Lucy Boston

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

the sweetest little quilt arrived

There is folklore that Spring has arrived 
three snows after the forsythia blooms. 
Well, the forsythia hasn't bloomed here in central Ohio yet, but I say Spring HAS ARRIVED!

Here's the reason why:
I shared last week or so about joining in 
a Spring mini-quilt swap with an online group that I'm in.
I also shared about all my fun in making the little 'Spring Argyle' quilt that I sent off...
Well, I can barely contain myself, 
because THIS:
came in the mail yesterday!!!
All the way from Deb in Toronto, Canada!
Deb named it "Spring Bulbs".  Isn't that so perfect?!
I love the colors & fabrics & it's a BASKET block!, which I also love.
I so love the pinks, 
and that she hand-quilted little butterflies in the corners,
and she also put hanging-corner-pockets on the back!
Can you tell that I like it? A lot?

And if that's not enough quilty-love (and exclamation points),
Deb was so sweet to send a little something extra:
Can you see the quilted butterflies
to the left of the mini charm pack?
I don't know how she knew that I loved that Lexington line... maybe I've shared that also? :)

A great big thank you, Deb, for your very beautiful, kind and generous gift.
This swap was SO MUCH FUN!, and a big Thanks goes out to Karen for facilitating!

So, have you participated in swaps of finished items before?
I was leery of joining in because of my time constraints, but it worked out well.
And such Spring beauty arrived at my door!

Happy Tuesday!
I may go looking for some forsythia to force into bloom 
to sit beside my new little quilt. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

snow & strawberries

We had about 4 inches of snow
a couple of evenings ago, 
with white-out conditions that started as dark settled in.
So to celebrate the Spring snow,
I went back to the sewing room
and got started on some berries!!
Here is a picture of my "kit" that I cut:
I pre-cut and stacked all of the block pieces in the right order for attack.
I don't always do the pre-cut kit thing, 
but do when I feel I'm under a deadline.
And, since this quilt is going to a baby that's already here, 
I feel that's the deadline. :)

So I wondered, 
do you pre-cut your whole quilt so you are ready to get going?

Detail oriented folks may notice that I did change out most of the fabrics that I had already chosen, changing from Civil War reproductions to more baby-like, modern prints.

Here's a look at the beginning of the snow right before sunset and white-out:
Well, not that you could see the sunset for the snow!

That's my fun so far this week -
Happy Thursday!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Argyle for the swap

I'm a member of an online group
of quilters that like and make primitive quilts,
and I 'hopped' right in when the group
offered a Spring-y mini-quilt swap!
A close up view of my Spring Argyle
I had the 'draw' of Jennie, from Georgia.
She shared today that the quilt I sent has arrived and she loves it.
She also shared a picture to the Prim Group, with her new little quilt displayed on the outside deck in the sunshine-y 70 degree weather!  (I'm just a little jealous of her Spring-like temps.)
This is what I sent for Jennie:
Well, not the whole table-top set-up,
but the quilt that I named - Spring Argyle:
Spring Argyle
My supplies were Civil War reproduction fabrics cut into 2 1/2 inch squares, 
and a great, variegated purple Valdani thread (color #O86, in size 12), that I used to hand-quilt with a big-stitch.
I am so glad that she liked it;
I also liked it - so much so that I now have to make one for myself! :)
I'd also like to thank Karen (LogCabinQuilter)
for doing all the work in coordinating the exchange!

Monday, March 23, 2015

my Ides of March quilt

I wasn't going to share this:
but it is what it is around here.

The Ides of March has come and gone,
and my 'Great Idea' of having my own Irish Quilt in 2015
just didn't happen.
I'm pretty sure that just strips of fabrics,
lots and lots of strips,
don't qualify as a real quilt.  Right?? :)

What started the whole thing was 
a stack of shamrock-y fabrics that became this:
My Irish Lass quilt
which I made a year ago
for my daughter-in- law love.
I loved it so much, had enough fabric left
and cut all the strips right then!

But a year has passed, and my quilt is not a quilt, 
but still just strips.

Maybe next year.
Yep, that's the plan.
The Ides will arrive next year -
calendar-wise and hopefully, quilt-wise, too! 

Do you have similar Best Of Plans,
or is it just me with piles of pre-cut fabrics
for quilts in the mind? :)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring, National Quilting Day, cranky, & a question

Welcome Spring, & Happy National Quilting Day!!!!

