Category Archives: Stash

The Making of Tula Strings

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There have been questions regarding how I made the Tula Strings blocks and border. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at keeping notes and drawings, so I will do my best to recreate the pattern. First, I laid out the various colors of shot cottons from my stash, then pulled out coordinating Tula prints. One and one half inch strips were cut – solids and prints.

img_0062 The strips were paper pieced onto a 10 1/2″ square of paper, beginning with a solid strip in the center. Was the paper necessary?  For me it was because the shot cottons definitely lend themselves to wonky sewn strips. And there was starch – quite a bit of starch! It was also pleasing that when pieced, the seams matched pretty darn close to perfect!

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A 6 1/2″ inch square was then cut on point from each block of strips.

Tula base 2 After much arranging and sewing together the blocks, a border was most definitely needed.  The leftover corners were cut into triangles, then solids added to make flying geese.

Tula Strings was now a quilt!

The prints are all out of print Tula Pink and a few were used  in more than one colorway.

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There were many, many triangle cuts that have been made into a quilt. Stay tuned for an upcoming post!

 

Happy New Home Quilt

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Whew! The past two weeks have been mostly spent outdoors – in the garden and doing some much needed power washing. The temps had not yet reached the 80’s so it was perfect. Now I’m out there by 7 AM and in by 10 AM.  It’s hot, humid and icky for outside work! I am, however, enjoying the fruits of my labor. Thanks to excellent spring rains, all is lush and there’s some pretty color.

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I did manage to come inside to bind a quilt that I recently got back from my longarmer. My cousin from Long Island, New York, and her hubby, looked far and wide for their forever retirement home.  They chose NC just 20 minutes from me! They are in a retirement community and love their choice and I am just so happy for them. What better way to welcome them than with a quilt.

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It is super scrappy! Even the binding is scrappy.  They can put this quilt anywhere and it will go with their colors! The blocks were string sewn into squares then cut for half square triangles. Having used them in the border, I was left with only bits which makes me very happy!

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There are a couple of more bindings waiting for me.       I do love finishes!

Linking up: Needle Thread Thursday

 

Chequers

Happy Easter all.  It’s been very quiet here and rainy, and gloomy.  We are following the state “stay at home” directive and well….let’s just say I did a lot of sewing today!

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This week I finally finished my batik Chequers quilt. The pattern is from the “Modern Quilts Illustrated book.  This baby took forever! When I went to put the completed blocks together, I wasn’t loving a few of my choices so I remade the blocks. Then – ta da! – I quilted it! If you know me, you know that other than small quilts like table toppers, I am not a quilter. It’s just not something I enjoy, but this one I was determined to quilt.  It’s all straight and curvy lines.  Burying threads took forever!

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Instead of using batting, I backed this top with a bright green fleece.  I love the weight and the softness.  This will be my new couch quilt to cuddle up with in the evenings when I’m chilled.

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I’ve also made more masks. I’ll confess – I’m not as productive in this department as other quilters have been.  My hats off to all those who are so generously making and donating a load of masks. Some have offered to buy them from me but I have so gladly gifted the masks. We’re in this together and even my little contribution can go a long way.

May you all stay safe, happy and healthy!

Lots Going On

Like everyone else, I have extra time at home because we are truly isolating.  This has led to accomplishments! First, I cut ALL my scraps.  Yowza! It was a lot!! Below are just the 1 1/2″ strips.

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Then, I completed ten face masks. There’s a thread out there that we may be required to wear them out soon, so I made one for each of my family.  I plan to make more for family, friends and neighbors. Honestly, I found these somewhat tedious to make, but also important to do. I did have a couple of 1,000 thread count pillow cases that we never used that I cut as the layer on the face.

Quilting and batik fabrics were used for the other two layers. Not only did I not have any elastic, but I understand that health professionals have said that the elastic is taking a toll on surface skin, so I used t-shirt material, cut one inch by 18 inches and pulled to make a cord.

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At the November 2019 retreat, blocks were pieced by the retreaters.  I put those together for a Hospice quilt. Would really like to get this quilted in the next week.

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Social media has been wonderful during this time.  As the Quilt & Sew-In had to be cancelled, we have been doing an “on-line retreat.” It’s also so easy to text or face time with family and friends. Imagine isolation before internet – Yikes!

I truly pray that all of you are staying safe and happy. So glad it’s spring!

