Friday, December 30, 2011

Thrift Store Finds

Found some treasures at the thrift store today.

A printed panel with a horse theme - I think I'll make this into a pillow for a young girl at church who LOVES horses. :)

Found three BIG blocks in crisp red and white material, in a kind of "Irish Chain" variation (?). May make a big table runner out of this, or something to put on the back of the couch perhaps.

A closeup of the red and white blocks.

Then, there was this little treasure. I've always admired the "Cathedral Window" pattern." It's not technically quilting, but the way you sew it, it ends up fairly thick and heavy. Evidently, this was "in progress."

But I love seeing the colors and patterns in the center fabrics ...

... very interesting, reminding one of stained glass. Hence, "Cathedral Window." These "blocks" are bigger than most I've seen.

A square of colorful fabric pinned on, perhaps was next in line to be added?

A needle and thread is stuck into one corner, having been worked in some quilting or stitching lines.

Colorful fun, with a mystery story of where it came from.

Friday, December 23, 2011


FINALLY got done with the bindings on the mug rugs. I knew it would just take some sit-down time, and it would get done. Yesterday was that day. And, the corners weren't so bad. Sometimes it's just the *thought* of something that holds you back. But when you finally take action, it's not as difficult as you thought.

Yesteday was cloudy, cold and blustery, so it was good to sit inside and work on these. Here's looking at the binding-sewing in progress.

Done! The green-bordered one already went to its new home, so these four are left to send out soon to THEIR new homes.

Retro prints.


Red, white and blue.

Red and pink.

This was a fun project, I may have to make more! Sometime in the future, after I work on 493 (give or take) other quilting, crocheting and knitting projects.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Today, I was finally able to send off the completed mug rug (that you see in the photo below) to its new owner. So ... I am gaining! However, I'm off on a knitting tangent, so the sewing and quilting have been a little neglected lately. But I haven't altogether forgotten it, just going through a "phase," and I MUST KNIT. But I'll get back to the sewing and quilting here after awhile. :) Meanwhile, those other four STILL need the bindings sewn!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Here are a couple of pictures of some early projects. First, is a baby comforter I made the first time I was expecting. Simple, big squares, and tied. I needed a "simple" project back then!

Two college friends gave me their mom's material scraps, so I made them each a quilt. This is the 9-Patch made for the younger sister. When Mom and I quilted there at home, we put it in Grandma C's quilt frame, and had it set over the dining table. Mom helped me quilt this one. I had fun putting the various materials together in the blocks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Am Procrastinating

And I think I figured out why.

The mug rug on the right is done. The four on the left are NOT. All they need is the binding stitched down on the back. But I keep putting it off. Because ...

... I think I would rather stitch binding on a big quilt with only FOUR corners, than these little mug rugs with TWENTY corners. It's the corners that are my undoing!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Grandma C was very "old-fashioned," and I loved visiting her house (only 2 houses away) as a little girl. She kept a few things on hand for kids to play with, geared towards raising her own kids in the early part of the century. She had a shoebox of buttons to string on a string (with a big darning needle), and if you found a BIG button, you could make one of those zinging "spinning button" things. She had marbles. She had dolls. And she had a shoebox of wooden spools that you could also string on a string. I found all of this very interesting, and to this day I LOVE WOODEN SPOOLS. I have some on hand that I've found here and there, and enjoy seeing them in amongst my "sewing stuff."

I finally finished putting together twelve "Spool" blocks. Today the sky has high, heavy clouds, so the light in the house isn't very good for taking pictures. That's difficult at best! So I hauled these blocks out to the yard to take a picture. Not sure what order I'll sew them together in, but it'll be 3 X 4 blocks, like this. So anyway, here they are in all their variety. Another small, fun project to work on. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I've been working on the Amish-style wallhanging, and it's coming along fine. But, the pieced part itself is ending up as big as what I wanted the whole thing to be. (Too many little blocks!)

So I made a couple of smaller blocks, to be each made into a smaller wallhanging that will fit better in the space I want. This is a "bars" pattern. I like it overall, but that green in the middle clashes with the other green, so I think I'll re-do this one.

