Monday, May 30, 2011

Machine pressure and a great great great link!  Thank you Karrielyne.  I found this video fascinating.  You all may know it already, but I am a slow learner.  Enjoy.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pink four patches...tops done...all 108 blocks used up

Here are the last two of three quilt tops I have made with the pink 4 patches, all 108 blocks now used up with no orphans!  yup...finished.  So, for the record, I am no longer striving for calm.  It is not possible and why would I even think of it.  I do like to do all quilts, modern, antique reproductions, liberated..but mostly love scraps.
 The blue batik used in the above scrap quilt comes from a town called Mountain View, I think...We used to stop there at JoAnn's fabric store on the way to Pittsburgh from Charlotte to visit our daughter when she was in college at Carnegie Mellon.  It was such a treat since Charlotte doesn't have a JoAnn's store.  I just love a fabric memory.
Finishing this cuddle quilt above with the last of the pink four patches reminded me of the sale at a local quilt store a number of years back.  There were hundreds of bolts on sale for $4 a yard and crowds and crowds of women in line to buy fabric.  Whenever a bolt was emptied, they would ring a big bell and was great fun.  When I finished this third top this evening, that is exactly how I felt!!!  Ring out these pinks with a big bell and a shout!

Friday, May 27, 2011


When I turned around in relief that my rose period was justly over, I realized that I had made 108 of these blocks...happily sewing away while watching the last Oprah show and the news.  And, on my mess counter, I found these just waiting. All of these are left from the last quilt.  Sew, since I want a relatively cleanish table, I put them up on the now empty design wall.

Just waiting......

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pink four patch quilt top finished.

Top finished, though after talking with Picasso, he mentioned that my rose period is absolutely over!  This is no masterpiece, but it is an exercise in using up what you have and working with scraps of a palate that is not your favorite.  I just want to share a bit about some of the fabric.  The red and white polka-dots for the inner border are from a fat quarter of Olivia that I have had awhile.  The final border is from a piece of fabric I bought 6 years or so ago in Asheville, NC.  My husband was there for a tennis tournament and my joy was to be fabric shopping.  When I got to this one shop, the electricity was out, but the shop was open.  After many apologies, I insisted that I did not drive all this way not to fabric shop and did they have a flashlight!!  Lo and behold, they produced one and I went happily through the store.  I remember every single piece of fabric I bought that day....and at a nice discount too:)  Now who would go fabric shopping with a flashlight??  ha!  I chose this batik for the border because it had an airy look to it.  I wanted to pick up the rose from the centers of the four patches, but the same fabric was too heavy.  This border fabric not only had white in it, but was dispersed with blue tints to pick up the different hues in the quilt.  Staying with the same color scheme was part of my challenge, though it was annoying at times.  Once quilted and bound, a whole other dimension should appear.  But right now I am sick of it, so on to something else! you think this is a calm quilt?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pink process number 4

A quilt is not finished until it is quilted and bound.  The danger of showing " process", is that it can be judged as wrong before it gets a chance to be finished.  Not so much being judged by others as being judged by myself.  I should by now, know to trust the process, but at times I waiver.  I thought I would be putting these blocks into the WIP file, but I saw the lattice on my shelf this afternoon and had to do it now while the thought was simmering.  Unless I work from a pattern which I have not done for years really, with a few exceptions, the end result is never known to me till the end.  Eg, with this quilt I started with scrap 3" strips chosen randomly and it just went from there.  I could never have told you when I started what it would look like because I didnt know.  That is the absolute fun for me!  So here is the next stage in the process of making this pink quilt.

A good scrap quilt moves the eye around the quilt seeing interesting things along the way.  It is a struggle for me to keep a quilt calm, yet interesting.  Maybe I should give up the calm thing since it is not me, but I think it is a challenge.  I had planned for his quilt to be calm.  I am seeing interesting, but not calm.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pink process number 3

Here are the blocks sewn to the checked lattice on the ironing board.  I decided to stay with the pink for two reasons.  First, I believe that value is more important than color.  Second, I am trying to stay away from the bright, bold colors that I love, to show myself that I can do all colors!!  Pay attention self!!
 Chain piecing goes so quickly, here we go with the slice and bake thing.

The blocks below are just up on the design wall for a bit for the post.  They will probably be put now with other WIP's since life is calling.  They will for sure not be set this way, but with another lattice of some sort...My mind will be thinking as I sleep!  But, so far, plain 4 patch is not so plain any more.  How versatile it is....

