Friday, March 31, 2017

#3 finish for March...............

I sewed on the binding and finished it by machine last night.  It ended up 47" x 59".  The source of the pattern is here.

I have a box full of 2.5" strips so I just pulled out nice intense contrasts to the yellows that would be the background.

I think the backing fabrics look good with the front.  The binding is the same gold fabric that is  on the back.

My granddaughter and two great-grandsons came over yesterday morning to bring me some Smores cake.  It is yummy!  She made it in the Rockcrock (by Pampered Chef) in the microwave.

Yesterday afternoon I pulled out large pieces of batik to find one to back the quilt on the left.  I decided on the beige one with the circles.  I got the seam sewn but haven't pressed it yet.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Almost finished........

I had a fun day shopping with my youngest granddaughter (20) yesterday.  Then we came back to my house and I helped her cut out a project.  On Tuesday I loaded this quilt on my longarm and last night I quilted it.
I just did an all over free motion loopy design on it.

I trimmed it and then I cut the binding from the same gold print that I used on the back.  I had to add a strip to make it wide enough so I used the leftover brown with butterflies from another quilt.  I wanted to finish 2 more quilts this month but I may have to settle for just this one.  I'll see how today goes and whether I can get another backing pieced. 

FYI: If you ask me a question in a comment and you don't get an email back from me it is because you are a NO REPLY.  I have an email link on my right side bar.  You can contact me that way if you really want an answer........and I'm happy to answer questions....if I could only get back to you.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Some of the strips in this Trip Around the World aren't full width.  If I had enough fabric I cut one extra strip and then cut a piece from it to finish the length.  In the case of the second pink fabric I only had enough to fill in on 2 stratas.  I went to my 30s repros scrap bag and found a substitute that is about the same value.  I will have a few strata loops left over so I'm not sure how many times it will appear in the quilt.
The cactus with the orange blossoms decided to have one more round.

Next week I'll have 2 more blossoms. 

Thanks everyone yesterday for your kind comments about Otis and his quilt top.  I hope he read them.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Otis and his TAW quilt top.........

Here is my 86 year old friend Otis with his finished Trip Around the World quilt top.  It is 78" x 98" and you can see by his smile that he is very pleased with it and happy that it is finished as of yesterday.  It will go to the quilter soon and then he will gift it to a family member.

Monday, March 27, 2017

One strata cut..........

I finished cleaning the basement and baked the cookies and had time left over to cut one strata of my 30s Trip Around the World.  Some of the fabrics weren't full width and had to have a piece added.  I had to cut around the break and only got 19 strips out of a strata.  I need 5 more pieces from the next strata to have 1/4 unpicked and ready to decide what the center will be.  I have always wanted to have a TAW of 30s reproduction fabrics so this marks one off my very long list.
I started designing this with the solid color at the bottom of each color group.  I think I might like it better with it at the top so that means reversing all of the strips I have up on the wall.  After the art quilters leave I will move this over to a double design wall and flip the strips.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Section sewn.............

Yesterday I cleared off three tables, finished basting my friend's quilt, mixed two batches of cookie dough and got a ten row section sewn on my other friend's quilt.  Today I'll finish cleaning the basement and bake the cookies.  The art quilters will be here tomorrow.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Helping another friend.........

One of my art quilter friends is making this Trip Around the World for his granddaughter.  I cut the kit for him last year.  Since we had to cancel 2 dates he hasn't been here to work on it for 2 months.  I talked to him this week and told him I would get the rest unpicked and sew a few rows together for him if that was OK with him.  He had his 86th birthday a couple weeks ago and has several more quilts planned.  Now he can finish sewing this on Monday and get it to his quilter soon.

I also worked on the basting of Rosemary's quilt.  I think I only have 5 lines left to baste.  It is supposed to rain off and on today so I won't be tempted to work in the garden and yard.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Strata sewing.........

I switched two colors since the photo yesterday, the blue and purple.  I sewed more strata pieces last night.  I have one more section to sew and then I can sew them together into the full stratas.  

I went out yesterday afternoon and did some trimming on bushes.  Our first free brush pick up will be the first Monday in April.  I dragged the two piles I already had from winter branches falling as well as an earlier session of brush cutting in February to the end of the driveway.  Today it is supposed to be up in the 70s so I will probably do a little yard work.  This is the earliest I have ever gotten my flower beds cleaned off.  The peonies are peeking out of the ground.  I only saw one hosta starting.  They usually wait until later in April.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another Trip Around the World...........

