The Census

This week I heard you could go back 72 years and read census material.  So I have delved into the past and am reading all about my town.  Lots of names in this small town are still around.  Streets have been renamed over the years.  1940 was prewar.  No VA hospital, no Armory, no Sam Rayburn Drive, it was fittingly called Fourth Street (between 3rd and 5th LOL) . No MKAT rail line.  I was shocked that this railroad ran less than two blocks from my house.  This rail went belly up during the great depression.  All of the rails in town were taken up, and progress happened.  My house incidentally was built during WWII to house soldiers training in the airforce at our local airfield.  Lots of the town has changed, but much of it is the same.

I am intrigued by names, and salaries, but what is most interesting is the jobs.  Lots of WPA workers.  You know the new deal after the great depression gave the poor jobs.  There was way too many of those in town.  Their salaries meager for the year.  We had broom makers, car salesmen, seamstresses, rail road workers, as well as clerical for the courthouse and the city.

I am romantically involved in reading all of the information, looking for names I may know.  Having conversations with others in present time about this, it truly is fascinating!  More to come on that.

When I wasn’t reading, I was sewing, and have accomplished my goals for the week!

  • Customer quilt completed!frog and elephantpenguinecustomer quiltThis quilt is not yet finished in the pic, but I took advantage of the sunshine on Thursday after work.  The embroidery hand work is exquisite!  I love the penguin, the elephant, and the frog, sew cute!
  • My 365 blocks are done through Feb 2nd.  Here is a sampling365 blocks
  • And some framed pinwheels happened too.  I found a shoebox full of leftover hsts from my antique wedding ring and so, I am going to slow down on these a bit.  They go together quick!

     

     

    These were my priorities, and I have accomplished my goals.  I am still behind on my 365 blocks, and so my plan is to start catching these up with extra sewing each week.  I just love selecting fabrics and making them matchy matchy, or not!

And the daffodils are fully budded!

buds

But we had a severe frost.  These were taken the afternoon after the frost, the buds no longer look right, and will probably not “hatch”.  Darn, another dafodil-less year.  In the 26 years I have lived here, I have only had them bloom 4 times.  I think whoever planted the bulbs, they are too deep.  I guess I will just have to enjoy those I come across elsewhere.

Goals for the upcoming week:

  • Focus entirely on the 365 blocks and advance by at least two weeks.

Because all of these small pieces are on my table I am going to refrain from trying to bind my basket weave quilt.  It will just have to wait it’s turn!

Well the weekend is before us, and I feel like a hamster let out of it’s cage!  I am glad to have the freedom to run amuck!  But I will keep it to a brisk walk, but I will sew petal to the metal on the featherweight!

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading my blog!

 

Framed Pinwheels!

I have met my goals for the week!

I have made two framed pinwheel blocks with my scraps left over from the woven baskets quilt and frolic.  These will be my swap blocks for Treadle On Gathering Academy block swap exchange in Texarkana.  We call it TOGA for short.

I have started work on the customer quilt, almost a top.  I aim to have this finished by next weekend.  Sorry no pics as it is for the customer which is a gift for someone else, you understand eh?  Eventually it will show itself.

I have worked a few blocks for the 365 quilt block challenge.  Even thought it is a few it is better than none!  Would I have liked to have accomplished more?  The answer is yes!

a few more 365 challenge blocks

Still on the dark side of this, am ready to introduce some light!  It will come in time.

And my best achievement of the week?  I successfully quilted the disappearing pinwheel basket top.  I decided to use the lockers on my machine for the first time.  The key to having this work is a very true and square quilt top.  With mine being biased edges, I kind of bit my fingernails with each pass.  Turns out the blocks themselves were not true, but the loading and edges of the quilt were, which translated to even parallel lines at 90 degrees to one another.  This is a tedious process of walking behind the quilting machine, back to the front, over and over and over again.  Removing the quilt top, and then reloading on the opposite edge.  This simple grid took me right at 6 hours with no break.

There are a couple of unseen lines that I have to get my seam ripper after.  I forgot to lock the locker and then all of sudden the lines were not parallel any more.

dpbasket weave2dpbasket weave

And for a little more drama I doubled my batting.  I rather like the effect, and will probably do this with all of my quilts that I do for me and my family.  Just look at the shadow the grass is making with relation to the sidewalk.  Some neat photography trick, totally unintended.

