Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #121 - "Reunion"

Block # 121 -

Started on:

Completed on:

Raw edge applique'

   I can not believe this block is number 121 of 121!  And this is another one of my favorites!  I know, I say that quite often!  I like this one so much though that I've already made and completed another one as a wall hanging that is displayed in my quilt room.

   Driving through Kansas back in March, we located the Amish district near Haven, KS.  We saw them driving their buggies on the roads, we saw many of their homesteads, and we saw some of the local businesses that are based around them as well.  We saw a family stopping to get a newspaper.  I took some photographs but it was snowing most of the time so that complicated the picture process.

   While I will most likely post some updated on this quilt and its completion later, this is technically the last post on the blocks of this quilt.  I want to thank Rosemary Youngs, the author of the book I followed for this project, first, for her creativity and her love of quilting and the Amish ways.  I also want to thank her for her advice, instruction, and overall support during this long process!

   If you happen across my blog while working on your own Amish Circle Quilt, I would love to offer advice and help as you navigate your way through the lovely, charming blocks of this amazing quilt.

   Future posts on this blog will be documenting my journey with my Dear Jane quilt that I recently began!

   Blessings y'all,

Monday, April 29, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #120 - "Signature Sunflowers"

Block # 120 -
"Signature Sunflowers"

Started  on:

Completed on:

Raw Edge Applique'

   This was another one of my favorite blocks!  I love sunflowers and brown eyed Susans.  The idea of having some of these with my friends' signatures in the middle makes me feel very happy!

   I wish more of my friends were into quilting!  I would totally host a quilting retreat and bring them in from all over the country! Actually, while I do love the idea of running away from home to go quilt somewhere for a weekend or month, whatever, I actually prefer the idea of kicking everyone else out of my house and staying here to quilt.  See, I don't suffer from the affinity to take care of household needs when I can be sewing.  So, I could easily stay home and have fun.

   This is my next to last block post!  Wow!

   Blessings y'all,

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #119 - "Square in a Square"

Block # 119 -
"Square in a Square"

Started on:

Completed on:

Paper piecing

   When I began this project, I had never even tried paper piecing.  This piece was one of my favorites that I finished during the building of all these blocks.  My brain wiring doesn't naturally process flipping pieces over and accounting for any strange type angles.  However, this block was mostly straight forward triangles and I did a lovely job.  (Ha!  If I do say so myself!)

   I currently have so many projects in the works.  Once I finished blogging about these blocks, I'm not sure how long it will take be to do the sashing and cornerstones.  A lot of the fabric is already cut so that is helpful.  But trying to figure out what projects to give priority to is difficult for me!

   Two more after this and this series of posts will be done!  It's been a fun journey.

   Blessings y'all,

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt # 118 - "Making Apple Butter"

Block # 118 -
"Making Apple Butter"

Started on:

Completed on:

Piecing and Raw Edge Applique'

   Another one of my favorite blocks!  I don't think  I've ever had apple butter.  I've certainly never participated in a community size apple butter making frolic.  

   I love apples!  Apples are one of the only fruits I actually like.  The kids and I make a killer apple pie.  A-a-apple was one of their units as they went through Kindergarten (homeschooled).  We bought so many different kinds of apples and tasted all of them.  I love Fuji and Gala and the kids love Honeycrisp now.  Of course you have to use Granny Smith for pie!  Apples were a great part of our homeschool.

   I think this fall we will try to make it to an apple orchard.  I've put it off too long!

   Blessings y'all,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt #117 - "Double Nine-Patch"

Block # 117 -
"Double Nine-Patch"

Started on:

Completed on:


   The letter that goes with this block talks of the girls hand piecing blocks for quilts.  I have to admit that if I had to hand piece blocks, I probably wouldn't be so into quilting.

   Hand quilting, now I enjoy that although I have very limited experience.  I can't make myself take that long to complete a project.  I can get so much more done by machine quilting.

   However, I am seriously considering hand quilting my Dear Jane quilt that I recently started.  For some reason it feels like it would be paying homage to Jane and all of her hard work if I sacrificed the time it would take to hand quilt my version of her quilt.  We'll see.  

   I love my sewing machine and am happiest when I'm sitting there stitching.  So, to each her own.  We're all creating in our own special ways.

