Gaa Barge

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.

IMG_0473The 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.

IMG_0472Shortly 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.

Have a great day and happy quilting,

Holidays

I have been admiring my neighbor’s cosmos for a while. It is one plant and it came all by itself. It wasn’t planted. I do wish that she would feed her visitors. They are nothing but skin and bones. He is even trying to catch a fish but has had no luck.

Thanksgiving is coming. The turkeys are on parade and stopped by for a rest. The Tom is so big when he lifts his feathers.

Is it Christmas yet? My Christmas cactus seem to think so. Two out of three are blossoming. The third one isn’t budded. Maybe, it will wait until December.

I’ve finished a small UFO. I don’t know who made the blocks, but they showed up in my sewing room. They are together now and will go in the give away bin.

Another UFO that I have been working on is a Mile A Minute Inch quilt. To make an Inch quilt, you slice a block and add a one inch strip between the cut sides. The block should be the same size as when you started. I rotated every other block and pieced without sashing.

The quilt is busy so the quilting doesn’t show on the front. It is much nicer on the back.

While I was free motion quilting the wall hanging, my machine started to act up and is waiting to go to the hospital tomorrow. I’ll finish the free motion quilting when it gets home. The seams were stitched in the ditch so I felt comfortable sewing the binding on before I finished the free motion quilting.

In the meantime, I have pulled out my little My Style 100. It is an awesome little work horse of a machine. I have pieced and quilted a table runner/wall hanging on it. It’s another one that was started and finished. All the scraps were cut into 1 1/2″ squares. Even the cut off backing was cut up. I’ll have that little four patch quilt finished in no time

Following my plan to finish at least three UFOs before I start a new quilt, I have to decide on the next three to work on. I already have the fabric picked out for the next new one, so it will be an inspiration for me to finish something.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Continuing On

I have been cleaning and organizing the attic. I found a big bin of small scraps that I forgot was up there. That bin, along with another bin in the sewing room are just too much. After finishing the Summer Sampler, I decided to use up all the scraps in every project that I made and not add any more to my stash. I had a lot of small leftover scraps from the Summer Sampler.

Scraps left over from the Summer Sampler

In the meantime, I read on a blog that I follow about making a Pandemic Round Robin. It is a Round Robin that never leaves your house. It should be a Medallion quilt. The center can be pieced, appliqued or a panel. The three borders are half square triangle, flying geese and a four patch. They can be in any order that you want. Adding a star would be a bonus. The quilt can be any size that you want.

I decided to put the two thoughts together and made a little table runner from the Summer Sampler scraps. This little quilt has all the criteria for the Pandemic Round Robin except for the bonus star. It was fun to make. I quilted it with the walking foot. It was a fast and easy project.

There were still pieces left over, so I cut them in 1 1/2 inch squares and made nine patches and four patches.

These pieces are set aside to wait for the remains of other projects. The center pieces in the box are 1 1/2 inch squares cut from the leftover fabric cut from the back of a little UFO quilt that I finished. If I feel like cutting 1 1/2 inch squares from the bin in the attic some day, I could make some more four patches and someday have enough for a large quilt.

After I read about the Pandemic quilt and made one, I realized that there is nothing new in quiltmaking. Over twenty years ago, I made a Round Robin with friends in a mini Guild. At that time, I made two center blocks. I sent one out and kept the other. As we passed the quilts around, I made a row for the quilt with the same criteria that we had for the one that traveled. It was fun to see how different they are.

The quilt that traveled
The quilt that stayed home

The Morewood Mystery quilt has been fun to make. The instructions come once a month, so I have been able to keep up. The first month had cutting instructions.

The second month was half square triangles.
The third month had a partial four patch
and a four patch

The four patch seams were pressed with a little four patch center
The seams on the other block were pressed open on a strip stick

The half square triangles were trimmed using a Clearly Perfect Trimmer by New Leaf Stitches. The block can be trimmed in two cuts and the dog ears can be trimmed at the same time.