 Here is a picture of the back with all the seams pressed the correct way.  That makes piecing a piece of cake!
 I love to press with steam, but because I have to have an iron that shuts off automatically lest I burn the house down while seeing clients, I use this pad from Walmart. Under $4, it is a steal.

button test

Grrr   Well, evidently to all now, not just to me and my family, my computer skills are lacking.  I want to learn how to crochet edgings on pillowcases.  Browsing away, instead of sewing away, I found this lovely site with a tutorial on how to do this.  Here is the button, I think...and I do not know if it works...gotta try it now....

  • Well, I tried it and it gets me to the site, but not to the tutorial.  But, the button is right there on the site. Now, since I have blogged it, I will remember it.  You know that I used to be brilliant, but no one remembers and used to doesn't count!!!

Audition in pink....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The process of scrap quilting at my house

The starting of something new for me is usually done to avoid doing something I do not want to do like paperwork for my business, or finishing a quilt project where the thought process is not an easy one.  There is absolutely no conscious thinking in grabbing two kinds of old pink fabric and cutting it into 3 inch strips.  Maybe subconscious, since I knew I had already a draw full of 3" scrap strips and that I had not worked with pink in awhile, but to me that was not thinking.  Grabbing random old scraps to put with the newly cut pinks was relaxing and no thinking...All random and relaxing.
 Slicing these sewn strips was also mindless to me as the board is marked for three inch cuts and that was all I was doing.  Here are the cut pieces.
 Mindless strip sewing these two piece halves together is also mindless since the strips were all pressed toward the pink and thus fit together just fine...relaxing strip piecing.  But, now the thinking the strip piecing goes on...the mind starts working.
 How in the world am I going to showcase 108 pinkish 4 patches so the quilt will be interesting??
.Stay tuned...but then, this requires some thought so I guess I could start something new???  ha ha
Well, it is late, so Pumpkin will help me think...tomorrow!

Grey and Gray, all done

Although this quilt was an experiment in using up old fabric and scraps.  I do like it a lot.  Guess I will keep it in the closet for when a friend is in need!

Items from Terri's sit and sew

Can you believe Terri...she invited us to a sit and sew at her house and had kits made up for us to make the following darling things...a snap purse, eyeglass case, tissue holder and little wallet with change purse.  Then she had lunch all made for us. Terri you are so wonderful.  We had sew much fun.  You are an act impossible to follow:)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Random 3" process

I had a great time at Sit and Sew today!  Thank you Terri for being a wonderful hostess.  Thank you Margaret for snipping all the threads on my grey/gray quilt finished yesterday.  After watching, Top Hat, with my husband tonight, I could not go to bed without a bit of sewing.  I cut all of these two pink 20 year old fabrics into 3 inch strips.  I am determined just to let my mind flow with no pre-thinking.  Not that I ever have to worry about that since I just thinking needed!!
 Then I pulled out my draw of 3 inch strips cut previously from the remains of other projects.
 I have just started sewing scrap strips together with the two different pinks.
Thus one more adventure, process, see what happens quilt begins!  I just love quilting:)  Good night.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Old greys and new experiment

The other day I saw an easy scrap pattern on Moda Bake Shop, by Amy Smart.
This quilt used pre-cuts and I usually do not.  Now that I have been folding and organizing my quilting room, I have found scraps that I didn't know I had.  I had a number of strips already cut in a three inch width, so I cut some more with an old grey that I had.  I made a quilt like Amy's using proportions of 1:2, but instead of 5:10, I used 3:6.  Anyway, here is the quilt top, the process with all the threads to see as I hate hate hate to snip threads.  The fake oriental lettering grey in a border is about 20 years old.  It is happy to finally be used and appreciated.

This will probably be a cuddle quilt.  I think that it could go for a child or an adult.  It was fun to make.  Folding my fabric, new ideas were going nuts in my head.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just keeping up with the Jones'.....

Gotta keep up with those wellies you know, /

Isn't this little iron vase the cutest!  I have lime basil rooting in it!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Frogs on the porch door

I have the most wonderful husband ever.  Had him for almost 31 years and it is better every day.  Now, you may think you have the best, but you would be wrong!!  Lucky me.  Every birthday of mine in December and every Mother's Day, I get the same present...fat quarters.  They are wrapped like a surprise ball with a favorite one in the middle and the others wrapped around it individually with a ribbon.  My grandson says that Granddaddy is a magician!!  It is great fun.  When I know one of these occasions is nearing, I make a comment like..."I really think that Walmart fabric is poor quality" etc.  I have even asked him not to buy fabric at Walmart, mentioning the other quilting stores around.  But, my husband believes that it is the thought in a present that counts and he never ever tells me where he buys the fabric...ever.  He ususally does NOT buy Walmart, but on occasion there is a lapse in I say nothing now and just enjoy.  The panel in the below quilt comes from Walmart.  I just know it. It is the quality, etc.  But, when I was cleaning up, I noticed how cute it was and told my husband. " Of course it is cute, why would I buy anything but cute fabric", says he!!   I was sick of folding fabric so I made this cuddle quilt.  I used the panel in the middle, and wrapped it in borders medallion style.  I wiggle stitched it and self-bound it and it was done in 2 hours or less.

