Scrap Happy and Allietare Updates

Fair warning – lots of photos!  

Just a few years ago, I dug in the scrap storage boxes and put together about 30 blocks using Pat Sloan’s pattern Scrap Happy Little Wishes Star Challenge. (See Pat’s post – Scrap Happy Stars for the free pattern)

I wrote about the project once or twice at the time and showed off my blocks, joined together with black sashing here – Just a border or two.

Well, if you have been following me for any time at all, you know you sometimes never see the end result…or maybe I left you wondering “what did she decide?”…..

Well, let me tell you….NOTHING for almost 5 years!  Honestly, I have told others that I am a “top maker’ not a quilter at times.  I have a LOT of tops made, hanging on hangers on my storage shelves that get forgotten because something ‘new and exciting’ comes along.  In fact, some are hanging so long I had to put them on NEW hangers because the hook of the hanger was stretched out due to the weight.

I get tempted by shiny new fun patters.  Why, just the other day, Pat Sloan started another “new sew along” and I was really feeling tempted.   And then, our local quilt shop, Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro Delaware announced a new sew along.  The pattern, Serendipity House in the Pumpkin patch, calls to me. Check it out here – House in the Pumpkin Patch.  You know if you follow me that I always have a container of “autumn colors” just waiting on another opportunity! Now I have TWO fun sew alongs to think about.

Before I could l do anything else though, I needed to fold up the massive (111″ x 120″) backing  for my Allietare quilt and get the backing and top in the mail to California for quilting by my wonderful sister in law, the One Block Wonder Woman .

Remember the fabrics I was using?  (Some of this may be a repeat of a previous post/photos…but I just love this fabric group!)

Border fabric choices

Top fabric (wine labels) is the border fabric. The herringbone gold and the grape fabric are on the back, along with this wonderful Bella Toscana fabric I was inspired by last month –

Bella Toscana by Windham Fabrics

My plan was pretty simple for the backing – scribbled out quickly.  (The quilt will be WIDE because of the drop on our king size bed. I like a quilt to hang over the sides and get to the bottom of the thick top  mattress.)  My quilt top is 111″ wide by 99 ” long.

Planning the backing

Careful planning…no, what I call “quilt math”, but careful measurements of the actual project, careful cutting etc and I fairly quickly had a quilt back ready. What really slowed me down was ironing those massive pieces before cutting, and after stitching.

Backing ready to stitch Allietare

Carolyn was kind enough to advise me she needed 4 inches on the sides for the long arm clamps; and to remember to do 1/2″ seams, pressed open. I did leave the selvedge on the edges of the final pieces, as they will be where the clamps are and they will get trimmed off after the quilting. I’d forgotten to take a photo of the backing before I shipped it, but Carolyn, the One Block Wonder Woman was kind enough to snap a picture of it on her design wall.  She said it was so big it took over her sewing room! The backing is about 120″ wide by 110″ long.

Quilt backing for Allietare

Remember the front?

Alllietare Winter Mystery Quilt outside

I’m so glad it arrived by mail without TOO many wrinkles.  Hanging up for a bit will help them to shake out I hope.  I hate to see her have to iron that beast, enough that she is loading it on the long arm and doing all the quilting.  If you quilt for others and they mail you tops/backings, how do you manage the inevitable winkling from the shipping?  Does a steamer work or do you have to iron the whole thing??   Allietare is a pattern by the queen of scraps, Bonnie Hunter and the pattern is available on her online store.

Anyway; now that Allietare is ‘under control’ and OFF my table, back to my Pat Sloan  Scrap Happy Little Wishes story!  I went to the sewing room and looked at one of my cutting tables, buried in STUFF.  A disaster zone for sure!  I went up with the intent of “cleaning it up” but to be honest, it looks like this 4 days later STILL.

Disaster zone

Last week I was making “string blocks” for borders, so there are bins of stings, baskets of scraps and so much more on that table.  I had one basket of string blocks made, and decided to join them together into a “string border”.  (I wanted to sew, not clean….at least, that is what I told myself when I picked up the baskets).  Sewing string blocks uses scraps, which I needed to clear up, right?  I use phone book paper as a foundation for my string blocks.  At one time, I had my strings sorted by width, then as I was digging for the right color, I resorted by color. Sometimes I have to get in the scrap aver boxes to find the perfect strip.  Anyway, working on string blocks is what I do when I have no sewing “plan”, and I hadn’t quite gotten to the Scrap Happy Little Wishes quilt.  (I’ve had vertigo for a week now, so mindless sewing of string blocks was about all I could manage) . Honestly, cleaning up from multiple projects was more than my wobbly head could manage last week.

Since my BIG cutting table was cleared off, I could lay out all the string blocks and arrange them so there were not similar fabrics too close together.

More string border blocks

Anyway, at some point I measured what I had sewn together and discovered I had enough to go around something that was hanging on a hanger waiting on borders.  I had made 268″ of a 6″ wide border, and while getting down my Scrap Happy Quilt, I found 336″ of  4″ borders all done too.

String borders

I laid out my Scrap Happy Stars on the table and immediately decided I didn’t want to put either of those string borders “next to the black sashing”.

Scrap Happy Stars on the table

There JUST wasn’t enough space between the busy scrappy stars and the scrap borders.  So, I executed plan B.  I got out a bin of reds and oranges and yellows, did some more quilt math, and decided a 4″ border was what would work.  I have a tone on tone ORANGE (shown at the top of the photo above) that was also used in the sashing stones, and I decided it was perfect.  At this point, the quilt top was feeling rather “dark” to me, but the orange really brightened  it up.  I cut the sashing into 4″ strips, sewed it all together and then sub cut to length for the sizes I needed.  I added some cornerstones from my 4″ scrap storage, and in no time at all I had the borders attached.