The Strip Stick is one of the best gadgets that I have. Pressing seams open is easy. No burned fingers.

This block of the month project has been relaxing. There are a lot of blocks to make each month, but they are mostly the same. The cutting was done in the first month and the sewing is easy.

The pieces are in their own basket and awaiting final instructions.

I’m going to start a new project tomorrow. Maybe it will be another UFO or maybe, the start of another new quilt. Either way, it will be a fun day.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Finally Finished

This has been a busy few weeks . I didn’t have much time to sew, but when I did, it was if I had never sewn before. Mr. Seam Ripper was my constant companion. We are on a first name basis now.

I have sold my Maine house to one of my daughters. Moving, packing, and purging has taken a lot of my time. This is a good move for me at this time, but I’m glad that the two houses are finally combined into one. There are a lot of items left for a big yard sale next summer. Lots have gone to the Salvation Army and lots more to go.

In the meantime, I have gone a bit crazy and decided to refinish the office furniture and clean the attic. Half of the attic is purged and organized. I will have to finish the other half before the winter chill is up there. I’ve found items that I forgot I had. There is a whole bin of scraps and another bin of heavier fabric for making tote bags and pocketbooks. There is a bin of flannel pillowcases. Two pillow cases make the perfect size backing for a baby quilt. I’ll think about all the treasures again when the snow flies and I need something new to work on.

Two of the pieces of office furniture are finished and with only two more to go, I can see the end of that project.

My garden might have to wait until Spring. Maybe the weather will be nice for a while and I can find a day to go out there.

I have finished the Summer Splendor top. It was a block of the week Internet pattern. I finally finished the blocks and put them together. The quilt was fairly easy to make until I overloaded myself and tried to hurry and not enjoy the trip. If I had concentrated, I could have left Mr. Seam Ripper in the drawer.

Here are some of the blocks.

The original border in the pattern called for large yardage. There were several pieces of the Free Spirit fabric so I decided to make a piano key border and use it up.

When it was finished, I had just two complete fat quarters and a very small amount of scraps. The fat quarters can be used for the binding. I might be able to get a mini quilt from the scraps. Then I won’t have to add them to my never ending pile of small scraps.

I have been following several quilting blogs and have lots of ideas in my head. That’s for another day.

My oldest UFO is out to be hand quilted again. The quilt is at least 30 years old. It has had a lot of shelf life. Every stitch is progress at this point. As long as my under hand holds out, I’ll work on it in the evenings. I really need to finish it and get it on my bed.

Hopefully, I can slow down and start finishing some of the many quilts in my “waiting to be quilted” chest. At least, most of them are in the same place. I also want to play with the many tools and accessories that I bought because they looked interesting. It’s time to move on and enjoy quilting again.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

slight vacation from quilting

Today was the first day in a few weeks that I have used the sewing machine. It was not really a vacation from quilting. I have spent the past month purging and packing the Maine house. Then trying to combine two houses into one. I made the first of many runs to the Salvation Army last Tuesday. A big yard sale is ahead for next summer. One of my daughters now owns the Maine house and she is doing the same. The transition went well.

Now that I am in the purge mode, I’m going to continue with the New Hampshire house. I’ve found a lot of things that I forgot that I had. I really don’t need a lot of the objects in the attic, so they will be boxed up and taken away. In the meantime, I have found so many ufos. They are being gathered in one place so I can either finish them or dispose of them. It’s amazing how many duplicate quilting tools that I have. Maybe I can get all the supplies in the sewing room if I cut back.

Today’s sewing consisted of sewing the binding on a Dear Jane block. It is five inches square and didn’t take very long. One more block and Row C will be finished. There is hope that I will finish this quilt soon.

