Monday, November 16, 2015


I have been busy with life AND quilting of course.  Just want to update you on the latest "goings on":

I have decide to name this "Good News".  It was not an easy quilt initially--certainly not for the novice, but once I figured it out it wasn't too bad.  After I had started this I began to worry a little about the red fabric's and bleeding, but it is a bit too late.  When I wash it I will just make sure I use lots of color magnets.  I used two layers of batting with this--a wool and a cotton.  Not because I really wanted to but the wool batting was terrible.  Very uneven---in some places you could read through it.  At any rate, the two did give great definition to the quilting, which you can't see in the picture.  I even sewing the binding down by hand!!!  This is a keeper for me.  I am going to look for a white coverlet (and put it on top since it is not big enough for my bed) and use it for my Christmas quilt.

This is a quilt made from the "No Name Block"---this was the subject of the workshop at the Guild Saturday.  This a the "scrappy version"---I just used whatever left over jelly roll parts I had.  It is a cute quilt!! It is destined as a gift for my niece to use to keep her warm in the car when she travels since my nephew likes to keep it really cool (keeps him alert).

This is the same quilt in a more controlled version.  Again using a jelly row, but with the same first and last strip (the white) on the strada.  This is going to be a donation quilt for an older child/toddler.  I do like it---the secondary pattern is neat and the white strips look like love knots or ribbon twists.  I think I might make this in a bed side quilt!  I am thinking about making a piano key border since I only used half of the jelly was needed after adding the white from yardage.

That's all that is going on here!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

My New Project!

This is my next project  UFO.  I have a sizzix cutter and really love the Wedding Ring Quilts.  This really isn't going to be the Wedding Ring however, but is called the "Pumpkin Seed" pattern.  It is a very old quilt pattern but I have "updated" it a bit.  The blocks are very big (18 inches) which makes the curves really easy to sew.  I am going to use various shades of red and the middle is a newsprint pattern.  The trick is joining the rows so they look like they are interlocking.  This is just the beginning, so "stay tuned" for my progress.  I still have the green "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul" to finish first before I work on this one full time.

I am going to teach a short class for the Guild and so had to put everything to the side to finish the "sample".  I have, it is quilted and I am in the process of sewing on the I have been busy although I haven't been posting.

Just wanted to update you!  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"Grandmothers House Dresses"

I remember when I was a little girl, we would go to visit my Grandmother and she always had on either print "housecoats", dresses or aprons  made from these prints.  While these reproductions of 30's, 40's or 50's prints are not always my favorites (I am not a pastel sort of girl), they bring back fond memories.  My friend Diane LOVES these prints and always shares her scraps with me.  There are some that I do like, especially if they are bright saturated colors.  I am on a mission to use as many of my scraps as possible.  I also included the few black and brown prints I had, to add a little interest or "pop".

I have an extensive collection of GO! dies and decided to use my Tumbler die to cut larger scrap pieces and put them into a "cuddle" quilt.  Cuddle because it is not really large enough to go on a bed, but will be perfect to wrap up in while watching television, or if I wake in the night and need an extra quilt.  I tried really hard to make sure no two prints were together, but failed.  There are two tumblers of the same fabric that are together, but I decided to leave them "as is".  I like the "imperfection" of quilting.  I quilted it with the traditional Baptist Fan and decided to bind the edges with the scallop on the sides.  I started to do it by hand, but "cooler heads" prevailed and I machine bound it so it is FINISHED!!!!  Click on the picture to enlarge it and you can see the quilting.  I rather like it!!!  The backing is a purple flannel and the binding is from a small piece of 30's yardage that I had!  A true stash quilt!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Saturday, September 5, 2015

I'm Back Yet Again!!!

I don't know what happens to stop me from posting????  I come to the blog everyday to read other's posting, but there doesn't seem to be anything going on that is interesting enough to write about.  So I procrastinate, and before you know it, an entire month has pasted.

So what have I been up to?  Actually a lot has been going on at work---too boring to write about, and lots on the quilting front as well.

I am still plugging along on the quilt I am donating to the school fundraiser.  It looks like the last picture I posted but actually, I have added those rows and these are new rows.  The one with only one block is the last row left and then I will be finished with the top.  I will only need to quilt it and with about three weeks left I should be done.  Not sure why it is taking me so long other than the fact that I "have" to finish.

During a lull in my quilting time, I was surfing DWR quilts and came upon these dies.  I have two die cutters and so these are for the Sizzix cutter.  I ordered the main DWR and then two other die's that are compatible the concave center and make two different quilts.

The majority of quilts that I make are scrappy.  I rarely make a "coordinated" quilt.  As I was looking through my dies, I saw I had the "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul" die and so I cut out and started a quilt (instead of finishing what I have).  This now makes three new quilts I have cut out and "began".  I think I may have "Quiltitis"--the inability to only work on one project at one time.  I don't really feel bad in a way, since this seems to be a condition that many quilters have.  At any rate, I am only using fabric that I have, and I will "try" to finish all these UFO's or at least two, before I start anything else.

