Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Quilting Goals


2018 New Year’s Goals



1.      Give more of my quilting items away.  It is always nice to give a gift; it makes a random day very special – both on the giving and receiving end.  Since I appreciate all of my friends, I will show some love through the mailbox.   So if I ask for your snail-mail address, you will know why.

2.     Don’t fret so much if something doesn’t turn out just as I want.  Finish it and move on.  I am working on the triangles for the Jane Stickle quilt right now, and must remember this.

3.     Blog more than once a week.  The Design Wall Mondays have me programmed now to blog every Sunday evening, for publication on Monday morning.  There is lots more going on than what’s on my design wall.

4.     Make a list of quilts I’d like to make.  It’s in my head, but I’d like a paper list to add to, cross off, eliminate, tweak, etc.

5.     Eliminate  guilt when I start something new.  I will work on what is fun and if a UFO doesn’t get finish now, it will get finished later.  Quilting (on new-old-whatever) and not guilt, is what I’m aiming for.

6.     Five is enough.  Make no more than five goals, is what I say.  Happy New Year!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Design Wall Monday - December 18, 2017

Here's a pillow that I made last year, and we are enjoying it in the living room this year:

This pillow is from the magazine American Patchwork & Quilting, December 2014.  Picture is of the cover of the magazine with the pillow on the right side near the top:

Here is another picture of the pillow, designed by Tina Lewis.

The pattern has small felt dots for the snow, and I used small white buttons that I had, which was easier.  I also changed the wording to "Merry Christmas" instead of "Season's Greetings" as that is my usual greeting at Christmas.

I would like to give this pattern away as a little Christmas gift to one of you.  If you would like to receive this magazine with the pillow directions, here is what to do:

(1) Link to Design Wall Monday, as usual, and

(2) Provide a link back to this exact post, somewhere within your blog post.    By that I mean your link should refer people to: 

and not just

Christmas will be here in one week!  I will be skipping Design Wall Monday next week (December 25th), as I will be celebrating Christmas with family, and nothing will be happening on the design wall.  I will post again on the first day of 2018.

The winner of the magazine will be announced in my first post of the new year.

Looking forward to seeing what you are working on this week:

Monday, December 11, 2017

Design Wall Monday - December 11, 2017

December is happening faster than I can keep up with it.  Christmas will be here in two weeks!  Even though I'm behind in my Christmas decorating, I did manage to work on a baby quilt for a baby due in January.  Here are pictures of the front and back:

The binding is half finished, and I will finish it today.  I free motion quilted it with some loopy circles, and I think if I practiced free motion quilting enough, it would be fun.  This was my first attempt.  Baby quilts made in 2018 will be free motion quilting practice.

Here's the back of the baby quilt, with fabric from my Mom's stash.  She made a lot of baby quilts, and I always like to use up her fabric in baby quilts.

Also, as promised last week, here's results of setting the timer for 15 minutes for cleaning up the mess that overflowed out of my quilt room.  1st, bar area:

2nd, table area:

Also, the floor in the quilt room is now clean, but the ironing board and rotary cutting area are still being worked on.  Progress is being made.  More 15 minute drills will happen this week.

I have an old book, "Your Household Guide", full of household hints that was sold as a fundraiser by the V.F.W. Auxiliary in Ithaca, Michigan many years ago.  It is fun to read some of the old hints.  Here's one hint under the "sewing" category:

"Recipe For A Rosebud Quilt:  Take 16,450 pieces cut size of a milk bottle cap; turn edges carefully and gather toward center, fasten securely; results should be size and not unlike a tiny forget-me-not blossom.  Join seven of these small flowerets, six surrounding a center one all a different print, harmonious is one small rose.  Continue until you have sufficient roses for a good-sized bed spread.  Fasten roses securely together and you have one of the most beautiful bed coverings imaginable."

Let me know if you make this

What's on your design wall this week?  Looking forward to seeing your links, and please remember to link back to this blog post somewhere within your post.  I appreciate it.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Design Wall Monday - December 4, 2017

Reality has me wanting to clean up the quit room for a fresh start.  I posted some pictures of my quilt room on my blog two years ago......(Here) .... if you care to see what it looks like when it's clean.  But allow me to show you some pictures of the sad state of the room right now:

Ironing board:

Floor right appears someone dumped a basket to look for something specific in it......who would have done that?  Yes, it was me.  

Plus, I have projects spread out on a table outside the quilt room, in the family room.  Overflow....?

Also, the family room bar counter space has been taken over by my quilting projects.  This is a drinks bar, not a library.....These two areas are not part of my quilt room.

What to do....what to do....How to fix this mess?  As we all know, tackle it a little at a time, each day this week.  I am setting the timer for 15 minutes daily and will put things away until the bell rings.   I will report back to you with pictures next week to show you the results.  Anyone with me on daily 15 minute cleanups in our quilt rooms?

