Category Archives: Pieced Quilts

SAHRR – Border 2

Last night I finished up the bow tie border for my round robin project. As I mentioned before, I am trying to use up pieces I had cut for a previous quilt that never came to be.

This week, I used a stack of HST’s that had finished at five inches. Using these worked our really well. I was able to cut three 1.5 hst’s from each one (much much easier than sewing new ones!!!) plus all of the 1.5″ squares needed for the rest of the block.

Before attaching the border, I added two narrow borders which brought the center to 12.5″. Then I played around with the orientation of the 3.5″ bow tie blocks. I like the way they look when placed end to end. However, I couldn’t decide how to orient the corner blocks. This led me to using a plain square on the corners. Fortunately, I was able to unpick some uncut HST blocks and use the red portion for these corners.


I finally decided to use red squares at the corners. The solid fabric looks much better than the dots.

For this week, Wendy at Pieceful Thoughts has declared stars to be the choice of blocks for the next round. I am going to somehow fashion tiny stars within a mostly solid border. I need to calm this down a bit. I love the polka dots but if they continue to be heavily used, the quilt will be a bit chaotic for my taste. I also need to decide how big I want this to be. If I want a crib quilt, I need to grow it a bit with some larger spacing rows. Decisions, decisions…. Currently, it measures 18.5 inches square. So, I need to figure out the goal and work backwards from there!

Hope you are all enjoying this fun QAL. It is a surprise to me to see how many quilters are participating! Each quilter’s interpretation of the prompts is unique which makes it so cool to look through the link ups. I missed the link at Roseanne’s but will link this up elsewhere. See my favorites at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Stay At Home Round Robin

The third annual Stay At Home Round Robin (SAHRR) is starting this week and I am joining in. I have never done any sort of round robin but I am looking forward to playing along with Gail (Quilting Gail) and the other bloggers that are presenting during this event. Several years ago, Gail decided to do a riff on the traditional round robin (where a quilter makes a center block, it is passed along to the next quilter who adds a border of their choice and passes it to the next quilter who does the same). Instead, Gail has lined up five other quilters who have each designed a border for us to use as we see fit. It is very flexible in that a person might choose to use part of the border, to change it a bit or skip it altogether if it doesn’t work for them.

This is my center block. I had a stack of these HST’s and made this star block with them. They were from a quilt I started a couple of years ago and decided I didn’t like where it was headed. In the project bag, I have loads of cut pieces. Several colors of the batik (red, orange, blue, green and purple) and tons of the polka dot fabric cut into various size rectangles and strips. I am hoping to repurpose many of the pieces in this project. If I need to tame it down a bit I may add some solids to the mix. The star block measures eight inches square.

This feels like a mystery quilt since I don’t know what is coming next week. Because I don’t know the plans for the five rounds we will be offered, I have no plan for the size of this project. Wall hanging? Baby quilt? Lap quilt? Who knows! Not being one who is known for spontaneity, this is a reach for me. But this is a way to use lots of pieces that have been sitting patiently waiting to be put into a quilt!

If you want to join in, below is the list of bloggers who will be posting for one round each. If you click through, you’ll be able to see their starting block. For more information on the event itself, click here.

For those who are participating, there is a link up to share your center block. Click here to find that link. I am excited for the next set of instructions which will be provided in a week by Roseanne and Sue. Join in and sew with this group. It is going to be a lot of fun!

A Homespun Finish

This quilt has been in process for quite some time. I finished the quilt top last March. The piecing was quite fun – I used two different charm packs from Benartex that both had a vintage feel to them. After sewing a 2 1/2″ wide strip to the top of each one, I sliced the block in 1/2 and flipped one side upside down. That gave me the rectangular blocks you see here. To add some size to the quilt, I sashed between rows. Finally I added a deep purple border all the way around.

I knew I wanted to try hand quilting and this seemed a good project to learn with. Wanting to think just about the hand stitching and not worry about the durability, I stitched in the ditch along the sashing lines and around the inner border. This was really helpful in keeping everything together.

There are many who would say I might have used a darker color thread but again, this was my first time and it shows! The stitches are inconsistent – honestly, I didn’t want them to be the star of the show here. I quilted around each smaller square and was ready to call it good there. However, what was the rush? I enjoyed quilting this in the evenings so I decided to go around the inner border once.

