Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Borders sewn on........and more............

I didn't think I was going to get the borders cut and sewn on this Bear Paw quilt before the end of the month.....but I did.  It is 69" x 84" now.  No longer a pile of blocks waiting to be sewn into a top.

Then last night I looked through my list for a small quilt that I could possibly finish by midnight tonight.  This one already had its backing and binding chosen and I had a cutaway piece of batting large enough for it.  This one was just 36" x 45" before quilting.  Finished size will be in tomorrow's post.

I didn't have any thread fraying or breaks.

The medium tan thread worked well on it.  Details tomorrow.


Monday, October 30, 2023

Third quilt top for October.............

I got the piano key border sewn onto the African fabric quilt top, cutting off the excess of each strip as I got to the end.  I don't think it shows much that some strips are narrower than others.  The side borders are 1/2 inch narrower than the top and bottom borders.  It ended up at 52" x 69".  I will use a dark binding on it, maybe the same fabric as the next to last border.

Before lunch yesterday I cut all of the green tomatoes off the last 2 plants and put them in a box in my garage.  The garage is heated and is usually around 55 degrees.  Last year tomatoes in a box in the garage ripened and I had others in a box in the house with a banana and most of them ripened too.  

In the late afternoon I remembered I wanted to get the geraniums out of the porch pots.  I have to decide if I'm going to let them go dormant or plant them and bring them inside for the winter.

While I was eating breakfast the neighbor's kitty jumped up on my kitchen windowsill.  My house is all stone and the windowsills are wide.  He jumps up on the lower ones quite often but this one is high, by the kitchen sink.  Inside I have a few ripening tomatoes picked a couple days ago.

He decided to sit and watch me for awhile.  I think he has kept the chipmunk population to a minimum in my backyard this summer, mostly just scaring them as he chases them.


Sunday, October 29, 2023

Border strips and auditioning positions...........

All 4 border strips are sewn oversized so there will be some trimming when they are sewn onto the quilt top.  I wasn't sure if I was going to flip the top and bottom borders end for end but I think they look OK the way they are. 

I went out and harvested the green tomatoes late yesterday afternoon.  I threw away anything smaller than a golf ball.  The Rutgers and Big Boy tomatoes are a good size but have been green for so long.  I hope they will ripen.  I had good luck last year with them ripening and had my last tomato the first week of December.  I still have the 2 plants that I gave to my neighbor girl to pull out today.  Tonight is the beginning of the below freezing temperatures.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Baking, pressing, searching.......

My treats for today and tomorrow

I like my sweets and want some in the freezer to pull out when I have a craving.  I don't like to have the whole batch though so when there is someone to bake for, I bake the things that I want and hope the recipient will like them.  I visited my granddaughter yesterday and took some of it to her.  The little great-grandson is 2 weeks old now and he and his brother slept through my visit.

I pressed the Bear Paw quilt top and got it up on the design wall for a photo and to choose the border fabric.

Someone asked yesterday about sashing without cornerstones.  With this one I cut sashing 2 different lengths.  One was the size of the block and the other one that size + the size of a cornerstone.  In this case they were 14.5" and 15.5".  The first strip was sewn to the top of the blocks and the longer one sewn to the left side and also as the end strip on a row.

I didn't think the seams in the sashing were going to show very much so this plan would not be obvious.  On a plainer fabric, a solid or tone on tone the seams would be much more obvious.  That is why I like prints so much.  They hide all kinds of little secrets.

I looked for a large piece of fabric to use for borders and found this one which is 4 and 2/3 yards.  That is enough for one panel of the backing and borders each cut in a long piece on the lengthwise grain.  The top should measure about 61" x 76".

We had a little more rain yesterday and still near 70 degrees through early afternoon.  Now they are mentioning possible snow flurries at 3 p.m. on Halloween.  Snowsuits under costumes?

Friday, October 27, 2023

All sashing strips sewn on......................

I stuck with it and got all of the sashing strips sewn, 3 rows of them.  Now that it is all sewn together I must turn the iron on.  I didn't look for the outside border fabric yet.  In fact I never made it to the basement yesterday.  On a normal day I'm up and down the stairs at least 5 times.  Instead I ran a couple errands between raindrops.  Today I need to get serious about getting this top finished.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Border and sashing day..............

The next border is on the African elephant quilt.  There is at least one more border, the piano key type border of strip piecing leftover from another quilt.  It is 45.5" x 61" right now.

I finally cut the last 2 batting pieces off the big roll and removed the roll from my work table.  Now I can baste a larger quilt.

I decided to start sewing the tiger print sashing on the Bear Paw blocks and got 2 rows done.  This quilt will need a border after the sashing so I'll have to search through my stash and see if I have enough yardage of anything appropriate.

