Tuesday, April 30, 2024

2 finishes......................

This Friendship Star quilt is one of a series of quilts made with solids and prints, inspired by Lynn (check out her blog - she gives cutting and sewing directions for all of the quilts).  It is  62" x 71".  I have finished a couple of the others, zipper and framed 9 patch.

I used a lot of novelty or conversation prints in the blocks so it could be used as an I Spy quilt.

There is one panel down the center of the back and 2 narrower pieces sewn to the sides to make it the right size. 

I used Hobbs 80/20 batting and beige thread to quilt it.  I chose a light color binding and I think it worked great.

And then there is Charley in the Forest.  I have to say this one is near the top of my favorite quilt list.  I started out with the Arboretum directions for the trees by Anne of Springleaf Studios.  After making many trees I got the idea to use my Charley Harper bird fabrics mixed in.  Then I made some larger trees and mini trees to give it a little more character.  It is 65.5" x 87.5".  The trees are all made of Kaffe Fassett Aboriginal Dot in a lot of colors  and the tree backgrounds are Kaffe Fassett collective fabrics.  I think there is one Martha Negley fabric background in there too.

I was lucky enough to find a half price sale on the Charley Harper fabric on the back of the quilt.  I love woodpeckers so it is perfect for this quilt.

The batting is Hobbs 80/20 and the binding is a red/orange Kaffe Fassett older fabric.  Did I tell you how much I love this quilt?


Monday, April 29, 2024

A good sewing day..............

We really didn't get much rain yesterday except in the early morning but I had decided I was going to sew since the end of the month is creeping up and I have my self imposed quotas to fill.  I finished the binding on Charley in the Forest in the late afternoon.

Next I cut the setting triangles for my 1996 quilt.  I need to cut 2 more of them and also the corner triangles today.

After that I cut the binding for this star quilt and got it all finished by machine.

There was still a half hour left of the third TV program last night so I started sewing the diagonal rows on this quilt.

Today I'll hang the finished quilts on my double design wall in the basement and take photos.  There are 2 NCIS shows on tonight so I'll keep sewing diagonal rows while I watch them.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Inside and outside..............

I spent a lot of time outside yesterday but first, inside.

I hand sewed about 45" on the Charley in the Forest binding.

I trimmed the prints and solids star quilt.  The backing is 3 fabrics.  The one in the middle is a limey green with pink circles.  Since they are opposites on the color wheel I don't know how to describe the color with the mix.

I pulled some fabrics as possible binding.  I'm not opposed to having a light binding because this quilt will probably be for a young person and the darker fabrics may be too dark.

I have narrowed it down to three of the five fabrics I showed.  

Fabric #1

Fabric #2

Fabric #3.

I think any one of them will work so I just need to make a decision.

I forgot to take any photos while I was outside so I took this one from the kitchen window.

One of the garden centers had $15 pots planted with an assortment of annuals so I got 2 of them and put the contents in my hanging pots.  I just had to fill in around the plantings with a little dirt and they were ready to hang.  I'll get a better photo outside some day.

While outside I dug 3 coneflowers and 2 Lungwort and planted them in pots.  They will go to my granddaughter's house at the end of May.  I need to dig more but that was enough for one day.  I also did more cleanup in the front garden and dug out some dandelions.  I'm wondering if I'll be stiff and sore or if my body is adjusting to outside work. 

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Another round of squares.............

I cut one more group of squares to add to my 1996 project.  It is the same fabric that is used in the center 9 patches.  I think I have enough of the lightest fabric to cut setting triangles and then I can sew this together.

Another 110" is hand stitched on the Charley quilt.  There is only 108" left to stitch.  I may spread that over 2 days.

The last 2 cacti buds are finally blooming.  I think I can safely say these really are the last blooms.

The Redbuds are in full bloom and now the rain will probably knock a lot of the petals to the ground.  We got a little over a half inch of rain yesterday by 7:30 p.m.  It rained again after dark and more rain predicted for late today and tomorrow and 80 degrees.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Lots of progress................

