Thursday, August 30, 2018

Holly Bazaar Planning

Churn Dash blocks: QuiltBee
Hard as it is to realize that we are now at the end of August and that the Holly Bazaar is just a little over two months away, it seemed like a good idea to start doing some planning for what to make. I will need something to put into the Silent Auction and then additional items for the craft table. September and October always seem to be busy months for me so I like to get this stuff sewn up as early as possible; inevitably something seems to need binding the night before.

Time to clear away what's on the sewing table, so I finished off another pile of Churn Dash blocks for Omigosh.

I've been Pinning ideas like crazy but the other night I decided that it was a good idea to just sit down and start making a list. There's a pumpkin table topper that I'm going to try and make, with a couple of my own touches added in. I had cut some orange squares a while ago so it's got a start at least.

star quilt block: QuiltBee
Then I did a bit of a walk around in my sewing room (not that long a walk because my room isn't that big!) and it was surprising to see how many projects are in play that could become more toppers. There's these little stars...

and in one of my cubbies I found the makings of two improv trees. I need to make a third tree and then figure out where to go from there, but again, a good start.

Lemoyne star quilt block: QuiltBee
And a Lemoyne Star that would look cute with an HST border, maybe four or five deep.

I also found three Christmas stocking panels. Linda gave them to me a few years ago at our craft weekend so I think I'll quilt them and put them together.

And finally, a bundle of silver and gold fabrics that might be nice in a log cabin pattern; still have to figure this one out a bit more.

There's also a few potholdersideas rolling around in my head but I'll see how far along I get with this list before I start them.

So it was a worthwhile exercise. Now I at least feel like I'm a bit in control and know where to start directing my energies. Good thing because the bazaar will be here before I know it!....M

Monday, August 27, 2018

Sandy's BIG Finish

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
I was so excited by pie making that I forgot that I have one more of Sandy's quilts to share with you - she's called it Under the Sea. You saw the start of it two summers ago when Ed kindly modeled it for everyone as she was working on the borders.

The inspiration for the colour scheme came from this painting that followed them home from Australia one year. It arrived in a crate the size of a mattress and they left the marks on the bottom of the frame ... part of the journey!

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
They are avid divers so Ed found several fat quarters with sea creatures ... seahorses, crabs, whales, starfish, octopus, shells, turtles ... and it grew from there.

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
The top is hand-pieced. Once is was finished it sat in a bin for almost two years because she had no idea how to handle all of that fabric for quilting - way too big and heavy to manage on her hoop.

Sandy decided to have it quilted this past winter, but that was easier said than done. It measures 112 x 120" to fit their king bed but it was so large that it was too big to fit on a longarm.

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
Time for plan number two - she'd quilt it on her machine. I cannot even begin to imagine quilting a full-sized quilt on my machine, let alone a king!

She admits that it was a challenge, but with lots of folding and rolling and tucking under her chin she eventually found a way to stitch-in-the-ditch. Once she got on a roll she had a lot of fun seeing it come to life. She thanks her lucky stars for spray adhesive, and especially for her two eight-foot table - she's not sure how she would have managed without the table space. Plus, she was really lucky to get batting and backing that was large enough not to have to piece.

Sandy's Under the Sea quilt: QuiltBee
Now her masterpiece enjoys pride of place in the master bedroom and looks fantastic. It's the perfect spot to dream of new diving trips...M

Friday, August 24, 2018

Not Really Wonky After All

wonky log cabin quilt blocks: QuiltBee
I put these Log Cabin blocks together several years ago as a way of using up the Sea Glass scraps, not really concerned about whether or not the yellow blocks would be centered, and actually hoping that they wouldn't be. I was aiming for wonky, a bit of a boho feel.

wonky log cabin quilt blocks: QuiltBee
Turns out I don't do wonky all that well as three of the four centre blocks were almost dead centre, with one outlier (see upper left).

For a while I thought that I might be able to get away with it but the longer I looked at it (as I snacked on butterscotch pie...) the more that fourth block just looked like a mistake. Nothing to do but fix it. So, I ripped that block out, narrowed the outside grey strip and added a wide blue strip. Now they all look like they might have something in common.

Seemingly on a roll, I prepped it for quilting. I like to use up batting trimmings for my toppers and joined two pieces with a zigzag stitch.

