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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Time Between

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a great holiday.  Our Christmas was really great--we had family with us, and that was all I needed/wanted.  Now its time to look ahead to the New Year.  I really like this week--once the hectic and large celebrations are over.  Quite often, I use the time to purge and get myself ready for the next year with a Clean Slate.  This year, however, I don't seem to have the need to purge too much--maybe it will hit at the last minute?

I finally finished the final of the free Mystery Block of the Month by Stacy at Buttermilk Basin.  She was so generous to do this and I've had a great time working with wool this year.


Around the middle of January, she will provide setting instructions for finishing the project.  I'm so excited to see what she has in mind.  Here are some of my other blocks.  


A few months ago, the pattern was for a sunflower.  Since it was the height of dahlia season, I experimented and made a dahlia, too.  I'm not sure which I will put in the finished quilt.  

I'm working on another Buttermilk Basin pattern, too--I think it's called Tree Farm.   I started it but didn't finish in time for Christmas, but that's okay, it will be ready for next year.  Yesterday, I was stitching on it at bee and one of the ladies said the truck was hauling the tree to the recycling center, ha ha.  



The truck is surrounded by pieced tree blocks.  I've got them sewn and all arranged on my design wall.  I will share more about this project later, I'm sure.


The last time I left you, I was preparing for cookie-baking day with my neices.  We had a great time, but it was a long day and we made lots of cookies.

Yesterday was a special day.  I'd like to wish my sister a very Happy Birthday a day late--she had a milestone birthday.  My husband had the same one back in July and my brother-in-law had his earlier this month.  Mine isn't for another year and a half, but it might be time for me to consider making my Jubilee quilt in honor of living a half-century.


Have a great day,
JoAnne

Monday, December 21, 2015

Allietare Part 4

Hi Everyone,

How was your weekend?  Are you relaxed and enjoying the festive season or going crazy trying to keep up with everything?  I had a pretty good weekend, not too busy, but still "Christmas-y."

This is my first post about Bonnie Hunter's current mystery quilt, Allietare.  I'm doing it this year!  I have done two others in the past:  Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll and Easy Street.  I miss it when I'm not doing it, but usually I skip it when I don't have the colors in my stash to play along.  Everytime I have done it, I've changed the colors to my favorite color scheme, RWB.  This year is the same.

Bonnie's colors are based on her trip to Italy:  Golds, reds, blacks, a constant grey, and neutrals.  I thought it over and decided on these changes:  Reds--easy!  Blacks?  Now my navy.  Golds?  I was planning to include gold, but after some thought (and looking over my stash) I decided to substitue light/medium blue for her gold.  Her constant, gray, is now gold for me.  And neutrals are still neutral scraps.  I have tons of fabrics in all these colors but this year I have been doing many projects with Moda's Minick and Simpson fabrics, so I have lots of scraps of them and the fat quarters are handy, so lots of my quilt will be made with their fabric.  I am including other fabrics, too, as "variety is the spice of life!"

This week's assignment was a bit complex.  We were to make 30 sets of 4 "knotless bowtie units."


One set is arranged from top to bottom on the left of the photo.  The column on the right are other sets stacked up.  This picture shows 5 complete sets.  I have 12 of the sets completed, but all of the cutting is done, so I will continue to sew the others this week.  For each set, we use the same red and blue, but use scrappy neutrals.

I thought that having "matched sets" made for more tedious cutting.  If it was all scrappy, I would layer 4-6 strips, cut the triangles or tapezoids, and throw them all in baskets.  To get matched sets, either I would stack a few strips, cut, then have to sort them all out into matching piles, or else just work with one fabric at a time.  I tried it both ways and neither seemed to save much time.  Luckily, I was listening to a good audio book and just enjoyed the process!  I'm sewing in batches of 6.  I can manage that amount without mixing up anything.

For the navy (black in Bonnie's quilt) triangles, I ended up doing one fabric at a time, folding the strip so each cut gave me 4 squares.  Four cuts and I was finished. (We needed 16 of each of 30 fabrics.)


Since this is my first post, I thought I would share photos of the other steps.


The first step was to make HSTs from the contant and neutrals. 



Step two was to make these "Santa Hat" units as well as some other cutting.  Remember, my constant gold is grey in Bonnie's quilt.



And Step Three was to make 4 patches.  Bonnie's quilt has golds instead of my lt/med blues. 

We even managed to get to see Star Wars, The Force Awakens on Saturday afternoon!  It was so good, I can't wait to see it again!

Today is a cleaning day for me,  Tomorrow is a Bee day, and then Wednesday is cookie baking with my nieces.

