Friday, August 25, 2017

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

My husband, 12-year-old grandson, and I took a trip last week to Washington, D. C. to see museums and historical sites.  Above is the rotunda of the National Museum of Natural History.
Like all quilters, I had to pack something to work on while away from my sewing machine, so I selected this UFO that I've been appliqueing off and on (mostly off) for several years.  You can see how I basted this block within an inch of its life.  The inside and the outside of the circle are basted under, and then the whole "plate" is basted to the background.  If I was working on it at home, I would just have pinned it on the background, but it is much more portable this way.  I'm less likely to lose pins or to stab the person next to me on the airplane with a misplaced pin.
Not much sewing happened the first few days.  My husband, while normally a mild-mannered man, is a drill sergeant on vacation.  We walked all over Washington, checking off boxes on his mental list.  When we finally got back to the hotel each day, I usually threw myself on the bed, barely summoning the energy to read.  (The photo above is the capitol rotunda, beautifully restored.)
The museums have lots of inspiration for quilters. This is the original Singer 1851 patent model sewing machine.  Wow!  The guys could not understand why I was so excited about it.  Sorry about the bad photo, it's in a glass case.
Here's a coverlet with a star pattern.  Sure looks like a quilt.
I think I've seen these on the internet before, as an inspiration for a modern quilt.  These are (I think!) sections of different woods, dyed to show their structure.
The Harriet Powers Bible quilt was not on display this time, but I've seen it before and it is wonderful.  Click HERE to go to a photo/description.
This is the view from our hotel window.  In the foreground are the old historic houses of Georgetown.  To the back on the left side is the famous Watergate complex.
Just had to pose with this guy, Alexander Hamilton.
We're back home now, and I did manage to finish 3 more blocks of the Dresden plate.  I took out the basting thread, pressed them, and hung them on a skirt hanger to wait til I finish the rest.
Above is my favorite "carved in stone" saying of the whole trip.  It is at the new FDR memorial.
Words to live by.

School starts in 3 days!!!
Summer must really be over.
Have a wonderful week!
I'm linking up with Myra as usual at Busy Hands Quilts,  and Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for the first time.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Kids, Books, Scraps, and Quilts

It's a scraptastic Saturday around here, and I've got my blocks done for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month.  August's color is neutral.  Hmm, can I do neutral? 
Neutral is tough with novelty fabrics, so I decided to go for fabrics with light backgrounds.  Here's my strawberry house.   Mmm, strawberries.
This one is nice and weird.  The main fabric is printed with bandaids, and for some reason there are bugs on the bandaids.  So the door has a bug, too.
Here's a house for me.  Save our flowers, save our pets, save our trees, save our planet!
A dotty house, sugary sweet with smiling flowers in the sky.
Three Pooh bears are peeking out of this house.  From the tropical sea shell print on the roof, we can see that the Poohs have left foggy England behind for sunny Florida.  They do need to work on their spelling.
And lastly, the orange house, probably also in Florida.  Or maybe California.
I decided the neutral theme really wouldn't fit with the Buckeye Beauty blocks, so I'm skipping those this month.
Making blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is the most fun I've ever had doing homework.

This homework comes in a close second--my blocks for the Children's Library Quilt, hosted by Pat Sloan.
The official block for August is this one.  I can't stop using Dr. Seuss fabric!  I got these scraps at the rummage sale at the quilt museum in June.  There's Clifford fabric in there, too.
I'm making 12 blocks for my Children's Library Quilt, instead of the 9 Pat is giving us, so I've been finding blocks elsewhere and using the book character fabrics to sew them up.  This block is modified from Cross Keys by Gina Gempesaw, block #573 in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, vol. 6.
I changed the center to a solid square, and put the Very Hungry Caterpillar in there.

Lately I've been doing more quilting, as well as piecing.  Here's something I actually finished.
It's a baby quilt, made of flannel, for charity.
I tried to get my youngest grandson to post with it, but he was just too busy.
He did curl up with it later on the floor.  Tired, but fighting sleep.
I washed the quilt after he went home, and it's even more cuddly now.
Clean and soft, and ready to go to a new home.

I am so lucky!  I get to enjoy the things I love most every week--kids, books, scraps, and quilts.
How was your week?
Join me at the linky parties at Busy Hands Quilts and So Scrappy.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Waves, Soap, and Duckies

Happy Friday!  It's gloomy, rainy, and cool here (50s!  In August??) but a good day for quilting.  Heck, every day is a good day for quilting!  My almost-finish for this week is a give-away quilt.
You might recognize the shapes.  They're tumblers, cut with the Accuquilt cutter by one of our members.  There were 48 of the duckie tumblers cut when I got them.  I tried to figure out a layout that would use all of them.  In the end, I needed 49, so the center tumbler was a different duckie print, cut from some of my wonderful novelty fabric.

I added solid fabrics from my stash, and this daisy print for the backing.  The daisy print was originally bought to go with another quilt, but it works okay with this one.
Mr. Biddy is supervising here.  He went to the vet yesterday, and they think he's doing pretty good for being a 15 year old cat.
You've seen the duckies.  Here's where the waves and soap come in.
I am a walking-foot quilter.  The walking foot on my Pfaaf is built in, which is great.  Most of this tumbler quilt was quilted about 1/4 in. from each seam, but I got a little fancy in the outer border with these waves.  It's one of my favorite stencils, and this time I used soap to mark the lines.
I've used soap to mark other quilts, but I didn't think it would work on stencils.  After all, soap is wide, and you have to mark through a fairly narrow channel.  I tried it, just for giggles, and found that the plastic edges of the channels cut through the soap enough to leave quite nice marks.
Warning--it does have the same major drawback as chalk.  The marks will easily wear off if you touch them while quilting.  To counter this, I marked one border at a time (these aren't continuous), and tried to hold the quilt by the outer edges as I quilted, grasping mostly the batting and backing.
Here's what it looks like quilted.  I never try to make these waves turn the corners, I just run the lines to the edge of the quilt or start/stop at the corner seams.
Isn't this a happy print?  Our quilt group regularly donates quilts to a local charity that helps homeless families find apartments.  This quilt will go to a child who needs it.
Now all I have to do is bind it!
Here's what's on my makeshift design wall this week.  I started these blocks about a year ago, and made 42 of the small ones.  But look what happens when you put 4 together!  So far, I am loving it.  I have to make LOTS more blocks, which is what I'm sewing on my treadle in the top photo.  I'm also using my 1930s and 1940s scraps to good purpose.
What are you working on this week?  Why not join me at the linky party at Busy Hands Quilts?   It's always a good time.