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

Monday, December 19, 2011

Design wall Monday 12-19-11


Just a really quick post today as I need to move to the quilting machine.

I thank everyone for the encouraging comments about the star quilt. I failed to mention that this is a component class, and all but one set of components are finished, all are cut out. I did take the suggestions to add more of the blue, and I’m incorporating them into the flying geese border that is still in progress. I pulled out the pattern piece for the center star, and may replace that, but paper piecing is hard to rip out without the paper still on without stretching, and I’d hate to stretch the center star. I added the one side of the feathers in the top picture, and liked the quilt better as the darker background toned down the “warmness” of the center border. I will finish this quilt, but after Christmas and some wood finishing.

Second photo is of the pieced backing for the bottom left quilt. The next photo is closer to the true color – this quilt has lots of pink. The bottom pictures are the two tops awaiting quilting (starts today). I love them both, and I will hate to see them go, but they are for a really neat project. As previously explained, they are for a friend (a very, very dear friend) to give her DIL. I asked for a story for the quilt label, and this is what she sent.

“I always wanted a daughter and now I have one.  From the first dinner I hoped to let her know that I would love her no matter what.  At the beginning, because Steve did and now because I do, love her no matter what.  I never expected to always agree, but hoped we would always be able to talk things out.  Of course the one thing I missed was her growing up years.  The quilt gave me an opportunity to see what she liked and did in those years.  Now she is a wonderful mother and wife (don’t let anyone say different), so I hope this quilt shows how much she means to all of us.”

Off to the quilting machine.

Happy Quilting, and a Merry Christmas to all!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Design wall Monday Dec 12,2011

It has taken a huge amount of time to get to this point on this Judy Niemeyer Lone Star, and when I put the diamonds up on the design wall last night I was really disappointed. I wanted to do a more neutral quilt, but this one is really blah. It’s not so bad up close where some of the smaller textures show, but it definitely is missing a zinger. I have my final class on it tomorrow. I bought enough patterns and fabric to make it up to a queen size quilt, but now that I see it, I’m not sure I want to put that much more work into it. Bummer. I hope your design wall Monday is better.

Happy Quilting,


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Some quilting finishes instead of pieces on the design wall for Monday 11-14-11

IMGP3013 This one ( the one that was being bound last time) is gone and sold. I took it over to DN(ephew)’s house to meet with the other SILs that were putting on the gala. I was told that they would make really great Christmas gifts. This one was auctioned Saturday night last with a ceramic duck centerpiece. I don’t know the going price.

The large queen quilt went for $325 – a steal – but it went to SIL’s sister, one of the people responsible for putting the sale on, so it was okay with me.
IMGP3016 IMGP3017
IMGP3018 The two above are the latest that I quilted Sunday. They are both Quilts for Kids. The one on the right was the kit, the left one was some odd pieces I was trying to use up – the animals were fussy cut from left over linear pieces that were used for a border on something else. I actually loaded them both at the same time by sewing the two backings together since they were almost the same size. I used the Circle Lord wave templates because everything else was angular. Sew fine blue on top with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I certainly have my best results this that combination, or using a Fil-Tec bobbin. Heirloom batting.

Yesterday I had Grandma duty – above and beyond – I took DGD2 to a birthday party at a place that had trampolines, inflatables, etc. Did I mention the screaming kids? DD was overseeing picture taking at a high School football game – playoffs.

After the game, DD called and said she was working with another instructor on the costumes for the musical – Beauty and Beast- that they need for dress rehearsal on Monday. The shipment had been lost in transit, and only part of it arrived. They promise the rest on Monday. I not sure just how, but I ended up at the school, with sewing machine, etc, fitting costumes and taking pieces off other costumes to fix the ones that were rented. Belle’s ballroom gown had been altered so much it was unreal. We ended up tucking the top of it into the skirt (did I mention it was huge and our Belle is about a size 3, and tall?), and using part of another dress for the bodice. DD with help fashioned the “fru-fru” for the neckline from the bustle of another costume. I took another costume and added black lace to the sleeves and hem, and it will be used instead of the Mexican festival dress that was sent for the the library scene. I still need to finish up making a pinafore that Belle wears in the first scene where she is shopping. The one that came with the rental was another Mexican festival costume. It was interesting to see the work and interaction of teachers, their family members, cast members and their parents. Everyone was working for a cause. I’m off now to finish the pinafore and add 6 inches to a huge skirt ruffle for another character. The show must go on!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mitering seams on binding

