Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Binding done and the fun (NOT) begins........

The photo didn't turn out very good so I'll try again today.  This is a quilt I have been working on for over 3 years for the sewing machine store.  It is finally finished and ready to take for show and tell to their embroidery club tomorrow.  I finished hand sewing the binding last night.
The fun, or not so much fun really starts today.  I have a hot water heat system in my house, original in this 1953 house and it has never needed repair until recently.  The last couple years the pump has made some pretty loud thumps as it froze up but I was always able to get it going again by oiling it.  The problem is that the oil is leaking out to the floor and it finally is so bad I needed to do something about it.  Since there is no shut off valve they have to bleed the entire line, opening little doors on the baseboard heat IN EVERY ROOM.  OMG do I have a lot of stuff to move so they can get to them.........................

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another top finished, more blocks made.....

I finally got brave enough to sew the top and bottom borders.  I had to take in about 6 seams to make the border fit. I don't think it is obvious that some of the 9 patches are narrower. I really like how it turned out and am glad I put the border on.  I need to choose a backing right away and get the seam sewn in it and then it is more likely to get finished.
I made 2 more blocks and decided this one will be square.  I see I didn't get the top right block positioned right, but it was late at night and I didn't want to go back down to the basement to take another photo.  I will look for setting triangle fabric today and audition a few.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Binding again.......

I needed to clean off a table in the basement yesterday so while it was clean I cut another binding.  I really like this one with my backing fabrics as well as the top fabrics.  I got it sewn on after I took the photo.  Then I went up to my main floor studio and worked on the binding on the ABC quilt.  I have a little more than 2 1/2 sides done now.  My goal is to have it done by Thursday when we have embroidery club.  The members of the club have seen the top minus the bottom row of blocks before so now they will get to see it finished.

This afternoon is church sewing circle so I will take the 6 pillowcases I worked on yesterday for their last seams to be sewn.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

More ditch quilting.......

I worked several hours at the quilt shop yesterday and then did some more ditch quilting around the H's while I watched a Hallmark channel movie last night.  The goal right now is to get all of the edge ones quilted so I can go ahead and put the binding on. 
I also did some more hand stitching on the binding of the ABC quilt, one and a half sides done now.  I'm itching to start something new after all of this finishing........

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Easy jobs..........

We were quite busy at the quilt shop yesterday but there is still a lot of fabric left.  I did some ditch quilting around the 'H's before I went to work and some more when I got home.  I needed something easy to do without a lot of thinking after a busy day.
I gave some batting pieces to a friend yesterday for the preemie quilts that she makes and I cut the pieces too small for those quilts into dusting cloths.  After quilting so many quilts in the last 2 weeks I had a lot of strips of batting from trimming the edges.  And I dusted the kitchen and bathroom floors!
While I listened to the 10 o'clock news and Nightline I started the hand sewing of the binding on the ABC quilt.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Another binding done...........

I am determined to keep up with the bindings on the quilts just quilted.  A lot of times I just stack them and think I'll get back and I rarely choose it as my project of the day.  This time I want all of the bindings done in the same month as the quilting.
This one was done completely by machine.  I sewed the binding on the front, flipped it to the back and then stitched on the right side of the quilt right next to the binding to catch the flap on the back.  It isn't easy to keep the stitching right at the edge of the flap but it is good enough for this fast and easy quilt.

Anyone in this area, remember the Quilter's Heart (in Sandwich, IL) sale will be 50% off starting this morning at 10 a.m. until closing on Dec. 3.  The store is open today and tomorrow and then Thurs., Fri., and Sat. next week.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving USA friends........

I had to take advantage of an uninterrupted day yesterday to get one more quilt quilted.  I have been working on this one off and on for about 3 years for the sewing machine store in town and finally finished the top a couple months ago.  I cut the binding and got it sewn on last night.  I still need to hand sew it down. 

My brother and I will go to Dad's residence to eat Thanksgiving dinner with him today.  Half of my family is out of state and the other half was going somewhere else today so I didn't have to cook the turkey for the first time in about 13 years.

Tomorrow and Saturday I will be working at Quilter's Heart where the sale has jumped to 50% off for the remaining 5 days of business.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Side borders, binding, quilting......

This may look like yesterday's photo but the side borders are sewn on now.  I added 1/3 of a block on each strip and then had to take in 2 seams a tiny bit for it all to fit.  I have pieced the two 2/3 blocks for the top and bottom but haven't sewn them onto the strip yet.
I searched through my green stash to find a binding for this quilt.  I needed more than 1/2 yard so that eliminated a lot of fabric.  This is my final choice and I will cut it today.  I need to get 3 bindings on quilts so I will have an impressive list of finishes for November.
I finished the ditch quilting on this quilt.  There was a suggestion in the book of 2 patterns of continuous lines that completely outlined each cross when it was done.  I need to look for binding for this one today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Getting closer........

