Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Playing with EQ

I have not been posting much because I keep having problems getting my photos into the computer; I think I have that worked out. Today I spent a good part of the day trying to get an image of an EQ project saved as a jpeg file so I could upload it to Picasa.
I have been playing with EQ7 working on a plan for a large wall hanging. I have wanted to make a new one to hang above the sofa for a long time.  I fooled around with different ideas from time to time but nothing ever really inspired me to follow through and actually make something.

This week Lynn Tyler posted a photo of a flimsy on her blog The Patchery Menagerie  and it fired up my muse. Hers is beautiful and though mine will be nothing like it, seeing how beautiful her quilt turned out gave me the idea to use diamond patches. It was just the inspiration I needed.

This is the EQ7 version and I am sure the quilt  will not be exactly like this. This is a starting point and I am excited to get going on it.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Table topper Finishes

I have had some problems with my computer recently. I had to go and download Windows 10 ( can't deny myself the opportunity for frustration and) that was the beginning. I  like it but... after many updates from Microsoft and from McCaffee and Picasa many things were not working. Then more updates and things were almost back to normal. However, I still cannot create collages and in working with trying to create a collage I deleted a bunch of photos from my memory card. I am not sure how I did that but they are gone and not saved in my computer. I had photos 2 finished baby quilts that are gone to their recipients on that card, OH WELL!! 

 I have been slowly making progress on finishing some things I've had hanging around waiting for the next step.
Both of these Hexagon table toppers were made using leftovers. I quilted this one and added the binding. 
Last year I sewed the left over strings from this tree skirt, you can read about it how I came about those strings here.

This piece on the  left just sat around till last week when  I cut 60 degree triangles from it and made another hexagon table topper.

This one is a little larger so I had to refigure all my measurements because again I wanted the center hex to be all one piece of fabric.

Now I am considering making another tree skirt using Annie's tutorial again. I have made 3 of them and I have another granddaughter who might like one.

We'll see! I have two quilts layered up, all ready to be finished and I am going to do that first.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A little Flimsie

It's been a while again since I posted; there is not much going on here in the sewing room. I thought I would be finishing some UFO's after I counted them but I lost momentum.
I did put some blocks together for a baby quilt that I will finish in a couple of weeks when I go to the retreat from our church group. No photos of that yet.

I have been looking online for some backing fabric so I can finish some of my UFO's. It is getting to be a bigger deal all the time to get out to a quilt shop.

This is the little project I worked on today.

I bought the pattern last year and came across it last week and decided to make a small table topper with left overs from the place mats I made recently. Of course, when I looked for the pattern again it was buried under a mountain of stuff that should have been put away. I spent 2 days on and off looking for it.
It went together quickly and easily even though I changed the construction method a little because I wanted the center hexagon to be one piece.  I added the orange border because by using the size hex that I cut  it worked out to be a smaller size. It is 19 inches across at the points. I never checked my math before I started as to what the finished size would be. I read the directions and had a pretty good idea of what I was doing and I just started. Now if I can keep at it another couple of hours (tomorrow) I will have a finish.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More Placemats

I changed my plan to put the truck fabric on the back of the place mats for my granddaughter. Instead I made place mats for the three younger great grandsons. One of them was here visiting yesterday and today so I finished his for him to take home.
I got him to smile for the photo but he tried to hide behind the place mat.

This is the fabric on the back. I thought it might be to "little kiddish" but my daughter said they would like it because they all still like to draw and color.

Yesterday after dinner he wanted to know if I was going to go back to my sewing room because he likes to hang out with me there.
So we hung out and I printed some face masks from the Internet (he chose skulls) and we colored them and put them on and went outside to the family room door to scare everyone there. I wish I had a picture of it but I think I deleted it when my daughter sent it to me.

We had fun even though we don't have a photo to prove it
even if no one was scared.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Another Finish

The baby quilt is finished. I sewed the binding on yesterday, using my usual method of stitching to the front and turning to the back. I use thin strips of Wonder Under to fuse the binding down before I stitch it from the front.
For baby or kids quilts I usually stitch with the serpentine stitch. For other quilts I stitch in the ditch along the binding. You can see the front and back in the photo. I forgot to change the bobbing to variegated thread, which I used on the front. I doesn't show the color well in the pictures. It is a very pale pastel that shows up more in real life.

