Friday, August 30, 2019


OK, I admit, I'm tired of playing with little four patches. I put them up on the wall per Kevin's mystery reveal, but in a smaller layout since I made fewer units.

I got them all sewn together. With the sides trimmed, the area in the photo above measures 40" square. No, I did not save all the little triangle off-cuts from squaring up and trimming the sides. I have lots of blue and neutral four patches left over, but not enough to finish out the borders like Kevin's design, and I don't want to cut more pieces and make more.

I could leave it at this size for a baby quilt, but I don't like all those bias edges so I decided to add borders. I'm calling this a finished flimsy.

As shown, it measures 48".  I'll quilt it, bind it in blue, and donate it, maybe to Project Linus. It's a good lap size for a kid.  This keeps me on track toward my goal of piecing and/or quilting one donation quilt each month. 

I put the leftover four patches in my "parts" drawer; maybe I'll find a use for them someday. Or maybe I'll give them to a friend who's a scrap quilter. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Hand Stitching

You know I've complained before about how hand sewing hurts my arthritic hands, especially the joint at the base of my left thumb from the pinching or gripping action. Well, this month has been a big one for hand sewing.

I've been really pushing to make progress on my WIGSP. Last month and so far this month I've completed one long seam and 1/3 of another. The rest of the last seam, then the bottom border, and the top will be done. Here's the most recent photo, from July. Since then, one of those seams and part of the other are done.

I'm still a member of CSQ Piecing Group, the hand-piecing bee that helped make components for the quilt above. This month was Joy's turn to hand out. She's a bit of a free spirit. She gave us kits with drapery fabric. Here's my finished block for her. Pretty, but tough to sew by hand.

CSQ is presenting a quilt show in October, and I have two quilts entered, Pickle Dish and Goodnight Darleen. They both needed sleeves added. I had enough leftover background print from Pickle Dish that I decided to use it for the sleeve. I'm unavailable on the day we're supposed to turn in our quilts so I'll have to give them to the show coordinator early.

Last but not least, there was a bit of hand sewing involved in assembling this award ribbon. It, too, will have to be given to the coordinator early. Lots of deadlines involving hand sewing this month!

Even though my hands are kind of achy, I'm hoping to get the rest of the last long seam in my WIGSP done so I can take the top to the next Piecing Group meeting and show everyone what they've helped me with over the last 11 years or so. It's about time, after all.

The girls in Piecing Group are all CSQ members and they'll have quilts in our show in October as well. Here's the show info if you're in the St. Louis area and you're interested. 

The Quintessential Quilt 2019 Quilt Show
Presented by Circle in the Square Quilters
Sept. 30 - Oct. 31, 2019
University City Public Library
6701 Delmar Blvd.
University City MO 63130
Open during regular library hours; free

Monday, August 26, 2019

Kevin's Mystery on my Design Wall

I've been playing along with Kevin the Quilter's Simply Sensational Summer Scrap Quilt mystery.

I made half of the required number of units for the full size, thinking I'd make a kid size adaptation. Knowing that I'll have to modify the layout slightly, I put Clue 1, 2, and 3 units on my design wall.

Here's where I'm at so far. The long diagonal will measure 56" after it's sewn, so I think the sides will come out to somewhere around 40". I have plenty of Clue 1 blue and Clue 2 neutral four patches left for borders. I'll continue to lay it out and see if I need more of any units. I'm hoping it'll end up about 48 x 56-60" for a nice kid size comfort quilt.

I love the way the scrappy blues sparkle! Kevin's a master of scrappy quilts that still have a very cohesive look to them.

Thanks, Kevin, for the fun mystery!

Monday link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, August 23, 2019

August Color BOM for STLMQG

The skill/theme for August is Fussy Cutting.

My fabrics are mostly blenders, so most of them don't have motifs to fussy cut. The one that actually has a floral print is so light, it wouldn't show up well as fussy cut motifs. What to do? I don't want to miss a month of this BOM series; I want to be eligible for points and prizes at the end.

