Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March's Mini Quilt

I really can't remember if
March came in like a lion or a lamb,
if anyone celebrated St. Patrick's Day, 
if we really had a spring break, or
if National Pi Day was even enjoyed.
The start of the month seems like
a long time ago,  
and here we are, March 31st.

I do know, 
that it's time to hook
and share our Monthly Minis.

"Be Calm and Think Green"
28" x 28"

You might remember that I started this quilt
when my quilt group decided for March's show and tell
we all needed to share a GREEN quilt.

That's when I discovered I had never made 
a predominately green quilt!

No question that
March's mini needed to be GREEN.

The center is a wool applique.

To make life easier,
I did the quilting before
adding the applique pieces.

No starting or
stopping around the pieces that way.

I decided to add a flange with the binding

to repeat that strong magenta color
of the center wool applique.

The good news is that 
now I have a GREEN quilt

and with this March  behind us,
it will be ready and waiting
for the
March show and tell, 
Until Next Time-

Friday, March 27, 2020

Making the Best of It!

Well, we made it to the weekend!!!

Miniature Daffodils
blooming in my yard

Each day can be challenging,
readjusting to the new normal,
but I keep trying to focus on the positive.

What have have you been up to?
Working on old projects
or maybe even trying something new?

I've been getting quite the work out,
but the results will be well worth the effort!!

I recently saw a sweet paper doll

"Honey Bee"

that Kathy Schmitz had designed and 
posted  free on her website.
She was encouraging people to share
what they're working on.

I printed "Honey Bee" and put her together.
 She wants to show you what I've been working on
during my "sheltering in place".


For the past couple of weeks I've been stitching
this pattern by Marie-Claude Picon
from her book French Farmhouse.

With the top done,
I  moved my machine to the kitchen table.
I need the extra space 
to spread things out when I machine quilt.

It's a slow process,
but Honey Bee is hopeful that
I'll have it done by next week.


Recently, I found tucked away
on a shelf, a kit for a small wool coin purse
I had purchased in Vancouver, BC in 2014.

After a few struggles,
quite a few changes,
and lots of fuming,

a smiling Honey Bee can show you a
finished coin purse.

My only thoughts are there are
those who can design and
there are those who can write directions!


A continuing project
has been a BOM from
Homestead Hearth for the "The Lewis Coverlet"
designed by Susan Smith.
I'm on the last border so
the end is in sight.

It's a good night time 
TV time project.
Honey Bee is optimistically thinking
that it will be done soon. 


Next week will be filled with 
new opportunities and
 maybe, a few challenges.

Focus on the positive
and keep smiling.

How about making a Honey Bee of your own
and sharing what's happening 
in your little corner.

 Until Next Time-

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A Perfect Ending

What did I do
this week while self quarantined?
Can you believe it was something 
that I've wanted to do
for the past 33 years!?!


Do you remember 
my last post and my story
about this quilt?

Broken Star
83" x 93"

You'll remember
the one thing I was thinking
about fixing.

The binding was so 
worn and faded after
all of washing abuse 
 the quilt had gone through.

The main reason I had
continually avoided the situation 
was that I really didn't know 
what to do. 

If I changed the fabric
I changed the provenance of a 
documented quilt.
If I didn't do something,
every time I looked at the quilt
it made me sad.

But I've learned that 
sometimes it takes someone else's
thoughts or visions
to see a possible positive solution.

My oldest daughter was recently visiting
and suggested
I should simply turn the binding fabric
inside out. 

Could it be that easy?
Why yes, especially 
with the fabric being a solid.
It had never occurred to me! 

 Jack and I
got the  binding off in record time.

The binding looked so awful.

I soaked that devilish binding once
more for good luck, narrowed 
the width, obviously I use to 
cut it very wide,  and
pressed the inside to the outside.

It was like adding a new fabric, 
but not!

The color was the original color and
the binding was sewn on with
a lot more finesse and skill
than I had 33 years ago!

Putting in that last stitch
felt so liberating and made a sweet
ending to this story.

Lesson learned:  Never say never.
There's always a solution.

Until Next Time-

Sunday, March 8, 2020

A Glimpse Back and a Story

Because March is 
National Quilting Month,
I thought I'd share one of my
quilts that has had
 an interesting history
and story.

"Broken Star"
Completed in 1987

It all began in 1980 when Blanche and Helen Young 
published their book 

The Lone Star Quilt Handbook

Their method was revolutionary.
It was strip piecing yet using a template
to accurately mark the points of intersection.

It was faster than sewing individual diamonds,
 but seems slower than today
 because of the inclusion of the markings, yet, 
it was very precise.

I made several Lone Star quilts
using their method

Lone Star

Chapter One

After making four lone star quilts
I decided it was time to make the ultimate...
the Broken Star.

You can tell by the colors and fabrics,
smaller calico prints,
how tends come and go.

I wanted the quilt to have an antique look
so I decided to use a 100% cotton batting.
Big mistake.
It was miserable to hand quilt.

Finally, I began using a platinum coated needle
and then was able to get two stitches at a time!

It was drudgery. 
My stitches were pretty even,
but not too small.
It took me two years to finally finish it

That's why there isn't as much quilting
as I probably should have done or
what would have been done today.

Happy Chapter

Biannually, The Colorado Quilting Council
used to  have a spectacular quilt show 
held in the Denver state capitol building.

So in the summer of 1988,

my quilt was displayed.

It was a few month later,
I received a letter from the Denver Art Museum
asking if I would be willing to have my quilt
be included in a quilt show they were putting
together to be sent to Japan called, 
"American Patchwork Quilt Colorado."
I was over the moon!!

A book was published and
I was thrilled to see my quilt in print.

A bigger thrill came when I found out
my quilt had been used as the poster quilt for 
advertising the show.


Later in 1990 it was shown at the AQS show
in Paducah, Ky 
and also at Quilt America,
a show held on Kokomo, IN.

Sad Chapter

Well, that's where the joyful part of my story ends.
After receiving my quilt back,
I thought I would give it a quick and gently wash,
no soap, nothing added to the water.

When I opened the washer
I was horrified to see all of the
maroon/red fabrics had run!!!

What I didn't understand was why.
All the fabrics had  been prewashed 
and I had washed the quilt when I had 
finished it in 1987.

Back in the washer.  This was all
pre-Color Catcher days.
I ended up washing the quilt 
about 5 times.  Each time trying something new,
a little spray and wash,  more spray and wash,
a little Biz, a lot of Biz...
You get the picture.

*I had a friend who worked for the water 
dept. in Fort Collins and his thought was
that the chemical composition that particular
day was such that it reacted to the dyes of the fabrics
causing them to run.  
I know no other explanation and
will use that as the reason.

The good news: most of the bleeding disappeared.

The bad news: the fabrics are terribly faded
and dulled.
They actually look petty beat up.

The original binding was destroyed.  
 I do remember 
it was a Jeffrey Gutcheon fabric and I had loved
the slight texture it had.  

But look at it now.

My goal since then was to replace the binding
and enjoy the quilt.
But that binding still remains on the quilt.

I still love this quilt very much
and it has definitely achieved the antique look I was going for!!

I've had it tucked away for almost 30 years.

Maybe it's time to
move on and replace the binding. 

Every quilt has a story. 
Is it finally time for me to add a new chapter?

Until Next Time-