Monday, August 14, 2017

Remaining Neutral

Using colors from nature
 can be a way to help remain neutral
when choosing a color palette.

But when there's a rainbow of colors
surrounding us, it can be a challenge.

Last January I began working on the
BOM found on The Quilt Show
designed by the late Sue Garman.

I looked to the colors of the southwest,
the desert tones.

Starting with the center medallion

and adding each new border
month to month.

The most challenging
has been what I've called

 "geese flying in circles"

It was paper pieced and seemed
to take forever.
Wait, it did take forever!

On a recent trip to Santa Fe
I took my quilt top and
found a lovely adobe room
in which to photograph it.

It's not finished yet.
But the colors are definitely what I was striving for.

Last week I worked on the next border, pinwheels.

All those half square triangles were
trimmed and perfectly sized and
the borders  went together lickety split,
or as fast as you can sew a pinwheel border,
which isn't really very fast.

Two floater borders had to be figured out,
 sewn on and
then finally,
 those spinning pinwheels.
This is where I am today.

Next up,
more flying geese.
Not Running Man's favorite visiting yard bird!#@!

 I'll remain neutral
and continue on.

Until Next Time-

Monday, August 7, 2017

The County Fair

Another week has flown by.

I've been helping my daughter reorganize
her 2nd grade classroom,
getting ready for my Florida daughter's visit,
and even had a bit of time for some sewing.

More hst's to trim.


The interesting part of my week was
being a quilt judge for the local county fair.

The day started early with
stacks of quilts waiting to be unfolded,
and having them shout, "look at me!"

"I want one of these."

Better yet,
"I want one of these!"

The fair guidelines try to make this a 
positive experience for everyone who enters.
All the quilts are accepted and hung.

The judges accentuate the positive and
provide feedback in areas where technical skills
 might need some improvements.

Even then, it's still a competition.
There are commonalities that can be critiqued,
are the blocks square,
are the borders straight,
are applique edges smooth,
is there even distribution of quilting,

  and don't forget about that binding.

It was a long day,
and I hope that the quilts that I looked at
and critiqued felt that it was done fairly.

It's a heavy responsibility as a judge to look at someone's
work and then making comments,
it takes courage and confidence for the quiltmaker
to enter a quilt show, locally or not. 

 Hopefully, we all had 
a positive experience.

Until Next Time-


Monday, July 31, 2017

A Winter Finish in Summer

How quickly, it seems,
we can go from this...

to this...

With a few flips of the calendar pages
the seasons change.

I've continued to work on and 
even finish some of my 17 in 2017.

My most recent finish,
"Let It Snow" will be ready and 
waiting when winter decides to return.

 Let It Snow
37" x 30"

This was a delightful free BOM wool applique
pattern designed by Stacy of 

The reason it was on my 17 in 2017 list
was because it was last year's free pattern!

 It's still available on her website for purchase,
if you're interested.

I found the black flannels for the backgrounds in my stash,
and the wool as well.

Years  ago I bought this wool skirt at the Goodwill,
 felted it,
and who knew years later it would become snow.

The blocks were fun and easy.

By simply changing the cardinal to a blue jay
it personalized the block for my neck of the woods.
(No, cardinals here)

Adding some buttons or
 beads is another way

 to make a pattern your own.

I had planned to add a more extensive border,
but it just wasn't in me to keep going.
I simply quilted in the ditch and

 added some snowflakes in the borders.
I'm simply going to let the blocks
speak winter.

Another finish from my list.

It's a great way to enjoy the summer.

Check out what others have finished on their lists
by visiting Meredithe's blog,
Until Next Time-

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars

Having the opportunity
to look up into a nighttime sky
away from city lights
is a beautiful experience.
Seeing all the stars in the Milky Way
puts things into perspective.
( photo from the internet)

You get lost in the beauty.
Stars have a univer-sal appeal,
even fabric stars.
 Pieced star blocks come in lots of
different styles and sizes.
There's a galaxy to choose from.

Twinkle, twinkle, little stars.
 I wonder how many I've made so far.

One a day had been the goal.
But that has taken quite the toll.

A few stars here,
a few stars there,

the pile is small
but I don't care.

60 stars are twinkling bright
double that number

will make it just right.

 My star goal now has been reset,
the night time sky won't twinkle less.

 So rather than filling a big black hole
I've set some boundaries to keep control.

