Periwinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

I received a gift a while back.  It was dropped in my order from MSQC.  A small template that I had no notion of using, but I hung on to it.  I started brainstorming on this device and vowed I would never foundation piece the block, but how would I accomplish the same results.  I have the mini wacky web template, but you could also do this with the larger version.  You will have to upsize your cuts.

The first thing I did was compare the mini wacky web template to a regular square.  Such a funny angle, and I am angle-ly challenged.  So after doing so I realized that one corner of this is a 90 degrees, a corner of a square.  measurement1

I broke open a long over due jelly roll strip set by Kaffe Fasset to play with this idea.


You will either need 2 1/2 strips or 2 1/2 mini charms to proceed with this part of the periwinkle.


Next I chose a solid jelly roll which was an earth tone that would go with these prints.  You will cut your fabric into strips 2 1/2 inches by length of fabric and then trim those sections to 3 1/4 inches.  For each print periwinkle, you will need two solids.


Then with right sides together, stitch periwinkle to solid.  Notice there is over hang on the larger edge.  This is crucial for an accurate block.  Also notice the smallest part of the periwinkle and how it is situated on the solid.


Finger press (I am still working out how to press the seams)  It is best to press the seams open.  For this tutorial, I pressed outward toward the solid.


Repeat for the second side.


Crucial to finger press again.  Finger pressing is optimal because you have funny angles and bias edges.  After finger pressing, I wait until the entire block is finished before I press my iron on it.  I do not iron it, I press.


Here we have 1/4 of the block finished minus the trimming.  This is the same concept as their paper method without the paper.  Notice the periwinkle print nests perfectly into the 90 degree corner of the square.  Carefully align to that corner and trim the solid overhang.


Now isn’t this an odd shaped critter?  One more cut to make.  Here is where you will use the angle built into your ruler.  Align the 45 degree lines that bisect over the periwinkle 90 degree corner.  See below?


How does this work.  A straight line is 180 degrees.  A corner of a square is 90.  Two 90 degrees make 180 if you add them.  So if you have two 45 degree lines, those added together equal 90 degrees.  Too much math, ignore that last couple of sentences and just study the picture.  Now on the two solids that are overhanging the ruler, you will trim that with the straight edge.


You will need to make 3 more blocks just like this shape.  Prints/solids may vary as you are creating your own quilt.


Using a pair of periwinkles, stitch, matching seams.  It may be helpful to pin!


Finger press your seams as you go.  This block is almost done.  Now stitch your pair of pieces together.  And voila…..a periwinkle block.  Trim your dogs ears from the 4 solid corners.


Notice that my seams are not matching perfectly.  To achieve proper nesting of seams I am still trying to figure out how to press I think if one side of the periwinkle is towards the print, and the next is towards the solid and you repeat that for the whole, your seams will nest and there will be no error.  Also, because of weird angles, you want to use an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance.  This means, find your 1/4 inch mark, and go a thread shallower.  When pressed, the thickness of the thread will achieve the perfect 1/4 inch.  Now is where I carry this to my ironing board and press.  If you have a pressing mat, that is perfect after finger pressing.  You will be amazed at the non-distortion and accuracy in all your blocks.

Have questions?  Did I leave something out?  Did I leave something vague?  Comment and I will gladly edit/add/comment on what is needed to help you through achieving the periwinkle block with no foundation papers!

I hope this inspires you to use some of the precuts/scraps in your stash!

Did you catch my post on the other blog?  If not click here to visit, or click here for the recipe of pumpkin pancakes.

Enjoy your week!  Sew on!


Postage Sheet!

My excitement ensues to the countdown until I get my longarm!  In the process of ready-ing for the event, the ufo pile is going to get worked to it’s death or near death as I have much progress on these and they just need solutions to keep going.  One baby step at a time with no rush or hurry.

A few posts back I brought out the stars with embroidered blocks.  I am still at a stoppage, and think the solution may be to digitally scan the block and upload it to Spoonflower and print replicas of the block.  I think that would get the right color white and match the pattern/design where I can fussy cut and square out the quilt as it is on point.  What are your thoughts?  Have any of you done this?  This is an expensive option and will be my last resort.  Hopefully there will be a suggestion or idea that I see as it stores perfectly in it’s tote until that time.

or on point

And I started figuring out how to stitch my dodecagon blocks called Jack’s Chain Circles.  There are no free directions out there for pressing.  I think the way to go was to press the seams open on the blocks.  I have figured out how to join the blocks and it is working fine.


