Saturday, August 31, 2013

A walk around the yard........

Somehow I never got around to sewing again yesterday.  I took a walk around my yard in the morning.  I love this lime green coleus.  I will have to be sure I get some cuttings to root over the winter.

This is the first year I am able to get photos of the Rose of Sharon without a lot of bug holes in them.  We didn't have anywhere near as many Japanese beetles as we have had in previous years.  This is a pale lavender.  I have a darker red violet and a white bush right by these.  All I planted was the pale lavender but I have both other varieties elsewhere around my house.  I guess the birds must be carrying the seeds around.  We got some much needed rain last night so maybe the grass will be all green again soon.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Goofing off.......

I sewed 2 strip sets but didn't get them pressed or sliced.  I had another bunch of errands I wanted to do before the Labor Day weekend so I was gone all morning.  The big Sandwich Fair (DeKalb County Fair) starts next Wednesday so I want to be free to go to it too.  In the late afternoon yesterday a friend and I went to see "The Butler".  It was a lot more intense and moving than I had anticipated.  In the 1960s I had both of my children and we started our business so I had a lot of sidetracks.  This movie filled in the history for me.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

More blocks, a couple layouts.........

These 2 blocks came from the same strip.  This is what happens when it is a large print.

The black background prints blend right into the alternate black fabric.

There was a wide stripe edge on this fabric so I put all of the stripes into the same block.

The top 2 in this group are a couple of my favorite African fabrics.  I bought them in the late 1990s.

Some of the background fabrics aren't black but they will read almost as dark as the black in the whole layout.

Here are two more that I sewed yesterday.

I did two layouts.  In this first one I have the only block that has a really light color in it in the group.

In this second layout I took out the light block and put in the last blue block.  I like it both ways.  I still have more strip sets to sew so there will be more sets with light colors in future blocks.  This would be 40" x 48" the size it is now.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A little progress..........

I got 13 of the 15 strip sets sewn but only sliced 7 sets.  I was just too tired to sew them last night though.  I ran errands all morning before it got too hot and then stayed in the a/c the rest of the day. 
I have an overachiever cactus on the front porch.  It has a bud already (near the top left of the photo).  They usually don't get buds until they come inside in late Sept. and have long hours of darkness.

This one was on the second shelf behind the Creeping Jenny most of the summer.  I switched it to a lower shelf and moved a different one up there.  Maybe the cool nights we had last week got it thinking it was time to bloom.  It is my pale pink plant and it bloomed in both Oct. and April.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Strip sets and blocks.......

I sewed this batch of strip sets yesterday morning.  Some have plain black for the dark strip, some have an African print.

I pressed all of the strip sets from both days and sliced them and sewed them into blocks.  This is 16 of the 18 different blocks so far.  I sewed all of the duplicate blocks too.  I just put them randomly up on the design wall.  I need to get more blocks sewn before I get serious on the design wall.  There are more colors that aren't represented yet.
I cut more black strips and paired more fabrics to sew today.  I will have 64 blocks when I get these done to add to the others.  At this point I think I am making 2 quilts.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A few strip sets........

I didn't do much all day yesterday so last night I turned on Netflix and watched a couple more episodes of "Bones".  While watching I got 10 strip sets sewn and ready for slicing for 16 patches.  Some of the fabrics aren't wide enough to get 2 blocks out of but most are.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The next one..........

I have 2 groups of fabric chosen for the next 16 patch quilts.  This is one group.  I cut 2.5" strips of my African fabrics when I was cutting pieces to share with 2 friends earlier this year.  I will add in black strips too, all to be decided as I work on it.

Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments yesterday.  My friend enjoyed reading them too.  I had a busy day and didn't respond to the comments like I usually do.  I sold one of my embroidery machines to a mother and daughter team and told them I would give them a refresher course whenever they needed it.  I spent most of the day with them and they fed me a most wonderful feast for lunch with several desserts.  I should have taken photos but I was too busy eating.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A no sew day............

A long time friend of mine was working with photos on fabric and when she saw the photo of my dad last week on my blog she knew she had to make this for me.  I was speechless when she handed it over to me.  I'm either going to hang it near my computer desk or in my main floor studio.  Isn't it wonderful?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Play day...........

I started out my playing by separating the 16 patch blocks into warms and cools.

That wasn't really very exciting so I then merged both groups into one.  I really wanted some instant gratification so I got approval from my two sewing friends and went ahead and sewed the blocks into a top.

I designed it vertically but decided to turn it horizontal to see how it looks that way too.  It measures about 41" x 53".  If I continued naming these quilts with the garden theme, this one is "English Flower Garden". 

I also worked a little on my paper piecing quilt "Stepping Stones" and have the first 2 columns completed and the third one about half done.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Almost ready for the design wall.......

I got two more batches of blocks made yesterday.  Today a couple friends are coming over to sew and I think I'll be ready to use the design wall.

I got about 2/3 of the duplicate blocks sewn by last night so I hope to finish them early this morning.  That will give me 66 blocks to play with.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Getting started..........

Some of this batch of strip sets are batiks, the rest regular quilting cottons.

I started slicing some of the strip sets last night and got the first batch of blocks sewn.  I'm wondering if they will all go in the same quilt.  I might be starting 2 or 3 quilts.

This was the second batch.  I have 17 more strip sets to slice plus all of the duplicate blocks to make.  These blocks seem so small after using 2.5" strips with the first quilts and these are 2" strips.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another new project........

