Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quilting Weather

  The only good thing I can say about the cold weather we've been having this past week, is it's been "quilting weather." I have to admit though, it hasn't been a bad winter so far, and we've dodged the bullet on any heavy snow storms. I'm like Goldilocks, I want the weather "just right!" which means neither too hot, nor too cold. I've resigned myself though, to not always getting my way. Some strange people actually like cold and snow, so I guess God has  to allow them to have their way sometimes.

  I've cut charm packs everyday after work. I'm trying to build my inventory of them. A lot of you have sent me emails for the particulars on them and some  have placed orders. For those who don't know and are interested, I'll give the details. I'm cutting 4 1/2" charms from my large collection of toile and pictorial fabrics, putting 56 squares in charm packs. These are perfect to use as the center of the blocks in my Civil War Images pattern. Some quilters are buying them to use in other Civil War quilts, like the Barbara Brackman BOM. I'll keep offering these till my stash runs out. (Of course, I saved some for me!) Each charm is different, featuring flags, generals, cannons, eagles, battle scenes, soldiers, plantations, Abe Lincoln, etc. Some of these fabrics have been out of print for years. I mixed fabrics from many fabric lines, designers, and textile mills. Because there are a limited number and the rarity of some fabrics, I'm selling the charm packs for $20 each plus shipping.

Here is a sampling of charm packs ready to ship...


  When not cutting charms, I've been quilting on the frame at night. It's set up in the family room and I can "watch" TV with Randy too. Sometimes it seems like I live in my sewing room and it's good to spend time with Randy so he  remembers what I look like. :-) I quilted the full length of the frame twice as of midnight last night and I'll roll the quilt again after dinner today and quilt till bedtime tonight. I'd like to finish this quilt before my next workshop/speaking engagement in Davenport in mid-February so I can display it.

  Yesterday was the 3rd Saturday, so that meant Breakfast Club at Inspirations. We always have a good time at BC and this time was no exception. There were some really neat quilts brought for show n tell. I took my George Washington Tribute quilt and an antique quilt that belongs to a gal I work with, Kim Perron. Her husband rescued it from a box of junk ready to be thrown out at the end of an auction. She wasn't sure it was worth anything and brought it to school for me to see. She thought it was made from double knits, so I wasn't prepared for a quilt this good! It is a string-pieced 4 point star made with turkey red cottons, wools, and silks, definitely NOT double knits! I'm estimating it's a circa 1890-1910. The condition isn't great, but it is a charmer. It needs a binding sewn on since it was turned in and sewn originally and that is wearing out. My friend, Darla, will bind it after I add tulle on the back to protect the worn fabric, and add a sleeve for hanging. After my excitement over seeing it, Kim has decided to hang it in her living room. She has only had it out at Christmas to use as a tree skirt before now. I can't imagine anyone thinking it was only good to throw out! Another worthy quilt has been saved a sorry end.

This is the "Throw Away" quilt...
The backing...
Kayla's quilts for Show' n' Tell...
Darla's baby quilt before the  borders have been added...

A quilt she bought last week at auction for $17.50!

Jane's baby quilt...
Other show 'n' tell...
  
   While I was at breakfast Cub, Randy was in Illinois at a family auction. He bid on some quilts for me (he didn't get them) and some Civil war era family tintypes. One of a soldier brought $195! Randy wasn't the winning bid. He was able to get three tintypes for me, two of children and one of a man. He has no idea who they are other than they're family on his father's side. The little boy is holding a book, the man looks dapper with one hand grabbing his lapel, the little girl is sweet in her off the shoulder dress. They are clear in person, but didn't scan well unfortunately.

   Dinner is in the oven and Randy is bundled in blankets in the family room with a bad cold, so I'd better go keep him company...and quilt! Keep stitching.

Becky

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Done at Last!

   I finished the quilting on "George Washington Tribute" last week. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. There was more quilting in it than I first planned. I designed a large feathery motif for the 4 corners surrounding the center medallion. I backed the quilt with a blue toile from my collection.  I've decided to start using some of my toiles for quilt backs since I have so many. They are way too pretty to just sit folded on a shelf. They deserve to live in a quilt.

"George Washington Tribute"...


Closeups of the feather quilting...
The toile backing...
   I took the quilt to school to show the Home Ec teacher and the History teachers. They are always interested to see my latest quilts. They asked if I was going to hang it in the media center during February for George's birthday. I hadn't thought of that, but now I plan to display it there next month. I still have a Christmas quilt hanging there.

  A friend came back to school last week from Christmas break with a terrible cold she caught on vacation in Las Vegas. Much to my dismay, I caught it from her over the weekend. I called in sick yesterday and today. It's one of those colds that you're super tired but cannot sleep at least not for the first few nights. I'm starting to feel better though and will probably go to work tomorrow.

  I've been cutting charm packs from all of my Civil War toiles and pictorial fabrics to sell with my pattern, "Civil War Images". It takes 56 (4 1/2") squares of toile for the centers of the blocks. Since not all shops carry the pictorial fabrics and I've collected them for years, I thought I'd offer them to quilters wanting to make "Civil War Images". Wow, does it ever take a long time to fussy-cut hundreds of pictures. It sure has helped make space on my shelves. I've filled 2 jumbo sized (2.5 gal.) Ziploc bags with the usable scraps from fussy-cutting those charms. I'm toying with the idea of making a Log cabin quilt with all those toile scraps. I've never seen one like that, have you?

Here's a peek at the charms I've been cutting...

 
And...
 
  I can't believe it's January 10th and it's over 50 degrees out! I actually raked leaves on Saturday that I hadn't got to in the fall. That is definitely a first. Usually by now, the ground would be frozen and the leaves matted down from snow and I'd have to wait till spring for a chance to clean them up. I really wanted to sew on Saturday, but I knew I shouldn't waste the opportunity to work in the garden. It's a good thing I did, because by Sunday afternoon I was coming down with this cold. They always say, "Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today." I've always tried to live by that motto. And on that note, I'd better go quilt, because tomorrow I'll be at work and won't be able to.

Keep stitching!
Becky