Category Archives: Uncategorized

Modern Log Cabins – first, some history…

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Most quilters are familiar with the traditional log cabin block – it is the most recognized block and its origins are often associated with the American Pioneers.  However similar designs have been found on ancient mummies and in English quilts predating 1830.

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Strips of fabric were hand pieced around a central square, usually with one half dark strips and one half light.

A red centre symbolized the hearth of the home; yellow, a welcoming light in the window; and a black centre in a quilt hanging on a clothesline is believed to have meant a stop for the Underground Railroad.

How has this block become “Modern”?

see my next post: Modern Log Cabins – the process.

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Sample this…

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Finished this up today from a workshop I took in February.  Sometimes you only learn one or 2 things but this was a little smorgasbord of techniques!

What it promised:

  • how to use some decorative stitches on your sewing machine
  • the functions of a twin needle and wing needle (had them but had no idea what to do with them)
  • the quilt-as-you-go technique

What I got in addition:

  • how to make circles without the use of a $50 attachment
  • how to make a monogram without an embroidery machine
  • how to use 1 inch strips of batting (which might normally be thrown away) and strips of fabric to make a basket weave block

This is not Modern Quilting – looks more like an heirloom piece to me –  but I love it!

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Thank you, Susan Gatewood, wherever you are.

http://www.susangatewood.net

Celtic Love

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Being part Irish, I am attracted to Celtic knots so it was no surprise that I signed up for a class recently in No Mark Celtic Interlaces with Linda J. Hahn.  Check her patterns out at http://www.froghollowdesigns.com.

I learned a wonderful new FAST AND EASY way to machine applique them to a quilt – the last one I did by hand took a year and a half.  Do not like doing the handwork…

Linda had put these together in a 4 patch setting but I was short on one of the fabrics I wanted to use as a border, so I decided to make 2 pieces with different borders.

Which one do you like better and why?

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Take a Chance…

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About 2 weeks ago I was at the Vermont Quilt Festival.  I usually take classes in things that I like but also in techniques that don’t appeal to me (which most people don’t understand).  I like a challenge LOL and sometimes I wind up making beautiful discoveries.

So the class that did not interest me was Landscape Using Woven Fabric with Nancy DiDonato.  I like making landscape quilts but the woven fabric backgrounds?   Not so sure….

It was a very small class and we learned a lot.  Aside from the technique she taught us, which I loved, she also shared some of her art.  What I really liked about her was that she used very innovative ideas in the creation of her quilts.  Thrift shop finds or bark from the forest – she uses what she feels will work for the concept she has in mind.  The “Only 100% Quilting Cotton Fabric Police” would not understand…

Her work is outstanding and innovative: check her out at http://www.nancydidonato.com.

Meantime, have a look at what she helped me make:

GetAttachment.aspxThanks, Nancy!

Take a chance, people – you might learn and love something new!

Etoile de Provence

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Why is it …that sometimes when you just throw something together, it turns out better than something that you plan and plan???

That’s what happened today with this little quilt:  I just picked up some scraps of fabric I didn’t really like and,  as an experiment, made this Giant Star Block.

I just loved how it turned out – reminds me of France.

giant star block

Bubble Tea Anyone?

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I decided to work some circles into a simple patchwork layout this weekend, just to challenge myself.  It really didn’t appeal to me.

The fabric choices came easily:  I picked out some fabric with polka dots and pieced them all together.  The lime green, yellow and coral seemed made for each other!

One big circle in embroidery stitches, a few little coral circles and some free motion work to highlight the circles: voila!

First choice for a name was Bubblicious but my little sis suggested Bubble Tea and I love the Bubble Tea so..

sweet shades of lime and coral

I’m officially an artist, people…

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I’m sew excited! I sold my first art quilt today on Ebay so I’m officially a starving artist!  I recommend that you put in your orders/commissions now before my prices skyrocket!

here is the piece I sold:

completed July 2012

 

I don’t do “random”…

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I’m following a blog called Christa Quilts – and she’s doing a quilt-along right now – so in an effort to use up some of my fabric, I joined it. (BTW according to my poll, I am a perfectly normal quilter, not a hoarder – so there!)

Here’s what I had to do this morning: take 40 pieces of fabric, cut them in half and match them up in pairs. So for the mathematically challenged, that’s matching up 80 pieces of fabric.

I placed half of them on my ironing board and table and tried to do it randomly:  my fingers kept putting pairs together… and my brain kept saying “oh no, that doesn’t go”, forcing my fingers to move them around until they matched.

Then I sewed the strips together, pressed them & cut them into blocks and finally lay them out in neat orderly piles of coloured blocks – much happier camper now!

strips matched up and ready to be sewn

nice orderly piles of coloured blocks

And according to one poll I did recently, 86% of my readers prefer to work in a logical orderly fashion, so I am not alone 🙂

Better Late Than Never

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One of the best pieces of advice I ever got about quilting was that you should have a glass of wine before attempting Free Motion Quilting.  It helps to relax your shoulders and make the process more enjoyable. (Doesn’t wine do that for everything??)

Today I was working on a project,  and realized my shoulders were up around my ears.  Uh oh. I instantly realized the problem:  I had forgotten the wine.  And  I was almost finished the Free Motion Quilting…but…

better late than never!