Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stacking Squares

Back the end of December Cari asked me to give her an idea for a simple quilt to make for a Silent Auction at a benefit. She had only a short time to get it made. I played around in EQ and came up with a design that she liked. I decided I would do it as a pattern. It was very simple, squares and rectangles, and with the appropriate arrangement of fabrics, looked quite nice. Piece of cake, right?

Cari made it, didn’t tell me any difficulties that she encountered.

About a month ago a lady from church called and asked me if I would be willing to make and donate a quilt for a quilt bingo in about a year.  As I was talking to her, my mind was spinning—I could make a quilt to test out this new pattern.

After I finished the grad quilts, and the redwork, I decided to start on my new pattern.  I wanted to write the pattern before I started working on it.  Fortunately for me, I decided to do a baby quilt first. 

I found some flannels that went together and would work for this pattern.  I couldn’t test out the fabric requirements, I had bits and pieces that were enough, just not full yardage.

I’m so glad I started small. 

I like to have seams butt up against each other rather than going the same direction to reduce bulk at the intersections. The way I had the pattern written to this point was a nightmare as far as seams butting against each other.  Back to the drawing board.  Well, EQ7.

I finished the baby quilt, and love how it looks.DSC01192

I wanted to use the gold for the first border, but, there wasn’t enough of that left.

I redesigned the layout, it still looks the same, just not all same size blocks as in the above quilt.  The pattern will be in three sizes, a lap size and a full size also, and I’ll probably add using extra borders to make it queen size—I haven’t reached that point yet.

So, I drew and wrote, and drew and wrote, figuring out yardage and how to sew, for over a week.  Sunday I was sick of EQ and Word, and started sewing.  That felt good! I sewed some on Monday too, then realized that the way I had it drawn and written, one patch was in two adjoining blocks.  So yesterday it was all EQ and Word, and Excel added in.  Today I’ve been sewing again.  I have all the blocks sewn and it’s now just sewing them together.

I don’t want to say this too loud, but it may be spring… The forecast was for up to 70° today, so, even though we have snow on the ground, I just had to wash and hang out sheets.002

It’s not quite 70° DSC01201 (2) but I’ll take 60’s!

Now that the sheets are on the line, I’m back to sewing.  I have the center together, and ready to add another round. DSC01202

Each of the sizes uses different size strips.

I’m liking how it looks!

If anyone would like to test the pattern, in any of the sizes, let me know.  I’d appreciate the help.  You can leave a comment below, or email me at pvquilt @ gmail . com

Matching redwork pillow covers

I made three pillow covers from the blocks leftover from the quilt I finished for a customer.

These are the fronts:DSC01190These are the backs: DSC01189

She still has four more blocks and leftover fabric, if she should ever decide to do something else, or if a repair is necessary.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Photo Graduation Quilts finished

I quilted both photo quilts this week, one on Monday and one on Tuesday.    I finished the binding on Wednesday, and hung them to photograph:001David001LukeBoth are large quilts—the yellow is 84” x 102”, the blue 95” x 108”.  Couldn’t have designed them without EQ7!

Here are close-ups of the quilting designs that the graduates had picked out when they were in with Grandma to pick out the fabric.:002David












I also made pillowcases out of the leftover fabric:

005David's Pillowcase005Luke's Pillowcase

Now I need to get at the redwork throw pillows.

Old quilt

This is the quilt I finished for a lady.001 SBramhall

Here are several of the blocks.

002 SBramhall

003 SBramhall











I’ve never been a fan of the redwork quilts—until I saw this one!  It’s beautiful!

I will be making some throw pillows from the leftover blocks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tops finished

Last week I finished piecing the second photo quilt top.


The pieced border went much faster than I had anticipated.DSC01171









It consists of Snowball blocks separated by a section of dark blue with a stripe in between. The Snowball blocks are positioned with the stripes running parallel with the edges of the quilt. The corner blocks have the Snowball cut on the bias.DSC01171










All the block centers are the same fabric, except for the ones with pictures in them.  There are seven other fabrics that are mixed up for the frames surrounding the centers and the pictures.

Today I’m working on a quilt a lady brought in to the Creamery on Saturday for me.  Her mother had embroidered blocks, and framed them with two rows of Log Cabin strips.  The blocks are sewed together into vertical rows, and the rows connected with sashing between.  She had them sewed together into a top and layered with high loft batting on a muslin backing.  She had stitched in the ditch across the width of the quilt.  I’m now stitching up and down the quilt and then will bind it.  The binding is already to go.  There are some extra blocks and fabric, but the lady decided to just finish it the size it is, rather than trying to make it bigger.

I should be able to finish this today, and get it back to her. …if I get at it.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exciting news!!

Monday I shipped off a package of my patterns to a distributor here in Minnesota!  I had contacted them with pictures of four of my patterns, and they wanted all of them. At this point I’ve been printing my patterns on my home printer.  I love my printer, but I killed it.  I had to go buy another to finish all of these.  I think I’ll like this one as much.  Won’t it be great if I have to have my patterns printed by a pro?


