Monday, December 31, 2018

Design Wall Monday - December 31, 2018

It's the last day of 2018.  Time to reflect and be thankful for the past, and anticipate good for the future.  I just read a book, "The Art of Grace", by Sarah L. Kaufman and one of her suggestions on being full of grace is:

1.  Slow down and plan.  There's no way to be graceful when you're rushing around haphazardly.

Today is a good time to take stock of what quilts I plan to finish in 2019.  Here's a picture of an album block quilt on my design wall, which is one of the quilts I plan to finish in the next year.

How about you?  What are you planning for the new year?

Thank you for linking up with and commenting on Design Wall Mondays this past year!  I so appreciate all of you, and look forward to your pictures and inspiration in the coming year.   As usual, the only request I have is that somewhere within your blog post you link to this particular blog post.  

Inlinkz Link Party

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Last Quilt Finish of 2018

This post is about a long overdue baby quilt that I had a fight with.  But I won!  Our physical trainer, Kelsie, had a baby last year, and now is pregnant for her second child.  The baby quilt she is just now getting is below:

The trouble started when I selected a flannel backing for this baby quilt.  When I tried to quilt it, the trouble began.  It stretched, and lumped on the back - not pretty.  So I read about flannel, and took the backing off, washed and starched it.  Starched it stiff as a board!  But the washing made it shrink too small to be a backing any more, and I put the project away for a while.  When Kelsie's baby kept getting older, I felt guilty and thought it was time to finish this up.  I bought a cotton backing, and took it to a long arm quilter to finish.  Binding was added, and the quilt is now ready to give away.  Some projects just don't cooperate with me.  But perseverance is my middle name.

Since it is a little late for her first baby's quilt, this quilt is for the baby due in 2019.  And her firstborn sweet girl will receive a little dolly quilt and a little dolly.  Here are more pictures below:

The label on the back of the baby quilt:

The pen is a felt tip one, and is a little blurry to write with.  Any recommendations for a better permanent pen?  Here's one last picture of both quilts and the little dolly.  

Measurements are 40 in. by 50 in. for baby quilt, and dolly's is 10 x 10 in.

This is my first Non Design-Wall-Monday post for quite a while.    I will post again on the last day of 2018, for our usual linkup.  See you then!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Design Wall Monday - December 24, 2018

It's Christmas Eve morning!  I thought I'd show you some of my favorite Christmas scenes from past years instead of what I'm working on this week.  (I've been busy making Broken Dishes blocks and will show them to you next week.)

First, here's a "Martha Stewart moment" from a few years back:  I took thyme from my garden and made little wreaths for the windows on my vintage dollhouse.  I put Santa in the chimney, his reindeer waiting on the ground outside, and it all came together as if I had a plan.  The dollhouse is from my childhood, and is probably from 1948-1950.  Decorating it was a one year thing, and I felt very clever.

Next, the Christmas card picture that got the most comments.  Our dog Sally, had puppies just once, and it was such an amazing time for us.  This picture took a long time to take because when they were almost all asleep, one would wake up and wander off....and we'd put him back, and then another would wake up.  LOL  We finally got a few pictures of all seven of them sleeping together.  

The green plaid bows are on the males, and the red plaid bows are on the females.  It was such fun, but a once in a lifetime experience.  They all went to their new homes by Christmas Day.

Third, here's a picture of me with Santa.  He has assured me I'm on his "nice" list again this year, so all is well.

Fourth, a picture of our cabin in the snow.  I'm dreaming of a white Christmas with every Christmas card I write.....but sadly, there is no snow predicted for Christmas here this year.  So I have to rely on pictures of Christmas past. 

Fifth, a picture of my yeast cinnamon roll wreath that I have been making for over thirty years.  It's from the Betty Crocker cookbook, and I only make it at Christmas time. 

And lastly, a picture of Sophia Grace and Rosie in their Santa hats.  They stay in my sewing room, and keep me company while I make doll quilts.

Merry Christmas from me to you.  I hope your Christmas is merry and bright, and your new year filled with quilts!

I so enjoy the Design Wall Monday link up.  Please link up and show me what's on your design wall.  The only request I have is that you refer back to this particular blog post somewhere within your blog post.  Thanks!  

Note:  Since InLinkz has changed the format of their link up, some people have not been able to link, and I'm sorry for that.  However, I am not a techie, and don't know what to do to fix the issue.


Inlinkz Link Party

Monday, December 17, 2018

Design Wall Monday - December 17, 2018

How are you ladies coming along on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt (those of you who are doing it)?  I have been saving the clues and following along.  It sure looks interesting, as always.

But my week has been spent making more hsts and broken dishes blocks.

The quilt I want to make will be king sized, for our bed, and this week, I looked at the "big picture" of how many hsts, how many broken dishes blocks, and background blocks I will need.  Again, here's a picture of the vintage quilt I am using as a guide:

This is the point where I sometimes put a project aside, and say "I can't think about that right now, if I do, I'll go crazy.  I'll think about that tomorrow."  in my best 'Miss Scarlett O'Hara' imitation.  But this time I haven't.....not yet. 

