Block giveaway and Virtual Cookie Exchange

virtual cookie exchange 2017

The countdown is on, only 17 shopping and/or sewing days left.
Christmas time for me is “CANDY time”, I say this with some melody in my voice. Home made peanut brittle (oh so good) and home made caramel, both will create a party in your mouth. Once you have had fresh home made of these popular candies the mass production versions just will not satisfy.  In fact after you’ve had home made when you see them in the stores for sale you will turn up your nose. Most people have fond memories of Christmas morning opening presents or Christmas’s spent with loved ones no longer with us, but my fondest childhood Christmas memory is making candy with my step mother. Who knew you could make peanut brittle, caramel and taffy? You know, all the good stuff. I still love making candy and enjoy her cookbooks today. For many years I have made several batches of peanut brittle at Christmas, placed it in pretty tins and gave as gifts to a boss, family and friends.  My son always picks around the peanuts in the brittle, my husband picks the heavy peanut pieces leaving me a pretty balanced selection. The caramel, well its a very versatile candy. You can chunk it up and eat it as is but you can’t eat just 1 piece. You can make turtles or dip it in chocolate. Paint a candy tray with chocolate, add an almond and caramel and finish filling with chocolate (my favorite). If it’s chocolate, caramel and almonds…well it just doesn’t get better than that in my opinion. I think this is my favorite candy but rarely make it because I am the only one who eats it at home. It doesn’t keep as long either. If you can’t consume it in  a week or 2 you may want to share it while its at its best. Unfortunately I wont be making either this year, I’ve irritated my sciatica while loading backing on my frame and cant stand the length of time required for making candy. So, I hope you all download and make this and think of me while you enjoy it. The caramel recipe is below, click on the recipe card to download.

Blogging is new to me, so this is the first year I have participated in the Virtual Cookie Exchange hosted by Just let me quilt. Thank you Carol for all your help and for hosting this. You will find links at the bottom of this post to all the bloggers sharing in the cookie exchange.

The photo below is only one pattern option. Read on for variation and pdf download.

fortheloveofgeese.com, #paperpiecing, #flyinggeese
18″ North Star quilt block with flying geese and chain

For a couple of weeks I have been working on this star block to add to For The Love of Geese  and decided I would share it with you all today. I had hoped I would have the block completed before today and normally I would have. Sitting for any length of time is very painful and after sitting at my desk for 9 hours daily I cant do so in the evenings, so there are no photos of my completed block. My test block only consisted of half of the 18″ block and was made with mismatched scraps. There are samples below of my block, I have everything pieced but have not completed joining of the templates. For this I am sorry.

Like the ol’ versatile caramel the 18″ star block offers a few choices. Flying geese or no, 4 patch blocks to create an Irish chain or no. You will need paper piecing knowledge since I have not included instructions for paper piecing and you should have experience with Y seams. Not to say a beginner could not finish this block. With a border this would make a really cool wall hanging, a pillow sham, or create an entire quilt  with the Irish chain linking multiple blocks. With  proper color placement and values you could easily create a 3d block as well. Struggle with colors?  Clever Chameleon has a great write up on color values and  on Tuesday’s adds a new Colour Inspiration pallet, I love these by the way.

This is a great block for scraps or fat quarters. Yardage estimates are not given. For my block I used left over  2- 1/2″ strips and scraps of muslin.

For adding the chain blocks you will need to piece them separately and do the math using your preferred seam allowance. If you are using 1/4″ seam allowance you will need to cut 24pcs  1- 1/4″ squares from your background fabric and 24pcs  1- 1/4″ squares from  your colored fabric to make twelve  4 patch blocks. I have marked the templates for chain placement, you can paper piece the completed 4 patch blocks to the templates  which is what I did.
Now for your options. Below the block on the left is with flying geese (lt blue), the block on the right is with the Irish chain (lt blue). You can choose the download to suite your needs. If you do not want the examples shown below you will want to download the file “North Star without flying geese”.

 


If you would like a block without flying geese or 4 patch blocks you will want to download  North_Star_without_flying_geese
If you would like a block with flying geese and/or chain you will want to download North_Star_with_flying_geese
Perhaps you want flying geese with no chain blocks, download the North Star with flying geese. In place of the chain patches just add a single patch of fabric.
If you want to add chain blocks but no flying geese you can download either file and refer to the color layout for placement. I’ll stop here before I make you more dizzy.
If you create something with the pattern and would like me to share it here please email a photo, include if you want your first/last name or web address shown. A link to my site is always appreciated as well.

