Thursday, July 23, 2015


I basted 2 donation quilts and finished quilting one.  This one is a large baby size quilt and I tried a different quilting design that I saw somewhere.  It still needs binding.  It began as a "leader/ender" project and it's mostly reds, blues and stars for the alternating blocks.

bottom view

top view

 Then I started on the next donation quilt, which is somewhat larger - almost twin size.  I have been having problems with the quilting.  Maybe you can see what the sewing machine is doing.  It only does this when I'm FMQing.  Then I have to stop, rethread the machine, take out the bad stitches and start again.  It also makes rats nests randomly on the bottom side.  Not fun.

I may have blogged about this before.  I have a Janome 6600 which sews great all of the time except when I free motion quilt.  Another blogger also has this problem with her Janome.  Does anyone else have this happen?  I have taken it to be serviced a couple times on this, but it didn't get fixed.  I will probably try again soon.

thread makes a triangle tent

2 rats nests in swirl

The quilting is put aside for now.  In the mean time, I am working on some table runners for my GDs wedding reception coming up in August!  Oh my!  Can she be old enough to get married already?  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


You might remember that I had mentioned to my GD that I didn't think I had enough patriotic quilts to decorate for Independence Day.  Well, I got an email from Connecting Threads regarding some patriotic fabric on sale.  I decided to order some as I really liked one of the designs and also needed some white on white.  The fabric came on Saturday - fast delivery! 

Fabric from Connecting Threads
 Have you ever ordered from Connecting Threads?  Over the years, I have mainly ordered thread, and occasionally, batting from them.  But last year I was looking for some fabric for the quilt I was making for my GS's high school graduation.  I decided to check their web site and I found something that was similar to the fabric that Bonnie Hunter used (I was making her Star Gazing pattern).  You can see it in the header - it's the sashing fabric in the quilt that is on the bottom left.  I was very happy with the quality of the fabric.

The fabric that they sell under their label is about $5.96 per yard.  The patriotic fabric was half price, so I bought 4 yards of the R/W/B.  The white on white was regular price.  They also have some name brand fabrics which cost more, but are still less expensive than quilt shops.  I really like the 2 fabrics that I bought.  As to their thread, I use their Essential Cone Thread (natural) for all of my piecing.  One cone has 5,000 yards of thread for $9.99.  I also use their quilting threads and am very happy with both.

Below is the little "patriotic" wall hanging that I made from the pattern by Miss Stacy at Buttermilk Basin.  The pattern was free and is still available.  It didn't take me long at all to get this prepped and I machine stitched it, so that was quick as well!  I'm going to be looking for more patriotic items to make, so that next summer I won't be short!  Maybe a table runner, or something using my new fabric?

Americana Crow on Spool
Thanks, Miss Stacy!

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Yesterday I made 2 more DJ blocks.  This first one was the hardest of the two, but I can't say if it is the very hardest of all the blocks I've made so far.  I need to stop thinking in terms of easy to hard and just make them in order, I guess.  I hope you don't scrutinize them too much.


My GD has been sewing quite a bit lately, including the 4th of July, when we had our sew-a-thon.  This is one of the bags she has made and I think it is super cute!

I'm going to put my DJ blocks away for a while because I need to concentrate on some other projects.  I will be picking up a bolt of batting today and I have 2 queen size quilts to baste/quilt, also a baby size donation quilt.  I'm also ready to sew some strip blocks together.  First I'm going to get the backings ready for the queen size quilts.  Then, probably next week, I will baste and get ready to quilt.  Both the queen size quilts (log cabin and ? [can't remember the name]) were long term projects, so it will definitely feel good to get them almost finished.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


 I think I'm finally learning my lesson!  The lesson is to make the DJ block with plenty of extra fabric around the sides, so that it is big enough.  You can see on the photo below, that the block needs to be trimmed down to the correct size with my DJ ruler.

Now, it is trimmed and I don't have to add any fabric to the sides to make it big enough.  Yes, I have had to do that.  But, from now on, I am making the pieces bigger than I think I need.  It's hard to tell when PPing sometimes and you end up with not enough seam allowance.  At least I do.  

The red sections didn't photograph very well, but you can imagine that it looks better than this.

Today, I think I'll tackle one of the very difficult blocks.  If I get it done, I'll post it tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Our celebration of Independence Day was quiet.  It's been very hot here, so DS#1 came over with GD and GS (DIL was still in Africa, but gets home today) since our house is air conditioned and their's isn't.  The men wanted to watch the Wimbledon tennis tournament, but I'm not sure if they got to see any of it.  GD and I had a Sew-A-Thon.  We had plenty to eat - too much, actually!

I finished binding this baby quilt.  At first I had a hard time finding the right fabric for the binding.  Then I spotted the perfect fabric, which was 2 FQs that I got at Good Will!  You'll see a close-up in the 2nd and 3rd picture.  It had all the colors in the quilt!

Then I started working on some DJ blocks while GD made a zippered pouch.  I set up my featherweight so we each had a machine and we hunkered down.




