Food for thought.

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

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Getting there.

Three more of the Hearts and Hands blocks are done.  These were three of the previously prepped blocks.

I am not even going to count how many are left since my recent attempts at counting kept giving me different numbers, but I can see a light at the end of this tunnel.  There are just a handful of blocks to do.  Of course, I left the more difficult ones to last.  (insert rolling eyes here!)

All I can say is I am getting there and I am getting excited!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Layer cake project.

Recently when I was going through my sewing closet, cupboard, and drawers looking for a hand project, I came across two layer cakes.   I don't remember buying layer cakes, so I am thinking that the two that I have were either gifted to me or won at a retreat.  

This one was Strawberries and Lemonade.  I don't see myself using this one as I have made a whole quilt from this line of fabric already.

Then there is this one.

The name tag is missing, so I don't know what the line is, but I love the fresh colors in this one. 

If you have an idea of what line this is, I would greatly appreciate knowing since at this point, I may want to find something that would look good as a border.  
(Someone from Facebook gave me the name.  It is an April Cornell fabric line called Maypole) 

Anyways, some time back I had pulled this one out and not knowing what to do, I paired up fabrics and was going to make half square triangles out of the whole thing.  I did one set and it just didn't sing to me. It got put away for who knows how many years. 

Well, upon coming across them again, I did some research on line looking for patterns with layer cakes and have decided on the disappearing hourglass found on Missouri Star Quilt's site.  To add to this layer cake, I bought another one that is all white.  

Since I have already used two of the 10" squares, I will be short two blocks in this quilt, but I will work that out in the end.  

I am going to show you the process I took to come up with my block.

Take one colored one and one white one.

Lay them right sides together and stitch 1/4" all the way around.  

Cut diagonally.  

 Press to the colored side, trim the dog tails,and lay them out in an hourglass fashion.

Stitch these four blocks together.

Measure your block and then divide by 3.  

Cut yourself a 9-patch using that measurement.  My measurement is 4 1/4".  

Turn your center block one turn.

Take your four corner blocks and make sure the little points are pointing to the outside corners.  (It's interesting how each turn of a section makes a new  block that could make a whole different quilt!)  

The center block from each "outside" row is turned so that the HST is making a star point on the center block.

Sew your rows together.

You now have your Disappearing Hourglass block.  It makes a lovely star with a tiny hourglass in the outside corner.  

This is what four look like together.

I made these four blocks in preparation for taking the rest of the layer cake to a day-long sew-in at the local quilt shop with my quilting gal pals.  


Spent the day at the local quilt shop for my sew-in (6 hours).

How time flew!

I thought I would come out with a whole quilt top.  I guess I am delusional.  

I did come away with several blocks sewn together, but all fabrics were touched and taken to one stage of block construction or another.  So I can see this becoming a top very soon. 

All left over fabric pairs are sewn together.

Some were already cut on the diagonal

Some are  made into the hourglass blocks and ready for dissection.  

Here are the completed blocks at this point.  

So I guess there was a lot completed, just not a whole quilt yet.

Border/binding fabrics are  ordered and backing fabric is still being decided on; but I am very anxious to see this one come to fruition.  

Stay tuned for the finished quilt.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Update on Hearts and Hands.

There are only a handful of blocks that need to be appliqued at this point, so I prepped 7 blocks to get me going.  

Here is the first of five that are alike.

Another one prepped is this one.

Then there is this five-layered one that was just  completed.

I have counted and recounted.  Don't know why I keep coming up with different numbers, but I am thinking that I am in a better position than I thought I was.  I am saying "today" that I have 15 more to go.  If that's the case, then I am thinking that just maybe this quilt will get done in the not too distant future. I just need to keep plugging away.  

Friday, April 14, 2017

Bound and determined this time around

I cannot put these quilt blocks away again.

To refresh your minds, I have been working sporadically on Hearts and Hands for EONS!!!

Here's a close up of the blocks.

When I recently pulled this UFO out of the bowels of my sewing closet, I went on a binge of making 31 paper pieced star burst blocks.  I nearly burned myself out; and this is where I probably would have put it away "again" for a year or two.  Those 31 blocks are done and added to the rest of the star burst blocks that I had already done.

There are 52 here.  Oh!  When I looked at the pattern, I was supposed to have 53.  Oh no!  I have to make another one of those?!!

