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.
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.
Our prompt this week was a wonky star. Years ago, I made a wall hanging with a wonky star. I thought that I had invented a new block, but now realize that there is nothing new in quilting. That wall hanging now belongs to one of my beloved daughter-in-laws. She loves it. It was fun to make. No matching or cut off points. Just twinkling stars.
If we did not like wonky, we could make any star pattern. The checkerboard row was busy, so I thought that the wonky star row should be coping strips with just a few stars in the corners.
The colored SAHRR has just four stars, one in each of the corners. The wonky star is a nine patch. I wanted a narrow row so cut the patches 1 1/2″ square. That made a 3″ finished star. Running the pieces through assembly line method for the points was quick. I had Ginny Beyer fabric scraps leftover from the flying geese and the medallion center so used it for the points.
The black and white quilt is still is my favorite of the two. It is fun to just use value in choosing the fabric pieces. The fabric that I choose was too short to go the length of the row if I just had a star in each corner. I didn’t want to piece the length of the row. The corner of the previous row was 2″ not the 3″ measurement of the stars. It was time for a design element. The row would be 3″ wide so a 3″ star block would be fine in the corner. On each side of the star would be a 2″ x 3″ striped block. Then another star block. With all four corners made this way, I had enough length to piece the center of the border. That piece was strip pieced in the same configuration as the 2″ portion.
The 2″ flower block between the star blocks is a happy little accident. It looks as if it belongs there and I planned it.
I’m looking forward to the plan for the next row.
Now, It’s time to get some of the quilt thoughts out of my head and onto fabric. I have a lot of fun planned.
This has been a productive week. The Morehead mystery quilt reveal came last Thursday. This quilt was easy to put together. It consisted of several A and B blocks and one C block. The only matching seams were the corners of the blocks. The Morehead Mystery is a very pretty quilt, but it doesn’t have a border. Several participants have said that they are going to add a border. I’m trying to decide if I will add one or not. I do have enough red, blue and green fabric to add a border. There is very small piece of white left over but I can’t remember where I bought it. I’ll have to do a bit of research to find it. If I had more white, I could piece a border. I don’t want it to look as if I just added a border because I could.
What do you think? Does it need a border?
The border could be one of these fabrics or a combination of them. Decisions, decisions!!! In the meantime, I’ll work on something else and just think about it.
On Wednesday morning, I realized that I hadn’t checked for the next row of the Stay At Home Round Robbin. The prompts come out on Mondays. This week, the prompt is a checkerboard. Checkerboards are fun to make.
Two 1 1/2″ fabric strips are sewn together. They are pressed, cut into 1 1/2″ segments and sewn back together with the colors reversed. This is the fabric that I used for the lighter part of the checkerboard.
When it was cut, it looked as if I had used multiple fabrics. I paired it with a darker fabric. When sewing the borders on the quilt, I found that I was one checkerboard short and all the darker fabric was used. It was time for a design element. With a bit of unsewing, and adding a solid piece to the middle of all four sides, it worked out. The corner squares were fussy cut from the center of the flowers .
The colored piece is a little larger than the black and white. I wanted a calming border so chose not to use the Ginny Beyer border fabric. The hand dyed fabric was Ombre dyed and gives subtle color tints and tones.
The Quilt Guild had a secret valentine exchange. Those who participated received a name with some background of another quilter. Each one either bought or made a gift for their secret Valentine. We had a wonderful exchange party. Three of us wore masks and social distanced. It was so good to have other people in the house, even if it was for a little time.
Absolutely beautifully made wall hanging from Adriana. It will be on my wall for the month of February.
I received this in the mail from a very dear friend.
This week’s stay at home round robin was hosted by Anja Quilts. She chose a flying geese row. I like to make flying geese so this was fun.
I spent the better part of an afternoon trying to design a curvy flying geese. I wanted a narrow row, so this didn’t work. The curvy geese needed the space of a wider row.
There are several ways of making flying geese. One is to make a rectangle and sew small squares on the diagonal on each end. No specialty rulers are needed.
I have two flying geese rulers. When I want a single flying geese, I use Kimberly Einmos flying geese ruler. I used her ruler to make the Temperature quilt. For that quilt, I made one flying geese a day for 365 days. That was a fun quilt to make. One flying geese a day didn’t take long to make.
My other ruler is the Lazy Girl x 4 flying geese ruler.