Then it came to me I might want to do some stitching in the purple border. I used a stencil to trace the curves here. I felt like I was done at this point so I put the binding on. For some reason, it was a challenge to find a binding I liked with this quilt. The neutral fabric used as the background is gone so that wasn’t going to work. There was enough of the purple fabric though and I decided I liked the simplicity of using the same fabric for binding and the outer border.

This quilt is sooooo cozy and soft. The only reason I haven’t yet washed it is there is one more thing nagging at me. I think maybe I should quilt another wavy line on the purple so it intersects and makes a bit of a chain. What do you think? Add more, or leave it as is?

Hand quilting was quite satisfying, especially since I was in no rush to finish this, and I knew I wanted to keep it so there wasn’t the pressure of it being just perfect for the recipient. I have a long ways to go. The back of the quilt doesn’t look so amazing. My stitches on the back look so tiny. I need to learn how to stitch so the front and back are more uniform. A few times, I forgot to pull my knot through and now it seems like it is too late. This doesn’t really bother me but you know…. it is a learning curve.

Spring is surely here! This pond is on the edge of our property and there are geese galore right now. Ray has seen a mama and her goslings swimming but I keep missing them.

The Dogwood tree in all its glory!

Our yard is at its best in spring time, before it gets too hot and the plants become stressed. The iris are pushing loads of blooms so they will be putting on a show soon.

This weekend I am celebrating spring flowers with a sale for you. All fabrics with flowers and blooms are 25% off. Sale begins today and runs through Sunday, April 25th! Enjoy!

Finishing Up a Nice Week

Even though nothing extra special happened, this was a lovely week. I got to have a nice visit with my parents. We knew snow was coming so we got together before their driveway became difficult. (They live about fifteen miles from here but they are at a higher elevation. When they get some snow, it is usually a lot.)

My yard earlier this week.

We did get some snow but just a dusting and it only lasted a day. I do love when we get a little snow. When I woke up that morning and saw it was snowing, I woke Julia up so she could watch the snow. It is such a treat for us. Most winters we don’t see any snow. I remember when I first moved up here (back in 1994) we did get snow each winter and it was more substantial. Climates have changed and now we rarely get any.

The rest of the week was quite rainy. This is always well received. Each time we get a good rain, we hope it means the fire season in late summer will be a bit less dangerous. Due to the rain, I was able to spend quite a bit of time in the sewing room. Above is a stack of strips I cut for a coin quilt. I am focusing on blues, greens, pinks and yellows. I told myself I don’t get to start sewing these strips until I get somewhere with my Meadow quilt though. I just don’t want to have quite so many projects in process at the same time. This quilt was designed by Kirsty of BonJour Quilts. Click the link if you want to see her version.

This is the background for the Meadow quilt. It is a series of disappearing nine patch blocks in three sizes. The largest size has a greater proportion of the cream and white colors to the greens. Medium has about an equal portion and the smallest size has mostly greens. I like how this causes the colors the gently change as the eye moves up. I will be appliquéing a large swath of cut florals through the meadow as soon as I have the background completed. I am almost there and I am itching to get to those florals.

I also took an evening to make some pink diamond blocks. These blocks are made using half square rectangles. I am going to use them for my RSC2021 quilt. I really like the blocks and found them (once again!) on Kirsty’s site, Bonjour Quilts. I think the quilt will have a cool mid century modern vibe to it.

The blocks are finishing at 6″ x 12″. I will need quite a few for a nice sized lap quilt. If I put 12 across and 5 down, it would finish at approximately 60″ square. I think I will be interspersing some plain rectangles here and there to break up the pattern though. I have all year to figure this out though. For now, I am waiting to see what the color for February is.

In the evenings I have been working on the hand quilting for this project which I am calling Homespun. I love this quilt. It is so cozy. Once I finished stitching around each of the background squares, I decided I wanted to keep hand quilting it. This is the perfect time of year to snuggle under a quilt in the evenings and do some hand stitching. I have nearly finished going around the background border. Hard to tell from this photo, but the outer border is a dusty purple color. I think I will mark a pattern on it and hand stitch that as well. It will be a while until it is finished, but really – what is the hurry? While stitching, I have been going back and forth between watching Queen’s Gambit and The Last Tango in Halifax on Netflix. I like both of them, though they are quite different. Have you watched either of these? What do you think of them?

I have also worked on some projects for my shop. There are a number of new bundles available – each one contains three coordinated pieces of fabric, cut in one yard pieces. They are perfect for using with the Fabric Cafe, three yard patterns. These patterns are very simple and quick to piece, making them nice for baby quilts, a gift or donation quilt. These kits and patterns are also wonderful when teaching someone to quilt. They make a lap size quilt and there are a number of different patterns to choose from. I also have some fun kits for baby or toddler quilts. To take a look, click here.

