Saturday, October 13, 2018


This might look like a small suitcase.  Or a vintage overnight bag.  
But when you look inside, you can see it's a treasure chest.  The treasures here are 5 in. squares of bright fabrics, mostly novelty prints.  (I love this stuff!)
That's where most of this quilt top came from.  It's the I Spy quilt top I finished two months ago.

With a little help from Little Buddy's nap times and his parents picking him up early a couple days, I finally got it quilted.
It's been cold and rainy this week, so outdoor photos have not been ideal.  Here's the little quilt laid out on my kitchen table.
In my never-ending quest for better ways to mark a quilt for quilting, I returned to Golden Threads paper this week to quilt the wide white border.  (By the way, I have no affiliation with the company that makes this product.)
The first time I used Golden Threads paper, I made a big mistake.  Everything was going fine, I cut a strip of paper the size of the border I was quilting, and then traced a stencil onto the paper.  BUT, at that time I used a pencil.  (Cue ominous music.)  I happily machine quilted that border, and ripped off the paper, only to discover that THE PENCIL MARKS HAD TRANSFERRED TO THE QUILT!!!

 Boy, was I mad.  The next time I saw a vendor demonstrating Golden Threads paper, I talked to them about it (I had cooled off by then and was unhappy but polite).  They knew about the problem, and told me to only use permanent pens to mark on the paper.

This made me nervous.  If pencil marks transfer to a quilt, I can get a fabric eraser and work on them.  What if permanent ink transferred to the quilt?  (I have not gotten to this ripe old age without a healthy skepticism for what salespeople tell me.)  But I had a huge roll of this stuff and lots of quilts to mark, so I tried it on a quilt that really didn't matter that much (badly pieced, etc.)
It actually worked!

Here's how to use it.
1.  Trace your design (stencil, quilting diagram from a book or magazine, etc.) with a permanent pen onto the paper.  See photo above.  This works well for borders, alternate blocks, sashings, and so on, but I don't think I would use it for an overall design.
2.  Pin the paper in place, as in this blurry photo below.  Try to have the points of the pins facing away from you as you sew.  (Ask me how I know that!)
3.  Quilt through the paper.  (Note to self:  try to quilt on the lines.)
4.  Once the quilting is done, you have to pull the paper off.  It's basically tissue paper, so tears easily, but watch out for little pieces that get stuck in the stitches.  Here's the pile I had after quilting one of the borders.
And that's it.  The permanent ink lines DON'T transfer, and there are no marks to wash out or erase.
I may use this more often, especially on borders.
The rest of the quilting was very simple, just lines a presser foot away from the seams.
Here's the backing, a cute alphabet print with hearts.  The border is another novelty print, a light red with white anchors.

I'm not sure what's going to happen to this little quilt.  I think my Little Buddy will enjoy playing with it, and finding the matches.  Each novelty square in the center has a matching square in the border, and some of the squares are his favorite things, like cats and dinosaurs and Thomas the tank engine.  I may keep it here for him.  If he's not interested, I'll donate it.

What's going on in your world this week?
I'm wishing you lots of time with whatever you treasure.
Cheers for reading,

Linking up today with:
Angela at soscrappy
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (Can I Get A Whoop Whoop)
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Can't wait to see what everybody else is up to!


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Beat the Clock

 Long, long ago, when I was a child, there was a TV show called Beat the Clock, where people tried to do impossible things before the buzzer sounded.  I don't remember much about it, but I have felt like I was on that show this week.
I don't think I actually beat that clock, but I did get a few things done in spite of time constraints.  This little quilt got quilted by Friday evening, and bound last night.
The pattern is the Fat Quarter Cubes Shortcut Quilt, from the Fat Quarter Quilt Shop, and you can get the free pattern here.  (Scroll down the page til you see it.)
I changed it a little (of course.  I just can't help it).  The cuts in the original are based on 6.5 in. strips.  I cut my pieces from 5 in. strips, so my blocks are smaller.  Plus I forgot to change the block orientation of every other block, so my layout is a tad boring.  The quilting is horizontal lines in the blocks and width-of-the-presser-foot lines in the sashing.
Here's the backing.  The print fabric is a Curious George print I've had for years.  (I actually made it the background for a bulletin board at one of my libraries.)  I had to add a panel of blue print in the middle to make it wide enough.  My quilt measures 44 in. x 58 in.  It will be donated to a child in need.
In other news, we went to an antique mall yesterday, and I scored all this fabric!  Sometimes there is fabric at the malls, sometimes not, so you just take your luck as you find it.
These pieces are vintage.  The top 3 are feedsacks.  I wasn't going to buy any more feedsacks, but the price was right so home they came.
This is my favorite piece--John Deere tractor fabric!  I'm planning a pillowcase for my Little Buddy, who loves tractors.  When we sing Old MacDonald, he has to add in a tractor that goes Vroom Vroom here and Vroom Vroom there.
Little Buddy gets to be in my blog all the time.  This week, it's big brother's turn.  This is my oldest grandson, who was an usher at a wedding last week.  Isn't he handsome?  I admit to being partial.