You can make four flying geese at a time with this ruler. All the math is done for you. To make four flying geese, you cut one large square from the solid lines and four small squares from the dotted lines. The ruler makes several sizes of flying geese. I chose to make size B which finishes at 1″ x 2″.
I wondered what would happen if I fussy cut a large square from the Ginny Beyer border fabric. This was a “what if” that came out better than I expected. I’ll use this technique in another quilt someday.
You Tube has several tutorials on this method of making flying geese. The tutorials tell you to cut large and trim down. With the Lazy Girl, there is no trimming. With accurate cutting and sewing, the flying geese are the correct size. You do have to remember to divide the number of flying geese by four to get the amount of geese that you want. If you want twenty geese, you sew five. This is a fast and accurate method.
Draw a diagonal line on the small squares. Place two on the larger square as show in the picture and sew 1/4″ on each side.
Cut between the two sewn lines and press.
Add another small square with a diagonal line. Sew 1/4″ on each side of the line. I used two different fabrics because I wanted each side to be a different color.
When using two different fabrics, you will have a mirror image. This was perfect because I wanted the geese to fly up on opposite sides of the quilt.
The black and white geese were flying in no time. Both skies were the same color. I chose to have them fly around the corners of the quilt.
It’s different planning a quilt with just values, not tints and tones of colors.
It is fun to make two quilts using the same criteria.
I look forward to each Monday to have another prompt. It’s fun to see what the other quilters have done with the same prompts. Everyone has a different idea.
Deb Tucker also has a flying geese ruler, the Wing Clipper. The flying geese is made in the same manner as the Lazy Girl, but the block is made large and trimmed down.
Last year, 2020, was an unusual year to say the least. My summer in Maine was delayed because I could not cross the border until the end of June unless I quarantined. I had to buy groceries so I delayed my summer. Gardens were overgrown and beyond hope. It was discouraging. Then I decided to sell and one of my daughters bought the property. It was a quick move and I was back in N. H. on August 31st. Combining two houses into one was interesting. Some of my “stuff” is still in Maine in the garage to be sold at a yard sale next summer.
After I settled in, I decided to work on Dear Jane. Row A and row B had been completed and I thought that I would sew them into the main body of the quilt. But, they were missing. Did I leave them in Maine or are they in the N. H. house?
Since September I have been checking and organizing every cupboard and bin. My fabric is neatly organized and I know where most thing are now. The rows were still missing. I have just three places to look.
The pile of batting. I had found another missing piece in the batting pile before.
The bins of wall hangings, and the dreaded attic. If they were up there, they would never be found. It’s to cold to go up there now for a search.
I took two bins of wall hangings down. As I was checking them, I decided to divide the wall hangings into two piles, hand quilted and machine quilted. The last wall hanging in one of the bins was a green piece that I made last year for March – St. Patrick’s day. As I started to pull it out to put it into the machine quilted pile, I noticed another piece inside with circles. What joy!!! It was the missing Dear Jane rows.
Now, another puzzle. How did they get there? Why were those two pieces together in that bin? The answer was simple when I looked back into the pictures on my iPhone. I took pictures of the two pieces the same day in May. I must have folded both up and put them away in the wall hanging bin not noticing that Dear Jane was in the middle of the wall hanging. Dear Jane never did go to Maine with me last summer like I thought.
I’m attaching the rows to the main body of the quilt so that I won’t loose them again. I’m working on the blocks that are missing in the upper right. When they are finished, there will be just three more rows to make. Of course, there are the triangles that go all around the outside. This is a long, long, term project.
I’ve finished the second row of the pandemic round robin quilts. This row had to have a cross.
The gold is darker on this row. This fabric was dyed in an Ombre dyeing class. As I go out, the gold will be darker in each row. It’s a happy, unintended, design element.
I have to pay attention to value with the black and white.
One of my UFOs. It was a sample for my mile a minute class. The mile a minute blocks were cut into quarters and an inch sashing was inserted. The block is the same size as it was when I started. The inch insertion is fun to do. I’m quilting the UFOs using the chapters in Angela Walter’s book, Background fillers. This was the second chapter. Loopy meander. I finally figured out how to do it by the time I finished. It’s not my favorite background filler, but I might use it in another piece.
I think that I’ve figured out how to finish all my UFOs. Have fun, learn something new when finishing them, and just get them done.
