Monday, December 31, 2012

Cactus Basket

I haven't had much of a chance to check other blogs, but I imagine quite a few have posts finally showing quilts that were made and gifted for Christmas. I don't generally make quilts for gifts, but I did this year. And like many other bloggers, didn't post a picture cause the recipient reads my blog. I made this basket quilt  wall quilt for my sister. I think it was on the wall within minutes of her opening the package, because she soon took a picture of it on her wall and emailed me the picture with a few words of thanks.

I suddenly decided to make this little quilt when I was cutting out little diamonds for a  Live Oak Tree quilt block. I was looking for a brown for the tree trunk and came across a basket weave print that immediately said -  make baskets instead. I love it when fabric talks to me, don't you?  I'd been wanting to do a small basket quilt for some time, and I thought Carol would like one too so I set out to make two little basket quilts. This was around Thanksgiving. When I mentioned my plan to friend Judy, she commented that I'd never get it done in time. Of course, I had to prove her wrong. Carol's was finished and in the mail in time for her to open on Christmas. I haven't started mine yet because having already made one with the Cactus Basket pattern, I have to choose a different basket pattern for mine. Been there, done that, right? So that is now on my someday list.

All my Lemoyne Star blocks are done and I have begun to sew them together into rows. With any luck, I should finish that top tonight. I usually also post on Thursday, so you can check back then to see it. So far, I am loving it and Mark likes it too.  Time to check the blogs at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Just 15 more

I'm still stitching 8-pointed stars. I only need to finish 15 more before I can sew them together into a top. Either this quilt will finish about 72" or I need to find a border fabric for them. Maybe I will wait and take the top to the shop with me to pick it out. Or do I want to add a pieced border???

In between stitching stars, I put another sampler/comfort quilt on the frame down in the studio. I've only done the top border so far. I will probably do a lot of continuous curve quilting on the blocks. Time will tell.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Piecing on Auto Pilot

In the bits of time I've snatched here and there in the last few days I've managed to finish the 16 blocks with the muslin background I need  for my new Lemoyne Stars quilt. After making so many of these blocks, it takes no thinking on my part, or no concentration. So much for making another crumb quilt this week.

I have the other pieces cut out, so I'll keep sewing when I have a few minutes. I wouldn't be surprised if I finish that top by New Years. I am keeping it simple, in spite of the 300 or so set-ins the quilt requires. I know alot of people avoid set-ins like the plague, and I don't understand why. I would far rather deal with them than the bulk of the extra seams if I made stars from half-squares I'm showing at the left. The half-squares don't really give you diamonds, which I prefer.  But then, I spose if one doesn't have a pattern for the version with diamonds and they don't want to cut out the parallelograms that deal with 16ths of an inch and . . . Yeah, I  talk with myself like this often.

Yesterday with  my sister and her kids was great.  Mark and I had a nice visit, lots of yummy food, a brisk walk to look at the lights coming on in town and a latte at the coffee shop. Why do we wait for the holidays to do it??? Dear daughter is coming here this afternoon with friend and tomorrow our fella friend will be here for dinner. No doubt I will be able to catch a few minutes to sew. Nice and Pieceful.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mile A Minute Quilt

Rummaging through boxes of Christmas decorations, I came upon this quilt top stuffed in a bag. What a hoot! I have no idea how, when or why it was in with the Christmas decorations.  I made it 5 or 6 years ago and never finished it. You can call it a Crazy Quilt, but to me that would indicate there would be some fancy embroidery and there is none. Some call it a Crumb Quilt. That name works for me, but I had this labeled on my computer as Mile-a-Minute Quilt. Whatever you call it, they are fun and fast to make and I am ready to make another.

Tuesday was our regular meeting day at church, and because not everyone showed up the week before, I thought I could go again this week to see if anyone shows up cause they missed the message that we changed to last week. Lois did show up, dropped off her finished quilts and left. I stuck around and sorted through the fabrics again, pulling out all the small pieces that need to be cut for scrap quilts. I brought a bundle home to work on.  A big part of me always wants to have ALL the scraps cut and sorted before I do any kitting and yet I know that isn't going to happen. I need to constantly remind myself  that the scraps are never ending and that I should  kit up some scrap quilts with what is already cut And make another Mile-A-Minute Quilt. I don't know if it is cause it's the holiday season or what, but I'm having trouble focusing on a project that would require more thinking. A fast project like  this would be ideal. First I need to clear some room of wrapping paper and gifts.

