Sunday, September 23, 2012

What I'm Working on

   I told you I was back to normal. That means as soon as I got home from school Friday afternoon, I headed to my sewing room and I have hardly been out of here since. Randy went to an air show Friday night and home late; then worked yesterday, so I've had no reason to emerge. I'm working on a new Double 4-Patch quilt. It's not for a new pattern and not for a gift. It's just for the sheer joy of sewing and it's for me! I'm using the last of 4 of my favorite red Civil War repros and one of my very favorite yardages, from Family Tree, by Mary Koval. I've saved it for a long time for the right project. This is it.

   I usually don't start with a "plan" or sketches, or any pattern, when I sew for fun. I get an idea in my mind and start cutting fabric to go with it. I don't count pieces either; I just cut until I have a good pile to start. I sew a sample block to see if I still like my idea. Sometimes I have to change it up a bit, maybe the size or color scheme or add more pieces. Usually, though, what was in my mind is what gets sewn. This time, I knew I wanted lots of little pieces and I wanted it to be rich with scraps, using the last of some of my oldest CW's, especially those reds, before they were gone forever. And that Mary Koval print was calling me. It has that caramel color background that I love and a rich print of all the primary colors...perfect for the alternating squares.  It might not appeal to everyone, but this quilt is for me, for my reward after months of working on my patterns. It will be rich and dark and vintage looking, just the way I like a Civil War repro quilt to look. My favorite vintage Civil War quilts are the scrappy ones sewn in rich, dark fabrics with some "oddball" prints thrown in. Some people would call them "uglies", but I call them true vintage. Anyway, I'm sewing and I'm loving it. What more could I ask?

  I started with a basket of 1 1/2" squares...

Then I sewed these...

 I added some of these...

I sewed them together for these...

I added the alternate 4 1/2" squares of Family Tree...

Then I made rows...

It's starting to look like this...

   I'm having fun! It's not a new pattern and it's not rocket science, it's just soothing, repetitive sewing and I'm working with precious pieces of favorite fabrics that I'll never cut or sew with again. I even cut some pieces of Grandma Lillard's dress for this one. Now, I know it's for me, or at least a close family member. This is what quilting should be about, relaxation, fun, the joy of creating with your hands. It's what has kept me at it since 1971, and God willing, till the day I die.

  This is the quilt I've been hand-quilting since I "found" it again last weekend. Another simple pattern, 4-patches on point in the strippy setting. I'm making it special by adding elaborate quilting. I quilt on this in the evening when and IF there is anything worth watching on TV. Otherwise, you'll find me parked at my Bernina sewing and loving it.

I'm going to be late for church if I don't stop now! Keep stitchin'!



  1. Becky, your 4 patch quilt is gorgeous! I love those rich colors, and your grandma's fabric in it will make it extra special. You'll think of her every time you look at it! Nice!

    And your hand quilted piece is beautiful.....I love 4 patches!

  2. I love 4 patches too. You just can't beat the basic quilting blocks. If you only do your hand quilting when you watch something good on TV, it will probably take you a long time to finish the quilt. Did you ever try the BBC programs that are available for download from Netflix? I took advantage of the free month just before we left on this trip and there were several program series that were really good and I could download them to my computer. I think I'll subscribe after we get home again.

  3. LOVE your patches!! Yes I get how simple sewing can sooth :-) I have to make more time for it.

  4. I love your new 4 patch quilt and look forward to seeing your progress with your current quilting project. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs, Jan Mac

  5. Delicious! Soak up that enjoyment.

  6. I love that double four patch. Glad you had some time to do lots of stitching.

  7. Both quilts are so my piece of cake. You inspire me very much! Lovely

  8. Just found your blog while searching images on Google. I'm currently restoring an old quilt for a friend and was looking for ideas on binding color for it...the original was never bound. It is a @ 1940's 9 patch with a muslin background.

    Your blog was a find! I'm now following. I have always loved these civil war quilts. I have a "Dear Jane" on my "to do list". Thank you for all the inspiration! Can't wait to look through your blog!