Saturday, December 19, 2015

And One More

I finished one more small table topper for a small round "catchall" table by the front door. I still have some fabric left over from what I bought the day I got out to Quilts and Sew forth quilt shop. I decided the little table needed to be dressed for Christmas and I had some time to make
something fast.
The table is about 19 1/2 inches in diameter and the topper is 19 inches point to point and 16 1/2 across side to side. It is a perfect fit.

I cleaned up my sewing room when I finished this and  I am done sewing until after Christmas.

I hung one more little quilt on the narrow wall at the end of the  bedroom hallway.
Just outside my sewing room door is a little shelf, made by our grandson about 27 years ago  It has 4 pegs where usually we hang sweaters or jackets and I put seasonal things on the shelf. I usually put my snowmen out in January but this year we are kind into the snowman theme so I got them out early

The two tall snow men on the right are wood and I bought them as well as the little guy in front of them (he is holding a little bowl of birdseed). The short guy right next to the tall snow man on the left was also a purchase. I made the rest of them using Warm and Natural batting on the outside.
The guy in the blue hat with the "Think Spring" sign and the snow lady with the red hat and scarf represent Jack and I and they used to be on a wreath on our apartment door. This little vignette cheers up our hallway.

The Christmas dishes are out, all the Christmas quilts are out, and I am  done decorating.  It is a good thing too because I am not finished shopping and and have not even started to wrap.

Friday, December 11, 2015

More Finishes

I finished 3 more mats I probably should count this as one finish as it is really one project.
Using the same fabrics  plus one more (with the red birds)as the one for the coffee table, I made this one for the one for the chest in the living room.

It goes with this one that I finished last week for the coffee table

These 2 go on hutches in the dining room and to them I added a few strips from years past to the fabrics I used in the other 2.
 In my sewing room I hung Christmas wall hangings and set out decorations from other years, some decorations that I made and some that were gifts. I like to use what I have from the past because I like to remember  where they came from and who gave them to me. I have one or two things from my preteen years. (They are really old.)

For many years we had a small tree that hung on the wall above Jack's dresser.  Over the years I changed the decorations several times; I added lights and decorated it with small ornaments.  Jack loved it and we kept it up after we took the other tree down. He always called me Scrooge when I  retired it for the year.
Last year when we moved I threw it away.  Well............. he wasn't real happy about that. After we got the tree up last week he started talking about "his tree" again. So, I started looking for a small tree that could hang on the wall, I don't think I ever saw another one over the years that was like the one we had; I had been looking. We were at Walmart last week and I looked at the small trees; we ruled out a fiber optic tree and chose a prelit tree that was displayed on a very high shelf. I thought is was 30 inches, which was taller than I wanted, but we had someone get a box down for us and we took it anyway as the box didn't seem too long. There 2  parts that fit together and it turned out to be 48 inches. I thought we would return it as it was too tall for Jacks chest of drawers but he was already attached to it. We set it on my dresser and I decorated it with a few shiny ornaments and some of the ornaments from friends and grandchildren and great grand children and children from the preschool room at church. I got to use a lot of personal things that didn't fit so well  on the slimmer living room tree we bought 2 years ago.

Jack is happy and I'm happy. He can look at it when he is sitting at his desk and we leave it on for a while every night before we go to sleep.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A finish

I may not be making anything very large but I am getting around to making things that I want to use for Christmas.
I needed some color in the living room and I wanted something to cover the top of the coffee table.

This  18 x 36  piece started with a block that I made with the intention of making a whole quilt, each block done in different fabrics. After one block I decided it as going to require more fabric shopping and more time than I wanted to spend on another Christmas quilt. The block  went into my odd block box until this week. I finally got out to the quilt shop and came home with 5 one yard pieces to add to the block for a table runner.It adds some needed color to the living room.