I went into Milwaukee with Mark yesterday to turn in his ID badge - not quilte 40 miles. On our way we noted all the changes in the 45 years since he started working there. For starters, the freeway was built about 39 years ago. I remember that, cause the exit to his house was opened when we were still dating.
Then we noted several cell towers, water towers, business/industrial  parks, shopping centers, homes and subdivisions. In Milwaukee, we passed where I once worked as a teenager and where I hung out with my friends and the parking lot at the airport where the kids made out and families watched the planes take off and land. I wonder what will take me there in the future and what will change. We did finish our shopping and never contemplated getting the Accuquilt cutter.

Today is Mark's first day of retirement. So far, so good. We haven't gotten any of the snow forecasted yet. It should start this afternoon. 4" to 10" depending on the way the storm blows. Here is hoping that everyone gets there gifts finished in time to give. And I hope you all find a little time to take a few stitches this next week too. I am sure I will.

Monday, December 17, 2012

2 days and counting

I'm happy with all the quilting I've gotten done in the last month, considering it's holiday season. All my bindings are done plus a few other projects including this mystery quilt. I made one more block to arrange them  6 x 6 instead of 5 x 7. I had enough of all the fabrics except I was short one purple rectangle. It's sure nice to have an extensive stash to find a suitable substitute.

Considering the holidays aren't a real big deal around here, you would think that my stress level is pretty low especially with all the sewing I have been doing .  Well, it's not. That is probably cause I really hate the shopping involved. So every year I procrastinate when it comes to shopping. I don't know why I procrastinate. My husband loves it and every years he rescues me. He doesn't do it all or even alone. But I find going with him enjoyable. And he spends far more than I ever would alone. That is actually a good thing.

So Wednesday he's going to work for the last time, just for a hearing exam and to turn in his ID card. He wants me to go along so we can go shopping afterword. For what???? He doesn't have a clue. Is this supposed to be some sort of retirement celebratory purchase? Something for Christmas? For who? I might have to take him by JoAnn's and show him the Accucut Go . . . Do I want it? And except for wrapping a few gifts, I'm nearly ready. How about you?
It's Design Wall Monday. I am going to check out the blog's linked up at Judy's to see if everyone is getting their projects done for their gift giving.

Monday, December 10, 2012

More for Others

We are meeting at church a week early this month cause of Christmas, so that means tomorrow. I missed the Oct. meeting when Jean passed out directions for her block for the exchange. I usually get those done right away, so that means they are due tomorrow. She asked for these string blocks. Fast and easy. Perfect for this time of year.

I also got the bindings done on the last 2 quilts. They go so quick when I do them entirely by machine, I wonder why I put it off. And the blocks are all done for the mystery quilt I've been working on. I haven't even arranged them on the flannel wall yet though.

My life will be changing pretty soon. My guy has only 5 days left of work before he retires! I hope it doesn't take long to adjust.  I have a few good friends that suggest when I need  a break that I come visit them. As much as I appreciate it, I am sure none of them intend for me to stay for several days straight.  I am sure I will need a quilting retreat this spring.  Now to find one before it is too late to register.
But first let's check out the other blogs linked up at Judy's for  Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A little here, a little there

My list is constantly changing. That's a good thing. I accomplish a few tasks, cross them off, and add a few more. I replaced the block that was spinning wrong and got the blocks together. But first I had to audition this green for sashing.
  Yeah, well, I never liked sashing much anyway. So I arranged them as originally planned.
I thought they looked a bit like flowers (missing their center) but Mark - not so much. He thought it looked a little busy, too. With that thought in mind, I thought I'd skip the cream inner border and just add the light green. It's about all I have left of any of the other fabrics.

I also got one more of the bindings done - so, two more to go there. And I took a break today for a much needed massage. I haven't had one in nearly a year. I find them very therapeutic, but  I was feeling so good all year, I didn't need to go till recently.

I'm back to my cutting. I never intended to quit while I was doing that marathon cutting.
 Now I am cutting 1 1/2" diamonds for a Forbidden Fruit Tree block. Unless I get carried a way, I am planning to make only one block with several  rounds of diamonds for the leaves arranged very much like a lone star but with just 5 diamond segments instead of 8 and a tree trunk. Come back and you'll see.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Checking my List

My quilting to-do list is getting shorter, but I haven't even started the Christmas to-do list. It's short, so that's ok. On my quilitng list is the Ben Franklin mystery.  I wanted to wait until I got the next step of directions so I could do it right away.  Without even trying, I was able to put off working on it all month and tomorrow I get the next and final step.  My odd 9-patches are done and next I am supposed to divide the block and add a contrast strip in each direction. So my timing was good.  Maybe I will finish up with them before tomorrow and then the next sewing session I can set them together.
Looking back at my list , I am pleased to see that I have most of it done as intended so far.

