Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fitting in a few stitches today!

Wow the year is really coming to it's end quickly!  Tom and I drove to Dallas/Fort Worth area to visit with our son and his family right before Christmas.  It was good to see everyone and visit.  We headed back home on Tuesday and my sister and her husband stopped by our place on Friday and left this morning as they headed to Texas.
So today, it will be nice to sit and stitch a bit 

Simple But Not is coming along nicely.  As I look at the one block that is completely quilted, I feel the feathers are not quite as plump as I would like them to be. So once the quilt is completely quilted I will have to add some trapunto. 

I really like the way it enhanced my string star quilt.  It is a bit labor intensive, but I think the extra time will really make all the difference to how happy I will be with the finished quilt. 

Now back to the hoop!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Joyous and Healthy New Year!  Although I didn't finish my list of things I wanted to complete, as they say there is always next year. May the New Year bring you lots of inspiration and time to stitch!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday

It has been so nice to start my mornings this week by putting in a few slow stitches into Simple but Not!   I have put all the other projects away and am allowing myself to zone out and enjoy the slow stitching. 

I often think about why this is my favorite part of making a quilt. There is something calming about listening to the sound of the thread being pulled thru the fabric. The repetition of making one stitch after another.  When I piece or applique I seem to always measure my progress by how soon my project will get completed.  But when I hand quilt, it isn't about finishing but enjoying each stitch. The transformation of fabric thread and batting into a quilt is magical.  I will be linking with Slow Stitching Sunday to see what other magic is happening. Hope you can find some time in this busy season to enjoy some magic too!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hand Piecing

Today I hope to add at least part of round 10 on my Trip Around the World.   I started this right before Thanksgivng and have had fun learning to hand piece.  I am just using some strips of fabric that I found in my scrap box. Kind of wild and crazy but I love how it changes with each round that  I add.  I am aiming for 20-22 rows that should make a nice size baby quilt. 
My little start right before Thanksgiving
Nine rows completed!

I finished up my pickle dish and wonky star tops from the RSC 2014. So they will get hung in the closet. They will have to wait their turn to get quilted.

 This morning I will continue to work on "Simple but Not". I have the center completely done.  The quilt is comprised of four large blocks, so I think the best plan is to pick one block and complete it before moving to the next. 

I hope you find some time to enjoy some slow stitches too!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

RSC2014 Layouts

Well, I need to decide what I need to complete my 36 block Pickle dish quilt. I know that I precut the black and white pieces I need for my last three blocks. Now to decide what color or colors I want to use.  So I think I will lay out my blocks and see what I might need.

 I am so glad that Angela gave us this wiggle room.  Hmmmmm decisions decisions?????  I decided a couple of purple and  deep blue would do the trick. Here are all the parts ready to go.

Friday morning, I woke up early and assembled the last three blocks.  My husband is on call this weekend so he has to go in to work for  a couple of hours to make his rounds, so  it is a great morning to assemble some of the those pickle dish blocks into rows.  There are only 36 blocks so it shouldn't take too long.

blocks ready to be sewn

 I am adding a 1 inch border made out of the same fabric as the background of the pickle dish blocks. Just a place for the eye to rest so the polka dot binding won't take away from the graphic pickles.  The backing is being planned in my head.  I want to use the bright scraps I have left to piece some blocks to add width to my backing, since it isn't quite wide enough.  I thought it would be a great time to play with my easy angle and companion ruler that I have had for ages but just never used.

five more rows to go

Last week I went ahead and made another orange/rust block for my wonky star quilt.  It was what I needed to complete my layout.  I love the way it turned out and never thought I would end up with this layout.  So this is how the top looks completed!  I think the same binding will work for both quilts, so polka dots it is! Hopefully, by next week both tops will be done! 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No self Control!

When I got back from my trip up north for Thanksgiving it was like traveling back in time. We had a enjoyed a little snow storm while staying at my sister's house over Thanksgiving.  When we arrived home, the leaves had finally started to fall so when I look outside it looks like fall is in full swing. 

