Monday, August 31, 2020

Bugging me for 12 years...........

Can you believe this small quilt has been waiting 12 years to have the binding finished?  First I misplaced the rest of the strips but found the same fabric and was ready to cut some new ones.  Then I found the strips already cut and it had been sitting patiently on a shelf waiting....waiting....waiting.....  It's not a lot of fun doing the binding on that kind of an edge but I did it on a large quilt 90+ inches on each side back in 1993.  That one hung at the Paducah quilt show that year.  I'll take a good look at this one today and change thread on my machine to prepare for sewing it on.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Looking through things...........

 I was looking through my 30's reproduction fabrics to see if they inspired me to play with them.  This is all of the smaller scraps.  I have 2 small plastic bins with yardage which includes 2 large pieces for backings.

Here are the quilts I have made so far with these fabrics.  The Trip Around the World is about a twin size, the 2 on the left baby quilts and the one in the middle a toddler quilt.  I decided I wouldn't do anything with the fabric right now.  

I am still cutting colorwash kits for students of my next Colorwash 360 online course.  We will soon be opening a registration period.  If you are interested be sure you are on the mailing list (right side bar).  You only need to sign up once.  

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Hunter Star, shimmering lake with fish...............

The Hunter Star quilt top is sewn together now.  Normally the Hunter Star blocks would be turned 4 different directions and placed together to make a star.  In this one every block is in the same position plus they are on point.  I'm really happy with the streaky multi-color batik that I used for the setting triangles.  It carries on the lake theme with ripples and reflections.  I see mostly light color fish and only a few dark ones.  I also see a pattern that resembles houndstooth checks.  Mostly however I see a finished top before the end of the month.  It is 51" x 68".

I have some empty project boxes.  Yay!!  The last 3 quilt tops were in pieces in those boxes at the beginning of the month.

You haven't heard me mention mowing the grass lately.  That is because we are in a drought area, only about an inch of rain the whole month of August when we usually have close to 4".  And this is after 3 years of record breaking wet years up through June of this year.  Add that to 31 days of temps in the 90s (in Chicago where records are kept) when the normal average is 17 days. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

3 long rows added.............

 I sewed three more rows and added them to the corner sewn the day before.  I also cut the 2 top corner triangles.  Since I had 8 blocks leftover I decided to change a few of the right end blocks to ones with a lighter fabric on the right.  I had several blocks that didn't have a lot of contrast between the light and dark side in the layout previously.  You can go back to yesterday's post to see that.  I may still move a couple blocks before I sew the next rows together.  There are 7 more rows, 4 of them long rows and 3 shorter rows.  Either 2 or 3 more days and I'll have it all sewn together.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Setting triangles.........

I decided it was time to make a decision on the setting triangles for the Hunter Star fish quilt.  This multi-color streaky batik was my favorite when I showed several choices.  I decided to get brave and cut the squares and cut them twice diagonally and that would give me the streaks the long way for top and bottom triangles and the short way for the side triangles.  I still need to cut the corner triangles.

I decided to get a start on sewing last night so I sewed the first three rows together.  I'll do a few rows a day and hopefully have it done by the last day of the month.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Progress report........

 I worked on kits for my Colorwash360 students yesterday so I didn't do any sewing. The class will start mid-September so I need to keep working on the kits.  So I decided to put all of these blocks up on the design wall for a progress report.  I need 80 blocks so I am 1/4 of the way there.  I need to cut some of my Charley Harper fabrics for this one.

Today is supposed to be the hottest day we have had all summer.  Our cool front is predicted for Friday night but that could be affected by the hurricane remnants that will arc across the midwest.  I just hope we get some rain out of it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

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

 My view of the quilt top as I walk into my studio.

I couldn't pin it any higher so my sewing cabinet gets into the photo too.  It is 63" x 76.5".  I think I could have cut the first border a half inch narrower but it is going to stay the way it is. I made the top and bottom outer borders 1" wider than the side borders.                      

Bottom right close up.  You can see the inset of the small bow ties more clearly here.

I decided I wanted some of the Kaffe Fassett fabric out on the shelves instead if in the big boxes.  I remembered I had a bunch of these empty plastic crates that I bought about 40 years ago.  I think I have 2 more that have black and whites in them that can be emptied and brought over to this corner.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Border chosen.............

