Tuesday, November 30, 2021

A November Mini Quilt Challenge

A challenge was made
by the Rogue Quilter, Janet.
Take a small baggie of fabric
And make a mini quilt with it.

My baggie from Janet 
was filled with browns and with pinks.
This should be fun
said Kyle with a wink.



A little more fabric can be included
 if you must.
The 4 B's can be added 
Now don't make a fuss.

( Background, Borders, Binding, Backing)

The wheels began turning.
and it didn't take long.
The stars began appearing 
like a heavenly throng.

Hand piecing 8 pointed stars

3 inch finished stars

Using just the small bits
each star was unique.
I like how they looked
Oh, so chic.

Connecting them all 
with a sweet background
Was easy to do
with this fabulous brown.

Next were the borders
that took some planning to attach.
Just so the corners
could be an excellent  match.

With simple machine quilting, 
 binding and an interesting backing
The quilt came together
and wasn't too nerve wracking.

Using Janet's tiny scrap pieces
my mini was now complete.
The challenge was a challenge
but the result were oh, so sweet.

Thank you, Janet for the
challenge you made. 
Check out Wendy's blog post
for a mini parade.

Until Next Time-
Kyle (with a smile)

Monday, November 15, 2021

A Hint of Autumn

 According to the calendar and
and the view outside it is still Autumn
here in Colorado.
Yes, we've had one snow flurry and 
it won't be long before we have more, but 
for the moment,
if I show you a new fall quilt
it is still in the seasonal boundaries.

Pumpkins and Blossoms
66" x 78"

This quilt is an example of a perfect quilting storm.
My LQS was having a sale,
I bought a layer cake of Fig Tree's fabric,
Pumpkins and Blossoms,
and I had this pattern from
Fat Quarter Shop,

and FQ Shop also had yardage of 
the Fig Tree fabric.

I had not bought a group of fabric
for a very long time.
I'm not sure what possessed me to do it 
this time, but the soft oranges and green vines,
charcoal greys and black and frolicking deer
 just spoke to me.
It is one of Joanna's classic vintage Autumn lines.

The pattern is simple and easy
to whip together some fun blocks
using a layer cake and charm pack.

I added some borders to make the quilt a bit larger

and had my fabulous machine quilter
stitch an overall pumpkin and vine design.

It was a fun quilt to stitch from start to finish
using a single collection.
I just put the sewing on cruise control and
let it all happen.

(a little help with the wind from one of my little friends)

Until Next Time-

Thursday, October 28, 2021

An October Mini Quilt and Some History

First a story: 

In the spring of 1623,  90 some passengers
embarked on two small English ships,
the Anne and a smaller ship, the Little James.
After 3 months at sea, The Anne arrived at
Plymouth on July 10, 1663.

On board was my 9th great grandmother,
Hester Mahieu Cooke and her children
Jacob, Jane, and Hester.

She had stayed behind in Leiden in the Netherlands in 1620
while her husband, Francis and her oldest son,
John, sailed on the Mayflower heading for America. 

She must have been a very brave and very confident woman
to remain behind.   Her faith must have given her the strength 
she needed to stay positive and hopeful that
everything would work out according to their plan
 and that her family would be reunited someday.

There couldn't have been much communication
between November, 1620 and July, 1623,
but Hester left Leiden with others
from her Separatist group and
set sail for the New World.
What would life be like?
Would Francis and John be waiting for them?

Fortunately,  it was a happy reunion
on the shores of North America after 3 years apart.
Later they had one more child, Mary, who is my
8th great grandmother.  I'm glad everything
worked out!

They remained in Plymouth until their deaths
in 1663 (Francis) and Hester (1666).

This month I decided to work with my
Dutch fabric and use the book, Promenade in a Dutch Garden
to make a quilt honoring Hester and
her story.

It didn't take long to decide to stitch a small
mini quilt  made up of hourglass blocks with
a small appliqued star in the center. 
Maybe Hester focused on a star each evening and hoped that her 
husband and son were looking at the same star,
bringing them closer in her mind and heart.

