Happy New Year

I’ve been asked what my plans are for 2021. I thought about making a list, but decided not to do that. This year will just flow with whatever I feel like doing at the moment. There will be finished ufos, or maybe not. There will definitely be new quilts. Maybe a new look to the blog. Who knows? It will be a journey and the trip will be interesting.

There has been a plastic bag in the ufo bin, I bypassed it many times and decided to look into the bag. It was a project started in a John Flynn class many years ago. The laser cut fabric pieces were jumbled up.

Some were pinned together. There were three finished blocks. I remember when I took the class, I didn’t like the colors of the fabric. Now, I love them. Tastes change. I don’t have the instructions, but I can figure out how to put the blocks together by looking at the finished blocks.

I remember that we had to buy another fabric for the background. It must have gone into another quilt because it’s not with these pieces. Will I finish this quilt? Maybe, but not now. It would be beautiful If I did. I’ve checked John Flynn’s website and this quilt is nowhere to be seen. If I run across the instructions in the depths of my note books, I might start it again, one block at a time.

The ufo bin produced a little pieced house. I originally made this block as the center of one of the Miss Rosie quilts. Then I decided to make a Christmas quilt.

The original house block was put aside. When making this little quilt, I decided to try a new technique from Kari M. Carr’s book “Just Around The Corner”. It teaches quilts with easy mitered borders. I pieced the mitered border and then added a striped second border. The little house came alive.

The Christmas house
The original house

My plan of cutting up leftover fabric after finishing a piece hit a snag. My original plan was to not put the leftover fabric back into the fabric stash. I would cut it up into small pieces and make a small quilt. It was no different. The box of 1 1/2″ squares was overflowing. It doesn’t really make any difference where you put the leftovers unless you use them. That led to three days of sewing tiny pieces. Now that box is empty

Dear Jane has been in the sidelines for a while. I forgot how much fun it is to make these little blocks. Maybe I can finish this quilt in 2021. Also my oldest hand quilted ufo. The Amish Thistle is 35 years old. I’ve been quilting on it in the evening. I can see the end in the far distance.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Still UFOs and a new quilt

I’m still working on ufo’s. The pile doesn’t seem to get smaller. I spend too much time trying to decide what to do next. The other day, I looked at the ufos on hangers in the closet. There was a lap quilt that I had inherited from a friend’s sewing room. It was layered and pinned with backing and backing. It was a perfect quilt to finish. This quilt is one of two that are just alike. The second quilt is in the pile in the blanket chest. Now, the first quilt is quilted and ready to be bound. One down and many more to go. I should layer the second quilt and finish it.

I have a stack of orphan blocks. Some are from blocks of the month tutorials that I designed. Others are blocks where I wanted to try a new procedure. Most are not color coordinated with each other. I decided to make placemats for Meals On Wheels. Six are pieced, quilted and ready to be bound. The binding has been cut. We expect a big snow storm tomorrow, so I can finish them while I watch the snow fall.

I still have a lot of orphan blocks left to work with. If I put sashing around the blocks and quilt them, I can put the blocks together in the lap quilting method. It would be a quick and easy way to take them out of the ufo pile. An added bonus is practicing new patterns of free motion or ruler quilting. It’s a thought for another snowy winter day.

My blocks have come back from the Block Robin Project. I am so pleased with them. The ladies did a wonderful job. There are a total of 14 blocks to work with. I thought of making some extra ones to complete this project, but I found a picture on Pinterest of a quilt with fourteen blocks. The quilt had a large block in the center. It was perfect. The top is finished. I’m trying to decide if I want to quilt it myself or send it to the long arm quilter.

The Morehead Mystery quilt blocks for December are finished and in the basket waiting for January’s clues. This has been a fun mystery quilt. The clues can be sewn in a day or two and then I don’t have to think about them until the next month.

The little four patches made from the leftover 1 1/2″ squares are adding up. I saw a clever way to put them together and will start making larger blocks with them. I also have some strips that are leftover from projects. I have a plan for the strips also. Every little piece adds up to pretty scrap quilts.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

THREE UFOS

I have finished three small ufos. Now, I can start a new quilt. That is my new rule for a while. Who knows how long it will be in effect.

The first ufo consists of four samples from my mile a minute class. All four samples were made with the same colors. The sashing and borders were all different colors. This sample was to show that the color of the quilt made with this block with so many different fabrics is determined by the color of the sashing. The sashing color picks up its color from the mile a minute block.

These four little pieces were fun to quilt. I decided to use the built in embroidery pattern on my machine.

One of my favorite embroidery patterns is the briar stitch. I call it chicken scratch. It looks like chicken footprints.

They were quilted using the walking foot. The chickens wandered all over the quilts. It was fun to not have to line up the grid.

The second ufo is part of a jelly roll race quilt. The rows were stitched in the ditch using the walking foot and a built in embroidery pattern. This stitch is a basic utility stitch.

