Sunday, August 31, 2014

Jumbo Mumbo

Today is the day I make some sense out of this mumbo jumbo. The leaves are stitched into place, but don't they look like a wind just scattered them everywhere?  I sure hope the placement was correct on these.  As I place the stems, it should all come together.

There now that is looking better. I always look forward to adding the stems, the block is beginning to make sense.

 Next will be those flowers that are like little jewels that make the block sing.

Another cogwheel block almost complete. I will add some slow stitching to stich the center circle down.

 Are you spending part of your day relaxing and putting in some slow stitches? Come join us at Kathy's Quilts and share your stitches!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ready for September

Well I  made it! Thankfully, there were five Saturdays in August.   I had to slip in making a quilt for my daughter this month, which put everything on hold.  But this week I got all my August  RSC 2014 blocks finished.  Each month I make 3 pickledish blocks and a large wonky star block.  It's all down hill from here and I am looking forward to our next color in September.

I also have been working on some cogwheel blocks that I started last summer.  They kind of went to the back of the list of active projects.  My summer push was finishing my Baltimore Garden blocks.  But I am needing a little vacation from my applique.  So I decided since I only need eight of these to finish them up why not fit them into the picture. 

The one on the left still needs to have the center circle appliqued down.  Still trying to use up scraps and pieces that are in my stash.  I have a piece of chintz that I want to use as the background in this quilt.  I hope to make some more design decisions once I get all eight cogwheels done.  Really flying by the seat of my pants here, a whole lot of fun! If your scraps are getting out of hand may I suggest going over to Angela's blog and see what others are doing with their scraps. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Completed Chevon

Yeah! I made the deadline and am so glad that this quilt is finished on time.  Now to get it wrapped and shipped so that my daughter can enjoy it!

 I feel like I need to speak about the machine quilting I did.  I just finished a Craftsy Class on straight line machine quilting done with a  walking foot.  I must say it was a much more pleasurable experience than my first attempt probably fifteen years ago.  I off set the chevron pattern to the pieced chevron pattern and like the way it turned out. Not quilted very heavily, but I decided to leave it as is for my first experience.  I didn't feel comfortable adding more, so I listened to myself and said it is finished!!!!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ahhhhhhh! Returning to Slow Stitching

After a marathon week of week of making a quilt for my daughter's birthday, it is so nice to return to some slow stitching.  I am sure all of you have heard of Eleanor Burns and her Quilt in a Day patterns.  Well, I have a new respect for anyone who can make a quilt top in a day.

I started making my daughter's chevron quilt on the fifteenth and plan on putting in the final stitches today.  I know I had two to three marathon days of sewing to make up the 72  blocks and another couple of days to assemble it into a top.  I do know the pressing took a lot of time. I decided since I was going to machine quilt this quilt that I would press all the seams open.  There are a lot of seams in a chevron, but I think the time was well spent.  It really made for a very flat quilt top. 

Today, I am looking forward to putting in some slow stitches to hold the binding down.  I am so glad to get back to my slow stitching.  Only one more side to stitch and it will be finished.

I also spent some time yesterday preparing these leaves for the next Baltimore Garden block. Look at all those leaves that need some slow stitching!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's a Top

Well after another marathon sewing day yesterday, I still did not complete the top! Close but no cigars!  That is alright sometimes you just have to listen to your body saying "I'm tired!"

I decided the best way to assemble this quilt was to make two sections 4 blocks by 4 blocks and two sections four blocks by five blocks.  I am thankful for blogland. I have learned so much and get great ideas from fellow quilters.  Yesterday morning I saw Kathy of Kathy's Quilts using her binding clips to hold her fabric together as she used her treadle machine to stitch them together.  I had used mine to hold hexagons together when I hand stitched them together but it never dawned on me to use them at the sewing machine.  I always seem to get poked by pins when sewing together a top, so why not try using the clips. Thanks Kathy, this worked well!

So I sewed and sewed and got all the rows of blocks made and even got the bottom half sewn together, but I was just too tired to keep going and my stitching would reflect that. So this morning I got up and headed to the sewing room.  I really enjoy stitching early in the morning when I am rested.  It wasn't long and Ta-Da we have a top!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chevron Progess

Yesterday, I had a marathon sewing day.  I really want to get this top finished in time for my daughter's birthday.  So I started the day early in the sewing room and just made a day of it.  I finished trimming the half squares triangles and then started to assemble them into the blocks that will make up the quilt.

