Sunday, April 30, 2017

Farm Girl Vintage

My photos are a bit blurry and the light sure reflects the grey, damp day. But I've been playing with the arrangement for my FGV blocks. The blocks will be separated by white sashing and colorful cornerstones.  Since my husband has already left for the airport and a business trip, no one will mind if I leave these blocks laying on the family room floor while I decide if the colors are evenly distributed. My "design floor". 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Assembling Farm Girl Vintage

This barn and silo block is going to be the centerpiece of my Farm Girl Vintage. The pattern was for a 14.5" block (unfinished) but I need it to be 13.5" square instead because it will be framed on each side by 2 of the 6.5" blocks plus sashing with cornerstones. I had to do a little redesign to make this block work.
There are 52 of the little blocks, including the one I put in this barn block. So my next step is to lay them out and see just how many I want to use. Who knows - maybe I'll have to make additional ones. The sashing is white and I'm using up scraps from my 30s prints to make the cornerstones. Once I get this center section all assembled, then I'll decide if I want to do the prairie points and wide outer border like the book shows.
And I'll still have 52 of the big blocks to use for something else. Probably 2 something elses.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

Cranberry Chutney is done!

I'm not totally happy with the quilting I did on this, but it's done.  Each of the white squares got 4 loops, kind of like a flower. Then I just did some straight line quilting through the red triangles, and stitch-in-the-ditch on both side of the narrow red inner border. I struggle a bit with stitching in the ditch, especially when any errant stitch shows up on a dark fabric like this red.
So I have finished 4 of the Kim Diehl projects from this sessions classes and have 2 left to do.  The new session starts in June. Will I be caught up by then? Your guess is as good as mine.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ready for quilting

Cranberry Chutney (by Kim Diehl) is all pieced, and sandwiched for quilting.  I love this top but have no ideas yet for HOW I want to quilt this. I think those 4 small cream squares in the center need something special.  So for now it's laid out over my coffee table and I'm "living" with it for a day or so while I play with ideas in my head.
Any ideas for me?  I'm open to suggestions.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Two borders left

I had this morning off so I worked on Cranberry Chutney (a Kim Diehl pattern) and managed to finish the center, add the solid inner borders, and add the top and bottom pieced borders. So I have just the 2 side pieced borders left to make. There are still 2 strip sets to sew together, and then the 14 blocks to make.
Check Design Wall Monday to see what others are working on today.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Harvest Bounty 60 degree runner

This is the 60 degree table runner on which I picked out all of the original attempt at quilting. My attempt at stippling was pitiful - jagged with a variety ot stitch lengths. So I had set it aside and it became a UFO.  Fast forward to this week - and I ended up putting a simple diagonal straight line quilting on this, and then bound it. So it is finished and I'm counting this as my #12 UFO for the All People Quilt UFO Challenge. The item that was originally my #12 is off the list and this is replacing it.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Spotlight is finished

I finally have an April finish, and it's this panel with some pieced borders added.  I used a pattern called Spotlight II, and I like the multi-colored squares in the border. I may try a similar one but use pinwheels in the border. I have more panels to play with. 

This is a nice size for using on the sofa, or it would be a good size for a child. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

One row at a time

This is turning into a slow project, which is silly considering how small it is. The center section of this little quilt is only about 18" square.  I got another row on it yesterday, plus I added the top border strip on and it seemed to help the rows lay flat.  So now I have 1 more row and the other 3 side borders to put on.  Then there is an outer pieced border.  Maybe this afternoon I'll get some more done on this.
I worked most of the day yesterday at my 2 part time jobs, but then spent more time picking out quilting stitches on that table runner I showed. I can only do that in daylight - sitting by the window due to my poor eyesight close up. The good news is that my appointment for new glasses is May 8.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

UFO - lost and found

While cleaning up a shelf in my sewing room yesterday, I discovered this UFO table runner that I had forgotten about. The reason this one is a UFO is because I tried to quilt this myself a couple of years ago using a meander or stipple. I stopped after finishing about 1/3 of it and set it aside - because it looked terrible.  The stitches very in length, there are skipped stitches, and jagged lines where there should be smooth curves. It's awful and it would never satisfy me.
It may take me a few days of picking, but this quilting is being removed. Once removed I will do something much more simple and take my time so that the quality of my stitching is better. Since I didn't work at all on the UFO originally selected for April, this one is going take it's place.  And whatever I do with it will be an improvement.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Not much to report

I just haven't spent much time in my sewing room lately. I did get 1 more center block and 3 border blocks made for Cranberry Chutney by Kim Diehl. And I've been working a little on a quilt binding. But it's a cool, rainy day today - just perfect for some sewing time. And I will have most of the afternoon free to sew. 
We really need the rain, so no complaints on the weather. It's been raining, not drizzling, for most of the morning, so hopefully we'll see at least a half inch or more. That will keep those leaves popping out. Maybe this weekend I'll make a visit to the local greenhouse and do a bit of browsing.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Simple Whatknots - Cranberry Chutney


The cutting is all done for a new Kim Diehl Simple Whatknots project.  This one is called Cranberry Chutney and is done with just 2 fabrics/colors. I really love a red and white quilt so I'm excited to get this one done.  I made one of the center blocks. These finish at 6.5" square and the other 8 are ready to sew, hopefully later today.
Our group met for lunch last Saturday and several of the gals talked about the outer border blocks not fitting properly on this one. Most ended up adjusting the width of the border separating the border blocks from the center blocks so they would fit, which turned out OK.  They mostly used the template in the pattern and complained that their blocks finished 1/4" too small.  So I decided to try using my Companion Angle ruler instead and tested it on some scraps.  With the ruler my test block came out to a perfect 4.5" square.  So I know that's the technique I'll use for making the real blocks.  

