Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Getting prepared..........

Included in the variety of things I did yesterday was preparing this quilt for quilting.  I got the backing and batting on the frame and laid the top on it.  Then I wound the bobbin and chose the top thread.  Today is my last chance to do it for an April finish so I hope I can get it done.  I don't have a firm idea of how I want to quilt it yet so that is why I haven't started it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Busy work......

I have a couple pieces to complete for April finishes but when I have a lull in the projects I work on cutting kits for an Intuitive Color workshop that I will be giving in June.  I need kits of 100 fabrics each and I'm using the die cutter to cut them.  First however there is a lot of pressing to get the crease lines out of the fabrics where they have been folded.  I only work on this a short amount of time each day.  There are 17 fabrics in the little piles so far and this is the next batch of fabric that I will be cutting from.

We ended up with a nice day for the art quilters to come yesterday.  We were north of the severe weather area.  It is heartbreaking to hear of all of the devastation from the tornadoes.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Streak of Lightning.....done........

I finished the binding last night and all that is left is coming up with my own name for this one.  Streak of Lightning is the name of the pattern but it needs a name of its own.  I love this quilt and I have a confession:  about half of the blocks are made with fabrics that I don't even like and just wanted to use up.  When making a scrappy quilt it isn't important to have every fabric as the star.  Values are more important than colors in this one, and of course multicolor is one of my favorite themes.  It finished at 70.5" x 90" so it is a little skimpy for a twin bed quilt unless you have a dust ruffle or wood side rails.  It looks like a good couch quilt to me.

The art quilters are supposed to come today so I hope the weather doesn't get wild.  It sounds like the severe stuff is south of us.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


In the end I decided on a black binding but I am using a mottled batik instead of a plain solid color.  I think the batik has a better chance of not fading with age.

I decided to do it all by machine so here is one long edge finished, three to go.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Closer to finishes...........

The seams are all sewn on this alternate version of Soul Searching.  It has come out almost square like the first one so I will probably add end borders on this one too.  It is 68" x 72" right now.  It was rectangular in the design stage but with only 9 seams vertically and 35 seams horizontally, it shrunk a lot in one direction.  It would make a nice large wallhanging but not for my house with 8 ft. ceilings.
I also finished the quilting on the last border of this Streak of Lightning zig zag and pulled out all of the basting and trimmed the edges.  I don't want solid black for the binding so I have some searching to do for the right color and fabric.

Here are two of the last three cactus blooms.  I'm sure they are probably done now and in another month I will be able to put them outside for the summer.  Since I have so many they will have to go out on a rotating basis.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Getting there.......

I'm sewing on row 11 of the last 18 rows in this photo.  The last 7 rows are clipped together waiting.

I have one more border to quilt on the Streak of Lightning zig zag quilt.  I pulled out all of the basting in the rest of the quilt.  Now I need to choose binding for it so I can finish it before the end of the month,

Thursday, April 24, 2014

All of the pieces on the wall.........

I spent the whole morning yesterday finishing the orange and turquoise sections, pressing the part that is pieced (the half on the left) and sorting and putting away leftover fabrics.  Last night I took 8 rows down and clipped them together.  I started sewing them but I needed to bake cookies so I didn't get much done. 

Several "no reply" commenters have asked for the source of this quilt pattern.  If you go back a few days you will usually find my reference when I started it.  Here is the post where I told about it.  If you want answers I have an email link on my right side bar and also on my profile page.  OR you could enable your email address in your Google Blogger account and then I can reply to you.

I mowed my front yard yesterday afternoon.  It always looks nice when it gets the first cut because it is so uneven in the spring.  The grass in the back yard won't need to be cut for at least another week.  That's good because my arm and shoulder were really aching by the time I finished.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


The design stage on the last workshop piece was finished yesterday afternoon and she stacked and pinned the rows and took them home for sewing.

I worked on mine while she was here.  I brought the sewn section down and put it on a double design wall.  I took down the other rows from the single wall and clipped them together and then started designing the rest of the colors.  I realized I couldn't finish the orange or turquoise one without seeing the first half (they are in the clipped rows) so I left a space for them.
I took the clipped rows upstairs to sew while I watched Netflix last night.