A list of others participating:

 

December 5 

 

In between projects

Piasa Bird quilt, paperpiecing
Piasa Bird quilt by Melissa S.

Today I thought I would do something a little different since I have yet to finish my quilting on the Wind Rose quilt and have not started a new project. A couple of my sisters also quilt and I thought I’d share a quilt by one of them.

The Piasa Bird in history and our local folklore. As a child in Alton I remember wanting to take a ride up the Great River Road to see the Piasa Bird, that was our thing back then when life was much simpler. For years there was a beautiful painting of the Piasa on the limestone bluffs and I think it was an honor if you were an artist who was chosen to freshen the image. Today the image sits above a small rest stop in Alton, the image isn’t the same quality but still demands the attention of those who pass by. Its current location is the 3rd that I personally remember.

There are different accounts and legends surrounding the Piasa Bird. It is said to have had sharp talons and teeth,  antlers like a deer, a long tail and a beard. Some in history do not note wings, others do. It was a man eater that terrorized local tribes. Chief Ouatoga of the Illini Indians was said to have gathered his warriors outside the cave of the Piasa Bird armed with poisoned arrows. When the Piasa flew out of the cave they showered it with their arrows and the Piasa’s remains lie in the depths of the Mississippi River.

Its story and  image have been depicted in the book titled “Records of ancient races in the Mississippi Valley” by William McAdams. Explorers Lewis and Clark made note of the image painted on the limestone bluffs near Alton,Il when they explored the region between 1804-1806. Earlier, in 1673 Father Jacques Marquette noted the image during the Joliet expedition. Now the quilt.

Piasa bird quilt, paperpiecing
Quilt by Melissa S.

She used applique and a technique called snippets to complete the top. I’ve not personally used snippets in quilting so I cannot give instructions or rate the technique. She’ll kill me for saying this, I invited her to write a post on the quilt and she said, “No, its too much like work”. LOL. This makes her sound lazy but truly she isn’t. She has been raising children since she was 4 years old and my mother brought me home from the hospital.  She does have a full time job and cares for her grand children as well.  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do. Thanks Melissa.Wikipedia on Piasa Bird

piasa bird, applique, paper piecing
Piasa Brid quilt by Melissa S.

piasa bird quilt, paper piecing

Piasa bird quilt, paperpiecing
Quilt by Melissa S.

The Wind Rose quilt

 

Now the top is finished it’s time to decide how to quilt it. It has been suggested that I send it away to a more  experienced quilter for custom quilting. Of course that is an option however I think this will stay in house. If I pay for custom quilting I wont want to give it away and I could never recover my time and expense selling it. Neither have been considered at this point.

The background fabric is Quilters Choice muslin, the blue, red and green are Moda solids. The entire quilt was paper pieced and the best part,  NO CURVED PIECING. The medallion, all geese and the maltese crosses were drawn on paper, graph paper. I love the way the first geese border surrounds the medallion.

Ignore the wrinkles. It was warm and humid yesterday morning when I carried it to the shed to take a photo. I had to hang it around my neck and the humidity took quick action on the cotton. Quilting suggestions welcome if you have any.

compass quilt, wind rose quilt, paperpiecing, paper piecing, medallion quilt, for the love of geese
Un-quilted Wind Rose Quilt fortheloveofgeese.com

53f5e-1487181931120

See what others are working on:

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Half Way

#paper pieced quilt #flying geese quilt #compass quilt #wind rose quiltMy wind rose is almost complete, 2 borders and a sashing is all that remains. I’m really glad I stayed true to the original and added a white border to the points. The rest of the blocks for the quilt are done I just have to sew them all together and add them to the quilt. The outside border blocks, well I am up in the air about them.  They are pieced and sewn in halves, I just cant decide if I want full blocks or half blocks.   I’m really glad I decided to trim the compass with the curved flying geese, I love the way it frames the compass.

When I began drawing this I started thinking about different ways to quilt it. In the beginning I thought I would quilt straight lines to resemble a Portolan Chart. Now I am not so sure.

See what others are working on:

Monday Making

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My Wind Rose

#paperpieced #compass #paperpiecedquilt
Wind rose

My medallion is almost complete. Its laid out in pieces just so I could finally see my work. Its a little haphazard right now but so far so good. The background fabric is my favorite muslin, I used white as a highlighter behind the red and blue points on the outside circle. It was also used as points for the inside circle. The white will be more clear once it is all sewn together.