So with the cooler temps today, it feels good to get under my current hand quilting project and put in some stitches.  I was suppose to be tracing my templates for my last border of Baltimore Garden. But, as you can see from this post I have absolutely no self control.   But I firmly believe you should follow your desires.  Each quilt will get finished when the time is right!

I started out the year saying no new projects until I finish some of my wip's. I think I have done pretty good and than I said well...................... it's December, if I only use fabric from my stash, it's only a small project 30 rows, it's one of those portable projects you can take anywhere.  Do you ever convince yourself that you just have to start something new? Well, a fellow blogger Suzanne over at Minou's Minute inspired me to try a hand pieced project.   Brigitte Giblin  started a group on facebook that is hand piecing a Trip Around the World.  Something I have always wanted to do and another way to use up some old fabrics in the stash.  I am really enjoying it!  I really love this project as I can just keep adding squares and it reminds me of how quilter's of long ago were so frugal.  Oh my,  aren't my excuses so lame, I just need to admit I am addicted to stitching and have no self control.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Calm before the Storm

This week I have pulled out Simple but Not.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, there will be the added stress of a road trip, so I decided to hold off on starting the last border on Baltimore Garden.   I realized that although I love applique, hand quilting is still my favorite part of making a quilt. So relaxing just taking stitch after stitch pulling the thread thru the fabric.  I love when I get into the zone and my mind drifts off to other things and takes me where I want to go.   It's raining outside, so today I will sit and stitch to my hearts content.  I will be joining  Kathy and the others that link up today over at Kathy's blog.  Kathy also reminds us today, that Bonnie Hunter will be hosting Quilt Cam this afternoon at 2pm.  Sounds like a lot of wonderful stitching will be taking place.  As is often said, enjoy the calm before the storm. Monday, brings laundry and preparing for our trip to visit family for Thanksgiving.   I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving Day with family and friends.  But first, let's enjoy some wonderful slow stitching today!
Looks like this a great place to start!  Adding more crosshatching and feathers!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A little progress!

Still working on the borders.  I finished the second one and posted about it here.  That was Tuesday. So what have I been doing since then?  Well not stitching.  I promised my sisters and brothers that I would scan some old family photos and get everyone a copy.  Yes, I have been scanning and scanning!  Trying to name each photo so that we could bring them up and enjoy them whenever we want.  It was a nice stroll down memory lane. But, it also took a lot of time, but the deed is done. Here are a couple of my favorite pics:
My Mom and my sister Liana and I. I am on the right.

My mom was always taking pictures of us after we got home from Church.
So this evening I need to get back to some stitching.  I did thread about dozen needles so I could get under Simple but Not and put in a few stitches.

But,  I am really making progress on Baltimore Garden's borders.  Sometimes when I get near finishing a top, all of my other projects get put aside and all I can think about is working till it is done.  So I think the applique will win out tonight, although it would feel cozy to get under a quilt and quilt as the weather is damp and cold. But, this third border won't get done unless I keep vigilant.  Hope you will join Kathy and the others at Slow Stitching Sunday and enjoy stitching on your current project.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


I am currently working on the borders of Baltimore Garden.  Today as I sat and stitched, I realized that I am really going to miss working on this quilt. It has become like a best friend.  Do you ever feel that way about a project?  Thankfully, I plan to hand quilt this one, so there will be many more days where we will spend a lot of time together. 
Three flowers on row 2 are not quite complete, so it looks like that is what I will work on today as the beautiful fall weather will leave us and the polar vortex sends us some very cold weather.  Another reason to stay inside and stitch!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Time to relax!

