Saturday, January 30, 2016

Circles for January

  Before I get to the circles.....can you tell me why a company would make a double wall oven with self cleaning only on the top one?   That makes no sense at all.  Are you going to only bake/cook in one of them?  Both ovens need to be cleaned.   I mainly use the lower oven for reheating or baked avoid spills and splatters there.    I am sure the companies have a conspiracy of a sort to annoy me about this!
  Thursday I spent most of the day with my head in the lower oven, trying to make it presentable.  I am allergic to most cleaners, so I did the baking soda scrub.  Then I set the top one to self clean while I cleaned out the cabinet under the sink. and did laundry, and a few other chores that I had neglected for too long.    A quick trip to Walmart for new silicon oven liners and I am ready to mess them up again.    Still annoyed, but I have clean ovens.

 Are you making circles?

   This month I missed a couple of life got in the way....... doctor's visits,  oven cleaning, and a call at 8 am to say your  credit card has been hacked.  You know those kind of challenges that over take you.

   Most days, the circle is the first thing I do in the sewing room.     Finding fabric that holds a memory,  or just jumps up and says "use me",  is a nice start to say the least.  Be sure to note the black and cream stripe on the end of the second row.  This one is the found fabric like Sir Old Man's shirt.....Bonnie Hunter did not get it after all!  I found carpenter tool fabric,   a red hat...that I had to put on purple, and blue sky fabric.

   I am waiting before I begin any joining of rows or sections.    Just following my gut instinct that I need to wait for more variety / additional inspiration for the layout.   I am not sure how big I want this to be....or should I make two throw size?   So for now, I will add these to the box of circles and think about next month.

  It's not too late to begin your circle project.....linking to Quilty 365 at Quilty folk blog.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

January Let's Book It

  A welcome sign is symbolized in a pineapple.....or so the story goes.  I shared this pattern on Friday finds a couple of months ago.  I thought it would be great to have as a wall hanging in the guest room.

  Simple squares of gold and tan for the pineapple, topped with a crown of green Dresden plate segments.  Then it was border time......

At first, I was a bit concerned about the bold pattern of the fabric I selected.  It had the perfect tones of the green and gold along with that rich purple.

   To soften the effect, I added a simple extra border to the top and bottom only.  Just a few scrap logs extended the overall length.  Now it was looking better.

 I quilted in a lot of texture around the pineapple that now adorns the storage cabinet where I keep the extra quilts.  I used a light binding to contrast with the border fabric---again to soften it---and to be a nice contrast against the dark cabinet.  

  Oh....lest we forget.  The ugly fabric is on the back....the color matches.  No peeking to admire that!!  Just enjoy the welcome to our home and enjoy your stay.

Dust Off Those BooksLinking to Let's Book It at Vrooman's Quilts.     

  If you haven't joined or don't know about Let's Book It...the details are at Sharon's blog on the Book It page.  Simply select a project from your collection of saved patterns and create it.....large or small, start it, change it,  or better yet..... complete it.  Then share at the end of each month.  It's Sharon's way to enable/encourage us to enjoy our projects.  At the end of the year, you will be surprised at what you accomplished!   And those small projects make great gifts  :)

Final note......followers have been dropping this week....Google is cleaning house.  If you are a regular blogger, great.  If you drop in occasionally, that is great too.  You might consider following your favorite blogs by email if you do not wish to join google.   Check the sidebar and sign up.  My understanding is that you can join google and get a "dashboard" to read your favorite blogs with out writing one.  That way you can also comment.  technology....such a headache!  I'd rather be stitching.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Finished orange peels

  In September/October of last year, I began working on the orange peels block.  It was to be part of my Year of Florals....using traditional pattern translated into a colorwash effect using floral prints.  My original intent was to mix up the florals, but in the original layout, I realized that was not to be.

 Each layout produced that stronger colorwash effect.
  I finally gave up trying to be different and let the values and fabrics create the design that pleased my eye.

   This became the final setting for the orange peels....which I named Season's Glow.  Begun in the fall and finished in mid-winter, it seems to catch the light of the seasonal sun.