 I am making another runner this size for the top of a bachelor chest for the same room. The second piece will not have a block, just strips of the same 3 fabrics that are on the right and  sides of the block. I have another fabric with red birds of which I am adding  wider random width strips. I hope I can get it finished today.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Finish

I have finished my Triple 4 Patch, binding and all.  I had long strips of the floral striped fabric from cutting the borders from the length of the fabric. I decided to use the lighter blue stripes for the binding.
 It looks darker here but I think you can get the idea. The lighter stripes were about 2 inches wide so I laid the edge of my ruler at the
edge of the lighter strip and cut 1/2 inch into the darker stripe for 2 1/2 inch strips. So my strips were like this on the left.

I folded it in half and pressed it and laid the strip on the edge on the quilt front with the raw edge of the darker fabric face up on the raw edge of the quilt.

After I stitched the binding all around I pressed it away from the quilt. You can see it in this photo
before I pressed it around to the back with only the lighter fabric showing.  I wrapped the binding to the back and pressed it down and secured it with thin strips of fusible web (for me this works so much better than pins); I stitched with the #4 Bernina stitch from the front.

 This is how it looks on the front. I didn't care to have the entire width of the stitches on the binding because it is already stitched on.

I wanted to have the entire width of the stitching on the binding on the back of the quilt, both for appearance and so the edge would be flat and secure. I used variegated thread  so it may be hard to see unless you enlarge the photo.

I couldn't get a shot of the full quilt today because there is no space to spread it out. I got all the the Christmas  quilts and wall hangings and linens out the they were are still all over my bed.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Almost a Finish

I finally had a day to sew all day; they are rare anymore for some reason. I machine quilted the Triple Four Patch quilt and all I have left to do is trim away the excess and sew on the binding. I am contemplating what to do about the binding. I have a lot of leftover binding pieces from years of quilting and I could add some more strips and make a scrappy binding. Another option would be to cut strips of something and make a one fabric binding.

I laid the quilt out on my bed for the photos because it is the best place for lighting and the best for this size quilt.
I also get photos that are pretty much true color.

I used off white/cream thread to quilt through the light colored squares and a multicolor  thread to quilt through the 4 inch squares. I echoed the lines of the light chains.

I used the same multicolor thread with the number 4 Bernina stitch and followed the edges of the floral stripes in the border.
I never noticed this one small 4 patch that is turned sideways until I was quilting through it. At first I thought I was stitching in the wrong direction and when I stopped to look at it I managed to get a bobble in my stitching line.
I thought at first I should fix the stitching because it shows up really well in the dark purple patch. It will be my "humility patch". Keeping it real, I never need to deliberately add a humility patch; there are always plenty of them to be found.

This is the back; I included my hand to show the scale of the print. The colors are brighter in the photo than they really are. I'm not sure why they show up brighter when the other fabric were pretty much true in the photos.

I will probably finish the binding tomorrow and then do some Christmas sewing. I need a few more small pieces for the end tables etc.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Triple Four Patch

I just finished layering and pin basting this triple 4 patch quilt. I must admit IT IS ABOUT TIME!  This has been hanging around for a while in various states of completion. The blocks were made by members of the Friendship  block swap group. I think I requested the blocks 2 different years, maybe 3. I had them in a box and every so often I would make one or two more. I finally put them together  2 or 3 years ago and in January 2014  I added the borders. You can see a shot of the whole flimsy here.

This is the third time I have made a quilt with 8 inch triple 4 patch blocks and each quilt has been a different layout. It is one of my favorite scrap patterns because it is easy to cut all the main fabric patches from leftovers. I can cut them and save them and make a bunch of little dark and light 4 patches and save them and when I feel like putting them together it all goes together fast.

I won't get to the quilting before Thanksgiving but maybe soon after.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Salon

No quilting to show today, just this bit of fun.
My daughter in law and my daughter were touching up their hair and dying their eyebrows. They asked if I wanted my eyebrows dyed too.
So....... here we are

From left to right it is my DIL Ruth, my daughter Marty, and me; all of us have dye on our eyebrows.  It was really hard to keep  a straight face for the photo shot and even harder when we saw the photos.
We should have taken an "after" shot. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

An Autumn Flimsy

I bought the fabrics in this table runner last month. I had a vague idea about how I wanted to use them; it was so vague I don't remember what it was. I was in Pa. helping my daughter in law after their move and we visited a quilt shop about a block or so from their apartment.

