Sunday, December 25, 2011

Orca Bay, step 6

Step #6 of Bonnie Hunter's mystery are Ohio Stars --- They are so cute!
They use the hourglasses from step #1, and newly cut red, light & black squares. I have 12 completed so far, with many other blocks partially completed.

The close-up shows fabric from my precious stash of reproduction fabrics, combined with a fair amount of recycled shirts.

There will be 27 blocks with black corners and 27 with light corners, for a total of 54, so I'll be sewing away on it all week. I'm looking forward to seeing how this puzzle will work itself out!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Orca Bay, steps 4 & 5

I'm almost finished with step #4 of Bonnie's mystery, which are string triangles (produced by cutting string squares in half). I'm happy with how all the reds are working together. With 1900-era being my guide, I used all kinds of reds from double-pinks to light burgundy.

Step #5 is completely done. Wings were added to the HST units from step #3 to make triangle-shaped units, shown below. These took several hours, sewn over a few days. I don't understand how some of the quilters get these steps done in one day!

My cat Tiger found the quilt pieces in no time flat!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Huswife needlecases

A huswife (or housewife) is a small kit for sewing supplies, made & used by women in the 18th & 19th centuries. Civil War soldiers were given these kits to store mending supplies as they went to war. (source: Remembering Adelia, by Kathleen Tracy)

I just finished making several of these to give to friends, using Kathleen Tracy's pattern from her quilt book Remembering Adelia. It was fun to play in my Civil War repro stash! Below are the huswifes, showing the front and the back (I made them in pairs). I made one pair in 1930 repro fabrics because a few of the women prefer those over Civil War fabrics.

I made them slightly different from Kathleen Tracy's pattern: I blanket-stitched down the wool needle holder, and I used a loop & button as a closure instead of ribbon.

I really enjoyed this project! I learned that I could felt my own wool, and I learned how to do a blanket stitch. And....I finished them in time for Christmas!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Orca Bay, step #3...and my inspiration!

Step #3 consists of 350 HST (Half square triangle) units, 2" square. These took quite some time to sew. I started out with 2.5" squares, drew a diagonal line on each, and sewed 1/4" on either side of the line. Then, I cut on the diagonal, pressed each open, and squared each down to 2" square.
Next time I have to make lots of these, I should explore another method...there's so many different ways to make these little blocks.

LinkAgain, I used 1900 reproduction fabrics, including some recycled shirts that fit right in. I especially love the little conversation prints!

While picking fabric for this quilt, I keep some actual 1900-era fabric close-at-hand to help me choose the right shades and patterns. The photo below shows an old apron and an old quilt piece, along with some of my completed blocks.

Eventually (maybe Friday??) we'll be using the red scraps....lots of red scraps! I'll be using clear reds, clarets, and some darker double-pinks, using these old pieces as a guide.

One reason I love the 1900-era quilts is because the colors are so simple and clear, and the patterns are usually uncomplicated. They just have a certain charm to them.

Orca Bay, step #2

Step #2 consists of 72 string blocks, 3.5 inches square. These were fun to make, and very addictive! I used up lots of blue scraps, and dug into my stash of reproduction 1900 fabrics.

The blocks photographed lighter than in reality. I really tried to use only fabrics that could be from 1900, and this photo doesn't convey that.