Friday, September 28, 2012

Finished Crumb Top

I finished the crumb quilt top. I don’t think the zigzag setting shows up as much as it could have and I think it’s because there is too much variation in the blues. I should not have included the lightest and darkest. That is okay – it is done and now it sits with the two other quilt tops waiting to be quilted. Here are a some closeups.

I found some inspiration for these blocks so I’m now making 508 red and white HSTs. This quilt is for a challenge due in February. I want to finish the top soon because I might want to hand quilt it.

I need some advice on pincushion filling. My sister gave me the Mary Engelbreit teapot on the right and I’ve used it for years. I picked up the little black hen pincushion at the quilt show boutique back in June. I finally pulled it out to use and realized it was dulling my pins. It appears to be filled with sand. Hmm….I realized I used sand to make the wool tomato pincushion (April 2004 issue of APQ magazine) shown in the center for my niece. I got the pincushion back from her and did a test. Yes, it seems to dull pins as well. What do you suggest I use to refill these? I have some crushed walnut shells but I’ve never used them. I think the teapot is filled with a poly stuffing. I don’t want to use that for the other pincushions because it would be too lightweight. It works for the teapot because it has a firm base. Would appreciate any insight you have on pincushion filling.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Laundered Millwheel Quilt

I finally washed this old quilt I first wrote about here. I wanted to take it to a meeting of Fran’s Vintage Friends. It’s a group of women who meet 3-4 times a year to share and discuss old quilts and textiles. We meet in Western Maryland and at this last meeting we had members from 4 states – Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. It’s a wonderful group of women. I’ve only gone to 3 meetings and I feel so welcomed. The first meeting I attended was in an old church in the small town of Myersville. In June we met at one of the members homes. She lives in an old mill and we had a picnic by the water. We were lucky to have beautiful weather. It was the perfect setting to share our treasures. This past Monday we went to another home and this one was chock full of antique collections.

This past Sunday I finally tossed this old quilt in my front-load washer on the delicate cycle with some Tide Free. I watched to make sure the colors weren’t running and there was no immediate danger of the thing falling apart and then took my dog for a walk. When I got back my husband said the water coming out of the washer had been really dirty. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even think of staying to watch so I’m glad he noticed. I'm all about multi-tasking. ; c ) I laid the quilt on a sheet to dry in the carport and even though it was a breezy day I also directed a fan on it. My husband then pulled out his industrial fan. Let me tell you, that quilt was good and dry by dinner time. It doesn’t look any cleaner to me, but I’m happy to know it is.

Update 12/12 - I've since laundered another old quilt in my front loader. I don't recommend this. I thought it would be less stress on the quilt than wrestling with it in the bathtub, but both quilts seem a little stiff to me. Not sure what the cause would be - stress, insufficient rinse?

I thought it was interesting how the fan quilting was done from two directions and then diagonal lines were stitched in the center. Remember to click on the photo to enlarge.

It’s so fun to have people ooh and ah over your treasures even when it's a humble quilt like this one. No one at the meeting gave me a hard time about washing it. They said fan quilting often signifies a southern quilt and they thought the backing was tobacco cloth. I looked it up and Merriam-Webster says this about tobacco cloth – “a loose-weave cotton fabric used esp. to shade growing tobacco plants”.

I found out about Fran’s Vintage Friends by joining AmericanQuilt Study Group. I’m sure there are similar gatherings in your area.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nine Patch Top

Hey everyone,
It's been over a month since I last posted and I feel a little rusty as I start writing. I almost can't explain all the good things happening. Keep in mind, I'm a pretty simple person - it doesn't take much to keep me happy! I think I'm starting to get the hang of being a mom of adults. I'm a recovering helicopter parent and it feels so good to let my children take on more adult responsibilities. My youngest son going off to college was relatively painless. I feel like I have time on my hands and that is a welcome feeling. Here is what I've been up to-

Here is what I've done with the 9-patches from the Quilters Unlimited McLean chapter exchange. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I'm now deciding how to machine quilt it - either straight lines going diagonally through the 9-patches or an all over meander. The blocks are 8" and the top measures 48"x 72".

On the design wall are my crumb blocks set with this scrumptious blue hand dyed fabric. If asked what are my favorite colors, I'd say purple, green and blue. If pressed to really only pick one, it would be blue in all its lovely shades. This one really pops and I'm happy to finally use it.

In my new pursuit of furniture painting, I've finished two chairs. I rescued this rocker from a home in foreclosure in my neighborhood. The front porch of this home was full of discarded stuff. I figure this rocker was sitting on that porch for almost 2 years. The wood looked weathered and carpenter bees had started to burrow. I found the seat pads on sale and was lucky they were a perfect fit. I don't have anywhere in my home to put this, but I'm in love with it. I seem to be falling in love with freebie furniture. By the way, the dresser I showed you a couple posts back sold after only two days at the thrift shop. I didn't make money - just covered my costs - but I learned a lot and that was it's purpose.

This is a chair my mom gave me. It came from her mother. My mom had it in her laundry room for years - a place to set things on.

It was pretty beat up, which I don't mind so much, but it also looked pretty dirty. Even TSP wouldn't clean it up.

Two friends came over to watch me paint this one. They were over for about 4 hours - the time flew past. We had tea between the two coats of paint. I think they are excited about trying out the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, too.

These photos were taken after I waxed it the next day. I was so anxious to take photos while we had a bit of sunshine (and I do mean a bit) that I didn't wait to buff it first. I'm now using it as my computer chair.

On to a couple other tid bits -

My friend Janet over at Rogue Quilter has written some moving posts about her grandson Ben. The sweet little guy has Dravet Syndrome. I'd never heard of it and wanted to share with you the challenges facing this young boy and his family. Click on his name to go to his mom's website where she shares his story. We hear a lot about deseases like Alzheimers and breast cancer. It seems to me it's even harder to deal with a disease that few people have heard of and affects the daily life of a child.

Did you know you can find out which of your blog photos have been pinned on Pinterest? Type this in front of your blog address - . For instance, I typed in

And finally, I finished the online photography class at ShootFlyShoot. I don't think any of the above photos are that great, but I'm pretty proud of this one I took of Len, especially since my first attempts resulted in total darkness. If I can use a DSLR camera on manual mode, most anyone can.

Here's one gal who's lookin' forward to some dry, sunny days of fall!