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 —  ….

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!



2014 was a busy year

2014 is almost over and I think about what have I accomplished and how much fun I have had. I have some great friendships that are continuing to form; and am learning new things.

Here is a recap of 2014 projects most of which you will find the full story on the blog – NOTE: Some are still UNFINISHED PROJECTS !!

January  – cleaning up the chaos in the sewing room and sorting the scraps; arranging my containers and playing with hexi’s.

February brought a guild retreat where we did a “summer in the park” and a “one block wonder”. Both end 2014 as works in progress.
There was 1 senior quilt  and a bus trip to the Hampton Roads Quilt Show

March brought snow and daffodils; and string piecing blocks for the Guild President Quilt, more work on my Summer in the park, my Lisa bag and the beginnings of a memory quilt from t-shirts for my friend Karen. It also brought a surprise in the mail from AVIS !  I also took a trip to the Lancaster Quilt show.

April saw  the finish  & delivery of the t-shirt memory quilt; a 5 minute table runner and the Celebrate/Happy birthday bunting.  There was a great sit & sew with 3 quilt bees for 3 days where the table runner was the focus.

May  brought Guild “sewing with silk” class; and a 2014 UFO finish of my 9 patch cupcake quilt that has been hanging around since 2012.  Worked on a charity baby quilt in flannel for our bee; bound senior quilts with flanged binding; recycled leftover binding into fun hexi’s and made a baptismal banner for my granddaughter. (Lessons from the silk class and stabilizing fabric were very helpful!)  There was also a trip to a quilt show at the Dulles Expo Center.

June  – Another guild class and a FINISH. Class was Bill Kerr teaching his SNOWDRIFT pattern, using a curved template. I called mine FLOWERS in the Snow.  I did 2 blocks for Ebony Love designers challenge, and watched the flowers bloom in the garden. I made a BEATLE BAG for my sewing supplies and we fixed the webbing under the sofa!


July— brought fun in the pool and fun in the mail. I won a Funky Chicken pin cushion; and then made 6 more; using log cabin blocks. My chickens were Blue Hens!  I also fixed the hubby’s POOL chair, new fabric in a bright cheery color.  I spent most of the time working on scheduling speakers / instructors for the next 2 years for our quilt guild; having been elected to serve as Vice President/Programs.  LOTS of meetings over the summer.

August— I took another guild class and made the Crusty crab. The crab STILL needs binding!   I worked on 6 flannel baby quilts for our bee; quilting and binding tops that others had pieced; and made birthday gifts for a 2 year old! And then I went to California for nearly 3 weeks!

September I spent Labor Day in California; finishing up a painting projects for my sister -and then the SECRET PROJECT was started; a quilt for my sister to go in the purple bedroom!  I left a few UFO’s in California; the doors needed to be rehung and the hallway needed 1 more coat, and the door trim need to be done…..ran out of time….ooops.

October– The grandkids and parents came to visit from Congo!  We had fun together playing! We collected 3 suitcases full of school supplies for them to take back to a local school. Of course there were the monthly Quilt guild meetings, the Material Girls Quilt bee, and a 3 day sit & sew at the end of the month.  I had so many extra strips from the SECRET PROJECT, I decided to make ANOTHER log cabin for my sister’s great granddaughter.  (Still a UFO…more quilting to do).

November started with a guild class “wonderful watercolors” (another UFO) and a visit from my sister. I gave her 3 pillows for her birthday (LOG CABIN).  When she got home at the end of the month, her quilt was waiting for her! It was also National Model Railroad Month; so hubby and I did lots of model train activities together, visiting train shows; and various layouts in Pennsylvania. I also spent the month promoting the Delmarva Model Railroad Club Open houses. I spent Thanksgiving weekend selling raffle tickets at the club to help out. And of course, started the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.  I also got very excited about finding panels for the MODA FLATS Dolls.

