Monday, December 28, 2020

Design Wall Monday - December 28, 2020

Happy New Year! 2021 here we come!!

The Cynthia England kits that Joan Brink and I did were a lot of fun to do together, and we had a “reveal” party where we took off all the papers from the front of our projects, and here are the pictures from that evening:

Before we started:


And after we tore all the papers off:

The big reveal:

Joan is going to add borders to her kitty picture and make a wall hanging.  I plan to make my sewing machine picture into a cover for my sewing machine.  

The week between Christmas and New Years is always a very leisurely one for me.  I do plan to re-evaluate all of my UFOs, and see how much smaller the list is than last January.   Also, I plan to set some UFO goals.  How about you?

If you would like to join the Design Wall Monday party, lovely. Link up your blog below, and show us what you are working on.  It doesn’t even have to be on a design wall.  Just remember to mention this blog and provide a link back to this blog post, and we are good. 

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Monday, December 21, 2020

Design Wall Monday - December 21, 2020

Merry Christmas to all the Design Wall Monday bloggers.  Here is a picture of me with Santa, taken in Frankenmuth, MI on another year.  This year we didn't visit Frankenmuth due to the recommended quarantining.  I hope Santa still leaves me some presents - even though I didn't talk to him in person this year.  I have been very very good....most of the time.  

Speaking of presents - I have a give-away for one of you.  The Buds in a Basket Quilt that I finished recently (See details here) is from this quilt book:

And as you can see, I have two copies of the book.  The quilts are from Japanese quiltmakers from the magazine "Quilts Japan", and all are beautiful quilts.  If you have linked up to this blog in the last three months (before today), you are eligible to win the extra copy.  If you win, I will contact you for your address.  If you already have this book, or you don't want it, I will draw another name.  But I want to thank all of you who contribute to Design Wall Mondays.  You make me happy.

One of my UFOs has been finished in 2020 and is now on top of the Christmas tree!  Woohoo!!!  Remember this needlepoint angel I was working on earlier this year? (Talked about her Here)  Back in January when I first made a record of projects started, I found this angel that was partially finished, and now she is finished!  She enjoys being on top of the Christmas tree, in all her glory.

There wasn't a pattern, but I just winged it - chose a backing fabric from the stash and lined it with white sheeting.  I used the backing fabric to make a finishing binding around the bottom.  Here are pictures of the front and back before she went up on the tree.

What are you finishing up for Christmas?  I am baking with one of my daughters in love this Wednesday, and that will be fun.  She likes to make candy, and I do too, so we will make candy and Christmas cookies.  Merry Christmas to you all, and I will talk to you again next Monday with a report to tell you if Santa brought me anything!

Please talk about Design Wall Monday on your blog post and link back to this particular blog post somewhere within your post.  Thank you!  

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Monday, December 14, 2020

Design Wall Monday - December 14, 2020

 Good Morning Quilters!  This morning Covid 19 vaccines are being distributed all over the United States.  That makes me happy.  Also, it snowed this last weekend, one of those wet snows that makes me want to make a snowman.  I think the east coast is getting snow this week.

I finished another May Day Basket block.  This makes 20 finished and 10 to go.  I am actually enjoying French knots more and more with each block.  It is amazing.  Here is a pic of #20:

My friend Joan and I are working on our Cynthia England kits tonight.  I talked about it last Monday 
(Here)  Below is my kit as it is right now.  I’ve divided my remaining sections into three groups and I hope to finish it in a few more sessions.

One issue I see is that I have worked on several separate sections by themselves, and now that I will soon join these big sections together......

.....I will have a problem where the edges are not straight.  The mood I am in now is that I will just make it  work.  With all that is going on in our world in 2020, this is  a tiny tiny issue. 

What are you working on this week?  Please link up and show us.  I only ask that you talk about Design Wall Mondays somewhere within your post and that you provide a link back to this particular post.  You are such a mood lifter to us all and we look forward to your weekly post.  Thank you!

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Monday, December 7, 2020

Design Wall Monday - December 7, 2020

This is the first Monday in December.  I admire all of you quilters who have your Christmas decorations up and your gifts made/purchased.  I have just started to think about Christmas, and the only thing I have done is put out Christmas placemats and napkins on our kitchen table.  

But as I said last December.....I try to remember to forgive myself for all the things I wanted to get done and didn't.  The house will get decorated for Christmas a little at a time this year.  

What have I worked on this week?  Well, I continued on the embroidery for the May Day Baskets quilt.  This one is #19 and I have just started #20 of 30.  I would surely like to talk to the designer of these baskets....about his obsession with French knots.  This block not only has flowers with lots of French knots but also the basket itself has French knots.