The striped border fabric caught my eye and I bought a yard of it and then picked out 4 fat quarters to go with it.

I have not shopped yet for fabric for the wall hanging I want to make and I don't have the yardage requirements figured out yet. I decided to use this fabric to make a test piece to determine how large I want the blocks. I also wanted to see how easy or difficult 9 Patch diamond blocks would be to work with. I strip pieced these and it went together easily. The flimsy is about 16 x 34. I cut my strips 2 inches wide and offset them about 1/2 inch to reduce waste. I cut 2 inch slices from the strip set by using the 60 degree line on my long 6 x 24 ruler. I did pin at the intersections when I made the 9 patch blocks and sewed the blocks together. I was really surprised that all my intersections came together with points that are as close to perfect as they can be.(I hate to say they are perfect but if they are not I can't tell.) Still this is only 7 blocks the wall hanging has about 74, although not all of them will be 9 patches. That doesn't include all the 60 degree triangles around the perimeter. That will be a lot of intersections.
Maybe I should make my strips a bit larger; I'm not sure that will save me much work. I am not going to rush into this without giving it some more thought. I don't want to come up short on the fabric if I change my mind about the size of the components.  I've been there and done that and it was troublesome enough when I could jump in the car and run over to the local quilt shop in 5 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Finish

I finished this on Friday. It is Hidden Wells, a Mary Ellen Hopkins pattern. My friend Lynn made the top and gave it to me after I admired it. I am not sure why she didn't keep it; it really is beautiful.
I quilted it in the ditch around the squares and quilted free motion feathers in the border. Of course, they do not show up because I used black thread. I probably should have just quilted straight lines because it was really hard to see where I was stitching. I worked on it in the afternoon when the natural light was good in my sewing room.

This is the backing, a small scale print that I ordered on line. The color does not look as vibrant here as tan is really brighter, more like gold.
I used black Kona solid for the binding and it looks good on both sides.

I have not even started on the diamond 9 patch color wash. I don't want to order fabric on line for it because I need to see the changes in value from one fabric to the next. Getting out to a quilt shop is a big issue for me and I am pretty sure I will have to find what I want in more than one shop. Jack was having some problems with eyes and it took a while to get his eyeglass prescription right after a post cataract laser treatment. Until he got his new glasses he didn't want to drive very far. Since he got his glasses it has been one thing or another to keep me from shopping.

Until I can get out to shop I will have to be content to spend my time raking up prickly chestnut hulls and black walnuts and hauling them out to the woods to dump them (there is an over abundance of both). There is also an over abundance of leaves to rake. I am cleaning up the flower beds around the house as well, preparing for winter and next spring.
I am not complaining, and neither is the dog. We are both enjoying being outside in the crisp fall weather. When he sees me change my shoes he is ecstatic, running in circles and jumping for joy. He doesn't seem to like to venture far from the house by himself but he loves to run all over when I am outside with him. When we walk around the back yard and the woods he goes exploring but comes quickly when I call him. He is not like the cat was but a very good companion nevertheless.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Playing with EQ

I have not been posting much because I keep having problems getting my photos into the computer; I think I have that worked out. Today I spent a good part of the day trying to get an image of an EQ project saved as a jpeg file so I could upload it to Picasa.
I have been playing with EQ7 working on a plan for a large wall hanging. I have wanted to make a new one to hang above the sofa for a long time.  I fooled around with different ideas from time to time but nothing ever really inspired me to follow through and actually make something.

This week Lynn Tyler posted a photo of a flimsy on her blog The Patchery Menagerie  and it fired up my muse. Hers is beautiful and though mine will be nothing like it, seeing how beautiful her quilt turned out gave me the idea to use diamond patches. It was just the inspiration I needed.

