Saturday, February 29, 2020

A lot of seams.........

This is what the postage stamp quilt top looked like as I finished sewing the last seam.

I flipped it over to check how well everything was matched.  You can click on the photo and enlarge to see how I did.

Finally to the design wall to have its portrait shot taken.  4032 little squares, 1.5" which finished at 1".  The top measures 55.5" x 71.5".  Inspiration for this one is from here.

This is the variety of solids that I used.  There are 4 squares of each left over so I could make double 4 patch blocks with them.  The solids would make the chain.

Now I have a border to sew on one quilt top to have 2 tops in my monthly recap tomorrow.  Then I can start something's all cut out waiting for me.......

Friday, February 28, 2020

Blocks on the design wall...........

l put the 63 blocks up on the design wall and changed a few several times.  I think this is the final layout.  It will only change if I make a mistake while piecing it.

One third of each square ends up in seam allowance on the back, lots and lots of seams............

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The last blocks................

The last 8 postage stamp blocks are done....whew!!  It was 10 p.m. when I pressed the last one so I'll play at the design wall today.

Here are the leftovers - 2 stacks of solid colors and all of the prints needed to make those 2 blocks if I so choose and the leftovers on the table next to the box.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Taking inventory.............

I needed 8 more blocks for the postage stamp quilt so I decided I needed to take inventory and see if I had enough squares already cut.  I have enough solids cut for 10 blocks and enough print squares for 11 blocks so I may be able to just use what is already cut.  Since there are duplicates of lots of the print squares I may run out of the right variety to not use 2 of the same fabric in any block.  In that case I will cut a few more squares.

Here are the 7 most recent blocks that were finished making the total done at 55 (I need 63).

Yesterday I got 5 of the 8 blocks needed sewn in one direction.  I won't press any of these until I get the next 3 to the same step.  Then it will be design wall time.  I'm hoping to have this quilt top sewn together by the end of the month.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

#3 finish for February 2020............

The dirt will never show on this baby quilt with its medium and dark value fabrics.  It ended up about 38" x 39".  I'm sure it will shrink a couple inches when washed because of the loop quilting.

The back is a nice quality and pretty flannel fabric.  It is really closer to a hot pink than red in the background but it still looks great with the fabrics on the front.  The batting is Warm and Plush 100% cotton and the binding is the same fabric as the border and is all machine finished.
As a refresher, here is where it started with the fabric being cut with a GO! die on my Accuquilt Studio cutter with the adapter for Go dies.  It was a design as I go project with no preconceived idea for it. (because that is the way I usually work)

Monday, February 24, 2020

#2 finish for February 2020................

Completed, the zipper quilt.  Ditch quilted on my straight stitch machine, hand finished binding.  It is 59" x 71".

The large leaf print is a full width strip and the other smaller leaf fabric is the rest of the width of the backing.  It was a long piece leftover from the backing on another quilt.

Friday I sewed the borders on the wonky heart quilt and then loaded it on the longarm.  Yesterday afternoon I quilted it

I quilted in many size loops with a variegated Rainbows Superior brand thread on top, bottom line by Superior in the bobbin.

I changed my mind on the backing fabric.  I had originally pulled a yellow background with large numbers all over it but then I saw this piece of flannel and decided to use it instead.  The binding is the same fabric as the border.  I will show the finished quilt tomorrow.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

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

I finished the hand stitching on the binding but it was after 10 p.m yesterday so I haven't taken the final photos yet.  I'll do that today. 

I'm hoping to clean up one section of the garage today since it is supposed to be warmer than usual.  I hope there will be sunshine because my garage faces east and that would warm it up more.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Still hand stitching...........

I'm a little past the half way mark on my hand stitched binding but nothing to take a picture of.  Instead I'll show you the new Kaffe fabrics that I had to have.  There really weren't a lot this season that I cared for.

I think you can probably guess which print was my favorite....that I had to have 5 of the colors.

My son came over and worked on my lighting problem.  We finally decided there has to be a new fixture to replace the problem one.  It will be in Tuesday.  He fixed the one in the basement that the pull chain had come out of so now all of the basement lights are working.

Friday, February 21, 2020


I could have used just about any color binding to go with the front of the quilt so I looked at the more limited colors on the back and chose this 20+ year old Hoffman fabric for the binding.  I think it is probably closer to 30 years old.

I decided to hand finish the binding on this one so I got it sewn on and started the hand stitching.  

I also did more cutting of print 1.5" squares for my postage stamp quilt.  It was cold yesterday so it was a good day to just stay inside.  40s on the weekend and maybe even 50 on Sunday....heat wave.....I may have to do some outside work.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

A bunch of squares.................

Yesterday I remembered that I had some trays of 1.5" squares that I used for colorwash.  I pulled them out to see how many I could pull out for my postage stamp blocks.

This is the group I pulled, enough for 2 2/3 blocks.  Last night I got 4 blocks sewn in one direction.  I'll press them and sew the other direction today and hopefully sew a couple more too.

