Lucy Boston

Saturday, June 28, 2014

just under the wire - again!

My finish for June in Quilt Doodle Doodles blocks of the month:
My 'pint-sized*' version of Northern Hockey Skates
Aren't those skates just the cutest blocks???
And done before the end of the month - YAY!
Well, almost done.
I still need to do some hand-stitching and get
those woolen skate blades appliqued down.
But I'm counting it!!

The pattern is from Cindy at Quilt Doodle Doodles,
in her free Block of the Month Sew Along.
*Cindy's design uses 2 1/2 in squares, but I'm using 1 1/4 inch squares.

Thank you again, Cindy!  It's a fun sew-along.


Friday, June 27, 2014

hot, steamy meandering & FREE water

So - a couple of days ago we had 4.2 inches of rain...
Yes, you read that right.  
That much rain in one day causes problems.
Just sayin'.

So in six days, we've had over TEN inches of rain.
Yep, problems.
Maybe I should consider taking up boat building instead of quilting?

One of my brothers put a picture of his flooding
(yard, fields, road, etc.)
on facebook and was offering
FREE WATER -bring your own containers for hauling.  
Funny, huh?  And he didn't want any of my extra water.

Also, the temps have stayed in the upper 80's,
so we are still steaming here.
Which means that in between storms,
I have done some more hot and steamy meandering!!

Blocks and o's:
I quilted spiraling squares and o's on this beautiful quilt of Colleen's
and I can't wait to see her scrappy binding on this finish...
(I made her promise to send a pic before she gifts it).
Don't you love those colors?? I know I do!

My next quilt I got to work on was a baby quilt made by one of my paternal Aunts:
(I did the quilting and binding for her great-grand baby that is coming soon.)
She wanted to keep it simple with the quilting,
but I did add a little pop of blue fabric as a flange at the binding edge.
Here is the last picture before I finished the binding:
Don't you love the traditional nursery rhyme fabric?
Perfect for a great grand-baby from Great-Grandma!

Both beautiful quilts and it was another pleasurable (but hot) week of quilting here.

Hope you also have a little stitching time this week!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hot meandering! Change of seasons & routine

Do you change your routine of quilting/stitching
with the changing of the seasons???

I've shared before that my long-arm machine
is set up in my back sunroom.
BigDD in the sunroom
with my Great-GrandmaB's and Grandma's aprons
clothes-pin clipped as curtains on a clothesline.
It's a very nice sunroom,
with two walls of windows - southern and western exposure,
a cooling slate floor and a ceiling fan. 
Having my HQmachine - Big DD, in this room is wonderful!
Lots of room, with plenty of space, great lighting and breezes.

So when the summer heat
(high 80's  to low 90-degree temperatures)
hit our neck of the woods a few weeks ago,
well before the official start of summer,
I knew it was going to be a long season of
HOT meandering!
(Meandering, in my world, is also known as quilting.)

That early Summer heat turned my beautiful, relaxing, calm and cool quilting environment into a red-hot, blazing KILN!!

Then, the last few weeks we have had
heavy rains 3 or 4 days of each week - just to add some humidity.
Now my sunroom is feeling more like a kiln-fired TERRARIUM!!!

So, I've had to change up my routine...
which I don't usually have to do until late August:

I now head out EARLY morning
to do my meandering...
turn on the ceiling fan, and start meandering away. 

As the angle of the sun
reaches my sunroom windows about late lunchtime
and starts heating the back of my legs,
I close it all down and retreat inside.
Inside to do some hand stitching or machine piecing.

So THAT is my 'change of seasons & routine' story.
Do you also change up your sewing/quilting routines seasonally??

Happy Summer Stitching to you!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quilt Crackers, of the patriotic sort

I recently needed a wedding shower gift and
could not think of a single quilt pattern that
was 1) fitting for the bride-to-be, and 2) quick.
(Oh, I knew the shower was coming, and I could have made this gift eons ago,
but I like to think I work better under pressure :)

SO, me being me, and on the perpetual time-crunch,
I remembered that I had recently come across
the block pattern called Crackers
from the early 1900's, that I just loved.
Though the 'cracker' reference is probably
from the staple of flour-crackers sent to soldiers during wartime,
I liked the patriotic spin of 'firecracker'
so I made the vintage block in red, white, & blue.