The other project I've worked on this week is one that I never thought I'd finish, but it appears that I will.  Here's the story:

My good friend Joan Brink comes to my house and works on her quilting projects with me on Monday nights.  A few weeks ago, she brought a UFO to show me that was a kit designed by Cynthia England.  Cynthia developed a technique called "Picture Piecing" which is a method where freezer paper (tiny little pieces) are ironed to the front of the fabric, not to the back.  Joan's project was a cute kitten with a quilt.  As I looked at her pattern, I remembered that long ago I bought a similar project that had so many tiny pieces in the design, that I folded the pattern back up and never started it.  Joan said - "I bet it's a Cynthia England design." 

After she left, I searched through my "highly organized and efficient filing system," i.e. the black hole, and found my pattern.  It was indeed a Cynthia England pattern. 

Joan is working on finishing her I said "If Joan can do it, I can do it!"  I've started on mine.  

Here are the pictures of our two projects:



And here is a picture taken of what the freezer paper pattern looks like:

Are we nuts?  Well yes we are, and we both like a challenge, and Joan took a class from her!  It isn't hard - just small pieces....and you know I like small! There are videos (and simple patterns to learn her technique) at her website to explain her method. (Go here to see)  Think of it as putting together a 1000 piece puzzle.

The pattern is divided into sections which are sewn separately and then the sections are sewn together.  I am about halfway through.  I am keeping the freezer paper on the top of the sections as I go, and am going to have a "big reveal" night when I have all the sections sewn together, and take off all the freezer paper pieces.

What are you working on?  Please link up to Design Wall Mondays and show us!


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Monday, November 30, 2020

Design Wall Monday - November 30, 2020

Stuffed Animal Hospital Surgery Project

Penny Lane asked that this week be minor surgery week for her chewy animals.  I am happy to report the following successful mending jobs:

Mr. Beaver:  Extensive re-stuffing and partial tail reattachment.  He has only one ear left and a little trimming of ear rough edges was done, where needed.  Penny said Mr. Beaver was just fine as he is, because he doesn't hear.  Plus, truthfully, she might get rid of the remaining ear too.  

Re-stuffed and reinforced the seams where needed. Ready for playing catch while watching football with us.   Appreciated by Penny Lane very much!

Monkey Toy 1:  Extensive re-stuffing and facial reconstruction surgery.  Surgery was successful with 12 stitches.  Ears are both half removed, and I trimmed them as needed.  We reexamined a previous surgery that had been made to repair his tail and we were pleased to see, even though the stitching was rather crude, it was holding up well. 

Penny Lane was happy to see that a caudectomy (partial or full tail removal) had been avoided.  

Monkey Toy 2:  Neck injury below both ears, and severe loss of stuffing in left hip area.  He might need a fabric graft.  After extensive surgery, he is in recovery, and amazingly, no grafting was necessary.  Due to the severity if his injuries, otoplasty (cosmetic surgery to align the ears) was not attempted at this time. Penny Lane thinks she may possibly chew both ears off so the defect is not noticeable. 

Small Rabbit Toy:  Minor surgery, only one small hole behind the ears.  Re-stuffing and closure with minimum stitches required.

Large Rabbit Toy: Again, luckily only minor surgery was needed.  Threadbare area by ear was re-stuffed and repaired with reinforcing stitches.

  We noted there was extensive hair loss in the rump area, but Penny Lane said no repair was needed at this time.  She will work on it and another repair may be needed at a later date.

Chipmunk Toy:  Acute damage!  This is the only chipmunk that Penny Lane has ever been able to catch and she is very fond of him.   He was extremely thin and required almost three cups of stuffing to bring him back to his former self.  His ears are mostly gone, as is one eye, but Penny says, “Better than he deserves”. After extensive re-stuffing, the hole by the ear was stitched shut and he is back with Penny.

Notice how concerned Penny Lane is as she watches all the surgery:

What are you starting, finishing, or working on this week?  Please link up with Design Wall Mondays and share your projects.  Please mention Design Wall Mondays in your blog post, and provide a link back to this particular blog post.  Thank you.

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Monday, November 23, 2020

Design Wall Monday - November 23, 2020

Here is a start to a small quilt I am in the middle of:

I think the blocks will finish at 6” by 6” when I trim them up.  They are a match to a full sized quilt that is my UFO project for this week.

It is Thanksgiving this Thursday here in the United States.  And I’m so thankful for all of you.  From an online sermon Sunday.....give thanks in ALL circumstances because God is on His Throne.  

