Monday, September 21, 2020

Spreading Myself a Little Thin

 Quilting wise...believe me, I am not thin.

The Project Linus mystery quilt starts this Saturday. It goes for seven weeks. My plan is to do Logey Bear (2019) and Luci's Love Notes (2020) at the same time. I've got my fabric and I'm ready to go.


I decided to put borders on two quilts that I thought were finished:

I decided I want to make this red and green quilt a little more Christmasy. I have the border and binding cut out I just haven't attached anything.

I added a containment border to this quilt:

I also made the binding for it. Both need backs and tomorrow I'm going to a quilt shop that is going out of business to see if I can find something I like.

At last week's Quilts for Kids meeting I picked up four quilt projects - I already have at least four in process or designed in my head with fabric pulled.

I don't know why but I always seem to pick up the unwanted quilt projects. Both of these quilts are finished they just need to be quilted.

The red is a polyester double knit. The border fabric is tomatoes with faces.

The applique is on a white bed sheet. The seam are all 5/8 inch. I'm pretty sure they were made by the same person. I probably won't do anything fancy.

I also picked up this Quillow: 

I love this fabric. It was already made, it just needed the pillow pocket sewn on - Done! I love how the person quilted this; it is big stitched with white and dark blue in the waves.

Joanne, the project coordinator for Quilts for Kids here, always has a bunch of fabrics donated that can't be used for kids quilts. We can take whatever we want for our own use. I picked up these two fabrics and this partially pieced quilt.

I took apart the partial quilt and found a pretty white snowflake and plan to make a Christmas table cloth quilt using the original design.

All of this added to my 13 other UFOs and 14 other unquilted tops. 

I did have one finish last week. I got the small sports top quilted and the binding machine stitched on.


I did some tweaking to my quilt frame - moved the take-up rail closer to the backing rail - and had a much easier time quilting this little quilt.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Interesting Week


It has been an interesting and fun week. A long time friend, Donna from Boise Idaho, came to visit me for a week. We haven't seen each other for years. I don't think we stopped talking the whole week.

The interesting (and sad) part were all the fires around me. Donna found a quilt shop on her drive in not far from me that was going out of business and was having a great sale. We tried to go there the day after she arrived. After driving 3/4 of the way there we turned around because we could see dense smoke, lots of water tank trunks and the edge of the South Obenchain fire. I decided to take back roads back home to just see some of the pretty Oregon terrain. It was a good thing I did or we would have been caught up in a fire in Central Point.

The next day my brother called to say his mobile home was burned down in the Almeda Drive fire in south Medford, Phoenix and Talent. He is now staying at my mom's house.

I had hoped we could take an overnight trip to Sisters, but there was a fire along highway 242 and the road was closed. We did go fabric shopping in Roseburg. 
The air quality has been and still is very bad. This is not fog, it is smoke. The news said at one point visibility was less than 1/2 mile.
For a while we weren't sure if Donna was going to be able to drive home today as planned. Every road east had closures due to fires. She would have to either go 300 miles out of her way north to Portland, or almost 300 miles south into California. Luckily the temperatures and wind died down a couple of days ago most of the fires are partially contained and some roads have reopened. Donna did have to go home via Klamath Falls which wasn't too far out of her way.

The fun part: we went shopping, sewed, learned new things quilty wise, and talked more. It was wonderful reconnecting.
Donna and I started quilting around the same time - I think I was the bad influence and she was a willing victim. Donna brought me a couple of fun cat projects / fabric. I gave her the purple Pam Buda bundle I recently won - I'm just not a purple fan and she loves it.

 I was again a bad influence and got her interested in Civil War / 1800's reproduction fabrics while she was here. We both did some serious fabric shopping.

We also went to a lot of thrift/antique/junk shops around Grants Pass. I found the prefect piece of furniture for my entry way. Donna found a ladder to hang quilts (no picture).

We also got a lot of sewing done...well, Donna got some sewing done. I totally forgot to take a picture of one of the projects she brought with her but she also fell in love with a Maple Island BQ3 quilt I made years ago, bought fabric while she was here, and made her own in one day.

