Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Need All the Help I Can Get

O.K., I'm starting on this strange little project I've got going in my head. I'm having to sew together long strips of triangles and squares. And basically it's repetitive. BUT, knowing my addled brain, I NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET.

I started doing this little trick earlier in the year, just simply because it gave me peace of mind that I could always tell where the first block was in the strip. That way I didn't get things turned around, and I didn't feel confused in my head, which can happen easily! So I've kept using this little trick, big blocks or small, long strips or short, and it really helps.

What I do is ... I simply pin a safety pin (I'm using my little, curved quilting safety pins) in the outside edge of the first block. That helps me always know where the left edge or top edge is in the strip. In this particular project, I'm making two sets of strips at a time, alternating as I sew (saving thread), as one strip is completely different from the other in each set I sew. That helps keep them straight, too, that they're different. You can see here I'm starting on a set of strips with pins in the edges - one strip of red and white triangles, and one strip of squares of white and sunflower print.

There's my little jelly jar of quilting safety pins on the left. I love using jars for stuff. This jar held some delicious sandhill plum jelly from a friend ... until I ate it all. Heh! I have lots of jars like this, but it was THIS PARTICULAR JAR that the jelly was in, the lid, too, and I think of my friend when I get pins out of the jar. :) I'm sentimental like that.

Here's the whole kaboodle - piles of pieces waiting in the background for their turn to be sewed into strips. Will update more once the strips are done, and on through the rest of this little project that I hope works out. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

FW and New Project

Several more Farmer's Wife blocks to add to the pile! Took a break for the local fair, now I'll be back at it, plus a few other things thrown in.

Mother's Dream, Wedding Ring.

Farmer's Daughter, Cups & Saucers.

This is what I was talking about earlier about wanting to do something with the "Cups & Saucers" block. The book showed all the cups and saucers being the same print, but I wanted to have each cup and saucer set with a different material, and make that stand out even more. I may use this, or I may do this block again and just see how it is with one print, and compare them. That's the fun part - playing around with different fabrics!

Flock, Postage Stamp.

Yes, this ...

... is reminiscent of this! I did that on purpose. :)

I'm also doing a new project, just for fun. Playing around with some of my "arrangement blocks" one day (I'll have to post about that sometime), I came up with something I liked. So, I got with it and planned it out, and cut out the pieces for it. Looking at it like this doesn't look very "going together," but hopefully when it's pieced it will make sense. I know what I'm picturing in my mind, and hope it looks good in reality!

Believe me, there were LOTS of pieces to cut out, even though this isn't a very big project. Twenty-four EACH of the squares, and forty-eight EACH of the triangles! Thankfully, they were simple, and ... I borrowed from the Farmer's Wife templates, since they have been good and precise, and I like how the triangle corners are "shaped." Makes sewing together MUCH easier.

And, this new project will be featuring ... sunflowers! Maybe cure a little homesickness for my home state, Kansas. But, I'm glad Oklahoma has sunflowers, too. :) I enjoy them wherever I see them - Kansas, Oklahoma, in a quilt ... !

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Antique Four-Patch

Here's an antique 4-patch quilt that I think my great-grandma made, on my mom's side. Or maybe it was Grandma C. on my dad's side. Forgive my forgetful brain! Mom told me at one point, but my brain just ain't remembering correctly. But I love the colors in it, and seeing the different fabrics used.

I like the pink-green combo of the border and binding.

The backing is a printed flannel, augmented by a few pieces to fill in some edge and corner spaces.

A closeup of the cheerful prints in the 4-patches.

It's a smaller size, for a child or baby. Just right for having out and enjoying, without taking up a lot of space.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fair Results

Younger Son and I put some exhibits in the fair - he had a "Lego" creation, and I had the two quilting projects. Well, we got reds all the way around, which isn't bad! Plus we got premium money! So here are some pictures to share of the fair results.

Log Cabin quilt and Postage Stamp piece.

