Sunday, August 13, 2017

Still Embroidering

Working with hand work is a good way to unwind and relax in the evenings. Lately I have been embroidering.

I finished the block with the blue applique. I am so glad I appliqued the little heart. Looks so much better than my fill in embroidery stitches would have.

Using variegated thread makes embroidering so much easier because I never have to change the color of my thread! I used #12 pearl cotton on these blocks.

Then I embroidered these two blocks. Do you see the difference? Click to enlarge them.

The block on the left has been embroidered with the outline stitch. This is my normal stitch, one that I have been using for 50 years. It just comes natural to me.

The block on the right is embroidered with a back stitch. This is the stitch that Gail Pan used for most of the projects in her book. It was very hard for me to have even stitches. You know what this means, practice, practice and more practice.

If I don't feel like embroidering, then I knit dishcloths. This is one I finished this week.

Every time I show a knitted dishcloth, someone asks for the pattern and what kind of yarn I use.

I use Lily brand cotton yarn and here is the pattern. 

I don't know where I found this pattern, I do know it was a free pattern where ever I found it. Seed Stitch Dish Cloth - With a size #4 circular needle cast on 40 stitches. Row 1 & 2 – knit. Row 3 & 4 – Knit 2 *K1 P1 repeat from * across to last 2 stitches k2. Repeat rows 1 – 4 for pattern until measures 9” (same as bottom edge), ending with Rows 1 & 2. Bind off. 

Linking to - Slow Stitching SundayShow & Tell Monday With Bambi, Love Laugh Quilt, Em's Scrapbag,  Super Mom - No Cape, Esther's Wedneaday Wow!, Finished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Show Off Saturday

Sunday, July 23, 2017


I decided I need to piece a row of Nearly Insane before I can prep the applique for the Pastor's Attic Quilt. There is room for only 1 project at a time on my cutting/prep table.

While I'm waiting to finish the newest row of NI, I've been working on embroidery I prepped last winter. I always forget how fast embroidery goes. This piece has been finished. It is supposed to go on a bag someday but right now I'm just embroidery, the sewing will happen another day.

I completed these small squares last February when I visited our daughter in Arizona. They'll be used for pincushions or needle books someday.

These pieces also were completed sometime this spring/summer.

And yes, this is the same design as the first embroidery I showed you.

As you can see, I am using variegated thread. Some of these have been embroidered with #12 Perle cotton and some with embroidery thread. I'm liking the Perle cotton better.

The current project is this circle. I back-basted appliqued the fabric to the circle before I started the embroidery. The heart was supposed to have been a fill in embroidery stitch but I decided I would like an appliqued heart better. 

I'm using regular embroidery thread on this block. There is just something about the Perle cotton that I like better, maybe it has more of a sheen to it?

These designs are from patchwork loves embroidery by Gail Pan.

I have another of Gail's books but decided I need to make more of the projects from the first book.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Show & Tell Monday With BambiLove Laugh Quilt, Em's Scrapbag, Design Wall Monday-Small Quilts, BOM's Away, Super Mom - No Cape, Quilter's Monday Fiber TuesdayEsther's Wednesday WOW!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Star Dance Blocks

The 4" finished blue Star Dance blocks are finished.

Only 1 block is all the same fabric, the center top block. The blue fabric with the pink center has pink flowers in it and the fabric with the yellow center has some gold. This just adds more variety to the stars in the quilt.

And all the blocks so far. Each month I've made 8 or 9 blocks, except for purples. I showed restraint that month and only made 4. I'll get 4 more made sometime.

Linking to - Fiber TuesdaySew, Stitch, Snap SHOW, Let's Bee SocialMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, TGIFF!, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday, Scrap Happy Saturday

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Churn Dash Is Finished!

My Churn Dash Quilt is completely finished!! I took it out of the frame Wednesday morning and trimmed off the excess backing and batting that afternoon. Thursday morning I stitched the first part of the binding and in the afternoon the hand sewing started and the finish came on Friday afternoon. 

A side view to show the border. 

Just some more pictures because I'm so excited it's finished.

