Monday, December 28, 2020

Time to start quilting again

 I always find it refreshing after all the excitement and family and food of Christmas to settle back down to doing the things  I like. My sewing machine has awaited. 

                                                    Christmas dinner 

So the planning has begun: which new projects to start,  which UFOs to finish, and what presents need to be done for January?  It is like new fallen snow, so fresh and fun and the sparks of ideas fly.

So let's start with the project I did begin a couple of weeks ago: Here is where I left it.  Lots of blues in 3 1/2 inches and 2 inches. The pattern is from 2006 or 2008 by Bloomin Minds Have to Have, a series of small quilts. 

Then to assemble and applique the concentric circles. And it is about 21 inches square. It was fun to pick out the colors and assemble.

And last to add the borders and wool applique.  Those pieces keep getting lost.  But they do look great on the background. And it will give me some needlework to applique in front of  TV. 

The next project started out as 3 inch Nine Patches.  I had  whole bundle as in at least 100 completed with the intention of making a Jack's Chain. But I decided to get out all my 9 patch books and patterns and settled on a scrap quilt. I only had a picture, but it was easy to visualize as a 25 patch block. 

My original 9 patches were all Kansas Troubles and I didn't really want a dark quilt. Plus I had leftover half square triangles from my RSC in 2017.  When making my blocks, I just inadvertently made too many of each color.  That is over 99. Plus the darn blocks were made too darn small. All of the them had too large seam allowances.  And the challenge was to deconstruct and then reassemble. 

So having said that, here is how the blocks are coming out with lots of extras being made to vary the pallet of colors. The final block is 15 inches square and I need 25 of them. ( And I realize I have the perfect back awaiting.)

Thus far I have 14 at least.  Two are incognito in my messy sewing room.  But I do like how it is coming. I have been trying to do this as a once in a while block. So far so good. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020


 It has been an interesting month thus far.  I apologize for being absent the past several weeks. I just have been in a funk again.....

But the best part was starting the month with a quilt retreat.  That is:   just four  of us assembled at a wonderful place called Fern Hill near New Glarus, Wisconsin. It was a much needed opportunity to girl talk, sew hours on end, and admire the lovely rolling hills. Almost 4 days away from home. 

This is the lovely sunset.   So pretty, and the photo does not do the colors justice.  

Here is the sewing room; we were very well spaced for social distancing.  
The place was amazing with all kinds of bonuses: a library of books, several cutting stations, a huge space to lay out quilts, design walls, and that was just the sewing area. 

And the views from the room were so spectacular,  not anything like living in the city. 

Here are a few projects I worked on :  candy bags for Christmas gifts: Great videos on Youtube by Missouri Star Quilting and another one. I have a few more to finish.  The bags are covered with heat attached vinyl then layered and quilted and finally assembled with a zipper at the top and a box pleat at the bottom. 

This paper pieced fox turned out great, but was the bane of my progress for some time. It is paper pieced and I purchased the pattern online. I just am not used to larger pieces that flip in all sorts of angles. But I do like how it turned out.  Now just to finish the baby quilt to go with it. 

This was not mine, but I really love the design.  It is an exchange block for Kaffe Fassett. But wow, so striking

And then I got startitis this week.I have lots I want to do, but can't seem to get focused. 

I actually, for a retired lady, have been teaching/tutoring a family for several weeks now. Last week got up to 22 hours now that quarantines are in place. Kids are kids and avoid hard work.  It is so different without teachers in front of them checking progress making them do their best. 
Screen time just does not duplicate the experience for these kiddos. Oh, Covid, how you have changed us. 

This is my winter background for a snowflake quilt. Progress. 

Wishing you all better success. I love checking out your blogs of the hand quilting and various designs and colors of quilts.  Oh, to be better at time management. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020


 Best Thanksgiving turkey yet!  I couldn't tell you what I did differently. But a 13 pound turkey for the three of us with all the fixings: stuffing, mashed potatoes, new recipe for fresh cranberry relish, and extras plus homemade apple pie of Sarah's.  It turns out we liked the Dutch apple pie better than the lattice crust. Simple but special all the same. 


For Black Friday, I did some deep cleaning and a trip to the Goodwill.  Shopping in general is being done online and I am ahead of the process this year. 

For quilting, I have spent the past several days hand sewing the binding on Frolic.  Done for Christmas! ( I did however abandon the half square triangle borders.  ) Only took a year to finish.

The back is the same as the borders and the binding: a polka dot Grunge.  This I the second quilt I have made using the fabric.  It is such a lovely blue.

