ufo and other things

I’m back in N. H.  The weather is beautiful.  My climbing roses are outdoing themselves this year.  Two of the flowers that my Dad gave me are in blossom.  I look forward to them every year.  I did make a list of what I “needed” to do when I came home.  I haven’t even looked at the list.  I’ve been busy.

Last Friday night was the Guild banquet.  Our speaker was Beth Helfter.  Beth devised a new method of making half square triangles.  It is called the Accordion sewn Half Square Triangles.  It was fascinating because I need to make lots of half square triangles for a border of a wall hanging that I am making.  Today, I thought I would make some.  It took three tries to get the procedure into my mind.  There are four steps in the procedure.  It’s really very easy and quick to make the half square triangles.  My final border will be finished very quickly.  Then I can think about quilting the piece.  This quilt is a challenge that will be revealed in September.

IMG_2269I took two small partially hand quilted to Maine with me.  I started both of them many years ago. They both have been sitting around for a long time. I decided to focus on one of them and finally finished it. Hand quilting is very relaxing.   It just fits on the center of my dining room table.  It will be my decoration for the month. This quilt pattern is one of my favorite patterns.  It is easy with all straight sewing.



IMG_2273It’s June and Annie Louise needs a new dress.  Last month, my Maine chapter of the Pine Tree Guild had a teacup raffle.  My numbers were drawn for a few doll and doll dress patterns.  I also won a bag of fancy fabric.  Because it is June, Annie Louise had to have a bridal dress.  One of the doll dress patterns is for an 18″ doll.  It was perfect.  Thank you, Shirley.  There was some white brocade in the bag of fabric.  Thank you, Brenda.  Putting them together made a very nice dress.


I think that it is time to look at my list and start doing what I need to do while here. I know that one of the things to do was to find  some more UFOs to finish when I go back to Maine.  One other thing to do is to gather supplies for classes in Vermont.  I should get busy.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Still Focused

I have been focused on the bag full of Mile A Minute scraps.  I knew that it would take a while, but I didn’t think that it would take three days of sewing.  The scraps were pressed down in the bag. They made a huge pile when placed on the table. IMG_2258



For three days I have been sewing, pressing, and trimming.  This was repeated until I had a piece large enough to make a 6″ square.  Then I did it again, over and over and over.  I really had to focus and not put it aside.

I did take a break and weed the last two gardens.  All the wild flower seeds have been planted.  The weather is finally warm, so they should produce plants in a few weeks.  The Iris are budded.  The Lupine is blossoming.  The gardens are coming to life.

IMG_2260When I finished  piecing the Mile A Minute blocks today, I still had a small pile of fabric left.  I’ve put it aside and will use it for a three inch border when I get to that point.  When I make a Mile A Minute quilt, I usually make three borders.  The first is a small border. The second is a Mile A Minute and is a bit larger. The third is larger still.


IMG_2268With all that work, I have a little over 200 blocks.  That is enough for several quilts.  I have already planned two quilts on EQ7.  Several more are in my head.  That is for a later time.  I will find fabric in N. H. to finish a few and make them the “Focus” of the day sometime later.


IMG_2266      IMG_2265      IMG_2264



Have a great day and happy quilting.


The definition of focus is:  Noun – Center of interest or activity.  Verb – Pay particular attention to.

Somehow, I don’t seem to focus on one quilting activity for a long time.  I flip from one project to another and it seems as if I don’t finish anything.  I have decided to announce to myself every morning that I will focus on one project that day.  It will be the only thing on my table.  Everything else will be out of sight.  Of course, gardening, cleaning the house and cooking will be allowed.

My new plan has worked for two days.  A bird or bird house block is due at the Guild in a few weeks.  I realized that I wouldn’t be here for the drawing.  I had to submit the block early.  This is where I really miss my sewing room in N. H.  I have no bird house patterns.  Also, no fabric except for the  Japanese fabric that I left here over the winter and the fabric for the Flower Wall hanging. I didn’t want to use the Japanese fabric so it had to be made with the wall hanging fabric.

IMG_2254The Internet is wonderful.  I downloaded images of several bird houses.  I was able to enlarge the images and used the computer as a light box to draw the bird house.  Ideas from several houses were used. The designing took most of the morning.  I couldn’t make a fusible applique as the Misty Fuse is in N. H.  Paper piecing was the answer.  I paper pieced the house and then hand appliqued the whole piece down.  That was all I did on that day,  A piece started and finished.   Focusing worked for one day.

IMG_2253Today. I finished the 12 fabric boxes.  All the hand sewing is done.  They just need the buttons which are in N. H.  The boxes are in the suitcase, waiting to go South.  Sewing the buttons on the boxes will be my focus for one day.  Or evening while watching TV.


