Sunday, December 26, 2021

BEST OF 2021

One of my first exploration into the world of art quilting.  It was something I had often thought about trying out, but just didn't think I could manage it.  After seeing some pictures in an Art Quilting magazine, I decided to give it a try.  For a first time into this world I was really pleased with the outcome.  


Drummer Boy was made from a pattern I purchased from Rachel of Stitched in Color.  I hung on to the pattern for a good year, then started and stopped until this 2021 to finish it.  I will say it took me forever to get it done.  But I think it was one of the nicest scrap quilts I have ever made.


This quilt sat for a good year before I finally decided to get it quilted and finished up.  The pattern was purchased from The Patchers Menagerie. It truly was fun designing these birds.  The pattern gives you basic instructions than it was up to you to personalize those birds.  Longer legs, fatter bodies, short or long beaks, just so much fun.   


Confetti also was a pattern purchase from Rachel of Stitched in Color.  I titled it Covid Insanity.  It has almost 2,000 pieces of fabric and 128 paper pieced blocks.  With all my guild activities that pretty much locked us down until September of 2021 due to Covid there wasn't much to do but sew. 


My number one for all the quilts that I finished this year is Bird of a Feather.  I believe I started it in 2006 or 2007.  It has taken forever to get it quilted myself.  But, of all the quilts I have ever accomplished I think this is one of my my very favorites.

Monday, December 20, 2021


OK, yes I have lost my mind.  After almost getting my Birds of a Feather completed after working on it for YEARS, and still working on my Wistaria Lane for ages I have decided to start this Block of a Month 2022 quilt offered by The Quilt Show.  

I bought the fabric kit.  Given that there are 54 different fabrics in it and a pile of English paper piecing templates, which I have no intention of using, the cost of the fabric kit while hefty was not unreasonable.

This is just a small sample of the fabrics in the kit.  Since it is a BOM with lots of monthly video instructions and printouts I thing it should be doable within the year's time.  Well, at least I will have someone keeping me on track.  Besides it has a good deal of appliqué on it which I love doing.  The pattern calls for hand appliqué, but no not for me, I will be using fusible with machine stitching.
In October I purchased this appliqué pattern and fabric kit at the Pacific Internation Quilt Show.  So have decided to make a start on it.
The individual blocks finish at 6 inches.  Oh my, those appliqué pieces are small.  I have been experimenting with my favorite machine appliqué blanket stitch to get it very tiny.  I will be using Sulky rayon thread with a neutral poly thread in the bobbin.  I am playing with the bobbin thread a bit just to make sure that the stitching on the actual appliqués works well.  This along with my BOM for 2022 are going to be long term projects.



Monday, December 13, 2021


 In September we decided it was time to do some improvements to our kitchen.  A new sink, garbage disposal, and faucet were needed.  Now that means you must tear out the counter tops, all the plumbing under the sink.  Also the counter tops where the stove top have to go as well so everything matches, and the stove top which while old still works great goes too.  It was bound to quit as soon as a new counter top was installed and we all know then the cut out would not have matched, such is life.  Well, with all the shipping problems these days they did not start until December 1st.  A promise to be done by Christmas, nay, we all know contractors lie. 

As you can see things are in a bit of a mess.  Thank goodness just right outside the laundry room in our garage we have a sink out there.  The microwave and oven work, and husband even has a hot plate to replace the missing stove top.  So Christmas dinner is at our youngest daughters home, as we had Thanksgiving here.  So the only thing to do at this point is sew.

Each one of my grandchildren have Christmas socks.  All somewhat match with really nice appliqués on them.  Every year my son in law jokingly asks where his sock is.  Now we celebrate Hanukkah with them and they Christmas with us.  So I decided to make him a double sided sock.  The one side with a winter themed Christmas fabric and the lower with Hanukkah fabric.

My daughter was bound to feel slighted so I made her a sock as well with winter themed Christmas fabrics.  Now I know that I am in trouble with this.  I can almost see myself making her and the four grandchildren Hanukkah themed socks for next year.  

With all the construction going on in the kitchen one would think baking cookies was a silly idea, but somehow it just doesn't feel much like Christmas without a batch or two of cookies.  We have plywood for countertops and the oven works so why not. 






Monday, December 6, 2021


 I have UFO's screaming at me for attention.  It is time to do something about them.

This is my Birds of a Feather quilt.  It is patterns from a book by Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs.  I probably started it in 2006 or 2007.  I decided to quilt it myself.  Pretty much with quilting on the bird, flowers, leaves, and other appliqué items.  It has been a major undertaking.  I have picked it up and stashed it away numerous times. But it is time to get this finished.  My quilt guild is having a quilt show in April and I intend to get this quilt shown in it.

