Sewing with a group

This past week has been my week for sewing with a group. On Tuesday I met up with some of the members of the Queen Bees. We meet at the library once a month for our quilt bee. It is SEW much fun to sew with a group of friends. It’s lovely to catch up with each other and chat while we sew. Often times, I will spend more time wandering the room than sewing. I love to see what everyone is working on as well.

This bee, I took kits for a project that the members of the bee are working on together. We are making a small quilt to gift to the Friends of the Library organization. They will use it as a fundraiser in a raffle next fall. We are doing this as a thank you to the library, for allowing us to meet there at no charge. When we first discussed the project, one member said she had something we might want to consider. Next thing you know, her husband had been dispatched by phone, to her sewing room to pull the project. (I was in awe that she could give him directions to the right storage location. ) In a few minutes we had a photo and made the decision that the project would be a great starting point. I introduced that quilter in my last blog post, . Did you have a chance to pop over for a read?

Over the last month, the project went home with one member who did the needle turn applique of stems, leaves and nose, as well as the embroidery of the face, minus the eyes. Then I shared a sample block that we could use around the existing piece. I pulled the block out of my Lori Holt Vintage Christmas Quilt book. Everyone agreed, and we collected fabric and I cut the kits for 28 blocks. Only a few got done during the bee, and many more went home with members to work on. I brought home 7 kits that were left.

On Saturday, I had fun on a Zoom “Virtual Retreat”, hosted by Carole, of From My Carolina Home . There were 9 of us on the Zoom call, and we started around 10 am. The most fun of a zoom call is you are at home, and you can have all your sewing things close at hand. No packing up and carrying out like to my regular quilt bees. The negative is my internet is spotty in my sewing room so sometimes it goes on and off. Carole’s purpose for the Virtual Retreat was to give her blog followers a chance to clear up a UFO or two, before Autumn Jubilee starts on Monday. Follow the link above to Carole’s blog or the button on the side of this post to Autumn Jubilee.

I worked on 7 of the snowflake blocks during the Virtual Retreat, and put the snowman up on my design wall with some of the finished blocks so the others on the zoom could see what I was up to.

Snowflakes for the snowman
Snowman raffle quilt

I’m going to wait until all 28 blocks are finished, and square them all up at once. Then we will see if we need any space, an extra border etc before we add them to that wonderful snowman. This will be a fun winter quilt. I’ll let you know when the Friends of the Library put the tickets on sale next year.

One of the participants in the Zoom retreat was Mary Ellen. She had several things she was working on, and no doubt there will be a blog post coming from her soon, including a screenshot of the attendees. Happy Birthday Mary Ellen. Her blog is QuiltMouse, and you will find her blog here – She is quite inspiring and I always learn something when I read her blog. Recently she reminded us of the value of prewashing fabric for a Quilts of Valor. She has her fingers in lots of projects, so do go take a look.

That’s it for this first Sunday of October. Go check out those 3 bloggers, Dulcequilts, FromMyCarolinaHome and Quiltmouse.

What have you been doing in your sewing room lately?? Have you found any new bloggers?

Now, let the Autumn Jubilee begin!!


Sewing for others

I had the opportunity this last week to work on making a few gifts for other people. I also spent some time with my quilt guild neighbor, working on a few masks. She was making those masks to gift to a great grandson.

We sewed wearing masks, which is not a lot of fun. I know people are wearing masks all day at work and it amazes me how they stand it.

Thank goodness for being retired. I’m sure if I had to go to work every day and wear one, I would suck it up and carry on, but honestly, if I have to wear one to go out & have a little fun, I’d rather stay home for now. (And if you have been following me for any bit of 2020, you KNOW how many darn masks in varying styles I have made).

I did recently purchase some mask inserts that were suggested to me that help keep you a bit cooler in the mask, pushing the fabric out away from your nostrils. (Look on Amazon for a “face mask bracket” or “3D mask bracket” and you will find silicone open frames.)

I inserted them into the pocket of the masks on the style I made with pockets. On the most recent style (see my post ) I slipped the 3D mask bracket inside the layers before I stitched across the end closing it up. Those masked I marked an UP arrow with a sharpie on the inside of the mask, as the bracket definitely has an up and down.

3 d mask frame
3 d mask insert

They do really push the mask out from your nostrils and mouth, but you need to still have a snug fit over the bridge of your nose and under your chin, and that will happen with a good fitting mask like the one in the link I previously wrote about. You can also slip this frame BEHIND a ready made mask without a pocket, but the silicone touches your face, and you should be aware of that if you have an allergy. I did that with an older style mask and it was not uncomfortable. I think that is where you get the most benefit of holding the fabric away from your nostrils. The pack I bought had ten, and so I have played with various options. They even make them in kids sizes.

