Wednesday, March 31, 2010


What is a "Wagga"? Sue-Anne has been telling me a little about Australian quilt styles. A Wagga is made from large rectangles or squares of wool cut from old suits and jackets which are sewn together and then tied. They were used by drovers a lot.

The quilt in the photo was made by someone in my extended family. It appears to have been cut from suit samples and wool, then stitched together by hand and tied. The seams are also feather stitched in a variety of colors. There is no batting and the backing is a green flannel. Unfortunately, I don't know anything more about it or who the maker was. It is the only quilt made by a family member that we know of.

So I'm wondering, is my quilt similiar to a Wagga? I'm afraid there are no drovers among us unless you count chasing in cows when they've broken through the fence! Did I mention that I grew up on a farm?

Picket Fence quilt update - I'm half done sewing it together and still hoping to finish piecing it by this weekend.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Coming soon!

I've started piecing the diamonds together for my Picket Fence quilt. They're just laid out in the photo but I hope to have the top pieced by this weekend. Remember how I made extra medium value diamonds? Ha, I need 7 more! I was never good at math.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

225+ string diamonds

Last Wednesday, my dark and not so dark fabric strips laid out and waiting to be sewn together.

Today, I think I am finally done sewing strips together to cut into diamonds. That stack should be 225+ diamonds. I made a few extra because I kept coming up with a different number of medium value diamonds everytime I counted.

I'm looking forward to having this quilt top sewn together and delivered to the machine quilter! That means I can get back to smaller projects, maybe.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Sunshine Blog Award

Thank you, Jackie at Scattered Threads for giving me "The Sunshine Blog Award"! I have never thought of myself as a sunshiny type person but so far, I am enjoying the blogging experience. Now Jackie I think of as being sunshiny, sweet and so kind!

I don't know what the first quilting blog I read was but the reason I began blogging was to document my string project finishes for Loft Creations' string challenge. I thought I might post once a week or so. That was just back in January and I've already "met" many of you and am developing friendships.

There are so many blogs to read and really almost all of them have inspired me in some way. If you comment on my blog and have one yourself, I usually follow the trail back to yours and read a few of your posts. You all inspire me and I enjoy reading about what you're doing.

So thank you to anyone who gives my blog an award but from now on, I'd like to make my blog an award free blog. The greatest compliment you could give my blog would be to read it regularly, make a comment now and then and if you'd like, become a follower!

Marie knows Roy!

Marie knows Roy and I suspect others of you know too!

Roy G Biv is an easy way to remember the color wheel. Look at a rainbow and you will also see the color wheel. Have you noticed the colors are always in the same position?

Y= Yellow



When I laid out the strips for my Picket Fence quilt, I arranged them as much as possible in Roy G Biv order and tried to choose strips from most colors to include in each diamond. This kept me from having too much of one color in the blocks. I would surely have focused in on red if I hadn't done that.

I make a lot of decisions based on color. How many of you cook by color? I usually decide which vegetable to make based on what color the main dish is. Confession - I even eat M&Ms in order of the color wheel. Did you know they don't put equal amounts of each color of M&Ms in the package?!?

Well, I'm sure you are seriously wondering about me by now so I'm not going to tell you how I make M&M cookies! Anyone else maybe just a little under the influence of color?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What about Roy?

Please don't tell me you all know about Roy G Biv! I thought for sure at least one person would ask who he is.

I plan to sew or embroider or both today so I'll post again later with progress.

If you like owls, here's a good time waster Molly and her family. Here are two astounding questions from the chat, "How does the egg hatch if Molly is sitting on it?" and "Does Molly breastfeed?"

I know this is supposed to be a quilting blog so I guess I better get back to it! Later.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Roy G Biv & motivation

Saturday - snow, ice and cold. The picture is what my dining room looked like on Saturday. Those are my strips all laid out and ready to sew together for the medium value diamonds. ROY G BIV, whoops, no indigo. Why I sew in my dining room is a subject for another post, maybe soon. There were no meals at the table on Saturday!

Monday - sunny and a high of 61. I am having a very hard time motivating myself to sew when the weather is so nice. Anybody else having the same problem? BTW, still no meal at the dining room table even though it is cleaned off. My husband took me out for dinner tonight!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Parade of Quilts

I like a good parade! So today a friend and I drove to Yoder, Kansas to see "The Parade of Quilts". The quilts were hung in several businesses and some were very nicely staged. Here are just two of the quilts I really liked. They are both hand quilted and the lower one won "Best of Show" and had already sold! I was hoping you would be able to see each quilt's information on the show label but I'm not sure you'll be able to. Hope you enjoy the quilts!

This quilt wasn't part of the parade but it made me laugh with its wisdom about chocolate!

