Irish Chaining

Friday I started cutting the pieces for the small Irish chain quilt I have an order for. Our power was turned off at 9 am, (grr) for PG&E to do some tree trimming on a road that is a quarter mile away. I thought I could use the new 2 ½” strip accuquilt die I got recently to cut the strips. With this die, I can cut 9 WOF strips at a time. After cutting the yardage into 8 ½” wide strips, I tried to put it on the die, they were a little creased, so I walked over to iron them. Drat. It was kinda like that reaction when you try to turn on the closet light, even though you know the power is out. I’ll admit, I did try to cut one set, and it turned out okay, but the strips needed to be recut with a ruler and rotary cutter. Which cancels out any convenience of using the Accuquilt cutter.

Our power was restored at around 2 pm, and I was able to iron and cut the rest of the strips. I sewed them into sets, and cut them into columns with the rotary cutter. There is a way to do it using the strip cutting die, but I didn’t want to experiment with this project. I am making 12 blocks, with 5 columns of 5, 2 ½” squares. I made one block, put it on the design wall and then cut the rest of the columns. After dinner I sewed all 12 blocks together, for a total of thirteen. While making and counting all the parts, I forgot the one on the wall, I guess that’s better than finding it stuck to my back or on the floor.

Saturday I was back to the cutting table, for the “B” blocks. I got the pieces cut and started to chain piece the blue squares and white rectangles. Hmm, why did I run out of blue squares? I rechecked my math, 13 blocks with four blue squares in each, makes for 52 squares. Yup, and 52 rectangles. Ugh, then it occurred to me, only 26 of the rectangles get blue squares on each end. I un-sewed the wrong ones and made them correctly. Once that was done, the blocks went together quickly.

Up on the design wall, things looked okay, but I thought I had worked out in EQ8 that there would be five columns of five blocks. The four column version on the wall was looking a little big for a baby quilt. Back to look at the EQ8 version, oh, that size version has 9 inch finished blocks, I made 10 inch blocks. Mmm. Now I have extra blocks, not enough to make another quilt though. I can’t put them on the back either, as it is supposed to have minky on the back. I guess I’ll make some more and have another to sell. This quilt has been a lesson on the importance of making a plan and clearly following the steps. But it is much more fun to wing it, and hey, I have another quilt top.

Going to get it all together today, and add a border or two.

Be Kind

A Few finishes

I finished my Appalachian Autumn quilt top. This went together really fast, and I didn’t buy any new fabric for it. All from stash and mostly scraps at that.

The funny thing was is that I thought it was bigger than it really was. It’s 56 and ½ inches square, not huge, a good lap blanket though. I would like to get it quilted and use it for November. I have a halloween quilt on my chair for now.

I also bound two quilts. I still need to sew down the hanging sleeve on the Costumers Ball quilt. That one is pretty large, shown here on a full size bed. A little bit of ruler and template work, free hand around the figures and computer guided borders. A hybrid so to speak.

The Peppermint Poinsettia quilt got a binding to match its backing. I really like how the pearls in the white inner border turned out.

In other news, my DH asked me if he could use one of my quilts as a back drop for his court appearance (he’s an attorney) tomorrow. I set up my ‘Sew She Did’ quilt behind his chair in his office. I told him to tell anyone who asks, that it’s an award winning quilt. He didn’t think anyone would notice, but you never know😊.

I found an inspirational picture for the baby quilt I need to make. The Childs name is Theodore, so teddy bears are in order. I like the way this quilt has the bears peeking out of the chain pattern. I’m going to do a double Irish Chain and appliqué the bears in the squares. I found a few clip art bears that I like, so I’ll be drawing them out this week. I want to get started on this little quilt soon.

Be Kind

Monday, today

I worked on the AAQ (Appalachian Autumn Quilt) Yesterday. I got the cream background ones done.

They go together pretty quickly, this should be a top by the end of the week, hmmm, maybe not. I was just thinking about the borders and all the HST’s that need to be put together. Power sewing mode may have to be activated.

Yesterday I finished the quilting on the Poinsettia quilt. For a small quilt, this one had a lot of stops and starts. I quilted the center with single motifs of leaves and flowers. Each one had to be placed and stitched, it was tedious, but I like the results. The borders turned out nicely too. This quilt was made from the scraps of the Christmas Figs BOM that I finished last May. Made me want to put that large quilt on the frame next. I’m going to hold off a bit though, I got an order for a baby quilt yesterday, and I want to do a round table top quilt for a friend.

