Monday, February 13, 2017

Forced to Improvise

I have seen a lot of challenges to get UFO's (Unfinished Objects) finished this year and I like that idea.  The idea is to make a list of 12 projects and try to finish one each month.  So the UFO project for the month of February isn't really one of mine, but it is something I said I would do for my mom. My job is to quilt it!

 Here's my mama!  Doesn't she look young?  I bet you can't guess how old she is!  To be fair, this picture was taken three years ago but I bet you still can't guess!  

Someone gave her a bunch of scrap fabric and she hand cut them (no rotary) into squares and sewed them up into a little throw quilt.

Mom and I went shopping for some fabric to put on the back and asked for help in calculating how much fabric we would need to have enough backing.  It's a real cute calico with yellow background and pink and blue flowers.  It goes very nice with the pastel colors mom used on her quilt.

I've had the fabric and batting here for a while and decided this is the month I will finish.  So I began preparing the backing to put on and was exasperated to find out that the piece of backing we bought is not big enough!  Grrr.   So I knew I would need to figure out something to enlarge the back and cut the backing into two pieces so I could sew some additional fabric down the middle.  I don't know how in the world I managed it, but I sliced that back into four pieces!  Oh great!  Now what?  I had a bunch of calico charm squares that I had purchased a long time ago so I decided to do this:

I actually kind of like this!  So tonight, I got this all basted together and ready to quilt.  For the quilting, I am going to attempt to do a version of a feathered swirl that I saw Vicki from Vicki's Crafts and Quilting do on one of her quilts.

First step was to practice on paper.  Somehow, it just doesn't look like what I was envisioning.  I finally contacted Vicki (thanks so much for the guidance, Vicki!) and was hoping she could give me some pointers so we exchanged a few e-mails back and forth and I showed her what I was trying to do.  This was kind of the idea of the pattern I wanted to do but it wasn't right and I didn't know why.  Vicki suggested I make the beginning of the swirl more C shaped instead of the bullseye looking shape I was doing.
So here is my next attempt with less tight swirls and the designs are starting to fit together a little better; however, Vicki had one more piece of advice for me and that was not to leave the feather ends hanging out in space as shown where the arrows are.

So I tried one more time with to make the feathers actually connect to something.  I think I'm getting a little bit closer now to what I wanted to do.  Still needs some work though.  I'll practice a bit more.  It's not quite there.

Now, next step is to quilt this on a practice sandwich and make sure to make the designs LARGE.  I have a habit of quilting too densely and I want to practice leaving bigger spaces.  So that is my goal for tomorrow.

I am hoping to have a finish to show you this week!

P.S.  Don't forget about the Blog Hop sign up.  You can read about that here!  So far we have 19 quilters signed up!  We'd love to have you join in the fun!

Linking to:

Friday, February 10, 2017

Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop and Quilt Along

Last September Jen Rosin, from A Dream and a Stitch, and I hosted a Quilt Along Blog Hop to make a mini quilt.  You can see the gallery of quilts produced as a result of that blog hop here.  This was so much fun!

We have decided to make this event a regular thing and are calling it Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop QAL.  This go-round will be using a pattern that Jen has designed herself.  I'm so proud of her!  When she published it, it quickly became the most downloaded free pattern for the day!

This mini finishes at approximately 16 inches square depending on your own choices.  The "quilt" in the yard is a 4 inch block which you can personalize any way you see fit.  You can design your own or here is a great resource for finding free 4" blocks:  Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

We encourage you to personalize this mini in as many ways as you see fit through the quilting, using embroidery, applique, beads, buttons, etc. . . .or just sew up the block and let the fabric do all the work.  The possibilities are endless!

All blog hop participants will be entered in a drawing for either a free class from Craftsy or a $25 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop.

If you are interested in participating in this blog hop, just

1.  Leave a comment on this blog post and let me know!  Please include your name, name of your blog, blog URL, e-mail address and Instagram address (if you have one).  I'll send out the final list of all participants to everybody to add to their blog post shortly before Reveal Day.  

2.  Download the pattern here, and make the mini!  It goes together fast once you'e picked your fabrics!

3.  Prepare a blog post about it to be revealed on March 10. 

4.  Please add the button to your side bar.  The grabbable button and code is on my right hand sidebar at the top.

The pattern Jen wrote is very good and should be easy to follow; however, if you want more pictures to follow, she wrote a detailed tutorial with illustrations you can follow here.

Here is my first try at this pattern.  It's just a flimsy at this stage (I'll make another one for reveal day) but it gives you another version to see right now.  I just love the log cabin block and the little birds in the yard!

For all my quilting friends who don't have your own blog, I would LOVE to have you join in and make this little mini too.  I want to have a whole slew of versions to show on Reveal Day!  Please contact me if you are interested in making one.  It would totally make my day!
Linking to:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Favorite Gift!

My daughter asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told her a pretty sign for my sewing room.  So she made me this!   I LOVE IT!!  Thank you, Ashley! She has to have her cat in all her pictures whenever possible, apparently.  And I was very surprised she let me post a picture of her with her hair in disarray.  Keepin' it real!

If you are disappointed at  not seeing any quilts, you can read about my first 2017 finish, my first BIG finish, and my 6th finish ever!  Right here.  Ashley is also my faithful quilt holder.  

