Monday, April 30, 2018

And now there are 8............

I finished cleaning the basement and baked the 2 batches of cookies.  Then I decided I should try to clean off the sewing machine cabinet in the main floor studio.  I had the beginnings of 2 blocks and the pile of solid colors laying there so I made 4 more blocks.

Then I took them down to the basement and added them to the first 4 blocks.  The color is more true on the photo above.  They look pretty washed out in this photo.

We're expecting 3 really warm days in a row starting today.  We need rain and there might be some Tues. night into Wednesday so I hope it really happens.

Sunday, April 29, 2018


I finished cleaning the basement except for one table which I will do today.  My Studio die cutter table was the worst mess down there.  Now the die cutter is folded up and the table dusted.

I mixed 2 batches of cookie dough and will bake them today.

Here is the last champagne colored cactus bloom.  The little bud next to it is drying up.
This is the last white bloom and I don't expect any more buds or blooms now until fall.  One of these days I need to get up the ambition to set up a big table in the garage and re-pot a bunch of them.  I have 20 cactus plants and about 10 of them really need to have some looser soil.

The art quilters come tomorrow so I need to round up anything I have pieced since they were here.  Sadly another month has gone by and I didn't finish anything.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Petting fabric again...........

While I am cleaning the basement I have to have a little fun too.   I had 1 shelf of fabric that definitely needed straightening.  I found this piece as I reversed the order of the stack from top to bottom.  I think I need to use it, not save it.

I also noticed how nicely the two Brandon Mably prints go with Kaffe's recolored Lotus Leaf print.  Now I must get back to cleaning......

Friday, April 27, 2018

Piles of plaids...............

I had several little sessions of sewing time  yesterday (I have 140 pairs sewn right now) even though I spent a lot of time outside raking leaves and sweeping the dirt off the driveway.  I'm hoping for rain to wash the rest of the dirt off.  

I still have all of these light triangles leftover so I will cut more dark ones and probably make 2 throw size quilts  These are 6" finished so 120 squares made from 2 triangles will make a quilt 60" x 72".  I will count the light triangles today and see if I need to cut any more of them too.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sewing triangles.............

I did some outside work yesterday, sweeping and hosing off the dirt on the driveway from the bushes removal.  I have to do a little more today on that.  Then I went out to the back garden and raked some more leaves.  I have one more spot left to rake.  It got up into the low 60s yesterday but is supposed to be a little warmer today so hopefully I will finish the job.  

Last night I started sewing plaid triangles into squares.  I will just use this project as my mindless sewing at night for awhile.
The art quilters group is coming Monday so I need to spend time cleaning the basement too this week.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Outside clean up............

My snow plow guy has retired from his day job and is now available for odd jobs.   I had asked him a year ago if he could pull out the bushes along my driveway and he said he would think about it.  Now he had time and with the help of his little machine he pulled out 5 scraggly bushes plus a ton of volunteer maple trees and other volunteer bushes and trees.
He smoothed out the dirt so now I can plant flowers along there.  He also pulled out some bushes on the other side of the driveway.

My son and I headed to my eye appointment with the eye specialist in Chicago and hit the worst backup on the tollway.  I had to have another injection for swelling and fluid in the eye which is caused by the radiation treatment 5 1/2 years ago.  Hopefully this is a one and done and not a series of shots.  The previous shots over a year ago improved my vision.  We left at 7:30 a.m. and didn't get home until 3 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

4 blocks............

I had a huge amount of clean up to do yesterday.  Almost every table in the basement had piles of fabric on them.  I have cleared off 4 of them and will do the rest later today.  Last night I was going through the workshop items and one of these blocks just needed one more strip and then trimming 2 of them into 10.5" squares.  I don't have a plan for them right now.  I have 2 more blocks started too.  All of these solid color fabrics are from the 1980s when I was teaching from Roberta Horton's Amish Adventure book.
I went out to fill the bird feeders and bird bath and noticed more plants starting to grow.  This one is a Columbine.  They are short and bushy when they first come up and then they send up tall flower stalks.

The Lungwort/Pulmonaria is usually large by this time.  I think the earliest flowers on it froze but now it is blooming.  60 degree weather for part of this week.

There are several batches of it.  It has hopped all over the back garden.  It is a good thing I like it.  I dug up several clumps and gave them to a friend last year.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Working on a project..........

