Thursday, March 31, 2016

March finishes/ April plans

   March finishes......the water color wall hanging got a sleeve, binding and label.  I love the colors in this one and got it hung up to enjoy.

   Leftover batik strips became a table runner.  I am donating this to our local guild for the $ door prize basket.

  Small lap quilt was my Let's Book It project for the month.  I had a big head start on this one, as the string blocks were already made.  Here's the post of its story.

I looked back to see what plans I had for March and I was happy to see I got them completed.   The bow tie blocks are being assembled into a top....finally.  I must have re-arranged those things a dozen times.   In the end.....the last one looked like the first one, and that is it.   You would think by now, I would know that is how it would end :)

  April days will be busy.

  • A 2 class session for Beginning free motion quilting  is scheduled at my LQS.  I need to print off more pages and make sure I have the right samples pulled. 
  • Cut squares for watercolor workshop in May.  Print off handouts.
  • A trip north to visit daughter.....Sir Old Man has a couple of small projects to do for her while we enjoy a visit.   Hoping for good weather!

  • I have inspiration for a new Let's Book It.....just need to decide if it will be big or small.  
  • Quilting is needed for a Habitat quilt that I bought home from guild last month.  Backing needs to be pieced and then it can be pinned.
  • Make circles!  
  • Bow Tie quilt......I may let this one rest until next month.

  Two small mug rugs....need to be quilted.  Some days I just need a diversion, and these little projects are perfect for that.  Plus I get some color therapy time.....nothing like finding scraps that work together.  I think I will finish these today.

  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

More circles

  The March family of circles.....almost.  I missed a day somewhere in my count.  I am at Day 121.  A couple of stories from the circles.......

  I picked the fan fabric to remind me of the week of heat that arrived the first of March.  I was afraid summer had moved in to stay.

  See those safety pins?  They are not for diapers, but for pinning quilts.  Sir Old Man was helping me pin a quilt one day.......he likes to be helpful that way.  When we finished, he politely told me it was time to stop by the store and pick up some new pins.  I was puzzled and said that no, I had enough.  He replied, " Yes, but they are all bent."   I got a good giggle over that.  So this circle makes me smile.
  The split circle is for Pi Day.  I couldn't find pie fabric in the stash, so I just winged this one.   The large butterfly.....the first day of Spring!

  A circle from some regional fabric I picked up on our trip to Alaska a few years ago.   The trip was a pilgrimage to  visit  part of Alaska where Sir Old Man grew up.   A week was not enough to cover it all, but we did visit a couple of places he lived and remembered.  I was glad to actually see in person this beautiful state after hearing all his family stories.

   Simple field of daisies was selected for the anniversary day this month.  My wedding bouquet was white daisies and yellow rose buds.  What else would you chose in
I still love daisies.

    Swap anyone?
 I discovered I had cut some duplicate squares for circles in my stack.  I am trying not to repeat fabrics, but after 5 months I probably have.  I am using a 4 1/2'' background square.  These squares for the circles are 4'' cuts.  They are available for trade.
   If you are making circles and would like to swap a couple of squares with me, leave a comment and I will get back to you to trade.

   That's the wrap for March......I am going to have to dig deeper to keep this going.  Linking to Quiltyfolk blog for Quilty 365.
Happy stitching.  

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Let's Book it....March

  This Let's Book It project began in December took me forever to find the original post.    After I got about this far, I stopped.  It hung on the design wall taking up space.  I hated it.  Eventually, I moved on to other projects that suited me.  These blocks were tossed into the scrap bin.

  A couple of months ago, I ran across them again.  In my desire to clean up and clear out, I hacked them down---getting rid of that awful border.  I decided to sew them together in one long row and maybe do a runner.  I got the long runner/banner strung together in February, but ended up doing a much smaller project for Let's Book It.   Once again, I  moved it and just hung this section on the closet door.

   When I was going through my boards on Pinterest for items for a Friday finds post last month, I found inspiration on how to finish this off.  I really wanted to do a small lap quilt rather than a runner.   I like having a couple of small lap quilts on hand to gift when I see a need, and this would fit the bill.

  I had some yardage in the stash closet that i simply added to each side to create an offset layout.  Fast and easy to do.  Plenty of quilting space created....I needed some practice.

