Sunday, February 28, 2021

Second finish for February 2021

All I had left to do on this quilt was the binding which I did yesterday.  I have been calling it rectangles and daisies.  It is 46" x 64.5", a nice size for someone to snuggle under if sitting in a chair.

The back is 3 long pieces leftover from other quilt backings.

This was just a quick little quilt made between major projects and also helped to use some of my full box of 2.5" Kaffe fabric strips plus 3 orphan blocks.  There is at least one Brandon Mably fabric in the rectangle squares and a couple Martha Negley twig stripes.

The all by machine binding is a Brandon Mably dotted stripe so several colors show up on the edge but it is mostly red.  It looks good with the 2 red print strips on the back.

I love this pink cactus.  It has 4 blooms right now.

 I'll have my monthly recap tomorrow.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Making blocks...........

 I have 12 Hattie's Choice blocks sewn and up on the design wall.  I can see just from the assortment I have made that it could have 2 grids, one cool and one warm, overlaying the background of black and white.  I have 2 different light background fabrics right now but the black batik is all the same fabric.  I have enough more of it to do 2 more blocks and then I need to look for another black to add in.

I have a binding to do today on the second quilt to finish this month.  I never got to it yesterday.

The stalk on the waxed Amaryllis bulb didn't get any taller and it feels like the bulb is disintegrating inside the wax.  I'm happy it has gotten this far and hope it has enough energy to go ahead and bloom.

It looks like it will have at least 3 flowers.  I'll talk nice to it and give it a lot of encouragement.

I have a second red cactus in bloom and it has 3 more buds.

Friday, February 26, 2021

A finish for February..............

I got the first February finish photographed.  It is similar to a Kansas Dugout block.  The only difference is the centers and corners are whole squares not triangles in the real Kansas Dugout pattern.  It is 59" x 72".

I had enough of the stripe on the back for one full length and cut the remainder into 25" strips and sewed them end to end so the stripes run the opposite way from the full strip.  The quilting lines running the opposite way of the stripes in the narrow section makes it look like a plaid.

I got this quilt quilted with a medium size meander and it is trimmed and ready for binding.  

I want to thank all of you yesterday for your support in my dilemma with the die company.  Many more emails were sent and received and nothing is resolved yet.  

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Who is right?........

If you have been reading my blog for a long time you might remember in 2011 I bought the Accuquilt Studio die cutter.  Here is the blog post where I showed it and talked about it.  

I have purchased many dies over the 9 1/2 years I have owned it and I USE them all the time.  

When visiting a friend's quilt shop I purchased this half rectangle die.  It is a GO die which I can cut on my Studio cutter using an adaptor under the dies.

Like I do with all of my GO dies I took the die out of the package and put it on my GO die rack and hung the packaging (which contains some info about the die and sometimes a pattern) on a hook with the rest of the packages.  It was a few months before I tried the die and I couldn't figure out how to line up the ends.  I tried it many more times thinking I was doing something wrong but couldn't figure out what it was.

Then on January 25 this year KatyQuilts showed this die and how nicely it lines up.  What?  I looked at her pieces, looked at my die and the corners are nipped off differently.  Mine are nipped like they would be on a half SQUARE triangle and hers were nipped at an angle.  I checked my package and it shows the corners like hers. The die I got in the package does not match the illustration on the package.  Click on the photo to enlarge and see the orange piece is nipped at an angle and the blue is nipped at 2 angles and they even have an arrow pointing to the nipped corners bragging about them.

I finally got up the nerve to contact them and sent them 2 photos showing the problem.  Answer back: tell us your order number.  I told them I had purchased it at a store Answer backmy warranty would be through the store (which has gone out of business) so we are unable to issue a replacement in this case.  Warranty?  What does the wrong die in a package have to do with a warranty?  But they will offer me 10% off if I want to order the same die again.  In other words I would end up paying twice to get the correct die that was pictured on my package, the die I thought I was getting the first time.  (By the way this is the only half rectangle die they sell so it isn't a matter of picking up a die off the wrong pile and putting it in the package.  It is a case of them making a correction to a die and still shipping out the bad one to a store.)

