Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

I am not a huge fan of all the gory, scary Halloween stuff that seems so popular these days. Charlie Brown, Snoopy and friends are more my speed.

Charles Schultz's Peanuts cartoons were a staple of my growing up. I never tire of watching the holiday-themed specials that air. I will be tuned in tonight at 8; It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will be on ABC. We won't have any trick-or-treaters; we live too remotely for that. In the 20 years we've been here, we've had not one, so I don't expect any this year, either.

The weatherman is saying we could be in for some nasty weather; I hope it doesn't interfere with the satellite feed!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sweet Faithful

This is a rarity, I'll have you know.

It's a rare day when I finish all the way to the quilted-and-bound stage of a project - in the same month that it was started!

With that statement made, I will introduce my totally finished Faithful, the sweet block that Lori at Humble Quilts has been doing as a quilt-along.

The scrappiness of it is what appealed to me from the start. I am also rather enamored with triangles. What a perfect pairing, right?

I can directly attribute the decision to machine quilt this block to the new Bernina that you met here. Lori's instructions were "quilt as desired," and since I need practice, I decided to just stitch in the ditch of each ring around the center. In addition, I did a little extra stitching-still in the ditch-in that center block. I'm getting better at it, and feel pretty confident that I could handle straight-line quilting on any smallish quilt. I'm not ready for anything full-size, and may never be, actually.

But I digress. The scraps used are mostly from recent projects, and are 100% stash fabric. Even the batting was a scrap that I pieced to make fit. To read the bits and pieces of my construction process you can click here, here and here.

Lori is hosting a Linky Party today on her blog. This permits us to see the finishes of others who participated in the quilt-along. I think you will enjoy seeing the variety. Click on the link to view them.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Working Hard

I'm busy this weekend trying to completely finish the three projects shown in an earlier post. So, to pass the time, I thought I'd show you a Halloween wall hanging that I put up every October. I will apologize for all the murky pictures - using the cell phone, again, instead of a regular camera.

You may recognize this as a Thimbleberries pattern. I made it at least 10 years ago, and probably closer to 15 years ago. Time flies, and of course there is no label. (I know; I should know better.)

And, while I finish off the aforementioned projects, I have a couple waiting in the wings.

First, my brother Mark has commissioned me to make a T-shirt quilt for him. He plans to give this to his boss. All the t-shirts are from their company over the last 20+ years. I have all the shirts cut, the interfacing is applied, and the setting fabric is purchased. I like that these quilts go together so easily.

And when the t-shirt quilt is done, I am going to begin Tapestry, a pattern I saw made up in Old Town Fabrics, made of the Barbara Brackman fabric, Morris Apprentice. I am so looking forward to working with this fabric! Every piece is absolutely gorgeous, and a delight to the eyes.

This is the sample display at Old Town Fabric Shop. The fabric line is across the bottom of the picture. Won't this be a fast quilt to make? I'm chomping at the bit!

Confession: I've already cut the required 6-7/8" squares, drawn the diagonal line, and matched them up in random pairs. When I do get the other work completed, I will be able to just pick these up and chain stitch to my heart's content! *happy, happy, happy*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Beautiful Bride Receives A Quilt

On September 21st, the daughter of close friends married her high school sweetheart. After some deliberation as to a gift, I decided that I would finish up a quilt for Elisa and her groom, Kenny.

Our beautiful bride, Elisa.

The happy couple, Kenny and Elisa.
Elisa is surprised when she opens her quilt. They were just back from their
Punta Cana honeymoon, and opened gifts at her parents' house.

I am told that the quilt is perfect, and they are happy to have it adorning their family room sofa. This quilt was a kit that I made earlier this year. At the quilt-top stage, I hung it in the closet. After mom Cheryl selected this one as most likely to match Elisa's style, I took it to be quilted. I am pleased with the results, and especially pleased that the newlyweds like it.

A happy quilt in a happy home! Yay!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, October 25, 2013


I read several blogs and find it totally amazing at what some quilters can accomplish. I have good friends who are also quite the overachievers and who do much more than I do. It's dizzying just how some folks manage to finish so many beautiful projects.

So while I am about to brag about these 3 little quilts, I do keep my perspective: these don't even begin to compare with what so many others are cranking out.

Maybe because I have had sort of a funk about sewing, projects, quilting, etc., I feel extra excited to share these with you.

I have finished hand-quilting the little doll quilt, Midnight Stars, and have the binding ready to stitch down. I love the red binding. I will tack it this weekend.

Back in March I sewed together a charm pack of a Moda fabric - I think it was called ABC123. And that was all I did. About a week ago, I had a note from a new momma that I know, and she asked if I would make a quilt for her little boy. I found the inner border pieces in my scrap bin, and I'd purchased the outer border from the sale table at Old Town Fabrics. And, there is enough left to use for the backing! I am going to quilt this on the new Bernina, so I will have this in the arms of our new mother very soon.

And last, but not least, I put the final row of triangles on Faithful, and added the outer border. I just love this, and am so glad I happened upon Lori's quilt along on Humble Quilts. Come to think of it, that Midnight Stars, above, was also a quilt along from her blog. I do like her projects!

Here are all three, tacked up on the design wall. It gives you a better look at the size of each project, doesn't it? I am so eager to get all of them completely finished. I think I will make that my goal for the upcoming weekend.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Quilting With Friends

Sweet Terry of the Frankfort girls invited us over for a full day of sewing on Monday. I had such a productive day! I think my sewing drive has returned, thankfully, and tomorrow I will have some pretty stuff to show you. But first, I will show you what the others were working on.

This is a recently completed quilt top by Sharon O. We marveled at her incredibly neat piecing. I should have taken a picture of the back - it was entirely free of an wayward threads, and was almost as impressive as the top.

