Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sister's Choice Redux

Yesterday my Facebook feed reminded me that seven years ago I'd finished this Sister's Choice quilt that I'd made as a leader-ender project. I was trying to use up some of my Civil War stash and Sister's Choice seemed to be the perfect vehicle. I love this quilt. It pretty much made itself, the way leader-enders tend to do.

So I got to thinking about the scraps of Alison Glass and other super bright fabrics that I still have after making a couple of nice AG, et al. projects. My current real project consists of 22 columns of 12 pieces each, so I really need a leader-ender. The first eight columns seemed to take for ever using the old thread bunny.

I got out those scraps and spent some time pressing and cutting. Sister's Choice is wonderful because it is based on 2-1/2" units.

Yesterday afternoon I started leader-endering as I worked on assembling my columns and then sewing them together. 

I'm two Sister's Choice blocks in at this point. Here's one of them:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Quilt Advance!

I don't know why they would call it a quilt retreat. We didn't retreat. Far from it. We advanced.

This weekend was the semi-annual quilting getaway for the Renegades. Only six of the usual eight were in attendance; the other two were dealing with serious illness, either their own or a family member's. We missed them. A lot. But their absence didn't keep us from having a really good time.

I left home with my suitcase packed, my sewing machine oiled and sporting a new needle, my bag of assorted rulers and tools and no fabric at all! I had a project in mind and didn't want to be distracted from it. Let me tell you a little more. I'd seen a pattern called Mod TV by Colorwerx on the internet and posted a link to Kathy's FB page, saying it made me think of her. She agreed. Then Helen and Judy discovered the post and said they, too, would like to make this project. One thing led to another and before long Judy and I had purchased and downloaded the patterns and shortly after our arrival at our retreat advance site in Lancaster County, we made a beeline for the fabric store and bought the sixteen fabrics we needed for the project. We loved the original design but were equally excited by our own idea for replacing the tv screens of solid colors with some of our favorite programs.

The pattern wanted us to cut out everything at once. Hah! Each tv has something like 23 pieces. Could you imagine the confusion? We started with one at a time, ultimately much more time consuming but saner. And nobody was working against a deadline. I worked my way up to cutting and assembling three at a time. I finished eleven of the 16 main blocks and haven't even really thought much about the additional blocks. The first block was challenging because it was pretty much guided free piecing, something I've not had a lot of experience with. I fretted. I said a few bad words. But I figured it out.

I'd like to say that the pattern, while initially daunting, is well written. One cuts pieces in the order they will be used. So if one is careful to stack the pieces neatly as one cuts them, and then just turns that stack over at the get-go, the whole experience is much less stressful. And the pattern is forgiving: it comes right out and tells you that if your come up short on a particular side, why, just hack off another hunk of fabric and sew it on! It called for 1/4 yard of each color; Judy suggested we each get 1/2 yard of each color. She was right.

I'm not going to be able to get back to this right away. There's something else on my wall that wants attention first. But stay tuned, it won't be very long.

Here's one more, just to hold your interest:

And that's the way it is.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Nor'Easter Dresses

Truth be told, I'm not sure what the number of this particular Nor'easter would be. Some say it's the fourth. That's still four too many for March, in my opinion. So what's a person to do when school is closed because of a storm? Turn a Snow Day into a Sew Day, of course.

Yesterday I picked up four quilts from the machinist and as of now the bindings are constructed and machined on all four. I've yet to trim the excess (a project for this evening*, perhaps) or pull the basting threads. But those quilts will take care of the need-for-handwork situation for quite some time.

My most recent handwork-for-TV-viewing has been these little dresses. I've made baby quilts using the dress template before; this is the first time I've set them with the single Irish chain. I think I like it. I thought I was done, but Himself pronounced that it needed a narrow white border. He was right.

*or tomorrow, if it turns out to be another Snow Sew Day.

Internet photo. There's MUCH more snow that this Near Philadelphia.

