Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Celebrating Baseball and Cherries


Starting the final Great Debater quilt. The future owner (FO) and I share a love of baseball although we root for separate teams. {Hmm. That's a line from I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair in South Pacific. About halfway through the song.} Instead of riding him off my range, I decided to make a baseball quilt highlighting his beloved Phillies.

After quite a few sketches of baseball diamonds and backdrops, I remembered Farmer Fill by Freddy Moran. There are several versions in her book, Collaborative Quilting. Pages 82-84. Freddy spoke at our guild meeting last year and this is the Parts Department quilt she showed with a few of those guys.

Parts Department 2 by Freddy Moran. Shown at SCVQA meeting

I asked Freddy and she enthusiastically told to me to go for it... and send her a photo when it's done. How sweet is that?

My first pattern centered the ballplayer along the vertical axis. Looks okay except the glove fits almost to his elbow. I need to redraft this; it's bothering me more and more.

Original design for baseball player

The Phillies colors are red, white, and blue. They usually play in red and white pinstripe uniforms. Lucky me. I had some in my stash - both a pinstripe and a loud red and white stripe. Loud looks better to me currently. The next job is to locate skin tones, glove tones, and green grass for them to play on. Here's what came out of my stash. My current guideline is, "No shopping until I'm absolutely sure there's nothing on hand."

Fabric pull from stash for Phillies baseball quilt

Not nearly enough greens or tans in house so I shopped QS' stash while I was there. That's my favorite first stop! After that I checked out a couple of stores in Colorado, including Alamosa Quilt Company. This small store has a broad selection of fabrics and some of the friendliest staff anywhere, including my dear friend, Peg Collins.

For a millisecond I considered using a single green for all the backgrounds. Ha! The uniforms will be consistent and that's enough. Once home, I paired skin colors with greens, trying for some contrast.

Pairing fabrics for baseball
Next I pieced my first ballplayer. I thought it would be easy to switch from lefties to righties but made several cutting errors. And I don't have extra of the pinstripe. Notice I switched from the broader red-and-white stripe to this true pinstripe shirting.

Left-handed Phillies baseball player
After all these fiascos I'm going to make a new set of templates strictly for lefties! I'm also wondering if I should make a cut-out template for the baseball glove to make fussy cutting more successful.


We're nearing the end of bing cherry season so I was determined to make at least one batch of Cherry Almond Scones. This recipe comes from Paige at For Love of the Table where I find many favorites.

My first step is to curdle some milk with lemon since I don't keep buttermilk around. Then set the eggs out until they are at room temperature while pitting and cutting the cherries.

Cutting cherries

Once the dough is prepared, I scooped sixteen small scones on parchment paper. Then they go in the freezer for a couple of hours. The final prep step is to cut the parchment and transfer the scones to freezer bags. It's easy to pull them out when needed.

Of course, I baked one for breakfast the next morning.

Cherry Almond Scone, recipe from For Love of the Table

Enjoy the day, Ann

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Second Scrappy Trip with Vintage Fabric

Still using those vintage strips but this time the quilt includes some pinks. It's a Grandmother Quilt for my college roommate. She says it reminds her of our junior year in college. {I'm not sure why that year in particular but she has a much better memory than I.} And she thinks stains won't show on this quilt very much. Ha!

Green Scrappy Trip with Red and Pink
A Grandmother Quilt is a way to celebrate. There's no way I could keep up with quilts for each grandchild of my friends. {Especially when I couldn't keep up with quilts for their children.} The grandmother or grandfather gets one on the birth of the first grandchild. They keep it and use it at their house. Or whatever. But no more quilts.

I'm still using my own method to make these blocks. Three blocks from each strip set. I prefer not having the same repeat on each side of the main diagonal. But look at that left side block with white on both sides of red/black. I like lots of green on both sides but wish I hadn't put white on both sides. Just need to pay attention to the sets and what is sewn next to what.

Like those late night ads say, "But wait. There's still more." Perhaps enough for two more small quilts. I'll leave those for another day. Definitely maybe this year. Ha.

