Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pin Basting

It has been a busy weekend with the grandchildren's softball games, yard work and gardening but I have found a little time for quilty stuff.
I have the next block of Bouquet for a New Day ready to applique. I put the previous six blocks on the design wall for motivation.

I also pieced the back and pin basted the Feather Stars wall hanging. I just have to trim the back and batting and then start machine quilting. If you have just found my blog, you can see the top on my design wall here

I also managed to find time to practice a little machine quilting. My quilting is much better when I try and practice a couple times a week.

Gardening has been at the top of my list the last couple of weeks; now that the weather is finally cooperating! Today I finished planting the raised bed garden. I used the square foot garden method. I can't wait to see if everything grows! I am sure some things are going to get crowded but I wanted to grow so many different things and I only had 48 squares. This is day one and if I think of it I will post pics of the garden's progress or lack of. :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Found Projects

While rearranging the sewing studio last week, I found a box I haven't opened in awhile and in it was a cross stitch project begun more than ten years ago. I was amazed to find that it was almost finished and yet I  put it away and forgot all about it. Well I went upstairs and dragged my DMC floss out from under the bed, found a needle and grabbed the project and pattern and have now finished everything except one quilt square in the lower right side.

As soon as I get it framed I'm hanging it in my studio. The pattern is by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum under her Told In A Garden series. She has some amazing patterns out! I can't believe how much cross stitch has changed in the last few years. While wasting time using the computer I typed a Google search for cross stitch patterns and found this website.  I can't imagine how long it would take to stitch some of these patterns.

In the box with the project was another project I meant to make, The Country Store  so of course I ran out and bought the floss I was missing for the project, which will probably end up in a box I will find ten years from now....
What I noticed after going through my unfinished quilts (here) and the cross stitching and the art journaling and every other hobby including canning and baking is most of it came to a screeching halt when I went to work full time after being a stay at home mom for years. About the only thing I was doing while I was employed was sock knitting. Anyone who works full time while raising a family and yet still finds makes time to quilt has my admiration. When energy levels were handed out I must have been having a nap!
I am again looking for work because we need the extra income and I am a little concerned that I won't have the energy to quilt (or stitch or draw) as much. Maybe it will be different this time with only my college age son at home. I sure hope so.

Tomorrow I get to put together my window boxes and pots. I can't wait.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Worn out Quilts

What do you do with the quilts that you or your family have loved to death? During a visit with my daughter we got to talking about quilts and she asks me if I could take a look at her graduation quilt. She says some of the hearts are falling off and the binding is coming undone. So she brings the quilt into the kitchen and I just about fell over laughing; the quilt is beyond repair. It's been lovingly used to death.
The appliqued hearts are falling or have fallen off. The binding is torn away from the quilt edge on one side and the quilt is very soft and thin. My hand quilting held up pretty good though!

In this picture you can see the torn binding on the left and some of the appliques are completely missing.
Here is a closer view.
My daughter wants me to "fix" the quilt and when I said there really wasn't much I could do and it was probably best to get rid of it she became upset. She said she wished she had never let her family use it. But to me looking at the quilt all I could see was the loving. Her kids would go looking for it to curl up on the couch with or when they weren't feeling well. Of course the more they used it the more it had to be washed and the softer it got. This quilt has had a wonderful life and that makes me happy.
So I told her I would see what I could do and brought it home with me. I think she just couldn't face getting rid of it herself.
What about your worn out quilts? What would you do?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Unfinished Quilts

I rearranged my sewing studio a few days ago and one of the totes I opened contained all my older unfinished quilts and a few miniature quilts I don't hang up anymore. Every year or so I get out these quilts, look at them and put them back in the box. Some have serious problems, some I just can't see finishing, and some I just haven't found the motivation to finish; especially since I also have a pile of recent quilt tops I need to get quilted.

Mini quilts
Except for the bottom row these are all tops I haven't finished. For a few years I was into making miniature quilts. The log cabin quilt is the only one I paper pieced, the rest were cut out and sewn with quarter inch seams or one eighth inch seams. It's not that I don't like them, I just don't know what to do with them.
This wallhanging needs a couple more borders. I intended to hang this in my sewing room when it was finished.
This one only had a tiny bit more quilting. It was supposed to be a baby quilt for my neice who just graduated from high school on Friday. I know, right!?

The pattern from this quilt top is from Quiltmaker magazine Fall 1990. The burgundy fabric ran and I never cared for the mint green/pink fabric or the Hoffman that is between the lighter blue diamonds.
If you have been quilting for a few years you could probably figure out how old this top is! Mauve and green. 1980s. I ran out of fabric for the border. Today I would have used more fabrics and just found a matching value and hue to use in the border.

