Monday, January 31, 2011

Block #4 is done

I've finished block #4.

On to #5. I'm having so much fun! Lori in South Dakota

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Number 5 Finished....

 Hi everyone - Mrs. Conservative here...finished Block #5 this week - each one continues to be pretty quiet and staying in my original decision of red and green....still, pretty happy with the way things are going. Have #6 laid out despite other projects that are pressing. BTCT is just like potato chips...once you start....
I am really enjoying seeing each of your blocks as they get posted - have a great week and happy stitching!
Pat T. 

Block 2 - finally finished!

This block took me longer than I would have liked, but work got in the way! I am not sure about the single strand of thread that I used for the embroidered stems, but the original has just one strand so... I will live with it for a little while and then decide whether I put in a slightly thicker thread.

Some advice please on pencil marks! If you look carefully on the left-hand inside double flowers there are a couple of pencil lines made by mistake. I have used a fabric eraser to remove them, one each side of the side stem, and in truth it is better, but I can still see the lines - does anyone have any "magic" ideas so I can remove them a little more? I have heard about dabbing with vodka, but haven't tried it... yet!

Sharon has asked me to post a link to my blog (, so you can see some more pictures of the quilt. I am a little nervous about this as I do not have permission from Gay to upload my photographs, but I've added a couple more pictures and will in the meantime contact Gay. I am sure it will be fine.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Block #2

Nancy and I worked from the drawn out pattern. Some worked from the picture. Page 3 on the PDF is different from the picture. Artistic license! Lori in South Dakota

WooHoo Block Two!

I found this block to be easier than the first one and certainly easier than those awful fingers I am working on in block three.
If I didn't like those little fingers so much I think I would just skip that block.
I was just wondering what method of applique everyone is using to do the fingers.  I have been using the freezer paper on top method but don't seem to be getting as nice an effect as I would like. Some of the seams you turn under are so small in-between the fingers I am wondering if they are going to last.
But enough of this to stitch.

My first block and a "hello!"

Hello everyone! Many thanks to Sharon for allowing me to join the group. I have greatly enjoyed reading all the past blogs. The pictures and posts have been a source of great inspiration to me.
I have a great passion for applique (I loathe piecing!), and love old quilts and reproducing them. I also love chasing down the reproduction fabrics for my quilts, all of which is a bit of an anathema here in the UK! But with this quilt I am exploring new horizons, having been inspired by Edyta Sitar's quilts (Laundry Basket Quilts), where she mixes reproduction fabrics with batiks. Her quilts seem to take on a new dimension. So I decided to take up the challenge with her new fabric range, only problem is I am starting at the beginning where collecting batiks is now the challenge!
Above is my first block and my second should be finished by tonight - if all goes to plan!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Block #3

Block #3 is finished. I redrew the little fingers and I liked them a lot better!

Reading everyone's posts and comments and seeing their pictures is so helpful. I would have skipped this block if I hadn't changed the fingers. Thanks you! Lori in South Dakota

Block #7

With the exception of the embroidery, Block 7 is finally done. I just didn't seem to keep up this month, here we are, January 28th and I've just got the one block finished. I started to prep for block 8 and figured since I had everything out, why not do a few blocks, so I'm prepping for 8 - 10. I have a trip coming up so a small hand project will be perfect to tuck in my carry on.

Welcome to the new members, we should be seeing some posts soon from them.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Block Number 3

I finally settled on a fabric for the vase. This does still look a little busy in the picture but goes well with my other 2 blocks. I like busy and scrappy!

This was my orignal fabric choice for the vase but it felt just a little too "light".

This was my second choice because I really really like this fabric! Again it did not feel balanced and needed a little grounding.
Lesson can always use a favorite fabric somewhere else but go with that which makes the block "work"! Now to the stitching.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Block 16 finished

Block 16

I wouldn't swear I have 120 grapes because I had two left in the bag - but it's close!  I use a Cricut machine to cut my circle templates and it doesn't have 5/8" circles.  (There are some good things about the machine but I don't like it deciding what size I need.)  Because it's just so much easier to have the machine do the cutting, I used 1/2" and 3/4".  I left off the stems connecting the grapes - I didn't really like the sharp lines they made and using a larger grape meant there wasn't much room for them.  I put in the curly-q's but I'm not crazy about those, either.  I may leave them . . .  I may take them out.  I'll decide when I finish the blocks.  Enough of what I didn't like - I enjoy stitching grape blocks!  I did the vines and leaves first, then went back and stitched down the grapes.  This block took me most of two weeks but I didn't work on it as consistently as I did some of the others.

Block One Finished

I finished block One.  
I decided to put my  little yellow circles on top and not do reverse applique'. 
I  think I was able to achieve a better result.  I also did not do the embroidery for the stems. 
I also changed my background fabric.  I started stitching block one on the other background and did not enjoy stitching on it at all -  too many little white leaves on top of the fabric and they were a  difficult to stitch through.  My new background is Kona Cotton and I really like it.  
I did prewash the Kona because it looked like it might shrink when it was washed.
Looking back I am glad I did not check out the individual blocks too closely before starting this quilt.
I mostly just looked at the whole quilt and really liked it.  I think some of these blocks are going to prove to be a little difficult for me.....I don't mind circles but all those little fingers and tiny outer curves in the pineapple block are proving to be a problem and I see more of them in other blocks.
Do any of you have any tips?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Grapes or Cherries?

