Quilts for Sale

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prepping Binding

My Thirtysomething sampler is quilted and waiting to be bound. It is supposed to be nice out all week so I may put it off till next week.

When I make my binding I usually cut each end at an angle for my mitered seams before I sew them. When I cut 2 1/2" binding strips I use the Easy Angle triangle or similar tool so I get useable, measured triangles that I can use in the future. Better that corner triangle goes in the scrap basket than the trash.
 I cancelled classes last week at Studio 3 cause it's getting a new roof. But before that some of the ladies helped me sort through the orphan blocks. Now I have to find  coordinating fabric for sashing, borders or whatever they need to make the kits complete. Not in a hurry to do that cause there are still plenty of kits waiting to be completed.

The only thing on my flannel wall is these 3 blocks that I found stuffed in a basket in the living room. And to think they have been in that basket nearly 20 years! I will hang on to one for my orphan block pile the other two  joined the others for comfort quilts at church.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Uneven 9-patch

I had a chance to do some sewing yesterday. After much deliberation I made these uneven 9-patch blocks using some of my least favorite fabrics in my drawer of 1800 repro prints. This was actually a pretty common pattern over 100 years ago.

 I am surprised by how much I like it because it is so simple. Sometimes they were arranged with sashing though usually they alternate with a plain block.Occasionally the quilt history/documentation books show it used in a border. Maybe that's a good idea  for a bed size quilt where repeating the same block throughout gets kinda boring.

I am not sure why I chose my least favorite fabrics to use since my goal here is to make something I like. I think it's cause I like a challenge and Sue thinks I need a challenge. She suggested somethintg with tiny pieces or curved seams like she likes to do. She doesn't know what a challenge it is for me to use fabrics I am not really keen on.Which is kind of funny because she won't help with the comfort quilts cause she doesn't like to work with fabric she doesn't like.   

Anyway my intent is not to make a quilt with just this block. If it were, I would definitely be using my smallest scraps. These are the centers of the blocks. Stay tuned to see how it develops.
Again I am linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday for her weekly linky party.  Thanks Judy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Two Design Walls

Since I am doing some piecing at Studio 3 and I have a flannel wall there I can share what I have on each wall. Here at home I just made this block to see if I would like the size. I just dug into my scraps and cut squares and over-sized triangles. The block finishes at 12.75". I like the size but really don't like piecing this block cause it's on the diagonal so I don't think I will be making anymore. This can go in the orphan block pile. I am glad I made the sample block. I usually do it to test colors or technique. I just wanted to see If I wanted to use 3 1/2" squares. Now I will have to choose a different block.
 I took a box of my Civil War scraps to Studio 3. I started some blocks and have some of the units arranged here on the wall. This is nothing like what I a going to do with them but by now you know I like to play with the units to see if some hidden design speaks to me. Nothing was talking when I arranged these and then arranged them in reverse order. That is just as well sometimes. I don't really need more ideas.

I have not been posting as much lately cause I limit my time at the computer and I signed up again for facebook. Not sure I am going to stick with it again. I mostly understand how it works except I did post a message to someone in error the other day.  Kinda more detail than the blog here. Not so sure I wanna do that. If you'd like to be friends on facebook then invite me and maybe I will stick around this time.

Posting Late to Design Wall Monday. I see it's quiet there. I think it's the time of year.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Making Progress

 Finally some quilting weather this summer. You might think with all the rain that we have had that I'd have been quilting more but for some reason it hasn't been reason enough to quilt. But it has gotten hot and humid so I have been working on the sampler. I have 1 1/2" rows done except I will still go back and do a background fill in each block when the rest of it is done. Here are two blocks.

It's not been hot all week, so on pleasant mornings I have been outside. This white Turtlehead plant I started from a seed I collected two years ago across the street in the sedge meadow. This one is growing alongside our brook with the orange Jewel Weed.

This afternoon I went with Sue to visit the daughter of a friend and student that had recently inherited some quilts made from great grandma or was it great-great. I admit, I didn't pay close attention. I was busy studying the quilts. They were mostly in pretty poor shape, either treadbare from wear or where the brown dye was disintegrating the fabric or normal fading. This first one was in the best shape. There was another nearly identical to it that was worn out. They looked to be from  about 1880's.

