Tuesday, April 4, 2017


I recently started a take in the car hand piecing project.  This is my first try at hand piecing.  I decided to do tumbling blocks, using Quilt Patis for templates for English Paper Piecing. I first heard about Quilt Patis from Jessica at Life Under Quilts.  I ordered the 2" diamond Patis, and started cutting out light, medium and dark 60° diamonds.  I used my Accuquilt to cut 2 1/2" strips, then cut the diamonds using the same die.  I decided I wanted to do each block the same color, such as light, medium and dark blue.  I used Google Images to look at quilt pictures and discovered several variations of the tumbling block pattern.  Some use light, medium and dark of a variety of colors and rely on only the value to create the pattern.  Some are made of only 3 colors for the entire quilt, such as red, white and blue.  I actually didn't find many examples of the pattern I envisioned.  I started grouping my diamonds into sets, and discovered I will need a lot more light fabrics to complete this project.  Oh good, I love it when I find an excuse to fabric shop!  I basted a bunch of diamonds, following the instructions that came with the Patis, and also from watching Life in Quilts' video.  I couldn't find the link on her website, but here is her video on Youtube,  I've had a hard time finding much good instruction for Tumbling Blocks using EPP, but was able to use the techniques seen in the video and translate them from her stars to my blocks.  It is just a change in color placement, not in the basic technique she shows.  

Here are the Quilt Patis -

I chose to use them because they are reusable and I didn't trust my accuracy on making my own.  
Here is a basted diamond -
I start out sewing 3 together, paying close attention to the color placement. 

 Then add two more -
(These are not sewn, just shown as an example.)  At this point, you can take out the Quilt Pati in the center, since all four edges are now secure.  This allows you to fold your project, which is required on some seams. The straight edge on the left is then sewn to the main body of the quilt, or the 'mother ship' as Bonnie Hunter calls it.  At this point I have been adding the light diamond at the top, which allows you to remove 2 more Patis.  

Here is what I have accomplished so far -

Here is part of the back, if you look closely you can see where I have removed the Patis in the center-

I have had a little trouble with my stitches showing on the front, and my points not meeting perfectly.  Seems like most of the tutorials I have seen have slid past this part of the process, just saying to whip stitch them together.  The most helpful I have found so far is Jenny Doan and Sue Daley on the Missouri Star videos. I am getting better, but think I may need to get a different needle to improve.

 I have been working on this when I've been out and about and have gotten several questions on how big it will be when complete.  I've been telling people I'm making a doll quilt.  If I'm still having fun, it will be a wall hanging.  If it's still fun, a baby quilt, and so on..........  Who knows where it might end.

Today I was reading Lee Anna's blog Not Afraid of Color, and discovered she is also doing this project!  Check out her blog for this, and many other beautiful quilts.

I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.   Edited to add: I posted this last Tuesday, late.  Tuesday evening, Judy lost several of her recent posts, including last weeks Design Wall Monday.  So I am posting again on this weeks edition Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Finish and February's UFO

I joined up with Judy at Patchwork Times to try to complete some UFO's this year.  The two I worked on in January were an Arkansas Crossroads quilt done in blues and a Christmas quilt done with various stars. The blue quilt top was purchased by my mom about 15 years ago, long before I started quilting.  It is a 36 patch of one inch squares, and each side has two half square triangles to make it a star.  The cream part of the quilt is also one inch squares.  My sister, Nancy,  picked it out from several tops mom had.  Nan got married in 2011, and at that time I paid to have it long arm quilted.  And it has sat ever since, waiting for me to bind it.  At some point, I trimmed off the excess backing and made binding strips, and then it sat again. This is the one I wanted to get done before her visit at the end of January.
The Christmas star quilt was a wedding gift for my nephew and wife,  started in 2008. I ended up buying them a gift.  I made two blocks of 6 different stars, using all sorts of fabric.  I believe all the stars came from Quilters Cache.  I started sashing these, and ran into some blocks that were wonky.  It looks like I even took part of it apart.  Since I made this, I used one of the fabrics in another project, and it bled.  So needed to  redo that block, fix any issues, sash, make a backing, layer, quilt and bind.  While digging out all my UFOs, I found that several of them stopped in their  forward progress because I ran into problems I didn't know how to fix, and I just stopped.  Now, these problems don't seem so insurmountable.

I'm happy to say that the binding was sewn on the Arkansas Crossroads quilt, hand stitched, label was added and my sister took it home with her yesterday.  A rather large empty spot is now available in my closet.  I am very happy that it's off my list and that there is a little more breathing room in my sewing room.

