Saturday, May 19, 2018

Scrap cleanup is done for now

Cleaning out the scrap drawers is done for now. I did not touch the white, black, batik, nor flannel scrap drawers.

The number of 2.5" squares just grew and grew. I ended with this large basket of squares after I pulled out 300 squares for a quilt. An idea occurred to me so I pulled squares and put them in a project bag. There are a few thousand squares in this basket!

The green drawer was the last one emptied. That's the reason there are so many green squares at the top of the heap.

Now I have this smaller basket full of strings - none of them is large enough to  cut a 2 1/2" square. I think there will be some string blocks in the future.

Look at the empty scrap drawers! There are 5 totally empty drawers at the moment.That will change as I clean out the large drawers - I know there are some smaller pieces of fabric hiding in them.

Most baskets are empty and the piles are gone. This basket has many same sized rectangles. Someday they'll become a quilt but I don't have a plan yet so I won't put them in a project bag.

And this last basket has orphan blocks. Someday I'll go through them. I think I need a bigger basket.

There is plenty more cleaning that could take place but I think I've done enough! Now it's time to sew.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bright Log Cabin and Tank

I love this quilt and it's a good thing . . .

I usually quilt quilts in fourths. The first two quarters went fine. I took a break and then did the third one which I thought went well. When I finished it, I looked at the back and there were major tension issues. Sorry no pictures; I might have been busy muttering words 😒. I ripped out miles? of stitches. Many came out easily and others did not. I had to fix it - I love this quilt!

In the bright sunshine
I then thoroughly cleaned my machine - yes, the same one I just got back. I rethreaded and changed the needle. The quilting then went okay. I'm not sure what's going on - this machine wants to be thoroughly cleaned at least every half hour. It's time may be limited! I've always cleaned my machine before starting a project and after every bobbin but it appears that I'll be cleaning this one more often.

It took a while but Bright Log Cabin is finished. All of the pieces in the quilt are scraps - even the 'whites'. I got the idea for this quilt from Amanda Jean who blogs at 

This 54" square quilt is probably a donation quilt but I'm not sure. I love this quilt! 

I used 50-wt white Aurifil thread to quilt a loop de loop pattern. The batting is Dream Cotton.

I picked fabric for the backing when I began this project but eventually decided it was too dark. I thought the orange dot looked good. When I was ready for the binding, I realized the binding I had made was a red dot matching the center of each log cabin block. I didn't think that was the best choice with the orange on the back. Since I had plenty of the orange, I used that.

I do love this one!


Meet Tank, technically Teeny Tiny Tank. He arrived this past week and now lives with us. He keeps busy helping me keep my studio clean, especially one sewing machine. I've wanted a small vacuum for a long time and even tried a cordless one once. It did not work very well. Tank does a good job and I'm happy to share my space with him.


Before I began cleaning out and cutting up my fabric scraps, I went through them and cut pieces for a Dream Weaver quilt, a Missouri Star pattern. Here is the one block I have together. 

All of the pieces are in a project bag. One of these days I'll do some sewing . . .

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

First Walk in the Woods of 2018

It's been a gorgeous day! The sun is shining and the temperatures are in the 70s. We decided it was time to take a walk in the woods.

We headed for Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park near Lena, Illinois. 

Ray grabbed his camera and lots of camera equipment and I had a small pack with essentials and our water.

We found wildflowers - exactly what Ray wanted to see. 

I found a Columbine! It was hanging its head so Ray held it for my picture.

We also found dandelions going to seed. I resisted the urge to blow.

I love seeing the blue sky through the trees.

Mostly we followed the Waddams Creek Trail but we were also on the Whitetail Trail. Sometimes the trail was well defined but rough.

Sometimes it was smooth.

And sometimes it was blocked!

I had a trailblazer much of the time so I was good.

We crossed a bridge over the creek

and saw us!

We passed rock walls on the far side of the creek?

We found fungi but no morels.

Ray was delighted to find the wildflowers

and I was so happy to be wearing my hiking boots again.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Garden Girl

The 7th quilt top from the March Retreat is now finished - only a table runner is left to quilt from that retreat. This quilt a Disappearing 9-patch made from a Riley Blake Garden Girl Layer Cake. I bought the layer cake at Missouri Star last May when we visited. I found a pattern online by Jen Eskridge. It's pretty wild to make - the 9-patches are made from nine 10-inch squares. So each 9-patch is 29" square! I wasn't too sure about this quilt as I was making it but it turned out fine.

I made my quilt smaller than the pattern - mine  finished at 57" by 58".  I used Dream Cotton Batting and quilted this donation quilt with white 50-wt Aurifil thread. I quilted the layer cake pieces in the design with straight lines using a quilting ruler. I thought the white pieces needed more interest so I free-motion-quilted feathers.

The back of this quilt uses a blue from my stash and some left over layer cake pieces.

After auditioning a variety of fabrics for the binding, I finally decided on this pink.


I decided it was time to do something with some of the smaller pieces of fabric around here. Today I've been cleaning out baskets and drawers of fabric. I found many 2 1/2" strips. I cut most of them into 2 1/2" squares. There will definitely be a scrappy quilt with squares one of these days - a great leader/ender project. There will probably be a few quilts.

I found enough strips that went together that I think I'll make a quilt adding some cream colored fabric. I put everything in a project bag with my written thoughts. It's hard to say when I'll get to this project.

Now I'm into pieces that will take longer to cut into squares. I have the yellows and oranges done. Along the way, I think I found another quilt so another project bag is filled.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Flowers and Stripes

The garage sale was very successful and even better, it's over! I have my Bernina back and it is working much better. Seasonal allergies are bothering me some and Ray's been to the doctor for a really bad cold. We are both getting better. So life is good and now I have time to sew!

I finished eight quilt tops at the March Quilt Retreat.  I have just finished quilting and binding the 6th one, Flowers and Stripes.

I bought the fabric, Sun Burst prints from Kanvas Studios, at Quilter's Compass a while ago. I just fell in love with the colors. When I checked their website for their address, the fabric was featured on their homepage - they like it too!

It's very windy outside but nice - here is the quilt on some plush grass. Ray will be mowing after while.

I wanted the quilt to be simple and just feature the fabric and the colors so I just used simple alternating squares. This donation quilt ended up being 52 inches square.

I quilted straight lines across the quilt in the same direction at the stripes. I used a walking foot and 50-wt #2870 Grass Green Aurifil thread.The batting is Dream Cotton.

The back is a blue with small white dots and some extra blocks from the front. I used the blue dot for the binding also.

While I was hand stitching the binding, I noticed a tiny cut, a little less than 1/4", in the backing - ugh! After fray checking the cut, I overcast it. Then I hand appliquéd a small heart cut from one of the lighter blue flowers.  Hopefully it looks like a  design feature - it 's right in the middle of one side. You can see it on the left side. The heart is about 1 1/4" tall.

I am binding another quilt and just pinned a quilt and a table runner. It really is nice to have that garage sale in the rearview mirror!


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