I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

March Projects - 1880 Sampler TQC

Hi again! April has arrived in a flurry--well more than a flurry!---of deep puffy white snow. I don't recall many April snow days, do you?
This has been an oddly disorganized winter for me in my little sewing room. My big project was to begin the Cheri Payne Folk Art Christmas quilt. I don't know what I was thinking, because it's mostly hand sewing, so it got set aside for summer. I started the Barbara Brackman Schoolgirl Album quiltalong instead. By deciding to make two colorways in two sizes I ended up giving it way more attention than expected. And then I fell for the Temecula Quilt Company/ TQC one-block-per-week sewalong, their 1880 Sampler quilt. Very time consuming, as each block is different and I can't make any sense of their minimal instructions, so each block has to be drafted or rewritten by me.

Here is the antique inspiration quilt. Isn't it so adorable!?!

TQC blog photo

And here, please click, is TQC's inspiration fabrics for us, also below. I loved that background fabric, for some reason. We'll come back to that issue, just wait a sec.

1880 Sampler Sew Along
TQC blog photo

The blocks are only 4" [4 1/2" unsewed] and you can see the many teeny tiny pieces! [Mel, they do not name the blocks and I didn't have time to look them up.]

A few are classics, though: Bowtie, Cake Stand, Cactus Basket.

This is the project I made the batting work  mat for, to lay these out. LOL. One is still very wrong and I never noticed a thing until I edited these photos just now. [Modified Jacob's Ladder?]

And this guy has an issue---the blue square is not, well, square. Must redo that corner.

TQC only uses 1800's repro fabrics but I am sneaking in some faves, like the red teddy bears. I love this print ---it is so odd, it's supposedly a repro Depression era [1930s] kiddy print, but darned if that isn't the Grateful Dead dancing teddy bears,lol.

Image result for Grateful Dead Teddy Bears

And this is a modern cowboy horseshoes print but I love it too. Horseshoe lucky charms were often a motif in mid to late 1800s ''shirting'', called conversationals. [''Oh hi,--giggle giggle--I see you have horseshoes on your shirt, Mr. Darcy!" Wave fan, bat eyelashes. Hmm. Better pick up line than asking his sign?]

Inspired by other, much tidier quilters and their blog ideas, I decided to make a lovely notebook of all the TQC pages. My new fancy printer just rolls out the copies like butter.

I tucked in a cheat sheet on making Wild Geese rectangles.

TQC is very into half square triangles,

which is fine but on such tiny blocks it makes for some very bulky seams. I changed out to Wild Geese when I redrew the patterns. See on the right, made with HST; on the left, the less bulky WG blocks. Remember these components are 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"!

At first I was going to keep everything in my pretty book, but I can see that will be too unwieldy. A project box was required! I recycled the text/ letters box from Quilty 360~ Dotty. I love having a special box for a year long project.

This quiltalong began in February but I didn't get sucked in until March, so I had a lot of catching up to do. Once you get going and realize everything is either 1" square or 2" square, and cut accordingly, the blocks go easy-ish.

Now about that background fabric. I love the print but it's not back and white, it looks very tan in person. I bet I have a better match in my antique stash.

And look again at the inspiration quilt. Our TQC 1880 Sampler  is adorable, but really? Ours has not even a nod to the wild crazy pink and poison green madcap blocks of the antique. (And note the Kitty block!) I foresee making this again but more closely following the original. Here is a link to the original quilt from Stella Rubin Antiques. 1880 Sampler   Wonderful close-up photos and info. This is a big quilt, c. 1880, Pennsylvania. A whopping price tag of $1425.oo for this folk art treasure.


Caught up with 1880, I went back to working on Silent Night, after cutting more Margaritaville tropicals for Aloha. That leaders and enders thing didn't work for me! I don't want chewed up Aloha blocks either, do I? Nope. it'll be faster to just piece it as chained blocks.

As for Silent Night...I can't explain this [can you?] Here are the Star  aka Snowflake instructions.

The quilt has 72 blocks [or in my case 64 to make it square], half of which are these Snowflake Stars. So that implies I will need 36 [32] Stars. I sat there and counted! So why do the directions say Make 20? This is why I rarely read the instruction sheets. I always regret it. So as of today , all the Star/ Snowflakes are cut and ready to go.

Next up, I have to draft the April  BB Schoolgirl block here, a different sort of Star. Brackman put templates in her post but even the Rolls Royce printer can't reproduce that accurately enough to make this difficult block work.  My center will be a circle. For some reason I find hexagons and octagons, etc, very unpleasing, anything honeycomb-ish gives me the creeps.
Wish me luck, Bluey first; Hideous if that goes okay.

Big rain coming here tomorrow and Wednesday, so I hope to get lots done. I suppose Mo and I are glad it isn't snow?



gone to the beach...

other, better April days, below: