Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Batik-less Wall Hanging

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving!  I wanted to share my new wall hanging before I’m up to my elbows in sweet potatoes, dressing and pumpkin pie! 

  Since I’ve swore off buying fabric until my stash is significantly smaller.  I dug through my Civil War repros and began cutting.

The pattern used Batiks….I can count on one hand how many times I’ve used Batiks.  It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t think I know how to use them.  Keep in mind, I rarely wonder outside the “box” I’ve become so accustomed to being in.  

Once I had the triangles cut, I had to do a test layout before I started stitching together.        

So far, looking pretty good….. 

 My version of Edyta Sitar's Scrappy Basket 

Instead of fabric for the applique I used wool.  A little nervous not knowing if the fabrics would work with a pattern I’d only seen in Batiks – but I’m loving the results.  Next step - dig out the Valdani thread and get busy on blanket stitching around the wool.                         




Thursday, November 12, 2015

Treat or Retreat?

With all the renovation going on, I knew I had to break away from the house.  I needed to head out of town to a Retreat just get the Twins’ baby quilts complete.  The most I’d been able to do at home was to pick out fabrics and cut a few strips for the nine-patches.  I’d no more get my cutting mat out and my son would show up to work on the renovation/sewing room – knowing I’d need to strike when that iron was hot, I’d put my quilting away!  After all, I can’t move into the new sewing room until it’s finished. 

Uninterrupted time is a must if the babes receive these quilts before they start toddling!   So Sue (my dear Quilting Buddy) and I take off for a much needed, much deserved, quality minded quilt retreat. 

Day 1 - had us driving to the nearest quilt shop, which is the next town over from where we were retreating.  Cheri (QB’s sister) was missing a page out of her quilt pattern, so we left out bright and early that morning to hunt down a copy.  Well, not much luck with the pattern, but we’d passed the local “watering hole” on the way to the Quilted Moose Quilt shop, and Cheri was sure an adult beverage would dull the frustration of the missing pattern page.  So much so, I was beginning to think the search for the pattern was a rouse to find the local drinking establishment! 

Who am I to argue with that?  It was only a few minutes after 11am, so let’s get that woman a beer!  Isn't it....What happens at retreat, stays at retreat……if not, it should be!

Now I don’t want you to think it was all Bloody Mary’s and barstools…..I was able to knock out both Weslyn and Wrenly’s baby quilts in the next few days of the retreat.

Weslyn will receive the pink border quilt 

and Wrenly will receive the purple border quilt

While I thought I was movin’ and groovin’ with the baby quilts – Quilt Buddy Sue was laying down some serious thread!  She finished piecing and putting together this lovely.

It’s a paper pieced pattern by Little Bits, Cindi Edgerton.  With each piece being no more than 1/4 inch wide, total size is about 27inches by 27inches.  So gorgeous!! 

Nothing better than attending a Retreat location which serves meals, snacks and everything in between.  Normally I would say, “any meal is good as long as I don’t have to cook it”, but they have a chef on staff and the food is wonderful.  Since the Retreat is out in the country and nestled between a few really small towns, on occasion the menu items reflect it.  

I have to admit, this City girl enjoyed the wild game mixed Smokey Burger – very lean and no gamey taste.    

Friday, October 2, 2015

They're Here!

My world has been busy.  The wee bundles of joy have arrived!  I say wee, but aint nothing wee about my newest granddaughters. 

Ms. Weslyn weighed 7bls 4 oz and Ms. Wrenly weighed 7lbs 14oz.  That’s a twin over load right there!

There could not be anything more exciting than these new little family members.  Ol’ grandma here has dropped the ball on the baby quilts (way too much home reno going on), but I’ve got a retreat coming up which will provide me with undivided time to get the pair of snuggly quilts completed.  

If you slide down to my previous post, you can see the 'before' pic of the family/sewing room floor.'s what is looks like now.   


There were a few rough spots, and a couple of the stains refused to sand out, but the floor is 65 yrs old.  So, I had to let it be.   My son finished hanging the drywall and I’ve been “mudding and taping” the past few evenings.  Once I paint the walls and polyurethane the floors, I’ll be ready to move my machine and cutting table in.  I can’t believe I’m finally getting there.

