Thursday, February 29, 2024

Quilted a couple................

I intended to quilt a bunch of small quilts this month so I got busy yesterday afternoon and quilted two.

I quilted loops on this one with white thread top and bobbin.

I used the same backing fabric on these two since they were made with the same group of fabrics on the front.

I decided on straight lines with the channel lock for this one.

Last night it was time to get busy finishing the hand stitching on the Australian fabric quilt.  I didn't think I would get it done but I stuck with it until 10:30 p.m. and finished it.  I'll get the photos of these 3 today after I do the binding on the 2 small ones.  This bonus day in February is great for last minute monthly finishing.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024


I have 2 corners done but almost 3 sides done.  I have one long side and a few inches of a short side to go.  I didn't get to spend 3 hours stitching like I planned.  We were under a tornado watch and then a warning last night.  Most of the storm went slightly north of us but we had hail and rain at 7.  Because of all of the severe weather heading toward Chicago, the weather people were on the air until 8:30 so I missed all of the first FBI show and half of each of the next 2 shows.  They came back on a little after 9 for the last tornado warning at the Indiana border.  I can catch repeats of the last 2 shows on Saturday night but since I watched half of each I think I'll skip them.  

The orange cactus is blooming.  It seems to bloom on one side the first time and the other side the second time.

I can't resist a close up but this one seems to be a soft focus or maybe orange petals are just hard to photograph.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Flannel Hugs and Kisses............

#3 quilt top for February sewn and pressed, 60" x 83".  I really like the assortment of flannels in this quilt top.  I'm finally making a dent in my flannel stash and I have a backing chosen for this one.

My longarm friend Robin dropped off 2 quilts last Friday so I got one trimmed and binding sewn on.  I'm working on the hand stitching now and have one short side and one corner done.  I first chose a black Australian print for the binding but decided that black binding and black backing would be too difficult.  I looked for another Australian print that was dark and looked good on both sides of the quilt.  I ended up with this mostly purple print and I think it looks good.  I'll be hand stitching tonight when I watch the 3 FBI TV shows.

Champagne color cactus is blooming now.  2 flowers on one plant and 2 buds on the plant behind it.

It got up to 70 degrees yesterday, higher than they had predicted.  I figured it was a good day to go grocery shopping without a coat.  Today is supposed to be above 70 until the storms roll through late in the day and then 30s tomorrow and maybe snow.  Back in the mid 60s or low 70s on Sunday.  I had migraines for 40 years and that is the type of weather changes that could bring one on.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Two tops sewn...............

I got busy early yesterday and got this top sewn and pressed.  It is 54.5" x 71".  One 4 patch is turned the wrong direction but I'm not changing it.

Then I worked on the layout of the X and O quilt, now to be referred to as Hugs and Kisses Flannel.

I sewed it together while watching 3 hours of TV but it was too late to go to the basement to press it.  I'll do that today and show the finished top tomorrow.  I have a 36" flannel top I pieced in December that just needs a border or more squares to make it larger so I might work on that today.  I'll have a marathon of finishing flannel quilts in March.

It got up to 63 degrees yesterday and 68 predicted for today.  Way too warm for February so I'm worried about the bushes setting buds for their blooms which could freeze later and then no blooms for the real spring more than a month from now.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Working on project 2...............

Yesterday I mentioned that I wasn't sure if I was going to leave the 4 patches in the layout.  When I looked at it yesterday morning I realized it was the 2 light squares that were bothering me, not the 4 patches. The comparison in this collage of the 2 photos shows I was right.

By 8:30 p.m. this was the layout of 10 rows out of 12.  I was watching a movie on Peacock so I started sewing rows together.

I decided to sew the top half together and now I can move those bottom rows up and get the last 2 rows designed.  The bottom half isn't as dark as it looks in this photo.

This is the total amount of snow from Friday night.  It was in the mid 30s yesterday and now we're headed back up to the 50s and 60s.

Look at that furry tail on this "bird".


Saturday, February 24, 2024

Working on 3................

All of the X and O blocks are sewn now but not pressed yet.  I need 17 O blocks and 18 X blocks so I just realized I'm short one O block.  I can just sew a seam on the other side of an X block and rip out the original seam and I will have an O block.