Here's the continuation of the story 
of my long, stretched out birthday celebration -
and the quilt shop trip with a friend...

After fabric and cheese and more cheese shopping,
one of the stops on my birthday quilt shop trip
was an antique shop (aka - smoking cat shop,  as it reeked of smoke and every single item in there was smothered in cat hair.)
The smoking cat shop ended up being worth the stop,
because, using up almost all of my remaining birthday$$,
that is where I picked up my cranky:
Happy Birthday to me!!!  Isn't it (or she) a beauty?
A Jones' Family CS, Queen Alexandra, hand-crank model;
manufactured in Guide Bridge, Manchester, England.
(I'll have to come up with a name for it, as that is a mouthful!)

I love it!, though I haven't sewn with it yet, 
as it needs a needle. :(
So, my question is for those who have/use 
Jones CS Family machines:
Does anyone know if (or has tried) the modern Groz-Beckrt dbx-1 needle, 
and is it a compatible replacement on these Jones machines?
(I'd appreciate any insight into using this machine - thanks!)

My weekend plan is to celebrate the beginning of Spring 
by baking some sweets (that must include some dark chocolate :)
&  for National Quilting Day -
by doing some long-arm quilting, playing with fabrics, and 
starting the piecing on the beginning of the needed FIVE baby quilts.

What are your plans?
Are you celebrating the beginning of Spring
and NQD also?
Hope so!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Is it still February?

Though the weatherman is again saying
that a February-like snow will be blowing in,
and I'm still celebrating my February birthday,
it IS mid-March - almost time to ring in Spring!!!

Yes, I know I'm pushing it - 
still celebrating my late February birthday,
but!, :)  
my excuse this time, is that I still have
birthday gifted money, hot in my pocket purse,
so technically, it's still birthday spending. :)

Last weekend, (in belated celebration), a friend and I 
drove north towards an Amish area of Ohio
and visited a few fabric shops, 
a couple of cheese houses, and
an antique shop (: which I'll share in another post-as it deserves it's own share! :).

So, sharing of the shops visited:

At the first quilt shop I purchased not a thread of fabric...
what's up with that?

The next quilt shop stop I didn't get too much -
just some C.W. reproductions for a pattern I had 
and, as always, more greens
(I love repro greens) :
Warning: Library-head-turn needed, 
don't know why blogger won't play nicely -
Can you see that great pattern at the bottom left?  
Strawberries!!!, therefore, pinks, reds, and greens.

If you are a regular reader, you'll recall that I have FIVE baby-quilts to make between now and August, so the coming little girlies will be getting some of this pink incorporated into their quilts (maybe even get a strawberry quilt).
The blue fabric (top) is for a maybe border for my Flags of the American Revolution quilt,
and, the last fabric piece, below, a cute, pastel fabric:
Isn't it adorable?  Maybe as big blocks offset with nine-patches?  While standing at the cutting counter, that was my thought.  We'll see if it comes to fruition. :)

As I l look at that pictured stack of fabrics, it looks like I went Birthday$$Wild!
But I didn't feel that I went fabric crazy, as I was purposefully shopping for the upcoming baby quilts.

Then, there was cheese shopping.
Lots and lots of cheese shopping.
Maybe I did go a little crazy here:
The unmarked package on top is a yogurt cheese slices, garlic and herb. Yum.
I may have eaten some of the cheese evidence.
I also may have an addiction to cheese. 
And looking at the cheese varieties I got, I may also have bad breath. :)

Happy Thursday!
and I'll be back soon with my
Antique shop find!!!

PS - I just had a text that the first of the expected babies has arrived!!!
- a little girl, so time for me to start cutting into those pink fabrics!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

signs of almost Spring...

"It was one of those March days
when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

That may be my favorite quote ever,  
and that's exactly how it feels outside this week -
a sign that Spring is surely around the corner!
So, other signs that Spring is around the corner?

