Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My January Challenge and A Touch of Snow Blog Hop Winners

I was chosen as the January Challenge for Henry Glass Fabrics. They shared a fabric line called Pretty as a Pansy and I commented how I liked it. A couple emails later and they sent me a package of the fabric. It is very nice feeling cotton, with a smooth finish and a nice hand. They included 2 of a panel from the line so I thought I should use it. I already had a design started that would use a panel so I started off strong.

Then I tripped over Nosey. Remember Nosey from my last post? The 19 pound stray that must be part Maine Coon, from his size. I was coming out of the bathroom just off my kitchen and tripped over him. I landed flat on the floor. Both knees were bruised, the back of my left hand hit the door frame, and I don't know what my right hand/wrist hit, but I know I flung it out trying to stop the fall. Anyway, I'm not even a month out of the brace on my right wrist so this didn't do me any good. I couldn't do much for a week or so. And I didn't get to the photographer with the quilt, but I will. This is the top before any quilting was done.

On to better things, Marian of Seams To Be Sew announced the winners from our blog hop yesterday. She sent emails to the following lucky people:
Carol M.
Carolyn S.
Kathleen G.
Susan S.
So check your email if your name is here and see what you've won!

I am off to a long weekend sewing retreat tomorrow and plan to do a couple blocks for the 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt. One of the guilds I belong to is going to the Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunk, Maine. Hope everyone gets time to sew!

Mary




Monday, January 23, 2017

A Fresh Snow Blog Hop

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the A Fresh Snow Blog Hop. Thanks to Marian of Seams To Be Sew for organizing another fun event. Our task was to work with something other than wool. I owned a quilt shop named Little Lamb Quilt Shop from 2004 to 2011. And yes, we had wool. Lots of wool. Nice yardage from The Dorr Mill Store here in New Hampshire. And hand dyed fat quarters from several different dyers. It's so much fun to work with felted wool, but I set it aside when the shop closed.

I went digging though storage boxes and found 2 kits left from the shop. The first is a sewing kit pattern from Karyn Lord of Wool and Whimseys. Karyn doesn't have a website but you can find her patterns lots of places. The local place for all things penny rug related here is in Kennebunk, Maine, called Camp Wool. They have tons of wool, and so many patterns! I went there for the first time a few weeks back and I will definitely have to visit again, after I finish the kit I bought there. 😊


The first thing I made is a hand sewing kit and pin cushion. The sewing kit opens up and has a large pocket, a split smaller pocket and a heart to hold threaded needles.


I had so much fun making this that I thought I would make a penny rug next.


I've got all the tongues backed with Wonder Under and cut, ready to go. I have been working on the penny rug itself, and I'm almost done with the stitching on it. 


I could not get a photo without the cat. Every time I set it on the table he jumped up and sat down. After several tries, I gave up. If you look close enough you can see the dog is stitched but the flowers need some still. 


Here's a better shot of my helper, Nosey. He was adopted, and came with the name. It definitely fits!

Be sure to visit the other participants today:

Again, thanks to Marian at Seams To Be Sew for organizing this fun winter hop. Be sure to visit her each day for a free pattern. She has extra kits from the Wooly Block Hop that took place this past fall that she is donating for daily prizes. Be sure to visit everyone and leave a comment, then use the Rafflecopter to be entered in the drawing.



Thanks so much for for stopping by.
Mary

Friday, January 20, 2017

101 Patchwork Patterns Block 14

Welcome to another block in the delayed, but ongoing 101 Patchwork Patterns. After a tough couple months I've finally been able to sew again and I'm really enjoying it. You don't realize how much you love something until you can't do it. Well, hopefully I won't have to be in an arm brace again, because it really makes it hard to type or rotary cut. I'm very right handed and I could push pieces through the sewing machine with my left hand but that was about it!

