Monday, October 23, 2017

Stellar

Stellar
This comforting quilt was inspired by vintage ones made from Granny's feed sacks and calico dress scraps. The classic sawtooth star block is one of my favorites. Light gray is a neutral background for coral, navy, blue and green prints. Quilting is stitched in vertical rows 1” apart.

Stellar was finished in September, and is the right size (42” x 48”) for a wall hanging or throw. Now that nights are finally cooler, wouldn't it be nice to snuggle under with a good book and a cup of tea?


Go out and paint the stars.
🌟
For my part I know nothing
with any certainty,
but the sight of the stars
makes me dream.

~ Vincent Van Gogh ~


Monday, October 16, 2017

Wine Cellar

Wine Cellar
Strip quilts are fast and easy, but still allow for creativity. Wine Cellar brings to mind sweet sangria and crisp, bubbly spumante. 

Coordinating wine and burgundy 2 1/2” strips are sewn alternately with a subtle cream print, then trimmed into 8” diagonal squares. The same cream Sedona print is used for sashing and backing. Quilting is simply stitched in 1 1/2” parallel rows. The tranquil 43” square would make a nice wall quilt.

I had a bonus week since we came home early from camping. After unloading and cleaning the camper, I spent most of my time sewing, designing, and reading. (Who would have guessed?) I would sew all day every day if I didn't have to eat and keep the house clean. And I've found that I can't drink wine while sewing.  Too many crooked seams.  I'm thankful that my sweetie has hobbies too, so he understands my addiction to fabric. 

 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Know When To Fold 'Em

This is a late blog post because yesterday we broke camp and headed home from what was supposed to be a two week relaxing escape. Six months ago we made reservations at Dale Hollow Dam Campground. We envisioned bright fall days and crisp nights sitting around the campsite with nice breezes blowing through open windows. That didn't happen.

Our trip started great, an easy pull and smooth setup in our favorite site. We kept getting a whiff of something, maybe an RV needed to go dump or the wind was coming from the dumpster area. Nope. By the next day we realized that it was coming from the river, every time they let lake water through the sluice gates. Rotten sewer smell, enough to make you nauseated. Whatever was in that lake bed was extremely nasty. Be very glad photos don't convey scent.

So, windows closed, air conditioner on. OK, we can deal with that for a day or two, surely it won't last long. And it was ok at night, except for mosquitoes. But then rain came, making it hot and muggy and stinky. We explored around Celina, ate exceptional Mexican food at Los Primos, shopped the Roller Coaster yard sale. Campground was nearly full because it was fall break for several surrounding counties. Kids, dogs, noise.

We kept thinking it would cool off and that smell would go away. It didn't. Then yesterday morning, the power went off for several hours. Now it was hot and smelly and no AC. Enough already. No peaceful fall days, no crisp nights, can't sit outside, might as well go on home. Life's too short to waste time being miserable. At least we got a refund for the rest of the week. And Callie cat was happy to be sprung from the cat spa at Critter Clinic.

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run.
The Gambler, Kenny Rogers/Don Schlitz


Monday, October 2, 2017

Twilight Stars

Twilight Stars
The friendship star block is a fairly easy one, made up of squares and half square triangles. Purple, true blue, and navy batiks with light gray centers show up beautifully against a sky blue background. This 40” x 52” size would be a nice crib or lap quilt. I sewed the top in August and finally quilted Twilight Stars on Saturday.

 
I put together a little bonus quilt from the scraps, called Grapesicle. I used my new equilateral triangle die to quickly cut pieces, so the front was done in a day. 


Backing is pieced in random strips of pink, purple, and gray, set in two rows. I stitched along the triangles for an overall diamond pattern and bound it with a gray stripe. It measures 22” x 26” and coordinates with the grape walls in my sewing room.

✦✦✦✦

I just want the simple things. I want to lay on a blanket at twilight and look at the stars. I want to breathe deeply, then exhale out negativity. And I know it is within my power to do just that. So I did. I left crazy drama behind to walk straight toward simplicity and peace. I've never been happier.” – Author Unknown 

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Candy Stripe

Candy Stripe
Doesn't this cheerful scrap quilt put a smile on your face? Four inch squares of pink, lime, yellow and turquoise prints are randomly set in four-square blocks, then framed with bright striped sashing and squares of lime dots.

I repeated the stripes for the back, with border and binding in a pink Dear Stella crosshatch pattern. It's quilted in one huge circle, starting at center and spiraling out to the edges. Happy and girly, this 36” x 45” beauty could be a baby gift or a lap quilt. I really enjoyed working on Candy Stripe, using up more of my fabric inventory while creating something useful.

πŸ”΄ πŸ”΄ πŸ”΄

I found I could say things
in colors and shapes
that I couldn't say any other way 
--things I had no words for.” 
Georgia O'Keeffe
 
πŸ”΄ πŸ”΄ πŸ”΄

Clean out a corner of your mind
and creativity will instantly fill it.”
Dee Hock

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hard Lesson: AccuQuilt

Play Time
I bought myself a new toy, an AccuQuilt Go fabric cutter. It was on sale at their website at the end of August, so I ordered. As soon as it arrived, I used the basic die to cut pieces for several quilt blocks. The cuts are precise and the blocks went together perfectly. I loved it at first use, so easy and quick!

Play Time is a sampler quilt from those blocks plus a couple of test squares from recent projects. The bright red, aqua and white colors blend these different designs into a pretty 32” square.

Unfortunately, my happiness didn't last. I was enthusiastically cutting and sewing up a storm, when I saw AccuQuilt advertise a new sale on Labor Day. The cutter I just bought is now $50 less for the month of September, "lowest price of the year." I contacted AccuQuilt customer service twice and found out that their 30-day satisfaction guarantee is far from satisfying. They would not give me the $50 discount, even though it had only been 10 days since my order.  All they said was NO, have a nice day and here's a link to our latest sale. WHAT???

They just took the joy right out of my new purchase. I truly like the product, I even did an positive online review right after purchase, but their company policy stinks. They could at least offer a discount on another die, or a coupon, or something. Now every time I use the thing, I remember that I got fleeced.

I guess I'm used to nice merchants who want their customers happy so they will continue buying their products. I found out the hard way that AccuQuilt is NOT one of those.

One customer 
well taken care of 
could be more valuable 
than $10,000 worth 
of advertising.  
Jim Rohn

Your most 
UNHAPPY customers
are your greatest source
of learning.
Bill Gates

Monday, September 11, 2017

Two Quick Designs

I have been stitching like the wind and need to catch up, so I
have two quilts for you today.  These mini  projects go quickly and are so much fun to design.

Lakeside Oasis 
Lakeside Oasis consists of strips and squares in cool, peaceful colors.  Green, aqua, navy, and grey strips are joined randomly, then cut into squares and sewn on point with light grey batik.  I stitched with grey thread in a wave pattern.  This relaxing and pretty 31" square is currently on the wall in my bedroom.

Tea Time
A cute table mat of diagonally placed wide strips is neutral cream and tan with a touch of aqua.  They are stitched together and cut diagonally, then flipped around to form a 24" square.  Tea Time was inspired by the binding and backing fabric of alphabet letters and teacups. 

Speaking of inspiration, I have had plenty lately.  These two were done back in July and early August.  Since then I have finished five others and designed so many that I can't sew fast enough.  

Gotta use all this pretty fabric, so I can buy more!!  


NEVER, NEVER ENOUGH FABRIC 
 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Fresh Laundry

There's something about the smell and feel of freshly washed laundry. Clean and crisp. That's what I was going for with an update of our laundry room last week.

It all started when my eighteen year old washer began to make crazy sounds. A search for a reliable replacement led us to Speed Queen. A Labor Day sale at Gibson's Furniture in Gallatin gave us a great price on a new set, thanks to Eddie and Scott.

Perfect time for a quick redecorate, don't you think? I painted the walls a pretty gray-blue. Galvanized panels are perfect for the laundry sink backsplash. We painted the switchplates, cabinet knobs and hardware in hammered silver to match. Jerold installed a new under cabinet LED light.

A few antique blue Mason jars, old washboards and clothespins, Mason jar prints and a small painting I finished in the spring complete the transformation. The little scrap quilt is called Tropical Geese.


Results:  Fresh laundry room, bright, clean and crisp.






Normal
is just a setting
on the dryer

Monday, August 28, 2017

Quarter Cabin Pavers

I like log cabin quilts. This modern scrappy version is one large quarter cabin block, made up of colorful 4” x 7” rectangles. 

A neutral creamy print on alternate rows gives just the right contrast. Finished size is 37” x 40” which works for a throw, wall hanging, or child's quilt.

This was one of seven projects I finished last month. July was hot and muggy, so I took refuge in my cool, quiet sewing room. I designed several more and managed to keep my workspace reasonably neat.

