Monday, April 15, 2024

Design Wall Monday - April 15, 2024

 Good Morning Quilters!

Some of you wanted instructions for the little bags that I gave to fellow quilters at the retreat last week.  Here’s what I did:

Cut 4 outside pieces (two for body and two for lining) at 10 inches X 12 inches.

Cut 2 pieces of batting the same size, 10 X 12

Place an outside piece with a piece of batting behind it, and quilt it with an easy crosshatch pattern.  I start at the upper left corner and sew a line diagonally to the lower right corner.  Then I lay a strip of scrap fabric the width that I want to have the lines be (apart from each other) and sew next to it, in the same direction.  I keep adding straight lines, using my scrap fabric guide for making the lines even with each other.  Then I start in the opposite corner and repeat the whole process until the crosshatch quilting is complete.  Do this with both outside pieces.  See example below:

In the above case, I didn’t even have to use my fabric strip to guide where the next line of stitching went - I just used the fabric motifs as my guide.  

Do this until the grid is complete.  Repeat this on the second outside fabric with a batting piece behind it.

After the 2 battings are quilted to both the front and the back pieces, put them right sides together and sew around three sides…..Down a 10 inch side, along the bottom 12 inches and up the other 10 inch side.  Set aside.

For the lining put the lining 2 pieces right sides together and sew the same as above  EXCEPT leave open a “turning space” of about 2.5 inches in the middle of one side. 

Folks, this is as far as I got with the directions before I left for the retreat.

I’m back home now and am very tired.  The retreat was wonderful, and I will finish the directions next Monday, when my brain is more alert.  Right now I am home safe and sound, very happy, and had a wonderful time with my daughter.  She flies home this afternoon.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you have accomplished while I was away playing.  Please join our Design Wall Monday Linky Party below and show us.  Thank you so much!

Hugs, Judy

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Monday, April 8, 2024

Design Wall Monday - April 8, 2024

 Good Morning Quilters!

This week I have been preparing for a week’s quilting retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana.  The special treat for me this time is that my daughter is flying in to go with me.  That is making it really special.

Getting ready involves making lists of what to take, changing my mind about what to take, and making more detailed lists.  We leave on Wednesday, after I pick her up at the airport.  My daughter does a lot of crocheting, but she may do some sewing, so I am taking two of my sewing machines.

This group of women often wear old fashioned aprons while they sew, so I washed and ironed all the aprons that I have inherited.  I am ready to be “stylin” in my pretty aprons.  Here’s a picture:

Five are made by my mother and I remember her wearing them all.  The one in the upper right was made by my younger sister in home economics class in probably 1963 or 1964.  It screams “made in the 60s” with the lovely purple and orange print!  I think it’s so ugly that it’s cute.  

Also this week I worked on a small gift for some of my friends at the retreat.  I found instructions on the internet for a small fabric bag that they can use to put supplies or scraps in while they are sewing.  The pattern is really easy and if anyone is interested, I can share the instructions with you another week.  I had fun choosing two coordinating fabrics to make each one.  Sometimes I couldn’t choose which fabric should be the liner vs. the outside.  See?

Here is a picture of ones I have made so far:

They are made with two outside pieces of fabric cut 10” by 12”,  to give you an idea of their size.  They are fun to make, and very easy.

What are you making this week?  I am looking forward to seeing your pictures and reading about them.  Thanks so much for faithfully linking up with our Design Wall Monday Linky Party.  You are appreciated.

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Monday, April 1, 2024

Design Wall Monday - April 1, 2024

 Good Morning Quilters!

Here’s one of my Dad’s corny jokes for you:

He walks slowly into the kitchen, draggng his feet on a morning like this one and says….………..….”Boy, am I TIRED!”.

 And either my brother or I would answer…..”Why?”

He would very slowly explain….……”Well, who wouldn’t be, after a March of 31 days!”

As an Army infranty man, serving in WWII, he especially enjoyed his yearly joke for us.

My week has been one of travel.  And today I will be traveling even more.  We are driving from Grand Rapids to Chicago and back to help a friend who needs transportation.  So this post will be short and sweet.  What is sweet about it?  How about finishing the binding on a quilt….actually two UFOs in one.  Hurrah!

