Monday, March 26, 2012

Design Wall Monday!.......

I'm hooking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times to show some progress on my design wall this weekend.  We spent a good deal of time with family on Saturday, but early Sunday morning, while everyone else was asleep, I got a few more blocks done on my current projects:

These are some of my "Little Monkey" blocks....5-inch Monkey Wrench done in truly scrappy form; I'm planning on making 36 of them and then sashing them with cornerstones.  They are just so much fun to make:  two 10-inch, 2 1/2-inch strips and two 8-inch, 1-1/2 inch strips, plus a 1-1/2 inch square is all it takes.  Of course, I'm TRYING to keep it scrappy, but as you can probably tell, I have a terrible time NOT matching fabrics up.....but aren't they cute? 

These are some of the "scrappy" Delectable Mountains blocks I'm making from all the greens in my stash.  Haven't decided on the final layout, but these are  pretty fast to work up, as well, using 8 1/2-inch squares to start.

Both of these patterns are available for free on Bonnie Hunter's great Quiltville blog.  Bonnie has enough free patterns using scraps that I may never have to buy another magazine or book.....but of course, you just KNOW that's not going to happen.

I finished bindings for 4 cancer quilts this morning, and have them sewn on, ready for finishing.  Now it's time to tackle my Antique Crazy Quilt again....four more squares to block and "un-baste", then sash, and I'll be ready for borders.  It's a work-day Monday.

Have a great day,


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Whoops....time for a Winner!!

It's a rainy Sunday morning, but we need the moisture here.  It occurred to me that I forgot to post the winner of the St. Patrick's day blog-hop giveaway.  The paper-piecing foundations for the Carolina Lily pattern goes to Judy, who said:

"I'm a new follower and I'm loving paper piecing. I've done the first 2 blocks in the NY Beauty QAL and having a riot. I'm looking forward to doing more with paper piecing as I continue to learn. Thanks for the chance."

Check out her blog Sew Rip Repeat to see her two NY Beauty blocks. 

Thanks to everyone who entered.  It was a lot of fun.  Have a great son is here and we've had a good time playing and cooking.  I'll get back to "serious quilting stuff"'s just nice to enjoy family.


Friday, March 23, 2012


I have had a somewhat disjointed week....but I got some things done.

Worked on a client's quilt and got it to a place where I now know what I'm going to do to finish it:

I'm going to add one more row, so it will be a 4 x 4 grid with sashings; I'm also going to have horizontal sashings between the blocks.  I have 6-inch piano sashes for the borders.  It is shaping up really nicely.  I found a gorgeous, subdued burgundy/green/greyish backing that matches up really well with the overall "essence" of this quilt.  It is starting to grow on me; I can "feel" the maker guiding me to make this a contemporary quilt using her beautiful stitching.  And, my client loves my concept, so this is going to be a pretty big (92 x 92) queen-size quilt.

After all my whining and moaning, I finished this last week:

It's my "Sew Red for Women" March was a bit of a pain to put together, but an exercise in patience.  We all need that, don't we? 

Yesterday and today I worked on some more "Little Monkey" blocks (thank you Bonnie Hunter), and I started a Delectable Mountains quilt that is tentatively titled "Massanutten"........all greens...I've been dreaming about an all-green quilt for quite a while to follow tomorrow.

Guy has finished 7 (yes, count them) 7 quilts this week....including my Provence Puzzle quilt.  I had some good inputs from Dianne Moore Quill when she visited here this week, and that solved my "quilter's block" (if writers get writer's block, aren't we allowed to have "quilter's block")?

Binding tomorrow...and Sunday photos to come.  Don't forget tonight is the last time you can leave a comment for my St. Patrick's Day Blog-Hop Party here to leave a comment.

Is the weather strange where you live? I'm in shorts, a T-shirt, and flip-flops.  I feel like May is just around the corner, but we're not even through March yet.  Next week we go to the beach with our granddaughter for a little "spring break".....I was hesitant when I made my reservations, but now I'm stockpiling the sunscreen.

Have a great weekend, kids.  My son and his girl are coming out tomorrow; I think it's BBQ, doors open, and planning the garden (I feel like I'm behind....but the last freeze date in Shenandoah County is still 18 May.....who woulda thunk it)....

Chatty Kathy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What an Inspiring Day!

