Friday, December 26, 2008

Fiesta for Christmas

In 1977 when I lived in Brenham, Texas, I went to Mrs. Minnie Day Sampley's estate sale (she was moving into the nursing home). I bought a dark blue bowl for fifty cents. I bought it only because it was old and pretty.

I soon found out that it was Fiesta Ware. Even in 1977, fifty cents was a bargain for "an 8" cobalt nappy, no chips."

Since then my collection has grown. There's the large salad bowl my former boyfriend gave to me when I moved from Brenham; the cracker dish that was a wedding gift; and the bargain: plates, cups, and saucers in yellow (a dozen of each for $250). Whenever I think I need to divest myself of some of it there comes an occasion where the bright colors are perfect.

Such was the case this Christmas. The green plates go perfectly with this vintage tablecloth. (Finding that meant a pleasurable hour...okay, hour and a half! going through the vintage linens boxes. I had completely forgotten that I had this particular tablecloth.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mellow Yellow

I pieced this in 2006 in an effort to use a collection of 5" ("nickel") squares. The design concept is from Spectacular Scraps by Rolfe & Hoowarth, a book that I've had for a long time and continue to refer to.

This is the fifth quilt I've quilted using my new MegaQuilter/Inspira Frame setup, which I purchased from my friend Julie in November. I'm getting better with the machine, by which I mean that I'm less hesitant. I have forgotten to lower the presser foot only twice. I can wind bobbins and insert them correctly on the first try. Loading a quilt is not yet intuitive; I printed out a photo tutorial that was posted on the MQ/I Yahoo Group. I can't figure out how to keep the edges smooth when it comes to the borders, thought, so I have been quilting that part using my regular machine.

It's nice to have a sunshiny quilt during this dark and snowy December!

Jane Addams Star!

Illinois native Jane Addams was a driving force in the settlement house movement of the early 20th century. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. And she was a member of AAUW! AAUW-Illinois was instrumental in creating Jane Addams Day as a state observance (December 10). Interstate 90 between Chicago and Rockford is now referred to as the Jane Addams Expressway.

The Jane Addams Star block was designed by Eleanor Burns as one in a series of blocks named for famous American women.
This 92 x 92 top has star blocks made by AAUW members from all over Illinois. I had great fun making up kits with 19th-century reproduction fabric (and fabric that went with that theme). All the blocks turned out so well! The quilt will be raffled this spring with the drawing at the state convention in April.

Here is more information about Jane:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not a weather report, and Scrappy Red Rails

I am not going to post photos of the snow because everyone from the newspapers to bloggers have already done that. Suffice it to say that there's a lot of it! I learned that the L.L. Bean "rain pants" keep blue jeans dry while snowblowing. I also learned that if you want shredded newspaper, there are easier (and tidier) ways to get it than to run over it with the snowblower.

Meanwhile, I finished "Scrappy Red Rails." It was inspired by a quilt made by Susan --
(See "The Scrappy Monster" in her Jan. 30, 2007, post.) Mine is 72 x 84. I cut 1.5" strips into 3.5" lengths and sewed them together. I quilted it on my regular sewing machine in diagonal lines through the squares.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

From start to finish in three days!

A local family is adopting a special little boy. Their friends held a spaghetti dinner to help with the expenses and asked for raffle/silent auction contributions, so I donated a small Christmas quilt. The mom e-mailed to thank me, saying that she'd been tempted to keep it for Jeremy. She'd been able to make blankies for her biological children, but didn't have time now. What could I do but create a quilt just for him?

I pulled out novelty prints on Wednesday evening and by last night I had finished (quilting, binding, label). It's 49 x 49.

I'm considering making a lot of these little blocks in advance so I'll have them on hand when I need a baby/kid quilt in a hurry.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A tiny quilt shop

I wasn't able to cut-and-paste the photographs, so you'll just have to click on the link and take a look for yourself. (I have valiantly resisted the call of polymer clay. I do not need another stash!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The photo was published in the book "Quilting: The Fabric of Everyday Life," by Marybeth Stalp. The fine print says that the bumper sticker came from Waechter's in Asheville, NC, whose website is: I wish it were still available!