Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Slowly binding

I was hoping to have my Allietare quilt completely done in August, but alas . . . It's not to be. I'm kind of slow at hand stitching the binding. Just turned the corner after finishing side 1.  

Hand work in the evenings while watching TV is pretty typical for me. But this week I keep getting distracted by some good reading. So I'm sure this will take a while to finish. But it's exciting to be this close to done.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A 3 hour quilt

Monday morning I was sitting on my porch, sipping coffee and reading some blogs . . . And was hit upside the head with inspiration. The Justquiltin blog often shows some layout ideas she has designed in EQ. In this case her layout was using rectangular sections from a Dr Seuss panel and I realized that I had a panel with the same shapes.

My panel is called The Cat's Meow and I have no idea when or where I bought it. But I love the colors and the whimsical kitty cats.  So I pulled the panel out of the stash and kept digging until I found some good coordinating colors to go along.  All from my stash - a little over 2 yards worth, counting the panel and the binding.  I just barely had enough of the blue and only threw away a 1/4" strip trimmed away.

Here is my finished quilt top following her design - completed cutting and sewing in 3 hours. Thanks for the inspiration Denise!!  Now - do I have anything in my stash that would work for backing?

Monday, August 29, 2016

Unique packaging

Last week I rode along with my husband Thursday and Friday while he made a couple of client visits in eastern Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin. On Friday afternoon we headed back toward home, but taking a more scenic route instead of speeding along the interstate. 
And he humored me and let me stop in Reedsburg, WI at Quintessential Quilts. Their Row By Row design this year has the most unique packaging. The "house" print is folded in a rectangle with the colors all folded like a rainbow in a triangle. What it really looks like is the funny paper hats we folded as kids. Very cute - and the row is so bright and cheerful, claiming "all roads point toward home".

We drove through Wildcat State Park and through Amish country that afternoon too. A beautiful drive.  We saw lots of barn quilts - those big painted ones.  Friday night we stayed in Onalaska, Wisconsin and I visited Olive Juice Quilts on Saturday morning. Then along I-90 in Minnesota we stopped at the Calico Hutch in Hayward.  What a better way to break up a 7 hour drive then stopping at quilt shops - for me that is. Boring for him! I picked up the Row By Row patterns plus a few other goodies at each shop. 

The green fabric is from the Wisconsin Shop Hop and is destined to go to my guild sisters in 6" squares. The ladies at Quintessential Quilts helped me pick that one out, along with an interesting green/blue/yellow print that made me think of the sun coming through the pine trees.   

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Status of the stash for August

August was a pretty productive month, even though it didn't involve a lot of big finishes. However I did make lots of progress on a couple of large projects plus some smaller on-going projects, and that's a really good thing.

I finished this pillowcase and a green Sew Along bag (see post here).  But there are now 2 large quilts ready to bind and that yardage will be reported once I put in the last stitch in each of them.  I made a couple of purchases - some background and a 30s fat quarter bundle to put more variety into my Farm Girl Vintage blocks.  And 2 small kits for 5 minute table runners. So my purchases have been mostly practical again this month.

In this month: 8.5 yds
In this year: 91.25 yds
Out this month: 2yds
Out this year: 100.5 yds

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pinwheels made easy

I'm using a technique to make pinwheels that I've seen online several times now, and I have to say it is so easy and a big time saver.  You start with 2 squares - any size you want as long as they are the same.
I'm using a charm pack from my stash called Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis (Robert Kaufman) that I bought sometime during the past year. Maybe on the guild bus trip last fall? And I cut 5" squares from a dotted black and white to pair up with the charms.

Place the squares right sides together and sew a quarter inch seam all the way around the 4 sides.

Press and then cut diagonally from corner to corner - twice.

Press the pinwheel sections open and trim off the dog ears. I pressed toward the darks on all of them.

