Monday, March 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday 3-28-11

Double bow tie blocks -- are now on the design wall.  Yes, something new to share.  Oops mistake in the bottom left row... It's amazing how photos sometimes make mistakes stand out even though we've looked and looked at the design before photo is taken. (Except I just slapped these guys up and snapped. No looking for the most part.) 

These are four pillow cases I made from kits.  My guild had a pillow case day after the last meeting but I was on my way to see Miss Sophia and family so I only stayed a short time and took the kits home.  It was so much fun to work with different fabric than what I have.  I wish there had been some scraps to save, but alas, none! 

So, then I made one from my own fabric to donate through a local quilt shop for the Million Pillow Case Challenge.  Nothing fancy but a good way to use some fabric up.  I laugh at myself because I have a hard time letting go of my fabric.  Some I just swear I have to keep until used in a quilt.  But, maybe I am getting better as it didn't take me all that long to pick these pieces out.  (by the way, this is only 1/4th of the case.)

Have you seen the Just One Star effort by Moda and Minnick and Simpson?  Here's the skinny on it at Moda's blog.   And here's the link to the pattern for the star block.  It's not too late to make one or a few blocks to send to Moda.  They are making the quilts.  Go take a look and add a star or two to your quilting plans.  Just One Star will make a difference.  I was pleased to see a note about Quilts for Valor -- as of Feb. 2011 over 37,000 quilts have been given to service men and women.  Wow.  Quilters are amazing people. 

Now, on to the goals' confessions. 

This week's goals: 
• Finish Super Duper Easy (heck the binding is ready to be put on.) Oops – still need to finish hand stitching ¾ of it.
• Sew rows together on current mystery and plan borders (nope, borders are not always included in these mysteries...) done and shown last entry.
• Keep working on the double bow ties... I only need 16. Did some but need 6 more.
• Quilt the Valentine Quilt and finish it up! OOPS – nothing done.
• Keep making chunky churn dash blocks. Design the quilt top so I don't make too many blocks! Made a few and have an idea for chunky churn dash design
• Non quilt goal -- dust house and vacuum all the floors in the downstairs.  (Hey, it worked for weeds, maybe it will work for cleaning!)  YEAH did that – but oops it was wall board sanding time in the bathroom remodel.  OMG fine white dust all over the bedroom and seeping into other rooms.

This week’s goals.
• Finish Super Duper Easy
• Quilt and finish Valentine Quilt
• Finish all blocks for double bow tie blocks, sew together
• Figure out the design for chunky churn dash blocks and make whatever number of blocks needed
• Get the gray border on the Bumble Bee Quilt UFO
• Organize recipe 3 ring binder and make divider pages. (Ok, it worked to list housekeeping and weeding goals, I thought I would give this a shot.) 

Ok, that should do it for today.  Check out other design walls at Patchwork Times.  Happy Quilting All! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just Squares -- Mysteries for Relay

Photo shoot day for Just Squares top, the latest from Marge at Mysteries for Relay yahoo group. I thought it would look terrific with the purple tree that is in the side yard.  Ah, and a lovely white fence.  Um, wind, wind... stop blowing it.  

If you would like a copy of this pattern check with Marge at .  My guess is the pattern isn't up there yet but it soon will be.  $5.00 from each pattern sale goes to the American Cancer Society.  (And, heck, some are offered electronically so the cost is $5.50.  What a deal!) 

And, if you'd like to join in the Mysteries for Relay fun coming up next month click on the button on the side bar. 

Ok, move to the other wind, lovely floral tree branch.

Ah, yes, a wonderfully artistic shot.  Um, you can't really see the quilt all that well.  Sigh. 

Much better, on the grass at the bottom of the tree. 

Ooh... what they fail to tell you about this wonderful white PLASTIC fencing is that mold grows on it.  Hum, that green probably matches the quilt pretty well.  The inside of the back yard has beautiful white fencing as it gets a lot of morning sun.  Sigh, again.  

And, a last shot of the beautiful trees in our side yard.  (And notice the perfectly white fence.) Anyone know what that magenta tree is?  Are there various colors of cherry trees?  Just wondering. 

