Memories of our dear friend who passed early this month have filled many of my thoughts lately. Bill has been a friend to my husband and me since 1979. He was our best friend. We will miss him greatly. Those of us who are left behind must plod on, so I did my best to complete my goals for the month in spite of my deep sadness.
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 12 blocks completed. I now have a total of 150 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 42 blocks to be completed. Last month’s color theme was mostly pinks and oranges while this month is greens and yellows. Seriously, I don’t plan this. When I started this quilt, I systematically went through all of my yard goods and fat quarters pulling all that I thought would make a pretty, bright- colored block. This is just the order my fabrics were in when I pulled them.
- I’ve stopped working towards my goal of finishing a quilt each month this year. Why? Because I’ve already finished more than a dozen while adding to my total this month by finishing 4 more placemats. You see, it doesn’t matter the size – just that a quilt gets done for each month. On top of that, I got the last 5 placemats quilted. I will get them bound in October. Did anybody notice that I finished 2 in July, 3 in August, 4 this month, and will finish 5 next month? How’d that happen? LOL
- I also started putting another quilt top together called Square Dance. This one is done on the diagonal. To keep things from getting too bulky, I work the top left corner and the bottom right corner adding a row to each before moving on. So I have two sections like this that are the same size and another row of blocks ready to sew together. When I think the quilt is large enough or when I run out of fabric whichever comes first, I will join them with a center row.
- I spent a day at my sister’s helping her fold fabrics so that she could get them organized on her shelves. We called it a Fabric Petting Fest. Had a great time! So far we’ve folded over 300 pieces of yard goods, and I have no idea how many fat quarters we folded. She still has tubs and tubs and tubs of fabric yet to be folded! I texted her the next week and asked which day she wanted to pet fabric, but she wouldn’t commit and has yet to set another day. It has been three weeks since we had our Fabric Petting Fest. I was hoping that if I got her started that she would keep the momentum going. Sigh.
- My husband and I went on a Fix-It Tour a couple of days this month. We do that quite often because my parents are no longer able to do their own repairs anymore, and my little sister and her husband are neither one capable of fixing things. Mom and dad needed their wheelchair ramp redecked, and a tail light was not working properly in our brother-in-law’s car. We also helped out our niece by tracking down an electrical problem in her mobile home. We found and took care of the major problem, but there are three outlets that are not working which we were not able to repair. Replacing the outlets didn’t work. No worry though since they are not really needed since there are many, many outlets in that kitchen with some very near these three.
- I scored a Coldwater Creek long-sleeved shirt at the thrift store for $2. I brought it home, washed it, and removed the collar since I really don’t like collars. It looks brand new. A nice addition to my cooler weather wardrobe. I’ve also started altering other pieces that I already have in my closet because I lost 15 pounds and they are too big. It’s a nice problem to have.
- My last finish for the month is this cute purple sweater coat I made for my girls.
So not nearly as much accomplished this month as in previous months. And next month may not be as productive as this month. You see, I’ve been called for jury duty. If I am ultimately chosen to serve on the jury, I may be tied up for up to two weeks. We’ll see if I feel like doing much sewing when I get home after sitting in court all day. Sigh.
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 12 blocks completed. I now have a total of 138 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 54 blocks to be completed. I’m almost ¾ done with these blocks. I sure will be glad when all 192 of them are done. Bet you will be too.
- I threw together a small quilt top that was to be hand-quilted with long stitches so that I would have something to work on while I was having Mohs surgery to remove a skin cancer. They use a local anesthetic for this type of surgery, and it is done in stages. They take a layer, test it while you wait in a comfortable waiting area, and then repeat as necessary. They tell you to bring something to help you pass the time. They got all of mine with the first layer so only had an hours wait so ended up finishing the quilting at home. Then I chose buttons to put in the centers of the blocks to represent flowers, put on a hanging sleeve, labeled it, and bound it. I’m very pleased with the result.
- Granddaughter Haylee has her great grandmother’s cedar chest which has a cushioned bench seat. When she first received this chest, she and I re-covered it with Oklahoma State University That wouldn’t do in her new house, so she went back to JoAnn’s Fabrics and purchased more of the fabric that we covered her pillows with so we could replace that orange fabric. Doesn’t it look great?!!
