Amish With a Twist 2–progress

Amish With A Twist 2 Blocks

Today I’m all caught up with my Amish With A Twist-2 Block of the Month program with the completion of these four, plus the components shown below.

AWAT2 Blocks

I think these will eventually become part of the center star.

AWAT2 cards

I’d be lost without my color sample cards–I snip off a bit of selvage and write the name on it (and underneath) along with the color number.  It REALLY helps.

AWAT2 blocks cut out

I also cut each block’s pieces all at once, then store them inside the pattern, all folded up for when I can get to the sewing.  Done in parts, this quilt will be manageable, I think.

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Check back tomorrow for our Four-in-Art Challenge Art Quilt Reveal!  I’m pretty excited about it, having seen bits and pieces of my fellow quilters’ works.  In addition, if you are a Schnibbles fan, Sherri and Sinta will have our newest Schnibbles on display, plus let us know what the next quilt will be. (Here’s mine!)

But today, I’m linking up to Lee’s Freshly Pieced for Works In Progress Wednesday.

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Retreating from the World, Quilt-style

Last weekend, along with a ton of other quilters in various locations, countries and states, my small sewing group (named The Good Heart Quilters) had their second annual retreat.  First off, a little game:

Quiltersand Machines

Can you match the quilter to her machine?  Don’t worry, neither can I.

We had thirteen quilters come at some point in the weekend (two didn’t bring their machines), served two lunches, one dinner, snacks, chocolate, laughter, and lots of chatter.  We also did a Polaroid Block Swap.  In no particular order, here are some shots of the weekend, including our Show and Tell quilts, and a couple of WIP quilts.

Clyn

Lia

Of course she can climb on the counters–it’s at her house!  Thanks, Lisa!!

Lrel

Citrus quilt

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ShowTell 11

ShowTell Mirror Ball Dots

Jean’s Mirror Ball Dots quilt.  Now the rest of you, get out those stacks and get busy (like me).

ShowTell MirrorBall1

The interesting thing is that the royal blue is not mirror ball dots fabric; it just makes the quilt pop.

ShowTell1

A prequel quilt to taking Ruth McDowell’s class — Janet just wanted to learn the technique.

ShowTell2

ShowTell3

ShowTell4

JoDy worked hard on this applique quilt, full of lavender tulips both in the applique and in the fabrics.

ShowTell4a

ShowTell5

ShowTell6

(Back of the above)

ShowTell7

Every year Jean heads to Minnesota where she picks up the annual Minnesota fabric.  I usually get this wrong, and call it by the wrong state.
Minnesota/Michigan?  I hope I got it right this time.

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I’m including this picture to show there was someone other than me wearing their “ambulatory boot.”  Mine is light blue.

ShowTell8

ShowTell9

ShowTell10

Tauni’s quilt is all made of minky–so soft!

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Lisa’s daughter, Leilani, made this for a Young Women project for church, as this is fabric printed with different values: Faith, Knowledge, Integrity and so forth.

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Simone had to pose so she could show her sister she really has finished a quilt top.

Tni

WIP

And Jean was the worker bee, finishing up another project.  I quilted Citrus, Rhonda’s hot pads, ate chocolate, listened, talked, caught up with others, got tired and went home Saturday afternoon where I crashed on the bed and didn’t wake up even when the phone rang (it was my mother, and I called her back).  So, if exhaustion is a barometer–it was a great success!

Design Wall Recover, In Progress Quilts

Linking up to Lee’s Freshly Pieced with this post.

WIP on

First up, re-cover my pin wall.

New Pinwall

(1) How I built my pin wall: 2 sheets of 1/2″ foam core art board taped side by side, covered with gridded flannel bordered by plain flannel.  I wish I had more gridded flannel, but at the time, that’s all I had.  I have seen it at JoAnn’s.  Then I wrapped this layer to the back and stapled in place using really short staples, then covered that with tape. I then affixed it to my wall by using door jamb covers–long rounded metallic bars, each about six feet in length; I used four: two for each side, top and bottom.  I also put a flat washer on two screws and screwed them into the wall at a stud, at the midseam of the foam core art boards.

Pin wall 2

(2 & 3) Over that, I layered this Thermolam Plus, using straight pins to anchor it into place. The fabric really sticks to it – like magic, and when it gets all thready, use one of those sticky roller things that is used to clean off clothes.  NOTE the number on the upper left side (TP970).  That will save your bacon when you go into buy more, because now they’ve renamed it Quilter’s Batt or Fleece or Something or Other, and you just have to go through the bolts to find this magic stuff.

