Thankful for “Quiltie” Friends

At this time of year we do think of being more thankful. And I am thankful for all of you. You inspire me to try something new or to just get into the sewing room and get working on something that has lost its original excitement.

I have a small group that meets at my home each month. They cause me to get in gear and prepare for them. Then they bring show-n-tell that inspires me to be more creative.

Joyce's Blended Quilt

Joyce’s Blended Quilt

Above is our current project of ‘blended Quilts’. I know we are a little slow on this fad. It appeared early in the 2000s by Marsha McCloskey and Sharon Evans Yenter. They were inspired by antique quilts and their soft, comforting look.

two of the books on blended quilts

two of the books on blended quilts

Almost a year ago I attended a quilt show in Texas and one vendor’s booth just drew me to it. I am sure you all have experienced that exhilarating moment. I liked every sample quilt they had on display. I left the booth with a book and a lot of fabric.

Donna's center part

Donna’s center part

For all of us this project has been a challenge to our thinking and shopping. Donna’s is above and most of us would want to “organize” things differently, more balanced. But it is what makes the quilt attractive and one really wants to study the quilt and each block. I love your brave spirit, Donna.

Carol's blended quilt

Carol’s blended quilt

Carol made shopping easier by purchasing from one line of fabric. Her struggle was that she bought the fabric prior to selecting a pattern. She ran out of some and did not use others.

Linda was not present for this show-n-tell as she was working an election station. She also bought one line of fabric for her quilt. And she likes her quilt but feels that she missed some of the learning experience. (She sent the picture so she could earn her reward.)

Linda's quilt top

Linda’s quilt top

Once again, we each set our own goal of completion date and then worked backwards as to what had to be accomplished each month. All are on target so far.

Carolyn's blocks

Carolyn’s blocks

Carolyn did not have to fabric shop so far. Instead she went to her stash and found some fabrics that had been moved to storage for a while. They now were perfect for this project.  The top, left side, block is traditional :  light -medium -dark.  The rest are the fun different combos.  I love your braveness, Carolyn.

For our last project there were rewards for staying on our goal charts. We each got to build a house. When we completed the project, the village came together. Here are some of them.

rewards

rewards

Of course there is also show-n-tell at our monthly meetings. These are some of the treasures shown:

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As I must get ready for church this Sunday morning, I will have to share my other thanksgiving of quilting friends on my next post.

Meanwhile, there are a few that got away!

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Show Time at the Iowa Museum

The Iowa Quilt Museum opened a new exhibit as we moved into October.  It is a fun one as it’s focus is the all time favorite of quilters: STARS.  Not all quilters like to make stars but everyone likes them in quilts.

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Wow did some ladies like to add the sparkle of color to their quilts.

The above  one is dated 1890.  Have you ever heard, “Old quilts are so drab.”?

Here are some more drab color combinations from the same time period.

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The fun thing about this quilt is that only one of the nine blocks is pieced correctly.  It happens to be Quilt Week in Des Moines Iowa with AQS in town.  This fun quilt would not have earned a ribbon at a show, but it is still a winner and has been preserved longer than mine will probably be.

The curator for this show, Virginia Berger, reproduced a smaller version correctly for the American Quilt Study Group a few years ago.

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The one below comes from 1930.  Pink has gone in and out of quilt styles.  It really faded out about 1890 -1920.

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This one really accomplished a quilter’s desire:  first you admire it from a distance and then you are drawn up close to enjoy the details.  Pink was definitely a 20s-40s thing.  but this quilter must have had some darks from earlier times.  And she used them wisely.

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What I like about this museum is that it provides for a lesson through time.  It even appreciates us who like to reproduce quilts from the past.  The one below was  done by Liz Porter.

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The pattern for this quilt was available in Fons and Porter magazine.

The Iowa Quilt Museum also appreciates the quilt patterns being created today.  The next photo is a pattern designed by  Barbara Cline in Simply Triangles.  I pieced it a few years ago.

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I thought that I was so cleaver to flow the stars into the side borders.  It was not that way in the pattern.   Isn’t that a new idea?

WRONG

The last quilt I am sharing was made in 1930.  That is 90 years ago!

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You will be able to see these and many more if you make the trip to Winterset, Iowa.  Fall is a great time to drive the winding roads that way.  Plus Winterset also hosts the John Wayne Museum.  And the Covered  Bridge Festival this this coming week-end.