1. Lemoyne star - diamonds cut, muslin and background picked out.
2. Flying Geese are Birds in the Air - top done
3. Ladies in Waiting. - No retreat scheduled.
4. Dresden Plates - half distributed to church ladies
5. Scrap cut, sorted and filed away.
6. Flower blocks - need to replace one block
7. Bindings - Of the 7 quilts waiting for binding, I got 5 done and finished quilting another top, so I have                 3 more to bind. That is high on the list this week.
8. Smokey Mountain Star - waiting for border - but I did find the fabric I want to use. I hope there's enough.
9. Mystery - reported above.

 Then maybe I will clean up the house and decorate a bit.
Note - this list is subject to change.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Worth the Effort

I am making a small dent in my pile of tops waiting to get quilted. On the frame now is the crumb quilt that I posted about here.  My pile would go down faster if the ladies at church didn't keep producing tops. But that is what I want them to do. Here is the next one waiting in line. It is a  Roman Stripes variation.
All the strips for this were donated to our efforts at church when I went to a retreat a few years ago. Everyone thought I was nuts when I said I'd take the tangled mess of scraps in the two laundry baskets. They were brought for people to rummage through and help themselves. But I knew mom would enjoy sorting and pressing and trimming the threads. She liked to pick at things. I was right. It took her a while though. And yes, there are some blue and green strips left. These strips were from the pile of strips under
 2 1/2". I don't remember all the other piles she had going.

I remember when I first started organizing my scraps, they were a tangled mess too, though not as bad. I am SO glad I've kept them sorted ever since. No more ironing little scraps and all those messy threads from the fraying. Much more efficient, too. 

Thanks goes to Lousia for commenting on my previous post that the dark purple flower is spinning in the opposite direction. I didn't like that block anyway, so I will replace that. It will probably be easier for me to replace the whole block, than just the purple units. The purple block will join the orphan block pile.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Rough Draft

These blocks are the result of my experimenting with an idea I had. The idea wasn't fully formed, so I didn't draw the design. I call it a rough draft in case I decide to do another one and make any changes.

They started with a pile of 3 1/2" squares sitting in the scrap box that were getting old so I thought I ought to use them. So far this is what I have.   I have 6 more blocks almost done. It ought to be good for something by the time I am done with it. I can see if I did it again that three dimensional centers like the knots in the bowtie blocks would look cute on this.  Too bad I don't do cute. Very often anyways.
It's DesignWall Monday and you know what that means.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bound to get 'em done

I'm not sure that my cutting marathon is over, but while I was at it, I thought I might as well cut the binding for these 6 quilts. I bet you never guessed that I was putting that job off. Actually, it might not be a bad idea if I go up in the quilt warehouse and see if there are any more quilts waiting to be bound. I really don't mind doing it and I do it all by machine so as long as my shoulders hold out it shouldn't take long.

Also thought you should know that my books are 50% off at Actually they have everything on sale all holiday weekend long. What a deal. I suppose that means all the e-books and my e-patterns too.

We had quilting at church today.  One thing we took care of was sorting through our quilts to choose which ones were going to be delivered to which charities.. Guess who will make the delivery to Love, Inc. next week. I also brought another top home to quilt - someday. There was lots of show and tell this morning and when I checked the tub of kits I saw that it was starting to go down. So after Christmas I will plan to put more kits together. Maybe I will get a picture or two before they go.

My quilting is on hold now as I get ready for the holiday. Have a good one.

Monday, November 19, 2012

But Flying Geese ARE Birds in the Air

I finished the borders on this Last Monday night and I finally put it up on the wall to photograph. I must be a little tired of blue and green that I used the rust for the borders. I did try several and this was the best.

The cutting marathon continues. I'm finding all kinds of things to cut. I finished cutting the scraps of Civil War prints. One of my rotary cutters broke. It won't stay open. Glad I had a spare. And I am almost done with the quilt down in the studio. That's tonights project.

We don't usually do Thanksgiving dinner here but my fella friend bought a 20 pound turkey  for the 3 of us. After my sister asked to be included we decided to do it here. Not sure if daughter and friend will join us. I think this will become the usual now that mom and dad are both gone. It means a lot to this fella and my sister.
 It's Monday before Thanksgiving.I hope you all get a chance to hop over to Judy's to check out the design walls.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cutting Marathon Begins

I need to do some serious cutting. "With the Nine-Patch in Furrows" top done and the "Flying Geese are Birds in the Air" top done and the Broken Dishes blocks done, it's time I plan a few more on-going projects. I liked having those big projects to work on a little at a time. Sure I have other PHD's to turn to, but what fun is that. Seriously, I like to cut and I have little already cut to grab and sew when I need to.

