A place for me to journal and post pictures about my quilting adventures.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

doll beds and quilts finished!!

The doll bed on the left is the one my father made my daughter about 27 years ago. It is in the rocking position. The beds have a mattress support that slides on 4 dowels, so little ones can change it from stationary to rocking cradle just by flipping the bed. Believe me, this is used a LOT! This bed now belongs to dear granddaughter (DGD) #2. I made a new mattress for it to match her nursery for her birthday in August. For Christmas I added the patchwork pillow and quilt.

The 2 beds on the right are the reproductions that my husband and I made. The middle one is for DGD#2, the far right one is for DGD#1. She will also be receiving the doll cradle that I wrote about the last posting. If you are wondering why they will have 2 each, one is for leaving at Grandma's house as they play dollies here a LOT! I will let them choose which one goes home and which one stays here. They will also be receiving My Friend Mandy dolls purchased from eBay. My daughter brought over the doll clothes I made her a long time ago, and they play with them a LOT. They no sooner put on one outfit, than it is changed for another, and it all about the shoes!

The two pink quilts are UFO's that are finally finished. The right one is from scraps of bridesmaid dresses from DGD#1's aunt's wedding. Her mother wore one of the dresses. I made a baby quilt for their first baby (now 12) from the same type of blocks. The doll quilt is from the left-overs. The middle quilt is from more of the rail fence blocks left over after making DGD #1's big bed quilt. The red one is made from left-over fabric from DGD#2's nursery. I actually cut it out, made it, quilted it, and even turned the binding all in one session. I was on a roll.

Now I'd better be on a wrapping roll, I have a lot to do today.
Happy quilting and Merry Christmas,

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Doll cradle #2 finished

To the left is Granddaughter #1's (4 y.o.) big bed quilt. When I finished it I had cut offs that were all different sizes. I kept sewing them to each other, ending up with a long strip of 1-1/2" pieces. I sewed them to the sage green strips (leftovers from the borders), and made simple rail fence blocks. They sat in a box as a UFO until a little bit ago. Now they are the pillow and quilt for the new doll cradle Santa will bring. There were enough left to make one other small quilt, so it will be used as well.
Tomorrow the polyurethane should be dry on the doll beds DH and I made, so they will also have to mattresses, quilts, and pillows. More pictures tomorrow.
Happy Quilting and a Merry Christmas,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

One down, many to go

My dear friend and I each bought one of these cradles for our granddaughters at a recent craft fair. She doesn't quilt, so I made her DGD the mattress, quilt, and pillow needed for dolly bedtime. The fabrics match curtains, quilt, window seat cover, and pillows I made for her nursery. We are meeting these friends tonight for an outing, so I will deliver them. It feels really good to be all the way finished with one person, even though there are plenty more to finish. We used the circle lord small spiral that comes on the star disk to quilt the center of each block. It left the corner seams a bit "poochy", so I also quilted along the seam lines, so now it lays flat and meets with my approval.

Happy Quilting,

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Santa's helper busy, busy

Santa's workshop is at my house. I have been busy downstairs in the shop "helping" with DH's desk project for the railroad, and making doll beds (2). I'm using a pattern drawn off a bed my father made for my daughter. It feels really good to be making something that he had made. I start the staining tomorrow, and will post pictures when they are finished.
I've started on the mattresses and quilts. The one on the left is from left-overs of left-overs from DGD#1 baby quilts and then big bed quilts. The color is off - it is a softer lavender. I quilted it by trying Dawn's "daisy" from her DVD. I really need to figure out how to add a link, but not tonight. It is very nice to have the Nolting on the new table and working so well. Now if the operator would guide better I could have some great quilts. Learning curves - ugh.