I can say that the mask frames that are inserted loosely inside my masks go through the washer and dryer without a problem. I just straighten them out when I take the mask out of the mesh bag from the clothes dryer. (REMEMBER your mask should be washed EVERY TIME you wear it, in HOT soapy water, and machine dried to kill any germs. DON’T wear the same mask over and over without washing!!!)

Other fun sewing….I want to go visit my friends, Walt & June at assisted living this week, and promised last time we talked that I would bring her “fall” placemats. I made two this weekend using a block pattern from Carole’s Autumn Jubilee 2017, Stars on Autumn Lane (pattern still available for A block and B block – )

(You know me, I love the patterns from Carole’s blog – FROM MY CAROLINA HOME. Go take a look!)

I added a 3″ border and corner stones, then trimmed them to 2.5″ after the quilting. I used Pellon fusible fleece for the batting. The border fabric is right out of my friend June’s boxes of fabric I have stored. It is very “1980’s” but the colors were perfect, and I hope she recognizes it as “something from home”. I cleared out her sewing room (it took me 3 days with my hubby packing along side me) when she moved to assisted living 3 years ago. I often take her pieces of fabric from her boxes I have stored, to use, but she isn’t sewing too much anymore. When I was able to volunteer there to sew with the ladies as a group, we primarily used June’s fabrics and that made her very happy!

placemats for Walt & June

I decided to “turn” these placemats instead of bind them to get them finished a little faster. It is NOT my favorite method, but they are DONE. ( I can never get a good closure even trimming away the batting at the opening. Anybody got a secret method? )

Another fun project — One of my daughter’s is having a birthday, and we all got together yesterday for a fun party, where she cooked for US, including the best carrot cake in the world for her own birthday cake. (She loves to cook and to entertain.)

I made her a new apron from fabric I bought a few years ago. (So nice to have it in my stash waiting). It is a very durable twill fabric with a delightful print. I am certain it came from Hobby Lobby. The “last” apron I made for her I wrote about here –

I wish I had made a note in that blog post of “which” pattern I had made for her. I dug through my file drawer and pulled out my patterns and thought I would try this one. I’ve made it before, but honestly can’t remember which modifications I made. After she wore that apron (2017 edition) she made some comments about fit…which I intended to save and have lost. SIGH………

Apron pattern
vintage pattern

I did like the pockets, but of course, I had to slightly modify them. In the B view of the pattern the pockets bloused out too much, so I made it into 2 pockets by running a stitch down the middle. The inverted pleat gives you extra “room” if you need it.

big pockets on the bottom

There is also a top pocket, and I left it as a single pocket. I tested, and my phone fit right in.

Top pocket

No need to divide that top pocket for a pen.

A new apron

I used the Medium size, but am annoyed at how “long waisted” it seems. It doesn’t look it laying on the table, but the minute it was finished and I tried it on, I was annoyed. It’s just FINE for my 5’11” tall husband (I made him one a long time ago from this pattern). My daughter is about 5’5″, so it will fit her better than me! First thing I did after trying it on was to pull it up at the apron ties and insert a little fold. I guess it will have to do. It’s done, and gifted! I pre-washed the fabric, so I can’t hope for much shrinkage. It does have a good “wrap” so your lower half is protected.

I was happy that I left a note in the pattern to not try to “turn” those apron ties. I modified how I made them an did them like “double fold bias binding”, folding down the center and then folding in the edges and pressing and top stitching. Maybe a little narrower than the original design of the pattern, but functional. I did leave a note in the pattern this time about how long waisted it is !

My hubby laughs at my angst, because he said “IT’s an APRON, not a designer dress”.… and I know my daughter will splash and wipe her hands in a hurry like she does with all the other aprons I’ve made over the years. She puts an apron on every time she works in the kitchen at her house and mine, so I know it will get used ! Functional!

My last little project was for one of the grand kids. She is going to dress up like ROSIE THE RIVETER for Halloween.

During dinner last week we chatted about her costume, and I had shared a red bandana I had. Her mommy said I could help with the costume by making a mask that she could wear while she was out in her costume. This is the idea we came up with –

Halloween mask

I used Superior cotton GLOW IN THE DARK white thread when stitching it out on my embroidery machine. It kind of glows green in the dark which she just loved.


Don’t panic about all the holes that machine embroidery does…..the back of the mask is TWO layers, with a filter pocket. Her mom can add a piece of cut away stabilizer in the pocket for a filter. That will keep her safe….

I did the whole mask “in the hoop” on my embroidery machine. I had a pattern for the mask from Smart that I used. I did the placement and tack down stitch, then switched over to the wording in another file that I had done up on Embrilliance using the built in block lettering.

