Saturday, March 31, 2012

Variety of Non-quilting Projects Completed

     I pulled out the embroidery module for my Bernina 185 and completed 2 projects. I had bought my mother a plain white knit top so I decorated it with a lacy white on white design. It makes the top much fancier.

She had bought herself a plain white sweatshirt jacket and asked me to embroider a bird on it.  I had let her look over my selection of bird designs and we decided on a hummingbird.  Now she is set.

I happened upon this fancy pink knit fabric at Hobby Lobby and thought it would make great skirt for my granddaughter.  Recently at Hamricks I saw a ladies top made out of the same material.
The skirt is cute so I hope it fits.

The fabric is a thin silky knit and it was a little difficult to sew.   I used my serger for the back seam.  I wanted to use the serger for the waistband but wanted to have it be a casing for elastic so I sewed it on my regular machine with the aid of Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape. That is one notion I have seen Nancy Zieman use on her show and I bought some when it was half price.  It came in very handy today.   One side of the tape sticks to one piece of fabric.You peel off the papertape and stick two pieces of fabric together in place, then sew. 
      I also took a few minutes to play with a fat quarter of Jinny Beyer’s “Rose Garden” fabric. It is very old.  Jinny specializes in designing border type fabrics with symmetrical designs.  With only a fat quarter I was able to cut 4 SMALL repeats and stack them. Because of my small piece and the way the line of symmetry fell, the outer edges of these blocks are bias.  I was thinking of adding triangles to make them a square in a square but that would put bias edges together so I may have to frame them with straight pieces first.  The little rectangle on the right shows you a little of the fabric design before being cut up. 

I don’t have a plan for these blocks.  I just wanted to play with the symmetry of the fabric.  On Jinny’s website    there are lots of free block patterns, many of which use symmetry to make interesting blocks.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fabric For Personal Use ONLY

     Do you pay attention to the info on the selvedge of the fabric you buy? 

I started thinking a lot about it and looking at some of my fabric after Bonnie Hunter’s Monday, March 26th blog post  ( ). 

Bonnie shared about Emily Cier, a modern quilter, who writes books for C&T.  Emily was threatened with being SUED for using fabric by a certain designer with a copyright on the selvage that says “For personal use only”.  You can find out more of the story on Emily’s blog here:
I know of 2 fabrics that I have with “For personal use only”.  I have not made quilts for sale but the idea that I cannot use this fabric to make anything to sell bothers me.  I plan to look more carefully at fabric and I will think long before I buy anymore such fabric. I want to be free to use it as I see fit.

Update:  I have just been reading Leah Day's post on the subject and it is an EXCELLENT read.   
Wow!  Thank you, Leah, for all the thought.

More Pinwheels Finished

     Today I finished 8 more floral pinwheels ( 2 sets using 4 different floral fabrics).  That should be 56 finished blocks. 

I need to take a break from them to get some other sewing projects ( not quilting ) done.  My mother wants a design embroidered ( by machine ) on a new sweatshirt jacket and a plain white shirt. I also bought some cute ruffled fabric for a pink skirt for my granddaughter.  I hate to shop so maybe I can also make time to make myself a new dress.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

More Pinwheels and Guild Monthly Challenge

    Last night I decided to turn my Swoon block into a pillow sham or European style pillowcase for my guild monthly (April ) challenge.  We can make a type pillow or pillowcase.  I used lots of blue and green scraps plus a few white strips to create the borders and make it large enough.  I plan to quilt it with a grid. 

   This afternoon I sewed another set of pinwheel blocks.  I have been making 2 pinwheel blocks for each floral fabric I use so each set of 4 fabrics makes 8 pinwheel blocks. Today I have 5 of the 8 finished and need a break. 

Tonight is dinner theater at church so that is all the sewing for today.

Friday, March 23, 2012

More Pinwheels Made

    This morning I finished another set of 8 pinwheel blocks for the king size quilt I am working on. So far 40 have been made. I think I will need 81 so I am half way finished with pinwheel blocks. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Adding Dresden Plates - Altering Woodpile Top

    I have company here for the week to help give my mother some attention so I thought I would have more time to sew but that has not yet come true.  I have been sidetracked from other projects to work on the Woodpile top.  I do love brown and have made a couple of all or mostly brown quilts that I love.   However, before I got to add the borders for the brown Woodpile top, I started thinking that it needed something to brighten it up for the Hospice unit. 
    I  love Australian quilters, Kathy Doughty and Anna Maria Horner’s pattern designs “Indian Summer” and “Garden Party” so I was inspired to add several bright Dresden plates to the Woodpile quilt top.  They are not yet appliquéd.  I am still undecided about the border.  In the photo you may see a patch of stripe inner border and a brown for the outer border that is being considered.  

One note about piecing Dresden plates.  To make them lay flat, I sewed a quarter and trimmed them to 45 degrees.

Next sew 2 quarters and trim to 180 degrees - straight angle.  Then the halves go together nicely. 

