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Monday, July 8, 2013

Design Wall Monday~July 8

On my design wall is the beginning of a new quilt. Am I supposed to be starting something new this month? Don't I already have enough to do in July? Is it on my July list?  It's not, but there is so much satisfaction in starting a new quilt. Especially one that will use up some of my already cut 2 1/2 inch squares. I deserve it is what I tell myself. Actually I told myself I can only work on this, one block a day 'cause I  have many other projects to finish this month. You may have noticed that I talk to myself a lot!

Here is the website with the directions and measurements for these blocks.

Also on my design wall are a few blocks from an earlier Block Lotto. I've just begun machine quilting them. And while I really liked the blocks. I'm now in love with the blocks with the quilting. I have two QAYG projects on my "to achieve" list this month and this is one of them.

Prior to these blocks  I have used two other QAYG techniques. One was a Fons and Porter technique where you actually did the whole quilt in thirds, quilting the center sections and then quilting the outer sections. I used that on "Pineapple Blossom".

When I did  "Swoon" I used another technique that required sashing.

For this quilt I didn't want sashing on the front and I  didn't want to have to hand sew sashing on the back. There are so many techniques available for QAYG. Just look at the Internet. Just look at YouTube. I was overwhelmed and the more I read the more I was confusing one way of doing it with another. So to help me, I did two sample blocks, and wrote my own notes. Now I have a permanent sample and notes.

I have been repairing, or supposed to be repairing, an old quilt belonging to my son. This was tied and is from the eighties. And finally, after almost two years I can cross it off my list.  No more repairs. Next time, instead of saying "this quilt needs to be repaired" I will say "you need a new quilt."

Don't forget to visit Patchwork Times for other "Design Wall Mondays"


Monday, July 1, 2013

Design Wall Monday-July 1

Actually this post should have another title. I'm not going to link it to Patchwork Times Design Wall. I guess I could call this "Wordless Monday" but you ought to know I can't keep my mouth shut even if it is repeating things you've heard before!

Having said that, the only pictures I have to share are repeats. With slight variations. Last week I shared "PotLuck" on the design wall and the top was not quite finished. Here is the finished top.

And here is what is on my tabletop. All repaired, rebacked and with new batting. I should be able to finsh the tying today and then, if I can stand having so much quilt on my lap in our over 90 degree weather, I will also get the binding on today. Okay, maybe the binding will be tomorrow morning when it is cooler.

So see? Nothing new. My husband even commented yesterday "you haven't been sewing much". The reason is....I told myself I couldn't sew anymore until I got the above repair job finished. We do have to set limits and goals for ourselves! Having said that, I have written a goal list for July that is pretty ambitious. I would share it here but there are a couple of gifts or surprises I'm working on and I don't want to give them away too early.

I hope you are managing to stay cool!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Design Wall Monday~June 24

Boy are we having some unusual weather! And I'm not talking just about Oregon.

I'm so excited! I ordered my first whole roll of cotton batting! And with the special promo from JoAnn's Fabric, I'm only paying .21 in shipping!  I will have to use it up quickly as I really don't have a good place to store all that batting.

On my design wall is a picnic quilt. I saw this posting and thought "I need to make one of my own".  I had baggies and baggies of 3 1/2" squares and I was more than willing to use them up.

I told myself from the beginning that I was not going to plan, other than where the white needed to be. Obviously. I was just going to sew pairs and then sew those pairs and so on. And did this bother me?  Not so much in the beginning. Being" blind" to repeats of color became more and more difficult for me to ignore. But I stuck with the "no plan, plan.". Now that I'm at the end and sewing all the rows together, the top should be finished today, I have to admit it is still difficult! I keep reminding myself," it is a picnic quilt, it is a picnic quilt". So when you see pockets of pink, or groups of green, or heaven forbid, even the same fabric twice in the same quadrant of the quilt, be kind. Know that it bugs me too!

But, once it has been quilted and washed, I'm sure I will be just fine with it!

