Sunday, April 23, 2017

Alien Children Finished

These are my finished children.  Each row is 48" and I can't get it all into one least indoors but it's been raining like mad for the past several days.  I'm happier with them now that they are finished but they do still remind me of aliens!  I'm still undecided about the faces but I haven't been able to get pleasant expressions in the past, so I'm OK with leaving them as is.

For the first row of this Quilt Along, I followed the directions exactly.  The trees and houses went together rapisily and came out well.  For the children's row, I made some changes.  Since I'm using a solid background, not scrappy, I decided to put the children together and eliminate all the seams.  Once I'd finished the school and put it together with the kids, I realized that my scale was off!  I traced the pattern from my computer screen and didn't realize that it was larger than intended.  I'm just telling myself that the kids are marching off to the school in the distance!

I'm still working on the second row....pinwheels and flowers  and am looking forward to seeing what next month's row will be!

Linking with Em's Scrapbag for Moving it Forward Monday (Emily designed this row!) and Oh Scrap at Quilting is more fun than Housework

Friday, April 21, 2017

Little Alien Heads???

This is the beginning of my third row for the In My Neighborhood  row quilt.  This is actually the fourth row to be released, but I've decided not to do the basket least for now.

I was planning on leaving the faces blank, like Amish dolls. but now I'm wondering if that would look too weird.  I was hoping for charming but now all I can see is an ad from one of those TV channels with all the shows about Roswell.  There is a school house that goes between the two panels and I want the children to be holding hands, if my embroidery skills hold up.

Any suggestions???  Hair with no face/ no hair, no face/ complete hair and face  or ????

Linking with Busy Hands quilt for Finished or not Friday

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sunshine-April Mini of the Month

This is my version of  the Sew Can She blog's Mini Quilt of the month.  This one was designed by Jennifer Heynen and is available as a free pattern on Craftsy.  This is the first one that has been an applique quilt instead of pieced which presented some problems.  I don't have a working printer so I traced the templates from my computer screen.  This method worked well for some of the Splendid Sampler blocks as they had the inch scale printed on the pattern and I could enlarge as needed.  There was no scale on this pattern so mine is slightly larger.  It measures 15 x 13 with the binding instead of the 11 inch square of the pattern.  Part of this was intentional on my part as I wanted more of the sun's rays to show.   Overall, I'm happy with it except for the binding.  My skills seem to deteriorate with each quilt!  I'll probably take it off later and resew hoping for better results on the corners.  I did add triangles for hanging and with the heatbond, layers of fabric and batting that was a lot of layers to sew through.

For the fusible, I used Heat n Bond in the red package.  It was after I had the whole thing laid out and ready to sew did I read the section that said not to sew!  Since it didn't bond very well at all, I don't know how they expect a finished project to last.  I used some scraps and tested using a topstitch needle.  My machine sewed it very well and I had no problems.  I quilted with freehand arcs using a gold thread after sewing down all the shapes.

I used a grey fabric for the background so I'm calling this "Sunset".  I'm out of blue sky fabrics.In fact, I'm now out of a lot of basics.  My stash that I thought would last so long now consists of mostly smaller scraps.  Do you buy fabrics for the current project only or do you have a stash?  How do you choose prints to add to your stash?

Linking up with Em's Scrapbag for Moving it Forward Monday  andLove Laugh Quilt

Thursday, April 6, 2017

PLAY- Letters & Filler

We are coming to the end of the PLAY series and I still have lots to do.  This was what I had in my last post...

And this is where I'm at today.  Note...the bright pink is the back of a completed quilt.  My rug is currently covered with thread and fabric scraps!

The last prompt was to use text.  Learn seemed appropriate for this quilt.  A long while ago, I had bookmark the site Quilt Abecedary and used it for the directions .  Very clear and easy to make...saved me a ton of time and scraps!

I decided to work on the letters one evening and when I pulled out all the pieces and laid them out, they all blended together!  I now know exactly what people mean when they say they added "sparkle" to their quilt.  Even though the colors stood out in the bright daylight, they all merged together under artificial light or on a grey day. Since I live a couple of miles south of Seattle, there are lots of grey days! I pulled out the rest of my solids and added a darker grey, navy and a darker pink.  It now looks better but I'm still not happy with the blocks across the top.  I still need to add flying geese and a couple more stars.  Most of this isn't sewn together yet so I can work the new colors in evenly.

