still quilting

I’ve come to a standstill in emptying the bin of other people’s ufos.  Time to go on to other things.  There were several blocks in that bin that had no connection to other blocks, so I decided to make table mats for Meals On Wheels.  They workup quickly and will go in the bin for things to take to the Guild when we can have meetings.

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IMG_2954I had an unfinished Noah’s Ark wall hanging.  It had probably been in my unfinished pile for over 15 years.  Most of the instructions were missing,  I checked the Internet and couldn’t find another image that looked like this one so figured out the math and  sewed the blocks together.  The applique is fused.  It is finally finished.  I don’t remember which grandchild was to receive it, but I expect that he/she is grown up now.

During the week, I organized the sewing room, again.  This time, I pulled out all of the completed tops that are waiting to be quilted.  Some had the backings ready to go.  There is enough battings in the batting section to finish most of them. This project will be the next one to concentrate on.

Then, there is Dear Jane, the applique quilt and the oldest ufo ever.  Lots to think about as I clean out the gardens.  It’s too early to plant, but the gardens will be ready at the right time.

When I started quilting, I was self taught.  Through a chance meeting, I met someone who invited me to a quilting group.  I never knew that women  got together to quilt.  I was introduced to round robins, mystery quilts, challenge quilts and quilt shows.  Throughout the years, I did have many teachers and read many books.  My quilting journey is a mix of all the things that I learned throughout the years.

IMG_2943The Internet has been full of instructions on all types of quilting. Recently, I read Bonnie Hunter’s instructions about cutting the leftover scraps into units of 2 1/2″, 5 and other measurements.   Apparently, I have been doing this for a while as I found an overflowing  bin of 2 1/2″ squares.

IMG_2944One of the first books that I bought was Georgia Boonesteel’s Lap Quilting.  In her second book “More Lap Quilting”, Georgia writes about making a back door block.  With the back door approach, you do the piecing first and then the designing of the block.  Using both Bonnie’s and Georgia’s ideas, I’ll use the cut out 2 1/2″ squares to make four patches.  At some point, I’ll figure out how I want to use them.  It might be in a block or a border.  Who knows?

IMG_2945I also found a bin of leftover 1 1/2″ squares.  A huge bag of 1 1/2″ squares was given to me years ago. I used these small squares as beginners and enders and made the Confetti quilt.  There are enough left to make two more quilts.  If I ever finish the 2 1/2″ bin, I can move on to the 1 1/2″ bin and maybe make another Confetti quilt.

Times are so different now.  I am making a Round Robin with friends from the Guild.  There was an exchange today.  The blocks that I had made were sitting on the front steps of my house,.  A friend picked up the blocks and left the new ones.  We chatted.  She was wearing a mask and was at the bottom of the stairs and part way down the side walk. I was at the top of the stairs.  We had air hugs before she left.  I hope that the days of inviting someone in for coffee will return soon.  In the meantime ——

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

Staying at home

It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when one stays at home.  My “other quilters’ bin” is getting lower, although there is still a lot more to finish.  I’ve ordered a bolt of backing fabric and will start quilting these quilts as soon as it arrives.

Trying to figure out what the first quilter wanted to do with her fabric is interesting.  I do want them to be simple and quick.  At least the blocks are sewn,  or at least the pieces were cut out.

In one baggie, I found pieces to two blue quilts.

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I was able to make 9 blocks with one and 15 blocks with the other.  The nine block quilt top is finished.  I think that I can make two charity quilts out of the other 15 blocks.  

 

 

 

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In one baggie was strips of pieces.  Some of the pieces had several fabrics.  There was enough to make eight squares.  I added another leftover square and it seem to fit.  This is a real scrap quilt.

 

 

 

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This was supposed to be a table runner, but some of the pieces were missing.  It was like making a puzzle to find a space for everything to fit.

 

 

 

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One of the baggies had quarter square triangles.  It’s amazing how there were just the right number to make this quilt.

 

 

 

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This is a doll quilt.  There were only a few small four  patches.  It won’t take long to quilt.

 

 

 

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In the evenings, I work on the applique wall hanging.  The applique on the right swag is finished.  I laid it on the floor to check out the colors and Miss Molly decided to do her quality checking job.  She looks as if she approves.

 

 

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It’s April and the crocus are out.  These four are the only ones left from all the bulbs that I planted years ago.

