Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sorting scraps..........

It was a fun day with my art quilters yesterday.  They all made great progress on their projects.

When I was cleaning up before they came I ran across these 3 stacks of crazy pieced blocks.  Last night I was too tired to start working on a project so I sorted my batik scraps into color groups so I can make some more blocks.  I found one more bag of red scraps after I took this photo.  Here is where I played with these blocks last, a year and a half ago.  I have errands to run this morning and then I'll probably make some more of these blocks.  I also want to get a border on one more quilt top before I make my collage of finished tops and finished quilts for my January recap.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Snail's Trail top..........

One of the ladies was sick so only two came over to sew yesterday.  I sewed the Snail's Trail blocks into a top that measures 59" x 83".  It will be a nice couch quilt to put in my gifting stack.  I will look for a backing for it tomorrow.

I baked the two batches of cookies for the art quilters on Saturday night so I am all ready for them to come today.
When the Studio die cutter was first available it took up this much space all of the time and it is heavy and not easily moved.

A couple years ago they made Studio 2, a folding version and also had a kit to make the original Studio cutter into a Studio 2.  When the kit was on sale at half price I bought it.  Now the cutter won't take up much room when company comes to sew.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Purple 16 patch........ #5 finish for January.........

Finish #5 for January.  The camera is playing tricks again and not letting you see the red-purples as they look in real life.  It is 54" x 71".

The backing was another of those great sale bargains that I purchased several years ago, knowing that I would someday make the quilt to go with it.

Three ladies are coming over to sew today and tomorrow I have the art quilters group here.  I might get a quilt top finished but I will probably have to settle for 5 finishes in January.  Maybe that will make me push for 5 finishes in February.  I really want to see my unfinished top number down around 20.  It is above 40 right now.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Party time...........

My granddaughter  is now a Pampered Chef rep and she had a party last night at her mom's house.  I had never been to one before and it was interested seeing the products demonstrated as she prepared one of the dishes to share with all of the attendees.
She had told me about the dessert earlier and I couldn't wait to try it.  It is a banana split dessert with pie crust, chocolate, bananas, strawberries and real whipped cream plus a few more ingredients.  I had the honor of cutting the 2 desserts for her and of course eating a piece....and bringing an extra piece home for today.

I got two sides of the binding done on the purple 16 patch quilt so I should have it ready to have its portrait taken tonight.

Friday, January 27, 2017


I was running errands most of the morning yesterday.  In the afternoon I quilted this purple 16 patch quilt.  I trimmed the quilt, chose the fabric for binding and cut the strips and ran out of steam.  Time to stop for the day.  The weather has turned cold and windy for again with just a light dusting of snow.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

One more block............

I pulled out my Farm Girl Vintage blocks while my friends were here yesterday and made one more block, the large sunflower.  I still want to make 2 more little chicks and piece in some legs on the sheep instead of the embroidery they are calling for.  I haven't decided on a layout yet; that will come after I made another 10 or more blocks.
Last night I opened the new roll of batting and cut pieces for 2 quilts.  This will be the next one I do.  I have the back partially pieced for the one that comes after this one.  I think I will cut 2 more pieces of batting before I put the roll of batting in the fruit cellar storage area.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The new set up.......

This is the before photo.  This drafting table sits under wonderful lighting but it is too tall for short me to use for my die cutting machine.

Now I have a standard height 96" table in that spot with my Accuquilt Studio die cutter on it.  My basement isn't fancy, just concrete walls and floor with odd carpeting pieces and foam puzzle piece flooring in other areas.  It is a terrific studio with 3 cutting tables, 8 design walls and enough tables and cabinets for 6-8 people with sewing machines. 

I have a shorter table under the 96" table.  I have two steel trays for my Studio cutter so I store the extra one on the lower table.

This is where the 96" table used to be, totally unusable between two tables running in the other direction and two sewing tables.

Now the 5' table that the cutter used to be on and the drafting table are in the spot where the 96" table used to be.  The 5' table becomes an extension for one of the sewing tables and also a storage spot for my water bottle and spritz bottle for my iron. 
Now I can get busy and cut these stacks of fabric into 2.5" squares.   

First though my two friends are coming over today to sew and have fun.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Nothing new..............

I went to church sewing circle yesterday afternoon and in the evening I just cleaned off tables in the basement in preparation for their move today.  I ended up with 3 tables that I want moved.

This is one of the projects that I ran across as I cleared an area near one of the tables.  I need to finish it this year.  I never made a firm decision about the borders so there it sits.  I'm planning on tackling borders on at least 4 tops in the next few weeks so this one is added to that pile. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sewing circle..........