I think they owe me the correct die that is pictured on my package.

Any thoughts?

Update, 3/2/21-1:30 p.m.  The "fixer" at Accuquilt called me and was very apologetic and took care of the problem.  I will be getting a new die. 

And to end on a happier note, I pieced the back for the next in line to be quilted.  It is 3 strips of cutaways from previous quilt backs.  I have it pressed and loaded on the longarm and hope to quilt it today.  Here is the post with the quilt top.  I'm thinking meandering over all of the rectangles and then ditch quilting on my straight stitch machine around the "daisy" blocks.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

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

 The end of the month is creeping up fast and I hadn't finished anything all month.  I sewed the backing for this one on Monday and yesterday I loaded it on the longarm and quilted it.

I did organic straight line quilting which really means the lines aren't straight...but they go from one end to the other on the quilt.

This quilt is all Marcia Derse fabrics.

The backing fabric is used on the front too.

Here it is in a heap after trimming the edge.  I cut the binding from the same fabric as the back and will sew it on all my machine today.

I have several cacti in bloom right now.  I'll take photos of the rest of them today.

Thawing is happening here now and will continue all week.  It will be nice to see the grass again, by the end of the week I hope.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

I had to make 2 more..................

After making the first 2 blocks with the mottled batik fabric in the X position I thought maybe this might be a good quilt to use a wide variety of mottled batik fabrics.  I have a 15" high pile of mottled batiks in many different colors.  They have been sitting on one of my cutting tables for many months while I tried to decide how to use them.  I have several white with gray prints to use as the light fabric and many black background with gray batiks for the diamonds. (Block is Hattie's Choice cut with a GO die.)

I also got one backing sewn together yesterday so I'm one step closer to having a finish this month.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Making test blocks..............

I cut some blocks with my dies yesterday as tests for the directions on the packages.  The directions don't give all of the information that I think is important so sometimes it takes 2 tries to get the blocks sewn correctly.  This one is Hattie's Choice which I have tried once before but I wanted to refresh my memory.

Then I made some LeMoyne star blocks.  The last 2 test blocks I made had me confused about the grain lines so I think I got it right this time.  

I started out the afternoon trying to get some backings ready but didn't make a lot of headway on that project.  I'll go back and work on that this morning.

While looking for something else I came across one finished Lady of the Lake block and the pieces for a second block so I sewed that one too.  At one time I planned on making all 4 seasons in Lady of the Lake blocks and these were the beginning of winter.  I don't intend to make the winter quilt so these will go into the orphan block box.  If you want to see summer and fall click here.  Spring is in this post.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Strip piecing update.............

On February 5th I showed this photo of some strip piecing pieces and parts that I made back in 2015 and 2016.  I promised I would show the rest of my strip pieced parts that are larger and were stored in a different place.  All of these smaller pieces have been trimmed into straight strips.

These larger pieces are not trimmed yet.  Four of them are about 21" long and one is longer than those.  All of these are batik the same as the smaller pieces in the photo above.  I thought about using some of these for zipper pouches or notebook covers.  They could also be trimmed into strips the same width as some of those in the other photo.  They are all made with the first trimming strip when I straighten the fabric so most are crooked and not the same width on both ends.  No inspiration has struck yet so they will wait.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Nothing new............

It's always hard to decide what to work on when I have just finished a project that has taken weeks.  I didn't accomplish anything yesterday except putting away some fabric, cutting a few pieces and reading a magazine.  

So instead of a project I'll show you what came in the mail, some more Charley Harper fabric from one of his new lines.  They were unusual colors so I thought they would add variety to the group I already owned. 

Friday, February 19, 2021


I decided the layout  on my previous post was definitely the final layout so I sewed it together yesterday.  I haven't pressed the final seams yet so that is my job today.  I love all of the secondary patterns, the alternating dark and light grid, alternating dark and light squares in the background, the iron crosses and in some places a circular design.  These were cut with my Crossed Canoes GO! die.

I think the bottom right corner is more attractive than it looks in the photo above.  There is one green iron cross in this photo.

I will take another photo after I press it.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The final layout?...............