   March arrived and I was way ahead of the game on this.  I showed the "new" to me quilting design called  Fern Twist.  That's it just to the right of the string section.  Then I added rows of swirls, threw in some feathered swirls, did some wavy lines through the strings....and so on.

   On the narrow side, I added a long band of feathers and added some stacked teardrops and meandering.  Whoever gets this one will have a time figuring out the different motifs and wondering "what was she thinking".

Bindings added were whatever was in the binding box.

  Strings II Redo completed.
Size is 40'' by  50''.

And another Let's Book It ---details at Vroomans Quilts----begun, tossed and redesigned to completion.

  Insight:  Don't waste those extra blocks, even if you hate them.  A simple setting can turn them into a useful quilt.

  I feel good with this redo......using blocks, using extra binding.....all for a cute quilt.  Consider joining us for a Let's Book It project to use up some stash/scraps.
Enjoy and happy stitching.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Table runner done!

All it needed was the binding, so this was an easy finish yesterday.  I used mixed scraps from the batik bin to match the colors in this one.

  A close up of some of the feathers.

The opposite side with more feathers......and a single "dogwood" style blossom in the center.

  My cell phone doesn't take the best photos but I have a little Canon camera now to play with.  A new menu and function selection to learn.......something about that says "teaching an old dog new tricks".   LOL :)

  Success is finishing a project, crossing it off the list,  and moving on.  That's my plan and I am sticking/stitching to it.  After I make a run to the market, that is.
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Digital and design

 My camera is kaput......actually it is the SD card that went bad.  It is of an age that is not replaceable.  Read that as no longer made.  I knew the time was coming but lived in denial that I couldn't nudge it along a while longer.  Just like this Windows 10 junk.....which I hate with its automatic updates and changes. I never know what I will find when I hit the computer each morning.  So these will be my last pictures until I make the trek to the store for a new one.  

  Bow tie blocks on the design wall.

  This was the arrangement from yesterday.
Most of the light values are clustered in the upper corner and darks at the bottom left.
I have a basic directional layout with a few circle sections thrown in.

Then I shifted the lights more to the center.  The medium value blocks were moved up and around to fill in the gaps.

I can see the differences but can't make up my mind.  I went back to look at the original layout.

  Then I tried a collage photo of all three to see it that helped me. Unfortunately, I can not alter the spacing enough to get equal sizes.   I am more confused now, I think.
I don't really have a clear vision in my head, so that tells me to give it a rest.   Then I will come back and probably take it all off the wall and start again.

  I can always work on a few circles.....the one consistent thing on my agenda.  They don't break, get outdated, have feet that move them about.  They don't have keys that stick or a space bar that locks up.  No, the circles patiently sit and wait for me to add them to my box of finished ones.  They don't cause me to fume, rather they tell my story in a way.   I like the calming influence of the circles.
Happy stitching!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Some not so perfect quilting

 After a whirlwind couple of days....including a quick cookout, I needed some sewing time to unwind.

   I got a couple of hours free over the weekend to do some quilting.   I had pieced the small batik table runner, so it got my attention.  Through the center I quilted a free form flower--center and petals---and a trail of leaves to join them.

  This is the backside of white and it shows better.   Note that not each flower is the same size.....and not every petal is perfect.  Even in the flower garden, imperfect petals are the norm around here!  I mostly hit the mark on them and that is exactly how it grows in the garden.

    Back to the front side.  I debated on just a stipple in the light areas.......but some feathers won out.  Each area of light is quilted just a bit differently, too.  Some feathers curve, others are sort of wavy, and the last two curl around.  It is hard to break with the habitual free motion "hand" that you develop, I think.

   This pattern is from Connie at Freemotion by the River.  I was working with leftover parts and had to reduce the width about an inch.  That is when I realized that the pattern is quite similar to  the "Soul Seaching" block.    Using scraps I could easily turn a section into a block using a mix of scraps in a single color.  I may add that to my plan for later this year.
  Life returns to a sort of normal routine this week, and I have lots to bits to clean up.  Happy stitching.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Finds Creativity

From Pat this.:
From Pat Sloan
   Creativity keeps popping up in a lot of parts of my life right now.....or at least that is the word I keep seeing.   First it popped up as the topic for this week's Bible study.  I was reminded that God fills us with imaginings and the skills to fulfill them.  That was so affirming for me.
    Next I run across this poster from Pat Sloan, a creative guru if there is one.   It's good to have positive affirmations to remind ourselves that our quilting passion is our creative passion.  Embrace it and enjoy.

