Archive for the ‘Celtic Solstice’ Category

Whoot, whoot!
The Bon Bon quilt is out of the frame and bound. I really need to review my math as I had over 80″ of binding left over. The quilt is 60″ not 90″, which makes a big difference.

20140603-145833.jpg. I love the texture that the fans added to the top. So pretty and a pattern that I plan to use again.

The frame did not stay empty for long as I have pinned in and started Celtic Solstice.

I debated for a long time on a quilting pattern. I’d lay it in the floor, drape it on a chair, fold it over the banister and just plain stare. I have a couple good ideas for a more artistic treatment, but in the end, I’m quilting by the piece, in the ditch. This will be a heavy use quilt, I want those seams secure. I don’t particularly enjoy all the quilting through seam allowances, but this time, it seems necessary.


Now the particulars for my own reference
Top: various reproductions
Pattern: Celtic Solstice by Bonnie Hunter
Batting: Quilters Dream Poly – mid loft
Thread: Coats and Clark’s Star machine thread in Falling Leaves (red, orange, green). It’s reading mostly orange and should satisfy the oldest child.
Backing – Bella solid – a yellow color




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I’ve been walking on the edge with the BonBon quilt. My spool of thread is not going to make it to the end of the quilt. And I probably will be playing chicken with the binding too. In all the excitement of almost being done, I just started cutting strips without the usual ciphering to compute the length needed. I wanted a slightly wider binding, but that little extra means that I only got 8 strips from the fabric instead of 9. I think I’ll be 5″ to the good, but let’s hope I don’t end up like the thread.


So this week I’ll need to run to the store for another spool to finish the last 12″ of quilting. And oldest child has decided that Celtic Solstice needs to be quilted with orange thread. I don’t like orange and do not have orange thread in the house. I know YLI does not make orange hand quilting thread, so I’ll need to look at other brands.

But I needed to go to the store anyway. This past weekend, we worked at bring home items from my grandmothers house before Goodwill
and a dumpster arrive. I was blessed to bring home two cabinet machines – one White Treadle and a Morse.

Here is the White. I think I can handle the cleanup on this one. It does have the bobbin and case, but is missing the cover. The lift mechanism on the cabinet is also broken, but looks easy to repair.

It turns out that my Grandfather once worked in sewing machine repair. I don’t have that ability, so when I make the trip for thread, the Morse will take a run to the repair shop for a once over, especially the electrical. I’m not sure that last time either was used, but I’ll put them into my studio and give them a good home. In order to make space, I may need to divest my Singer Vibrating Shuttle, but I’m going to try and move furniture first.

In the meantime, I’ll mark the Celtic Solstice and pin it in the frame. I counted seven tops still waiting in queue so let’s get quilting!


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We have been spoiled with mild winters over the past few years but this year has been bitterly cold. The extended weather forecast does not look like it will warm up anytime soon. All of us are getting a touch of cabin fever.

But the cold weather is ideal for quilting. I have made more progress on the BonBon quilt and hope to roll it down again next week.

One of my show and tells this week is a completed Spring Bouquet block. This is my version of block one. I am glad to achieve my personal goal of completing this in a month. All the templates are done for block 2, so Ill need to find a few minutes to iron them onto fabric. Since February is a short month, it will require some quick stitching in my part. I’ll get a good start while watching the Super Bowl. My team us not playing, but I enjoy a good game of football, so I’ll stitch as I listen.


Celtic Solstice is also a flimsy! The child receiving this quilt requested that the borders be turned and I obliged. That little bit of personalization will make this unique. We also went on a shopping expedition to pick up batting and a backing. I am glad that I took my helper as the backing chosen is not at all what I would have picked. It’s a primary yellow solid. Who says the back needs to relate to the front?

20140205-165400.jpg I have no great pictures as my baby insisted on trying it out every place I tried to lay it. Here is one of a few blocks

20140205-165807.jpg. I literally sew with one hand while standing holding the Little Miss on one hip. So I found a few of these while ironing where my seam allowances slipped. I’ve marked the spots with safety pins and will fix them before putting the top into the quilting pile.


