Friday, May 28, 2010


I've been admiring the "One Flower Wednesday" projects and the "Klosjes" that other bloggers are hand-piecing and decided to start a hand piecing project of my own! Here's my very first hand-pieced block, a tumbling block for Kathleen Tracy's Tumbling Blocks Quilt from her book, Remembering Adelia.

I need a portable handwork project and since I've been wanting to make this quilt for awhile, its now time to get started on it. I'm hoping to make it a charm quilt and use only my Jo Morton scraps. Only 53 more blocks to go!

Look what was delivered in the mail today! These selvages arrived from Amy and will join the others just waiting for July when I plan to begin work on the spiderweb selvage quilt. Thank you very much, Amy!

I'm still trying to recover from a cold. Still a bit fuzzy in the brain sometimes and this weekend looks full so I will probably not post again till middle of next week.

I want to wish all of you who remember and honor Memorial Day a very special weekend! The past few years, I have been taking my mother to local cemeteries to put flowers on our relatives' graves. Its a time for us to share memories of those who are no longer with us. The rest of my weekend will be spent attending a wedding, enjoying company, good food and possibly attending my high school reunion. Again, have a great Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Purple Pumpkin Berries?

Stitched in Time, continued: "Know When Enough is Enough" & "Forgive Yourself!"

This pumpkin table topper contains one of my most embarrassing quilting revelations but it is also a beautiful example of machine quilting and a fix that saved the day!

How many of you have ever seen berries on a pumpkin vine?

This project was one of the first times I'd appliqued anything and I think I did a fairly good job on the pumpkins. I wanted all the vines to be alike so I carefully starched and steamed them into shape. Then I pinned them on to the quilt top and gave them a few extra bursts of steam from the iron. I told myself, just one more burst of steam should do it.

When I tried to pick up my iron off the quilt top, it was stuck to the pin heads and the pin heads were stuck to the quilt top! I had melted the plastic pin heads to the quilt with all that heat and steam from the iron. I was so angry with myself and couldn't believe I had done something like that! (Yes, I know I should be using glass head pins.)

I was able to scratch most of the melted plastic off the quilt and clean up the iron but there was still some hard residue left on the quilt. I knew I'd just ruined it. Thats when I thought about adding the berries to hide the damage I'd done.

So while those berries add interest to the table topper and some people think they are even part of the design, they are actually there to hide an ugly mistake! God is teaching me that I need to know when enough is enough and that if I let Him, He can take my mistakes and make something beautiful out of them.

I like to put this table topper on an old dresser I have in our front hallway. I usually set a dark brown small crock filled with twigs, berries and leaves in the center.

The name of the pattern is Pumpkin Crazy and is in Need'l Love's book, "Falloween Threads".

This is the back side of the table topper and I'm showing it to you so you can see the beautiful work the machine quilter did! Click on the photo for a better look. This is one of my favorite quilts because of the work she did and yes, because of the lesson of the purple pumpkin berries!

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Do Something You Don't Want to Do"

Friday my throat was dry. Saturday, it was sore and I had all the other usual cold symptoms too. I thought I was better on Sunday but today, I am worse. So far, 3/4 of my family has the cold. I have places to be and things to do so I definitely don't want to feel bad! But, since I have a cold, usually a winter thing, I thought I'd continue posting parts of my "Stitched in Time" presentation.

This is my "Winter in the Woods" wallhanging.

The blocks in this wall hanging were made by members of my quilting bee. We meet once a month usually to work on our own projects but occasionally to participate in challenges. The goal for this challenge was to learn how to put together different size blocks.

I confess that I didn't particularly want to do this challenge because I thought snowmen were just a little too "cute" for me. I went ahead and made eleven of my snowman blocks (the one with the pink scarf) so I could trade blocks with each person in our bee. Surprisingly, I was the first person to finish her wall hanging!

Since we did this project way back in 2005, we have lost several of our bee members. One has moved away, several no longer attend for various reasons, another has health problems that keep her from attending and sadly, one has passed away.

