Monday, March 31, 2014

1/2 inch on a side Hexagons

Totally insane, yes I am. These are 1/2 inch on a side. The star has 72 pieces in it. I'm cutting them from 1.5 inch squares and trim the corners off to make the hexie shape. I tack the corners with thread and then stitch them together.

On the left is a shiney circle that is a quarter. On the right there is a dime. These are small pieces. I work on them off and on. It is a TV project. I figure it will go as far as my interest holds me. I know others have done 3/8 of an inch and also 1/4 of and inch. My old hands won't work that small. Chris

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Got this done this morning. Quilted bound and washed. It is SID and the borders have a simple stitched wonky star shape. It is for the couch in the living room.

It was all scraps and small pieces that made these blocks. It used up a lot of small neutral pieces that were odd shapes. They make the points on the star shape of the 9 patches. I also added the wonky star to the sashing. Was fun to do.

It took me about a week to piece the top, but I waited for a shipment of battings. Glad this pile of scraps are put to good use. Chris

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Computer issues

My WiFi router took a dump. So no laptop. The company that services my computer is sending me a new modem with a WiFi connection all in one. Less wires laying around. So now I have just my pc to work with unless I plug in my laptop.

Today I was going to quilt the last of the borders on the Wonky Wishes Star quilt and watch Netflix. Will have to turn the machine around and watch on my desktop. Always something. Keep on sewing. Chris

Friday, March 28, 2014


 I hate to try and figure out border quilting. I SID for the rest of the blocks. Other than doing a stippling it was to busy of a top to do much else.
I got a pop carton out and drew a Wonky Wishes Star out and cut it for a template for the border. I made the star points all different like the block and then turned it in the border for interest. I think I'm going to stitch some lines wavy like between stars to make it more secure. I use the Crayola Brand Washable fine line kids markers. I haven't ever had a problem with them not washing out. So Here is hoping I have good luck again.

A few more hours and the borders will be stitched and then it will be on the road to being done. Chris

Thursday, March 27, 2014

See why I'm so busy

 She has spent one night and another tonight. She is cutting teeth and kinda crabby over it, but doing so well with out Mom and Dad. This is the first time she has spent th night here.
I went shopping yesterday and bought socks. Well grandma got the wrong size so had to buy bigger girl size today. 
They are wild colors. They fit her much better too. She is almost 13 months old and wearing 3T-5T size  in socks. Big foot!

I haven't gotten a lick of sewing done in two days. She will get picked up tomorrow. Have to figure out something for supper. Later. Chris

No sewing here

Today is the second day of granddaughter. She spent the night for the first time last night. I got her at 5:30am yesterday morning and she might spend the night tonight.

My son had to go to Chicago and Talea went with him. They get so little time to themselves an it was a treat for them to be together for a couple days without kids.

Grandma is getting to old for a 13 month old. She only woke up once in the night. She is cutting teeth and not on top of everything. Lots of hold me type stuff.

I'm up and having a cup of coffee in peace and quiet because I know the rest of the day will be wild.

Raining here so we won't be going anywhere. Stay dry Chris  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wonky Wishes or Wonky Star

This is the star that is on the sashing on this quilt top. I took the star and carried it out into the sashing to make this look more interesting.  

Here is the look it makes with the star also in the sashing and the block. This is Bonnie Hunter's method of making this Wonky Wishes. Or Wonky Star as I call it. It is on her website in the Free Pattern Tab at the top. 

I have 2/3 of the quilt ditch stitched. It is about 63X78 inches. Great size for the couch. This is all scraps and made from 2.5 inch cutting edges off of  squares. The extra star spikes are light colored pieces left over from doing borders or straightening up pieces. They are not planned any special size. I made this top in about 8-10 days. It went fast and it is colorful. The sashing stars are all the same fabric to ground the whole thing. Sometimes scrappy needs an element to hold it all together. I used the brown and print for the sashing stars to do that. Nothing is left out of the mix. Batiks, Civil War, 30's-40's prints, Homespun, Blenders all are in this top. I even think there is a Barbie print and also Christmas. The next one I want to make the star in the darker prints and the outside edges in the lights. I think it would be pretty for a daybed for Summer use. The sky is the limit go out and stitch up all the extra stuff. Chris   

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Borders done

Do you notice the sunlight. We haven't seen much of that in the last 48 hours, but it is only 17 degrees out. Two days ago it we 57. The last of the borders are on the quilt top. Full queen size now. The batts I ordered came yesterday in the mail so I need to piece a back and I'm good to do. Not sure what colored thread, but I have black tan and also white.  

