Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Still hand stitching......

I worked at the hand stitching of the binding on Crooked Cobblestones 3 but didn't quite finish it.  I wanted to sew the label into the seam allowance before the binding was totally done.  I have an HP label program where I designed my labels.  Since these quilts will be displayed at an art gallery I didn't get too wordy on the labels.  I said I designed the wall art but didn't say I made them.  In hindsight I wonder if I needed to say I made them too.
I could see a pink glow on the house across the street (east) from me so I grabbed my camera and looked out the west window.  I didn't see very many pretty sunsets when there were 7 trees in the way but now I have a view.
I have had several comments and emails asking about my crooked cobblestones.  I label each of my posts (at the bottom) and there is a Label List on my right sidebar.  Cobblestone Series is on the list so if you click on it you will be directed to all of the posts that show how I make the blocks, trim them, and design with them, and yes, they are my original design, but I'm sharing it with you.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A binding day...

I wanted to get the binding done on the 2 QOV quilts so I could wash them yesterday.  I cut the 9 kits using my own blue stash, about half have my red stash in them, and I provided borders, backings, batting and quilting.  The tops were pieced by other ladies in our Batavia, IL group.
I did the bindings all by machine.  I forgot sew the label into the binding on the second one so I had to hand sew it on all 4 sides.
This is the backing fabric on the first crooked cobblestone piece.  I trimmed away the excess and decided that 2 of the pieces were large enough to use for facings.
I had planned to do a facing but thought I should check to see if it would work as a binding and I think it looks OK.  It needed to be a piece that is quite multicolor so it didn't create an obvious edge.  Luckily I have enough of that fabric left to make the hanging sleeve and the rest of the binding.
I decided on the same print as the border but in a different colorway, with a dark gray background, as binding on this one.  I got 2 sides hand sewn last night.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In the groove.......

As long as I was already in the routine of quilting cobblestones, I stuck with it and got this one quilted yesterday.  I will put a binding on this one but I'm thinking maybe just facings on the ones I showed yesterday.  I think I will get the edge finishes and hanging sleeves on them right away and they can qualify as January finishes.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I finished the quilting on the large piece yesterday.  You may have seen this on my sidebar as my current favorite.  I had a small repair I needed to do on one block and I laid it aside for months.  The repair took 15 minutes; the roadblock in my brain couldn't see that.  This piece is about 36" x 47" and the small ones which I made 2 days ago are around 20" x 24".  This large one is Crooked Cobblestones 1.  Number 2 is finished and was shown here. I started quilting on number 3 which is the largest last night.  It is shown here when I was spray basting it.  The fourth large one is a cross which had some construction problems.  I fixed that last night too so it is ready to baste and quilt.  You can see from this post that I let it hang on a hanger for almost 3 years before I fixed it.  I guess the promise of a show of my quilts is finally getting me in gear.

Friday, January 27, 2012

3 small pieces..........

My goal yesterday was to make 3 small cobblestone quilt tops.  The widest is 22.5" and the narrowest 19".  They are all about 24" tall.  I should have moved them down the design wall so the top would have had better lighting. Next time...   Now I can use 3 more small pieces of batting.

I feel so refreshed after working with these blocks, almost like I have been to a retreat for 2 days. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A few more blocks.......

I saw all of those sorted scraps laying there and couldn't help myself.  I made 27 more crooked cobblestones.  I haven't pressed or trimmed them yet.  Now I have hidden the bin with the pieces in it so I can't make any more.  They are so relaxing, soothing, stress relieving, well, you get the picture, but I have other things I need to be doing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crooked Cobblestones day......

