Friday, December 31, 2010

More Blocks

I've been busy making blocks and haven't stopped to post the pictures.  They are going pretty quickly and easier with each one.  Some of these aren't pressed perfectly yet, but pieced better than they might look.

One of the things that is fun about using these scraps from Grandma...a fabric like this would never find it's way into my stash any other way. LOL.  I just don't buy large florals.  But isn't it pretty?

This fabric makes me think of apartment buildings.  Tom sees dice.

I used this fabric to make a portfolio for 4-H in the late 1950's.  Even though it is clearly yellow roses,I always see ears of corn when I look at it.  Must be the Iowa girl in me.

Believe it or not I used this fabric to make pajamas for my two oldest sons in the late 60's.  What fun to be working with it and reliving those memories as we wait (not so patiently) for both of them to have grandchildren born in the next few days.
Grandma had a dress from this material.

And I'd like a few yards of this yummy green.

Would like some of this red print as well.

Several blocks use fabric with embossing for the star these blue ones.  The print is a feedsack.

These are almost perfectly fussy cut.

Another of those prints that would never make it into my stash under normal circumstances.


I LOVE the movement in this fabric.  Would take a few yards of it too!

It feels good to be finally working up these cut pieces.  I don't want to die without making them into a quilt. 

Crazy weather happening in this part of the country.  I hope all my Midwestern blog friends stay safe.  And to everyone..Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I've been remiss posting some siggies I received this month.

Mother and daughter, Margo and Suzanne from The Netherlands  sent matching heart blocks.

And Flavia from Italy sent this cheerful cherry siggy.

I truly love receiving these little gifts from all over the world and I wish all my siggy friends a wonderful New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Brilliant Star

My good friend,Crispy, came to the rescue and identified this block as either Brilliant Star (Nancy Page) or Pointing Star (KC Star) according to Brackman's book.  Thank you, Crispy!  And today while digging through some more of Grandma's templates I found an envelope with another hexagon template marked "used this for RNA quilt" (a fraternal organization she belonged to) and a date in 1987 corresponding to the same date she had marked on the cut out pattern pieces.  She also wrote "pattern from Workbasket" so my guess as to where she got the pattern was correct.  Of course she might have used hexagons for many patterns, but with the same date marked on both sets I found and also the "RNA" notation on both sets, I know they belong together.

Today I counted the number of block sets she has strung together and get 67 give or take a couple.  I could make a good sized quilt from all of these. 

I pieced a few more last night and had already figured out what Crispy also suggested...getting good points is definitely about the pressing too.  And I discovered that Grandma's pieces weren't as badly cut as I had thought.  Guess I pulled one that was a little off and assumed they were all that way.  But she actually did a really good job with her cardboard templates and scissors.  And I marvel at what a good job she did piecing the larger blocks since I see no drawn sewing lines.  She obviously just eyeballed a quarter-inch seam line.  I can do that sometimes, but in a block this complicated I really need to draw the lines on at least one of the two fabrics I'm joining. 

I think these are cool fabrics..mostly from the 1950's and 60's.  I'm sure not all are 100% cotton but I'm going to use them anyway, just as Grandma would have done.  I recognize so many of them but I'm always surprised at the number of solid fabrics she collected for the star points.  We had a very little shop in our small town that sold fabric.  Not a lot of variety and I sure don't remember Grandma buying much there.  So I have to wonder how she came by all of the solids. 

I plan to share the blocks as I make them, hoping that others will enjoy looking at these vintage (and sometimes funky) fabrics.  If you get bored with that, let me know and I'll quit posting them.  I'm also labeling these posts so you can always search for "Brilliant Star Block" and pull them all up. 

These are the blocks I've done since last night. Still not prefect points..but passable for me at least.

Couldn't really find a good way to orient this it's just....well.....interesting!

I love this plaid

I wasn't sure how to press this block but finally decided on this

Would anyone do it differently? 

Off to do more piecing.  I should be cleaning up my sewing room.....but piecing is more fun.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Do You Know This Block?

