"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Preprinted panels and quilts

One of the things that I'm trying to do this year is to use up the preprinted fabric panels that have been in my stash for 10 or more years.   Most of these were originally meant to be used for pillows.    But that hasn't happened for me.

The cat panels that I blogged about over the weekend are easy enough to use for a kid's quilt.   And I have more of the cats that have the leaf border to use up (have yardage of that one).   But I'm not sure what to do with two of the panels that i have.    I want to do donation quilts with these, and know that the chicken panel would work for an adult.   So that one isn't a problem and I've already got an idea of what I want to do with it.

However, the pig panel at the top is one that I'm not sure about.   I was thinking a kids quilt for donation, but not sure that would be appropriate or not.  

What do you all think about these two panels?

1. School is back in session today with only a two-hr delay this morning.
2. For having been able to make a lot of headway in getting my paperwork organized for my taxes yesterday.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sewing on a snowy winter weekend

It has been a snowy weekend here and I've been stuck at home both days.   Was supposed to have been at work at the store today and a robotics competition this weekend, but both things were cancelled.   And that meant that I got to stay home and play in the sewing room.   =)

First thing that i did was to work on the wedding quilt making more blocks.   Was able to finish up another 27 blocks for it.   That puts me at 76 completed blocks out of the 180 that I need for the layout.  I started laying them out to see how the quilt was going to look and this is as far as I got.    

I've also finished up three quilt tops yesterday and today.   The first has a focus fabric that reminds me of the old-fashioned chenille fabrics, but in color.   I went shopping in the stash for the coordinating blue and fuchsia solids.   Quilt finished out at 40" by 40" for a final size.   the focus fabric was part of a scrap bag that I bought at a local quilt store.  

The next two quilt tops started with pillow panels that I had purchased about 10 years ago from Ben Franklin's in Phoenix.     They've sat for what seems forever in my stash while I tried to figure out what to do with them.   Pictures aren't true to life but give you an idea of what I did with them.   the one at the left finished at 32" by 46".   And the one to the right finished at 46" by 54"and used 4 orphan blocks in the corners of the borders.  

At this point I'm not sure what I'll do with these three quilts.   They may go to Sunshine Quilts, or I might finish them and then try to sell them.
1. A stash that I can go shopping in for quick projects like this.

2. For the warm house that God has blessed me with in this crazy extremely cold weather here this winter.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Finished Postcards and new fabric

Finished the green scrappy postcards this morning.   Nice to have a few minutes in the morning to sew before heading to school (2-hr delay for school today.   The big one is 5" by 7" and is going to be going into the mail this evening and on it's way to a friend who is going through hard times at this point.   I'm not quite sure who the others are going to, but have possibilities for a couple of them and maybe the third.   =)

The fabric pictured to the shows a shot of the cute FQ's that I found at Joann's this past weekend.    The dresses that the girls are wearing are all military inspired and I love the old-fashioned look to them.   I plan to use the fabric as a focus fabric in a quilt for American Heroes. 

Gratitudes -

1. A warm house, warm clothes, a car with a good heater and a job that keeps me inside (albeit in a room that can be chilly) instead of having to work outside in the bitter arctic cold temps we are having here at the moment.

2. For good friends who are always there to encourage me.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Leftover bits and pieces from any quilt that I work on that is, I just can't seem to get rid of them when they are big enough to do something with.    In this case from the wedding quilt that I'm working on at the present time (one of many projects). 

The first thing that I did with scraps was to sew the strips I blogged about before.   Pic to the right shows a couple of the sets with some of the purple strips that I'm considering putting with them.   And here's a pic of all of the purple strips that I have pulled out.  I haven't decided yet on what I'm going to do for sure with the two groups of fabric but I think that they will play nicely together.

Meanwhile, as I make blocks for the wedding quilt I'm ending up with a lot of triangles that get cut off as I make the flying geese.   The first thing I'm doing with the ones that are from a single piece of fabric is to sew them to a square of a COC fabric with a scant 1/4" seam.   Then cut between the two seams and press them flat.   Final step is to trim them to an unfinished size of 3.5" for most, if not all of them.      If I've counted correctly I'll end up with approximately 288 of these blocks.

The triangles that are trimmed off from the strip sets are slightly smaller than the solid fabric triangles, so I am sewing a strip cut at 1.5" to both of them and then trimming the resulting block to 3.5" unfinished.   I should end up with about 72 of these blocks.  One possible layout for the resulting blocks, when combined with the half-square triangles is show at the right.

One of the last things I did was to make the fronts for 4 quilted postcards from the small bits and pieces of the strip sets.   I'll be adding silk flowers to these after I put the backs on them.   But before I can do that I actually need to find where I've got that fabric tucked away for safe keeping.

