Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Have you ever gotten bored and moved on?


I have worked on this idea for awhile now. I have several of them done to this point. I have several more to complete.

I am bored. I need to get them finished and ready to quilt. I made a pledge to myself to sew two hours everyday. Well as you know sometimes life gets in the way.

Today I got an hour and fifteen minutes which is a far shot better than not sewing at all. 

I have determined that at my age which is getting closet to 70 each day that I have enough fabric and more than enough started project to sew the rest of my life and not get all of it done. So hence the decision to do the 2 hours a day to get this mess sewn up and finished. 

Do you have goals? I would like to get more done each day, but between the Virus and my husband's health I do what I can. 

This has been a tough time for all and while I am sewing I try to forget the World outside and try and focus on what I have in front of me. In doing so I relax. Which is a good thing for me. 

I hope you are all well and your families are safe. Life will go on, but dealing with everyday things in the World we have in front of us is a challenge. Find a UFO or WIP and make it a finished quilt. Breath and enjoy the process. 


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Oh my Oh My

Yes you heard me. Oh my! The scraps have been under attack. They are getting sewn up into big blocks with a lot of pieces. 
I prefer to cut squares and have them ready to just sit down and sew. I have tons cut so I can have variety. I usually have color saturated squares cut on hand all the time. Well this block needs neutrals. I do not have a huge amount of neutral fabrics. I think that is something most of us over look. I know the difference between white based neutrals and cream based neutrals, but in this quilt it is everything goes. 
I was auditioning fabric for sashing or to sew them together. My husband likes the darker sashing idea. I think I lean towards that also and it will allow me to do the QAYG method of quilting since I have a domestic machine and shoulders that do not like to be put the strain of wrestling a huge quilt.

This is a Bonnie Hunter Free Pattern called Jewel Box Star. I am sure it has other names as well. It was a Leader and Ender block she then turned into a quilt. It is available on her blog. Quiltville.blogspot.com in the free pattern section. The patterns are in alphabetic order. 

I used the 2.5 inch squares for the 4-patches, but the instructions say the HST are from 4.5 inch squares. Well if you make the 4.75 inches you can get two HST out of one colored square and one white square. Instead of have orphan HST's that you have to save for another project. Or less waste. 

The blocks are about 16.5 inches so after a lot of stitching they do turn into a large block to make the quilt move faster. 

I like to do the Leader and Ender ideas because you are not getting bored plowing through with one type a block and I think it keeps your mind going to not get complacent with a quilt and end up getting 3/4 way through and bored never to finish. 

Hope all of you are well and you can dig into that stash and find some new quilts out of forgotten fabrics. 

Stay Well and Safe Chris  

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Another 30 days

We are on another 30 days to get through this quarantine. We are well. but others aren't. I had a huge gallon sized bag stuffed with 4-patches. These are made with random cuts of 2.5 inch squares. There had to be over 300 in the bag. I keep using them and I thought this would make a quick quilt. Well it has, but the piles has dwindles to no variety

So I got out my 2.5 inch strips and started slicing and dicing. I had a dishpan full of color and variety to work with. I sat for 3 hours yesterday just stitching away and working out my worst fears. 

Today I plan on working on this project and see if I can get it closer to being a top. It is a simple utility quilt, but more fabric sewn up. 

Stay safe

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Where do I begin?

 Well first off how is everyone? We are fine staying in and getting things done. Some closet cleaning, some cooking and some sewing. I hope all is bright in your lives and everyone is well. Stay in touch with loved ones and find a TV show or movie, music, to stay positive. The sun is coming out right now.

I have helped my husband plant seeds for garden vegetables. We use to have a huge garden, but due to age it was getting to hard to keep up with. We will be planting in pots this year. 
Not sure I showed you the texture this QAYG blocks have after quilting. them. This the backing for the colorful 16 patches that are framed in bright colors. This backing fabric I purchased from quiltedtwins.com. It was fast service and I got the yardage I needed to accomplish this quilt.

This is a view of the top with the connecting strips to hold this quilt together after it is quilted. I used a utility stitch that is on my machine, but it adds another texture to the quilt. 

This is the back strips that are used. This is Grunge fabric and it is perfect to add another finish that is attractive. 
I have five rows connected together in this picture. I have only two more out of the 8 rows to connect. I sat down long enough to type this and then back at it. I want this one done. It is a twin sized quilt. I used a 60/40 Pellon  batting to quilt this one. It is not as heavy feeling as the 80/20 I have used in the past, but will have the warmth that is needed.