  I kept the quilting simple on this one because for me it is all about the fabrics and values.  Outlining the peels was done free hand---no rulers----so you may see some inconsistency.  That's okay by me.  The outer border was done in loose swirls....enough and not too much.

  The fabrics are a big assortment of florals from the stash closet.  No duplicates in the peels either!  Call me guilty of hoarding florals I love.   The border fabric is a soft mottled gray tonal print that was also used as background in some of the orange peel blocks.  I had enough of it on hand and liked the way it looked.

Season's  Glow:
Overall size is 55'' wide by 65'' long.

    Now to stitch down the hanging sleeve and I can call it done.  I took my time on this one....a plus for enjoyment.  Future enjoyment....the visual treat of the glow it has.

  Happy stitching.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Testing blocks again

  This is a second try on the stacked strips block.  I put the light in the center surrounded by darker values.  The corner pieces are part of background....and I kept it consistent using only one fabric.
  Result:  It is blah to me and not what I was going for.  It is that "background" fabric that is too consistent with no blending.  I want the block to be noticed but I do love that blended look.

  This photo shows the second try at the top....and the strong/stark block.  The lighter values in the center are better.....but I am not liking the background.

  At the bottom for comparison is the first block with the dark in the center.  It is very muddy and the block disappears.  I also do not like the striped effect that I used for the sashing here.  That has to go.

  So yesterday I made some adjustments.

   I removed 3 of the corner pieces on the second block with the lighter center....on the bottom now.  Much better, as I can still see the block but it is softer with the new corner pieces.

  Second adjustment was to  try different fabrics for the sashing piece.   Both of them work....and I will mix in whatever else I find in the stash closet.
  Result:  This is more of the effect that I was after....a softer, blended look.   I want the block to be seen or noticed but not jump out at you.  I like the edges to blend and fade into the background.

  Now I am ready to slice up some very special fabrics that I have been saving for a while.    And a binding to attach....almost to the finish line with one  :)   Happy stitching. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Find

A quick one for this week.
Createology: Dressed In JOY...:

Photo borrowed from Createology blog.  She calls these dresses of joy.  Colorful, simple pillowcase dresses that are being made for a special project called Dresses for Girls around the World.

  I followed her link to 
Brynwood Needlework blog for the details.  She has a page of links to the official site with dress sizes and measurements, armhole pattern, pocket details.
Note those pockets that make each dress so different, and just perfect for a small doll.
Please visit the links for more details if you think you would like to participate.

One more appointment today....and then time to sew.  Happy stitching.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Willa said......

This is the week of the full calendar ---- dentists and doctors.  So today is the only day to get some sewing done.

  Over the weekend I put Hot Legs through a workout and got the quilting done on this one......She needs a trim and some binding to be finished.    The quilting is minimal on the orange peels....outline the peels and swirls in the border.  For me, this quilt is more about the design, fabric, and the glow of the layout.

  This morning was spent testing a block idea that has been rumbling around in my head.   While I was sewing,  I could hear Willa in my head saying, always make a test sample to be sure of your measurements, and colors.   Who was Willa?  A very dear lady with incredible quilting skills that I met early on in my quilting life.  She was a formative part of our quilt guild and we all learned so much from her.  I remember walking into our small quilt shop and watching her pull fabrics for a "new quilt".  She had a pattern, but did not like the colors.  She had ideas to improve the layout.  She had 2 or 3 "reject" blocks that she had made.  Willa was sure there were better combinations to be discovered.   Personally, I thought her rejects were beautiful!  So my efforts today are a reminder of the lessons she shared.

Strip Stacks By Erla, Gudrun  - Quilt is made with 2-1/2 strips and yardage for the background fabric. The pattern includes 3 sizes (crib, lap, full). The Lapsize uses 1 Jelly Roll This quilt is very simple to put together, great for beginners.:      The pattern?  This is Strip Stacks by Erla Gudrun.  It is perfect for a jelly roll quilt in 2 1/2'' strips, and I am sure you have seen a few of these around.
   But what if I wanted to use 2'' strips?  Ok, I managed to resize the measurements.   What I was not crazy about was the assembly of those long...long...long vertical bands.  I have done that.  I much prefer a block to work with.  Add to that, I wanted to insure placement so I could get a blended effect using some floral fabrics.