 

 

I found this label on the back of the quilt that I hung over the sofa.  It says it all.  IMG_2940

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

 

 

Still Sewing and Quilting

I cleaned out the closet in my office and found a treasure trove of UFOs on the top shelf. There were projects that I forgot that I had.  I found antique blocks that I bought at auction years ago and intended to finish.  I’m putting them aside for now, but know where they are in case I have the desire to finish them someday.

I decided to take each bin and finish whatever was on the top and work my way down.  Maybe, someday, I can finish most of the projects.

aaThe first bin that I chose was a large amount of squares that I had sewn in strips of three.  I started this last summer and I was supposed to make nine patches for Linus Quilts.  A friend had cut the squares and gave them to me to sew.  I sewed and sewed and sewed.  Finally, the bin was empty and  I had 126 nine patches ready for the quilts.

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aa3The second bin was parts of quilts that I obtained when I cleaned out other quilters’ sewing rooms.  I’m not sure what the quilters had in mind when they made these blocks or partial quilts.  Some of the quilts will be small and one or two will be bed size quilts. They are all individually packed in baggies.  In the first baggie, I found enough squares to make a charity quilt.  The quilter had specified that she wanted everything from her sewing room to go to charity..  I sewed the blocks together, then added white and black sashing and borders.  It came out very nice.  I’m sure that she would have been pleased.

aa6I had always wanted to make a Blockhead quilt and a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  Both are now finished.  The Blockhead has been quilted and the mystery quilt is ready to be quilted.  Now that I’ve completed both of those projects, except for quilting the mystery quilt, both are out of my system.  I don’t have the desire  to make them anymore.  I can go on to finishing the UFO’s.

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aa4My two little babies have arrived and are doing well.  Their quilts are finished, but I can’t mail them until I’m able to leave the house.  Both quilts are the same, but one border is red and the other is green.  I have a little time to quilt their names and birth date on the borders.

The green March quilt is on the basting frame.  I should start basting it today and finish it shortly.

I’ve been working on the appliqued wall hanging in the evenings.  I’m pleased with the flowers that I’ve been adding.  When I applique the flower for the right side, I also applique the same flower for the left side.  I applique all the pieces for each individual flower and then applique around the edge of the whole flower on the quilt.  When I get to the left side, all the preliminary work will be done and it will finish faster. That way, if the colors aren’t right, I can change them before adding the flower to the quilt.

I may be confined to my house, but I’m having a great day and doing happy quilting.

You do so also.

 

March

IMG_2906It’s the middle of March and I just changed the wall hangings today.  I really enjoyed the February wall hanging and didn’t mind it being on the wall longer than it should.  Hopefully, I won’t be as busy by the time that April arrives.

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I haven’t spent much time at the sewing machine during the last few weeks. When I was able to get there, I sewed on Bonnie Hunter’s Frolic Mystery quilt.  I am so glad to say that the center is finished, pressed and ready to trim. IMG_2905

 

I started to piece the border today.  Fortunately, Bonnie had us make lots of half square triangles and they are all ready to sew together.  The top should be finished soon.  Then, I can get on to other projects.

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One of my favorite little quilts is a St Patrick Day art quilt that I made many years ago.  It is such a fun quilt. IMG_2907

 

 

 

 

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I have finished one of the baby quilts and just have the binding to tack down on the second.  The babies have arrived.  Two little boys have been added to the family.  I’ll wait until they’re all home  before I mail the quilts.

This has been a mild winter.  The snow is gone, although more storms can come.  It’s time to think about going to the Guild retreat and the Vermont Quilt Festival.  I signed up for classes in Vermont today.  The new techniques sound interesting.  I’m still trying to decide what to do at the retreat.  I like to have everything cut and ready to sew.  Lots to think about.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

Some things are finished

IMG_2895I have finished quilting my first quilt on the Grace frame.  It isn’t as perfect as I would have liked, but it is o.k.  Now, I have to slow down and put muscle memory to work.  I have a great older book by Sally Terry that shows the five different parts of quilting patterns.  She says that if you learn to quilt all five parts individually, you can combine them to make any pattern with ease.  I hope that she is right.  That, combined with the plastic template, and a lot of the three Ps, should help my quilting. I have a plan and will start my lessons soon.

IMG_2896We have a bookcase at the community center where anyone can leave objects that they no longer want for someone else.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  One of my friends left a tapestry wall hanging.  I could see a tote bag.  I cut the tapestry in half so that both sides would be right side up. Then I added quilted bands and handles.  Also a large coat zipper in the top.  The middle has six pockets, one that has a zipper closing.  I didn’t use a pattern, but just kept adding pieces.  It looks like a brief case, not a tote bag and is perfect for carrying quilting supplies to sit and sews.  Now, I’m on the lookout for items that can be converted to something else.

