Friday, November 17, 2017


I am in a bit of a creative slump.  Nothing really seems to be coming together.  In an effort to do something I finally resorted to making new doggy placemats for our two pups.  
Easy quilting back.
And front.
Love the bone shape.  Although the binding is a little bit of a challenge.  Still one more to make, but it seemed to take care of the HooHumm feeling and got me started on a new track.  I know placemats might seem like a silly thing for dogs, but we have wood floors and our poodle is a messy eater, so it keeps most of the food splatter off the floor.
I purchased a new line by Pat Brovo called Indy Folk.  I had this idea in mind, but just could not get it to come out the way I wanted.    Thus the only alternative was to make dog placemats.  However, once I sort of got myself together I spent sometime on the internet and came across a tutorial on the Missouri Quilting site that was the perfect solution for these fabrics along with pulling a number of Maureen Cracknell's fabric lines to go with them from my stash.  
And here we are.  These are the first four of several that I made.  I now have over 10 complete.  They measure 7 inches so will finish at 6.5.  I guess I am going to need lots of them, but they are so fun. So it is off with a renewed creative bug.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


I made a Christmas Spicy Spiral runner this past week.  I bought 1/4 yards of each eight fabrics and once all needed were cut I ended up with just enough to cut half the amount normally needed for another.  I decided to just make it smaller.  Seems like a simple idea.  Well not every thing works out like it should.
Here is my original full size runner.  It is 25" wide by 42" long. 
Here is my small, half size runner that measures 12" wide by 24" long.  OPPPS, that did not work out as I expected.  At first I sort of pondered the idea of tossing it into the dog bed scrap box in my studio then I began to think better of it.  It really isn't awful, I sort of like it.  It seemed worth binding it and using it on our everyday dining table.  I still would be interested in trying a smaller one in the future   Maybe talk to the gal that I took the class from that commented that it could be made smaller and find out where I went astray.  I guess some things just do not work out as planned.


Friday, November 10, 2017


I took a class at the end of September and made a runner called Spicy Spiral. (Note the Featured Post)  I really love this pattern and just this past weekend decided to buy some Christmas fabric and try it out again.  A 25% sale on Christmas fabric certainly helped me make up mind to go with it.  
I selected the order of my fabric.  This cheat sheet really helps.
The first of my four strata panels.
Here we are.  All spray basted and quilted.  Now only to bind it.  
Last a nice long pile of bias binding.  I bought just 1/4 yard of each of my fabrics.  I had just enough left over so I am going to try making a smaller one.  The normal size is 42 long and by the wide area 25 inches.  I am winging  it by working backwards on the wedge cutting.  I have no idea what size I will end up with.  I am going to be sure to make notes on this idea.  We shall see how that goes.  This one at least is almost a finish.  I have sewn the binding on and just working on the handwork. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


I finished my new runner.  I tried out a new idea for quilting it and it worked out well.  I have a problem even after a four day class on free motion quilting so I am always working on ways to get around that issue.  
I sort of copied what my quilter did on my Blue Dahlia quilt.  I think it worked well.  And the front with this really nice binding.  I liked the contrast. 
I also took some time to make myself a thread catcher container.  I often take class with my guild and once a month sew with my charity quilt group.  We usually meet at a church or other facility and try to make sure we have not left a mess for others to clean up. I have been using the lid to my pin container, but because is so shallow the thread cuttings end up on the floor.  So I was determined to solve that problem.  
I had some left over deco fabric from some bags I made so purchased a front fabric.  I really like this idea of the squares cut out of the bottom of the bag to make the box corners.  That little step was new to me, but it really works well.  
Here is the inside also with the cut corners.  
And it is done.  It is not very large only about 10 inches long and about 6 inches wide.  Perfect to catch those cut threads and snips of fabric.  
The inside too.  Once I got done I pressed really well the bottom four sides and the four sides so instead of looking round it is now a rectangle shape.  I might just make the larger size, as I still have lots of left over fabric.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


I just finished up by Blue Dahlia quilt handwork on the binding and  discovered a mishap.  
Yes, that is damage!  The quilting was done around the appliqués, but somehow there was a slip up and some stitching went onto this appliqué and the fabric was damaged when the stitches were removed.  I hemmed and hawed about wether to remove it and finally decided I could not live with it.  Fortunately the appliqué could be removed and I had just enough fabric left to do a new one.  I had originally appliquéd them on with invisible thread using a hem stitch.  So I can do that or hand appliqué the new one on with invisible thread.  