This is a better picture without the sunlight. I think texture quilting will make more of an effect instead of decorative quilting. This has been a work in progress for at least two years. But this is another top completed. It is a plus to get the tops done at this rate. 

Hopefully everyone has a finish in their future. Chris

Saturday, March 22, 2014

No none sense sewing

I have so many small pieces from cutting and stitching piano keys borders for a quilt. So make your own fabric right? Well I'm making these silly pieces up and trimming to 4.5 inch squares. 

As you can see they are colorful and each is totally different from the other ones. Interesting what you can stitch up.

As you can see just stitching to get a somewhat abstract size to cut the 4.5 inch blocks out of. If anything is larger when you cut it off throw back into the pile and use in another block. The uses are endless. Charity quilts, baby quilts, lap robes. Or even a quilt for the car. I stitch the pieces together with fairly small stitches so they don't pill apart with bias edges. 1.5 is what I set my stitch length on. As I said no foundations at all. It only adds to the bulk. Some of these pieces are only 1.5 inches an odd shapes work well also. Have fun with it. Chris  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chicago Fire visit

This is my son and his family on the set of Chicago Fire meeting the actors yesterday. The kids are avid watchers because they know the Consultant and writer for some of the segments.

He is Uncle Chik to the kids. They drove to Chicago to have dinner with him and then met the actors one on one after the days taping. They will have stories to tell when they go back to school.

My son is a Fireman/Instructor and the kids follow all the training sessions their Dad gives. Very proud of him. Chris

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Negative feedback from a quilter

To start with it isn't from any of my followers. Please be assured of that. I love all you guys for your comments.

I posted a statement that was pleasant and not rude at all. This person emailed me back and told me I couldn't post on her blog. I guess this individual has been rude to others in the past and gets uptight over others questioning something she has posted. I shouldn't ever have  posted anything because I have seen her rant before and she never tells you what is said.

I will not ever go to this blog again. For the most part everyone is very nice and easy to go with suggestions and comments that they receive. My Mother said there was always a rotten apple in the barrel. I guess that was true.

If I'm rude please tell me in an email. I'm a big girl and can take it. I hope I haven't been rude to any of you. Chris  

Rainy and Granddaughter day

Today Autumn is coming for most of the day. So not a lot of sewing will take place. Maybe some will happen while she is napping. 

Crumbs will be the project for the day. 
The reason I will have her all day is that My son is taking his two older kids to Chicago. One of the writers of the TV series "Chicago Fire" is a very close friend of his. They are going to the TV set to the filming of a segment. They get to meet some of the actors. 

Steve Chikerotis is a Chicago Firefighter and he has been writing for all the seasons. He is Uncle Chik to the kids. Hopefully they have fun. As soon as I get some pictures I will share. Chris  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Getting closer to a finish

Borders are being made and sewn on. After making the center of this quilt top I was just going to let it end with one border. My husband and I said it was so much work to just use it as an extra quilt. So he talked me into making it a full queen sized bed quilt. Hence all the borders. Yes it will take a lot to quilt it, but what do I have the most of in my life? Time!

I am running out of fabric intended for the borders so I opted to make more piano keys. Yes it is a lot of sewing, but watching Netflix and stitching right along. Almost have enough for two sides at the moment. I do have to stop today to go to the store for a couple things. Suppose to be on a warming trend. We still have snow on the ground, but we are seeing it melt daily. Chris

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lots of cutting and stitching

No pictures, but believe me I have been busy today. Up at 2am and cut strips for 2 hours. Then decided to get borders cut for the kaleidoscope quilt. I was just going to finish it of at two borders and decided to make it fit the bed with a better drop on the side. So after several borders now I'm making more piano keys strips to make another border.

Yes I'm causing more work, but it is fun to make it the way I want to. I'm glad I cut all the strips I did so I have variety for the piano keys strips.

My room is starting to look like a sewing room instead of a junk room. Finally got things sorted better and things folded and placed on shelves in different areas that is more organized. I still have a stack on the floor by the cutting table to cut up. Then my next thing to tackle is the counter where the Featherweight sits. Things have been piled there. Baskets with thread and lace and buttons that all need to be sorted and put away.

I do have a stack of magazines to go through and decide what to do. I really want to pare down the clutter with all the magazines, but I start looking through them and find something that looks interesting.Can't win, but I'm trying to make some sense of the mess. As I said it didn't get that way overnight and it is taking forever to get cleaned up. Progress is being made though.

Hope everyone has a Good Saint Patty's Day tomorrow. Chris

Did you sew on National Quilting Day?

