Thursday, January 31, 2019

One Block Wonder progress................

I finalized the layout of the OBW while keeping warm inside.  It got up to about -11 at the warmest part of the day yesterday.

Then I had to fill in the edges with the triangles cut at the beginning and end of each stack of strips.  

Here I have all of the triangles laying in place on the top and bottom.

It is slow going sewing it together because I'm pressing all seams open.  The pressing takes awhile and so does the matching of points.  I have 3 columns sewn together and 2 more sewn, one waiting to be pressed.  I hope I can get this done today for another finished top for January.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

All 35 blocks...........

This is my view from my sewing chair looking at all 35 blocks sewn (still in 2 halves for easier quilt assembly).  I can see lots that need to be changed to new positions.  In the beginning I just group them with similar ones next to each other.  Now I have to come up with a plan..........but first I need to sew the 2" border on the Marcia Derse quilt top so it will be in the "finished tops" for January.

Last night we dipped below 0 (-10 at 11 p.m) and we won't be above 0 for 2 days.  Update, 7:30 a.m. -24 degrees.  We possibly will break the all time low record for Chicago on Jan. 20, 1985 of -27 degrees for a daytime high.  And then the good is supposed to be 40 degrees Sat. - Mon. with rain.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Sewing the OBW pieces...........

I got the first 10 blocks pieced together on Sunday night.

More were sewn last night and I started to group them with similar blocks together.  I have 14 more to sew and I have no clue what order they will end up in.

Monday, January 28, 2019

A quilt top.............

I finished sewing the red and white quilt top last night while watching TV.  There were lots of questions about what pattern this is.
I found the pattern in a McCall's Quillting magazine, Jan/Feb 2011.  Here is a photo of one  20" block and one 4" x 20" sashing strip as Nancy Rink designed it for the magazine.  I made 6 of the 20" blocks for my quilt.

One of my readers mentioned she had made this quilt too and that next time she would make the 2 alternating 12" blocks which I didn't see until she said that.  I have put paper up to block off the 2 blocks, one a star and the other a 9 patch with 4 patch corners.  You would need to add 1/3 of a block along all 4 sides of the quilt plus a square in the 4 corners to finish it if you made the 12" blocks instead of Nancy's 20" blocks.  I used a GO die to cut the star points but you can use the Tri-recs acrylic templates to cut them too.
Jack Frost was visiting again with his wonderful ice crystal paintings.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

One more block to make.............

I have the last block laid out on my sewing table so I'm hoping for a top sewn together by tonight.  I really like this one and it accomplished many things.  I had been wanting to do a red and white quilt for Valentine's Day, wanted to use the less than 1/4 yard pieces of reds, wanted to do another quilt with white and black as the light color in a quilt.

For those of you without an email link that asked about the fabric in the OBW blocks yesterday, this fabric was purchased on sale 3 1/2 years ago and here is the selvage information.

The last 2 Amaryllis plants are still blooming and I'm going to miss them when they are done.  My Christmas cacti are all taking a break with nothing blooming.

I shoveled my sidewalk before dark but there is more snow  It is sparkling like it has diamond dust in it.  Tonight the bigger snowstorm is supposed to come but it looks like the track moved farther north than they first thought so I'm not sure what to expect.

Saturday, January 26, 2019


One of my friends and I were working on OBW (One Block Wonder) blocks yesterday.  This is the fabric I am using and my first few pieces of blocks on the design wall.  Nothing is sewn together yet, just 6 equilateral triangles placed on the wall.  Each set of triangles can be turned 3 different ways to see which points you want in the center.  These were my final decisions so far.
Now I have folded the piece of fabric so one full repeat shows and I have all 35 blocks laid out.  This will be good TV watching sewing so I probably won't start on them until tomorrow night.  Once the blocks are each sewn into 2 half hexagons playtime will begin for a layout.  This will be another small throw quilt.