 This was the second try for a first border and I really like it.  The outer border has a lot of the colors that are in the bow ties so I think it works well too.  I am going to cut the top and bottom outer border a little wider than the side borders.  That will help the proportion of the rectangle shape.

I just can't believe what one of my backyard neighbors is doing.  Every night he is still shooting off fireworks.  Did he buy a bunch after the 4th of July or does he still have leftovers?  I'm getting a little irritated.  I don't know if they can start a fire but it is awfully dry here. (AND fireworks are illegal in IL to start with).

Sunday, August 23, 2020

5 blocks..............

 5 more blocks for an ongoing project.  I was cleaning off one of the tables and this group of fabric was laying there waiting to be cut for these blocks.

I pulled some fabrics for candidates for the border of the bow tie quilt but haven't auditioned them yet.  Hopefully that decision will be made today and I can complete the top.

Outside I have been cutting down the peonies a little each evening.  Last year I left them for October and then we got a lot of rain and then it got really cold and snow.  I will have most of the clean up done this year before winter.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

What a mess............

This is the Kaffe Fassett fabric corner in my basement.  I went down to look for a first border for the bow tie quilt and this mess greets me.  I tend to not put pieces back when I am done cutting from them but instead pile them on the lids of the boxes.  This is 8 of the 9 boxes of Kaffe fabric.  Brandon and Philip reside on the other side of this section.  The 9th box of Kaffe is the one I showed the last 2 days but you only saw half of the contents.  I have a list in each box with the numbers of the fabrics in it.  He numbered them on the selvage all but one year.  Time to tidy up.

Friday, August 21, 2020

A few more light Kaffe collective........

 I must have done something yesterday but I don't know what it was that kind of day.  Before I came up from the basement I hunted through the Kaffe collective fabrics to see if there were any more I could add the to the light neutral collection.  The 2 big prints with more color would only have a few areas that would work.  You might have noticed there are basically no yellows in this group.  They would be considered lights too but my original intention for this group was to concentrate on pink, white and gray and try to make a low volume quilt out of them.  I thought it would feel very old fashioned and resemble a vintage quilt.  It won't be the next one on my list though.  I need to finish the Hunter Star top and the bow tie top, setting triangles on the first and a border on the second.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Light Kaffe prints..........

 One of my readers yesterday commented that there aren't very many light Kaffe Fassett prints and she is right with the newer lines.  In his older prints from the early years (late 1990s through early 2000s) there were quite a few.  There are a few Brandon Mably prints from the last few years in this photo too.

Some of the new fabrics in the last couple years have had the colorway "Contrast".  I thought that was a strange name.  Most of them are deep pastels with gray and white.  It will be interesting to see how they all work together.  I have several prints in "Contrast" but didn't take time to look for all of them last night.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Solids with prints...............

 I haven't forgotten about my solids with prints quilts.  I finished 3 of them and have 3 others in progress, this being one of them.  I spent a lot of time in the basement studio yesterday so I cut the print pieces for these 4 blocks.  I will cut a few pieces for the other two this week too.

It was a beautiful day yesterday with a nice north breeze occasionally.  I haven't baked for a long time so I mixed Kringla dough which has to be chilled and then chocolate chip cookie dough which I baked.  I'll bake the Kringlas this morning.

I forgot to mention we got some rain on Monday.  Over the weekend it all missed us and the prediction for Monday was widely scattered small showers that would miss most of us.  Well lucky us, we were in the path of the little band of showers and got almost a half inch of rain.  That was right after I had watered the tomato plants of course.  We need a lot more but I'm happy for what we did get.

The Rose of Sharon bushes continue to bloom and are the prettiest this year, not as many bugs eating holes in them as in past years. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Sewn together.............

I think the little section of 9 light small bow ties looks like a medallion or crest in the quilt.  I don't think most people will notice the 18 block section of small dark bow ties as quickly.  I am really pleased with the way it came together.

This is all that was leftover to put in the Kaffe orphan block box.  One more project box emptied.  There is a little ziplock of some extra pieces I cut for small bow ties so I think that will get pinned to one of these in the box.  I'm not going to call this one finished yet.  I think it could use a narrow light print border and then one of the diagonal plaids as an outer dark border.  