The second project didn't get completed, but I did make a small amount of forward progress.  I took apart the one block that had the bleeding fabric, cut replacement pieces and started sewing it back together again.  Realized I had cut the replacement parts the wrong size and it is still sitting on my machine.  I plan to continue to work on this, hopefully I can deliver it when I see my nephew in March.  I haven't taken a new picture, since not much has changed.

For February, Judy drew #9.  On my list, that is a Christmas hearts quilt.  I looked it up, I believe it is actually called Hidden Stars and Christmas Hearts, from a book by Nancy J. Martin. I think I got the book from the library.   It is the first quilt I pieced.  I started hand quilting it, and I would like to complete it by hand.  Last fall I got a Grace quilt frame at an estate sale for $2.  It was in pieces and no one knew what it was.  I found the manual online and when we put all the pieces together, it was all there!  I haven't used it yet.  I'm considering taking out the basting and small amount of quilting that I've done and trying out the frame.  One of the things making me hesitate is the memory of crawling around on my kitchen floor basting the quilt!  But it is much more likely to get completed if it is on this frame instead of the small hoop I started out with. I will also need to make leaders to attach it to the frame.
It's a small, square quilt.

Part of the quilting I'd need to remove.

 Finally a peek at a different project I have been working on the past few days.  I am cleaning out the dresser and closet in the guest room that I use for non quilting crafts.  I have discovered things that disappeared long ago, and also things I don't remember ever seeing before!  Here is my dining room table with the contents of two dresser drawers.  This clean up and out will make it a lot easier to find what I need.

Thanks again, Judy, for motivating me to get some UFO's done in 2017. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Get it Done - 2017 UFO List

Looks like it has been nearly 3 years since I last wrote a blog post.  I recently retired, and have been adding things in to my life that I didn't make time to do while I was working.  Blogging will be one of them, and quilting will be another.  To motivate me in my quilting, I am joining Judy at Patchwork Times in the 2017 Get it Done UFO Challenge.  Here is the info on the challenge.  The idea is to make a list of 12 UFO's. Judy will pick a number each month, and that is the UFO you will work on.  I am making one small change.  My sister will be visiting at the end of January, so no matter what number is drawn, I will be finishing her quilt in January.

Here is my list-

1.  Nan's Star Quilt

Christmas Star Quilt

This month I chose 2 UFO's.  The blue star quilt only needs binding, so thought I'd have time for another project. 
The Christmas star quilt was a wedding gift started in 2008.  I started sashing these, and ran into some blocks that were wonky.  It looks like I even took part of it apart.  Since I made this, I used one of the fabrics in another project, and it bled.  So will redo that block, fix any issues, sash, make a backing, layer, quilt and bind.

2. Happy Scrappy Houses
This is a free pattern from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville.  I can't find a picture in my computer.  It was one of the earliest tops I did.  It needs to be quilted and bound.  The backing is all ready to go.

3. Paper Doll Quilt
Currently all this is, is a piece of fabric.  I bought it in 2009, intending to make a lap quilt for my mom.  That is still my intention.  I think I will cut it into rows, and put pinwheels of '30s repro fabric between them.   So this needs to be designed, cut, pieced, assembled, layered, quilted, bound.
Second UFO for this month would be a string pieced 30's quilt, made with scraps from the Paper Doll quilt.  I have collected embroidered pillowcases, dish towels and other items to use as the center of each block.  Combining these in one month, as I can't do the second until I finish the first.

4. Disappearing 9 patch.

 This was a Christmas gift in 2014. Still not quilted.  I need to make the back.  This may be sent out to be quilted.

Secondly is Razzle Dazzle. 

Started in July 2016 on a quilt cruise to Alaska with Bonnie Hunter.  I still have some cutting to do, and several more blocks to complete.  I am farther along than the above picture, there are many blocks that are partially completed.

5. NYE Heart Quilt
Started this with a yahoo group called Quilt Talk.  It was a New Years Eve mystery.  I was in over my head, at that time I wasn't too accurate on my seam allowances, and with all the small pieces, it soon turned in to a mess.  Will have to do some seam ripping on this, find the instructions, and sew it back up.  Also need to make a back.

6. My Blue Heaven
I took this class with Bonnie Hunter in September 2015. Another of her free patterns. I have all the hourglass blocks done, including the border.  Have all the stars cut out and many done.  I have a possible border fabric, but may change that.  Need to piece backing.

7. Christmas tree skirt

Just needs binding. Actually may need quilting too.  Since this is a smaller project, added a second one. This is for donation to my church's Art Auction.

Travel Quilt
Fabrics for this came from a Yahoo group called Noodles and Nickels.  We exchanged 5" squares and 2 1/2" strips.  It is partially quilted.

8. 30's 9-Patch

This is cut out only.  Pattern is from an Alex Anderson book on rotary cutting.   Will do pieced backing.