The second month of the Moorehead Mystery quilt is finished. Last month, we cut squares and rectangles. This month, we made lots of half square triangles and trimmed them to size. I made the half square triangles and pressed them. I put the cutting mat on the kitchen counter and trimmed a few at a time when I walked by. It didn’t seem like a big job by cutting in five or ten minute increments

The Summer Splendor quilt is four weeks behind. I’ve saved all of the instructions to a file so I can catch up at my leisure.

I don’t have any new quilts to show. While organizing and putting things away in the sewing room, I came across several log cabin quilts. This is such an easy pattern and is very versatile.

This quilt is on the bed in my sewing/guest room. It was made in the flip and sew method from a Womans Day pattern. Each block was made separately and then sewn together in the lap quilting method.

Scruffy telling us what she wants for supper
Max and Scruffy

This is a memory quilt. The Wire Fox Terrier is not Miss Molly. It is Scruffy, her predecessor. The Schnauzer is Max. The log cabins are tipped on purpose.

I had made a larger wall hanging with this pattern and gave it away as a gift. I enjoyed making it so much that I made this smaller one for me.

This log Cabin is twelve inches square. It was paper pieced.

This is also a small wall hanging. It was paper pieced.

The log cabin block is versatile. It could be a plain log cabin block, a pineapple log cabin block, or a court house step block. Changing the fabric colors makes the same pattern look very different. Adding applique enhances the block. Changing the orientation of the blocks will result in different looking quilts. I once saw a log cabin quilt that was made with velvet and lace. It was beautiful. There was no visible quilting on it so It must have been made with the flip and sew method.

I hope to get back to sewing and quilting soon. Some of the ufos are small. Maybe I should start on the little ones first.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Still busy

It’s amazing how, when you’re not looking, life works itself out and comes together like pieces in a picture puzzle. I had been asked to teach a class at the New Hampshire Guild in November. It was supposed to be Landscape Gaa-barge class. That is a technique where you can make a wall hanging from a photo that you have taken. It uses scraps and small cut offs that would usually be thrown away. It is a fun class and everyone has a memory picture.

All was well until I was asked if I could do a virtual class. I have done Zoom meetings, Skype, and Facetime, but am not set up with the proper equipment to show the procedures. This was a problem.

In the meantime, the Maine Guild had it’s Christmas In July party with a Yankee swap. We wore gloves and masks and social distanced. I made a small wall hanging for my gift.

It went to a good home. The Guild members wanted to learn how to make the blocks. I said that I would make a tutorial and present it at the next meeting. It was a “what if” moment. What if I made a four part mystery quilt tutorial. I called the program chair at the New Hampshire Guild and she thought that it was a wonderful idea. So, starting in November, the New Hampshire Guild will have a mystery quilt for four months and Landscape Gaa-barge will be taught at a much later date. Problem solved.

The Maine Guild members had a fun day learning the block which can be made in several sizes.

My gardens in N. H. are dried up. I checked around and did find quite a few tomatoes and a zucchini.

I had some free fabric and decided to use it for the Moorewood Mystery quilt. The clues come once a month. The first month was just cutting, so it was finished quickly and put aside for the next clue.

I did purchase the white fabric
Fabric cut and bagged

Summer Sampler is on week six. I am two weeks behind. The last two need a printer to print out the patterns and mine is in New Hampshire. I’m in Maine. I’ll catch up later.

The applique wall hanging is ready to baste again for hand quilting. I had basted it already and used a wool batt. Every time that I picked it up, it seemed very heavy. After thinking about it, I decided that the wool batt would be better in a bed quilt. It took just fifteen minutes to pull out all the basting threads. It will be better with a thin batt. Miss Molly has inspected the quilt and says it’s ready to be finished.

Everything works out if you wait for a little while.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Nomination

A group of quilters has started a virtual quilt show on Facebook. Each quilters has been nominated by another quilter to show one quilt a day for ten days. There is no commentary about the quilt. Then, that quilter nominates another quilter to show ten quilts in ten days. This has been an awesome show and tell from a number of quilting friends and friend of friends.

