Sunday, January 27, 2019

Squares on Cream looks good

After quite a bit of work, I was able to remove the bleeding reds and blue on Squares on Cream. I used diluted Dawn liquid soap and some that wasn't diluted. I'm not sure this is a new quilt anymore - I think it's been washed eight times and dried in a dryer once. I do think the colors are colorfast now.

This 58" square quilt is now ready for donation. The quilting is done with beige Aurifil. I used a free-motion ruler foot with rulers to stitch some arrows and a walking foot to quilt some longer straight lines.

The striped fabric that I used for the binding was in my stash; it just seemed perfect for this project.

The back is some fabric that I picked up in the UP of Michigan last October.

I designed this quilt last fall. My intent was to use a lot of 2 1/2 inch squares. I decided to use a variety of squares for the 2-square and 4-square groups whereas the 1-square groups would all be red - I was hoping the reds might help draw the quilt together. Well, I don't know if it drew the quilt together but those red blocks are the ones that bled. I guess I had a uniform bleed!

At least the problem ended well. From now on, I'm trying to check my scraps for bleeding. I'm putting the fabric on an old white dish towel. Then I spritz the fabric with water and press with an iron. If the dish towel has any color on it, I know the fabric bleeds. I'm working on a 16-patch scrap quilt and I just found two fabrics that bleed. I'm really glad that I checked!

It is very cold out now and we are expecting another snowstorm tonight. Then the temperatures are to take another dive. We're told to expect -60 degree windchills midweek. Sounds like perfect quilting weather!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Blue Columns is finished

I've always wanted to make a column quilt. I loved the ones Nancy Zieman (Sewing with Nancy) made. When I finally started to put one together, I really did NOT like it. Do you remember the column quilt that was just too much?

I took one of the pieces (2 columns) and the same length of some blue fabric. I then cut the blue fabric lengthwise and inserted the columns. I like this MUCH better - Blue Columns it's rather modern looking.
Oops - I just noticed my feet in the picture
The columns have 2 1/2" squares so this quilt used a few squares but not very many. The quilt has Dream Cotton batting. I used a walking foot and machine quilted diagonal lines about 2" apart. The thread is blue variegated #4655 50-weight Aurifil.

This donation quilt is 53" by 57".

The back is Basic Grey seeing stars by Moda. It is orange stars although I think the picture looks more red.

In other news, I finally blocked my cardigan. I took this photo after I removed it from the mat. Now I need cut the front opening. 

This is my first time using steeking so I'm in uncharted territory and hoping all goes well.

Friday, January 25, 2019

A couple more finishes...

Well, the first finish isn't really done - it bled! I used a color catcher but . . . 

I certainly cannot donate it in this state. This is one problem when making scrap quilts. My stash includes not only my fabric but also many pieces that I've been gifted. I don't wash every little piece of fabric and once in a while it comes back to haunt me. Ugh! I do have a couple of ideas and will be doing more work on this. 

The second finish is Pink Rails. Last April, I made a jelly roll race quilt, Pretty in Pink, for a baby girl. I trimmed the quilt to make it a good size for a baby. With the leftover pieces and a little extra fabric, I put together Pink Rails. I think the texture in the quilt makes the photo look a little blurry.

This donation quilt is 50" square and has Dream Cotton batting. I used 50-weight #2600 silver Aurifil thread to do the free motion quilting. I did the carnation motif which is very relaxing to free-motion. 

The back is the same fabric that I used for Pink and Turquoise Star. 

We had another snowstorm Tuesday - Wednesday. We got some freezing rain and about 7 more inches of snow. Later Wednesday, the sun came out for a beautiful winter day. Then the temperature began dropping and by last night we had a -30 degree wind chill. Today our schools are out again with the very cold wind chills. Sadly we are being told this will look warm by next week!

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. 


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