“Paper” Dolls for Maggie

My sweet granddaughter Maggie just had her 4th birthday!  What a fun age – for her and for her MeMa!  She had an early morning party with donuts and pj’s:

Maggie-blows-out-her-candleWhen I was four I loved paper dolls so when I saw Today’s Paper Dolls fabric at the Heart of Texas One Stop Shop Hop, I had to get them to make for Maggie’s 4th birthday!

They were very easy to make.  You fuse the dolls and a gingham backing to Double Sided Peltex.  The clothes are fused to felt using Steam A Seam 2.  That way the clothes will stick to the doll and you don’t need tabs.

Here are the dolls in the skivvies:

paper-dolls-1The dark haired doll looks just like Maggie and the little boy looks just like my grandson Mikey!  There are lots of clothes and accessories like hats, shoes and backpacks.  Here they are just some of their outfits:


paper-dolls-3paper-dolls-4Maggie (and her momma) liked them a lot when they were opened at the party!

Maggie-opening-paper-dollsI haven’t had this much fun with paper dolls in a long time!

A Springy Apron for Grandma Grace

Grandma Grace has a birthday next week.  There is some question as to which number it is – my guess somewhere in her early 80’s.  For Grace, this is a well kept secret.  Good for her!   I’ve already made her quilts, wall hangings, table runners, etc., so for her birthday this year I decided to make her this very bright and springy apron.

This is a reversible pattern – here is the other side:

I love the scalloped hem and the cute pockets, but where the yoke met the body of the apron – well, it looked unfinished and sloppy – it looked bad.  So I improvised with some cute ribbon and attached bows.  A green one for one side and an orange one for the other:

I kind of like the way that turned out!  The pattern is the The Church Ladies’ Apron Pattern by Mary Mulari Designs.

Grandma Grace and Grandpa Joe (click here to view the post about his Bow Tie quilt) live up in the Northeast where Spring hasn’t quite sprung yet.  Grace still cooks dinner every night so I’m hoping the cheery spring colors in her new apron bring her a bright and happy birthday.

And I hope y’all have a bright and happy weekend!

Horton Hears a Moo in Mt Calm

The quilt retreat continues at the Compass Centre in Mt Calm, Texas.  We are sewing, listening to the cows moo and coyotes howl, eating some absolutely fabulous food, cheering on the Rangers and laughing a lot!  So much fun!

This morning I worked on a Sonoma Swing Bag.  The pattern is by Pink Sand Beach Designs. This cute bag has a long skinny strap, a zipper and pockets.  The front pocket is the perfect size for an iPhone. I hope to make a few more for a craft fair at TCU next week.

The big project for the day was completion this Catty Wonk Dr. Seuss Quilt top:

I didn’t follow a pattern; just fussy cut characters, put wide borders around them and then tilted a 12.5″ square around to make the block “catty wonk”.  Then the other gals at the retreat helped me rearrange them.  It’s a fun, crazy, dizzy quilt that I think my sweet grandson will like for Christmas.

I especially like the elephant – Horton.  Here in Mt Calm I think he can hear a “moo!” 🙂

Mistakes in Quilts – Amish Tradition or Myth?

A couple of days ago I posted about my Farmer’s Wife Quilt Sampler blocks for the week and noted that one of my blocks has a mistake.  It was the Country Path block:

Country Path

There are a couple of green squares that should be brown and a couple of brown that should be green.  Overall, I still really like the block but have been thinking that I shouldn’t allow mistakes to creep into a project so it might be a do-over.

With that thought lurking in the back of my mind, I just recently started reading  A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick and I came across this passage:

“One of the first bits of wisdom imparted to a novice quilter is that the Amish, who make some of the most simple but exquisite quilts in the world, purposely plan a mistake into each of their projects because they believe attempts at human perfection mock God.  Of course, any quilter knows that you don’t have to plan for imperfections in your work; they come quite naturally on their own, so I don’t know if this bit of Amish folklore rings true or not, but the idea does.”

I’ve heard of this before – have you?  I’ve also heard it called the Humility Block.  So I did a little Google research.  There are several websites that present what appears to be unbiased factual information about the Amish, including the quilt imperfection theory.  One example from The Amish People and Their Lifestyle:

“I have heard the Amish will place a small mistake or imperfection in a quilt or other handmade item. Why is this done?”

“We’ve heard that many years ago sometimes a scrap of fabric that didn’t quite match was used inconspicuously in a patchwork quilt to give it “identity.” We question whether this is true. We don’t know of any quilters who would do that today. Amish quilts are all band quilted; stitches are very small and uniform. But, no matter how hard one tries, the stitches are not all identical and perfect. A quilt may have an imperfection, but it wasn’t on purpose.”

Several other websites answer in the same manner.

There is an excellent Quilt History on Hart Cottage Quilts website which includes extensive information on the Humility Blocks:

“But the research of quilt historians reveals that the “humility block” appears to be a figment of mid-20th century imagination.”

In a nutshell, the Amish practice of purposeful imperfection in a quilt or humility block seems to be a myth. I still don’t know if I will fix the Country Path block; I really do like it as it is.  But unfortunately, I don’t have the Amish tradition as an excuse to allow mistakes to creep into my quilts!


Farmer’s Wife Fun and Fabulous Five

I have had the best time with the Farmer’s Wife quilt along blocks this week.  Friday afternoon I worked on three blocks and completed one on Saturday and one Sunday.  I paper pieced using the foundation patterns that can be found on the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt Yahoo Group site.

There are two tools that I use when I paper piece that are invaluable:

  • Add-a-Quarter ruler – allows you to use your rotary cutter to trim excess fabric and gives you a straight line to line up your next piece of fabric.
  • Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper – print your pattern right on this paper, stitch and then tear it away easily.  A thousand times better than regular printer paper!

The Flickr group is on week 15, this is my week 6 and I should catch up within the next week or so.  The goal is 2 blocks a week from The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt book (by Laurie Aaron Hird).  This week I made 5 blocks – FW 22 through 26:

I love picking the fabrics for each block, trying a variety of Aunt Grace fabrics as well as fabric from my stash.  I am also working on the Civil War Quilt block of the week using Neesha by Sentimental Studios – the fabrics are gorgeous and more earthy than the Aunt Grace fabrics.  It is fun to have the fresh look of these 1930’s reproduction prints.  I will have two very different quilts when both of these projects are complete!

Here is a look at each one:

FW 22 - Corn & Beans

With Corn and Beans I tried to select greens and yellows that reminded me of corn and beans.  I was a little intimidated by all the little triangles but it all worked out with paper piecing.

FW 23 - Country Farm

I love the two light pinks in Country Farm but the rose fabric in the center is not one of my favorites – not sure why I bought it!  What was I thinking?  Have you ever bought ugly fabric?  Have you used it?

FW 24 - Country Path

There is a major boo boo in Country Path.  Can you spot it?  OK, the green triangles are supposed to point to green squares and the brown triangles are supposed to point to brown squares.  I blame mis-lableling the colors I planned on using on the foundation paper.  Maybe I should try labeling the back side? Overall I still like the block. It may be a do over but we’ll see.

FW 25 - Cups & Saucers

The blue fabric in Cups & Saucers reminds me of blue and white Spode china.  One of my favorites this week!

FW 26 - Cut Glass Dish

There are 51 pieces of fabric in this 6″ block! And I thought Corn & Beans was intimidating!  It took me all afternoon yesterday.  I do like how it turned out though.

I am done with the blocks that start with “C.”  On to the D’s in the coming week!

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