Monday, November 16, 2015

More Stars in a Time Warp

Progress on my "Stars in a Time Warp" over the weekend.  An early star last week had little contrast between the points and the rest of the block, but I left it.  Yesterday I made a star where the points were invisible. I couldn't leave it, so I deconstructed the star and replaced the points.
week #2 -- Prussian blue
#2-- Prussian blue with foulard and neat stripes
#4 cheddar -- not enough contrast! -- points were replaced (see below)
#4 -- cheddar; with California gold on the right

#6 -- double pinks, with foulards (R)
#6 pinks;  not sure what other categories are in the L star, but I like it.

#9 -- chrome yellow

#10 -- green calicos;  paisley also in L star;  Cal. gold, cheddar, and serpentine also in R star
#10 -- green calicos, with California gold and neat stripes

Saturday, November 14, 2015

33, yes, 33 Stars in a Time Warp

#17 conversation prints
I've been a busy little worker bee--cutting and sewing stars for hours -- and smiling the whole time.  I've set no target number for each category.  For now, I'm just wandering through my stash, recognizing a color or pattern Barbara B. wrote about, and cutting star parts.

Today I have 33 of my stars in 10 categories to share.  More stars on the docket for this weekend, with +50 more cut and ready to be sewn when I find take the time.

(all photos enlarge with 1 or 2 clicks)
A couple "maverick" blocks will stand out as "wrong" when they're all together, but they're in my group to stay.  One is in group #41, and the other is the middle block in group #44.  I didn't think the stormy, light pink star points would disappear in that star as much as they did, but they're staying.

In 19th century making-do fashion, two stars have pieced parts or a substitution.  Can you find them?
Enjoy my star show.  They're rather blah as a group, but pink, chrome, cheddar, and a few greens are next on my list and will add life to the party.   Have a great weekend of sewing!

week #1 -- turkey reds

week #11 -- purples

week #20 -- eccentrics

week #31 -- toiles (one claret red in the group)
week #32 -- faded synthetic dyes

week #37 - chocolate and blue (middle, with Asian-inspired star, is bluer than photo shows)

week #41 -- neon novelties (novelty black prints)

week #43 -- provincial prints -- haven't found blues yet for this group

week #44 -- clouds and storms

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Stars in a Time Warp--beginning at last

Joining a project 10 months after it started is nothing to brag about, but "started" is better than "ignored."

I condensed Barbara Brackman's weekly lessons into a summary of the main points, and a few photos from each week remind me what I'm looking for.  Armed with a ring notebook with my notes and photos, I'm attacking my stash, looking for (or recognizing) specific fabrics, and I'm having FUN!
Eccentrics (left star fabric from Sue)
 (all photos enlarge with a click or 2)

more Eccentrics
My star count is currently 16, with more star parts cut and ready to be sewn.  The first stars were sewn last weekend at a group retreat, mainly from scraps and random pieces (plus an eccentric and some star points from Sue).
I'm not trying to do them in order right now--I'm just finding a fabric I like that fits a category, picking a complementary fabric, and sewing.

Neon black  &  chocolate+blue
indigo or celestial & double pinks
toile & lace or floral trails
One of these days I'll go through the list (43 lessons so far), check off which I've sewn and which are left to make.

Prussian blues

This has turned out to be a relaxing project.  A few more stars, and then back to lap-sized quilts for a local nursing home.  I have a stack of 8 tops ready to be quilted, whenever I decide to switch projects.

BTW--my Bernina Aurora QE 440 is for sale, if you know anyone in the northern Iowa/southern MN area who might be interested.  It's currently on Craig's list.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Time for a new project

found in my stash--lucky me!
Though it has tempted me since January, I've made no stars for Barbara Brackman's 2015 Stars in a Time Warp project.   I've just saved photos and notes in my laptop, and I've learned something each week about fabric colors and patterns.  But so far -- no stars sewn.

conversationals bought at our Sept. group sale
DH and I spent hours today doing overdue sorting of STUFF in our garage.  Surprises and occasional treasures were found. It was kind of fun, but oh, so dusty.  I've also finished and delivered 18 small quilts to the local nursing home for the residents.  I'll be making more. 

