Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Log Cabin Swap Fun

 Log Cabin Swap
 Several of you have asked about the Log Cabin Block swap
 so I thought I would share the details here.

 I found a few gull-able friends and decided to just put it out there to see if they wanted to make over-sized blocks, cut them into quarters and then swap. 
 Here is our my plan. It is pretty much the nuts and bolts type of information. You can disregard any of the swapping info.

RULES:(you know I don't like too many rules, I like to call them guidelines)
Colors? Think Minick & Simpson meets Bonnie & Camille
(fabrics are not limited to these designers- just want to convey the feel of fabrics to work with)
No Batiks
Denims, wovens and other textures okay except  no crazy stuff like chenille.
Blacks and Golds okay
Press away from center regardless of light fabrics.
Do I need to say quilt store quality fabrics? I hope not with this group.

Make 20” finished log cabins
 - any size center(think big since it will be cut into quarters)
 - any size strips except outer strips on all four sides must be a minimum of 2” finished.This will allow trimming and squaring up after swapping. - Basically make 16” scrappy blocks then add 2 1/2” cut strips on all four sides to have a 20" block. - Cut each block into 4 even quarters measuring 10” square. Keep 1 and trade the other 3. Do not sew any of the quarter blocks back together. - Send the  blocks to me at this stage.

Once you receive the swapped blocks, trim and square up your blocks. Join 4 together in whatever setting/layout/or design you prefer.
Size will vary depending on how much you want to trim your swapped blocks. The layout below, I am estimating finished blocks will be approx. 18”

So that is our swap in a nutshell. There are a bunch of us doing these blocks with all different styles, tastes and fabric stashes. The variety of blocks will be the starting point to create some pretty cool finished quilts. We are a competitive/over achieving bunch, seeing what everyone creates will be the exciting part.

Here is the just beginning of my log Cabin strips. This was a great stash buster project. All those 1/8 of a yard pieces that were to big to go in the scrap bin but were constantly lost in the "fabric closet" quickly got sliced and diced into a variety of sizes. My fabric started out combining Bonnie and Camille with Minick and Simpson.(Acronym for that would be BCMS) 
Then I added Zen Chic, Sweetwater, Luci Summers, Tula Pink, a piece or two of Momo, Primitive Gatherings and 3 sisters! I am in heaven!!

Here are Susan Ache's strips.  What a wonderful variety, 
mixing 30's prints, Fig Tree
 and Sweetwater.
Oldies and Goodies!
Then in the blink of an eye, Susan already has a bunch of her blocks done. If you follow Susan on Instagram, https://instagram.com/yardgrl60/, you probably already know she is an incredible quilter. 

This pic is from Laurie Simpson's instagram.
Look at some of those tee-tiny pieces. Like I said, 
a good scrap buster.

Janet Hill has already been playing around with 
different settings. @janeth421
The best way to track the process as my posse 
continues making their blocks 
is to follow 
on Instagram. 
We will be swapping blocks end of July!
I hope to have my quilt ready for Labor Day.
I can't wait to see what everyone creates!!

This quilt is so inspired by my friend AmandaJean Nyberg of crazymomquilts as well as all the Bento Box type of quilts happening all over the place.
I highly recommend anything Amanda does and her quilt is a bit more manageable than the way we are doing our swap. Our blocks are bigger to start with but end up making a smaller block overall. If you like the look but don't want to deal with the swapping, get Sunday Morning Quilts. You will not regret having this book in your library.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Irish Chain Blog Hop

Hello and Welcome, 
I am thrilled and nervous at the same time to kick off Melissa Corry's Irish Chain Blog hop. Melissa has all kinds of fun things planned for this hop. Each day you will be visiting 2 different stops and I guarantee there will be so much color throughout. 
Did you play with Pick Up Sticks as a kid? I found them quite challenging and spent hours balancing those little buggers. Melissa's pick up sticks quilt is a realistic interpretation of thin colorful sticks balancing end to end throughout the quilt. Melissa used Carolyn Frielander's collection which also gave this quilt an architectural feel.

I wanted to mix mine up and started with the classic colors of Red and White but was not to happy with my choices. I kept coming back to Melissa's version. We have all agonized over color and fabrics, right? I wanted mine to look exactly like the one I saw, Exactly. Please tell me you have done that.

I did 15 jumping jacks to get my heart pumping and blood to the brain.
Then I decided I would do a positive - negative version of her quilt. I still wanted an architectural, yet almost industrial look so I went with an assortment of greys and used whites as my sticks.
My quilt top looks like steel buildings with reflective windows climbing the skyline. 
If you squint at the picture above it almost looks robotic.

