Tuesday, December 26, 2023

My last finishes for 2023

I had a few quilts nearly finished and decided to push and get them done before the New Year.

The first finish is Stargazer. 

I basically followed a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company to make this quilt with a few changes, the big one being that the aqua blocks with stars in my quilt would be plain white blocks according to the tutorial. 

This 62" square quilt is quilted with a loop-de-loop pattern using Glide #10WG1 Linen thread.

The back is a soft turquoise with hints of purple.  This quilt will live with us, When I finally finished it, both Ray and I decided we needed to keep it.

I think you can see the backing better in this unquilted picture.

A number of months ago, I saw an idea for a layer cake quilt. Basically, you use a layer cake and pair the lights with darks, making HSTs (half square triangles). Then you just arrange them however you like. I looked for flannel layer cakes on our fall trip in October but couldn't find any. So I bought flannels that were red and/or gray and cut my own 10" squares. I decided to arrange so no plaids were touching. More variety might have been nice but now that this quilt resides in our family room, it's really grown on me.

This 56" by 72" quilt will stay 
out all winter. I quilted it with a meandering stitch using Glide #70187 Ruby thread.

I found the backing in the sale room at Olive Juice Quilts in Onalaska, WI this fall. The fabric is also flannel and makes the quilt reversible. A lightweight Dream Cotton batting makes this a nice weight, snuggly quilt.

Tumbling Blocks has an interesting back story. Cheryl of 
Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting shared a post in September about the Faithful Circle Quilt Show. I saw a picture of a blue ribbon quilt about 2/3rds of the way through the post and decided I would like to make it as an I-Spy quilt with a variety of scraps. I decided to draft the pattern and 'copy' the quilt while finding a way to change it to make it mine. I ended up with a neat quilt that is similar to the more complex original, and I was able to keep those neat light/white diamonds between the squares. 

A small piece of the original with gorgeous custom quilting:


It looks like the original is on point but it's more complicated than that. I'm glad I saw the original and I'm happy with my simplified version. My quilt is 56" by 62".

I used Glide #17543 light gray thread to quilt this with a meandering stitch.

The backing is a bit of a fun surprise with the bright bold colors.

The Frog Quilt began with a panel that I found last fall when I was looking for some other fabric. 

I quilted this with meandering loops using Glide Battleship gray #10430 thread.

This 48" by 55" donation quilt has a yellow/green back pieced with some scraps from my stash. 

The last two quilts are the final quilts made from the fabrics of the second quilt I rejected for Grandson J's graduation. I think almost all of the red/gray/black fabrics that I pulled for the second try are finally sewn into donation quilts.

JGQR2B (J's Graduation Quilt Reject 2, version B) is 56" by 70".

This donation quilt was quilted in a loop-de-loop pattern with Glide light gray #17543 thread. I used a lot of the original red/black/gray pieces which were already sewn together and cut them to size.

The backing fabric is a black and gray print.

JGQR2C (J's Graduation Quilt Reject 2, version C) is 54" by 60". 

This is also a donation quilt. I used Glide #10877 sterling gray thread to quilt a meandering motif. 

The backing is a black and gray print.

Here is a close up showing the pattern I used. I sewed two pieces of fabric together making a square block. I then alternated the direction of the blocks. This quilt used a lot of the shorter leftover pieces of the other red/black/gray quilts.

It's hard to believe that there are no quilts in the 'to-be-quilted' pile and none in the 'waiting-to-be-bound' pile! 

I am in the process of cleaning my fabric closet (a very large dormer closet) where most of my stash is housed. My stash should have been cleaned out two years ago before being moved to the closet when I needed to make room for my longarm. At that time I couldn't physically do anything so it was delayed. I have added a lot of fabric to the stash in the last two years and decided in October that it is time to get this done. So far I have removed 2 small boxes and 5 tall kitchen garbage bags of fabric that I no longer want/use. I still have a ways to go but almost all of the larger pieces of fabric have been sorted. Everything I no longer want goes to a group making donation quilts so I think this is a win for both of us. The most interesting part - I still have a closet full of fabric!

I hope you had a joyous Christmas
and I wish you a
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 4, 2023

More fabric!

It's been an interesting month around here. Before Thanksgiving, we both got sick, after testing negative for Covid 3 times, we stopped testing. We've talked with many friends who said they or someone they know had the same thing and tested positive - some on the fourth test! 

