Monday, June 1, 2020

Design Wall Monday - June 1, 2020

Two projects are on my “design wall” this week.  I continue to make embroidered baskets, and the lilac one is finished.  There were a lot of lilac petals.  After I picked a bouquet of lilacs this week, I noticed that each little bloom has four petals.  In the embroidery I just finished, each little flower has 6 or more petals.  If I ever embroider another basket of lilacs, I will change the petals to four on each.  (My tiny detail trivia for the day). I doubt I will ever make another one.

Here is a picture of all the blocks so far on the kitchen floor (design wall):

Someone asked me how many blocks I am making, and I don’t know for sure.  I have made 14, and have patterns for 32.  I am continuing as it is a peaceful project.

The other project is one using up my plaid stash.  I saw a youtube video on a quilting technique that I have wanted to try:  A broken herringbone design.  The How To video from the Crafts Channel is  (Here).  I have started a blue plaid herringbone design, using pieces that will finish 2 X 6 inches. ).  The method is simple, but involves partial seams.  I don’t have a pattern, but just started making “bricks” 2.5 in. by 6.5 in.  I have enough bricks for 16 columns, and picture shows 4 of them.  I divided all the bricks into dark ones vs lighter ones, and plan on two dark columns-two light columns across the quilt.  I should be able to see the pattern better next week.  Have you ever made a broken herringbone quilt?   Here is a picture of the first four columns laid out on the bed:

What are you working on this week?  It is so disturbing to watch the chaos and looting in America’s major cities right now.  Please pray with me that peace will come soon.  I hope we can continue to quilt and share our design walls with each other in the midst of all of this unrest. 

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Design Wall Monday - May 25, 2020

Decoration Day, now called
Memorial Day

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
by John McCrae

Remembering all those who fought for our freedom, and thankful for their sacrifice.  I have good memories of services at our town cemetery with the 21 gun salute at noon, very impressive to me as a young girl.  My father wore his WWII uniform, and my brother and I decorated our bicycles with crepe paper in the spokes.

I am still working on the vase of lilacs.  The lilacs should be out here in Michigan soon, as spring has definitely arrived.  

At least there are not many French knots on this one, but many daisy stitch lilac petals.

Lots of great ideas in last week’s linkups.  I know there will be more today-can’t wait.  Thank you all for participating.   I am sitting with my sister during her dialysis this morning, and am looking forward to seeing your blogs.  As usual, my only request is that you link back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your post.

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Design Wall Monday - May 18, 2020

Good morning quilters!  I had a fairly non-productive week and hit a “coronavirus self-distancing slump” .  I am over it now, and have started sewing again.  The May Day embroidered baskets are back out, and I’m working on two.  The one I just started has some of my favorite flowers in it - lilacs.  Do they grow where you live?  Are they in bloom now?  For me, yes and no.  Yes, They grow in almost every farmhouse yard in Michigan....big bushes full of their sweet blossoms.  No, they are not in bloom yet.  I am trying to use different purples as I stitch, just to amuse myself.  

The second basket has blue bell shaped flowers.  Blue flax, possibly.  I am almost finished with this one.  

What are you doing to keep yourself in a good mood during these unusual times?  One song that lifts my spirits is found on youtube.   (Here)  Several United Kingdom church choir members are singing together, though separated.  I like to play it to start my day, and am thankful for their efforts to cheer everyone.

Please link up with a picture of what you are working on, and also comment here on what you are doing to keep yourself in good spirits.  I appreciate all of you so much.  I ask that you provide a link back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your post.  Thanks!


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Monday, May 11, 2020

Design Wall Monday - May 11, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day yesterday to all of you who are mothers.  

Since this coronavirus self-distancing is making me sad......and I am going a little bit mad.......I decided to sew PLAID fabric.  I am having the best time with it.  Yes, it is a little break from my 2020 UFO mission, but the plaids were calling me.  Here’s a little doll quilt that I added a plaid binding to this week.  Old Bear, my brother’s childhood friend, has his plaid mask on and is liking the new quilt.  

Here is the doll quilt alone:

I sorted all my plaid stash and made piles of plaid fabrics that I thought would play well with each other.  Then I sewed two quilt tops, and have a third one started.  I guess I missed my sewing machine!  Also, the plaids are so much fun.

Here is the first top, with a carpenter’s square block enlarged to  64” X 64” top.  Eight blocks by eight blocks, each finishing at 8” square.  All easy solid squares or hst blocks.

Next, I took one of the piles, ginghams, and made a baby quilt top:


Most of the ginghams are from my Mother’s stash, and many are a blend of cotton and polyester, very thin.  But it will do to put under a tiny baby.  Each strip is cut at 3 inches wide and the block finishes at 7.5 inches.  Quilt top is 30” by 45”.