Log Cabin.

Postage Stamp.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The List Grows ...

I tell you, I'm like a madwoman working on these Farmer's Wife blocks! I'm having more fun! One thing I like is that if I want to, I can redo one if the seams are wonky or I have another idea for fabric colors. Now, the "Rosebud" below I'll maybe redo, because I was having issues with my sewing machine foot. This machine is new, and the foot is kind of wide, and I had to figure just where to have the edge of the material to get a 1/4-inch seam. Well, somehow on the Rosebud block, I kind of got the seams a little narrow, and it really threw things off! Though I still got it together, I think I may redo it just to get it better. I LOVE the color combinations in it. I made one little triangle the same color as the big triangle, so that there are 2 green "things" for the blossom part, and 2 actual pink blossom parts. I just liked it that way.

Wait'll you see what I'm going to do with the "Cups & Saucers" block! Probably no new thing, but I have to try it.

Economy, Rosebud

Rainbow Flowers, Streak of Lightning

Bouquet, Butterfly at the Crossroads

Thursday, August 11, 2011

FW Blocks

I'm having fun adding to my stack of Farmer's Wife blocks.

Churn Dash and Wrench. The yellow in the Churn Dash is supposed to make you think of butter. Now, that Wrench is a mess, but that's the thing - I'm doing this for FUN, I don't care if they turn out wonky, at least I'm sewing and enjoying it. :) And ... on any of these blocks, I can always make more if I want to try to re-do one, or try other fabrics. It's all MINE! But you know, I've had a blast seeing the other blocks on the internet. :)

Also on that Wrench block, I picked that pattern remembering my granddads and my dad, using tools on farm and homestead and working on things. So I used a couple of fabrics that reminded me of men's shirts.

Big Dipper and Broken Dishes. I had to use that turquoise-red fabric in connection with "dishes," because it makes me think of a 1950's kitchen.

Home County Fair Quilt Exhibits and Contest

About a month ago, we enjoyed visiting my hometown in the neighboring state for a few days. As it was, they were having their county fair! I've missed that so much, so was truly glad to get to take in some of it!

One day was the judging of fair exhibits at the high school. One favorite category, of course, is the needlework, including quilts. This year, the Extension Office held a "quilt block contest," furnishing kits of material to those interested to come up with a quilt block design. I really liked this idea! If I was living there, I'd have done one for sure. Here's a picture of all the quilt blocks that were entered.

The top three blocks in the photo are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in the quilt block contest. I think all the blocks are going to be made into a quilt top and quilted, and displayed or raffled or something at NEXT year's fair. Ought to be pretty!

Needlework exhibit room.

Closer views of hanging quilts.

Exhibits on tables.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First of Farmer's Wife Blocks

Well, I've taken the first steps into my own "Farmer's Wife" quilt project. I'm not going to do all the blocks, but I've chosen a pretty good chunk to make a small quilt or something. I kind of stayed in a certain subject - titles that reminded me of grandparents and parents ... one grandpa was a farmer, the other was a carpenter. So everything I picked kind of relates somehow, and reminds me of the older days I've heard about.

Autumn Tints, Snowball.

Calico puzzle, Spool. Yes, the Spool block turned out a little "wonky," oh well! I'm having fun. :)

Contrary Wife, Seasons.

You can see I started with several of the simpler ones, but that will give me some confidence to have some done, and tackle the more challenging ones. I'm excited!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ready for the Fair!

I don't know why I had to push myself so hard to finish a small item! But finish it I did. :)

Sewing the binding strips on.

Binding strips sewed on. Note handy dish of chocolates, which gets visted often.

Starting to tack the binding down on the back.

Partly finished with tacking down the binding.

Finished! So, this and the Log Cabin will be my two fair entries in a little over a week at our local fair.

Patriotic Postage Stamp "quiltlet" against the Oklahoma sky.

A happy quilter. :) Now on to some new projects!