That sums up my week. How was your week? Hoping you found some time to be creative. I would love to hear what you are working on. Enjoy the weekend all. 🙂

Sharing this post at a few sites. Check out my Link Up tab at the top of the page.

Finish – Squared Away!

It has been a while since I actually finished a quilt. Hurray for Squared Away – all finished and so pretty! I started this quilt in the beginning of 2018. The block of the month was hosted by Mari at Academic Quilter. Somehow I didn’t end up following along all year though. I can’t honestly remember why. Then the blocks sat and waited, all lonely and sad, until I stitched them together last spring. Since I didn’t have enough blocks for an entire quilt, I interspersed them with a modern print of Pat Bravo’s. It was from her line called Dare. I had an abundance of it leftover from a previous quilt I had made back in 2016.

I love the way this all came together. The squares are bright and fun while the background calms everything down. When I chose the borders, I shopped downstairs in my fabric shop and chose a chartreuse textured solid and then did a wider border with a beautiful print by Bari J called Bougainvillea Lilac. I love how these look together. So much so that I used the chartreuse fabric as the binding. They are perfect together!

For quilting, I kept it simple with straight lines and my walking foot. I did two different patterns, a checkerboard in the background and a simple star in the pieced blocks. This was easy and kept the quilt loose and fluffy. In the wider purple border, I did some free motion with curving lines and little hearts.

One very crooked label!

The backing fabric is a cute rainbow print with rectangles of all sizes and colors. I labeled this quilt as I intend it as a gift to my nephew who married last summer. I machine embroidered it which was fun. Don’t even ask my why it is so crooked. It just is. Kind of how things go with me. 😉

Let’s see…. what else can I tell you about this one? It was my goal for January and yahoo! I got it done! Makes me so happy – it was fun to quilt it and I enjoyed the hand stitching for the binding. It has been too long since I finished one up!

I am now working on a quilt for grand daughter number two. She is scheduled to arrive (by c-section) on March 12th, unless her mama goes into labor sooner. So that is really exciting! I will share some progress on that in a post soon.

Just in case you missed my post from a couple of days ago, I am holding a giveaway to share lots of cute scraps. You can hop over here to read about it. Be sure to enter today as this is the last day of the giveaway. I will select two winners tomorrow morning and will email the winners. Great fun if you are a scrappy quilter or if you like making quilts for kids.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts and also with Brag About Your Beauties. How about you? Are you happily finishing up a project this weekHappy weekend everyone – Enjoy it and find a few minutes to sew!

Feeling Accomplished

Last fall I wrote a post to explain our family’s thoughts about raising show pigs. I had received a number of questions and comments about how hard it must be for Julia to raise these cute animals and then give them up at auction when fair time rolled around. The post generated a lot of comments and generally reader’s liked it. Janine of Quilts From the Little House, suggested I submit it to be published. (Thank you Janine!) I thought about it for a bit and decided to give it a go.

In November sent it in to Country Extra which is a smaller supplement to the magazine, Country. But I didn’t hear back from them so I assumed it was not something they wanted to use. Then in April I received an email asking to use the story in their June/July issue. Success!

Yesterday I received a print copy. It is a fun experience to see my story in print. There’s my girl and Olive!

I very much appreciated how careful the editors were to retain the feeling of the essay while having to shorten it. They sent me the proof to check for any errors or changes that were needed. The woman I worked with was so friendly. It makes me feel good about the whole process and certainly willing to do it again should any idea come up worth writing about.

Susie’s Memory Quilt

As for the sewing room, I have been working on the memory quilt for my friend Susie. Her husband passed away last September and in the spring she asked me to make a quilt using his shirts. It is really coming along nicely. Today I will finish sashing it. She gave me his red plaid robe that I plan to cut up for the outermost border. I think the red is going to look great. She is happy with the progress and I am honored to make this for her.

Woohoo!! Art Gallery is on sale to day!

Today is the last day of the sale on Art Gallery Fabric in my shop. Be sure to come check it out – tons of gorgeous yardage is 20% off. Happy Sewing!

Linking up with my usuals and also with Em’s Scrapbag, Moving It Forward Monday – check out the projects in this link up for some fun inspiration.