 I created the block on paper, and went to EQ7 to get this.  The basic layout was was adding the wide strip to the bottom of the block that will allow me to create the staggered layout.  Without the wide strip, all the blocks lined up in a blur.
   I realize I am taking away some of the vertical design elements doing this.  The other option is to use longer pieces of the light background to extend to the needed size.

    My sewn sample block using floral fabrics.
I need more testing.

  • Value placement is more crucial to get the look I am going for.  
  • Maybe a consistent background fabric will improve it.
  • Lighter centers strips might be a better arrangement.
  • Try the longer vertical strips for the bottom length.
   Thank you, Willa, for the lessons you gave us.  This one is for you.

Happy stitching.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

After some cutting

    After some cutting I have empty containers to show for it!  Actually, I emptied 8 different boxes and bins, etc.  They each had leftover hunks and strips from finished projects that never got sorted or put away.....just stacked on the floor.
  Benefit is clear floor space and a couple of boxes to toss.

   New storage boxes hold my precut squares that I use for water color quilts.  They stay much neater this way and are easier to access being stored in the cutting table.  Found in the fishing tackle department at big box stores.   Thanks to Elizabeth for the idea!

    With that switch, the stackable drawer sets were empty.  I simply added some dividers---taped in place for now.   I labeled the drawers with sizes.....ala Bonnie Hunter's scrap users system.    Easy to sort, fill and then use!

  One thing I discovered was I had tons of 3'' strips and 4'' strips in the leftover from projects.  Why?  It ddawned on me that is usually the size I cut for border pieces.....and the leftovers were rarely used.  (Those sizes are not in Bonnie's system as they don't often play well with the usual sizes in blocks.)
So note to self-----Cut border strips at 3 1/2'' or 4 1/2'' from now on!

    This is a giggle.......remember that I mentioned Bonnie was eyeing my husband's shirt for a quilt.
I found this 4 '' square in one of the bins.   It is almost identical to his shirt!  I have no idea where I got it, but rest assured I did not touch his shirt.  But I think I will turn it into a circle.

  More circles this week.  I was surprised by the variety of 4 1/2'' background squares that I found in the sorting well as some cuts to make into circles.
   I really do like the different sizes mixed together.  I am not even trying to center the smaller ones, so the off set positions are intentional :)

   Next week's calendar is extremely full, so I am glad I made some headway this week.  I pieced backing and batting for a Habitat quilt that I volunteered to quilt.  So pinning is on my afternoon agenda.  Btw....did anyone win the lottery?  Think of all the fabric you could stash
Happy stitchin.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Finds.....loving it!

Need some love?  How about a Love Notes quilt?
   This is our block of the month at guild.  Our chairman Sue discovered it and  shared this cute technique.  From 2   5'' the edges, cut on the diagonals, sew as a 4 patch to create a cute love note.  Make a wall hanging, small quilt, or mug rugs!
Find the quick tutorial at Missouri Star right here.

Garlic Knots
Maybe these blocks could be called Love Knots.

Here's a link to a great resource.....Bonnie Hunter's Addicted to Scraps at Quiltmaker. 
  Each issue  Bonnie does a column showcasing different blocks for using scraps. Most are archived at Quiltmaker on line.   A good resource for some inspiration.

  A little mini, or a mug rug comes from
Bea at Needle in a Haystack.   She put together a quick version for this one done in Amish colors as an enticement for a Quilt along she would like to start.   See those details here.
 Make it Amish, or any style fabrics you like.

Tamarack Shack: Low Volume Plus Sew Along:   Another sew along is happening at Tamarack Shack.   Kathy and friend are hosting and have provided this easy pattern for a "low volume plus block".  She is doing hers in batiks and they are so pretty.