I sew the blocks together and make sure not to catch the existing seams in the new seam I am making.  I fold them back out of the way and stitch 1/4 from the start.  Then when I place the triangle in, all the funny angles are already stitched at junctions that allow the last 1/4 seam to be added perfectly.  There is a lot of thread waste using this method, and this quilt was probably meant for paper piecing in the past.  This is working for me.  I made a grandmothers flower garden quilt years ago and stopped short of the 1/4 point for all the hexagons, and I still have the quilt with no ill effects of the wait and see how it turns out method.

I have about this many blocks together (as pictured).  Now I have a a brief intermission!  The quilt I sent off on July 12th for quilting services at MSQC has finally made it’s way home.  They do outstanding work.  This is the quilt I feared giving to my LAQ as it has bulky seams with the interfacing method of patchwork.  I knew if I sent it to the pro’s they would do an outstanding job.  This was sent off before I decided to buy a longarm.  It was expensive but you pay for quality.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  This is a postage stamp quilt, and since I made it out of vintage sheets, I am calling it Postage Sheet.


These photos were taken during the piecing.  At this stage it is not quite finished.  My camera started malfunctioning and it was hard to get a good pic.  The backing of the quilt I picked up at an estate sale and is a vintage sheet.  I also have matching pillow cases.  I think the sheets were brand new out of the package and never used.  The white backing really softened it up even more with pastel goodness.

You can see the white sheet backing here.  There is a band of pink florals at one end of the sheet.  Made a lovely backing, and 100 percent cotton (it could be linen not sure).


I make many quilts, and I have a loved one in my life that doesn’t say much about my creations.  When this one was taken out of the package to view the quilting job, he said I should put this one up as it is probably the prettiest one I have made.  The ultimate compliment from one who never gives them.  🙂

Right now I am binding it and can’t wait to show you!  It is forecast to rain all weekend and a good part of next week.  I bet I get this one finished purty quick as it has become that time of year again.  I will have to wait until the earth dries out before I can get a good photo opp.  But, snuggly weather is coming…..I have been waiting for this for so long.

To wrap today up I will be making pumpkin pancakes, a recipe my daughter picked out that we will be trying.  Doesn’t that sound delicious?  Please check my other blog ( for that post.  There are other recipes already there, so check them out!

I would like to take the time to thank you for being the wind in my sails.  If it wasn’t for you readers/followers I am not sure I would continue with this extra little effort.  I kindly thank you for any comments or suggestions.  I enjoy reading those sew much!  Have a great weekend!

True Treat For October

Today was the day I got to visit the Piecemakers of Fannin, County Texas.  A friendly, knowledgable group of quilters/crafters/sewists.  And I got to teach all of them how to make a toothbrush rug during their retreat, the true treat for October.  I promised I would post links of how to start, how to tear fabric for perfect, or imperfect 2 inch strips for the rug.  We discussed what would make a good needle, or toothbrush device to weave your rug.  It was a blast!

I have never purchased a pattern, and like to figure things out on my own, sometimes winging it as I go, sometimes perfect, sometimes, rip and repeat.  A toothbrush rug is very forgiving.  For Pete’s sake it is just a rug, to cushion the feet, to keep the dirt at bay, to decorate, and to take the wear and tear.

How does one start?  If you are interested in this, I recommend going to this site.  Click on the link and it will show you exactly what I showed today to get a start on the toothbrush rug.

A couple of perfect images there showing you how to make those first few stitches.

Here are videos of Aunty Phyllis rug maker herself, showing how to make the knot stitch.

Click here


And here

If you are a written instruction kind of person, you can go here for those.  My second go round of making rugs came from this site.

This is the start of a hot air ballon, 1970s panel of cotton/poly blend panel that is definitely a blast from the past.  Rugs are an excellent way to use up panels that have stuffed animals cut outs, pillow panels, and other fabrics that you cannot quite figure out how to use in other projects.  You can really move much from your stash as one rug may take upwards of 10 yards.  The larger the rug, the more it will take.  The rugs in the videos are nice a scrappy, just how I like it, Crap with an S.


There is nice variety in the panel that was used in the start of this rug, all of the different colors broken up, to not be so orange, or brown, and nice to see a tad of country blue in there too.