December started with another Model Railroad Open; and the “finish the gifts” rush.  Only previous photo’s here; as that box hasn’t arrive in Congo; so I won’t spoil the surprises.  I of course have been working on the Grand Illusion and have been blogging along all month about that.  So; check the recent posts for photos. And, lastly; my hexi project.  I started doing English Paper piecing Hexi’s (1″) in December last year, just to fill time in the evening. Well; I have made a few, and now am starting to think about what I will do with them NEXT year! Time to come up with a pattern!

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt – Are you doing it ??

Are there any Bonnie Hunter fans amongst the readers of this blog? Are you following her on her blog on Quiltville or Facebook ?   I have to admit that I am!  Having done one of her quilts “Jared takes a Wife” as a wedding gift last year, I am hooked on her scrappy quilts.  She offers lots of free pattern on her blog.

Bonnie Hunter is well-known for offering a Mystery Quilt every year, around Thanksgiving (US) weekend and her color plan and yardage amounts  have just been released.

Bonnie has a group on Facebook – called  Quiltville Open Studio where the excitement is building –!/groups/291023511046957/

She has links to her blog – with all the details.

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Fabrics

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Fabrics

What is fun is she has used “paint chips” to show the colors.  I did my best with the colors as they appeared on the computer screen and when I printed out the directions.  Since there will not be any cutting until November 28, I have time to pick up the required paint chips and verify my color selections and buy more YELLOW.  I also need to stock up on some black…but I think if I finish a project before the cutting begins, I will have some left over from my “Summer in the Park” quilt.

This mystery will run for about 6 weeks, and Bonnie Hunter releases a new clue every Friday until concluded.  The pattern instructions will stay on her website for 6 months, and then retired for inclusion in an upcoming book.  I saved all the instructions for the Celtic Solstice pattern last year, but did not allow myself the time to work on it.  I have hopes in the future pull the fabrics and to do it.

Sew…….that was what I played with yesterday!!!  Now, on to make those throw pillows, and cut 2″ squares for a landscape class and then maybe dig out the “summer in the park” and put the last 2 borders on.  Oh…hey, I cleaned up and put away all the extraneous fabric that was all over the sewing room yesterday….now if the vacuum fairy would visit, the place would be suitable for visitors…..maybe the hubby will come up and play with his trains while I work today!

(Please disregard that crab which is peaking above the stack of fabric who still needs borders and binding…maybe I will get around to that today or tomorrow….)

Happy stitching!

Busy times in May


Binding wrapped around a cardboard tube, and on my thread spool holder. Great way to keep it off the floor!

Last week was crazy busy!  It was a week of learning!

Monday was our monthly Quilt Guild meeting and luncheon. Tuesday a class with the guild – “Sewing with Silk”; Wednesday – 2 quilts to bind for church; Thursday a guild board meeting and a leadership training event at church and Friday….binding to rip out and re-do (refer to Wednesday!). Saturday, rebind 1 quilt (refer to Friday)…and Sunday was Mother’s day and a 3rd quilt to bind. Whew…..Somewhere along the line we visited some friends, and had a quilt buddy over to work through her project.  And then Monday, a trip to church to help another friend pin baste a king size quilt.

Want to hear about the 1 quilt I had to rip out the binding on?  Going to tell you my story of woe…..It is the story of Quilt # 2…..

I love doing that binding with a flange (piping) from the tutorial called Susies Magic Binding –52 Quilts in 52 Weeks: Tuesday Tutorial: Susie’s Magic Binding  .  It has become my “go to” binding because it looks so cool.  I recently did the table runner (5 minute block) and the t-shirt memory quilt using this method.

Well…let me tell you  the story.  Quilt # 1; PERFECT.  Quilt # 2; NOT….why I wondered what was different.  It turns out, it was all in the way the quilt had been trimmed by the long-armer. Quilt # 1 was trimmed to the edge of the top.  Quilt # 2 was not.  She didn’t do anything wrong…she trimmed it for hand sewn on the back binding; leaving about 1/2″ of backing and batting past the edge of the quilt front.

My lesson was TRIM to the edge of the quilt if you are doing Susie’s Magic binding. I didn’t trim QUILT # 2,   I had shifted my needle over to the left to make sure I was catching the top when I was stitching the binding on the back of the quilt.

