Thursday, October 31, 2013

Top sewn, construction station............

This is what my cabinet looks like while I'm constructing these blocks.  I bring a handful of strips to the area, use them for awhile, go back and get another handful, etc.  Eventually the remainder of the strip is too short so it goes in another pile for new blocks.  The top is sewn together now.
Burning bush, photo taken through the window on a foggy day yesterday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

20 blocks, big enough........

I think this is the final layout, unless another idea jumps into my head while I stare at it.

I started another batch of blocks because I still have so many strips left.  That will give me a chance to use one more layout and then I have to move on to something else.

Someone asked if I'm using a foundation for my piecing.  No I rarely use foundations.  I just piece, press after a couple strips, square it up about 3 times in the process of making the whole square.  That keeps it from getting too stretched out of square since a lot of these strips are crooked cuts.  They are all the clean up cuts from straightening the ends of a piece of fabric.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

17 blocks.......

I have been sewing a few strips onto blocks now and then so last night I made an effort to get more blocks up to the 15.5" size.  I was going to make 24 blocks which would make a 60" x 90" quilt but now I'm thinking maybe 20 blocks for a 60" x 75" will be enough.  I'm thinking large lap quilt for this one.  I guess my layout will determine the number of blocks that it needs.  If I stay with this type layout, 20 will be enough.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Another top sewn together..........

I decided I wanted my design wall back so it was time to decide on a final layout and sew the top together.  I'm really happy with it now.  It was worth the time to rearrange the blocks.

A note to new readers, if you are a no reply commenter, please use my email link if you have a question.  There is one link on my right side bar and a different email link on my profile page.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I had just enough energy left last night to get all of the pieces of the fractured spiral up on a design wall.  I think this is done and ready to sew together.  It is about 32" x 44" and could use a light border on the 2 sides to balance out the light border on the top and bottom.  Then it will be closer to 36" x 44", just about right for a baby quilt.

My granddaughter's baby shower was an open house and lots of fun.  After 3 social days in a row though I'm ready for some quiet time.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pinwheel blocks.....

Two friends came over to sew yesterday and I worked on a variety of things.  I made the last 8 pinwheel blocks.  This will finish around 39" x 45" if I don't add a border.

I also worked on a gift for a baby shower that I will attend today and did some quilting on the African 16 patch quilt.
The two tone pink and white cactus has started blooming.  You can see several buds in the background.  I have 2 plants of this color and the other one doesn't have any buds yet.

I was moving things around in the basement for more accessible storage for my cutting dies and I came across 5 huge binders of pages torn out of magazines in the 1970s and early 80s.  This handkerchief quilt was one of them.  It looks like they placed the ones with straight edges every other one and then overlapped the ones with fancy edges over them.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fractured 2 - 30 blocks.........

I got all of the pieces made at the sew in but didn't start sewing the blocks together until last night.  It was pretty late when I finished them so I just stuck them up on the design wall.  I definitely need to move a few blocks to different places.  The only other decision at this time is whether to add another row in length.  It is about 60" x 72" if I sew it together now.

For the new readers that have been asking, this is the book the pattern is in.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

10 blocks........

I have 10 blocks done out of 24 (or maybe 36).  This is not the final layout, just a way I could fit them on a single design wall.  I have "Fractured 2" still on the double wall and will be adding to it tomorrow night so I didn't want to take it down. 

I'm going to a sew-in today, pizza for lunch.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

4 blocks............

The first four blocks (of 24) are finally up to 15.5".  I have another batch of 12 that are about 11-12" and the rest are still only 8-9" square.  About 80% of the strips are Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

The really fun part will be the design wall playing.  I didn't leave home for anything the last 2 days so I had a lot of sewing time.

If you look closely in the photo below, we were getting our first snow.  I know it's not very impressive since it didn't stick but a town about 20 miles west had 2".  We have had our first hard freeze too so the growing season is over.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Multi-task day......

I started the day yesterday by winding bobbins and then beginning the quilting on this quilt.  I'm estimating it will take about 3 more hours to finish all of the ditch quilting along every seam.  Black thread on black fabric is a challenge so I will only do an hour at a time and then go off and do something else.

I cut the last 8 combinations of fabrics for Fractured 2.  I will sew the blocks at the sew-in on Thursday.

I added strips to the rest of these blocks while watching "Castle".  Some blocks are lopsided like this one so I need to add extra strips on the short side or pay more attention to where the wide and narrow strips go.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Only a little progress..........

I decided not to work on all 24 blocks at once like I have done up to this point.  I have 2 blocks that are almost 12" square and 4 that are about 8-9".  I am getting bored with the strip selection so I need to go down to the basement and bring up the box of 45" long strips.

As I add strips they get trimmed off which is starting another group that would be beginning strips for blocks.  I won't decide if I'm making more blocks until I get to the design wall with the original 24 blocks.

I had a wonderful day yesterday.  My cousin and his wife met me at my church and after the service they talked to a couple of the church historians about their family members who are buried in our cemetery.  We got to see the record book with the beautiful handwriting of the turn of the century.  We walked through the cemetery and found the graves too.  Then we went to a long leisurely lunch and caught up on family members.  The weather was beautiful too.  Days like that are treasures.

Anonymous-Mary, there is a label list on the right side bar and Tutorials is one of the labels.  The journal cover tutorial is there if you scroll down.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A few more strips........

 Some of the strips I added finish about a quarter inch wide so I'm going to need a lot of strips to get this up to 15 or 16".
This block was a lot smaller than some others so it has an extra row added to be about the same size.  I have 24 blocks all finishing around 8-9" right now.

I took this photo yesterday morning and another bud is totally open already.

