Saturday, September 4, 2021

{Post 1,755} I’m Still Here


It has been sooo long since I’ve blogged. I’d have to look back through pictures (which, to be honest, I rarely think to take of anything except quilts…when I’m with people, I like to stay in the moment and not be focused on picture taking) to see what I’ve been doing.

I will work backwards with the quilts. I am making a second Dash Along quilt. I made this one first.

I liked that one so much that I immediately ordered fabric to make one like my friend, Kairle, who was leading the sew along. I just started working on it a short time ago. These pictures show how far I’ve gotten on my design wall. I have pieced the remaining block units. Just going to stop and quilt a customer’s quilt before continuing on it The brown one is 5 x 6 blocks (each block finishes at 12”). Due to a mess-up on my part, the new one will be 6 x 7, using up all the fabrics in the layer cake. I had to dig through my little tabletop trash can for more background fabric. I bought the amount the smaller version called for, then when I realized I would need to make more blocks, I held my breath and started cutting up my leftover fabric. I did not want to buy any extra. I had to piece one 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” piece, and beside it is how much I had left over from what I purchased. If you look at the layout, you will see that every other block is a gray Churn Dash. The other are Kitty Corn fabric.

I finished a couple UFOs of my own. Here is one I love. Brown is one of my favorite colors in quilts.

A long time back someone had gifted me with about 10 large novelty hexagons. I cut some (using one of the gifted ones as a template) out of my novelty fabrics and hand-pieced the hexagons during my grandson’s karate lessons (I serve as his chauffeur). Then a friend asked me to make two I Spy quilts for her two grandchildren. Well, this will be one of them! I need to add borders (purchased fabric for that today). Here is a whole pic and some close-ups for you to enjoy.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

{Post 1,754} First Full Day Home


Wes and I just got back from a week-long trip to OH then PA, then home again (NC). We had a great trip, visiting my parents, sister and family, and our youngest daughter and her family. Just a few shots of the grands…

I got to spend a lot of time with these two grandchildren. Blessings for sure, but they are babies, so there was crying, diapers, etc. 

I was fortunate enough to go to TWO quilt shops. I have rarely been in an actual quilt shop. I spent quite a bit of money (I am very, very frugal). Each purchase was carefully thought through. I did not take a picture of everything. I am making pumpkin blocks for Bonnie Hunter’s Punkin Patch quilt, so I got some more oranges, browns, and greens to add to my stash. I have one top nearly complete, and someone is already buying it. I just looked back and realized that I have not shared Punkin Patch pictures on here. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see quilting updates in a more timely fashion.

Here are my new fabrics to add to the mix.

I have more antique quilt tops in my possession and have been looking in real stores (as opposed to online) for reproduction fabric to use for backings. The second quilt shop I went to had a large assortment of bolts for half off!! I got flannel backing for two Punkin Patch quilts as well as 3 backings for antique quilts. It was great, and I spend >$200, but totally worth it. 

I hand-quilted and hand-sewed the binding on an octagonal table mat for a dear friend that I got to visit the day before we left. Here it is. I quilted it with dark brown thread. Just outlined the pumpkins and stems and then quilted an “X” in each of the blocks in the center. She was so surprised and loved it!

Before I left for the great north, I ordered fabric for a quilt along I planned to do that started this past Monday. I wanted to make a throw for our living room, It is neutral tans and browns. My goal was to draw out the colors in the rug, which is the first picture below (a small part of it). Well, to my surprise, what I’ve always “seen” as blue is really gray. I think it’s one of those transition pieces for people my age that have all cream as neutral. You know gray is the new neutral in houses. Well, this rug apparently fills the bill for both age groups. So I cut out all browns from my Thimbleberries collection instead. I also used up the very last bit of my favorite cream Thimbleberries. You can see how much extra I had…just a sliver.

Lastly, but not lastly, is some of the views from my time in PA. So much natural beauty.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

{Post 1,753} What Did Today Hold??


If you are a loyal reader, you know today was my first day “off”. My husband and his father left for VA this AM right before I got up. I didn’t hear them, but found out later that they left 15 minutes before I woke up. 