To go with the placemats I finished this week, I made these two hexie hot pads. I found the tutorial here on "sewshecan"  blog; they measure 7 x 10. I used some of the fabrics from the bundle that I didn't use for the placemats. I have more fabric from the bundle and the extra yardage I bought for the backing so I will be making something else before I add the rest to the scrap basket.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Finish and an Almost

I finished the "Take Four" placemats today. I think it is the first finish since the wedding quilt. I used the print with the white background for the backing on all 6 (like the dominant fabric in the top left placemat).

I made these according to the pattern and turned it pillow cover style. I had a little bit of a hard time doing the hand stitching to close the openings, holding a hand sewing needle really hurts my thumbs. Halfway through the 3rd one I took some Advil and took a break for a while and finished up after the Advil kicked in. I know I need to take something before I start any hand work but I don't always remember. Anyway the openings turned out good and would be hard to spot.  I have some extra fabric left and will make some Hex hot pads to go with these. they are a birthday gift for a granddaughter.

I am almost finished with the baby quilt. Yesterday I got the variegated thread for the sashings,  a nice pastel with all of the colors that are in the quilt border. I finished up all the quilting today and have  only the binding to do. I have white binding made and ready to go.

The closeup shows the colors in the quilt well, although the serpentine stitching with the variegated thread shows up better in real life. I think it was a better choice than either of the two threads I had considered..

It is a cheerful little quilt and it makes me happy to look at it. I hope the baby feels the same.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Placemats etc.

Yesterday, I got going on the "Take Four" place mats. I bought a bundle of 10 fat quarters and I had a hard time deciding which ones I was going to use to make 6 place mats. I finally decided to make the first 4, using the fabrics I thought worked the best. I made the other 2 from what I thought worked best for the 2.

The 4 on the left are the ones made with 4 fabrics, according to the pattern instructions. The other two on the right are the ones I made using the instruction's cutting sizes

I think if I do this again and need to make more than 4 I will skip the bundles and just purchase 4 half yards for the fronts and yardage for the backs. I might also just buy what I need to make them all the same.
After I finished trimming them all to the same size, I took them outside to photograph.

Then I took a walk back to the vegetable garden with my camera. I was hoping to get some shots of the squash blossoms (thinking quilted wall art). Yesterday there were several really beautiful blossoms, but not today. However, there are lots unopened blossoms and lots of squash in various stages of maturity.The top left is a tiny butternut squash with the blossom still attached. Top right, is a squash about 10 inches long starting to turn yellow. There are about a dozen large ones starting to turn yellow. It is hard to figure how many little one there are because they are hard to spot.
The 2 photos on the bottom are one of the cucumber plant,s showing one blossom and one 6 inch skinny cucumber; there are also some cucumbers ready to be picked (no photo).

I didn't get any shots of the tomato plants as it was really hot outside and I wanted to get inside. There are lots of green tomatoes of different varieties. I did pick 4 small red ones, after I washed them I ate them. Tomatoes are my favorite food especially fresh, ripe and home grown.
 I eagerly wait the ripening.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

WIP's and UFO's

I am making a list of projects that need to be finished. Amandajean at Crazy Mom Quilts had a post about counting her WIP's. I used to have a list of my projects that needed to be finished;  I kept it up to date and it helped me keep up with finishing them. Somewhere along the line I stopped keeping track; I'm not sure why.
So.........  here is my new list.

#1.  King size quilt which I am hand quilting. I started it in 2001 when I joined the Friendship block swap group and I requested 2 blocks from everyone. The pattern I used was called Quilters Fortune but I don't have it anymore and I don't remember anything else.  This has been on my list forever and I am not optimistic about ever finishing. If you want to know more about this you can read it here.

#2. This triple 4 patch is my second oldest. This is the 3rd triple 4 patch I've made and The Friendship group made some of the blocks for this one too. I  had the blocks for a while before they  became a flimsy in January 2014.
#3.  I acquired this beauty in June 2014. When I admired this Hidden Wells quilt that Lynn made, she gave it to me.  At first, I was reluctant to take it but I really like it and so I thanked her and I accepted it!  

