Sunday, December 16, 2012

Last Minute Gifts

Are you looking for some great ideas for creative Christmas gifts?  Check out Pink Chalk Studio to see some fabulous tutorials.  She has a handmade with Love contest going on.  There are plenty of great gifts that you could finish before Christmas.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

I finished attaching the binding for the tree skirt and sorting the pile scraps.  I made some ribbon bookmarks too.  I hope to post the tutorial later this week.  It wasn't a very productive day.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Skirt is Quilted

I accomplished one thing so far this week- I finished quilting a tree skirt.  I have felt like I could take a nap at any given moment this week...wait I did take one last night.  I did a little line dancing in the squares, and some very bad ribbon candy in the tree trunks.  I keep practicing at this design, but I can't see much improvement.  This was made by my niece, and I knew she would just be happy to have it quilted.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I am happy with my progress this week.  I am still working on quilting this tree skirt, but I did get my star quilt pieced.  I found the perfect fabric in my stash for the inner border.  I had a fat quarter which left me with just 2"x22" of scrap.  
I went ahead and pieced the backing while I was motivated.  I had some odd ball shaped pieces and it was time for me to get them used up.  The trouble is now I like the back as much as the front!  Is it wrong when the back of the quilt has more pieces than the front?  Perhaps I should just make this a lap quilt.  Just something to ponder.  I hope to get this quilted over Christmas vacation so I can hang it after the first of the year.                                                 My design wall is still full of the flannel scraps from 2 weeks ago.  Hopefully I can make some progress on that this week as well.   Thanks for visiting.  Check back with Judy and see what others are working on this week.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Betty the Grate

One of Betty's favorite moments was meeting Bonnie Hunter in Shipse.  She loved Bonnie and all her patterns.  Bonnie's blocks in the Quiltmaker magazines kept her busy making potholders for years - but she was very selective on who she made them for.  I am sure Carolyn will have a list of who has been naughty and who has been nice.  I must have made it to the nice list somewhere along the way because I received some potholders from her.

I was always nervous when Betty would receive a gift from me.  It was the inspection process that worried me.

Betty was often caught in the act of sorting other peoples scraps.  If she liked one of your pieces of fabric, she would hint very strongly to throw the scraps her way.  Or she would often ask, "do you have any more of that one."

We loved her for her honesty and her great one line interjections that made us all smile during meetings.  She will be greatly missed.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Another Topper

This pinning at night thing seems to be working for me.  I was able to get this top all put together without the borders in just a week.  This included re-work from poor workmanship.

I have pulled another project to work on.  I am saving the border work for a different time.  I will have a weekend of borders.  Is this called batch processing?

In order to please my daughter - who exclaimed I had nothing to hang on the wall for Christmas, I pulled some more leftover charms.  I think these pieces will never end!

I saw this pattern on a blog, so I
followed the link to Moda.  I won't have it ready for Christmas, but always get in the mood to sew for the holidays too close to Christmas.  Perhaps it will be finished for next year.  This pattern would make a great tree skirt also.  The patterns calls for this ruler, but if you have been practicing the take away method, you already know how to do this.  If you are still struggling with the, you may want to get the ruler to help you.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Remembering Betty

Remembering all the fun and laughter Betty brought to the ISE quilt group.  If you wanted an honest opinion, Betty was sure to tell you what she thought.  Nothing brought a smile to her face more than going through a bucket of scraps or digging in the boat at Shipshe.

Betty left us today after her battle with cancer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Picture Fix...I hope

Well, I found this great blog to help me with my out of space dilemma (I hope).  It took some time to find this site.  I was happy to hear that I was not alone in my "out of space" problem.  She has some great tutorials on blogging.  She referred me to this free photo editing website along with a great tutorial.

Hopefully this will help me have better pictures on my blog and also more memory.

This is the quilt I am focusing on this week.  If you've been with me for lots of years, you will recognize it.

Since my photo uploaded fabulously, I would have to say the tutorials were amazing.  By resizing and cropping my pictures before I upload them, they upload speedy quick too.

Thanks for stopping by.  I am back to seam ripping, pressing, and pinning.  I have learned so much since I started this quilt.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Bringing out these old projects and working on them is very inspiring to me, yet I still can't focus on doing one project at a time.  I am excited to be getting to know these UFOs once again.  This is where my wheels started turning, and my excitement started building.  Wouldn't it be fun to have sort of a fashion show/parade of all my projects that I have hidden away in containers?