We noticed this quote painted on a wall in San Francisco: "There's a loophole for that." So many places to apply it.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


While I'd like to work on some entirely new quilts {as well as a few new shirts}, I committed to resolving my UFOs. They need some new time in the light to determine whether they should be finished or donated. Tastes and interests change over the years. In January it seemed easy to say I'd get through this process within the year. After all, none of them were hidden. Haha. No; they're simply lost in the closet. Like this one.

Half these strips were originally cut to make a coat with Seminole piecing. It's hard to make a coat when it was never worked on after the class. Eventually these bits ended up in an old box of clothing patterns. That's one of the reasons I switched to clear boxes a few years ago - easier to see what's in them.

The colors are still some of my favorites and I know a young man who likes green so it was easy to repurpose the strips. Sixteen blocks make a good toddler sized quilt. No border. Notice they all have reds on the main diagonal. {Even though some were sewn into blocks already, I avoided the pinks for this top. Cherry picking.}

Green Scrappy Trip Around the World top with red

 It's interesting how the block boundaries are hidden in this quilt. But... Where did purple come from? The printed fabric below had some chartreuse mixed with purples and blue. Then I looked in the scrap bag and found two more tiny bits of purple so it wouldn't be so lonesome. And this is how I never make a two-color quilt.

Vintage and newer fabrics create these Scrappy Trip blocks

There are seventeen vintage versus eleven newer fabrics in the photo above. Good way to use up older stuff while updating, too. There are still a bunch of strips so I'll be making at least one more top. This wasn't exactly my plan for the month but I'm glad to keep the fabric moving.

In the evenings I'm still binding the Strippy Nine Patch. Finally on the last side. {Late night photo so the color is way off.}

Sewing the binding 

Lastly, we're enjoying the birthday roses. I only wish my thumb was green like Maureen's.

Birthday Roses

Enjoy the day, Ann

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Trip Progress

Even though a stack of tops is building, it's too hot to quilt this week. Instead I arranged Scrappy Trips using fabric was originally intended for a long jacket/short coat. These were cut for Seminole piecing inserts and there wasn't much color variation. Basically medium to dark green, red to hot pink-red, and tan to brown, a few black strips. Mostly green. Very funky green.

Ready to create Mini Trips

I added some chartreuse and creamy whites to brighten the blocks. With  2.5" strips it only takes six to make a block. Funny. I'm so accustomed to using eight that it was difficult to limit each set.

No idea how this will turn out. Hopefully the limited color palette will evoke Audrey's beautiful Blue Plumes. That will be a trick! I admire two- and three-color quilts greatly but have never been able to actually make one.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Kaleidoscope of Butterflies 19

How crazy that although I've made several kaleidoscope quilts I've never made a butterfly quilt. Time to change that. There are several options to choose including Cathy's lovely waste butterflies but, in the spirit of reducing my small pieces, I think I'll make a different one. I've been comparing tutorials from Mrs. Schmenkman and Rita at Red Pepper Quilts. Both used black backgrounds which certainly set the other fabrics off well.  There was a yard of solid blue in my stash which might resemble the sky. I started pulling some fabric. Easy peasy small quilt of about 40-50 blocks.

Then I noticed some fabric intended for a shirt... and I need a shirt. The pattern was not in my new {clear} bin so I had remember where it was. That was an experience. Finally found it behind the DVD storage boxes. How did it ever end up there? You'd think I'd been hiding it. At the bottom was a large set of 2.5" strips cut for a Rachel Clark coat class. It's been sitting here for twenty years.

Vintage strips should make good toddler quilts

Even if it doesn't look like it, almost half of this fabric is green and I have some young friends who like green. The old bait-and-switch still works. Off to make Mini Trips. Hopefully I'll start the butterfly blocks next month. Does anyone else want to join in?

This article about a parasite that attacks monarch butterflies was posted recently. The highest infection rate is in the non-migratory butterflies in Florida and unfortunately there is no cure.

Swallowtail butterflies were busy collecting nectar in the Uncompahgres. QS took the best photo.

Swallowtail tiger butterfly in Uncompahgre National Forest

This butterfly emerged from its chrysalis during our visit to Denver's Butterfly Pavilion.

Kaja made some wonderful points about adding words to quilts. There's quite a difference between planning the wording from the beginning and adding it at the end. Is there are way to combine words with butterflies? I'll have to think about that, too.

Enjoy the day, Ann