I know you are not going to believe me but in all the years I have been quilting I have never finished a quilt for my own bed! This was going to be a summer quilt. I wanted to use fabrics that looked summery and light. I like the design of this quilt but I used cheap fabric and it is kind of stiff.

This one breaks my heart. I designed this for my granddaughter Shayla. The batik fabric I used in the sashing runs every time a wash it. It left purple blotches on the pink fabric. Also, I forgot some of the freezer paper and the glue is so stuck I can't get them out without ripping the fabric. I tried soaking but that didn't help and it made the batik run more.

I like this. It just needs some borders and it will make a great Fall table topper or wall hanging.

I was trying to design a ribbon type border but I was having trouble with my applique where the ribbon twisted. Also, I am not real happy with the colors.
I hope you enjoyed the little show and tell. All the quilts went back in the tote. Maybe someday I will either finish them or pass them on.
Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I can't believe I left this wall hanging up so long that the binding has begun to fade! I spent a loooooooooong time hand quilting this piece and I am just a little annoyed with myself that I let this happen. I only hung this quilt up during Christmas  time for years and after New Years I careful put it away but a couple of years ago I just didn't take it down and now look at it. Life lesson learned....
It's hard to believe I have been absent from my blog for over a month. There wasn't any quilting worth posting about anyway. Just hand quilting on my Bear Hollow quilt when I had time. I have been keeping up with reading my favorite blogs though since reading what everyone is working on helps motivate me.
As I am writing this I can hear the birds singing, there is a gentle breeze blowing, there are leaves on the trees finally and the sun is shining! I am going to motivate outside to work in the garden. Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hand Quilting

No time for sewing the last two weeks unfortunately but I have spent a little time in the evening plugging away on this quilt. The hand quilting is all done except for the borders, which are taking for ever!

I do apologize for having disappeared for a bit. We helped my daughter and her family move from a second floor apartment to a house, and the next day we moved the sister-in-law from the house to a second floor apartment. My calves hurt soooo much!
This week I agreed to Spring clean my brothers house in town (large) and his house on the lake (small). The house in town took 22 hours total. Today I will do the lake house and I hope to be done in about six hours.
So I haven't been in the sewing studio except to do laundry. David's quilt is sitting next to the machine ready to be bound. Hopefully this weekend, but it is finally going to be nice out and the yard needs work. Sigh.
I promise not to be gone so long without an update. I know I get frustrated when I keep finding the same post everytime I check my favorite blogs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quilting Feathers

Life has been interupting my quilting lately but that's ok, family first I always say. David's quilt is coming along nicely. I looked at it for awhile, wondering what the heck I should do with it. I even emailed Joan from Leschenault, a fellow domestic machine quilter, and asked technical question. You should see her machine quilting by the way! Rather than ditch quilt the whole thing or just meander over the top I decided to put a feather in the red areas.
Here is a close up.

In this picture you can see the meandering stars I did in the blue areas.  You will probably have to click on it to make it larger in order to see the stars.This picture is actually the best one to see the true colors of the quilt.
It is so nice to be able to quilt without machine issues, thank you Sewing Machine Doctor! I am breaking thread every now and then, not enough get excited about, just a little annoying now and then.
I have been drawing in my sketchbook more. I really want to start working on more of my own designs. I do have my favorite quilt designers, and it is nice to have the hard stuff all figured out but there is something so satisfying about making a quilt from your very own design.

Hope you are all having a productive week. With Spring here officially and sweet little surprises in the garden now, my thoughts are turning to this year's garden. I have found that a lot of quilters are also gardeners. Do you agree?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another Top Done

Just finished pressing the top. It doesn't quite fit on my design wall so it looks a little wonky. Now that its done I think I would change out the blue fabric for something different, although I don't know what. I kind of wish the burgundy fabric was a little darker too, but overall I think its all right.
Next thing on my to do list are to start quilting some of my tops. I have Trail to Eagle, Scrap Basket, David's quilt and now Feather Stars.
So Wednesday's goal is to baste David's quilt and start the stitch in the ditch quilting.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Signs of Spring

Two signs that Spring is coming, Snowdrops and seed packets.
Hope you all have a great weekend. I'll be back with some actual quilting content very soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday March 7, 2011

Well I had promised to have the top done by this morning and unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I couldn't do it.
I made progress though. I made the triangle pieces the way Kim Diehl instructs in the book, which ends up making the "geese" four layers thick. I suppose she did it that way because the pieces are 1 1/2 inches square and could be a challange for more beginning quilters. I used to make miniature quilts and worked with patches much smaller than that and I will likely change the pattern to regular templates next time. Don't forget to go to Judy's Patchwork Times and see what everyone has on their walls today.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Center Block Finished!

