Saturday, April 30, 2011


I have a Flimsy, I love that term. Calling it a Flimsy makes it sound like I have something finished, and so it is, the top is finished. Saying the top is finished indicates that there is more to do and of course that is true but I like the idea of having reached a completed stage of the project. I frequently become impatient with people who get hung up on rhetoric over things that don't really matter. Sooooooo...... if you feel the way I do over what to call things just ignore the above statement. 

Here it is! I like it!

Here are two of the corners.
I think I will fix the one on the left.  I had to  retrofit the corner blocks because I  sewed  the pieced borders to the inner border strip before I sewed it to the quilt. That seemed to me the best way to handle what might be stretchy borders. For some reason instead of removing the light pink strip I trimmed the corner block. I will only have to take out four 6 inch seams and replace the narrow dotty pink strip with a wide strip on the left side of the block. I would probably leave it if that light pink floral didn't bother me it is  OK in other places but right there it stands out like a sore thumb. The lesson here is "if the hour is late and you are tired and find a mistake, QUIT and fix it tomorrow because if you fix it right away you will probably fix it again tomorrow anyway".

Friday, April 29, 2011


I have been working on my borders for the tilted half log cabin quilt. I got the top together, and for sure, before I use those tilted setting strip  again I am going to find an easier way. You know, when you "wing it" it isn't always the best way but I just count it as a learning experience. There are many narrow ends coming together when sewing the blocks together, making really difficult bulky intersections. I ended up having to twist some of the seams. It was either that or take the block(s) out of the quilt take the block apart and cut new strips  and put it back together. I was NOT going to do that.

I  have been working on  the borders and I am pretty close to finishing. Here they are on my wall. The top border is stitched together and sewed to the yellow strip. I sewed strips together in 13 inch lengths in groups of 4, 5 or 6. Then I cut them in 6 inch wide "blocks". I measured and made the inner border strips and put one up on my wall to measure against. After I squared up  the sections, I started arranging them on my wall along the strips. I thought that was a good way to judge when I had enough. Here and there I added a 6 inch strip between sections when it needed a punch of color.It worked out pretty well. I ended up having more than I need because I measured them along the long inner border strip. I have a good start on another strippy border. This used up a lot of short strips and I surely have a lot of them. They also go a lot faster than the log cabins; half or whole, log cabins take a lot of time.

 I have been working on this quilt almost every free minute I have but I took a break one evening this week to go to the Holder Arboretum. This is photo is at the entrance to the arboretum taken from the car window. The sun was low in the sky and you can see that the background trees are lit up. In real life the pink blossoms on the tree right behind the bushes in the center were also lit up. There are many, many different kinds of daffodils every where.

On the way home we passed an area where the Marsh Marigolds were in bloom. It  was almost dark so this photo had to be fixed up enhanced.                                                             I  am thinking of a quilt with yellow flowers and  maybe some bare  branches off to the side and maybe some blue periwinkle in front. That was another photo that didn't turn out but the picture is still in  my head.     Hmmmm.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I have all the blocks finished and it wasn't easy. I know putting those angled strips around the blocks is not something new but I had not done it before when I wanted all the the strips to be the same. I am sure I got the idea to frame my blocks this way because I saw it somewhere recently (very recent). Do you think I could find any tutorials anywhere to help me decide what width and length I needed to cut and how to cut my strips at an angle so I would get 2 that were the  same from each cut segment. I fiddled around for a day and a half looking on line and finally worked it out myself. They are far from perfect but they will do. I decided to tilt the red framed blocks the opposite direction so it would be less obvious that they are all a little bit off.  I hope someone will  point out the way to some good instructions. This might be the final layout, It seems like I can move things around again and again but it never gets much better than just plain random. I will decide if I want to rearrange them after I get the setting triangles cut.

