Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!.....

The Easter bunny turned his back on me when I tried to take his photo.  Maybe he wasn't happy that a squirrel was in the picture too.
The X and + quilt top is sewn together and will wait its turn for quilting.  I'm not going to add a border, just a dark binding, either purple, green or deep red.  It will depend on what I put on the back.  It took me exactly 2 weeks from starting to cut to a finished quilt top on this one.
I have had a couple crows stopping in my backyard all week.  First they feed on the seeds on the ground and then they gather nesting materials and fly away.  They are so huge compared to the sparrows and cardinals.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Final layout and 2 finishes......

This IS the final layout.  My 2 friends came over to sew yesterday and we moved a few blocks and I thought it was done. Then last night I decided to look through the camera lens one more time and spotted 4 dark + in a row and I decided to move a couple blocks.  After 2 tries I decided it is done.  I needed to get the blocks off the wall so I could hang my 2 finishes up for their portraits.  I will sew the top together today.
I sewed on bindings while my friends were here.  I finished both of them by machine.  This Buzz Saw flannel quilt ended up 58" x 72".
The flannel 8 point star came out 60" x 77" after quilting.  I used the same fabric as the sashing and backing for the binding.  I think these are my only 2 finishes for March.  I hope to get one more finished for my goal of 3 per month.

Friday, March 29, 2013

It might be the final layout........

I thought this was going to be my final layout all day as I kept peeking at it.  Then last night I saw the photo on the computer monitor and I might have to move one block.  There are 2 very dark X's in the bottom left corner.  I know that once I move one block I'll end up having to move others so it might just stay the way it is.  I moved a lot of blocks yesterday morning.  The X's are alternated light and dark so I can't just move one block to the side, it has to go diagonally to stay in the same position.  The bottom right corner has 3 darks together because the block I pulled out was a light and I didn't want to make another block.  I have 2 friends coming over today to sew so I'll see what they think.
It finally got warm enough to go out for a walk yesterday.  It was 45 degrees and the sun was shining and no wind so it felt warmer than it was.  I walked down to the Hallmark store to get a birthday card and stopped at the post office to mail the card on my way home.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Last 3 days...........

There are just 3 days left on my current show at Ciel Gallery in Charlotte NC.  My daughter says they still have lots of jewelry, ceramics, mosaic crosses, iron sculptures, paintings and mosaics available in addition to my wall art and mug rugs.

35 blocks and a possible layout....

Here are the last 4 blocks.  Again I had orange, red and yellow in mind since this quilt can handle the bright colors.  I only needed 3 but I sew them in groups of 2 so I made 4.
I removed one block that I didn't think belonged and added the 4 new blocks.  This may be the final layout but I'll have to look at it several times today before I decide.
This is the block that came out.  If you look back at Wednesday's post, you will see that it looks dull and mushy, neither of which belonged in this quilt.
This red cactus continues to bloom. I am so happy to have flowers inside in this cold spring weather. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

50" x 60" or 50" by 70"?.......

My goal yesterday was lighter color blocks and more orange and red.  I also wanted to use the London print.
Now the decision is do I stop at 30 blocks and eliminate 2 or make 3 more to complete another row.  Since the blocks are 10" it is easy to calculate the size.
I decided to go through the final box of corduroy in the attic.  All of these are scraps from jumpers that I made for my daughter in the late 1960's and early 70's.  I also found some leftovers from a maternity outfit so the corduroys are 45-53 years old.  I washed them because they have been in the attic for over 25 years.  I didn't think I wanted to make another quilt with corduroy but I think I will now.  I will probably use the 8.5" squares like I did in the denim/corduroy quilts a couple years ago.  I probably have 30 different colors and patterns.
This piece of corduroy is 36" wide so I know it dates back to the 50's or 60's.  I don't remember it so I think maybe someone gave it to me.
The orange cactus is blooming.  There are 5 buds so I hope I get 5 blooms and that they don't dry up like they have done in the past.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

An exhausting day..........

