Busy Day

I wanted a day in my quilting studio, and finally carved out time today.  I have been running several projects concurrently, and needed to work on all of them.  I haven’t quite finished anything, but I’m a lot closer now.

1. I chose the fabric that I want to applique over two patches on one of my quilts that have disintegrated.  This tessellated maple leaf design  has a large variety of fabrics in fall colors and one of the fabrics I used has shredded apart.  Current practice is to applique over what’s left of the fabric, so that the original fabric could be seen in the distant future, should anyone care to look.  I cut out the pieces for the two blocks and I’ll hand applique them either tomorrow night, or at quilting bee on Friday.

2.  I looked through the box of extra blocks and extra pieces from Scraps on a Mission to see what we could finish up and found two sets of blocks that could be used if we added a little to them.  I went through my personal stash and founds browns and golds and cut them into four inch squares.  Four of these are sewn together to make a block.  I might also choose some fabrics to alternate with the pieced blocks.  I also made two blocks in blues to extend what we have for another quilt.  You know…”Use it up, wear it out…”

3.  I have a block I am doing that is a pieced Maple Leaf surrounded on two sides with strips, like a Log Cabin.  I need to make 56 blocks for the top I want to do, and I’ve completed 32 of them.  I set out ten of the leaves and chose the strips for each of the blocks.  I’ve gotten good at cranking out six to twelve of these blocks at a time, so I’m set to sew the next time I have the chance.

Project 2 Resized

4.  I trimmed the points off a quilt that I am making for a women’s shelter.  I want to put a strip on the top and bottom the shift it from square to rectangle, and then I can layer and pin it, to be quilted.

Color Strip Quilt Resized

My picture is dark, but the quilt is very bright and vibrant.   It was a rainy day when I took the picture.

5.  I chose a border for a lap quilt for Scraps on a Mission, and sewed it to the quilt.  I cut the backing, and sewed it together, so that it’s ready to be layered, pinned and quilted.This is a picture of it pre-border:

YBR Resized

6.  And, I worked on the quilting for this 60″ x 75″  quilt.  When I started this afternoon I had five of 20 blocks left to quilt.  Now there are just two and a half to finish, and I can do that tomorrow morning.  I’m quilting in the ditch, so you won’t be able to see any of the quilting on these blocks, but there’s a lot of it!

Missing U Resized

The only things I didn’t get to work on are two bunny quilts I’m making for the babies of two of my grand nieces.  I still have a few days for one of them to hatch, and two months for the other.  I’ll have to put some of this work aside and get them done, though!

There’s one more twin-sized quilt for the women’s shelter that I need to finish, but I’ll wait to post  about it when the quilting is finished  My days are full, and the gardens are lush, and I really need to be working outside, but I do love quilting!

Safety Pins

I have been quilting a twin-sized quilt at my sewing machine.  It’s a pretty easy process, thanks to having  flattened the quilt sandwich beforehand.  I laid out the backing, face down, on the table in my studio and made sure there were no wrinkles or bubbles in the fabric.  Then, I laid the batting over the backing and repeated the process.  Finally, I set the top, face up, over the other layers and secured all three to my table.  Then I used  safety pins to pin through all three layers.  I’m using cotton batting, so I need to pin fairly close together.

I have three types of pins: one-inch straight sided safety pins, one and three-eights inch straight-sided safety pins, and bent one-inch safety pins.  I know, that was tough to read.  Just look at the picture, and you’ll, well, get the picture:

Safety Pins Resized

I have no idea how many pins I used on the 60 x 75 inch quilt, but I can tell you that  the one-inch straight-sided pins are killers.  They are so hard to close that they drilled a dent into my index finger nail.  If I keep these pins, and that’s a BIG IF, I’ll have to get one of those spoons you can use to help close the pin.  My fingers hurt all weekend.

I shifted the longer pins, which I thought I would like the most.  They are much easier to use, but it seems that the point can dull, and I don’t like to leave huge holes in my quilts.

The last pins I used turned out the be the best.  The bent one-inch pins are easiest to open and close, and leave a smaller hole than the bigger pins.  I need to put these on my wish list.  If I’m going to continue to do quilts larger than 45″ x 60″ I’ll need more.  Anything, to save my fingers!


My youngest sister, Frankie, and her husband are coming to visit.  They’ll be arriving today so that we have some time together.  Tomorrow we are all taking a class in bread making at Sur La Table.  Their classes are just wonderful.  Frankie and I have taken classes there before.

We hope My-Sister-The-Nurse will join us, but she has a dreadful cold, and may have to beg off.  She doesn’t want to share the cold, and we really don’t want to catch one.

I’ve been working on the first twin-sized quilt for Scraps on a Mission.  Pictures will follow when the binding is on.  I’m so very pleased at how well this is going.  I thought the larger quilts would be much harder to work on at the machine, but the 11″ opening on the Janome makes a huge difference!

Monday I see the foot specialist.  I have some minor issues to run past him.  The orthotics he prescribed have helped!

