Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Odds and Ends

 The other day I had found around 179 pairs of half square triangles  in my French General bin, so I sewed them together.  This is the layout that I am going to sew this little top together in.  Each block is 2" finished.  I will be taking this along when I go to retreat next month.  I may attach borders, but I will see when the time comes.

Also, between sewing and long arming....I have been knitting. 

I finished this pair of wool socks.  

The yarn is by Vesper and is called Bespeckled Sock yarn.  The color is called Dark Magenta, but they are really a pretty silver gray with the magenta running through it.  Again, there is snow in the forecast, so I think I will still have time to wear wool socks for a little while. 

At this point, I only have one more skein of sock yarn (brown), but I think I need to take a break from making socks (if I can keep myself from doing them).  I have a sweater that needs finishing and it would be nice to be able to wear it while it is still cold. 

I did run to the yarn shop the other day though and picked up yarn for another shawl.  

It's called Doo Wop and the yarns I chose are really yummy.  They are from Shibui.  My sister-in-law, Maria, and I are going to work on this shawl pattern together, so I imagine it will be when we go to a yarn festival in Pittsburgh that is coming up.  

Here are my colors.  

I can't wait to start on this shawl.

For now though, I have other things that need to be finished, but isn't that the way things go?  Too many projects started .....UFOs!  The one thing I don't want at this point is to start a yarn "stash" because I know what my fabric "stash" looks like.

Can you relate?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Folk Art Quilt

This lovely quilt came to me from Pat in Wisconsin. 
Pat has a wonderful story about this quilt and it can be found on her blog thoughtsfromtaylorsoutback.  I have to say it put the pressure on to do well on this quilt.

Together we decided to do the background in McTavishing in a color of thread to blend in with the background and backing to give it texture.

As for the applique, I did minimal quilting on it.  The only stitching done on the applique was to tack it down and give some definition where needed.

Below I will show you each block as it is on the quilt top.

Second row.

Now, I have a little story to tell you about this eagle.  I had him all quilted and felt he needed a little definition on his chest area...kind of like delineating the neck feathers from the chest area.  I laid my ruler on there and did one row of stitching.  BUT...the more I looked at him, the more all I could see was a "bra".  Could I leave it and no one else would notice?  

Nope.  After finishing the quilt, I ripped out those stitches and moved that ruler over one wave and now I am much happier with this chest feathers.  

Funny how things like that can happen.

Row three.

My next dilemma was how to quilt those two trees minimally.  I thought I could just put a "stick" with branches down the middle of the tree or feathers to fill the area; but that would be more quilting in the whole tree than I had done in any other applique piece.  At the last minute a very simple, open feather that followed the fabric design seemed like the right answer.  

Then there was this block.  Everyone I talked to said it looked like a cradle (my first thought, too).  I contacted Pat to see if she knew what it was.  She thought it was a feeder or a water trough, so that is the way I treated it.  Then when I was all done with the quilt, I had a friend stop by and she said it looked like a blue egg.  Duh!  Why didn't I think of that?  Oh well.  I am not sure how I would have quilted this area any differently and still keep it minimal.

Here's a look at the border.

.....and finally a look at the completed quilt top.

I've saved this post until this quilt gets back home to Wisconsin and its owner gets to see it  in person.  

Since she received it she is busy putting the binding on and has a label ready to go with all the people that worked on this quilt.  She even has a sleeve attached because it is going into a quilt show next weekend that features quilts that replicate antique quilts.  I think this sounds like a great quilt show.  Wish I lived closer.  

Anyways, Pat says she is happy with the way I quilted the quilt and that makes me happy.  I think it is one of those quilts that will be treasured.  I know it was a pleasure to work on it.  

Thanks Pat.  

Thursday, March 8, 2018





and with my helper

I don't know the name of this pattern, but it looks very Dutch or like cross stitch to me,


it is quilted in snowflakes with a panto called Flurry

This quilt has a wonderful stash busting backing, too.

It will be going home to its rightful owner soon, but it was a joy to work on because I prefer this kind of snow rather than the snow that is outside.  

Come on Spring!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I'm a perfect piecer......


Don't we all wish we were.  Maybe some of you are.  I sure am not.  Therefore, I spent the day trimming blocks.