The Lemoyne Stars was on the top of the list. So I dug out my box of scrap Civil War prints and began cutting the diamonds. This led to cutting and kitting 4 more projects from that box. I always say there is no sense in handling those scraps more than necessary so cutting for 5 projects at once just makes sense. I will get back to cutting the background for the stars some other time. This  is what else I decided to cut:

1. My continuing charm quilt of Equilateral Triangles.
2. A new block to use most of the leftover squares and triangles already cut that were in the box.  It took a while to come up with an idea for those, but I think I will like it. It has no name yet.
3.  More Bowtie blocks to go with those I found with the orphan blocks when I dug out the old Lemoyne Star blocks.
4. While I sort and cut out of that box, I thought I may as well trim the smallest scraps for strips for another Log Cabin.They'll be perfect.
I guess this means I had a couple already started that I forgot about.  But my biggest problem is that I must be careful not to overdo cutting and remember to change the blade when it gets dull. No sense in cutting till I get sore. With that in mind, I am going to the studio to get some quilting done. After dinner anyways.

Monday, November 12, 2012

High Hopes

I HAD high hopes for getting lots of quilting done last week, but I caught a cold and didn't have much energy.These are the Broken Dishes blocks that I cut from my scraps last week. I have enough blocks made now to make a good sized quilt. I just plan to alternate them with squares. That'll be quick.

 Once again I was glad I had some projects cut out to work on when I felt like it. I see I will have to hold another cutting marathon as my supply is running low,  and I will have to plan another few quilts to have as on-going projects. The Birds-in-the-Air quilt, the Nine-Patch in Furrows and the Broken Dishes were my "go to" quilts for a while and they are nearly all done.
Before I packed away the Lemoyne Stars I made last week, I dug out the others  I knew I had stashed with the orphan blocks. No, I don't care for them together even though they all use Civil War prints.  I will keep them in separate quilts. It was worth checking.

I'm almost done with the borders on the the Birds in the Air quilt. That's on the agenda this week. Last week was the meeting of the Ben Franklin quilt club. I picked up the directions for the next step of the mystery, so I have that to work on this week, too. I have to work on paperwork now and Mark will be home a few days this week too, so there is some distraction to deal with. With just a smidge of luck I will meet my goals for the week.
Thank you Judy for hosting the  Design Wall Monday Linky. It's really motivating.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Quilting First

Straightening my projects, closet or sewing room usually helps me to prioritize and focus on finishing things. At least that is what I always count on. I sorted the scrap basket first, filing away lots of 2 1/2" strips and  lots of smaller pieces for Crumb quilts and Log Cabins.  I cut enough 3" triangles for 16 more Broken Dishes Blocks.

I also sewed these leftover diamonds together for some 8-pointed stars. Here I have them stuck on a piece of plain muslin. The low contrast is very unusual for me, but it is the look I was after. I thought it might really look like an antique quilt. I like them well enough to cut and make some more. Before I get too deep in this project though I think I should finish up the pieced borders on the other two tops.

I was distracted this last week with Mark home a few days and  doctor appointments with my people. Not much on the calendar this week so I should be able to get lots done.

Oh Yes. It's Monday. Time to go check out some other blogs linked up to Judy's. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Another short list

I made a mess in my room today and the closet needed some attention too, all so I could find something to work on next.  So I spent a little time organizing things to make it easier to prioritize my projects. Here's the short list.

1. In the plastic box are the leftover pieces from a Lemoyne star quilt I made a few years ago.  I'm ready to make another one, but this time use a bunch of faded reproduction prints and mix up the prints in each star.
The Lemoyne star is probably my favorite.

2. Also ready is the border for my Birds-in-the-Air quilt I made  - was that earlier this year. I ended up buying another rust fabric for the border. It is washed and cut and waiting.

3. My Ladies in Waiting quilt  is waiting for me to take it to a retreat somewhere. Anyone know of a good one close to me? Never mind that I also need to make a design decision.

4. The antique Dresden Plate quilt for church probably needs a little attention before our next meeting.

5. My basket of scraps is full enough to sort. This time I will pull out for my Broken Dishes ongoing project and file the rest.

6. I had some 3 1/2" squares that said "play with me". So I started a little pinwheel/flower block. I still have to cut the green and maybe add something to the center. Or maybe just quilt a center for each block.

7.  Binding for a small quilt that I am already using on my living room table.  -That reminds me. I wanted to make a Christmas quilt for that table. It is small so shouldn't take long.

