Quilts for Sale

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.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Quilting Related

I'm in the mood to do some piecing. It's been a while since I put in more than a few hours making a quilt. I have been busy with quilting though, just not doing much sewing.  Yesterday afternoon Patricia came over from Quilter's Rule to take a video  of me showing what  my Thirtysomething Block Book is about for youtube. That won't be uploaded till the editing is done...

Patricia  Simons is one busy lady and I am grateful that she took the time out to come over and help me out. Besides vending all over the country with the company and doing some teaching besides, she's been busy getting ready for the Machine Quilting Today show in Oconomowoc next month.

 I used these blue and orange pieces in my demo. Yummy. Now what do I make with a single little  star?

Yes I am looking forward to the Machine Quilting Show too, but first I'm all excited about vending at Quilt Festival at Rosemont (Chicago). I took a small booth since I don't have a shop, so besides my books, I decided I have room for a rack of quilt tops I can do without. So if you are interested in a Gayle Bong quilt top, stop by and browse my tops. I thought 20 were enough, so I stopped pulling out more. Yes, most of them are a bit older, but beautiful just the same. I've had lots of luck selling tops at shows in the past, so I am hoping I will be lucky again.

I've been enjoying a beautiful June here in Wisconsin.  I am outside more than I should be. That means laundry and bills are piling up. but I love it. Gee, I guess I could hang wash outside and pay bills out on the deck. Hmmm. Nah, I'd really rather weed the garden!  I guess I will get back to my Shoo-Fly quilt when it rains again or maybe some night if I can't sleep.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shoo-Fly Tutorial

Here's a brief tutorial on making Shoo Fly blocks from a pair of 10" squares. The blocks finish 7 1/2".

Start with a light square and a dark square Right Sides Together.  Cut across the square 4" from each edge. This should leave a 2" square in the center with 2" x 4" rectangles on the sides.

Cut the pairs of squares in the corners once on the diagonal for half-square triangles ready to sew.

Sew the triangles together. Press. Trim the half-square triangle units to 3 1/2".

Arrange the pieces to make two blocks. Sew the pieces into rows then sew the rows together. Note that the rectangles are 1/2" longer than needed.

Press the seam allowances toward the dark fabric.

Square up the blocks to 8" by trimming the rectangles.

Sweet.  Simple.   Fun.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A few possibilities

I know some of you can't visualize the Shoo-fly quilt I've invited you to make with me, so I thought I would do a few EQ quilts for you to ponder.
The one at the left is the design I had first thought of doing. It just requires 10" squares. Then I thought about framing each block. Kinda liked that too. The frames could be cut from 2" or 2 1/2" strips.  Then I tried with a dark sashing (not shown), then a light one. I think I will do mine with the light sashing. It is shown at 64.5" x 73.5". The recipe I gave the other day would yield 80 blocks and only 42 are shown here. I have a few sashing ideas to quilt and I need a top to quilt them on. Because I am using 5 different light prints with my Bali Crackers, I am going to use the same 5 fabrics for my sashing placed randomly. Between the 5 prints I probably have 6 yards or more, so I am sure I have plenT.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Moody Quilter

I'm in the mood for some blogging. As you can see it has been a long time. And if you guessed I am here cause it is raining, you guessed right. I've spent many hours outside in the last 2 months. The prairie I planted 2 years ago is showing some promise. As gardens go, they tend to be slow starters so you want to stay ahead of the weeds. I've also spent lots of time in the woods. It's unbelievable how many wildflowers there are blooming. And how many more there would be if the critters wouldn't eat the blooms! I suspect it is the deer eating the Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Wild Geranium, Shooting Stars and Solomon's Seal, including the leaves. In spite of that, there are enough flowers for me to enjoy as I go about getting my exercise.

I've had the same blocks on my wall for too long, so I decided to start another quilt. You are welcome to join me as I make these ShooFly blocks. Not sure what I am going to do with them, as usual, but the process results in positive and negative blocks and you can set them like this. Likely I will do something else with them. Call it a Quilt-Along or a Shoo-Fly Mystery if you want. I will give cutting and sewing details as I go.
These are my sample blocks and will go to the orphanage for a comfort quilt at church. I will be making my quilt with these luscious Bali Batiks. So this is my MATERIALS LIST to start with.

One pack of 40 Crackers that are 10" square.
Add another 40 squares of light colored fabrics.

I chose 5 different lights from my stash and from each I cut 2 strips 10" and cut 4 squares from each. Any combination of light fabrics can be used. And you don't need to use 40 squares of darks and 40 lights, either. I may not use all the prints in this pack. I rarely do. The blocks finish 7 1/2". 81 blocks set 9 x 9 = a 67.5" square quilt. That little bit of math is just to give an idea of the possibilities. Hmmmm. Maybe I will make 2 different quilts with all those blocks. Or maybe I will be making more blocks. What are your first thoughts???

One more thing I've been busy with. I am taking a booth with my new book at Quilt Festival in Chicago in 2 weeks.  Look for me in booth 2011 if you go. Then be sure to say "HI". And if you're still wondering what the heck Thirtysomething is all about, check out my updated website - particularly the "tool" page. I hope to be adding a youtube video sometime after Festival. Yikes, I hope I find some time to sew.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Thanks to the class

A little rain, cold out for this time of year and a beginning quilt class. All the ingredients I need to make time to do a little piecing. And little it is. Here are 9 of the first blocks the class is doing.  I am really enjoying this group of ladies. They all want extra help with choosing colors so we spend a good deal of time discussing it. We meet again in another hour.