   Blessings y'all,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #116 - "Roadside Stand"

Block # 116 -
"Roadside Stand"

Started on:

Competed on:

Raw Edge Applique'

   I love these highly detailed applique' blocks.  They are filled with personality and a bit of whimsy thrown in for good measure.

   If I was Amish, I think I would be one of the women who run a roadside stand.  As previously established I probably wouldn't have great produce to sell, but baked foods, crafted items and homemade gifts?  I could certainly make a go of it with such products!

   I wish there was an Amish community closer to me.  The nearest one is about 4 hours away but it is very small still and I've never noticed such stands around there.

   I long to write letters to an Amish woman of my age.  I'd like to tell her about my life and learn about hers.  I'd like to share secrets and recipes and discuss our faith.  I'd like to weigh all of our differences and discover in what ways we are alike.

   There is a blogger out there who actually makes fun of those of us who would like an Amish pen pal of sorts.  I liked that person and their blog until I read their thoughts on that.  I guess if I had visited with Amish people all over the country and had many Amish friends, I could make fun of others who wished they had similar opportunities.  But then, I'm not a jerk!  So, I wouldn't.

   I hope your day is filled with peace and I hope your little corner of the world is sunshiney and blissful today!

   Blessings y'all,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dear Jane Journey Post 7

This post includes blocks A-10, B-1, and B-6

   I've made a little progress on my Dear Jane since I last posted.  Not a lot mind you, but some.  My kids had a crazy day yesterday with co-op classes and choir dress rehearsal and choir concerts.  So I have been in total Mom mode and not had much time to sew.

   However, I did manage to get made a tool / accessory I needed to help me with my Dear Jane Journey.  Below you'll find pictures of it.  I'm rather proud of myself.

From Art to Heart book, Sew Necessary, by Nancy Halverson:


And if folds up neatly to this:
   If the colors seem a little mis-matched, that's because, well, they are.  I used fabrics from my Dear Jane quilt plus others that I had scraps of that I had really loved.

Now, onto more "pressing" matters ... my Jane ...

Block A-10 - "Which Points West":

I pieced A-10 together with the center brown square (2 1/2"), 7/8" inner border, and 1 3/8" outer border which I mitered on the corners.  Yay me.  I was so proud to do that and love how it turned out!

I used my previously disclosed method for making the applique' pieces and then hand stitched them on!

Let me just say WOO HOO that completes row A!

Next comes 
Block B-1 - Batchelor Buttons:

I lightly pressed diagonal creases into this one to guide my button placement.  I used my same old same old method for making applique' pieces and then hand stitched them on.  Not too shabby!

Last one I can report on today is
Block B-6 - "Wild Goose Chase":

   (Left) This is how I started after I cut the foundation pieces apart.  I think I segmented mine a little differently than the other trailblazers I've been following.

(Below) After paper piecing the first four parts:

(Below)  Inner square is complete and more paper pieces have been assembled.  Now on to foundation piecing these sections together! 

Below is the final, finished product.  I really like how this one came out.  And I am very pleased that this pink contrasts as well as it does with the cream background.  It's like I'm figuring this whole quilting thing out!

Blessings y'all,
Lesa - Jane, (17 blocks, 0 triangles, 400 pieces)

Amish Circle Quilt Block #115 - "Flower Path"

Block # 115 -
"Flower Path"

Started on:

Completed on:

Paper piecing

   A flower garden?  I am so awful with flowers.  I am so awful with gardens.  A flower garden?  Forget about it!  

   I appreciate flowers in others' yards.  I appreciate the variety with which God has blessed us.  I just don't feel He has called me to contribute to this particular aspect of beauty on His earth.

   I was noticing yesterday how many people have tulips blooming in their yards.  Tulips are one of my favorites.  Their bright, bold colors add so much to yards all over the valley here.

   And I even have some beautiful one popping up in our flower bed in our front yard, but alas, I cannot take any of the credit for those.  Creative, green thumbed peoples who lived here before us planted bulbs that come back every year.  I haven't managed to kill them or harm them yet so I guess that's something.

   Take a moment to look at the simple blessings blooming around you today!