#4. This is the HST quilt I started in February this year. I was waiting for the weather to clear so I could get out to fabric shop for a wedding gift quilt. All the fabrics are from my scrap stash. I thought It was a flimsy but it is not wide enough for the length that it is so I need to make at least another 12 blocks.

#5. is a round robin flimsy about 40 inches square; it has been around for,several years (no photo).

#6 Is the baby quilt I am machine quilting and I am happy to have found a home for it when it is done.

I am not counting the 500 plus HST's that I made from cut away connector corners. I may give up and throw them all away before I get them all pressed and trimmed to size (1.25 inches).

I am not counting my box of odd blocks either.  That is just a collection of leftover blocks from quilts I made or demo blocks that I used for teaching. It is just a collection with no plan at present. It might become a work in progress someday but without a plan it is just a collection.

My "Parts Department" box was not counted either. It is a collection also but I made these blocks with a kind of purpose in mind...... sort of. When the Basement Divas had one of our challenges we had to use elements from a couple of books. One of the books was "Collaborative Quilts" by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran. I made a lot of  blocks using their guidelines for "parts department" blocks to use in either collaborative quilts or improvisational quilts. Since I have no specific plan the box of blocks does not qualify (in my mind) as a WIP.

So... my list is not very impressive and for that I am grateful.
I have a feeling my list may also not be complete, not so grateful for that.

Friday, July 17, 2015


I started quilting the baby quilt but didn't get very far. I quilted in the ditch around the inner border and started quilting the blocks. I am quilting in the ditch around the patches and around the blocks. I am probably going to use the multicolor thread for the sashing as it shows up better than the orange and yellow variegated thread; the yellow kind of fades out.

One reason I don't get much done anymore is that there are too many distractions.

This is what I see when I look up from my computer screen or out the window from my sewing machine. That kind of bare branch is a favorite perching place for the many birds that visit the feeders.

We have 2 feeders on the sheepard's crook outside the living room window and they are like grand central (feeding) station. There is a large variety of birds visiting every day. Right now we have purple finchs and several pairs of cardinals with immature, but almost full size, young ones. They are dominant right now.
We have 2 pair of rose breasted grosbeaks, 5 different different woodpeckers (including pileated woodpeckers) chickadees, juncos, blue jays, robins, an itinerant pair of green herons, yellow finches and the usual sparrows and starlings.The bluejays , robins, and herons don't visit the feeders and the woodpeckers only come in the winter when we put out suet.
There is also an occasional hawk, a fox, one time a bald eagle,  and previous years there were coyotes.

Then we have these pests, there are usually 4 of these young chipmunks feeding on the seed that falls on the ground. We have brown squirrels and red squirrels but they stay away from the feeders since we started using safflower seeds. The chipmunks like the safflower seeds and cleaned out $20 worth in 2 days. We moved the feeder far enough away from the pines so they  can't jump to the feeder and greased the pole. I have to go out after a heavy rain and spray the pole again (I have been using cooking spray) and it does the trick. They just slide right down the pole.

 This is the crab apple tree (maybe a Hawthorn tree) on the other side of the house. It is heavy with fruit this year and it is also a very busy place.  I shot this out the dining room window.

 There are also some other more creepy things around.
Wednesday I planted some flowers in the bed by the patio and then loaded up the wagon to take flowers and tools out to the garden farther from the house. When I started to pull the wagon I notice a movement in the grass; I had to look very carefully to spot the snake but there he was very close to my feet. He was lying very still but his head was sticking up so I could spot him.  My daughter told me she saw a snake in the yard but NOT BY THE PATIO and not in the hostas where I pull weeds.

I got Jack to come outside and move the wagon and while he was pulling it around to the other side of the patio I saw the snake move quickly across the mulch and then I SAW ANOTHER SNAKE move in the same direction. I made Jack come out to the other garden with me and sit there in a chair while I planted the rest of the flowers.

I know they are harmless and I know they would just as soon avoid contact with me;  that doesn't help. I have a thing about snakes that is beyond reason, can't even bring myself to touch picture of a snake. Before yesterday, I had only seen 2 snakes (outside of the zoo or behind glass at the park) in the past 50 years. Believe or not, I never mind seeing them behind glass and actually find them interesting.

Yesterday he started up the tractor with a trailer on the back and took my garden tools and watering cans out to the garden  and stayed with me while I watered the flowers I planted Wednesday I did some weeding. After that we went out to the vegetable garden and he stayed with me while I picked some cucumbers and summer squash.

