Sew Many

This week was all about chain stitching units.  I started a new quilt kit that I bought at the beginning of the year, it is called Pas de deux Hillside.  At  75″ x 99″, it is thirty five blocks with a solid border.  I used my new 2 inch finished HST accuquilt die to cut many triangles, it is set up to cut 12 pieces out of a 9″ x 8″ rectangle.  I layer 3 sets, six pieces of fabric, and run it through to cut 36 perfect, ready to sew sets.  I spent a couple of hours cutting and a few more mindless hours piecing the flying geese and HSTs.  It should be a top by the end of this week.  I have been listening to Sirius radio lately while sewing, trying to make my books last a little longer.  There is a station/channel that plays the top 1000 pop songs from the 1960’s through the 1970’s.  I am really surprised at how many I recognize, and know the words to.  So many songs that have memories attached to them, maybe that’s why they stick with me.  I have trouble remembering what I ate for breakfast yesterday.

Last Monday, my April installment of Botanica Park was delivered, a Tulip block.  After making all those tiny blocks for the Unity quilt, these went together quickly.  I really like the tones and colors of this batik line.   DA720397-256B-4E9E-A172-719CF5927DAD

I worked a bit on the Heart quilt that is on the frame (still).  There are two more rows left, the end is in sight.  I am deciding what/which quilt to put up next.  Maybe do some ruler work, or free hand.  I just bought a few new rulers that I want to try out.  Watching the computer quilt is only interesting for so long.  I want to be an active participant.

Round four of the unity quilt is up on Bonnies web site today.  This part looks a bit easier than last weeks, lots of 2 ½” HSTS.  I may be able to cut them with the Accuquilt die, but I am dealing with scraps, so it may be more work than its worth.

I’m trying to get a little bit of gardening done this week.  I have to plant my dahlia tubers.  Late last fall I dug them all up and separated them, carefully packing them in pine shavings and news paper.  I am going to open the container up today, hoping they are okay.  I have visions of mush, or them starting to sprout, all white and anemic.  I also started few seedlings, peppers and tomatillos, as I had good luck with them last year.  I managed to get two tomato plants from the local nursery that was delivering potting soil to me.  All of my veggies and dahlias live in planter boxes on my deck.  Otherwise they would be eaten in a matter of days.  It’s bad enough that the squirrels eat all the apples, and the gophers and voles eat anything green.

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

Sew Then

I made a dress.  Real clothes, it’s been a while.  I don’t think I’ve made any real clothing since I got my serger a few years ago.  I was all gung-ho about making pajamas and tee shirts, bought a bunch of knits and patterns.  Then promptly lost interest. The dress is from Made-By-Rae, The Washi dress pattern.  It was pretty simple to make, minimal parts and simple sewing.  I used a nice weight quilting cotton from Cotton and Steele, actually pre-washed it (gasp!).  The back piece has shirring, which is done with elastic thread in the bobbin.  I was pretty happy with the results of this experiment, probably should have adjusted the top tension a bit, my machine came through in the end.  The only thing I would add/change is to top stitch the side pockets.  I reinforced the stitching before and after them along the side seams.  This made it difficult to top stitch with out taking those seams out, so I’ll leave it as is.  I made a note on the pattern though, in case I ever make another.6BF16D97-D71D-4DF5-9EFF-E4C582A99AB7

I worked on round three of the Unity Quilt.  Lots of little flying geese, and many (1476) pieces in this round of thirty six star blocks.  I really like the French general scraps in this quilt, it’s turning out to be subtle, unlike Frolic, which is not.6DB6EFC0-AC90-4F15-A9F6-136EB690A317

I made some progress on the Heart quilt.  I think I am 75% done.  I seem to be having a bit of trouble with drift as the rows stitch out from left to right.  By the time the rows get about 12 inches from the right edge, the design is slightly overlapping the previous row.  Its not terrible, just annoying, as I try to compensate by starting the left side 1/4 inch more to the left.  I really should remember to alternate start sides, as it is too late to fix it now.  Good thing I have a note book that I keep these kinds of ‘thoughts’ in.B2FE23E7-DA18-4376-AB85-A0EF12E39020

Today, I might start a new project.  Or clean out/reorganize a shelving unit in my sewing room.  I have been following Cheryl Sleboda – as she hosts her annual Spring Clean Your Studio blog hop.  I have not really been inspired so far, in fact I feel slightly ahead of the curve as I look at some of the featured studios.  One tip I gleaned was to analyze the space and what you use it for and organize it to that function.  This hop is also inspiring me towards moving my studio into my sons bedroom.  It is about 30% bigger and he’s not going to be using it regularly for another year or two, as he is in school in another state.  Then I start thinking that I should paint it first.  Ugh Painting.  Then I think about what I am going to do with all the furniture and stuff (sports trophies???) that is in there.  Will it fit in the smaller room, and how, and the rug in there, do I want a rug, everything starts to pile up in my head.  I’d rather sew.

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down #47 today.