The little pin cushion hangs on my pin wall with giant corsage pins.  I am not a pin-cushion person, although I have many beautiful ones given to me as gifts.  This little one holds these pins which are helpful for holding large swaths of cloth, like when you are smoothing a quilt backing onto a quilt top already on the wall to check for size.  Or for holding necklaces, notices for doctor’s visits, etc.  I put all sorts of stuff along the edges of my pin wall.

Ironing Board Cover DIY

Next up was a new ironing board cover.  I fell in love with this sewing machine fabric when I saw it on the Fat Quarter Shop, and of course they had it to me within two days.  It’s by Timeless Treasures and is pattern # SEW-C1485, if you want some.

I just trace out my old cover, leaving GENEROUS seam allowance width all along the outside edge (like 1-1/2″ and that doesn’t even seem like enough).  Make a casing, leaving an opening at the bottom.  I thread through some old hem tape (notice the lady’s hairdo is right out of the 1980s) but warning: 3 yards is not enough (I had to piece some more on the ends).  I think the picture of the ironing board up on its end looks like one of those bugs that goes into that position when tapped (stink bugs?).  There are many good tutorials online for making ironing board covers, if you do a search.

Alberta Slab

What other works in progress have I been working on?  I made this “slab” for the Alberta Flood quilt block collection, hosted by Cheryl Arkinson of Dining Room Empire.  The deadline is July 30th, and so far she has 276 blocks!

MCM Block July 2013

Finished my block for the Mid-Century Modern Bee.  Deborah of Simply Miss Luella wanted a house block of any kind.  I made my favorite one, and happily, she loves it!  You can find a PDF to download here, where I made one for another bee.

Rhonda's Hot Mitts

And finally, hot mitts for my friend Rhonda for her birthday (which was in June–sorry, Rhonda).  Happy Belated 29th birthday, Rhonda!!  May you see many more 29th birthdays!  Tutorial is here.  It’s also one of my Finish–A-Long projects–that makes TWO down, and many more scary ones to go.

FinishALong Button

And lastly, thanks for you all your sweet comments about going to a retreat.  I’m working my way through replying, as it seemed to strike a chord with many of you.  I appreciate the time you took to write and leave your thoughts–it enriches us all.

Citrus

Citrus Front_ quilt

Citrus, 31-1/2″ square, finished July 2013

This is a simple Schnibbles quilt, with rail fence and sawtooth star blocks, in bright citrusy colors.

Citrus back_quilt

The back, with my sister’s gift of a tea towel as part of the backing.

Citrus quilting

As I was at our annual summer retreat, I chose a simple leafy pattern–one I could quilt while we talked about children, grandchildren, hymn-singing at church, marathons, and could-you-please-bring-me-a-piece-of-chocolate sort of conversations.

Citrus quilt Label

I was tired today, after nearly two days at our retreat, so no big fancy quilt labels for this one.  Just handwritten in Micron pen, the title, my name, the place, date and dimensions. Truthfully, this is 31 and three-quarters-inch wide, but just couldn’t face all that, so I’m calling it 31-1/2″ inches square.

Citrus and Village Faire quilts

Here are the last two Schnibbles I’ve made.  I’m thinking that whatever the next pattern is, it needs to be pink.  Or aqua.  Anything but yellow, orange and green.

Sewing on Binding_Citrus quilt

The house was quiet this morning as I sewed on the binding. My husband had not yet returned from his scientific meeting. The weather was cool so I had the windows open, listening to the faraway sounds of traffic, the nearby sounds of insects, birds, a dog barking his good morning.  I could have machine-stitched this binding down, the chunk-chunk of the needle going through so many layers of fabric, but instead, I picked up a needle and thread.

I thought about all the conversations I’d had in the past forty-eight hours at our annual summer retreat.  The topics of conversation varied from books to quilt tops to sewing pillowcases to “how do you make bias binding?” to no conversation at all as we concentrated on our tasks, letting others carry the call and response around us.  There is something so rich and rewarding about being in the thick of this, of feeling surrounded and accepted by all these creative, productive and interesting people.  We have all brought our fabric, thread, and know how to borrow each other’s books for patterns, search Pinterest or the web, or locate what we want in a magazine or on a blog.  We all seem to find the time to begin the quilt or table runner or creamy white blouse or Polaroid blocks and bring them to the communal sewing circle, so we can keep our hands busy while we solve what really is on our mind.  The machines hum a nice alto line while our chorus of soprano voices slip in those concerns and cares that worry us at night, all of us telling a story of being unable to sleep because a friend moving away, or how to find the money to go to another state to meet an adult child’s sweetheart, or how to recover from a foot injury, or recover from a broken heart of a life called away too soon.