Third quilt is made of squares cut at 6.5 inches, and another darker square of 4.5 inches put on a corner, then sewn thru a diagonal line on the smaller square, with the triangle flipped up over the corner.  Of course I saved the cut-away waste triangles for a small quilt later.  You know I did.  This quilt will be 8 blocks across and 9 blocks down, before borders.  I didn’t use any pattern for any of these tops, and had fun playing with designs.  On the pic below, ignore my blue plaid bedspread in the background, as my bed is my “design wall” at the cabin.

Also, it snowed yesterday here in Michigan!   In this picture you see the white flakes in the air, and my daffodils trying to be brave.  It wasn’t enough to cover the ground, but is the middle of May.  Enough already!

What have you been up to?  Please check in with a picture so we can go to your blog to read about it.  Don’t forget to provide a link back to this blog post from somewhere within your blog post.  

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Monday, May 4, 2020

Design Wall Monday - May 4, 2020

May is here!  This UFO finish was one I saved for May.  In honor of May Day, I finished the final border on my Buds in a Basket quilt that I started a long time ago.  When I began, I enlarged the quilt by making more basket squares, and then it got put away before borders.  But Sunday, I added the last border, and this UFO is ready for the long arm quilter.  I am celebrating May with it.

My favorite block is this one,  because the biggest piece of fabric is from my Mom's stash, and is an authentic 30's fabric.  I wonder what Mom made with this cheerful fabric?  The flowers in the fabric are round, just like the ones in this quilt.  Serendipity.  

Here is the quilt on the design wall:

And I am still enjoying embroidery of the May Day Flower Baskets Quilt.  One basket each week.  Here is this week's basket.

Looking forward to seeing what you are working on.  Spring has finally arrived here in Michigan, and Sunday was a beautiful day outside.  Hope you are enjoying spring weather where you are.  Show me your design wall, and tell me what you have been up to.  Please put a link to this particular blog post somewhere within your blog post, so people can come back here and go to the next link.  Thanks!
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Monday, April 27, 2020

Design Wall Monday - April 27, 2020

Thanks for all of your birthday wishes last week, you made me feel special, even during these no physical contact times.  I did get a lot done.  I finished another May Basket block, and also made good progress on the redwork quilt border flowers.

The May Basket block directions said to use six strands of floss for the French knots, but after I made a few, I decided they were too big, and took them out.  I made the knots for the flowers with four strands, which still made big French knots.  

Here is a picture of the completed block:

Long ago, one of the redwork blocks got wet during the making of it; a water bottle spilled on it.  I saw that the red Perle cotton thread bled a little bit.  So now that I am near the finish of his project, I am heating up each piece in a pan on the stove with some “color catchers” to take out the extra red even before the quilt is assembled.  Here is the batch I finished on Sunday:  First picture is of the two piles of color catchers, from soaking #1 and #2, and the empty kettle.  

Next is the border piece in the cool down water (after-bath) so it is cooler for me to pick up to lay it out to dry.

And lastly, the border piece laid out to dry on the kitchen counter.  I am glad I am doing this before assembly, as it is more manageable in pieces.  But I would think that DMC Perle cotton would be colorfast.  It turns out that it is not.  The white background looks pink in the picture, but it is not.  Amateur photographer.

What progress are you making this week?  Please link up and show us!  Just provide a link back to this particular blog post from somewhere within yours.  Thanks!

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Monday, April 20, 2020

Design Wall Monday - April 20, 2020

How are you?  I had a birthday Thursday, and my internet friends kept me in smiles all day long.  Facebook puts me in touch with people I’ve known at various places/times throughout my life, and it brought me lots of good memories.   Plus all the telephone calls from children and close friends.  It was a birthday that made me feel very blessed, even though we didn’t go anywhere or do anything very special.  Hubby made a beautiful fire and we enjoyed that while I got used to being 77.  I sure don’t feel 77, but the numbers don’t lie.  We participated in a Zoom meeting with some church friends, and that was fun.  They all sang Happy Birthday to me.      

I learned that Zoom is a meeting app that allows you to see others as well as hear them on your phone.  New app for us, and we managed to get it working without too much difficulty.  It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks!

I haven’t made much progress on the redwork borders, but I did finish a basket block for the May Baskets quilt.  

Here it is, isn’t it cute? 

I am taking the redwork borders project  with me when I sit with my sister today during dialysis.  The baskets require different colors of floss, and they are easier to work on while I am home.  Sis is less anxious with me beside her, so that is going well.

