Sunday, January 29, 2017

All Dressed Up is ready to quilt

This mini is sandwiched and ready to quilt - if only I knew how I wanted to quilt it. It's only about 22" square. I have no idea whether to do some simple machine quilting or do some hand quilting on this. Or what kind of quilting design to use. Any ideas for me?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A little bowtie progress

This might just be my favorite Kim Diehl mini quilt so far. I have my pieced borders done and 7 bowtie blocks made.  These little blocks are just 3" finished but have come together very nicely. Only 22 more itty bitty bowties to go. Maybe tomorrow however, because I'm headed out now to have lunch with a girlfriend and then going to a college basketball doubleheader with my husband this afternoon.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Starting a new Kim Diehl project

Yesterday morning allowed me about an hour and a half of time in my sewing room and I took advantage of it by cutting out the Kim Diehl  Simple What Knots project called All Dressed Up. This was the November project and I hadn't started it yet even though our group meets tomorrow again.  I fell behind didn't I?
We got all of the fabrics for the project all wrapped up with a bow.  Almost too pretty to disturb . . . but I did.  All of my pieces are now cut and ready to sew.  I cut a few extra pairs of the bowtie pieces and will decide which to use as I work with them.  Hoping I get a little bit of sewing time later this afternoon after work. Right now I'm headed to a bid opening. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Saturday Sampler

Block 11 for Saturday Sampler is done and so is the bonus block to enter into the drawing.  One more block to go. This is another block that I might use again sometime. I like the star points on this one and they are made with adding corners to a vertical rectangle. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Farm Girl Vintage

This is Grandma's Quilt Block from the Farm Girl Vintage book.  It's really interesting how different a block can look from the original just by placing colors in different ways.  Because of the similar tone of the blue and the green, that makes the pointed X kind of stand out. That wasn't intentional, but I'm OK with the look.

We were expecting a huge snowstorm to hit during the night, but it didn't start snowing here until about 3:00 this afternoon. Can't say that I'm disappointed however because I wasn't looking forward to shoveling. Guess we'll see if we still get the 6-10" predicted or if most of it will miss us. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Design Wall Monday - Valentine stitching

Just a little peek is all I'm giving you.  This little project is for Valentine's Day and I'm working on the hand quilting.  Hope to have this done today so I can pull out another UFO to start working on tomorrow while it snows. I had promised myself that I would finish this completely before tackling any other projects. And since we're expecting 6-10" of snow in the next 48 hours I need to have something to work on so that I can put off the shoveling as long as possible.
Check out the other Monday Design Walls at

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The ugly duckling

This UFO from 2011 most likely was set aside because I didn't like very much. The blocks are made using the X-block ruler and the design is fine. But the colors - not my cup of tea!  Makes me wonder what made me buy them in the first place.  

The black batik has a rust design with just a touch of green. The green and rust fabrics blend nicely but the combination is just blah - in my opinion.  

However, the zig-zag quilting gives it some much needed class and it's bound and DONE!  This one is lap quilt size, and will be given away most likely. And ironically, I found that the black batik binding was already made and waiting in my binding drawer, all labeled and ready to go. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Stepping into the past

39 years ago in May, I moved into this big old farmhouse as a young wife who had never lived out in the country before.  Both of my daughters were born while living in this house. Lots of good memories even though we only lived there for 10 years. However, this is also the house my husband grew up in, so he has even more memories - of parents, siblings, extended family, dogs, horses and farm kid adventures.
Yesterday afternoon we were driving, and would pass within 2 miles of the farm. Knowing this house is due to be torn down this spring we decided to take a detour.  When we moved off the farm in May 1988, another young family bought it from my mother-in-law. They also raised a family there and just recently their oldest son's family had moved into this house. But it's old and in tough shape, so they just finished building a new house across the road and will tear this one down.
My in-laws bought this half section of land with buildings in 1951. Over the years, other smaller pieces of land were added.  Cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, hay, and typical feed crops were the business of this place. They farmed until 1976 when my father-in-law passed away suddenly right after Christmas.  My brother-in-law kept things going until April 1978 when we moved back from Iowa where we were living and working at the time.  We kept a couple of horses, the cattle and sheep, along with hay and crops.  We farmed until May 1988 when we sent our cattle to a neighbor to keep "on shares", and moved the 3 miles into town and "town jobs". 
As a city kid, I had never driven a tractor, never helped an animal give birth, never fixed a fence, or mixed a bottle of powdered milk to feed a baby calf.  My dad, who had grown up on a Kansas farm, was amazed that I actually embraced farm life. I learned to drive the tractors, windrow hay, give injections to sick animals, pulled lambs when ewes were having trouble giving birth, bottle fed a lot of calves and lambs, cared for pheasant chicks, and took my turn in the middle of the night checking for new calves or lambs. The girls were only 4 and 7 when we moved to town so the youngest doesn't remember much about the farm. But my oldest remembers feeding bottle calves and riding in the tractor with dad. Both remember the swing set in the yard and were amazed that the dog house was still there, although not in the same spot.  
I'm sure the young family living on that location will make lots of new memories for that place even though this house won't be there anymore. We're glad we stopped by and had the opportunity to tickle our memories. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