The Internet was back on this morning but I had errands to run before I could post.  I posted the last one from my smart phone.  It takes pretty good photos.  I made 39 new crooked cobblestone blocks yesterday and got them trimmed last night.
A couple of my readers insist that I must be very organized to get so much done.  I am organized to a point but have a lot of clutter and "where on earth is that ....." in my life.  I will explain my organization for the cobblestone blocks.  I keep all of the small pieces appropriate for them in one container, stacked flat so they don't get wrinkled.  I throw things in that container for months and then one day I sit down to make more blocks.  I organize the pieces by size to lay by my machine as I'm assembling the blocks.
When I'm done making blocks I usually organize all of the scraps that are left, again by size, and then bag them in the bin so only the new pieces thrown in will have to be sorted later.
All of the pieces that are appropriate for centers of new blocks are bagged separately.  Each of these piles is about 2.5" tall so that's a lot more cobblestones!
I keep yardage on shelves usually divided loosely by color, quarter yards or less go onto a separate shelf unit so if I need a small piece quickly I can search through that so I'm a little bit organized.  I don't stuff fabric all wrinkled into a bag or container and then have to spend hours ironing it.  I try to stack the small pieces flat and ready to use at a minute's notice.  This is how I get quickly into a new project. 

You can see photos of my stash if you go to my Label list on the sidebar and click on Stash.  You will have to go back into older posts to see all of it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Phone connection but no internet

At 11 p.m. there was no internet but I could hear my phone receiving emails. Something to do with solar flares?  I will post in the morning.

Two down, many to go..........

I got two of the QOV quilts quilted, one with meandering and stars, and one with loop-de-loop.  I will bind both of them with the blue stripe that is on the back of both and on the border of one of them.
After all of that quilting I needed to reward myself with some playtime.  I got out the box with the leftover crooked cobblestones and put them on the design wall to see how many I need to make to fill in.  I want to make some smaller pieces like the larger ones that will be in my show.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Batting and borders.....

Some of the tops have been turned in from the QOV kits I cut in Oct.  I said I would cut the borders and sew them on.  Both of these will have the blue stripe on the back because it is 60" wide so it doesn't need to be pieced.  One has the blue stripe as the border and the other has the stars and stripes.
This one has the stars and stripes for the border and the backing.  I still have enough of the print to border a couple more.  I also cut batting for 4 of the 14 quilts that I need to finish for my show in June.  It looks like it is time to finish something now.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A mug and a rug.......

I worked all day at the sewing machine store yesterday.  I thought we wouldn't be busy with 7" of snow on the ground, but we were very busy.  Everyone must have had cabin fever and needed to run all of their errands.  In the evening I finished one more mug rug.  All of the pieces of patchwork were done previously and were stacked in a drawer.
This is the cute mug my grandson's girlfriend gave me for Christmas.  Isn't that cute with a little zebra in the bottom?  You can't use it with a drink that needs to be stirred though.  I will be using it for decoration so it won't matter.
After I finished the mug rug I opened a king size batt to let it relax before I cut it into the 4 quilt shapes I need today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow day.......

This was taken about 2 p.m. yesterday when there was about 4" on the ground.  The snow started around 10 a.m. and stopped around 8:30 at night.  I measured 7" in my yard but I shoveled over 4" twice off the sidewalk.
The cacti bloom is fully opened now.  I just love this color.  There is one more bud that I thought was going to dry up but it looks a little larger today.  Maybe I'll get one more bloom.....
I had 2 guys at my house early yesterday morning putting the expanding foam in 2 cracks in my basement walls.  I have been meaning to fix them for a long time and decided this was a good time.  One crack was there when we moved in 39 years ago and had been repaired at least once but the rain still leaked in if we had a downpour all day or 2 days of heavy rain.  Now I have a 10 year guarantee of no leaks. After they left I ran a bunch of errands before the snow got too heavy.  I chose some backings for a few quilts tops and then made these 2 little mug rugs.  I couldn't decide if I should quilt the same way as the strip piecing or across it so I did one of each.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Warm/cool zig zag.....