Scrap Happy Little Wishes Challenge

At this point, I think I am going to leave “well enough alone” and figure out a backing and start quilting it.  My brain this morning was running along the line of putting it on my quilting machine frame (the one with the 9″ throat and the Janome 1500).  I need to learn how to use that machine, loading etc, and it is high time.  I am glad I bought some wide backing last winter from Marshall’s Dry Goods, but not sure if grey paisley is what I want to use.  I have some purple wide backing, but have to check and see if there is “enough”.  If not, I may order something else.  Did you know they sell 108″ wide back for $7.99 a yard, and you can get a 15 yard BOLT for under $80.  Great choices and I am thinking I have some shopping to do.

Sidenote Serendipity Quilt Shop is a small business in a very small town, and since the onset of the COVID-19 lockdowns, they have converted to totally online sales until it is safe for everyone to shop in person in their store. If you need something, new fabric is arriving daily, and they have $5 flat rate shipping or porch pick-up. Their amazing online shopping website is running well and this week (through July 12) there is 20% off on Moda Grunge.  So, if you need some fabric or notions, try to support the small business so they will be there after COVID-19 is history.  Serendipity is where I ordered that fabulous Bella Toscana fabric, catching it on sale.  I think I bought 7 or 8 yards, so I have enough for matching pillowcases.  The facebook post by Serendipity inspired me to get my Bonnie Hunter Allietare off the hanger!!  

It is a very nice feeling to move two projects forward that have been “hanging around” for so long.  No worries though, I have lots more UFO’s to tackle.  All but one of the series of Scrap Dance Mystery Quilts I have done over the years are still “on hangers” . Well, except the last one, it is still on the design wall.  Carole is publishing the TWIST soon.  When I was looking through photos yesterday I realised I had ONE of the Scrap Dance series finished.  I had to go back to my blog and find the post about it.  Turns out, I finished it around September 2015, about the same time I was making the blocks for the Scrap Happy Stars!

Scrap Dance Quilt Along Finish!

Seems I like those scrappy projects!!!I was busy that year.  (You may see some of the same fabrics in BOTH projects!)

If you made it this far, thanks for reading.  I appreciate all of your comments when you take the time to post them.  I often say I am slow to blog anymore because I don’t have much to say, or I don’t have any photos to support the post. Today it seems like I might be overwhelming you with photos and narrative.   So, I am glad you took the time to get this far, and hope you enjoyed the post.

What are you doing on this hot July day for fun???

Making Labels for Quilts

In the last couple of weeks I got motivated to make labels for projects that are “nearing” completion or are completed.  If you have been reading my blog in the last month or so, you know that I finished TWO of my Pat Sloan projects (Get to the Point and Mama’s Garden) that were started in classes several years ago.  I am also working toward completion of my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Allietare.

I like to make a label for my quilt as the “final step” in the project. I use my embroidery machine to make a simple label, and fuse & stitch it on.  (More about the embroidery machine in a minute.) Often times I will use part of the backing fabric as a border on the label so it kind of “floats” on the backing. I learned a trick years ago for “making perfect circles for applique” and use the method when I add the fusing product to my label.  Basically, I lay the fusible product on top of my label with the fusing facing the wording and stitch all the way around, then I slit the fusing in the middle with my snips, and turn the whole thing “right side out” . This way there is a nice neat “edge” on the label turned under, and I have the added benefit of a “hard to remove” label. I do stitch around the label by hand, avoiding going into the front of the quilt, much the way you stitch binding. I will put a link to a video at the bottom of the page that gives you a better “visual” than my explanation.

If I am “efficient” I have the label ready, so when the binding goes on, two edges of the label are stitched down by machine. Like I said, “IF I AM EFFICIENT“.  That means in my life that I better make the label BEFORE I bind the quilt, and that doesn’t always happen, so SOME have to be hand stitched on all 4 sides.  When I hand stitch, I use a matching thread so my sloppy hand sewing doesn’t show.  

Let’s talk about making machine embroidery labels.  If you followed me for anytime you know that I have two embroidery machines. I have the Brother PE500 with the 4×4 hoop and the Janome 11000 with lots of hoops, including an adjustable hoop up to 6×12 or so.  For years I made my labels on the Brother machine, using the available fonts in the machine, typing one line at a time on the tiny screen.   The example below is one done on the Brother machine, one line at a time.  Around 2017 I was given a hoop that can be repositioned on the machine, so making a bigger label could be done with out “re-hooping”. Using it for the label below I could get a longer label, and still keep everything lined up straight.  I got “pretty good” at the alignment thing and figuring out where to start the next line using the plastic grid that came with the hoops.  

Banner label

The yellow label was applied on the back of this project BEFORE the binding went on.  The beauty of using fusible on the back is that it will stay in place while you are working on the binding. 

When I made my label for the Mama’s Garden quilt, I was using a fabric piece that Pat Sloan had signed for me several years ago, either when I took her class or went to a guild lecture she gave.  I had to try to line up the wording on my Janome 11000 (again one line at a time), using built in fonts.  I had fun with this label as it is the first attempt at making a label on my Janome, and I got to use some larger fonts.  I wish I had pushed the words pattern by a little farther to the left, but, I can live with the final result.

Quilt label with signature

This label was stitched on after the binding went on. I used green of the backing fabric for the edge of the label, but set it opposite of the backing so it does not completely disappear.

I have a couple of “free software” programs for embroidery, and decided I would try one of them to make my next label, using the software on the computer.  The program I chose to use was called Embrilliance Express and I used the fonts in the program.  I was really pleased with the result on the screen and with the stitch out.

Get to the Point label

I haven’t figured out how to tell the software to cut the jump stitches between letters, but I can live with them.  If you use Embrilliance Express and know the secret, do share!

  I hooped this fabric in my 8×8 hoop and got a nice size label.  I did the fusible trick and got nice edges and corners when I turned the label out right. I fused it on and hand stitched it down on all four sides.

I had such good success with the creation of the label in the Embrilliance Express software on the computer that I got busy and made another label and stitched it out for my Allietare quilt.

