Saturday, August 24, 2013

Little Nine Patch Doll Quilt

With a week to spare I finished Kathleen Tracy's August sew along mini quilt.   

Little Nine Patch Doll Quilt

I took it outside as the sun was setting to capture the true colors.   The free pattern is available here


Ten days from now I will be heading north to the wonderful woodlands of Minnesota for seven glorious days of what is fondly referred to as RETREAT!

I've been checking the days off my calendar since August 1st.   My sewing machine will most likely be idle this week, as I have lots of prepping to do.  Deciding what projects to take can be difficult... my expectations of what will get done are usually unrealistic.  With plans to stop at 3 or 4 quilt shops on the way there, it never fails that something new and grand is noticed by one or several of us retreaters!   When we travel in packs, it's easy to get excited about a project we think everyone will want to make during our time together!   It can get crazy... and that's what has happened for most of the past 9 years in this group... we have pictures and video to prove it! 

The to-do list will be written tomorrow.    And hopefully, the check offs will follow quickly there after! 


Thursday, August 15, 2013


... one feels like they want to do something... to help in any way.

Let me back up to a few days ago. 

A comment was left on a recent post I wrote.  It came from Marie.  Marie lives in Canada.   I'm pretty sure it was the first time Marie left a comment for me.  I wanted to know more about Marie, so I visited her blog.  I was lead to this post.

Recently the community of Lac Megantic in Canada was shaken to its core by a devastating train derailment.  Lives were lost and the town center was destroyed by a roaring and vigorous fire.   A quilt shop in Quebec is spear heading an event to bring courage and comfort to the people of Lac Megantic.  They have appealed to quilters to put their creativity to use, by making flags that will be strung together into banners, and presented to the city for a public exhibition sometime in September... a simple gesture expressing love and support to the community of people affected by this tragedy. 

I remember watching the TV coverage of the derailment.  As with most tragic news stories, the coverage fades within a few days, or when our attention is drawn to yet another tragic event. 

I had forgotten about this horrific accident .  Then I read Marie's post and it stuck with me.  There's nothing I can do from Iowa to help the people of this Canadian town.  And yet, there is.  I can sew a simple flag, in the requested colors of blue and green, and send it to the shop in Quebec.  If the banner of flags can put a smile on the faces of the Lac Megantic citizens, well then, it's the very least I can do.

Flag makers were asked not to use fabrics with red, orange, and yellow,
as those colors remind the citizens of Lac Megantic of flames.
The main colors of the city's logo are blue and green.

The Quebec shop wants the flags by August 24th.  The flags were quickly sewn together the last two evenings... they'll be mailed tomorrow.  I hope they make it to Quebec by the deadline. 

Edit:  The name of the shop is Courtepointe Claire.   Click here to visit them.

Marie, your timing could not have been better.   Because, one feels like they want to do something... to help in any way.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

It was Saturday, and I wasn't about to do housework!

Nope!  Just didn't feel like it!  It's not going anywhere.  I wish I could say the same about August!
Early in the morning, I cut out little 1.5" x 1.5" squares... enough to make six small, 9-patch blocks for Kathleen Tracy's August mini quilt sew-along.   
 After a couple of hours shopping with DD and grandson, (checking out the-new-to-this-area Fleet Farm store... that place is huge!!!), I returned to the sewing room to audition background fabric.  I decided on the homespun ticking, knowing that working with the directional stripes would be challenging when it came to the layout. 
I cut the required squares and HST's and played with them on my small design board.

Opposite corners in two directions,
 opposite side  triangles in two
directions,  and middle blocks
 opposite directions.. a bit busy.

All vertical strips, with middle blocks
same direction... too predictable.

Corner triangles horizontal, opposite side
triangles same direction, two horizontal,
two vertical, middle blocks opposite...
just the movement I was looking for!
With all pieces sewn together by early evening, it was time to audition the border and four corner fabrics. 

The 9-patch block fabrics are a mix of Judie
 Rothermel's Dressing Gowns, Williamsburg
 by Windham, and scraps from my
shirting collection.

Little Nine-Patch Doll Quilt by Kathleen Tracy -
a free pattern available here!

My plan will be to finish this into a flimsy, and hopefully get it quilted before the end of the month.  If not, it will be a WIP to pack for my September retreat!

Last Sunday I started a Buttermilk Basin pattern, Hint of Fall Quilt.  I changed the color palette from shades of orange, black, and gold to blue, gold, and cream.  That way it can be enjoyed all year through!  The main body of this mini is a flimsy...

Just waiting on some fabric I ordered for the borders and backing on  this one... gotta love The Fat Quarter Shop, one of my favorite on-line places to shop! 

What's on the agenda for tomorrow?  Catching up on blog reading!  Oh, and maybe a little housework...  what will you be doing???

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sewful Sunday...

Sunday afternoon was spent in my sewing room with the beginnings of a new project.

The pattern is Hint of Fall by Buttermilk Basin.   I'm using blue, cream, and gold as my color theme for this mini.   The pattern has 15 blocks, but I'm making mine a tad bigger, using 18 blocks.   These are some of the fabrics I purchased on my recent road trip.  I'm into blue and gold fabrics!   When I first saw the pattern it didn't excite me.  But then I saw it finished as a shop model at Creekside Quilting, one of my favorite local shops.  The model was true to the hint of fall fabric colors, and it was stunning!   True to my nature, I'm changing it up by changing the color theme!

Buddy is my constant companion when I'm in the sewing room.  He napped the entire time I worked on this!

The weekend is winding down.  Tonight, the local PBS station is airing a two hour special, Downton Abbey Revisited, featuring cast interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.  Being a big fan, it will be the perfect night for some hand sewing while enjoying the show!

Friday, August 2, 2013

August Simply Charming Sew Along!

I've written this post twice already, but Blogger mysteriously erased the first two... let's hope the third time is a charm!!!

With the arrival of August comes the challenge to all of you participating in the Simply Charming Every Other Month Mini Quilt Sew-Along for 2013!   Last February Darlene, of Quilting Daze, challenged me to make every mini quilt in Tara Lynn Darr's book, Simply Charming - Small Scrap Quilts of Yesteryear.  I told her I would if she would!  In the end Darlene suggested we open this no pressure sew-along to all of you!   Easy peasy rules that CAN be broken without guilt... pick any small quilt from the twenty in the book... make one every other month, (we started in February but you can join the fun anytime), and link your finished mini quilt for everyone to see!   You will have until September 2nd to link your quilt at the end of this post.  (Tara's book is available at, or here).

My August selection is Coal Miner's Tunnel. 

I used a charm pack of HOMETOWN by Sweetwater for Moda.   Tara's pattern uses 54 charm squares.  I had 42, so I made four "tunnels" rather than the 5 the pattern calls for.  I added 3 borders instead of just one.  The finished size is 19" x 23". 

I kept the machine quilting simple, with straight stitches, and using two programmed stitches on my Pfaff for the first time.  (We're still getting acquainted...)

I really enjoyed this pattern!  Making the tunnels became a bit addicting!  I definitely will be using this pattern again.   Using Posh Pumpkins charm packs and fabric, I'll be taking what I need with me on my September retreat.   Shhhhhhh... don't tell my DD or DDIL!!!