Hodge Podge

I’ve never used this blog as a diary of all the little details of my quilty life. I doubt you care much about new purchases or big ideas, or if I cleaned my studio or cut a bunch of patches. But based on my recent posts, you might wonder if I’m quilting at all. I AM!! ๐Ÿ˜€

So here’s a little run-down of what’s up. This month I made two quilts for the local VA hospital, pictures coming soon. I bought some yardage at my favorite local quilt shop, Inspirations in Hills, IA, and I bought several yards of Michael Miller solids from Hancock’s of Paducah. The texture is smooth and firm and less shreddy than the Kona solids I’ve used in the past. The solids are intendedย for an upcoming quilt. I think it will be a graph-paper plan when I get to it, because the parts won’t lend themselves very well to EQ7.

Before that project, I am making a Ricky Tims kaleidoscope quilt. I’ve pulled fabric and have started the process by cutting strips and making “strata,” matching strip sets. Supposedly these are quick projects to put together. Once I have the 36″ kaleidoscope block, I’ll set it on point to increase its size to about 51″. With borders, it will finish about 80-90″, depending on what I decide to do with it. My ambition is to finish it before the end of the year. It isn’t intended as a gift at this point. I just want to make one.

Today I was offered a Facebook “memory” of a quilt I made three years ago. After making a quilt for each of Jim’s eight siblings, I decided I needed to make one more, which I gave to Jim. From start to finish the top took less than two weeks. I enjoyed the process so much, it’s one of the reasons I mostly make medallions now. This is a photo of the unquilted top.

Thursday Jim and I joined his family (including four of those eight siblings) for Thanksgiving. Afterwards we spent the night at his sister’s home. I snuck a few pictures of an antique quilt she has. I didn’t ask her about it, but I suspect it’s one their grandmother made. Hexagons are so popular now, it looks downright modern! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks for reading along on my hodge-podge quilting update. What are YOU working on?ย 

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25 thoughts on “Hodge Podge

  1. Judy

    I will be looking forward to seeing the Kaleidoscope quilt you will make. It will be as beautiful as the other’s you have sewn. I enjoy reading things you write on your blog. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. shoreacres

    The bottom star in your bottom photo? I have some of that fabric in the Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt that my grandmother and her friends hand-quilted. I’m not sure when they did it, but I think it would have been in the 1940s, since I was born in 1946, and remember it from childhood. I still have it, and It’s filled with wonderful memories of my mother’s dresses, my playsuits, and so on.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, that fabric is probably from the 40s. Jim’s sister is a few years older than you, so that makes sense. He was born in ’47, and his quilt, made later, has some 50s fabrics in it. (I am guessing at that based on what I know of fabric styles.) Quilts do carry memories with them. Jim’s shown above has a lot of stories that could be told.

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  3. Thread crazy

    I’m somewhat the same as you Melanie; I don’t post unless I’ve got really something interesting to share..saying that, I’m working on the second deer quilt and hope to have the quilting finished later this week. The first deer quilt was finished and sent to it’s new home and in between, I made a baby quilt and a couple receiving blankets for my niece, who is awaiting the arrival of her first son. In years past, I’ve made many items for Christmas gifts; not sure if I’ll attempt a couple small items this year or not. Your medallion quilts are intriguing to me, especially the use of various patterned fabrics…hoping next year I can make one as well.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      As to the various patterns, try starting with 80-90% of your fabrics stuff you’re pretty sure will go together, and the rest stuff you’re not very sure about, even a couple for which you’re quite doubtful. Then just go at it. I’ll guarantee that a bunch of your sure-thing fabrics won’t make it in, and a few of the maybes and probably-nots will. Creating some tension with contrast, and some ease with coordination, helps make it interesting to DO and to look at. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. katechiconi

    Sometimes it can be a fine line between process and trivia, can’t it? I enjoyed your hodge podge, and wouldn’t mind more of them, but if it’s not a comfortable format for you, then it becomes a chore rather than a pleasure. I agree that posting a gloat about recent fabric purchases just because they’re the newest, shiniest releases is a bit pointless. I’ve virtually stopped buying fabric except for specific projects; I can see the point of saying “here’s what I’m using for this quilt”, but not “look, pretties, mine!”. I’m looking forward to seeing your kaleidoscope blocks!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      ๐Ÿ™‚ I love new fabric, too. But I agree with your description of not posting “look, pretties, mine!โ€ That’s not my style in general!

      This kaleidoscope process creates one big block, basically a 12-pointed star. It’s pretty straightforward so far, but I’ll admit I’m reading the instructions step by step.

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      1. katechiconi

        I can imagine it would be critical not to misplace anything with something like that. Once it’s done, you’ll have to tell us how complicated (or not) it was; just now I find the idea a bit intimidating!

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  5. zippyquilts

    Oooh yes, Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids! I use them whenever I can because of the texture. It is much easier to get a small piece sewn accurately because the fabric texture is finer than the solids we all used for years. Love them!

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  6. knitnkwilt

    I attended a Ricky Tims workshop and followed up with making a kaleidoscopic quilt. I saved the off cuts and made a quilt from them years later. I may have to do another. It was fun.

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  7. Shasta

    Jim’s quilt is beautiful. Love the colors on it. I look forward to seeing the Kaleidoscope – it does look interesting. I am one who does blog the process as I go along, because otherwise there would not be much to blog about – there is a lot of time between each quilt finish. I hope I don’t bore people to tears, but I suppose they could skim.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Oh yes, I love process posts! My downfall there is I don’t take many pictures as I go, so process… hard to see. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also since the middle of the year I haven’t made a lot, so if I told you what I AM doing, it would sound like “today I spent 15 minutes digging through fabric thinking about what I might make next.” Also not so interesting!

      Thanks for the nice comments on Jim’s quilt. It is pretty and he loves it, which is the most important thing.

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  8. KerryCan

    I, for one, DID wonder if you were quilting–you’ve been so quiet about it! I like hearing what you’re working on and love seeing the photos of the vintage beauty–what a nice pattern!

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  9. snarkyquilter

    Yes, it’s hard to blog about the thinking part of quilt making. While a quilt may come together quickly, it may represent several months of thought. Far easier to unsew it in your mind than with fabric.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, as you say, sometimes things come together quickly. My Mountain quilt was too fast to blog much about it. I noted the center block decisions, and then whooosh it was done! If I have to choose between making or writing about making, usually I’ll choose making.

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  10. Larri

    This blog and the responses have educated me in so many quilting aspects. Thanks. Today I watched for the first time the Ricky Timms video about the kaleidoscope and figured it was a project that takes an immense amount of time. Thus I will be following your journey with great anticipation.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I’m not sure how much time it will take. Supposedly they are very fast. It is a lot of steps but they are pretty easy so far. We’ll see. Thanks for joining by watching along! And if you have questions about quilting, don’t be shy in asking. I don’t know it all but I know a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚

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