Please link up and show us what you have on your Design Wall (or are working on) this week.  Please remember to link back to this blog post from somewhere within your blog post.  I thank you.

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Monday, April 13, 2020

Design Wall Monday - April 13, 2020

How are you holding up during this pandemic?  My M W F trips into town to sit with my sister during her dialysis are going well.  She is much calmer while I sit with her during the four hour process and with my travel time 1/2 hour each way, I am doing my part to help out in this crisis for 5 hours x three days a week. 

We are out in the woods with no people for miles around us, and one day last week, as I left to go sit with my sister.....hubby was out for a walk with Penny Lane.   When he saw my car coming, he stood at the side of the road and applauded for me, as the people are doing in New York to thank the nurses and doctors.  lol. We continue to amuse ourselves after 56 years of marriage, which is a good thing when we are isolated by ourselves.

This last week I finished the 64th square of the redwork quilt, and am working on the flowered border.   Making good progress on the borders while I sister-sit. Sunday, I put all 64 squares out on the Design Wall [floor] at the cabin.  Here is the first picture of all of the squares:

A closer picture of part of it:

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, and was so strange being here, just the two of us.    I made ham and scalloped potatoes in the crock pot, a salad, and a blueberry/raspberry crisp for dessert.  But with no kids, grandkids, Easter baskets, candy, etc., it was very different.  On the positive side, I am thankful all our staying apart measures are helping the cause; so it is worth it.  We did listen to three different church services on the computer, and also enjoyed the music of the Grand Rapids Symphony and Chorus as they gave us the Hallelujah Chorus. Enjoy it Here

It is time to show us what is on your Design Wall.  I am really enjoying reading all the ways quilters are helping others during this crisis.  Thank you.  Please add your link here and add a link back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your blog post.

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Monday, April 6, 2020

Design Wall Monday - April 6, 2020

April is here, and a lot of quilters have been making face masks.  I am so proud of all of you who have pitched in.  I am without a sewing machine or fabric up north here at our cabin, and only brought embroidery with me.  So thank you to all who have pitched in and answered the call.  You really stepped up.

My redwork is progressing nicely, while I am housebound.  Here are two squares.  First is a family of pigs, and second is a nest of birds.  After the nest of baby birds is finished, I will have only ONE more square to do to complete the 64.  I am also working on the borders.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

So far, I’ve been staying completely away from the world, but that all changes today, as I have been asked to sit with my sister while she is in dialysis. (I don’t talk about it much here, but I am responsible for my younger sister.)  This coronavirus has made her so anxious she is unable to sit calmly during dialysis. Usually she can snack her way through it, but now they don’t allow food, and she has to wear a face mask.

I am going to drive to the dialysis site, and sit with her during the 5 hour process every M W F until this quarantine is over, and/or her process is less stressful.  She has dialysis in a town about 1/2 hour away from our cabin, so I am glad I am able to help.

I’ll take my IPad and look on the internet for some jokes to read to her, and take my Bible and a book in case she wants me to read to her.  If she falls asleep, I will have my redwork quilt borders to work on. There are no coronavirus cases in this county yet, and I will continue to be careful, and will of course, be masked and gowned myself while there.  

Please link up and show us what you are working on this week.  All I ask is that you provide a link back to my blog post from somewhere within your blog post.  Thanks.....and Stay Safe!

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Design Wall Monday - March 30, 2020

Hi everyone.  Another Monday in isolation for us.  I see Bonnie Hunter is starting another mystery quilt to help quilters keep busy while we are isolated.  It starts today if you are interested.   

I have only two projects with me at the cabin. 1) The baskets of flowers that you have seen in the past few weeks, and 2) a redwork squares quilt that I’ve been working on for ages.  This week I finished one square for the baskets quilt, and one square for the redwork quilt.  This basket looks like a snow globe or a fishbowl.  

Here is the square I finished for the redwork quilt, not yet pressed:

The redwork quilt has 64 squares, and this one brings my count to 61; so I can see the finish line....except for the four borders that are leaves and flowers of redwork.  I blogged about the borders (Here)

What are you working on?  I had this happy (fantasy) dream that ALL of our UFOs will be finished when we finally get the all clear to leave our homes again.  A girl can dream can’t she?  America just got the stay apart order extended to the end of April.  We are so fortunate to have quilting to keep us calm, aren’t we?

Please link up below and show us how you are coping with the virus. You posted such pretty projects last week and I thank you all.  Just put a link back to this blog post somewhere within your post.

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Design Wall Monday - March 23, 2020

Monday morning again, and my little world is calm, as I watch the bigger world change drastically.  We are staying at home, and I am working on my embroidery UFOs....very calming.

