Thursday, July 31, 2014

My choice..........

After going through the huge box of large yardage pieces, this Kaffe fabric is going to be the backing for the two wallhangings.  I decided the orange in it carried through the theme of orange in the center of both pieces.
My daughter brought me this dish towel when she visited in June.  I'm going to have company this morning so I think I need to have it displayed today.  I really try to get it all picked up but never quite make it.

I can't believe it is the end of July already.  I have 2 quilts so close to being finished but they aren't going to quite make it for my recap of the month tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Just the facts...for my own record keeping...but you can read them......

I bought my longarm machine (Babylock Jewel 18") in November 2008.  (I don't quilt for others.)  I have quilted 88 quilts on it since then, 41 which were given away or sold, 9 QOV quilts, and 38 that I still own. 5.75 years I have averaged quilting a little over 15 quilts a I guess I can stop beating myself up for not getting more done.
I also quilt some of my smaller pieces on my regular machines.  This one is the Pfaff 7570, 14 years old, in my Koala cabinet in the main floor studio.
In the basement I have a larger opening for the quilt to go through on the Babylock straight stitch machine which they have now named Jane.  It was the Professional Quilter when I bought it and it is over 10 years old.

On those 2 machines from 2009 to present I have quilted 49 pieces of which I gave away or sold 21 and still own 28.  These range in size from mini quilts and tablerunners to twin size.  On these 2 machines I averaged a little less than 9 pieces a year.  On all 3 machines I averaged 24 quilts quilted each year, or 2 a month (and I'm sure I started piecing at least 2 a month too!).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Selecting backing........

I finally got the other blocks sewn together.  All of the edges are bias so it is going to take some care to keep them square when I baste them.  The next task is to choose the backing.  I want to use the same on both so I pulled out some large yardage pieces.  I'm going to keep looking since I'm not sure about either of these.
The one on the left is soft colors.  The background is a gray-green.

The one on the right is wild.  I can't see using it for anything but a back.  I have some of the wider Kaffe fabrics that are a little heavier weight and they would make these wallhangings really stable.  I need to find them today.

Monday, July 28, 2014

One last HST link up............

This is a round up of all of the quilts I linked to Vicki Welsh's HSTeria quilt along.  I'm not an over-achiever; I just happen to use triangles in most of my quilts.

Finishing up............

I cut and made the nine extra small gowns for the preemie layettes and finished serging the edges of all of the blankets.  Sewing circle is this afternoon so tonight I can start working on quilts again.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Neckbands and blanket edging.........

I brought home some of our partially finished layette pieces two weeks ago.  The seven gowns needed neckbands and the 3 receiving blankets needed the serger edging.  When I take them tomorrow to sewing circle, the ribbon will be run through the neckband and tied in a bow.  I'm including the pattern in this post for the people who have slow internet service.  I included the link yesterday but it takes too long for the link to open with slow service.
 I don't measure the ribbing.  I just stretch it slightly as I sew it on and cut it off when I get to the end.  We used to turn in the edges of the ribbing at the front but after all kinds of problems sewing it that way we decided to just use the raw edge.  It won't ravel and these gowns are used for such a short time since babies grow fast.  Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kite blocks......

I decided to sew the kite blocks together since they were just my samples to test out the GO die.  I think I will put a stripe sashing between the blocks and a border around and make a table runner.  They are 8" blocks.

We are going to be making more preemie layettes at church sewing circle so I washed some new flannel.  I got this one on sale and they only had a yard of it.  I will probably make the extra small size gown from it.  I shared the pattern over a year ago here (scroll down to end of post).

Friday, July 25, 2014

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

On June 20 a comment was left by Jo from the UK (JOZART blog) that she found my blog through the British Patchwork and Quilting magazine's Blog of the Month article.  I emailed her and asked if she could take a photo of the article and send it to me.  She not only did that but also sent me the actual magazine!!  Thanks Jo!!

On the sewing front, I got all 9 centers appliqued on the second set of 9 blocks.  I hope to get this one sewn together today and then I can baste both wallhangings.

I spied this butterfly outside my kitchen window.  It visited almost every coneflower in my back yard.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


There isn't much progress to show on current quilts.  I needed to organize my long arm thread so yesterday was the day.  Cone thread works better than spool thread on a long arm so it takes up a lot of space.  This is my collection of YLI cotton variegated thread, now all in the same drawer.

I watered tomato plants, pulled weeds, cut more volunteer trees (there are hundreds of redbud tree seeds that plant themselves each year) and watered all of my porch and garage pots.  It has turned cooler again, low humidity, just perfect for being outside.  Since we haven't had any rain for a week I didn't have to mow the grass though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ready to sew.......

I have had the circles appliqued on these blocks for over a week but hadn't checked my photo and put them back on the design wall to prepare for sewing it together.  I will sew it today and then start appliqueing the circles on the other 9 blocks.

 I have tamed the back yard jungle a lot this year.  There are still weeds but they are short ones at this point.  I have been mowing around the bird feeders and mowed a path to my neighbor's yard.  It is a natural bird sanctuary, not a formal garden by any means.  I'm just happy we have had so much rain this year and everything is staying green.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Garden Bounty.......

