Category Archives: Quilting

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

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