I don't know how purse making blossomed. DD brought over a pair of DGD's hand-me-down jeans to see if I could fix the zipper. She had managed to not only break off the zipper pull, but also the "hole" that it attaches to on the zipper itself. These are toddler size 2 jeans, so I wasn't about to take the time to replace a zipper in pants she would wear for a month or so. They had cute hearts on the back pockets, and a heart on the front, so I decided they would look good as a purse. DD saw it and soon gifted me with more clothes to use. We have 2 grandnieces that are here on Christmas Eve, as well as the 2 DGDs, so these gifts are finished, ready to go. The 2 nieces will find a gift card in the pocket of theirs.
We brought in the Christmas tree tonight, and the lights are on, but that's it. Everything seems to take longer these days. I'm off arthritis medicine for a month, and it definitely impacts my output. Hopefully tests will go well, and I can start taking them again the first of the year. DH and I are going to Disneyland and the Road to California quilt show in January, so I want to be in tip top shape - at least as good of shape as possible.
Happy quilting

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pillowcases finished for QOV

I thought I was ready to pack up the Quilts of Valor that I finished last week, but then realized I didn't have pillowcases for them. I used some donated fabric, and made 4 pillowcases. They are all the same, and I don't know if I like it that way or not, but I'm not making more tonight!

We spent Thursday and Friday taking the long arm machine and portions of the table up to Nolting in Iowa. They "fine tuned" the machine, and we traded parts to make our table a true 24" table. DH doesn't have time to reassemble it for a few days, so I am trying to be patient waiting, and waiting, and waiting. He thinks he will be able to do it Tuesday. I really need to finish some things for Christmas, so I hope everything goes together well. We kept all the 14' pieces here and traded out the rest, but DH will have to do some milling on some of the parts to make everything fit. He is able to do all that, but it does take time.

We visited the Pine Needle quilt shop in Cedar Rapids while we waited for the machine. I thought it was destined when their name and location came up on Ricky Tims' newsletter site last week. The shop is bright and cheery. I found some fabric I "needed" to try one of the projects in a new quilt book on woven quilts. I want to try to replicate one in the book before I try my own thing. I'm so traditional, it is really hard to step out and try things more artsy.

I hope everyone has a good holiday (USA), and is able to enjoy friends and family.
Happy Quilting

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Exciting trip to Hiawatha, IA

We've loaded the Nolting (long arm) machine and parts to the table for our trip to Hiawatha, IA tomorrow. The Nolting needs a new chip in the stitch regulator, and Nolting is graciously making up table parts to turn the 30" table back into a 24" table to match our machine, a 24" Pro. It will be so wonderful to work from the back side and actually be able to reach across the quilt! We bought the machine from a dealer who was no longer representing Nolting several years ago, and we were not told that the table and the head didn't match. When we ordered the Circle Lord and it didn't fit is when we found out that is was a different size. We are Newbies at this.

I'm washing up the four quilts of valor so we can mail them on the way out of town tomorrow. I will be glad to send them on their way and have that task marked off my list. I'm sure after we reassemble the Nolting I will want to be down there until about Christmas time. VBG.

Happy quilting
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Monday, November 17, 2008


I've finished up some of the RWB Chinese Coins quilts from HeartStrings donations. I think I've posted pictures of the tops before, but these are finally ALL finished!! The top left one is a Disappearing 9-patch that I pieced at Retreat in February. I quilted it with meandering stars and loops.

The lower left one is the first Funky Caterpillars from the RWB coins. I quilted it with the swirls giant template from Circle Lord. The top right one is a string-X. I really enjoyed making it from sets of 4 CC strips. I call it the "Soldier quilt" I quilted freehand stars and loops on it as well.

The lower right one is also a String-X, but with sashing. This is the first time I tried quilting spirals with the Circle Lord frame so I could center the swirls in each block. While I like its appearance well enough, I didn't like all the starts and stops - then going back and burying all the ends. I think I need to do a few more with this template and see if I can figure out how to do it more efficiently. I never was one to "doodle", and definitely can't draw anything recognizable, so my learning curve on the long-arm is really long!
These quilts will all go in the mail after washing to Alycia for her Quilts of Valor goal. It was great working with all the Heartstrings Chinese Coins. I'm taking a break from them until after the Holidays. I should be able to make 8-10 more from the strips that were made and sent to me. I have most of them "mixed", and sewn into long strips to cut different variations of Funky Caterpillars. So far each quilt is slightly different - so I'm still meeting that personal goal.
Happy quilting,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans' Day

Today I finished up the 4th of the Quilts of Valor that I'm doing for Heartstrings. They need labels, pictures, pillowcases, and washing, then they will be sent to Alycia for her goal of 400 quilts by June. I thought it was appropriate to work on them today in honor of our Veterans. It seems a small thing to say thank you as compared to the sacrifices they make and made for our country. It's too grey of day here for pictures, so hope to post some tomorrow. Tonight I will be sewing on labels.