There are a few projects left in the blanket box.  Most  are hand sewing projects. The hand sewing projects would be perfect to work on while sitting on the porch.  The weather has finally warmed up and is beautiful.  Every time that I sit on the swing, the black flies drive me inside.  I needed something to sew on my machine.  I had a choice of Dear Jane, a box of 2 1/2″ squares and a very large bag of Mile A Minute stuff.  The mile A Minute bag will be my next  focus project. There is so much in that bag.  I will have to focus for more than one day.  When it is finished, I will have lots of blocks to work with.  After all the blocks are made, I can put that project aside until I can get the fabric to complete the quilts.  I should have enough blocks for several quilts.

I have been working in the gardens in the mornings.  I am about half finished with the last one.  Then, I start all over again.  I can see some tiny green plants where I planted the wild flower seeds.  I hope that they are the flowers and not more weeds.  Time will tell.

IMG_2255The pretty, little purple flowers are under the birch trees again.  I don’t know what they are.  I didn’t plant them.  They come every June for me to enjoy.  The lupine are almost ready for their display.




Focusing seems to work so far.  I wonder how long I will focus until I fall back into my old, bad habits.

Have a great day and happy quilting.




Random Things

We have had a few days with the sun.  I’ve been fighting weeds which seem to grow faster than I can pull them out.  Several gardens are “finished” and the annual seeds have been planted.  Finished means as good as they are going to get right now.  Maybe later, I’ll pull more weeds.  I have three more areas to weed and seed and then I can start all over again.

IMG_2246The lilacs are in blossom.  The deer must have come into the yard as one of the bushes just have blossoms on the top.  When the deer are hungry, they eat all the buds so there are no flowers.  One year when the bushes were smaller, we had one blossom on the top of one bush.  So far, they haven’t found the Hosta.  Last year, they ate them down to the roots.


IMG_2249The crab apple trees are beautiful.  The Lupine has started to bud and should blossom in a week or two.



IMG_2252I’ve been working on several projects. One of the projects that I brought from N. H. was a plastic bag of quilt pieces that I received from a friend.  I had no idea what was in the bag but thought I’d do something with it and get it out of the UFO pile.  I found over 100 six inch pinwheel blocks and some sashing material.  Three rows of 10 blocks were sewn together. It is very hard to sew something that someone else has started.  Her 1/4″ seam was not the same as my 1/4″ seam. I really didn’t want another large quilt to sit around waiting to be quilted.  I unsewed the three rows and removed three blocks from each. I had enough blocks to make three charity quilts.  Two were 5 x 7 blocks and the third was 6 x 7.  The three quilts are in the suitcase waiting to go back to N. H.  They need a border, batting and a backing. All of that is in my sewing room in N.H.  I didn’t bring any extra material to Maine this year.

IMG_2251Another project was twenty four 10″ blue blocks.  When I finished the Canadian 150 quilt, I cut the leftovers into 10″. 5″ and 2 1/2″ squares.  I decided to make 12 fabric boxes. All 12 are sewn and turned.  Once turned and pressed, each one has to be quilted. Then with a few seams, they turn into little boxes. I have three finished up to this point.  They need some hand tacking and then buttons to hold the points down.  Again, the buttons are in N. H.  When they are all finished, up to the addition of the buttons, they will go into the N. H. suitcase.  I can finish them there and not bring them back to Maine.

The Farmer’s Market has opened for the summer.  Last Saturday, I bought beet greens, little turnips and some herb plants for the garden.  The fresh greens were delicious.  Tomorrow night, I’ll either roast or stir fry the little turnips.

Tomato and basil plants plus the flowers for the barrels by the garage were bought next door to the Farmers Market.  When I was checking out, I saw a sign for fiddleheads.  I thought that I had missed the season.  I have enough for a meal and some to freeze for next winter.   They are so delicious.


Have a great day and happy quilting.



Quilt Challenge

Several years ago, my daughter and I were flying from Utah to Arizona on the first leg of our trip back to New England.  As we flew over the canyons, I saw the most beautiful colors.  There was several shades of turquois and coral.   I remarked that I wanted to make a quilt with those colors some day.  We arrived back home and although the colors were still in my mind, they were not a priority.

Each year, my Maine Guild has a challenge.  This year, we were to put two quilting magazines aside.  At a meeting, a number was drawn. The number was 30.  We were to check page 30 in the magazines and choose one of the pages for inspiration.

In the first magazine, page 30 consisted of written ads, no pictures of quilts.  In the second, there was the most beautiful wall hanging  with turquois and coral colors.  Now I could make the Canyon Quilt.  As I looked at the wall hanging, I was fascinated by the pattern.  It had one block and the colors blended from one block to the other.  I wanted to make that quilt, not just use it as an inspiration.

