Monday, June 14, 2021

Finishes and more!

I have both a quilting finish and a knitting finish.

This quilt is called Daises - the center of each block and the cornerstones are all daisies.

The yellow is a Moda Bella Cotton. The other colors (except for the daisies) are hand dyed. I bought two fat quarter packs a number of years ago in the Outer Banks. The pattern is called the Economy Quilt Block. I added sashing between the blocks.

This donation quilt is 58" square. I quilted it with a walking foot in diagonal straight lines using Aurifil #1135 50-weight yellow thread. The stitching is on the same diagonal as the colors.

The backing is a yellow fabric that was printed a few years ago for the Iowa Shop Hop. It has boys and girls riding bicycles.

My knitting finish is an afghan that I made following Michelle Hunter's Building in Color book. I learned  more about knitting in color and was glad I decided to make the quilt. I did change the border - I crocheted it rather than knit it. The only reason was variety. The afghan is about 40" by 54".

At the recent retreat, I worked on this quilt and got the blocks put together.

I also made some logcabin blocks.

And I put together lots of 4-patches for another quilt.

I hope to have another finish soon.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Getting back to normal

We are slowly getting back to normal. A week ago we went to a grandson's baseball game. It was so ice to take our chair and sit on the sideline without face masks. On the way home, we both commented that the evening felt normal. 

Last weekend, we attended a family graduation party. We loved seeing our extended family on my side. It's been a long time. Two of my three brothers were there along with many of nieces, nephews, great niece, great nephews and three of our grandchildren. We were outside but it just felt normal. Here I am with my oldest and youngest brothers.

And then I went on a quilting retreat with 3 friends. We along with a couple of other friends were at a quilting retreat when Illinois began shutting down in March, 2020. There was lots of visiting, eating, and some sewing. It was a wonderful, normal, time. We were at a farmhouse a few miles from my house. Here are some pictures.

The Barn which is a wedding venue.

One afternoon we sat and visited in the corncrib
which is outfitted with a table, chairs, and lights.

The House

A favorite spot to talk with husbands via cellphones.

A comfy swing

One morning I spent about an hour napping
in this hammock.

Update on my health: The doctors finally have my pain somewhat controlled. There are some side effects to some of my meds but I'm dealing with them. I use a cane because periodically one of my legs will give out. Ray is still doing most things here but I am able to do more and yesterday I began exercising again although it is minimal right now. I will see the surgeon to hopefully schedule surgery in mid-September. I was notified by letter that my bone health doctor is retiring at the end of July. I was waiting for a call to see what was happening with my case and was very pleasantly surprised to get a call saying that he was retiring from Endocrinology and would keep some bone health patients. I am one of those patients! He is nationally know in the Bone Health field and I am delighted. As of today, I am halfway thru the first 6 months of bone building. I need 6 months before the surgery can be done.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Baby Bricks

I saw a postage stamp quilt, something on my list to make someday, and I decided the time had come. So I went in search of small squares - I knew there were some here. I started a quilt at some point and decided to give it up; those pieces would be a good start. Well, I found the pieces. Everything was cut for the original quilt and 91 blocks were finished with some being sewn together! There was just too much done to begin cutting it up. So I had a change of plans. I decided to finish Baby Bricks. It would be a table cloth with 96 blocks for our screen porch instead of a donation quilt to the Children's Hospital.

This 51" square quilt went together FAST! I used Free Fuse to baste it and learned that one should check both sides of the quilt before quilting just like when pinning. At least it was just a tiny crease and with a little ripping out, it was fixed in under 10 minutes. I won't forget that lesson though.

I used Aurifil #5006, a light turquoise thread to quilt this. I saw a video and decided to try quilting a curvy braid motif with the walking foot. I think you can see the quilting better on the back.

The  backing is a light turquoise fabric with colored fish that was in my stash.

I seldom have a quilt that I don't like. I'm really glad that I set this one aside because I am going to love it on our porch table.

Here are my notes on the curvy braid:

1. I made a large template with pointed ends using a pizza pan. I measured and marked the middle of the template (end to end) with a small hole. My template, cut from a file folder was 9" by 3 1/2".

2. I marked a straight line across the quilt and positioned the template on it with the ends both on the line. I traced the template and put a dot for the middle of the template on the line. Repeat with template end to end all the way across the quilt. Now repeat this whole process across the entire quilt putting the lines as close together as you like. Note: I used diagonal lines on this quilt about 4 1/2" apart.

3. I quilted each braid as a serpentine (doing left side, right side, repeat) from end to end. Then I quilted the opposite serpentine. The quilting ideally crosses at the straight line but who will ever know?!

4. Marking the second set was easy; I just matched the ends of the template to the center marks on the straight line.

5. ! quilted the second markings using serpentines just like the first.

