Saturday, December 26, 2015

Rainy Day Sew

Really blurry shot!  Sorry!  I must've sneezed or something.  LOL
So it's the day after Kissmess and it's Sabryin's birthday!  Unfortunately, it is raining and it is expected to rain until Monday at which time it might snow or perform what is known as a "wintery mix" (which is atmospherical for "we're not sure but it's gonna be bad").  Great time for working on a quilt repair chore.  This is David's quilt which I made for him when he was a teenager and he just turned 27 Kissmess Eve.  So, he's had it for a while; long enough for it to be the victim of some obvious abuse.  He claims it was the dog, but there is light damage so it must have been near or in a window for some time.  It has probably been laundered and put in a drier many times, as well.  A definite recipe for disaster when it comes to a quilt.   I think he was ready to throw it away, but I told him I could fix it and that's what's happening in the photo. 

When I think of all the hours I put into this, not to mention the cost of the fabric, batting, and quilting it adds up to $550 (using minimum wage, no benefits) and I'm probably underestimating.  So it is worth trying to salvage.  Most of the quilt is in good shape; most of the damage is in the middle.  For reference, it is a queen size quilt. 

So far I have replaced eight or nine of the 3-1/2" background squares and I have removed four entire blocks.  To do this, I have had to pick out all the quilting stitches one at a time, then pull out the seam stitching to remove the patches or blocks.  I was SO lucky to find a yard and a half of the background fabric in my stash (LESSON:  always buy more than you need, because you will never find it again); I could not find anything remotely similar in the fabric stores.  I had to make four new blocks and they are fitting in just right.  As you can see, the stars are made with navy/dark blue fabrics and I still had some of these left in my stash.

It's likely I will complete the job before the snow flies, but now my dilemma is this:  should I give it back, in light of the abuse it has suffered? 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Delectable Mountains . . . Done!

Thirty Years Old and finally a quilt!!
Finished yesterday while watching "Breakfast at Tiffany's".  I had to make two additional blocks but FINALLY IT'S DONE!  I would have to say I took apart and re-pieced at least half of these blocks and if there are any points that aren't cut off I would be surprised.  However, it is no longer a part of my dwindling collection of UFOs.  It's 64" x 80" without a border, which I will probably design to add 6" to the width and length.  I'm gonna say it:  (a) I had more fun making the blocks than making the quilt; and (b) it's not perfect, but it's done! 

Happy Fall All!  xoxo

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Thirty Year Old UFO

Delectable Mountains pattern, in case you wondered.
Back in the early 80's I started this quilt, assembling over 80 blocks.  During the past thirty years I have tried to sew them together but they just didn't fit.  Long ago I didn't worry so much about squaring up the blocks.  Maybe it's something I learned to do because I spent so much time putting these blocks together (most of them are hand-stitched, not machine stitched) but they weren't all the same size. . . they varied from 8" to 9-1/4".   Last month I finally figured out that I could just square up each block to 8-1/2".  Except for the center block, that seems to work.  I had to take apart and resew the center block four times so that it would fit the 11-1/2" space in the center. 

And you know what?  I don't even like it that much.  The mellow gold fabric is so boring and there is SO MUCH of it!  But the triangles are made with wonderful fabric treasures from the 50's, 60's, 70's and a few 80's so it's a treat if you can get past that bland gold.  I think this has a rather 19th century look about it.  What do you think? 

Saturday, August 1, 2015


3-1/2 x 6-1/2" Flying Geese blocks + 6-1/2" mini blocks
In my never-ending mission to complete the hundreds of UFOs I have in my projects stash, I found a basket full of these flying geese blocks and underneath it all a bunch of these little 6-1/2" mini blocks from a long-ago swap.  What to do? 

How about put them together and make a bunch of 12-1/2" blocks?  Here's the first one, which went together pretty well.  The only unfortunate thing is the overwhelmingly brownishness of it all.

But then we are only six weeks away from the autumnal equinox, a time when the brown and red color scheme seems appropriate.  I think I will wind up with eight of these . . . one short of a nice lap quilt size.  So now I will be searching through the rest of the stash (could take years) for one more 6-1/2" mini block -- or I will have to make one from scratch. 

Have a happy summer day while it lasts!  xoxo

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Brown Bow-Tie Baby Quilt

 Another UFO bites the dust!  As is the case with most of my UFOs, I wound up making additional blocks to round out the size, which turned out to be a neat 37" x 37".  When I started, I had 14 of the 4" bow-tie blocks.  The original blocks were made sometime during the 90's, I'm sure with the background fabric being tone-on-tone muslin. 
 I have a LOT of brown prints dating back to the 70's and some were traded pieces.  The alternating blocks is a cotton print purchased in the 80's.  Ditto for the accent frame and binding.  I used to do all my bindings by hand, but I have been practicing doing it by machine and I seem to have developed a knack for that! 
As for the quilting, keep it elliptical, baby!  Just freehand melon slices on the grid.  The backing is a tan cotton tone-on-tone that is very subtle and soft. 