 

 

Get it done! It’s Show Time

AQS is coming to Des Moines this week! Des Moines Area Quilt Guild also has their show as part of the festivities in the same location in downtown
Des Moines, Iowa.

I was the first to drop off their quilts for the local show. It was not because I am so punctual, rather because I was leaving town to watch grandsons play soccer.

I found myself doing my own “quilting” on a wall quilt. Do the rest of you use spray adhesive? Do you protect the area around the project?

layering for quilting

layering for quilting

It had been a long time since I had done any quilting. I went with straight lines and a walking foot.

My attempt at doing quilting

My attempt at doing quilting

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Meanwhile my new BFF went beyond the call of duty to have this done in time.  When it was 3/4 done her machine started giving her trouble.  It went in for repairs.  When that did not solve all the issues, she picked up a new part at 6:30 in the morning. How many of us retired people are out of our PJ’s at that time of day?

The back side of my quilt

The back side of my quilt

She really did a great job. I hope it keeps the eye focused on the quilting and not my points. I had all the point strips finished before I started assembling the quilt. That is when I discovered they did not join neatly.  I decided there was a pattern error. Alas, as I got out the pattern, Crazy Curves Continues by Elsia Wilson, I remembered that I had drafted the point section myself. We are always learning and the next project awaits us.

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Meanwhile my small group has been getting to the finish line also. What a great show-n-tell we had the last time we gathered.

Linda's top finished

Linda’s top finished

Linda had taken this class years ago at the Adel Quilting and Dry Goods. The top in now finished!

carol's color value lesson

carol’s color value lesson

We had swapped blue strips some time ago to do this ‘oldie but goodie’ pattern by Evelyn Sloppy. Carol’s has returned from the Missouri Star quilting shop and the binding is on. “Done” is such a grand word.

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Joyce's projects

Joyce’s projects

At our December gathering we often begin a Christmas project. They rarely get finished for that Christmas. But Joyce is getting caught up on hers. She does her own quilting on her domestic machine. She was getting our input on how to finish the stars.

How to border?

How to border?

This quilt also was one of our swaps. We had done HST the paper way, which is ideal when doing a swap.  It helps having all HST identical is size. This is an Edyta Sitar Pattern. The question now was how to border.

Sherry was the first to have her Curved Seams quilt totally finished!

Sherry's quilt finished

Sherry’s quilt finished

The leader did not even have hers back from the quilter.  We all have the same book, but we each selected which pattern we would do.  It is so fun to see the results.  I had made up goal sheets for this project.  Each gal determined at what date the quilt would be ready to go to the quilter.  They then worked backwards to determine what had to be completed each week.

If they came to the next gathering current on their goals they received a kit to build a house.  At our next gathering they will be planning their village as we are ready to move on to another project.

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Quilt classes at sea

When I travel a lot of stuff goes into my suitcases in zip-lock bags. They are light weight. My make-up bag is even a zip lock. I label them with sharpie markers like, Shower.

It was natural that all my fabrics also were in zip-locks and marked which class they were for. For a light weight tote to get them to class I used a simple fabric tote:

lite weight tote

lite weight tote

For me traveling is all about that 50# weight limit and how to get back home with added purchases.

I thought my bag looked nice and then I saw a gal with this bag:

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Now I get to my Di Ford class and all the gals have these neat small totes for their hand stitching supplies.:

 

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The gals gave me the source of the pattern and mentioned that they found the pattern a little tricky to figure out.  But it is worth it with all the different slots to sort the supplies.

organized storage

organized storage

Meanwhile all my plastic bags are sliding off the table onto the floor.

For a break we would slip into one of the other two classes to see what they were doing.  I showed you the carry-on suitcase of one of the gals in my last post. I missed getting a photo of her purse, but this is her sewing tool tote:

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Day 3 of classes I decided to have some fun and not have my plastic bags sliding all over the place:

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Yep, this wash tub was my tote of the day and I showed it off with pride! I also bragged of the price. $2.33

I also explained all the travel uses. The main one is doing hand laundry especially on a cruise ship with tiny sinks. What’s more, I leave it behind when packing for home along with grubby PJ’s and other throw away clothes.

If you are interested in making one of the totes, I did find the pattern after returning home.

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SewDemented@gmail.com

SewDemented.Wordpress.com

Happy organizing for your fall retreat!

