Quilts for Sale

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Cutting like crazy

I've been in a mood to do some serious cutting lately. Although I do have a few UFO's I don't really have any kits cut and ready to go as I'd like so I've spent  some time planning a few quilts and have a good start made on cutting them.
Guess which statement here is true.  1. I started this star and chain quilt because Stashbusters is doing a Chain Quilt Challenge. It's really an Irish Chain quilt challenge but the members are all over the place with which chain design they are doing. This works. Or 2. I realized I haven't done a design alternating a simple chain block and star before or maybe just in a while.?. Or 3. I had scraps from my Thousand Pyramids Civil War charm quilt that work perfectly for these star points. Or 4. I saw the pattern someplace, liked it and planned to make it some day Or 5. All the above.  Oh yes. that's it. #5. I have so many skinny pointy triangles that I'll never use them all. Not going to stress about those. I am being selective which ones I use so that each star has the same color for all 8 points. Also I have made a few minor adjustments to construction. One is that the star points are 30-60-90 degree triangles and not a half rectangle. This will float the points a bit, but that is usually a bonus. The other is that each 4 patch in the corner of the chain blocks use a different pair of dark matching squares.

A few of the other quilts I plan to work on this year and have cut are:

1800's Thousand Pyramids charm quilt
Wild goose chase
Kaffe  Fasset Hanging Diamonds on black
Midnight Express with birds -  a pattern of mine but with a classy novelty print
Checkerboard sash around Spinning Spikes
Dbl diamond Lemoyne - maybe just a summer quilt.

And as usual I have no idea how big I will make any of these or why I am making them for that matter. Oh, yes. It's fun. Good reason, right there.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ending 2017

Quite a year for me. I'm pretty pleased with all I got done in the studios considering I had minimum use of my left arm for 5 months. I finished the top shown below New Years Eve day at Studio 3 while Sue basted a quilt. I have another pile of blocks I could have joined but it doesn't interest me much. I made those about 15 years ago. This one is too big for my flannel wall, so I spread it on the bedroom floor at Studio 3. I won't be able to get a full-on shot of it.

I've not tallied all I've done often and I think I track things a little differently than others. For instance I don't track how much fabric I buy in a given year though In the past I'd track how much I spent.  And if I say the fabric is out of my stash I mean not only that the quilt is finished but it is out of the house as well.  I haven't got a clue how much went in or out. But what I do know is I quilted 13 quilts and pieced 8 tops. 4 quilts were donated to a future home for unwed mothers. And a little more work was done on a number of pieces that I didn't start or finish this year.   I didn't do much to help the ladies at church with their comfort quilts this year though I was at most of the meetings. I still helped with coordinating their efforts.                       And my quilters at Studio 3 surprised me with their enthusiasm for my little pine tree quilt. Several of them made 2 or more and several of them were bed sized. Most of us stopped making sampler blocks and worked on other random projects besides the trees. The Friday group also made a Sunshine and Shadow quilt. I like how relaxed the groups are, coming and going as it suits them. Just as retirement should be. I taught them well as I hear them chorus to "Do what you want" when another asks what she ought to do with her collection of whatever block she's made a pile of. 

During the last few weeks of the year I spent some time cutting out a few more quilts. I do like to have a few cut out kits on hand. I am excited about them so they may not remain a kit for long. That means I better plan another one or two soon and get them cut.
Not only is it New Years Day but it's Monday. I 'm going to check out some Linky Parties including

Friday, December 29, 2017

Latest Sampler

Well It's the end of the year and I have accomplished the goals that I set a few weeks ago. Finishing this Sampler top was on the list.
Making a sampler quilt can be a great way to try new techniques, experiment with color combinations or relieve the boredom that comes with repeating identical blocks and I spose lots of other reasons. I made this for the pure joy of using some fabrics I loved. And I love them more each time I handle the quilt. This is probably the last sampler I'll make for a while. They really are more time consuming than lots of other styles. And I'm in a mood to cut more fabric.

