Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Old Glory

I grew up in a small town in Michigan.
Each Memorial Day was celebrated
with a parade.
The entire town either watched 
from the curb in town or from the tree lined streets
on porches displaying a flag
or decorated with red, white and blue bunting.
Everyone would cheer and clap
as our local veterans would march by,
along with the boy scouts and
 girl scouts,
and the kids riding their decorated bikes.
Everyone kept pace 
with the drum cadences from

 the local high school's marching band.

We would march to the cemetery
to honor those soldiers who had given  their
lives for all of us who had gathered 
on this day of remembrance.

It's time to 
display a quilt that I love.

"Old Glory"
52" X 62"

It was designed by 
Blackbird Designs and can be found
in their book 
Summer Weekend.

Barb Adams and Alma Allen
have included many
elements that I hold dear,
 country and


This was a fun quilt to make,
using small pieces of some
of my favorite fabrics.

I also used wool
for some of the smaller pieces.

 It added another layer
of texture.

The applique was done by hand, as 
well, as the quilting.

It was fun to add the swags in the border.

It seemed to tie everything together.

I enjoy this quilt for many reasons,
but mostly as a way of remembering.
 Until Next Time-

Friday, May 23, 2014

Renewed, Well, Slightly

The last two weeks
have been super productive.
My applique quilt has really moved forward.
It's funny,
if you actually work on something,
you do make progress.

I taped all the blocks and the first panel
 on my daughter's kitchen wall on Monday.
It gave me direction for the week.

I was quickly reminded that I never had
appliqued the circles on these two blocks.
 So Monday was a two step backward day.

But now these blocks are finally finished.


I got out the freezer paper
and traced the top panel and

cut out all the shapes.

 Out came the picnic baskets
that I've been using to store my fabrics
just for this quilt.

It was a day of auditioning.


The first pieces were glue basted to the background.

Then a few more.

I even had a few moments to start appliqueing


It's a short day because it's my
day to head home.
So I'm going to just make more circles.

My experiment
was certainly positive.
And I definitely feel good
about the progress I made.
It actually helped to renew my desire to finish.

I want to keep it
center stage, at least for awhile.
Just think if I did,
I might surprise myself how 
quickly I could actually finish my Roseville Album.

Until Next Time-

Monday, May 19, 2014

Because One Week Wasn't Enough

I kept myself busy
last week limiting myself to
only working on 
The Roseville Album Quilt
designed by Kim McLean

I realized that 
one of the reasons I've neglected this project
is that I don't want to
 applique the last border.

I know I can change it,
it's just a pattern, not a requirement.
I just can't figure out an alternative.

One idea would be,
not to do an outer border.
It would still finish at 80" x 80".

Or possibly 
quilt the last applique design in the border instead.

find a large bold print,
that pulls all the colors together,
and add it as the final border.
(If I was good with EQ, I'd be able to show you!)
Also my fabrics are not like what's shown
in the pattern, so that may alter anyone's opinion.


come up with a pieced border.
 Would a simple design look out of place with
the intricate applique?
Or would it need to be something complicated?
Would it need to be scrappy to blend with the applique?

I'm really not sure about a pieced border,
because nothing else is pieced in the quilt.
So I've pretty much scraped this idea.

A simpler applique patten might also work.

Can you sense my lack of direction?
I've actually been mulling this over
for a long time.

My latest consideration is using 
a Chintz border fabric.
The large patterns give the appearance 
of applique
 without the stitching.
I'll be thinking more about this one.

The main thing is
I don't want it to look like 
I copped out at the end.

I want to make some more progress this week.
I have plenty of circles to applique
and I can audition pieces for the top panel,
and even start appliqueing.

The main goal
is to get it done
while my fingers still work and 
my eyes can still see.
Until Next Time-

Friday, May 16, 2014

How Did My Experiement Work Out

My experiment this week
was to work on only one project.
A project that had lost my affection.
A project that has taken hundreds of hours 
of my time and 
will probably take hundreds of more
hours to complete.

Not to worry,
 I'm not giving up.
I've put in too much work into it already.
I keep reminding myself...

I finished the big animals
that I had already started on this panel.

