Happy Birthday, Miss Molly

Miss Molly is 13 years old today. She is doing very well for a dog of her age. Because of her age, she had to have a blood test which showed everything was working well. Her saddle is turning gray and red from a very dark black, but her energy is the same.

Miss Molly when she was a baby.

Miss Molly’s hole.

Miss Molly’s best friend, Mr. Max.

Miss Molly inspecting a quilt.

Miss Molly’s beauty picture.

There are days when I call her “that dog”. It’s when she steals my thread, pencils or anything else she can find. She likes all things that are mine.

I have gone back into the sewing room. A friend has graciously long armed 10 community quilts for me. They are back and the bindings are on most of them.

I have also quilted others. All the unfinished community quilts are organized in four piles. Pile #1 is the quilt tops that need a batting and backing cut to fit. Pile #2 is the pile with the backing and batting cut, ready to baste together. Pile # three is quilts that are basted and are waiting to be quilted. Some of the quilts are machine bound after they are quilted. Pile #4 is quilted quilts that the binding was sewn to the front and will be hand tacked to the back. Pile #4 is in a basket in the living room. It contains anything that needs hand sewing or hand quilting.

When I go into the sewing room, I can decide what I what to do for the day. I can even start with a pile #1 quilt and finish it in the same day.

When I decided to make quilts from all the unfinished blocks and cut scraps in the bin, I didn’t think that it would be such a large job. Now that I have had help in the quilting and are organized, I can choose to either work on this project or go on to something new.

Some of the finished quilts

Miss Molly inspecting the quilt.

Made with quarter square triangles that came from someplace else.

Cute rabbit fabric. Also, from another person’s sewing room.

Pinwheels from who knows where.

I did sew this one. Many, many years ago.

I have been following the justgetitdonequilts blog. Karen Brown is doing her second sewing room declutter challenge. I did the challenge last year. I’ve realized that I didn’t clutter much this year. Most everything is where it’s supposed to be. When I get around to declutter, I’ll do it my way It will be area declutter, not item declutter.

There is a new block of the week challenge that I may do. It’s supposed to be blue, but. I can make it in any color that I want. Instructions are coming soon. 2023 will be a fun year to quilt.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Christmas Thanks

When I receive a package from one of my daughters in laws, I run back into the house and open it before I take my coat off. She is an artist in so many fields. I have many beautiful earrings that she made. She is also a master beader. This week she sent a beautiful big Christmas card. Each page has so many little objects in it.

The cover has sticky notes, post cards and another single Christmas card tucked in the slot.

Second page

This looks like a quilt. I may copy the quilting pattern on one of my quilts. Under the little quilt are more sticky notes and another Christmas card.

A little guest book tucked into this one.

The little kitty is a diary to be filled in.

Little items tucked into this page.

More little things.

A writing pad tucked into the back page.

I’ll keep this card intact on my memory shelf. The shelf contains artwork from my friends and family. Also on the shelf is a piece that she gave me on Mother’s Day.

It’s beautiful and I’m so very thankful to have it. Thank you V, Pw.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Changes

My Miss Molly blog website has just renewed. They suggested things that I could do to improve the site. I have accepted the challenge and changed a few things. I know nothing about working with a website. It’s hard to push the last button and make it live. The sidebar with archived posts looks ok. Maybe, I can make a few more changes in the future. I’ve printed a list of tutorials that sound interesting., but this is enough for now.

Winter has finally come. It’s been snowing all day, but there is not much accumulation. It’s still snowing so maybe there will be more in the morning. It gave me a day to spend in the sewing room. I worked this morning on the Ugly Quilt. There is still a lot more quilting to do. It’s queen-size. It’s a medallion quilt and I have four more borders to quilt.

I have three quilts back from the long arm quilter.

This one was made with scraps left over from a mystery quilt challenge. A friend also did the challenge and gifted me with her left-over pieces. There were enough to make this quilt. It will be a Christmas present. The binding is almost finished.

This was all 2 1/2″ leftover scraps. The binding is on and ready to tack down. It will also be a Christmas present.

This is a mile a minute quilt with a poor color choice for the sashing. The picture actually tones it down. Orange was not a good choice. I haven’t decided what to do with it yet. I can take my time with the binding and work on other things in the meantime. Someday it will find a home.

