Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mallory's Lover's Knot

A very special young lady was married in June 2016 and I decided to make a quilt for her.  I wanted to have the top done before her wedding, but due to several factors that were beyond my control, I was unable to do so.  Her mother and I were in cohorts with regard to colors, and fabric. I picked the pattern because I loved the name. It seemed appropriate for a wedding gift since they say you are tying the knot.

Mallory is the oldest of three daughters of my cousin Janie. Janie is the cousin I guess you could say I am closest to. We are both the only children of the only son's on our father's side. We are both Air Force brats, and have lived in several places over the year. She is two years younger than I am and we are a lot alike in many ways. The stories I could tell about us when we were younger, but I digress.

I wanted to go to her daughter's wedding but due to unforeseen events I was unable to attend. I decided that a quilt was in order.

My cousin helped me select the fabrics via text as did the ladies at both Quilt Zone and Seams Like Home.  Then my awesome quilter, Shirley  Jackson  (yes there are two links here) worked her magic on the quilt before sending it back home to me for binding.


 I also made several sample blocks to see how the colors and farbic patterns worked before deciding on the final fabric selections.

I spent a lot of time on this quilt messaging pictures back and forth with my cousin to select fabric so that the colors would work in Mallory's home.  This combination was the winning one.

I cut a ton of strips so I could get started on piecing.  This is only a small number of the strips.

After piecing all the blocks and remembering that some went one way and others the opposite, and I had to keep counting to make sure I had enough of each block, I finally started putting the rows together.

At one point I was very frustrated with putting the rows together for the top as I was enlarging it and the rows needed to pieced in a different order than what was pictured.  Thank you so much to Diana at Quilt Zone for redoing the layout diagram for me as it saved me my sanity.  She is awesome.

Once I had the rows together and laid out piecing the top was a piece of cake.
The next step was to get the borders done, and that again took some trial and error as I had to decide which fabrics to use where, and if I wanted to introduce a new fabric into the mix or not.


The borders were on and it as sent winging on its way to the quilter and was returned so that I could bind it and attach a label.

This quilt was then mailed to the mother of the bride waited until I received notice that the bride had received it before posting this blog post as I did not want to spoil the surprise.

Here is the beautiful bride with her better late, than never wedding gift.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Herringbone Quilt for my cousin Andi

A couple of years ago I saw my cousin Andi. I had not seen in her several years and we were passing through her home town area in Illinois, so it was  perfect time to see her. We met for dinner with her husband and daughter and in the course of the conversation we discussed my quilting. I asked her about quilts our grandmother had made and discovered she did not nave one, I am sad to say.

After finding out her favorite color was purple I put that piece of information in the back of my mind and down the road a ways I found a quilt pattern and fabric that just seemed to say Andi to me.

Fast forward today. I mailed out the quilt to her earlier this month and she messaged me when it arrived and said she loved it. Today she posted a picture of her with the quilt for me. I love seeing pictures of my my quilts with the recipients. I makes me feel good to see them with their new owners.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Ugly Fabric Challenge

Earlier this year a fellow quilter sent several of us a piece of "Ugly Fabric" and challenged us to make something. I thought this is fun and raided my stash looking for fabric that would go with it.  I am very happy to say that the only thing I had to buy when making this purse was the webbing for the handles.  I did buy a zipper but decided that I did not want to put one on this version.  I also decided that I was not interested in making it into a quilt. I wanted something simple that I could actually finish, not something that would add to my UFOs.

For a long time I have wanted to make a purse of my own design using things I liked from other purses to make it one I would like and so I went for it.  I measured a couple of purses I owned that were about the size I wanted, and I looked at the pockets in others to adjust them to be useful to me. I also measured and adjusted the handles to a size that worked for me, as often the handles on purses are much shorter or longer than what I really like.

The end result was this purse:

I made the purse roughly 10 inches wide and 10 inches tall, and about 5 inches wide.  I used one layer of Temtex on each of the sides and two layers in the bottom.

