Saturday, March 21, 2020

My First 2020 Finish!

She's not very big at all, but it IS a finish! These are so few and far between for me that I celebrate every single one.  YAHOO!!  She's done!  This is my log cabin baby quilt with that Little House on the Prairie vibe.   What color did I choose for the binding?  GOLD!  Or is it cheddar?

All of your suggestions were so good! Any one of them would have worked.  I ended up going with a high contrast (thanks Kate) or maybe it's more medium contrast binding and I believe Carol made the suggestion about the gold.  Janine Marie reminded me about the concept of auditioning (on Instagram).  DUH!  I auditioned dozens and dozens of fabrics.  I wanted something that looked good with both the front and the back and it was harder than I thought it would be!  Remember this back?

This view is kind of "blah" but I just love looking at all those comfy browns up close. 

 I don't know what it is about brown that makes me think of homemade cozy quilts but it does.

I used this fabric every other block on the back . . .

And this fabric in the border . . . 

I don't know why I didn't see this sooner but the one color they both had in common was gold!

Auditioning . . .

Yep!  That's the winner.  I know the gold is a little brighter than the golds in the quilt but it's the closest I had.  I actually had to piece together quite a few strips because I only had this fabric in fat quarters.  Another fabric used from my auction purchase last summer!

There were even a few logs in the neutral part of the quilt that had gold in them.

One more gratuitous glamour shot.  

Ahhh!  So happy with this. 

Do you want to hear something CRAZY?  My son and his beautiful wife have three adorable little girls but they really want to add a boy to their family, and not just one boy but twin boys!   Their youngest girl isn't even a year old yet and they are talking about wanting twins! More power to 'em if they've got the energy. I personally think they are nuts!   The funny thing is that it is entirely possible.  I have twin uncles on my dad's side of the family and my DIL says they have twins in her family line too.  Hmm!  Here's hoping they get their boy and if they do,  I'm hanging onto this quilt to give to my DIL for her first baby boy and I have enough of all these fabrics to make another one . . . just in case!

As you may or may not know, I work at a local University and this week we got the word that the campus is closing down.  All classes will be held online and everyone who can, will be doing their job from home.  That includes me.    So not only is my former quilt room now an office for my husband but for me as well.  Isn't this lovely? LOL!

I now do my piecing and (rarely) quilting in a corner of our bedroom.

Quick message to QuiltGranma.  You are a no-reply commenter so I have been unable to reply to your sweet comments.  You definitely sound like a kindred spirit!  Please shoot me an e-mail so I'll have your address and can respond to you.  janice (at)  Actually, that goes for any of you that want to chat about quilting.  I'm game!

On a completely unrelated subject, my husband has decided to become a bee keeper!  Random!  This will be interesting.  The bees arrive in April.  Do any of you know anything about bee keeping?  Tips for us?  He's reading up on it and preparing the bee boxes.  ANOTHER interesting adventure!

Stay healthy everybody!

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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Great Progress!

I misspoke last week when I said only two rounds of logs to go and my king size quilt will be done.  I meant to say the BLOCKS will be done.  Here is what a stack of 210 log cabin blocks looks like.  These are made with 1 1/2" logs and measure 7 1/2" square.  I plan to make my quilt layout 14 x 15.

Now to lay them out!  And then start sewing the rows together.  I think I kind of overdid it on cutting my logs.  I have three boxes full of logs left over!

Quilters are such an encouraging bunch!  Thank you for the kind words about the wobbles in my quilting and the encouragement to just forge ahead.  I'm doin' it!  You are right, I do tend to get overly critical of my own work when I would never, ever dream of thinking the same things about someone else's wobbles.  In fact, when I do happen to notice a wobble on someone else's quilt, it actually makes me feel not so alone.  I finished the Baptist Fan quilting!  No closeups.  LOL!  I think I photographed this upside down

Now all I have to do  is trim and add binding.  I asked on Instagram for suggestions about binding.  I got a few suggestions but wouldn't mind more!  I am indecisive on this one.  Not sure what I want to do.  What would you do?  This is where I miss Paula.  She would always have a suggestion for me. 😔

For the RS Challenge I've made three more Scrappy Trip Around the World Blocks . . .

I messed up on this next one because I was trying to always put the darkest color down the middle and I sewed them in the wrong order.  Sheesh!  Not going to rip it.  It stays.

And here are all the blocks that I have so far this year.  I missed out on the January color of green.  Thinking about making some of those too.