I did finish up the Coke cushions for the soda fountain. I used up the rest of the strips I had piping on by making two pillows - a round one and a square one. I only need to carry them downstairs and attach them. I only have a few scraps of the fabric left, so I can finally say that the sewist is finished, and quilting can resume. My Bernina was a casualty in the making of these cushions - the needle struck the zipper foot, and now the machine goes clunk, clunk. DH says it needs to go to the hospital as the timing is off. I will miss it, but I do have a backup Bernina for the interim.
Happy Quilting

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween UFO finish

Ghosts and goblins have shown up for Halloween!

Two bolts of cotton batting were delivered yesterday, and they are sitting in the entry, waiting for me to haul them down the street to the quilting machine. I decided they would make good ghosts, so cut out some scrap eyes, pinned them to sheets, and the "ghosts" held the candy. We don't have many Trick or Treaters, but I still enjoy the few that come. It was the first T or T for the DGD#2, who is two, and she seemed to enjoy it. She spent yesterday and part of today being sick at Gma's, so she only went to a few houses with her cousins. I doubt she will be allowed to try any of her candy.
I hung the two Halloween quilts on the photo backdrop holder, lowered so little people could see it. I really don't like how you can see into half the house from the front door, so the quilts fixed that problem. I actually finished the Medallion Winding Ways quilt. I quilted it with a lime green spiderweb. My DH wanted me to add a spider, but I think it is fine without it. The grins and eyes of the jack-o-lanterns and the skeletons glow in the dark. If I had thought of it in time, I would have quilted it with glow-in-the-dark thread. I was just glad to finish it - I cut it out for last year, then promptly forgot to make it. I cut out two, so there is still one more to finish. DGD#2 will like it just as well next year. The one in the picture went home with the other two grands tonight. I hope your Halloween was fun and safe.
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grrr, I don't like sewing

This is our guest room / soda fountain / photo studio / crews' quarters, and a place for my husband to house some of his antiques. About 6 months before he moved from California (3 years ago), he found out he liked woodworking. He built this room, minus the sheetrock and silestone. I did a lot of "holding", a lot of cleaning of the antique stove, the tile work, and part of the finishing of woodwork.

The only thing of mine in the room is the rocking chair (the little red one is his). You can see into the bathroom / darkroom. To the right just out of the picture is one of the entrances into the railroad room, and then there is a Murphy bed he built. We move the table and chairs, and guests have a place to sleep. If you're into railroads, here is a link to DH's Website. http://www.sandcrr.com/

What does this have to do with hating sewing? I'm a quilter, not a "sewist"!

You may have noticed the Coke theme. We didn't have to buy all that stuff, DH already had it. We did buy the fountain stools and the ice cream table and chairs. They have very hard seats. The stools now have soft, comfortable, MISERABLE TO MAKE cushions. We bought the fabric a year or so ago. I finally made them as a birthday surprise while DH is out of town. This has taken 2 1/2 days, with 2 trips to JoAnn's fabrics for piping (I wish I had remembered the formula for circumference wasn't the same as figuring the diagonal of a quilt block earlier). The bad news is that I still have 4 more to make for the chairs. I don't think I'll be able to finish them before 1830 tomorrow when he returns. Maybe by his next birthday!

Don, if you happen to read this before you go downstairs, Happy Birthday!
Happy quilting (it's much better than sewing),

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Home from AQS Des Moines, Iowa

Last Tuesday I drove to Des Moines to attend the AQS -American Quilters Society - show there. I just came home last night. One of the instructors was Joen Wolfrom, and I have always wanted to take a color class from her. My wish was granted. I actually took 2 classes with her, one was on landscapes, and the second was a log cabin class, but much of the class was spent on color theory. I've tried multiple times to put luminosity and luster (light and reflected light) in my quilts, without much success. I think I understand it a bit better now.

