All in a Row

This brings me such joy! All are quilts on their way to Hospice. There are nine pictured above. Some were donations by quilting friends, some were made from blocks sewn at retreat, and some were put together by me at home. There is such a feeling of accomplishment when a Hospice quilt is complete.

The two quilts on the right above were quilt tops sent to me by readers. A friend quilted the center quilt. I quilted the quilt on the right and the one on the left I made from start to finish. There is just so much color and joy in each quilt – truly gifts from the heart!

I continue to take donations of completed quilts and quilt tops. Lap size or even a bit smaller suitable to be used by someone in a wheelchair are preferred. At this time, however, I am not accepting any fabric – my bins overfloweth!

A New Design Wall

Not all quilters work with a design wall, but I’d be lost without mine! For years I’ve had a double white design wall with a grid backing. The grid showed through to the front for the purpose of lining up blocks. It was getting a bit ratty looking and difficult to clear of threads.

I have now replaced it with a 72″ x 72″ heavy weight grey felt. I love it! It cleans off easily and fabrics just pop on it! And, I don’t miss the grid at all. Yes, it’s a bit smaller than the former, but more than sufficient for my needs. Another plus is that I bought it on sale at a fabric store and it was SO economical. I have yardage of a printed flannel made for a design wall, but I would have needed two lengths as it is only 44″ wide and I just didn’t want the seam. Also, the heavier weight of this new wall just seemed so much better to me.

Leader-Ender blocks are now “stored” on the design wall. Not in any particular order, to be played with once more are ready.

This new addition also helps to make my studio a bit neater looking. A definite win for me!

In With the Old – Update

I have had several inquiries about what was meant by the needle being close to the head of the machine. Hopefully this illustration will help.

Note the red arrow showing the distance of the needle from the head of the machine.
Here the red arrow is showing a much shorter distance of the needle from the head of the machine.

My Singer is put away, so this last illustration I used a ruler instead of an actual rope basket in the making. With the greater distance, once the base is sewn, the rope can only be raised at an angle, thus making a bowl. With the Singer, it would be able to go upright to form a basket like the one shown.

I really appreciate your feedback and inquiries. Hope this helps!!

Out with the Old, In with the Old

Several years ago I was so excited when I got my black Featherweight machine. I took it to retreats as a back-up machine. At home I did use it to make one quilt top but otherwise hardly ever used it. Hubby did customize an old student desk we had so the FW fit in it perfectly. This has been my year for clearing out – downsizing as much as possible. Decision made – Featherweight goes. A quilter drove 6 1/2 hours to my home to pick it up – wow! I think she fancied the desk – it was unique and quite handy. It was a little sad to see it go off in her vehicle but honestly, do I miss it? No. Decision well made.

Just a few weeks after saying goodbye to my black beauty, Hubby and I were in Habitat where I spotted an old Singer machine. Of course I had to check it out! What appealed to me was that the needle was close to the head of the machine which meant I could now sew rope baskets and not just bowls. You guessed it – she came home with me. The cost was a mere $27 and I had 30 days to return it.

It sews beautifully – very smooth. Hubby took it apart (oh how he loves doing that), went online for the manual and servicing info. It was extremely clean. Oiled and greased, I was ready to make my first basket. Yeah! It worked!

My new basket is on my cutting table for throw-aways. I’ve only made the one so far. The machine is put away for now so I won’t be tempted as I would really like to finish up a few other works in progress first. It will definitely be a fun day when it comes out again.

Will I travel with her? Oh no, she weighs a ton!

Moving on to….?

More sewing? Organization? Purging? Yes on all three! In this new year, I will definitely be sewing, because that’s what I do! Organization is a continuing process with me. Some things in the studio are somewhat difficult to keep tidy and organized, especially when I’m in “creative mode.” Purging? Oh yes. My goal is to reduce my fabric inventory significantly. There are several places on Facebook marketplace where I can sell fabric. I’ve done a fair amount of that this year and plan to continue. And some fabrics will be donated.

Sewing: As of this writing, I haven’t sewn in five days. It’s a good thing as I will no doubt feel more joy when I turn on my machine again. I have two fairly labor intensive projects that I want to actively work on right now. One is a log cabin wall hanging – block above finishes at 5 1/4″. The other a tiny house quilt. The house block finishes at 3″ and will be doing each as a square in a square. Lots of progress on the first, not so much on the second.

Hospice quilts – I have a bin with dedicated blocks, fabric, partial quilt tops that have all been donated. I need to take inventory and make a plan. An empty bin would be quite an accomplishment!

And here is my 2020 rundown:

May your 2021 be filled with joy and success in all you pursue!

On Our Way

To Christmas that is! I did a little bit of last minute stitching this weekend. I made a rope bowl for a special someone and a couple of Santa Boot kitchen towels. The free pattern for the towels can be found here and are super simple, fun, and look great!

This rope bowl is made to go into a new home that has it’s main decor done in gray.

I finished decorating a while back and admittedly did not put everything out. Traditions are important to me, so much of what went up is very traditional to us.