Blocks 16 and 17 for my Civil War Reproduction Block of the Month.  Loving these vintage colors!

OK, hopefully, next time I publish a post, I'll have a quilt finish to show you!  That is if I can make a decision about what kind of binding to use.  Would love your input!

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So Scrappy
UFO Busting
Wendy's Quilts & More
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Yes, we had a little of all of those this week!     I'll share one of the good things first.  I have only two logs left on each of these last 20 blocks and I'll be done with my king size quilt!  SO EXCITED!!

So the verdict is in on whether or not I like the pounce pad chalk method for marking this quilt for quilting.

I do NOT!  I'll label this the "bad" part of my post   First it takes too much pounding of the chalk pad to keep the pad filled with chalk.  Second, it is messy!  Third, even when I only did one row at a time (I'm doing the Baptist Fan pattern) it rubbed off too easy and I couldn't see my lines very well in some places even though I knew they were all clearly there when I finished my "pouncing".   Fourth, the lines, were too thick so it was harder to sew a straight line.   It didn't take me long at all to abandon that method and switch gears.

I ran to Joanne's and bought both the Fons and Porter white pencil marker (for the dark borders) and a Dritz Mark B Gone blue marker for the light fabrics.   I've used the white marker before and was happy with it and Karen at Quilts, Etc. uses the blue marker a lot in her hand quilting and she has never had a problem with it not coming out of her quilt.  She said the key was to make sure you either spritzed it with water after quilting, or washed the quilt right away.  I am going to do both!

I already have the stencil so just switching the marking method was all I needed.  So glad I did!  The lines are so much more crisp.

I started quilting and was having a horrible time with wobbly lines.  This is the "ugly" part of my post.   So awful!  I was so disappointed, I just about decided to rip it all out and start over.  But I decided to keep going.

Things started going more smoothly and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.  Still not perfect, but a lot better than it was with not so many wobbles.  This is how it looks on the back side.

I have done about three rows of the Baptist Fan pattern and in spite of quite a few wobbles the overall look of the texture is what you see first so even with all the oopsies, I think it will be ok.  I'm going for it!

While I was at Joanne's today picking up those marking tools, I had to check out the flannel section to find a back for this quilt.
The front shows what is on top of the water and the back shows what is under the water.  Love these cute polka dot whales!

Here is what I've done so far for the March RSC.  Not much.

A star block . . .

and a Scrappy Trip Around the World block, only one so far . . .

As I shared recently,  I have developed an interest in learning about vintage fabrics and how to be able to date quilts and fabrics. 
In the Heart of Pennsylvania by Jeannette Lasansky, I learned that before there was printed fabric, women actually stitched or embroidered the design on entire chairs!  Although there were no guilds in America, an Embroiderer's Guild flourished in London from its founding in 1561.  Pieces were brought to the Guild Hall for appraisal, but if they did not meet the Guild's high standards they were slashed!   Can you imagine that?  I'll bet there was some really gorgeous pieces that were needlessly ruined just because it was deemed inferior.  Hours and hours of someone's heart and soul put into a project only to see it slashed.   I'm going to place this squarely in the BAD category of this post.  That just seems heartless to me.

Here is my progress on my Civil War Block of the Month project.  Here is block #14 and #15.

Well, that's it for today.  Just a reminder that we are still accepting entries for the Blog Hop starting on May 6 as a way to honor Paula Budinger (Paula B Quilts) who recently passed away.   So far we have quilters signed up from 11 different states (with a few duplicates) and the UK!  To read about the details, please read this post.  There will be prizes!   We would love to have a lot of participation so even if you did not know Paula, please join us!  Even if you are unable to join us, we'd love it if you would mention this blog hop in a future post and get the word out.  Just grab this button and link back to the post I referenced above.  Thanks so much!

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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Following in Paula's Footsteps - A Special Blog Hop

On Saturday, February 8, the quilting world lost one of its true treasures.  A sweet and generous quilter named Paula Budinger.

Paula Budinger

In honor of her life and love of quilting, we would like to invite all of you to participate in a blog hop.

 Creating a Quilted Legacy--Following in Paula's Footsteps

Special thanks to Lorna @Sew Fresh Quilts for giving us permission to use one of her quilt designs for the button.  You can grab the code from my sidebar to post it on your blog.  The code may not be showing up quite yet but I'll get it there as soon as I can.  If you're an experienced blogger and want to just copy the jpg of the button from this blog post and do your own coding, be my guest!  I'm a little rusty at this part.

