Saturday, June 30, 2007


Since I took two off my UFO/WIP list yesterday I figured I would add two back on with these two quilt tops.

I think I will put these in the What Was I Thinking column. Or maybe the Caught Up In The Heat Of The Moment? Too Much Shop Hopping?

The story is that Katie and I were out Shop Hopping - probably in 2003. At one shop they had some quilts made from Hawaiian prints and they had charm packs. And for some reason I was inspired to buy a charm pack.

Anyway, I brought the charm pack home and whipped up these two quilt tops. Looking back, I don't think I have ever been terribly excited about them but they are what they are. I think that I will get an appropriate backing and get them machine quilted so that they are ready for whatever their fate.

Maybe I will even get that done this summer. But first I have a baby quilt to get put together before September and I ordered some fabric for that last night.

Leftovers in Broken Dishes II is finished.

I found the blue at one store and got a fat quarter of a reproduction at another and was able to get my little quilt finished yesterday. It ended up being about 14" X 18". I am very pleased with it, especially because it was a UFO/WIP for only a day!

Last night I finished up another UFO/WIP - the Shop Hop 2003 Quilt. I still need to write the labels on both of these but I am excited to be done with another project.

The other day I pulled out my one patriotic sort of decoration. A little flag quilt. I will post about that on the 4th.

Friday, June 29, 2007


So what do you do with all those leftover triangles you get when you make half square triangles or snowball blocks or flying geese blocks?

Well, some people just toss them, others give them to their kids to play with, some people use them for collages,etc. I am just wondering how many of you save them? And if you save them, do you end up using them? I confess I am one of those that saves and uses. In fact, I save triangles that friends would just throw away.

This first quilt was made from the leftovers of a quilt in which each block was a 3" square with a 2" triangle in one corner. Instead of just cutting off the leftover triangles, I made another seam about 1/2" from the first seam and cut between them so the triangles were already sewn together.

The leftover quilt in the second photo was made from triangles that my friend, Linnea, had sewn together in the process of making this beauty. She was going to use them but when she looked at the 1" squares she decided that was insane so she gave them to me. Evidently she knew I was crazy enough to use them! I trimmed them all and then put them together into various traditional blocks. The border is also made from leftovers. These are from a 'strip' quilt that my friend, Sally, gets to claim as a UFO/WIP.

This last picture is of the doll quilt I made leftover triangles from my quilting friend, Nadine. She recently put together a quilt top using reproduction fabrics and the beautiful blue solid. On Tuesday evening, when Nadine, Linnea and I congregated in Sally's craft room for our weekly craft/laugh/chat fest, Nadine gave me the leftovers and yesterday I put then together into this little quilt.

So this is my latest UFO/WIP but I hope to finish it in the next few days as soon as I get a repro fat quarter and some more of the blue for binding.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Doll Swap Update

My effort for Doll Quilt Swap II is on its way to its new owner. I hope she is as happy with it as I am. It turned out very nicely.

Cathedral Window

Not much of a picture for this UFO/WIP. I was surfing through some blogs this morning and found Quilt Otaku. She posted about a Cathedral Window quilt she is working on. That reminded me that I have a Cathedral Window UFO/WIP.

I made a Cathedral Window pillow as a wedding gift for a friend a number of years ago and tucked it away in the back of my mind that someday I would make a bigger project. I started collecting pictures and patterns for various designs and that was as far as it went.

A few years ago I decided I would finally get started. I decided I wanted to use navy instead of the usual white or unbleached muslin so I got some squares cut and started working on them but some other project came up and put them on the back burner where they have sat. I am thinking I will haul them out as soon as I finish the other handwork I have going right now but that could still be a while! I still haven't decided what will be the 'panes' in the windows but that can wait!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another finished product!

Here is a teaser of my doll quilt swap project. I finished the second one today and will get one in the mail tomorrow to my swap partner. I am very pleased to be finished and had a good time. Can't wait to see what I get in return.

I just say that it felt good to take one more of the UFO/WIP list but I know I will have to add another to the list in the next day or two. I am nowhere near the bottom of that pile!

Add one and take one off the list

Today I will add another UFO/WIP to the list but since I finished one of the two doll quilts I can take one off so it isn't quite so bad. I am adding to my list a baby quilt. The top has been finished for close to two years because it was one of three I made at the same time. The other two were finished and one was given to my niece's second son and the second was given to my first grandchild eighteen months ago.