Squared Away Quilt Top

The pieces to this quilt top have been stacked up for such a long time! I am so excited to have pieced the top together – finally!! In 2018 I had the best of intentions to sew along with Mari and her Squared Away BOM. Who knows what happened though? I only got about 1/2 way through and set it aside, never completing all of the blocks.

When I was moaning and groaning to Mari about my lack of fortitude and asking her what the heck would I do with these pretty blocks, she said to put them together with some solid blocks and make a top. It is very clear she is the teacher and I am the student, and I am forever grateful. Being an obedient but not timely student, I did as she suggested. Back in February I cut lots of 10 1/2″ squares of a piece of yardage I had from Pat Bravo’s Dare line. Then it sat for a while. I stitched the squares and the pieced blocks together soon after. Then….. it sat for a while. See my pattern? It is not very efficient.

I started to look around in the shop wondering what would work for borders and found the perfect combination!

I love the celery green textured solid with this floral from BariJ’s Sage line. Don’t they look great? There are quite a few green blocks as well as purples and this pulled it all together.

I couldn’t be more pleased. (Well, that isn’t exactly true. If a quilting fairy would come slip into the sewing room tonight, prepare the backing and pin baste this baby, then I would be absolutely thrilled.) That isn’t likely to happen though so the backing choice will be decided upon soon.

It is really a pretty quilt top though. I am motivated to finish this one up now.

I did press it and hang it in the closet for now though. Julia has high school graduation next week. We have a family reunion on Saturday and …. guess who is coming in on Saturday night???

I can’t wait!! They will be here for ten days which is lots of Grammy time. I will be off-line for much of that time because, you know, I have lots of important things to do.

Linking up with:

Needle and Thread Thursday, Brag About Your Beauties, as well as this week’s TGIFF over at MMM! Quilts.

Getting Back on Track

July was one of those non-stop months. We were on vacation from the 1st to the 12th. Came home and got caught up on household and gardening chores and then hosted a bridal shower last weekend. Of course amidst all of this there was the usual number of migraines. Because of all of this, I did very little sewing and not a whole lot of blogging.

Yesterday I found a little bit of time and did the July piecing for Tish’s Fireburst Mystery Quilt. Fortunately, the piecing for July consisted of a number of flying geese blocks in different combinations and one little square in a square block. I like the fabric combinations and look forward to the instructions for August. I chose to make the baby size quilt and these fabrics will be so sweet when assembled.

Speaking of which, hurray for August! I am really determined to get back on track. I think this is doable as we have very little planned for this month. I am eager to get back to my routine and spend some time in the sewing room.

I just basted my Twisted quilt. The dining room table had the extra leaf in it so I took advantage of that space and got the layers pinned. I am vacillating between a few ideas for quilting it though. I need to do some doodling and make a few decisions.

Remember I mentioned I was hosting a bridal shower over the weekend? It was a lot of fun and I think the bride-to-be enjoyed it. Four of my sisters were able to come to the shower which was so nice.

One of my sisters, Cathy, brought me a big bag of fabric scraps! I have talked about my sisters’ shop, 6 Monkeys and Co, where they offer handmade children’s clothing. Because neither of my sisters do any quilting, they tend to throw away any remaining scraps after cutting out their project. (While I am talking about my sisters, I need to do a little shameless promotion! Their sewing skills are amazing and it really shows in the sweet dresses, shorts, shirts and hats they make. If you have kids or grandchildren, you need to check out their shop!)

Cathy offered to start saving scraps for me and now I have all sorts of fun children’s prints to play with!

I am itching to cut these into usable pieces but for now they are going to be organized by color and then they will have to wait just a bit.

Finally, Julia is getting ready for the fair which is next week. Saturday morning Julia gave Olive a bath because she needed a picture of herself and Olive to hang on a sign above Olive’s pen.  It was rather comical trying to get a decent shot because Olive wasn’t having any of it.  Finally, bribed with an extra meal, she cooperated.  Silly pig.