Linking with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or not Friday

Friday, March 31, 2017

March Quilty 365

My 31 days of circles for March!  The last two on the bottom row are for St. Patrick's day.  Above them, two days of monkeys.  I think they came from a bundle I bought on eBay several years ago.  I have mushrooms, flowers, bees and people walking in the rain for's coming slowly to my corner of the world.  You can see some color variations in the backgrounds.  I'm doing all my backgrounds in pale yellow...some paler than others.  At the end, I hope to have a nice scrappy look to it.

The 31st day is represented by my mini quilt for Jen & Jan's Laundry Day Mini Quilt Blog Hop.  My reveal day was March 11 and this is my quilt.

I'm currently planning on using this as a center for my completed circle quilt.  I quilted through the batting and then added the backing, which is held on by the binding. I just need to unpick the back if the binding, iron and it turns into sashing.  You can read more about this mini quilt  here.  There are still nine months to go so I may change my mind!
Linking with Daisy and Jack Handmade April link  and
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Back to PLAY

I've been neglecting my PLAY, the improve QAL lately in favor of regular, straight edged projects.   It's getting closer to the finish so I took a look at what I had and still wasn't terribly happy with my initial log cabins blocks.  They can be seen in  these posts.  I gathered up a selection of solids that have been sitting in my stash and got to work.

I haven't trimmed anything yet...I'm waiting until I finish as I always seem to cut off something I later need.  I like the way my stack and cut blocks came out.  The whirligig thing is the result of  using rectangles for my wonky triangle sets.  I still need to do the stars and the crumb blocks.   I've saved all my trimmings so I should have plenty to work with for those!  Tomorrow, a new project will be released. Looking forward to it!

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts link upLovelaughquilt Monday Making,and Em's Scrapbag

Monday, March 20, 2017

Finished Top!

Here it is my living room, complete with cat!  So  far, it's way too windy to photo outside.  I'll try later in the day to get a better one.  As you can see, it's in three parts for ease of quilting on my home machine.

This was made using Melissa Corry's tutorial.  The instructions were clear and where I had a question, the photos answered it.  The initial cutting and piecing went fairly fast.  I spent way too much time on the layout and moving strips around.  My cat loved that part...nothing like a long strip of fabric to chase!The final assembly was like a jellyroll race...just sewing all the strips together.

I might do this one again using a more neutral background.  This is a great pattern for a charity quilt or if you need a fast gift.

Linking with Em's Scrapbag Moving Forward Monday and LoveLaughQuilt MondayMaking andBusy Hands Quilts Finished or Not Friday

Friday, March 17, 2017

A New Start

Several years ago, I saw a quilt pattern that I loved.  It was a pillow but looked like something that would make a great full sized quilt.  Over the years, I've seen other examples but the only instructions I could find involved just cutting off the excess fabric.  I quilt on a budget and I really disliked the fabric waste for that method.   It's really difficult to find instruction for a pattern when everyone calls their quilt by a different name!

Last week, I was blog browsing and I found it... complete with excellent instructions!  Click here  for the tutorial  It's dated 2013 so I somehow missed it in my periodic efforts to find it.  Melissa used 10 light and 10 dark fat quarters but I really hate cutting so I decided to go with a jelly roll.  I needed a little over one jelly roll . I found a pattern at Connecting Threads that looked as if it had enough low volume and high volume and their strip sets have 22 strips per pack.  I got three and have enough left over for binding if I choose to do so.  The fabrics are a little darker than my screen showed but I was able to use the backside of some for the lights. The solids are a suede which will add a great texture to the finished top.

The instruction start with cutting 124 and 105 pieces....did I mention that I hate cutting??  At least I started with 2.5 strips.
77 sets out of 93!!  Almost there...........I cut a batch then chained them together........

Finally all the strips are cut and for the final pressing and layout.

The really hard part...deciding where they all should go...this isn't all of them, but this step will be done soon as I have NO walking room left on my floor!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts

Monday, March 13, 2017


February circles are finally completed!  And I'm caught up with March also.  If you are not familiar with the circle project, it's called Quilty 365 and started November 2015.  Leanne from Daisy and Jack Handmade  is continuing on this year.  The idea is to choose a piece of fabric every day of the year and make a 4.5" block.  At the end of your year, the assembled blocks will provide a fabric diary.