Squint again and there is a chunky plus sign shape that will be quilted as an overall design. I think this will give the quilt a sleek secondary look.
The fabrics are a combination of greys, whites and cremes from Amy Ellis and Zen Chic. They are so perfect for a quilt for a man in your life.

 Hop on over to Fat Quarter Shop to see the quilt that Joceyln is making. 

Check back every day as these talented quilters each share their Irish Chain.
June 8th -   Happy Quilting - Blog Hop Intro
June 9th -   Moda Lissa - Lissa Alexander
                  Fat Quarter Shop - Jocelyn Ueng
June 10th -  Piece N Quilt - Natalia Bonner
                  In Color Order - Jeni Baker
June 11th -  Amy's Creative Side - Amy Ellis
                  Sew Kind of Wonderful - Jenny Pedigo
June 12th -  Quilt Story - Megan Jimenez
                  Diary of a Quilter - Amy Smart
June 15th -  Freshly Pieced - Lee Heinrich
                  Christa Quilts - Christa Watson
June 16th -  Moda Cutting Table - Carrie Nelson
                  Little Miss Shabby - Corey Yoder
June 17th -  Fresh Lemons - Faith Jones
                  V and Co.  - Vanessa Christenson
June 18th -  A Quilting Life - Sherri McConnell
                  Stitch This! - Jenny Wilding Cardon
June 19th -  Happy Quilting - Wrap Up & Grand Prizes

Melissa has some goodies lined up for her Grand Prize Giveaway  
There will be a Grand Prize Giveaway on the final day of the blog hop along with the Charity Quilt Reveal.  There are 2 super fun grand-prize Giveaways with lots of fabric, books, and even a mini quilt.    To enter the giveaway, they just need to leave a comment on the MELISSA's Intro Post. ( CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO MELLISSA'S  POST TO ENTER.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

French General Irish Chain

Pom Pom De Paris by French General

We have had a bit of sunshine for the first time in weeks. The deluge of rain seems to have stopped so I thought it a perfect time to pull out another quilt and document the specifics. I thought this Irish Chain would be good to talk about since next week I will be taking part in Melissa Corry's Irish Chain blog hop.
 This old quilt is just the opposite of what I will be showing next week, but more on that Monday. 

When I say old, spring 2011 was when this fabric was available in stores. Seems like eons ago. 

I love the look of  Blended Quilts that Marsha McCloskey and Sharon Yenter are known for. This fabric collection seemed like a perfect fit. 

So many of the prints were large scale and disappeared or blended into each other when cut smaller for the irish chain pieces. I guess that is the point of blended quilts, right?

 I love the muted butter yellow prints in this collection. The quilt has been washed a few times adding to it's well loved look.

  I did not let one scrap go to waste by adding the large prints, butter yellows and woven textures along with any orphan blocks or pieces from the quilt top to create a 2 sided quilt. 

A feathered wreath design was quilted in natural thread filling all of the natural area.

This is also the time for my public service announcement to document your quilts. I did not do that so I can remember who the quilter was. Maggi, was it you?

 I was lucky enough for this quilt to be featured in Quiltmania magazine 2012.
Thank you for reading along as I document my library of quilts and talk a step back into time!

Join me back here Monday for a fun blog hop featuring 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Log Cabin- circa 1982

One of my previous posts mentioned that I was going to document a few of my quilts and share their stories. so in no particular order......

This is probably one of my best loved quilts, really I should say best USED quilts. It is also one of the first quilts that I had machine quilted in a wonderful all over snoopy loop design. At the time commercial machine quilting was fairly new. Machine quilting and the talented machine quilters have single handedly reinvented the art of quilting. Machine quilting has also helped facilitate making more quilts. Thank you for that!!
 The general poop about this quilt is as follows:
The strips are 1" finished. The layout of these blocks is done in a big barn raising style. The border is a mission valley woven. Traditionally the center of log cabins were red or yellow representing love or warmth in the home. A friend of mine hung this quilt in her den for years. She needed something to cover the wall while decorating for a party and we both thought this quilt was just the thing. Since her home was like my second home the quilt stayed there for years until I pointed out to her that the corner of the quilt still needed the binding sewn down.
Since then this quilt has been on many a family picnic, fort building adventure and now resides as a play mat for my little grandson.
Another tidbit about this quilt is that I used all kinds of fabrics. In the 80's I was a young mom and a fairly new quilter. There were not very many quilt stores around at this time. I would go to any fabric store and buy fabric by the inch. Can you believe that?
That would be insane now.
 I would go and buy a few inches of as many different fabrics as I could possible find. Since the selection was limited this also meant that not everything matched or maybe I was not yet very confident in my color choices or both.
I sent the quilt top to a machine quilter in another state. This was in the early eighties and keep in mind, the quilting resurgence started in 1975. There were not many quilt stores, and there certainly were not many home machine quilters. I found a company that quilted fabric for those big puffy bedspreads.
I convinced them to quilt my patchwork and NO, I did not want 3" tall batting.
I am sure they thought, oh this poor young thing, she has no hope or sense of color.
Little did they know that I had a plan all along. I wet the entire quilt and threw it in my washing machine along with a little bit of tan rit dye. I thought what the heck, and loved the look of the quilt when I was done. Some how magically the tan dye made all those calicos "go-together."