AQS was very clear that personal pictures of the quilts in the exhibits should NOT be posted on the web. I think it is okay to post these pictures of our class in progress on landscapes.

This was the first project. We were learning how to put distance, as well as luminosity, in a landscape. Mine is the middle one in the top row, with the crooked peninsula. I can't seem to glue straight. It was so interesting to see them up on the wall, and to discuss and critique them. It was a very non-threatening environment, and I think we learned a whole lot of info in a very short time. I have every one of Joen's books, and have studied them, but it was so much better to take the class, see examples, and have suggestions on how to improve them to produce the look we wanted.

This is the second project. For both of them she gave us a printed simple outline, and we cut and glued fabric in place. Mine is the last one on the lower right. I found luminosity! Interestingly, I was ready to give up (we only had 30 minutes), but Joen came by and commented on how great the mountains looked! She said just put in a straight line and your meadow (she already knew I had that fabric). Amazing what feedback can do!

The second day was a different class, but she combined color theory into an offset log cabin - I'm not sure that's the name, but the logs are different sizes so it has the illusion of curves. She gave individual help on picking out the fabrics, and I watched everyone's. I didn't care if I made any blocks or not, I was just thirsty for information. When we did show and tell at the end of class - with discussions of what worked - I commented that I wished her books (we were talking about Color Play) had more on luminosity and luster, with lots of pictures. She told us that the editors didn't want to include any of the last chapter where she covered these. I want her to write a whole book on it! I hope C&T is listening!

I also had two "lectures", one with Judy Martin, and one with a show and tell with Eleanor Burns. They were both excellent, and Eleanor is a "hoot".

Friday was my last day, and travel day, so I looked at all the quilts, rather quickly, and strolled by the vendors, just stopping at the ones I had specifically wanted to see. I picked up some cones of Sew Fine thread at the Superior booth, hand-dyed gradations of yellow from Joy's, and a few notions. On my way home I was within 12 miles of Winterset, IA, so stopped at the Fons & Porter warehouse sale. For me, I was very good. I picked up 3 bright but dark blue pieces for Quilts of Valor, some toned soft colors for backgrounds on the Offset Log Cabin, and one black and red batik to finish a project for my daughter. It's amazing how Stashbusters changed my buying pattern. I had already shopped my stash for these items - they weren't there - so only bought them. I only spent $78, so thought I did well, especially with the financial climate.

This was a great trip, even if I did go alone (company in the car would have been nice). The great thing was that I could spend 3 days not hearing about the election or stock market! Being home is nice, too!
Happy quilting,

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Picture of the finished string quilt with Hearts

Someone asked about posting a link to the previous photo I had on this blog for this quilt made from HeartStrings purple project group blocks. I did quilt it, finally, with spirals of course. It is bound, labeled, and off to be auctioned at a Friends United fund raiser. This group takes educational materials, including computers and the like, to Honduras. I'm quilting another top that was donated for them as well.

I want to make sure and give credit to Evelyn Sloppy for the pattern for the Hearts in this quilt. I've owned her book (Log Cabins, I think) for a long time. When I posted pictures of these blocks for help with settings, many HeartStringers asked for the pattern. Evelyn Sloppy's book was out of print, but she graciously gave us permission to post the pattern on the Heartstrings website. A few weeks later I noticed it was on the Martingale Publishing site as a free pattern. What a neat lady!
Happy quilting,

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Time out for a fun UFO

I've been quilting on on the long-arm the last few days, but took time today - and the last few evenings - to work on this UFO. I cut two of these out last summer (2007) when I was cutting out some other Winding Ways blocks. I put them in a drawer, and only remembered them in late October. I saw them in the drawer a few days ago, and decided I should probably work on them if I wanted them for this Halloween. It's now a flimsy, and I think I will have time tomorrow to quilt it. I had planned on using circles to quilt this, but this quilt doesn't have the overlapping visual circles that you often see with Winding Ways. This is the Medallion quilt setting from Nancy Elliott MacDonald's book Winding Ways Quilts (I love the matching templates), so I need to figure another way to quilt it. I'm open to any suggestions!!!