Allietare label

For this label I used my inspiration fabric on the edges of the top and bottom.  I will add the fusible after I get the quilt ready to bind.  I still need to get busy and make that backing and ship it all off to my favorite sister-in-law, One Block Wonder Woman

She has graciously offered to quilt it for me on her big long arm machine, Greta the Gammill.  Go take a look at her blog I linked and check out her adventures. 

So, that is my adventure in making quilt labels this month, and over the years. I need to learn how to import fonts into the Embrilliance program, and hope I can do that without buying something else.  I am so tickled with how the last two worked out and am writing about it to encourage you to use your embroidery machines if you have them.  Even if you just have a 4×4 hoop, you can make a multi line label!  Embrilliance is free in the “express mode”, and it is not to hard to navigate, which is perfect in my life!

Do you label your quilts?  What information do you like to include on the label?  How do you make your labels and apply them?  Love to hear what your methods are, as I like to continue to learn new tricks.

Here is the link Making perfect circles for applique  for the method I use for adding the fusible to my label and getting a nice clean edge.  The not only works for circles, it also is useful for rectangles or squares.  I tend to get a more “rounded” corner instead of a sharp 90 degree turn, which is fine for a quilt label in my life.

 

UFO Complete — Get to the Point!

Not too long after I retired, I signed up for a series of “beginner quilt classes” at the local quilt shop.  We used two books by Pat Sloan, and made several patterns from “I Can’t Believe I’m Quilting” and the advanced book .  One project has been “fermenting” on my shelf. The pattern was called Get To The Point, and  I originally wrote about it in an early 2013 post- A Good Sewing Week.

A few weeks went by and it got mentioned – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/on-point-with-borders-wip-still/  . 

Later in 2013 I started to feel a little bugged by “unfinished class projects”  – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/unfinished-projects-starting-to-bug-me/

That doesn’t mean I finished them all, because a few years later I mentioned this quilt again again – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/such-a-follower/   and then again early the next year –https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/on-point-and-setting-triangles/

Looking back at all those blog posts (do that later), I realized I had multiple projects going on, and a lot of indecision about how to proceed with many of these projects. I’ve learned a lot with those projects, and one thing I learned about me is l love to piece quilt tops, but get stuck with the borders and the “finishing”.   

With this project, I decided to try my hand at “free motion quilting” not long after I put the top together and I hated the result, so the project got folded up and put on the shelf.  A few years later, it was one of my UFO challenge projects, and I took it off the shelf and worked at removing all of the free motion quilting. Oh, my seam ripper and I became very good friends.  Back on to the shelf it went to continue the fermentation process.  

This past week, I went out to my sewing room thinking I would work on my Vintage Christmas blocks, but somehow, that project caught my eye and I pulled it off the shelf and unfolded it to have a look.  I’d done some basic “stitch in a ditch” after removing the free motion quilting (or maybe that was before the free motion, I don’t remember). Anyway, I decided I could tackle this top and clear it off the shelf for good. 

Machine quilting

Because the quilt had been well anchored with the “stitch in the ditch”, I started with the borders. After the borders I moved into all the setting triangles, while thinking about how to quilt the sashing blocks.

Fun with quilting big spaces

These big squares got a squared off spiral, starting on the outer edge of the block and working around to the middle.  The quilt had poly bat and I remember the disaster I had with “not enough quilting” on another project, so I went with a lot of stitching to really anchor this top.  (No I don’t use poly batting any longer, but I didn’t want to totally take this apart).

I spent a lot of hours at my machine this week, with the walking foot on, and did a lot of “straight line” quilting. I used at least 4 bobbins of Superior Bottom Line silver thread, as I worked my way across the quilt, down the borders and around and around the triangles points. I also used Silver (Masterpiece by Superior) on the top of the quilt.  I like the silver because it pretty much disappears into the quilt and you see the texture but not a lot of the stitching.

IMG_20200527_205054458_HDR

The back of the quilt really shows off the quilting. The original “stitch in the ditch” quilting was a different thread, so it tends to be more visible on the back, but I am ok with that. 

IMG_20200527_121907055_HDR

 I finished the last block, trimmed the quilt and got the binding on yesterday, too. 

lots of quilting

I am SO happy that I had tucked away fabric for binding inside the folded quilt to use for the binding.   I did my favorite “binding with a flange” also known as Susie’s Magic Binding.  (The purple for the flange came from a scrap leftover from the Senior Quilt 2020 backing).

Get to the point

It finished at  57×74 (who knows why? Not me).  It is a great throw size for snuggling under in the recliner or on the back of the couch.  In this photo it is on top of the queen size bed in the guest room which currently has (gasp) a comforter on it, not a quilt. (It made a nice neutral backdrop.)  Before the evening was over last night, I ran it through the washer and dryer, and was able to sleep under it !  Ok, still needs a label, and I will try to do that today. 

Oh, one more thing — I assembled the Scrap Dance TWIST and put on one narrow border.  It is now an official UFO/waiting on borders! The pattern is by Carole Carter on her blog From My Carolina Home

Twist assembled with one border

It is 86×98 and I plan to put a 6″ border of some kind all around, but it needs some thought (oh geez) and a good pressing! (Shooting for a generous king size of course).

If you are interested in the Scrap Dance Twist pattern, it is available on Carole’s blog for another week or so, before she takes it down and publishes it for sale. Honestly, if you like scrappy patterns, this is a great one to make.  

Speaking of UFO’s….I took down off of hangers in my sewing room a bunch of them yesterday, to do a little show and tell during a zoom quilter chat.  There are a bunch, and when my friend asked how many I didn’t count the ones in bins.  Borders seem to stop me. I don’t know why, searching for the perfect fabric to set things off?  Realizing I have been making KING SIZED quilt tops (at least 5 or 6), and the idea of quilting them maybe is what stops me.  I ordered some grey wide backing in February, and have enough to finish at least 2 king sized. Perhaps my next UFO will be one of the oldest tops .  I’ll have to get back to you on that. Don’t hold your breath!  

