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

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 finishes, including flimsies

Becky in KCMO

DWM–December 31,2012

Hello kitty RWB
hello kitty 2
For Christmas gifts for DGD#2, I played with a lot of Hello Kitty fabric. Afterwards, I had all these scraps. I also had a plastic drawer of red, white, grey and black strings that were too narrow or too short to make regular string blocks. I decided to make them up in 5” string blocks, and worked until I only had a few strings (I thought) left. Then I started making the braids with the last ones. I have a drawer of other blocks I've made with this mess of fabric, so these will probably go back in there until I want to play with all of them. Right now these look like good border blocks. The 4-patches are leader-ender blocks for a Bonnie Hunter quilt started long ago.

Memory quiltFor my standing time, I’m cutting up some shirts and overalls to make a Memorial Quilt. You get quite a bit of fabric from one shirt! It will be a simple uneven rail fence.

Happy quilting from snowy Kansas City, MO.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Donation totals

On Heartstrings (HS), a topic has been where have your donation quilts gone this year. I’ve gone back through my blog, and these are my totals:

2 completed tops from a HS quilted and sent to Las Vegas for the opening of the VA hospital there.

3 tops that I finished and enlarged, also sent for VA

4 strippy quilt tops finished and quilted to gift through Guild

1 panel quilt quilted for Guild

2 Quilts of Valor made completely – piecing and quilting – one for Returning Warriors in KS, one for Viet Nam vet.

That’s my 12 donation quilts for the year, my goal – 12 for 2012.

Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


My Quilt of Valor from a panel won the guild challenge! I'm sure to enjoy the batik jelly roll prize!
Happy Quilting,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Panel quilt guild challenge

The guild has a challenge to make a quilt out of a panel. I had something different in mind, but this is what I could finish. It is a Quilt of Valor that will be going to a Viet Nam vet – way past time for them to be honored.

The second picture is an open journal cover that DGD2 and I made for a gift for her mother. She’s drawn the P’s on it with permanent marker since she didn’t ask soon enough to piece one in. These are scraps from DD’s wedding quilt and DGD’s baby quilts.

See more design walls at Judy’s site.
Happy Quilting,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Design wall Monday 10-29-12

halloween medallion 2 being blockedMy design wall today is actually a quilt blocking surface. DH and I went to Home Depot and bought some 3/4”  dense foam insulation to use as a blocking surface. I laid some batting on it, and then pinned my Halloween medallion on it. Several years ago DH bought me my own laser level so I could have a straight line to pin against. It’s not a perfect set-up, but it beats anything else I ever tried.

I quilted the medallion with my Cog 18” Circle Lord template, and then tried to put 3/4 cogs in the corners.  I hate that you have to work the CL from the back of the machine, because it is almost impossible to backtrack without looking right down on the stitches. They make a CL that works from the front of the machine for APQS, but not for Nolting. I wish they would work on one for Nolting, but I don’t think there is much demand. I’m hoping engineer DH will come up with something when he has time to think about it.

I did do one more little thing, a journal cover out of the scraps from DGD#1’s Turning Twenty. There was a little pile of strips cut from the edges of the fat quarters. I used Wanda’s at Exuberant Color tutorial for it.
Happy Quilting,

Monday, October 22, 2012

design wall Monday 10-22-12

Most of the past week was spent taking my fledgling quilter to the Happiest Place on Earth. Disneyland was all decked out for Halloween. We spent time there, at California Adventure, and a short time at the beach while visiting with one of DH’s college friends. They've kept their friendship intact all these years.
I did put the borders on the Halloween Medallion wall hanging, so it can go on Black Bart this week. I hope to try out my new Cobblestone board from Circle Lord. I’ll try to bind the pink quilt this week, as well. We have DGD#2 most of the week so her mother can attend a seminar away from home. She likes being outside, so I hope to plant my tulip bulbs this week as well as pull weeds and trim back overgrown roses. The Knock-out Roses loved the heat, and we watered, so they grew very well!
Happy Quilting,

