Friday, September 11, 2020

The Quilt Math Quilt

 While the Orphanage Quilt is at the machine quilter, I've been working on the Quilt Math Quilt. I named it this because of the math struggles I had while putting the orphan blocks together. I measured incorrectly, forgot to add the 1/4 inch seam allowances into spacer blocks, and just made simple errors. I think I had to rip out the blocks three times! I just couldn't ignore the mismatched seams.

I still have a collection of out of print Jo Morton fabrics and I used them for sashing, borders, and the cornerstones. So now the top is finished, the backing is pieced, and its all ready to be delivered to the machine quilter. This should be the last of the donated orphan blocks! 

The past two weeks has been a race to see how much I could get done outside in the heat and humidity before our temperatures dropped 30 degrees and it began to rain. It was really dry here so the slow gentle rain has been welcome!

First some planting and then mulch happened to make ...

... my rain garden! 

There is a swale in our back yard which drains standing water away when we receive large amounts of rain in too short of a period of time. We've landscaped it to make a rain garden. I've planted mostly native plants which can tolerate the standing water for a few days. There are still a few blank areas where I plan to transplant plants to in the spring.

 After four days of cool cloudy weather, I'm ready for some sunshine! These pictures of my flowers were taken last week. Summer will soon be over and I'm not sure I'm ready for that.


Until next time, Mayleen

Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Orphanage Quilt

Prairie Quilt Guild in Wichita, KS has a tradition that the outgoing president may ask guild members to make her a block for remembrance. In 2015, I was the outgoing president and asked for orphan blocks because I thought I might get more that way and that it would be fun and challenging to put them together! Oh my.

After making 4 or 5 orphan block quilts, the rest of the blocks rested on my UFO shelf. Then this summer, I decided to put all the remaining blocks into one quilt and call it the Orphanage Quilt.

I did not know how generous quilt guild members would be. Maybe they were a little too generous, lol! The above block became the medallion of the Orphanage Quilt because it is the largest block I received.

This may not look like many blocks but in total there are approximately 48 blocks in those stacks sorted by size as much as possible. Two of which may be part of the label on the back of the quilt. The blocks are all shapes, sizes, and colors so it will be a quilt full of personality. There are also several blocks which are vintage or even antique, some pieced by hand or perhaps on a treadle sewing machine. I've been interfacing those blocks to give them more security and body.

After playing with several layouts, this became the medallion with one round of blocks. I'm also auditioning the next border fabric in this photo.

This is as far as I am today. Because there were several spots I couldn't fit orphan blocks into, I added spool blocks, which I won in our guild's Birthday Block exchange, to fill in the holes. I sure hope it will be mostly square after I add the top and bottom rows. If it isn't, I think its going to stay that way.

Some of the orphan blocks have been signed but most have not and I wish they were! I think of guild members and wonder what they are doing during this time of no guild meetings. Even though I'm an introvert, I miss the hustle and bustle of our large guild, I miss the speakers, and the occasional workshop I took. I hope that quilting is bringing happiness and stress relief to quilters everywhere!

Until next time, Mayleen

Friday, August 21, 2020

4 in 4

This was all I stitched this past week other than some embroidery. I know this for sure, I won't be going into the mask making business! These four masks took me four hours to make and I don't know why.

I sure hope they fit because I don't want to have to redo those bands. I accidentally made one of the tan/off white masks with the dinosaur upside down. Oops.

From the flower bed today:

Both are Hardy Hibiscus. Its the second time the deep pink Hibiscus has bloomed this summer.

Black Eyed Susan with Sweet Autumn Clematis vine in the background. Too late for me but here's a word of advice, do not plant this invasive vine. It wouldn't surprise me if I found it growing in the basement someday!

Until next time, Mayleen

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Ta da, it's done!

 Finally, the machine quilting is done on "Wish Upon a Feathered Star"! I still have the label and sleeve to make and sew on but I'm happy to be this far. This wall hanging, made of Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics, measures 43x43" and was begun in a Prairie Quilt Guild workshop with Peggy Martin in July of 2019. It was quilted on my Janome domestic sewing machine.

I've decided to make some wall hangings which can hang over our fireplace and this is the second I've made this summer which will fit into the space.

After making a few more masks, making an applique block for my applique group's donation quilt, and tackling an "I Spy" quilt, my next major project will likely come from the UFO shelf. I found a list of all my UFO's from 5 years ago and many of them are still on the shelf. I have to do something about them before they take up permanent residence there!

This was our sunrise one day this past week! It almost looks like the sky is on fire. 