On to the Quilt Dish: First Friday 

Since it's First Friday of the month, I want to share the Blog - Happy Quilting: Cut, Sew, Quilt, Repeat.  Melissa has quite a collection of Quilt-A-Longs, and more Quilt tutorials than I've seen on any one Blog.  

I stumbled on the Happy Quilting blog when I searched for a quilted car seat cover pattern - which falls under the 'more tutorials' tab.  I highly recommend, from quilts to projects - she has it all.  

Disclaimer:  Any views or opinions expressed by The Quilt Dish Blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting: Cut, Sew, Quilt, Repeat Blog.  This Midwest chick is in no way involved with the blog.  I’m not on her payroll and in fact, I’m sure she don’t even know I exist.  I’m sharing because I appreciate complimentary directions, patterns and quilt a-longs just like any other budgeted quilter does. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Baby Quilt x 2

My daughter is just about ready to deliver, and I’m just now picking out fabrics for the Twins’ quilts.  She likes scrappy 30’s reproductions and would like the quilts to somewhat match, I’m bordering the quilts with the same fabric, but in different colors.  Then using the same color for the inner border (the green)- so they will coordinate, but not matchy match.   Since she already has one little girl, she’s requested I don’t use pink. 

The past month has been an emotional roller coaster.  While preparing for twin baby grandies, my father passed away.  Totally unexpected.  For several months my family has worried over my mother – who suffered an intense stroke which left her partially blind and in rehab for 3 weeks.  My dad was experiencing chest pains, was told it wasn’t anything serious and would spend a couple of days in the hospital for observation.  Less than 18 hours later, we were told he wouldn’t make it through the night.  He’d contracted pneumonia and his organs were failing fast.  Just really hard to wrap our head’s around.  I won’t talk too much about it, but each moment is gift and you should spend your time with those you care about.  When it’s all said and done, it’s what counts the most. 

Strangely, people handle stress in many different ways.  Me?  Maybe I should have consulted a religious figure or friends, etc.  But I chose to delve into finishing my family/sewing room renovation.  Due to old grotty (a favorite word of my 10 yr old grand) wiring, my son and I (mostly son) had to rewire the sewing room - Which entailed removing 65 yr old knotty pine from the walls and the ½ inch thin grotty insulation behind it.  I was told when I purchase the home a year ago, the family/sewing room did not have hardwood, just the main part of the house.  By accident, my son pulled a corner of the carpeting to get at a few nails at the base of the wall.....and, low-and-behold, he found the glorious hardwoods.  Maybe I was looking for an additional project to keep myself focused, but I couldn’t wait to rip the carpeting up to see what was hidden under it. 

So, it wasn’t as glorious as I’d hoped.  But I could see potential.  Would it be so difficult to remove a little mastic?  I’ve got two strapping boys to assist, right?  Ah well..... not exactly.  My oldest is a jack-of-all-trades, knows electrical, can work on my car, assisted with finishing the basement – but took one look at the mastic and said "you're on your own".  He felt I had enough “balls in the air” and considered me a complete nut-job if I took on another project.  

Err.  Ok, I still have one more son that will help his momma!  Maybe the youngest son couldn’t tell a Phillips from a Flat head screwdriver – but he’s a smart kid.  Builds computers and is book smart – this could work.  In the 8 days it took to scrape all the mastic off the floor, he may have spent a total of 30 minutes on the project.  He's such an over-thinker, his little mind could not stop thinking there had to be better way of getting the mastic off the hardwood instead of scraping.  I’ll admit, he came up with some great ideas, but none worked like getting down and your hands and knees and working the scraper back and forth. 

Now it’s time for the orbital sander – and if those boys think they can take over now so they can run that big ol’power tool – they can forget it!  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Finally....sewing I can dish about!