This one was a beaut. This block was faded less than all the others. Would love to have seen it after it was just made. Couldn't guess the age on this one cause it was so faded.

This was an interesting crazy quilt. The patches were sewn to the foundation by hand with a blanket stitch.  Some of the blocks had a thin middle layer. Then the red sashing strips was appliqued between the blocks by machine. They have pretty much rotted away. This one looked more like 1930's or 40's.

Nothing on my design wall. Judy, I hope you don't mind.

Monday, August 18, 2014

In Need of Quilting

I finished the Shoo-Fly quilt the other day. It does not fit on the flannel wall with the border so I didn't take another picture of it. It is ready for quilting and will get added to the pile. If you missed it, I showed it in the last post.

Next up to be quilted is this Thirtysomething sampler from my new Block Book. I need to find a back for it first so that will probably require a trip to a shop. That's always fun. I'll do custom quilting on this so maybe I'll show some pictures as I go.

In the mood to do some piecing. You wouldn't think I'd say that but I guess the Shoo-Fly just wasn't my kinda quilting. Any purple lovers out there wanna buy that quilt top???  I guess I like a little more of a challenge than that was. And I guess I really like the 1800's reproductions more than the batiks.

Time to check out all the other posts linked up to Judy's Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Just the Right Size

My only excuse for not getting these blocks together any sooner is that we've had such a beautiful summer I would rather be outside. When I got my longarm I knew I wouldn't be quilting outside anymore. I didn't do it that many times, but I sure did like it. I pushed a table out the front door onto the porch on the northwest side of the house. I could quilt out there for several months till the bugs chased me in. Normally bugs don't bother me much, but when they bite your legs and make your stitching lines crooked then it's time to go in. That's re: quilting. Cutting and piecing I never did do outside. I didn't like the idea of chasing after patches if the wind picked up.

Just the border to go. I found it in my stash so no need to go shopping for that.  I better put it on before I even begin to procrastinate. The bigger quilts I am making hardly fit on my flannel wall. Maybe it is back to smaller quilts for a while. And I think I just may need a new camera afterall. Unless I can find a setting for my cellphone that allows the flash to go off with/for the shutter or whatever it's called. Anybody know about how to adjust that?

Still feeling the inspiration from the Machine Quilting Show. I straightened out the warehouse a bit. Next perhaps I ought to organize it by which tops I want to get quilted yet this year. Match it to it's backing and take advantage of that inspiration. What a plan!

And thank you Sharon for hosting your "Can I get a Whoop Whoop?" linky party here

Monday, August 11, 2014

I have chickens

We have chickens in our driveway. They are the neighbor's chickens. They come to visit everyday and I love it. They are indeed fun to watch. As soon as we step outside in the mornings they hear us and come running for the corn we put down for them. Then they follow me around in the garden looking for bugs. One old gal doesn't show up till later in the day after she has laid her egg. I've always loved chickens, but never wanted my own, so this is perfect.

The Quilt Show in Oconomowoc was last week. Always a good show. The quilts for the Thirtysomething Tool Challenge were shown. They will be given to soldiers through Quilts of Valor next year but will be displayed at various shows throughout the year. I took one class from Jamie Wallen. It is very rare that I take a second class from any teacher so that should tell you that he is very good. His techniques would work very well for any machine quilter. All freehand and a minimum of marking. If you get the chance to take a class of his, don't miss it. The class I took Saturday was Mystical Grids.I found lots of inspiration to get more of my own tops quilted.  I sure hope I can recall that inspiration this winter when I have the time and inclination to quilt. I entered the show with the cover quilt from The Thirtysomething Block Book. I don't enter shows often but displayed it because of the Thirtysomething Tool Challenge. I don't like heavy quilting so there is no chance I'd ever win a ribbon. That is fine with me. 