So, when I rolled my binding to the front…..and stitched it down…I thought I was fine, but I was barely catching the very edge of the blocks.  As I looked the quilt over when I finished the binding on Wednesday evening, I was horrified to see the binding pulling away.

So; lots of “froggin”….rip it ….rip it…. Originally, I thought I could fix it, and after 2 or 3 tries, I decided the best bet was remove, trim and redo the binding!!  Rippin out 2 lines of stitching….(and of course, my setting for my 1/4” is a shorter stitch….)

So, by Friday evening, I had the binding totally off, and thrown in the trash.  New binding made, quilt trimmed properly for this type of binding!  Saturday evening, the binding was on and looked great.

GREAT lesson.   I delivered both quilts to church on Sunday and brought Quilt # 3 home to bind, and delivered it back on Monday morning.   Now, all 3 of our senior quilts have a binding that is the same.  Hubby was worried that one would be different, which is what prompted me to volunteer to do #3.


Susie’s Magic Binding. Love that little pink edge peaking through

Now, if you know me at all, you know I can’t REALLY throw fabric away, so I dug the 300″ of binding out of the trash, pressed it open, and cut that binding into 2.5″ sections…..for Hexies of course!

How to recycle binding!

How to recycle binding!

In between the fun of sewing; there has been time spent out in the yard.  The azaleas that are starting to bloom, the blue wild flowers coming up in the back yard, and the little patch along the front porch that I laid out some bricks, split the lirope from the other garden, planted some bulbs and used a lazy gardener wild flower mat  (hoping the seeds grow).  The next few day will be spent in the big garden getting it cleaned out, since the sedum is up, the lirope is up, and the tulips are nearly finished.  Love seeing the purple iris blooming.  Have to remember to water that one next to the porch!

I mentioned I helped my friend, Barbara pin baste her quilt yesterday.  She and I are both making this pattern; Summer in the Park; in a king – size.  pattern here:

We started this quilt at our retreat in February. Mine is the black and white and yellow I posted about here:    (Note: mine is NOT finished…still sitting; waiting for the last row to go on, and the borders!)

Barbara had some border trouble the last time we tried to baste it. She is also well schooled in the “froggin”, ripping off the border and redoing it.  It was PERFECT yesterday, and took us an hour and 15 minutes start to finish to lay it out and get it basted. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her fabric – Bobbins and Bits by Pat Sloan!!

Bobbins and Bits - fabric designer Pat Sloan for Moda. Quilt pattern Summer in the park

Barbara’s Quilt — Bobbins and Bits – fabric designer Pat Sloan for Moda. Quilt pattern Summer in the park

Today is a garden day; and a day to get the window air conditioners all cleaned and into the appropriate window.  Hubby was not happy with 82 degrees in the bedroom last night. The humidity was high (80%); and I will relent today. So, we had about 2 weeks of spring; time to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I guess the house will get closed up and the electric meter will start spinning again. 😦

I mentioned “sewing with silk”….I made 96 half-square triangles; 3 1/2”.  Think my youngest daughter may get a table runner for Christmas….shhh…don’t tell (she doesn’t read the blog anyway).  Surfing the web for great layouts of half square triangles and think I found a modern looking one that will suit her. The colors are really cool, and should work in her decorating scheme.  Pictures later.

Happy stitching!!! Time to get busy for me.

Where have I gone ???

To the QUILT ROOM…To The QUILT Room !! Not a mystery really…been sewing at every opportunity.  My “Summer in the Park ” sits on my big table, waiting for the final ROW to be assembled and stitched on.  I have spent the last 2 weeks working really hard on the T-Shirt memory quilt.  I have had a few breaks while I play “Driving Mr. Daisy” to his appointments at the local surgery center.  I took a trip to Lancaster PA to the AQS Quilt Show last week too.  Oh, and I have made a couple trips to the mail box — to pick up  prizes! ! !

I love to win things…really I do.  I was chosen by one of my favorite bloggers to receive a prize, because of my comment on her blog.  I was tickled pink to receive this :

Blank Canvas, paint and brushes and a fun magnet!