My class is going well. The ladies are still excited about quilting. My class sample blocks are all pieced, and I’ve hand quilted four out of nine. They are hand piecing their blocks, but I machine pieced mine to keep ahead of them. They are learning the lap quilting method. In the next class, they will learn how to bundle the backing, batting, and top. Then, they will learn how to hand quilt. Their fabric is beautiful. After a lesson on color and fabric choice, they went to the store by themselves and picked out their own fabric. It’s nice to teach when the students are having a good time and are excited about learning.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Still sewing

October and the first part of November was a busy month for Miss Molly and me. She had her wellness checkup and several necessary shots. Also went to the spa for a day. She came home beautiful and well-trimmed. She is very healthy for an almost 12-year-old dog. I had all my necessary medical appointments. Just regularly scheduled appointments. We are both set to go for the next six months.

In the meantime, I have been giving quilting lessons to two ladies. They wanted to piece and quilt by hand. This has been fun. It’s how I started quilting, As I prepare each lesson, I remember how hard it was for me in the beginning. The ladies have learned how to read a block. Also, color and how to choose fabric. They are excited. Last week, they went to the fabric store, without me, and picked out the most beautiful fabric combinations. They had several quarter square triangle block components pieced at their last lesson. Next week, at least one block should be finished. They should be ready to layer the block, batting and backing. and learn how to quilt. I am teaching Georgia Bonesteel’s lap quilting method. They will quilt each block and then put the quilt together.

While I was preparing the lessons, I showed the ladies the first sampler quilt that I made. They chose one of the blocks and want to repeat it for a baby quilt. I made three-star blocks in different colors. The blocks do not play well together so I have to make three different quilts.

One quilt will be a reproduction of the original sampler quilt in much different colors. I’ve finished two of the twenty-four blocks in the quilt. This should go faster than the original. I’m using a sewing machine this time.

The second one is a pretty green, with red star points. I fussy cut the center, The ladies also fussy cut their centers. I have a baby that will be born next year in mind for this quilt.

The third has fussy cut triangles. I have cut enough triangles to finish this quilt. The rest should be easy. I’ve been hand quilting this block in the evenings. The dragonfly section is finished as are all the white corners and outside triangles. I should finish quilting this block tonight. Then I have eight more blocks to piece and quilt. I’m not hand piecing. I am using the machine. It’s much faster. The other blocks will be hand quilted because I hand quilted the first block.

In the meantime, I saw a pattern for a quilt that I just had to make. The original pattern was for a full-size quilt. I wanted a baby quilt, so I made only nine blocks. The center is finished. The borders and binding are cut and ready to be sewn. It is a baby quilt, so it won’t take long to quilt. Hopefully, I’ll stick to my new plan of quilting every new quilt that I make. I don’t want it to go into the pile of ufos and never resurface. If you look closely, you will see that the center of the block in this quilt is the same star block as above blocks. It has sashing that is flying geese, squares and half square triangles. It is made differently. There are just squares and half square triangles.

My sewing room is an absolute disaster. I need to spend a full day organizing and getting things in order. There are too many projects going on at the same time. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day for that.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Landscape

The class with Laura Rosenspan was wonderful. She is an amazing teacher. Before we went to the class, we had to make a landscape.

My landscape was made from scraps from my stash.

During the class, Laura suggested that I make trunks and branches on the trees that are on the hillside. She told me to use red thread. That was a great beginning.

Trees partially stitched

Finished trees

The sky and water were stitched in wavy swirls. A large tree was added on the side. It was fussy cut from a tree fabric. The leaves were cut from different green fused fabric. Later, the veins were stitched to hold the leaves in case the fusing failed. With the edges loose, the tree was more realistic.

In class, we wet fabric and scrunched it.

The fabric didn’t dry in time, so I added it to the piece after the class. At first, I made a beach on the further shore with a large piece of the scrunched fabric. It was overwhelming. Then, I cut it up and made three rocks, two on the further shore and one on the near shore.

The green scrunched fabric was placed on the near shore. All the scrunched fabric was hand sewn down. Pieces were cut off and the fabric was rearranged as it was sewn down.

There was something missing. I googled landscapes and came across a YouTube from an artist who was explaining how he painted a picture. He said that if you have water, you must have a reflection. That was what was missing. I thread painted a reflection with the color and shape of the land above the water. It was too bright, so I thread painted over the reflection with green thread. That color toned it down.

The top of the piece was finished. The bottom was a challenge. The green grass was large. My daughter had texted a picture that she had taken on her morning walk.

This is what I needed. The large grass portion could be divided with a path.

To further divide the bottom section, I machine embroidered red flowers across the piece. Then, I thread painted thick green grass over the flowers to make them more subtle.

The grass in the fabric was thread painted using the fabric pattern.

The bushes that I originally cut were discarded and replaced with other bushes. I had sewn them down using green thread. There was something missing. They looked like a blob of green. Then, I remembered Laura’s instruction on the trees. A little red thread made the bushes come to life.

The piece is finished.