Before we get started I want to tell you all about a blog hop that started today. A Fresh Snow is today, and Monday through Wednesday. We will be sharing projects that include fabric other then cotton. As quilters we tend to use mostly cotton so it will be interesting to see what everyone does.
The schedule is:
Jan 20 (today)
Jan 23
Jan 24
Jan 25
I hope you can stop by and visit all these wonderful blogs. There is a daily prize to be had! Thank you to Marian of Seams To Be Sew for organizing another fun event.

Download Milky Way Pattern

This block starts a new portion of the quilt, and the blocks are going to measure 10" in the quilt, so 10-1/2" including seam allowances. I have detailed making half square triangle units several times before. This time we are making 9, 4-patch units. The following walks you through a quick and easy way to do this.


Start with 2 strips of each blue and white, cut 1-1/2" x 14". Sew pairs of blue and white strips together as shown above. Press towards the blue fabric.


Next,  place the two strip sets right sides together with the colors opposite each other.


Place your ruler at the right end of the strip set. Align any ruler line with the horizontal seam. Make a cut to the right end of the strip set, just a quarter inch or so, to give you a clean edge.


Spin your mat around, or carefully pick up the strips and turn them around. Use your ruler to cut 1-1/2 inch sections from the strip pairs. At the sewing machine, sew a 1/4 inch seam on one cut edge of each pair. Open and press.

Using the 4 patch units, the half square triangle units, 2 yellow squares and 2 background squares, lay out your block. Sew into rows, then sew rows together. It looks like a lot of piecing but goes fast.


So, here is a drawing from Electric Quilt of where we are at. This round will be 20 blocks. If you haven't had a chance to assemble your center portion yet, the assembly instructions are here.

Be sure to stop by on Tuesday and see what I've been working on in wool.

Mary


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Project Quilting - 8 is Great

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. I went to Connecticut to visit my family for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I developed a problem with my right arm the beginning of November. It was so painful I was having to eat with my left hand. I went to the doctor, who sent me to an orthopedic doctor. He ordered an MRI to check for torn things, but all was well. So I had 6 weeks of physical therapy and was told to rest my arm as much as possible. So rotary cutting, sewing, even typing was too painful. I was finally discharged by the doctor on Thursday and given the OK to resume normal activity. With the understanding that I'd go slow, and rest when it hurts. I am frustrated but glad to be spending time sewing again.


You may be familiar with Persimon Dreams Kim Lapacek's Project Quilting. You can read all about it but the short story is she issues several challenges and you have a week to post your entry. Lots of prizes are available, but the main point is to challenge yourself creatively. The first challenge, issued on January 1, was "8 is Great." This is the eighth year of Project Quilting. I have wanted to participate in the past but never completed anything. I decided this was the time to join. I spent the week making this small quilt.
18" x 18"

It is from a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman called Octagonal Orb. I simply Googled "eight" and started looking through the images that came up. I was hoping to find something that would inspire an idea, but found this pattern instead. I love it! I just happened to have a 10" square package of Island Batiks on hand. 
I divided the fabrics up into three piles: dark, medium and light. Choosing six from each, I made the rings of the orb go from dark in the middle to medium to light on the outside. I just love the pastel colors and wanted to have more of those, so the largest outside ring was the best position. I have yardage of the grey on hand, Charcoal Kona Cotton.
 

This was a fun project to make. Now, as the Project Quilting challenges continue, I need to work on my quilting. This is just stitched in the ditch around each ring. I need to practice a bit and just go for it on the next challenge. 

Now that I am sewing a bit again I will return to the Ruby Short McKim 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt. The next block will be available in a couple days. 

Mary

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Eerie Nights Blog Hop

Hello, and welcome to the Eerie Nights Blog Hop. I hope you have been following along each day. We've seen some wonderful projects. Thanks to Marian at Seams To Be Sew for organizing this, and Amy at Sew Incredible Crazy for being our hostess. I'll share the full schedule at the bottom of this post. You can visit any time to see what everyone is up to!