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The top for the Ten Commandments bed runner is finished.  Miss Molly has inspected it and it  is ready to have a backing and batting added.  It won’t take long to quilt.   There is enough left over lavender fabric to use on pillows, etc.  I’ll think about them after the bed runner is quilted.

 

 

 

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I‘ve finished piecing six blocks for the Bonnie Hunter Frolic Mystery quilt.  They are coming out well.  Bonnie was right about keeping everything organized.  If I make a few blocks a day, this quilt will eventually be finished.  In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the journey.

My two baby quilt tops are pieced.  One is on the frame and I am tying it.  Both should be finished by next week.  The babies are due in a month so the quilts will be finished just in time.  Not knowing the gender of the babies, I made bright colored quilts.  They are neither boy or girl quilts.  The best part is that I used up all the bright cat fabric.  The middle stripes are different colored fabrics and the borders and backs are different colors.   I’m not sure if I will sew a regular binding and tack the back by hand or make a flange binding and sew both sides by machine.  I’ll decide that when the quilt is tied.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

 

It’s February

It’s well into February and so far I haven’t been able to sew or quilt as much as I would like to.  Maybe, I can do more during the rest of the month.

I have finished quilting the first quilt on the Grace frame.  It has been a learning experience.  I’ve learned a lot. It will be much faster to load the next quilt on the frame.  I know that I can’t just jump in and expect quality work.  I have to take baby steps and practice, practice and more practice.  I originally thought that the little quilt was doomed, but off the frame, it’s not bad.  It needs a few tweaks and it will be fine for a baby quilt.  I hope that it will be well used and loved.

I have the center of the Ten commandments bed runner finished.  It needs two borders and then it can be quilted.  I had planned to complete it last weekend, but it is still sitting, waiting for completion.

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The Frolic Mystery quilt is still in pieces.  All the pieces have  been pressed and organized.  There are 41 blocks with some other pieces in this quilt.  We are supposed to have a snow storm tomorrow.  Maybe, I can work on these two projects and finish piecing  one of them.

 

 

I have changed the wall hanging that is over the sofa.  In January, I had a gray and yellow piece. IMG_2787

It was drab and gloomy.  I was so glad to take it down and replace it with a red and white embroidered piece.

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The little monthly piece has been changed also.  It’s a pretty little valentine

The Blockhead quilt has come back from the long arm quilter.  I didn’t like the quilt when it was finished, but the long arm quilter made it come alive with her quilting.  It is very nice now.  The quilt is queen size so it will take a long time to bind, unless I make a flange binding.  That is a good possibility.   I might even put it on my bed for a while.

The new Blockhead for this year has come out.  It is into week three already.  I’m going to save the instructions to a file for a while.  I shouldn’t start anything new until I finish some of the quilts that I’ve started. The new Blockhead instructions have three different sizes.  I will decide which one to make when I decide to start.

My first set of blocks for the Round Robin exchange are finished.  My secret Valentine project is finished and off to my secret Valentine.  The Maine challenge is almost finished.  It just needs borders.  It is so good to use the word “finished”.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of little things

I’ve worked on a lot of little and some large projects this past week.  Frolic is still not up to date.  The reveal has been made and I can see where the pieces go.  I will keep sewing on this project for a few minutes each day until it is finished.

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In the meantime, I have corrected the 8th commandment

 

 

IMG_2779and pieced the 9th commandment.  One more commandment block to sew and then the instructions to put all the blocks together should arrive.  One block a week is so much easier to finish than the multiple blocks in the Frolic mystery quilt. There will be enough lavender fabric left to make a lot of accents for the bedroom.

I was able to place a small quilt on the Grace frame this week.  Leah Day has excellent You tube videos that tell how to do this.  I’ve learned a lot, but there is so much more to learn.  The quilt is half quilted.  I find that trying to learn new things is not as easy as it seems.  It is sometimes very frustrating.  I am learning how to prevent my mistakes when I quilt the next quilt.  I know that I have to practice a lot, but I do get impatient when it doesn’t look as good as I would like it to be.  In the meantime, Miss Molly will get a new quilt.  Maybe, more than one.  My work should improve with practice.