My daughter took this photo of me on Friday while I was sewing the seams on a colorwash.  She and I have been working for a couple months on an online class for colorwash.  Since this trip was sudden and unplanned for them (funeral) they added a couple days to the trip and she did as much of the video part as we could do while she was here.  Since she lives 1000 miles away we have to take advantage of every minute we are together.  We hope to have the class available for purchase in late May and start it the first week of June.  I also have batik and Kaffe Fassett kits cut that will be available as an add-on to the class purchase.  We still have a month of work to do to get it ready.  If you are interested in advance notice of the class be sure you are on the mailing list.  Sign up here.
I found this tiny iron that is ideal for pressing rows of squares 2.5" wide while they are all webbed together.  You don't bump into the rows next to the one you are pressing with it.

Even though it is a steam iron I haven't added any water to it yet.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Workshop results...........

The crazy piecing workshop went well.  Everyone went home with a few blocks and a new technique to continue with.  By the time we left it was warmer outside, not exactly no jacket weather but sure nicer than what we had last week.
I heard some doves in the backyard and was surprised to see the ring neck doves.  I don't think I saw any last year.

For those of you who asked for recipes for the scones:  I have to admit we used purchased mixes for them.  They were SO delicious that I don't think I would make them from scratch.  Here is a link for the Blueberry Sour cream and here is the link for Cranberry Orange which is the next one I will make.  The divided ceramic dish is available here in aqua and at King Arthur Flour website in cream color.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Workshop day...........

Today is the crazy piecing workshop I am giving at my local quilt guild.  This is one of the quilts I showed them on Monday night at the trunk show.  I named it Rainbow River.

The first batch of scones were so good we baked another batch.  This one is apple cinnamon.  I had to try one before I remembered to take the photo.  My company is headed home this morning.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Winter? Spring?...............

I hope this is the last snow photo I will be showing this spring.  This is from yesterday morning.  It all melted by 11 a.m. and we got up to the low 50s by afternoon.

We made blueberry scones for breakfast and have enough left for this morning too.  

Today should be sunny and around 50 again and tomorrow even a little warmer.  It is about time!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Blooming again...........

I meant to take photos of the newest blooms during full daylight but forgot.  It was such a dreary day so I had lights on earlier than usual.  Even though this doesn't look like a white flower, it is.  I see 2 more buds on it too.
I don't remember if this is the second or third blooming of the champagne color cactus.  I have 2 plants of this color so it is harder to keep track.  There are 3 more buds on this one.

My company arrived safely and the snow didn't start as early in the day as they originally predicted.  I think the storm shifted a little farther to the north but it did start snowing around 8 p.m.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Crazy pieced blocks..............

I am teaching a crazy piecing workshop on Saturday so I thought I would make some blocks in several different kinds of fabric for inspiration for the students.  The 30s reproduction blocks are trimmed with a 6 1/2" square ruler
I decided to make the solid color blocks larger so they will be cut with a 10 1/2" ruler.

I have company coming to stay for a few days so they can attend a funeral so I may only get a few more blocks made.  I have several examples of batik crazy piecing so that is 3 categories down, maybe 2 or 3 more to go.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mid-April in northern IL.............

When I was scheduled to do my trunk show in April (last night) I thought that was great because it will be warm by then.  Wrong!  This is what we woke up to yesterday morning.  Are we done with it?  No, they are predicting more snow Wednesday late afternoon into Thursday morning.  Luckily they are only talking an inch, not the mammoth snow storm that Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan got.  The next 10 days are all predicted to be below normal so I don't need to be thinking about gardening yet.  Maybe that means I'll get some quilts quilted and bound.

Monday, April 16, 2018

One more plaid quilt?............

When I walked past my 3 tier container of triangles I noticed the stack of plaid 6" triangles left over from the Kaffe and plaid quilt.  I had a lot of pieces of plaid that weren't full width and close to a quarter yard so I figured this would be a good mindless sewing project for the next couple weeks.  I got out the die that cuts 4 at a time, 10 layers deep (Studio die cutter) and started cutting.
I divided the darks and lights because this quilt will need contrast.  In a couple weeks I'll start playing with them on the design wall after they are sewn into squares.

Tonight is my trunk show at the Fair City Quilters Guild meeting, Federated Church basement, 403 N. Main St, Sandwich IL.  7 p.m.  $5 guest fee.  I think I am ready.......

I have been having trouble leaving comments on some blogs.  It is making me choose my identity and even though I choose Google profile, it does not print my comment.  Other blogs recognize me automatically and are ready for my comment.  I'm a little irritated that they are back to the photos to prove I'm not a robot.  It isn't good enough that you choose all of the signs in the first group, the word NEXT is at the bottom so you know there is another set to choose from.  Are any of you having problems with the comments too?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Plaid half hexagon top..............

