BOMs, BOWs and Blooms

While I was on our wonderful bee retreat this week, I worked on several projects including the Carol Doak Scrap Scamble Block of the Month (BOM), a new Barbara Brackman Block of the Week (BOW) called Austen Family Album and a very bright flowery churn dash quilt.

First – the Scrap Scramble BOM.  Actually, it is once again more than one block – but very cute and scrappy:

AprilThe Barbara Brachman Austen Family Album just started this past Sunday with the first block called Bright Star for Jane Austen.  I decided to use Barbara Brachman’s  Modernism line of fabric.  It is simply gorgeous and I love that she has brought us so many BOMs and BOWs with thoughtful related historical context.  Here is block 1:

Block-1---Bright-Star-for-JAnd, now for something completely different – this churn dash quilt made with a Kanvas New Bloom layer cake:

cookie-bloomsThe pattern came from a Better Homes and Gardens publication called Perfect for Precuts.  It was such fun to work on each of these blocks during the retreat and put them up on the design wall for all to see.

I also worked on some hand applique and a new quilt using my hand dyed fabric, however, neither of those are ready for any kind of sharing – yet.  Stay tuned!

On the way home, I had to stop and get a picture of this hillside covered with bluebonnets – spectacular!

bluebonnet-hillHave a great weekend, y’all!

Has Spring Sprung?

It seems that maybe Spring is finally beginning to appear here in North Texas.  Out in the woods behind our house I found these tiny little flowers a few days ago:

crocusAnd now our daffodils are really blooming:

daffodilsSo nice to see these bright signs of Spring!  Everything else is still brown and gray but these are sure indications that Spring is on its way!

Another sign of Spring is the hand applique block I just finished up:

Block-1This is part of an Album Quilt pattern called Honoring Emma (by Lori Smith).  I’m using hand dyed fabrics, mostly Cherrywoods but also some of my own hand dyes.  The purple flowers remind me of the crocus out in the woods!

I’m still experimenting with my hand applique.  On this block I used the starch method to turn the edges.  The best online explanation I could find for this method is on Snippets of a Quilter’s blog.  I liked getting all the edges turned crisply and for the most part am happy with the curves and points (that may get better with practice).  However the fabric isn’t as soft when you stitch.  I guess I’m sort of a tactile person and want to feel soft supple fabric when I’m hand stitching.

So, after a rather rough Winter Spring has Sprung – here in the sewing room and out in the woods!  Hoping the same for you!

Winterizing In and Out!

Here in North Texas we have been hit by a huge ice storm!  This is what it looks like outside the house:

ice-stormThe white stuff looks pretty but it is solid ice!  There was no snowman building with this stuff!  But inside the house we have snowmen!!

Postcard-Cuties-CompleteI finally finished Postcard Cuties for Winter (by Bunny Hill Designs).  I think it turned out pretty darn cute!

This is the third day we’ve been iced in!  I’ve got the Christmas tree up, the house looks very festive, I finished a book and started another one and I’ve been binding a quilt which needs to be mailed this week! The only thing I haven’t been able to do is bake Christmas cookies – I do not have a speck of white sugar in the house – not even a tablespoon!  It seems tragic to be iced in without the smell of freshly baked cookies, don’t you think?

Grandmother’s Choice Catch Up

Woohoo!!!  I’m all caught up with the Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week (it’s about the only thing I’m caught up on :-) ).

Last week was an Ocean Waves block. The bit of history that Barbara Brackman touched on in her blog was regarding her friend Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick and the other women in the military.  Erma had joined the WAVES.  Here is my Ocean Waves block – I thought the aqua blue was appropriate…

28-Ocean-WaveThis week’s block was Seven Pointed Star for Australia.  Barbara tells us about the very successful Australian suffragettes.  Be sure to read her blog for some interesting history.  This block is a challenge – a geometric challenge.  I had a couple of starts and stops and restarts before this end result:

29-Seven-Pointed-Star-for-AIt turned out bright and springy.  The Flickr web site has a lot of amazing quilters making up their versions of these same blocks.  Be sure to check them out!

Also turning bright and springy are the woods behind my house.  They are changing every day from that drab winter gray brown palette to the brightest green you ever saw:

Spring-GreenHave a bright and springy day, y’all!

JSS Quilt Retreat Winds Down

Today was the last day of our wonderful retreat.  We are full of food, our bags are full of finished (or at least started) projects and we are full of plans for the next retreat!

Thanks to Lani’s dad, Jerry, we had an excellent photographer for a group photo shoot:

Considering the fact that we’ve had 2 hours of sleep in the last four days, I think we look fabulous!

The design walls were busy today!  Barb finished her hand pieced baby quilt:

How cute is that?!

Newbie Vicky finished her very first quilt ever – a large T-Shirt quilt:

Cindy’s beautiful finished quilt top appeared on the wall briefly:

And Suz worked on an Art Quilt!  Now that is a phenomenon!

I finished up the labels and binding for my two Faith quilts:At one point this afternoon I caught a glimpse of these beautiful horses running out in the field next to Compass Centre.  By the time I got my camera and ran outside they had found their destination – dinner!

Now we just need to pack up and catch some sleep before we ride off into the sunrise tomorrow morning (ok, not that early, but it sounded good).

Have a great day, y’all!

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