Monday, February 20, 2012

Lincoln Logs

The first day of our January quilt retreat I made blocks from a bowtie block exchange that have been waiting for some attention.  By day two I was ready for something different.  I brought along Patchwork: Iowa Quilts and Quilters by Jacqueline Andre Schmeal for the nightstand.  I decided to replicate a log cabin doll quilt from the book which was quilted in Baptist fans.

I posted about log cabin blocks on my very first blog post.  I've been saving 1 1/4" scrap strips for a long time.  I don't think I've sewn a log cabin block since that post in 2009.  While sewing 36 blocks in one sitting, I found that it's much easier to keep the blocks square if I start with 1 3/8" strips.  I rough cut the strip length and square up after each log.  The extra strip width leaves a little margin for error.  Probably not news to anybody that makes these blocks, but thought it'd pass it along.

The original doll quilt was 48 blocks, but I thought I'd have a better chance of completing 36.  I ended the day two rounds short.  Finally, two weeks later I found some sewing time to finish up.  These little guys are 4 1/2", so the quilt will measure 27" square.

The layout from the original doll quilt 

A little re-arranging, but close to the original

Lots of options - I need a design wall.

Happy President's Day to you, Mr. Lincoln!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Don't Leave Home Without It!

Your sewing machine's foot pedal, that is. After careful packing for Vicki's and my retreat to Shipshewana two weeks ago, we arrived ready to start sewing. I usually bring a handwork project in case something happens to my machine, and this time, I didn't. After deliberating, Vicki was kind enough to drive with me to meet my husband at a halfway point. When we arrived back at our B&B, I had serious tension problems. It took lots of playing with the bobbin and needle tensions to get a stitch that wouldn't just pull out completely with a little tug test. Not wanting to risk a less than respectable stitch quality on a big project, I only worked on doll quilts. They don't get much wear :)
These fabulous indigo blocks were from Rebecca Haarer's shop. Neither one of us could pass this great print up!
This brass doll bed was added to my collection. I love the size, as it is a bit bigger, and will display most doll quilts nicely. It is in need of a little mattress, and some bed linens first though.
Blue and white makes me swoon, and this bowl that lost it's pitcher along the way also found a new home. I am using it in my sewing room to hold little blocks as they are made. It will be beautiful on the porch next summer, too. The exterior of the bowl is decorated exactly like the interior.
This claret star quilt was nearly forgotten in the linen closet. I brought it down to see if it would clash with the dining room rug, and found that it looked fabulous with it!
Here is a detail shot. The quilting is minimal, and you can see the shirting backing was brought to the front for a binding. It's great to see an old favorite again!