X-block UFO

This UFO is from 2011.  I know that I bought the X-block ruler and the fabric on a guild bus trip to Nebraska shops that summer and made most of the blocks right away. Then it got set aside.  About a year ago I made a few more blocks and hung those up in the closet again, where they spent more time being ignored.
I put the top together in 2016 and even found backing in my stash for it.  Last week I finally decided it was time . . . to get it quilted, bound and finished.  Bonnie, at The Pin Cushion, did a great job on it as always. She selected a nice angular zig-zaggy design that plays nicely with the angular zig-zaggy look of the blocks. 
Next step is to dig through the stash and find something that will work for binding. Wonder if there is any of that black print hiding away somewhere?  These are definitely NOT colors I normally like to use, so the chances of finding anything in that pumpkin color aren't very good. Maybe the green, but I'm not holding my breathe that I'll find anything compatible with that either.  I may end up buying a half yard of a solid in one of those colors just for binding.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Solstice Challenge

Sunday morning sewing involved working on some bags for the class I'm teaching next weekend, and catching up on the first 4 blocks of the Solstice Challenge by Pat Sloan.  One block each Wednesday between Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice.  I think I can manage that.  I picked up a really pretty soft cream batik to use as the background and I'm using my batik stash and batik scraps for the colors. This is a terrible photo, but the blocks are looking good.
Check out the Solstice Challenge on Pat Sloan's website.
Good thing I got to sew on Sunday morning because that was the only time I've spent in my sewing room since.  I picked up some kind of bug, and it laid me low for a couple of days.  Similar symptoms to what my husband had last Thursday. This morning I have decided I may live, and now I need to get caught up on some tasks for work.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Farm Girl Vintage again

This is the Sunday Morning block. I think it is one of my favorites so far. And the next block is Welcome.  We're getting down to the last dozen blocks I think. Plus I still have a couple of the downloaded ones left to make, such as the cow and the turkey.  The little blocks are so darn cute! I just love them, and I know that making these has stretched my skills quite a bit. I'm no longer intimidated by small pieces.

I'm starting to think about how I want to put the small blocks together for myself. And I keep coming back to the layout from the book with the simple sashing and cornerstone plus prairie points.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Easter Sunrise added to the finishes

Both of the Easter Sunrise runners are completely finished and ready to gift. I can check off my January UFO Challenge project.  Yay!
The original pattern was called He Is Risen, by Just Sew of Wayne NE -purchased at a quilt show a few years ago.  It's a simple silhouette machine appliqued to the orange batik. These are identical to the first one I made for myself, except for the top one above has the "hill" cut slightly different.  The gorgeous batik background is what really makes these special and I bought enough for 3 when I bought the pattern. And I've never seen a batik quite this perfect since then.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Design Wall Monday - Saturday Sampler progress

So far I've stayed caught up with our Saturday Sampler program, but I hadn't made this month's block yet and we meet next Saturday. So, this was the focus of some Sunday morning sewing. This one is called Perseus and I think we only have a couple of blocks to go. We got our setting kits a couple of month ago, but I haven't cut into it yet.
This month our bonus block is in a winter theme.  I dug into that same bag of blue frosty fabrics left from the table runner I finished binding last week.

