Monday, August 13, 2018

Heading South

Last week on my blog I showed how I constructed this diagonally set quilt with sashing, taking an unusual approach. All the blocks are together now and I brought my little star and chain quilt home even though it still  needs its corners. Here I will hunt through my stash for a border. I'm not convinced it needs one. In which case the quilt will turn out smaller than intended. That's okay though. Getting it quilted is not a high priority. I can decide about a border later.  I also remembered to use a different camera. I am happier with these photos. Reminder to self:  - use old camera again! The squares were cut a tiny 1 1/2" yielding a 4" block. And though all the scraps could have been gleaned from the waste basket at Studio 3, I chose colors that have a muted dusty rosy overall tone to them. My aim was to make it look kinda old. I Sure had a hard time getting the color right on a photo.

I also finished the Flying Geese quilt I started last fall. Well, the top. I named it Heading South.  Once it is quilted I will finish it with brown binding. I wanted these quilts small  (about 36") to use as table toppers. I'd like to do one more for Halloween and I also have a 1930's grandmothers flower garden hexie quilt top almost done for a springtime quilt. Oh and my 4 block tulip applique for spring as well. I thought I took a photo already but it's lost.  It's a good thing I have more than one table these will fit.

In the past I would have  made a little quilt like these in a week. Instead of sewing all day like I used to I'm now busy working in the woods. It was a bit overgrown when we got it about 5 years ago and I can see areas (It's 11 acres) where we have done nothing and the weed trees are obviously continuing to grow. So my mission this summer is to cut them back and eliminate them. Either literally or figuratively. Mark will cut the bigger ones though they allllll get killed by me. And I LOVE trees. Opening it up to sunlight allows the wildflowers to grow and I love those too.

Since it is hot again today I have some time for blogging so I am joining these linky parties

Main Crush Monday
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

More Progress

The weather is cooperating nicely today( it's raining), but rather than sew I thought I'd post about my progress piecing.  One day last week it was too hot to be outside so I did a little sewing and finished up the little stars and cut the sashing. This is where I left it.

Then again I had a chance to sew. I sure did choose a confusing layout. Maybe not really confusing but I felt like I'd have to get up to retrieve the next few blocks as there isn't lots of repetitive units in this setting as the piece gets bigger. Till I looked again. So I moved it to the floor for photos so it would be easier for you to see.

I found that I could  make multiples of the block with sashing and cornerstones attached as in the upper left corner. Then an alternate unit was the little stars with sashing just on 2 sides. So I will still have narrow and wide rows just not so many or so narrow as in just sashing and cornerstones.

I will have to proceed slowly to sew in the correct order. One can't be too hasty to add the setting triangles. I won't be too wordy here. Study the pictures if you are really interested in trying this yourself.

 I've added all the setting triangles and the rest of the sashing here. Do you find it easier to see with
the rows on the diagonal (at left) or
straight across in the picture (at right)?

 Maybe a close up will help you understand it easier.  The sashing was already on all 4 sides of the block in the corner. I just added sashing unit to side setting triangles then they went on the block. The next row is ready to add here.

The second row has been added and the next side triangles too.  The 4 corners are always added last on diagonal set quilts.

The rows are all ready to join together. I will finish the upper left corner like the opposite corner before joining to the top.The 3 middle rows too will go together before adding the 2 corner sections.

Can't wait to finish it now to see if I even like it or if it will get a border. Must fit on a table at home. Once home I will get a picture with a different camera. Interested to see what the color will be like from that one.

I love the color of this wooden floor.  I have a flannel wall at Studio 3. One day one of my students asked what color sashing she should use on the blocks she just arranged on the white flannel. We were all in agreement that a light color would not be very complimentary. I suggested arranging the blocks on the floor to see if that color might be a good choice. It was! she bought fabric that was really close to the same color and the quilt was beautiful. Always a question when designing a quilt - How light or dark a fabric should be? I think with the white flannel we sometimes forget our options.

I've made progress on others, just need a photo.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sew Many Starts

I must be fully recovered from my gallbladder issues of the first half of this year because I've been very anxious to do some quilting again. I took a mini inventory of my current ufo's and made a list of the 12 that I'd like most to complete soon. Notice I didn't say this year. I wanted to say this summer but I'm being realistic. Actually some are small and near completion. And since I know the quilt is finished when the top is done, the end of summer is a real possibility for at least half of them. I'd really like to see a number of these actually quilted so may put them on the tentative quilting schedule for this fall. So this is how I plan dream.

Next I will need to prioritize these things. I will probably order them starting with those that are nearest completion. I have several where the blocks are done, the setting design and fabrics have been chosen, and even cut.Those that need a bunch cut will wait till I am in the mood to cut. Maybe I will bring them back to the house from Studio 3 so I will have something to work on here besides quilting on the long arm. I still want to do some of that but for some reason I find the Studio in The Cellar really cold this summer.