I'm finding that my scraps, which I thought I had so much of, aren't suitable in many ways...too small, too ugly, just don't fit my mood or whatever.  I really hate to cut into fat quarters so I'm breaking into charm packs.  I'm also finding leftover blocks and pieces from quilts I've made.  In the top row, #3 and the last one in the third row down are from the quilt I did for the Iron Quilter at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  That was 2013.  The first one in the second row from the bottom is from my heart quilt designed by Kathy Doughty. Right under it is a failed paper piecing for the Splendid Sampler. So this has really turned into a diary.
Linking with Oh Scrap! and Em's scrapbag

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Jen & Jan's Quilter's Laundry Day Blog Hop

The sun is shining.  A breeze blows the clouds and drys the day's 365 circle quilt.  The front lawn is nicely mowed while the field in the back is growing wildflowers and the cats are inside looking out.

Welcome to my stop on Jen and Jan's Mini quilt blog hop.  I've always wanted to do a house quilt so when I saw this pattern I couldn't resist. The free pattern for Quilter:s Laundry Day can be found here .  I'm also participating in the Quilty 365 so my mini mini quilt is the circle for today.  The clouds and the tree are made the same way I do my circles...shape sewn to light interfacing and then turned.  I put a hedge in the front of my house and a bright brass doorknob.

This was a lot of fun to do, but harder than expected....right now, my  floor and cutting table is covered with rejected fabric choices and second guessing my final choices was constant.  I may have to do another one!

Right now, I'm planning on using this as a center for my finished circles at the end of the year.

There were some great quilts shown yesterday and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of todays!  If you leave and comment on Jen's or Jan's blogs, you will be entered into a drawing.  You can see all of the quilts on these blogs.

March 10 Reveal Day
Jen Rosin  A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats

Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Diann at Little Penguin Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy & Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication

March 11 Reveal Day
Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps

Linking with Crazy Mom Quilts   and  Busy Hands Quilts

Friday, March 10, 2017

Jen and Jan's Mini Quilt Blog Hop

A fun blog hop today, Friday March 10 and Saturday March 11.  The quilt we are all doing is Jen's Laundry Day, which offers lots of space for embellishments and design choices beyond the fabrics.  

March 10 Reveal Day
Jen Rosin  A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats

Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Diann at Little Penguin Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy & Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizzie the Quilter
Sandra Walker at Mmm! Quilts!

March 11 Reveal Day 
Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Kathy Bruckman at Kathys Kwilts and More
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Steffi at Steffi's Hobbys
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps

I'm Saturday so you'll see mine then.  I;m looking forward to seeing everyones.  Be sure and leave a comment at Jen and Jan's blogs to be eligible for a drawing.

Monday, March 6, 2017

So Behind!

These are my February circles from the Quilty 365-2017 project.  As you can see, I've gotten behind on sewing them up.  They are all there, even if halfway sewed and I am choosing March's every day.  I am running out of scraps...never thought that I'd say that!  Most of my scraps seem to be too small, the wrong color or just not speaking to me.  Looking at other;s blogs, I have a severe case of fabric and scrap envy!

I'm still working on the Bear Claw quilt and always seem to be ripping out a section as I've sewn the hst's on backwards.  My backing fabric for the diamond quilt hasn't shown up yet...big mixup at the vendor resulting in lots of emails, phone calls etc.  My camera program seems to have stopped working and informs me that it can't create the files??????? It's also dating every picture as 2009! I think it's trying to tell it's time for a new camera.  The pictures seem to be going somewhere although I had a hard time finding them.. After on year, I still don't like windows 10!

On the brighter side, I'll be taking part in a mini quilt blog hop on Friday March 10 and have been working on that quilt.  I like to work on different projects at the same time so I've started another quilt.  Hopefully some pix will be coming soon.  And the new monthly mini quilt was released this morning!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Still Halfway Through

But it's a different halfway....if that makes sense. I didn't get much of a chance to sew this week but I was able to cut the setting squares and the triangles.  That was a bigger job than it sounds.  The linen that I'm using stretches and shrinks with ironing and handling .  I'd cut a straight edge, turn it around and my straight edge would have waves in it.  Starching didn't help at all.  I'm so glad that I'm using this for a quilt rather than apparel. I have visions of stretched out necklines and shoulder seams.  It's an apparel quality linen and I've bought it before in other colors and not had these problems.  I know that dyes can make a big difference in the hand of a fabric and since this color is called natural, I'm wondering if this is the reason.

I cut the pieces slightly larger than required and will trim after sewing....just want to make sure that nothing shrinks back in the wrong spots!  I also got HST's made in orange, turqoise, gold and green. I really like the eight at a time method, especially with this fabric and they are easy to trim down with my HST ruler. Hopefully, over the weekend I can have the top finished.