Off to cut some binding and make a few AAQ borders.

Be Kind

October finishes

This was my list from a few weeks ago:

  1. Finish SQP – secret quilting project ✅
  2. Finish Peppermint Poinsettia quilting – list on Etsy
  3. Finish Meeting of the Geese (kit from 2019)✅
  4. Finish quilting Costumers Ball – BEFORE 10/31 and Hang up✅
  5. October BOM blocks✅
  6. Get Growing Up Odd on the frame
  7. Make some Christmas items for Etsy

The ✅ mean it is done. I did get the Poinsettia quilt on the frame so its a half check mark. I didn’t get to numbers 6 and 7, but I did make two quilt tops, Good Times and Rock Pool. So I’m calling it a win.

I made the rest of the string blocks for the Appalachian Autumn Quilt leaves. I also cut all the colored 300+ HSTs needed, I am hoping to cut the cream and gray ones today. This will become a November project, along with, um, something else. The mystery quilt doesn’t start until November 27th this year, it’s more of a December/January thing. I have a few quilt kits left, and a few collections of fabric that I have bought that need to be used. One of the collections is Farm Charm, I have a honey bun, a panel, a layer cake and some yardage.

I have a collection of another Gingiber fabric line called Thicket. I have made two small quilts with it already. I was looking for a photo of it and came across this free pattern, called Thicket of Stars its free from Moda.

It could be a start of something, I’m not sure I like all the white, maybe add in some 4 patches of the black and white prints. This one is more colorful, using HSTs of a print and the B&W Thicket line.

Lots of options and time this November.

Be Kind

It’s Back!

My 790 is back from its vacation/repair in Sacramento. The shop called me on Monday and I drove over there yesterday to pick it up. It’s about a two and a half hour drive each way, but it went pretty fast, as there is little to no traffic. The machine had some issues with the computer assisted upper thread tension and needed a really good clean-out. They also updated the software and now it purrs like it should. I made one of the BOM blocks from the halloween fig quilt as soon as I got it set up. Today I finished the other two October blocks.

I was a little sad to move my Singer 404 off the sewing table. It has been standing in for the 790 for the past month. I made two quilt tops with it and two blocks for the Botanica BOM quilt. I kinda feel like I should leave it set up, so I can use it to piece with or something. I just don’t have enough room in my sewing space though. When I was thinking about moving across the hall, back in the summertime, I thought I would have room for another sewing table. I thought I could put the 404 and my Sail-right machine on it and that way they would be ready to sew when needed. Alas, not enough floor space, too many fabric containers and too many book shelves. I could use the computer desk in the guest room, then move them when we have company staying. Who knows when that will be though.

Rock Pool is a top now

I also heard yesterday that the Serger, 890L won’t be here until mid-December. Oh well. When the shops name popped up on the caller ID, I got all excited, thinking it had arrived. No, apparently I had missed the preorder cut-off date. So I have to wait for the next manufacturing run and shipment.

I have been itching to start making Bonnie Hunter’s Appalachian Autumn quilt. I think I could squeeze it in the line up for the next few weeks. It’s a string pieced, large block quilt of autumn leaves with a cream and gray background. After going through my string pile I created earlier this year, I found “enough” to do the string blocks. Now to find the fabrics for the background.

This weekend BH will be releasing the colors for the up coming Mystery quilt. I will most probably make it, as always, I have only missed the 2018, Good Fortune quilt. I wasn’t too keen on the colors chosen for that one, orange, green, blue and white. Similar to the colors combo of Celtic Sunrise, which is on my bed now.

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

Be Kind

Rock Pool

I have been steadily working on this small quilt made with the left overs from the Good Times quilt. The Good times quilt was a kit made up of 40 FQs and 2 ½ yards of border and binding fabric. I think I’m going to call it Rock Pool, this is what I have so far:

This is the initial mock up, there are a few places where the blocks match and there will be some switching, spinning and trading places happening over the next few days. For now, everything is in the proper orientation, 63 nine patch blocks. These are the three blocks I came up with using the scraps. They are 2 ½ inch square, the two part version is made from the 2 inch wide strips left over from the pineapple blocks.

Here’s what I have left over, I think I’ll have enough of the dark blue for a border, if not, there’s enough for a binding.