Most of the blocks in this sampler were from Barbara Brackmans book Civil War Sampler. I really like the Civil War fabrics but had grown a little tired of using them so chose these fun purples, pinks and oranges. The other  35 blocks in the book can wait for when I'm in the mood to make another sampler. Maybe they will be with Civil War prints.
When you see a quilt pattern do you dismiss it quickly because the fabrics used weren't in your favorite color or style? Or do you consider the design in something other than it is shown,  And then decide if you would like it? I hope you take the time to study the quilt and see what you might do different to make it something you like. I like the pinwheel in the lower left of the next picture. May have to do a quilt with it. Hmmm. Have you made a whole quilt from a favorite block you found in a sampler?

Quilting this baby quilt was on the list, too. I sure like quilting these little ones. They go so fast. I still have to bind it but that only takes a few hours. I'll probably use the muslin.    
 As a teacher I have to think ahead. Might seem early but the Studio 3 crowd will be glad to start their valentine soon. A few I've shared it with already are interested in making theirs bed size.

 There's another top, a big one, that I finished but I left it at Studio 3 and didn't get a picture yet.

My plans next were to quilt a big one for my bed. Silly me.  I never got fabric for the back of that quilt. So I dug into my collection of tops and found another one or two small ones that I can quilt till I go shopping for that back. I do want to get that big one quilted as I want a quilt with a cotton batting for my bed before next summer. I'll set that for my goal for January along with cutting out a quilt or two and beginning to piece the Twilight Hopskotch quilt by Kim Diehl. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Still Learning

I've been working towards my goal for the end of the year. I've got 2 quilts bound, one ready for binding and the quilting on the last one started. 
 Here they are the finished two.

The more I quilt the more fun it gets.

 When I learned to machine quilt I used clear nylon thread on the top and cotton in the bobbin. It was great because I stitched in the ditch alot back then and if I jumped the curb you couldn't see it. As my skills increased I switched to cotton thread. I never liked it though cause I thought it was too thick and sat on top of the quilt. I should have experimented with thinner threads. When I got my longarm I felt like I had to start all over. I had to practice alot till I was comfortable with how my quilting looked. Now that I am comfortable with it I think I am ready to use some contrasting thread once in awhile so that the stitching shows up. I am loving some of the quilting designs that I use but they hardly show up. Also, I must keep in mind that if I don't use a busy print on the back of the quilt that I must hand tie the ends of the threads. My starts and stops are still a little messy. But really, I should try a little harder or I'll never get better.

Since I'm doing so well I'll add to the goal to complete 2 more tops. The blocks have been done for months and I'd like to count them as a finish for this year. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 11, 2017

1980's UFO

I've had a great time quilting this week. I'll share once I get the bindings done. And I got this 1980's star one step closer to completion.

I also spent some time straightening a cabinet and closet. I realized I didn't need to tear it all apart so it was doable in 1 day. When Mark said he was going to his nephews for the day I didn't waste any time and went right to work. I had been afraid that I would be stirring up trouble and coming up with all kinds of plans for new quilts.

That didn't happen. Now I have separated the tops for donation from the ones I want to hang on to and even finish.  I packed away old Thimble berries fabric. Might need what's left for a binding someday, otherwise I'm done with it. I uncovered a few boxes I wish I hadn't. Some I closed up again happy to know a quilt is waiting to be made.

The star shown above was found in a hard to reach drawer. I started it with a friend as a thank you for someone else. It. We abandoned it cause it wouldn't lie flat. This is easily 25 years ago - when we had less experience.  I was able to rework the final section seams without taking it  all apart.

The only matching fabric around to be found was enough for the border. I'll quilt it up and use another brown for a binding and donate it to a good cause.

I've got 3 more quilts I prepped to finish, 2 small and a big one for my bed.  My goal is to finish the 2 smaller ones by New Years eve.  There are plenty of other things to get done before that so I'll be glad to do that much.

