Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tuesday's Orts--Very Random

 Tuesday's Orts--bits and pieces that land here once in a while...


  • My sister won a raffle basket or two last month at the VMQG Guild meeting. She gifted me all the patterns and fabric she didn't want.  The Bonnie and Camille floral is so pretty.  I'm sure I'll find a good quilt for it to belong to. 

  • A call went out for donations of gently used quilts for Afghan refugees.  I found three I was willing to part with.  This quilt was made years ago from blocks I won from a blog. Although red and green, the prints are not Christmasy.

This quilt was an early fail in the fabric selection department.  The small oriental print turns to mud when seen from not very far away.  I hope someone will like it close up--it has languished in a closet for many years, unused. 

This red quilt from a free Bonnie Hunter pattern (Pineapple Blossom) was made for my mother-in-law, also barely used.  I hope these quilts will please refugees of 20 years of war.  I can't even fathom what that must have been like.  I took these to Superbuzzy and received thanks from the owner, Kelly, when she ran out to my car as I was leaving. 
 
  • This huge moth lingered for a couple of hours on our kitchen's garden window screen.  Pardon my clean dishes cluttering up the pic.  Speaking of clutter....


  • Pardon the blur, I was trying to be quick while Dr. B was out of the room.  I think his wife cleans up after him at home, because every day he brings a drink and doesn't finish it or throw it away.  I recently mentioned the mess and he brought a bag the next day and took all the cans away, but left the bottles!  Well I think some of the bottles weren't even opened. Too funny.



  • A little doll quilt mostly from leftovers of the Greenpiece BOM quilt.  It will get quilted and donated to guild for some little girl to enjoy. 
  • Traffic Rant: There are folks in our neighborhood who cannot bear to walk two yards further from their parked car to their house and therefore park practically on the corner.  One of them is a big ass truck, which makes it really hard to see cross traffic or dog walkers while trying to get out of our court.  A daily annoyance!
  • This time three years ago I was checking my County Fair Entries. 

I made this quilt for the Sewtopia Challenge fabric that year.  It was a fun exercise.  We got emails today regarding the Orlando event a month away, I'm hoping I managed to reserve a sewing machine so I don't have to fly one there.  I've chosen a pattern for this year's challenge fabric bundle and plan to get started on it this weekend.  There are secret swap gifts to make too, and I'm excited about an idea for pincushions.  So much to do before the end of September.  I'm hoping to get a COVID-19 booster mid September, as it will be 8 months since my second shot, and COVID numbers are scary!  

Monday, August 30, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Double the Plus Quilt Finish

Design Wall Monday brings a finished quilt post. See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

The short deadline quilt occupied most of last week.  I used the Hera marker to first mark diagonal lines through all the plus blocks.  


I liked the way the plus blocks looked with an X through the center, and completed all the lines in both directions.  But the lines were about 7 inches across, so after consulting with daughter Erica, divided that in half with stitching lines.  It took two long quilting sessions to get all the lines marked and sewn. 

I opted to quilt from the grey side, as I felt the cream thread would be less noticeable on the reverse white quilt side if I missed the exact centers. 

The lines stayed pretty well lined up, thankfully.  The binding already prepared, I set about carefully pinning it 1/2" from the edge of the top, to avoid any places where the top quilt and reverse quilt edges didn't exactly match up.  The walking foot made pretty quick work of getting the binding all on, and I carefully trimmed the extra 1/4" off.  Before quitting for the night on Wednesday, I turned the binding to the white side and pinned/clipped it in place. 


I sewed during lunch break and finished the quilt after work, including a label, in time for daughter Erica to pick it up. We got to visit some as she stayed for dinner.
Double the Plus is an Emily Dennis pattern available on her website quiltylove.com


This quilt being intended as a wedding gift for Erica's boyfriend Ryan's best friend, I was happy to receive a call from Ryan effusive in his compliments on the quilt and appreciation for all the sewing involved :)  Ryan gave the quilt a tryout...

...accompanied by their kitties Zuzu and Bruce.  Thumbs up/paws up from all :)  I'll look forward to hearing how the recipient liked the quilt.  Erica said the wedding was fun and that Ryan--the best man--caught the garter, lol.  

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--Round Robin Quilt

Slow Stitching Sunday on Kathy's Quilts Blog comes round again. 

While the walking foot was still on the machine, and a readied quilt sandwich that had been waiting months for its turn, I smoothed both sides flat and repinned the corners. The few markings needed were done with the Hera tool. 


I quilted in the ditch within the log cabins every four inches crosswise, then along the 12" block rows the long way.  From the leftover binding bin there were few solids, and I did not have any more of the jade green which I'd started the round robin log cabin blocks with.  I pulled all the solid 2.5" strips from my precut drawers, then chose some fat quarters to round out. I really wasn't sure that it would look good, but I'm pleased with it. 


