Sew Now

Yesterday was the beginning of the Hands2Help blog fest/challenge at Confessions of a Fabric Addict .  The guest blogger was Katie from Katie Mae Quilts and she shared a quick and simple to make quilt top using charms.  I wanted to play along, and after a few hours had a cute sized square laptop quilt.  I started with a stack of novelty fabrics most of which were the remains of a layer cake.  I added in a charm pack of Kona solids and voila!  There are still enough squares left from the layer cake to make another, they are more pastel colors.  Maybe next week, or tomorrow or today, my calendar is wide open.

Today I am going to work on the Unity quilt clue.  There are flying geese and a square in a square blocks.  I am hoping that I can use my Accuquilt to cut some of the pieces.  I think I have a square in a square ruler around here somewhere.  I really need to make a list of all the specialty rulers and templates I have.  I did that with my Accuquilt dyes and it has proven to be quite helpful.  Right now all my specialty rulers are in a drawer, stacked in no particular order or category.  The ones I use the most, like the easy angles and the bloc-locks are in a rack near my cutting area.  I also hang most of my straight rulers on the wall with command hooks.

I made a bunch of face masks Friday, for friends and family.  I keep saying that I’m done making them, but someone always seems to need one or two.  I have made 40 so far, most have been with ties, but the first ones were with a small amount of corded elastic I had on hand.  I wore one last week when I went grocery shopping, it started to chafe the backs of my ears.  Can’t imagine wearing it all day, no wonder people are coming up with extenders and such to keep the straps from their ears.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

Sew when

I finished the quilting on the Bee hive quilt.  It is just a simple end to end pantograph  called Vintage tufts.  Boring, but effective .  I started quilting the Heart quilt, also an end to end pattern, but a bit more interesting, with circles/orange peels and hearts.  The thread broke six times while quilting out the first row.  Extremely frustrating, I tried a bunch of things, tension, needles, lowering speed.  I struggled to finish that first row, saved and shut it down.  I oiled the machine, just for good measure.  After some rumination I think that the sandwich was a bit too tight on the frame.  I couldn’t loosen it during that row, as it would mess up the spacing on the pantograph.  Today I’ll start with it a bit looser.

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Got the borders put on the Glorianna’s Dream quilt, and I thought of a new name, Turkish Delight.  I have this yellow check fabric in my stash that I think I may use for a backing.  There is 5 ½ yards, maybe enough, math is involved, so it can wait a bit.  The ‘To Be Quilted’ pile is large, so there is time.

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I’m happy with how the center block for the Unity quilt came out.  I would like to use up the pile of left overs from Estrella too.  They all play nicely together, and I kinda like medallion quilts.  I made a Sue Garman quilt, called, uh, Coxcomb Medallion.  I blogged about finishing the top back in January 2016, but I don’t remember when I quilted it in April 2018.  It was on my bed this past January.  I still have to appliqué four blue circles in the corners, does that make it a UFO?92FF227B-B5E5-4370-A126-D5583C57AF78

Started a new sweater, “Nieve” by Coco Knits, I’m using a cotton silk blend yarn with a loose twist.  It’s turning out okay, I just hope that it doesn’t get too saggy, as cotton sweaters can. 4B35C135-B0FA-4D04-A5E1-811A30C97EBB

I spent some time gardening, pulled a can full of weeds, and cut the grass.  Hardly made a dent, but I found some pretty flowers to look at and saw a monarch butterfly go by.98ED4D63-2B9F-4144-981A-ACEA3D01DCCB

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down #45 today.


Another week is gone by in the current SIP situation.  I have one complete finish and one top almost done, but for the borders.  And I am going to start Bonnie Hunters “Unity” quilt.E06A4B82-9635-4A32-90E0-7CDB15A9D2ED  I picked out a bunch of fabric that just happened to be near my sewing table.  The scraps from the Estella quilt seem to be a good amount from which to work.  Bonnies colors are blue, red and aqua.  Mine are going to be red, tan and pink.