It is also great to have an adult quilting buddy. Mom was kind enough to remind me of my goals for the year so I did not succumb to a BOM. The local shop is running Hampton Ridge for $10/month. I love little blocks and this is a steal!!!! but it does not meet my criteria for the year. The colors are not for me and it does not help work down my UFO pile. So I have to pass. Now that my machine is free, I’ll need to play in my stash to pull a new project, but there is no hurry due to the backlog waiting for the quilting frame. My second child now requesting a quilt, so that is percolating in the back of my mind.

I’m linking up over at Quiltville. This is the last link-up so check out all the variations around the web.

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In January some great things happen in blog-land. The new Block of the Months start on many designers websites. Others have spent time compiling link lists so I’m just going to highlight the few that have caught my eye this year.

I love to follow what Barbara Brackman does as she marries history and quilting. This year she is highlighting real stories of escaped slaves in the US prior to and during the civil war. So much discussion has happened in quilt land regarding the use (or lack thereof) of quilts to communicate on the Underground Railroad. Brackman is quick to point out that she is not advocating this theory, but has designed a quilt to reflect real life stories. More can be found here. I have not made one of Brackman’s quilts, but I follow along for her textile lessons.

Another of my favorite quilt designers has put out an applique BOM on her website. Pearl Pereira of P3 Designs is offering an applique wall quilt titled “Forever Blooming“. I really admire the detail in Pearl’s designs. I’m not in a position to start this quilt, but I am pattern collecting. I have been preparing templates to start “Baltimore Liberty” next month, but more on that in an upcoming post.

The last Block of the Month is from Just Takes 2, the duo of Brenda of Dear Jane and Gail of Sentimental Studios. This, their third collaborative effort, is a replication of a Baltimore Album quilt given as a presentation piece to Benjamin Biggs. At a pace of one block a month, this quilt will span several years. I missed the “Beyond the Cherry Tree” quilt that was released several years ago. At this point, I’m on the fence about jumping in. I love Baltimore applique and have an extensive collection of books and patterns in this style. I have an idea for a non-traditional color scheme and the fabric is even in a online shopping cart. I’m not sure about the long-term commitment on my part. So unless something changes, I’ll pattern collect for a month or two while I work on clearing the decks.

Which brings me to the weekly update. I rolled down the Bon Bon quilt today. Here is a picture of the beginning of the next row. I have the stencil pinned down and ready to mark. I am really pleased with the texture the fan quilting is giving me.


The first Spring Bouquet block is ready for more pieces to be basted onto it.


And Celtic Solstice is moving along. I have a bunch of block B completed, but ran short of chevrons, so I’m back to making the missing parts. It should be ready for final assembly next week, life permitting. My piecing on this block is less than stellar, but I am not going to start over with new components. For this, “finished is better than perfect”, chopped off point, easing and all. This quilt is do-able as far as complexity goes. My divided attention is the culprit.


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It’s that time of year where we all traditionally pause for self-examination and goal-setting. I’m a little late to the party. I know I fulfilled my goal for last year, which was to follow my whims as I did not have much time for quilting. Might as well make it fun, right? This years goal is a little more structured – family first. So many quilts have left the house for clients, that my projects often hit the back burner. Its time for some self-love, so I’m putting a few items for our home at the top of the list. More specifically, I’d like to finish three quilts this year. The first will be the BonBon quilt that is in the frame right now. I’ll decide on the other two as I go.

I also have started a new quilt. When I was in Paducah, I grabbed up a Spring Bouquet quilt kit at Hancock’s of Paducah. This pattern is a batik spin on an appliqué album by Laundry Basket Quilts. Im doing the traditional needle-turn and here is block one in progress. This will be my personal Block A Month challenge.


Celtic Solstice is also moving along slowly. I have my stack of unpressed “block A” to show. Next up is Block B. Bonnie Hunter has a link-up going on a Quiltville and I am amazed to see so many finished tops. Then again, our house was hit with the flu, and we had someone sick from Dec 23- Jan 3. This time momma succumbed too, so I slept for almost 24 hours straight while DH took care of the house. One child was run to urgent care on New Year’s Day, so my sewing time was consumed by nursing and disinfecting. There is one last link-up scheduled for Groundhog Day. I’ll probably save a grand reveal until then. Since oldest child will have this quilt, it will most likely be the next into the frame.


While tending kids, I was able to increase the stack of rosettes for Grandmother’s Flower Garden. This is enough to do another row. I’ve cut the cream pieces and will work on surrounding each flower throughout the month. If I keep focused, this may get put into the frame before year end.