I took those stacks of 4 blocks off the design wall and started a layout of 6" finished squares with a few 4 patches thrown in.  I need 12 rows for the length and I'm short 14 squares for the required size.  There are 2 squares alike of 27 of the fabrics and more squares alike of the rest of them so I will need to wait to mix in the 14 new fabrics before I proceed.  I'm not sure I will leave the 4 patches in it or maybe will group them all together in one area.....just playing at this point.

When I was done with that I sewed four stratas for 16 patch blocks.  Now I need to turn on the iron and press everything.

It started snowing last night and it was sticking on the grassy areas.  I checked back in previous years' photos and the Sedum are about a month ahead of their normal growth.  I'm not going to clear away the areas around them yet.  It's just too early.

Friday, February 23, 2024

3 more sets to sew.........................

These are all sets of 4 big blocks in a stack pinned to the design wall.  I got 4 sets sewn last night to add to the 2 sets that were sewn the night before.  Most of them are 4 blocks alike but a few have 1 block made from 3 parts the same and one different.  I will move all of this to a larger design wall for the final layout.

We got up to 63 degrees yesterday and there may be snow on grassy areas by tomorrow morning.  Then back up to 50 by Sunday and 68 a few days later.  I hope the Redbud trees don't think it's time to bloom because there could be several more freezes coming.  I have lived in this house almost 52 years and I only remember 2 years where the buds froze and we had very little or no blooming.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

6 of the 8 final sets..............

I cut 8 sets but only brought 6 of them upstairs to sew last night.  I was too stiff and sore after doing a little over an hour of outside work to go back down and get the others.

I got them sewn last night and will sew the other 2 sets before I do any pressing. Then I can mix them all in with the the ones in the layout on the design wall. 

I tore out all of the tomato plants and pulled up the cages and nested them.  Then I picked up branches that have fallen in the last 2 months.  One of my shoulders has been bothering me and pulling all of those dead plants didn't help it.  I need to remember to take the Advil before I go out to work.  Friday and Saturday are going to be colder and now they say Tuesday for 69 degrees.

While I was in the backyard I checked out one flower bed and the Sedum is starting to grow.  This is up fairly close to the house.

Then I checked the 6 Sedum plants by the front of the house and they all have new growth too.  It's really too early to clean up my flower beds because we could have some more freezing temperatures in the next 10 weeks. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Flannel progress.............

 Last night I started sewing sets of 4 blocks that are identical.  I have chosen the last 8 fabrics for more blocks but haven't cut them yet.  I will want to mix those colors into the layout before I sew any more sets of 4.

I had strip sets prepared for 24 sixteen patch blocks so I sewed them too.  I may combine my rectangle blocks with the 16 patches in one quilt.  The rectangles are 4" x 8" finished size and I have a good size stack of them already cut.  I just need to do some figuring so I know how many of each I will need.

We are on the way to being the warmest ever February in Chicago (60 miles from me).  Today may go over 60 and they are saying near 70 on the weekend.  I guess I should go outside and pull out the tomato plants and cages that I didn't do in November.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Second February 2024 finish.............

This quilt was made from a pattern I purchased, Interweave by Springleaf Studios.  Here is a photo of the pattern.  All of the black and whites are batiks and the red and orange prints are mostly regular quilting cotton prints with 2 Philip Jacobs fabrics and 1 Martha Negley fabric.  It is 57" x 81".  Binding is done all by machine, straight stitch finish on the top.

The backing is a batik I purchased on sale in 2018 in NC.  The batting is Hobbs 80/20.  The binding is the same Martha Negley print that is in the quilt top.

Click for a closer view.  There are some fun black and white batiks in this one, a lot of them from 1990-2003.

When I cut the elongated hexagon flannel pieces, there is a triangle at each end left over.  Yesterday I decided to clean up my die cutter table and cut 2" finished half square triangles from those waste pieces.  I will have some more when I get the next 8 fabrics cut.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Flannel again............

Yesterday morning was cutting time.  I also cut for two more quilts than the two I'm already sewing.

I paired triangles with elongated hexagons.  I have enough triangles cut now for the rest of the blocks I need to cut.

Last night was sewing time.  The blocks on the left are piles of 4 alike.