Don't forget to visit Design Wall Monday over at Patchwork times.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Design Wall Monday~June 17

Blame it on my sister! I love my sister Joanne and often ask her advice on my ideas. I wanted to do another scrappy quilt and asked Joanne to look at my "Scrap Attack" board on Pinterest and "vote" on some candidates for my next quilt.  She looked at the board and said "Whoa! I didn't know you had pinned so many." and even tho' it was a task my sister came through with three favorites. One of them was a fan quilt. I've never made a Grandmothers Fan Quilt. So while I had, in the back of my mind, thought I would be using up already cut to size scraps, once I got this quilt in my mind I had to make it. Or am I making two? Sooo, as you imagine, I'm cutting lots of blades.

Why am I considering making two?  I started with the blocks in the first picture. At first I was going to limit the colors to  green, blue, red, yellow and purple. I liked those together, a little darker than I first pictured it but they felt rich.. But I wondered what would happen if I added one more color to each fan? So I took a blade off of each and added one more color to each. After that I found I preferred them without the addition of another color but this is what a design wall is for. (Pssst,originally I did have them on the design wall. I took them outside to try to get truer colors for the purpose of this post.) Then I asked myself if maybe I didn't need something a little lighter/brighter. So I did these four blocks.

And I like these too! To me the first blocks and the second blocks are so dissimilar that I can't see using them in the same quilt. Do you think I should make one with richer, deeper colors and one with the lighter, brighter colors? Or just integrate those darker blocks into a lighter quilt and hope the don't stick out like a sore thumb? Of course I could always use one set as part of the backing, or I could just make two quilt tops. What do you think?

And here is a picture of the top I made last week. I had better get to quilting. This years goal was to reduce the number of flimsys waiting to be quilted but between this month and last, I'm not managing to acccomplish that!

Don't forget to visit Judys linky Design Wall.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Design Wall Monday~June 10

For today, a few pictures a few words

Block Lotto Blocks. This is the pattern for this months Block Lotto. Come join us!


Several people have won as newbies!  And you can enter as little as one block and still win. I already have too many projects in the queue so I am donating my chances this month but it was fun to learn to make eight HST at once. Sophie has prepared a wonderful reference on making HST. All the way from making one at a time up to making eight at a time. You should keep this reference.

Raspberry Lemonade. I know there are other colors in there but that name just resonated with me. the top is finished. Now it will go on the to be quilted pile. Whew! That pile keeps growing! I love to play with colors, techniques and blocks. I less like layering the quilt top, batting and backing. At least I have already pieced the backing for this one.

This is a Doll Quilt that I just whipped together. I know it is an unusual layout. If I were to do it again, I still might make just that row of pink but I would put them all the blocks on the design wall and maybe play with better a better arrangement. Oh well! I have had these blocks for YEARS and they were going to go to Beth, who takes orphan blocks for donation quilts,
but there were some fabrics that I love and no longer have so couldn't give up the blocks. Sorry Beth!

Sneak Peek. Four of seven iterations of the block. Boy I hope that is spelled correctly. My batch of green scraps was overflowing. I decided I wanted to do a scrappy quilt  and use up some of those greens. I found Faiths tutorial. She used pinks, yellows, oranges and white but I think it will work in a green scrappy version. It was so nice that she has the blocks, A through F, with all measurements included. Behind each of these front squares are the other six blocks.  I am anxious to get them all finished and on the design wall.

List for this month? Short and sweet. Get Joel's quilt finished. I now have the backing and new batting I just need to get those layered. This old quilt was tied so I will retie it. His birthday is coming up and I would like to give it back to him then. My only problem is I need to pull the kitchen table into the middle of the room for a day or two. If only hubby would go fishing I could leave the table "in the way" for the length of time it would take me to finish. Keep your fingers crossed that he, the husband, makes it to the beach this week.

Visit Judy's Design Wall Monday for more inspiration


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Festival of Strings Second Entry

Here is a picture of the second entry for the Strings Festival. I struggled with the proportions of the quilt top. I had originally planned on having two more colors, black and brown strips, but once they were done I didn't like them in the mix. That meant that the top was proportionally too long for the width. Aesthetically speaking that is! 

I know that having a longer quilt is certainly a boon for some but it just looked awkward to me. Sooo, I cut off ten inches and will use this as part of the backing piecing.