The tree. Here our Callie is enjoying her daily nap beneath the branches. We quickly learned that she really likes tinsel so no tinsel at the bottom of the tree. Yes, we still do colored lights and tinsel. I can’t imagine it any other way. Many of the ornaments are from our children’s elementary years. I get the biggest kick out of pulling them out each year and hanging them, although fewer were put up this year.

There are also two smaller trees – one in the dining room and one on the kitchen counter. Both have white lights and add a nice shimmer to the rooms.

The large full manger scene is not out this year. It was given to me by my mother when I was 19 years old. This is only the second time it has not been set up for Christmas, but that’s okay because I still have this little precious one that our daughter made when just a little girl. Don’t you just love the sweet pea baby?! And a big angel is watching over.

And, of course, our mantel is lined with hand carved Santas They were all carved by our son when he was 16 years old. A few of his Santa ornaments are also on the tree.

The hanging stockings were made by a neighbor that moved away 25 years ago, but we remember her every time I hang them. These, however, are not the ones Santa fills. We each have a special crochet stocking – they stretch and can fit a lot more goodies in them!

Sending warm blessings to all of you.

Merry! & a winner

Yes, as in Merry Christmas! I came across several of the pinwheel blocks recently, put them on the design wall and decided to go with it. Of course, it meant making lots and lots of blocks. It was too much pinwheel so I went with the circle blocks too. All the circles are hand appliqued. Funny, I just really enjoy hand appliqueing circles – I find it so relaxing.

I chose plain borders to unbusy (a word?) the quilt a little. Thinking about quilting it myself, using a medalion in each of the blocks which consist of four blocks as above. It is very doubtful that it will be quilted for this Christmas, but it certainly allows me to look forward to a new Christmas quilt in the living room next Christmas!

And the backing…The white pinwheel blocks were also in my stash. Originally I was just going to use one fabric for the backing, but don’t want the orphan blocks mounting up too high, so I pieced. No leftover blocks! Yay me – a finished flimsy, backing and less orphan blocks in the bin.

And the comment by TheGranChris will be receiving the leftovers from Connection. I hope she enjoys them!

A Name, a Backing & Give-away

Connected! Thank you for all the suggestions and positive comments. After seeing this name, it became so obvious to me – why didn’t I think of that? I like that it has a positive vibe. After having named this quilt, I was inspired to connect with friends near and far that I hadn’t communicated with most of this year. We have been staying close to home and realized how easy it is to totally disconnect. No more!

Looks a mess, but will be fine after a really good pressing.

Of course, this quilt needed a backing. There was a ton of fabric left over and I know I won’t be using it for another quilt. The piecing began. At first I was going to design what really would have been another quilt. I had several blocks leftover and started with those. Then…I just pieced chunks namby pamby style. Am I crazy about the back? No. But once all is quilted I know I’ll be content with it. It does need a good pressing but since it will hang in the flimsy closet, I won’t do a great pressing job until it is headed to the long arm quilter.

All that fabric in the top and back and there’s still more! There’s one donut block leftover and lots of pieces. Some little, many a good size. Any takers? I’ll gladly send it all to someone who’d like it – just leave a note in the comments and be sure I can email you for your address. Sorry, US only. If there’s more than one, I’ll draw randomly.

Thank you again for your positive responses and helping me to name this quilt. I love hearing from readers!

On to December!

This year seemed to drag on, but now – Oh My! The end of November already? It was such a pretty day today so we put up the outdoor Christmas lights just in time for the beginning of Advent tomorrow. A few things are up in the house, but not the tree or mantel adornments. Tomorrow – maybe.

Above is a sneak peak of a Christmas quilt I’ve been working on the past week. All the blocks are pieced, the circles hand appliqued and putting the blocks and rows together should be completed tomorrow. Borders will follow.

It’s been a very productive eleven months and I look forward to taking on a couple of challenging projects ahead of me. I won’t begin to tackle those until January, though, as there are one or two more bits I’d like to clean up that were already begun.

How has your progress been this year? Did more time staying at home make you more productive? I just hope whatever you have been doing, you have enjoyed it!

My favorite tree this time of year. The photo truly doesn’t do it justice. It absolutely glows in person. Even better, it came to me as a little baby from a dear friend.

Finish without a Name

About two years ago I came upon the pattern “Tangled” by Red Pepper Quilts on the Kona fabric site. I had the perfect collection – Blueberry Park.

Donut Block

I got the quilt cut, pieced the donut blocks, and clipped all the section parts together. That was it – no more until recently. I sewed like a crazy woman. I had to use the design wall for the whole process and even then it became confusing at times.

All the seams are pressed open. When I do the pressing on the wool mat, all lays perfectly flat.

Now this quilt top is hanging with my other flimsies. But – it needs a name! A couple of possibilities: “Emotions,” “2020.” Still not right – I’d like to have a more positive name. “Life’s Journey” perhaps. Hmmm. Any suggestions?

Outside blowing leaves is where I have been spending some time each day – Not complaining though. The weather has been nice and it’s something physical to do.

Pretty fall color!

Linkups: To Do Tuesday N&TT