My friend and I basted her quilt (yesterday's blog post) for 2 hours yesterday morning and then were able to pull the rest of it up on the table to have it ready to finish the basting.  I will work on it a little each day now instead of all at once.  Last night I started sewing the stratas for an new Trip Around the World with 30's reproduction fabrics.  I haven't decided on the color order yet so I just sewed each group of 4 fabrics and then played with the order.  This is the first one I tried.

All I did was move the yellow strata a few spaces to the right for this layout.  After seeing it on my computer monitor I think I like this layout the best.  I have one more move I'll try and then I can sew the groups together for a complete strata.  I used 2.5" strips and I have 24 fabrics.  If my calculations are right I think this might come out about 70" x 94".

I have to start cleaning the basement today.  After 2 cancellations the art quilter are finally going to come next Monday so I have 4 days to put away all of my stuff.....and believe me, I have a lot of different projects laying on tables.  I also had been doing some sorting so one table is covered with that.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Helping a friend......

I'm helping a friend baste her monster size quilt.  The table top size is 60" x 96" so it holds a little over half of the quilt.  Here is a closeup of one section of it.

I also went outside while it was nice, about 50 degrees, and raked leaves off my back flower beds.  I couldn't bag the leaves because they are wet so they are in piles along the edge of the flower bed.  I hope we get enough dry days that I can take care of them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Table runner finished...........

I had to watch Dancing with the Stars last night to see David Ross from the Chicago Cubs make his debut.  I quilted this tablerunner and then chose a binding fabric, cut it and sewed it on, and hand stitched the binding finishing at 11p.m.  The runner finished at 11.5" x 33.5".

The back is one of my favorite old red fabrics.  I found a nice stripe for the binding that looks good with both the front and back.  

I also spent time looking for flannel to use on the back of my 9" tumbler quilt.  I found 3 pieces that I think will work.  Most of my large pieces of flannel are kid related or girly so they won't work on that masculine looking group of browns, greens, and blues.

Monday, March 20, 2017


The tablerunner was laying there waiting to be quilted but I opted to knit last night instead.  I am using up some partial skeins of yarn in my dishcloths.

It was warm yesterday so I went to the backyard and broke off the flower stalks of coneflowers and hostas.  Now all that is left is to rake the leaves.  I probably will wait another week before I do that.
One Amaryllis bulb out of 8 from years past sent up a bud stalk.  It has this bloom and one bud that should be open in a couple days.  The bud pod looked small so I didn't think it would have the typical 4 blooms.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

One seam again.............

I played with fabric all day but I only sewed one seam....the final one for the black, gray and white Trip Around the World quilt top.  It is 56.5" x 77", a really nice couch quilt size.  If you had a tall wall it would make a nice wallhanging too.  

Now I have to make a decision on which quilts I want to finish before the end of the month.  I hope to do at least two.  I have more tablerunners to finish too so I may slip a couple of them in.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

My oldest UFO

When my friends were here yesterday I pulled out my oldest UFO.  I started this in the late 1960s and worked on it into the early 1970s.  This is 6 sections of 4 blocks each.  The fabrics are all from the period before 1975.  Even though it is ugly and probably 50% polyester/cotton fabrics, I will probably go ahead and finish it now.

I was still doing custom dressmaking when I started this and some of the pieces are scraps that my customers left with me and some are scraps from the clothes I made for myself and my daughter.  One of the reasons I never finished it is because the selvage wording was in one of the blocks and I was embarrassed about that.
I had made a few 8 point stars previous to this quilt and didn't really like setting in the corner squares and edge triangles so I folded under the seam allowance and topstitched them on poly/cotton squares.  Notice I changed color of thread for the different color points.
If you click on this photo and enlarge it you can see that this is a larger weave fabric.  Several of the fabrics are pants weight canvas type fabric.  I was truly using my scraps at this time because there were no quilt shops.
Here are some photos with a closer look at the leftover 9 patch blocks.

I don't have matching star blocks to go with these 18 nine patch blocks so they can be a separate quilt.  I think I must have been making this king size when I started.

I remember driving to Aurora IL to a store that had various household merchandise, maybe leftovers from factories and other stores.  The selection was different every time I went there.  I found this fabric in packages of 3 yards probably meant for dresses or curtains since quiltmaking was not popular at the time.  I bought 2 or 3 packages of it.  This project is probably older than a lot of my readers.

