Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The sounds of Christmas...

When I was 6 or 7 years old, I slept in the bottom bunk of a set of bunk beds which my Dad made….I wonder what happened to those bunk beds. I recall that were monstrously huge and very heavy to move. Years later they would be moved to the smaller bedroom where Matt and Mark would sleep. Mark fell out of the top bunk on night when he slid under the guard rail and broke his collar bone. I don’t think we moved that bed to Imlay years later.

Thanksgiving had come and gone and it was obvious that we were getting ready for Christmas. Many nights I would lay in my bed, listening to the activity in the rest of the house. I would hear Mom open the leaf on the table to make it bigger. I would hear a soft thud as she placed something on the table followed by a metallic clicking sound which sounded like I was unbuckling my boots. Soon I would hear a hum, a pleasant sound, that would start and stop regularly. Then a clicking noise or two and followed but the hum again. A shuffle of paper and a snipping sound and again the hum. I would lay there looking at the plywood bottom of the top bunk trying to imagine what my parents were doing.



I would hear the grinding squeak of the cardboard table, as someone opened it. My father made our Christmas cards for many years. He would start around Thanksgiving with construction paper, stencils, pens, paint, sequence, glitter and glue. He would draw shapes and we would cut them out. He would sit in front of the TV and assemble cards and write on the inside. This was back in the 1960’s long before crafting and card making became the trend that it is today! I wish I had some of those old cards he made! I think he would be pleasantly surprised how popular this activity had become. I believe he enjoyed making them. He was very creative but their may have been a financial budget purpose to it as well.

I would lie in my bed listening to the sounds of holiday activities until I eventually fell asleep. The next morning I would go out to the kitchen. The table would be small again and ready for our breakfast. The card table would be nowhere in sight…I would wonder what they were doing…When I would go to bed the next evening the process would repeat again ….The sound of Christmas and wonderful memories…

Be sure to take a moment to look, listen and really fully experience the new Christmas memories you are making!



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love, Jan

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 Minute Table Runners

Tis the week before Christmas
And how do I know?
The sewing machines humming,
As I sew and sew…
Daddy is snuggled so neatly in bed
While across the hall,
So many ideas fill my head.


A perfect poinsettia print
from my stash
Will pair well with
the new red plaid,
A pine bough, pine cone and holly gem
Paired with a pretty green fabric from Barrington
 
 
A winter scene fabric
from last week’s find
Will blend so well
with the blue of mine.
Stash fabric with
holiday wishes galore
Goes well with a print
used for trim before

A cute little Snowman print
Paired with a fabulous red and white check
Sure to becomes the next great event.

Fabric all paired and laid on the mat
ruler in hand and keep the cutter flat
Press down firmly and cut as you go
Making the strips that we will sew.

With the needle threaded,
And the bobbin full
If power is on
You are ready to go.

Right sides together
Feetdogs are up
Sew the seam on the right
One quarter inch up

The iron is hot
And showing its might
Bellowing of steam
All through the night

Pressing your seams
will make them so nice
a perfect piece, sure to delight

Now it is time to do it again
Left sides together and let us begin
By placing the fabric on the sewing machine
Presser foot resting with the fabric in between.

A push on the foot pedal and off you will fly
Another quarter inch seam on the other side.
Now turn the fabric so the right sides you see
And a press of the iron to the newly sewed seam

On to the third step with a quick little trim
with the rotary cutter on each of the fabric ends
Now they are even and easy to sew
A short little seam on both sides you know…

 And a quick little turn and you are almost there
With a press of the iron, it’s time to declare
The project’s complete  with time to spare
And ten minute table runners are everywhere!




Does that sound familiar? It's nearing Christmas at our house and I am busy making Christmas gifts. And yes have gotten totally carried away with these Ten Minute Table runners. As I scan my stash piles, I see fabric that is just begging to be sewed up. This has to be the reason that I bought this fabric, right?


Well all I can say is that I am not much of a poet but sometimes "the moment"  just calls for a me to try.
So there you have it and I hope you enjoy it!  A Quick little Christmas ditty from Jan!