This wall hanging is all I have to remember some of these women. Even though you might think something is too "cute" or whatever reason is holding you back, make a memory! Every January, I hang "Winter in the Woods" and remember my bee members.

Value friendships, sometimes you just have to do things you don't want to do!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flimsy Friday number 3

After a few days of gloomy, rainy weather, it's beautiful outside today so I decided to take a photo of my third Flimsy Friday project hanging on my clothesline! It is a little breezy so getting a photo was a bit of a challenge but here it is.

I saw this crib quilt in an older Fons & Porter magazine and even though I didn't know anyone having a baby at the time, I knew I had to make this Rubber Ducky crib quilt! I still think its cute so I'm not sure it would be easy for me to part with it unless it were to a close friend. Of course, it won't be going anywhere until its machine quilted!

The duckies are fused and machine blanket stitched. If I were to make another quilt like this, I would probably line the ducks as the blue fabric shows through their yellow bodies. Not a difficult quilt to make at all but very cute!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Be Grateful & Thankful"

I enjoyed giving my presentation, Stitched in Time, yesterday at the AGAPE Senior Center in Goessel, Kansas. Unfortunately, I forgot to take the very first quilt I was planning to share! Can you believe that? I'm just about to the point where I'm going to have to pin a note to my clothes so I know what I'm supposed to do when!

This wool wallhanging hangs above the fireplace in our house and I'd planned to take it down on Tuesday morning to add to my quilt stack. Tuesday morning, I packed the car and left without it. Most of the morning I felt like something was wrong and only an hour before the presentation, I realized I'd forgotten the wallhanging. Since I was 50 miles away from home, it wasn't possible for me to run home to get it. The presentation went on without it.

I'm not going to have much time to quilt for a little while so I'd like to share some of my presentation with you every now and then. It was all about life's lessons I am learning (and relearning) through quilting. So, here is what should have been my first quilt of the presentation!

I named this wallhanging, "Now Thank We All Our God", for His abundant harvest and the family and home life he's given me. My life is far from being perfect just as this wallhanging isn't perfect.

I think the pattern was actually called "Abundant Harvest" and was a BOM in the Quiltmaker magazine several years ago. I tried to talk myself out of making it several times and finally a year after the last part of the pattern was published, I gave in and decided to make it! Have you ever had a project that you can't get out of your mind? This was one of those.

Wool projects are not popular in this area so I had to really search for colors in the local quilt shops. When I couldn't find the right colors of wool, I went to thrift stores, purchased wool garments in the colors I needed and felted them in my washing machine. For the philodendron block (lower right), I had to dye wool to get the different shades of green.

This project reminds me to be grateful and thankful for all of God's blessings in my life even when I take them for granted or don't see them in a positive way!

The ladies at the Senior Center gave me this cute little quilt stand and quilt yesterday. I know there are a few ladies from Goessel who read my blog, thank you so much to you all!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stitched in Time!

Here's a photo of the pincushions I've been working on. They're a combination of Miss Rosie's Fruit Salad pincushions, pin cushions from Martha Stewart and Heather Bailey and another free internet pattern.

That's the watermelon my daughter thought was a bird. Be honest with me, does it really look like a bird?!? I made the patchwork squares on it to measure only 1/2 inch square! I have no idea what they're really supposed to measure. I just looked at the picture on the internet and decided to make one like it. Then there's the red velvet strawberry with the white blossom and cherry tomato with the white button.

Wondering why I need three pincushions? Well, they're really not for me! I'm going to give them as prizes tomorrow at a presentation I'm giving for a Ladies Tea at a senior center. I'm taking along 12 of my quilts, some are finished and some aren't, and will be talking about being "Stitched in Time". They'll get to hear the inside story (and some of the dirt) on my quilts!

Public speaking really isn't my thing but I can surely talk about quilts for a half hour! I'll let you know how it went on Wednesday.

Monday ... Monday, Monday!