There have been so many beautiful quilts shown and talked about. It’s hard to decided which one I like best, but I have seen some patterns that I would like to make.

My ten days are over. I did miscount and posted two different quilts on day 5, so I posted a total of 11 quilts. Many of my blog followers are not on Facebook, so I will show all eleven quilts here.

Day 1 This is a small wall hanging. It is a miniature of a larger quilt found in a magazine.

Day 2 Frolic is a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.

Day 3 This is a block of the week bed runner. Miss Molly is showing her favorite block.

Day 4 This was made in Sue Pellon class at Vermont Quilt Festival. It is fusible applique with machine blanket stitch around the applique.

Day 5 #! This is red work flowers and hand quilting. It took longer to get around to doing this than it took to do it.

Day 5 #2 Shadows. I made this at a quilt retreat.

Day 6 Canadian 150 It was made in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. It is hand quilted. This quilt was supposed to be red and white but I used blue fabric.

Day 7 Vermont Windows was made in a class at the Vermont Quilt Festival.

Day 8 This was Blockhead block of the week. I have finished the blocks of a second blockhead, but haven’t put them together yet.

Day 9 My hand dyed fabrics were used in this quilt. It is heavily hand quilted. I changed the name of the pattern from October weekend to October Madness. It was hard to get all of the pieces in the right order. Some are not, but it’s hard to tell where they are.

Day 10 Basket and Butterflies. This quilt has won several blue ribbons, a best hand quilting ribbon at VQF, and viewers’ choice at Maine Quilts 2019. It is retired from shows. It is hand appliqued and hand stipple quilted.

I hope that you have enjoyed this virtual quilt show.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Still Quilting

When I came to Maine this summer, I bought only a few projects to work on. I’ve been working a little on each one and don’t seem to finish anything. Comfort and Blessings is together in rows. It is set on a diagonal. It needs to be sandwiched with batting and backing so that I can quilt each row separately. Maybe I’ll do that on the next rainy day. It’s much more fun to sit on the porch and read a book while the weather is good.

I have finished eight blocks in row c for Dear Jane. Of the other five, four are paper pieced and one is an applique. Another rainy day for sewing. I can sit outside and quilt and bind so I should get busy and piece a few.

The applique wall hanging top is finished. It has been sandwiched and ready to hand quilt. My thread came from Superior Thread so I can start hand quilting any time. When I basted the quilt, I noticed that I forgot to add two buds. The stem ends in mid air. I’ll add them when I get to that spot in the quilting.

I needed a piece for A Christmas In July Yankee swap. I have an easy nine patch pattern that when cut and resewn looks very hard. It’s not. I had made this pattern before with 5 inch pieces. This time I used a stack of 2 1/2 inch Moda samples that were given to me as a gift. It is partially quilted. I’m not sure how to quilt the next section. It won’t take long to finish when I decide what to do. I still have a lot of small fabric 2 1/2″ samples. Also some mini paper patterns for paper piecing. I should put them together sometime.

I had decided to take the 25 week machine quilting class with Lori Kennedy. I thought that one lesson a week could be added to what I already do. The lesson came on Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday and Thursday. There was so much homework that I got way behind in everything. Years ago, I read a book by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It was called “Knitting without Tears” It taught the European method of knitting which is much faster than American knitting. At the beginning of the book, Elizabeth stated that if you didn’t like knitting and it wasn’t enjoyable, don’t do it. Do something that you enjoy. Taking Lori’s classes wasn’t enjoyable, so I’m taking Elizabeth’s advice. I’m not going to do the classes anymore. I will download and save the lessons and read them, There might be some tidbits that I need to learn.

In the meantime, I have a new book by Angela Walters. She says that if you want to learn how to machine quilt, just start. What a wise woman. If I want to finish any of my projects, I just have to start and work on them until they are finished.