Here is the quilt top before trimming.  The lighting is much better here than the wall where I was designing it.

This is after trimming off the points top and bottom, 73" x 93".

From this view you can judge the size better.

The photo at the top of this post was taken sideways on the design walls.  With the quilt turned as it will be used it is dragging on the floor about 12".

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sewing plaids again...........

I finished sewing the last 8 rows of the plaid half hexie quilt.  Now I just need to attach it to the other 12 rows and press the last seam.

I have enough of both of these Kaffe fabrics for the back of the Stone Log Cabin.  I just pulled them out late last night so I'll look at them today in daylight.

This fabric, the same as the center rectangle and 2 borders is what Kaffe used on his.  My friend is going to put it on the back of her quilt.  She eliminated the last 2 borders and is putting a wider border of this one as her final border.

I finished a dishcloth last night that used the ends of 4 balls of yarn.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Whew! It is sewn...............

The quilt top is so large now I had to hang it sideways on the design walls.  One rectangle center, 20 borders.........I don't even like putting 3 borders on a quilt.  This was a challenge.  There are a few ripples.....I admit it isn't perfect.  I had the most trouble after adding a crosswise grain border after a lengthwise grain border.  Even though the book doesn't mention it you have to cut the black and white stripe lengthwise because the stripes run crosswise across the fabric.  In fact it tells you to cut the binding crosswise when clearly it has to be cut lengthwise.

Here is the view from the side like I showed yesterday.  This ended up 76.5" x 89".  I am so glad I added 9" to the length of the center rectangle.  My bedroom happens to be purple and this size should fit on my bed.  I will try it on there later today.

It was nice and warm yesterday so I got out to the back garden.  I wasn't able to rake leaves in the fall after my pacemaker surgery so there were a lot out there.  I wanted to get the dry leaves picked up before we get rain tonight and tomorrow.  They are even talking snow again Sunday night into Monday.  I sure hope they change that forecast.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

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

I got this far on my Kaffe quilt.  Here is a link to a photo  in Kaffe's Quilts in Italy book.   I have 2 more borders to sew on.

Just in case you think this is a little quilt, here it is on my double design wall.  Right now it is 68.5" x 80".  The next 2 borders will add a total of 8" to each of those measurements.

I think this will be the last red cactus bloom.  I have 2 more buds on the white one and 4 buds on one of the champagne colored ones.  They may not all bloom since it is so late in the season but I hope they do.  We are getting warm weather this week and then back down in the 40s for Sunday and Monday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Half hexie day.............

I finished sewing the top section of 6 rows together yesterday morning.  I have to design this quilt sideways because the quilt will be over 90" long and the double design wall is only 82" tall.  I planned the next 5 rows in the afternoon.  This is on the wall with the poor lighting so I will move it to the other wall soon for better photos.
I designed one more row last night and then sewed the next 6 rows together and added them to the first section of 6 rows.  It will be 20 rows wide so I am 60% done with this top.  I will take a break from it today since my friend is coming over and we will finish the last 8 rounds on the Kaffe one block log cabin quilt.  Here is where we left off.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Piles of quilts...........

I typed a list of the quilts I have made since I was the program at our local quilt guild in 2016.  Yesterday I rounded up most of them.  I still have to gather the 13 crazy pieced quilts and wallhangings.

This is what we woke up to in Sandwich IL yesterday morning.  It only got up to 39 during the day but they are saying we will hit 70 on Friday.  I'll believe it when I see it.

I took a break from the red crazy pieced quilt and started working on the plaid half hexagons.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Border audition.............

I sewed the rest of the pieces for 2 long border sections yesterday.  The blocks in the main part are 8" so it is somewhere near 56" x 64" right now.  These border sections are 6.5" and the dark red strip will finish at 2".  If I put them just on the 2 ends it will be about 56" x 80", a nice large couch throw quilt long enough for a tall person.  Another idea was to put a 3" strip of the dark red all around the quilt in addition to this pictured border audition.

My trunk show is just a week away (Monday April 16) so I need to be rounding up all of the quilts and quilt tops and getting them in piles for packing.  The trunk show is at the Federated Church 403 North Main Street in Sandwich IL.  The guild meeting starts at 7 p.m. and guests are welcome (small guest fee).
In the spring Kaffe Fassett offers new colorations of some of his older prints.  Lotus Leaf is one of my favorites so I had to have some of them.  The one on the top left will be a great background fabric and would look great in the butterfly quilt I made earlier this year.  My favorite is the lower left one.  LOVE!!