Monday, March 12, 2018


Back in the autumn, the Guild invited Chawne Kimber to present a program. It was one of the best guild programs I've attended. Not just because the work she shared with us was gorgeous, unique, and practically perfect, but because of who she is: a gentle and generous woman. 

So when The Powers That Be decided that a Chawne Kimber workshop was in order, I signed up immediately, without even checking to see what we were going to be learning! The idea of a whole day with this woman just made me purr. It turned out that we were going to learn mini quilts. Here's our teacher with some of the samples she brought to share with us.

The samples were passed around for us to scrutinize and fondle. We were dazzled. And as Chawne talked, we looked at the various things she had done and ideas began to form in our own heads.

This Ohio Star is one of the samples she shared. I photographed it with a Bic pencil to give an idea of the size of it.

Chawne urged us to be creative, but -- good teacher that she is -- she knew that some of us would want a planned project to work on and I was one of that group. Her project was squares-in-squares and she offered it in three sizes. The sample was in the largest size. I opted for the middle one. I made many of the components that day, but not all of them. Today I finished the little blocks and assembled my project. Chawne's design is called "Roberta." I have a very dear friend Roberta who I've always called "Reberta," so this little quilt -- now pinned and ready for hand quilting -- is called Reberta.

Reberta finishes at 8-1/2". Yup. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Amy McGrath for Congress!

By the end of this post, if you read that far, you'll understand the connection between the heading and the photo!

Awhile back my friend Margaret came across a campaign video for Amy McGrath, a Democratic woman from Kentucky who wants to be a member of Congress. She's not quite "mad as hell and not going to take it any more," but pretty darned close. Read the article. Play the video. She's my our kind of woman. Margaret was so impressed that she (1) sent a contribution to Amy's campaign and (2) urged Facebook friends to do likewise. I played the video and sent my money. 

But that wasn't enough. Margaret's holding a social event next week where attendees are urged to bring stories about strong women to share AND offer something for a raffle. The raffle money will be sent to Amy's campaign.

The idea of this fabulous Kentucky woman's getting money from a pocket of women from Near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, tickles me no end. I'm going to the social event but not bringing a story. I'll listen instead (the world needs an audience). And I made this beach bag for the raffle.

Go on. Click the link. Read the article. Watch the video. See if you can resist helping this woman win. As Josh and Toby would say, "She's the real thing."

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Third Post in Three Days!

I have the feeling I showed one of these quilts previously; it was the first binding project for the Olympic viewing. But since I made two, I thought I'd share them again. They are baby quilts made from some of the Allison Glass, et al. scraps (and there are still some left!). The machinist quilted alphabets on them. 

They are string pieced on telephone book pages. I pieced a whole block, trimmed it to size, matched it up with a low volume square, drew a diagonal line along the center green strip, stitched 1/4" away on either side of the line, and then cut on the line. Easy peasy. And fun. 

Here are the two separately and without their guard!

Friday, March 02, 2018


Not too long ago, both Lynne and Julie (both of whom I consider to be friends though we've yet to meet) were doing things with slabs and I admired them all so much. This Slabs quilt is my interpretation of the genre. I used some of the wee scraps from the Allison Glass and some other fabrics to make the colored centers, various blacks-on-whites for the first round and assorted blurry blacks for the second. I think you can make it bigger if you click on it. The back, which I forgot to photograph, is newsprint, black on white. This quilt doesn't have a home yet; I like it so much it just might have to join the group that resides here, Near Philadelphia.

Blackberry says he likes it because so much of it is his colors.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Crazy Ann

Why, yes, I do still make quilts. I do still blog, too. I just haven't managed to blog about quilts lately.

Crazy Ann was finished this past week. Actually she was a flimsy for a month or so, and then early in February I took four quilts to the machinist to work her magic. 

Crazy Ann isn't the recipient of this quilt. It's the  name of the block. And the blocks are made from those wonderful bright Allison Glass and a few other fabrics that I bought last spring at the Lancaster Show's Renegade Mall. 

The recipient is my dear and darling granddaughter, Caroline, who turned ten (how can this be?) today. Her celebration is tomorrow night and I'll be delivering it to her then.