Set up to stitch

I adjusted the wording to fit in the mask and loaded that glow in the dark thread. (LOTS of thread breaks with that cotton thread).

Mask making

Once the front was finished, I added the elastic, making sure there were knots at the ends and taped them down. Then I added the two backing pieces on the TOP of the mask, returned to the original “smart needle” pattern in the machine, and ran the placement stitch and the tack down stitch again (twice). I didn’t want a lot of top stitching on the mask, so I removed it from the hoop, tore away the stabilizer and trimmed the mask and turned it . I’m so happy with my machine and all the little tricks I have learned over the course of the year where I can interrupt the machine and easily modify to suit my needs. It took me about an hour to make, including the test mask. The test I did as a child size and it was VERY small. ūüôā

Test run

I have “one more” small project to work on for the same granddaughter . Can you guess what I am doing with this?

Can you guess

I went in search of this fabric on Friday and ended up on a 63 mile round trip ride! Any advice for a rolled hem would be appreciated! I’ll practice on muslin first!

What is happening in YOUR sewing room? Any Halloween costumes? Christmas stitching? Do tell.

Time for Autumn Jubilee

Autumn is arriving around the USA. We are having periods of rain and much cooler temperatures in Delaware. Harvest decorations are going up, and I see pumpkins for sale at the local farm stands along with potted mums.

I got out my fall wreath and put it on the door last week. I purchased this handmade wreath at a fall festival in 2017 and I just love it. I added the little Halloween bat last fall.

Fall wreath

I inventoried my fall placemats and table runners. Turns out I have 15 fall placemats. (If you followed my blog for any period of time, you KNOW that I’ve had an ongoing bin of “Autumn” and I take it to my quilt bee when I don’t have a project to work on and I can pick up and carry on with these.)

Autumn Jubilee on the table
Autumn Jubilee placemats and table runner

Autumn Jubilee on the blog is something I follow each year. Carole writes great quilt patterns that are easy to follow and shares fall recipes, decorating, wool projects and much more. There are going to be different projects and it looks like starting today a “quilt along”. I’m excited to get started.

If you follow along with Autumn Jubilee on Carole’s blog, be sure to enter to win some of those great prizes. She has some BIG sponsors and they have been generous! Use the link above or the button on the side of my blog. If you follow Carole, let her know how you found her page! She reads ALL the comments, and usually replies to each one, except during Autumn Jubilee when the volume is just too much. Join in on the conversations on the Facebook group she has linked too, where I am one of the moderators. And most of all…..share your photo’s of Autumn Jubilee inspired projects and tag the blogs. ūüôā

Do let me know what your favorite part of Autumn is?

Labels for old projects and Autumn Jubilee

As I was changing out a table runner this summer, I remembered that the project didn’t have a label on it. If I make something I usually put some sort of label on it to remind me later of “when” I made it and “what” I referred to it by on my blog posts, in my photo collections etc. I was also moving a wall hanging his summer and when I looked at the back of it I discovered it was lacking a label. I made a mental note to “make labels” and immediately carried on doing other things.

While I was out in my sewing room, working on the never ending scrap clean up (oh…do I have a mess…..) I took a break from cutting things up and grabbed a piece of fabric and made a couple of labels on my embroidery machine.

I have to tell you I haven’t totally figured out the Janome 11000 that I have been using now for a solid year. I can’t figure out how to get more than one line of text on the screen, so I sat down at the computer to work it out. I am using the software called Embrilliance, in EXPRESS MODE, which is FREE.

I’m learning more and more all the time about how to use it. When I started with this set of labels, I found a “frame” built in to the software options. I tripped over it while poking around in the program, and can’t tell you where I found it. (Don’t you just hate when you find something cool and can’t repeat it!) Anyway, I had this green and yellow variegated thread already on the machine, and thought it would make a fun stitch out.

Variegated thread frame
fun with variegated thread
Blue bird label with frame
Finished label

I am having a little “bobbin thread” issue, with the bobbin thread showing on top with this blue thread for the words, but I’m not going to sweat the little stuff…the label is finished, stitched on.

My Little bluebird

I use the same method all the time when making a label to have a nice “finished” edge. I mentioned before that I learned the technique from Pat Sloan when she taught how to make a nice ‘circle’ for an applique project.

