I know how to set in Y seams.  Good luck on getting this block done with the lack of instructions in the pattern.  Truly not for an inexperienced quilter.  I love this block, I can envision a whole quilt of Lone Stars.............. Not!

Next up is the Basket block.  Yet again, the directions are a major fail for this block.  I'm referring to the borders.  I hand pieced the zigzags and then machine pieced them to the center strip.  Pinning very carefully ensured that this block turned out.  I shall not be making the second block that has the same border.  I've never been one to repeat less than relaxing blocks.


And in no particular order, here are the 9 finished blocks I have so far.  I'm LOVING this sampler, and I've been using mostly Clermont Farms by Minnick and Simpson.  My background is French Vanilla by RJR.  Kind of hard to find, I buy it by the bolt from the warehouse when I purchase my rolls of batting and other longarm supplies.  Yes, I'm still doing LONGARM quilting, email me if you would like me to help get some of your tops into quilts!


Thanks for stopping by my little corner of blogland.  If you Instagram, you can follow me at #grassrootsquilting

Keep on stitching,
Sharon

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Not so Simple WhatNots

Oh, what a slippery slope I am sliding down.  I have to start this with a caveat, I am not a "miniature" quilter.  2 1/2" half square triangles are plenty small for me, but 1" finished?  Oh my!

My piecing and cutting and pressing has been pushed and I have to say, I think because of the Simple What Not's I've become a better quilter.  But honestly, did I have to make this many blocks to get to this point? 


These sashing pieces use 1 1/4" brown squares to make the little triangles on the end of each strip, then the strip is sewn together to make the next round on a 9 patch.  But the 9 patch in 3 1/2 " sq and that's tiny! 


I've got my 9 patches all made for the 16 blocks that make up Cloud Nine.  Some have got the first round of sashing.


Our group that meets once a month has only 3 more to go, and Cloud Nine will be the last one that we do.  I have given them a heads up on the cutting, there is a lot of it, and with all the extra fabric that comes in each kit, they can get a jump on this one. 


So far 5 blocks are finished. There is 1" sashing that goes between the blocks and the outside boarder has some piecing.  For now, I'm just trying to get the blocks together, as I need to put this aside and get cracking on another What Not pattern. 



It's been a great ride, but I'm looking forward to something different after the summer. Have you seen the quilt along that Lori and Karen are going to start in July?  I'm in for the appliqued blocks, anyone else jumping in?

Check out my Instagram posts, they are fast and easy for me so a bit more is going on there
#grassrootsquilting

Thanks for stopping by, hope you get some stitching in this week.
Sharon







Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Doll Swap Reveal

Once again, I've been overwhelmed with the amazing piece  I have received in Humble Quilts Doll Swap.  This year my piece came from Wendy over at The Constant Quilter
 

There are 131 different prints in this piece which is 12" x 12". Each little square finishes at 1" and the center medallion is 4" x 4". Wendy hand quilted the center piece and then machine pieced diagonal lines going into a V on all four sides.


The backing fabric is super cute, it looks to be inspired from a vintage crazy quilt. 


The piece fits exactly onto a little stand I have on my antique sideboard.  It's the perfect place to display this.  The center medallion has been hand quilted and its the perfect center motif.  I don't have an eagle on any quilts that I own.  Now I do!


With a big fresh pink peony beside it, the pinks just pop. 


Whoever thinks civil war prints are dull and drab just haven't seen what can be done with them.  The bright chrome yellows, the double pinks, the purples and greens all play so nicely with each other and really shine. 

And to top it all off, Wendy enclosed a goodie package, I know these will come in handy when making more 4 patches for a future project.


Lucky me, that I get to enjoy this piece for years to come.  Thank you Wendy!

If you haven't participated in a swap, I would encourage you to give it a try.  There are many going on all the time, just find one that suits your preferences and give it your best, you just might get something back that will thrill you!

Thanks for stopping by,
Sharon







Friday, May 22, 2015

Work Shop with Humble Quilts

Our local guild had the pleasure of Lori DeJ from Humble Quilts come spend the day for a workshop and a trunk show, Quilts thru the Seasons.  A lot of cutting for this project, but since I had lots of little blocks in a basket, it wasn't too much to get ready. 