A view from the back.

This wide back fabric is called "Folio Quilt Backs" by Color Principle for Henry Glass & Co., Pattern #7882. (Information from the selvage) 

My quilt is my version of a churn dash quilt made by my husband's great-grandmother, Fannie Baumgartner Kauffman, Clinton Township, Elkhart County, Indiana, 1867 - 1936. Her quilt also was hand-quilted and is in excellent condition. 

I prepped fabric for the churn dash blocks the first part of November 2016 and sewed them at the Jane Stickle retreat later that month. The quilt center was sewn together in December then I worked on the borders in January. 

The quilting process started February 29th and was finished July 11th; 4 1/2 months. A wool batting was used and it hand stitched so nicely. 

She measures 94" by 104". I won't be washing her.

I appreciate the supportive comments many of you have made about entering my quilt into the ISQ Blue & White exhibit.

I need detailed information about this exhibit. There is more than a year to come to a decision. She'll be entered in some local quilt shows first and I'll see how she does in those.

What am I going to work on now? After I finished attaching the binding with my sewing machine, I pulled this fabric from the box where it had been languishing for almost 2 years and pressed out wrinkles. This is the background fabric for the Pastor's Attic Quilt. The fabric looks darker in this picture but in the photo below, it looks lighter.

He may have been out of sight for several month, but he was never out of mind. I've decided the way I want the appliqued borders and need to get prepping on them.

I know several of the blogs I link to are about scrappy quilts and Churn Dash is definitely not scrappy but IT IS A FINISH and I want the whole world to know! 

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, Show & Tell Monday With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Design Wall Monday, BOM's Away, Quilter's Monday, Fiber TuesdayEsther's Wednesday WOW!Sew, Stitch, Snap SHOW, Let's Bee SocialMy Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric Addict Finished Or Not Friday, TGIFF!, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Blue 4-Patch Blocks

I've finally completed 28 blue 4-patch blocks for the RSC for July. Here are 9 of the blocks on display.

Some of these fabrics would have worked for the mixed color month but I just threw them in anyway. They just add a little zing to the overall effect.

Now I need to piece the Star Dance blocks.

Linking to - Let's Bee SocialMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, TGIFF!, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday, Scrap Happy Saturday

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Still Quilting the Border

Several of you have commented I need to enter my quilt in a quilt exhibit. This spring when my friends and I attended the Chicago Quilt Show, I saw information about IQS having a blue & white exhibit in 2019. I forgot about this exhibit until you guys commented. I tried to track down the information and this is what I finally found - 

Sarah’s Revival in Blue by Gail Smith
Sapphire Celebration:
Celebrating 45 Years

Get ready to make a blue and white quilt for the 45th anniversary of the International Quilt Festival in 2019.

• Entries may be Traditional, Modern
or Art.
• Entries must have been made between 1974 and 2019.
• The minimum size is 50” x 50”
• You may enter up to five quilts.
• The quilts will be kept for three years from August 2019 to  August 2022.

Information on opening and closing dates will be forthcoming right
here soon!

They are going to keep the quilts for this exhibit 3 years! I don't know if I can let my quilts go for that long. I'll have to really think about this. And who knows if my quilts will even be accepted?

Over the last several weeks, I've been asked several times about what I used to mark my quilt. Here is a link to a post I wrote in March where I explained my marking tools.

Now, onto this week's quilting progress.

I had hoped to get the white border completely quilted last week, but that didn't happen but most of the row is quilted.

A close up view of the quilting.

There is just this section of white to quilt yet. I should be able to get that easily finished this week. Then I'll roll and start on the outside blue border. 

We harvested the wheat field Friday evening before the rains hit us on Saturday. If the weather cooperates this week, I'll be busy with baling the straw. If the weather doesn't cooperate, I'll get going with quilting and try to get this quilt finished.

I don't think I've ever shown you what the
quilt looks like when I'm not quilting. Years ago, my mother gave me some quilt backing fabrics. I used some of them but this one I never did. Somehow this became the quilt cover. I have it folded and it is perfect to cover the quilt in the frame. 