Gratitudes -

1. For the award for my published magazine article and the response at the school to it.

2. For the possibility of being able to attend the conference and receive the award.

Progress on the wedding quilt

Last weekend was UFO Weekend for an online group of friends and I was able to sew with them for once.   I worked on the wedding quilt and made a lot of progress in getting blocks done.   Final tally for Saturday was 49 blocks out of the 180 required are now finished up.    I had to readjust the layout because I realized I'd forgotten to flip the pp'd patterns.   But once that was done I was able to layout some of the blocks to see how it will go together.   Am loving how it is starting to look.

Haven't had time to work on anything else this past week.   But hopefully that will change this week.

1.  No snow today!  lol

2. For the positive feedback that I've received after hearing that my journal article had been awarded the "Top Peer Reviewed Article" award for last year.

Friday, January 17, 2014


.....Also known as a short attention span........In working on the wedding quilt one of the first things that I needed to was to make the strip sets for 36 of the 180 total blocks.   This meant that I needed at least 72 different strip sets because I don't want to duplicate them in the blocks.   Got those made, was able to cut 74 different strip sets for the blocks and had a bunch of the strips leftover.

Once done with that you'd think I'd go to work on making more blocks.....nope, I got distracted by all of the scrap strips that I had pulled out of the scrap bins several yrs ago.    I spent several hrs sewing together the rest of the strips into strip sets.  All sorts of shades of green and prints are in these strip sets.

I'll be cutting 4.5" wide sections from the sets and combining them to make 8.5" to 9" long strips.   I will need to pull some more strips to make some of the sections long enough, but i have more than enough scraps in the 2-gallon bag of green scraps to do that.   The plan is then to use my black scraps and put strips down both long sides to make an 8.5" unfinished block.   I've also found a pile of purple strips that I had bagged up at some point in the past that would make up good strip sets.  Those aren't sewn together yet, but I'm thinking that i would use them along with at least some of the green ones in a quilt along the lines of the sketch to the right.

I've put one block together, but I'm not sure after all of the black.   I was thinking it would make the strip sets pop, but it didn't really do the job.   The lighter greens looked ok, but the darker ones didn't really show up against the black.   And I know there are a lot of darker greens in the strips sets.   So  because I want them to all show up I'm going change the black something else instead.    Am thinking of either using a WOW or COC, or using the purple strips for the outside strips of the blocks.   Then just alternating directions of the blocks to put them together.  Which do you think would be more fun?

Using the green and purple together isn't necessarily my normal choice, but I figure that nature puts them together in lovely combinations so why can't I? 

Gratitudes -

1. Nice 2-hr delay for the start of school today meant that I could work on writing this post.

2.  For the $100 Amazon gift card that I won in a contest.  =)

Monday, January 13, 2014


Progress is slowly being made on a couple of long-term projects.    Twelve blocks have been made for the wedding quilt.   And 2/3's of the greens that are needed for the quilt have been rough cut to size in preparation to piecing the blocks. 

Have also managed to get three more blocks made for my batik garden series of blocks.   With these three finished I know have 21 blocks total made, none alike.   There are 18 that are in the yellow, orange or brown color families - those i'm going to set together in an on-point setting.   Am still think about what I want to do for the setting triangles in that layout.   Have to space these out because the pieces are so small.   For example, the center square of teh orange block has 27 pieces in it alone.  

1. thanks for the 'angel' who finished shoveling the snow berm at the end of the driveway so that I could move my car after Sunday's storm.
2. School has started back up after 5 snow days!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Making progress.....

Thanks to having 5 snow days this week I've been able to get more sewing done.....yippee.   Finished the two quilt tops pictured in the previous post then made block #22 for my batik garden series of blocks.   I think finishing this block finished up what I'm going to do with the orange batik scraps because I don't have enough variety to make another block.    I do have a layout for that uses 18 blocks set on point, so that is probably what I'll use to set these blocks.   So the orange, yellow, and brown blocks will be going into that.

Next up are the baggies of blue, purple, pink, and green batik scraps.   I've got a stack of the pp'd sections printed out and just need to decide what color I want to work on using up next. 

I also got quite a bit of work in on the wedding quilt this weekend while out of school.    First up was completing 10 blocks of one of the three types of blocks that I need for this quilt.   All blocks are 6" finished in size and I'm paper-piecing all of them in order to keep them at a consistent size and to have the points line up like they need to.     I need to make a total of 180 blocks for the quilt, and have finished 12, so that makes me 6.67% done with the blocks.  =)    

I also sewed what seemed like a bazillion different strip sets, so I could cut 75 or so different sections that are 7" in length for the 36 pieced flying geese blocks in the quilt.   Ended up with a lot of pieced strips still left over so I have a good start on my next scrappy quilt and have a plan in mind for them.  =)  I also spent a lot of time cutting sections of assorted green fabrics to use in the 100+ blocks that have solid flying geese in them.  I'm up 50 or so different fabrics for each of the two different blocks that I need to make for the quilt.   Still have a bag of scraps that I need to look through and see if I can find more pieces that are big enough.  