And my sis surprised me with these today. I had not taken a nice picture of baby M’s quilt because I finished it while in the hospital waiting room. She had her photographer take pictures after doing a sitting with Baby M. Thanks sis. Its a tumbler quilt that I hand quilted with a Celtic Cross. To me, it resembles a stained glass window. There are more details about marking the quilt here and a tutorial for tumbers here.


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So many things over the past two weeks have caused us to interrupt our plans and adjust our schedule. Suffice it to say that not much quilting has happened here. I have the first two steps of Celtic Solstice sewn and stopped halfway through the clue three’s pinwheels.


Truly it is a pressing pause. I need to finish Christmas preparations and I have a pile of patchwork waiting on the ironing board including the strip sets for clue four.

Here is a sample of my first two clues. I still need to finish pressing clue two and do a parts count. I have a feeling that I am short a few, which is not a problem as I can build them as leader/enders next week.

20131217-173536.jpg. More quilters are showing off their progress at Quiltville’s link up.

Christmas festivities lead to more travel time so Little Miss has helped me to pack up my hexies. She is becoming an expert at inspecting my work. I have two more flowers done for row seven bringing the total to four.


Part of our personal pause is a result of funerals in our circle. And I’m missing my grandmother. So for those who are grieving, I’m right with you. As Christmas is a few days away let me share this encouragement – look to the Light.
Matthew 4:16
the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light.
And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow,
a light has shined.”

Merry Christmas.

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I could not think of a creative title. Its been that kind of day. I’m in desperate need of Advil, but I wanted to start a blog post. This one is going to be progressive.

Friday – I have a 7 AM working meeting, so I have to wait to get the download from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville. Its time for clue number two to Celtic Solstice. This week we are making chevrons! Its a new unit for me, but will be easy to assemble. We had “craft time” this afternoon, so the kids made paper airplanes while I cut out all my fabric. Easy squares and rectangles stacked by 20s.


I could not resist starting a few through the machine. Against all advice, I am flying by the seat of my pants and not marking the diagonal lines. If the first 10 are terrible, I’ll mark the lines while watching tv with DH tonight. I’m undecided on keeping the bonus triangles. It would make a cute bonus block of some sort, but I need to focus on just this clue first.

Saturday afternoon – taking a few quiet minutes to sew when I should be cleaning. Ahh, peace. I have almost all my left sides sewn. They still need to be pressed and the corners trimmed off. I am still undecided on those corner units. If I am going to keep them I need to run these units through the machine two more times, or rotary cut them so they are a consistent size. If I am discarding them, I’ll snip with shears while watching tv tomorrow.

20131207-152823.jpgHere are some process photos. I am doing all my left sides in one long chain. If I orient the piece the same as the one previous, there will be no surprises at the end. White corners went on, the bring up my tail from the back of the machine and add on the yellow. My goal pace is to finish these today. Start the right sides tomorrow and have them ready for pressing by Tuesday. That will leave Wednesday and Thursday to press trim and run the center seams. Do-able?


My big tip to make it scrappy – cut the deck. Sounds funny, but let me talk it through. If I have pile A with four fabrics, and pile B with four fabrics, then when I sew, fabric 1 from both piles will always be together. It would be like this 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4. So my tip is to sew four units, then rotate the top fabric from pile B to the bottom. Sew 4 and rotate. So the next four units would be 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-1. It does not take much effort, but the quilt will have the full range of combinations

Sunday – no forward progress to show today on the mystery quilt. I do have the row attached to the grandmothers flower garden quilt and have started the next batch of flowers. I’d really like to see this one finished next year as it has been my drag around project for almost 6 years. As I put in more stitches, I have begun considering what will take its place in my purse. When I mentioned to DH that I was contemplating another flower garden, he shot me a look. You know that look.. He then declared that he has never liked this project and would prefer I don’t do another. He then encouraged me to sell it. HMMM. Where did that come from? Really??? I don’t think so. Should I even tell him I’m considering a pickle dish in 30’s reproductions? Nah.

PS I’ve started a pin board to gather design ideas on Pinterest. If anyone has a great example to share, I’d like to add it.

Monday – I’m linking up with Quiltville to show my progress. I envy those with adorable photos of finished blocks, but I’m still in the trenches. Maybe my iron will get a workout and next week will be glamourous.

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