I have time to think about this while I prepare to cut colorwash kits for my next Colorwash 360 online class.  We are going to offer it soon, starting the online class in the middle of Sept. and ending at the end of October.  I am pretty sure this will be the last time I offer the bonus live sessions once a week with it.  In future classes a student would be on their own without all of the feedback at the live sessions.  

Monday, August 17, 2020

Bow ties progress............

 I added the rest of bow tie blocks and was short quite a few.  I remembered there were quite a few small bow ties left so I added a section of them.  I was still short 4 blocks

I found a little ziploc bag with small bowties with light ties and dark backgrounds so I decided to add them too.

In case you had trouble spotting them here are the 2 sections of small bow ties sewn together.  I started sewing more sections together last night.  I think this one is going to have a border.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Back to bow ties...........

I stalled on yesterday's project, the Hunter Star fish.  I thought I might take out the center seam on the left over blocks to use as fill in side triangles but....the more I thought about it, one side edge would be light and the opposite edge dark and I thought that would be distracting to the allover design.  So....I went back to the other current project and sewed on the bow tie borders.  It measures 36" square at this point.  I'm thinking about adding more borders.

 Here is the whole design wall.   I started putting the larger bow tie blocks into a fairly traditional layout.  I have always liked that layout but tried a bunch of different layouts first.  I'm ready to just get the blocks sewn into a quilt now so this is the layout.  I have more blocks to put on the wall when I remove the 36" quilt top.

Some storms were headed our way yesterday late afternoon.  Just before they reached us they split in two and we got NO rain.  Other areas 20 miles from us got over an inch.  Our grass is getting browner every day.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Searching for fabrics...........

 I started looking through the blue fabrics for setting triangle choices and saw a streaky stripe and thought that might work.  I ended up finding 4 of them.  Then I went to the pile of mottles and found the gray one on the right.

Close up of the 2 on the right.

Close up of the three on the left.

Then I thought why not take out the center seam on the 8 leftover blocks and use them to fill in the sides.  Then I just have to figure out what to do to fill in the top and bottom.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Focus worked!..........

When I went down to the basement studio yesterday morning I had the bow tie blocks on my mind.  As I started cleaning off one of the cutting tables I glanced up at the design wall and this little piece was up there.  (Here is a post where I was starting to make the center section.)  Hmm, I wonder if the small bow ties will work with it?  I took it upstairs and tried it and thought yes, I like it.  But there are 2 different kinds of corners because there is an uneven number of blocks.
So, I flipped the top left and bottom right into the opposite position and I think I like this better.  It has a flow to it whereas the first one stops your eye.

As I continued to clean I came across the box with the Hunter Star blocks.  I had already made up my mind that this was the layout that I was going to do.  When I showed 2 options the majority of readers liked the traditional layout.  I have already made two traditional Hunter Star quilt tops shown here (along with the 2 trial layouts) so I opted for a shimmering lake full of fish.  If you don't see fish, that is OK, you are just distracted by the reflections of the shore line broken up by ripples in the lake.  I have 8 leftover blocks so as I tweak it for the final layout I can substitute a block or 2.  Next I need to choose the setting triangles and I think they need to be blue or green to carry on the water theme.

Thursday, August 13, 2020


I went through boxes of pieces and parts yesterday looking for a partially made project to work on.  I counted blocks in a couple boxes so I could put a note in with them.  Since I was in zig zag mode I wondered how the 2 sizes of bow ties would look in zig zags.  Ignore the 3 pieces turned the wrong way at the bottom of the second column of large ones.  I wasn't in any mood to take another photo.  This kind of looks like a twisted chain......  I wasn't really too excited about any layouts that I tried in this post last year in June.  I can just use the 2 sizes in 2 different quilts too.  Just playing.  It is getting hotter each day although the humidity is still low.  In the late afternoon the breeze dies down and it is just plain hot in my west facing kitchen and studio.  I think I'll have to resort to A/C this afternoon or I'll be just plain grouchy.

Today my word is FOCUS.  Note to self:  Don't fritter away the whole day achieving nothing.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Third time's a charm...................

 I tried one more layout, turning the zig zag vertical instead of horizontal like I showed yesterday.  I liked this one the best so.....

