Friday, August 31, 2012


August is coming to an end and time for another section of "A Little Porch Time" to be done.  I spent some time this morning looking for the basket block.  I stitched it a couple days ago and had not seen it since.  I looked all around the house.  The sunflower block was in the sewing room but no basket block.  It wasn't in with the "Comfort & Joy" blocks (another block of the month project I had just worked on).  It wasn't in the piles of fabric I put away yesterday evening and this morning.  Not on the sewing machine cabinet.  Not mixed in with the other applique blocks I am working on.  I pretty much came to the conclusion that it was folded into one of the pieces of fabric I had put away.  I dreaded taking it all out and unfolding it to look.  Maybe I would just make another.  I found the pattern book on a basket by my chair I do applique in.  I decided I should put the book with the block parts I did know  the location of.  Book to the sewing room. One more look through parts and pieces of projects in the sewing room.  Pick up the pattern book and out falls the block.  It was done on a thinner piece of plaid background and folded flat in the book.  Why didn't I look there first?  I could have spent that time stitching instead of searching.

The sunflower block was made quite some time ago.  It was the one and only block I had completed from the pattern.  I had good intentions of making the quilt but never went back to the project.  When Lori posted on her blog that she was going to be making the quilt as a block of the month and did anyone want to join in, I jumped on the band wagon.  Visit her blog to see her progress and check the links to any other bloggers who have posted their blocks.

I am working on the final two flower blocks for "Cottage Flowers".  That's my project for today.  Yesterday evening, I finished cutting out the pieced blocks for "Mrs. Lincoln's Sampler Quilt".  What a mess I had on the floor surrounding my cutting area.  Piles of reproduction fabrics.  Now back on the shelves but not nice and neat.  That's a project for another day.

Back to my stitching.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Today is posting day for those participating in making "Comfort and Joy".  Here is section five.
This was a fairly fast section to make.  The section for September has more parts to it than this one.  No waiting to the last minute to get started on it for me.

I also have a finish.  I finally finished stitching the binding on this little wool on cotton wall hanging.  It is a combination of Cheri Saffiote-Payne patterns.  I did echo quilting and I like the look.  The background fabric is the same one I am using for the Cottage Flowers blocks I showed in my last post.

The past week I have been prepping applique blocks for "Mrs. Lincoln's Sampler Quilt".  A pattern by Lori Smith.  My applique storage notebook that I made recently is just about empty and I needed to fill it up again.  The pattern is a combination of applique and pieced blocks.  All the applique blocks are prepped and I am working on cutting out pieced blocks.  I have a big pile of reproduction fabrics out and I want to be able to fold and put them back on the shelves soon.  Thus the push to get things done.  I have not been doing much actual stitching this week because of that.  You can see what the pattern looks like by clicking here.  I am using similar colors.  I enlarged the blocks to 7 1/2 inches instead of the five inch the pattern calls for.

Back to the sewing room.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Back in July, I prepped an applique project for vacation stitching.  In a previous post, I mentioned that the lighting at the cabin we were staying in was not good for the stitching.  I did a few blocks as best as I could.  Since returning home, I made several more blocks.  I thought I would share them with you.  Some of the pictures are not well aimed.  When I raise my arms to place the blocks on the design wall or to aim the camera, I have lower back pain.  It gets worse the more I do it.  So I took the pictures rather quickly and a few none too well.

I am making a duplicate of each block for a second quilt.    I have the duplicates stitched but will not show them in the post.  Some of the flower designs are repeated in the quilt but I have used different fabrics on those.

Ten more blocks to applique and then the pieced blocks that go between.  The blocks will be set on point.  The pattern is called "Cottage Flowers" and is in the book "Simple Pleasures".  The designers for this pattern is Alma Allen and Jan Patek.

Today, I spent a little time prepping blocks for Lori Smith's "Mrs. L:incoln's Sampler".  The reason for starting yet another project is that my travel applique project notebook will soon be empty and I won't have anything ready for a jaunt in the car.  I prepped three of those blocks this afternoon.

Now to sit, relax, and stitch.