Sew How

I finished the top I was working last week.  I like it, and decided to call it Garden City.  The name of the fabric collection in Flour Garden, but that’s not why I named it G.C.  My daughter saw the top and commented on how it contained “Beach House” colors.  My extended family used to own a beach house in the town I grew up in. My great grandparents built it in the late 1940’s (I think).  It’s a huge rambly place, lots of bedrooms, a wonderful screened in porch and huge sand yard with a paddleball court.  The extended family used to take turns using it, everyone one would have their week or two to hang out and go to the beach.  My family lived a few blocks away, so we would often walk over and visit.  Such good memories.  Once Labor Day rolled around, the house was closed up, and it would wait for summer to come again.  The house was always painted white on the outside, but inside it had a palette of aquas and blues with a touch of yellow.  The name of the street the house is on is Garden City Avenue.

Garden City

I used the Accuquilt die ‘Hatties Choice’ to cut the main blocks for the center.  It is such an easy way to cut and  have exact shapes.  Easy to sew together, no dog ears to cut and once I got the “rhythm” of the piecing, I could assemble a block in about twenty minutes. The outer blocks I made from the scraps, piecing them into Kite in a Square blocks.  These I squared up with a Bloc-Loc ruler.  It was all going along swimmingly (beach theme?) until the outer border.  I carefully mapped the quilt out in EQ8, how wide to make the spacer borders so that I could use the 3″ blocks around the 8″center blocks and make it come out square and not have to cut any blocks in half.  The first two solid borders went on easy enough.  The block border was going along okay until it was an inch and a half too long.  What?!? everything measured out perfectly, I went back and checked the math and the EQ8 measurements, it should work.  Oh wait! bias edges on the kite blocks.  PINS! I must pin these borders, tame them, and coax them and sew slowly.


Lesson learned.

I made some really good sourdough bread this past week too.  Also made pita bread for Easter dinner, we had Gyros – sort of lamb.  The pitas were easy and so much better than the dry crumbly ones I get from the store.  AA96EF07-CC5F-40E0-99C2-3679A3C8A4F3

Yesterday I decided to sew a dress, change it up a bit.  I had bought a Washi dress pattern a few summers ago, thinking that it would be a great dress to wear when it was hot and summery out.  I had the fabric, a Cotton and Steel print, and the notions all ready to go.  I spent a few hours making it, and I’ll finish it up today.  Pictures to follow.

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


Sew What

I got a bunch of sewing done this week.  I finished the second clue for the “Unity” quilt, I even found and used my square in a square ruler.  I have two, a big and a small one, I haven’t inventoried that drawer yet though. 19BFDA9F-8354-4E29-8333-9D8556477426

My main project this week has been this quilt (nameless as of yet).  I am using the BOB (block on board) Accuquilt die, called Hatties Choice.  The fabric is a Moda Line, called – uhh – something to do with flour.  The quilt top will get a spacer strip of green and a final border of aqua and print triangle in a square blocks.

There is a story behind this fabric.  I ordered a bunch of fabric from Connecting Threads early in March.  They were having a green fabric sale, and at the time I was getting ready to go to the Empty Spools retreat to work on an ‘Emerald City’ quilt.  The fabric arrived the day after the event was canceled.  I was kinda bummed about the whole thing, but still, new fabric is exciting.  I opened the box and saw that there was a fat eighth pack in there.  Nope, not what I ordered, not on the receipt either, although I was missing one yard of green fabric.  Also there was a pretty blue fabric that wasn’t on my order.  I figure whomever was filling the order went by the SKU numbers and didn’t double check the description, and that’s how I ended up with the mix up.  I probably should have sent it back, but when I went to the website, the fat eighth pack wasn’t there, the fabric line wasn’t to be found either.  At that time C.T. had stopped taking orders and shipping, I took it as a sign to use the fabric to make a charity quilt.

I spent most of my day yesterday making sour dough bread.  It started out simply enough, I made a starter “mother” with a pack of starter I found in my cupboard.  Then I pulled out a book “Sourdough School”.  This book is written by a very well intentioned baker, who has a very intense knowledge of making sour dough bread.  Her way of teaching it through a book is, well, daunting.  There are so many references back to other pages, step by step instructions, references to other techniques, and ideas and reasons and ideas and theories.  I was dizzy.  I just wanted to make bread, flour, water and yeast. Eventually that’s what I did, I put the book away and used my remedial knowledge of bread making and the functions on my oven.  There was a proofing function, and then a specific baking function for San Francisco Sourdough Bread.  And you know what, the bread turned out okay.

I had much better luck with the soft pretzels I made earlier this week.  I didn’t have any yeast, and there was none to be had at the store.  What I do have is cider and beer yeast, as my DH makes those yeasty things.  I used the cider yeast, and you know what, they were delicious.   22540E74-435C-42CF-943B-52478CA903AD

One last picture from the garden today, the first Iris of the season, this one is a re-bloomer, it flowers in the fall and the spring.  I think the name is “Rock Star”, anyway its a star in my garden.0F1A9850-964E-4776-8F71-4C653CA2158B

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I get a Whoop Whoop  today.  Looking forward to the weekend, I think I’ll stay home and sew.

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.