Felting Swap, MQG Swap, Snow

No quilts to show today, but I wanted to show this little white pumpkin that I received in a Maine Felters Swap–a little gift each week, starting Jan 12, that we exchange with one another thru the mail.   My swap partner lives in Auburn, ME, and sent me this pumpkin that fits right in to the pumpkin patch and my chicken!

The afghan is a corner to corner pattern that I have wanted to try for some time now.   Nice and heavy, warm, just right for our Maine winters.

Our MBMQG has a sit and sew on Friday–looking forward to that.  I’m hand quilting a small piece for an MQG swap and it is so relaxing to work on it at these meetings and enjoy the company and conversation of other quilters.   I’ll post a picture after my swap partner receives her quilt– it is due in mid to late February.   I can give a peek at the fabrics I am using in the picture below.  20180104_190141

All of our snow is gone after a warm up.  Fifty degrees after a below zero stretch of cold for the past two weeks.  But the cold is back and more snow predicted.   It does look so clean and white and pretty after a new snowfall.    This is a picture of a cliff on Mt. Battie after a snowstorm.   It was a beautiful day to take pictures.   DSCN0116.JPG

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Quilting During a Cold Maine Blizzard

Working on my “Scrap Vortex” and I have enough blocks for almost two quilts!   I’m going to have to make some  more red and green blocks because the thing got so big I had to stop at a point where I can get a batting long enough to use!

My Tula Pink City Sampler blocks are all done.   Now that one quilt is off the design wall I can put that up.

It is a cold, windy, snowy day here in Maine.  The snow has been falling all day long, strong winds whipping it sideways across the yards.   I haven’t been out at all.   Tomorrow will bring lots of shoveling out for us.   But I used the time for a “Sewing Marathon” and. besides the Scrap Vortex, I got a good start on a mini quilt for the MQG mini swap that is due to go to my partner next month.   There is a corner of one of  the blocks (not sewn together yet) pictured above.

I was cleaning out my store room off my sewing studio and am amazed at the fabrics I have up there.   I’d like to say I’m not going to buy anymore this year–but I know better.   I was listening to PBS radio yesterday and two women were discussing their “no buying year” and what that accomplished for them.   One limited it to no shoes, bags, clothing.   That seems do-able to me and I’d like to try.  No promises to myself, but I have already found myself asking myself if I really do need that sweater I saw in a catalog today–and I realized, no.   Lets see how long I can go!

I have done a considerable amount of ridding myself of so many of the “things” I have accumulated over the years that I don’t need, don’t have room for, don’t use anymore, etc.  There is still plenty left, but it is getting easier to “let go.”

Time to go watch a movie with husband.

 

Scrap Vortex Quilt

scrap vortex 1Quite some time ago, I saw a quilt top called the Scrap Vortex on “CrazyMomQuilts” blog and decided I needed to do that.   I chose to do mine in blocks of color and started putting some of the blocks on the design wall.   Of course, then I found more of the 4″ blocks in these colors that

I had made to do the quilt and have to do some more rearranging and fit them in.   This is about 1/3rd of the blocks I’ve done so far.   Other colorways I plan to include are reds, blues, and purples–they will go on the bottom of the quilt.   Have had fun piecing my scraps into these little blocks.

The Santas in this display were all carved several years ago by my husband.   He is more into furniture making now, but I appreciate that he did these for us.   The folded banner was done by a very talented friend who makes original and beautiful cards, boxes, ornaments, and anything else that can be done with cardstock!

Just finished shoveling the walks and driveway after a snowfall left us with about 5 inches more of snow.  It is so pretty out there now–love the whiteness and clean look.  Snow on the branches of the evergreens, covering part of my wreath on the front porch,  animal footprints across the yard, crunch of the snow underfoot.  All good things!

 

 

MQG Michael Miller Fabric Challenge

I belong to the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild and took the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge offered by MQG.   Participants received 5 fat eights of  fabric and were challenged to make a quilt using some of these fabrics and any MM Couture solids.  I chose to do improv cross blocks, something I really enjoy making.   My finished piece measures about 24″x24″ and I machine quilted it on my Janome 8900).   Best thing of all is that the challenge quilts will be displayed at QuiltCon in CA in Feb 2018!!!    This is the second challenge I have participated in with MQG and I have enjoyed both.  This is called “Cross Roads”.

The top quilt is from the first MQG challenge I participated in and it is called “Flying Geese Breaking Formation”.   If I remember right, this was done with Riley Blake fabrics and participants received a selection of 6 fabrics to work with.   Another fun project!

MQG RIley Blake challenge hand quilted Breaking Formation.DSCN0009

Flower Garden Explosion

Flower Garden Explosion QuiltI have been obsessed with this quilt!   I’ve been collecting batiks forever and decided it is time to do something with them.   I chose the brighter colors I had and kept making hexagon flowers.   After about 150 of them, started to sew them randomly together.  I have about 1/2 of the flowers sewn together and the finished size will be determined by whether or not I feel like making more after I’m done assembling these.   It is great sewing for evening while watching TV with my husband.

Saturday our guild chapter, Coastal Quilters, part of the Maine Pine Tree Quilt Guild, is having a map workshop given by Timna Tarr, who comes to us from MA.   One friend is enlarging a map of Camden Harbor and doing her map.   Another is doing her neighborhood.   I was going to do that, but then decided to do a map of my brain.   Have had fun choosing fabrics to reflect my interests.   I think there are 16 of us taking the all day class and I’m looking forward to seeing what the others decide to do.

