Monday, April 20, 2015

visiting my quilts

I spent a few days traveling to visit my mother, stopping by my sister Beth.
And, checking out the care of quilts of mine living at their houses!

Here is my Aunt Betty (who sewed on a grasshopper green Elna) and my mom (who sewed on a Pfaff 330 that my dad bought for her when he was stationed in Germany).

 I love this coop building. We are losing so many of our agricultural buildings. Barn and outbuilding upkeep is expensive. And many coop buildings are being torn down for larger storage facilities, so I was glad to see this one is in good repair.

 Looking north at the home place fields.
 Plum trees in the fencerows at the Hibma place. Ready to blossom--I'm sorry that I missed that by about 2 days.

Friday, April 03, 2015

taking apart a sewing room

My next door neighbor Laurie called today--the children of the neighbors on the other side of them are clearing the house out. When their mother died about 17 years ago they closed the door to her sewing room, not to open it again until today.
Laurie brought many, many boxes and bags to her porch and started calling the neighbors.
Those of us with sewing friends each took about a third of what was left and brought to our own porches.
My friends will be coming tomorrow. Friend Sharon Sikes refers to such finds as "dead women's notions". A macabre but funny term that comes to mind every time I see sewing items at a thrift store.

Anyway, this is my definitely keep pile from Lorraine's stash. She was an avid quilter in the 80's and 90's and included in this pile are some lovely pieces from the first Smithsonian collection. Also some favorite fabrics from my past that I used up and am delighted to be able to add back into my current works. They will be a wonderful reminder of Lorraine who was a dear neighbor who would grow tomatoes in vast quantities so that she could have an excuse to visit all the neighbors on the block and drop off a few every evening in the late summer.  If we weren't home, we would find them on our porches. I was privileged to do some care for her in her dying days.

My quilting small group has discussed that we need to assist each others families when our sewing rooms need to be taken apart. It is an honor to do this duty.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day is a fine day for a wedding

Andy and I celebrate 31 years of marriage!

A bit ahead of the current fashion, our friend, Amelia Griffin, a printmaking student, made letter press invitations with woodcuts of Iowa wildflowers. She made wildflower woodcuts for each of our children's birth announcements too.

Monday, March 09, 2015

end of the line

I think these are my last two spools of Mölnlycke. I love this thread. It has a mixture of being smooth with just enough "tooth" to it to make it a pleasure to hand sew with. Mölnlycke and Corticelli are both lost to us now, and I like Mettler and Gutterman and Aurifil and the Coats and Clark newer threads. But, I will miss my Mölnlycke!

Friday, February 27, 2015

postage stamp progress

My one or two blocks a week plan went out the window. I am finding myself thinking about this quilt while at work and can't wait to get home to work on a few more blocks.
I have 36 completed. I plan to make the quilt in the image of the block, so 64 blocks set 8 by 8.
28 to go!
All the solids are from my stash. This is using up lots of smaller leftovers. My 1 1/2 inch squares bin is noticeably reduced! But it still has plenty for the remaining blocks.

As with all scrap quilts, there is a lot of thought going into how I select fabrics. I include a few very low contrast scraps in each block to help break up the checkerboard effect. The solids are varied. Just a few clear brights. I am making sure to include light solids and drab solids to keep the "Easter Egg" look in check.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

postage stamp

I've been making postage stamp blocks with my bin of 1 1/2 inch squares and cutting down various solids.
Each block has 64 squares, 32 solids and 32 scraps.
If I make a block or two a week there should be enough in about a year for a nice sized top.

Friday, February 13, 2015

emptying a drawer

47 by 69 inches

I had a goal in 2013 and 2014 to move every quilt project one step forward. Lots of bindings and labels got done. Backs got made for a pile of quilts tops and they were taken to my two long arm quilters who were asked to fit them in here and there as their schedules allowed. I will keep this goal again this year--no pressure to have to finish a certain number of projects, just continue to move each project one more step forward. My steps to move forward usually are to add a border, make a back, get it quilted, and do the binding/sleeve/label.

This quilt was made in 2009 from my 1 1/2 inch strip drawer. I was tired of the leftover short pieces I kept picking over for other projects and decided to use the snake method of sewing them into this.
Quilted by Suzette Fisher. She made mostly parallel lines, and added boxes with angled lines here and there. I love what she did.

It reminds me of woven rag rugs. Our neighbor growing up, Charlotte Pals, wove rugs for my mother and others in the community. I still have a few of hers and I buy them from other weavers because they are so beautiful.

Those two long white strips that show up in the middle make me smile--the serendipity of this method gives these wonderful surprises.

I pieced the back from terracotta fabrics--popular in the 1980s and on my shelves too long. I think there are another 6 backs worth of terracotta fabrics here. Bound with leftover green binding scraps.