I've been working on quilting Chinese Coins Quilts of Valor, and have 3 ready for binding. I'm attending the AQS show in Des Moines, Iowa next week, and will have 3 evenings in the hotel. I don't drive after dark, so I'm taking my Ott light and binding to turn while I sit with my feet up. That does, however, mean I have to apply binding to three quilts before I leave next Tuesday.

I almost "had" to buy fabric for the Chinese Coins - against my Stashbuster goals. I really wanted navy fabric for the binding on 2 of the CCs. I mentioned it to my friend Rose - who gave me all the other red, white, and blue fabric - and she came up with about 3 yards of navy Kona cotton that will work just great!

Okay, enough dawdling - I'm off to trim up edges and make binding!

Happy Quilting,

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quilt borders

Last weekend we finished moving things in my closet so I could hang my quilts. I have some that my grandmother made, and I didn't want to leave them folded. I have 2 butterfly quilts that she made. The green one was probably made in the 50's, and the turquoise one was made in the early 60's (it came to our house in 1964). After my brother left for college, they were always on the twin beds in his room with fancy embroidered and crocheted pillowcases on the pillows as the quilts weren't long enough to cover the pillows.

If you examine the green quilt, you can see it has the sashing fabric all around the outside. The turquoise one doesn't have any on the top or bottom. I really like how the green one looks - complete! The turquoise one looks like Grandma ran out of sashing fabric, but I know that wasn't the case. Grandma used that same sashing fabric in quite a few quilts, both before and after this quilt was made. She must have bought it by the bolt! I think that she knew that the second quilt was to fit a twin bed (my mother cajoled her into making it), and since my brother's beds had footboards, she didn't need to add top and bottom borders . The blocks are slightly larger on the turquoise one, so it fit the twin without the borders.

Last night I decided I needed my design wall back, so I put together these HeartStrings purple project blocks. I had it together as in the left photo, and it fit the size guidelines we use for HeartStrings. I couldn't stand it - it just didn't look complete. I kept telling myself I could put a wide binding on it, but I didn't convince myself. I had already located another piece of the purple - for use in another project - and decided to cut four more border pieces. I attached them around all four sides, and now, to me, the top looks complete. It's a bit large, but maybe some needy person needs a quilt for a double bed.
Happy Quilting

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Timberline Log Cabin Opportunity Quilt Finished!!!!

"Timberline Log Cabin" is from Judy Martin's latest book. It's really nice that she gives permission to use her patterns for opportunity quilts. I fell in love with this pattern and Judy's color choices. I should have read the directions better - those logs finish to 7/8" wide. This finished to 96" x 96". I love LeMoyne stars, so this should be my quilt. It's too bad it is an opportunity quilt. I wonder how many tickets I would have to buy to be assured of winning it. I guess I'll have to make my own.

My friend Rose and I ended up doing most of the work on this. The quilting was done by Don Sutcliffe. It has taken up most of this year's quilting time for me. I've only finished a few charity quilts and this. I hope to resume work on some UFOs and Christmas gifts now that this is finished. I turn it in Saturday. If you are in the Kansas City Area, it will be at Crown Center for the Quilt Guild of Greater Kansas City show September 27th through October 12th.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Still around

Hi. I haven't posted for two weeks or so, and will hopefully have some pictures of finishes in the next few days. We have lots of late August birthdays to celebrate that cuts into quilting time - but in a good way. Youngest DGD turned two, DS turned 40, DDIL turned 39 and holding.

I've been binding, and binding, and binding. The opportunity quilt is finished, charity quilts finished, funky caterpillar #1 is quilted, waiting for binding, etc. More later.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Funky Caterpillar Pattern / Tutorial

I think I have posted a link in my sidebar to the pattern for making Funky Caterpillars out of Chinese Coins. I added it to the files section of HeartStrings so you can access it that way as well. This link has been changed since I first posted this message. If the previous link didn't work for you, would you please try it again. Thanks to all of you who let me know it wasn't working before. Please let me know if this one works.

Stashbusters is having a retreat weekend, so I thought I would make it available for anyone to try. I would love to see pictures of any blocks / quilts you make from it.

