Grandmother’s Choice: Contrary Husbands and Coffee Cups

I have been getting ready to go on a quilt retreat tomorrow, but wanted to catch up with Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week before I packed up the sewing machine and all the paraphernalia that goes with me on retreat.

Last week the block of the week was Contrary Husband:

33-Contrary-HusbandWith all those Y seams I hand pieced this block.  Takes a bit of time but I find it easier than wrangling with machine piecing and stopping and starting at the exact right spots.

This week’s block is Coffee Cup:

34-Coffee-CupThis is a really cute block and I think an entire quilt using the coffee cup block would be lots of fun.

Be sure to read Barbara’s blog for some interesting history related to contrary husbands and coffee cups.  Have you ever had “making coffee” written into your job description?  I have, but I made such horrible coffee that it wasn’t part of my job for long! 😉  The Grandmother’s Choice Flickr group continues to show gorgeous renditions of these blocks along with fun comments and lots of encouragement.  Be sure to check them out!

OK, I’m off to pack up for the Bee retreat.  I promise lots of updates during the retreat so check back often.

Grandmother’s Choice – Wreaths and Dreams

The last two weeks of the Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week have been challenging in more than one way.  Each week Barbara Brackman gives us a taste of the history of the suffrage movement and the struggles encountered by our grandmother’s as well as a quilt block representing that struggle.

Week 26 was Ladies’ Wreath: Mourning for Mother which covered the appalling lack of birth control (which was frequently outlawed) and the sad fact that many women had baby after baby until they died.  We are so blessed with the choices we have regarding our reproductive health – thanks to the Grandmothers!

Here is my Ladies’ Wreath block:

26-Ladies'-WreathOn a somewhat happier note Week 27 is Grandmother’s Dream: The Houghtons in which the dreams of Caroline Houghton for her daughters’ education are described.  An interesting story, especially since one of my favorite actresses, Katherine Hepburn was Caroline Houghton’s granddaughter.

Here is my Grandmother’s Dream – all hand pieced with those super challenging Y-seams.

27-Grandmother's-DreamThe Grandmother’s Choice Flickr group has continued to be a great source of ideas, inspiration and support.  For other interpretations of these same blocks be sure to check them out!

I’m off to the Dallas Quilt show tomorrow with camera in hand.  I hope to bring you lots of pictures this weekend.

Grandma’s Breeches

Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week was quite a challenge this week!  Barbara Brackman’s blog treats us each week to a new block and a bit of history recounting the quest for women’s rights.  This week the topic is Dress Reform.  My goodness we’ve come a long way!  And this is one grateful, blue jean clad grandma!!!

The block this week is called Little Boy Breeches:

Now, how many Y seams do you see?  LOTS!  I hand pieced this puppy and still had to frog stitch (rippit, rippit) a few seams as the “pant legs” were easy to turn the wrong way. But I was reassured that others in the Grandmother’s Choice Flickr Group had the problems.  That’s one of the benefits of this group – we share tips, tricks, troubles and lots of tremendous blocks each week.  A wonderful online community.

Have a great Thanksgiving week, y’all!

Grandmother Goes on Retreat!

It is retreat time for my bee.  We are all gathered at the Compass Centre in Mt. Calm, Texas.  A quilter’s retreat paradise!  You can count on more photos of the retreat, the bee and the wonders appearing on the design walls in the the next few days.

My first project out of the box for the retreat is the Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week.  Barbara Brackman’s block this week commemorates the 100th anniversary of suffrage in Kansas with the block Rocky Road to Kansas: 1912.

I hand pieced all those lovely Y seams in this block while enjoying snacks, chatter, laughter and fun with my bee friends.  I am excited about all the projects I’ll get done this week, I hope to catch up on a few, make a few gifts and start a Christmas quilt.

Have a great week and watch for more updates from Mt. Calm!

Purple Blooms in Just Takes 2 and in the Garden Too

The weather here in North Texas has been absolutely delightful this week and the garden is starting to show a few signs of spring:

I loved seeing the first of the purple irises blooming as well as these bright and cheery daffodils:

Just Takes 2 is just blooming with blocks too.  Here is Unit 4 which was released on February 15.  You might notice that Block 18 is pretty bare – more on that in a bit…

Here are a few close ups of my completely completed blocks:

Just Takes 2 - Block 14

Block 14 was a fun and easy block.  I love pinwheels!

Just Takes 2 - Block 15

I also love basket blocks!

Just Takes 2 - Block 16

Block 16 was a real bear!  I was about ready to wad it up and throw it away.  Those set in seams were very challenging!  Had to hand sew parts of this block.

Just Takes 2 - Block 17

Block 17 is pretty intricate.  I’ve never seen this block before – I had to frog stitch (rippit rippit) a bit as I put the arrows in the wrong direction on one side, but I like how it turned out.

Just Takes 2 - Block 18 - Incomplete

Block 18 is a bit of a blank slate.  It is supposed to have three hand appliqued leaves in each corner.  Because I am not at all happy with my previous JT2 hand applique blocks I am going to wait to complete this block during an upcoming stitch day with my sweet friend Susan.  Susan is well known for her beautiful hand applique and she has graciously offered to teach me some of her secrets.  I can’t wait!!!

I also can’t wait for next week when the March 1st Just Takes 2 blocks will be released.  The Circle of Friends: Take Two Flickr site has lots of JT2 blocks shared by some very talented and amazingly supportive quilters.  Be sure to check them out!

Have a wonderful weekend, y’all!

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