I thought this could have a multi-effect.

  1. I could count all my unfinished projects so I knew exactly what I had
  2. I would get reacquainted with what I needed to do to finish them
  3. I could decide if I wanted to finish them or donate them - perhaps there is some stuff in my studio that I don't want to finish
  4. I could prioritize and set some goals on what I want to finish in 2013 - which will once again be focused on finishing 
  5. I could put binding fabric with each of my projects so I don't use it for something else
Binding was one thing that really hindered me this year.  When I put most of my projects away, I did not put the binding fabric with it.  Don't make this mistake!  Once fabric sells out, you are generally out of luck, or you will waste loads of time looking for the perfect binding to match.  Is there anyone else that would like to join the UFO parade?

I do realize - this is going to cause a huge mess in my currently clean studio.  And readers- don't judge me when I get over 50 (and I don't mean years old).

This Weeks projects

I can't exactly call it the design wall, because I didn't work on my project that I had on the design wall.  I did do a fair amount of sewing this weekend, but I don't have much I can share.

My niece finished piecing her tress skirt.  I am so happy that she is showing a crafty interest.  I hope my own children will someday.  This is her second quilty project.  I hope to get it quilted for her this week so it can go under her tree.

I completed Betty's quilt last week.  Shari was kind enough to join the blocks, and Lorraine did the embroidery in the center.  I added the borders and did simple quilting.  Char did the super quick binding job.  Thanks for all your efforts!  And Eleanor, I even put a label on it.

My sideline project this week is to continue to put an old quilt together.  I guess I can't post a photo of it.  Can anyone help me with how to get more storage without a monthly fee?  I thought I could do it with Google Docs, but I must be doing something wrong.

Monday, November 26, 2012

One Piece

Now I realize that I still need to give it a good press and add is in one piece!!  I love this quilt (even though it no longer matches my bedroom).  I think I will put a 1" or 2" black border on it and then use green as my final border.  Lets see how many years that takes.  Perhaps it will match my bedroom again by then.  These were all reproduction scraps from my stash except the red setting triangles.

Family Time

It was fabulous to have a little break from normal activities.  The kids are already counting the days until Christmas vacation.  I did manage to do a little sewing during the Thanksgiving break.

I put 2 borders on a signature quilt for Betty and made the backing.  I think they complement all the signature blocks well.

I resurrected these blocks from a container with determination of coming up with a layout and completion.  The blocks will finish at 6".  I ran out of the gold check, so I found a scrap of something else...didn't have enough of that, so I found a scrap of brown.  It will be fun to see what scraps I can find for the backing.  The pieces that were too small for the front will definitely make it on back.

This heap of fabric made great progress this weekend too.  It now ready for the 2 halves to be joined.  I discovered that I can get a lot of pinning done while watching football.  I am not sure why this didn't occur to me sooner.  I guess it is time to dig out those long forgotten projects and get pinning.  

I proclaimed this the year of finishing for me.  I have finished several things, but I have a lot more to go.  The push is on!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shipshe Retreat

I neglect to post about the Shipse retreat that was one month ago.  How can that be?  I accomplished so much and enjoyed being with everyone.  I did bring my camera, but I never took any pictures.  These pictures are all courtesy of Eleanor.
I was hard at work.  I was using the Halloween pieces as leaders and enders while sewing the remaining blocks for an old project.

This quilt was so stunning from across the room.  It was bought as a kit.  

When I took a closer look- look at those amazing batiks!  I had never seen anything like them before.  I do admit - I have never found a stripe that I didn't like.

Eleanor really liked this braid quilt.  It might be a fun weekend project.

 Diane Had several finishes at the retreat.  Among them - the mystery quilt (that I still haven't finished), and a jelly roll race quilt

Eleanor brought a couple finished project to display.

What a great idea to stitch baseballs with the snowball block.
 This tree was made by Jennifer.  It was a lovely use of batiks.  It was all paper pieced!!

Nancy had her pile of completions.  Her title of the speed queen still stands.

 Ruth finished this lovely string quilt.  She did a great job of gradiation.
Stacy was working on this beauty.  I just love the colors she chose.

