Monday, December 31, 2012


Yesterday I used up the end of a package of fusible batting on my 12 mug rugs.  First of course I had to find 12 backings.  I had small pieces of several different prints so there is a big variety.  I'll show them after I get them quilted.  I worked on gathering all of the photos I will need for a 'finished quilts' collage so hopefully I will have that created for tomorrow's post.  There are 35 quilts counting the 4 Quilts of Valor quilts.  I may leave them out of the collage so it won't be so crowded or I may break it into 2 collages, one of wallhangings and the other of regular quilts.
Once again I am going to try to help all of you noreply bloggers who ask me questions and then I have no way to get back to you.  When you create a Blogger account you have a lot of choices.  One is to make your account private.  I can't respond to you if that is your choice.  Another choice is whether to enable an email address.  I have never had trouble with having my email address enabled (5 years).  It sounded scary in the beginning but I learned quickly that I'm a 'no reply' if my email is not enabled.  You need to get into Edit profile to enable it and scroll down and SAVE when you are done. 
I have had a couple people tell me my email link on the right side bar doesn't work.  I had my email set to have a signature and that might have been confusing when the email box came up.  I have removed the signature and now hope it will look like a box you can leave me a message in.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reading, sewing.....

I'm almost at the end of my book (Winter Solstice) so I read for a long time yesterday afternoon.  Then I made one more mug rug start.  After that I spent almost 2 hours trying to figure out why my wireless printer wouldn't print.  I finally uninstalled and re installed it and now it works.
2012 is almost over.  I need to make a collage of all of the finishes this year, and there were lots.  Then I need to make a list of what needs to be finished first, etc. in the new year.  I will also count the tops needing quilting.  Several are still waiting for borders.  It sounds like I need to make several lists.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A morning of fun......

I don't usually sew until late afternoon and sometimes not until evening.  Yesterday I went into the studio right after breakfast and started playing with my scraps again, more mug rug starts.  The first 2 were more like a crazy patch with some chunks, not just strips like the previous ones shown on yesterday's post.
The next 4 had striped centers.
The last 2 fall into miscellaneous categories since I was running low on scraps.  What I didn't know was there was another small bag of small scraps in the bottom of the Kaffe scrap bin.  By that time I decided I was done playing so there are scraps waiting for the next time I am inspired.
Here is the whole dozen mug rug starts.  The smallest side on any of them is 7.25" and the largest side is 11.5".
Today is the memorial service for a dear friend.  She was the leader of our church sewing circle and she used to work at the hospital where we donate the preemie layettes that we make.  She was always there for anyone who needed a ride or a pair of slacks hemmed and many, many other things.  I shared plants with her since she didn't let her cancer treatments interfere with her gardening.  I will really miss her.

Friday, December 28, 2012

More fun......

I finished the last 20 blocks early in the day yesterday but didn't get down to the design wall until my errands were done.  This is the first layout, a traditional one called sunshine and shadows. 
Then I decided to switch the center section around to dark on the outside and light in the center.  It looks like a table runner with a huge border, but I kind of like it.  This will be 48" x 64" when it is sewn together.
I have reduced the scrap bin of Kaffe fabrics down to half.  Here is the bin after I had already cut a lot of strips the first day.  I wasn't sure I was making any progress yet at that point.
I didn't put this bag of small pieces and narrow strips back into the bin.  I had plans for it.
While watching 3 episodes of "Bones" on Netflix I sorted the bag's contents into groups of sizes.  There are 6 piles of small pieces sorted and a pile of longer strips, all narrower than 1.5".  Then the fun began.
I always make at least 2 blocks at a time and run them through one after another.  This is the first 2, made with a center square and log cabin style piecing.
For the second 2 I pieced a little 4 patch so it looks like a window in the center with courthouse steps piecing.  I think all 4 of these will become mug rugs in a few days.  I probably have enough scraps from the bag to make another 4 blocks.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

20 more blocks.........

I'm piecing the last 20 blocks for the 6 x 8 block layout of the log cabin quilt.  After I took the photo I continued sewing and I just have one more strip left to sew on all of the blocks. I need to cut a few more strips in that length.  I actually have emptied out half of the Kaffe scrap bin while cutting the strips for this quilt.  I added some of his new prints in this group of blocks too.  I will work on the layout today while I do laundry.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More blocks.......

I had a relaxing sewing and reading day yesterday.  I finished the 16 blocks that I had started the night before.  Now I need to cut a lot more light strips before I can go any farther.  I pulled a pile of Kaffe fabrics to cut and I have some batik strips already cut that I just need to cut into lengths for the logs.
Since I was watching Series 1 of "Bones" on Netflix I had to keep sewing.  I went down to the basement and cut a bunch more light triangles and then sewed 8 new star blocks.  Since I'm having more fun with the log cabin blocks than the stars, I will make just one more star block and put them in the 4 x 6 configuration and add a border or 2 for a nice lap quilt and be done with this one.  I have several projects I need to get serious about.  I will have some quilts on display at the Ciel Gallery in Charlotte NC again in February and that means I need to get a few quilted.
This is what I am reading.  I read it at least 5 years ago and knew that I would read it again some day.  I love Rosamunde Pilcher's style of writing and have read many of her novels.  I decided the best day to start reading was on the winter solstice.  I'm about a third of the way through it and am enjoying it as much as I did the first time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It isn't a white Christmas this year but it is a celebration of Jesus' birth, so whatever the weather it is a special day.  I pray that everyone will have safe travel to family gatherings.
I have 16 more partial blocks sewn.  See my new Bright Light on my machine?  A friend sent it to me for Christmas.  It makes a lot of difference with my night sewing.
I completed 6 more blocks before I started the last 16.  I like the mix of batiks and Kaffe prints. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cutting strips......

