It has been fun designing all the 32 pieces in the Gaa Barge series. I have enough scraps taken from the wastebasket or swept off the floor to finish the remainder of my challenge. I had originally planned to make one a week for a whole year, but gardening got in the way and the series wasn’t finished. Maybe, I can finish the series next winter when the snow flies.
The cat and dog pieces were made with purple and other dark fabrics for the background and tan fabrics for the animals. The made fabric was made in the mile a minute method. The patterns for the animals came from a child’s coloring book. The cut out animals were fused down and then zig zaged around the edges with tan thread. The lines of the drawing were zig zaged with black thread.
Shortly after I made these two pieces, I taught a class on this procedure at a local quilt shop. The pieces were my sample pieces. They were at the shop when a photographer came to take a picture of the owners. One of the pieces was grabbed and put under the needle of a sewing machine. The colors went with a piece that was on the wall behind them. I enjoy seeing my animal in the picture on the wall when I go to the quilt shop.
Day 14 of the declutter challenge is furniture. I started quilting with my machine on the dining room table. It had to be removed for each meal. Then I had a very small table where I could leave my sewing machine. As my children left the house, I graduated to a room where I could leave the table. Now in my new home, not so new now, I’ve been here 13 years, I have a very nice sewing room. The carpet was taken up a few years ago and Pergo was laid. It is so easy to clean up now. But, I still had the small sewing table which had a small dropleaf table next to it to hold the larger quilts.
It was time to do something about the sewing room furniture. Many hours later, after lots of Internet search, I chose a Kangaroo Joey. It was the right size, It had a dropleaf in the back that would hold a large quilt. It had four drawers. It was everything that I dreamed a sewing table would have.
I ordered the table online from She Sewing Tables. It is a company in the western part of the USA. I was able to chat with Sheila while ordering it. I ordered a few addons. It was personal shopping. I knew before I ordered that it would arrive in five boxes and would have to be assembled. Before I ordered, I asked my son in law if he would assemble it for me. He agreed to do that so I quickly ordered.
My neighbors brought the big boxes into the house for me. I’m very grateful to live in a wonderful neighborhood.
My son in law and my daughter spent a day assembling the desk. It is a perfect fit for the space in the sewing room.
The little dropleaf shelf on the right side was not listed in the description, nor was it listed in the assembly instructions. It was a bonus. The notion drawer unit that I already had fits under there as is it was made for that space. There are large rollers on the unit. It rolls easily to lift the large dropleaf that is on the back.
I recently got four quilts back from the long arm quilters. One is king size. It was a pleasure to sew the binding on that quilt. The table held it without it dropping on the floor and pulling. It’s relaxing to hand sew the bindings down in the evening.
Now, that declutter #14 is finished, I will do another declutter – notions. That will take a long time as I have boxes of notions in two different rooms. My goal is to confine them all to the sewing room.
This is one of the four quilts that was quilted by a long arm quilter. It is a round robin. In the package that I sent around, I placed two blocks, some fabric and the border fabric. There were instructions to not use the border fabric in the blocks. It was included just for color choices. The small sashing was part of the striped border fabric. I had a 1 1/2″ piece left over after making the sashing. The ladies did a wonderful job piecing the blocks . Gail brought this quilt to life with her quilting. I’m keeping this one.
My climbing rose is outdoing itself this year. The colors are beautiful. I can see a quilt with several shades and tints of green and pink. Also a touch of gold. Inspiration is everywhere.
We had three days of rain last weekend. It was great for me as I could finally go to the sewing room and not work outside in the garden. I could start a quilt for a new baby girl who was just born into the family. I have known for months that she was coming, but I procrastinated and didn’t start the quilt. I also wanted to make a larger quilt with the same pattern for her older sister. I found a quilt on the Love of Quilting show. It had sixteen blocks which consisted of eight blocks of two different patterns. How hard could that be. I drafted the quilt on graft paper and EQ7. Disaster happened. The blocks on both quilts were different sizes. Nothing matched or went together. Mr. seam ripper and I became great friends. At this point, I’m going to set the quilts aside and take them apart someday when I want to sit outside in the shade. Then, I will figure out how to save them. There comes a time when one just has to stop, put a quilt aside, and do something else. In the meantime, I checked the UFO bin and found two very nice quilts. They will be quilted and sent on their way. I probably should have done that anyway.
