Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's next?

This is another of Kaffe's quilts that I think I need to make.  Mine won't look like his though because I'll have greens and yellows in there too.  If you enlarge the photo I think you can read the name of the pattern at the top and the book title at the bottom, plus the page number if you happen to have it and want to look it up.

I have been cutting for this one for awhile however I don't have even a tenth of it cut.  If I have figured it right, it will take 3 strips of one fabric and 1 and a half of the other fabric for each block.  One block has dark at the outside edge and the next has light. 
I think it will take 84 strips for the stripped sashing but I have a lot of scraps that I will cut up and use there too.  I need to make a sample block and see if my calculations are correct.

Normally by Memorial Day my peonies have bloomed.  I have 3 flowers and lots of buds out there.  This is supposed to be a hot week so I expect to see a lot of blooms by Saturday.

I didn't want to disturb the birds at the feeders so I took this photo from the kitchen window.

I mowed 3/4 of my front yard yesterday and then my neighbor finished it and did my side yard too.  Then I dug up one of my hostas that is too large for its location and split off 7 babies and gave 5 to my neighbor.  I planted the 2 that I kept in pots to share with someone else.  I planted 2 tomato plants in pots too.  I have walnut trees all along the property line and tomatoes won't grow well near them so I resort to pots. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

It rained, and rained, and rained!

I thought the weatherman predicted a little shower that wouldn't amount to much when I watched him Saturday night.  I started working on my last pots, the ones to go by my garage and it poured.  I think we got over 2" in a couple hours.  The day started out with fog.  By 7 p.m. the sun was trying to peek between the clouds before sunset.
Here are 2 views of this pot, from the top above, and here from the side.  This one has a lot of purple vines to contrast with the greens and pink.

I worked on the hand stitching on my binding and finished the 3 zippered totes that I started last week.

To my USA readers, have a safe Memorial Day if you are travelling. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

No brainer sewing..........

I decided to do something that I can do automatically without much thinking yesterday.  I woke up with the migraine again but it was gone by lunch time.  The 'day after' I am really tired so a binding was a perfect task.

 This year I planted my own hanging pots for the backyard because  I had so many pots left over from previous years.  They have been hanging for about 5 days now so they are starting to spread out a little.

This is the view out my dining room picture window.  I had a hard time getting this flower bed to fill in until I add some hostas, a hydrangea bush, and some cranesbill/geraniums.
I have a couple volunteer redbud trees to dig out.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sashing and corner squares........

In April one of my students in a finishing class had 1250 nine patch blocks which I helped her separate for 7 quilts.  She hired me to cut the sashing pieces for 4 of them.  This is 356 pieces 2.5" x 6.5" for each of 2 quilts.

I finished cutting another set the day of the class and cut the corner squares yesterday.  I have one more set of strips to cut.

I figured out why I was so tired; I was getting a migraine.  I wondered how I could have not gotten one with all of the weather changes we have had lately.  Most of mine are triggered by barometric pressure changes.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A finish?

I am going to call it a finish now, although I'm pretty sure I will go back and do a little more quilting some day in the center part.
I added one of the printed labels I ordered way back in the 1960's when I was doing custom dressmaking.  The backing is one of those impulse purchases when it was on sale at a very good price.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More storms, barometric ups and downs......

I am thankful that we haven't had any severe storms in our area, but the barometric changes have me totally worn out.  I have no pep.  I worked on the binding on the crooked cobblestone quilt and have a little more than half hand stitched on the back.  I also quilted some zippered bag pieces in preparation for the bindings, zipper, and assembly. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finally a binding.............

I have 2 queen size quilts and 1 double bed size all waiting for bindings, but I chose to do the small wallhanging instead.  It is one of the crooked cobblestone quilts.  I use a 3/8" seam for my binding which is the correct seam width for 2 1/2" strips.  There is a formula to figure how wide your double binding strips need to be cut.  If you know the seam width you want to sew, multiply it by 6 and add 1/4" for the thickness of the quilt.  Unfortunately a lot of people cut their bindings 2 1/2" and then sew a 1/4" seam.  This either makes a wide flap to pull around to the back or 'empty binding' if they match the folded edge to the stitching line on the back.  I always do a test sewing for about 6" with a long stitch that I can pull out.  If the binding fabric is a little heavier it might take a scant 3/8" seam where a lighter weight fabric might need the full 3/8".

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Miscellany .........

My art quilters group came yesterday for a day of show and tell, many projects being worked on, 2 batches of cookies to eat.......

Last  night I had to take advantage of the clean cutting table so I cut more pieces for some zippered bags.

On Sunday night a storm rolled through a little after 9 and my electricity was off for an hour and a half.  It was a good thing I had prepared my post for yesterday earlier in the afternoon.  I had 2 more photos to add and wasn't able to do it so here they are.  I looked over at my neighbor's yard and there was a pair of mallard ducks.

I had a pair in my backyard one day last summer and hadn't seen them since.  They must be pets of someone in the neighborhood.

Monday, May 23, 2011

All of the porch pots...........

I briefly considered painting all of my unsightly faded pots, but in the end I just bought new ones.  I can use the others scattered amongst the gardens with their ugliness disguised by all of the greenery around them.

I like to have a close up shot of each pot at planting time to compare as it fills out over the summer.  This way I can decide which plants I want to repeat in future years.

Oops! I cut off the top of the geranium in the photo!  I decided the little pot just needed one plant of the mini-bells.  The limey colored vine is something new to me.

The weigela bushes are in bloom but they are a much more subdued color this year.  The pale pink bush is in the background.  The red ones haven't bloomed yet.  There is a volunteer columbine in this bed now too. (and a couple volunteer trees).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finished top.........