Still to be precut are the background fabrics, well at least enough to continue sewing with.   this quilt will put a dent in all of the lovely ones that I've been collecting the last couple of years.

1. For being able to 'shop' in my stash instead of having to go buy all new fabric when I want or need to start a new project.
2. For the enjoyment that comes from designing and quilting.

Once Upon A time - the ending

The sewing machine was soon muttering as the quilter kept her hard at work putting together the blocks as they played nicely together.   A couple of times there were those who tried to march to their own beat and go their own direction, but a wee bit of wrangling on the part of the quilter and they all decided to cooperate.   Once everyone had joined hands and was resting comfortably, the quilter introduced us to the border who was to be the final member of our group.   Once the sewing machine had done it's work, the quilter said we were all grown up and ready to go join all of her other completed tops.  

It was at this point that the quilter looked at all of our siblings who were still
enjoying being able to tumble around in a big pile without having to behave.   With another snow day  having been called, the quilter decided our siblings needed to be introduced to the sewing machine as well.   With a little more wrangling and some cajoling (sigh, more frog-stitching), the quilter got our siblings to play nicely.   But wait, what about those bits and pieces that were left, she didn't want them to feel like they'd been abandoned.   So after digging in her unending stash didn't produce anything, it was off to the fabric store to find a border that would fit in with all of the siblings - Not an easy task!   Finally though one jumped into the cart and came home with them.     A little while later the quilt finally allowed the sewing machine to rest and said that our siblings were grown up and ready to join us in the melee of completed tops.   Anyone want to guess how long she'll leave us there to mature?

1. After 5 snow days, the weather has finally warmed up and the accumulated snow is finally melting back.

2. I'm starting to find the top of my cutting table again!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Once upon a time......

Once upon a time many years ago there was a quilter who bought a bunch of coordinating scrap strips and pieces.   Now this quilt was not one who could leave a group of scraps big enough to make a quilt suffering in the bowels of a scrap bin.   So when many years ago (more than 10 years ago) she came across a grouping of fall colored strips in lengths that ranged from 3" to width of fabric and were 3 1/4" wide.   With a grouping that was about an inch tall she just couldn't leave them in the scrap bin to feel like no one loved them so home they came with her.

But rescuing them from the scrap bin was one thing, actually knowing what to do with them was another thing altogether!   So for many years the poor strips languished in her voluminous scrap bins feeling neglected.  Several years went by before this poor quilter decided to use the strips in a triple flying geese paper-pieced block.   The pattern and tentative layout was designed, patterns printed out, fabric friends collected, and everyone was stuck into a big ziploc bag.   This bag was then stuck into a tote with lots of quilt friends and forgotten about for more years because the quilter just couldn't get into pp'ing the geese.

More years went by and the quilter was feeling guilty for not having done anything with the scraps unearthed them from the tote they had been living in for so many years.   Feeling a little scared after so many years with just their fellow kits, the scraps became a wee bit anxious when the quilter proceeded to put away the patterns that had been living with them.  What was she up to?  Did she no longer want them?

But then they grew lively as they realized that the quilter had brought 23 new friends for them to play with.   These friends were lovely groups of COC fabrics and soon there were a pile of new 'best friends' as all of the scraps paired up with a COC strip.

Having paired up and everyone was playing nicely together, the inevitable happened and blocks began to form as strip division occurred.

124 blocks later the strip division finally stopped and the scraps that once had been so lonely were now a part of a large family of blocks.   Having said goodbye to lost bits and pieces as they achieved their final size, the blocks were waiting to find out what would happen next to them.    Would they grow up to make their parent strips proud of them?   Would they be once again relegated to the depths of that dark tote their parents had talked about?

But wait, the quilter had a snow day and was working with a sketch to see it come to life.   She sorted the blocks, thoroughly mixed them up and put them into order.   Then introduced them to their new friend the sewing machine.    This new friend soon had them playing together in an orderly manner for the most part.   The quilter did have to stop once and work with a recalcitrant block who just did not want to play nicely to make it behave (aka frog-stitching).    Throughout the process the blocks were eagerly awaiting their turn to take part in the scene that was taking shape and were looking forward to seeing what the quilter was planning.

1.  Two snow days off of school to deal with the 12" plus of snow that fell over the weekend and a warm house to retreat to when it gets too cold to keep shoveling.

2. The street is plowed out so I can finally dig out from the 12-15" tall and 18" wide berm that the plow at the end of my driveway.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Block 2 for the 2013-2014 BOM has been posted

The second block in my BOM for this year has been posted.   The pattern has been written so that you can either paper-piece the corner units (the "Bars") or piece them 'normally' depending on your preferences.

Click on the here to go to the Block-of-the-month page on my website to download the pattern.

I hope you enjoy the block pattern and this BOM.  

Gratitudes -
1. for a warm dwelling with power and running water in the midst of a severe winter storm.

2. For having a snow day tomorrow and not having to drive into school in the hazardous conditions on the road.