Today, I will starting the second border of Baltimore Garden.  I must say, I am very pleased that I was able to finish up the top border on Friday.  Saturday I spent some time prepping for the bottom border.  I like the idea of prepping more, but I worried about how to keep the pieces safe while they wait to be stitched.  Then it dawned on me, I have a small 36x36 inch design wall that I use when laying out blocks to be pieced, why not keep my little pieces there. It is easy to separate each flower and I can see when I need to start doing more prep.  Seeing all of those pieces just makes me want to sit and stitch.  I must say, prep work is a bit like hiking up a mountain, but it is so worth it cause once you get there, the view is spectacular.  Kathy's post today talks about multitasking and feeling guilty! We all do that, but we also all need to take some time and really enjoy the view. That is my plan for a few hours today anyway! 

I snapped a photo of the borders laid out side by side.  What a view!  I really like the difference!  I hope you can take some time today to really enjoy some slow stitching too!  Get into the zone and enjoy the view!


Saturday, November 8, 2014

More Blue Blocks!

Well, I have finally caught on that November has arrived. We have had such lovely weather and the leaves have not started to drop here.  In fact, they are just starting to show some color.  I have been busy with my applique and enjoying every minute.  They say time flies when your having fun!  I was glad that Angela picked more blue for November's RSC.  I still had some blue scraps too!  So here is are my pickle dish blocks for November.

Three pickle - dish blocks
As you can see I was a on a roll so why not just dig in and get my wonky star block finished too!   Just one more month and these blocks will turn into two quilt tops! How exciting!

Wonky star

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How does your garden grow?

Well, this week I started adding the little flowers between the swags on the border of Baltimore Garden.  I made such progress last week stitching the swags in place for all four borders.  Now, working on these flowers I seem to be back to a snail's pace.  I try to remember that even the flowers in the garden take time to grow and bloom.  The swags on their own are quite boring!

 But a few little flowers between the swags and soon things are looking better. I have been prepping the pieces for each flower as I go, but I am wondering if it would be better if I prepped all of the flowers or at least enough to do one border?  Last night, I didn't have anything prepped so no stitching got done. What are your thoughts?

I do love how they really make the border so much more interesting!  There are forty flowers to be done and of course the corners won't be finished until the top gets assembled. I feel like I have really come along way on this quilt, but there is a still a long way to go.  So, I might as well spend time doing the prep work which is very much like preparing the soil in my garden, not fun but a very important step.  Then it is just a matter of enjoying  the applique process until they all get completed!

Sunday, November 2, 2014


I must say that the last couple of years I have put in a lot of slow stitches.  I have really tried to put in a few stitches everyday, not always possible but I could probably count the days I have not with the fingers on my hands.  There is something so relaxing about pulling thread thru the fabric.  This week I was very focused on working on my  borders for Baltimore Garden.  It is so much fun to applique the swags in place after working on the small leaves and flowers parts in the blocks.  I felt like I was on the autobahn, just cruising along! 

The trouble with driving this fast is I have reached my destination.  So today I will be prepping stems, leaves and flowers for the forty flowers that ago between the swags.  It will be fun to add some green to the simple yellow and red swags.  They look so plain after working on the blocks and the little flowers should cheer them up a bit.

I will be linking up with Kathy's blog to see what others are slow stitching today! Come join us!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

November Goals

Well, before you know it November will arrive, so I decided to link up with Kathi and see if I can get some things done.  In November I hope to:
  1. make three pickle dish blocks for RSC
  2. make a wonky star block for RSC
  3. Finish the borders for Baltimore Garden
  4. Return to hand quilting Simple but Not!
  5. Plan a setting for my Cogwheel and Chintz quilt
  6. Finish my churn dash mini.
That should be doable.  As for October as you can see most of my list was completed.

I had a few more things I accomplished as I made a mini churn dash top and I started my borders for Baltimore Garden.  But, I easily put off cutting up the small scraps in my little basket.  Maybe I can still get it done if I put it on my Monday morning list.

