Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Sewing

I love it when points match up!  This morning I worked on the Row By Row from Adel, Iowa, which has a cool bicycle applique.  The row is done but I plan to put a wide solid black strip across the top and bottom to make this closer to square. It will make a good wall hanging for someone I know who is into long distance cycling.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Reindeer 60 degree runner

I'm on a roll and another UFO is done.  This 60 degree runner top has been waiting to be quilted since November 2015. That's the good - or bad - thing about blogging. It's my journal and I can always go back and see when I worked on something.
I sandwiched this runner and began to hand quilt it, but then I got distracted and it's just been folded up and waiting, with the needle still in place. Yesterday I sat down and pulled the hand stitching out while visiting with my sister-in-law who had stopped in.  After supper I went into my sewing room and machine quilted this in a very simple manner, and then dug into the stash for a dark red for binding.  I woke up really early this morning so I sewed on that binding and now even the binding is hand stitched down.  This was #9 on my 2017 UFO Challenge list and now I can check it off as done.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Candy Dish is complete

Candy Dish is completely done and another UFO can be checked off the list.  I used a black thread and a decorative stitch on my machine to do some simple outline quilting around all of the solid black pieces.  Nothing fancy, but I like the impact. 

This isn't exactly a summer themed table topper, so it will probably go into the drawer until winter. Or it may go into my "gifting" stash after I've enjoyed it awhile. But for right now it looks pretty good on my little kitchen table.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Unique projects

If you have the opportunity to stop in West Branch, Iowa - make the time to do so.  You can visit the very interesting Herbert Hoover Historical Site, and you can visit the Cotton Creek Mill quilt shop on Main St.  This quilt shop has one of the most unique Row By Row projects that I've seen so far.

One of the ladies there actually hand drew the Cotton Country Express picture and then it was printed onto fabric. This year's picture is actually 3rd in the series and the designs use the same color palette and layout, and they had all 3 hanging together in the shop.  If you look closely you'll see that the blocks on each end of the row appear in the picture too.  See that "barn quilt" on the side of the depot?
The block itself is a classic one and looks wonderful in the navy, red, and yellow.  Those colors are also very prominent in the picture.   
My row is all done and ready to quilt.  It think it will look nice on the wall of my sewing room above my cutting table.  I'm thinking about adding another border - maybe red or blue - and trimming that white one to be narrow.  We'll see. Sometimes you just have to live with a project for awhile to figure out just how to finish it.   

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Random sewing

If you want some quick and easy, mindless sewing - make a 60 degree table runner.  I'm addicted to these and can't resist a cute border fabric when I see it.  This summer cocktail fabric found me on my recent road trip.  It waved and called my name, until I pulled that fabric bolt from the shelf.  I think this one will be cute out on the deck table.
You can make these as long or short as you like.  And you can make them as wide as you want, as long as the cuts you make are 60 degrees.  Right now I have 2 of these runners made and they need quilting.  And there is plenty of the fabric left so I may make more kitchen towels with this added as trim.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Design Wall Monday - Candy Dish

This little 18" square UFO is a kit I bought 4 years ago on a guild bus trip to Minnesota shops.  It's done in just 3 fabrics with a black and cream colorway rather than the scrappy look on the pattern photo.  Candy Dish was the name on the pattern and I have to say that the instructions were a bit frustrating to follow.  The pattern was all single spaced and too "wordy".  The shop had also included a "copy" of the original instructions with things crossed out and hand written notes added to address this layout. I understand wanting to make it all fit on 1 sheet of paper, but it was too cluttered to make sense.  And they had crossed out pieces that I did end up cutting and using. 
But it's done and sandwiched, ready to quilt. I'm going to do it myself with black thread.  We'll see how that goes.  I really like the way it looks.
Check out Design Wall Monday to see what other quilters are working on at

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Road trip rewards

My bribe for spending 5 days (and 1400 miles) in the car with my husband on a business road trip was the promise to stop in some quilt shops and to play some golf.  We went across northern Iowa and all the way to Madison, Wisconsin on Monday with 1 client stop in north central Iowa.  We spent 12 hours on the road that day!  A nearly full day in Madison was followed by driving all the way to Iowa City just in time to be in a tornado warning. 
Before leaving I explored the Row By Row Experience website to see what shops we would be close to and chose a few that looked interesting. I love the fact that they organize them by state and give you a map, plus a printable list of addresses with pictures of their rows and license plates.  
I think my favorite license plate from the 5 shops I visited is Wine & Bind from Cotton Creek Mill in West Branch, Iowa.  Their row might be my favorite too - something I'll share another day.  And the Herbert Hoover Historical Site is a block away, so we spent a whole morning in that lovely little town.
Our first stop on this road trip was the Old Alley quilt shop in Sherburn, MN - right along I-90.  It's a shop I love to stop in whenever I travel that way.  It's in an old bowling alley and they have lots of wonderful samples displayed.  From there we zig zagged south into Iowa for a client visit.
The Quiltmaker's Shoppe in Manchester, Iowa (just west of Dubuque) was a fun stop late Tuesday afternoon.  The Main Street in that little town was full of beautiful old architecture.  Wednesday was our day to do whatever so we played some golf and went to the Amana Colonies.  Heritage Designs at the Amana Colonies used German on their license plate, which translates as Going & Sewing. 
Thursday morning was the West Branch morning, plus my husband spent 3 hours on a conference call while we traveled and I stopped in 2 shops (West Branch and Adel). The tiny little shop in Adel, Iowa was well worth the stop. It's in a small Victorian house on a side street just off Main. She had a lovely pattern named after the very unique local courthouse, and of course I had to buy it.  Then we had to go see that courthouse which was built to resemble a French castle.

When I visit quilt shops away from home I try to buy things that I haven't seen locally.  This bag of darling clothes pins from Moda was an item that I hadn't seen before.  It contains about a dozen and they will be perfect for clipping together sets of block pieces.  I picked up 1 set for myself, and 2 more sets as prizes for our guild bus trip.

I bought a little yardage on sale, 3 fat quarters, the courthouse pattern, a "quilt-y" magnet, a laser cut applique, and actually bought 4 of the 5 Row By Row kits that I saw.  The Old Alley shop also had a pattern for a small wall hanging using their license plate. I couldn't resist.

Now the worst part of coming home after a trip - unpacking, putting things away, and doing laundry.  I started with the stinky golf clothes in the laundry bag.  Both times we played were miserable hot and humid days.  And since this whole weekend is supposed to be around 100 degrees I may not leave the house other than to buy some groceries - while my crazy husband plays in a 2-day golf tournament. My sewing room beckons.