Next year it will be my turn to visit her. Can't wait!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Busy Week


I got a lot done last week. I have company coming to stay a week starting tomorrow so I've been doing a lot of cleaning - which seems to include rearranging and moving stuff around (again). I also managed to hang a few more pictures. I'm still thinking about the others.

I got two small quilts quilted. I changed my mind about how I was going to quilt both of them. Once I did that they both got done quickly and I'm really happy with how both of them turned out.

Temecula Quilt Company's Tiny Tree is finished:

Simple straight line echo quilting. You can really see the quilting on the back. I kept the tree really simple, just a couple of lines to hold it down.

I also quilted Kim Diehl's Plain Folk. Originally I was going to quilt Baptist Fan's but I really didn't want to spend a lot of time marking the little quilt. I thought about just quilting the fans freestyle but I've never done that before and wasn't feeling really confident about my ability to do them even after I "practiced" on paper for over an hour. So I just did some in-the-ditch and diagonal lines and I'm really pleased with how it turned out:

As you can see I still need to stitch down the binding on both.

I got another leaf made:

Kind of a wonky oak leaf. I Iike the first leaf better (and it was easier to make). I'd like to make the third leaf different but I'm not sure of what shape to make. I think a maple leaf would be really hard to make...what other leaf shapes are there?

I finished a book - actual reading on my Kindle, not an audio book, and started another. I've been doing a lot more reading lately. 

Okay if I tell you a secret will you promise not to tell? I even did some m-e-n-d-i-n-g. Shhhhh.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Trying Something New


  Rose, from Pics & Pieces, showed a string leaf she had made that I just loved. I asked her how she made it and she posted a tutorial. You can find it here.  Here is my first attempt:

   I had so much fun making this. I have never made anything with a free form curve. Mine is a little iffy but I think it is pretty good for a first attempt. It is about 12 inches long (including the stem). I think I'm going to make two more then make a fall table runner with them. Thank you Rose!

   I finished the sports quilt. Bella's cat towers make a pretty good quilt display other than I had to add the candle stick (only thing in reach) to keep it up.

   After I took it off the frame I found the backing was just barely long enough but the last row of the quilt was so twisted it would have never laid flat - so I cut if off. If I didn't tell you'd never know. It still ends up at about 60 x 72 inches. A nice size lap quilt for a boy.

   And here's the back.

   Really soft flannels. As much of a pain as it was to quilt, I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

   This is just wrong in so many ways...

   I thought it was supposed to rain all the time in Oregon!!! I am not a happy camper. Although my air conditioner is now working appropriately. My poor electric bill.


Monday, August 24, 2020

I'm Ready


   I finished the Forest Friends quilt top...

    Fussy cutting the border was much easier than fussy cutting the corner stone blocks. Why is it panel blocks are never square? I found a cute fox fabric for the back.

   I also loaded the sports quilt onto my frame.

   What a pain! First my thread kept breaking. After I changed to a different brand of black thread it worked. I stopped at the point the picture was taken yesterday, when I went back to today the machine carriage dragged. I never did figure out the cause but after about three more passes fighting the drag it started moving fine. Toward the end the quilt really sagged, I think this was due to the stretching of the flannel back (probably operator issue not stretching). THEN I ran out of backing (insert bad word here).  I swear I checked the dimensions three times. So now I'm trying to decide if I want to fix it and how. I was able to quilt it to the last row - if I cut it off there it wouldn't impact the quilt at all, other than the size. 

   All of this drama was why I was dreading loading a quilt. I think I would be much happier - even though I hate pinning - with a sit-down long arm. I'm going to quilt Forest Friends next. If I continue to have problems I'll probably take the Juki off the frame...maybe. 

   Today starts the 2020 Project Linus Mystery quilt registration. I am so looking forward to this mystery, Lucy's Love Notes, featuring a flamingo.

   Here are my past Project Linus Mystery quilts.