Guy and I had the incredible pleasure of hosting Deanne Moore Quill at our home last night.  She is a quilt shop owner from New Braunfels, Texas, and an exciting new designer who is working with fabric manufacturers.  She was in Northern Virginia to give some trunk shows to the NOVA Modern Quilt Guild in Fairfax, as well as show her works in Stafford, Virginia, with an invited group there.

Through the wonder of the Internet, I invited Deanne to come stay with us, so that she could visit the Virginia Quilt Museum today.  We were privy to a private trunk show at our home.  These photos are shown, thanks to Sabrina Davis, who was allowed to photograph her quilts at the NOVA Modern Quilt Guild meeting on Monday evening.  Thanks so much, Sabrina:

This pattern is "Shenandoah" uses gradations of an ombre fabric done in reductions on rectangles.

This pattern is the "Road Not Taken".  Deanne has done a very interesting design here based on half-square triangles used several different ways to produce the deviation on the traditional "square in a square" shown here. 

This is Deanne's"Boxtrot" pattern....done with such contemporary Christmas fabrics....

Another version of "Boxtrot" done in a different colorway.....

Today, Deanne and I visited the Virginia Quilt Museum where she delivered her little quilt for the "Little Quilts, Big Talent" auction which is a major fundraiser for the museum this year.  Here's a picture of her entry, that she titled:  "Virginia Dawn"

It was so much fun to walk into the Museum and deliver a contributor quilt "one on one" so to speak.  We had great fun, also, going to Patchwork Plus in Dayton, VA, to discover that, hey, TWO of Deanne's quilt designs were on display made up into tops. 

I had an "eye-opening" day today.  Making friends through the Internet and through my blog and joining Facebook groups like the NOVA Modern Quilt Guild brought me to Deanne's attention.  Sharing my love of quilts, and how I was working on one of the quilts for the Little Quilts auction attracted Deanne's love of contributing to worthwhile things.

I've made a new friend this week.  I have discovered a new talent in the world of quilting.  I have gotten inspiration, and as an "oldie" (yes, girls, I'm a Baby Boomer), some great ideas  on how to use some of the wonderful new fabrics coming onto the market in new and different, but extraordinarily creative ways.

Deanne shares her patterns with others through her website at Creative Sewlutions.  She is also a proud owner of her quilt shop, The Quilt Haus, in New Braunfels, Texas.

It was so much fun to find out about new manufacturers, new lines coming out that are attracting all the new quilters who are part of this wonderful world of women that share our love of fabric, design, and making things for others........quilting transcends generations. 

We all share our love of fabric, and, moreover, our love of sharing our talents for comfort with others, and that is something that was reinforced with our 20-something hours with Deanne today.  What you don't see in Deanne's trunk show that I've shown is her lovely quilts for the Altzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, for the Project Linus group, or that fact that she just "stopped by" to drop off her quilt to help raise money for the Virginia Quilt Museum.

I ended my day so inspired.  Here's my challenge:  Won't you share your quilting skills with others?  Make a quilt for charity in your community, make a quilt for cancer victims or chemotherapy/radiology patients at your local hospital, make a quilt for Project Linus, make a tiny quilt for the the Altzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, or make a quilt for the Virginia Quilt Museum "Little Quilts, Big Talents" fundraiser. 

Donate a quilt top to the Quilts of Valor project.  If any of these ideas inspire you, Google their websites, and find out how your contribution can make a difference.

You don't even need to raise your voice, you just need to take up a needle and thread, and in a few hours, that little bit that you can do can make a huge's just another way to contribute...thanks for listening.  I had a wonderfully inspiring day.  We can learn so much by listening to others.....quilters have huge hearts.......

We are blessed here in our beautiful Valley...

Have a wonderful day tomorrow.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stumbling Around EQ7 on Sunday

Woo-Hoo!  The postman brought my copy of Electric Quilt 7 yesterday.  I got it installed and watched all the videos last night; this morning I went through the first 4 lessons.

I know I need to work through some more lessons, but I wanted to "play" on my own, so I started my own "first" project.

Remember these fabrics:

They are from the Moda "Summerbreeze II" Collection.....and I've been looking for the right pattern for them for a few months now.  They are going to be a king-size quilt for US!  I thought I wanted something like a "Garden Maze" but I haven't really found anything that I liked going through my patterns, magazines, and books.