My color is yellow green. Actually, it's more chartreuse than green. These are the swatches I carry around for color matching. The largest motif here is 1/2".

Before I go buy something, and I don't even know what block design I'm going to use yet, I'll just check the stash and see if there's anything I can use. We're allowed one accent color along with our feature color plus neutrals. Maybe I can find something, although I haven't used an accent color yet and I'm trying not to.

I found a print I had bought for backing for something else and haven't used yet. The greens in it are greener (less yellow) so it's not a true match. But if I don't use it next to my greens, maybe I can cheat and fool the eye into thinking it's my color. These flowers are about 2-1/2" across so they're much better suited for fussy cutting than my blender prints.

Okay, I can fussy cut this print, but I need a block design that enables me to use buffer pieces of my black and white prints to separate this print from my yellow greens. What if I use a fussy cut flower as the center of a Dresden plate and make all the blades in black & white?

It's worth a try. I can use one of my blender prints as the background.

Okay, it works. It meets the requirements.

At 15" it's my largest block so far, a very bold block! It will certainly draw the eye no matter how I use it in the final layout. It will be a puzzle laying out this quilt at the end, but that's part of the challenge.

I've submitted my fussy cut block photo and they've accepted it. I wonder what the next skill or theme will be?

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, August 19, 2019

Bunny Quilt on the Wall

I need a special baby quilt for a baby who's due in November. After three boys - and lots of boy cousins - the family is having a girl. Mama's favorite color is purple and she likes animals, so I found the cutest bunny print I know she'll love.

To let the fabrics do all the work, I'm just doing a simple triangle quilt. Here are the pieces laid out on my design wall. I pieced together a strip for the backing with the leftovers; the rest of the backing will be the bunny print.

This is something I can work on elsewhere if I kit it up, and I need several projects for off-site sewing coming up soon. To kit it up, I've labeled the columns and rows. Yes, even a triangle quilt like this goes together using the columns and rows system. I'll take the pieces in each column off the wall, and stack them from top to bottom and clip them together so they'll be in order for when I'm ready to sew.

Simple but cute.

Monday link-ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, August 16, 2019

One Little Finish: Quilt Show Award Ribbon

My traditional guild is presenting a quilt show in October. If you're in the St. Louis MO area, check it out in the University City Library during library hours for the entire month of October.

We hold the show every other year, and each time we make the award ribbons that are presented for the winning quilts. I've made award ribbons for at least 5 or 6 shows now.  This week I made one for this year's show. It's all I accomplished this week, since I had other stuff going on. 

We build them on old CDs. Each maker chooses whatever she wants to make: pieced, appliqued, quilted, embellished, etc. Here are two from 2017; I made the green one.

The one I made this year is very dimensional. I covered the CD with gathered dark red fabric; covered a smaller circle of template plastic in the same manner, and stacked them together. I made the largest size covered button for the center. Then I added a ruffle around the outside edge.

Very festive! Only first place and Viewers Choice ribbons are required to have a ruffle, but I personally think the proportion of circle to streamers looks better when there's a bit more than just the CD. Adding a ruffle to second place and honorable mention ribbons is optional at the discretion of the maker.

The back is another covered CD, just flat no gathers. The ribbon streamers are sandwiched in between the front and back CDs. I mostly glued the layers together but per the instructions I also hand sewed the front and back CDs together, poking the needle through the ruffle, so there would be no chance of the layers coming apart.

I'll turn in the ribbon to the committee chair in early September so she'll have it in plenty of time. I'm looking forward to seeing the show in October!

The Quintessential Quilt 2019
Presented by Circle in the Square Quilters
September 30 - October 31, 2019
University City Public Library
6701 Delmar Blvd. 
University City MO 63130

Free; open during regular library hours.
Supported by CSQ fundraiser quilt on display at the library; tickets available at the desk. 
More info available at

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Wendy's Quilts and More

Monday, August 12, 2019

Moving a UFO Along

One of my goals for this month is to look at my UFO list and pick something to finish, or at least to move forward. I've chosen Roman Road.