Linking to:
Main Crush Mondays at Cooking up Quilts

Saturday, January 28, 2017


I am so so sooooo excited to share this finish! I thought I would NEVER be done!  It's the very first large quilt I've pieced and quilted myself on my home sewing machine, a Bernina 440QE.  It measures 86x64.  I finished the binding this morning!  I wish I had a better place to photograph, but the weather right now is not going to permit that.  

I was asked to make this quilt for a grandbaby that was coming.  Needless to say, that baby got here before I finished.  I had no idea how long this was going to take!  The grandmother asked me to make it bigger than baby size so it could be used for many years to come.   The inspiration for the colors came from the baby room.  I finished the piecing in time to share at the baby shower and I think the mom was very pleased!

I visited to select fabrics because I like their design wall feature that lets you select thumbnails of the fabric you want to use and put them all together on one page to see how they work together.  I ended up selecting a variety of Kaffe Fasset and Amy Butler fabrics for the hearts and a wild Kaffe Fasset Jungle Green for the back.  The backing wasn't quite large enough so I made an extra chevron strip using heart scraps.

I feel like having a party I'm so excited about this!  Woo hoo!!

Linking to:
Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Sew Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Sunday, January 22, 2017

SOOOO Close!

Do you know what this picture means?

I am getting ready to put binding on my first 2017 finish!!  YAHOO!!!   It's also the first quilt larger than a baby quilt that I pieced and quilted all by myself!  I am so excited to be finished with this quilt.  I've been working on it since last May (off and on) and it felt like it was never going to be done.     So this is is just a peek and I'll show the whole thing when the last stitch is officially done! I don't think you understand what a HUGE deal this is!  I'm not a finisher, I have a lot of UFO's but rarely do I finish.  My BQF (best quilty friend) Robin even commented and I quote "I haven't known you ever to finish anything!"  Ha!  Ha!  It is so true!  So I will be celebrating bigtime when that binding is done.  

As I've shared in past posts, I'm the queen bee for one of the three Stash Bee's I'm involved in and here are the blocks that I have either made or received so far.  So excited to see the rest of the blocks!

The queen of my second Stash Bee (I've in Hive #6) asked for THIS block.  My first attempt at paper piecing.  I enjoyed making this block while learning a new technique I hadn't tried before.  Sharon, I will get this in the mail to you on Monday,

For my third bee called 2017 Bee Hive Swarm the queen asked for tree blocks in any size and pattern (she wanted a variety) so I was eager to try out my paper piecing skill.  I shared in a previous post how frustrating this experience was but I'm happy with the results.  The second tree is just a bonus I threw in and, Emily, if you're reading this post, you don't have to use this one.  I was just goofing around when I made that one.  Yours is also going out on Monday.

And finally, see these stairs?

Behind this door is my happy place!  My sewing room!   I think the space above the door is screaming for some mini quilts, don't you?  Since Man Caves are a thing,  I would love to have one that says Quilt Cave.   Ya gotta admit this looks kinda cave-like.   I have been so impressed by the ideas and suggestions I have received from my bloggy quilty friends about all sorts of other things, anybody got some great ideas on how to make a cute Quilt Cave mini quilt?

Linking to:
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
Finish it Up Friday Busy Hands 
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Future New Dorm Quilt

So much for good intentions.  I was going to try and not buy any new fabtric for a while and only do new projects from my stash.  At the same time, I noticed that my stash is pretty dated with mostly traditional fabrics and not a lot of colorful and modern.  So I decided in order to satisfy my fabric buying urges, I would only buy a few new pieces once in a while just to update my stash.

So I bought these fabrics which were on sale:

Guess who wants a quilt using the colors I bought?  My college-bound daughter, Ashley.   It didn't occur to me when I bought these that periwinkle is her favorite color.  Must have been a subconscious thing.  Well it didn't take a lot of convincing for me to start planning a new project.

The pattern I will be making is from Erica at and is called the Betty Quilt.  She said it was named after several women who were influential in her life.  Pretty coincidental that one of Ashley's grandma's is named Betty too:

So I headed back to the store to get some more fabrics and here is the palette I ended up with:

And here are the cut up pieces all ready to sew!

I HAVE to get that heart and chevron quilt quilted this weekend so this is my incentive.  No sewing on this project until I get that quilting done!

Linking to:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Update on My Vintage Quilt

A few days ago I posted about this vintage quilt top:

I got a lot of GREAT ideas for what to do with it and some great help on trying to identify what it is.

The closest pattern was found in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  
Thank you to Wanda at Exuberant Color for finding that!  

The rows are offset rather than side by side and the in between pieces look to be more rectangular than square like the ones in my quilt.  But that's definitely the same idea.

Bonnie Stapleton of Institches with Bonnie also found a block that at least had the shape of the "bowtie" looking piece also in Barbara Brackman's Encylopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  Block 3350 and 3351. Versions of the Drunkard Trail.

In talking with an appraiser, she said that in appraiser lingo that quilt came from a quilter with a "deep scrap bag" which means it spanned several decades with the most recent fabric being from the 1940's.   If anybody out there has any of these fabrics (you can see each different one in detail here) please let me know.  I would love to purchase any scraps I can find to possibly use in the binding or back.     I really like the idea of trying to finish this quilt with vintage fabrics from the same era if possible, or at least close to it.    It will be difficult, but I love a good challenge!