Saturday, August 16, 2014

Quilting the Psalms

In 2007 I ordered a pattern called Quilting the Psalms from Carol Honderich at . The collection includes 32 traditional pieced blocks and 32 applique blocks which represent key verses in the Psalms.  I completed all of the blocks in 2008.  I wasn't sure how I wanted to arrange them, but felt that I needed a large focus block to act as the centerpiece for my quilt.  The inspiration for that came when we were visiting our son in Northern Illinois. We attended the local Lutheran church, and I saw a banner at the front of the sanctuary that depicted the Good Shepherd.  The minute I saw that banner, I knew I had the perfect focus for my quilt.  As soon as church was over, I drew a quick sketch of the part of the banner that I wanted to use. From that sketch, I created "The Lord is my Shepherd" applique block.

 The quilt top was completely assembled in 2008.  I was relatively new to quilting at that time, and I was very much afraid that I would ruin my quilt top with my novice quilting skills.  Therefore, I folded the quilt top and put it on a shelf in the closet. 
On New Year's Day this year, 2014, I set my goals for the year.  One of them was to finish one of the quilt tops that languished in a closet.  In June I took out all of my unfinished tops. (There are quite a few of them.) I decided that it was time to machine quilt my Psalms quilt.  I took my time - doing only a few blocks each day.  If you look carefully at the picture below, you can see the ChiRho, Trinity symbol, and dove quilted in the large purple areas. I quilted each of the small blocks in a way to emphasize the pattern of the individual block.

All in all, I am very pleased with the finished quilt.  Sure, there are lots of mistakes, but hopefully, I'm the only one who will notice them.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wisconsin Cabin

My sister and brother-in-law have a cottage on a small lake in Northern Wisconsin. When I saw this pattern called Pine Lake Lodge, I knew I would enjoy making it, since it reminds me of Mary and Duane's cottage. The pattern is available here. The finished wall hanging measures about 12-1/2 X 16-3/4". It's about the size of a picture that you would hang on a wall. It was lots of fun to make and took about a week from beginning to end.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pineapple Crazy Wall Hanging

I started working on tiny Pineapple blocks last January while living in our 5th wheel trailer in Fairhope, Alabama. I thought I would get quite a few blocks made but never thought I would get all of the 4" blocks finished while we were down there. However, all of the blocks for the center were completed by the time we returned home in early March.
I spent a lot of time agonizing over the border. I tried a variety of different pieced blocks but none of them framed the center well. Finally I made some scrappy pieced flying geese units that pleased me. Once I got the top together with the border, I began thinking about the quilting. I decided to outline all the light areas to help emphasize the star that is formed with the light fabrics. That worked very well. I added some feathered stitching in the flying geese border which also looked good.
My final step was to make a hanging sleeve on the back of the quilt, and then I put on the binding.
Here is the final result hanging from my quilt display shelf in the upstairs hallway of our home.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fairhope Log Cabin Quilt

I have finally completed my log cabin quilt made from 3" blocks.  I started this quilt 3 years ago.  It was a perfect take-along project to be made when we were traveling in our 5th wheel trailer. I always take my 1936 Singer Featherweight sewing machine with me in the trailer.  It is small enough to sit on one corner of the dining table in the trailer without getting in the way.  I only needed to take two medium-sized bins of scraps - one bin of light scraps and one bin of dark.

This project began in December of 2009. I was in no great hurry to finish, and I had no idea of what size it would be when I started.  I simply enjoyed making the little blocks.  Many of my winter friends at Coastal Haven RV Park in Fairhope gave me small scraps that were leftover from their sewing projects.  The pieces in this quilt are so small that most people threw that size scrap away. The blocks finish at 3" and have 17 logs per block, so the logs were only about 1/4" wide.
I finished piecing the quilt last winter and added a red inner border surrounded by an outer border of log cabins.
In July I finally got around to choosing a backing and basting the quilt. The backing is a dark blue with small bits of orange in a honeycomb type of pattern. Most of you know that I am a self-taught quilter, so some of my techniques are a bit peculiar, but they work for me, so I don't care about their peculiarity.  Since I am not good at free motion quilting, and this quilt required close quilting because of all the seems. I made a tissue paper pattern with my Baptist Fans quilting pattern. I pinned the pattern sections on the quilt and followed the pattern.  Naturally, things would shift a bit, and the pattern tore occasionally as I sewed, but it gave me enough guidance that I was able to sew a fairly regular baptist fan. Here is a picture of part of the pattern as it is laid out on the quilt.