Blank Canvas, paint and brushes and a fun magnet!

Thank you Denise –  !!  As I mentioned to Denise, I am looking for a class this spring at the local community college, the vo-tech or the art league !  I love that she chose me.

I also won a book from Starwood Quilters Online Quilters Book Club!  That also came in the mail last week!

I’ve enjoyed reading Susan’s blog and following along on the book club.

I use it as a “source” for quilt stories, and look for them at the library on “cd” or “mp3 player” and listen while I sew.  I just finished listening to Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and now I have the book to keep.  I am looking forward to re-reading the paper version.  I love books.  My librarian gave me a “book log” to record what I have enjoyed, want to read next, etc.  I have several Jennifer Chiaverini books in the “read” section. They are a lot of fun, and most often are “quilt stories”.  Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker is not “heavily” quilt oriented. It is really a relationship story between the Dressmaker, a free black woman, in Washington DC and Mrs. Lincoln and her family.

I took only one photo at the Lancaster quilt show last week -Ms McDonalds Farm.  Check out the little guy at the bottom of the photo!


I did mention the t-shirt quilt.  My friend Karen asked me to make this quilt using shirts she had given her Dad over the years.  I wanted to include things that were meaningful to him, beyond the shirts.  I was able to find 2 images to stitch out with my little embroidery machine –

St Louis Cardinal

St Louis Cardinal

Last week on the design wall — Summer in the Park’s final row and the start of the T-shirt quilt.

design wall

design wall

Had to figure out how to bring some uniformity to the shirts, so I went with sashing:

Block building

Block building

I don’t want to show any more pictures until she has the quilt in her hands; but let me say, it has really progressed a long way from this point.

I am using a blue sashing between & around all the blocks, and have added several things to the blocks that I hope she finds meaningful.  I have done some printing on fabric and some other embroidery machine work for it as well.  I am very excited about the fabric for the back. That will be a surprise, and there is a story to go with it that I must wait to tell.

This afternoon I hope to get the 3 “columns” of blocks joined with another row of sashing and get the borders figured out.  Turns out to be much larger than I had originally thought it would be. I have been enjoying the creative process of building this quilt with NO pattern.  I decided to “track my time” on this quilt, and I am up to over 24 hours.

I took a little “me” break on Saturday when I joined the ladies from church that I sew with.  My “senior quilt top” was finished, and I didn’t want to drag my Summer in the Park up to church or the T-shirt quilt, so I started a NEW project.  This was a quick one, and my cousin Lisa, had shared the pattern with me.  She calls it a 30 minute bag….I spent a longer bit of time, but I was tickled with the results, and plan to make another soon, but larger.

my LISA bag

my LISA bag

drawstring LISA bag

drawstring LISA bag

This bag was made with 2 fat quarters. My next one will be done with 2 yards.  My Aunt Fran and cousin Lisa worked together to make their bags in February, and Lisa photographed the steps and wrote the directions out to share with her guild.  They both think it would be a fun pattern to add a zipper to next time.  It was quite easy to make and I think Lisa needs to “copyright” her pattern!

Happy stitching everyone!

Window on the world

I ventured out to the quilt room above the garage today for a little sewing.  Thought I would share my Window on the World view:



You can really see the trees and snow with the blinds up. Great light coming in today, even with the snow.

I put those garden flags in the windo last year before I had the blinds.  Working up here at night was a bit like a fish bowl.  Now that the blinds are installed, I have raised the flags to the top half of the window and my view is less “obstructed”.

I’ve been busy with other things the last few days!  I received a wonderful gift in the mail from my blog friend Avis! Her blog is called Sewing beside the Sea (  She has been busy making these wonderful patterns from left over bits of crochet thread.  When I  commented on them, I said they remind me of the “spool doilies” for Vintage sewing machines. You know; instead of the red felt circle, a sweet handmade crochet circle.  Well; don’t you know, she was inspired, and she gifted me 6 of them. wpid-20140303_123653.jpgwpid-20140303_130406.jpg

Doesn’t the old girl look nice?   Its fun to see her looking so pretty (Really must name these machines!). Avis sent me a lovely note; and told me to feel free to share them!!  Since I only have 3 vintage machines; I have 3 left to share!  I would love to share them with you, if you comment back and tell me what kind of vintage machine you would adorn with these beauties.  These come all the way from Avis in Whitburn Swudeyland England!  So; do let me know if you would be interested in receiving one or more of her lovely creations.