I am praying for all those who have been laid off, that there will somehow be an ending to this virus.  And for jobs beginning again.  It is all so unreal to me.  

Here are the two baskets I’ve worked on this week:

have been calling a lot of old friends, just to see how they are coping, and most people my age are just fine.   Very reassuring to me.  I pray you all are coping well with the confinement. 

Please link up to reassure me that you are stitching, as it is the only “normal” part of life right now.  I appreciate so much your pictures and links to your blog posts.  Thank you.

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Monday, March 16, 2020

Design Wall Monday - March 16, 2020

Well, the world is in crisis mode right now.  There are lots of unknowns here in Michigan, and lots of closings.  The Governor just closed all the K-12 schools and all events where people gather are being cancelled.

The only good thing I can think of during this upheaval is that my quilting hobby is unchanged.  It's a rock in a very unstable time.  I imagine you think so too.    Our sewing give us a sense of calm, even when all around us adjustments and changes are being made daily.

We had tickets to go to the Big 10 basketball tournament, but on Monday afternoon, we got a refund, and also a refund on our hotel confirmation.  It was a good decision, as on Thursday, they cancelled the whole thing.  We are staying home, and I am working on embroidery on the baskets of flowers.  The latest one:

I looked on EBay and bought the  November 1932 issue of "Successful Farming", just to see the advertisement where they offered the quilt pattern for the 30 baskets.  The whole magazine is so interesting to read.  What the farmers and their wives were interested in when my Mother was a teenager is good reading for me.

Here is the magazine description:

Interesting embroidery work that you will enjoy doing.  Consider 32 baskets, each one different in design, each one filled with gay blossoms, all embroidered upon a single quilt.  If you would keep the beauties of Springtime ever with you, do make a flower basket quilt.  The Flower Baskets can be stamped on muslin, unbleached muslin, sateen or broad-cloth.  There are 32 blocks, 9x9 inches, two more than are needed for the quilt.  The extra blocks may be used for pillows or bolster.  Complete set of 32 blocks stamped on 8 sheets, only 50 cents.  Patchwork pattern for Petal Border and 9-inch quilting design, 10 cents.

Also, I was looking online to see if I could see a completed quilt made with this pattern, and I found that in 2018 one was a third place winner in  Paducah, Kentucky (for the category of first entry in a Paducah contest).  If you'd like to see the video, click on this link: (Here)  The winner, Linda D. Vaughan, said the pattern was called "Meredith's Inheritance" and the pattern "maker" copied it from an old quilt.   Linda commented that the pattern was all French knots and lazy-daisy stitches, which she found boring.  Linda filled her quilt with lots of different embroidery stitches......and her long-arm quilter did a spectacular job with the quilting.  Both her embroidery and the amazing quilting were fun for me to see.

I shall send my long-arm quilter the video and she will probably faint if I suggest she follow the prize winner's quilting pattern.  LOL I'm not going to think about the quilting until I get the top finished.

What are you doing this week, besides washing your hands and not touching your face?  Stay healthy and please send a picture to the link up and show us what sewing is happening at your home.  All I ask is that you link back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your blog post.  Thanks!

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Monday, March 9, 2020

Design Wall Monday - March 9, 2020

The 30 basket patterns have been researched somewhat and I have a little more information about them.  Last week, Annie O, of Annie’s Quilt Orts (Here) gave me more information and I thank you Annie.  I had wondered why the woman who designed them used so many French knots on each block.  The article Annie told me about is published in a Better Homes & Gardens special edition “Century of Quilts” from 2002.  The article on Pages 60 and 61 reveals that the baskets were designed by a man!  I bet he never even made a French knot in his life, which explains his excessive use of them in his designs!  I’m just sayin...

Hubert Ver Mehren and his wife lived in Des Moines, Iowa and he stamped quilt blocks, pillowcases, and linens with designs for embroidery, as a side business for his button and pleating business.  His wife worked from home, and they started a mail order business called Home Arts Studios, and that name was sometimes used on his patterns, but never his actual name on any patterns.  

Here is the basket I finished last week; notice the big circle of French knots:

In November 1932, Successful Farming, offered Hubert’s “May Day Flower Basket” quilt as a set of 32 embroidered designs, each with different flowers.  The baskets came stamped on white muslin, sateen, or broadcloth, for $1.00 up to $1.75 for the set depending on the fabric chosen.