This is a "churn dash" block, that I'll put a border around. I'll still do the big "trip around the world" one, but I'll also make another smaller version of that. So I guess I'll end up with at least FOUR small Amish-style wallhangings. Think that's enough?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another Iron In the Fire

I only have *ahem* 7 or 8 or more different little quilting projects going on. I have PLENTY of irons in the fire! But lo and behold, I have one more I started the last day or so. Why?

Because this wall looked bare above my old-fashioned cabinet.

So, because I have an affinity for Amish quilts...

... and because I have this stack of plain fabrics on hand (I don't even remember where I got these! Auction? Thrift store? Hmm.) ...

... and because I like the "trip around the world" (or "sunshine and shadows") pattern ...

... I'm making an Amish-style wall hanging to fill in that bare spot above the cabinet. I have to say Amish-style, because I'm not Amish. I'm a Christian believer who is a member of a Mennonite Church, so kind of related, but not actually Amish. But still ... I have a deep appreciation of how the Amish live a life of faith and simplicity in a unique way. I really feel it speaks volumes in our "modern world."

So you see that little stack of blocks in the back? That's 12 sets of squares out of 15 for 12 more rows of little squares. What you see being worked on are 3 rows "at a time" so I can kind of save on thread between squares. Let's see ... 15 X 15 = 225 little squares. First, of course, I had to CUT OUT 225 squares, so many of each color. Then I had to LAY OUT 225 squares in the pattern I needed, and PICK THEM BACK UP AGAIN in rows. Now I have to SEW TOGETHER 225 squares. Then add some various borders, then quilt it, then bind it. It may take a bit, but I'm excited to have an Amish-style wall hanging on my wall!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Busy Day

Spent a good amount of time in my "sewing nook" today.

Yesterday, I got the bindings sewn on the rug mugs. Now to stitch them down by hand on the back.

Today I got busy on some Farmer's Wife blocks. I do them in groups of four. I had one done for quite awhile, and the other pieces were cut out, but they were just sitting and sitting! So last night and today, this group got finished.

It seems I've saved all the blocks with tiny pieces for last! I think that's why they sit so long before I get them done. I dread the little pieces! This "Garden Path" block not only had little pieces, it also had "Y" seams.

I don't use pins when it's just pieces going together. But when it gets into rows and more length to sew, I do use pins just to keep everything matched up and where it needs to be. ESPECIALLY so with these "Y" seams where the ends of the red pieces met.

I got it done, but don't look too close! It's got some major puckers. But remember, I'M HAVING FUN. Even if I'm cross-eyed from looking at tiny pieces and "Y" seams!

Corn and Beans, Friendship.

Garden Path, Fruit Basket.

I also worked on cutting out pieces for some more "spool" blocks. I had four blocks made, and want to have a dozen or so. Trying to stay in sort of a red-white-and-blue color scheme for the most part. Will post pictures of that as it gets a little more done on it.

Now, I have a very important piece of advice. If you're sewing, and have a mug of hot coffee nearby, and also have a sack nearby for threads and throw-away scraps, make sure you don't accidentally put thread snippets or whatever in your coffee!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fast Progress

Making fast progress on the "mug rugs." Here they're machine quilted, and ready to have their respective binding strips sewn on.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Footloose and Fancy Free

Since I got that Jacob's Ladder quilt out of my head for awhile, I'm turning myself loose to have a little fun with the fabric and sewing machine! Early in the year, there was a "pay it forward" post on facebook, where you said that the first 5 people who commented, would get something handmade from the post-er sometime in 2011. Well, here it is October, and I've been mulling over ideas for a long time, and just now getting around to actually doing something. I had four people comment, so I'm making "mug rugs" to send them, plus an extra to another friend, plus one for me.

I kept it really, really simple, because I need something that's simple, and fun, and quick, and easy seams, and NOT 1-inch triangles like I'm running into in the Farmer's Wife blocks! So I just cut out wide strips, and am sewing them together in blocks. Then I'll add batting and backing, "machine quilt" the seams, add a binding, and voila ... a mug rug. I tried to pick fabrics for each one according to what I thought each recipient would like. Here I'm in the middle of sewing, one done on the left, two getting sewn, and three stacks of strips in the background waiting their turn on the machine.