In the gray days we have been having here in Northern Illinois this is a pleasant task finishing this one up.

I hope you have some bright spots in your stay at home lives.
We have as normal for the Winter stayed pretty much in the house. I know this has been a trying time for many. I order groceries online and pick them up. We had just been to the Dr's office before all this happened so we are all doing well.

We planted tomato, cucumber, green pepper seeds to have starts for the pots when it gets warm enough to get out and do the yard work. Today it is warmer, but Spring rains will be starting soon and we will have to start mowing before long.

Haven't seen my Granddaiughters for about a month, but I know they are at home and out of harms way. They go to the farm with their parents and back home. They are taking classes online through their school and having fun with the different method of learning.

Please be careful and stay healthy. This may take awhile to correct it's self but it will pass in due time.

Keep on sewing. Chris

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Staying home

In light of the crazy things going on in the World today I choose to stay home and not travel. I have prepared myself and my home with yes Toilet paper and food. 

I do this most every Winter because my husband is disabled and has lung issues. I can't even afford to bring germs home to him. I now ordering groceries from Walmart and not entering the store to help prevent this exposure. 

The news has hyped some of this, but it is good common sense to protect yourself and your family. I buy extras because I feel I am prepared for up to 2 weeks because we are cautious. 

The info given isn't a farse. I worked in the a medical facility and precautions are what keep people safe. Our State has closed all private and public schools for two weeks. There is a reason all this is being done. To keep you and your loved ones Safe. Hospitals and Nursing homes are restricting visitors and even Courthouses are rescheduling court cases. This is just common sense. 

Back in the 1890's my Great Grandmother lost 5 children in 10 days during a flu epidemic. Yes sanitation and medicines are greatly advanced now, but a lesson was learned fom history in my family. 

So to keep me busy you see in the picture I have completed  enough QAYG blocks to make a twin sized quilt. So the strips will be cut for the connections today and a roast put in the crockpot and stay-in and keep the fires burning.

Netflix and Prime will be busy today in my house plus sewing. 

Hope you are all well and can stay that way. Chris  

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Digging for something else and found this

The first two pictures are not my own. They are snatched off of Pinterest. But they are a close up of the quilt blocks I found in my digging for something else. 

This it the picture of the quilt. They are 7 inch squares when complete. Small pieces, but a neat look when all complete in the quilt.

This is the centers of the block. As you can see they are not very big. 

This is the blocks in the stages to the completed blocks.

I thuink I started this like 5 years ago. It was about the time my Mother got sick and I put it up to take care of her. Not even sure the name of the quilt pattern. I thought I saved the instructions which were in a magazine, but couldn't locate it.

I need to address this and see if I can find them or go online and see if a PDF is available. 

With the Flu season well in force I have beem staying home much more and trying limited ventures out because I don't want to bring anything home to my husband who is disabled.  I hope you all are well. Chris
I will search for the name of this quilt and the designer.

This is a free tutorial from All people quilt.com  It is called
"Quilt Every Little Bit". It has a free download recently offered. So Check out Allpeoplequilt.com and look it up.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

No sewing for days

Yes this had to be changed. We were not gettting enough hot water.

We got the book out on it and it was ten years old. The last heating element was installed in 2014. We live with a well so the water is very hard water. It was getting limed up and it just needed to be changed. 

My husbnad is disabled, but insisted he change it. I went and bought it and paid to have it delivered. 

I had to clean put a closet to get to the cabinet it is stored in. The closet needed a good clean out anyway. I had some old computer componnents and also a ton of old pillows. Which all of that will get recycled or sent to the thrift store. 

It was a long day because he is weak and he had to take breaks. But it is in place. The pipes had a leak, but he got that fixed. So today we will put the closet back together.

So that explains the no sewing. I had to go to the hardware store for plumbing pieces and I do most of the lifting, but it saved us about $400 in labor doing it ourselves. 

I would have prefered one of the boys to help, but they both were working. We just have to get the old tank hauled off now. 

I do plan on trying to finish picking up after the closet gets put back together and get some more sewing done. 

Hope you all had a more productive day than I had, but I have hot water again. Chris

Thursday, February 20, 2020

27 days till Spring

I can't wait. This was lillies from last year. 