8. My Smokey Mountain Star made in June I think still might benefit from a pieced border that I have in mind.

9. Oops. Edited to add the mystery quilt barely in the picture. I obviously have to wait for the directions for the next step on this one.

This is not a complete PHD list. Just the list of active projects which at any time I could shelve and label it dormant.  So, what to do? Maybe I will sleep on it and go downstairs to quilt. Sew long.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nine-Patch in Furrows

My Nine-Patch in Furrows quilt top is still on the flannel wall. I experimented with my camera  to get the best picture and this is it. It turns out I don't want the sun to shine because it lights the quilt  unevenly.  Best to go with the flash on the big quilts.

I'm hoping to get some serious time in on the long arm for a while. Not sure what I want to piece next. But I do like having both some piecing and quilting going on at the same time.

I'm also hoping for the best for north eastern US as hurricane Sandy blows through. It's threatening to be pretty wicked. I hope you're all safe.

Going to check out the posts linked to Judy's at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm at it again!

Quilted in the studio this weekend. It felt pretty good, but I see I still need to slow down a bit. Does that mean I need a heavier machine??? Oh, that's right, I'm just rusty from not quilting for 2 months.

This is a comfort quilt that Lois put together. She always adds her own fabric to the bag she picks up at church. Here she added the blue sashing and border fabric. She sure makes our scraps look good. I used a circle template for the sashing and quilted the rest freehand.

I need to decide which top to put on the frame next. Should it be mine or one for church? I have the backs and batting ready for half a dozen. I think I'll be quilting a panto (edge-to-edge) design on most of them. Maybe I should just take the first one on the pile. Duh.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Uneven 9-patches

It didn't take long to make these blocks for the next step of the mystery quilt I'm working on. I'm thinking I shoulda been smart enough to predict this outcome. Of course, it isn't finished yet so maybe I should refrain from expressing an opinion till it's further along.

I also finished the quilting on the 9-patch comfort quilt. As I suspected, I was a bit rusty. I hope I can put a little more time on that machine now that it is cooling off outside. Once Mark retires I suspect I will be spending lots of time  hiding working in the studio. Time will tell.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Out and Back

 I've been gone so I haven't had a chance to sew. Before I left I cut out the fabric for a mystery I am doing with the Oconomowoc shop. I rarely join in the fun, but I thought once I followed directions and chose my fabric, I wouldn't have to make anymore decisions for that quilt. So I chose these fabrics and did my cutting. I will NOT try to solve the mystery, but instead do what I am told. Will it be fun??? I chose some orange prints and some older fabrics. Wish I knew how they will be used.
 The Stringtown Quilters of northern Kentucky are a bunch of fun quilt-loving ladies. I hauled my two trunks of quilts for a program Thursday night with workshops following on Friday and Saturday. I think we found each other equally inspiring.  As usual, the ladies in the "Savor the Scraps" workshop were very enthused about my Thirtysomething techniques and encouraged me to get going on the block book. All along my goal has been to get a book proposal accepted by the end of the year. I guess I better get going.

On the way to the airport, Mark asked what town I was going to, but I couldn't remember.  Did I ever feel dumb when I realized I was going to Burlington, KY. How could I forget that when Burlington, WI is just 10 miles from here??? I stayed at the lovely Willis Graves B & B in a home built in the 1830's. Breakfast was absolutely the best of my life. I'd be thrilled to go back.

It's cloudy and rainy today and that is fine with me.  I finished my nine-patch quilt but didn't get a picture yet cause it is so dark inside and out. Check later this week for that picture. We are sure to get more sun and I'll try to get a good one then. Meanwhile I will start sewing  on the mystery - and putting together that proposal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Things I could do better

I had hoped to finish my nine-patch in furrows quilt tonight, but I didn't count right. I needed one more nine-patch and 72 more large triangles! I can't imagine where I went wrong. Good thing it doesn't matter. I have no deadlines and LOTS more fabric. I could cut a gazillion more triangles.

I should be thinking ahead of what I want to work on next. Maybe it's time I make a new list. I think some long arm quilting should be at the top. I ought to warm up with a few comfort quilts before I dive into doing any custom work on my quilts, don't you think? Notice I am still inspired by Judy's masterpiece. When she gets pictures up on her website, I'll let you know.

I missed the meeting at church this week. I had other things on my mind.  I am sure the ladies would have liked a report on how well we sold at the Fall Festival at church on the 7th. I know they were thrilled that they sold as well as they did. I think it means we could up our prices (They already decided to do it again next year) especially since people hardly even looooked at the prices.