I had a few little things on the back burner for a while. So I started with them first. I read somewhere to do the things you don’t want to do first, so I did.

First up was a little thing (they are all little, but took a-l-l’s after midnight as I type this). Do you have things at your house that bother you, but you keep putting them off? Please tell me you do. The clear caulking around my kitchen sink was dirty and small bits of black ick were growing behind the sink where water gets splashed frequently. I removed all the caulking and replaced it with new when-it-dries-it-will-be-clear caulk. It was freshly applied in the picture, so it is white. It’s dry now, and it’s clear.

Next up was painting the paneling on the back of my hutch topper. I have a new color I am incorporating slowly into the kitchen and living room. I was aiming for a color that would pick up on those other accents. The first try was too light, the second (slightly darker) one was too bright. So I went to Lowe’s (only 5 minutes away) and bought a moose mousse color glaze (antiquing glaze). I didn’t like it at first, but it’s growing on my now. Here is a before and after comparison. The first picture is before the glaze was applied.

I had made a snap bag for my pastor’s wife at least 6 years ago. We had lunch together last week, and she pulled it out. I noticed that the measuring tape in the top was wearing through the top of the bag. She said it was because she always has it in her purse. So I came up with a slightly easier pattern (and I am proud to say that I wrote it all down in my bullet journal so I can reproduce it). I decided to make two. There is a friend I have been wanting to make a little something for, and I decided this would be it. I filled them with Hersey Hugs.

But wait—there’s more...if you buy before midnight tonight... Just kidding. Who remembers the Ginsu knife commercials??

Next I wanted to chill out and watch a movie. So I designed a quilting template and hand quilted the borders of this little number while I watched the movie. I see that it needs spritzed with more water. The Mark-B-Gone marker does not B gone.

The first sewing I’m doing tomorrow is getting the binding on this. It seems like I’m dragging it everywhere to work on it. I just want it finished. I will quilt the border on the summer one, too, and bind it. I need to find a place in my house to display them. I have an idea. Here is the summer one. I have my plastic template for marking it, so it won’t take long.

I also ate four meals today. That is a big deal to me. Usually, when I’m home alone, I don’t eat much at all.

Lastly for sewing/quilting, I found some extra blocks from my son’s wedding quilt. He was married this year on April 24. His in-laws have a round table for four (yes, I asked...I can be very clandestine). So I took 4 of the blocks and put this together tonight. I had to make a cream background one, but it only took a few minutes because I had the units in my spare parts drawer. It measures about 26” square. I will quilt it this week. My son and new DIL are coming to our house a week from today and staying overnight. I will have it ready for her to take back.

It has been a seriously busy and productive day. Tomorrow (well, today, since it’s 12:30) we have our every other week extra choir practice after church, but I do plan to sew after I get home. Since I got so much accomplished today, I decided I better post about it before I forgot what happened (LOL).


Thursday, May 27, 2021

{Post 1,752} Review of Quilt Bullet Journal


I have relayed several times how much I am enjoying my bullet journal. I make it a point to write in it every night, recording any sewing or prep for sewing (fabric selection, cutting for current project, pressing, trimming, etc.). I keep it simple, which is why I can keep up with it. Tonight I was thinking that a lot of the items that were UFOs are gone from my house. I was curious to tally up what I’ve completed this year. Some projects were fresh starts, so if I have the center done (waiting for borders), I consider that a lot. Most of my quilts are at least twin size. Many are queen-sized.

Buckle in. Here’s my list:

Quilts started from scratch AND already finished and delivered ~ 7

Quilts that were pieced when I started the journal that are completely finished ~ 5

Quilts whose centers are pieced...borders not on ~ 3

Antique quilts that need to be checked for repair needs and then quilted ~ 5

Customer quilts machine quilted ~ 17 (this surprised me)

Tops of mine that are ready to quilt ~ 9

Quilts that need bound ~ 4 (all are seasonal pillows)

Quilts that are in miscellaneous levels of completion but are not tops yet ~ 10

I finished the top and back of my next wedding gift quilt today. I am soooo happy with how they turned out. I rarely (OK I don’t ever remember doing this) make sample blocks for my quilts. I usually cut and make about half of one, then cut the remaining units once I see what colors I should add or not use any more of (I nearly always make scrappy quilts). For some reason, I cut 6 extra Friendship star blocks for the wedding quilt. I decided to use two different creams for the back with the stars in a row between them. I had to make 3 more blocks and add a little strip of muslin to make it wide enough. I wrote right on the muslin for a label so I wouldn’t have to add one later. Here are the blocks on my design wall.

