Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Purple day.......

I thought maybe I would finish another quilt this month but instead I decided to play in my purple stash.  This group of fabrics is all full width but less than 1/4 yard so I will cut strips from them for the 16 patch.  I'm not sure about that one that is half pink/half purple.
Here are larger yardage pieces and I have another quilt I want to cut that takes 10" squares so I'll cut it at the same time I cut strips.
This photo is all pieces less than full width and less than 1/4 yard.  I'll probably cut these with my die cutter into triangles and small squares.

The pieces that were too multi-color or just not interesting enough went back on the shelf.

One of my friends Monday brought me this huge bag of chocolate chips.  The bag at the bottom is the normal size at the grocery store.  The other bag is 6 times as many chips.....lots of cookies in my future. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pink portrait...........

After the art quilters left yesterday I had a double wall available to hang the pink quilt and take the photo.  I'm glad I made it as big as it is (70.5" x 93.5").  I think I would like to do a purple one now.  With both red purples and blue purples it might be a nice mix and not boring for sure.  I like a project like a 16 patch for TV watching nights, mindless sewing.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Strip sets............

I only had one TV show to watch so I sewed 3 more strips sets.  Still no definite plans for them.

I had time to select three more sets to sew tonight.

I baked the cookies.  I only had one of each - to be sure they were OK - I have to be weighed at the Dr. office tomorrow so I was being good.

I finished cleaning the basement for the art quilters today.  I had to move the Seed Packet quilt from a double design wall back to a single wall so the rows are overlapping.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to pull out some of the really light ones and replace with more colorful squares.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Busy day.........

I had a busy day yesterday, washing 4 storm windows, moving lots of stuff in the garage so I could get to something, putting everything away later.  My family came over and helped put in light bulbs and hang storm windows.  I have missed having something to sew in the main floor studio at night so I pulled the box of 1.5" strips and sorted some into groups of 4.
There are lots of patterns I can use these for so I'm make a decision later.  I only got one strip set sewn.  I mixed 2 batches of cookie dough and cleared off 3 tables in the basement.  One more day to finish cleaning up the basement for the art quilters on Monday.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Binding done........

I decided to use the leftover backing for the binding and did it all by machine.  The Seed Packet quilt in progress is on the design wall so I'll have to wait another day or two to take a photo of the finish.

A little peek at the binding finish on the back....stitched next to the binding on top to catch the fold of the binding on the back.  There are a few wobbles here and there but 2 hours machine stitching vs. 8 hours hand contest on this quilt.
I cut eight more flower squares yesterday.  I need to rearrange after I get the last two squares cut.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Cutting squares..........

When I got home from Thanksgiving dinner I cut the binding for the pink 16 patch quilt but I didn't want to work on it.  I decided to cut some more big flower prints and move the squares all over to the double design wall.  There will be 2 rows of small squares around it so I have a lot of cutting to do.  If I finished it at this many blocks plus the 2 borders it would finish at 60" x 82.5".  I could add one more row across and it would be 67.5" x 82.5".  I have the option of replacing some of the big squares to get a better balance of light/medium/dark too.  I don't want to rush it and the art quilters are coming Monday so I have major clean up to do.  There is something on every table in the basement.  
I am a list maker and I love pens and paper.  At the beginning of the year I list all of the quilt tops that are finished and divide them into 3 groups, small-up to 66" on the longest side, medium-67" to 79" on the longest side and large, 80" or longer on the longest side.  The list shown here is the small size and it is my largest group at 18 (9 medium and 15 large).  I mark when I finish a piece in red and when I sell a piece in green.  I thought I had 40 to finish but there were a couple new tops that weren't on the list so I have 42 to finish or sell.  I added over 20 tops to the lists during the year and also finished some of them.  Since Jan. 1 I have finished 17 and sold 6 that were on the list.   I think I started the year with 49 tops and now have 42 so that is progress.  Now I need to count the in progress pieces.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Quilted and trimmed.............

I decided to do loops of many sizes on this quilt.  It took me about three hours.  The quilt ended up 70.5" x 93.5" so it shrunk up 1.5" in one direction and 2.5" in the other direction.  I used Hobbs 80/20 batting and that one usually does shrink up in quilting.  When I use Warm and Natural batting there isn't usually more than a half inch of shrinkage because of the scrim that the cotton is punched into.  
There are 1728 two inch squares in this quilt and I could have driven myself crazy quilting something in each little square (think heart, star, flower).  

I prefer a relaxed type of quilting.

I haven't looked for binding fabric yet.  I might use the leftover piece of backing fabric.

You can see a little peek of the backing fabric here.  I bought that pink fabric with allover petals about 15 years ago knowing I would make a pink quilt someday.  

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Red and purple portrait and other things.........

Red and Purple is finished.  I used the border fabric for the binding and attached it all by machine.  This quilt ended up 65" x 80.5" and is all batik fabric.  The purples look a little bit blue here, the camera's fault.
I sewed the backing seam and loaded this quilt to do next.  It is 96" long.

I cut a few of the smaller squares for the Seed Packet quilt.  I am ready to transfer this over to a double design wall now.  The large squares are cut 8" and the small ones 4.25".


