Thursday, December 31, 2015

Just under the wire.....finished in 2015

I finished the binding at 10:30 p.m.  It finishes at 58" x 83"

I love the backing fabric with the triangles.

A close up of the binding; a mixture of blue, green, brown and purple.


I got the triangle quilt quilted yesterday, all vertical lines, slightly wobbly.  

The back is a wild batik of which I happened to have exactly the right amount.  I think the binding will be blue, green or brown.  I intend to do it completely by machine.

How will you spend your New Year's Eve?  I'll be making my photo collage of the recap of 2015 for my blog, sipping Dr. Pepper and eating Chex Mix.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Triangle top.........

I finished sewing the triangle quilt top yesterday.  I really like this one.  It measures 60" x 84" so it doesn't need any borders for a large couch quilt.  I also pieced the back and got it loaded on the longarm but I was too tired last night to start quilting it.

The streets were clear of ice yesterday so I did a few errands.  The grassy areas are covered with a layer of ice pellets.  It doesn't sound like it will be above freezing for a few days so I'm happy to stay inside and play with fabric.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


I am still looking for the missing notebook so I did some cleaning in the main floor studio yesterday morning.  No luck, still can't find it.  I sewed the 9 vertical seams of the triangle quilt.

Then I sewed three of the 13 cross seams.  Maybe I can get started earlier today and finish the last 10 seams before noon.

Monday, December 28, 2015

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

 I rearranged the triangle squares on the design wall and took the rows down but didn't get any sewing done.  I spent a couple hours looking for a certain notebook and never found it.  So I will show you my collection of Christmas postcards from my friend Vicki Welsh.  The one on the left in the bottom row is this year's card.
She really does mail them with a stamp too.  They have arrived in perfect condition each year.  I have them on display in my studio year round and enjoy them so much.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


I started out thinking I would have some zig zag interrupters in this quilt but it ended up looking like a bunch of caterpillars inching their way across.

I ended up using the layout that I had intended when I started sewing the triangles into squares.  I had enough squares to make 14 rows so it will be 60" x 84".   I like to have some simple and fast quilts like this on hand to give away.  I give this type to friends and acquaintances who have no idea how much money and time is involved in making a quilt.  They think I'm giving them a $50 (or less) gift and that wouldn't even cover half of the supplies for this size quilt.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Playing again...........

When my friend came to visit on Tuesday she wanted to see my flying geese pieces.  I went down to the basement last night to press some seams and there were the geese spread out all over the ironing table.  Well, that gave me permission to play on the design wall.

This photo simplifies what you see above; just 4 blocks with flying geese sashing.  I'm not going to sew it but I had fun seeing what I could come up with.  Now the geese are tucked back in their box and I can press the seams today.

I had one nice new bloom on a Christmas cactus.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Santa in my garden.........

I do minimal decorating for Christmas because the party isn't at my house any more.  Santa and a poinsettia round out my indoor garden.

I went to a beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service last night and then went to my family party.  It was nice to have warmer than normal weather and no snow to walk through.  Yes, I'm one who doesn't need a white Christmas.

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Back in the kitchen.......

As I was getting to put away my cookie press I saw the recipe for gingerbread cookies.  I know I made it one other year but couldn't remember if I liked them or not.  I decided to make a batch.  I have the super size tube and discs so I made some big gingerbread men.  That is big in comparison to the regular size Spritz cookies.  They are good so I'll have to make them again sometime.

I ate the last bowl of chili from the freezer on Tues. night so I made a big batch again.  Now I'll have 5 bowls full in the freezer again.

I mixed the Kringla dough in the morning and then baked them last night.  I gave the recipe for them back in 2011.  If you missed it here it is again.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Mindless sewing.........

I needed to sew something last night and it needed to be simple.  I grabbed the stack of 6" finished batik triangles that I had cut with the Studio die cutter last summer.

I sewed 137 pairs together.  It would be enough to make a 60" x 78" quilt if they all look OK together.  If they don't it may be parts of 2 quilts for the future.  I just needed the hum of the machine and mindless work to finish my day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Done..........and mailed........

It took me longer to trace the Kwik Sew pattern and cut it out than it did to sew the little flannel pj pants.  From one yard of fabric I was able to get the pants and a pillowcase for a travel size pillow.  I bought a shirt to go with the pants and found it in the basement after I mailed the package.....back to the post office today.

I'm taking a break from all of the baking and sewing and going to lunch with a friend today.

Monday, December 21, 2015

One last batch........

I had to make one more batch of chocolate Spritz cookies so I would have some for the family gathering.  The pink, green and plain ones are all the same flavor so I need more chocolate to balance it out.  

I didn't get any sewing done yesterday; good intentions but not enough energy.  Today I have to get at it.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Finishing up.........

I got one family's Christmas gifts boxed and mailed yesterday morning.  I still have to make a gift with this flannel fabric for the other box which I hope to mail tomorrow.

While in the basement yesterday I chose border fabric for this quick quilt.  It probably won't get sewn on for a few days.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

All about treats.........

In the morning yesterday I made another batch of Chex Mix and put it in the Christmas Ziploc bags.  Then I made the fudge.  Last night I started packing it for shipping to my family.