I'm sitting here listening to the wind and rain hit the window. A winter storm warning is forecast for our area tonight and tomorrow. Sometimes the weather man gets it right and sometimes he doesn't. I'm really hoping he is wrong and we won't get the snow that's been predicted. My plans for tomorrow - stay home, stay warm, make a pot of soup and a loaf of bread and sew!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Picket Fence quilt

Today I was able to make the 49 light value diamonds I need for my next string quilt project, the full size "Picket Fence" quilt designed by Elsie M. Campbell. Its included in her book, String Quilts. You can see a partial photo of the quilt above plus a stack of strips I'll be using for the medium value diamonds. Only need 112 of them!

I like this quilt because of its 3-D look and because it kind of reminds me of a ripple afghan! I can't crochet anything more than a single chain so I have to live out my crochet dreams in a quilting project.

I'm not really a pastel or light value person so making those diamonds was a real challenge. Some look good to me, some look too sweet, too pastel or just too something but I'll wait till I lay the quilt out to see if I need to change anything. The color peach is especially a problem for me because it reminds me of baby aspirin, way too sweet, ick.

Tomorrow, I'll probably take my hand quilting project to quilt bee so I highly doubt I'll get those 112 medium value diamonds finished as soon as I'd like but you never know with me. See you Friday!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A learning experience begins

Today I've been cutting strings in various widths 1 1/2 - 3 inches for my next string project. I've learned that I have mostly medium value fabric and hardly any light value fabric. I haven't gotten to cut much from my darks yet so that bin is looking a little low too.

Its been a lot harder than I thought to sort the strings by value. Some fabrics look light to me but when placed next to another fabric are actually a medium value. I've moved some strings from one box to the next and back again several times now.

I have a lot to learn about color so this project will be a real learning experience!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Little Red Zinger" String Finish

It's done and just in time for another string project finish! Today I sandwiched it, machine quilted around the red zingers plus a little more and then bound it. Except for a quilt label, its done! Click on the photo for an up close and personal look.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Gerry Made Me Do It" top is done!

My Gerry inspired "Little Red Zinger" quilt is done! Okay, just the top is done but that was quite an undertaking. I did not work from a real pattern, just some basic instructions for a 9 inch block on Karen Griska's blog. My blocks are 3 1/2 inches finished.

I had a little more time than I thought to sew today so I was able to finish it. Tomorrow, I'd like buy the backing and binding (red) and sandwich it. Not sure if I will have time to begin machine quilting it or not. BTW, any suggestions how you would quilt it?

The top measures just over 28 inches and each subunit block is 3 1/2 inches square. The strips are approximately 1/4 inch wide (finished). I incorporated as many selvages from my stash of fabrics as I could. I also need to straighten the border edge. Do you think its a little wide? I'm thinking of trimming it down a half inch. What do you think?

Now why did an e-mail from Gerry inspire me to make this quilt? Gerry's been telling me how she's not going to save those 1 inch strips anymore because that's how her "saving problem" began!

Well!!! That was all I needed to hear and so I set about cutting 3/4 inch strips. One inch strips, those would have been too easy. Me, have a saving problem?!? Ha, I can still walk through my house so I must be OK. Furthermore, I can still see the carpet! Oh yeah, Gerry made me do it.

Rats, just read an e-mail from Gerry and she guessed what it is. I think I felt too sorry for her and gave her too many hints! Next time I won't be so easy on her.

Its been fun but like I wrote earlier, stop me before I ever do something like this again! Oops, I have got to go. Thanks for your patience and for humoring me!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I feel so guilty!

Man I feel so guilty! I should never have told you about Mount Sunflower since you all simply do not know better! While Kansas does have some very hilly areas and even some trees, I'm sorry to have to tell you that Mount Sunflower is not really a mountain. It is simply the highest elevation in Kansas and if you go here, you can read about it and see pictures!!! Check out the railroad spike sculpture. How to get there? Just take the only road north out of Weskan.

Here's a Kansas joke: What is the state tree of Kansas? (Answer at the end of this post)

Since we're having a guest this weekend, I'm going to spend part of the day cleaning tomorrow. Another part of the day, my husband and I are going out for lunch and probably will browse through an antique mall and drink coffee at Barnes & Noble. Notice I plan to have my entire house cleaned before lunch! Then in the evening, we're taking our guest out for dinner at a new restaurant in town.

I told you all my plans for tomorrow just to let you know that I'm not going to have enough time to finish my project. This will be the first week I haven't finished a string project.

So, ta da! You asked for it and here it is ... a photo of my project's bits and pieces. Thats the back side if you haven't figured it out. Kind of embarrassed about all the birds nests on there. Looks like I could use a refresher course on pressing too.

As soon as I sew it all together, I'll post a photo and explain why an e-mail from Gerry inspired me to make this project!

OK, so what is the state tree of Kansas?