9. Christmas Hearts

This was the first quilt I pieced.  I started to hand quilt it.  I have about a 6 inch area done.  I am thinking of taking that out and putting it on my Grace frame to hand quilt.  I have not done anything on the frame yet, this would probably be a good place to start.  Needs quilting and binding.

10. Scrappy Bargello

Another Bonnie Hunter free pattern.  I have all the strips cut, and 3 of the columns sewn.  I have chickened out on cutting the columns into strips.  So needs another column sewn and some courage. Will piece backing.

11. Sisters Choice

Yet another Bonnie free pattern. Out of all of these, this is the one I really want to finish.  I started it in Spring 2016.  I have about 25 of the 9 patches done, and fabric picked for more.  Have had fun picking pairs of fabrics for the 9 patches.  So still have cutting, and piecing and ..... all the rest for this one. Another pieced backing.

12.  Secret quilt.  This is for a sister, and have only purchased fabric.  Need to start with a design and go on from there.

Among all these, I also will be working on Bonnie's Maverick Stars as a leader/ender project. (I reversed the lights and darks on mine. )

 This ends up being 17  UFOs.  This is almost all of my UFOs.  I'm looking forward to some finishes and some great strides on others.  Will blog at the beginning and end of each month to show my intentions and my accomplishments. 
While digging out these UFOs, I found that several of them stopped in their forward progress because I ran into problems I didn't know how to fix, and I just stopped.  Now, these problems don't seem so insurmountable. I also came across pictures of a lot of finishes.  Maybe I'll do a post on those one of these days, to prove that I can finish things.

Thanks, Judy, for the inspiration to Get it Done!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week 3 Stash Report - January 19, 2014

A fairly quiet sewing week.  Didn't touch the binding on my sister's quilt.  I decided I could make some items that were on my mental UFO list and use up a bit of fabric.  Not everything needs to be a full size quilt. 

I made a 10 Minute Table Runner for a silent auction at work in 2012.  Two coworkers who did not win the auction were disappointed.  I decided then to just go ahead and make them each one.  This didn't get done in time for Christmas 2012 or 2013.  However, they will be their first Christmas gifts for 2014!  I bought the center fabric in 2012 or early 2013.  It's the same fabric used for the auction table runner, only off the clearance table this time.  The border/backing fabric is estate sale fabric.

The blue is darker than the picture, more of a royal blue.  I like the blue one best, the design is omni directional.  The red one is uni directional, so the Christmas trees are upside down on one side. 

Although they are called 10 Minute Table runner, it took me just under an hour to make each of them.  The only thing I had done ahead was decide on the fabric.  I think even with the fabric cut, it would take me more than 10 minutes to complete. 

When I got them done, I decided to do a little more.  I chose a decorative stitch on my machine and topped stitched all the way around the blue one.  Decided to cut back on time on the red one and just did the stitching across each end.  I ended up liking it better. 

Here's a pic of the corner, so you can see the difference.

I did do a bit more on the Maverick Stars, but no more complete.

Didn't even go anywhere that sold fabric this week, so didn't buy anything.  Yippee!

Fabric in this week:  0 yards
Fabric in Year to Date:  .5 yards
Fabric out this week: 1.66 yards
Fabric out year to date:  4.66 yards

Total Change - 4.16 yards out

Check Judy's blog, Patchwork Times, for other stash reports.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stash Report 2 - 1/12/14

As I started to write this,  I noticed my header seriously needs to be updated.  I think those clematis are from the summer of 2012.  If I showed a picture of my yard right now, it would feature half melted snow, dead leaves and mud.  But that's not what we are here to talk about.

Not much happened on the sewing front this week.  I am going to try to finish up some UFO's this year.  The first is binding a quilt for my sister, Nan.  My mother bought the top from a friend probably 10 years ago, and about 2 years ago I paid to have it quilted on a long arm.  Before Christmas I cut the binding strips from the excess backing.  This week I ironed them. Today I trimmed the edges of the quilt. Are you beginning to see why I don't have many finishes?  And since I neither purchased or sewed any of this, I won't be counting it as part of my stash busting.

I just mentioned that I want to finish up UFOs.  So this week I started a new project.  I know.  I want to use this as a leaders and enders project, but thought I'd better make a couple of blocks, to be sure I like them.  I'm going to make some Maverick Stars from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.  Here are the two I have completed.

 I am making light stars on dark backgrounds, as I have a lot fewer light than dark scraps.  My squares will be cut 2 1/2", so will take about 25 blocks to use a yard of fabric.  If my math is correct.  I think.  I won't even try to count the little scraps I will be using to make the star points.  I did cut both light and dark squares for this project this week. 

