Friday, February 26, 2010


This is the last of my QAWM quilt tops, it is 42 x 42. The photo below has the real border. I used EQ to determine the number of patches I wanted to use and the size to cut them.  I got my black fabric yesterday and finished it today while the snow kept coming down.
When I get this one quilted I will hang it above my bed.

I decided a longtime ago that black was just too difficult to sew for my old eyes. Probably immediately after deciding that I decided that I had to use black in something or other and I got hooked on black and use it allthe time. It has not gotten any easier to see but it has made me more careful when I use it because it is so hard to see to unsew.

This little 11 x 11 colorwash is what tipped me over the edge in deciding to say good bye to my trays of 2  inch squares and 1.25 inch squares. I found this and another small piece early last month during a cleaning spree. They were all layed out on flannel and covered with tissue paper and ready to sew. They were probably class samples from several years back. I sewed them together at the time I found them and I fused some printed flowers on this one,  satin stitched around the flowers, quilted it and finished it. The back ground might as well be one piece, the prints blend together so well.  I spent some time to lay it all out and agonize over the orientation of each square and then sew it together.  I know I am  never going to make anything again with all those 2 inch squares let alone the 1.25 squares. I have moved on!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lessons learned

I learned something new in EQ yesterday. I learned how to take a photograph and import it into EQ and set it in a quilt as a block. This way I can audition the border.
The body of the quilt here is the photo and the border is EQ. I see the photo is rather dull and out of square but I can see what I wanted to see. Now as soon as I go out and get some more black fabric I can finish this up. I can't find the 2 or 3 yards of black that  I thought was in my stash. There is no way I would miss it if it was here so I must have used it up.

That brings me to the other things I learned this month.

1 - I work better when I am not working in a mess. I knew this but it was filed in the back of my mind. It has come to the forefront.

2 - It is time to clear out and clean up. I spend way to much time organizing and reorganizing stuff I am never going to use again.

3 - My sewing room is the only way it can be UNLESS I GET RID OF SOME STUFF.

4 - If I have made a quilt with fabrics I like, I still like the quilt 15 -20 years later. If fabric sits on my shelf unused, after a few years I don't like it so much anymore.

5- I don't always have to know everything I need to know in order to get started. (sometimes I do). I still don't know everything I need to know about blogging but I am learning as I go along.

6 - When I can't seem to get interested in starting anything or even finishing anything I need someone to give me a jump start. I am not good at motivating myself.

It looks like the first 4 things on my list have to do with letting go of some stuff. The first thing to go will be the trays of 2 inch colorwash squares and 1 1/4 inch squares. I know I never again going to arrange 2 inch squares on my design wall and sew them together. I like all  of the quilts I made but I know I won't do it again. Maybe the next to go will be the squares and rectangles, lots of old duller tones in those boxes that don't appeal to me anymore. A big part of my enjoyment as I sew is seeing the interplay of color and pattern and some of what I have just isn't that enjoyable anymore.

Monday, February 22, 2010

That's what friends are for

Paper piecing is something that always left me wanting to tear out my hair;.I always did something so dumb that I often couldn't even figure out how I could have done such a thing. If I ever had to paper piece, I complained and grumbled endlessly. When someone in our Friendship (block swap) group gave us a log cabin foundation that she had copied on the copy machine I was worried I would end up bald. It was a little bit off in the sizing because of the copy machine so that I couldn't print another foundation from EQ without first figuring out the size of the blocks and strips. When I finally got that right and printed it I made a really stupid mistake on the last log, not once but more than once. I ended up picking out all those tiny stitches because I knew if I did it over from the beginnig I would be likely to make the same mistake again.
 Well anyway, fast forward a couple years. I get togeher with several ladies who are talented and creative. We get together in the basement of one of the group and learn something new and fun. Someone brought instructions that she got off the internet for drawing a migrating geese block in Electric Quilt. It was just stuck in with some other papers and I found it when I got home. I played with it in EQ and drew out a paper piecing pattern and thought that this was something that I wanted to do enough to make me paper piece. I spent a whole day making one mistake after another and threw the whole thing away. When I said I would swear off paperpiecing, Kathy came to my resue. She said she would teach me to paper piece the next time we got together and SHE DID.