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy Sewing New Year!
Jan Smith!



Monday, November 22, 2010

Been sewing up a storm...

I have been sewing up a storm.  There is such nice Christmas fabric out there this year.  I never really had a desire to do a Christmas Quilt per say.  I always thought that the season was just too short.  This year after doing the Nine Patch Block swap, I decided to participate in a Christmas Star block swap. It sure has been fun.

Twenty five or six woman are making different Star Blocks using classic red, green, white and gold Christmas fabric. It was decided that we could you the white for the background.  SO I have been busy making my twenty-four blocks 

I have the Mariners Compass Star which happens to be a paperpieced block. It has been a long time since I did a paper pieced block so I needed to do some home work.  I went online and found a couple of different patterns but had trouble remembering how to contruct the block.  I got my foundation paper and made some copies but I just could not remember how to do the block.  Paper piecing can be a challenge for a dyslexic like me. With Paper piecing you are really construction the block backwards using a piece of vellum paper as your form, since a dyslexic already does things backwards in their brain this was difficult for me to remember how to do it.


After a week of wasting paper and fabric, I bought a book!  I found a block with a block which represents a different country.  I picked the Africa block because it was simple and had 4 colors. I made the first block per the instructions and it all came rushing back!  I remember how to do this !  I found my post card and before I knew it I was off and running!


Here's the paper pattern and the four Christmas fabrics which I used. I finished them in two weeks...and will be sending them off to Kim in Ohio today.  Sometime the first week of December or so she will send me one of each of the 24 star blocks that she recieves from all the people who participated and I will have the makings of a beautiful new Christmas Quilt.


I will share with you the all blocks that I recieve and the finished quilt sometime in 2011 when it is done.
I hope that you have enjoyed this.


I have been busy making 10 minute table runners for Christmas. I have one small wall hanging to finish assembling and then get it to the quilter...Since I do not have my macine yet and I am running out of time. I hope that you all enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday and the Christmas season as it begins in earnest.

Thanks for my many blessings!

Love,

Jan

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nine patch Swap

It was fun to participate in the Nine Patch Swap with the members of the Machine Quilting Professional Yahoo Group in September. I was disappointed when I first heard about the swap in August. I had so much to do to get ready for my trip overseas that I would have no spare time for making Nine Patches blocks. It was such a disappointment. I told myself, “Jan, you just can’t do everything!” And immediately remembered how often I had told my boys that when they were growing up. So I just put it out of my mind and figured that there would be another block swap that I could get involved with at a better time....
 
When I arrived home on the 21st of September and went thru by back log of email, I noticed that there were still posts about the Nine Patch swap. It looked like there were still people who were getting involved with it. They had decided to push the finish date out on the swap until the first week of October. ”Nine Patches are quick to make, in two weeks I can get a set done and get some for my beginner's quilt class too", I had thought. My class will start in November at the Material Girl in Crystal Lake. The more I thought about it, I could get a set done in a day or two. So I asked if it was too late to join and the swap organizer assured me that it was not. So I got some fabric and I was off and sewing. Before I knew it I had 8 completed for my sewing class and two sets of twenty blocks done for the block swap! It was so much fun.



I sent them just in time and anxiously awaited my return package!  The day that it arrived in my mailbox, my husband was in his sarcastic but playful mood when he handed me the package and said, "Oh so you are sending yourself mail these days!!!".  I just stuck my tongue out at him and grabbed my packaged....I tried to explain to him about the "self address envelope" and the quilt block swap but he did not seem interested in hearing about it. He just walked off to the other room in the middle of my explanation... So  ... I hurried off in the other direction ripping open the envelope as I went.  As I sank into the chair at my computer, I examined the new blocks I received.  They are very pretty and a wide variety of pretty batik fabrics. 