I sewed the border blocks into strips to see how much I need to add to them to make them fit.  I haven't pressed them yet but it looks like 1/3 of a block will finish the 2 side borders and 2/3 block on the top and bottom.  I moved it over to a double design wall and it looks like I put it upside down to the way it was on the single wall.  I guess a throw size doesn't really have a top or bottom so it doesn't make any difference. 

I cut more pillowcases for the church project (every 2 weeks I need a batch) and quilted 2/3 of one of the crosses quilts.  Today is going to be a busy day so I don't know how much I'll get sewn.  Hopefully I'll finish the quilting while I watch 3 hours of TV tonight.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I spent the afternoon yesterday trying to figure out how I could change the configuration of tables in my basement.  The way it was set up it was hard to take photos of large quilts and I had to move a cabinet every time I wanted to baste a quilt.  I made some changes and think it will work out well.  I don't like the brand of daylight bulbs that I have near the new location as well as the older bulbs on the other side of the basement.  There is definitely a difference from brand to brand.  I didn't feel like tackling anything that took a lot of concentrations last night so I decided to sew all of the leftover 9 patches that I had cut about a week ago.  There are 33 in this pile and there will be more as I sew some more combinations this week.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some bindings......

I decided this quilt was too small for a baby quilt at a little under 34" square so I hand finished the binding and put a hanging sleeve on the back.
I machine finished this binding.  The quilt is about 32" x 40".  Now I need to wash the baby quilts and have them ready for gifts.  There aren't any new babies in the family; I just like to have a stack ready to choose from.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

#6 quilted......

I'm choosing all of the easy quilts to finish first.  By the time I finish them I will have had enough practice to do some more detailed quilting.  This quilt was made with 3" strips of fabric and measures approximately 76 x 102" after quilting.
I used a floral on the back too, one that I got on sale.  I think the binding will be green since the spacer squares and backing are both green.  This is quilt #6 this week.  I know I won't keep up this pace but it has been fun.
The red Christmas cactus is in full bloom now.  It has a lot of buds so I hope it blooms for quite awhile.

Friday, November 18, 2011

One block.......

One more block for the border.  I cut it from scraps so there was only enough for one block.  I like the combination though and I have more of both fabrics so I will probably make blocks like this.
The little birds love the forsythia bush that is right up next to the house.  They are there especially on windy days.
The birds pick at something on the branches but it isn't the flower buds that have been set for next spring.  I think this one has something in his beak.
I worked at the quilt shop yesterday and computer club at night.  I got one binding sewn on last night.  Saturday is Dad's birthday, 98, so there is going to be a little party at his residence.  Never a dull moment. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A practice piece..........

Over the last few days I have been piecing the first of the denim/corduroy/homespun quilts.  I wanted to see how easy it was to quilt before I make the rest of the quilts.  This one is the most multicolor and I used a homespun tiny plaid on the back to keep it light weight.  The squares are 8" finished.
I intended to do the wavy lines in both directions, a crosshatch type design, but after going one way I could see the stretchiness of the denim was going to cause puckers if I did that.  I also decided that I will pull out the really heavy and stiff denim squares from the other kits and replace them with softer denim.  I pressed all of the seams open but the stiff ones rolled back when it was layered and were hard to quilt over.  Most of the denim I have cut is soft and/or thin so I won't have to replace too many pieces in the kits.  I haven't figured out what to bind it with yet.
I also got the binding on one of the quilts that I quilted on Monday.  I think I made this top around 1992-95 time period.  There are 2 logs on one side to every one on the other side in the blocks to create the rounded effect.  While I have dark blue thread on the machine I'll do the binding on the seaside theme quilt today. 
I have another color cactus blooming.  This one is a more true red than the others.  All of my plants have buds now so I should have blooms all the way through the month.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On a roll.......

I pieced a back for this quilt.  I wonder if Kaffe matches the pattern on the large prints when he makes a back out of them.  I didn't match it on mine; half roses along the seam.

