Sampler and Snow

In the previous post one of the friendship quilts had a border with my favorite Thimbleberries fabric. That border was made with what I had left over from making a sampler quilt so I thought I might as well show you the sampler quilt too.

Border Blast

Border Blast

This sampler design, called Border Blast, was one of the official Thimbleberries Club projects, but I don’t remember which year. I know I did not buy the fabric kit that year. Instead I bought this floral fabric from my friend Anita. I wish I had bought a lot more as it was only available for a short time. The project quilt that year was a huge quilt and since I prefer smaller quilts, I reduced the pattern which allowed me to have the same look only using smaller blocks and borders. The fabrics used in the blocks were all from my small pieces of Thimbleberries collection and I chose them from the colors in the floral print. The quilt did indeed have a lot of borders which I thought was a great place to use my favorite fabric.

I never did check on groundhog day to see what the groundhog predicted, but it obviously must have been for more winter. It was getting to be spring-like weather when all of a sudden, we plunged into more winter than usual. Last week the kids were suppose to have a no-school day on President’s Day but they had to use it as a make-up day for the ice day that closed school in January. But alas, the day was cut short to a half-day because that’s the day winter returned. We then had a big ice storm and extremely cold weather so they had no school Tuesday through Thursday and they went back on Friday with a 2-hour late start. It finally warmed up and we had a nice weekend.  Monday was back to school as normal. We woke up Tuesday to snow. When we first got the 5am call, the schools were going to be on a delay start, but within the hour we got another call that the schools would be closed again. And it snowed, and snowed! Not quite as cold this time so more snow than ice—the fun snowman building kind of snow. So no school Tuesday, then no school again today, and what do you know—the ice is coming down again and there is no school tomorrow. I like the snow, but please, please do not ask me to play monopoly. Jacob and I played it so long and it never ends with just two people so I finally had to say—no more monopoly! My friend Judy would have loved the snow too if she were here. I was thinking about her and remembered the quilt I made her that brings thoughts of snow.

Judy Loves Snow

Judy Loves Snow

This quilt is a variation of the Brick-Brack pattern designed by my friend Aby. Coincidently, I met Aby through Judy. Do you get cold just looking at this quilt?

Snow Day

Snow Day

The block design in this mini quilt is called “snow crystals”. It reminds me of us—looking out the window at all the snow.

The Blessing of Friends

For many years I have been in an online Thimbleberries group. Even though the Thimbleberries line has been retired, the group remains together as we are not only now good friends, but also have a lifetime supply of Thimbleberries to continue using.  One of the activities the leader of the group started was having us send each other hearts for a variety of occasions. The blocks are 6-1/2” square (unfinished) and the heart can be made with techniques to include regular-piecing, foundation-piecing, or applique. Usually they have a cream background with a specified Thimbleberry color for the heart. In the group, these are called Hearts of Friendship. I like to think of them as little hugs. It always makes me smile to think of these little hugs flying across the ocean or across the country. I imagine it fills the air with happiness and they especially fill the heart when they arrive in the mailbox. It always brings such pleasure to open each envelope as it gets here.

When my grandson Miles was born, the group sent me blue hearts to celebrate his arrival.
These four hearts came from:
Ella from Jersey (UK)
Joyce from Texas
Ellen from Missouri
Yvonne from UK

Ella, Joyce Ellen, Yvonne

Ella, Joyce
Ellen, Yvonne

These three hearts came from:
Julie from New York
Adva from California
Kim from Jersey (UK)

Julie, Adva, Kim

Julie, Adva, Kim

These three hearts came from:
Linda from Texas
Jane from New Zealand
Anita from North Carolina

Linda, Jane, Anita

Linda, Jane, Anita

These three hearts came from:
Lorna from UK
Kathi from Washington
Jean from Canada

Lorna, Kathi, Jean

Lorna, Kathi, Jean

These three hearts came from:
Tina from Florida
Gisele from Jersey (UK)
Rena from New York

Tina, Gisele, Rena

Tina, Gisele, Rena

These three hearts came from:
Vicki from Washington
Tomi from Illinois
Denise from New York

Vivki, Tomi, Denise

Vivki, Tomi, Denise

And this is the quilt I made with all the lovely blue hearts and Thimbleberries fabrics.  In the lower right corner are all the signature squares from each heart-maker and they follow the order of the hearts in the quilt.

Little Hugs

Little Hugs

Once when I was extremely ill, the group sent me hearts of cheerful colors and this is the quilt I made from those hearts and more Thimbleberries fabrics.  The border on this one is my most favorite Thimbleberries fabric.