Now that I have been steadily sewing throughout August, a few horizontal spaces need freshening up. It's funny how scraps and leftover pieces of fabric begin to pile up together with rulers and tools. Sounds like this rainy day is the day to deal with that.


Mondays 
are for
FRESH STARTS

 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Eclipse Day - Don't Look, Ethel!

Tomorrow's the day for the long anticipated total solar eclipse. Although I am soooo tired of hearing about it, I did stitch up a fun little quilt in honor of the event. I used both sewing machines on this one. Applique and sewing were completed with my Janome Memory Craft. My Singer Quantum was kind of surprised to be turned on, but she rose to the occasion with customized embroidery.

This is a special event, once in a lifetime for most of us, and I'm hoping the clouds stay away. But, good grief, the incessant, frenzied news coverage has been annoying but strangely funny.  It's a combination of Y2K, a 12" snow prediction in Nashville, and a hurricane warning.  Go to the grocery, fill up your car, stay inside.  But be sure to practice Southern hospitality and be nice to the half a million visitors.  And if you aren't sure about those glasses, don't look, Ethel! 

The mute button and off switch have been used a lot lately at our house to filter out the noise.

🌞 🌞 🌞

“...a wealth of information creates 
a poverty of attention...” 
- Herbert A. Simon


Monday, August 14, 2017

44 Years And Counting

When I went on my first date with my future husband, to a high school football game, I was fifteen years old. I had no idea that a mere four years later, we would be at the church house getting married. I figured out pretty quickly that he was the one and he apparently agreed.

I'm so glad we made those choices. We've had some fine adventures.  

Forty-four years, just the two of us. 
I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Happy Anniversary week, sweetheart!


If you really know what you want,
and how to get there,
then everything else falls into place.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bright And Sassy

Bright and Sassy
I needed sunglasses to work on this one! Bright orange and hot pink prints paired with black and white small and mini dots make a striking quilt. The 8” shoo fly blocks went together quickly. 

Larger white and pink dots on black for the backing and long rows of narrow serpentine stitching are a sassy modern take on this vintage block. Bright and Sassy finished out at 32” x 40” size.

 
Although it may seem like I haven't left the sewing room, I did go on a quick bargain hunt last week. These cute pottery plates were only a quarter each at a local thrift store. They remind me of a diner. 

A bit of research found that they were made during the 1930's and 40's in Brazil. I bought four small plates and four shallow salad bowls. The $1 glassware came from Dollar Tree.  These are perfect for a quick meal in our bay window breakfast nook.  



A bargain is something
you don't need
at a price
you can't resist.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Whirly

Whirly
Some quilt designs express a feeling of motion, and these two fit that description. You can almost feel the breezes blowing.

Little windmill blocks in red, turquoise, black, and blue contrast nicely with crisp white. They are set with light blue dotted sashing to complete Whirly, a 35” square quilt bound with black & white dots. It's quilted with a decorative cross stitch pattern along the sashing and through the centers of the windmills. It sure brightens up my dining room table. 


Summer Pinwheels
Cheery pinwheel blocks are placed in diagonal rows with white sashing and a row of white blocks, creating lots of open space. Bright yellow and orange prints contrast well with the cooler greens and blues.  

Summer Pinwheels is 44” x 54” and quilted with white thread, creating swirls on the pinwheels and square maze outlines on the blanks. It is framed with a bright blue random mini-dot that I also used for backing and binding. 
 

Over the weekend, I took advantage of cooler temperatures to tackle weeds in my flower beds. All this time I've spent sewing has given the weeds a chance to take over. I may have to use a flame thrower or a 50 gallon drum of Roundup.

πŸ”ΆπŸ”ΆπŸ”Ά
Fake people are like weeds.
They stunt your growth.
Remove them from your life,
and you'll have space to flourish.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Three Quick Projects

To say that I love to sew is an understatement. Even when I'm stuck choosing a pattern or selecting colors, I truly enjoy the process of creating beautiful items. I'm definitely on a roll this year, with 26 projects completed by the end of June. 
 
Slashed Nines
A scrap quilt using bits of my recently acquired fabric collection, Slashed Nines started as four nine-patch blocks that were slashed diagonally and rearranged. White sashing and the bright colors make this 28” square quilt very perky. Quilting was straight stitch, outlining the diagonal seams and adding center squares. It was finished in two days, a quick and easy little project!
 
Sewing Basket
Sewing Basket is a wall quilt made of coordinating sewing themed fabrics in turquoise, lime, red, gray and white. The 2/12” strips are set in a basket weave pattern. The back is several wide lime and white pieces bordering a center section of leftover strips. I pieced this 37” square back in February, but quilted it last month.