Check out these linky parties.
Oh Scrap at  quiltingismorefunthanhousework
Design Wall Monday  at Smallquiltsanddollquilts
Monday Making at  Love laugh quilt

Sunday, December 3, 2017

On a Roll

Even though we've had a gloriously warm week and I've been working in the woods lots, I've still gotten some quilting done. This tabletopper was just waiting for a binding. Now it's waiting for a centerpiece. So there's one item to check off the list.

This morning I straightened up the quilt room.  Rather I started. I'm sorting tops from quilts. Then I'll sort the tops into those I want finished and those that can wait. Then maybe I can get a better idea how I want to prioritize them. Maybe if I can set some goals I can make a list and get all excited to check them off. I've made a list of those I want to piece and it's almost a PHD list too that I could write out. I suppose it would be a good idea to do that. And then post them for everyone to see. I'm real good at cracking the whip in class. I guess I could apply a little pressure to myself as well.

I should be able to finish the quilting on another one tonight. I have to turn the quilt on the frame to do the border. It will take longer to turn it than to quilt it.  It's too late to get that one on the list to check off but it's already on a list of those quilted this year. The list isn't so long this year since I had all that trouble earlier with my arm.   I'm sure glad I don't feel any guilt for having so much fabric I will likely never "use up". Likewise I feel no guilt for having made so many tops that I won't get quilted. It's all good. It's all fun.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Part of the plan

November is always a busy time in the sewing room and this November I did a lot of planning for sewing this winter. It seemed every time I turned around I saw another design I wanted to make. No, I didn't start any of them, and I think I should get credit for that.  I should probably make a list and prioritize them though.

One of the quilts I am going to make is called Twilight Hopscotch by Kim Diehl. Five of the Thursday girls and I plan to start it soon. I found the pattern in The Big Book of Civil War Quilts by Martingale. They recently sent me a copy as they used 4 of my quilts in the book that features 58 designs in 1800's reproduction prints. They also have the  pattern for sale by itself. I've had a hankering to do another quilt with a chain of squares running through it. I've done few of those, so I planned two.

Coincidentally a member of my Stashbusters Yahoo Group has just challenged us to make an Irish Chain quilt in any size or variation. Obviously Twilight Hopscotch would qualify as a variation. The rules of the challenge are simple. Get it cut this next month and finish the top by May. Something like that. I found it interesting that nothing was included about making it a "real" quilt and quilting it. I was kinda relieved about that even though there are no prizes involved. What I thought though was that I should challenge myself instead to get the one Irish Chain quilt top quilted that I did a few years ago. I posted about it here.

So yesterday I wandered through the pile of quilts upstairs looking for a different top and I came across the pink Irish Chain. And, oh yeah, look at this. An antique Irish Chain quilt top, too.  Isn't this a unique variation? A quick search of google images doesn't show one like it. Might be kinda neat in scraps. I like how there isn't quite so much background as most variations. Well, you know what I'm going to do.  Yep, piece the Twilight Hopscotch.

Yet another variation you don't see often is shown in a booklet from 1945. The blocks in this quilt are pieced with strips 1 1/2" wide surrounding the center square cut at 3 1/2". Too many seams for my taste but maybe you can get an idea for coloring yours from this photo.

And just because it's another variation I did and you all know how much I love variations, here again is the single Irish Chain I did in 1930's. I posted about it several times ending here.

Well, I hope I don't loose any sleep over this now. I finally learned how to fall asleep after more than 50 years of difficulty. If you have trouble too consider the app Calm.com.

Linking to
Oh Scrap

Design Wall Monday

Sunday, November 26, 2017


November is always a good month for quilting for me. Not just because it has gotten colder outside but because it is hunting season and I dare not go into the woods.  The month isn't over and I still hope to finish a quilt on the frame.  It may not seem that I have been very productive, but I have planned a lot of projects and begun to cut and kit them up. I also did a little work on some Comfort quilts for the St. Peter's group.

