Monday, March 29, 2021

Design Wall Monday---Quilting Weekend

Last March Design Wall Monday--just squeaking in under the wire. See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

It was an all quilting weekend.  Too many UFOs clogging up the cutting table.  I started with a donated top I'd taken home to quilt well over a year ago; I made the backing early in February, and had batting from the guild.

I got a lot of exercise turning the quilt a hundred times to straight line quilt around the block stripes. It was with great pleasure that I got rid of the odd pale yellow print for the binding--that had been hanging around in the stash for ages.  

Pieced backing cleared some more odds and ends from stash. It is ready to donate.

I liked how the heart turned out.  The jelly roll used in the top was from an old line from 3 Sisters called Sanctuary.  I made a quilt from that line for my cousin many years ago, and used up leftovers from that for another quilt I gave away last year.  So soft and pretty. 

The rest of the quilting jobs were wavy line all the way, so much faster and easier, but I didn't feel it suited the heart quilt. 

Modern placemat from leftover trial blocks and backing. 

It turned out a bit freeform from the back, lol.  Next, a quilt top I made from fabrics purchased on my trip to Queensland, Australia in 2009 to visit my friend Sue.

The backing and binding were all ready to go.

This weird print I bought on clearance suits pretty well. 

Wavy line quilting is so fast and easy, especially since I don't pin the quilt sandwich center, just layer and smooth on both sides, then fold it up and let it rest for a bit, a la Dory Cary.  I have mentioned this method she taught at a guild presentation, but can find no info about it on her website, Orange Dot Quilts, sadly.  I only put pins in the top's corners to keep them from flipping over.  There are a lot more finished tops that need to be quilted and some of them will get this treatment!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Design Wall Monday--New Setting Idea

It's Design Wall Monday.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  

I got out of the house the other day for some sanity shopping, which included a stop at a local fabric shop.  The sale room had some good neutrals--always need to stock up on those, don't we all?  The Easy Breezy blocks make a nice pile, but need to get in a quilt. The pattern is Bonnie Hunter/Quiltville's current leader-ender.  She already made a quilt from hers, much more complex than I am aiming for.

There are over 50 blocks here, which finish at 6".  I wanted to use an alternate neutral for a setting block, but didn't want to cut them the same size square--that's just too much neutral for me.  While poking around on Pinterest, I found an idea that fit the bill.  At first I was thinking about this for the 16-patches I've been making, but I only have a small pile of blocks--they also finish at 6".

Nice neutral for the alternate piece--just a hint of a blue print.  The setting idea was on the Patchwork n Play blog--who found it somewhere else on Pinterest, lol. She started with 2.5" squares so MATH was required to determine the rectangular setting piece size for my blocks made from  2" squares.

As you can see, I sketched for the 16 patches but will try it first for the Easy Breezy blocks.  I like the skinnier setting rectangle and the way one row overlaps of the pieced blocks.  This will make a nice top to donate.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Worldwide Quilting Day

Worldwide Quilting Day--isn't that an amazing visual, folks all over the planet using needle and thread to create. I wanted to piece, so pulled out the box of finished Log Cabin Loonies blocks.  I had saved a photo of a trial layout, and luckily had blocks already pinned in groups of ten. I started with 1.5" strips for my log cabins so they will finish at an odd size, 7.5".

This is the most blocks I could layout on my sewing room floor this direction, but since there were lots of log cabin blocks, I decided to add another row to each side to bring the top to 60" wide and 67" long. This pic was taken before I sewed skinny borders around the 6" finished modern churn dash blocks from Barb's (Fun with Barb) swap a few years ago.  I was glad to find that job had been done when I opened the box. 

The extra blocks on the end of each row complete the light diagonal stripes well. 

It looked even better all sewn up! The bottom half of the quilt is yet to assemble-- I've not decided if a border will be necessary to finish the top. I'm sewing more 2" squares into 16 patches as leader-enders, and have an exciting setting idea for the Easy Breezy leader-ender blocks that I found on Pinterest.  More piecing in my future--love it!

Our daughter Elaine sent a photo of grandson Cove and me at the backyard family gathering last weekend, after he wanted to try Mimi's tea.

She texted me one morning a few days later, "Cove is bugging me to make him a cup of tea".  So funny!

My sister and I went today to visit our Uncle Fred, who post-stroke has been moved to a nursing home for comfort care.  He seemed to recognize us, but it was hard to tell, as he isn't able to talk. He was moving his head, right arm and leg. 

