Monday, July 31, 2023

Trying to catch up.............

Since I didn't do much on the Fonthill inspired quilt on Saturday I was playing catch-up yesterday.  I made 15 more pinwheels, sewed the single row border on all 4 sides and then did a layout for the 2 side borders.  I have misplaced a stack of 20 mostly blue pinwheels (note to self: NEVER move anything to a new place).  Rather than turn on every light in the house last night looking for them I decided to wait to today.  Instead of searching I sewed together the right side double pinwheel border (no photo).  My goal was to finish this top by the end of the month.  Will I make it?  I'm not sure.

As I returned from picking up the Sunday newspapers from the driveway I noticed the yellow Moss Rose is in full bloom.

I'm going to check this morning to see if that one white flower is on the yellow plant or if there is a separate plant.  I remember there was a yellow bloom that looked like it was on the white plant a couple days ago.

The first Marigold is starting to bloom and I see one more bud.

Later I was out and there was a bloom on my Nasturtium too.  I forgot to go back out and photograph it.


Sunday, July 30, 2023

What a day..............

The storm I mentioned at the end of the last post came roaring through and the power went out 10:45 Friday night.  I didn't sleep well, 70 degrees with 70 dew point (100% humidity), waking up many times and looking at my watch.  9:30 yesterday morning (after power had been out 11 hours) my son brought his generator over and we plugged in the fridge, my phone, and a fan. It ended up that it was a tree and lines entangled and ComEd had to wait for the tree removal crew to come and take care of the tree first and they estimated 11 p.m. last night or 3 p.m. today.  Luckily the tree guys got there quicker and power was back on before 1 p.m. yesterday.  I was happy to turn the A/C back on since it was still very humid and quite warm.  There were at least 4 small tornadoes with this storm and I expect to hear there were more.  

I was so exhausted from not sleeping well that I didn't do much.  I realized that I was short 8 squares on the top and bottom purple/red/gold borders so I pieced some more squares and got them sewn on.  That's it. Nothing more.

I did go out in the early evening and picked up branches in the back garden and yard.  I only had one large branch that didn't break completely off a Redbud tree and my son sawed it off when he came back to get his generator.

The good news is that we had rain 3 times this past week with over an inch total spread out nicely over a 4 day period.  Now a nice week of low to mid 80s with lower humidity.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Pinwheel progress............

Yesterday morning I cut triangles from the fabrics shown yesterday.  There were enough triangles for 52 pinwheels but I only need 40.  I also had a few triangles left from previous cutting.  I got 15 new pinwheels sewn.

Those new colors will be mixed in with the piles of pinwheels already completed which are mostly in blues and brown tones (as shown in the center pile).  I need to sew 25 more.

Here is yesterday's temperature and feel like temperature.  There is a weatherbug station at our high school as noted on the screen.  It is about a mile from my house.  The highest dewpoint that I saw yesterday was 81. We rarely ever have a DP over the high 70s so this was really thick moist air.  We had a storm come through in the early morning and got a half inch of rain.  More storms coming through as I type this at 10:30 p.m. Friday.  I set my posting time for 3:30 a.m. so this post is dated Saturday the 29th.


Friday, July 28, 2023

Choosing fabric for pinwheels.................

I re-read the section on colors used in the Fonthill quilt in "Passionate Patchwork" and decided to add more of the moss greens.  I have a few already in pinwheels but this will help with variety.  Then I searched for more light fabrics in gold and peach tones.  Also I added in a few more of the rust/orange and a couple pale periwinkle blues.  I didn't get any triangles cut....I am just wiped out.  Two window A/C units in the center of the house make that area too cold and the far reaching areas to each side of that are barely cooled.  One more day of this and then low 80s over the weekend.

I did get a few pinwheels sewn in the morning before the sun beats on that side of the house.  I just need to get going early this morning too and avoid the studio when it is too hot.


Thursday, July 27, 2023

Striped border cut...........

The last 2 striped borders were cut and sewn on and the bottom border section assembled.  Then I sewed on the top and bottom sections.

At that point I decided it was too hot to leave the iron on so the 5th border didn't get sewn on yet.  I counted pinwheels and like I thought, I need 50 more to complete the last double row borders.  I have 10 already cut and paired but need to cut triangles for the last 40.

The dew point was 75 in the afternoon.

In the morning it started to get dark as a storm was approaching.  I decided to take a photo of my back garden from the kitchen window in case it was a high wind or hail storm.  As it turned out we just got 1/4" of rain and then the sun came out and it was oppressive with the humidity.  Another 2 days of 90s and then we go down to low 80s for a day or 2.

This Black Eyed Susan is growing in the crack between sections of sidewalk by my front porch.  I thought it looked like 2 plants a week ago and I tried to pull out half of it.  It came out with only a few roots and I planted the pieces.  I wasn't sure they were going to live but they are starting to perk up.  I don't know whether to try to pull this part out or not.  The mailman walks right across here as he goes to the next house so I'm hoping he won't step on it.