I have decided that I will set them “on point”.  I am hoping that they will appear to float on the quilt surface.  This Photo is of one half of the blocks.  I took them to my local Quilt Shop and found a fabric to use as the back ground and some possible borders.  What do you think?  It is a cream background with small letters and numbers on it which create a bit of a marbled effect at a distance.  This winter (after the Christmas rush) I will work on this one…I will keep you up todate on how this goes as I put it together.

In the mean time I have signed on again for another swap. This one is a Star Swap using Christmas colors of red, green, gold and white. I have the Mariner’s Compass Star. It is a foundation block. I have not done a  foundation block in a few years so I had to re-teach myself….But that is a dyslexic story for another blog.
Happy Stitchin’,

Jan

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's October already!

It’s October all ready and I have been very busy.  I have been working on Halloween table runners which are turning out cute but not ready for prime time yet.  I have also been busy with embroidery for customer and for gifts.   I have this habit of trying to do multiple projects at once and am at it again. I whipped together 40 batik nine patch blocks for a nine patch swap the week after I returned from Denmark. I knew about the swap before I left but did not think I had time to participate.  While I was playing catch up on my email, I discovered that the group had extended the deadline by two weeks so now...I might just have enough time to pull it off.  So when I started to look at fabric for my "Begining Quilt blocks" class, I decided that I had time and bought extra fabric. I thought it would never hurt me to practice a nine patch block or 40 nine patch blocks.

I sent two packages of twenty blocks each.   And a week or so later, I received a package with 40 wonderful batik nine patch blocks.  When I assemble the blocks, you will see the end results.  I'll take a few photo's of the blocks I received so you can see what I got in return and what I will be working with for my next blog....  

I have been working with Susie Fox at a new Crystal Lake quilt shop called “The Material Girl”. I am putting together a Beginning Quilting Class.  We will do 4 basic blocks starting with the fence rail block.  Then the next class will cover the Nine Patch block.  The third class will cover the Pinwheel block . And the last class a Log Cabin block.  The students will make 8 each of the four different blocks which will help them to remember the process of making the block with practice ( times 8!). We will meet for a fifth class and assemble the sampler with sashing and borders.  The classes will be on Sunday afternoon from 1 PM to 3PM and begin in mid November and run until the weekend before Christmas.  We will not meet on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. 

Now I am writing directions and getting ready. I am really looking forward to it.  There is nothing better than teaching something new to someone.  The look on some ones face when they “get it” brings a smile to my face!

Happy sewing until next time!

Jan

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Heading into the wild blue yonder....

Am leaving tomorrow for Denmark.  I posted a request for information about Quilt stores and Quilters but I did not get any response.  I will keep my eyes open anyway and hopefully I'll find a fabric store or two that I can blog about. 

I'll be starting to teach some quilting and sewing class at the " Material Girl " in Crystal Lake when I get back.  I am looking forward to it.  I completed a nontraditional Halloween wall hanging in black, gray, white and pink last week.  I left it at the store, so stop in and take a look at it.  It might be the first class.


While I was in Minnesota for the Gerkin/Spensley Reunion, Jeri Spensley shared a  some new ideas for a couple of really quick projects.  One was called the "30 Minute Table Runner" and one was a pretty little tissue holder for your purse. I was hoping I could have just a few minutes to get both of these whipped up while they were fresh in my mind but I ran out of time.  So I'll have to do them when I get back along with the Halloween runners and the embroidery jobs which are patiently waiting for my return.

Stay tuned and have a blast sewing while I am gone!

Later,

Jan

Monday, August 30, 2010

Butterflies in the Garden complete...

Just a quick blog. Have been doing a bit of sewing lately - some I can show right now and some I can not. I will try to put some more things up tomorrow. Got some really cute unusual Halloween fabric which I quick did up a wall hanging out of but it is at the Quilt shop and the photos I took today did not turn out very good. Will be making a table runner and some placemats, I think, out of what I have left but that will have to be later in the month. I am running out of time here.

Am finishing up a couple of Christmas presents and have Halloween projects cut out and spread all over my sewing room with several project in my head but not put together yet.  I would really like to be working on them but...I have to get ready for my trip to Denmark next week...and a quick trip to Minnesota for the weekend. We are leaving on Thursday for Ogilvie ....oh is it coming up fast.

