Friday, March 16, 2018

Oxford Star

I am making my version of a quilt my grandmother made. It is the Texas Star quilt -- a six-pointed star with a hexagon center. I've named it Oxford Star because my grandmother was born and lived her whole life in the town of Oxford, Idaho. This is one of the six quilts she gave to my mother.

Here's my grandma's quilt (made probably in the 1950s). 

She machine pieced the stars and hand quilted the quilt. 

I am making my version using Lollies fabric by Jen Kingwell for Moda. The fabrics I chose have eight prints in the width of fabric that all coordinate with each other and that are separated by the gray stripe. So it looks like I've combined multiple fabrics in each star -- but it is kind of a "cheater cloth". 

Some of the blocks use the same fabrics for all six points:

Some blocks use two fabric selections for the star points:

Like my grandmother, I'm also machine piecing the stars. I've completed 25 of the 46 full star blocks. There will also be six half-size blocks. I will be setting the stars with charcoal gray diamonds. 

Lots of Y-seams, but they have been pretty easy to do. I'll be an expert at them by the time this quilt is done.

My blocks are about an inch smaller than my grandma's stars, but that was because I'm using Perfect Patchwork Templates set H by Marti Michell to cut the hexagons, diamonds, and star points.

Over the past year or so this has been a popular quilt made using English Paper Piecing techniques. You can see a fabulous example at Red Pepper Quilts; her quilt is named Daisy Chain. Her finished stars are a bit smaller than mine.

My goal is to have this quilt finished, quilted, and bound by our family reunion at the beginning of July. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stash-Buster Quilt

2018 Quilting Goals:

  • Goal #1: Make a dent in my huge fabric stash.
  • Goal #2: Finish some UFOs (more than I want to admit)
  • Goal #3: Quilt more of my "flimsies" (better known as unquilted quilt tops -- I've got 27 of them!)

The checkerboard quilt I recently finished was a UFO, but to finish it I used some of my huge collection of traditional fabrics. Each 10-inch block uses two fat eighths: one neutral and one color. I also use yardage in my stash for the backing. And this quilt was only a flimsy for one day before I put it on the frame and quilted it.

It's not too big -- 50 inches by 60 inches. The perfect size for a throw and the perfect style for a utility quilt.

Here are some more photos:

This is the perfect advanced-beginner quilt who is ready to do some serious chain piecing, as well as strip piecing and sub-cutting into units to be reassembled.

Because the quilt has an old-fashioned look, I decided to wash it to give it a slightly worn feel. It will definitely get used, so hopefully future washings will add to the cozy look and feel.

Year-to-date finishes

  • UFOs: 1 (the checkerboard quilt in this blog post)
  • Flimsies into quilts: 4 (see also A Couple Random Quilt Finishes and Pinwheels for Caroline)
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): Another Pony Express Quilt and three quilts for magazines that will appear in the July/August issues of McCall's Quilts, Quiltmaker, and Quilting Quickly. (I'll blog about them after they appear in the magazines.)

Not too bad for the first ten weeks of the year!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Another Pony Express Quilt

I thought I’d share the quilt I made using Northcott’s Pony Express fabric. It is for baby Samuel who is due to be born in the next couple of weeks. 

My sister and I did the Northcott Pony Express Block Party shop hop and collected the patterns for the blocks the shops did. But I’m not a fan of sampler quilts and wanted to do something different with the fabrics. 

So I decided to use the fabric to make a baby quilt for a great nephew, Samuel, who is due to be born within a couple weeks. (Yes, that means I finished the baby quilt BEFORE he was born – which doesn’t happen very often for me.)

Samuel has several family history connections to the Pony Express.

Absalom W. Smith is baby Samuel’s fifth great grandfather. His property in Draper, Utah was the Pony Express sation Traveler's Rest. Below is the backing fabric, which shows the names of all of the Pony Express stations. You'll notice "Traveler's Rest" in the center of the photo.

