Quilt Projects

Click directly on the image(s) above
to open the slide show in a larger window.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


When my husband was teaching school, Halloween, as you can imagine, was an exciting time in his third grade classroom.

This is a good-sized (39" x 50") wall hanging I made for that blank wall space he had between two windows. I found a great Halloween fabric panel that I cut apart, added a bit of piecing using fabrics I had in my stash and ended up with this. I also did a lot more quilting on it than I should have since very little of it shows up on the wild colors and busyness of the piece!

Wish I had a large enough wall space here at home on which to hang it now that he's retired from school, but I don't.

He also used this one in his classroom. The center is a panel, and I just added the borders and some quilting. It's 15" x 20".


Friday, October 30, 2009

On My Design Wall

Don'tcha just love starting new projects? Woke up early this morning and squeaked in a couple hours on this.

Nine-patches on point which will have a solid white/off-white block in between. (Haven't cut those yet.)

My daughter recently purchased a Pack 'N Play to keep at her house for little visitors who need a comfy, safe place to take a snooze, and she asked if I would make a baby quilt for her to have in readiness for nap time. She picked out some 30s fabrics from my stash and I added a few more.

Seems as though it will go together fast, and I'm pleased with the way it looks so far. I even have the quilting motif in mind for it already . . . which is very unusual for me.

Now let's see . . . do you think my husband would believe me if I say I accidentally locked myself in my quilt studio and can't get out to make dinner tonight? Hey, it's worth a try.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Holiday Shower Curtain

Ta-dah! The top is finished, now for sandwiching and quilting. I thought this actually went together very quickly and easily . . . considering the short amounts of time squeezed in here and there that I spent working on it.

Don't know how the colors look on your individual monitors (I know that's always a problem), but I wanted to try to get a truer representation of the fabrics by taking this picture outside today. Unfortunately, it's been raining like heck all day, and I couldn't coerce my husband into standing on the deck in the downpour to hold it up. So we settled for second best with this slightly wonky shot taken in more or less natural light in our greenhouse-to-be-currently-junk-storage-area. I think the color is a little better than previously posted shots taken in my quilt studio.

The pattern is called "Winter Pines" and it's from the book Mile-A-Minute Quilts by Sharon Hultgren.

I'm really hoping to have it finished so I can hang it for the holidays this year. I'll leave my fall "Flying Geese" curtain up until Thanksgiving is over but would like to have this one ready right after Turkey Day.

The curtain that this new one will replace is the only seasonal shower curtain I've made by "cheating."

Above is a close-up of the fabric. I didn't quilt it at all . . . it's not pieced or quilted. It's a solid piece of fabric I found . . . red, green, snowflakes, and evergreens (perfect!) . . . and liked when I was, no doubt, in a panic situation as to what I was going to use in the bathroom for the holidays. But I've been happy with it and it's served us well for several years.

I think I'll be all the more pleased though to get this new one finished and up. I'm crossing my fingers that it's done on time!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rocketing Right Along . . . Slowly

Oh, woe is me. I just cannot seem to get any appreciable amount of time in my quilt studio. I tell ya, there's a conspiracy out there working against me.

Isn't summer over? Hasn't the garden been put to bed? Don't I have more time to spend inside now? I think my problem may have something to do with the large accumulation of chores to do INSIDE that have been building and building over the last several months when I've been outside. By the time I get caught up on this blankety-blank inside stuff, it'll be spring and I'll be outside again. (Oh, bite your tongue, Mama Pea! That would mean the "long, slow winter" was over and you missed it completely.)

Okay, enough bellyachin'. Here's a look at what's taking a little more shape on my design wall. One more border to go, and the top is done. At the rate I'm going, that should be in . . . oh, say, another month?

Please tell me I truly am going to get lotsa time in my quilt studio this winter . . . pretty please?

Monday, October 19, 2009

What Now?

Omigosh, there's a whole forest of 'em!

Okay, enough of this nonsense. Let's get on with it and start to pull this thing together . . .

Only problem is the rest of my week contains so much busyness that I doubt I'll be able to get back into my quilt studio until Friday night or possibly Saturday morning.

Please send help.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yet More Progress

Dum-da-dum-dum! SOMEBODY planted more trees!

Some trees and some boxed in strips . . . hmmmm.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Little More Progress

I got a bit more done on this latest quilt because I was AWAKE LAST NIGHT FROM MIDNIGHT TO 4 A.M.!! (Oh, for frustrating!) But I did get in some good quilting time. You've heard that old saying, "When life gives you insomnia, make quilts?"

Well, they don't look quite so "strippy" anymore.