Yesterday started out with a visit from a blogging friend who comes through my area a couple times a year.  She is the new owner of the African crooked cobblestones wallhanging so I didn't have to mail it. 
Later in the day I started cutting my Kaffe scraps from this box into strips for log cabin blocks.
I'm hoping to reduce the scraps in the box to half, but we all know what happens, they multiply somehow as we are digging through the box.
I'm trying to use up all of the left over precut batik strips from the last 3 log cabin quilts.  They work well with the Kaffe fabrics.  While I was cutting and sewing I watched 2 movies with my new Netflix set up.  I saw "The King's Speech" and "Billy Elliot".  I enjoyed both of them but the music in the second one was so loud compared to the talking so I had to keep adjusting the sound through it.  I got a lot of good suggestions of other things to watch from my readers yesterday.
I'm glad the second Amaryllis flower stalk got taller than the first one so the flowers won't bump into each other.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


My gift from my son's family came in 3 parts and was a techy one.  The first was an HDMI cable, the second a certificate for one full year of unlimited Netflix streaming, and the third this streaming player so I don't have to have a computer next to my TV.  This is something I thought I would like but would never have done it for myself.  Now I can catch some of the TV series that I missed because I have no way of recording now that Comcast has us all hooked up to digital boxes.  I was able to get this all hooked up and working by myself.  I think that makes me a geek.......

Saturday, December 22, 2012

And more stars.......

Yesterday I wrapped gifts for the family party that will be held today.  Then I baked shortbread cookies.  I sewed 3 stars last night.  A few readers have tried to alert me to an incorrect center (like the one on the bottom left) but that is the way I planned it.  I have 5 different centers in all of the blocks.
My plan is to use 4 of this block, each rotated 1/4 turn from the previous one so the 4 together make a circular motion.  Now I'm wondering if I want to group all of them in sets of 4 with matching centers.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Back to scrappy stars......

I started out ambitious yesterday but as the day wore on I wore out.  I think it was the low barometric pressure from the storm that got me.  We didn't get much snow, just enough to cover the grass.  The wind was the worst part of it.  All I managed to do in the studio is make a few more blocks for my ongoing project.
I have 14 sewn and 3 more cut and ready to sew.
This is the next one to sew.  I made another batch of spritz cookies and another batch of Chex mix before I fizzled out.
Here is the status of the red Amaryllis.  I can't tell if the second stalk has four flowers or not.  I tied the 2 stalks and leaves with a ribbon because the leaves had bent over and I was afraid one of the flower stalks was going to lean too.  Luckily they will support each other now.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baking day...........

I finally decided I needed to start baking Christmas cookies yesterday.  I started with the favorite in my family, chocolate spritz.  I will bake plain ones today.
Another big hit is the home made Chex mix.  I have enough cereal left for one more batch.
I took photos 3 days in a row of my red Amaryllis.  The second bud stalk is getting ready to open too. 
It is supposed to rain today and turn to snow late in the afternoon.  We have gone 290 days since the last snow and that is a new record for Chicago.  Maybe I'll have a snow picture on my blog tomorrow......if the weathermen are right.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Table runner #3......

I'm auditioning this fabric for the binding on table runner #3.
I'm checking it with the backing fabric too. 
I think it worked pretty well.
A little bit of all three. 
There is a free log cabin ebook available for download here.  It was done by Fons and Porter and it has a good variety of quilt examples as well as charts for how many and what size to cut the logs.  I think I will be referring to it for the cut sizes instead of figuring them out myself.  It covers the traditional block, courthouse steps and the chevron versions.  It is a PDF file to download to your computer.  I have a bunch of pieces leftover from my last batik log cabin quilt so I may add some Kaffe fabrics and make another quilt or maybe a table runner and some mug rugs.  I love log cabin!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

African fabric projects

I finished hand sewing the binding and the hanging sleeve last night on my African crooked cobblestones.  It is about 24" x 34".
I also finished the other 2 mug rugs.
I used this fabric on the back of the wallhanging and the mug rugs.  The color changes from area to area so it appears to be 3 different fabrics.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mug rug, bird nest........

This is the smallest mug rug that I have made.  It is 5.75" x 8.5".  Behind it is the wallhanging I finished quilting made from the African fabric crooked cobblestones.  I have the binding ready for the hand sewing. 
My Sunday newspaper was wet yesterday morning.  The delivery people have not gotten the concept of double wrapping on wet days.  I called it in and I was looking out to see if it had been redelivered yet when I remembered I hadn't taken a photo of the bird nest in my forsythia bush.  It's lucky that I didn't decide to trim the bush back this past summer.  I don't have any idea which bird species makes a nest like this.  Now I have to decide whether to leave the nest there or remove it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I meant to take photos of the backs of the table runners for yesterday's post but forgot.
I was looking for a good green for the binding on this one and found one with both blue and green that looks really nice with it.
I also got the borders sewn onto the random plank quilt.  I put 7" borders on the sides and 5" borders on the 2 ends.  Actually I may trim down the end borders to 4 or 4.5" because it doesn't need to be this long.  Before quilting it is 78" x 106" the way it is.  It will probably shrink at least 2-3" with quilting.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Table runners.......

I decided it was time to get the 3 batik table runners quilted.  I did this one with a 50 wt. variegated cotton thread.
The thread went from light turquoise to medium turquoise so it barely looks variegated here.
I haven't decided on a binding on this one yet but I'm leaning toward a green.
On this one I used a 12 wt. variegated thread that had several colors in it and I like it better than the first table runner.