Let me tell you a little bit about Paula and then I will share more details about the blog hop.

Paula loved bright colors and tackling new challenges.  Although there were other seamstresses in her family she was the only one who made quilts.  Paula started her blog in 2015 and consistently blogged once a week ever since then. Paula regularly made quilts for charities such as Project Linus, Jack's Basket and Covered in Love.  She collected vintage doll quilts, 19th century quilts and more recently developed an interest in studying old vintage quilts.    She often spoke of her daughter and granddaughter with great pride and lots of love.  We want them both to know how much Paula was loved.

If you haven't had a chance to read Paula's blog (Paula B Quilts), you can find it in two places.  She started her blog in 2015 on which can be found here and then more recently switched to Wordpress and that can be found here.

Here are a few examples of quilts Paula has made:

Here is a picture of one of the quilts from her collection:

A celebration of Paula's life will be taking place on Sunday, March 1 in her home town.   On May 6, Paula would have turned 79 years old and in honor of her life and love of quilting, that is the day we will start the blog hop.    Each participant is to make a quilt for the charity of their choice in Paula's honor and share your creation in the blog hop beginning on May 6 and ending May 8.

Please contact either Kate Heads at or myself, Janice Holton at if you would like to participate.  Please include your name and the name and URL of your blog.  Once we get the list of participants, we will let you know which day you will be sharing your blog post.   We would be delighted if even those who do not have a blog want to participate!  Just send either Kate or me a picture of your finished quilt and we will post on our blogs with your name and the charity to which your quilt will be donated.  Or if you would like to participate anonymously, that is ok too.  Just send a picture and let us know it is for the Leaving a Quilted Legacy Blog Hop.

There will be prizes!

Each comment left on a blog post will get readers an entry to win several prizes so the more comments left the more chances to win a prize (bloggers are eligible for the prizes as well as readers).  The list of prizes will be announced later.  Participants with blogs are welcome to offer prizes on their own blog post if they wish but it is not required.

I hope you'll join us in honoring Paula's Quilted Legacy

(Quilters!!  This is a perfect time to get one of your UFO's done!)

Apparently, I have forgotten how to create code for a blog button so I'll work on that and get that fixed! 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

More Orange and Other Stuff!

My goodness, I have been getting totally carried away with the RSC color of the month, orange.  I did not intend to make an entire quilt; however that is exactly what happened last weekend!
I purchased this pattern from Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation several years ago when I first started learning how to quilt and have never made anything with it until now.   It's called Courtyard Tiles.  I love how easy it is and it  comes together really fast. I will probably make this again in another colorway one of these days. So this is just the blocks up on the wall, not sewn together yet.  I have to fix one mistake before I sew together.  Can you spot it?

I made a few more Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks . . .

Here is an orange star block, using orange and fabric from a thrifted plaid shirt . . .

Here are a few more of block of the month blocks for my Civil War Quilt

And I completely forgot about THIS!  I found an old ratty and stained one-patch quilt made with polyester fabrics that wasn't worth saving; but look what was on the back!  I cut off all the old ties and freed it from the polyester and ripped batting and as you can see, this piece still has some pretty bad blue stains as well, but isn't this a fun cotton print?  These flowers are LARGE.  So fun.  Knowing what I know about the quilt's origin, this fabric is from somewhere between the 30's and 50's.

And last but not least I have developed a keen interest in learning about vintage fabrics and learning how to be able to date quilts. That stuff fascinates me.  First step, read everything I can get my hands on that talk about antique quilts and fabrics.  Here are my first two purchases and I'm having a lot of fun reading them.   The Bibliography in the first one has a great list of books to put on my bucket list.

Now don't laugh because I am learning things that many of you have probably known for years but one of the first things I learned from Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies is that in the 1950's fabric widths changed from being sold in 36 inch widths to the widths we are seeing today.  I did not know that!  I have found a kindred spirit fabric nerd in Julie and I know she is going to be a wonderful source of encouragement and knowledge! 

OK, here is another obvious question that is probably fairly common knowledge but I do not know.  When did they start printing designer and maker information on the selvages?  I would love to know the answer to that and any other fabric dating tidbits you care to share with me in the comments.  I'll bet I'm not the only one interested in this stuff, so feel free to write an essay there if you wish!

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