I was worried I would not get to post this weekend as work was wanting me to work overtime all weekend, but that got axed yesterday afternoon with the marvelous team work and speed of what we did together.  I just love hectic days at work where humans come together for a common purpose.  In the wake of disaster, the human condition rises above and I am in awe of my work mates and how compatible we are when working together.  So here the post is, not delayed.  And this will afford me some time in the sewing/quilting dept for the weekend.  YAY!!

Goals for the upcoming week:

  1. I want to have the customer quilt completed.
  2. Catch up on 365 blocks, meaning getting more than a weeks worth done.  I would like to accomplish around 14 blocks.
  3. Work a few more framed pinwheels.  Perhaps I will use this as a leader ender as I sew my other blocks?
  4. I would like to rip out the 2 places of error in the basket weave quilt
  5. I would like to bind the basket weave quilt.

I have placed these in order of precedence.  I am doubtful I will get all of this list done, but the first three I would like to call mandatory, the remaining would be a bonus!

Spring is starting to peak out, the daffodils are up with unopened blooms.  I expect in the next week they will make their goal of showing their beautiful yellow selves.  They are so short lived, but oh so beautiful.  I noticed in some areas in the neighborhood they are already blooming.  My front yard is by the road and concrete which probably keeps the bulbs cooler and tricks them into thinking it is not yet time.   Used to grow at the base of a willow tree.  Willow trees in Texas are notorious for not achieving full maturity without problems.  Plus it weeps sap, so we took it down shortly after we moved into this house.  The removal of that tree was 24 years ago.  My my, where has the time gone?

Well laundry and dishes are saying “do me, do me”.   Lucky me eh?  Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!

The Photo Op

Well another week has gone buy with a whooosh!

My goals from last week are met 100%!

  • Got the dream big panel bound and I opted for a scrappy binding from the leftovers of the homemade backing.dream big boundbinding
  • The weather permitted for a Frolic photo opportunity, say cheese!  You can tell spring is on its way.  While spreading this out, I Had to stop as I stepped in fire ants, they were running slow, but I still got bit.  I chose to wear my slip on sandals to just get out and snap these.  My foot feels itchy and on fire!  But, alas the picture is taken as wrinkly as can be LOL.frolicfull pic finished
  • The pot holder is bound, sorry no finished photobasket quilting
  • And I have worked about four of the 30 blocks I am behind for the 365 challenge.  Now that my sewing space is a bit more free, I will be starching some fabrics for this and using my scrap system called an old wooden clothes dryer to hang everything on and use as I need.  (it has worked for all the mystery quilts in the past)catching up

Last week I showed you some vintage fabric I picked up at the antique store.  I have done a little reading and asking others.  This is definitely block printed fabric.  There was an insurgence of this type of fabric back in the 30s during the discovery of the ancient Egyptian tombs.  Although this is not Egyptian, I believe this may be block printed in India.  All of this tells a story, just not sure what.  For a while I thought this was African, but it is too folk artsy for that.  I am still waiting for this to speak to me just a bit more so I can glean the right information from the right source.red fabric

Goals for the upcoming week:

  • I have been asked to commission a quilt for a coworker.  She will be supplying me with fabric and as soon as I get this will start piecing.
  • I will be working towards my TOGA swap blocks                       56C7A639-B457-4BC2-BCA8-0111BA734508
  • And I aim to start quilting this flower basket layoutI have trimmed all the edges and backing, ready to load.  Instead of doing custom work on this, I think I am just going to quilt a grid.  I will make my lockers on the machine do all the work.
  • And do some more catch up work on the 365 blocks all together

This is quite a lot for me to accomplish.  I find if I set goals I check them off one by one, it makes it less overwhelming and helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Enjoy your weekend, and thank you for reading my blog!

DONE!!!!!!!!

It is 4:15 PM on Feb 9th, and……

I am done piecing Frolic together!!!!!

It has taken me three weeks to sew all 3400 pieces together.  They are now together forever.  As big as this project is/was, I am glad to move onto a smaller project with more instant gratification.  This just kept lingering, taking up space, preventing me from really working on anything else.

done!

Today is not the best day for photos.  Drizzly, dreary, and too damp with a chance of showers for most of the week.  A photo op will happen, but probably not before my next posting.

I will be working my 365 blocks as now I am over three weeks in the hole.  This will be a welcome sew time each day again.

all together

I have a skirt planned to make for my oldest daughter.  That will not take long.

In the meantime I will be dreaming about how to quilt Frolic.  It deserves a custom quilt job.  But I have spent enough time on it, I do not want to showcase the quilting, I want to showcase the piecing.  My mind will brainstorm until the right thought hits the cloth.

