Monday, September 26, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 09/26/2011

I was very distracted last week dealing with a loved ones's serious and urgent medical issues.  The resolution appears to be everything we prayed for, and is hopefully something that will stave off a future crisis.  So, given my emotional state, I put what time I had for quilting into projects that did not require much concentration. 

My collection of bits and pieces for the Jacob’s Ladder Quilt Along is growing.  I am doing this as a leader/ender project using Bonnie Hunter’s color scheme and piecing instructions for her Blue Ridge Beauty quilt which was originally published in Quiltmaker Magazine in the 2008 January/February issue.    However, I have a different layout and border treatment in mind based on the Charlotte Angotti’s Up the Ladder quilt published in the June 2008 issue of McCall’s Quilting.  I will be using the 2 inch strips specified by Bonnie rather than the 1 ½ inch strips Charlotte used.

The design calls for 336 four-patches, of which 96 will be used in the border.  I will have to make a fabric purchase for the borders, but the rest of the top will be totally from my stash.  If I stick with this plan, I think the finished quilt top will be just under 60 X 80 inches and will require 48 Jacob's Ladder blocks.  The QAL officially begins October 1, so there is still time to join.  A link on my side bar will take you to the host blog and you can find details at

I also did some work on my Plaid Obsession quilt.  Each sashing strip for Plaid Obsession yields 14 leader/ender units, hence all the leader/ender pieces for the Jacob’s Ladder QAL.  Plaid Obsession is spread across my design wall, guest bed and sewing table, so it’s not exactly what I would call a good photo op. 

Judy Laquidara always shares links to design wall projects on Mondays, so be sure and visit
Patchwork Times today.

Oh, yes.  Yesterday, September 25, was our 86th day of 100 degree weather this year.  Almost 32% of 2011 has had highs of 100 degrees or more.  Depending on which source you use, the forecasted high today is 99-101.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Vintage

Debbie recently posted about her collection of vintage sewing tools on her blog, Stitchin' Therapy.  While I appreciate modern tools, I also love the vintage ones that came from my own family.

Here is one I begged from my grandmother.  I am so glad she relented (very reluctantly) and let me have her door stop!  It is a Sad Iron which she told me dated back to the 1930s.  She had spray painted it silver and one of my brothers-in-law painstakingly returned it to its original condition. 

This is a fancy model.  The handle comes off so you can have multiple bases heating on the stove at the same time. 

I always thought that the name “Sad Iron” referred to how sad the housewife was because she had to heat it up on a wood burning stove during the hot Texas summers…and maybe it does, but you can see that it is also the manufacturer’s name.

I’m glad I don’t have to use this as a tool, but it is a treasure I’m happy to have.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 09/18/2011

Well, actually it’s not on the design wall, but this is what I’ve been working on.

My goal was to get the majority of my hosting duties done in September.  Monday afternoon the neighborhood Stitch ‘N Chat group came and we also hosted a gathering for our new senior pastor Thursday evening.  This meant I had to keep the house company-ready and the sewing clutter contained all week.  As soon as we got past the second gathering, we ran for the ranch to get some R&R.  It was the first time I had spent any time there since May and it felt wonderful to get my hour glass quilt on the frame.  It is now ready for the addition of a label and binding. 

Some time ago, Superior Threads had an introductory special on their Omni line.  This was the first project I used it on and was very pleased.  It is lighter weight and more economical than their King Tut line, and I did not have a problem with lint or breakage.  I will definitely use it again.  I had Bottom Line thread in my bobbin.

Usually I take my quilts back to town and set up my big cutting table for trimming, but I was so anxious to move this along that I decided to put a cutting mat on the ranch table and trim it up.  Ever faithful Chloe is patiently waiting underneath the table in hopes of a treat or play time.

A blog reader commented that the pattern is called “Broken Dishes.”   Memories of my mother’s admonitions to not “cry over spilt milk” keep coming to mind, so I think I’ll name this one “Don’t Cry over Broken Dishes.”

I wanted a quilt that had a country/manly feel to it for our ranch house.  This one began with a bundle of homespun fabrics that was part of a retreat gift bag.  After I added other quilt store plaids plus some thrift store shirts, I discovered I really don’t enjoy working with those thready, stretchy fabrics. So, once this and the bonus Plaid Obsession quilt that I’m working on are finished, I probably won’t rush into another project using this fabric.   

Be sure and check out Judy’s blog,  Patchwork Times, to see what others are up to.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 09/12/2011

I’ve been focusing on the 68 Hovering Hawks blocks for the Civil War Chronicles BOM this past week.  I would really love to finish this stage, but discovered the hard way that I can’t work on them while tired.  There are 25 on my design wall.  There would have been 27, but I discovered mistakes in the last two blocks I had done.  The blocks aren't difficult, but they are tedious, and it's easy to let your attention drift.

I may not do much sewing this week.  We have lots going on, but I hope to squeeze in some stitching therapy along the way.

Check out what else is going on today in the quilting community at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jacob's Ladder Quilt Along

I had already started cutting up blues and neutrals for very scrappy Jacob’s Ladder blocks when Debbie at Stitchin' Therapy gave her readers a heads up about a Jacob’s Ladder Quilt Along at Impera Magna.  If you follow the link, you’ll also find additional information about Bonnie Hunter’s tutorial on this block.  I’m in, though I may not keep up with the rest of the group.  It will be fun to bust some stash and participate with others.  Here is a picture of a very messy stack of some of the blues and neutrals I’m cutting into.  It’s representative of just how out of control my collection of remnants has become.  Delving into this pile has been fun, though, since it reminds me of projects I’ve really enjoyed working on. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Design Wall Monday – 09/05/2011

I’m late to be posting a Design Wall Monday, but I was determined to do so in order to get back on track.    

I’ve started piecing the Hovering Hawks blocks for the Civil War Chronicles block of the month quilt border.  Here are some of the blocks on my design wall.  Five complete; “only” 63 more to go. 

Also, I’ve started putting together some of the center rows for my Plaid Obsession Quilt.  It’s currently spread out on our guest room bed.

And finally, I’ve started piecing these four-patch blocks and half-square-triangles as leaders-enders while working on the other projects.  I couldn’t resist playing with the few pieces I’ve done.

It has been a very difficult day here in Central Texas.  A mild cold front dropped our temperatures to the coolest we have seen in months.  Unfortunately, the brisk winds that accompanied it created wildfires all around us.  If you follow the news, you already know that many have lost their homes.  The smoke from one of these fires has been clearly visible from our back porch all day.  I have received several e-mails from our church about members who have been directly and indirectly affected.  All we can do at this point is monitor the situation and see where the winds take the flames next.  Our fire fighters are doing everything possible.  I know that once the fires are contained, the entire community will begin working toward recovery, but the risk will continue until this terrible drought eases.

As always, be sure and check out Patchwork Times  to see what other quilters are up to.