Did you notice the owl in the tree? Every landscape has to have a critter.

This project was fun to make. There was no advance planning. Everything was added as I saw it at the time. It was serendipity. I usually name all my pieces and that name seems right. I will call it Serendipity.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Quilting slowly but surely

There are days when I think that I haven’t accomplished much. I think that the problem is that I plan far too much for each day and some things just don’t get done. I love to stop for telephone calls and my door is always open to unexpected visitors. There is progress with the community quilts. I took four quilts to the guild meeting last week and I have three more finished, and one ready to bind. It seems as if I finish one a week.

I obtained these blocks when I helped clean out a sewing room.

I found these blocks at the Guild yard sale
These blocks have been sitting in a bin for a long time.

The doll clothes are finished for the craft fair.

I may make one more dress. I’ve been thinking about a fancy wedding dress. I might just make it before the fair.

One hippo is finished. I have two more finished and ready to stuff.

Last week, I went to a class taught by Laura Rosenspan. Her work is beautiful.

The class was amazing. I learned many new techniques for thread painting. We prepared a landscape before the class.

My basic landscape. This is the beginning

I’ve been working on the project a little at a time. After I sew for a while, I leave it on the dining room table. While walking by, I audition the next part. In my next blog, I will tell you all about my journey. I’m pleased with what has been done so far. Laura’s tips and tricks have been great.

I’ve been asked to teach two women how to piece and quilt by hand. They have never quilted before. The class will be given on their coffee breaks once a week. This means 15 minutes of teaching at a time. I’m not sure how that is going to work. This will be a new way of teaching for me. A class has usually been an all-day affair. I’ve never taught hand piecing. The outline has been made and changed several times. A dictionary of quilting terms has been prepared and I have a week to plan the first lesson. I’ve always wanted to teach a class called Four Pins and a Needle. It’s a class that uses none of the expensive gadgets that quilters think they have to have in order to quilt. The pins and needles are the only supplies except fabric (scraps) and thread. Maybe a ruler, pencil, and scissors. Things that one has on hand anyway. That is the way that I started quilting at the beginning. It will be fun.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

FINISHED

The definition of finished is to complete a task. Also, to be over with. Summer is finished. Where did it go? My bucket list for summer has not been completed. There is a lot to do before winter sets in.

I found this leaf in my back yard. It’s the beginning.

There are a few flowers left. Also, lots of weeds that need removing.

This is the only sunflower that came up from over a dozen seeds. Maybe there will be enough seeds for more plants next summer.

Making doll clothes is finished also. Making them became addictive. I might make one more. It will be a wedding gown. I want to get back to quilting. The stack of basted community quilts needs to be finished. Then I can go on and finish the stack of community quilts that are not basted. I also want to start a new quilt. I have three patterns in mind to do. It’s just a matter of choosing one.

I’m purging my fabric stash. One set of drawers is finished. It’s a matter of will I use this fabric or not. All the fabric that I purge will go to a good home. My goal is to get all the fabric out of bins and into the drawers where I can see them. This project will probably not be finished any time soon.

This is a small sample of the doll dresses. I’ve ordered some little coat hangers to hang them for display after they are pressed.

Adora is an Amazing doll. It’s a knockoff of the American doll. If I do make a wedding dress, I’ll display it on Adora.

Next month I’m taking a class in thread painting. The teacher uses a double needle to do the painting. It should be fun. There is homework before the class. We’ll be embellishing a landscape. The landscape is a fusible picture. We do have a pattern, or we can make our own landscape. I’ll take pictures as I have fun working on this project.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Craft Fair

They say that if you don’t use it, you lose it. That is true with sewing. It has been a long time since I actually used a paper pattern and sewed garments. The craft fair is coming up in November. I have 14 doll quilts made for the fair. I also wanted to make some clothes for an 18″ doll. How hard could that be? November will be here before we know it, so I should get busy. I’ve made lots of doll clothes before. It wouldn’t take too long.

The first dress took three days. I had forgotten how to read instructions. There was a lot of unsewing. It’s so easy to piece a quilt from just a picture. I’m so very glad that the memory of sewing doll clothes came back. Several are finished, except for the addition of Velcro to the back. Some need belts and embellishments. Some need resewing. It’s good to take a picture to see how they look.

After I make several more plain outfits, I’m going to make a wedding dress. I did make one for Annie Louise and will use that pattern. It had a long skirt with a shorter overskirt. I’ll use a shiny white fabric and lots of lace and rosebuds.

As all dolls don’t have the same dimensions, I bought a doll to model the dresses. She is beautiful. I’ll have her model the wedding dress at the craft fair. She came with a poncho. As soon as I finish a few more dresses, I’ll take the poncho out of the package and use it as a pattern.