I mentioned I have been busy; well, I haven’t sewn a stitch since last Wednesday night, when I posted about my Summer in the Park project.  I went to the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton Roads VA on Friday (via bus trip with the guild). Had a blast with over 30 other guild members.   Whose quilt did I see ?  Maria Shell’s “Under the Big Top”….I knew whose it was as soon as I saw it hanging there.  Fun to see a quilt you know by a fellow blogger!! I will share some of the photo’s.  I did a couple of close ups on the one-block wonder, and if you look at it alone, not in the gallery, you will see the amazing stitching.  The thread painters are amazing!!

Under the Big top 29 x 35 - Maria Shell.  Love her work and recognized it immediately! :)

Under the Big top 29 x 35 – Maria Shell. Love her work and recognized it immediately! 🙂

B.J. Hibiscus Prelude 74x74 by Sylvia Snyder, Hurlock MD.

B.J. Hibiscus Prelude 74×74 by Sylvia Snyder, Hurlock MD.

Twisted Ribbon 67x60 by Joanne Howe Delavan Wisconsin.  I think the name comes from the twisted ribbon on the borders. Love the use of the cubes in the One block wonder quilt.

Twisted Ribbon 67×60 by Joanne Howe Delavan Wisconsin. I think the name comes from the twisted ribbon on the borders. Love the use of the cubes in the One block wonder quilt.

Love the heavy thread work on this block on Joanne Howes Twisted Ribbon Quilt.

Love the heavy thread work on this block on Joanne Howes Twisted Ribbon Quilt.

check out the thread work in Joanne Howe's blocks.  I love the way she added the texture to this hexagon.

check out the thread work in Joanne Howe’s blocks. I love the way she added the texture to this hexagon.

The cubes on Twisted ribbon were well done.  Do you see the ribbon coming from the cube?

The cubes on Twisted ribbon were well done. Do you see the ribbon coming from the cube?

Jingle Bells - 66 x 74; by Kathy McNeil, Tulalip WA.  The threadwork in this quilt is stunning up close; and the quilt feels alive when you stand back 15 feet.

Jingle Bells – 66 x 74; by Kathy McNeil, Tulalip WA. The threadwork in this quilt is stunning up close; and the quilt feels alive when you stand back 15 feet.

I spent a lot of time looking at this quilt, made of servicemen/women uniform fabric, and photo's of the family members who were in the Armed Forces. Wonderful tribute quilt.  labeled Proud 2 Serve: My Family's Military Legacy -  77x 78; Bobbie Moore Newport News VA

I spent a lot of time looking at this quilt, made of servicemen/women uniform fabric, and photo’s of the family members who were in the Armed Forces. Wonderful tribute quilt.
labeled Proud 2 Serve: My Family’s Military Legacy – 77x 78; Bobbie Moore Newport News VA

Hope you enjoy those photos.   I was in contact with Maria after the show via email, and she asked me if I would post “close up photo’s” of my Summer in the Park blocks.  I made 5 distinct blocks; some of them are combinations of fabrics that are in other blocks.  Because of that, laying them out was a bit tricky, but I am pleased with the overall result.  I have to join the 6 blocks left on the wall into a row and add to my quilt, then I will be on to the process of borders.  The gallery shows 5 blocks, and each row had 1 repeat, since I needed 6 in the row, and my brain could not wrap around making up a 6th block.  The fabrics are a bit “dizzy” to look at, but I love them, with the peak of yellow/gold in all of them.  I have decided I have the WRONG yellow fabric for my inner border, but will dig through my boxes of stash to see what I can come up with before going out to buy MORE fabric. (Note….I went to JoAnn’s on Saturday, and did not buy ANY fabric…just some rotary blades…and at the quilt show, I only brought home 5 fat quarters…)

I am ready to get to work on my T-Shirt Memorial Quilt, now that all my products have arrived. Still waiting on the sashing fabric….grrr…ordering on line is a PAIN  sometimes.   While at the quilt show I did pick up more stabilizer, so I won’t come up short!

