Wednesday, August 30, 2017

3 down and 14 to go

I bought a nice grey stripe yesterday for the cuff of the Winnie The Pooh pillowcase, to make a total of 17 kitted up.  After work yesterday afternoon I dug into the pile and started sewing. So Including the Pooh pillowcase, I've gotten 3 made. And I've pinned 2 more that are ready to sew.  These are always good for some random sewing when I just need to sew SOMETHING, but don't have time to focus on anything big.
I'm in love with that Pooh fabric - so cute! 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Prepping pillowcases

I spent a couple of hours in my sewing room this morning - not sewing, but prepping a lot of pillowcase kits.  Sixteen of them in fact.  These make good quick projects for those times when I just want to spend a little time sewing.
The 4 kits in the back actually include 2 of each set folded together, ready to sew.  That is 8.  The top 2 sets are completely from stash and the bottom 2 are from new fabric I bought on the bus trip just for pillowcases.
The 4 on the right side are kits I bought at crazy days and I just still need to check measurements and trim pieces if needed. 
The 4 kits in the middle are singles and ready to go.  The top one is from stash and the other 3 are new purchases from the bus trip or crazy days.  And the one in the front - Winnie the Pooh - needs a grey cuff and I just couldn't find anything in the stash that worked. It was also purchased on the bus trip.
My plan this year is to make each grandkid a pillowcase that I'll pair up with a book.  There are Bambi pillowcases in that back stack and you know what book will go with those, probably for the girls.  And the rest of the pillowcases will go into my donation/gift stack. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Design Wall Monday - door hanger

I bought this panel on the bus trip earlier this month, along with some fat quarter to use for a piano key border. And this weekend I made the piano keys and added them to the panel. This was supposed to be a door hanger for my front door.
I thought I had the math figured out just right so that the colors went around correctly and everything fit, but I still ended up making some changes as I sewed.  And I don't like those changes, such as the corners.  Plus I'm just not so sure I like that blue in there at all after looking at the photos. In person it isn't quite that light.  This is one of the ways that a UFO is born - because I need to keep looking at this one for awhile before I invest any time or money into quilting this as is. So, it's in danger of just getting set aside. 
Maybe I just need to remove those borders and just put binding around that center panel.  Check out what other quilters are working on this week:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Final border

A final border of 8" strips has been added to last year's Saturday Sampler.  This is now a really BIG quilt at 99" x 115".  I want a deep overhang when I put it on our bed.  So my next step is backing and dropping it off to be quilted.  

It took me 2 hours to cut the strips and sew them together, while wrestling with this huge quilt. This may be the biggest I've ever made. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

County Line is finished

County Line is finished - yay!  That makes one more small finish for August.  This might just be my new favorite Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots pattern.  It may end up displayed on my kitchen counter for fall.
It is definitely a pattern that would look great in any kind of fabric combo.  I can imagine this done with a dark background and bright or pastel in the blocks.
The quilting is a simple diagonal stitching line through the X's.  I may decide to go back later and add something simple in the larger background areas, but I don't think it really needs much else.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Design Wall Monday - not much progress

I only managed to sew for about an hour this weekend as we had company Saturday, and there just seemed to be other things I needed to do on Sunday. Only a bit of progress has been made on my Kim Diehl County Line project, and since it's small it shouldn't be taking so long. I have 3 blocks out of 15 left to finish before I can put the rest of the rows together. I'm hoping that this afternoon I'll finally get back to my sewing room.
I have a couple of design boards that I use to lay out pieces when I'm sewing. The little pieces are laid out just how they fit into the blocks and that reduces the errors such as sewing a piece in the wrong direction.  An added bonus is that the design board can be lifted up and moved when needed without disturbing the arrangement.
Check out Design Wall Monday at: to see what others are working on today.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bicycle girl pillowcase

This pillowcase kit was a Crazy Days purchase earlier in the summer.  It was too cute to pass up.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Saturday Sampler top is done

Another flimsy is done and ready for quilting, although I have no idea exactly how I want to quilt it. I like the colors in this one, especially in that floral print. Florals are generally outside my normal choices, but it feels good to step away from my comfort zone once in awhile.  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Saturday Sampler progress

I had a little sewing time last night finally, and put together the blocks for the center of my Saturday Sampler.  And I cut the first border set but only got the 2 side borders attached.  This one is definitely fun and easy, and a pattern I might do again. 
The wide outer border will be the flowered fabric. I may add a narrow light blue border first however. And I just noticed that my picture makes the peach look a bit more orange than it really is.  It's really navy, red, peach, pale blue, and the flowered print.  This would have looked nice in the master bedroom in our previous house, which was done in a nice 1980s peach and navy blue.
The finished quilt should make a good sized couch quilt.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Squirrel . . .