Well, just wanted to stop by and let you know I am still here!  Have a great holiday week-end!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Quilting Book Review!!

In an earlier post I mentioned that I won this book in a naming contest (the owner of the blog and author of the book, chose my suggested name for her longarm).  I received her latest book as my prize and received it a couple of weeks ago.  I have been reading and choosing quilts to make and because it is so different from the books I have purchased I wanted to share this with everyone.

How many books do you purchase that are over 100 pages long and you think, "Wow! lots of patterns"---but when you get it and begin to look, over 50% of the pages are "basic" information that is in every book on the market already.  I already know what a quilt sandwich is; I already have a scrap system; I already know how to put on a binding; I am not interested in designing or I would not have purchased the book; I know about quilting and why starch is used,  etc.  When you FINALLY get to the quilts, they are almost always really small and although they can be enlarged, I feel cheated.

This book is different.  It is a total of 64 pages (which is about the number of pages that include quilts in the "other" books, even though in one, the total pages was 143).  Quilt patterns begin on page 8!!!!!  in this book (as opposed to page 66 in my comparison book).  There is a total of 14 quilts in the book (the similar book I am comparing it to has 15). Only one I would consider really small (24.5 x 24.5).  The other 2 are actually baby quilts so I consider it a quilt that could be used.  The quilts are all scrappy and pre-cuts can be used (if you don't have a big stash) including the new Honeycomb's by Moda.  The directions are clear and each quilt has a "scrappy tip" to further enhance the creative energy associated with making a scrappy quilt.

I really like this book by Rebecca Silbaugh!  not only because I too am a "scrapper" and the quilts "speak to me", but because it is a book that acknowledges some of us already have some basic skills and do not need remediation before we begin a new quilt.  Had I not been fortunate enough to win this book, I definitely would have purchased it.  I am now on the look-out for her first book "Seemingly Scrappy".  Hope over to her blog and order one!  BTW--I am not being paid for this endorsement, I am just a happy quilter.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Like most quilters, I work on multiple projects.  The top is the quilt that I am making for the auction.  The picture only shows a part of two rows ---it will be 10 rows of 8 blocks ---about 64 x 80 finished.  I don't have a lot of variety in my blocks, using only what I have available of my handdyes.  I have to have it done by August.  The lower block is called "Flutterbug" (I think).  The original pattern was in a book I purchased a couple of weeks ago and was 10 inches finished...mine is 18 inches finished!  I cut all the pieces with my GO! cutter---had every die I needed to "biggie size" it.  It should be big enough for my bed, so I can switch out the "Trip" for this one.  No set time to finish it, but I am using only what I have----Not purchasing anything--only stash.

Just wanted to update you!  I have spent all day working and now I think I will turn in---no dinner for me---too fatigued to eat!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 19, 2015

My MAJOR Prize Arrived!!

One of my favorite Christmas movies is "The Christmas Story". In the story, the Dad gets a "major prize" which is a lamp with the base in the shape of a woman's leg.  The shade is her skirt.  He loves this since it is a "major prize" that he won, although his wife thinks it is a bit risque, and is happy when it breaks.

Well my "major prize" arrived today.  I won a contest sponsored by Rebecca at Ruby Blue Quilts in which I submitted a name for her longarm machine---Elvis.  She choose it and the prize I chose was a copy of her latest book, "Seems like Scrappy".  I received it today and have just barely looked through it.  I am about to get myself a "blue label" also known as Pepsi, and really give it a "once over".  Just from the little bit I have looked, I love it and know that the cover quilt is one I will definitely make.

Not a very good picture of the book--I can't seem to upload the pictures from my camera and so have to use my phone.  At any rate, you get the idea.

On the quilty front, I have started "ruler work" on my cheater.  It is hard!!!!  I refuse though to give up, I know I can do it!!!!!!  Practice, practice!  Plus, I have purchased several (not too cheap) rulers that I must learn to use.  I have looked on You Tube and really haven't found anything to help me, but I will keep looking.

At any rate, thanks for stopping by....stay cool!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

One Down--Many More to Go!!

I completed "Happy Eight" Saturday and completed quilting it yesterday.  Although I initially wasn't sure about the quilting pattern I chose, I am really glad I did.  It adds lots of texture and doesn't over-shadow the block patterns at all.  All I need to do is to make a label, bind it and give it to my friends little girl for her 8th birthday!  I enjoyed making it and it wasn't really difficult at all.  I may make it again, but I will not join the ovals into 8's.

Now on to the quilt I am making for the auction.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Current Work!

I still haven't began blocking "Crop Circles" so I haven't put the binding on yet.  It is my plan to have that done within the next couple of weeks.

