Thursday, March 16, 2017

Frivols Finish

A year ago at the Winter Quiltfest, I received a Moda Frivols collectible tin as a door prize.

It included 42 7-inch squares of Eliza's Indigo fabric by Betsy Chutchian, a pattern for a little quilt, and a couple quilty goodies -- a quote and a mini note pad. A couple weeks ago I decide to make up the quilt. 

It worked up very quickly -- just square-in-square locks that were made even easier by using the Fit to be Geese ruler to square up the blocks. The 7-inch square is a great pre-cut -- more versatile than a charm square, yet absolutely no waste except little slivers of fabric from squaring up the blocks. Here's the quilt draped over an easy chair in my living room.

The only tricky part -- not hard, just something you need to be careful with -- is matching the points of the blocks between rows. 

I used a brown fabric from my stash with black dots to back and bind the little quilt.

When it came time to quilt it, I chose a wave pattern with "pearls". I shrunk the pattern down from the original two inches to about a half inch -- suitable for a little quilt.

Sometimes a little quilt is a nice diversion from the larger ones. I started it on a Saturday and finished it on a Monday, leaving my mom a day to bind it. (Thanks Mom!)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pony Express Quilt

Several years ago I ran across Pony Express themed fabric by Jodi Barrows. I purchased the fabric to one day use in a quilt honoring the Pony Express.

You might wonder why I would want to do a Pony Express quilt. It's because my great-grandfather's two older brothers and one brother-in-law were Pony Express riders. I previously memorialized these great uncles in my family history cross-stitch sampler (stitching is still a work in progress). They are represented in the lower-right corner. These are all on my mother's father's line.

Now they are memorialized in a quilt, named "Stations". I finished the quilt top in about 2013 and it sat around needing to be quilted. Well, last week I decided to finally put it on the frame and quilt it. 

The four center buildings represent the stations John and Billy (William) Fisher and Erastas Egan were assigned to. The smaller buildings in the outside border represent more of the 157 stations that extended from Missouri to California.

John and Billy had immigrated as teenagers from England with their parents in 1854. I've always thought it kind of funny that these two young men -- with British accents -- were part of the Pony Express, one of the iconic enterprises of the American West. They also carried the news of Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860.

My father told me after seeing the quilt that another of my ancestors (this time on my father's line) had a Pony Express connection. The home of my great-great grandfather, Absalom Wamsley Smith, served as a Pony Express station in Draper, Utah. That station was called "Traveler's Rest". 

A few close-up photos of the quilt:

Here is more information about these Pony Express riders (click to read):

Billy Fisher history by his son: Includes the story of when he was caught in a blinding blizzard.

John Fisher history by his daughter: Includes stories of encounters with Indians.

Some amazing people in my family tree!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

My Version of the Gardenvale Quilt

Just finished the top for my version of the Gardenvale quilt...although technically it should be called the Lollies quilt since mine uses Lollies by Jen Kingwell rather than her Gardenvale fabric line.

Unlike the original, I used the new double-wide Dresden plate ruler. So it has only 10 wedges rather than 20 -- which means it was much quicker to make. Just ordered backing, so not quilted yet.

I went to QuiltCon in Savannah. While I was in the Atlanta airport returning home on Monday, I checked Facebook and was excited to see this in my feed:

The quilt on the left is an original design I did for McCall's Quick Quilts for the June/July issue. They are running a contest/survey to decide which quilt to put on the cover. I'm hoping that my cover wins so I can be a "cover girl". After all, I'm already a "calendar girl" when one of my quilts was in the 2015 That Patchwork Place calendar. 

Here are some better photos of the quilt (which I named "Log Chain") but that McCall's Quick Qults named "Wizard's Chess".. 

Spent the day quilting my Pony Express Quilt. I'll do a separate blog post about it -- and explain why it's called "Pony Express Stations".


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