We went to the orchard on Thursday and got apples to eat and pears to can.  I've got half of the pears done...
but here's what's left.  So I'd better get back to it.
I'm wishing you health and happiness this week.  And every week!


Linking up (late!) with
Cynthia at Oh Scrap
Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts
Angela at So Scrappy  
and Myra at Busy Hands Quilts

Aren't link ups fun? 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Officially Fall

I don't set much store by the calendar definitions of seasons.  We're told it's spring when there is still snow on the ground, and by the time the calendar gets around to making winter official, there is snow again.  In between, there's summer, and fall.
It has started to feel like fall this week, and we even had frost on the grass this morning, so this time the calendar seems right.
I finished this little lap quilt this week.  I "won" it in a silent auction at our quilt group last year.  It could have said "some assembly required" on the package, but everything except batting was in there.  The printed pattern was included, the blocks were pieced, the strips for sashing and borders and binding were cut (and labeled!), and the backing was there as well.
All these beautiful leaf prints are very appropriate right now, and the colors are so good.  When I take it to our quilt meeting this month, I want to thank the person who donated it to the auction.  I'm donating it as a lap quilt, probably for a nursing home resident.
Here's the book the pattern came from.  The quilt is named "Greta", and is the last one in this book.
I'm trying to finish canning and freezing vegetables and fruits before it's too late.  This is a half bushel of tomatoes that Little Buddy and I got at the Farmers Market on Wednesday.
While he was watching Mickey Mouse, I got them canned.  There are 14 pints of tomatoes (only one didn't seal).  When the kettle is down to mostly juice and a few tomato pieces, I can that in the taller jars as soup starter.
I'm thinking about maybe getting some more tomatoes, since I don't think this will last the winter, but we are really getting to the end of tomato season now.
How do you baste your quilts?  Here's what I was doing Sunday.  I spread out a batting on the floor, and cut out the batting for 3 small quilts.  I like doing this on the carpet, as the batting clings to it and thus lays flatter.  Once I get the batting cut, I layer the quilts on the kitchen table and spray baste them.
This is the stack, ready to be quilted.

September is almost over, and all my blue blocks are done for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I did find this blue picture in my files.
My youngest grandson, nicknamed Little Buddy, loves blueberries.  I bought a lot of them this summer, at the store and at the farmers markets.  When we got home from the grocery, I would wash up some blueberries, and give Little Buddy a small bowl of them to eat while I got the groceries put away.  It's a good snack for a little guy, and keeps him busy.
Sadly, all our blueberries are in the freezer now.  But that means yummy muffins and pancakes this winter.
I'm so glad the sun is shining brightly this morning.  It's the wedding day for my daughter's best friend, and the ceremony is outside.  My oldest grandson is an usher (he's 13), and I can't wait to see him all dressed up in his new suit.  I'm looking forward to this happy occasion for the young couple.

I hope you have happy occasions this week, big ones or small ones.

Cheers for reading,

Linking up with
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Angela at soscrappy
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Chain Chain Chain

It's a beautiful sunny morning here in Wisconsin.  We can tell fall weather is coming from the cool temperatures and the few trees that are starting to change color.
I'd say it was quilting season, but for me, it always is!  Winter, spring, summer or fall.  How about you?
Today's "finish" is just a flimsy.
The pattern is Carolina Chain, by Bonnie Hunter, from her book Addicted to Scraps.
It's a great pattern, but of course I changed it for my quilt (as I always do) just to make it my way.
In the pattern,the blocks are on point, with scrappy blue side triangles and no borders.  I set my blocks on the straight, and added a border.  I also used lots and lots of my favorite novelty prints, both in lights and darks.  It was so much fun to piece. 
I keep using this butterfly/dragonfly fabric in everything.  I got about 5 yards of it in a $5.00 bag at Goodwill.
How am I going to quilt it?  I'm NOT.  I'm handing it over to the ladies at the quilt group.  They'll quilt it on a longarm, and I'll probably get it back for binding.  Then it will go to charity.
We just found out that the local Boys and Girls Club needs quilts for the kids.  I think this would work for that project, but it will go wherever it's needed.