- I’ve also been doing a bit of organizing this month. I decided it would be easier to find thread and buttons if they were sorted by color. Took awhile, but they sure look pretty. Easier to find what I need? You betcha!
- My husband helped me make a pressing board out of an old ironing board that he attached a piece of plywood to. Then he and I stapled one layer of Warm ‘n Natural batting and canvas to it. See how nicely a fat quarter fits on it. I sure do like it.
- Finally got back to the Pumpkin placemats and finished three this month. Just 9 more to go, and I am almost finished quilting the next group of 4. If all goes just right, I should finish all of the placemats by the end of September.
- I learned to use the embroidery module on my Bernina while I made 5 labels to go on quilts. One went on the back of a quilt I gave to my dad for his birthday a couple of years back. Don’t know why I didn’t already have a label on it. The other 4 will go on family quilts to indicate which grandchild gets what. One of those has already been attached to my Granny Wilson’s quilt. I also made a pocket to attach to the back of the quilt to hold all of the history that goes along with it. This quilt was made by her quilting bee back in the mid-40s. Each of their names went into the hat for a drawing. My great grandmother won. It was passed to her oldest, my grandmother, and then to her oldest, my dad, and then to his oldest, me. It is going to my oldest child’s oldest. She is so excited that it will be hers one day.
- My husband and I also found time to go to some garage sales one day. We found a nice little drop-leaf table and four chairs that will go to another granddaughter, Rylee. She recently moved into her own apartment and does not have a dining table. She and her mother will paint the set and make them hers. Not a bad buy at $25.
I’m surprised at how much I got accomplished this month. I hope September proves to be as productive.
It may have been mild for Oklahoma in June, but we are warming up to normal temps for July – very hot –had a couple of days in the 100s. Our garden has already burned up except for the okra. The okra plants are healthy looking but are not producing. In 50 years have never had that happen before, so no okra to put up this year. I did manage to put up all the green beans, asparagus, and tomatoes I will need for the winter though.
My husband and I have also been busy helping our oldest granddaughter look at houses, condos, and townhomes with the goal of finding one she could afford in acceptable condition in a good neighborhood near the school where she teaches. She finally found a house in excellent condition within 2 miles of her school and the perfect size for her first home. We moved her in the last weekend of July. She is very excited about being a homeowner. She texted me a few days after moving in announcing that she believes she was born to be a homeowner because she is having a blast organizing and whipping things into shape. She’s so funny.
In spite of all the canning and running around, I did manage to get quite a bit of sewing done.
- My weekly goal of three quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 15 blocks completed. I now have a total of 125 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 67 blocks to be completed. Wow! I’ve now almost finished twice as many as I need to complete. But that upper left one is way too pale and will most likely be replaced meaning that I will have to make an extra to take it’s place. Just what I wanted – to make more of these blocks. Not! LOL
- I ordered some titanium embroidery needles to use when I stitch the appliqués onto the placemats I am making for Christmas gifts. I was reading an article on stitching appliqués that have been applied to the fabric with fusible web. The titanium embroidery needles are touted to easily go through all layers without getting gummed up. Well, not so. Maybe they don’t gum up as much as regular needles but did gum up. No problem though since I have my Goo Gone ready when I need it. I have stitched down the appliqués on 5 of the 14 placemats and have quilted and bound 2 of them.
- There were no window treatments in my little sister’s new living quarters, so I took her old ones from the other apartment and remade them to fit the new windows. I also used some old draperies given to me by a niece to make a privacy panel to put behind the sheers in the bedroom window.
