Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Rolling stone gathers no moss

      Jordan Fabrics has a free pattern called Rolling Stone. They have a wonderful site and great daily emails with ideas.  I used a layer cake from Anna Maria Horner called Made my day that I got somewhere on special. Her fabric is so, so colorful and lovely. This pattern uses almost every single piece. I finished the top awhile ago, but recently quilted it. I got the backing from Gwen in a box of fabric she sent and it went with the theme of the front fabric I thought, just bigger (why not?). It was a picky pattern to make, but I really like it. I quilted in a new blue Glide and I did lots of stitching on it. I know some of you hate that, but I love turning quilts into textural delights. My taste preference on display.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Trying to get unstuck

       I have no idea how I cannot get posts up. I am working on quilts and paintings and gardening, and I take photos of it, but I cannot sit down and write. My brain seems bound up. I know I have been suffering sleep issues and the normal stuff. I want to get something down here. I think I need to stop reading so many distressing reports and world events as I think that may sucking the juice out of me. I will try and show work I have completed and not try to backtrack what I have missed blogging about. Thank you to those who keep at it that I read everyday. Thank you to those who emailed to see if I was ok. I will try to do baby steps and get posting.
    One quilt that is kind of funky I finished is Jimmy John, free pattern from Jo's Country Junction. A woman in my guild had given me a free jelly roll and I thought it was perfect for this. The tomatoes and peppers will appeal to someone who needs some humorous comfort. I quilted the white part with leaves in Glide Willow (thank you, Julie for showing that color idea). The print parts I just did long line quilting. Rosie jumps in to inspect.


Backing was donation, green strip to widen, striped binding
     Some spring tulip photos as they were very gorgeous this year in April!

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Projects in the Pipeline

     When it was time for the retreat, I went into a cutting frenzy to get ready as I had no projects at a point to bring. Cutting is always easier for me when I have a bunch to cut- the mindset I need is better when totally engaged. After choosing/cutting the strip pairs for Maggie Pearl, I cut more quilts.
     One of the projects is Jelly Twist, a pattern I bought from Cluck, cluck, sew. I had a few friends that had made it and I thought it would look good with a darkish jelly roll that a blog friend gifted me. I was able to sew 30 of the I think, 48 blocks. All pieces are cut, just sew, usually I do two blocks at a time.

     Then I cut Fat Quarter Frenzy II from Sew Can She. I had a fat quarter bundle I had bought of Tula Pink fabric. Not my favorite fabric, but some girl will love it. I did some sample blocks and sewed all the HSTs. I did not do the lines drawn across the square and cut in the middle method. I never get the lines straight. I cut all the squares in half and sewed with the guide  (credit card) on my machine. I can be much more accurate. I still have to sew the white triangles on.

    I also mostly cut an octagon One Block Wonder, but did not sew any blocks. Photos at a later time.
    Other cut quilts, I did not get to at retreat. But, I have plenty of stuff to work on now as well as leader/enders for my Sugar Grove quilt.

Sort of spring

     It is a bit early here in Buffalo, NY to see outdoor flowers, but I had some Snow irises, crocus and the beginning of the Hellebores start to open.

Yellow Hellebores

Pink buds starting on Hellebores
     Inside, some of the Christmas cactus are blooming the second time- first at Christmas, then now. Lucky me!

     And two orchids are blooming although one has to open yet!

Monday, March 11, 2024

Maggie Pearl progress

      I took strip pairs to the retreat that were pulled from my stash to make the Maggie Pearl free pattern I saw other blog friends make. Each set of strips makes one block. I sewed all the strips and subcut them, sewing again, and then tried to arrange them in a coherent way.

     Finally, I found a layout and sewed the entire quilt using the webbing technique.

     However, when I got home, I realized that the quilt was too narrow. I dug around and found 5 more sets to sew after auditioning them to the left side.
     After completing those blocks, I finished the top and like it much better for a comfort quilt.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Birthday retreat and lots of quilts!

      My quilt guild had a retreat at Stella Niagara, an old Catholic school and convent complex in Lewiston, NY the first weekend of March. March 3rd is my birthday and this was a great way to celebrate it. It is a terrific place. The view is atop the slope of the Niagara River and you can see Canada across the river. There is actually a path down to the River that is flat enough to walk and stand as most of the river from the Falls to Lake Ontario is a gorge. During the War of 1812, the British crossed from Canada at that spot and marched the miles to Fort Niagara and burned/captured it.

Building complex behind trees, meadow in front between buildings and river. Taken in November, too rainy to take on this March.

Meadow down from buildings to Niagara River, Canada across River, tiny chapel at edge of shore. Photo taken in November, weather was uncooperative for photos this March.

     We have a large room in the basement where we leave all our sewing set up. We go upstairs and they feed us. We all have a single bedroom and share bathroom facilities. Everything is clean and nice. One of the things we do is, as we finish projects, we hang them over the railing to the ramp in the room. At the end of the retreat, we do a show and share. I finished one quilt top as I had a lot of quilt kits I had cut up to bring.

     I especially loved my friend, Elizabeth's, quilt that was a memory quilt dedicated to her mother. It was just beautiful.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Flowers and Fabric, oh my!

      Two things I just love, fabric and flowers, have made an appearance around here lately. Two friends sent me fabric to help with making comfort quilts. Julie sent me some large pieces to help with backing and a whole load of 2 1/2" strips- some colors and a lot of low volume (yum) ones. I am trying to determine what quilts to make with them, paging through my collection of printed out ideas. Of course, then I had to rearrange two massive folders of printed out/purchased patterns. I arranged the strips by color and style for the photo. I usually put strips in a drawer by color.

     Also, I had a box of gorgeous fabrics from Gwen, who has supplied me over the years with big backing pieces in addition. I arranged the piles by type of fabrics (batik, florals, novel, kids) to figure out how to store these away. Lots of wonderful batik pieces to help augment the batik collections.

     One of my orchids is blooming. Every year for 5 years, it has sent out a shoot of blooms. They last so long and I am so happy to have some color around on these gray days.

     And, some of the Christmas cactus have shot out some wonderful blooms!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Completed Mission

      Since I came back from teaching the watercolor workshop, I went full tilt making the Valentine cards that I make every year. I make about 75 and I try to have each one a litttle different because I am not a factory and every recipient is a different individual. As of this morning, all are in the mail. I consider this a win as my Valentine bouquet is still holding up so I am not too late.

     The cards started with widths of heavy weight interfacting cut a 3 1//2" and soaked in the sink.
     Then I drew a bizzillion hearts with soft pastels which melt into the interfacing and kind of fix themselves in the interfacing. All those strips had to dry, so I put them near the gas fireplace but even so, they took longer to dry than I thought.

      When dry, I cut them about 4" long and added felt and foil hearts that I found at the Dollar Store with some sale trim from Joann's. I used quick dry tacky glue. I had a little angelina fluff I was able to tuck into some hearts.
     When I completed all that, I sewed the trims on in parallel lines with Superior gold Metallic thread on my beloved Singer 301. Lots of dust I still have to clean up from that but the sewing was easy and flawless.
     I was able to find some red and pink cardstock, but not enough, so most cards just had the decorated interfacing glued right to the cardstock. I buy the prefolded cards with envelopes when they are on sale at Joann's or Michaels, the 50 packs. All the fronts were glued on the cards. Then the insides were stamped with Happy Valetines, handwritten greeting, put in envelopes with address stickers and then postage stamps. One had to get a New Zealand stamp from the post office (Maureen). Finally, all were mailed out this morning and it is up to the USPS now! Valentine Day 2024 is a wrap!!