I mowed the grass yesterday and I'm wondering if it will be the last time this year.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sewing, basting.......

This is the quilt I am basting now.  It has one row of squares hanging off the other side of the double table.  For the new readers, here is where I explain my basting.  Here is another post where I show the needle package.  Most people that hate thread basting are using too short of a needle.  Mine are fine needles about 2" long, plenty of needle to get hold of to pull through.
I have some people asking if my stitching doesn't get caught in the basting thread and my answer is that I would rather stitch through a thread than a safety pin.  I don't have to unbaste as I go but you do have to remove your pins as you go.
I have 4 sets of strips sewn on 24 blocks now.  I still have a long way to go to get 15-16" blocks.

This is the pile of little pieces that are too short to use in these blocks.  They are anywhere from 1"-2" wide and most are 3" long or shorter.  They are calling my name to play and make a small project but I'm resisting.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fractured 2 progress..........

I haven't abandoned this project.  I have been auditioning fabrics for the last 8 blocks.  I have decided it will be an off center layout so I will fill in the 3 spots on the right and then make 5 blocks for the bottom row.  Click on the Fractured Quilt Along on the right sidebar and see what everyone else is doing.
I wanted to finish some mug rugs to get them off my sewing cabinet so I have room for the new project.  2 of these have quilting done with my embroidery machine in the center and then I did free motion meandering in the background.
I quilted and bound these three mug rugs last night.

The first bud opened yesterday on the pale pink cactus.  In a couple days there should be about 5 open.

When I bought these plants they had multiple blooms on the end of each branch.  This year I am seeing that again.  There are lots of buds on this plant and some are very small.  I put it in my kitchen where it will get lots of light now that it is blooming.  Usually the last batch of buds dry up and fall off and I had previously left them in the room that is dark for more hours.  Now I will find out if they just needed more light for all of them to bloom.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Playing with strips.......

I started playing with the strips last  night and remembered too late that I needed to extend the strips longer than the corner square for later trimming.  These 4 may become mug rugs.

I started a new batch of blocks and have the strips extending beyond the corner block.  If I don't do this I will end up having to trim the corner block too when I get done piecing.

I got this far on the  next 8 blocks.  When I was making THIS quilt back in 2010 I knew I wanted to make another because I liked so many of the layouts.  Here are a couple posts with layouts.
This quilt will be larger though, probably 24 blocks.  I don't know how big I will make the blocks but around 15" is pretty likely.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sorting and sewing..........

I have been throwing the crooked trimmings from clean up cuts into 2 plastic boxes for a couple years.  I decided to sort them loosely by length for a new project.

This is the short and medium length strips and below the lid is a huge pile of full width strips.  I have cut my starting squares and will begin piecing soon.

While trying to clean some of the mess off my sewing cabinet, I came across the trimmings from the African 16 patch stratas.  I was able to make 3 mug rug tops from them. 

Today Rosemary is coming back and we are going to baste another of her log cabin quilts.  I finished basting my African 16 patch last night.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Something easy......

I just wanted something easy to sew last night while I watched "Castle" so I put the binding on three more mug rugs.

I didn't get up early enough yesterday to see if we had any frost but it was pretty nippy out.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ready to bloom.......

This is the same cactus that had one pale pink bloom while it was still outside.  Now there are 20 more buds, some ready to open, some really tiny.  I also have buds starting on the 2 tone pink and white one and on the all white one.  These are the same 3 that bloomed early last year.  I have one more that is pink and white and it doesn't have any buds yet.  I should have fairly constant blooming from now until Feb. with all of the different varieties.  The red ones don't usually bloom until at least late November but I thought I saw a bud on one of them too.

Today is church sewing circle and we will be starting on felt Christmas stockings.  The Sunday School kids were going to pack the 38 school tote bags that we made.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Design wall time......

I added the new saturated color blocks and I think it has livened it up a bit.  I might just make 2 more blocks and make this into a square quilt 5 x 5.

On this one I just have 2 blocks to go or if I make the design off center then I will make another row for the width and move the top pieces to the bottom.  Decisions, decisions......  It needs some more saturated blue and maybe purple too.

I'm taking the blocks for the spiral down to a big design wall today.  I had them on my tiny design wall in the main floor studio up to this point.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Making more blocks.....

I decided my Fractured 2 quilt is missing some saturated color.  I got 2 C and 2 D blocks and 4 pinwheel blocks made last night.  I also got a little basting done on my African 16 patch.

I spent a little more time with my parents' photos because the family reunion is today and I want to take some of them to give to several families.  It sounds like there might be a little rain but we will be inside a building at the forest preserve so we will be warm and dry.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fractured 2 and others.......

I have only made C and D blocks so far for this second "Fractured" quilt.  This gives a different center than with A and B blocks added.  Click on the Fractured Quilt Along logo on my right side bar to see what everyone else is doing.

Meanwhile I have added 21 new pieces to this quilt, 3 each of 7 sets of fabrics. This still has the rectangular center.  In the photo below I turned pieces to make a square center.  I think I like the rectangular one better but I have plenty of time to decide.  I need to make a lot more pieces for it.

I'm taking 4 pieces from each fabric group and making a pinwheel block too.  This keeps it all exciting.  Working on just one quilt isn't as much fun.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

More parts, center changed...........

Rosemary and I basted her quilt in a very short time.  We even had time to go out to lunch afterwards. It is so nice to have the 2 large tables clean and ready for a basting job.  I'll do one of my own in a few days too. Last night I sewed 7 more groups of pieces for blocks.

I took out both the red print square and the light square and added 2 more pieces like the rest.  In the book the center starts spiraling in a square pattern and I have mine set up as a rectangle shape.  I'll try it the other way when I get more pieces made and can do the real layout.