Friday, January 25, 2019

2 blocks out of 6...........

I think I mentioned when I started this quilt that I'm only going to make a small quilt.  The blocks are 20" and the sashing is 4" so with 6 blocks it should be about 44" x 68".  It will be perfect to hang over the back of the couch.

My 2 friends are coming over today to sew.  It is supposed to be below 0 most of the day and maybe getting up to 4 degrees at the warmest part of the day.  I think it was Tuesday that we had freezing drizzle which turned into hours of an icy mix.  I thought it was about 1/4" thick on my driveway under about a half inch of snow.  Yesterday I spent a couple hours out there spreading ice melter, then shoveling, and repeat several times.  I think the ice is more than 1/2" thick in most places.  I got enough cleared for 2 cars to park up close to my garage.  We are in this arctic blast for awhile.  Next week we are supposed to have one day with a high of -4 and that is 2 days after they have predicted about 6" of snow.  It is definitely sewing weather.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Playing with red..........

I have started making pieces for the red and white quilt I showed in a magazine about a week ago.  I still have more parts to assemble before I can layout all of the blocks.  I need to be sure I have the new fabrics I use distributed throughout the quilt.

This is a corner block so the top left corner is different than the other 3 corners.  I also sewed the connecting strip laying to the right that goes between blocks.  I guess this will be my Valentine quilt since that was one of my goals this year to make one.  Several of the fabrics have hearts on them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

12 blocks, 3 layouts.............

I finished all twelve 16" blocks of Marcia Derse fabric and this is layout one, the same layout I have been showing each day.

This is layout 2 which is the one I ended up with on my Stonehenge fabric quilt.

Here is layout 3.

So which one did I end up sewing?

I decided on layout 3.  In this photo I have 2" strips of the background fabric hanging on both sides of the quilt.  I had overcut  on the 2" strips and hoped that they would work.  I think that is enough border to make the blocks float.  If you look at the top and bottom edges you see what it would look like without borders.

I don't have to wonder any longer if the shortest bud stalk that was trapped between the 2 tall ones is going to bloom.  Yesterday it wiggled out from between them and started opening.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

8 blocks done..........

8 blocks are sewn and I should complete the last 4 tonight.  Then I'll show some different layouts.  

I have made this quilt before with Stonehenge fabric.  Here is where I talk about the pattern.  It was also in QUILT magazine a few years ago and called "Squares in the Air".

Here is the finished Stonehenge quilt.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Frigid outside, warm inside.............

It was 1 degree last night at 11:30 when I started typing this post.  -3 was the prediction by 3 a.m. today.

I was nice and warm in my studio sewing the first 4 blocks of the coral and green quilt of Marcia Derse fabric.  The background print is gray with a dull gold print on it.  I wasn't sure if I was going to like it but now that I have some blocks done I can say that I do like it.  I am only making 12 blocks in my effort to make smaller quilts this year.  I plan on adding a small border of the background fabric and the binding will be either coral or green.
Jack Frost came to visit on my kitchen windows.

The last Amaryllis has started to bloom and it is white double flowers too so all of the Stargazer packages were mismarked.  I'm happy though because I can rarely ever find a white Amaryllis and to have double petals is a bonus.  The second stalk on the plant on the left is starting to bloom too.  The third stalk is still tiny and kind of trapped between the other 2 so I'm not sure if it will bloom.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Winter is here..........

The sedum flower heads outside my dining room window.  We got about 4" of snow and it is going to be in the single digits today.  Yesterday morning I went out to shovel the sidewalk for the mailman but that was enough of the cold for me.   

I went through a bag of red pieces of less than a quarter yard and pulled all of the ones that read similar in color and value.  I need to cut 4.5" squares from these and from some of my red yardage.  It is hard to photograph red and they are all darker than they look here.

There were a few pieces too narrow for those squares but I need 2.5" strips too.