The white Moss Rose plant has the most blooms, the yellow one behind it to the right.

The orange one is at the other end of the front garden.  I want to move this one over by the other 2 so maybe it will be cool enough Saturday to do it.

I'm a little disappointed in my porch pot plants this year.  The lime Sweet Potato vine is huge and has taken over all three pots.  Last year the Petunias were the overachievers.  My Pansies are hanging in there even though they don't like hot weather.  There are only about half of them in the pot now.  I was hoping the pink Petunias in the porch railing black pots would drape over and hang down but no success yet.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

3rd and 4th borders - Fonthill quilt.............

There was a little progress yesterday on the borders.  The third border is the pinwheels and the fourth border is the striped fabric again.  The two are sewn together and then the huge pinwheels are the corner blocks.  I still have to cut the side striped pieces but I wasn't in the mood to turn on the iron yesterday.  So....what I did yesterday was to sew on border 2 all around, border 3 on the sides, make the huge pinwheels and sew the complete section of 3 and 4 with pinwheels for the top edge.

Here again is the Kaffe Fonthill quilt in the book Passionate Patchwork.  

I have border 5 already sewn so all that will be left after that is the double row of pinwheels all the way around.  I still need to make about 50 pinwheel blocks.  My ambitious goal is to finish this top by the end of the month.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Squares changed.........

I changed out the squares on the design wall to a gold color and it looks a lot better.  I'm trying to stay with the value changes that are in the original Fonthill quilt so I didn't want them to become too dark.  That is all I did on the quilt yesterday.  The dust bunnies in my house were threatening to become full grown rabbits so it was time to do a little cleaning.

Then I worked on the table that my Studio die cutter sits on.  It had piles of fabric everywhere, a lot of it scraps that just needed to be sorted and moved. That took me 3 hours so you can imagine how deep the piles were.

I took the Improv Strippy quilt off the design wall where its portrait was taken and threw it across this twin bed.  The sunlight coming in the window really washed out the colors in the photo.  Also batiks have a slight sheen because they are so tightly woven.  This quilt is heavy with all of those seams.

The next 4 days are predicted to be in the 90s and getting more humid each day so I'm sure I'll be inside playing.


Monday, July 24, 2023

Border strips sewn...............

The second and third border strips are sewn together but not sewn on the center/first border.  The top and bottom purple/red borders fit but the side strips are about 1/4" short.  I should be able to ease that in.  I'm not sure if those corner squares are the ones I will use.  In the book they are a light value. I think maybe these are a little too light.  I won't know if the pinwheel borders fit until I get the purple/red border sewn on.

I also sewed all four of the 5rh border strips.  The 4th border is the stripe fabric again and there are huge pinwheels at the 4 corners of the small pinwheels and stripe fabric borders combined.  I have enough pieces cut for 3 of the huge pinwheels, need to cut the 4th one today.

After I mowed the other half of the front yard and the side yard I checked out some of my plants.  I love the multicolor leaves on this one.

Here it is again in the top right.  My Hairy Alumroot Coral Bell is to the left.  It is huge and it is the last to send up flower stalks.

The low growing Sedum in the bottom right is the one I was complaining about earlier this summer because it had yellow clumps in it.  I dug up the other one and a friend took it.  Now this one looks perfectly fine.  I guess that is what happens to it over the winter and then it recovers.

There are some good sized tomatoes on the $1.50 Rutgers plant.  The other plant has a few too.  The third bargain priced plant is a Big Boy and it has 7 tomatoes growing on it.  The only thing ripening however is the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes.  This is the same thing that happened last year, a bunch ripening the last 2 weeks of June and then a lull.


Sunday, July 23, 2023

First border sewn on ....................

It took me awhile but I finally got brave enough to cut the striped fabric borders.  The corner triangles are a companion piece to the stripe.

Then I pieced some portions of the 2nd border so I could see how it is going to look.  I added loose pinwheel blocks on the design wall next.  After the pinwheels is another stripe fabric border and 2 more borders follow that.

Before sunset last night I slipped out to take a couple photos.  The orange Tiger Lilies are starting to bloom in the back garden.  There are tall brown eyed Susans partially blocking the view and they haven't started blooming yet.

The Black Eyed Susans are looking good and Coneflowers came up all over the garden.

It cooled off nicely so I decided to mow the back yard and when I finished that I mowed half of the front yard.  It is going to be in the 90s many days this week so I need to get the mowing done while it is comfortable outside.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Center panel..................

All of the new pieces were pressed and exchanged for the navy blue combinations.  I'm much happier with the center panel now.

The panel is sewn together but not pressed yet.  Now I will know how long to cut the border pieces.  It will be tricky as each border is added to make it all fit.

After the striped border is a single row border of triangles.  I have all of those squares sewn so I just need to get the number sewn together for each border.


Friday, July 21, 2023

Number 3 finish for July............and more............