I bought the pattern many years ago because I thought it was so cute. Then I started collecting bug fabrics for the jars. One of the jars contains VW bugs because I have always like them and I drive one. When I first bought the pattern I didn't realize that the snail, frog, beetle, etc. were paper pieced so that was a rude surprise since paper piecing is not my favorite thing to do. I do like the way paper piecing turns out though so I am forcing myself to do more of it for special quilts. I was very happy with how the quilts turned out and who knows, someday I might even get the third one finished!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dresden Plate

It has been a busy few days for me so I have not been posting but it is time to 'fess up to another UFO/WIP. This one was one of those projects that someone else passes on to you that they don't want to finish. I have several of those. This one is getting closer to completion in that it just needs to be hand quilted. The blocks were given to me by a neighbor who had gotten an antique Dresden Plate quilt at a garage sale or someplace like that. The original muslin backing was very work so she took it apart and cut about 1/2" around each appliquéd plate. She then started re-appliquéing the plates onto muslin squares. She was maybe a third done when she passed it off to me several years ago.
I needed some handwork a year or so ago and started working on the appliquéing and finished all the plates. I had to repair a few that were very work using some old fabrics that I have in my stash. Then I took a few of the blocks with me on a road trip to Fabric Depot and found some appropriate sashing and setting block fabrics. I got the top put together at a quilt retreat and when I got home I added some borders. I am quite pleased with the result as is Lucy:I think that the quilt ended up being close to queen size but I am not sure.

I am close to finishing my doll quilt for the swap and even the second one I am making like it for myself. Tonight I will finish the binding and add the label so maybe I can get it in the mail tomorrow or Thursday. Then, after a couple of days I will post a picture for all to see. It is turning out quite nicely, even if I do say so myself!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Row by Row

This UFO/WIP is a couple of years old now. It is the result of a round robin project. Each person chose a theme or color palette and length and made a row for their quilt. I chose neutrals with a bit of maroon (I included the maroon). The row was sent to the next person and they made a row following the theme and then it was sent on, etc. In the end I had 13 rows to put together into a quilt. The quilters ages ranged from 12 to 60ish. Photos some of the others are on flickr.

I got mine put together fairly quickly but then it went in the closet awaiting quilting. I pulled it out a couple of weeks ago and got started on that. I did the quilting in the borders and sashing on my machine and I will be hand quilting the rows using maroon thread. I think it will end up very nicely sometime soon.

If you haven't done a round robin before, try it. Get a group of quilting friends together, set it up and have fun.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bear Paw

This post actually is about 3 UFO/WIPs. This is my oldest set of projects. I originally started to make one Bear Paw quilt about 32 years ago when I was in high school. I painstakingly drew around cardboard templates on the wrong side of various fabrics from my mother's stash of fabrics. In those days a stash was bits of fabric left over from
clothing she had made for various members of our family - in other words, favorite fabrics - not fat quarters and yardage that you saw in a store and just couldn't resist. I cut out enough pieces for 72 blocks and got started putting the blocks together. Now all of you who started quilting before the invention of the rotary cutter will appreciate that the blocks just did not turn out nicely. So I got frustrated and put it away for a few years. OK, a lot of years!

I pulled it out about 10 years ago and decided I couldn't just toss the blocks because I had used the last of some of Mom's favorite fabrics. So I started ripping the blocks apart. I didn't finish at that time because other more pressing things took my attention away from sewing - three kids, my mom's failing health, a job, etc. About 2 years ago I pulled them out again and finished the ripping process and trimmed everything down so the blocks would fit together nicely. I got all the blocks together and then sorted them into three piles according to color sets since I knew I didn't want another huge quilt! I found sashing fabrics to set them off nicely and got the tops together at a quilt retreat.

So to get these finished I need to get them quilted and then I want to make up a booklet with pictures of each block and, if possible, a picture of the clothing item that was made from that fabric and maybe a little story about the item of clothing or the person for whom it was made. Then each of my children will receive one quilt and the book giving them a little bit of their family history. And they had better damn well appreciate it!!!!!

Doll Swap Quilt

This is another project close to being finished, mainly because there is a deadline! I must have it sent by July 12. I am not going to add a picture yet because there is a possibility that the person who will be receiving it could check this blog and would recognize it as hers since she had a specific request. I decided that I would make two so I will have one of mine also since it is turning out quite nicely. I guess that means that I have 2 UFO/WIPs. I got the two tops together today. They need a little embellishment in the form of embroidery and then I can get them layered and quilted and then add the labels. Hopefully I will have at least one done this weekend so I can post a picture when it is in the mail.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

