Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Playing Hang Man

Last week I finally finished my son's wall hanging. I had been waiting to show the finished quilt until we could get it hung on his living room wall. I think Shawn's pretty proud of it.

He also talked me out of another one for his kitchen/dining area. Last Fall I made a quilt barn wall hanging. It was a guild challenge quilt using that striped piece of fabric used on roofs of the barns and the silos. Here is a closer look at that fabric.
My son's kitchen has red counter tops which he hates, but the red barns went very well with it.

Meantime, Shawn wants me to finish that disappearing 9 patch quilt and give to him. When I showed him the blog photo, he did not like the D9P. But when he saw it in person, he loved it. Now I also need to finish my daughter's quilt and my hubby's quilt. 

But, tomorrow this lady will be at the Quilt Show in Paducah. I have never been and so excited! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wild Flowers and A Flimsy

My quilty friend Sharon is an avid gardener. Plus, she loves wildflowers. They grow so well on her wooded property. So, I had been telling her about a flower that comes up in my yard every year, but I don't know the name of it. I sent her the photos below, but she did not recognize them. Do you?

Also, yesterday, while Sharon attached a binding to her latest quilt, I ripped and ripped. When I got back home I finally got the disappearing 9 patch quilt top together with all blocks going in the right direction. This morning I took a photo of the flimsy. It looks like it has a lot of white in it, but those are printed pieces. Trying to decide if I want to add borders or not. I have a nice medium dark blue that might work. Or, maybe a tan, narrow inner border and then a wide, blue border? I'm still not crazy about this quilt.

Meantime, I bought a backing fabric for this quilt about 3 weeks ago. Now I have no idea where I put
it. That would surely never happen to ya'll, would it?

I am linking up to Judy's design wall Monday.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Slow Sunday Ripping?

Yesterday I was sewing together the blocks of my disappearing 9 patch. I was on a roll. When I sew a large quilt I like to put each half together separately. That way I don't have so much weight pulling at it. That plan did not work so well yesterday. Apparently I turned the blocks on each half together differently. So, this afternoon I am going to sit with my friend Sharon and chat while she sews and I rip. She did remind me this morning that I am so good at ripping.Thanks Sharon. LOL Here is the start of the layout.
Yes, it does look rather busy, but it will go under our spread and it will feel good to sleep curled under it. I just wanted to do something with these fabrics and move on to the next project.

This evening I will be doing some slow stitching on my Baltimore block wall hanging. It has been a couple of years since I hand quilted using regular quilting thread. I'm trying to improve my stitches. I am doing about 7 stitches to the inch after watching several hand stitching videos. Here is last night's progress.
Not a good photo,but hope you can get the idea. I also finished my son's wall hanging this past week. I will be sharing a photo as soon as we get it hung on his living room wall.
Linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching here.

Happy Easter,

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

My mother once told me that quilts were made with blood, sweat, and tears. I think that was just after she had finished making me a quilt for Christmas 1980. It is all hand pieced and hand quilted. It is a Lemoyne Star. Don't you love it? Totally scrappy.

Well, I was just thinking about all the needle pricks I have had through the years. Not a lot of blood there, until...

A couple of years ago had started making a disappearing 9 patch quilt.I had used some layer cakes and some charm squares. I had cut the layer cakes into what I laughingly called 5" squares. I soon found out that not all pre-cut fabrics are cut the same. My blocks were terrible. So, I packed them away. In the last few days I have been trimming them to 12" squares. 

Looked pretty good. Then, I started sewing more blocks together. Today I was on a roll. I was chain piecing the 9 patches together at break neck speed. After lunch, I pressed my stack of 9 patches and began slicing them like this.
I was cutting the last one when my hubby came to tell me he was leaving to go to his brother's. I guess I got in a bit of a hurry to finish. Yep, this is where the blood comes in. I sliced my index finger on my left hand. I told my hubby it was fine. I wrapped it up so he wouldn't see how bad it was. I had sliced it on a slant about a 1/2" across and the blood was pouring. He left and I drove myself to the ER. Got some nice little steri-strips and a tetanus shot.
Now back to sewing and, hopefully, no more blood. We quilter's won't let something like that keep us from making progress on a quilt top. Right?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching-Coming Across the Finish Line

Today I hope to finish up my son's wall hanging. Though it is hand pieced and hand quilted, I just could not make myself attach the binding  by hand. I will sew it down by hand, of course. I decided to put on the binding before I do the quilting on the edge triangles and the corners. Seemed like it will be easier that way. 