I hand basted this quilt while I watched  Unforgettable.  I have decided to ditch quilt it.  There is a continuous path to follow so it should go fast.
I loaded this quilt earlier and decided to go ahead and quilt it while the 10 o'clock news was on.  I just did large meandering with Superior So Fine thread on top and in the bobbin.  I didn't want the thread to show much and that thread always behaves and is a pleasure to use.  I intend to take the quilt to my regular machine and ditch quilt around each H and the stars now.
I found large meandering harder to do than medium or small.  It was harder to keep it a similar size all the way through the quilt.  Also I wanted to move the machine too fast and got some longer stitches.  It came out pretty well though and I'm just glad it is finally getting finished.  It is MY quilt so I won't have to worry whether anyone likes the quilting.
We have had a few frosts so I brought a couple of my porch pots into the garage.  This daisy plant has a bunch of buds ready to open.
The snapdragons are blooming too.  The little plant on the left is pretty straggly but I had to bring that color inside where I could enjoy it.

Today is the birthday lunch with my sisters-in-law.  One of them has the same birthday as I do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A good day of quilting.......

They say the way you start a new year will set a trend for the way you will spend that year.  I started a new year yesterday.  It was my birthday so I spent the first day of the next (new) year of my life quilting, as in finishing some projects.  I will show each of them after the binding is on.  I have shown them before so they aren't new tops.  This one was about 48" square and I started with it.  I haven't decided what binding to use on this one yet.
This one was next and I think it is about 34" square.  I cut the binding from the leftover backing strips and I'll finish the binding by machine.  I'm considering all three of these quilts to be baby quilts.
I haven't quilted for awhile so I thought 3 styles of quilting would loosen me up and remind me what I'm doing.  The spirals on this one got pretty funky by the time I finished it.  I also cut the binding for this one from the leftover backing fabric.  I think this one was about 32" x 40" so it is a small baby quilt.  I thought I would have time to load one more quilt on the frame but I either hadn't sewn the backing seam or didn't have batting cut for the next few choices.  I did get the backing for one of the crosses quilts sewn.  Now I have to decide if I'm going to meander on it or do ditch quilting that outlines the crosses.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The first batch........

I sewed a batch of 9 patches yesterday but they are too light.  I need to make a lot more in darker combinations like the 2 near the bottom.  I will do more cutting and pairing today and hopefully some sewing too.  It was almost 70 degrees yesterday.  That is unusual for us in November.  By Wednesday it's supposed to be down to 41 so it's a short lived warm spell.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An unusual antique.....

A friend purchased this antique quilt and she showed me this unusual treatment of the pieces nearest the edge of the quilt.  I have never seen this on a double wedding ring before and we wondered if any of my readers have ever seen it.
I cut strips for the 9 patches and started sewing them last night but haven't pressed any of them yet.  I am making more than I need for the border so I'll have seeds for another quilt.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rows sewn, math begins.....

Since I didn't use any of the measurements of the quilt in the book, I'm on my own to figure out the size and number of 9 patches.  In the book they used the same size square as is in the 4 patches for the 9 patches.  I haven't trimmed the edges yet but I measured from the spot I will trim and it looks like I need 11 full and a 2/3 block for each side.  The top and bottom doesn't come out an even measurement so I will have to either made some seams a little deeper or trim off a partial block to make it fit with approximately 8 1/2 blocks across.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Those white streaks are snow flurries.  It was coming down fast and furious with huge flakes for a short time.  It didn't stick but now we can't deny that winter is coming.  Luckily it is going to warm up again for a couple days.

I'm still working on this quilt, 4 more rows sewn last night.  The last 4 rows to sew are short ones so they will go fast and I can get the whole thing sewn together and trimmed.  Then I need to figure out what size to make the 9 patch blocks so they will fit. 
My neighbors put their pumpkin out for the squirrels to enjoy.
I worked at Quilter's Heart yesterday morning and will be there again this morning.  She has decided Dec. 3 is the last day for the shop and after that the rest will be sold on ebay at regular price.  If you live nearby you might want to get in on the 40% off while you can.  There are still bolts full enough for backings and at a great price.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Catching up........

Several weeks ago I started these 19 pillowcases for our church project (domestic abuse center gifts) but I still had the labels to sew in and the last seam to sew on all of them.  I finally finished them yesterday.  Most of the fabric was donated by 3 of my friends (thanks!).  I added the solid color poly/cotton fabric from my 1980s collection.  I have a couple other projects I need to work on and get it all delivered next Sunday.

I have a hard time making snowball blocks accurate but these 3 quilts in Kaffe books keep calling my name.
On this one the corners are many different colors of his shot cottons.  This quilt is using mostly his early prints from over 10 years ago.  I just happen to have most of them but I rarely make a quilt just like his.
On this one all of the corners are the same fabric.  I like the floral fabrics in the blocks but don't care for the prints used in the center panel and its borders.  I'm not sure if I would add that in there anyway but it intrigues me enough that I'll probably look through my fabrics and see what I would like in the center, just in case.........