Friday, January 31, 2014

Simplified Celtic Solstice Top is Finished!

On the last day of January, I have my first finished top of the year:

I am happy that it is ready for the long arm quilter, and I am moving on to other things.  It was a fun quilt and I am happy with how it turned out.  I sure made a lot of wrong turns before I got on the right track, but once there, it went very smoothly.  I have a project in mind for the unused chevrons, and will be making 9 patches as leaders and enders to go with the chevrons into another quilt.

This quilt is called Simplified Celtic Solstice, and is a modified version of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice.  Her original pattern instructions will be here: Bonnie's directions until June 1, 2014.

Here's a linkup with all of the other versions of Celtic Solstice : Finale Link-Up

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mid-Winter Blues and Simplified Celtic Solstice

Lori, of Humble Quilts, has a new doll quilt-a-long, and it's called "Mid-Winter Blues" (Instructions are here)

My first part:

Some of my squares are a little crooked, but Lori has taught me that humble quilts are the best, and if it's a little crooked, that's o.k.  

My Simplified Celtic Solstice is coming together this week.  I have long strips sewn from top to bottom, with only six more to go.  Then I will connect each strip.  The design wall makes it possible to do it this way, and not make blocks first, and the seam pressing is more consistent for me (one column seams are pressed up, next column seams are pressed down, etc)

Here's the column strips so far:

And the right side of the picture below shows five columns that are all loose 3.5 inch pieces.  The left side shows that a quilt really shrinks when seams are sewn, doesn't it?  One more column is at the sewing machine.  After these six are sewn, then it's pinning and sewing each long strip to the next one.  But the end is near!

What's on your design wall today?

I love to check out what is on other quilter's design walls each Monday at the Patchwork Times blog (Here)   There are lots of quilter's showing their projects here too, on a WIP link  (Here)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Basket Blocks, Bears, and Simplified Celtic Solstice

Last week, I put Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice, away.  But I forgot to put it out of my head.  I was still thinking about it, and got it out again.  I moved some parts around, eliminated some parts, and now have a quilt design that I'm finally ready to construct into blocks.  Here it is on the design wall today:

Notice that no chevrons were used in the making of this photograph!  I finally figured out that the yellow and orange were the parts that didn't agree with me, and I took them out, substituting a red in the four patches and a 3 inch red print square in the center of the alternate blocks.  I like it because it keeps Bonnie's design large circles, and the colors are much more to my taste.  And it is much more simple.  I'm so glad I have settled upon a design.  Now to get it assembled.  I could call it Simplified Celtic Solstice.  The chevrons are in a shoebox, to be included in a future quilt on down the road.

While I was figuring out Celtic Solstice, I was making some basket blocks, which will finish at 6 inches.

They are fun to make, and I'm using civil war reproductions and shirting.

Since this blog has veered away from the "small quilt and doll quilt" subject matter lately, I am bringing it back to center to talk about a crib quilt that I bought while I was in Shipshewana, IN last year.  It measures 41 inches by 52 inches.

Here are closeup pictures of the three appliqued bears:

It was made from a kit from Lee Wards, probably in the 1950's - 1960's.  The little bears with their umbrellas are so cute.  I love it! 

It's Monday linkup time at Judy Laquidara's blog (Here) to see what others have on their design walls today.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Moving On from Celtic Solstice for Now

This week I started the Benjamin Biggs Wedding Quilt, which is a free block of the month for 24 months.  The original quilt was made in 1848, and the patterns are on the internet over the next two years by Gay from and Brenda from  There is also a new blog of Benjamin Biggs quilts here:

I made my first block by using freezer paper folded in fourths and cut as I would cut a snowflake pattern:

Each block has a little flower appliqued in each corner, which gives the quilt a light and airy look.  Mine is lacking that element, but it will be added soon.   Here's the complete quilt:

I also am making indigo and shirting blocks in preparation for the monthly Dear Jane meeting here in Williamsburg this coming Tuesday.  Here are four triangle blocks:

Where I am with Celtic Solstice:

Option A uses most of the parts already made

Option B has more of a "floor tile" look
Option C - one of my first layouts

These would look like 4 leaf clovers if the
colors were reversed!
Recently I posted about 18 Ways to Motivate Yourself in Quilting.  (See Post)
and one of the points was "recognize when indecision is causing inertia".  That's where I am with Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice.  I have so many different options that I could make with the pieces, and am still searching for the one that says "this is the one".

So for now, it is tabled.  I would appreciate any thoughts you have on any of the above pictures, and also any Celtic Solstice layouts/colors that you just love.  Thanks!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Celtic Solstice and Decisions

Since the reveal of Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice, I've been playing with the blocks on my design wall.  I looked at other quilter's colors and layouts, and started moving pieces around.  I am not satisfied yet, so am giving it a rest and working on sewing on some other projects.

Here are two possibilities.  I want to get more of the floor tile's that are pinwheels into my quilt, as I love them in the church floor tile pictures that Bonnie posted.  

Could I add black and white pinwheels to the sashing and would that tone it down?

I do like "busy" quilts, but this just seems like a riot, and I need help. Here's some floor tile that I love:

If my design is still not pleasing to me in another week, I will go with Forest Jane Jacobson's design, which I just love:

It has that "floor tile" look to it, and it is more of Bonnie's design, yet with her personal spin on it.  I love it!  She has said over on Facebook that anyone is free to use her design.  

Meanwhile, I am thinking with my little brain, and working on Dear Jane blocks.  I finished this one yesterday:

It was a nice break for my little brain and I will be working on more Dear Jane parts today.  I'm linking up to the usual Monday linkups, at Bonnie Hunter's blog: (Here) and Judy Laquidara's Design Wall Mondays (Here)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Welcoming the New Year

2013 was such a wonderful year - celebrating 50 years of marriage, and having fun quilting and blogging.  I am looking forward to 2014 with enthusiasm.

Our New Year was spent in California, and we celebrated Michigan State's win in the Rose Bowl game!  We were two of the many Michigan State fans that enjoyed an unforgettable day - the Rose Parade, the football game, it was all so wonderful.  We both still have smiles on our faces, and will probably, for a long time to come.

We stayed in Santa Monica, and saw an amazing display in a store window in the Santa Monica Place Mall.  Here's what we saw at All Saints men's clothing store:

Vintage sewing machines from floor to ceiling!  Here's a picture of my hubby in front of the store:

After I got home, I looked on the internet, and there is a file of pictures in Flicker of their store windows from many of their stores.   (All Saints Window Displays)  Very beautiful display of old machines.

I'm having fun working on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice, and have put some blocks up on my design wall.  I am changing the pieces around, and having lots of fun seeing how different the design looks when I turn parts of the blocks in different directions.  My quilt will look quite different from all the other ones when it is finished.

I am still working on my choices before assembly,  and also working on parts of each clue.  The Chevrons are almost finished, and none of the pinwheels are assembled, but all of the half-square triangles are made.

Here's a picture on the design wall, of my current version of the quilt, but it will change some more before I sew it together.  The most fun for me is taking all the parts I've made, and moving them around, adding and subtracting pieces and thinking about how I want it to look.  I am adding more of the pinwheels to it because that's the part of the church tiles that I really liked in all of Bonnie's pictures.

It uses pieces from Clues 1,2,3 and 4, but none of Clue 5.  And it will probably change a few more times as I work on finishing the pieces.  It is so much fun to play with all of the little parts.

While on my trip to California and back, I didn't take any hand sewing project along, but used the time to reflect on the projects that I want to make in 2014.  I am so looking forward to quilting in this new year.  I hope you are too!