A New Year of ? . . .

Quilting, creating, travel and fun with friends! A two night sew-in with friends in March, three retreats in April and one in November. No firm travel plans yet, but I’m working on it!

First up is prepping to make a quilt for a baby girl due this spring.  The requested colors are red, gray and black. Here are the reds I’ve chosen:

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And here are the grays and blacks:

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My plan is to make a scrappy sawtooth star, with four patches between each star block. The fabrics are all prewashed and pressed. I’d like to get them cut this week, put in a project box with my notes and drawings, and bring to the March sew-in.

Next I need to make a plan for my flimsies (unquilted tops). Realistically, I will not quilt them all myself, so I need to decide which will go to the long arm professional. I’ll also need to choose and prep backings.

Then comes the charity quilts. The donations received need to be sorted through and a plan formed. The blocks made at the November retreat will be pieced. New blocks will be cut for the April Quilt & Sew-in. A new cause has been chosen for this retreat – more about that at a later time.

And then there is this basket FULL to be sorted, cut and put away.

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Whew! That’s all my overwhelmed brain can handle for now! Have you made plans for the new year? Or do you take it a day at a time – free and unstressful?

Nine More Days!

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It’s been a fun and busy week.  A friend has a family farm and invited two of us for a 3 day sew-in.  All that time concentrated on sewing and friends (and food) was such a treat! I put the main body of this batik and black & white quilt together.  I cut the squares after I reorganized my batiks a while back.  Now I’m working on the borders.  I need to cut a little more and look forward to a finish before the end of the year.

Yard/house chores have taken some of my time.  We mainly heat with wood – it’s nice and warm but there is work involved.  We used the beastly wood splitter and then there was hauling and stacking.  Whew! I’m not used to so much manual labor!

A friend that I meet once a month for a day long sew-in made these two lovely ornaments for me.  I love their elegance!

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The house has been decorated since the begining of Advent and I have been intentionally sitting and enjoying it all.  The living tree is a skinny tree and adds enough festivity to make me happy.  Ornaments from when the kids were little still adorn the tree and yes, we hang tinsel! Can you spot the little boat and water skiier? That’s from the early years of our marriage. There’s also a little lit tree with ribbon on the kitchen island and a slightly larger little tree in the dining room with bright lights and a little ceramic angel on the top that I made years ago.

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And, of course, there’s all the wood carvings my son did many years ago.  There’s even a carved candle! He no longer carves, but oh how I hope he’ll take it up again one day.

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I’d almost forgotten that I stitched these pillows a couple of years ago and put them out about a week ago.

I hope you are enjoying this wonderful season and that all your prep work is progressing along merrily!

A Few Finishes!

Oh how I like to say “finished!”  Two of these are little, one bigger, but all make me happy.

First, for a couple of little Christmas time gifts, I embellished these towels.  From my stash, I made prairie points and cut strips.  These make great hostess gifts and guild gift exchanges.  They’re also pretty quick!

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These next are, as my hubby declared, “Cute, Cute, Cute!”  I found these little dishes at our local Habitat Store.  Buttons added around the rim and magnets on the bottom and voila! Pin dishes.  I am struggling though, I want to keep one.  I already have other pin dishes and a LOT of pin cushions.  Let go, let go.

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And finally, I got the last border on my Tula Strings. I know, technically not a complete finish because it’s not quilted. That, however, won’t happen for quite some time so I’m declaring a victory – a finished flimsy!  Off to Flimsy Land it goes.

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I’m also prepping for a two day sew-in that I am really excited about. I have two projects prepped and packed and am working on a third – just in case.

As the year is coming to a close, do you find yourself finishing?

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Linking:  Oh Scrap!    Monday Making   Midweek Makers   Quilt Fabrication

 

Prep & Progress

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Lots of prep has been going on here.  Saturday I leave for the mountains for the Fall Quilt & Sew-In! Even though I’ve been doing retreats for thirteen years, I still get a little antsy and anxious a few days before it begins.

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Blocks have been prepped for the charity quilts from the bin of precut scraps above. There are a couple of layout possibilities for one:

And here is the layout for another quilt:

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A bucket of blocks with instructions are available for anyone who chooses to complete one or more blocks. They then put their name in for a drawing and on Show & Tell night names are drawn for prizes. I and another quilter put the blocks together for a quilt –  it certainly helps to get more Hospice quilts completed!