The stories are as varied as we are, from new mothers (am I doing this right?) to mothers of teenagers (can I send them to the moon?) to mothers of grown children (everything will work out).  We are young, running marathons.  We are older, with a litany of physical complaints.  We are professionals, earning retirement and benefits, and we are under-employed, wondering how to find medical insurance.  We are so different.

We are the same, with thread and scissors and stars and triangles and squares of cloth.  After days of sewing together, we are tired and head back to our houses with our half-finished projects, our conversations, our new friends, our memories, all packed away until the next time.

All of this is on my mind, as I think about how this is being repeated at every retreat, every sewing circle, all of us being bound together like this quilt I am working on, a stitch at a time.

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This quilt is my first finish on my list of things to do in the Third Quarter of 2013’s Finish-A-Long (FAL).

FinishALong Button

It is #118 on my 200 Quilts List.

Latest Schnibbles is Taking Shape

Schnibbles Lincoln

This is the Schnibbles pattern chosen for this month’s Parade of Schnibbles, hosted by Sherri and Sinta, a design called Lincoln. While I love the red, cream and blue and it is appropriate for July, I had a cute packet of fabrics brought to me by a friend while I was convalescing and it just pushed its way to the front and demanded to be used.  So I did, sewing and ironing with my foot up (it’s quite a feet feat).

Crowded Pin Wall Quilt

Think this real estate is getting crowded?  I didn’t want to take down the quilt on the left, so just folded it over while I put my quilt up on the wall.  In looking at it, I knew the name: Citrus.  What else to call a quilt with lime, lemon and bold orange in it?

Citrus Top

Sewn top.  I cropped it so you wouldn’t have to see my messy pin wall.  But I’ve put a tea towel on the back of every Schnibbles so far, and what to put on this one?  I thought about going by the Citrus Historical Park, where I thought they may have something. Then I looked on the towel rack in my kitchen (the oven door) and there it was–a citrus-themed tea towel!

Back of Citrus quilt with dishtowel

My sister brought it to me because my kitchen is yellow, and maybe because we carried a sack of oranges up to her in the snowy mountain west last February, a ray of sunshine from our home town’s harvest.  But I hope she won’t mind that I put it into service here. I whipped it off the rack, washed up up and bordered it with fabrics from the front.

Batting Seaming

One beauty of making small quilts is that I get to piece my scraps of batting hanging out in my closet and use them in the quilt.  I lay the scraps side-by-side on my  cutting mat, overlapping the sides I want to seam.  Then I take my rotary cutter and make a wavy cut in them–a long, slow wavy cut.  I butt those seams side by side, and using a stitched-zig-zag in a 9.0 width, I zig-zag the seams closed.  It makes a nearly invisible join with no ridges.

Citrus Pinned UP

Citrus is all pinned up.  I’m actually getting some projects ready for our little quilt group (The Good Heart Quilters) is getting together for a retreat this weekend.  I have learned that it’s too busy to do intensive thinking, so it’s better to go prepared with projects I can sew while chatting away.

This coming January, our quilt group will have been going strong for about 15 years.  We generally meet about 7 or 8 times a year, always on the first Friday of every month just after 7 p.m.  When we were all younger, we stayed until 2 and 3 in the morning, but now we’re all packed up and gone by 10:30 p.m.  Here’s some photos from June’s get together:

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We met at Leisa’s house this time; we rotate where’s we’ll meet.

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What I tried to work on–this is when I remembered it’s best not to have too brain-draining of a project to stitch/cut!

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Bridget is a new quilter, but look what she turned out!

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Laurel finished the quilt she started last fall–a combination of piecing and appliqué.

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JoDy showed us her cool round tablecloth, made with a wedge ruler. . .

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. . .then flipped it over and showed us the back!

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She also finished a reversible table runner.

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Caitlyn (L) recently ran a half-marathon with Lisa (R) who is a marathoner.  Lisa showed off their medal. ( That’s a pair of scissors on a magnetized disk on Lisa’s shoulder, not a fancy broach or something!)  Our retreat will be at Lisa’s house–she did one last year and we had such fun, we’re doing it again.

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Of course, we have to have food!

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Deneese is coming along on her Chevron quilt.

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Lisa showed off a newly completed UFO–it was one of the early quilt block exchanges we did, in patriotic colors.

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Lisa G. finished her quilt top–I love that spoon/fork fabric.

Looking forward to this weekend’s retreat!

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Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP new button