 So today, I decided to try to create my own pattern in EQ:

I found some fabrics that matched relatively closely in the fabric libraries, and just messed around with a two-block, linking design.  I know I can scan my own fabrics and actually use them, but I wasn't quite ready for that.  I don't know if this will be the final pattern I use, but I was just really pleased that I got this far in one morning.

I've been downstairs with the "Monster in the Basement" (the Gammill, not Guy) having a most frustrating time doing some free-motion work on a client's quilt....the thread is NOT cooperating today; keeps jumping out of the tension guides and even Guy said, "let's give up, go watch some basketball, and try this again tomorrow."  I'm going to have to rip out a good chunk of what I sewed.....I'm not a happy camper with that machine today.

But....I EQ'd, and I did it all by myself.......giggle......this is going to be fun....!

Don't forget to scroll down or jump over to my Blog Hop Giveaway from yesterday and leave a comment.  The giveaway is open through March 23rd.  And click the Blog-Hop button on the right to find out what other bloggers are giving away. 

Have a great week,


Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Blog-Hop Party with Giveaway!

I'm writing this post a little in advance of the "wearin' of the Green," so I can link up with Quilter's Fun Blog.  They're hosting a St. Patrick's Day Blog-Hop Party with Giveaways.  The giveaway will be open from today through March 23rd.

Here's my giveaway:

It's a set of Carolina Lily paper-pieced foundation tissues; the pattern was designed by Cindi Edgerton, who does wonderful foundation designs.  There are enough papers to make up to a king-size quilt, and lots of alternate designs.

To be entered for this giveaway, leave me a comment about what you like about Foundation piecing, and become a follower on my blog.  If you're already a follower, just tell me.  If you don't have a blog, make sure you leave me your email address so I can contact you.  Given that this give-away doesn't weigh too much, I will ship internationally.

Make sure you link back to Quilter's Fun Blog tomorrow after midnight to see what everybody else is giving away this week.  Have a great St. Patrick's Day....we're going to have lamb stew....and maybe an Irish coffee or two.....yum....

Good luck,

Chatty Kathy. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cleaning a Fire-Damaged Quilt Top....Looking for More Suggestions.....

I'm working on a client quilt top (probably from the 40s or 50s?) that was salvaged from a home fire over a year ago.  It had a lot of soot still in it, and has been packed away for a while:

As you can imagine, the top was very dirty, due to the damage it suffered.

I got much of the soot out by vacuuming both sides very carefully; then I washed it  gently by hand in my big tub with lots of cool running water and "QuiltWash" and removed a great deal of dirt.  Because I was only dealing with a top, and not three layers, it was much easier to handle and I wasn't terribly worried about weight, tension, and tearing issues.  Since it was a warm, dry day today, I dried it outside on several sheets with towels under it and clean sheets on top.  It looks much better than it did.  You can see how the colors are starting to emerge better. still has many stains, some mildew, etc.  It's a pretty, rather scrappy "Sailboat"  top, not a classic at all, but very nicely hand pieced, with minimum stitch damage and almost no rot.

I'm thinking about treating some of the outer edges with an oxygen bleach to see how effective it is in removing some of the staining.  The top is basically intact with only a few loose seams and damage only around the edges; I have some good original feedsack pieces I can replace a few outer units with, since it's basically a scrappy quilt.

I am thinking that if I baste the edges after I repair the outer edge tears so they don't ravel, I might be able to do a gentle wash cycle on it in my front loading machine....which is very gentle.  If I can't do anything with it, there won't be a lot of loss....the owner had pretty much given up on it anyway, but I would love to finish it for her so she can preserve some of her family heritage.

I'm adhering to some of the suggestions I've read about in Camille Cognac's "Quilt Restoration:   A Practical Guide" and Patricia Morris's "Worth Doing Twice".....but, I always apppreciate "real time inputs."    Any ideas?  Send me your thoughts.  The picture below shows the worst of what I'm looking at.  It's mainly the plain muslin in some of the blocks that is "showing" the most effects of soot, water, mildew, etc.

On another thought:    I bit the bullet today and bought EQ7. Do you EQ? What's your favorite thing about it? Do you find it easy to use? Want to share any problems with it?  Give me some feedback, I would love to hear how effective it has been for you. It's coming on Monday and I think I am finally at that path in my quilting journey where I will use it. I bought QuiltPro almost ten years ago, but just didn't pursue it the way I thought I would. I am computer savvy, not afraid to play, etc. Send me some ideas.

