Monday, July 26, 2010


Look what I found in the guest room closet. I wondered why I had given away this UFO and now I found that it did not find another home after all. I looked for this a few months ago. It was always in a large plastic container underneath the guest room bed. Well, it was no longer there. I looked all through my sewing room and couldn't find it. I finally decided I had donated it somewhere. Yesterday, I was in the guest room closet and found the container. I have no idea why it put it in there.
Please excuse the wrinkles. The top has been folded up for a good while and evidently not the neatest folding. Now the problem. When I made the star section, I thought I had enough of the shirting print for the whole quilt. I did not. I had a similar fabric but it is not the same shade of "white". It jumps out at me every time I look at it. There is applique to go on the quilt yet. I just don't know if the applique would take your eye away from the variation in shade & design of the two fabrics. I don't want to spend a great deal of time doing applique and end up being disappointed with the project. You can click on the picture to enlarge and see a section of the substituted fabric. I think it is on two sides of the quilt. It doesn't show the color variation well in the picture but you can get an idea.
The pattern I am using is by Terry Clothier Thompson and is called Union Star. This is what the quilt should look like if I did all the applique. What to do? I know that our ancestors sometimes made do with what fabric they had available. I am getting tired of thinking on this project.
I will think on this another couple weeks and make some kind of decision.


Friday, July 23, 2010


I have finished a second block for the "Love Letters" quilt I am working on. I guess I am more settled about working on the blocks. The first one tried my patience as the blocks are large and have many pieces. I did not feel overwhelmed making the second one.
Usually, I work from block one in a book through to the last one. This time, I am just grabbing what is on top in the pile. I have all the blocks prepped. Below you can view both finished blocks together. There will be nine blocks total. The wreath block is the center of the quilt. All the others have a vase involved.
I think I will take a short break from applique and will work on my August stitchery. It is small and August will be here soon enough.

Bye for now!


Friday, July 16, 2010


I got tired of sitting at the sewing machine and switched back to the applique. I will be returning to the borders for my star quilt very soon. With my hesitation at continuing with the huge applique block and so many bloggy friends encouraging me, I thought it was a good time to work on finishing the block I had started. Here is the result.
And I have started a second block. It doesn't look like much yet.
Nothing else to report. Have a great day and stop back soon.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I thought I would give you a sneak peek at a border section on my star quilt.
There is still lots of sewing to go. Three diamond borders to create for the other sides, a narrow spacer that goes after the diamonds, and pieced corner blocks. I am heading back to the sewing room.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The parts were simmering and now things are getting to a boil. The center of my star quilt is done. I am working on the pieced border today. I am pleased with the results thus far.
Back to the sewing room.


Sunday, July 11, 2010


It has been a whole week since I posted. Time flies! I don't have as much done as I would have liked to accomplish. I will show you the week's progress.

I now have 17 of the Magic Star blocks done. These are like the star I showed a picture demo of in the last post. I showed how to construct a star composed of diamonds and the dreaded "Y" seam by using only squares and rectangles. I need 25 stars for the design I have in my mind.
The fabrics I am using are almost all Kansas Trouble fabrics. I purchased a box full of them from Carol of Brown Quilts when she was "destashing" her fabric closet. I added to them what I had in my stash. Now I have some more of that brand of fabric donated to me by a good friend. The stars will have light sashing strips surrounding them. I realize the blocks have a dark look but that suits me fine.

I also have been stitching on a large applique block. The block is from "Love Letters" which is a quilt design in "When the Cold Wind Blows". I have some buds to stitch on the inside of the circle yet. The block is large and that is what is not making me happy. I just am not enjoying stitching on it as much as I should be. It takes so long to accomplish anything on the block to see that it actually looks like something. I so want to stitch on another project but I won't switch until I complete this block.
Back to the sewing room. I am getting anxious to finish those star blocks. I hope to have them done over the next two days so I can get the center of the quilt sewn together.

Glad you stopped by for a visit. Come again soon!


Sunday, July 4, 2010


I am working on blocks that the traditional piecing method would have "Y" seams involved in the making. I think most of you know that "Y" seams are set in pieces. They seem to intimidate some quilters. A good while back, I purchased "Stars by Magic" which is a book by Nancy Johnson-Srebro. The pictures I am sharing with you today are not meant to be a tutorial. You will need the book for the exact measurements of your pieces and the diagrams to assist you. The blocks are made from squares and rectangles only. No diamonds and no set in seams.
There are charts to assist with the measurements and how many of each piece are needed for one block. One nice thing is that the author gives this information for several different sizes of one block. In the above photo, I have two rectangles of the required size. One is placed cross-wise on the small end of the other rectangle following the diagram in the book.
I use a thin ruler and a pencil to mark a diagonal line. This is like sewing connector corners that so many patterns use. I have my pieces on a sandpaper board to help keep them from slipping.
I then sew on the line and trim away the excess.
This is repeated for the second section.
You end up with two pieces that look like the above photo.
Following the diagram in the book, I place the right piece over the left (right sides together). Sew with a 1/4" seam.
You end up with a piece like the one above.
I repeat the process only diagonal stitching line is in the opposite direction from the first section.

