Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Heartbeat Done Binding and All

 My sewing space got cleaned up enough to work in it. I had to do something in order to finish this quilt but I am not really satisfied with it. I got so discouraged that I put everything away with only a little reorganization.

This is my first finished quilt for 2019. I had been waiting to get out and buy the binding and I  finally went shopping last Friday. I was sure I would find what I wanted at the quilt shop but I didn't. I bought something anyway but by the time I got to my car I was having second thoughts. I stopped at Joann's on the way home and found something but by the time I got home I wondered if I might have something better in my  stash, and I did. I didn't consider it before I shopped because I had something specific in mind.

This is a closeup of the binding on the front of the quilt. I had stitched it on the font and turned it to the back and fused it down and then stitched by machine in the ditch on the front.

This is a corner on the back. The binding is a little wider in some spots, probably because my seam allowance was a bit narrower in places. However, it is all stitched down and it isn't going anywhere.

 These are two shots of the whole 42 inches square quilt.

I shot the photo below from the side to show up the quilting a little better. The color in this one is a little more true; it really isa little more turquoise .

Now I need to give some serious thought to what I can do to make my space more user friendly.  I am not ready yet to give up on quilting but I find myself doing less and less.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Not Quite Back to Normal

Well, I wasn't quilt back to normal, at least I hope this is not the new normal for me. After I put all the Christmas things away, I decided to work on some organization in my sewing room and it has been increasingly chaotic. My scraps and leftover blocks and block components are simply out of control.  I keep trying to make order out of chaos and there is just too much of too many things that don't really make any sense to keep. I will not show any photos or go into detail but it borders on lunacy, yes really! I am shelving ALL plans and goals until I am out from under the burden of  all the "stuff".

That doesn't mean I am not going to do any sewing but I am keeping it simple and limited to whatever needs to be done NOW.
So..... the first thing was to catch up on blocks for the Friendship group. I got these two sets done yesterday and this morning. In the middle of all the mess it wasn't easy or fun but it was satisfying. I hope I will be caught up, I missed some meetings so I am not sure.

The request  for these  8 inch variable star blocks was for colorful fun fabrics with pieced centers. I think I hit the mark on the one on the right. I might have used a center with too many colors for the one on the left.

The "candy cane"  are also 8 inch blocks. These were easy to do once I found suitable fabrics in the mess I had created with my "organizing.

 I need to get out and buy something for binding for the heartbeat quilt. Then I can get started (or finished) with making my sewing space workable again.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Back To "Normal"

Maybe "normal" isn't exactly right, maybe we are just back to every day life. Finally all of the Christmas things are put away; I found 2 more things yesterday that were out in plain sight but got missed. This year I did not get all my snowmen out for January, I just didn't want to go through all the trouble of putting them away again. Everything takes me much longer to accomplish than it used to and that dampens my enthusiasm.
This weekend we had our first big snowstorm and we planned ahead so we would not need to go out until it was over.  I read a lot, cooked a lot, cleaned up the kitchen a lot, and sewed a little. I started quilting the "heartbeat" quilt and  ran out of  the one color thread I need to finish.

This little quilt measures about 42 inches square. I decided to use the colorful children's print on the back only and went with the subtle dotted blue/green on the rest of the top.

I really wanted a "whole cloth" backing even though the fabric is only about an inch wider than the top.  I am always into overkill with pin basting so I took the chance that it would work out OK. I can see that it will.

I quilted in the ditch to outline all of the white chains.

I used the running zigzag (Bernina no. 4) across the diagonal of the larger squares. Sometimes the curves in this stitch get either bunched up or stretched out if there is too much drag on the quilt moving it through the machine. This is not perfect but it looks pretty good. I am not going to rip anything out as I did in the last baby quilt from this pattern.

I used thread to match the yellow, white and orange on the front and I matched the blue green on the back in the bobbin.  I thought I would have enough of the blue/green to use on the top and in the bobbin for the rest of the quilting but I am pretty sure I will run out.  I am waiting to get started on that until I can get out to buy some thread.

After I finish this I have some small  must do projects and I am thinking over my 2019 goals. I need to organize my plans and gather what I need. Maybe I need to pare down my goals to what is compatible with my slower reality.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year and 2018 Finishes

Happy New Year

2018 was not a super productive year but I am surprised there were more more finishes that I remembered.

These first 2 are the first ones I finished in 2018 they were for a new great grandson who was due the end of January but arrived in early November.  He is doing well now.
The Second Fancy Forest 
Drag Around for Caelen

The rest are not in the order in which they were finished.  They are pretty much the way they uploaded and I am taking it as it is.