I got up way to early this morning and though about National Quilt Day. How many hours did you devote to this day and promoting it? I didn't necessarily devote any quality time to promoting Quilt Day, but I sure did a bunch of sewing. 

After 4 hours of stitching I decided I needed to do some cleaning. The sun was out for the most part. I took the kitchen curtains down and washed them. Washed the mini blinds and the windows and trim work around the windows. I got the curtains out of the washer and ironed then dry. I made them and it is homespun and it wold shrink horrible if I hadn't done it this way. The curtains did shrink some, but nor to much to look bad. 

We are getting company in another week and decided it would be a better looking room if it was Spring housekeeping clean. I still have a couple shelves with knick knacks to clean and pictures to clean. Then the area rug needs a good scrubbing. We are talking about changing the wallpaper and putting up wainscoting in the eating area. I haven't looked for wallpaper yet it is just talk. 

I hope you all had a productive day with your quilting conquests. Chris 

Friday, March 14, 2014

I pulled this out to use it

This was my Mother-in-laws machine from the 1960's. It weighs a ton , but it sure stitches through anything. The issue with it is it is a left position for the needle. Not center like the new machines. I've marked a mark on the throat plate to know where the perfect 1/4 inch seam is.  

If you can read it clearly the Pfaff Household Sewing Machine Co. made this machine. It has cams for the different stitches. It is basic straight stitch and zigzag unless you add a cam to the machine.
It uses a Class 15 bobbin and the needle threads from the left to the right. I hadn't heard of them before but they made them for several years. My husband had to re-wire the light, motor and the foot pedal. It had been in a cabinet and the foot controller didn't have a back on the bottom of it. It is electrically sound now and is a quiet running working machine. I have it set up on a table I can do piecing with it. 

Sun is out and almost 50 degrees today. Melting going on. Chris 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Went Shopping and back again

Kind of a gray day, got out and went to the Quilt Shop. It is in a small River Town of Fulton, Illinois. The shop is called Susan's Calico Creations. They display all a the fabric bolts in baby cribs. It is in a three storied department store. All with wooden floors. 

I got the fabric on the left which the color in the picture isn't good is a Swiss mocha colored for $4 a yard. 50% off regular price. The other one is a mahogany color for $5 a yard. I took all of the first one. Seven yards and 6 yards of the second one. Sashing, backings or  just because. Who knows what I will use it for. I went for black or slate gray and came home with browns. So it was a good trip. Chris

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Retail Therapy Tomorrow

I'm taking my Mother to a quilt shop that is about 35 miles away tomorrow. They are having a sale going on. Plus she makes Linus Quilts that they collect to take to the hospitals. She has several done and needs to get them delivered.

We haven't been there in over a year so it will be nice to go to see what they have on sale. They have a punch card and when you fill it up you get $25 off your purchase. I don't think mine is close yet, but I'm sure I can add to it.

I've been putting off going because we had such a bad Winter, but supposedly Spring is coming. Did you hear that rumor? Catch you on the flip side Chris

Crumbs or crazy scrap blocks

As I'm cleaning the sewing room I'm trying to sort through things and be productive. I started a couple buckets of small scraps planning on using them for applique which I will still do, but I also have so much of it I started a few a day making these crumb/scrappy crazy blocks. They are not on a foundation just stitched 1/4 inch seams and trimmed to the 4.5 inch size I chose to make them. Being smaller there is less chance of them being pulled out of shape as I handle the bias edges on some of the pieces. 

There are 30 of these mini blocks here. I'm sure there will be many more in the near future. I plan on cleaning up some of this chaos in there today. I have gotten some of it accomplished, but so much more to do. As I told my Mom it took a long time to get this way it will take some time to get cleaned up.   Well that is my story and I'm sticking to it.

The little blocks are fun to make and yet they do take time. Today I made 12 of them. I try and get some cutting or cleaning done. I still have borders to add to the Kaleidoscope quilt. So maybe after the baby leaves today I will get them sewn on. I do have two borders on a string quilt to assemble and also quilt. The room is still a mess, but I am the only one in there. It will happen someday. Chris

Going to be busy

Today the baby comes. She had 5 shots yesterday so I'm sure she will be fussy. The first two years of their lives are so stressful with being born, shots, learning to crawl, walk and eat solid food.

It snowed a little early this morning. I was up at 3:30 am and it was wet so must have rained first. It then started to snow, but nothing like the Chicago area.

We planted tomato and pepper seeds yesterday because we want veggies this next Summer.