 I finished my tic-tac-toe quilt this morning.  I thought I would wait and do the pieced border at Studio 3 but instead decided to just get it done and out of the way. I can't believe how much I enjoyed the silly little 9-patches. Even the checkerboard border went together very quickly. As you can see I did not round the corners with little squares.   That was because I didn't plan the border I just started sewing.  Like I said it went together quickly. The lights and darks don't match up in the 4 corners in a way that I could use a 4 patch unless I rip.


The 9-patches were strip pieced using 2 strips. Lots of people don't like strip piecing, but I think it's the best. The leftovers from a strip set are never wasted around here and go into anything from 4-patches to crumb quilts. If you don't like the leftovers from a strip set, then simply cut the strips to the length you'd cut the squares from before you begin.

What I did for the little 9-patches here was to start with 1 3/4" strips. The light strip was 7" long and the dark was 9" long. Stitch with top edges even and sew a 1/4" seam allowance with right sides together. Press toward the dark. Then I sliced the strip set into 1 3/4" wide segments. The longer dark strip had a square cut off the end.  The pieces were then rearranged to create the units shown. I didn't bother with the last seam because I like to keep you guessing or some such thing.

I had Mark help me pin the tic-tac-toe  top to the flannel wall so that I could plan the last border width and measure for it. If the quilt fits I like to spread the top on the wall to measure for borders. I don't know what he was thinking but as soon as it was up on the wall he stood back and proceeded to tell me just what shade of blue I should use for the last border. I don't know where he got the idea I wanted some input from him so I got a kick out of that. In the end he agreed that the same blue I used for the sashing should be used for the outer border but not to make it any wider. I just love that he's expressing his opinion about my quilts these days. When I began quilting  over 30 years ago, he couldn't have cared less.  Maybe this is the winter I can get him started on his own quilt project.

I'm planning on doing a tutorial on joining the ends of binding strips once it has been applied to the quilt. So check back in the next few days to see that.
 Never mind. Here's a tutorial that shows how I do it. 

I planning to do some blog hopping,
starting with the blogs that have joined this linky party.
and smallquiltsanddollquilts.com

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A little stimulating

After the trip to Pennsylvania I took a trip with the Thursday girls to Missouri Star Quilt Company. The trip was hardly necessary as there are so many quilt shops in our vicinity. However a road trip was in order so we set our sights on Missouri. I don't know what the talk is about all the shops in Hamilton but the trip was very enjoyable. For as many shops as there are in that town it's a little surprising that they don't carry everything. There were hardly any books or patterns by other designers, a big disappointment to me. And they certainly didn't have all the fabric that's produced in a year from the all the manufacturers. How could they? We knew this of course, so we made multiple stops at quilt shops enroute. I spent my fabric budget for the year but who's counting?
This of course gets one all fired up to get home and get sewing. So I did do a little bit of that but first I had to present a program for a few local guilds. They went very well. they certainly know how to apply the pressure when they introduce me and tell everybody that I'm there to inspire them. Inspire them I did. as usual I brought about 30 quilts and tops with me. I was sure to bring things they hadn't seen before. That can be a bit of a challenge sometimes because I have been to these guilds a number of times in the past.
Now that I am done traveling for the year I can focus on getting some of my sewing done. I have made a short list of the quilt tops that I would like to make next and the tops I would like to quilt as well.

I made the 10 blocks needed  so I could make the nine patch quilt a little bit bigger. And this afternoon I added the first border. I have lots of little squares cut for a pieced border so I need to decide on that next. I'll plan to work on that over at Studio three.

We will be starting a new project at Studio 3 soon so that will make it difficult to focus on finishing the other current tops in progress. That is opposed to UFOs. I differentiate between the two when I can no longer recall or have yet to decide how I want to continue with a project.
I also want to tear into my stash and reorganize.  I do enjoy my stash and perhaps looking at it with fresh eyes I can imagine a few more projects that I could start with what I have on hand.