You end up with pieces as pictured above.
Again, the pieces are seamed together.
Background squares are laid on the bottom of these pieces, right sides together, marked and sewn like connector squares. Excess fabric is trimmed off. I did not get a picture of the process. Just the finished section.
Next the large background rectangles are attached to the sides of the diamond sections. You will need the book for layout on these. I had to delete a couple photos when I got my stitching out of order. I got ahead of myself on the piecing and had to use Mr. Ripper for a little job.

The two sections are placed right sides together. The diagram in the book was a little hard to understand but I finally got the idea. You again draw a diagonal mark and sew on the line like as if you were doing a connector corner. You then trim the excess fabric away. This is a fair size section that you are cutting off to discard. That does not bother me but, if you like to save the parts and use them, look at the next picture.
The parts could be laid together in this manner and stitched. I think you would loose most of the very inner section when all is stitched together. You can be creative with the cut-offs.
Finally, I stitch the four quarter sections together to make a whole. I like to press the final seam open though the instructions show to press in one direction. I think it makes for less bulk in that very center point where eight diamonds come together.
My block finishes at ten inches. There are directions for a 6", 10", 11", 12", 16", 17", and 18". There are 30 different blocks with detailed instructions in the book. Then there are some bonus blocks & quilt recipes.
Here is a second star I made. I have to think more on piecing these blocks than if I used one fabric instead of two in the center.

The blocks made using this method of squares & rectangles uses more fabric than if you were cutting the diamonds, triangles, and squares required for a block made in the traditional way. It does make what would be more of a challenge to piece, fairly easy as long as you keep the diagrams beside you when piecing. Not a beginner project but definitely intermediate.
This is what happens when you drop your ruler on a pile of fabric and then step on it. I ordered a new one earlier today and will have to make do with a different ruler until it arrives.

It is a rainy 4th of July here but our lawn says that is good.

Com back for a visit soon!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Happy Fourth of July to all in the USA. And a late Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends. I have my July stitchery done and on display. It is a design from Buttermilk Basin.
A new vintage purchase. My husband and I found this jadeite green Singer sewing machine at a thrift store. It was marked $40 but the man in charge saw us looking at it and said we could have it for $30. I thought the machine had some rust on it but it turned out just to be dirt and cleaned up nicely. I still have to clean the case. The machine is metal but the case is plastic. The model number on this is 185J. I did some internet reading on the model. The machine is marked "Made in Canada". There were some made in England and they are marked 185K. The machines were made from 1955 to 1963. I haven't checked the serial number yet to see when this one was manufactured. The machines replaced the Singer 99 model but was basically the same machine. Both were considered "work horses". The machine is smaller than a regular sewing machine and is considered a 3/4 machine. Not as small as a Singer Featherweight. I read some comments from people who have one of the 185 model and how well it sews denims and upholstery fabrics. One man says he uses one in his upholstery business. I don't know yet how well my purchase sews as I don't have a bobbin to go in it. I have just ordered some. I do know that the machine runs.
I am working on a Miss Rosie pattern called "Come On-A My House" The pattern has house blocks, tree blocks, and an assortment of star blocks. It can be laid out however the maker chooses. I know my set-up for cutting isn't not ideal. It works for me since I cannot stand up to a table for cutting. I have fabrics on the floor beside me, on my little table, and on the sewing machine. It is a little cloudy here today, so I did not get a good picture. I broke my favorite big ruler and will need to replace it. I haven't needed it for this quilt, though.
I am using a variety of Kansas Troubles fabrics. Most are from a box full of fabric I purchased from Carol of Brown Quilts when she was cleaning out from her fabric stash. I added in any pieces that I had in my stash and have way more than I need for this quilt. It will make a big dent, though.
I received a surprise package in the mail from Pam, a fellow blogger. It contained a Bareroots kit for a candle mat. A perfect design for July with the stars and very prim style looking. She also sent me a thimble from her area of California. It is so good to get those kind of surprises in the mail! Thank you, Pam!
A finish on a quilt. I call this one "Hemminghouse Baskets" as I used a Moda Hemming House layer cake for making the baskets. I had a few fat quarters of the same fabric in my stash and a large piece of the fabric used for the sashing and strips between rows. The tans are fabrics from my stash. I had a couple pieces of background fabric in my stash that went well with the layer cake and used that too. I see that I got a shadow from a chair on the quilt. I am home alone so no quilt holder upper to assist me.
This is the back of the quilt. I made some extra basket blocks for a strip down the back. I had the quilt machine quilted at my local quilt shop with an all over feather design.
Enjoy your weekend. I will be heading into the sewing room shortly. I want to finish cutting for the new quilt so I can tidy things up in there.