Now I will get back to making floral pinwheel blocks.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My First Swoon Block

       A little while back I was reading quilt blogs and came across a lovely scrappy Swoon block.  Later I wanted to find it again but I did not know where I had seen it or who had made it.  I searched and searched and found it was made by Erin Singleton.  Check out her Jan. 17, 2012 post at

It inspired me to make one which I did today.  

I went through my green and blue scraps and pulled out pieces about 2 ½” and 3”.  This afternoon I cut all the pieces and marked the ones for HST.  Since the Swoon block has 81 pieces I broke it down and sewed it like nine patch units.  It has a lot of seams but it went together smoothly.  My block will finish at 16”.

In my searching I also found Double Nickel Quilts Blog with a little different piecing with fewer pieces. 

I'm a Ginger Monkey Blog started a Swoon Along.

Another blog with lovely scrappy swoon blocks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Woodpile Blocks Together

     At church quilting group I laid out the Woodpile blocks in rows and starting sewing.  After lunch at home I finished getting all the rows together.

It currently measures 54” by 72”.  Our group has been making quilts for the hospice unit at the local VA hospital.   They have requested quilts 72” by 86”.  If I add 8” of borders all the way around, the Woodpile quilt will finish 70” by 88”.  That is close.  I need to decide whether to do that or just add a small frame and leave it as a large lap quilt.

Anyone want to give me a recommendation?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Four More Pinwheels

    Yesterday morning was spent in the yard and then worked on squaring up.  Today I finished squaring up all 50 of the Woodpile blocks so tomorrow at church sew group I will start sewing rows together.  Then I went back to sewing pinwheels and made 4 more sets. 

With this gorgeous weather I have enjoyed spending the mornings in the yard and then the afternoons sewing. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Progress on Woodpile Blocks

      Friday was a fun day with a visit to the Charlotte Quilt Show.  The show was good but not inspiring. Then we made a shopping trip to Mary Jo’s for fabric.  I found a couple of nice green pieces I was looking for.  No sewing happened on Saturday.

     Today after church I decided to finish piecing the Woodpile charity blocks.  I have 50 which I am in the process of squaring up. 

I only need 48 for a setting of 6 by 8.  I used EQ software to check out some possible settings.  I discarded some because they require more matching of seams. 
Here are a few.  I love the variety. 

Or I could use all 50 for an on point setting but there is not the variety of neat settings. I have not decided which one I want to make.  There is no hurry.  Wednesday I will take them to work on at church quilting group.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quilting For Kathy

      I cut some more squares for the floral pinwheels but did not sew on them today.  Instead I machine quilted a small quilt.  Recently, a talented guild member, Kathy, passed away.  When a friend went through her quilting studio, she found at least 20 children’s quilt tops ready to be quilted.  I volunteered to finish one for Kathy.  Here it is quilted before binding. 


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Time Out for Some Gardening

       It sure looks and feels like spring here.  Yesterday afternoon I took 2 hours away from sewing to help a friend prune a pear tree. This afternoon I spent about 2 hours trimming back lantanas and weeding my yard.  Some year maybe I will get smart and spread pre-emergent herbicide.
      The beautiful weather and working in the yard inspires me to work with  floral fabric so it is good that I am working on the pinwheels with beautiful florals. I just finished 4 more and the HST units for 4 more are pieced.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

8 More Pinwheels

        The March winds were really blowing today so it was a good afternoon to stay in and sew.  It also reminded me that spring is getting close and I have a lot of yard work to do - maybe Monday.  Today I completed 8 more pinwheel blocks – 2 from each floral fabric. 

I love the florals and this is not a difficult block so I should get them made in a couple of weeks even though a king size quilt will take many blocks.  The slow part will be to appliqué the vine planned for a border, but I don’t need to worry about that today.  This quilt is being made from a reworked free design from McCall’s Quilting named “Summer at Mom’s” designed by Beth Hayes.  The leaflet directions are for a 56.5” by 72.5” quilt.  I am making it about 104” square with 9” pinwheels instead of 8”. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pinwheel Quilt Started

      Today has been cloudy and damp all day so a good day to stay inside and sew.  I finally started on a spring quilt that my daughter-in-law requested.  Will and Katherine picked out about 50 floral fabrics and the king size quilt will have about 81 pinwheels so I will make about 2 pinwheels from each fabric.  Before I started cutting white squares for pinwheels, I cut long lengthwise strips for an appliquéd border.

    Friday 3 friends and I went to Charleston for the Cobblestone Quilters Show.  I was pleased to see that a fellow guild member ( Vicki McCormick) ‘s quilt “Omigosh” placed first for pieced bed quilts.  I believe the tiny nine patch pieces are ½”.

                                                             Close Up 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Woodpile Blocks

       I have pieced 29 Woodpile blocks (not squared up yet) and wanted to put them up on the design wall to see how they will look.  That is when I discovered that I had not read the directions carefully. (Pattern from the 1991 book, Scrap Quilts Using Fast Patch, by Anita Hallock.) To create the Barn Raising layout half of the blocks should have been pieced with the slant going the opposite direction.  I have enough sections to piece about 21 more blocks.  With them all slanting the same direction, they can create this pattern.

      I will put these aside for now and think about whether I want to piece the others slanting the opposite direction or finish them all the same.  Any suggestions?