Disclaimer….if you go back to those old posts that I shared in the links at the top of this post, the CROSSROADS and the 9 patch CUPCAKES, Friendship Star table runner are really finished!  The Allietare is still “waiting on borders”, as are several other “Scrap Dance mystery quilts”. 

What are you working on this week?

Sharing the fun and more

NOTE: REVISED POST –  Sometimes my links I enter “disappear” between the time I add them, and the time I finish.  In this post the link to Bonnie’s Show & Share dropped off.  It is now reposted!  Bonnie Hunter’s blog address is http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com .

Now, back to my post…………..

So, as you may have read – a few days with Bonnie Hunter – at a class; a lecture or a retreat can be a lot of fun!  My friend Judy commented that “You have more fun than the rest of us put together”.   Well, I do try! At this point in life, if it is not fun , then I am not doing it! PERIOD.  There are a lot of “levels” of what I would call fun.  From the blissful joy of holding a new grandchild for the first time, to the wonderful feeling you get when you serve meals at church, to the companionship and friendship, conversations and coffee while you sort and fold donated fabric, to the gathering of friends to sew together, or the peaceful quiet of the morning with your first cup of coffee.  Maybe fun is the wrong word….perhaps joy is a better choice.  I am trying very hard to have JOY in my life everyday; and to not allow the negative to seep in.  I am choosing to only work on those projects that give me  personal joy; or projects that will be bringing joy to someone else. I do look forward to sewing today, finishing up a few baby bibs, and then working on a pillowcase for one of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild  community service project, and a tote bag – big enough to carry a turkey, for Helping Hands Quilt Guild.  The pillowcases go to patients at local hospitals who getting chemo or are in patient and need cheering up. The tote bag will go to the food pantry that is held in the same church as Helping Hands Quilt Guild meets. I try to do my “best work” and pray that those who get these items feel a little joy during a difficult time in their life.

As I opened up my emails/blogs/Facebook etc., before coffee this morning, I saw another of Bonnie Hunter’s posts with photo’s of her trip to Dover DE.    Bonnie’s Show & Share in Dover DE   on her  blog post.  Quick, open it in another page then come back.

Are you back? Good, didn’t want you to miss the rest of my post.  Flip back and forth or split your screen!  Or, read this whole post and go visit Bonnie and then come back!

The  second thing I saw on the post,  was a picture of me helping Edna hold her Allietare quilt. (Edna and I were room-mates for our little get-away.)  Notice the lovely scalloped borders on hers! That means it is quilted, and bound.  The 3rd photo is me (in green) holding MY Allietare quilt.  I changed up the colors; and mine is still a work in progress.  (I went for greens and browns instead of the greys and blacks the pattern called for.) I want a final border so it fits my king size bed.  I showed the inspiration fabric with the quilt, but it doesn’t show in any of the photos.  I plan to use it somewhere on the quilt, but I am still “not there”.

Be sure to read the lovely embroidered label that Edna has on her quilt!  Go one, go check out all the photo’s on Bonnies blog, run the slide show. Turn your speakers down a notch or two. Don’t forget to come back!

On other matters – I run the “Second Time Around” table at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild.  We get lots of donated items from members, and from people who find the guild through other means and have items to donate.  Last Friday I went to pick up an entire “sewing room” of donations.  I filled my trunk, back seat and front seat with those donations.  On Wednesday and Thursday this week, different guild members came over to help me sort, iron, measure, and price fabrics.  We support our Community Service projects with this donated fabrics.  My helpers were looking for things that would make great baby quilts and pillowcase; and while they were sorting they really helped me get through a few of these bags.  I have many more days of sorting and folding and pricing to do before I get this pile into nice neat little stacks of fabrics.  I am setting some items aside for the quilt show next summer, but also boxing up items to sell at the guild meeting in November and during the coming year.

 

DONATIONS to be sorted

Yes, everything on and under that brown table was donated!  And boy there were some treasures!

More fun/joy – My newest grandchild, Addison, stopped by yesterday with her mommy.  She got to visit with 2 of my quilting friends, Nancy and De, and arrived at JUST the right time.  We had been sorting and folding and ironing and pricing donated fabric for about 3 1/2 hours when she got here.  We were working on this big pile of donations!  (This was day 2 for me of the sorting and folding and ironing, so I was happy to be distracted).

It was a great stopping point and so much fun to sit and look at a sweet baby while her mommy went through my fat quarter baskets in search of fabric for “more bibs”.

Addison is 6 months old, and has 2 bottom teeth that just broke through.  She is drooling like a wet Rottweiler!  My friend Nancy, has been an expert “bib” maker, having a grandson who needed LOTS of bibs.  She gifted me her patterns and left over PUL**   fabric, and 4 bibs already cut out.  I had dug in my bins for flannel and for some other fabrics; ordered a snap-tool and set of snaps and got busy last week.  I picked up the snap tool on Wednesday. (Did you know you can order just about anything at Walmart.com and get free shipping for pick up at the store?)  The snap-tool I got was the Babyville brand, and I ordered a package of snaps.  It works very easily.   Grandpa did the first batch of snaps, and I did the second batch. They were ready to hand off to Addison when she came to visit.

Bandanna Bibs

Fish Fabric

Star Wars Flannel

Firetrucks and dino's

Fun Fabrics

I wish I had “snapped” a photo of her sitting on a quilt in my sewing room, playing with the stack of bibs!  I sent her home with 9, and have started another 3.

