Category Archives: Quilting

What We Have Here …

… is a failure to communicate.  Yipes.

Last weekend, I picked up the red and aqua quilt from our hand-quilter.  I finished this quilt top two years ago and took it her this past spring.  I was so excited because she had finished this good-sized quilt in record time.  But.  Can you see how she quilted it?   (Sorry for the craptastic pictures — it’s dark by the time I get home from work everyday, so the lighting is just awful.)

Thimbleanna: Red and Aqua

There’s not much quilting at all on this quilt.  She basically quilted where I’ve shown arrows below and then did a pretty feather wreath in the center of each aqua block.

Thimbleanna: Red and Aqua

When I told her how to quilt it, I said I wanted a feather wreath in the center of each block and for her to cross-hatch in the little squares, quilting every other row.  “Every other row” appears to be the problem. If I number the rows like I did in the picture above, she quilted just as I requested.  But.  I was thinking to number the rows like I have in the picture below.  Shoot!

Thimbleanna: Red and Aqua

I love our little quilter.  We’ve been taking quilts to her for almost 25 years and she always does a beautiful job.  I just didn’t have the heart to tell her that it didn’t have nearly enough quilting (it’s not like I paid for more quilting — you pay for how much quilting is done, which means this one was very inexpensive.)  Truth be told, I think the red and aqua was probably burning a hole in her retinas, so she quilted as fast as she could just to get rid of the ugly thing.  As soon as I got home, I popped the quilt in a hoop and tested a row or two.

Thimbleanna: Red and Aqua

I’ll quilt the missing rows and then fill in the cross hatching, like I’ve shown in the picture below.  I also told her to quilt 1/4″ inside the aqua block, but I think she forgot, so I’ll add that too.  And maybe another circle around the feather wreath which seems just a bit small to me.

Thimbleanna: Red and Aqua

It’s going to take me a very long time. There are 64 aqua squares in this quilt. Hopefully, I’ll manage to get it done before I’m dead in the next two or three years. At least I don’t have to baste it!!!  ;-D

XOXO,
Anna

Steampunk

Well, Well. My little blog says it’s been ten days since I’ve posted! That hardly seems possible, but I guess I’ve just been really busy. I’ve been finishing up a few things around here and the Steampunk Quilt is FINALLY finished. YAY!!!

It’s been so hard to get decent pictures of this quilt. It was beautiful outside yesterday, but it was really windy and sunny. Bright sunlight and wind don’t make for the best pictures. So, for a full-quilt shot, I resorted to taping the quilt to our bookcase (thus the shiny spots at the top of the quilt).  I cropped the quilt so that the bookcase wouldn’t be distracting and the bits of binding peeking in make the quilt look crooked.  It’s not though — it’s beautifully square (70″ x 70″), but tape-hanging tends to distort things a bit.

Thimbleanna: Steampunk Quilt

In case you’ve been living under a quilting rock (ha!), this quilt is from a pattern by the fabulous Jen Kingwell.  I machine quilted all the sashing strips in the ditch and then I big-stitch quilted circles in each block. I would have finished the quilting about two weeks ago, but about half-way through, I decided that each block needed more quilting, so I went back and quilted the outside edge of each “propeller” and then around the center circle of each block.  As luck would have it, I just happened to have the same color of Aurifil thread in two different weights in my stash.  I used color #2000 in 50 weight for the machine quilting and the same color in 12 weight for the hand quilting.  They both worked perfectly.

Thimbleanna: Steampunk Quilt

The quilt is backed with a fun big polka dot and the binding is a black and whited zigzag print.

Thimbleanna: Steampunk Quilt

Here are a few of my favorite blocks. I think that little half-bee block is my very favorite. I love it combined with the yellow Sweetwater print of flowers that remind me of bee wings.  And, I might be a little partial to the block with the “A” in the middle.  (Looking at this picture, it appears that I’m also partial to those red polkadots LOL.)

Thimbleanna: Steampunk Quilt

Thimbleanna: Steampunk Quilt

The fall colors have been so pretty this past week and I was disappointed that more of my outside pictures didn’t turn out.

Thimbleanna: Steampunk Quilt

Besides, I had a little trouble with a lion in the park. He tried to eat the Steampunk, but then, just like Scruff when he eats a ribbon, he threw it back up.

 Thimbleanna: Steampunk Quilt

As you can probably tell, Steampunk has been washed and he’s all krinkly and cozy now. When Brigitte and I picked the colors for this quilt at spring quilt market, I didn’t realize it, but the colors will go perfectly in our family room.

ouThimbleanna: Steampunk Quilt

I love it when that happens!

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. I’m off to try and wrangle a few leaves. Leaf-raking is the job that won’t die this year — some years they all come down together, but this year, they’re dragging it out. I’ve contemplated ignoring them altogether in the hopes that the wind will blow them down the street, but that’s probably not a good-neighbor idea. ;-D

XOXO,
Anna

Enjoying Fall

Hello, Hello. Another week has slipped by…{sigh}. We’ve had gorgeous fall weather this year and, after a busy few months, it’s been nice to just hang around the house relaxing and watching the slow change of seasons. Our trees aren’t as brilliant this year but most of them have finally started to turn colors this past week. I even took some time to make the annual trip to a small apple orchard nearby. I bought some yummy honeycrisp apples — they’re my favorite for a little snack and if you’ve never had one, you should give them a try. I also bought some Braeburn apples for baking. I tried PW’s Quick and Easy Apple Tart. It was ok, but definitely not one of her better recipes and not even close to her little apple dumplings.

One thing I’m not enjoying about the fall is the bugs that decide to seek warmth in the house.  Ewww.  Except for this little ladybug, our first sighting this fall.  I found her on a windowsill and took her outside and put her on one of the few zinnias that managed to bloom in the disaster garden this year.  I think she was much happier in her new home, although, not as warm.

