Monday, April 30, 2012


 Once upon a time, long, long ago, I took a personality profile test and one of the multiple choice statements that kept popping up was "I like to keep my desk neat and orderly." I chose that one every time because the alternate statement was something like "I like to gossip about my friends"  or "I like to find out things people don't want known" or things like those statements. Well, who would admit to that, even if it was true, (which of course it was not).  Besides that, I didn't have a desk at the time and I was quite sure if I did it would be neat and orderly. Now that I have a desk it is only neat and orderly when I have to clean it up in order to find something or because the great grand kids are coming and I have to put everything away or because I am having company that I want to impress.

Yes! It's a glass.

The moral of this story is that if you always have a neat and orderly desk you don't find little surprises and unexpected inspiration. 
It's a glass and a coffee can pencil  holder and a plastic bag and a rolled up piece of freezer paper and some fabric scraps.
This little mess on my desk might show up as a quilt.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

From another angle.

Here is another shot of the puzzle from yesterday. I was sitting at my desk loading photos from my memory card when I noticed the first image on my camera screen. I had taken the card out and left the camera on.
Can you guess now what it is?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Place mats

I finished the 4 place mats from Cary Flanagan's "Take Four" pattern. I should say I finished piecing the front of the place mats. It only took a little over an hour and I am amazed that I did not get even one thing mixed up and no seam ripping. It is a neat pattern with easy to follow  instructions. I bought my pattern and bundle of Moda FQ's at  Cotton Pickers quilt shop  There were kits made up for the place mats but the colors were not what I was looking for this time.

I played with the pattern a little in EQ and I think I might make this version for another set. I have some fabric to make place mats for another granddaughter. She wants 6 place mats so I could make 2 sets of 3 since this only has 3 fabrics. I can see myself getting the shuffle  mixed up but I will figure it out. (I hope)

Here is a puzzle! What is this? I think it is an inspiration for a quilt. What do you think?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It was one of those days when I thought I had nothing going on; for a nothing going on day it sure sped by fast.

After a few phone calls this morning I played a bit with Bonnie Hunter's tutorial on Spider Web blocks and got as far as making the template for the kite shaped patches and cut some foundations papers. That was as far as I got before we went to the Y. After the Y, since we had nothing to do, we stopped by the arboretum just in case something new was blooming. Then we took a little detour and ended up near one of our local quilt shops. I said if I had my purse I could stop so Jack gave me his Visa card. He said of it is not OK to sign my name come and get me from the coffee shop. (I signed his name).
This is what I came home with. I don't often buy patterns because I always either don't use them at all or I change them. I am going to make this set of place mats according to the pattern. I don't have time to fuss around figuring out measurements etc. These will be for my granddaughter. She moved into an apartment just across the street from us and she said last night that our apartment was so cosy unlike hers. She doesn't have much except furniture and window coverings and she said it doesn't feel like her own place. I thought these would be quick and easy and nice and bright. I haven't  decided which of the five fabrics I will omit as the pattern only uses 4.

This is what I did after dinner today. It is one Spider Web block. These are the same scraps I had out a few weeks ago when I made some blocks for the Converging Corners quilt. I made just as big a mess today as I did then. I am just going to have to get over worrying about the mess I make.  I really don't have time to be  playing with this now but I can justify it because there are circles (of sorts) when they are set block to block. I guess one circle is never enough. I do have some other things I need to get done  so I  am going to make one block every other day. They are 10 inch blocks and I think I have enough of the yellow "kite" fabric for 12 to 16 blocks. There is no hurry to finish this. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Another background audition

I thought I would get something darker like dark blue/navy batik with some hint of green and/or purple. The more I looked at the dark blue that I have in my stash and the dark, almost black, mottled green the more I leaned toward  my original choice but I wasn't convinced that was right either. I really want lighter hues lately.

