Tuesday, December 31, 2019


I got the Snails Trail quilted and trimmed last night.  The backing is a dark olive green that looks almost brown with a leaf design.  The binding is going to be the same fabric and will be machine finished.
This one has a nice large meander for maximum softness.  I used the Warm and Plush batting by Warm Products.

I also got one border quilted on the African colorwash so I'm still hoping to finish that one by midnight too.

Monday, December 30, 2019


I got the backing pressed and the 3 layers are loaded on the longarm.  I also got another back and batting cut for my latest flannel quilt so here's hoping I have enough energy to get them both quilted by New Year's Eve.  My 2 friends are coming over today for some fun sewing and laughing at silly things.  I might get the bindings cut for both of these quilts today.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

A little quilting............

I finally got around to quilting the center part of this African colorwash.  I still have to quilt the border.  I have a Christmas party to go to today and when I get home I'll get back to work on my projects.  I have to press the backing I seamed 2 days ago and get it loaded on the longarm.  It is supposed to get up to 60 in Chicago but it sounds like we will be a few degrees cooler out here in farmland.  We got rain last night and more coming tonight.  I am so thankful it isn't snow.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Something new............

That was fun yesterday reading all of the comments about me being the queen of procrastination.  I don't know for sure if I have been de-throned or just joined in my reign!  We all are good at procrastination, that is for sure.  So instead of getting backings pieced I played with an idea for a new quilt.  I am pulling the background fabrics.  This is the first batch.
I kept looking and came up with all of these, 29 in total so far.  I know I will add to them.

I don't think my orange/peach cactus has ever bloomed this close to Christmas.  A few years ago I split the plant into two and gave the other half to my daughter-in-law last spring.  Her half bloomed in November.  For me it has usually bloomed from January to April.
The white one continues to bloom.  I have many buds on my favorite light pink one too.

In the outdoor garden I have a squirrel hanging from a suet cage and trying to eat as much as he can.  The crows are waiting for him to leave.

The crows come a couple times a week to clean up under the suet cages.

I did get a backing sewn together yesterday so now I need to cut the batting and I can get that one quilted.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Not much............

I did a little bit of cleanup in the garage while it was warm yesterday.  Then to the basement where I rearranged these blocks for awhile.  They will be made into a tablerunner.  I played with some other fabric, read a few chapters in a book....... nothing too exciting going on here.  I have this big ambition in my head to quilt 3 or 4 quilts before the end of the year but being the queen of procrastination I haven't even gotten a backing sewn together yet.  Maybe today I will get going on the projects............

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Great grandchildren's gift.............

Now that the gifts have been opened I can share what I made for the great grandchildren.  They are placemats with all kinds of kid prints made from the leftovers when I cut I Spy kits a few years ago.

I should have loaded the photos to my computer right away and I would have seen that I needed to smooth them out before I did the closeup shots.

I put different backing fabrics on the back of each of them, numbers above, letters on this one and the one below has stars.  I figured the cute fabrics might keep the little ones occupied while waiting for their lunch to appear in front of them.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!....................

This photo was first on my blog in 2008.  I have a much better camera now but I decided to just recycle this photo.  My sister in law made this cookie jar for me when my kids were little (they are in their 50s now).  The only thing that is missing is the feather quill that he was writing with.
8 years ago I recycled the photo of the mat that Santa is sitting on and added the words.  Someone else owns this table mat now, I'm not sure who.  I gave away so many mats and tablerunners to family and friends.

It's hard to believe it is near the end of December with temperatures in the mid 50s but I'm not complaining.  Maybe I can clean up my garage tomorrow while it is still warmer.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year----hopefully a healthy new year for everyone.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

In between things.................

As I wind up the baking, packing, mailing, etc. I take a break now and then to gather my thoughts.  I am always cutting for colorwash projects so it is a great no brainer task to do while thinking about other things.