   Blessings y'all,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt #114 - "Hanging Quilts"

Block # 114 -
"Hanging Quilts"

Started on:

Completed on:

Paper piecing and raw edge applique'

   This quilt block is one I have flagged to make for a small wall hanging.  I have a decorative clothes line hung in my quilt room and have made a few things to hang on there with clothespins.  It is really cute and I already have a couple of these block hanging there.  I'll have to share a photo of it in an upcoming post.

   If I were to drive through an Amish community on wash day, which I've heard tends to be Mondays in many districts, I would actually get caught up in photographing quilts hanging on the clothes lines!  

   On a similar note, we went to Yellowstone National Park back in August of 2011.  If you've been there you know how people crowd around any wildlife sightings.  We rolled by a huge group that was watching a herd of elk.  There were some Plain people (probably Mennonite) with their backs to us looking at the elk.  Mark pulled his camera out to snap a picture of the elk.  Me, the Plain people.  Their backs, not their faces.  I'd say I have my priorities in order.  (Besides, they were between us and the elk.)

   Now, you know.  I'm nutty.

   Blessings y'all,

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #113 - "Double Pinwheels"

Block # 113 -
"Double Pinwheels"

Started on:

Completed on:

Paper Piecing

   If I remember correctly, I paper pieced this in four sections then assembled them as you would a four patch.  Pretty cool little block.  When I started this project, I had no idea how to do paper piecing.  With some instructions on-line (and super support from the Author of this book, Rosemary Youngs) I taught myself how to paper piece.  I still get turned around with pieces with weird angles sometimes, but overall,  I think I've got it going on.

   And while I like doing a block here or a block there by paper piecing, I'm not sure I'm in love enough with the process to do a whole quilt with this method.  I think I would get bored and not enjoy doing the same piece over and over!

   I've decided that if we ever build on own house, my quilt room is going to be off the master bedroom.  There are some nights when my mind is reeling with ideas I want to try or start and if my quilt room was closer I would spend more time in there.  (I'm up most of the time anyway!)

   Blessings y'all,

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dear Jane Journey Post 6

   Greetings cyber sphere.  I didn't post yesterday mostly because I didn't complete any blocks but also because I was too tired last night to offer a report.  While I didn't complete blocks, I did get two more ready for hand applique'ing, B-1 and B-2.

Today, I finally finished the applique' on:
Block A-7 - "Dad's Plaids"

I pieced the four patch together and then added the applique'.  These applique' pieces were made as I described in a previous post using fusible interfacing on the back.  I'm getting better at stitching them on.  I'm the first to admit that I need to spend some more time practicing needle-turn applique' and reverse applique' so I can implement those techniques.  But I'm so into working through these blocks that it is hard to switch gears to a training mode of sorts.

Today I also completed:
Block B-3 - "Mirror Image"

I followed the method described on That Quilt blog I think.  I traced the pieces onto freezer paper.  I ironed the freezer paper onto the wrong side of the fabrics.  I cut the pieces out leaving 1/4" seam all the way around every piece.  I sewed them together after clipping the curves of the corner pieces and pinning around the two curved pieces I was attaching.  I was shocked at how well it turned out and luckily it was just a smidgen too big so I trimmed it down to 5" and danced a jig of glee.

Then I completed:
Block B-4 - "Chris's Soccer Field

This one was completely paper pieced.  It was to be green per the pattern I'm making and I think that was quite the perfect color for anyone's soccer field.

I am not exactly eager to start B-5 but I will.  Tomorrow probably.

Blessings y'all,
Lesa-Jane, 14 blocks, 0 triangles, 338 pieces

Amish Circle Quilt Block #112 - "Making Butter"

Block # 112 -
"Making Butter"

Started on: 8-27-11
Completed on: 9-4-11

Technique: Raw Edge Applique'

   In the letter that goes with this quilt, the Amish family is preparing their home to host church the next day.  Part of the prep is churning butter for the common meal afterward.

   I oscillate between liking the idea of house church and not liking the idea.  I'm not sure if I would feel the same connection to God and the people around me if I was in my every day, routine location.  Not to mention how many distractions are in my house!  And I'm not sure our dogs and guinea pigs and dust bunnies need to be a part of worship either.

   I'm certainly not judging those it works for.  I guess if it fulfills what you feel you need to be giving to God and your brothers and sisters in Christ, more power to you.  It's just that for me it doesn't quite float my boat.