It is a lot of marking but not hard at all. I always wash my quilts in plain water, no soap, to be sure any and all markings are removed.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Jamestown Landing

Jamestown Landing is finished. I made this using Bonnie Hunter's pattern. The entire quilt is made with fabric scraps and I still have more.

This 63" by 75" quilt with stay with us. It looks nice on our new couch

or behind it.

I used Free Fuse on this quilt to sandwich the layers with no problems. I'm pretty convinced that you can use Free Fuse on any size quilt. I did roll the quilt top, the batting, and the backing on boards just like I do when I pin baste. For me, that really helps with controlling everything. 

I used light blue Aurifil #2715 thread to free motion quilt this. I ran out of thread with about a square foot left to quilt so I had to wait a couple of days for the guy in the brown UPS truck to bring me more. That nice man has almost become family this past year! 

I used a sort of flower motif. Here is a quick rough sketch:

The back is a light blue print.

Health Update: I saw my neurosurgeon Monday. My surgery will not occur until I have taken at least 6 months of the bone-growth meds and have new scans. That means at least September. The surgeon says he will not do the spine surgery sooner or he would be redoing it again in two years. He will be replacing all of the screws in my back, and adding more as he fuses another vertebrate in place. Today I saw my general physician. She and I had a long discussion about pain management. My pain tolerance, which did a good job of getting me through a rough back surgery 10 years ago, has met its match. She gave me some meds and I'll be seeing her often between now and the surgery. She knows how much I hate taking meds and she wants to be sure I have some quality of life in the next months. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The I Spy Tree

I finished The I Spy Tree quilt top in early February and it is now a finished quilt. This quilt is based on Bonnie Hunter's Pine Tree Point. Each tree is a color family except the one in the lower left, The I Spy Tree. That tree was made with strings of any color, some with images.

This is the first quilt sandwich that I basted with Free Fuse basting powder. What a game changer that has been for me; I may never go back to pins! 

This 51" by 61" quilt is a donation quilt. I stitched-in-the-ditch around each tree block and on each side of the sashing strips. I free-motion quilted a horizontal stipple in the background of each tree block and in the turquoise border. The lazy eight motif was used in the sashing and the light colored borders. 

Each of the nine trees have a different motif - stippling, vertical lazy-eights, improv, paisley, wavy line, feathers, spirals, double loops, and loop-de-loop. Each of the nine tree trunks also have a different motif - diagonal squiggle, ribbon candy, vertical lazy eights, squiggle, horizontal squiggle, wood grain, horizontal lazy eights, diagonal lines, and vertical lines.

The backing is turquoise and purple. I used #2600 Dove gray Aurifil thread in all of the light areas of the quilt top and on the entire back. Each tree has a 'matching color' thread as do the tree trunks.

There will be more finishes soon!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Are you following my blog via Email?

To all of you that Follow by Email -

I received this message recently:

FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner) is going away. 

You are receiving this information because your blog uses the FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner). 
Recently, the Feedburner team released a system update announcement, that the email subscription service will be discontinued in July 2021

After July 2021, your feed will still continue to work, but the automated emails to your subscribers will no longer be supported. If you’d like to continue sending emails, you can download your subscriber contacts. 

For the time being, I have decided to leave the the feed as is. That means it will be unsupported as of July but may still work. I certainly hope it continues to work, especially because it affects so many people. There are 1323 people that follow my blog via email. I am shocked! 

I use for my blog and to keep track of the blogs I follow. Anyone can create a blog there (there are no rules stating that you must post) and then you will have access to the Reading List where you can add and keep track of the blogs you follow. Personally, I prefer that to email because I already get many, many emails and with blogger, I can check the Reading List when I have time and see blog posts in most recent post order. You may want to check into blogger or another subscription service.

The only people who like change are wet babies. 
-author unknown

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Little Squares is finished

Little Squares is finished. I began this quilt at least a year ago. It was a long term project to use small scraps. I placed the blocks in a log cabin type layout.

Looks like the quilt was folded before I took pictures.

Each little square (colored) has 2 fabrics and finished at a 1.5" square. I was able to use many tiny pieces of fabric. 

I made the blocks as mock log cabin blocks using 6 white squares and 10 colored squares for each block. I used white sashing with turquoise corner squares between each block.This donation quilt is 58" square. I quilted it with a large stipple (meandering) motif and loops using Aurifil #2600 Dove Gray thread. 

I really wanted a colorful border but I didn't have enough of the fabric I wanted to use. Using all of the fabric I had, I was able to make a wide binding. I cut the binding strips at 4" and used the typical double fold binding. The backing is a blue water spot fabric.

I hope to get another quilt top sandwiched one of these days...


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