It was like a switch was pushed over the weekend.  Everything quickly turned color.  This tree had a lot of green leaves last week.

The Redbud trees turned from green to yellow overnight.  It was quite windy the last couple days and .6" rain yesterday so there are lots of leaves falling.  A hard freeze is predicted for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights next week.  I'll have to go out and collect all of the green tomatoes on the weekend.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

First finish of October 2023............

 I feel like I'm finally making some progress this month.  I had so many side projects to take care of this month that I really haven't gotten much stitching time.  This colorwash is all batiks, no fabric repeated, and the squares finish at 2".  It is 31.5" square.

It got up to 77 degrees yesterday and our normal high is about 60 degrees right now.  We may hit 70 a few more times this week and then 40 next week.  While it was nice and warm I took my shovel out to the back garden and started digging out the black raspberry plants.  I didn't plant them; I think a bird did it.  The canes grow long and bend over and when they hit the ground they form roots and start a new plant.  Unfortunately they are growing in a flower garden and as good as the berries taste, I'm done dealing with them.  Rain is predicted off and on for several days so I'm not sure if I can get them all dug out this week.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023


I didn't look any farther; I liked one of the binding choices in the first round.  I got it sewn on and have started the hand stitching.  The hanging sleeve is sewn on too.

This is the orientation of the other colorwash as I designed it.  

When my daughter was here we tried it horizontally and thought maybe that was a better choice for art over a piece of furniture.

I put the leftover piece of backing fabric there to analyze whether it might be a good binding choice.

I flipped it 180 degrees to see if I like it this way better.

Originally I was thinking about facing it rather than binding but if I need a long hanging sleeve I think I would rather do binding.  All of these questions running through my head are holding up the finishing on this one.

I have one lonely Pansy that made it through the summer.  The chipmunk had fun digging in this pot more than once.  Most of the plants couldn't take the heat and died.  I moved the pot with snapdragons up there last week on a day I thought we might get a frost.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Cutting and auditioning............

While the washing machine was running I turned on the iron and pressed the pile of things waiting patiently for about a week.  Part of the pile was the fabric for sashing on the Bear Paw blocks and border fabric for the African elephant quilt top.  I got all of the pieces cut for both of these projects.

I pulled a few brown/black batiks for possible binding choices for the larger of the 2 colorwashes that I just quilted.  I didn't have the camera quite level with the choices but this can give me an idea how they might look.

I'm only trying them on one edge for now.  As I go through more choices I'll lay them next to at least 2 sides to audion.

I have the smallest amount of this one so I need to measure and see if there is enough.

I'm not sure if I want a stripe on a colorwash but this one does look good.

Today I'll have my choice of several different projects to work on.  It's going to warm up for 2 days so I may find some things outside that need to be taken care of.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Quilting on two............

The top of my sewing cabinet was finally cleaned off and I quilted both of these colorwash quilts yesterday.  Today I will choose bindings and prepare hanging sleeves.

While I was sitting at my computer a little after 5 p.m. I noticed the tree a little farther north of me glowing in the sunlight.  When I saw the color of the partially dead tree next to it I figured it is the golden hour.

Here is another view while the sun was hitting it and just a short time later after the sun had gone down behind the houses in the west.  The sky was a deeper blue than the photo on the left shows.  It was quite spectacular. 

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Cool colors............

I am drawn to the warm colors more often so I thought it was time to make a cool color Kaffe Collective quilt.  I may add other fabrics if necessary.  I have already made the Seed Packet quilt from one of Kaffe's books and there is another quilt with fussy cut flowers in his "Themes" hard cover book.  It will probably take me a month to fussy cut all of the pieces I will need for both quilts.  I think the majority of flower fabrics will be blue with green and purple added in.

I visited my 2 great-grandsons and delivered the Amish Friendship bread yesterday morning.  I decided I should get a good mid-day photo of the tree across the street when I got home.  There are still a lot of green leaves in the center and bottom area but a lot of the gold ones have fallen already.

I'm hoping all three of my compact Burning Bushes will turn red before we get a heavy freeze.  This one is at the south east corner and it always turns first.  The other 2 are on the south side of the house and have just started to get some color.  This is their 3rd full year.

Friday, October 20, 2023

A resting day...........

After all of the outside work Wednesday I needed to rest my body yesterday.  The only thing I did besides laundry is look for sashing fabric for the Bear Paw blocks.  I looked through 2 large bins of brown, beige, gold, and rust and this one is my favorite so far.  For everyone who thought plain black or tone on tone was the best choice, I didn't look at either of those.  I was looking for a stripe but didn't find one I liked.  I need 7/8 yard of fabric for the sashing strips so that limited some of my choices because I have a lot of 1/2 yard or less. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

It was an outside day.............

