Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tumbler Quilt

Since my last post I was assigned to a case for jury duty so my days are partly at my regular, full time job and afternoons are spent in court. I had not ever served before, and I don't mind doing my civic duty. It does make for full days, though, since in addition to working in the mornings I am also taking an advanced patchwork class Tuesday evenings.

Last week in class we discussed traditional scrap quilts and one patch designs: for example, the tumbler, the hexagon and the applecore. It was great to make the time to focus on patchwork and sleep can just wait, right? A bonus is now I have "homework" for class next Tuesday and am enjoying that excuse to be in the sewing loft more than usual..what a lovely mess, huh? All of my early reproduction fabrics are being neatly trimmed into tumbler shapes using a plexiglass template and a rotary cutter, and the stacks are getting taller in short order. It'll probably be a top before St. Valentine's Day and I can't wait to see a sampling of my mid to late 1800's fabrics in one top!

Fabulous Free Finds:
♦ In my last post I failed to link to Be Still My Heart, a lovely block which is so versatile for February. If you don't have a lot of reds just throw in pink and burgundy along side them (the reds matching then becomes less conspicuous for those who like a more homogeneous color scheme) or even go completely scrappy. It will all look good...but then again, I love super scrappy! It's a great pattern for a honeybun, though measurements will need to be adjusted if you go that route. I can see this block with a thin background border and then alternating with a checkerboard block. That would be a great project for a honeybun. If you have honeybuns laying around, be sure to look here for ideas...there are several honeybun recipes!
♦ Ms. Brackman's Checkered Past is a free pattern - simply lovely. With precuts it will make up quickly. Have you seen the new 1862 Battle Hymn line? I just adore the cotton boll print in that line (and the tiny florals, and the wavy stripes, and...). I am on the lookout for these fabrics in my local quilt shop. Maybe I will see you there!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Are You Ready for Valentine's Day?

Valentine's Day is nearing, so it's time to store the wreath/pine tree/green and red quilts and bring out the red and white classics, the pink and white quilts, or the heart quilts. What? Not a single quilt for the occasion? Me neither. Mine will be a red and white double nine patch. It could have hearts appliqued in the open spaces, but I think I will opt to showcase quilting in the open spaces instead.
Just in time for St. Valentines Day on February 14, here are a few quick, heart-themed projects:

Keep the Heart Truth Growing (embroidery - builds awareness for the Heart Truth campaign)
Valentine's Day Table Topper (with a gorgeous scalloped edge)
Heart of my Heart Valentine Quilt (this will make a great February wallhanging)
Heart Struck Runner (dress up your counter top or table with this cute runner)
Cross My Heart (lovely heart theme)
Hearts Galore (uses precuts to make quick work of it)

♥BONUS: These are great scrap-users:
Scrappy Sweethearts (nice wallhanging)
Scrappy Four Patch Heart Quilt (sweet quilt with many different sizes)
Scrap Happy Heart Quilt (great pattern for Valentine's Day and all year long)
Scrappy Heart Quilt (love this, simple and effective)
Heart Quilt (this is as easy as it gets, add sashing or let them run together!)

Happy stitching!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's New in 2012?

Hopefully 2012 is off to a great start for you! It is for me (aside from a doozie of a cold), but it is difficult to say goodbye to some quilty fun I had in 2011. Firstly, Barbara Brackman's Saturday morning posts including history and blocks for her Civil War Commemorative Quilt (available through June 2012). Nancy Rink offered Ode to the Blue and Grey. I love the Beyond the Cherry Trees Album Quilt offered by Sentimental Stitches, Clutch is a smart little dog to have claimed that quilt for his own. With a name like Henrietta Whiskers, how can you resist? Of course, the tail end of 2011 held the unveiling of eight steps on each Friday morning when Bonnie K. Hunter of Quiltville posted clues to her latest mystery quilt, (spoiler alert!) Orca Bay (<-- click the link to see the 'solution'). Bonnie's Cheddar Bow Ties will have to carry us through to the next mystery quilt.

In San Luis Obispo County there is legislation pending (it will be considered this week!) to ban single-use bags in stores (if it's passed, no more "paper or plastic?"). Consequently I have spent quite a bit of time lately whipping up totes. Of course, I had intended to make them up months ago, but quilts and other fun things came to the forefront. Not anymore! Now I have a collection of totes waiting by the door to carry whatever I need. I even made smaller bags lined with Insul~Bright for frozen/cold items.

It's still early in the year and so many new blocks of the month have surfaced already. Here are a few I will keep my eye on (in alphabetical order). These are each generously offered by the designer for no fee (some for a limited time, for example free for thirty days, then for a fee).
A Year of Mini Quilts by Amy Heaton of Country Junk'tion
Asian Teapots by Angie Padilla of Angie's Bits and Pieces
Country Cottages by Shabby Fabrics
Just Takes 2 by Brenda of Dear Jane and Gayle of Sentimental Stitches
Mumm's the Word Anniversary Sampler by Debbie Mumm
Mystery Mondays with This and That Patterns
Project Quilting Season 3 began yesterday at Kim's Crafty Apple
Scrappy Plate Club by Bunny Hill Designs
Vintage Sampler by Reeze Hanson of Morning Glory Designs (42 garden-inspired blocks!)
With all of that good fun, 2012 promises to be a good year for quilting!

Fabulous Favorite Freebies:
*Always on the lookout for great quilt patterns for large scale fabrics and found Royal Peacocks by Punch Studio. That one is a keeper!
*Make a Kwik-Sew Insulated beverage Cup Cozy.
*An Owl Potholder would be a cute addition to your kitchen, or a great gift.

Hopefully you have resolved to do whatever it is you want or need to do this year and put a plan in place. I am preparing more wholesome meals for myself in 2012. So far I have made chili with cornbread and pumpkin muffins. Mmmm.

Here's wishing you a great 2012!