I made the one inside pocket long enough to fit my iPhone laying sideways.

I added a smaller pocket on the opposite side of the lining.

I also reinforced the upper edge by using Timtex on both the inner and outer side and used polyester webbing for the straps. I sealed the webbing with liquid seam stuff that I got at JoAnn's.

Then I top stitched the upper edge to the outside of the bag and quilted the top edges to really hold in the handle ends inside and reinforce them, spacing the quilting lines about 1/4" apart.

The end result is a cute purse in my opinion is very functional and stands up on its own.  I also like the contrast of the light pockets with the darker interior, as it makes it easy to locate things.  The only thing I have not yet done is to spray the purse with Scotch Guard as it has been rather cold out, and I am waiting for it warm up before doing so, after all I do live in Alaska.
Ruler, 12"size, to give you a better view of the dimensions.

I plan to make another version of this purse. I have ideas for a few modifications to my basic pattern  and am thinking I will try adding a zipper to it and maybe even add an outer zippered pocket for my cell phone, or my keys.  I like that I have come up with a design that pulls concepts from purses that I like so that I can make it functional for me.

Monday, March 20, 2017

My 20 Minutes Plus of Sewing

Today I pressed and  sub-cut strip sets I had sewn into sections and realized I needed more so I started sewing strips together to make more so I can sub-cut them tomorrow.  I cannot post a picture of the fabric or colors here as it is a surprise for someone, but here is the pattern.  I love this pattern and think it will be perfect for the recipient.

I also finished piecing two Seminole borders for my Tiffany quilt.

Now I just have to decide how I want to do the borders.


This is the one I am going with after much deliberation.  I have two sides of the Seminole patchwork pieced and most of the other two sides pieced.  I am using the borders as a leader and ender while working on another project that I need to finish and send to the quilter as it has a deadline and this one does not.

I will up date the progress once I get the borders added.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Finally Getting Back to Finishing Things

I am not sure what year I started either of these quilts. The topa spent a long time languishing in my sewing room waiting to be quilted and I finally sent it off to be quilted.

It sat for a long. long time, then went off to the quilter and came back and went into be my to be bound pile as it was summer in Alaska and I was off on a road trip and not sewing, or at least not able to use a machine, as I had handwork with me on the trip.

I came home and jumped back into subbing and it sat in the pile, along with several others. Then in December 2015 I fell on the ice and broke my wrist and was unable to sew at all for a couple months and then no hand sewing until March or April, during which time I was also dealing with family health issues and made two trips to Tennessee.

Summer came again and the world turned upside down for us and we were off to Tennessee again for most of the summer.  We came back in the fall just before school started and I have been busy subbing full time and keeping busy to help me deal with grief and sitting and doing handwork just left me too much time to think.  After our cruise through the Panama Canal over the Christmas holidays I was ready to get back to my handwork. I have finished five projects two of which included binding quilts.

I can only show you two of them as two are gifts and the recipient has not yet received them, the quilt needs a label and I am working on that now.  Another is my project for the Ugly Fabric Challenge and we are not revealing that until March 31st, so I have to wait a couple more weeks before I can post it.

But here are the two quilts that I have finished this year, that I am able to post. One was finished February 10 and it is a star quilt with a piano key boarder. This was a kit that I bought from a store that was called Needle Crafters and has since been bought, moved locations and renamed The Quilt Tree.

Undercover in Houston II

The other was started when Debbie Caffrey still lived in Anchorage, Alaska as I took the class from her.  It is called Undercover in Houston II.

Friday, February 10, 2017


January 27, 2017

I have this weekend my Pick a UFO and get to WORK Weekend.  I have a pile of UFOs and yes, I mean a pile of them.  Some are WIPs others are PIGs, and still others are What was I Thinking?