There haven't been too many perfect days to work outside in the last month.  It was either close to 90 or in the 50s.  Yesterday was perfect so I did over 3 hours of digging and planting and finally pulling weeds.  Also I finished the mowing in the side and back yards.

I dug out 2 big Hostas in the front garden, ones that got too much sun and didn't look great for half of the summer.  I pulled off a few sections from one of them and then planted the 2 big plants in pots for the winter.  I gave the larger section I pulled off to a friend and planted the 3 smaller pieces in pots.  I planted 2 perennials in the empty holes.  One is a fluffy center red Coneflower (my second try with this color) and a Veronica.

In another empty spot I planted the Gloriosa Daisy (left) and a volunteer Black Eyed Susan.  There is no guarantee the Gloriosa Daisy will survive according a search on the internet but I thought I would try it.

There were 3 sections of red leaves on my 2 Viburnum bushes.  I don't think the whole bushes have ever totally changed color.

The lilac bushes have some unusual color leaves in just one area, not the whole bush.  These were an unusual shade of purple.

Two of my Lenten Rose plants have sprouted some new leaves in the last month.  The third plant has stayed pretty much the same size all growing season this year.

Every morning I check my 16 Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus plants for buds and yesterday I found buds on 4 of them.  2 are champagne color, one I think is dark pink or red and I'm not sure about the 4th one.  I used to have markers with color names in all of my pots but now I'm trying to rely on memory....that is a mistake.

Last night I baked some Amish Friendship bread.  I will take one loaf over to the proud parents of my newest great-grandson.


Wednesday, October 18, 2023

2 years ago today............

Two years ago today I was working on these blocks.  This was the final layout I ended up with and I was going to look for something for a narrow sashing between blocks.  I really should make a decision and finish sewing these into a quilt top.  The fabrics are regular prints from many years.

My other option is sewing the blocks together edge to edge which I like.  What I don't like is matching all of those points when sewing the blocks together.  And then there is also the bulk where the points meet.

Yesterday I did some grocery shopping and then after lunch I mowed the front yard.  The grass was quite tall so it took some effort.  I hope to finish the side yard and do the backyard today.  Today is supposed to be the warmest day but windy.  I have 2 perennials to get into the ground before winter too.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Sorting, planting..........

The 6.5" Kaffe fabric squares have been sorted by color.  There are several of some of the prints and only one of others.  The middle row is blue, green, purple and brown and the whole top row is red, orange and pink.  I'm not sure when I cut some of these because I have just been putting them in a little storage box for several years.  There are a few Martha Negley fabrics in there too.

When the sun came out in mid afternoon yesterday I went out and dug the hole and planted the scrawny sale Hydrangea.  It only cost me $8.50 so if it survives I'll be really happy.  It is supposed to stay small and compact but I can move one of the Sedums if it starts crowding them.  I moved the little tiny yellow coneflower too.  I was surprised how small the root is on it.  It may not survive.

Over by my other established Hydrangea this Hosta was getting crowded under the edge of the Hydrangea so I moved it forward into an empty spot in that section.  There was a Moss Rose plant there which I pulled out.

I noticed the grass was really tall again but I was already getting stiff from the digging.  I wonder how old I will consider too old for digging.  In reality I don't think I expected to be digging plants after 80.  


Monday, October 16, 2023

Cross seams sewn...........

All of the seams are sewn and this colorwash has been pressed.  It will be the next to hand baste and should only take about a half hour.  It is 18.5" square.  The majority of prints are Kaffe Fassett collective and other fabrics added in as needed.  This one is not as smooth but has a lot of interest in the fabrics.  I sometimes describe this type of prints as chunky/bumpy.  It was fun to make and just what I needed as I contemplate the next to be added to the African elephant quilt top.

I brought the box of 6.5" squares of Kaffe fabric upstairs and I want to sort them loosely by color.

We had off and on sunshine yesterday so it looked warmer out than it was.  Today I hope to start digging the hole for the sale priced Hydrangea that I got last week.

Sunday, October 15, 2023


My layout got more crooked the farther down I got on the small portable design wall.  I did come to a final decision though and it was ready to sew.

Last night I started the webbing process of sewing it together.

That was finished about 11 p.m.  Ready for pressing now so I can sew the seams in the other direction.

I printed labels for 3 boxes and 2 clear plastic drawers and got them cut down to size for their containers.  These are ready to go up on a shelf now.

We got 2.85" of rain in 3 days.  Since we are still at a deficit for the year it was really welcome.  Now I hope for some sunshine for a couple days.