Civil War blocks–finished!

I have finished the last six Civil War quilt blocks!  The last one was really tough–ended up doing the curved piecing by hand, simply because the pieces are so small.  But I love how they turned out, with so much variety in the fabrics, and so many ways to do a star!

blogpicsNext up is the sashing with cornerstones (squares in the intersections between the big blocks).  Time to get out the flannel design wall to arrange these blocks.  For years I just arranged blocks on top of my bed, and I am amazed at how much better I can see them when they are on the wall.  I highly recommend making a design wall if you do much quilting at all!  It doesn’t have to be complicated or permanent–mine is a pair of styrofoam insulation panels, wrapped in white flannel.  When I am not using it, I store it between the guest bed and the wall, out of everyone’s way.

Stay tuned to see the final layout of this quilt!

Threads of Memory Block 2

A month sure passes by quickly…it is already time for the second block in the Threads of Memory block-of-the-month!  This block features a star within a star, and was a bit more challenging.  I don’t know why, but sawtooth stars are difficult for me.  My star points don’t ever seem to line up with each other like they should!

The history story with this block is interesting as well, about the struggle between those who wanted to help former slaves find a place to settle, and those who refused to let them.  These years were definitely not peaceful times.

Here’s a photo of my finished block:

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This project has been lots of fun so far–you should join in!  It doesn’t matter what order you make the blocks in, and they don’t have to be Civil War fabrics either.  Using what you have would make a lovely quilt just the same.

See you next month for block three!

Threads of Memory

It’s a new year, and I’m doing a new thing this year!  Many quilters participate in a block-of-the-month, where you are given instructions (and/or supplies) to complete one block for each month, and at the end you have enough for a quilt.  I have never done one before, mostly because I have more time than money, but Barbara Brackman has started a new one at her Civil War Quilts blog.  It is called Threads of Memory.

I love Barbara Brackman’s blogs, because she is a quilt historian.  So not only do you have a block pattern, but a piece of fascinating history to go with it.  The theme for this year’s quilt centers around the Underground Railroad, and the first block tells the story of a runaway slave who belonged to George Washington himself.

Here’s my first square:

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Speaking of new things, I have a new sewing machine as well!  It’s a Janome 8077, and I’ve been enjoying it very much.  It came with a 1/4″ foot which has a guard along the right side to guide the fabric.  I discovered that in order to end up with the right size block, I needed to move the needle a couple of notches to the right.

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Stay tuned next month for the next block in Threads of Memory, and be sure to go to the website and read the story behind this block.