Category Archives: Quilting

A Trip Around the World

How do you like that post title?  Are you thinking travel?  Or Quilt?  While I’d love to be on a real trip around the world, this trip is quilt related only.

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

I’ve been a huge fan of Jan at Be*mused for many years.  She was one of the first blogs I ever read and she has a quiet sophistication that I love.  Years ago, I was pinning so many of her projects on my pinterest boards, I even joked that I should have a board dedicated to all things Be*mused!  So, when she posted about an online Trip Around the World Challenge a few weeks ago, the pictures of her beautiful start made me sit up and take notice.

After reading about this challenge, there were several red flags for me.  First of all, I really didn’t need another start.  I just started Phebe and I’m going to start the Aunt’s Quilt in the fall.  I don’t usually join challenges for fear of not being able to keep up (still a very real danger, but, oh well.)  I’ve never really liked mystery type challenges either — I like to be a little more in control of my project.  And the biggest red flag — this quilt is all hand-pieced.  I’ve never really understood the point of hand-piecing in this sewing machine world — except, maybe for intricate or curved little pieces.  Why on earth would you ever hand piece a quilt that would be so easy to machine piece???  You’d be crazy to do something like that, right?

But.  If Jan was doing it, maybe there’s something to it?  So, I timidly requested to join the group, and after a bit of wavering, I jumped in.  And, oh.my.gosh, I’ve been having so much fun!

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

The hardest part has been choosing the fabrics.  I love most all fabric and color combinations, and I really have no idea how these fell out of the mix.  I’m really trying to get more of a blue/green vibe going on, but, as Jan pointed out in her post, this quilt sort of has a mind of it’s own.  I’m sure I’ll try to work harder on the blue/green — I hope I don’t ruin it by fighting with the quilt.

There are guidelines for this quilt, and it’s interesting to me how they can be interpreted differently.  I’ve read and re-read several parts, wondering how to proceed.  And in reading over Jan’s post again this morning, I’ve realized that she and I interpreted the instruction to “eyeball the seamline” differently.  For, some reason, that didn’t jump out at me as a “rule” but rather a suggestion.  Jan had mentioned to me that if you cut your fabrics on the grainline, you can follow a thread as you stitch.  I painstakingly cut out my first six rounds on the grain — by pulling a thread through the fat quarter (how time-consuming!), but when it came time to stitch and have my eyes follow the thread — not happening!  My eyesight just isn’t that good.  So, I’ve been drawing 1/4″ seams on every other round.  Ooops!  What should I do now?  Try and eyeball?  Might not be pretty!  It’s funny that I didn’t connect the dots between the instructions and Jan’s comment about following the grain (even having read Jan’s post) before now.

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

And there was mention of not pressing the seams as you go.  That’s driving me crazy!  Is that a “rule”?  I need to read over the guidelines LOL.  I’ve been finger pressing like crazy, just to get my big square to behave.  Like Jan pointed out, I love how you can pinwheel the seams — revealing a little 4-patch of sorts at each intersection.

For the next month, we’ll be working on rounds 10 through 18.  The rounds are really starting to take some time now, so I’m a little worried that I might not make the deadline.  I’ll try my best though, and enjoy every minute of the stitching.  It helps that I’ve found a fun little sewing buddy.  Do you like my new little Better Buddy sewing case?  I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time and I finally got one.  It’s perfect for this little project.  I throw the quilt and my better buddy in my bag and it’s a great take-along project!  (The sides are magnetized, so they hold pins and needles — even that whole box of pins.  I love that I can just toss my needle in there and not worry about finding it the next time.)

Thimbleanna: Better Buddy Case

Ok. Back to stitching. There’s a new round to be discovered!

XOXO,
Anna

Union Jack

Well, Boys and Girls, it looks like my posts are getting less frequent, rather than more often like I was hoping.  Lots of work happening behind the scenes here, with not much crafty goodness.  BigDaddy came home from the hospital last week and it’s been slow going.  MyDadLovesMeBestSister and I have been busy busy managing Dr. appointments, caregivers, and just spending time with MeMum and BigDaddy — not to mention our day jobs.  Thanks to many of you for the sweet e-mails — it seems that several of you are in a similar boat and working hard to help parents.

Thimbleanna: Union Jack

After my last post, Wendy left a heartwarming comment that I found very comforting.  In case you missed it and you’re also caring for someone, I thought I’d share her words of wisdom:

“I have had a hand in caring for someone who is ill also. It’s amazing how much time is consumed, and how you can feel like you have accomplished so little. But it isn’t true, bedside sitting is invaluable, and is an intangible benefit to the patient. I have always been in healthcare, and you can see the difference when patients have the support of loved ones around them. You can’t put a price tag on it, but its value is often overlooked. Sometimes it helps to have a visual result (like a hand-knitted sweater and a loved one on the mend) to “quantify” the value of one’s efforts. Am I making sense? I have recently been working on “teaching” someone I love how to be a calm and peaceful bedside companion. It can feel so helpless, when you want to be “doing Something”. It can be important to realize that “Being There” *is* “Doing Something”.”

Thanks Wendy — you’re a peach!

