Monday, March 27, 2017


March 26.   Daunting approach to the end of March.  Isn't there one more weekend. Please!

I have so much I have been working on. And even more that I want to get done. There are the little things like just fixing the quilting on a donation small quilt, to the new donations started,  and the one that has been occupying my living room floor for a WEEK.  ( Although it was good for moving a few blocks for better color placement. )

1)Oh, and the weekly blocks for blockheads.

2)My RSC blocks are increasing: (see previous post for pics of latest and tricks).

3) Working on donation quilts:A) quilt of valor lap from my bull's eye almost done, B)homespuns needs a border and quilting C tumblers : still on the floor and I started D an eye spy for kids.

 $And lastly my log cabin quilt along just isn't going anywhere. ARGH!

I do have a good excuse.  My sewing machine is in the shop.  My really good one, the one I just know how to operate for careful sewing and the only one I have quilted on.  It has been gone for almost weeks. Can you hear my exasperation?       Luckily I have a back up.  Thanks Hubby!
The extended deadline for my log cabin. will be for my guild's quilt show:  April 22.  
It has had one border added, but all it needs is applique placement, borders sewn, and then quilting.

Good news: checking the posts from March I can  see my accomplishments:
( goal for creating this job accomplishing)

My En provence is completed and given away.  WOOP, WOOP!

I quilted and bound my brother's extra courthouse steps 4th of July square.     Yes, an extra square.
But it is DONE!

And of course, new starts:

Easter bunnies!  Well, bunnies anyway for my mom.   I am now thinking a full quilt and to be done when I visit her in the summer.  Latest idea is to use the twister borders with the 30s fabrics and then borders of the variety of prints I have.
    (still has menacing eyes)

But I also think I am going to make placemats.  I am hating the lack of springtime weather and need something to look forward to.   If you want to make it the directions are :Here

Easter Egg Place Mat Project-Jacquelynne Steves-

Sunday, March 26, 2017

RSC pinwheels tricks

I have loved making my "pinwheel sort of " block for my RSC. I have made more red this month. Mostly because I like the country colors of gold, red, blue , and green and the quilt from it will have more of them. It goes without saying that my stash has more variety in those colors.

I have the miniature pattern from Primitive Gatherings as well called Pinwheel Garden. It is a miniature.. No hints in there, though, just instructions to assemble the blocks and quilt.

So red blocks.... I even added a couple homespuns this week. And my red total is 13 making the whole sum and total number of blocks to 29.

As I made these this weekend, I was carefully conscious of my process to see what makes it come together at those pesky pinwheel centers.

First a real key was to spray size the fabrics prior to sewing. It made for crisper seams and intersections. ( Trick learned from Lisa Bongean, but I do not completely immerse in starch and then dry them.) I just used Best Press. I carefully ironed first  each color, and then my 2 colors together prior to marking the half square triangles and Thangles papers for the small triangles.

So 2nd real key is seam allowance ESPECIALLY at the beginning of the seam where the triangles of 2 separate blocks meet.

 It is easy to put the 2 triangles together as the seam allowances are going in opposite directions and "nest" together well.

Another thing I watch for is that the size of the seam allowance is key for both halves prior to sewing the 2 parts together. Here are 2 different views  I might use to check the match prior to sewing.  It works very well to have the seams finger pressed.  Matching them has one going in each direction and flat. Make sure to "butt" them together.

Here is an example of not matching well:

I quick rip it and then realignment made this for only one resew.

Then on the back I undo the seam allowance to both parts.  It looks like this when opened:

I do pin... and I do sew on top of them.  Rarely do I hit one. And to avoid it, slow the sewing machine while going over the pin. The needle will slide to the side, at least in my experience of many decades. I know others do not agree.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blockheads 3

I am keeping up with the blockheads 6 inch block a week. This one was posted by Jo Morton. My fabric is Kansas Troubles stash. I saw Lisa Bongean's layout of the same block and used her color position as a guide, but substituted my own fabrics.

 And because each quarter square triangle block is one color, I subcut a 3 and 1/4 inch square diagonally into fourths and then just pieced them.