In the meantime, the gardens are doing very well. All the seeds are in. Tomatoes and other plants are planted. The bushes that didn’t survive last winter have been removed and new bushes planted. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it can be done in small time frames.
It’s June and I’m planning another 3D illusion mini quilt. The Pandemic Round Robin quilt should be finished. Some UfOs Will be quilted. Three of my quilts have come back from the long arm quilter. The binding has to be sewn on to finish the quilts. I was looking at the Just Get It Done Quilt blog. On the blog was a YouTube video about free things for the sewing room. One of the items was the Magical Rainbow of Binding from geekybobbin.com. It is a chart that tells you how many inches of binding you need. I also tells you how much yardage you need for 2″, 2 1/4″ and 2 1/2″ strips. All the math is done for you. It’s a time saver and worth downloading.
I was doing a little sewing room organizing (decluttering) and moving bins of wall hangings and small quilts from one closet to another. Where I don’t have any new quilts finished to show you, I’ll show a few of the little quilts that I found.
Pineapple Log Cabin. It is 12″ square. The center four dark logs are supposed to look like pineapples.
This is an easy pattern. Squares are sewn together. They are cut apart with a template and resewn. All straight sewing.
The Carolina Lily was started in a class at the Vermont Quilt Festival. I ran out of tan background and had to substitute a lighter tan for the outside row. It was a nice design element that was unplanned.
The Carolina Lily was hand quilted.
Celtic Knots was one of my earliest quilts. I originally planned to make four Celtic blocks, but after making two, decided to quilt the knot in the blank squares. It is hand quilted.
I hope that you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane.
This has been an unusual week. There were days that I didn’t go into the sewing room. Other days I was there only fifteen or twenty minutes. Most of the week was trying to sew two rows on the Pandemic Round Robin quilt. I finally finished last month’s two rows last night. Just in time to start this month’s two rows.
The last two rows were triangles and squares. This month I will add diamonds and piano keys.
The quilt was leaning towards Christmas colors. The yellow and tan squares are taking it down a different path. No matter where it goes, the quilting will bring it all together.
May’s mini 3D illusion quilt is finished. These little quilts are so much fun. They finish up fast, but don’t do much as stash busters.
I have a picture of what I want to make for a mini 3D illusion in June. Maybe by then, I can be back into the sewing room. I can hope for some rainy days.
Spring is here and I’ve been outside trying to get the gardens in order. The perennials are doing very well. The weeds are doing better. It’s a struggle to remove them. I will finish by Memorial Day, which is the time to add seeds and annual plants. I’ll plant a few vegetables, The peas and squash are in the ground. Lettuce will be planted today, Then more weeding, mulching, etc. The dead spots on the lawn have been reseeded.
I’m still working on the 21 day sewing room declutter. One of the days was furniture. Originally my sewing room was my dining room table. Then I had a small table where the sewing machine could stay out. Now, my sewing room furniture is anything that works. It was time to have a real sewing table. I researched sewing tables and found the perfect one. It is here in five boxes. My son in law and daughter are going to put it together for me. In the meantime, I’ll “declutter” everything in the area where it is going. Eventually, I’ll have a neat sewing room with everything in it’s place.
Dear Jane is almost ready for me to start the 12th row. I work on her on Tuesday mornings when I go to a friend’s home. I had organized row 11 in thirteen baggies. In each baggie was the pattern, fabric and batting. Then, I pieced the block, putting it back into it’s baggie. All handwork (applique, quilting, sewing the binding down) was done at my friend’s house. This is not a speedy way to finish the quilt, but as long as I have my Tuesday morning visits, It will eventually be finished,
The definition of perseverance, is sticking to a plan, dedication, determination, endurance, tenacity. Also, patience, diligence, purpose, stubbornness, steady persistence in a course of action. All of these came into play in the past week and one half. One of the days of the 21 day sewing room declutter is bins. While I was looking at what Karen said in her blog about processing the bins, I noticed that there were two blogs that proceeded the list of 21 days. I watched them and found out that I was supposed to set my timer for 15 minutes and work only that amount of time. It might take several 15 minute periods. That makes much more sense. I could check my bins in that time frame.