I have listed my UFOs in the past on this blog and I am going to pick ten that I plan to move forward this year.  I am not going to include those that I simply need to hand stitch the binding down on, that would be cheating in my book as they do not require a lot of work.  I am talking quilts that are not yet tops, or are in need of borders.  I need to at least get them to Topsville, before the end of the year. Others need to be quilted either by myself or a longarmer.  I think I will only count those I plan to quilt myself.

I picked my BOM Fancy Forest which I am three months behind on and focused on finishing the bunnies from November.  I did not quite finish them that weekend, but I did finish them last weekend.
I cut out the owls which are the next block in the series last week, and have the hedgehogs and fireflies waiting in line to be cut.

I spent time cutting out and piecing binding for a few other quilts and worked in piecing my ugly fabric challenge that I cannot reveal until the end of March. I have it almost finished, and am excited to share it once we have our reveal.

I also took time to work on finishing cutting out another quilt that is a gift, so I can start piecing it.

This last weekend I did more cutting and piecing and am trying to spend 20 minutes every evening sewing, with a goal of finishing my UFOs.

I may post a list of my top ten in my next post.

This week I finished four pillow cases that are part of a gift, now I just need t get motivated to start on binding that quilt.

10 February 2017

This weekend I my goal is to bind a quilt, cut out the hedgehogs, and start sewing the owls and the other quilt that is a gift. I am working on binding tonight.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

UFOs 2016 Update

 Since I broke my wrist in December of 2015 and it took forever to fully heal due to tendon damage I did not accomplish as much as I would have liked in 2016. Once I had my hand back at about 75% I decided to focus on my UFOs.  I finished a rag baby quilt, which my husband did the snipping on for me. I also finished a strip club top, minus the final border which is cut and ready to attach. next up is to move some things forward.

I have made progress on my Voices of the Past UFO.  It is all laid out and ready for me to put together. I made several small stars to use as sashing between the blocks and will fill in other areas with small strips of fabric.  I think I need to make some small blocks to fill in the spaces between the blocks so there is not a ton of white space.  By small I mean blocks that are 3" in size. I need to look at the patterns and may make a couple of the centers from larger blocks to fill in the spaces.

I also finished several sets of pillow cases as gifts, and potholders, along with making ten wine bags for the wine auction portion of the Arctic Valley Ski Area Silent Auction. People bid on a bottle of wine without knowing what wine they will be getting. Usually they are in paper bags, but I decided that they needed to classed up a little bit, and it gave the winner a nice gift bag for the wine.

The block on the left is my favorite one in the quilt. It is the Lousia May Alcott block. Here is the layout of the quilt Voices of the Past quilt. My friend Jan helped me come up with layout.

I made a deal with myself last year that I could not start anything new until I finished a UFO other than my Paducah classes and any baby quilts that are needed, though I am getting a few baby quilts done in advance to have on hand for when they are needed.   

My Paducah classes included one by Linda Hahn, a New York Beauty called Tottenville Toads and the other by Mary Lou Weidemeyer called Flower Power.  I really enjoyed both classes and now have added two UFOs to my pile.  Though I am planning to move them forward sooner rather than later.

These are blocks I finished in my Mary Lou Weidemeyer  class at Paducah.
These are two blocks I made for the Tottenville Toads quilt in my class at Paducah. The first on is not yet trimmed to size. Of course this quilt is in my UFO pile also.  

One other fun thing about going to Paducah this year was that I got to see my on-line quilting friend, Helen Marie, again, and we both got to meet Pat Sloan.  

I received three of the quilts back from my quilter and need to trim and bind them.  I also have a pile of quilts waiting for me to hand stitch down the binding.  I just need time to work on that.

I am moved my Marti Michell Log Cabin from last year's visit to Paducah forward. I  finished the top and added borders. It is about 102" x 102".  I sent it off to the quilter before Christmas and she has it on her list to finish in the near future. I told her there was not rush. We came up with a quilting plan, and I am not in a rush to receive it.

I have a pile of quilts that need binding, so she can take her time with this one. I have another one that will be heading home soon as well. It is a surprise gift for someone.