Sometimes it’s good to be a second choice….especially in the eyes of one of your children.  My youngest Sam and one of his buds, take an annual trip to Colorado to see his favorite jam band Widespread Panic each summer.  A last minute decision (Matt had to take a summer college course) left my son without his traveling buddy.  Imagine my surprise when Sam asked me to go with him.  Say what?  I couldn’t pack fast enough.  The only catch, he was going to all 3 shows and wanted me to attend at least one with him.  Hmm, ok.  I’d never been to a show at Red Rocks, so I was game.
Now, there should be a disclaimer on the ticket – get your butt in shape to attend a Red Rocks show!  Oh man, we had to park down (and I mean down) the hill from the parking lot and walk up.  Then walk up an incline to the amphitheater.  Wait, I’m not done, then walk up steps to our seats.  As we'd make our way to the top, I'd see casualties parked on the steps sucking down bottles of water and gasping for air.  This mama was huffin' and puffin' by the time we reached the top. This blew my mind, I consider myself is decent shape. Normally the altitude doesn’t bother me, but I think my ears popped again just trying to get to our seats!  

Regardless, we had a really good time.  Did some sight-seeing, a little shopping and some sewing!  Yep, that’s right.  The evenings Sam was at Red Rocks, I turned our hotel room into a quilt studio. 

 Oh yeah!  This could work!

With only needing a couple of rows added, I took my 30’s Tennessee retreat quilt to complete.  It’s only been a sitting UFO for a year – how sad is that?  Just a few rows shy of being finished and I let it sit for so long.  Once my hour glass quilt was finished I whipped together a few fussy stars.   

A snugly utility quilt for the Grands when they visit.

Why I’ve started a second size of fussy stars, I’ll never know.  But I did.  Original size in the center, smaller stars were the brain fart.  Again, the altitude may have been messing with my mind.  

They’re darn cute, so I’ll crank out a few more until I figure out what to do with them.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hexie Brag Bag

My fellow co-worker and quilty friend Dora is a fiber artist.  I’ve admired her fiber pieces for years.  No matter how busy we are at work, Dora, Jen and I sneak off for show-n-tell when we’ve completed a project.  I lean towards traditional (more of a repro nut), Jen is very middle of the road (modern fabrics and patterns with a little traditional thrown in) and Dora (straight up modern, free flowing and refuses to use a rotary cutter – I can’t even wrap my head around that). We couldn’t be more different, but when we’ve had sewing days together, I’m mystified by their creativity. 

However, every once in a while Dora surprises me…..could there be a spark of traditional deep within her, fighting to get out?  Not long ago, she calls me in her office – she seemed almost giddy like she has a big secret to share.  Dora pulls out her latest bag.  A hexie tote!  Nothing like her other bags she’s whipped together - full of texture like silks, corduroys, wools, etc., but a cotton hexie tote.  Absolutely stunning.  I love it and told her I had every intention of copying and making one for myself!  

Dora, with one of her pieces hanging in an exhibit.  Being a scientist, she replicated something you’d see under a microscope. 
Wish I had more photos of her many pieces. 

Dora’s version of traditional.  A baby gift for a friend.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July First Friday

When I found out Barbara Brackman was to lecture at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival, I was about as excited as I could get (without embarrassing myself!).  Not gonna lie, in the grand scheme of the quilt world - she’s my quilty crush!  Eleanor Burns – you know I bow down to you, Nancy Doan – you rock the demonstrations……but Barbara….. you complete me!  Since I fancy reproductions during the 1800’s, her blog "Civil War Quilts" is my main source for their historical story.  Barbara is funny and witty, a book author, blogs and resides in my great state of Kansas.  I could go on and on, but you should check her out!

Disclaimer:  Any views or opinions expressed in this Blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Barbara Brackman at Civil War Quilts and Material Culture.  This Midwest chick is in no way involved with the either blog.  I’m not on her payroll, In fact I’m sure she don’t even know I exist.  I’m sharing because I appreciate complimentary directions, patterns and quilt a-longs like any other budgeted quilter does. 

Don’t forget, "Shop Local Saturdays" which always follow First Fridays.  Show your local quilt shop some shopping love!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sunbonnet Sue and Tina?

Wow!  Pun totally intended!  2015 is the first year for the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival.  Local guilds assisted in pulling together one of the best Quilt Festivals our metro area has seen in a while. Three fun filled days with more than 90 vendors (YES! 90 – that’s some serious shopping!), workshops, lectures and quilt displays from area guilds. 