The patterns I have are later copies of the baskets from a semi-monthly Publication called “Pattern World” and there was one basket pattern in each issue in the 1979 and 1980 time frame.  I bought the 30 copies of baskets I have on EBay, and note that there were originally 32 baskets in the set—30 to use in a quilt, and two extra for shams or pillowcases.  I am missing #30 and #31.

I am trying to get a picture of how the original quilt was put together, but I only have a small picture of it from the magazine Annie pointed me to.  More research is needed.  

So I decided this will be my March UFO to work on, as we watch a lot of basketball here and I can work on embroidery during half-times and between games.

What are you working on?  There were lots of great pictures last week, and I thank you all.  Just link back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your blog post and I will be happy.  

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Monday, March 2, 2020

Design Wall Monday - March 2, 2020

March is here!  Not spring here in Michigan yet, but edging closer to it.  The birds are singing their cheerful spring songs.  My March UFO project hasn’t been pulled out yet; I will do that this week.  I will choose something spring like, I think.
Last week I worked on some nine patch blocks for the next Churn Dashers of Tidewater Virginia exchange.  We are exchanging negative and positive nine patch blocks, and I had fun making them.  We are making four “sets” of 2 nine patch blocks for each member of the group who is exchanging the blocks (six of us). one negative and one positive nine patch in each “set”.  I found this "a sweet little technique for making nine patch blocks two at a time"  (Here)

Here is a picture of my exchange blocks on the design wall.  It went very quickly using the new (to me) method.  Since my blocks finish at 3 inches square, I started with a light and a dark fabric that were 4.5 inches square.  They all turned out the right size when the process was finished.  I would never have thought up this method, but it sure was easy.  Each column is for a different person.

noticed some fabrics I chose were “directional” and this method made it easy to make all the squares in each nine patch go the same direction.  Such as these keys on a ring in the shirting fabric below:

Also the embroidered baskets are multiplying on the other end of the design wall.  I have a plan to make about 15 of them into a quilt. 

These vintage baskets were designed by someone who loves French knots! Just look at this basket:

How will a long arm quilter quilt this for me?  Will the French knots cause trouble for them?  I know that is a problem for the future - not now, but if any of you have any thoughts on quilting embroidered French knot projects, I'd love hearing from you.

What are you working on this week?  We'd love to see it!  Just link up below and we will be encouraged by your progress.  You keep me inspired.  All I ask is that you link back to this particular blog post from somewhere within your blog post.  Thanks!

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Design Wall Monday - February 24, 2020

My February UFO is ready to send to the machine quilter, and I have one more week left in the month!  Yeah me!  Here is the completed quilt top on the design wall:

Since I had an extra week before a March UFO, I pulled out an embroidery basket project that I’d only finished two blocks for.  I am pleased to report that I have three finished now, and #4 is almost complete.  These baskets are old patterns from the 1930s I think.  I like these baskets because each one has a lot of French knots, and I like to make them.  Here are the 2 that I worked on last week:



The basket handle is embroidered with a stitch that is new to me.  It is called a basket stitch and I thought it appropriate to use on this basket handle and edge.  The tutorial I used is here .  I love to learn new things, and the internet is such a great tool.

What have you been working on?  Please link up and show us, and no you don’t really have to have a design board!  My only request is that you have a link back to this particular post included in your blog post.  Thank you.

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Design Wall Monday - February 17, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day.  I have my Valentine Postage Stamp quilt out this month to celebrate.  I blogged about it several times and most of the info is in a previous post (Here)  These two pictures are from that post, but the quilt is in the same place over the railing again this year because it still does not have a hanging sleeve.  It is now bound, but wasn’t last year.

Here's another heart quilt with toile that I made a few years ago:

 It's displayed on the back of the living room couch:

I’ve seen so many beautiful Valentine’s Day quilts on the internet that I may have to make a few more.  Right after I get these UFOs under control.

This week’s progress on UFOs has been good.  For the Bonnie Hunter Talkin Turkey quilt, I have all the outside Hsts made, and am now sewing them into four strips for the four sides.  I should finish this quilt top this week.

The binding is on two sides of the civil war sampler quilt now.  I hit a little snag this week when I tried to snip off a stray thread on the binding and accidentally snipped into the binding!! Ugh.  First I tried to roll the binding over a little extra to fold in the snipped part, but realized that was not a good fix.  So I took off about 12 inches of the binding around where the snip was, and replaced it.  Sometimes I don’t want to tell you about these goof ups, but they are all part of quilting.  I do like to pretend I have it all together.  But you know the truth. 

I really enjoyed seeing all of your pictures last week, and I read all of the blog posts.  I’m looking forward to seeing progress when I see your posts this week.  Please remember to include a link back to this blog post somewhere within your blog post.  Thank you.

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