I have finished all the machine applique except for eight leaves and four teardrop shapes that I can't put on till the blocks are sewn together. I have high hopes of getting the top done before Monday.
My pile of tops is getting pretty big so I better get in a machine quilting frame of mind. Now that my Singer is working great I am really energized to get some quilts finished!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm Back!

I made it back from Texas Friday morning at 6:30 AM after a twenty hour drive. Needless to say I was wiped out for the rest of the day. It was so nice to be outside without needing a coat, scarf, gloves and a hat! I saw green grass and daffodils in bud and did I mention I could be outside in just a tee shirt. Texas was nice but damn it's such a long ways away. We really pushed to get home before the big storm, but we ended up driving for hours in the rain and the last five hours we drove through blowing snow, but it was a fun adventure.

One of the best things we did was go to Hobby Lobby. We don't have any Hobby Lobby's here and I just thought it was like Michael's but holy cow! The Hobby Lobby in Longview is HUGE! I could have done so much Christmas shopping that day. Great store and the prices were really nice too.

Anyway, the laundry, cleaning and paperwork are caught up so back to the sewing room I go! Hopefully I will have some quilting to show in the next day or two.

Right now it's 10 degrees out, it's 54 in Longview, I miss Texas.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday February 21, 2011

Yesterday we delayed our departure for Longview Texas due to bad weather forcasts, but by the time you read this we should be on our way. I am still a little worried about that band of snow and ice but I'm sure we'll be fine. This is the same pic from January 3, 2011 post but it's what I was working on Sunday. I finished machine appliqueing all the red patches.
I also have the borders cut and the templates for the center block ready to go. On the knitting front I have another mitten that is coming along nicely. This pair is for my oldest daughter Siobhan. That's all for now but I am hoping to blog a little during my trip if I can do it easily from my phone. Be sure and head over to Judy's blog to see what she has been up to, along with all the other Design Wall Monday bloggers.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

First Finish of 2011

Finally something to check off the list. This is Lorelai's quilt, that I started before Christmas and  would ve been finished but my Singer had issues so I couldn't machine quilt any tops. Since I wanted it to be a quilt to cuddle with I didn't quilt it too heavily,and after a wash and dry the quilt is nice and soft. I also machine finished the binding which I never do but Lorelai is only 19 months old and I know its going to spend a lot of time in the washer.
Look at this hawk! We have a bunch of bird feeders in our yard and I think he thought he was getting an easy dinner.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday February 14,2011

Happy Valentines Day!
I know my blocks sort of look the same as Wednesday's picture but I finished all the blocks and almost finished all the triangle blocks for the corners and edges.
 Making dinner gets me every time! I would like to get the top finished by the weekend but I seem to have a lot of obligations hanging over me this week so I make no promises.
The tops are starting to pile up so now that the Singer is back I'll have to spend some serious time machine quilting instead of piecing.
On February 20th I agreed to ride with a friend to Longview Texas to help her daughter move back home. Traveling more than six to eight hours just totally wears me out and we are driving the 1387 miles (22 hours)  down and coming right back so I probably won't be posting anything for the next two design wall Monday's but who knows maybe I can post from my Droid and let you know how the trip is going.

 I will be bringing some sock knitting. I've never tried to do applique on a car trip, hubby's big truck is too bouncy to be using sharp needles, but I might bring my block and see how it goes.
Be sure and check out Judy's blog to see what everyone has been up to this week.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Design Wall Wednesday?

Sorry for dissappearing for a week. My son came home from college with a nasty upper respiratory infection on Friday, Super Bowl on Sunday and a birthday party on Sunday. Then on Monday my husband and I both get the "bug". Thankfully we had  a much milder case. But I have been plugging away on my quilt of the moment. All the orange/tan blocks are done and I only need two more green blocks and I can start putting the center together.
At night, while nice and cozy under my flannel quilt I have been working on a pair of reading mitts and my snowflake mittens.

The Singer is home from the repair shop and is working great! So hopefully I can be machine quilting my backlog of tops real soon.
Have a great evening.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Seneca Lake

I just came back from taking a walk along Seneca Lake at the state park. For such a miserably cold day it was really quite pretty. Do you like to see pictures of where your favorite bloggers are from? I do.

Design Wall Monday January 31, 2011

Not great progress on the quilt this weekend, just too much going on. I almost finished one more blue and green block but everyone was hungry. It was supposed to get -8  last night so I had Pat bring the flannel quilt that is usually on the couch, upstairs and we put it on the bed last night. So nice and toasty! I think another flannel quilt is going in the queue.
The mitten was supposed to be finished last night but I must have been tired, because I was decreasing in pattern and I kept screwing up, so I picked up my book instead.
I haven't heard anything about my Singer from the repairman yet, bummer.
Happy sewing everyone and be sure and check out what everyone else is doing over at Judy's blog