My projects – I always bring more than I could possibly complete. When you are the facilitator, time sewing is reduced. I love it though, and wouldn’t have it any other way! First and foremost, I plan to work on my Tula strips.  I already have several blocks complete and all is very organized (completed block above).

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A nine patch I worked on at a recent sew-in is also in the queue.  The plan is to do a disappearing nine patch, but I just haven’t decided which pattern I will be using.

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For when I don’t want to actually sew, there is this bin of half-square triangles that need to be trimmed to size.  There’s a bunch, so trimming a little at a time will make the task less daunting.

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And finally, a bin of 3 1/2″ squares for a leader-ender.  I recently spent two (exhausting) days sorting my batiks by color.  There is now a bin full of scraps, and six bins of larger pieces.  The batik squares will be paired with black and white squares.  I think this will be quite stunning. I love to have a leader-ender project going – makes me feel so productive!

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A fun and productive week is ahead! I can’t wait to share all that is Quilt & Sew-In!

 

Two Weeks – Week One!

Whew! I’ve been gone for the last two weeks.  The first week I went to a sew-in with some great gals, came home on a Saturday, and left on Sunday for a week vacation with hubby! Some careful planning made it doable and it was all totally worth it!

First, the Sew-In.  A good friend planned this time for us at the same place where I have the Quilt & Sew-Ins – at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock.  This place is like a second home to me so I was thrilled that we gathered there.  How convenient it was that my sleeping room was just around the corner from the sewing room!  There were only six of us so it made it very intimate.

auuofdigryeekn9xf2_fhq-medium.jpgDebbie had the first finished project. This is such a cute mini.cx-bqbztskqzt3tmcrxz0a-medium.jpg

Another Debbie creation.  This pic does not do this beautiful log cabin justice. The fabrics were just glorious!

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Pam’s wine fabric casserole carrier sure is classy!

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Yes, Debbie was quite productive. This flimsly was mostly done before the retreat – a few more seams and border – colorful and fun!

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Pam made this bag using a preprinted batting and precut strips.  I love the way the strips meet on the sides. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be getting some of this batting.

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Love this scrappy block pattern that Sue was working with. The block is rather time consuming and she made several. This is going to be one beautiful quilt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three table toppers! Sheranna tackled the 10 minute table toppers – one Christmas, one St. Pattrick’s Day and one very elegant and formal.  Full disclosure – they take a bit more than ten minutes!

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And yes, I did sew.  I worked on blocks using some of my batik stash for a quilt called “Katsura” from Modern Quilts Illustrated.

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I also put together a pile of nine patches with a pile more to go.  I’m going to split each block but have not decided which method to use yet – something different from the most used split nine patch.

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I also managed to complete a flimsy for Hospice.  This will be a 2020 contribution. How nice to have a bit of a head start!

It was a great week! Along with sewing I enjoyed talking, laughing, swimming, walking, dining at a few fine restaurants and lots more laughing.  Now back to reality…

I Got Mail & a Finish!

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Recently the best box of goodies showed up at my doorstep.  A reader from Kansas contacted me.  Her mother, who was an avid quilter, passed away. Just like most quilters, it was no surprise that she had WIPS in her stash that her daughter now wanted to pass on to the Hospice ministry. And WOW! First, was this hand pieced, hand quilted piece. I needed to take it apart a bit to make it into a square, but because she used Georgia Bonesteel’s laptop quilting method, it was easy. I took it apart, rearranged some blocks, sewed it back together, put on a binding and look! A finished Hospice quilt! What a wonderful and loving way to honor the memory of her mother. This finish will be passed on to Hospice this November and shortly thereafter will bring warmth, joy and love to someone in need.

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All that hand quilting – WOW!

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There were a couple of block of the month kits with the blocks all made, needing to be sewn together, and the patterns given to us too. Another amazing treasure was the Sunbonnet Sue blocks and yes, hand done. There are even the cardboard templates included! A few blocks were complete and many, many pieces were prepped ready to applique.

The below quilt was also a block of the month – all put together.

And yes, another quilt all pieced.  WOW – so much excellent work!

I was tickled to see this scrappy quilt.  I can only image all the quilts that were made resulting in the scraps for this one.

Thank you to this most generous reader.  Our group is honored to have your mother’s fine works and will endeavor to do you proud!