Well, as I was  looking over my blocks, I found that I had one extra of a star burst that has just a few spires.  Ok.....I have decided to go with that and not make an extra one.  Thank goodness!

As I have been completing blocks (in the past), I have been pinning them to the pattern, so I am going to show you what I have completed so far.

These are some more paper pieced star bursts with a medium amount of spires and one applique block on this page.  

Here are all the other pages.  Where there is nothing.....I have to make one or more blocks. 

Do you get the idea that I have left the more complex blocks to last?  Yeah....that's probably what I did.

I have kept my working stash with the blocks.

I am really going to try and not add to this.  There should be enough fabric to complete 22 more blocks.  Wouldn't you say?

OK....wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Unearthed project......

I was digging around in the sewing room the other night  looking for a couple quick wool projects that I knew I had, but for some reason couldn't find.

What I did pull out was my Hearts and Hands quilt blocks that I started some time ago.  I had 31 of the paper pieced blocks prepped and ready to go.

I had the paper printed, the bottom fabric on each pile is the background and the top pile is the spires for the sunbursts.  

I made a couple and posted to a quilting group on Facebook and a friend (Rita) mentioned to me  that she had seen my blocks back in "2012" and loved them so much that she made her husband a quilt very similar.  Yes....made....meaning finished and gifted.  (sigh)

So....I felt the challenge.  I need to get this one done.

I laid out the block I was to work on.  Pattern, fabric, mini cutting mat, mini ruler, mini rotary cutter and my post card that I used to help me fold back the paper as I went so that I could trim to a 1/4" seam.  

I plugged away.  I was determined.  I am pooped.  I did these 31 in a matter of just 3-4 days.  

Starting out, each block took me a good 35 minutes to make.  I got that down to 25 minutes a piece.

Thirty-one blocks later the paper piecing is done. 

Stuart, the minion, was helping me and even he had to take a nap after doing these.  

My next step is to  rip paper off all 31.  

Then I will be appliqueing center circles  on each.  Those were made some time ago thank goodness.

Here are the blocks that I had made previously. 

I believe there are a total of 53 in this quilt.  

If you go to my sidebar and look at the  other pages of Hearts and Hands you will see that this quilt was not started in 2012 (which I thought was bad enough), but in January 2009.  Now I am really ashamed.  What you will see on those pages are a lot of the applique blocks that are in this quilt.  

Once these 31 blocks are done, I have about 21-22 more applique blocks to do.  I do have all the bits and pieces drawn out, so I just need to pick out fabrics for each (which are all in one spot).  I am going to keep plugging away at this quilt now that I am this close.  The next few blocks will be a little slower going, but as long as I keep it out and keep working on it, that will be a good thing and there might just be a finish in the foreseeable future.  

Cheer me on!  I need to get this one done before the Old Folks Home.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Checking off some projects......

There's that LIST.  The one I started at the end of 2012 when I gutted my sewing room and figured I would document all the unfinished projects that were in there.  Little by little some of those things are getting checked off.  Of course there are always new things being added to the list.  It's like one step forward and two steps back.

I am going to be bold and show you my personal list (ugh!)  Don't judge me please.

