Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Strung Out Again :-D

Since Roll Roll Cotton Boll, I find I'm being "strung out" again, working with 1-1/4" strips for my UFO #6! I've got lots and lots of strips cut from Thimbleberries fabrics, and I'm chain-piecing log cabins out of neutrals and rich dark colors.

I'll be sewing on UFO #6 all week, including Thimbleberries Sew Day that Sandie hosts on the last Wednesday of every month at Crazy 'bout Quilts!  I'm constructing log cabins and fans to make "American Heritage" -- a pattern from Simple Blocks Make Sensational Quilts by Winnie Fleming.   As I've played with the blocks, though, I've changed my mind about the design.  Winnie's quilt sets the blocks straight turning fans and logs to make diagonal lines and curves.  I've decided to put my blocks on point....
Winnie's American Heritage

And I, Miss "I-don't-care-for-the-strings-look" find that the controlled scrappiness of the logs really appeal to me -- especially marching along in even rows. 

My "new" take on the log cabins and fans

This is my first log cabin! Some twenty years of playing around with quilt-making and I've never made a log cabin!  So this project is not only a UFO but a long-overdue quilting rite of passage! :-D

And I'm totally in the mood to sew after a wonderful retreat at the Jabez Quilt Conference.  I taught three classes, and in them renewed friendships from previous years and made new friends that were wonderful!

There were the "Northern Girls" -- a family of quilters that come from northern KY (just this side of the river from Cincinnati!) which includes Rose, Nancy, sister-in-law Patti and this year, their mother Esther! They always bring beautiful fabrics and we manage to rib each other mercilessly.  They are such fun!

Cathy, sweet soul, took ALL THREE of my classes!! Brave, brave woman!! A very accomplished and generous quilter, she blessed me tremendously with her can-do attitude and patience when we found my cutting instructions for a block in my sampler were completely wrong! Quilters are a very forgiving lot, thank the Lord! :-D

A new friendship was born with Caterina, a brand new quilter who emigrated from Italy back in 1960.  Upon her retirement, she's taken up quilting.  An accomplished seamstress and needleworker (she brought some samples of her lace from the old country!), she's taken to quilting like a magnet!! What fun she was to teach!

In the evenings, I had a room all to myself and was able to sew into the night, just like at home! :-)  I cut and assembled 14 more blocks for the Farmer's Wife, bringing my total up to 25. 

As much as I enjoy my solitary sewing time, it's not nearly as much fun as sewing with my friends.  My daughter tells me I'm an extrovert.  I get energy being around people.  And that's certainly true if they are quilters!!

Wise old Solomon wrote, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

My friends, old and new, warmed me this past week.  I look forward to the next time I'm blessed with their company.  I'm so thankful that I can count them and you among those who "help me up" and, along with the Lord Jesus, make up that three-strand cord!

Lord knows, I'll need strength to get UFO #6 completed in the month of January! :-D


I almost forgot!! LuAnn at Loose Threads sent me the "Stylish Blogger Award!"  Thanks so much, LuAnn!  I'm supposed to share eight things about myself and nominate eight blogs for the award.  Pop on over to my "Awards" page to check that out!


antique quilter said...

oh I just love this pattern, your quilt is coming along beautifully. I feel a few log cabin style quilts being made by me this year.
I love the look of them and there really are a few layouts I want to try.
Glad you had fun on your retreat!

John'aLee said...

Oh my...that first quilt is one amazing quilt! Can't wait to see it finished.

Barb said...

Looks like you are doing great on your ongoing projects. So glad you enjoyed the retreat with friends.

Carol said...

OMG I love your log can never go wrong with a log cabin. Glad your retreat was so wonderful. Those Farmer's Wife blocks are amazing.

Teresa Rawson said...

I really like your version of the log cabin/fan quilt. Your outer border where you blended the two block types is WAY cool!

I love piecing log cabin blocks! I need to have a strip day, where I pare down my scrap bins and fill my strip bins! In the past, I've maily made cabin blocks where the planks measure 1 inch finished. I want to make some where the planks are 1/2 or 3/4 inches finished - I think those are so neat. Pineapple blocks also appeal to me.

I guess I was born to be a'd NEVER know it just looking at me!!!

Glad your classes went so well...with your personality and expertise, I bet you are a great teacher!

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

Crispy said...

WOW I LOVE your log cabin & fan quilt!!!! The colors are sooooo bold and wonderful!! I would have loved to hang out at your retreat, though I would have been the one in the corner doing hand work :0)


Tracy said...

I really like your version of the log cabins and fans. I do love log cabin quilts, and aim to make one someday. ;-)

Can't wait to get started on the next batch of Farmer's Wife blocks. Your Basket Weave block is different than ours.

Staci said...

How wonderful! I love your layout with the fans and log cabins. I love that block, too and have never made it. One day. . . Isn't that the quilter mantra, One Day, Some Day! Sounds like you had a lovely time and are all energized and ready to go forth and quilt great things.

Lori said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful week sewing and renewing friendships. The log cabin is so pretty!!

Cheri said...

Oh, I really like log cabins. I always feel like I am getting back to quilting roots when I sew log cabins. The design possibilities with the fan blocks are really interesting, have fun arranging those.
Happy Stitching,

Anonymous said...

OMG! Your first quilt is a beauty!

Debbie T. said...

Mary Lou, It was good seeing you last week, even though it wasn't for very long at a time. You were either teaching or "hiding" in your room, getting all those blocks done!! Wasn't it a fun week? I love it. I got quite a bit done on my Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll, but am not as far along as Paula and Lynn. I'll get there eventually. I love the finished product!!

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Your log cabin is going to be gorgeous! Loved your post. Have a happy day!

Patty Sumner said...

All your work is great (as usual). Glad you got to take part in the quilting conference and enjoyed it so. Thanks for the award. I one a major award!!!! lol, seriously, I got that from another fellow blogger this week. Thanks for thinking about me. Blessings and see you soon! I hope or you may be to busy quilting since I cannot quilt, I could be the entertainment or the cook.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Amazingly beautiful combination of fans and LC's... I'm struck by both the movement and the geometry of this at the same time.

Also,I love thinking of this passage regarding keeping warm alone and how impossible that is... Great post, Mary Lou! Thank you most kindly.

beth said...

Wow! What an amazing log cabin!

julieQ said...

What a gorgeous log cabin you have in the works!! I like your famer's wife blocks, they are just wonderful!

Rose Marie said...

Fabulous blocks and oh so tiny!