Tuesday, Scraps on a Mission meets, and right after the ladies leave, our realtor comes.  We’ll be signing contracts for the sale of our house.  I’m sad, but I’m tired of living in limbo.

Thursday, I finally get my perm!  I’ll look like Little Orphan Annie for Easter, but it will make it easier to shape my hair for the next few months.

I hope to get more quilting in this coming week, and then we go to My-Sister-The-Nurse’s for Easter.

We start the week with family and end the week with family.  I’m a happy camper, getting to see so much of my family.

Imprudent Choices

Do you ever decide to do something when you know it’s an imprudent choice?

This week, I was supposed to be working in the basement, getting ready for Saturday, when the teens were coming to help us move things up and out.  I KNEW that should have been my first priority, but something got in the way.

We had given one of the Scraps on a Mission quilts to be used for the auction following the Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.  The funds raised go to a shelter in Chicago which helps women get on their feet and return to the position of being the center of their families.  We think the quilt was given to the shelter by accident, rather than being held back for the auction.

One of the Scraps on a Mission ladies decided to try to make a  lap quilt for the auction, but ran into trouble with the assembly.  It nagged at me that we had nothing to offer them, so Tuesday night, I sat down and cut most of the floral fabrics that you will see in the picture below.

I sewed for part of Wednesday, and most of Thursday.  I pinned, quilted and bound on Friday.  Ta-Da!  It was done just before dinner on Friday.

Snowball resized

The hands you see (and feet) belong to Dear Husband, who held the quilt so I could get a picture before it was given away.  I must say that I was disappointed that it only brought $150 after all that work and rush, but the shelter benefits from the auction and every little bit helps.  I was surprised to find that it was the man who runs the shelter who won it!  Even more surprised because his wife won the quilt that I’d made the year before (for $80 dollars more! lol)

It’s done.  I can put it all to rest, and get back to doing what I should be doing.  Life is good!

January Studio Work

I chat with a group of ladies on Facebook who are predominately knitters and crocheters, but they welcome ladies who quilt and make period clothing and a variety of other specialties.  The woman who moderates this group encourages everyone to post pictures the first of each month of what they are in the process of creating.  I’ve worked on three quilt tops and squares for charity afghans, and I have some pictures to share.

This first top is a collection of blocks made from my stash.  I have a LOT of fabric that is a quarter of a yard or less, and it’s organized by color (mostly), so I can go to the shelves and take down a handful of fabric to make a block. This particular block, and quilt were designed for “Sunday Morning Quilts.”  I love the book, and used this pattern for a quilt for Scraps on a Mission last Fall.  I liked it so much that I’m making one for us.

Missing U #2 Resized

I haven’t decided what to use as the backing and binding, but most likely they will be dark. I’ll quilt this one on my sewing machine, and we’ll use it in the great room.

This next quilt is a color block design that went together in just a couple of hours,  It will be quilted using parallel lines about 2″ apart.  The center strip will be quilted vertically, and the rest will be quilted horizontally.  This quilt will be given to a women’s shelter that Scraps on a Mission is supporting.  I’ll quilt this one at home, too.  It’s close to twin size.  I’m trying to decide if I want to add a strip at the bottom, or both the top and bottom, to give it a little more length. (The light spots in the yellow are from the quilt behind this one on my design board.)

Colorblock 1 Resized

There’s one more quilt top that is done and ready to be sent to my favorite long arm quilter, but I need to get a picture tomorrow, so I’ll add another post then.

This last picture is  the six inch crocheted squares that I’ve started for a charity project.  I like to have something to work on while I sit with Dear Husband at night, and these fill the bill.

Squares for CC Resized

The Maple Leaf Quilt that I was working on in December is ready for a day when I can just sit and sew.  I know one of those days is bound to show up, sooner or later.  I’ll post pictures of that quilt when it’s further along.



Green is on my mind these days.  I was standing at the sink, looking out over the herb garden, and realized that there are little tiny leaves growing around the crowns of the oregano plants.  I’m sure these were growing prior to Christmas, when it was so warm.  We’ve had a cold spate for the past two weeks or so, with temperatures much closer to normal.  I think it’s likely that we’ll loose these tiny leaves, and see another flush of them rise in March or April.  It’s been cold, but they are talking about the possibilities of temps in or near the FIFTIES this coming week.  Weather is very different these days.

I’ve been working on the blocks for a scrap quilt to use in the family room, something that we can curl up in and not have to worry about wear and tear.  I’m using the pattern called “The Missing U” from “Sunday Morning Quilts.”  Each block is 15 x 15.  In each block there is a scrap of white material.  Each block is made from a color family, so there might be 15 fabrics which are all purple or lavender in one block.  I showed the blocks to my quilting bee on Friday, and right away they were down on the floor laying out the blocks.  Of the sixteen blocks, two are lime and one is a sage green.  I said I was thinking about swapping one of the lime for a second purple block, and I was also thinking about removing the sage green block.  “Nope!”  They told me to leave it just as it is.  I have to choose a backing, and get a batting.  I’m looking forward to quilting this quilt!  Pictures later.