I am prepping my Kira blocks (GE Designs) to get them laid out in a pleasing order so that I can piece this top.  I borrowed my friend's (Sharon's) Stripology Squared ruler for squaring up these blocks and it works wonderfully.  Here is what I ended up trimming off.  I really do hate trimming up my blocks.  It is so time consuming, but oh so worth it in the end.

This goes to show I am not so perfect.

I am going to lay out these blocks and pin my rows together and then set it aside for working on at a  retreat that I will be attending next month.

Since I was in the mood for trimming (that is, if anyone is ever in the mood for trimming), I decided to  piece together some HST that I found in a bin of French General fabric (yes....I have a whole bin).  These were all paired up and I believe they were cut offs from another quilt, although I can't for the life of me remember which quilt they are from.

They were all paired up, face to face, so I just had to run them through the machine.  

Then I used my handy dandy Quilt in a Day Square Up ruler.

This took even longer since there were about 179 pairs.

I have now pressed the sets open.

These will work up to be 2" finished.  Now to come up with a layout for these.  I, also, have plenty of fabric that I could use for a border as I am thinking that this little quilt is going to be 13 x 13 blocks (26" square center) which equals 169 blocks.  I could make more, but will I?
Time will tell.  

I guess I will sit in front of the TV tonight and trim off those rabbit ears.  That will be another little bit of progress on these orphan blocks.

I may, also, kit this up for taking to retreat.  

Ok....I think I will start laying out some blocks and see where it takes me.  

Hope you are having a quilty day.  Again, we are waiting for a good snowstorm  (something like 3").  Will Spring ever arrive?!!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

65 degrees yesterday; snow today

So glad I am still making wool socks.

I think I am going to need them for awhile.

Friday, February 23, 2018

When it Rains it Pours.....

It's been raining on and off here in Michigan for about a week.  Our basement flooded, but that's all taken care of.
Thursday, however, we woke to no heat.  What now?!!!
In fact, there was no  electricity in "half" of the house.  What?  

After three visits from the electric company, we are now up and running  and this was all due to our neighbors putting up a fence this summer, nicked the electric line (underground) and with all the rain and standing water, it finally shorted out.  I am almost afraid to ask....."What next?".

Anyways, today the new batt was delivered from Quilts Complete.  It's my Quilter's Dream Select in ivory and white.  This will be for my customer quilts.  

I've been knitting in the meantime waiting for a dry basement and "lights".

Here's the second pair of socks I am working on. 

Time to set this aside for the time being.  I have quilting to do.  

You'll find me downstairs at the long arm.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Rain, rain, go away.......

We've been having  torrential rains here in MI for a few days; but what makes it worse is that our basement flooded.   That's where my long arm is.  😓

So....long story short, I had several  boxes of clothing that needed washing/drying and sorting. The majority got donated to our church group that collects clothes for infants to kids up to 15 years old.  

Then my rolls of batt that were just  leaning up against the wall got draped  over the pool table, the exercise bike, the treadmill, the piano to dry.  I'll use this yardage for myself or charity quilts because I know they will get washed immediately.

Two new rolls of batt have been ordered for customers  

New sump pump has been ordered and installed.

Fans are going.

What have I been doing in the meantime?  I pulled that skein of yarn out that I bought earlier  this summer and started a new-to-me pattern for knitted socks.  

They're done.

Hubby wants to know what's wrong with the socks. Men!   I guess you just have to deal with the differences when you have hand dyed yarn.

I only have one more project that I bought this summer that needs to be started and completed, but I am feeling good about getting caught up on my knit projects.

As for my sewing  projects, my Kira blocks are made, but I have to get over to Sharon's house to borrow her special ruler so that I can square up my blocks and then get them all sewn together.  

There's, also, a customer's special applique quilt that needs to get on the long arm as soon as the new batt gets here.  That will be the first thing on my agenda.  

We are still keeping on eye on the rain, the  ground water, the thawing  frost in the ground  and sure hoping that the new sump pump keeps on working since it is getting quite the workout.  There won't be anything on the floor now though.  I'm not taking anymore chances at this point.  

So, hopefully, there will be something new to report sometime this coming weekend.  The batt should be here and I will have started to load the quilt on the long arm and getting it prepped for the batt.  I'm itching to get sewing a nice, dry basement.