Monday, February 27, 2012

Amish Circle Quilt Project - # 99 - "Spider Web"

Block #99 - "Spider Web"
Started on 10/13/11
Completed on 10/13/11
Technique: Paper pieced

The author of the letter that goes with this block talks of using up a lot of her fabric scraps and scraps from others to make this. It is a neat looking block but might be a little too unorganized for my personal taste. I like order in my blocks.

I have a hard time with sampler quilts where each block is a different pattern. The only chance such quilts have with me is if they are done with the same fabrics and colors. If they have that in common I can get passed the random patterns.

I suppose a crazy quilt similar to this one would work if it used a lot of the same colors and then was sashed and bordered with the same fabric.

My charity quilt is almost pieced. I've got two rows that need a handful of blocks pieced together and then those two rows need to be sewn into rows. Then I'll put the last five rows together into the bottom half of the quilt and then finish putting the top together. I may have it done today and would like to take it to the quilters at church tomorrow.

I'm prepared for them to be "concerned" by the design and color placement. It really lacks, um, prettyness. : p Perhaps I'll have a picture to share on tomorrow's blog.

Tomorrow night my friend Elizabeth and I are going to buy the fabrics for a quilt I'm making for her living room wall. The pattern is called "Toomuchery". I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Amish Circle Quilt Project - # 98 - "Broken Silo"

Block # 98 - "Broken Silo"
Started on 8/26/11
Completed on 9/3/11
Technique: Applique'

I haven't blogged since Tuesday? Where on earth did this week go? Oh, well, I did have a pretty sick little kiddo most of the week. I took him out for a few errands today but I think it was too much too soon. He's feeling bad again tonight.

The letter that goes with this block talks of a broken silo loader and a candymaking frolic. I can totally relate to the latter but not the former. Don't know nothin' 'bout no silos. Candy, on the other hand, is an old friend of mine.

Grandma May always had candy (usually homemade) around when I'd visit. This was especially true around Christmas. I remember coconut candy and fudge. It seems like peanut brittle too.

I got to make candy often with Mudder and Granny Capps because I spent so much more time with them. Mudder made some kind of candy with fried Chinese noodles covered in chocolate or butterscotch. I remember that the best. Granny made fudge, divinity, peanut brittle, and buckeyes. So I guess candy making is a heritage!

I usually only make candy at Christmas. I'm not sure why that it is. Perhaps I'll have to change that. Anyway, I've added a couple of things of my own to my repertoire but try to keep some of the family heirlooms alive as well. I make my own fudge, cream cheese mints, and Martha Washington candy. I continue to make Granny's Buckeyes and they are one of my family's most highly requested items.

I have my charity quilt over halfway pieced together! Actually, half the top is already assembled in rows, with those rows sewn together. A lot of the blocks for the bottom half are pieced but there is still more left of that to do. I sure would like to be done with this thing so I can take it to church on Sunday. If not, at least by the time the quilters get together on Tuesday.

It isn't lovely. I mean, I have definitely seen uglier quilts. But it wouldn't win a beauty contest if there were such a thing for quilts. However, the stars that pop out here and there give it some uniformity and the craziness of the color explosion gives it some personality. Albeit quirky, it has personality none-the-less. I'll post a picture of the top and let you experience it for yourself. lolol

Blessings Y'all!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Amish Circle Quilt Project - # 97 - "Nine-Patch"

Block #97 - "Nine-Patch"
Started on 9/22/11
Completed on 9/22/11
Technique: Pieced

I love simple blocks like this one. Nice and easy and a great way to use up scraps! I guess I have scrap usage on my mind these days because I finally started cutting scraps to put together a quilt top for the quilter's group at church to use.

I have been trying for months to get to their get togethers and while I haven't given up, I suppose I've gotten discouraged at the prospect of making it. So, I'm going to do what I can from home to participate and help out.

I found a pattern that is heavily scrappy in one of my previous year's quilt calendars. It is called Apple Crisp. I think it looks pretty "Fallish" in the design on the calendar but my colors are so crazy I may not be able to call it Apple Crisp. I may have to call it Motley Crue Crisp or something like that.

I finally finished all of those 12 blocks of the "Be Attitudes" quilt on Friday or Saturday. I even got the blocks all stitched together. I just need to add borders and then mark it for quilting. I'm very pleased with the colors of it. They are bright, as is my norm.