My scraps are organized (ha) by my own system.  Bonnie Hunter has a thorough description of her organization system on her blog.  I did not want to cut up fabric without knowing what it was going to be used for.  So, I came up with three scrap quilts I wanted to make, and sorted and cut fabric with those projects in mind.  Anything larger than a fat quarter is stored in a drawer or shelf in my sewing room.  Smaller pieces were cut, when possible, into 2 1/2" x 16" strips, for a future Scrappy Bargello quilt (also from Bonnie Hunter).  I need 128 strips and I have over 80 cut.  Smaller pieces are sorted into a string quilt box and a crumb quilt box.  I made a string quilt top last summer (also on the UFO list) and have made some crumb blocks.  I went back through these boxes this week and pulled what I can use for the Maverick Stars, my fourth ongoing scrap quilt. 

Now my scraps will be sorted into Bargello, Strings, Crumbs and Maverick Stars. 

I got a email coupon from my favorite fabric store this week.  From reading other blogs, I know that coupons can get us in trouble.  However, this was for only one piece of fabric, so I couldn't go too crazy.  I ended up buying a half yard of  this -
which I plan to use to bind the Maverick stars, in some far off someday.  Been wanting to do a striped binding.

It has taken me half of forever to get to the point of this blog, my stash report.  I'm sorry, I cannot tell a short story. 

Fabric in this week:  .5 yards
Fabric in Year to Date:  .5 yards
Fabric out this week: 0 yards
Fabric out year to date:  3 yards

Total change:  2.5 yards out

If you want to read other (mostly shorter) stash reports, check out Patchwork Times.

If you're still with me, here is my favorite find from the 3 estate sales I went to this weekend.
I plan to use it to bring in veggies from my little garden this summer.

Hope you all have a great week.  Happy Sewing.    

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stash Report 1 - 1/5/14

I have been reading the stash reports at Judy L's blog, Patchwork Times, for quite a while.  I found all sorts of reasons why I shouldn't participate.  I buy a lot of my fabric at estate sales, so I'd have to measure it all.  I even buy scraps,  how do you measure an ice cube bag of 1960's garment sewing scraps like I recently purchased. Do I count fabric that's not for quilting? How do you count as yards when you make those scraps into crumb or string blocks?  Finally decided to just do my best  guess, and use this report as more of a way to see what I have used, instead of worrying about how much comes in.  And it will also become a way of showing some of my bargains.  I like showing those off.

Today I finished a baby quilt for a coworker.  My quilting career contains a lot more starts than finishes.  This is the biggest project I have completed. 36" x 36" I learned a lot about piecing, quilting, binding, and measuring for your backing correctly.  The 4 patch blocks and binding are all from stash, I did buy the back piece, to go with the baby's safari animal nursery. 
Four patches, arranged by color

When you don't buy enough backing, you improvise

My personal rules for this report will be to only report fabric out when the project is complete.  Before that, it is still in my sewing room.  Hopefully this will inspire me to finish some of my works in progress. 

This week's report -

Fabric in this week:  0
 Fabric in Year to Date:  0

Fabric out this week: 3 yards
Fabric out year to date:  3 yards

Total change:  3 yards out

If you want to see more stash busting reports, go to Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Cutest Purse Ever!

When I started this blog, one reason I chose the name was to force me to post timely happenings in my life.  I think I should have been realistic and called it Two Weeks Ago I....

And it has been just over two weeks ago that I made myself a purse that I absolutely love.  It started with a tutorial I saw at Mommy by Day Crafter by night.  (Thank you for the great tutorial.) She had made an adorable purse for her two year old daughter.  If you'd like to check it out, go here. 

As I said, this was originally made for a two year old.  I'm not 2, so needed to make it larger.  I used my best elementary school math skills and recalculated the sizes of all the fabric pieces.  I measured a couple of my current purses to determine the size I wanted.  I was trying for 10' x 12' and 4" deep.  To double check my calculations (since elementary school was a LONG time ago) I made a mock up out of newpaper. 

Lovely, isn't it?
I started with these fabrics-
The larger print is by Amy Butler, and I'm not sure about the small print.
I had made the pleats a half inch deep on the newspaper pattern, and liked the look.  I added a pocket on each side of the interior.  My math skills turned out a little less than perfect, as the finished size ended up being 9" x 12".  But I'm very happy with how it turned out.  If I make another, the only change I'll make is to add interfacing to the straps. 

Isn't it cute!

One final, totally unrelated, thought.  If you have a trampoline, make sure you anchor it down, or you might end up with this. 
We had a tornado hit about 2 1/2 miles from here, and this is what happened about a block away.  Fortunately we had little damage.  Isn't this amazing?  That's a full size trampoline up there. 

Good night all!