Remaining pieces

I worked on the Costumers ball quilt yesterday. Took it off the frame and laid it on the floor and marked a straight line on the backing that ran parallel to the edge of the quilt. Then I pinned that line to the leader instead of the the backing edge. It helped straighten the quilt edge a lot, I was able to quilt the borders straight. It should be finished this weekend, and then bound with a hanging sleeve. Then on to something else, yay for finishes.

Be Kind

From the Scraps

I finished the Good Times quilt top earlier this week. I like it, the colors and the pattern work well together. It reminds me of the cold stormy Atlantic Ocean coasts, like in Maine or Newfoundland. Dark rocks, pebble beaches, the sea and the white/blue sky.

These are the scraps.

On the left are the light colored FQs and strips left over. The pile on the lower right are all the bonus triangle squares I made with the dark scraps. The upper right and middle are the rest of the dark shaded scraps. I dreamed up this pattern for them.

The red patches are the bonus triangle squares I made, the yellow patches will be the dark squares and the white patches are the light colored ones from the FQs. I was going along so well, then I figured out that I didn’t have enough dark batik scraps as needed for the yellow. Hmm. There is enough of the dark blue border left over. I think I will do that, it will bring some order into the pattern if all the ‘yellow’ patches are the same color. I kinda like this pattern, simple nine patches and white. I think it would work as a solid color, say with two shades of pink and white. Or black, gray and white, scrappy too, if you sort medium and dark shades. Based on 2 inch finished squares, this quilt ends up 36 x 54 before borders. Those pen scratches on the right side of the page represent another row of blocks, making it 42 x 54, without borders.

I finished the quilting in the center, top and bottom borders of the Costumers Ball quilt. Got it turned and pinned to the frame to do the side borders and realized it wasn’t straight. Well, not parallel to the rails. I tried to place the digitized border on and it was a parallelogram. I am going to try to straighten it today. I think if I use a ruler and an air erasable marker, I can mark a straight line on the backing fabric six or eight inches from the edge of the quilt. Then pin it to the leader along that line. In theory it might work, it’s a good thing I left the sides of the backing wide enough to do this.

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

Be Kind

Third week of Oct.

I was looking through the Design Wall Monday post at Small quilts and Doll quilts this morning. Judy repaired a quilt for her grandson recently and the name of the quilt is Third Week in October. I have had this pattern for a long time, every once in a while I come across it and think about making it. It an autumn leaves quilt, that is sort of scrappy, and I think I want to do it with batiks. The instructions are nicely laid out, it just feels a bit overwhelming to me when I read them, the number of blocks and pieces is large. The finished size is 85″ X 110″, nice for queen bed with a pillow fold over. Maybe early next year.

This past weekend I worked on the Good Times quilt, ugh the theme from the 70’s TV show just popped into my head. I got the blocks done and the pieces for the first border done.

I put them up on the design wall, trying to get things random looking is hard work, chaos is easier. I didn’t want any of the prints to match, or be too close to each other. A little more shuffling in needed.

I got tired of sewing last night, so I decided to match up the bonus triangle pieces. I found if I sew them together on the diagonal, I can then trim them down to 2 ½ inch squares. They are kinda cute, too bad that the colors are kinda dark, they would probably make for a scrappy baby quilt.

My goals for the week are to finish the Costumes Ball quilting, get the Good Times (ain’t we lucky we got ’em) top together and get a round tabletop quilt on the frame. Oh yeah, my two BOM blocks came in the mail on Saturday, cut and sew those together.

Be Kind

Folded Corners

This past week I pulled a quilt kit out of the stack to do. It’s called “Good Times” the pattern is by Monique Jacobs. I got it from BluPrint last year, on sale, and it looked like something easy-ish to do. As always (not really) I read through all the instructions first, and saw that this pineapple block was made with the “place a marked square over the corner, sew, cut off extra” method. Maybe there is an acronym for that? I think it’s wasteful, and time intensive marking all those lines on the squares, 240 of them. Not to mention the bonus triangle creation. I have a Deb Tucker ruler to use for folded corners, that doesn’t create as many HSTs. It allows you to cut the corner off the foundation block and then cut a triangle to fit that corner, eliminating the line drawing, sewing and cutting. I take it one step further, as the triangles cut with the ruler are a bit larger and once sewn on need to be trimmed, I cut the HSTs with the Easy Angle. The Easy Angle triangle has the squared off tip which makes lining it up to sew easy. This saved me 10 FQs worth of fabric, the kit came with 40 (2 of each color), I consider this a real bonus ;).