The Companion Angle ruler is perfect for cutting hourglass block pieces from strip sets, and the Easy Angle ruler that goes with it is perfect for cutting HST from strip sets. Notice the flat spot at the tip? That lines up with the edge of the fabric.  I use them quite often. There are a couple of different "brands" of these rulers made by different designers.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Saturday Sampler Mystery

The new Saturday Sampler is a mystery quilt and only the yardage and numbers of fabrics were provided, so everyone will choose their own fabrics.  We did learn which of the 6 fabrics will touch or are in all blocks, and which is the background.  

The first clue gave us cutting instructions for all 6 fabrics and it was suggested that we put them into marked sandwich bags to keep them organized. My cutting is done and everything is in its little bag.  

The cutting went pretty well now that I have 2 "new eyes".  My second cataract surgery was yesterday morning, and it all went very well,  Can't wait to get new glasses for close work sometime in mid May.  Until then my old glasses work for short periods of time.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday stash report

I've only done a couple of stash reports this year but I have been keeping track in a spreadsheet just like I've done the past couple of years.  I just don't remember to post it. And since my blog is really here as my journal, I want to keep track of this.  Then looking back at my earlier posts I realized that I had my numbers reversed anyway. 

So as of this Sunday, April 9, I'm correcting those numbers.  I've made some purchases this month but I've also had quite a few finishes, so it's looking good so far.  I made 9 pillowcases this week, so that almost erases the 11.5 yards I've purchased so far this month. 

     In this month:  11.5 yards
     In this year:  30 yards

     Out this month: 16.5 yards
     Out this year:  57 yards - which puts me way ahead of my stash so far!

So - I've been doing a pretty good job of holding my purchases to MOSTLY things needed to finish a project. I promised myself that I would try really hard to stick to "practical" purchases. So far that has included backings for several finished tops, and backgrounds or other fabrics needed to finish a top.

Besides - in August our guild bus trip is headed to Missouri Star Quilt Company, and the whole idea behind these trips is to buy fabric, right?  And like most of my guild friends, I still have purchases from previous trips sitting in my stash . . . waiting.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Guild activities to support the community

The Heartland Quilt Guild recently hosted a table at the Mitchell Area Safe House salad luncheon fundraiser.  And we donated a quilt for the silent auction.  This is an annual event and the ladies in the community go all out to decorate the tables with various themes. There were loads of flowers and spring themes this year, and the tables were gorgeous as always. And the salads were delicious, as always. The guild table was decorated by a couple of the gals, using some cute mini quilts, tiny lights, fat quarters folded for placemats, lace, and a lovely set of dishes.

The main fund raising parts of this event are the prizes. Attendees buy lots of raffle tickets to win some pretty amazing prize baskets donated mostly by local businesses. And they usually have a couple of larger silent auction items as well.  This year there was a gorgeous set of dishes, along with a table cloth, etc on the silent auction.  And there was the quilt our guild donated which I've been told raised over $400. 

It's a fun event with an important purpose in helping make life safer for women and children in abusive situations.  Our guild members are proud to be a part of this activity.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday thoughts

We all most likely have various spots in our home where we display items that are special to us.  Some of us have quite a few such locations. There is a wrought iron baker's rack in my kitchen where I keep lots of kitchen items. On the bottom is a wine rack, with a shelf above that holding cookbooks.

Then there are the 3 shelves where I display some favorite things. There is a china pitcher that I believe is an antique. It belonged to my mother and always sat in her kitchen. Right now my grandmother's recipe box sits next to it. And they both sit on a small runner that I change out seasonally - and that I made.  

Above that is a basket full of cookbooks and recipes. The white embroidered napkin was a gift from my favorite cousin. And sitting on that is a birthday gift from my friend Marilyn. It's a spool of garden twine, with a big twine cutting scissors and she added the daisies and butterfly. It's so springy and cheerful looking sitting there. On top is a small print of a painting done by my cousin's husband, an artist.  

These are all things that make me happy when I walk into my kitchen every day. 