Leaving Home, Leiden, 1623
17" x 21"

Pattern from Petra Prins and An Moonen's book,
 Promenade in a Dutch Garden

It gave me a chance to play with all the
beautiful Dutch fabrics that I have been collecting
along with some Jo Morton favorites.

An hourglass was a way for people to keep track of time.
I'm sure Hester kept close track of the days, months, and years
while she remained in Leiden.

The quilting is simple in the ditch
machine quilting,
nothing fancy, similar to her probable life style.

I finished the edges in a traditional
Dutch way with a separate facing.

This method makes the edges sharp and clean without 
an added frame created with traditional binding.

With Thanksgiving approaching it
will be nice to have this small quilt included in 
the holiday as a way 
to remember this brave woman
and her Dutch connection.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

What is Red and White and So Much fun to Make?

Since February, I believe,
I have been getting weekly patterns
It's been her Heartfelt
Block of the Week.

My plan had been to use only
my red and white French General fabrics
that had been accumulating in this picnic basket.

I can't say that I did one block per week.
I found it easier to do several blocks
at a time in order for the blocks to coordinate better.
A sampler can be challenging 
to make the blocks work well together.

I didn't follow the pattern exactly.
I eliminated a few blocks
and doubled up on others.

I had this beautiful French General border fabric
and used it as the finale.

Can you have too many red and white quilts?
No, I don't think so.

Couette Rouge et Blanche
73" x 96"

Question:  Did I use up all my red and white
French General fabric?

No, that would be the wrong thing to do!
But, let's say, I did make a sizable dent.

Question:  Did I buy any red and white 
French General Fabrics?

That information will remain a secret behind 
closed sewing room doors.

Until Next Time-




Monday, September 27, 2021

A September Mini Quilt to share

September is over?!
I really didn't have the chance to
stitch up a new September mini
so, if you will forgive me,
 I'll share a mini from the past,
2004 to be exact. 

A friend of mine had recently had the opportunity
 visited the Netherlands 
and went to 
Den Haan & Wagenmakers in Amsterdam
and brought back fabric to share.

I used my pieces by appliqueing this pattern by
Lori Smith,

American Folk Art Sampler
38" x 38"

The colors are soft and pastel

with  subtle texturing,
tone on tones.

The colors popped on the black background

At this time I was
still making prim folk art designs
and I remember thinking how fun it was
to work with these cheerful colors in the 
prim style.

The sawtooth border was appliqued as 
one long rectangular piece and clipped and folded as you went.

The quilt was hand quilted.

Despite being made 17 years ago, it is 
still a favorite of mine.

Each quilt has a story and memories.
Please jump over to Wendy's 
to see what the 
other mini creators have
been up to.
Until Next Time-

Monday, September 13, 2021

What Kind of Days Are You having?

 The lazy hazy crazy days of summer continue 
here in Colorado. 
I've been the lazy one and
the usually bright blue skies 
have been hazy with smoke.
I haven't seen the foothills from my backyard
for weeks.
The crazy days of 2021 seem to keep
us guessing about what will happen next.

But with all of that in mind,
I have actually been filling my days 
with stitching, mostly,

The first piece that I've finished 
earlier this summer was:

"Winter Rose Manor"
Designed by Brenda Gervais
With Thy Needle and Thread.

I learned with this piece that not all overdyed cotton
threads look like the photo.
There must be some variables in the 
dying process.
It's okay because we know that
 there aren't stitching police,
just like there aren't quilting police.
 Who says you can't change threads and 
choose a color that you find more appealing or
makes more contrast.

I had to do that so the cardinals showed up better.


This small piece is 
"Hello Summer" 

Designed by Paulette Stewart
Plum Street Samplers

I've been enjoying stitching some
of these smaller pieces just to get something finished 
Although, I've found nothing is really
too quick.

Adding some trim around the edges gives 
this a nice finished look.
What I don't like to do is to stitch the
small opening closed after it's stuffed.