So there is where I pulled it off.  It will be pretty easy to remember where it goes for sure and exactly the placement.  It took me a little time to find the pattern, thank goodness I kept that magazine.  Frankly I even considered making this quilt crisis a design element, but I guess it is off to fix this EEEEEKKKKK! 
It is a finish, but not a very happy one at the moment.


I finally finished my Amish Star and it is up on the wall for the fall holiday season. 
 I decided to hang it in my kitchen area.  The original plan was for the from door, but I didn't want the weather to damage it.  Now it is on to a new spring runner either for myself or as a gift. 
 I love this new Mode fabric line by Annie Brady called Big Sky.  I ended up buying two charm packs of it and only a half yard of the lattice and binding.  I have a new idea for quilting it so I'm anxious to try that out this week.  

Friday, October 27, 2017


We have been involved in the project of pulling carpet out of our master bedroom and having laminate flooring installed, as well as new floors in two bathrooms.  It has really cut into my sewing time.  However, for the most part the project is complete and I can get back to doing some serious time in my sewing studio.  
We took this photo while on our trip to the East Coast in Amish country.  Too big to get in a suitcase or carry on a plane.  So hubby said he would make me one.  
We purchased some wood at a local lumber outlet cut the pieces 18 inches long and I brushed some white paint on it and some stain on top of that.  
We laid it out in the proper design.  We did try hot glue, which really did not hold well.
A staple gun applied to the back worked really well.  Hubby has a tool stash that easily out does my fabric stash.  Not to mention he is very handy around the house with all sorts of projects.  It still needs its bow and other decor but should be on the front door by the end of this weekend.  
Amongst all this home remodel painting, floors, and putting the house back to straights I did take a few moments to regain my sanity by pulling some batiks for a new project.  There is nothing like a new project to calm frazzled nerves.  
Row one helped put things back into prospective, made me feel like soon things might get back to normal.  
Adding a second row did really finally have me deciding that life will return to normal and in the next week or so several more rows will follow.  Nothing is finished around here, including the Amish Star or my new fall wall hanging, but Finish It Up Friday is here and so am I.  

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


After returning from a ten day trip to the East Coast I came home to  the continued remodeling of our master bedroom and bathroom.  Needless to say the studio time was severely cut short.  I finally was able to take a couple hours last Friday and Sunday to get away from it all and spend some quality time sewing.
This little helper missed me and painting and work crews make her a nervous wreak.  I had her pretty much attached to my side for the last week.  If she can't lay on my projects then she is on my lap while I sew.  
I finally was able to get her to exit the area and get a photo of my October Fat Quarter Quilt Along blocks.  Only two more months to go. 
While also doing some clean up after the Spicy Spiral runner I found a few left overs and decided to make a couple new mug rugs for our living room end tables.  These 12 by 12 inch mug rugs are a little bigger than the normal size, but they are so nice.  I made some  earlier last month to coordinate with our new bed quilt.  We liked them so much better than the smaller size that the living room got a bit of a mini face lift too.

Friday, October 20, 2017


On our trip to the Eastern Coast we stopped in Lancaster, PA.  I was hoping to see Amish quilts.  The country is lovely, wonderful Amish farms.  However we found so many of the established areas there were very commercialized.  We stopped into two posted Amish quilt stores while there.  
These quilts were for sale and lovely, and also beautifully constructed.  Not what one would believe to be Amish style.  However the one small wall hanging on the right was more of what one might think of as their style.  