  • when the decor changes from snowmen to bunnies and flowers! :)  I love this string quilt of some of my favorite, Civil War reproduction fabrics.  For those wondering, I used a half-width of muslin for my foundation-piecing of the string-work, so each of the four blocks started at about 22 inches square, then were trimmed and made into a four patch; I quilted it in uneven, concentric squares.
  • a sure sign of the coming Spring is when the snow melts off the back deck and my poinsettia 'blooms':
After years of trying, I still don't have the 'put the plant in the closet' timing down, and my plant always blooms for Spring.  :)
  • Grand-kiddos still want to sled, but there's no snow left:
 so the sleds come indoors. :)
  •  I've sent off my Spring-y small-quilt for the swap:
 and liked it so well that I know that I'd like to make one just like it for myself! :)
  • it's too muddy to go out to the barn without your boots, and the remedy is a wheelbarrow ride:
Spring fun!!!!! Don't you love the smiles? And the blue/white ticking cloth they found to line the barrow? :)
Hope you're getting signs of Spring, too!

Monday, March 16, 2015

some meandering last week & babies galore

 This baby quilt was pieced flannels, front and back:
So soft and cuddly.  It finished at about 45 by 60 inches.
I love how the quilting shows so well, and it was
another great finish by Jackie.
For myself, I've started to work on a few baby quilts
for gifts I know I have coming..
  1. for a boy due anytime
  2. for a little bundle of joy due now, but the parents have chosen not to know the sex of the baby beforehand, so I'm doing it eye-spy style and not going to layer and quilt until the baby arrives, then I can add a gender-specific backing.
  3. due May and I haven't heard the sex yet
  4. due in August and is a boy
  5. and it seems like I'm forgetting one, so I may just make another of the #2 quilt to have on hand.
So, choosing, pressing, and cutting fabrics has started!

Happy Monday and hope you have a
great, stitching week!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dragging out my birthday...

at least that's what my Sweetie says.
My birthday is the end of February, and
it is NOT my fault that I'm still receiving gifts mid-March.
Really, it's not! :)
My latest, greatest gift?
I'm so excited
(: channeling the Pointer Sisters here :)
And I just can't hide it
I'm about to loose control and I think I like it.
I'm so excited
I will not start another quilt
but you know
I want to
Orange Peels
want to
want to!!!

 Thanks, J!  
(and lunch was great, too!)

A little change of subject:
There has been a break from Winter weather here,
so friend and I are taking a drive tomorrow...
north, to hit a couple of fabric shops.
Wonder what I'll come up with
that may or may not be birthday related?

OK, so maybe I'm dragging out my birthday. :)

Happy Friday and Happy Stitching!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Times are in the snow

With the time change here in Ohio this weekend,
there comes to me, not just a 'spring forward' on the clock,
but a change in perspective, too...

Whilst there is still snow covering the landscape,
drifted high against the wrought iron fence that is my rose trellis,
I feel that there is the warmth of Spring coming:
Snow drops, a rambling rose (or three), daffodils and tulips,
fruit ready to bloom and birds ready to chirp...
all kinds of signs of the Spring-to-come in the melting snow:
Winter IS slowly melting away, and though I don't have the hanging-sleeve stitched down to the backing, I feel that I've a finish for the coming season.
 Even the local wildlife came to inspect,
when they saw flowers in the snowy garden:
Our Flower Garden: a Hot Pad Quilt
The backing fabric was the main inspiration for my design...
 isn't it gorgeous??
I just fell in love with the 
faded pink and coral colors of the large floral print, 
which then made me think 
So, with the fabric of Rouenneries by French General in my mind,
for my own pattern design, 
I took inspiration from both
the blocks of an 1850's New York album quilt,
and the block setting style of Sally Post in her 1854 New York quilt
(Sally Post quilt pattern available from Gay of Sentimental Stitches) .
I came up with my own garden of faded, pink flowers, 
finished in the Hot Pad method used in Civil War times, 
and it all started because of that WONDERFUL French General floral!!

I designed the four-part pattern (of three blocks each) for this quilt
for a beginner's four-month quilting class,
The first two classes were methods of applique,
followed by accurate piecing techniques, and finally
with the finishing method in the Civil War Hot Pad method 
(The Hot Pad method is finishing each block individually, 
including binding, then whip-stitching the finished little quilts together).
The gals in the class were so taken with 
the finished little quilts of the Hot Pad method,
that I designed a fifth, bonus pattern (of four blocks) 
so they'd end with 16 blocks.
Each block measures about 14 inches,
so this sixteen block finish is 56 inches square.  
I designed it so that if the student wanted to make a queen quilt, 
they could make each block of the pattern
(in different colorways) twice plus 4 blocks, to end with a 96-inch finish
(or make the pattern three times, plus one block,  and end with a king-sized, 112-inch quilt).