Essentially, you lay a piece of fusible pellon over your label, with the glue side facing the RIGHT side of your label. You stitch all around the edges, then cut a slit in the pellon and turn it “right side out. You smooth the edge where the pellon is stitched to your fabric with your finger tip and you have a nice finished edge. I iron the label to the project, then hand stitch around the edges. Most of the time two edges are enclosed in the binding, but since this was adhered after the project was made, I had to hand stitch all the way around. The beauty of the fusing is it holds your label in place while you stitch; no pins! Also, it is an extra security to keeping your label on the project. Not quite so easy to remove, depending on the type of pellon you choose to use.

circles on bluebird
Circles for applique
Close up blue bird
Lots of circles with this machine applique project

The circle turning method was used on the wall hanging the label went on. So, after 5 years of hanging around with no label, it is “FINISHED”. I did this project in a class with Pat Sloan and wrote about it several times while it was “in progress”.

The second label I made was for my FIRE AND ICE table runner. I used the same green fabric, but switched to bright orange thread to complement the “fire’ on the runner. It’s a funny name for a project, but the ice blue and the bright oranges were the inspiration for the name.

Fire and Ice label
label ready to stitch on

I had pins in it all around because I thought I would bring it in the house, pin to the back of the runner and hand stitch on last night. I decided to wait, and get the runner out of the closet and bring it to the sewing room to press on first. I hate to battle pins! And, I think the edge will be much sharper and crisper when I press it on first.

Note, this time I had NO problem with the bobbin thread peaking through. Sometimes those machines can be a bit finicky.

Batik table runner Fire and Ice
Fire and Ice table runner
Back of the table runner
Back of the runner

To see more about this runner, look for my previous post –

It’s been fun looking back on older projects, and getting the labels done.

Batik placemats
2018 batik placemats

I just love the different bright colors in batiks. Some can feel really dark, so they have to be used “sparingly” I think.

More placemat fun
Placemats in 2018

I can’t remember if I made 12 or more of these placemats back in 2018. I think I had given them all away to my daughters. When I was looking for a piece of fabric to use for the 2 labels I tripped over a basket of “partially made” placemats. That basket has been sitting around since 2018, so I must have thought about making more. I need a dozen for my “summer” table. I think they will all be a bit different from these I made early on. Something else to go out and work on I think. I really have to get rid of these baskets of partial projects in my next “effort” in my never ending clean up.

I am lucky to have the space, but the “clutter” is bogging me down. I am trying to spend a few hours every day this week to clear up and clean up a bit. I am on a self imposed deadline. Next week starts “Autumn Jubilee on the FROM MY CAROLINA HOME ” blog, and I always look forward to working with fall colors. Carole Carter did a Facebook Live Chat on the Friends of From My Carolina Home page ( ) last week and gave us a hint at what she has planned for October. She mentioned we might want to get a small “leaf” print, at least 1/2 yard in fall colors. I was able to pick up a piece this week that I hope will work. When the shop was unrolling it from the bolt, I realized it was the “end of the bolt” and took what was left. I got about 1 3/4 yard, so I will have plenty.

fabric for Autumn Jubilee 2020
Small print leaves for Autumn Jubilee

Since Carole has been doing Autumn Jubilee, I have kept a container with fall fabrics, and her patterns. It was always my “go box” when I had a quilt bee. I worked on bits and pieces for fall projects for years, and have made plenty of table runners and placemats. This week I took the bin out, sorted things, refolded and assessed what I had on hand. I have another similar sized tote with fall colors that were not “specifically” for Autumn Jubilee. I know I have used up my favorites over the years. Next blog post will be a compilation of my Autumn Jubilee projects from previous years, while I wait for the 2020 edition. I heard there will be opportunity for “machine embroidery” to be included, and I am excited to start something new. Meanwhile, I best get busy cutting up scraps and finishing up another old project left lying around.

What is happening in your sewing room this week?


Autumn Jubilee 2018

If you have been reading my blog for at least a year, you know that I enjoy all things “Autumn Jubilee” by Carole Carter of the blog¬†From My Carolina Home¬†. ¬†This year Carole has a list of sponsors that include the Fat Quarter Shop, Aurifil Threads and many more. ¬†Hop over to her blog, and see what she is talking about, and be sure to follow! ¬†You can win STUFF too! ¬†Carole has a wide array of things she posts about (yes, there is more to life than quilting…..go figure). ¬†She will share recipes, tablescapes, have some type of sew along, talk about fall decorating and much more. So, please, go take a look. ¬†Enter the contests to win stuff~!!!~ ¬†And be sure to comment and tell her I sent you to visit. ¬†I am super excited about all the opportunities to win cool stuff, but even more excited about what patterns she had created for us to stitch!

ps….if you make any of the projects from the blog, be sure to share photo’s on her Facebook group!


A week of Finishes and Starts

This has been a week of projects started and finished, like the little pin cushion in my last blog post –¬†Bee Skep Pin Cushion¬†. ¬†¬†

I also finished my Autumn Jubilee placemats. ¬†I last wrote about my placemats here –¬†Project Updates¬† .

