Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Machine workout

Deadline is looming: a.k.a. Monday is the start of working at school.
So I have been making my sewing machine run and run and run. 

First I finished quilting this cutie's pink and brown baby quilt. I meandered all over in the cute pink color.  You can kind of see the pattern on the dark brown squares.  I ran it until I had no more thread. Ugh. So I picked up a small spool of Mettler.  I don't use pink often. 

Then I added the large ric rac to the name section, a rod pocket which is the flap at the top and the binding  This is all flannels, with a light batting in between.  
All that is left is the hand stitching. Easy peasy. 

Then I finished almost all the blocks for my grandson's big boy quilt. This is the new design after I canned the transportation applique.  I am not going to throw the 7 blocks out that I so carefully designed, pieced and machine appliqued. But I have decided to make wall hangings for their rooms from them.  Both quilts go with the colors . The 2 brothers  will have the same backing fabric for their big boy beds, which was also Jensen, the little one's back to his baby quilt. Love the bright colors for them. 

Here is the lay out I have a few more easy blocks to piece, then I need to figure out if it is big enough. Right now it is 4 by 5 blocks with each block having a large and small square and 2 rectangles. That unit totals 16 inches; so 64 by  80 total inches. 
The bright orange and red look identical in this photo. Night photos don't do justice. 

I want to have this sent to the quilters by early next week. My issue will be piecing the back.  All I have is one length of 2 yards of the print. My plan is to slit it up the middle and add more solids to that. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Mini finishes

But I have been on a mission to complete some things prior to going back to school  Aggh. 
One more week and then it is back for teacher's meetings.
Kids come back after Labor Day.

So this was a precut kit I bought online and assembled it a couple weeks ago.
It was quite easy and went together in a afternoon. 
  This week I quilted it and then added the binding. 

 I just stitched in the ditch using a Grunge dot on the back and binding.
I feel like it is a little puffy, but I don't know that I want to add more. 

And now....here is my Kim Diehl mini that was a Quilt a Long with her book Simple Friendships 2.
You can still find the instructions on the Martingale site, but do need the book for block cutting sizes and assembly of individual blocks.  These are all little blocks 3, 4, 5 and 6 inches for the largest one.
Finished size is 17 by 20 ish inches. 
Sometimes I find I am more exact at piecing little blocks. But these are all fabrics in my stash
It is a little wavy after traveling in the car to do the hand stitching. 

Here is the back: I just used a mottled navy backing with lots of straight line quilting.
Many of these lines are 1 inch apart.

We have had a lovely weekend. Saturday, my spouse and I went to the Summerfest grounds in downtown Milwaukee for Irish Fest. Lots of Irish dancing, Irish singing stages and food. 
This is one of my favorites: We Banjo 3 from Galway, Ireland. 
So much fun. We saw them in March and love their songs and their wonderful instrumental skills. 
Not a passive concert at all, lots of dancing, clapping and singing for audience participation.

Sunday we went to and art fair on a lake in Oconomowoc.  I love the setting and all the little booths.
It was nice and cool and a little windy, but nice for August.
The food sales all make money for local organizations. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019


First I have to show the photo of my grandson on his first day of kindergarten. He looks so grown up!
He is attending a school in Louisiana that has requires a "uniform" as well as unified backpacks, lunchboxes and such.  So much for wanting to get him something to start the new year. 
But he has cousins who are in the same K-8 school. 

 Then I have been working on my wool group:

This is my hexie I made for Dee's table mat. I had much more success with the A product that fuses on the back, but is not an adhesive that gets sticky like Heat and Bond or similar products.  That made it so much easier to sew it onto the background. It is an adhesive but like a tight fabric weave. It has letters and numbers something like AK 50  or something. I can't find it at the moment. But it really made the sewing so much easier. I did buy it a JoAnns in the adhesive section on a bolt.
And here it is on the round robin one we are doing for her. As you can see we only have 2 rounds left.
 And then since I had cut out too many squares for the block of the month for guild, I made a second one.