Modern vase quilt (wallhanging-Alex Anderson)
Blue/green charity quilt (backing and binding are made) (October 2014)
Home Sweet Home (backing and binding are made)
Blue Houndstooth baby quilt (backing and binding are made) October 2013
Charcoal Houndstooth baby quilt (backing and binding are made) October 2013
Life Cycle baby quilt  October 2013
Fancy That quilt (gray and yellow) November 2013
Wedding quilt, string, orange and gray December 2013
Swoon (binding is made)                                                                                                                    
Single Swoon block for NICU quilt (backing is made) (quilted, binding made, bound 5-16)
Sunwashed (backing and binding are made) quilted and completed 8-15
Eve’s wallhanging 6-14
Navy/cream Sawtooth(?) quilted/binding April 2015, sleeve/label May 2015
Snowflakes from Heaven (wallhanging) (quilted 3- 2015; binding 4-2015;sleeve/label 5-2015
Celtic Knot –burgundy/pink/black wallhanging /
Black/White w/red “Chinese Coins” quilt (95.5 x 102) (quilted 12-14) (bound 1-15)
Double wedding ring (4 rings only- table topper to be hand quilted.
Valentine doily quilt (backing made)
Black/white w/yellow borders (64x68)
Turning Twenty Christmas Charity quilt (77 sq) (binding made)(quilted 1-9-14; bound 1-11-14)
Purple flannel chevron baby quilt for Ella (quilted 1-20-14) (bound 1-26-14)
Trips Around the World/Hawaiian quilt started in January, top done in April, bound 6-14
Monica’s chevron baby quilt (April 2014)
ABC’s quilt –( June 2014)
Triangle (orphan blocks) baby quilt (quilted  and bound Oct 2014)
Quilts of Valor quilt (November 2014)
Pastel baby panel with added borders w/yellow minkee backing (Nov 2014)
Baby block panel w/white minkee backing – December 2014
Christmas star blocks (17 – 12 ½”) (made alternating blocks, top pieced 1-15) quilted  & bound 8/16
Jelly Roll quilt (top made 1-15) (quilted 2-1-15, bound 2-7-15)
Habitat (brown/blue quilt) pieced and quilted, completed 4-15
Merry and Bright (pieced 3-15) (quilted, bound and attached sleeve  8-16)
9-patch Robyn Pandolph exchange blocks (133+  - 6 ½”)(alternating blocks cut  5-15; top together 6-15); quilted and bound 7-15
Chain Reaction, green baby quilt 6-15
Babes in Farmland quilt, quilted  and bound 6-15 SOLD
Babes in Farmland II quilt top made and quilted, bound 9-15
Thimbles (hand pieced) Rows done 2006 (Rows are together 2-15) top/backing complete 7-15 Bound 11-15
Quilted a charity quilt for guild and put the binding on it  10-15
New binding on double wedding ring quilt for mom/dad
Lil twister pumpkin top (2-7-16; quilted 4-17-16; binding and sleeve 4/19/16 )
Navajo/retro baby quilt for Katrina (6/16)
Carolyn’s baby quilt, purple/teal stars on gray (7/16)
Plus quilt made 2016-taupes; binding  started 12/15/16, finished 12/16
Janelle’s Christmas tree skirt (started & finished 12/16)
Gathering Baskets needs quilting and binding
 Garden Chevrons quilt (blocks  5/2016,top is pieced,)quilted and bound 2/17
Diamond Detour (blocks made and half put together 2016)(top  & backing done 2/2017)
Turning 20 Christmas blocks (50 – 9 ½”)  (blocks laid out) April 28, 2013
Scrappy Star blocks (110– 5”) blocks made 10-15 (top together &quilted  & bound 2-17)
Red/gold/navy scrappy 1600 jelly roll quilt (3-17)(more gold) quilted bound 3-17
Red/gold/navy scrappy 1600 jelly roll quilt (3-17)(more red) quilted/ bound  3-17

First Saturday Basket blocks (12 – 12 ½” )
Embroidered star blocks (12 – 12 ½”)
Red star birthday blocks (19 – 12  ½”)
Dear Jane (47/225 )
Hearts and Hands (64/117 blocks)
Winter Botanical
Karen Stone New York Beauty (brights and batiks)
Thimbleberries quilt
First ever blocks
Add borders to blue/yellow quilt (blocks were won at retreat, center is together)
Halloween Cats 14 /13

Gwen Marston – liberated quilting in solids (started)
Rainbow Trail Vest (have cherry wood fabric for this…not sure I want it anymore)
Hankie quilt (with mom and MIL’s hankies)
Adult’s Swing Jacket
Child’s swing jacket
Add handle to origami purse (1-14)
Color Me quilt
BOM seasonal calendar (in progress) 4 +1 made not making more
Gathering Baskets (baskets made and center pieced) top completed 8-1-15; backing made
Yellow basket quilt
Wool kit for round table topper (trees)
Wool table topper pattern (houses)
Baby Flannel quilt w/ contemporary flowers
Three wool Christmas stockings
Two minky hankie blankies
Minkee elephant baby blanket – November 2014
Pink giraffe minky baby blanket 6-15
Wool “wee ones”  Christmas tree (cut out 12/16)  (finished 3/17)
Wool w/picture frame (tree, snowman, stocking) (cut out 12/16)