When I arrived at retreat the yard was full of Red Spider Lilies, these are also called Hurricane Lilies.  In Sept in our neck of the woods these come up volunteer.  I suppose there is an algorithm in what it means for winter and fall.  I have not looked that up, but I would say this year was a bumper crop.


Fireworks in petals, vibrant reds, naturally perfect!

Here is just a glimpse of what other retreaters were working on.  I did not take that many photos and wish I would have taken more.


And a bonus, these ladies so graciously gave me calendars, quilting magazines, a quilting template, a nice spool of 100% cotton thread, some Halloween fabric, in a lovely shopping bag and I am just in awe of their generosity!  These gals really know how to pay it forward, something I try to do and the older I get, the more I see results from this.  A heart happy event, and nice to know people are still good and genuine.  🙂

As we left, at the end of the property on the other side of the fence stood an old (I believe) oak tree.  This trees base was odd, it looked like it grew up and around something.  I cannot quite explain it.  I thought this old tree needed a face as I could see Old Man Tree staring back at me.  It looked like he had a story to tell, and I would love to listen.


See what I mean, peculiar, but interesting!

For those of you that read my blog and were at the retreat, it was splendid, and I enjoyed it!  I felt very comfortable amongst you, and would like to thank you for such a pieceful day!  Being out in the boonies is a lovely place to be!

Onto sewing blocks… last weeks weeks post, I came to a standstill with this quilt.  or on point

A trip to the quilt store, I found a piece of ombre fabric of blues and turquoise.  It was too much drama for this serenity.  I may scan the embroidered block and upload it to spoonflower.  That is expensive and back into the tote it goes until I think of a solution, or see a solution.

Another UFO out of the box, stitching along things going smoothly.  I have 36 blocks done which is enough for a quilt.  I have laid it on the bed, and The Jack’s Chain Circles really show up on camera, not sew much in person.  The block is call Jack’s Chain.  It involves Y seams and is an advanced pattern.  If you are interested in making this block full of challenges visit Marcia Hohns Free Patterns page, or just browse for a plethora of ideas….all free!


I am off to cook supper.  Not exactly sure what, but it will happen.  Do you like to cook or collect recipes?  Visit my other blog for some delicious eating!  Thanks for visiting and reading my blog!


Scrap, that is crap with an “s”

So I utilized the assortment of 2 1/2 inch strips in my scrap bin, and yes the organization of it is crap plural.  It is Sew Scrap, and that is what I have named this jelly roll with no race.

I like it’s humbleness, and I am a sucker for the scrappy look.  My whole house is scrappy.  I purposely purchased new dishes in 8 different colors, because nothing matches in my house anyway.  Scrap is a way of life.  Once you live this way, it would be hard to go back.

I am perfectly content with no coordinating stuff in my house, some would not be able to cope.  But scrap is a coping mechanism too.  You just let go of perfect and settle for utilitarian.  Scrap, yep.  That is me.


And then there is the UFO business that I did mention in my previous posts (I looked it up, my first post on the quilt below was exactly 2 years ago…jeez).  You can view those here and there.

I now remember why I put this in a bin and left it alone, I was going to run out of white.  The embroidered squares (which I did not do….found at the thrift store) are of a poly blend white, and the white I chose for the sashing is a different white.  The most notable thing is the different weave which will show up in the quilt, but by separating it with turquoise, one would really have to look to see it.  I have my sashing pieces paper pieced (my own design before I purchased the tri recs ruler).  And it is working, but how to fill the gaps without the white?

While stitching today I come up with a plan, of granny squares of various colors within the quilt.  Electric blue, navy blue, a light green and perhaps a gray.  I think this is the solution to frame it, perhaps it will be too bright as the rest of the quilt is so soft, calm and serene.  I will have to really brain storm on this, as it goes back into the tote.

I don’t think I am going to go with the straight method as laid out here.


The flow of the lines in the embroidery, I think, are more suited for on point.

or on point

Styled on point, my rows will be 2 over 4 over 4 over 2 which leaves two corners with much to put there, but I am out of the white.  Perhaps thread painting feathers in those areas will not show the contrast so much of the whites.  Perhaps if I do granny squares I should select one color, perhaps the green which I have plenty of and mix and match off whites and ecru, and super white with snow white.  That would be softer, but not very dramatic.  What do you think?  Perhaps a floral with white and a bunch of these colors?  Until I figure it out, this is turning out too pretty to flub up at this point with a rushed idea.

