Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving ... or Christmas? and other non-quilting related news

We're expecting heavy snow here in Northwestern New Jersey today, the day before Thanksgiving.  But looking out my front porch it looks more like Christmas!
They are predicting we could get 8" - 10" of snow.
This photo was taken about a hour ago and the snow has increased dramatically.  Hard to imagine that just two days ago it was 70 degrees and I was raking the leaves out of the pachasandra!
In other news, a couple of weeks ago.. an intruder was spotted on the front porch..
Who could this be on my front porch??  Eating without any regard to the audience he attracted.
Silly squirrel...
He just stopped by to say Hi to Lucy and have a snack!!  (she was not impressed..)

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow to all my friends in the US!
The pies are baked I am going to spend the rest of the day in my sewing room watching the snow.  Plenty of slow stitching going on.

Happy Stitching,


Saturday, November 15, 2014

RSC Offset Log Cabin Blocks Tutorial

I've had a few people ask me about these blocks over the past several months that I have been posting them for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so I decided to include a brief tutorial.
The name of the block is Offset Log Cabin and it is constructed somewhat the same way a log cabin block would go together, except is it made from 4 units.
 What makes it look different from a traditional log cabin block is the varying widths of the 'logs'.  The finished block is 12".  So here we go.....
(Sorry the photos look so "pink"... I thought I had fixed this.)
First, of course, you need to cut your log pieces. You will make 4 of these units to make one block.  But for this tutorial we will work on just one unit.
Here is the layout of how the pieces will go together.
We start with sewing a 1 1/2" piece to the 2 1/2" center square.  1/4" seam allowance, of course.  Press seam allowance toward the white fabric.
Add the next piece (1 1/2" x 3 1/2") along the top.
Then along the side (2 1/2" x 3 1/2").  Just like building a log cabin block.
Then along the bottom (2 1/2" x 5 1/2").
And next on the right side (1 1/2" x 5 1/2").
Finally add the strip ( 1 1/2"x  6 1/2") along the top.
Your unit is now complete.  It should measure 6 1/2" square. Repeat to make three more!
Once you have your 4 units done, sew them together into your finished block.

 These blocks are quick, easy and fun to make.

Happy Stitching!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Almost Wordless Friday

The view off of our deck this morning in New Jersey.
Happy Stitching,

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An Unplanned UFO Project

On Sunday, while I was searching for some pieces I had made for another UFO, I came across these 6 Oak & Reel blocks.  I started these in 2012.  I know that because I had made copies of the article/pattern from the American Patchwork & Quilting April 2012 issue.
As I looked at this neatly packaged project with background squares, templates, and pattern, I still loved the Jo Morton pattern and the Jo Morton fabrics I had chosen, but I also I realized I was never going to make the additional 24 blocks needed to complete this quilt. 
So while I may have outgrown this project, I didn't want to just ignore these beautiful needle-turned orphan blocks and put them back on the UFO pile.
I decided on a simple setting with plain blocks in between the Reel blocks (much like the original quilt) and a Jo Morton stripe (which I had actually bought for the border of the full quilt) on each end.  I was excited by my use of these now orphan blocks in a new runner that will eventually grace my kitchen island.  I enthusiastically basted my new runner together.
I started hand quilting the Reel blocks.  It has been a long time since I quilted something that was not big stitch quilted with perle cotton.  I dug out my hand quilting thread and my good quilting thimble and got to work.
Soon I had another decision to make.  What should I quilt in the plain blocks?  I searched my quilting stencils (buried at the bottom of a drawer) and came up with two options.
I decided on the star pattern and I am enjoying the hand quilting on these... even if my arthritic hands are not so happy!
My assistant of course had to add her two cents worth of fur!
Hopefully I can show you another finish very soon.

(By the way, I never did find those pieces I was originally looking for! LOL)
Happy Stitching,


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