Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lori's Block 7

Mary's block 11

Block 11
What looks like a black bud and blossom on my screen is really a deep red with a blue print.  Reverse applique has never been my favorite and something I need to practice.  'Nuf said.  On to block 12 which to me feels like it was designed by the same person who made the pineapple block.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Quick Question

I was just wondering what everyone was using to embroider the stems. Embroidery floss? Pearl cotton? What size? What is the most colorfast?

Mary's blocks 8, 9, and 10

Block 8

Block 9

Block 10

I've been stitching away but I haven't been home much over the holidays so didn't have time to press them after washing until today.  I used several greens for the leaves in block 8 but think I'll stick to one or two leaf prints for the rest of my blocks.   I thought block 9 was kind of folky until I added the bird.  I'm wondering if the original stitcher used the bird to fill in a blank spot.  I really enjoyed the ease of block 10 after the last few.  Also, in block 10, I just used one stem per cherry.  Having two didn't make any sense to me.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all the BTCT  enthusiasts.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Thanks Sharon for the invite! I am so excited!

I have been collecting the patterns for a while now. I have 4 blocks prep not in any order . . .

Debating on one color/fabric leaves for a long time...

Copied the little yellow wrap at the bottom of the pot from Jan...
I am using chain stitch on my embroidery stem...

a little bit of stitching here and there...

Merry Christmas everyone!

My Six is in the Mix

This will be my last post before Christmas so for all the celebrators, Merry Christmas to you and your family.
I've got most of the pieces prepped, I see I'm missing a bud and a few leaves but I have enough to keep me busy over the weekend.
Merry Chrismtas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Finished BTCT

No, this isn't mine, but take a look at what someone in Florida has done with this pattern. Look here for the finished project and here for her block by block.


It's a start

Clear the decks, I'm jumping on board and thanks for having me. My favourite quilts are red and green but I wanted a different look to the others I've made. I originally thought of doing it in solids of light green and red etc but when I saw what Kelly had done with her blocks, I thought that was just what I was looking for. This will be light and cherry I hope but I do need to get more fabric of course.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Where are you from?

Liz emailed and asked where our viewers are from. She wondered what our stats were? Hmmm, did I get a kick out of this. I had no idea you could see where people are viewing your blog from and how many pages they are looking at. Here is the overall stats of our little blog. There were even views from Luxenbourg and Belguim. So hello to everyone around the world who is viewing our posts. Thanks for stopping by and checking us out!

United States



New Zealand

United Kingdom




Czech Republic


Thursday, December 16, 2010

marching to the beat of a different drummer

Always one to be a bit of a rebel, I've decided to go my own way with this quilt.

Because I have aspirations in 2011 to make (or at least start) a "Mary Manakee" style album quilt in red and green, alternative colours were selected for my version of BTCT.  Hence the blue/brown/red colourway with a variety of oyster backgrounds.
Looking through the patterns already published and those to come, I'm not in love with all of the blocks, and so have chosen to deviate from the path and do things a little differently from the original.

Instead of a 25 block quilt mine will have a centre medallion 4x the size of the blocks (ie 34x34"). 12 blocks will surround the medallion, followed by a border.'s a little peek at my centre...obviously there's quite a bit to do, but this eagle has caught my eye!! (from Woodward and Greenstein's Crib Quilts.)
PS. He looks to be swamped, but I've cut the background extra large because I'm still deciding on options.

Welcome Janet

So good to see you comment.  For those in the group, if you aren't familiar with Janet's blog, make a pot of coffee or tea, sit back and enjoy.  Her work is stunning and I will let it speak for itself.  Check it out here
I was supposed to be getting my house ready for company tomorrow after work, instead I started prepping block 6.  Do you think I have a problem?

Opinions Wanted

This is my next block that is just laid out, nothing is set in stone here. I am unsure about the vase. Do you think it is too light? Maybe it should be a darker fabric? I really like this red dot fabric and really want to use it but I am questioning the value of it.
I may or may not change it but thought I would ask. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My #5

I really enjoyed this block.  A little bit of a challenge with the overlays on the flower pot and the ends of the stems,(I'm sure there is a name for this part of the flower?) which I did using the back basting method, and the relaxation of all the leaves and bias stems.  That made for some easy stitching in the last few week.  Now onto #6.  If I can prep it and have it in a take and go place by Christmas eve, I'll be thrilled as I'm going to be away for a couple of days.  It will be my quiet time, while others read or watch tv.
Are you all getting ready for Christmas? I am.

Mary's block 7

Block 7

This block didn't go very quickly - maybe it's the time of year.  I changed a few very minor things on it from the pattern (well, of course I did!).  I think an applique pattern is a nice suggestion and not an absolute rule as is a recipe in baking.  I put the stems in the vase rather than behind it.  Having them behind it just bothered me.  I used pearl cotton for the embroidery even though Gay said the original is not really as shiny and more like crochet thread.  I think it's merely a case of what's available to us and what we like.  I like it much better than the floss I used in the first block and I'm going to redo the embroidery in that one.

I started block 8 and it's even slower than this one.  Yesterday I got one blossom and two leaves stitched on.  I think someone said no one knows if the original was a group project but it certainly seems like one to me.  Block 8 is very different from the others I've done.   

Liz asked me about not cutting out the back under petals.  I try to stitch each petal to just the fabric below it, not all the way through to the foundation.  That way, it doesn't get too thick to stitch.  My degree is in Textiles and Clothing and I think it makes the quilt stronger to not cut - if it's something I'd do (or not) in a garment, I'll do it (or not) in a quilt.  This is kind of like back basting.  Some do it, others don't and not cutting away the foundation is just my preference.   I don't echo quilt and that would be another consideration if you cut away.  Taking out the foundation layer doesn't seem to make that much difference in how thick it looks.  I just didn't want the look of that may layers in one flower.  That's pretty much what made my decision to leave one out.  Sorry - I can sometimes be very long-winded.