Arrange into a pinwheel and stich the sections together.  I pressed the center as a "swirl" so that it lays flat, but forgot to photograph it. 
This technique works for ANY size starting squares so you can make big pinwheels or little pinwheels. These started with 5" charms and ended as a 6" pinwheel. And it saves a ton of "squaring up" after sewing lots of half square triangles from squares.
Since I am not following a specific layout for these pinwheels and the don't have to fit into a certain size spot in a quilt I didn't care what size they ended up, as long as they are all the same. I'll still use the HST technique when it gives me more accuracy for a specific pattern. But it's sure nice to learn another way of doing something.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hand stitching for a road trip

This is the last floral applique block I need to finish my Saturday Sampler from 2015. These are fused and then I'm blanket stitching around the pieces by hand. Lot's of fussy stitching around those little circles, but the end result will be worth it. 

I plan to take this along on a little road trip with my husband. He has a couple of client meetings out of state, and I'm going to ride along since I have a few days off. Some people tell me they can't read or stitch in a moving car, but it doesn't bother me. And since he isn't one to chit chat while driving, I need something to keep me busy on a 7 hour drive each way.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Quilting loot

Look at my loot - lots of Row By Row license plates. My sister-in-law Kathy did a bit of traveling recently with her grandson who was competing in some trap shooting competitions across Nebraska. And my friend Pam brought me a plate from Nebraska too.  Not shown in the photo are the RbR patterns Kathy collected with the plates. And she even brought me a pin from one of the shops, which is now attached to my guild name tag.

My Happy Place - isn't that a fun one? But my favorite one out of this group is Eat Pray Quilt from an Omaha shop. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Allietare is ready to bind

Allietare is all quilted (with my credit card) and ready to bind.  Bonnie at The Pin Cushion did a lovely job with the quilting as always. I have the morning off work so will hopefully get it all trimmed and the binding sewn on. Then the hand stitching will begin.

This quilt is Bonnie Hunter's most recent mystery quilt, begun last November. By the time I finished the top I was thinking that I didn't like it very well. But now that it's quilted my attitude has changed. I do like it. Isn't it kind of amazing how the quilting can change the whole look of a quilt? Anyway - now I'm thinking it's lovely. Maybe it will even go on my bed once the binding is done. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Butter Churn

I had to do it - I just had to work on one more Farm Girl Vintage block before the week ends. This one is called Butter Churn and I just love this block. 

My only other Sunday sewing involved using the embroidery unit on my machine to stitch a name onto a beach towel for a friend whose granddaughter is starting kindergarten next week. She needed a beach towel for "nap" time and it needed her name on it. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

More Farm Girl Vintage FUN

Blueberry pie anyone?  This darling slice of pie block is a companion to the book. Downloads can be purchased at Fat Quarter Shop. 

Cool Threads is from the book and I chose some ginghams to make the spools. Just a couple more blocks and I will be caught up again. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Saturday Sampler - Lyra block

The Saturday Sampler block was really an easy one this month. Love it and just may have to make this one again.  And this fabric (an over-dyed muslin) is so nice to sew.  Every month I look at the block and think "not my color wheel", but since we already have seen the finished product I'm confident that I'll like it.  And all of the blocks together look so much more interesting than the individual ones do.  We had a choice of cream or navy background and I will admit I'm second guessing my choice of cream. The navy one is much more dramatic looking.

The bonus block this month was to be done in Kaffe Fassett and/or modern prints. I didn't have a lot to choose from in my stash. But I did find the Kaffe with the crazy circles. Hoping the rest appear modern enough.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Farm Girl Vintage

After working this morning, I had the afternoon to play in my sewing room. So much fun!

I pulled out the Farm Girl Vintage book and cut the pieces for 2 blocks: Old Red Barn and Furrows. This barn block is just too cute.

With the whole afternoon available I also made my Saturday Sampler blocks. Those may be another post.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Still playing catch-up

After a morning round of golf and lunch with 2 former coworkers, I actually worked at my new job for a couple of hours. And then I headed for my sewing machine.  I made a new Circa 2016 block (gold and red pinwheel) and threw away the wonky one.  Then I made the 3 hourglass blocks for the same quilt. There are 4 more block patterns that I haven't made and a new one will come out on Friday. 

And I made a light purple Crown of Thorns block (16") for my RSC16 challenge. I still need a light pink one and then I'll be caught up with these.

Last but not least I cut and pinned another pillowcase from the stash. Hope to get that sewn tomorrow after work.

