Monday, November 30, 2009

Papa's Star: ARGH! (repost)

G-6, how we Janiacs obsess about you. (Not Janeites – they obsess about Jane Austen. The two groups often go together though, as in my case.) Ignore the housework and laundry, ignore your spouse’s/partner’s pleas for dinner, ignore your children’s cries for attention. Find that quiet place, take a deep breath, and start on G-6, Papa’s Star.

I have Electric Quilt’s Dear Jane software, and I was following variation 1. I paper-pieced the central devil star, and felt pretty good about how it turned out, even with one small star point. However, I should have noticed something wrong by the time I took picture number 1.

You see, the central pentagon is not a regular pentagon. The orientation of it to the outside pieces is pretty important. Mine is rotated one position, and I did not notice until too late, when I saw the triangle points (see the one on the left) were not matching. But, the block is done, it is even the correct size, and so what if one of my star points will be cut off. I’m Done! Argh.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vintage thingy Thursday and Thrifty Thursday

Thursday is Vintage Thingy Thursday, sponsored by Colorado Lady. Please visit her site and see who else is playing. I am also joining Thrifty Thursday at Bloggeritaville.

When my kids grew from the toddler and little boy stage to the ages 6-10 stage (what is a good name for this age?) I felt it was time to start a new family tradition: making butter/sugar cookies, using cookie cutters to make fun shapes, bake but not burn them, and then frost and decorate with sprinkles. I remember well doing this with my mom – though she never ate any, not even as a “sample” and she did not enjoy it as much as my brother and I. It would be a messy business, but – family tradition must live on!

Now: to obtain cookie cutters. Luckily at Thanksgiving time I went to a local antique/vintage shop and saw some cookie cutters! Two bags of cutters from two different vendors and a few $ later, I was set. Some of the cutters were the same shape and of the same vintage as the ones I remembered from childhood. So they are nostalgic, vintage and thrifty.

How did it go? We have done sugar cookies for two years now. It’s not quite as messy as I feared. It was hard to keep the kids interested as they were baking, but they came back for the decorating. 4 colors of frosting and 5 kinds of sugars and sprinkles! Many cookies ended up with all 5 kinds of sprinkles on them. Oh yeah. We learned to be careful with reindeer- and dove-shaped cookies. And we learned to NOT lick our fingers as we frosted cookies – instant penalty of washing up at the sink.

The children were so proud to serve these cookies to grandma and grandpa. And that’s when we discovered that grandma (my mom) never ever eats these cookies. Why? Because on a Christmas eve long ago when she was a little girl she ate many many of these cookies and was sick all night and all Christmas day. To this day she can’t stand the smell or taste.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

F-2 Kaleidoscope

I have been distracted by a number of things, but I am moving forward, slowly, on my Jane Stickle quilt. This one is F-2, called Kaleidoscope. I printed out the paper piecing patterns from the Dear Jane software published by Electric Quilt.
Helpful suggestions: Cut your pieces a bit large. Sew to the end of the patch corner that will be in the center, but NOT into the seam allowance. Care (and careful pinning) is needed to get the points to be close in the middle. To attain perfection in getting 8 points to meet is not a realistic goal. I am satisfied with how mine came out. “Done is better than perfect” as Brenda says!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

There's a Black Hole in my sewing room

that sucks things in but also randomly (or not so randomly) spews things out. Case in point:

(Pattern from Quilter's Cache, maintained by Marcia Hohn)

Let me back up a bit. Some months ago I was working on a project as a break from my Jane Stickle quilt. A pinwheel pattern from Quilter's Cache, in 30's and 40's reproduction fabrics. I had made 19 blocks and cut many more triangles. It's going to be graphic and colorful when it is done.

But, I needed to take a break. So I stacked the 19 blocks, and put all triangles and the printed instructions in a big clear freezer bag. I know not to put it in a grocery or fabric store bag! And tossed it, somewhere, in my sewing room. Put the blocks in a separate place.

Well. I thought of this project recently to finish as a Christmas present for a family member. I found the 19 blocks. I poked around the sewing room piles - no sign of the bag. So I dedicated yesterday morning to pulling many things out and finding that bag of triangles and instructions. I knew it was there!

Three hours later: no bag. I gave up, got on the Internet and back to Quilter's Cache and printed out the instructions again. Pulled out fabric - looking hard to find some of the same fabrics, and cut more triangles and more bleached muslin pieces. Last night: started sewing pieces together, following the instructions.

NOW: today. I went into my sewing room and picked up my bathrobe, which I had tossed on the fabric piles last night while sewing.

What was DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH? (Dun dun dun!) THE BAG shown in the first picture above. I know it wasn't there last night. You would think I would have seen it. But there it is.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vintage Thingy Thursday

Welcome to another Vintage Thingy Thursday post. Please visit Colorado Lady and see who else has posted this week.
Today I have yet another sweet doll quilt, handsomely modeled by my son's favorite teddy bear, called Caramel (pronounced Carmel). This one was purchased from ebay some time ago. I have three now - I think this officially makes me a collector - right?
The fabric scraps are hand-sewn with an applique stitch onto a foundation fabric, which is also the back of the quilt. Then the raw edges of the back were folded to the front and sewn down. Below is my son's pose of Caramel and buddy with the back of the quilt.

One or two fabrics are from early in the twentieth century, most appear to be from the forties. Several appear to be more from the 1950's. The stitching is pretty good and actually the little quilt is in remarkable shape - no holes, undone stitches, stains, etc.

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