I have been making the 16 patch quilts with 2.5" strips and they are ending up large lap quilts.  I decided to use some of my (3 boxes full) of 2" strips and try some wallhanging size pieces.  They would also qualify for baby quilts.  I started out with my regular quilting cottons and later in the evening pulled out the first box of batiks and sewed some more strips sets.  I will press and slice them today.  I will still only get 2 blocks per strips set.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Didn't work.......

A friend gave me a squirrel baffle for the last feeder that they could get into......didn't work, did it?  I knew it would keep them from jumping from the tree to the feeder but wasn't sure if they could climb this taller shepherd's hook.  I guess I grease the pole next.

The cookies are baked, the art quilters are coming.  It is going to be a great day.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Seeing Stars with border..........

I finally sewed the border on this quilt Wednesday morning but didn't get around to taking the photo until yesterday.  It is about 65" x 83".  It will shrink a little with quilting. 

Today I need to bake 2 batches of cookies because the art quilters are coming tomorrow.  The dough is all mixed and chilling in the refrigerator.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Divided blocks.........

I divided the pastels into 2 groups and added the darker blocks back into the one on the right.  This could be 2 baby quilts, 40" x 48" on the left and 40" square on the right.  I'm still undecided what to do so they are coming off the wall as I prepare the basement for my art quilters who are coming on Monday. 

Friday, August 16, 2013


I moved the blocks to the wall with the better lighting but still am not happy with it.  I'm thinking at this point to break the blocks into 2 groups and make 2 baby quilts. 

I finished another dishcloth with light corners and the end of a ball of variegated yarn in the middle.  Once again I misjudged the amount of yarn.  I think these 2 tone ones will make someone happy though.

This is the post I had scheduled for 5 a.m. yesterday.   Then I got the call at 4 a.m. that my dad had passed away so I rescheduled for 5 a.m. today.  I am so thankful that my friends had come to visit on Wednesday for a fun day of catching up. 

Thank you everyone for your good wishes, condolences and prayers yesterday.  It means a lot to me.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I got the call at 4 a.m. that Dad had passed away.  He was in his 100th year and just 3 months away from his birthday.   As per his wishes there won't be a funeral and burial will take place when the out of state family members are available.
This is my favorite photo of my dad.  It was taken around 1950.  That was about the time that he got into photography seriously, developing and printing his own photos.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Decisions, decisions............

I sewed the 4 duplicate blocks and put the last 2 groups on the design wall.  I need to make one more batch of blocks so they will all come off the wall and move to the wall that has better lighting for the next photo.

I took out the very darkest 3 blocks (that were leftovers from the Peony Garden quilt) for this photo.  I either need to make some more that are a little darker like those 3 or leave them out and finish the quilt.  I need either 6 or 9 blocks depending on which way I do it.

My cousin and his wife stopped to see my dad on their way home from their son's house.  Dad isn't doing well so it may be the last time they will see him.  We had a leisurely lunch and talked for a couple hours.  Good therapy for me.

Today some of the quilters I used to work with at the quilt shop are coming over.  I haven't seen a couple of them for a year or more.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Four pastel blocks...........

I got 4 more blocks sewn but didn't even have the energy to sew the duplicate blocks.

We got 4 tote bags completed and parts of 23 more bags made at church sewing circle.  On the way home it rained so hard I could hardly see the road.  Not a drop in my town though.  We need rain badly.
I had just a few rows left to knit on each of these 2 dishcloths so I finished them last night.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lots accomplished............

I got lots done, nothing to photograph though.  I cut and sewed the seam in 3 backings, for 3 of the quilts pictured above.  I cut the borders for my star quilt, the black and white, hand dyed, and Kaffe quilt but didn't get them sewn on.  I cut some more strips for the pastel 16 patches.

Today is sewing circle and I got 13 tote bags cut out yesterday.  I may get some more cut before I have to leave after lunch.  We probably won't get more than 13 done in 2 hours anyway.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A few more blocks......

I cut a few more pastel batik strips and came up with one more set than I showed yesterday.  I sewed the duplicates of these blocks too so I have 12 new blocks to add to the 37 made previously. 

I need to take a break from this and cut some tote bags for our church sewing group.  The Presbytery has requested 30 bags filled with school supplies.  We have a couple months to work on them.   Our schools start in Aug. so these must be going to countries south of the equator.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Not much.........

It was errand day, cleaning day, all of the things that take away from studio play.  I chose 4 new pairs of strips for the pastel 16 patch but didn't get any sewing done.  I'm trying to get to the bottom of the piles on my cutting table in the main floor studio.  I haven't seen the table top for many moons.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Autumn coneflowers.......and some more backing choices........

I finally got back to the 16 patch that started this garden series.  I had stolen the prettiest pink blocks from this group and made Peony Garden.  Then I just couldn't make myself work with this group again.  As I was cleaning off a table Wednesday I picked up the blocks and went to the design wall and in 20 minutes had "Autumn Coneflowers" ready to sew.  The coneflowers have dark brown centers now and the petals are drying up.  I think this top has the feel of my back garden right now.
I dived into the backing bins again and came up with this one for this quilt.

While showing the 3 tops to some friends yesterday I decided that the morning glory print would look good with the "Zinnia Garden" quilt.

That  meant looking for more choices for "Peony Garden".  First I tried 2 greens.

Then I pulled a pink print but it is almost too bubblegum pink.

Next I re-tried the print from yesterday.  I still like this one, but I like the green fabrics too.

And the final piece I pulled was tried with 2 of the quilt tops.  I'm not sure I like it well enough with either of them.

Yes I have a lot of pieces large enough for backing.  Every time I found a sale for $3 - $4.50 a yard I considered buying enough for a backing.  I haven't paid full price for a backing for many years.