UFOs and WIPs

I have decided that I need to inventory my UFOs and WIPs. Not sure how I would define these or differentiate between the two titles but I know I have a lot! I think I will start with those that are closest to completion so that would be my 2003 Shop Hop Quilt. The Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop happens each June. My nieces Katie, Brita and I went on our first hopin 2002 and I have been each year since except last year. The 2007 Shop Hop is going on right now and I went to 6 shops yesterday and may or may not go to more today or later this weekend. The idea is that you get your 'passport' and at each shop you get it stamped and the shop gives you the pattern and three fabrics for you to use in their block. Some shops have finishing kits available for their blocks also. Each block is supposed to end up as an 8 1/2" block (this doesn't always happen due to pattern errors or quilter error, however). Anyway, Katie and I went to 39 shops in 2003 but I only used 35 for the top and there is one that will be the label on the back. The other three blocks must have been deemed not worth making either because they were ugly or the directions were too sketchy! The 'box' block is waiting for me to find a certain button that will turn it into a Jack in the Box. The button is navy with a smiley face and was in my mom's button can when I was a kid. It is somewhere in my sewing room, but where, I don't know!

Anyway, I got this back from my good friend, Deb, in Montana, who quilted it on her long arm, on Tuesday, and now I am working on finishing up the hand stitching on the binding while watching TV in the evenings and when that is done I will work on the label. So as you can see, this UFO/WIP is very close to completion!

Stay tuned for more UFO/WIPs as the days go by. This one is only 4 years in the limbo that is my sewing room. I have some that have been lost for up to 30 years or more!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Packages are the best!

I had a package waiting for me at the post office this afternoon. It was my 2003 Shop Hop quilt back from Deb who did the quilting. I now have the binding on, ready for hand stitching and then I will have to get the label on it which might kind of cover the back depending on how it works. I have a very cool button that was in my mother's button collection that I want to use on the quilt but now, of course, I can't find it! I am sure it is in a very safe place that I found for it several months ago but now can't think of. I am sure it will turn up and then it can be put on the quilt as a jack in the box face, but for now the box will just be a plain old box. I will post a picture when the binding is done and again when the label is done. The label might have to wait for the doll quilt to be done. Once it is done it will be one more UFO off my list.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Doll Quilt Swap

A couple of weeks ago I signed up to be part of a Doll Quilt Swap. I got the name of my secret partner over the weekend and now I must get started on the quilt. It is to only be between 13" X 13" and 24" X 24" so shouldn't take long once I decide what I am going to do. So time to look through my fabric and figure something out!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Big Changes

So here is the deal. We have decided to have a joint blog for our family. If you would like to know what is going on with me and various members of my extended family you can check it out at (or you can click on the keeping in touch link on the left). I will continue to post on this blog but it will mainly be about quilts, and such. You get to choose what news you get from me or whether you get any at all!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Road Trip

I got another quilt finished. This is one made like the denim quilts (from the same pattern) but I used some fabrics that I used for a file cabinet topper for Jakob's room and his roman shades. It is sage and blue and turned out quite nicely. I have had the top done for quite several months and machine quilted it over the weekend. Not sure if I will give it away or if I will save it to use on the bed in Jakob's room when he leaves. We shall see. I will post a photo soon. I started hand quilting my row by row quilt but I am not sure I will continue with that. I might just machine quilt it. I think I will take it with me this weekend and see if I get some quilting done on it.

What? Where am I going? Why, I am going to spend some quality time with my little grandson. I get to go in the morning and I will come home on Sunday afternoon. I am pretty excited!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Crisis finally averted!

I stayed home yesterday so I could get Jakob to a doctor's appointment. I almost went crazy though because I couldn't get online on my computer! It started Sunday evening, I just didn't get a wireless signal in my sewing room. The boys both tried to get things working last night but to no avail. Finally, this morning it suddenly started working! Not sure what the story is but it is frustrating that mine is the computer that always loses the signal!
The good news from yesterday is that I got another UFO a little further along. I pulled out my row by row quilt and got it sandwiched and pinned. I decided I would do some machine quilting in between the rows and in the border and then I will hand quilt more detail into the rows. I got the machine part done yesterday and even put the binding on by machine so it is ready for me to haul out the quilting frame and do the hand work. It is exciting to be finishing up projects. I think I am almost into positive territory in that I have finished more projects than I have started this year! Probably the first time that has happened in years! One of the next things I need to do is inventory all those UFOs and figure out what to finish next - unless I decide to start something new!

Friday, June 8, 2007

New Digs

We decided it was time for the kittens to move off the deck. They are now in The Cat House (aka The Bike Shed). The moms are not totally sure about it all but so far they haven't moved them elsewhere. Here they have room to play and we can have food down for them and Lucy can't eat it and they can start exploring the real world. I gave the babies a foil pie plate with food in milk and a couple of them even tried eating some. The mommas really like the milk addition! The only thing left to do is put a tarp over the roof so it doesn't rain in there tomorrow!

In other news, we now have a working screen door - with screens! That means we can leave one door open for Lucy to go outside on her own (if she decides to put out the effort instead of having one of her slaves open a door for her).