Roman Road was a BOM from a local shop from about 4 years ago. Each month we got a kit for the main block (the star blocks) and an alternate block. My friend Cherie suggested a modification to the alternate block and I liked her version better. Then I adapted it further for the border, which is not at all like the shop sample. The flimsy is 73" square.

The flimsy was finished in February 2018. My long armer friend Sandy was going to quilt it for me, but she was in the process of moving to another state so that didn't work out. Earlier this year after she was settled into her new home and welcoming commissions, I sent Roman Road to her and she returned it with beautiful custom quilting when we got together in Paducah in April.

Now it just needs to be bound and labeled. I prepped the binding, which is one of three constant fabrics in this quilt, used in the alternate blocks. I'm hoping to get this quilt completely finished this month.

I have friends in Arizona that I plan to give this quilt to the next time we're out there. They are very special quilt-worthy friends, and these colors suit them and their home.

It'll be nice to have Roman Road off the UFO list.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, August 9, 2019


De-threaded, pressed, and ready for the quilter.

There were about a bazillion threads to pick off the back of those checkerboards.
I mostly concentrated on getting the dark ones that might show through the light fabrics. 

I absolutely love the backing fabric. The perfect colors, the perfect era and mood. 

I'm meeting with the quilter tomorrow. 
I'm giving her wool batting, light weight but lovely drape and texture. 
I can't wait for her to perform her magic on this top!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A Few Little Updates

Some random goings-on in my quilting world...

Recently, Wanda of Exuberant Color sent me a very generous gift of pre-cut 5" squares and some yardage  for backing to use in my donation quilts for kids. Such cute prints, and I love the vibrant colors! Thank you, Wanda. There's over 8 yards of fabric here, which will make several children's quilts. I'll share these pieces with friends in my guild who are also making kids quilts.

Speaking of fabrics for kids quilts, I need to make a special baby girl quilt before Thanksgiving. Mom already has three boys, and there are lots of boy cousins, so this little girl will be very special. Mom's favorite color is purple, so I've selected a palette of sweet feminine prints featuring purple with aqua. Bunnies and butterflies, several flower prints, bows, puppies, and bubbles. My plan is to make a tumbler quilt and let the fabrics shine. The darkest purple will be the binding as well as occasional tumblers. I'll get this cut, laid out, and kitted up for offsite sewing later.

I'm participating in Kevin the Quilter's Simply Sensational Summer Scrap Quilt Mystery.

I'm making half the number of units his plan calls for, and I'll adapt them into a smaller quilt than his. I've completed my pieces and parts for Clue Two. My Clue One color was blue.

This week I'm working on prepping the backing for the Checkerboards and Dresdens quilt and de-threading the back of the top. I have an appointment with the quilter on Saturday, so I need to get everything ready to go by then. There are a lot of little frayed edges on those checkerboard pieces, and I don't want any dark threads showing through behind the light squares. There are about a million threads!!!

My traditional guild is presenting a quilt show in the U City library in October and I signed up to make one of the award ribbons. I need to get going on that so I can get it turned in on time. We make them using old CDs and each one is unique. Time to get busy! Here are a couple from our last show; I made the green one. This year I'm making a red one.

So that's it for random updates from my studio for now. I think I have enough going on tho keep me busy for awhile.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Checkerboards and Dresdens: A Finished Flimsy

AKA "The Red Project"

22 months in work. 103" square. 1,869  2" squares.  According to EQ, about 19 yards of fabric used.

240 Dresden blades and 48 snowballed corners.

It weighs a ton! All those seam allowances in the checkerboards sure add up. 36% of the fabric used in them is hidden in the seam allowances. *

It feels really good to have accomplished this. One Dresden and one checkerboard per month for the center, then monthly goals for the borders.

At 103" it's so big it hits the ground from my deck rail. I'm hoping that after quilting and shrinkage it'll finish at 98".