Well, back to my sewing.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Two Corners

I sewed the blocks together last night during the football game.  (Go Pack!) Now for the pieced border.
When I arranged the half-square triangle blocks for a border, I didn't like the design unless I added a single row of more nine-patches and triangle/squares to the two long sides of the quilt first. Because of the diagonal arrangement of the blocks, I will have two corners that look like this.

The other two corners will look like this. Sewn together, of course. I used 2" squares to make the nine patches. The triangles were cut from 5 3/8" squares cut once diagonally. The  blocks finish  4.5" and the quilt will be 72" x 90". Unless. . .You get the idea?

My friend, Judy called me over the other day to see this masterpiece Baltimore Album she quilted. Soooo inspiring. I've had the same  9patch comfort quilt loaded on the machine for the last two months. Obviously nothing exciting there.  I'll have to finish that thing soon so I can start working again on my own custom quilting. I'd love to do even a mini-masterpiece like Judy's. And no I won't applique one, but then neither did Judy. It belongs to her customer.
Thanks for visiting. Let's go check out some other design walls.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Peak II

Okay, it's not quilty. But who doesn't love these oaks?
This is a bit of the view outside my sewing room window. Yeah, yeah. The sugar maples are pretty. But around here they are usually more yellow than - this. I  have a few young oaks in my yard showing lots of color. Can't wait till they are bigger.  Did I mention that we have two peaks of autumn color around here?  This is the second.

I do have my blocks ready to sew together. Maybe tonight while the ball game is on. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's a Life

I finally got an hour to sew tonight. I decided to make the nine-patches and triangle-squares into fourpatch blocks. I only got these 10 blocks together so far and I thought  it was great, cause I finally have something to post on my blog. Unfortunately, it's nothin' new, except that you can see the configuration of the units in the fourpatch needed to build this design. It's either this or photos of my patterns other quilters have made and sent to me.  I love that they send them to me, but there are clearly  favorite patterns and I'd be showing the same ones often.

 I've been a bit too busy to sew lately. Last weekend I was in Rockford visiting the guild there. They have an afternoon and an evening meeting, so that means two lectures. They requested two different lectures. Then the following two days we booked workshops. The classes were great fun as the ladies discovered how many different designs could be made with the two different Thirtysomething units. Click on the posts labeled "mystery" on the right to see what we worked with. After Friday's class, my hostess Teresa took me to the quilt shop Lucky 2 B Quilting in Pecatonica. I really liked the shop and Polly's taste in fabric. 

It sure would have been nice if Mark took care of the laundry while I was gone or . . .  Besides the usual household stuff to do, I have been finishing up paperwork for probate on mom's estate and Mark is retiring, so there is extra paperwork there and all that other stuff of life. Add to that, I have been getting some walks in with Sue. It's been soooooo pretty this fall, I can't resist. I hope your having better luck finding time for some stitching.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My 3rd choice

I've made enough of each the nine-patches and the half-square triangles to make a twin sized quilt. Is that big enough??? Then, as usual, I tried the blocks in different settings on my flannel wall. I liked the stars, but I'm going with my original plan. I usually arrange them all on the flannel wall before starting to sew them together. Though it would be easier if  I make these units into four-patches first.  Give me a few days to think about it.

I'm still spending time outside. The weather has been perfect for enjoying the beautiful fall colors. Fall is my favorite season and I far prefer going for walks in this weather as opposed to summer or winter. There are lots of places around here for taking hikes: County park, State Natural Area at Beulah Bog, Prairie Preserve subdivision, bike trail, farm fields and the woods. Sue and I often hit the trails together.  Yesterday we went for a walk and I musta stopped to admire the trees too often cause I just about missed my ride with Judy to the quilting meeting in Oconomowoc (Easier to spell than pronounce at first). More later, Sew long.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ready to Fall

The leaves are ready to fall on this little tree. They've been ready for almost 15 years when I made the tree for a guild challenge. I forgot the guidelines for the challenge, I just remember that I never finished it and took it to the meeting. I found it a month or two ago in the cedar chest and finally added the border, quilted and bound it.
 The leaves on my Autumn Applause Ash trees are about ready to fall too. The trees in our area have reached their first peak this weekend. In a few more weeks the rest of the trees including the oaks will then reach their peak fall color. I love them all. I hope you get to enjoy the pretty leaves this fall. And now maybe some other design walls linked up at Judy's.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sugar Creek Maples

She said, "It's Perfect". Really.  And I have to agree. Of course, Sue might have been talking about the border, or the setting, or the green squares. She was here while I was making my decision, and though it is nice to have her stamp of approval, I don't need it. To be honest, I couldn't be happier with my Maple Leaf quilt. I could be happier with the camera though.