Been up making crumb blocks to clean out another tub. Just made a small dent in the bucket, but got 12 blocks made. Laughing as I type this they are only 4.5 inches when done. I did get labeling done on my efforts from yesterday. I got covers on the tubs and shelves cleaned off to place them closer to where I sew. I can place stacks of fabric on the other shelves where the tubs use to be. I'm trying to get more of this stuff sorted and cleaned up. I still have several tubs to sort through and get them in the right places where I can grab them easier.

Made Ham and Beans yesterday. It was really good. I made a huge pan of it and will send 2/3's home to my son's today. He furnished the ham hocks from a hog they had butchered. I'm not sure what I will fix today. I bought some ground beef and need to get it divided and frozen at some point today.

Hopefully all of you can sew today. Chris

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Why does it get worse before it gets better?

I got up this morning and I cut for three hours. Small pieces and some off of yardage that is darn right ugly. As I'm digging I'm cutting.
This is the way I left it after three hours. My buckets are getting full and the variety is different with this cutting session so not all of the things I make are all looking the same.

The basket was overflowing, but it is below the rim of it now. The two white buckets have different sized strips in them. In my digging I found two tubs with 2.5 inch squares. So that got consolidated. A couple more hours of cutting then back to sewing. I still won't have it all done, but it will last for several days of sewing. 

I'm cutting 1.5, 1.75, 2, 2.5, 27/8, and 3 7/8 inch strips. That is the sizes I need to complete the projects I have in the works. I also am cutting 1 inch strips. I want to make a pineapple or courthouse steps with them. With these strips I can cut squares or leave them strips to use. 

The gardener planted seeds today. We start our own tomato and green pepper seeds every year. They are the seeds we harvest from our produce. We usually do great with the seeds we plant.  Can't wait for fresh tomatoes and peppers. 

The weather models are not agreeing for our area so we can get anywhere from 1-8 inches of heavy wet snow overnight into tomorrow. Now that I have stuff cut up I can sew all day long. Yippppppeeeee! Chris

Monday, March 10, 2014

More finds

As I dug through another tub I came across these blocks. Maybe 20 of them. Didn't know what to do with them. I had brought this piece of fabric home from my Mom's and decided it would work. 

Setting the blocks on point and alternating with the red and then the pieced blocks I think it will make a twin quilt. But I needed to wash the fabric. Glad I did the color really bled. I use the Shout Color Guard sheets and they were bright red after washing this fabric. Which reminds me it is in the dryer. I will be pressing that piece because I forgot it. 

Every time that quilt is washed it will need the washer sheets to collect the fading color. They sure have saved my washing experiences since I found out about them. No I do not work for the company that makes them, but they really do work. Chris

Crazy work but someone has to do it.

I got the last of the piano keys constructed and need to get them stitched together.Then there are two more borders to apply. Coming along pretty good considering it has taken all of 2 long years to get it this far. 

Now to the fun part of the day. In looking for scraps to complete the piano keys I came across two ice cream buckets of small scraps that my granddaughter helped me pack away three years ago. It is like Christmas all over again because I'm not sure what is in them. She meant well and I wasn't feeling good so I just let her help me. Now to work up the mess into usable stuff. And some of it is stuff. Christmas scraps in with the 30's prints. My Mom called theses crazy quilt blocks and she would stitch them onto old sheet squares. She made utility quilts for all of us and tied them for our beds to stay warm at night. I'm just stitching them together and pressing as I go until I get to a size I can square them up and make 4.5 inch pieces. 

This one is ready to be squared up. Can make quilt blocks or mug rugs out of them. I will sew a few every few days and store them until I get enough to make something out of them. This year the Xmas gifts are going to be made in this house so never to early to get the ball rolling. 

Here are some of them trimmed and pressed waiting to be chosen for a project. 
The baby is coming for most of the day today so I will have to get prepared for little hands soon. An hour here or there at the machine will make me happy today. Hopefully you can be happy too. Chris

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Going on virtually no sleep

I got little sleep last night so running on fumes. This has been my no none sense sewing lately. I needed to extend a border due to lack of material enough to make the drop off a sizable length. 3.5 inches wide on telephone book pages. The stripes were 1.5 inches wide and stitched to the foundation I got a straight strip after trimming.  

This was a Rockford, Illinois telephone book. So there are lots of pages in this book. 

I sat this morning and pulled off the paper from the back of the strips. When you sew fine stitches like 1.5 on your setting they perforate the paper and it comes off easy.

This is what I'm adding the piano key border to. It is a scrappy kaleidoscope quilt top I have pieced over the last couple years. I added the 2.5 inch white border and the piano key 3.5 inch border then another white border the same size as the first one. The last border will be the black and white polka dot for the last one. It will be a queen sized quilt when complete.  

