Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Red In & Out

I never get tired of watching the trees turn colors in the fall. This is the view outside my living room windows.

I ironed the backing fabric for the Peppermint Candy quilt, then got it ready to be sewn into a backing.

This used to be my favorite ruler. It's what happens when you stick it in your back pants pocket during a class and then sit down on a wooden chair with a hard back. Damn.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pepperell Birds

The ladies of the Squanacook Colonial Quilt Guild had a great time on Saturday making birds.



One student bought a field guide to birds and made these birds based on real birds. From left is the Cardinal, Robin and Goldfinch.

Here are some more birds the ladies made on Saturday.

They all did a great job and made some terrific birds.

This was made by Cherie Moore. It's her guild's challenge quilt. The challenge was Waterfowl with 4" of water. Cherie did a great job of adapting my birds into shore birds. Note also that Cherie's bird legs go into the water. I received this photo during the class on Saturday, and the students were really happy to see this.

You can find my free-pieced bird tutorial here, on my Etsy page. Please note that my birds are free pieced, which means they are made without traditional patterns or templates and they are not paper pieced.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Birds, Birds, Birds

I'll be teaching a Birds, Birds, Birds workshop today at the Squanacook Colonial Quilt Guild in Pepperell Mass. If you want to make birds, you can get the tutorial here, at my Etsy shop. It's a digital file, available for instant download.

After you buy it, you can print it out and have it bound at your local big box office supply store.

It's forty pages of everything you ever needed to know about making these beauties with plenty of how-to photos and examples of finished birds.

Please note that my birds are free pieced, which means they are made without traditional patterns or templates and they are not paper pieced.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Black & White

Last winter I made this Black and White Slashed Squares quilt. I'm just now getting around to make a backing for it. 

 A friend sent me a box filled with black and white fabrics, so after I cleaned the studio last night, I ironed all the fabrics and lined them up.

I don't know how I'll use these different fabrics yet, but I'm going to have a bit of fun.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Got Dryer!

The dryer was delivered yesterday, and I put it right to work. It's amazing how quickly laundry piles up. The fabric for the backing and binding of my new Peppermint Candy quilt arrived, so that's getting washed too. Great timing.

While I waited for the delivery guys, I started cleaning the sewing studio. Since the sewing machine is still at the spa, there's no way I can get sidetracked! LOL.

I'm teaching how to make my free pieced birds this Saturday at the Squanacook Colonial Quilt Guild in Pepperell Mass, so I'm getting ready for that.

A reminder to everybody that my bird tutorial is for sale on my Etsy shop here. It's forty pages of absolutely everything you need to make your own unique free pieced birds. Everybody who takes one of my bird classes gets a copy of the bird tute.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Little Hand Work

My sewing machine is in the shop for repairs and a tune up. I may have it back later this week.  In the meantime I've been sewing the AQS labels on the back of the Black & White Crayons...

and Too Much Chicken.

Of course Millie had to help.

This is my quilting buddy, Julie Post (who blogs as Joe Tulips, which is an anagram of her name), with Too Much Chicken when it was at the AQS show in Des Moines. Julie is an awesome quilter, and a fellow member of the SSOBB. Thanks for the photo, and the show pin, Julie!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Home Again & Some Leftovers

My quilt, Too Much Chicken, is back home from the AQS shows in Syracuse, Chattanooga (where it won an Honorable Mention), and Des Moines. I've got to enter in the AQS shows for 2017 and sew on the labels from the shows where it has been exhibited.

I'm expecting a couple more quilts from the long arm quilter (Chris) soon.

The pink baby quilt, I made for my granddaughter, Deco Rose,

and the colorful Slashed Squares quilt I made last January. I'll be finishing those up. I have to choose binding for each quilt, but I am not worried.

I've decided to add a bit of red all around the Peppermint Candy quilt as a narrow outer border. It will give me a bit of wiggle room when I have to trim it after it's been quilted.  Problem is, I didn't have enough of the reds, so when I ordered the backing...

... these ladies in red evening gowns... I ordered more of a few of the reds too. I'll figure out which one (or ones) to use when they arrive.

