Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dear Jane: Getting There

Last week I finished the last block for the center part of my Dear Jane quilt (Hooray!) and started working on the triangles. Finding time to work on all the projects I want to work on is always a huge problem. I've been very busy this fall, travelling and teaching and still trying to play catch up at home with all of the things I neglected around here earlier this year while I was working on my next book. 

That dark blue M-3 block was a difficult one for me. I had to make it twice because the first time it came out awful. Live and learn. I am certainly doing that with this quilt. Learning so much . . . .

I am a teeny tiny bit closer to my dream goal.

So, now I'm starting the triangles. I know I could leave it as is and just sew the middle together and say - Okay, Done. Forget the rest, I made 169 blocks. That's enough. But I really love the look of the border triangles and don't think they'll be that hard now that I've sort of mastered foundation paper piecing. Wondering if I should do some of my sashing in between making the triangles. . . .  Any thoughts? The fear is that I will dread it if I leave it all for the end. Probably better to start doing that as soon as I pick a color for my teeny cornerstones. Yes, I decided I wanted to try to do cornerstones. Who knows how that will turn out. Or when, ha ha.

Always a relief when a block turns out perfectly square.

I spent one day redoing a few of my early blocks. I started my quilt in 2010 and my teeny tiny block skills left a little to be desired at that time.  I just wasn't happy with the "wonkiness" of some of them and I know they will always stick out like a sore thumb when I look at the quilt.  I also decided I hated some of the fabrics I used. Most of these were not difficult ones so it's not going to take me that long. I'm leaving in the really difficult blocks no matter what because I can tell you now there is no way I'm ever redoing any of them! 

It feels good to get back to working on my quilt. I'm not one of those people who can just pick it up for a few minutes here and there. After seven years of this, I do know how to persevere but I'm pretty slow and know that each block will take time so I don't work on them unless I know I can devote a quiet day or two. Time to work on it has to be planned in advance. As I mentioned, I am finished with my next book (which is supposed to be published next July) and my teaching and travelling is slowing down now so I should be able to sit down without too many interruptions and go at those triangles. At least until the holidays start to creep in.

* * * 

A few days ago I taught another fun workshop. Yes, orange peels again. My favorite, so I'm glad they asked for it. It's a great workshop for learning and/or practicing your applique. No sewing machines required. Just a lot of relaxed quiet time, laughing and hand sewing. Thank you, Kokomo, Indiana, quilters for a great time!

Look at those fine, sharp points. I taught them the starch and template method which works really well on these peels and makes it easy. Beginners are always amazed they can do this and applique soon becomes fun. 

I really love this quilt.

So much that I prepped some really little peels for a smaller version someday. 

Ah, hand sewing is good for the soul.

Barb brought a pretty quilt to the workshop that she made from one of my patterns in Small & Scrappy. I love seeing all of the different variations. 

Mine was made in pinks and browns. But you should always make the quilts in the colors you love.

Here's Barb's finished Welcome Home Mystery quilt. Beautiful in Blues . . . .

* * * 
NOTE: Some of you have signed up to get blog updates through e-mail. Well, I've had problems with Feedburner not updating my new blog posts so some of you are receiving them late or not getting them at all. Feedburner is really outdated and rarely works anymore so I have to stop using it. I'm trying to convert to another subscription service to allow you to receive an e-mail telling you when I update my posts. As I said, I've been really busy lately and spending hours doing that hasn't really made it to the top of my list. If worse comes to worst, you may have to sign up with your e-mail address again but I will tell you if that's necessary. If you think you've missed some posts, go to the Archives on the side of the Sentimental Quilter blog page and check. 

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Shop Hopping

I've been traveling for workshops and guild presentations. If I have time, I try to stop at a few shops on the drive back home. I know some of you like to know where to find some good shops. Last week I visited Back Door Quilts in Greenwood, IN. If you like reproduction fabrics, this is a great place to shop -

It's worth your while to stop for a bit if you're traveling around or near Indianapolis.

Another good shop is Quilts Plus, in Indianapolis. Not heavy on reproduction fabrics but they had some and it's still a nice little shop with lots of inspiration.

Did I tell you I finished another book?? I turned everything in to my publisher and just finished the first edits. Martingale/That Patchwork Place will publish the book in July 2018. Yes, a long time away but not really THAT long. 

My small quilt groups are working on my Fall Flowers quilt for our October challenge. You can find the free pattern in Files in the Yahoo or Facebook small quilt groups (see blog sidebar for links to groups). This is the quilt some people worked on in September at our retreat. Lots of pretty variations if you take a look at my previous blog post.

Have a great weekend. I am pretty close to finishing the center  of my Dear Jane quilt (not the whole quilt, sigh). 

I get giddy when I finish a block and I place the "official" Brenda Papadakis Dear Jane 5-inch ruler on top and it actually measures up to the correct size. You never know . . . . 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Small Quilt Retreat

Some of you know that we had a small quilt sewing retreat last month. I meant to post pictures but I've been really busy since I got back. I forgot to charge my camera battery before I went so had to use my phone to take pictures and then had trouble loading them up to the blog for awhile. But they're here now, so enjoy - 

There were 13 of us who met for a few days at a hotel north of Chicago, near me. 

Jane and Robin



Kathy and Deborah 

Karen's craft table

Susan and her gorgeous antique quilt

Mona and her pretty retreat quilt -  Fall Flowers

Robin and Jennifer

Karen and her orange peels. Tada - finally finished!! 

Jen made us some sweet little hexie pincushions.

Candee made us pretty wool button pincushions. 

Some of us took a break from the intense sewing (hah!) and drove over to the Chicago Botanic Garden on Saturday afternoon

Jane, Robin, me and Liz 

Dinner at PF Changs
Jen, Heather, Liz, Candee, Susan, Jane

 Karen, Janet, Kathy T (not me, I'm the photographer), Deborah, Mona, Robin

Jane and Candee liked  LOVED Marian's quilt I brought for Show & Tell

Karen finished her Mystery Quilt

Kathy's pretty scrappy quilt with that purple border.

Robin finished her retreat quilt too!


Kathy T's cute project


Robin's Mystery Quilt

Everyone got along really well and a great time was had by all.   (Well, there was that ONE troublemaker . . . . and there was that time we lost Mona . . . .) We re-connected with old friends and made some new ones. Couldn't have asked for nicer quilting friends or a better time. We're planning on doing it again next spring and in between will plan some additional sewing days to get together in the northern Illinois/Chicago area. You're welcome to join us if you happen to be in the neighborhood  : )  and if you promise to bring chocolate to share.

Have a great week!