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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Farmer’s wife: Wrench

Today, I am able to present another new project of mine. After doing a small New York Beauty wall hanging and starting a hexagon quilt—designed all by myself—I thought I could start another quilt where I can rely on the design of someone else.

The farmer’s Wife quilt and the book by Laurie Hird are famous amongst quilters, I understand. Ever since I heard of it, I was fascinated by the great variety of block patterns in this sampler. And since I am very fond of samplers in general, it was only a matter of time that I started a version of my own.

As to fabric choice, I went for turquoise and green. I might add some blue or orange, I am not sure yet. Some of these, I borrowed from my sister. I always like to use “borrow” for things you cannot actually give back. Like handkerchiefs or food—and fabric.

To add even more excitement to this project, I decided to not sew 6″ blocks, as Laurie did, but 4,5″ blocks. To confess the truth, I did not want to do another really large quilt, in the first place. But as a bonus, it adds to the level of difficulty plus it allows me to use up lots of scraps.

Here is my first block: Wrench.

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

The block patterns in the book are in alphabetical order. As you can see, I started at the back.

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

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Farewell, America the Beautiful

Well, it is finally done. America the Beautiful is finished. Hand quilting and binding—all is done. This quilt is one of the biggest I ever made. It sounds stupid, but I never realised that before. It was only when I measured it to calculate how much fabric I would need for the binding that I came to understand that. My stash would not have a single piece of fabric in matching colour that would suffice.

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

I actually had to go and buy some new fabric just for the binding. Normally, I would never do such a thing. I would plan in advance what fabric I to use for a binding. But in this case, well, I might have lost track during this long period of piecing the blocks. And I did not wish a scrappy binding for this quilt.

I went for a soft green, as a matter of fact (you might not be able to discern the colour in this photo). With a cotton batting, the quilt is quite heavy, too.

It was early morning when I took the picture. And I like the effect the sunlight has on the photo: giving the impression of “my” sun (top right corner) rising over the trees and mountains, not yet bright enough to extinguish the light of the stars.

America the Beautiful was inspired by the song of the same title (by Katharine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Ward). Design by Lynn Lister. Pattern by McCalls Quilting Magazine.

Here comes the sun

Remember my New York Beauty block? It so happened that I sewed three more. And believe it or not, I joined them to one small wall hanging or table topper.

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

Since it is such a small project, plus my sister recently gave me several reels of red thread, I decided to machine quilt it. I confess I am not very practised in machine quilting, yet I did everything in free motion quilting. Adjusting the stitching speed (foot) to my moving the sandwich (hands) was quite a challenge.

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

On the back, you can see a new (to me) method of hanging a small wall hanging. I simply folded a square piece of fabric in half diagonally and sewed the raw edges in the seam when binding the quilt.  I should have sewn four of these pockets, not just two, so that I was able to forever choose which side is up. Anyway, I might even hang it on point, after all! I am happy to say that sewing this small New York Beauty project quite alleviated my fears about sewing curves, and I would now be happy to sew a bigger quilt.

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

* “Here Comes the Sun” was composed in 1969 by George Harrison while taking a stroll in Eric Clapton’s garden. *

Refined recycling

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

Old shirts can be a good fabric source for a quilter. I already have done a quilt using two old shirts. This time, I aspire to something more refined.

I long wanted to do a quilt in the paper piecing method—by hand. A carry-along project. But I never liked hexagon quilts too well. Until I came across Megan’s idea of pieced hexagons. I was struck with the idea of piecing them and humiliated because I never thought of it! I think it makes all the difference and opens up so much more possibilities as to how to arrange them.

I have not finished but three dozens 1″ hexagons and already am playing with patterns. This is definitely not what I want:

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

Maybe you can make out the four fabrics that were men’s shirts once? I would love to have more than these four, and maybe some friends will help me out. I am definitely going to add some more colour and decided on orange, pink, and black. I will give you an update on that as soon as I can.