I was able to draw the block on EQ7 which was helpful as it had to be paper pieced.  I could print out the paper piecing patterns.  I went to the local quilt shop for the fabric.  In the quilt shop light, the picture in the magazine looked green, so I bought three pieces of green fabric, light, medium and dark, even though I knew that I wanted turquois.   Then I bought two shades of coral.  At home, the picture turned back to turquois.  I used the green in another quilt and bought turquois from Jinny Beyer’s blender fabrics.  They were perfect.

Today, I finished paper piecing the center.  There is just one more border to attach and then lots of half square triangles for the outer border.  When I was pressing the outside border fabric, I decided that I didn’t like the fabric.  It wasn’t crisp like the other fabrics.  I’ll find something else that I like and finish the wall hanging later. I can use the fabric that I didn’t like on the back.

The challenge reveal is in September.  After the reveal, I will show a picture of the finished quilt.  In the meantime, these are the fabrics that I used.


Have a great day and happy quilting.


Dear Jane

Dear Jane is one of the quilt projects that I brought to Maine with me this summer.  I had intended to start in the center and  make the blocks from the center out to the edge.  I did this for a while, and actually made two rows.  I am making the quilt in the potholder method.  Each block is quilted and bound and then sewed to the next block.  The quilt is finished as I make each block.

When I started the third row around the center, somehow all my plans disappeared.  Instead of making just the blocks that were on the top of the second row, I finished Row D completely.  The middle of Row D has been attached to the top of the second row.  I also finished other random blocks.  I have 58 blocks that are sewn, quilted and bound.  I also have 9 additional blocks that are ready for hand sewing.  Some need applique, some need quilting . and some are ready to bind.

I needed to reorganize myself so I decided to sew all of Row A.  I printed the patterns and templates from the CD and chose the fabric so that I can complete that row while I’m in Maine.  The Dear Jane blocks are made with different techniques.  Tips for sewing the blocks are in the Dear Jane EQ CD.  On rare occasion, I deviate from the instructions and make a block in my own method.  It is easy to print a paper piecing pattern and sew.  The tiny blocks  come out perfect with paper piecing.

This week, I have made A1, A2, A5 and A6.  A3 is an applique block and is in the hand quilting section of the project.  A4 is paper pieced and is at the sewing machine to make tomorrow.

IMG_2237A1is called Pinwheel Gone Awry.  The center is a pinwheel, but the surrounding pieces look as if the pinwheel was broken.




IMG_2239A2 is called One-Two-Buckle My Shoe.  It was named because it was the 2nd block in row1, so after row 1 – block 2. Buckle My shoe just followed.



IMG_2236A5 is called Cathie’s Camping.  There was no information in the CD to tell who Cathie was or why she was camping.




IMG_2235A6 is called Uncle Homer.  The CD states that it was called that because Ruth used a piece of fabric in this block that had a farm on it and it reminded her of her Uncle Homer.  I wondered who Ruth was.  Brenda Papadakis, who wrote the Dear Jane book and drew all the patterns, listed all her quilting friends who made the Dear Jane quilts that were in the book.  Ruth was not listed as one of her friends.  She did mention Ruth Levin of the Bennington Museum.  Maybe it was her.  Although, it did not say that Ruth Levin made a Dear Jane quilt.

I’ll keep sewing Row A.  When I take a trip to N. H. in June, I’ll print out the patterns for Row B and gather the fabric to make that row.  Maybe, by the end of summer, I will have half of the quilt finished.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Shadow Quilt

IMG_2226The sun is finally out after a long day of cold, drizzly weather.  There has been a fire in the wood stove all day.  Miss Molly has been sitting in the best seat in the house.  She knows how to keep warm.

Last summer, I bought two layer cakes at a sale at Mardens.  I had no idea what I would use them for, but they were on sale and the top fabric was very pretty. I needed a project to take to a retreat last weekend.  It had to be one with easy sewing and not much thinking.  There was a Shadow Quilt pattern in my box of patterns.  The large piece in the block is  5″ x 10″.  It was perfect.  I could get two blocks out of each piece of the 10″ x 10″ layer cakes.  The quilt had eighty squares and each of the two layer cakes had 20 squares so I had just enough.

I bought Kona gray for the shadows and a white on white for the sashing. Before I left for the retreat, all the pieces were cut so I could just sew.  When the retreat was over, all eighty blocks were pieced. It is so wonderful to sew, chat, and snack without thinking about cooking or cleaning up.  Everyone at the retreat was sewing something different and there were a lot of ideas for future projects.


I finished the Shadow Quilt in parts of two days.  Miss Molly, in her job as quality control inspector, has inspected the quilt as I was working on it.




This quilt is an illusion.  It is fun and easy to make.   I would make another quilt with this pattern some day.  Maybe with flower fabric, batiques or thirties reproductions.


Have a great day and happy sewing.