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 has been a very nice day. The sun was out and it was warm. Now, a little rain is falling so that I don’t have to water the gardens this evening. The gardens are beautiful in spots. This is the year to observe the gardens and make plans for next year. I have been out weeding and found that there were more weeds than flowers. I’m sure that the weeds will come back, but for now, the plants can grow and fill in the spots.
The Concord Monitor had an article about a Butterfly Bush that was named “Miss Molly” . I had to have one and found it in a local nursery
The Butterfly Bush is living up to it’s name. There was a butterfly on the bush this evening.
The day lilies are beautiful.
This flower looks like Queen Anne’s Lace, but it is really second year carrots. I like to leave carrots in the ground for the flowers the next year.
Coneflowers. I plan to add different colored coneflowers next year.
I have several plants of Allium. Next year, I’ll divide them so that they will be in more places in the gardens.
This is a bright spot in a shady garden.
There are many green tomatoes on the tomato plants. I noticed a zucchini that will be ready to eat next week. The greens are ready to be picked. I didn’t think that the vegetables did very well, but I have all I need along with the vegetable truck that comes into the community every Saturday.
One of my neighbors had a party last week . Several of my other neighbors were there. We had good food and good fellowship. We met to watch the Night Blooming Cereus open. The NIght Blooming Cereus blooms just once a year and then dies.
It was fascinating to see the flower open up. We watched it shutter and then it opened a little. The flower did this several times until it was fully open after dark.
Plans are being made for my trip to a quilt show in September. One of my neighbors, who just happens to be one of my best friends, and I won a trip to a quilt show in Pennsylvania. We are going down by Amtrak. A videographer was with us today to begin the process. It was fun to have a bed quilt show with some of my quilts. Miss Molly was very good to have other people in the house. She thinks that anyone who comes is there for her.
I haven’t been sewing much lately, but I have finished the top to a baby quilt. I used the leftover scraps from the last two quilts that I made to make nine mile a minute blocks. I added a black and white striped fabric. It makes the other fabrics pop. I learned this trick from one of my students in a mile a minute class.
This quilt will go to a baby girl. It is next on the list to be quilted. I may have to wait for a while because the Maine Virtual quilt show starts this week. I have signed up for some demonstrations and other things.
In the meantime, I’ll still working on Dear Jane in the evenings. Someday, it will be finished.
I blame it on the heat wave. After I had the wonderful vacation at York Beach and Moody Beach, I decided to finish a few projects and start a few more. It was hot and humid. I don’t have central air conditioning, but have two little area air conditioners. They work fine in one room, but take a little longer to cool the air.
I filled one with water and ice cubes and placed it on a double stacked plastic three drawer unit. A fan was on the floor to blow the air throughout the room. I started to sew before the air was cool. The pieces were sticking to me and falling on the floor. I would sew a row and use my friend, Mr. Seam Ripper, to unsew and sew again. Piecing was not going well so I decided to finish the last of the 23 day sewing room declutter. What could go wrong with that. The last item on my list was notions. I gathered all my stuff and began to organize. The pins and needles are in one drawer. The scissors and rotary cutters are in another drawer. Everything was going well until the top three drawers fell over. Everything fell on the floor. All the pins, needles, scissors, rotary cutters, and everything else that was in the top three drawers. Also the air conditioner with its ice and water. I cleaned up all the ice and water, left the other stuff on the floor and went into the living room, put my feet up and read a book for the rest of the day. I did go back the next day and reorganize again. Now the 23 day declutter is finished. I found things that I forgot I had. Fabric to go into the many quilts in my head. All is well. Needless to say, the drawer units are no longer stacked.
I have finished the Stay At Home Pandemic Round Robin top. Unfortunately, I forgot to sent the instructions for the last Guild newsletter, but I will send them for the September one. .
Center – any block that you want. Row 1 – flying geese. Row 2 – triangles Row 3 – squares. Row 4 – diamonds. Row 5 – piano keys. Row 6 – stars. Row 7 anything goes.
I used scraps from my stash for this quilt. I read the other day that you’re not supposed to call your fabric a stash. It sound too much like trash. It is supposed to be called your fabric collection. You can have some fabrics in your permanent fabric collection. You don’t have to use your fabric just because it’s there.
Four quilts have come back from the long arm quilters. The binding was sewn on in the evenings while watching TV.
This is a Round Robin made with members of the Guild. The ladies did a wonderful job. This is one of my favorite quilts.
This is a block of the month bed runner. It is bigger than most bed runners, but I like the colors. It will go very nicely in my bedroom.
This is an older sampler quilt. It might have been a block of the week quilt.
Mystery quilt made with 5″ blocks makes a queen size quilt.
It’s amazing. This quilt is the same mystery quilt pattern made with 2 1/2″ squares. It is wall hanging or baby quilt size. Different colors and size of squares make it very different.
My July 3D Mini quilt top is finished. It is 14″ square. I’m enjoying this project very much. I can make one in a day and quilt it the next day and it’s done. No UFOs with 3D quilts. This is the fifth one in this project.
I have had a vacation. It was wonderful. I didn’t have to think about meals, gardening, quilting or any of the other regular chores. Miss Molly went to her favorite place, her wonderful Vet Boarding kennel. She loves it there and pouts when she has to come home. I do feel thankful that she loves it and wants to go right in the door and leave me behind. I know that she is well cared for.
I did take a quilt that needed the binding sewn down, but it mostly stayed in it’s bag.
The first few days were spent at York Beach. I love York. My family went to York when I was very young. After I was married, my husband and I took our children to York. It was like going home. There are so many nice memories there.
We had no set schedule. I stayed with one of my daughters who rented a cottage that was within sight of the beach. We ate out, including breakfast. We found the most delicious orange cranberry muffins in a take out not far from the cottage. Two other daughters and a son in law visited during the day. Sitting on the beach, under an umbrella. and watching the surf and other people was relaxing. I had forgotten what it was like to do nothing.
Of course, we had to go to the Nubble and Browns for ice-cream
This seagull stood on the monument and posed. It waited until I took the picture before he flew away.
After a few days, I went to Wells Beach to a time share with another daughter and son in law. It was a short walk to Moody Beach. While there, I took my shoes off , rolled up my slacks and walked in the water. It was so much fun.
Now, I’m back home, just in time to go to the VQF virtual show. I’m so glad that I decided to attend. I’ve signed up for two lectures. Kimberly Einmo’s lecture was last week. She talked about sewing rooms. She has a wealth of information. The other lecture is next week. I keep forgetting to see the vendor demonstrations. The one that I did attend was cancelled.
.Therehe show is set up very nicely. You can see the whole quilt, the back, and a close up. There is a larger picture of the whole quilt at the bottom. There is a section with the first place ribbon winners. Also several other exhibits. It took me a while to figure out how to access the vendors. With one click, you can go to their website and order on line. The events of the day are on the home page every morning. The youth group was shown receiving their Janome sewing machines from Dave LaValley from the Bittersweet Fabric Shop in Boscawen, N. H. It is well worth the $5 fee. The show will continue all next week.
Now that I’m home, I have to get back to the garden. The weeds wait for no person. There are still a few seedlings to transplant.
I also finished the June 3D mini quilt. . It looks complicated, but in reality is very easy to make. It’s all straight sewing. It was machine quilted.
Now, on to other things. Tacking down bindings for 3 quilts, quilting a baby quilt and other UFOs . and more Dear Jane. They are all in a big basket waiting to be finished from the top down. Then, I can fill up the big basket again.
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.