I hope your week will be productive.  What's on your design wall this week?  My design wall is empty right now, but I will be sewing my Jane Stickle columns and rows together soon, and it will be going up on the design wall.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Design Wall Monday - November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving week was very peaceful at my house, and I'm thankful for all of the leftovers - no cooking has been done since Thursday!  Leftovers are a great part of having the dinner at home.  And at 74 years old, I can decide to have a piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast without any guilt at all.  Life is good.

I found that the old quilt squares of "eightish" inches in size didn't get much better with sashing, and to remedy the situation, I added small strips of fabric to some of the blocks.  It is coming along, and yesterday I sewed all the blocks into columns and then sewed the columns together.  Here is a progress picture of the quilt top.  It's about 43 inches square.

Here's a close-up, showing some of the places where added pieces made the blocks more the same size:

I will add simple quilting, and it will be a great wall hanging.  It feels so peaceful and I like the fact that someone else's blocks are now going to be a quilt.  

This time of year, as December nears, I make Christmas plans, and think about the new year.  As we age, hubby and I are less enthused about shopping for Christmas gifts.  Also as the grandchildren are all fifteen years or older, their tastes in presents are more of a mystery to us.  So I've decided to give the gift of money to each grandchild.  There are lots of ways to make a money gift a fun one to unwrap, and it will keep me out of the "hustle and bustle" of the Christmas gift buying scene.  After Christmas I will show you some of the cash gift ideas I am using (Pinterest was a great help).

I hope you find some ways to simplify your Christmas season and find time to enjoy the reason for the season with music and church services and family time.

What's on your design wall this Monday?  I so enjoy seeing everyone's beautiful quilting progress.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Design Wall Monday - November 20, 2017

Here's my promised post about the November 2017 Jane Stickle quilt retreat in Shipshewana, IN.

Friday night was spectacular.  Many, many beautiful quilts were shown at the Show 'n Tell.  These women overwhelm me with their talent, and I alway come away inspired to do more.

These are just a few of the many intricate quilts I saw there:  The first one is a top that is made of bow tie blocks......lots of them!

Next is a quilt made by Rebecca Windburn, who sat next to me.  I liked her choices of fabrics.

And the overall quilting pano is feathers, which turned out so pretty.  Here's a closer look:

Here's one of the "365 block" quilts shown, and they are so amazing.  The dark blues have enough contrast in them that the pattern shows up because of the contrast with lights she used in the dark blocks.   Mine:  not so much.

Here's a Jane Stickle quilt top. The group is pushing everyone working on this quilt to finish their quilts by 2018 fall, for a Jane Stickle plethora of quilts showing.  When your quilt is completed, quilted, with a label on it, the group brings out a crown and you are crowned a "Goddess".   I aspire to be a Goddess.

The last one is a vintage quilt brought in by Rebecca Haarer (owner of Rebecca Haarer Arts & Antiques in downtown Shipshewana).   All hand stiched and hand quilted.   Isn't it beautiful?

Here are the three doll quilts that I brought to the show n tell.  That's me explaining a little about them.

What have you been working on this week?  With Thanksgiving coming up Thursday, for those in the USA, this will be a slower quilting production week.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.  I am thankful for you!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Design Wall Monday - November 13, 2017

I've just returned from another great quilt retreat in Shipshewana, IN.  The ladies at this retreat are so talented! I have plenty of pictures to show you, but they will have to wait until next week. 

Today I'm showing you a small quilt that I just bound and finished while at the retreat:

One of the benefits of making lots of small doll quilts is that I get a lot of practice using different bindings.  On this one, I used two inch double fold striped binding, and matched the stripes on the pieces when I joined them.  With a stripe, I sew the "join" within the widest stripe, as it is easier to hide there.  Can you see the join seam?

Also, small quilts give me lots of practice in corners, and they are improving over my first attempts.  In the original quilt, the corners are rounded, but now that I know how to make nice square corners, I like to make them.

I quilted four "petals" into the center to mirror the green applique pieces in the first border:

I don't know if you can see them, but they are there in the red center part.

This quilt is a reproduction of a doll quilt on page 78 of the book Classic Crib
Quilts and How to Make Them
by Thos. K. Woodard and Blanche Greenstein.  It's one of my favorite doll quilt books.  Here's the picture of the original from the book:

What's on your design wall this Monday?  We want to see!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Design Wall Monday - November 6, 2017

I have the attention span of a gnat!  But you already knew that.  So this week, here are these maple leaf quilt blocks that I found while looking for something else, and they are on the design wall, now getting made into a small quilt.  They were acquired some time ago (I can't even remember where).

The blocks are all hand pieced, and the piecer was aiming for 8 inch squares.  However, they are "eightish" in size (see picture), and I decided to sash them to help square everything up. 

I picked out some solid sashing, and some cornerstone fabric, and began cutting the sashing to 3 inches, to finish at 2.5 inches. 