Time to sew! Spent an hour in the quilt room blogging…so…stay warm where ever you are, and please….let me know if one of those sweet doilies is meant for you.

Putting the rows together

Well; if you have been following; I have been busy putting the blocks together into rows. Today I went out and spent an hour cleaning up the desk and the cutting table so that I could begin putting the rows together.  Summer in the Park may get finished before SPRING….(well…maybe….).

Clean desk and clean (sorta) cutting table.

Clean desk and clean (sorta) cutting table.

Once I got the clutter contained, I started in on the rows! (  Sorry about the photo quality……it’s like taking pictures into the sun with my 3 windows full of sunshine. )


In the midst of stitching row 2 to row 3....Row one awaits on the wall.

In the midst of stitching row 2 to row 3….Row one awaits on the wall.

Taking a bit of a break now, because I have only ONE more row to go.   Thinking already about the borders and just how big I want to make this quilt!  Going to have a quick bite; feed the cats and dog, then head back out and pin the last row and get it stitched this evening.

No sewing Thursday or Friday for me, as I will be out and about.  Tomorrow morning with an appointment and in the afternoon a lesson in making unleavened communion bread.  Friday is a field trip! Going to the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show in Hampton Roads VA with a whole busload from my quilt guild. Should be a lot of fun wandering around, checking out the vendors. (MUST make a shopping list….for those hard to get, only can get via internet items.)

My brain has already “detached” from this project and is think ahead to the T-shirt memorial quilt.  (That normally happens to me about the time I get the quilt layered up….I think this one I will “send out” for long arm quilting.  I’m not sure I am ready to tackle a King Size for all over quilting, even on my new machine.)

As far as the Memorial T-shirt quilt goes, I finally got the fusible interface I ordered today in the mail.  The pressing cloth and the t-shirt transformation ruler (all by June Tailor) arrived in the past couple of days and the interfacing came today. It is much softer, almost feels like cloth, than I expected. Glad I did not decide to go with one of the other fusible I had on hand. I also got in the mail a package from someone out in California; 5 yards of a special fabric.  It will be a surprise for the t-shirt project.  No, not St Louis Cardinals….but certainly suitable to use as the backing.  When I posted something about my search for the right fabric, a lady gifted me this piece. Won’t let me pay for it, she even sent it 2nd day air. I was stunned at the generosity of another quilter. To share with another quilter, 5 yards of Robert Kaufman fabric, is beyond generous.  Still waiting on the 2 fabrics I ordered for sashing; posts and borders.   So; I have time to ponder the overall design, and time to download the 2 great embroidery designs I found, and time to consider whether / how I will incorporate the police badge into the t-shirt quilt. Pretty well thinking I will print the photo of it on fabric….but contemplating “which” fabric, and where it will be placed.

Happy stitching!




S.I.P. update

Spent the day building my blocks into tidy 4 patches. Once that was finished, I started putting the blocks together to make rows.  I made it through 2 full rows, although the rows are not joined to each other. (Dinner and hubby need attention!)  More fun tomorrow, it is moving along quickly!

(funny how the rows “shrink” once they are formed.  When the rows are  joined they will get even smaller.  Each big block is about 15 1/2″ .  When I get a bit more finished I will break out the tape measure and decide whether another row is needed, or if I can get a usable size with the borders.  )

1st 2 rows are made, ; need to be stitched together; remaining 3 rows have blocks built; but they need to be stitched to rows.  Good progress for today.

1st 2 rows are made, ; need to be stitched together; remaining 3 rows have blocks built; but they need to be stitched to rows. Good progress for today.