Free Easter Printables | faberge egg inspired design with small flower details.: From Hub pages.......printable coloring pages for Easter.   I actually saved this to use as a pattern template for  I had visions of making mug rugs with decorated eggs on maybe next year I will get an earlier start.  But a few printable pages would be fun to tuck into Easter baskets, along with some markers. 

 : From for a Friendship star block.   There are a couple of different sizes shown with cutting measurements.  Also, there are links to some variations.  Perfect block to put together from leaders/enders!  I really need to make use of my box of triangles.  

WOW! Love the color!:

   Creative setting and use of color in this quilt!  Naturally my eye was attracted by the color and value in this and then I looked closer.  The diagonal setting gives it a fresh updated look for the simple squared boxes.  Of course, this might be a good setting for some orphan blocks, too.  

 From Pinterest.....the link is dead but says it was found on

Update:  Here is the correct link from the maker,  Cathy Tomm 


   For EQ users......Do you eq blog offers great tips.  This short tutorial was on creating labels in EQ7 to print out for your quilt.  
  While you are sure to check out the fabric giveaways from Moda!

As always, please visit the  original sources that I have linked for pinning.  
Enjoy these finds and happy stitching!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Timely reminder

  If you have followed me for a while, you know how I detest and carry on about that time change thing that happens twice a year.

  •   Spring forward----I loose an hour of sleep.  
  •   It messes up my body clock and takes a full week to recover.  
  • Sir Old Man teases me and messes with my head over this. This year he quietly moved the automatic timers settings this past week just to confuse me.   He thought I would not notice....ha!
  • The only good thing is it's a reminder to me to change my rotary blades!
  So of course, I need to include a circle to commemorate this dastardly event.  Day/night or night/day.....take your pick!  I stole this idea from Mary at Hill Country Quilter.     I joined two background squares and cut them to size.  Then I cut the circle from the pieced scraps.    Thanks, Mary, for this idea! 

  I finished up my Let's Book It project, but will save that for a full post later this month.  I will share a peek at it because I tried a new to me FMQ motif.   It's the first row you see on the left.   The motif is called Fern Twist and a video tutorial is here.  

  I practiced on paper to get the muscle memory thing down before I tried it here.  The three spikey parts are easy, but I had to concentrate to be sure to have each unit  reversed.  I did take her advise about spacing.  I marked a line with chalk for each unit.....a palm's width for each one in this case.   
  It's a great stitch....not too dense, and would be a good one for borders.   So I will add it to my motif library journal.  

I have 60+ bow ties done....enough to begin design play.   It is Spring break visit time, along with a full schedule of appointments for next week.    My time in the sewing room will be limited......minus that hour we will lose tonight!!  
  Happy stitching anyway:)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Celebrate #100!

100 circles......I am staying on track....with a little help.

   I borrowed this idea from Liniecat.....A selvedge edge circle.   Since I don't save them, I had to dig through the trash can, but I found a few to stitch together.  They are simply overlapped and stitched to get a section large enough for a circle.  Just fun to include.

  You know temperatures are warmer and Spring is near when the robins are busy pecking in the yard for those yummy worms and such.  I sat on the front porch for a while just enjoying their antics.

  Other circles of the week....the one in the left corner I will call my "Mary Jo's circle".   This fabric was part of a mystery quilt I was working on a few years back.   And naturally, the directions were wrong and I needed more of it.  Sir Old Man graciously drove me to Mary Jo's in Gastonia.  It is  a quilter's delight and staple shopping experience here in the Carolinas.   Anyway, we got there, and the fabric was sold out.  But Mary Jo's is known for helping.....they ordered a bolt so I could get the extra yardage.   I only have a small amount left, so I needed to remember that trip!

And for that special is number 100!  Not made by me, but by Pat at Amity Quilter.  I saw this cardinal on her blog last week, and  said "I want that block".  Isn't the color beautiful!  She said sure and put it in the mail to me!  
   Only a blogger friend will give you the block off her design wall.   The rest of the story is she was in need of some extra blue fabric to finish her husband's quilt, which luckily I could offer in return.  Plus, I claim the cardinal as my sign of hope.  I often hide a cardinal among the foliage in my watercolor quilts, as well as include a cardinal graphic on my labels.
  Happy stitching.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Bow Ties on design wall

  Along with making circles, I have been putting together bow tie blocks.  One or two each day........They are taking over the design wall.  I am up to 50----6 '' blocks.
Don't worry, I know some are turned the wrong way....I will play with them when I finish another dozen or so.