It was quick and fun, and I enjoyed sewing long, straight seams for a change!!! Here are the six "tops" done, ready for a pressing and the next steps to finish them. It's nice when you make something that's just free-wheeling and fun!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Done ... For Now

WOO-HOO!!! The Jacob's Ladder quilt is QUILTED and TRIMMED. All it needs is binding, and I'm going to do that later on down the road, who knows when. I am so tired of looking at these three fabrics over and over. I mean, it's been several years since I started the first blocks. But even with that said, I like the effect of the colors in the block pattern and how they look when you see the whole quilt.

A closeup of the blocks.

Now, I'm gonna cut loose and have some quilting fun! I want to get that pink gingham animal block quilt ready to put in the hoop to quilt. All it needs is the border. Then I have several sets of blocks I've been working on for small projects - fall leaves, spools, friendship blocks, etc. Plus the Farmer's Wife blocks.

Plus I want to get into the "feed sack" material I have, and make a small quilt reminiscent of the '30's and '40's.

PLUS, a good friend of mine sent these beauties to me, to do something with, oh yeah! That was sure a sweet surprise! Dresden Plate blocks made out of feed sack material, enough for a nice-sized quilt. Just need some material squares to applique them to, and center-circle material, and that will be a fun winter project to work on. Plus the little hexagon "flower garden" blocks, those will be nice for a wallhanging and a pillow, perhaps. Off I go!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Found some cheerful fabric at the thrift store.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Taking a blogging break ... be back soon. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Lineup

No, I don't mean the TV program lineup! ha ha

I hadn't made a "leaf" block before in quilting, though I've seen several different designs. Some have an applique stem, which thoroughly intimidated me. I DON'T DO APPLIQUE. (But I did see a "soft-edge applique," which I may try ... stay tuned.)

In these "Farmer's Wife" blocks is a pattern for a "Maple Leaf" block, with an easy-to-do pieced stem. So I decided since it was fall, and I wanted to try the leaf block, I'd make a few for perhaps a wall hanging or a table runner. I'm really happy with what I was able to find in my material "stash," to represent different colors of fall leaves. Plus two different light blue fabrics for the background, to represent an autumn "sky."

Younger Son thinks they look like GEESE. (The stem being the goose's neck.) I guess it's all in perspective!

I'm planning to put these blocks together with sashing, either in a line, or in a rectangle. I'll have fun playing around with the arrangement, and seeing what kind of fabrics to use for the sashing, and maybe some additional border.

But after doing these blocks, I think I know why the Jacob's Ladder quilt bugs me ... I'm just not a big fan of light blue!!! In small doses, ok. All over everywhere, not so much!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Well, something bugged me about those yo-yo's I made, and I got to checking it out. I looked up some "Google" images, and realized I had the wrong side as the right side! The "smooth" side goes to the back, and the "puckered" side goes to the front! Well. I kind of thought that, but I had a little error going on ...

I was making the running stitch on a raw edge, thus leaving a ragged edge in that hole. You're SUPPOSED to fold over the edge as you make the running stitch, essentially hemming it and making that edge in the hole smooth.

The real right side! That does look much better and more interesting. :)

I still like, though, how the "wrong" side shows off the fabric, if it's something like these flower prints.

Some pictures showed things like buttons over the holes, so maybe that's an idea.

But the rest of the yo-yo's I do, doing that "hem" thing, will make them just a tad bit smaller. But hey, I cut out plenty, and I can re-cut those other fabrics. I'm sure glad for Google images. I'm such a visual learner, they help me a lot!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I LIKE Yo-yo's!

I've seen a lot of crafts and things using fabric "yo-yo's," simple circles of fabric drawn into a puffy round shape. But I've never made one. Until recently.

The first yo-yo I ever made.

The second yo-yo I ever made.

The third yo-yo I ever made.

Say, this is kind of fun!

I think I'll make a "few" more. Uhhh ... a few? That's quite a stack of material!