Introducing my new baby

A few weeks ago, my new "baby" arrived in the mail.  I purchased a Singer Featherweight on e-bay.  This is actually my very first e-bay purchase and there were a few "bumps" with the seller, but thankfully we got it worked out and the machine arrived in good working condition.  I was away on vacation, so had to wait until we got back and cleaned the house (see my last post about the floor refinishing) before I could set her up and take her for a test run.  Well, I'm in love!!!  My large Babylock is sitting on the floor while I'm enjoying piecing my Farmer's Wife quilt blocks on the featherweight.  It frees up so much more working space on my table.

My daughter had to get in the act as well.  So instead making progress on my FWQAL, we made star blocks with a doggie print.  She looks super serious here, doesn't see?

I didn't make any progress on my FWQAL, but we had fun.

Over this past week, I managed to make one FW block.  It was a bitch....

#17 - Cats & Mice

I used the PP pattern through Yahoo groups and I should have put more thought into how the pieces were going to go together.  I ended up with an impossible construction situation and ended taking apart the units and resewing.  It's a little wonky-doodle, but I'm happy with it.

Here's a block I finished up right before going on vacation. 

#13 - Buckwheat

I used the templates for this one and it's partially hand sewn.  The repros are from various lines - one I like in particular is called Miniatures by Julie Hendrickson.  My local fabric shop, Peapod, carries a few prints in this line.  I think these work nicely in "busy" blocks with tiny pieces.


Back from vacation

I've been back from Iowa for a week and have been wanting to catch up on my blog, but finding the time has been a challenge.  As soon as we returned from our trip -- we had our hardwood floors refinished while we were away -- we were confronted with with a massive clean-up project.  The house was full of very fine sawdust.  But the trip to see the family was action-packed and especially enjoyable for the kids as they got plenty of time to spend playing with their cousins.

While in Iowa, I found a vintage quilt top in an antique store:

It was all folded up but from what I could see, I recognized the "Double T Block" or Capital T block design as I had just read an article about Temperance quilts in the most recent Fons & Porter magazine.  The double T design was created to symbolize abstinence from alcohol and what I find interesting about the design is the "T" is somewhat hidden and an interesting secondary design pops up behind the 4 T's.

I fell in love with the "scrappiness" of this quilt and the vivid colors.  It looks like the quilter used dress and shirting fabric and whatever she had on hand to make up the blocks.  The tag on the quilt dated it to the 1920's.  The top must have been stored carefully away out of the light.

The blocks were hand stitched but the sashing was first hand-basted on, then machine stitched to the blocks.  The quilter never got around to taking out the basting stitches:

Every time I look at this quilt, I see something new.

I'm so glad to have come across this quilt top.  I plan on quilting it eventually but would like it looked at by a quilt expert/assessor first.

Usually, I do quite a bit of quilt fabric shopping while in Iowa.  Ames has a wonderful quilt store called  the Quilt Connection.  I made it there but only had a half hour or so to do a quick shop while the rest of my family went looking for Red Monkey root beer.  I picked up an odd assortment of fat quarters, Civil War repros and some contemporary fabrics.  I've already cut into the yardage.

I'm finding myself drawn to reproduction prints lately, as they work so well in the small 6" blocks for the Farmer's Wife Sampler.  It's fun to mix the mostly smaller-scale repros with more contemporary fabrics.  I especially love the Alexander Henry B&W featured above.