Saturday, December 31, 2022

Farmer's Wife 30s Blocks Continued!

I have continued to work on the Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks but they are much, much harder than the ones in the 1920s book.  I have decided not to do a few as they were just to hard to make a pattern or they were boring.  I will probably have 90 of the 100 blocks done by the time I have finished.  Here are a couple of my recent favorites.  I have a lot more variety of fabrics in my blocks than there is in the books and sometimes this makes for trouble for me as I only have a black and white printer so can only use value as a guide when selecting fabrics,


Here is an up to date look at the blocks I have done so far.  Some I like better than others!

This is the setting I will be using as well.  So many of the blocks in the 30s book look better on point than in a straight set.

I have been busy putting binding on charity quilts for a friend who is leaving the area and trying to get the machine quliting done on a large assortment of quilts.  I have gotten really good at machine binding quilts!  

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Death of a Friend - Priscilla Kibbee

I heard this week that my friend Priscilla Kibbee had died after a long bout with cancer.  Becausse of Covid and her move out of the area, I hadn't seen her in a couple of years. Here she is at her sale table at one of our quilt meetings.

 This was a quilt I did with one of the many, many beautiful molas as an inspiration.  I bought far too many from her over the years but the price was always right.  She traveled extensively in Asia and South America well into her 80s.  She designed beautiful garments which were highlighted in many Fairfield Fashion shows over the years.  This was after a successful career in nursing, writing and education.  I have 100's of pictures I have taken of her and her beautiful textiles over the years and will share a few.

Although she was certainly known for her garments, later in life she started doing art quilts as well and this is one of my favorites.

This was a quilt she made using nine of her beautiful molas which she bought directly from the Kuna Indians.

This is one of Priscilla's jackets being constructed.  I have made many jackets from patterns and techniques I learned from Priscilla who taught at many quilt conferences.  We were fortunate to have her locally so I got to spend time with her at another friend's house.

Priscilla loved bold fabrics and her is her with one of her quilts in process.  She really didn't make a lot of quilts until later in life.
She had a lot of tiger prints and was trying to figure out what kind of quilt to make with them.  

Like my daughter, she always had a Diet Coke nearby.
Priscilla with her mola quilt in the background working on the beginnings of a jacket.

Priscilla's creations and lessons will live on for a long time.  There are lots of us who purchased who beautiful textiles that she collected from India, South America, Laos,  andViet Nam .  She financed her extensive travels by selling many of these textiles and
The title I had for this one was "Priscilla's Toned down Piece"!
She really did get into art quilts with a vengence.  She never did anything halfway!

Another of her later pieces.

I understand there will be an estate sale sometime in the future, probably in the Binghamton, NY area where she moved to several years ago to be closer to her daughter.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Passacaglia Quilt Finished and a New Beginning for 1930's Farmer's Wife Blocks

Well, I finally finished the Passacaglia quilt!  I did some things differently from the original.  I didn't cut off parts of the quilt just to square it up like the book had you do.  Why do all that piecing just to discard it?  I appliqued it down to a background and did cut off the point of the stars as there was just no way to easily applique those tiny ends down so I just tucked them under.  I then cut away all the background behind the main part of the quilt.  This background was had dyed just for this.  At first I was going to do yellow but didn't care for how it looked so overdyed the yellow with blue to get this very dark green/blue which kind of goes into the background!  It measures 60 across by 65 down.  

The machine quilting was all freehand.  I chose to go with the machine quilting using matching thread for the most part as I didn't want the quilting to detract.  It is mostly in the "ditch".  It is not a quilt you should look at from a foot away but 3 feet away it isn't bad!  The pieces were so tiny, I have no idea how anyone could contemplate hand quilting it but I know a lot have!  Most of the centers of the circles were "fussy-cut" for my usual kaleidoscopic effect.  My daughter indicated she wanted to hang it on her high wall but don't know whether she realizes the size.  I won't be insulted if she changes her mind!

As we had an "Open Sew" day at Guild, I decided to work on the blocks from the 1930's Farmer's Wife book.  These blocks are a LOT harder than the ones in the 1920's book, many of which had over 50 pieces each!!  Some of these blocks are on an 8 x 8 grid which means the individual pieces in the block finish to 3/4 inch sometimes!!  I was literally stumped on how to piece one today but have edited the pattern and think now I can do it -- it is on an 8 x 8 guild and involves partial seams!

You can see I have chosen a different palette for this one.  I am going with old faithful blues, greens and beige/whites with a touch of purple thrown in and maybe a little pale yellow at some point.


Sunday, November 27, 2022

The End of the 1920s Farmer's Wife Blocks-

I have finished 100 of the blocks in this first book.  There were 111 in the book.  Some I didn't want to do because they were just plain boring or symbolic of things I don't like but I think there were a couple I just plain missed!  This is the first 66 which I posted before.

This is the remaining 34 that I finished today.  My thought is to border each block with either a dark or light fabric and then sash them which will make a pretty good sized quilt which I will quilt in 4 sections and then sew together.  That will have to wait a bit though.  I may start on the 30's one but not with the same determination I have had with this one.

This and the next two are closeups of some of the blocks I liked best.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Farmer's Wife Blocks, Some Charity stuff and Blocks for Our Guild Raffle Quilt!

I should have added some hand dyeing to the iist of things done the last couple of weeks!  This was the most successful of my last dyeing adventure.  The picture doesn't adequately show what a nice purple gradation it is made with Jacquard Deep Purple.  I also did some ice dyeing with random fabric which turned out very pale and uninteresting so may  just throw it into a dye pot and overdye.  My one experiment was quite successful though.  It was copying something I saw on the Ice Dyers list on Facebook.  Many of the dyers just put down dry fabric, then sprinkle soda ash and dyes on top and then put ice over everything..  I was sure I would get spots of concentrated dyes doing this but didn't.  I used a lilttle Intense Blue and Basic Blue from ProChem as the dyes and got some nice mottling which will be great for skies.