This is a great size for a baby quilt, table topper, or wall hanging.  I'm thinking about putting it in the etsy shop. 

For the record, today is the hottest day of the year here with  97% humidity.  Not exactly quilt weather. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Snowy day = another quilt

Scrappy Log Cabin

Close-up for fabrophiles.
Another snowy day and there are two things that go very well with snow:  baking and quilting.  I did the baking yesterday (chocolate chip cookies and chorizo & jalapeno strata).  Today as I was watching Don Matteo I poked around in the UFO pile and found a bag of 16 Log Cabin blocks.  I must have put these together over ten years ago because it is obvious they were sewed using the Singer 99K (which I haven't used in over ten years).  These are what I call "thread-saver" blocks.

Next step is to decide what color to make the border.  I thought about using a strip of blue, then brown, then green and finally red, but perhaps that's too much.  So, if you have an opinion about it, please leave a comment.

And, stay warm!  xoxo

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow Day Quilt!

Lotsa stars!
In the 21st century, it only takes 5-1/4" of snow to close down our city and the state university.  Why, I can remember back in the '90s when it took 19" of snow to do that!  LOL!  Who cares, it doesn't stop me.  Well on my way to another quilt!  Next:  the border.  What will it be?


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Another View

Almost a full view, but not quite.

A different kind of meandering.
Just thought I'd post this almost-full-view and close-up of the quilting.  I'm feeling a lot better about it these days.  It moves.  xoxo

Monday, February 9, 2015

This is the new stuff

New project with the math!

The photo above shows my next UFO.  I guess it isn't accurate to call it a "new" project because it's been in the queue for a very long time.  I know this because while doing the math I realized I need more of the fabric for the backing and it isn't available.  Of course!   My other option is to back it with something entirely different.  If anyone out there has any of this, let me know if we can negotiate a purchase!  (BTW, I love love love my yellow mechanical pencil!)

These gorgeous, cheerful fabrics will become tote bags for groceries and whatnot! 
There are lots of exciting Earth-saving events occurring in my town:  (a) expanded recycling for plastics #1 through #7 (woo hoo!), (b) replacing trash bags with rolling trash carts (not sure how this will work, but the only people squawking are those who make so much garbage it's sinful), and (c) an impending ban on plastic bags at groceries and convenience stores.  So, triple Woo Hoo!  These fabrics, ordered from one of my favorite online fabric shops, are going to become fabulous tote bags that can be washed and used repeatedly for decades!  My own personal stash of tote bags includes some mighty fine vintage items from the 80's and 90's. 

Yesterday I finished the Amy Butler Melons #4 quilt while watching Don Matteo on PBS/MHz.  Love that show!  Since the quilting was on the diagonal and wavy, I had a puckering problem.  I worried about this at first and did remove several rows of quilting and then someone very wise and very new to quilting (The Drag Queen Quilter, if you must know) mentioned that sometimes he worries about puckers and then sometimes he doesn't.  So I chose the doesn't part and plunged ahead.  Now I have a quilted quilt.  Hooray!  xoxo

Thursday, January 29, 2015

COMO Pin-Ups

You know, I love to use the public library meeting rooms to pin-up quilts.  The tables are big and solid and there is no fear of harming them with pins.  However, in order to reserve a room at our more than fabulous (and I do mean that sincerely) library, you have to apply as a group.  So I created my group COMO Pin-Ups on the spot!  Maybe in the future someone will join me and we will have a group pin-up!  Not quite sure how to publicize it, though.  Meet-Up costs money, which I am unwilling to spend.  Perhaps a simple flyer that I can distribute to local sewing/fabric shops . . . what do you think?  Anyway, here is the fruit of my labor.  Only a small amount of bleeding occurred.
The backing. 
The top measured 48 x 53, so of course I had to piece the backing.  These are Amy Butler fabrics, mostly Midwest Modern.  It's the fourth in the Amy Butler series using the melon shapes cut from the applique of the previous quilt made. 

The sandwich ready for pinning.  My motley collection of safety pins . . . NOT the fancy-schmancy curved ones that make it easier on your wrists and fingers.  But that's my way:  the Hard Way.  No pain, no gain, right?

In the process of the pin-up.  Love these colors and the fabrics.  Very cheerful, especially in the middle of winter.

All pinned up and ready to quilt!! 
I chose not to add a border to this top because . . . WHY?  I didn't want to disturb the flow.  It's going to make me very happy to quilt this one because I just love the colors and the spirit of it.  It's like a garden in June!  Hope you are all toasty and warm.  Remember, in six weeks it will be time to plant snow peas and kale!  xoxo