Thursday, August 31, 2017


I will not be posting for a few days.

August 2017 recap

Nothing was finished in August.  I did get a quilt basted but haven't had time to start the quilting.  I didn't even finish a quilt top.  Here are my only accomplishments. 4 little mug rug tops.

Lots of Hunter Star blocks made, more than are in this photo.

Pieces cut for another Australian fabric quilt.

I didn't take a photo of the finished preemie layette items but I finished 15 sets for our church project.

I did do some new planting in the back garden early in August but it has been so dry since then that I haven't done any more work out there.  Maybe September will be more productive.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A look back......2013

2013 was another year with lots of favorites.  I shipped quilts to NC again that spring to share a gallery show with 2 other artists.  I finished this Kaffe Fassett fabric Strips 'n Curves wallhanging and it sold during the show.

Another piece finished for that show is this second bright colorwash.  This was the first colorwash that I quilted in the ditch in both directions with a fine thread.  I liked it so well that I quilt most of them that way now.

This warm/cool contrast zig zag is another of my most pinned quilts on Pinterest.  I have never tired of making the zig zag layout as many have followed this one.
2013 was the year my 99 year old dad passed away.  I made several 16 patch quilts that summer to keep my sanity with all of the things going on.  This was my favorite and I called it "Peony Garden".  I don't intend to gift this one to anybody.  Here is Zinnia Garden and here is the African fabric 16 patch which I gifted to a nephew.  The Autumn Coneflower 16 patch was sold as a quilt top.  Here is a tutorial for making 16 patch quilts with every seam going in opposite directions at intersections as you sew the blocks together into a top.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A look back 2012........

2012 was a big year of many changes.  I did finish a lot of quilts because I had my solo show in a gallery in NC.  There is a video on my right sidebar with me talking about all of the quilts in the show.  It is hard to pick a favorite from that year so I picked the 3 top favorites.  This is Rainbow River, a quilt made with crazy pieced squares.  It was used as the mascot of the solo show on the postcards.

This piece was so under priced at the show that I was happy it didn't sell.  It hangs in the hallway to my bedrooms, visible from the living room.  This post shows some of the close quilting better.  I changed thread color many, many times in this quilt. 

I really love this colorwash made with regular quilting cottons in brighter colors.  My daughter owns this one now.  I finished 2 other colorwashes in 2012 and I love them too.

I didn't do anything in the studio after the art quilters left. Hopefully I'll get some more cutting done today on the Australian Hunter Star quilt.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pieces for 20 blocks

After I finished the clean-up in the basement I pressed all of the quarter blocks for my Australian Hunter Star.  There are 20 sets here and I have 6 sets ready to cut and sew.  That means I need to find 4 more pairs to make 30 blocks.  That would come out to 66" x 72" which means it will be 4 1/2 stars across and 5 stars down.  I will have to see how that looks before I decide if that is the final size.
I have knit 15 dishcloths since the beginning of May.  I gave 3 to a granddaughter a week ago.  She got the ones that were parts of 2 different color skeins of yarn.  One is my kitchen already used, also a multi-color.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A look back 2011........finches are here........

It shouldn't come as any surprise that my favorite quilt from 2011 was my "H - I give it 5 Stars".  Here is a photo of it hanging in my dining room.  Here is a tutorial on making the H blocks.  I have had many people send me photos of their H quilts using my tutorial as a guide.  I also used the H blocks in this quilt.
As I walked by the kitchen window I noticed movement out by the coneflowers.  First there was a female finch there and by the time I got back with the camera it was the male goldfinch.

He was really tearing apart the seed head.

I couldn't hold the camera still enough on the super zoom so this one is a tiny bit blurry.  All photos will enlarge if you click on them.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Cutting, cleaning, nature walk.........

After finishing vacuuming the basement I pressed 12 more Australian fabrics and cut the size I need for the Hunter Star.  Then I sorted each fabric so they were all face up.  I will get them cut this morning and then return to cleaning off the tables in the basement.

I went out around 4 p.m. to take some photos and fill the bird feeders.  I walked into my neighbors' yard to take a picture of the Cannas.  They are taller than me now but no blooms yet.  Last year only 2 bloomed.