In that post I mentioned I had 2 more to bind. ¬†Well, here they are! ¬†(Of course, I used the technique called Susie’s Magic Binding! ¬†There are other names but this is where I first learned the technique –¬†52 Quilts in 52 Weeks ¬†)

the LAST 2 finished

I like the back of these 2 –¬†

Each back is unique

And here is the 2018 group all together –¬†

Final 4 for 2018 Autumn Jubilee placemats

And the whole table covered in Autumn Jubilee 2017 & 2018 placemats –¬†

All 8 placemats are finished Autumn Jubilee

That one in the middle was the 1st one I made as a test. ¬†It was determined to be “to small” by my husband. ¬†So, it gets the centerpiece!

The back of each placemat is different.  I used fat quarters and used some of the fabric from the fat quarter on the borders of the front to unify the design.  Scrappy, but unified.  

the back of All 8 Autumn Jubilee place mats

 I really love the beauty of the fall fabrics, and the variety of colors!!

Most likely 2 will end up on the counter in the kitchen where we eat most days.  I have 2 or 3 Autumn Jubilee table runners and they will go on the treadle sewing machines that reside in the dining room this fall.  

I think I am finished with Autumn Jubilee table projects for now. ¬†My bin of Autumn fabrics will sit quietly until Carole comes up with the “next” pattern. ¬†I did make a few “Stars on Autumn Lane” last year, but haven’t done anything with them yet. ¬†Carole is getting ready for the “next” Autumn Jubilee, and you can follow her at¬†From My Carolina Home

I feel like I have been playing in the Autumn box for a very long time! ¬†I’ve made a bunch of Autumn Jubilee projects in the last 2 years and posted the stories. ¬†This post gives you a view of some of those projects –¬†

I started a new project this week (Yes, I have lots of UFO’s……)¬†to get ready for my Queen Bee’s gathering next week. ¬†If you looked at the post I linked above, you might recognize some of the fabrics in the photo below!

When I was working on my Bee Skep pin cushion, my friend Nancy B. was doing some cutting. ¬†I thought¬†she said she was cutting the pieces for our bee project. ¬†So, after the Bee Skep was finished, I went through the scrap bins, pulled out my Christmas fabric bin and started making fabric selections. ¬†I have this wonderful container of “elegant” Christmas fabric that I have made table runners and cushion covers from in 2016 & 2017. ¬†I decided to use some of that fabric for the “background” of the Bee project. ¬†We had been given cutting instructions and I got busy.

Bits and pieces for August Bee project

After I had everything cut, I went ahead and made the Half Square Triangles (HST), and then set out the block to see if I liked it. ¬†(The Bee is NEXT week…..)

Cardinal block for Christmas in August

Did you notice that I seem to gravitate to 2.5″ Half Square Triangles? ¬†

The cardinal was a fun block to set up, and I had so much fun playing with the arrangement, I decided to stitch it together. ¬†Well….now what have I done? ¬†I won’t have a project for the bee! ¬†I guess I will just have to make a 2nd cardinal block. ¬†Turns out, I had “extra” pieces, because I made more HST’s than I needed. ¬†So; today I am going to tally up what I need to cut for my 2nd cardinal and WAIT until Tuesday to stitch it. ¬†

Are you curious what I am going to do with them? ¬† Wait and see! ¬†No, not going on the table! ¬† When they are “further along” I will share the plan!

EDIT — FREE PATTERN–Source for the Cardinal block —¬†Mom and Pop Quilt shop

Remember those batik placemats? Those are still hanging around on the wall just like there were in this post – ¬†Summer Fun and Never Ending projects ¬†. ¬†¬†I got “hung up” on them when I got busy with other things in August. ¬†I was contemplating them yesterday, and thinking about how I would back them. ¬†Fat quarters would work. ¬†But, there are a LOT of them, and that will take some serious yardage or a BUNCH of fat quarters. ¬†I want to use what I have, and I am not sure I have that many fat quarters of batik. ¬†While I was digging in a bin I have of muslin, ¬†that got me to thinking, why not? ¬†I have 2 huge containers of muslin a lady at my church gave me, and it has all been washed and folded. ¬†Why not use the muslin for the back of the placemats?¬† Thoughts? ¬†Let me know if you use high quality muslin for backing table items. ¬†

Are you ready to switch seasons yet? ¬†Here we are at the last week of summer, enjoying a crisp fall morning, and I am working with Christmas fabrics! ¬†I’ve put the fall fabrics away for now. ¬†What are you working on?

 How MANY projects do you have going at once?  Personally, I like doing some of these smaller projects between things.  It is nice to finally FINISH something! 

