Thursday, September 30, 2010

Houston, We May Have A Problem

I am making good progress on my tumbling blocks quilt. I've sewn 18 rows together, and only have 5 more rows to go. :-)


I laid it down on the floor the other day and, correct me if I'm wrong, but this quilt top is looking a little out of proportion to me. As in wider than long. And I'm almost done sewing on the horizontal strips.

Right now it measures roughly 88" wide and 74" long. It's a little hard to measure rows because one row doesn't line up exactly with the next row. Rather, they are offset a bit. But five rows in the quilt measures about 20". So when I finish sewing these last five rows on, that gives me a quilt top 88" wide and 94" long. Which is a bit too close to square for me.

I know the easy answer is just to turn it sideways. But it has always seemed "right side up" to me like this, and I would always feel it's sideways.

I'm thinking I have two choices, but really just one. (!) Choice one would be to sew up some more hexagons and make more rows. The problem with this method is that the fabrics wouldn't necessarily be mixed up in the same way, and I'd hate for it to look like it had extra rows tacked on after the fact.

So I think my only choice is to remove some of the blocks (maybe one or two) from the end of every horizontal row, and sew them into more rows to make it longer.
I wasn't planning on adding any borders to the quilt.

What do you think? Any suggestions? I need some help on this, please...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Barn Quilts

It appears that BrotherStitches, and my wonderful SIL, MaryStitches, are also getting into quilting. They have made two barn quilts which are on display at their farm.
The top photo shows a Log Cabin quilt square on the side of their garage/workshop.
Isn't it great!
MaryStitches told me that this bottom block is an Eastern Star. I just love the bright colors, don't you?!?!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Puzzling Progress

I've made some more progress on my puzzle!
Still plenty of ocean to do before I can start on the continents. This is just so much fun. I'm really enjoying myself.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My President's Quilt

Every person who serves as president of our quilt guild gets to have a quilt made for her. The president chooses whatever fabric and pattern she wants, and each person in the guild makes one square for the quilt. Usually the blocks are signed by their makers.

I served as president in 2009-2010, and I found this gorgeous fabric at my local fabric store. Isn't it pretty!?! It has a French Provincial quality to it. With such beautiful fabric, I decided to keep my block really simple. I provided everyone with two cut squares (I think they were five inches square), and I'm asking everyone to add their own coordinating fabrics to make a four-patch for me. So no one has to labor over this or worry too much about the sewing, and each can express her own personality/creativity in the choice of her companion fabric(s).

When I get all the blocks back I plan to cut them into "wonky" 6 1/2" squares, so I've asked people to put their names in the center, not the border, as it will be cut off.

I'll keep you updated as I receive the squares.
I can't wait to see what people have done with them!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Q. What's a good way to NOT get a lot of quilting done?

A. Bring out a jigsaw puzzle!

We've had this puzzle sitting in a drawer for a while, and I decided to get it out and see if I could put it together. I thought it would be good for my sense of world geography. It is comprised of 600 pieces.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time. You know, I'll sew for a while, I'll work on the puzzle some, then I'll go back to sewing...
But I've found out that it's hard to leave the puzzle!

At first I was sure several pieces were missing(!).
But as you can see I managed to get all the border put together. Boy, there are a lot of blue ocean pieces, though! Aye-yi-yi!!

I'm making progress, though, and a couple hours can pass by before I know.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who Wants to Exercise?

I came across an interesting idea a couple weeks ago on the blog of

She has invited others to join her on a virtual "walk across America." and she linked to a government website. This website will track (for free) your progress as recorded in miles of walking or running. So I log onto the site, record that I have walked, maybe, two miles today. It stores this information, and tracks my progress on a "trail" across America. It shows me a photo every time I post of just where I am "walking" right now.
Now I have to say that I am not a very good one to stick to a program of any kind. But I really do like logging in the miles I've covered in a
day. I walk, but I don't run, and I also swim, so I count the swimming miles, also.

Jacquie, at Tallgrass Prairie Studio has assembled a listing of people who are joining her in this endeavor.