Anyway, we missed our Thanksgiving gathering but were able to finally enjoy a turkey dinner late last week. We are both feeling much better and were able to attend some hockey games to watch grandsons play this past weekend. We also visited my friend Colleen's husband and came home with MORE fabric. One day soon I'll have more quilts to share but today I'll just share my 'new' fabric.

Mostly reds:

Pink and purples:

Blues and blacks:



Children's prints:

Bright prints:

Children's panels:

Two small jelly rolls and a charm pack:

A bundle of brushed cottons:

A Thimbleberries bundle:

Colleen's husband said more is coming so I guess I'd better keep sewing - I'd just about had my fabric storage back under control from the first gift of fabric. I'm so glad that I am able to  go through fabric and only taking what I want.

Today we are recovering from our hockey weekend. We are both tired and my back is sore. Hopefully all we need is a day or two of rest and we'll be good. I really need to get moving on some Christmas things soon!

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Three more finishes!

I have more finishes! These quilts were in the pile needing the binding hand stitched. At this time of year, we seem to spend more time in front of the TV - sometimes watching grandsons play hockey on LiveBarn. It's a good time to do a little handwork.

Kite Flight was inspired by a Robert Kaufman pattern with the same name. The pattern uses a jelly roll of solid fabrics. My colored fabric was cut into strips from the same multicolored piece. 

I used Glide 40-wt thread to quilt this quilt with large loops and double loops. 

The back is a dark fabric with multiple colors. This 53” square quilt is now in the donation pile.

Colleen’s Brown Southwestern Quilt is 54” by 65” and will be donated in her memory. When I found the 5 fabrics stored together in Colleen’s stash, I decided to use them all in one quilt.  

The fabric that looks kind of pink is actually red.

I really thought a dark brown would tie them together but when I auditioned a variety of possibilities, I realized I needed something different and black seemed to be the best. 

The back is a light brown print fabric that I bought this past summer in Winchester, VA.  I quilted this with double loops using Glide 40-wt #24655 light tan thread.

I think I began Tiny Houses in July, 2022. It was one of those quilts where I worked on the blocks in between projects and as leaders and enders. 


It was fun going through my scraps and putting fabrics together for each house. 

This 54” by 56” donation quilt is stippled (like meandering but smaller in scale) because I wanted it more densely quilted with all the small seams. 

The back is a dark fabric with colorful rings from my stash.

November has been quite a month for finishing quilts. I began the month with a pile of quilts to be quilted that needed binding and a pile of quilts that needed to be quilted. Both of those original piles are gone! Of course, new piles are appearing…


My soul is fed by needle and thread

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Fall Retreat

Our annual fall retreat is close to home and always the same four friends - although sometimes someone is missing and many times people have to come and go. We've been doing this since 2016 and it works for us. I stopped taking pictures of the people and projects a few years ago. However I did take a few photos on my walks around the property. The corn around us was being picked while we were there. The fields are down in the background of the first two pictures.

We stay in this neat older farmhouse where each of us enjoy our own bedroom, and plenty of common space for quilting, knitting, crocheting, reading, relaxing, cooking and, of course, visiting.

I worked on various projects this fall and finished two quilts that just needed the binding. 

Colleen's Farm Animals is a cute 49" square quilt. All of the fabric except the backing was Colleen's. I used a blue with bright color flecks for the back - it was purchased in Holmes County in August. I quilted this with a spiral loop using Glide 40-wt #10877 sterling thread on the top and #30281 blueberry thread on the back.
There is so much texture in this quilt that it's hard to see.

I also finished Pastel Shells. (Ray calls this the Easter Quilt.) I bought the shell fabric, a pastel jelly roll, and the backing fabric (dragon flies) while traveling in August. The border and binding are a Grunge fabric from my scrap basket. This 52" square donation quilt was quilted with meandering using Glide 40-wt #10877 sterling thread.

I also sewed two tops together - I already had the blocks made for both. 

The first is Tumbling Blocks. It still needs a border.

JGQR2C is really the last of J's graduation quilt rejects. When I was cleaning up the red and grays, I realized I had enough pieces for one more quilt. This fabric was for the 2nd graduation quilt that I rejected. It is the third quilt made with the fabric for that quilt.

I enjoyed the retreat. Although I didn't accomplish as much as I used to and using a sewing machine is hard on my body, I am very grateful that I still can sew and spend time with friends. 

One evening I walked outside and saw the remains of the sunset with some fog in the low areas. A beautiful ending to a great weekend.


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