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Several more Dear Jane blocks are finished.  I try to have enough finished blocks on hand to quilt or tack the binding when I go to a sit and sew.  This project will keep me busy for a long time.  The next block to make has three circles appliqued on it.  My circles usually come out crooked. I have thought of a way to make a perfect circle.  If it works, I’ll tell about it in a future post.

IMG_2777I decided to finish the bird thread painting.  It will be ready to go to it’s new home as soon as I make a label.  I have another bird thread painting started in my stash of bits and pieces.  I may finish that one in the future and keep it.  The other bird blocks that I brought out to choose from are back in the stash of bits and pieces.

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The bird block was made by color copying the picture of the bird onto fabric.  Then I lightly thread painted over the picture.  It’s very relaxing and like coloring inside the lines.

The tub of little fabric pieces is filling up.  Someday soon, I’ll have to take time to cut the fabric into small squares so that I can sew some little blocks as beginners and enders.

There are no meetings or appointments for the next two days.  Hopefully, I can concentrate on one of my projects and finish it.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Old things and new things

I am caught up on the Ten Commandments bed runner.  Two more Commandments to go.  Each block is so pretty.  There will be enough fabric left over from the bolt that I bought to change the look of my bedroom.  I’m thinking valances, pillow covers, etc.  I do have a beautiful purple silk pillow cover that one of my daughters gave me for Christmas.  It will be a very nice accent to the room.

IMG_2760Commandment #7

Commandment # 8  This was finished, but when I looked at the picture, two of the pieces were set in wrong.  I’ll correct that and show the picture on the next blog.

IMG_2765When the bed runner is finished, I will quilt it on the Grace frame.  A friend from the Guild and her husband came on Monday morning and finished setting it up.  It’s all ready to go.  I will put a quilt package on it this week and start to practice, practice and more practice.  Hopefully, I can quickly finish a lot of my ufos.

The mystery quilt, Frolic, by Bonnie Hunter needs a lot of work.  I’m several weeks behind on this project.  I have downloaded the directions, printed them and saved them to a file.  The completed quilt has been revealed.  I can work on it between doing other things.

IMG_2768   IMG_2767   IMG_2766This is all the little pieces that need to be sewn together to make a queen size quilt.

There are a lot of small pieces of fabric that were left over when cutting Frolic.  My intention was to cut them in 1 1/2″ strips and squares. Then I could sew them as beginners and enders and make 3 1/2″ blocks.  It’s amazing how fast the bucket is filling up with scraps.  All my meetings and appointments are finished for this week, so I have two full days of sewing ahead of me.  I may cut some of fabric and get started.

IMG_2761I made a folded fabric hexi.  It was fun.  The first one took an hour.  The second one took ten minutes.  They are really easy to make after the first one.  There is a pin clasp on the back so it can be worn as a pin.

 

I have a project that calls for a bird block.  I enjoy machine embroidery in the hoop and hadn’t done that for a while.  I found a pattern and machine quilted for many hours.  The pattern had a lot of stitches and color changes.  When it was finished, I found that it was a defective embroidery.  The body of the bird was missing and some of the leaves were not there.  It is in the round file. It was a wasted day.

IMG_2774Today, I embroidered a bird that I bought from Embroidery Library.  Their embroideries always sew out beautifully.  It did, but I think that there isn’t enough color  contrast between the bird and the foliage.  I will save it for another project.

 

I have a bin of quilt pieces in the back of a closet.  There are partially made quilts, leftover blocks and lots of things to choose from when I’m looking for something special. I found several bird blocks.

IMG_2770IMG_2769These two blocks are hand embroidered.  I think that my mother made them.

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These two cardinals are redwork on the embroidery machine.

 

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This bird block is partially thread painted.  I printed the picture of a bird on fabric and was in the process of thread painting when I put it away.  I need to have turquoise in the border so will thread paint some turquoise thread on the wing.  Thread painting is very relaxing and is something that I like to do.

The blocks are sitting on the kitchen counter, waiting for me to make a decision.  I’ll have to decide by tomorrow which one to use in the project .

Second week in January

It’s the second week in January.  I still haven’t changed the wall hanging on the wall over the sofa.  I do have it out and ready to go.  Maybe, tomorrow. The little January wall hanging is up on the wall.