And look! What's that at the bottom there? Why, I think it's a . . . it's a . . . it's a tree!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Pattern, New Fabric, New Project

Why is it always so surprising (when I've been quilting for umpteen years, for heaven's sake) that it takes soooo long to cut out pattern pieces?

This represents about 3 hours of rotary cutting. And it's just the very center of the quilt. No sashing or outside borders cut yet. Goodness gracious, how long did it take the old gals to cut out their pieces when they had to trace templates and cut with scissors? Myohmyohmy.

Here's the very first of the quilt I pieced. Is it gonna be done in strips? Looks like a strip to me.

But wait. There are three of them. Hmmm, where is this going?

Stay tuned . . .

Monday, October 12, 2009

Done, Done, Done!

I went to my twice a month get-together this morning of a few good friends who meet for some quilting time and conversation. We caught up on each others current projects, we laughed a lot (as usual) and, I think, gained support from each other.

There is something both timeless and to be treasured in the sharing of feelings, concerns, joys and sorrow among friends with whom you feel comfortable. I was reminded of how many, many years women have sought out situations such as this in which to do their handwork.

What did I work on? I finished sewing the binding on my latest baby quilt. Yay! We now know that the new arrival due in December will be a little girl, so I felt comfortable adding the one pink border.

Rounded corners seemed right for this quilt . . . helps to soften the straight lines of the blocks. Always good to finish a project, but at the same time, I will miss working on it while thinking of this new, very much wanted, little life coming into the world. I hope my quilt keeps her warm for years to come.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Boo To Yoo, Too

If today is any indication, three weeks from today (Halloween) is going to require the little ones out trick or treating to be well bundled up!

We awoke to a snow covering this morning and although most of it has melted, we've had a strong breeze all day which has made it feel much colder outside than the temperature says. Downright br-r-r-r!

Time to pull out the Halloween decorations and enjoy their color and novelty for a few weeks.

I saw a picture of this smiley guy in a quilting magazine and even though I didn't have a pattern, it was easy to duplicate using 2" finished blocks. Roy had it hanging in his third grade classroom for several years around Halloween time. Now the punkin face seems to have taken up residence in our bathroom on a wall to the right of the sink.

This simple table runner was made from some scraps from a bigger wall hanging I also made for the classroom. I always thought the same design would have made good Halloween placemats . . . if I'd had enough fabric leftover. Didn't.

Got this bookmark at our local library this week. How cute is that? You can guess what it makes me hungry for . . . and I don't even particularly like the stuff.

All the Halloween decorations are up, the wood stove is crackling away, and there is Wild Rice Soup with Chicken heating up for dinner. Cozy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Did You Quilt Today?

Waaah! I didn't. I didn't even step foot inside my quilt studio today. Whoops. Yes, I did. I went in there to throw a couple of shirts that need pressing on the ironing board.

My baby quilt that needs just a little more meandering to be done on it before I can bind it . . . still needs just a little more meandering to be done on it. Maybe tomorrow.

I was looking through some old issues of quilting magazines a week or so ago searching for a certain pattern and came across these ten New Year's Resolutions in a January, 1997, issue of a Fons and Porter magazine. I know it's not close to the new year yet (thankfully!), but I got a chuckle out of them, and I think they're appropriate to us quilters any day of the year. (My comments in parenthesis.)

1. Eat more chocolate. (In my case, I would have to change chocolate to potato chips.)

2. Never cook when I can quilt. (But who's going to feed me so I can keep up my strength? That's it. I'm hiring a cook.)

3. Begin at least ten new projects. (Phffft! Easy-peasy.)

4. Learn to love UFOs. (You'd know this could be hard if you could see some of mine. Maybe I should change this one to "Learn to throw away UFOs.")

5. Never miss a fabric sale. (Like, why would anybody do that?)

6. Start a dust bunny collection. (Check. Been there, done that. Mine are full-grown rabbits now.)

7. Spend more time in the sewing room than in the kitchen. (Sounds like a good plan to me. "Oh, Cook? Cook?")

8. Make sure my credit card never feels neglected. (Credit card? As in singular? Why not spread the action out a little? Use two or three.)

9. Never count the number of stitches per inch. (Amen.)

10. Quilt only on days ending in Y (Okay, I promise.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dead In The Water

Or perhaps more correctly, dead on the design wall.

Here's the little blue and yellow patchwork baby quilt I had such a good running start on. It's sandwiched, pinned and ready for quilting.

The experimental quilting I wanted to try on it involved a decorative stitch made with my computerized sewing machine. The computer part of which seems to be ailing. Like severely.