I just ordered another yard of PUL fabric from JoAnn Fabrics. It was on sale, and I got another 25% off, so I don’t mind paying their high shipping.  I am putting the bibs together with a layer of quilters cotton, a layer of PUL fabric in the middle, and a layer of nice flannel on the back.  These are quick and easy to sew.  My daughter pulled out some interesting fabrics for the next batch, and I have it all pre-washed and ready to cut.  Addison will be a fashionista in her batiks and small print florals!  These bibs are really fat quarter friendly.   I think I may modify the next pattern slightly so that the pattern can be cut on the fold, and I won’t have to worry about “right sides” when I cut the PUL fabric.  I also am waiting on a “review” of the bib to see how absorbent it is. I might put a layer of quilters cotton batting in there to “soak up”.  The PUL does help keep the “soaking thru”, but I am guessing a little extra thickness might be good.  I could practice a little free motion quilting on the bib before I finish the assembly.  Stitching through the PUL fabric defeats the purpose, but I could layer the quilters cotton and the batting; quilt it a bit to reduce the bulk with a tear away stabilizer behind it, then layer it with the PUL and the flannel.   Open to other ideas if you have one!

I hope what ever you are doing today brings joy to you and those around you.

**PUL fabric is Soft, Breathable, Waterproof “PUL” (Polyurethane Laminate) is a fabric laminated with waterproof polyurethane on the back. It is popular and effective for cloth diapers, diaper covers, bibs, diaper bags, wet bags, changing pads and more

Fun with Bonnie Hunter!

I have been waiting nearly 2 years to attend classes with Bonnie Hunter and have finally done so! I spent Monday and Tuesday in class.

Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover Delaware hosted the class. Several of my “other guild” friends from Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes, DE attended.  In fact, there were people from New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland and even a lady from Germany in attendance.  We were in a beautiful church facility in Wyoming Delaware with great lighting and LOTS of space.  That was a good thing as there were 50+ students each day.

Great Room for a Bonnie Hunter class

Day One was the TALKIN’ TURKEY class; from Bonnie’s book – STRING FLING .   Bonnie had her quilt hanging on the stage and it was nice to be able to go take a look at the elements that made up the quilt.

Talkin' Turkey by Bonnie Hunter

I was so busy I didn’t take many photo’s.  The block for the quilt had MANY elements, and we were using the Companion Angle ruler and the Easy Angle ruler for much of the cutting.  I took this class specifically to learn how to use those rulers.  Bonnie teaches you to use the Easy Angle ruler for half square triangles; and both of the rulers for making  flying geese.  The main focus was in getting your finished units to “measure up” properly.   Well, I spent a lot of time arguing with my sewing machine about “scant” quarter inch.  This is why I have NOT used those rulers for that type of unit in the past. (Remember those HEADLESS GEESE from the Allietare Mystery Quilt last winter…..I do!)  Of course, she offered the suggestion to make either unit in your favorite method, but she was teaching these specific rulers.  I found it very helpful and absorbed lots of tips & techniques.  Meanwhile….that scant quarter inch eluded me all day and my progress was SLOW. I did however get nearly all the string blocks completed.  One of the guild members, Kate Ruper,  was wandering around helping people, and  she sat and visited with me while she “de-papered” about 40 string blocks for me.  It was nice getting to know her a little bit. Visiting with her helped me become a little “less stressed” over that darn SCANT quarter inch!

The evening of Day one was the Helping Hands Guild meeting where Bonnie Hunter did a lecture & trunk show.  Rather than repost all the photo’s, hop on over to my Flickr page  – Bonnie Hunter class album.  The descriptions tell you which book the quilt pattern is from.

Day two was the MY BLUE HEAVEN class.  This pattern is available for free on  – Bonnie’s blog

My Blue Heaven - by Bonnie Hunter

I did SO much better with the specialty rulers on the second day!  I solved my “scant quarter inch” problem.   I removed my quarter inch foot, and put the standard foot on,  stopped using the default settings, used the little yellow seam guide ruler that you put your needle through, and set a “card” stop on my machine. PERFECT after that. (The lady to my right was fighting the same issue).  I also bought a 2nd seam guide ruler from Bonnie to “always” keep in my travel bag.   Anyway, the blocks we were making for MY BLUE HEAVEN used those 2 rulers again.  So, more tips & techniques and MUCH success.  I wasn’t fast, but I learned a lot.  I think I look happy here – 

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My Blue Heaven blocks

I got 4 blocks done…and I was thrilled!  My friend Edna was too!

Edna's blocks

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Bonnie has done a much better job describing and sharing pictures than I could possibly do, so I will share a link to her blog for each class I was in.  Be sure to check out her picture links!

Talkin-Turkey on Bonnie’s blog

My Blue Heaven on Bonnie’s blog

I was tickled to meet Bonnie Hunter.  I have made several of her quilt patterns.  Also pleased that she signed a square for me for my Allietare label.  She also signed every book ! She was energetic and gracious.  Check off one from the “bucket list” !  🙂  NOTE TO SELF – 2 days of classes in a row with 2 different projects is insanity. I now have 3 giant bins of project fabric to deal with…meanwhile the rest of my quilt life/real life goes on!  More tomorrow!  Happy stitching.

UFO # 1 -Swirly Bird FINISHED

Yippee…..Swirly Bird is finished….Quilted…Hanging sleeve, Binding AND a label!!!  Finished in time to take to the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting on Monday night and the Queen Bees gathering today!!  This project is from a class I took at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in June 2015.  Pattern is by Linda M. Poole.

Making a label for my Swirly bird

Gave my little embroider machine a work out!  Always amazing to see it work out properly. Very time consuming when you have to monitor it as it stitches.  The minute you turn your back is when it wants to get goofy.

Label finished and attached

I used fusible underneath the label to attach to the back of the project.  I promise I will hand stitch the edge of the label down.  (I always use do both).

Susie's Magic Binding Swirly Bird

You can see the echo quilting I did around the applique.  I went through a bobbin plus half of a second bobbin with this Superior 50 wt parchment thread doing the quilting.

Susie's magic binding

My favorite binding method is Susie’s Magic Binding.  Tutorial at 52 quilts in 52 weeks blog  –  The hardest part of this binding is getting a good “join”.