Welcome to everyone who's visiting me from the Selvage Blog! I noticed the photo on Karen's site looks a little fuzzy so if you'd like a better look, please click here. If you then click on the photo, you can see the "Little Red Zinger" up close and personal!

I wanted to make Karen's "Red Zinger" but knew I didn't have enough selvages and I really wanted something smaller for the wall space I have. So I settled on a 3 1/2 inch finished block which makes it about 28 inches square. I'm entering it in Wichita's Prairie Quilt Guild's quilt show coming up in June. If you're in the area, please look for it at the show.

I'm collecting selvages for a spiderweb selvage quilt and hope to begin it in July!

Friday, May 14, 2010

My second Flimsy Friday!

Here's my second flimsy (with the promise of more to come)!

Last fall, I noticed the bloggers who were doing the Year of Schnibbles. I didn't have a blog yet so I thought I'd just sew along and as an added challenge, I'd use only my Jo Morton fabric since I already had it on hand. Ha. I made exactly one and this is it. Its called "Cindy Lou Who" and is a Schnibbles pattern by Miss Rosie.

I made it in what I think of as Christmas colors from Jo Morton's Crimson & Clover and also her shirtings lines. It measures about 34 1/2 inches square. I did start marking the quilting lines but got busy with other projects and put it away. Didn't find it again until I moved back into my sewing room last week! I'd like to have it quilted and ready to hang for Christmas (this year).

Now while I was working on the snowball blocks in the "Cindy Lou Who" wallhanging, I trimmed off quite a few corners. Having the genetic disposition I do (being frugal), I sewed all those triangles together to make HSTs, trimmed and saved them in a baggie (which I also didn't find until after I moved back into my sewing room).

One day last week feeling quite frustrated, I sat down and sewed all of those HST together to make this little quilt. The HST are 1 inch finished and the quilt measures approximately 7 1/4 x 10 inches. I used a piece of flannel as batting and quilted it by machine, stitching in the ditch on the diagonal.

Quilting is usually my stress reliever and so yes, I felt a lot better after I made this quilt!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Catch up time!

My computer is back up and running although not the same. Even though we were running Norton Antivirus, the computer was infected with the Rootkit virus. I hope this never happens to any of you! It was definitely not good and after trying several fixes, my husband had to reconfigure the computer. I'm having to relearn how to do things in different ways. I can't change that but I sure wish I could!

I have a few things to show you - First off, here's my full size "30 Years on the Fence" string quilt back from the machine quilter and bound! Just needs a label and it will be officially done. Its difficult to get a good photo of it but this shows how it looks on a bed. Here are a few pictures of it as I was piecing it which will show you different views. My favorite part is the zig-zag edge!

This quilt, except for the backing and binding, was made entirely from fabrics in my "resource center" and some that were given to me but if I were to make this quilt again, I would probably not make it quite so colorful. This is definitely a memory quilt for me as many of the fabrics are from dresses I made my daughter years ago and other sewing/quilting projects!

On Tuesday, I finished piecing my "Holiday Inn" wallhanging from Jo Morton's Little Women Club #8. Its about 44 inches square and one of the few applique pieces I've done. This was a kit I purchased last year through Liberty Quilt Shop but was unable to finish until this year. I'm looking forward to having it machine quilted and hanging on a wall in our house!

Surprise! I received an envelope of selvages from Betty! I really needed a little encouragement on Wednesday and there it was waiting for me in the mailbox. Thank you again, Betty!

I spent part of my day today trying to make a watermelon slice pincushion. If you have seen Miss Rosie's Fruit Salad pincushions, this was what I was wanting only smaller. When I asked my daughter what she thought it was, she guessed it was "a bird". Help.

I'm looking forward to "Flimsy Friday" as I'll be showing you not only my unfinished project and but also the finished project I made from its trimmings. You'll have to wait and see but I think you'll be impressed!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Computer Problems

Just in case you're wondering ...