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
linking with Busy Hands Quilts

Sunday, February 19, 2017

PLAY part 2

I'm happier with this one....and I will continue on.  The center colors photo'd  true but the two greens are very off.  The inner one is a lime green and the outer is a brighter green than shown,  The photo edit service I'm using doesn't seem to have any adjustments for greens.  I was able to turn the centers a variety of colors.....a good tool for choosing colors in the future.

I did run into an interesting problem.  I like bright colors and while I was choosing the final colors for this, it was bright and sunny outside,  When I finished sewing it had turned grey and rainy and my other choice looked better in that light.  Since I live in the Pacific Northwest grey and overcast is quite common.  My lighting is supposed to be true daylight but the shades may be interfering  with that.

Friday, February 17, 2017

PLAY part 1

While cruising the blogs, I found an interesting post over at Elm Street Quilts....a new improve group called PLAY.  I've always admired the improve quilts I see on the blogs and read through the posts regarding choices made with lots of interest.  Sometimes I agree with the decisions and sometimes not but it's always a learning experience and interesting.

I waited for the first prompt ....log cabins....OK, I can do that. much fabric, what size, what colors...what are the rules???  On one of the info pages, it's stated that there are no rules....I want rules for no rules!  Clearly my thinking processes are going to be more of a handicap than my sewing abilities or lack of snazzy fabrics.

Looking through my stash, I decided on greens.  I've got lots of greens and then the purple scraps from my diamond quilt.  I put away the rotary cutters and got out the scissors......this what I came up with...

Frankly, I liked it better before  I trimmed it.   Second try coming up soon........

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

In honor of the day, I decided to pull together all my heart projects....all two of them!!  Actually there are a couple of pincushions given as gifts but I don't have pictures of them.  The large quilt is from Kathy Doughty's book Adding Layers.  It's 84 x 84 and I quilted it in three sections with my 1957 Brother machine.

The heart pillow was inspired by a blog post from Blue Elephant Stitches . My squares finish at 1.5 inches.

I seem to have a problem with seasonal projects....I always feel that it's too early to start and all of a sudden it's too late.  I think that I'll pull out all my unfinished Christmas projects in June so I can have a Christmas in July! Maybe I'll have some finished Christmas quilts in December then.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Half Way Through

I started this bear paw in late October and ran out fabrics.  It got put away and Christmas projects were started.  One Christmas quilt is halfway quilted and the other needs batting and backing....maybe for next Christmas!

The pattern I'm using is from Sherri McConnell's Fresh Family Traditions.  The blocks will be set on a diagonal with setting blocks of plain fabric in between.  The neutral is a off white linen that had been languishing in my stash since I realized I really didn't want to iron it every time I wore it.  After three washings it still wrinkled badly.  The main colored fabric is an ombre that I bought about five years ago. I tend to buy what I love then try to figure out what to do with it,  I do like the way the color changes show up in the paw points.  I was able to get five blocks and the binding from my yardage.  I've been going through my stash looking for fabrics that will go together.

I need a total of 16 pieced blocks....Eight are done, three more cut and waiting to be pieced.  I'll spend some time today sorting and looking for five more fabrics.

Linking up with Em's Scrapbag and Moving forward Monday

Friday, February 10, 2017

February Mini Quilt

I took a break today from my Splendid Sampler blocks and worked on my monthly mini quilt fromSew Can She.  It's called Candygram and a great Valentine project.  Very easy to put together and a great use of small scraps. Most of the scraps are batiks and came from my Diamond quilt. It finished at 4"x 10".  I'm thinking of enlarging it for a pillow cover.

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Some progress has been made on my Splendid Sampler blocks.
The string block is my version of the selvedge block. None of my saved selvedges were attractive or in the right color families for this quilt. The Dresden plate block isn't sewn down as yet. I'm saving that for when I sew down my Quilty 365 circles. I really hate threading my machine with the invisible thread! I took yesterday off from book release made it to my Kindle and I spent the day reading it. This is what I woke up to Monday morning...
So glad I'm retired and no longer have to deal with getting to work! The remainder is still with us and very slippery. Good day to stay in and sew.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Splendid Sampler Catch Up