BIG MISTAKE, BIG MISTAKE

Do you remember that line from the movie, Pretty Woman? The leading female actress was playing the part of a street walker and was hired by a very wealthy man. He gave her money to buy a cocktail dress. At the first shop it was suggested that she leave as they would have nothing for her.

The next day the man took her to another store and bought her a new wardrobe. On the way back to the hotel she stopped at the original store. That is were the fun line was stated, “Remember Me? Big mistake, Big mistake.”

First I need to share just how many quilters got off the ship on a free day in Crete.

fabric fanatics

fabric fanatics

Now you may view the fist shop sites as we got off the ship.

floral shop

floral shop

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The second photo was taken through the door of the closed shop. Big Mistake, Big Mistake.

We were all hungry for fabric! This was our last port!

Earlier on our trip, our guide to Florence took us to a beautiful fabric shop.

me touching fabric

me touching fabric

Yes, thats me touching very expensive fabric. Like 65-85 eros/meter. I am standing by the men’s shirting. There was also 100% ladies cotton very similar to Liberty of London fabric selling at 65 eros/meter.  We had all walked out of this shop empty handed. We concluded it was an Italian shop for custom tailoring.

On my last post I shared about one of the instructors, Di Ford. On the cruise I was introduced to two other instructors of the needle and my range of stitch thinking has been majorly widened. First I was introduced to Reiko Kato from Japan.

At St Paul, France

At St Paul, France

Reiko has been stitching since she was 4 years old.

Women were wise to take her classes. First because she is so inspiring. Second because she brought kits!  Unfortunately I did not get photos of her four different projects. The below picture is of one of the students progress.

parcial project

parcial project

Now for a photo of how she inspires her students from the past. This gal needs to learn English so that she can become an instructor. Her daughter was traveling with her to do the interpreting for her.

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Yes, you are looking at a carry-on sized suitcase. We all thought it needed a covering of some type just to preserve all the tiny details. This over-the-top stitcher had taken apart a suitcase and put it back together with this wool/cotton work on it.

As blogs are to encourage one another in our passions, I will share a photo of my carry-on.

Yup, that's duck tape holding it together!

Yup, that’s duck tape holding it together!

Traveling with Quilters

Wow, I have admired Di Ford’s quilts for a long time. Now I saw that she was to be one of the teachers on a cruise ship; a Mediterannian cruise at that. I have wanted to visit the countries in that region. I could take two items off the bucket list in one trip.

Di Ford with Me

Di Ford with Me

I found Di to be such a charming lady, in addition to a great quilt instructor.  She wanted each one of us to be successful.  I would get to be under her inspiration for the four days at sea.

Our first challenge was needle turn Brodery Perse. I have done it with a blanket stitch in the past. Now I learned how to make a beautiful urn with three different fabrics before I even started putting a flower arrangement together.

My Urn

My Urn

Di helped me see the potential of the fabrics I had brought along. I will say that bringing fabric was a challenge. I wanted appropriate clothes, sewing supplies, and empty space for shopping at seven ports! How much fabric could I pack? I settled for small pieces of many fabrics.

I should add that I was not even laying out the urn fabric in the direction that gave it the appearance of a curved shape. All the small tips became big learning opportunities.

In the above photo you get a glimpse of my stem fabric.  I learned that it did not have to be green.  What a profound bit of wisdom.  I have had the center floral arrangement on my design wall for over a year.  I did not proceed as there was something wrong with it.  Instantly I knew what it was; the green stems want to dominate the arrangement.

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I have appliquéd in the past, but it is not my favorite part of quilting.  However, once I was home I could not put it down until it was done.  Of course being travel weary is a good excuse to do some sitting.

Now about that shopping space I left in the suitcase:  Our first port was in France and we were bused to a linen/fabric store.  Deb Roberts is in the photo of the shop.  She is the travel planner for this trip.  I have been on two others of her trips.  She always find great places for us to see.

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The shop itself was mainly linens and they were lovely, but we were allowed into the back room!  But even better, we were taken to the warehouse.  And then the basement of the warehouse!

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The fabric sold for 9 eros/meter.  With a minimum cut of 3 meters.  Another gal and I split three different fabrics.  Back at the ship we cut them lengthwise to get the longest borders possible.

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Did I mention that I love border fabric?

Now the fabric I will be searching for has the appearance of rope.  That way I can continue with the medallion quilt.

