Sunday, February 9, 2020

Strings with Navy is finished

I began Strings with Navy sometime early last fall to help control the string population in my studio. I decided a white string down the center of each block would look neat. Over time, I evidently wasn't as careful cutting that center white strip and some of them are different sizes. So I appliqu├ęd some small navy squares to cover the uneven intersections of the white strips. Of course my story is that the blue squares were a planned design element!

This 64" square quilt is a donation quilt. I quilted the center with a large meandering stitch and the navy border with a loopy meandering stitch. I used #2784 navy 50-weight Aurifil thread for both.

The back is made from a Grunge blue and uses the leftover blocks.

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There are a few other quilts in progress. Here is a glimpse of the cars.

I'm making paint brushes for another quilt.

Hopefully I'll have another finish one day soon. 

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In other news, Ray still has shooting pain. If it's not better in a month, the surgeon will order another MRI. I'm hanging in there and will see the allergist in a little over 2 weeks.

We are having another snowstorm today. It's very pretty to look at and I'm glad we don't have to go out any more today. The plow just went around the corner in front of our house.

This is looking out towards our backyard through the screened porch. The snow is very heavy and wet. It is just 32 degrees.

One last picture looking across our driveway.

It's a beautiful day to stay inside and quilt!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Just plugging along

I've only been sewing a little here and there but I actually finished Batik Bowties! Making use of some scraps, I used the blocks as a leader/ender project last year so all I really had to do was sew the blocks together and quilt it. 

The layout is similar, I think, to a quilt I once saw. It's a variation of what I remember anyway. I tried to group my bowties by color.

This donation quilt is 55" square. The back is a blue dot grunge but I reversed it so the dots are on the inside of the quilt and what shows is more plain. 

Before the quilt was pieced together, I knew I wanted to quilt it in straight lines with a walking foot. I do love when the quilt tells me how it wants to be quilted early on. I used Aurifil #2600 Dove Gray thread to do the quilting.

When I first washed the quilt one of the colors ran (you may be able to see it, it's the brown on the far left above) - it's hard to believe that has now happened to two quilts in a row when I usually don't have one a year. I used a color catcher too. Anyway a little Dawn dishwashing soap and another trip through the washing machine took care of it. 

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Ray is slowly progressing. We'll see the surgeon again next week and hopefully get some answers as to why he still has shooting pain at night.

I'm having some problems with food allergies. I have a severe allergy to broccoli but something else is giving me fits. The reaction isn't as bad as for broccoli but I feel blah most of the time along with some other symptoms. I'll see the allergist near the end of February. In the meantime, I'm trying to track down the culprit(s) and cut them out of my diet. Now you know why I haven't done much quilting. So far I'm doing better today.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A finish!

Accept what is, 
let go of what was, 
and have faith in what will be.
-Sonia Ricotti

I wasn't sure there would be another finish in January but I made it with time to spare! Six Degrees South North of the Equator is finished and in the donation pile.

I wrote about this quilt here last October. Since I really changed the pattern (because I goofed), I decided to change part of the name from South to North.  The quilt is easily 180 degrees different than the original which you can see here.

This quilt is 56" square. I used my Juki ruler foot and oh, what problems I had. I just could not get it adjusted to sew right. After a number of hours and much ripping out, I finally gave up and used my Bernina with its ruler foot. I quilted straight lines using the rulers and then free-handed a spiral in the center of the colored pieces. I used light blue #2715 Aurifil thread for the quilting.

The background on the front is a tea-dyed cotton and the colored fabrics are batiks. I had some problems with a couple of the batiks running when I washed the quilt but it is all okay now. The backing is a light blue cotton.


Now I just need to find time to play with the Juki ruler foot. I'm sure the foot is fine and that all of my problems are of the ID-ten-T type. I'll master it one of these days.



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Ray is making progress. His estimated recovery was changed from 3-6 months to 6-12 months. It seems that his shoulder/arm muscles adjusted to the rotator cuff tear for 18 years and now they aren't too anxious to relearn how they are to behave. He isn't sleeping well yet but he is driving and  doing more. He has pretty good range of motion but he is really missing strength. With time and lots of exercise, he should be as good as new in a few more months.

Friday, January 3, 2020

First Finish of the Decade!

What a wonderful thought it is 
that some of the best days of our lives 
haven't even happened yet. 
-Anne Frank


Crosswalks is done! It is my first finish of 2020 and my first finish of the new decade.

I haven't had much time to sew but now that the holidays are past, we are settling into a routine of sorts and I have spent a number of hours over the last few days quilting. Fun!!! Maybe this will continue.

I used solid fabrics for Crosswalks; all were scraps. Yes, I'm still trying to get my scraps under control and I might be making a little progress. 

Crosswalks is a donation quilt and is about 55" square. The pattern is from Missouri Star Quilt Company. 

I free-motion quilted this using rulers and Aurifil #2600 Dove (gray) thread. I quilted a straight line through the middle of the colored stripes and a star in each white square.

In the outside triangles, the star only has 3 points and extends into the white border. I added a line of echoing around the outside. Do you like the binding? I thought it looked great with the stripes in the crosswalks.

The back is from my stash.

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Ray is making progress. He still has trouble sleeping. The shooting pain has lessened but is still there at times. He faithfully does his exercises and is getting stronger and more independent daily. 

I put some gnomes on a sweatshirt because I like gnomes.

I finished the bowtie quilt top. So now there is one quilt waiting to be sandwiched.