I had hoped to make a two-sided binding on this quilt. I thought I  would like a light blue binding on the front. But, the backing is a tone on tone rust color print. Well, after I miscut the binding  I finally decided I preferred do the whole binding in the rust fabric. There are some wonderful tutorials online on how to make  a double sided binding. Perhaps I'll check one out before I try again. LOL

Below is one of the corners. I think I will quilt the corners as one large triangle. What do you think?
I am linking up to Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. Check out what everyone else is doing today.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hand Quilting Projects

Today I tried a new (for me) technique. I basted a quilt with thread. I usually pin baste, but the pins get in the way of my hoop. I am planning to hand quilt this small wall hanging. It really was a quick basting job because the wall hanging is small. I saw a video where the instructor was using a spoon in the left hand to bring up the needle. But, this project is small and very few seams, so not difficult to just bring the needle back up. I used some old, off brand embroidery thread I had and a very large needle. Can you see my basting?  I basted from the center out, then turned and went from the center out again. I did this until it was all done. The ends of the threads were left with a short tail and no knots. It should be easily removed.
I had some problems finding something that I could mark the border with that I could see. I tried a white pencil, soap slivers, a white Sewline pen. Even the Hera marker did not work well. Someone at retreat had me to try their Bohn white chalk pen. Worked great and I bought one as soon as I got home. If you look closely you can see my markings. I used a stencil for the border. 
Today I noticed the wall hanging I am quilting for my son was under the lamp. I love to see a quilt when the design starts to pop up. I hope to finish this soon. I did have to order more orange perle cotton thread. It should arrive today. 
I am thinking of using a 2-sided binding on this that I saw in our quilt guild program earlier this week. Hopefully, that will be in a post really soon.
Enjoy your day!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Still kicking...but, not high.

Contrary to popular belief, I have not fallen of the face of the earth. I just took a little unplanned blogging break. Sometimes, the time just gets away from me. Plus, last week I was at a 4 day quilt retreat with members of my guild. The Music City Quilter's Guild had their annual retreat at the YMCA Camp Wijiwagan. This was my first retreat experience and it was awesome! Seventeen of us spent the night in the guesthouse at the YMCA camp on Percy Priest Lake in Nashville. Another 10 or so members came and sewed with us during the day. This was the view from the window I sat next to with my sewing machine. See how close we were to the lake?
I did not even take a computer with me and did not even have withdrawal symptoms. Imagine that! If we got tired and needed a break, we had this wonderful fireplace to sit in front of. The first 2 ladies on the left (Charlie and Joyce) were my fantastic roommates. They were so much fun! Charlie gave me a lesson on how to square up small half square triangles. She is a very patient teacher.
You can see the fireplace better in the photo below. Mary Lou is chatting with our guild president. Look at Teresa's pile of scraps. She complained that I had not posted in a while. This is payback, Teresa. LOL
Here is the sewing lodge packed with sewing machines, quilters, fabrics and all manner of quilting tools. Don't have what you need? Someone will share theirs. Kathy (on the left) loaned me a lamp. Someone else loaned me a small square ruler. Quilters are very generous with there tools and expertise.
Since I came home I have been recuperating by doing more big stitch quilting on my son's wallhanging. Hope I don't run out of the orange perle cotton thread.
I am linking to Kathy's Quilts and her Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Favorite Tools

This past week I drove down to visit my mother and sister for a few days. It was lovely to sit with my mother at her memory care center and stitch. My mother was a sewist and quilter, so I think she enjoyed just being with me while I hand-quilted. I got a lot done on the Triangles quilt for my son.
This quilt has half square triangles that I am quilting squares into. Most of the squares have a light triangle and a dark triangle. I am quilting a 1/4 inch inside the square. I tried to eyeball it. I must be cross-eyed (LOL) because that did not work well. Then, I remembered the Hera marker and a quarter inch ruler I had recently purchased. Oh, my! That worked like a charm and nothing to wash out either.
 I am marking a few squares at a time. I used the quarter inch marking on the inside of the seams and then, used the width of the ruler to mark lines for the center square. Those marking lines stay in very well.
You can see those Hera marker creases in the photo above. FYI: My hubby wanted to know how I managed to bend so many pins. Hee! Hee! 

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Adventures In Big Stitch

Today I am going to continue with the big stitch quilting using 12 wt. Perle cotton thread. There is certainly a learning curve here. I am glad that my son will be the receipient because he won't care if my stitches are all uniform or not. He is just thrilled to soon have this quilt on his wall. I do love the orange thread on the is quilt wall hanging.  The thread color didn't show well in the photo below.
This afternoon, Sharon and I will again be sewing up a storm in her sewing room. I hope to have the herringbone quilt finished before my quild's quilt retreat the end of March. It might be storming outside, too. The high temp for today in Nashville is predicted to be 62° and a low tonight of 21°. Yikes!

Lots of talented quilters and I are linking up to Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. Check it out here.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Quilter's ADD-Do You Have It?

As a retired nurse I should know better than to self-diagnose. But, I have come to the conclusion that I have Quilter's Attention Deficit Disorder. I'm pretty sure that is a real disease. You see, at the beginning of this year I decided I was going to write down all my UFO's and participate in some of the fun, quilty stuff online. I had big plans to participate in a Quilt Along. I was going to do a scrap challenge and participate in a ufo challenge in my quilt guild. Yes, I was going to be organized!