In my work life I tend to be very task oriented and can stay pretty focused most days. But in my creative life, I've become so easily distracted. That's why I always have lots of projects going at any given moment.  And the smallest thing can swing my brain in a new direction.
So, this morning was one of those wonderful "squirrel" moments when I was distracted by something fun.  I stopped in my favorite local quilt shop, The Pin Cushion, just to pick up my Saturday Sampler pattern from this weekend. Isn't the creative conversation half the fun when you go into a quilt shop? The gals were asking me about the program I did at guild a couple of weeks ago about sewing with selvages. And Cindy gave me this little chunk of very pretty selvage.  Aren't the little butterflies sweet?  Manufacturers are being creative with these more often now.
So of course that got me thinking about selvages again, which is OK.  In my guild program I just shared some ideas of how you can use selvages.  This is a quilt I made a couple of years ago, with the selvages used as one side of the HST blocks.  The blocks are about 7" square here but could be any size you want.
I made 8 blocks with the selvages lined up diagonally that I used for this pillow.  4 of them make up the back and the other 4 are the background for the front.  Then I appliqued an "orphan" Dresden plate over it. 
And the selvages can be used for any section of a block you want.  I have 4 of these basket blocks made, and 1 spider web block. And in the back is a piece that may become a zippered bag.  The possibilities are just endless.  And now I want to make more of these spider web blocks. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Need help choosing a border

Some opinions are needed to help me decide on a possible final border on this quilt. I want to add about 8" all around to make this larger for my queen size bed. The whole quilt is solid so I felt a bold print final border might be perfect.  Now I'm questioning whether a small subtle print would work better.

I bought 2 possible border fabrics but just can't decide which I like better, or if neither of them works. The floral has most of the colors from the blocks except the grey.  It definitely pulls the burgundy and the rose out.  And it has a touch of the green and blue. The darker grey fabric just has the green and the rose and the cream.  

Right now I'm leaning toward the grey, but I'm just not sure. I've been looking for possibilities in every quilt shop I've visited this summer, and I keep looking at my local shops too as they get new fabrics.  I've even looked online.  These are so far, the best options I've found for what I want it to look like.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Design Wall Monday - Retail therapy

What is everyone working on this morning? I've unpacked and sorted my purchases from this past weekend's bus trip shop hop.  It's always good therapy to admire and "pet" my new fabric purchases.
An amazing and inspirational trunk show, great company, tasty food, someone else driving, and retail therapy - all made for a really fun 3-day weekend.  Our guild bus trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company was a huge success according to the comments we heard all weekend.  We also stopped at a shop in Iowa and one in Cameron, MO on the way there, as well as a shop in Omaha on the way home. 
I unpacked my purchases last night after getting home and this morning organized everything so I could remember what I purchased, and for what projects. Most of it has now moved from my kitchen counter down to my sewing room.  Here's a little run down of the goodies I came home with:
  • 2 pattern books & 3 patterns
  • 2 different possible border fabrics for a wide border on a finished quilt top
  • 1 pillow kit & pattern (pink pineapples)
  • 4 Row By Row license plates & 3 of the kits
  • a Thanksgiving themed panel with fat quarters to make a piano key border
  • Christmas strip set for new stocking for daughter #2 family
  • lots of "kid prints" for pillowcases & small zipper bags for the grandkids and others
  • 1 pillowcase kit
  • 1 jelly roll
  • 2 charm packs
Check out the Design Wall Monday post at:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Missouri Star with friends

It has been a wonderful trip so far to the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It was a gorgeous day today in Hamilton, MO and has been so much fun. Good friend Kelly drove up from Kansas City to join us for the day, which was an added bonus.  We all started the day at a very nice shop in Cameron, MO and then our bus arrive in Hamilton about 10:30. Had most of the day to explore all of the Missouri Star shops, and had some very tasty food in the local restaurants. I'm glad I planned ahead and left my suitcase half empty so I had room to pack away my purchases for the trip home tomorrow. We will have 1 quilt shop stop in Omaha, which is about half way back to Mitchell.  

One highlight of our trip was the trunk show by Jenny Doan yesterday evening. She is so entertaining, and creative.  Two and a half hours went by very quickly as she told stories, shared quilts and techniques. Just fabulous!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Prepping for guild bus trip

My dining room is full of STUFF for the upcoming guild bus trip.  There are boxes and bags full of door prizes for the participants.  And lots of boxes full of pink "swag bags" for everyone.  Those swag bags were all packed by Karen with snacks and quilting goodies. All of this will need to be loaded into my vehicle tonight so I don't have to do it at 5:30 tomorrow morning.