We need more greens in our diet!  I need to schedule stir fries, and sub gums, and vegetable soups.  We just don’t get enough greens.  Any suggestions?  I’m going to ask everyone to give me veggie ideas!

And last….I’m green with envy that my youngest sister  was wise enough to go south for a week right after Christmas.  The pictures she posted on Facebook made me long for places where grass is still green, and you can walk around outside without layers and layers of clothing.  We’ll have to see how Dear Husband’s knee is coming.  Perhaps we can get away for a few days in February.

Why is it…

…that you get your best ideas just as you are on the brink of sleep.? Last night I managed to figure out a fabulous way to work out a problem on a project I’m working on, just as I was nodding off.  Unfortunately, I didn’t try to wake up and write it down, and this morning, not only can’t I remember the design solution, I can’t even remember what project I was thinking about.

Wait……it had to do with strip piecing fabric for drunkard’s paths blocks as the second border on the quilt I’m working on. YEAH!!! I just remembered.  I’ll have to take a look at it and see if that would work, or whether I just want to use straight forward un-pieced borders.  I had to make note of it, or I’d forget AGAIN!

At any rate, do you keep a notepad beside your bed for times like these?  Do you wake yourself up to make notes, or trust that you will remember?  There have been so many times I’ve said to Dear Husband as he was on his way out the door to work, “Remind me to tell you about my dream.”  It never works.  As soon as I’m awake the dream is gone.

At least I know what I want to try for my quilt!

Two Projects

It’s time to see if I can upload pictures in Word Press!  I’ve been working on two projects and I’d like to share them with you.

The first project started out as a charity quilt for Scraps on a Mission, but I’ve put so many hours into the project that I may keep this quilt, and redesign a version of it that won’t take as long for us to make.  This is the Maple Leaf Log Cabin quilt from my stash:

I need 56 of the Maple Leaves, and there are ten extra in this picture.  I’ll have to pare it down a bit.  Based on what I can see here, I’ll probably delete ten of the darker blocks.  I have all the strips cut to add the log cabin pieces to the blocks, so in January I’ll sit down and pop a DVD into the player and sew like crazy!  The finished quilt is roughly twin sized.

This second project was the result of wanting to pack up part of the studio that doesn’t get used frequently.  I was sorting through some of the boxes, to see if the unfinished projects and unused materials could be packed, and found 29 blocks that had been made from the scraps of several previous quilts.  Some of the strips have been pieced to make them long enough for these blocks.  It’s truly a scrap quilt.

What looks tan in this picture is actually an old gold, and the pieced strips are all darker than they look here.  The fabric to the right is being auditioned for borders  for the quilt.  Trust me, it all looks much richer in person than it does here.  This quilt will most likely be square and slightly smaller than a twin size bed quilt.

I love it when a scrap project comes together.  Having TWO on the board at the same time makes me itch to sew!  Hopefully, I’ll have pictures for you when these are done.

Scraps on a Mission – First Half of 2012

Wow! I’m just blown away by the ladies of Scraps on a Mission! I met with them late in February, and asked if they wanted to continue this year, in honor of Mary Rinn, our founder, who passed away just before Christmas. There was a universal “Yes!” I had kits for quilt tops ready. and everyone took something home with them to finish before our March meeting.
We have lost one member, and gained another, so there are six of us sewing small quilts for the pediatric ward at the local hospital,and for a nursing home/rehab center. We hope to have the quilts blessed at church in late October or early November, and they will be given away before Thanksgiving.
So far, we have TWENTY SEVEN finished quilts! And I think there are easily ten more being worked on, and possibly more than that. Most of those 27 quilts have been made in just four months. I can’t believe how many we’ve gotten done. What a way to honor Mary, while we help those in need. I have three quilt tops left to sandwich and quilt. Two of them are larger than those we normally work on, so my output is going to slow down a bit, but the other ladies may pick up the slack for me.
I’m very blessed to have met these ladies, and to have the opportunity to work with them to help others!

Okay, WHERE IS IT!??

I bought a piece of fabric to use as a narrow border in a small lap quilt, and also for the binding. I’m almost ready to bind this little quilt and do you think that I can find that piece of fabric!??? I have looked everywhere. I’m positive that I set it down, thinking, “This is the perfect place to store this fabric until I need it for binding.” Unfortunately, I didn’t take notes.
The one-inch wide inner border is of a medium dark red, with a darker pattern of flowers in red. It isn’t a shade that matches anything I have in my stash. Now, I am confident enough in my quilting that I don’t have to match things exactly. I learned about NOT matching my quilting fabrics from a lecture by Mary Ellen Hopkins, so I could comfortably find another red that would work. The thing of it is, I know that fabric is sitting somewhere in this house, taunting me, and I want to use it up.
I can promise that there will be an addendum to this post……saying, “I found it!” And it will have been in some obvious place. I hate having an uncooperative memory!