Thursday, October 21, 2021

A Little Fall Fun

Went to the Chicago Botanic Garden today. Cloudy and cool (and a teeny bit drizzly at times) but it was nice to get out of the house. Enjoy my walk! 

Aren't these the sweetest??

Inspiration everywhere.

I played around and made some little pumpkin blocks last week. Start with a snowball block (See my pattern in the Schoolgirl Sampler book.)  For the mini pumpkin I cut a 3" orange square. Then sewed 1" light squares to the corners (stitch and flip method as shown above).  I used a 1" brown square for the stems and played around with the rectangles on the sides and then added borders.  So much fun.  

Finished the outer borders the other day. That rust fabric will be for the binding as soon as I quilt it. I think I have the perfect little hanger for it too -  if I can find it! You can find the pattern in my Etsy shop.

Monday, October 4, 2021

October Doings

Can you believe it's October already?? I finished my wool Window box quilt.  Wasn't sure if I would like the dark background for my applique but I'm really happy with the way it turned out. And even though it's not in orange and brown or fall colors it still has a warm feel and I'll display it for fall. 

The Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along Facebook group has been making all six of the small quilts from the book. This is Quilt Number 5 in our series  - so colorful and scrappy. Sue Bennett took a few of her favorite blocks and made this cute little sampler. Wonderful fabrics and colors that sort of have a fall look. Some of you may have leftover blocks from your sampler quilt. Take a few and sew them together to make this darling  mini quilt.  You can find the instructions for this quilt on page 18 of the book. It's fun to be creative when you have so many options to choose from.

Of course, you have to make it with scraps, which only adds to the fun. Take a little time to sort through your scrap box or basket. You never know what you'll find. And you know how playing around with fabric always makes your creativity flow. So does buying new fabric. I got some new fabric last week and as I was putting it away in my sewing room, I came across a really pretty older fabric I had set aside to use in my Dear Jane quilt. Well, just looking at that fabric inspired me to take out my DJ blocks again and sew the sashing on a few more blocks. The center blocks for my Dear Jane are all finished but so far only 3/4 of them are sashed together in rows. 

Not all Dear Jane quilts have sashing with tiny cornerstones. The original does not. The very first Dear Jane quilt I saw in person had sashing with blue cornerstones. Then and there I knew that that was how I wanted to make mine.

Silly - I only have a few rows left to do but I kept getting distracted by other projects and family things and so I'm constantly putting them aside. I'm hoping I'm on a roll now and will be done with all that sashing by . . .  next week?  If I can actually keep at it every day. This would truly be a milestone for me - to get that center finished. I'm still working on my triangles and have slightly more than half of those finished. 

I'm wondering if any of you who've finished the Schoolgirl Sampler quilt has now gotten the sampler bug and is thinking about making a Dear Jane quilt . . . .  Did you know that Brenda Papadakis, who wrote the Dear Jane book, has come out with a second edition of her book? It's the 25th Anniversary edition. The original one with the yellow cover has been out of print for quite a few years and is really hard to find. When there are so few copies of a book circulating, that always makes the price go up. If you can actually find one for sale. Some of the prices on Amazon were outrageous. My own copy is all dog eared and marked up after ten years of working on it and so I think I'm going to spring for a brand new one just because it's got a pretty blue cover, LOL. I believe it's being released later in October. Hopefully, this will renew interest in The Quilt and some of us will get inspired to finish the ones we've started when others begin theirs for the first time. 

If Jane is not your thing and you think you'd like to work on a simpler project, remember that it's not too late to join my Schoolgirl Sampler sew along. Just get that book, jump in and start making the six blocks for Week One. See what happens. Then make the blocks for Week 2 . . . .  It's that simple. If I did it, you can too. Follow the plan and you'll finish all the blocks in 12 weeks.

These really are not that difficult.

It's fun to make the quilt in a group where you have some support from others and encouragement to finish. We've been making them in numerical order to make it easy for you to follow. There are tons of tips in the group files and so many wonderful, helpful members to encourage you along the way if you have questions or get stuck. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

It's not Dear Jane, but it sure is pretty . . . . 

Those of you who have already finished your quilt - thank you so much for joining me in the journey and for purchasing the book. Your support means a lot. I'm really enjoying seeing all of  the finished sampler quilts that are being posted in the Facebook group. Always so many pretty fabrics and different borders or settings. I hope you had fun!