Happy quilting
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Time out from Chinese Coins

I took time out from HeartStrings sewing to do a few personal projects. Yesterday we hosted DGD#2’s second birthday party. My DD previously brought over the doll crib she had growing up, and a doll cradle my father made for her. She asked me to “redo” them to match DGD’s room. I took apart my DGD’s crib's dust ruffle to make the dust ruffle, mattresses, and pillows for both doll beds. Of course, she took them home yesterday after the party before taking a picture. I also made a quilt for the doll, but true to form, it was only partially assembled when given. Tonight I’ve finished the top, so will quilt it soon and send it home for the bigger doll bed. It's made from scraps from DGD's quilts. Oh, no, I just noticed the error as I've posted the picture. I guess I'll be doing a bit of frogging tomorrow. It's made out of 1" finished squares.

I’ve been thinking about the funky caterpillar pattern – still waiting to hear from the second tester before I post it – but I needed a dose of brights. I remembered the rest of the HeartStrings purple project blocks I had here, so decided to put them up on the design wall. I’m playing with a strippy zigzag setting. My DH pronounced it “jarring”, which means it is just right for me. I auditioned a toned purple for the strips, but it just died.

This set of 48 blocks is from last year’s HeartStrings special project – regular HS blocks - but with purple centers. The grouping Sue sent me seems to be all from one person, and the blocks included a lot of novelty / kid stuff. Some of them were used for the HS quilt with the string hearts.
I’ve read comments from HeartStrings block makers saying it is mindless sewing when they want to “veg” for a while doing something calming. I don’t think the person who made these blocks did so without thinking about them. The first set of 24 I used had all the same centers. It was a bright violet novelty, with red, yellow, lime green, orange, and white hearts in them. Almost all of the rest of the strings reflected those colors. Many of the blocks had both the center strip and the next strip out of the same fabric for 3-4 blocks. It really helped to emphasize the barn raising set I used for them. It was just a joy to sew with these blocks. Thanks to the unknown HeartStringer for making them so special. I hope this second quilt will be special as well. I think it is really great to be involved with this group of quilters who do so much for charities.

Happy quilting,


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Old Chinese coins finally finished

I finally took time today to put binding on this HeartStrings quilt. The Chinese coins were from HS's first coin-making session. These had a lot of novelty fabrics in them. I actually assembled it while I was still taking pain meds after my total knee. I was making a horizontal strippy, and didn't measure, and came out with a very long, narrow quilt. I ended up cutting it in half, and sewing the two sections together to make this. I quilted it about 2 weeks or so ago; a friend did part of it under direction as she is trying to learn the long-arm machine. I used the Circle Lord Giant templates - my favorite spiral. I really like the look of all those curves with the straight columns. The binding still needs sewn down, but Hurray! there are people in the guild that LIKE to turn binding and they are on the charity quilt committee. This one will be donated through my guild to the local children's hospital. They are always looking for quilts suitable for teen boys. They never seem to receive enough of those.

The rest of my week will be spent preparing for and celebrating DGD#2s birthday. She is spending the day with me tomorrow, and then we will have the "big" party with the cousins, etc. on Sunday. Maybe next week I will be able to find more quilting - not just piecing - time. I sure have a pile of tops waiting.

Gratitudes: A loving husband who has a hobby that he is passionate about, so understands and supports mine. School has started!

Happy Quilting,

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Finally finished - funky caterpillars (RWB CC#4)

Hurray! I finished the Funky Caterpillars top, and the tutorial. I've sent the tutorial to two people who volunteered to test it. One is already making blocks, and I've heard back from her. After I receive the second opinion, I'll post it in my sidebar. I used a tri-recs to cut it, so you might want that information ahead of time.

If you look closely at the picture, you will see that the middle column has red stripes (accent strips), and the side ones have blue. I used up all of the blue stripe fabric - Yeah - one goal met, at least a little bit. Remember, I wanted to use up all the fabric once I pulled it out of my Americana (RWB) bin.

Barb from HeartStrings left me a message that these were her Chinese Coins in QOV#4. I used every last inch of them, and blended in a few from someone else to have enough to make the 3 columns. Thanks you, Barb, for identifying your strips. I should have labeled them when I received them. It's great to know who made them.

