Tuesday, March 3, 2015

EQ block design challenge

How would you like to win some EQ products, some new fabric or even EQ7 itself if you don’t have it?

There is one week left in the challenge.  Go here for the details and start designing!

This is my design entry:



It was hard for me to design with these fabrics, as they are all rather large prints.  The rules allow one solid to be added to the fabrics used to color the block.  The block itself isn’t too interesting, but when set together with more blocks and some partial blocks around, it’s beautiful.Jacks and DiamondsJacks and Diamonds2

I have one like the second layout almost done. I need to finish 3 partial blocks, add some background around the edges. The block above is actually 4 blocks together.  One block by itself Jacks and Diamonds-1 block isn’t very interesting.  I combined 4 to make the block to submit for the challenge.  I’m not sure of the final shape, if it’ll round or an octagon, or???

Yesterday I went in and quilted the king size quilt. I hadn’t quilted since December, so I had to think a bit.  I started with a tension problem, and ripping, and ripping, and ripping.  Once that was straightened out, it went fine.   I also quilted the block on the pillow shams, I’ll finish them with stitch-in-the-ditch.

It’s snowing today today.  It started some time during the night.  Right now the flakes are small.  Then it’s supposed to get really cold again for a few days, before warming to the 30’s over the weekend.  At least, that’s the forecast.

I went out to dump the ashes from the wood stove, and I’d say we have at least 6” of snow, with more coming down.  I shoveled a little, but more will have to be moved later on.

Now on to the binding.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Folded Table Runner—CORRECTION!

My memory is much, much worse than I even imagined. 

Folded Table Runner is a pattern by DJ Richards Design.  I have no idea how it was set in my mind to another designer.  When I made the first three pictured below, I was doing some blogging for a quilt store, and in one of those posts I even mentioned the wrong designer.  I have made things from her patterns also, but DJ Richards Design is who designed these folded triangle patterns.  I am so sorry for this mistake.  Please do check out http://www.djrichardsdesign.ca/, and see what beautiful runners and toppers you can make with this method.  It’s a time consuming project, but oh, so beautiful when done.  And do check out Fig Tree Quilts to see those lovely patterns also.

Back in November of 2011 I made several of the folded tablerunners by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts.  Shapes and styles varied—oval:

FoldedTablerunnerround: Folded Circle Centerpiecesnowflakes  Folded Christmas Star

In April of 2012 I taught a class on it.  To prepare for the class I started one for myself, to show the procedure to the class.

After the class it moved from here to there to there, finally ending up in a drawer.  Yesterday I dug it out.  One hour and 36 minutes later it was done.


I had been sure it would take me hours and hours, most of a day to finish it (they each took about 20+ hours to complete).

I could have been enjoying this beautiful runner for almost 3 years already!!

Also in the bag was another project using some of the same fabrics.  Someone on some list had posted a picture of a quilt she was having some kind of a problem with.   I loved it!  I found out where she had gotten the idea for it.  I was a free pattern, only she had changed it, and it looked so much better.  I no longer have the original pattern, so I don’t know who did the pattern. 

That project is almost done too.  I have most of the blocks done, and it looks like I need six partial blocks, and a bit of border.  I hope I can figure out what I wanted to do!  That will be my project for Friday.

Now I need to get outside and do a bit of shoveling (the snow has been there for days already).  The sun is almost shining, but I don’t think it’s very warm.  I shall see!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Valentine’s tablerunner

Somewhere I know I have a Valentine’s tablerunner.  It has disappeared on me a couple of times, and I still haven’t found it from the last disappearing act.

So, I decided that I needed to make another.  I dug through the scraps and found a bag with reds and whites in it.  I chose to make a Double Irish Chain, thinking I’d do it scrappy.  I don’t like scrappy, I like things even and balanced and symmetrical, I don’t know why I even let ‘scrappy’ cross my mind.