Well, the car is fixed, finally.  I have enjoyed my week away from work, at the same time fretted about.  I will be back at work for a fun filled 40 hours, followed by dinners, prep, baths, and house chores.  I did not realize how much the commute really interferes with my stress levels concerning time.

My featherweight is turning out to be an excellent purchase.  I have used a whole cone of thread on him this week.  (Yes I named him after a man….Abacus, to be exact.  Seems like he is the only one I can count on besides myself.)

You will hear from me next weekend, with probably not much happening, unless I find the solution to the above problem.  I will delve deeply into Pinterest and try to find more than one idea.

I hope you had a lovely weekend!  Thank you for reading my blog!


Diamonds on a Shoestring Budget

Good fabric IS expensive.  All quilters know you pay for quality, and I adore Moda fabrics.  The thread contents feels right between my fingers, next to my skin.  I use other fabrics as I may adore the pattern or the perfect match in color.

And then we store our fabric until it is ready to be cut/processed into a quilt.  In the last 3 years I have done over 50 quilts, many just crib sized.  I used to throw away all fabric scraps (oh the horror of it….I know).  But then my mother bought a garbage bag full of strips from the quilter with the longarm machine.  She only paid $10 for it and made a beautiful string quilt.  Her genius in this quilt was saving old bounce dryer sheets after they had been used to form the foundation of her blocks.  No tearing away paper.  Frugal, green, keeping it all out of the landfill, nicely repurposed into a quilt.  When she made the quilt she even had left over scraps which she gave away as I think she made more than one quilt top from her strip jackpot.

At that point in my life, times were leaner than they are today.  So I started saving all of  my scraps, throwing them into baggies, with wild abandon.  No rhyme or reason for storage, just keeping the scraps for the right moment.  The baggies became too many and a tote was commandeered for the keeping of scraps.  There got to be so many that the tote runneth over.

Last year before Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilt started, I took her advice and grabbed an out of date phone book and started sewing my strings.  I had a shoebox full of telephone book pages stitched to fabric ready for a quilt of some sort.

Since this was kind of a UFO, or a long term WIP, I decided that there would be just a few more foundation blocks to make before I could proceed to a quilt.  This quilt top cost me zero dollars.  The white fabric was gifted to me and came from Marshall’s Dry Goods store.  It was 108 inches wide and 2 yards long for less than 3 dollars.  My mom purchased this for me, knowing I would use it for something.  The something happened with this quilt top.

It started like this just a little over a year ago, and now it has formed into a quilt.


Since these photos were taken on a cool, lovely September afternoon, I have added the remaining sashing around the outer perimeter.


These are my diamonds on my shoestring budget.  I wanted to stitch all the strings together back to back without sashing, but found the X to predominate and liked the diamonds better.  When I quilt this the secondary diamonds formed with the sashing will be more visible.

And because I was so deep into the scrap bin, I have started doing a better keep to this process.  Right now every thing of every size is just thrown into the fabric tote.  This has become overwhelming and unacceptable as a process for me, so I am now in the process of taming the scraps.  Some of these scraps will not make the cut.  I have a gob of tumblers left over from a quilt top waiting to be hand quilted.  Those will probably be a door prize/surprise to those attending the retreat I will be teaching at next month demonstrating the toothbrush rug.  (Ruth Ann, ssssshhhhhhhh)


Peeking next to the sofa you can see the top of my scrappy messy bin of fabric.

I have quite a stack of 2 1/2 inch strips in this tote.  Here is what I have sorted so far, nothing even cut.  A huge scrappy jelly roll there ready for some stitches.


And then I have a stack of neutral and colors for 2 inch strips, I will work those into a mystery quilt at some point provided the color scheme fits.

I have a large stack of 5 inch squares, probably a good random assortment for a simple quilt.


And in the throat of the featherweight are squares left over from a fish quilt I made for a coworker’s newborn who is now 8 and the coworker is now my Boss!  Those will become potholders or something.

I have gobs of strip sets that will also make good pot holder/trivets as mine have grown rather grungy with use.

I am not certain the direction I will take for the next sewing/quilting projects as I now have a stack of 9 to be quilted, only one of those will be given away.  Perhaps I will get out the memory craft and the On Ringo Lake quilt and start FMQ on that to get it finished.  This quilt did not turn out pretty to me and I am disappointed in my color scheme as well as the quilting I chose for some of it.  Not a show piece so it will go into immediate use.