Next on the agenda is cutting and sewing triangles for my nine-patch in furrows quilt. With it cooling off, and getting darker earlier I am likely to get back to the longarm quilting again, too. I think it has been over a month since I've been down in the cellar.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Break Time

Please tell me that I am not the only one that goes back and forth between projects. I've always done that so I can do what I want when I want. What I am trying to say is, I set the leaves aside and picked up my box of  nine-patches and sewed some more of those. They were all cut and I didn't feel like cutting for the leaves. I was starting to get a little carried away, so stopped to count and sure enough 132 later, I decided I've enough of those till I start to arrange them into a quilt top. Lots of triangles to cut and sew first.

This is a rough idea of what I am doing with them. Not sure if I am going to set them diagonally or straight, it's the same thing either way. I thought I might even set them in a barn raising layout, but I just did that with the Birds in the Air quilt. So as usual, we'll see.
September has been beautiful so far. I've been puttering in the garden lots. I have big plans to redo my big flower beds over the next few years. I find I only work outside for 45 minutes before I am ready for a break.  During break time I read or sew, then go back out to the garden again. So during breaks,  I've been able to get all 72 leaves done, and not a green one in sight. I know how I plan to arrange them, but didn't want to take the time this weekend to arrange them on the phlannel  flannel wall. Maybe tonight. First I'm stopping by Judy's to check out some other design walls. Sew long.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Little Progress

 A friend told me once that everything takes her twice as long as she figures. It was all the little interruptions and things going unplanned that slowed her down.  That doesn't often seem to be my problem, but lately, well, see for yourself.

This was my attempt to add red to my leaf quilt. Granted the color from the camera isn't 100% accurate. I pulled the print from my red drawer. It really blended in pretty well at the time. Good thing it reads kinda red-orange rather than red-violet cause it fits in pretty good now with the orange leaves.  You'll see.

I ran out of brown triangles, so I needed to stop and cut. I wonder what kind of interruption there will be now. The laundry buzzer doesn't count. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

More to Sew

Yes, I have been working on some quilts. Not often enough otherwise I'd have posted. Still deciding if I want to include red or green in the quilt. But the big hold-up was deciding how I wanted to arrange the maple leaves. Now that I have decided, I know how many more to make. Too many. Like 54 more.  So, I may have to tweak the layout a bit. I hope I won't be sick of orange after this.

It reminds me of the year I made 5 big pink quilts. UGH! The last one was named Pepto Bismal. And Why Pink? I only remember that one was a gift and the requested color. Still don't like Pink in quilts too much anymore. Love pink flowers though.

Also made a few more stars for the Ladies in Waiting quilt.  That one will take a while too cause it's another big quilt and I really want to work on it only away from home.

Fall is here and that means quilt show season. I haven't decided which ones I will enjoy this year. Hope you get to see a few.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Maple Leaves turning

It's time I make a decision on what to do with the maple leaves. I'm really liking the colors and how easy they are. I originally thought maybe I'd use a medallion setting. But now I don't know.
Then I tried a few like this and I liked, so maybe. I'll have to decide soon so I know when to stop making leaves and I can get this puppy done to enjoy this fall. Okay, sorry. I was trying to fool myself. I know if I get it together I still won't quilt it this year and I am still loving it the way it is. So glad I don't have deadlines.
Also did the two blocks for the exchange with Dorinda. Requested black and taupe. I think it will be yummy.

Take the time to enjoy a few other works-in-progress at Judy's Design Wall Monday.  I will.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Scraps Over the Years

I didn't mean to get side-tracked with these Broken Dishes, but I wanted to try my new toy and I had nothing else cut and ready to sew. My scrap box of 3" finished triangles was quite full so I pulled out sets of 4 matching triangles and paired light to dark. I have no definite plans yet for this, except to add more brighter colors. Gosh, I sure like dark colors.  I don't plan to really work on this any time soon. It was to be an ongoing project, but I sure am glad I had them ready to sew. I ought to make sure I have a few more projects to pick up in a hurry like that.

The featherweight hums real pretty and Mark never did open her up. I surprised him the other night when he got home from work. I ran the machine off and on all day and that is all it took to clean her out and make her happy. If she stays so quiet, I might rather use her when I talk on the phone evenings with my fella friend. He has not once complained about the noise of my big machines.  I set the phone right next to the machine and turn the speaker phone on so he can yak all he wants, and happy to have someone to talk to.

Oh, FYI my machine is a 1938 model. And for the non-quilters among you, these machines are very popular with quilters cause all they need is the straight stitch for piecing a quilt and their light weight makes them portable to take on retreats and such. Back to stitching.