   Regarding the churning of butter, it sure seems like my Granny had a butter churn for awhile.  Maybe it was for decoration.  Hmmm.  I'll have to investigate that.

   At the building or in a home, singing praises and praying together is edifying.  Churning butter?  Not so much.  And no matter who is coming over, I won't be churning butter for you.  Sorry.

Blessings y'all,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #111 - Teacher's Bar Quilt

Block # 111 - 
"Teacher's Bar Quilt"

Started on: 10-14-11
Completed on: 10-14-11

Technique: Piecing

   When I was little I always dreamed of being a teacher.  It's funny how even then I had a desire in me to teach.  Or maybe it was a desire to be bossy.

   We moved into a mobile home in 1979 when my mom married my step-dad.  It was brand new and my room had it's own bathroom.  One whole wall of my room had a counter across it.  For a child who wanted to be a teacher, this was a dream come true.  I would put papers out in a line and write answers on them for tests for pretend students.  Then, the most joyous part ... I got to grade all of those tests!

   When babies arrived, they ended up making the best students.  Any academic success Kara achieved is all because of me.  Keli wasn't as into being a pretend student ... and I was never with Melissa long enough to get to "teach" her.

   Fast forward a few years ... or a decade ... after Mark and I got together I had decided I wanted to be a Veterinarian.  After a couple of semesters of college, all I wanted to be was a stay at home mom ... even though we didn't have children quite yet.

   Fast forward a few more years and it was getting close to time to register Trinity for Kindergarten and for me, it just did not feel right.  Luckily I was married to a man who didn't faint from shock when I mentioned the word (or words) home-school.

   And so, here she is about to finish 6th grade ... and we're still homeschooling.  And we even added a second pupil to the mix when Will reached school age.  And in some ways life for me has come full circle.  My childhood dream of being a teacher is now my blessed reality.

   And I feel God's hand every step of the way.  When I'm able to communicate with one of the kids regarding a subject or concept they don't understand, I know how lucky we are.  I mean, who knows them better than their Momma?

Blessings y'all!

Dear Jane Journey Post 5

I didn't get a lot done today but I did finish piecing the last block of Row A.  (Just have to finish hand applique' on two blocks and then I can declare the row complete!)

Block A-13 - "Starlight - Starbright"

I started off by drafting this block myself.  I didn't read of any other assembly processes that floated my boat so I decided I needed to change it up and do it my own way!

I copied the draft onto foundation piecing paper.  (Sorry it is so faint.  I drafted in pencil and so the copy is very light.)  And then I cut it into the sections you see below.

I then paper pieced each section leaving a 1/4" seam allowance all the way around.  Then I simply pieced the seven sections together to create the block.  This is another one I am particularly pleased with!

Doing it this way does cause the block to end up with a few additional seams.  This has been bothering me a little until today.  I had an epiphany.  I figure that Lady Jane would have made these blocks in the best / easiest way she possibly could based on her knowledge, tools, and equipment.  And since I'm not trying to perfectly replicate her work, making the blocks the best way I know how is my goal too!

Blessings y'all,
Lesa-Jane, 11 blocks, 0 triangles, 301 pieces

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #110 - Watering Can

Block # 110
"Watering Can"

Started on: 8-27-11
Completed on: 9-4-11

Technique: Raw Edge Applique'

   So, I don't think I could post this block without commenting on my black thumb.  No, I'm not mistaken.  I am so bad with plants that I earned the black belt; uh hum, I mean black thumb.  I'm advanced way beyond brown!

   I am infamous for killing plants.  I enjoy having them around but I forget that they need a little wet stuff we all call water.  I have four plants by my kitchen sink right now that have survived the carnage by, well, being right by my kitchen sink.  Every time I load the dishwasher I water my plants.  The eldest plant is a year and half in and things are looking promising.

   Outdoor plants though?  Forget about it!  Even if I see the stinking thing every single day I forget it needs to be watered.  I'm so glad the lady that lived here before us was a gardener type.  She left rose bushes and annual blooming bulbs behind and since we have a sprinkler system these plants have survived my reign as well.

   I am thankful for the variety and beauty plants provide.  I'm trying to be a better care taker.  I love how creative God is ... and it shows in the plants He invented for us!