And the kitchen curtains I made for her last month but forgot to take a picture:
- A friend of our granddaughter gave her a sectional sofa which was in sad shape. Their dog had chewed through the upholstery on one corner and left about a 12” x 18” section bare all the way to the wood frame. Wish I had taken a BEFORE picture. Oh, well. So my husband and I went to JoAnn’s Fabrics and found a piece of chocolate brown vinyl that matched closely enough that one has to get very close to see the difference. Then we cut a piece of foam to fit that area and covered it with the new vinyl stitching it to the old vinyl at one end, stapling it to the frame at the top and the bottom where it doesn’t show, and tucking the other end into a joint between two pieces of the frame. Looks great! Then we replaced those too tall, too hard pillows that were across the back of the sectional. I bought 3 body pillows from Walmart. When our granddaughter came to the house, we had her try them out to make sure they were to her liking. She loved them. Next step was to find fabric to either match the seat cushions (which also needed work) or fabric that would coordinate with them. We picked up Haylee (the granddaughter) and headed back to JoAnn’s. It was Friday the 13th but our lucky day. JoAnn’s had the exact upholstery fabric that was on those seat cushions. Can you believe that?!!! So now the seat cushions are spruced up and the body pillows covered. Then for throw pillows we picked up a piece of fabric that made 3 pillows, and I took the covers off the old pillows that were once the back of the sectional to make pillows 4 more. I had also saved the armchair covers from the 2 dark brown recliners we gave Haylee a while back and made a couple more pillows. Found all the pillow forms reasonably priced at Walmart. We saved the couch!!! LOL And here is Aspen enjoying it.
So the past two months have been spent mostly on sewing, upholstering, and quilting for my sister, our granddaughter, and our nephew. I’m hoping that nothing else comes up so that I can get the placemats done that are this year’s Christmas gifts. Do you sometimes find that you spend more time on other people’s projects than you get to spend on your own? What am I saying? Most of my projects are gifts for them anyway. LOL
Summer is here and although we have had some rather cool days for June, our days are starting to get up into the high 90s and very humid making it feel much hotter. Very hot days were predicted for the weekend we had the family reunion but Mother Nature decided to give us temperatures in the low to mid 80s with a nice breeze. It was wonderful! The reunion was a grand success, and we plan on having it at our place again next year.
With the reunion, cleaning up, and getting everything back in their storage places, my crafting time this month has been cut short. And in addition to all that, my husband had surgery this month. So I played nurse for a few days. He’s not a good patient; but in all fairness, I am not a good nurse either. LOL But I have managed some finishes and some progress on other things.
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 12 blocks completed. I now have a total of 110 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 82 blocks to be completed. I love seeing the number of blocks completed increase as the other number decreases. It gives me just enough boost to keep me going on this long-term project.
- I got all of the appliqués fused to the 14 placemats. I hope to get them all stitched down in July, but it will be a tedious job so may take two months to do that. And if I decide to do the appliqué stitching by hand, I will allow myself three or four months to get them all done. That will leave plenty of time to quilt and bind them and have them ready for Christmas giving. To give you an idea of how tedious this is going to be, here is a picture of half a leaf and there are eight of these tiny intricate pieces to do on each of those 14 placemats. Yes, you did see that right. That piece is 2 1/2 inches wide x approximately 1 1/4 inches tall with a lot of ins and outs.
I finished quilting my nephew’s quilt. I did have a problem when quilting the outer border. My nephew pressed the seam between the inner black border and the outer orange print border toward the orange. Doing the beadboard quilting required me to stitch in the ditch which unfortunately in this case was on the black. Why was this a problem you ask? I was using a bright yellow/red/orange/green variegated thread, and I am not the best at stitching in the ditch. But I found a solution which cost me some extra time but worked. I used a black Pigma pen to color the variegated thread where it was not supposed to be showing but was. Now you see it; now you don’t. In spite of this minor problem, this quilt was such fun to quilt!
- My youngest sister moved from an apartment to a duplex and needed new curtains. She wanted light pink and blue in her kitchen, so I pulled all my blue and pink fabrics for her to choose from. She chose a very light pastel pink and blue plaid. I made simple cafe curtains with a valance and gathered them on spring loaded curtain rods. They look real cute, but I forgot to take a picture. Maybe I’ll remember to take pictures when I take the curtains to her for her dining, living, and bedroom which are now in the works.
- I have given up on my goal to finish a doll clothes pattern every other month. So far this year although three have been in the works, I’ve only finished one. I knew it was a lofty goal and gave it my best shot. But life got in the way. So doll clothes patterns have been removed from my goals list. But on a positive note, I’ve sold two copies of the one pattern that I published this year, and it has only been available for one month. Not one of my hottest patterns, but not a failure either. I did receive pictures from the coat pattern tester of her finished coat. It is as cute as can be. And she sent me some very good constructive comments that I hope to get incorporated into my instructions in time for a Fall release.