Luckily all of the boxes of pink bags will be emptied as the ladies check in. They'll pick up their name tag, a pink bag, an itinerary, a pen, and breakfast as they get on the bus.  Looking forward to our 7:00 am departure tomorrow!  First stop will be at a quilt shop in Sioux City, and then on to Hamilton, Missouri. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Missouri Star or Bust

Two Missouri Star or Bust blocks are done and ready for the guild bus trip this coming weekend.   Our guild sponsors a shop hop bus trip every 2 years, and this time we are going to Hamilton, MO to visit the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  The bus full of eager quilters will be on the road at 7:00 AM Friday morning.  We chose the Ohio Star block in patriotic colors as our official "trip block" this year, since we knew we wanted to use a star of some kind.
We usually choose or design a block for participants to make and bring. Each block turned in as they get on the bus earns them 1 entry into a drawing to win a set of the blocks.  On our last trip we made pine trees because the trip was to 7 Black Hills quilt shops. I was lucky and won a set and turned them into a fun little quilt that we enjoy by the living room fireplace.  One of my regular readers, Nancy, suggested adding a cabin or house block. So this quilt became Cottage in the Woods.  I love it.  And I hope I'm lucky again this year and win some patriotic blocks!


Monday, August 7, 2017

Weekend fun

Two of our 5 grandkids were here this weekend with their parents. Sophia and Jack only live an hour away but I hadn't seen them for a whole month. Life just gets so busy.
After weeks of hot humid weather this was a much cooler weekend so they even needed a jacket when we visited the local tourist attraction - The Corn Palace. It was Saturday evening and just before closing, so no crowds. Earlier in the day there had been lots of motorcycles parked since this is a popular stop for folks headed west on Interstate 90 to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Friday, August 4, 2017

One more table runner

One final table runner from the UFO/WIP collection. This 60 degree runner is from a border print called Cheers that I bought in Iowa last month. The binding came from a find in the scrap basket I was organizing. And the back and batting are leftovers from other projects.  I even quilted this one myself and like the results.  

Now it's time to put away my sewing notions and finish getting ready for the grandkids who will arrive in an hour or so. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August goals

Must be realistic, must be realistic, must be . . .

For me, goals that I don't write down, do not have a snowballs' chance of actually happening.  But when I do write them down, it gives me a plan to follow.  And it's OK to deviate from the plan occasionally.  So it's time to sit down and write some goals for the month of August.  And they must be realistic ones! 
  1. finish my Saturday Sampler quilt top
  2. bind my Canning Jars table runner - DONE on Aug 2
  3. quilt and bind the Cocktails table runner
  4. finish organizing my scraps
  5. quilt and bind the cycling row by row wall hanging
  6. make a signature block for my Sew Vintage group to sign
  7. work on my UFO Challenge #5 project - Temecula Circa 2016 quilt  (hope to finish the blocks)
Optional projects to choose from . . . for when I can't stick to the plan:
  1. "Kit Up" 2 new projects - cut and organize so they are ready to work on when I'm ready
  2. make a set of 24 string blocks
  3. make 3 more blocks for En Provence quilt
  4. make 10 more polka dot pinwheel blocks
Most of these goals are small items that should be easy enough to finish - such as the 2 table runners, the signature block, and the wall hanging.  And the optional projects will bring a UFO closer to being done.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The queen of quilting chaos

Are you well organized or the queen of quilting chaos?  I've decided that I need to gain some control over that quilting chaos before it gets any worse.
This basket of scraps weighed in at a whopping 22 pounds!  And I wish I could say it is my only scrap bin.  It is the biggest one, but there is a smaller scrap bin hiding behind it and a bag on the floor besides.  It's a bit overwhelming to say the least.

So yesterday afternoon I bought 5 collapsible fabric trays. These are 12" square but just shy of 6" deep.  Note to self - I should have bought more than 5.  But it's a start, right?
After 45 minutes of sitting on the floor and sorting, my right leg was asleep . . . and I had 5 trays mostly full, a small stack of larger pieces, a little pile of leftover bindings, and a small collection of strip sets or orphan blocks.  And after all that work that basket wasn't even half empty.  I realize that it started out packed down and now it's"fluffed" up, but I swear those scraps are multiplying now that they have seen the light of day.

This mad me want to go downstairs and start sewing some string blocks right away. But instead I'm trying to stay disciplined and keep sorting, at least until I can see the bottom of this basket. Then it will be time to dig into the bag and the other bin downstairs too.  I'm not too optimistic that I'm going to tame these scraps very quickly, but sorting by color might help the situation a little bit.

However, I do see some string blocks happening in my near future.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Help with stippling

I'm giving this quilting template paper a try.  I just can't seem to get the hang of stippling, or any other kind of curved quilting. The curves just don't curve smoothly. So we'll see how this works on a table runner. 
This particular brand has a sticky strip along each side of the paper to hold it onto the quilt, but I also pinned it in places. The paper pattern is 9" across, so it will cover half of the table runner laid the long way. 
So far the stiffness created by the paper and the quilt layers is making it tricky to roll up/fold up to fit in the opening of my machine and allow some room to turn.  I can say already that I would never use this to do a whole big quilt, but it seems to have potential for some small projects. And the other downside will be tearing away the paper once it's done.