I was counting up the quilt tops waiting to be quilted, hoping there would be less at the end of this year than last year.  Woe is me!  There are the same number, 31.  I have hopes of getting a couple more quilted by December 31 but I also was hoping to put a border on the batik star quilt top which will add one back on the list.  The good news is that I have already finished 4 more than last year (22) and am hoping to add to that.

This afternoon is a Christmas Eve service and then a meal with my granddaughter and her new husband.  Weather?  In the mid 50s, should I wear a coat or not?

Monday, December 23, 2019

Future project........

Two in my art quilters group are going to make a Blooming 9 patch quilt.  I want to make another one too so I chose some fabrics and started cutting while they were here a couple weeks ago.  The rust is the center and the dark green will be the outside edge.  The fabrics above the group were in consideration for the back.  I don't have enough of the zebra print for the whole back but I do have enough of the floral fabric.  This will be a project for night sewing, no hurry on it.  For anyone who doesn't know what a Blooming 9 patch is, go here to see one made by Jerry and the last one I made.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

More goodies..........

I did laundry in the morning and then made a batch of fudge.  I had to test it to make sure it was worthy of gifting.

Next was a batch of English Toffee bars.  I don't like nuts in anything but I usually put nuts on half of this.  I realized too late that I didn't have any nuts in the house.

After that I made the first batch of Chex Mix.  

I worked on a Christmas gift next for my great grandchildren but I won't be showing it until after Christmas.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

First day of winter...........

Today is the first day of winter and we are supposed to be in the low 50s the next 2 days......after freezing weather ever since the end of October.

Yesterday I had errands in the morning, a mid afternoon yearly appointment with the pacemaker specialist who did my surgery and then I came home and baked 2 batches of Spritz cookies (Recipe in 1950s Betty Crocker cookbook).  No sewing.  I didn't even touch a piece of fabric.  Today I get to stay home all day and play.  There are 2 small boxes of the broken and mis-shaped cookies that I may have to sample today.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Version 3.........

I left the Australian fabric triangles up on a design wall hoping a final inspiration would develop. I think this will be the final design, 2 vertical rows of hearts on the left and right and occasional hearts sprinkled into the middle part of the quilt.  You can check out versions 1 and 2  here.  I thought version one was too messy and confusing and version 2 a little bit boring.  I need to cut the half triangles to fill in the sides and then I can decide how many more pieces I need to cut.
I got another hand made Christmas card in the mail 2 days ago.  It is from Linda Swanekamp and this post on her blog shows the making of the cards.  It is so beautiful.  A photo just doesn't do it justice.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

First finish for December 2019..........

I am so happy this is a finished quilt.  Since I knew it was for me it kept being pushed back while I worked on other things.  I finished the quilt top 5 years ago.  It is 58.5" x 81" which is close to the 60" x 80" size I like for throw quilts.  It is essentially a courthouse steps log cabin block with sashing between blocks and piano key border and is made of all African fabrics.
I had just enough of this beige and gold zebra stripe fabric for the back.

My granddaughter received the package today with her newest baby's Christmas stocking in it so now I can show it to you.  I let the fabric do all of the work on this one.  The cuff is a shiny snowflake print and it was fun to add some lace to this one.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Binding finished...........

I hand stitched the binding for 3 1/2 hours last night and finished it at 10:10.  It was too late to hang it on the design wall for its portrait.

I do minimal decorating for Christmas since the family party isn't at my house any more.  I hang a few ornaments from lamps or knobs.

This is my tree on a table runner I made last year.

My cactus in a cup has its second bloom.  The third bud dried up and fell off.

This is the mama plant that the piece in a cup is from and it is blooming too.  There are a few other cacti with one or two blooms on them.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

An addition to my collection.............

I was so excited to get another Christmas postcard from Vicki Welsh this year.  It is the blue one at the bottom.  It came bare naked through the mail and the bling was still attached.  

I did get the binding sewn onto the African fabric quilt and the hand stitching is almost half done.  One more night of TV watching and stitching and it should be done.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Trimmed and ready for binding...........