Here's the finish, ready to head to the shower:
The table topper, unfurled:
It measured about 34" by 42" after washing.

the 'Crackers' block
I quilted with a variegated (King Tut) red/white/blue thread
on my Sashiko machine.
and here's the back:
(I always like to look at the quilting from the back of a quilt.
Do you also?)

Here's my pattern for
my Patriotic Firecrackers:
2 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch strips, and
5 inch squares cut in half diagonally for the corners (these are a little over-sized for squaring up).
(I do pre-starch (Best Press-unscented is my fav!) all my fabric pieces that are going to be cut on the bias, so there is less stretch apt to happen when piecing.)
I made my blocks all from scraps, with about 15 different cream fabrics and 12 or so each of the blue and red fabrics.  Though scrappy, I did still keep each block of the red/cream strip-sets with blue corners, and all the blue/cream strip-sets with red corners.  I think if you wanted, you could really mix it up and have a beauty of a quilt.
Pretty, simple, and a great stash-buster!!
I LOVE how it turned out, 
and so did the Bride-to-be.
Now I want to make another for myself!
Maybe I can squeeze it in right before the wedding quilt?? :)

Happy Stitching!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lucy; then the happy dance

To start,
thanks for all the thoughts and responses about
my Lucy Boston block dilemma on my last POTC post...
I've decided that I'm leaving it as is. 
It's been that way for so long and I didn't notice it, 
so I'm going to let it stay.
And it wasn't the hard decision that I thought it would be!
Now on to the happy dance -

Here's my story:
  • I live in a rural area
  • Neighbors can't see my mailbox unless they are driving by
  • I get excited when I find squishy mail in the mailbox
  • A gift from Quilt Doodle Doodles arrived

So why is it that when I'm at my mailbox,
there are always neighbors there to witness my
unorthodox flailing/movements Happy Dance?

So, yes, there are witnesses to this week's
response to a very nice, squishy package that came in the mail.

I'm doing the Sew-Along with Cindy
(of Quilt Doodle Doodles),
and each month she puts all the names (of finishes for that month)
in a drawing for a prize, and
lo, and behold,
I won!

Cute, cute, cute - birds and flowers and feathers fabrics:
AND, Cindy threw in one of her patterns!
Even the packaging was pretty - all those little tumbling blocks.
See?  Isn't that enough to make anyone dance by the side of the road???!

Thank you, Cindy!! 
I love them!!  You made my day!

The neighbors (yes, multiple!)
evidently got a kick out of seeing my so-called
dancing by the side of the road,
as there were TWO phone messages
by the time I got back to the house!!
(I only knew of one couple driving by;
the second message was another neighbor who saw me dancing up to my house!)

So, Cindy, you also helped me make the day
of a few more people
who called to tell me 'that my happy dance made them smile'. 

I don't think they're laughing AT me.

Happy Friday
and Happy Stitching!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lucy Boston - change is good? bad?

I am a fan of change.
Bold statement, I know.
I think change is a sign of personal growth,
so, yes, I'm all in for growing, learning, evolving!
So, in the above picture, that left-hand block???
It has a fabric placement problem.
Note the blue/black striped fabric
in the outside corners of the Lucy block...
I was going for an outside-corner look,
as the top-left corner shows.
NOT a chevron look,
as the three remaining corner placements show
And I have to decide if I'm unstitching it or leaving it be...
since only one of the four corners is correct, it would mean unstitching A.LOT.
Thirty inches to be exact.
Yep, that's a whole lot of un-stitching.

Any thoughts/comments?

Here's the crazy part to me (there's always a crazy part with me):
I made this block about a year ago...
I did not notice the wrong placement when I stitched it,
or when I photographed it,
when I shared it with the sew-along group that I was leading at the LQS,
nor when I shared the block finish on my blog. 
Neither did I notice it when I stitched it into the row of blocks.