Got some new lace panels to embroider on too.  A couple of wedding projects in the works and who know what else! Sewed up samples to put in a couple of stores and I did not take photos of them before I dropped them off. I will need more so I will take some then.

I finished binding the one small quilt that I am taking to Denmark so I thought I would show you it. I have a label to sew on it yet but it is done for the most part.








Rarely can I Photograph a quilt with out one of the cats checking it out and in this case as usual, Shadow thinks he needs to test it!

Hope you all enjoy. Happy sewing!  I wonder if anyone can tell me a fabric store I can visit in Denmark or Norway. There must be one!

Love,

Jan

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer is getting away from me...

Hope all you creative people out there are in enjoying your summer. Summer in Chicago had been filled with hot and humid days and nights. We had three 90 degree days last year and twenty three this year! It has been a scorcher this year. I am not complaining mind you because come February, I’ll be wishing we were in July again!

My summer has been really busy. Let see it started out with baby sitting a fawn in the back yard for a month or more. I could not do any weeding in the back yard because baby and mommy moved in and decided to stay a while. They love Hostas for more reasons than one. They eat them for breakfast lunch and dinner and when they are not eating them, they hide under them when the flowerbeds are full of weeds. In the spring we watch for a sale on mulch at Home Depot. This is a really great sale on Cedar Mulch for the flower beds. We got 100 bags again this year! We did a pretty good job lay out that first 60 bags or so but then the Deer moved in…We still have a stack maybe 30 left. I will get them in the beds before the snow flies.

In late June and early July we had visitors from Denmark, Bjarne, our Norwegian cousin and his Danish wife Ingrid. It has been 6 years since their last visit so they decided it was time to come to go on vacation with us, “Smith style.” We took them to Michigan to experience our Annual Smith family camping trip for the first time. It was an interesting trip packed with lots of fun and full of memories.














This is after a few bottles of wine on one of our first evenings camping. We were enjoying our selves and making plans for what we will do when we go to Denmark in September. My siblings and I have decided that we should all go visit them. We have talked about it and talked about it…it is time to do it.
The last quilting project that I showed you was a wall hanging that I will be taking with me and I have not finished the quilting. I need to do it next week. September 9th will be here before I now it.
 
In the mean time I thought I would show you some of the other things I do besides Quilting. I have been doing embroidery and digitizing for industrial embroidery machines for about 12 years now. I had purchased an industrial embroidery machine to be used in my “Retirement career”. I had hoped that my computer career would last a few more years and I would do my retirement career part time. Well as many of you know things have not worked out real well lately with the computer career so I have been ramping up my sewing career a notch or so. I am re-opening “Stitchin’ on the Fox”.

I have been going to the Long Grove Farmers market on Sunday Morning and talking to people about my embroidery company. I have demonstrated may uses for embroidery which do not involve a Tee shirt or a hat!















These two panels are examples of what I do with my embroidery machine. The first one is of a 50 year old wedding announcement! My brother-in-law and sister-in-law celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. I really had planned to give them the panel on the right. It is Corinthians 13:13, “Faith, Hope, Love but the greatest of these is Love” which I digitized and embroidery on a Heritage lace panel.

Greg and I went to, Apple Valley Minnesota for a 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration for them the first weekend of August. I had hoped to find that Carolyn had saved her wedding invitation and somehow I could get a copy of it so I could digitize it and sew it out for them but I made the other design just in case I needed it. I also waited to sew the design until after our visit so I could verify what color thread I wanted to use when I sewed it. Gold was the color of choice for a 50th Wedding Anniversary but…if it was really going to clash with their d├ęcor, I would use something else.
After visiting with Carolyn on the evening before the celebration, I found out that she indeed did have their invitation and I could even get her to let me borrow it without too many questions! So now…my decision was made, I will do her invitation as I had hoped. Then Saturday evening at their celebration, Marilyn, Carolyn’s a very dear friend (and Carolyn’s quilting buddy) got up to speak at the dinner and say “Grace” before we ate. She spoke a very moving small speech which included the Bible verse Corinthians 13:13! It brought me to tears (everyone probably thought I was nuts if they noticed…) after looking all week for just the right bible verse for them and almost decided against using it!
So I returned home and sewed them both! Happy 50th Anniversary, Mike and Carolyn Gerkin!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Colors of Nature

This summer sure has been busy. It always brings yard work and beautiful flowers. This summer was special because it brought us a baby deer. I spoke about it in my previous blog but thought I would add “the ending” here.

