Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cotton Candy

Doesn't this fabric remind you of cotton candy? I found a quilt in the Summer 2009 issue of Fonts and Porter quilting magazine; and it inspired me to go out and grab fabric for it. I will make two quilts out of this fabric. The six coordinating fabrics are all found at Joann's (yes, believe it or not!) The stripe / ticking fabric, however, was found at a local quilt shop. The blue in the fabric from J's is more on the 'teal' side, so it was a little bit of a challenge finding the striped fabric. I plan to give one quilt away for Christmas, and keep the second for myself. Since the fabric was on sale for less than $5 per yard, I couldn't resist buying extra fabric to make two identical quilts. This is one of my summer projects, this year. While I wait to be called for job interviews, I'll need to keep myself busy until I find work again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Underground Railroad Sampler

This is a special day for my family and my fellow Americans. Memorial Day is meant for pause to remember our servicemen and women; including those who have gone before us. We pause to remember our POW's and MIA's; and we reflect on the sacrifices they have made to ensure that the United States and its citizens continue to enjoy their freedom and liberties.
Since there is no school and no work, today, my son and I went to Barnes and Noble to relax and grab a smoothie. As some of my friends know, I am not earning an income at the moment, since I've had to resign my job due to the Air Force moving us to Florida in two weeks. I am itching to start on a new quilt project, nontheless. While at B & N, I picked up a book on Underground Railroad quilts written by Eleanor Burns and Susan Bouchard called Undeground Railroad Sampler . A few days ago, my friend Mary Rogers had shared an underground railroad quilt she had made, so when I found this book, I was so delighted and inspired to make one, also.
Did you know that there is much controversy over whether or not the quilts' purpose was to guide slaves through the Underground Railroad? Some scholars will tell you that the blocks are meaningless, while others will say that they played a fundemental role in assisting slaves in their plight to escape and move northward.
I bought the book, and in true "Civil War-era" fashion, I am going to use up my scraps for the Underground Railroad quilt I am going to make. I have tons of browns, reds, greens and tans from the "Around the Block" quilt that I just finished this week. I thought it was fitting to use up scraps just as fabric was scarce during the Civil War.
From another book about Underground Railroad quilts, I found a picture of General George Armstrong Custer, his wife, and a female slave. Yes, a slave. General Custer, a Union soldier, had slaves. The photograph was taken around the time the Confederacy surrendered and just two days before President Abraham Lincoln was assasinated. I found the photograph quite ironic. While General Custer was fighting a war to liberate slaves, he, himself, was a contradiction of the Union's ideals. You have to wonder how many Union soldiers owned slaves? Confederate General Robert E. Lee, himself, freed the slaves placed in his charge BEFORE the Emancipation Proclamation was made. It is quite ironic, isn't it?
On this Memorial Day, let's never forget where we came from, our history, and how we have arrived where we are today. Let us remember the courage of the soliders of the American Revolution, our Union Soldiers, those who served in World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, and those who continue to protect our freedom in all four corners of our world, today. Let's never take our liberties for granted. May you and yours have a blessed and safe Memorial Day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Presenting the finished quilt top!

It's done!! Finally!! Just in the nick of time, too. This pattern is by The Rabbit Factory (a Canadian quilt pattern company). It measures a little more than 2 yards wide and 2 1/4 yards long. I have to sew the backing and the strips together for the binding, but the top is done! I'll probably bring it to the quilt shop on Sunday. I'm on their schedule to have it quilted, so I will be able to pick this baby up before we leave for Florida. Woo-hoo! I am tired, but happy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Progress

More sewing. More accomplished. Over the last two days, I worked on 96 rail fence blocks for my quilt-in-progress. My eyes were so blood-shot by the end of each evening, but it's all worth it. I'm making progress. All of the blocks are ready. Soon, I will piece the center together. I will add sashing, borders, the houses and churches, and then it'll be ready for quilting. I'm down to the last four days of work on this quilt top. I am so excited.

After a few hours of working on my blocks, I needed to take a much needed chocolate break.

This is how some of the rail fence and nine-patch blocks will go together. I have some plain squares that will go above this row. It's a little too confusing to explain. You'll just have to wait to see the finished quilt in a few weeks.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sneak Peak!

I'm working on a new quilt. All in all, it involves a total of 24 houses, barns, churches, and school-houses. It took me two weeks to piece together the buildings. Now, I'm working on the fences and trees. I think it'll take me three more weeks to piece the top before it will be ready for quilting. I thought I'd give you a sneak peak on what I've been working on since the bird quilt.

Happy Mother's Day to my 'mommy' friends!! I hope you're enjoying your day!!