Since finishing my Dutch Treat quilt on the 17th, I've been kind of bouncing here and there trying to settle on something to work on.  I spent several nights catching up on my Raggedy and Friends blocks.  I finished the embroidery on all three I was behind, but have only pieced one of them, so no pictures taken yet.

Last night I dug out my container of quilt pieces from my Grandmother.  I've posted pictures of these in the past but it's been awhile.  I decided to work on some of these blocks

I don't know the name of the block.  The closest I can find is that it might be a variation of the Hexagon Star in Maggie Malone's book.  Grandma had several of these hand pieced

I had a skirt made from the orange fabric in the first picture. My sister and I had skirts from the two fabrics in the upper left of the second picture. I had the turquoise and she had the lavendar. 

In addition to the pieced blocks there is a string of cut pieces

The string on the left contains pieces for this block, only slightly smaller.  All of the components are there, strung in order.  I can't imagine having the patience to sit and cut all of these pieces out.  I'm more of a "cut a few, piece a few" type gal.

I dug out another stash of pattern templates from Grandma and found these pieces cut from (I think) a Workbasket magazine.

Unfortunately there is no name shown for the block.  Grandma had several cardboard and sandpaper templates cut.  She seemed to have issues regarding seam allowances.  The pieced blocks correspond pretty well to the size shown in the pattern.  The string of cut pieces seem to be minus the seam allowance.  And, at least for her, cutting with scissors didn't yield perfectly sized pieces. 

She also used a variety of white fabric and it isn't the best quality so I've decided to cut new white pieces and use her fabric for the hexagon and colored triangles. 

I pieced two of them by hand.

My points are never as sharp as Crispy's.  Wish she lived close enough to give me lots of one on one hand piecing tutoring.  I know in theory what to do. It just doesn't always work out that way.  Of course it would help if the pieces were a bit more accurately cut.

So maybe this will be my sitting in the recliner, listening to TV evening project for awhile.  I'm thinking there is no chance the blocks will set together like show in the pattern so I'm considering sashing them all.  Or I found an enlarged block with this as the center in Maggie Malone's book . That might work too.  I may decide to take apart the blocks Grandma pieced and cut them down to size to fit with the others.

Anyone recognize this block?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We did. 

Stay warm.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Better Pics

Had a chance tonight at quilt guild to get a couple of pics of Dutch Gold straight on.  The pics still aren't great, but at least you can see it fully.

My fingers have been lost the last couple of nights.  Doing some embroidery trying to catch up on my Raggedy Friends blocks.  But it just isn't the same satisfaction as doing these little appliqued blocks.  How long can I resist starting #3?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa Train

A couple days ago the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express came to Pittsburg.  Naturally all the boys and girls were excited to see it, including the boy in this house.  We went in the afternoon while it was setting up.

And back in the evening to see it lit up.

There were lots of model trains running inside.

But the best part of all was getting to meet Santa!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dutch Gold

Can you believe it?  I'm still here!  I haven't had much to share in recent days (or weeks) but I've been dilgently working to finish Dutch Treat #2..the gold version.  And Tuesday night I finished the quilting.  I would have been done with the binding yesterday except 3/4 of the way through it I decided it really needed to be narrower to look good on the scalloped edge, so I redid it. 

Now it's done, washed and dried and I have a huge sense of accomplishment.  I started this one April 1, spent 5 1/2 months doing the hand reverse applique (196 blocks) and setting the blocks together.  I started hand quilting it Sept 19, so it took a few days shy of  3 months to quilt.   Considering I finished DT#1 Feb 1, I am really proud that I can say I completed two of these in 2010 (even though I started #1 in 2008). 

I think I may take a break before starting #3..if I make one, that is.  I have several other big projects that need quilting my Dear Jane for instance.

It's hard to get good pictures inside and without help holding it up. Perhaps I can get better ones later. So without further is Dutch Gold.

 Before washing, the quilting perhaps shows a bit better in this picture