I have started two new projects though:

  • The donation quilt for the silent auction for the fundraiser:
    • I started one quilt, but changed to a quilt made with my hand dyes.  It is comprised of 350 half-squares.  I have 125 made, so the cutting and sewing goes on.  The fundraiser is not until September, so I should be done at least one month before the deadline.  No picture to share yet.
  • I made a quilt for one of the nurses I worked with when her second baby was born, and to address the possibility of the older child being left out, I also made one for her (she was probably 2 at the time).  That nurse is still  working at the hospital and although I no longer work there, I take my students there for clinical and so see her frequently during the semester.  In a conversation a couple of months ago, she relayed how her daughter (who will be 8 years old in September) really loves that baby quilt.  She said although it is really too small, she wants it spread over her when she sleeps and sits on it when she is playing.  I saw this really cute pattern that was made of ovals put together to make an 8.  A perfect quilt (I thought for someone turning 8 years old).  I discussed it with her mother, who agrees, and so I am making it completely from my stash (including the backing).  The "8's" will be 6 different colors of polka dot fabric.  The picture is of a partial row, but I think you will get the idea.  The "8's" are staggered, and I am making a throw size, so it will be usable for a while.

  • I have completed quilting the most recent donation quilt.

I used a really simple pattern for the quilting and although I really do not like the light backing, I didn't have anything suitable and I really didn't want to buy anything.  I have more fabric to make another but I will use another color for the back.  As I type this, I just thought I had some red and some blue flannel that would have been better for the back.  Oh well---next time.  Maybe I will just hold on to this one and make a more suitable baby quilt.  Who knows!  It is cute though.

Well, that's it for now.  Hope you are having a great Sunday!  Take care and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Happy Dancing---All DONE!!!!!

I am all FINISHED!!!  with the quilting on "Crop Circles".  That is what I think of when I look at the quilt and until I come up with something else--"Crop Circles" it is.  My knees and my back are confirming the "work" it took to get this done.  Even though precision in distance was not my goal, I still tried to make the circles evenly spaced somewhat.  Of course, the closer I came to finishing, the more "hiccups" I had and had to do some removal of stitching, but I was able to line it back up and so it isn't really that noticeable.  All in all---it isn't bad.  The circles are really nice and I think worth all the work.  Now to trim and bind and add to my pile of completed works.  I may enter this one though in a show.  I would really like the feedback.  We will see---anyway--following are some pictures.  Unfortunately, the texture of the circles doesn't photograph well, but take my word for it, it adds to the quilt nicely.

The quilt is lying on it's side.  The top and bottom are the wide solid orange borders.

 I still need to cut the "jump stitches".

The last one includes the back.  Sorta goes with the theme of "crops" doesn't it.

I have loaded a donation/gift quilt for my next quilting project, but the rest of the day will be spent resting.  I feel sorta good, so I may even make a "home cooked" meal, with biscuits, for Sunday dinner!  My family will think it is Christmas!!!!  Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by!!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

MIssing in Blogland!

I have been remiss about posting on the blog I know.  Life has been very busy indeed.  Two grand-daughters (sisters) graduations---one from college, the other from high school.  As happens with most families at this time of year---I had lots of  family visiting to attend the ceremonies.  It was a time for me to reflect on how fast time had gone by.  I remember when each of these babies were born---I was actually present in the delivery room and was the first person to sing "Happy Birthday" to each of them.  They have both grown into really beautiful (inside and out) young women, and I was one proud Grandmother at the graduations!!!!

Things are settling down and I am getting back in the routine.  I have (of course) been doing some quilting:

I finished the Bargello and am now in the process of quilting it.  It is a VERY slow process, at least for me.  I am quilting concentric circles of different sizes.  I am overlapping so I don't have to be concerned with "lining" them up.  The first picture is a close-up of the circles (with "jump" stitches not yet cut).  The backing is a piece of African Fabric I have had for some time.  It is amazing how well it matches the top--almost as if I purchased it specifically for that quilt and at the same time.  I am about 50% complete so I should be done in a couple of weeks.

I have also made another baby quilt for our Guild charity I need to quilt and made a quilt from cheater fabric to practice ruler work.  I also need to work on the Moda Sampler one of these days soon.  Lots to do!  It is also getting warm and hopefully I can do some fabric dyeing this summer.  My garage is an absolute disaster and so will need a good cleaning and purging!  I purchased a new washer so my old one is going to be installed in the garage and I will use it to wash the fabric I dye.  Just have to find the time to get everything put into place.  Whew----just thinking about it makes me tired.  I think I need a nap!!!!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Diane and I Won!

Diane entered a quilt she pieced and one I quilted in a quilt show in Florida and we won the "Mayors Award". The show was small (about 50 quilts), but was judged so we are proud.