On a different ancestral line, two brothers (John and William Fisher) and a brother-in-law (Richard Erastus Egan) of Samuel’s third great grandfather were Pony Express riders.  I think that makes them his fourth great uncles. John and William ("Billy") immigrated from England. I always thought it was interesting that these two young men with British accents were part of the Pony Express.

Here's a close-up that shows the quilting:

Believe it or not, this is the second Pony Express quilt I've made. The other one used the Pony Express fabric designed by Jodi Barrows for the backing, and I designed the front of the quilt to represent Pony Express stations. 

I also designed a cross-stitch design as part of my Family History Sampler to pay homage to John and Billy Fisher. 

Now I just need to get the quilt sent off to Laredo, TX in time for Samuel to be born!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Quilt Finish: Pinwheels for Caroline

Another long forgotten quilt top is finally quilted and bound. 

I finished the top in June 2011, blogged about it HERE, and am glad to move this from the UFO list to the DONE list. It has 930 pieces to make a quilt that is 51 X 60 inches. It was designed by Lori Smith (From My Heart to Your Hands) and is named Pinwheels for Caroline.

This is a great quilt to use up scraps. I used a variety of methods for making all of the half-square triangle units, depending on the size of my scraps. If I had strips, I used the Easy Angle HST ruler. If I had miscellaneous square scraps, I used triangle paper. You can read about the methods HERE.

Gotta love scrappy quilts! And quilting them with an all-over, edge-to-edge design is the perfect way to complete them. (Good thing, since that's really all I do!)


Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Couple Random Quilt Finishes

Although I've been busy making quilts, I can't show them on my blog yet. They are for a variety of quilting magazines and I need to wait until the issues are published. But I did get two small quilts finished.

The first quilt top is from a book of star quilts by Alex Anderson. I probably made the quilt top in about 2005 or 2006. I made it on a whim, completely from scraps and fat quarters in my stash. Even the backing was pulled from my stash. But it never warranted paying a longarm quilter to quilt it.

Flash forward about ten years when I had a Handi Quilter HQ Avante equipped with Pro-Stitcher for computerized quilting. This became the perfect quilt top to practice digital quilting with Pro-Stitcher. It was the first top I quilted with Pro-Stitcher.

There were a few missteps and boo-boos, but when I looked at it a few weeks ago, I realized the mistakes aren't all that obvious. So I decided to bind it and call it DONE!

My other finish was a Schnibble pattern by Carrie Nelson (aka Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.).

I had previously used this fabric to make a baby quilt for a nephew's new baby (she's now about 10 years' old). I had enough leftover fabric to take it to the Winter Quilt Fest several years ago where I was taking classes from Carrie Nelson. (NOTE: I try to NOT buy new fabric for retreat classes since unfortunately there's often no guarantee that I'll finish the quilt when I get home.)

But, I did finish this one -- at least the quilt top. Then last fall, probably six or seven years after finishing the quilt top, I decided to quilt it. I knew that there would be baby girls born to nieces and nephews that would need a new quilt. (And three babies are due this spring -- one of which we know for sure will be a girl.) So, last week I finally got the binding on the quilt and my mom happily hand-stitched it to the back of the quilt.

Add these two random finishes to the three quilts for magazines I've finished, and my year-to-date quilts number five. Not too bad for the first six weeks of 2018.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Vol. 16: ROAD RALLY and GIVEAWAY!

WINNERS RANDOMLY SELECTED: And they've been notified. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Welcome to my stop on the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Volume 16 Road Rally! I'm glad that you have joined in the fun and have cruised by my blog.

In addition to sharing my block with you, I'll be giving away three copies of this special issue. Two will come from me and one will come from Quiltmaker magazine. Simply leave a comment below by midnight on Friday, November 17, to be included in the free drawings.