  I have auditioned some fabrics and I think I am going to go with the solid red for setting triangles with a yellow 1 1/2 inch inner border and a pieced 5 inch outer border. I might go shopping for something dotty with a red background for the setting triangles because it would be more forgiving for my free motion quilting. The color here is a little off;  the photo above is more like real  life.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


After making 4 1/2 inch Half Log Cabin blocks for 2 days my plan is taking off in another direction. I made 24 more blocks and put them up on the wall and they didn't take up much more space than before I put them there. 
I sewed the 4 blocks on the far left side together today and I will  get back to the rest on Monday.  I am not going to make many more of these blocks at least not this size or in the same way. The first 48 were fun, the last 24 not so much. However, I do have a plan.
I am going to set them on point and frame them so they are tilted, half with yellow strips and half with red strips. I am using solid colors instead of prints in order to calm it down a bit. I will have to take a little more care when I sew the blocks together. You can see each block when it is surrounded by a frame and not all the blocks mooshed  together. I wouldn't go so far as to say each block needs to be  more coordinated, that would be ludicrious, but the sections do have to play well together.  I will probably have to make  a few (very few) more as there are bound to be some that just don't get along well with the others.
If I don't use all those scraps for the blocks I do want to do something with them; so I am going to sew them all  together to make the border. By the way, the scraps have been multiplying. You know how it is. I look through all my pink scraps and I don't have just the right size or color or whatever and so I cut a few more from my some of my smallish pieces. I have many small pieces that I could use to make one 12 inch block or maybe 2 or 3 blocks but not big enough to use for anything else. So I cut a few pink strips and a few green strips etc, etc. They may be multiplying but they are all contained in their own shoe box by color and they are all stacked up under my work table. I can sit down and I can move around and nothing is piled up on my desk or ironing board or sewing machine or other chairs.      It's a Good Thing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wonky Half Log Cabins

First, I want to tell you that spell checker is not working so bear  with me. I am a terrible proof reader. If you come across any typos that are really hilarious just have a good chuckle.
These  blocks are a good way to use up all my small scraps and smallish pieces of fabric. I got turned on to making them when I was making 3 Friendship blocks. My blocks are 4 1/2 inches and 4 of them will  make an 8 inch finished block; the ones I made for Friendship group are 8 inches.                          

Here are 11 blocks on my ironig board with the first log of the second round sewed on. I will trim them on the left side before I sew on the second log. I like  sewing on the  second log of the rounds  because I don't have to decide what fabric to use.
These are most of the shoe boxes lined up on my work table and on a tray table. This is working out pretty well. I don't have to dig through and tangle up all of the colors I can just dig through the box with the color I want. When I finish with a round I put all the pieces back in the  right  box. It is also very nice when something gets pushed off the table like that box that looks ready to fall (it did); I just pick it up and shove it all back  in the box without sorting anything.So far there isn't too much mess. I wouldn't be so concerned about the mess if my space was larger but when I have no place to sit or to put anything without piling it on something else it gets overwhelming.
 So ........ here are 48 blocks that I have made so far. Actually, they will be 12 blocks when I sew them together in groups of 4. They are not in order yet, I just stuck them up on my wall as I finished them so I can see what I need. I see that I have 2 blocks turned  the wrong way right in the center. I probably should fix them now just in case I decide to sew everything together without rearranging them. I am not quite half way done making the blocks and by the time I get them all finished I might just forget to fix those 2 blocks. I expect by the time I get them all done I will not notice something out of place until the whole thing is quilted. 
I have a question????  Do you think it would be better to notice something like that after it is quilted or after it is layered and pinned and ready to quilt?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Friendship Blocks

Since my sewing room was  nice and neat and all my scrappy strips were halfway neat  I decided  to make the other 3 Friendship blocks. Lori wanted 8 inch wonky half Log Cabin blocks with 3 sets of added  strips.  After a false start in which I started out too small and added strips that were too narrow; I started over with wider strips.  Uh-oh, I really do know how to count or I  thought I did. I added 4 sets of strips but I think it is OK because Lori's instructions said add sets  until it is big enough. If they are not OK will make 3 more replacements.
Here are the three that I made and 2 of the small ones that were not going to grow up to be 8 inches. I like the way they are going to look and I have started a few more. I am going  to square them up to 4 1/2 inches. This should help me to use up all my smallish scraps.