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I have shopped locally for it already, so I will have to expand my search.  Of course what Di used is no longer on the market, so I will have to be satisfied with something else.

The above quilt is named “Jane’s Garden”  and the pattern will be in Di’s new book.  The quilt did not return to Australia with Di Ford.  Rather it went to France with Carol of Quilt Mania to be photographed for the book.

The AQS show comes to Des Moines, Iowa next month and it will provide me with a lot of shopping opportunities.

My second class will have to wait for my next posting.  marge

 

 

 

 

Back from the Long Arm Magician

A UFO back from the quilter

A UFO back from the quilter

This quilt was started several years ago and then went into hibernation until last fall when it went along to a retreat, where the blocks were pieced incorrectly repeatedly.  After some time with the seam ripper, determination set in. This one was for my bed. It has tried out its final destination and has moved back to the sewing room to be bound.

Meanwhile my friends are working on curved seams. Carol has hers finished:

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Donna is getting close to finished:

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Joyce is getting closer:

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Joyce did this exactly as instructed in the book, but as I look at it I wonder if there was an easier way. She had to be so careful getting her seams matched to make perfect circles. Could she have just appliquéd, by machine or by hand, the circles in place?

Others are making progress, but I did not get pictures of their efforts.

Of course, most of us have more than one project in the works. This one was shown and snowballs always give the illusion of curved seams. This would be the perfect size as a throw pillow cover:

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There are some in the quilt world who consider red a neutral and it works perfect here.

This quilt uses the snowball pattern very uniquely.

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Carol bought it as a kit while traveling in Texas. She and I also discovered (like Dorthy) there is no place like home.  Iowa has an abundance of quilt shops but we still like to look for them when traveling.

Sharon likes to have baby quilts on hand ready to be given as gifts:

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Sherry made this one patch where the fabric does all the work.  I think she said her sister sets up at a Farmers Market.

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My current other project was a “Quilt-As-You-Go” that I started a few years ago. My original goal was one block each week or so.  Somewhere along the way it got side stepped.  When I got it out and did the last two blocks I realized that I had been getting rather good at it, but I was back to square one in my machine quilting skill.  Now I stayed on task and also did the borders.

The technique comes from the book Cotton Theory from a gal in Wisconsin.

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Sewing the blocks together went rather smooth, but when it came to assembling the rows, things deteriorated. This is when one thinks ‘I will give this to a non-quilter as they don’t know the difference.’

At this rate I might as well do all the binding by machine. You might like to try it.  First attach the binding to the back, so you have better control as to how the front will finish.  Use a walking foot and a stiletto. Or if you cannot find your, use a dull seam ripper.

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I do take the time to tack the corners so they will go smoothly through the machine.

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For this binding I cut the fabric on the bias as I thought the stripes would do well that way, but I may have stretched it as the quilt doesn’t lay perfectly flat now.

I am just happy it is done and I am moving to something that has yet to go wrong.

Iowa Quilt Museum

Winterset, IA

Winterset, IA

Iowa now has it’s own quilt museum with thanks to Marianna Fons, the city of Winterset and many others. The building is right on the town square and in between two quilt shops. What more could you want?

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The first exhibit is Red and White and what a great choice as these two color quilts are always so striking.

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My friend, Virginia Berger, is a co-curator for this first exhibit.  The below photo is that of a Sunflower Variation. c 1945- 1955.

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It is well worth the drive and the small admission fee. The building at one time was a

J C Penny store and much of the charm, like a tin paneled ceiling, is still intact.

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The below quilt is a Melon Patch Variation made in 1901.  It was one of my favorites at museum.

There are fun coffee and lunch spots also in this rural town. It is the original home of Love of Quilting. What quilter is not familiar with this magazine?

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This next quilt is for all the current rage for “hexies”.

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And for those who like “modern quilts” how about this one?  This baseball or Drunken Path Variation was made about 1880s-1890s as a wedding gift.

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A quilt I own is also in the display.  I purchased the hand pieced quilt top at an antique show.  I hired the Methodist church ladies of Anita, IA to hand quilt it.  I did do all the marking and the binding.  I rounded the corners as the fabric there was fraying badly.  By seeing it at the exhibit I learned that the pattern is a Single Wedding Ring.  There are a couple stains on the quilt, but I am afraid to wash it as red likes to travel to the while in old quilts.

