Sunday, April 21, 2024

63 blocks on the design wall..............

I sorted the 174 blocks into matching blocks and couldn't find 63 different ones so there are a few duplicates in this layout.  After I took this photo I sewed the top together but didn't finish until almost 11 p.m. last night so I'll get it pressed some time today and post it tomorrow.

We were in the freeze warning area last night so I'm hoping the Redbud blossoms can withstand the cold.  It usually gets the coldest around 4 a.m.


Saturday, April 20, 2024

Decision made.................

I made these neutral color 16 patch blocks in 2018 and there are 174 of them.  I had been trying to decide if I should make one almost king size quilt or 2 smaller quilts.  I did some figuring (for about an hour) last night and decided on one quilt 72" x 96" and another one 56" x 72".  There will be 3 blocks left over.  Now I can start playing with layouts.  I think I'll start with the smaller one because it will fit on my design wall on the mail level.

This is a quilt top I made in early 2018 with a lot of the same fabrics.  I made at least one more quilt top of the same fabrics and I sold both of them as tops.

When I went out to get my mail I knew I had to capture this view in a photo.  We have the frost/freeze warning for 2 nights so I'm hoping the blooms on the Redbud trees will survive.


Friday, April 19, 2024

Busy hands, happy life..............

I like to keep busy with fabric whether I have a project or not.  I have 2 project boxes full of Marcia Derse scraps and I keep looking at them and they don't look inspiring in the mess in the box.  I decided to loosely sort the strips by several lengths and slip them into plastic bags.  The odd shaped pieces will go in another bag.

Then if I decide to make blocks similar to this mock up, I will have an easier time selecting the strips.  Sorting is an easy job while watching TV.

There were a lot of pieced sections left over from other projects and from previous playtime.  They will be bagged separately too.

Yesterday morning I found another stack of 1.5" batik squares.

That meant I had to sort through them and find 4 alike of as many light fabrics as I could.  There are enough sets here for 40 more 3" 9 patches.  The dark fabrics will be assortments of fabric because there weren't any fabrics with 5 alike.

I'm working on a major reorganization in one area of my basement so I'm not sure when I'll start an actual project.  I do have a box of 16 patch neutral color blocks, enough to make 2 throw quilts so I could start playing with those to break up the work time.

I took a few garden photos from inside the house yesterday.  Look at the buds on this Coral Bell!  I think this one is called Snow Angel.  I have 2 or 3 of them.

This is the group of Tiger Lily plants in the back garden.  All of the green around them is the rampant roving Lily of the Valley.  At my age there is no chance of me being able to dig them all out.

It's hard to see the little flowers here but the Lungwort/Pulmonaria plants are getting big and bushy and full of blooms.  I'll probably dig some out and pot them and give them away.

I can't help it, I have to take photos of the pink buds opening on the Redbud trees.  They are talking possible frost/freeze early Saturday morning and early Sunday morning.  

Surprise, surprise!.  Look what I spied when I was opening the blinds yesterday morning.  This is part of an older cactus with white flowers that used to bloom at least 3 times in a season.  The plant was not doing well so I saved 3 small sections that were healthy and planted them.  This is the second time for this one to bloom.


Thursday, April 18, 2024


There are more little 1.5" batik squares to make more 9 patches but I decided to play a little with layouts.  Edge to edge isn't very spectacular.  Since the blocks will finish at 3", this would only be 12" x 18", about the size of a placemat.

Spacing the blocks out with plain blocks between would stretch this to 18" x 24".

With the blocks on point they measure about 4.25" across so this would be about 21.5" square.  After sewing 400 of the 4.5" 9 patches I'm not very anxious to sew a lot of these little blocks. I may sew a few more of them and then save them for a possible border of a future quilt.  They can rest in the batik orphan block box.

I have a stack of 32 mostly brown toned 16 patches so I'm looking for a fabric for some alternating blocks.  I had this print laying out to try.