I was looking through my boxes of fabric and realized that my stash is rapidly turning into mostly pieces that are too small to use for anything but scrap blocks. My goal was to use up my stash and I might just do it. I have a few pieces that are 2 to 3 yards and  a few that are 1 to 1 1/2 yards and  I have a  lot that are less than 1/2 yard and a lot more that are less than a fat quarter. I also have a lot  that are very small.  Those very small pieces are impossible to organize. If I  sort them by size it is hard to find the color I want when I am making scrappy blocks and if I sort them by color I find myself digging through all  the pieces to find a piece the size I want. I  have pieces and  parts in a bunch of different boxes and there is no order at all to them that I can recognize; although I know there was some reason that I put them together. Maybe probably the reason was I was cleaning up my room and had to get everything put away. 
At any rate I am tired of being  driven to distraction trying to organize that which it is impossible to organize. I went to Target and bought some shoe box size containers for all my small scraps, sorted by color. Then I am going to make 4 1/2 Inch wonky half Log Cabin blocks and also blocks for the collaborative quilts project until those boxes are empty. We'll see how that goes.I really like the 8 inch 1/2 LC blocks  better but I want to use up my small strips and they are mostly too narrow or too short to do very many the bigger blocks without cutting more strips. (when I said they are small I meant small).   I am not opposed to cutting more strips but I really do want to use up these small  ones.

Monday, April 18, 2011


 Today my sister in law came over and I helped her figure out what to cut for a DNP quilt that she is going to make.  I had cleaned up the disaster in my sewing room so there would be room for both of us to sit; it was pretty bad. Beside that, I didn't want to scare her because she is a pretty orderly person. When my room is nice and orderly I always feel  inspired to work in it. It really is a good thing to have company on a regular basis; it help to keep things in order. Anyway, after Martha left I made 3 of my Friendship blocks for this month.

These are 8 inch blocks and they are supposed to be pastel and white. Looking at them here I wonder if they are really pastel. I think Maryann is very brave to request a block that has all those matching points. On the other hand getting blocks with all those matching points from 11 people means that is 33 blocks with all those matching points that she won't have to make. I don't have to have them finished until the firs Tuesday in May but these were not blocks I wanted to make at the last minute (all  those matching points, you know). Making just 3 blocks wasn't bad although I really made 4 blocks. The first block, that I made last night, spun in the wrong direction. I am glad I caught it before I made 2 more blocks that were wrong.  I think I made the first one wrong because of the stress of the mess I was working in (that was before I cleaned my room). Now before I create chaos out of order I think I will make the other set of Friendship  blocks; they will be easier, wonky with no matching points. However, I can quarantee I will be making a big mess.
I hope no one gets the idea that I was unhappy about all  those matching points, actually I was pretty happy about it and impressed with myself because all those points really do match.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Busy sewing blocks

I have been busy sewing for a few days. I decided to clean out a basket on my shelf and there were some blocks cut and bagged. So instead my way of cleaning was to sew them up. I had these cut out last fall and put them aside. After I got the blocks done I  caught sight of that striped fabric in a see through box on my shelf and it looked to me like it was just asking to be the border and sashing. There were a few more that I finished but no pics of those. I have a stack of Quails Nest blocks from my Friendship block swap group. I looked them over and will be getting back to them soon.
I had cut a few in quarters and rearranged them and I have a plan for them too but the rest will go into a quilt.
I played with the slice and rearranged Quails nest block in EQ. I eliminated some lines and  tweaked it a little and entered it in the Accuquilt Barn Block contest. I found out today that I am one of the 100 finalists. . You can see all the final 100 blocks here. This is my block below. Don't you think it would look good on a barn? It would be nice and simple to paint.
I have also been working on blocks for the collaborative quilt our  Saturday  Sewing in the basement  loosely organized quilting group is working on. Our assignment was one 12 1/2 inch, two 9 1/2 ,two 6 1/2  and two 3 1/2 inch blocks. We could make any bright fabric blocks that we wanted in those sizes and as many 3 1/2 inch blocks as we wanted. I am going to make a bunch more 3 1/2 inch blocks because they go fast, they use up small scraps and they are CUTE. 
 Speaking of cute, do you notice that small broken dishes block in the lower right? That little block measures 3 inches.  There were all these little cut off corner triangles laying on my table and I sewed them together just because they were there. I didn't work at making it precise but much to my surprise, it came pretty close.  I do not plan on making any more of these. One was fun, any more that that would give me a headache.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I decided that a more colorful look  was in order for spring so I changed out my heading picture. I guess it looks more like summer than spring but summer will be here before too long.