One bin was full of precuts. That sounded like a bin that would be quick and easy to organize. I had watched several You Tube videos that said the best way to organize your scraps was to make precuts and not put leftover fabric back into the drawers. It sounded like a good idea at the time. I had used the 2 1/2″ pieces as beginners and enders so some were sewn into two patches. Many more were not.
First, I would sew the single patches into two patches and then sew the two patches into four patches. How long could that take? I started to sew and sew and sew some more. The more I sewed, the more determined I was to completely empty the bin. I ignored the 15 minute periods. Two patches became four patches. The four patches became 16 patches. Pinterest gave me several settings and I started to sew the quilt tops.
Perseverance #1 44″ x 44″ It has 372 squares plus leftover white muslin.
Perseverance #2 38″ x 52″ It has 240 squares plus a leftover orange print fabric. It is bordered with leftover orange fabric that I won at the Maine Pine tree Quilters quilt show in 2019.
Perseverance #3 53″ x 68″ It has 516 squares plus some unusual white fabric that showed up in my stash. I didn’t buy it and don’t know where it came from. Probably from one of the sewing rooms that I helped clean out.
Perseverance #4 36″ x 52″ It has 384 squares and a red border that was in my stash.
Perseverance #5 48″ x 52″ It has 288 squares and left over white muslin.
There are 1,800 2 1/2″ squares in these five quilts. When the quilt tops were all together I had 22 squares leftover. They are with the Mile A Minute fabric. The bin is empty. I used all of the definitions of perseverance to accomplish the tops. The left over scraps will never be cut into 2 1/2″ squares again. They will go back into the drawers. ”
I will make fun quilts only for the next week and then go back to perseverance to quilt the tops. I want them to move on and not be UFOs.
The 21 Day sewing room declutter is about half done. I think that I should do rotary cutters and mats next. That might take only 15 minutes.
Because of the covid pandemic, we have had to have our Guild meetings on Zoom. Although it would have been better to meet with friends in person, we would not have been able to have speakers from Hawaii and California. Two months ago, our speaker was designer Karen Brow-Meier from Java House Quilts. We learned a lot and had a great time. Karen’s patterns are unique and fun. I decided to purchase one and chose Bad Hare Day. The thought of a rabbit stealing a quilt block was fun. This pattern was the start of Miss Molly’s Bad Day.
Karen’s patterns are accurate and easy to follow. I didn’t have the gray fabric for the background, so I ordered some on line. When it came, it was blue. That was not what I wanted, so it’s now in my stash, waiting for the right quilt to come along. When I checked my stash I found a white striped fabric that I had bought to make table runners. The background was striped gray and white. If I used the white striped fabric, I wouldn’t have to piece the background.
Also in my stash were several vendor fabric samples that I won at a drawing at the local quilt shop. I used one of the samples for the hexagons. The colors were coordinated. The hexagons were hand pieced while watching TV at night.
Soon the background was finished and I was ready to applique the bad rabbit. I thought that a dog would be better. I had bought Ruff Around The Edges and decided to use it’s running dog instead of the rabbit.
It’s a cute dog, but not what I really wanted. I had a “what if” moment. What if I appliqued a picture of Miss Molly stealing the block. She does “inspect” articles accidentally dropped on the floor. I would need a picture of a running Wire Fox Terrier. I checked Pinterest and the Internet. Apparently, no one takes pictures of running Fox Terriers. They jump, sit and stand. Then, I realized that Miss Molly doesn’t run with her prizes. She stands, looks at me and says ” It’s mine now and what are you going to do about it?’
Miss Molly went to the left side of the quilt, looking in, not running out the right side.
The question is – Did the block pass inspection? Is Miss Molly going to put it back?
The stripes were quilted with the walking foot with a serpentine pattern. I’m following Angela Walters’s machine quilting classes. The wood grain pattern was in the first lesson.
It’s a cold rainy day. We are supposed to have a Spring snow storm later today. I start my day by asking the lady who sits on my kitchen counter (Alexa) what the weather will be. She is usually accurate. She’s a very knowledgeable lady, although I have asked her questions that she couldn’t answer. The weather had been very nice and warm and I was able to go outside and start cleaning up the gardens. The best part of going outside is to visit with neighbors. Life is a bit more normal when you can do that.
