Friday, May 31, 2013

Where are the finishes?...........

I meant well, thought I would finish several pieces in May.  I quilted one and still haven't put the binding on.  I finished sewing this one together last night (57" x 68"), so one quilted, one top sewn together.  I'm still tearing paper out of the Stepping Stones quilt blocks.  Well, I still have today left to get something done.  My book is too good and I can't put it down so that is one reason. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

In the mail............

I was chatting via email with Cathi from the blog Quilt Obsession and mentioned that I had an antique doll bed.  She loves making miniature quilts all pieced by hand.  Check out this post where she shows the blocks with a ruler to show how small they are.  Also she shows the backing fabric and the block she used for the label.   On this post while the quilt was in progress, she shows the wrong side of the patchwork so you can see how neat the pressing is.  I am so happy to be the recipient of this wonderful quilt.  I would never have the patience to make blocks that small.
Usually the peonies start blooming before Memorial Day and some years they are all done by then.  I only had one flower this year by Monday but yesterday 2 bushes were in bloom.  My lilacs are the late variety and they are in bloom too.  The backyard smells heavenly.  It almost makes mowing the grass a pleasure.  I even enjoyed pulling weeds while enjoying the fragrance.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

108 blocks.......

Pictured here are 1/2 of the 108 blocks.  There are 2 blocks of each combination so I figured putting one of each up on the design wall would help me figure out the combinations for the last group.  If I didn't repeat any fabrics there are 108 different fabrics in the blocks.  I think I may have repeated 2 of the light fabrics though.
I finished one more dishcloth last night.  This one had too much counting in it so I won't be using this pattern again.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

3 projects......

I decided it was time to start sewing the rows together.  I was shocked at the secondary pattern.  Stare at one of the setting squares and you will see 4 dark triangles connect to it in a water wheel sort of pattern.  I didn't see that when the blocks had the little crack of white between them as I designed the quilt.  Other than that I like it better sewn than as loose blocks.  I think the binding needs to be the hand dyed fabric.
I also chose the last 12 blue fabrics and got the strip sets sewn last night.  I'll slice them and sew the blocks today.
In the last two days I finished three of the four dishcloths I had in the works.  I knitted 12 rows on the one still in progress and started another new one.  I need to do the machine embroidery on the dish towels that will go with these when I donate them.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial day......a day of reflection....

Today we reflect on the phrase "Freedom is not free" as we remember all who have fought for our freedom.  

I completed 30 more blocks, 2 each of 15 yesterday.  I think I'm up to 96 blocks out of 108.
I had my zoom lens out to the max so the photos are a little fuzzy. I finally got the cardinal pair together in a photo.
This is where one is passing a seed to the other.
The bunny was keeping an eye on the cardinals while he was eating bird seed.  I need to dig out that little redbud tree so I have a better view.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

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

I paired 10 more groups for the 16 patch quilt.  I have added some that are more turquoise in tone with this batch.
I had a pair of ring neck doves under the feeder yesterday.  I had seen some earlier this spring but they didn't pose for a photo like this pair did.
I have a cardinal pair that visit all the time now.  The Mrs. was over under a different feeder when I got this shot.  In the background is a mourning dove.  It was in the 50s yesterday with light rain a couple times.  I got another hosta dug up and pulled it apart into 3 separate plants.  It was getting too big for its location.  I lost a few hostas last year with the drought so I replaced one of those from this plant.  I wanted to get this done before the rain tonight and tomorrow.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Setting triangles cut........

One small step at a time......the setting triangles have been cut.  I'll have to look at it several times today to decide if any need to be rearranged before I sew it together.  I didn't do any sewing yesterday.  I did a load of laundry, went out to eat with friends, wandered into a couple antique/junque shops with same friends, visited Dad and read my book.  I'm near the end of the book so I'll find out who dunnit soon.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Finished the pinwheels.......

I made the last four pinwheel blocks and rearranged the blocks a little.  I still haven't cut the setting triangles so maybe that will get done today.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The blues...........

I sewed eighteen more 16 patch blocks last night, two each of the nine you see here.  I also sewed the 5 pinwheel blocks which I cut a couple days ago but I haven't put them on the design wall yet.
I dug out 3 hostas yesterday that would be in the way for the installers when I get my combination storm/screens for my 3 studio windows.  Then I dug out a few that were too crowded in another flower bed and replanted the smaller ones spaced farther apart.  I planted one big one in a different bed.  I'll take a vacation from digging now for a couple days.  It's only supposed to be in the 50s today so I'll stay inside and sew.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New busy work, and a sunset...........

This is my latest busy work project which I started last Thursday.  Two strips of batik 2.5" wide will make 2 blocks. I was able to finally put them up on the wall when the art quilters were here Monday.  I can see I need to make a lot more of the darker blocks.  I have 48 blocks done and I need 60 more to make a quilt 72" x 96". 
I don't see many pretty sunsets in town but last night the one after I finished mowing the front yard was a pretty one.  Once again my nature photo is similar to the quilt I am working on.
Yesterday morning I went to Sewing, Etc. in Yorkville IL where the QOV sew in is held and did some cutting for them.  Then I had to purchase some fabric.  I got a half yard of each.  I didn't choose them to go with each other but they make a dashing trio.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Decision made on one...........