The first half went beautifully, just doing randomly spaced lines of quilting, but when I moved to the second half I was several rows into it before I realized that I had stitched a lovely pleat into the backing. ARRRGH! More ripping.

wonky log cabin quilt blocks: QuiltBeePatience ruled the day and it is now finally quilted and bound, and actually quite pretty.

wonky log cabin quilt blocks: QuiltBee
I like the way that the binding print moves in and out of the two shades of blue - sort of helps with that wonky thing...

wonky log cabin quilt blocks: QuiltBee
The backing is from the same print as the binding. It's an Art Gallery fabric and was soooo lovely to work with.

wonky log cabin quilted table topper: QuiltBee
So, four years later these blocks are now a very slightly wonky table topper (that didn't take very long, did it???); I think this one will be for the Holly Bazaar....M

Saturday, August 18, 2018

There's Gonna Be Pie Tonight!

Butterscotch Pie: QuiltBee
I made a mile high butterscotch pie today and the Official Cookie Tester is circling 😄. A group got together at our church this morning to make pies and shells for our upcoming roast beef dinner so I came home with enough dough for a crust and decided that he needed a sweet treat.

This is a recipe from my childhood; it's SO good that we would hide the last piece in different kitchen cupboards just to ensure it was ours! It came from a wonderful cookbook put together by the Baptist ladies in our community, its not overly sweet and is quite easy to make. I used one of my Pyrex pie plates, which I find is a bit deeper than some, so I just doubled the recipe and it came out perfectly. Want to give it a try? Here's the recipe:

Butterscotch Pie: QuiltBee
Butterscotch Pie
3/4 c brown sugar
2 tbsp + 1 tsp flour
shake of salt
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/2 c milk (best to use 2% or Homo)
Combine sugar, flour and salt; mix well. Add egg yolks plus a little milk; don't let mixture become lumpy. Whisk in remaining milk. Cook on low until thick. Remove from heat and stir in:
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
Pour into 9" baked pie shell. When room temperature, cover with meringue.

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 tbsp white sugar
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually add sugar; beat until stiff. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, until golden.

Sea Glass quilt blocks: QuiltBee
After pie, I toyed around with these scrappy Log Cabin blocks for a while (they have been on the design wall since I finished Sea Glass - that was in 2015!) but didn't do more than trim them to size and sew them all together.

Sea Glass quilt blocks: QuiltBee
They were going to become a cushion cover but I can't seem to get into it somehow - now I'm thinking table topper.

Sea Glass quilt block: QuiltBee
Yellow border? This is the yellow that I used in the centre of the blocks but there's a green/aqua dot in the pattern that is just barely showing in the bottom corner of this photo that doesn't work. I'd have to cut around it and I don't have enough fabric to do it without piecing the border, so I think not.

Sea Glass quilt blocks: QuiltBee
How about blue? Still deciding. If it's now a table topper I'm thinking that the blue that I was going to use for a pillow backing (bottom left) might be the best option. Or maybe both. I'll mull it over more as I enjoy my pie....M

Friday, August 17, 2018

What's in the Hoop, Sandy?

Sandy's subway tile quilt: QuiltBee
Needless to say, Sandy did not drag her hoop to the cottage, but I had to ask what she was quilting. I'm so glad that I did. Isn't it lovely?

Sandy's subway tile quilt: QuiltBee
These subway tile blocks are such a great way to use up scraps but I can see where they would work beautifully with a curated colour palette as well.

Sandy's subway tile quilt: QuiltBee
And just look what she's using for the backing and binding. Sigh. Just LOVE it and how the softness of the floral design contrasts with the structured pattern. It will be gorgeous.

There hasn't been a whole lot of quilting done on this one lately because we've had a pretty toasty summer this year, but now that we are headed into autumn she is looking forward to picking up her needle again.

In the meantime, she's been hand stitching these autumnal nine-patch blocks. There's no plan yet, she just wanted to stitch them and so far she's got 75; they will be trimmed to 6.5". Lots and lots of possibilities here but for the time being she is enjoying the great unknown of it all.

One thing she does know for sure is that she leans to the anal side (my kind of gal 😊). She was was excited to discover these little corner patches as she was pressing the blocks. "What's wrong with me?" she asked. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Those are the little bits that make us all a little giddy, aren't they?....M

Monday, August 13, 2018

Sandy is in Hexie Heaven

diamond hexies: QuiltBee
I managed to get in a few pics of Sandy's latest projects too before the sun went down on us last weekend at Jane's cottage but most of them were too dark to use so she has kindly filled in the blanks for me. She's made great progress on her EPP project thanks to spending a couple of months stitching by the seaside in Cozumel this winter.