If you have visited me before you may remember that my life turned upside down a few months ago with the death of my husband. I have been working on cleaning out our house in preparation to moving ever since. When I have something that I can sell and don't need, I've been parting with it. So I've left myself without a dining table. Oh well, I've got a fun table topper to share, and you'll just have to imagine it's nicely displayed!

You can download a pdf version of this pattern for future reference.


When I set the topper down on a kitchen island, this is what I got! My cat, Seamus, thinks everything is for him. And when I tried to move him, he turned his back! Good thing he's cute!




This is made with one block, and which is twisted to get the pattern. I started with paper pieced half square triangle units and proceeded from there.


Next, sew together pairs of half square triangle units.


 Now sew two pairs together, and pinwheel the center seam to reduce bulk.


Close up of the pinwheeled center of the block.


Next, make pairs of blocks, then sew together into blocks of 4 units.


You also need to make four corner units with 2 blocks and 2 plain squares.


To the above, add two plain rectangles. These extend beyond the blocks for now.


Following this diagram, assemble your blocks. The corner blocks get trimmed after you quilt, and before you apply your binding.



Closeups showing the quilting.


I used designs from a Continuous Line Halloween machine embroidery design pack from Embroidery Online with a variegated thread from Aurifil. I didn't realize the thread included white so it didn't work perfectly, but I like it.


After the quilting you will need to trim off the ears on the corners. Be careful to leave a quarter inch beyond the seam allowance with the neighboring block and at the intersection of the two rectangles.


When trimming around the rest of the topper, I used the center white line (that is at 3-1/4" on my 6-1/2" ruler) and checked that I had 1/4" beyond the points before cutting. 

I cut my binding 2" and sewed it at 1/4". This worked out a bit tight and made the corners (all 12 of them!!!) a bit hard to turn. I'm probably going to take it off and replace it with a 2-1/4" cut binding.

Finished size of the table topper is 24" diameter.

Eerie Nights Blog Hop Schedule:

20-Oct

21-Oct

24-Oct

25-Oct

26-Oct

27-Oct
                    YOU ARE HERE ===>>> Seacoast Quilter


28-Oct


If you have time it's fun to see everyone's projects. And of course, enter the prize drawings. I have a chance for you to win some of my favorite thread, Aurifil. Just leave a comment below and use the Rafflecopter to enter the drawing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for stopping by. I am doing a block of the week (or so) using the classic 101 Patchwork Patterns book by Ruby Short McKim rewritten into rotary cutting instructions. We are making a medallion style quilt and have completed one round. Take a look here, or click the tab at the top of the page.

Enjoy,
Mary


Thursday, October 20, 2016

New England Quilt Museum & Eerie Nights

I went to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Mass today. They have a monthly book group lunch meeting that includes a nonfiction title and a fiction title. The fiction today was Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas. I've read several of her books but not this one. It sounded like an amazing story so it's gone on my list. The other book discussed today was 101 Patchwork Patterns by Ruby Short McKim. I was invited to speak a bit and show the quilt to date. It was very interesting to see the couple antique Ruby McKim quilts and some blocks that they have in their collection. I hadn't been to the museum in a while and I really should go more often. The exhibits are always incredible. The current exhibit that just opened today is America's Appliqued Quilts from the Christ Collection. If you are anywhere in the area be sure to see it.


Now, for the promised first part of 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt assembly. I have a step by step document to help, and it is pretty straight forward. If you have any questions, on any block or other instructions, please ask. I am always glad to help. I know what I write makes sense to me, but may not always make sense to you. I ran to one of my local quilt shops yesterday to pin the quilt up for a photo, and it looks like it needed pressing. I changed the arrangement from the drawing a bit to distribute the colors nicely.


The Eerie Nights Blog Hop started today. You can see the full schedule at Sew Incredibly Crazy. There are lots of great prizes and fun projects to see. My day is next Thursday, October 27. I've got a free pattern for you.

Thanks for stopping by. If you get your quilt center together please share a photo on Facebook. We'd all love to see it!