The large unplanted area in the lower right of the photo will become a rain garden in September. I've spent untold hours digging up Bermuda grass and getting that area ready to plant with native plants and pollinator attracting flowers. We plan to plant bushes, which can stop road dust coming from the gravel road to the right of the photo, in the circles of dead grass. If I'm not quilting, I'm out working in the yard. All is good until the temperature and humidity get high. I'm not a hot weather kind of girl.


I just realized that this blog post is color coordinated - purple, red, pink, and orange! I must be drawn to these colors more than I thought I was.


Enjoy! Until next time, Mayleen

Friday, July 31, 2020

Quilting Update but first ...

Mr. Clyde, mighty hunter specializing in bugs

Color makes me happy!

I like the overgrown naturalized look but this might be a little too much. If you want to follow the path, you have to fight your way through the sunflowers.

I thought I may have dug up all the Surprise Lilies (AKA Naked Ladies) when I was thinning out the orange daylilies but here they are making themselves at home in the Hibiscus.

In May, I decided to hide the septic tank cover by planting Zinnia seed over it. When I didn't see seedlings, I planted more and maybe planted just a few too many!

I really am working on machine quilting the Wish Upon a Feathered Star wall hanging but its going slow. There was a time when I would have pushed myself to just get it done but since Covid began, I've been slowing down and usually only spend a couple of hours quilting a day if at all.

I've finished quilting one star block trying to get everything just right. Then I took this photo and realized because the fabric is so busy, most of the quilting is not going to show at all. Not only that, this wall hanging will hang over our fireplace where no one will be able to get up close to see the quilting. This is the perfect machine quilting project for me at this time!

Until next time, Mayleen

Friday, July 17, 2020

Star stitching & the flowers in my backyard

I've begun stitching in a ditch on the "Wish Upon a Feathered Star" wall hanging. I decided I really must get over my fear of machine quilting. I've tried before but with disastrous results and am currently thinking of a project I need to pick out teeny tiny stitches. Yes I know the key to learning to machine quilt is to practice. So I'm trying again and will only use my walking foot. This is not a fast project.

Yesterday I needed some mindless sewing so I pulled out the red/pink and white/tan 2 1/2" squares I'd been cutting from scraps. Paired them up and ran them through the machine. I don't know what they will become but probably 4 patches. It was fun to work on something different even though it was a very simple patch.

Mornings you will find me outside watering, weeding, or digging in my flower beds. Here's a little tour of what's been blooming this past week!

The white hardy Hibiscus finally began blooming!

The pink hardy Hibiscus continues to put out new blooms each morning.

This is the first spring for the native flower rock garden I planted. I put too much in too small of an area and some plants will be moving next year. This is just one small corner.

My wash tub and wringer looking decidedly prettier than in its original use.

Two varieties of Anise Hyssop which bees were supposed to love but they seem to be more interested in most other flowers than the hyssop!

Blanket Flower, pink Yarrow, and Vervain

This is my first year at trying to grow Lavender (back left) and it has one bloom. Parsley and Patchouli are the other two container plants.

I do like flowers to appear a little overgrown! Next spring some of the Brown Eyed Susans will be moving because they're trying to take over.

Every year I think the tall phlox are so pretty but I think they've outdone themselves this year!

Until next week, Mayleen

Friday, July 10, 2020

Wish Upon a Feathered Star, with borders

My Wish Upon a Feathered Star wall hanging top is finally done! Borders were an issue for me and I couldn't find a border design I really liked but I've told myself that finished is better than a top partially done. It measures approximately 43 1/2" square and when its quilted will hang over our fireplace. It was begun in a Prairie Quilt Guild workshop taught by Peggy Martin. Now to figure out if I should quilt it myself or call my machine quilter.
These are a few photos of my flower gardens. The area I live in is officially in a drought but yesterday we got some rain and this morning again. Not enough to end the drought but I'm grateful for every drop of rain. These photos were taken before the rain and I think the flowers look this good due to me watering them every day. Above: Phlox, Sunflowers, and Daylilies. There are a few Zinnia growing in that area too but not many came up this year.
Anise Hyssop which smells wonderful whenever I brush against it.
Russian Sage, find the bee! I'm trying to attract more beneficial insects to my flowers.

Below: My husband and I visited Dyck Arboretum in Hesston, KS last week and I thought I'd share this photo of a sign with you. I doubt that I ever become a Minimalist but we are trying to downsize. One of our spare bedrooms has become a catchall room for everything we are no longer using or don't know where to put. There always seems to be more stuff. Guess where I'll be tomorrow morning getting ready to make donations? That definitely beats digging up Bermuda grass which it will be too muddy to do!

Have a great week! Mayleen