This is the EQ7 version and I am sure the quilt  will not be exactly like this. This is a starting point and I am excited to get going on it.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Table topper Finishes

I have had some problems with my computer recently. I had to go and download Windows 10 ( can't deny myself the opportunity for frustration and) that was the beginning. I  like it but... after many updates from Microsoft and from McCaffee and Picasa many things were not working. Then more updates and things were almost back to normal. However, I still cannot create collages and in working with trying to create a collage I deleted a bunch of photos from my memory card. I am not sure how I did that but they are gone and not saved in my computer. I had photos 2 finished baby quilts that are gone to their recipients on that card, OH WELL!! 

 I have been slowly making progress on finishing some things I've had hanging around waiting for the next step.
Both of these Hexagon table toppers were made using leftovers. I quilted this one and added the binding. 
Last year I sewed the left over strings from this tree skirt, you can read about it how I came about those strings here.

This piece on the  left just sat around till last week when  I cut 60 degree triangles from it and made another hexagon table topper.

This one is a little larger so I had to refigure all my measurements because again I wanted the center hex to be all one piece of fabric.

Now I am considering making another tree skirt using Annie's tutorial again. I have made 3 of them and I have another granddaughter who might like one.

We'll see! I have two quilts layered up, all ready to be finished and I am going to do that first.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A little Flimsie

It's been a while again since I posted; there is not much going on here in the sewing room. I thought I would be finishing some UFO's after I counted them but I lost momentum.
I did put some blocks together for a baby quilt that I will finish in a couple of weeks when I go to the retreat from our church group. No photos of that yet.

I have been looking online for some backing fabric so I can finish some of my UFO's. It is getting to be a bigger deal all the time to get out to a quilt shop.

This is the little project I worked on today.

I bought the pattern last year and came across it last week and decided to make a small table topper with left overs from the place mats I made recently. Of course, when I looked for the pattern again it was buried under a mountain of stuff that should have been put away. I spent 2 days on and off looking for it.
It went together quickly and easily even though I changed the construction method a little because I wanted the center hexagon to be one piece.  I added the orange border because by using the size hex that I cut  it worked out to be a smaller size. It is 19 inches across at the points. I never checked my math before I started as to what the finished size would be. I read the directions and had a pretty good idea of what I was doing and I just started. Now if I can keep at it another couple of hours (tomorrow) I will have a finish.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More Placemats

I changed my plan to put the truck fabric on the back of the place mats for my granddaughter. Instead I made place mats for the three younger great grandsons. One of them was here visiting yesterday and today so I finished his for him to take home.
I got him to smile for the photo but he tried to hide behind the place mat.

This is the fabric on the back. I thought it might be to "little kiddish" but my daughter said they would like it because they all still like to draw and color.

Yesterday after dinner he wanted to know if I was going to go back to my sewing room because he likes to hang out with me there.
So we hung out and I printed some face masks from the Internet (he chose skulls) and we colored them and put them on and went outside to the family room door to scare everyone there. I wish I had a picture of it but I think I deleted it when my daughter sent it to me.

We had fun even though we don't have a photo to prove it
even if no one was scared.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Another Finish

The baby quilt is finished. I sewed the binding on yesterday, using my usual method of stitching to the front and turning to the back. I use thin strips of Wonder Under to fuse the binding down before I stitch it from the front.
For baby or kids quilts I usually stitch with the serpentine stitch. For other quilts I stitch in the ditch along the binding. You can see the front and back in the photo. I forgot to change the bobbing to variegated thread, which I used on the front. I doesn't show the color well in the pictures. It is a very pale pastel that shows up more in real life.

To go with the placemats I finished this week, I made these two hexie hot pads. I found the tutorial here on "sewshecan"  blog; they measure 7 x 10. I used some of the fabrics from the bundle that I didn't use for the placemats. I have more fabric from the bundle and the extra yardage I bought for the backing so I will be making something else before I add the rest to the scrap basket.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Finish and an Almost

I finished the "Take Four" placemats today. I think it is the first finish since the wedding quilt. I used the print with the white background for the backing on all 6 (like the dominant fabric in the top left placemat).