This wall hanging is Wisteria Lane a pattern by Melinda Bula in Skinny Quilts & Table Runners II.  I am just getting the blooms on the blue blossom in the right hand upper corner.  Only three more to go and probably a hand full of leaves too.  Then it has to be quilted.  All the petals and leaves need sewing down.  Not sure how I intend to manage that.  But, it is definitely time to get this done.  I think I have been fussing with it for 8 to 10 years off and on.    

I do manage to get some things done in a timely way as I finished my Red Birds in Christmas fabrics this past week.  I like it so much better than the original mini I did of this pattern.  I used Metallica Coats and Clark iridescent thread for the quilting.  The fabrics have lots of gold and silver metallic threads in them.

Monday, November 29, 2021


With Thanks Giving behind me, most of the left overs either eaten or in the freezer for future use, it is time to think about some Christmas baking and finishing some of the one or two Christmas gift items in the sewing room.

I have spent this past week finishing the quilting on my Christmas Red Bird mini wall hanging, but in-between moved back to working on my Flower Garden quilt top.  I have the final side lattice cut and then can get the top and bottom on too.  I spent some time considering a larger appliquéd border, but have decided I am done.  It will be bound in the black and white print I used for the stems for the blooms.  I hope to have it off to the quilter in the next week or so.

I keep a stash of baby quilts for my daughters.  They have over the years often stopped by for a baby shower gift for this friend or that co-worker.  This past month they have pretty much cleaned me out.  So I figured I had better get busy and replace some of them.  The fabric in the center has been in the closet for years.  It was just too pretty to cut up.  I decided that the best use of it was just to use it in the middle of the quilt with a block border around it.  I think once quilted it will look very pretty.  

Obviously I am a real fan of appliqué projects.  In October while at Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, California I came upon these two patterns and fabric kits.  I purchased the first smaller kits, but ended up coming back to the vendor and buying the second larger kits too.  I just could not resist them.  So the plan is to finish up some of my UFO's that are screaming at me for attention and start one of these new projects. 


Monday, November 22, 2021


It was finish it up week here.  Just have to get back to my Flower Garden project, and see if I can clear the mess off the floor and return the sewing room to some sort of order.  

The red bird improv mini is finished.  I hung it up in my sewing room above my sewing machine.  So many comments on them being Christmas birds.  That made me realize I had some really lovely Christmas neutral fabrics.  Maybe I should have done the entire quilt improv in them instead.  So yes, I have decided to remake the quilt as a truly Christmas project.

So I managed the four corner blocks.  I did make the pieces a bit larger to simplify the process.  Now to get the Christmas birds in the center section done. 

My Alex Anderson project is finished.  I did consider quilting it myself, but the sewing room is loaded with a number of UFO's that are suffering neglect and crying out for being finished.  So this little one is headed to the quilter for finishing.



Monday, November 15, 2021


This past week has just been spent working on my improv mini quilt project.  I don't usually work so continuously on one project at a time, but this one has really ended up being just so much fun to do.
I am up to quilting it with a very dense serpintine stitch diagonally across the quilt in the two different directions of the birds positions.  I did try something I had never done before.  Normally I use large straight pins or spray baste to hold the top, batting, and back together while I quilt.  Spray baste has to be done outside, too cold right now and the patio table is too dusty and dirty to bother with cleaning it up.  I kept gouging myself with the pins as I quilted it and feared bleeding on it.  So I decided to breakout my quilting safety pins.  I had never used them or even given them a try.  Makes one wonder why I even had them stashed away.  Well, my close friend, Brooke, uses them all the time and I figured well let's just give them a try.  Goes to show you can still teach an old dog new tricks.  Works great!
Yes, lots and lots of quilting and I used red thread with the same quilting pattern on the birds.  
I managed to get three sides of the border on my Alex Anderson project.  I am still amazed at how well this pieces has fit together.  However, I have run out of Foundation Paper.  I like the Carol Doak's paper, which I order from Amazon.  It has the consistancy of newspaper print.  I do have a few of the translucent type paper, but find the ink from the printer tends to smear off on my hands as I work on the paper piecing.  It had not appeared to transfer to the fabric, but I do worry about that.  Getting the smears off my fingers takes a bit of vigerous scrubbing, not sure if it got on the fabric it would come out.  Guess, best to order Carol's and wait for it to arrive. 


Monday, November 8, 2021


After getting my Covid Insanity quilt finished I decided to really get busy and see if I could get my Alex Anderson's paper pieced project finished up and move on the getting the Flower Garden going again.

I have been surprised at how well this piece has gone together.  All those points that I hoped to not cut off and get all those blocks to match up was expected to be a real trial.  The top went together without a hitch.  Now for lots and lots of flying geese for the outside border.  

Now I know that I should be getting back to finishing my Flower Garden quilt, but this new book I bought was calling me to indulge in a little Mini quilt.