I also now have 47 crazy quilt blocks done. I need to do some sorting of the scraps so it is easier to do more blocks because it is getting down to much smaller stuff that is left. That is probably my next step though I am tempted to get a couple of quilts basted this evening. One for machine quilting and one for hand quilting. We shall just have to wait and see what gets done, won't we? But first, I need to go mix up some banana bread.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

What is a mother to do?

The kittens are getting bigger all the time and also more active. They keep figuring out how to get out of their box or laundry basket or whatever so they can explore the great outdoors and Windex (one of the mommas) keeps trying to bring them to a safe place. She is finding it very hard to keep 8 little kittens where they belong, especially since Tucci (the other momma) isn't really helping keep them in line! I think we need to find a safe place for them to be that is off the deck because they keep falling the 18 inches or so to the ground and then it is very hard for Windex to get them back up there. It is so cute how they come over to us when we are outside now. They seem to like people and being held. I will try to post individual pictures of them this week with gender information for anyone who is thinking about giving one or more a good home. I think there might be 4 girls and 4 boys but it is hard to keep track of them!

The weather has cooled off considerably since Sunday and we have had some rain even. Not enough but some. I guess tomorrow will be nice and then more rain for the weekend. Oh darn, I guess I will just have to work on things inside. Actually I know I need to get out and do some weeding but it will have to wait for dryer weather.

I finished another 10 crazy quilt squares and have started on the next 9. Maybe I will finish those yet today. Still not much of a dent in the scraps though!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I don't know when I was last as tired as I was last night! I had a great time at the Relay for Life this weekend but it does wear you out! I was there for the Survivor Lap at the beginning and stayed til about 10:45 pm during the Luminaria Ceremony. Came home and got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep then was back for my scheduled two hours of walking (4 - 6 AM). Not sure how many times I went around that track but I must have logged in somewhere between 5 and 10 miles. Then I stayed around until about 10 AM. I just was so tired I had to go home. I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep and then made it until about 10 and passed out in bed. A good night's sleep has done wonders. If you ever have a chance to be involved in this event in your community I would urge you to go for it. Not only are you raising money to help the American Cancer Society and in doing so touching the lives of almost everyone in our country in some way, but you will also have a lot of fun and meet a lot of great people. I also enjoyed seeing people I hadn't seen for months or even years - Chelsea's soccer coach and his family (I had forgotten that his wife had cancer and is now a 10-year survivor), former bowling partners, my kids' former teachers and their friends' parents, etc.

My only accomplishment yesterday was getting netting over my garden beds - the momma cats thought they were new litter boxes. Today I need to go around and get some plants staked up so they don't get run over, etc.

Larry sat down one day last week and wrote out lots of big and little jobs that need to be done around the house this summer and I am so impressed that this weekend he has been working getting some of those done. Today he is installing a screenless door on the back porch. Now I will need to get the screens redone and installed so we can leave that door open for Lucy to get out on her own. Too bad we can't figure out a way for her to open the door to come back in!

Friday, June 1, 2007

When I realize my life is not that exciting...

Here you can see what I have been working on in the sewing room. Getting rid of the pile of scraps and making crazy quilt blocks. I have a total of 19 10.5" blocks made and enough scraps to make hundreds more! I will keep plugging away. They may end up as some of my foster graduation quilts next year.

I am on the call committee at church so that is keeping me busy. We have received 4 names and are in the reference checking stage. We will then move on to interviewing the candidates. I have the duty of checking the 4 references for one of the candidates and so far have only talked with one person. This is a fairly daunting task - for the call committee and for me personally. I will persevere.

Went for a walk around my garden space and so far none of the seeds is sprouting for sure though I might have one or two kohl rabi sprouts peeking through. The strawberries are perking up and looking like they will live. I would guess that next year I will have a good crop. The raspberries are alive with the buzzing of bees so there should be a decent crop if I can find them amongst the tall grass that is growing up in there. I need to get in there and whack that back some if I can't get in and weed it for real. My six little blueberry bushes have little berries even if they are rather weed infested also.

The kittens are growing and getting stronger. One mama really doesn't like them stretching their legs outside their little 'compound' so she tries to herd them back or move them to some 'safer' place like under the freezer. They are all so very cute and the boys think we should keep at least one, though more would be better. Whatever our final count of cats, all will be spayed or neutered this time.

Went to the doctor yesterday for my annual physical. It turns out I am pretty healthy. Larry is not impressed that I actually have low cholesterol since his is fairly high. I am pleased because it means I don't have to radically change my eating habits.

I lead a fairly boring life but I have to say I much prefer that to drama all the time!