When I read the tutorial on binding for the Wannabes over at M Samm’s, I asked if she was going to include one on mitering the seams at the joins instead of blunt seams. It’s not hard to do, and really reduces the bulk in your bindings. The following is how I do it:


To sew the seams of the binding, place the end of the first piece, right side up, on the bed of your machine. Open up the second piece of binding and place the end, right side down, at a right angle to the first piece. The selvage of the bottom piece points to the right, and the selvage of the top is – well, to the top.

You might note that I have a line drawn on the bed of my sewing table directly straight to the needle of my machine. Some people use an angler, or other devices, I just use a Sharpie fine line marker. If you make a mistake, it cleans off with alcohol, and you can mark it again. It wears off with time, I just keep remarking it.

IMG_1094 I use a leader, put my needle down, and then place the exact angle where the two pieces of fabric meet up against the needle. This works well with any 45 degree join.


I match the bottom angle of the two binding pieces to the line on my machine bed. I sew the seam, keeping the angle on the line to the very end of the seam.
IMG_1096 I chain piece all the binding strips together the same way. I lay the end, RIGHT side up, of the piece just sewn up on the bed, then lay the end of the new strip at right angles again. There isn’t anything magical about chaining them, I didn’t do it for a long time as I just couldn’t “see” it. I finally go brave and tried it – after a few unsewn seams, I conquered it.



Here’s the three seams of the 4 pieces of binding needed for the small quilted table topper.



Trim the seams to about 1/4”, then press them OPEN! Fold binding in half and press.IMG_1101



Apply binding like you normally do. I’m using half inch binding here, and have cut a margin 1/4” of batting to fill up the binding. I quilted too close to the edge of the border, so this is a fudge for me.

Start sewing about 8” down from the start of the binding so you will have adequate room loose to do the final seam.




This next part I read and read about for years, and couldn’t figure it out. I saw it on a Fons and Porter show, but still was mixed up. It wasn’t until Darlene Zimmerman came to guild and taught from her book of finishes, that I finally understood it. For about 20 quilts, I kept her book open to that page while I did this final join. I’m so glad I persevered, as it looks so much better than anything I tried before.

Stop sewing about 8-10 inches from where you started the binding. Fold back the tails of binding, folding them about 1/4” apart.The fold should be about the middle of the loose ends.



Cut off the end of one side at the fold. Yes, AT the fold. Be brave, do it!!



Open up the binding you just cut off, lay the width of it across the remaining end of binding, and cut JUST the loose binding, not the one underneath.



Open out the ends of binding just like in the picture or in Darlene’s book, or Fons and Porter’s book, or any good binding book.


IMG_1109 Pin the ends together in a right angle, pinning exactly on your sewing line. Some people draw a line, I just follow the pins.


IMG_1110 Before I sew it, I gently pull it apart and make sure I have the join marked in the right direction. It saves a lot of frustration!


IMG_1111 I line the bottom pin up with the line I marked on the table, and keep it even all the way up the seam.



IMG_1112 IMG_1113 Trim the seam to 1/4”, and finger press the seam OPEN.


IMG_1117 Fold the binding back as usual, and finish sewing the binding on.


IMG_1118 Viola! The end join looks like all the rest of them.

Give yourself a big pat on the back!. Turn your binding to the back, and sew it down with your favorite method. This one will be hand sewn, but you could sew it in the ditch or even top stitch it.


I hope this helps. I do heartily recommend Darlene Zimmerman’s book The Finished Edge. It certainly improved my bindings.