Project updates

I continue to work on my “Autumn Jubilee” placemats. ¬† The only time I work on them is when I go to a quilt bee once a month. ¬† Last week I had a “Material Girls” bee on Wednesday. ¬†My “Autumn Jubilee” tote of fabric is what I have been hauling to bees for months. ¬†I get a little more done each time. ¬†I’ve made a total of 4 since January of this year. ¬†I managed to get the binding on 2 out of 4 in the last week.

2 Autumn jubilee placemats

And the back of them –

Backs for the 2018 placemats.

It is going to be a rainy afternoon, and I think I will make some more binding for the last 2.  That will give me 8, and I think that is where I will stop.

Set of 6 Autumn Jubilee placemats

Since we are not going to be at “home” for Thanksgiving dinner this year, I can move along to other projects, and bore my friends to death with the final 4 placemats next year. ¬†Hey, 4 a year isn’t a bad track record! ¬†This pattern was part of¬†¬†From My Carolina Home’s blog in 2016. ¬†I did 3 table runners in the fall of 2016 and then got going with these placemats. ¬†You might look back at the post I did when I got the first 4 placemats finished in 2017 —¬†

I am linking up to OH SCRAP –¬†OH SCRAP!¬†to share my scrappy Autumn Jubilee placemats.

Quick update on projects completed last week.  Sewing for the grands Р2 dresses completed.

The first one below required a zipper, which I managed (thanks to YOU TUBE!). Pattern is BURDA 6309.

Size 5 with zipper

I might have mentioned before that zippers scared me in 7th grade Home Ec. This one went in successfully, and I attribute the success to my friends who offered advice and You Tube. This pattern was made in a size 5.

Since we were going to visit on Saturday, I decided once I had the zipper in the dress above to make another dress from the same fabrics.  I made this one in a size 4.  I used the same fabrics, but a very simple pattern.

Size 4 sundress

Back of the size 4

It was fairly easy, except for those darn string ties, which took me a lot of time to turn.  I started it after dinner, and worked on it until midnight.  No zippers , no buttons.

That’s it for sewing for kids for a while. Back to quilting.

What are you working on?  Anything scrappy??  Be sure and go check out the link above for OH SCRAP!  It is inspiring to see what others are making using scraps.

Grandma’s Kitchen Blocks 15 and 16

Catching up in my sewing room after nearly 2 weeks away.¬† I was behind on the Pat Sloan project called Grandma’s kitchen. I am using 1930’s reproduction fabrics.¬† They come from a variety of manufacturers and I want to hit as many different patterns & colors as I can.¬† (Note – my collection grew to a wild number…..)

I got “caught up” just in time for the next step.¬†¬† Here is block 15.¬† I am trying to bring in some more yellow and black into the blocks.

Finished block 15 of 25

and here is block 16 — I wanted to carry through some more pink and green in this block.

Block 16 of 25

Today Pat released the layout for Grandma’s kitchen and the first 16 blocks can be assembled into rows.¬† There are lots of “filler blocks” and sashing bits, so I will have to really look at the layout.¬† I may “wait” and assemble the rows after the last 9 blocks are made.¬† I have such a variety of colors that the balance is going to be very important to me for the overall look.

Here are MY sixteen blocks arranged yesterday, before the layout was published. I keep “moving them around and every time I do, I end up with 2 blues side by side (or 4 in this case) or 2 yellows side by side, or 2 blacks side by side etc.

Sixteen blocks completed

I may not “like” my color choices in the position that Pat gives, so there may be some “re-arranging” of those 12 1/2″ and 10 1/2″ blocks.¬† I have all my 10.5 in a row for no particular reason.¬† I know that the fabric choices for the future blocks will be guided by the layout Pat has given.¬† I have 1 other black fabric that I am “saving” – that great clothesline fabric I mentioned a while back.¬† I may use it in sashing, but will have to do some adapting to use it to it’s best effect, as the print is large. Most of the sashings are 2.5 or 1.5 or 2×2.¬† It is going to be interesting.

Check out Pat’s post today, and see what you think!¬† This is probably my “last” post on Grandma’s kitchen until December.¬† I won’t have time next Wednesday to make a block, as I leave bright and early on Thursday morning.¬† I am going to be away for a month, coming home late on the night before Thanksgiving. When I get home we will be in “full swing” with the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club Open House, and I will have a lot of catching up to do at home between weekends.¬† I still have my “Bonnie Hunter Talkin’ Turkey” hanging on the design wall.¬† (Pattern in Bonnie’s book STRING FLING)¬† (note – this is becoming a vintage project, as I started it in September 2016 when Bonnie was in Dover DE teaching a class….we won’t talk about the OTHER Bonnie project I still have in a tote…..)

