Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I’m cooking with wine tonight to celebrate finishing TWO quilt tops. The first was the Mystery Quilt from American Quilter magazine, which I won’t show here because I have to send the picture in to the magazine after it’s quilted. The second is Danica’s Christmas quilt, hot from under the needle. Here it is:

I used two Moda charm square packs (pre-cut 5” squares), additional fabric purchased in Illinois, Tennessee and Missouri, plus a few pieces from my stash. The center is called “X-Rated,” a Schnibbles pattern by Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. (But I added 3 more rows and columns.) The little squares are 1½" finished, the rectangles are 4½" x 1½". The center has 525 pieces, for heaven’s sake!

I saw kisses rather than X’s, so I got the idea to add appliqué O’s for hugs. Every time I make a quilt with blocks set on point like this, I swear I will never do it again. My math worked out on this one, however—the setting triangles were all the right size. All would have been well except that I ran out of the dark green fabric in the border and had to piece two of the final sections with scraps. This quilt was a lot of work—I’m not gonna lie….

I have a few more marathon sewing days ahead. I would like to have this quilted by Saturday, but that’s probably optimistic, since I’m still making some Christmas presents, too. And my back hurts, perhaps from sewing, but more likely from carrying my outdoor flowerpots to the compost and dumping out the spent soil and dead plants. So, you see, I really need to cook with wine tonight, and I’m not putting it in the food!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lucky, lucky day!

My sister and I went antiquing last week in Colorado Springs. I had to restrict myself to items I could bring back to Missouri on the airplane, and I was already loaded up with a few pieces of fabric from quilt shops in Longmont, Colorado, and Laramie, Wyoming! But I had fun shopping with my sister anyway, because she actually BUYS rather than just looks. (She is furnishing a restored log cabin in Manitou Springs.) I brought home two small quilts—an old doll quilt and a 1970s/1980s piece (either a lap quilt or table topper)—not antique, but funky and “vintage.”

This doll quilt had only one small hole and a couple of stains. I swished it in a sink full of detergent and cold water and the stains lightened up considerably. But it was filthy! I rinsed it until the water was no longer brown.
The quiltmaker here was pretty fearless--combining bright red with maroon! It had a Christmas feel, and I was in a Christmas mood, so I bought it.

I’ve been sewing since I got back Monday, trying to finish installment 3 of the mystery quilt from American Quilter magazine. I altered the pattern somewhat, so I’ve been trying to make all the pieces fit in a new arrangement. But I’m not going to post pictures of my quilt top because I hope to meet the January deadline for finishing the quilt. Several quilts will be chosen to appear in the magazine, and naturally I hope mine is one of them. If not, you’ll see it here.

Anyway, I took a break yesterday and went antiquing here in Missouri. I hit my two favorite places (I’m not saying where) and spent $150 on a full-size quilt in perfect condition, three beautiful crib quilts, and a mink stole. No kidding. Lucky day!
This is the hand-quilted full-size quilt--only $45. What a find! I love the composition and the colors. I estimate the two embroidered quilts below to be from the 1940's or 1950's.

The pink and blue in this quilt has more of a modern art vibe than a crib quilt feel. The pattern is certainly unusual and the back is a feedsack.

It’s back to the sewing machine today. I don’t even have to cook tonight—my husband wants to make Julia Child’s chicken fricassee. Go for it, babe! There are blizzard warnings for the northern part of Missouri, and it remains to be seen how the Ozarks will be affected. I have some Christmas presents to finish, so as long as we have power, I’ll be sewing all weekend.