I have a hard time resisting birds.  This project was just too interesting to pass up.

Now improv piecing is something I have a bit of an issue with.  My brain doesn't work that way.  The top right and left of the quilt's blocks and the bottom left and right of the quilt blocks are pieced improv separately.  Then one works on the birds blocks.  Each block was a different size.  Only way I could manage it was to make myself a pattern for each one.  I know crazy, but it works for me.  

So I managed the first 4.5 by 12.5 block with no problems at all.

And the 7.5 by 12.5 block and the 6.5 by 12.5 block are done as well.  Just the final one at 9.5 by 12.5 to go.  

Yes, it does make for a bit of a mess to put away once done.  But I will need these plus either red or dark blues fabric pieces for the birds.  I have not quite made up my mind what color I would like them to be.  





Monday, November 1, 2021


Company kept me busy this past week.  Our oldest daughter and her husband arrived on Sunday the 17th and left  for home on Thursday the 21st.  It was a nice visit, packed with all sorts of extra family for dinners and even party and cake for our daughter's birthday.  I didn't make it into the sewing room for the entire time.  Had a great time and wonderful visit, but also nice to get back to a calmer home after all the company left.

Confetti is done!!!!!!!  Just under 2,000 pieces of fabric.  There are 64 eight inch paper pieced blocks, however each block was made up of 2 four by eight inch blocks.  I usually do not put labels on quilts and rarely name them, but this one will get a label and name.  I can only blame the insanity of making something like this on our Covid lock down for 18 months from March 2020 until September 2021.  No guild meetings, no sew group gathers, in fact no outside actives at all, unless you consider grocery shopping an exciting event.  Thus it is named very aptly Covid Insanity.

I finished my Pineapple and Pinwheel blocks on my Alex Anderson paper pieced project.  I was surprised at how easily the Pinwheel blocks went together and they actually lay flat.

On to the Flying Geese borders and the four Baltimore Beauty blocks. I am not a fan at all with the Baltimore blocks, they are a pain to make.  I considered only making two instead of the four, but hated to give in.  

I finally this last two day talked myself into getting the last two done.  I can move on to Flying Geese now, as they are easy.  They are paper pieced and come four geese on the paper pieced pattern.  I think I need 18 paper patterns.  I have 2 done so have a ways to go.  

Our little dog Zoey loves her bones.  She is just about a week from being 8 months old.  The little darling has gone through a good 4 or 5 ver large braided Bully Sticks.  For a little 7 pound dog they seem really big.  However, we bought smaller ones and she chewed one up in one afternoon.  Must say that it has saved her teething on our furniture.  She runs around the house with them in her mouth.  She is probably looking for a sofa cushion or throw blanket to hid it under.  She looks like she has a cigar hanging out of her mouth.  Makes us laugh!


Monday, October 25, 2021


This past week we had a house full of company.  Our oldest daughter and her husband arrived on Sunday.  It was her birthday so we had lots of family in and out all week until they left on Thursday.  Over the weekend we sort of just collapsed and stayed home and I actually got back into the sewing room to finish up a couple more projects.  

I finally got my skinny quilt finished.  The beginning of this project started at the end of August in this post Skinny Quilt.  I used a variety of woven stripes, Oatshotts and a suede finished cotton.  I had them for ages in my stash so decided to give them a try and they blended really well together.
I decided to quilt it on the diagonal with a 12wt orange variegated thread.  I was really surprised at how fast it was finished.  Just about 2 hours in the afternoon and it was done.  Now just to put a hanging sleeve on the back.  I expect to be able this coming spring to put it in the Mistlan Gallery show and maybe sell it.
And yes, after making a pumpkin runner for my daughter I figured I needed one too.  They are just too much fun to pass up.
While our daughter was here she showed me a picture of her cat, Pip enjoying their new garden window.  She put her bed up in it as kitty quickly decided the new addition was hers.  It appears that Pip has decided  that the bed is not enough and the upper level is her sun bathing area as well as the lower napping level.

Monday, October 18, 2021


 Last week after two years I finally had the opportunity to attend the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, California.  My guild provides a bus for the event and I joined 35 other ladies for the day.  Lots of wonderful quilts shown and great vendors as well.  I took lots of pictures for inspiration.  I had my list of things to look for and managed to find and purchase all of them.

I finished my daughter's birthday gift this past week.  That and a gift certificate for Chico's to go with it; now we are all ready for them to come for a few days this week to celebrate in person.

I finished the center portion of my Alex Anderson paper pieced project.  I am a bit behind now with four Kaleidoscope blocks and four New York Beauty blocks to work on.  

I may be behind on the paper pieced project, but I have finally finished my bird quilt.  It has sat for a good year ready for quilting.  I finally managed to get that done and got it bound this past week.