Oh, did I mention that my husband bought me a new sewing machine? It is a Bernina 590! I’ve already taken my classes and am definitely enjoying sewing on this dream machine. I hope to come up with an embroidery project soon so I can try out the embroidery module. Fun! Fun!
Until next month, happy crafting,
I know! I know! The title is not very original, but I like it and it fits. Most of the flowering plants and trees have done their thing already – daffodils, irises, amaryllis, flowering almond, crabapples, redbuds, blackberries, and fruit trees. Of course there will be fruit from the crabapples, blackberries, and fruit trees later. Well, hopefully there will be. Right now the hollyhocks and roses are blooming, and the daylilies will start any day now. I’ve also put some flowering hanging baskets on our wraparound back porch for lots of summer color.
This month has been extremely busy for us because we are getting ready to host the 2018 Frazier Family Reunion at our place. I have been busy spring cleaning the house from top to bottom. I also cleaned the restroom in the shop since most of our activities will take place in and around the shop. My husband has been working on getting our 6 acres spruced up. We both cleaned up the flowerbeds around the house. And amidst all this cleaning and sprucing up business, I managed to meet my goals for the month, make progress toward my two-month goal, and finished some extras.
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 12 blocks completed. I now have a total of 98 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 94 blocks to be completed. Did you notice that the number of finished blocks is now larger than the number of blocks to be made? I’m excited that I am now on the downhill slide with making these.
- I finished two quilts this month and pieced the backgrounds and sewed on borders for 14 placemats that need to be finished by Christmas. Let’s see now….this is May, so that means I have 8 months give or take a few days. So if I average finishing 2 per month for 7 months, I will get them done. We’ll see how quickly they go. They have some machine appliqué on them for which I am awaiting arrival of some Lite Steam A Seam 2 Double Stick Fusible Web so that I can get started on that step . I think preparing those appliqués will slow me down some.
- While I was cleaning in the sewing studio, I pulled out a practice piece that I had done when I took a class to help me conquer my fear of free-motion quilting. And since I had already finished my Rail Fence Picnic quilt and didn’t have what I needed to do more on the placemats, I decided to bind this practice piece and hang it in my sewing studio as a reminder that free-motion quilting is not scary at all. Well, not very anyway. Oh, and my sister finally got the batting to me for my nephew’s quilt. So the quilt is on the frame awaiting the arrival of the threads I need for quilting it. Now why didn’t I think to order the thread earlier? Well, no problem. It will be here soon and I can’t work on it for awhile anyway. Here are my Rail Fence Picnic Quilt and the practice piece from my class:
- The 18” doll dress pattern is coming along very nicely. But I did have a head slap moment when I realized I had wasted two afternoons trying to draft and perfect the bodice pattern when I already had one done in another pattern. Doh! I’m in hopes that it will be published by the end of June. I did, however, use one of the two practice bodices to complete this cute little white dress. Waste not; want not!
- I sent the tester for the reversible coat pattern additional pictures with clarified instructions. She said that they were better. But I still have a lot of work to do on this pattern. I rounded out the neckline and then found that I also must round part of the facing to match. That is now done. I’ve also decided to use something other than the elastic cord I was using to do buttonhole loops but have yet to settle on what will be the easiest material to work with that also looks nice and holds up well. I need to check out the nice cords in the jewelry findings department at Hobby Lobby. I betcha those would work nicely. My tester emailed that she finally finished her coat and will send me pictures and her notes as soon as she recovers from the Memorial day weekend and her company. I’m looking forward to receiving her feedback.
- Ann of Ann van Doren Designs just published the Mary Jane shoe pattern that I had the privilege to test. She used the picture of the black faux leather shoes that I made on the cover of her pattern. I am so honored that she did this. I thoroughly enjoyed making these shoes as her design and instructions made it so easy for me. Ann is a very talented designer. I couldn’t show you the shoes until she had published, so here they are now:
- And to finish off the month, I made some pressing tools to use when I make doll clothes – a pressing ham and a sleeve roll. Here they are pictured next to their full-size counterparts so you can see just how small they are:
And to think, I thought I wasted some time just sitting around doing nothing. Now I realize that I was just resting from all this activity. LOL
Sorry for the title; I couldn’t resist. LOL But seriously, as you may recall I borrowed a day from April because I lost some time in March due to having the flu, so I had to do a little catch-up in April. Well, I’m happy to report that although I didn’t get to work on anything but my scheduled goal projects, I did get everything done in spite of spending some time with my mom when she was hospitalized overnight and after. She is following up with a cardiologist but seems to be getting stronger each day.
