Saturday, April 17, 2021

Catch Up Post

I've been a slacker when it comes to writing blog posts. It's always on my lists, but doesn't always make it to the top of the list.  I finally sat down at the computer and decided to write a few words and share a few pictures. 

Remember the black and red version of Mapleton Avenue that I shared last month? It has been gifted to Quinn and I even got a few pictures.  Yay!




I finished my two-color plus a background Atlantic Avenue quilt and LOVE it! Jack picked these colors and he is very pleased with results too.  


In case you can't see it in the picture above, I used the same black and white striped binding for this quilt. I think it is perfect for these quilts. I have at least one more project on which I plan to use it, so I guess it really was a good thing that I bought quite a large amount of it.  


I had some "sewing for others" to do and this big beauty is now complete. I did not get a picture of this after borders were added, as it was too big for my design wall. Plus, it was raining and pictures just weren't going to happen before it needed mailed. I'll share some of the pictures that I receive from the person who commissioned it. 




None of these pictures do the quilt justice. The fabrics are beautiful and it was a joy to make. After the borders were added, this beauty measured 93" x 107" The pattern is Sweet Caroline by Myra Barnes of Busy Hands Quilts.  

I have a couple of secret sewing projects on which I'm working and I'm enjoying them very much.  Here are the fabrics for one of the projects.  These just make me smile.  😊


I have a few other projects on which I've been working. I'll get some pictures of those to share too. That may happen this weekend, but I wouldn't hold my breath. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April Color Challenge

 It's April 1st and it's time to introduce a new color for the 
2021 Monthly Color Challenge!


This month we are using 

RED

and featuring 

CHERRIES


Cherries are low in calories and chock full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, nutrients and other good-for-you ingredients. Whether you like them sweet or tart, these deep red fruits pack a healthy punch. 


These tasty and beautiful bits of heaven will provide you with vitamins C, A, and K. Plus, when you eat them, you'll benefit from receiving potassium, magnesium, and calcium. 


While digging around reading about cherries, I happened upon some dream interpretation information and found it interesting.

Cherries are a sign of prosperity. Dreams that involve blooming and/or sweet cherries, are a sign of promised joy, pleasure and success. If your dream involves you enjoying cherries, it means that your kindness will help you cope with difficult people. If you are eating sour cherries in your dreams, it is a sign of possible upcoming anguish.


I don't know about all that dream stuff, but I know that I like to eat sweet cherries plain and use sour cherries in pies. As you can from this picture, I'm not the only one in my house that likes cherry pie.  :-)


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I found some great cherry fabric in my stash and was happy to use it. It was going to be used in a project that I abandoned, so I was happy to finally have a reason to use it. 

I kept with the same green accent fabric and love how it looks.


I love how the red mosaic fabric looks with the green fabric.


To find the instructions for this month's block, head over to 

Jen always has great instructions and I know that you will 
love making this month's block.

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Thank you to the Second Quarter Sponsors!
Let's show them our appreciation and check out their products.

Jen has a complete list of the sponsor HERE. 



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It's recipe time! As hard as I tried, I couldn't decide on a recipe to share this month. I do like my pie recipes, but I LOVE eating just plain cherries. So, that's my recipe. I like them at room temperature, but they are especially good when chilled. And for a nice change of pace, put them in the freezer for a short time and pop them in your mouth when they are just starting to freeze. Oh my....

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Twist Those Seams!

Having super flat seams at block intersections or block units, makes quilting so much easier. A few years back, I learned how to twist my seams and that was a game changer.

Way back in 2014, I wrote up a blog post on how to twist seams and it was well received. I know that it helped a lot of quilters and that makes me happy. That information is still good, but I've made a couple of changes in process. You can see the original tutorial HERE


Recently, while facilitating an on-line Mapleton Avenue Sew Along for Chestnut Ridge Sewing, I demonstrated this updated seam twisting information. The pattern called for seam twisting, but many participants had never done it and didn't understand what to do. I included twisting in the weekly video and was thrilled to hear people say how much they appreciated the video.

With that in mind, I decided to edit the video to just the twisting segment and share it here. My hope is that between the original tutorial and this video, you become a Seam Twister!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Quilt Pictures and More

I took a couple of pictures of my second version of the Mapleton Avenue quilt today. I am sooooo happy that I took the time to un-sew and change the layout!


I didn't take the time to stage some great pictures of this quilt because I really wanted to share it ASAP. I'll get better ones later. I love how these fabrics look against the changing grass color, the still-barren tree limbs, and that beautiful blue sky.  


I quilted a simple all-over meander and I am happy the results. I know that some people feel that a meander is kind of like cheating, but I disagree. I know how this quilt will be used and know that I wanted the fabrics to shine and not the quilting. Besides, I really do like the look of a meander.  A few years back, one of my granddaughters told me that she loves "those swirly all-over lines" that I quilt because she likes to trace them with her finger while she's trying to fall asleep. Who needs more reason to continue to quilt meanders?  :-) 

I am very happy with my binding! Yep; it's the stripes that were in the pre-cut package of strips.


There were two of each strip and I sewed them in an alternating orders so there was a nice flow around the quilt.



I love this picture and the beautiful tree and sky above it!


And just because I like to show it, here is the back. This was the original grey that I was going to use for the background on the front. I am very happy to have made the change.


I like how the stipe looks against this grunge backing.


Much to his chagrin, I had to get a picture of my quilt holder/binding consultant/quilt namer - AKA Jack. I am blessed with his constant support and encouragement.