After the last post I was wondering what you all think about the color of the circles in block 16. I really had not thought about it because it is a ways off for me, but it is the center block which may lead me to make them red too. Although it does look like a grape vine so I like the purple too.

Just curious if you had thought about it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Block 16 and all those circles

I started on block 16, and sort of ignored the circles, concentrating on the vines and leaves.  Well, you can't do that and get it all done!  I made some of my circles last night, and stitched them in place.

I mostly do back basting, but used my Perfect Circles for this job.
this is what the block looks like now.  Still a way to go, but if I can get some done like this between other things, then I will probably have them done on time.  You can see the whole sequence on my blog Legend and Lace .  I did not want to take up too much space here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My First post

Hello everyone! I decided to make 9 blocks from this quilt. I'm doing needleturn applique and I'm in NO hurry.. just having fun

here are 3 of the blocks.. rick rack is for on the basket

I really look forward to seeing your blocks and sharing mine!

Pat Sloan

Monday, January 17, 2011

block three

The dreaded pineapple block has been done thank goodness. It just takes a bit more time to do the inner and outer curves of those fingers.
I don't mind admitting what I do when the inner curves are really tight with little seam allowance. I use Elmers washable school glue and put the tiniest bit in the seam allowance with a toothpick and smear it on. At least I don't get any fraying. The glue is a starch product and is very safe to use. I do the same for inner points.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

#4 - Whew...

Number 4 block done - a little more color...looking forward to starting #5 now - the first basket. Wish I could devote all the hours to just this project - but there are other things that need doing right now. Slow and steady is my new motto...
Have a good week everyone!

Chugging Along

This week I worked on Block #3.

I've started Block #4. I will come back to #3--later!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Starting is the Hardest Part

I believe the hardest part of any project is just starting 
Today  I am finally getting around to starting my Cherry Tree Quilt.
I have been collecting the patterns since the very beginning and really love this quilt.

I spent way too  much time trying to decide on a background fabric and then the other day I found this white fabric in my stash.  I bought it on clearance a few year back because it had a few spots on it.
I had so much of it I was able to cut around the spots.
It isn't the fabric I had in mind but it will do and I can finally start.
That said - I am already stumped.  I have never done reverse applique' and all those little circles in the first block have this tiny yellow dot in the center that are supposed to be done in reverse applique'.
Boy do I need some help. How did you all tackle this?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sentimental Stitches

Click HERE for Sentimental Stitches site. A new window should open up with her site.
This address worked for me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blocks 12, 13, 14, and 15

Block 12

Block 13

Block 14

Block 15

I managed to get caught up last night - just in time.  I apologize for what I was thinking, that I 'd much rather do circles than the fiddly bits of some of the last few blocks.  I didn't know what was coming next!  At least I have a month to get all the grapes done.  The 'fingers' above the buds/berries in blocks 12 and 14 really didn't seem very difficult, though.

I left the bud and leaf off the center flower on block 15 that hang over the vase.  After doing the first one, I decided it wouldn't show enough.  I also did three layers on the center flower instead of five so my fabrics would show.  As I've said before, reverse applique is not my favorite but I did it.  The yellow I used for the background on those pieces has a red print in it and, in a few of the sections, the print is the part that shows.

Now on to cutting circles.

I Didn't See This Coming.

WOW, 112 circles about 1/2" in diameter. Are you kidding me? OK, so now that I'm over the circle shock, this looks like it's going to be a very pretty block. But I'm waaaaay behind, I've just got going on block #7, you remember, the one with 44 5/8" circles!

Welcome to our new members, there might be a few more joining in. If anyone is interested in joining, please have them email me. If you follow the comments, you might have picked up a very special quilter commenting and asking to join. So look for a post from P.S. in the near future. And have you seen how many followers are little blog has now? Fabulous.

Please remember to label your posts with only your name. This keeps all your posts together.

You can purchase any past blocks directly from Sentimental Stitches.

I also wanted to mention I was just at her site and Gaye has lost her mom this weekend and yet she published Block 16.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Coming Clean, Block #12

Alright.  I confess.  I don't pre-wash fabric.  Used to.  Not any more.

In a family of 6 I already spend far too much time in the laundry and at the washing line.  I stopped washing fabric some time ago when I had to untangle lots of 20cm strips and iron them.  Something else I'm not crazy about.

With charm squares and the advent of jelly rolls etc pre-washing has to be a questionable use of precious sewing time.

As for shrinkage, I can't quantify that.  For me it hasn't been an issue.  Of course there are occasional colour runs.  This is my block #12

The red fabric in the centre top bud ran when I washed the block.  Drat.  But colour catcher came to the rescue.   I put one sheet and the block in cold water and agitated it well.  Colour catcher went pink.  Block came out clean.  Yay!