I took one block of each sewn combination and started a layout on the design wall.  After I make the remaining blocks I will sew duplicates of the X and O blocks because I have 4 alike of most of the blocks.  I need to cut 8 more sets of 4 blocks so I'll be going through the stacks of flannel again today. 

Sunday, February 18, 2024


I trimmed the second quilt I got back from my longarmer last week.  I wasn't sure if I wanted a black batik or a red fabric for the binding.  Finally I came to a decision.

I decided on one of the reds that is in the quilt.  This is one of my favorite Martha Negley fabrics.  I needed a break from being in the basement so I didn't get it pressed and cut yet.

There were 15 more blocks ready to sew last night.

I did get some flannels chosen for more blocks so today I'll turn on the iron and get busy again.


Saturday, February 17, 2024

Starting another flannel quilt...........

I cut 80 sets of pieces for these flannel blocks and got 64 of them sewn last night.  I cut a lot of dark fabrics yesterday and will cut more medium value pieces today.

This is one layout I am considering.

Here is another layout.  I have used both of these layouts before and liked both of them.

I'm also cutting 3 other shapes for 2 more flannel quilts as I cut for this one.  I'm using up most of the small yardage pieces, less than 1/2 yard.  Today I will probably need to start cutting into the pieces that are larger than a half yard.

 Four of my cactus plants have buds on them.  Two of them are the champagne color, one is orange and I think the 4th one is either dark rose or red.  Today is going to be cold, only reaching the high 20s but they are promising sunshine.  


Friday, February 16, 2024

Flannel fun.......................

In the morning yesterday I pressed the seam of the 3rd large backing and while the iron was on lots of small yardage pieces of flannel were ironed.  I'm ready to do some major cutting today for 3 more flannel quilts.  I need to have something ready to sew tonight.  Last night I did the staystitching around the pinwheel top and sewed strata for fourteen 16 patch blocks.

I took a closeup shot of the fabric that looks like aqua in the pinwheel quilt.  It is a teeny tiny houndstooth check woven of blueish green and white.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

First quilt top for February 2024..........

I had a lot of things to press so the iron got turned on yesterday.  This top is 59.5" x 71".  It is large enough without a border so I will staystitch the edges and find a backing for it.

I spent a lot of time in the basement yesterday.  I started out sewing more pieces of batting together.  None of the ones I pieced a couple weeks ago were the right sizes for 3 small quilts I needed them for.  I cut backings for all 3 of the small quilts too.  Then I started working on large backings again.  Two of them are finished and a third one has the 2 pieces cut to length; I just need to press them and sew the seam.  I'm going to have start quilting some of them because my 2 clothes racks are full of tops matched with batting and more tops still waiting for batting.  

I also pressed the LeMoyne star top so now I can cut borders and add them to it.  While I'm at it I might as well piece the back too.

At noon today the month of February is half over.  Time to get busy on more flannel quilts.  I want to have 3 pieced by the end of the month.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

How about some red for Valentine's Day.................

I got the flannel quilt sewn together but didn't turn on the iron so I'll just talk about red today.  I went through my archives looking for finished red quilts and came up with this assortment.  My daughter owns the one on the bottom left and so far I still own the others. 

This group is all quilt tops.  I sold the three on the left.  The one on the right will probably be finished soon.  I have the perfect backing fabric for it.

I think of these as mostly red.  The two on the upper right are finished quilts.  I gave the one on the right as a shower/wedding gift and I own the one with the star blocks alternating with red 16 patch blocks.  The small Trip Around the World is my kitchen table quilt and the other two are tops.  I sold the one on the bottom.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

30 blocks....time to sew a top.............

I cut the rest of the blocks yesterday morning and sewed them last night while I watched the two NCIS shows on TV.  I might exchange the 2 at the right end of the bottom row with each other after seeing this on my computer monitor.  I had one block left over, laying on my cabinet.

I didn't find any blue fabrics to add but did find one green.  It looks like aqua here but it is a teeny tiny green check.

The one that looks like Gingham is really a plaid if you click and look close at it.  Most of these fabrics are the Moda brushed fabrics that were introduced around 1990.  Some were yarn dyed woven plaids and others were prints.

I'm hoping to get this sewn together today but it might end up being my TV time sewing, 3 FBI shows tonight.