This strip was going to go in a larger piece using blocks from the books "Beyond the Block" and "Collaborative Quilting"; that is our latest basement project. I looked at it yesterday and decided that I wanted it to stand alone. I sewed the borders on this morning and I will quilt in the ditch around the geese.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Old colorwash UFO

Last month when the weather was terrible for several days I slipped into the cleaning mode and cleaned out closets and drawers and boxes etc. I found some things that were almost done and finished them. I found some sturdy fabric that was not quilting fabric  and I made reusable shopping bags (now if I would only remember to get them back to the car where I might remember to take them into the store). I also came across 2 pieces of flannel with colorwash 2 inch squares all laid out and partly sewed. They were covered with tissue paper and rolled up so the squares stayed in place. Of course, I stopped cleaning and sat down and finished sewing them together. I have found a different 1/4 inch since I started sewing these together some years ago and  by the time I got around to sewing the rows together I could see that something wasn't going together well but I continued anyway. I stopped when I got the first one sewn in one piece and resumed cleaning. Yesterday I came across it again and I got out my large  square ruler squared it up, put borders on it and layered it up. The nice thing about colorwash patches is that they moosh together and it is not so noticable if some of the patches get trimmed so they are not square anymore. Well anyway, that is what I tell myself.

This is the result of my effort, it is 18 x 21 inches. I put 2 small 9 patches in the border to transition from the dark fabric to the light I think I will leave them in even though they don't look as red hot as I thought they would.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Getting organized

I have finished cutting up all the pieces that were left from the QAWM blocks and sorted out the  pieces that were useful enough to fold and put away. I have quite a few 12 inch square pieces that will make good backs for small quilted projects. The rest is cut into strips and squares and a few rectangles.

As soon as I get everything cleaned up and put away and the floor vacuumed I am going to see what I an do to make my room more efficient. I keep going over this again and again. I use EQ for my room layout and furniture and it saves me from actually having to move furniture. Every time I do this I come to the conclusion that I have the best arrangement for everything I have in the room but I am not happy with it..... so back to the drawing board or rather back to EQ.

This is what I have to show for my 2 1/2 days of cutting.
  On the left of this tray are 3 piles of strips to use in the QAWM blocks. The piles of 4 1/2 inch squares are some for the blocks and the rest for the 4 1/2 inch square box. I have cut some of the
 2 1/2 inch strips into 4 1/2 and 6 1/2 inch rectangles to use in a scrap quilt that is made using a Donna Poster pattern. for now they go in a box with like size pieces.

This tray has 2 inch and 11/2 inch strips and 4 inch squares. For now they will go in a box with like sized pieces.
This is 1/4 quarter of the back of the Garden patch quilt. it is a lot brighter in person. I couldn't lay the whole thing out to phtograph without moving furniture and I am saving my energy for other furniture moving.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I cancelled my trip to the LQS yesterday because I was coughing a lot and losing my voice. I stayed home and pieced a backing for my Garden Patch quilt. I used up several "not large enough for anything" pieces. No photo because I have my quilt up on the design wall so no place to lay out the back. I tried putting it on my bed to take a photo, even stood on a ladder to get far enough away but that didn't work
I stayed in again today and spent the day cutting up all the leftover pieces from what I have been working on. I am cutting strips 1.5, 2 and 2.5 inches. I am also cutting  4.5 inch squares for my box of squares for scrap quilts. This is the size I use most often. I also cut a few smaller squares if I couldn't cut anything larger. I threw out a fairly large bag of shreds and my floor looks like I need a rake. I am getting down to 1 box of floral fabs instead of 2 and what I am not cutting up are things I have a purpose for. I am making progress but it is slow going. I am not fast, probably because I am a messy worker and as I go along things get pulled out and not put away. I have reached the point where I have to stop and make some space and get organized. Everything in my sewing room has a place and when it is all cleaned up it looks like I am well organized but right now almost nothing is in it's place. I tell myself things get so messy because my space is small but I know that if it was large I would just have a bigger mess.