I leave you with a question.  Why do you pre-wash?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Block 2 &3

I managed to nibble away at some stitching between Christmas and the new year and got two more blocks done. I really love the fresh look the modern fabrics give and it's good excuse to use some of the bright stash.

I've finished blocks 1 and 2. Practicing applique as I go.

I'm learning a lot from everyone and love seeing your blocks. I think my style is somewhere between "folk art" and "funky" and "what on earth was she doing?"!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Block #6 is Done

I really like this block, I just wish I has a better contrast for the top center flower. When it's layered, I'd like it to look a bit more defined. Oh well, lots more blocks to achieve that look!
Now I'm ready to dive into block 7, I think this is the one with 44 5/8" circles? I've been making those along with the 1" circles, so I've got a bit of a jump on this block. I can get 3 or 4 done each lunch, when I actually sit away from my desk!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Off Topic (Slightly)

Is anyone going to NYC for the Red & White show the end of March? 650 quilts will be on display. They are coming from a private collector in New York and many of these quilts have not been shown before. It's being put on by the Folk Art Museum and here is a blurb about the show.

In what will be the most extensive collection of quilts ever displayed in New York City, Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts is a showcase of America's finest handiwork. The American Folk Art Museum, which is celebrating the Year of the Quilt, is taking over the cavernous hall of the Park Avenue Armory to hang more than 650 red-and-white quilts, all owned by one dedicated private collector. For more information, visit


Block 9

I would think by now my applique skills would be getting better!! There isn't a lot of smooth going on here. I thought I'd use a different green on the leaves. I'm not happy with it, but am not taking it out or making it over. There are enough blocks in this quilt that I think it will blend in just fine.

When I went to print out the next block I see I missed block 8 all together. I remedied that and now have one leaf appliqued on it. There are a lot of leaves on that block!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Little History - Red & Green

Dug out my quilt history books in response to the query about the origins of red and green quilt (colors). Seems like the general consensus is that this color combination became popular prior to 1850. There had been a major shift in preferred colors in early houses and the rugs, draperies and accessories reflected the popularity of reds. No doubt the accessibility of imported items influenced this, i.e. - richly colored oriental rugs and heavy tapestries.
During the mid 1800's turkey red dyes became more available and the stability that this process offered created a demand for turkey red cloth. (The intricate dye process for turkey red was discovered in 1810.)
Problems are evident today when a quilt contains some of the earlier greens. We have often viewed a vintage quilt where the red is still quite stable, but the greens have faded out to tans or lighter. A green could be obtained by using a combination of blue and yellow dyes and depending on the mordants used, results were unpredictable and frequently led to the faded tans which we see today.

If you could peek between the seam allowances which have not been exposed to light, a trace of the original green would probably be evident. "Poison green" is reputed to have earned its name because of some of the ingredients that went into creating that distinctive yellow tinged green color.

For a quiltmaker, a red and green appliqued quilt usually indicated her best work. These quilts required more yardage and hence, were more costly to prepare. But the new methods of making and printing cloth also introduced an easier level of applique compared to the more restrictive and expensive chintz used in broderie perse. I read somewhere, that by the time a red and green quilt was in the works, the quiltmaker was often in her late 40's or 50's with the family grown and on their own. She finally had time to devote to the intensity needed for such a work and the finished appliqued quilt was considered only for "show" - when company would visit and lovingly displayed on the bed. The popularity of this style of quilt also reflected the quiltmakers love of her natural surroundings - the designs could be taken right out of her garden...baskets filled with flowers and sitting on a side table in her home,  no doubt inspired a block that contain an elaborate appliqued basket and multiple leaves and flowers - perhaps a little bird hovering nearby.

You are probably like me and in your quilting library have a number of books relating to red and green quilts.
Just a couple I grabbed off the shelf...

Eileen Jahnke Trestain - Dating Fabrics - A Color Guide 1800-1960
And always a good reference source: Barbara Brackman! Her blog and any of her books!
And the queen of applique quilt books - Elly!
There is a lot of information out there - have fun looking and be sure to share with us!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cherry Tree Block 15

This block was quite bitsy to make.  Lots of little bits that I was not real keen on.  I only left off one insignificant flower.  The centre I did twice.  I was going to just put the large floral fabric in the centre.  In fact I did do it, but it did not look right, and I unpicked.  The 5 layers were just too many, so put the flower back in again.  I was a bit worried that the leaves overlapping the basket would disappear, but they show up ok in the photo.  Very pleased to have it done - now I can go on with other jobs piling up.  Wendy W

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My #2 & #3 Blocks

Thinking I am the most conservative of this fun colors are so quiet! Have block #4 drawn up and the fabrics laid out...getting braver and bringing in a little stripe!!! Bear with  me - applique continues to be a total learning process...
Hope everyone is having a good weekend and wishing each of you the Happiest of New Year's!

Pat in frigid Northern Wisconsin