I’ve been following several blogs.  The latest item for conversation is to make the same small block every day.  After a few months there will be enough blocks to make a quilt. It would be a simple, yet scrappy quilt.  Several blocks have been running through my mind.  I have decided on a small churn dash.  Now, I have to decide what theme to use.  Will it be batiques, one color, traditional, or will I use a large package of 5″ squares that I bought last summer. I’ve also decided to make five blocks a week and use the other two days to border each block.  When I start, there will be pictures of my progress.  Nothing says that I have to start on January 1st.  I can start any day when I get organized.

The Ten Commandments bed runner is up to date.

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Sixth commandment

 

 

I brought out the flower applique and have been working on that wall hanging in the evening.  The oldest UFO has been retired again for a while.  The more I quilt on that piece, the more I find to quilt.  The quilting has to be equal on the whole quilt and I started with a lot of quilting.  Hand quilting takes a long time, but it is worth it. Miss Molly likes it when I hand quilt.  She checks out the part that is on the floor while I’m quilting.  I have to remember to pull most of it up so that I can move it as I quilt.

I am very far behind on the Frolic Mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter.  I have a lot of scraps in the right colors, but they are small scraps.  I need larger scraps to make sets of four in the same colors. One clue states that the turquois should be lighter than the blues.  Most of my turquois is medium to dark.  I checked the local fabric store but didn’t find what I wanted.  Then I went on line to several sites.  My order was received more than a week ago, but hasn’t been processed or mailed.  Hopefully, it will come soon and I can catch up.  In the meantime, I have other projects to work on.

I did sew a few of the Dear Jane blocks.  I was out of hand work on those blocks.  I like to work on them when I go to the  Community Center.  I’ll be all set for a while.

Most of the samples are made for the Guild demonstration.  I have one more to make.  That shouldn’t take long.  It’s just a matter of getting to it.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

 

 

It’s a new year

Happy new year.  It has been a very busy two weeks with Christmas parties and family get togethers.  It is wonderful to connect with family no matter what time of year.  Miss Molly’s good friend Rufus came for a visit also.  She enjoys visiting with him and discussing their very important jobs.

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I did squeeze in  a little time for sewing.  The green and white quilt top is finished. My goal is to have it finished so that it can go on the wall over the sofa in March.  I had made several four patches before I looked for a pattern.  The four patch pieces were cut at 1 1/4″ square.  Four units were sewn together to make the block.  While checking for inspiration for my demo in January, I came across a pattern from a class that I had with Sue Rabin and Ann Gallo.  It was perfect.  After the wall hanging was pieced, I realized that it was too small for the space.  Using the leftover green fabric, I added more borders and cut them at an angle on the two bottom corners.   The size is correct now.  I had made more four patches than I needed so decided to piece the backing with them.  By the time it is finished, I may, possibly, have my quilt frame ready to use.  It is one of my priorities this year.

I’m behind on Bonnie Hunter’s Frolic quilt.  At this point, I’ve skipped part four.  It calls for turquois fabric that is lighter than the blue that goes with it.  It calls for sets of four pair of half square triangles and four pairs of quarter square triangles cut from the same fabrics.  Since I have small scraps in that color, there is not enough yardage to cut what I need.  I’ve ordered some new fabric and will make part  4 when it comes.  So much for  using up the scraps that I have.

IMG_2738Part five is finished.  It called for lots of half square triangles that are sewn the same as part three.  The color is raspberry and neutrals.  This time,  I decided to make the half square triangles in the accordion method.  They worked up quickly and are trimmed and ready for the next step.

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Step six will be here tomorrow or the next day.  Maybe, I will have much more time to sew and can catch up.

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The fourth commandment block is finished.  I’m pleased with the colors on these blocks.  It will make a very nice bed runner.  The Fifth Commandment block pattern came last week.  It calls for two duplicate 10″ blocks. The pattern says that these blocks are more difficult to size correctly.  The 10″ block is divided by 6 units, so the cutting is tricky.  The sewing has to be very accurate in order for it to come out the correct size.  Fortunately, I do know how to divide a block by unusual amounts of pieces.  I will do this on copy paper and paper piece each section.   Then the block will be accurate when finished.

The deadline is fast approaching to have my demo instructions completed.  I have decided what I’m going to talk about.  It will be called Tricks of the Trade and will consist of four subjects.  Now, I have to make demo pieces and write the instructions.  One of the subjects will be how to make six equal sections in a 10″ block.  When I have finished writing the instructions, I’ll post it to the blog.

There is so much that I want to complete in 2020.  January will be my organization month.  Then, I can just have fun.

Have a great day and happy quilting.