My friend Elizabeth is wanting me to make a quilt for her to hang on the wall of her new house. We've finally settled on a pattern; she and I just need to get together now to pick out and purchase fabrics. I'm looking forward to this challenge. The quilt is called "Toomuchery". The sample shown is indeed TOO MUCH. But she and I are convinced we can tone it down and still make a really lovely quilt.

Better scoot for now! Happy Stitching! Blessings Y'all!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Amish Circle Quilt Project - # 96 - "Lunch Pail"

Block # 96 - "Lunch Pail"
Started on 8/26/11
Completed on 9/3/11
Technique: Applique'

The letter that goes with this block shows the drastic difference between Amish children and "Englisher" children. In the letter the author says that she gave her children new lunch pails for Christmas. And the children were happy about it. Mine might have, well, thrown them at me. As a child I would not have been pleased to get a lunch pail as a Christmas gift. (Unless it had Scooby Doo or some other favorite character of mine on it, which I'm most certain the Amish children's did not include.)

It is really amazing how children in the same day in age can be so different and pleased in such different ways. Even my two children are different as night and day. Granted they are opposite sexes but jeepers they could not be more different.

Trinity is the first born as am I. She thinks like me. Her brain processes things in the same way. However, she has her Daddy's mild, thoughtful, calm demeanor. She took to reading like a fish to water but was slower to catch on to math and science principles. She has the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met and is one of my favorite people in the whole world.

William is the second born, like his Daddy, but has ended up being the baby of our family, unlike either of his parents. His intellect is all Mark. He is quizzical and sharp. His personality, however, is most like mine. He is reactive, expressive, and a bit high strung. He gets math and science rather effortlessly but is slower to catch on to reading. He is sensitive and when his quick temper gets the best of him you can tell he feels really bad for misbehaving or hurting someone's feelings. I can't imagine not knowing him. I can't wait to see what kind of man he grows into.

The lunch pail pictured on this block reminds me of the silver, metal one that Poppa used to take to work at the paper mill everyday with his lunch. Granny packed it each morning for him and he brought it home with him in the afternoons. What a cool memory ...

All 12 blocks of my "Be Attitudes" quilt are decoratively stitched. I've got to finish pulling the stabilizer off the back and then they'll be ready to piece together to create the quilt top. So glad I've had a little time to stitch this week.

Blessings Y'all!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Amish Circle Quilt Project - # 95 - "Fence Row"

Block # 95 - "Fence Row"
Started on 9/22/11
Completed on 9/22/11
Technique: Pieced with Half Square Triangles

This little block would make a terrific quilt with several of them sewn together. Perhaps Ms. Rosemary would chime in on whether it would be most proper to make the blocks all the same color or in a variety of colors?

I got a sweet little surprise this afternoon. I was getting out block 10 of 12 of the "Be Attitudes" quilt I've been working on and happened to look ahead at the last two. At some point (long enough ago I'd forgotten) I had already sewn the applique' stitching on block 11 and 12! Woo hoo! That meant I went from having 3 left to stitch to only one, which was the one I was just starting on.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to get this last one finished and then I'll be ready to put the top together. I had hoped to go quilt with the ladies at church tomorrow, which I've been wanting to do but not been able to, for several months now. However, Will is seeming sickly and I don't want to get him worse or others sick. Plus, I have some Valentine goodie bags I may end up having to deliver tomorrow too. But I'll get some stitching done one way or the other. I'm giving the kids the day off of their studies but will wait to tell them that in the morning.

I was very saddened by the death of Whitney Houston this weekend. I guess that doesn't have anything to do with my quilt projects, other than I retreat to my sewing room when I'm feeling down. She was one of the first artists that really captured my attention and made me realize music would always be a big part of my life. I am so sad for her daughter and so sad that our world has lost another shining star.

I hope it is comforting to her family and friends that she left such a huge part of herself here with us, for now and for generations to come, with her music and her contribution to the entertainment industry. Rest in peace, Whitney. You made a difference on this earth.

Blessings Y'all!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Amish Circle Quilt Project - # 94 - "Neighbor's Bonfire"

Block # 94 - "Neighbor's Bonfire"
Started on 8/25/11
Completed on 9/3/11
Technique: Applique'

Another unusual block but one that I really like! This one makes me think of campfires, bonfires, weenie roasts, etc. from my childhood. It also makes me think of my Uncle Dan who is a retired fireman.

Again, in the letter that goes with this block, we see the good, clean fun the Amish teenagers have together during their courting years. It wonders me if teens today still appreciate and participate in such a simple kind of gathering.