I decided that a trip to the quilt shop would help. This is what I came home with.
Big surprise, I like it. the yellow brings out the yellow in the small patches and the batik in the large wedges. It creates a glow, kind of like a fiery sunset. I am going to hang it on my design wall and leave it there for a while as I turn my mind to other things. I am going to clean up my room and make my Friendship blocks for this month and start putting the sections of the T shirt quilt together. That should give me enough time to look at it and decide if it really is what I want. I haven't changed my mind about fabric choices so many times since I was zoned in on color wash.

I am sitting here looking out my window as the sky turns pink and gold and it dawned on me that I have been watching the sunsets from my window lately and I really do believe we are influenced by what we consistently see around us.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Basement Divas

We met yesterday to play with the circle theme. There were 12 of us there and as usual we had a good time and a great lunch. We have been talking for a while of setting up a blog as a means to stay in touch between meetings and when we miss meeting. Yesterday we finally all sat down in one place after lunch and talked it. We are very loosely organized, more like not organized and we are usually all  talking about different things. But Lori got us all together and we decided to go ahead and do it.We tossed around some ideas and  decided on a name, Basement Divas. We chose that because the basement part was obvious as we have always met in a basement and Divas because that was a challenge we had using Lorelei Sewing Diva fabric. We identified with those ladies. So far we have just set up the blog and only one post, mine; hopefully there will be a lot to see soon. Look for us here to see what we are up to.

I took my Rosie circle along yesterday and got some input about the background and the general  opinion was that none of my backgrounds were right. Here it is pinned up on two pieces of fabric that are the colors we all thought looked better than what I had. I can't decide but I do see that I have once again slipped into the color wash mode and  there is not enough contrast between my yellow orange and the pink. It all mooshes together.  I will probably shop tomorrow for either a dark blue or a dark green batik with a little  subtle color to bring out the yellow.

Friday, April 20, 2012


I have a Rosie and much to my amazement it lays nice and flat. I have only finished the construction of the circle and I have to decide what to do with it. Do I want only one or do I want to make more and have a collage?
I am not sure about the background.Here it is laying on two background that were what I had started with.
The 2 photos side by side below are better views of the two backgrounds.

I think this bottom one is the background I am going to use. I have a large piece of this and a large piece of the one in the photo above right so either on would give me more options. The Rosie turned out to be about 20 inches in diameter so I would have to do some creative piecing to use the other greenish print.

I will be working on this tomorrow when our group meets. I have been known to get all excited about something and show up with a finished piece and nothing to work on. I am mending my ways. I will  also ask for opinions about the background.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Our " Sewing in the Basement" is meeting this Saturday and we chose a circle theme last month. I have been thinking about what I want to do and I keep going back to the "Ring Around the Rosie" from Diana Hire's book Quilter's Playtime. A few years back when we first started to meet this was the book we worked our way through. It is a great book with lots of ideas for improvisational designs. By the way the Rosies are shown on the cover of the book.We never got to the "Rosies";  it was one that I wanted to make but never got around to doing it.

I sorted through my batiks this week,  found some that I wanted to work with and went shopping for something to fill in the gaps.
The first photo above shows the fabrics I decided to work with for my first "Rosie". The one on the right also has  the sketch I made way back when we were working through the book. It hung on the bulletin board by my desk until a month or so ago. I am trying to decide whether to piece the circle as in the book or fuse it. I guess I will try fusing the batik and if it holds at all I might do that. It seems like it would be easier but would require more satin stitching over each petal. We'll see! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Done, really....

2012 Quilt Camp Rail Fence 52 x 65

I finished the rest of the grid quilting and I am happy that I added the extra lines. I think that now the quilt looks finished.
I used a variegated yellow, lime and orange Signature cotton thread for the quilting. I sewed the binding to the back,  turned it to the front and stitched it with the # 4 stitch on my Bernina. It adds a little whimsy and makes an easy finish that looks good on both sides.

This is the back of the quilt; the colors show up more like they do in real life. I bought what was left on the bolt of the green and white check, which wasn't enough. I used all the ends of the strip sets and extra strips I had cut to make a strip to widen the back. It took me longer to make the back than it did  the front.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Done! Not done.