Last night I made a double batch of Shortbread cookies, some pressed into the pans with shapes and the end of the batch on a regular cookie sheet.  The first batch got a little browner than I intended but I happen to like them that way.  Taste vs. appearance.  I'll go for taste.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Just in the kitchen.......

I made one more batch of Spritz cookies and Chex mix and cleaned up the kitchen.  I also taped the cover of my Betty Crocker cookbook together.  I have the 1950s looseleaf version and the outside of the cover had broken by the spine on both the front and the back but the cloth binding on the inside was still intact.  I used wide clear packing tape and now it isn't quite as shabby.  Today I will make fudge.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Orange Portrait.......

I was able to finish the binding on this quilt yesterday.  It is a small quilt, 43.5" x 63.5".  It is 2.5" taller than me so for us short people, it would be a good couch quilt.

I'm glad I used this fabric on the back because I really like it with the front. 

I started my baking for Christmas 3 days ago, 3 batches of Spritz cookies so far.  I tried a new recipe with cream cheese in it but for flavor I still like my old Betty Crocker recipe from the 1950s.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

It was an orange day.....

I quilted the orange 16 patch quilt yesterday, just my usual large meandering for a nice soft quilt.  Hobbs 80/20 batting for nice loft.

I decided to do the binding all by machine, stitching right next to the binding on the top to catch the flap on the back.  I got one side done and started the next and decided I was done for the day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Finally getting something done...........

I got busy early yesterday and had the binding on the two batik table runners before lunch time.

In the afternoon I searched for a suitable border for the sides of my orange 16 patch quilt top that I made in Feb. 2012.  It was too narrow and it has taken me this long to choose side borders.  I'll probably use the same fabric for the binding so it will end up on the top and bottom edge too even though there isn't a border added there.  The fabric under the top is the backing that I chose.   I didn't have enough of anything that is all orange and I really like this fabric with it.
I haven't had many birds at my feeders the last couple weeks and this may be the reason why.  This hawk landed on a low tree and just sat there patiently.  When I moved the camera to a better position he saw me and flew away.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Table runners...........

A couple days ago I put the layers together for 2 table runners so yesterday I quilted them.  Today I will trim them and choose bindings.  The double 4 patch blocks are leftovers from 2 or 3 quilts that I made in the past.

I also started a colorwash with the little 2" x 3.5" rectangles.  I have only cut a small variety of them so far.  I hope to get some more cut today so I can continue on this.  I am missing most of the medium colors that I need next.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Borders on........

I'm usually not a fan of dark borders on quilts but I think it was necessary on this one to pop the dark fabrics in the 16 patch and emphasize the checkerboard pattern.  I used the wrong side of the batik because the design was a little lighter on that side.  If I do some creative piecing and add some of the leftover blocks I have enough of the border fabric for the back.  It measures 65.5" x 81" right now.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Top sewn..............

This quilt top looks so much better sewn together.

I auditioned this fabric for a border.  It is a little more red/purple than it looks here.  My initial feeling was that it was too dark.

The color is a little truer in this photo.  It really makes the darkest colors in the blocks stand out and then the lighter area glows.  I will have to look at it for a couple days before I make a final decision.  I couldn't find any red fabric that looked good with it.  I can still just finish it without a border too.

Friday, December 11, 2015

One finished, one decision made................

Wonky Rainbow is done, binding and hanging sleeve sewn down.  It is hanging on a slanted wall so the bottom isn't really narrower than the top.  I'll probably try for a better photo on a different design wall.  It is about 40" x 41".

This is what I put on the back.  I thought it went nicely with the outside border fabric.

I played with the order of the red/purple blocks and I'm ready to sew it together now.  Some of the higher contrast areas really aren't that noticeable in real life.  The camera has a hard time getting the red right.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Playing with blocks and binding.......

I removed all of the wimpy blocks, then took one row off the left side and one row off the bottom.  It looks better already although I can see a few blocks I want to move.  It would end up 56" x 72" without a border with this many blocks.
Yesterday I finally made a decision about the binding on the wonky rainbow quilt.  I used the same fabric as the outside border.  I have 3 sides hand sewn and sewed on the hanging sleeve before I quit for the night.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Trial layout.......

This is the first layout, with purple at the top left and red at the bottom right and all of the purple/fuchsia and purple/red blocks between them.  I think I'll probably try a totally mixed layout too.  I have to decide if I want the 2 with a lighter purple in them (top left corner is one) to stay or make replacement blocks.  I could make it one row smaller both directions and add a border too.  It is all just speculation at this point how it will end up.  I may quilt another quilt while I'm trying to make a decision.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

8 blocks......

I decided to sew the last group of blocks, 2 each of these combinations and cut the last 2 strips after I have started playing with the blocks on the design wall.  Then I will know if it needs to be all red, all purple, or a mix.

I got a new book on free motion quilting, hoping for some inspiration.

It has a spiral binding inside the cover so you can flip pages and they lay flat.  It is one of the Stash books from C&T publishing.

When I was teaching beginning free motion quilting one of the questions in every class was "where do I start and how do I continue the design?".  Amanda has drawings that show the steps for each design.  That is really helpful no matter how many years a person has been doing free motion.