So I can see this block making a nice quilt for a fireman or fire station, for a campfire girl or Girl Scout, for avid campers, maybe even for those who really, really like to barbecue.

Got a little bit of stitching done on another one of my "Be Attitudes" quilt blocks yesterday. It was a busy day getting everything ready for date night with my honey. We went to eat at Outback Steakhouse and then to the Avalon Theater for a concert by Jim Brickman. We love him. If we had known about him when we got married, his music would have been all over our wedding and reception. Guess we'll have to shower our anniversaries with it.

Blessings Y'all!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Amish Circle Quilt Project - # 93 - "Tumbling Blocks"

Block #93 - "Tumbling Blocks"
Started on 9/21/11
Completed on 9/21/11
Technique: Templates

Oh I love this block. It is the neatest, geometric block to me. I often read of Tumbling Blocks quilts in my Amish books so it was a particular thrill to get to make one!

The writer of the letter that goes with this block talks of thinking of using flannel as the batting in a quilt she and her daughters are working on. I think I used felt once but was not impressed at all with the way the quilt fell and moved. (I used it on a whim as I had a big piece of leftover felt and I needed to practice my machine quilting.)

Another thing I tried was using a soft cotton sheet as the backing of a quilt I made for my cousin Courtney. In addition to being much cheaper than buying backing fabric, there was no large seam on the back and it was super duper soft which I adored.

The more I get into my craft the more little tricks and ideas I come across. All I know is that I derive great satisfaction from making things with my hands that can offer comfort and a big, warm hug that is almost as good as the real thing.

I barely got to stitch yesterday. So, I'm working on block 8 of 12 of the Be Attitudes quilt still.

Blessings Y'all!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Amish Circle Quilt Project - # 92 - "Storing Eggs"

Block #92 - "Storing Eggs"
Started on 8/26/11
Completed on 8/28/11
Technique: Applique'

Sometimes I have to chuckle at these blocks. I mean, who would just decide to make a quilt block with eggs on it? But then it occurs to me that it actually makes a lot of sense.

Writers write about where they live and things they know. Painters paint about things they love and things they see. Photographers take pictures of things around them that captures their attention. Of course quilters should quilt about what is part of their lives and things they love.

So that presents two questions I'd like to ask of anyone who might read this.

1. Do you know someone this egg block would make a cute quilt for? Perhaps a chicken farmer or a gourmet egg cooker? (Which I suppose would make them an "eggspert". Oh, indulgent bad joke.)

2. What would your life's/love quilt look like?

My quilt would have to include my husband and children, something to represent my faith and love for God, music, reading, the Amish, ocean, mountains, and then an homage to quilting somehow (within the quilt). What a treasure that would be to have and leave as a legacy for future generations. Isn't that a great thing about quilting; that it says, "I was here. I created this. Remember me."

I had miscounted the blocks of my first "Be Attitudes" quilt. There are 12 blocks. So far I have seven of those embroidered. I would like to have those all stitched and the top sewn together by the time I finish the Amish Circle Quilt Project Blog series. That way I can dig in to assembling that quilt.

The 2012 Mystery Quilt will start on March 1. I've got to try to dig up enough money to buy my fabrics before then so I can jump in when it starts. I love doing the mystery quilt each year. This will be my 4th one!

I think I'm going to cease and desist with my prayers at the end of these entries for the most part, now that I am writing my devotional blog. But just know that I strive every day to please our Heavenly Father in all I do.

Blessings Y'all!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Amish Circle Quilt Project - # 91 - "Roman Stripes Variation"

Block # 91 - "Roman Stripes Variation"
Started on 9/13/11
Completed on 9/22/11
Technique: Paper Piecing & Pieced

To make this block I paper pieced each of the four striped sections and then I pieced each of the strips together. It was fairly simple even though I wasn't very familiar with the technique.

There is a Roman Stripes quilt in my book of Amish Quilts that I will have to give a try "one day". That may be my next blogging project; working through the Amish Quilts book I have. Some of them look very challenging.

Rosemary Youngs, the author of the book this blog has been based on has started a new organization that will provide blanket quilts to orphans in Africa and other countries. Here is a link to her website with the information:

You don't have to be a quilter to do these blankets she provides the instructions for. If you are interested in making one and need a quilt top, I might be able to hook you up! I would love to know if you decide to help out so let me know.

Father, thank You for continually showing me the way. Your way never leads me wrong.

Blessings Y'all!