Next, I'm rewarding myself by sewing for me -- wandering through my stash, looking for specific fabric colors or patterns, and making stars.  Today's post from Barbara was about "Neon Novelties," AKA black novelties.  She wrote that "these reproductions are hard to find."  

small quilts for nursing home residents
I knew I had some in my stash.  I found several yards of black novelties in a box in a back room, neatly labeled.  One yard each of 4 of the fabrics in the photo above, and 2 yards of the hot pink/black bubble fabric.   These are the kinds of fabric that I pet and refold, admire and don't cut.   I'll be cutting into these to make stars.  Enough admiring.  Time for the blade to do some cutting. 

I found a great buy at our group fabric sale last month.  One of my friends sold yardage of three "conversational" prints.  I love them!  and I bought all three.  (photo above)  

I'm a sad baseball fan.  It looks like my favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, won't be advancing to the World Series.  They're losing, and it's already the 8th inning.  The sad faces of fans in the stands tells the story.  Maybe next year. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

With a lotta help from my friends

 "Roundabout" lap quilts
I want to make quilts for me, but first I'm using a lot of orphan blocks, UFOs, and interesting scraps so my conscience will be clear.   I just can't let those things sit in bins, unused.   I still make an occasional placemat for Meals on Wheels, but focus now is on lap quilts for the nursing home where my mother-in-law lives.   I have a nice little stack of 8 quilts done so far, labeled, washed, and dried.  The average size of each is about 35" x 45".  (All photos enlarge with a click or 2)

The "Roundabout" quilts were made by my daughters using a layer cake, yardage, and Carrie Nelson's book "Another Bite of Schnibbles."  
I made the smaller rust-gold quilt by combining orphan blocks, and the larger autumn quilt was my project for Small Quilt Club 2015, using 5-inch squares.

The two "Sand Castle" quilts were made using a pattern Black Mountain Quilts book.

"Sand Castle" floral quilts
I'm sewing printed labels (made on my computer) on the back of the quilts before I quilt them.   I prefer to keep my identity a bit hidden on those labels--not giving my full name and address.  The staff at the nursing home know who I am, but I prefer that these quilts just go to residents quietly without recognition.  It sounds like many of them will be set aside until the NHome Christmas party, and they'll be offered as gifts to choose from. 
A couple friends are helping with quilts for the NHome.   Betty gives me leftovers and orphan blocks now and then, to use as I wish.   She worked on, but never finished, a row quilt using a 1996 book "Row By Row Quilts" by The Corny Bunch.
Row-by-row quilt tops, ready to finish
She gave me bags with finished blocks, cut-out parts for blocks, and the book.  I've turned it into two little quilts, so far.   I still have finished blocks with funky cows and blocks with black sewing machines.  Nothing comes to mind, as far as combining those two into one quilt.  They may become placemats.

Hoffman and batik fabrics in quilts from Chris
My friend Chris called me to her home last week, and I went home with 10 completed quilts she no longer wants.  Four are smaller and just need a label and a wash-and-dry before they go to the  NHome.  Five are larger and I'll be (gulp) slicing, binding and turning each larger one into 2 smaller ones.  The 10th quilt will become 4 placemats.  Chris's quilts are colorful, beautifully made and quilted, and I appreciate her generosity in passing them on to me for the NHome residents.

Bold log cabin block Q and a 2nd batik Q

Stack of 10 quilts from Chris

1930s fabrics Q and a Thimbleberries pattern Q

Friday, September 25, 2015

Before, during, and after

sorting Valdani threads for the sale
My friends and I had a VERY successful fabric-quilting-craft sale last weekend. Many hundreds of yards of fabric were sold, plus books, kits, UFOs, patterns, notions, and craft supplies galore.  

As a group, we had so much displayed that some people who stopped in were confused. We repeated many times that we were just a multi-family garage sale (not a quilt shop).  Our group's garages weren't big enough, so we rented an empty store.