He has a nice big window in the room and it was clean and the staff are taking good care of him.  We'll visit again soon.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Continuing Projects

 It's Design Wall Monday--see more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

I did spend some time with needle and thread the week past, finishing up the guild charity quilt finally yesterday. 

I was happy with the full arrow shapes amid the rest of the HSTs. The cheerful prints should please someone. I'll pass this on to someone else for the quilting and binding, as I already have two more to do here. 

I also continued working on last year's Laundry Basket Quilts quiltalong blocks.  The next step is eight square-in-square blocks. 

More tan, cream and red for my version--hers was mainly blue and pink.  So much fun to play with the scraps. Four more to go in this step, then another 40 or so til the 100th block is finished.

We had a belated birthday brunch for our youngest daughter, it was a great time in the backyard.  I was able to get fresh eggs from my nephew. 

Such pretty eggs!  They tasted great.

The grandsons were all charming and it was good to spend time again with all our offspring.  Cove (7), decided he wanted to try hot tea with me.  He loved going through all my tea bags and adding honey for sweetener.  So funny and cute!  Erica then spent the whole afternoon with us, as her boyfriend went to play golf at a local course.  We watched a period movie (Emma) and made a peach cobbler "dump" cake.  It was delicious.

Occasionally we do get some rain here in SoCal, and with that, snow was blanketing our local mountain range.  I had a great time taking some pics of the storm clouds at sunset. 


So dramatic and exciting. 

There was even a distant rainbow's end--it lasted for about 15 minutes.  I took many many photos, even a couple of panoramas--so striking was the weather.  My hands were freezing by the time I got back in the car. 

The snow level was down pretty low--these mountains are at least 40 miles away and the highest peak over 6000 ft.  We still need more rain, but are grateful for whatever falls!

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Thursday's Orts

Happy Thursday! Occasionally I post Tuesday's Orts--bits and thoughts of life--so don't be confused that it is still that early in the week :)

  • My husband had an MRI with contrast this week and had to clean out his insides beforehand.  Why he chose Windex blue jello was beyond me!  He pronounced it delicious.  His daughters were grossed out. He did explain that he thought red and orange should be avoided in case it looked like blood...which could be true if it were an internal exam, though I held my tongue!

  •  In the "never fail" section of my fingernail life, I looked down to find THIS, a few days after my manicure. I could not find the missing piece, have no idea how I did it.  Then I knocked a section off the index finger too, a couple days later.  My ever-kind manicurist friend Stacey told me, "It just means I get to see you sooner!"


  • I'm not sure the name Malarkey is a great name choice for a service company, but I was enchanted by some of the shingle sample color names, like Moire Black and Silver Birch.  We chose the front sample, Natural Wood, to replace our 30+ year old roof, but because of all the wind damage from the storms, plus recent rain, we will not get on the roofers' schedule until mid to late April. 


  •  I guess this will be my Traffic Rant:  After the Sunday drive to deliver my swap blocks, I pulled into a shopping center parking lot, thinking about doing some shopping, but there were just too many people around.  This lady, who appeared to be in her pajamas and a vest, was making food on her bumper (ew) for two cute little girls who were running around.  As if that wasn't bad enough, she handed a roll of toilet paper to one of the girls, who ran off to the landscaped median with it.  Gross.
  • Here's some quilty content to wipe that mental picture away...I sewed all those HSTs into pairs (after sliver trimming a laassst batch) and am ready to layout and sew.  As you can see, I made some full arrows.  I'll sprinkle them around the quilt.  In reading the directions, I noticed an error in the layout photo, which showed 13 rows instead of 12.  Not a big deal, but I am glad I read it over before panicking that I was shorted!  I am calling this pattern Rise Up, as that was the name we used when making the same pattern for quilts for victims of the Borderline Bar massacre. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Mini Mod Swap

Design Wall Monday rolls around again.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.

Some hours Saturday and Sunday were spent on the Mini Mod Swap blocks, Warm and Bright/White group.  These are 2" unfinished and templates were included with the signup and $5 donation. Before the templates came out, I had already sewn up a bunch of different blocks on my own. I was able to use some of them for my guild swap partners. 

The three columns on the right were the first blocks I'd sewn.  I made a ton of the yellow blocks before I got the guide and templates, so have lots left over to mix in the final setting of whatever they will become.  The hot pink HSTs were already started, as well as the coral checkerboards.  Which is a good thing, because I mistakenly believed mailing day was March 8, when it was actually March 5... Saturday I spent many hours paper piecing the tiny ochre diamonds and orange arrows.   I made a full set of six drunkard's path blocks in a warm purple--but that color was not in the Warm and Bright group, so I started over with the deep pink. Those DP blocks were hard, even though made slightly oversized and trimmed down! 