I wish I could say I was getting a lot done on quilting... a  foldover binding on a small quilt, a couple seams for an eye spy quilt.  Little bits done, but no real hedge on the progress. And my lovely log cabin has been sitting for a couple weeks.  

This is partly because my sewing machine, my baby of 32 years, is still in maintenance. I am awaiting our reunion  any day now and depend on it for for some things. The replacement is o.k. and does the basics, even the blanket stitch I so purchased it before, but I just don't like it as well. I guess we just need more time together. 

But the weekend is coming!  And there is a quilt show in Sun Prairie, WI,  to go to on Sunday. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Charity quilt and Spring

First the donation quilt... the fabrics were donated by a local quilt shop. They had a die cut for the extra large tumbler. All I had to do was randomly sew them in rows and then lay them out. Followed by some rearranging and frog stitch : rip it, rip it, rip it. Wanted to get the colors spread out.

Next I need to see the rows together , slice it, and the sew edges together to make it rectangular. Somewhere I have a red white and blue print for the border.

Next up...  bunnies chicks.

It was decide my HB and I would visit my mom for Easter.  I can't even remember the last Easter we were together. Even when we both taught prior to my kids, our breaks were never the same week. And although Canada may not be beach worthy, it will be good to see her. Her memory is declining, rapidly.

So I was browsing Pinterest for Easter ideas. I saw the 30s bunnies book and remembered I have it from many, many moons ago; copyright 2002.  After a mad search I even found it. Mom was born in the 30s and her bedroom was painted with a border of bunnies by my creative grandmother. I had always intended making it for her as these reminded me of them.

So I dug out my bag is 30s prints, found several small prints and appliqued the bunnies on white squares. I even was able to use the blanket stitch on my almost new/used sewing machine. (My tried and true is still in for a tune up. Boy, so I miss her.)

Voila, blocks almost finished...just the eyes  and a few face details. Next step..... not sure.  A table runner? Wall hanging?   Some pieced work around them, maybe framed first and then patchwork. Maybe even connector blocks. Still "hatching" the idea.

I know, the one bunny looks like he is out to get you,  But he just needs some TLC, of the sewing variety.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Worldwide quilting day

Hope you all had some time to quilt/sew today?

I had time this morning prior to my grandkids coming for most of the day.
Between last night and this morning I was able complete 5 more red blocks for the rainbow scrap challenge. (Total 9 red)

I am using thangles for the inch and a half blocks, and trim  the large ones cut from 4 inch squares.
Accurate quarter inch seams is crucial. I can tell right away if the seam allowance -at the spot where the 2 diagonal meets - if they aren't the same size. 
I also make sure the opposing diagonals meet tightly.
Progress!  These were pressed following the photo op. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blockheads unite

Blockhead number 2  Aunt Dinah. Created by Betsy Chutchian of  These are small: 6 and a half inches, but Betsy's instructions are well written with lots of tricks and photos. Starching the fabric did help to assemble it better. Again, seam allowance is key.  
  See Betsy's blog as she is even making a mini to go with each block. So cute!
My block is in Kansas Troubles fabrics.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fully finished and more

I am happy to say I have my County En Provence quilt completed.  Ahhh, The Thrill!

But other small projects to report:

And I have now become  a Blockhead:  or at least I am following the Blockhead pattern from 5 designers; Jan Patek, Lisa Bongean, Betsy Chutchian, Lynne Hagmeier and Carrie Nelson. Here is my sample of this week's block which was posted on Wednesday is:

My Rainbow Scrap challenge blocks: 4 more, this time red.  And sometimes those pinwheels are indeed a challenge. And  I now have 20 blocks total.  And at the same time, I have always made 2 extra large half square triangles of each color to go as borders.

Another small finish:  A courthouse step block made into small table topper.  Prior to Christmas I finished this runner here.  The original pattern on All People Quilt called for 5 blocks, which made an incredibly long runner. So I finished it with 4 blocks instead, having a leftover.  And now the leftover will also go to my brother on his birthday this summer which is prior to the 4th of July.