Work has stalled on my Shoo-Fly quilt. My cutting table is seeing paper more than fabric. The flowers I found growing along the creek are the invasive lythrum. They were the first bunch I have ever seen blooming along our creek. It's too bad they are so invasive. I saw them driving over the bridge  towards the house (behind me in the picture) and immediately got a shovel and back to the creek with Mark to dig them out so they won't spread. I'm glad they are perfectly safe to enjoy in the house.
Maybe I will find inspiration to finish this top at Judy's. Today is Monday and it's time to check out all the posts linked to Design Wall Monday.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Killing Time

If you ever taught quilting, you know that after a little while the class doesn't need your constant attention. Its during those moments that I make an extra block or two from comfort quilt fabric. These are some of the extra blocks I/we made in the last few months. They aren't really orphans, so I guess I ought to pay better attention to the fabric I select so they work together.

Since I've decided on the setting and made

all the blocks I need for my Shoo-Fly quilt,
I started to add the sashing.  But I had to
take one more "what if" photo.

Still busy working in the woods, but I will take time next week to go to the Machine Quilting Today show in Oconomowoc. I will be volunteering. Not sure if or which classes I may take yet. Hope to see you there. 

Going to Judy's Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday first.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Still love to quilt

Wouldn't it be grand if we had all the time we WANTED. Maybe pop a little pill to add a few hours to the days we wanted. Weekends maybe. Or if you like your job and after job life then simply extend the days to do all in life you love. We've been enjoying a beautiful summer here in SE Wisconsin and I have spent many hours outdoors. No surprise to you if you have been following me for  a while. We've eliminated most of the Prickly Ash on the agenda for the year and we have moved on to the Buckthorn. And I thought I would be quilting. Mark got to see a tree-eater in action and has decided to hire someone to come out and mow down the worst of the Buckthorn. That is great news. I love our little woods but this particular 2 acre corner is pretty much impassible and it will only get worse if we don't attempt to get it under control during our lifetime. We trekked through the marsh yesterday too. The guys decided that we ought have the same tree-eating machine cut a path through the marsh, too. Cool.

I have decided to set my Shoo-fly blocks on point so I needed to make 8 more with dark backgrounds. Good thing I had plenty of purple batiks in my stash to blend in with those in the layer cake. Those are done and  I am ready to assemble the top. You will see it here first.

I did a you-tube video on my Thirtysomething technique. I'd like to tweak it but the gal helping doesn't have too much time for that right now.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nann's suggestion

Another option I don't often consider is to place the blocks on point. Nann wanted to see what they looked like, so here they are. Of course any of the previous layouts could have been done on point. But my first thought was to separate the dark backgrounds for the border and use a darker fabric for the setting triangles. I didn't like any other fabric I had for that position. Leaving the blank space where it appears there would be a light and a tan setting triangle in squares is just one more option.

I don't usually consider diagonal sets cause I don't like sewing them together when they are on point. When I play with that setting in EQ I rarely like it. I do like diagonal design lines in the quilt but usually let the blocks do the work for me.

I have pretty much decided to not make any more blocks. These are the remaining fabrics. I don't like the greens and oranges with the others. The oranges I used aren't as intense as they look in the photo above but shown below they are too intense for my liking. Some might think they are the accent or zinger that the quilt needs, but I don't want it doing that dance.
Hopefully I can get started on assembling them tonight. There is room at Studio 3 if any of you local quilters want to join us Wednesday evenings. Give me a call.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Time to Decide

I've made 56 Shoo-Fly blocks. I need to make a few decisions. First do I want to make any more blocks and second, which setting do I use? Here are a few of the settings I've seriously considered.

 And this one I have shown before. I like the two above because the color is stronger but I don't like the setting at the left with dark sashing. Go figure. I don't know when I will get  a chance to put them together this week. Tomorrow is quilting at church and it is supposed to be unseasonably cool this week so I want to work outside some more and there's the quilting classes besides. Maybe  late one night if I can't sleep. Then I will see if I have something suitable for a border.

 I will be glad to be done with this one.It has taken too long. I am anxious to get onto something else. I think I will focus on some quilting for a while. The Midwest Machine Quilting Show is coming up and I always find it very inspiring. I want to get a few comfort quilts done and then do something fussy for me.