The front view:

Back view:

This quilt has signature blocks on the front from a 2023 group exchange from the Jane Stickle Quilt Retreat ladies.  The back has signature blocks from the same group from 2015.  I am glad to have both sets of blocks into a finished quilt, and I will use this one on my couch so I can be warmed by my friends.  

 Close-up pictures of the blocks on each side:

What are you working on this week?  Please join our Design Wall Monday Linky Party below and show us.  Thank you for faithfully participating.  I appreciate you.

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Monday, March 25, 2024

Design Wall Monday - March 25, 2024

 Good Morning Quilters!

Well, some weeks are productive, and some are not.  This week was not.  Here is a picture of the start on my Cousin’s Walk borders, as it looks this morning:

And this is what it looked like last Monday morning:

But, I did fill out my NCAA tournament bracket, and watched a lot of basketball.  I am currently in 9th place in our family’s pool of 9 people.  Trivia for today:  My hubby and I were both basketball players in high school, and that was one of our common interests when we started dating back then.  We really enjoy watching the March Madness basketball games.

So, with my lack of quilting progress, I am looking forward to reading your blogs and seeing progress happening.  Don’t disappoint me!  Join our Design Wall Monday Linky Party below and show me up big time.  Thanks for participating.  I appreciate you.

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Monday, March 18, 2024

Design Wall Monday - March 18, 2023

 Good Morning Quilters!

This week has been a productive week for me - quilt wise.  Remember when I showed you a challenge quilt that some friends are making that was all hourglass blocks?  (Here). The blocks finish at two inches.  Here is my progress on my version:

My version has a combination of half-square triangles and hourglass blocks - all finishing at two inches.  I am not sure how big my quilt will grow, but I made progress in sewing block sets together of 36 hourglasses.  6x6 units.  Some more in progress here:

Also, besides making progress on this quilt, I started on the flowers and leaves on two of the four borders on the bird quilt that I talked about last week. (Picture here) I am making the top and bottom borders exactly the same as each other, and will make the two side borders the same as each other also.  On the original quilt, all four borders have different amounts of flowers and leaves - some with many more flowers than others.

Here’s my beginning on two borders:

I think it is going to be faster as I’m doing the same flower twice in a row, and sometimes I learn a better way to do it, as I compare my work with the first one made to the second one.  I have 10 more bird blocks for the center of the quilt, and I am happy to be starting on the borders because they are full of flowers and leaves.

Penny Lane thanks you for all the nice remarks about her, and she says Thank You.  

I also relayed to Elise all of your kind remarks about her.   (Elise and her quilt)  She is still sewing together her blocks into a quilt top (at her home).  I hope to get a progress report from her tonight.  I will keep you updated.

Design Wall Monday Linky Party is below, waiting for you to join in.  (I just read that the English “rule makers” have given us permission to end a sentence with a preposition.  It makes me happy because I no longer feel like I’m breaking the rules when I use one to end a sentence with).  Of course with our hobby of quilting, there are no rules, and I like that very much!

Thanks for joining in and showing us your work, or play, or anything related to quilting.  I appreciate you. 

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Monday, March 11, 2024

Design Wall Monday - March 11, 2024

 Good Morning Quilters!

This week two more blocks were completed for my Cousin’s Walk quilt.  I now have 18 finished and 10 more to do.

Here is a picture of the original quilt, to refresh your memory.

The borders are all different amounts of busyness and I’m planning to make them more cohesive and probably will eliminate the part where the two vines run off the middle of each side of the quilt.  I’m going to start on borders next.  It is such a whimsical quilt.  It will be fun to work on just flowers and leaves.  

Here is a picture of Penny Lane, resting on her bow tie quilt.  Happy Monday everyone!

Thanks for the great participation in our Design Wall Monday Linky Party last week.  I am looking forward to seeing your pictures and posts this week.  I appreciate you.

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Monday, March 4, 2024

Design Wall Monday - March 4, 2024

Good Morning Quilters!

For a several weeks, a friend’s Granddaughter, Elise, has been coming to my house on Monday evenings,  to learn about quilting.  She wants to make a quilt for her daughter’s bed.  After choosing a nine patch block design, she began looking at my stash.   She had fun picking out colors and practicing the “1/4 inch seam thing”.   I had fun seeing her enthusiasm. 

