Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Never Say Never

I can't say that the Bowtie block has ever been one of my favourites. That was until I saw this gorgeous creation by Maryse; she's called it God's Green Earth and has kindly agreed to let me share a few pics with you here, but do take a look at her post as well for more details.

It leaves me speechless. It's graphic, wonderfully scrappy and perfectly quilted. It's 'green' but not totally; the addition of other colours adds wonderful depth. I also like the way that the bowties create a circular pattern; often they are laid out in a linear/diagonal pattern, which doesn't do much for me. I could go on...

I love everything about it, to the point that I've started playing around with one of my own.

The blocks couldn't be simpler - two sized blocks cut 3.5" and 2.5" make a 6" Bowtie block. She found the pattern in Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts but I just found a tutorial for the block and worked through it. So here it is, in case you are smitten too:

Cut four 3.5" squares, two green and two neutral, as well as two 2.5" green squares.

Lay the smaller green squares atop the larger neutral squares ...

and sew on the diagonal; trim.

Sew a 3.5" dark square to each of the pieced squares.

Flip the bottom one around so that the green block is on the right side and sew the two strips together.

Voilá - a Bowtie.

Lay out four of them and a second voilá - a circle of Bowties. Make 120 Bowties and you have a quilt.

All seams are pressed to the dark side with the exception of the final one down the centre of the block as I think it will make joining them easier and reduce bulk.

I suspect that this will be one that gets sewn between other projects, and that's okay - I just wanted to get it started. You know how it is - my fingers got itchy. My stash isn't as diverse as hers (she has such a great collection of fabrics in hers!) but, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Thanks again Maryse for the inspiration and for letting me share your beautiful work...M

Monday, June 19, 2017

That AHA! Moment

Both of my Old Italian table toppers/runners are now ready to quilt...

... and both are looking so nice and summery. Blue & white are a longtime favourite of mine.

But as I snapped a few pics to share they started looking very familiar in an odd kind of way. It took a little time for things to sink in, but eventually my synapses connected. I had made the Old Italian block before! Egads - how do you not remember that???

In 2012-13 I hand stitched this little blue & white baby quilt (still to be quilted) called Spot. Look familiar? It was inspired by a Schnibbles pattern of the same name. The proportions are a little different but honestly, how do you not remember something that you worked on for over a year?

Maybe it was the fact that the Jo Morton block went by a different name, or maybe that this one had sashing between the blocks, I don't know. Still, you'd think I'd recognize the pattern. Apparently not. Some days I really get to wondering about the grey matter between my ears. All I can say is at least I'm consistent...M

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

At Long Last

This might look like a jumbled mess to you but to me it is real and genuine progress. But, I'm jumping ahead of myself a bit; lets start at the beginning.

The last of the large hexies now has a hexie border - hooray! I never thought I'd get here. So I slapped it up on the design wall with the others to see what everyone looked like together.

Of course there had to be some tweaking... There was one final tweak after this with the dark green and dark plum bordered hexies trading places, but I don't seem to have a pic of it. Close enough.

So that meant it was time to get serious about the cream hexies that would join them all together. It was a sloooow start figuring out a process, but it finally seemed to click into place (and yes, that is a little Merry Christmas snowman in the background - for some reason he never goes into storage, he stays out all year).

Not long into it I realized that the very first cream hexie was lighter than all the others - I had sewn it onto the template inside out. Whaaat? Of course it had to be the first one. Well, I wasn't prepared to rip it out until I had seen some serious progress, so I just kept going.

Eventually I got enough of them joined that I went back and replaced it; this is where I am now. I've got a ways to go, but progress is being made!....M

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Good Third Choice

There's still lots of rhubarb in the garden, and since I've made the Rhubarb Torte twice this spring already I thought it would be nice to try something new. My first choice was Ina Garten's Raspberry Rhubarb Crostata. I love her summer crostata with peaches, blueberries and plums so this one seemed like a natural, except that I didn't have raspberries in the house and was too lazy to run out and pick some up.

My second choice was the Lemon Buttermilk Rhubarb Bundt Cake but alas, no lemons in the house.

Soooo, I trolled my Pins and landed on Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake. Excellent choice! Turns out I made it almost a year ago to the day and liked it then, too 😉.

I convinced the Official Cookie Tester to run out for some ice cream and we enjoyed a tasty little snack. You can see from my recent pins that there are a few more rhubarb recipes waiting in the wings to be tried but I think I need to make the bundt cake at least once before the rhubarb is done. I haven't had it in quite some time and just the thought of it is making my mouth water.

Between mouthfuls I am turning under cream hexies for Anna Levens.

I'd totally forgotten about using a paper clip to secure them - it makes such a huge difference. Without it, things shift every which way and you get some wonky looking corners instead of nice crisp ones. I may have to redo a few of them, but that's okay. At least I figured out what I was doing wrong.

It's our first hot and humid day of the summer so it will be nice to sit still and stitch. Our little weekend guest is one step ahead of me and still enjoying her new bed. I don't think she's going to need that blanket....M

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Lots of Blue

There's been lots of Old Italian blocks showing up around the house lately.

I divided them into two themes. The first set is more along the lines of painted clay tiles and the second group is a little more country, so I put them up on the design wall to see what they would look like together.

There's enough for a square table topper of the more traditional 'tile' blocks (like Delft pottery from the Netherlands) and the country/folksy set will make a table runner, with two blocks to the good (potholders?). If I'm smart and stay at it, I'll get them finished now and have them ready early for the Holly Bazaar in the fall. If I'm smart.

The square one is all together, it just needs a good press before I quilt it; it will be 24" x 24".

I've reworked the layout of the runner a bit from the design wall photo above so now it's ready to sew together. Guess I should look at what to use for backings and bindings soon.....M