I kinda wanted to do the Laundry Basket Quilt’s QAL, but it’s almost half way done and I don’t want to rush to catch up.  I’m saving the pattern for next week when I’ll have nothing to do.  Ha Ha, like that’ll ever happen.  I haven’t been over to the long-arm in a few days.  I might go in today, and spray everything down with lysol.  We had a guest stay over in there, and I doubt he was infected, but better safe than sorry.

In the almost finished category is the Gloriana’s Dream quilt, which still needs a better name.  It kinda looks Spanish/Moorish to me, like tiles or wood carving, not very dreamy.  I got the center together, on point placement, so I didn’t web it.  I have to cut off all the squares that are protruding from the edges, then add borders.  They are just the red print, I may miter them, just for fun.


My finish this weekend was the binding on my Frolic quilt.  I changed the sheets on my bed and also changed out the current quilt for extra credit.  It’s bright and cheery, doesn’t really match my bedroom, but I don’t mind.  I used Warm and Plush batting, it is a bit heavier than the regular Warm and Natural cotton I use.  My newest roll is Hobbs 80/20, we’ll have to see how I like it.0CE554ED-C740-44C5-A4FE-478313620A61

Finally, I was reading FB the other day and someone was applying binding to a quilt and had their miter join come up exactly on the edge point of the quilt.  I can relate to this, as it used to happen to me frequently.  It’s very difficult to make a nice looking corner if all that joining seam is inside it.  What I do now is, before I start sewing the binding on, I find the first seam join, then I place it with a clip six or eight inches after the first corner. This way the first corner is sure not to have a join on it, then I place the rest of the binding on the edge until I have a six inch tail, (for joining later) and start stitching.  About 90% of the time this ensures that the rest of the corners will be seam free.  I does happen though if I use strips that are of various lengths, but it’s pretty reliable when I use 40 inch (WoF) strips. 9D0C641D-D9DE-40EC-BBA4-ADD209FA2751

The orange clip is where the first join is and the red is at the first corner.  Hope this is some help.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

Just keep sewing

The current verbal exchange around here:

Family member: Watcha doing?

Me: Cuttin’ stuff up and sewing it together.

Everyday I have been sewing, I am making progress on the Gloriana’s Dream kit quilt.  There is a whole lot of  cutting, piecing and chain stitching going on.  Make 96 of these, make 48 of these, cut 192 of these, I’m up to the sashing, which is also pieced.  The instructions are really well written, which I’m thankful for because sometimes, especially with kit quilts, this is not the way.  I do, however, modify most quilt patterns to use the easy angle and companion angle wherever possible.  I never had much luck piecing HSTs and QSTs with the cut a square on the diagonal method.

I have been keeping up with the EQ8 online classes I signed up for last year, in fact I re-upped for another six months.  Kari Schell at On Point Quilter runs/makes them.  They are a combination of videos and PDF’s (downloadable) that change from month to month.  The topic I chose for this month is ‘Specialty Rulers and Dies’, I have been working on learning to create blocks/quilts using my Accuquilt Qube dies.  There is also a Facebook page for members to share projects and monthly live question and answer sessions.  I don’t do the live sessions, but watch them later, because someone usually asks my question.

There is a mystery quilt-a-long going on at Laundry Basket Quilts blog.  It’s a block a day, well, it’s more like 4 or 6 a day.  I have been downloading and keeping the patterns.  I still have a bunch of the Sequoia fabric line from them, could look pretty in these blocks too.  Although, I really want to make three of her other patterns, including Alaska.  Its good to have options.