For some reason I cannot post the picture of my quilting.  I will still work on it and post when I figure it out.  Anyway--isn't this "Paducah Nine Patch" pretty!  See how she has arranged her colors!  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Checking In!!!

I have been very lax in keeping up with my blog---"almost" breaking my NY Resolution---but not quite.  So much has been going on in my world----renovations to the master bath (AGAIN)--that has left a layer of fine dust on absolutely everything--even areas upstairs.  Hopefully this will be a success but the work will continue since we have decided to redo all the baths.  That means the workmen will be here at least into the early fall.....gotta save money first for each one and then proceed; it is the end of school for me and so LOTS of papers to read and grade; two grandchildren are graduating from school--one college, the other high school; and the AQS show with my and Diane's eighth yearly trip there.  It might be a bit more complicated since my brother and his wife and kids are also visiting---making sleeping arrangements a bit more creative.

On the "Quilty Front"-----This is the completed "Mad About Plaid" quilt.

The back looks like a page from a book about birds.  It is a perfect (I think) backing.  When putting the strip strata together, some of the strips ended up a little wonky because the shirting's were so soft.  I really liked that looks and so purposely made it wonky.  This is going to my grandson.   He wants to redo his bedroom and so this will be the fourth quilt (I made one for his bed at his Mom's house) I have made for him.

Next in line was a UFO Kit from a couple of years ago.  It is made entirely of my hand dyes and so I plan to keep it.  I got the pattern from a web surfing expedition and cut out all the fabrics, even made a chart.  This is another "tedious" pattern.  It is like losing your place while reading a book--if you do, you sometimes have to start over to get it right.  I had to start over a couple of times even though I had been careful (I thought) to mark the strips.  Once finished it will be turned differently so as is, you are looking at the quilt sideways.  It is a Bargello---not sure if it is easier than the original pattern,  not really even sure if I will like it, but I am moving ahead.  I love the brightness of it!  It looks so contemporary/modern.

The left side of one section and a border is finished and I am starting on the right side of that section.  There are four sections (which make 2 sides) all together. From the lesson I learned with the first section, I am only putting three rows together at a time.  I am also going to carefully mark the top.  This will be a "sofa" quilt since I am changing the slip cover to a very light beige-grey and this should brighten it up.  Don't know how I will quilt it ---"it" hasn't "spoken" to me clearly yet.

That is my update.  I have to put my fun stuff aside, drink another cup of coffee and then read and grade some more papers.  Do have a wonderful Sunday.  At Guild meeting yesterday one of the members brought the most wonderful apple pie that was "store bought".  In a little bit I am going to go and purchase one for our dinner dessert.  Think I will take it out of the box and pretend I "made" it---LOL.

"Talk" to you later!!!!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Almost Done!!!

I loaded "Mad for Plaid" on the long arm this morning and I am already half done.  I decided to not use the Baptist Fan but rather another CL board (see the second board).   The quilting fabrics and design make using a really complicated quilting motif unnecessary so this board will add just enough texture.  The backing is a moda print that I have had for quite awhile.  It is a combination of text and birds (from a dictionary).  The color is perfect for the quilt and "modern up" the very traditional pattern.  I should be done with it by the week-end!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

On the Home Stretch!!

The top and bottom and one of the side borders are on.  I just need to put the right side one and I will be ready to quilt.  The border is dark strips although I have decided to carry a couple of the circles out to the edge of the border.  Add a little interest.  I had originally alternated the border squares with light and dark and didn't really think it "ended" the quilt, so I took out the light and substituted for the dark.  As I "frogged", I really was trying to talk myself into leaving it, but since I probably will not make another quilt quite like this again, I decided to do it right.  Again, it is a little "wonky", but I really like it!  Now I am trying to figure out how to quilt it.  I am not going to get too fancy since you will not be able to see it anyway, but I think texture is important.  I am thinking either Baptist Fans or the Egyptian Eye CL Board I have been using a lot lately.  I am going to have to "study" on it for a bit.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Guess Who Just Won!!!

I entered a contest hosted by Rebecca at Ruby Blue Quilts to name her longarm.  I am a "follower" of her blog and read it daily as well as get inspiration from her quilting.  I take things very seriously and so really looked at her quilting and paid attention to the "vibes" I was receiving.  I suggested two names, one for a female persona (Allegra) and one for a male (Memphis).  She chose Memphis!!!! Her choice was because she really loves the movie "Gone In 60 Seconds" that has a main character named Memphis---I suggested it because her quilting has such a "bluesy, soulful" feeling, like the Memphis blues.  I chose her newest book as my prize.  I can't wait to receive it.  What fun!!!!!

