Little Things

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.

March 3D mini illusion
April 3D mini illusion
May 3D mini illusion.

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,

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Perseverance

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.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Miss Molly

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.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Thoughts

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.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Not Focused Anymore

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.

The center block can be anything. The first border is flying geese.

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.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Dear Jane

It’s amazing what can be accomplished if you focus on one thing. I decided to focus on Dear Jane. Rows A and B needed attaching to the main body. Twenty five blocks needed to be made, finished and attached. That was completed and Rows A through J are finished. All the blocks are hand quilted, bound and sewn into the quilt.

There are three more rows to make before I start on the outside triangles.

Being focused, I continued on and pieced all thirteen blocks of row K.

My focus will be on something else now. These blocks will be worked on at sit and sews unless I decide to focus on Dear Jane later on. Focusing once a month on something is enough.

I am still following the 21 day sewing room declutter. Day 1 – remove garbage. That was easy. Empty the waste basket and sweep the floor. The only problem with that is it has to be done on a daily basis.

Day 2 Return items. That was done. Again, it has to be done on a daily basis. Put things where they belong when you are done with them.

Day 3 – magazines. I thought that was going to be an easy one. I keep my magazines in a Shaker bucket. It was overflowing.

It wouldn’t take long to clean it out. I found that I hadn’t read a lot of the magazines and had to stop and read them. It is going to take forever. A new magazine came yesterday. There are recipe, quilting and housekeeping magazines. All have to be looked at before they go to a new home. In order to continue on with the 21 day declutter, I decided to work on this project for 30 minutes a day. It will be done sometime.

Day 4 – books Fortunately, I had already alphabetized by author all of my books. The new ones haven’t been listed in the computer. I’ll do that after I finish the 30 minute purge of the magazine. Eventually both will be done.

Day 5 – Pattern pile. This will take more than one day. Most of my patterns are in a file or a note book. Sometime this weekend, I can gather them all together. Then I can divide them into three piles. Ones that I have made and want to keep, ones that I will make, and ones that I will never make along with the ones that I have made and will never make again. There are a lot of patterns that I just had to have and never made. There are probably patterns lurking in places that I will find later after I think that this is finished.

The March Mini quilt is ready to quilt. I saw this quilt on Love of Quilting show 3113. It is interesting because it is made with sixteen blocks that are alike. The block uses two cats cradle blocks and two double half square triangle blocks. The smallest cats cradle block on the cats cradle ruler is 1 1/2″ square. The half square triangles were easy to oversize and trim down. The blocks are 3″ finished. The nine patches on the border were made with 1″ strips. The finished size of the white inner border width is the difference between the length of the nine patch border and the length of the main quilt divided by two.

The “Ugly Quilt” is staring at me every time I open the closet door. It’s telling me to finish it and move it on. It’s basted and partially quilted. There is a story about how this quilt got it’s name. When this quilt is finished, I’ll tell you all about it.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Stay at Home Round Robin

Last week was the finish of the Stay At Home Round Robin. The last seven weeks went by very fast. We were prompted to use pinwheels on the last row.

The colored wall hanging was easy. I made four pinwheels, one for each corner. I had planed, all along, to use the Ginny Beyer border prints for the sides. I thought that it would pick up the border print in the center and be the finishing touch. I had just enough left to make four borders. When the cut border print was laid on the outside of the piece, it didn’t look right. On to plan B. I would use a piece of died fabric. There was just one piece left that was large enough to make the border. It was almost the right color. Things do work out. I can change the color somewhat with the quilting thread. It will be a design element.

Miss Molly examined the quilt and approves.

The black and white quilt needed a light last border. The white and black fabric stash was almost gone so I had to be creative in the piecing. I had enough of one fabric to use on one of the elements of the pinwheel. The second part was made with two different fabrics. After the pinwheels were made, the remaining fabric was in small pieces. I cut small pieces to sew between the pinwheels. That filled the row it looks as if I planned to make it that way. Looking at the photo, I don’t like the two white pieces on each side of the corner square. It would be easy now to remove them and add something at would look better. That’s a job for tomorrow.

The black and white is my favorite of the two. It looks much nicer than it does in the photo. I’ll quilt part with black thread and part with white thread.

One of my UFOs is finished. It was a sample for my orphan block demo. I still have several orphan block quilts to finish. This one was small enough to quilt with the walking foot. I like to free motion quilt, but I really love to quilt with the walking foot. I just aim for the spot that I want and the foot takes me there.

I’m following a blog from Ontario, Just get it done quilts. On the blog is a 21 day sewing room declutter. My blocks of the month are finished. I’m not going to start a new one so will do the 21 day declutter.

Day one was to take out the garbage. That was easy. I emptied the waste basket, swept the floor and put the small pieces in the trash can. The larger pieces went into the scrap basket.

Day two was to put everything back where it belongs. That took a little longer, but everything is back where it should be. The room looks nicer already.

Tomorrow is day three. Magazines. I don’t keep them in the sewing room. I do have a stack that I haven’t read. I have both quilting, cooking and housekeeping magazines. It might take more than one day to go through them. In the meantime, I’ll finish some more ufo’s, decide which new quilt to start and just have fun quilting.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Many Things


My computer has been in the hospital. It’s amazing how much it was used and missed. Anyway, it’s home again and very healthy. In the meantime, I have been busy doing a lot of little projects.

Before the computer became ill, I downloaded several 3D or illusion quilt pictures. They are fascinating. I’ve decided to make a series of 3D mini quilts. One a month is my target. The mini quilts can be finished and will not hit the UFO bin. My first illusion mini is called empty boxes.

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It is about 12″ x 12″. I have chosen the mini 3D pattern for March and will start it as soon as I finish the project that is on my sewing machine.

