Saturday, January 19, 2019

Pink and Turquoise Star

I was looking for a quilt that used 2 1/2" squares and saw a picture of Bonnie Hunter's Tumalo Trail quilt. I made a lot of changes but it was definitely the inspiration for my Pink and Turquoise Star

I finished putting this 58" X 58" quilt top together at a retreat in November but just quilted it this past week. I machine quilted the larger white areas with a walking foot 

and free motion quilted a paisley motif in the 'points' of each star. 

When I began quilting, I decided to use up some Aurifil 40-weight #2600 silver thread. I was about 85% done when I ran out of thread. I really thought I had enough. We live in a rural area and I had 3 choices - take a road trip to try to find matching 40-weight thread, order online and wait, or use some Aurifil 50-weight #2615 silver thread that I happen to own. I chose the latter and I'm amazed at how well it blended in. I only had to use it in 4 1/2 star points where I was free-motion quilting. It would have been more noticeable if I was stitching with the walking foot.

This donation quilt has Dream Cotton batting. The backing is some fabric that I found on sale at Primitive Gatherings when we stopped there in October. I bought what was left on the bolt and still have enough for another quilt back.

We had a few inches of snow last night and the sun is now shining. We are enjoying a beautiful, but cold, winter day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

First Finish of 2019

I have my first finish of 2019! I put together Blue Strings at a retreat in November and left it still needing borders. I think I actually began it in August. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.
We have a light snow cover. 
This donation quilt is about 56" by 56". It is made from mostly blue scraps (I still have enough blue scraps to make many more!) My inspiration came from a pattern called Fragmented Triangles by Liza Prior Lucy. I pieced squares with dark blue strings and some with light blue strings. I added a few colored strings to some of the dark blue squares for interest.Then I made half square triangles using both the light and dark squares.

I machine quilted this with a walking foot following the diamond pattern. I used a variegated blue, size 40, Long Staple Cotton Signature thread, which I've had for quite a while. The spool says Art. 44, M05, and TEX 40. I can't find it on the Signature website. I used Dream Cotton batting. 

The back is Basic Grey Grunge "seeing stars" #30148, a red star fabric that I bought at Primitive Gatherings in October.


I am busy working my way through all of these WIPs and the pile is growing!??! I have this column quilt that I have worked on periodically and I just don't like it so I'm going in a different direction.
I hope to use each column unit, which is 2 columns sewn together, in its own quilt. (I could unstitch and use individual columns but why unstitch if I don't have to?) Instead of one quilt, I think this will be four.

I have a couple of quilts pinned and I'm about half done quilting one. I have to take breaks often and rest/stretch my back. I'm thrilled to be able to quilt again and I'm hoping the breaks become fewer and further between. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019


We headed to American Family Children's Hospital (aka University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital) a few days ago. I had 24 quilts to drop off. With the 10 that I took in June, that's 34 for 2018. 
24 quilts ready for Children's Hospital
On that same day we stopped by Pilgrim's Pantry, a Mennonite bulk food store near South Wayne, Wisconsin. The ladies of their church make charity quilts and are always in need of fabric. I had a little over 38 yards of fabric that I didn't think I'd use so I left it off for them. They were delighted to get some large pieces to use for quilt backs.
38.5 yards of fabric for Pilgrim's Pantry ladies
Life is falling into a routine around here. Most days I exercise (even though I'd just as soon not 😊 but I do feel good so I'll keep it up) and I QUILT! I was working on a scrappy trip around the world but opted for this quilt a few days ago. I had designed/planned it and kitted it in November. It just needs borders now. 

I have at least 13 quilts in progress. It's always nice to have  choices!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Last finishes for 2018

Things are going well here and we've been busy enjoying the holidays and our houseguests. Our guests left yesterday. Today the house is very quiet and there was absolutely nothing I had to do so I spent some time knitting while I watched the Rose Bowl parade and the Winter Classic (sadly the Chicago Blackhawks lost), I took a nap, and I spent time in the sewing studio - a great way to begin a new year!

I do have some finishes. This Flannel Take Five fall quilt was finally finished last week. I bought the fabric in Michigan last fall to make a fall quilt for us. I finished the quilt I made with the leftovers from this quilt last month.

Flannel Take Five is about 63" by 74". I use brown #2372 Aurifil thread to quilt this and Dream Cotton batting.

I used a walking foot for the center and cross-hatched the squares. I free-motioned a cable in the pale blue-gray border and did stippling with leaves in the brown border which is very hard to see.

The back is also flannel and very cuddly. 

My other finishes are all knitting. This white hat is a ponytail hat made with sport weight alpaca yarn.

I used the Ridge and Rib Messy Bun Hat pattern and made a few changes.

