LA quilting

I’ve been on a roll lately with long arm quilting, I finished three in the past three weeks,  the Union Blues quilt, Berties ladder and Allietare are awaiting binding. I’m really happy with the Bertie quilt.  It is all flannel, top and backing, to keep it a little lighter I used a wool batting.  Its so cozy, but probably too warm for our California winters.


For Allietare I used a new to me Pantograph called Robins and Birds in the Garden by Designs by Deb. The robins seemed perfect to me for this quilt.  While I was piecing this Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, the robins had started migrating through here.  Each morning their songs filled the air with melody, so cheerful in January.  I splurged a bit with the backing and used some of my 108″ wide “Free fall” fabric by Tula Pink. The swallows aren’t back yet, but soon they’ll be swooping around and building their mud nests at the barn.

I have also started un-quilting my El Camino quilt.  I realized that after pebble quilting all of one of the outer borders I had made a terrible mistake.  The center portion of the backing had become “baggy” and rippled.  When I put the top on the frame I decided to attach it to the lower take up bar.  I usually float my quilts, but I thought I would try it to see if it made a difference for me.  I’m not saying one should not attach the top to the lower bar, but that it is, a case by case decision.  I think part of the trouble was that this top is a king size one.  It is a lot of fabric to try to keep evenly fed onto the bars.  Double trouble when trying to do it with the backing at the same time.  Then add in the batting, and well, ripples and folds are bound to ensue.  I think that quilting around the whole outer part of the quilt did not help either.  Live and learn or in this case, sew and rip.

On the design wall today are two more 1930’s Farmers Wife blocks, Joy (47) and Judy (48).   I have finished half of the sashing strips for Rubies, Diamonds and Garnets.  Also pictured are the post blocks for this quilt.  I am so close to finishing this top, only about 500 more HST to make. LOL 🙂

I’m linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday today.  Thanks for reading.


More Hitofude


Wow, it looks much better in the photo here than in person.  It will look better after blocking too.  My swatch did, so I have proof.  I have made things that didn’t turn out as nice after blocking, yet another reason to swatch.  I used to just dive into a project thinking “it’s the right weight yarn and it should work in this pattern”.   I’m wiser now after many learning experiences, swatch first and be happy with your finished object.

The under arm seaming went along easily for me, I ended up adding an extra repeat of the rows.  I was concerned that they might not be wide enough for my upper arm size.  Then when I added the waist band I realized I had somehow turned the knitting inside out.  Rather than ripping back I added a row of purling to the bottom of the band and started the chevron lace pattern again. It is a bit more “detail” see it in the photo below?


Just makes it more “mine”.

I’m linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for On the Needles today.


Sew Many HSTs

I confess I like puns, todays title only provokes a slight groan from the peanut gallery.  It does have multiple meanings and it does tell what I have been up to this past week. I have been making headway through the 1728 hst’s for the “Rubies Diamonds and Garnets” quilt sashing.


In order to break the monotony of triangle after triangle, I started to web-piece the little squares into rows a la Bonnie Hunter.  Each sashing has two rows of twelve HSTs on either side of a solid 2 ½ x 12 ½ solid strip.  I got thirty six rows done this weekend, one quarter of them.  I also cut all the solid sashing parts, I feel like I have begun to make a dent.

I got caught up on my Farmers Wife blocks.  Jewel and Jenny are for this week.  Jenny has a nautical theme going, Jewel doesn’t, I’m not sure whats up with that one, balloons and posies,  but it’s a keeper.

In knitting news I attended Stitches West yesterday.  The yarn stash was increased by three new projects and a bag of very nice worsted wool in a weathered burgundy color.  I found a few new patterns and ideas, but all in all, restraint was shown.   The show was well put together, lots of venders, but there was a certain excitement that seemed to be missing.  Hard to explain, everyone I spoke to was nice and helpful, the displays were nice, it wasn’t too crowded either.  Just lacking a spark of something.  Perhaps I’m a bit jaded, I have been going to the show annually since it was in Oakland, fourteen (?) years ago.  I sometimes get the same way at Quilt shows, maybe its over-saturation?

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

Thanks for reading!

Six Pack

This past week was a catch-up week.  Between my machine getting a tune up and a short family vacation, the Farmer’s Wife blocks got sidelined.  Thankfully they were not that complicated to put together.  The first one above, Grandma, took the longest, as I kept mixing up the greens.  The  last, Iris, had some weird angles and I ended up using a larger than necessary piece to cover the spot.  A bit frustrating to sew the piece on to the foundation paper, flip it over and it doesn’t cover the spot, by the third retry of the same piece, I was voicing my protests aloud.