Blessings y'all,

Dear Jane Journey Post 4

Today I made more progress on my Dear Jane quilt.  She's coming along nicely.  I had a setback or two but all in all it went very well.  So first I'll share the one I finished the hand applique' on.

Block A-3 - "Hunter's Moon"

I simply cut the pink fabric into a square and then pressed it on both diagonals.  I then made the applique' pieces a little different from other mehods I've read about.

First, I trace the applique' shapes onto the smooth side of fusible interfacing.  

I cut out each piece roughly around the drawn lines.  

With the drawn side up, I put the piece on top of the fabric I'm using with the right side of the fabric facing up.

Next, I stitch the interfacing to the fabric on the drawn lines.

Once stitched all the way around I trim both down to 1/8" around the traced shape.

Then I make a cut/slit with sharp scissors through only the interfacing layer.

I then flip the piece right side out, producing a piece that has the right side of the fabric on one side and the sticky, bumpy part of the interfacing on the other.

I make sure points are as well turned and sides are as crisp as I can get them.

Then I press the pieces into their proper positions on the block.

** I'm going to revise this the next time I create one of the applique' blocks and just use fabric on both sides.  I'll have to pin it in place or use a fabric glue stick instead of having the fusible there, but I think it will produce a better result.

Oh, and I do it this way because I do not like needle turn applique' very much.  I'm willing to learn it but while I am not good at it I don't want to use that for my Dear Jane quilt!

Block A-11 - "Pebble's Protest"

I'm pretty sure I did this one differently than most have suggested.  And I'm not exactly giddy for the larger pink squares in the corners not being whole pieces.  However, I like the way it went together and I didn't have to paper piece too much and I didn't have to do set in seams.

So I cut one - 1 1/2" square for center

Then, I paper pieced all four points and the two triangles by each one.

Then, I made the four 4 patch squares by strip piecing 1" strips of each fabric.
I cut that strip set into eight 1" sections.

These sections go together in pairs to make the four patches.

Now we have this:

Next I cut four 1" x 2 1/2" rectangles from background fabric.
Then I cut four 1" squares from color fabric.

I then cut four 1" x 1 1/2" rectangles of color fabric.

Next I pieced the center 9 squares together in rows then rows together.
Then I pieced the top border and bottom border (3 pieces each) and attached them.

Then I pieced the right and left side borders (3 pieces each) and attached them.

Lastly I cut a 3/4" strip of background fabric to add the skinny outer border "log cabin" style.

I have to tell you that I am extrememly pleased with this one!!

Lastly I finished Block A-12 - "Starlight - Starbright"

I came close to losing my religion over this one.  I think I used the same paper piecing mehod as most of the others have used.  But the problem I ran into was with the four green points of the outer square.  I paper pieced each of those individually as shown below.

 But when I assembled the rows I turned 3 of them the wrong way.  One of each of those green triangles in the corner pieces above is slightly smaller than the other.  And of course, I turned them the wrong way!  So I ripped all of those seams and re-pieced the rows together and they still don't meet up quite right and that irks me!  It's not horrible, but it may very well be one I end up remaking once I get in the groove of these itty bitty pieces!

Blessings y'all,
Lesa-Jane, 10 blocks, 0 triangles, 272 pieces

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #109 - "One-Patch

Block # 109 - 

Started on: 9-7-11
Completed on: 9-8-11

Technique: Regular Piecing

   I was just noticing that the letter that goes with this block in the book is dated April 15.  Kind of strange how close that is to real life for me.  The letter writer talks of spring time and I can't help but think my weather is way different from what they were experiencing.  Our backyard has been blanketed with snow in the last two hours.  Pretty strange!

   The letter also mentions dropping of some quilts in the spirit of charity.  I have slowly but surely been filling up 9" blocks with crazy quilt scraps.  This is to assemble a double size top to give to our quilting ladies at church to complete.  They give quilts to all sorts of people and groups and I know those scraps will come together to wrap someone in need with love and warmth and comfort.

   I can't believe I had been so close to finishing blogging about these blocks when I hit a wall and ceased blogging for so long.  My passion is reignited though and the finish line is in sight.

   And speaking of finish lines, if you are a person of faith, give a shout out to the big JC to offer peace and comfort for those who were injured and those who lost loved ones in the bombs at the Boston Marathon on Monday (April 15).