This is one of the very first batiks I ever bought, a Bali brand batik from the early 1990s.  This is what I chose for the binding on the African quilt.

I got the quilt trimmed, the basting pulled out and the binding cut.  

While I was in the basement doing all of that I finished doing the redwork on my embroidery machine.  

Evie (no reply commenter) asked yesterday who is the designer of the blocks.  It was a Cactus Punch package with designs in 2 sizes.  Sorry I don't know the name of the package.

I'm reading another David Baldacci book that is hard to put down.  I hope I can make enough time to sew on the binding today along with starting some cookie baking for the season.

It started to snow before 11 p.m. last night.  I'm hoping they are right that the main part of the storm will be south of us.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

A good quilting day.............

I quilted in 3 sessions and finished quilting this African fabric quilt.  You might be able to see that I just did straight lines from edge to edge following the piecing design.  I used black Aurifil thread on top and it is a fine thread so it hides pretty well in the prints.

Since I spent so many hours on it I turned on my embroidery machine which sits right next to my straight stitch machine and embroidered a bunch of redwork for a quilt while I was quilting.  I made a baby quilt with these same designs in a smaller size about a year ago.  These are closer to 4.5" x 6.5".  I haven't designed the quilt yet so I don't know what size I will be trimming them to.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Busy day.........

Yesterday was one of those days where I took care of many things and by evening I'm asking myself what did I do today?

I decided to just play with a box of pieces of Australian fabrics on my design wall in the evening.  I tried this layout and the shapes look like hearts sometimes but just a jumbled mess the rest of the time.
I think this will be a better layout with the small pieced units making vertical borders on both sides.  I have another whole stack of large equilateral triangles in different colors that aren't mixed in yet.  I think there are enough pieces cut to make a quilt approximately 55" x 70".  I will need to cut some half triangles to fill in the sides.

Friday, December 13, 2019

A Christmas project.........

I'm working on a Christmas stocking for my new great granddaughter.  I was happy to find some Santas in pink clothing and the pink poinsettia fabric in my stash.

I took care of a lot of errands yesterday while it was in the 40s.  It is going to get colder again over the weekend and they can't decide on the track of the storm that could possibly bring snow for Monday.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

My black Friday purchase..............

I saw this cart advertised at Michael's craft store on Black Friday and ordered it.  Of course it came unassembled so I spent a little over an hour putting it together.

Here is one that I purchased 3 years ago and the new one is considerably larger.  I put my GO! dies in it, all of the ones in this cart plus all of the ones on a rack on a shelf.  This smaller cart will keep my current projects ready at all times in the lower 2 bins and can be wheeled over to whichever machine I am sewing with.  I will use the top bin for holding fabrics that I need to cut with my die cutter.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Going through patterns..........

When I came across this pattern I had to open it and assess whether I would really ever make it.

Added 8 a.m.--this is not paper piecing.  Those are cutting lines and then regular piecing reassembles it.

I know I was drawn in by the colors, red, orange, gold and purple.  I have done some Buggy Barn patterns in the past and the stacks of fabrics were about 8 or more fabrics deep and were hard to cut.  This one has layers of just 4 fabrics and I doubt I would make it of flannel.  This would make it a lot easier to cut if I decide to make it.

I made this flannel Buggy Barn pattern quilt top in 2008 or earlier.  I showed it on my blog in 2008 and donated the top as a veteran's quilt.  Vicki Welsh quilted it and finished it and took care of the donation part of it.

I made this Buggy Barn pattern flannel quilt about the same time and I quilted it early in 2008.  This is the quilt on my bed right now.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas fabrics......

A few weeks ago I went through the big storage box of Christmas fabrics.  I pulled out all of the pieces I no longer wanted and shared them with a friend.  Then I pulled all of the small pieces and other larger pieces that looked good with them and I will cut strips the size I need for the die cutter to make a half hexagon quilt with them.  I started pressing all of the fabrics yesterday.  I have other projects that I need to do before I start sewing that one.