Table Scraps
A colorful table mat made up of 4” squares of random scraps is appropriately named Table Scraps. The blue and white binding and backing material reminds me of a vintage tablecloth. Finished size is 32” square, and quilting was simply outlining the  squares with a half inch offset.

And now, back to my happy place...the sewing room.


DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY,
AND BE DONE WITH THE REST.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Water And Sun

Seaside
Shades of aqua and yellow remind me of water and sun, the beach, and tropical paradise. My two newest quilts feature these colors.

The first, Seaside, is my version of the Speedwell pattern. Light shades of yellow, aqua, gray and white blend beautifully for a cool refreshing twin bedspread. The design reminds me of Mediterranean tile. I love the way the blocks spill over into the border in slightly darker colors. 

The center is quilted in straight channels. Borders have three serpentine rows, intersecting at the corners. I added an extra border to make the final size 78” square.
Seaside

Almost Square is a brighter quilt using large hot yellow and intense aqua squares and rectangles, split by contrasting white strips. Fabric from my new stash in chevrons, dots, prints and checks give this one a more modern feel. It's quilted with an overall scalloped stitch.  Finished size of 44” x 54” is good for a throw, child's quilt, or wall hanging.

Almost Square

I'm using both in my spare bedroom, along with newly stitched white linen curtain panels. Now I have a beachy retreat for a quiet read or a restful nap. Sounds good, but I have too much sewing lined up to nap. Maybe I'll just sit in there and brainstorm my next design. 
 

We dream in colors
borrowed from the sea.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Red Snapper

Red Snapper
I love this cute creation. Neutral gray and white print 6” squares arranged diagonally made a fine backdrop for red corner accents. The triangles were remnants from February's Tomato Soup & Crackers quilt. They were just big enough that I couldn't bear to throw them out, and I'm glad I didn't.

The back is a wide panel of gray and white triangle print with two floral red and white strips on each side. A binding of dark gray stripes frames it nicely. Finished size is 35” square. Red Snapper is hanging in my dining room right now.


Follow up: I am nearly finished sorting and cutting the small pieces from last week's amazing fabric find. I tossed a few old magazines to make room for three more plastic shoe boxes of folded small pieces. I'm so inspired by all those colors and prints that one little project is already finished, and I cut and pieced a new quilt top yesterday. I was already sewing up a storm this summer, but stay tuned for more, more, more!



You can't use up 
CREATIVITY. 
The more you use,
The more you have. 
Maya Angelou

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Fabric Jackpot!

Lawdy mercy, I have hit the fabric jackpot! On Friday, we went to a yard sale and found sewing supplies. I got a grocery sack full of assorted cotton material and a dozen zippers for $13, then headed home. Thought about what I left behind. Saturday afternoon, I went back and paid $50 for all the fabric she had left. Oh my, four huge boxes filled to the brim were loaded into the back of my Escape. Thanks, Mary!



What an awesome find! The majority is cotton, ranging from scrap pieces up to 6 yard lengths. The colors are beautifully varied, with lots of chevrons, dots, stripes, and novelty prints including a few Christmas and Halloween. I spent the rest of the weekend sorting, measuring, folding, and merging it into my inventory. I concentrated on anything over a half yard first. The grand total of quilting fabric from this big find so far is 147 yards


I haven't even counted the basket of small pieces. Those I will press and cut into strips, squares, and fat quarters. Useful Remnants indeed, perfect for scrap quilts.


I also haven't started to check out the last large bin of miscellaneous material. There's burlap, minky, cotton duck, upholstery pieces, flannel, knits and blends for clothing.



I will definitely have to reorganize my shelves. If you're interested in my inventory and storage system, link below for previous blog posts. One change I've made is wrapping the folded fabric around comic book boards (like a mini bolt) to keep it from falling over in the baskets. It has worked great for me, and doesn't take long, although normally I only have a few lengths at a time to document and fold.  The system certainly makes it easy to see if I have enough of a particular material and to find coordinating colors.



A friend told me she was glad I found the sale since I may have been in danger of running out. She knows me well.  I am sure of two things: I am addicted to fabric, and I never want to be cured. It is my happy place, so I am pretty sure I won't run out.  


For inquiring minds, 788 yards is my current inventory total, not counting the small scrap pieces.  That should keep me busy and out of trouble for a while.   

LINKS: 


Love is 
not caring 
how much fabric 
your wife buys.