I used a wool batting and a swirl design from the long arm quilter. I am happy with it. 
And I am thankful for a sunny day for pictures and a husband willing to stand with arms outstretched. 

On the hand sewing in front of Netflix is the wool applique bowl fillers of Bonnie Sullivan.

This is a fabric panel of 6 prints in a vertical row. I backed them with SF101 and have been embroidering and appliqueing the wool to it. They are so darn cute and this is only half of them. 

I found the set online and added my own wool.  I use floss as I own an abundance. 

She also has a set of Christmas ones. 

Project on the horizon: one baby quilt with a paper pieced fox one Christmas wall hanging. 

This is not mine, just a picture of the fox to be used. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020


 It has been an amazing month.  I can't believe how nice the weather started out.  Having warm sunny days for Wisconsin in November are usually not phrases put together. And I would remember as it is my birthday month. 

As it was a big birthday, it was again hard to not be able to have a get together with all the family.  But we made it work. I did go out to my favorite restaurant as a splurge. And on Saturday, my spouse and I went up to Cedarberg to walk the streets. This was a gorgeous view along the river. And I visited 2 quilt stores for some treasures. 


And while I have continued to quilt almost daily, I have not blogged.  Oh dear.

Here is a finish: a small doll quilt with matching pillow and mattress pad. 
Our guild coordinates with a wood working guild to make the doll beds to go with these. 

And November means new quilt alongs.  I have looked at Bonnie Hunter's for this year called Grassy Creek.  I love the fall colors.  But after last year's  I just don't know if  I will try.

But I whole heartedly am jumping into Corinne et Cecile quilt along:
I have done this for 3 years and truly 2 have become my favorite quilts.  ( Well one is in the quilting stage and I still love the colors and the pattern. ) Each year is a theme: previous ones were 9 patch, flowers, and stars. This year's theme is curves.  

I had a great time searching books and patterns an online.  Ah, the inspiration, so energizing.
I have decided to do the following quilt  of Karen Stone's.

This is the book it is from and has been patiently waiting on my shelf.  My color combination will be reds, browns, golds, and blacks, with an off white. 
So January's blocks await. I need to get the pattern pieces copied. 

And while working on last year's quilt: I did layer it. and got down to trying to quilt it. 
This is something I don't have much experience with. And I love this quilt too much to just willy nilly it. No, I don't own a mid or long arm. 

So I did do the sides of all the lattice. It went very well with the new walking foot I had acquired in the spring. And then what to quilt in each block?  Hmmm  I purchased this dry erase pocket, and placed a copy of the block inside. Using dry erase markers, I tried out designs. 2nd step done.


Now I need to practice my ruler quilting to get it done.

Lastly I finished piecing my daughter's quilt: This went fairly quickly Each pinwheel is comprised of 6 triangles. And although I did not have the designated ruler/template for the pattern. I did have a             60 degree ruler to make it work. fabrics are a combination of  a bundle of Tula Pink fabrics and some Kaffe Fassett added to make the right size.  She likes orange, and this has lots of it.    It is off the to quilter but waiting for backing and batting. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Little Progress

 I can say I have done some limited quilting.

My biggest accomplishment this past couple of weeks is to say I finished  the top for this quilt.

Sorry to say, I do not have an updated photo.  But to the edges I had added a one inch blue border. And then I gave up on the pieced border of Bonnie Hunter's Frolic and just added a larger blue piece of the same fabric. I caved.  I just couldn't visualize and mathematically figure out how to  add the half square triangles. I had them made and even pieced into sides. It was too busy and it was off with the measurements. I did not want to stretch or adapt the sides to fit and therefore have waves. 

These colors are blah compared to the brown carpet.  

But it is at the quilters.  Hooray! One Christmas present off .

In the past couple weeks, we have had a large variation of fall weather.  The beautiful leaves turned and impressed us with its grand colors next to beautiful blue skies. And then it rained and rained and the colors dropped leaving a few trees with leaves, but not the sparkling reds and oranges. So early only October 25. 


I have continued to make a 2nd wool tree for Christmas.  It is funny how much easier the 2nd one was and how much quicker I was able to finish it.  One for sister and one for me. Easy to do but tedious. 
The base is a DollarTree pine tree. The needles are all cut off ( in a paper or plastic bag).  Then you fringe the wool strips and wrap around the branches from the center out gluing with Tacky Glue. Sorry, I do not have photos.  The differences in the 2 trees are the color of the green wool. 


Additional progress on my row by row Halloween quilt. 
Here is what I have together so far.

This is the cute witch and frog without buttons for eyes. It is a Kimberbell booklet pattern. So cute!

 Next is a pieced row of flying geese using 2 triangles with a balanced color on each side from the center square.