In other news, I'm in the home stretch, piecing my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts.
The blocks for the Fly Away Home quilt are almost done!  I ran out of white fabric to finish the last few flying geese blocks, so I'll have to get some today.  Can't wait to put this one together.
All the Wagon Trail blocks are done, and are ready to sew together.  I'm going to set the blocks together in fours, quilt them, and then set them together.

New projects keep calling my name.  (Why is that?)  Last Wednesday night, we had a speaker at our quilt group meeting who showed us amazing ways to make quilts from panels.  I was so inspired, I had to dig around in the basement and find my panels bin.
I have more than I thought I had.  Even an alphabet and teddy bears set from the 1980s.  What exactly am I going to do with these?  It will be fun to find out.
Little Buddy loves to have his picture taken.  He likes "helping" Grandma.

Thanks, Bonnie Hunter, for the inspiration and the terrific pattern.
Cheers for reading,

Linking up with
Angela at soscrappy
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Cynthia at Oh Scrap

Friday, September 7, 2018

Piecing It All Together

Like all of us, I have a real life.  Chores to do like laundry and dishes and cleaning and cooking and grocery shopping (never mind babysitting!)  And like all of us, I'm trying to fit my all-engrossing hobby of quilting into that life.
Mostly, it works out.
Above is my Little Buddy, helping me take pictures of the little quilt I finished this week.
It's a framed 4-patch, easy-peasy baby quilt for charity.
I've been making this pattern off and on for years after seeing an antique quilt in a magazine.  Naturally, I used my favorite bright and novelty prints for this child's quilt.
Little Buddy and I agree, we like this square best.  That is just the cheekiest T-rex ever.  Not scary at all, even with all those teeth.  I should learn more about rotating pictures, but it's late at night as I'm finding the time to post.  Maybe next week.
I haven't used teal for a binding very often, but it picked up colors here with both top and backing.

If you'd like to make a framed 4-patch like mine, here's the recipe.
1.  Make 4 patches with 3.5 in. cut squares, two light and two not-as-light.
2.  Frame the 4 patches with 2.5 in. cut strips.  You'll need two cut 6.5 in. long, and 2 cut 10.5 in. long.  Add the two shorter ones first, then the two longer ones.
The blocks finish at 10 in. square.
I made 12 blocks, and set them 3 x 4.
The yellow print border is cut 3.5 in. wide.
The finished quilt is fairly small, at 36 in. x 46 in.

I pieced this quilt several weeks ago, when Mrs. Pfaff was still under the weather.  She and I made short work of the utility quilting on this little quilt.  I call this quilting "sort-of straight line quilting".  The lines are about 1 inch apart, and sort-of straight.

So that's what's done!  Here's what's not done.
I'm burning the midnight oil, sewing my flying geese blocks for the Fly Away Home quilt, one of my projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
All the blocks like the ones in the bottom of the picture are done.  I need about 30 more of the flying geese blocks.
I've mostly been working on them in the morning, before the boys arrive.
Then there is this project.  I'm piecing these blocks for the Antebellum Album Block of the Month, run by quilt historian Barbara Brackman.  You can see the first post from January 2018 HERE, and follow the links for the other blocks.  We're up to 8, but as you can see I've only got 6 done so far.  Participants are using newer fabrics as well as reproductions.  Mine are very traditionally red, cream, and green.
Here is yet another little quilt to be quilted, maybe this week.  It will be a lap quilt for charity.  Mrs. Pfaff and I are willing and able, we just have to find the time.
We're sliding into fall here!
My Big Buddy starts 8th grade on Monday (hard to believe!).  Little Buddy will still be here to keep Grandpa and me company.
Today he had finished eating some yogurt, more with his hands than his spoon.  I said something like "Aren't you a mess?" while I went to get a wash cloth.
"Hot mess!" he said.
And it was TRUE.
We both had a laugh about that.

I'm wishing you lots of laughs and lots of stitches this week.
Cheers for reading,
Linking up with:
Amanda Jean (welcome back!) at Crazy Mom Quilts
Sarah at Confessions of A Fabric Addict 
Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Angela at Soscrappy
Cynthia at Oh Scrap 

Come enjoy all the linky fun with us!