Sunday, April 30, 2023

Hand stitching started.............

Yesterday the quilt was trimmed, binding cut and sewn on and hand stitching started.  I have one long side and half of a short side hand stitched.  I estimate about another 5 hours of hand stitching....and that has to be all in one day for a finish in April.

All of the buds are fully opened on the Redbud trees now so they look like a paler pink now.  With the rain predicted today I expect to see a lot of petals falling.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Quilting day...............

Even though it was another 67 degree day yesterday, I worked inside instead of outside.  The quilting is finally done on this 81" long quilt.

I did organic straight line quilting on this one, 3 lines in some rows of rectangles, 4 lines in others.

Some lines are pretty straight, others are like this one, a big wobble as I was walking end to end of the frame while quilting.

Tomorrow I will check out this piece as a possible binding fabric.


Friday, April 28, 2023

Cleaned up layout..................

The second layout from yesterday was the one I chose to clean up by getting the values in the right positions.  I was just surprised that this would form horizontal rows of stripes and rows of shot cotton solids.  I'm not too exited about working on this so these pieces may stay on the design wall for a couple days.

It was 67 degrees yesterday so I did grocery shopping and  finished mowing the grass.  Late afternoon I trimmed some of the dead leaves off the Coral Bell plants.  There is more to do there but it is a lot of bending or kneeling and lets face it, after 80 the spring is gone from the knees and its not a pretty sight watching me try to stand after kneeling.  I'll just tackle a little every day until its done.  Off and on rain predicted for 4 or 5 days so I might not get back to it soon.  Now maybe today I'll get down to the basement and quilt the quilt that is loaded on the longarm.


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Trying layouts...............

 I tried some layouts with the Kaffe Fassett yarn dyed woven stripes and shot cottons.  It's not working out like I thought it might.  I have used some of the solids more than once since I don't have as many of them as I have of stripes.

After staring at the above layout for about a half hour I tried this layout.  It might be interesting if I place the lights and darks in better locations.

Actually I was tired last night after mowing the front yard so I gave up playing with the pieces.  I'm thinking the way to save this is to order some more light colored shot cottons.  I was trying to avoid that so I'll think about this for awhile.

Earlier in the day I loaded a quilt on the longarm but I never got back down to the basement to start quilting it.  I'm hoping today is the know the end of the month is creeping closer and I have only had one finish this month.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Top sewn..........

It took 3 hours to sew this little 36" x 48" top together.  I estimated it would take me less than 2 hours.  It will only need one width of fabric for the back so it will probably get quilted early in May.  I'm thinking a light binding might be best because a dark binding would touch the points at the edge.  If I put a 2" light border on it a dark binding would work.  I have a few days to make a decision.

I finished reading the new Kaffe book I showed on this post.  There are directions for some quilts and this time he used his own archive of fabrics, many of them not available any more.  That is a departure from promoting mostly new fabrics in his books.  He repeatedly encouraged using your stash and maybe even making the quilts in other colorways.  It was a fun read.

Google Blogger didn't send comments to my email yesterday even though I have my settings correct.  I'll go back into the blog today and answer yesterday's comments.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Enough blocks.............

I have enough pieces for a 36" x 48" baby quilt.  I need to rearrange them a little first.

There are 2 different kinds of rectangle triangle blocks and each twist block of 6 pieces uses 4 of one and 2 of the other.  Than means a lot leftover all facing the same way.  I need to make another quilt or use them for a border or something.  I love leftovers.

Have you seen the new Tula Pink neon prints?  I had to have a couple of them.  My photo of the pink elephants was washed out and the color wasn't true so I decided not to show it. These giraffes are pretty cool.

I didn't care for this yarn in the skein but it knitted up pretty nice.

We might have another freeze tonight.  I hope it will be brief so it will not damage anything.


Monday, April 24, 2023

Another try.............

The center layout yesterday was most popular with the commenters.  Today I decided to try a half drop on every other row.  This creates a zig zag pattern between rows.

Compare the layout above to this one from yesterday that creates diamonds between the rows.  I have lots more sewing to do before I need to make a decision.

This will be another small quilt, most likely baby size or lap size.