Although retrimming all the HST's took a lot of time it was time well spent
It went pretty well, until later in the afternoon when I realized I had sewn three blocks wrong.  Time to pick out some stitches and rest, tomorrow is another day.  I was able to finish 56 of the 72 blocks I need.  So hopefully today I get the last 16 blocks made and I can start assembly of the top.  I plan to do it in quarters so that I can continue to support the pieces on my sewing table top. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chevron Progress

Well,  I think I have gotten off to a good start. Today I was able to get all 72  seven inch squares stitched.  Now that they are all stitched with a  1/4 inch seam on all four sides, I need to cut them in half from one corner to the other and then again in the other direction.  This will give me four half square triangles that will be stitched together to make a 8 inch finished block.

After I get them cut apart, I am pressing the seam flat so that the top will be nice and flat.  This helps when it comes to quilting as the machine will be able to move over the seams more easily.  Last night I got 88 half square triangles pressed now they need to be squared up and I need to cut off the dog ears.

Since these half square triangles have bias edges it would be easy to stretch them out of shape. So they need to pressed carefully.  Starching the fabric before cutting helps to keep everything from stretching. Next I will sewing the blocks into larger squares that will be combined to make up the top. I think this will also help with stretching as it is easier to support a square than a long thin row.

It was a good feeling to get off to a good start! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Simple as Black and White!

All progress on my projects is going to have to go on hold.  My daughter is having a birthday and she just stripped the wall paper off her walls and repainted a room to serve as her office!  She has a day bed in there so it will be also serving as a guest bedroom.  So for her birthday she would like a quilt to fit in with the d├ęcor of that room.

She has requested a chevron quilt, and I am so excited about that since I have been wanting to make one.  Not very traditional I know, but there is something about modern quilts that graps my attention.  I think it is because they are very graphic and often time use just a couple of colors and made up of solid fabrics.  Yes,  I love solids, the quilting shows up so much better on solids, something that antique quilters used to show off their quilting.  So although they are so different, there are a lot of similarities
I am using Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company's method to make the chevron quilt. Although I am starting with 7 inch squares instead of the 10 inch layer cake.  Here is a link to her tutorial if you are interested in making one too.

So yesterday the fabrics were washed and pressed and I was able to cut 7 inch strips from the fabrics. 

Today I am pairing up a black and white strip and cutting them into 7 inch squares.  I find that re-pressing the strips together makes cutting more enjoyable and oh boy the sewing I need to do goes much better too.
pairs of black and white blocks
the blocks after they have been stitched

After I get the squares cut from one set of strips I go ahead and sew all around the outside edge of the square.  Simple so far, and I need 72 to make this quilt 8 blocks across and 9 blocks down.  So the quilt will end up at 64x72.  Of course that may change a bit if I decided to add a border. So hopefully in the next few days I will get all the squares cut and stitched! Her birthday is only a little over 2 weeks away so I really need to get busy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Quilt Story

You often hear quilters say they love antique quilts.  Then you will hear them mention that they wish they knew who the maker was.  You wonder why did they do all this work? Was it for a special occasion, person or reason?

Barb from Fun with Barb shared her Rose quilt! Does anyone out there have a rose quilt in their possession.  Well, of course!  My rose quilt was the first large size quilt I made.  I had bought a machine and decided I was going to make an applique quilt to machine quilt. Yes, that was my thought process, after all, I had taken one quilting course ten years before.   Well, the machine applique went great! That little buttonhole stitch on my new machine was perfect for this technique.  I then thought what could be so hard about machine quilting a grid on the background.  Boy, I sure had a lot to learn, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  So I started stitching and got puckers and I remember I felt like crying.  Then a friend of mine said you might as well pitch that top cause I had used a pencil to mark the quilting lines.  She said that will never wash out!  Oh dear what is one to do!