Happy Quilting,


Another donation nearly finished

I finished up this UFO – another “dead quilter’s UFO”. It was also donated to Friends United, with one block finished, some strip sets, and the muslin. The quilter had started the muslin pieces, but they were cut wrong, probably why this was set aside. Years ago I had plenty of this country blue with white pin dots.

I used the circle lord feathered wreath to do the center, then free-handed the wavy lines, following an idea in a book. I was petrified about doing the border. I wanted to do feathers, but I didn’t think for my second time I would want to do them where each stitch would show.  I didn’t have any thread to match the border fabric. I used Cream So Fine in the center, and a dark taupe on the borders. The “plan” is to group with some other items for a table cover as it is only about 40” square. I’m off now to do the binding.

Happy Quilting,


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back from the V & T

train wallhangingThe V & T wall hanging was finished for our trip to Carson City, NV, last week. We had a good time, and I , of course, found time to play at a quilt shop in Gardiner, NV.The wall hanging was part of the silent auction, and it brought $125.

When making it, I tried using a wool batting as well as a thin cotton batting on the bottom. It certainly made everything puffy. I really hate it when pictures sag. I quilted this on my DSM as the big needles on Black Bart would have torn holes in the pictures. I know a lot of people don’t quilt in pictures, but I like the look of outlining the major lines in the photos.

I took beautiful pictures of Gold Hill and Virginia City, but now can’t find them on my computer. I hate it when I do that. I made a new folder for them, but where did it end up?

Happy quilting,


Monday, September 26, 2011

Design wall Monday, 9-26-11

Where did September go? I’m sure there must be more of it left somewhere!

Yes, I finished the monster other person’s UFO. I did the binding by sewing the back from the front. I even glued it down, but I’m still not happy with how it turned out. I still had to do a lot of resewing.  I haven’t found a foot for the Bernina that let’s me open the ditch as wide as I would like on the binding. I’ve tried the new ditch attachment for the walking foot, and it didn’t help. If it hadn’t been so large, I would have turned it by hand.

This is as far as  I am on the donation quilt for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad Symposium next week. It only needs a small border – I’m debating between the red and the yellow. The yellow is a subtle tone-on-tone, but the red has trains on it. Every other piece of fabric in it is train fabric, so I’m leaning towards the red. It doesn’t show very much, but each of the railroad crossing blocks have red lights under the white crosses. I’m hoping it is a half yard instead of a fat quarter, but it will have to do.

The sepia images are all in the public domain in black and white. DH Photoshopped them for me. We worked to find a red brown rather than a yellow brown. The color image I took several years ago at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City at the end of another V & T symposium.  I hope someday to make a series of train quilts.

No other quilty stuff this week – this is enough!

Happy Quilting,


Monday, September 19, 2011

Design wall Monday 9-19-2011

I’m having an attack of ADD. I have too many projects in process. I kinda like it that way!


This is the first project. It needs to be finished ASAP as it is supposed to be auctioned Friday. This was a top donated to my SIL’s foundation, Friends’ United. They provide teaching instruction for teachers and supplies for students in Honduras.

This project was a challenge! It started with the backing made out of 3 pieces of the blue fabric. It was sewn together by hand, the shrunken selvages still attached. I sewed them again on my DSM, then trimmed the selvages.  I loaded it, and it was nice and square on Black Bart. Then I started to load the top. It was a very friendly top. The blue border was “gathered” in, and one side was 4” longer than the other side. It had cornerstones that had a cut out corner for the white border. I ended up removing all 4 blue borders and the cornerstones, measuring them by the center of the quilt, then reapplied them. There was enough length that I used just straight cornerstones – no cut-outs needed. I quilted it with Circle Lord Spirals as the quilting is only about 1” apart, and this quilt was made by hand, with small seam allowances. I wanted a LOT of quilting. I still have to bind it, but I think I can now finish it in time.


I finished up this block, except for the center. It will be part of a “garden” quilt made with real 30’s dresden plate blocks, and other circles. I bought the templates for this from Material Obsession in AU, and just had to try them. This top isn’t too high on the finish list.