When I was part way through cutting sashing, I realized there wasn't enough and I would be short on sashing fabric....and I really wanted to use it.    That's when the sashing became 1.5 inches wide, unfinished.

Actually, I like the narrow sashing better.   I picture Tim Gunn from the TV show "Project Runway" saying .........."Make it work!". 

The start of November is when I start thinking about Thanksgiving and all that I have to be thankful for.  For one thing, I'm thankful for all of you, and that when you link with this blog I can see all the wonderful projects you are designing and quilting.  

Another thing I'm thankful for is getting together with some quilting friends for a semi-annual retreat this month in Shipshewana, IN.  Yeah!! We will be together Wednesday through Sunday and it will be so much fun to see my friends again.  I should have pictures to share with you of retreat quilts next week.

What's on your design wall?  

Monday, October 30, 2017

Design Wall Monday - October 30, 2017

People give me their projects to finish.....I don't know why, but they do.....probably because I will take on the challenge.  Anyway, at a retreat last year, I was given this small wall hanging that was partially finished, and the owner was ready to throw it away.  She had done all the paper piecing of the leaves and the three pumpkins.  I took it home, and am finishing it this week.  All I have left to do is connect the pumpkin leaves by embroidering curly stems on the pumpkin vines.  I should have done this before assembly of the whole thing, but I forgot about the stems.

I think the problem she may have had was there wasn't enough background fabric to finish it, but I pulled some additional brown fabric from my stash and "made it work".  I love the little paper pieced leaf blocks she made.  I had her name somewhere, and can't find it now, but I will bring this to Shipshewana in November, to see if she is there, so she can see the finished wall hanging.

I have lots of ideas in my head for fall quilts.  Here are some that I'd like to make:

An hour glass quilt with blacks and cheddars and browns....

Small four patches with alternate squares of cheddar....

Single Irish chain of shirting squares on cheddar background....

Maple leaf square alternating with medium and dark fabric nine patch blocks....

Maple leaves quilt from this free tutorial, (to make in 1/2 the size, giving me 6 inch blocks of four leaves... to make in four units, so the quilt would be 12 inches by 12 inches)  (Here)

What about you?  I am looking forward to seeing what's on your Design Wall.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Design Wall Monday - October 23, 2017

Topic of the day:  Three Small Fall Wall Quilts

Someone asked me recently how I hang my small quilts.  I usually switch them out each season, and sometimes hang them right over something else.  For example,

This small quilt is now hanging in the front entry:

The size of this little quilt is 17 inches by 17 inches, and the hsts are 3/4 inches square.  How did it get there?  It is simply slipped over the mirror that is always hanging there:

In the computer room, I have a fall leaf quilt that was paper pieced:

This one measures 14 in. by 18 in.  I think it was a kit, but I don't remember.  The wooden dowel is slipped into the triangle corners on the back and is resting on a picture hanger/nail in the wall:

The third small fall quilt is propped up in the living room bookcase:

This little black beauty is 14 in. by 14 in.  How does it stay there?   Here's "the behind the scenes story"

Here's a Halloween pumpkin that I like:

Have you carved your pumpkin yet?  If not, what are you working on this week?  I love to see all of your pictures and I thank you for linking up with Design Wall Mondays.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Design Wall Monday - October 16, 2017

Fall is finally here, and we've had beautiful weather so far.  I got out some fall quilts, and have the large leaf quilt on display on the railing:

And the view from the kitchen:

It's from a pattern by Ruth Powers and the pattern is named "Third Weekend in October".  The quilt is 85 X 110 inches.  Her pattern:

It is paper pieced, and a great way to use your fall colored fabrics.

Here's a few pictures (from the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI) from this week:

The white pumpkins and the ornamental cabbages always look so nice.

  I love the big pumpkins turned on their side - just as they were in the field.

They used apples in their arrangements!  Of course, if I tried that in my yard, the deer would be all over it.

Isn't this pumpkin a funky one?  I really like it.

What are you working on this third Monday in October?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Design Wall Monday - October 9, 2017

This week:  I'm working on blocks to exchange with the Churn Dashers group in Virginia. I am making 28 blocks, 4 each to exchange with 7 participants.   I worked on this project quite a while ago, and this week when I made more blocks, they were all coming out too small!  I stewed about it, trying to figure out what was wrong with my seam allowances......then I read the directions more carefully.  I found out my problem....I was trying to square up the blocks to 6.5 inches......and the directions said to square up the blocks to 6.75 inches!

I felt so silly, since I was one of the writers when the directions were written last year.   At least I was able to figure it out and move on.

Here's the block.  If anyone knows the name of this block, we'd like to know.
We drafted the pattern from an old quilt that one member owns.

Fall has been so beautiful here in Michigan.  The pumpkins are everywhere; here's a picture of a field of pumpkins near us:

And a closer look:

What are you working on this week?  We sure had a lot of beautiful projects last week.  Thank you so much for your participation.