Last Monday night, she had enough blocks made to play around with them on the design wall.  Here is a picture of Elise and her project:

Sorry about the picture being a little blurry, it was the end of the evening last Monday, and I thought to take her picture on the spur of the moment.  She is so happy with her progress on her quilt, and I am too!

We left it on the design wall all week, and she is coming back tonight to see it again, and make her final decision on where the blocks are arranged..  It is so much fun to see someone learning to quilt.  Tonight, she will start sewing the blocks all together if she is ready to do that.  

What are you working on this week?  I hope you are having as much fun with your design wall as Elise is!  Join the Design Wall Linky Party below and show us what you are making.  Thanks, I appreciate you.

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Monday, February 26, 2024

Design Wall Monday - February 26, 2024

Good Morning Quilters!

This was a productive week for me, as I put together another UFO!  The Jacob’s Ladder blocks that were exchanged with the Churn Dashers of Tidewater Virginia group are now a completed quilt top.  I blogged about them in January, as I was making the last few blocks.  It was my goal to get them put together in February.  January post about them:   (Here)

Here is a picture of the top on the couch:

And when it was on the design wall:

When I participate in an exchange, I usually make a few extra blocks in case some of the blocks I receive don’t fit in for some reason.  There were four that I didn’t use this time.  What do you do with extra “orphan” blocks?  Maybe I will sew them individually on dish towels for gifts.   

Here are the four not used:

They are orphans because there was not enough contrast in two of them, one was too dark and one because it was the only yellow block in the whole batch.  

And a picture of all the blocks on the design wall before I replaced the four.  It is an interesting block, using only a four patch and a half-square triangle.  The blocks together form more interesting patterns.

So for January and February, I am pleased with having two completed quilt tops, ready to send to a long arm quilter.  Hmmmmm, I shall have to search the UFO boxes to see if there is one I can complete in March.  I hope so.

What are you working on?  Please join in our Design Wall Monday Linky Party and show us.  I look forward to reading your blogs.  Thanks so much for participating.  I appreciate you.

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Monday, February 19, 2024

Design Wall Monday - February 19, 2024

 Good Morning Quilters!

The signature quilt that I showed you last week now has the flange sewed on, and also the final border.  Here is a picture:

A close-up of the flange:

I don’t know about loose flanges.  This one will sometimes lay toward the quilt side and sometimes twist and lay toward the border side, and I want it to always lay toward the border side.  I am going to hand sew the loose edge down onto the border.  So I guess once it is sewn down, it’s no longer a flange.  I now see why it would be better to have one that is not as wide.

Also, I finished up the rest of a block for the Cousin’s Walk bird quilt.  I appliquéd the bird’s eye and the flowers and their centers, which completed it.  It has been on the back burner for a while, and I’m glad I’m working on this project again.  Here is the completed block:

What’s on your design wall this week?  We are looking forward to seeing your blog posts and pictures.  Thank you all for participating in the Design Wall Monday Linky Party.  You are a blessing to me.  Join in below and please mention Design Wall Monday in your post.  

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Monday, February 12, 2024

Design Wall Monday - February 12, 2024

 Happy Valentine’s Day

When you have been married for sixty years, and are a sentimental old lady, Valentine’s Day is a favorite holiday.   I hope you have a happy day Wednesday!

This week I got the “Two Step” quilt top finished (Yeah!) and tried to get a picture of it, but it is very big.  My two nephews who are both almost six foot tall, are holding it up for me, and it is still dragging on the floor.  They were holding it up for me during a time out of the Super Bowl game, so it was a quick picture, and back to the game.  

I have on my “project list” to figure out how to hang large quilts to photograph them.  

Also this week, I put together some signature star blocks that I received at the last Shipshewana retreat.  Here is the top before borders are added:

The sample quilt that our group used as an example for this project had a flange between the top and the border.  I cut a flange at the same width as the example, which had a tiny flange.  It was cut at 3/4 inch and folded in half..   After cutting some strips this width,  and practicing, I decided it was too narrow for me to work with.  I re-cut more fabric at 1.25 inches wide.  When it is folded in half, it will still give a small pop of color, but not so narrow that I can’t sew with it.  Here is a picture of my revised folded flange fabric:

Note:  I just now read about flanges on the internet, and the instructions advised cutting the strips 1.5 inches wide.  If I had read that first, I would have used 1.5 inches - which gives a flange of approximately 1/2 inch finished.  Mine will be about 1/3 inch, I guess.  Pictures next week.  I’ve never used a flange before, but I like how it looks.

