things to keep one warm and dry

I want to get all of the projects that Alice and I got done during her winter break documented before too much time elapsed. Here is a step in that direction.
Determined to get at least one quilt done, we started and finished this nine patch:

nine patch

When she arrived, she had with her a beloved quilt that she was given after the house fire, but that had seen much better days. There were spots that were transparent due to lack of batting. It was a nice quilt, done in maple leaf blocks of green with a main fabric of solid lemon yellow. We think that it dated from the fifties, to judge by some of the fabrics. Anyhow, it was clear that we needed to get that quilt stabilized somehow, and what better way than to use it as batting?
As neither of us have much experience with complex piecing, it was decided we would make a nine patch, and we sorted through my not-very-extensive stash for just the right fabric. I have stashed a lot of greens and turquoises since I have scrappy projects in mind or underway using those. And I happened to pick up some very unassuming ecru on sale, a lot of it. so there you have it.
We both cut, and she did all of the piecing and made the back. (You can’t really tell, but the centers are a really pretty wonky red polka dot, and so are the small squares on the back.)

pieced back
I love Joel Dewberry’s Floral Drop pattern, and bought a bunch of it when I discovered Hawthorne Threads, many yards in the above colorway, because I knew I would want to use it for a back. Before I had even made a quilt back! I was thinking ahead in the summer when the tips were rolling in! I knew there was a reason I spent hundreds of dollars on fabric, even though I had no time to sew…

I did very simple straight line quilting, using the walking foot for the first time, and then we bound it in more Floral drop, this time red. (Keep your eyes peeled here for an upcoming dress project using that fabric. Coming from Alice’s side of this blog.) The red binding draws attention to the red in the center squares. It’s awesome!

a bit of binding

I was going to post about the parka that Alice made for Mark, but I feel like I should leave that for her to talk about. Here is a picture of it though!

gore tex parka

piecing alice’s quilt

I (Shannon) am a pretty uncommitted blogger but this blog isn’t seeing much action what with Alice in school and anyway, I have been meaning to post progress on a quilt I am making.  This will be the first largeish quilt I have made, when I finish it.  There was baby quilt once that came off my machine when we lived off the grid.  It was sewn on a borrowed Singer treadle out of old dresses and some velveteen, with an daggy old fleece blankie as batting, but that has long since disintegrated.  (That is a good word, think about it.  Dis-integrate…)

Since Alice’s favorite vintage quilt is going south, we decided she needed a new one.  (The conversation went like this:

A: “My quilt is falling to pieces.  I need a new one.”

S: “Okay.  In the meantime you could always use an army surplus blanket.”

A: “Yes, well.  But it has to be pretty.

So, after getting rid of the lion’s share of my quilting cottons last time I moved, I find myself buying them again.  I love buying fabric. Hawthorne Threads is the bomb. Low shipping costs, and the send stuff out so fast!

I started thinking I was going to elaborate on these wonky log cabin squares I made a year and a half ago.

wonky log cabins

I realized, however, that I am sick and tired of that block. When I started sewing those, 8 years or so ago, I thought I was creating something original, but I have since read (in this book that they are the most popular modern quilt square, and no wonder. They are awesome and easy! (Here are some previous examples…)

So, with Sunday Morning Quilts in hand, I decided to make a version of the Candy Coated quilt, which is the one on the cover. Here is a lovely version of it.
And here is my progress so far:

alice's quilt in progress

Work and home and drinking schedules really let me only get one or two rows done per week, so I will be right on schedule for my winter holiday deadline. Hang in there, Alice! And remember, I’ll loan you a wool blanket if you need one!