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 15 blocks completed. I now have a total of 86 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 106 blocks to be completed. Hey! I’m almost half way there!
- I finished the quilt for March
- and a quilt for April
- and pieced a quilt to finish in May.
- I’m revamping the pattern and instructions for the reversible coat doll pattern that has given my testers fits. I am still hopeful that I can complete this pattern and get it published. It is such an adorable coat if I do say so myself, so I am just not ready to give up on it. I’ve also started a dress pattern for the 18” dolls. I hope to have it done and published by the end of June. It is a dress I did some time back before I was doing patterns and have decided to turn it into a pattern so others can make it for their dolls.
- I finished the doll’s summer outfit pattern! Woohoo!!! I was blessed with a tester who got it done quickly. April Brown is a fabulous doll clothes designer in her own right. You can find her on Etsy at GrannyGooseDesigns and also will find some exclusives and embroidery designs on Embroidery Passbook. She said that my pattern was easy and quick to make up and fit the dolls well. She even made a fuller version of the skirt, told me how she did it, and gave me permission to add it to my pattern which I did. The top to this ruffled outfit can be made with or without ruffles and can be made reversible! Ruffles Galore! or Not can be purchased in my stores on Etsy and Craftsy. The links are at the upper right.
No, I don’t have that backwards. That is how my March went. Read on.
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 12 blocks completed. I now have a total of 71 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 121 blocks to be completed. I also have all the fabrics that I need for the remaining blocks in that box. I was short a few but received via email a coupon from my local quilt shop for $10 off a $20 purchase. They also offered an additional $5 off that purchase if I shared their ad. So I just clicked on the Facebook icon and like magic I received that additional savings. What fun I had at the shop choosing my fabric!
- I didn’t get a quilt finished this month but am very close. I just need to do the label, hanging sleeve, and binding. There were a couple of reasons for the failure to meet this goal. First of all, I used this month’s quilt as the one for the Lisa Calle class that I purchased last month. Takes time to learn new tricks, and as Lisa would say “Quilt it to death”. LOL Would you believe I went through 6 large bobbins on this quilt? And the quilt is only 22 1/2″ square! And secondly, I got the flu. I was pretty sick for a couple of days the end of March (out like a lion) and quickly recovered but even a week later am still experiencing some fatigue. If all goes well this month, I should finish this quilt and a quilt for April which is pieced and ready to go and get a quilt pieced for May. If all goes well. I showed you a picture of the quilt top last month. Here it is quilted. Thanks to a friend’s tips on taking pictures, I actually got one that shows the quilting pretty well.
- The reversible coat doll pattern is still with the testers. Funny how something that I thought was going to be easy can turn out to not be so. Probably the way I wrote the instructions. There has been a lot of emailing back and forth. I have made headway on a little summer outfit for these dolls. The prototype is perfected, and the pattern is almost completely drawn up. My plan is to make the outfit up in some cute coordinating fabrics while taking pictures of the process and writing instructions. If all goes well….oh, I said that before…LOL..I should have it to the testers by the end of April. I’ll share pictures of them when the patterns are published.
Review: Divide, Design & Fill for Beautiful Quilting by Lisa Calle
This is the class that I purchased through iQuilt.com last month. I thoroughly enjoyed this class and learned so much from it. Lisa Calle is a good instructor and kept things interesting and moving at a good pace. I did, however, wish that she had shown her quilting design process on more than one quilt, but I easily found many quilts she had done by going to Pinterest and searching for Lisa Calle. I learned a great deal from looking at other examples now that I understand how she came up with those designs. If you have wondered how quilters like Lisa Calle came up with their designs and are ready to add to your quilting design skills, I highly recommend this class.