Timna gave us a class on improv quilting last year, and we all came out with different blocks.   I’m handquilting my piece now and will post it when it is done.   There have been some beautiful pieces shown at our chapter meetings.

Looking forward to winter and more time to play with quilting.   So many ideas to try.  I sew with a group on most Friday mornings (except in the summer!) and we inspire one another.   Our current project, which will be finished by January, has been the City Sampler by Tula Pink.   Each one will be different–one participant has used a limited color pallet; one has used particular designers fabric; others, including myself, scrappy blocks.   I think I will arrange mine to look like skyscrapers.  I only have about 20 blocks to finish!!!!

It is a beautiful, sunny, and cold day here in Maine.  Last night we had a killing frost, so anything left in the garden is gone.    Winter is coming and I look forward to the first snow, so clean and fresh looking.   Every season here is a treat.   If any of you have not seen Maine, put it on your bucket list!  We do usually go visit our son  and family in Arizona for a couple of weeks in the winter, but are always glad to get back home.

 

 

Tula Pink’s City Sampler Blocks–and More!

Working on completing the 100 City Sampler blocks and am just up to 80.  I have all the fabrics picked out for the last 20, and some cut out and ready to sew.   I have to pick up something for the sashing (after I decide on the layout).   I am enjoying the simplicity of the blocks and playing with color.

I made the “Humbug Bag” recently and found it very easy to do.   After finishing the larger size, I may do another the same.   I don’t think I’d use the smaller sized bags.   I’ll put a tab to slip over the wrist on the next bag I make.

I embroidered the piece on the pillow top several years ago and it was from a commercial pattern.   I thought it was about time to finish some of the projects I have on hand.   Don’t think I’ll ever catch up!   There are too many new things I want to try.

Our Mt. Battie MQG, started in December, 2016, is slowly growing.   We have a “traveling quilt” going around to 9 members.   We have 2 months to add to the quilt.  Some participants  want the pieces added on monthly, and some prefer to piece it themselves after it is returned.   My theme is “Neighborhoods” and I have seen some of the beautiful and inspired work others have put into it and I am looking forward to the final piece.

I haven’t had as much sewing time in the past few weeks because of the outdoor work getting the perennial gardens and yard ready for winter.   I am almost looking forward to the cold and snow–excuses to stay in the sewing room.

My plan for the next few weeks is to get a few quilt tops layered and pin basted and ready to quilt.  I will do at least one by hand and others on the Janome–love that large throat on the machine.   So far I have done only straight line quilting on a couple of tops and quilted large free form stars on another.   I’ll probably do the same on the  simple patchwork  quilts that I have ready this time, too.  I’ll practice meandering and maybe simple patterns.

Quilt tops and small bags

I am working on a few small projects and finishing up some quilt tops I have had in the works for some time.   Too many ideas to possibly fit into one lifetime!  I like doing these small hoop projects and have several hanging on the wall in my quilt studio.   The small bags are experiments with big stitch quilting.  One is from some homespun fabrics I have had for years and the other is from scraps of wool.

The log  cabin quilt was started in a class in Williamsburg Virginia at the Mancuso quilt show in February (Don’t remember the exact year)    The blocks are hand pieced but are sewn together by machine.  I plan to machine quilt in the ditch when I finally get the quilt layered.

The batik quilt is a from a pattern I bought at Keepsake Quilting about 4 years ago.   Now that it is pieced, I can go back to Keepsake.   Have a trip planned in September and we are staying at my favorite Bed and Breakfast, the Cheney House, in Ashland, NH.    This is our 6th or 7th time there and we really enjoy our host and hostess and their lovely home.

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Tula Pink City Sampler continued

Tula pink 53 to 56Tula Pink CIty Sampler 47 thru 52Tula Pink 41 thru 46I just finished block 56 and am caught up with our group’s goal of finishing 8 blocks per month of the Tula Pink City Sampler.   I somehow skipped June, so had 16 blocks to do this month.   Mine will be a scrappy quilt, most of the fabrics coming from my stash, but some new (can’t resist some of these new fabrics).   I haven’t decided on sashing, but it will be something neutral that will pull the quilt together.

Just attended the Pine Tree Quilt Guild show in Augusta, Maine.   I enjoyed the variety of quilts and was very happy to see “best judged” in the show go to one of our guild chapter members.   I’ll get some pictures up soon.

Our new MT. Battie Modern Quilt Guild continues to meet through the summer.   Several of the members are working on a traveling quilt.  Participants entered a block to be passed around and we have 2 months to work on additions.   Very few rules–try to keep to the owner’s theme and only add to 1-3 sides.  Some participants chose to not have the blocks sewn on and will assemble their quilts when the project is completed.  We do get to see the progress on our own quilts at the meetings when the quilts are due to be passed on to the next quilter.   Fun so far!!!

Saturday morning–feeling lazy.  Time to go.

 

Scrap quilt

Scrap quilt machine quiltedI made a simple scrap quilt out of 3.5 inch squares to practice machine quilting on the new Janome 8900 that I got a couple of months ago.   The extra space made a great difference in my ability to get the large quilt under the needle and through the machine.  Putting the binding on now and almost done!

 

I found these vintage lady blocks a few years ago in  a lot of  antique linens that I purchased at auction.   They are appliqued onto a very heavy muslin and I did have to finish some of the buttonhole stitching around a couple of the ladies’ skirts.  I added the 40’s reproduction border.  This quilt will go to a long arm quilter, probably will have some custom work done since it would be very difficult to hand quilt this fabric.  Hope to get it out over the next month.   Usually is a 6 week turnover time, so she should be back home by  late summer!   Vintage ladies blocks