Tabulations Jacket (almost done)
Wool jacket with appliqué (almost done)
Make lining and pockets for felted purse  2-13
Make hand dyed, striped bag handles made

Drapes, ivory  made 3/17
Valance for bathroom (have fabric and lining)
Repair my mother’s antique orange quilt (have fabric for borders that are tattered)
Repair son’s childhood train quilt (all it needs is the binding sewn down)
Put label on son’s quilt from his grandmother.
Put label on daughter’s quilt from grandmother 2-13
Put label on daughter’s quilt from grandmother 2-13
Cover signatures on son’s first wedding quilt. 52 siggys and label May 2016
Make Christmas stocking with crochet cuff. Stocking is made, just need to crochet cuff. 1-15
Make upholstery pillow (black)
Make two red pillows for couch (one block is already quilted)
Mend hole in Double Irish Chain  12-31-12
Embroider slip for christening gowns
Roman shades for Marisa (2) October 2013
Cupcake pillowcase (November 2014)
Teddy bear pillowcase (November 2014
Two sock monkeys (November 2014)
Small pop-up (April 2016)
Bound Heather’s wallhanging 2-17
Mend mother’s double wedding ring quilt (2nd one) (new binding) 2-17
A set of pillow shams for guest bedroom 3/17

Each different colored highlight represents the year that I got them done.   So, I am thinking that little by little the list is looking a little better all the time.

Anyways....I continue to plug away.

This little Wee One's flag was bought in Houston  in November and then cut out before Christmas and there it sat (another UFO).  Since I needed some handwork for the evening, this one got done recently.  I have three more small wool projects that could be very doable and one of those was cut out the same time as this Wee One.  The other two, I don't even want to remember how old they are.
But, progress is progress.  If I could only limit those new things coming in  and then being added to the UFO list, my headway would be a lot better.  

Next is this little wool project.

So easy, so quick.  I wish the powers above could explain to me why these things become UFOs.

I still have to attach the project to the cardboard backing to the frame, but the majority of the work is done.    That makes two more projects checked off my list.

Then I had to get to a customer quilt.  I love this one; and it's BIG.


I can't even display it off the machine because the basement stanchions are in the way.

I used  the Prism panto on this 99 x 113" triangle quilt.  I have a 12' Millennium and the backing for this quilt just fit.  There's no way I could have gotten a larger backing loaded onto the machine.  

Anyways, I love the fabrics Nancy chose.  What a great variety of black/white and purple fabrics.   The backing was a black/gray chambray.   It's been a pleasure working on this one.  

Here it is laid out on the floor.

Delivering this one Monday but hope to have something else on the machine by the weekend.  Maybe something I can check off that "list".  

Happy quilting!

Monday, March 27, 2017


I have been doing a little nesting this week.

Since retiring, my goal was to get a lot of the projects that have been sitting in my sewing room done and a couple of those things were pillow shams and drapes.

The pillow shams were waiting for me to find the perfect fabric and I finally did.

I like the mixture of prints and just knew I would be happy with the big black and cream, linen/cotton, dot fabric for the shams in the guest bedroom.

The next project that has been waiting for a very long time (and I don't even want to hazard to guess how long this fabric has been sitting in the stash) is the drapes that I wanted to make for the master bedroom.  I have been perfectly happy with the 2" blinds that I have in there, but after making the check drapes for the guest bedroom, I was ready for that second layer of window treatment.  

I put my long ago custom drapery classes to work with this fabric.

This is what I came up with.  They are lined with Roc-Lon and I made loopy tabs for hanging.


Thank  goodness my thoughts when I bought this fabric were the same as when I finally got around to making them.  I had just enough fabric. 

It's amazing what a difference they make in the room.  

I may wrap my pleats up for a day or two (that's wrapping the pleats up in paper and then letting them sit for a day or two).  Once that is done, you remove the paper and  the pleats should lay perfectly.  

I have felt the need to finally get to these projects not only because they have been waiting  to be done for so long, but I would have resented putting them further down the "to-do" list when my services are going to be  required to chip in at my daughter's house.  She just bought a new house and I know there is going to be some sewing and painting projects that she is going to need help with.  That alone gave me the incentive to get busy on my own projects.  Plus, I put these two projects on my 2017 goal list back in January.  Feels good to check them off.  

Now on to quilting again.