Sharon pulled out this cross stitching project - a Santa stocking - to work on. She hopes to finish it for one of the grandkids.
Sheryll continued working on her homespun wall hanging, also a Christmas project. Here is the full project.
Well, I guess you can't quite see all of it. My shot didn't get the bottom. There are some Christmas trees and a Santa. I will try to get the full wall hanging when she finishes it.
Terry pulled out some blocks for her Farmer's Wife quilt; she is getting to close to being finished. I think she said that she has 10 more to make. She made these 4 while we were together on Monday.

Come on back tomorrow and I will show you all that I was able to finish. I am thrilled that I am finally being productive again!

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A sewing Machine Upgrade

I have hemmed and hawed for more than 6 weeks about buying a sewing machine. My current machine, my beloved Miss Bernina, model 1010, is closing in on age 27. She still sews beautifully, and I wouldn't give her up easily. However, I have had to be more diligent in servicing and babying her, and I have felt for some time that having a backup machine was becoming a necessity.

Well, the sewing machine gods were listening to that nagging voice in my head. A friend, Debbie, had a nearly-new Bernina that she wanted to sell as she had upgraded to a fancier model. She lent it to me to use for awhile -- sort of a test-drive period.

This is Bernina's Activa 220. I've sewn a couple of things on it, and we are quite compatible. Debbie had all the books, accessories and manuals, so whenever I've had to figure something out, I've been able to do it.

Debbie, if you are reading this, expect a call! I am ready to seal the deal! *happy face*

The most exciting thing: it comes with a walking foot! I can machine quilt!! I experimented on that pretty little table runner, and it worked beautifully. Oh, the possibilities -- be still, my heart!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Frankfort Girls Friday

Friday we met at Sheryll's house for a morning of coffee and quilting. Here are some projects we shared, either current or recently finished. Four of us were present; JoAnn had a scheduling conflict.

Sharon O. had finished this little table mat. It was a kit, and she said it was the
first time she'd ever tackled mitred borders.

A second kit from the same maker was Sharon's project that morning.
She is hand piecing it. 

This little house is Sheryll. She is making an entire quilt of similar houses.  

 This 1600-Race quilt is from Terry. I just love these - they are so fast and easy.
Terry was stitching down the binding

Sheryll had this darling little table runner to show us.
Over and over, I marvel at the fine workmanship of Sheryll's applique.

My stitching involved hand-quilting the last of the blocks
in this doll quilt called Midnight Stars.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


A week or so ago, I was reading one of my favorite blogs - Humble Quilts. Lori, the blogger, offers some great quiltalongs several times each year, and I have had fun making a few of them. Here are pictures of the projects I have made in the Humble Quilts quiltalongs.

Midnight Stars
Pink Lemonade
So, when I saw that Lori was doing a new quiltalong, and that it was full of scrappy goodness, I decided that I would join in. If you would like to read the blog post that provides the first set of directions for the project, just click here. Then you can go back to earlier posts to see tidbits about it, too. She calls the project Faithful, and it just looked like it would be a lot of fun to make. Here we go!

I pulled my 6.5-inch-already-made block. I explained yesterday how that it was really closer to 6-3/8 inches, but I figured I could make it work. I can't explain why this look so red, because it is in reality burgundy. I did some photo editing, but never could get the color to look true.

Next, I had to cut a border, so that is where the Paula Barnes red floral (mentioned yesterday) came in.

This was to be a border around the center block. Here we go!

This was simple, easy and fun, so I kept going. Lori's next step has us creating a pile of little half-square triangles. I used scraps from the leftovers of Carson's Courtyard, which I made a couple of months ago. Because CC was a rather dark quilt, I need to add in some lights.

Now, the next step is to create strips of triangles which will be attached all around the block. If everything is measuring correctly, I would need 2 strips of 8 HSTs, and 2 strips of 10 HSTs. However, because I was trying to "fudge" with a somewhat smaller original block, I only needed 9 instead of 10. It seems to look okay, at this stage, so I am plowing ahead.

After the row of triangles, we are to add another solid row, and this time I chose a reproduction gold-ish yellow. Again, I am unhappy with the color in the picture, and I just don't get what I am doing wrong. (Maybe I should use a regular camera instead of my phone.)

This is where I stopped, but the next step is to add another row of triangles, somewhat bigger than those in the first row. I will try to get those made and added soon.

This is a fun and happy little block, and I love the scrappiness of it. Scrap quilts - there's just something about them that seems homey and loved. Maybe because our grandmothers made scrappy quilts from dresses and shirts out of necessity, we have a special fondness for them.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rainy Day Industriousness

Maybe it just took a rainy day to get me busy in the sewing room. Since I really can't pinpoint a particular reason for my lethargy, a rainy day is as good as any for improving it, I suppose.

I will show you bits and pieces of it, and if you come back tomorrow, I will have the finish - well, as far as I get to the finish. I rather doubt I will actually finish-finish, so . . .

This is a block that I made a long time ago for the Farmer's Wife quilt. I have a good-sized stack of blocks finished for this quilt, but nowhere near what it takes. So anyway, I pulled it out because it is a 6.5-inch block.

Now let me clarify. The blocks are supposed to finish at 6.5 inches. However, typically my blocks never finish at the precise correct size. So, in actuality, this blocks is closer to 6 3/8 inches square. I should have kept digging to find one that was exactly 6.5 inches. But, oh well.

Then I pulled a couple of older fat quarters from my stash, and cut some parts. How long has it been since these were on store shelves??

Blurry - sorry - it's Country Manor by Paula Barnes

 Then there was some extensive triangle making. Little, teeny tiny ones, but I didn't need many, so it wasn't too tedious.

Aren't they cute?

So come on back tomorrow to see my rainy day effort!
Happy Quilting, Friends!