I was only able to quilt about an hour a day because wrestling with this big, heavy quilt on a home sewing machine caused some shoulder and back strain. Little by little, I was able to get the quilting finished. While the quilting took me about an hour to do one row of fans, it took another hour to pick out the tissue paper.  Most people would not have enjoyed that part, but I was in no hurry, so picking out the paper pattern didn't bother me. I was enjoying my journey.
Once the quilting was finished, I made my quilt label, and I chose a solid black binding.  Using the Perfect Binding technique taught to me and the Coastal Haven ladies by Mary Lawrence of Magnolia Springs, Alabama, I was able to easily and smoothly attach the binding.  I put the final stitch in on November 1st!

Almost everyone who has seen this quilt has asked what I am going to do with it.  The answer is very simple. Since it was made in the 5th wheel, it will be used in the 5th wheel. I suspect I will take many afternoon naps under this quilt which will be on the couch in the 5th wheel's living room.
Another frequently asked question is:" What will you make now?" The answer is: Bonnie Hunter's Pineapple Crazy from her book String Fling.
Another often asked question is: "How many blocks are in this thing?"  The answer is: 504 blocks each with 17 logs which equals 8568 pieces!  Yep, that is a LOT.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Finished Landscape Quilt Piecing

I finished piecing my Landscape Quilt a couple of days ago, but didn't get around to taking the pics until today.

 School House
 Egge General Store
I used the alphabet stitch on my Elna Pro Quilter's Dream sewing machine to write the name "Egge General Store" on the building. It's fun to be able to personalize the store sign with our family name.  When my husband looked at the store section of the quilt the other day, he thought I should put a sign in the window that says: "Cash only". (My maiden name is Cash.)  I'm still thinking about that and might applique a small sign in the front window of the store.
I really like the way the Barn turned out.  I was a little skeptical about how the 2 red fabrics would look in the barn. Now that I'm finished, I'm quite happy with them.  They contrast enough to give the depth that is needed for the shape of the barn.
 Lower half of the quilt

And, finally, here is the whole quilt. I am so happy with the way it turned out.  I am not very good at selecting colors for quilts.  While this quilt used lots and lots of colors, (I think all of the colors of the spectrum ROYGBIV are represented) they still have to look good with one another as well as give the depth that is necessary.  Now that I am finished, there is very little that I would change.
This quilt will always be a favorite of mine because it reminds me of a Charles Wysocki painting. I have made quite a few needlepoint pictures of Charles Wysocki scenes. So, making this quilt seemed to be a natural fit for me.  It was very challenging to get the pieces to meet up correctly.  I occasionally had to do some ripping and restitching, but actually I didn't have to do as much of that as I thought I would. 
I have a couple of other project to complete, so I probably won't get around to the quilting of this until later in the fall. Those of you who follow my blog regularly will probably see this quilt again in the future.

If you'd like to keep up with my progress on this quilt, as well as see the other quilting items that I am making, become a follower of my blog, so you will always see my newest blog entries. To become a follower, just click "Join this site" in the right hand sidebar. Also, leave a comment so I know who has been looking at my blog.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Landscape Quilt Progress

I am making good progress on my Landscape Quilt.  Last night I finished the 9th panel.  There are 13 panels in the completed quilt, so I'm about 3/4 of the way finished with the piecing.  This is the most fun quilt that I have ever made.  I really enjoy watching the picture come together with each section that I make.
At the rate I am going, I should be finished in a week or two.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Landscape Quilt

Last winter when we were in Alabama, I went with the Coastal Haven ladies to Mary Lawrence's Quilt shop in Magnolia Springs.  While we were there, the pattern for a landscape quilt caught my eye.  I debated and debated with myself about buying that pattern.  I already had too many projects in progress or on my to-do-list. However, I was afraid that if I didn't buy the pattern, I'd be mad at myself later, so I bought it.
The pattern in called "All Roads Lead to the Sea".  It comes from Country Creations.
I am not particularly good at choosing fabrics, but about a month ago, I was in the mood to start this quilt. I dug through my fabric stash and found plenty of green fabrics for the trees and browns for the pathways and roofs,as well as small pieces to use here and there in the buildings, and I had a nice piece of sky fabric left from Ethan's Noah's Ark quilt. I went online to my favorite online fabric shop, Connecting Threads, and was able to find fabrics that I thought would blend well for the fields, beaches, and water in the landscape.  The fabrics have arrived, and I have started piecing my quilt.
 There are 12 panels in this quilt, and I have completed 5 so far. I am really, really enjoying the making of each panel. Every panel is a challenge because the cutting and piecing must be soooooo precise so that everything lines up correctly. Consistent quarter inch seams are crucial!

I will update you on my progress as I go along.