Monday, August 20, 2012

DH Plays Doctor

Nothing is on my design wall  because I have been busy pulling weeds. Actually nothing but a big piece of fabric and Mark teased me that we finally figured out that we were wasting our time cutting up our fabric into little bits first when we make quilts. But there is a new member of the family here. Another sewing machine I mean.

I have quite a family of machines, though I don't usually name them. After my last retreat I decided it was time I get a featherweight cause I can't see quitting this quilting thing anytime soon. The older I get, the harder it is to lug those things around. I could just get better wheels, but what fun is that? So I told Mark and right away he was anxious that  I get one. I won the bid for this one on our 38th anniversary. He is not convinced it just needs oil and lube however, so he intends now to open up the motor and clean up her guts. I haven't  even tried her with a needle and thread yet, but she sounds better everyday and I believe when he is done with the procedure, she will hum like new. It is amazing the info you can find online about these puppies. I am sure he wouldn't attempt it otherwise.

If I add them all up, she counts as my 7th machine. Sorry, I won't gather them for a picture. But what I have is a Bernina, Pfaff, Babylock, Singer handcrank, Franklin treadle, an APQS Lenni and now the Singer featherweight. Yes, I count my blessings everyday.

I've got to do paperwork today and I have to gather a few things for quilting tomorrow. I get to teach the ladies how to do invisible applique by machine. What fun.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Ladies Are Waiting

Apparently lots of you like this block. It is called Amish Star in Maggie Malone's 5,500 Quilt Block Designs book. If this is something you want the pattern for, don't hesitate to ask.  I can only say no. I found a golden brown print and made the last few blocks I needed and made a few of the border stars. Now I will pack it all away for  another time and get back to the leaf quilt.

I didn't get anymore done than that because the disabled man I take care of has been pretty sick. Kinda eats my time.  Things are peaceful now so I plan to load another top on the longarm. Hopefully alternate that with piecing the leaf quilt.
I'm going quilting tonite, but first I'm checking out the posts at Judy's on Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tell Me Why

     This is what kept me awake last night after my show for the Patched Lives Guild:
Why is the space on a longarm sewing machine between the needle and the motor called the throat and not the armpit? 

     Since the Machine Quilting Show I quilted this orphan sampler for church. They are fun to quilt, but without any practice to memorize the quilting design for each block it was easy to get confused. So I ripped a little more than I would normally. I try to keep the quilting on the light side for these quilts, but sometimes it isn't easy. Maybe it is time I quilt one of mine again.  I see I will have to play with this new camera a little more. The color isn't the best. Here are a few closeups.

      It was great to see so many familiar faces in the crowd last night. More than one gal was surprised to see that it was me doing the program.  We both attend the BenFranklin club way over in Oconomowoc, and I never let on there who I was.  Sometimes I try to be just one of the gals and it is easy at a shop club as opposed to a guild meeting. Things aren't as "social" there.

     And here's a few things I learned at the meeting last night:
Grandkids can cramp your style, but in a good way.
I have lots more local mystery readers of my blog than I thought.
I have more than one "biggest fan" in Wisconsin.
Sometimes Walmart clears fabric at 75 cents a yard.

Happy quilting.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Our Acceptable Obsession

Last week I enjoyed the Machine Quilting Today Show for 3 days.  Lucrecia and I took a room for a couple of nights and did some sewing in our room between classes. I finished 9 more blocks for my Ladies in Waiting quilt. It was slow going at first cause I wasn't familiar with the machine. The back of the hotel bedspread works for a design wall in a pinch.

When I got home I dug out this multicolored print I'll use in the border. I still want to pick out a copper or brown for some of the blocks then I can get on with the border blocks.

More about the show. Many of the classes at a machine quilting show are only 2 hours long. They have classes for beginners and experienced, for longarm quilters or domestic machine users, for art quilting techniques, for competition and for those with a computerized machine.  And then classes that interest me. Predominantly freehand quilting.

The classes are usually pretty good. I like to take classes to see how the teachers present the material and gain some new inspiration and ideas.  And just imagine, I learn something new while I am at it.
 I only take a drawing or a demo class because I don't want hands-on with a big heavy unfamiliar longarm. Ouch!

The show itself obviously had some phenomenal quilts made for the competition. This show also has categories that are more for everyday quilts I guess. Maybe next year I will enter that category. Again I was disappointed there weren't more pieced quilts. Always the art and applique quilts predominate. The lighting was pretty bad, but next year promises to be better. My camera has a flash so the pictures turned out fine.

Now it's back to reality. I have paperwork and doctors waiting and have a "show" to give in Waukesha. Yikes!