This is the first time our church sewing circle has met in 3 months.  The weather was lousy every time it was our meeting day.  Today it will be in the 40s and no snow, no rain, no ice.  I cut the preemie outfits last night and sewed 6 sets.  We will run ribbons through the neckbands and package them with the hand knit hats and afghans.  Pattern is HERE for new readers of my blog who wonder about the pattern.  Photos enlarge if you click on them.

Tomorrow is moving day for two tables and my Accuquilt Studio die cutter.  I have two of the younger generation coming to move things for me.  Now I will have light over my die cutter.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Playing with Snail's Trail

I decided to try the alternate squares with the Snail's Trail blocks.  The light fabric I tried first was too light and too plain.

This second print is better so I need to cut more squares.

I could stop here at 60" x 72" but it looks unfinished.

I cut three more dark squares and made two more Snail's Trail blocks.  Now it will be 60" x 84".  This is the first quilt, my trial quilt to see how these blocks work.  I didn't choose most of the Snail's Trail block fabrics to go together.  They are just what happened to be in the fat quarter pile plus 4 that I needed to cut from some yardage.  I rarely buy fat quarters because I like full width fabric.  Most of these were bonus pieces added to orders and the rest were one pack I bought to get 2 of the fabrics in it.  The next quilt will be planned.  The light fabrics need to be more consistent in value.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January finish #4

Last night I quilted this spiral baby quilt and put the binding on all by machine.  I was going to use a black with small white dot fabric for the binding but when I saw this narrow stripe I decided I liked it better.  The quilt ended up at 43" x 50".
I was pretty happy with the placement of the diamond print fabric.  

I went to see the movie "Hidden Figures" yesterday afternoon.  It was a wonderful movie and it would have been such a shame if that story had not been told.  The story behind events is such a big part of history and I'm glad this story was documented in a book and made into a movie so we could all know about it.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Making progress.......

I pieced the backing for the baby quilt.  The panel of diamonds will be off center on the back of the quilt.  Here I am getting ready to load it on the long arm.

I pieced some leftover white batting and got the backing and batting on the frame.  I laid the top on there to keep it wrinkle free.  I hope to quilt it today.

I pieced 3 more of the Snail's Trail blocks last night.  In researching this pattern I see they used dark and light large squares as every other block in some of the layouts.  I'm looking for 2 fabrics now to use for those squares.  I need a little over a yard of each and lots of my batiks are half or 3/4 yard pieces.  I'm sure I'll find something that will work.  I could always make those scrappy too.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Choosing a backing............

I'm using these 2 fabrics for the back of the spiral baby quilt top that I showed 2 days ago.  I started piecing it last night but didn't quite finish it.  That will be today's first job.

Yesterday was my eye appointment in Chicago to check if the injection into my eye will help regain some of my vision.  I talked about it here on my 2016 final recap post.  The good news is that the shot is working for me, my vision has improved and swelling dramatically reduced.  I had my second injection yesterday and will go back in 6 weeks for another checkup.  My eyes were dilated so I didn't do any piecing of blocks last night, just worked on that backing shown in this photo.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

9 more blocks..............

Yesterday afternoon I cut 12 more Snail's Trail/Monkey Wrench blocks.  I sewed 9 of them last night while I watched TV and added them to the three I showed yesterday with the die that I used.  The name on the die is Snail's Trail, other people call it Monkey Wrench.  I'm going to have to do a little research and see if one of them is the name of the layout rather than the name of the block. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Borders and blocks.............

I sewed a border onto this little quilt top yesterday.  I took the photo on a gray design wall.  I'll photograph it on a white wall when it is quilted.  I last worked on this one in November 2013.  Now it is around 44" x 50" so when it is done it will go in the baby quilt stack.  I made several quilts with this block here and here and here.
I spent some Christmas gift money on a new die.  I have always wanted to make this block but with all of the different size triangles I never got around to it.  Some triangles have the grain on the long edge and some on the short edge so it seemed like too much work to cut it until I got the die.
This is the GO big die on top of an adapter so I can use it on my Accuquilt Studio die cutter.  I have 6 layers all face up so with one pass through the machine I have 3 blocks.

People who don't have a die cutter are always concerned with the waste fabric.  I used fat quarters cut into a 11.25" width x 18" so I have the long grain heading into the roller.  This is what is leftover.

After I cut away the skinny strips here are the scraps.  The 3.5" ruler gives you an idea of the size.  The piece to the left is big enough to cut a 1.5" strip, a 2" square, and two 1.5" squares (times 6 layers).  There are lots of shapes I can cut out of the 4" wide piece.  I keep similar size scraps together and after I'm done cutting with this die, I'll put on another die and cut up the scraps. 