I'm sure enjoying the Festival of Strings. Be sure to visit!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Design Wall Monday~May 27

Read the rules! Read them more than once. Understand the rules. Simple basic concepts but obviously something I failed to do. Until Saturday. Amy is going to have a Scrap Attack Festival with, and I don't say this often, AWESOME prizes.

Visit here:

I read the rules weeks ago and had a plan that would allow me to enter three quilts. One new, and two from my UFO pile. Yeaa! Three would Increase my odds of winning something. I knew they had to be new, as I first read it, finishes from 2013. Yep! Got it covered!

But then! Saturday I re-read, and this time correctly read, the rules. And the rules state that it does not have to be a finished quilt, tops qualify. Again,Yeaa! That is generous! But then.....tops made in 2013. Gulp! Not finished in 2013? My UFO's were definately not made in 2013. Oops!

So here is the dealio. I did complete a new strippy zig zag for this challenge.

And I do have another  that will qualify as it was made from strips in 2013 and as the rules allow tops I can enter this. It is an almost completed top. Borders on each of three sides and I'm just trying to decide if I should cut to make it shorter, so the proportions will be better, before adding the fourth white border. Which I can do before the deadline.

I have a UFO that I thought would qualify, but it won't, so it is well on it's way to a finish this week. And the other UFO that I had hoped to enter can be put away and I won't feel pressured to finish it before Friday. So, two chances to win a prize, one UFO off the pile and one newly completed quilt. I call that winning! (psssst, but still, keep your fingers crossed for me, it would be fun to win a prize!)

Be sure and visit Judys Pathwork Times for other inspiring quilts



Monday, May 20, 2013

Design Wall Monday~May 20

Progress? Sure I'm making progress. But at a snails pace. A quick review of my May list.

Work on Joels Quilt
ReQuilt Trip's Doll Quilt
Borders for the RowAlong
Finish Hexie Doll Quilt
Finish Scrappy Zig Zag

My only finish from the list?

Small, but cute, no?

I've made progress on each but I'm being stopped on two projects due to the "fabric diet". On Joels quilt I was going to use the old backing. Remember, I'm repairing and redoing parts of this quilt. But, the old backing is just too flimsy. I need to buy 8 yards of purple. Eeek! Even with a coupon this is going to increase my blood pressue.  On the RowAlong. I did finish the last pieced border but I want/need an inner stop border. I've auditioned many fabrics from my stash but I just can't find "the" one. I've given myself permission to buy new fabric for this. It's just getting into town to shop.
The Trips doll quilt? I've just not gotten there but I will. I still have, what eleven days? And the scrappy ZigZag WILL be finished this month. I don't want to miss out on a chance to win some of the wonderful prizes being given by Rachel of Stitched in Color.

Visit for some pictures of other scrap, strip, quilts. I would love to win the roll of batting, swoon!, but where would I store it? Beyond that are many other wonderful prizes. She has generous sponsors. If you have a strip scrappy project almost done, you might consider entering. Remember, eleven days left in this month.   Pssst, notice earlier I said "strip scrappy project". It doesn't have to be a full size quilt but it must be a new finish, not yet having been posted.  Quick! Finish one up! I might even get a second one done!

Earlier I said "my only finish" from the list. Because....tah dah!

I should be working on UFO's but new projects just excite me. So I made these Wonky stars from scraps and finished up this doll quilt last night.

And I was inspired by a class listing from the Pine Needle in Lake Oswego. The colors were so pretty.  I sorted through my fabric scraps and this is what I have on the design wall. Lots of rearranging of fabrics to be done but I will get this pieced this month. Pretty combination of colors don't you think?

Need more inspiration? Visit Patchwork Times, Design Wall Monday.




Monday, May 6, 2013

Design Wall Monday~May 6

Some projects become UFO's because you have made a mistake that you don't want to correct. At least in my experience. I have been working on a scrap quilt, made from my own stash of scraps (which I thoughtfully keep pre-cut in to specific sizes) and also remember my friends have been giving me free scraps because they don't want to be bothered to cut strips and squares from their left overs.  This scrap quilt was supposed to be fun and easy. No planning on colors, just make nine patches out of my 3 inch blocks and alternate with snowballs. Easy, peasy and pleasing to me.