I named my block "X Marks the Spot". It was inspired by the traditional Wild Goose Chase block made with flying geese units. My variation uses hourglass units instead. Just look on page 34 in the issue. (It's also on the cover of the magazine -- yep, that's it right there in the middle row of blocks, second from the left!)

The version of my block in the magazine used three fabrics: black solid, tan print, and brown print. But you can use anywhere from two fabrics to ten, or more! This block works equally well using traditional, Civil War fabrics, or using the newest collection from your favorite fabric designer.

Here's the block using four fabrics (from Ann's Arbor by Minick and Simpson for Moda):

Here it is using six fabrics (featuring Authentic Etc. by Sweetwater for Moda):

But you can certainly scrap it up (which I will probably do when I actually make this quilt). This version of the block uses ten fabrics:

This block lends itself to a variety of layouts, color, scrappiness, and fabric selection. Have fun with it.

I think this block would be fabulous as a two-color quilt -- either cheddar and white, or red and white. Here it is using a buttery cheddar solid.

How about paying homage to the vivid colors in Amish quilts, but with a modern rainbow spin?

Or as an Americana-style quilt or quilt of valor?

The sky is the limit with this block.

Now, all you need to do is leave a comment to be included in the drawing for one of three copies of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 16. But be sure to leave your comment before midnight on Friday, Nov. 17. I'll be doing the drawing the next morning. Good luck!

Monday, August 28, 2017

My Candy Wrappers Quilt

I'm happy to have another original quilt in McCall's Quick Quilts Magazine. The October/November 2017 issue to be exact. The Candy Wrappers quilt finishes 49 X 53 inches.

I was especially happy to be able to use the fabulous Chalk & Paint fabric by Carolyn Hulse for Art Gallery Fabrics. This quilt is a great option for using larger-motif fabrics.

I quilted this one using HQ Pro-Stitcher (of course) using one of my favorite motifs -- Modern E2E from Wasatch Quilting.

The piecing is deceptively simple -- large (9-inch) hourglass blocks and small hourglass blocks (for the sashing between the big hourglass blocks). The only tricky part is making sure you use the correct fabrics in the sashing. You don't even need to match triangles in the sashing because that happens automatically when you make the small hourglass units. Yay!

This issue is in stores now. But you can preview the issue here.

You can read more about my quilt here.

And you can buy the digital pattern here.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Finally: Progress on My Family History Sampler

For the past several years, I've focused on quilting and ignored my cross stitching. The main reason, I think, is because I haven't done the same traveling I did when working in high tech. But earlier this year I went on a Panama Canal cruise which included several days at sea and I knew I needed a project to work on during those days. The solution: a cross-stitching project.

When I got home I decided it was about time that I started working on my family history sampler again.

This is the sampler I designed to represent some key people in my mother's father's line.You can read about the people represented by the different squares here. It is being stitched on 40-count fabric with silk floss over two threads. The inspiration for this sampler came from the Carriage House Samplings Hawk Run Hollow series.

Since it had been a while since I stitched (and my eyes aren't getting any younger), I first stitched up the center medallion on 32-count fabric to give to my mother. She decided she wants it finished as a pillow -- which I have yet to complete. But it is such a classic view of the home where my mom grew up.

Albert Lee and Selma are my mom's parents, along with their 10 children. Grandma was a quilter, so I had to include some quilts. Grandpa was a dairy farmer, so yep, there are a couple cows. His horse Old Chief is depicted, as well as their apple trees and their iconic derrick.

And here's how far I am on the complete sampler on the 40-count fabric. It's slow going, but I'm loving the results.

And close-ups of the individual blocks. I haven't done all of the outlining yet.

Still a lot of stitching to do, but it will be a real heirloom when done. 

I've just begun designing a similar project representing my dad's father's ancestry.

No stitching or quilting for a week because I'm running two back-to-back events with a total of about 350 combined. And, it will probably take a few days to fully recover. But, when it's over, I will be fully retired!


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