While I wait for all this wonderful stuff to get here, I really have to bring my sewing machine to the sewing machine "spa" for a bit of rejuvenation. The thread cutter needs adjusting and it probably could use a little fine tuning as well.

For the latest photo of my darling Little Miss, check out Millie's blog today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

R.I. P., Dryer

My dryer died this past weekend. It was at least 22 years old, so I can't really complain. After grumbling about it for a couple of days I took the plunge and went shopping online.  Then after a quick dinner, my dad and I went to the local big orange box hardware store and bought a new one. I had to buy a new dryer vent and power cord too, and pay for the old one to be removed. And it will be white, not beige (as if I care).

It will be here next week. I'd almost like to say I can't wait, but seriously, it's only a dryer.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I Made the Bed...

I changed the sheets on the bed the other day, and as I straightened this quilt over my top sheet, I thought it was something worth talking about again.

It's probably not "usual" to make a black quilt, but when I made it, back in 2005, I had been collecting novelty fabrics with black backgrounds for some time. I happened to mention to my son I thought they'd make an interesting quilt.

I wanted to make a quilt where the individual blocks disappeared. I wanted the viewer to see colors dancing across the surface then to notice there were dozens of different fabrics, then to notice the quilt was patchwork.

I made it the way my Grandmother made quilts when I was growing up - they were not quilted, just tied to the backing with crochet cotton.  But here's the funny thing. Our quilts were placed over the top sheet, and under the blanket, so they were hidden most of the time. So although this quilt lives on my bed every day, nobody ever gets to see it.

You can read about the process I made it here.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

It's That Time of Year...

Time to change up the table quilt. Much as I love the Blue Deco quilt, autumn is here, and it is time for the Fall House Top quilt to grace my dining room table. Since this quilt is so big, I added one of the extra leaves (extensions) to the table to make it bigger. I changed the bowl, too.

When Megan was here, she inquired about the quilt on the table. "Don't you worry about it getting wet, or stained?"

"No. It's washable."

She said she wouldn't do it (at least that's what I think she said. I'm sure she'll correct me if I got it wrong.) But that's fine with me.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


The company I work for has a deal with a local florist. For a fixed sum, every Monday we get a new fresh flower arrangement. 

This is the one they brought by on Monday. DAMN, this is gorgeous.

 Deep blue violet (the calla lillies,) the deep red (dunno what they are), the brilliant yellow sunflowers and the little blue thistles (?) and a little bit of pink...

There's a quilt in here, I'm sure of it.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Peppermint Candy Flimsy Complete

Since getting a finished flimsy back up on the design wall can be an exercise in frustration if you are alone, I decided to see what it looked like on my dining room table. 

Damn, it looks good, and it fits so perfectly. Almost like it was meant to. Which it was, sorta. LOL.

This is funny because I never measure. I just wing it. OK, not really, but when I was designing the blocks I knew they were "about" five by ten inches or so, so I just calculated how many I would need to cover the table with enough to drop over the edges on all four sides. It worked out to about 100 blocks. I made a lot more than that, so I knew I was in good shape. Always better to have too many than too few.

I was at my sister's house last week and she said, "Hey, that red and white quilt on your blog, if it doesn't have a home, it can come live here."

I'm pretty sure I snorted. "I don't think so. That one is staying with me." 

Sorry, Sis.

Not. :-)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Peppermint Candy Comes Together

Oops. You may have to look closely, but there are two red fabrics next to each other (in the upper left corner) and that had to go. It meant a bit of rearranging of some blocks, but since I had plenty of extra it was no big deal.

Adapt, Improvise, Overcome.

This is how that corner ended up.  Yeah I have a block with two WOWs next to each other, but nobody will notice THAT once it is quilted.

This is one of those things were the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I MEANT to take in process photos of this, but once I got sewing that all went to hell.

At any rate, the flimsy is complete (although I think it will get a smallish red border....) and you can see photos tomorrow.

BTW, I do not know how yesterday's post got duplicated. No, I did not do that on purpose, but since there are comments on both posts, I won't delete one of them. WTH, stuff happens.