Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Christmas Star

 I finished my little Christmas Star mini quilt.

If you want to read the rest of the story look in the "Once in multiple lifetimes" post at right.

It measures 13 1/4" X 14 3/4" and was really fun to make.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Moving toward next year

I finished this quilt before Christmas.  I know it doesn't look like a Christmas quilt but I consider it one because my inspiration was this Christmas/Santa puzzle we do every year at Christmas

I set the blocks differently because they are 'Rising Sun' blocks and it seemed like they should be rising from the East.  Also, the quilt was quite dull without the sashing.  But, nevertheless, it is finished.

I call it my "Fear Not Little Flock" quilt because of all the sheep fabric from 2002.

I added the quote at the lower left hand corner of the border.  I've learned something about adding words at the bottom of a quilt.  The words often get tucked under the mattress and isn't even seen.  I'm going to keep that in mind next time.

I brought the border up on top on the bed in the above picture so it could be photographed.

I put the "Block in the Spotlight" quilt on the frames over a week ago but didn't have a chance to start quilting it until this morning.

I started on the spool block and only got three completed with 2 partials in the time I sat at the frames.  It's going to be slow going but I want to finish this quilt before another year passes. 

I want to do a small cable in the borders but I don't have anything that will mark the blue adequately.  So I think I'm going to try a technique I used when I made the Welsh Quilt (on the ironing board below).  I marked and quilted it from the back.  I'm going to quilt all of the quilt but the two borders and then quilt them last.

I'm making progress on the Comfort and Joy quilt.  I want to have this one finished by next Christmas so I can gift it to one of my daughters.

It is so fun to work on.  And I like that I can do a little applique and then do a little piecing depending on my mood.  I made a flying geese strip this morning and sewed it on the left side of the cabin (not in the picture).  A little bit at a time, it's all progress.

I had all kinds of energy last week (something I'm not normally known for) and I gave my sewing room a deep clean.  I found all these spools I've been saving to see how much thread I use in a year.  There are 12 empty spools and I also used at least 16 balls of pearl cotton.  This was my year for big stitch.

Here is my little sewing space with the bolts of yardage for backing under the sewing table.  I have my light box on top because I use it for applique (all the time).  And, I take the light box down when I'm  cutting things out.

This is the space just to the right of my sewing table.  I have to have my iron and ironing board close by.

 And this is the closet behind me as I was standing to take the picture above.  The room is quite small but it's my own space and I don't have to clean things up after every sewing session.  I can just close the door and walk away.  I also don't have the grandkids going through things and changing the settings on the sewing machine.  They see the closed door and don't investigate.  Good kids!

I have fabric etc. in another closet downstairs.  I'm hoping to someday get it so everything will fit in this room.  

My quilting goal this year is to concentrate on one thing at a time till it's finished.  I love to make the tops (that's the most fun) but I'm not as fast with the quilting because of time and sore fingers.  I think that's one reason I quilted 6 quilts with 'Big Stitch' last year.  I can do more in a shorter period of time.

I'm set for the new year.


Friday, December 25, 2020

Birth of the Christ Child


[The] "same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise human orbits so that we may, if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well."                                                                                                                                                                         Neal A. Maxwell

I am grateful to celebrate the birth of my Savior this time of year and I am grateful for those of you who have shared your warmth with me.


Monday, December 21, 2020

Once in multiple lifetimes

I've been wanting to make this little (and I do mean little) quilt by Cheri Payne.  I keep thinking about it and today when I decided it would be fun to make a little something to commemorate the conjuction of  Saturn and Jupiter tonight, a quilt was born.   They are calling this  'Christmas Star" and it hasn't happened for over 800 years.

 So I went through my fabric stash and collected all the red and neutral fabrics I could find with stars on them.  And then I got busy.

And in no time I had this cute little thing put together.  I think it needs a star appliqued in the middle, some light quilting, binding, and "Voila".

It's a little wonky so I'm going to take out one seam to even up the top border and then let it look homemade like the rest of Cheri Payne's things do.

It was a fun couple of hours.

Hope you look out in the SW sky tonight around 5:30 MST and see something no one on earth has ever seen before.


To see the finished quilt look at the Christmas Star post right.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Decorating day and fond memories

Temecula Quilt Company has been revisiting their past Christmas SALs.  There are some fun ones in there.  It reminded me that I had never finished the mini Christmas Tree from last year.  I tried to hand quilt it a year ago but I didn't like it and picked it out.  And then it got put away.

I did narrow vertical machine quilting and bound it with a red/gold metallic fabric.  