Today has been a "prep" day for future coins quilts. I sewed together 400" of Chinese Coin strips so I can make a 4 column "Funky" next. It will have more options for settings with the even number of columns. I've also blended several groups of coins into strips long enough to cut another set of 48 string X blocks. I'll be doing more cutting tonight of corner triangles and sashing. I'm really having fun playing with these coins. I also washed up and squared some backing so I can begin quilting these. Maybe I will be able to quilt one next week. I want to practice with the circle lord, and #3 is perfect for what I want to try.

Happy quilting,
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


If you remember, I set personal goals to meet while creating quilts out of the RWB Chinese Coins. One of them was to use up all the fabric in this bin, and I’ve made some progress, however some of it just ended up on the cutting table, although most of that is from the “stacks”.
I’ve told a few of my quilting friends about making QOV, and Rose decided she wanted to help. Right now she isn’t doing much sewing, but is trying to pare down her fabrics. She visited today, and this is what my ironing board looked like when she left. There is over 20 yards of fabric there! I think I’m going to have to make a lot of quilts.

I have been working on Funky Caterpillars 2. DH is gone tonight, but will help me Photoshop the pictures and add them to the test directions tomorrow and Friday. I thought you might like a progress picture. I’m really liking not having any waste!
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Progress on Funky Caterpillars

I know I said the tutorial for Funky Caterpillars would take about a week, but that was before I decided to rework the whole pattern. If you remember, the previous method ended up with a whole lot of waste, both of Chinese coins and background. With the help of my engineer husband, we were able to create the blocks / quilt in EQ6. I haven't worked with plane geometry formulas for angles since high school / college, so it is very nice to have a resident authority (DH) who works with them all the time.

So, this is the progress: The text part of the tutorial is written, in Word, and I have made test blocks to assure accuracy. I am now making the actual quilt, and DH is taking pictures whenever I ask of each step. I hope to finish that over the next couple of days. I'll move the pictures into the document, and then DH will put it in a PDF file so it will be downloadable. Then I will post it on blogger. Just a heads up, you will need a Tri-Recs template set to use in cutting funky caterpillars. It provides the angle for the zig-zag.

I'm really hoping the new tutorial will be worth the wait.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

RWB Chinese Coins #3 finished top

I was able to finish the HeartStrings RWB CC#3 this evening just after DGD#1 arrived for her "Girls' Night". When I put #3 up on the design wall to take the picture, DGD decided she and the dolly, with quilt, needed to be in the picture, too. Does anyone recognize their blocks?


Quick update on CC#3 - Half-way

Yesterday was another day of Gma's summer camp, so not much progress on CC#3. I was able to sash the blocks I had finished - I'm half-way. By using the cream corners and the bright blue, I was trying for the effect of depth - like looking out a window, but still seeing the frame as closer. It "kinda" looks that way on the design wall, but not so much in the picture. I have most of Joen Wolfrom's books, and I love what she does with depth, illusions, etc., but I don't seem to be able to duplicate it on my own. I hope to take a class with her one day. I was reading this blog today, http://www.elaineadairpieces.blogspot.com/ and was so impressed at the change in her Kaleidoscope quilts after she had taken a class on value. Wow! Impressive! No DGKs today, so I may be able to finish CC#3. DH returns late tonight so I have most of the day to play!

Happy quilting!


Monday, August 4, 2008

On to RWB CC #3

Mary, list mom of HeartStrings, sent me a message that she posted a link to my blog on the HS blog, so I thought I should catch up on my progress.

My DGC slept in yesterday, and I couldn't go back to sleep, so I tackled the borders on CC#1. It is now a flimsy, measured and labeled waiting for backing and quilting. I finished the 48 blocks for CC#3, and started sashing them last night. I'm about 1/3 done with them, and began thinking about my next top.

When I was quilting Sunday, my friend had some quilt books laying out. When I took a break, I thumbed through them. One was on scrappy quilts by Gayle Bong. http://tinyurl.com/6r7b52 There was a pattern there using Chinese Coins that was interesting, and I later found almost the same thing in my copy of Evelyn Sloppy's string book. http://tinyurl.com/62va36 I thought that would probably be my next layout, but the CC strips had another idea.