I have been working on my flag quilt, grandson's quilt and my Kim Diehl mini, but they are much different than the last photos. 

Although I did make our new block of the month for guild from last nights meeting.  Love the background which we all were given to unify the blocks at the end. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Field trip

First I can say I did complete my block of the month for my guild.
And I cut so many I will make a 2nd block as well.

Primitive Gatherings had their warehouse sale.  I haven't had the chance to go in the past and wanted to see what they had on sale. I love Lisa Bongean's taste and follow her blog and store blog.  I am lucky to be in Wisconsin and only have an hour and a half drive.  You can buy online tomorrow as well. Some really good prices.

There were some strip bags: precut for minis.  Great for the assortment of fabrics and there were a couple of different prints in the sizes of inch and a quarter and inch and a half.  I loved the solids as well as the reproductions and the lovely prints and different colors. So much easier than having to buy and cut all the fabrics.


Then while perusing in line I saw a quilt kit . The pattern is half inch half square triangles. So there was a great background as well. I may not make it as is, but am excited to have the array of colors.

Then my friend and I went to the other quilt store in Appleton, which was expanded so much from the last time I was there last.  I also got a quilt of Kim Diehl fabrics half off.  Yeah, again for the assortment. She has such rich color saturated colors.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

August has begun

Well, two big things are crossed off my summer list:

First, my husband has completed the radiation ( Cyber knife treatments) . He is doing well physically and has almost gotten back to eating all his regular foods as he was on a low fiber diet: the purpose was to have better imaging of the lower torso region during the radiation. He has lost some weight, but he has kept very active.

Second, we spent the week packing for my son as he has left the state for Louisiana. We helped him pack up the house with all that goes in it from his wife and kids and himself.  A huge 26 foot Uhaul. The boys and his wife have been down there for a month. All that is left is to clean up the empty house. I already miss them terribly.

The last thing I should do from this past 4 month life changes is to visit my mom in the nursing home. Her Alzheimer's took a toll and she was no longer able to live at home.  I need to get ready to take the 800 mile drive each way to Canada.

So August is here and I need to get to my projects.

My husband and I took a trip to see the Tall Ships in Kenosha, WI.  Fascinating recreations or remodels of old schooners. There were 5 ships to tour: one from Baltimore, 2 from Nova Scotia, One from Milwaukee ( which we have sailed on), and one from Michigan.  Plus there were 2 other small ships for taking short trips on.

 There was food, and music and assorted other things to buy.  But it was a beautiful day to be in the sun and by the water. I envied the little sailing boats whipping around in the bay.  I miss the days when I did.

A little sewing has been done. 
I finally completed the top for Kim Diehl's Mystery: the blocks were from her Simple Friendships 2
book. But the arrangement was the quilt along with separate directions for it. The blocks were all from her ( and Jo Morton)'s book most having at least 2 sizes of blocks. 
These are all small blocks 3, 4, 5 and 6 inches big. 
Finished quilt size: 17½" × 20½"  I have to put on borders and corner stones. 
The directions for the final mini quilt are here
It was certainly a lesson on color and a very important seam allowance.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Pink Baby quilt

My daughter's group of couple friends are all at the marrying, settling down and having baby stage.
She has been dating for over a year and I think he is a keeper. 

So she has a baby shower this weekend  and I volunteered to make a quilt for her.  They already know it is a girl and even the name. 

I happened to buy a bag of pink and brown flannel scraps at our guild show in the spring and those are the colors needed. Additionally I added some other fabrics to compete it.

Then I found out they had already picked a name.  I blew up letters on a word document and then traced them to flannel with only a spray baste adhesive. Then I appliqued by machine as normal with a tight zigzag. But as the flannel does not maneuver well I put parchment paper on the back which tore out easily afterward. 

Then I found a simple pattern online and just made my own measurements based on 6 inch width panels. I played with the colors and blocks and the piecing

Until all is stitched together. Ta da ....... 36 by 40 inches.
It is fun to make a pink quilt.  I only have grandsons.

