Monday, August 31, 2009

Vintage Star Blocks

A friend of mine was clearing out, making room, and decluttering her life. These vintage blocks are what she passed to me! Aren't they wonderful? Yea, they are dirty, and they aren't sewn very well, but the possibilities are wonderful!

One block made with brown. (Is this madder red?)

And look at this one! I love it!
The first step will be to soak in Oxy Clean, then disassemble the blocks, if necessary. The fabrics looks very sturdy but if I need a substitute I have reproductions that I bought to fix this quilt.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

All Shaved and Nowhere to Go

For those of you that commented on our 4 legged friend, Porter, he is doing really well! You can read the original post here.

Here he is going for a stroll around the block with us! He has to stay on a leash- no exceptions- but seems to be healing and getting around faster then anticipated. The vet said he'd never seen a dog recover so quickly. He is still staying with them, as Betty (The vet's wife) works with him on his rehab. We go and visit just about every day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Organized Chaos

Is it any wonder I am having a hard time staying focused? Yikes!!! I hope to have a baby quilt to show for it very soon. And a clean room!

I've got little piles of ideas and unfinished projects.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wool Needlekeeper

The wool and cotton needlekeeper is done. I really screwed it up too, but I think I made it workable and not too humble! I found the free pattern for it here. What was unfortunate is that the pages were not numbered and I didn't staple them together right away, so I ended up sewing the front and back together before adding the pockets. As you scroll down you'll see my mess.

Here is the front. It looks cute.

Open the cover and you get pockets, which really ended up being one large pocket even if there are seams sewn down it to look like it has pockets. The green flower was supposed to be two sided and stuffed like a little pin cushion. I decided to just stitch the appliqued flower down.

Open up the back and you get some wool pages for pins and needles. I'm not sure why it has 4 pages!! I was following the directions....hahahaha

Here is the back pocket for a little pair of scissors. The bottom seam on this pocket and the other one is supposed to be sewn into the seam at the bottom. Oops!

I never said I was great at following directions!!

To hoop or not hoop: From the comments I received, 9 quilters use a hoop, 7 quilters said they do not use a hoop, 1 said she does it both ways, and 2 people quilt without a thimble!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Snowballs in Summer

I brought my little snowball quilt out camping and quilted by the fire. I ended up machine stitching with clear thread in the ditch after I got home, but the hand stitches still seem a bit distant to me. Well, it's done, and I like it. I don't really ever recall quilting without a hoop and I don't think I'll do it again. I like to have some tension on the quilt as I think my stitches are smaller and more even. It can pass as a doll quilt made by a child learning.
Do you like to hand quilt with a hoop? Or without?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Charm Quilts

I'm hoping to get back in my sewing room so I'll have SOMETHING of mine to show you. But if you are like me, you really don't mind seeing vintage quilts. Here are a few more from the vendor at Sisters.
I think the "official" meaning of charm quilts is that no patches are the same. This isn't the case with this quilt, but what an array of terrific fabrics! This may even have been the back of a quilt! Look at the quilting in black thread. (click to enlarge)

Many of you are doing hexagon quilts. I thought this quilt was fantastic.

Would you ever think to do the quilting straight through like that?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Two Color Quilts

If you've been reading my blog for awhile you'll know I'm a sucker for 2 color quilts.

This blue and white basket was so simple and plain. It doesn't take a complicated pattern to bring a smile to my face.
I was doing more then smiling when I saw this one! A woman was buying it but was gracious enough to spread it out and let me take a photo. I'm sure everyone in my group would have bought it if she hadn't already had dibs! It is a difficult pattern to execute with all the sharp points, but not a complicated layout. I love it!

More two color quilts waiting for someone to purchase.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Great Outdoors

Well, the end of company, travelling and free wheeling is coming to a close. Can you believe it is August 23?! My son goes back to college next weekend and maybe I can get my house to stay clean for more than one day!
Well, you know I like to quilt and you know I've attempted to grow a garden. My other hobby is enjoying the outdoors. I love to hike, camp, fish, play in the fire, cook outdoors and just breathe the fresh air.
After seeing Anne's trip to Crater Lake my son and I took a day trip last Wednesday. The Lake was awesome and it was good to spend some time with my son before he goes back to school.

Crater Lake is the deepest freshwater lake in the U.S. and the 7th deepest in the world. The water stays a balmy 38 degrees year round. Yes, it is as blue as the photo looks.

We were on our way back up a grueling hike. This is the only safe way to get to the water. 1.1 miles down and 1.1 steep miles back up! I've been a slacker lately as far as exercise and I could sure tell!

Also a few weeks ago we planned a quick camping trip to Mt Hood. We generally get away at least once a month, but because one of our employees retired, and we haven't rehired, we (I use that word loosely) both have been putting in more hours then usual.

