Sunday, September 24, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching--September

Binding has been my slow stitching project of the week, after fulfilling my goal of attaching to the Cheddar and Cinnamon quilt last weekend.  I have reached about halfway point of the 72" square quilt. 

It has been awhile since I hand stitched a binding on a quilt this large, preferring the quick and simple machine stitched method for most of my machine-quilted projects.  The backing fabric in this pic is a Thimbleberries print; appropriate since I adapted a Thimbleberries pattern for this quilt (Criss Cross Nines).

I've also yet to start another cross-stitch project, though I whet my appetite even further after hitting a thrift shop yesterday and finding treasure--a cache of Lizzy Kate patterns for 95 cents each.

The copyright dates on these are 2004-2006.  I love these designs and some had the charms included.  There was also a Blackbird Designs chart.
Sweet design and saying.  I'll enjoy time with needle and thread.  I also picked up this vintage 70s pattern that was never opened.   I just love the illustrations. Maybe someday there will be a granddaughter to make this for.

Fall is officially here, some trees are turning, but we are about to have another heat wave.  Our next door neighbors had AC put in their house and my husband bought a room air conditioning unit from them to use in our bedroom.  I managed to get some Fall decorations out the other morning, and we have chrysanthemums in pots in the front yard. 
I managed to get some Fall decorations out the other morning, and we have chrysanthemums in pots in the front yard. Quilts, always quilts first up!

Gourds and acorns and fall leaves. My favorite colors to decorate with.  I need to change out the quilt on the stair railing and unearth a wreath hanger for the front door to complete the seasonal changes.  

Linking up to Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday's Orts--September

Tuesday's Orts--random bits of thoughts and events that land here occasionally.
  • National Sew a Jelly Roll Day found me needle deep in strip sets. 

I sewed and sewed and ironed and ironed.  Most of these prints are from the Civil War Homefront Jelly Roll.  Some 4 patches and also HSTs appeared but there is a lot of cutting, sewing, and trimming yet to be done before this pile of yummy prints turns into a bunch of Jewel Box blocks.
  • My husband's birthday happened to coincide with that National Sew Day.  We went out to a favorite breakfast place, where he was gifted a huge cinnamon roll for his birthday.  I helped eat it. 
Who could resist those blue eyes?   The table behind us included four young boys in their party.  I was astonished to see them peeling back the foil of jelly packets and eating the jelly with a spoon.  Then they had chocolate milk and pancakes with syrup.  I predicted sugar comas for all. 
  • Our grandsons both fell sick on Saturday, which meant their parents' plans to see a concert in LA were cancelled, but Mimi was recruited to watch the boys for a few hours so they could still have a night out locally--everybody wanted to watch some boxing match (not me!).  I got this photo prior to the request: 

Hunter (1 1/2) crashed out on the bean bag.  He's nearly 25 lbs and very busy.  He's suddenly saying short phrases and learning new words every day.  Mama gave him a haircut since that photo.  Big brother Cove was the sickest, hardly any color to his face and just miserable with a fever and cold symptoms.  They are better today but not completely well yet.
  • One of the docs came in Monday morning and relayed a new phrase I'm going to have to steal: He reported that a relative of his was "On the top of his Fecal Roster".  lol
  • Three years ago this happened: 
Lucy as a Sandwich Board advertiser.  I visit Lucy sometimes at DD Erica's house.   I miss Lucy greeting me every morning and demanding a cuddle before breakfast. 
  • Traffic Rant:  Tailgaters who zoom up behind you and cling to your bumper despite speed limits and the lack of any alternate lane one can move to. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cheddar & Cinnamon Quilted

Over a month ago I got back the second of two quilts from the UFO Challenge 2017 that were sent out for long-arm quilting, but haven't yet shared the wonderful work a fellow guild member accomplished for me. 

I've been calling this Cheddar and Cinnamon (pattern from Thimbleberries called Nine Patch Criss Cross).  Isn't it funny how many quilts seem to be named after food?  I asked my quilter to try to emphasize the star points surrounding the nine patches.  

Someone's fluffy-kitty self covered a lot of my close up, but you get the idea!  I liked also how she quilted the centers of the square-in-square blocks to minimize the background fabric's print.

I requested feathers in the outer border.  Wool batting was used and will feel wonderful on cool nights while watching TV on the couch. 

Cornerstone details.  The binding is the cheddar print, and all ready to be stitched on, followed by a label.  I'll enjoy this quilt for fall decorating, too.  So happy to have this top quilted at last--the nine patches were swapped years ago (7!) hosted by my blog friend Julie.  She's a scrap quilt queen and always working on some charming hand applique as well.  I'll do the binding this weekend and call this quilt finished!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Projects and Wins

Projects, I've got many.  The top project since the Cross Reference finish is now the Moda Love quilt for Emma, my friend's daughter.  The top is all sewn together. 

It's big, and barely fit between my sewing desk and the kitchen cabinets for this shot.  It was a pleasure to sew with big blocks for a change.  In the interest of using up stash, I've chosen some yardage and leftovers to make up the back.  I plan also to construct a Frankenbatt  of the leftover batting in the bin I can barely close. (I stole the name Frankenbatt from another blog--don't remember which, though!)

While disparate prints, I think the colors work with the fabrics on the front well enough.  Strips cut from the fat quarters will make up the binding.  I plan to sew them in color sets for an easier-on-the-eye effect. 