I needed to finish sewing this so it would be off my design walls when my art quilters come on Monday.  I brought it to my living room and I think it is going to work as the new wallhanging in there.  Of course that means I have to decide how I am going to quilt it.
Two pots are planted; I need to get a few more plants for the rest of them.
I had to get into an awkward position to look up at this Columbine in my front garden.  I hope the neighbors weren't watching.  I used Super Macro setting for this shot.
Just a reminder if you haven't been following along on the above quilt that these are the template sets I used to make it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Backyard pets, I mean pest........

See that striped furry body inside the bird feeder?  One of the squirrels knows how to open the top of all 3 of my feeders so this little pest goes up the pole and then jumps to the feeder, and then down into the tube.  If you don't recognize him, it is a chipmunk.
I had avoided the Kaffe Fassett Liberty prints until I saw a few were on sale for $3.98 a yard on the internet.  I decided I should have them.  They are a totally different flavor than his other fabrics, with a very British look to them.

I bought plants for my pots yesterday and the day before so I should have something to show tomorrow.  I have already planted 2 hanging pots for the back yard, now I need to do the 3 for the porch.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In between other things.......

When I'm between other projects I sew a few blocks for the QOV quilts.  Another lady made all of the Churn Dash blocks and I am making the star blocks.  Our inspiration was this quilt that Mary offered.  I changed the center to a plain square instead of another 4 patch.  There will be 20 blocks in each quilt.  There are 30 Churn Dash blocks so we should have 3 quilts when we are finished.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

finishing some projects..........

I have had journal covers on my list to make for several months.  I finally finished 2 so I can send photos to a prospective buyer.  You might recognize the one on the right with one of the new squares I just made Tuesday night. 

This photos shows both fronts and backs.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


One of the ladies who came to my house yesterday brought 3 quilt tops that she wondered if anyone wanted.  I said I wasn't into old tops but bring them in.  Then I saw that 2 of them are "H" quilts!  Oh, my, I am into old quilt tops after all.
My long time readers will remember that I designed an "H" block and made a quilt top of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  In case you wonder why I'm so obsessed about "H", my last name starts with H and it is my nickname for a couple family members.
I think the fabrics look like the 1900 - 1920 time period.  The 2 tops are in excellent condition, are machine pieced with good seam allowances.  I will machine quilt them and use them.
After company left I mowed half of my front yard.  Then I decided I had done enough serious stuff for one day and went into playtime mode.  I made all of these blocks last night.
The whole group from 2 nights of playing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a little fun...........

I had to take a break from the vacuuming and dusting to sew a few fun blocks.

I sewed some more of the curved blocks too and realized I had hung the finished top half of the quilt upside down on the design wall (in yesterday's photo).

I sewed the mini Turning Twenty blocks together too so I could take it off the design wall.  My friends who are coming today may need the design walls.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Progress, and a garden peek......

The top half is sewn together, or rather the right half as it will be turned a quarter turn to the right to hang on the wall.  I think it looks even better sewn together.  I have some ladies coming to my house to sew on Tuesday so I needed to have it secure on the wall.  I might get another row sewn today and then I can pin the rest to the wall and finish vacuuming.

Our weather has been so changeable.  We had 90 degrees on Tuesday and 45 yesterday.  The 3 hot days that we had really boosted the growth of the hostas, violets and lily of the valley.

The little blue spot in the previous photo is a Columbine.  I shot these photos from my kitchen window.

I shot this photo from the dining room window so I didn't have to go out in the wet grass and cold air.  This is a huge Cranesbill in full flower with one of my favorite hostas behind it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

From another angle........

This is how I viewed this piece as I was designing it.  I have been showing it to you turned a quarter turn to the right because that is how it will hang if I like it in the spot I'm designing it for.

I have sewn the pieces into blocks in the top 2 rows.  It is pretty boring sewing so I can't stick with it too long; maybe 12 blocks a day is enough.  I started vacuuming the basement and then I remembered I can't vacuum near this wall or the pieces will blow off the board.  Also I have printed a photo so I can remember the orientation of each block as I return it to the wall.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cleaning the garage.......

Here are some of the new Hoffman batiks.  There are some really nice new patterns.

 I'm always looking for some new colors that I don't have in my collection too.
If you want to see the whole spring line, go to Batiks Plus blog.  I thought the colors were more true on their website though.

Yesterday I spent a large portion of the day cleaning my garage.  I am going to be storing a box spring and mattress for my granddaughter so I figured it was a good time to clear out a lot of stuff that accumulated over the winter.  It looks so nice that it makes me wonder why I don't keep it clean all the time.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Blogger was down for about 14 hours by my calculation.  Yesterday's post was removed as was everyone else's but they promise it will be back.  Now on to our regularly scheduled agenda......I changed the second block from the left on the bottom row to a small circle and I think it is better but not sure I'm totally done yet.
My striped Jacks are blooming.

I found another patch of the green Jacks near my lot line.  There are several in bloom, some just coming up and some half way through their growth.
While I was out I picked a nice little bouquet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More design time.....

This is my progress so far in designing this quilt.  I know I have to change a few pieces and I think I have to add one more fabric to the mix.  I think the bright pink is coming out in favor of a red/orange.

The green Jack in the Pulpits are blooming.  This photo is taken from one side of the plant and the photo below shows more blooms from the other side.

This photo is the dark striped variety as it has shot up but hasn't opened all the way yet.  We had a record breaking 90 degrees yesterday, and humid, so I expect to see them open today or tomorrow.