Friday, May 31, 2019

no decision yet..........

Thanks to all who voiced an opinion about border choices for my quilt yesterday.  That was fun!  I had the crazy idea last night to try that tiny triangle print as a first border with the grape fabric.  Interesting!  My 2 friends are coming over to sew  today so we will have some discussion about the choices and hopefully I will get the borders sewn on for another finished quilt top for May.

I planted my porch pots yesterday morning (photos in a couple days) and went with my granddaughter to her wedding dress fitting yesterday afternoon.  It was a sunny warm day and no rain.

The weatherman last night said we had 21 out of 31 days in May with measurable rain.  Some of my neighbors still have standing water on parts of their lawns.  Today is supposed to be dry and Sunday through Tuesday no rain is predicted.  Saturday scattered showers and I hope they are very light showers.

I looked through fabrics for a possible print to put in as random plain blocks with these pastel 16 patches.  This is the one I will cut  today and see if it looks OK.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

border auditions.....................

I was busy with lots of things yesterday so it was late before I tried a few more fabrics for borders for this small quilt.  The reason for bordering is to make it big enough for an adult small throw quilt.

Photo one - three choices

Photo 2 - 2 new choices, one the same as in photo 1.

Photo 3, narrow border added before grape fabric plus 2 new choices.

Any opinons?

The little white star flowers are everywhere in the back garden.  When they are done the grass (leaves) will die back.  It is a real pain to dig out because every leaf has a little onion type bulb attached to it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Border fabric.............

After looking through fabrics for a possible border I came across this grape print.  I think it might work.  I need to open up the fabric and hang it on the design wall so I can see it from a distance.

Also while in the basement looking around I came across the box of pastel 16 patches that I made 6 years ago.  I tried a couple times to lay them out in a pleasing order with no success.  I think this is the year to make it a success story.  There are 56 eight inch blocks in the box so I think I need to make 7 more blocks for a 7 x 9 layout.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Wild weather and a quilt top................

Yesterday morning started out dry and partly sunny and not too hot so I planted my last 4 tomato plants along my driveway.  They did so well here last year that it was worth a second try.  I worked up the dirt the night before so I could get right to the planting today.
Two of the plants are the 4th of July variety which did great last year.

The other two are Early Girl which have always been a winner for me.  I like smaller tomatoes so these are perfect for salads and sandwiches.

Then it got dark and started raining really hard.  I heard we only got a little over 2" but that was in about 20 minutes.  I have shown this scene before with my bird feeders but not with the lake by them. 
Edited: I found out later that we had 3.5" in 20 minutes.

This is the backyard of my neighbor to the north and his back to back neighbors with one huge lake.

This is the backyard of the neighbor to the south.  My house sits a little higher than both of my neighbors.

There was standing water all the way up the street and it even covered the street at one spot.  We were in a severe thunderstorm warning first and a tornado watch after that.  My power went off at 1:45 and didn't come back on until 6:15 p.m.
I had 2 blocks left to sew when the power went off so last night I sewed them and then got all of the blocks sewn into a top.  It is about 32" x 49" right now so I'll look for border fabrics.  If I don't find anything I'll finish it at this size. 

We have more stormy weather predicted for later today and some rain the 2 days after that.  The farmers have not been able to get many crops planted with our extremely wet spring.

Monday, May 27, 2019

17 blocks sewn..............

I got 17 of these blocks sewn yesterday, 7 left to sew.  I did add the extra blocks for another row in length.  It will still only be about 32" x 40".  I think I'll put a border on it.

I selected petunias for my backyard pots this year.  This is such a pretty shade of pink.

The other one is purple, even deeper toned than they look here.  I hope the hummingbirds like them.

There aren't any peonies blooming for Memorial Day.  Usually they are at least starting to bloom but this year there are just tight buds on all of the plants.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Another finished quilt top..........

This is the other partially made quilt that was in that bin that I was emptying.

I started this quilt in mid October 2007.  It is the pattern "Keep Out" by Maple Island Quilts.  I did make some changes however.  The fabrics are all black and white even though some look more like gray.  When a print has about equal parts of black and white it will almost always read as gray from a distance.  This quilt top ended up at 44" x 68.5"

When I get all of these pieces sewn into blocks I'll have 3 new orphan blocks.  I have 3 boxes of orphan blocks, batik, Kaffe, and regular printed quilting cottons.  Even though they are separated that doesn't mean they won't be used together in one quilt.  It will all depend on how many blocks I have when I get ready to make another orphan block quilt.
I planted 4 of my tomato plants yesterday.  They are 4th of July, Early Girl, and Rutgers varieties.

Yes, there are already tomatoes on the plant.  It cost $5.75 and I would pay that much at the grocery store for the number of tomatoes here.  If this plant does as well as the ones last year I will have tomatoes all the way into October.

Dianthus is blooming already.  They self seed so they come back for years.  I should be seeing some other colors soon.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Cleaning out a bin........

While my 2 friends worked on their projects yesterday I was determined to empty a bin of pieces, parts, and partially made quilt tops.  These are leftover triangles from a couple of my Prismatic Garden series quilts.  I had all of these up on the wall to see how big of a top I could make and then I found...............
under another project were some already pieced blocks.  I decided this would made a nice side of a tote bag.

This could be the other side of the tote bag.  There are a couple left over blocks that could be used as pockets in the lining.

There are also 5 more blocks that could be used in the small quilt layout above to make it a row longer.

I also found a partially made quilt top which I showed last on January 28, 2009.  At that point I said I had made a decision so I could finish it.  Well.......that was a little over 10 years ago.  I think it has aged enough, it is ready.  I'll show it tomorrow and hopefully it will be all sewn together.