And a picture of the proposed flange with the proposed outside border fabric:  

I was thinking of a light brown print for the outer border……but searching in my stash, I didn’t find anything suitable.  I did find this big piece of yellow, so that is what will be the outer border……more yellow.  I like it.  The quilt will be couch-curl-up size, so it will be nice for me to have all my friends signatures with me when I am snuggling on the couch.

Here’s a picture of some of our past valentine cards on the mantle.  We don’t buy cards for each other anymore; we just pick one out from this collection of our previous cards to re-gift to each other.  The messages are still the same.  ❤️

What’s up with your design wall?  Are you planning anything for Valentine’s Day?
Please join our Design Wall Monday Linky Party below and show us what you are doing.  Thanks to all of you who faithfully link up, as we like to read your blog posts.  And look at your pictures.  

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Monday, February 5, 2024

Design Wall Monday - February 5, 2024

 Good Morning Quilters!

I have made a little more progress on my “Two Step” quilt assembly.  Last week I had the top half of the quilt all assembled, and had started on the bottom half.  Here’s a picture of where I am with the bottom half right now: (top half is not on the design wall)

I have two more rows to sew into long strips, and here are the blocks:

But then I have to sew each of the ten rows to each other, and I will be using pins to make sure the blocks line up.  Slow work for me.  I think it will be all assembled by next week though.  I am ready for it to be a quilt top.

Have you made progress this week?  We are looking forward to you telling us about what you are working on.  So please join our Design Wall Monday Linky Party below.  Thanks to all of you who are faithful in linking up each week.  I appreciate you.  

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Monday, January 29, 2024

Design Wall Monday - January 29, 2024

 Here are a couple of pictures of my progress this week:

More hourglass blocks are being cut to their 2.5 inch size so they are ready to sew into the hourglass quilt.

More rows sewn together on the “Two Step” quilt that I had planned to get all sewn together by the end of January.  The first ten rows are completely sewn together and off the design wall, and this is as far as I am on the second ten rows.  Revised completion date is mid-February.  My self-imposed deadlines are easily moved.

The reason that not much got done is that our daughter visited us last week and we had a great time with each other.  She went home Friday, and I miss her already.

What are you making?  What deadlines are you meeting, or moving?  Join our Design Wall Monday Linky Party below and give us an update.  Thanks so much for joining in.  There were so many beautiful posts last week.  I appreciate you.

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Monday, January 22, 2024

Design Wall Monday - January 22, 2024

 Good Morning Quilters!

This week I had the flu, and not much quilting was happening.  So it has been a week of getting extra sleep under cozy quilts, and taking care of myself.

But while resting, I thought about the snow.  Here's a picture of our mailbox:

It looks like a big marshmallow is on top of the post that's holding our mailbox. 

Snow has many benefits for me.  1) it brings back many childhood memories of fun times playing in it outside. 2) It gives me a sense of calmness and joy.  3) It reminds me of the beauty of nature, in every season that is so different from other seasons.

  "If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow."   Anonymous

The Valentine quilts are on the stair railings, because everything looked so bare around here with the Christmas things all packed away.  I hope you enjoy these quilts and are looking forward to February and Valentines Day.

Hopefully you got more quilting accomplished than I did this week, but if not, there is always next week, right?

Please link up below and join our Design Wall Monday Linky Party.  We enjoy reading your blog and seeing your pictures.  Thanks for participating.  Please link back to this post and mention Design Wall Monday somewhere within your post.  

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Monday, January 15, 2024

Design Wall Monday - January 15, 2024

Good Morning Quilters! 

We have glorious snow here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It is a winter wonderland outside, and is perfect quilting weather.

Pictures taken through my bedroom windows yesterday morning.  The poor pine trees are carrying a heavy burden.

Inside, on my design wall, I have half of the rows sewn together for the “Two Step” quilt.  (Info Here).  It is my January UFO goal, and so half finished is good for January 15th.