I made these according to the pattern and turned it pillow cover style. I had a little bit of a hard time doing the hand stitching to close the openings, holding a hand sewing needle really hurts my thumbs. Halfway through the 3rd one I took some Advil and took a break for a while and finished up after the Advil kicked in. I know I need to take something before I start any hand work but I don't always remember. Anyway the openings turned out good and would be hard to spot.  I have some extra fabric left and will make some Hex hot pads to go with these. they are a birthday gift for a granddaughter.

I am almost finished with the baby quilt. Yesterday I got the variegated thread for the sashings,  a nice pastel with all of the colors that are in the quilt border. I finished up all the quilting today and have  only the binding to do. I have white binding made and ready to go.

The closeup shows the colors in the quilt well, although the serpentine stitching with the variegated thread shows up better in real life. I think it was a better choice than either of the two threads I had considered..

It is a cheerful little quilt and it makes me happy to look at it. I hope the baby feels the same.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Placemats etc.

Yesterday, I got going on the "Take Four" place mats. I bought a bundle of 10 fat quarters and I had a hard time deciding which ones I was going to use to make 6 place mats. I finally decided to make the first 4, using the fabrics I thought worked the best. I made the other 2 from what I thought worked best for the 2.

The 4 on the left are the ones made with 4 fabrics, according to the pattern instructions. The other two on the right are the ones I made using the instruction's cutting sizes

I think if I do this again and need to make more than 4 I will skip the bundles and just purchase 4 half yards for the fronts and yardage for the backs. I might also just buy what I need to make them all the same.
After I finished trimming them all to the same size, I took them outside to photograph.

Then I took a walk back to the vegetable garden with my camera. I was hoping to get some shots of the squash blossoms (thinking quilted wall art). Yesterday there were several really beautiful blossoms, but not today. However, there are lots unopened blossoms and lots of squash in various stages of maturity.The top left is a tiny butternut squash with the blossom still attached. Top right, is a squash about 10 inches long starting to turn yellow. There are about a dozen large ones starting to turn yellow. It is hard to figure how many little one there are because they are hard to spot.
The 2 photos on the bottom are one of the cucumber plant,s showing one blossom and one 6 inch skinny cucumber; there are also some cucumbers ready to be picked (no photo).

I didn't get any shots of the tomato plants as it was really hot outside and I wanted to get inside. There are lots of green tomatoes of different varieties. I did pick 4 small red ones, after I washed them I ate them. Tomatoes are my favorite food especially fresh, ripe and home grown.
 I eagerly wait the ripening.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

WIP's and UFO's

I am making a list of projects that need to be finished. Amandajean at Crazy Mom Quilts had a post about counting her WIP's. I used to have a list of my projects that needed to be finished;  I kept it up to date and it helped me keep up with finishing them. Somewhere along the line I stopped keeping track; I'm not sure why.
So.........  here is my new list.

#1.  King size quilt which I am hand quilting. I started it in 2001 when I joined the Friendship block swap group and I requested 2 blocks from everyone. The pattern I used was called Quilters Fortune but I don't have it anymore and I don't remember anything else.  This has been on my list forever and I am not optimistic about ever finishing. If you want to know more about this you can read it here.

#2. This triple 4 patch is my second oldest. This is the 3rd triple 4 patch I've made and The Friendship group made some of the blocks for this one too. I  had the blocks for a while before they  became a flimsy in January 2014.
#3.  I acquired this beauty in June 2014. When I admired this Hidden Wells quilt that Lynn made, she gave it to me.  At first, I was reluctant to take it but I really like it and so I thanked her and I accepted it!  

#4. This is the HST quilt I started in February this year. I was waiting for the weather to clear so I could get out to fabric shop for a wedding gift quilt. All the fabrics are from my scrap stash. I thought It was a flimsy but it is not wide enough for the length that it is so I need to make at least another 12 blocks.

#5. is a round robin flimsy about 40 inches square; it has been around for,several years (no photo).

#6 Is the baby quilt I am machine quilting and I am happy to have found a home for it when it is done.

I am not counting the 500 plus HST's that I made from cut away connector corners. I may give up and throw them all away before I get them all pressed and trimmed to size (1.25 inches).