It was a good day to work inside.  My driveway still had ice on it at 4:30 p.m. yesterday.  It was supposed to be warmer all night so today it should finally be melted off.  I talked to one person who couldn't stop on the ice and ran into a garage door.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Finishes #2 and #3..........

Finish #2 for January.
I finished the hand stitching last night on the binding of this batik Bento Box quilt.  It is 56.5" x 80".  There isn't a pattern for this version.  I just used measurements that I wanted to make the blocks.  Here is a mini tutorial on the way I assembled the blocks. 

I bought the batik that I used for backing on sale a few years ago.

Finish #3 for January.  I finished the machine stitched binding on this batik Trip Around the World last night too.  It has 120 different fabrics, 5 different fabrics for each color ring.  Here is a post about mug rugs where I explain how I do the binding.  The only difference is that I cut the strips wider for a large quilt and sew it on with a 3/8" seam. 

The batik backing is another good sale purchase.  The quilt is 66" x 91". 

This post shows the fabric choices and the size of the pieces when I was first working on it.

The vertical line quilting drew it in about 3.5" in width.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Working on two.......

At 10 p.m. last night it became obvious to me that I wasn't going to finish the hand stitching on the Bento Box quilt.  I needed a break from the close work so I sewed the binding on this Trip Around the World and machine finished one side.  If you enlarge the photo you will see it is not perfect.  I am going for "done" instead.  Most of my quilts are given to non-quilters and they don't even know what I'm talking about if I mention binding.  If I tell them I hand stitched the binding and show them, their comment is usually "I can't see any stitches".  In a perfect world I would have the time to hand stitch all of the bindings. 


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Binding started..........

I got the binding sewn onto the batik Bento Box quilt and started hand stitching it.  I have 2 sides done and hope to finish it by tonight.

The other quilt is trimmed now and I chose and cut the binding.  If I have a good day maybe I'll get it sewn on too.  I plan to finish this one by machine. 

I had to cancel the art quilters group for Monday.  The ice storm that is in Missouri now will send its remnants up our way by Sunday night but we are only expecting freezing rain into Monday morning.  It is supposed to get up to 40 in the afternoon.  

t_ullmann, if you are reading this blog, the email address you left me on Wandaful Quilts doesn't work.  My email to you gets returned to me.  I'm holding the piece of fabric you want hoping you will contact me again.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Working on #3 finish.............

I chose the binding fabric for the Bento Box quilt and pressed it but haven't cut it yet. 

I pressed the backing for this quilt and got it loaded on my longarm yesterday afternoon.  I quilted it last night.

I did organic straight lines, little wobbles here and there.  This top was 69" x 93" before quilting.  I haven't trimmed it yet so I haven't measured it but I bet it shrunk a little in width because of the quilting pattern.

Yesterday was an icy day so I stayed home all day.  My driveway is covered with a layer of ice pellets.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Busy day........

I had a million things to take care of yesterday morning and didn't even get lunch until 1:30.  I spent most of the afternoon with my reorganization project in the basement.  I was going to load the purple 16 patch on my longarm but realized that even though the backing is sewn, I didn't have batting cut for it.  Plans changed....the batik Trip Around the World will be next because the batting is cut for it but the backing seam isn't sewn yet.  Sounds like a good project to do this morning.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Number 2 almost done........

I made a lot of headway in the organization of the basement yesterday.  In the afternoon I loaded this batik Bento Box quilt and last night I quilted it.

At 10:30 p.m. I trimmed it and today I will look for binding. It has to be something that will look good with that wild checkerboard batik backing.

We had a high wind alert yesterday.  The little bit of snow we got Monday night melted as the temperature rose and it rained.  There were wind gusts 50 to 60 mph.  It was not a good day for driving.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Do you have one of these?.........

I have 4 days to reorganize the storage areas in my basement.  I worked most of the day down there yesterday.  Do you have one of these panels?  Click on it to enlarge it if you want to read it easier.  It says 1983 Daisy Kingdom on it.  It is still just a panel not made into anything after all of these years.

 A few days ago I found eight more fabrics for the current purple quilt.  Yesterday I found 4 more so I can make 24 more blocks now for a total of 72 blocks.  Now I just need to press out the fold lines and cut the 10" squares.

One of the boxes I went through has my  corduroy yardage.  One of these is 3.5 yards, one 4 yards and one 5 yards.  I'm planning on using these as quilt backs.
There are several more pieces of smaller yardage in the box.
Here are two 60" wide pieces of corduroy, two yards of each.  I'm glad I finally opened the box and went through it.  I knew I had some that was 60" wide but didn't know how much.  There is one more pale yellow print that is about 1 3/4 yards.

I have 2 and a half quilt backs pieced so I hope to load one quilt today and quilt it.