I have had an adventure in quilting for the last three days. It has taken a quilt community to get me this far. I was working on a few ufos when I read Laura Kate’s blog, Daily Fiber. Laura Kate is awesome. She quilts, makes the most wonderful knit products, and does water color painting. I admire her very much. When her blog shows up, it is the highlight of my day. Laura Kate led me to another blog SAHRR 2021 chrisknits(wordpress.com.)
Chris and a few fellow bloggers are making a Covid round robin. This is similar to the traditional round robin, except that the quilt never travels out of your house. Each blogger gives weekly challenges to the group. They show their progress on their websites.
The round robin starts with a single block. Any block that you want. It can be an orphan block or a new one. I checked all my orphan blocks, but decided not to use any of them.
I had bought 5 1\2 yards of a Ginny Beyer border print for $2.00 a yard at Mardens. This would be my focus fabric. I like to fussy cut the prints. There would be enough for a border. I hadn’t used any of the hand dyed fabric that I made two years ago. I had ombre fabric and graduated dyed fabric. The colors that I chose seemed to go very well with the focus fabric.
Ginny Beyer has lots of quilt block patterns, so I chose on that I could do fussy cutting in the center. Things were going very well. Pieces were cut and sewed. It went together very well. Then, I looked at it. It was awful. I did not like it and knew that it would go into the ufo bin, never to be seen again, it I didn’t do something. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but it had to be the colors.
The center was nice,
That night, I saw a black and white block on Pinterest. I have a challenge of a two color quilt so this would work. It was a total turn around. I found a block on EQ 7 and made the block. It was so much better than the colored one.
Chris chose Piano Keys for the first round. She decided that the block needed a coping strip and then a small 1 1/2″ finished border. That would be easy.
The blog picture showed only two border sides, so that’s what I did. I made two borders. It was different. Then I looked at the blog for finished blocks from the other bloggers and they had all four sides. Chris’s block just wasn’t finished.
I had four quarter square triangle squares left over so used them in the four corners of the black and white block. So far, I like this quilt.
Now, back to the colored version. My quilting buddy daughter and her husband came for lunch the other day, Of course, it was show and tell. She took one look at the block and said that the red was the wrong color. It needed to be changed. I unsewed the block and took out the red points. It was much harder to insert the new points. The fabric stretched a bit with the unsewing. I can quilt out the puffiness. I also removed the border print borders and replaced it with piano keys. What a difference. I think that I can save it now.
I’ll make two Covid round robins.
Each new challenge is presented on Monday. This project can rest for a few days and I can work on something else. First, I have to clean up the mess that I made making these two blocks. It’s much nicer to work in a clean room.
Miss Molly will be celebrating her birthday on January 16th. It doesn’t seem possible that she is 11 years old. She was such a cute puppy.
Miss Molly is a great companion. She does love my quilts.
I’ve been busy sewing on various quilts during the past two weeks. Three more Dear Jane blocks are finished. It’s enjoyable to piece and quilt a small project.
Two quilts have come back from the long arm quilter.
This is my first and my last Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. Now, I can say that I have made one. I found a large piece of fabric that I had used in the first border and used it for binding. It is completely finished.
This is an old quilt. It was almost an antique before it was quilted. I hand pieced in the first five years of my quilting journey and this one is hand pieced. I like the idea of a quilt block in the middle of another quilt block. I may make another on like this. I’m looking for fabric for the binding. If I had made binding when I made it, it’s long gone. I’ll look for something today so that I can finish this quilt.
I have more ideas in my head than I have time for. It’s a good thing that I’m staying home and working on a few of them.
One of my daughter in laws asked me if I had some fabric that she could use for a project. What a question!!! I sorted all my fabric drawers and pulled out two bags of scraps for her and two bags for one of my daughters. My daughter makes the most beautiful Grandmother Flower Garden quilts and can use small pieces. My daughter in law will have to show me what she’s working on when we can finally get together. She lives in another state and can’t cross the border until the quarantine is lifted. All the leftover fabric is folded and neat. I don’t imagine that it will stay that way for long, but it looks great for a while. In the meantime, I decided to organize the sewing room again. It was such a mess. I didn’t want to go in there and sew. Most everything is back in it’s place and I can find what I want.
I’m enjoying this new plan of not planning what I’m going to do. Quilting should be fun.