Saturday, July 31, 2010

Done At Last!!!

Finally! The Joseph's Coat quilt top is finished.  I thought I was going to be done a week ago but there were many distractions.  And then I discovered that I was missing 2 of the 5-petal filler blocks.  And then I realized I had a bunch of outer petals to add.  It only took 9 months and a couple hundred hours to finish this top.  Ah...but it still needs to be quilted.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Personal History Quilt

Before I left on vacation, I was having an e-conversation with a fellow quilter about levels of quilt crazy.  I was admitting that my 50 state blocks idea was nuts, but not as insane as a Dear Jane quilt.  She countered with her planning for a Millenium Quilt challenge to use a block to symbolize something historical for each year of the 1900's.  (She subsequently lost interest during the planning and it was never made.)

That got me thinking about my father-in-law who lived from 1908-2002. I was always amazed at the technology and lifestyle changes that happened in  his lifetime.  He remembers seeing an airplane for the first time as his dad was about to be deployed to France during WWI.  A drive through Yellowstone park took 2 weeks in a model T and required the car to be ferried across the rivers.  And to think that we were annoyed when he wouldn't learn how to use a VCR to play a movie.

These thoughts evolved into a Personal History Quilt, but to commemorate the first 80 years of my mom's life.  (I'll make a pillow or something for the next 20). I pitched the idea to Mom, with whom I was traveling.  She picked out the first blue at our first quilt shop in Laramie, WY.   Unfortunately, it's a rather challenging blue to match, but I did pick up some other pretties along the way.  I plan to use white-on-whites for the background.

While we drove, I quizzed mom about significant dates in her life and will come up with traditional blocks to symbolize those years.  Some are easy - like "Farmers Wife" for the couple years that my dad ran the family dairy farm.  "Road to California" when they were stationed at Fort Ord.   Some of the blocks I will be able to make at the same time as the State blocks (ie Road to California in both red/white and blue/white).

I also discovered  on  The Farmer's Wife Quilt blog, that there are some 6" block templates available free, for anyone who wants to do this along with me.  And the author has planned a 2nd book in the series to come out next year.  I will certainly purchase it as well, to save on planning time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The First 4 State Blocks

"Corn & Beans" - Iowa
"Ohio Star" -Ohio
"Crockett Cabin" - Tennesee
"Anvil" - Pennsylvania.

I've been talking with friends and family in several states, but realize that I don't have connections in some states.  If you live in or will be visiting one of the following states, would you be willing to buy 1/8 yard of red for me?

Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas Minnesota, Missisipi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I just returned from a 6666 mile road trip (19 days, 19 states, 11 reunions/parties).  I did manage to squeeze in stops at 9 quilt shops.  For the most part, I behaved myself.  I collected green batiks for a leaf applique quilt I've been designing for a few weeks.  Picked up the reds for the state quilts.  Plus some blues for a quilt for my mom. And a few irresistables.  I'll post more on them as things get unpacked.

As for progress...I have 192 hexies put together for Rita's quilt. Another 100 or so are glue basted.  This project is English Paper Piecing for which I attempted glue stick for basting rather than thread for the first time. The hexagons are 1.5".  There are over 1000 pieces in the planned size.  However, as it goes together, I'm concerned that it's smaller than I'd imagined.  Need to decided if it needs more pieces or wide borders.

I also got some of the state blocks finished.  This one is Anvil and represents Pennsylvania.  The red fabric was sent to me by Laurel at Lively Stitches.  Hmmm  the block photos are a little blurry this am I.  Will work on better photos and updating the State Block page after I recover from the trip.
Ohio Star fabric came from Lucy at Oh Lucy What Did You Do?  who is a brand new quilter, working on her very first quilt.  She's also a friend of mine from high school.  Met her for supper on our way through S. Ohio.
Here's my Iowa block, "Corn & Beans".  Picked up one of the reds at Prairie Star Quilts in Elk Horn, IA.  The owner, Julie Larson, has designed a series of reproduction fabrics that are available through the website.  We took the back roads back to the freeway, and drove through fields of corn and soybeans.  The choice of block was obvious.
Our stop in Tennesee was at The Quilter's Attic in Goodletsville, TN.  This turned into a very expensive stop, as they had a selection of batiks that I didn't yet own.  And I bought a fantastic pattern book:  The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt  I plan to use these templates for my State blocks as well as a blue & white Life History Quilt for mom. (Like the state quilt, there will be a block to represent an event from each year of the first 80 years of my mom's life.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Block 1 - Pennsylvania

 My first fabric Treasure Hunt care package came today from my QBFF Laurel H at Lively .  I was supposed to be packing, cleaning, and generally preparing for vacation.  And technically, I did wash the fabric she sent along with the clothes I'll be packing.  While Guitar Girl drives over the river and through the woods to G'mas house...I'll be stitching this beauty by hand.

And since every good quilt has a's my thoughts behind this block.  In my original planning for this quilt, I tried to match traditional block names to states.  I'm sure that I picked Anvil in honor of the Steel industry.  But I'm also a football fan.  And Merril Hodge is an Idaho boy who played for the Steelers (87-94) after he played for Idaho State University in the only years we actually had a winning season.   Maybe it's a stretch, but it works for me.

I'm actually very pleased that I've made a decision on the PA block.  I'm not having nearly as much luck on the Oregon block.  My original plan was Tall Pine Trees.  Guitar Girl wants Ducks.  Skater Girl is her converstion wanders off about how depressing Fort Clatsop & the Whitman Massacre were. Harley Dude suggests volcanoes and lava...but would settle for a big circle to symbolize Crater Lake.  Now they're talking about onions. [SIGH] Why do I ask?   I've been thinking about ferns...symbolizing the west coast humidity as well as the John Day fossils. least I have the fabric.