The block will be set on point in the quilt with the blue needle in the center row pointing north. To square the block there will be stretched flying geese to form the triangles for all 4 sides. This too will be more clear once its sewn together. When I reach this point in any quilt I start getting excited , I took this photo a couple hours ago and I am still grinning ear to ear. I’ve made other compasses but in my opinion, this is the most wonderful wind rose I have created. I can only hope I did it justice. Colors, why  I chose them. If you look at the actual map i pulled it from, you will see I tried to duplicate the colors. With a little less gray. The colors to me seem to create  dimension to the medallion.

Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511

You can click on this link, Yale University and see this map and others. It will also allow you to zoom. You have to let me know if you view the map, does my Wind Rose resemble Jorge Aguair map, his is the 3rd one down?

paper pieced pattern: flying geese pattern: quilt patterns: circling geese pattern: no curved piecing circling geese: www.fortheloveofgeese.com: red and white medallion quilt: Grafton,Il:Jorge Aguiar 1492 map
Jorge Aguiar 1492 explorers map. This is where it all started for me,rd rd one down.
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http://estheraliu.blogspot.com/2017/10/wow-counting-down.html
http://www.cookingupquilts.com/

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Sew Fresh Quilts

 

Fall weather has now arrived here in Southern Illinois and I admit I am pleased. There’s nothing better that opening the windows during the day and the smell of all of natures wonders blowing in my windows. I’m weird but I love the smell of decaying leaves in the woods. Sleeping is more restful with the windows open a couple inches and the crisp night air blowing in. Cuddling under a couple quilts made by my own hands, reaching up and touching your nose knowing if you were in front of a mirror the tip  would be red.  When the weather is hot and humid I am like a hermit.  A few years ago I was  borderline of suffering  a heat stroke while stacking wood. Now adays  I stay out of the heat  as much as possible. Owning my own business and working at home has its advantages in the warm months, the best advantage would be not  leaving my home to head off to work in the morning and returning to my hot closed up car for the trip back home. I take that back, the best advantage is working in my jammies if I so choose.

Enzo spends his days laying on a bench in front of the window and his evening in his chair while I sew.  So with the cooler weather the last couple of weeks I have quit sewing about a half hour early to go on a daily walk up the driveway before dark. Our driveway is 2/10th of a mile long and uphill on the way to the road and downhill coming back to the house. They say its good exercise walking on hilly terrain. Well we’ll see if Enzo and I start dropping lbs

Paper pieced flying geeseNo exciting news this week on the quilt front. Down to the final 3 templates of my current quilt and wondering if I should add an alternating block instead of the repeating block I had planned around the outside border. We will see, adding a new block… well  I should still have it completed by the end of  the weekend.

The flying geese blocks (to the left) piece pretty quick and easy. Currently my toughest decision is whether I should add red sashing or blue. Either way, it should be lovely. When I started out I though perhaps I would create a quilt pattern to place here for sale.  It wouldn’t be for the faint of heart since there are so many pieces involved. The directions would be a book in its self. Nope, this one I am keeping for me. I cant wait to share it with you all next week on Bee Social. I’m sure I will have to post it prior to then, the excitement will get the better of me if I don’t.

 

Where I am on the Wind Rose quilt

Paper pieced flying geeseAs of last night I have 10 templates (photo to the right)with 18 patches each  to complete on my wind rose quilt. Each template takes me about 20 minutes to complete.  It feels so good to be nearing the end, the last couple of weeks this day seemed so much further off. Will I have it done by Oct 24 or 25, it will  be close. Hopefully I am not as disappointed in the completed quilt as I usually am.  I also drew an anchor block to add to the quilt, its up in the air if I will include it. Putting it all together will go fast since it’s all repeating blocks. I cant think of any other quilt that has taken me this long to finish or how accurately I calculated the yardage.

EQ8 will be released on Oct.23. I’m considering that investment.  It’s supposed to calculate the yardage for you which would be a tremendous advantage. What other benefits could it provide? How many block patterns are included with the program? What are its limitations? These are things I would like answered prior to purchasing but I’ve not had the time to actually read through the docs. Layout is the single most quilt related thing I struggle with. Graph paper is great for deciding on a layout and pencil lines are erasable. Deciding dimensions and marking them on the graph paper are time consuming. Even so, the biggest drawback is not seeing your quilt blocks in place until piecing is complete. This is not good and potentially creates more work for you. When I create a block now I end up using 3 different computer programs to construct it before I ever print it out, this would be another advantage of using EQ. I could spend less time with pencil, paper and on the computer and more time to do what I love.

Its just a matter of days until I am done with this top and I cant wait to share it.