As I move ahead, I won’t have to be climbing so much on the step stool (I was at the ceiling for the top row).  I will have to take time in the morning to clean off my desk, as the pieces are getting quite long and need a bit more space for laying them out to pin etc.

Messy desk next to the sewing machine~!!~

Messy desk next to the sewing machine~!!~

I want to be sure not to get a pen/ink mark or coffee smudge on them, and as it grows, I will be using every inch of the desk and the return to support the weight and bulk.  How do people do this on little tables????  Spoiled rotten by my sewing space.  🙂 This is my first quilt using my new Janome 8900; and it is doing nicely.  I do think though I might put a fresh needle in and dust out the lint before I get going in the morning. I want every advantage as I turn these blocks into a king sized quilt.

Happy stitching.

Last week was full of stitching

The last blog I wrote was called  “Sewing like Crazy” – and then not a word of my own for an entire week.

That is because this week has been “full of stitching”.  In between being the DRIVER for a visit to the local surgery center for the hubby and his cataract surgery Tuesday, and follow up Wednesday, Bible Study Monday; Church council meeting Tuesday,  and Quilt Bee on Wednesday, I got to sew.  I had one eye zapped with the laser on Tuesday (that was an interesting activity…wide awake) to break up the scar tissue from my own cataract surgery several years ago.  Now that I look back I wonder how I found time…but I did.

I worked diligently and finished my Senior Quilt top and have delivered it, ironed, on a hanger to church. Here is a peek at the finished quilt top:

Finished Senior Quilt 2014

Finished Senior Quilt 2014

This is the first year in the last 5 that I am not coordinating the project, just sewing. This was one of my 17 items on the to-do list; and I have officially crossed it off!!

I could not wait to get this “off the wall” so I could move on to my “Summer in the Park” quilt.  I could have finished the Senior Quilt earlier in the week, but I was distracted  obsessed  by making all the blocks for “Summer in the Park“.  I also have a memorial t-shirt quilt laid out on my work table.  (More about that in another post).  I took my One Block Wonder blocks off the wall to put the Senior Quilt up.  The OBW blocks are put away for now…but that makes 4 active projects!!

I had the sewing desk and the cutting table and the iron table, the ironing board all covered in squares for  “SIP“.

I had to make myself a bit of a graph on the computer to figure out how many blocks I needed. I started the week with 64, and ended up making 144.

Not sure I will use them all, but I do have a layout. Once I decided to go BIG, I had to make another run for fabric on Monday!  (of course)  I needed more white fabric, and I thought I needed another yard of one of my ZEBRA stripes.  Well, you know what happens sometimes when you run out of just can’t get what you want. I was lucky in that the shop had TWO more black-white-yellow prints that I could add to my mix.  In the end, I had 5 different types of blocks.  And I have enough fabric left to do sashing, borders and the back.  Ok, I over bought in the beginning….and I have leftover blocks. I hate to not have enough fabric.

The first layout made my eyes hurt.….

Started with this layout

Started with this layout

Something was not quite right….and when my hubby came up to the sewing room, he started to show me what he saw as “wrong”…and for once, I agreed with his vision.  Apparently he had READ the pattern, but, I certainly wasn’t following it!!!  (

I was not laying my blocks out the way Shontelle Stayner had in her pattern.  I was trying to make “mixed” blocks and alternating blocks.  It felt chaotic.  If you click on the photo above, you can see all the varieties of fabric that I had used for this project.

So; everything came off the flannel wall, and back into neat little stacks on my ironing table.  I pulled the pattern back up – printed it AGAIN (3rd time..where did I put it anyway).  Took one look at the picture on the first page of the pattern and realized what I had done wrong.  So; here is the FINAL layout….

The second attempt was just right, so time to tag by blocks (give them a name like block B)

The second attempt was just right, so time to tag by blocks (give them a name like block B)

Ooops...missing a block

Ooops…missing a block

Now that there is a pattern and a plan, the real sewing begins today. On Saturday, I made another strip set to “fill the whole” at the bottom; and got the “four patches” put together on the bottom row, and today I will work on it again.