The next row, I just played around with pieced pumpkins and black and white background. These stages were done last year. What is new about the pumpkins is the addition of ricrac which I actually made dimensional. I may add some lime green leaves. 

Then I have another pieced border of piano keys but with offset black squares.

And there it is.  I need 2 additional rows one with I think will be a cat, bat, and spider
and some wording and lastly a border.  Tentative plans: the creative process goes on. 

I have been missing blogging, but not having the time to do so. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020


 I was so happy to get away for a sewing weekend.  It felt good to talk with PEOPLE! And it was wonderful to share ideas and get some concentrated sewing done.   We went to Oshkosh, and stayed at a hotel which also included a room for the 8 of us to sew in. We brought a lot of our own food and prey much stayed put. No shopping or excursions. But that was fine. 

I was thrilled to get this finished.  It has been a struggle to get the blocks done for my last row. This was a row by row for my guild.  I had started the top one and then passed it to 4 other quilters. I decided to redo the bottom row. I searched Pinterest for images and then printed and sized them for piecing. 

The final block is the one in the middle of the row and was redone completely. 

Now I will add some vehicles, trees, cars, etc. to add more details to the blocks. I had originally thought wool, but am just going to add cotton fabric. 

Then this little buddy has taken over a week to complete.  This started out as a dollar tree Christmas tree in a box.   All the little needles were cut off, and that was a project in itself.  This was started a year ago. I missed the demonstration for gluing the wool to the branches.  I recently sought out my friend who showed me how to attach the wool with Tacky glue.  It took 3 evenings including football games and lots of extra cuttings of the wool. I guess it is about 12 inches or so tall. 

I thought I would share my front porch fall decorations. I have enjoyed some Youtube videos and fall crafting.  The leaves are turning and the weather has gotten considerably colder. Even the heat has come on in the house and I switched over to my winter quilt. My husband has raked his first batch of leaves. There will be more; the colors around here are beautiful. 

I am so thrilled to be featured on Quiltfabrication's blog today.
Susan always has such wonderful projects herself, but I love her Midweek Makers. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

September finishes

It has been hard for me to adjust to being home ( and with my spouse). 
I haven't gotten into a schedule or routine. And while I have done a lot of cleaning and decorating and such, I have wasted time as well. 

But I did turn on my mojo of late: here are some projects that have been laying around waiting to be finished. First off, I had admired some fall pillows at Hobby Lobby. But found their plaid fabric and decided to make my own. 

These are designs from an Edyta Sitar book I was able to borrow from a friend.
I loved using the batiks, and playing around with the arrangements.

This one I actually wove the basket with 2 different browns. 
Love how it turned out, except for the fact that it is off center. Oh well. 
Done is better than perfect.

Last year, I purchased some strips of fabric from Primitive Gatherings summer sale.
It was great fun to play around with the strips.
I made 4 different designs at the time.

I finally got around to finishing them yesterday.
I pillowcased the top and back. Then inserted an iron on batting.
It gave it a little stability and padding for the table.

Lastly,  I have been stitching away each night while we watch tv. 
I love Crabapple Hill designs. This is an oldie I found in my stash of patterns.
I think I will finish the design, but then applique the pumpkin onto a gray background. 

It feels good to be finishing and sewing again.
And I get to go on a retreat this weekend.  Just 8 of us. 


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Labor Day

 As usual, my spouse and I went up north to Door County in Wisconsin.  It was a whole new experience without the normal festivities of Labor Day: no music, no art fairs, no outdoor food trucks, and no used book sale. Yet there were many, many people. We remained distant and ate outdoors. For the most part people were very good wearing masks. 

And as always, being with nature is restorative and so beautiful. 

We love visiting parks and walking beaches and trails.

We even visited a lighthouse at the Coast Guard Station. 


The weather was a combination of cool and at times very windy.  But it was a great getaway.

We did visit a small outdoor art fair, maybe 8 venders. But this is the top of one I really liked:

If you look closely these are batik fabrics made into these banners. So easy: no seams on the edges and the top is just folded over the hanging string.  I thought it would be great for outdoors. 

I have not done much sewing of late, but have decided to complete my row by row from a couple years ago completed from the guild. 

This is the status of where I began the final stage. So many wonderful houses and buildings made by friends. 

I removed the bottom row and have decided to make additional house blocks to balance the top out.
I have searched for inspiration from the internet for house blocks.  Then I print off pictures and make my own calculations for measurements. 

Here are some of the ones I have finished thus far. 

This ones needs an appliqued door and door frame 

I hope to get all together this week.

Hope your weekend was enjoyable a well.