It is just a little too big for my design wall, with the blocks finishing at 5 inches square, and being 20x20 blocks when finished.  

I’m also busy making hourglass blocks for the challenge hourglass quilt.  (Info here). I need lots of these, and am using up some old fabrics that I hadn’t any special plan for.  They will be very happy in this quilt.  Here is this week’s progress on my lap:

These hourglass blocks finish at two inches square.  I intended to work on some appliqué UFOs also, but that didn’t happen.   Maybe it will happen this week.  

What are you working on?  Please join our Design Wall Monday Linky Party below, and tell us all about it.  I am interested in seeing your pictures of the snow in other areas too.  I do love the snow.

Please mention Design Wall Mondays in your blog post, and also link back to this post.  Thank you very much.  

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Monday, January 8, 2024

Design Wall Monday - January 8, 2024

 2024 - HERE WE COME!!

This is a new year, with new resolve to finish some of the UFOs that are in my possession.   This month I am sewing together 400 blocks to make a king sized quilt top.  I blogged about it recently (Here)   The pattern is named “Two Step” and is on the cover of a Barbara Brackman book.

My quilt will be 20 blocks across and 20 blocks down.  I plan to sew two rows a day, for ten days in January, and then it will be a quilt top.  Here are two days of sewing……forty blocks in the first two rows, and forty blocks in the 3rd and 4th rows.  It is interesting that all the center squares are the same size, but look bigger or smaller in comparison to other blocks because of the light and/or dark fabrics surrounding them.  It’s an optical illusion.  It is a very enjoyable project so far.

The two rows on the left haven’t had the joining seam pressed yet, and the two rows at right have been pressed.  They are temporarily hanging from my fabric storage cabinets until the design wall is empty.  

On the design wall is the hourglass block quilt that I am making (which wasn’t even on my UFO list).  The girls at the last retreat I attended showed an antique quilt and challenged everyone to make their own version.  My version has a combination of hsts and hourglass units, because I want to use up some of the  1,200 hsts in my stash that were from a group hst exchange.  Picture of original vintage quilt is (Here)

My quilt progress so far:

Someone said it reminds them of an old Dutch quilts, and that pleases me very much.  I love vintage Dutch quilts.

Since I think I know where I am going with this quilt next, I will take it down from the design wall to work on the next part——which will be six blocks deep of hourglasses all around the outside.  The hourglass blocks need to be made, and sewn into rows of six. That can happen “off design wall”  while the January Two Step…….“2 rows of 20 blocks each for 8 more days”  quilt progress takes shape on the design wall.  

I am so enthusiastic about completing some of the projects I have started over the years.  Have I told you that my UFO count is over 50 projects?  And that I love them all.   January always fills me with hope.  How about you?  

Please join in our Design Wall Monday Linky Party below and show us what you are working on this week.  I hope you have January enthusiasm too.  If you don’t, I hope some of mine rubs off on you.  January is a good month to start things and finish things!

Hugs, Judy

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Monday, January 1, 2024

Design Wall Monday - January 1, 2024

 Happy New Year!

We get to start a new year, all fresh and unblemished.  The last month of any year lately causes me to plan and plot how to get more of my UFOs completed.   I’ve also done some sorting and thinning out of some of my stash.  It’s always exciting to look at all the projects I want to get completed.  I love them all.

Here is the current design wall picture.  Several friends are all working on a version of an old hourglass block quilt.  My version has hourglass blocks, but also I’m using a lot of hsts that were from an exchange I was in a few years ago.  Here is the center of hourglass blocks and part of the next ring of hsts.  After adding 8 more rows at the bottom, I plan on another border of indigo, and then hour glass blocks all around the outside.  We shall see.  This is one of those quilts that evolves and tells me what it wants.  

All the blocks finish at 2 inches square.  I also made two more blocks for the Jacob’s Ladder quilt that I plan to assemble in February.  I have 10 more blocks to make before then.  These blocks finish at 6 inches square.

It will be fun to get these Jacob’s Ladder blocks up on the design wall.  What’s on your design wall?  What plans do you have for 2024?  Please join in our Design Wall Monday Linky Party below and show us,  Thanks to all of you who participate.  

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