Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Scraps! make a String of Pearls

 Happy Wednesday!  I worked 6/7 days of the last week, so I am ready to be home and relaxing.  I never truly relax, though...there is always something to do and sewing to beckon me.  Above is my progress on the String of Pearls quilt.  I have all the blocks made, and I am working on the remaining melon shapes.  That is fun piecing!!  If you have never just taken a hand full of scraps and started sewing with little regard for color mixing or really anything will love it!
 Another view.  I cannot get the whole thing in the shot...cramped quarters!
And an extra block candle mat in the works too.

*****************Nurse's notes**********************

We had a 101 year old lady this week!!  Lives at home, is forgetful though, so she lives with her caretaker sister, who is 94 years old, and drives a jeep.  These ladies were awesome to take care of!  For if you take care of a patient, a nurse also takes care of the family as well.  I asked their secret of living long and lookin' good, as they both did, and their secret?  Living on the farm and not eating too much!!  Makes sense to me!!  Just a week of older patients...another lady was 96...not in such good shape...and many patients in their 80's this week.  Activity seems to be the common theme in all the older patients who were in good shape...this is it, ladies and we all need to walk each day, and throw in some light weights in there too!!  Does a body good!!


Have a great day, everyone!!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Variations on a theme

 Good morning to everyone!  I got off work two hours early yesterday, and so I was playing around with the blocks from last post...and came up with this idea.  A variation of the block I made in last post, this is made from tiny scraps.  I just love working with my scrappy pieces!!
Here is how many blocks I have so far...they are super fast to piece, and I will applique down the melons.  That is the fun part!!

**************************Nurse's Notes**************************

I love my patients!!  I had a lady yesterday, a 79 year young lady...who told me this bit of wisdom.  "Don't question so much your decisions, about how you got here.  Know that you made the best decisions at the time; why otherwise would you have ended up in such a good place?  Be proud of your younger self!"    She was such a dear.

It always amazes me how some patients are young at 79, and some are truly ancient.  Activity is a big, big part of this...and diet.  These two things just make or break people....


Have a great day!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Look closely...

 I finished all the Easter egg string blocks!!  Now to get them all sewn together.  And to pick a border, or make one...that is sometimes the trickiest part of the whole thing!
 I know you will recognize this quilt as one of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts.  Well...I have had it done a long, long time...and quilted too!!  It was another one languishing in the binding pile.  So...magic binding it is!!  I love that this quilt is now done and can be used by someone, instead of just forlornly looking up at me, beseeching me to get it bound!!  I feel so guilty about just sitting down and taking the time to hand bind. something, although I love to hand stitch...I just feel like I need to be up and doing something all the time! I need to get over that, but sometimes, a machine binding is just fine with me.  Please click on the link and see how to do it, if it is useful for you.
 A closer upper picture... (that is a word, right?)
 Hey!!  Look closely here...this is not scraps!!  A real bundle of that I have had a long time, and fondled and admired, then carefully put back up on the shelf, the fabric being too precious of course to be used in a real quilt...until!!
Now!!   I am making this quilt, using this bundle of fabrics!!  Whoop!!  The pinks were experimental blocks...but they are going in the quilt too. Diana Martin, do you recognize that pink? I love that pink!  Lots of different batik blues, purples, and fuchsias.  I do not have a pattern, just figured it out...I think usually this pattern is pieced, but I am appliqueing the arcs.  The blocks are 6 inches finished.  So I again have a portable hand project to work on.  Yahoo!!

I am so guilty of keeping things, keeping them for "good", for treasuring them...until they are not good anymore.  I guess this is the depression era kiddo in me.  But I also do not want to die with a ton of fabric, not used, not warming someone's soul or body.  So, I am using it up...all of it!!  At least that is the goal here...wish me luck and come sew with me!

Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!!!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

 Happy Easter!!  It has been a quiet, low key day.  Twice we went to the movie, to see "Heaven is Real", but both times it was sold out when we got there.  We will go later, when it is a quiet weekday afternoon.  Have you seen this movie?  any good?  So after Easter services, we napped, and I worked on the pink border on this strings quilt.
 Yahoo!!  It is done!!  At least to the flimsy stage!
 This little quilt is also done.  It is all hand quilted, and hand appliqued.  I call it "reaching for the sun".  Just scraps, but so appealing to me.  Below is the back is hand stippled around the flowers.
 More iris, a different kind than the early ones, are blooming now.
And the tulips are blooming too.  So far just this yellow one...I planted a 50 count bag of mixed tulips last fall.  I put out those stones to make a border on my flower garden last year...maybe I need to cement them in place...another day, LOL!!

I hope each of you had a blessed Easter day!  He is risen indeed!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


 Well, I finished the hand quilting on this little runner runner/coffee table quilt for the coffee table I maybe will have someday...snort!!  I put it on the fireplace for this picture.  Hey, speaking of the fireplace, we have raccoons in the chimney again with babies.  A nursery.  The mother talks to her babies, and the babies purr and coo back to her.  I love to hear them talking!  Our little poodle, on the other hand, does not like it one bit!
 The back side of the runner, showing the quilting better.  I appliquilt the leaves and flowers in place...meaning, I blanket stitch them into place after the layering is done, going through all three layers.  I heard the term appliquilt some years ago, but it was demonstrated with straight stitching...blanket stitching does the same thing.  Just thought I would try it.  I love the little puffy leaf shapes on the back!
 Some pretty blossoms outside our door.  Are these dogwood?  Come on you southern ladies...I know you know what these are!  Will you share?
 The iris are blooming again...pretty!  This one just emerged.  Many of the iris I dug up from my MIL's home before it was demolished and the city paved over the property for a parking lot...I am so glad I took the time to save Mama's iris!  We have enjoyed them for years and years.
And a heart rock!!  A little one, about an inch in is a good one!!  Do you collect heart rocks too????