I am almost finished with the 5th Avenue shawl.  I need to finish it and get it in the mail Monday.  I have about 6 more rows, the beads slow me down a bit, so a row takes about 25 minutes.  I am already getting start-itis for a new project. I really *should* do the Fox-Paw scarf, I started it last year (?) and it took me a while to get the concept of the increase/decrease pattern. The learning portion of it looks kinda wonky and the gauge is all over the place until I got the hang of it.  I also found a video of how to do it, which, as a visual learner, is worth it to me, to watch.  The photo below is from Bluprint.9FE85EA1-74C7-4541-A088-7B2CDC59A6F1

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese today for ‘Put Your Foot Down”

Busy work

I have made some progress this week.  I finished the Estrella top, even ironed it and carefully folded it up with its backing fabric.  I still have to piece that, but it’ll be a while until the top gets its turn from the to-be-quilted pile.

This week I am focusing on a bunch of kits I bought at the end of last year.  They were clearance priced, so I figured I could whip them up for my Etsy shop or use the fabric for something else.  This heart quilt was made from two charm packs and about three yards of solids.  The charms it came with were aqua, pink, and grey.  Kinda ‘meh’ in colors, I switched them out for spring colors.  Much better.A736CE3B-43B3-4749-813A-0A77879EF575

I have been working on my 5th avenue shawl too.  I try to do at least an hour a day, now that it’s getting bigger, those rows take longer.  The finished size is 70 inches on the long side, it’s a scalene triangle, all sides are different lengths.  Yay geometry!

I started a new kit last night, it’s called Reverie Gloriana’s Dream.  The colors in this picture don’t do the fabric justice, in fact I almost didn’t buy it because of the photo.


From BluPrint site

I was pleasantly surprised though, they are really pretty, the red is a rich raspberry and the brown is a golden tan, the teal is a bit more greenish and the print is a lovely floral.  I have the first block part cut out, a snowball with a base on it.


Frolic is still waiting on the last row of pantograph to be sewn.  Maybe today, it shouldn’t take more than an hour.

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down today.


Since the beginning of March I have been getting ready for my Empty Spools retreat.  Getting caught up on house stuff and blocking out time when I would be away.  Not scheduling anything for this week, making sure there was enough dog food, people food and stuff.  Then, last Wednesday, it was announced that my session was canceled. So now I have a bunch of free time to spend in my own house.  That’s the way I’m looking at it anyway.  Not that I have anywhere to go, or anyone to see because of the, uh, shut-down. Plus it’s going to rain for the next ten days or so.  Rain is needed here as I planted a bunch of stuff, and free water makes things grow better than me trying to remember where the plants are and when I watered them last.

Yesterday I got the nine big blocks of Estella put together.  I just didn’t have the energy to complete that final nine patch.  It is a good thing too, I was knitting at my sewing table last night and admiring the big blocks on the design wall and I saw this:FA887D16-FB53-4B4D-888F-9312A0261BD1

Yay for quality control, or OCD, I’ll fix it later today. *

Also on the ‘To be finished’ list is the Frolic quilt.  I was really trying to finish it to bring with me to Alsilomar.  I wanted to show it to Bonnie Hunter and maybe bring it to one of the show and tell nights.  I have one more row of pantograph left to do, and binding of course.  I am still deciding if I want to make the Emerald city quilt that I was going to start at Empty Spools.  I have been collecting all the greens and neutral fabric since last June, when I signed up for the class.  I even got a backing for it.  I wonder if I am just sad that I didn’t get to go, and I am holding that against starting this quilt.  Or I am in Quilty Hangover mode after finishing Frolic and Estella, since both were so labor intensive.  I think I am going to do something easy and smaller this week.  Break out the Accuquilt Go and do something a little less mindful.

I started knitting a new shawl last week, the pattern is Fifth Avenue by Knittimo.  I’m using two yarns from Shibui, cloud and pebble, and a mixture of copper colored beads.  I haven’t done bead knitting with a crochet hook before now, and after the first 50 or so beads I had it figured out.  The only thing I don’t like about it is I have to knit at a table where I can access the bead bowl.  This is definitely not a project to knit in bed.


Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

* Once I got that piece turned around I laid out the giant blocks out to sew them together and noticed 18 more HST’s that were turned the wrong way.  I fixed them and now my blocks are a top.

Live (ing) Simply

I finally finished the Live Simply quilt quilting.  68 blocks each with its own motif, to break it up a bit I used four different ones in the center. The borders were a continuous vine and leaf pattern and the black spacers have pearls.  I had to turn the quilt on the frame to do the last two borders, as I couldn’t break up the design in parts small enough to quilt vertically.  I AM going to do the binding today, black to match.

I put Frolic on the frame and chose a pantagraph for it, called Floral Whimsy.  It is big enough to not take away from the piecing and pretty enough on the back.  I’m using Superior’s King Tut “mirage” blue.  The backing is a dark blue calico wide back.

I have been steadily making more units for the Estrella quilt.  I set up my singer 404 in the long arm studio, multitasking.  The pantos on Frolic take about 85 minutes per row across.  Rather than just standing and watching, I can make a few hundred HSTs. As you may or may not be aware of, automated machines “know” when you leave the room, they are like naughty toddlers, ready to break a thread or get hung up on a seam or what have you.  I have learned my lesson about that.  I really want to finish the Frolic quilt before the Empty Spools retreat.  I’d like to show it to Bonnie Hunter, and the rest of the attendees.  Every night there is a get together in the main hall, the teachers have a presentation and then there is show and tell.  It’s like a giant trunk show.  I had thought I would finish the Estrella quilt before this, but alas no, too many pieces.

I have been steadily knitting the Humulus sweater, I have 3/4s of a sleeve left.  It goes pretty quickly, but I usually nod off, knitting can be relaxing, especially after a long day.  Looking forward to starting a new project, maybe one of the new ones I got at Stitches West.  Although I saw a scarf today that may be nice to have…

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese for Put your Foot Down today.



I attended Stitches West last weekend.  I go every year and meet my old friend (she’s not old in age, just friendship) and we catch up and pet the yarns.  I was going to be so resolute and NOT buy any more yarn.  Then I thought, well, maybe some lace weight yarn.  In the days before, I looked through what I have, looked for some patterns that I had, and tried to manage my  “need” to get more yarn.  I even found the bag of yarn I bought last year, full of beautiful yarn and patterns.  I did make one of those projects, to be fair.  I have been knitting a bit more lately, I finished a cable sweater for my DS, and I am almost done with a pull-over for same son.  I did some hats for Christmas and gifted a few shawls, but I only made one pair of socks this year.  I had been signing up for the Curious Handmade sock series every year, six sock patterns over six months.  But I didn’t this year, I think it is because I don’t wear them, they are too warm for our winters in California.

Getting back to the yarn about yarn, my resolve was so strong for the first aisle of vendors, then I saw a shawl/scarf that was made with a lace weight silk blend *ka-ching* into the bag it went.  I also purposely brought a small carry bag, so that I couldn’t bring home a bunch.  It was down hill from there.  I ended up with five new projects and one skien that I got because it was pretty, sock weight yarn.  So much for restraint.   It was a lovely day, hanging out in the yarn universe, with friends.

Back on planet Quilt, work is still progressing on Estella.  Just for fun I figured out how many pieces this quilt has, just over 3700.  Most are 1 inch finished, some are 2 inch finished, the pattern is written so that each part is methodically put together.  Unit by unit, then block by block.  I have two more units of 16 pieces to make, well really, 18 of each unit.  I’m glad there aren’t any borders, I think that might push me over the edge.  My machine keeps reminding me it needs service, I think I’ll finish up these last parts and then bring it in.  I am getting excited about going to Alsilomar for Empty Spools next month.  I am going to bring my Singer 401, so the Bernina can get it’s vacation then.  I am taking a class with Bonnie Hunter, to make the Emerald City quilt.  I have been collecting green fabrics ever since I found out I was taking her class.  I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get my first choice of instructor, Susan Carlson.  I would have liked to explore her collage techniques.  But I figure I can glean a few tips when we do the walk around through all the classrooms on the last day of the retreat.  Bonnies classes are supposed to be fun and I’ll be sewing up a storm with new friends.