Nine-Patch Heart: FREE Quilt Block Pattern
Last of all, one more heart to love.  The block begins with a nine patch and  is used to make a very cute table runner.   Heart of the Home tablerunner from McCall's Quilting.  The pattern is in PDF format that you can download and save.

As always, please visit the original source for pinning.
Enjoy...happy stitching.   

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Waste not 3

  A little sewing time yielded a finish!

  Bands of stacked coins and a few strings make a great use it up or waste not style quilt.   Perfect to have on hand for a donation quilt, too.   I used mixed black strings as separator bands for the stacked coins.

  That is one thing Bonnie Hunter mentioned about her scrap quilts......she usually uses one consistent color  in the block/ in the border / or  in the sashing  to bring some unity to all the chaos.  It may not be the same fabric, but the color will be close.    Take a second look at some of her quilts to see what I mean.

  Looking back, I realize I have used the color consistency thing as a design element....just not as much as I should.    For me it is pleasing to the eye.  I often will mix different prints of blue or black or etc for inset strips.

Back to the finish-----
   Quick meandering all over for the quilting gives a soft effect when washed.  And the binding is a long mixture of leftovers from other quilts.

  A little cutting is happening too.....just getting those scraps under control and into usable sizes.  I actually found a place to sort and store them.  I will share more on that as things get into place :)

Remember  Enjoy .....happy stitching.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I need to Cut and Run

  Last night the Queen of Scraps was in town and spoke at our guild.  See Bonnie's post here.    She proclaimed Betty as the lady of the night with all her quilts!
  First, Bonnie's quilts are more beautiful in person, if that is possible.  The colors and textures come alive and reach out and grab you.   Pictures on line and in books are good, but there is nothing like seeing them in person.

  Second, she was all over me in her Scrap Users lecture.  She bases the system on some simple math....she had us adding up sizes to understand her madness!  Fun and funny!    And throwing thread tails in the trash basket is a no-no.....that is why she uses leaders and enders to continually make her quilt units.  Good point with the price of thread increasing too.  

  Third, she was eyeing Sir Old Man's new shirt for a quilt!  Yikes!  He and Roger were quilt holders last night and Bonnie noticed his new shirt.  I have finally gotten him to wear something other than a denim please leave it on him :)

So.......I have been quite slack at cutting up my trimmings and small pieces/hunks of fabric......the basket of them is over flowing.    I need to cut chunks /hunks/ and trimmings into those usable sizes.  Thereby reducing the over flow basket.
I need to run to the sewing machine and get back to making usable units....pull out that basket of triangle pieces and 4 patch squares.   And stitch a lot!
   Yes, it is time to cut and run.  Enjoy....happy stitching. 

Monday, January 11, 2016


  I had already decided to "make" my word for the year before I saw so many others doing it too.  Simple fusing of hand drawn letters, machine appliqued, scraps added for a border...done.

I wanted to pin my word  up on the design wall so it could confront me everyday as a simple reminder to enjoy it all.

The project
The design process
The cutting and sewing
The borders and binding
The quilting...of course!

Each day, no matter what it brings.
Each sunny day, and each raindrop.
Each hug and tear, each meal to cook, and bed to make.
To relish and find the good in everything in this wonderful time of life.

  Then I saw a linky party for this year's words at Elm Street Quilts.   So why not make a mini for your word and join in?   Did I mention there are giveaways too.....hint, hint.
Enjoy....happy stitching.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ugly fabric versus special fabric

The minute I call this the ugly fabric, I know someone will say they like it/ have it/ want it/ or designed it!  But this is the ugliest fabric in my closet!  And it is not an old one, even though it reminds me of a 1950's kitchen counter.  I was gifted this along with some other finds from an estate sale by my bargain hunting daughter.  Included in her find that day was a partial bolt of white cotton....perfect for backing.
   I never refuse fabric.....but what would I do with this ugly hunk?

  It landed on the back of this month's Let's Book It project....which is almost finished.   I can't imagine this on the front of any quilt.  For sure, I will not a make circle with it...LOL.