The last 2 days have been gloomy and cold, like 40s cold.  I took this photo from inside.  There was a freeze warning overnight last night so maybe the rest of the buds won't even open.  My trees by the driveway look the best of my 9 Redbud trees.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

What did I do yesterday?.............

I turned on the iron...that is a big event in my studio.  I either wait 5 days to turn it on or have it on for hours while I sew some days.  I pressed this wallhanging top and hung it back up on the wall upside down to the way I showed it yesterday.

Yesterday's photo as a reminder how it looked this way.  I like it both ways so that probably means a delay in finishing it.

While the iron was on I pressed a group of fabrics that I have been wanting to cut.

Also while in the basement I did a load of laundry.  Flannel sheets now washed and put away until next winter.

I sewed a long seam in 2 backing pieces and pressed the seam.

I counted the half hexagons of Kaffe stripes and shots that I have been cutting the last few days to see how many more I need to cut.

This is how they will be placed, stripes on the left and shot cottons on the right.  I have 120 half hexagons cut right now and enough different colors for 12 more shot cottons so that means cutting 12 more stripes also.  The last 2 times I made half hexagon quilts I used 208 pieces (58" x 79").  I would need to repeat the shots for a third time to get that many and I don't want to buy more variety of colors at this time.  I'll probably start designing this up on the wall and see what size it might come out with less pieces.  It is hard to calculate with this shape.

My mindless sewing for the evening was sewing 2 half rectangles that were cut several weeks ago into blocks. When I had enough pieced I tried 3 layouts.  The one on the right was my original plan. Now I'm not sure....or am I making 3 quilts?

Saturday, April 22, 2023

A little quilt top.............

There were 2 TV shows on last night and 2 hours is what it took to sew this top together.  It is small, 20" x 33" so most likely a wallhanging.

This was an unlikely assortment of fabrics but it turned out pretty good.  It isn't really a colorwash because the colors don't flow together smoothly  because they aren't next to each other on the color wheel.  It looks more like a watercolor painting with little motifs drawn on the color puddles.  That is the practical side of my brain speaking.  The artist side of my brain just says it is pretty, no explanation needed.

I caught the Redbud trees by the driveway with sunlight coming from the left around 7 last night.  This changed them to a warm pink instead of the cool pink that they normally look.  I took some photos of the back yard trees but they didn't turn out well so I'll try again today.

The neighbors' kitty always wants to follow me into my garage so I have to trick him to walk away and then I hurry in and shut the door.  Here he is reaching up trying to get to the window.  He is really a pretty kitty, just a year old and I have seen him trotting home with a present in his mouth for my neighbor.  She said one day it was a shrew, another day a bird.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Garden and design wall...........

It's hard to get a good photo of the Lenten Rose blooms because they hang down.  This is the most prolific plant this year, 2 blooms and 3 more buds.  There is more new growth on the other 2 plants.

This is one of my older Hostas and it looks like maybe the center of the plant is dead.  I really should dig it up and replant the good pieces.

This is the biggest Hosta so far.  I think this is the one with the big wrinkly leaves.  I know it is too big for the spot it is in but I don't have anyone that wants some Hostas now so I hate to split it and have to pot all of the pieces I pull off.

The Brunnera is big and bushy and has lots of flowers.  They are a brilliant blue but it never shows up in photos.

My Lungwort/Pulmonaria has travelled onto my neighbor's property.  It is an area under a tree and nothing else can be planted there so we both just let it keep multiplying there.

The flowers are always pink and blue on the Lungwort so I was really surprised when I spotted one plant with all white flowers.  It is on my neighbor's property.

I added 2 more columns on the left side so I'm ready to sew this together.  The rectangles are 1.5" x 3" so this is small.  It should finish around 20" x 33".

More storms rolled through yesterday but the big hail missed us, at least my part of town.  I live in a town of a little over 7000.  In 2019 we had a hail storm that damaged my roof.  It cut a narrow path across the north end of town and most people on the south end didn't even know there was a hail storm.  So.....I'm just guessing that the big hail missed our town.  It missed me so I hope it missed everyone else.

Thursday, April 20, 2023


When I made the last colorwash with rectangles I had several groups that just didn't work with the bright colors.  I started out with one idea of how to use them and it didn't work so I started this one.   I will move a couple pieces now that I see the photo on the computer monitor.