The top row are blocks I made before getting the rules.  I do like the purple DP blocks and will mix them in anyway, most likely.

Sunday I drove around dropping off the finished blocks, it was good to get out of the house on a nice day.  I found I had actually miscounted blocks needed and made an extra set that I kept.  One of  my guild swap partners did the same thing-- Tisha joined so many color groups that she ended up making 108 blocks total!  Her blocks in the Warm and Bright group are on the right.  Chris's blocks are on the left.  Chris contributed two sets of blocks for the color group, and even included 3 extra in her sets, an unexpected delight.

One more partner's blocks are on their way to me.  I don't know what I will make with the blocks, but have seen bags and mini quilts, pincushions and buckets on Instagram #minimodswap.  It has been a popular swap and over $10,000 has been collected by Berene at Happy Sew Lucky to donate to social causes.  That's a good thing!

Friday, March 5, 2021

Mystery Quiltalong and Uncle Progress

The next block for last year's Mystery Quiltalong from Laundry Basket Quilts had a lot of pieces and I wanted to bring in some more black.  I decided to go a little less scrappy for this set of four blocks for Block 6. 

I had quite a time with the smaller HSTs.  I wanted to use Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle tool and kept cutting strips that were the wrong size for the HST I needed.  The cutting board was quite a disaster while I pulled different fat quarters and strips for the scrappy look I love. At least there were only four blocks in this step!

The block is placed correctly in the corner and continues the red chain.  There will be more black and green added so it won't stand out so much later.  Block 7 is a square in square block; I need to make eight of them and that will complete half of the 100 blocks in the quilt.

While sewing up the Block 6 batch, a lot of leader-enders got sewn up into 16 patches.

I ran out of Easy Breezy block pieces (Bonnie Hunter's current leader ender) so grabbed another container of 2" precut squares I set aside while cutting down scraps. Some were already sewn into four patches so I grouped four of them. There are a few alternate block settings I'm considering when I get a bunch made: either scrappy hourglass blocks, scrappy pinwheels, or X blocks like Arkansas Crossroads.  I like traditional quilts as much as modern ones!  Speaking of modern, I signed up for a Mini Mod Block swap with guild and need to get 30 2" blocks made and mailed this weekend. Some I will paper piece, a mind bending exercise for me!  I'll need plenty of caffeine and chocolate for that :)

Update on our Uncle Fred, who had a stroke last month: He was moved to a rehab facility today.  He is still unable to swallow but now has a gastric feeding tube rather than nasogastric.  He can move some of his right side but cannot turn himself over or sit himself up.  He can say a few words. We don't know yet what permanent state he may be left with; only time will tell.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Piecing and Playing with Grandsons

It's Design Wall Monday.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

I'm happily back to piecing work again.  Our guild is making charity quilts and I got delivered a kit and instructions last month of some precut fabric and the pattern.  Although not my favorite method, the "8 at a time" half-square triangles are very popular for precuts.  

Lots and lots of marking and sewing 10 inch squares.  I chose to cut on the diagonal drawn lines with scissors, right at the sewing desk, then used ruler and cutter for the final vertical and horizontal cuts. Then there was a lot of trimming, A LOT.

I may invest in one of the small round trimmers as this Olfa mat is getting pretty worn out--I've had it for many years.  I did get the HSTs alllll done so I can start sewing them together.  The pattern is very simple to assemble.

We did have some grandson time over the weekend too.  Our older grandsons' shared birthday party was Friday night (they were born on the same day two years apart). They are 7 and 5, unbelievably!

I took a lot of videos as these two barely stopped moving enough to focus!  Hunter is a bit blurry here too :)  Cove is reading better and better; Elaine is very patient with helping him sound out the words. 

On Saturday we happily accepted an invite from our son and daughter-in-law for a harbor cruise and more time with our newest grandson, Dane, 6 months.  He was very fussy at the birthday party and really wanted only Mama.  Cutting teeth is hard!

DIL Ashley's parents' cruiser boat is a lot of fun to tour around in.  We stepped off to walk at the harbor and pick up some food.  I saw a fellow guild member there too, small world!

Mama and baby posed as scuba divers for fun.  

Co-captains for life :)  Dane was pretty happy to be in a smaller crowd--as he was born during the pandemic, he hasn't been around tons of people very much!

Papa and Dane playing with toys on the boat.
I got some great grins back at the house, from daddy's lap.  He did let me tote him around and loved some clacking noises I made for him.  It was wonderful to have a long visit.

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...