Thanks, blogging friends.  Just wandering about the great world of quilters and sharing and looking for your thoughts.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On my design wall.......

I'm working on a client project this week.  I was given 23 crazy quilt squares and asked if I could assemble them into a quilt.  They are BIG....17 1/2 to 18-1/2 inches.  They are composed of wools, silks, some velvets, some decorator fabrics, and cotton.

Included in the box were yards of this "piano key" border; rectangles backed with muslin:

The squares are all sewn onto a muslin foundation: they are sewn down with a honeycomb embroidery stitch done in yellow Perle Cotton.  All the original basting is still intact, as well:

I'm sure this was intended to be a "utility" quilt, since the stitching is not at all flamboyant, there is no added embroidery other than the "securing" lines, and the fabrics, while attractive, are pretty plain.  Since I'm not constrained by "restoring" this quilt, but rather, assembling it, I decided to go with a narrow, drab sashing that would link the colors together.  I found a Judy Rothermel reproduction fabric in a rich brown, grey and green.  I'm cutting matching muslin sashings to go under the cotton to make sure I keep the "weight" of the top equal:

This is the first row that I've gotten assembled.  Like most projects, this is taking me longer than I thought; I have to remove all the basting stitches, most of which have been "oversewn" with the embroidery.  It's slow going, but actually a not unpleasant, rather mindless task......  My next decision will be how large to make the top; if I do a 4 x 5 layout, with sashing, and add the piano key border, I'm afraid the top is going to be incredibly big and heavy; however, given the size of the squares, if I stick with 4 x 4 or even 3 x 4 and try to make two quilts, I think they'll be too small and out of proportion to the size of the basic blocks. 

Well, I don't have to decide that today, do I?  Just thought I'd share an interesting exercise.  It's intriguing to look at these blocks and think about what the maker might have wanted......they were bought at auction, and, of course, there's no clue as to who might have made them.

It's a gorgeous day here in Virginia; Guy took the tractor out and finished mowing down the weeds in the garden; Tim will be here later this week to till.  Time to think about veggies......have a great day...


Monday, March 12, 2012

What We've Been Doing........

It's been a weird week....lot's of litle things going on "outside the norm" but I thought I'd share some of my frustrations and accomplishments this week.

I've been working on the "Sew Red for Women" blocks.....this month's pattern was not as easily accomplished as last month.  The "interim" block directions didn't give "cut to" sizes, so I was constantly having to take things apart, remeasure, resew, unsew, and generally, I was pretty frustrated.  Here's the picture of what the block is supposed to look like when done:

I pulled some fabrics, mostly reds, not pinks, and started cutting per the directions.  Here's what my base looked like:

This doesn't look so bad, but I had to keep taking apart the small rectangles and cutting them to size before I added the white would have been much easier if, before I added the red rectangles, the directions included a note that said:  cut to........

I sewed all the red/white half-square triangles together, but when I put them up against the white border, they were WAY too long.....going back to the directions, I then discovered that after I made my HSTs, I was supposed to cut them to 2 1/2-inch size.  It is sort of frustrating to finally find some cut-to-size directions after I'd spent so much time figuring it out on my own......I took apart the HST rows and they are waiting for my next "enthustiastic outburst" to complete this block.....a little frustrating....

But we did have some "winners" this week.  Guy did some great quilting on some lovely tops we got this week:

Here's the first one....Jeanne's Americana Sampler from McCall's last year:

Here's a detail of some of the quilting:

It's always such a pleasure to work on Jeanne's quilts; seams pressed, corners meet, colors are pleasing, and just all around great workmanship.

We also worked on Ruby's quilt....a very interesting applique....probably a modified "HoneyBee pattern."

He did a wonderful job on the individual motifs......

This was a very simple quilt, but we had a challenge maintaining the simplicity and highlighting the lovely little appliques...

Oh, and I finally got my "Shades of Grey" color study finished....kept pondering borders, thinking, thinking, then decided I was thinking WAY too much for a "get it done" exercise.....but while I was thinking, I found ONE darker gray stuck in with my Cherrywood's down on the long-arm awaiting Guy's magic touch right now, but here's a sample of what it will look like:

OK, enough for now; more to share later, but I have to finish delivering some quilts to ladies and getting permission to show their lovely piecing work.  And, yes, I WILL finish my March Sew Red for Women block....just set it aside out of a bit of frustration.....does that ever happen to you?