Below are blooms on my Weigela bushes.  They are so pretty.  We cut back the darker pink one drastically last fall so it only had a few branches with blooms on them.  It will all grow back and be big and bushy again next year.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Wild rectangles quilt top finished................

I finished sewing this quilt top together last night.  It ended up 40.25" x 54.25" so it is a small throw quilt.  It will need just one width of fabric for the back which makes me happy.

I saw a black and white bird chasing some other birds away from the bird feeder and wondered what kind it was.  Then about a half hour later I saw the red and knew it was a Rose Breasted Grosbeak.

It is so hard to hold the camera still for the extra zoom feature on my camera but this didn't turn out too bad.  I thought all of the Grosbeaks had continued on their migration by now.

The Columbines have finally opened and are so pretty.  These are pale pink, almost white.

The blue ones are right beside the pink ones.  In the background you can see I finally got some hanging baskets for the backyard.  I also got some tomato plants.  I'm really late getting them in this year but we have had so much rain and cold weather.

The insurance adjuster came after lunch and looked at my roof.  He was turning in a hail damage report but because my damage isn't severe he said it may not be approved so it is a wait and see thing now.  If I were selling my house right now new buyers would ask for a new roof because there is obvious damage so I would really like an insurance settlement.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

More blocks.............

I made 10 more blocks to add to the quilt blocks I showed yesterday and added a lot more light value batiks in them.  I thought it was a little dark.  They are 8" blocks so it is 40" x 48" if I sew it right now.

I am thinking about adding a batik stripe border on the top and bottom to lengthen it to 54".  I folded and pinned the fabric to the bottom and I do like it.  It is folded 4" wide but I think 3" would look better.

I have an insurance adjuster coming today to check out any damage I have on my roof and downspouts.  My last roof was put on after a hail storm in 2003.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


As I was cleaning up the trays of rectangles and re-sorting them I came across a lot of rectangles that I cut 15 years ago that really don't work for colorwash.  There weren't as many batiks available in the early 2000s as there are now so I was cutting from a lot of the 1990s batiks.

I decided to  make blocks using 8 rectangles and put them up on my design wall edge to edge.  I happen to like busy quilts so even with this odd assortment of fabrics I really liked it.  I know there are some people looking at this and say "Ow, that hurts my eyes".

I decided I should try some other layouts.  This one just has the blocks separated with the design wall flannel making the sashing.  It is trying to tell me each block is pretty and needs to be showcased.......but......they aren't pretty blocks.  This layout is OK but not my style.

I decided to try columns and I could live with this layout.  I would need to make 8 more blocks to make it a little more rectangular, longer and narrow like a body shape that it would cover.

This project is just a busy work project because I didn't have my next project lined up ready to sew and I had an hour of TV to watch.  I actually made these blocks on the last 2 evenings.

For all of you who still have http://  as the beginning of your blog address, this isn't safe any more.  Blogger has already set it to https:// for everyone but you need to take one more step.  In Blogger go to your settings in the Basic page and change the HTTPS DIRECT to YES.  In Bloglovin my blog came up as Not Secure until I changed that setting to YES.  You don't want the bad guys getting into your account and messing with it.  I'm visiting a lot of blogs that still come up with the Not Secure at the beginning of the address and you need the setting enabled to forward your visitors to the secure https:// setting.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


It's a quilt top!  It ended up 36" x 45".
I used some wild and weird batik in this colorwash and a lot of the pieces are from 20 years ago.  The center is more blendy in person than in a photo.  

My small Narcissus flowers are just ending their blooming season.  I had a lot more flowers than I normally do.  My peonies are bigger and bushier and have more buds than usual this year too.  I guess that means they all liked the long winter and cold spring.

Monday, May 20, 2019

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

We had a wonderful family gathering yesterday at a local restaurant.  When I got home the sun was still shining so I mowed the grass.

Last night I finally got to the sewing machine and it took me 2 1/2 hours to sew the first 8 columns together.  It is a little slower process than sewing squares when I make a colorwash with rectangles.  I now know it will be 54" tall.
I have lots of Jack in the Pulpit in the back garden.

I love the contrast of the Red Penstemon against the green Lily leaves.  

Sunday, May 19, 2019

I think it is ready to sew...........

I changed many rectangles all day long and played a little more with it in the evening.  I filled in the half rectangles (squares) at the top and bottom edge.  The center looks smoother in real life than it does in a photo.  I think it is ready to sew but I can't say for sure I won't still change a couple pieces.  Students in my colorwash classes might wonder why I put turquoise next to rose since they aren't next to each other on the color wheel.  It is because I had 5 rectangles that have a mix of turquoise and rose and they became the transition area between the 2 colors.
Kevin the Quilter was in the area doing a lecture and workshops so he stopped by to see me on the way home.  We are just coming out of the Bull Moose Bar and Grille in this photo.  I "forced" him to take home some scraps from my studio.  I hope he has fun with them.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Playing inside, ignoring outdoors....................

I started a colorwash with rectangle shapes to talk about on my last live session Thursday.  I still need to fill in with squares at tops and bottoms of rows.

It rained part of the day yesterday and I ignored the damaged garden and continued playing.

By 11 p.m. I had all of the rectangles filled in and now I'll get the squares and fill in.  It could use one more vertical row on the left side so I'll consider that today.  It will lose 8.5" in width when sewn and 6" in length.  I'll probably change some pieces before I sew it.

I was just walking through the kitchen when I saw the opossum strolling through the back yard.  He didn't stay long, he was on a mission.

I took this photo of the Columbine buds the day before the hail storm  They weren't damaged.

This photo was taken that same evening and I think they are OK too.  Coral bells and Veronica.