Friday, March 17, 2017

One seam......

I finally turned on the iron yesterday.  I kept putting it off until I had a big pile to press.  I first pressed the seams on the middle section of 15 rows and sewed it to the first section of 12 rows.  That is the only sewing I did all day.  I had lots of scraps that needed to be cut but they all needed pressing first.  I spent about 2 hours pressing and die cutting.  It was also errand day so I got out in the sunshine for awhile.  My two friends are coming over to sew today so I'll get something accomplished.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


I made another attempt to clean off my cutting table and found a few wedges leftover from a Kaleidoscope quilt top I made many years ago.  I knew where my other Kaleidoscope leftovers were in the basement so I headed down there.  I found some more of the same batch plus this piece of leftover strata.  I have enough pieces to make 4 blocks before cutting the strata.
In the basement spot I also found all of the leftovers from the floral Kaleidoscope quilt I made.  I haven't figured out how many blocks I can make from all of this strata.  I'm sure there will be enough for a good size table topper.

I also worked on the black, gray and white TAW and got another 15 long strips sewn together.  I unpicked the last 15 loops and I just have 12 long strips to sew together as well as sewing the 3 sections together.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Partially sewn..........

Yesterday afternoon I sewed the first 12 rows together.  It takes 7 minutes to sew each seam from top to bottom, matching each intersection.  Last night I sewed the last strata, pressed it and cut the remaining 15 pieces that I need to finish the top.
I have had a little branch of cactus in a glass with a little water for almost a year now and it has a nice root ball but I just haven't gotten around to planting it.  All of this time I was thinking it would have red blooms so imagine my surprise when it got a bud and bloomed and it is from the plant with the big pink and white blooms.  I really need to get it planted now. 

Chicago really got socked with lake effect snow yesterday.  I am 60 miles west of Chicago and we had a new coating of snow on the ground when I got up but the city and close suburbs had snow from midnight until afternoon.  The airports had 7.7" and 9".  Out here in the boonies we had about 10" of snow in the first half of December and it was bitterly cold and then only about 3" of snow in all of the months since then.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow day.....time to sew........

Of course it snowed...the forsythia is blooming.  It happens most years and sometimes twice.  We didn't get a lot of snow but it was not light and fluffy like predicted but wet and slippery.

When we had all of those 60 degree days I cut down most of the Sedum dried heads but I left this one batch knowing we would probably have some more snow.

I decided on 3 I Spy placemats with the blocks I showed yesterday. They will be about 12" square when they are finished.  I didn't realize I had both sheep strips in one block until I took this photo. 

Last night I spent 2 hours unpicking loops to work on the black, gray and white Trip Around the World.  I need to sew one more strata to finish it.

The fabrics are quite pretty close up.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Trimming scraps.........

Yesterday I had a hard time zeroing in on a project to work on.  I finally decided to tackle the top of my cutting table in my main floor studio.  The first thing I saw was a pile of strips left over from a few years ago when I cut and sold I Spy kits.  They all had the selvage edge on them (no words or dots, just holes) and varied in width from 1.75" to 3".  Every piece wider than 2" got trimmed to 2".
 I made Rail Fence blocks with them and laid them out like a table runner.  I was thinking of my 3 year old great-grandson while working on this.  I could make 2 more blocks and make 3 square placemats.  Meanwhile I have the rest of the table top to clean off.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Second quilt finish for March 2017

Four more hours of hand stitching the binding and "Bouncing Balls" is finished.  It is 54" x 70".  The Roberta Horton plaids and stripes are  lightweight fabrics.  I used Hobbs 80/20 batting so the whole quilt is very lightweight.

I have mixed feelings about the back of the quilt but am glad I used those blocks and they are no longer staring at me waiting to be finished into something.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Quilting, binding............

At 4:30 p.m. yesterday I decided I had to get this quilt loaded on my longarm.  I finished the quilting at 6:45 p.m.

That gave me 15 minutes to trim it and cut the binding so I could sew it on while I watched MacGyver.

I did the organic straight line quilting this time.

I started the hand sewing and got one long side and the first corner done.

Earlier in the day I finished the hand sewing on the tablerunner binding.

It is 17.5" x 35".

I love the print I used on the back.