or 2 down....about 60 to go!! I've gotten way behind in my blocks and am now realizing that there is only one more week to go. Downloading the blocks first thing on Thursday and Sunday mornings has become a habit that I will miss. Last month I went through my list of blocks still to be done tried to pick out the blocks that I will do from the ones that are beyond my capabilities. I've discovered that foundation piecing is not for me! I have no spatial ability at all and trying to figure out which way to flip the fabric (even though it's numbered) is extremely difficult. That, coupled with no printer, is taking some of blocks off of my to do list. I have been able to trace some of the blocks from my computer screen. This is my second attempt at Whim...block number 48.
My second block is the "measure twice...cut once". Since it's block #19, it will give you an idea of how long I've been looking for that Moda tape!
All of the blocks can be seen on the Splendid Sampler block page. I'll try to do 30 blocks this months and will be linking up with the Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal February Linkup.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Diamonds Finally Finished

My top, started in 2013, is finally completed.....It still has some obvious errors in the joining but since it has all been sewn about three times, I'm going to follow the adage of "finished is better than perfect"  and live with it.  If I started it now, I'm sure my cutting would be more accurate and that that would make a difference.  This turned out to be 48 x 72 before I added a 2" strip to the width edges.  It looked as if thee binding would cut off some of the diamond points.pattern says 55 x 64. I have no idea what happened to the extra width!  I did use some leftover diamonds to add an extra row to the length,  You may notice that it is in two pieces...I'm planning on quilting it on one of my home machines and none of them have a very wide bed.  Hopefully, this will be a finish for the end of the month.  Backing fabric has been ordered.

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

31 Days of Circles

I'm taking part in the Quilty 365 for 2017 over at Daisy and Jack's blogl.  These are my 31 circles for January.  I've put my circles on a 4.5 square and will be doing a yellow scrappy background.  So far, I've had enough of one shade of yellow to do the entire month.  The scrappy part will start to appear next month.

The circle fabric gets chosen first thing in the morning and really has no relation to how I'm feeling,  The very dark circles are a deep purple batik and from the diamond quilt I'm still working on!  They do not indicate that I'm depressed!  I have noticed that the flower fabrics tend to get chosen on sunny days.  I have multiple scrap bins and grab a handful and chose from those.

I've used a drinking glass for the circle pattern and  draw that onto a thin interfacing, then cut and stitch.

I place the interfacing with the fusible side next to the right side of the fabric.  When I slice the interfacing and turn, the fusible side is then on the outside and can be fused to the background. The middle circle is shown partially turned.  This method works so much better for me than using freezer paper or needleturn applique.

Linking up with Daisy and Jack Handmade

Saturday, January 21, 2017

sew, press, rip.....repeat

Way back in 2013, I had a 2.5" strip roll of batiks. While looking for a pattern that was a bit different from the usual jelly roll quilt, I ran across this at the Moda Bake Shop.  I liked the diamonds and  completely ignored the tag that this was an "ambitious" project.  At this time I had made several small projects and a Scrappy Trip quilt and had been sewing garments since childhood.  So, I started and had everything cut except the final finishing solid triangles and about one third of it assembled when I realized that I had problems.  It then went into a bag where it sat until this year when I unearthed it and decided that it needed to be finished.

Putting it together on my design floor, I realized that the problems weren't as severe as I had thought. I do have some strips sewn to the wrong sides of the triangles and several extra multicolored triangles.  The major problem is a section that seems to have a permanet pucker,,,probably from a stretched bias.  I think that I can recut those triangles and solve that problem.  Now, I am piecing the undone sections ...trying to get the triangle bases even has involved sewing them, unfolding to see that the the bases are uneven and then ripping and trying again.  Most everything is being sewn at least twice!

This is the section with the puckers...everything else needs a good pressing but I don't want to do that until assembling is completed for fear of stretching more bias! My goal is to have the whole thing pieced by the end of the weekend.

Friday, January 20, 2017

monthly mini quilt sew along

Carolyn of sewshecan  has started a mini quilt along.  Instead of a block a month, you end up with a finished quilt.  So, I have an 8″ finished quilt, but finished is finished!!  It does make me feel better about the unfinished Splendid Sampler blocks and the quilt started in 2013 that is now on my design floor.  Here is my January 2017 effort…..the quilting isn’t showing at all…maybe a new camera would help...

Monday, January 16, 2017

new blog

Several months ago, I returned to quilting after breaking my left arm.  It’s really hard to cut with only one good hand!  The partial recovery has taken a long time but that didn’t stop me from buying fabrics or reading others blogs… many great ideas out there…now, i need to finish up neglected projects and start new ones.  Please come along for my journey!