The whole row of tall hostas are blooming now with the sweet smelling flowers.

I dug up and split one hosta when I was planting my Shasta Daisies.  I didn't think it was the tall variety but the flower is the same.

I need to either give this hosta to someone or get it planted next month.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A look back........2.....

This quilt has to be my favorite that I finished in 2010.  It is one of my most pinned photos on Pinterest.  Here is a post with another view of it too.  It actually doesn't have its binding on it in this photo and I couldn't find any photo of it with binding.  I used the same bright periwinkle blue that is the first border for the binding.

This is a small quilt also finished in 2010 with a hanging sleeve so it can be used as a wallhanging.  I just love it and I named it Celebration.  Here is a link to the post where it was finished.  That post has a link to this one and the other quilt with similar blocks and how different they came out.

Why the look back instead of what I did yesterday?  I am cleaning the basement for the art quilters Monday so I'll have a couple days of not accomplishing much except getting rid of the dust bunnies and finding the tops of all of the tables.  They have been buried pretty deep this month.

I wanted to get a better photo of the shaggy orange coneflower but we have had very little rain and the flowers are starting to dry up.

This was a newer bloom and I had to get down under it and shoot up to get a good photo.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


While my friends were here today I worked on the Australian fabric quilts.  I made some more of the triangles made with 4 smaller triangles.  I have to take all of these pieces off the design wall by Monday when my art quilters group will be here.  I'm just trying some different positions of the little triangles for ideas.  There are more fabrics to be mixed in when I get the rest of the cutting done.  I also worked on Hunter Star blocks.

Later in the afternoon I finished the mowing, the side yards and the back.  It is still really nice out and really cool at night, down in the lower 50s.  I have both windows open and the fan running all night.  I wish it could stay like this.  The cooler weather is really unusual for us at this time because the kids started school last Friday and it is usually unbearably hot their first 2 weeks of school every year.

I added some more items to my Wandaful blogshop last night.  Link is at the top of this page right under my header and a second link is on the right sidebar.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Friend's quilt...........

Here is my friend's completed quilt top.  We put the blocks for the second quilt on the design walls after I took this photo.  The original pattern called for finished 2" pieces and ended up 60" square which is pretty unusable for a bed.  I cut 3" finished pieces for her so it is 72" x 90".  We left off one row to make it rectangular.  The quilts are for her great-granddaughters.

I finished basting the quilt I showed here so I could clear the tables off for my friends who are coming over today.  I also mowed the front yard.  The humidity has dropped and it is much cooler than it was the last couple days. I will mow the sides and back either later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sewing and cutting .... again.........

I got the big triangles sewn onto the wedge shaped pieces on 24 half blocks but I didn't feel like turning the iron on again.  I have 8 more blocks to sew and then it is back to cutting the rest of the pieces for the Australian Hunter Star.
I got a double 4 patch quilt cut for a friend.  She will be over this morning to lay out another quilt on the double design wall.  She is making 2 alike for great-granddaughters.  She got the first one designed last week and it is sewn.  Now we will put up the second one.
The shaggy orange coneflower is going to have at least 5 blooms as it appears now, maybe 6.  I'll have to go back out and count them later today.

Of the 4 Dinnerplate Dahlias I planted last year in pots this one has had about 8 blooms so far.  Another one is yellow and the bud is taking forever to open.  The other 2 plants are big and bushy with no buds.  I don't know whether to save them for next year or not.  I am pretty disappointed in how small the flowers are. 

When I dug up the Canna bulbs last year I put them all in this pot and covered it with a paper bag in my garage for the winter.  I gave away some, planted some, and there were a few left over that just stayed in this pot on my north side sidewalk.  They are doing their best to grow anyway.  I potted 3 volunteer Columbines and they are doing well.  I need to get them in the ground before the first frost.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Teeny tiny.............

One of the waste areas after cutting the Hunter Star blocks was large enough to cut 1" finished triangles.  Since there were 4 alike of each fabric I decided on pinwheels that will finish at 2"
So far I have cut 20 combinations for the Hunter star so there are 20 pinwheels.  I'm not done cutting the blocks yet so there will be more.  If I sewed this right now it would be 8" x 10", about mug rug size.  I'm thinking about alternating with 2.5" squares of another Australian print that isn't going to be used in the blocks.  I also sewed some more parts for the Hunter Star blocks and pressed all of the pieces.