1 row to go

It is 99% assembled, the borders are made and hanging there for MONTHS, just waiting to be sewn on!¬† That will have to happen when I get back BEFORE I can lay out Grandma’s Kitchen!

What’s on your design wall today?

Off to Material Girls Quilt Bee today….I am ‘late’, but going.¬† I’ll be working on my Autumn Jubilee (2016) placemats.¬† Carole¬†¬†¬†From My Carolina Home ¬†¬† had a great pumpkin and leaf pattern last year and I have made placemat tops.¬† Two are assembled and quilted, two are waiting for quilting, but today, I am going to build some more ‘leaves’ for 4 more placemats.¬†

Still playing with Autumn Jubilee

Last fall, Carole on the blog From My Carolina Home published a pattern called Autumn Jubilee.

EDIT — I’ve been asked where to find the pattern? ¬†HERE is a link directly to Carole’s quilt along from last fall –¬†Leaf pattern by Carole. ¬†NOTE- you can also go to the left side of her blog and scroll down and look for categories and select Autumn Jubilee. ¬†She had some really great projects over the fall and you might enjoy them all. ¬†Be sure to FOLLOW her blog, as she has something new planned for this fall!¬†I used Carole’s leaf pattern and added 2 different 3″ strips on either side of the leaves to make the placemat.

Over the course of Autumn, I completed 4 table runners using her pattern. ¬†I had amassed a big quantity of appropriate fabrics, and done quite a bit of “pre-cutting” and building of “bits & pieces” for pumpkins and leaf blocks. ¬†One table runner was gifted, and I ended up keeping the other 3. ¬†One for the dining room table and one for each of the treadle machines in the dining room.

I still had lots of “bits & pieces” left over, so I thought I should make some placemats. ¬†Somewhere along the line, Christmas happened, and the box got put away. I pulled it back out in January to take to a quilt bee. ¬†A fellow member of the bee had said she keeps a tote “ready to go” for the bee, and only works on the project during the bee. ¬†A long term project, since we only meet once a month. ¬†This was a clever idea, and I decided a great way to work on these placemats, with no particular deadline. ¬†Of course, everytime I open the container, I have to “rethink” the project. ¬†“How many more half-square triangles do I need, etc?” Today was no exception.

I got busy building more blocks, and finally, by August I had enough done, that I could put together 4 placemats. This one you might have seen in a January post,

The "original" placemat

but here are the rest.

Placemat using my Autumn Jubilee leaves


Placemat # 4

They still need to be layered, quilted and bound, but the “hard work” is finished.

I can’t quilt until I get my Janome back from the repair shop, so it will still be a while before they are finished. ¬†Each placemat has the common theme of the leaf centers, but the border fabrics are all unique, and the backing fabric will match the outer border.

Long range, my goal is 8 placemats, so it will probably be next August before I bore you again with the last 4! These have been fun to make.

Thanks again to Carole РFrom My Carolina Home for the cute pattern !

In keeping with the overall scrappiness of the blocks, I just “had” to make the borders on each one a little different. ¬†Would that drive you crazy?

A quieter week

I’ve had a couple of quiet days, and time to play a bit more with my Brother PE500 embroidery machine. ¬† I made a few more bibs for the littlest grandchild and delivered¬†them on Thursday when I went to babysit. ¬†As I worked on these I was reminded how important it is (to me) to have an organized filing system. ¬†I say this because I was having trouble “finding” the design that I was looking for.

When I download designs from a website, I try to print out the “color change sheet” at the same time. My intention is to always name the file something that is “close” to what it was called by the designer, and to include any “file code” names as part of the name. I have an embroidery download folder on my computer, and many, many, sub folders. I ¬†break those sub folders down by “type”; for example, Holidays-Valentines Day/Christmas/Easter/St Patrick’s Day; or Animals; Food; Verses etc. ¬†I place the color change sheet in a 3 ring binder in a similar way, using page dividers. ¬†I am up to 4 – three ring binders!

Well – wouldn’t you know, I have a HEARTS folder and a Valentines folder. ¬†Many of the HEARTS are NOT specific to Valentines day. ¬†Darn if the file I was searching for didn’t land in the HEARTS folder, not the Valentines Day Folder. ¬†I wasted a good deal of “stitching time” looking for the file. ¬†(Like 3 days wasted….)

At one point, I gave up and¬†I started with a St Patrick’s Day design, while I “looked” for the elusive Valentine/Heart file. ¬†I did a little stitching and searching. ¬†Finally I selected an alternate Valentine design and set it up to run. ¬†Well in my haste, I had not “removed” the St Patrick’s Day design from the machine¬†before I started the stitch out on the 2nd design. ¬†1/2 way through the first color, I realised it was stitching out my St Patrick’s Day design all over again. ¬†Well, you decide if you like it in pinks and purples instead of the greens!