The Stay at Home Round Robin is in the seventh and last week today. I’ve checked the web site, but today’s last row is not there yet.

In the meantime, row 6 is a log cabin. I have a mini log cabin quilt on the back of a chair in the dining room. It is a miniature of a larger quilt in the Quilters Newsletter magazine. The article had small log cabin blocks with color coding. I printed the small log cabins and used the print out for paper piecing.

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This quilt is 22″ x 22″. The block size was perfect for the Stay at Home Round Robin row, so I printed out several copies. The colored version was the first one. When choosing fabric, I wanted the Ginny Beyer fabric for one side. One of the stripes would be one of the logs. The stripe size was 7/8″. It didn’t fit the paper pieces so I cut all the logs at 7/8″ and squared up the block as I want along. The paper was put aside for now.

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Now it was time for the black and white quilt. It was so easy to just sew the logs and not paper piece. I decided to cut the logs at 1″, square up the logs as I went and not use the paper. I don’t like removing the paper anyway. Now, I have a stack of paper and can piece a mini log cabin at some later date.

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When the last row is posted for this challenge, it will be made with a light fabric. When I saw the picture, I noticed that it looks like a dark block on point in the middle of the piece. This is a learning point. Take a picture several times when designing a quilt. The visual effect will be obvious. If there are any color or hue mistakes, they will show up in a photograph.

I still like the black and white better than the colored.

Scrolling through Gail’s website, (she’s the designer of the 7th row), I found a wealth of information and new quilt terminology. Gail makes DREAMI quilts. Drop everything and make it. I call them squirrel quilts. She works for a PHD. Projects Half Done. I make UFO’s. She is very organized in working for her PHD.

I’m finally using the Cat’s Cradle ruler. It is made by Creative Grids. The block is used in a quilt on the Love of Quilting TV show. I’m making that quilt using the 1 1/2″ finished size Cat’s Cradle. The center is finished. It is tiny. The nine patches are made for the border. When it is finished, it won’t take long to quilt.

The Love of Quilting mini quilt is a new project. When it is finished, I have to finish three UFOs. That’s my rule. I should consider it working on my PHD.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Stay At Home Round Robin

Our prompt this week was a wonky star. Years ago, I made a wall hanging with a wonky star. I thought that I had invented a new block, but now realize that there is nothing new in quilting. That wall hanging now belongs to one of my beloved daughter-in-laws. She loves it. It was fun to make. No matching or cut off points. Just twinkling stars.

If we did not like wonky, we could make any star pattern. The checkerboard row was busy, so I thought that the wonky star row should be coping strips with just a few stars in the corners.

The colored SAHRR has just four stars, one in each of the corners. The wonky star is a nine patch. I wanted a narrow row so cut the patches 1 1/2″ square. That made a 3″ finished star. Running the pieces through assembly line method for the points was quick. I had Ginny Beyer fabric scraps leftover from the flying geese and the medallion center so used it for the points.

The black and white quilt is still is my favorite of the two. It is fun to just use value in choosing the fabric pieces. The fabric that I choose was too short to go the length of the row if I just had a star in each corner. I didn’t want to piece the length of the row. The corner of the previous row was 2″ not the 3″ measurement of the stars. It was time for a design element. The row would be 3″ wide so a 3″ star block would be fine in the corner. On each side of the star would be a 2″ x 3″ striped block. Then another star block. With all four corners made this way, I had enough length to piece the center of the border. That piece was strip pieced in the same configuration as the 2″ portion.

The 2″ flower block between the star blocks is a happy little accident. It looks as if it belongs there and I planned it.

I’m looking forward to the plan for the next row.

Now, It’s time to get some of the quilt thoughts out of my head and onto fabric. I have a lot of fun planned.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Some things almost finished

This has been a productive week. The Morehead mystery quilt reveal came last Thursday. This quilt was easy to put together. It consisted of several A and B blocks and one C block. The only matching seams were the corners of the blocks. The Morehead Mystery is a very pretty quilt, but it doesn’t have a border. Several participants have said that they are going to add a border. I’m trying to decide if I will add one or not. I do have enough red, blue and green fabric to add a border. There is very small piece of white left over but I can’t remember where I bought it. I’ll have to do a bit of research to find it. If I had more white, I could piece a border. I don’t want it to look as if I just added a border because I could.

What do you think? Does it need a border?

The border could be one of these fabrics or a combination of them. Decisions, decisions!!! In the meantime, I’ll work on something else and just think about it.

On Wednesday morning, I realized that I hadn’t checked for the next row of the Stay At Home Round Robbin. The prompts come out on Mondays. This week, the prompt is a checkerboard. Checkerboards are fun to make.

Two 1 1/2″ fabric strips are sewn together. They are pressed, cut into 1 1/2″ segments and sewn back together with the colors reversed. This is the fabric that I used for the lighter part of the checkerboard.

When it was cut, it looked as if I had used multiple fabrics. I paired it with a darker fabric. When sewing the borders on the quilt, I found that I was one checkerboard short and all the darker fabric was used. It was time for a design element. With a bit of unsewing, and adding a solid piece to the middle of all four sides, it worked out. The corner squares were fussy cut from the center of the flowers .

The colored piece is a little larger than the black and white. I wanted a calming border so chose not to use the Ginny Beyer border fabric. The hand dyed fabric was Ombre dyed and gives subtle color tints and tones.

The Quilt Guild had a secret valentine exchange. Those who participated received a name with some background of another quilter. Each one either bought or made a gift for their secret Valentine. We had a wonderful exchange party. Three of us wore masks and social distanced. It was so good to have other people in the house, even if it was for a little time.

Absolutely beautifully made wall hanging from Adriana. It will be on my wall for the month of February.

From Teri

I received this in the mail from a very dear friend.

Happy Valentines Day.

Have a great day and happy quilting.