Back when I finished this quilt top I called it Impov Strippy so I think that is its name.  It came out 77.5" x 98.5" after quilting and binding.  I have to say I love this one.  I used a brown variegated YLI cotton thread on top and a black/green Superior Bottom Line bobbin thread.  The quilting is organic straight lines.

I had a queen size Hobbs 80/20 batting in a bag from quite a few years ago.  I took it out and put it in the dryer for 10 minutes and then laid it out over a table for about 3 weeks to get all of the deep wrinkles out of it.  It was the perfect size to use for this quilt.
Binding is the same fabric as the backing and done all by machine.

The strips in these blocks were all of the first cuts to straighten my batik fabrics, two sewn together, cut in half, sew together again, cut in half and sew together again and you have 8 stripes in each block.  They were all trimmed to the same height but widths varied because I don't always cut off the same amount when straightening the fabric.  Blocks were trimmed square on the sides and the rest is design wall play.

I think there are 100 blocks, maybe a few more so there would be around 200 different fabrics.  I think there were a few strips repeated.

There are a lot of ugly batiks in this quilt but the few pretty ones take center stage and the others are just supporting actors.

I still had the small piece of the fabric in my main floor studio that would be the wide borders in this Fonthill quilt.  I pinned it up and it looks OK with the center panel I designed the day before.

But.....I found a little pile of lighter triangles that I had cut last week and hadn't used yet.  There are 15 total here and they will replace the squares that have navy blue in them.  I know I'll be happier with that.  So, maybe I might get the center sewn today, maybe not.

It cooled down last evening so I pulled weeds in my front garden and sprayed weed killer on all of the weeds growing in the cracks of the driveway.  When they start dying I'll put on gloves and go out and start pulling them out.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Fonthill center........and binding finished

To start this post here is a reminder of the Fonthill quilt in one of Kaffe Fassett's books of which I am making my own version.  I worked on the center section yesterday.  I have changed the size of it to 8 across and 14 down for a more rectangular quilt.

This was my first layout.  I am using a lot of triangle squares that were leftover from another project and that is where the ones with the stripe came from.  I decided that print was too distracting.

I thought layout two was looking pretty good with those stripes replaced with plainer fabrics.  Then I noticed the obvious diagonal lines below the center of the layout.  That was too distracting for me so I started moving around the squares.

I was happy with layout three and was ready to sew it together until I remembered I had changed the thread on the machine to black so I could do the binding on the large strippy quilt.

I can see I have a higher contrast in most of my squares that there are in the original.  Maybe I should cut the striped border strips next and see if I want to change out some of the highest contrast squares.

I switched to the binding project and got it all sewn by 10:30 last night.  It is huge.  I think I will get it up on the design wall in the basement today and get its photo taken.  The double wall is 84" x 96" and the quilt is around 77" x 99". 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


After lunch yesterday I was in the basement doing a load of laundry and trimming the strippy quilt.  I also got the binding strips cut.

At my pacemaker visit yesterday they once again predicted 1 1/2 years of battery left.  They have told me that 3 years in a row.  The tech that does the readings wants me back in 6 months instead of a year to check it again.  When I saw the Dr. he said there is a 90 day cushion built in the the estimated life left.  That means if I get down to 6 months predicted, it will really be 9 months because of the 90 day cushion.

I cut more light fabrics for the Fonthill quilt and sewed 31 more for the center panel.

These 3 groups will be sewn into pinwheels for the borders of Fonthill.


Tuesday, July 18, 2023


That is what I did yesterday...nothing.  I guess quilting that biggie earned me a day off.  I didn't even go to the basement and look at the quilt.

All of my looking was outside, taking in the beauty in the back garden.  As much as I complain about the purple bellflowers, they do add a lot of color to the garden.  The Black Eyed Susans are a great contrast with the purple.

Bellflowers, Black Eyed Susans, Purple Coneflowers bathed in sunshine.  It was a beautiful day yesterday, mid 70s and dropping humidity.

I will be pulling these all out when they are done blooming.  They pull out really easily.

In the front garden the Zinfin Doll Hydrangea is getting bigger.  This is year 3 for it in this spot.  The blooms start out white, then have a mix of pink and white and eventually are all pink and deep rose.

One of the re-seeded Moss Roses is blooming.

I haven't planted the red shaggy Coneflower yet.  I need to move that Moss Rose in the photo above because that is the spot where I need to put this.

The Nasturtiums and Marigolds are doing well in their planters.  I don't see any buds yet.

And then there is the sad news in this front garden.  The Japanese Beetles attacked my large green and purple Coral Bell.  I didn't see any bugs on it so I hope they are going to leave it alone now.  They have also found my Cannas and have destroyed several large leaves already.

I did make some lists yesterday, cutting that I need to do from specific fabric groups.  Maybe I'll get to that today along with trimming the big quilt and cutting the binding.

This morning is my pacemaker check up with the device specialist and a visit with the Pacemaker Dr.