Now on my quilty front---I am working extra hard to complete "String Fling"---my name.  I am now putting the borders on and should have a picture within the next couple of days.  Although string quilts are normally not that difficult for me, this one turned out to be since the string blocks, once cut into the Drunkard's Path, should be put together with the strings going alternately vertical and horizontal.  In addition there is the challenge of light vs. dark and vice versa to make the circles stand out.  At any rate, it will be finished soon and another UFO marked off the list!  I am not sure how to quilt it, but it will not go into the pile "to be quilted"----I want it done!!!!

Take care!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Break!!!!!!

I am on Spring Break for this week!!!!!!  Happy Dance!  I have lots to do, but I certainly intend to get some quilting in.  So now to update you!

I finished "The Trip".  Completely finished with the quilting, binding and label!!!!

 You can "sorta" see the texture created by the quilting.  At any rate it is HUGE!  I don't think I will ever quilt a quilt this big again (until this one wears out).

I also finished quilting and binding the "gift" quilt.

It really turned out nicely I think.  The polka dot backing is a nice touch.  I sure hope the little one who receives this will like it.

Since I have finished the UFO, I am now back to working on the Building Block quilt.  Huge blocks, that you would think would finish quickly, but takes longer than I would have expected.  Being true to my commitment, I am also going to work on a UFO.  I looked at my "pile" and this is one of the "oldies but goodies" (I have blogged about it previously).

This is made from recycled shirts---some of them belonging to my grandson when he was a little one.  It is rather time intensive---I have to take the shirts apart, cut them into strips, sew a strata and then cut the pieces and then make the block.   It is kinda tricky since the strips should alternate in the blocks.  It is nice and wonky---giving it a real vintage look that I am going for....sorta Gee's Bend-like!  This is 8 rows and I need to make 8 more so------

I pulled out my GO! and started cutting up some shirts I had already "de-boned" into strips (with my strip die) and will also use it to cut the Drunkard's Path blocks.  Without this tool I am absolutely positive I would not have chosen to make this quilt!  I LOVE tools that make things impossible, possible!!!!  Although I could probably use more variety in the shirts, I will not buy more but will use only what I have.  There may be some repeats, but I am good with that.

Onward!  I have lots to do!  Hopefully my "Quilt MoJo" will stay active and productive!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Can't Sleep!!!

I often have issues with sleeping, and when I am concerned, worried or generally unsettled about something, it is worst.  I am at that "place"--some personal family worry's going on and of course there is not one single thing I can do about it.  Let me just say, for those of you with small children, enjoy your parenting challenges---the worst thing in the world is to be a parent of adult children.  Given the fact that although they are old, you are older and still know more than they (although they don't think so), but no one listens to you and you have NO control---but that is for another discussion.

At any rate, what I do when I can't sleep is go to my quilting space.  I really liked the last quilt I made and wanted to make it larger for a toddler and so------

It is 59 inches square...Super Sized.  I figured it out on a piece of paper and went for it, measuring as I went.  The solids are some Moda 5 inch charm packs I had (remember I am trying to use what I have).  The background is a fabric called "Hidden Letters" (if you click on the picture it will enlarge).  I think it is prefect for a boy or girl child.  I am not going to put on a border since the material is directional and I would waste a lot trying to get it to go the right way.  I am debating whether to put a minky back on.  Since a toddler would use this, it might be better to put a cotton backing on.  I have some really cute baby blue polka-dot fabric I may use.

I get such a sense of happiness with making quilts anyway, and when it is as a "gift" it makes me feel good to share a talent (I think it is anyway) to make someone else happy.  Just think if others enjoyed "passing it on", how much better this world would be.  Thanks Sandra for your comment on my last posts!  I really want to thank YOU for giving me this opportunity!!

Anyway, one toddler/older child quilt down, five more to go!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Hug Project

I tried to link the YouTube, but couldn't figure out how to do it.  I will refer you to "That Man Quilts" (see my sidebar) latest blog entry.  Go to the very end and click on the Link!  Viewing it will give you pause for thought!

Thanks Lane for sharing!

Yep---It Quilted Out!!

The borders are pretty straight----No wave!

"Close" up of the pattern.  I worked the fullness in my misting the fabric, patting it into shape, and leaving it to dry.  It almost always works!  Note:  make sure the fabric is colorfast and MIST don't WET.

The backing!  I love the polka dots.  This is for a baby boy!  I was really lucky to find this perfect backing for the quilt.  The batting is 100% rayon and doesn't allow the fabric to shadow through.  