Stop by Judy's blog at Patchwork Times if you want to see what other quilters are working on.  I really like the linky parties cause they help me stay focused. And I like seeing what others are working on.  I always enjoyed show and tell at guild meetings and I don't belong to a guild anymore so they make a great substitute. I have thought before of joining another linky party though I am not sure when I would getting anymore quilting done than I do now. At least not while I am working outside so much.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Practicing Freehand

My daughter's friend asked me to quilt this for her on my longarm. It is about 80" square. I've done little quilting this year sew I was concerned it wouldn't turn out well cause I wanted to do it freehand,or at least, not follow a pantograph. I can usually follow lines pretty well, but I wanted to do it freehand and I'm not real good at that, yet anyways.  I am just a bit concerned that I may never get very good at it if I don't do it more often. That and the fact that I never could draw very well. And wow, now I am just doodling on a quilt with this big machine and it's fun. I just wish I was better at it. So I plug along and practice. Actually I quilt, but I always call it practice cause I need more of that. One thing for sure though. If I really am just doodling, then it is sloppy work. But if it is a real quilt, I try harder. I do think I need to mark the quilting lines more. That is always something I didn't like to do. But to do a good job, I guess I need a good sharp line. The chalk doesn't do it for me. All that means it is not as freehand as I'd like it to be.  Some teachers say doodling on paper everyday helps. Maybe I could do that while I have my morning coffee.

I was glad to finish this one up and already have another one loaded. It is a small
sampler comfort quilt. Should be fun. Now off to check out the inspiring quilts linked up to Judy's for Design Wall Monday.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Another option

The Shoo-Fly blocks are stacking up. I still have a ways to go to get through the stack of squares in the layer cake.  So for fun I arranged them in this setting. I have 8 more cut and ready to sew.  I am finding I like this where I cut only a few and sew them up when I find a few minutes. Most of my projects in the past were mostly cut out and then sewn all within a few days. Since I am dabbling in other things right now I find this is  better. I am thinking of doing another sampler after this because I can do that the same way.

My beginners sampler class is going very well. I am always pleased when we first gather and everyone shares their show and tell since the last week. Most of the ladies make a few more of the blocks they learned the week before. Jean has already made 41 blocks and made a quilt top for a grandaughters wedding this fall. Lucrecia is just using up scraps and cutting and sewing as much as she can.  Laura makes a few extra blocks for the comfort quilts at church.  Irene makes a second block at home for a second quilt.  I still haven't seen any of them. Sue makes more of the same, though I am not sure why and Nancy wishes she had time to sew like the others. The other gal leaves me wondering. They are all learning the importance of an accurate quilters seam allowance and how to use their rotary cutting tools. The Wednesday night group has a new quilter too I think, though she intends to start with a simple block repeated throughout.

Heat and humidity are up so I intend to work in Studio 2a bit more. The quilt tops for church are stacking up and I would like to quilt them.
Design Wall Monday. lets go check out what other quilters are working on this week.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monkey Wrench variation

The other night while lying in bed trying to fall asleep, it occurred to me that we could make a Monkey Wrench variation of the Shoo-fly block by simply dividing the 2" x4" rectangles in half. Then there wouldn't be an extra 1/2" on the rectangles to trim later.  Duh.

If I'd thought of this earlier I might have made the dark blocks as Shoo-Fly blocks and the light blocks as Monkey Wrench blocks. But since I've started I will continue with Shoo Fly- except for this sample block, well,  two. Unless I get tired of the Shoo-Flies. I always liked the Monkey Wrench block. I guess I could do it again in different fabrics.