Over the weekend my sister and I went to the Conejo Valley Quilters Guild show and they had some really nice vendors there, including several local quilt shops.  From the booth for A Fabric Shoppe, I chose a bunch of dotty fabrics in soft neutrals for a baby quilt.  

This is for a daughter's best friend who prefers neutrals.  I had the backing fabric in stash and think it will work well with the dots.  My plan is to make only the center of  this quilt with no borders, as a Tummy Time or take-along small quilt.  The pattern is from APQ magazine April 2017.  The designer had signatures from friends and family on her version, which will be a solid in mine.  Should be an easy make!  Baby is due in November, but I believe a baby shower is planned for next month, and I'd like to have it done by then. 

Final project is a challenge.  I don't think I've mentioned yet that my sister and I will be going to Sewtopia in New Orleans in early November.  I signed up for the Michael Miller Challenge and fabrics arrived a few days ago.
Aren't they yummy?  I've no idea yet what I will make. Being still a newbie to the Modern Quilt world, it's a little intimidating, but I'm so looking forward to my first sewing retreat.  Our guild president and her mom will also be there, which will make me feel a little more comfortable. I'll also be participating in the gift swap and need to settle on what small item to make. I've never been to any southern states, and anticipate loads of picture taking. Fingers crossed for no storms!

In the wins department, Jodie of Ric Rac released her latest fabric line, Rock Pool, and I won a giveaway on her blog last month.  She sent a loverly parcel all the way from Australia.  Lucky me!

Jodie is a prolific toy maker and relatively new but fabulous fabric designer and I've followed her blog for many years.  The patterns she sent are adorable.  Love the pins she makes too, some of which are sweary, heehee. Many thanks to Jodie for the great prizes.  I'll enjoy playing with the fabrics and wearing the Maker pin.  

Right-o, off to get dressed and run my errands before work.  Thanks for visiting!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Cross Reference FeeNee

Cross Reference is finally crossed off the to-do list.  I stitched up the binding corners and some missed spots from machine binding, added a label, gave it a bath, and called our son to come pick it up.  

Being rather tall, Nick didn't need help to hold it off the ground.  The quilt is about twin size, 60x80ish, smaller than the pattern as written in the April 2017 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, designer Susan Ache. I just found the pattern as a stand alone PDF purchase on  My version is made from Kona Snow for the background, Kona Prussian Blue for the small cross blocks, and a variety of blue and rust prints from stash. 

I think he likes it!  Especially since he's been not-so-subtly bugging me for the past month to get it done. 
This was actually a pretty fast finish for me, only 2.5 months from cutting to label.  It looks good wrapped around him and will be a bright addition to his apartment living room. Oh, and for his girlfriend to use when she gets cold, as he repeatedly mentioned while waiting for the finish! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sketching on Sue

Judy of Patchwork Times has chosen #4 as the UFO for September, but I have several still unfinished choices from previous months, some this close to finishes.  One of them is Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient.   After thread sketching the edges of all the applique, I wanted to try adding some detail to the background with hanging Chinese lanterns.  My sister suggested I draw them on white paper and preview my ideas that way.  Clever girl. 

First try. I liked the number of lanterns and one peeking out from behind Sue, but they were too small and crowded all on the one side.

Try #2.  While I liked the shape of the single lantern, I felt it needed to be larger, maybe hang lower, and seemed too attention grabbing.

Try #3.  Balancing the two smaller lanterns on the opposite corner looked better to me, though I would likely flip the image in the left upper corner to peek out behind Sue's hat.  Some further adjustments to the scale and details of the Chinese lanterns will be made.  I discussed using the thread sketching as quilting with my sister, but we agreed that it would put too much emphasis on the lanterns and not on Sue, so I'll sketch them only on the background fabric.  There will be some free-motion practice sessions to accomplish the kind of detail the lanterns deserve before attempting on the real thing.  I'll still have to find a backing, sandwich and quilt, then bind this little quilt, but Sue deserves a finish after lingering in limbo all these years!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Design Wall Monday--Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!  On my Design Floor is the latest squirrel project, which I am making for my friend and manicurist's daughter, who is off to college this week in another state.  She's the only girl in the family, and Mom will miss her bunches. 

Moda Love Layer Cake pattern, free here.  I think there were a couple more changes after I took this pic, but you have to stop the switcheroo game somewhere. This is a big quilt, 72" square finished. I used fat quarters and yardage, not having a Layer Cake.

I used my favorite new Hera tool to mark the center diagonal on the 10" squares for the HSTs before stitching.  The rows are now all gathered up into pinned stacks and, since the temperature has dropped almost to match the humidity as of today, I will be stitching.  Yesterday, while drooping under the fans in the 89 degrees inside of our un-airconditioned house, it was all I could manage just to do some hand stitching.

I had previously wound satin 1/2" ribbon on the hoop of a cross-stitch, which I had never tried before.  It is not perfectly done, but I like the look.  It has sat waiting for the back to be finished for the past month.

A circle of yellow wool felt got stitched on the back with perle cotton--sorry, no pics of that--and I'll add a piece of ribbon to hang it from.  Love this Lizzie Kate pattern. I have put off starting a new cross-stitch project until finishing this one.  Silly what rules one makes up for oneself!  

See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Design Wall Monday--Catching Up

 Design Wall Monday --See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  I disappeared for awhile, due to computer issu...