Monday, July 31, 2017

2nd post today............#2 July 2017 finish........

The photo is big but the wallhanging is small, 26" square.  I thought I wanted to do a lot of stitching on this one but once I had finished the ditch quilting I decided to extend the lines of the "ribs" in the column with matching hot pink thread and decided it was done.  The hot pink is brighter than it looks here.  My camera makes it look a little more coral/pink.  I am not a believer that black binding is the answer on every quilt but in this case, there was black in the piecing so the binding had to be black. 

Basting and quilting...........

This little improv piece has been waiting to be finished for over 10 years.  I decided it might be a quick one to finish....and then as I was basting it I realized there would be a lot of decisions.  Do I leave the edges crooked, should I put binding or a facing, and what type of quilting did I want to do on it.  I went ahead and basted it anyway.
I knew I needed to ditch quilt along the seams before I would do any other quilting so I got all of that done last night.  Now I have to make all of those decisions.  If you have been a reader for awhile you might remember I asked "which way is up?" on this one and asked for votes in April 2016.  The majority of the votes went to #2.  See that post here.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

It's done!!..........

I ended up using the first fabric that I considered for the binding.  At first I thought it was too dark and kept looking for something just a little lighter.  I either didn't have enough or the color just wasn't right on all of the others so I was back to the dark brown with black lines forming little squares.  I used a medium brown Superior SoFine thread to quilt it.

The back is made of 3 of the largest pieces of flannel I had left.  I have lots of half yards but not much in big pieces any more.  The quilt ended up at 64.5" x 80".  I used Warm and Natural batting because it has scrim in it and stabilizes and gives body to the pieced flannel top. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Almost done..........

I finished the quilting of the tumbler flannel quilt but I couldn't make a decision on binding last night.  Hopefully the right piece will pop up in the box today and say "cut me".

I got a lot more volunteer trees cut yesterday.  Even though the humidity is down it is still hot out in the sun.  Each day the temperature is going to be a little warmer so I need to get my yard work done in the morning.  Afternoon and evening will be sewing time.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Getting ready to quilt............

The end of the month is near and I haven't finished anything yet this month.  I finally tackled the piecing of the back for this quilt.  I had 3 pieces of flannel that all sewn together were the right size.  I got the back loaded and the batting and top are just laying on it, not attached yet.
I got four more pairs of fabric cut for the Hunter Star.  After I cut the next four I will decide which two fabrics will make each block. 

It was starting to cool a little and the humidity was dropping yesterday afternoon so I carried all of my fallen and cut branches to the front of the driveway.  I started cutting volunteer trees but have more of them to do.  The zinnias are blooming now and it looks like they will mostly be hot pink.  I'm still hoping for a few more colors from the ones that haven't bloomed yet.  

Tomatoes are slowly ripening.....inside.  I'm picking them and bringing them in the minute I see the tiniest bit of color changing. The squirrels are picking 2-3 a day and taking one bite and leaving them. I'm happy now that I planted 8 plants in that raised bed.  If I had only planted 4 I probably wouldn't have gotten many to eat between the squirrels and the fact that this has not been an ideal summer for the tomato plants.  They did much better 2 years ago.  Last year they started out strong and then fizzled. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cutting and digging.............

It was still nice yesterday morning so I went out to dig up another spot in my garden.  Then I had errands to run and it was evening before I got to pressing and cutting for the Hunter Star.  I have 4 combinations cut but will probably do more before I start sewing.  I'm not sure which fabrics I want paired together yet.
The center of this area between the Hostas is where I dug yesterday.

While I was digging out the Lily of the Valley I found a couple of the big rocks buried in there.  Each year the Lily of the Valley would start coming up on the grass side of the rocks so I kept moving them out farther.  I realize now I have increased the flower bed by about 16" in depth over the years.  Some of the rocks sunk down in the soil and I missed them when doing the moving.
Lily of the Valley, Violets and Creeping Charlie made a heaping load in the wheelbarrow.

My new perennials were half price.  In here I have a Delphinium, orange Coneflower with a fluffy center and Zebrina.  We got some rain last night so that should help them to settle in. Even though these are in the shade garden they get the morning sun from about 7 until 1 p.m.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sorting fabric..........

This is harder than I thought.  I spread out the Australian fabrics and the assortment was a little overwhelming.  This is about 2/3 of them.

One of the quilts I want to cut is Hunter Star.  There will be 2 fabrics per block and they need to contrast.

I finally made the decision to work with the red/burgundy/black prints contrasted with the lightest fabrics.  After I get some blocks made I'll be able to decide what else to add (or whether I don't need to add anything else).
These two fabrics aren't called Australian on the selvage but they work very nicely with the group.

