Thursday, January 30, 2014

Baskets in a Snowstorm...

These were getting covered faster than I could take a snapshot of them.  My goal was 2 blocks a month and I would have enough by July--- Keeping the expectations low...I got all 12 blocks completed.  Now to complete the other pieces to build the Gathering Basket quilt designed by Lynda Hall.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Talking about Summer Still Life-- In the dead of winter....

It's 16 Below actual temperature this morning and I'm home sick with a cold.  Everyone saw my cold get steadily worse yesterday-- so today's TLC is definitely warranted.  We have what they call an "open-concept" 100 people in one room-- no cubicles or anything-- just desk clustered together.  We laugh sometimes because we say we sit closer together than some spouses.  We share one copier, scanner/fax.  Rather than infect everyone... I opted out today.

My fabrics for the quilt I'm working on...

The gold-not quite cheddar pieces is a Paula Barnes of Bonnie Blue quilts America Ferny Branches and Stars piece.  I bought it to make the quilt-- even before the pattern came out.  The quilt designer had shown photos of it hanging in her studio--- It was love at first sight.  The creme piece is a 3.5 yard pieces of Kona Bay solid in Bone.  I bought it couple of years ago. I have used it in my head on about a million quilts-when I had that 'light bulb' moment that it's not going any where.  They sell tons of it.  I was treating it like other fabric that is only out for a season.  
The flying geese method used on the quilt is something I've never done before.  I've talked about my struggle with triangle points.  When I first started reading the instructions I thought -- " As many flying geese blocks that are in this project.  I'm going to figure out the safest way to make these blocks and use it.  Forget the instructions."  Well The instructions gave two ways of making the blocks.  I read on-- and they talked about 'Dimension Flying Geese'.  And that is what I used.  I had some left overs so I took a photo of the process:
After cutting out rectangles, You fold the creme one and layer it between two yellow squares.  Sew a complete seam down the right side.  Open up and press carefully...Perfect Flying Geese.  

Time for Dayquil and a nap....
Happy Tuesday....

Hour Three -- Passion 48

All the Geese are made...just have to get them pressed at the ironing board.

Some times-- chain piecing is great therapy.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hour Two -- Passion 48

Have you ever wondered what 150 flying geese looked like?

Chain piecing stitched these babies together real quick.  I think 268 are required so this week I will sew the remaining squares together and start the pressing.  

Another Artic front is pushing through.  Snow and below zero temps are on the docket.  There's talk of propane shortages, but I'm not worrying yet. We may have to later, so why start now.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hour One - Passion 48

This is what one hour's worth of quilting looks like..... There was a lot of thought that went into the 'one hour a week project'.  I chose this quilt pattern because my attention span is not that great.  Working with only two colors-- while I admire the finished project--- tends to make me bored. I want the quilt. I just lose interest.  Working on this for about an hour is all I could handle.  I retreat to work upstairs.  So for the record....  This quilt took me three hours to cut out.  And now I'm one hour into sewing.

I've thought about the finances that go into a magazine subscription and if I don't make at least three projects a year from the magazine-- is it really worth it? 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Valentine Tabletop--

Here's what wool scraps , fabric remnants, burlap leftovers and a Christmas wreath that Ripley destroyed gets you....
All the pieces are stuffed in a mason jar filled with Rock Salt to weight it down. It is not an original idea --- I just tweak a photo on Pinterest.

I 've been sewing almost nightly, but keep hoping for a chance at an outdoor photo opt.  It's been gloomy, cold/frigid.  But it's warm inside.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I read the Gathering Baskets instructions literally 100 times... and I still cut a couple of pieces wrong.  Normally I would just dig into my stash of fabrics and pull a substitution.  But I literally had no Navy pieces left big enough for the corner stones.  My quilt will be Navy and tan.  The pattern calls out blacks, but I just kept picturing it in my mind as Navy.

Chelsey to the rescue.  I called Quilter's Connection in Green Bay and told them to cut me 4 half yard pieces and my daughter would pick them up.  They insisted on texting me  photos of every navy/ creme Repro print they had in stock -- 15 bolts and I picked out 4 half yard pieces and Chelsey  brought them home to me along with Chinese takeout from our favorite Green Bay restaurant.

Last November we went home to see our folks in Louisiana.  My MIL took me to the quaintest quilt shop in Grand Cane Louisiana. ' Homemade Quilts and More' was discontinuing all of their DMC floss -- No one uses it was what I was told.  The strands were going ten for a dollar and I walked off and left them there.  Of course I had the 'light bulb' moment in the airport three days later.  I called my MIL and she asked what colors-- I responded, "Who cares!!!" There's never been an ugly color.  