Along with the baby deer, we also had relatives from Denmark come to visit this summer.  Bjarne and Ingrid arrived on June 29th and planned to go on our annual Smith Camping trip with us. We were scheduled to leave on the 2nd of July.  Since we would be in Michigan over the Fourth of July, we had encouraged the baby deer to leave the back yard before we left and had hoped that they(mother and baby) would stay away.  Greg mowed the lawn and we secured the fence certain that the baby deer would not be able to get into the yard again.

  
Well they found their way back into the backyard and stayed the whole time while we were gone!
When we returned, Mom was keeping a watchful eye on us.  I am sure that she loved the quiet back yard while we were gone.













The Baby rests peacefully in the yard right out in the open.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When Mom decided to leave the yard, the Baby who is getting stronger and bigger every day is pretty frantic.  He want to go with Mom in the worse way.  So we open the side gate and show him the way! They come back to visit regularly,  watching us from across the street.  The baby is too big to squeeze through the gap in the fence and too little to hop over it. Mommy deer knew she had a good thing with all those Hostas in my back yard!
 
My yard is beautiful this time of the year with all the flowers in bloom.These are my new favorite Petunias for my porch pots, aren't they beautiful?



              
Oh so pretty! The butterfies and humming birds like these alot!
 
 
The moss rose is loving this hot weather this year!

The garden is in it's glory!  It reminds me of the bright fabric waiting upstairs for me to use them in my quilts. I finished a wall hanging top which I need to quilt so I can take it to Ingrid when I visit in September.






Butterflies in the Garden is the name of this piece. It will be given to Ingrid when I go to Denmark in September.
 
 
 
We'll show you when it is finished.  I need to get inspired and quilt it now.. Might have to find a butterfly design or make one...  Let the colors of life inspire you!
Happy sewing!

Jan

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Quilts soon....

But in the mean time, I decided to show you what fun we had last week. 

It has been an interesting week last week. We came home from a weekend camping trip to find a baby deer had been born in our back yard. Oh he was so sweet. I know that this has nothing to do with Genealogy but I could not help blogging about it because it was fun to watch the interaction between the mother and the baby.

The baby stayed in the back yard for the week as Mommy came and went during the day.
Our neighborhood is very quiet during the week with most of the residence working our side of the home. The baby found many plant to sleep under when he wanted to hide. It is a good thing that I never got around to getting the weeding done in the back yard because it gave him lots of places to hide.

And by the end of the week, he was no longer hiding.

By Saturday morning, mommy and baby were really comfortable in the back yard. They spent the morning playing. Mid morning the neighbors began to start their weekend projects and Mommy decided that there was too much going on in the neighborhood so she urged the baby to leave the safety of the back yard through a gap between the gate and the fence so off they fled! Good Bye Mommy and Bambi! It was fun watching you grow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Latest Quilt....Quilt of Change..

Thought I could do a quick new post.  I have been busy investigating long arm quilting machines.  I am planning to buy one to make my quilting easier and to see if I can do what I love for a living.... What a concept!  Love what you do for a living!  Next week we see the APQS Machines....Oh boy!

This quilt was given to my Daughter-in-Law this weekend for her birthday.  Last winter she had redecorated her bedroom. SHe had painted the room and bought a new comforter.  So I made a mental note of the color and her birthday present was born..... I gather the fabrics, selected the perfect quilt block, "Lover's Knot" and put it together.  This spring about 12 weeks later, we visited them and I very carefully brought the not quite finished quilt top to check the colors.  Imagine my shock, when she proudly showed me her new comforter, a different comforter than she had at Christmas!!! I wanted to kick her butt!