I think this is the final layout.  I moved a few more blocks in the bottom area and made one new block for the bottom row, next to last block on the right.

This is the new block and it is lighter than it looks here.  The light print is gold, orange and green which is what I had been searching for.  This quilt is much softer and blends better than it looks in a photo.  I hope I can get a better photo after I get it sewn together.

This is the area that pops out at me when I sit in my chair by the sewing cabinet and look at the design wall.

More of the orange/peach buds have opened.  Two buds on the pale pink below it show in this photo.

Two more champagne color blooms and more buds on this cactus.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

All blocks made..............

I got the final blocks sewn and now I'll look at the layout for a couple days before I sew it together.  I wanted to move a couple blocks but the only place I could put them was next to the same fabric in another block.  I might still make some new blocks for the areas I'm not as happy with.  It's mostly in the area where the green and orange meet. I'm thinking about taking out one of the orange and green blocks.

I get a preview by email of my mail for the day.  This one showed up last Thursday online but wasn't in my mailbox.  It didn't come Friday or Saturday and then Monday was a holiday.  I finally got it yesterday.  A friend in Colorado wanted me to see the hand stamped postmarks from Loveland especially for Valentine's Day.  Click to enlarge the photo so you can see it better because it is pretty special.

This was the view out the front door yesterday.  It had drifted after a new 3-4" snowfall.

After I shoveled the sidewalk I would estimate the snow along both sides of the sidewalk is about 20" tall.  I have a pipe at my backyard lot line that is about 14" tall and I haven't been able to see it since the last 2 storms. A small amount of snow is expected this afternoon. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Newest layout.........

I spent a lot of time staring at the design wall yesterday.  I sewed the 2 blocks that were cut on Sunday and then many times moved blocks to better positions.  I have the fabrics chosen for the bottom right block and the fabric farther up the right side will be the light fabric of the block in that position.  That leaves 2 more to figure out and possibly then the removal of any block I don't think is working well.

Here is the progress on the waxed Amaryllis bulb's second stalk.  It is brown along one edge so I'm worried that it might dry up before blooming.

I shoveled 3" of snow off the sidewalk yesterday morning and then it started snowing again around 4 p.m.  When I checked the porch around 11 last night it looked like 2-3" more.  Chicago is getting blasted by lake effect snow and has a foot of new snow.  We're 60 miles away so we won't get that.

The first striped Amaryllis blooms are starting to fade so got a close up shot of one of the newer blooms.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Change in layout.............

I moved a few blocks from yesterday's layout.  I moved the orange blocks down and to the right and some blue and red blocks to the top.  It's definitely not the final layout.  I may remove some blocks by the time I get to the end of the designing.  In fact I may take the blocks off the wall and start over down in the basement where my design walls come all the way to the floor.

 I had two more pairs ready to sew but never got around to it.

It was -5 degrees when I got up yesterday, -1 at 3 p.m. and -2 at 11 p.m.  In Chicago where the official records are it was 4 degrees which set a new record for Valentine's day.  We got some snow last night but I don't know how much yet.  Since there isn't any mail today I can take my time shoveling the sidewalk.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

A very cold Sunday...........

We may break the record for the coldest Valentine's day here in the Chicagoland area with 6 degrees predicted after a night of below 0.  It was already -3 when I was writing this at 11:15 p.m.

Here is a card from a friend in yesterday's mail.  Happy Valentine's day to everyone!

I made 4 more Crossed Canoe blocks last night and added them to the mix.  I'm not really happy with the 3 blocks with orange and gold  backgrounds.  I have to do some planning for the color and fabric combinations for the rest of the blocks but I won't be working on them today.

The sun was shining through Jack Frost's handiwork so I had to snap a shot of it.

The orange/peach cactus is starting round 2 of blooms.

 One pale pink bud on the shelf below bloomed yesterday too.

The Sedum dried flower heads have some new fluffy snow from the last 2 storms on them.

The snow in the backyard is textured like a bunch of cotton puffs piled up.  I don't know what caused that and I wouldn't have noticed it if I hadn't walked past the dining room window at just the right time with the sun coming across the snow.