I started yesterday by going to my granddaughter's house and her sister joined us to do some baking.  I came home and mowed the grass, ate lunch, took a nap, and then went out and dug out a whole section of Lily of the Valley.  In that spot I planted 4 Coralbells, 2 different colors and a Veronica/Speedwell.
Here is a wider view of the area.  It was a beautiful day yesterday, low 80s, low humidity and a nice breeze.  That is all going to change today as we go into the humidity and heat for a couple days.  I had to take advantage of the cooler day to do my digging.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Next project..........

My next new project will be with my Australian fabrics.  I haven't cut into them for a few years so there are some new ones that haven't been used at all.

This is the whole stack.  The pile needed to be straightened but I decided it also needs to reduce in size.  I will probably cut 2 quilts at once.  In fact maybe I'll cut 3 quilts.  I think one could be just squares since the fabrics have such interesting designs.

Monday, July 24, 2017

No sewing..........

Baking cookies, cleaning off tables, finishing the vacuuming of the basement.......those were the things I was doing instead of sewing yesterday.  I'm sharing one last photo that my daughter took of me in April this year.  She wanted to document this quilt with the book it is published in.  It was a finalist in the AQS worldwide contest with the block that year being the Log Cabin.  If you want to read the story about this quilt go here.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Prep work......again..........

While I had the big roll of batting out I did some pairing of tops, batting and backing.  I am going to quilt this one on my straight stitch Babylock machine.  Here is the full view of it in my monthly recap for November 2014.  You can click on the photo for a closer look.  Here is the book that has the quilt that inspired me.

 All I have to do is piece the backs and then I can proceed to finishing all of these.

Bugs have munched on most of the blooms on the Rose of Sharon but here is one that is pretty much intact.

We ended up with 3.85" of rain in 12 hours starting on Friday night.  We got through the rest of the day yesterday without any rain.  My granddaughter was happy because they had a thank you party for all of us that helped with cleaning and painting their house so they could move back from North Dakota a year ago.  The kids were happy outside but it was too hot and sticky for me so I stayed inside with many others.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Starting to cut.........

Yesterday I decided I was going to cut the sashing strips for my batik stars quilt.  I started cutting the fabric at the top left and then decided I needed to figure out how many strips I needed.  Ooops!  I don't have enough of that fabric.  I found the one on the right that is similar in value and color tone so now I need to figure out how I'm going to handle having 2 fabrics for the sashing strips.  I was considering the beige batik across the bottom as the cornerstones.  It is a little warmer toned than it looks like here.  So....nothing got done on that quilt.
We had severe thunderstorm warnings for last night so I decided I should take some more garden photos in case there was damage.  My camera was in the cool basement and when I took it outside into the "sauna" the lens kept fogging over.  I wiped it off twice before I took this photo and it is still a little foggy.  This is one of my elephant ear plants.

One of the storms rolled through around 8 p.m. and we got 1.05" of rain.  The second storm came through around 9:45 and there was 1.3" when I emptied the gauge at 10:15. I'm afraid my tomatoes are going to have a hard time ripening with all of this rain.

 The garden is so pretty I had to take another photo of it.
The Dianthus that I planted in early June is in its second blooming.  I hope it will re-seed and fill in this area along with the Hosta and Columbines.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The day after......

Yesterday was a typical day after finishing something.  Making the decision what to work on I took stacks of fabrics off my shelves and re-stacked, top fabric now becomes the bottom fabric, etc.  I neatened up 7 stacks and had a lot of fun going through it.

These geraniums are the ones I pull out of the pots at the end of the season and are put in a cardboard box in my heated garage (about 55 degrees).  In the late spring I take them out of the box and stick the roots in a pail of water for about a week.  I forgot about this group for about 3 weeks and then I went through them and threw out the dead ones and planted the rest.  I have them sitting out by my tomato plants.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Last seams sewn!..................

I worked on the Seed Packet quilt all day while my 2 friends were here.  I had only a few seams left to sew when they left and I sewed them last night.  I can see a couple small squares that could be moved to a better place but for now they will stay where they are.
I thought my design walls were 84" tall but I can see that they are closer to 82" since the bottom row is bending out.  The quilt top ended up at 68" x 83".

For inquiring minds, a refresher, here is the post where I show the inspiration quilt. 

The backyard garden is now pink, yellow and orange.  The Rudbeckia blooms are just opening and there will be a lot more yellow in a few days. 

The front garden is overgrown and needs a lot of work.  I am slowly tearing out an  invasive plant.  My 2 pots of begonias and a pot of Coleus add a lot of color.