Did you catch my recipe post on my other blog?  Click here to view Smoked Turkey Leg Soup recipe, or visit for a great assortment of time savers and delicious meals.

Enjoy your weekend!  And thanks for reading my blog!

Busy Busy Busy Bee!

This just in.  The car’s fuel pump started making a funny noise on Thursday.  Friday, someone else got to drive the car and I asked for them to listen to see what they think is wrong.  A trip to the mechanic, and my 12 year old car is finally going to get money spent on a repair.  Oh sure there are other things that I can live without that need repaired on the car, but a fuel pump is pretty important.  Sadly, I just filled up with gas when this was discovered.  So, the mechanic will get a free tank of gas for his effort as a bonus!

The part is ordered, and now we wait.  I have not went to work for the last couple of days thinking it might hurry the shipping and repair along.  This hurried nothing, it only amplified the anxiety of it being on the fritz and not knowing when it is going to go caput.  Since the full moon is today, my bet is, it will no longer work tomorrow.

So taking advantage of this down time, and keeping my worried hands busy, I have gotten up before the alarm every morning, including all weekend.  In the wee hours of the morning, I tatted my hands away, enjoying the relaxation.  Tatting is different than quilting.  While I quilt, my mind thinks and wanders.  With tatting, I have to count over and over, and so my worries are not worried about.  I wonder if there is another meaning for tatting?  Well another surprise, so I looked it up.  It appears to also mean a tangled mess!  HA…subliminally my mind astonishes me.  I guess this is my way of working out the tangles!

My favorite piece is the blue with green chain in the center.  I want to make more of these but every time I pick up a shuttle, I end up not having a big enough piece of thread on the bobbin.


I have gotten very good at joining my stitches.  The large lower left is the one I received while at TOGA from the lady who taught me to tat.  Interested in learning?  She is a great teacher and is on youtube.  Here is her link.

And then there was some,….er….unfinished business.  And after completing it, I figured out what it was that was amiss with the play ball II quilt top.  I kept struggling to go further.  I just put my big girl pants on and ignored my inner self and got going on it.  I work at a buffet in a dark corner in the living room and work by a single clip on lamp.  This lamp must have a yellow bulb in it that does NOT have natural light.  Usually when I iron, it happens in the kitchen.  Yesterday after getting the center done, I proceeded to add some white fabric around the perimeter.  I am one to finger press as I go and then move to the ironing board to do it all at once to conserve my energy as well as the electric bill.  There are two windows with no curtains in the kitchen.  And the minute I laid it out on the ironing board, I saw finally my road block, right in front of my eyes.

The whites were not created equal.  One looks snow white while the other is off white.  *GASP*  But at this point, I just kept going.  The baby will not care and the yellower white reminds me of baseballs, so that is what I will tell the mother.  This also will affect how I quilt it.   Probably going with a red for baseball stitches in those white triangles.  More work ahead *sigh*.

baby quilt

And in anticipation of my arrival of my quilting machine, I am trying to get as many tops as I can completed.  I whipped out the jelly rolls today.  I chose one that I got as a bargain from as well as one made from my scraps.  You cannot mess these quilts up and did both of them this morning.

I see that I accidentally incorporated some selvage into them, but I don’t care as they will be used and abused and worn out within a couple of years as the quilts I made for the children when they were just babies are now official rags, with many tuck in’s at night, and washings for my filthy crew.


The male cat coming to investigate.  A good cat, from the time he was born, he was quiet, and I assumed smart.  All the other kittens we have had of late are a bunch of cry babies.

Here he is showing his inquisitive self.  Perhaps he is hypnotized by the Kaffe Fasset fabric.  LOL


I encourage all of you who have large stashes to grab what you like from it and pair it with similar fabrics.  I think this quilt could have used one more color,  but this is what it ended up being.  Back in July when cutting my pieces out for the Jewel Box Stars, I took each piece of fabric and cut an extra 2 1/2 inch strip and then rolled it up for an easy, scrappy quilt later.


Finally a day of sunshine.  Friday, Sat, and Sun we got almost 14 inches of rain.  Although it did not affect my household, or its contents, those who live by our area reservoir ended up with water woes.