   I took the same photo and turned it into black and white for  value comparison.  If I end up doing a true color wash effect, you can instantly see which blocks need to be switched around or moved.
  This little trick is helpful to remember for even a scrap quilt.  Do you want to concentrate the values, or spread them out?  The color can confuse the eye....but black and white won't lie.

   I had a question over the weekend from someone working with charm packs.  Her design was looking flat and had ''no life in it''.  From the photo I could tell she lacked dark values to show up the light and medium values.   To me, that is the biggest problem with charm packs, etc.......most of the values are medium and light with maybe one dark.  Even a 4 patch or 9 patch design benefits from a good dose of dark to make the lighter fabrics shine.
   I'm quilting on the Let's Book It re-make......almost to the edge, so I need to dig out bindings soon.    Tomorrow is clean up the sewing room day and put fabric back in the closet.  It looks like a tornado when through it after a cutting session for the bow ties!  Wish I could live in the chaos but not possible.  
Happy stitching.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Finds Triangles for March

  I learn best by doing.  I may see something I like and remember it.  To store it in memory, actually doing it is best for me.

  So when I saw this quilting tutorial by Jenny Dorn at Missouri Star Quilts on Wonky Stars  , I needed to try her technique.
  Of course, it works, is easy, and uses up some scraps and bits.  This one uses 2 1/2'' squares or jelly roll parts with a plain background.  If you follow Bonnie Hunter, you might see it as a Maverick Star with a plain background.  Either way, it's a fun block and you can ignore matching points for a change.  Great for a whole quilt--increase the size even--- or a cute border idea.

quilt pattern:
From Creative Chicks
  Then I saw this fun/ funky triangle quilt at Creative Chicks  .   In this colorwash style quilt,  the triangle corners are all sizes---large, small, fat and skinny.  All the blocks used were trimmed to 4 1/2''  before joining.  So its a great idea for all those odd ball corner triangles we create.....the sizes don't have to match.  I know I have a bin of them somewhere.  I am too cheap to toss them out since the price of fabric is so high.  And if 4 of these are turned and twisted.....a friendship star could be made.

8487157718 B2a946220e O  I enjoyed and had a good laugh when I saw this quilt tutorial.  She calls it the Conversation Quilt.  I love it.....And it uses more of those small triangles to complete the improvisational piecing of the conversation bubble.  Too cute as it gives me ideas for a "he said, she said" version!  One conversation bubble a day for a month and you could make a quilt.....just saying :)

As always, please visit the original sites for pinning.
Enjoy the finds and happy stitching.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Quiet Time----Water color finish

 I shared this watercolor wall hanging in earlier posts from the "look what I had forgotten" stage, through the sewing and on to the borders.
  I loved the comments and one from Wanda at Exuberant Color was that purple is a neutral and I should have a good supply in my stash of it.   Such an enabling comment, so I listened to the teacher and quickly ordered more purples!

  It is hard to capture the glow in a watercolor quilt. The camera eye focuses on the light and I never know if the rest of the quilt will be the right color.  So I took a series of shots in different light to see how it affects it.
Here is a shot inside the house with  good light streaming in.

     Next I went to the front porch.  Bight light behind me, and the wall hanging in shaded area.  The purple is okay but the border is washed out.

  Next to the back porch area with softer shade and no bright direct light.  The colors are better.

  Finally, back inside and I threw it on the floor in the office.......nice!  Indirect light that is not too bright gives a glow and still allows the colors to show.  
  I called this one Quiet 
Time.  Just finding a silent spot to rest and reflect is difficult.  So viewing this one causes me to reflect a little bit and calms my spirit.  Finished size is 23'' by 30''.  Quilted with a meandering stitch in the center and open swirls in the border.  

  I am pinning my Let's Book It project today, and have a circle to do.  If you haven't viewed this month's linky for the circles, here it is.  There are some great ideas and circles to see.  Lots of creative spirit showing there.  Or check out my Pinterest board on Quilty 365 circle ideas.      Happy stitching!

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