Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pony Club obsession

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! I miss U.S. Thanksgiving -- it is a much bigger holiday there than it is in Canada (where we celebrate over a month earlier) and I always enjoyed it.

Anyway, onwards....I am a blogger of little motivation these days, at least where writing posts is concerned...overworked and overtired, but thankful for the good things in my life and in the world.

I have found lots of happiness this week stitching up more blocks for the Farmer's Wife Pony Club sampler.  This project continues to obsess me (along with a couple of knitting projects -- but that's a topic for another day). And I'm approaching the making of blocks as I did with the Farmer's Wife project: gathering templates, selecting and cutting fabrics for a few blocks at a time, and then stitiching those into blocks when I can find another window of time.

21 blocks for #ponyclubsampler. This may be my favorite project EVER!!
Through a very busy week I have somehow added 15 blocks to the stack, bringing my total to 22.  I took this group shot a couple of days ago, when I was at 21 blocks.  It's all a blur, really; I don't know how I pieced that much this week.

It just happened...somehow...a direct reflection of my enthusiasm for this project, which ranks currently as my all-time favourite.  

I am so obsessed that I have been repeatedly supplementing ("enhancing") my Pony Club stash (in contrast to the FW quilt, which drew exclusively from fabrics I already owned -- up to the last dozen blocks or so, when I bought some gingham!).

So I must admit that Stash Love -- my vow to work with stashed lovelies only, up to Valentine's Day -- is being renegotiated.  Blame my Pony Club infatuation. Happily it is bringing me lots of joy.

A quick shout out to those of you with overflowing scrap bins: 
If you happen to have any Ruby Star or other Kokka scraps looking for a home, I would be delighted to swap for fabric from my own stash.  I am especially keen on finding a couple of those Ruby Star ladies to fussy-cut for a future Pony Club block....

Okay, so without any more delay, here are this week's blocks and a group shot from a couple of days ago -- names of individual blocks are included in my flickr photostream (click on a photo), but I feel that for now I have said quite enough.  A very happy evening to you all!

pony club: "clover blossom"

pony club: "children's delight"

pony club: "cowboy's star"

pony club: "at the depot"

pony club: "arizona"

pony club: "bright hopes"

pony club: "best of all"

pony club: "basket of flowers"

pony club: "betty's delight"

pony club: "colt's corral"

pony club: "best friend"

pony club: "bird's eye view"

pony club: "boy's playmate"

pony club: "broken heart" (might re-do)

pony club: "county fair" (a favourite)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pony Club

I have not yet basted my Farmer's Wife sampler quilt (although I have a quilting plan, and will get to this project soon), but I have had another sampler project brewing for a while now.  Last weekend I got started, made seven blocks in two days (I was inspired!) -- and I want to post about the project before any more time slips by.

I am making 8" blocks (finished) from Laurie Hird's second book The Farmer's Wife Pony Club Sampler.

I used (foundation) paper-piecing for the first block, Dakota Star, but worked from templates for the remaining ones.

FW Pony Club, "Dakota Star"
Dakota Star, foundation paper pieced

FW Pony Club, "A Dandy"
A Dandy

FW Pony Club, "A Beauty"
A Beauty

FW Pony Club, "Gold Nuggets"
Gold Nuggets

FW Pony Club, "Alabama"

FW Pony Club, "Gretchen"

FW Pony Club, "Handy Andy"
Handy Andy

My palette is drawn largely from Ruby Star prints and assorted Echino fabrics, combined with Denyse Schmidt's "Chicopee" and some other odds and ends.

I couldn't tell you why this book is so much harder to find than Hird's first Farmer's Wife sampler book.

As a side note, I just discovered that spiral-bound copies of Pony Club are available through Laurie's website and on the US Amazon site. Mine has a conventional binding, but I think spiral binding is a great idea for a book like this!

I found a copy of Pony Club at the Creativ Festival last month, and now that I'm working on the blocks I can report that I love it.  The blocks are intricate, many are challenging, but I am thrilled to be working (mostly) with templates again.

Is that odd?  Templates!!!! But it's true: I love cutting the wee little pieces and fitting them together.  I love the lack of measurement and rulers. As mentioned in the book, pre-rotary cutter quilt block designs weren't tied to easy measurements -- any odd fraction of an inch is do-able when working with templates . Of course, I'm neither a luddite nor a masochist: I print the templates from my computer onto card stock, cut them out (with scissors) and then rotary cut freehand around the templates.

I actually have a few more blocks done than I'm able to share today (12 at the time of writing).  I am simply behind on documentation, but do want to say that I'm sooooo happy to be working on a sampler again -- and that I can recommend Pony Club!  It has been well worth the wait and the search.