Today, while taking these photos, I noticed the neighbor lady was mowing her grass, and all the dust it was kicking up, you would have thought we were in a drought.  Right now I have very little grass in my yard.  Not because of high temperatures, or too much rain, or drought.  Oddly enough, we had an army worm invasion.! They pretty much ate all the grass, and left the weeds in the yard, and then left or died, it is possible they could have drowned.

Now I will get out the string tote and start sewing on the string quilt again.  I already have several pages done and probably will not have to work it long.  If I get tired of it, I will pack it back up into the tote it is currently living in, and work on another ufo from the pile.

My excitement is building….the machine can be delivered as soon as the quilt show in Houston is over……ready for change, ready for speedier quilting, just ready for this new path in my life.

Well, I have salisbury steak meatballs in the slow cooker and will have to get supper served up pretty quick.  This weekend I tried out an new recipe and was delighted with how it turned out.  Ever had smoked turkey legs?  Me neither!  Be looking for a recipe using smoked turkey legs for a delicious new meal for the aftermath of thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Artistic Expression~Quilters Inspiration

Last weekend I attended a quilt show.  I have a slide show of what I saw.  This is just a sampling of what I liked.

A couple of my favorites:

  • Dime Size Yo-Yo wall hanging (can you imagine making yo-yos that size?!)
  • The Last Supper.
  • The black quilt with intricate appliqué fussy cut pattern.
  • The thread painted cactus….with decorative stitches, very different and neat!

A wowza to all the quilters!  Quilt shows really make my creative juices flow, it is bad for the UFO pile as well as the WIP pile.  But oh sew good for the quilters soul!

Two of these quilts are the same pattern, but color/value makes them oh sew different, can you pick which two?


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The Last Supper ~ A quilt show

Last weeks post I communicated how much I am in a slump with work on the PlayBall2 quilt I am constructing.  It is just mindless sewing, and I just cannot muster much enthusiasm.  I cannot focus, I just do not want to.  So this week after a brief period of getting this far, I have tatted and knitted and am liking the down time with small projects.


The center of this quilt is done.  I will be configuring the borders and hopefully will hurdle this quilt demon that shows up every now and then.  Ocean waves in the center framed by pinwheels on the edge.  It may be about 20 inches, I have not measured it.  This fabric was cut all the way back at the beginning of July and wholly cow it is mid September and still not finished.  I think I have reached a point of saturation and that is my personal issue.  I just need to put my big girl pants on and sew.

Yesterday was National Sew a Jelly Roll Day.  Did you get into your stash and sew up something for this event?  I didn’t, instead I celebrated by visiting a local quilt show.  Photos will be posted soon on that.

The little bitty town I visited was also have a vintage market day where vendors were set up with antiques, and homemade stuff were scattered on the square with live music.  It was a warm day, but for mid Sept., pleasant enough.

I managed to walk away from the quilt show with a very expensive purchase, and a few bargains, even a freebie.

As a door prize I won a pressing sheet.  I did not have one of those, so this will come in handy and I can quit using the roll of disposable parchment paper.


My most practical find of the day was at one of the vendors set up outside for the vintage market.  A man had devised a clever way to utilize the clover thread cutter.  I have been wanting a stand thread cutter for a while and have just not gotten around to buying one. He took the little chotsky charm and mounted it on a nice piece of hand turned wood.  A small stand, and small enough to fit comfortably in the hand, if needed.  This will be used like the dickens.  Pictured I have it laying down for it to smile and say cheese.


Not pictured are the vintage sheets I purchased and a wad of fabric (which I thought would make lovely rugs).  The total price for that was 35 cents, but I went ahead and gave the guild a whole dollar as they had done a marvelous job of the comings together of the quilt show.

My mother is in a local informal quilting guild.  Some of my subscribers are in that guild.  One in particular, Ruth Ann, (Hi Ruth Ann….thanks for the invite!) asked me yesterday at the show if I would be interested in coming to their retreat and demonstrating the toothbrush rug!  I am excited to do this as I know all those sewing mavens have gobs of fabric in their stash ready to be used for a project that may take them only a couple of days.  I am looking forward to this.  Ironically one of the ladies in the guild allowed me to borrow her toothbrush rug instructions when I did my first one.  Now three and a half years later (I returned the instructions) I am still making them, and making them confidently enough with out instructions and also venturing into experimentation.  I look forward to this teaching moment, as I will probably learn some from them as well!