If feels good to have the last of the stitches 
in this quilt as the time changes.
Springing forward, 
flowers in the snow!

Thanks for visiting, and
Happy Stitching!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ready or not... FLAGS (UFQ)!!

Here it is!!!!
It's time to share the 
Flags of the American Revolution finish...
Keyword?  Finish. 
(insert my maniacal laughing here.)  
I admit, I'm not ready to share
because it's not a finish,
as I have an UFQ (UnFinished Quilt)!!
This sew-along was with Lori of Humble Quilts 
(click here to see others' great work)  
and it's always motivating to me 
to sew along with others doing the same project
(thank you, Lori).

My center medallion - all quilted!

Yet, whenever I sign up for a sew-along,
I always think to myself - 

OR, more realistically,
'start a quilt to add to the UNFINISHED quilt stack?
(: again - laughing hysterically here :)

My chosen method of doing this quilt
was to attack it in the Civil War finishing method 
of Hot Pad (or Pot Holder) blocks.
[The Hot Pad method (more pictures & info here) is where each block is completely finished individually, then whip-stitched together to create a quilt.  I used the knife-edged method for each flag, choosing a backing for each block - layering right-sides together with batting, sewing around the outside seam, leaving a turning hole, then turning, pressing, closing the opening and quilting.]
Flags of the American Revolution - blocks quilted and pinned together
Blocks pieced and appliqued?     Check.
Blocks quilted? 
Check.  Well, except for my signature block (bottom right corner, above).
Blocks pinned together, ready for whip-stitching?  
Again, check - except for the not yet quilted siggy block.
Do I love it??  
Check, Check, Check!!

I just need another month,
not another partially finished quilt!  lol 
But I suppose I am further ahead than some folks in this sew along, 
as I don't just have a quilt top,
but a bunch of quilted hot pad blocks.  
Any way you look at it, 
it's another UnFinished Quilt for the stack. lol

Here is the back of my quilt, showing the fabrics I chose for each block back:
Block backs, pinned together, awaiting whip-stitching.
And the eagle medallion with a corner of the block's back fabric showing:
A few more pictures:
Marking quilting lines with my Hera marker.
Close-up of quilting- bottom, right corner; and marked lines- top, left corner.
Quilting on eagle medallion.
Quilted star and star buttons.
Another close-up of quilting.
I finally found blue star beads for this flag.
More quilting close-ups.
After I get all the blocks whip-stitched together, I think I will add a border and binding...give me another few months for that! :)

So, though it's not completely finished (and I have another UFQ), 
I do love it, and it was a fun to work along with others from around the world
doing the same quilt at the same time!

Please, if you have a few minutes, do go visit the others who did this quilt.  There is some great talent to see out in the quilting world.

Thanks for visiting, and if you have questions about my Hot Pad finishing method, please leave me a comment and I'll try to explain further.
Happy Stitching!

Monday, March 2, 2015

birthday thanks

I have such a great family and wonderful friends!
I've celebrated my day of birth over the entire month of February 
and into early March!!
Lunches or dinners out, cards, emails, electronic greetings;
and I got to spend the actual date with a quilty friend, 
sewing all day.
During that day of sewing, there was visiting, laughing and solving the world's issues.
Oh, and food too, as she brought in lunch, which was tasty...
and a cake she made for me!
Another friend stopped and dropped off flowers and chocolates.
My family gathered over the weekend and we had a fun pizza party and more cake -
cupcakes from a nice bakery - which I ate before taking a picture,
but you can see the nice bakery box in the first picture. :)

Then to top off the party day, there was more snow - 
another 7 or 8 inches!
So for my party, there were snow angels 
The three-year-old made me my very own snow angel.
AND family sledding fun!!!
Look at that smile on the one-year-old who loved sledding
(and the beautiful smile on the daughter, too).
Papa 'giving a spin' sledding push to the eight-year-old cutie.
A close-up of the three-year-old,
since you couldn't see his adorable face in the snow angel pic, above.

And a family shot - my first 'selfie'.
Snow smiles on the 1st of March! (but missing the grand-daughter in this pic)
My sincerest thanks to all of my loved ones 
for helping me celebrate the beginning of another wonderful year!
And for everyone who was tired of the snow and sent it all my way. ;)