Need to stay focused on SIP, so I can get as much done as possible while I wait on 2 packages to come for the memorial quilt.  Actually more than 2 packages.  I received the June Tailor T-Shirt Transformation Ruler I ordered from Amazon. (Had to cancel my order with Nancy’s notions – on back order until the middle of MARCH!!!).  I am waiting on the stabilizer and pressing cloth to come early this week.  I had lots of discussion with my friend about fabrics for the t-shirt quilt.  The shirts belonged to my friends father, and he was a NYC police officer, loved the St Louis cardinals, and other sports.

I spotted theses when I was at my local quilt shop Monday  –  I took a chance at 25% off and bought 1 yard of each.

Turns out they will not be going into this quilt…so…on to other on-line shopping where we agreed on the following:

This package should arrive sometime this week.  We did lots of on-line shopping together and were unable to locate any St Louis cardinals fabric.  I did find two lovely EMBROIDERY designs for St Louis cardinals…and will download and stitch them out.   The only fabric you can get for St Louis cardinals is fleece, and that was not an option I would take for this quilt. I have a special fabric which will be a surprise for the back of the quilt.  It is also coming by mail and has already been shipped.  The decision to make this into a wall hanging has been made; so a pocket on the back will be included when I bind the quilt.    It is fun to think ahead to this quilt while I work on SIP.  I think I enjoy the design element of a project just as much as I like the sewing!!

Sewing like crazy!

Wow; today has been a full on sewing day!  I went up to church at 9 am, and worked until noon; and then this afternoon from about 3:30 until nearly 7.  Todays project – the beginning of a “Senior Quilt”.  This is a project I chaired for 5 years, and now someone else is “in charge”. Yippeeeeee !!!!

I showed up with my machine in the tote, collected a ziplock filled with colorful 8 1/2″ squares (ALREADY CUT…how cool is that); and I sat down and started putting them together, a neutral block and a colorful block.  Got all 80 together in pairs, and put the machine away; got out the iron and set the seams and pressed them open. By noon, I had them packed up and after one “quick stop” at the local sewing center, I was headed home. 

(Somehow I had lost my “O” foot for my new Janome. That foot is the 1/4 ” foot with the guide along the side.  Secured a replacement.)  

When I got back home, I took care of some household business (grilled cheese sandwiches for the hubby and self) and got on to organizing the blocks into some sort of order.  Before I could lay them out, I had to “remove” my one-block wonder blocks (29), and my “summer in the park” blocks (60) from the design wall.  (Did I mention that I built about 35 summer in the park blocks in the last 3 days??)

Senior Quilt 2014 - final layout

Senior Quilt 2014 – final layout

Here is the final layout for my Senior Quilt 2014; and you may note that I have them sewn (and pressed) now into 4 patches.  I figure tomorrow afternoon I can get the rest of it together in a few hours.  My layout is our “classic” pattern. A bit boring, but I just didn’t want to expend too many brain cells doing something different.

I did play around a bit with the fabrics; made a few extra blocks to get a nice “color” balance. Hopefully the colors will show when you click on the photo.  I am not fond of the light green or the browns; but LOVE the stripes!!.

The bible verse in the upper left corner I stitched out on my Brother embroidery machine earlier in the month.  Many thanks to !! She has many wonderful designs on her website for sale; and has felt called to share Bible verses for FREE!!!

The photo on the bottom right of the quilt is one I took when I began coordinating the project ; and I printed it on the fabric, using freezer paper, bubble jet wash & bubble jet set process.

All in all; a good day sewing today! (And yesterday and the day before too!!)  If you are counting, this makes unfinished project # 4 for February…..yes, the t-shirt project is still on the layout table waiting on the ruler, the Summer in the Park is waiting on the desk, for me to cut more strips to make more blocks; and the One Block Wonder is on the layout table waiting for more hexies to be cut too.  AND …. I have the fabric out to do a Happy Birthday Banner project for my daughter. Still thinking about how I am going to make it; but it doesn’t count as unfinished; it is in the UnSTARTED column!!!

So; how many projects do you work on at any given time?

Keep on stitching…..