Binding was attached entirely by machine. Where you see binding clips is a Slow Stitching opportunity where I missed catching the edge on the back.  That will be taken care of today.


Backing fabrics.  I like this side too.  That button print has been in stash for a couple of decades--I made my older daughter a dress from it when she was in elementary school!


The lotus looking print was a bargain room purchase a few months ago.  Glad to have this ready to turn in at Guild next month.  There are two other quilt tops/backs needing the same treatment.  I think the walking foot will stay on the machine for now :)

Monday, August 23, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Double Plus and Lupine Heaven

This Design Wall Monday I have three finished tops to show.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

The two-sided quilt with a deadline is moving along. Double the Plus is an Emily Dennis pattern. 

I had to move my sewing desk, lamp and chair out of the way to get this large throw size laid out.  I used spray baste on this part of the sandwiching, after doing a lot of cleanup of loose threads on the back--the white fabric frayed more easily than the grey. 

I'm hoping not too lose too much of the border when I have to even up the outer edge.  I tried hard to make all the sides match of this two sided monster!  That was a lot of pinning. Daughter Erica wanted  simple diagonal quilting  I decided to quilt through the crosses diagonally both ways. That should be plenty of stitching to hold it together.  

Ready to wrestle this monster through my domestic sewing machine!  I'll have sore arms by the end of this job for sure.  The binding has already been made and will be attached by machine.  I have until Thursday night to get this done before Erica and her boyfriend, who is the best man at the wedding, head up to Carmel. Wish me luck!

The other finished quilt top is my version of Bonnie Hunter's My Blue Heaven pattern (free pattern on Quiltville.com).  I took a class from her in 2017 with the Camarillo Quilt Guild and finally have a finished top.  When last seen, I was debating about the outer border hourglass blocks, to which I had added a lot of teal/aqua pieces and wasn't sure I liked them.  However, I had decided to finish the borders in progress and once I did, there was no turning back.  

Pardon my toes :)  Some of my favorite blocks are in this pic.  

The teal is less distracting, I think, now that it completely surrounds the center.  I'm happy with the finished top and glad it didn't get abandoned after all that cutting and sewing.  My Lupine Heaven is my version's name.  Hopefully it will rain sometime in California again and these greens and purples will return in Spring.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

What I'm Working On Wednesday--Busy Days Til Deadline

The looming deadline for the Double the Plus quilt resulted in more cutting and sewing.  I am this close to being short of white fabric for the outer border, but until the top is completed, it isn't a certainty.  What is a certainty is that rushing causes mistakes.  Can anyone identify the one in this pic?


Give yourself a gold star if you spotted the white sashing right side up instead of right side down.  I was able to simply open the short seam of the solid sashing and just enough of the long join to resew and bring the seam to back where it belonged--the benefit of solid fabric!  There was a second fail while stitching what I thought was a completed cross block row, but I was short one cross block.  Luckily scraps were quickly cut and sewed and the last block attached. Batting will need to be purchased before final sandwich assembly and quilting.  I have already made the binding. 


Mini watched from the top of the project boxes and under the other half of the quilt top. 


I spent some time this week with this almost one year old while Mama was working in her home office. Dane is now running and very very busy. 


Son Nick came home from work while we were playing so I got to visit with him too.  We'll see the other grandsons soon and hear all about their recent vacation and fishing. 

A quick trip to the local fabric store for embroidery thread for the Poinsettia and Pomegranate project shown in the last post resulted in another purchase.


These DMC kits were so cute and reasonably priced, I couldn't resist. 

Hoop, fabric, pattern with thread already separated--so helpful to jump in and start stitching with the provided needle...just add scissors :)   

Monday, August 16, 2021

Design Wall Monday--8/16

Design Wall Monday comes around again.  See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

I measured and cut, sewed and sewed, and the first Double The Plus top is complete. 

This is not the most beautiful pic as I could only shove the dining room table so far--and the top needs a good press with the iron--but I am happy with the way it came out.  The Emily Dennis pattern is two sided, with the opposite colorway on the back of the quilt.  I've got all the white side's blocks made, just need to cut the sashing and borders and get them on.  The hard part is going to be lining up both sides equally into the quilt sandwich. 😬


Our daughter Elaine and family spent a few days up at Bass Lake.  Grandson Cove caught his first fish!  Little brother and older cousin approved :)  School starts next week, so it was the last hurrah for summer vacationing. I got to see the youngest grandson multiple times over the weekend--so great to have them living close by.  Our son and family even road bikes to our house for a visit!

I took a sunset walk on the pier Sunday evening and it was gorgeous out--windy but not cold. 


The moon was out and so were lots of folks strolling and quite a few fishermen still throwing out lines. 

