Monday, November 23, 2015

Should've, could've, didn't.

I started this quilt in 2006. Rows were put together back then.

This was August 27, 2006

Sounds awful, doesn't it?  or does it sound familiar?

I collected 2000 different fabrics for this 1" thimble quilt by going through my stash, going through my friends' stashes and even picking garbage at quilt retreats.  For some reason, I got it in my head that a "charm quilt" had to have 2000 pieces.  That was back in 2006.  I no longer believe that and know better now.  

But, let's come back to 2015.  I decided now was the time to get this quilt done.  
It was all hand pieced ( my own personal challenge), so back in February 2015 I pieced the rows together.

Then I went shopping for a border.  The border is, also, hand pieced with straight lines at the top and bottom and the sides were actually appliqued to the border as they still had the thimble shape.  I didn't want to cut them straight for fear that I would cut my knots.

You can see some closeups here where I was appliquing the sides to the border.  

I decided I wanted this quilted using the Baptist Fan.  I just knew if I waited until I had the time or the energy to "hand quilt" this quilt, it would be another umpteen years before it got done.  

So, since I wanted perfection (another one of my downfalls I suppose), I didn't want to try it on my longarm with just a stencil  or a panto and didn't want to purchase the several hundred dollar mechanism called Circle Lord that would give me the effect that I wanted,  I sent it off to my friend Ruthie who owns the Circle Lord.  

I got it back from her the other day.

I was searching my stash for a good "burnt red" for the binding.  I found the perfect fabric, but  no way did I think I had enough for the binding (I usually only buy a 1/4 yard or else yardage), but just for the heck of it I figured out how many strips I needed and did the math and lo and behold, I did have enough.  I didn't have to go on the search for the perfect color and fabric for my binding at the local quilt stores.

I sewed it down that same night and took it to my mom's to hand stitch down while sitting with her.  

Here is the finished project, front and back.

So, I say, I should have hand quilted this one only because it deserved it what with the whole quilt being hand pieced.  I could have done it, but then "would I" in the next decade?  Obviously, I didn't; but I can say I have another UFO done and I am happy with that. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Still looking for handwork.....

......for while I am sitting with my mom who is in hospice; and still needing handwork to keep me busy during the long hours at  my mom and dad's apartment. 

Dad asked me to fix the two twin-sized quilts that my mom made back in 1998.  

Both of them have been used on their beds probably since the day she made them and they were getting pretty frayed at the edges. 

You can see here that she brought the front of the quilt to the back for her binding and with it being only a single layer, it didn't take much to wear right through.  

I released the hand stitching on the back  of just one of them and the binding literally fell off.  

I had a couple of free hours the other day, so ran to a quilt shop that I knew had a variety of solids and found a blue that matched pretty closely. 

Here is the first repaired quilt.  

The second one has some major stains on it, so I am trying to remove them before working on the binding; but I have to say that hand stitching the binding down at my folk's place sure helped to pass the time a little more quickly AND I felt some accomplishment at getting at least one of their quilts repaired.  

Now...if I can just get the stains out of the second one, I will have another binding to work on.  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

No more unlucky 13......

I had to make #14 because I miscalculated or whatever you want to call it and didn't make the correct number of black background cats.  So, this "tiger" cat is #14. 

He takes the place of this one with the orange background. 

Here are the final 6 black backgrounds.

Here are the final 7 orange backgrounds.  

Since this one is a bit too busy for a label, it may end up being a Halloween pillow or something like that.  

Now I am excited to go on the hunt for the rest of the fabrics that I will need to complete this quilt.  

But....before I can get to the store to start looking, I will be doing some more applique while sitting with my mom.  We'll just have to wait and see what that is.  

I can't remember when  I have had this much time on  my hands and not be near my sewing machine or my "stuff".  

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Big dots. 

Big stars

Checks and stars

Double stars

Double stripes. 

Stars and stripes

Little dots

I needed my 13 cats and here they are, but apparently the unlucky 13 has hit.  

I think I am supposed to have 6 black backgrounds and 7 orange backgrounds.  

Guess I will have to figure out which one I did wrong  and make a new one.  

Oh well.  One of them will just have to be my label on the back of the quilt.  

With lots of time on my hands at my mom's, it has allowed me to get these done.  I'll make myself a new cat and then have to prep some more applique for another quilt.  

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cats still on the prowl.....

Still plugging away on my Halloween cats.

Here's chevron cat.

This cat made me dizzy.  

The rest are being prepped.  

Then there will be the superstitious 13.  

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

13 Halloween cats (or...just the beginning of them)

Who doesn't love "dots"?

