Gardens,Quilt show and Talkin’ Turkey

I spent 3 days in the garden this past week, working on 9 months of weeds! Yes, it is true, I gave up sewing time for working in the garden.  I made multiple trips to our compost pile in back in our woods to empty the trailer of the debris.  I still have “many” days worth of work in the yard.  I decided that I like quilting better than gardening.  I should be outside right now with a tool and a bucket working on some of that stuff, but then, who would write my blog post, or read yours?  Seriously, I have had to force myself to “schedule” yard work time on my google calendar!  But at least now, I can see the remaining tulips blooming, and know that the hostas are emerging from their winter sleep, and the sad looking azaleas will bloom once more.  The sedum have all been dead headed, and I started to split them for transplant in to other areas of the garden.

If you know a trick to rid my flowerbeds of the “mums gone wild”, let me know. Backstory – I planted several pots of “mums” one fall and they have turned into weeds, taking over the beds.  I have dug and dug and dug until I am crazy.  They never bloomed again after that first fall, and I just want them “out” of the garden.  The other thing I want out is the lighting system and soaker hose system, until at least I get the weeding done.  Over the years the lights have been damaged and the hose has felt the edge of the shovel when I was attacking some wild thing that sprung up.  Perhaps it was a great idea “way back when” but not today.   I’ve been ruthless removing sections, as I come to them, and will put the hubby back to work “laying fresh hose” once I have the mulch down.

More work to be done

There is still more weeding and mulching to be done!!  And, I have some time “blocked out” on my calendar!  

Meanwhile, between all the garden work, I went and picked up “more” donations for the quilt guild “Second Time Around”. Two trips, and two vehicles, and just when I saw light at the end of the tunnel, I have more “stuff’ to weed though.  I have had several workdays this month and lots of great helpers getting things pressed and trimmed and folded and priced to resell at the quilt guild and at our quilt show in July.  Gosh – if you are on the East coast in July you should plan a visit – details here – Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show – in Lewes Delaware.  Last show we had over 200 quilts on display, and lots of vendors.  Of course, you can stop and say hi to me at the Second Time Around tables and get some great bargains!!

I did get a couple of opportunities to work on my Talkin’ Turkey project since my post about making those Flying Geese. This quilt pattern, is by Bonnie Hunter, in her String Fling Book.  By Friday of last week – I had a few blocks on the wall. — Do you recognize those flying geese from my last post?

Talking Turkey 19 to go

(Do you see the blocks all stacked up under the ones pinned to the wall?  Those are 4.5″ squares that were donated, and they are being sorted into “pretty stacks” for sale at the Second Time Around Table at the show!)

I got a bit of time on both Saturday and Sunday evening to sew, and I did LOTS of assembly!    There are 21 blocks up on the wall now, and lots of pieces “ready to sew” for the last 9.  I have all the units prepped and pinned on the blocks, and when I get an extra hour, I can zip right through them.  

21 done Talkin Turkey

Of course, at this point my brain has moved on to “other things”, like the next step in the assembly process.  (There are LOTS more steps to go in this project, with multiple pieced borders.  I saw a “finished” Talkin’ Turkey for sale on Etsy for $1200…… ) Anyway, I had to count out how many more neutral  and red squares I will have to cut, and check if I have the next neutral sashing cut yet or not.  I won’t start that step until all the blocks are assembled and I have a chance to really “arrange them” on my design wall so I get a nice balance of the “scrappy”.  I have several blocks that have “bright bits” that I want to spread out; like stripes in the center of the nine patch or polka dots (both black and white) that do jump out at me.  So, a bit of “design layout will be in order, and I will have to “clear my wall” to make room for the entire project. It is very satisfying to see it come to this point.  

A busy week ahead for me with a Quilt show meeting, 3 mornings with 2nd Time Around helpers coming over, an all day quilt bee and two days where I have ladies coming up to church to help “tie” quilts for our graduates.  (Hmmmm….when will that garden work happen or any more of my own sewing happen…..)

I hope you are having fun with your projects!

Talkin’ Turkey – 2nd round

I have been working off and on over the last 2 weeks making Flying Geese for my Talkin’ Turkey quilt.  The pattern is by Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) and can be found in her book “String Fling”.

If you are a “regular reader”, you know I went to a workshop in September and started this project along with a second one.  As per my typical behavior, the project bin sat from September until February, when I dug in at a 3 day retreat and got the “first round” of the blocks completed.  Check out the post I wrote in February when the first round was completed here – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/a-week-of-loading-and-unloading/

Before I could begin the “second” round on the blocks, I had to square them all up, and re-evaluate how I was going to make the Flying Geese (FG) for the 2nd round on the block.  I settled on the method from Jodi Barrows – using the Square in a Square ruler, option 3.  I have nearly 500 FG to make for this quilt, and I wanted to use the method that gave me the most accuracy.  Since I purchased the Square in a Square “system” last spring, I thought this would be the perfect time to use it.  If you are unfamiliar, check out this quick video where Jodi is demonstrating the ruler at Quilt Market — Option 3 Square in a Square demo .

Once I got about 100 FG finished, I wanted to see how the blocks were going to look, so I got two blocks up on the design wall late yesterday afternoon.

Next step

Hubby thinks “BUSY“, but that is ok….he doesn’t have a vision of the “next round” which is neutral sashing and 9 patches that separate the blocks. Take a look at that link for Bonnie Hunter I posted and you can see what the “end” result will be.  In this round with the FG, I am going scrappy with the FG, but the rectangle that separates them, and the cornerstones on the blocks are all “constant”.  I think having a few constant elements on a scrappy pattern help to “calm” it down somewhat.  I believe my sashing is all cut and it will be “constant” as well.

Each of these blocks takes 8 FG, so I will be back to the “chain piecing” that Jodi Barrows referred to in her short video, I posted above.  For a more detailed look at the method – check out this longer, more instructive video – Square in a Square introduction  .  What I like about this method for the FG is that I can sit at the machine and stitch up 8 or 10 geese, then get up, stretch, press, and go back to sewing. Less of a sweatshop, and if I have just an hour or two to stitch, I can make a lot of progress!  I often bring a stack into the house with me,  save the trimming and cutting for the kitchen, while dinner is cooking and I can chat with the hubby.  I probably won’t “assemble” any more blocks in the “second round” until I get all 280 FG made; but I do have all the neutral bricks and cornerstones cut out and ready to go.

What method do you prefer for Flying Geese?  Have you been working on a big project lately?

Time to go…..more Second Time Around sorting, trimming, pressing, measuring and pricing for the guild (day 2 this week).

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.