This has been a really gray Winter. We all are dealing with having to turn on light and staying inside. 

It has been cold. Not so much snow, just really cold. 

The last few days I haven't done much as far as sewing. I have the last few blocks constructed and need to machine quilt them for the evewntual finish of the next quilt. 

I am going to change gears and start getting back out quilts that are close to completion. Working through until finished. I then need to do major cutting. I need some leaders and enders pieces cut so I can work on another finish. 

I see on Instagram all the quilt festivals going on and the new colors of fabrics. Makes me want to get my brights out and start sewing. 

Hope you are counting the days with me. Spring is around the corner. Chris 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

What other crafts do you do?

Besides quilting what are some other crafts you do?
I have several I like to do, but not enough hours in the day to complete them all. 

I do X stitch. I have done cross stitch since the 80's. Many years went by and notr a stitch was done. In the last 6 months I have completed a couple stitchings, but not got them fully finished. I am waiting to get the kitchen painted for a couple of them. 

This is done on 18 count aida I tea  and coffee dyed. I dried the fabric in the sun all scrunched up to get the vintage look. 

I knit also and a small amount of crochet. 

At this point in m y life I am using up stash. yarns and threads I hve had for a long time. As long as the thread doesn't break easily I am using it up. The colors are not faded and the floss has been stored in a closed container. I think it is all in the storage. 

I do have to use magnifying lenses to aid in the stitching, but that is ok. Not attractive, but it works. 

So do you have other projects that you pick up off and on and do?

I need also to make three sets of Raggedy Ann's and Andy's for my Granddaughters.
Not that they will play with them, but they can place them on their beds. I plan on some cross stitch pillows for their beds also. 

Something they can have that BGrandma made for them. I guess I am to sentimental.

I have the need to create. Hope you do. Chris

Monday, February 10, 2020

Getting closer

I have these baskets cut full of 2.5 inch strips. They are the size I use in making these16-patches for the blocks I have been working on. I need some different colors for the pan I had used out of. 

I have almost 36 blocks sewn and quilted in a QAYG method. I need 48 blocks for a twin size. These are 2.5 inch squares sewn into the 16-patch block with 2 inch strips sewn around the 16-patches. Simple but colorful.

I did straight line quilting on these blocks in a setting of three lines. It holds the block secure and a little more masculine looking than other things I could have done.

My husband has a twin adjustable bed and he likes the looks of these blocks. 
I need a new quilt for my bed. The binding is starting to fray. Really just need to replace the binding. It is queen sized.

I should make another queen size for my son's bed and a king size for my step son's bed. I think I have an idea for both of the quilts, but still trying to decide which one I will do first. 

Of course I have many more in the works. I hope I live long enough to get them all done. 
Hope you are getting all your sewing goals met. Spring is coming. The Canada Geese are flocking around us. Chris

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

No sewing day

Yes there are a few days like that at my house. Yesterday was clean and purge day. I cleaned my bedroom from top to bottom.

I have had things piling up and it ends up in my bedroom because we live in a small house. I went in stripped the bed and washed everything then started sorting and pitching.

Why do we save things? Why do we put off  taking care of something while it is in our hands?

That is two rooms that are cleaned completely now.

I plan on in the next week to tackle another one that has 3 sizes of clothing in it that need to be taken to the thrift store. Some one might as well be using them it won't be me.

My goal is to get it all done before we have to start mowing for the Summer.

Today will be sewing time after I run to the lumber yard to pick up some things.

Hope you have a productive day. Chris

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

2 hours here and there

Yes, Two hours her and two hours there will get you there eventually. I have been making strings in between machine quilting blocks. Changing up the pace is fun. 

These are pieced like piano keys for the blocks I am making.

As you can see the character block is in the center. The diagonal strings are in the corners and the piano keys are on the sides of this 9-patch. These are 1.5 inch strips that I am using for this project. The more colors the better. 

This is totally made from 2 inch strips. This is a quick baby quilt, but it is colorful and using up many  strips to give you this quick quilts. 

Again this is from 2.5 inch strips. These are 1.25 on a side hexies. It takes a 2.5 inch square to make these. This is hand work, but something small enough it is portable if sitting in an office waiting. The more color the better. This will be about 45X60 inches when complete. This is using up small pieces leftover when cutting strips for other quilts. 