Since I couldn't find suitable border fabric for my original plan, I extended the full width of the checkerboards into the border. I'm glad I did because the quilt doesn't look as heavy, dark, and wintery as my original EQ renderings.

The revised border plan also included a 2" dark blue outer border, but this quilt is already bigger than I need, so I'm opting to omit the final border. I think it's fine without it. There's a lot of seams at the outer edges so I stay-stitched around the outside so none of those seams will start to open up.

I have an appointment to take it to the quilter next weekend. This week I'll prep the backing and de-thread the back side of the top. That'll probably take me all week and it's a tedious job, but it has to be done; there's a lot of threads.

* Seam allowances:
2" finished square is 4 square inches.
Cut patch is 2.5" which is 6.25 square inches.
6.25 minus 4 is 2.25 square inches not visible, used in seam allowances.
2.25 is 36% of 6.25, meaning more than a third of the fabric used is hidden in the seam allowances but definitely contributes to the weight of this top.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict - this is definitely whoop-worthy.

Other link ups:
Wendy's Quilts and More
My Quilt Infatuation
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Thursday, August 1, 2019

July Stash Report and Goals Recap

July was a big month for stash acquisition. In my defense, though, it wasn't entirely my fault. But I'll gladly take it and I hope to use it all someday.

July was also a good month for making progress on some big long-term projects, my WIVSP hand piecing project and my Dresdens and Checkerboards project.

Let's look at the stats.

July Stash Report:
IN this month: 24-3/8 yards (Connecting Threads order - 15 yards.  CSQ door prize charm pack, 5/8 yard. Gift from Wanda, 8-3/4 yards.) 

OUT this month: 9-1/4 yards (Coral Floral, two flimsies, 3-1/4 yards. Black + White backing - 2-1/4 yards and binding, 3/8 yard. Strings and strips given away - 3-3/8 yards (1.3 pounds).)

IN YTD: 84-3/8 yards
OUT YTD: 63-5/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 20-3/4 yards added to stash

I fully take responsibility for that 15 yard order, but at only $3.44 a yard, that can go toward donation quilts. My stash grew due to the generosity of others, but I also gave away all the leftover strips, strings and off-cuts from my "Goodnight Darlene" quilt. Kevin might be able to use them; I know I never will.

Although I finished some baby quilts, their backings were fleece or flannel, and I never counted those materials into the stash, so I'm not counting them out. I did count the gorgeous paisley for the black+white quilt's backing, both in and out this month.

July Recap:
1. Quilt and finish the black + white project.  DONE.
2. Make more checkerboard units for the revised border of the Red Project. Yes, made A LOT of progress on this project this month.
3. Finish the Coral Floral project. Yes, two finished baby quilts. 
4. Participate in 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop. DONE.
5. Keep up with bee blocks and BOMs. DONE.
6. Work on hand stitching WIGSP Piecing Group project. Yes, stitched a lot on it this month! 3/4 of one of the unsewn rows in the photo below is now sewn.
7. Continue working on the collaboration project with friends if possible. Not possible due to scheduling. 
8. Optional: Look through scraps and stash and decide whether to participate in Kevin the Quilter's mystery on a smaller scale. If so, keep up with clues. Yes, I'm playing along, although on a half scale. Made 120 blue four patches.  

Wow, seems like I got a lot done this month. It's been so hot, I've just stayed inside in the air conditioning and sewed.

August Goals:
1. Finish the checkerboard borders and make backing for the Red Project and get everything ready to give to the quilter.
2. Start planning a special girl baby quilt for my niece's baby and kit it up for future off-site sewing.
3. Work on Clue #2 for Kevin's mystery.
4. Work on hand stitching WIGSP Piecing Group project.
5. Continue working on the collaboration project with friends if possible.
6. Look through UFOs and work on one of them; try to get it finished.
7. Keep up with bee blocks and BOMs.

If it stays hot, I should have a lot of indoor time for sewing in August. We'll see what I can get done and if I can make the stash report look any better.