Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Counting, sorting, cutting............and baking..........

The first thing I did yesterday was to count the pieces for one of the Australian fabric quilts and make sure I had even amounts of dark and light pieces.  Also I needed to know if I had the same number of triangles as long rectangles.  I have enough for 23 blocks and I'll need 24 so eventually I'll look for another fabric to finish up.

I put all of the pieces in a project box with the 9 big prints for centers.  I need to cut 14 more of them.

I went ahead and sewed the first block and put it in the project box with the pieces.

Then I cut enough more triangles for 64 more 2 triangle squares.  I needed 80 total to finish the cutting for the Bear Paw blocks.  So a little more cutting for the last 16.....

I was totally out of cookies, none in the pantry, none in the freezer so I had to bake last night.  I had a discussion with someone about gas vs. electric ovens when baking cookies.  I have a gas oven, my mother had electric.  She always had to flatten the tops of the ginger cookies or they would bake mounded up.  I never flatten mine and they come out flattened after baking.  Her chocolate chip cookies were always taller than mine too.


Monday, February 27, 2023

Bear Paw progress...........

Three hours of sewing last night, the center top to bottom 3 blocks and the 2 partial blocks at the right.  I need to cut some more variety of the long rectangles before I can continue.  I also need more dark center squares so that is my project during the day today.

My red cactus has 2 buds again. This one had several blooms in December, just a couple blooms in January and now these will be open in March.  This is one of the $10 purchases from W*lm*rt.  The ones in that price range are usually several little plants in one big pot so I'm thinking this is 3 different plants that have had buds.  I might re-pot the sections in smaller pots instead of leaving them in one big pot.


Sunday, February 26, 2023

Lots of triangles.........

I sewed triangle squares for three hours last night and only have enough for 8 of the 20 blocks. There are 16 of them in each Bear Paw block.  I had enough already sewn for 4 blocks so I have enough for 12 and 3 blocks are already sewn.  That means I still need 16 x 5 blocks.  There is more cutting in my future.

I also cut parts for the other Aboriginal fabric quilt and laid out one block.  I wanted to make a quilt where I can showcase some of the larger prints.  The blocks will be 12" finished.  I probably won't start sewing them right away.  I need to cut all of the large print squares first.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

3 blocks and some cutting..........

Last night I sewed 3 of the new scrappy Bear Paw blocks.  They look a little dark so I'm going to make sure I add in more medium tones for the 4 big squares.  They are 14" so 20 blocks will be a minimum of 56" x 70".  I usually add a narrow sashing so I don't have all of the points matching edge to edge so that will increase the size.  I could also add a border like I did on the last one.

I spent the morning in the basement cutting pieces for 2 quilts with the Australian Aboriginal design fabrics.  The 16 dark strips on the right are all blending into each other in this photo.  I have to make a decision whether the blocks will be all high contrast or if I will add in some medium tones with the darks.  There is enough for 32 sixteen patch blocks cut so far and more fabrics are pressed waiting to be cut.  I'll wait to show the second quilt after I get a couple blocks pieced.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Nothing accomplished...........

I sat in my computer chair and ate Mint Meltaways and played Spider Solitaire all day.....and if you believe that you don't really know me very well.  It was a lazy day though; I had a hard time getting motivated to do anything.  I think the weather has a lot to do with it.  We got an inch of rain with an all day Wednesday rain and it is only going to be in the mid 20s today and then back to the 40s and 50s on the weekend.  Too many weather fronts for me. I did do a load of laundry and paid bills so the day wasn't a total loss.

I took inventory of the Kaffe orphan block box.  There are a lot of 4 patches not in this photo but they would be fillers if I made another quilt.  There aren't enough blocks that look good together.   You might remember I made a Kaffe orphan block quilt in 2021.  That used all of the pink/red/blue blocks.

I have had this book laying on my sewing cabinet for several months.  I want to make the cover quilt but not right now so the book went back onto the bookshelf.

I'm trying to convince myself to load a quilt on the longarm so maybe today will be the day.


Thursday, February 23, 2023

It was a dark and gloomy day...........

It rained all day yesterday and we only had a little ice around noon and then it warmed a couple degrees and only rain after that.  It was so gloomy the only thing to do was turn on my bright lights in the basement and do some cutting.  I cut this rectangular shape and squares out of light fabrics.

Then I cut more triangles in both dark and light.  I need 16 triangle squares per block so that is 320.