The RWB CC's are stacked on the back-side of my sewing table, in my line of vision when sewing. They have started to speak to me! There is this one group that is made up of lots of strips less than an inch thick. It contains one of my most favorite fabrics, medium-light blue with silver etching, along with many others that I also like (it's really hard to not like RWB). These strips are saying "We've been waiting patiently, isn't it our turn now? We may be skinny and a bit petite, but we really want to be caterpillars, pretty please?" I looked in the stacks of fabric, and found a big enough piece of blue clouds with tiny white stars, and another of blue skinny stripes, so I guess I will be nice to them, and let them be CC#4, funky caterpillars. http://tinyurl.com/6l56d7 The maker of these CC, has them in groups of 3 alike, so they lend themselves to this layout.
I've been asked for the funky caterpillars "pattern", so I previously made a rudimentary tutorial on my webshots. I'll try to redo it with this next quilt and put it in a pdf file and post it. Hopefully it will be easier to follow. Please give me about a week until you ask about it, I need DH's help and he is out of town.
Happy quilting,

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Not much sewing time / field trip

I lost 3 days of sewing time to a migraine - I hate those and how much of my time they take up! Friday DH and I had a field trip for just the two of us. We went to Columbia, (MO) for a postcard show. I had no idea that it is so much of a hobby, one that can be expensive as well. DH occasionally bids on postcards on eBay - ones that have pictures of scenes along the railroad he is researching and building a model of in our basement (http://www.sandcrr.com/). He asked someone that outbid him if he could have a copy of the postcard. They corresponded, so now we are searching out local shows for postcards as well.

We did have a bit of quilty time when we visited the LQS - I loved these pillowcases with the animals peeking out. I bought some frog fabric for one of the great nieces - and I think this type of pillowcase would be perfect for her room. I will help, but she will make it herself. My purchases were limited. DH found these two pieces of train fabric, so we picked up some of it - it isn't easy to find, so we buy it when we see it. I also bought a new set of E templates. I have worn out one set, and I am using the large triangle to cut the add-on pieces of the string X blocks I'm making out of HeartStrings Chinese coins.
These are the ones I started today. I plan to sash these, so it will look a bit like Hole in the Barn door when they are set. They are quite a bright group, no matter what the colors look like here.

This little bitty quilt is what else I worked on today(12"x15"). I had already made the top as leaders / enders, then put a bit of border on it. I quilted it today, and put the binding and the hanging corners on by machine. I'll finish turning it one of these evenings while listening to TV.
I hope you've had a quilty day as well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Time out to work on a very old UFO

I took time today to clean up my area a bit, and uncovered a really old UFO. I'm taking a break today from the RWB coins, after doing some sorting of them.

The summer of 1979 was the only summer I was able to be home with my kids. The program I had been teaching closed in May, and I was going back to school in August. My DD would have been 5 then, and I remember making a lot of doll clothes with her standing right next to me, giving me directions. She wanted a quilt for her dollies, so I bought 2 pillow panels of Precious Moments, a boy and a girl. I appliqued both the front and the back panels to white fabric - 50% poly, putting a piece of poly batting underneath. I then quilted the panels, sewed borders on the boy, and hand quilted it. I did wonder why the quilting on the boy didn't puff up. Oh, I had never taken a quilting class, and only had read a few quilting books from the library.

Somewhere between the boy and the girl, I decided I didn't need to use a hoop to quilt. The girl ended up badly pulled out of shape, with a lot of puckering. I didn't know how to fix it, so it was put away until about a month ago, when I decided to rip out the quilting and applique on the girl front - the back wasn't as bad. Today I actually (machine) appliqued the girl on the poly center, and added the borders I cut out so long ago. I noticed faint quilting markings on the center - a small template of hearts - it doesn't give near enough quilting. I remember that the boy was kind of saggy when my daughter had it up on her wall. Maybe I'll get this one quilted (machine) by Christmas time and can give it to her 2 yr old DD. She is now playing with her mother's dolls and the clothes we made together 29 years ago.

May an old UFO bring you a pleasurable trip down memory lane.