Monday, February 15, 2010

QAWM Gardenpatch top 56 x 70

I went ahead and sewed my blocks together. I decided that I liked the murky fabric after all. I had to cut carefully to get all the setting triangles because I had just enough. That is when I usually make a mistake, not when I have lots of fabric and room for error. This time it worked out.
I have left over light blocks because I replaced some with larger scale prints. I am beginning to see why I can't get this box of fabric used up. I tend to slip into the color wash mode when I use these fabrics and there is not enough contrast. When I dug into the box of darker floral prints I liked what was happening. I have been enjoying the interplay of color and pattern as I stitched them together.

I'm not sure what is next except my focus will be to keep working with the floral fabric and make as big a dent as I can in the pile. I want to move on to other things.

Yesterday I had to go out and buy a new iron.  I have not had very good luck with the longevity of my irons and I keep trying different brands. This one has such nice features and I am so happy with it that I hope it lasts a while. The off button and the 3 heat settings light up so you know what the setting is. When it shuts off automatically it beeps 3 times and the off light blinks. It has lots of steam, is easy to fill, all the switches are easy to use and there is an orange ball that floats in the water level indicator which also lights up.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Table topper revisited

Sometimes you just have to go back and fix something. Every time I looked at this small piece I thought it looked like I ran out of fabric and just stuck those triangles in there to get it done. I thought it would like it better after a day or two. That didn't happen so I made 2 more yellow blocks and took out the triangles and it looks better to me.

I am still rearranging the blocks on the larger quilt and trying to decide if I like the setting trianglefabric it has kind of a murky look to it.

I will look at it up on the wall for another few days  before I sew it . I am going to the LQS Tuesday and I think I will wait to see if I find something I like better. I do not want to rip out 14 set in triangles. I know my objective is to use my fabric but in the process I do not want to make what I consider ugly quilts. We'll see

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another day QAWM

I looked around a little on Blogger and learned a couple of things. I am not good at reading directions; I'm way too impatient. If I don't find what I want in the first 10-15 words I look elsewhere. That makes it necessary to got back and look again.

This is what I did this morning. I took some  blocks that were of the same few fabrics and put them in a small tabletopper. Now I really don't need another one but I am not going to make a bunch of UFO's. I am trusting that someone will want it. I
considered taking the triangles out and puttng blocks in their place but decided to let it stand.though I may put a small border on it.
I have some blocks cut out and reay to sew and I think I have my setting triangle fabric but it will have to wait until Friday evening or Saturday. I have to clean up my sewing room because tomorrow my great grand children are coming and they are very interested in my sewing machine and my computer and they spend a lot of time in my room.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010



This my first attempt at blogging and I don't know if I am ready for it. However that never stopped me before.

Melody Johnson invited her followers to Quilt Along with Melody in February as she uses up her stash of printed fabrics. I have a couple of boxes of floral fabric left from my colorwash days and I decided to join the fun. It isn't so much fun if you can't share what you are doing, so here I am.

This was my first arrangement when I got the blocks upon the wall. Not too impressive, but very reminiscent of

This where I am now after making a bunch more darker blocks. I am still working on more dark blocks

I am beginning to like it and I will be so happy to have those empty boxes. I think that there will be more than one quilt from this but that is OK. Some of these fabrics are at least 13-15 years old and there are almost no pieces big enough to make anything but a scrap quilt and I have made a lot of those. For colorwash/watercolor quilts you need a lot of different fabrics but not so much of one fabric so I bought mostly 1/2 to 1 yard of anything. It is good have my focus on using the fabric.

I can see that I am going to have to spend some time learning how to blog and move things around. I think I am also going to have to learn to take better pictures.