I needed this top finished for a sample in my color class yesterday to show warm/cool as one type of contrast, the other being light/dark.  It is 60" x 72" right now so I have to decide if it needs a border or if it is a lap quilt just the way it is.
I only took photos of one part of my color class.  I had 9 students so there was plenty to do.  I had them divide the 100 squares into colors with oddball fabrics like zebra stripes laying on the sidelines.  I had them fill out an evaluation sheet so I could see where I can make improvements when I teach this the next time.  I passed out the evalutation sheets at the beginning so they already knew what the questions were.  My pet peeve is getting an evaluation sheet thrust at me at the end of a class when I'm tired and packing to go home.  I would rather know what things the teacher wants to be evaluated on before the class begins.  Then it is easy to fill it out with speed at the end of the class.

Several people have left me questions in the comments and I have NO WAY to respond to you.  I do not reply in my own comment section normally.  I have an email link on my right sidebar and if you have a google account, please enable your email address in your profile if you want a reply.  I answer ALL emails.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cactus blooming again...........

The last buds usually dry up and fall off so I was really thrilled to get one more bloom.  This particular plant had its first blooms in November so I was really surprised it had such a long blooming period.
I got the kits all done for today's class and sewed the warm/cool zig zag top yesterday.  We're in for the coldest day so far this winter and then Friday, more snow, maybe the big storm this time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cutting, and more cutting.......

I used the equilateral triangle die on my Studio cutter to make wedges for color wheels for my class.

I have 64 of the 100 pieces cut for the kits for Thursday's class.  I spent about 2 hours working on the handout sheet also.  I will need to cut for a few more hours to get done.  I am cutting a 2.5" strip which yields 16 squares.  First the fabric has to be spritzed with water and pressed to get the fold marks out so it is a slow process.  Luckily I like cutting strips with a rotary cutter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lots of 2.5" squares.....

The weather cooperated this year and my art quilters were here yesterday.  Last year we cancelled many times because of the weather.  After they left, and after my nap, I started working on some kits for a class I'm giving on Thursday.  It is an informal explanation of how to use color.  I can never remember the terms for all of the combinations because the way it was explained to me in a one room schoolhouse when I was little was the rainbow, the order of the colors in the rainbow, which directly relates to the color wheel.  We also used our little 7 color paintboxes and learned to mix colors to make other colors.  I guess they don't do that in school any more.

I am giving each of my students 100 squares of fabric that they will use for several exercises.  I only have 20 cut so far so there is a lot more cutting to do today.  I'll also get my trays of squares out that I use for my colorwash wallhangings that I design one square at a time.  I'm sure there are a lot that I can use in these kits.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lots of things.....

I spent the day yesterday finishing the clean up of the basement, shoveling the last snow/ice residue off the driveway and sewing the squares for the last 4 rows of the new zig zag quilt.  I stacked and numbered the rows and put them aside until after my art quilters leave today.  Oh, yes, and I baked 2 batches of cookies too.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I came home from the final day of Quilter's Heart sale with some thread, 70% off.  I don't usually buy Gutermann thread and they have some really nice weird colors that I don't have in my collection.  It seems I'm always needing a color a little lighter or darker than what I have on hand so I hope now I have what I need in every situation.
Since I grew up in the era of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, I have always had a soft spot for cowboy print fabrics.  There were 2 yards left on the bolt so it came home with me too.
I really enjoyed all of the comments yesterday and it looks like we have a lot of quilters ready to use their stash.  Of course it will create more scraps but I no longer will feel guilty if I don't use them.  From now I on I will be sorting them in 3 size groups in the bins that I emptied when I put my fabric out on the shelf units in my basement.  Several people already spoke up to purchase my scraps too.  This doesn't mean I won't make any scrap quilts, they will just be selected scraps and the rest will go. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Unwind time.....

