Monday, March 25, 2013

Works in Progress

Progress is rolling along here! 
I sewed on Friday Sat and a little on Sunday too. I got several more Works In Progress done. These are things that don't really qualify as older UFOs (Unfinished Objects) because I had not started them before the current calendar 2013 year. Anything cut into and started before Jan 1 2013 is a UFO. Anything started after that is a WIP.  The totes and the potato bags were all free motion quilted so I am linking up to Leah Day.s Free Motion Quilting Project.

Here are my WIPs number 17 to 20. These are tote bags of varied sizes using up osme of my Mary Engelbreit fabrics that were given to me about 6 months ago by a friend. I am keeping the large one. Gifting the others which are lunch bag sizes. These were done a few weeks ago.

WIP number 21, also done previously ,was the Mary Engelbreit porch sofa quilt mentioned in another blog post.

Done on Friday, my WIP number 22 is a set of pillowcases to gift my daughter in law on her upcoming birthday. These match the blue Lone Star quilt seen in other posts that I made for my son. The set will live in their guest room. :D The tutorial I used for these Twittletails 15 minute pillowcases is here: 


The four potato storage bags (WIPs number 23 to 26) are another spontaneous project. started a few weeks ago and finished Saturday. These were inspired by a comment my daughter in law Steph made one day.  The one rolled up and tied with a tag and twine is a gift for her. I made four of them because I had to buy a yard of the tater fabric. Otherwise I would have made just two of them. But these are for storing your potatoes in...NOT for baking them in. As mentioned, one is a gift for my daughter in law, one for my daughter in May, one for me and one for my mom for Mother's Day.  I kind of made up my own pattern from a fat quarter, added batting and lining and quilted it. I zig-zag stitched the side seams and boxed the bottom. My top binding is pretty wide so it looks more substantial. Thin binding just would not have looked right. Handles were a must-have addition when moving potatoes! Yep, its gonna get dirty so it is well made and completely machine washable. Better than a plastic sack!

 Last night was card making night for me and I made 4 different sets of eight cards using all stash I had here. I love them! Here are the pics. All are condolence cards made last night for swaps. Whoohoo! Love it when a project is DONE!

On now to quilting WIP number 27 which is going to take me a while. It's a sofa quilt for my daughter Jen for her birthday.  That's a post for another day! :D

Get crafty--and keep moving toward your creative goals.
with 7 UFOs done and 26 WIPs done in 2013!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Row by Row We got it Together!

My Row by Row from 2002-03 is finally DONE!
This was my 6th UFO completed this year

I started this with an internet group back in 2002-03 and it took about 2 years to get my scrap box and the rows from the other participants back. There were 8 of us in the swap and we did our quilts round robin style. Our group of gals was Mary Ellen T in NY, Donna P in CA, Carol B in MO, Robyn W in IA, Renee B in MI, Linda S in IN, Lynn G in ND, and myself. Each person did a row except Lynn who I believe became ill. This quilt is made all from my own scraps packed into a box back then and sent round robin around the country.

I made three rows in this eight row quilt. I did the E row and the topiary trees row and the last extender row which I call Keep it Simple, Stupid. (After a common saying at the time). Many small online groups started round robins of 8 quilters. The entire quilt pattern was offered free online back in the day at by Patti Anderson. She designed it in 2000 as a type of millennium quilt. Each row was a commentary on twentieth century life.

The rows are: (our names for them not Patti's)
Stars in the Heaven
Friendship Baskets
Internet Webs
Home on the Phone
Spinning Spools
Atomic Energy
Topiary Garden (substituted for  Lynn's Point and Click)
Everything is Electronic
Keep it Simple, Stupid. (added by me for length extension)

 I sandwiched and quilted it in the last week.

I am linking up to Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project  The rows of this quilt were sewn in three panels of three to four rows horizontally so it could be free motion quilted in sections. I did this just random wiggle waggles, meander quilted about 1/2 inch to one inch apart on a DSM. The section fronts were then joined together, then the batting whip stitched together, and lastly the backings seamed by hand before again free motion quilting that particular joined seam sash area. I did it this way to refresh my memory on quilting in segments because one of my Tuesday students is trying this method for her next project.

Done is good!

Indigo Blue Makes Me Happy!

Another UFO bites the dust!
I had forgotten all about these indigo blue blocks until four days ago when I was searching from my 1930s hexie quilt to work on by hand during tv time. Digging in the vintage hexie quilt project box (a quilt I also rescued from a garage sale), I found these older blue blocks mixed in with the spare 1930-40s fabrics.