I was floored to say the least..so now here I am with an almost completed quilt top and the colors are all different.  I came home and found that I had fabric which would allow me to make her something which matched better but not in time for her birthday, May 7th!  So I decided to go ahead and quilt the original quilt. I would give it to her and she can keep it for a throw and now I will do a smaller wall hanging for the bedroom wall...And I told her , "Do not change your colors on me, OK!"  She laughed and promised she would not.  And by the way she loves her new Quilt



If you look closely you can see the quilting.  This was quilted on my Embroidery machine.. with many hoop changes!!!  I have several others cut out for gifts so there will be more to follow...

Happy sewing!

Jan




Sunday, April 4, 2010

Birthday's today....

We have a few birthday's today. My Grandson Matthew turns 14 and as I think of it it makes me feel old or at least older!  I will be getting on the phone with him soon.  Happy Birthday, Matthew! 

Joyce Schmalz will be celebrating her birthday too.  Joyce is my sister Sharon's Mother-in-law and she will recieve her Quilt today! I am excited. I can not wait to here what she thinks! 


Happy Birthday, Joyce!

On to the next project......This is a new block for me! It's called "Lover's Knot" and I will be making several wallhangings or lap quilts for some other birthdays which will be coming up in spring and early summer.


I made this one two weeks ago and  I took it with me when we visited Shawn and Amber last weekend.  I wanted to make sure that the colors would work with thier bedspread.  Much to my surprise, Amber decided to re-redecorate their bedroom. Oh, holy crap! Now what?

When we were there at Christmas, Amber had gotten a new bedspread so I made a mental note and collected fabric for her wallhanging accordingly.  Now she has a totally different color scheme. Oh my, I never thought that I would run into this problem!  I had already started my next one which would be a "Lover's Knot" project  for Kyle and Christa. It has some special fabric which reminded me of Kyle!  ... Amber's birthday is in May. Now what?

This week I found some new fabric but will I have enough time to do it...I hope so. I will have to get right on it! Will get the fabric washed and ready to go so I can work on it this week.  Since I will be in Michigan and Boston the week after next I have alot to do!  And now I guess I have an extra Wall hanging.  Oh heck, I'll find someone to give it too! 

Happy Easter to all, Happy Birthday to some and happy sewing to the rest......I guess I better get busy, time is a wasting... May your seams be straight and your colors bold and beautiful!

Love,
Jan

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Quilt is born ...one October day...

The snow is melted for now...though they are expecting flurries again this next weekend. I need spring...the winter has been long and I am ready.  We are making our spring, summer and fall plans. Just finished another quilt top and have started then next one...and have two more in the planning stages.  Fabric laying out everywhere and not enough time for all the things I want to do.

I wanted to show you the first version of the quilt from last October American Patchwork Quilting.  Some day I'll do the leaf version but I enjoyed  making the two versions that I have made of this pattern.

I am currently an unemployed Computer Professional. I have found myself in this unfortunate situation at my age, too young to retire but too old to be a new hire. I am trying to figure out how I can reinvent myself for the second career which I hope to take me into retirement.  I want it to be 'something" which uses my computer skills and my 45 years of sewing experience...Humm, wonder what that might be...more on that a little later.

My father introduced me to fabric and my mother taught me to sewing...Dad encouraged me to learn and for all the years he was with us he provided me with fabric through his businesses.  So I LOVE fabric and I have a wonderful stash but I have never seen a piece of beautiful fabric which wasn't waiting for a new home! 

