Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Finimus Pariter Renovamusque Labores

We Finish Our Labors to Begin Them Anew*...the motto of my daughter's high school.  Perfect for the quilter, don't you think?  We finish one project to turn around and begin cutting fabric for the next.  But we probably don't call it "labor."

On Labor Day, I finished my 60 degree triangle quilt, The Ladies' Stitching Club.  It's a free pattern from Moda, with some revised cutting and piecing directions from Hyacinth Quilt Designs.  Except instead of white fabric for my alternating blocks, I made mine half lightweight denim, half pale gray print.  Then I mixed in aqua, lime green, and darker gray.  I'm pretty happy with the look and it's on its way to my quilter now.

I made some binding over the weekend too.  I have two quilts waiting for cooler weather so I can do the binding and call them officially finished.

And then there's the begin them anew part.  I starched the fabric for my next project so the cutting and sewing can start again.  Starting a new quilt project puts a smile on my face!

*  Sometimes more loosely translated as there will always be homework.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

60 Degree Triangle Quilt

Do you know the blog Hyacinth Quilt Designs by Cindy Lammon?  I've long been an admirer, especially of her quilt aesthetic which I call updated traditional. By that, I mean she uses traditional blocks but with color, fabric, background, and quilting design choices that make them decidedly modern.

One of her quilts, The Ladies' Stitching Club, has been on my to-make list for a while.  The 60 degree triangle is a new experience for me and I thought this project would be a good way to learn something new, expand my repertoire, and use fabric from my stash.  It is turning out to be exactly that!  The quilt was originally a free design from Moda but Cindy figured out a different way to piece it that results in less waste so I'm following her instructions and it is working out well so far.

But I really should call this project my Hyacinth Quilt Designs homage project because I also found inspiration in her color palette on a couple of other quilts, namely Triangle Hexies Quilt and A Plus Quilt Variation.

I'm using a color palette of aqua and lime green with gray and blue denim.  I'm using some fat quarters out of a little bundle I bought a while back from Pink Castle Fabrics, fleshed out with additions from my stash and some denim I bought for another project.  The denim is light weight, a little heavier than quilting cotton but not as heavy as jeans.  I starched all the fabric before I started cutting.  

Here are some finished blocks.  Two triangles are joined by an inch wide strip to create a trapezoid.  These units are treated as blocks and joined in rows.  I have some more blocks to make and then I'll start sewing them together.  The size is going to be dictated by the amount of denim fabric I have.   I'll post more on this as I make progress.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017


A few weeks ago, I blogged about my love affair with a new fabric line, Garden Delights from In The Beginning.  I bought a little stash of it and turned to figuring out what to make with it.  I've landed on this design called Wildflowers by Kim Brackett.  I'm going to make it wall-hanging size.

The pattern is in her books Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares.  All the patterns in the book use pre-cuts or pre-cut sizes (2.5" strips or 5" or 10" squares).  Several other designs caught my eye, including the cover quilt, called Velocity.  I'm considering putting that one on my list for floral fabrics with denim in place of the gray solid.

And there is Magnolia Bay Gazette.  A while back, I went crazy for text prints and bought a few mixed bundles.  But how to use them?  I found an idea right here.

But I need to finish my current project before I start any of the quilts shown here.  More about what's on my work table in my next post.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Few Good Books

The 4th of July was a four day weekend for me.  It would be hard for me to say which I prefer, quilting or reading, and I did both over the holiday.  I know some of you are bookworms too so today I'm sharing a few books that I've enjoyed recently.

The Heirs, by Susan Rieger
Story of a wealthy family living in Manhattan and the upheaval in the lives of the wife/mom and five adult sons after the death of the husband/dad.  It would make a good choice for a book club.

The Wicked City, by Beatriz Williams
Beatriz Williams is one of my favorite authors but this is not her best book.  Intertwined stories, one set in the present, the other in the 1920's, but the historical part is vastly superior to the contemporary as the modern story lacks the excitement, drama, and danger of the Prohibition setting of the other story.  If you haven't read any Beatriz Williams, I recommend giving her a try but maybe start with A Certain Age.  Her newest, Cocoa Beach, is next up for me.

