Sunday, August 6, 2017

{Post, 1,553} New Quilt Underway & A-maz-ing Light

I am going to a wedding in September about 10 hours away for a young man I sorta adopted while he was in college. He is marrying a girl I only met once through him. So I decided to make them a scrappy throw for a wedding gift. I wanted something easy but impressive. 

I saw the Pecking Order quilt tutorial from Missouri Star Quilts and knew that was the one. I don't know their colors or style, but how could I go wrong with this? This is 96/210 blocks. About 45%.

The blocks are 5" square unfinished.

This light made this nighttime picture possible. I got it at a rescue mission thrift store for $10, less than the cost of the 2 daylight bulbs that came in it!! Although it is orange (probably not a highly sought-after color),  my room has orange in the curtains and the wreath, so it is a winner.

The design wall is pushed into the corner, so that explains the odd angle of the wreath.

Hope you enjoyed something you love today.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

{Post 1,553} Machine Quilting the Mountains

It took a couple days to piece the back (because it involved washing brushed cotton) and loading it onto my frame, but I am finally machine quilting my Scrappy Mountains Majesty quilt.  It took less than a month to piece, but the quilting has taken a while. I actually am making it for my daughter's boyfriend. They have had a "committed friendship" which in everyday language means they have been dating exclusively. He was my friend and sign language apprentice before they started dating, so I semi-claim him. Anyway, it was an awkward time to give him a quilt, but now all is well.

Here is a picture before I started the quilting. I also added 2 rows of rectangles of shirt fabric at the top for a pillow tuck that are not in the picture. I am doing swirls in the border and wavy lines in the mountains. Hope you can see that in the pictures.

The quilt is about 108" long by 79" wide.

{Post 1,552} Soup Bowl Cozy

I made this little soup bowl cozy a couple days ago, and I've used it at least once a day since. I put my leftovers in the bowl, then transfer it to the cozy, putting the whole thing in the microwave. Since there are 2 layers of batting, one can put the bowl right in her hand w/o getting burned. Since I usually eat alone back in my sewing room several times a day, this makes it easy to carry.

The pin for the pattern is here - - Very quick and easy. Make sure you use 100% cotton batting as the poly stuff might melt or even catch fire!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

{Post 1,551} New I Spy

I am going to teach a friend to piece quilts. We were supposed to get together yesterday. She has never sewn. 

One of my girls gave me back a sewing machine I had bought for her, so I am giving it to my young friend (early 20's). She has a nearly 2-year-old and is pregnant with a second child. She has had rough morning sickness, so I did not get to go. 

While I was looking through my I Spy prints to taken them with me (I'm letting her pull from my stash), I found that I had a large stack of 3-1/2" squares. Usually I use 4-1/2" squares. I found myself thinking, "There are a LOT of these! I wonder if I could make a quilt top from just this size?" I pulled 144 of them, and this center was pieced this AM. I debated about framing each 4-patch, but I ended up just joining them right next to each other. I laid them out in a color wash, dark upper right corner down to light lower left. I will add a border or two and call it finished.

The picture is just the squares laid out, but the top center is pieced. I have my 3-year-old grandson this weekend. He is napping right now, but once he is up, I am all his. He got a haircut on his way over. Cute as can be!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

{Post 1,550} I Spy Quilted

I taught a woman in my church to quilt. She has made many things already. Once I showed her an I Spy quilt, she jumped right in and planned three! Here is her first one. I like how there are "solid" colors going one way and novelty prints the other. I quilted it with white thread with loops. It measures about 38" square.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

{Post 1,549} Box Bag, Take Two!

Since I changed phones, my phone charger is larger than before. I have a small travel bag I used to put my phone and iPad chargers in (two different ones). Same story as the toiletries was slightly too small. It was done in a piece of fabric I covered with selvages, so I went to work making a charger bag before I forgot how to sew them!

Here is my little charger storage bag. It is 4-1/2" long, 3" tall, and 3-1/4" wide.

{Post 1,548} Box Bag

My husband and I just did a two-day trip to Virginia. Our daughter is touring with a music/drama team this summer. That is the closest she would be for the rest of the tour. It was a delightful trip. Every time I pack up for somewhere, I think to myself that I sure could use a slightly bigger toiletries bag. I was exhausted yesterday. But I did finish this little gem. I looked at some boxed bags on Pinterest, and came up with this. It is 9" long, 4-1/2" wide and 4-1/2" tall.