You could possibly say this was the beginning of my love of jelly rolls. And I do still love to experiment with bleaching and dyeing fabrics!!


Monday, February 9, 2015

Block of the Month

Back in the day,
{I am aging myself}
I had the third Thursday of the month sewing group and the first Monday PTA meeting and the every other Saturday produce co-op. Before I knew it every day of the month was filled.

(These two photos courtesy of Joanna Figeroua)

Just like I was a sucker for the "every other" type of meeting, I have little control for Block of the Months.
What is different? They are wonderful little packages delivered right to my door as a little gift. No other obligation!

Right now I only have a couple of block of the months in the works. I missed out on Fig Tree and Co.'s BOM from last year so I was not going to let that happen again. This one is a mystery so I have no idea what it is going to be. Anticipation.....

I am also doing the Austin Bluebird by Minick and Simpson. This one is a real challenge for me since I do not do the "A" word. Applique that is, but I love anything red white and blue.

Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings is the queen of designing BOM's shared a bit of fantastic advise that I wanted to pass along. Lisa recommends that no matter what, cut your block out each month. When you have a few minutes to sew your pieces will all be cut and ready. I thought this was great advise and keeps your blocks from piling up.

I love the freedom of quilting and there are so many ways to do each step along the way. There is no right or wrong way, just what works best for you.

I have a question for you.
Do you press your seams open or to one side? and why?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cleaning Lady

I will admit that I haven't been able to get it all done
and have suffered from
SuperMom Syndrome.

I have had to resort to having cleaning lady from time to time.
The night before she came I would run around the house barking orders for the kid's to
get their room picked up. 

oh the groaning and complaining

They would whine, why do we have to pick up if the cleaning lady is coming!!
This is completely understandable. But she was there to clean not pick up their mess.
How could she even get to the bathrooms over the
jungle of toys, clothes and other paraphernalia?
Fast forward, years later and I find myself once again
scurrying throughout the house.
This time it is to get ready for a quilting retreat.
I have been planning, cutting, organizing
and stacking projects for a
long weekend of
non-stop sewing.

I have my basket of red and green strips
and 4 patches for the APQquiltalong.

I have another stack that includes my blocks all cut out and sandwiched between fabric squares and design boards.
I cut out 40 blocks but do not have 40 design boards
or the space to pack them.
I finagled the few design boards I had along with
some squares of fabric and even a few squares of
batting so all my blocks are ready to sit and sew.

These two boxes contain two more UFO projects for retreat sewing. Does it count as a UFO if it is just cut out and I haven't started sewing yet?

 So leave it to one of my kids to say,
why are you doing all that cutting,
aren't you going to a quilt retreat?
Just like the prep work it took to get the house cleaned,
there is prep work to get ready to be able to
sew non stop for several glorious days. 
The only thing I may have forgotten to do is to
see if I could get a cleaning lady
to come while I am gone to clean up all the
mess I have left behind.
Hope you all get some time to sit and sew. It is good for the soul!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

No Fair

The second annual #APQquiltalong has started. What I mean by started is the April issue of American Patchwork and Quilting is now available. There really is no start date or deadline. A quiltalong is just a way to share your process along the way.

The no fair part of this blog post is just that. It is no fair that I didn't get to quiltalong with everyone else. Okay, Okay I guess it really so no far that my quilt is already made, quilted (Thank you Maggi Honeyman) and even bound.

I can't pass up this APQquiltalong so I am starting on version 2. I had some squares left over from my project, so wanted to put them to good use. Plus I love a deadline and the shear possibility that I could have a Christmas project done in the first half of the year would be over the top incredible. I thought I would try something a little different by combiing red and green together in the same 4 patch instead of lights and darks.

I worked with strips approx 10" so I could use scraps from jelly rolls or pieces of layer cakes for variety. Putting the strips right sides together before subcutting already pairs up the 4 patches.

I don't think i like green and red nine patches only, so then I added some light backgrounds also.

My plan is to use my size of four patches but use Edyta's layout design. I am on the lookout for the perfect fabrics to use in her layout. In the meantime I will quiltalong on my four payches with all of you.
For more eye candy or to just follow along on all the versions, search #apqquiltalong.

Gotta go sew a few more four patches before work.

Have a wonderful day.



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