I did two hours’ total of yard work today. About 45 minutes in the AM and then 75 minutes in the evening. I also did a small paint job that has been put off again and again. So my sewing time was interrupted off and on. I didn’t get a pic of the whole quilt top once it was finished. I sew a 1/8” line around the edge of it has lots of seams, and this sure did!

Here is a small part of the back and some of the top as they hang on my quilt frame (so they don’t have to be pressed again tomorrow).

The colors in this quilt are refreshing. Not too bold, but enough color to make themselves known.

My FIL is coming tomorrow to stay overnight, then he and hubby are taking a trip to Jamestown, VA to do some sight seeing. Undoubtedly, I’ll stay up way too late as I always do when I’m here alone.

Have a great night!

{Post 1,751} Hubby Surprise


My husband moved his office from in our finished basement (actually, out in the garage, but in a finished area) to the room right beside my sewing room. We both are facing the same wall, and he talks quite loudly on the phone! He had all his furniture arranged, then rearranged. Shortly thereafter, he came into my sewing room with a sheepish look on his face. “Can I use one of our quilts for the wall?” Then he proceeded to ask me what it would take to put up his favorite quilt on the wall behind his computer. I finally have him trained. We have quilts on our walls where I guess most people have pictures. So I sewed a sleeve onto his favorite and proceeded to help him get it up on the wall. Bonus? It muffles the sound of his screaming—I mean talking—on the phone a little. Here’s a before and after!

Now for an update on the wedding quilt. I am not posting on FB about it anymore. Although my future niece-in-law picked out the pattern and colors, I want the finished product to be a surprise to her. I visited at my MIL’s this past weekend (It’s 6 hours away, but my husband had committed to working on a house project with our daughter who is 3 hours on the way. I dropped him off and headed over by myself.). I sewed, then cut the squares into quarters diagonally, and she pressed them all open. Once I got home I trimmed all of them and started piecing. The pattern has a cool, time-saving way to make all those HST. A color square and a neutral are put RST, then stitched 1/4” all around the outside, then cut diagonally both ways, then ironed open and trimmed. Here are some self explanatory pictures. I had cut all the shirt squares before I went to the cabin.

I get lots of questions about using shirts for quilting. I got started by reading Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville blog about it. Here is my collection (all the wire baskets and the top drawer of the plastic drawers). Then one drawer pulled out so you can see how full they are. I keep them sorted by colors and all the neutrals are together.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

{Post 1,750} Wedding Quilt Started


My oldest nephew is getting married in August. I reached out to his fiancĂ©e (whom I have never met in person) to see if she wanted a quilt. It’s better to ask! Within about 10 minutes, she had decided on colors, size, and pattern. That was unparalleled. So I got started right away.

Here is a picture from the pattern I’m making. It’s Round and Round. It finishes at 68” x 72”—just what she wanted.

Here’s my progress. I was able to cut all 56 five-inch squares from shirts in a very short time. I spent this past weekend with my MIL (pics to follow). Here are a couple pictures from the piecing process. The blocks are 23” square, but there are only 7 of them! She wanted to help with construction, so she cut the HSTs apart and ironed them open. I did all the stitching. We made a good team. By the time I left for home, we had all of the sets of 4 matching HSTs pinned together and ready for piecing. These were cut from men’s shirts with cream muslin for the background.

My MIL lives in a lakeside cabin. Although we spent very little time outside, the view was so relaxing and serene.

The living room...

A picture of the sunset. Beyond the trees is the lake (notice the docks on both sides of the picture).