Well, soon after this I found out we would be moving to another state, so into a box it went.  It stayed there a few years and then one day I decided to pull it out and since machine quilting didn't work out maybe I could learn to hand quilt.  I did the worst thing you could do and washed the top unquilted.  Well the pencil lines did come out, and one block frayed so badly that the seam became weak. But how could I give up at this point, after all I had come so far.  Thankfully I still had some fabric, so I made a replacement block.  I must say my Vintage Irish Rose, which was a pattern out of an old Vintage quilts magazine practically was vintage by the time I finished it.  It is proudly displayed on a guest bedroom bed, it will be always be special to me.  Someday it will probably be found at a good will store and someone will say why did this person machine applique but hand quilt this quilt?????? Well, all I can say is I didn't give up!  My tip to new wanna be quilters, take a class!

Close up of machine applique

close up of alternate block


Monday, August 11, 2014

Number 23 complete!

I am not sure how many hours I put into this block, but it seems I have been working on it for close to a month.  A lot of leaves, curved stems and layered flowers.  They all take time, but I think it was worth the effort.


Sunday, August 10, 2014


I have spent the majority of my stitching  time this week putting in some applique stitches.  I was going to give myself a day off today from stitching, but it  just didn't seem right not to put in a few slow stiches, after all it is Sunday.  I guess Kathy has made me an addict.  So the plan is to finish backstitching the centers on the last two flowers.  Then in the morning, I can sit down after my morning coffee and get these centers finished.

 I am putting a coin on the block so you can see the size of these little centers. I call them intense, but I must say they are getting easier to do with each one I do.  I just have to be in the right mood and remind myself  not to be in a hurry. 

I  took a break from my applique on Friday.  A few embroidery stitches sounded like fun so I decided to make myself a scissors keeper so that I wouldn't constantly be losing my little scissors that I use when I applique.  I honored Max my schnauzer with a cute little embroidered liking of him.  It is well deserved since he is always there and ready to test any quilt that I spread on the floor.




Saturday, August 9, 2014

More Green Pickledish

I am working on my pickle dish blocks this week.  I love choosing which black and white scraps to use for each block.  This quilt started as a  challenge to use a lot of the bright fabrics in my scrap box and pair them up with some black and white scraps  This has gone pretty well so far, but I don't really have a lot in the light green category.  So I went to my stash and came up with a  floral that I purchased in the early nineties.  It was actually a shower curtain I had made for my children's bathroom.   So I guess it is technically a scrap.
It looks gray in this pic but really is more green

This light green is a bit dull compared to my other blocks, so I needed to give it some appeal so that it could compete in the quilt with the others.   I decided to used two different prints from the black and whites.  I think it adds just the right amount of pizazz to help this block work with the others.  I am hoping it says hey look at me, when it finally gets put in the quilt. 

I was happy that I could use these black and white scraps leftover from my dog Max's quilt.  I must have bought two very similar fabrics at the time.  See the last strip on the right, it has more paw prints than the others.  Oh well, I think it will be alright.  I still have two more blocks to assemble, but I did get all the parts of the block made up this week.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Binding and Applique

Not much slow stitching planned for today.  I do want to get the binding stitched down on my table topper.  I made it early this week to practice my machine quilting.  I am pleased so far with the results but this is a very small project.

I also need to work on Block #23.  I use the back basting method to add the buds and bud covers.  I find it is a great method to make sure you get the pieces right where you want them.  For those of you that are afraid to try applique, did you know the stitch you use to stitch down binding is the same stitch appliquers use in their applique!

Cute little buds

A little bud cover to finish them off!
 I also need to thread up some needles and put in a few hand quilting in the current quilt in the hoop. When working on so many different projects it can make it seem like things never get done. But I have come to a point in life, that I guess I understand it isn't about how fast but enjoying the process along the way.  I have also learned that if we keep putting a few slow stitches daily, things do get done! I am linking up with Kathy today to see what others are slow stitching.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August brings us Green again!

August brings us light and bright green, finally a use for the lime green solid fabric scraps that are the result of cutting the backing fabric from my Amish Ice Cream Social appliqued stars.  They have been in the scrap bin for a while.  I wasn't really sure how to cut them up so they went in whole.

I spent Friday sorting thru my scrap box again.  I was so happy to find some more black and white prints, hopefully they will get me thru the year.
 I will be linking up with RSC2014 to see what others have planned!