In August after we returned home from Tennessee I finished another Marti Michell quilt that is also rather large, 102" x 102" and it is also a gift.  It is waiting for me to trim and bind it so I can send it on to the recipient.

I am not posting pictures of either of these quilts as I want to wait until the recipients receives them.

I also made a traveling ironing board to take to classes.

In September I went to the Valdez Quilt Festival with my friend Jan for a week. It was fun, the weather was beautiful, and we enjoyed the experience. We took two classes together and one other class each.  I took Waters of Kauai. I finished top, but am still working on piecing the borders.  I redid one set of blocks three times, in three different fabrics before I was happy with the top.  I now have two sets of twelve blocks waiting to be pieced into two baby quilts.

Jan and I did the mystery quilt class together. I finished one block and am taking apart the other parts and squaring them up before finishing the block as they did not include squaring up the one section and it messed up the piecing because it is off size. I am also changing the pressing directions as they way they said to press it leaves a huge lump to quilt through. The finished quilt is really nice though, so I do plan to complete the top. I can also say that this is a 100% stash quilt.  There is one other color, the gold, used in the alternate block.
Jan and I also took the Iced Saw Blades class and each finished a block and most of a second block.
These are all the blocks from the class, and the individual one is mine.  I am not sure if I will finish this quilt or use this block as an example for a future quilt. I did pull all the fabrics from my stash for this class.

I participated in a color challenge with a group of quilters I know on line. We each were given three colors and could add a background or neutral. My three colors were purple, green and orange and I added a brown as my neutral. I made a table runner, which I need to quilt. 

In October Teri and I went to a quilting retreat in Soldotna to do a mystery.  The mystery was called Tiffany and we made four large blocks in different color ways which confused us as they did not seem to go along with the clue about Tiffany lamps.  

This is one of the blocks in the two different color ways.

This is the other block in the two different color ways.
The blocks were then cut into quarters.
I did not lay my quilt out according to the pattern, I made a minor design change and really like mine better than the original design.
This is the designer / instructor, Brenda Clyde's quilt.

This is my quilt top minus the borders as I still need add them and I decided I wanted a pieced middle border and then my outer border. The picture next to it is the outer border fabric.

Teri and I decided to sign up for the Fancy Forest Block of the Month. It is a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman which has thistles, owls, bunnies, hedge hogs, foxes, owls, and butterflies.  She is doing it in cotton and I am doing it in batiks.  I finished my foxes, and started on the bunnies before the end of 2016. 

I know, I know I started new things, but I also finished several quilts in 2016. I finished a rag flannel baby quilt. I also finished Romantic Get Away. This picture is before I put the binding on, as I did not take one after. I still need to do that. 
I finished my blue Hoffman swap which was from too many years ago to count.  

I finished the binding on three quilts on the drive to and from Valdez, alone.
Split 9-Patch Swap Quilt

Angels Round Robin Quilt from many years ago.
I also made ten wine bags for the Arctic Valley Ski Club Auctions Wine Auction. You bid on a bottle of wine, but you have no idea what the wine is until you win it.

But my favorite finish of 2016 is my Coat of Many Colors.  It started out as a Kitchen Sink Quilt in a class by that name taught by Maria Shell, an Alaskan Quilter.  The idea behind the quilt is to use your orphan blocks to make a quilt, like a scrap quilt.  I chose black and white prints as my neutral and went to work.  I decided that I wanted to make mine into a jacket instead of a quilt and lined it with lime green fleece, and the front placket is lined with lime green flannel.  It is very warm and long to cover my legs when I wear a skirt.  I get stopped often by quilters and others who always ask, "Did you make your jacket?"  They all love it.  I used to jacket as a practice for quilting so it is quilted in different ways all over. I love it and it adds color to the dark, cold, Alaska winter days and nights.

I had a terrible time trying to get things to work today, for some reason my pictures kept jumping all around the blog, so if something seems out of order I apologize. I hope I have it all fixed now.