2016 Grace's Get Well Garden

2017 Exploring the World with Ethan (couldn't find a picture of the whole quilt)

2018 Sweet Violet’s Bakery and Confectionery

2020 Quarantine Sew Along - Side-by-Side

   I missed making last year's mystery quilt Logey Bear Leads the Way since I was in the middle of moving so I plan on sewing it along with Lucy's Love Notes. I am so looking forward to making both. 

   The patterns are very detailed with lots of tips, how-to's, and pictures. During the sew-along there is also a video for each step. These projects are perfect for a beginning quilter. There is also a very supportive Facebook group and prizes. If you would like to join in you can sign up at ProjectLinus.Org.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Garage Sale


   There is not much shopping in Grants Pass...Ross, Maurice, Walmart and Fred Meyers...not very exciting. There are a couple of pricey dress shops downtown but you have to be 25 years old and a size 6 to shop at them, I'm not either. For serious shopping you have to go 25+ miles into Medford to find a mall.

   So I hit garage and estate sales, thrift shops, and junk shops. I don't really need anything, but it is fun to look and sometimes I find a great deal.

   Last weekend I went to a garage sale just outside of town. The ad said sewing machines and a large like new cat condo.  Hmmm, I should check it out. She was even selling items before the actual garage sale. I email, she said come on by.

   Bella now has a new cat condo:

   She had a couple of sergers, a nice Brother sewing machine, a Brother embroidery machine that was already sold and a Singer 301 that was in mint condition - she was selling all of them crazy cheap. The Singer was tempting but I passed. She also had a lot of fabric, most of it was for clothes - dog clothes - including wool, corduroy, satin, velvet, and silk. She had some cottons and a batting.

   There was some yardage but mostly large scraps. I cut the scraps into 10 inch squares and 5, 2.5, 2, 1.5 inch strips. The fabric in the upper left corner is 100% cotton lawn, 4 metres from Liberty of London. I don't think it can be used in a quilt. It almost makes me what to try garment sewing. I'll have to see if I can find a pattern. It has been ages since I've done any garment sewing. I also got two Hawaiian prints that are almost upholstery weight. I think they will make great purses or tote bags.

   She gave me a bag full of fabric that she had cut up for dog coats. Most of the fabric had a coordinating liner. Since they are sleeves and jacket fronts and back for small dog jackets, none of the pieces are very big. I haven't decided how I'm going to cut them up. I've been wanting to make a scrappy Irish Chain quilt, maybe I'll cut  2.5 inch squares.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Finished quilt top


Thanks for your comments about the border color choices. When I finally read the pattern directions to get the border dimensions (not a part of the cutting instructions) it said cut a 1 1/2 inch light border, a 1 inch dark FLANGE, and a 1 1/2 inch medium border. Probably should have read the directions to begin with instead of going by the picture. So I threw out all of my selections and made a border as directed...problem: I tend to sew a scant 1/4 inch seam - consistently, so for the most part it is okay, however when attaching a pieced outer border even consistently is a problem. I had to add another inner border to make the pieced border fit.

After adding light border I used the black for my flange (I've never added a flange to a quilt before), red for the medium, and a dark navy for the extra border.  The finished top is about 46 inches square. While my seams may be small my star points are almost perfect! And if I didn't confess about the borders no one would have known. ;o) Now I have to figure out how I'm going to quilt it.

I recently won a fat 8th bundle of fabric and one of Pam Buda's new patterns.

I'm not a big fan of purples but these are beautiful. There isn't enough fabric to make the pattern so now I'm on a search for the perfect pattern.

I also did a little estate sale shopping this past weekend...I want to make every quilt in Civil War Legacies.

My picture doesn't do the colors in the print justice. I don't think the frame is original and I'm seriously thinking of having it matted and framed to give it more of an impact.

While I was adding borders I used the Forest Friends blocks as my leaders and enders. All the blocks are made, now I need to piece the center.

The border is a border fabric...

There is enough yardage to have the print frame the quilt. Any suggestions on how to fussy cut the border strips? The pattern didn't use this fabric for the border.

And here is a picture of my forest friend. Mama and sibling were also in the backyard but I couldn't get a good picture of them.