After a week of sewing doll clothes, I’ve regained my knowledge of sewing doll dresses.

I have a few more cut out, ready to sew.

I have been doing a little quilting. Also, a lot of planning about what to do next. A baby quilt that was made with old Joann block of the month blocks is on the basting frame. Another is on the Grace frame.

I have the biggest desire forget about all the community quilts and work on something challenging. I do have three pieces that fit this category. One need embellishment and quilting. The second one needs quilting, but I can’t decide if it will be hand or machine. It is needle turn applique. The third is a Dresden Plate made of real 30s fabrics, not reproductions. Even the back is from the 30s. It definitely needs hand quilting. I want to do something spectacular. In the meantime, I’ve been purging my scrap drawers. They look much better, and I won’t miss the fabric that is going to a new home. I’m half finished with this project.

Two bed quilts have come back from the long arm quilter. The binding is on both. One is almost finished and the other will be soon.

This was made at the Guild retreat that was held last spring. Miss Molly has checked it out and says that it can go to its new owner as soon as it’s finished.

This was the surprise mystery quilt from last winter. It also has a new home to go to when it’s finished.

I’m thinking of a way to comfortably choose what to work on each day. If I can come up with a plan, I’ll let you know.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Back to the sewing room

I’ve been away from the sewing room for a while. Vacations to Maine, appointments, meetings, lawn parties, and road trips have been fun, but it’s time to get back to quilting. Two quilts are basted and ready to quilt. A quilt has been loaded onto the Grace frame and is ready to quilt. I can go into the sewing room with the fan and the little air conditioner and be comfortable with this heat.

Fortunately, my wonderful long arm quilter has finished some of my tops. The quilts are bound. Now, I have to decide what to do with them.

The first quilt used lots of my precut blocks. It will go into my gift pile. I’ll decide who gets it by Christmas time. Maybe someone in my family will claim it before then.

The second quilt has been sitting on a shelf for years. I had a class with Bethany Reynolds at the Vermont Quilt Festival years ago. She taught the Stack and Wack procedure. Everyone else in the class used beautiful floral fabric. I used a scenic print of golfers from the 1930s. This was the only class that I ever took in Vermont where I finished the project in class. The others held up their lovely floral beauties and I had to hold up “body parts”. When you stack and wack people, there are body parts going around in a circle. It was a lesson learned and the quilt top has set on a shelf for years.

I was tired of looking at it and decided to send it to my long arm quilter. She did wonders with this quilt. From a distance, it is a lovely Christmas Star quilt. Then you come in close and see the body parts. I’ve been told that I have to rename this quilt, but it will always be “Body Parts” to me.

Miss Molly is pointing out her favorite block.

Little arms going around in a circle
Headless ladies.

This one is not bad.

I’m going to keep this one and hang it on the wall at Christmastime. The message is that broken lives can be pieced together into something beautiful with God’s help.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

PLANS

I did have plans. All the doll and community quilt tops that I made from the leftover bin were finished. After I counted them, I thought that if I quilted one doll quilt and one community quilt a week, they would be complete by the end of September. I could also quilt at least one of the larger quilts every month. It was a great plan. If only, I had stayed with it. Quilting doll quilts was quick and easy. Instead of alternating with the community quilts, I quilted all the doll quilts. They have all been bound.

The community quilts take longer to baste. Some don’t seem large enough and are asking for another border. The sewing room is not calling me right now. I may set the community quilts aside for a while and then go back to them later. Maybe, I’ll just baste them on the basting frame while sitting in the shade in the back yard. Then, they will be ready when the mood hits.

Some of the doll quilts.

I found The Colorblind Quilter blog. It is an awesome blog. Last March, Tom started a Series of videos on “This is How You Quilt.” The older videos are still available. He teaches walking foot quilting. Our lessons are on 10″ squares. Later on, we will bind them and put them in a book. It starts simple and, probably will be more complex as we do our lessons. He not only shows you how to quilt a piece, but also shows quilts using the quilting pattern. His video on procrastination was informative.

#1 straight lines

.

#2 shattered glass

#3 starburst

I thought that it would be fun to quilt a small piece with every new design. I had made a small easy peasy mystery quilt and quilted it with disign #1.

The gardens need work. Some of my perennials didn’t make it through the winter. Others need pruning. The raspberries look good this year. I spent a few days at York Beach and the weeds grew fast while I was gone. York Beach is one of my favorite places. I love poking around in the stores. Saltwater Taffy from the Goldenrod is a must.

It’s time to go outside into the gardens, so—

have a great day and happy quilting.