As it turns out, I didn’t have to do scrappy, there was enough of each of the fabrics to do it, without having to mix up the fabrics.


For the quilting, I have some acrylic heart shaped templates.  I traced around them in the center bock,  free-motion quilted them following the marked lines.  I then echoed around them three times.DSC01588

For the ends I just echoed twice.


On the sides I free-motioned swirls, loops, whatever. (I really need to do more free-motion practicing.) DSC01593

The fabric in the outer border, binding and two chains was a bigger piece, not just little scraps.  When I was all done, I still had a bag of scraps about the size of what it was when I started, but at least the bigger chunk was gone.

I had started this, and finished it, in plenty of time for Valentine’s Day.  And what did I do?  Yup, forgot to put it out on Valentine’s Day.  It didn’t make it to the table until the 15th.  But it’s still there and will be for a while yet, and there is always next year!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Another month gone by…

I’ve finally gotten back into a sewing mood.  Thank goodness!!

I have the backing pieced for the photo graduation quilt.  I just need to find out what the customer wants for a quilting design.

I sewed two pillow covers with Through the Winter Woods (I think that’s fabric line) panel prints.DSC01602DSC01601

I had made two for this customer before Christmas.  When she picked them up, she decided to have me use the rest of panel to make two more.

About a month ago a lady contacted me about making curtains for her.  We set up a time for me to go to her house to see what she wanted.  As I was driving down her street, looking for her house number, I came to one, and said “Please, God, don’t let it be that one.”  No, she was next door.  As we were going from window to window to measure and discuss what she wanted, she remarked that she hopes that house will be torn—it’s not a pretty sight!

So far I’ve sewn curtains for one room, she’ll let me know when she gets more fabric.

I’ve finished sewing the top for the king size quilt, and am hoping I can get in next week to get it quilted.DSC01580

She also wants pillow shams.  I framed one block for that.  All I need to do is add on a border which will be the flange.  I just don’t know which fabric to use for that.  I had my mind made up, then second-guessed myself.  I put up the two fabrics with a sham on each one and sent her a picture of it.  I haven’t heard back yet.  The more I look at them on my design wall, the more I like the darker, which is my second thought.DSC01586

The blue fabric on the left isn’t as wide as the sham, so it only shows on three sides, but it’s enough to do strips on both.

And I finally sewed the label onto the quilt I’m donating to church for the Quilt Bingo in April. DSC01227

We had a little snow overnight.  Now it’s just cloudy and 27°.  The forecast is for a high of -6° on Sunday.  NOW we’re getting our January weather.

Until next time, have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Finally back to sewing

Last Saturday when I worked at the Creamery, Cari’s mother-in-law came in to pick out fabric for a quilt.  She had sent me a picture of paint swatches with the colors she likes, and a block she likes. 

I drew up the block in EQ and placed it in a layout, and it was rather blah, they all mooshed together and the secondary design created by placing the blocks together was just—blah.  So I went looking for blocks in the library that I could put with her block.  I did up several layouts and sent them to her and she decided on the one she liked best.  It was the one I liked best too.  Over the next several weeks I played around with it some more and added some blocks in the border to finish out the design.

Unfortunately we couldn’t find fabric in her colors—we had it two years ago, but those colors just aren’t ‘in’ now.  She ended up with 5 batiks.  The background is a pale grayish-green,  IMG_20150121_141744723 not the pale blue as it looks here.  The triangles touching the center square on the right are actually a brighter green. The 8 star points are a navy floral. 

I’ve worked on this a couple days this week, but I’ll have to put it away until next week, there are other things I really need to finish up on.  I just had to start on this. I love the fabrics.  It’s going to be a very pretty quilt.  I have most of it cut out, most of the HSTs made, and the QSTs are ready to sew.

There is rain (yes, rain in January in Minnesota) in the forecast, and snow.  I hope the rain doesn’t make it, but we could use some snow.

