Saturday, April 30, 2011

One backing.......

I got up with a migraine yesterday so I didn't do much all day.  I did choose one backing, for my Kaffe Bento Box quilt.  I cut the 3 pieces to the right length so I'm ready to press out the fold lines and sew them together.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Zig zag top finished..........

A friend came to my house yesterday and I helped her baste her quilt.  I sewed a few seams on this quilt while she was here and did the rest when I got home from computer club.  It is 46" x 58".  Now I really have to get some backs sewn together and get some tops quilted.  I have over 50 tops hanging on hangers waiting their turn for quilting.  I also have 2 queen size quilts waiting for binding, one of them for well over a year.  I will have a finishing blitz and then I'll be right back at starting new ones again, or playing with the many blocks I have made to create tops.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The next project......

I like to have my next project lined up so when I have a few spare minutes I can start working on it.  I must quilt some quilts before I can start on this one, but maybe I'll do some cutting a little at a time.  I have both sets of acrylic templates.

On the weather report last night they said we have had rain on 20 days in April. That is only 7 that didn't have rain, so you know how little sunshine we've had this month.  They have predicted several days of sunshine starting Friday so that will really make it feel like spring is here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

14 seams down, 18 to go.........

It was errand day so I wasn't home until after lunch and then I had to get the screens out so my grandson could take off the storm windows and put the screens on for me.  Then it was naptime, reading time (T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton), and finally time to work on something.  Oh wait, I had to eat again, then sew.  I did the 14 vertical seams on the red/yellow zig zag quilt so I have the 18 horizontal seams left.  I have a friend coming over Thursday to baste a quilt so if I don't find time to sew today, I'll do that while she is here.  It will go much faster with company.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More zebra fabric, a walk in the garden............

Here are a few of the more colorful zebra prints.  I see I cut off the head on the one on the bottom right.  It is a print that you would swear is tapestry fabric until you touch it and it is ordinary quilting fabric.
This is another group of fabric I found on the shelf.  It is similar to shot cotton as it is metallic thread one direction and cotton thread the other.  If you click on the photo to enlarge you will see the shine.

I put these 4 pots in the corner for protection from the winter weather and I had forgotten what was in them.  Obviously one is a hosta but I haven't checked the others yet.

The cranesbill in the west garden is big and bushy and has buds on it.  We just need some warm days and it will be blooming.

This is one of the early hostas in the same bed.  You can see another in the top right corner.  That is what most of the other hostas look like right now.

The periwinkle vinca blooms off and on even in the winter so I can't call it one of my early spring flowers.  We got more rain last night.  Now we need a few sunny days but it sounds like a week of rain.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Clean table? Not for long........

My youngest granddaughter was bringing over a black prom dress that needed a little alteration so I cleaned my sewing table.  After she left I figured I would quilt one of the crooked cobblestone quilts that I had spray basted.
Here it is the next morning with the west light coming across it.  I just ditch quilted between blocks and around center squares in the center of the quilt.

For the borders I bounced straight lines at all angles from the outside to inside edge all around the quilt.  I have trimmed it and am looking for binding while I decide if I am going to do any more quilting in the center.

While the table was clean I decided to take my zebra fabrics off the shelf and look through them.  This is how the table looked when I went to bed last night.

Here are 2 photos of some of the zebra prints.  The ones I didn't take photos of are the ones with more than one kind of animal on them.

This pile of fabrics was with the neutral color zebra prints.  I bet a lot of you didn't think I had any fabric like this.

This is the whole stack divided in 2 as it came off the shelf.  The colorful zebra prints are on another shelf.  I think my next quilt has to use a zebra print and then I need to think about selling some of the rest of them.  I only have one lifetime to use all of my fabric so I need to be selective.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I have been whining about no blooms here yet, so yesterday I took the camera out and recorded the little we have happening here in northern IL.  Brunnera is one of the early bloomers.
A lonely violet resting on a lily leaf.

Pulmonaria/Lungwart just starting to bloom.

Another little Pulmonaria plant.

 My early peonies are getting tall.

Mr. Bluejay turned his back to me as soon as I got the camera.  We had a sunny day yesterday in this month with a record number of cloudy days so I got part of my lawn mowed and picked up branches for pickup the first Monday in May. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I have added another 2 pieces on the right side of this quilt so I had to overlap another design board to put the pieces up there.  I pieced the yellow/orange rows and now I am contemplating the white/black finish at the top.  It is just loose triangles up on the design wall right now.  It puts 2 light rows together and I'm not sure so I'll look at it for a couple days.

Chippy and the squirrel are cleaning up under the bird feeders.  I can't believe how fast that chipmunk can run.  It's supposed to get warm today so maybe some of the plants will start growing.  We have had cold rainy weather too long.

Friday, April 22, 2011

2011 Journal Quilt 15

I hope no one was expecting a white background behind those flowers, LOL!!!  You know me, busy quilts.  I made 2 more flowers from the little strips and tacked the center in place on all 5 with a bartack on the sewing machine.  I knew I was going to put buttons on as centers so it would be covered up.
I thought about tacking down the ends but decided I really liked the floating pieces.  As I said in yesterday's post, one edge of the tiny strips is selvage so they aren't going to ravel much.