I'm starting to get tired of shooing flies in the garden. July isn't even here yet and that is typically horse-fly month here. There the worst. Next to wasps and bees.  Everything is growing over-time here. We have had a rainy June than average.  Many weeds too. Imagine that.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Shoo-Fly So Far

Have you tried the Shoo-Fly block from layer cakes yet? I've only made 16 so far. I am happy with how it is going, I've just been busy with Festival to do anymore. I hope to make more Wed. night. I'm liking them, but now I have another idea.What else is new?
I am mostly unpacked from Festival. I had a perfect time. Mark really impressed me. What? Wait  a minute. Did I say that? Yep, he was great to have along. He's even ready to do a few more shows - and during hunting season! It was wonderful for so many of you to come by my booth and say hi. It was especially sweet if you bought my new book to complete your collection of Gayle Bong books. Thank you. Mark and I agreed the worst thing about the trip was all the traffic. We are quite used to a forest of trees not a jungle of cars! We never got lost, though we took a few wrong turns. It doesn't help that IL never seems to have road signs where I want them. Silly me. I never thought to use the gps on the phone. But then, I hear they aren't all that accurate.

After cleaning up everything from Festival I was inspired to dig out all the fabric for comfort quilts cause I want to take it over to Studio 3. What a mess! I've done an initial sorting, but it looks like it may be a while before I take it over there. I have many potential kits bagged up that I would like to finalize before I move them. On the table are all of our "pre-cuts" that "we" cut. Under the table are only some of our orphan blocks. And the piles on the floor?  Who knows.   The small cardboard box has bigger scraps waiting for a destination. The green tub has strips for string quilts and log cabins. The shelves in the closet are still loaded with  40 more kits waiting to be finalized. UGH! There sure is some ugly fabric out there. I'd love a sneak peek into the homes and closets of the designers of those uglies. I love the organizing and planning. I will dabble with sorting the mess while it rains this week. And probably pull some weeds.
It's Monday. That means it's time for heading over to Judy's for Design Wall Monday.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Another Raffle Quilt

I can't believe I nearly forgot to show our next church raffle quilt. The quilting is finally done and tomorrow I take it in to the meeting for everyone to see. I am quite happy with how this turned out. It looks kinda 1980's, not surprising, considering we used so many old scraps. Someone there will volunteer to bind it and it will be on display in another month. I'm always glad to see the latest raffle quilt finished. I wonder what they will do for next year. It's never too soon to start thinking about it. Probably something with our scraps again. Yippee. Actually it doesn't bother me that the scraps are ripe. I think scrap quilts always look good. Some of us in the church group don't think we would sell many more tickets if we used new fabric so we don't. Too bad the quilt is too big for my wall.
It's starting to heat up outside so I worked in the sewing room today. Studio 1 as it's been called lately. Things are getting a bit messy since I have spent so many hours outside and/or getting ready for Quilt Festival later this week. It looks like my scrap basket is overflowing and needs attention. I will see to that after Festival.

I also got things together for church quilting tomorrow. I think now is the time to start the girls on making scrappy 9-patches. Once those are made we can use them in a bunch of quilt designs. The strips have all been cut. Hopefully everyone will sew a nice quilter's 1/4" seam and were all set.

Also after Festival I think I will clean out my closet of church fabric and haul it across the street to Studio 3. Some of the gals coming to class there are learning/making their blocks for church comfort quilts. With the fabric there they will be able to use church stash for their quilts. There is more room there to spread out and make kits, too.  I will still keep backings and church battings here for quilting downstairs in - you guessed it, Studio 2.

I am actually looking forward to it heating up outside so I will stay in and do some quilting. We have put in many hours in the woods trying to get the Prickly Ash and Garlic Mustard under control. There is still plenty to do, but I will limit my time to work in the mornings before it heats up. For the most part I plan to poison the brush threatening to take over the 3 acres of oak savannah. Since I in instructed Mark to stop cutting it down several times every summer, the wildflowers have gone bonkers. Just beautiful if the deer wouldn't eat them. The young tree and bush seedlings have always been mowed down up till last year and now they are seriously threatening. So we will poison them and then hopefully burn it all off next spring. Come to think of it, Mark didn't even go work there this afternoon cause at noon we watched mama deer walk across the road towards the woods with 3 bitty babies. That was a real shocker considering how harsh the winter was. Perhaps she adopted a fawn or two.

Oh yes, off to Judy's Design Wall Monday.