The Deepest Grave, by Harry Bingham
 This is #6 in the Fiona Griffiths mystery series.  I discovered the first about a year ago and quickly read through all four books available at the time, then reading #5 and #6 as soon as they came out.  Fiona is a detective with the police in Cardiff, Wales.  She is a complex and unusual character and events in her personal life unfold side-by-side with the murder mystery.  If you like mysteries of the procedural, not cozy, variety, I suggest you start with the first book, Talking To The Dead.

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, by Jennifer Ryan
It is hard to believe this is the author's first book, it is so good.  It is about a group of women living in the same small village in England in the summer of 1940, some months into WWII.  With the men away, the church choir morphs into an all-women's group and becomes the bond between this otherwise eclectic group.  It is the best book I've read in a long time.

I'll be back soon with a quilting update.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ta Da, It's Flutter!

Flutter is finally finished!

I started this quilt in 2015.  The top went fairly quickly.  I knew I wanted to hand quilt it but the finished top sat in my sewing room until early this year because all my hand sewing time was taken up with Rondeau.  After a false start with a quilting design that wasn't quite right, I landed on this pattern of diagonal lines and am pleased with the way it came out.  

I didn't quilt through the butterflies, just around them, which made things easier.  Hand quilting through the added layer of fabric plus the adhesive from the fusible web would have been difficult.  But the butterfly pieces are small so this works out fine.

By the way, my new favorite tool is this Clover needle threader, wow, is it ever fantastic!  Well worth the price, it makes threading the small eye of a quilting needle a breeze!  Why didn't I get one of these earlier, it would have been so handy while I was English paper piecing too?  Live and learn and now I won't be without one.  If you are certain that the eyes of needles keep getting tinier and tinier, along with the font size in newspapers and restaurant menus, you need one of these gadgets.  So easy to use!

In the photo above, you can see how the quilting design comes together across several blocks.

I used a variety of ecru fabrics for the block backgrounds and a Hoffman strip pack/jelly roll for the butterflies.  (A charm pack will work too.)  I used a dark brown tone-on-tone from my stash for the binding, it matches the butterfly bodies though you can barely see it.  The pattern is Little Butterflies by Laundry Basket Quilts. There is a stencil available that makes cutting out the shapes much easier.

Must go, I have another quilt waiting to be bound.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Garden Delights from In The Beginning

I really have no business buying fabric because I have more than enough to keep me occupied for the next few years (if not my lifetime, especially at my current rate of productivity).  But what quilter ever heeded that kind of voice in her head!  No, it is pretty easy for me to justify any fabric purchase. And when I saw the Garden Delight line from In The Beginning Fabrics, I was quivering with the must-have-its.

If you like the English Liberty fabrics, you will like the Garden Delights line!  If you've always wanted to make a quilt in rainbow colors using floral prints, you will love this line!

The line comprises 40 small floral prints in rainbow colors from red to violet, with cream and gray for some neutral balance.  I bought a jelly roll and a fat quarter set in the blue and green colors from ShabbyFabrics.com.  Stitchinpost has very good images as well as a project book.   Delightful, right? I  have a few vague ideas of what to make with my stash and am giving them some time to crystallize in my brain before I start.

My other recent purchase was the latest Quilt Sampler.  It was good for a couple of hours of browsing and a few items caught my eye, unfortunately samples of items displayed in the photos of the featured stores rather than the project featured in the magazine, so I will have to track them down. 

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Still Here!

Lordy*, it's been too long!

First, our girl Miss Main Street graduated from college.   My mom flew out from Michigan for the occasion and we drove up to Saratoga Springs for the festivities, then back home with all of Miss Main's stuff in our two cars.  It was a festive family time as we were joined by my sister and her two young adult kids as well.  We are so proud of our girl!

She is at home with us, looking for a job or internship in writing or producing for TV or movies.  Her major was Theater, with a minor in Media and Film Studies, and she has a talent for comedy.

Next, Mr. Main Street attended his last commencement and retired from his job as Chair of the English department at Peddie School.  But it is not quite total retirement as he is going back in the fall as an adjunct** to teach one class.

But pretty much the same-old, same-old for me, with my job and my quilting when I can squeeze it in.  I'll be back soon with an update on my current project as I've made real progress.

*Don't you agree this word deserves a come-back!
** Latin for works for next to nothing

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