Then I laid out the pieces for one block to make sure I was on the right track.  I have enough cut now to sew for at least 2 TV watching evenings.

I put these pieces in a project box.  Now I need to find a tray that will fit in there and put all of the triangle pieces in it.  I need to cut more of the rectangles but I think I have enough squares of both light and dark cut for 20 blocks.  These blocks are 14".


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Two quilt tops...........

Pink Hearts is sewn together and measures 60" x 77".  When I made the 3 pink quilts 2 years ago I thought I was low on pink fabric.  Only about 5 of these fabrics are new.  I used batiks and Kaffe fabrics in with my other pink quilting fabrics so I would have a good variety.  I think there are 44 different fabrics in this one.

Weather Report Snail's Trail is 60" x 84".  I have a large piece of the lighter blue fabric for the back of the quilt. 

I need to do the staystitching around the edge of both quilts before they get put on hangers to wait their turn for finishing.

I needed to cut more triangles for the next Bear Paw quilt.  I found a pile of light ones already cut so the new ones are mostly medium and dark fabrics.

I found a pile of squares also and sorted them last night.  I sewed the group of triangle squares here while watching the 3 hours of shows on TV.  I only have enough sewn for 6.5 blocks so I need to do a lot more cutting.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Both tops are sewn.......................

Both quilt tops are sewn but not pressed yet.  I'll get them up on the design wall in the basement today and take their photos.  I'll have to hang them sideways and then rotate the photos because one is 78" long and the other is 84" long.  The design wall is about 83-84" tall and 96" wide.  My longarm is in the way to get a good photo when I hang them the other way when they are that long.

I was looking at what remained in the neutral fabrics box after I finished that quilt top last month.  There were some rectangles so I played with them on the design wall.  This might be a possibility for another quilt.  I have some other ideas in the line up that I want to do first.


Monday, February 20, 2023

Layouts confirmed...........

This Snail's Trail ended up with a scrappy multicolor look.  I put up all of the blocks and only changed 3 of them before taking down the rows and clipping them for sewing today or tomorrow.

I didn't take a final photo of the heart quilt and just took it down column by column as I was ready to add them for webbing the top.  I have all of the seams sewn in one direction and 2 seams sewn the other direction.  9 more seams to sew.

If you read my post yesterday I mentioned making another scrappy batik Bear Paw quilt.  I have a head start already cut and in labeled boxes.

In the quilt I gifted shown yesterday the 4 larger squares in a block are the same.  This is the contents of the 2 boxes so there is more than enough variety to make a quilt with 20 blocks.  I like having a jump start into a new project.  I think I may have some triangle squares sewn too.  I'll look for them today.


Sunday, February 19, 2023

Three quilts left my house............

A couple of my favorite people stopped by yesterday and I let them choose some quilts.  This was the first one they chose.  It is 70.5" x 90".  It was finished in 2014.

This is the second one they chose.  It is 66" x 91" and has 120 different batik fabrics in it.  I always wanted this one to go to someone special.  It was finished in 2017.

This is the third one they chose, one of my very favorites.  It was finished in 2021.  It is a scrappy batik Bear Paw  with a favorite batik for the border.  It is 54" x 67.5".  
I love having people choose their own quilts instead of just guessing what they would like.  Now that this Bear Paw quilt has left my house I think I have permission to make another scrappy batik version.

Last night I finished sewing the heart blocks and the 4 patches.  I haven't pinned on the bottom row of 4 patches yet but they are all sewn.  In a photo some areas look dark and others light but I don't notice it that much when I'm looking at it from the sewing chair.  I will probably move a few blocks but basically it is almost ready to sew.  It will be about 60" x 78" when sewn.
I also got the last 2 Snail's Trail blocks sewn so I can start playing with the layout on a design wall in the basement.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

More pink.............

I was looking for pink fabrics that I haven't used yet and spied the pink paper fans by Kaffe.  The stripey print I used with it is one I passed over in the original search for fabrics but I'm getting desperate now for some new combinations to add to the mix.  The strips at the right are for 4 patches.  The 2 on the left have been used in blocks already.  I should have enough for the remaining 4 patches when I get these sewn.

Last night I sewed the 6 heart blocks but they haven't been pressed yet.

I also chose the last 2 fabrics for the Snail's Trail and cut a strip of each to cut the remaining blocks that I need.