Last but not least.  Eleanor and I.  This is our tag team Jelly Roll Race quilt.  I finished quilting it and sent it to her for binding.  It is a donation quilt to the Cameron hospital.

  1. I pieced it
  2. She appliqued it
  3. I quilted it
  4. She bound it
  5. Donation complete.
Job well done!

I am looking forward to going again next year.  I already have my calendar marked.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Temperance Tree

This is #95 according to the Farmer's Wife book.  Once again I was able to use some ready made pieces to cut down on my piecing time.  See all those little half square - thanks Char!


  • 18 light AND 18 dark half squares that finish at 1"  (1 1/2" strip with Easy Angle)
  • 2 - dark squares 1 1/2"
  • 1 - 4" finished dark half square triangle (4 1/2" strip with Easy Angle)
  • 1 - 1 3/4" x 3 1/2" dark (I cut mine 4" for a little extra wiggle room)
  • 2 - light triangles 2 1/4" strip cut with Companion Angle 
  • Make 18 half squares that measure 1 1/2"
  • Sew the large triangles to both sides of the 1 3/4" x 3 1/2" rectangle.  Line up the top of the triangle with the dark piece letting the dark color extend beyond the base of the triangles.  Press toward the dark.  

Square up the tree trunk to measure a 4" finished half square.  It should be the same size at the large triangle.  Sew the 2 pieces together to measure 4 1/2"

Sew the half squares together in pairs and the pairs together into 4 patches.  I pressed all the seams open.  Theses need to measure 2 1/2".

join the 2 - 4 patches at the left , and the 3 - 4 patches at the top

I am missing a few photos....because....I had my half squares going the wrong direction when I took the photos.  I had to take my block apart and resew it.  I know some only look at the photos, so I was afraid to include the photos with the triangles going the wrong direction.

Sew the joined 4-patches to the side of the 4 1/2" square and then add the larger section.

If you have any questions, just leave me a comment. I hope you block measures 6 1/2"

Next up - #79 Silver Lane

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nearly Finished

I have been working on my FW blocks, but it is really hard for me to get photos.  I will keep trying.

I have also been trying to finish the twister runners that I put together at the Shipshe retreat.

Among my scraps were the leftovers from this quilt.  I saw a pattern from a library book that I thought would work with what I had left.  The solid fabric is scraps from my curtains.  I thought it was cotton, but I think it was more of a twill.  It had a lot of stretch.  I found the perfect border fabric so the runner was started.  And the backing was made with the scraps of the runner (the less than 2 1/2" X 6 1/2")

I managed to get it quilted while the kids were napping, and I started searching for the perfect binding.  I found a 10" piece of the same binding as the other quilt.  I need 9", so I can make it work.  Time to be super careful cutting so I don't have any accidents.

 Here they all are- ready to bind.  I am undecided on what color to bind some of the twisters with.  I am hopeful when the sun comes up tomorrow I will be able to pick the bindings.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Shopping Adventure

I can't remember the last time Tina and I went on a shopping adventure.  It is probably a good thing that we don't go too often.  They might post our picture with a warning at the checkout!!

I started the day with 2 exercise classes to get my energy level up.  It definitely made the stink-o-meter go up  if nothing else.

I met up with Tina and my niece Ally, and we started the day at the CindaB warehouse sale.  My girls had been wanting me to make them messenger bags.  I ended up picking up 3 messenger bags, a horizontal tote and a beach bag.  I am pleased to check the messenger bags off my list.

We made several other stops before heading to Defiance to look for more Denyse Schmidt goodness.  After all, the clearance is 50% off at Joann's this weekend.  Boy did we find clearance.  The bolts were stacked about 15 high!!  It was a two person adventure.  One person lifted, and the other person pulled the bolt.  I think my DS collection is almost complete for now.  Needless to say the other shoppers were not very impressed with us.
 Isn't it a beautiful collection?  As to what I am going to make with, I haven't decided yet.  Everywhere I have looked over the past 2 weeks on the Internet, I have been seeing these fabrics and  I just needed, obsessed about them.  There are still a few prints that I don't have, but I don't think those ever made it to the clearance.

I found the brown twig fabric and the black fabric at the Joann's clearance mountain.  I don't know what it was about that black fabric, but I really liked it.  The fabric on the right was the end of the bolt at a quilt shop.  I love the color and design of it, but my DH thought it looked like his late grandmother's dress- LOL. He will like it once it is sewn into something.

