Friday, February 26, 2010

Civil War Bride Quilt family portrait - block #20!!!

Here's a close up...
This is the last of the 20 center blocks of the Civil War Bride Quilt.  It's a little unusual, so maybe I should explain.

This quilt will be Riley's some day.  I think of Riley as the bride, so I wanted there to be a block representing our little family.  My buddy Ola added the inspiration for the antique-looking portrait.  Then as we discussed other block elements (the sewing machine, a displayed quilt), Ola came up with the idea of me busting out of the portrait to be sewing on the machine.  (he picked GREAT wall-paper for the portrait!)

I had to stick Riley with a book.  She's been reading since 3 and doing it at a college level since she was about 8.  Through all the blocks, I couldn't figure out a way to depict her love of books.  This seemed like a good time to do it.

I did a little quilting magic on me...a little "quilting liposuction," if you will.  (hee-hee-hee!)

Now I need to put the blocks together and start digging on those borders!!

Thanks for following along the journey!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A home in the vineyard...

Yee-haw!!  Only one more block to go, then the body of the quilt will be done and it's off to work on the borders.  The couple needed a house, I wanted more purple, and I love making grape clusters.

The date to drop off quilts to be entered in the Sauder Village Quilt Show is exactly 2 months from today...am I insane to think I can have it finished??  Oh yes, definitely, but I can always dream!  Can I continue to ignore other quilting projects and deadlines until then??  Yikes!  I'm going to register it online...maybe that will spur me on.  I feel motivated right now.

Yesterday, Ola, Mary ("Jonesy"), and I were determined to lay out the blocks and come up with the final lay-out.  With Beth's help, we did just that.  We also decided it needed sashing to calm it down a bit, but only a really skinny one (3/4 inch finished).  We were haphazardly pinning, un-pinning, moving, re-pinning until we found the right recipe.  Even though this picture is very sloppy and the house block is unfinished and untrimmed (and I only took it to remind me of the lay-out when I got home with the blocks), I'll share so you can see where I'm going with this.
We were auditioning sashing fabrics, and Ola picked the perfect one.  It has a black background with a small scale flower/vine motif, which softens the black.  I call it "light black."  Sashing makes piecing the top a little harder and will also cause me to have to stretch out the borders a bit to fit, but I think sashing is a good idea.  It gives the eye a place to rest between the busy blocks.

Sashing will change the character of the quilt a bit, but since I've already changed the character maybe I can be forgiven.  I hope it does not offend that I didn't follow the pattern completely.  As this is intended for my daughter one day, I really wanted it to reflect her interests and our family.  I think of the bride as my daughter and all the other elements felt like they needed to fit. 

When I get the last block finished, I will tell the story of this quilt.  I think of this top as a story to be read through each block.  Ola, my best friend and Riley's Fairy Goddmother, helped me design the last block.  She saw my pattern for the last one yesterday, and had a great idea.  After doodles by her, I went home and re-worked the pattern around her great idea.  It is going to be so cool. 

I hope to share the block very soon!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cake break...block 18 done!!

 
This is block number 18 for me in the 20-block (plus borders...sigh) Civil War Bride Quilt.  Two more to go and then I can get going on the borders.

Huge thanks to my BFF Ola for suggesting the wedding cake idea.  It makes total sense to me that they would want cake (EVERYBODY likes cake!!).  I used to decorate birthday and wedding cakes, so this block totally makes sense to our family theme for this quilt.

Here is the happy couple...the bride wants the groom to put the fish down and wash his hands BEFORE he cuts her a piece of cake.  :o)

 
I'm really having fun with this quilt and wish I had more time to dedicate to it.  Once I get blocks all glued up, they are portable, but until then, they tie me to the basement (and the stash...) as I try and decide on colors.  I can only spend so much time down there pretending to do laundry before the family realizes that there are no clean clothes.  LOL  (not to mention all the other projects I want to be working on...)

Is everyone watching the Olympics?!?  I am SO enjoying them!  The short track skating has been fun to watch, men's and women's.  And tonight, more figure skating.  My husband has been grousing about Ice Dancing being considered a sport.  I told him he should try it before he makes that comment.  :o)

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Friday, February 19, 2010

On the liberated lady journey (and a comment on Olympics),,,

OK all you local ladies doing our liberated lady swap (and you know who you are!)...here are a couple of Mary Jones' ladies, just to motivate and excite you.  Don't you just love the witch??