I have a string quilt top together and I need to add borders.


I have a courthouse steps top that needs borders.
This is now sewn together
And then I decided to clean out my orphan and extra block basket as if I could
Orphan blocks all in ONE basket
I'm sewing pieces together to make blocks.
Improv blocks made from orphan blocks
I have a plan in my head - we'll see what develops.


Happy 2020! 










Tuesday, December 17, 2019

My last finish of 2019

The spirit of Christmasis thespirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. Thomas S. Monson


Sticks and Stones is finished!

A long time ago I saw this picture and printed it. There was no artist name. I've seen the Sticks and Stones pattern many times and thought it would be a neat 'controlled' scrappy quilt. 
You can see some of my figuring above and below the picture.
After figuring out the pattern, I decided on my block size so I could cut the pieces. I wanted to use some of my blue scraps and decided to use red and white accents. 

I began this quilt early in the year and finished the blocks at the July retreatAfter the blocks were together, I decided on a red border and binding.
 

I used Dream Cotton batting and free-motion quilted this with a loopy motif. I used 50-weight Aurifil #2784 Navy thread.

This donation quilt is 56" square. The backing is a navy water spot fabric.


We are getting ready for Christmas - isn't everyone? We also go to Physical Therapy twice a week. Ray is doing well and making progress. Although we are skipping some traditions, we are looking forward to a wonderful holiday with family and friends. 

May your Holidays 
be Blessed with
Peace, Love, and Joy

Merry Christmas!
See you in 2020.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Jenny's Flower Garden Too is finished!


Be thankful for what you have;
you'll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don't have,
you'll never, ever have enough.
- Oprah Winfrey

I'm taking a short break - we're having Thanksgiving here.  Everyone is helping and all is pretty much in order, I think!


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When I first saw a picture of the original quilt, it was called Jenny's Flower Garden. The quilt's artist was not named so I have no idea who did the original design. I did make some modifications to the design - the main change is that I left off the braided border. To give credit to whoever the original artist is, I am calling my quilt Jenny's Flower Garden Too.
Oops, I think you can tell that I folded this quilt.
This quilt is about 62" square and a donation quilt. I used batik scraps for the colors and the white/neutrals. The border is batik yardage from my stash - but there wasn't enough for the binding. The backing and the matching binding are a light blue water spot cotton that I had in my stash.


I free-motion quilted this quilt with a motif called loose feathers. I love the swirl look when I made a directional change. 

I used #2715 light blue 50-weight Aurifil thread. This quilt has a lot of quilting but with the Dream Cotton batting, it is soft and drapes nicely.

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Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm very thankful for all that I have...

Friday, November 22, 2019

Some finishes and more...

In the end, everything will be okay. 
If it’s not okay, it’s not yet the end. 
-Fernando Sabino

Ray's recovery is progressing. It's becoming more challenging as he is incurring more pain when his arm is lifted higher. The CPM machine lifts his arm; he doesn't. In a couple of weeks, he will begin using his arm and, sadly, I guess that will hurt more. He's a great patient and following doctor's orders. We'll both be happy when he is okay again.


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I try to get into my sewing room for a few minutes most days. I finished this Scrappy Trip Around the World. It was my least favorite in the pile to quilt so I decided to do it first. It's about 52" by 72" and I actually like it now that it's done! I took pictures outside today - the temperature was in the 30s with wind but, at that moment, we had sunshine and no snow!

I free motion quilted this with a meandering stitch using Aurifil 50-weight thread, #1103 dark red. The quilt has Dream Cotton batting. The back is a blue with a small off-white dot that was in my stash.

This donation quilt was made from some 2 1/2" squares left from my scrap cleanup in May, 2018. The dark red border is left from a grandson's quilt that I made  in November, 2017. I've used that red in a number of projects but now I think I only have about a 12" square left.

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I began this wool project early last spring. As much as I used to enjoy hand stitching, my old, arthritic hands just don't like it as much anymore. I'm glad to have this one done.

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I picked up a pattern from Christina Cameli for some Quilted Nesting Buckets. I enjoyed making these yesterday - they are quick and easy. Christina has you draw rectangles on fabric and then you free motion a different design in each one. Each area becomes a bucket.

Here are my buckets:
Large 6.75" X 6.75" X 5.5" tall
Small  4.5" X 4.5" X 4.5" tall
Medium 5.5" X 5.5" X 5" tall

They nest nicely. You can see the gray lining in this photo.

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I've spent some time trimming my blocks for the Crosswalks quilt again! The instructions from Missouri Star doesn't have you squaring up the blocks but I decided I should. For some reason, I used the diagonal connecting the two white corners to square them. After I was done with ALL of the blocks, I began to sew them together and realized my mistake. The blocks should have been squared up on the center of the colored strips. Notice the chalk line where the white arrow is pointing. The end of the chalk line should be the corner. 

I didn't take any after pictures, but all of the blocks are now squared up the RIGHT way! 

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Our high school football team coops with a team just across the border in Wisconsin and they play in a Wisconsin conference. For the first time in history our high school has a State Championship team! It's been an exciting season and we are so grateful that the games have all been on a streaming radio station. The championship game was yesterday and a real nail-biter. 

We live in a village (a very small town) that enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of our youth. The parade bringing our team home last night was incredible. We had firetrucks, police cars, ambulances, and lots of cars and trucks accompanying the team and the cheerleaders. We watched and cheered from our front porch. 

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