Here's what I've been doing.
Stitching completely around all 4 sides
and then making a small slit in the back in 
order to turn the piece inside out.
We've all done that, but what I have been doing
is fusing a piece of fabric and  matching up the 
design elements of the fabric. 

I challenge myself to see how close
I can make it.
Not too bad.

The 3rd piece just finished is:

Come Into My Garden
Designed by Blackbird Designs

I learned that if the border actually meets 
it can be a miracle.  
The question then becomes 
do you fudge or frog it (rip it, rip it)
In my case, I like fudge more than frogs!
Hopefully, no one will see what I had to do.
And if they do, well, that's the way it goes.  
I'm sure my recipient will love it anyway.

Well, my days are still some what lazy,
the sky is still hazy,
and from not going too crazy
I keep putting in more stitches, one at a time.
Until Next Time-

Monday, August 30, 2021

August Mini

 My August mini is called

No Rhyme nor Reason
33" x 33"

I noticed there has been several bloggers, like Barbara
have been doing some tidying up of little bits and pieces
that had been accumulating.
I try and do the same thing as I end up with
small pieces leftover from a current project,
precutting different sizes of squares and strips.

Lately, I had even gone so far to sew some of the squares
into hst's with no plan in mind.
I thought, I probably should do something with them.

With a pile of quilt books
and a pile of hst's 
I found a pattern in 
Beyond the Battlefield 
by Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene

There was no event or plan or reason for choosing
this particular pattern, 
other than
I could use those half square triangles, 
it had some applique pieces,
and lots of red.

Add in some fun pinwheel blocks
and a flange binding and you've got a 
great combo.

Sometimes it important to
be a free spirit
and sew something 
for no rhyme or reason.

But speaking of a perfect combo....

"Garden fresh"

The garden is finally giving us some
perfect tomatoes.

Now go check out Wendy's blog,
for more free spirited quilters.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, August 5, 2021

A Perfect Combination of Events

It's always interesting to look back at what might 
have influenced you in a certain direction
 when you're ready to start something new.
Here are 4 perfect events that influenced me.

1.  As a quilter and a X-stitcher, we have all been
saddened by the passing of Barb Adams, who was
part of Blackbird Designs along with Alma Allen. 
This lead me to revisit all of their wonderful books and patterns
I've collected over the years.  
So many wonderful ideas.

2.  I recently sorted through my wool fabrics and
decided to share pieces with friends.
I had a large piece of off white wool.  When I 
showed my friends they all said, "Kyle, put that back
in your stash.  You might need that!"

3.  Also in the past 2 months I have relocated
most of my fabric stash from one place to another.
The good part is that you familiarize yourself again
with what you have and the bad part is
you realize just what you have!
My flannel collection had not been reduced in quite awhile
and I thought maybe I should work on that.

4.  Ideas come and go like the ebbing of the tides, but one
that I always seem to come back is a log cabin design.
I had been thinking about making blocks with a larger
center square and using the center as a platform for an applique.

So where did all of that lead me?

The idea was sparked from a pattern found in a series of booklets
called Christmas Memories.

I pulled red and green flannels

and cut strips.  Then I subcut the strips 
into the correct lengths for the log cabin pieces.
I find if I take the time to do that,
my blocks stay square and all the same size,
especially if you use your walking foot on your machine
when you're working with flannels.

But before I sewed the blocks together, I 
fused off white wool snowflakes to the large center squares and
then whipped the edges with a DMC wool floss.

Once the blocks were sewn they lacked the luster
of new fallen snow.
It was then I decided to stitch crystal beads 
to the points of the 20 snowflakes.

I attached the 3 beads to each point as a separate unit.
Just in case a bead becomes loose, all of them won't fall off.

For quite awhile, I was in a spot waiting for inspiration
and not having anything in mind of what to work on next.
I do like where all of the different influences ended up leading me.

"Perfectly Imperfect"
57" x  69"

 I'm glad I was open to combining events and letting
my creative muse inspire my imagination.
I hope you are too.

Until Next Time-