Now to sewing…

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Another New Year

Here it is—a week into the new year and I haven’t sewn a stitch yet.  I’m not sure what the problem is, I just haven’t been in the sewing mode. I have several projects I could be working on, but just can’t get into the swing of things.

We had a very quiet Christmas and New Year, and now the weather is very cold.  (My thermometer says 3°, but I think that’s because the sun is shining on the thingie hanging out the window.)  I didn’t put up as many Christmas decorations as usual, and yesterday I took down some of them and the tree.  I still have the Nativity set up, and some poinsettia decorations. 

In looking through the drafts in Live Writer I see that I started several blog posts but didn’t finish.  So I’ve finished and posted them.

The last month has been filled with discussion on the quiltdesigners group about the VAT law change in the European Union that will have an impact on the designers selling through Craftsy (and other websites).  I started selling my patterns on Craftsy in October, and have sold a few there.  For the time being I am not selling patterns to any EU country by blocking payments through PayPal. 

In all that, I found another website to sell patterns, Pattern Spot, and today I uploaded my first pattern there.

Granddaughter Elizabeth had her 4th birthday in early December.  I made some barrettes for her. 006 

I had made barrettes for her mom when she was little.  I don’t remember that they took so long to make, but it certainly wasn’t a quick process. 

These two are the largest, to hold all of her thick hair.  007003

These two are smaller, for pigtails. 002

Not sure where I got my ideas way back when, but I simply copied those ideas with new lace and ribbons and buttons.

I just have to add in this picture from November when I spent the night while mom and dad went to the Garth Brooks concert.  Anna is 1 1/2.  Would you believe Elizabeth chose her own clothes?? “I know they (pants and shirt) don’t go together, but I want to wear them anyway.”  DSC01558

This is a quilt I sewed for a customer before Christmas.  The pattern was for a lap quilt, but she wanted it bigger.  I used EQ to come up with a design to make it full size.  Instead of half the fabric width for the center, I used the whole width of fabric.  I needed to add  more rectangles in the side borders.  I inserted two 2 1/2” borders before the outer wide border.  It turned out well, and kept the look of the original.  DSC01562 And the fabric is gorgeous!—the allover print with birds, flowers and trees,  DSC01562  and the Lady’s Slipper print for the border. DSC01562

Well, I think that brings me up to date.  Now I just need to get at some new things.

November class

In November I taught a class on the Tradewinds quilt.  I hadn’t made the pattern before, so I dug through my stash and came up with 6 fabrics to use.  The kits we have at the Creamery for the bed size quilts have about 40 fabrics in them.  I made the smallest size, about 40” square. Tradewinds  That is also hanging on the design wall, waiting to be completed.  I still need to put a border on it, then I can quilt it and bind it.


I had four ladies in the class.

Tradewinds class One of them, on the right, sewed her blocks together ‘wrong’.  She had her background triangle and pieced triangle oriented the wrong way.  She decided to continue on that way, and her quilt would simply have a different look to it.  With the four blocks put together, I like the look of hers better.  Once all the blocks are together there won’t be as much of a difference, her pinwheels will spin the opposite direction as the others.

In December I had three of the ladies for a bag class, but I don’t find any pictures of the bags.  We may be doing another bag in March.  There is a pattern with cathedral windows they liked.  I think that will be a good idea, since the technique can be used for more than just bags.

Sample blocks

I decided to make a sample of the two blocks that will go into the quilt I am to make for next summer.  I made one of each block.  I liked what I saw and made two more to make a tabletopper. KarlaS The blocks will finish at 15”.

I’ve had this hanging on my design wall for about two months now.  I have it partially quilted.  I’m doing free motion on it, a combination of feathers, swirls, loops, whatever happens, happens.

I showed it to the lady I’ll be making the quilt for and she liked it.  She even liked the quilting I had done on it.  That gives me some ideas to pursue for the quilting to be done on her quilt.