I didn't do all of these on the 4th, but continued yesterday.  Now, I have about 4 more ready to paper piece - fabric selected and papers cut and marked.  I'm almost finished with Row C!  With 13 blocks per row, that's 39 finished and I have 6 blocks finished from Rows D and E.  The quilt has 13 rows, so that comes to 169 blocks - not to mention the border!  Yikes!  I've been working on it for 1 1/2 years now.  Will I get it done?  I better try to do more blocks faster than this.

Hope you are staying cool (or warm if you are down under) .  Keep quilting!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


 I bought these blue triangles at a garage sale for $1.00 back when I lived in Texas and decided to finally get them sewn up.  There was some white fabric with them, but not enough, so I found some other white on white to finish them.

There are about 60 HSTs in this batch.  I'm sure I will find a way to use them one of these days!

A friend of mine gave me a ticket to the garden club tour of 5 beautiful yards.  I went on Sunday and took a few pictures.  Remember, these are pictures of garden club members - not my yard.  These 3 pictures were taken with my cell phone, so they aren't real sharp.

These poppies are huge!

Beautiful hydrangea bush!

Fairy garden

OK - here is a picture of a tiny section of my flower garden.  The Calla Lily just came up while we were away and now has one little flower!  Woo Hoo!

Little by little, I'm getting my yard in shape.  When we moved in, it didn't have a lot of things in it except some huge, ugly bushes.  I dug 2 of them out and I've been putting in flowers as I come across things I like.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015


The reason the week has seemed extra long is because I have been working on the garage sale fund raiser at my church - it raises funds for the women's ministry.  First it was taking in all the donations, then pricing and arranging and then yesterday was the first day (very successful).  Today is the final day.  We are all very tired!

I finished quilting this baby quilt earlier this week.  The blocks are from my guild in Texas.  Before I moved, I had signed up for a "block of the month" where each month you make an assigned block.  Then you turn it in.  There are 12 people in each group and at the end of the year you have 12 sets of blocks with different themes.  Then you draw and everyone gets one set.  Since we moved in the middle of the year, I mailed mine in for June through December and my name drew the baby blocks.  I think they turned out very cute.

I wasn't sure how I was going to quilt it and after quilting one block (top right) I decided I didn't like that quilting, so I changed it to the lines.  I didn't mark anything, except the 2 lines in the rectangles that form a "V" and I marked that with a hepa marker.  The top right block might just stay the way it is, but I am thinking about taking out the quilting and making it like the rest.

This is the end of my cow fabric.  I had bought it at a garage sale and used it to back several  baby quilts.

I think it might take me another week to recuperate from the garage sale!  I'll be happy to get back to having more time to sew.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


This morning I finished piecing my log cabin quilt top!  The inspiration for this quilt was my visit to a quilt shop Barrington, IL with Beth.  Here's my post about that visit.  Scroll down about half way to see the quilt in their shop.  I'm not sure exactly when I started it, but it may have been later in that year - 2011.  I worked on these blocks a lot while we traveled with our 5th wheel.

Here it is kind of spread out on our patio table & chairs.

It measures about 85" x 95".

I will get some batting and hope to get it basted soon along with another queen size quilt to I can get busy quilting both of them.  I'm starting to see some progress with my UFOs!!!

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Need any matches?  I just emptied two of these boxes of matches so I could make fairy beds.  Yes,  I said fairy beds.  Warning:  no quilty pictures in this post.

Here's the story.  My 6 year old granddaughter, Abby, has a fairy house that DS helped her make.  The problem is, there aren't any fairies living in it.  While visiting them, I just happened to see a youtube video on how to make fairies and told my DIL that I might make them.  In fact I looked for the supplies while I was there, but didn't find them.

These are the fairy dolls I made for Abby.

Next, I made a tiny mattress and pillow for each "bed."  They had to be rather flat or the "bed" wouldn't close.  My oldest GD helped me by covering the inside of the bed as well as the outside with pretty paper and gluing the buttons on.

Here's the outside of the match boxes covered with pretty paper and decorated with buttons (from my vast collection).

The fairy just fits in the match box bed.

Here are both of them in their "beds."  I hope Abby likes them.

Yesterday I finally got back to getting my log cabin quilt put together.  I want to get it finished!  

Thursday, June 11, 2015


We are home from our trip now!  We were gone a little longer than we had planned, but had a wonderful visit with sons, DILs and grandkids.  We helped one GS celebrate his birthday.  My DIL is an expert at decorating cupcakes.  He wanted ninja cupcakes and you can see them below.

For his birthday, my 7 year old GS got to pick what he wanted for supper.  The picture is below:  Rice, Salmon and grapes.

I took better pictures of my DJ blocks after I pressed and trimmed them.







I had prepared some easy appliqué for the trip, so now that I am home,  I better get going on some of the PP blocks.

When I participated in Julie's Binding Blitz for the end of May, I was selected as the winner for that month (random drawing).  She sent me these FQs, 2 half yard pieces  and I think the polka dot is a fat 8th.  These are wonderful and are fabrics that I don't have (except I used to have the polka dot).  Thanks so much, Julie!

It's SOOOOO good to be home again!  Our bed always feels so great after a trip - I think we could do commercials for Temperpedic.  Now I just have to get everything put away so I can start using my sewing machine more.  I really missed it while I was gone.