Mary



Monday, October 17, 2016

101 Patchwork Patterns Block 13

I've been extremely busy with one thing and another... you all know how it goes. And before you know it, a month has gone by. These past few weeks have been very busy with guild quilt shows. I've been to four. After back surgery in 2014 I had missed a couple years of shows so I've really enjoyed going to: Merrimack Valley Quilters, Belknap Mills Quilters Guild, Monadnock Quilters Guild and one of the two guilds I belong to, Cocheco Quilters Guild.

There are two area events left in this fall season, both the same weekend and both new events. The Connections Quilt Festival is in Nashua, NH, November 10-12. Also new to the area is a vendor only show at the Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge, MA, November 10-12. This is sponsored by Pinwheels and Friends who hold a spring event in Mt. Kisco, NY. This will be their first time in Sturbridge.

Also, I am participating in two fun events on Thursday, October 20. First, I am part of the Eerie Nights Blog Hop and Thursday is my day to share. I have a quick and easy table topper with a fall look. Lots of great prizes are up for grabs during the hop, too. And I'll be speaking at the New England Quilt Museum during their monthly book club lunch meeting on Thursday. Their books for the month are 101 Patchwork Patterns and Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas. I have read and enjoyed several Dallas novels but not this one. Think I can read it by Thursday?

I have two blocks from 101 Patchwork Patterns to share today, and I'll be back in a day or two with the first assembly instructions for our quilt. I chose an all pieced block and an alternate block with a little bit of applique. Whichever you choose to make is fine, and this block will allow us to assemble the first round of our medallion style quilt. The choices are Steps to the Alter or Cherry Basket.

Download Steps to the Alter Pattern



First you need to cut the Piece A green squares in half diagonally. I use the lines on the cutting mat to help me get the cut right on the diagonal by laying the square with the corners on a vertical line and using the 45 degree line to make sure it is straight on the mat.


Next, I lay out the rows needed for half of the block. 


Then I glue baste the squares to each other so I can go to the machine and sew without worrying that squares are out of place.


Next, sew pairs of yellow and green rows together. 

Now make the brown and beige half square triangle unit, and using the other half of the brown square, make the other half of the block. 

At this point you can sew the yellow/green pieces and the beige/brown pieces into rows, or sew each half together. I chose to sew the halves together. As you can see here I pressed the seam allowances open on the yellow/green rows.


Sew the two halves of the block together and you are done. (Sorry, missed a photo of this step.) 

As an improvement I am working on setting up a photography station with better light. I've been checking other blog posts on the issue. These seem to be particularly dark and I apologize.


Download Cherry Basket Pattern



This is very similar to the Steps to the Alter block above. Your small blocks are half square triangles rather than simple squares. 


Sew the rows of the basket together just like you did before. Also, add the dark purple half square triangles to the background rectangles.


Next you'll sew the background/triangle pieces to the basket, first one side then the other. Make sure you have an overlap of the dark purple triangles at the bottom corner of the basket. Sew the half square of background to the bottom of the basket.


After cutting the 8-5/8" large square on the diagonal, press to mark the center. Also fold the applique handle in half and line up the folds when placing the handle. Be sure that the bottom edges of the handle will be caught in the seam allowance.


I used fusible web to trace the basket handle and fuse it to the background triangle. I used a machine blanket stitch to sew it. You can use any stitch you would like: straight, zigzag, blanket, even hand blanket stitching is fine. Whatever you want is what's right.

Sew the handle portion to the basket portion. They are not equal halves like the Steps to the Alter were. Check to make sure you have a 1/4 inch seam allowance on either end of the handle portion extending beyond the basket portion.

Quilt including block 13.

So that wasn't too bad, was it? Remember you only need to make one of the blocks unless you want to have a spare. Each round of the quilt layout uses a different size block to make the dimensions come out right. So the 12 or 13 9 inch blocks we've made will surround the large center block. 

Check back in a couple days for the first assembly instructions.
Thanks for visiting,
Mary