Somewhere, somehow a computer virus got past our antivirus software and infected my computer. It was so bad that my husband had to reconfigure my computer. Unfortunately, its still not back to "normal" and I'm having some problems.

I plan to post again tonight but if I don't, its because of yet another problem! I'm working on numerous projects, keeping very busy and am close to finishing up some quilting projects to show you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My first Flimsy Friday

Here's my first Friday Flimsy - a pieced but as of now unquilted quilt top! I like the flower and vegetable blocks and the whole quilt actually. It makes me want to go out and garden. You know, grow enough veggies to feed my family and enough flowers to have beautiful arrangements every week. Reality is that something has already eaten the zucchini plant I set out a few weeks ago. I hope it was tasty and I also hope whatever it was that ate it won't find the three baby tomatoes on my tomato plant!

Some of the fabrics in this top go way back to my crafting days. The panel blocks are from Susan Winget and initially I also had cutsie heart ticking fabric and her heart striped fabric for the backing. When I found the blocks in my "resource center" a few years ago, those fabrics were just too much for me and I decided to give it a more updated look. After much searching at my LQS, we came up with this combination which I really like!

I'll tell on myself a little here about my early quilting efforts. When I found these blocks, I realized that I had already started making this quilt sometime in the past. Unfortunately, I didn't know how to make Flying Geese units and improvised. Some of those blocks were definitely not going to work. There's not much you can do when there's no fabric for a seam allowance. Worse yet, I'd "gathered" or I guess in quilting terms "eased" some of the blocks together when they didn't fit correctly. It looked more like "gathering" to me. I'm glad my quilting skills have improved over the years! I took all the blocks apart and started over with the new fabric.

The pattern I used was from this "Quilt" magazine dated Spring, 1995 when most of the magazine was still printed in black and white. Yes, I save "old" quilting magazines and books and often put a sticky tab on the page of something I'm interested in making in the future. Sometimes I do make the projects and most of the time I don't but I can now use this as an example when my husband asks me if I really need to save all those quilting magazines and books!

My favorite block - the tomato. Well, maybe not.

OK, the Iris block is my favorite ... uh, oh.

The Zinnia block ... well, if its not my favorite, it did inspire me to go plant some zinnia seed this morning! Hope they all grow but I'm not sure where they'll pop up. Something I should have known - never try to plant seed when there's a wind advisory!

I've folded the quilt top back up and will put it together with its backing fabric into the sack I found it in. Now that I've written about it, I know it won't be in there for long. I hope to be enjoying it long before my garden is done producing this year!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The day I got my sewing room back!

Today I got my sewing room back! Oh my, its only a small bedroom filled with my sewing machine cabinet, the ironing board, an old table my serger used to set on, a 6 foot table for fabric and some shelving! Right now, its very disorganized in there so no photos. It will take some time to get my fabric organized again. It feels great and I look forward to spending time in there!

What am I working on these days? I'm half done hand sewing the binding down on my "Thirty Years on the Fence" quilt. Still need to make the green Flying Geese for my "Holiday Inn" wallhanging border. It will probably join the other flimsies waiting to be quilted but at least, it will be that much further along.

On Friday, I'm going to start featuring "Flimsy Fridays" as part of my blog! I've noticed I have a few unquilted tops and I'd like to share them with you. I'm not sure why I haven't had them quilted but they are ready and willing at anytime. See you Friday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

500 inches of Binding!

Look what's home from the machine quilter - my "30 Years on the Fence" quilt! I've got the binding sewn on and will be starting to hand tack it down later. It looks great! So great, in fact, that my daughter has decided to claim the quilt. Ha, its mine, at least for now.

Can you see what's in the Seven Sisters rosebush growing up the side of our deck? We discovered the nest last week. Our cat, Charlie, was and is still very interested! There was no discouraging Mom and Dad Cardinal though and she is now sitting on 3 eggs. I'm doing my very best to keep Charlie away but its going to be a long month till those babies hatch and fly away!

News coming soon about our new pet!