Jun 21

Wild Goose Chase Reading Challenge 2017 wrap-up

Wild Goose Chase 2017

This challenge is hosted by The Bookshelf Gargoyle and I joined to further my wish to do more category challenges this year. I got it done in the first half of the year by reading a book from each category. I list in parentheses the books I set aside from shelves in January to read for this challenge, and then after in bold what I actually ended up reading. Only two of the seven were the books I planned, but they were still from my TBR shelves, except #3 which was a borrowed book I read and gave back to the owner. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 14

Faded Blooms wool tabletopper

Remember that quilt retreat I attended in January of 2016? Well, I’m still finishing up projects from that and this is one of them. I wanted to learn wool applique techniques so I took this class using the “Faded Blooms” pattern from Quail Valley Quilts, taught by the designer, Krisanne Watkins. During the class we learned about good techniques and traced and cut out most of the wool design in the center and pressed some of it on the tan piece. I started the applique when I got home and finished up the top in pretty good time, then left the border piecing until the end of the year. Finished that up and spent most of my handwork time this year doing all the quilting on it. I did a really tight stipple on the tan and then quilted in the ditch around the checkerboard section and along the long side of each of the flying geese to make them pop. I wanted the focus to be the center so I didn’t do a quilted pattern on the pieced borders. Because of so much handwork with the applique and quilting, this project took a really long time. Note to my sons: this doesn’t go to the thrift shop when I die!! 🙂 It’s an heirloom for someone who might like it. Today it went on the top of my Dad’s piano but won’t stay there forever as the sun will bleach it. But it looks great there for now.

The tabletopper measures 40″x40″ so it’s large. The top is pieced with random red fat quarters I picked up and I don’t know the provenance of the black background. The backing is the red with black vine and is called “El Gallo” by Deb Strain for Moda with the binding the same black as the front background.

I am glad to have finished this and found out that wool applique is super fun and I like doing it. With this finish in hand, there is one project left from retreat to do. I might get to that later this year.

May 16

Full House Reading Challenge 2017 completed

Reading Challenge Graphic 2017Full House Reading Challenge 2017

I had so much fun with this last year that I decided to go again in 2017. Thanks to Book Date for hosting. Complete the card and you are allowed one free exchange for something you really don’t like. Read in any order during the year and I’m finished up by the middle of May with no free exchange! I’m showing the card and then afterwards is my list of books read.

Non-fiction: Battle at Alcatraz: A Desperate Attempt to Escape the Rock, Ernest B. Lageson
On TBR for 2+ years: Trains and Lovers, Alexander McCall Smith
More than 500 pages: America’s First Daughter, Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
Page Turner: Journey to Munich (Maisie Dobbs, #12), Jacqueline Winspear
Middle Grade book: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente
2017 published: Dawn Study, Maria V. Snyder
Published pre-2000: Death of a Travelling Man, M.C. Beaton (Hamish Macbeth #9)
UK/European author: Death of a Greedy Woman (Hamish Macbeth #8), M.C. Beaton
Back List book from fav author: Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell (Agatha Raisin #11), M.C. Beaton
Book from a list: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle, Fiona Carnarvon
Award winner: Lindbergh, A. Scott Berg
Book about books: No More Words: A Journal of My Mother, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Reeve Lindbergh
Size word in title: Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Two Worded title: Witch Hunt (Ophelia & Abby #4), Shirley Damsgaard
Debut book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
Food on cover or title: The Whiskey Sea, Ann Howard Creel
Cozy Mystery: Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam, M.C. Beaton
Book from childhood: Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, E.L. Konigsburg
Diversity book: Loving Eleanor, Susan Wittig Albert
Australian/NZ author: People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
Western: Song of the Lion (Leaphorn & Chee #21), Anne Hillerman
USA/Canadian author: Catalyst, James Luceno
Not really for you: Rose Wilder Lane: Her story, Rose Wilder Lane
Attractive cover: Under a Wing: A Memoir, Reeve Lindbergh
Borrowed: The Quilt Walk, Sandra Dallas

