Friday, July 27, 2018

Summer Retreat

It was another fun summer retreat! Isn't it always wonderful to sew with friends? Well this time was no different and there was LOTS of laughing, fun, inspiration, visiting, eating, and, of course, sewing.

I'll start with some of the amazing quilts:

There was this amazing Christmas stocking finish:

Many of us ended with works in progress:
That is a 2.5" square in the photo for perspective on the size of the pieces.

I worked on four different projects. The first three still need borders:

I finished a number of garlic knots.

Deb gifted me her Kaffe Fassett scraps. Yes!!

One night Polly fixed Hawaiian Stack Ups with homemade teriyaki sauce. So, so good!


I was exhausted last night. One would have thought that I really worked hard at the retreat! After I got home, we headed out to do errands, get my new glasses, and then went to a different town to pick up our CSA share. 

Today we made a trip to a favorite Amish farm and picked up corn, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and cabbage. We cut and froze about 50 ears of corn; we roasted and froze about 3/4  of a bushel of tomatoes. The other peck of tomatoes is in the dehydrator.

My favorite photographer piled the sweet corn for a photo so I took one too!

Tomorrow I need to take care of our CSA share and some other produce. That won't take very long so maybe I'll get some time in the sewing studio. Tonight I'm just relaxing!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Do you remember the Leftovers Quilt? The one made with leftover blocks, orphan blocks, and pieces? I named it Extra! Extra! I really didn't want to call it Leftovers and I decided all of those leftover blocks and pieces were extras.
Extra! Extra!

This donation quilt is 50" by 54". I used Dream Cotton batting and #4093 dark teal Aurifil 50-wt thread to quilt this.

Since I put this quilt together in rows, I decided to quilt it that way. I used rulers and dot-to-dot quilting on each Dream Weaver block to stitch a star motif. 

The plain strips of fabric and the borders are straight stitched with a walking foot. You can see this in the above photo.

I used rulers to free-motion a diamond design on the white with colored squares. 

I free-motion quilted the wishbone or lazy 8 motif on the strips with the yellow and orange squares 

and on the flying geese. 

The background fabric and the backing are both pieces that I picked up at Quilter's Compass Going out of Business sale. That sale was at the perfect time to pick up some backgrounds and backings for a number of quilts that I had in progress.

I'm not real pleased with my quilting - it's been a while since I've done any free-motion quilting and ruler work.  I really need practice! However, I've read and agree that a finished quilt is better than a perfect unfinished one.

There won't be any quilting practice for a while but there will be lots of sewing. I just need to pack a few clothes for the retreat that begins tomorrow. The important things (projects, machine, etc) are already packed and ready to go.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sun Bonnet Sue

The Sun Bonnet Sue is finished!

The main fabric came from a friend's stash that was donated to me awhile back. I didn't want to cut it into 2 1/2" squares because it was rather cute. I decided to use the same pattern that I did for the Free Motion Challenge Quilting Along Quilt. I did an on-the-fly adjustment of the pattern but still lost a couple of points. If I ever use it again, I'll completely redraft the pattern because I really like seeing all of the corners/points.

The finished quilt is 51" by 58" and has Dream Cotton batting. I quilted this with #1135 yellow Aurifil 50-weight thread. Before our trip to the lake, I quilted lines in the yellow background the same as I did on the Free Motion Challenge Quilting Along Quilt. This time I used a walking foot instead of rulers. 

After we got home I was thinking about the motif to use in the squares. One day I wasn't feeling the best and it hit me that sunflowers would be perfect in the Sunflower Sue Quilt. When I was thinking better, I realized that it was Sun Bonnet Sue not Sunflower Sue. By then, I had already been looking at sunflowers and even sketched a motif. That's the reason I chose sunflowers! 

I quilted the entire sunflower motif free-handed so every block is a little different and I doubt that any two leaves are the same. 

The inside sashing (blue) is done with wishbones 

and the outside sashing/border has sunflower leaves.

The backing is pieced and uses up the Sun Bonnet Sue fabric. I didn't have enough of the blue sashing fabric for the binding so I chose a slightly darker blue.


I have 6 or 7 quilts kitted and ready to go with me to my retreat next week. Every one of them is from the scrap drawer clean out in May which means four of them have 2 1/2" squares. The other 3 have some slight larger pieces. I am looking forward to spending time with friends and having hours to quilt.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Yellow and Gray Jelly Roll Quilt

I just finished the Yellow and Gray Jelly Roll Quilt. It uses the leftover fabric from the yellow and gray quilt that I finished almost 4 years ago. I found the leftovers when I did a scrap cleanup in May.

I had to add a little gray. The strips in the quilt are only 2" wide and varying lengths. I figured out a long time ago that any width and any length strips work as long as you estimate the overall length of all the strips sewn together and do a little math.

This donation quilt measures about 48" by 53" and has Dream Cotton batting. The back is a piece that I got at Quilter's Compass during their going out of business sale last month. Actually Ray found it!

I machine quilted this with a walking foot using the wavy line #4 with a 5.5 stitch width and a 2.25 stitch length. I used light gray #2615 Aurifil 50-wt thread.

I love the color combination of yellow and gray. 


Early Friday evening we had a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. The storm was quite severe with very strong winds. Many people in our area lost trees and bushes. Some lost buildings and many lost corn crops. Many of us lost power for many hours. A campground north of our town had ten camper trailers destroyed and other damage. One camper trailer had 6 people in it when it was blown over; thankfully no one was 
seriously hurt. Right after the worst part of the storm, I walked out on the porch. The silence was eerie and then the sirens began - it reminded me of the time a terrible tornado hit my hometown when I was living at home during my freshman year of college. It was not a pleasant memory.

Ray spent parts of Saturday, Sunday, and today cleaning up our yard. No, I didn't help - my body doesn't bend very well. It's been really hot with high humidity - much too warm to work very long at one time. Fortunately, we did not have any real damage; we just had lots of debris on the roofs of the house and garage and all over the yard and driveway. There is still a tree blocking our street. It is resting on a power line so the power company will be the ones to remove it. Saturday we took a ride around our village - we don't ever remember seeing the amount of tree and crop damage that we witnessed. It is very sad. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Tree House

My oldest brother, Tom, and his wife, Sam, are building a tree house. Most of the work is being done by their kids and grandkids. 

The supports were up when we arrived at the lake last week.

Then five 24-foot steel beams arrived.

It was fun watching the progress last Monday. There was lots of discussion and cooperation. 

Lifting the beams into place was a great team effort and included the use of a tractor and pulleys.

While the beams were going up and being welded into place, a niece began building the platform for the steps. I have some very skilled relatives!

Great nephews got in on the action too.

That's Ray on the ladder. They were measuring beams to get the overhang even.

SIL Sam went up to check the view.

Today they began the flooring. Our nephews worked a while;

then the great-nephews were given instruction and took over! It was fun to watch the progress.

I sat on the screened porch with my brother Tom and watched the action. Tom is disabled (he's a Vietnam Veteran with Agent Orange problems) and can't help. However he can supervise and is in on all of the discussions. I heard today that there is a possibility of a lift being built so he can enjoy the tree house too.

Here is a picture of the cabin with the treehouse on the left. It will not block anyone's view of the lake which is amazing!

And here is a view of the lake from the floor of the treehouse.

When the 12' by 24' base is covered, meaning the floor is finished, the work will stop for now. Eventually this base will be expanded back towards the house a few feet and the walls and roof will be built. 

We are headed home tomorrow. Hopefully the next time we come, the treehouse will be finished.


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