I sewed it.  It is 36" x 48" as I predicted.  I know the backing will be another black and white print.  The only decision left is whether the binding needs to be blue to cap off the end of the zig zag or should it be another black and white print.  I will audition a few fabrics.

I did something "normal" yesterday.  Well, maybe it wasn't too normal.  I went to the gas station for the first time in 5 months and filled my tank.  I wonder if I will need to fill it again before the end of the year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

New project................

 I sewed all of the blocks of what I am calling a baby quilt at this point because it would measure 36" x 48".  The triangles are 6" finished.  This is the layout I thought I would like.  Then I saw pinwheel blocks on point with alternate plain squares on Pinterest and thought that was pretty neat.  That would increase the size of this to approximately 51" x 68".

I turned a few pieces to get this layout.  I love zig zags.

We had quite the excitement yesterday as a fast moving storm with 80 - 90 mph winds approached us from the west.  The tornado sirens were blaring!  I went to the basement and turned on my weather band radio and listened until our county was off the danger list.  My rain gauge only had 1/2" in it.  I was really hoping for a soaking rain looking at the size of the storm on radar.  A half inch of rain every 10 days is not going to turn our grass all green again.  There wasn't any damage other than one large branch across the street in my neighborhood.  My son 3 miles away lost power and part of town was without power.  Mine flickered quite a few times but stayed on.   I was just happy there wasn't any hail.

Monday, August 10, 2020

First quilt top finish for August...........

The Kaffe Collective Churn Dash quilt is finally sewn together.  It seems like it was a long journey on this one.  I looked back and see that I made the first blocks on June 17.
The camera is making the light and dark contrasts between blocks higher than it is when seen in person.  I don't like the photo, I do like the quilt.  It is 65" x 83".

I had to hang it sideways on the design wall for the photo and then rotate the final photo.  It really isn't any fun getting shorter every year.

My next 2 projects will be two really easy baby quilts made with Marcia Derse fabric.  This first one is all 6" finished triangles.  It might get a border of one of the black and white prints.  The other group of fabric was shown on this post.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Lots of more day........

 I spent all morning yesterday trying to finalize the layout with the 7 new blocks mixed in.  I would take a photo, load it into the computer, look at it, change a couple blocks and repeat, repeat, repeat about 10 times before I decided on this final layout.  Then in the afternoon I started sewing the different sections together.  I decided to sew those parts into 2 large sections to make the sewing easier.  All that is left now is to press all of the seams I have already sewn and sew the last seam.  I will take it down to the basement for its final photo tomorrow.  This main floor studio is too narrow to get an evenly lighted photo.  My large sewing cabinet blocks the light to the bottom edge.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

7 blocks sewn..........

I got the 7 final blocks made but I didn't get them up on the design wall.  I will have to get down on my hands and knees and pin the bottom blocks to the wall and then pin the new blocks to those blocks since there isn't any more design wall down there.  I changed the pink center on the top right block to blue and I'm much happier with it.
Here are the final three.  I hope I have made good choices and I should know today.  I intend to work the final 7 into the mix and start sewing the sections together.  Because there are the 2 big  block areas I will have to sew it in many sections.

 There is a little area about 12" wide between the sidewalk and the garage wall and it is full of volunteer Rose of Sharon bushes.  There are at least 3 colors in there.  I started out with 4 little starts for the white and light lavender and ended up with 4 colors and about 100 volunteers all over my yard and gardens.

Friday, August 7, 2020

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

The days are getting warmer as we approach our weekend of 90s.  It was still so nice yesterday that I decided I needed to do more garden clean up instead of sewing.  Because the summer has been pretty dry some of the plants are starting to look like fall.  The weeds were easy to pull out.  My Rose of Sharon bushes look better this year since we had fewer Japanese beetles than in previous years.  The one on the left is the deepest rose color and the one on the right the deepest lavender.

 The white ones are really pretty this year too.  The petals don't have bug holes in them.  Some years I can't find one good flower to photograph.

I did do some cutting for the final 7 blocks and sewed the parts but haven't pressed them so the block isn't sewn together.

I may change the center of this one to a pale blue.  I'm trying to choose the right colors for the last group which is harder than just grabbing any 2 fabrics and cutting and sewing them like I have done most of the way through this quilt.