Round 3 Wind Rose quilt

First let me say that I visit everyone blog that links up and I enjoy reading them and love the photos. Unfortunately I cannot always leave a comment due to an OpenId error. I’ve yet to find a fix for this by googling.

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Well…much like last week and the week before I am working on the same quilt. If I had a photo of the finished quilt I would attach it here, unfortunately you only get a stack of finished blocks. What a mess huh?  I started it Sept 24th with 3,179 pcs and as of yesterday evening I am now down to 1,446 pcs. I told a customer I would have it completed in a month, there’s 13 days left in my self inflicted deadline. This is definitely the quilt with the most number of  pieces I have done, it IS a jigsaw puzzle. At this point I’m unsure if I will produce a for sale pattern for this quilt but I will use the block patterns I drew in other projects.

paper pieced quilt pattern: flying geese: circling geese quilt: no curved piecing circle of geese: red and white medallion quilt: paper pieced circling geese quilt: for the love of geese quilt: quilting

I’m already looking ahead to my next couple of quilts. First I think I will expand on For the love of geese to make it a full size bed quilt. I have the first 2 sample quilts draped over my fabric box staring at me daily. The first one I completed with scraps to make sure it would go together as planned and I may use it to drape over an antique drop leaf table. The second (photo on left) was going to be The quilt until I realized I made an oops on the placement of one of the color patches and I wasn’t real happy with the outside border. Because I wasn’t certain how many strips I would need to complete the quilt I had purchased a total of 5 jelly rolls. Because of all the strips I used for this one there isn’t enough to start another quilt but there is enough to make this a full sized quilt.

The next quilt will only happen if I can collect enough ruler ribbons off of moda jelly rolls because they are an important part of the quilt. I have 12 so far and its going to take a lot more to do what I am planning. Fact is, I don’t buy jelly rolls frequently so it will take a while to collect what I need.

Gone are the days of symmetrical flying geese

flying geese: paper pieced quilt: 2 color quilt: quilting: fortheloveofgeese.comWell on my way through the next set of blocks and I have to say it was right on time. As much as I love and am glad I made the wind rose (or compass) it was getting a little boring. Because of all the little pieces crammed into such a small space I felt like I was never going to reach the bottom of that pile. It took 20 minutes to piece each template.   As I progressed  I found myself thinking how badly I needed to clean my closest.  I thought about my previous post and how spot on I was, did you read my last post ? There was light at the end of this tunnel.

These flying geese sections are much larger and I am able to use strips to piece them.  Even so, I have a lot more waste than other quilts I have pieced with strips.  Because of their size I am able to put these together in half the time of  the wind rose sections. Stretching the geese adds movement to the quilt that previously could only be accomplished through quilting if you knew what you were doing. Seriously, how do you add movement to the quilt with quilting? I’ve not figured that out yet.  Adding depth or dimension  through quilting I understand. Adding movement to a quilt through fabric design and color placement  I also understand. Maybe, the more I quilt I will eventually understand what they mean by adding movement through quilting.

When applique was my craft of choice I made mostly Sam and Sue quilt blocks. Once I made a block of Sam running (see below) from a dog with a sling shot in his back pocket. With that block creating movement was easy. You could see he was running, the dog was running after him and the sling shot was flailing behind. Apologies for the poor photo. sunbonnet sa,: paper piecing: quilt: paper pieced quiltA few squiggly lines behind either or both would have shown movement. Creating movement thru stitching on a quilt is quite different and something I doubt I will fret over.

Jorge Aguiar 1492 explorers map

paper pieced pattern: flying geese pattern: quilt patterns: circling geese pattern: no curved piecing circling geese: www.fortheloveofgeese.com: red and white medallion quilt: Grafton,Il:Jorge Aguiar 1492 map
Jorge Aguiar 1492 explorers map. This is where it all started for me,

When searching for a medallion for my current project I stumbled across this file  at Yale University and knew I had it. The Wind Rose would be included in my current quilt. Just think , this map is from 1492, just imagine the hands it has passed and the eyes that have  viewed it, where it has been, Answering those questions creates a story of its own.

If you cannot enlarge this enough to take in the full beauty of this map and the rare information it provided for its time you should visit the:

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. You can view the map online in an exploded view to see the details it holds. I’ve limited my quilt to only reproducing the wind rose . I do plan to take the file and have the map printed out to use as wall art. I’ve never considered myself a fan of antique maps or cartography until I viewed this map. Since my initial viewing  I have read everything  available I could find regarding it, very interesting,