But! The snowballs. Cripes! We all know you just add squares and fold and cut those into triangles and then (of course) take those little triangles and made them into half square triangles. We don't want anything to go to waste. They are easy blocks. Unless you use the wrong sized square. I promise I did two practice blocks and they were fine with my taking my 3 1/2 inch squares and neatly trimming those to 3 1/8 inch squares (I mean, who precuts anything to 3 1/8"?). Yesterday when I went to put all the finished blocks together the points on the snowballs did not line up properly with the seams on the nine patchs. Eeeaghghhhaa!

Trust me. I am not a perfectionist, at all! This will be a donation quilt, but still, EVERYONE would notice that the points don't a lot! I was tempted to take the blocks off the wall and donate them, to two individual groups/people. Snowball balls to one group and nine patches too another group. Who would know that there were originally enough blocks for a whole quilt but that the quilter was not a math whiz?  Nor smart enough to use references available on the 'net? Instead, I decided to find a solution. Now. Not make it a UFO for later. My solution? Mark snowball blocks with a deeper seam, match those marks appropriately on the nine patches, pin and sew. My thinking was that people would be less likely to notice that the outside nine patches were slightly more of a rectangle than a square than they would notice the points didn't match.  So I marched forward with the mantra of "mark, match, sew, examine, trim" and although it is not completely pieced I think my solution worked. I certainly do have points that don't match but it is much better. What do you think?

As always, making a mistake helped me learn new things. First, an 1/8 of inch difference on the ruler looks pretty small, but when you are used to sewing 1/4" seams and then go to 3/8" seams, the difference looks huge! Secondly, these wider seams are easier to press open. I don't usually press open but I thought I would try this and hopefully find that pressing open would make for a flatter quilt. As it turns out, I didn't like the larger "shadowing" that showed through on my Kona white so after the first two rows, the shortest in an on point setting, I decided to sew at 3/8', trim to 1/4" and press to the sides. Still out of errors come opportunities for new experiences.

I hope you are having success with your projects! Visit Judys page for other Design Wall Monday inspiration.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Design Wall Monday~4-29

I did not write a post last week. I didn't have any finishes. Okay! I had a doll quilt finish that I wasn't thrilled with. The colors weren't as cohesive as I had wished and the machine quilting was crummy.

So here we are. The last few days of the month and even tho' I've not been very organized this last month. It doesn't mean I can't do better in May. I love new beginnings! Whether it is the first of the week "Monday. Hmmm, I better get my eating back under control" or the first of the year "This is the year I lose that weight and exercise more" or the first of a month "Let's make a list of things I want to get done this month." They are all a chance to restart, or a reboot. So that is where I am. Yesterday I made a list of the things I wanted to get done in May.

1)Get the Row Along Borders decided on cut and attached
2)Get the Ziggy String Quilt layered, quilted and bound

3)Get Joels Quilt repair finished and delivered

4)Finish the last 12 Pineapple blocks. Decide on, and add, the corner fabric

5)Finish the Hexie Doll Quilt

6)Requilt the Trips Doll Quilt (I have already removed the quilting)

7)Finish piecing the Scrappy Row Improv Quilt. I only have an orange row left to do.

Yesterday I worked on four of those seven projects. This list looks long but it is totally doable as most are finishes.

Then I added more items. Only one a quilty item, which was, make a donation lap/personal quilt with scrappy nine patches and snowballs. Hey! I had to have something new! I finished eight of those yesterday.

And I continued to add. We always have high expectations when we get a chance to startover! With the idea of "15 Minutes of Play", I also am going to practice FMQ fifteen minutes each day, either actual quilting practice or drawing on the white board, And each week I am going to choose a song for the ukulele and practice that same song over and over again for fifteen minutes each day. I want to basically have it commited to memory. This first week I'm going to work on "You and I" in the style of Ingrid Michaelson.. AND I'm still thinking about what I should do for exercise. I'm going to look at some of my pin's on Pinterest and choose a fifteen minute routine for this week. Wish me luck! Even adding these last three items, the sum total of minutes is still less than the time it used to take me to drive to work. Awwww! Retirement!