Swirly Bird bound

SWIRLY BIRD is finished!!

Yay !!! 2 finishes in a week!!!  While I was at it, I made the label for my “Crusty Crab” (UFO #2) Crusty Crab Finish   and got it affixed to the back of the project.  I showed them both at the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting last night.  Both Bees that I am in are doing UFO challenges; and both Swirly Bird and Crusty Crab were on those lists.  Now I need to empty the contents of the project box, file away the pattern details and “move on”.

Today at the Queen Bees we are making “folded Christmas trees” and I need to get busy and find my background fabric and get those strips cut.  I also want to get a border on that Scrap Happy Challenge Courthouse steps that I did two weeks ago and get it layered and quilted.  It is going in a charity auction at the end of August.  I heard last night that  June’s Quilt is in the mail on the way back to Delaware from California where Carolyn  ( One Block Wonder Woman )kindly long arm quilted it for me, so tomorrow I will get busy at our church sit & sew and prep that binding.  Did I mention already that when I was on a bus trip on Friday, I found more of the green fabric that we used on her borders?  I bought all that was on the bolt – 4 3/8 yard and took it to June last night. She wants to re-do her fabric covered headboard and possible the side chair in her bedroom to match.  All I had left was one piece at 18″ x 100″.

Someday soon I hope to get my Pet Mosaic back on the wall, but first I have to finish quilting the border on Addison’s quilt…..gee whiz I better start a list ! !  (You see what I do to myself!)  (And Bonnie Hunter is coming in 2 months to Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover DE, and I want to get those borders done on my Allietare – hey – it was March when I got the top together and I only need those 12″ borders…and I still haven’t found a fabric I love for the border)

How many projects are you working on at once???  (I swear I am not starting anything new, and here I go with the folded Christmas tree……TABLE RUNNER! )

Time to get busy before the Queen Bee’s start buzzing….

Project # 3 – CHECK it off the list

Hello again, for the 3rd time in as many days!  I must report that I got the last bit taken care of for Project # 3 – June’s Quilt.

The back story – my dear friend June started this project from a kit 10 or 15  years ago.  She was given the kit as a gift by her daughter.  3 years ago, after her daughter died suddenly, June pulled this partially completed project out of the closet and showed it to me.  The center panel and the 9 patches were assembled. The fabric line had a lovely border available way back when, but she didn’t get it 10 or 15 years ago.  When she found it, she was unable to get the “green” color way, and for some reason ended up with the border fabric in blue.  She asked me to help her “pick out” new border fabric.  At the time, (2013), we shopped and she chose a green fabric that reminded me of “hospital scrubs”.  It was “really flat” in my opinion.  She wanted something to go with the center panel, and it was the best she could find.  It was what she wanted, and that was that.  Every once in a while, I would ask how she was making out on the project, and she would say, she was still “thinking about it”.

Last fall (Sept 2015), she handed me the entire project in a bag and asked me if I could please “finish it for her”.  At 82, and still full of grief, June didn’t think she could manage it on her own.  So I took on the project.  I’ve been working on it, in and around other projects.  Once I got the first two rounds of borders on, (purple and fuschia) I had to sit down with her, and get a better idea of what she wanted.  In October, I was in Lancaster Co. PA and I had swatches of her fabrics with me and picked up a “different” green for the border.  I bought P & B BELLA SUEDE LEAF TEXTURE – MINT; as it had some depth and texture to the pattern vs the “flat green” that looked like scrubs.

June wanted a quilt that would have a 20″ drop down the side of the bed.  She currently has a “stack & whack” quilt that was hand quilted by an Amish lady. It has a tuck under for the pillow and a pleated corner.  Given my limited skills, I told her I could make it with borders to giver her the drop she was after, but I wasn’t going to attempt the pleated corner.  I had to do some convincing to get her to agree that it needed the same border on all 4 sides.  That border at the top will tuck under and over the pillows.  I took it to her last week, showed her how it would look without that top border.  I also made 3 pillowcases for her with that “flat green” fabric and some extra bits and pieces of the leftover fabrics.  I’m glad she agreed to the border for the top, as I had already ordered the additional fabric that I needed!!  I gave her the pillowcases, made with her fabric, for her 83rd birthday.  I made her promise she would use them and NOT hide them in the cupboard. (She has a way of doing that with things that are new…saving them…)

The new fabric arrived the middle of the week, and once I got Project # 1  and project # 2 done, I got busy with this one.  The final border is on,  and I will be sending it out to my dear sister-in-law, Carolyn for long arm quilting.  But first I need to order some batting (king size); and 4 yards of 108″ wide backing. Another trip to Lancaster Co. PA is planned in 2 weeks, so I hope I can find something that will suit me at Weaver’s Dry Goods in Lititz PA.  When I was there in May I was “window shopping” backing fabric, but didn’t buy any.    I did find something I liked on Marshall Dry Goods website.  They have an extensive selection of wide backing for under $10/yard.  I need to get backing for Project # 1 also while I am there, along with border fabric for my  Allietare .  (I figured out that I don’t L O V E the border fabric I bought, so will try again while I am at Weaver’s.)

June's Quilt

The dimensions are 99″ wide x 118″ long.

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It seems huge, but when we put it on the queen sized bed in our guest room, it works.  June’s bed isn’t as high as ours, and once it is quilted and bound, it will not hit the floor.  Those pieces inset on the sides are “extra blocks” that June had made.  I had a little fun working them into the project. She was really pleased with the way they came out.  And while it is off to Carolyn’s for quilting, I can make the binding.  I have enough of the fuschia and green to do some “binding with a flange”  also known as “Susie’s Magic binding”.

And, speaking of binding, while I am at it, I will be making the binding for Addison’s quilt (Project # 2).   I spent a little time “playing” with EQ7 today, watching the video tutorials once I got it installed in my quilt room computer.  I want to do a pieced backing for Addison’s quilt, and am hoping to get busy with that project later this week.  Once Addison’s backing is made, it will be time to “layer & quilt”.  Hoping to get the backing done this week, so I can get it layered up on the 13th when my Sit N Sew group meets at church.