Don't panic...there is still plenty of time before our April Fool's deadline to finish your ladies.

Ellen Taylor, our most excellent swap master, suggests that we don't get much taller than 11 1/2 - 12 inches.

I've seen some of Ola Rosselot's ladies...I hope to get a picture soon...they are cute as well.

Here are a few of Ellen's (for further motivation).

And one from Kathy French (isn't she cute??):

OK...now for a rant.  Have you been watching the men's figure skating from the Olympics??  (If you are from Russia, I'm sorry if my comments are harsh.)  I was so proud of Lysacek last night, the American man who won the gold medal.  Both of his programs were amazing.  Plushenko (spelling?) was also amazing, but not as balanced and polished in all aspects of his programs.  Yes, he did the "quad," but last night, especially, he had little technical problems on landings and his other elements did not equal Lysacek's.  He was so cocky coming into the Olympics, and now he is making all this noise about how he should have won because he did the "quad."  Russia's Putin is now getting into the mix.  Whatever happened to losing gracefully?  I've been very proud of how Lysacek has been handling all the puff and blow-off since the event. 

Yippee for all the athletes from around the world that are great performers both on and off the events!

I've been proud of all of our athletes this year...it's been very exciting to watch, although the late nights are catching up with me!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Music is blooming (my 17th block)...

I'm always telling my daughter to clean out her French horn before she sprouts something...and look...Mom is always right!  LOL

This will be block #17 for my CWBQ...music is very important in our family's life, and my daughter plays the French horn, so that's the direction I took.  I drew it large to get all the detail in...maybe too large, as I think it is a little overpowering where I pinned it on the design wall.  I think I will need to re-arrange the blocks after I finish the last 3 blocks to try and achieve some balance of scale and color.

I drew in strawberries and flowers in keeping with the overall feel of the quilt, and guess what...the flowers are TRUMPET VINE...get it???  TRUMPET VINE...more music!!  LOL  I am having WAY too much fun with this quilt!
Drawing and appliqueing the instrument was easier than I thought it would be (but all the stupid little trumpet flowers??  Zeesh!  WHAT was I thinking!!).  Anyway, it makes me want to draft lots of different musical instruments for a future quilt!!  Hmmm...

As I was preparing applique pieces for the next block this afternoon (a house for my couple!), my daughter suggested a block that astonished me...if I can pull it off, it will be very appropriate for our family's version of this quilt.  I will keep you 'posted'...get it??  POSTED!  LOL (maybe I should stop now...)

If you have not stumbled on Lizzie's blog about the Civil War Bride Quilt, click here to check it out (or find it in my blog list).  There are many talanted quilters posting their treasure here.

In stitches (and in a seriouly silly mood),
Teresa  :o)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Love, love, love...

(This is the top half with more detail.)
I LOVE Valentine's day, and I love Valentine/heart quilts and fabrics.  I also love music.  I made the above quilt as a wedding gift for some musician friends of mine.  The pattern is an easy stack and whack.  I made one with bright pinks and black/white fabrics also.
It's fun to get the heart quilts out every February.  Here is one I made for our bed...It has flying geese all
around, even on top, but the border has been folded back (it's a super queen).
It was too tall for the show it hung in, and it is hard to get a good picture of it on our bed due to the foot board.  It was in a Nancy Halvorsen book; I think the name of the book was "Best Friends."

My BFF Ola and I teamed up on the next one for a sample for the shop where we work (The Quilting Season, Saline, Michigan).  We personalized one of the nine blocks and gave it to my young daughter.  It was an Australian stitchery BOM pattern called "Love Is" (Rosie Quinlan, I think).

I also love making applique hearts in all colors for small wall hangings and table toppers.


I've been collecting Valentine and heart fabrics for a long time and need to make a big scrappy quilt...maybe for next year!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Only four more to go!!

I continue with my Civil War Bride journey...these two represent #15 and #16 out of 20 blocks for the center of the quilt.  The blocks measure 12 x 15 inches.

Since Corliss's pattern of the original antique top only had 3 urn-type blocks, I drafted a fourth urn block so that I could have one in each corner...daffodils are my husband's favorite flower, iris is mine.

The other block was supposed to be the little peacock block, but I decided one peacock in this quilt was enough and I substituted our cat, Weasley, out sunning himself and sleeping under a flower.

Here are my 16 blocks, pinned to my ugly old college blanket.  I'm hoping to fill in the last four blocks soon.  Then I have a dilema...to sash or not to sash...hmmm.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)