Sunday, December 3, 2023


At last block 5 of Sweet Tweets is done.  I pretty much have spent the last 2 weeks making placemats.  First for my youngest daughter, 2 sets of 8 and then 2 sets of 4 for myself.  I think I am placemat done.  I did take some time to take down all my fall wall hangings and table runners and Christmas ones replaced them.  Getting into the spirit of the season.

This particular block was a bit of a challenge.  Lots of appliqué work on this one.  I am doing my appliqué by machine with invisible thread, my preferred brand is Quilters Select, and I do a very tiny button hole stitch on my Bernina 750 using a 1.6 width and 2.0 length. 

And my finished second set of Christmas placemats.  I just love this particular fabric and I quilted them with an Aurifil 28wt turquoise variegated thread in a serpentine stitch.  So time to do some Christmas baking now.

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Sunday, November 26, 2023


 This past week was filled with Thanksgiving preparations.  We share Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings and meals with our youngest daughter, she is in the medical field so always has to work on one or the other.  This year Thanksgiving was my holiday and she will do Christmas.  Between all the preparations I did take sometime to decompress in the sewing room.

I finished the top of my mushroom collage.  
I was attempting to recreate this photo I took in New Zealand several years ago. I am fairly pleased with the end results.  The dark background gave me a bit of a problem, so I ended up doing brighter colored stitches on and around the grasses.  I am now just waiting for an order of micro-polyester 100wt thread to quilt it with 1/2 inch apart straight stitching and finish it up.    
I finished up a second set of placemats for my daughter and decided it was my turn and quickly sewed up a set for myself for the Christmas season.  I have another set cut out and ready to put together.  If I can get myself together over the next week I should be able to finish them up and move back on to getting Sweet Tweet block 4 done and 5 started.  All this placemat construction and mushrooms has set me behind on that project.

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Sunday, November 19, 2023


This past week has had me finally finishing up 2 sets of placemats for my youngest daughter.  I handed off one set to her and hope to finish up the second set this coming week. As I have placemats under control and almost done I thought to try something new to work on between Sweet Tweet blocks.

I received this pattern free while ordering another project from Emily Taylor.  I figured to give this Beginner Level Project a whirl before starting on a more advanced one.  I have done a little bit of collage piecing, but these are a bit more advanced.  
I took this photograph in New Zealand several years ago.  I hope to collage the Mushroom pattern similar to these colors and designs.  Pulling fabric from my stash all day yesterday hoping to get started working on it this week.  
Thus far here is where I am with the mushroom collage.  I think I will do a different background more like the photo above.  
This is the project I purchased that I really want to work on.  Not a large piece just 14 by 14.  But perfect for an area in my home.  Looking forward to having it done by next Christmas.

I did purchase the fabric kit to go with the pattern and Take Flight her book as well.  I do appliqué all the time so feel that this should not be to much of an issue as the process is somewhat similar. 

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Sunday, November 12, 2023


I finally got back to Sweet Tweet appliqué blocks this past week.   However placemats are still high on my to do list again.  Our youngest daughter's home is decorated in a Mid Century Modern theme and she requested some placemats.  Please no florals or pumpkins, OK so I dug around in my stash and got a few started for her.  She wants 8 so it will be a bit more of a chore than I do for the 4 I make for myself.

At last block three is done.  Those two yellow flowers at the top of the block were not fun at all.  There was no way to continuously appliqué them down.  Lots and lots of starts, stops, pull to the back threads and tie them. 

But don't they all three look fun together.  Row 1 is done!  So it is on to block 4 this week.

Here are the first 3 of 8 placemats for my daughter.  She got a sneak peek at them and is very happy with them.  Just have the other 5 to do the handwork on their bindings.  

And the reverse of fabrics for the second set of 8.  They can be mix and matched with the first set as well.   For some reason I had tons of these two fabrics in my stash and they have sat around for a couple years.  So a good use for them to find a home.  I will get these quilted and bound over the next couple weeks in between getting other projects worked on.

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Sunday, November 5, 2023


I really need to get back to finishing Block 3 and move on to Block 4 of Sweet Tweets, but I have decided I need a couple of new fall runners and placemats for myself. 

After making a pumpkin runner for my daughter with a black cat on it I decided to make one for myself.  No cat on mine, our dog would be insulted if I had a cat on my runner.  Yes a bit of a color swap with the grey pumpkins but that looks perfect with the wild small pumpkin print and the leaves print border had grey in it too.  

And another set of place mates for our table.  Of all the various ones I have made this particular pattern is the fastest and easies to make.  The center is cut 10.5" square and the borders are 2.5", that makes a 14" square place mat.  Add several lines of serpentine quilting and the binding that take only 2 strips of 2.5" by WOF and they are done.
My daughter was here last month and we had a wonderful time quilting together.  She returned home after our visit and just this past week sent me a picture of her new baby.  
Big brother and the little guy are getting along really well.

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Sunday, October 29, 2023


I took a break this past week working on Sweet Tweets and decided to make a table runner for one of my daughters.  I noticed she had a really old table runner on her kitchen table while at her home and decided she needed something new.   