Yesterday, I wanted to quilt.  I went through my quilt pile and found an orphan block from this.

flower basket layout

I pastorally quilted this.  Made a basket with a lone flower and some leaves.  This was an excellent way to try quilting on for size with the orphan block.  I doubled the batting, and it will be placed on my Grandma’s vintage 40 inch 1951 stove that I use every day.  An extra large potholder it is!

basket quilting

This is a disappearing pinwheel block.  All the raw edges in this are bias, hence the uneven edge, which is my fault for not blocking it correctly on the longarm.  I will make sure to avoid this in the life size version.

I visited some antique stores this week.  I love looking at the old textiles.  I came upon this.

red fabric

It was marked vintage red fabric.  When I picked it up and felt it, it did not have the vintage feel.  But I bought it anyway because I like it.  This looks to be block printed fabric.  But with block printing, usually it is the same block over and over.  This is not like that.  Each square repeats but at quite a distance.  It almost looks like vintage cheater cloth.  I really think this is old and handmade.  I figure it will bleed severely.  But it looks like it has already been washed by the frayed edges.  I will be doing a bit more research on this.  The color is right for it to be about a hundred years old.  Perhaps this is African fabric?  If anyone knows, please leave your wisdom in the comments section.

Yesterday was a glorious day spent with my son and my parents.  It doesn’t happen this way enough.  I should be ashamed and make this happen with greater frequency.  A good day spent quilting in the morning, antiquing in the afternoon, and eating a meal out with family.  Puts a little more gladness in the heart!

During the antiquing, I found a Fireking swirl jadeite bowl (my reproduction bowl broke a few years back and I have been looking for its replacement ever since, how I have missed that bowl!)

The bowl was purchased for a measly $25.  I thought it was a repro.  Got home, compared it to the known repro I have.  And I’ll be danged it is the real deal!  I paid more for the repro new at the dept. store than what I paid for it’s antique counterpart.  I am very happy.  But am a little afraid to use it, because I know it’s value.  I bought it to use as a popcorn bowl for our Friday nights (how the last one was broken).  But gosh, perhaps I will only use it for special occasions.

I am going to set some goals for the upcoming week:

  • Bind the potholder basket blockbasket quilting
  • Bind the Dream Big paneldreambig
  • Work on the 365 blocks that I am now three weeks behind on.
  • Make a skirt for my daughter

Life is full, this makes me happy!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog, I would love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment in the comment section.

Frolic and Dreaming Big

My two halves are joined!  Two sides of HSTs are sewn together!  I am so ready to be done!

frolictop

This Frolic quilt top reminds my mom of Spring!  And boy howdy, here in Texas the skies are blue, not a cloud in sight, and highs are in the 70s.  Windows are open, fresh air is IN!  Because of the climate warming up, I was able to get in the garage for some quilting time.

I wish I could do this every day, it is most enjoyable.  On my frame is the orange dream big panel.  It has been 1/3 of the way quilted for a couple of weeks.

These are the first photos I showed a couple of weeks ago.  Today, it quilted!  I look forward to binding this one in the coming weeks.

I put a smiling sunny face in the center with rays radiating.  I rather like the child like appearance of this flower.

center

I tried to do a different doodle in each petal.  I have no idea if I made that goal as some of this was rolled up in my previous quilting which happened and my memory fails me now.

I certainly got creative with what I put in each petal motif.

dreambig

Yes this is green grass….er weeds behind that come up every January and last through Feb in the yard.

dreambigtext

I actually spelled out “dream big” and “sun shine” in text on the petals.

Sun, moon, stars, even a pair of lips made their appearance.  I enjoyed this skill builder.  It really makes you think about what to doodle, and in using the petal shapes, made my brain go in certain directions.

Here is the backing.  I had just barely two pieces big enough but needed a tad extra.  So the orange print got added, rather than going and purchasing fabric.  It works!

This also has franken-batting as a layer.  I don’t stitch mine together like some, I just over lap a tad.  Tis fine.  And perfectly suited for small projects such as this.

backing

Looking at this, it looks kind of like candy corn, YUM!

This will make its appearance at the quilt hop in town and then gravitate to one of the children’s beds.  I know the last dream big purple panel I did was latched on to by my oldest daughter.  She sleeps with it every night, not that it is even big enough to cover her.  The more this panel gets washed, the more it becomes like old faded denim.  Where it is quilted reminds me of seams of well worn jeans.  Soft and comfy.

I am not going to set any goals for the coming week as work will be in the way.  If I get to stitch, it will be a productive week, if I don’t get to stitch, I will get to rest my weary feet.  Either way will be a win win!

Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!