I might get some more quilting done today but I have to clean up a bit and do some shopping for guests this weekend.
There are certainly a lot of things to keep me from my sewing machine.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


My granddaughter told me that when she was visiting her sister there was a really pretty quilted center piece on the table..............

This is the one I made for her 2 years ago.

 ........but they were using Halloween place mats.

I made these in 2012.

So Monday we stopped at the quilt shop and I bought this bundle.
For her birthday, I am going to make 6 place mats from the "Take Four" pattern and a table topper of some kind.

I know I am going to use the 4 fabrics on the left. From the pile on the right, I will  use the red dot fabric and one of the 2 greens on either side of it, probably the solid looking fabric.

 I am going to use this fabric on the back of 2 of the place mats for her 2 boys. I have a strip 15" x 62 left over from making pillowcases for the boys almost 2 years ago.

Hmmmm.... maybe
 I should put it on the back of 3 place mats 
(one for their Dad).
 I think I will....
 Then, if their
 cousin comes for dinner, 
Dad can give up his place mat 
and use one of the floral ones.

Friday, July 10, 2015


I layered up the baby quilt and I am all ready to quilt it. First I have to decide if I can use the thread I have or if I need to shop. I want to use variegated thread with the serpentine stitch in the center of the sashing and I am not sure if what I have is right for it.

This is a sample of the 2 choices I have in mind (and in my thread stash). Maybe I am getting too obsessive about the thread.

The layered up quilt is here, on top of 3 empty boxes, on the table under my small design wall.
I am changing out the quilts on my design boards on the walls as a way of keeping my level of enthusiasm on HIGH.

This is the other progress I made yesterday. Those three boxes all held scraps, most of them sorted and in zip lock bags.  In the forefront on the  right are the HST's from the connector corners on the wedding quilt. Some are pressed open and trimmed but most of them still need to be pressed. It is a tedious job.
The shoe box in the back and one tray under the white tray with triangles, both hold the scraps I have been using for the baby quilt. These will soon be sorted by color and will go in the general scrap basket. The progress I made on these is getting them out of hiding  to work on.

I bought these 2 flexible laundry basket/hamper type things for all my Ziploc bags of color sorted scraps. They are stacked up here but 2 of them will fit side by side under my table.

In the year since we moved I have become more and more discouraged about working in my sewing room.
I am grateful to have a room just for sewing but I have never really hit the mark on organizing it so it is an easy space in which to work.

Keeping my art work (quilts) where I can look at them is something I need.

Working out a way to have a bigger, better design wall and making my supplies more accessible is a major necessity. Consolidating my scraps and putting them where it is easy to access is a big step in the right direction. This is going to be a work in progress for a while. I need to do some sewing for a while and think things over before making more costly decisions than the purchase of 2 plastic scrap baskets.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I have a Flimsy

I worked on putting the made fabric blocks together on and off through the day yesterday and I finished it after dinner. I decided to miter the corners on the borders; I usually do my best to avoid miters. As always I was pleased to see how well they came out and how easy it was after all.

 I shuffled the blocks around before I added the sashing because I needed to see where I would add the vertical sashing strips and without the sashing it was easier to see where like fabrics were clumped together.

I wanted the bird patches not to be lined up in any of the rows. The block with the darker green patch had the bird fabric where I wanted it so..... instead of taking out the block with the darker green patch I adding that fabric to 2 more blocks.

I worked on rearranging over and over for about 40 minutes. When I concentrated on the birds and moved a block the distribution of color would be upset. There were some fabrics that stood out more than others and I didn't want them clumped together. Each time I moved a block with one of those fabrics something else wasn't right. I finally felt satisfied that it was as good as it was going to be and my canine friend Tux came in the room for a visit. When I greeted him, he wagged his tail and swept half the blocks off the design board.  I gasped at what he had done and moved the design board up to the table top. I was reminded of the time I was working on arranging 2 inch squares in a colorwash. Jack walked in the room and when I asked what he thought he leaned over and blew on the arrangement and a dozen or so 2 inch squares blew off the wall; that time it was Jack that gasped.

 Tux is really a good dog and has very good manners and is very obedient.
He is also a good companion.
That goes for both of these guys.