I think these are glow in the dark pumpkins.

This one reminds me of a friend's cat, Doug.

Only thing is that Doug gets caught in the blinds and not a spider web.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Passing time......

Passing time has a bit of a double meaning for me right now.  

We put my mom in hospice at home this past week and have been staying by her side daily.  My folks live in a one bedroom apartment, so there is little for my sister and I to do while we care for mom (92) and watch over dad (94).  

After 11 days, I am going a little crazy not having anything to do with my hands while we sit and wait.  Even though we are caring for all their daily needs, there is a lot of free time in between.  

I bound my charity quilt before this all started. 

Today is the first day I had a break from sitting there, so I decided to put my stars into rows.

Next time I can sit at a machine, I will get my rows together and I will have this top complete.

I need some handwork and since all my UFOs right now are quilts that need to be quilted or require a whole lot of prep to get something going (like my Dear Jane), I pulled some Halloween fabric out and started cutting out a project that I have been gathering fabric for.  I have been wanting to do this for quite some time.  I don't expect that it will be done by Halloween, but at least it feels right at the moment and seems somewhat easy since my mind is in such turmoil right now.  

I managed to cut out 13 cats from freezer paper at dad's yesterday.

So today I pulled the fabrics that I had collected 

and some from my stash and then paired them up (bottom one is the background of each block and the top fabric is the cat.

Oh....and I even found some backing that I had bought when a local quilt shop was closing. I even bought the stripe for the binding. 

I may tea-dye this fabric since there will be creamy colors on the quilt top.

This is the pattern.

from this book.

A wonderful blogging friend was going to send me the cat drawing, but found this book which is out of print and sent it to me.  Thank you Sharon in Washington.  

So, I started cutting out the two pieces for each block.

Black background will have an orange cat and the orange backgrounds will have black cats.  I am going to try my hand at reverse applique. 

This will give me something quick and easy to do while I am at mom and dad's.  

So, please say a little prayer for me and my family.  It's a sad time, but also a blessing. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Taking a break from the stars......

I have had a quilt on the longarm for way too long.   Ran into a problem using pink thread on a busy fabric that had pink in it.  Therefore I couldn't see where I was going.  

So, I made Jamie Wallen's side light .  You can see the video on his YouTube site.  

It helped tremendously.  

This is a charity quilt made by a guild member and they ask for people to quilt them.  I took this one  to practice my free form feathers.  (they only have 100 that need to be quilted!!!)

I worked in the "dark" with only the side light so that I could see the shadows of where I was and where I was going.  I highly recommend throwing one of these lights together rather than trying to adjust lamps here and there.  Quilting is supposed to be fun....not so much work. 

Here are a couple pictures of the backing. 

Ok....back to my stars.  I have started putting the rows together. It won't be long before it is a top.  

Happy quilting.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Never thought I would see the day!

Here are 6, 7 and 8 of the last dozen.   

Then tonight I got 9 thru 12 done.  

Of course making these stars didn't come without problems.


But now all 110  (5 inch) stars are done

Doesn't look like much piled up like that.  

Now to lay them out into a pleasing arrangement.  


Sunday, September 27, 2015

On a mission.....

Now that I have decided to make my "star" quilt just a lap quilt  and not a queen-sized quilt and have figured out how many more blocks I need, I think I am on a mission to get this one finally done.  

These stars have been done for a very long time and put away in a box.  

I pulled them out to show them to a friend who suggested I NOT put them away again.  

In that box were some fabrics that were pulled to make some more stars. 

There were nine sets of fabrics, so I cut them out; and here are those nine. 

I've done some figuring and if I am correct, I will need 12 more blocks. 

So, last night I matched up backings with star fabrics. 

For fear that these would get messed up, I decided to cut these out this afternoon. 

Well, once they are cut out, the rest is pretty easy, so I started to sew some of them together. 

Here's the layout (these are 5" finished stars)


From the star fabric you cut 1 - 3" square and then 8 - 1 3/4" squares. 
From the background you cut 4 - 1 3/4" square and 4 - 1 3/4 x 3" rectangles.  

You stitch the (in this case navy) small squares on the diagonal onto the rectangle background to make your star points. 

Here is the back of that star block when it is finished.  I do not cut away the background but do maintain two layers of fabrics for the star points.  

So, as of this post, I have five of the 12 blocks made.

Seven to go!!!  

I think I see a UFO finish in the near future.  

I said I wouldn't......

I meant it when I said it. But I failed and ended up doing it. I picked up the knitting needles instead of getting back to my pile o...