I used one of my favorite Thimbleberries prints for the outside. The accent stripes and hexagons are made from the lining fabric. I thought they added some nice detail. I used fusible batting. I like the way it turned out! The accent strips were not supposed to meet at the top. I just sewed them down on opposite corners of my flat piece before construction of the bag.

True confessions...I had the zipper completely sewn in and then realized I had put it in upside down. The pull was on the lining side. I just cut off the stopper on the end and flipped the pull over. Worked perfectly. That could have stopped this project in its tracks if it had not worked!

I am having a hard time finding zippers locally.  Anyone have a good online source?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

{Post 1,547} Happy Hubby

My husband has rarely asked me to sew him something. But he wanted a travel bag for his beloved Aeropress coffee maker. It is a cross between a French press and a pour-over coffee making system for you coffee affectionados. I have had 3 sips of coffee in close to 55 years, and it has been more then enough. In retrospect, I should not have taken the 2nd or 3rd. But he loves his coffee.

I was out yesterday and picked up this fabric. It is darker in person.

I made a drawstring bag with a boxed bottom. I could not find a notion to buy that would allow me to use one drawstring and keep it from opening on its own, so I made two drawstrings so they could be pulled to the opposite sides of the bag, and they would stay closed. I just cut a slit in the non-seam side of the bag and zigzagged it on the edges, then turned it under a little bit and topstitched it. I have made bags for game pieces this way.

Lastly, I boxed the bottom edge and gave it a trial run with the Aeropress parts in it...success!

Our youngest daughter is traveling with the Merrill Evangelistic Team this summer. She was in our hometown several weeks ago. Now she is going to a church that is 4 hours away. We are leaving tomorrow early afternoon and will see her tomorrow night at 6. Then she will stay overnight with us in a hotel and we have to have her back by 4 the next afternoon. We will come home after that. Good thing the Aeropress is ready to travel.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

{Post 1,546} Those Spots

Do you have "spots" at your house that make you smile? This is one of mine. It is right outside my front door. 

I LOVE houseplants. I have always wanted a spider plant, but cannot keep them alive. I admired one of my friend's, and she had her husband pot one for me. I got the plant stand at a local thrift store. I love it. When it gets too cold outside for the spider plant, I'll bring it right inside the door. I hope it makes it through the winter.

The planter with the geranium in it right in front of the basket was my mother's. I went to see her in May. I had been looking for a plant display just like this one. She had it in a "to be discarded" place, so I asked if I could have it. The geranium has lovely salmon/peach colored flowers. The most recent blooms just withered. Maybe time for one more set of new blooms this summer?

While I was in Arizona, the long-awaited black steel railings were installed.They are sleek, sturdy, and beautiful. We custom-ordered them, and they are lovely. We have lived here over 11 years, and I have anticipated them all that time! I am already thinking about decorating them for Christmas.

Monday, July 17, 2017

{Post 1,545} Side Trip

I had mailed my DIL a box containing a baby quilt for her 6-month-old and a few special things for her. When she called to thank me, I asked her "What's new?" She said she had broken her arm. My son is deployed overseas right now, and she is caring for the 6- and 22-month old children alone (think about giving baths, changing diapers, putting in car seats, etc. alone with one working arm). To make a long story short, I flew out 2 days later to spend a week with her. She had a check up and is mostly fine right now. Turns out the break was too small to see on an x-ray, and now she is splint and sling-free and does not have much pain at all.

It is a Pioneer Braid with red squares marching down the rows. All Thimbleberries fabrics. Before trimming and binding...

Here is one picture of my older grandson. He endlessly babbles. I know his clear words are coming!!

I started the Christmas ornaments for the 6/8 of my children who still want them. Here is a picture of the one I actually stitched to completion and a picture of the kit insert so you can see the rest of them.

I will be making some for my grandchildren as well. The same idea, but green or red felt for the background of the mitten and a complimentary color for the cuff.  I will have 6 grandchildren by Christmas this year, Lord willing.

Now to get my own house in order. Laundry, meals, weeds. They just never go away. Good thing I enjoy quilting/sewing projectsto keep me going.

