Sunday, December 31, 2023

First and only quilt top for December 2023

This month is quite a contrast with most months with only one top and many finishes.  Usually it is fewer finishes and as many as 5 tops made in a month (Jan and Apr this year).

This top is called Rosy in the Kaffe Fassett books, first shown in 1997 and made with other commercial prints because he had only designed the yarn dyed woven stripe fabrics at the time they were writing the book.

In the book the blocks are 9".  Mine are 6".  This top is about 52" x 70".

I thought about taking this block out but when I changed it to something all greens the quilt top looked like it was missing something.  The bits of red/pink/orange scattered in the prints gave it a little spark of interest so this one stayed.

Last night I quilted this 18" colorwash that has a majority of Kaffe collective fabrics and other fabrics added to get the smooth blend.  I started out yesterday making a backing for a 63" x 72" quilt but it ended up 2" too narrow.  Then I measured the batting piece that was an end of roll piece and it was 4" too narrow.  Rather than pulling out the big roll of batting and cutting another piece I decided to just finish this little wallhanging instead for #30.

If you click to enlarge this photo you will see I have a binding choice at the bottom edge.  It is brown with orange and green tiny stick trees.  I'm pretty sure this is the one I'll use as I get the binding done today.

My small red cactus surprised me with one more bloom yesterday.

The orange one is just finishing up blooming and this was the last good flower on it.

The pale pink one has always been the overachiever and it had this one bloom and 3 more buds on the side facing the window.

I will be cutting the binding for the colorwash today, sewing it on and hand stitching for the finish.  They I'll do my December recap for tomorrow's post.  I'll start working on the end of year collages but they will be posted the following day.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Finish # 7 for December 2023.................

I finished the binding on the Soft Colorwash early in the day yesterday.  It is made of all batik fabrics and it measures about 20" x 33".

It is ditch quilted in the vertical seams with Invisifil thread.

I mentioned yesterday that I put squares folded diagonally on all 4 corners so a hanging rod/dowel can be slipped into any 2 on a side to display it in the orientation that is desired.

The next in line project was pressing all of the edge blocks for the Rosy quilt.

Then I started sewing this top together.  By 7 p.m. I had it up on the design wall so I could design the bottom row.

Here is te proof the bottom row was finished and sewn onto the top.  Since it was 10 p.m. by then, the pressing and measuring had to wait until today.

If I don't run out of energy I want to quilt one more for an even 30 finishes for the year.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Racing to the end with 2............

I started working early yesterday and got all of the top row blocks sewn.  I also have all of the 3.5" squares chosen for the bottom row.  I think I'm going to go ahead and sew this now and I'll add the bottom row to it when I get it finished.

I sewed the binding onto this small soft colorwash last night (only a portion of it is shown here).  I have had the quilting done for several weeks but couldn't decide which edge was the top and couldn't decide between a facing and a binding.  Finally I just decided to finish it with a  binding.  I used diagonally folded squares on all 4 corners on the back so any of the 4 edges can be the top depending on which 2 triangles the hanging rod is placed into.  I got the hand stitching done on one short edge and 3/4 of one long edge.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Border blocks................

The big fold up section at the back of my sewing cabinet is covered with green goodness.

I continued to design the border blocks with 2 sizes of squares and got all 20 blocks for the 2 sides of the quilt sewn last night.

Now I need to design and sew the 7 blocks for the top and 7 blocks for the bottom and figure out how I'm going to make the 4 corner blocks.  I also need to decide if the center blocks are in their final arrangement.

I cut the binding for a wallhanging that is already quilted so I'll get that sewn on today too.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Playing with green..................

There will be about 76 of the 3.5" squares and around 228 of the 2.5" squares to form the border on the green Rosy quilt.

There were a few candidates for the smaller squares in the 2.5" strips box.

I really didn't get much accomplished yesterday, kind of a transition day from the super busy days to normal days.  I put enough of the new squares that I cut up on the wall to see I need some blue and a few darker green for some value contrast.  Because I am going to sew the border as blocks instead of strips, I think I will need to refigure how to do the 4 corner blocks since the border blocks will finish at 5" x 6" and the corners will need to be 5" x 5".  I want to have this top sewn together by midnight Dec. 31 so I need to figure it out soon.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

#6 finish for December 2023

Nine and a half years ago the top was finished.  Now it is a finished quilt.  I wanted it to be a summer quilt, very lightweight so it has Thermore polyester batting which is about 1/4" thick.

It finished at 77.5" x 101".

It was inspired by a quilt in a Kathy Doughty book but the top and bottom borders are my own unique addition.  I also refigured all of the cutting sizes to make a quilt the size I wanted.

The back is a 3 yard cut of wide backing trimmed to size.  The binding is the same as the backing fabric.  Click on the photo for a closer look at the zebra background print and the binding.

Chicago (60 miles east of me) has kept weather records since the 1870s and according to records we had the second warmest Christmas day at 59 in Chicago this year.  I think it was a little cooler out here in the country but still unusually warm.  We had rain off and on all day so I stayed busy inside.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas!...............

My last sewing project before Christmas was this Christmas stocking.  I had to embroider the cuff twice because I wasn't happy with the first font I chose.

A family member is sick so we won't be getting together today.  I guess that means I can sew.....


Sunday, December 24, 2023

A visitor............


A special friend visited me yesterday and we talked for hours.  These 2 baby quilts went home with her for her 2 newest grandsons.  The older brother of one of them has a flannel quilt I sent to my friend when he was born and he is very possessive of his quilt.  Now his brother and cousin will have their own flannel quilts and won't need to try to get his.  I bet they will love theirs too.