Monday, October 15, 2012

Design machine Monday 10-15-12


Young quilter at work! Grandma did the first and last rows since DGD#1 couldn't see over Black Bart to do the guiding. Other than that, she helped load, advance, and remove the quilt from BB. We used the Cosmos Circle Lord boards – the hardest I have, but she wanted flowers. IMG_1867She picked some binding fabric; we cut the strips, then Gma went outside to keep DGS company as he did some digging for me. I should have stayed inside and put on the binding. I ended up slipping, falling backwards down onto the steep part of the concrete driveway which unfortunately had the rake laying on it. Nothing broken, but no more sewing with “the hand” for a while. Ah, the joys of growing old and less steady.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, October 8, 2012

Design wall Monday 10-08-12

Winding Ways quilts – I just love them. Nancy MacDonald has such an easy way to do these, including the Medallion Set for this Halloween quilt. I cut out two when I made the first one, and now am just getting around to making the second one for the second DGK house. I was getting into a drawer for something, and the bag was just there. Good timing for a Halloween quilt.
medallion halloween quilt outside
The skeletons on the green and the faces on the pumpkins glow in the dark if you “charge” them with some bright light for a few minutes. They glow under black light as well. I quilted a green spiderweb over the finished one – I hope I can do that again.

I went to the AQS show in Des Moines last week. There are such wonderful quilters out there. The friend I went with commented that we may have started long-arm quilting too late in life to do such beautiful work. She may be right.
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Design wall Monday

A bit of carpal tunnel surgery has slowed my piecing endeavors, sew I had a little help.
claire TT working on itclaire TT in progress
DGD#1Is making her first large quilt. We are using the turning twenty pattern that makes such a good first project. Can you tell she likes pink?

I had to fondle a bit of fabric. I ordered a colorwash batik kit from Wanda at Exuberant Color. I had to look at her picture a lot, but it is finally in “ like-able” positions. I am amazed at the batik collection she has. She said to add from our stash, but I only could find about 4 fabrics to add. Mine is pitiful, mainly mediums. I really liked playing with this.
colorwash colorwash 1
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday, but not my work

Since this was a rest week from vacation, I didn’t do any sewing for myself. I did, however, help my friend load a quilt and quilt it on Black Bart. She does an exceptional job of machine embroidery, and these giraffes are simply adorable. She used a plush fabric for the back, and I love how the quilting shows on it. We used Superior So Fine for the top, and Bottom Line in the bobbin, both white. It just disappears into the applique as it was a plush fabric as well. We used the Circle Lord Cosmos boards on it.

Happy Quilting,Becky


I haven’t blogged recently because we have been away having fun. We went to Seattle a few weeks ago, in time for me to view the Pacific Northwest Quilt Show. It was wonderful. DH found the car museum nearby. I was amazed at the volume of quilts, and especially all the art quilts. There was some awesome work. I saw some I had already seen in Des Moines last year (AQS) and at MQS. I especially inspected the Glacier Star quilts to glean ideas for how to quilt my Glacier Star.
Marsha McClosky was there, and it was delightful to see all her feathered star quilts, one of my favorite patterns.IMG_1514

Saturday of that week found us with friends embarking on my first ever cruise to see Alaska, one of my bucket list items. We saw Juneau, Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fiord, Skagway, and Victoria. I enjoyed each place. We took a long train / bus ride along the trail of the Klondike Gold rush IMG_1562and were amazed at the perseverance of those who WALKED it.
We arrived home last Sunday, and this week has been mostly a do laundry and rest week, putting my feet up a lot to combat the swelling of the last two weeks. I managed to lose 6 pounds of water weight in 48 hours doing this. I wish I could shed other pounds so easily!
It was an exciting trip, but I’ll not hurry to do another cruise – There is a LOT of walking involved!
Happy Quilting,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Just Beachy–final? layout, almost, maybe

I can’t seem to include all of this layout in the picture. I’m leaning back over Black Bart as far as my back will bend (not far), but this is close.  I see one sashing I need to turn around near the black background large one – it will be lost when it is seamed. I already fixed the 3rd from the left top sashing so the light doesn’t blend into the light. The white around the large blocks will disappear when the seams are sewn. I could turn / rearrange these blocks forever. These colors aren't quite true tonight, but close. 