This is rows 9-18 sewn together and laying on my sewing cabinet.  I'll press them and add them to the other sewn section today and then I can finish the orange and turquoise area.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Workshop results...........

One of the ladies decided to do the blocks the way they are in the book.  She sewed one together to learn the steps.

Then she just planned the color part of some more blocks and stacked and pinned them to take home and sew. 

The other two ladies chose the alternate layout.  This one was all planned by the end of the workshop.  She stacked and pinned all of the pieces too and will add the light fabrics at home.

This is going to be a wallhanging so she just has one more half block to design.  Since she gets off work early in the day she will come back today and finish and then stack and pin to take it home.

I put the light fabrics in mine as I was designing it.  I forgot to take another photo when I added another block below the purple one.  I started sewing it last night.

I stacked the rows from top to bottom and clipped and labeled them.

I pieced each vertical row and then sewed row 1 and 2, then added row 3, and here I am sewing on row 4.

In this photo I have 6 vertical rows sewn together and then I quit for the night.  I'll take it down to the basement this morning and press it and finish designing on a double design wall.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ready for workshop...........

When I got home from the family Easter gathering I worked on my strips for today's workshop.  I found another box of 2.5" strips in my main floor studio.  I cut some more fabrics to the lengths needed and printed a photo from the internet for a visual guide. 

It was almost 80 degrees yesterday, almost unheard of on Easter in this part of the country.  Today will be warm too and then a little rain.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Some friends are coming over Monday and we are all making a Soul Searching quilt, not the original in the book but one that a student of Kathy Doughty's made.  Rather than individual blocks it has the next row nested in between rows one and two.  She has a photo of it on her Material Obsession blog (10th photo).  I have been gathering scraps and 2.5" strips and last night started cutting some of the lengths of each color that I will need. 

I went out and trimmed back my Butterfly Bush and cleaned up one part of a flower bed.  There is more clean up to do but we will still get some frosts and freezes so I don't want everything totally uncovered yet.  Besides that my old body can't take too much of that kind of work in one day.  Little by little it will all be done.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Miscellany day.........

I didn't accomplish anything big yesterday.  I had an electrician friend put in a dedicated outlet for my microwave to its own breaker instead of being on the same breaker as everything else on my kitchen counters.  While he was here I cleaned off my cutting table in the studio and counted all of the triangle squares that I have sewn so far.  Then it was library, post office, grocery store......then a nap!  Today is supposed to be a little cooler so it will be a good day to get some decisions made on backings for 3 quilts and a border for another.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Backing fabric choices..............

In my search for backing fabric I found almost enough of the one on the left.  I would be 1/2 yard short so I could piece a section out of the leftover fabrics to fill in.  Then I found the fabric on the right of which I have enough for one length for the back. choices would be one full length of each fabric or piecing in a section to add to the fabric on the left.  They are both Martha Negley fabrics, also Westminster fabrics like Kaffe Fassett fabric is.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Stars added..........

I have the top sewn together now.  I added in a 9" wide row on the left which includes the four star blocks.  I had a few 9" (finished size) squares left from the original group cut and I had to cut a couple 6" (finished) squares as well as quite a few 3" (finished) squares to finish it.  It is now 75" x 93".  I would like it a couple inches longer......but I'm done.  I will look for backing when I get home from my appointment in Chicago today.  It looks a lot more yellow to me in person but I think the camera likes to pick up the pink.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A drop in temperature.........

The temperature a little after midnight yesterday was 63 degrees.  I went to church sewing circle in the afternoon and drove through light snow flurries on the way home. 

I got 3 more low contrast stars made to add to the one from yesterday.
Shortly after I got home I went out and rescued my flowers from the accumulating snow.

I thought it was probably done snowing around 5 and took this shot of a bunny cleaning up under a bird feeder. snowed for a few more hours and I got a shot of another bunny around 7:30.

This is not abnormal for us to have snow in April.  In fact in 66% of the over 100 years of records there is a significant snowfall in April.