  Anyone else got some really awful and ugly fabric in their stash?

   A special circle fabric.....I could not resist this fabric.  So I ordered enough for a special pillowcase for Remy for his birthday.  Now his dad won't have to bribe him  so he can wash the Star Wars pillowcase.   I know he will be so proud of it with his name in bold letters.
   Of course, there was enough left over to include in the Quilty 365 :)

   I have binding to finish on the string/coin quilt.....I got sidetracked on a smaller project.  Neither one got finished after I bent over and my back went into spasms.  So I am heading to the recliner and Sir Old Man is prepping soup for dinner.   A little rest and I will be back.   Happy stitching.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday finds....January blocks

  Looking around I think there are two blocks that seem to be everywhere.  Is it the year of the circle or the bow tie?   I am doing the circle dance.....and the bow tie is on my list for this year's projects.  So maybe I am just noticing  things I like.

Val at Quiltyfolk blog is hosting the Quilty 365 challenge for the circles you see dancing all over the place.   These are a few of mine....I have added a half circle for a staggered layout.   And i will be introducing a smaller size of circle too...I think.
 Be sure to visit the linky party and see all the variations.   She also has a page of details on her blog.

Stitchin' Therapy: Bow Tie block:

Bow Ties board on here.   I have a good collection of layout ideas....X and O, blended, on-point, even a zig-zag one! Scrappy ones, ones in batiks, artistic ones. Surely one is calling to you.
This quilt now belongs to Remy....he needed a big boy quilt.

Stitchin' Therapy: Bow Tie block:
Over at Marcia's Crafty Sewing I saw the mini bow tie challenge.  366 days this year and you make a mini bow tie each day.  Or maybe for 6 months you make any size yo want?  If that is the case, check out the great tutorial at Dora Quilts and she includes a size chart to help!

I am considering

rogue quilter:
And the cutest small project I saw this week  was at Rogue Quilter blog!  Since winter has finally arrived for most of us, a few snow balls seemed perfect to match the temps!  Janet enhanced the tree with extra stitches  and gave such personality to Mr. Snowman.   I don't think I will be in trouble for snatching her photo.  Just in case....go visit her for the details.

Free table runner and pillow Patterns | Snowman Quilt Patterns - Free Applique Patterns for Snowmen: Here's a snowman image if you should happen to need one....hint, hint!

Update:  Janet shared the link for the free pattern  for ''Snowball'' by Kathi Campbell for Heart to here it. 

And with that I will call it a wrap.  Please visit the original source for pinning by following the links provided.

Enjoy....happy stitching.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


 Circles......... I am still in the blue bin of saved pieces.  The one on the left is a bit of Liberty of London fabric my daughter bought me over 10 years ago.  I only have odd scraps of it left.
  The dark blue is the last of its kind......and a smaller circle size.   I think a few of this size tossed in will be a little quirky and fun.

 A little play time for creativity-------This circle is not for the Quilty 365.....just inspired by it.
   The block is 9''  with appliqued and collaged bits of floral fabrics.   I am not sure what I will do with it, but it was a fun couple of hours just figuring out how to pull it together.   This one is completely fused, and ended up a bit stiff because of the layers.   I may try a couple  more to create a banner.

  One quilt quilted. This one got a very large stipple and it was done in in just over an hour.  A scrappy binding waits and it will be finished.  Two more to go.

Plans in the works:

  • I have just added the border to my Let's Book It project.   This month will be an easy finish.
  • Since the Quilty 365 circles is a year long project, I have been hunting for a new project.  I have 2 that I am considering.  
  • New fabric arrived for another special pillowcase.  That will get cut and sewn up today.
Remember to enjoy what you do......happy stitching.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Well, that part was easy!

  Finally. something was easy......I found a pin on Pinterest that was my photo.  The problem was it had been cropped---so my Stitchin'  Therapy did not show---and it was linked to another site.  A form of scraping, I would say.  The site it was linked to was forum board---not my blog.  The board did not have my photo on it, so I do not think they were the culprit.