Apr 24

Square Dance quilt

Square Dance quilt at John Taylor home in Nauvoo, Illinois

The Square Dance quilt is a modern log cabin variation by Nora Conant, found in the Aug/Sept 2013 issue of QUILT magazine on page 17. The pattern makes a quilt 75″ square with the blocks set 5×5, but I wanted a smaller quilt. I made it 60″ square with the blocks set 4×4 and it makes a nice lap quilt. I was trying to match a particular palette since it was a gift, so I used some fabrics from my stash and purchased others. The fabrics I used include:

tan-Riley Blenders C200 by Riley Blake Designs
gray pattern-Civil War Times Miniatures by Erin Turner for PR Galleries Penny Rose Fabrics C245
green with small squares-Civil War Times Miniatures by Erin Turner for PR Galleries Penny Rose Fabrics C240
maroon star-Civil War Times Miniatures by Erin Turner for PR Galleries Penny Rose Fabrics C255
orange-Riley Blake Designs
blue plaid-Mixology: Woven #2143 by Camelot Design Studio
blue dot-O.B.O. by stoffabrics.com #MS15-38as
green swirl-Baltimore Classic Collection 1840-1860 by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Bros. Textiles
brown swirl-Isabella C4003 by Lila Tueller Designs for Riley Blake Designs
green plaid-“Do You See What I See?” by Leanne Anderson for Henry Glass
backing-Antique Cotton by Marcus Fabrics #1740

It was machine quilted at Thimbles & Threads in Draper with tan thread in a digital box style with curved corners that softened all the squares but stayed in the theme. I pieced the back with leftover strips to break up the large backing piece and give it visual interest. 


Apr 19

Mimosa Interwoven quilt

Mimosa Interwoven at Rocky Ridge Farm, Mansfield, Missouri

I began this quilt in 2013 after Scott gave me the charm packs of fabric for Christmas in 2012. I cut up the colors and the white background squares, put them in a project box, and got distracted by shiny new things. Then in a fit of wanting to finish projects with fabric I already owned so I could buy more, I sewed up the top in 2015 and put it back in the project box to wait until I had time to hand-quilt it. Because that takes a long time, and others were getting done which had priority, plus I still didn’t have anything for backing. Then I found some blue Mimosa fabric on clearance last year and picked that up for backing. Added it to the box but still didn’t have time in the queue for hand-quilting because I was working on a hand-applique quilt with my quilt group. Then in February I found some gray Mimosa fabric on clearance that was perfect for the binding, so I picked that up. All the pieces were in place.

What motivated me to get it done all of a sudden? My quilt group convinced me I could do straight-line quilting on my own sewing machine. And I needed another quilt to take on our early April road trip and sew binding in the car. So I dug it all out at the end of March, did the quilting in two sessions over two days, made the binding and sewed it on, then packed it for the trip. I sewed on the binding as we drove to the Midwest and got a photo shoot at Almanzo & Laura Ingalls Wilder’s farm on one of the few non-rainy days of the trip. And it’s a finish for the win!

The pattern is a free Moda BakeShop Original Recipe by Material Girl Quilts called Interwoven. It looks like the fabric is kind of woven like a basket. The top used two Mimosa by Another Point of View for Windham Fabrics charm packs in the turquoise, lime, and gray patterns of the line, and the back and binding are also from the Mimosa line. I don’t know the white background I used, but it has tone-on-tone swirls that are very cute up close. I used white thread and quilted in the ditch along every horizontal row and vertically down the columns which each included a color and a square. So the quilting is very low-key but I like it and for my first attempt, it’s good. A label finishes it up and it’s another quilt checked off my WIP chart for 2017!


Apr 11

Two Paths Crossed quilt

I began this quilt at the St. George retreat I attended in January 2015. It was taught by Melissa Corry from her book, Irish Chain Quilts and I got one of each block type made during the retreat. Plus a photo opp!