I only noticed it now,
AFTER I stitched the completed row to the ever-growing quilt top.

At this point, the block is on the outside perimeter of the quilt,
so NOW is the time to change it if I'm going to.

So, please, if you could take a moment and
share your thoughts with me?

Change is good:
should I unstitch and re-stitch                           
as I intended the fussy-cut fabric placement?

Change is bad: 
 should I leave it as is?
Thanks for your time and consideration,
and Happy Monday, Happy Week, and Happy Stitching to you!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th

I was looking for something online...
I don't even remember what it was now,
and I was side tracked by a site called 
"Days of the Year"
which, I'm quoting, is
"the ultimate resource of worldwide events,
festivals, funny, weird, and wonderful Days of the Year!"
A calendar of
"days to celebrate weird things"
(link here if you'd like to see for yourself some weird things to celebrate).

While browsing this 'find',
I noticed that Friday, June 13th, 2014
wasn't being touted as a day of superstition,
is "Sewing Machine Day"!
Isn't that exciting?
A day to celebrate your sewing machine!!!

Here is one of my favorite machines:
And, another favorite:

Did you know that there was a worldwide
sewing machine day???
Then I read what
the Days of the Year site said about Sewing Machine Day:
  • Sewing machines were once common household objects, used for repairing worn and damaged clothes, as well as for making new items from fabrics and material – in recent years, however, they’ve largely disappeared from the average household.
  • Sewing Machine Day encourages you to make use of a sewing machine – dig yours out of your attic or cupboard, or consider picking a new or used sewing machine from a charity store or second hand shop. Repair, alter and create clothing, curtains, fabrics and decorations for the day!
Funny, right?
NONE of the above is true with the majority of folks that I know!!

Ok, so whom do we contact to let them know that
  1. sewing machines are still a common household item
  2. that we don't just use the machine to repair, but to also create
  3. that machines haven't disappeared from most homes
  4. that we don't have to 'dig out' our machines - many sit out at all times in households, even sit in places of honor in a room dedicated to sewing!
  5. that many of us have multiple machines, even collect sewing machines and sewing related items
  6. that there are a whole lot of us around the world who use their sewing machine every day, and most days for many hours!
Though I've only pictured two of my
more than a handful many sewing machines,
I'm happy to say that today,
Friday-the 13th of June,
I will be celebrating
Sewing Machine Day
by machine sewing!!
And, I will be sewing on more than a few of my machines!!
Hope you can celebrate, also!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Lucy Boston - connecting more blocks, May 2014

May has slipped away, I know...
Probably, like you, the month was packed with
all the day to day stuff,
AND a whole lot of extra activities, too.
Fun and exciting extra things, like:
graduations and parties,
showers of not just the rainy kind,
but baby and wedding showers, too.

After all of those activities were checked off the calendar pages,
I did fit in some stitching time on my ongoing Lucy Boston quilt!
So, for May, 
I sewed together a row of 7! more Patchwork of the Crosses blocks
and stitched them to the top of the growing quilt-top:
 My Lucy quilt top to date:  end of May, 2014
 (Working on my goal to stitch together all the blocks 
that I English Paper-Pieced in 2013).
I still need to add quite a few of the little fussy-cut 4-squares
but I'm waiting to place colors before I stitch them in.
Here are the close-up pics of that top row - left to right:
 Top/row 5 - end of May, 2014
 Top/row 5 - end of May, 2014
 Top/row 5 - end of May, 2014
This left block pictured has 3 of the 4 blue-striped corner pieces
that I've added incorrectly...
See the top left?  Only that corner piece is correct! 
as I wanted the stripes to form an outer corner.
Now I'm trying to decide if I should do some unstitching or leave it.
 Top/row 5 - end of May, 2014

Here's last month's picture, to show the change in one month:
blocks added to-date of the end of April, 2014
Lots of fun in the Month of May!!

Now on to June fun...more stitching time, hopefully,
and like May, MORE fun and exciting extra things, like:

graduations and parties,
showers of not just the rainy kind,
but baby and wedding showers, too. :)

Thanks for stopping by,
and Happy Stitching!