And now I'm headed over to the local hospital to meet the newest addition to the extended family. My niece just had a new baby boy and I just have to go and snuggle that baby.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lessons in accuracy

Yes - the top block is really as wonky as the photo appears! This is a lesson in cutting accuracy and piecing accuracy.
I could see that a couple of my pieces were cut just a tiny bit crooked, but decided - I'm an experienced quilter. I'll just make adjustments as I sew. LOL  As I sewed the tiny crooked cuts were amplified into much BIGGER crooked sections. And since these blocks are only 3" square (finished), the end result is pretty bad.  Let this be a lesson to me! I should pin it to my bulletin board as a reminder to be accurate.
The green block actually is accurately square but just lying funny in the picture.  But that top square is going to be replaced. Seems to me that this week hasn't been a good one for 3" squares. Must be time to work on something bigger for a while.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Catching up

Just a few of the 3" blocks I made yesterday in an effort to catch up on the Temecula Circa 2016 project.  I'm not completely caught up yet but am getting closer and am hoping that I'll be caught up by the end of the week. 
Since these are so small it is sometimes a challenge to get them to lay flat. Pressing a lot of the seams open has helped. But I also have started using Best Press on them too and that really made a difference in how nicely they lay.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It is fixed

I was up early this morning and one of the first things on my agenda was fixing the cock-eyed block in my quilt. 

I sat down with my coffee and started opening up some seams. The section was removed before anyone else was even awake.  

Now it is replaced correctly and the binding is even cut. And I have taken a 3 mike walk - somewhat under protest because I had to leave my sewing room. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

To fix or not to fix

Can you see the 3 little HST blocks that are turned the wrong direction?  Out of more than 2,000 pieces in this quilt I turned 3 little (under 2") half square triangles.  DRAT, DRAT, DRAT.

This quilt top was DONE! And then last night I noticed this little mistake near the middle of this 80+ inch quilt. I know that many will say to leave it alone as my "humility" squares. But it is already wearing on me, so I might as well open up a few seams and fix it. DRAT!!!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Allietare is ready to quilt

I had a couple of hours off work this morning and used it to put those borders onto Allietare. I declare this one a finished top and I can't tell you how good it feels!  Yay!! 
My plan is to find a backing tomorrow and my local quilt shop and leave it to be quilted. I had forced myself to finish this and not work on anything else until it was done. So now I can get caught up on Farm Girl Vintage and the Temecula Circa 2016 blocks during the next week.
And I need to choose another UFO to tackle now that this one is ready to quilt. And the big question in my mind is which one is calling the loudest.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Allietare - ready for borders

After trimming the cream points off the setting triangle units, I can finally add the 2 borders to this quilt. There is a narrow gold one and then a 5" black border.  Maybe the black border will push this quilt away from the Christmas-y look it has by pulling the eye to the black in the blocks instead of the green.

Probably no sewing today as I have to work this morning and then take my grandson to his last golf lesson this afternoon. Maybe I can get those border strips added Friday afternoon when I get some time off again. I will be so glad to have this one done - too many (over 2000) small pieces and not happy with my color choices.  Maybe I'll love it more after it's quilted and bound. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


I am down to the last 3 blocks for Allietare. And the borders are cut and ready to go too. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Design Wall Monday - Allietare

On my design wall this week is Allietare - the latest Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. This was started about December 1, 2015 and I'm still chugging along. But I'm getting closer to having a finished top.

I have 8 of the red/yellow/black blocks left to make, 1 of the red/green/black blocks, and several setting triangle sections left to do. The blocks set on point and the top goes together in diagonal rows. I just have to add about 3 rows to finish the pieced sections. Then I can decide what size borders I want to use and what color. 

This has been easy to set aside because I haven't liked it very well. I switched out the green for her original grey, which makes it look like of Christmas-y.  It's OK, but not one of my favorites. I've sure seen some beautiful ones shared online however, but using her original color schemes and some other totally unique color schemes.  And there are a BAZILLION small pieces in this huge quilt. Some just made a smaller version.  Lesson learned.

Check out the other Monday Design Walls at

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A finished bag

Now there are 3 finished bags. And 2 sets of zippers left.  But I need to rethink my original fabric choices. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

A step closer to done

Only the handwork is left on this bag and I hope to finish it today while babysitting a couple of grand kids. This is the only sewing this week.