A few of many potholders

Dresden Rings

Windmill Baby Quilt

Pinwheel Baby Quilt 

Autumn Wall hanging from a panel

Baby Quilt from First Heartbeat pattern

Quilt for Jamaica

The blocks for the yellow Jamaica quilt were made by someone else and I put it together.T

Quilt for Jamaica
I made the blocks for this red,white and blue Jamaica quilt
and finished it.

8 Hexagon Christmas Luncheon Mug mats

This is one last piece that I finished yesterday. My DIL wanted a Christmas topper for a small chest.
I had a lot of  srips from a few years ago when our group at church made string pieced Christmas stockings. I stitched strips of various widths to a rectangle of Warm and Natural batting and added a backing and turned it pillow case style and stitched 1/2 inch around the outside. 

So that's it for 2018.
I hope for everyone that 2019 will be a good year. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Friday, December 21, 2018

A sad goodbye to the best cat I ever had.

Lucy came to us June 2016 when my  daughter found her in the state park where she walked every day. After a week of seeing her every day she brought her home. From the first day she was special to us. She was so calm and so friendly that she endeared herself to all of us. After my daughter took her to the vet we found out she had feline leukemia. The vet repeated the test as she appeared healthy but the results were the same. He said we could put her down right then or wait and see how she did. It was unanimous that we would wait and see. She was so active and full of life and so much fun that it was easy to forget that she wouldn't live to a ripe old age.

She was a bright spot in my days. She hung out with me in my sewing room and when we watched TV.  She never once sat on my lap but she sat next to me or on my desk or cutting table or sewing machine. She slept in our bedroom on top of Jack's dresser but when I didn't feel well she curled up next to me on the bed.

She inspected and tested every quilt.

She loved to burrow into the folds

She liked to guard the quilt pieces.

When we moved from our daughters house to a first floor apartment, we didn't take Lucy with us. I missed her but I didn't have the heart to take her away from  her big house and yard full of trees and birds and chipmunks. She was supposed to be a house cat but once she got outside there was no way to keep that fast kitty from getting out again. Three weeks ago when I asked how she was and my daughter said she was healthy and contented and the queen of the yard. One week later she started to eat less and less and last Wednesday she died quietly.

I have loved every cat I ever had but Lucy was the sweetest cat and the most fun.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas is coming

I didn't do much sewing for Christmas this year. I made hexagon potholders for the boutique at our church's Christmas luncheon and some hex mug mats to decorated the table that my daughter in law and I decorated for the luncheon. We used my Christmas dishes and one of my quilted table toppers from 2 years ago and the 8 mug mats I made because 4 of my cups were mugs and didn't have saucers. My DIL had a red  tablecloth and a set of goblets. This is always a nice event and different people decorate their tables for 8.  I think our table looked nice enough but some of the tables were really really beautiful. I wish I had photos of all of them but I have only the one that my DIL took with her phone of our table.

We went shopping one day for things we needed and found the little boxes of candy and small sample bottles of different kinds of honey. we gave the candy, honey and mug mats as favors to our table guests.
LOL, someone commented that she liked our whiskey  samples. (She really knew they were honey. Well, I think she knew.)

This is how my table topper and center piece look on my table a home. My poinsettias probably need to be rearranged a little after their trip back home after the luncheon.

This is where the Christmas dishes spend their time until New Years. I don't have them all out anymore. I keep the ones I use everyday in a more convenient place for setting the table and just leave these in the hutch, unless I need more than 4 place settings.  All the other things on the hutch shelves are things that have some meaning to me and I like to think about the people who gave them to me when I get them out every year.

So the dishes are out and so are all the rest of the Christmas things. I will save the rest for another post.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Apron Panel

When I went on a 2 quilt shop road trip a couple of weeks ago, I bought 2 apron panels.

This is one of them. It is all printed along with the instructions on one yard.

The colors show up better here. I had to take shep photos without the flash and the green against the gold is a bit off.

 Close up of the pocket and ties

 The neck strap and and applique motifs to put on the lining on the reverse side .

The other apron panel is hiding, it was right on my table yesterday; maybe it is camera shy. It is the same except for the colors it has blue instead of green and some other differences. I am going to line the both with yellow, maybe a solid or print that reads like a solid.
The designer is  Mary Mulari   The pattern is Chatterbox Apron and she has  number of patterns for sale. If you do a google search you can find the panel at different places on line. I bought mine at Polkadot Pincushion in Richfield Ohio

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17). Everything we enjoy in the present and coming age is a gift from God worthy of thanksgiving. Let Him receive all honor and praise from your lips today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Baby Quilt etc.