I still have the blocks on the right on the wall. I really need to put them together and finish that quilt up. It needs to be done by Christmas.


These are the cut-out colored parts of a Hole in the Barn Door top. I did buy some white on white to finish them as I had none. This project was cut when I was cutting the blocks for my friend’s quilt. I’m remaking a pink quilt my grandma made me – same pattern. She used “used” white in it, and it wore out very quickly. I need to find some more pinks as I’m only making one block out of each fabric, and all read pink – even the ones with the black backgrounds have a lot of pink.


I had a shoebox of these 1-1/2” strips that I cleaned out of a friend’s scraps. I’ve loved Mary’s (of Maryquilts.com) spiderweb and had to try it. This is the trial block, and I decided the yellow didn’t read light, so for the rest of the blocks I used the yellow as a dark, alternating with the lights. I made 20 blocks, and double pinwheel cornerstones. It’s ready to sash and put it IMG_0934








I’m using these blocks as leader-enders. They were cut with the pink blocks still on the wall.

The last thing is these pictures on fabric of trains on the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, the V&T. They need items for auction at the seminar in two weeks (ugh!), so I plan to make a wall hanging out of them. I’ll probably be binding it on the plane.

So, this is what is on my design wall, Black Bart, the tables, etc. By the way, I can’t seem to change what Blogger is doing with the photos.

Happy quilting,


Friday, August 5, 2011

First designed quilt for DGD#2

Here/s DGD #2 with the first quilt she designed. She loves to play with my scraps, especially cutting them into smaller sizes. I’ve seen several quilts by “modern quilters” where they just lay the pieces of fabric on the background, then sew around them.

I had DGD use a glue stick and putting the glue in the middle of the fabric, she glued the pieces she wanted in place. These scraps are mainly from the quilt I’m making my friend’s DIL.  She cut most of them – I helped on some of the hearts and the Coca Cola emblem. With her permission, I added a few pieces that would bridge from one area to another for sewing down all the patches.

I went ahead and pin basted the quilt top with just the glued on pieces, with a thin poly batting  and backing (same fabric as the binding). I loaded some light pink Bottom Line thread and started sewing around the patches, I was bored with straight stitches after the first two patches, so I played with a variety of the fancy stitches on my machine. DGD found the piece of lace when I was almost finished, so we placed it along the selvedge piece. She loves all the dots on selvedges.

I just sewed the binding on the back, adding the label as I sewed. I then turned it to the front and used the S stitch to sew it down. I asked DGD if I should sew down the “pocket” of the label, and she reply, “No, thank you.”

The last picture is of the label. I thought a picture of her playing with my quilt pieces would be good.

Happy quilting,


Monday, August 1, 2011

Design wall Monday 8-11-11

IMGP2963The blocks are finished!!!! This is the quilt for my BFF’s DIL’s quilt of activities she participated in while growing  up and the present. I haven’t used nearly all of the fabrics she purchased for this. I’m sure it is going to be a scrappy backing as well.



IMGP2966These are some of the latest fun blocks I created. I purchased the embroideries off eBay, and they were done on a thin poly/cotton. I fused them to the interfacing used for t-shirt quilts, and they handled very well. I’m really fond of the double circle around the little dress with the hologram dragonflies. IMGP2961

This is the side effect of working with circles. I think I will have to make a bull’s eye quilt with some of the leftovers. There is quite a stack here.





The latest design wall addition is this circle. Last night I just wanted to play a bit, and made this partial block. I ordered the Sue Ross templates from Material Obsessions in Australia awhile back, and hadn’t taken the time to play with it. I’m glad. After all those circles, this was comparatively easy to construct on the machine. I don’t think I will be piecing in the center circle, though. There is a circle of dog teeth surrounding this I haven’t cut out yet. I‘ve been buying Dresden  plate blocks that are 30’s fabric off eBay, and want to set them funky – like flowers growing on the background. I think this block will blend in even though it’s made from reproductions instead of the real thing.  For more design walls, go back to Judy L’s blog.


Happy quilting,