TWISTED

Twisted Quilt Top

I have made progress on my Twisted quilt — I have a finished quilt top!  Do you remember this project? I started it a long while back when my local quilt guild hosted a class taught by the pattern designer, Dorie Javier. (Pattern is available in my shop.  Click here to see.) It was in June of last year that I began the quilt.  I pulled it out once or twice since then and made a few more blocks for it.  Then it would sit.  Here we are, a year later, and I had hardly made any progress on it.twistedAbout two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sewing with my friend, Sophia.  I decided this was the project to work on.  Making the rest of the blocks went quickly.  Playing with the layout took a little bit of time.  At first I was sewing the four blocks together and then laying out the 12″ blocks but I realized I needed to play with colors and sprinkle the darker values out across the quilt. It worked better to layout some of the six inch blocks so I had more flexibility.  I unpicked the seams on a number of the 12″ blocks to allow for this.

twisted

After settling on the layout and getting the design sewn together, I played with fabrics for the border. My first thought was to use a dark purple and a narrow strip of green.  I posted the picture above on Instagram and asked for opinions.  I love hearing from others because it often spurs me into another direction.

twisted

After looking at others’ feedback, I thought I would introduce a floral into the border. I looked at two from my shop.  One was the High Meadow Floral from Amy Gibson’s Meriwether line and the other was Cat in the Flowers from Paint the Town.

twisted

It was a tough choice and I actually think either would work, but I went with Cat in the Flowers and a narrow purple border.  I liked the deeper color of the High Meadow floral but I didn’t like the red tones in some of the flowers. Cat in the Flowers has a softer palette and it seemed to work a little bit better. Because it is directional, with the kitties all oriented in the same direction, I decided to attach the borders so that the cats were all looking out and away from the quilt’s center.

twisted

What do you think? I am so happy with the colors and the feminine, flowery vibe of the quilt top.  We had some breezy weather and a comical quilt holder when trying to take pictures.

twisted

Now that the whole top is assembled, I am moving on to the next phase – time to decide how to quilt it!  Like many of you, this is always a tough decision for me. At this point, I am thinking I will separate the quilting into three logical sections.  The center of each set of four blocks, the lattice-like pattern created by the florals, and , of course, the borders.

Once I figure out how to quilt it, I will do it at home.  Also, I have not yet decided on a backing for the quilt.  I don’t have tons of yardage in my stash (well, if we don’t consider the shop fabric my stash!!). But it would be nice if I could use some stash up.  Maybe I will piece a backing together or I could use a vintage sheet if I have one in a good color.  Decisions, decisions

If you are interested in the Twisted quilt pattern, I carry it in my shop. There are also some of Dorie’s other patterns available too.

Feels good to have the quilt top done, some twelve months after starting it.  How about you?  Lots of UFO’s languishing?  Do you have many quilt tops needing to be finished?  Hopefully I will get this top basted over the weekend.  It is supposed to be quite warm out so planning for an indoor project is a good idea.  Have a great weekend everyone!  I am linking up with the Friday favorites.  Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

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Sewcial Bee Sampler Quilt Finish

I am so happy with the finish of my Sewcial Bee Sampler quilt.  I loved making the blocks along with the billions of other quilters that followed along with this QAL hosted earlier this year by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. I posted progress shots along the way as I made the blocks, but just in case you didn’t know, the QAL included 25 blocks but I stopped after making 20.  This quilt is a comfortable size for a lap quilt and I felt like if I went for the full twenty-five blocks, this would just be set aside and not finished.  The colors of the quilt are so pretty and I was anxious to finish it and use it.

After sashing the blocks and rows with Mesh Joy, a gorgeous low volume print from Sharon’s Gossamer line, I took the quilt over to the long arm shop where I rent a machine.  For the backing, I used a piece of soft vintage gingham that I purchased at a thrift store over the summer. The light brown color is lovely and works well with the quilt top.

When I picked the binding, I was trying to choose between two fabrics, Terra Firma in deep yellow and Twinklestar Berry  from the Garden Dreamer line by Maureen Cracknell.  I couldn’t make up my mind so I asked Julia to choose between  them and she immediately went to the Twinklestar fabric.  It works well with the front and back.

I took it to the long arm shop a few weeks back and quilted it with a loose meander pattern. Because each block is different and the quilt is fairly busy, it made sense to keep the quilting simple.  More importantly, I wanted to use this quilting time to practice my control on the long arm and by using such a basic quilt motif, I could focus on the speed and evenness of the stitches on the long arm.  It was really helpful to practice like that.  It amazed me how little time it took to quilt it!

I really like the loft the quilt has with the loose quilting.  This quilt is so cozy.

The rich colors – cheddar yellow, the deep blues and the raspberry colors are my favorites.  This was such a fun quilt to make.  I know there are a lot of QAL’s popping up for the new year.  I think I will look through them and choose one. I have two more quilts in process and I hope I can finish those up before starting another one.  Tomorrow I plan to take my nephew’s jersey quilt to the long arm shop and quilt it.  Hurray for finishing up some projects!!

Have a wonderful weekend all!  Linking to some of my favorites. Please feel free to check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.