She went on a mission for me.
Well, now I am the proud owner of 75 skeins -- rainbow colors that decorate my sewing room until needed.

I have no concept of people not using embroidery thread -- what is the world coming to????

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Passion 48....

This has been hanging in my sewing room by a straight pin since August.  It's the August 2013 addition of American Patchwork & Quilting.  The Popsicle Angel is a Sunday School Craft from my 4 year old class.  The Anthropologie tag is a bucket list dress memory that I needed this past summer to just feel like a girl.  The quilt is just one of those I couldn't forget about.

Flash forward to a week ago...I was catching up on quilt blogs -- popping from this one to that one--- probably researching triangles.  Anyway I stumbled across a project at American Patchwork and Quilting completed last year.  Passion 48.  The girls followed guidelines.  They chose any pattern from the magazines history.  They were told the quilt had to be for themselves. They would work on it one hour weekly until completion.  The quilters were shooting for completion within a year, 48 weeks allowing for 4 layoff weeks for illness or pressures of the 'grown up girl' jobs they all had to do.

How many times have you looked at a quilt and wondered, "How long did it take me?"  How many times have you been asked, "How long does it take you to make a quilt?" I liked the idea of measuring the progress.  One hour a week --- if anything I have an hour of sleep a week to give up to do this project.

So. I got out the timer my kids used for teeth brush timing back during the stage of braces.

I dug out the fabrics and began cutting out the pieces.  It took 3 hours total to cut out the pieces.  Though pattern cutting is not part of the Passion 48 plan.

  I just love this piece.  This is going to be fun......

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gathering Baskets

I'm incredibly proud of my triangles.  They were sewn together one at time--the same way they were cut at a time.  The project didn't start out successfully.  I have never had any luck sewing triangles together without a shortcut or extra fabric.  But I wanted the quilt blocks worse so I'd attempted once more.

I worked really hard at getting the triangles to simply line up evenly.  I was completely impressed with myself when I got it accomplished.  It wasn't easy.  For every three seams I sewed, I had to un-sew one.  I say un-sew because there was a time I was a ripper--- You know what I'm talking about.  You 're angry because the seam didn't turn out like you want and you grab the pieces and 'Yank' them apart.  If you're lucky-- the fabric doesn't tear.

Over and over again I said --"The seam ripper is my friend....the seam ripper is my friend.."
I continued to work.The triangle rows eventually became what I call "a test block".  I had even cut extra triangles for just that purpose.  When I sewed the rows together --it looked like this..
At first  I said 'Good enough...'  then I looked at it more closely--It was pitiful... 
It wasn't even decent enough to call it a "humility" block... You know like the Amish put in quilts to keep them humble.  A confession:  I've been known to be a fit thrower.  I get so angry at the wasted time that I've even been a 'fit pitcher"  hurling quilt blocks across the room because they are a patchwork mess.  

I didn't do that this time.  I really want a Lynda Hall quilt....I layed the wonky block on the floor in front of my workout machine and as I cranked out miles I studied the block.  The rows looked perfect until they were sewn together.  Then it clicked. 

Protect the seam allowances...  that is what I wasn't doing.  I gave it another shot.  Over and aver again I repeated...  Protect your seam allowances...Protect your seam allowances.  It worked.  

My goal was 2 blocks a month-- in 6 months I will have a quilt.  Well, I figured it out and have 4 blocks completed---plus the wonky one--That I just might frame to remind myself that fits don't make quilts -- not giving up does...

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Half-square triangles leftover from my star blocks and trimmings from backings of Christmas quilts have become a tabletop piece for my kitchen.  I'm kicking Christmas decorations out and sprinkling in some Valentine hearts.  This piece will fit in perfectly. Shoo-fly blocks are awesome.

The pups and I have been snow-shoeing twice a day since the Polar Vortex with 25 degree below zero temps has passed.  It's amazing how warm 27 degrees can feel. We have a pellet stove in our basement.  It keeps things cozy in the winter time.  I've become a pro at starting it.  Ours does not have an igniter so it's done the old fashioned way -- as old fashioned as pellet stoves get.

I'm not ready for the weekend to close but I guess it has to in order to get another one.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Clean Slate----

What are you going to do with it????
Don't waste a day...
Eat the Good Stuff.

Fill it with

Make the most of 2014...Happy New Year.