Last night my husband asked me how much $$ I had invested in my stash.  I responded with...."let's not think about that".

We picked up several more door prizes for the Christmas party and had a fabulous day.  I made it home in time for the ND football game.

Today the plan is to mix up some cookies, spend time with the family, and perhaps sew a stocking and some FW blocks.  Hmm...could I use those DS fabrics for a stocking?  Probably so, but I am not ready to cut into them yet.  They aren't properly aged.

Hopefully I will have something fun to post on Design Wall Monday.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Star Gardener

This was a fun block for me.  I went with 2 basic colors, but I went scrappy within the colors.  This is Block #87 from the Farmer's Wife Book

  • 24 half square triangles that finish at 1" (1 1/2" strip cut with easy Angle)
  • 1 - 2 1/2" square
  • 8 - 1 1/2" squares
  • 8 half square triangles that finish at 1" (1 1/2" strip cut with EA)
  • 8 quarter square triangles cut from 1 1/2" strip with the Companion Angle

Sew together the 8 half squares.  Press seams open and make sure they measures 1 1/2".  Join the half squares with the squares to form a 4 patch.  Press toward the 1 1/2" dark squares, and press the final seam open.

Join the 8 quarter squares with the remaining 16 triangles  to form flying geese.  I like to press the first seam toward the larger (dark) triangle and the second seam toward the smaller (light) triangle.  Join the completed flying geese in pairs.  I pressed the seam between the geese open

Lay out the 9 units and sew together to complete the 6 1/2" block.


 I made this block a little differently than it is in the book.  I substituted flying geese for half squares - which removed 8 seams. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sawtooth #76

This one only has 22 pieces.  Not too bad considering some of the others.


1-4" finished triangle (4 1/2" strip cut with Easy Angle (EA)
9-1" finished triangles (1 1/2" strip cut with EA)

1- 6" finished triangle (6 1/2" strip and cut with EA)
11-1" finished triangles (1 1/2" strip cut with EA)

Couple things:   Don 't pay attentions to my extra white triangles.  I already had the squares sewn, so I had to un-sew 2 pieces.  Also - I tried adding the extra 2 dark triangles on the ends before joining with the large white triangle, and it didn't work well for me.  I would recommend adding them like the instructions say not the pictures.

Sew 9 of the extra small triangles together to make 1 1/2" squares.  Angie found it helpful to cut her strips 1 3/4" and square up the units to 1 1/2" after they were sewn.  sew the units together in pairs, then join the pairs.  Add the remaining half square to one of the units.  I pressed these seams open.

Pin and sew the shorter unit to the shorter edges of the light triangle.    Press toward the light triangle.  Now pin and join the longer unit to the other short side of the triangle.  Press this seam open.
Add the remaining 2 dark triangles to the left and right side.  This unit should be the same size as your dark large triangle.    Join the 2 pieces along the long edge to make a 6 1/2" square.

I sort of feeling like I am cheating on these.  Char gave me a mountain of triangles.  I sewed them together in one setting, now I am squaring them up and using them for 1 1/2" squares.  Thanks Char!  I love your leftovers.  I wish I could convince my kids leftovers were the best.  I bet they will understand someday that leftovers mean all the had work has been done.

I am working on 2 more blocks today (#87 Star Gardener, and #95 Temperance Tree), so check back tomorrow for more instructions.

Words of wisdom for today:  Never leave a bone in the sink and leave your dog unattended.  He can be a sneaky fellow when I go to the basement to sew.  The light bulb should have come on when he didn't follow me down the steps.

The sun is shining, supper is in the crockpot, and I have wine tasting tonight at the library.  It's been a good day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Checkerboard - Extra (or substitution)

I thought the postage stamp block was fun.  I enjoyed picking 36 different fabrics.  If you want to make an easier version, go with the checkerboard block.

1 dark and 1 light
1 1/2" x 28  1/2"

Sew the 2 strips together and press toward the dark.  It should measure 2 1/2".  Cut the strip into 3 pieces about 9 1/2" long.

Sew the 3 sections together press toward the dark after each addition

Cut the joined pieces into 6 - 1 1/2" segments.

Join the 6 segments to complete the 6 1/2" checkerboard block.