I’ve been working on Dear Jane in the evenings. Row K has been completely pieced and quilted. It won’t take long to trim the thirteen blocks to size. bind them and sew them together. I saw a YouTube post of a different way to sew English paper piecing blocks together and will try to sew them together that way. I’ll try any new techniques to see if they work for me. The YouTube video showed how to piece curved seams. They were held together with painters tape on the front and sewn on the back. It’s interesting to find “new” ways of quilting. The patterns and technique sheets have been printed for the last two rows. It’s time to choose the fabrics. I like to stay close to the color that Jane used in her quilt.
Speaking of You Tube, I was scrolling down You Tube videos and saw one that said the correct way to fold quilts. I didn’t realize that I was folding my quilts incorrectly. It says that this method eliminates the creases and preserves the quilts better.
Start by laying the quilt out flat. It doesn’t matter which side is up. When all is done, the side that is on the bottom will be the side that you see. It’s a matter of choice.
Pick up the bottom left corner and fold it to the upper right, keeping the top seam even.
Flip the quilt so that the point is towards you.
Fold the point to the top fold.
Fold it again.
Fold both ends in towards the middle.
Fold it in half.
The quilt is then stored on end, not stacked on top of each other.
The quilt’s folds are on the bias and are loosely folded. That would eliminate the creases. I did find that the quilt that is folded this way is about double size of the quilt that is folded the old way. I refold all my quilts twice a year and am working to fold them this way for now.
I finished my 3-D mini quilt early this month. They are so much fun to make. I’m looking for a pattern for the May 3-D quilt. There are so many on Pinterest.
Kimberly Einmo designed a row of the month quilt for the American Quilter magazine. Mine just came back from the long arm quilter. It left here as an o.k. quilt but came back a dazzling beauty with absolutely beautiful quilting. The quilting made that quilt.
The backing on this quilt is a piece that I received as part of a prize at the Maine Quilt show two years ago.
A friend of mine is redoing her bathroom with a humming bird theme. I saw this small panel and made this for her.
I’m still doing the 21 day sewing room declutter. There is no way that I can complete each assignment in one day. The last assignment was threads. I worked for three days, part time, to just gather all the threads to one place. I found spools all over the place. They are all neatly, (no thread tails hanging out) placed in drawers and bins. I have a spot for regular sewing and basting threads, quilting threads, embroidery threads, specialty threads and cones.
My next assignment will be rulers. I know that I have duplicates and some that I just had to have and I’ve never used. This might take longer to organize because I’m thinking of making a block from each of the specialty rulers and placing them in a sampler quilt. I could use the basket of leftover fabric from the quilts that I made this winter. The rulers are in four places in the sewing room so maybe I should just organize them first.
The 21 days may go into 21 weeks. It will be brutal when the assignment is fabric scraps. I haven’t seen the video on the scrap organization, but maybe she means to just put them in their proper places, not use them up.
It seems as if I had one good week of focusing on quilting, but that is gone. I flip from one project to another. The non focusing started when I started the 21 day sewing room declutter. I did focus on that.
The 30 minutes a day of organizing magazines (day three) is still in progress. There is a pile of magazines to move on to someone else. I am taking the time to read the articles that I hadn’t before and am learning a lot of new things.
Days five, six, and seven are combined. Day five was patterns. Days six and seven was archives and resting. I combined the three days because I keep some of the patterns in a note book. I found a lot of new patterns that I just had to have and never made. The archives that I keep in folders and the file cabinet has been purged. I have three empty folders and lots of new ideas for quilts in my head.
Day eight is thread. This will take a long, long time as I have drawers and boxes filled with embroidery thread. It will be nice to have all that in order again. I did find some soft plastic to wrap the cones so the thread isn’t unrolled and tangled.
I jumped ahead to day 16 which was batting. I had already organized the batting so I can consider it finished.
This project will continue on. It will take many more days than 21.
Two more small pieces are finished, except for hand sewing the binding.
This one was machine quilted using the walking foot.
It used leftover half square triangles. I think that this pattern and coloration would be very nice in a bed quilt. I would extend the tan half square triangles into the border.
This little quilt was a single block that has sat around forever. I added a border and free motion quilted it.