Well, I did participate in the UFO Challenge in my guild. I made and presented this quilt top. Item #5 on the list. Cool. It is not quilted yet because in reorganizing my sewing room last week, I have no idea what I have done with it. It's in there somewhere. So much for my organizing skills.
Then, the number 12 was drawn. My #12 was to finish cutting out and piecing a Sister's Choice. But, then, my friend and I decided to make the herringbone quilts. My attention went to that.  I had planned to make a beautiful quilt called Delightful Stars Quilt Along. But, the designer got sick and apparently did not have things planned out ahead. Her directions might show up this week or maybe not. Maybe post early morning and maybe late at night. For this I had paid a fee. So, with my Quilter's ADD, I again got distracted. I found another quilt I want to make with those fabrics.

I made one block in the Scrap Challenge and just before the February color was announced, I took all that particular color scraps to my friends sewing room. Are you seeing a pattern here? I guess I am easily distracted (Quilter's ADD).  I seem to do better just sewing on what I feel like at the time. The planning ahead stuff just does not work for me. They will get done eventually. But, I can not tell you what I'll be making next. There are just too many quilt patterns out there to distract me.

FYI: I'm also a slow quilter and a slow blogger, too. After 3 years of blogging this is my 101st post.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday-02-26-2014

Yesterday I had an opportunity to go to Joann's in Murfreesboro, TN. I had a 50% coupon that was burning a hole in my pocketbook. It was one of those rarest of rarities when some of their quilting fabric was not on sale. I could actually use that 50% off coupon. Yay!
I picked up a nice piece for the backing of my son's Triangles of the Past wall hanging. Earlier in the week the Perle cotton thread I had ordered for this project came in the mail. It's kind of a muted orange #12, but looks really bright in this photo above. So, I am ready to begin the hand quilting. It is not my first adventure into hand quilting, but it will be my first venture into big stitch quilting with the Perle cotton. I love this video by Sarah Fielke. 
I am linking up to WIP Wednesday at Fresh Pieced. Click on the link below to check out what others are are working on.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, February 24, 2014

Scraps and Dogwoods

Yesterday I got together with quilty friend Sharon for what I have begun to call our Sunday Sewcial. If you haven't read about it before, we are making Maureen Cracknell's herringbone quilts. You can find the tutorial hereDespite the fact that Sharon still does not believe we have cut enough 2 1/2" strips, we marked 4 or 5 lines at 45 ° that are 2" apart on our batting strips to get us started. Then, we began sewing. Our strips are 72" long. Sharon is using 8" wide strips of batting and I am using 10" strips. This is a quilt as you go quilt. Here is my first strip. 
The strip is too long for my wall, so I photographed it on a bed. The edges are rough cut right now, but will be rotary cut later. I will have 6 strips and Sharon will have 8. I will probably add a couple borders to mine. I need it to fit a twin sized bed. 

It's kind of funny. When Sharon first began quilting she was sure that she wanted low volume quilts with colors that "blended". After her first quilt she has changed her mind. Now, she wants really, really bold colors...the bolder, the better, so we are really having fun. The best part about doing a scrap quilt with a friend is that you get some different fabrics than just what is in your own stash. Now, we can hardly remember whose fabrics were whose.

For a of couple years I have had a layer cake of the "Dogwood Trails" collection by Moda. I saw a simple quilt on Pinterest I thought would work well with these pre-cuts. So, I cut 10" squares of white fabric to go with the layer cakes. Here are a few of the large, half square triangles I made in no time at all.
I plan to use this simple layout. Then, I am going to hand quilt it. I may use pink pearl cotton thread in the white triangles. I think it will be lovely.

What is on your design wall? Share with us today on Judy's blog at Patchwork Times.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Letter of Apology

Dear Friends and Followers,

I recently made a mistake. I know you find that hard to believe. LOL I have so enjoyed all  the comments that have been made on my posts. They are better than receiving a gifted wrapped present. When I joined the Grow Your Blog, I got lots of comments. But, some people could no longer comment because I had changed to Google+ comments. I hated it!

It has taken me forever to figure out how to rid my blog of Google+ comments. But, I finally disabled it. The unfortunate news is that any comment on my blog that was posted while Google+ comments was being used, have gone away, too. That just rips my heart out. So, please! Come back and leave your comments. I really look forward to them.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching- 2/16/2014

My friend and I spent several hours cutting more 2 1/2" strips for our herringbone quilts. She is just sure we still have not cut enough strips. So, we started sorting them out. There are stacks and stacks of strips. All shades of greens, blues, aquas, pinks, purples, yellows, reds, and odd pieces are there. I'm thinking we have enough. 
Now, that I am back home, I am going to relax and do some more hand piecing on the Triangles quilt. I haven't worked on it much lately. My son and I had talked about putting my Vintage Star quilt on his wall. But, this quilt actually has all the colors in his living room. So, this will eventually be his. 
I did note one problem. Looks like I may have put one piece on wrong. Can you see it? Kind of a glaring, isn't it? Oh, well.
Go check out Kathy's Quilts to see what others are hand stitching today.