I also started basting this quilt for ditch quilting with my straight stitch machine.  That is the leftover piece of backing fabric laying on it.

Today is the big day for the eclipse and the Chicago area is supposed to have clouds.  Hopefully there will be some breaks between them.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A look back.............

I was asked how many quilts I finished in the time period from when I started my blog (July 4, 2007) to the same date this year.  Yesterday I spent some time going through old posts from the 3 years that I didn't do a recap collage at the end of the year.  I came up with 214 finished quilts (or if I count small wallhangings, 220).  In 2007 I posted mostly pieces I had made before I started the blog.  I started a lot more projects that year but only finished 4 that I documented on the blog.  This is my favorite from that year.  It is a paper pieced Karen Stone pattern called Jewels in the Grass.
In 2008 I had two favorites.  I call this one "My Happy Quilt" and it is made of batiks and Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  This post shows a close up and the back of the quilt. 

This is my other favorite from 2008.  It is a Buggy Barn pattern and is made of flannel fabrics.  This post has a closer look at one section of it.  I still have this quilt and I use it.  I still love it. 

This crazy pieced batik quilt is my favorite finished quilt from 2009.  I gifted it to a great-niece and I miss it.  I was trying to use up my blue, turquoise and purple batik scraps with this one.  In this post is a close up of the binding and backing along with a little of the front of the quilt.
This little couch quilt comes in as a close second for a 2009 finished quilt favorite.  It is all Christmas fabrics, a lot of them Hoffman fabrics.  I get this one out in the first days of December and it usually isn't put away until late January.  There are some more photos of it on this post, closeups and backing.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Another Australian fabric quilt..........

When I started cutting the Hunter Star quilt I mentioned that I was going to cut 2 or maybe 3 quilts at the same time with the Australian fabrics.  This is the second quilt I am contemplating.  The equilateral triangles will finish at 8" on a side.  The smaller triangles in 2 of the blocks are 4" finished and 4 of them sewn together are about 1/16" smaller than the big triangles.  I will have to sew with a tiny bit narrower seam allowance in them.  I have no idea how large this quilt will be since I could use more of the Australian fabric that I'm not using in Hunter Star.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pressing, cutting.......

Here are 4 more combinations of the Australian fabrics for Hunter Star.   I spent quite a bit of time pressing the fabrics that I'm cutting for this quilt.  I have seen so many tutorial videos where the presenter lays wrinkled fabric on the mat and then proceeds to show cutting.  The only way to have accurately cut shapes is to have flat unwrinkled fabric.  The fold lines take awhile to press out but it is so necessary.

This is the next batch ready to cut.  They have to be layered all right side up for this die so after cutting the shape needed to cover the die, I then have to layer each pile correctly.  These 2 groups will make 32 more blocks to add to the 48 I have done.  They are 6" blocks so there will be lots more cutting.
Here is the first Hunter Star quilt top I made 2 years ago.  It has 96 blocks and was 48" x 72".  If I can stick with it I want to make the Australian fabric one a little larger.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

48 blocks........

I finally got busy yesterday and wound several bobbins and then sewed the 2 triangles into Hunter Star blocks.  There are 4 alike of each of them.  I also cut 8 more fabrics for more blocks.  Two people shared some Australian fabric scraps with me a couple years ago so some of them will be in the quilt.
The tall hostas are starting to bloom.  They are the lily type flowers that are so sweet smelling.  We finally got some rain yesterday so the plants are happy again.

When I bought the Dianthus plants I tried to get a really good variety.  The ones on the left are a totally different shape flower than all the rest.  It makes me wonder if they are really Dianthus.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Late summer plants...........

The cannas are now towering over the Coneflowers.  They look so pretty with the light coming through the leaves.

This hosta that starts out light green in the spring is almost white at the end of the season.

The Delphinium blooms are fully open now.  I hope we get the rain predicted today and tomorrow because the ground is dry and cracked.

The shaggy petaled Coneflowers are opening.

A friend came over yesterday and we laid out her blocks on my double design wall.  We also went through other fabrics for quilts that I am going to cut for her.