Twinkle, Twinkle little star
The end is really not so far.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Time

 Summer days have a way of quickly slipping away and
I remind myself that

it's a time to relax and enjoy the simple things.

The last couple of weeks have been filled
with small pleasures.

Like spending time with these two little guys

while tent camping last weekend in the mountains outside of Denver,
 something I hadn't done in decades,
but despite my aging body, ended up being great fun.

Then there are these two
little pleasures.
 Being a Nana is the best job I've ever had.
I know many of you totally agree.

The sewing has taken a backseat,
but I did manage to make a few hst's

for the my BOM designed by Sue Garman
for the Quilt show.
I used the magic 8 method and trimmed
up the pieces using the Bloc-Loc tool.
I had 160 identical hst's to make and this
combination of sewing and trimming
made the whole process very easy and accurate.

The other day I
discovered the robins were enjoying
all of the cherries from our little tree.
They're the sour kind.
I got them pitted and frozen.
There's a few recipes I'm hoping to try.
One being a sour cherry berry crisp.
 It sounds good.

Maybe in the next couple weeks
I'll have more sewing to share,
but until then
I think I'll just be sharing time

with those I love.
Until Next Time-

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Last week I shared with you
how silly my mind can work.
I like to take one of the strategies
from the game of Parcheesi
and compare it to working
 on multiple quilts simultaneously
and then being rewarded with 
multiple finishes!

What's not to love about that!
Well, this week my fourth man (quilt) 
made it Home.
Tah Dah!!!

First, let me clarify, that my
finish is a finished top,
which was one of my 17 UFO's in 2017!

65" x 65"

 It is the 2016 mystery quilt
designed by Petra Prins
for Quiltmania magazine.

Yes, you've probably noticed that 2017
is already half over, but I'm so happy to
have this sewn together.
I "discovered" that it's rather
hard for me to keep up with mystery quilts.

*Besides I like to cheat
and be a few months behind.
That way I know where I'm headed.
(I wouldn't have made a very good explorer.)

The design included lots of appliquéing,
fussy cutting,
English Paper Piecing,
and playing with Petra's
wonderful Dutch Heritage Fabrics.

I also "discovered" that I love these fabrics!
The only place I was able to find

 them here in the states
was at Web Fabric. com

 I didn't work from a kit
but used other fabrics from my stash
for the background pieces and borders.
It changed it up a little.

The center of this quilt
is designed after a compass rose
found on nautical maps
showing the points of the compass

or a mariner's compass block.
The Dutch were part of the Age of Exploration
and Discovery.

The most challenging part for me
were the final stars in the final border.
The kite shape points created
a very narrow tip and getting the seam allowance
to tuck under after basting them around
a paper piece was difficult.
I would have done better with good ol' needle turning.
 That was another part
of my sewing "discovery"
with this quilt.

Now when I "discover" some time
I might work on getting this quilted.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How to Play Parcheesi

One of my family's favorite games is 
 It's a simple game of getting your four men out
of the starting place, rolling the dice, and
moving them around the 
board towards Home. 
There are two strategies,
move one man at a time or
have all 4 men out at once sharing the roll of the dice.

It's the same thing with making quilts,
it's either working on one at a time
or working on multiple quilts.

My strategy is, of course, the multiple approach and
what seems to happen
 is that there are

several finishes close together.

A few weeks ago quilt #1
moved into Home.
My Antique Sampler, 1851, was finished.
Click here to read the whole story. 

And then before I knew it
another man had made it home.

I had made a promise to piece a quilt top
for the continuing service project my DAR group
sponsors for the VA hospital in Cheyenne, WY.

The challenge was using this fabric.

After much thought and
the help of Pinterest
here's what eventually came together.

It didn't come out exactly as planned,
but I think once it's quilted it will be fine.

Then look what happened!

Man #3 slipped in
and allowed me to cross off another
UFO from my 17 in 2017 list!

Here is my
 free mystery quilt from
Thimble Creek Quilt Shop, 2016.

 " Summer Sampler"
 64" x 64"

It was pieced from the stash

using lights and brights

to sew the 6 inch blocks.

It was set together
with these alternating pieced blocks.

I had it machine quilted by my
friend, Kathy H.
and we choose a super cute overall owl design

to match the label.

All I had left to do
in order to cross it off my list
was to sew down the binding and
 Summer Sampler is finished.

3 quilts are safely tucked in at home.
That leaves one man still heading towards the finish.
You'll have to come back next week to see if
I win the game.

Until Next Time-