Thursday, August 31, 2023

Second finish for August 2023.....and a border...........

It was a lot of fun searching my stash for all of the pastel fabrics in this quilt.  It finished at 48" x 72".

I used Hobbs 80/20 batting, white cotton thread on top, white polyester in the bobbin.

I bought the backing with dragonflies for a different quilt but it leaned a little too much toward lavender for that quilt.  It was perfect for this one.  The color is more accurate in the first photo.

In the early afternoon I mowed the grass in the backyard.  With all of the shade the grass keeps growing back there.  We haven't had rain for 2 weeks so the front yard which is in the sun most of the day didn't get a trim.  No rain predicted here until next Wednesday.

I got the border strips cut and sewn on last night on the I Spy quilt top.  It is 65.5" x 82".

I think it is the perfect choice for the border on this quilt.  I'm glad I had it in my stash.

I will do my monthly recap tomorrow and I also have some garden photos.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Hand stitching done...................

As usual, the last hand stitch went in at 10:30 p.m. so no full photo to be taken until today.  I knew I had to clean off the threads from the last quilt top on the design walls before I put up a finished quilt so it was too late to start that last night.

Today I have to cut the border for the I spy quilt and sew it on.  What would I rather be doing?

I would rather be designing a colorwash, also called watercolor by many people.  This photo shows all of the different kinds of fabrics I have used, clockwise from top center: batik, floral prints, Kaffe Fassett fabric, a mini batik and African fabrics with the center one being Liberty Lawn fabrics.  I need to cut some batik rectangles for the next one so I may indulge in that pleasure the first of next month.


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Only a little progress...........

I did make it around another corner but didn't even finish one long side yesterday.  I just found too many other things to do.  I did grocery shopping first, then weed control in the back garden and watering the tomato plants that are in pots.  That was followed by laundry, a have to duty because I was running out of clean clothes.  I did a little stitching at noon while I waited for the weather segment of the news.  Then 2 more sessions happened throughout the day to get about 60" hand sewn.  To end up my monthly goals I need to finish this binding and get the border on the I Spy quilt.  I have 3 days, that should be enough time.

Monday, August 28, 2023

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

Yesterday was a mostly lazy day.  I did turn on the iron and pressed the binding fabric and cut the 6 strips.  They were sewn on the quilt late yesterday and I started the hand stitching last night.  I have almost one short side completed.  I should be able to finish it by the end of the month.

I spent one hour outside cutting down a thorny bush that has come over the property line from my neighbor.  I think it is a Gooseberry bush but it never has blooms or fruit.  The thorns on it are wicked. I go through this every year because it send roots underground and my soil is so soft there.  The main bush is twice the size of what is on my property.  I looked up how to kill it and salt 2:1 with water is suggested.  I think I'll be spraying the cut off areas with it and see if it works.  I would be happy if none of it is on my property next year.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Nearing the end of the month............

It was time to get busy and get this pastel diamond quilt quilted before the end of the month.  I used swirls, loops, hearts, stars and flowers on this one.

No computer aided quilting here, just done by human hands guiding the machine.  The hearts face all different directions throughout the quilt.

Stars were drawn like I learned in first grade.  My machine moves a little too easily so I'm very likely to get crooked stars and odd shaped hearts.

I chose the binding fabric that looks good with both the front and the back.  I'll press the fabric today and get the strips cut.

It was 62 degrees when I went to bed last nght, a little more normal than the 84 degrees near midnight Wednesday night last week.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Exploring stash............

I need to get the I Spy quilt top off the design wall so I looked for possible border fabrics.  I started with black and white prints but they looked so cold and drab.  Then I spied this paper clip print.  I wonder if kids know what a paper clip is.  I have 3 yards of it so I can cut the borders on the lengthwise grain and the leftover will become part of a backing on another quilt.  I want to put flannel on the back of this one.

I usually preorder a few of the new Kaffe Collective fabrics that come out twice a year.  I got my package yesterday.  My favorite new fabrics were designed by Philip Jacobs.  Isn't this one gorgeous?