The quilt on the bed was lovely.  These were obviously made to be extra income for Amish families.  Prices ranged from $850 to well into the high $2000's and even $3,000's.  Reminds all of us quilters that our workmanship is worth more than we realize.  
Now this little star item really caught my eye.  I wanted one to take home.  However, it would not fit into a suitcase, and I am fairly sure the airlines would not appreciate my getting on with it and storing it in the crowded overheads.  We took a picture of it.  My very handy husband says he will make me one any size I want.  He says he has some old scrap lumber pieces stored on the side of the house and the cloth bow and twigs are an easy stash item and JoAnn's has the twigs.  I just know it will look great on my front door.  

Sunday, October 15, 2017


I have been off for almost two weeks to the east coast on a Revolutionary and Civil War tour.  Along the way I found some quilts, of course.  
The baby quilt was photographed in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.  A reproduction of the original.  I spied several pretty close reproductions of fabrics I have had in my stash too.  

In a shop in Charlottesville, Virginia we saw several really nice quilts on display. 

Plus many really nice quilts for sale.  Next we will be off to Amish country.  With some additional pictures of quilts we saw there.  

Friday, October 6, 2017


I will be taking a break for the next two weeks.  Hubby and I are doing some traveling to Washington DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  Hopefully being able to take in some Amish quilt shops along with other historical sites.  We expect to be back by the 14th of this month. 
These guys aren't very happy about this.  As you can see there seems to be some shock and concern on their part.  However, their favorite dog and house sitters are coming to stay with them and spoil them rotten, and bring with them their favorite doggie pal to play with.  I am sure I will be able to share some great photos when we return and maybe even a few Amish quilt photos or goodies.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


I took a class on Saturday the 30th of September for a table runner called Spicy Spiral, put out by School House Quilts.  It was a lot of fun, particularly as this is a very interesting pattern and different from the average table runner.  
Yes it looks pretty complicated, however, it really wasn't.  There is some good accurate and organized cutting and stacking of pieces one has to do, but after that it goes together really easily.  
I still have to round off the sides and either pillow case it or bind it, which I have not decided on as of yet.  The pattern calls for pillow casing it, but I also think a nice bias binding would work well too.  I plan to quilt it down each color way with a serpentine quilting stitch.  The finished size is 42 by 25, and will look fabulous on my dining room table.  

Friday, September 29, 2017


Over the last month we have been doing some remodeling and re-decoration of our master bedroom and bathroom.  This week we finally finished the painting and ordered new flooring to replace very old carpet.  One of the items we purchased was a new bed quilt.  No I didn't make one!  King size just seemed too be to much to handle right now.
So here is a picture of my bed quilt.  I took it into my sewing studio and just started pulling fabrics trying to mimic the color combinations.  I needed three mug rugs for our bedside tables and sitting room table, although I make them 12 by 12 inches a bit larger than a mug rug, and a dresser scarf 18 by 54 inches.
So here is the first mug rug ready to quilt.  I cut the squares 3.5 inches to finish out my 12 by 12 inch piece.  I thought I did pretty well with the color matches without going out and buying any new fabrics.  
And here I have meandered my quilting stitches.  I have finished this one and two more as of now including binding them in the gold fabric with the little red flowers.  The dresser scarf blocks I cut 6.5 inches and the top is finished and ready to spray baste and quilt over the weekend.  This project is pretty close to a finish.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


I finally have my Star Blazer top done.  The paper piecing was my first attempt and came out really well.  The second side was much more of a challenge.  The pattern I had did not give directions for making it.  I was on my own.  
I did run into a small problem.  My point on the bottom did not allow for the seam.  I had to adjust the straight seam on the right.  Next the star was a little too short for the paper pieced side, so I had to add a small piece on the top and the bottom. 
At last it was sewn together.  Just to trim the left side, cut a back for it and batting.  Next on to quilting it.  It is my Modern Quilt small group project.  The assignment was to use triangles and use quilting that is not straight lines.  This should be tons of fun.  Even after a four day class on free motion quilting I still have not got the real hang of it.