Saturday, August 29, 2015

Playing with Scraps ( aka Crumbs)

My Stack the Deck quilt top is together and waiting to be sandwiched for quilting. 

I had a pile of scraps left from the trimming of the blocks.  You know I can’t throw those away and most are also too large to be put in pet beds.

I started sewing pieces together, then found some block units that have very similar fabrics and decided to use them. 

I loved playing and have made 20 blocks that will finish at 6”.   The Stack the Deck blocks were easier and quicker so make a good beginner project. However, I like the crumb blocks better than the Stack the Deck blocks.  

There are so many ways to use them.  I can sew them together to make 12” finished blocks or use as “made-fabric” ( I love  and am inspired by Victoria Findlay Wolfe's work.)
They would make an interesting border.

I still have more scrap pieces so I may continue to play for a few more blocks.

   I better take a few minutes to clean house and then I'll be back to piecing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fun Sew Day

     I had a fun sew day with my church quilt group.  We worked on a lot.  Beverley turned in her bargello.  The bargello pattern is by Becky Botello on Craftsy and Beverley made it using fabrics from our donated stash.

Martha turned in a scrappy quilt that is a variation of the disappearing 9 patch. 

To celebrate that Shandon Presbyterian church will be 100 years old in 2016, we took a group photo to document our group work of service. You can see my stack and slice quilt in progress behind us. 

A couple of weeks ago I discovered the Strip Tango pattern from My Quilt Infatuation blog. The top finishes at 48” by 60” but could be enlarged easily.  I pieced one to share.  A couple of other members decided to start one. It has a modern and youthful feeling.

Before supper I finished a coiled fabric bowl.  I am scheduled to teach a 3 hour class for Midlands Tech on Saturday, September 26th.  I need some more samples so here is one.

Keep sewing and quilting !

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Prize Package

      I love to read quilter’s blogs and see what so many talented quilters are creating.   One such blog is Country Log Cabin  ( by Ruth.  She recently offered a give-away on her blog and I was the lucky winner of the 1st prize package.  I received a box stuffed full of wonderful items, two made by her.   

Thank you so much, Ruth.  Be sure to check out her blog.  She shares the link for the thread catcher pattern from All People

      I just checked and December 23, 2015 will be the 5 year anniversary of my blog.  I will try to come up with something special to share then.

Happy Sewing and Quilting!

Second Sewing Space and Trimming Blocks


        I have set up a “home away from home” close to granddaughters and family; and it is finally feeling more like home.  I moved my trusty 45 year old Kenmore for sewing time. 

Two afternoons after school Mattie and I spent time sewing.  I helped her start piecing quilt blocks and she assisted me by choosing which fabric pieces to sew next and finger-pressing seams.

      I put together a wonderful craft table given by a friend.  It was a full day process but well worth it.  I use one like it at home to sandwich quilts.  In this photo it is only half open.
It is a perfect height for cutting so I made time to trim blocks from the stack, slice and switch pattern I am working on.
     The small blocks get trimmed to 6 ½” but there is lots of room.

I trimmed so that I have the largest possible scraps which I saved.  If I do this pattern again, I think I would slice the pieces with the larger sections toward the outer edges instead of the middle; or I could start with smaller fabric squares to begin.  I do love the way they look and can’t wait to get the top together.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Progress Quilting and Piecing Stack and Shuffle

       I made a lot of progress quilting on the zigzag quilt.  Instead of simply meandering the whole quilt, I wanted to use it to practice on more custom designs.  I stitched-in-the-ditch along each zigzag using a walking foot.  It was not easy manipulating the large quilt but now that part is done. Next I will do free-motion quilting on the zigzags.

     When I needed a break from the quilting, I worked on the Stack and Shuffle quilt.  All the fabrics came from our church stash. This technique would be good for a beginner because a quarter-inch seam or even a consistent seam is not  important. 

As you can see from the next photo, I have plenty of room to trim and square up to the needed size.

One technique that a beginner would need to practice is offsetting the pieces so as to end up with a straight edge toward the center of the unit so as to have a straight edge for an intersecting seam or loosing the least on the edge when trimmed.

 I found it relaxing to piece these blocks. They will be squared up to the correct size later.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Week So Far

    Monday I spent several hours sandwiching this queen size quilt top.  I adopted blocks and fabric as a UFO without a pattern.   Sister Irene and I finished the top and now I am ready to start quilting. 

     Tuesday morning was the Day Bee meeting hosted by Lynne and Clara.  The snacks were delicious and the fellowship was special.  Sorry I took no photos to share.
When I came home, I started working on Barbie ( 11 ½” fashion doll ) clothes for the older granddaughter’s dolls.  I even worked on some during Bonnie’s Quilt Cam. 
 I made halter top, shorts,


and raincape. 

Years ago I made many, many Barbie doll clothes. Today there are easier techniques and I know better fabric choices.  I was also selective in choosing more simple patterns.

      Wednesday morning was church sew group.  I chose fabrics and started a Slice and Shuffle quilt from Karla Alexander’s book Stack the Deck.  I will share photos when I have more done. I think it is going to be fun.
The ladies also gave me some suggestions for my improv red, white and blue Lemoyne star.

Now to start some quilting before supper. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Improvisational Work

     Since I finished the fan quilt, I have been thinking about what big UFO to tackle next.  In the meantime I pulled out an improvisational Lemoyne star piece started from bandanas that were seconds.  I enjoy not following a pattern but today I had to work through a very challenging part of adding the triangle portions to the large star.  I had seen an episode of Sewing with Nancy where she showed some hints but building the triangle corners was more difficult than she led me to believe.  Especially without any directions to follow. This is what is together tonight. 

I have been trying to use my stash but now I need to shop for more dark blue.  Maybe one with a little red in it.  I have not decided how much more to add.  It is about 48” square right now.

     Yesterday I received my copy of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood and I look forward to trying out some of the scores ( lesson recipes).

     Today was open house at my local JoAnn Fabric store where I teach some quilting classes.  I worked on a one block sample for an upcoming beginner class.

      I have made 2 baby doll outfits for my younger granddaughter. She loves her baby dolls.

     The coming week will be busy with Day Bee and church quilt group, but I have decided which UFO I will finish next.  I put the backing through the wash so it is ready to piece.

Have fun sewing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Quick Comfort Quilts

   The past 2 days I have pieced 3 quick comfort quilt tops using fabric book panels.  Following are examples of fabric book panels and the quilt tops.
For the Dora panel I simply trimmed each page to a consistent size.

Because of the bear page layout, I did not want to cut the train in half.  I had to adjust the piecing. I also chose not to use the page that says "this book belongs to".

I appliqued a simple bear on a block instead.

For the Night Sky panel I appliqued a star on top of  "this book belongs to" and was still able to use the block. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fans Finished and Comfort Quilt

     I have been enjoying time with granddaughters (snack time on swim break)
and I have not sewn a stitch this week even though I setup a cutting table and had my portable sewing machine.
     Before I went, I did finish the binding on the fans quilt
and I am pleased to have finished 2 large bed quilts on my UFO list.

I also had time to quilt a comfort quilt for my church group.  I still need to find a binding.
I quilted with Leah Day's Echo Shortcut design which I have used before. I quilt it on a much larger scale than Leah does.

What will I tackle next? I'll have to think on that.