Saturday, April 15, 2017

party line

I knew I wanted to make another version with the woven idea I did about 3 quilts ago, this time keeping it in all parallel lines and remember this block. It has one of the prints a bit narrower than the other, giving it the look of the spacing of telephone wires. Also, it is a rectangle which makes it an interesting block.

In 2014 I drafted this pattern and with 30's reproductions, made a top I named "party line" because it looked like the telephone wires before they all went underground. It is a childhood memory of riding along and watching the lines between the posts, following them up and down with my finger.
Our telephone was on a party line--at least 7 families on it at one time.
And, my mom was a switchboard operator--all the more reason to make another Party Line quilt!

Block finishes 9 by 10 1/2 inches
Prints cut: three 9 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches, one 9 1/2 by 2 inches
Solids cut: three 9 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches

The second print rectangle is the 2 inch cut one.
I wait to press until I am ready to set--I press half of the blocks to the top and the other half of the blocks to the bottom, allowing the pieces to nest.

My pattern. Use at your pleasure

Henny at the switchboard.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Trying to stay positive here as we continue the big sort and prepare the house for sale.
School has been busy and the plus quilt is just a few blocks shy of being ready to put together.

Today my small group came over and went through a pile of fabrics I was ready to part with, choosing some for themselves and bagged up the remainder for the quilt guild. One took my hand quilting stand hoop.

The dining room looks great when I crop out the boxes ready for storage and donate!

Friday, March 17, 2017

St Patrick's Day is a fine day for a wedding!

Thirty-three years!
Do we resemble Marten and Oopjen?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

tip #38--simplify your labels

As we do the big sort I am contemplating re-homing quilts.
The kids do not want them all and I do want to give some to friends.
A few years ago I started simplifying my labels.
It is really hard to give away a quilt that has "for my darling daughter on her 14th birthday" written on the back. The recipient may think I decided my daughter was not so darling after all.

So, now it is just my name and Chicago and the year.
No baggage of sentiment.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

double four-patch

I have been wanting to use a double four-patch in the solids-on-prints but sets with this larger scale block were a bit boring. Then, on Pinterest, I saw some double four-patch quilts set on point. They are wonderful and I knew on point with them would work for this too.

Block finishes 8 inches
Print: two 4 1/2 inch squares, four 2 1/2 inch squares
Solid: four 2 1/2 inch squares

Another on-point quilt is making its way in my sewing.

Friday, March 10, 2017

woven, top completed

Blocks finish 8 inches
Solids--two rectangles cut 1 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches
Prints--three rectangles cut 2 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches

120 blocks set 10 by 12

My design. Use at your pleasure.

I like this!
I think I may make a second version with three horizontal lines using the Party Line pattern I drafted a few years ago.
Ships and Churn Dash completed. Shoo-fly and Pinwheel being bound. Geese-in-Flight, Framed Nine-Patch, and Zip at the quilter. Times and Woven need backs. Plus in progress, Double Four-Patch begun, and Party Line a possibility.


Saturday, March 04, 2017

second olympic sew-a-long, quilt completed

Not finished with my first olympic sew-a-long quilt yet, but just completed the second quilt.
Temecula Quilt Co. had a sew-a-long during the Rio olympics last fall. I made this second version with solids.
Love how it turned out.

Quilted horizontally every one inch by Sue DiVarco.

Back uses up some random pieces of fabrics I love.

Friday, March 03, 2017

plus, playing with proportions

While deciding on the setting for the previous plus/times quilt I kept vacillating straight set or on point.
Finally I said to myself, I can make two.
More plus blocks to make!

The 6 inch finished blocks were set on point.
These finish at 7 1/2 inches and will be set straight.

I didn't want to make the exact same block again so I played with proportions of Tula Pink's block and came up with this one, very similar but slightly different. (I am not sure her original proportions but they look like what I made with the 6 inch block.)

Block finishes 7 1/2 inches.
Solid: cut one 3 by 6 inch rectangle, two 3 by 2 inch rectangles (need exactly 3 inch by 10 inch strip)
Print: cut four 3 inch squares, four 3 by 1 1/2 inch rectangles (need exactly 3 inch by 18 inch strip)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

may you live in interesting times..., top completed

"may you live in interesting times..."
Yes we do.

The top is done. I had this great purple to use to set it on point. On-point settings are all a bit difficult as I don't have enough room on my design wall so I lay it out on the floor of the living room. Because I sew in the attic, this is two flights up and down and pieces get out of order very quickly.

These blocks are based on the Tula Pink Summer Days.
Blocks finish 6 inches.
200 blocks.

I over-cut the setting triangles from squares cut 10 inches then cut diagonally into quarters. The corners are over-cut from 6 1/2 inch squares cut diagonally once.