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Quilting again..........

This is the quilt I loaded and quilted last night.  I took this photo before I was finished but I did get it done and trimmed it.  I think the binding will be the same fabric as the border.
My inside garden is doing well.  These three cacti have the most buds and blooms.

Our little town has had a leaf vacuum for about 3 years now.  Usually I don't rake leaves and leave them to protect my perennials in the back garden.  My maple tree is getting big now and drops a lot more leaves so I have raked twice and brought them out to the edge of the street for pickup.  
It took about 5 seconds for the leaves to disappear.

Monday, November 21, 2016

new book...........

This new book from C&T publishing has 13 quilt patterns that have been in other books by some talented designers.  I own a couple of the books but the rest were new to me.  I like the cover quilt but not in that color combination.  I'm always drawn to patterns that have a checkerboard look to them.
This is my favorite quilt in the book.  I know I am influenced by the colors used (yellow is my favorite color) and also the fabric choices (my favorite Martha Negley fabric, tree rings).  This one uses Drunkard's Path shapes also, another love.  There is an alternate color choice in the book too with large prints in the area where this one has applique.  This pattern originally was published in "Maverick Quilts" by Alethea Ballard.  I'm looking for my Drunkard's Path templates to see if I can use them instead of the templates in the book.
I'm still cutting big flowers for my Seed Packet quilt.  This one is a Kaffe print and this is the before photo.

This is the after photo, with 3 blocks cut from it.  I will cut up the rest into squares and triangles for a scrappy quilt.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A finish..........

I finished hand sewing the binding last night.  It was really easy to sew this one compared to a batik binding, about 2 hours less time involved.  The quilt ended up close to 70" x 90".  All of the fabrics are Marcia Derse fabrics, lines from many different years. 

I also cut 2 backings for 16 patch quilts and got the seam sewn in one of them yesterday.  I cut the batting for one of them a couple months ago so it is time to finish another one..... or two.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lots of studio time...........

I spent more time in the studio yesterday than I did all week combined so far.  My two friends came over and we all made progress on our projects.  First I sewed the cross seams on the 34" colorwash.


Now I have two colorwash wallhangings to quilt and bind.
Next I started cutting blocks for the Seed Packet quilt (see previous post here).  They aren't in any particular order here.  I need to switch them over to a double design wall and keep adding more squares.  Most of these fabrics are Philip Jacobs prints.  There is one Alexander Henry fabric and one Benartex fabric

Last night I started the hand sewing on the binding of this quilt and got two sides done and a little way on the third side.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Seams and binding..........

I finished all of the seams in one direction on the colorwash wallhanging.  Hopefully today I will get all of the cross seams sewn.  My two friends are coming over so I will have a day devoted to studio time.

I also got the binding sewn on the Marcia Derse tall triangles quilt.  I have decided I will hand finish this one.  It will be a lot easier to sew than all of the batik bindings I have done this year.

I continued working outside today.  I didn't see a thermometer but we were close to 70 degrees.  It was up to 74 in Chicago.  This is the snapdragon that is growing in a crack in my driveway.  I showed it earlier this year and it has continued to grow and bloom all summer and up until now.  We will get freezing temperatures overnight this weekend so this is probably its last day today.
In the back garden this coneflower thought it would have a couple more blooms.  It almost made it.

In the inside cactus garden one of my white cacti is blooming.  I love that little streak of bright pink.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sorting squares..............

I need to clear the trays of batik colorwash squares off my 2 dining tables in the basement.  I bought 10 more disposable aluminum cookie sheets at a dollar store and then filled them with the overflow from other trays and boxes.
This stack is already done.  I have 53 trays with each having an average of 24 different fabrics on them.  That is at least 1272 different fabrics to choose from.  The stack of trays is too tall to put the lid on the storage box.
As I was stacking then and putting then into the storage box I saw one more box...oh no, I thought I was done.  I might as well finish this project today.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ready to bind.........

I cut the binding but I haven't decided whether I'll hand finish or machine finish it.  I had just barely enough of the charcoal dot fabric for the binding.

Yes, our weather has been crazy this year and I have roses in November.  The neighbors planted 2 rose bushes on my property thinking it was their property.  This one bloomed early and then all of the rest of the summer no blooms.  I was out pulling out tomato plants and zinnias and noticed these blooms. 

We have 2 more warm days this week and then it turns cold.  I really hate to dump the last pots because the flowers are still blooming but I won't want to work outside when it is cold.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I loaded the backing and batting on the longarm on Sunday night.  Yesterday morning I finished loading the top and quilted it by noon.

I did organic lines a/k/a wavy and irregularly spaced lines.  I didn't get the trimming done because I went outside and did some more clean up while it was a nice day.  My son's family took me out to eat last night for my birthday.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Finally some seams sewn............

Finally I started working on the batik colorwash and have 10 of 17 rows sewn.

Did you know there is a Laurel Burch postcard coloring book?  The cards are perforated to pull out easily.  C & T is the publisher.

Here is another of the designs.

This cactus used to be my palest pink and it is now the second palest.  This plant bloomed 5 times two years ago and then last year only had a couple blooms.