Cheer Up

Cheer Up

When my friend Anita was blessed with her three granddaughters, the group sent her pink hearts for each of the girls. I made the tops for the girls’ quilts and Anita is going to applique their names on each one and then she will quilt them for the girls. The pictures were taken at different times so it makes the backgrounds look different, but they are actually all similar with a mix of cream Thimbleberries fabrics.

Callie

Callie

Claire

Claire

Claudia

Claudia

For the occasion of my moving from Texas to North Carolina, the group had a choice of making me a house block or a heart block and this is the quilt I made with those blocks, along with lots of Thimbleberries scraps.  Each heart has the signature square of the heart (or house)-maker right next to the heart

Hugs from Quilt Friends

Hugs from Quilt Friends

When I was in Texas, I met some of the best ladies ever. We all went to Thimbleberries Club together and in addition, we also sewed together otherwise. It was very hard to leave behind such wonderful friends. My very dear friend, Zella, gathered signatures and made them into this lovely Thimbleberries quilt and sent it to me. I was so surprised when it arrived and also very humbled to be the recipient of such a treasure.

Texas Love from Zella

Texas Love from Zella

All of the hearts and houses blocks and quilts are wonderful reminders of the Blessing of Friends.  I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful, caring friends.

Lost and Found Sampler

Lost and Found Sampler

Lost and Found Sampler

My friend Marcia from Quilter’s Cache has been going through her files and patterns and found a sampler that she designed about ten years ago. For some reason, she did not get the sampler put on her website. Since she had the pattern all ready to go, she asked me if I would make it up so she could see it made into a quilt. She named her pattern Red, White, and Blue Sampler but I chose to name mine “Lost and Found Sampler” because I thought it was so funny how she found it untouched all these years later.

I let Jacob pick out the fabrics as he likes to do that. The red he chose has little snowflakes on it and the blue has white dots which remind him of falling snow. Marcia’s sampler is a wall quilt size at 51” square. I decided that I want to use mine on the table and since I have a small table, Jacob and I decided to reduce the size of the blocks from 12” to 8”. I like to let him look at the picture and figure out what is needed and how to construct it. He studied it awhile and then he asked me why Marcia uses two squares that are exactly the same next to each other instead of making a rectangle. I explained to him that each person sees a pattern differently and for some reason Marcia likes all those extra seams and that he could figure it however it worked best for him. He chose the rectangles (sorry Marcia!).

This is the list he gave me of what we needed:
Red:
18 squares at 2-1/2”
38 triangles that finish at 2”
Blue:
22 squares at 2-1/2”
28 triangles that finish at 2”
16 squares at 1-1/2”
White:
16 rectangles at 2-1/2” x 4-1/2”
14 squares at 2-1/2”
50 triangles that finish at 2”
24 rectangles at 1-1/2” x 8-1/2”

We then decided to change the cornerstones to both red and blue so you would have to change the blue 1-1/2” squares to need 8 and add 8 (also 1-1/2”) to the red if you like how we made ours.
If you were also making the smaller size as we did, then in addition to the above, you would need to cut the borders:
Red:
Cut 2 strips at 1-1/2” x 28-1/2”; sew to the sides.
Cut 2 strips at 1-1/2” x 30-1/2”; sew to the top and bottom
Blue:
Cut 2 strips at 3” x 30-1/2”; sew to the sides.
Cut 2 strips at 3-1/2” x 35-1/2”; sew to the top and bottom.
You would also need 4 binding strips of red cut at 2-1/2” x wof.

To see Marcia’s pattern and instructions, click here to go to her website. The quilt went together very quickly and when I had the whole top together, I took a picture so Marcia could see it. That is when I noticed that I had turned the top row upside down. This is one of those situations where I use those two little words that help get me through life—“oh well”. One of the great things about samplers is that blocks can be changed around and it does not change the whole quilt. Since all the borders were on, it was no use taking it apart. Jacob and I had a lot of fun with this and I hope you have fun making yours too. Keep in mind, that you could also substitute a variety of different blocks into this sampler. You can find thousands of them on the Quilter’s Cache website.

Valentines and Cherries

I gave myself a gift this year of Block of the Month projects.  One of the ones that I signed up for is from Shabby Fabrics and it is actually a kit for a different bench pillow each month.  The pillows were designed by Kim Christopherson of Kimberbell Designs.  The gals at Shabby Fabrics put together the fabric kit along with the pattern.  It is so much fun to get the little bundle with the pattern, all the fabric and even the extras needed like the rickrack and ribbon.  I love getting packages in the mail.