I cut the umbrella (parasol) fabric into squares and started designing on the wall.  I decided it needs to be larger, one more row across the bottom and finish the row on the right plus fill in the hole, 9 more blocks.  I can start cutting the setting triangles too now that I know how many I need.
Here are 5 pairs of fabric for more pinwheels. I mowed my back yard last night and then storms came into the area and I had my machine unplugged so no sewing.
Now that I have 8 star blocks done I can analyze what other colors I may need to add to it.  The white/black fabrics look crisper in person, more grayed in a photo.  I will have to be more choosy for the rest of the white/blacks.
Half of my Viburnum bush has flowers and half has none.  Does that mean it is both male and female?  Luckily the blooms are on the branch that I can see from the kitchen window.
This is my other pale pink columbine.  I thought I had lost the plant but it finally came up and shot up a flower stalk about two feet high.  The lily of the valley is trying to choke it out.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sashing fabric, and blooms...........

I like this black/white fabric for my sashing.  I haven't decided how wide to cut it yet.  I think I'll use hand dyed fabric for the cornerstones.  I made 4 more stars so I'll show them all tomorrow after I press them.
The hot weather has caused the wigiela to bloom after only showing buds a few days ago.
I have rose colored columbine in several locations. 
I have 2 varieties of pale pink columbine.  This is the palest one, almost white. 
The art quilters are coming today.  It sounds like the big storms are going to wait until late tonight into Tuesday morning.  That is IF they have the forecast right.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Stars and pinwheels............

I cut 6 sets of triangles and squares from the white/black prints and sewed 2 more blocks.
I decided to put the umbrella fabric up on a design wall and pin some of the pinwheel blocks over it.  I love how busy it is!!  I have 21 pinwheel blocks to use in this quilt.  I'll probably have to make a few more.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

More white and black.......

While I was in the basement doing laundry and vacuuming, I decided to put some more white and black prints for the rest of the star blocks.  I have to cut some more star points in Kaffe fabrics too.  I have two sets cut already.
It cooled off a little yesterday so I baked a batch of shortbread cookies and mixed 2 other batches of cookie dough and put them in the refrigerator.  I like to bake first thing in the morning while the house is cool.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Stars and pots..........

I showed the star points and pinwheel blocks laying on the white/black prints last week.  Yesterday I cut the triangles and squares and sewed them.  They are 16" square and I think they need some black/white sashing so I need to make at least 9 more for a lap size quilt (or more if I decide to make it bigger).
I had a gift certificate to a local nursery so I bought plants for my porch pots yesterday afternoon.
I was able to save a few coleus cuttings from last year.  I keep them in water all winter and then plant them in the spring.  If I planted them as soon as they rooted I would have had larger plants.  Some of the stems were getting woody so I hope they survive.  The whole idea was to save some money on plants this year.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finally quilting.......

I finally quilted the quilt that has been loaded on my longarm for 2 weeks.  It is the fossil fern and Kaffe fabrics quilt from a few months ago.  I quilted it the same way as the red/orange one that I made like it a few years ago.
I finished another dishcloth last night.  Wouldn't these colors make you want to wash dishes?  I bet the dishwater will have a purple tint to it.
The doves like the bird bath too.  They just walk around in it and take a few drinks.
The robins on the other hand chase all of the rest of the birds out and really take a bath.  He turned his back on me when I got the camera.  When he turned around he chased the sparrow away.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

10 of 14 rows sewn, garden pics............

I needed to get this quilt off the design wall too so I sewed some more rows.  I have 10 of 14 sewn and should be able to finish seams in one direction today.
I'm still digging out dandelions. This one has been mowed over so a lot of leaves are gone but look at the length of that root.  I think I broke off the end of it so it was even longer.  It's no wonder we can't get rid of them.
There was one rose breasted Grosbeak under the feeder yesterday morning.
He cooled off his feet and had a drink in the bird bath while he was here. 
The green and the striped Jack in the Pulpits are blooming.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sashing progress.........

The progress is slow on this quilt.  I have been tearing out some of the paper after I get sections sewn together.  I need to get the pieced border started but I haven't even chosen the fabrics yet.  The art quilters group is coming next week so I will start cleaning the basement too.  This quilt needs to be off the wall by then so I'll have to do a few blocks a day.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A bouquet............

My son came over to hook up my 2 hoses and do a couple other things and he brought me a pretty bouquet.  I spent almost 3 hours digging out weeds.  Some of the dandelions were huge with roots branching out in several directions instead of just straight down like they usually are.  I guess that is because of the mild winter and a longer growing season.  Today is church sewing circle so I am working on pillowcases before I leave at noon.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day........

The redbuds are finally in bloom.  It was cool yesterday and will be today too so the blossoms may last a few days longer.  I'm at the boring part on 3 quilts, adding sashing, sewing rows so no photos.
Sometimes I can get 2 dishcloths out a ball of yarn, sometimes I can tell it will be a little short.  I started with a white yarn until I had 25 stitches on and then tied on the variegated yarn which I ran out of when I got back down to 25 stitches toward the last corner.  That was lucky and I like it with the 2 white corners.  The blue 9 patch is struggling to look square.
Now I am knitting one from the yarn that looks like string and I love the tweedy look.  I have started another blue one with the friendship star quilt pattern.  I have a third one in progress that takes a lot of concentration so whatever mood I'm in, I have one to work on.