On WeAllSew-Bernina this free pattern was offered and I thought a perfect runner for her during this fall season.  She also happens to have a couple cats so this fit the bill for her.  
I reduced the size by 2 pumpkins to fit her table.  However this pattern is a pain to make.  Lots and lots of tiny little magic corners  made with only .75 of an inch up to 1.75 inches squares and multiple pieces that could have been easily combined.  I suffered through it and in the end it is really cute.  Now that it is done I plan on doing some simplification of some of the pieces for future use.   
I recently ran out of my Steam-A-Seam Lite 1/4" fusible tape.  I use it to fuse my bias vines on appliqué projects.  I ended up finding this much improved tape.  My appliqués are primarily done by machine.  I often appliqué pieces down with a blanket stitch using poly, rayon or invisible thread.  However, when using a 1/4" wide bias for vines and stems I prefer not to have to appliqué them down, so I fuse them down.  This new product really works well and is a much easier to use.    
As you can see on this beginning of Sweet Tweet Block 3 there are lots of bias vines some really tiny.  I sure do not want to be trying to appliqué these down so the fusible 1/4" product is a real plus for me and believe me they are fused permanently. 

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Sunday, October 22, 2023


 Things are much quieter this week here at home.  Our oldest daughter headed back home after a wonderful week of sewing and quilting lessons with her finished projects and family gatherings.  I have been able to get back to my Sweet Tweets project and made great progress. 

I know I said I was done with making items for our upcoming May guild's quilt show, but a pile of patriotic fabrics on the free table at the October meeting was just too hard to resist.  Thank goodness there was only enough to make these three table toppers.  Now truly I am done, at least I hope so.  Right now if my count is right I have made around 55 or so items for them.  Enough is enough at least I hope so.  
Sweet Tweets Block 2 finished this weekend.  Moving on to Block 3.  
Our little Zoey relaxing in front of the window looking out into our back yard.  I suspect she is really on the lookout for the birds that stop by at the feeder and fountain for a bath.  She doesn't approve of them being in our back yard.  Given the chance she will race out and bark at them sending them off.  

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Sunday, October 15, 2023


This past week has been a busy one.  I have finished up all the table runners for the up coming quilt show boutique.  Turned all of them in to the lady in charge.  And finally can get back to doing something I really love.   

Block One of Sweet Tweets is done.  Just in time to have Block 5 arrive.  So I am still 4 behind.  Time to get moving on this project.  
I took Thursday off and joined lots of others on the bus provided by my local quilt store and we went to the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara.  I think there were 46 of us plus the service dog.
I did a bit of shopping while at the show.  The fabrics on the right are additions for making Sweet Tweets.  Those on the left are for making a piece for the Mistlin Gallery challenge coming up in April.  You are to make a piece that does not exceed 100" around the perimeter, with a theme from a book title.  My Sweet Tweet project has given me an idea for the book titled The Painted Bird.  So now to work on that idea for a bit over the next couple months,  
I did manage to snag a couple one yard pieces of fabric at a really great discount a well.  Then just some sewing machine needles a new product out that has a non stick surface when sewing with fusibles and some appliqué glue and thread.

And of course the quilts.  I took dozens of pictures.  I always seem to go for the appliqué quilts but the one of the snow leopard really caught my eye too.

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Sunday, October 8, 2023


 I have spent the last 10 days with my oldest daughter.  She is a new quilter and with some use or loose vacation time came home to get some private lessons.  I think we did a great job on quilting, binding, and lots of shopping trips too.

She came with the lower runner grey and yellow runner pieced, got it quilted and the first of several lessons on bindings.   The purple/lavender table topper was a lesson in hexagon piecing.

She also arrived with the upper runner pieced and quilted, but also with Halloween fabric to make a friend's young son a table runner for his home.  Again lessons in quilting and especially binding.
She came with this quilt top completed for her husband, lessons in preparing it for quilting, quilting it, and binding it.

And our final project, she completed this quilt top and we quilting it.  Ready for her to head home and bind it.  We think she really did get a lot of projects completed.  Plus our shopping trips and a bit of a shopping in my stash of fabric and patterns to take home.

A trip home includes a family gathering with her two sisters and all the rest of the family 17 strong, even got the dog in with us.  We had a wonderful time even had time to take in a high school foot ball with one of the boys.  Great score too, they beat the other team 35 to 6.  

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Sunday, October 1, 2023


Busy this past week.  Started out teaching two brand new quilters with their very first project.  A couple months ago these ladies came in with their brand new sewing machines and wanted a class on how to thread them, how to fill the bobbins and how do you make them sew.  REALLY!  I spent about 4 hours with them and they left with not only those skills but also they could sew a perfect quarter inch seam.  Next step these table runner.  They did a great job.  Now, next  step.  Setting up a two day class to quilt and bind them.   

My daughter arrived on Friday for a visit.  A new quilter with several projects ready for quilting and binding lessons.  
This is her very first project.  We will be quilting it this week and then binding it.
This was a second project and we spent yesterday teaching her to bind it.  She did a great job.
And this runner to bind as well.  She did a great job before she arrived doing the straight line quilting on it.  
We walked outside yesterday afternoon and this is what we saw right over the top of our house.  

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