Be My Valentine

Be My Valentine

Rather than making the bench pillows, I decided to make mine into table runners.  These will fit perfectly on my table.  I added a sleeve to the back in case I decide to hang them up next year as a little wall quilt instead of having them on the table.

In my little spot for mini quilts, I decided to hang up this cherry one to represent George Washington.  This one comes from my collection of mini Thimbleberries quilts that I made years ago.

Checkerboard Cherries

Checkerboard Cherries

I wonder what would be a good quilt to display for Friday the 13th.  By the time I figure it out, it will be Valentines Day anyway.  Happy Friday the 13th!

Bunny Race Day

Last night when Jacob and I were eating supper we saw a bunny come out of the woods.  We see them fairly often, but usually when they leave the wooded area into the open space, they sit very still for awhile trying to make sure they can’t be seen.  This bunny, though, started hopping really fast in a straight line across the yard.  All of a sudden, out comes another bunny and it started hopping in the same path as the first one.  There was nothing chasing them and actually if they had felt in danger, they would have hopped back into the woods where they can hide so much easier.  Those bunnies can really go fast when they want to.  They both were hopping as fast as they could go and in a straight line across the back yard.  We ran to the studio to see where they went and they kept in the straight line right through a little group of trees and back into the open area on the other side of the trees.  Then they turned around and came back in the same line.  They hopped all the way to the neighbor’s fence, turned around and did it again.  We have no idea why they were going so fast back and forth in the same line, but Jacob said it must be “Bunny Race Day” so that is what it must have been.  We love the little things in life like a few minutes watching the bunny races.

Six Mini Quilts and a Munchkin

Six Mini Quilts and a Munchkin

In a previous post, I showed some of the mini spool quilts I was making.  I ended up making a total of six of them altogether as I needed some for giving away.  You can see in the picture that Jacob is really growing fast this year.  Up to this past summer, he was the smallest in his classes and very small for his age.  Then during the summer he suddenly started to grow and has continued to do so all fall and winter.  We are hoping the bunnies come out again this evening.  Maybe they will sit very still and we can get some pictures….or maybe they will have another bunny race.

Nicki’s First Quilt

Nicki's Quilt

Nicki’s Quilt

A friend of Jacob’s mom (Nicki) decided to learn to make quilts.  She went to a quilt store in Michigan where she lives and took a class.  In the class, they put together a quilt top using 2-1/2” strips.  She did not learn anything about finishing the quilt so she asked me if I would quilt it and bind it for her in order to have it done.  She mailed the top to me and I found a backing, did the quilting, found a good fabric for the binding and added that too.  Nicki is coming down here for a visit now in February and will pick it up then.   I think she did a nice job making her first quilt top, and hopefully she will love being able to use it now that it is finished.  I love the colors she used as they seem to be so calming.

Snowmen

Winter Friends

Winter Friends

Time to put away all the Christmas quilts and bring out some winter quilts for January.  I did not have a snowman quilt so that was one of the things Jacob had put on his list this past summer that he wanted me to make while he was at his dads.  I had a piece of fabric with these little pictures of snowmen along with the critters so decided to cut up the fabric and add some sashing.  The squares were not really square and I had to leave different amounts of the blue fabric that was around the squares so it turned out a bit wonky looking which adds a bit of character.  Some white sashing and red cornerstones stretched those squares enough to make a little quilt to toss on the back of the sofa and use to cover up when watching a movie.  Jacob was glad to come home and find I had actually made what was on his list, only now he wants another snowman quilt with one big snowman.  Maybe I’ll make that this summer when I want to imagine the cooler days of winter again.

Let It Snow Tablerunner

Let It Snow Tablerunner

This little tablerunner was one I made with my friend Wendy and her family.  Wendy had several family members all come to visit and stay with her at the same time so she set up a couple days of sewing for them and invited me to sew along and also help some of the beginners make theirs.  She bought matching kits for everyone to make so we all could work on the same project.  We had so much fun and I sure wish I could have a few more sew days like those few days.

Snow Treats

Snow Treats

I have made a whole collection of Thimbleberries mini quilts and this is one of them.  There is a perfect spot in my studio to hang it and now I can smile at the cheerful little snowmen watching me work.  I am wondering if January is going to bring us some days of real snowmen such as we had last year.  We are crossing our fingers for some snow—make that lots of snow!