5 more pillowcases

The top 2 pillowcases are already tucked into the gift bags for the birthday kiddos for Monday. My twin grandchildren will be 4 that day and we'll stop in to celebrate briefly - after my second cataract surgery.  I love, love, love the Hello World fabric on the left one. It has these adorable animals sitting on and near the continents where they live.  And the Spider-Man one speaks for itself for a little boy who loves superheroes.
The bottom 3 pillowcases are gifts for some other kiddos.  I switched up the cuffs and accent strips on these, using a black cuff for a boy on the map version with the purple just as an accent. And with the other Hello World fabric (grey with zoo animals) I did orange and black - also switched.  The 2 darker cuffed pillowcases will go to Virginia with me in May hopefully, when I visit some family. The orange one is destined for my other granddaughter as a belated birthday pillowcase since I didn't get one made for her in March. She loves animals so I think she'll like the one with the orange cuff.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Odds 'n Ends

Have you noticed lately how cute some of the selvages are?  I save them and use them periodically in projects, and I have some really fun ones from fabrics I've purchased in the last year.  This was the selvage from the 2 new Moda fabrics I bought in Minneapolis last week to use for pillowcases. Hello World - such a cute name for the fabric line, and just look at those cute little Africa shapes lined up in the selvage.  Love them!

Before starting these pillowcases I decided I needed to clean under and around the bobbin case in my machine.  I try to do this at least once a month.  A little brush came with my machine, but I've been using the miniature "toilet brush" that I made in my Sew Vintage group.  This was a fun project one month - using simple drinking straws and pipe cleaners. We had the narrow straws like you might get with an adult beverage, and bright colored pipe cleaners.  Simply cut the straw in half, and tuck the ends of pipe cleaner into one end. We had short lengths of pipe cleaners too, maybe 4".  These work like a charm to pull out the dust bunnies from those tight spaces.  I have 6 of them in my drawer.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lots more pillowcases

This week I've made 4 pillowcases from stash for donations.  (bottom photo)  And I've prepped 5 more pillowcases from newly purchased fabrics as gifts for some kiddos in the family.  While in Minneapolis last week I bought fabric for 4 of these new pillowcases that came from a line of fabric with zoo animals and a world atlas.  And I had picked up a Spider-Man print last spring, so that will be the 5th one, which isn't in the picture. 

I'm hoping that I'll get these sewn tomorrow because I'll need a couple of these by Monday to include in some birthday gifts.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

UFO Challenge & April goals

The UFO number drawn (All People Quilt UFO Challenge) was #11. And my #11 is counted cross stitch.  I'm not very confident this one will even be worked on this month due to my eye situation.

My first cataract was removed on March 30 and the second one will be done April 10. And I must admit that I'm still struggling with seeing well enough for close up work. I expected that however so it's OK because I know it's temporary.  I've tried 2 different pair of drugstore "reading" glasses, and have finally gone back to using my old glasses just when I need to see something close up - like the spreadsheets I use for work. Officially - I've become the goofy old lady with her glasses on a chain around her neck. But it works for now.

UFO/WIP Project
Status Before
Status After
Valentine Bench Pillow
Needs blanket stitching around applique, then sandwich, quilt, and add envelope backing
4 Seasons Cats
Finish hand quilting, bind
ABC kid quilt
Machine quilt, bind
House Warming Party
Finish blocks
Circa 2016
Finish making blocks
Easter Sunrise runners (2)
Applique, quilt, bind
DONE in January!
Batik Stars Saturday Sampler
Finish blocks
2016 2015 Saturday Sampler
Finish blocks, need to cut out setting pieces Quilt and bind
DONE in February!
Reindeer 60-degree runner
Quilt and bind
2015 Friendship Exchange
Blocks are made, need to determine a layout
Beach cross-stitch piece
About half stitched only
RSC16 Crown of Thorns
12+ blocks finished, need to determine layout
DONE in March!

Since I'm not likely to be doing any counted cross stitch or any tiny blocks, I've set some very modest goals for April.
  • Bind the Spotlight II panel quilt  (a UFO not on my original list)
  • complete 1st step for new Saturday Sampler
  • put together my 6" Farm Girl Vintage quilt top

Monday, April 3, 2017

First finish of April

My regular readers know that I love bright colors. They make me happy. This photo shows the colors very accurately.  Yellow isn't usually one of those colors that I tend to use - for anything. But in this case I decided that yellow was the best option for my background and I liked it so well that I bought more for the backing of this table runner.
The backing is the same vibrant yellow but in order to show off the delightful quilting, the faded light works better.  The thread is a variegated in the same yellow, red, green colors.  And I love the stitching design.
This is the Bread and Butter table runner by Deb Tucker.  Very easy project with good instructions. It was fun to see a few others at guild on Saturday, as I had to leave early the day we did the class. So many totally different looks, but all of the runners were beautiful.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Machine quilting

My husband picked up 2 small items from the long arm quilter last week for me, and I'm hoping to get some binding sewn on later today. These bindings don't involve any cutting because they are ready to sew, and that is probably good since my eye sight isn't quite ready for accurate cutting.

Isn't the quilting beautiful on these? The table runner on the left has bright variegated thread to go with the yellow, lime, royal blue, and red fabrics. There is kind of a "feathered" design with leaves in it.  And the quilt has a swirl done in black thread, which is appropriate for the combination of bright colors and black borders.  Love them both!  Thanks Bonnie! A great job as always.