Blessings y'all,

Dear Jane Journey Post 3

Plugging away at my Dear Jane Quilt!  Today I bought my favorite hand quilting / sewing threads (Gutermann hand quilting cotton) to match my selected fabrics.  Actually, I bought YLI for the chocolate colored fabric because my shop didn't have a Gutermann to match close enough.

I only completed two blocks today.  One was paper pieced with a couple of angles that irked me.  The other has shapes I had to finagle.  Luckily the beans in the crock pot took a long time to cook and I got to plow my way through these.

So I completed one block and progressed another all the way to the hand applique' stage today.  (I have no illusions of sewing on these everyday.  I've just been lucky this week.

Block A-9 - "Cabin Fever"

I paper pieced this block.  My brain is not wired to properly align fabric over pieces with angles and have them line up over the part they are supposed to be over.  I ripped stitch lines more than once and ended up basically remaking the bottom or top row one.  There is also an extra seam of background fabric in one border as I was too lazy to redo it and just added another piece of fabric.  That'll be our little secret.

I can't wait to explain how I did A-10, but I will until I get the applique' pieces stitched in place.

I did complete the applique' on A-3 today but I don't have a picture of it yet so it will have to wait too.  If you stumble across my blog while researching Dear Jane, please let me know if you are working on a Dear Jane quilt yourself or are thinking of making one!

Blessings y'all,
Lesa-Jane, 7 blocks, 0 triangles, 180 pieces

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #108 - "Geese"

Block #108 - "Geese"

Started: 8-26-11
Completed: 9-4-11

Technique: Raw Edge Applique'

   I love my sweet little geese.  Mark and I have a long history of geese hunting.  Not the typical with a gun / blow them away kind of hunting.  We have sought out geese and fed them crackers and bread all over the country!

   Now, I'm not crazy about geese flocking toward me or treating me with any type of aggression.  That is so not cool.  And I'm not fond of their honking sounds.  But I love to watch them and I love to feed them so I guess it all evens out.

   Our friend, Paul Fagala, is a total bird geek.  He was the one who originally corrected us calling Canada Geese, Canadian Geese.  There's a difference.  I don't get what it is of course, but it exists.  So in an effort to appear more intellectually sound than I actually am, I now call them Canada Geese.  For all I know it was a hoax on Paul's part to get Mark and I sounding silly.  That sounds more like Paul than teaching us the real name.  Hmmmmm.

   Take a few minutes to stop and smell the gee ... wait, strike that.  Take a moment to stop and look up at the sky and thank God for the beauty of His geese (Canada ones or Canadian ones).  Just don't stand right under them to look up.

Blessings y'all,

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dear Jane Journey Post 2

   Well, I have to tell you that I am most pleased with the progress I have made so far.  I guess when you are following in the footsteps of Dear Jane pioneers, you don't have to reinvent the wheel.  You can accept their suggestions for how to piece these blocks together. 

   I found unexpected time today to stitch so I was able to complete three more blocks and get another ready to hand applique'.

Below, Block A-5 - "Cathie's Campfire" - I made it by paper piecing!

Below, Block A-6 - "Uncle Homer" - 
Uncle Homer here was assembled as the simple nine-patch he is!

Block A-7 is assembled but it is awaiting hand applique' stitching. 

Below, Block A-8 - "Florence Nightingale" -
I paper pieced Florence.  I am loving the chocolate color with the cream!

   Part of preparing for this "journey" included buying two large (1 1/2" capacity), three ring binders and a booty load of page protectors.  I already had alphabetically tabbed dividers so I used A through M to make one section per row of the quilt.  I am making address labels as I complete the blocks with the block ID and name on them.  I'm storing the blocks in the page protectors to make them easy to reference and to keep them organized during the building process.

   Well on my way on my Jane Journey!

Blessings y'all,
Lesa-Jane,  6 blocks, 0 triangles,  139 pieces

Amish Circle Quilt Block #107 - "Nine-Patches Between Bars"

Block #107 - "Nine-Patches Between Bars"

Started: 10-6-11
Completed: 10-7-11

Technique: Paper Piecing and Regular Piecing

   The story with this quilt blocks talks of a mother passing away and leaving a quilt in the frame unfinished.

   The husband remarries and his new bride wishes to finish the quilt and set it aside for his young son to receive at a later time.