Carol -- with 2 of her Lucy Boston blocks
One of our most plentiful commodities was bags of scraps. Anybody looking for those had plenty to choose from, as I counted over 80 bags of scraps.

On day #2, our prices were reduced 50%.  We decided to extend the sale to 3 days, hoping "word of mouth" would be sufficient to bring in buyers, and we dropped prices to 75% off Sun. afternoon.  A lot more went out the door.
(I took home most of my 1800s repros before Sunday.  I just couldn't sell them for $1/yard.)

Empty bins--after the sale
The lady with the two Lucy Boston blocks is Carol from the Ames, Iowa, area.  We first met when she came to my sale in May. She likes CWar repros, as I do, and she shared many of her beautiful Lucy Boston blocks.    She came again last weekend to shop, and she shared her new Lucy Boston blocks.  Her lovely, creative use of fabrics has encouraged us to get back to our LB blocks.

Brownstone (CW repro fabrics)  73" x 91"
My empty bins look wonderful --all 32 of them--large and small.

Faithfully Humble -- 69" x 88"
I'll be at the local community college tomorrow for an all-day Quilting Workshop.  Demonstrations and activities offered by IA and MN quilters. Vendors, of course, and I'm taking two quilts for appraisal.   I decided not to take old quilts made or owned by relatives.  These are two of my favorites that I finished in 2014-- scrappy and colorful -- they're the two I'm taking.

One more thing -- a shout-out to Jean from Virginia.  She was spending a month in Iowa, visiting her mother Maxine.  She heard about our sale and came 2 days (or was it all 3?)  Besides fabric shopping, Jean bought the majority of my Valdani thread.  When she offered to buy my sample pages  of Valdani stitching, I gladly gave it to her.  I know she'll put it to good use.  I hope your boxes of "goodies" shipped home were waiting for you when you got back, Jean.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Not much quilting, but a sale is coming again

1800s repros, ready for fabric sale
Summer is waning, and this is only my third post since April.  With infrequent posting, I've come close to shutting this blog down, but now and then I have something I'd like to share. This has been a year with other things taking priority -- and not much quilting.  

Since last September --
We moved DH's  +90-year-old parents from their country home to assisted living, then to a nursing home.  My FIL died peacefully in early April, and my MIL's dementia leaves her in a state of pleasant confusion.

My 90-year-old mother's health deteriorated in early summer.  In July she willingly let us move her to assisted living, but she passed away quietly just 4 weeks later.  I miss her dearly and have found myself picking up the phone to call her, just to chat or to ask for advice -- but she's not there.  She was a strong, resourceful, intelligent woman, and our much loved mother.   I wrote about her here on Mother's Day a few years ago.  We now have two parents' homes to be cleared and readied for new occupants.

With hopes of moving to a senior-friendly home some day, I'm working on another BIG fabric sale in less than 2 weeks.  My sale in May went well, and this time my friends are joining me for a group fabric-craft sale Fri. Sept 18 and Sat. Sept 19 here in Mason City.  Here's a link to the Craig's List ad .  If you're in the neighborhood, please stop in and shop around.  You won't be disappointed. Photos were taken before 3 or 4 more ladies bring their items for sale.

My only finishes of note in 2015 are place mats for the local Community Kitchen and Meals on Wheals.  All are from orphan blocks and scraps, and my running total is 56 so far (plus some from my friend Sue).  The administrator of the Kitchen gives me a big smile every time I walk in the door with a pile.   Not all are pretty, and some are a bit funky, but all should brighten someone's meals.

One more thing -- I'm not using my 5-year-old Bernina 440QE as much as it deserves.  I mainly bought it because of the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator), and then I bought a mid-arm HQ Sweet 16 quilting machine.  So the Bernina is not appreciated and used to its full potential.  I'm selling it.  It just had a general checkup and tune-up and passed with flying colors, so it's ready for a new home.     

more placemats
more placemats


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