The dark center was quilted using a leaf stipple that is an old standby. I left the star points and corner triangles unquilted. I have a practice piece of top, batting and backing that I use to audition free motion quilting. Using Angela Walter’s book about meander background quilting, I tried several of her patterns until I decided on a leafy meander.
This pattern is a keeper.
I have been working on other projects, but not finishing any of them. I’ve made eight Grandmother flowers for a wall hanging. I’ve started another Stay At Home Pandemic Round Robin.
I have three small pieces to hand sew the binding. I did a little free motion quilting on the Ugly Quilt. When I was cleaning the archives, I found the pattern for one of my ufos and put it aside to work on that project. It actually was the top one in the pile of ufos.
If I can get my focus back, maybe I can finish one of the above.
Spring is here and I’m in the process of refolding my quilts. I saw a You Tube video on how to “correctly” fold your quilts and am folding them this way for now. I didn’t realize that I folded the quilts the wrong way all these years. The Program chair of the Guild has asked me to do a demo on this method. As soon as I present the demo, I’ll explain it here. It’s easy and it makes sense.
It’s amazing what can be accomplished if you focus on one thing. I decided to focus on Dear Jane. Rows A and B needed attaching to the main body. Twenty five blocks needed to be made, finished and attached. That was completed and Rows A through J are finished. All the blocks are hand quilted, bound and sewn into the quilt.
There are three more rows to make before I start on the outside triangles.
Being focused, I continued on and pieced all thirteen blocks of row K.
My focus will be on something else now. These blocks will be worked on at sit and sews unless I decide to focus on Dear Jane later on. Focusing once a month on something is enough.
I am still following the 21 day sewing room declutter. Day 1 – remove garbage. That was easy. Empty the waste basket and sweep the floor. The only problem with that is it has to be done on a daily basis.
Day 2 Return items. That was done. Again, it has to be done on a daily basis. Put things where they belong when you are done with them.
Day 3 – magazines. I thought that was going to be an easy one. I keep my magazines in a Shaker bucket. It was overflowing.
It wouldn’t take long to clean it out. I found that I hadn’t read a lot of the magazines and had to stop and read them. It is going to take forever. A new magazine came yesterday. There are recipe, quilting and housekeeping magazines. All have to be looked at before they go to a new home. In order to continue on with the 21 day declutter, I decided to work on this project for 30 minutes a day. It will be done sometime.
Day 4 – books Fortunately, I had already alphabetized by author all of my books. The new ones haven’t been listed in the computer. I’ll do that after I finish the 30 minute purge of the magazine. Eventually both will be done.
Day 5 – Pattern pile. This will take more than one day. Most of my patterns are in a file or a note book. Sometime this weekend, I can gather them all together. Then I can divide them into three piles. Ones that I have made and want to keep, ones that I will make, and ones that I will never make along with the ones that I have made and will never make again. There are a lot of patterns that I just had to have and never made. There are probably patterns lurking in places that I will find later after I think that this is finished.
The March Mini quilt is ready to quilt. I saw this quilt on Love of Quilting show 3113. It is interesting because it is made with sixteen blocks that are alike. The block uses two cats cradle blocks and two double half square triangle blocks. The smallest cats cradle block on the cats cradle ruler is 1 1/2″ square. The half square triangles were easy to oversize and trim down. The blocks are 3″ finished. The nine patches on the border were made with 1″ strips. The finished size of the white inner border width is the difference between the length of the nine patch border and the length of the main quilt divided by two.
The “Ugly Quilt” is staring at me every time I open the closet door. It’s telling me to finish it and move it on. It’s basted and partially quilted. There is a story about how this quilt got it’s name. When this quilt is finished, I’ll tell you all about it.
Last week was the finish of the Stay At Home Round Robin. The last seven weeks went by very fast. We were prompted to use pinwheels on the last row.
The colored wall hanging was easy. I made four pinwheels, one for each corner. I had planed, all along, to use the Ginny Beyer border prints for the sides. I thought that it would pick up the border print in the center and be the finishing touch. I had just enough left to make four borders. When the cut border print was laid on the outside of the piece, it didn’t look right. On to plan B. I would use a piece of died fabric. There was just one piece left that was large enough to make the border. It was almost the right color. Things do work out. I can change the color somewhat with the quilting thread. It will be a design element.
Miss Molly examined the quilt and approves.