Yesterday morning I cut a bunch more preemie gowns and sewed 8 of them before I left for church sewing circle at 12:30.  I had 4 stops to make on the way home (one to pick up my ruler I left at the quilt shop last week) and then to visit Dad and pay his next month's room and board for him.  I got home around 6 p.m.
Luckily I had the pieces for 3 more blocks already chosen so I could sew them while I watched "Castle".
I moved a few blocks around so I could decide what I need to include in the last 2 blocks.  I think I need some more with white in them.  I might make a few extra blocks and then I can eliminate any that aren't adding to the overall beauty of the quilt.
I showed a robin over a week ago that I thought was eating seeds (and several readers said they do eat seeds sometimes).  I have just one robin and he is awfully chubby and he is there every morning.
I'm surprised that he is also a polite robin who doesn't mind eating with friends.  Robins are usually chasing others away so this surprised me.

Monday, March 25, 2013

In reverse order........

I'll start out with what I did at night and then follow up with the afternoon sewing.  Five blocks made last night.  I had chosen the combinations the day before right after cutting a bunch of new pieces.
I didn't mix them in this time.  I just lined them up on the right hand side of the other 20 blocks.  I'll wait for the last 5 before I choose their final position in the quilt.
Yesterday afternoon I sewed neckbands on the 10 medium and large preemie gowns that were sewn at sewing circle 2 weeks ago.  I also cut out and constructed 6 of the extra small size gowns.
I also pieced the tops of 3 more little preemie quilts.  I didn't take time to press them yet.  I'll do that when I press the backings for them.
We were on the northern edge of the snow storm yesterday.  We just got enough to cover the ground.  It was above freezing so it melted off the streets and sidewalks.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

3 blocks and more quilting......

One more quilt quilted.  I made this one for me.  The flannels are so soft they feel like velveteen.  I had loaded the backing on Friday night and needed to cut the batting yesterday.  This one has Hobbs organic cotton batting with scrim.  It is very soft and worked well with the flannel.  I bought this batting while I still worked at a quilt shop before August 2000.  I guess it is about time to use it.
I made 3 more X and + blocks, 2 quiet ones, and one that is shouting.  I also did a lot of pressing fabric and cutting more pieces for the next 10 blocks.  I'm pretty sure I'll stop at 30 blocks.
Now I have to decide whether I want more lighter blocks.  I like the mix that I have made so far.
I promised several people that I would share the preemie gown pattern.  I left this photo large so when you click on it you should be able to read the measurements for all 4 sizes that we make.  Visit this post to see them sewn up with serger stitching on all edges and a neck ribbing.  We run ribbon through the neck ribbing for them to tie as a closure.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

2 blocks and some quilting..........

Here are the 2 newest blocks.  I tried for a couple calmer blocks to tone down the bright ones.
Here they are in the mix.
I finally got one of the flannel quilts quilted, the Buzz Saw.  I had a large enough piece of a low loft polyester batt to use in this one.  It makes the flannel quilt more lightweight than with a cotton batt.  I rarely use polyester but I'm trying to use up all of the batting I have if the size is right for a quilt.

Friday, March 22, 2013

4 more blocks.......

Here are the 4 blocks I made yesterday.  I wasn't sure if they were all going to work but then I went down to the basement to press them and put all of them up on a big design wall...........
After I got them up on the wall and took the photo I tried to figure out which four I had just made and really had to search to find all of them.  I think this means they blended in well.  I had a nice break in the afternoon when I visited two friends who were working on batik colorwash quilts.  Then we went to the church to see the beautiful banner that one of them had made.  It was like a private show and tell session and I really enjoyed it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

4 more blocks........