A new needle finally made it into my longarm machine after days trying to avoid doing it.  I loaded this solids and prints Star quilt and got it quilted.  The thread broke 3 times but it is the So Fine which I hadn't had any luck with for a couple months, with it breaking 5 or 6 times while quilting a small quilt.  I may try adjusting the position of the needle and see if the next one goes even smoother.

I decided one loop in each square would be an easy way to quilt it.

I used a beige thread so it shows better on this block.

After I finished quilting I cut the binding for Charley in the Forest, sewed it on the quilt and got 85" hand stitched last night.  This one will take me at least 3 more days to finish.


Thursday, April 25, 2024

One more fabric............

I found another Kaffe print in the same red/orange as the button fabric for a possible choice for binding. I have to check all around the edge and make sure that fabric wasn't used in an edge block.

I spent all morning yesterday sorting my brown/rust/gold fabrics.  They had been displaced when I started moving things around in the basement.  I love the rich earthy tones but they don't seem to be very popular with most people.  These fabrics were formerly on a shelf unit where my black and whites reside now.  I can move these boxes to an area where I don't have to walk around them now.

A lot of the quilt tops I have made so far this year have been projects that were cut or started in previous years.  I decided to pull out another partially cut and pieced project that was started in July 1996 in a class I was teaching.

I love all of these fabrics even after all of those years.

This is the book I was teaching from.  I went to a week long seminar in Chicago that was offered by Mary Ellen Hopkins in the mid 1980s.  We each made a sample from this book during that week.

This is the one I made.  I like all of the fabrics in this one too.

It's a little hard to see the X blocks because the fabrics are too close in value.  It's prettier in real life.

When I was out in the garden yesterday I noticed the violets are filling in between the Lily of the Valley.

The batteries for my mower aren't holding a charge so I ordered new ones.  My neighbor was kind enough to finish my mowing in the front and also mow my backyard.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Charley in the forest trimmed...........

Yesterday I trimmed my Charley in the Forest quilt.  Then it was time to search for a binding.  I thought I wanted red but most of the reds were more of a pink tone and most of the fabrics on the front are a red/orange.

After auditioning several Kaffe collective fabrics, this one seems the best.  It is also used on the front of the quilt.  In the photo above it is the background of the tree at the left.  I will look again today to see if I can find anything else that works.

This simulates how it will look if I use this one.

 I still had 2 bags of last year's rhubarb in my freezer, shared by a friend, and I needed to use some of it.  Yesterday I baked a rhubarb cake, a recipe that I found on the internet.  It will be good for breakfasts for a few days. 


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A quilt top for April.................

I really like this quilt top, but then I like all of the quilt tops I have made with these neutral color batiks.

This one is 55.5" x 72".  The next one which will use the rest of the blocks will be larger.

Here are 3 of the others made with most of the same fabrics and a few different in each quilt.  Unfortunately the lighting on the one on the right is bad and I sold it so I can't take another photo.

I mowed grass for a half hour and then went to the garden center and got some plants so I didn't get anything else cut to sew last night.  I just continued with the 3" 9 patches since they were already paired and still on my sewing cabinet.  It got up to 65 yesterday but Wednesday is supposed to be in the 40s.  I'll keep my new plants in the garage for a couple weeks.  I have 5 windows in there so they will get plenty of light.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Family party..............

Some out of state family was in town yesterday so we had a family gathering.  I made frosted creams in the morning to take with me.

I dug 3 Sedum plants to send home with them today.

While I watched 2 shows on TV last night I sewed 8 more 3" nine patches and paired fabrics for an additional 8 blocks.  I didn't get the neutral quilt top pressed so I'll do that today and post its photo tomorrow.

It was 28 degrees when I got up early yesterday morning.  I didn't see any frost on the grass and the flowering trees in town seem to be okay.  We still have a chance of a frost up until Mother's Day so no tender plants will be put into the ground yet.

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.