022 Abby's Star Flower

Christmas Peace 1 blk coverChristmas Peace (2)DSC00107

The first picture above is another Abby’s Star Flower I just finished (except for the binding, I need to buy more fabric).  That particular tablerunner will be going to Spring Market in Pittsburg, May 16-18.

I started one on Monday to send to Market.  I wanted a fall runner.  I used some leftovers I had with the light batik in the above runner as the background.  I finished the blocks, sewed them together, and only needed to finish the border.  Overnight I decided it was too light for a fall runner, so I started over again yesterday,  This one says fall.  I’ll have to finish the other, it’s too pretty to just throw in the corner.

Now I need to go sort out my Avon orders, and then back to the graduation quilt.  All the blocks are done, half sewed together. Now for the rest, then the pieced border.

Not looking forward to the blizzard warning for this afternoon and into tomorrow.  Winds are supposed to be up to 55 mph.  When will this winter end?!?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Making horseradish


Finally, yesterday I took care of the horseradish roots I dug last fall—the last nice day before this endless winter started.  Mike was picking up leaves that I wanted to cover the carrots I hadn’t dug.  One load wasn’t enough, and while I waited for the second load, I thought I might as well dig some horseradish.  When we finished with the leaves, I sat on the front porch and scraped the roots.  I washed them and put them in Tupperware in the refrigerator.  Then it turned too cold to work with them outside, so they sat there, waiting for me.

They were somewhat dried out, requiring more water and vinegar.  But no lack of heat!  Half of it I used white vinegar, and half with the chive blossom vinegar I made last summer.  I think I could saved the chive blossom,  too much heat to tell the difference..002horseradish

Cari had given me some baby food jars when I babysat before Christmas.  I’ll have to give some away, the rest should last for a year or so.

I haven’t done much sewing the last few days, and now I need to get at that.  The sun is shining, it’s 13ยบ, with predicted high in the 30s—heat wave!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Photo quilt top (and backing) done

Last week I finished piecing the top.  I pressed it thoroughly and neatly folded it and put it in the bag to take to the Creamery for quilting. 

Then I remembered that I didn’t take a picture to email to my customer, so out of the bag and onto the design wall.  I took the picture and sent it off.  An hour or so later, staring at me from the wall, was a stripe square in the wrong position.DSC01125

It’s over there on the right under 2014.  I redid that this morning.

I’m not sure how the backing was calculated, but there wasn’t enough without a lot of piecing, and I probably wouldn’t have been able to match the print, which drives me nuts.  I played around in EQ and found that a block at 10” (they are 16” in the quilt top) would be the right size to make the backing wide enough.  I emailed my customer and she thought that was a good idea.  There was plenty of leftover fabric.

I made eight more blocks, and decided to add the sashing and cornerstones also.  Nine blocks would have fit, but I don’t want to cut off part of a block when trimming after quilting.  I don’t imagine that I’ll be able to have the same size extra pieces at both the top and bottom, but I don’t know of any way to make them even. 

This is how the backing turned out.  I did match the backing fabric across the block.

  pieced backing

Now I’m going to start on piecing the blocks for the next quilt.  After doing a bit of housework…

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentine’s postcards

Yesterday I made four postcards for the four granddaughters.

001 Valentine postcardsE Valentine postcard

AValentine postcard











 Valentine postcard


 Valentine postcard










This was the first time I’ve tried this.  I stopped at the Post Office this morning and asked if she’s ever seen them come through.  She has, but she said she’d check about mailing them, she said she didn’t want to have the recipient have to pay extra.  I’ll be seeing two of the girls on Sunday, and I think I’ll just take along theirs, but the other two will have to be mailed, one way or another.

And then I was back to the photo quilt.  Almost have all the blocks done—thought I’d have them done on Tuesday.  Tomorrow I sure hope I can get the top all pieced, including the border.  Then on to the next one.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A finish, a start…

I sewed another tablerunner with the Squedge 18⁰ ruler.  It’s the same pattern, just different fabric. DSC01109

The first one I did was also blue, the second was in browns.  The blue kits go faster than the brown, but we’re out of much of those fabrics, so I sewed one with new fabrics.

Last week I printed out photos for a graduation quilt.  I have another photo quilt to do and ran out of photo fabric.  That arrived today and I can print the rest of the photos tomorrow.  I had done a little sewing on the first quilt last week, and hit it hard this week. 

It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.  There is one fabric that is sort of a stripe, and the squares of it are cut bias.  This is from EQ7 image 

The blocks are all the same image, with alternating blocks rotated, 20 blocks in all.  There are 17 photos, ranging in size from 4.5” square to 8”x10.5”.  I sized them to fit in the block spaces.  The only one that didn’t exactly fit so that I had to trim the patches around it, was the graduation photo.  I wanted that centered side to side.

I have the first three rows of blocks sewed together, but not the rows sewed together.  The jigsaw part comes in with having to get the stripes headed in the appropriate direction, and fitting in the photos where I want them.

Once again, I don’t know what I would have done without EQ7!  I set the blocks into a Horizontal Set with sashing, and placed the photos on Layer 2.  I liked that I could turn off Layer 1 and more easily see if the photos were somewhat evenly distributed.

Tomorrow I want to make something for the little girls for Valentines.  Hopefully that won’t take too long and I can get back to the quilt.