I had a rare day for this summer without DGKs that allowed me to make and trim 75 4-patches and put this up today. School starts here next Wednesday, but I’m pretty busy until September with all the dentist, doctor, etc. that comes around. Just Beachy will probably be up on the design wall for a while.  I hope you are having some fun as our summer draws to an end, but not the end of heat – 102F today in Kansas City, MO.
Happy Quilting,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Finishing Grandma Dunn’s quilts–6 pointed stars

One of the sets of unfinished blocks from my grandmother’s sewing area were these 6 pointed stars set with a hexagon in the middle. I think of them as star flowers. I don’t have early pictures of these, but they all had been set at some time, and then ripped apart, with a LOT of thread tails remaining in the fabric. They smelled like my mother’s house, which had been in Missouri’s 1993 flood up to her floorboards. I remember spreading out these blocks and using a lot of Febreeze on them. By the time I finished I hated the smell of Febreeze mixed with musty!

I remember taking them with me on one of my flights to see now DH in California. The flight is about 3 1/2  hours long, not counting the waiting time. I took a tape roller with me, and teased out all the threads. Grandma had a treadle machine, and sometimes it made really tiny stitches.

Grandma’s quilts were unique. She worked with the fabrics at hand, and if a quilt was for a specific person, she used scraps sent to her by that family. There were lots of us who sewed, so Grandma had paper sacks in her closet with the names of who sent the scraps on the outside of the bag. At times she must have tried to use up a lot of different fabrics, such as in this quilt. I’m sure that the pink fabric is from one of the first dresses I made for a friend in the very early 1960s. A lot of my scraps were pink. That one star of pink is the only fabric I recognize, so most of these came from other’s scraps.

The stars themselves varied from ones made from just one fabric, to ones where every star point was different. The inside hexagons differed in color, but all were made out of solids. In with the stars were a bunch of yellow 60 degree diamonds, all with the ripped out threads attached. I thought she had tried to use these as setting diamonds, without success. (They were cut wonky.)

I picked three fabrics, a yellow, a dark blue, and a vintage green, all prints that read solid at a distance, to use for setting diamonds. I began by setting in a diamond around each of the star points, making the blocks into hexagons.These were all done as Y seams, one at a time.  When I finished 18 of the 19 blocks, I realized there were not enough blocks to make any decent size of quilt.

One year for Christmas, about 1975, my mother gave me a large box for a present. In it were scraps of fabrics she had accumulated from her various friends that quilted. Most of the fabrics were older. We laughed that when someone died, my mother helped clean out their homes for sales, and scraps were not something anyone wanted, so she brought them home.

I now, in 2002, got out that box, separated the cotton scraps, and washed and ironed them all. I had been using a Marti Michell template to “square up” the star points of Grandma’s blocks, and to cut the setting diamonds. I used these templates to make the additional 14 stars plus 4 half stars out of these older fabrics. You can tell mine because the center hexagon is slightly larger, and all the centers are yellow. I tried to copy Grandma’s, making some out of one fabric, some out of two, and some where all the star points were different.

After making all the blocks, I then sewed the blocks to each other, making sure I had all three setting fabrics coming together at the intersections. Each “corner” was  Y seams. I never figured out a way to set them easily, even though I scoured all my quilting books for an easier method.

As I cut out the blocks, I cut additional diamonds of some of the fabrics. These were used for the borders. If I had known as much as I do now that I have a longarm, I would have sewed a stay-stitch line on the outside of the borders. I had it quilted at the local quilt shop in a meander pantograph with fluffy poly batting. Grandma’s blocks weren’t exactly flat, and the poly helped with the fullness in some places.
There was one star left over that was very wonky, and the only one made of solid fabric star points. I decided to disassemble it, recut and re-sew it. Since it was a solid, I wrote the story of the quilt on it, and used it as a label on the back. It was finished in 2002, and I gave it to my daughter at one of her bridal showers. We recently brought some of her quilts to my house so I could take pictures and document them.

One less UFO to finish!

Happy Quilting,