Saturday, August 18, 2012


I had some good stitching time yesterday and this is how much I got done on the Coxcomb applique block.

The plumes are easier to stitch than I thought they would be.  I am anxious to get some of the brighter colors stitched on but I will be patient and finish other parts first.


Friday, August 17, 2012


I have admired an antique quilt spotted on a blog for a while now.  Click here to see the picture of the modified Princess Feather quilt in blue/green, yellow, and red.  I printed out the picture, traced the lines and then enlarged the design 300%.
The lines become grainy and thick when enlarging this much.  I traced over the shapes smoothing lines and modifying to make things a bit easier to stitch.  Then I made freezer paper templates.  I chose some Blackbird Designs fabrics from the Garden Party line.  I added in a tan for the flower pot from stash.  I was going to use a Garden Party background piece but ended up going with a piece from a Minnick & Simpson line of fabric.

When trying to decide on which background to use, I placed them side by side and started laying applique shapes on them.  I think the Minnick/Simpson fabric gives it a softer look.  That's the one on the left side of the picture below.

I use bias strip makers by Clover.  I like to spray the bias strips with regular spray starch and press a bit to dry before running them through the strip makers.  It helps to hold the turned under seam allowance edges in place.

Once the background was cut, I pressed it into quarters.  I also folded the applique design into fourths and then placed it under the background fabric matching the pressed lines to the fold lines on the paper.  I used a washout blue pen to mark lines for the stems, leaves, and the pot.  I am not concerned about things being exact as I like prim style.

Now I am stitching the bias stems to the background.  Call me crazy for starting a new project when I have so many in the works already.  But I think most quilters have done the same thing many times over.  Back to my stitching.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I finished my Christmas Quilt-Along applique block late last evening.

The block will become a mini quilt.  I chose to use fabrics that were very similar to those Missy used for her piece.  I was not too sure about the colors for the partridge as I think of them as being gray, tan, and black instead of a golden color.  A quick image search on the internet showed me that they came in a variety of colors including the golden color.  Quilt Sue also told me the golden color is what she remembers seeing in her childhood. I have at least two quilts already finished that have a partridge on them and I did them in the black and grey colors.  Something different for me seemed like a good idea.  And I like the result.  Now to find some time to quilt it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Today is the monthly Christmas Quilt-Along.  Here is what I am working on.
This is the beginnings of "The Partridge and the Pears" by Missy Hallbrook.  Missy was giving away the pattern on her blog.  You can visit her here and see what the whole little mini quilt looks like.  A big thank you to Missy for sharing her talent.

Cathi from Shakerwood Quilts is hosting the Christmas Quilt-Along.  You can visit her blog here for a link to others that are participating and see what they are sewing today.

Stop back later to see my progress.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


We returned home from vacation yesterday evening after a week in the Smokey Mountains and a few days in Ohio with family.  A good trip.

We stopped at a some antique malls but saw very few quilts.  No really impressive quilts.  I took a few pictures.
I found a Double Wedding Ring quilt on an antique child's bed.  You can't really tell from the picture but the only fabric left on the quilt was the rings.  All the background fabric was gone and only batting showing.  Not even worth being a cutter quilt.

I saw other quilts but none were particularly old or interesting.  I suppose collectors have already snapped up the good quilts or they are with antique quilt dealers.  I did not come across any vintage sewing tools.  My favorite antique mall in New Philadelphia, Ohio did not tempt me to purchase anything.  That's a first.

I shopped at Deb's Cats and Quilts and A Stitch In Time in Franklin, North Carolina.  And Quilters Quarters in Waynesville, NC.  All three shops managed to get some of my money.  Here is an interesting display I saw at Deb's Cats and Quilts.  I loved the doll bed with the little quilt.

At A Stitch In Time, I saw the Singer Featherweight painted a candy apple red and modified into a lamp.  I don't think you could sew on the machine so I don't know if it was a working machine before modification.  I did not ask.