This photo shows the fabric better.  I only have a yard of it and that might yield 20 squares.  What I need is 33 squares.  I can make more 16 patch blocks.

This will make the quilt very dark which isn't all bad but I'll keep looking through my stash.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

More tiny 9 patches............

I went through all of the piles of 1.5" squares and matched 5 dark/4 light for another batch of blocks.  In some there are 5 of the same fabric or 2 similar fabrics and others are 5 different fabrics that look good together.  The same is true of the groups of 4.

We had storm warnings last night which turned into nothing in my area so I sewed blocks.  This is 23 blocks, 8 of which were made the day before yesterday.  I haven't turned on the iron yet to press them.

The Redbud trees are pinking up quickly with all of the 70's and 80's the last few days.  Now we are going to cool down a little and only one night is going to be in the 30s if the predictions are correct.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A finish for April 2024...............

Brown Bear Paw is finished.  I made the decision to use the border fabric for the binding and it is all finished by machine.  It is 68" x 82".

This will be a raffle quilt to raise money for Prader-Willi syndrome  which my youngest granddaughter's first child was born with.  It is very rare and most of us had never heard of it.  She is organizing a fund raising walk in mid-May and is including several raffles.

Here is the spectacular back.  Having a stash is so wonderful.  I had all 3 of these fabrics, no shopping required.

Cable crashed last night a few minutes before 9 p.m., no internet, no TV.  It didn't come back on until 10:20 so I started sewing the little 3" nine patches.  I don't think I'll make a lot of them so they will either be a small project or go into the batik orphan block box and someday get used as filler blocks to make everything fit together.

Monday, April 15, 2024


I didn't have anything lined up to sew last night so I sorted 1.5" batik squares instead.  I sorted into colors and into light value.  Then I went through the light squares and pulled all of the ones that had at least 4 alike or 4 similar.  I have over 30 light groups ready now to pair with 5 darker squares for 3" finished 9 patches.  This will be TV night sewing.

I was going through a closet to find my father-in-law's slides to give to my son.  In there was a box of nostalgia.  In the 1940s and early 50s we got award certificates for certain things.  I had perfect attendance 4 out of 8 grade school years.  We didn't have kindergarten at our one room schools so I started with 1st grade.

There are perfect spelling certificates for grade 2 - 8.  I'm assuming we didn't have spelling in first grade since it was our first year in school.  We were only learning to write the alphabet.  What a change from then to now.  Kids nowadays are probably learning to write the alphabet in pre-school. 

I still haven't made a decision on the binding for the Bear Paw quilt.  This is what the sashing fabric would look like.  The border fabric (my other choice) would just continue black out to the edge.

I spent a lot of time outside yesterday with garden and yard clean up.  It was 68 degrees on Saturday and 83 yesterday.  I was actually too tired to do much inside after that.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

A finished top and garden walk.................

It made sense to go with 16 blocks instead of 15 to use up as many of the die cut pieces as possible.  It ended up at 39.5" square.  Square quilts are nice floor mats for little ones or this could be a wall hanging for someone who likes graphic designs on the wall.  Meanwhile the best part is that I emptied the box that held these pieces in an area that I am reorganizing.  

Last October I bought a sad looking Flare Hydrangea on sale for $8.50.  I planted it right away and hoped for the best.  It has new growth on it so I guess it had a good root system. The tag on it says it is a compact bush and the blooms will be white aging to bright pink. It also says to water it once a week and maybe more often in really hot weather. 

In the back garden the Brunnera is up and blooming.  The flowers are tiny, about like Forget-me-nots.  This is the largest plant; there are a few small plants too.

The Columbine in the back garden is getting big.  Behind it the Lily of the Valley is making its presence known.  It has totally invaded this area.

The earliest Peonies are getting tall.  I have about 20 Peony plants in total, most in the back garden.

This Hosta needs to be dug up.  It looks like the center might be dead.  I will probably get about 6 plants out of this.