I was correct---my "wavy" borders did in fact quilt out!!!!  I used what is now one of my "most"- favorite CL boards---it is called "Egyptian Eye", but I think I am going to rename it "God's Eye" since it reminds me of the quilt pattern and hanging weaved objects I often see in my home state and the Southwest.  This will still be a "gift" quilt, but rather than given as a donation in connection with my guild, I am going to give it as a shower gift for a very sweet nurse I work with.  Her baby may be born early and so this little quilt will cuddle this little one will still be used for it's original purpose.  The backing is a thinner minky that I found at a great price at Joanne's.  It quilted up wonderfully and I really think I like it better than the more traditional thicker type of minky.  Lesson learned:
  • use a smaller gauge needle.  This minky had a tendency to pull through to the front and the smaller needle decreased this.
  • be sure and put the "stretchy" portion perpendicular to the leaders.  I had to roll it a little tighter than usual and this prevented the back from stretching out.  
I will bind it all by machine since baby quilts are washed a lot!  I also plan on enlarging this pattern and making a larger quilt.  Most of the quilts I have made for our guild "gifting" program have been baby quilts, but older kids don't feel well either.  My goal is to give Sandra at least six quilts for toddlers and older kids so I am going to start on those next week.  I have until June to officially finish but I think I will personally continue to make quilts for this group.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Gift Quilt--

As I cut out strips for The Trip, I cut the leftovers  into 2.5 inch squares, and ended up with quite a pile to add to others I had already accumulated.  I was "surfing" Pinterest last night and saw this really cute quilt.  It was made from strips and 2.5 inch squares so I decided I would make it today.  A quick quilt to clear the creative focus after an intense process, almost like what happens when you are purchasing perfume---smell coffee beans  between sniffing scents so you can clear one scent out before smelling another.  At any rate, this quilt wasn't difficult to make.

I have to admit though that the size is much smaller than I anticipated or the photos appeared.  It must have been a really little person holding the quilt up for the picture since I thought it was a throw size at least.  The pattern can be found on the "Cluck Cluck Sew" blog.  It is called the Chippewa Scrap Quilt.

I finished it and then started to wonder if it was sensible to give a white quilt to a sick baby (the quilts are make are for babies/children who are ill).  I will think more about this since when I make quilts I really want them to be used.  This is also going to be my last "baby" size quilt.  I think I will make the next one using 5 inch squares (since I have a lot of charm packs).  They way I figure, that quilt should be the size of a good size twin or at least a throw.  I have some really cute alphabet fabric to use as the background and some charm packs in primary colors.  My goal is to use as much of my "stash" as possible----and then replenish at AQS in Paducah :)!

The borders are a little wavy to me, but I am going to quilt a simple stipple so I should be able to "quilt" it out---or maybe I will go ahead and remove the borders as my blog friend Lane would do.  I'll think on it.  I have to admit, although I want my work to be the best possible, I absolutely HATE to keep taking things out when from experience I know I really can "quilt" some things out.  What I must do however is to remember the difference between "ironing" and "pressing".

Saturday, February 21, 2015


I am completely done!!!!  There are a couple of seams that are off and some tucks, but once I put it together I had a hard time picking the "oops" out.  This is the largest quilt I have ever made!

  • Approximately 93 x 105 (un-quilted)
  • 80 blocks
  • 2,880 squares 
It completely fills our small living room and the ends are up on the step down.  All in all, I really like it and I am proud of myself.  I see a couple of places where I could have mixed it up a little, but the only perfect quilts are made by machine so I can handle the imperfection.

I am going to use a poly for the batting since I do not want a lot of shrinkage with so many seams and different fabrics.  I am also not going to use a really fancy quilting pattern.  Too much going on I think.  I have the perfect pattern in mind.

One UFO down, many more to go!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Almost Done@!!!####!!!!!!!

Eleven more blocks to go!!!  This is the lower half of the quilt.  I am pushing on!!!  My goal is to have this done by the week-end!!!!  It is going to be big----approximately 93 x 102!!!  It is for our bed.  My husband was instructed to go to the store and purchase a mattress last year.  He came back with (what I call) a modified hospital bed!  It has a massage fixture (actually it is a "shake" fixture---that motion is not relaxing to me).  The head and foot adjusts---great for his back, but I wake up stiff and sore every morning---but then since he swears his back feels so much better, I suffer in silence (sorta).  The bed is really high, so I want a quilt that will at least cover half of the bed stand (or whatever it is called).  This quilt should do it!  I am not working on anything else determined to finish!!!! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

All Snowed In!!!

School was cancelled again today so I was "forced" to work on some quilts a little!!!  It is absolutely beautiful outside---sunny--but oh so cold!!!  We lost electricity for a little while this morning and it sent the hubby out to buy gasoline for the generator.  Me---I called my daughter to see if her electricity was out (it wasn't) so I alerted her she may have company tonight if ours didn't come back on. IT DID!!!!  At any rate, we are ready, but hopefully will not have to put emergency plans into action.