My #5 is Alive

But you will have to wait to see pics of it. I'm very busy at work and it really cuts into my home time, and I had a last minute quilt to do for a customer, and company and baking....well. I"m sure you all are in the same boat at this time of year. block is finished. Now to start on #6

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Block # 4, on a roll

After taking ages with Blocks #1 & #2,  I found Blocks  #3& #4 went much faster.

I'm not sure which block I'll be doing next.

Block 15 under way

I have kind of started.  I do back basting applique, and have drawn the design onto my background.  My fabric is Moda 200 thread count muslin, which is just divine!  Love the feel of it.  I have chosen the basket fabric - well I think i have.....

Now, that centre flower, I think I will have to do that seperate.  If I am going to do all the layers, I will need to cut away behind each layer.  Normally I don't worry about one or two layers, but I think that one is about 5 layers.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Block #15

So....what does everyone think of Block #15?  I am thinking it doesn't look too easy especially with Christmas around the corner.  Have fun!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mary's block 6

Block 6

I changed mine a bit.  I didn't like the thickness of the layers in the scalloped flowers and I don't cut away the back so I left a layer off of each one.  I like the bird so I put it in.  I enjoyed working on this block but it seemed to take me longer than I expected.  Maybe the holidays have something to do with that!  

I have my circles and the embroidery done for block 7 but haven't started the applique yet. 

Block 6

I eliminated the bird in this block. I may add it later if I feel like it needs it. When I was stitching it seemed like I had enough contrast between my light colored buds and the background. It doesn't look like it in the photo....Oh well, onto block 7 and a LOT of berries!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

pineapple history

Hi bloggy friends,
I'm enjoying this discussion regarding pineapples, and look forward to sewing the pineapple block, but in the meantime thought I'd share a little history.

Many antique quilts sport pineapples - often appliqued or in the quilting design itself.  Traditionally pineapples mean hospitality.

The pineapple as an almost universal symbol of warmth and hospitality has its origins in Spain (“pina” after the pinecone), where villagers placed the fruit at the entrance to a village to welcome visitors.

This symbolism spread to Europe & North America. It is said that in New England ship’s captains would impale a pineapple on their porch railing to announce their return from a voyage and signal that they were accepting visitors.

In colonial America, hostesses would set a fresh pineapple in the center of their dining table when visitors joined their families.

Visiting was the primary means of entertainment and cultural exchange, so the concept of hospitality was a central element in colonial life.

The pineapple, then, symbolized the warmest welcome a hostess could extend to her guests, and then often it also served as the dessert for the meal. If the visitors spent the night, they would be given a bedroom with a bed in which pineapples had been carved on either the bedposts or the headboard -- even if that was the master bedroom.

Creative food display became a competition among the hostesses, because it declared her personality and her family's social status. Hostesses tried to outdo one another in creating memorable dining events. 
Colonial grocers sometimes rented pineapples to hostesses desperate to create a dining experience above their financial means. Later, once that hostess had returned the pineapple, the fruit would be sold to more affluent clients who could afford to actually buy and eat it. Regardless of ones financial ability to actually buy and eat the pineapple, however, visitors to the homes that displayed the pineapple felt particularly honored that the hostess had spared no expense to secure one in their behalf.
How fortunate we are that pineapples are now so afforadable!

Pot of Flowers

My second block is done. I think I am going to leave off the little green part that goes underneath the flowers. I can always put it on later if I want. The flowers are a polka dot fabric that I centered the white dot in the middle.

These are the two blocks together. I noticed in the picture that the background polka dot has a direction to it! I will need to make sure they are all going the same way. I am really enjoying these blocks and the colors are very seasonal!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pineapple or Strawberry?

I enjoyed Block #3.  While I was working on it, I did occasionally question whether these were actually pineapples or strawberries - does anyone else sense strawberries at the base?.  Anyway, I went with the crowd.

Block No 3

  I know they are only meant to be figuaritive pictures but I couldn't help feeling that maybe we have a strawberry.  Of course, I couldn't work out what that smaller bit at the end was meant to be, because no strawberry I've ever eaten has a top to it.  I've never seen a pineapple close up in the ground, but I felt the stem had more strawberry qualities than pineapple.  And perhaps, strawberries are similar in size to cherries and would have fitted in with the cherry tree concept better.  Just musings while I stitch away.  If we had been sitting in a circle sewing, I would have shared these thoughts with you.

I have a few pineapple prints,  having only ever made one pineapple previously!  So it was a bonus to have the opportunity to select four different fabrics.  The only difficulty was frequently losing the fingerling freezer paper.  Tracing it out and cutting it a few times was a frustrating waste of time.  In future, I plan to keep every pattern piece in a clip-lock plastic bag until the block is finished.

Now onto the next block.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Provenance and Protocol but no picture

I'm not sure of the protocol of thanking each person who comments separately since not everyone has a link to email so I'd like to say a very big thank you to each person who took the time to post a comment.  They're all very nice and I appreciate you taking the time to post.

My other question is does anyone know know the provenance of this quilt?  I'm just curious if we know the era or the maker. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mary's Block 5

Block 5

To me, this looked more like a folk art block.  There's something about the shape of the pot and the funky buds that just looked more folk art so I chose to make my stems thicker for block 5. 

I ordered an extension table for my Bernina that I picked up this morning so now I'm going to mark, baste, and attempt to machine quilt the top I made last month so it may be a while before I get to block 6.  Or I may work on it in the evening.  I'll just have to see what mood I'm in.