Last week I showed this Hosta and it had just started growing.  It  is near the Sedum plants and my mailbox post in the front garden.  I'm not sure of the name of the variety but it is a compact plant that only gets about 10" tall,


Saturday, April 13, 2024

Trimming and sewing..............

Yesterday afternoon I trimmed the next quilt to finish.

Here is a peek at the back.  I had quite a bit of the border fabric left to use for a backing but not quite enough.  I had 2 other prints that looked good with it.  My longarm quilter pieced this backing for me because I didn't have it ready for her when she dropped of my Charley quilt.

This close shot shows the center fabric better.

I haven't decided on binding yet.  There is enough of the border fabric to use but I also have enough of the sashing fabric to use for binding.  Both look good so I just have to make a decision.

I started sewing these blocks together around noon and finished while watching TV at night.  There was one more block to sew and I decided to check the 3 parts that were left over and see if there were any 2 pieces left to sew a 4th quarter of a block.

This is what I came up with.  That 4th quarter that isn't sewn yet is pretty boring.

Now I have to decide if a 16 block square quilt would be as useful as a 15 block rectangular one.  Size comparison is 40" x 40" or 30" x 50".

While I was trying to decide what to do I started 2 dishcloths.  The one on the left is a denim blue, not quite as dark as it appears here.

The last bud on my white cactus decided to bloom.  It was touch and go whether it was drying up or planning to bloom.  I expect this to be the very end of the cactus blooming season.


Friday, April 12, 2024

Easy way out..............

There were enough pieces in that stack I showed yesterday to make 15 blocks.  I could spend hours trying to make something more spectacular but I think I'll take the easy way out and use this layout.  I think the blocks will be10" so this would be 30" x 50".  It would be a nice play mat size for a small child.  I have to move a few pieces to new locations so I'm not sure when I'll sew it together....quick decision and quick sewing or a couple days of moving pieces around.  The wall hanging I made 13 years ago from the rest of the pieces is on this post.  That post also tells about the fabric selection.  There are 36 blocks in that wall hanging so I used more than half of the die cut pieces in it.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

First quilt top for April 2024...........

The quilt top was pressed and posed for its portrait.  It is 40" x 49".  The blocks are 4.5" finished and there are 99 of them so there are 198 different fabrics in this quilt top.  There are high contrast blocks and low contrast blocks in the mix.  I think it has softer contrast in person. 

I sewed 100 combinations of 2 fabrics and two 2" strips of batik was enough for 4 blocks.  This is the other 301 blocks.

This is the only block I didn't use.  It is in the early layouts that I showed on some of the days but I removed it because it doesn't have enough contrast and was just a dark blob in with the other blocks. 

I found some die cut pieces in the basement in my organizing.  I paid someone to cut them for me before I had a die cutter so they precede June 2011 (I checked the postmark on the box, March 2009).  I have made one wallhanging from some of pieces and sold it in one of my pop-up shops.  Last night I decided to just go ahead and sew all of the rest of the pieces.  They may become table runners rather than a wallhanging or small quilt.  I have most of them sewn so today I'll finish that and press them.  Then it will be design wall time.

I trimmed all of the dead flower stalks from my 6 Sedum plants in the 2 front gardens.  There are 4 more plants in the back garden but we are expecting some rain today so they will wait a couple days to be cleaned up. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Charley is home...................

Charley in the Forest came home yesterday, quilted and ready to be trimmed and bound.  The trees are upside down in this photo.

I got this Charley Harper fabric, enough or a backing, on sale at a good price and I just love it.  You will see the whole quilt in a week or so, depending on when I'm ready to do some hand stitching.

In last night's sewing session I got this top sewn together but it isn't pressed yet so I'll do that today and post its photo tomorrow.

Most corners matched pretty well and a few were a tiny bit off but not enough to take out and re-do.

I have some odds and ends to stitch tomorrow night, not a project but just pieces and parts.

Next I need to get the needle changed in my longarm and then quilt a few small to medium size quilt tops.