After the art quilters left I went outside to water my tomato plants.  I noticed yesterday one large tomato on the Early Girl was starting to turn red.  Yesterday it was ready to pick.  The others are grape tomatoes and pear tomatoes.
I wanted to see how the GO! Kite block would look as corners in a 9 patch type block.  I used squares from one of my labeled boxes in the basement.  I'm sure this could be made more interesting if the center square was made of 4 triangles.  As one of my commenters mentioned yesterday, Doreen Speckman called this corner block "ice cream cone (full)".  She had another block she called "ice cream cone (empty)" which was the long point and then flat at the top connecting to a small triangle of background color, making it look more like an empty cone.

Monday, July 21, 2014


I finally finished putting away stuff in the basement at 9 last night.  I baked the cookies in the morning while it was still cool.  I decided to cut some pieces with a new die that I purchased.  I had a pile of leftovers from the Fractured quilt so that is what I used.  I have just sewn the quarters, not the whole blocks.
I wondered what would happen if 2 of the pieces were turned the opposite way.  This might be interesting if you made the diagonal paths in different color groups to create a sort of plaid look.
Added at 8 a.m., go to Gene Black's blog and see the EQ colorations he came up with!!

I'll have to play with it later, the art quilters are coming today and it is supposed to be above 90 degrees.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cleaning, playing.......

It's time to clean the basement again for the art quilters to come on Monday.  While I was down there I was looking at my boxes of pieces on a shelf unit.  I pulled these 2 boxes.
I decided to play awhile so I designed and sewed 3 table runners and 2 table toppers.  Then back to cleaning.  

 I noticed my first tiger lily blooming in the front garden.  Then I noticed one in the back garden too.  

 Also in the front garden the Rudbeckia is blooming.

The purple balloon flowers have been blooming for awhile and now the pale pink ones are blooming too.  I pulled out a bunch of evening primrose that the Japanese beetles have been feeding on.  Also pulled out a bunch of bindweed and there is a lot more to do.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Binding fabrics, quilting.............

I really had to search for fabrics that were in this quilt to use for the multicolor binding.  I knew I used the end of two fabrics and I really hid the others when I put them away.

 I started the quilting in the border that is spaced the same as the rest of the quilting.

I went shopping for 8' light bulbs in addition to other things yesterday.  Today my electrician is coming to put a new ballast in the fixture at the bottom of my basement stairs.  I put a new bulb in 3 months ago and it is already dying, $10 down the drain.  I have to get the daylight bulbs and they are more expensive than run of the mill type fluorescent bulbs.  I hope this fixes the problem.  Most 8' bulbs last me at least 5 years and some are at least 10 years old.  This year I had to replace 5.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sewing it together.....

I made a few changes on the colorwash and then it was time to sew it together.  I took down column 1 and 2 and brought them to the machine and placed them right sides together and sewed.

Then I brought column 3 over and opened up 1&2 and placed 3 on it and continued from top to bottom. 

Here I am adding column 7 to 1-6.

 Here are the 6 columns waiting to be added.

 Finally I have all of the stitching done from top to bottom and the rows are held together by the threads between them as I sewed a continuous line.

Rows are sewn the other way and it is finished.  Now I need to layer and baste it.

Below is the photo from yesterday when I said it need some work on the left side.  You can compare them and see the changes I made.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Back to the colorwash......

If I do machine quilting too many days in a row it bothers my shoulder (fell on ice in Feb.) so it was time to take a break again and work on the little 2" squares colorwash.  I have a little fine tuning to do on the left side but otherwise I think it is a keeper.  It will finish at approximately 20" square.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back to finishing.........

I finished quilting the light areas yesterday morning and got the basting threads pulled out and trimmed the edges.  The binding is going to be several of the bright fabrics in the quilt.

Last night I started quilting gray dotty.  I am ditch quilting with gray thread and extending the zig zag lines into the border.  I got about a third of it done.  This one will have the gray dot for binding so I can cut it when I cut binding for the quilt in the first photo.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Playing with squares.........

I quilted for over an hour on the fractured quilt yesterday morning, then finished knitting a prayer shawl so I could turn it in at church sewing circle.
Sewing circle is at 1 and I had to stop for gas on the way home.  Somehow I decided I needed some play time after all of that.  I pulled out the box of 2" squares and pulled one of each of all of the prints in the stacks.  I can see I need to go to a design wall instead of using the piece of batting leftover from the fractured quilt.  But first, back to quilting today; I'm almost done with that quilt.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Progress on quilting.......

I finished the ditch quilting on the fractured quilt last night.

My original plan was to stitch 2 lines on the light colored fabrics.

Then I remembered there were some really skinny ends on some of the wedges and it wouldn't really have room for 2 rows of stitching.   I only worked on this part for about an hour and then gave up for the night.

I also appliqued 4 more circle centers on the spin blocks so now I have 9 done and can sew the first wallhanging together.
 The coneflowers are about 4-5 feet tall in most of the backyard garden.  There are a few in the shade that are about 3 feet tall.  I saw the first hummingbird yesterday and he was checking out the coneflowers that weren't quite open yet.  I have 2 hanging baskets with red flowers and he didn't go near them.  

We got almost 2" of rain on Saturday, .35" in the morning and 1.6" at night.  Then last night we got another shower but it was too dark to go out and check the rain gauge.  I'm not going to take a chance of running into a raccoon or an opposum out there in the dark.