My great-children 6 hours away opened their I Spy quilt yesterday and they are already having a lot of fun exploring all of the novelty fabrics.  I hope they have many years of fun with it.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

A little bit done..................

Yesterday morning I trimmed the quilt that I had longarmed by Robin.  You can see a little peek at the backing at the bottom right flipped back corner.  I think I will use that for my binding too.  I was able to get 2 strips from the trimmings and I will get the rest from the leftover backing.  I might get the binding sewn on late today or tomorrow and then I'll show the whole quilt.  If you can't wait, here is the top when it was finished in April 2014, just 9 1/2 years ago.

I searched for Christmas fabrics to make the stocking for my newest great-grandson.  The Santa fabric will be the front, snowmen on the back and trees for the lining.  I will use my embroidery machine to put his name on the cuff.


Friday, December 22, 2023

A few more green fabrics...........

While I was in the basement doing laundry yesterday morning I also looked for more green fabrics to use in the green Rosy quilt border.  This time I looked through the other 2 parts of the Kaffe collective fabrics, the Philip Jacobs and Brandon Mably fabrics.  I didn't get any of them cut yet but I think they are going to add a lot of good value changes to the quilt.

I put a few more of the squares I cut the day before up on the design wall so I can get a better idea of how the border is going to look.

When I came upstairs my mail was there and a card from Linda S was in it.  This is another of her wonderful hand painted cards.  I love my collection of them.

The middle of the day yesterday was spent making the last batches of Chex Mix.  The boxes are empty now so I'm officially done with that task.  My family loves my Chex Mix so it is worth all the work.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Packages mailed............

I finished the baking and got the packages packed and mailed by 3 p.m.  I didn't even have to stand in line at the post office.

Last night I started playing with a few border pieces.  The first border is 3" finished squares and the outer border 2" finished squares.

Rather than making long strips of squares to attach, I will make blocks of 2 - 3" squares and 3 - 2" squares and attach them as I sew the rows together.  I have lots of cutting to do so this project will stall for a few days.

My longarm quilter dropped off another quilt she quilted for me and I'll show that soon.  I have a Christmas stocking to make for my newest great-grandson before I do anything else. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

3 batches.............

Yesterday morning I cut 3 more  pieces from one more fabric for the 6" finished squares and took a daylight photo from my computer chair.  It is looking better with more of the dark squares removed.

I made 2 batches of Chex mix in the afternoon and in the evening my first batch of spritz.  Now I need to make the chocolate ones.

I had some questions yesterday about the Hamilton Beach cookie press I showed on my post.  I also have 2 parts to a Proctor-Silex cookie press with extras in the second box.  I'm not sure which one came first.  One company bought out the other and after doing a search I find that most of the ones available now are on e-bay, some new, some used.  It looks like the newer style with a push down handle is the way they are going now.  I have had mine for a long time and I hope it lasts a few more years.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Busy day.............

Yesterday started with cleaning up from baking the night before.  Then I had to get the last supplies I needed for the treats that I make for family.  It was 28 degrees with a 30 mph wind when I left for the stores.

When I got home my mail was there.  I was so excited to get a Christmas postcard from Vicki Welsh.

I was surprised there was no postmark.  I think these have to be hand cancelled so my card was missed.

Here is the whole collection of the postcards.

I only got one treat baked, one of my 2 recipes of Kringlas.

I was too tired to bake anything else last night so I worked on the Rosy quilt.

All of the holes are filled in now but I'm sure this isn't the final layout.  Next to cut are 3" and 2" finished squares for the 2 borders.  I'm still considering taking out more of the dark 6" squares.  I started out with a pile of squares that were cut several years ago.  I think I can find some more lighter fabrics to use.

Hopefully I'll get to this project today.


Monday, December 18, 2023

#5 finish for December..................

The binding is finished on I Spy 1 and now I just need to inspect it for any stray threads and then get it ready to be mailed.  This one ended up at 64" x 80.5".  The novelty print squares are 4" finished.

The backing is flannel that I bought at a year end sale 2 years ago.

The batting is Warm and Natural because I wanted a flatter quilt.  I didn't want rolling puffs through the novelty prints.

I found 4 more green Kaffe fabrics to use in the Rosy quilt.  The 2 on the left will be for the big squares and the other 2 in 9 patches.

I meant to get a daylight photo of my orange cactus blooming but next thing I knew it was dark.  I rarely use the flash on my camera and it takes forever for it to warm up.  I finally did get it to work.  All of the blooms are on the side that faces my west picture window.

I started my Christmas gift baking yesterday late afternoon.  I started with the English Toffee bars.

Then I made a batch of fudge.

Last was a double batch of shortbread cookies.  These are a favorite of my great-grandchildren.

Spritz is probably next.  I also make homemade Chex mix for everyone and I haven't purchased the supplies yet.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Working on two...............

In the morning yesterday I trimmed I Spy 1 and looked for a binding fabric.  I finally decided on this bright red/orange.  I started sewing it on the quilt last night but didn't get it finished.

After lunch I went through some early Kaffe fabrics for more greens for the Rosy quilt.  The stripe might be the binding.  I cut strips for 9 patches from 5 of them and 6.5" squares from 2 of them.

I sewed the new 9 patches last night and then decided to see if I had enough variety.  This is layout one.

I still had three 9 patches and about a dozen squares left so I added a row on the right and partial row to the bottom.  I need to make 5 more 9 patches if I stay with this size.  I have too much dark at the bottom so the layout will change.  I might look for more greens and take out the some of the really dark squares.  

Meanwhile I need to get the binding finished and start baking for gifts to mail.