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Friday, April 30, 2021

Ridiculous

Ridiculous because I don't have much to show for the weeks I haven't blogged!


 I did finish quilting, binding, and adding a label to my Dotty quilt. The pattern is "Bright Squares" designed by Kaffe Fassett. This was begun in a class at Houston Quilt Festival several years ago and now all 2028 squares are sewn together to make this quilt. One less UFO, makes me happy!

This year whenever possible, I'm piecing quilt backs to try to use up some of my older fabric. These are all Kaffe or Kaffe Collective. Not pretty but its out of my stash.

I've begun working on some applique blocks for our quilt guild's opportunity quilt. No pictures yet because so far, there are just stems on backgrounds.

 


I told you I didn't have much to show for myself so now you'll get to enjoy my latest cat photo. This is Jesse and Clyde "playing" with a fish toy which was passed on to me. Apparently, wrestling with it once was enough. My cats must not be playful!

 


My lilac bush and irises made it through a late freeze! The iris was blown down by the wind so I brought it inside to enjoy. The peonies also look like they'll bloom soon.

I've been spending a lot of time working outside in the yard. This year we've got several landscape projects in process. I'm adding another flower bed and edging an existing bed. My husband lays and levels the landscape block and I tote the blocks which weigh 20 pounds each. Working in the yard is our way of keeping active as long as we can. 

Until next time, Mayleen

 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

A little of this, a little of that

 


I struggle to make blue quilts so this months RSC of light and/or bright blue was a challenge. Because I don't use blue often, my tub of blue scrap fabric is full so you'd think I could find fabric that would inspire me. That didn't happen. I finally ended up with this baby quilt top which will be donated. I'm ready to move on to another project.

 


I started my version of the "Mrs. Billings" quilt years ago and it became a UFO at this stage. It seems overwhelming now but my thought is to work on it a week each month or perhaps just add another border each month. Whatever I choose, I need to make progress! Before I begin on it, I need to finish the Kaffe polka dot quilt.

 


The top was "finished" but I decided to add 3 more blocks to make it a rectangle instead of a square quilt. That's been done and it measures approximately 60x80. I've begun to machine quilt it.

 


I work on it a few hours here and there. Unfortunately, hauling the sandwich around and through my machine is causing my shoulder bursitis to flare up. In other words, it may take me longer than I thought to finish and move on to the next project. Every quilting step is a season and I've decided not to push myself but try to enjoy what I can do!

Until next time, Mayleen

Friday, April 2, 2021

Spring!

 "Keukenhof" is finished! I wasn't sure that was going to happen this spring but it did. Even has a label and a real hanging sleeve versus me just pinning one on. I machine quilted wavy lines with my walking foot. Nothing spectacular but I like it.

 


"Keukenhof" is a pattern found in the March/April 2017 Quiltmania magazine. When I was going through my quilting magazines, I saw it on the cover and decided I needed a spring wall hanging. Most of my wall hangings are not springy but rather more fall like.

Have you been to Keukenhof in the Netherlands and admired the beautiful flowers there? I have!

 


The tulips are raw edge fusible applique and then hand big stitched around the edges. I'd forgotten how much fun that is to do through fused batiks.


 The pattern called for scrappy green binding and yes, I could have just cut into yardage but I challenged myself to make it scrappy. I didn't have any leftover large green pieces so I started piecing together. Here you see one example of scrappy. Yes, it made for a lot of seams and two corners of the quilt are a little bulky because of it. I'm OK with it. If they bother me later, I'll steam them and them whack them to try to flatten them.

 


The daffodils are blooming but we've had some high winds lately so I rescued these daffodils and am enjoying them inside.

 


Do you know what is blooming? I've never noticed it before. This started as a peony bush but I notice several other flowers are trying to take over.

 


Rhubarb! I experimented and grew two plants in large containers and one is coming up. This winter we had a really cold stretch which probably killed the other plant. I'm trying to grow them in containers because moles/voles munched on the rhubarb plants I used to have.


 

The clematis vine I thought I killed last year is coming up!

 


I'm not excited about the henbit (a weed) which is coming up everywhere. One day last fall, I noticed a lot of seeds being broadcast by the wind in our yard. Now I know what it was. I read that each plant can produce 2000 seeds. I've got to pull or spray these before it gets that far.

 


Happy Easter! 

Until next time, Mayleen

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Spring is so close!

 Spring is so close!


 Some of my daffodils made it through the stormy weather and hail we had yesterday. More of that weather coming so I took a photo to enjoy.

 


Most of the daffodils look like this, not quite ready but so close to blooming!

 

Here are my green donation quilt blocks so far. Only 20 more to piece before deciding on a layout and stitching the blocks together. I just haven't got any motivation to work on it today.


 Call me crazy but I saved the waste triangles I trimmed off and I'm thinking of piecing some them. Since I didn't measure a true 1/4" when trimming and instead just whacked them off with a pair of scissors, I doubt that many of the triangles will be the same size but this could be fun! I guess it would only be fun for someone not concerned with points and matching seams, lol.


