Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hello again!

Finally, a post!  
It's been a long, wet winter here in Seattle with no opportunities for outdoor photos.  
At last, we got a day with no rain and very little wind, 
so hubby and I got outside with quilts and camera.

Meanwhile, I've been watching what you've been making, 
and have finished a handful of projects. 
I'll post them one by one over the next few weeks.

First up, the "Haha" quilt top is complete!  It finished at 60" x 72".
(Story in the last post.)

Here's a photo from my sewing table as I made the blocks.

The back will be this fabric salvaged from old curtains found on eBay.
I'm looking forward to quilting it with machine and hand stitches.  

Instagram has also been a fun way to share and keep up with many of you.
If you haven't already, you can find me there @niftyquilts.  

Happy Spring!

Friday, December 30, 2016

HAHAHAppy New Year!

I've started a new project that will take me well into the new year.
It's using mostly my hubby's old shirts, along with a few stash fabrics.  

I've been wanting to make it ever since
 I saw this photo on Barbara Brackman's blog back in 2014.
I love a quilt with a good sense of humor!

But the story of this quilt isn't funny at all.  
It's told in this book.  

Anna Horn made the quilt in 1917-1918.  
Her son, Albert Horn, was away at war (WWI) at the time.   
A Wisconsin farm wife and mother of nine, she had already lost two children
when Albert left to serve his country.  
Anna comforted herself by stitching the initials that she and her son shared. 

Albert survived the war and the quilt stayed in the family for generations.
It was eventually given to his great granddaughter, Ashley Horn.  

Wishing you all laughter, comfort, love and creativity in 2017!

HAHAHAppy new year!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Ho Ho Ho!

However you celebrate the holidays, here's wishing you many sweet moments
with friends and family.  

"Santa and the Orphan Blocks" 50 x 72" Made in 2013
And peace and happiness in the new year!

Today, and every day, I appreciate you, my "blog family."
Here's to more creativity and sharing for all of us in 2017!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Vintage Scrap Lone Star

It all started in 2013, when Quiltdiva Julie sent me a box of crazy pieced vintage blocks.

There were 24 in all, and they came from a quilt top she'd bought on Ebay.
The seller said it came from Ohio.

I had saved this photo on my computer screen for some years before that.  
I don't remember the source, but it became my inspiration.

I sewed the blocks together and cut out the diamond shapes for the star.  
There were just enough leftover for the border.  

Then I bought some embroidery floss.

I learned a few stitches, and embroidered all the seams.

Eventually, it was ready for a background.
I picked this spring green solid, because it was the only thing that seemed to work.
I wasn't excited about the color, but thought I'd get over it.
Well, I didn't.  I just didn't like all that green!

I decided to remove it and find another background.
Several hours of stitch-picking later, I was ready for auditions.
I tried practically everything I had on the shelf.  
Here are just a few.

Too light

Too dark

Too brown

Too bright

Too busy

Too gray

A few dear friends suffered with me and my auditions for WEEKS!

Then I went to the Houston Quilt Festival and found what I was looking for!
It's one of the new woven plaids from Kaffe Fassett.
The top is about 87" square, plenty big for a queen size bed.
I finished it last week.

THEN, just yesterday, I went to the Farmer's Market, like I do every Sunday.
The woman farmer I always buy from gave me this!

She said her great-grandmother had made it from old family clothes.
What a treasure!  I tried to talk her out of giving it away.
But she said she had no room for it.  
So I gladly brought it home.  

While Julie's was sewn in blocks and not yet embroidered,
this one was sewn all on one sheet with embroidery.

Now I have TWO vintage scrap tops to quilt and to love!

News just in:  

Bill Volckening found where the original inspiration quilt came from.
The quilt was shown in the European Patchwork show in France in 2012.  

Katell Renon's quilt group in France was also inspired by the original.
They made a beauty!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"Spare Parts"

"Spare Parts"  87" x 87"
I finished this quilt top recently.  It's all made from "orphan" blocks,
(meaning parts that didn't make it into other quilts.) 
It was on my design wall for three solid months, finding it's way to completion.

It all started out as an attempt to use all my orphan blocks that fit into 
 this color range.  
The baskets are from Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran's book,
Collaborate Again.

They seemed to need a border, so I pulled out some sawtooth strips from
a block exchange I participated in years ago.  

What next?  I had some words I'd made from Tonya Ricucci's book,
Word Play Quilts.  
"Moderation" fit the color scheme, but I saved it for another day.  
Besides, the word "moderation" in this mess seemed a little TOO ironic!

I loved those green and white fans all lined up, and the Freddy chickens. 
But something wasn't right.
The fans are extras from my "Eyelashes" quilt. 

So I took them out, and added more spools and simple log cabin blocks.
You can find the spools and basket quilts here.
Better, but...

Still, something was not quite right.
At least I found a home for some of the fans.

I realized it needed a little calming down, so I added solid red.
I had lots of string pieced leaves, cut out years ago, 
and some extra basket handles for the vines.

A couple of weekend road trips, and the leaves were appliqued on.

Now, if I just made it a little bigger, it would fit nicely on a queen size bed.
Ah-hah!  I had lots of leftover blocks from the

Ta da!
And I still have plenty of spare parts leftover for a rainy day.
Good thing.  We're having lots of rainy days around here.  

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Organized Chaos

Here's my version of Sujata Shah's wonderful pattern,
"Organized Chaos."  
It's a joy to make, and a great way to use scraps.

The color scheme started with this home decorator fabric.  
A friend and I took on the challenge to make a quilt with it.
I thought I might use it as the border. 
In the end, both the fabric and the quilt shouted, "No!"

I quilted it with wool batting, and stitched in the ditch along the outside edge of each block. 
Then I added perle cotton 8 details.

Keeping with the scrappy theme, the back is a hodgepodge of large scraps.

You can purchase the pattern at Sujata's etsy shop here.

Meanwhile, I was fooling around with some "orphan" blocks. 

And the challenge fabric found it's home!  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Playing with Plaids

I've been having fun with plaids, and finished this quilt top recently. 

"Plaids II" 58" x 76"

It's inspired by a quilt I've long admired, a 1930's quilt in Roberta Horton's collection.
It's shown in her book, "Scrap Quilts, The Art of Making Do."

All the plaids came from my stash, mostly shirts from the thrift store.

I made another quilt out of shirt plaids in 2013.

Earlier this summer, I received these wonderful madras plaids
from Beth in Houston.  
They came along with an adorable little pouch she'd made from a shirt cuff! 

I've also been cutting up my husband's old shirts.

Looks like there are more plaid quilts in my future!