A couple people asked about the recipes for the cookies that I bake for my art quilters group.  Their favorite is the peanut butter cookies.  This is the recipe I have always used and it is for crispy crunchy cookies, not soft ones.  I use Skippy Super Chunk peanut butter in them and always Land O'Lakes butter for the shortening.  For the Chocolate Chip Cookies I still use the Nestle Toll House cookie recipe on the chocolate chip package.  For the chips I put in 1 cup of semi-sweet and 1 cup mixture of chocolate chunks and mini chips.  This assures chocolate in every bite.

I mentioned awhile back that anyone who has not changed their blog from HTTP to HTTPS should do it immediately.  Go to your settings in Blogger and on the Basic page in the middle is a place for https redirect.  You should change it to YES.  HTTP is not secure, not safe.  You might see on the URL line of some blogs that is says Not Secure.  If it is safe there is a lock symbol at the far left of the URL line.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Great progress!!...........

I was determined to get the last 5 rows of quilting (100 minutes) done yesterday on the zipper quilt, and I did it!!  I also got all of the basting stitches pulled out. Now I need to choose binding and make the decision whether I will hand or machine finish it.

I wanted to finish the 4 postage stamp blocks that were partially done and did that too.  I didn't get the cutting done that I planned but I will do that today.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Getting back to postage stamp blocks......

 Last night after company left I worked on my postage stamp blocks again.  I'm going to have to do several a day if I intend to finish this top by the end of this month.  I think I need 19 blocks and I have 3 sewn in one direction and the red solid color squares laid out for a fourth block.  I need to cut a LOT more print squares because I'm using the same ones over and over and I would prefer there is more variety.

Monday, February 17, 2020


I finished straightening up the basement and did 3 more 20 minute rows of quilting on the zipper quilt, 5 rows left to stitch.

Last night I baked cookies and I didn't even test them.  That is willpower!
I just made a half batch of each which is 3 dozen cookies of each.  I will test them at noon today.....or maybe I'll have one for breakfast......

The art quilters are coming today.  Two of them were making Blooming 9 patch quilts and they finished the tops and they are being quilted now so we won't see the finished quilts until next time.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Cleaning up..........

While cleaning off tables in the basement I did a little cutting for the next project and also for the postage stamp quilt.

This is my one lonely cactus bloom.  There aren't any buds on any of the other plants and only this one on this plant.  I knew when they almost all bloomed at the same time earlier this winter that there would be a dry spell.

This noisy crow sat in the tree outside my kitchen window and let the neighborhood know he was here.

February is more than half over already.  For the people with Leap Year Day birthdays it probably doesn't get to the end fast enough, after all they have waited 4 years for a birthday.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Basting and quilting............

I finished basting the quilt I showed yesterday and then went back to machine quilting on my straight stitch machine.  I am turning a corner every 1.5" for the ditch quilting on this quilt.  Each row top to bottom takes almost 20 minutes and I did 6 of them yesterday.  I now have 11 of the 20 rows quilted.
If you click and enlarge this photo you can see the pattern it makes on the back of the quilt.  Ditch quilting between blocks was done before I started these long rows.

This quilting makes the plain color squares pop forward so the zipper effect should be more prominent.  

The art quilters are coming Monday so I have to spend at least 5 hours cleaning off tables, delinting design walls and vacuuming today.  Baking will happen tomorrow.  

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentines and miscellany...........

 My grandma used to collect postcards and when she decided she was done with that she gave them to me, a little girl living on a farm in the middle of nowhere.  This one was in the box.

It was sent to my great-uncle Oliver, a bachelor who lived with his mother, my great-grandmother in Bristol IL.  This one is postmarked 1928 and is from Iowa from 2 of Oliver's brothers.  Somebody pulled the stamp off of this at some point.
In my own mailbox I got the Valentine on the left this year and the one on the right 5 years ago from my friend Linda.  Go here to see how she made this year's cards.

I finally sewed together the wonky heart baby quilt blocks into a quilt top.

Searching through my stash I found this border fabric and I think I will use the numbers fabric on the back.  Binding will probably be the same green as the sashing.

A friend came over Wednesday and we basted her flannel quilt.  I usually use the tape twice so I looked through my tops for another one to baste and I have it half done now.

Winter is back for a few days.  It was 1 degree last night at 11:30.

My Sedum flowers are coneheads again.  This is my driveway before it was plowed and before I shoveled the sidewalk.  I think we got about 4" of snow.

Two Juncos came to visit and eat from this feeder.  The squirrel baffle is a nice conehead too.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

#1 finish for February 2020...........

This is my Valentine quilt this year.  It has 19 hearts hidden in the piecing, some more obvious than others.  The fabrics are all Australian.  It is 54" x 68" and designing was started in August 2017.  I almost gave up on it after the 2nd day of playing at the design wall in 2017.  The last hand stitches in the binding were done last night.
The back is pieced from one full width and 2 long leftover strips from other backings.

This is my 4th quilt made with Australian fabrics and I still have a stack a foot high of the fabrics.

This is the first quilt I made with the Australian fabric, the top made in 2014 and quilted in 2017.

This Hunter Star quilt top was finished at the beginning of Oct. 2017.  I sold this top.

This triangle quilt made with Australian fabrics was pieced in 2017 and quilted in 2018.  I added in a few fussy cut squares when I got tired of sewing triangles.  I sold this finished quilt.  This one is the only one that I used all of the colors in.  I need to make another one with the full variety.