It give sit a jumping off point with the busy look of the blocks by using the white then the piano keys. Hope you have a great day. Chris  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cooking while sewing

I made a big pot of homemade Chicken and noodles. Yes I make my own noodles. I called my Mom and she came out to eat with us. She enjoys home cooked meals, but hates to cook. I cooked the meat and veggies while I was adding the borders on the bright quilt. I have a recipe to make noodles with the food processor and then you roll out and cut to size. Delish!

I went into night to stitch a little and I made some of the telephone pages for the piano key borders. I have all these little pieces. so what do you do with them. Well you stitch them together and square them up. They are 4.5 inches square when I trimmed them up. What am I going to do with them Who knows, but it is using up more craps. As we say the scraps make scraps. I thought I would clean up a few small piles every couple days and see how far they get me. Maybe centers of star blocks maybe sashed and maybe 4 patches. As I get a few more done and decide what to do with them I will let you know. Might be a surprise to me too. 

I have been up since 3:30 am and not taken a nap so I think my time today was spent pretty well. Hopefully I sleep some tonight. Chris  

Quilt top finished

The borders are on and it is pressed. Need to get a batt and backing prepared. Bright for sure.

Hopefully it will be well used. Chris

Gray day but bright colors

This puzzle has been in the works for way to long. It was gray outside and gray parts and pieces were being handled. Finally it is done and time to take apart and get another one out.  

Bright colors for sure. I counted three times and thought I had enough. Well after three restarts I have enough now. I was running out of bright colors with some size for the blocks. 

This is Bonnie Hunter's free pattern Bricks and Stepping Stones with a slight twist. I stitched them on the long side and not the short side for the width. It is just a different way to stitch them. 

All stitched waiting to be pressed. 

Four more seams and then borders. It is going to be a twin sized quilt. I tried two border fabrics and chose the blue one on the right. The aqua one was not right for the busy look of the rest of the quilt top. The blue is a white and blue plaid. The quilt is going in a blue painted room. Hopefully Autumn can sleep under this quilt as bright as it is. It might keep her awake. 

Have to shovel snow again today. Not my most favorite thing. I got the closet back together after the hot water heater was fixed. Now even though we fixed the toilet it has a leak. Different part. So off to the hardware store today for a new gasket. When you own a house your fix and repairs are never done. Chris 

Friday, March 7, 2014


This is an uptight day for me. The weather is going to change and I'm walking the floors. I ache all over and yet I should be doing so many things.

We are to get rain then turn to snow. Yes more snow.

Now the man in this house tore a closet apart and is fixing a heating element in the hot water heater. So while it is all apart I will get rid of stuff that doesn't fit or I don't use any more.

Not something I really wanted to do today. But it needs doing.
Hope you are having a good sewing day. Chris

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What I'm working on in stages

This is a picture heavy post. These are tops I'm assembling today. May need to add some more to them.

Bright girly prints. Autumn will be going to a youth bed in the next few months so I thought a big girl quilt needed to be made. These are pieces left over from older Sis and also some 30's and 40's repro prints that work in the color scheme. 

This is a Bonnie Hunter pattern. It is on her blog and is a free pattern. I think it is called "Bricks and Stones." It is in the Free Pattern Tab at the top of her blog. 

I had the long sections sewn together then I stitched the two elements together in opposite directions. 

I stacked them up after pressing seams and was getting ready to lay them out. Not sure if I had enough for a twin bed size. 

Here they are on my queen bed, but I;m short about 8 blocks if I add borders. Which I'm sure I will have to because I'm running out of enough variety.

Simple blocks, but in the bright colors they make a busy statement. 

This is the other ongoing project. I'm making piano key borders. They are 1.5 inch strips sewn to a telephone book 3.5 inch wide strip of paper. I'm adding a white on white border to the quilt top and then the piano borders.   

They are just random pieces of fabric strips I have cut from scraps. I thought sewing them on a paper foundation would keep me from veering off the straight and narrow. 

With tight stitches the paper rips off really easy and doesn't distort the strips. I have about 20 more strips to make. I think it is the easiest way to make the border I could think of. My neighbors are saving some telephone books for me so I'm sure I will not ever run out. 

Here are other things waiting their turn to be completed. All the string blocks I have and not sure of how I want to complete the top. Thought of real narrow sashing between all the blocks and angling them in a certain pattern or direction. Still sorting that out in my mind. Don't want all the things I do to be all looking the same. 

Ok that is my progress over the last few days. The sewing machine after cleaning oiling and lubing is running wonderfully. Better get back at it. Chris.