I found this list of 10 things I’m thankful for, by Henrik Edberg, in Sweden.  I so agree, and am sharing them here. ;The underlined words are Henrik’s and my thoughts follow without underlining.

1) A roof over my head and a warm house  When the rain and wind hit the roof and I am warm and snug inside, wrapped up in a quilt, there is nothing better.

2) Plenty of drinkable water  Such a blessing that many people don’t have yet.

3) I don’t have to go hungry  Quite the opposite around here - I have too much to eat.

4) I can enjoy the small and free pleasures in life.   a sunset, the sound of the crunch of thick leaveps as I walk, Penny Lane sleeping on my lap.

5) Access to the internet .  Remember encyclopedias?  Or going to the library to research something?  Whatever I want to learn, I learn from the internet.  Thankful for youtube quilt tutorials.

6) My friends and family. For the love, support, and fun that we have together.  The joy my grandchildren bring to me.

7) My health  All the things my body does every day that I take for granted....see, taste, listen, talk, walk, thankful.  With Covid19 all over the world, I am thankful for vaccines coming soon.

8) The kindness of people I have never met before  You all are such a blessing to me.  Through the wonder of the internet, we meet each Monday for Design Wall Mondays and I get to read about and see your beautiful work.  Thank you for reading my blog and sharing your life with me.

9) The setbacks that have formed me and made me stronger  We all have setbacks, and sometimes we can’t see their usefulness until they are gone.  In quilting, every quilt is a progressive lesson for me, and that makes it so exciting.

10)  I am alive.  2020 has been quite the year hasn’t it?  But through it all, I see a list of 10 things to be thankful for!  Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for this Monday?  Please link up and show us your projects.  As usual, I ask that you provide a link back to my blog from within your post.

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Monday, November 16, 2020

Design Wall Monday - November 16, 2020

The weeks keep flying by, don't they?  My index card bundle of UFO projects is still quite large, but some projects are getting finished.  But the year will soon be ending!  For 2021, I think I will relist all my UFOs and work on them in the order of "almost finished" and "nearly complete" separated from "just started" and "fabric and a pattern idea in a box".  

The process of writing down all of my UFOs has prevented me from starting new projects this year.....almost.  Confession time:  My good friend, Joan Brink, comes over on Monday nights for a quilting/sewing evening and recently she shared a new quilt she was starting from an old Fons and Porter book.   I said - "I have that same book, and I like that quilt too!"  And so I broke all of my rules, and started a new quilt in 2020.  I guess if I make the rules, I can break the rules........irrational thinking is quite normal for me.  :)

The book is Quick Quilts from the Heart, and the pattern is "single wedding ring".  "Valley Junction" is the name of the quilt in the book and it is designed by Marilyn Parks.  She features 20 blocks set on point with some neutral squares in between that give lots of space for custom quilting.  

Joan has just completed her quilt top, and I have 15 of the 20 blocks made.  All five of my remaining blocks are cut and ready for assembly.  So this quilt will not set me back on my UFO goals very much, as I hope to get the top ready for the long arm quilter by next week.  

Here is a close-up of my fabric.  There are little red somethings (I'm calling them strawberries) with green leaves at the top.  Of course I had to orientate all the strawberries in the same direction.  lol  It was easy though.

It looks pretty bland right now, but maybe that is the way it will be.   I might add something-something in a border.  Don't know just yet.  I have a solid reddish brown as a possible wide border, but nothing is saying yes right now.

What are you working on this week?  This Covid 19 pandemic is really raging here.  It is good that we have quilting as something to keep us calm during the tempests of the world, right?   And it is the perfect thing to do in solitary when we have to stay put.

Thanks for linking with Design Wall Mondays.  I appreciate all of you so much.  Please link up again this week and show us what you are working on.  And please stay safe and healthy.

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Monday, November 9, 2020

Design Wall Monday - November 9, 2020

Good Morning Quilters!   This week has been a week where several projects were worked on, nothing was finished completely, and some cleaning of the quilt room happened.  Actually, a very little bit of cleaning, but some happened.  Some weeks are like that.

The only quilting to show you is that the broken dishes doll quilt will now have a border of hsts.  It looked too plain, and I got out my shoebox of little triangles so the border is selected, but not sewn yet.  So went this week.  lol

I do have a report on the durability of the computer printer labels.  Remember this post (Here) where I talked about how I make quilt labels using my computer printer.  Several people questioned whether these labels would remain readable after several washings.  I wondered too.