This project is what's keeping me from finishing the green donation quilt. It really is better for me to work on only one project at a time. I'm ready to fuse the tulips on the background. The pattern, Keukenhof, is from a 2017 Quiltmania magazine. I still hope to have it finished soon so it can hang in our living room this spring!

Until next time, Mayleen

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Green!

 I wasn't surprised that the RSC-21 color was green because March 17 is St. Patrick's Day! Also, I think all of us are waiting, maybe a little impatiently, for spring. I'm not of Irish descent but know I'm ready for green grass and my flowers to make an appearance!

 


Green is one of my favorite colors to stitch with. I used up quite a bit of my green fabric and scraps when I cut out enough pieces for a lap quilt using this block, Four Leaf Clover, designed by Stash Bandit, also known as Diane Harris. Diane spoke to our quilt guild in Wichita several years ago and just coincidentally, her logo is perfect for the pandemic. 

 


Here's the link to the free pattern: https://stashbandit.net/four-leaf-clover-quilt-free-pattern/

Stash Bandit has a blog and is on Facebook so check her out!

 


When the new color was announced, I was just starting to stitch the last polka dot block together. Its still waiting for me and it really wouldn't take long to finish but ...


 Sometime this past week, I decided to put up my Easter decorations. I'm not a big decorator but I was just so ready for something new to look at, preferably springy. Every Easter at my grandparents' house, my aunts would hide candy filled paper mache Easter bunnies somewhere on the farm. With our uncles' supervision, the grandkids had to stay inside and promise not to look out the windows but when the aunts came back in, look out! All 15 of us grandkids would run out to compete who could find their bunny first. The adults looked for theirs too but not quite as eagerly as we did. There were always the helpful clues, "You're cold!", "You're getting warm!", and "You're hot!" When everyone had found theirs, the grandkids got to hide our grandparents' bunnies. Of course, we snacked and traded candy all afternoon. One candy I particularly remember was the orange circus peanuts which were one of my grandfather's favorites. Just the thought of them now makes my teeth cringe!

I seem to have a really short attention span these days. I was happy working on the green lap quilt but I something was nagging me. It was the orangy red and purple polka dot star wall hanging which hangs above our fireplace. Not spring like, in my mind. Tried to ignore it but I couldn't and when I was sorting through my older Quiltmania magazines, my next project jumped out at me. I hope to finish it before Easter, lol!


One last photo, taken this morning. It was a little foggy, most of the neighborhood wasn't up and about yet, and the birds were singing, a perfect sunrise in my humble opinion!

Until next time, Mayleen

Sunday, February 28, 2021

From squares to dots!

 I've had a Love / Hate relationship with this project from the start but now that its finished, I can say I kind of like it. Even though during the "Love it" stage, I thought I might keep it, I've decided to donate it to my quilt guild's charity committee. I hope that someone of an independent nature receives it and loves it!


It gave me or actually I should say I gave myself plenty of learning situations during construction. From snipping into seams to sewing several rows in upside down, I experienced it. Not whining about it but I am realizing I need to take more care and pay attention. 

I've moved on to finishing my "Just Dotty" UFO which I didn't realize until recently needed finishing. It measured approximately 59" square which seemed an awkward size to me so I decided to make an additional 3 blocks for it. When finished it will be a throw size and I'm definitely keeping it for myself!

 


I began this quilt in a class with Kaffe Fassett and Liza Lucy at the Houston Quilt Festival I don't remember how many years ago. I used polka dot fabrics or fabrics which had circle designs, some KFC and some from other lines of fabric. Its a happy quilt!

 


 I may say this about nearly every quilt I make but the colors are so much better in person!

 


I don't think I ever shared this UFO project (below) which I began several years ago. When I began the moon collage "pattern" by Susan Carlson I allowed myself to use only fabric which I had on hand. Its not finished or glued yet, but it was something fun and challenging to try!

Until next time, Mayleen

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Deep Freeze Doings

 

The "Antique Rug" quilt top is finished and in the donation pile! I like it but I'd rather see it given to someone who needs it more than I do.

 


I had this fabric, a mix of Anna Marie Hoerner and Kathy Doughty, and am making another simple donation quilt top. This fabric is way out of my comfort zone but maybe its in someone else's?

 


I've started doing some simple straight line walking foot machine quilting on a UFO from a quilt workshop. Its what I call mindless stitching.

 


My granddaughter, Ruthie, was born this week! Baby quilt finished for her. I've spent the day baking some breakfast goodies for her family till mom gets back on her feet. I'm looking forward to meeting Ruthie very much! 

Meanwhile, our weather is warming up! It has been a long time since we've had temperatures this cold for this long. In Kansas, we're used to some snow and a cold snap but the sun is usually out soon afterwards to warm us up and melt the snow away. That didn't happen this time but we survived it. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone dealing with the extreme cold and its after effects.

Until next time, Mayleen