Happy quilting all! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pillow Shams

Just a quick post to show off some pillow shams.  

Made by Jenny from the book Shams with Style: Customize and Coordinate the Perfect Pillow Sham or Accent Pillow by Heather Mulder Peterson and Deb Mulder. They look really good with her oriental quilt.  

Baby Alert!  Cute baby in front of pillow shams....
And here is one of the pair I made many years ago.  There is a matching wall hanging.  And, once again, these started as part of a Mysteries for Relay quilt. 
I'm making progress on the magenta and green quilt top.  One of the sides has the second border on it.  Last night I trimmed up half square triangles and cut the rest of the double bow tie blocks.  Hopefully I'll get the rest of the border on the magenta/green quilt and get all of the double bow ties done this week.  Progress! 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday 3-21-11

 Something new on the design wall.  YEAH! This is the mystery day quilt.  It looks more yellow here but it is definitely green. My background was a yellow green to blue green batik that had magenta splotches on it. Late yesterday afternoon I  started sewing the rows together.  And, I pulled a fabric for borders although I'm not sure it will work.  I'll take them to natural sunlight and see what I think. 

Here's Super Duper Easy Mystery from March, 2010. (Yep, knocking something off my UFO list!)  Check the sidebar for a link to Mysteries for Relay if you want to join in the mystery fun. I tried some new things on this quilt -- a new pattern from one of Dawn Ramirez's Pajama Quilters DVD and non-regulated stitching. Yikes.  That unregulated stitching is going to take some practice but it goes faster.  I'm down to the bottom row so today I hope to finish the quilting on it.

These blocks are for an opportunity quilt for Country  Piecemakers Guild.  I made a booboo on cutting the background and there wasn't enough to enable me to finish the block.  Sigh.  Darned if I didn't make the same mistake on the second one but only once.  Double Sigh! 
Did you see the super moon Saturday night? It  appeared 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the smallest full moons, according to  Friends outside of DC were complaining they couldn't get decent shots of it because of city lights.  So, I went out and snapped a few photos with my little point and shoot.  Heck, not too bad!

And, as always on Monday, my goal evaluation: 

• Quilt Super Duper Easy -- Well on its way!
• Make newest mystery for relay quilt.... mystery day is Thursday. See above -- sewing rows together
• Make Some Star Blocks  one
• Sew 4 Pillow Case kits up. one (got to get out the serger for these... they'll look better.) 
• Sew 2 blocks for the guild opportunity quilt one and 3/4
• Make some double bowtie blocks yeah, man, about 8 are done
• Make a couple of chunky churn dash blocks. Ok -- one or two
• Pull weeds in the garden every day... (Ha, not my favorite thing to do but maybe I could have some success if I publicly announce my good intentions!) Oh yes!  not every day but many days I pulled.  Of course, they keep popping up.  

Little Snoopy Dancing for being diligent and working on what I set as my goals.  Woop! Woop! 

This week's goals: 
• Finish Super Duper Easy (heck the binding is ready to be put on.) 
• Sew rows together on current mystery and plan borders (nope, borders are not always included in these mysteries...) 
• Keep working on the double bow ties... I only need 16. 
• Quilt the Valentine Quilt and finish it up! 
• Keep making chunky churn dash blocks. Design the quilt top so I don't make too many blocks! 
• Non quilt goal -- dust house and vacuum all the floors in the downstairs.  (Hey, it worked for weeds, maybe it will work for cleaning!) 

Remember, it's design wall Monday -- head over to Patchwork Times to see what's on other quilter's walls.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Are you celebrating National Quilting Day?  I spent several hours working on Ruthie on this quilt, Super Duper Easy,  also known as Mysteries for Relay #13.  We just finished #18.  Or, in my case, almost finished the center of the top.  I’m guessing I’m either going to make it bigger or add interesting borders.   

I am using a design from one of Dawn Ramirez’s Pajama Quilters DVD.  Perhaps not quite as well done as hers but I like the way it is coming out.  Here's the border. 
Hum, can’t see the quilting all that well.  Sorry about that.  I’m off to see if I can finish it before I get ready for a party at the neighbor’s. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

IT'S Mystery Day!