Last fall on a beautiful Indian summer day, I stopped into a new quilt shop for me and an old one... The new one was "Quilt in Joy"  in Huntley, Illinois. (http://www.quiltinjoy.com)   It's a nice quilt shop that is a couple of years old now. I always wanted to open a Quilt Shop there but I never had the funds.   Oh my, they have beautiful fabric, this is gonna be tough.  There are many kinds of fabric shops today,  some specialize in "1930's reproduction fabrics", "Civil War reproductions fabrics", "Thimbleberries fabric" and many more.  I like the shops that have beautiful, bold, vibrant colors. I think I have found a closer to home new favorite Quilt Shop. It's a really nice shop.  I resisted as best I could but I found some beautiful fabric on the clearance table which called my name loudly. I did not know what project these would be for just yet but a couple of yards each will do.

I met some former coworkers for lunch in DeKalb and we had a really nice visit.  On my way home I decided to stop at my other favorite Quilt shop in Hampshire, Illinois,  "Judy's Quilt and Sew ".  (http://www.judysquiltnsew.com)  It a wonderful shop which has beautiful, vibrant fabric but it's about 35 mile away.  So I have to make really good excuses to drive there and lunch in Dekalb with my friends gives me a good excuse!  Lunch with friends and vibrant fabric go together fabulously!  Once again I looked around and found a beautiful floral which gave me the idea to use the new pattern from my new quilt magazine! So a couple more fabrics from the clearance rack and the brain is planning the next project. It turned out beautifully if I don't say so my self.  This is the first quilt that I had machine quilted.  The quilter did a great job and now I am very interested in a long arm machine and a new retirement career.  I called the quilt "Flower Garden Dreams".  The Quilt works well in my newly painted spare bedroom.
Believe or not this is the same block as the leaf block except I cut a five inch square of the beautiful floral fabric and sewed to accent fabrics offset to the side as they showed in the directions.  The difference is how I laid the blocks out. I twisted each block 90 degrees from the previous block and this is the pattern you get. It looked rather Oriental to me and I decided I liked it!




Up close view. I supplemented the fabrics I bought that October day with two pink fabrics which I had in my stash and this quilt was born on that October afternoon from the clearance table!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Then the border of blossoms.

Sewing pleasures to all!

Love, Jan

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Joyce's Birds - March 2, 2010

Wow, the time sure has flown by.  It is March already and it has been a month since I wrote a Quilt blog. Sorry it has been so long but I have been very busy. I will try to write a blog a bit more often....

It has been a busy few weeks for me because I have been trying to get ready for my sister’s 50th birthday. I am having all my sibling and their spouses come for a long weekend visit so we can celebrate her birthday. Today I will highlight a quilt that I have made for her Mother-in-law which she will take home with her on Sunday evening.

This block is an offset Log Cabin which I have had quite a bit of fun with. It was a block featured on the cover of American Patchwork Quilting in the October 2009 issue. I modified it just a little.  Instead of piecing the square leaf block, I found a large print which I could use as the 5 inch center block.  Then I "built" the log cabin type offset around the five inch block.


 The ideas for this quilt developed after my brother-in-law saw my log cabin quilt which I had made for our travel trailer….




Yes, I have a quilt in our travel trailer! It is a log cabin block which features birds, birch trees, tree bark and looks very outdoor like….
I took it a step further and recover the valance with the bird fabric and made some cute curtains for the trailer to match. We also added a new cute bird wall paper border and the trailer now looks like new. Michael (my brother-in-law) stated that his mother would love the bird fabric and Michael loved the birch tree fabric.

SO I went in search of bird fabric and found this fabric which to me looked like a fabric which any mother would have loved! The fabric line has several coordinating fabrics which I used but I also added some touches of my own. The fabric highlights Cardinals, Robins, Sparrows, Hummingbirds and Wrens. A coordinating fabric used for the backing highlights a beautiful combination of raspberries, vines and leaves.

I added an additional modification to the block by adding a shadow or window box grid around each block using a pretty green fabric and finished the quilt with a matching bird border.
Shows Border Fabric                        Shows Pieced Back and Border
 And Robin Block up close

This block was really fun to work with. Next I will feature another quilt which I made with this block but I arranged the blocks differently for a very unique quilt.

Enjoy ... until my next Blog.  May you have "sew" much fun!

Happy Sewing,

Jan