Now to quilt and bind it. And the last step will be to top stitch the pink ric rac.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Lost week

I think this is my motto at the present.  I have really had a hard time staying focused on any quilting OR anything for that matter this week. Good news: the cyber radiation for my spouse is officially done TODAY, Friday 
The low fiber diet ( which I also ate with him) was tough: no fresh fruits or vegetables, no meats other than chicken, turkey, fish,  and shellfish.   A whole 2 pages of what you can and cannot eat.  
And although it is done, we slowly will add things to his diet over the course of the next week  I think I will gravitate more quickly. I really missed my fresh foods.

And I saw this quilt started on Me and my Quilts. Julie is making all red birch blocks by Amanda Jean Nyberg variation.  I love hers.  And  I thinking I could make it.

But I need to make a baby quilt for my daughter to give as a shower gift. I happened to have bought a bunch of scraps at our guild show in the spring in brown and pink, the colors needed.  And then I needed to buy a few coordinates to add. (Seen together below.

And as they already know the baby's sex and name: this will be included. 
I am trying a new technique learned from our last guild presenter to just spray baste the figures and then applique as normal.  I will let you know how it works.  The cutting out was easy so far.

Monday, July 22, 2019


Formerly ( before the change), I did not really have a problem with heat. Although I do recall the summer my daughter was born in '88 where I required my husband to buy a window air conditioner.  Going night and day in the heat with 2 kids was very tiring. ( The heat index was above 100)  I know that most of you have had the same.

But back to now, I just don't react well with the air conditioning. I put on socks and cover with a quilt.  My legs will ache. 

I don't know if it is me absorbing the stress from the radiation treatments for my husband Thursday and Friday, or what. We had our son over for grilling and homemade mac and cheese Saturday. He leaves for Louisiana on August 1 to be with the family. My life as it is. 

Anyway, I have started another new quilt for my grandson:

I have abandoned the quilt I started for him a couple years ago. Instead, I am making this design to coordinate somewhat with the one I made for his brother. I think they may be bunking in the same room. I will make the blocks into wall hangings.  I just couldn't get a vision into putting it together and wasn't thinking the theme was for him anymore. Here are most of the blocks I appliqued and designed using online photos.

And as the fabrics were from a kit I had purchased, I feel good using up stash.  Well, I did buy the light blue and then needed 3 more half yards of new solids. 

So pushing forward.

I also need to finish a baby quilt for August 3 and a small wool applique for tomorrow.  More to come. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Henrietta: Squirrel!

This is an old UFO  ( not even on my July/August  list).  Squirrel!  Literally.
I don't expect to finish it right away, but keep the handwork going.  As you can see in the weathered paper copy of the layout: the pattern is from Bunny Hill Designs from 2011. At the time is was a BOM free download, and I started it with regular applique.  Those ears and points did me in just too much detail to hand turn them precisely; so I transferred  to using wool instead.   

This is my lay out of 7 blocks done, so far.  The blocks and thread sit next to the end table where I watch TV. I pick it up when I have the concentration to blanket stitch the edges.  And I finally finished the 3 blocks that were prepped.  So I have 2 more blocks to complete, and then the  border which has additional crows and stars. It also needs various words and buttons for eyes and necklaces.

And, I am not just a one project girl.  
So here is the beginning of my 4th of July Stars and Geese. 

And lastly, the other project I  laid out is my Kim Diehl Simple Friendships 2 QAL. 
I don't like some of my colors, so I am going to redo a couple blocks and piece the small patchwork tucked here and there. And then I can put it together.  It is small. the little blocks are 2 inches finished and the largest in only 6 inches.

Saturday, July 13, 2019



First, I have to say my hubby is set to have his treatments for his cancer and all are to be done in the next 2 weeks.  The preliminary scans and markers are done.  These appointments are draining, yet I do nothing.  We wait around till he has to go and then I wait while he goes through the procedures.  