Now on the quilty front---I worked on the "Trip" today.  I really do want to complete it and not put it away as I did last year.  My commitment is even if I start a new quilt, I MUST work on a UFO as well.   Since I always work on multiple projects at the same time, that isn't a hard commitment to keep.  I now have only 3 more rows or 24 more blocks to go.  It is really coming along nicely I think.  I am going to stop by Joanne's with one of my coupons and buy some extra wide muslin for the back.  I think unbleached will go nicely with the busy front.  There are little areas of color concentration, but I like the spontaneity of it.  Even with those areas, the triangles are very visible.  As I move toward the end I must confess, I am not spending a lot of thought into the color orders, concentrating more on contrast and not having a strata with the same fabrics.  Seems to be working out okay.  I am also pressing my seams open making it easier to quilt with so many seams.  To keep the edges from fraying when I cut the sections, I have shortened my stitch and make sure I sew off the seam at the beginning and end so the threads sorta twist and lock themselves.  After each section, I also "stay stitch" the sides to cut down on the edges stretching.  The quilt is in two sections in the picture.  When I add the three rows to the bottom section, then I will sew the two together for the completed top.  Just how I work since it is easier to handle two sections rather than one large sections as I add rows.  Cuts down on stretching as well.

Well keep warm.  I will probably go back to work tomorrow (I have an early clinical) since my hubby says although the roads are really bad in the neighborhood, they aren't bad once you get on the main ones.  It is just I have to leave so darn early---I have to be at the hospital at 6:30!!!!  and that is when it is the coldest!!!!  Oh well---spring will be here soon!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Piecing Continues!

I read a post that said once started, this quilt may be hard to put down.  I tend to agree.  I have actually completed one section!  The little red heart is not really in the quilt, I didn't really like one of the small blocks and this will be a substitution.  The navy/green block is actually a block I made for another BOM, but may use it as a sub for one of the 12 inch blocks.  At any rate---this is a "piecers" dream!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Update to the Update!!

So okay---normally I try to not really stress about my quilting.  I have found that if a point is cut off a little, or if I have to ease a little, it will all work out in the end.   Unfortunately, dI didn't feel this way about my block being 2 inches off.   Since the Moda Building Block quilt is comprised of 48 blocks of varying sizes, each one MUST be the correct size if it is going to fit together.  I got on the internet and started searching, looking for blog owners who had made the quilt and blogged about it---remember there are NO directions and the pictures are not true pictures but art ones.  I finally found a blog owner who said that the inner square would "float"---ah-ah!  I thought it was oversized and so had trimmed it down.  Out came the fabrics again and I remade the block.  I didn't have enough of the dusty rose fabric, but I found red, which I actually like better.  This is a 36 1/2 inch block!

The block looks wrinkly, but it isn't.  I normally take pictures on my wood floor and I think the carpet has static---it is cold outside and very dry inside.  At any rate I am NOT remaking it.   Whatever it is, it will "quilt out".  My points are pretty good---again, once quilted you will not be able to really tell that 1/100th of an inch that is off.  


The "Trip" is coming right along.  I make it two rows at a time and I have 50% of the next two rows done.  After I finish them, I will have just 3 more rows and then it will be finished!!!!

Of course, my short "quilting attention span" and Pintrest has gotten me in trouble.  I have been seeing all these Moda Modern Quilt's.  Really interesting!  so (of course) I ordered the pattern.  I am determined to NOT buy any fabric, but use what I have.  I got the pattern--interesting format and began making the blocks today.

The pattern is on individual cards with the block pattern on them (front and back).  This pattern is for a quilter with some experience, certainly not for the beginner.  There are no real directions, just measurements for cutting the fabric and a diagram of how to put the block together.  I was very careful in cutting the fabric, but because there were not even measurements of what each component should measure, instead of a 36" unfinished block, I ended up with a 34.5".  When I started to put it together, the parts were over sized and had to be cut down.

Although the pattern uses all solids, I am mixing polka dots in mine and not really following the color combinations, using what I have instead.  I am not really going to worry much about the size, if necessary I can add some fillers in if it is a problem in putting it together.  At any rate, this is going to be a long-term project.  I will make a block a week (or so).  I have to lug all those fabrics back upstairs to my fabric closet and only bring down the colors for each block.   The pale blue around the center is a polka dot.  I like it.  Not all blocks will have dots in them, but it I still think this is going to be a nice quilt.

I also ordered a couple of new patterns, and for my valentine gift, I ordered a base extender for my longarm.  I think I am ready to start doing ruler work.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Lessons Learned!

I don't sleep well.  Not sure why, but as I have gotten older, it is an occasional problem.  I wake up really early---around 4:30 AM and cannot go back to sleep.  What does a quilter do, they get up and quilt.