Recently a friend of mine was looking at my collection (44 blocks now) and commented that she didn’t particularly care for these blocks.  Something about the colors and fabric choices not being her style/preference.  “To each her own” I said, and went into the story of how each block has a name and a letter to the Farmer’s Wife magazine associated with it and how people from all over the world are also doing these blocks and sharing them.  She was still non-plussed, but when I told her they were only six inches square she had a new appreciation for them.  I don’t think they would appeal as much to me in a twelve inch block size.  The 1930’s prints are cute, but I don’t think the cuteness extends over large swaths of yardage.  Imagine a bedspread of tiny scotties and flowers on a purple background.  This Monday I will hit the half way point with these blocks and I’m thinking of starting to put them together with the sashing into rows.

This week I also want to get the majority of the sashing strips (72) for the “Rubies, Diamonds and Garnets too” quilt top done.  They are 12 inch long strips with 24 HSTs sewn to the outer edges.  That’s where the 1700 – 1 ½” HSTs go.  I have about 600 more to make.  I think that these could have been started earlier in this BOM instead of waiting for the last step.  Maybe doing eighty or so a month over the two year run.  Going to give my machine a work-out this week, she’s all tuned up and ready to go.

I received the next installment of “Gravity”yesterday, such a fun quilt to make.  Lots of long-arm quilting possibilities for this one.

I’m linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I get a Whoop Whoop today.  Thanks for reading!



Blues for Monday

I finished up my “Blue Spruce” inspired top with borders and and offset rows.  Since I didn’t have the original pattern from Laundry Basket Quilts I made up my own.  I decided to call it “Sheila”.  In my ‘way back when’, I had a neighbor named Sheila.  She loved the color blue, in her home she had a vast collection of blue glass bottles and vases, a blue carpet and light blue paint on the walls.  Every Christmas she would have a beautiful Blue Spruce tree with equally gorgeous ornaments of blue and silver with blue and white lights. As a young child I was in awe of this tree, and would try to see it every year, even if only through an open door while passing.  These blue trees remind me of that time in my life,  and thats the story behind the name, I think she would like it too.

There will be lots of quilting in the open spaces.  I’d really like to do something of a trapunto like design with interesting fill and texture.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.


The Final Four

These are the final four blocks (12 ½ ” square) for the BOM “Rubies Diamonds and Garnets too” quilt that I have been working on for the past two years.  The sashings are going to take a few more weeks, as they have  24 – 1 inch finished HSTs in each section and there are many of them.  I really like the way they look in this design, and yes, they are boring to make, and there are 1700 of them, but the finish is worth it.  Besides, I have a bunch of red and white fabric scraps left from the blocks


My machine is still in the shop, it needed some parts, so I have to wait another few days.  I have been using my daughter’s Janome Jem gold.  Its a cute small machine, makes a nice stitch, and is fine for piecing.  I would like to put bindings on two finished quilts though, and I think the quilts weigh more than the machine. I’ll have to do four farmers wife blocks next week too.  I might just cut the fabric and get them ready for piecing this weekend.

Linking up with Sara for Can I get a Whoop whoop and Crazy Mom quilts for Finish it up Friday .

Design Board


Design Ironing Board

Here are my first 31 blocks of the 365 Challenge Quilt – The ultimate sampler.  Its run by an Australian group of quilters.  Every day you get an email featuring the block of the day with a simple diagram and a link to their Facebook page and archive.  The first 93 blocks finish at 3 inches, which are then used to make a border around a center medallion (the month of April part).  Then there is a round of larger blocks, another round of small blocks and a border.  The mock up is done in blues and tans, but I am doing mine in batiks, all assorted.   The hardest part was starting, as I did all of these over a span  of 2 days.  I think I’m going to do them weekly from now on.  They only make ten or fifteen minutes to do.  Unlike the Farmers wife blocks which may take an hour to do. This is the first Monday that I don’t have two of those to show.  I had to bring Bertha in for her yearly spa treatment.  For some reason the feed dogs weren’t staying down when asked to.  The FW blocks require precision foundation piecing, which I can’t do as well on my Singer 404.  It was fun to do these 3 ½” blocks on it, especially with the slant needle, much easier to see the little squares and triangles.

This week I also started quilting my Union Blues quilt.  This quilt is about 30 % smaller than the pattern originally calls for, due to a (ahem) slight measuring error by the user.  I like it though, and decided to do an all over Baptist Fan quilting pattern.  Should be done this week, although its not difficult, its time consuming.IMG_1365

Thanks for reading.  I’m linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times today for Design Wall Monday .