Thank you honey!

Quilting with kids.

When my husband made my design walls, he made the left over pieces into design walls for the grandchildren.     I took my 50% off coupon to Michaels and bought a felt board/zoo package $8 w/50% off = $4 and cut up scraps to supplement it.  Here two of the grandchildren are making pictures with fabric and eagerly looking into the scrap bag for other possibilities.

My oldest grandson is showing off the postcard he just made for his mother.  He picked out what he knew to be her favorite fabrics (Batman, Superman, etc.), he cut and pasted onto card stock that was already cut.  He used a glue stick.  Then he sat on my left knee and put his hand on mine as we free-motion quilted his postcard.  He picked out the thread that he thought his mother might like (blue, which happens to be his favorite color too!) .  Then he guided my hand as I threaded the machine. He then used the glue stick to glue his card to another piece of card stock.  I cut it later to size.  We then sewed the edges with the blanket stitch and he wrote on the back of it, " I love you Mommy, Evan.   He was quite thrilled with himself in the sewing room today.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is one of my most meaningful quilts I have made so far.  Thinking always of my grandmother who taught me to sew, this quilt is in memory of her.  I made this snowball with pieces I cut from worn linens made by my grandmother from the same era as the reproduction prints.  Though Grandma is long gone, having died at age 99, I can see and feel her right here with me.  Hugs Grandma and a big "Thank you"!!  Now, click on the orange button below to enjoy the online quilt show from Amy.

Amy's Creative Side | Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Madras cuddle quilt

June donation quilt is done...but the easy way.  This madras fabric was already stitched together in yardage, I think.  Or, maybe it was from the past or from clothing?  I do not remember, but what I do know is that it is now in a quilt and not on my cleaner shelf!  It is backed with a Kaffe, self bound and done.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Crabby again!!  And whenever that happens, well I like to share cause I am not the sort who suffers in silence!!  I caught my expensive Aurifil thread in a project and it wound itself all around me and into the dining room grrr..I am back to work after 10 days free and the phone is ringing off the hook...grrr  The place where my mother lives is taking her cat away after 5 years...grrr, the bottle of diet Coke that I had in my purse spilled all over the inside..grr and I am organizing which I hate, but it has to be done.  So far I have this finished:
 It is not much, but it is folded right and it is a beginning and better than this:
 I hate to do it alone so with diet Coke and my Milito I have a better chance:)
I need all the encouragement that I can get!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

the Mother's Day gift

Last weekend when my grandchildren were leaving I remembered Mother's Day.  So I rushed them back inside, got out my fabric markers and some green blocks and traced their hands.  The five year old colored his, the two year old scribbled some, the one year old lost interest.  I put borders around them, put the age of the children in the hands and made it into a pillowcase with my favorite bug fabric.  I put inside a new pillow from Target (they are the best for $4) and voila a Mother's Day present for my daughter-in-law from her kids for tomorrow.  I dare to post it today because she is too busy for computer.

Friday, May 6, 2011

So maybe I do have a third obession

Ages 5, 2 and three beautiful grandchildren:)

The other obsession

So once upon a time at least 10 years back, my friend Mary Pat introduced me to the iris. I guess my fabric hoarding was on the back burner for a short time, or I decided to branch out, because the one rhizome from her garden was not enough.  I had to go to to see what other colors were available.  And then, totally mesmerized, I had to go again and again to their site.  Thank goodness, this was a passing phase and I was in short order back to my fabric stash enhancement!!  I must say  though, that I have never regretted this, for in the past 10 years, these irises have bloomed and multiplied and bloomed again with total neglect.  Through all the weeds come irises. Ha  ha just like the fabric stash...just multiplied!! Today when I saw Karmen's post on her iris...I remembered this iris post I had planned.

For good measure last year's chive plant which not only came back up again, but has treated me with these beautiful flowers for at least a month now!!  Chive flowers, you deserve to be included with the Irises.