The Swamp Milkweed is just to the right of the area in the photo above.  This shot was taken looking down at the plant from the top.  It is about 24" tall. 

We got a nice rain storm yesterday afternoon, a little over 3/4" of rain and another storm around 9 p.m., another 8/10ths.  It is more rain than I thought we would get.  I won't need to water anything for a few days.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Not a lot of progress.........

Now the vertical seams of the first five columns are sewn. After I took this photo I continued cutting small squares and need just three more.  I have a lot of holey floral fabrics!

I was near the end of the second book in the series so I spent a few hours reading and finished "The Girl Who Played with Fire".  My library doesn't have the third one on the shelf right now and that is probably good because I have other things I need to do.  My 2 friends are coming to sew today.  Thursday I will continue to clear off tables for the art quilters on Monday.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Time to make a decision........

I decided that I could change the 2 rows of small squares into many configurations but in the end it really wouldn't make any difference how I had them.  There could be many successful ways of finishing this quilt and I had to just make a decision and move on.  Last night I got the first four columns sewn together.  I need to still fussy cut 19 more squares. 

I mowed the lawn while it was still low humidity yesterday.   The heat rolls in Wednesday and it sounds like it will be here for several days.  I have friends coming to sew Wednesday and Monday so basement cleaning will happen today.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Choosing border fabric.........

I needed to choose a border fabric for the Old Italian block quilt top.  This navy background batik looks good.

I got the borders cut and sewn on yesterday afternoon.  It is a small quilt about 38" x 48" so it will take just one width of fabric for the back.

I continued cutting flower print squares for the Seed Packet quilt.  I need 27 more. 

I made another attempt to dig out the Spiderwort plants this year.  It is a several year project because you think you have them all and then next spring some more appear.  I had one Hosta being crowded out by them. 

I should mow the grass today because the humidity is going to roll back in late Tuesday.  It will be a good day to pull some more weeds too.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Small floral squares.........

I continued cutting small floral squares yesterday.  I also decided to try the darkest ones at the edge like a light border and then a darker one.  Below is the photo from yesterday where I had them as dark/light alternating.  I liked this dark border when I'm looking at the design wall but I'm not sure again when I see it in a photo.  In the book they used the dark as the first row around and then the light as the last border.  However the dark flowers in the book quilt aren't as dark as mine.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

I like progress............

The Marcia Derse fabric Drunkard's Path top is finished.  I decided it won't have borders.  It ended up at 48.5" x 69.5".  It is mostly scraps from cutting this quilt with only a few extra fabrics added.

I made a slight miscalculation on how many small squares I need.  I must have figured only a single row instead of a double row.  In any case I need another 63 small fussy cut floral squares.  I don't mind repeating fabrics.  Some people making this quilt have used all different fabrics for every square.  The inspiration for this quilt can be found here
The tiger lilies are starting to bloom.

The Rudbeckia in front of the tiger lilies is almost ready to bloom.

I have lots and lots of green tomatoes but none on the big plants have turned color yet.  I have 2 little bush tomatoes that had small tomatoes on them when I bought them.  The squirrels have gotten 2 of them, I have eaten 2 that ripened and I have 2 more ready to eat.  I also have 2 on the windowsill in the kitchen to ripen, well away from the squirrels' sharp little teeth.
A few days ago I mentioned the path through my yard, a shortcut for teenagers.  My block is about 3-4 blocks long, no side streets so the kids cut through yards.  Several people asked if it was a right of way and whether this was a normal practice.  It isn't a right of way; it is my private property.  I live in a small town and I guess the kids feel comfortable doing this.  There is a pile of boards at the lot line with the neighbor.  I asked my neighbor lady in her late 80s if they were her boards and she said yes she put them there to discourage kids cutting through.  Well, they just step over them so that didn't work.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A day in the studio............

I was home all day yesterday and spent 3/4 of the time in my studio.  I cut 41 more small squares for the Seed Packet quilt......I mean I fussy cut every square one at a time.  No speed cutting there.  If a fabric had more than one kind of flower I cut several from that fabric.  I think I have enough now for the double row around the quilt.
But first I need to get this quilt off the design wall.  I cut more pieces and sewed the rest of the blocks, moved a few around to new positions and started sewing it together.  I have just four more seams to sew and the top will be finished...unless I decide to add a border.

I need to get this quilt off another design wall and I'm still undecided on sashing fabric.  I put the one on the left up there yesterday.  It is kind of an apricot/gold with a mum design on it.  The one on the right is one of the original fabrics I tried and is a beige print.  I'm still undecided.