Wednesday, June 13, 2018

living dangerously

I started this quilt long ago.
The earliest I find in in my blog is 2009 when the top was completed.

I used fabrics from many sources, including precious bits I purchased in 1989 in Japan at a department store. Paul was an adorable blonde toddler who got me access to many things, including a bride who let me watch her try on her wedding kimono.

It is made with Bonnie Hunter's pattern Chunky Churndash.

I finally had it quilted and today made the binding. I had a piece of 1980's Hoffman woodblock collection and hoped it would be enough, and it was.
It was like when knitting faster and faster in hope there is enough yarn to finish the project.
All that remains is pictured here:

Tuesday, June 05, 2018


finishes  by 6 by 8 inches

I designed this block to have a float at the top so I wouldn't have to watch the triangle points while sewing long rows.
I plan to make 143 blocks, set 13 by 11, 78 by 88 inches.
My design, use at your pleasure.

For this tutorial I feature a block made with a delightful vintage fabric depicting gold panning, pick axes, and bags of gold dust. My neighbor Sharon took in the sewing stash of a neighbor who died and I chose this. It was the cut aways from a shirt construction and there was just enough for this block. It is a rough weave cotton and I guess it is from the 1950s.

Cut one 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch rectangle and two triangles from a 4 inch strip using Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle tool or the EZ angle
Cut two 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch rectangles, one 2 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch rectangle, and one triangle from a 3 1/2 inch strip using Bonnie Hunter's tool or the EZ Companion Angle.

After sewing left sky to the roof and pressing to the roof, use ruler to trim away excess

Press left sky to the barn roof; press right roof to the sky
Press away from the door to the barn
Press the lintels up in half the blocks and down in the other half so every other block with next into each other.
Press left sky to roof
Carefully trim excess sky to have a straight sewing line for right sky
Press roof to right sky piece. Trim dog ears.
Sew three sections together
Press horizontal seams up or down every other block so seams nest

Thursday, May 31, 2018

tip #42, bundle your project for storage and travel

In preparing my projects for taking to the longarm quilter, I protect what is most fragile--the raw seams and the edges. (I always stay-stitch the edges of the top.)
I fold the top and the back with the right sides out, folding to keep the edges within the bundle.
I stack the top and back, and tie up the whole thing loosely with a length of selvedge.
This keeps it all tidy on the shelf and on the trip.

My longarm quilter and I unbundle and decide on the quilting plan. She stores them on hangers until they come up in her queue.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

tip #41, make the sleeve and label while making the back

I am in backing production here, readying five tops for the longarm quilter.

One thing that trips me up when I receive a quilt back from my longarm quilter is all that is involved before attaching the binding.
-choose the fabrics for binding and sleeve
-make the binding
-make the sleeve
-make the label
I often make the bindings ahead of time, but just recently included making the sleeves and label at the same time as the back. I no longer have to hunt down the leftover or coordinating sleeve material.

I just finished piecing three backs and made the label and sleeve to set aside.
I pinned a piece of paper to each to remind me what goes with what.
The sleeves are hemmed on the edges and pressed and ready to go. If I find the quilt shrunk up a lot when quilted I can trim the sleeve down and quickly re-hem

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

star, top completed

81 by 99 inches
99 blocks set 9 by 11

Block finishes 9 inches

Solid: four triangles cut from 3 1/2 inch strips with EZ angle or Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle Tool
Print: five 3 1/2 inch squares, four triangles cut form 3 1/2 inch strip with EZ angle or Bonnie's tool

Points pressed to solids
Rows pressed to prints
Block pressed to center row

Rotate every other block and all will nest

My design, use at your pleasure.

Monday, May 28, 2018

round-robins and reunions and rhubarb dessert

Rhubarb time bring memories of my mom's rhubarb dessert. We loved it. We never tired of it. It was so sad when the rhubarb bolted and we had to wait another year to have it again. It was rather recently when I discovered you could buy rhubarb, I thought it was only available in your own yards.
This dessert was a regular item mom would bring to pot lucks.

Mom received the recipe for her dessert from a friend at the annual Company K picnic. This was a reunion held at Terrace Park in Sioux Falls by the families of  men who were called up to the draft  and sent to serve from Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota in 1952. They were Company K at army boot camp. For decades we would gather for this.

Another army related group we had reunions with was a group that had gathered at the DeHamer home in South Carolina near Fort Jackson in 1952/53. Mr. and Mrs. DeHamer were Dutch-American transplants from Michigan who at church invited service members and spouses to come to their home on Sunday afternoons to eat and relax. Most who took them up on this were other Dutch-Americans, because, well, that is what we do.
This group would have reunions every 3 years and has (yes, continues to this day for 66 years) a round-robin letter. It is like a group-chat in letter form.  It arrived at my mother's when I was there last week.

A third reunion we had was annually with a group of my mother's childhood friends. They have been so for over 80 years and also have a round-robin letter.

I love these connections my parents made that continue for decades.
Round-robin letters
Rhubarb Dessert 
(adapted and annotated, because I cannot leave well enough alone)

Crust (use food processor, metal blade)
1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pulse til coarse, press into ungreased glass 9 by 13 pan, bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes

Filling (use mixer, paddle)
7 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pour over 5-6 cups of chopped rhubarb on top of crust, bake 1 hour

Meringue (use mixer, whisk)
7 egg whites beaten stiff
slowly add mixture of 6 Tablespoons sugar and 2 Tablespoons corn starch
Spread evenly and bake til brown, about 12-15 minutes.

Tastes best at room temperature, but we usually start on it while it is still hot.