Remember a couple of weeks back I said I couldn't get the buttonholer to work when I needed to make them on the top of my new fall shower curtain? Yesterday I realized that I can't get any of the decorative stitches to work either. The machine functions perfectly for straight stitching but for anything that needs to be programmed with the computer . . . nada. No go. Won't work. Nuh-uh. Fuggiddaboutit.

Obviously, I need to get this machine in to the shop for repairs. The shop which is roughly 130 miles away. The shop which does repairs only on Thursdays. What I'm going to have to do is plan a trip to the big city on a Thursday as soon as I can wangle it. Hopefully, drop my machine off first thing in the morning, do a day of errands, shopping, etc. and pick it up on the way home later in the day. IF the problem can be solved that easily, of course. Oh, well. I got this machine in early 2002 and haven't had one whit of problem with it up until now . . . and it's been used A LOT so I shall quit my bellyachin' and work around it until it's repaired.

Not that I can't find something else to do. Here's the 8" square block baby quilt almost completely quilted. I went with all-over meandering and am very pleased with the way it's looking. Just a little more to do and I can move on to the binding.

Next project? My daughter has requested a baby quilt to use in the Pack 'N Play she keeps at her house for tiny visitors, and I have the fabric and pattern ready and waiting for a new holiday shower curtain for my bathroom. And, if I looked (not) very hard, I could come up with ten or twelve or twenty other interesting projects to start . . . or, oh yeah, finish.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I know, I know. I'm bad. I haven't even started quilting the baby quilt that's hanging on my design wall taunting me. And I've started another quilt.

This one has been rattling around in my head for some time. I wanted to make a very simple quilt of simple squares on which to try a new method of quilting.

But what colors should I use? Had to be a conglomeration of a bunch of colors because I wanted it to be very patchwork looking. Pulled out way too much fabric and spent way too much time auditioning and rejecting color combos. Then it hit me. Blue and yellow! Blue and yellow ALWAYS looks good.

So I pulled out about fourteen blues and fourteen yellows and cut 4-1/2" squares out of each fabric. I placed them on the design wall ten across and ten down. Forty inches by forty inches. Good size for a baby quilt.

And look! I ended up with only these few squares not used. (Good job, Mama Pea.) But wait. There are enough there for one more row. Shame to waste these . . . or throw them in the scrap box. So I added one more row of ten squares. (Except, of course, I had to cut out one or two (okay, three) more squares of just the right colors to fit in.

The above picture of the squares on the design wall shows the rows across all sewn together, but not the rows up and down.

It's another rainy day in the northland so with luck I'll get back into my quilt studio to work on it more today.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Current Baby Quilt - Movin' Along

Over the last couple of days I got all the blocks sewn together and last night put on the borders.

I had decided that 4" borders would work so went with that. Ugh. Put the (what I thought was the finished) quilt top up on my design wall and somethin' was wrong. The borders were too wide. My eye was drawn away from the quilt center blocks and out to the too-wide borders. Decided to sleep on it and went to bed.

This morning nothing had changed. Still ugh. Cut 1-1/2" off both sides and top and bottom and . . . whew! Much better, thank you very much.

Got the backing and batting cut, the quilt sandwiched and secured with pins before lunch.

Back up on the design wall to decide how to quilt it. I want to do soft line quilting because of all the sharp corners and angles in the blocks. Will probably go with all-over meandering. I think. Maybe. Guess I need a couple of days to look at it hanging there to be sure. (I'll try to get it to talk to me.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Valuable Scraps

Yesterday Beth over at Love Laugh Quilt showed us her scraps that are technically part of her stash but separate, sorted, and very organized. I am impressed. Her scraps are sooo much more organized than mine!

When I finish a project, I put all the leftover pieces (and believe me, when working without a pattern, I frequently end up with a LOT of leftover squares, triangles, strips, etc.) in a baggie and toss the bag in this large plastic box. (Well, at least there's some color coordination in each baggie.)

It also contains orphan blocks. Why do I keep these if I rejected them in the first place? Do I think they'll magically become better looking six months down the road?

What do I plan to do with this huge accumulation of unrelated scraps? Someday when I've used up all the rest of my fabric, we're in the midst of a two-week long blizzard and I can't get out to buy more fabric, I'm going to dive into this box and start combining all the scraps in the most artistic, innovative, and creative way possible and produce a quilt (or two . . . or six?) that will knock my socks off.


'Cept I'll never use up all my fabric. We'll never experience a two-week long blizzard. And there will NEVER be a time when I can't get out to buy more fabric. I'll just keep stuffing my little baggies and tossing them in this box. I mean, I COULDN'T just throw them away!

(It's a wonder I toss these minute little particles.)