I made a spreadsheet to look at how many parts are in each block if I divided the 100 x 100 inch size into 25 equal "blocks".......Below i a drawing a friend, Rosemary Youngs, drew up in quilting software, of a 20 inch by 20 inch "block"

There are a couple of hsts flipped the wrong way in this picture, but it's not important at this stage.  Since I am not a quilt designer, and have an accounting background, my quilt "plans" are usually spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel.  My spreadsheet tells me I will need 1,300 broken dishes blocks.  That's a lot, but then I said, many should I make a day?

Each of the twenty five blocks in my plan are 20 inches by 20 inches, and have 52 of the little broken dishes blocks in each.  I am dividing this project into twenty five parts, but I want my fabrics which are scrappy to be in each of the blocks.  Which is why I would prefer to make all the broken dishes blocks first, before I assemble a single 20 inch square block.  This way, I can make a batch of 25 broken dishes blocks - all the same - but only one or two of each batch  would be in each 20 inch square block.  

So the method would be dividing the broken dishes blocks (2 inches square) production into units of 50 at a time.  Then use only two of these 50 in a 20 inch square.  So there would be production of 50 broken dishes blocks 26 times.  

Yesterday, I experimented to see how many broken dishes blocks I could make in one day.   Starting in the afternoon, after church:  Using triangle papers, I sewed 200 half square triangles.  Then cut them apart, removed the papers, ironed them open, and trimmed them to 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches.  Next I sewed 100 of them into "twos" and "twos" and now have 50 of the "twos" and "twos" sewn together for 25 complete broken dishes blocks.  50 were in the "two" and "two" status when I went to bed.  The second 100 were pressed open but not trimmed to the correct size.  From the time spent and progress made so far, at bedtime, I determined I could sew 50 broken dishes blocks in two days, but not one.

I had made 150 broken dishes blocks before I started this "big picture" spreadsheet, and after another day at it to complete the 50 above, this would make 200 complete and 1,100 more needed.   At 50 per batch, that's 22 batches.....each two days long.  44 days of sewing hsts and sewing them into units of four..... yikes......but the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilters are making large quantities of the same unit over and over, so it is being done.  I do have all of the plain background squares cut (1,000 of those) so that part is done.  If anyone wants a copy of my spreadsheet, I can email it to you.  

But this morning, I'm going to look at Design Wall Monday linkups and see what you are making!  And after all, tomorrow is another day.  Design Wall Monday linkup rules are simple - just refer back to this particular blog post somewhere within your blog post.  Thanks!  I really enjoy seeing what you are doing and I thank you for joining in each week.  

Please note that InLinkz has new format, and I may not be doing it right, so I may have to fix the below link.....but I hope it works o.k.  I'm not a techie 

Inlinkz Link Party

Monday, December 10, 2018

Design Wall Monday, December 10, 2018

Donna, a reader, asked for information about my header quilt.  Here is what I wrote about it back in 2013.

The quilt measures 22 x 35 inches and the squares are one inch.  It is a memory of the fun I had as a child, sifting through the buttons in my Mom's button box, and was made the year after my Mom died, in 2007.  I had seen one in a button shop in St. Charles, MO, years ago, and this is a copy of that quilt.  I found this picture below on the web, and it may be of the quilt from the shop in St. Charles, Mo.  I don't know for sure.

It is quite heavy, so I haven't hung it on the wall, but I usually put it over a table top, for display.  I had fun picking out old buttons from Mom's button box to sew onto this quilt.  Hope those of you who haven't heard this story enjoy it, and for those of you who have heard it already, I hope you enjoy it again.  When you are old, like me, any story is a new one, because I can't remember hearing it before.  

Here's an old picture of our beloved Sally, sitting near it when I was first photographing it, back in 2013.  She was pure love, and we miss her.

And here's a picture of Penny taken yesterday, in her "down" position, watching me sew on the sewing machine.  After about 20 minutes, I stop and let her move around, as she is still a puppy.  Here she has a look on her face that says "Why would you want to sew on that sewing machine instead of playing catch with me?" 

This week I will be able to spend more time looking at design walls.  Yeah!  I so enjoy seeing what everyone is making.  The link up rules are simple - please refer back to this particular post somewhere within your blog post.  Thanks!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Design Wall Monday - December 3, 2018

This week, I'm making small broken dishes four patches.  Here's a picture of two of them - front view and back view.  I like the little tiny four patch in the middle of the backside.  Too cute.  The block measures 2 x 2 inches finished.

I've made about 50 broken dishes four patches completely, and have several more partially made.  I have decided to make a quilt for our bed (king size) so it will require a ton of these blocks.  I'm not thinking about how many I have to make in total - I'm just enjoying the making for now.

Here's another picture of the old quilt that I am using as inspiration:

We have Penny back from training - she was away for a month of "boot camp".  She is like a new dog - obeys commands, sit, down, and best of all something called "place", where I tell her to stay in a certain place, and she does!  They worked with hubby and with me for about two hours to train us in what she has learned, and it was totally worth the separation to have her come back so well trained.  Now we, as her owners, must be consistent in keeping up their good work.  Wish me luck!

What is happening in your world today?  I am looking forward to seeing your design walls.  Thanks for participating.

As usual, if you would like to link up, please refer back to this particular post somewhere within your post, and that way people can link back to Design Wall Monday to link up with the next blog on the list.  Thanks!  Happy December!