I spent time yesterday sewing labels on quilts, something I don't do very often.  Mostly I sew them on wallhangings rather than throw quilts which are used both sides up. 

We had a downpour yesterday afternoon around 4.  We haven't had a heavy rain like that for a long time.  More storms predicted for today. 


Wednesday, April 19, 2023

First finish of April 2023...........

The hand stitching of the binding is finally done.  It isn't that I dislike hand stitching, I dislike sitting in one spot for hours.  But it is done and that makes me happy.  It ended up at 53.5" x 64".  I named it My Fantasy Garden, a great preview of the colors we will soon see in our real gardens.

I love the colors in this one and I especially love the border and backing fabric.  It makes me happy that I bought enough of it on sale many years ago just hoping for a quilt it would work on.  

I quilted it with YLI cotton pink variegated thread on top and green Superior Bottom Line in the bobbin, Hobbs 80/20 batting.

I have chosen the next one to quilt and I have the backing cut and pressed, waiting for the one long seam to be sewn.


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Snow, binding, baking.............

We were lucky to not get the snow the mid to northern Wisconsin got, almost 2 feet in one area.  It got up to 36 degrees yesterday so this melted.

There are tiny leaves on the Viburnum bush and every leaf had its little pile of snow.

The Redbuds were still pink yesterday but it was predicted to get even colder last night.  I'll be checking this morning to see if they are all on the ground.

(My blog is scheduled to post at 3 a.m. but I'm not up until 7:30 - 8.  I'm not an early bird any more.)

It's a good thing I got some hand stitching in early in the day so I could be around 2 corners.  I have 21" left to do on one long edge and then the last short edge.

I spent time reading blog posts that 2 people wrote about QuiltCon this year.  I'm always interested to see what the new modern quilt trends are.  One of the bloggers commented on how many more quilts had bright colors in them after a few years of mostly gray, black and white and other fairly neutral colors just like the decorating trend in homes the past few years.

I went out and picked the 2 Jonquils that were blooming so they wouldn't freeze overnight.  I didn't see any more buds.

There is one little flower stem on the Begonia.  I have 3 more pots of the Begonias that I wintered over in my heated garage.  It is 50-55 degrees in there in the winter so the plants were in a dormant stage.  I put those 3 pots outside for 4 days last week while it was warm and they are sending up new green leaves.

Last night I baked Kringlas for a granddaughter's family.  I will keep a few to put in the freezer.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Another one quilted.............

My Fantasy Garden is quilted.  I took it off the frame and trimmed it and cut binding for it.

This one has all over loops with pink variegated thread.  (Click to enlarge)

I needed something to sew while I watched TV last night so I sewed on the binding and started the hand stitching.  I have one long side done and about 18" on one short side.

I finally got this Australian fabric top pressed and borders trimmed.  It is 51.5" x 75", a nice size for covering up on a recliner at nap time.

It was cold enough yesterday for the heat to come on.  After the string of close to 80 degree days it was an extreme change.  It was 33 degrees at 11 p.m. yesterday.


Sunday, April 16, 2023

Outdoors in the sunshine...........

Brunnera is usually the first thing to bloom in my back garden.  It has dainty blue flowers like Forget-me-nots.  I have several plants but only 3 have blooms so far.

Lungwort is the other early flower and it bloomed first this year.  I have them coming up all over the place.  It's a good thing I like their spotted leaves in my garden.

The earliest Peony is over a foot tall now.  They don't show up very well in this photo in the shade.

The best thing in the backyard is the pink buds on the Redbud trees.  I had the hardest time getting the camera to focus on them.  Today is the last day near 80, 50s for Sunday and 40 or lower for Monday and possible snow starting overnight Sunday into Monday.  It might get cold enough to freeze the buds with low 30s Sunday night.  I hope it doesn't get as cold as predicted.

I raked some more leaves out of the front flower beds and mowed the rest of the front yard, mowing over the leaves I raked.  Rain started last night and more predicted for today.

One of the Australian fabrics I bought for a backing has huge motifs.  I took 4 of the Flying Geese blocks and did a mock up just laying them around the motif.

Layout one

Layout two with the Flying Geese blocks flipped around.

Layout three with a different Australian fabric.  I wouldn't fussy cut this fabric because the motifs are too close together.