Have you been over to Mysteries for Relay at Yahoo Groups? Its sole purpose is to raise funds for the American Cancer Society to aid in the cure.  About every 2 months Marge Gordon hosts a mystery day and today is the day.  I'm so sorry you can't join today and participate, but think about it for the future.  I've shared many quilts from Marge's mysteries.  And, I tend to brag about her great mysteries.  These are not complicated, take 5 weeks to do quilts.  Most of them are doable in 2 days. (Hey, I sew a bit slower than others so I usually can't get a top completed in a day.)  She generally presents the mystery as a baby size quilt or wall hanging size.  And, what truly amazes me is she is very good about color choices. You can post your fabrics on the yahoo group site  And, if your choices aren't quite right she'll suggest you wait until after the mystery.... guess who hasn't been able to pull correct colors before?  Not this time.  I'm on top of it.  And, I love the fact that generally I can pull from my stash.  I'm not sure how long I will be able to do that but for now, I'm thrilled with that. 

Here are my squares all cut out.  The cool thing is she often has us use scraps.  Or fat quarters.  My magentas were all smaller pieces although the green batik was a big piece.  And, I used up two or three of the smaller pieces... YEAH... new fabric may be coming in. 

Some of this week's goals have been accomplished and some are in the works. I'm hoping to work on Ruthie tomorrow and quilt the Super Duper Easy quilt.  I've received some Red Snappers that make it so much easier to load quilts on Ruthie. (and don't you just love the name?) I've been spending time prepping the casings.  I'm only going to do the backing leaders for now as I can float smaller quilts and that's what I'm doing the most. 

I'm off to get started on Clue #2. Clue #1 was given with the fabric and cutting directions.  I hope some of you will join Marge's Mysteries for Relay in the future.  Are you giving to the American Cancer Society any way?  Why not donate through this group and enjoy the mysteries also?  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday 3-14-11


Well, almost nothing is on my design wall.  

The top fabric is to be used to make something to give away at the June retreat for Faithful Circle.  I've grabbed the back two pieces as go withs.  Now to decide what to make.  I'm thinking of a wallet or purse type of something.  Hum.  Everyone going to the retreat gets the same fabric and we each make something.  Everyone gets to pick one of the items still wrapped, or one revealed.... it gets silly and fun.  You never know what will be the most popular items.  I have a few months to decide but I don't want to leave it to the last minute.  

My week was pretty non-quilt related.  A day out shopping and visiting another long armer. 

A day out with neighbors visiting the Picaso exhibit in Richmond.  A weekend with Sophia, Jenny and Brian.  A day working on Ruthie.  Not much sewing on the domestic machine. (which I laugh at as my regular sewing machine is a Bernina, that, I think was made in Switzerland, although evidently, not any more.) 

Ruthie and I quilted two baby quilts that were made by another guild member.  These baby quilts go to the local hospital's NICU. 

Here's a Sophia picture.  She's wearing the little shrug and hat I made and left with her last time I was up.  Darn those knitting patterns... this is way too big for her!  Of course, she is a peanut.  And, little one was grumpy a bit.  Saturday afternoon I was a human bed for her afternoon nap.  Her mommy got to sew on some nifty pillow shams.  (Rats, I should have taken pictures as one is almost done!) 

When we got home look what I found blooming:
Last Week's Goals: 

    • Quilt Super Duper Easy. Nope, didn't happen. 
    • Quilt 2 of the 3 baby quilts I picked up from the guild. Yep, 2 done
    • Make a couple of star blocks for the Just One Star Project. nope.
    • Start working on a different UFO. Nope.
    • Make some of the Sunday Best double bowtie blocks. One lousy seam. 
    • Make some more Chunky Churn Dash blocks. (See Quiltville directions) nope
    • Make a pillowcase or two for the Guild pillow case day. Nope. But I was able to spend an hour helping at the guild on Saturday morning. 

So, let's try again. 
• Quilt Super Duper Easy
• Make newest mystery for relay quilt.... mystery day is Thursday. 
• Make Some Star Blocks
• Sew 4 Pillow Case kits up.
• Sew 2 blocks for the guild opportunity quilt
• Make some double bowtie blocks
• Make a couple of chunky churn dash blocks. 
• Pull weeds in the garden every day... (Ha, not my favorite thing to do but maybe I could have some success if I publicly announce my good intentions!) 