Monday, July 3, 2017

{Post 1,544} A Little More Piecing Finished

I started a Hand Me Downs quilt some time ago, just for fun. My son Ben has claimed it. I have 2 border sections on. I plan to finish the piecing and then machine quilt it tomorrow.

Here it is so far. It will be 90" square when finished.

Update:  I just added the other two side borders. Ready to start the machine quilting in the AM. I am home alone, so I can do whatever I like, and I would like to do all the machine quilting on this. Purchased a 108" wide backing this past week, so I am ready to go! There will be enough left over to bind it as well.

Here is a picture from last night. I got to keep my nearly-3-year-old grandson this past weekend. When we sit on the loveseat to watch TV, he usually wants to hold my hand. Let night he did so and said, "Grammy Jo, I need to hold your hand. And we need a quilt." Two sentences that never fail to warm my heart.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

{Post 1,543} Grandmother's Flower Garden Update

I have sewn a lot on this beauty the past couple of weeks. Here is what I have finished so far (the blocks on the left are partially pieced). Several need to be attached to the mother ship. The top measures about 60" x 77" right now. I want it large enough to cover the top of my queen-sized bed mattress with enough for a pillow tuck.

In the past few days, I also pieced and machine quilted this baby quilt for one of my AZ grandsons (hi, Samuel!). He was born about 6 weeks early, and I think my thoughts about making him a newborn/baby quilt were derailed at that point. I used the Pajama Quilter's Fern Ziggle pattern to quilt this. I love it.

All the pieces were cut (I had made a queen sized quilt and pillow shams from this same pattern years ago). The red squares were already sewn to the creams, so it was sit and sew. 

It measures about 55" square.

This will be labeled, bound, and washed, then mailed to AZ soon. I have enough of the red fabric for binding.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

{Post 1,542} 4,000-Mile Round Trip

My husband and I just did a whirlwind trip to visit our son and his family in Arizona. I feel like I'm still in the whirlwind. Here are a few pictures from the trip. They don't need much explanation. 

They moved the day we arrived, but we found them anyway!!  I was able to unpack and organize my DIL's kitchen. For some strange reason, that is a process I greatly enjoy doing. Wes stained a storage box organizer my son had built some time ago. I gave my grandson a haircut. Baby to little man in 15 minutes. I remember doing that with my boys. 

I sewed the 4 hours there on the plane and in odd times in the hotel. The 3-hour time difference tore me up. That, and old age!

Monday, May 15, 2017

{Post 1,541] Center of Hand Me Downs Quilt Top Half-Finished

This is the center so far.  The top 4 rows are sewn together, and the last 5 are sewn into horizontal rows.

My other in-process shirt quilt, Virginia Bound, is in one pile to be webbed soon.

So much progress!

Friday, May 12, 2017

{Post 1,540} 63/80 Blocks Finished for Center

This is the potato chip quilt. I can't seem to stop wanting to make just one more! So far, i have 63/80 blocks for the center. The border is a fun one. I'll start cutting fabric for that one tonight. The real name for this pattern is Virginia Bound if anyone is interested. It's from Bonnie Hunter's Scraps and Shirttails book.

I like to lay out the blocks to see what colors I need to add more of in a quilt before I sew the blocks to each other. Red is a lacking color. Also purple...but I think every quilt needs more purple, <wink>.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. I will be mostly alone tomorrow, so I'll be gearing up for 7 of my children to be here for lunch on Sunday. Can hardly wait!!

Monday, May 8, 2017

{Post 1,539} 48/80 of the Way to the Center Being Finished!

I am loving the piecing of these blocks. And I *might* have bought 9 more shirts at Salvation Army this past Thursday!! I didn't really NEED any, but wanted a few more "neutrals".

I had my grandson (age 2) Friday through Sunday. My daughter and her boyfriend are staying at their local college for a module, which is a semester's worth of class in a week this week with the cafeteria not being in operation (that means I am sending them lunch and making supper every night). 

At church last night, just as we were leaving, I saw a couple and their son, Parker, coming across the parking lot. They moved away from here 4 years ago. Unbeknownst to me, they were in town to do repairs on a house they own. They live in Indiana. After chatting for like 20 seconds, I invited them for supper last night and to stay at the Parker B & B. They will be staying tonight, too. That is all meant to explain why I have not been sewing these past few days. I love helping people any way I can. We have enjoyed catching up. And what's not to love about their son, who shares our name??