Then it languished for a long time as other projects came up and I had to gifts to make, plus quilts for Festival of Trees that benefits Primary Children’s Medical Center. So along about the fall I decided to make this quilt a semi-priority and get it done. I got it all out, remembered how it worked, and then did many of the blocks as Leaders & Enders while working on other projects. It’s amazing how much you can get done while sending through one additional seam after every seam you’re intentionally working. All of a sudden you have enough little pieces sewn together to make a whole block! That’s basically how this quilt ended up going. When I had a bunch of almost-blocks ready, I focused and sewed together a bunch of blocks, laid them out, and started sewing together some rows. And the quilt magically came together.

It’s an Irish Chain variation called “Two Paths Crossed”, as the reds and greens line up into chains across the quilt. The green is Dapples by Free Spirit for Westminster Fabrics and the red is Essentials by Wilmington Prints. The gray background is a fleur-de-lis type swirl called Jams & Jellies by Jill Finley for Henry Glass & Co., and the small square centers and the binding are Atelier by 3Sisters for Moda. It was machine quilted with gray thread using the Drop of Paisley pattern by Linda at Just Sew. 

I had some extra blocks so I laid them diagonally across the back, cut strips of the chevron fabric, Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, to fit on each side, then cut border strips of the red for the top and bottom. So there it is! This is destined to be the quilt for the downstairs guest bedroom.

I really enjoyed meeting Melissa at the retreat and learning some of her strip cutting and piecing techniques that were applied to this quilt. It took me a year and I have more to finish from that retreat, but here’s the first!

Apr 10

Ode to the 1930’s Block 40, 41, & 42

During January we finished all the pieced blocks and had three applique blocks left. The first of these is #40 Friendship Dahlia. We chose the fabrics, traced and cut the patterns, fused the webbing to the fabric and got them all fused to the 9×9′ background. Then it was time to do the blanket stitching on our machines. We all chose different fabrics and centers and when it came to thread color, there was a fair amount of debate. In the end ShaRee and Terry opted for blue and brown, matching their center circles. I did white to contrast with my black center. None of us wanted to do all different threads as we thought it would be too distracting. Once we finally did all the prep work, it took some time to sew and we ended up finishing the next week when we did all of the next block. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 10

Christmas quilt #2 2016-Urban Blues

As I mentioned in this post about quilt #1: “I had no plans to make Christmas quilts for our sons in 2016 as I’d made them quilts for Christmas 2015. They both visited in September and independently requested a quilt for Christmas. That put a bit of a panic in my holiday planning, for sure. But I got busy and started work. And now I’m finally getting around to sharing them.”

Quilt #2 is a picnic quilt for Brian that he requested for beach trips and concerts in Central Park. I upcycled old jeans I have been saving for quilts and improv pieced them into strips of 1.5″, 2.5″, and 3″. I just randomly sewed together strips in varying lengths until I thought I had enough to make a top, then laid them out, trimmed, and adjusted until I had the look I wanted. I totally love this design much better than squares and since there are never four meeting seams, there is less bulk.

The backing is a Kaffe Fassett backing fabric that is bright and fun to offset the dark blues. I had planned to just fold over the backing for the binding, but a happy accident required me to cut and do a binding the regular way. And with all the concentric circles, it makes a nice, almost striped, contrast to the backing which I really love. So it turned out great even though it ended up being more work than I had planned.

The label is a pocket from a pair of jeans and the machine quilting was done by Linda at Just Sew in big orange circles. I was debating about thread color and when I was in the store filling out the order form I was discussing it with a couple ladies working there. I kept saying I wanted to do orange but was afraid it wouldn’t look good. Finally one of them said, “Be bold! Do orange like you want to do!” So I did and I’m very glad because the orange quilting really shows up nicely and gives the front a lovely texture.

Brian was so happy when he opened it on Christmas and is looking forward to good weather so it can have some fun urban adventures.



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