This is a little closer to the right color of red.  I think I'm going to use the white with black prints as my light color in the quilt that I showed on my blog a couple days ago.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Fabric choices...........

Last week I was choosing fabrics for my next Marcia Derse fabric quilt.  I just realized 2 days ago that I'm using some of the Pantone Color of the Year 2019 which is Living Coral.  I have many shades of coral in there as well as a couple orange and rust and one red/orange.  I generally get bored making a quilt with too limited of a selection but I think I will be OK with this group.
Each block has 2 colors and the background fabric so I divided them into sets of 2 with some being both the warm color, some both green, and some mixed, coral/green.
My first pairing was all one of each color in the pair but I thought maybe that was just too predictable.  Of course I can always change my mind midstream because I have more than I need of each of the fabrics.  Hopefully I will get started on this soon.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Organizing in 2019...........

I decided I need to be more organized this year so before I put away this baby quilt top for February I chose the border (plaid), backing (light print) and binding (narrow stripe).  I even found a piece of batting close to the size I need.  I will hang them all together on a hanger until I'm ready to finish it.
I have always wanted to make a quilt like the one on the left and recently found the same quilt (only larger) with a light background.   I have the dies to cut all of the pieces so I think I need to do this one this year.  The star is on point in both of these.

These are the 2 books that they are in, both from the 1990s.

Here is another quilt in a magazine that has the same star only straight instead of on point like the other two.  I like it too but might get bored making it unless I do it with 30 or more different red fabrics.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hanging sleeve...and found blocks..........

I forgot to add this photo yesterday with the colorwash finish.  I used all 2 yards of the backing fabric and had none left for the hanging sleeve.  I looked through my green fabrics and thought this one looked great.

In one of the boxes in the basement I found these 16 flannel blocks and a bunch more 1.5" strips.  I think I intended to make more blocks back in Dec. 2011 or maybe piano key borders, but at this point I just want to finish some things whatever size they are.  I sewed this top while watching the 10 p.m. news last night.  

Even after making several plaid and stripe flannel quilts the last 2 years I still have plenty of flannel fabric left so I'll sew on a 3-4" border and back it with flannel in Feb.  I just gifted the last flannel baby quilt so this one will replace it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Finish # 4 for 2019............

I put the last hand stitches in the binding of this colorwash while I watched the 10 p.m. news last night.  It finished at 40" x about 63".  All of the fabrics are printed quilting cottons and the pieces are finished 2" x 4" rectangles.

Keeping with the floral/nature theme of the prints on the front, the back is beautiful large flowers and leaves.

The binding is a fabric from the early 1990s and is a black background with brown stylized flowers and tiny gray leaves.

Now my finishing for the month is over and I will tackle a bunch of paperwork and start some new quilts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


If I would get busy earlier in the day I would get more done.  I thought maybe I had a chance of finishing this quilt but only got the quilting and trimming done.  It is the largest colorwash I have quilted for quite a few years.
I love this backing fabric.  I knew I would never cut it up in little pieces so it might as well go on the back of a quilt.

I have been devoting the first half of this month for finishing.  Now the fun will begin as soon as the binding is done on this one.  I have 3 quilts that I'm going to start cutting.

My red amaryllis flowers are fading fast and the next white ones are just opening.  There are 4 more buds on this stalk.

And just because they make me so happy, here is a closer view of them.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Finish # 3 for 2019..........

This batik orphan block quilt is machine quilted with a medium size meander pattern.
It ended up 52.5" x 68".

The back is 4 strips of batik fabric leftover from other backings.  I thought that was perfect for a quilt with so much variety on the front.  I will wash this one to soften it up since the batiks on the back are unwashed fabric.  I use Orvis soap, pure soap, not detergent to wash my quilts.  Detergent scrubs the fabric but soap just cleans the fibers so it is kinder to quilting fabric.  I think some quilt shops still sell it but I get mine at a farm supply store.  It is a livestock soap so that is the department you need to look in.