It's so lovely and soft. The hexies are about 2" in size and they look as good on the back...

diamond hexies: QuiltBee
as they do on the front.

And while we're talking about the back, check out the perfection of her hand stitching! Meticulous.

diamond hexies: QuiltBee
This isn't going to be a large quilt so much of the paper piecing is complete. Once the edges are filled in she wants to do three rows of cream hexies all the way around; then it will be time for borders and quilting. The string of cream hexies will go across the quilt rather than vertically, which will be nice too.

It also doesn't have a name yet. This is not a colour palette that she normally gravitates to but, as she says, "I’m still finding my comfort zone with these colours but they remind me of the fabrics my Great Grandma chose for dresses my Mom would make her." Totally get it....M

Friday, August 10, 2018

Jane's Masterpiece

We got out to Jane's cottage for a visit with her, Sandy, and Betty last weekend so I've got a little bit of a show and tell for you, but you can see that we waited until dusk to bring out the quilty goodies. What were we doing?

Well, playing Mexican Trains in the shade of the trees between swims and trying to stay cool. Sandy has the patience of a saint because I have to say I'm not the quickest study at this game, but she hung in there with us.

Back to Jane. Isn't this going to be a masterpiece? This is the border (apologies for the lighting - I'll get better images for you down the road)...

Blockade quilt blocks: QuiltBee
...that will go with these blocks. LUV, LUV, LUV! And we've finally found the name of the block - it's Blockade. A little uninspiring, wouldn't you say? Jane is busy coming up with a new name.

One more shot of those gorgeous fabrics.

And don't you love the way they are all so organized? She used an old skirt hanger to keep everything in one place and its working beautifully. Thank you Pinterest!...M

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Digging to the Bottom of the Bag

I have a very 'non-quilty' little black bag for my hand stitching projects. It's years old and was once part of a cosmetics promotion. It's also black patent, hardly something that invokes the idea of quilting, but it has proven to be the perfect size.

At 6 x 8" it is large enough to hold a surprising number of bits and bobs - my spool holder and pincushion, scissors and any number of blocks/hexies. Lately it has been busy with hexies for Minnie but for months now about a dozen little nine-patch blocks and scraps of green have been tucked away in the very bottom.

It even has an emergency needle and a couple of straight pins in case I forget my larger pincushion...

And a lavender sachet to keep things smelling fresh.

The greens are leftovers from my Danuta's Garden sashing; they are about 1.25". I started making nine-patches but then ran out of white, so there they sat. I am hoping that there is some of this pretty sweet pea print left from the same quilt so that I can make a table topper.

Anyway, these blocks surfaced the other day when I was looking for something other than hexies to hand stitch, so I finally cut a strip of cream and made another half dozen. Funny what you find when you go looking, isn't it? I'm out of white again so time to cut another strip.

I do have a plan to make a lined bag the same size as this one some day with a decidedly more quilty feel but for now my little black bag will do just fine....M

Friday, August 03, 2018

The Waiting Game

Tumbling Blocks quilt blocks: QuiltBee
Now that my binding frenzy is behind me I've entered that state where you try and figure out what to pick up next. I'm also waiting for a full report from Sandy, Jane and Betty who are all together at the lake for the next several days - I expect there will be lots of lovely quilty things to share; they never disappoint. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of Betty's latest project.

I knew something was up when Jane left a comment a few weeks ago something to the effect of, 'Wait til you see what Betty started...' If that doesn't get your attention I'm not sure what will. I have to say that when I found out it was Tumbling Blocks I was a bit surprised because it just didn't seem like a pattern that she'd pick. I should have known better.

Tumbling Blocks quilt block: QuiltBee
Yes, it's Tumbling Blocks and she's making it in this wonderful, rich palette of blues and purples with just a little soft ochre to spice things up (I suspect that there is some klepto quilting involved 😉). Oh, and she's subdividing one of the diamonds into four tiny diamonds. It. Will. Be. Stunning.

It's making me think that I need a new hand sewing project but I can't quite land on what that should be so I'm returning to my fallback position and spending time with Minnie....M