The block is designed by Tula Pink.
The set is mine--use at your pleasure.

After 30 years in our wonderful house on our terrific block with our beloved neighbors, we are packing up with plans to move this summer to a one-level condominium downtown.
I do not anticipate a great number of on-point quilts in my future, but those that come will not involve running up and down two flights of stairs.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

a change of scenery

About three years ago we started to seriously think about moving from our house, knowing to continue to live on 4 levels as we age was not a good idea.
We knew there was much to do before it could happen so we started with some home improvement projects. Redoing the yard, cleaning out the basement, fixing the garage, painting rooms. 

The past year has been a ramp up of activities as we have made plans to buy an apartment.  

In all this, I have thoroughly enjoyed my fool's errand of trying to sew my way out of the attic. The solids on prints series of quilts is a major part of it. I can use fabrics that have nothing in common other than I liked them enough to purchase them or take them off the hands of friends. 
They are rather mindless in their sewing techniques, allowing my thoughts to wander and contemplate many issues. And they are a riot of color that makes me smile. 

As I pack up my sewing space, I am so grateful for the creativity it nurtured. I cannot, and really, don't want to take everything with me. For a while I re-homed books and fabric and unfinished projects. Now, I am just binning up what I don't want and donating it. I will offer some old quilts I took in from friends' families to other quilting friends. I realize I have too many quilts of my own to add all of these to my children's duty someday, so it is time for others to take care of them. 

Thirty years. More thank half my life. Most of my adult life. 
I will enjoy these last months on LeClaire.  Several quilts yet to be made in the attic!

Sunday, February 05, 2017


While finishing up the needed blocks for the times quilt I am cutting for the next solids on prints quilt.
Going very simple here with a woven block. Block finishes 8 inches.
Solid: 2 rectangles cut 1 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches
Print: 3 rectangles cut 2 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches

Life is busy now with packing up the house, classes in full swing, trying to visit my mom, and just the day-to-day activities.
A simple quilt is just the sewing I need to help keep me calm.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

circa 2016 Temecula Quilt Co. sew-a-long

Temecula Quilt Company sew-a-long Circa 2016
All blocks done. 
All rows sewn. 
Lots more work left to do.

Center blocks finish 2 1/2 inches. Others finish 3 inches. She gave instructions to make two of most blocks. I made four so I would have the option of making a bigger quilt and knew I wouldn't want to make a mass of them at the end. I only had to make 11 more to come to this size. 
Hers was set on point and was adorable. With the extra blocks I didn't want to think that much and mathematically a straight set worked with the center medallion, so I went with that.

The setting squares are a bit of serendipity.
The fabric is from my late neighbor Lorraine's stash. It is a civil war era reprint and I believe it is a mis-strike as the color is off a bit. Little rosebuds on a blue ground. I cut the piece into 3 1/2 inch squares thinking I would substitute in another fabric for where I didn't have enough. I had just enough for the exact number of squares needed. If I had squared up a strip 1/8 inch more it would not have worked.

There are several favorite blocks. Here are a  couple.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

may you live in interesting times...

The plus/times quilt decided to be times.
On point is working out well, but is a pain in that I need to think as I put it together rather than mindless sewing that I usually enjoy in making blocks into a top.
I thought I had made too many blocks.
Apparently, not.

Friday, January 27, 2017

peripatetic quilts

My sisters and I have a deal.
If any of us sees something from home in one of the other's house that she wants, she can ask for it.
It doesn't mean you have to give it to her, but most often that happens.
You can always ask for it back later!

This is one of a pair of quilts we had on our beds growing up, pieced by our mom of her and her mother's sewing scraps, and quilted by our great-aunt Jen.
Mom enjoyed looking at the fabrics today and telling the history of them.
The quilts had wonderful ball-fringe that over time we pulled off and threw at each other.

Mom gave one to Beth and one to me a few years ago.
Because Andy and I are preparing to move, I offered mine to Beth so the quilts could be reunited.
Janna then asked if she could have them as she is setting up bunk beds for her granddaughters to use.
So, soon off to Wisconsin so Great-aunt Jen's great-great-great nieces can sleep under them!

Janna said she may sew on new ball-fringe.
If history repeats itself, there soon will be more late-night ball fights.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

zip, top completed

That was fun!
120 blocks, set 12 by 10.
Measures 72 by 90 inches
Block finishes 9 by 6 inches
Print: two rectangles cut 9 1/2 by 2 inches; six 2 inch squares
Solid: six 2 inch squares
My design--use at your pleasure!
I have to make backs for this and the framed nine-patch.
The shoo-fly, pinwheels, and geese in flight are at the quilter.
The ships and churn dashes are bound and complete!
In progress: the plus/times quilt.