IMG_3666The Feathered Star quilt below is the oldest quilt of the exhibit.  1849 is stitched right onto the front of the quilt.  Why are we hesitant to put our name and date on our quilts?  We love it when we find some information with quilts.  This one traveled from the east coast just for this exhibit.

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This last quilt I am sharing is so special as the story of the quilt is documented.  A man of rural Iowa appeared as a clown in local and nearby towns for their various celebrations.  Then he got married.  When the wife became pregnant, she cut up the clown outfit and said, “No more clowning around.”  The fabric was placed in the red and white quilt in 1922.  How fun is that!  I am sure the Pinwheel Quilt will stay in this family for many more generations.  What a reminder to all of us to put the story with the quilt.

 

Curved Seams

Most of us quilters were at one time clothes makers. We put sleeves in garments. We sewed collars onto blouses and dresses. We did curved seams. But have never thought of curved seams in quilts. My small groups current project is curved seams. We are all working from the same book, but each one picked their own pattern.

Joyce''s curved seams

Joyce”s curved seams

This retired teacher printed up worksheets for the gals to plan their project. They first set a goal as to when the quilt would be finished and ready to go to a long arm. These ranged from 3 -12 months. Once the date was set they determined how many weeks that included.

Sharon's curved seams

Sharon’s curved seams

They were to subtract one week for adding any border and doing the final border. Subtract another week for sewing the blocks together. Looking at the pattern they were to determine how many blocks they would need to make. Divide that number by how many weeks were left. Now they had a goal set for each week.

Sherry's curved seams

Sherry’s curved seams

Some only had to make one block each week while others many and that was fine as it was their own goal.

As it has turned out each one has met their goal each month as we have gathered or they are ahead of schedule.

If they were on target with their goal each time we gathered they each received a few more pieces of fabric to build a house. This is where we currently are on home building:

reward houses

reward houses

Meanwhile, I have set some goals for this year. I am to make two quilts that use up patterns that have been chosen and fabric that has been purchased over the years. I have a number (to embarrassed to share how many) project plans packed in those neat totes.

Marge's goal project

Marge’s goal project

The panels of fake appliqué are reproductions of a quilt someone found a number of years ago. I had seen the original so bought the panels when they arrived on the market.

I should also confess that I am like many other quilters. I read the pattern instructions, but focused on the pictures and missed a step of borders. I now have to adapt the project each step of the way. It all becomes a numbers game. I now have to see if the parts will fit together.

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As for the HST, I did the math. I took the total number needed and divided it by the number of fabrics I had chosen to use. Then I cut the paper sheets accordingly. It worked well as a mundane sewing time to go with mundane moods.

May your sewing include the mundane and a balance of exciting to match where our brain is working.

sewin theraphist

Spring Has Arrived in Iowa! Yea!

Spring calving

Spring calving

For my husband spring (starting in late February) is calving.

Spring does not start that early for me. I like to think of Easter as the beginning of spring. I made a table topper to honor the event.

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Another sign of spring is the wildlife on the move.

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This one passed my window during morning coffee.

My quilting friends found winter a productive time for piecing. Here are many of their protects:

This first one is fun as you let the stripped fabric do all the work for you!

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This quilt came from a quilt show where various vendors offered block kits for Quilts of Valor.

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Sherry did the below quilt from scraps from another oriental fabric collection quilt.  The darks and lights are reversed on this one.  It now covers her bed.  And her husband said he liked it!

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show-n-tell at small group

show-n-tell at small group

I had given the gals the pattern for Jacob’s Ladder which is a great scrap user. Here is some of their progress:

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Linda got out a UFO from a Jo Morton class and finished it up.

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Linda also cheered herself up on a dreary winter day by making this very small quilt. She used all vintage fabric.

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Carolyn did some beautiful hand embroidery to trim out this quilt.

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Our current project together is curved seams. As the leader of our group, I thought I should struggle with the concept first. Mine has moved on to the quilter.

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I only captured a few of the beginnings of the groups projects. You will see more later as the leader had them list goals for each month on this project. Everyone reached their goal on month one.

The first one was all made with vintage fabric.  Some of which was feed sack fabric.  The advantage of the low thread count helped make the seams fit well!

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curved seams

curved seams

It will be fun to watch these projects progress.

May you enjoy being outside again now that spring is here, while still catching  a few moments to sew!