I also want to squirrel away some of my smaller pieces for several years. I still like them but I am a little tired of them and I think that if I don't see them for 5 years or more I will enjoy them even more when I come across them at that time. Besides maybe then I'll have a limited budget and I won't afford to buy fabric when it's $14 a yard. Maybe I should bury some cash with the fabric wouldn't that be fun.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Vibrant autumn leaves

It's been a dry year in much of the north central  and northeastern  US. Everyone says as a result the leaves won't be as pretty this year. What I have observed is they are either turning brown and dropping or still lll green. Yes there are some beauties out there but overall I was a bit disappointed in the color on my trip east. It is always a guessing game as to when the color will peak. One year we hit it right on October  5th. This year we were either too early or too late. That's partly cause the different species change at different times. The good thing there is it extends the season.

My souvenir from the trip is this barn quilt my sister painted for me. She took the pattern from the quilt, "Monkey See, Monkey Do" in my book Quilts from Skunks Hollow. Mark hung it at Studio 3 right away. That means he likes it. She made another we will keep at the house. I never heard if it was her intention to make one for each place. How could she possibly have known two of my favorite blocks. The other is the Weathervane, also in the book.  I love them all, the quilts, the blocks and the barn quilts. I wonder if there is another name for those painted wood blocks. I'm seeing them all around.

I thought I would especially enjoy  quilting  now my leaf quilt from a few years ago. I want to really work at developing that lost habit I had of sewing daily. I started this one last night. It is a small one so I must get going on prepping  the quilting on the next one. I'm not sure if I have the back for it though.
 Hooking up with a linky party. Design Wall Mondays is now hosted at link on the right, Oh Scrap!  
Small quilts and Doll quilts blog.
 Oh Scrap is a linky party hosted by quiltingismorefunthanhousework blog. I think I'll link with both of them.  I see many of us  llink with more than one. I wish I had the time to browse the other quilty linky parties on other days.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

From my Workbench

This quilt has been brewing for about a year. I checked previous posts and found that I didn't mention it once. I know I started it last winter sometime and then put it away for a while. I will be quilting this one with cotton batting so that I don't cook under it. Perhaps I'll do it yet this winter. I haven't got the back for it yet and I haven't thought for a second about how I will quilt it. Good thing winter won't be here for a few months, I still have time to get ready.

As you can see it is a little big for my wall. I was not trying to be creative with the photo.  Even though I like the way they look on the bed, I don't think they photograph quite as well there.|I would throw it on the bed quick for a picture, but the cats are there right now.  Is that a lame excuse or what?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

On my way

It's almost a habit! I realized that I'm actually trying to start a new one rather than resurrect an old one. In the past I used studio 1 and made tops. Now I am trying to do more work at getting them quilted in studio 2. It helped that the weather cooperated. I'm not working outside when it's 90. Evenings should be good. I don't like to join Mark  in the evening for a nap on the couch in ftont of tv or just as bad if he's awake and channel surfing.

The quilting  on this one is finished. I still have a few threads to tie off and binding to do. And I didn't delay in getting the next one on the frame. I'm doing the bow tie with out batting to use as a shower curtain. I'm almost done with that one too.

Meanwhile I am planning the quilting on the next one. That can slow me up a bit. I can usually decide how I want to quilt about  70% of it. I'm usually  stumped when it comes to the borders.  Maybe future quilts won't always have a border. Great solution.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A bit of a challenge

a challenge for me. I've not posted from my phone before. I always like to include a photo but I am having trouble uploading photos to my computer. I like to put them on the computer first because I can edit them better with the computer than on the phone.