We had a really busy day at the quilt shop yesterday.  When I got home I didn't feel like getting into a big project so I made a list of all the quilts I need to finish for my quilt show in June and then figured the sizes of batting that I needed to cut and determined which brand I am going to use on each.  I haven't used Warm and Natural for a long time but I remembered that I liked it in wallhangings.  It has a polypropylene sheet that the cotton is punched through so it is firmer and hangs straighter than the Hobbs 80/20 that I like in lap and bed quilts.  When I had all of that figured out I went through my drawer of presewn patchwork and found a few that were good sizes for mug rugs.  One more day working at the quilt shop today.

I have been thinking about the current obsessive trend that we have to use up all of our scraps.  I think I'm leaning toward cutting into my yardage so I can use the good, favorite stuff in my lifetime.  I remember the question we used to ask "Are you leaving all of the good stuff for your husband's next wife when you are gone?" and that helps me to remember I purchased the great fabric because I wanted to use it.  I think in 2012 I will concentrate on cutting into yardage and maybe bag up the scraps and sell them.

Friday, January 13, 2012

We finally got some snow......

We normally have had 14" of snow by this time in the winter.  We have only had bare covering twice before this storm this year.  I shoveled 4" off the sidewalk and porch at 5 p.m. and there was another 2" on the porch when I took this photo.  It was still snowing at 11 p.m. but the 10 o'clock weather radar showed it would end soon.
I always leave the sedum flower heads so I have a snow mushroom patch.
I left one hydrangea bloom in the front flower bed too.
Sorry for the lack of color today.  I have been cleaning up the basement in anticipation of my art quilters coming on Monday.  Since I'm working at the $3 a yard sale at Quilter's Heart today and tomorrow, I decided I had better start sorting out the clutter and clean off the tables yesterday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Photo browse fixed

The browse button was back when I went to load photos this time.  I wonder where it was the night before?   This is the quilt that I need to have off the wall by next Monday.  I got a few more triangles sewn into squares since I took the photo.  Even if I don't get the rows sewn, I can have stacks of rows ready to sew later.         Well we just had 2 days over 50 degrees and snow predicted for today.  They are saying less snow now than they did in the beginning but it sounds like it will be in excess of 3" anyway.  I have enough supplies to stay home so I hope to watch it from inside.

Friday and Saturday this week the Quilter's Heart quilt shop will be open for one final sale, $3 a yard for fabric and 70% off most other things (no batting) so I will be working both days.

My quilt show in NC in June will be at my daughter's mosaic gallery.  She is one of 5 owners of the gallery and the only one that has a working studio at the gallery.  There is a first Friday crawl every month and that is always the opening of the new show of the month.  She and I chose 38 of my quilts as possibilities to hang.  The show may hang for most of the month but I will only be there the first week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A few triangles.......

Since Blogger won't let me add any new photos I retrieved this one from Picasa albums.  I gave this quilt to the college girl yesterday and she loved it.  She and I share a love of zebras and she gave me a zebra mug.  Yesterday was a busy day taking Dad for a blood test and he was grumpy, having my low gas light come on while headed there so we made a detour to the gas station after the blood test.  Then some helpers came over and moved some bookcases to my basement which I filled afterwards.  Last night I sewed some of the triangle squares on the newest zig zag quilt that is on the design wall.  I need it all sewn and off the design wall by next Monday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Nothing new, just the same photo but I wanted to tell you I chose the name 'Square Dance' from all of the suggestions by my readers.  I did laundry, ran errands and lots of other miscellany yesterday.  One of the things I did was count how many quilts need to be finished for my show in June.  14 of the ones my daughter and I chose are only tops so I have a lot of quilting to do.  A few need hanging sleeves too since they weren't originally intended to be wall hangings.  I will make them strong enough for hanging but easy to remove if they sell.