So, do you want to join up and record your miles?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Recent Quilts

I'm excited to go to my quilt guild meeting tomorrow. I love our meetings, getting together with friends, and the awesome speakers we have. But I'm also excited because I have two quilts for Show & Tell. For me this is cool, because it allows me to show some things I have actually finished!

The first quilt I have already shown you here, and I'll quickly review the photos with you now. This is the Disappearing Nine Patch, a pattern I really like.

One complete block, having been cut in half twice, then sewn back together.

The nice polka dot I found for the binding.....

The backing fabric and quilting pattern on the back.

* * * * *

Then I have another quilt just completed this evening. The directions I have are called Slash Your Stash, but I know there are a lot of different names for this technique.

In my Monday quilting group several people expressed an interest in learning this method, so a couple weeks ago I gave a demonstration. We started with twelve 15" squares, stacked them up, made one cut, put one piece to the bottom and resewed. We more or less repeated this process, with a few variations, and ended up with about 12 1/2" squares. It's a very fast technique.
Here is my final quilt sewn together, but not yet bound. MissesStitches was a bad demonstrator and failed to take photos of the process. :-( However, I think I might do this again, and when I do I will be sure to walk you through it.
Above is a close-up that shows the quilting design I used. It was quite fun (and easy) to do.

And I found this very nice variegated thread, which always makes the quilting more interesting.

I used a nice soft flannel in blue and yellow as my backing fabric.

Very serendipitously, I found some binding fabric that I already had cut. (I must have really miscalculated for a previous quilt! But it served me well now!) A pretty blue with some stars on it.
It's too dark now to take a decent photo, but it all looks pretty good together, and I just finished hand-stitching the label and the binding onto it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What to Title This Post?

I know it's been a long time since my last post. I've been very busy sewing. One of the things I've been doing is sewing together my tumbling blocks. I keep plugging away at it, getting more and more rows added.

Took it to my new Wednesday sewing group. It's getting bigger and bigger. Someone asked me what size quilt it was going to be, and I had to say that I don't quite know for sure!

A thought just occurred to me, however. Maybe I should make this into a comforter cover instead of a quilt. We don't really use quilts on our bed, but do use comforters. Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Liberty of London

"On my summer vacation I went to.....

Yes, that is how my back-to-school essay will begin this year. Well, I didn't go to London just to see the Liberty store, but you know that it was an important historical site for me to visit. You know how that goes, don't you?!?

Liberty of London is such a great place to be. First of all, the building is incredible. It's an old, half-timbered building--very large. Inside are beautiful carved moldings and woodwork. And a magnificent old staircase. (They have elevators, too!)

Liberty of London sells a lot of clothing, both their own label and other designers, as well as their fabric. Also stuff like scarves, tapestries, accessories, etc.

But you know that I like the fabric area best! I could spend hours there fondling the fabric. If you're not familiar with Liberty fabrics, they are incredibly beautiful, finely woven and smooth fabrics.
I had to limit myself to not buying the whole store! So I settled on two prints. The colorful one above is a "typical" Liberty print. (I've gotten so I recognize them when I see them around.) Not quite sure what I'll do with this, although I think it would make a very nice long-ish skirt.

And this one is more monochromatic, shades of grays and a little beige that doesn't show up very well in the photo. I really like it, and am thinking it might make a good scarf.

Then I bought this small bundle of a variety of prints. There were 15 pieces of fabric, all a uniform width and ranging from about 9" in length to 15" or so. These will definitely find a place in a quilt, or quilted item.
(BTW, the strips of binding tied around the bundle say "Fabrics Worn and Washed," but they are new fabrics. They were just put together by the company called "Fabrics Worn and Washed.")

This shows them all spread out. Aren't they pretty!!!?! The purple fabric, the fifth from the bottom, was very familiar to me, as I have a blouse out of that fabric. I bought the blouse several years ago on another trip to London.

Now I have the fun job of finding places to use all these pretty fabrics.