Flowers with snowy backdrop.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Yesterday in the comments Marie suggested star blocks to make the quilt wider.  I love star blocks so I decided to experiment.  Since all of the blocks in the quilt (see yesterday's post) are multiples of 3" (3", 6", and 9") the stars would have to be the same so this is the first 9" block.  I want to make them all low contrast so the stars don't jump out at you since they will only be along one side of the quilt.  I just happen to have the die for the star point section in both 2" and 3" so I can make 6" and 9" blocks.

I think I need to mention again that if you have a Google+ account there is a 95% chance you are a no reply comment so I can't answer your questions.  Only about 5% of the + people have figured out how to enable their email address.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Playing with borders and blooms........

I was playing with the extra rows on this quilt top.  The center section is 54" x 87", really long and narrow.  I added 2 rows of 6" blocks on both sides, and then because they were already cut I added a row of 3" squares on top and bottom.  If I sew them on it will be 66" x 93".  That is still a little small for a twin bed although it would work on a bunk bed or one with wood side rails and a foot board.  I could take all of this down and just make one more vertical panel to add on the width.  I can see it will be on the design wall for a few days.
My forsythia bush right next to the house on the west side had a few blooms.  The one in the front barely has buds.

Now that these are in bloom I wonder if they are Jonquils instead of Daffodils.  I bought an assortment of bulbs many years ago and they haven't been very productive the last couple years.  I suspect they need to be dug up and separated.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Time for progress.........

I finally decided this top wasn't going to finish itself so I got the borders done last night.  First I added the strips to the 2 sides so the color wasn't touching the edge of the quilt.  then I added the 3 rows of strips to the top and bottom.  I wanted just a touch of color in the first 2 strips with the outside one being just the light neutrals.  Now it is about 76" x 95".  In the book it didn't have any borders.  I wanted it to be more rectangular so it could be used on a twin bed.
I think these two fabrics will be on the back.  I'll probably divide both pieces into 2 different width strips and sew them together alternating.  Then I don't have to worry about getting anything centered when I quilt it.

Friday, April 11, 2014


I took triangles to sew into squares to the sew-in yesterday.  I have 311 squares that will finish at 3" right now.  I want to make more so I can make a quilt 20 squares x 25 squares or 60" x 75".  I have another option that would include 2 borders so I'll work out the math on that one too.

I wanted to work in the basement last night but this is the time of year that it is cold down there.  In the winter it is the warmest spot in the house and in summer, the coolest.  In spring and fall the heat doesn't come on as often so it gets cold.  I decided to just finish the last dishcloth I had in progress instead.  There is one little dot of green dye on the yarn and I didn't want to cut it and knot it there so I left it in.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Outside happenings.....

I started cleaning up the front flower bed yesterday.  I could hear some crows and didn't pay much attention to them and then I heard another noise so I turned around to look at the tree they were in.  That is when I saw the other bird.
From this high perch he could probably see all the way over my house into the backyard where the bird feeders are.

This crow just decided to fly over by his pal when I snapped the photo.  No leaves yet on our trees.

Last night I was gathering pieces for the project to take to the sew in today.  When I got it all packed I finished this dishcloth out of 3 partial balls of yarn.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A nice find...........

I was going through some boxes of miscellaneous pieces yesterday and found these pieces left from my quilts called Square Dance and Square Dance 2.  They look like candidates to use in the quilt called Madness in the book "Adding Layers" by Kathy Doughty.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cutting, quilting, knitting.........

When I cut the wedges for the Vintage Spin blocks there was just enough left over on the 9" strip to cut four 6.5" triangles with my Studio die cutter.  This is just the last batch, the rest are in box waiting for these.  While I was in the basement I did a load of laundry and quilted 5 rows on the Streak of Lightning zig zag quilt.  I just have 4 zig zag rows left to quilt and then I will quilt the border.  So far it has all been ditch quilting.  Next I have to decide if I'll do more rows of quilting that will show within the zig zags.
I finished 2 dishcloths in spring colors.  I walked to the post office yesterday and saw crocuses blooming by a couple houses.  My daffodils have buds now too.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Border project........

I have several quilt tops waiting for borders.  If you go back to this post I am saying I'll wait a couple days before I make a decision on borders.  That was in October three and a half years later I'm going to finish it.  This quilt's pattern is a free download here and is also in one of Kaffe's books.  I have kept the leftover squares and all of the yardage in one bin all of these years, just waiting......