So here's my photo for today's post. As you can see I decided on a dark blue to sash my nine patch blocks. I'm liking it a lot. Good thing because I have lots of blue. I don't know what I was thinking when I told Sharon to cut me three and a half yards. I knew I added a little more in case I wanted to make it bigger and I never manually figured out how much I needed I just used what the computer told me. But I think there was an operator error when I entered the size of the blocks or even the setting that it told me such a large amount. With all the quilts I've made I would have known if I thought about it for a minute or two that I wouldn't have needed three and a half yards for this quilt. So I think I will plan to make it bigger since I like it so much and I will even be able to back the quilt with the same blue plaid. tube order it I will simply go around with the same width sashing but without the cornerstones.

As far as developing my quilting ha bit goes I'm pleased to report that I've been doing some almost every day. That is if stash acquisition counts. I've been to another estate sale. Always have to hit those twice if you have the chance.n And I did.
the quilter was fond of reproduction fabric. So I lucked out and added a number of pieces to my collection for backs borders and backgrounds. I also snatched up some of the scraps that I didn't have so that I could add those to my charm quilt. The fabric was priced by the pound. It sure made things easier. I also got a few CDs so I can listen to some music while I quilt.  We get lousy reception on the radio down here in the hollow. I also picked up a half dozen Quilting books. I'm surprised how inspiring I find those estate sales to be. Next I am looking forward to cleaning out my closet and prioritizing my quilting for the fall.
Linking up with the party at Quiltingismorefunthanhousework.com

Monday, September 11, 2017

Habit Forming, NOT

Quilting has not become habit forming for me yet. I have gotten some done though. Last week we were busy with several doctor appointments so if you need an excuse, I'd use that.

A few weeks ago I put another quilt on the frame in Studio 2. I've got a close up of the quilting here but if you still can't see it, double click on the picture and that should let you see it even closer. I've enjoyed quilting this design; probably cause I like the way it looks. I might be half done. I expect it will be the end of the month before it gets done at the rate I am going.

I used to avoid highly contrasting thread because I didn't like the way every wobbly line would show up. I don't have the courage for that yet but I'm getting there. Perhaps variegated thread is the way to go till then.

A new linky party for me. http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Cause I Wanna

There was a time when I had a quilting habit. Every day my husband went off to work I would too. I'd go of to my sewing space and lose myself in my quilting for hours on end. I was concerned that when he retired he'd cramp my style and he did. I don't mean to be blaming him but I lost that habit soon after he retired. I guess it is fair to say that now instead of quilting I spend that time with him working out in our woods or prairie. I could still quilt in the evenings but I don't and I don't think it's cause I am tired. At any rate I want to develop a new quilting habit whether it is doing Just One Thing or JOT in the sewing room or several hours at several tasks, I don't care. I just gotta do it. Cause I wanna.  Now having said that I should have more success. Documenting it can make me more accountable too, so stay tuned.
Recently I started making 9-patches from 1 3/4" wide strips leftover from a log cabin quilt. Yes I have a bit of a plan in mind. I'm joining them in sets of four. Next I need to decide how I will set them, then how big, then if borders will be absent or pieced or plain. You know the routine. I've been enjoying it immensely. I'm loving the little bit of yellow in this project. I like the tic-tac-toe I see too.

In the old days, this top would have been done in a few days. Its been several weeks already and I expect it will be another one yet.

Monday, August 14, 2017

another post!

Can you believe it? 3 posts in a week? I had a chance to do some more sewing today. Mark is off helping a neighbor build a treehouse in a hollow tree. Is "on" a hollow tree more accurate. No he is not making a room in the hollow trunk. It's not a sequoia. Anyways I had a good time today doing a little sewing without interruption!

So I am just about done with this little spring wallhanging. Pattern by Lori Smith with a few changes like using a  bird and butterflies instead of rabbits and carrots.  I've always enjoyed this pattern. It's that darned applique that slows me down every time. Oh yes, the quilting too.

I also spent a little time sorting quilts for the scheduled lectures I have this fall. I'm doing a couple of local guilds featuring some of my newest stuff or stuff that hasn't been published and some of my most popular designs. Something I always enjoy.

I have to add that Design Wall Monday is now hosted at smallquiltsanddollquilts.blogspot.com