When I want to quilt, I just throw it to the back and quilt.

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Show & Tell Monday With Bambi, Design Wall Monday, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, BOM's Away, Quilter's Monday Fiber TuesdayEsther's Wednesday WOW!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Blue Squares Quilt

A year ago I had ordered a set of 10" squares of Winter Rhapsody from Connecting Threads. There were 16 squares in the package. I also order 1 yard of Sparkles to be used for the border. I didn't know what I was going to do with the fabrics but something always comes along.

Last winter I was looking through a Missouri Star Quilt magazine and saw the picture of their Round Peg, Square Hole kit. I'm always attracted to blue quilts, so I tore the picture out of the magazine. The picture was on a page entitled Modern Quilts! Me? . . a modern quilter?

My quilt is based on the picture in the magazine and my version finishes at 58". It was really sunny out so the colors look slightly washed out but they're not.

The blue circle fabric wasn't part of the 10" squares. I used a piece of the blue fusions that I used in my Dear Jane and the churn dash quilt.

The backing is pieced and the flange border is ready to go. I just have to decide how I want to quilt her with my limited machine quilting expertise, straight lines, wavy lines or spiral?

This quilt and the yellow Circle of Squares will be pin basted sometime and hopefully they'll be quilted this summer.

Linking to - Love Laugh Quilt, BOM's Away, Quilter's Monday, Fiber Tuesday Sew, Stitch, Snap SHOW, Sew Fresh Quilts, Esther's Wednesday Wow!My Quilt InfatuationFinished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday

Sunday, July 2, 2017

First Border Quilted!

The first blue border is quilted. Can you see it?
I've rolled and started on the white border.

I lightly marked the feather design on the fabric before I put the quilt in the frame. As I am quilting, I lightly mark the straight lines with a water soluble marker then mist with water when I've finished that section. In the middle picture, you can see my light green spray bottle peeking out from where it is sitting on a small table that sits on my right hand side.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingShow & Tell Monday With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, BOM's Away,  Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew, Stitch, Snap SHOW

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Circle of Squares Flimsy

I should have started another row of Nearly Insane this week but I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. I have to really concentrate on those blocks. I guess I just wasn't ready to concentrate because I just didn't have the necessary enthusiasm needed.

I decided to sew the Circle of Square blocks together into a flimsy. The blocks finish at 12". I decided on a checkerboard border before the outside border. She measure 47" across the center. 

There are different yellows in the blocks but they all look the same in the picture. Oh well.

She'll get quilted sometime. I think she looks bright and cheery. You can find the pattern on toefeather's blog. The pattern is just for the blocks. I don't know how she finished her quilt.

Someone had commented that Circle of Squares would make nice scrappy blocks. Here is a link to the scrappy Circle of Squares quilt Lisa made

I had made these blocks as part of the Scrappy Rainbow Challenge, just to see how they pieced and looked. This was a fun block to make and very simple too. I can see myself making more of these, but not this year.

While I was outside taking pictures, I snapped a photo of the volunteer violas in a flowerbed. I always think they look so happy.

I don't plant them, they just reseed themselves every year.

Linking to - My Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, A Quiltering Reader's Garden, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Circle of Squares

I've been admiring the Circle of Squares block on several blogs ever since I saw it the first time. I don't know who's blog that was but Kathy has been making this block for her one of her RSC projects. I would like to make these blocks but I'm already making two separate projects for the RSC, I don't want to add another one to the mix.

However, something came over me when I was prepping the Star Dance blocks. I decided to prep one or two blocks for Circle of Squares! The pattern is found on Toefeather's blog.

Here they are, 8 (yes 8) Circle of Square blocks.

I don't know if I'll make Circle of Square blocks every month. I did think of a way to use 8 blocks in a crib quilt. Time will tell.

For your information - I learn so many thing from reading other blogs. We shouldn't call ourselves sewers (which can be confused with pipes in the ground that have human waste running through them) anymore. We should call ourselves sewists! I'm sorry I don't remember who's blog I read that on but it sounds so much nicer.