It is also looking like springtime in my bedroom. I finished my 9 patch colorwash pillows  and they are on my bed along with the ones I couldn't find yesterday. I was going to use them "instead of" and not "along with" but I really like my faux chenille pillow and the two pillow cases that go with them (the ones in the back that you can't see. The two extra pillows in the back were in my closet but I needed the space so they went back on my bed. That makes 5 pillows that have to be removed every night.  Do you know how husbands love all those pillows? I guess as long as I am the one who takes them off the bed and puts them back on the morning it will be OK. I also have that 114 inch square log cabin quilt to take off the bed because it is too heavy to sleep under. All those seams make log cabin quilts really heavy especially with Warm and Natural  batting. It is a good thing I work out so I can lift it.

I quilted this one in sections that were 4 patterns square or 28 inches. I learned to quilt in sections just so I could make this quilt. I knew it would be impossible to handle otherwise. I drew the flowers on that gold colored paper that is for quilting and pinned it on the light areas and quilted through it; then I free handed the rest of the quilting . I added the borders after they were quilted also.

I used a lot of my floral fabric for the back of the quilt. I pieced sections that were  4 - 14" squares ,2 - 14 x 28 " rectangles or 28 inch squares. I love that back. I needed to add strips to cover my seams on the back because I did not allow enough for turning under. This was a good learning experience and I make all my large quilts this way now.
Here is a close up of one of the pillows. Probably every one of the fabrics in it are in the log cabin  quilt, I didn't check to be sure but it is a good guess. I quilted it with closely spaced wobbly lines.  After I finished sewing all  those 9 patch blocks together, I sorted through all the stuff in that box and put it all away again. I could make a bunch more pillows or a small quilt but not anytime soon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Colorwash Again

The other day I took my plaid quilt off the bed and changed it out for an all floral Log Cabin quilt. For some reason I can't find the pillow covers that I use with my floral quilts. (Probably the reason is the same as why I have trouble finding my keys; I have no memory of it because I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing.) Anyway I  need to cover 3 decorative pillows and I have been using up all my old floral fabrics. that is what I have been working on doing but those were the fabrics that go well with the quilt. I am not opposed  to buying new fabric for something I am actually going to make NOW but all the current pretty floral fabrics are brighter and cleaner and don't look right with that quilt.
 But wait.....I have a large Rubbermaid box of ninepatch color wash leftovers on my shelf.  
Here is part of the mess stuff that was in the box. In the back you can see some of the Ziploc bags with things that are sorted according to the  project they were used for. On the table and  over on my desk there are probably a hundred or more 3 1/2 inch 9 patch blocks plus some strip sets and some of the fabric that I used and put away with the blocks thinking that I might need it if I ever decide to use the blocks. I am happy that I saved it; I can use it to finish the pillow covers. Below is the first piece that I sewed  together. I cropped the picture on the  top  and sides so you can't see how the edges look but you can see along the bottom how uneven the  edge turned out and this piece does not lie flat.       

No matter I can trim it and add the border and  when it is  quilted it will all moosh together and  intersections that don't line up won't be noticeable.  However I did square up the blocks for the next pillow because it was not fun sewing the first one together.
I am not sure I made all of these blocks at the same time for the same quilt because I made a lot of Nine patch color wash quilts. I would frequently change directions when the quilt took off the way it wanted to go and I would pull out all of the one or two kinds of blocks. These blocks have  been sitting around for 10 to15 years and at some point I found  the quarter inch and began to sew it consistently. That leaves me with a lot of leftover blocks that don't all fit well together. So I trimmed them down to 3 1/4 inches and now they play nice. I like liberated piecing when that is my intention but when I am sewing them together I square them up and I don't have to fuss around making things fit. I like wonky but I want flat wonky.
After I get these 3 pillow covers done I am  going to have a look at the rest of the leftovers in all those ziplock  bags.
Oh, guess what!!  I just remembered where I put those pillow covers.