Have a great day!
JoAnne

Friday, December 18, 2015

Preparations

Hi Everyone,

I'm writing this on Thursday night so I can post it in the morning.  Since it is Friday, that means another Allietare clue from Bonnie Hunter!  I know I'll get right to it and as well, I have a hair appointment in the morning.  My stylist moved a couple months ago to a different salon.  At this location, they do a hand massage while the color processes, and then head massages while washing and rinsing.  Last time she asked if it was all good when she was about to lead me back to the chair from the sink, and I said, "No.  I think you missed a bunch of chemicals and need to start all over!"  At first she thought I was serious, and then she laughed.  I think there is nothing so relaxing as a hair appointment.  You hear people all the time finished this sentence:  "If I were rich, I would..."   Have a chef, a live-in nanny, all sorts of answers.  I would love to have someone fix my hair.

I managed to get quite a few presents wrapped yesterday and also bought a few more gifts.  One or two more stops should see me finished.  I clashed around in the kitchen, too, and "sugared" my yearly batch of fudge.  My grandmother made and gave away dozens of batches every year for at least 50 years and I watched her make it and have her recipe, but for the life of me, I flop it every year.  I do try though.  I think I'm too impatient at the end and start stirring before it cools enough.  Grandma would tell me that I could chip it out of the pan, add a tiny bit of half and half, and cook it all over agin to the soft ball stage.  This year, though, I somehow scorched it as well, so I threw it away and made the kind with the marshmallow cream.

I'll be taking my stylist a present that I made.  I saw this tutorial by Carrie Nelson at the Moda blog a while ago.  I thought the bags looked like fun to make and so I texted out to my family looking for old jeans since they are made from a jeans leg.  My Dad came through for me.  First, I made one with fabric I liked to see if they were fun to make.


Oh yes, they are!  I followed the directions just as Carrie wrote them.  She's so good, that I don't even have any helpful tips to add.

My stylist also does a lot of photography, and since I had no hair salon-type fabric, and I did have camera fabric, I made her this one.

(In case its a bit fuzzy, those are old-timey cameras on the fabric.)

These bags are fun to make, don't take too long, and are best made in two's since they take a leg each, and jeans come with two legs, (usually.)

That's it for now.  Thank you to all who left such sweet comments.  It's great to be back and hearing from you all again!

Have a great day,
JoAnne

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hi Everyone!

I'm still here!  I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging in the summer.  I did this for a couple reasons--the first was that I felt like I was only mostly blogging about quilts I was making and then showing the finished result.  I know that that seems like the whole idea of a quilt blog, but I was thinking I wanted to do more, but didn't know what.  In other words, I was feeling a bit stagnant.  The other reason was that I was wondering if the time I was spending writing and reading blogs, etc. was really distracting me from getting more quilting done.  I'm here to say that the jury is still out on that!  I did just as much quilting as I always do, so I decided to come back join in again.  I've been trying to figure out just when to write again, and the weeks slipped by.  Yesterday, though, two things happened:  a memory post from Facebook reminded me that it was a year ago yesterday that I resumed after taking a break to move in the house and get settled, and I heard from a follower in an email that she was concerned and missed me.  (And I've heard from a few more in the past month or so, so I decided the time was right.)

I hope you all are doing okay.  Are you ready for the holidays?  I'm struggling this year.  No presents are wrapped, I still have a few to get, I've baked no cookies, and the cards are still sitting here.  I still have a few days, though, and have plans to get really organized the next couple days.

I've been doing quite a bit of quilting and I do have big news to share to catch you up, but I will do it in later posts.  One thing I just finished was the Temecula Quilt Co's We Wish You A Mini Christmas quilt along.  Each day for 12 days Sheryl provided directions for a cute, tiny block.  On the 13th day, she had three finishing directions.  The blocks were so fun to make--it took maybe 15 minutes and everyone has 15 minutes each day to quilt, right?  Haha, not me.  There were a few days when I got the block done, but there were also days when I had to get caught up by doing 3 or so.

I decided to do mine in Christmas colors, and mostly pulled pieces from my 1.5," 2," and 2.5" scrap squares.


This is my finished quilt.  I ended up sort of combining some of the setting options.  Sheryl had diagonally set the blocks into a runner.  I loved the look of the diagonal set, but didn't want a runner, so I made more of a "quilt" shape.




Here are some of the individual quilt blocks.  I shared the photos on Instagram.

I remade this one.  After it was done I looked at it and thought it looked like a bandaid.  A used, bloody bandaid.  Once I thought that, it was doomed!

I'm also working away on Bonnie Hunter's mystery this year, Allietare.  I have the first three clues done and will be back to share more on that.

I hope you have a wonderful day!  I'm off to wrap gifts.
JoAnne