Linking to - Quilter's Monday,  Fiber Tuesday Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Scrap Happy Saturday

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Still Hand Quilting

The last row of churn dash blocks is finished except for the very top HST! 

The white squares too.
Now I've rolled and started quilting the top HST of the CD blocks and the triangle blocks. 

I also quilted the bottom edge of the square in a square border.

I got the triangle blocks and the top HST's quilted! 
The quilt top is pinned through the batting onto the backing now.

This week I'm going to try to get the first square/square border completed . . . you'll find out next week if it happened. 

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Show & Tell Monday With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, BOM's Away, Quilter's Monday, Esther's Wednesday WOW!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Star Dance Blocks

I put a lot of miles on my sewing machine last week working on many projects. This week we're putting all our efforts into making hay so I'm out in the fields driving tractor. This week's posts were written last Saturday and are highlighting what I worked on.

I took Nearly Insane down from the display wall because she became too large for it. My wall looked so empty so I pinned all the Star Dance blocks that I had pieced so far to the display wall. Don't they look cute?

Several weeks ago, a friend called while I was sewing and we chatted for a long time. As we talked away, I kept noticing the stars and thinking the cutest star was the green star (bottom center) that had 2 different fabrics in it. I decided to change things up for the June stars.

I added red to three of the blocks.

These blocks are all yellow but I mixed the fabrics. In the top right block, I made the center with yellow fabric and the corners with white. These changes don't show very much.

The final 3 have the same fabric in each block.

The yellow stars brightens up the rest of the stars. I see I need to make more purple stars.

This pattern is called Star Dance. The stars finish at 4". My quilt will be larger than the pattern.

Linking to - My Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday, Scrap Happy Saturday

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What's On The Clothesline?

Last week we had planned to dry bale hay but the weather didn't cooperate. We changed our plans and this week we're planning on wet baling and wrapping the hay. (If you want to read about what I'm talking about, read this Word Press post from several years ago.)

I put a lot of miles on my sewing machine last week working on many projects since we weren't making hay. This week's posts were written last Saturday and are highlighting what I worked on.

At the Jane Stickle  Retreat in April, I pieced 3 crib quilts. I didn't talk about them when I showed what I sewed at the retreat. I decided to wait and display them when they were completed.

When I returned home, I pinned basted them, then set them aside, ready to be quilted whenever I had time. Last week they were quilted, bound and washed.

Three quilts (same pattern) quilted 3 different ways.

My favorite way to quilt crib quilts now is with spiral quilting. I just like the way the spiral compliments the straight edges of the blocks. 

The dotted yellow fabric makes this quilt come alive.

For the back of these quilts, I used flannel. I needed to add pieces to the red.

Spiral quilting is easiest if you just line up your foot next to the quilting and just keep on going.

Unfortunately I didn't have enough dotted yellow fabric for the next 2 quilts and substituted the stripped fabric. It didn't look the greatest, but it was what I had on hand. It does look better now since the quilts are quilted.

The 2nd quilt was quilted with straight line quilting. I just did it trying to go straight. The lines are anywhere from 3/4" to 1/4" apart.

And the back of the quilt.

The first two quilts were quilted with my Elna Excellence 720 sewing machine. 

The thread I used on all 3 quilts was Gutermann 100% polyester thread. The spool hold 1094 yards of thread. This thread was also used in the bobbin. I find white thread works well with most quilts.

The 3rd quilt was quilted on my Baby Lock Melody machine. I wanted wavy lines on this quilt. My Elna does have a curved line decorative stitch but I can't elongate it like I can on my Melody.

Wavy line quilting. 

And the back of the wavy line quilt.

The pattern for these quilts came from the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Quiltmaker magazine. In all their 2013 issues, they took a block from one of the quilts in that month's issue, and enlarged it to crib quilt size. The name of this pattern is "Go Baby, a big block baby quilt".

What changes would I make? Next time I would add a border to the quilt.  Supposedly this quilt is 40" square when finished but after washing, they measured 38" square. I personally feel that is too small but they are what they are. They will join the pile of charity quilts that are accumulating for donation in the fall.