Don't forget to visit Patchwork Times to see what is on a bunch of people's design wall.  Thanks for visiting. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Not Quilting

Today I spent the day with some ladies from the neighborhood viewing the Pablo Picasso exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The works were ones that Picasso chose to keep, his personal selections. His heirs donated them to France after his death. The works are on loan from Musee National Picasso in Paris. The exhibit  "...features 176 works and provides a detailed look at the prolific career of a man who is regarded by some as the most influential artist of the 20th century." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/19/2011.) 

I am not an artist by any means.  I don't understand modern art at all.  Yet, the works on display at VMFA were challenging, enjoyable, varied and amazing.  Apparently Picasso continued to paint nearly to his death.  He has an amazing body of work. And, as stated above he may be one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.  Last year one of his paintings sold for $106.5 million to a private collector. I believe it was the most ever paid for a painting. (Really, a Picaso, not one of the old masters?)  Here we are after the exhibit.  If you want to see a huge number of Picassos plan to come to Richmond before mid May.  It's the only city on the east coast that has this traveling exhibit. 

How does this relate to quilting?  Picasso was not a specialist. He was eclectic. Think of some of the great quilt makers: Carol Doak is known for paper piecing, Karen K. Stone for her New York Beauties, Mimi Dietrich and Elly Sienkiewicz are known for their Baltimore Album quilts. Now lets think about Picasso.  He tried so many different styles.  And, he didn't start one and work his way through it and move on to a new style.  He would go back to various styles through out his career. We did sculptures, he worked in oils, colored pencils, prints. He started in what was called academic style -- people looked like people. He was influenced by Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. He was interested in African art. He was influenced by surrealism.  He pushed modern art to new frontiers.  I'm not a fan of cubism or surrealism but I admire his work and what he did for art over the 20th century. I can't think who might be considered the Picasso of the quilting world, but I am sure there is someone out there who might be so considered.  So those of us who jump around making scrap quilts, appliques, log cabins, paper pieced blocks.  Think of ourselves as following in the footsteps of Picasso.  Trying many things and working at them enough to be good at many different styles. 

One thing I do, especially in museums and gift stores, is look for color combinations that I might use for a quilt (if I can find fabric in the colors.)  I fell in love with these pieces in the gift store.  Of course, I didn't buy them I just take pictures.  Hum, this could be interpreted in piecing and quilting as well as color.  Something to think about.  The picture doesn't do the color justice but I like it. 
These were cool because of what was used to make them. These are covered in  small strips of paper curled and then applied to the bases.  I'm not sure how or what the base is, perhaps ceramics.  I just thought the end results were incredible. 
These baskets really struck my fancy.  They are African and the designs amazed me.  The baskets are made out of telephone wire.  There were ones that were made from multiple colors but these black and white ones were fabulous.  I can see these designs being interpreted in a quilt also.  Hum, I have a collection of black and white fabrics in the studio.  Perhaps these will inspire my use of them. I have a small collection of interesting baskets. One of these would have made a good addition.  But, I just looked and photographed. 

Tomorrow I get back to quilting.  I have three charity baby quilts ready for quilting.  They were made by one of the guild members and I'll be quilting them.  I decided to sew two of the backings together to load on Ruthie at one time.  I'm sure it will be much faster as when I'm done with the first I can move right on to the second without having to unpin and repin the next backing.  Hopefully both will be finished tomorrow. I'll post pictures if the owner doesn't mind.  

Happy Quilting All!  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday 3-7-11

The sun is sparkling this morning after a day of lazy rain.  And, that is exactly the kind of rain we needed here.  The new forsythias, azaleas and camellias all got a long drink of water after Pat planted them.  And, we're happy to see leaves budding out on the hydrangea we planted last fall.  Hopefully some of those plants will give us flowers this year. 