February Bib Fun for Addy

I decided to just keep on stitching and while it was busy stitching; get the fabric prepped for an alternate Valentine! ¬†So, 3 new bibs completed and that will be it for a while. ¬†The littlest grandchild will be a year old next month and has quite a collection of “StitchingGrandma” bibs. ¬†(Somewhere in the bib process in the last couple of weeks, I lost the great “Bandana” pattern, so she got traditional shaped bibs. ¬†Clean up was in order at the end of this project; and again, the lost pattern was found and stored away properly!)

I¬†took the new Singer Featherweight 221 for a spin on Wednesday. ¬†My quilt bee – Material Girls – had an all day sit & sew; and that new little machine had a great debut. ¬†Tuesday night we got her oiled up (must be 90 oiling / lube ¬†points). She is clean as a whistle. ¬†Had a few challenges “winding” a bobbin, and had to engage the hubby to help. ¬†Got 3 bobbins ready with his help and determined what was causing the trouble. ¬†He adjusted the belt a tad and it worked much better. ¬†(Nice to have a guy with a mechanical mind helping out).

Today, the LED light I ordered arrived (Thank you EBay!). ¬†I installed it and am pleased with the brightness and lower temperature. ¬†The Ebay seller I purchased from had a few photo’s showing the difference in temperature on the light- from 172 degrees on the incandescent ¬†bulb to 74 degrees with the LED bulb. ¬†That will save an accidental burn on a wrist! ¬†The difference in the light was significant – from 139 lumens to 205 lumens. ¬†Hubby said the bulbs look similar to automotive tail lights. He thinks that the new bulb will last a long time, and because it is LED, will be less likely to break due to the handling of the machine transport case. ¬†I will be ordering 2 belts soon, just to have one on hand and to replace the current belt which is at it’s limit of adjustment. ¬† All in all, I am most pleased with this little machine, which was made in January of 1948. She stitches well and should be a fun travel machine!

I have assembled a tote ready to “travel” with the Autumn Jubilee project material. ¬†I can just “grab & go” to a sit and sew, and not have to “think” about what project I am going to take to work on, or worry over what to assemble ahead of time. ¬†(One of the Bee members said this is how she operates and the only time the project gets worked on is at a bee) ¬†I did manage to get 6 more blocks made on Wednesday using the Autumn Jubilee pattern. ¬†I have lots of pieces cut and ready to assemble. My intention is to make 6 – 8 placemats with the lovely leaf pattern. Once I get a “few” more leaves made I can start building the placemats. ¬†At this rate, it will be August before I can set the table; but the timing will be just about right for this project. ¬†I like the idea of “no stress” on which project to take. ¬†The fun of a going to a sit & sew or quilters bee is the company. ¬†I like being able to dedicate a whole day (or 2 or 3) and not have any other tasks taking me away from the fun! ¬†(Note – the Autumn Jubilee project is from a pattern by Carole – From My Carolina Home)

I worked on my Talkin’ Turkey blocks again Wednesday night and again this afternoon. ¬†I have 4 left to add the corner string blocks to. They are “pinned” and ready to stitch. ¬†The Talkin’ Turkey pattern is by Bonnie Hunter and can be found in the String Fling Book.¬†Bonnie Hunter’s blog

I will need to ¬†square up the blocks next. ¬†I am thinking about how I am going to tackle the ¬†“next round” which will include a LOT of flying geese (8 per block x 30 blocks= 240 flying geese units.) ¬†The pattern by Bonnie Hunter suggests you use the Easy Angle and Companion Angle ruler for the Flying Geese or your “favorite method” .

I plan to use my new Square in a Square tool/method –OPTION 3…by Jodi Barrows. ¬†Using the Square in a Square tool by Jodi Barrows,¬†¬†flying geese will be done with strips and squares; and if I do the math right; it is done with 120 squares and LOTS of strips!! I just have to sit down with Bonnie Hunters pattern and find the “finished unit size) and then check my Square in a Square book and the chart and figure out what size squares and strips I need to start! ¬†More to follow! I like the “methodical” building of units for a big quilt. ¬†240 Flying Geese doesn’t scare me after I did that quilt last winter with 1400+ half square triangles. ¬†I will be making about 4 “test units” just to make sure I have them sized properly before I begin!

Check out the video on you Рtube if you have never seen this ruler or method.     and 

What fun things are you working on?? ¬† What is your favorite method for flying geese ? ¬†Do you have any “new tools” or “toys” ?? ¬†Do tell………………