What I have learned is that we are blessed. The Prohealth Care Cancer center is wonderful. The staff is nothing more than positive and helpful. The facility is very nice with beverages available and books and a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be put together. Even the music is relaxing.  Talking with the other spouses of patients has made me realize that we are younger than most; and that we are lucky.  Some are going on 5 years of treatments or 3rd degree burns. 

Quilting progress: 

I got right on my goals for July and August and got this baby quilted.
This quilt is only 25 inches square: with each little square only an inch finished. 
I had the perfect Christmas quilt for the back and binding in my stash. 

Then I ordered these tumbler blocks on my facebook group.  It was nice on only have something to lay out and put together.  Now for quilting it. I  think it will just leave it for a table covering.  Each tumbler is about 2 by 3 inches

But I had to also show a couple quilts from my guild meeting on Wednesday.
I showed this Escher quilt being put together back in January. The designer came to share his trunk show mostly for his family of kids and grandkids.  He was a former kindergarten teacher and then mentor for teachers. This is one of his original layouts. You can get or order  a kit of Kaffe fabrics for this at Quiltagious in Mukwonago, WI. This has 3 colorways and an additional 3 D setting.

I loved this one which is a variation of a Storm at Sea quilt called Woven Ribbons.  He said he used Deb Tucker's templates for the diamond in a square and square in a square. ( also for sale as a kit from Quiltagious.)

Monday, July 8, 2019

UFO July/ August challenge

I saw a great online UFO quarterly group on The Joyful Quilter in her July 7 post.  I think I missed the deadline last night, but I want to participate on my own anyway.  Summer is my best time to make progress on my projects.

1) Kim Diehl Mystery: from Simple Friendships 2

This is not mine,, but hers  All my 6 different small blocks are made from 6 inch to 2 inches.

2) My mini Christmas quilt. This patchwork frames the 3 inch prints from Holly Taylor.

3) Finish Jude's 2 year old quilt.  ( Yeah a little late, he just turned 5 in May.)
These are the applique blocks I have done.

4)  It is not started, but I have marked the July 4th mystery from Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

I am resizing it from a 14 inch block to 8 inch block.  ( 60 inches finished to about 36 inches)

5) Over the river embroidery  and quilt pattern from Crabapple Hill.
This is one of my finished 3 embroidery panels sepia on beige background.

6) O.K. one more:  my Thimbleblossoms pattern with the Woolies flannel fabric:
I just need this for my couch for the cold weather this year. ( Much later, I hope.

So....off to the races ( on the sewing machine, that is!)

Georgia and my blues

First, my dear DH and I  had a nice trip to Georgia for his sister's big birthday

Here is the home decor for the party with several surprise out of town guests (including us).
We had a grand time visiting with relatives: all her kids and the 3 grandkids. 

 We started out taking a bus for us all for 3 winery tours.  ( By the way the temperature jumped from the 70s for us to almost 90s down there. Nice change. )

This is the little grand niece who enjoyed everything.  So cute and such great parents.

 Beautiful facilities both inside and the surrounding lands. 

Our trip was a much needed diversion from having my grandkids leave Wisconsin to move to Louisiana.  I have a big hole to fill of time and snuggling. 
Then after we returned, my DH had the surgery to implant his markers for his radiation. 
The process has started.  But we are doing o.k. 

And I have been sewing: fits are spurts on this project.  This is my goosey blues.   Here is the layout for what I have started.

The blocks are comprised of 4 Wild and Geesey paper pieced blocks.  You can find it on Pinterest. 
Each square of the little geese and sides are a total 3 and a half inches; which makes this block 7 and a half inches. And each block like this has no blue fabrics repeated ( total of 28)  Some fabrics do get repeated in other blocks.  But I am going for 100 different different total blues in order to enter it in the Wisconsin state fair.  

These are the corner stones from the lattice.            And this is the lattice for between the blocks. 


Slowly, slowly getting there.