I only wanted minimal quilting so I followed the edge of some of the squares in the printed background.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time for a 'me' day......

I taught 3 classes last week, Thurs. Fri. and Sat., baked and prepared for company on Sunday, company Monday and Tues. and yesterday I gave a 3 hour class teaching a lady how to load her quilt on a midarm machine and beginning stitching lesson. After watching her for a few minutes I can see she is going to do a good job with free motion stitching.  Wed. is one of the days I spend several hours with my dad too.

I'm ready for a 'me' day today.  Please Dad (97 yrs old) don't call me today!

Now for the weird photo:  I have had this little ziploc bag of tiny scraps about 1/4" x 2 1/2" for over 10 years.  They are trimmings from the end of batik strips and have the selvage on one edge.  I have tried to toss them several times but every time I remind myself they won't ravel much and could be used on an art quilt.  I haven't done my journal quilt for last week or this week yet so I have an opportunity here.  I have layered a bunch of strips in a flower shape (times 3) and am thinking, but was too tired last night to do anything.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Visit from a blogger friend

My blogger friend from FL who visited me yesterday had sent me all of these left over pieced squares  that she was done playing with a few weeks ago.  You can see I am having fun with them.

She also sent all of the triangles she hadn't sewn yet plus a bag of more squares to cut.  She knew this was something I would have fun with.  I asked what I could send in return and she said batik and Kaffe scraps, but don't send too much.

I was sure I hadn't sent her enough and told she could ask for more and I would send it.  It was a joy to have her come to my house and go through the Kaffe scraps and choose some she liked.  I'm so glad she let me know she would be in this area.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From my phone

I downloaded the app to be able to post from my phone. Just checking to see if the photo posts too.

Edited from my computer.  I see the photos are not able to be enlarged and I guess I needed to choose the orientation.  A learning curve, just like every other techy toy.

Design demo

One of the art quilters asked yesterday how I designed the piece on the right below and another that I have shown previously. 

I brought my huge pile of strip piecing to the design area and proceeded to show her how I work.  I make all of the strip piecing while I am watching TV with no purpose in mind.  I had pieced the green, blue, and brown groups several years ago when I was going to try to do a forest type design (scroll to second photo).  I am not going to sew this layout but someday I will probably do another piece, larger than my first one.
This is the rest of the pieces that I have already made.  I will continue for a few more months and then the pile will be large enough to work out of.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cleaning up..........

The art quilters are coming today so I baked 2 batches of cookies and finished straightening up a couple areas where I had piles of fabric.  I played with this little pile of scraps and started piecing 2 blocks, but nothing worth taking a photo of.  I have company coming Tues. too, a blogger from FL so I want to make a good first impression.  Ha, who am I kidding, there will still be piles everywhere.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A visit from Martha, Kaffe, Philip, Tina, and Kansas Troubles.....

If you don't read the names on the bolt boards or on the selvages that probably doesn't make any sense.  I had the test class on the zig zag quilt yesterday (2 students) to see if it would be a good class to offer.  All of the designers in the post title were represented.

You can see I trimmed the edges of mine.  It is about 51" wide and about 72" long and will not have a border.

This top is done now and will hang with the other 50+ tops waiting to be quilted.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another finishing class.....

Two of the ladies were doing bindings.  They took the class for these 2 quilts about 8 years ago.  I have shown my flannel versions of it here and here.

It is my own original layout and I taught the class for over 10 years.  Now I have more students wanting that class because they weren't quilting yet when I used to give the class.

Another student finished all of her blocks for the Turning Twenty Just got Better and got her layout of the blocks decided.

Another student had her blocks on the wall and I didn't get a picture, a blue and yellow Bento Box. 

I helped another lady figure out how to put her 1250 nine patches in 3 sizes into 7 quilt tops.

Here is my latest visitor to the back yard that I have to identify.  He walks like a dove or pigeon.  I know this photo is blurry but he wouldn't stand still.  I wanted to catch the iridescent color on the back of his neck in the sunlight.

After checking my bird books I guess it is a Rock Pigeon.  I have only seen gray pigeons before but after reading about them, I know they come in several different colors now.

The books say they mate for life but this male has been here by himself 3 days in a row now.  It also said they usually hang around in groups of 20.  I hope he doesn't bring his 19 friends to my yard.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Decision time........

Finally I'm getting back to this one.  You can see I used a combination of 2 of my choices out of all of the ones I tried.
The plain squares are alternating with the smaller bordered squares in all places but one.  I was going to have to make one more of the larger blocks and I thought, no, I'm done with this one.  I put a plain square in place of one of the large pieced squares and now I'm ready to sew it together.  It is only going to be about 42" x 48" so I think some baby is going to get this one.

I had a finishing class yesterday and this last 8 blocks were made for this one and the layout determined.  My art quilters will see this one Monday because it is one from that group that is making it.