I hope you have a great week and I hope you take a look at something you would like to restart.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Design Wall Monday~April 15

Sometimes you just have to make a decision or you never get started and therefore never finished. I have had a quilt to repair for well over a year now. I've asked for and received advice right here on this blog that helped me make some decisions, so I feel like I have a plan and know how to proceed except.....fabric. Darn fabric! This quilt is black and brights and I used poly back in those days. I am taking four blocks out to replace and of course, with the years, the colors have faded. No problem. I can deal with that. But I can't find any good quality (some may think that was impossible in the first place) polyester. I've searched Ebay, thrift stores, online and I've even gotten a sample from New York but I couldn't find a "nice" polyester in yellow. I found a "satisfactory" one in black but the yellow was impossible. So Friday I thought "Okay, I will use the black poly and the yellow cotton." Except then I didn't. I just couldn't. So today, I've decided I will use Kona cottons on both, those four blocks will just be heavier then the rest. Right after this post I am going to pre-wash them and get going....Unless I change my mind again. This shouldn't be this hard!

Secondly, last week, I showed a hexie doll quilt in process. That should have been done, except, I can't decide....should I applique some hexies in the border? Should I just quilt hexies shapes in the border? All over, or just at random? Or should I just forget hexies and something different. So here again, a decision has to be made before I move on. Arrrggghhhh!

I am used to making decisions. I was a Buyer and Purchasing Manager for thirty years. I made snap decisions all the time. But when it comes to this creative process, and let's be real, if I don't like my decision, I can undo it, pass it on, or just forget about it. I struggle. I spend much too much time deciding what to do.

I did make a decision on what design I was going to use for Rachel's, from Stitched In Color, Scrap Attack over on Flickr.   Here is the beginning.

Actually I have all the stripped color blocks done (I think!) I just need to arrange them, (more decisions?) sew them together and get myself into town to buy a bolt of Kona white and finish cutting the white parts. It is not too late to join the Quilt Along. Entries for prizes can be any size and you have until the end of May to complete.

And I had a tiny finish. Sometimes you just have to get something done!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Design Wall Monday~April 8

A short post. The day after my birthday! A day I ate waaaay too much.

Anyway, a finish

And a doll quilt in progress.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Just A Quick Note

Just wanted to post a finish of a UFO. This baby quilt has been sitting since the early '90ies. Why? Well, it had a complicated border originally and I cut all the pieces, but didn't feel ready to tackle it. Then I lost the pieces and used some of the burgandy and blue in other projects. ANYWAY, I didn't want to donate sis and I both worked on this quilt. Anyhoo, it's finished. I don't know why one block yellowed, I'm pretty sure it was all from the same bolt.

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter. I am on a fabric "diet" but still couldn't help but treat myself to these. I'm sure they are a lot better for me than chocolate and jelly beans!
Enjoy!  Toni

Monday, March 25, 2013

Design Wall Monday~March 25

My blog today will be short and sweet. Just like me!

I couldn't stand my sewing room. There were piles everywhere. You know how you pull out fabrics trying to make decisions and then don't put it away? I found I was having to move my stacks off the ironing board onto the cutting table and vice versa to accomplish anything. So I got busy. It's not perfect but certainly an improvement. Notice I added the cute piece to the top of the armoire. I wonder how long it will last?



And yes, even tho' it doesn't show, there is no more fabric sitting on the dog crate!

I was productive after that and got three quilts basted and ready to quilt. Too bad I have to do my taxes today! But tomorrow, or later today if I'm lucky, I will start quilting those three. I have to, personal goal, get two done this month but would be thrilled if I could make it three!

And I love hexies! I only needed about sixty for this doll quilt I wanted to make. They were fun to do but I was rather nervous, I'm a worrier, about sewing them together. But here are the first five and I found them easy. Of course, I am not a perfectionist so someone else may not think I've done such a good job but they all look good to me!

 Now I'm worrying about taking the "paper" actually card stock, out. I wish I had read the blog that suggests punching a hole in the paper before using them to make them easier to remove. See? I'm already worrying about that!

Have a great day! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bloglovin'? A new home?