Have a great week....the weather is beautiful here in Virginia......and, according to the National Weather Service, it's going to be pretty warm this spring.....


Monday, March 5, 2012

Symphony of Stitches Symposium...A little history right down the road!

A fascinating symposium on quilting, split-oak woven baskets, Shenandoah Valley crockery and pottery, and community and church picnics was held at St. Paul's Heritage Center in Edinburg, VA on Saturday.  The quilting portion was headlined by Alexandra Deutch, Chief Curator of the Maryland Historical Society, who gave an informative lecture and slide show on Baltimore Album quilts.  After the first two sessions, we got to see some "show and tell" quilts that attendees brought with them.  The theme was signature, album, friendship, and family quilts.  I thought you might be interested in seeing some of the photos I took.

There were numerous crazy quilts that were heavily embroidered and signed.

It was fascinating to see some of the friendship quilts, too:

Two of the most beautiful quilts shared were applique.  This one is a Carolina Lily, if I'm not mistaken; interesting to speculate whether different greens and red were used, or if this is a result of fading.....

The quilt below just took my breath away; the applique and quilting were exquisite.  I should know this pattern, but can't get my head around the name....

It was such a pleasure to attend this interesting and informative event just 5 miles from my front door.  All the proceeds went to benefit the Edinburg Heritage Foundation and the Edinburg Mill Museum.  Several of the crazy quilts shown will be on display there.

It was an enjoyable day learning about the families, traditions, artisans, and heritage in our "adopted" Shenandoah County.  It just proves once again that there are a wealth of stories waiting to be discovered "right down the road" no matter where you live.

Have a great's snowy but roads are clear so I'm off to my Book Club....


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yard Sale Saturday!.....

I'm linking up with Bonnie Hunter over at Quiltville's Quips & Snips for Yard Sale Saturday.  I've got a few goodies to get rid of  to share with you, so here goes.  All prices shown are for the item only; I will calculate shipping and let you know how much you will owe based on your location.  I don't have PayPal set up to receive payment at this time, so payment will be by check or money order.  If you see an item you like, email me.   I'll be gone this morning, so don't be discouraged if you don't hear from me until 2:00 p.m. or so. 

Item 1.  SOLD!!.   Baltimore Beauties.and Beyond, Volume One  by Elly Sienkewiecz.....this is a beautiful first edition, soft back.  It can be hard to find sometimes.  Selling for $44 for a collectible copy on Amazon.....$10.00

Item 2.  SOLD!!!!!!!!!CherryWood Poncho pattern and hand-dyed rayon challis fabric.  $33 new;
This is gorgeous fabric; I'm just not that into sewing clothes; I got seduced by the pattern in the booth at Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.. $14.00

Item 3.  TWO LOTS SOLD....TWO LOTS AVAILABLE......Plaids, plaids, plaids.

I have about 20 pounds of these shirting plaids samples from the Hindustan Apparel Co. in Mumbai.  A friend in the clothing industry in New York gave them to me.  They are mostly cotton, range in size from 6 x 6 to almost fat quarters.  I'm going to sell them in 5-pound increments.  That's what fits into a box 6 x 12 x 12 inches (large priority flat rate box).  I'll ship them parcel post to save shipping costs.  $20 for a 5-pound lot.  I can sell four 5-pound lots, so there can be more than one bidder on this. 

Item 4.  SOLD!!!!!!!Mount Redoubt Applique Patterns.  I bought these in Houston several years ago.  They were $10.50 each.  They are lovely appliques.  $8 for both or $5 for 1; if you only want one, you have to tell me which one:  Alaska Garden or Midsummer's Dream.

Item 5.  Patchwork Jacket Pattern.  Sized from small to extra large.  $6.00

Item 6.  SOLD!!!!!!The Miniature Quilt Kit.  Fabrics and pattern booklet to make this little Trip Around the World Quilt (plus patterns for 10 other quilts).  $8.00

Item 7.  SOLD!!!!!!!Tea towel and fabric for Applique "Bee and Coneflowers"  $6.00

Item 8.  SOLD............"Through My Window"  Focus floral fabric and solid; you will need to furnish the black for the silhouette.  $5.00 for pattern and fabric shown.

Item 9.  "Tips for Quilters" book.......I guess this says it all.  $5.00

Have a Happy Saturday to have a yard sale without having to sit outside in the cold......