After researching ways to make them more lasting through several washes, I found this product:  "Textile Medium" which is used to mix with acrylic paint to turn it into washable fabric paint.  I reasoned that if I used it by itself, it would be a "clear" product that would make the label washable.  So I painted it on a label with a paint brush and let it dry 24 hours.

This worked, and here is a picture of a label that I have washed at least 10 times in the washing machine with whites loads, on regular cycle.  I basted it onto a white piece of muslin so it would be bigger and I wouldn't lose it in the laundry.  It holds up very well, but it has one drawback:  it is very stiff.  It was just too stiff for me.

After thinking about it for a while, I reasoned that the product was to be mixed with acrylic paints (water soluble paints).  Why couldn't I just mix it with plain water in the same ratio, and use that mixture to make the computer label permanent and washable.  So that is what I did.

These labels have been painted with a solution of one part Textile Medium to two parts water, and painted on the fabric.  I let it dry for 24 hours, and it is a little stiffer than before painting it, but not so stiff that it bothers me.  I am using these labels for current quilts in progress, and feel confident that they will hold up through time.

This Tulip Textile Medium product was purchased at Hobby Lobby and is 8 ounces for $6.99, which will last me quite a while.  I mixed a capful of it with two capfuls of water in a little plastic bin I had and used an old paint brush.  Water cleaned the brush and the little bin after I used them, and all is ready to use again.  I put the labels on a big plastic bin lid to paint them, so drips would be on the lid.

What is up with you?  I hope you have more to show for your work this week that I did.  I so enjoy seeing all of your pictures and your beautiful projects.  Please link up with Design Wall Monday, and remember to mention this blog and put this post's link into your post somewhere.  Thanks!

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Monday, November 2, 2020

Design Wall Monday - November 2, 2020

Well it’s election week here in the United States.  I hope everyone who is a citizen votes November 3rd!  I am looking forward to going to the polls and casting my vote tomorrow.  I know a lot of you probably voted early.

In honor of our patriotic duty to vote, I finished my red, white, and blue plaid star quilt.  It now has a new bright red binding, and finished at 61.5 inches square. I would like to make a Quilts of Valor quilt someday, and checked with their requirements and this one is slightly too small.  I will make another one and add a border.  More incentive to get these UFOs out of the way.

Here is a picture of the stars and stripes in the quilting:

Penny Lane enjoying the quilt while I write this blog.

I have worked on several smaller projects this week too.  One was to finish a block that I found partially finished for a Jane Stickle indigo and shirting UFO.  I found the partially completed block while looking for something else——and finished it up, and put it with the completed blocks for this project.  Every little bite of the elephant gets me closer to getting the UFOs completed, right?

What are you doing this week?  I saw several quilts on your blogs this last week that made me want to start a new project.  For now, I am standing firm in my resolve, but I am weakening.  I do like the temptations though!  Please keep them coming and link up with a picture of your current project.  My only request is that you talk up Design Wall Monday on your post and also provide a link in your post that links back to this particular blog post.

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Monday, October 26, 2020

Design Wall Monday - October 26, 2020

     True to my name, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts happened this week. 

 (1). I was putting some scraps away, and found some broken dishes blocks that were lost a while ago.   When I was making the broken dishes king sized quilt (this one) I lost some blocks, and had to make more.  Now that quilt is completed and I found the lost parts.  I decided to make a doll quilt with the blocks, and used all but one block.  The top is made and it's ready for machine quilting.  It is 14” by 18”.  The broken dishes blocks are 2 inches square.

(2) When Bonnie Stapleton gave me some of her civil war repro scraps, there were some pieces that I thought went well together, and this week I joined them together, quilted and bound the little quilt.  The little hsts are 1.5” square and the quilt measures 6” x 7.5”.  I will be using it as a mug rug.  Thank you Bonnie.

(3)  While I was working in the box of triangle pieces, I found a group of cheddar triangles and decided to make a fall wall hanging.  I added muslin to each triangle to make them squares (hsts) and trimmed them to the largest size they could be uniformly cut.  Turns out that was 2.5” x 2.5”.  The center is 17.5” square.  I added 3” borders to them, and it is ready to machine quilt.  

The only other thing I did this week was to embroider Charlie’s name to the leaf on the back of the Third Week in October quilt repair job of last week.  Someone suggested I add “In memory of Charlie” to the leaf and I did.  Primitive looking but just fine with me.  Hunter will like it.

What did you work on this week?  Looking forward to seeing your linkup pictures and reading about them.  Thank you for posting each week.  Please provide information about Design Wall Mondays and a link back to this post.  

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