Before I made the pot holders I finished the 3 row of blocks for another heartbeat baby quilt.

I sewed the blocks into rows and have them pinned on my design wall. I stopped there because I wanted to make the potholders and get all those fabrics put away. 

I am still thinking about whether to use the focus print for the 6 inch strip at the top and the 18 inch strip at the bottom. This is how it would look. The background color is a it darker that the fabric in the blocks but it doesn't love horrible.

This is how it would look with the fabric from the blocks. I think this is the way to go now that I see it in  photograph. The print fabric will be on the back so it will still have kid appeal.

I still have the Christmas fabric sitting on my table and I might be ready to put it away, but maybe not. I made 8 mug mats and maybe I  will make  few more.

I made these for a table my DIL and I are setting for a Christmas luncheon at our church. There are 8 people at each table; the tables are all decorated by different people. We are using my Christmas dishes and 4 of my place settings have saucers and 4 don't. They are all  mugs so they all work out fine without the saucers,  These will be the favors (along with some chocolate) for each person at our table to take home. They measure 5 3/4 inches across the sides and 6 3/4 point to point.

 I have a lot of the polar bear fabric and a lot of the 2 bird fabrics from the potholders. I also have some fat quarters that I bought and didn't use, small pieces of batting, and a giant box of red and green strips that I should either use or lose. So ........ I might make more, we'll see!

Monday, November 12, 2018


I haven't been idle since I finished the "Heartbeat" baby quilt. It seems as though everything takes twice as long to do anymore and I don't find the time to post.

I made some potholders for the boutique at the women's Christmas luncheon at our church. Our quilting group members made several different things so I didn't need to make a large number myself.

I used the tutorial for the Hexagon potholders from SewCanShe blog: it is a good tutorial.

These are the fronts and backs of the 3 different kinds I made. This time I purchased fabric for the potholders but I have also made them in the past using scraps.

I make the backs with a seam that I leave open for turning so I don't have to deal with hand sewing the edge closed. Hand stitching is getting harder all the time for me.

I layer the fronts with Insulbrite and quilt in the ditch then add a layer of Warm and Natural and the back and stitch all around and turn. I stitch in the ditch around the center hexagon to hold it all together.

I made some with 3 fabric strips like these first 2.

The rest are made with 2 fabrics for the strips. They all have the red candy cane backs which is fabric from our quilting closet at church.

I brought some other fabric home from the closet but decided it is large scale print and won't work as well. I will put it back in the closet for another project.

Our quilting group met for breakfast Saturday and then took a road trip to 2 quilt shops. I had been waiting until then I buy fabric for the next "Heartbeat" baby quilt.

This is the focus fabric; I wanted something that was not gender specific.

This is the fabric I will use for the 3 rows of blocks.

It is washed and ready to cut and I
am ready to get started.


Monday, October 22, 2018

A Finish and a Refinish

I Finished the "Heartbeat" baby quilt yesterday. I waited until today to get photos of it because daylight is always better, even coming through the windows.

Front after quilting.

 I quilted in the ditch around all the yellow squares and through the center of them as well with a matching thread.
I had quilted across the diagonal of the Heartbeat blocks with a running zigzag stitch using variegated  thread.
 I marked and quilted a square 3 inch grid over all of the brown bubble fabric using the same running zigzag stitch.  I like that stitch for  children's and whimsical quilts because it is usually forgiving and adds a bit of fun. I frequently use a bright variegated thread as I did here.

 The green blocks were in the center of the quilt and the least easy to maneuver through the machine and there were some problems in that area. I debated about whether to try and fix it and I decided I needed to remove the stitching
across the green and do some"refinishing".

It is better (a little better) but in one area my running zigzag stitches are stretched out. I redid that area once more but I had the same problem and I decided it would be better to leave it and not try again..

The quilt back.

The small shot of the back  shows the quilting best but it really doesn't show up well in real life either.

I like the quilt for the pattern and fabric choices but I am not so happy with my quilting. I am reminding myself that this is a baby quilt which will be used and washed often and I know it will be appreciated. It won't be a wall hanging (at least I hope not).

For now I will go over the quilt and look for any toe catchers and clean off any loose threads from ripping out those seams.

If I make this pattern again (and I think I will) I will skip the third band of Heartbeat blocks and make it according to the original pattern. If I quilt it the same way it will probably be easier with only 2 bands of blocks and I am aware of a couple of reasons I might have created those problems for myself.