I also cut out another Farm Girl Vintage block. And in the afternoon I managed to finished the binding on both Easter table runners. I'll show those another time.  This morning I'm back at work - sitting at my desk (on a conference call) looking out the window and watching it snow.
Check out more Design Wall projects at 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

I had to put at least one block together from the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt . . . just to see.  And I'm not convinced that I like my choice of brighter yellows. I'm actually glad that I haven't cut any more of the yellow units yet because I need to live with this block for awhile before I decide how to proceed. So my pieces and parts are all pulled together and set aside where they can't get lost.
I've noticed on her Quiltville Open Studio Facebook group that some folks have replaced the yellow squares with yellow and neutral HSTs. And others have replaced them with purple and neutral HST. But most have been posting photos of gorgeous quilts with the yellow as is.  So I just need to let this one rest a bit while I play with some options.

Friday, January 6, 2017

UFO progress

A few years ago I bought the pattern and enough of the "sunrise" material to make 3 of these table runners for Easter. To date, only 1 of them is totally done. One other had the applique done on both ends.
But after work today I spent a couple of hours in my sewing room and managed to get both ends of the last runner appliqued. And now both of these runners are sandwiched with batting and backing, ready to begin to quilt tomorrow morning. I kept the quilting very simple on the first one and plan to finish the others pretty much the same.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Frosty Stars - first finish of 2017

Not a lot of bragging earned with this finish since it's only 16" x 32", and the only thing remaining was hand stitching the binding. But it's done and that's what counts, right?
Star blocks of all kinds are one of my very favorite blocks, and these stars have definitely become a new favorite. I really like those extra little points that make it look like a star burst.
I am playing with the pattern a bit to see if I can easily make it using a 5" charm in the center. I think my Tri-Recs ruler will easily make that center edge section, with a couple of corners added. The corner units are just plain squares with a corner added. So it should be easy enough to do and end up being a 15" block.  This may be an option for my RSC17 blocks this year.  Check out the RSC17 post at SoScrappy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Changing the final product


Not the best lighting for this photo but here is a wintery table topper that is destined to be the first finish of 2017 . . . assuming I manage to finish this binding.  I keep getting sidetracked. Imagine that!

There are 8 of these blue and purple stars on a white background, and they were from the RSC16 (Rainbow Scrap Challenge) project that I started in January 2016. They were meant to be a single vertical row in a quilt but I quickly fell behind, and since I loved the blocks so much I turned them into a table topper. I may use this star pattern again for something else. I think these would be great in a scrappy version,


Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 UFO Challenge

I am joining in on the UFO Challenge posted online at All People Quilt.  We'll see how this goes, as I seem to be too easily distracted these days. Maybe I need to resurrect my 2015 word of the year, which was FOCUS, or my 2016 word SIMPLIFY. 

Valentine Bench Pillow
4 Seasons Cats
ABC kid quilt
House Warming Party
Circa 2016
Easter Sunrise runners (2)
Batik Stars Saturday Sampler
2016 Saturday Sampler
Reindeer 60-degree runner
2015 Friendship Exchange
Beach cross-stitch piece
RSC16 Crown of Thorns

As I worked on an inventory of UFOs, WIPs, and PIGS Sunday morning I tried to determine which projects I wanted finished the most. This little list of 12 projects is a drop in the bucket of things in my overall inventory.  But it's a start, right?  And since 6 was the first number drawn, I will work on the 2 identical Easter Sunrise runners I am making for my daughters. That will be in between working on the Bonnie Hunter mystery, my Saturday Sampler, Farm Girl Vintage, and whatever else strikes my fancy. 

In 2015 and 2016 I did finish a lot of UFO projects, but I like to start new things even more than I like finishing old things I guess. So, as a blog friend said in her recent post, I need to remember that "it's the process that I love".  So true Lori - thanks for the reminder.  So, I plan to embrace 2017 with some enthusiasm.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I'm hoping that this year will bring peace and happiness to all.
The final finish of 2016 was hiding in my handwork bag and totally forgotten until this morning. I put the binding on this Kim Diehl project while sitting in the hospital waiting room on Wednesday morning.  It's about 24" square.
I machine quilted this one myself with straight diagonal lines going both directions. It's funny however, that in this photo you can't see the diagonal lines going from top left down to bottom right. Wonder why that is?  Must be a trick of the light.