This one is a little like his previous print Brassica but I think that one is decorative cabbage where this one is called Curly Kale.  

I had to have a piece of the blue Curly Kale too.  I'm planning another fussy cut quilt and these 3 should work great in it.

This is another that will work great fussy cut.  These are all large prints as you can see with the grid on the cutting mat.

This print will give me a lot of variety in style and color of fabrics.

The temperature was closer to 80 yesterday but with the dew point still in the mid 70s it was a feel like temperature of 93.  We are 60 miles west of Chicago and they were cooler and had lower humidity because of the lake breeze. 

I did venture out to fill the bird feeders and to cut off some leaves on my tomato plants.  The leaves are so thick that air can't get through to the plants in the back of the raised bed.

The Moss Roses don't care how hot or dry it is.  They are blooming like crazy every day.

Today is predicted to be in the mid to high 70s and the humidity should drop after noon.  I have yard work to do to I hope to get started.

Friday, August 25, 2023

More prep work...........

The first project of the day was to find a backing fabric for a colorwash wallhanging.  i looked through 2 stacks of multicolor batiks and decided on this one.

Next I cut 2 more batting pieces for quilts that are next in line.

From my kitchen window I could see some orange flowers that were taller than the Brown Eyed Susans and had to go out and investigate.  There are 3 Cosmos that came up from seed.  This is the same location where the Four o'clocks were but I don't see any of them this year.

I think I had several colors of these last year or 2 years ago.

On the way back to the house I couldn't resist taking a photo of the Brown Eyed and Black Eyed Susans together.    

Chicago hit 100 degrees yesterday, their first official 100 degree day since 2012 and they tied the record from 1947 for that day.  We only got to 93 out here in the boonies but the humidity was still very high.  Today will still be pretty humid but cooler than yesterday.


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Batting day.............

Yesterday was the day to open the new roll of batting.  I need to cut for several quilts.

This is what 30 yards looks like.  I cut pieces for three quilts and it still looks this big.  It comes wrapped tightly in plastic and starts expanding when I cut that away.  I like batting on the roll because there are no wrinkles to deal with like in packaged batting.  This roll is really soft batting (80/20 Hobbs).  Every roll isn't identical because I only order it every 14 months.  I have only gotten one roll that wasn't very soft and seemed thinner and that was at least 5 years ago.

This is the first one I cut for.  I loaded the backing on Tuesday and now the batting and top have been added.  I'll choose thread today.

The garden center where I buy most of my plants had a little freebie the week before Mother's day.  If you want to see how little it was when I got it, click here and look at the plant in the center of the second photo.  The leaves are thick and fuzzy.  I didn't catch the name of it unfortunately.

Yesterday the second flower bloomed and it is a different color.  This is just one plant so that surprised me.  There is one more bud that should be open in a couple days.

It didn't reach 100 yesterday but look at that dew point.  It is rare for our area to get above 80.  I only went out twice, early to do some watering and at 7 to pick Sun Gold cherry tomatoes.  We may set a record for the warmest low temperature for yesterday's date.  It was supposed to stay in the 80s overnight.  It was still 84 at 11:30 last night.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

I Spy quilt top finish..................

The I Spy quilt top just looks like checkerboard from a distance but what fun there is when you get close.

It is 56.5" x 72.5" so I'm considering a border but it won't happen today or tomorrow.  The squares are 4" finished.

Every I Spy novelty print is different, no repeats, 124 unique squares.  There were a few times when I could cut different areas in the same fabric.  I know there are 3 from the Snoopy baseball fabric and another was a zoo animals print where I cut several different squares.

I took 6 close up shots.  You can click on the photo twice to get an expanded view.

(For other Blogger users who post, if you notice you can't enlarge your photos you may need to go into your settings and scroll down to Post Template Optional and slide the button to turn off Image Lightbox.  You also need to upload large enough photos to be enlarged.  I post mine at 2000 pixels on the longest side.)