So, soon, very soon, I can get on to my Pet Mosaic Project from my retreat last month.  It is a “slow mover”, as there is a huge amount of design work to do, but I really want to “get back to it”.  It will live on the design wall for a while!  You can “check out” the photo album here –  Pet Mosaic Photos on FLICKR

It feels like I have made significant progress this past week on several LARGE projects.  Too bad not one of them is on either “UFO list” that I have!  Oh heck, I will have to dig one of those other PIGS out of the sack in the next few days too.  🙂

Have a great Independance Day!

 

Moving right along

Fair warning….more “Scrap Dance Tango”….hey….it is a HUGE project!

Do you work on more than one project at a time??   I do….currently I have 3 “highly active” projects underway…and many more just waiting in the wings at various stages of completion.  I am working hard to knock 3 out and get “finishes” soon.  It’s been a “busy” quilty 3 days, with very little sewing until today.  Monday was my Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting in Dover, and that was a day away from home, with lots of errands to be run before going to the meeting with June.  Tuesday was my “Queen Bee’s ” quilting bee, and I did get a little sewing in after dinner. Today was my church group with our first weekly Sit N Sew for the summer.  I didn’t have a project “ready” to travel, so I grabbed my “string quilt bins” and foundation papers; and worked on string blocks.  Got 7 finished during our time together today. I take a travel machine to that group, and I hate to switch my projects “between machines”.  

 My “current 3 top at home projects” are Scrap Dance Tango, Addison’s Twin Quilt, and my friend June’s Quilt.  Last week one day I got to sew quite a bit and Scrap Dance Tango moved to # 1.  I was waiting on fabric for Addison’s quilt; which did arrive and has been washed and is ready to use.  On Sunday afternoon, I dug out June’s quilt (again) and worked on her borders, then ordered additional fabric too.  June’s quilt has borders on 3 out of 4 sides and I needed more!  Have to tell you how impressed I am with that fabric purchase! I was seeking a particular fabric – P&B Bella Suede Leaf Texture – Mint — to finish June’s borders. I found it online at Brooklyn Fabric Company in Brooklyn Iowa! I ordered it on Sunday afternoon, paid $5 for shipping, and it arrived on Wednesday in the morning mail. Now THAT is great service!! So; Check them out — http://brooklynfabric.com/  ….

So now the decision….do I keep going on Scrap Dance Tango, or stop, and get those other two finished with their borders????  Addison’s needs 2 borders cut and stitched on, then it will be ready for “layering and quilting”.  Of course, I have a pieced back to make, so there is that to work on too…..  And June’s Quilt just needs the top border put on, then it will be ready to “ship off” to my wonderful sister -in-law, Carolyn, for long arm quilting.  I still need to pick out the backing fabric for it. I plan to make a stop off at Weaver’s Dry Goods in Litiz PA in mid July to select the “perfect” backing fabric. Going for the  108″ wide !!  IF I get busy with Addison’s then maybe I can get it layered and pin basted at my next “sit  & sew”…..oh the decisions!

Here is a peak at Scrap Dance Tango – I have 8 rows x 11 on the design wall and the bottom 4 rows are completely joined.  The top 4 rows are joined in larger sections; and I should be able to get them together in a few hours.  I still have 5 more rows X 11 across to layout on the design wall.  I simply ran out of room to set them all out.  The final setting is 11 x 13 for a king size; and then it will need some borders too.  So, by 11 pm tonight – it looks like this:

A good days work

and those blocks on the ironing board on the right are stacked up waiting for their turn on the wall.  You can really see the secondary patters starting to form.

I look at this quilt and think, wow; a king size….and then I think about the OTHER UFO king size quilts I have to finish….my Summer in the Park (black & white & yellow) (circa Spring 2014); and my Allietare which is circa Spring 2016.  I guess once I get all 3 tops done, I am going to have to pack them up and fly out California, and get some time on my sister in laws “long arm”….or do them myself on my Janome 8900.  There is a constant theme with these UFO’s and that is borders……

The other theme is UFO……I don’t think I have a finish of any kind this year yet, but have been working like a crazy quilter all winter and spring, building blocks for 2 quilts.  Both of my quilt bees have a UFO challenge going and I have several items the same on both lists. Guess what…nothing on the UFO list is anything that we have seen in quite a while.  Maybe that is what happens when you decide to keep a few of the things you have been making vs giving everything away.  And then there is the problem of another bright shiny project/class/pattern comes along and distracts.

Such is life….I’m going to just continue to work on things…3 at a time!

 

Half Square Triangle FUN

525 done.  905 to go!!

I FINISHED MY 1430 !!!

  I am working on the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt and in Step 1 we needed to construct 2.5″  half square triangles.  Well, I bit the big bullet and decided to go for the KING size; and it required 1430!!!  I have been plugging away at them since mid January.  Carole promised we would not need them all the first month!

Step 2 required 432 in the construction of the first block –

144 made for step 2 of the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

I made 144 of those blocks.

Then Step 3 required 288 in the construction of the second batch of blocks –

Step 3 complete Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

I made 144 of those blocks.

And then I continued to work on my squaring up of  the rest of the blocks, 20 here, 20 there and I am finally done!  This container has 739 in it!!

739 half square triangles in this container

I figure I made about 29 extra HST’s, but hey, I would rather have a few extra than come up short at the end.  All the fabrics except the neutral came from my abundance of scraps.  I use the June Tailor Perfect Half-Square & Quarter-Square Triangle tool for marking cutting and squaring up.  I like it better than any other method I have tried.

The good news is, I am NOT burnt out on HST’s and am planning a BABY QUILT for my newest tiny granddaughter who is just 2 weeks old.  She is having grey, white, and coral accents in her nursery and I acquired the fabric Monday for her quilt!  I am thinking a chevron pattern with 4 or 5″ blocks. Graphic and modern will be the goal!!

