Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Moving my blog to: Wabi Sabi Quilts

Hello fellow quilting bloggers, 

With the new year just around the corner, I'm simplifying a bit and starting fresh with a few things.... including in terms of blogs... 

I will be blogging at Wabi Sabi Quilts now.  Nothing spectacular, just a fresh start - feels sort of like beginning a new journal.  I love new beginnings!

I really appreciate the quilting/blogging community and I sure hope many of you will visit me over in my new blogging digs!

Best wishes and Happy New Year! 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Steps to the Altar - finished!

Finally finished Kaela and Joe's wedding quilt - Steps to the Altar, from an old 1930's Ruby McKim pattern.  Yay!  Five months off and on in the making.

I quilted in the ditch around the blocks:

Then checkerboard in the pieced blocks:

Then free motion wreathes in the alternate blocks - very free - not staying in the lines exactly, but overall it worked.  I feel like I finally got the hang of it about 15 blocks in to the process!

I used 60 weight cotton in the bobbin and nylon monofilament in the needle.  Quilters Dream Cotton batting in the "Select" mid-weight.

The only problem with this quilt is.... after I had pieced the blocks, I tried to match the muslin for the plain alternate blocks.  Wellllll the lighting in my local quilt shop isn't great, and it isn't great in my sewing room either - because as you can see, not a great match... but... it's a vintage-y looking quilt anyway right?  It looks better in person than in photos, and I believe over time with lots of use and washings the difference will be even less an issue.

I first blogged about this quilt here and give directions for making the blocks here.  

Now...... time to make toffee.... wrap presents.... do all those non-quilting related holiday tasks.... Mrs. Santa, time to get busy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Flags of the American Revolution - part 4 - stars and Whiskey Rebellion

This month for the quilt-along we worked on some star setting (filler) blocks...

I was going for very scrappy, with chambray blue, beige, and celery green.

... and the Whiskey Rebellion block - which seemed to be my constant companion all month - dense with applique!

And in other news:

This 51 pound puppy is giving us fits... eating her third or fourth (who's counting?) bed...

We've had our first snow...

Finally basted Kaela and Joe's wedding (um, Christmas) quilt top (Steps to the Altar)...  

Made WAY too many pies for Thanksgiving.... 

And now here we are, December already!  Can't wait to see what Lori has in store for us this month... I am really enjoying the quilt-along - the built in deadline pressure, and seeing how everyone else interprets the blocks.  Go over to Humble Quilts to check it out! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

Just a quick post this Veteran's Day with thanks in my heart for Veterans of our wars.  So many young families affected on all sides.

I have been working on family history lately, and came across the World War 1 Draft Registration Card for a great great Uncle.  I love the extra bits of detail we see on a Draft Registration Card...

And meanwhile of course I am continuing work on my Flags of the American Revolution quilt:

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Quilter's Gathering

My first time to attend this show - held yearly in NH by the East Coast Quilters Alliance, featuring lots of beautiful quilts on display, raffle quilts, vendors.

I didn't take many photos - But here are a few!

Midnight Glow by Germaine Wong of Wellesley, MA:
 I sure wish I'd taken more shots of this one so you could see the effect.  It is gorgeous, moving.

 Fraktur by Dianne Woodruff, of Manchester NH:

Triangle Star by Mary L. Sheehan, of West Roxbury, MA:

In a show with so much machine quilting featured, the hand quilting on certain quilts really caught my eye.  I appreciate hand quilting more and more.

Once Upon a Time by Audrey Germer, of Brewster, MA:

 Oh, my goodness, do I love this quilt.  It is both formal and whimsical, if that is possible!

The Compass Quilt, by Kathleen McLaughlin, Noank, CT:

This might have been my favorite in the whole room.   I love the fabric combinations in this quilt, and the absolutely beautiful workmanship.

Funky Garden in Red by Janet H Elia, of Taunton, MA:
 I like the use of this gorgeous red as a neutral.

There you have it, just a few!  A nice couple of hours on my day off from work, a chance to see a few buddies from the Chelmsford Quilt Guild, sell a few raffle tickets, visit some vendors, etc.  I bought some of those Hiroshima needles people have been raving about.  Two years in Japan and I finally hear about them here in MA!  Go figure!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Flags of the American Revolution - part 3 - stripes

I'm really enjoying this quilt-along organized by Lori at Humble Quilts.  It's "homework" but the really fun kind.

Can't wait to see how the other quilters' flags have turned out this month, especially with three of the blocks calling for buttons.  I don't really want buttons on my quilt, so I got creative (lazy?).

Here are mine:

Guilford Courthouse Flag.  For the "buckles" the block called for, I blanket stitched felted wool ovals:

Sons of Liberty, aka "Rebellious Stripes".  You can see that I ran out of the tiny red stars on white, and patched in something else.  PRIMITIVE.


U.S. Navy Jack.  The fleet signal issued for the first ships of the Continental Navy:


Bennington Flag.   This one called for thirteen star buttons arranged in an arc over the 76.  I tried embroidering small stars.... finally opted for one big star - I figure it's ok to improvise - it's true to the spirit of the flag and this quilt.


First Stars and Stripes.  Sort of.  Perhaps I will find a way to attach a circle of 13 tiny white stars, perhaps felted wool while I am quilting it.

These blocks are all taken from Jan Patek's book Flags of the American Revolution.   Thanks Lori - can't wait to see what our next assignment will be!

Monday, October 27, 2014

row by row - first row

I've joined the row by row group at Chelmsford Quilt Guild. 

This month we were to make our own first row, with a "summer" theme (think Fourth of July).

Subsequent rows will be made (but not attached) by quilters along the line - rows depicting the seasons plus several "sky" rows.  Then the whole thing returns to me, and I sew it together however I want.  Sounds like a plan.

My row-by-row will be traveling in this cute bag made by my sashiko teacher Kazuko Yoshiura (from when I took lessons in Japan):

Goodbye little project, see you again in May!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

seeing yellows and reds

We are in full autumn leaves mode here - I just love this time of year.

Our front yard is at its best during these weeks.

Raking can wait...

In the past two weeks I've started a part time job, and hosted a gathering with family from Ireland, Ohio, Washington State, North Carolina, and New York!  Three generations, sharing memories of Grandma Mary Lou... and lots of great food!

Here's how the teenager of the house sleeps when the house is filled to the brim with company:

I have to admit after such a busy time, I am relishing a quiet Saturday.  Today I took myself to a quilt show organized by the Women's Alliance of our local Unitarian Church:

The quilts were draped over the pews - white gloves for those of us who wanted to touch and turn the quilts.

I put in my Kimono Friendship Quilt from our time in Japan:

The show coincides with our town's 300th year anniversary. 


I love the really big red center squares on this log cabin: 

And check out this stunner, in my mind the "best in show": 

And of course I was drawn to these beautiful quilts by Miho Takeuchi (Studio Aika):

I was so happy to meet Miho and talk "sashiko" for a few minutes!  I had found her website a couple of years ago while I was learning sashiko in Japan.  What a small quilting world.

It was fun to weave in and out of the pews and see quilts of all kinds.

I didn't have a title for this post but after skimming back through it, I see yellow leaves, and then lots of RED in many of the quilts I was drawn to today!

Hope all my quilting friends out in blogland are having a good good weekend!