So I loaded and finished quilting the minky baby quilt, and learned a couple of things that I thought I would share (hopefully it will make for an interesting post):

  1. I washed my backing.   I originally was going to use minky on the back as well and decided after all the stretching with the top, that wouldn't be a good idea---at least not for me.  I decided to use flannel but realizing there might be an issue with shrinkage (minky doesn't shrink), I did what I NEVER do, I washed the backing last night.  In warm water and a hot dryer.  From this lesson, what I learned had nothing to do with the minky---Joann's flannel is pretty good.  What I used was purchased as a "door buster" a couple of years ago (less than $2.00 per yard).  When washed, the shrinkage was probably less than  3% if that (I didn't measure before washing).  It really beefed up and had the same hand as the expensive "quilters flannel".  So, if you purchase flannel at Joanne's, it is pretty good!
  2. As you can see from the picture of the dark blue square, there was some stretching issues.  This was the part of the quilt that I didn't sew with my walking foot on.  Lesson---use a walking foot and "GENTLY" maneuver the edges together as you sew.  If you click on the picture it will enlarge and you can see how the squares do not line up---that is what happens when you do not have a walking foot that keeps your edges even.
  3. Pay attention to the nap grain.  I didn't do that and so there are some squares that are against the grain...when you smooth your hand over them they nap up instead of smoothing out.  I don't think the little baby that gets this quilt will mind, but for some people that would be an issue.
  4. Use a large meander/stipple.  It really helps to "quilt some of the fullness out".  
  5. The top thread color doesn't matter.  I used a very light poly thread on top.  You can't even see the color.  The thread sinks into the nap of the minky.
  6. Be careful of batting purchased from Tuesday Morning (TW).  I purchased a bolt of 100% rayon batting from TW.  It was a good price (although with my 50% off coupon from Joanne's it probably wasn't that much of a deal) and I was interested in trying it since it is lightweight.  My plan was to use it for my "gifting" baby quilts (I had the word "charity"and prefer "gifting"), since it is 45 inches wide and I will not have to piece or waste a larger piece of batting.  Anyway, the batting has these black spots inside the folds.  I am not sure if it is oil (rayon is made from oil I think), or some type of other stain, but it looks like it is dispersed everywhere throughout the entire bolt.  It doesn't rub off so I think it will be okay---but I am NOT going to purchase anything like this from TW again unless I can unroll it and inspect.  I am gong to cut off a piece and wash it and see what happens to the spots.
I am going to bind it in a purple cotton fabric.  Picture will follow once I truly complete it.

In the last post I discouraged anyone from using the minky charms---I am going to amend that suggestion by saying, if you tend to lean toward impatience, think twice then.  You can do it but you have to be patient and be willing to take out stitching if needed.  It does make a rich, vibrate quilt though.  I am going to use up the other squares I have, I have 49 left so the next quilt will be smaller, and although I like how the minky quilt looks, I don't think I will make another using small squares, maybe for backing, but not where you have to piece.

Just my "humble opinion.

Friday, February 6, 2015

I KNOW, but-----

I know I said I was NOT going to start another quilt while I was working on one---but....
the "Trip" quilt, is a "trip", or maybe it is just that I have a short "quilt attention span".

I had purchased some charm packs of minky, I think last year.  It was a very good buy and I got about 6 packs of 20 five inch squares.   I thought they would make a really couple of nice baby "rag" quilts but never got around to beginning them.  I was straightening up the area and found them and thought, simple sewing, why not break up the "trip" and make it.  Since it is a baby quilt it really shouldn't take a lot of time.

WRONG----if you ever thought about making a minky quilt out of 5 inch squares---just say "no".  The stuff stretches--there are some plain squares and some with dimples.  The dimples are actually larger than the plain squares.  As I was struggling trying to match seams, etc. I remembered I have a walking foot!  Once I put it on, it was better, but still lots of work.  At any rate---I finished it and now I am going to quilt it tomorrow.  I have decided to use a flannel backing since I really think the quilt needs some stabilizing (I originally was going to use minky on the back as well).  Hopefully, when it is washed, everything will be okay, since the flannel will shrink while the minky will not  ( I am going to use a poly batting)---but at any rate, it should make a really nice soft "blankey"...hopefully to stay that way even after washing.  It does look cheerful doesn't it?!?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Latest Tool!!!!!

As I might have mentioned, I am planning to semi-retire at the end of the summer.  Semi--since I am going to teach one class per semester---NO clinical.  In preparation for all this free time I will hopefully have, I am purchasing additional tools.

I had seen the "Flowing Snowball" Quilt Along.  I thought I had purchased the templates, but even though I looked everywhere in my "studio" for it, I couldn't find it.  I assumed I had "intended" to purchase it, but for some reason had not.  I was looking on-line at the finished quilt and came across the latest GO! die --- the "Flowing Snowball"!!!!  I received a gift card to Joann's and so went onto their web site and sure enough, it was there---so out came the cards and my new die arrived today!  I put everything aside and cut one sample block!

It works perfectly---and although I did have to do a little "frogging", it was because I didn't read the directions.  The pieces go together without any difficulty even with the curve!  This is going to be a quilt I make this year!  I think I may just take a day and cut the pieces out and put them together at my own pace.  The block is 12" inches finished---perfect for me!   Now watch me find the templates!