Do you see that little bit of green way in the back on the left side? That's the Peace Bench that Ronan and Jack rebuilt last summer.


We had a very old garden bench that we were going to get rid of when Ronan asked if he could put it back by the "Peace Trees." I didn't know what he was talking about, so I asked him to explain. He said that the area way in the back is very peaceful and he loves to go back there when he's upset or just needs a break. There are a lots of trees, wild flowers, etc. back there, and it's because it's away from the house, it's quiet. (During the summer, it's actually hard to see from the house because of the trees and other plants that are quite tall.) 

Shoot! When he asked like that, how could we say, "No"? He and Jack spent a lot of time taking apart the bench, painting the wood (Ronan picked the color), and then putting it back together. They had a good time doing this and each learned a lot. Ronan ended up with his own toolbox and tools by the end of the project, which certainly made him happy.


When the restoration was done, Ronan asked his sisters to help move it to the Peace Area.  It was kind of an interesting undertaking, but it got done with no injuries or damage to the bench. 



All of this was done prior to Jack's back surgery and broken ankle. When he could finally get around without a wheelchair or walker, the kids asked if he could join them on the bench to say a prayer for his complete recovery. I love this picture! 


Of course the cousins love the bench too!


I am looking forward to spending time back in the Peace Area and know the kids are too. I think I'll take a few quilts back there and get some pictures. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Happy Monday!

It's a new week and there's lots of good stuff happening and fun stuff to show.

The black and red Mapleton Avenue quilt that I showed the other day is now complete and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. 


I love the black and white binding!  


And yes, just like my label says, I really do believe that everyone deserves a quilt.  :-)


When I showed the red and black quilt the other day, I also shared a glimpse of another version of the Mapleton Avenue quilt. 


I love these fabrics, but I wasn't thrilled with how it looked in the original layout. One of the participants in the Sew Along laid her blocks out following a diagonal pattern and I loved it. I decided to turn a few blocks and see if I liked it. 

I loved the new look and got out my seam ripper yesterday morning. Some times you use a seam ripper because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to. Because of that, it didn't take long to un-sew the rows, rearrange them, and then sew the top together again. (Truthfully, I didn't have the top all sewn together, but I did have just under half of it done.) 


Here's the new layout. I love it and was so excited that I went ahead and quilted it too. 


I will get to the binding later today and post another (and better!) picture tomorrow.

So, what am I going to do with these quilts or the next couple that I'll be making? The red and black quilt has a dedicated recipient and I have a thought about the second one. But, if that changes I'm going to donate it to a couple of the 2021 Hands2Help Challenge

I've participated in this Challenge for a number of years and think it's great. The challenge is organized by Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and she does a great job with it. There are always options of to where to send your quilts and this year includes a special challenge. Please take a few minutes to read about this and consider joining me for the 2021 Hands2Help Challenge. 


What are you working on this week? 

For inspiration, check out Judy's Design Wall Monday post or Beth's Monday Making.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Black and Red Quilt

Yesterday, I shared a few pictures of my "in progress" Atlantic Avenue quilt. I also mentioned that I had just completed a red and black quilt, and that I would share a picture of that today. 


I am hosting an on-line Sew Along on the Friends of Chestnut Ridge Sewing Facebook group and we are using the Mapleton Avenue pattern. 


Just because I feel like I have to, I am making two versions of quilt. I changed the black and red version a little by adding an additional column of blocks so it measures 56" x 64". (The pattern offers four size options, but none of them were quite the size I wanted so I made my own changes.) This two-color version was made totally out of scraps, and in the school colors of my oldest grandchild. (She is running track this year and I know from experience that she will most likely need this to keep warm during the early part of the season.)

My other quilt will be the lap size (48" x 64") and that is being made from an old 2 1/2" pre-cut package that I had in my stash. I chose to use a single background fabric, which is making the construction very simple and fast. This is the pre-cut and a grunge that I had considered using. I decided against it and went with a grey dot fabric instead.


Here are a few of my blocks just randomly laid out. I'm very pleased with the background fabric choice!


I have a few sub-teaching days coming, so my sewing time with be limited; but I hope to have this top pieced by the weekend. I'd also like to get the black and red one quilted and bound. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but I won't be overly disappointed if I don't get everything done that I want to. W

What are you working on today?

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Trimmings, etc.

 What does your trash bin look like? Here's mine from the other day...


That's a lot of purple and orange! 

I am almost (notice I said almost!) embarrassed by this stack of purple fabric that is from my stash. Why do have I have so much purple?  Who knows?


I am making two versions of the Sassafras Lane Designs Atlantic Avenue. One of the quilts will be much like the cover quilt, and I have all of my black/white, purple and orange blocks made. I have all of the fabrics pulled for the other colors and I am sewing those as leader/ender projects.


My second version of the quilt is a two color version, which is why you see so much purple and orange in my trash bin. Jack chose the colors and while I was a bit apprehensive, I decided to just dive right in and get to work. 

I have the top complete, but have not had an opportunity to get a picture of the whole quilt. Instead, I'll share a few "in progress" pictures. Here's the center...


And here's 2/3 of it laid out. (I really struggle with getting good pictures of purple fabric! One day I'll have to learn to how do that.)



As you can see, this quilt uses a lot of purple, so I guess it's a good thing I have that stash. I didn't have to buy a single purple or orange fabric! 

While I was working on this, I decided to make the purple and orange blocks that are needed for the rainbow version before putting that fabric away. I am glad I did and will make the red blocks next since I just completed a black and red quilt. I'll share pictures of that tomorrow.

What does your trash bin look like today?