I was home when I made my list. I should have opened the boxes of ufo's in the closet. But those aren't what I would call active ufo's. I was thinking only of those that I have started or planned recently (the last year maybe). Those are all at Studio 3. When I went there after making the list I found more I'd forgotten about. Isn't that always the way? So those have been added to the list, one at the top and one at the bottom. This is the most current.

I was interrupted since I started this post and had a chance to work at Studio 3 a little more. While there, I calculated and cut the setting fabric for 1 and finished the star blocks for the one shown above. Those little darlings are only 4" finished.  It evolved from 1 1/2" strips cut for sashing for another quilt I don't even remember. It seems I would rather start a quilt from leftovers than from scratch. Anyway I've been interested in making some small quilts since I've started using them on my dining room table. I don't know what took me so long to put them there.  I never was one for tablerunners or placemats, but a small quilt that comes to the edge of the table, I love.  I haven't decided anything about the borders yet because I want it to fit the table I will wait till the center is done and I will know how much space is available for a border. May be this one doesn't get one.

And as it turns out today I chose to work on what I needed alone time to think about and what was at the sewing machine. So much for what was nearest completion. That I brought home so I had something to work on here.

I've joined the linky parties at
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday with link at right. 
 I hope I got that right- there are so many blogs to enjoy out there.
I found another I think I will enjoy.
It's Beth Sellers Main Crush Monday at Main Crush Monday

Browse here and there and be inspired, then good luck quilting!


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Early Rising

I'm up early. It is light out but it is wet with dew so I'm not outside yet. It is nice and cool and now would be a good time to work in the garden if it weren't for the mosquitoes. It seems they like it when it is cool outside too, always a bigger pest early late in the day.
Since Mark retired 5 years ago our schedule has changed from 2nd shift to 1st. I don't mind like I thought I would as long as I get my rest. With the change in schedule it's often too wet to work out early. I've tried to do more sewing then in the morning, but that's not happening. Yet I'm anxious to sew. What is happening?
I thought I would finally post a few pictures of the cotton quilt I finished for my bed. I wanted all cotton thinking it wouldn't be so warm. It is still too warm for me most night, but I like it on the bed anyway.

I started another quilt at Studio 3 but set that aside for now cause I misplaced the ruler for the stars.

Then I pulled out another I had started. Not sure of the size I'll make it but I think I will stop at 9 blocks. I've really enjoyed the small quilts on my dining room table. I was never one for tablerunners. I've got several just the right size for the table, some are quilted and some aren't that I'm planning on finishing. I'd also like to make a few more that size cause it's so nice to rotate them and enjoy them up close every day. Photos will follow as they are near finished.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Change of Plans

Yes, believe it or not I am still doing some quilting. At the beginning of the year I had big plans to quilt through the winter and post about all the stitching  I was planning to do. The plans did not include being ill and when I am sick I don't feel like doing much of anything. It started with gallstones on New Years eve and finally after lots of tests, surgery and procedures and more illness, I am feeling more like my self. And though I feel like sewing again it is also gardening season. I did however, do a little quilting this winter so can at least share those projects with you.

 The name of this pattern is Twilight Hopscotch by Kim Diehl. The pattern is available from  either as a single pattern or one of her books. Martingale also included it in one of their compilations of quilt designs by various author,s including myself, in their Big Book of Civil War Quilts. I enlarged it by one row of blocks and the addition of the red border. They included 4 of my quilts in the book of 58 designs. Boy if that doesn't give me a notion to do another book. Don't be watching for another book from me.  I did this quilt with the Thursday Group at Studio 3. It also qualifies for an Irish Chain variation for the Stashbusters Yahoo group that did an Irish Chain challenge. And talk about busting stash. I didn't have to buy any fabric! I hope I didn't repeat myself. I should have reviewed my 2017 posts.

I was inspired to make this Halloween quilt while on a roadtrip with friends to visit the Missouri Star Quilt Company. My plan was to choose a simple pattern and buy a piece of fabric for the quilt at the different shops we visited along the way. It didn't quite work out that way as the design didn't require as many prints as the shops we visited. But I'm still pleased with what I chose to make with all new fabric! A simple meander and it COULD be ready by October. But it won't.

Most of my piecing is usually done at Studio 3. The plan is to focus on machine quilting at home, but I worked on these hanging diamonds here at home. I'd collected the prints  over the years without a plan in mind. Once I decided on the plan I cut most of it out and stacked it on the shelf for a kit from stash. When I went back to it I changed my mind about the design and came up with this instead. But then I felt it was best to work on it here since  I needed it on my flannel wall while I assembled it.  It doesn't go together in the usual way and I thought it might take a while to complete and really I didn't want to hog the flannel wall at Studio 3. I think it's the longest any project waited on the wall to be sewn. I enjoyed it there the whole time.

I have started other projects I'll plan to share soon and I did some machine quilting I can share as well but right now Mark is napping under that quilt so I'll wait to get a photo when he's up.
Don't expect lots from me this summer. I am out in the woods or sedge meadow as weather permits. That's most days.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Cutting like crazy

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ending 2017

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

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

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