   What is it about quilts?  I don't understand my obsession in any way! Every time I sit down at my machine and begin stitching, I feel a strong connection to my grandmothers and the other women I've known and loved in my life.

   I love creating something as a gift.  It is a tangible, warm, hug of a gift that lets the recipient know that you cared enough to spend hours stitching and assembling something so lovely for them.

   And the life expectancy of a quilt ... it amazes me and warms my heart to see old, old, old quilts that have been preserved and have outlived their makers.  It gives me a thrill to think someone just might come across a quilt of mine someday and be amazed.

Blessings Y'all!

Dear Jane Journey Post 1

     I've started a journey!  I'm a new Janiac!  Yep, I've jumped on the Dear Jane Quilt Bandwagon and there's no looking back.  See my Dear Jane Journey page here for details on how this craziness started.

     April 14, 2013, was my first day to sew on my Dear Jane quilt.  I've chosen some solid fabrics in cream, dark green, chocolate, and pink.  They are fabulous!  I have an arrangement designed on the Dear Jane template I created.  I need to research how to add the spreadsheet as an attachment here.  I will figure that out.

     So here is Block A-1!  I was giddy and giggly when I got it done.  I saw some versions of paper piecing this dude but paper piecing is not my favorite.  I don't mind it, but it is against my religion to paper piece if I don't have to.

Cutting for A-1:
Background Fabric (my white):
Eight 1 5/8" squares
Two 4 1/2" squares (After the process, 4" would offer less waste)

Focal Fabric (my green):
Four 1 1/8" squares
Two 4 1/2" squares (Again, 4" would be better)

     I used Jenny Doan's tutorial method for making HST's (half-square triangles) at HST Tutorial.  I used the 4 bigger squares to make 8 HST's.

     I used four of the 1 5/8" background squares and the four small green squares to make the corners by snowballing one corner of each white square with one green square.  

I found this one very, very easy to traditionally piece.

Next is Block A-2!  I am really loving this green with the cream background!

     I copied the block from the book onto foundation paper and paper pieced this block mostly based on the method described at That Quilt!  I did start each row with the green triangle in the center.  This is easier for me than dealing with the angle of attaching the green to the row already in progress.  I know how confusing that sounds ... sorry.  

     I have block A-3 put together but I need to hand stitch the applique pieces.  So I'll get back to you with that one as soon as it is truly finished.

So now, Block A-4!  First chocolate one I've made!  Perty perty perty!

     I paper pieced this one too based on the That Quilt process!

     Random information:

     I am sewing on a Janome 6600.  I'm piecing with 100% cotton thread and using 100% cotton fabrics.  I will hand attach applique' pieces and use my machine for everything else.  I will use traditional piecing as much as I can and paper piecing when necessary.

     I am thinking I may hand quilt this quilt when it is finished.  I think it deserves it.  I think Jane deserves that in homage to her work and her vision.  As I quickly run a seam of stitches with my machine, I think and wonder how long that seam took her to finish by hand.  You go girl!  I'm right behind you.

     Oh, and I'm listening to Cindy Woodsmall's book A Season for Tending while I'm sewing!

Blessings Y'all,
Lesa-Jane, 3 blocks, 0 triangles,  90 pieces  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Amish Circle Quilt Block #106 - "Cellar"

Block # 106 - "Cellar"

Started on 8/25/11

Completed on 9/4/11

Technique: Raw Edge Applique' and Regular piecing

This is such a cute block.  It was really fun to make.  (Yes, I remember even though it was almost 2 years ago.)

I am going to try really hard to finish this blog series but I'm going to be starting a new one as well.

For anyone who had been following this quilt journey, sorry for my long absence here.  I've been stitching a bunch but haven't made progress on assembling this quilt top.  I have all of the sashing but and the strips cut for the cornerstones.  I just have so many projects in progress!!

This block represents canned / jarred goods kept in the cellar of an Amish home.  Makes me realize I have never canned a single thing.  I know my grandparents grew up doing that.  I'm pretty sure my mom hasn't canned anything.  Perhaps it is a relic of a practice that died out generations ago.  Unfortunately, as long as I have a Safeway to run to, I'm not feeling the love toward canning my own goods.

I have started making my own taco seasoning.  Does that count?

Blessings y'all!