Larger Grid

I thought I was finished quilting the Rail Fence sample quilt; I even have the binding finished. I tried to talk myself into thinking it was OK to quilt a grid of wavy lines using the white rectangles as a guide but  it is not enough quilting so I started quilting wavy lines halfway between the lines that are there. 

Smaller Grid

I still have about 14 lines to quilt but I think  it is better . I have always quilted Rail Fence quilts in the ditch  but I wanted to do something  different and I didn't want to meander all over it or do some other all over free motion pattern.  I wanted to do something easy,simple and fast.    This was easy and simple but I am never fast.                                  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I finished a Snails Trail block for our group at church. It only took FOREVER!
I found instructions on line here  and sent the link to the group and said that I would demo the block on Saturday using 4 fabrics. then I went to EQ7 and opened a Snail trail  block and colored it with 4 fabrics and proceeded to cut the fabrics according to the EQ7 measurements and started putting it together and it was going  well until I got some of my sizes of triangles mixed up. I went back to the tutorial on line and OH NO, I am making a different block. the EQ 7 block I was making had one more set of triangles.   
Here are the  two blocks the one on the right would have had 2 more sets of triangles if I hadn't found my mistake. The color isn't quite right here the red is really a hot pink and the blue is a little softer but it is close enough to get an idea of what the  block is like. The block went  together quickly once I cut the triangles to the correct measurement (according to the Sew Quilty tutorial) and sorted them out so I wouldn't mix them up. I was able  to use my "Pineapple Rule" to square up after each round. I love it when I can use a specialty ruler that I already have for something else.

I have finished the top for the quilt camp sample and have to piece the back before I can layer it up. No pics because it is hiding under all of the stuff I dragged out to audition for the Snail's Trail block. I finally found something that seems just right; there were only 2 1/4 yards and I need closer to 3 yards so I will piece a strip of something to make it fit. It will not be a row of Snails Trail blocks. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On my design wall

This is what is on my design wall right now. I made3 all of the strip sets but have not cut all the blocks yet. I wanted to see how it it going to look. I see that I have that last green block on the left side turned the wrong way. That is why I will be sewing them together in sets of four blocks, like this below. I will make 7 sets like the one below and 7 sets with 3 yellow and one orange and 6 sets with 3 orange  and one green. I find I am less likely to turn something the wrong way when I have them in 4 block sets. Making 6 or 7sets all the same makes it easy to spot something wrong as I am sewing them in pairs and then 4's. It is also easy to instruct the kids  when we are doing it this way.
This is all the sewing I am going to get  done before Easter. I am putting everything in my sewing room away including my sewing machine and table and everything  piled around. We usually go to my daughters house for holidays and birthdays etc. but she is working 3-12 hours  shifts this weekend so I said I would have dinner Sunday. I counted up the people who are coming and I am going to need my sewing room for the little ones to keep them out from under foot when they drag out all the playthings. I am going to have to be creative in finding places to stash everything for a few days. Here's hoping I can find it all again.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I finished the quilting on the 4 sections of the T shirt quilt. This is the first (probably the last) T shirt quilt I have made. I am not sure how it is supposed to be quilted but not matter, I never pay a lot of attention to what I am supposed to do. Of course there are always a lot of (I should have........)s. I quilted around the motifs in the T shirts. It is really minimal quilting as I didn't want to quilt all over everything but some of the T shirt squares were too big to leave unquilted. These are 2 of the blocks that show the quilting. Maybe there is too much open space but I think I will leave it. this is not an heirloom quilt and it will never be in a quilt show.

Last night I cut these 2 1/2 inch strips for a rail  fence quilt. It is a sample quilt for Quilt Camp using 3 colors.  the border will  be  Kona Bone like the light strips shown here and the binding will be the striped fabric. I am drawn to citrus colors  right now. Other people are making other versions,one Christmas with red and green, one multicolor and one red and gray (Ohio State) colors.  

We went to the Y today and then went to the arboretum to see what is blooming now. Not too many flowers except for the daffodils. I took some shots of one of my favorite trees.
I love the heart shaped leaves and the foliage is beautiful in the summer and fall.