Just a beautiful night.  I bought myself a fish taco dinner to eat at home.  Great end to the weekend!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--New Old Project

Slow Sunday Stitching.  See more posts on Kathy's Quilts blog.  

Most of my time has been spent on the assembling the current quilt with a deadline, but I needed to pick another embroidery project to enjoy when not at the sewing machine.  I chose from the WIPs-- how saintly, no? 


Poinsettias and Pomegranates are some of my favorite botanicals.  I finished stitching the pin keep some time ago (2 years maybe?) and have the scissor weight to finish.  I wish I had not centered the larger pin keep in the top third of the linen--there will be a lot of waste. These are so cute and may be a good snall project to take along to Sewtopia to finish with backing and stuffing.  

My Poinsettia bushes in the backyard are looking good. When the nights cool off in October or so, the top leaves will turn red.  The Plumeria bush only had a couple of branches produce flowers this year.

Their fragrance is so sweet.  Speaking of botanicals, we are so proud of our surrogate daughter whose recent completion of a Master's Degree in Botany has earned her a wonderful position at the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens.  Shout out to Christy--Bravo!  Christy and our daughter Erica met on the first day of school in 4th grade and have been best pals ever since. 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Double The Plus

Joining Design Wall Monday on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts Blog. See more pretty quilts there!

On my Design Floor/table are parts for the ongoing project of the month, Double The Plus (by Emily Dennis) quilt I'm making at DD Erica's request to gift for a friend's wedding.  I got all the block rows completed in the two colorways on Saturday night and, just before quitting time, cut the grey sashing pieces.  


The sashing is cut at 5" so makes a big quilt fast.  This is half the rows for the large throw size.  Looking pretty good so far with lining up the crosses.  Outer borders will be added after I get the center together.  Then I will do the same for the "double" in the opposite colorway.  The hardest part will be sandwiching the two quilt tops back to back.  Erica has already decided on simple diagonal lines for the quilting, so the walking foot will get a workout. 

I had a manicure by my friend Stacy last week; I brought her a diet Ginger Ale to drink and she told me she had never had ginger ale!  She'd always thought ginger ale was like 7up or Sprite, and had never tried it.  She was pleasantly surprised :)  I'm curious if other adults have never had ginger ale.  Growing up, my Mom always drank Diet Rite, remember that one?  

Sewtopia Orlando is coming up next month. I signed up for the Windham Fabrics challenge and received a package last week. 


I'm pondering options for these sweet prints.  My sister also signed up but didn't like the print fabrics very much.  I also need to make some secret swap items as I'm pretty sure I signed up for that too--in 2019! 

My fingers have been idle when not at the sewing machine--I need to choose another cross stitch/embroidery project to pick up instead of staring at my phone...

Monday, August 2, 2021

Design Wall Monday--August 2 Plus Blocks

On my Design Floor are the plus blocks for a new project with a deadline in 25 days or so.  See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 


Sunday's progress brought the total grey blocks to 27.  These are strip pieced but require close monitoring to avoid mistakes.  I will be making 48 of each cross block--halfway there with the grey ones--then add sashing between the rows and an outer border.  Lots of cutting in my future. This nighttime photo makes them look tan instead of taupe grey. 

I have three weeks to get the top and back pieced and ready to quilt and bind before DD Erica will give it to friends as a wedding gift .  It should be enough time as long as I keep up with the parts building.  Easy Breezy blocks are still my leader-enders.  I needed some more to match the setting I am planning, but there are not too many left to get to that point.  There will be a lot of cutting for an alternate plain block for the Easy Breezy blocks soon; I will use them as leader-enders too. 

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching--BBD Loose Feathers finished

 Slow Sunday Stitching on Kathy's Quilts blog has lots of eye candy every week.  

I put the last stitches into the Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers #21 project I have been working on happily for several months. Looking back on my blog, I started stitching on May 2; however I tea-dyed the 28 count Cashel linen  for the project in mid April.  

All the lettering was finished and I added my initials and year below the "Z".  I may change the date location as to me it is a bit distracting. Opinions welcome. Now I will consider framing options, after washing and pressing.  I love this embroidery. 

There are a lot of finished embroidered pieces in the Hoosier cabinet that also need to get to display status.  


The poinsettia and pomegranate has been waiting several years. It is a pin keep. The Gingiber bear I think I finished just last year, and maybe the year before for the Lizzie Kate Stitching Forever?  I enjoyed them all!  I do have displayed last summer's Lizzie Kate stitch. I remixed some motifs I liked better. 


Perhaps I should add a few backstitches around Mr. Gull's belly to make it stand out more from the Aida.  Alright, now I'm off to the sewing room to get some more quilt blocks made.  

Design Wall Monday--Another Scrap Basket quilt and a Squirrel

Design Wall Monday is here again.  The month is flying by! See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  In my la...