I have a few wall hangings in the Maine house. The birdhouse wall hanging was made several years ago when I was a member of the Tuesday Night Quilters. It was a small group of ladies from the area where I lived at the time. We did round robins, challenge quilts, mystery quilts, and had a wonderful time.

The fish wall hanging was made in a small class of retired women. We met twice monthly and had a great teacher who taught us many things. The day that we made this piece, a reporter from the local paper joined us. She wrote a weekly column about senior citizens. We didn’t think that we were senior citizens at that point, so she called us active senior citizens.

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The fish were stuffed; They had beads for eyes. The weeds were built in and free motion embroidery.

I made the third wall hanging for my husband. He had it in his office until he retired. He tied fishing flies and I asked him one day if I could borrow four. He asked if he would get them back. I said, Yes, eventually. The flies are tied to the quilt with real fishing line.

So, you see, he did get his fishing flies back.

My raspberries are outdoing themselves again this year. I’ve frozen several big pails full and there are lots more out there for tomorrow. I will enjoy them next winter. Raspberries twice a day for dessert are wonderful.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

It’s July

I finally arrived in Maine a few days ago. Our states now let us cross the border without quarantine. It is definitely different coming up two months late. The gardens in Maine are overgrown and impossible to clean up at this point. I’ll have to cut everything back when I can find time. I’ll be careful and leave the good stuff. I’m thankful for the gardens in New Hampshire. I was able to keep them up until I came up here. This year, I planted vegetable seeds and tomato plants among the flowers. Hopefully, they will still grow while I am gone. I’m going back for a few days at the end of July to check on them. We are having a much needed rain, The grass is crispy and brown. One of my grandsons had mowed the lawn until it turned brown. He did a great job of keeping the property tidy. I noticed lots of raspberries that will be ripe soon. The garlic scapes are ready to cut. They are so good in a stir fry. My neighbor’s peas are ready. I should buy my supply and freeze them for the winter. They are so much better than the frozen peas in the store. The farmer’s market is open on Saturday afternoon and I will get fresh vegetables there.

Some of my New Hampshire Flowers.

Yippee!!! I’ve just received notice that Crafsty/Blueprint has been acquired by TN Marketing, They have agreed to honor previous customer purchases for classes and subscriptions. Now, we just wait for instructions on how to do this.

I’ve only brought up a few projects this year. One project is Row C of Dear Jane, I have a few pieced and can quilt and bind them when I sit on the porch and do handwork.

The applique wall hanging is ready to baste. I want to hand quilt it so thread has been ordered from Superior Thread. It is supposed to come by Monday and the quilt will be basted by then. It’s not as if I don’t have enough thread. I didn’t have the right color and I wanted cones to make sure that I didn’t run out before finishing.

I’m taking an online 25 week machine quilting class with Lori Kennedy. The class is in the third week and I haven’t started yet. All the lessons have been saved to a file and I will start as soon as I get myself organized. Lori says that we are going to work hard and I believe her. There is a lot of information to learn and practice, practice, practice. My quilt sandwiches are made and my doodle pad is ready. Someone on her website told of a free app on an I pad that can be used to doodle. I’ll look it up and see if it is something that I can use.

The Comfort and blessings blocks are finished. I have the instructions for finishing the sashing and borders. I’m thinking of machine quilting each block and putting it together the lap quilting way. It would be easier than putting a big quilt under the bed of the machine.

I have a couple of other small projects to finish. It’s difficult to decide which project to work on. On rainy days, I like to sew in the house. On sunny days, it’s much nicer to hand sew on the porch. Hopefully, I can finish most of the projects while here.

The New Hampshire quilt guild has not met since March. The Maine Guild met last week for the first time since March. We sat outside and social distanced. It was so nice to be together again.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

MISS MOLLY

Many of the new followers don’t know who Miss Molly is and what important job she has in my quilting life. Miss Molly celebrated her 10th birthday last January. She is very smart and is well trained, but she has her own ideas on how things should go. She is always asking me “Why do you want me to do that?” and goes about her jolly way and does what she wants. The old adage about teaching old dogs new tricks is not true with her as she learned how to “high five” in the past two months.