On the long arm continent, work is progressing on the Live Simply quilt.  I am going to try to finish it this weekend, then I can get the “Frolic” quilt on it.  I want to bring it to Alsilomar to show and tell.  Wouldn’t it be great to bring the Estella quilt too?  Might be a bit of a push though.  I know I will be doing pantos on both, because of all the seam intersections, do I feel challenged?  Hmmm.

French generals part deux

I started the Estrella quilt last week.  I’m trying to use up the scraps from my last French General quilt, all the lovely reds and beiges.  Of course as with any of my attempts to use up scraps, I needed to buy more fabric.  I bought the jelly roll, to see the full line of colors, a few of the pinks and a couple of the reds. Only half yards though, which made it a bit easier on the pocketbook. There may be enough for another red and white French General quilt. In this pattern there is pink, which I feel really ties the reds and beiges together.  After finishing the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Frolic, Estrella is like an easier version.  Lots of chain piecing and units and smaller blocks.  On the design wall I have all the colors hanging and labeled with their letters.  when I am making a unit, I see if I have the same fabric called for, or if not I can use a similar shade of my left overs.98D166C1-11AC-441A-BD1D-AD55B5281737

The first nine block parts are underneath the strips.  I really like the way these units go together to make a very large block with secondary and tertiary patterns that evolve.Instructions_Estela

I think this pattern would make a great scrappy project as well, although it would drive a person batty to try and keep the shading and values in control. I think one could make one block at a time, rather than sewing all the units and then putting them together.  Not the way I prefer to work, but it could be done.

This week I have finished quilting the feathered star (yay!) even got the binding on.  Which opened up the frame for the Live Simply quilt.  It is large, 96″ X 96″, I am using a linen backing, which is soft and drapes nicely.

I’m using a block design I got from One Song Quilting, called Feathers and Pearls 1.  I resized it to fit the 10 inch log cabin.  They stitch out in about 8 minutes, so 8 minutes x 64 blocks = about 8.5 hours.  Not too bad, and probably about the same amount of time to do a pantograph. I like the density of this design too, I think that it will help the quilt maintain its shape once it is washed.

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese for “Put Your Foot Down”, lots of log Cabin-y goodness going on over there with the Island Batik Challenge.




Layout with out sashing

I spent my weekend working on Frolic.  So many pieces, so many times I was ready to quit.  There are about 3400 pieces, a bunch of extras were made because it made the instructions easier to give/follow.  There are 25 whole blocks and 14 half blocks and 4 quarter blocks.  On point settings with sashing to make up the secondary design.  Wow, this quilt has A LOT going on.  I am pleased with how my scrappy approach to the stars turned out.  Due to a bit of over zealous chain piecing, I had to make them mixed.  I matched the tones so from far enough away they look like solid stars.  I wasn’t going to un-sew all those pieces.  I am going to do the saw tooth borders, looking at the Quiltville Facebook posts, many people aren’t doing Bonnies style borders.


Half done with sashing

This photo popped up on the FB site for what to do with the extra pieces.  This quilter made a backing with them.  I think I may do a small quilt, or maybe pillow shams.  5E58B5C1-F28B-4A41-AC5A-729E62E82EF4


Today I want to finish up the top and go do some work on the Feathered Star quilt.  This weekend I also finished knitting all of the pieces of the Oak Cardigan, and got them blocked.  Hoping to get them sewn together and then get knitting on the collar and button bands.  I was all excited to start a new knitting project, but then I realized that I needed to do the collar and bands.  Once the base row is on, it’s pretty mindless knitting, no cables or counting.


Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.