We just got back this afternoon. It was good to get away from the phones, computer, weeds and dust bunnies! And look at this view of Mount Hood! The fishing could have been better, but no complaints.
More old quilts tomorrow!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Would You Like a Little Cheddar With That?

Here are a few more quilts that were for sale at Sisters. It seemed like they had a lot of them this year, which is great for people like me that love looking at old quilts. They are jut wonderful about us taking photos too.

It seems like more and more I am seeing some great reproduction cheddars. Look at these examples to see how they add pizzazz.

That's a lot of cheddar!

What do you think of this?! There were two areas that the maker added just a tiny bit of cheddar. (the other tiny pieces are on the upper left of the photo) What do you suppose she was thinking?
Would you do that? Before seeing this quilt I would probably have said no, but now I might.

PS Off topic: I've been having some blogger problems. Most of the time I download photos ahead of posts. I may not get back to the photos to write anything for several days. When I add to them and hit publish they are going to the original date I downloaded the photos, and not the date I've actually written and finished them. Anybody else having problems? Any suggestions? Anyway, if you some some funky stuff going on here at Humble Quilts that may be why.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tools of the Trade

Every quilter has a personal preference of what they like and what they don't like. Once I find something that works well for me I rarely change. I might try something new, but for the most part I always fall back on my tried and true tools.

I love the DMC Broder 50 weight thread. I use this for my hand and machine applique and for whip stitching wool pieces. There is a huge variety of colors and doesn't seem to tangle like others I've tried. I know some quilters that have 2 standard colors, but with this wide array, I ask, "Why?"

When I travel and want a variety of threads I love this. Most of it is empty right now, but it is very portable, keeps threads organized and is compact.

I love straw needles for almost everything I do by hand, except hand quilting. They have a small eye, but a pair of magnifier glasses from the Dollar Tree takes care of that. (only recently have I had to get these! Aargh!)

Here's my portable project. guess I better read the directions and see what I need to do next.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Road Trip to California

The night before we were road tripping to Southern California I thought I better have a little project "just in case" I got to sit and not drive or "just in case" I had a few minutes waiting for the girls at the hotel. I had a pattern for a small needlecase by Sue Spargo that I prepped a bit for. My daughter ended up driving for the extremely boring last few hours of the trip. My niece called "shotgun" so that left me in the back with my stitching. I have to say I didn't get too much done. The background is about 6"x 6" so the pieces were a bit small for me to work on in a moving car. I think it will make a nice Christmas gift when I get it put together.

Not much scenery on this stretch. (Photo taken from back seat of fast moving vehicle)

Have you heard about the fires in California? My car was covered in ash when we left Ventura.

Here is the beautiful mission that the wedding took place in. It had a wonderful courtyard that was perfect for photos.

Here is the view from the reception. It was amazing and so much fun. 1,975 miles later and I have no regrets, although I was the only driver on the way home so I'm still a bit pooped.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


One of my other pastimes besides quilting is flower gardening. I don't' have a green thumb and there are a lot of challenges with growing anything on the high desert of Central Oregon.

Flowering sage needs no help and is pretty effective in the garden.

One of my favorites is the purple coneflower.

This sunflower self seeded from the bird feeder. You can see one of the challenges in my area is keeping the deer from eating everything. Since I took this photo they even ate the flower!!!

Last fall I decided I would try and grow a few vegetables. Because we can only dig about 1" down before hitting hardpan I built the soil up using the lasagna gardening method. Basically it's a layered raised bed. My other plan was to use the square foot gardening method.

Here is my jumble of tomato plants. It looks a bit more like a wild patch of blackberry bushes. I really had no idea tomato plants get this large.

I have a few peppers planted in there too. They aren't getting too much light these days. And I am hoping to find my carrots sometime this fall!!!
I've had fun doing it and I certainly have learned a few things. I call this my "Humble Garden".

Monday, August 17, 2009

Antique Quilts- Last One

Got back late last night from a whirlwind trip to Southern CA for a wedding. Here the last quilts from the special display at the High Desert Museum. I hope you have enjoyed them. I know I certainly did.

A super graphic tied quilt with a pieced back and no batting. This was one of the newer quilts in the collection.

This eagle quilt was the oldest in the collection.

Information from the display:

"This quilt portrays the great seal of the united states. The central medallion, an appliqued eagle, dates anywhere from 1785-?.(too blurry from my photo) The flowered chintz used is typical of broderie purse (a style of quilting when a motif is cut from cloth and appliqued onto the quilt) It is likely the quilt was made in stages, with the last stars added when Texas became a state in 1847.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Antique American Quilts

I really love this quilt. It's gets more charming the closer you get.

If I tried to do a quilt like this mine would probably be as round and smooth as this one!

This photo is so blurry but I really wanted you to see the little spike at the end of the border where the maker had cut it off.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Antique Quilts

I hope you are enjoying seeing these old quilts as much as I am.

There were two of these blocks in this quilt. Do you really think they were done on purpose? Or they just pieced it wrong and decided to leave it?