Thimbleanna: Union Jack

Wendy’s peptalk really puts things into perspective and I know that there will be plenty of time for sewing and knitting.  For now, I’m content to sneak in a quilt block here or there.  I’ve always wanted to make a Union Jack quilt and I’ve been collecting fabrics.  When the British Invasion line from Riley Blake arrived, I thought I’d make a few blocks and play.  I’ve seen several patterns and I wanted one that was proportionally correct so, I’m using the pattern in the January/February 2014 McCall’s Quilting magazine.

Thimbleanna: Union Jack

The four quadrants of each block are paper pieced.  I’ve probably never told you that I detest … urm … HATE paper piecing.  It’s so fiddly and slow and wastes fabric.  But, I can’t see any other way to piece all those little strips with any hope of getting them remotely even.  So, paper piecing it is.  VERY slow.  I want to make 32 blocks, so this will be a long term project for me!

Thimbleanna: Union Jack

Okey Doke — I’m on night duty tonight, so I’m outta here. Oh — if you’d like some British Invasion for your fabric stash, I have a few fat quarter packs left in my little shop.

XOXO,
Anna

Wee Wander

Poor, poor little blog.  I would say I can’t believe it’s been 2 1/2 weeks since I’ve posted, but I can believe it.  We’ve had another little event with BigDaddy and we’ve had lots of hospital time in the last few weeks.  This time hasn’t been as dire as last time, but it’s still been worrisome.  After 16 days in the ICU, BigDaddy was finally moved to a regular hospital room today and hopefully he’ll be able to go to a rehab hospital sometime this week.  Just like last time, we’ve been lucky to have a visit from our Aunt Ann to help keep MeMum occupied.  Unfortunately, she’ll be leaving tomorrow and we’ll be on our own. We’ll manage, just like we did last time, but it’s a full time job for MyDadLovesMeBestSister and I, and it leaves little time for anything else.  We’re thinking BigDaddy’s recovery will be a little easier this time, so that’s something to be grateful for!

In the meantime, just before this latest hospital marathon, the Wee Wander fabric line arrived here in ThimbleannaLand.  I LOVE this adorable fabric line.  Each night I came home from the hospital and had about an hour before bedtime, so I stitched a few blocks at the kitchen table.  Sewing is a great way to pass the time when you’re worrying a LOT.  All those nights added up and before I knew it, I had a new little quilt top (it looks like it’s crooked, but it’s not — it’s on a design wall that leans back, so the top is farther away from the camera):

Thimbleanna: Wee Wander Quilt

I LOVE this sweet fabric line.  Sarah Jane has once again captured some of the sweetest moments of childhood.  I love the horses and those super cute lightning bugs.  I have such fun memories of catching lightning bugs in glass jars when I was a little girl.

Thimbleanna: Wee Wander Quilt

And the Deer!  The deer are what really sucked me in to this fabric line.  You know how people always ask if you remember where you were when President Kennedy was shot, or when the space shuttle blew up?  Well, do you remember where you were when Bambi’s father told Bambi that a hunter had killed his mother???  DO you???  I remember sitting in a movie theater, looking up at that huge movie screen in the dark, with tears running down my face.  It was such a tramatic event in my over-protected childhood.

And then there was The Yearling.  I loooooved that book.  What a tear-jerker!!!  So, I love deer.  Here’s my favorite block in my little quilt:

Thimbleanna: Wee Wander Quilt

Yup, that’s Bambi, right there!  Here’s another favorite — look at that cute little girl!

Thimbleanna: Wee Wander Quilt

In case you feel the need for some Wee Wander fabric, I have some in my little Etsy shop.  Unfortunately, the cute blue border fabric is already sold out.

Thimbleanna: Wee Wander Quilt

In addition to yardage, I have some half-yard bundles that also contain some coordinating Moda Bella solid fabrics.  I wanted to add some yellow for the lightning bug glow and some green to coordinate with the pretty green leaves on the horse print.

Thimbleanna: Wee Wander Stack

Posting will probably be a little sparse around here while we help BigDaddy get better. One good thing about all this hospital waiting is that it’s good knitting time. I’m betting my next post will contain a finished knitting project.  ;-D

XOXO,
Anna

Tumblers

I’ve finally finished my little tumbler quilt. I thought it would be a much quicker project than it turned out to be.

Thimbleanna: Boston Brown Bread Muffins

I’ve always loved the tumbler pattern and thought it would be a good quilt for a quick baby gift or something. Now that I’ve made one, I know I won’t make another one for a “casual aquaintance” gift unless the tumblers are larger.

Thimbleanna: Boston Brown Bread Muffins

Anyway, this was a fun project. This was a kit that I picked up at a quilt show several years ago and I’m happy that this little kit is no longer nagging me from the shelf it used to sit upon.

Thimbleanna: Boston Brown Bread Muffins

The big pine trees in our backyard played the role of quilt holder this time.  It was a little windy when I took the pictures this morning, so I didn’t stay out in the cold for long.

Thimbleanna: Boston Brown Bread Muffins

Now to pick a new project. There are so many possibilities and I always have a hard time deciding. That’s how I eneded up doing this tumbler quilt — I have several long-term quilt ideas and I was avoiding making a decision!

XOXO,
Anna

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