It seems the flash on my camera broke when if fell last time. But then I found another setting and I may be okay without it. This picture was taken indoors on a cloudy day. Usually I adjust the pictures on the computer. This one I didn't adjust at all cause of the setting I found on the camera. Think it's good enough?

I've been a little busy in the office arranging advertising for "The Thirtysomething Block Book"  and filling a few orders. I've been busy and worry that I will forget the lecture I have scheduled next week.That's never happened, but there is always a first time.

Have a happy...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Better than nothing

I knew I would have little time to sew these days. Since I couldn't get a booth at Quilt Market to sell "The Thirtysomething Block Book"  I am going to have to move on to Plan B. That will require more work on my part to promote it to the shops. It might be easier in the end because my work won't be so concentrated in preparing for Market. See the post previous to this one about the book. I am still updating my website with it.

This is the only sewing I have to share this week. In fact I didn't even do this recently. I found these in my cabinet with class samples. I sewed these pieces in the course of demonstrating several techniques for classes. I pulled them out again to demo to my beginning  sampler class. It's pretty much cut and ready to sew thanks to my organized scraps.

I am not sure of what my plan was with this. The original quilt, Full House, was featured in my book "Save the Scraps". But then I bordered a single block. And again I didn't draw up a finished plan for the pieces. I know I planned to make 4 of the bigger framed blocks and join them somehow and border them somehow, but I don't remember. So I think I will just finish it like the original. Lots of times when I have the same class scheduled I have one work in progress that I can demonstrate with to all the classes. That was the case here, but I don't know what the plan was. I guess I will have to start making better notes. BTW, Save the Scraps is nearly out of print unless you don't mind an e-book.

I've been wanting to work outside but we have had a cold wet spring so far. The rest of the week promises to be nice so I guess it will be no sewing again.

I'm linking to Judy's and will plan to check out all the links tonight when I crash.

Sew long...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's Here! It's Here!

Okay, so it's been here 5 days already. This has been my first chance to post about it.
We picked up my book from the printer on Friday. I had to pop a few in the  mail right away and I had a class that afternoon and then I was fortunate enough to get a little  last minute space at the Mukwonago Crazy Quilters annual quilt show on Sat. and Sun.. And then, well, you know how it goes.

 This is what you will be looking for in the shops. Be sure to ask your local quilt shop. They in turn will ask their distributors and then they will ask me for it. That would be a good thing. I sure don't want to loose money on this project.
I am not planning to arrange a blog tour, but if any of my faithful readers with a blog would like to post a positive review about The Thitysomething Block Book, please contact me. I am sure I can arrange a bonus of some kind. I know the publisher very well.

I still have to update my website but if you can't wait you can send me a check. The book retails at $23.99. If you want the Square Up tool that's another $10. don't forget to throw in a few more for postage.

I'd like to say with the book out of the way I can move onto other things. But since I self published, I will be busy selling it. And with spring here I want to get outside and work while I can. A few classes over at Studio Three will keep me busy. I sure hope I find SOME time to sew.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Just 8 seams

I just love being so busy. It's the associated stress that I can do without. Stress as in my baggage didn't arrive until 20 minutes before I needed it for the first lecture scheduled in California. Surprisingly I wasn't too worried about it but there was still stress. And stress as in my return flight encountered more turbulence than I ever want to encounter again. Me thinks I'd be happy to drive even 10 hours to distant guilds - for a while at least. I always did like road trips like that. Surprisingly it becomes a bit painful gripping the steering wheel for so long.  With Mark retired now, perhaps he would be interested in  joining me.
And from what I hear, self-pubishing is not for sissy's. There is plenty of stress associated with that too. Book 9 should be in my hands by next weekend. Finally.
Last night when the girls were over for quilting, I stitched all of 8 seams. It felt so good. We laughed about how therapeutic our get togethers are. Any sewing we get done is a bonus.
  The 8 seams are the 4 to attach the borders and the 4 mitered corners on this quilt top. Sue made it but didn't add the borders before she realized that she didn't want to quilt it. Then she thought if it were smaller she would quilt it, so she removed one whole round of blocks. At that point she donated it to our church group. It was unanimous that the other round of blocks should be reattached and since she already cut the border, it should also be added. Guess who got elected to do that. It took me a while only partially because I had to close up a bunch of loose seams on two edges of the quilt and 2 rows that needed to be reattached.  Well, thanks Sue. I know it will be my job next to locate fabric for the back and get it quilted. That's okay though, cause I really don't need another quilt and I do want to quilt - even though I haven't been doing much of that at all this year.
Close-ups are nice for checking the fabrics that were used. For a better view, double clicking on the photo should enlarge the photo even more.

Next up I think I will add the blue border to the Delectable Mountains quilt top I made last year.

And thank you to the California Quilters that invited me to meet with them. It was an absolutely wonderful trip. And everyone was so friendly, too. I like when that happens.