Thimbleanna: Ladybug

She almost looks like she’s on her back in the next picture, but she’s really clinging to the underside of a petal.  Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home….

Thimbleanna: Ladybug

Today is lovely and rainy and chilly.  I’m looking forward to curling up with Doc Martin on Netflix while I work on the Steampunk.  I’ve decided to follow Cindy’s lead — I machine quilted the Steampunk sashing in the ditch and I’m handquilting the little propeller squares with big-stitch quilting.

Thimbleanna: Big Stitch Quilting

It took several blocks for me to get back into the big-stitch groove, but I think I’m adjusting now.  MeMum voted for all fine hand-quilting because of all the work in these blocks, but I think they need something a little funky.  I think Cindy’s choice of machine quilting plus big-stitch quilting is just perfect.

Thimbleanna: Big Stitch Quilting

I also have some dead bananas waiting in the kitchen today, so I thought I’d try a new banana bread recipe this afternoon. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me — quilting and the smell of fresh banana bread baking in the kitchen. If the new recipe is any good, I’ll definitely be back to share!

XOXO,
Anna

Piecing and Thinking

Well hello there!  How’s the weekend going?  It’s a beautiful, relaxing week here in ThimbleannaLand.  I’ve been piecing more Steampunk blocks, taking my time and really enjoying the process.  So far, so good.  Out of 48 blocks, I only have 14 left to go.  Slow and steady wins the race. ;-D

Thimbleanna: Piecing

For most of the summer I’ve had my sewing machine on the kitchen table.  TheManoftheHouse hasn’t complained but he must be getting tired of it.  It’s getting harder and harder to sew in the dungeon, because the view from our kitchen is so pretty and I just want to sit there to sew all the time.  Really, I’d just like to move the whole sewing room to the kitchen.  That’s how it should be, don’t you think?

Thimbleanna: Piecing

While I piece along, my mind wanders.  Last night I was thinking about the blog posts not to long ago where people were sharing their favorite quilt book.  My favorite book is my first quilt book MeMum bought me.  The It’s Okay If You Sit On My Quilt Book by Mary Ellen Hopkins.  My quilty peep Junie told me a few weeks ago that Mary Ellen recently passed away, which is very sad.  I don’t remember taking a class from her, but Junie says I did one year when we were in Paducah.

Thimbleanna: Mary Ellen Hopkins

It looks like someone in the family took a class from Mary Ellen — I found the papers below in MeMum’s The It’s Okay If You Sit On My Quilt Book.  Either way, I adored her style.  Her approach was simple and straight forward.  This book is full of quilt blocks and simple ways to put them together to make great quilts.  It’s an approach that I think we sometimes fail to teach to new quilters.  I feel we talk patterns too much, rather than teaching new quilters how to dream and plan and make quilts of their own.

Thimbleanna: Mary Ellen Hopkins

I love how the pages of Mary Ellen’s book are on “graph paper”. It’s so fun to plan blocks out on graph paper and see how simple blocks, when placed together, form lots of different patterns.  Mary Ellen doesn’t give you a quilt pattern.  She just shows you the blocks and  then you make your own pattern, whatever size you want.

Thimbleanna: Mary Ellen Hopkins

I remember pouring through the blocks of this book when I made the quilts we have in our guest room.  Do you see the block above that I used in the first quilt in the picture below?

Thimbleanna: Pinwheel Quilts

I knew I wanted both quilts to have pinwheels in them, but I wanted the quilts to be different.  The block in the second quilt is also in Mary Ellen’s book.

Oh well, I’m quilt rambling — back to the Steampunks!  Just wanted to check in — hoping everyone has a great weekend.  Especially if you’re here in the US where it’s a long one!

XOXO,
Anna

Birthday Adventure Girls

Hello, Hello!  Did you have a nice weekend?  I had a great weekend — with LOTS of sewing.  ;-D

I gave in to the call of my Adventure Girls quilt kit.  I was going to make it for me, but while I was piecing the top on Saturday afternoon, I realized that I was worrying about not having a birthday present for MeMum.  Then it dawned on me — she has a flannel throw quilt for tv watching, but not a lighter quilt for the summer.  The Adventure Girls would be perfect!  So, I kicked it into gear (and stayed up late!) so I could finish the quilt in time for her birthday — which was yesterday.

Thimbleanna: Adventure Girls Quilt

My version of the quilt looks just like the full view I showed you a few posts ago, so I didn’t take a new full view shot.  This quilt was SO fun to make.  Those little Adventure Girls are so cute and it was  fun to look at all the details while I was sewing away.  I quilted it very simply — 1/4″ quilting on both sides of all of the seams, and then I quilted around most of the figures in one way or another.  You can sort of see how I went around the figures in the picture below.  (Look at the cute little dog!)

Thimbleanna: Adventure Girls Quilt

While I was quilting, it seemed like the quilt was just so flimsy and didn’t really have much substance.  I remember I felt that way when I was quilting the graduation quilt for my nephew.  It always amazes me how washing the quilt really makes it come to life.  The process makes the batting bloom and it really makes the quilt cozy.  I chose the blue flower print for the back of the quilt.

Thimbleanna: Adventure Girls Quilt

I LOVE this little quilt and I’ll have to make at least one more (possibly two)!  And I love having fun, quick projects now and then, in between the longer, more detailed projects.  Here are the Adventure Girls all bundled up before I gave them to MeMum (complete with a small adventure girl giving my bow the once over).

Thimbleanna: Adventure Girls Quilt

Now that I’m refreshed from a fun project, I can get back to the Steampunk blocks.  Oh, and the rest of the items on my 10 Things this Summer list.  Summer is almost over!

Have a good week!
XOXO,
Anna