We only got about an inch of snow late Thursday night and even though we were below freezing yesterday, the warm February sun melted the snow and ice off the sidewalk and driveway and some off of the grassy areas.  Today it will be above freezing so it should be all melted by the end of the day.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Progress on 9 blocks

I die cut 9 blocks with my Snail's Trail die yesterday and got 3 totally sewn and the centers of the other 6 sewn.  I still need to cut 2  more blocks and they will be the darker blue.  Another day or 2 and I'll have them all up on a design wall.

We were south of the snow area most of the day yesterday but had some icy rain.  There were little ice drops on all of the branches in the back yard.  The snow started late in the day.  I wanted to check my rain gauge but I was afraid the porch steps and sidewalk might be covered with a thin layer of ice.


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Stash additions...........

The new Kaffe Collective for February 23 didn't inspire me too much so I didn't order any until last week.  The scale was larger on most of the prints than I anticipated.  The yellow on the bottom left has more orange in it than shows in this photo and it is prettier than its photo on the internet.  The turquoise above it was more intense in the internet photos but I like it in real life better.

I usually buy the 5" stacks so I can see what all of the prints and colors look like so I will know if there is anything else I might want.  This pack was called Lighter.

And this stack was called Darker.  I will most likely end up cutting these up into triangles with my die cutter.  These stacks don't include all of the prints but they have most of the new line.


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Working on 2............

There was a plumber working at my house yesterday so I kept busy cutting while he was there.  I got 9 Snail's Trail blocks die cut and then sewed them last night.  I was able to find the top rosy color fabric for $6.99 last week and I didn't have any of it.  I made 6 of the new blocks with that fabric.  I had 15 blocks sewn previously so I'm up to 24 blocks now.  I think I need at least 35 so I'll continue cutting.

I also cut strips for 2 more batches of 4 patches.  There are 6 of each in the piles.

I added one more column of heart blocks on the left side and then put up groups of the 5 sets of 4 patches I have sewn so far.  I need to sew 2 more groups.  I think I need 8 more 4 patches and I can only get 6 out of 2 strips sewn together.  If I decide to add one more row of hearts across the bottom then I would need 10 more 4 patches.

We have been enjoying days near 50 and now they are predicting snow on Thursday.  The good new is it will be warm on the weekend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


The last 4 heart blocks are assembled but not pressed.

There are 10 blocks that I need to work into the layout on the design wall. 

Last night I sewed 4 patches with the idea of making crosswise rows inserted in 2 places near top and bottom of the layout.  Then I decided to try them around the perimeter instead and I think that is the way I'm going.  I need to sew 3 more sets of strips so there will be 6 different combinations of 4 patches.  It will now be 10 blocks across (60") and 12 blocks long (72").  There is a tiny chance I might make one more crosswise row of heart blocks for the length to be 78".  

Happy Valentine's Day!  There will be a lot of love shared today.


Linda Swanekamp mailed this Valentine to me, decorated with a quilted heart that looks like it is on hand painted and stamped fabric.  She comes up with a new design every year.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Second finish for February 2023

Binding is done so here is the formal portrait.  This baby quilt ended up just under 40" square.  Fabrics are Kaffe Fassett collective.  This is one of the quilts made to try to empty a box of 2.5" strips of which most were cut over 10 years ago.  There are many early Kaffe fabrics in this one.

I'm so happy I chose the pink big blooms fabric for the back.  I used Hobbs 80/20 batting, pink So Fine 30 wt. thread on top and pink Bottom Line thread in the bobbin.

The binding is also one of Kaffe's early fabrics.  The stripe is printed on the diagonal.

Now I'm back to making more blocks for the pink heart quilt and Snail's Trail blocks.  

Sunday, February 12, 2023

First finish for February 2023

The Other 16 Patch-Cool.

The reason I call it the other 16 patch is because the original 16 patch has 16 squares per square block and this one has 16 rectangles per rectangular block.  All of the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett collective and Martha Negley.

It is 54" x 73.5".

The back is a Brandon Mably print from a few years ago.

Warm and Plush batting, variegated YLI cotton thread on top, Bottom Line in the bobbin.

I hope this is a sign of success on 2 out of 3 Amaryllis plants that I babied all through last summer outside and in the cool and dark garage November through part of January.  Sometimes buds late in the winter season dry up instead of growing so I'm not going to get too excited yet.