Have a great day, everyone!!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

A small circle...

 Working, working, working!  The last five days in a row, 13 hours was the minimum day's hours this I am glad to be home, where I can work, at last, on fun stuff! I truly love borders, they are tons of fun to piece, and also to applique.  Above are some leftover flying geese, turned into a coffee table runner with an applique vine, and leftover flowers too.  Oh how I love to use leftover bits to create something new!  Now this is the funny thing...I do not have a coffee table.  Dear husband wants things to be minimalist and not cluttered, so he really does not want a coffee table that I just might clutter  up.  Oh how well he knows me!!  But maybe someday, he will change his mind, LOL!  and I will have just the little runner to put on it!
 The corner pieces were leftover flowers from this little quilt.  The lime green looks pretty bright in this picture, but it is really not too bright in person.  I am working on the quilting and binding...I always seem to show a work in progress!!
 This is a string top I made last year, I think...
 And the border lingered undone until now!  I am making big 1/2 square triangle blocks and making a border of them.  Lots of different hot this quilt will definitely be going to a lady!
And this does not look like much, but I have been outline quilting all the blocks on my applique quilt.  My friend Lois said to put in the bones of the quilt first, when I am quilting, to hold it all together, and then add the detailed quilting later. So Lois, I am doing just that.  I think I need a small table or something to drape this across each day, because I want it out and looking at me, so I work on it every day...personification, right??  If it gets put away, I will tend not to work on it.  I need it in my face, begging to be finished!

Hope you all are well and happy and maybe having some time to stitch!!

  What I mean by the small circle in my title is the one I run a mouse on a wheel.  Home, work, grocery store, post office, quilt shop occasionally, then back home.  I would like to get out of the about you??  A trip!!  or something...


Friday, April 4, 2014


I participated in Em of Em's Scrapblog contest, using her flour sacks that she so generously gave to each of her participants. (see my post from earlier today) Would you please go HERE and vote for the quilt of your choice?  On the right, at the top of her blog...

Thank you again, Em, for your generosity of spirit!

Have a great day, 


Blue Bird Quilt Challenge!!

 Here is the quilt that I designed for Em's Bluebird challenge.  I just loved making this quilt, from beginning to end!  First of all, a big thanks to Em, at Em's Scrap Bag.  Please see her blog here...and see what everyone else has been up to, making special projects from their own flour sack.  Em was generous enough to give each participant their own flour sack from her personal collection, and we were off to the races!!  I draped mine across the roll top desk and thought about it for a few days...and then I began.
 I wanted the center of the quilt to be a Mariner's compass star, with the pretty blue bird part of the flour sack in the center.  I worked and worked to try and piece it...disaster, peeps...really, not pretty at all.  So......
 I designed the block again and appliqued the star points into place!!  Now that I could do, LOL!!  It was great fun after that...
 Another view of the star center.  I just love those blues in our flour sack...thank you, Em!!  I hand appliqued and hand quilted the entire quilt.  I quilted around the bird and main parts of the background...
 then added the little circles in the border, blanket stitching them into place.
 I hand quilted the whole thing, in a one inch grid.  That was so much fun!!  I marked the quilt with the blue marking pen...and it almost all came out, LOL!!  I will have to think about that before using it again.
More on the hand quilting, so you can see the detail.  I used a very thin batting, so I could take tiny stitches.  I loved, loved, loved making this quilt!!  It truly was so much fun, and I have the quilt hanging in the foyer now.  Hubby likes it too!  so win, win!!!  This quilt means a lot to me, for I was born very close to where the Bluebird flour company is in Colorado.

Thank you again, Em, for this fun challenge!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hand quilting

 Well, on Sunday afternoon I sandwiched this quilt.  Lots and lots of pins and smoothing.  Some drama was involved!  I found that I had a stain from something, who knows what,  on one of the blocks.  So...I took the quilt top to the sink and thought I would rinse out the little stain.  Well guess what?  The pink sashing fabric ran all over everything!!  You would think that all fabric nowadays would be color fast...NOT!  So...I stay stitched the edges, and threw the whole thing in the washing machine.  Rash, I agree...but four rinses and lots of color catchers later, the pink is gone. OK!  I am sold on prewashing fabrics now...sold, I tell ya!  It was a matter of a ruined quilt, one way or I am glad it worked out, and hey, all the applique stayed in place just fine!
 A close up.  I intend to quilt all around each block first, then add in all the detailed quilting as I can. I think this will be a multi year project for sure...but if I don't start, I will never get done!!  So here goes...Kathy, I have something to show for Slow Stitching Sundays!!
I made more melons...I am not sure now where I am going with this.  I like using the little pieces up and like the chaos of all the colors...not sure exactly what to do. I was going to make a big quilt, but maybe not...maybe use them in a border?  Hmmmmmm...I will dream on it!!

Have a great day, everyone!!!