The telephone pole! Anyone who has ever driven across Kansas on I-70 would probably agree with that. I'm afraid I don't know what the real state tree is.

I think I've been getting a little too crazy here lately so its back to my respectable self as soon as possible.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

As crazy as you think!

Hmm, some of you are really wondering about my Gerry inspired project! In fact, Gerry wanted to know if its as big as Kansas? That reminded me of our "new" state tourism slogan: "Kansas - as big as you think!" So, I guess my project is as big as you think.

Kansas is 82,282 square miles. Instead, I encourage you to not think too big, maybe of something less than a yard square. You should know that I like detail work and ... well, that's enough hints for tonight.

Yesterday I entered it and my crazy quilt in the Prairie Quilt Guild's quilt show coming up in June. Even with the project being only partially finished, quilters who saw it either A. Thought I was crazy or B. Loved it!

It will be OK if you think I'm crazy too because when its done, it will be all mine, mine, mine! Interesting how we tend to identify with some of our projects more so than others. Some I am relieved to have finished, some are long term WIPs and some make me feel happy inside!

P.S. - Most people think Kansas is flat. Did you know that Kansas has a mountain? Yep, Mt. Sunflower - 4,039 feet. Wish I could show you a photo but unfortunately don't have one. Till Friday then!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hello everyone!

Just checking in before I get back to my sewing machine!

Still working on my Gerry inspired project which also qualifies as a string project. I am really, really trying to get it done by the end of the week. Each of the 9 blocks are made of 4 subunits and if I'm not tired, it takes me about 30 minutes to piece each subunit. Of course, this involves some agonizing over string color placement. I have only 2 more blocks or 8 subunits or 4+ hours of piecing to go before I start on the also pieced border! There is also one block I may redo or I may leave it in as "humility block". Stop me before I ever try to make something like this again, please.

This afternoon, I'm going to my quilt guild meeting so I'll probably not get as much piecing done as I'd like. Better go get started again.

The sun is shining here after an inch and a half of rain yesterday. Its a great day! Hope you have one too!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

String Goofy Bag finish

Here's my latest string finish - a goofy bag! Why its called a goofy bag, I have no idea but I plan to use mine to carry cosmetics or medications when I travel. I used a tutorial on Thimbleanna's blog to make it.

My photo of the top of the goofy bag did not turn out very well but I'm sure you can picture this in your mind as most cosmetic bags are made like this. It zips open on top and is fully lined.

For some reason, I struggled a little with this project. Maybe its because my computer is in one room and my sewing machine is in another. To proceed with the tutorial, I had to go back and forth between the computer and sewing machine. Inconvenient but I burned a few calories that way! Or maybe its because I didn't have a zipper and had to make a quick trip to JoAnns in the middle of making it.

The bottom photo shows how I almost got the rick rack to match! I can tell you that has never happened before. Of course, it only matches on the one side. The other side has a "whatever happens" approach!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

my "Gerry Made Me Do It!" project

I spent most of today sewing on a string project which I can't tell you about quite yet. One of Gerry's e-mails inspired me to start this project. She's been trying to guess what she wrote and what I'm making but so far, she hasn't.

I already know I'm going to be making it larger than I'd planned so it will probably turn out to be next week's string project. Its a little labor intensive but I'm really liking it! I am guessing that you will all think I'm a little crazy for making it too. Hmmm, maybe I am!

So check back Saturday for this week's string finish (have no idea what it will be yet!) but keep my "Gerry Made Me Do It!" project in mind for next week! I received a lovely card from Betty, Thank you so much! My thanks to several others of you who took time to send me some e-mail encouragement!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where am I?

I'm sorry I haven't been posting to my blog lately. Its been kind of a discouraging week so far and every time I've wanted to sew/quilt, something has come up to keep me from it! I am hoping to sew most of the day tomorrow.

I haven't even settled on a string quilt project for this week yet so I am definitely going to have to get creative to start and finish something before Sunday. I have several projects in the works but they will all take some time (maybe weeks!) to finish.

I do have a few pictures to share of another log cabin doll quilt I recently made for Kathleen Tracy's Prairie Children Quilt challenge.

Shortly after I decided to make the log cabin doll quilt, I saw the full size quilt on the right in an antique mall. I really liked the colors and the quirky layouts the maker used!

I decided to try to follow her layout and colors. I also hand quilted each log down the center as she did. I don't think my quilt (left) has the same charm as hers but I still like it very much!

Its made entirely from Jo Morton reproduction fabrics and the logs are only one inch finished. Click on the photo for a better look at the fabrics if you'd like.

I wonder what the maker of the antique quilt was like. Why did she try so many different color and quilt layouts? Do you think she was strong and confident with her layout or is this a utility quilt she was practising on?

Years from now, will someone find my log cabin doll quilt and wonder about me? Most of all, I wonder what conclusions they will draw!