I also shopped at The Woolen Willow in Williamstown, West Virginia.  Lots of prim style in this shop.  If you have a subscription or purchase copies of the "Primitive Quilts and Projects", the shop is owned by the owners of the magazine.  So much to look at.  I stayed out of the prim decor section of the shop.  It is in separate rooms and I could see from a quick look that it would be way too tempting.  And not practical for us to get back home in an already packed car.  Anyhow, a stop at the shop is well worth it if you are traveling on Interstate 77 close to the Ohio-West Virginia border.  I could have purchased way more than I did and believe me, I did manage to do some damage to the pocket book there.

I found a nice featherweight sewing machine and case at the antique mall in New Philadelphia, Oh.  Would have been tempting if I didn't already have two of them.  None of the other antique/vintage machines that I found on the trip tempted me.

I read a good book on vacation called "True Sisters" by Sandra Dallas.  The book is fiction but is based on true stories about the migration of Mormon converts making a long journey from overseas to Utah with two-wheeled carts that they pushed and pulled 1,300 miles.  It takes place in 1856.  The hardships they endured!  And so many died.  I am not of the Mormon faith and the book has characters with different views on the religion, so it was a good read.  I have read all but one of Sandra Dallas's books and all are good.  Quilting or quilts come into each book in some way but are not the main focus of the stories.

I am washing my new fabrics and will be folding them shortly.  Fun to think about what I could create with them.  Have a good day and take time to play with some of your fabric too.


Monday, August 6, 2012


The Sew 'N Sews spent a Saturday together sharing quilting thoughts, some current events opinions, and some delicious food.  Rosy and Jean were our hostesses.  We had a wonderful tasting warm chicken salad, squash, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, and pretzel salad (really a dessert).

There was some show 'n tell as usual.  The first quilt top was a finish by Jean.  I had a hand in the making.  I embroidered a lot of the blocks and tired of the project before doing the last one.  I donated them and the sashing fabric to Jean.  She is good about taking a UFO from me and doing the finish.  She will have it machine quilted later on.  It is hard to see the design.  They are Prim Annies.  One for each month of the year.  The patterns are available as E-patterns from Cedarberry Stitches.  Look here if you want a better view.

Jean also took a hexagon block her friend Audrey had sewn before she passed away and made it into a pillow.
Please note that Jean is wearing the same exact top I had on.  Twins by coincidence.  Jean got hers for $1.00.  I was not so lucky.

Beverly shared a quilt top with us that is embroidered  Sam blocks.  She said Jean gave her the blocks.  I think they might have been a thrift store find too.  The blue sashing goes so well with the blocks.  It will make a cute quilt for a young boy.
The last picture is of Rosy's wool on wool wall hanging.  Not a new finish but since it was hanging prominently in her living room, I thought you might like to see it.  I started the same wall hanging.  My first big wool project.  I didn't like the way the wool was laying and abandoned the project.  I don't know what my problem was.
If I remember correctly, the pattern was in a McCall's quilt magazine but I don't remember how long ago.  Quite some time.

Hope you enjoyed the view.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I do like the design for the wool mat I have been prepping for stitching.  My whine is that I had to enlarge the pattern before it was usable.  I so wish patterns could be full size and not require work on the computer to enlarge or a trip to a office store.  I opted to do it on my computer.  It printed out on four sheets of paper that I had to try and line up and tape together.  I chose to reverse the design first as I like a bit of fusible on the back of the wool pieces.  I ended up having to print four sheets for the regular view and four sheets for the flipped design.
Now that I accomplished that, I prepped the wool and have it in place ready for stitching.  I will mark the embroidery after the wool is stitched down.
The pattern is in the book "Primitive Gatherings" by Terry Burkhart and Roxan Meacham.  It is called "Autumn Bounty".

Another thing I have not figured out is that the pattern calls for tan wool for the top of the main body of the mat and also the hexagons.  Then camel for the bottom of all the pieces.  Why two different shades?  It will work out fine for me as I do not have enough of the tan (actually my wool piece is more of a Cream of Wheat shade).  I think of have some camel color to use for the bottom.

There is no rush to finish this project.  Just whenever.  But, again, the fall look is creeping into my projects.  Now to find a safe place to store the pieces until I can find time to work on them.