Miss Molly has passed Level 1, level 2 and level 3 with flying colors. She had had sniff and search lessons, agility lessons, and dance lessons. Dancing for dogs is obedience to hand signals and music. We had a dance routine, but she kept inserting her favorite trick, just because she wanted to.

Miss Molly’s very important job is quality control inspector.

Miss Molly when she first came to live with us.

Miss Molly has finished her meal and is waiting in the bowl for Max to leave his bowl so she can have the leftovers.

Miss Molly loved to dig. Fortunately, this was her only hole so we let her have fun.

Max and Molly playing. Max was much older than Molly and she missed him when he was no longer with us.

Miss Molly, just before her first professional grooming.

She was no longer a puppy when she came back. She was a beautiful adult dog. Of course that was in looks, not actions.

Miss Molly’s graduation picture. She did not like wearing the hat. Doesn’t like sweaters when it’s cold. Never could keep boots on. I even tried a tutu when she danced, but she hated it. No scarfs for her. but if I take her collar off, she is very upset.

My daughter and I were sorting large bags of factory cotton fabric cut offs. Miss Molly climbed on top of the pile to see if the fabric was o.k. to use in a quilt.

Miss Molly inspecting the Canadian 150 quilt.

Miss Molly has a co worker. Rufus, also, is a quality control inspector. Here they are discussing their hard days work.

Rufus and Miss Molly at work.

Miss Molly does not like thunder storms or loud noises. Usually she goes under the bed, but this time she sat in a corner, facing the wall. If she doesn’t see the lightening, maybe it will go away.

It would be nice if all quilters had a unjudgmental quality control inspector like Miss Molly.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Random Thought

I’m still in N. H. The Governor said yesterday that he was coordinating with Maine and Mass, and the stay at home order might be lifted June 15th. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m enjoying working in my gardens, doing Spring cleaning, and some sewing and quilting. Friends keep in touch by phone, e-mail and chatting from the correct social distancing. One of my daughters made three masks for me. They are awesome. Thanks so much. I had made two, but they are not as nice as my new ones. My daughter made them with fabric showing three of my favorite things. Quilting, gardens and Miss Molly.

The flowers are beautiful this year. Usually, I’m in Maine and only see pictures of the Iris and Lupines.

Craftsy was sold a few year ago to NBC Universal. The new name is Blueprint. While it was still Craftsy, I bought several of the classes and also downloaded several free classes. The e-mail from Blueprint stated that they were closing the program. Two of the sentences gave me hope. It said “Please note that we will provide a way for those of you have purchased classes to receive a copy of the classes you purchased, For example, we’re working on a solution to give you an extended period to download your purchased classes.” I just have to be patient and wait for the next e-mail.

One of the classes that I purchased was a Lola Jenkins class. In the class, we were supposed to make a face called the Lady with the Pearl Earing. At that time, the Guild had a challenge to make a small wall hanging of ourselves. I decided to use Lola’s technique and make my head. It was fun to make. I haven’t used the technique since then. Maybe, when I can download the instructions, I can make another piece. Maybe flowers or something else.

Comfort and Blessings patterns are still coming every Monday morning in my e-mail. It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve finished piecing #24. I have changed some of the fabrics as they were not the right color. I want this quilt to be on the quiet side.

I’ve been appliquéing the flower wall hanging while watching TV in the evenings. I am on the bottom border. I had designed the bottom border and had the flowers all ready to applique, but as I applique the flowers onto the border, I’m changing their position and adding green leaves in places. When I finish the left side of the bottom border, I’ll use the light box to position the same flowers on the right side. When all the flowers are on the wall hanging, I’ll take pictures.

Have a great day and happy quilting.