I focused on the 16 patch fabrics, made a few blocks at home and then grabbed the cheddar for the corners and the blue for the zigzag.  Someone I didn't read the requirements, just grabbed what I thought looked good.  Then I ran out of blue.


True to her name, Lori just came over and started sewing the blue scraps that were left over and voilĂ , I had enough fabric for the last pieces that I needed. 


I used up all the extra strips I had from an earlier project and some of these little 1" finished squares are 'humble' blocks, funny, I just realized that I have 2 the same in the above and below block.  Must have been a strip left over and I got 2 blocks out of it! Plus I dug through Laurie, Linda, and Jane's piles of squares to add a bit more interest.  They had lots of prints I didn't have. ;-)


The center was made by making four patches and then using 4 - 4 patches to make the 16 patch.  Working this way gave me such pleasure as I could spin the seams on all the intersections and have really neat and flat blocks. I love when this happens!


Due to Lee at Two Thimbles finding the shops last remaining FQ's of this blue, I was able to added an extra row and I oriented the quilt so the zigzag is running across rather than up and down.  Now it's in the "hand quilting" pile.  However, I've seen a finished one already and I'm thinking a little machine stitching might just be the ticket to get this done.  Btw, I see a red/white/green one in my future, hopefully it will be done in time for Christmas.

Thanks Lori, for an excellent day of sewing and an evening filled with amazing quilts.  I was the quilt holder,  sorry, no pictures to share of the lecture.  If Lori is in your next of the woods, get your guild to book her, we had excellent feedback from her lecture. 

Hope you get some stitching in over this Memorial Day weekend,
Sharon

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lots of Little Pieces

I am 1/2 way through the second 6 month series of Kim Diehl Simple What Not's. This has been a lesson of perseverance for me.  I'm not a "small block" kind of quilter, I've been ready to turn a 16 block piece into a 4 block piece, but I have to say, these pieces are STINKIN' CUTE!

When I need 1/2 sq tri's that finish at 1", trimming down is the only way for me to work.  Lots of little shavings gives me lots of accurate blocks.


Here is the center of our June piece.  It still needs it's borders, and I should have rotated the photo.  This piece will finish at 5 x 7.  These certainly are not for everyone, but working in this manner has truly upped my attention to detail.  A definite skill builder.


The last piece in this series has a lot of cutting, and since I'm doing a store sample and then need a sample for my demo class, I've been cutting for two at the same time.  Goodness, a new blade in the cutter was a must.  It certainly makes the task much easier and it's definitely less stressful on my hand and wrist.  All these pieces and partial blocks will become..........

..........these.  1 done and 15 more to go.  This little sucker finishes at 3 3/4".  No, that isn't a typo,  right now it's 4 1/4".  It looks a little wonky in the center because it is!  I'm really working on making these as best as I can.  The good news is that once the piece is all together, the cuteness of the whole piece seems to melt away those tiny issues.


These projects are time consuming, but are definitely worth taking a crack at.  I do believe I've made some improvements in my piecing and they really are cute!

I hope you've had some time in your sewing room, I know the yard beckons us at this time of year.
Sharon

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Boring Blogger

Well, it's been a while since I've put up a post.  It's not that I haven't had needle and thread in my hand, it's just that, well, my days have just seemed to run away from me. 

In a nutshell, I got my guy moved and with Lori from Humble Quilts coming today, we got the spare room organized on Thursday/Friday.  Only 4 boxes got stacked up for later purging.  All photos, ugh. 

We managed to get one walk along the shore since he has moved in, but still haven't crossed the street to dip toes in the ocean.

Customer quilts got a little sidelined with the time spent moving and I have spent the last two weeks staying on task.  Today is a run to the post office with a car load of boxes.  Get your binding ready, ladies!

Flower beds have bags of soil and compost piled up, but that's for Thursday.

Lots of these circles have found a home.  All 72 of them.  A later reveal for this project.

Dad has come back from his winter home in AZ.  This means horse racing has started in Vancouver, BC and with 3 horses in his stable, the track will be my second home on the weekends.  Any day spent with my 80 year old Dad is a great day.  Here he is yesterday, wearing pink in honor of Mother's day.  This is notasimplegal  (Not A Simple Gal) but we call her Gabby!

 

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
Sharon