I can't just throw them away. Might be a long term project, but on the go it is easy to grab and keep sewing. 

We have had really gray days so I have been going into the sewing room in the afternoon and turning on the light and pulling out all these color projects and getting lost in the color parade that comes out from under the needle.

Yesterday I didn't get as much sewing done. I took my machine apart to clean it. I have a small dust brush and I was trying to get the dust down around the bobbin race. I dropped the brush and it was small enough to fall in and with fiddling to get it out with tweezers I got it lodged. 

My husband was laying down so I was determined to get it out. I propped up the machine so it was accessible and got needle nose pliers out and finally retrieved it. So I quickly replace the throat plate so I wouldn't loose any more pieces. 

So this dusting brush will not be used when you have an enclosed bottom on the machine. I have non portable vintage machines I can use it on and not get it wedged again. 

Hope your day was not as challenging as mine was. Pray for sunshine. Chris 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

leftover blocks

This is some of the blocks leftover from the king sized quilt. I made 20 more and will make another quilt with them. Not king sized though. I decided on the triple line quilting to QAYG the blocks for this one. 

This is the backing fabric I bought a while back from www.quiltedtwins.com. This is 44 inch wide fabric. I am not sure they have it anymore. I bought several yards of it for backs for the QAYG quilts I have been making. 

I plan on this being about a twins sized quilt. It is all scrappy and will be colorful to use in a kids room or on a couch. 

We are to get more snow tonight into Friday. So I thought I can get a few of these done off and on during the day. I have the batting cut and the backing I am pressing as I need each piece. They sew up pretty quickly.

Hope you are staying safe and warm. We live about 50 miles from the Mississippi River and they are talking about low level flooding with this snow amounts we are to get. 

Keep stitching Chris

Thursday, January 16, 2020


Trying to clean up areas of my house. I have an extra bedroom and the granddaughters have taken it over. We have toys in there and also air mattresses for them to sleep on.

I found markers everywhere, doll clothes, and dirty clothes. Quilts need washing and the sheets need changing.

I am going to vacuum the room and get it ready for the next visit.

The closet in that room is the catch all closet. I need to get it gone through, but not today. I have a few Christmas decorations that need to be put away that didn't make it earlier.

It is really cold here, but a storm is headed my way in the overnight. We are to get 3-5 inches of snow and mixed precip.

So no sewing getting done today. I hope you have time to sew. Chris

Monday, January 13, 2020

Fussy cutting

I received about 3 yards of fabric in an estate sale purchase I made several years ago. I am trying to cut this and use as much as I can for three quilts for the girls. I think they will be couch quilt size. 

I was on Pinterest and saw a string quilt block with a spot in  the center for a focus square. So the idea came to cut into the character fabric. They are really busy with all the strings and the focus square.

I think they will be cute. I have enough to make 9 blocks per quilt. They are not a simple cut to make these because you cut into the next image. I plan on some kind of border. Maybe piano keys in bright colors. 

This is a think out of the box kind of quilt. Each will be about the same. but different. I had found these blocks started in a pile and thought why not. It was really gray and gloomy so I dove in.

Sometimes going back to a started project helps you become inspired again. I go through spells of why do I want to sew. I guess it is second nature to have a needle and thread in hand or at the machine.

Hope you all have a great sewing day. Chris

Friday, January 10, 2020

Happy New Year

Hope you have a healthy and safe New Year.

We have a Winter snow and ice storm heading my way tonight. I went to make my final grocery pick up because it might be a few days before the roads are clear. We could get blizzard like winds so there would be drifting. I am prepare I think.

My husband is on Oxygen 24/7 now so we have about 12 hours of tanks on hand. Hopefully we don't electricty.

So no pictures today. I got an order this week from www.quiltedtwins.com  They had some red half yard bundles and some tan solids that I wanted. I need to get around to washing it. I have allergies so the washing helps with the odors and chemicals.

I have several things in the works, but have spent time trying to get this all here for the potential for a heavy wet snow storm. We live rural so we are on a well. I buy bottled water because the well pump can't run if the electricity goes out. We have a manual light gas fireplace so we can stay somewhat warm and pile on the quilts.

I plan on sewing with m y machine as long as I can. Then have a hand sewing project that I can do if the electricity goes out.

Hope you are not in the path of this storm. Happy New Year. Chris