Four of them were from a Missouri estate sale back in the late 1970s and I got a couple more of them from my grandmother's house in 2005-6. Since Grandma Helen didn't and doesn't sew, I knew she had gotten them from my great grandmother's cache. They are indigo dyed and calico with plain muslin sashings. All hand sewn seams in the piecing. I believe them to be 1860-1890 era.

I finished one block and added a bit more muslin to the sashings of a few of the smaller ones. I then sewed them up into a 8 block table runner.

I feather quilted in spiral free form feathers with echo quilting.

I added vintage blue barkcloth backing and more vintage lack and white bcalico for the binding. The calicos in the runner blocks each had a bit of black in the lighter calico prints. The calico binding fabric still had it's paper price tag on it! It is about from 1900-1910 and the tag read:
Clearance: 5 yards, 40 cents !

What??!! 8 cents a yard back then. When I tore the binding fabric on grain to make my french style binding, it gave of a mini cloud of dust! I guess that means it is aging and needed to be used!

Well it's done now and I can mark UFO 7 off the list!  I love my indigos!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Blue Lone Star

Some of you will be happy to hear that I FINISHED the blue lone star quilt that I worked on in the fall shown here. This is my 5th UFO for 2013.

It was a 50 year project started by my great grandmother Frances Meyer Gramlich about 1963-64. She cut her blue diamonds by hand with cardboard templates. Alas she got fairly far but passed away when I was 8 in 1968. It then came to my grandmother Helen who does not really sew. She tried a few seams on her sewing machine and put it away.


A few years later Grandma Helen gave it to her sister in law, (Frances's daughter) my great aunt Mille Gramlich Vollmer to finish up for her. Mille worked on it off and on for a few years but she also had her own sewing and quilts to do so it was not a high "must do" on her timeline. She did get it further but her own health failed and it came back to my grandmother Helen again. Helen then asked her other sister in law on the other side of her family  (my great aunt Bonnie Jenkins) to work on it. She did so and got the top done but then the two ladies had a falling out. Again the top came back to grandma Helen until about 2006. We helped Grandma Helen clear out her home so she could move to a nursing home. At that time she gave it to me for my son.

I would say the hardest thing about this project was dealing with the varied stitch lengths, seam allowances, and sewing styles of the 4 women who worked on it before me with varying amounts of sewing experience. I did not want to rip out ANY of their work and yet I had to make it work. It took a little patience. I promised to finish it up --and now I have.  It now lives with love at my son and his wife's home. They value it and the work we all did to get it to them. I am privileged to say I am the 5th woman in my family to have sewn love into it's seams. That's the essence of quilting to me.

The Porch Quilt

It's a VERY MARY kind of week around here!

It's no secret I enjoy the sassy and happy style of Mary Engelbreit art--and have for years. This week I got down to business on a quilt using not only scraps but also some wonderful Mary E fabrics from a few years ago. I made 5 tote  bags/lunch bags first and then with my "leftovers" I got started on a truly great project for my 3 season porch.

I have needed a new lap/nap sofa quilt on the porch for a couple years now and finally got to it! This is the year I finish up some of my fabric and sewing UFOs as my regular readers know....Well it was time to work through my Mary E fabrics and this is what resulted.  It is almost a twin size so there is plenty of room to share when sitting watching tv --or plenty of foot-to-shoulder room for one lying down when napping.

It is sewn Free Motion Quilting meander style in the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern which is super duper simple compared to how hard it looks. I love to free motion quilt and if you want to learn, stop by Leah Day's site to learn more. This quilt was meandered about an inch apart but there are hundreds of ways to quilt a quilt with your own sewing machine.

As for the block, in this disappearing nine patch pattern, whatever bold fabric you use in the center block gets cut into smaller 1/4ths and rotated outward. Whatever fabrics you use in the corners remains whole. There are lots of tutorials on D9P quilts online--just Google it. I believe in using what you have in the stash and even recycling cotton fabrics if needed. I used all kinds of red, black, yellow, and white scraps up--not necessarily in her brand line but coordinated with it. Mary's Love, Family, Home fabrics were my focal fabrics and exemplify what is important in life.  I love how this turned out.

This is my 22nd Work in Progress for 2013 and 27th project this year if you count my 5 UFOs completed as well. Many of those have been made for gifts but not this one! :D

It's a keeper!