For the red hat I used the pattern, Whitman Slouch Hat, and Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) wool.

I bought the yarn for this Yak and Bamboo top in the fall of 2017 at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. It is bluer that it appears in the photo. It fits perfectly but I don't like the sleeves. I want them longer but I waited much too long to get more yarn. Will I ever learn??

Back to today - when I went upstairs to sew, this quilt was on the design wall. It's a Christmas quilt for us and should be finished by NEXT Christmas. 

The table that I use for sandwiching and pinning quilts looked like this. All of these donation quilts are waiting to be delivered.

Without considerable effort, I couldn't go forward with any of my finished quilt tops so I decided to begin another. I still have PLENTY of 2 1/2" squares and decided to do a scrappy Around the World quilt using some of the squares. This is my sewing for the day.

Happy New Year!
I hope you enjoy your journey through 2019. 
I hope your joys outnumber your burdens. 
And I hope you get the chance to create - with quilting, knitting, drawing, sewing, writing, building, making music, or whatever. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Catchup and a Square Circle Finish

A little catch up -

Physical therapy ended today. I began feeling better a few days ago - it is so nice to have less pain in my back.

About two weeks ago we had a weekend of travel. We had the pleasure and honor of seeing our youngest son, a State Trooper, promoted to Master Sergeant. The ceremony was at 1 PM on a Friday in Springfield, IL. We made it to Rockford (about 3 hours away) for a 6 PM hockey game that night. The hockey tournament extended over two more days so we just stayed in Rockford. Somewhere during that time I managed to pick up a virus which is now better and I can be heard again! I hate losing my voice.

I'm still having trouble posting on other blogs... I guess this is going to be ongoing so I'll just keep working on solutions. Using a different browser does work sometimes.

I do have one quilt finish. I bought the flannel in Michigan this fall and I wanted two quilts done before fall was over but didn't quite make it. This is the second quilt made with the leftovers from the first one that still needs the binding hand stitched.

Flannel Square Circles is about 51" by 62". 

I used a walking foot and stitched diagonal lines through each square circle. Then I free motion quilted some simple 4-loop flowers in each square circle. I think you can see that here

or here.

I used Dream Cotton Batting and Aurifil #2326 beige thread to quilt this. The back used up most of the fabric that I had left.

I am behind on lots of things but that's just the way it is sometimes. I am making a Christmas quilt for us. The top is done but it won't be finished for this year. Today, while cleaning upstairs, I folded the donation quilts - we need to make our Christmas trip to Children's Hospital - it might be a little late but I'm sure the quilts are still needed.

Maybe I'll have more to share soon. In the meantime, I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Jungle Strips

I finished Jungle Strips at the retreat last weekend. 

The main fabric, a jungle print, is the center diagonal of each square. I'm not sure where/when I acquired the fabric but I love it.  I found fabric in my scrap bins to match the colors in the jungle fabric.

This 52" square quilt has Dream Cotton batting. I used #2784 navy, 50-weight Aurifil thread to quilt this. I stitched in the middle of each of the 1" sashing pieces. Then I crosshatched each of the string blocks. The border has diagonals stitched in various widths. You can see a corner here.

In the middle of each side, I changed the direction of the diagonals.

On the back of this donation quilt, I used fabric that was left over from Mack's Quilt

One day soon we'll head to University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital. It's time that some children enjoy the pile of the quilts I have upstairs.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Weekend Retreat

I went on retreat with 3 friends this past weekend. I didn't take many pictures - sorry. There was lots of sewing and crocheting going on.

I took my Cricut Maker along because one member in our group hopes to have one soon. We made these two shirts.

This morning I took some pictures of my projects. All were cut out and started before the retreat. They all need pressing but that seemed a waste of time today since I was just going to fold them up again.

The first one is made with strips left from this baby quilt. I sewed the left over strips like a jelly roll and then cut the pieces for this.

This quilt still needs borders. I used blue strings separated into lights and darks Every so often I added a bright colored string to the dark blocks.

A while back, I saw Bonnie Hunter's Tumalo Trail quilt. I thought it would make a good child's quilt with a some changes. Looking back at Bonnie's, mine looks quite different!

The turquoise and pink quilt:

The bright color quilt:

I also finished binding a quilt - I'll show you that soon.

I saw the doctor last week. She thinks the problem in my back is muscle instead of bone related. That pretty much means surgery won't be involved. Yay! I still have meds for the pain and I begin physical therapy next week. Anything that involves leaning forward is very painful. Sadly sewing involves some leaning forward. Today I'm not doing much; I'm just recovering from the weekend. Hopefully I'll be ready for short bouts of sewing by tomorrow.

In other news - I cannot post on other blogs again. I'll be working on that...


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