Here's what's on the design wall this morning. 
I went with a very small white border.  Very small as in cut 3/4 of an inch.  Yep, ended up at 1/4th inch. I was too lazy to figure out the piping or a flange. I also used squares instead of the rectangles.  And, I like it.  I am very pleased how these blocks look compared to what I thought of them just looking at all the individual blocks.  I couldn't see them playing well together in a quilt.  When I quilt this I think I will just quilt in the ditch or right next to the ditch -- probably will highlight the white blocks on point and around the border.  Will probably take more time to load it on Ruthie than to quilt it.  And, I'll finish it off with red binding.  Glad that can come off the design wall.  

This would have gone up on the design wall but, oops, I cut it wrong.  This is Sunday Best, a Schnibble pattern from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  I loved the concept of two bow ties in one block. It's made from 2 charm packs.  Here's my issue -- notice the small line of green showing between the background fabric and the blue block.  Yep, I cut the thing wrong.  Curse words were flying.  Here's my other issue I preshrink everything... or I do sometimes.  These blocks have been preshrunk and I lost about a quarter of an inch.  grumble, mumble... I haven't decided how I am going to rescue this block... my guess is with a different blue fabric in the collection.  But really, I need to buy another charm pack.  We'll see whether I am willing to do that or not!  

See what's on other folks' design walls by visiting Patchwork Times

So let's look at last week's goals: 

This week's goals:
    • Finish a surprise doll quilt. I really need to focus on this! Done!
    • Finish the backing and quilt Super Duper Easy. Backing done.
    • Finish the Valentine's Quilt.  Top is done. 
    • Get the center part of the scrap quilt together. OOPS
    • Finish the swap blocks. Done.
    • Pick something new to work on. Done 

Not too bad really.  Several of the above items will be hitting the mail this week.
This week's goals:
    • Quilt Super Duper Easy.
    • Quilt 2 of the 3 baby quilts I picked up from the guild. 
    • Make a couple of star blocks for the Just One Star Project.
    • Start working on a different UFO.
    • Make some of the Sunday Best double bowtie blocks. 
    • Make some more Chunky Churn Dash blocks. (See Quiltville directions)
    • Make a pillowcase or two for the Guild pillowcase day. 

Really, that is enough for now! I'm also going to visit Sophie and Brian and Jenny for a little bit this weekend. So look for some new Sophie pictures soon. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Stash Report

Here we go with the February Stash Report... 

Fabric used: 3 1/3 yards
Fabric purchased (acquired) :  0

Net fabric USED from stash: 3 1/3 yards (yea!!!)
Year to date fabric used: 9 1/2 yards
Year to date fabric purchased: 24 7/8 yard
Net Year to Date Acquired : 15 1/3 yards

I didn't get as much done as I had hoped to but I also didn't buy anything. And, believe me I looked and looked. But in the end I was strong. (In other words, I found a piece of fabric that would work for the backing of the next quilt up on Ruthie.) I've got a couple of quilts closing in on the finish. 

My only quilt finish this month was this one. Do I see a binding down there waving at me?  It will be donated to Country Piecemakers Guild either for the NICU unit or as an item to be sold at an upcoming fundraiser. 
Here's a photo of the various ideas I'm auditioning for the heart quilt.  I'm going to put a few of the piano keys next to the white and take another picture.  I find that a photograph gives me a better view of a quilt.  Sometimes I turn it into black and white to see how the values work.  I'm beginning to think I might want to make the keys into squares so it isn't so overwhelmed by the scrappiness.  I'm trying the 4 patches in the corners.  I like them if I keep the keys.  The black looks a bit too much to me, the red is lost.  Perhaps I should make the black a narrow piping.  (Hey, I've got the tool so I could do it!) I'll see how the white works out.

Here's the fabric that got me in so much trouble in January minus the Civil War repros I bought for a block swap.  The center one that looks like a 2nd orange is actually a red fabric.  Three of them have polka dots on them.  What? I'll try to be strong for another month and maybe I'll get myself into using up fabric rather than acquiring more fabric. 

I'm off to the Y for my time on the treadmill.  I've been going 3 x week since January.  Wow.  Amazing that I am sticking with it.  And, that means I continued after having a bug in January and a half week in Maryland. 

Happy Quilting All!