If I would have had more ambition I could have had it done in the last couple of weeks.  Unfortunately I didn’t get past the thinking about it stage.

T-shirt quilt finished

In November I  quilted the t-shirt quilt, and finished it up with the binding.

DSC01556 It’s queen sized.

The only requirement for the fabric was “not pink”.  The cornerstones and outer border is a print with fishing lures.  At the Creamery I found (in a matter of minutes) two fabrics for the sashing and inner border that matched the print colors exactly. 

For the quilting I wanted something with some type of wildlife.  I found (in a matter of minutes) one called “Alaska”.

There’s a bear…DSC01558 

…a wolf…DSC01559

…a moose…DSC01560

…a duck…DSC01561

…I think this is a pheasant…DSC01565

There are a couple of trees…DSC01564


This is a cabin…(really hard to see it)DSC01563

And this is a snowmobiler…DSC01562

When the customer dropped off the shirts he said it would be for him.  When he picked up the finished quilt, he said he just found out he’s going to be a grandpa again, so he’ll probably give it to his daughter.

We had our first snow storm of the winter (fall??) the day I went in to do the quilting.  In all we got close to a foot.  We’ve had very little since then.  Some days it seems like it snows all day long, without much accumulation.  And it’s been well below freezing, and even below zero. Since then the snow has gone.  And come.  And gone.  There is very little on the ground.  We still have the snowbanks from the foot we had in November.  It would be nice if we had some on the ground for insulation with all the cold weather we’ve been having.  The snow would help to insulate the sewer and the well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A quilt top done, and a very late finish

Yesterday I finished piecing the quilt top for the graduation photo quilt.DSC01555 And I have proof that the sun DID shine yesterday. 

The pattern is “Dancing Squares” by Alex Anderson in “Super Simple Jelly Rolls Quilt.”  The photos will be scattered across the quilt, I think just on top of the mattress.  The pattern instructions are for a 3” square fused to a charm square and then that I think is to be fused to the quilt.  I don’t want to have raw edges on the photos so I am  framing each photo with leftover 2½” strips.  I have one done and 15 more to go.  The one I framed yesterday.  Today my machine decided it didn’t like sewing  through one layer of batik or quilting cotton and one layer of photo fabric.  It skips, at almost every start, and along the whole seam.  I’ve sewn LOTS of photo fabric before, so I’m not sure what the problem is.  I tried a new needle, and that didn’t help, nor did rethreading.  So I put it away for today.  There is no rush, so I’m not going to worry about it now.  I’ll just move on to something else.


Last fall, I think it was Thanksgiving weekend, my son asked me if I could make hooded sweatshirts with zippers out of some new pullover sweatshirts he had. 

Sure I can do that.

I found the jacket pattern with a hood, cut a hood, cut two sweatshirts down the center front.  Then I sat down at the serger to sew the hood seam.  It would sew a few inches, then –actually I don’t remember exactly what it did, break thread or just sew crappy.  Finally Marty had pity on me and said to just forget it.  I told him I’d look at it later and get it figured out.

Later didn’t arrive until a couple of months ago.  I don’t remember for sure what I wanted to serge, but it sewed just fine until I came to a corner.  After turning the corner, no, not good.

I rethreaded. Again.  And again.  Finally I dug out the manual, and went through step by step the rethreading process.

Oh, look at that—a missed thread guide.

So today I got out the bag of sweatshirts and one hour and 27 minutes later, I had two finished hooded, zip up sweatshirt jackets.1105141256-00

We had a bit of snow this morning, and then it changed to rain.  Now I see that it is changing back to snow.  I see it falling but the temp is 37°, so it’s not showing on the ground yet.

I guess it’s to be expected, it is November already, but I’m not ready for it.  I’ll be ready for a dusting on Christmas Eve, then none until about March 1, then all disappear by March 31.  I can dream, can’t I?

Now I’m going to test out a block for a customer quilt.  So far I haven’t found the colors she’s looking for, but I have until next July.