Another Slow Stitching Sunday

The slow stitching continues as I started the working on the borders of Baltimore Garden.  It brings some excitement to the project as I have never done an appliqued swag border before.  I am following the wonderful instructions that are in the book. I was successful at using the fast stitches of my Viking to back baste all of the swags to the four borders. 
First I marked the swags on the back of the border
Here they are machine stitched with a rough cut seam. As I applique the seams will be trimmed to around 3/16 of inch.

We are having a bit of a warm up today so I decided to sit out back and put in a few more of the many stitches need to secure the swags.  I will be joining Kathy and the others who participate in Slow Stitching Sundays to see how things are progressing. 

The hosta garden has seen better days

Portion of a swag finished except for adding a flower at each intersection

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Layers of Applique

I know, I know, is she still working on that quilt!  Yes, honestly I am!  Alright I am working on several other projects too, but I did give this block my full attention this week, anyway for most of the week.

So I started out by making the templates for the flowers as the leaves and stems were completed last weekend.  I found making a photo copy of the pattern on freezer paper works best as I get a more accurate template.  This flower had five layers of petals so I made five copies so that I would get five templates.

The freezer paper template was pressed on to the fabric. A white mechanical pencil was used to trace around it and it was carefully cut out leaving the 3/16 inch seam allowance.
Then the stitching began.  Only four flowers it can't take that long can it? The petals seem so large compared to the last block so they are really fun to stitch. Here are some photos of how things have progressed:

First layer basted to the block

Stitching done on first layer

Third layer waiting to be added
So many many slow stitched applique stitches later I had all five layers added and by then there was no stopping me.  Too close to finished to put it down. So I made the centers and ta da a finished block!  I danced all the way to the pressing station, after all this in number 25 the final block of this quilt top.   Yes, I get to move on to the borders! 
Block 25!
I hope you find some time to relax and put in some slow stitches and get closer to your own glorious finish!  I will be linking up with Kathy and the other slow stitchers to see how everyone is coming along.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Sewing Box full of Memories!

Recently, I was given my mom's old sewing box.  It is is a wooden accordion type sewing box.   It has edelweiss and other flowers painted and carved into the top and sides.  I remember as a small child that I was fascinated by it!  When my mom would open it up to get something she needed I was always taking a peek and amazed at how it would open to allow it's owner to see it all of it contents. 

It still  contained  some items that probably have been there for some time.  It was almost like going thru a time capsule.  I found one of those metal yard stick rulers that rolls up!  I think they were from from the 50's and 60s.

I found a tape measure in metric measurements that was made in Switzerland. My parents immigrated from Austria in 1952 and this sewing box was one of few treasures that she brought with her.

My parents with my brother and sister arriving on the train
The back side is color coded to mark off every 10 centimeters!

There was a straight razor made by E Weck and Son NY made in the USA. Having gone thru WW2 in Europe, I remember my mom using this to take apart clothing to repurpose the fabric.  She told us stories of how hard life became during WW2 and that they became very resourceful repurposing things just to have something to wear. 

A metal bandaid box filled with buttons. You don't see those anymore.  I bet everyone can remember someone in your family using them to hold their treasures.

At the very bottom there was what I thought was a deck of cards.  A closer look told me I was wrong.  It was a deck of famous actors.  Most of them have german names and the writing on the back is in german.  So my guess these were cards people would collect.  A few were recognizable names:  Greta Garbo, Claudette Colbert and  Joan Crawford,  What fun!  There were also three Hopalong Cassidy Wild West trading cards that came from Post cereal boxes and are dated 1951. 

All of these items I think will stay in the sewing box,  it just seems fitting to me. But I will also be using it to store my sewing notions.  As I reread this post, I realize that none of these things are of much value, but they are to me.  They are a reminder of an earlier day, much like a family quilt that contains fabrics from our ancestors clothing.  I am not sure how you put a value on something like that, I really don't think you can.  I am just thankful that I can enjoy using it everyday and relish in the memories that it brings back for me.