This is just a small sample of the 2 1/2 in blue strips I have filling 4  two and one half gallon plastic bags.  They will be used in making background squares for the Guild's newest raffle quilt. 

I made seven blocks so far and ran out of the fabric I was given to include in each block.

This was extra challenging.  I was given a panel with 8 scenes on it and needed to make a 50 x 60 in quilt or close to it.  I was also given a small amount of the gold and reddish fabric and the black.  I ran out of the gold so went into my stash when I got home and added the greens.  I also ran out of the black but knew it was the same block of which I had a bolt.  I also had to come up with a center block.  Of course the panel squares were not square so had to take that into consideration when figuring out the center block.

Our Guild had an open sew day at a local facility and I took several of the Farmer's Wife blocks to construct there.  This is the result of that day.  I had one other block but I had the measurements wrong so had to bring it back home.  Even home, I messed it up twice before coming up with a ho-hum block!

I did these three blocks yesterday.  The first one I did using the fast "Flying Geese" method rather than making half square triangles so it was super fast!  As you make four at a time with this method, I had 2 left over which I used today in a block!!

This is one of the two blocks I did today.  These were a little trickier than some and took a little more time.    This is the one that used the left over flying geese from the first of the three blocks above so you can see the truer color there!

This was the second block done today and definitely more challenging.  I had to use templates for all the pieces. 

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Some Boring Quilts and an Update to the Farmer's Wife Blocks!

These are the three quilts I have made for our Habitat for Humanity program at quilt club.  We donate one to each new house that is built for this charitable organization.  They are all pretty much alike except for the different scrappy fabrics that they use.  Everything is made with 2 inch strips and the trees are basically 4 of these strips sewn together and then using a 45 degree or 60 degree template to made the top.  I am going to incorpate some different trees in the next one I make as well as add a row of sky on top of the houses.

Here are just a couple of the blocks I have done since I last posted.  Lots and lots of half square triangles in this last batch which took a lot of time and patience!

Here is the latest status of the blocks done.  There are 66 here so I still have about 45 to do to get the book done.  I disciplined myself not to do anymore until I finished machine quilting the above quilts as well as basting and starting the machine quilting on the Passacaglia quilt.  I have made some progress on that as well.  The quilting will not show for the most part as I haven't particularly cared for the ones I saw done that had hand quilting (which I would NEVER try on a quilt with pieces this small!).  It is easier than I thought it would be as I don't have to make big sweeping movement of this largesh quilt as the "blocks" are all pretty small.  I am free hand stitching in the ditch for the most part.

I will get back to my Farmer's Wife blocks after a day of dyeing tomorrow with friend Dianne.  I am going to experiment a little tomorrow so we shall see!
One last block!

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Blocks and Birds

I lead off with this block as I had to do it 3 times to get it right!!  I had designed all the blocks in EQ8 and in a couple of cases I got the measurements slightly askew.  That was the reason for the first redo.  The second mistake was actually reading the directions wrong over and over again which resulted in it being an inch smaller than it was supposed to be!
This is the current status of all the blocks I have done.  I dedicate 2 hours each day to sewing but making these blocks has been an excuse not to finish 3 donation quilts as well as the Passacaglia which I finally finished appliqueing onto some background fabric.  All of these projects require basting which is my most hated activity!

I finished these two today.  The top one was all Flying Geese so I found a couple of sources on the internet for measurements for doing the shortcut Flying Geese method!  I used the one that made "oversize blocks" and then trimmed then down to the perfect size.  This method doesn't waste triangles and you make four at a time.  Sure made it easier!

The second block was probably the hardest one i have done.  It required templates and had lots and lots of "Y" seams but it all worked out in the end.  Not my favorite to do however.  The next bunch I has a lot that use a 5 x 5 grid which is difficult measurents when you are working with a 6 inch block.  In many cases I just diagrammed a 5 inch block and put a 1/2 border around it.

I was very surprised when I went down to the Ft Fisher dock and spotted the rocks just filled with birds!  It was high tide and late in the afternoon so the light was not good for pictures -- usually I don't see anything at high tide, especially with the everpresent people but they must have been tired as the birds just stayed.  They were most Short-billed Dowitchers but you can see a couple of Marbled Godwits which finally woke up!

There was a Ruddy Turnstone in this group.

Even though it wasn't obvious, there were probably Dunlins and Long-billed Dowitchers somewhere in this mass of birds.  
I try to get to Carolina Beach Lake as often as I can but the birds have been sparse although people have seen a Roseate Spoonbill there some days.  I did see this nice Snowy Egret fishing one day.  Because of the fierce tropical storm we had a couple of weeks ago, they have practically drained the leg to prevent inevitable flooding.  Fortunately, we had more noise than rain as the wind was ferocious.


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Neo-natal Quilts and Farmer's Wife Blocks

This and the next two quilts were made for our Guild neo-natal program.  

This was made from the blocks that were not 60 degree angles which I didn't realize until I cut all the fabric up!  So I call it my original design!

I call this my Mother Goose quilt.  I made it a little smaller than I was supposed to in my hurry to get it finished, forgetting to add an additional border.  It's still cute though!

Just a couple of the blocks I have done the last couple of days.  I am getting better at not having to rip out seams because I have the half square triangles going in the wrong direction!!


Here is the current status of the blocks.  I am trying to do one a day but if they are super simple, I overachieve.  Some of my fabric choices are better than others but hopefully it will even out at the end.  I was worried about what to do for sashing but decided I will probably use a very dark forest green.  I do them as a reward for having machine quilted a baby quilt!