The black and white quilt needed a light last border. The white and black fabric stash was almost gone so I had to be creative in the piecing. I had enough of one fabric to use on one of the elements of the pinwheel. The second part was made with two different fabrics. After the pinwheels were made, the remaining fabric was in small pieces. I cut small pieces to sew between the pinwheels. That filled the row it looks as if I planned to make it that way. Looking at the photo, I don’t like the two white pieces on each side of the corner square. It would be easy now to remove them and add something at would look better. That’s a job for tomorrow.
The black and white is my favorite of the two. It looks much nicer than it does in the photo. I’ll quilt part with black thread and part with white thread.
One of my UFOs is finished. It was a sample for my orphan block demo. I still have several orphan block quilts to finish. This one was small enough to quilt with the walking foot. I like to free motion quilt, but I really love to quilt with the walking foot. I just aim for the spot that I want and the foot takes me there.
I’m following a blog from Ontario, Just get it done quilts. On the blog is a 21 day sewing room declutter. My blocks of the month are finished. I’m not going to start a new one so will do the 21 day declutter.
Day one was to take out the garbage. That was easy. I emptied the waste basket, swept the floor and put the small pieces in the trash can. The larger pieces went into the scrap basket.
Day two was to put everything back where it belongs. That took a little longer, but everything is back where it should be. The room looks nicer already.
Tomorrow is day three. Magazines. I don’t keep them in the sewing room. I do have a stack that I haven’t read. I have both quilting, cooking and housekeeping magazines. It might take more than one day to go through them. In the meantime, I’ll finish some more ufo’s, decide which new quilt to start and just have fun quilting.
My computer has been in the hospital. It’s amazing how much it was used and missed. Anyway, it’s home again and very healthy. In the meantime, I have been busy doing a lot of little projects.
Before the computer became ill, I downloaded several 3D or illusion quilt pictures. They are fascinating. I’ve decided to make a series of 3D mini quilts. One a month is my target. The mini quilts can be finished and will not hit the UFO bin. My first illusion mini is called empty boxes.
It is about 12″ x 12″. I have chosen the mini 3D pattern for March and will start it as soon as I finish the project that is on my sewing machine.
The Stay at Home Round Robin is in the seventh and last week today. I’ve checked the web site, but today’s last row is not there yet.
In the meantime, row 6 is a log cabin. I have a mini log cabin quilt on the back of a chair in the dining room. It is a miniature of a larger quilt in the Quilters Newsletter magazine. The article had small log cabin blocks with color coding. I printed the small log cabins and used the print out for paper piecing.
This quilt is 22″ x 22″. The block size was perfect for the Stay at Home Round Robin row, so I printed out several copies. The colored version was the first one. When choosing fabric, I wanted the Ginny Beyer fabric for one side. One of the stripes would be one of the logs. The stripe size was 7/8″. It didn’t fit the paper pieces so I cut all the logs at 7/8″ and squared up the block as I want along. The paper was put aside for now.
Now it was time for the black and white quilt. It was so easy to just sew the logs and not paper piece. I decided to cut the logs at 1″, square up the logs as I went and not use the paper. I don’t like removing the paper anyway. Now, I have a stack of paper and can piece a mini log cabin at some later date.
When the last row is posted for this challenge, it will be made with a light fabric. When I saw the picture, I noticed that it looks like a dark block on point in the middle of the piece. This is a learning point. Take a picture several times when designing a quilt. The visual effect will be obvious. If there are any color or hue mistakes, they will show up in a photograph.
I still like the black and white better than the colored.
Scrolling through Gail’s website, (she’s the designer of the 7th row), I found a wealth of information and new quilt terminology. Gail makes DREAMI quilts. Drop everything and make it. I call them squirrel quilts. She works for a PHD. Projects Half Done. I make UFO’s. She is very organized in working for her PHD.
I’m finally using the Cat’s Cradle ruler. It is made by Creative Grids. The block is used in a quilt on the Love of Quilting TV show. I’m making that quilt using the 1 1/2″ finished size Cat’s Cradle. The center is finished. It is tiny. The nine patches are made for the border. When it is finished, it won’t take long to quilt.
The Love of Quilting mini quilt is a new project. When it is finished, I have to finish three UFOs. That’s my rule. I should consider it working on my PHD.