The first order of business was to check out the Kaw Valley Quilt Guild (from Lawrence, KS).  I’d heard through the quilting vine, if you purchase raffle tickets for their opportunity quilt, you had the pleasure of having your picture taken in their booth.  Most either love Sunbonnet Sue pattern or well....despise her.  Myself, I'm not so fond of 30's icon.  Meeting my quilty friend Sue and her sister Cheri at the festival, I begged Sue (appropriately so!) to join me in this monumental photo!  

Me on the left and my buddy Sunbonnet Sue on the right! 

All in good fun, right….. Sue?  

Friday, June 5, 2015

June First Friday

Now that life has slowed down somewhat – I’m ready to resume my favorite First Friday cyber hangouts.  I’ve mentioned once or twice (or maybe more!) how I appreciate the freebies and sew-a-longs blogs or sites have to offer.  Sentimental Stitches goes above and beyond when it comes to Freebies.  On their Free Patterns tab, they have a wonderful list of blocks and miscellaneous patterns.  A few patterns are retired and for sale, but there is a long list of freebies.  

If you do nothing else, check out the Midget Blocks under the Free Patterns Tab. There is a total of 196 blocks with the first 50 being retired.  Did the skies open up?  Did I just hear a chorus of sweet angelic voices?  Honestly, I thought I'd hit the jackpot when I found those magnificent midgets.  

I love almost everything about this site, with the exception of all the advertisements.  On occasion I click on the wrong link and end up in cyber space.  Stick to her tabs, and you’ll be fine.  

Disclaimer:  Any views or opinions expressed in this Blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Gay at Sentimental Stitches.  This Midwest chick is in no way involved with the Sentimental Stitches Website.  I’m not on their payroll, In fact I’m sure they don’t even know I exist.  I’m sharing because I appreciate complimentary directions, patterns and quilt a-longs like any other budgeted quilter does. 

Don’t forget, "Shop Local Saturdays" always follow First Fridays.  Show your local quilt shop some love tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

R-n-R Continued

Since my point and shoot camera is out of commission, I’m using my cell phone for photos - which isn’t working out so well.  For whatever reason I thought I had transferred all the photos over to share on my last bloggy post.  Not so.  Being a vintage nut, I feel like I must share these lost lovelies with everyone.    

First, here are two more of Kelly Ashton’s creations.

Love both of these!

On to the vintage dish!

This is most lovely!  A treasure from 1935.  

Vintage hand quilting still intact.  Beautiful.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Revitalized and Rejuvenated!

Call it what you want, but I have been jump-started!  Let’s be honest, I’ve had a case the sluggish 6 pointers and the hexie ho-hums lately.  These projects of mine have gone on for-e-v-e-r!  It’s a slow and tedious process and the results aren’t happening fast enough.  Don’t I sound whiney and high maintenance?  Clearly, patience was not a virtue bestowed upon me….

But last night, a woman named Kelly Ashton gave me the kick in the pants I’ve needed.  She rocked my mathematical world at quilt guild with her 60 degree Patchwork.  Math and I never really got along, so I’ll stick with calling it hexies, triangles and 6 pointers - It doesn’t make my head hurt as bad.  

Anywho, Kelly has a book "Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles, and More:  Skill-Building Techniques for 60-Degree Patchwork" in which she shares her piecing technics and ways to create vintage quilts in an updated fashion.  I was hooked when Kelly said she machine pieces everything…….who, wha, what did she say?  That’s right, no hand piecing!  So while I’m fumbling around with my throw sized quilt, she’s cranking out multiple quilts.  Now, we all know quick-n-speedy quilting isn’t always the best (that’s what I keep telling myself), but it would be nice to have a vintage looking quilt put together in less than 5 years……right?

Below are a few samplings of Kelly’s quilts.  Machine pieced with modern fabrics - Very nice.  

Kelly may have a flair for the modern, but her love of collecting vintage quilts is stellar.  I tried to photo as many as I could, but I wasn’t the only one drooling over her collection. 

Cheddar quilt - first I've seen with an entire cheddar background

I hope this is clear enough to see the hand quilting – stunning!

This quilt has a double pattern going – pie shaped 6 pointer and 
a triangle pattern.

Love these fabrics!