Baby quilt fabrics

Now, the bad news is, I don’t have a lot of time before I leave on a trip to Hawaii the middle of April, so she will probably not get to her quilt until I am back home the first week of May!!   Next week is “Ocean Waves Quilt Guild week” with a meeting on Monday, followed by an executive board meeting; class on Tuesday, a trip to the airport with the speaker on Wednesday, a board meeting on Thursday and the release of Scrap Dance Tango Step 4 on Friday!!  Oh, and I am going on Sunday to pick up the speaker in Maryland!  PHEW….when am I going to pack for Hawaii??   Keep an eye open for progress as I go along.  Gosh, it might be fun to try my hand at hand quilting while I am on my 15 day cruise, but I don’t think I want to try this as a “first” project.  I would need my quilt bee buddies along to guide me and none of them are going to be tagging along!

I am still working on Senior Quilts.  We tied 3 yesterday at church, and will tie the other 3 on Saturday.  I brought 2 more home to bind, and will start prepping that binding this afternoon.  I will do those with Susie’s Magic Binding!!

I have another project  “on the floor” of the quilt room, laid out and planning borders.  My friend June started this quilt from a kit her daughter gave her at least 15 years ago.  It was a UFO that she really wants finished, but is just not quilting much any more.  I mentioned it previously and showed pictures as I was adding borders.  I am working on the 20″ drop (in the green) that she wants and am short fabric.  So, creative thinking has got me adding a panel along both sides and I will also be adding a couple of strips similar to what shows on the right side of the picture.  2016-03-25_07-37-44

It has been a struggle to get this finished for her, with her design concepts very different from mine!  Oh well, you may see this again about once a month, because it seems I can only dedicate one day every few weeks to working on it!!

Time to make some binding and think about that sweet little baby girl whose quilt fabric is calling me.  Honestly, finding time to sew is tough, because I have been hopping in the car as often as I can to go visit and hold and snuggle her!  I forced myself to stay home today, do a little laundry, clean toilets and sweep the kitchen and sew binding.  Can you guess where I would RATHER be ??  And I am thinking ahead to later in the spring or early summer when her cousins will come from Texas for a visit and to meet the new addition to our family!  Gosh I love being a Grandma!!!  And let me tell you….Grandpa is enchanted as well!

Time to get sew!!  Enjoy your projects and family time!  (Remember my last post?  Yes, the final border for Allietare is still waiting!)

 

note; Allietare is a Bonnie Hunter / Quiltville mystery quilt

           Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt is designed by Carole at From My Carolina Home blog.

Links to both are on the side bar of the blog.

 

 

 

 

 

Major progress on Allietare

I have held off on any Allietare updates until I had some significant progress to report.  The edges have been trimmed and 2 rounds of borders have been put on.  The pattern finishes as a nice queen size, but I upped the border size slightly and have ONE more round to go.  I am going for king size, and will be adding a 12 ” border all around in a textured tone on tone gold print that goes nicely with those gold center blocks.

One more round if borders to go

I’ve been “on break” from sewing while I recover from bronchitis that kept me out of the sewing room for a full week.

I have been working with our Senior Quilt Project at church, and we have 9 quilts for presentation to our graduates. Our congregations signs these quilts, writing messages of hope, faith and God’s love on them.  They will be presented on Mother’s Day to the graduates.  Each quilt is different.  We have a large selection of fabric that we cut 8.5″ squares from and then each person chooses the pattern and fabrics they think would best suit the graduating student

I made this  one,

Kelsey ' s quilt made by Mary Deeter

This one was made by Mary Lu Wilson –

Lindsey ' s quilt made by Mary Lu Wilson

and really reflects the personality of the recipient who works as an EMT volunteer!  I did the binding on both quilts after we tied them last weekend.   Finished the binding last night and they are ready to return to the church.   Of course, I used my favorite “Susie’s Magic Binding method” and I could make the binding and get it stitched on by machine in an evening.

I plan to work on my friend June’s quilt on Friday, getting her last round of borders on, now that she has decided which fabric and what size she would like them to be.  I feel like I have had it for months, and only work on it once a month.  Once I get the next round of borders on, I will take it to her, and we will decide how to back and quilt it.  No pix until I get that next round on!

I still have a stack of half square triangles waiting in the kitchen to trim for the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt…..I was a bit afraid to even go near my rotary cutter when I was feeling unwell last week, so there has been no progress on that project.   I also put up a post about starting another quilt along for a mini bargello.  Well, thinking I would use my 2.5″ strips out of my scrap storage bins and how “easy” the project would be, got me planning.  The plan is still there, but I got sick and now feel totally behind!  I am taking a trip in a few weeks and have other deadlines (ooohhh…income tax time) looming!  Plus, I have been on the run, visiting with my youngest daughter 3 days in a row, so I feel like my projects will just have to wait. Family first!  I did have fun this week with my newest quilt bee = the Queen Bees!  It is fun to see them “up and flying” now. They have a plan in place for next month’s bee while I am away.  They are a lively bunch, with all different skill levels, and I think it is fun to watch them share techniques and skills with each other.

That’s about all the fun I can muster for this day!  I hope you have a lovely weekend and celebrate the Risen Lord this Easter Sunday. If you are looking for a place to worship, you are invited to Reformation Lutheran Church, 613 Lakeview Ave, Milford Delaware, with service at 8:30 and 11 am on Sunday. Drop in and take a peak at all those beautiful Senior Quilts too!  If you live elsewhere in the world, I encourage you to take time and worship during this very holy week.

 

NOTE:  

Allietare Mystery Quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter – www.quiltville.blogspot.com

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt designed by Carole – http://www.frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com

Susie’s Magic Binding – Aunt Marti’s 5 2 quilts  blog – http://www.52quilts.com/2012/05/tuesday-tutorial-susies-magic-binding.html