   I immediately sent a complaint to Pinterest  and asked for the photo to be removed.  I had the proof on my blog, so I knew it was scraped.  Reporting the "blog" it was posted on has proved to be is a blogger site covered by Feedly.   I am confused about that part.   I can't find contact info on that blog, but sent off  complaints to several sources to see about getting it removed.    I may not win that one......but Pinterest has removed the pin!  

  And that is why I always encourage you to go to the source when you pin on my Friday Finds.  I borrow photos to show, but always try to give credit to the original source, and a link to the source for details.  If I am ever asked, I will remove the photo.  

 Winter arrived this weekend.....cold and frosty here this morning.  I did the usual chores, and finished pinning three tops to be quilted!  Now to clean up all my little stacks of pulled I can get to Hot Legs!
  Happy stitching.

Friday, January 1, 2016

First month of Quilty 365

 I am on day 32 of the Quilty 365 project, after beginning on December 1.......

and I am a few short!  I missed a few days during the holidays that I will try to catch up on.  Today I added the end piece second row of orange dots on light remember Clemson's win last night at the Orange Bowl.  Lol....I thought they would get stomped on.   

   My circles are machine stitched.  I am using a fusible interfacing technique to stitch the circle first.  It is the same technique I used on the orange here for that post.   The square fabric is cut away beneath the circle after being stitched down.  

    I am also making a few 1/2 circles to end every other row.....I wanted a staggered layout for interest.    Of course, a plain piece would work too.
I am enjoying this project a lot.  I get to dig in the scrap bins, look for pieces I have saved, hunt up some different backgrounds, and play around with color combinations.  Soon I am going to have to pull fabrics from the stash closet for large enough complaints about that.  It will be like shopping :)

  I noticed lots of variations, and sizes at the link up party.  Check it out here at Quiltyfolk blog.   It's not too late to start!  Happy stitching.  

Friday Finds for a New Year

Happy New Year everyone!
  A few things to begin the year:

  •  Blogger changes have begun.  You might check your dashboard list of blogs.....some may have disappeared.  You may not be getting the latest posts from your favorites.  I found a few I had to "re-follow".    And some may have "lost" me.  I notified Blogger, but no word back yet from them.
  • Now is a good time to clean your rotary cutting mat......give it a soak in the bath tub and gently clean off the fuzz.
  • Change rotary cutter blades.  
  • Clean your machine and give it a new needle.  
Every year I promise myself to get organized......good intentions need some inspiration.  
 Fabric storage...... I found a few ways to storage fabric vertically, if you have wall space.  

Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet:

From the Thinking Closet:  Letter/mail sorter idea for fat quarters.    There are several ideas in this post, including closet, shelves, filing cabinet.  

Repurpose the side of an older crib for fabric storage - It would be great for the fabrics I've already pressed and am waiting to cut! #repurposed #fabricstorage:
  From Dwell Delightfully:  A re-purposed  side rail of a baby crib!  I love seeing items re-used in different ways and this one is perfect for holding fabrics, or projects to be completed.  Much better than being stacked on a table or in the closet.  She has instructions on removing the hardware and finishing the ends.  Of course, a handy husband or son could just create something similar.  Just saying!

Space saver quilt display: Quilt storage....from Robinson's Woodcrafts.    This nifty display rack can be custom made to display and store your finished quilts.   Or it would work to hold those flimsy tops waiting to be quilted!   I have a similar one in my sewing room---with only one pole---for a display piece.  I like the staggered design of this one.  

Why do quilts cost so much? Saw this on FB and needed to save it. Cost of a square 65" quilt being $852.65 when buying fabric at $10/yard and valuing your time at $10/hr. Homemade quilts are a wonderful expression of generosity from their maker.:  
   I ran across this at 44th Street fabric.  It's good to remind ourselves of the investment we make in fabric, notions, and such.  Thought I would just pass it on.

  Please visit the original source /link for pinning to your Pinterest page.

Wishing you all a bright and  fabric filled new year.  Happy stitching.
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