I made 4 more blocks last night.  I'm not sure if the "in your face" striped one will stay or not.  It will depend on the rest of the blocks that I make.  Earlier in the day I ironed the 3 flannel backings and cut one batting so I'm getting closer to a finish on one or more of them.  I'm hoping to get all 3 done by the end of the month.
When I looked at the skeins of thread yesterday that I had shown on my blog I realized that couldn't be all of them because there were only 2 sizes of thread and I knew I had all 4 that Laura hand dyes.  I found the rest of it so now you can see my whole stash of it.  Yes, for those of you asking what do I do with it, it is stash.  When the day and purpose are right it will get used.  Laura talks about how to use it on her website if you  need some ideas.  In the past when I traveled with a generic black suitcase I made tassels for the zipper pulls out of the hand dyed thread.  I could always identify my suitcase quickly.  I also put hand dyed braided tails on my thumb drives because they can hide so well on my messy desk.  I can always find them with their bright tails.
My pale pink cactus is still blooming and I have buds on 3 red cacti, one of them in this photo.  My orange one should be blooming in about 3-4 days.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

this is more like it........

These are perfect blocks to work on while I watch TV.  I have 3 hours of programs to watch on Tuesday nights so I did some cutting during the first show and sewed 4 blocks during the other 2 shows.  Most of the quilts that I have seen on the internet have had 4 different prints in the large squares that make the X.  I have used matched squares so far but used scrappy in the batik ones that I made first.  I will start doing some scrappy ones next.
I have been digging through some older fabrics and pulled out this funky one.  I think I showed it before when I used it in another quilt a few years ago and some other readers said they had it in different colorways.
A couple readers asked about the yarn that I showed yesterday.  It is not yarn but perle cotton.  I pulled out my remaining selection of "Laura hand dyed threads" that I have purchased over the years.  One day when she was visiting my house she noticed I had it pinned up on the edge of my design wall and she identified a couple of 'retired' colors.  I have used some skeins of it already and just enjoy looking at the rest.  I'll do my best to use some of it this year.
Yesterday I went to a QOV sew-in closer to home at our newest quilt shop in the area.  I forgot one of my rulers so I'll have to go back and shop there next week when I pick it up.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fabric and friends..........

I spent the morning on errands, the afternoon yesterday sewing pieces for a QOV quilt.  Then last night I went to the local quilt guild meeting to see a friend giving the program.  This is what I bought from her.  Can you guess who it was?


It was the lovely Laura Wasilowski from Artfabrik fame!  She has such a sense of humor and shares it abundantly in her program.  We all got our daily dose of laughter.  I have to share our photo that was taken last night.
While I watched "Castle" and the news I got three of the bright X and + blocks sewn.  I'm going to like this version of the quilt much more than the batik blocks I have made.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Planning ahead..........

This is the top left corner plus center strip on some new X and + blocks.  I did a lot of cutting yesterday, mostly from my dotted scraps left over from the quilt I called 168 Dots.  I also pulled out more to cut today.
I got the cute print of goldfish in a plastic bag of water in a trade with another blogger who needed a fabric that I had.  There are names of each goldfish but they got cut off  because of the width of my strip.  I will add some Kaffe prints in this quilt too. 
I went through the box of triangles that I have been cutting out of scraps this past year and pulled groups of 8 triangles that I think might work on this quilt.
 There is icy rain/snow predicted for today and a high of 26 degrees for Wednesday, the first day of spring.  This is the complete opposite from March a year ago when we had 60-80 degree temperatures for most of the month.  The prediction for the rest of the month is colder than normal.  It sounds like quilting weather to me.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I had to just have a little no stress fun yesterday on International Quilting Day (a/k/a National quilting day).  I still had some logs left after making the last log cabin quilt so I made 4 blocks.  Maybe I'll make 4 mug rugs out of them.
There was a pile of batik 4.5" long logs left too so I made 2 mug rug tops.  They aren't what I would call pretty, just using what was left in the pile.  I will probably use these myself, one on the main level and one in the basement.
My main task yesterday was finding backings and piecing a couple of them.  This is the one I will use on the Streak of Lightning quilt.
I found this 6 yard piece of flannel yesterday so I'll use it for the Rattlesnake quilt instead of the piece I found yesterday.  I pieced the backings for the other 2 flannel quilts.  I need to press them and cut batting next.
I tried to get a photo of this bunny with the flock of sparrows all eating together but by the time I got the zoom lens to the right spot the birds flew away.  The bunnies don't usually come until after dark when they set off my motion sensor lights on the back of the house.