Monday, January 9, 2012

You have all been waiting.......

to see what I look like.  Here I am with my grandson Zach who was visiting over the weekend with my daughter.  We had a great time and they left this morning. Zack is a filmaker who made the video of my daughter's mosaic gallery opening in Charlotte, NC which I posted previously.  In case you missed the video it is at my website, exuberantcolor.com.  Upcoming news: my quilt show in June in Charlotte, NC.  More details later.  If you would like to meet me I'll be attending the show for the first week with a possibility of teaching a class.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I finished the binding yesterday morning before we went out for lunch.  My company loves to eat out at all of the local restaurants when they come back to visit, and since I don't like to cook this works out great.  I thought about naming this one Happy Rings but I'm not sure.  I know its official pattern name is Target Log Cabin but I wanted to give it another name and I'm not good at making up the names.

My granddaughter's wedding was last night and I lasted until 11 p.m at the reception with the extremely loud music.  You can't tell me they need it that loud for dancing.  But I'm just an old fogey.......

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A little repair........

Yesterday morning about 3 hours before company was supposed to arrive I noticed a puddle on the bathroom floor.  The 59 year chrome drain pipe had rotted through and was flakes of metal.  Luckily my plumber was available and got here at 10:30 and by 11a.m. I had a new plastic drain pipe.  I can order a new chrome one if I want later, but I needed it fixed right now!  Since then all has gone smooth, company is here, a family gathering last night.  I learned how to inflate an air mattress........

Friday, January 6, 2012

And I thought I was holding the camera straight....

I'll try again tomorrow for a nice straight photo. I put the binding on this one yesterday all by machine.  I used a brushed Moda huge block plaid with stripes running through it.  It picked up all of the colors in the quilt and it was another piece I was trying to use up.  I have one more side of hand finished binding to do on the other quilt and then I'll have 2 finishes in the first week of 2012.  It would be nice if I could keep up that pace, but I kind of doubt it will happen.  Company arrives midday today.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I mostly did cleaning yesterday but I sat down several times and did a little hand stitching on this binding.  Even though the binding looks like blue, it is the new purple coloration of this classic Kaffe print.  I figured out the way to get purple to show properly and that is putting something gray in the shot for the camera to read.  I remembered that after I had taken this and loaded it in my computer.  Next time......

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2 gold rings..........

The rings arrived in the mail yesterday from one of my readers and I finished the pillow.  I looked up ring bearer pillows on the internet to see how to put the ribbons on and only found 2 with ruffles.  All of the rest were just square and a lot had wide ribbon or contrasting fabric  wrapped around them.  Maybe I should have looked them up before I started on this.  I made this one from the bride's mother's dress so I wanted to use the ruffle from the skirt.  I hope they are happy with it.
I haven't had as many birds this year as previous years and I think this might be why.  I saw something big swoop across the back yard and then it landed in the tree.  The hawk had his back to me for quite awhile.
I was in the other room for about 15 minutes and when I came back into the kitchen he had turned around and faced me.  He was watching the Junkos cleaning up the seed that the squirrels spill.  I don't know how long he was there altogether but he didn't seem to be in a hurry for a meal, or he was waiting for some bigger birds.

I spent most of the day yesterday cleaning out the guest room closet and moving summer clothes to a storage spot.  When the guy came to put the pump on my heating system and I had to move everything in front of the little trapdoors, a lot of the stuff went in that closet.  Today I need to vacuum the house since I'll have company staying with me for 3 days later this week.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Flannel quilt.......

I sewed the borders onto the flannel quilt and pieced the back and that is as far as I thought I was going to go on this flannel quilt yesterday.  Then I remembered the last piece on my old roll of batting was just the right size for this so I decided to load it on the longarm.
While I was looking at it I decided it was only going to be 5 passes over the quilt so why not go ahead and quilt it.
I had a long enough piece of the red print for the back but just a little short on the one I had used for side borders so I pieced on some of the other border fabric.
I did fairly large meandering so it quilted up fast.
On January 1st I took all of the triangles I cut over a month ago and designed this zigzag top.  The triangles are 6" finished so this will be about 60" x 72".  It is the project I'll work on between other things but I only have 2 weeks to get it sewn and off the wall before my friends will need the wall space.