Follow">">Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Claiming my spot on Bloglovin. We will see how this works!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Design Wall~March 18

I had to have a finish! I was getting desperate. I've spent so much time on blocks....for Block Lotto, for the Row Along and the on going Pineapple project. And I wanted instant gratification. So....I made, and finished a doll quilt. Yay! It felt so good that I picked out an unfinished doll quilt from last year and finished it. One new quilt and one UFO! Good job! Okay, maybe I should have been working on larger UFO's but we do what we need to do.

This last week I was given another bag of fabric trimmings, leavings, leftovers, scraps. Whatever you want to call them. This bag was more like what I expected the first bag to be like. No yardage. Truly leftover odd shaped pieces. I put in my "sweat equity" and now have bunches of ready to use squares, already cut to "my" favorite sizes. Last night I looked at my "Scrap Attack" board on Pinterest and think I have chosen my next scrap quilt. I don't believe I will start that until next month, which is only two weeks away, as my list for this month is still very long.

So the fun continues! I hope you are making progress on your personal projects.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Design Wall Monday~March 11

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get inexpensive fabric at a church sale. Now, due to the generosity of a friend, I have more fabric and this time it was free! This friend, Pat, makes quilts for children in Africa. She has gotten a whole circle of women to help. Even women that don't sew, are cutting fabric or in some cases, tying the quilts, although most of the quilts are machine quilted by the women.  They throw away many of the trimmings and I had said, as I love scrap quilts so much, that I would take their trimmings. I really do find cutting fabric into usable sizes soothing. This last week she gave me a  bag full of fabric. Not a small trash bag and not a thirty three gallon bag, but somewhere in between.  There were scraps in there, but also lots of yardage. Boy was I surprised!

This is a picture of the pieces that were about one yard, up to three yards for one piece. In the background you can see the smaller pile that I was going to cut into smaller pieces. Yes, I do have a system, as many do, for cutting and sorting scraps.

Here is a picture of the pieces that were anywhere between a quarter yard and half a yard(ish). Now looking at these fabrics, there are many that YOU might not use, but I subscribe to the theory that all fabric is pretty if  cut into small enough pieces. So as long as I have room, I will continue to keep, and use, these fabrics.

Smaller piece pile, uncut. You can see that green in both the bigger pieces and the scrappier pieces. One was very irregular shaped so it got cut into squares and strips.

And here is a picture of the smaller pieces, cut into, what are for me, usable pieces. The triangles were already cut, I just added white and squared them up. I'm such a lucky girl!

This last week Lori Holt released the directions for the last row of her Row Along. It's tulips. How perfect for spring! I've not had a chance to start them but I plan to have them done in the next two days. I love the rows, I know I will love the quilt when it is complete but mostly what I have truly enjoyed, is the new techniques for completing some small designs. Many that will translate, perfectly, into doll quilts. I am going to do more doll quilts!

I tend to be a little behind the curve. Or is it behind the wave? Last year everyone seemed to be into hexies and I just wasn't. It could have been because I had worked on some yo-yo's and felt I didn't need another handwork project. But I have been bitten! I want to do some hexies. Small hexies for doll quilts. I've ordered a template and papers. I'm too lazy to make them myself and I'm willing to wait for the products to arrive. This years trend, so far, as been scrappy Trips Around the World, but I had already done one so I've not joined in. The other favorite, right now, is chevron quilts. Again, not appealing to me, but if the hexies are an example, next year I will be doing chevrons while everyone else has moved on to something else!

Oh! I just remembered. I have a confession to make. I made a new quilt top. I'm not supposed to as long I'm behind on my 2013 UFO goal, but what the heck? It's my rule. What happened is this.....Sophie issued the directions for the new Block Lotto for March. The block was simple, it had to incorporate gray and white, and another color of our choice. I was going through my scraps. This particular tub, has pinks, purples and blues. My intent wasn't to limit my color choices to these colors, but that is what happened. Then I started making the blocks and liked them so well, that I decided rather than waiting to see if I won the lottery this month. And then having a multi colored scarppy quilt. That I would make some blocks for me and also donate some to Block Lotto. Donating means you don't want a chance to win any of this months blocks. So here is what I did with the thirty blocks I made myself.  Isn't that limited palette pretty?

Boy I've been long winded today!