It measures 11 1/2" X 14".  Just so cute and tiny.

I've been working on the "Fear Not Little Flock" quilt since last month.  I'm getting about a row a week done.  I have almost finished 4 of the 6 rows so I think I can get it done in time for Christmas.

 This shows a close-up of the big stitch quilting.  (Ignore that piece of lint on the gold arc.)

We got our tree up and now I'm making a mess of ornaments and decorations before I can get it all organized.  I'm getting rid of a lot of decorations this year.  I still have the cute Country stuffed stuff from the 80's and 90's.  Some of them need to be retired but most of them still look good. . . it's just time.

These three ladies are just a drop in the bucket.  There are a lot more.  My mother made these and sold them to keep my brother on his mission (Sweden) back when you paid the prices in the country  instead of a each missionary having the same general expenses we have today .  The angel hangs on the wall and the mouse is built on a bowling pin.  Good memories.

Hope things are looking festive at your house.


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

One Last Look

 I know you are all tired of seeing this quilt top but I finished the border this morning.  

So, one last look. . .  the true color is the strip at the top.  

I learned how to drive and took my driving test in a little seagreen VW so added one.

I found some fabric in my stash, Krystal by Michael Miller.  But, I didn't have enough so I luckily found some online and ordered it.

The fabric that arrived is the beautiful piece on the bottom.  It isn't the vendors fault, they sent exactly what I ordered.  But, it was too bright.  So I cobbled together some lengths of the piece I had, only two seams.  And was able to come up with enough to go around the quilt, but, the borders are an inch narrower.  I can't really see much of a difference.

I am so happy to have been motivated to get this quilt done.  I honestly thought it would just be found at the bottom of a box someday, when I'm gone, as an unfinished project.  My kids would throw up their hands and exclaim, "Not another one!"

I started it in 2004 (as I've mention before).  The other three BOMs that I started that year are;

A cute wall hanging by Connecting Threads.

A basket quilt from Thimbles and Threads that I call "The Merit Quilt".  It was from the Gingham Rose line by Moda.

And then I made a  paper pieced sailboat baby quilt out of 1930's prints that, as you can imagine, has been well used and is not photograph worthy any more.

So, as of this morning, I'm all caught up to 2004.  

The only problem is that I've been merrily making more tops in the last 16 years so I'm only 20 quilt tops and 12 UFOs behind.  That's one less than yesterday.  

Hey, it could be worse. . . 

I gave the Blitzen Stars quilt to my daughter Tina.  She loves snowmen and I was able to find the snowman yardage from this line on sale so it became the backing.

She is the oldest of my two daughters that got married 6 weeks apart in the same year, 2004.  It was a busy year for stitching because I made both of their wedding dresses four bridesmaid dresses, one mother's dress, tablecloths for both and I wonder why I didn't finish my 'All Around Town Quilt'. . . ?

It's done now - yippee!  The quilting will be a piece of cake compared to the applique.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

A border and a finish

I finished all the applique for the All Around The Town.  I'll have got get another picture when the border has been sewn on.  I didn't want to buy anything new so I tried all my pieces of fabric that were big enough and the only thing that looked like what I wanted was just a little too short.  So, inspite of wanting to use up what I have. . . thank goodness Etsy came through for me.  I found a piece of Michael Miller Krystal in Royal blue.  It should be here today and then I can sew it on and celebrate a finish.

I also finished the quilting for the Blitzen Stars quilt.    This quilt was easy to quilt and went together fast but because I was so busy doing applique on the "Town" quilt above - I wasn't doing the hand quilting on this one.  So, it took me 2 months to finish it.

Now, I need to crawl around the floor (ha!) and get the next quilt read to go on the frames.  It always takes longer than I want it too.

These are the decorations for just one house down the street.  They always go all out for Halloween and the decoration stay up till the Tyrannosaurus gets decorated for Christmas.


The Tyrannosaurus stays up all year round.

Have a happy and safe Halloween.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Another lap around town

I'm continuing to make progress on the All Around The Town quilt top.  I've got the sun and all the sunbeams pined and ready to sew down.  I had to make some alterations because 16 years ago (when I first started this project) I trimmed my first block (the whale block) too small.  So I had to cut the block opposite it longer. 

 I appliqued the longer block but it wasn't lying flat so I need to fix that.  A little more unpicking. . . 

I appliqued all 12 stars.  It was a little tricky because I had a big surface to wrestle with in order to stitch them down.  The quilt top measures about 50" square so far.  There are two borders.

The stars haven't been pressed in these pictures.  I was in a hurry.