There are twenty blocks for this twin sized quilt, and I was sewing them along at a nice pace. Then I got the mail, specifically a letter from my favorite power supplier, PG&E, that they were going to shut our power off for the whole day Thursday. They were threatening this earlier this month, 10/1/20, but never showed up, or called to cancel, or reschedule. Coincidentally, they also shut down many neighboring areas in our county due to the possibility of fires starting due to the very hot, dry weather we have been having. We luckily weren’t in the areas affected, those people lost power for two days. Anyway, they came and did the work, replacing a pole and transformer and finished in the dark at about 8:30 PM. So no sewing was done that day. I did accomplish a few rows of knitting though with the aid of a mini generator powering a reading lamp. Yesterday turned into a no-sew day too. I meant to get in there and finish up another round on the blocks. All of the sudden it was five o’clock, time to make dinner.

I am ready for some fall temperatures, we have been in the upper eighties all week. Too hot, some rain would be nice too, at least the smoke has cleared out. I will sew later today, and tomorrow.

Be Kind.


I have always liked October, it’s a “full” month, 31 days, two minor holidays, four solid weeks. A good time to get things together and blast into the holiday season. This week I have been thinking about my goal list. I visited my beginning of the year post, most of those goals have been completed. Below is a bit of a post from late December 2019, which seems about a century ago.

End of the year compilations are starting to appear on some of the Quilter’s blogs I follow.  I am impressed with the amount of finishes, but also the numbers of UFO’s (completed and resting).  I’m trying to get a list together of what I want to accomplish next year.  I get stymied though, it’s like an avalanche of images that crashes in my mind.  Too much input.  I’m going to start small, how about January goals:

  1. Frolic
  2. Mrs. Millers Apprentice
  3. Live Simply (log cabin)
  4. 4 Baby quilts – commissions
  5. Finish peppermint poinsettia quilting
  6. Quilt Feathered star

That’s easier.  Goals for the next six months, rather general:

  1. Quilt tops that were completed last year, and before
  2. Keep on top of current BOM, Botanica Park
  3. Start wedding quilt (sept. wedding)
  4. One UFO from Last List 
  5. Construct quilt kits bought in 2019

So the January goals were all completed, well, except for number five. The next six months listed goals (so these were for January to June), I got 4 out of 5 complete or started – BOMs and kits. None of the UFOs got touched.

This brings us to October goals, which are going to clean up the beginning of the year list. Optimistically.

  1. Finish SQP – secret quilting project
  2. Finish Peppermint Poinsettia quilting – list on Etsy
  3. Finish Meeting of the Geese (kit from 2019)
  4. Finish quilting Costumers Ball – BEFORE 10/31 and Hang up
  5. October BOM blocks
  6. Get Growing Up Odd on the frame
  7. Make so Christmas items for Etsy

Four to be finished, one continue on, one start and one non committal (7). Yesterday I finished the paper pieced blocks for the SQP. YAY!! Now to put them all together into a top. Tuesday I started the Meeting of the Geese top. It was a kit I bought from Craftsy/Bluprint/Craftsy, it was basically 6 yards of fabric and a printout of the free pattern that is linked in number 3 above. I spent Tuesday cutting all the pieces and sewing the HSTs (used the Accuquilt cutter for the HSTs).

I have been sewing with the Singer 404, I think this is the longest time I have continuously sewn with it. I took it with me to Alsilomar two years ago and used it for four days there. It seems to be purring along now, sounding much smoother and like a well-oiled machine. My Bernina probably won’t be back for another 4 weeks. Sigh. I keep seeing things I want to make with it – embroidery, or embellishments or experiments. must be patient. I need to start thinking about serger projects, talk about itchy fingers, for when the L890 gets here. When I got the MDC1300 serger, three years ago, I bought a bunch of knit fabric and ribbing thinking I would make some shirts and pajamas. I made one shirt, and hemmed a bunch of sweat pants. I need to look through the patterns I bought with my subscription to Seamworks. Plenty of inspiration there. This could be an addendum to the goals above. It may get pushed to January though depending on the holiday schedule.

Finally, a quilt I made last month and gifted to a friend has taken up residence in an AirBnB rental. If you need a place to stay in Taos NM, this is it Stella Blue.

Be kind.