These 6 photos are a little crooked because I was holding the camera above my head for 2 and squatting down for 2.  The remaining 2 were straight on  shots.

I wonder if any of you recognize any of these novelty fabrics.  I have been collecting them for close to 30 years.

I used to teach a class on making I Spy quilts and I offered kits to the students.  After all I only needed a few squares out of many of them for my own use so there was plenty left over, even in a quarter yard.

One of my friends who also taught an I Spy quilt class had her students make a little notebook to go along with the quilt with a list of everything that was in the quilt, one page for things starting with A, etc, all the way through the alphabet.

These 6 photos probably don't show you every print that is in the quilt.

I have a stack of 6.5" I Spy fabrics to work on next.  The third quilt I plan to make might have a combination of both size left over squares.


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Assembly done, not pressed................

There were 2 sewing sessions yesterday and I got the I Spy quilt top sewn together.  It was 10 p.m. when I took the last stitch so I saved the pressing for today.

I was out watering gardens early yesterday morning.  The Zinfin Doll Hydrangea is changing color rather quickly this year.  I wish I had a place for a whole row of these.

The little 4" tall Coneflower is in full bloom now.  I think it should be moved to a safer location but I'm not sure it would survive a move.  Indecision here.

The yellow Nasturtium bloom is fully opened now.  There are 8 plants in that pot.  I hope I get some more colors of them.

The ground was too hard all the way through June so I didn't get my ceramic mushrooms out in the garden at the beginning of summer.  One group is by the mailbox and my smallest Hosta.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Final layout for I Spy............

The only thing I had to decide was where the red/orange/hot pink I Spy prints would be.  I could have just sewn this together without a layout ahead of time but I didn't want those colors clumped together in one area.

Good news!  My tomatoes are finally turning red.  There are about 5 more that probably can be picked today.

Yesterday got up to 90 with a feel like temperature of 103 at 2 p.m. yesterday.  Today is supposed to be a few degrees cooler but still high humidity and then back to mid to high 90s for 3 days.  I will have to water the tomato plants that are in pots every day.  Next Sunday's predicted high is 72 so we can see some relief ahead.

I planted the Marigold seeds late so I'm only getting a few blooms.  I hope they fill out before the summer is over.

The Nasturtiums have a couple blooms each day.  I thought they would have more but I planted those seeds late too.


Sunday, August 20, 2023

Almost there...................

All of the I Spy blocks are sewn and I only need 5 more of the black and white print blocks.  I need to sew one more strip of the neon stars and white print and cut them into segments to piece with the segments of the other combination.  I thought I had sewn the same number of each combination but I guess I didn't.  After those 5 blocks are sewn I need to turn on the iron and press all of the blocks and then go to the design wall.

I mowed the remaining portion of the front yard yesterday morning at 11.  I was surprised there was so much dew on the grass when the humidity was so low the previous 3 days.  The humidity was creeping up yesterday and is going really high this week. They are talking heat indexes over 100 several days this week with temperatures over 90.  It sounds like good sewing time.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

22 out of 63................

All of these blocks need pressing so this isn't a final layout start.  I just keep putting them up on the wall to clear space on my sewing cabinet.  I changed my mind on this quilt and the new size will be 56" x 72".  I may put a border on it.  I'm a third of the way through sewing the blocks.

I showed this tiny yellow plant before.  It came up earlier in the summer and something came along and had it for lunch.  It was stubborn and sent up some new leaves and a teeny tiny bloom.  I'm beginning to think it is a miniature Coneflower instead of a full size one.

But wait, there is another bud.  I just hope it doesn't look like lunch to any critter again.  I would like to see it make it all the way to dried seeds in its center.

It's going to turn hot and humid so I mowed the back yard and side yard plus 3 paths of the front yard after 7 last night.  The humidity is supposed to start rising this afternoon so the plan is to mow the rest this morning.  I also dug up some Lungwort for a friend yesterday afternoon and planted 5 pots of it.  I pulled lots of weeds and dug out one small Redbud tree.  It was a beautiful low humidity day.