Friday, May 5, 2017

{Post 1,538} More on Virginia Bound Blocks

I've already shared a couple times that I swapped 15 blocks with Ruth. I don't usually do this, but EVERY time I look at my design wall, this block stood out to me. I often pin a small square of white paper on a stack of blocks to remind me of the count. I kept thinking that was what this was...but it was a very large plaid. I took out the one piece and subbed it with something not so eye-catching. See the difference below? Before...

And after...

I do use a foundation to piece these blocks. The pattern is from Bonnie Hunter's book, Scraps and Shirttails. They go together so quickly.

I was talking to two of my grandchildren on FaceTime last night. Here is Keith asking if I can see his nose! That boy cracks me up.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

{Post 1,537} Virginia Bound Blocks Half Finished!

The Virginia Bound blocks are flying off the sewing machine. Well, it helped that Ruth had sent me 15 as a starter set (we traded a set of 15 a few years back!). But still...the quilt needs 80, and this picture shows 40!! I have enjoyed piecing some of my strings as leader/enders between blocks. Can you spot the pieced strips in the pics below? They are not obvious when viewing the blocks in real size as this IS quite a busy quilt.

I am so addicted to upcycled shirt quilts.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

{Post 1,536} Two New Shirt Quilts Underway

I have two "shirt" quilts underway. Both are from Bonnie Hunter's book, "Scraps and Shirttails". Both were started (sort of) some time ago. Ruth from and I exchanged 15 Virginia Bound blocks years ago. Ruth, do you remember when that was? I found a box of shirt strings in my sewing room. The 15 blocks from her were in the bottom of the box. I made 12 blocks last night (boy, do they fly along!). Here are 25 of them in the arrangement of the quilt.

Our shirts play so nicely together. Eager to make many more of these. The quilt calls for 80 of them. I had already printed the foundations on old phone book pages, so I can get right to it.

The other quilt is called Hand Me Downs. I had about 25 blocks made for that and stopped (are you seeing a pattern?). I came across those in a project box as well, with assorted units already cut. That quilt needs 53 blocks. I need to make 8 more to complete the quilt center, then 9 more for the border. Not sure I'm going to make it that big though. Stay tuned. There is a light plaid in the alternate blocks, which finish at 8" square, same as the Virginia Bound.

There was a lot of light coming in the window to the right of the design walls. I threw away the block with the green points in the 3rd row down. It looks too odd from any distance because of the high contrast between the hourglass center and the points and background. Plenty more spirits to sew up!

I hung this old project on the design wall to select my next 4 fabric pairs. So close to finishing the top. I went on a ladies retreat two weekends ago and sewed on it the 2-1/2 hours there and back. Then I did some more piecing while at the mechanics on Wednesday last week. It goes in spurts. I love it. No rush.

Till next time!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

{Post 1,535} Can't See the Trees for the Forest

Here are my finished tree blocks so far.  If I sewed these together, the quilt top would measure 65" wide by 70" tall.  I think I'll add one more row across the top or bottom to make it 78" tall.  It will be going to some tall people.

There are a couple I'll move around, but then I will call it good.

{Post 1,534} Backing Pieced for Exploding Star

I am making a quilt as a surprise for a new friend. I wanted to use up some brushed cottons I had, but I did not have enough of one piece, or two...

So I copied a pattern of sorts that I saw on Pinterest for the back. It is not as striking as I thought it would be, but it will work. The quilt top is about 78" square. This back is 84" x 90". I am going to start the machine quilting now.

Here is the quilt top...

I have since added another top and left vertical row. Pictures to come of the machine quilting in progress.

Monday, April 10, 2017

{Post 1,533} Christmas Tree Blocks

I saw a quilt on Pinterest that intrigued me. Now I have 42 finished blocks. What Iike about this quilt is that while it is wonky, it sews up super fast with large pieces, there are only slivers of discarded fabric, and no two blocks are identical in shape or fabrics. I am making a large quilt for my family. Here is the progress...

Each block unfinished is 7-3/4" wide by 9-1/4" tall. That would make this selection 54.25" wide by 55.5" tall. I plan on making it much larger than this.

For some reason, when I switched to using the Blogger app on my iPad, your comments are not showing up. Can someone help me figure out how to see and respond to my comments?

In the mean time, it would be best to email me directly if you have a comment. My address is