I found these twelve string pieced blocks and made a doll quilt. Fortunately, I found a piece of the turquoise print in my stash. It was a lucky accident. I found another embroidery stitch and quilted with the walking foot.

This is the new quilt. It is a doll quilt made with the leftovers from a mystery quilt. I designed a mystery quilt for the guild. The first two clues have been revealed. I can’t show the end result until after the last clue. I will say that I have made four mystery quilts and have plans for another two. That quilt is addictive.

I’m on a roll with quilting with a walking foot and built in stitches. It’s the quickest and easiest way to finish ufos. There is usually some reason why they weren’t finished when they were pieced. That has to be overlooked and the quilt just has to be finished. Most of the ufos will go into the give away bin. They have to be finished quickly and still look nice. The bin is getting full. It will probably overflow before the pandemic is gone and people can come to visit. In the meantime, I’m going to use my time to finish as much as I can this winter.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Good Morning

My new piece is finished. Now, I have to finish three small ufos or one big ufo before I can start another new quilt. My rules. Although, I can break my rules if I want to.

I usually don’t make more than one quilt or wall hanging from a pattern, but This one is the fourth one with this design. I really like it and will probably make more in the future. It is so easy and makes up quickly. This time, I decided to reverse the coloration and make the background a dark floral. The other pieces would be solid in the colors that are in the background. It looks so different.

The flowers were free motion quilted with Superior Bottom Line thread. I have a bobbin holder full of this thread in lots of colors. Originally, I bought it to sew down applique.

Several years ago, I was using bottom line for quilting and was running out. I was going to order more on line from the company in St George, Utah. I had heard of a very nice quilt shop a few towns away and went there for a look. It was a wonderful shop. There was so much to look at. I found a rack of Bottom Line and picked up a cone for purchase. I also bought other items. As I was checking out, I mentioned to the clerk that I was glad that they had Bottom Line as I needed it to finish quilting. She immediately became the quilt police and started yelling at me. I could NOT use that thread for quilting. It wasn’t made for that purpose. I kept quiet, payed for my purchase and walked out. I have never been back. I did check the information on the Superior website and it did say that the thread was fantastic for micro stippling.

I am up to date on the Morehead Mystery quilt. The clues come once a month and although there is a lot of piecing to do, it can be finished in short time. Then it goes into the basket to wait for the first Thursday of the next month.

One of my wall hangings has been on the wall at the peak of the living room in my Maine house for 20 years. I thought that it would be destroyed with the wood smoke, summer heat, and winter cold. It was taken down and washed. Amazingly, it is still as good as it was when I put it up there. Tessellating Triangles is one of my favorite patterns. It looks hard to make, but it is all straight sewing. Squares are pieced in rows and columns. They are recut with a square template on a diagonal and resewed. The cut off pieces can be resewn into a miniature version of the original quilt. I did make a queen size quilt with this pattern.

Miss Molly has checked out the wall hanging and approves.

Now it’s time to find the three ufos and get busy.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Another Day

Miss Molly started barking when she went out early this morning. She does bark to come in but it was a different bark. I looked out and the flock of turkeys were in our back yard. One came over to look at her.

Some of the turkeys were in the trees and one was marching up and down on my neighbor’s roof.

The turkeys are very big now. I hope that they will stay the winter and come back in the spring. It is fun to watch them.

I’ve finished my three UFOs. This means that I can choose to make a new quilt or continue on finishing another UFO. I haven’t decided yet which one I will start today. There were so many UFOs in the blanket chest. It was overwhelming. I decided to divide and conquer. The large quilts are now hanging on the right side of the closet. I’m going to send them to my long arm quilter , one at a time as soon as I find backings to fit. The medium quilts are on the left side of the closet. I will quilt those myself. The smaller ones are still in the blanket chest, but the pile is smaller and not so overwhelming.

The three finished quilts are baby quilt size. This little one was part of my demo for using orphan blocks. I started by machine embroidering the squares. Then I quilted using the walking foot..

It was easy to keep the lines of quilting parallel using the border guide foot. There are still many specialty feet in my foot drawer that I haven’t tried yet. Quilting and sewing is much easier when the right feet are being used.

Because the quilt was made with orphan blocks, there wasn’t a binding made with matching fabric. I found some that was almost the same color and made a flange binding. It adds a pop of color to the edge and there is no hand sewing. This is the way to go when a quilt has to be finished fast.

The other two little quilts are the same. I had done half of a jelly roll race, It was long and skinny. The piece was cut in half, borders were sewn on and they both were quilted with built in stitches. I used the stitch in the ditch foot which has a flange to keep the quilting somewhat straight. Miss Molly has inspected the quilt and likes it.

This will be a day of decisions. I have two large UFO quilts out to machine quilt. Which one will I start? Will I do free motion quilting, ruler quilting or machine embroidery quilting? I’m going to let the quilt talk to me and tell me what to do. Or, will I start a new quilt that I’ve been thinking about for a few days? It will be a fun day.

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.