I am not counting my box of odd blocks either.  That is just a collection of leftover blocks from quilts I made or demo blocks that I used for teaching. It is just a collection with no plan at present. It might become a work in progress someday but without a plan it is just a collection.

My "Parts Department" box was not counted either. It is a collection also but I made these blocks with a kind of purpose in mind...... sort of. When the Basement Divas had one of our challenges we had to use elements from a couple of books. One of the books was "Collaborative Quilts" by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran. I made a lot of  blocks using their guidelines for "parts department" blocks to use in either collaborative quilts or improvisational quilts. Since I have no specific plan the box of blocks does not qualify (in my mind) as a WIP.

So... my list is not very impressive and for that I am grateful.
I have a feeling my list may also not be complete, not so grateful for that.

Friday, July 17, 2015


I started quilting the baby quilt but didn't get very far. I quilted in the ditch around the inner border and started quilting the blocks. I am quilting in the ditch around the patches and around the blocks. I am probably going to use the multicolor thread for the sashing as it shows up better than the orange and yellow variegated thread; the yellow kind of fades out.

One reason I don't get much done anymore is that there are too many distractions.

This is what I see when I look up from my computer screen or out the window from my sewing machine. That kind of bare branch is a favorite perching place for the many birds that visit the feeders.

We have 2 feeders on the sheepard's crook outside the living room window and they are like grand central (feeding) station. There is a large variety of birds visiting every day. Right now we have purple finchs and several pairs of cardinals with immature, but almost full size, young ones. They are dominant right now.
We have 2 pair of rose breasted grosbeaks, 5 different different woodpeckers (including pileated woodpeckers) chickadees, juncos, blue jays, robins, an itinerant pair of green herons, yellow finches and the usual sparrows and starlings.The bluejays , robins, and herons don't visit the feeders and the woodpeckers only come in the winter when we put out suet.
There is also an occasional hawk, a fox, one time a bald eagle,  and previous years there were coyotes.

Then we have these pests, there are usually 4 of these young chipmunks feeding on the seed that falls on the ground. We have brown squirrels and red squirrels but they stay away from the feeders since we started using safflower seeds. The chipmunks like the safflower seeds and cleaned out $20 worth in 2 days. We moved the feeder far enough away from the pines so they  can't jump to the feeder and greased the pole. I have to go out after a heavy rain and spray the pole again (I have been using cooking spray) and it does the trick. They just slide right down the pole.

 This is the crab apple tree (maybe a Hawthorn tree) on the other side of the house. It is heavy with fruit this year and it is also a very busy place.  I shot this out the dining room window.

 There are also some other more creepy things around.
Wednesday I planted some flowers in the bed by the patio and then loaded up the wagon to take flowers and tools out to the garden farther from the house. When I started to pull the wagon I notice a movement in the grass; I had to look very carefully to spot the snake but there he was very close to my feet. He was lying very still but his head was sticking up so I could spot him.  My daughter told me she saw a snake in the yard but NOT BY THE PATIO and not in the hostas where I pull weeds.

I got Jack to come outside and move the wagon and while he was pulling it around to the other side of the patio I saw the snake move quickly across the mulch and then I SAW ANOTHER SNAKE move in the same direction. I made Jack come out to the other garden with me and sit there in a chair while I planted the rest of the flowers.

I know they are harmless and I know they would just as soon avoid contact with me;  that doesn't help. I have a thing about snakes that is beyond reason, can't even bring myself to touch picture of a snake. Before yesterday, I had only seen 2 snakes (outside of the zoo or behind glass at the park) in the past 50 years. Believe or not, I never mind seeing them behind glass and actually find them interesting.

Yesterday he started up the tractor with a trailer on the back and took my garden tools and watering cans out to the garden  and stayed with me while I watered the flowers I planted Wednesday I did some weeding. After that we went out to the vegetable garden and he stayed with me while I picked some cucumbers and summer squash.

I might get some more quilting done today but I have to clean up a bit and do some shopping for guests this weekend.
There are certainly a lot of things to keep me from my sewing machine.