I'm making progress on the Christmas quilt I started this week.  (Sorry, no pictures.)  I've been color testing all the red fabrics and have a lot I can't use.  One piece still kept darkly staining the 'Color Catcher' after 3 washings.  I finally gave up on that one. It was a piece of quilting fabric by SSI.  Most of the poor fabric has been the red with white pindots.  I've chosen to work on the Santa Block first and almost have his lo-o-o-ong hat finished.

And we got a hard freeze two night ago.  Snow is expected in the mountains tonight.  In order for the dahlia blossoms to survive the low temps, my husband brought them in.  They make a lovely fall bouquet.  We've never grown dahlias before.   They appear to make a long lasting cut flower, so many times the other blooms I bring in only last a day.

 Hope you're able to sew today and most importantly, I hope you can hug someone.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

It's time for another Christmas Quilt

 I woke up this morning with a mission.  I decided to find all my stashes of Christmas fabric and compile them, pre-shrink them, press them, and get them in an organized container.

After I got out a big and little box, a grocery sack, and an under-the-bed box full of scraps and yardage I remembered I had a stack of Basic Grey fabric that I was saving for a Christmas project.

And then I remembered this yardage below (15 yds.) that I bought in 2002 when I first started quilting in earnest.    Whew!  I had no idea at that time how much yardage was needed to make a quilt so the more the merrier.

I sorted out all the Debbie Mumm Christmas fabric and then I sorted it into color piles of red, green, gold, and backgrounds.  I also tossed out some of the pieces with a lower thread count (there were only two) and some ugly pieces.  How do they always sneak in there?

And then I found two pieces of Whimsical snowman fabric inside a book (?).  Where else have I got it stashed?

I'm leaning toward making the 'Comfort and Joy' pattern below.  I've been hanging on to this pattern for quite a while.

It is such a cute pattern.  And, it isn't completely applique so it will go together a little faster.

I also want to work on the Cheri Payne Christmas quilt.  I only have one block made.  It looks like it needs a partridge in this pear block.  I think I'll work on one of the Santa blocks next.

I've almost completed the last block for the 'All Around Town' Quilt.  I just need to do the grass, pathway and roof.  Then I can assemble it.  I still have the sun and rays in the middle of the quilt top and 5 cars  to applique around the edge.  I hate to stop working on it to do a Christmas quilt but I won't put it away.  I'll work on it a little in- between the holiday stuff. 

I've been working on the Blitzen Stars quilt.  The full quilt is pictured at the right.  I'm almost 3/4 of the way through.  It is easy to work on.  

I've begun washing the fabric stacks.  I'm not sure how to wash this red stack and check for bleeding at the same time.  There are a lot of old fabrics here and it was bought for crafts not for quilts so I know there are pieces that are NOT colorfast.  I think I will just pick out the pieces I want for each block and test them a few at a time.  The logistics of trying to do this all at once gives me a headache.  

Also, I found the piece of fabric below in one of the boxes.  I didn't buy it, my sister did.  And, I don't think I'll ever use it.  It is called Dysfunctional Family by Michael Miller, I think.  And I was going to offer to give it away but now I can't find it.  Good Grief!

 I know I won't get a Christmas quilt done by Christmas but it will make me happy while I am working on it.  That's what it's all about, anyway.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Just random thoughts and pictures

Still working on All Around Town by Sue Garman.  It needs to be pressed but it gives an idea of what it will look like.  The next block has a blue house with 13 windows (those windows  - sigh), with a flag on top of the roof.

I going to have to change those trees at the top left that look like hearts - too weird.

My SIL, who decorates for Halloween big time, gave me this little witch.  She is fully articulated and is  only about 2" tall.  Too cute.

I made a baked chocolate cream pie last week.  The above picture shows how it came out of the oven - ha!  The picture below is after about 15 minutes.  The filling has chopped pecans in it and I expected it to be more like a brownie in a pie crust but it was smooth and silky like a pudding filling.  So delicious!

I made a batch of Chili Sauce this week.  It took all day to boil down and then I found out it was to salty.  It's going to take a while to use it.  When will I ever learn. . . (isn't that a song?)

And just for a bit of nostalgia, here is picture of my younger brother and his friend selling punch in the 1960's.  Notice the deluxe stand with all it's crepe paper.  The crepe paper was wrapped around the cardboard and then decorated with twisted streamers and fringe.  And 2 cents - what a bargain.

 My brother is the one in the front with the cheesy grin.

Enjoy your day,


News from Bonar Bridge

Hawaiian print quilt top is my daughter's project Here is a look at "Quilting Central" down in my basement.  Finishing up UFOs...