And then kept going and added a few plants
and lots of little birds.
There's a few more to stitch down.
The panel is 16" x 48".

One of the best things
was cutting out this pile of circles
 that will be eventually added to the blocks.

I pinned a bunch in place to help determine
 size and color placement.

It's good to get a second opinion
just to make sure your
colors are being evenly placed. 

My helper was taking his job
very seriously,
 no smiles.
He gave an honest critique.

My experiment, actually, has been pretty successful
and has made me feel less guilty for
turning my time and attention to other projects.
I'm going to do it again,
 for at least for one more week.
We'll see how it goes.

Until Next Time-

Monday, May 12, 2014

No Choices This Week

Every Sunday afternoon
I gather up all the quilting projects
I think I might work on
 during my week day stay in Denver.

It's like going on a mini quilting retreat,
and I always take more things 
than I'll ever get to.

But this week,
I decided to force myself to 
work on only one project.
The Roseville Album Quilt
designed by Kim McLean

I'll admit,
my infatuation with this quilt
has waned.
I do have all the single blocks done, so now,
I'm working on the 4 rectanglar panels.

But each one is so complicated.
 (remember when I was working on these trees!)
Each panel has so many pieces.
It seems to take forever to audition and 
prep pieces, and then to
make a gazillion circles.
You know how I've been with circles lately.

But once I get going,
I have to admit,
I love doing the appliqueing.
I think this may be
the only way "this quilt" might eventually
get done.

I'm forcing myself to work on it.
I don't have any other choices.

Until Next Time-

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Springtime Sampler

Here in Colorado the blossoms are 
starting to appear on the trees,
and the tulips look especially colorful
this year.
Spring is officially here.

When the seasons change,
it's nice to also change the quilt that's our the bed.
One of my favorite quilts is 
this wonderful applique sampler.

The pattern is by Lori Smith
88" X 88"

 I finished it in 2008.

The fabrics are a Fig Tree line by Moda
called Yuletide Jubilee.
Reds and greens don't always
say Christmas
especially if the greens are more of a
spring green.

Most quilters have done a sampler quilt
one time or another.
 Samplers are a delightful way
to learn new techniques,
pace yourself,
and have the opportunity to make
lots of different blocks without making a 
whole quilt with only one design.

I enjoyed appliqueing the simple,
soft curved pieces of the blocks.

You can see I used a fairly limited palette.

The blocks were framed perfectly
with the half square triangle borders and
 then framed again with the sashing strips.

My machine quilter, P. Raymond,
did a fantastic job, interpreting each
block individually and including accents on the appliques.
It definitely added to the
beauty of each block.

I used a wool batt in this quilt,
but that's a good thing.
 The nights can still be pretty chilly here.

Just like each individual block that
works together in a sampler,
each new sign of spring
 brings the beauty and sweet smells
of the season to it's fullness.

Weather Update:
At least 3 inches of snow
is predicted for the Denver Metro area
on Mother's Day!
So much for spring!

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Cinco de Mayo Treat for the Co-Workers

The Cupcakery
is always looking for a reason
to start baking.

 made us think of 
all the wonderful flavors you might find
at a fiesta.

We decided on cupcakes 
full of lime and tequila flavor
 to represent
 the classic margarita cocktail.
 We knew the co-workers, as well as the bakers,
would certainly enjoy this one.

We began with our basic classic
vanilla cupcake, but
added plenty of our two special ingredients,
the lime and tequila.
We even brushed a bit more 
of tequila on the top of each cupcake
when they were still warm from the oven.

One trick to keeping your cupcakes
moist and yummy is to not
over bake them.
Cupcakes are not that big and can
 be easily left in the oven too long.
A few moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick
will insure that the cupcakes will be perfect.
The cake should be springy,
not wet looking or jiggly.

The vanilla butter cream frosting 
needed to include
the lime and tequila as well

to combine that sweet and tart flavors
of a margarita.
With lime zest and
a sprinkle of salt
the cupcakes were ready for
our mature audience.

These cupcakes ended up being
muy bueno for
the staff's Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
It made us happy

to share our cupcake for dessert
and, of course,
the co-workers were happy too!

Until Next Time-