I will share one photo of a quilt from the show, since it is Sunday.  I am not a very religious person, but I do have my beliefs.  There was a man at the show who looked to be about 100 years old.  He was on stage talking about the quilt he pieced and quilted himself.  His voice just above a whisper into the microphone, slumped with old posture sitting in a chair, explaining the work of art he accomplished.  He made a pixelated version in quilt format of the Last Supper.  Huge and impressive, artistic, something musuem worthy.  Isn’t it breath taking!


And lastly, the expensive part.  I have been tormented about purchasing a longarm for a few years.  After pricing used/guaranteed and new the price difference was not that different, so I have decided to purchase new.  I am getting a 20 inch CLX Nolting.  I am looking forward to quilting in half the time as my shoulders are quite muscular doing it under the 6 inch throat space I have been using for 3 years.  I do not have room for this equipment in my house and so it will be put off site so to speak.  The reason I chose this brand over others?  Ladies if you are contemplating this purchase, you must get out there and test drive the ones they have set up at shows,  You will know exactly which one you like best.  The smoothness of the Nolting vs the babylock (and many other machines just like it but rebadged much like a gmc vs a chevy) there was too much bounce in the  machine.  Not only do I think that is hard on the machine, it will be hard on the person driving the machine.  I liked the Juki, it was smooth, but the noise it made was irritating, LOL.  They are all similarly priced.  I did not get any extras except the large bobbin upgrade.  I like the fact that I do the maintaining of the machine and will not have to crate it and send it somewhere to get worked on.  Pretty much this machine I will be able to handle after the warranty is out, help is always a phone call/ text away.

I am excited about the machine, but at the same time, going from debt free to a large payment each month is a downer.  Who knows perhaps this is a door opening for me as another is getting ready to close.  You just never know where life will take you.  I am ready for whatever journey.  I know I have three quilts ready for my new learning journey.  I know my mother has many too.  This will get me in shape to perhaps take it that step further.  A wait and see moment with no commitment.

Happy Quilting, and thanks for reading my blog!

Doll Quilt Finished

As planned, the doll quilt is now behind me and ahead of hours of playtime.  If it is neglected and not played with I will be very surprised.  If I see stress, wear and tear, I will quietly put it in the blanket chest, for them to admire the memories when they are older.


In last week’s post (you can read about that here), I made a yarn bowl.  I just had to try it out.  For tatting it was wonderful.  Not once did anything fall from my lap to the floor.  There was one instance in rowdiness, I accidentally dumped the bowl and had to fetch the scissors from the crannies of the couch.  That was operator error, no worries.

I was begged by youth yesterday to make them a bowl to play with.  All I had left was nylon cord.  This stuff sewed differently than cotton, but the core of it is cotton.  So another bowl journey began.  I made two more.  One for my yarn, a bit larger/taller than the last and another for the toy box.


I rather like the irredescence of the nylon with the thread.  The thread really painted the bowl up nicely.


The rug I started last week was finished up yesterday afternoon.  I decided to give the rug a scalloped edge.  Without having a pattern, it went pretty well.  Because I formed loops, I am not sure this geriatric body will survive a normal walk on it——hope I don’t trip.  Perhaps this will be gifted to someone, or end up on the table as the most durable doily ever made.


To make the edge, I would use the bobbin yarn and the working yarn only, create a chain of 9 stitches, then go back to the rug and skip 6 stitches, then affix with three stitches before I would start another scallop.  Perhaps with practice on another one my skills will be better practiced/refined so the loops will not catch any toes.  Just the single chains were very loopy, so I went around the perimeter of the rug one more time skipping two stitches in the valley of the scallop.  That helped tame them, allowing them to lay flatter.


I am uncertain what sewing adventure I will choose for idle hands in the coming week.  I know what I need to do, but just don’t want to.  I need to get the featherweight back out and trudge on with play ball 2.  I just need to make myself.  I still do not understand why I do refuse the work on this quilt.  The time is ticking, and I do not care.  *sigh*

Have a wonderful Sunday, and thank you for subscribbing/reading my blog!


Geese In Everlasting Trees

Boy, Howdy Monday!

A productive weekend, the weekend lasting one extra day.  Breathing in, exhaustion gone, stitching a mile a minute.  It is amazing how much more you can get accomplished by adding one more day to your weekend routine.

Sometimes I surprise myself.  I just started the flying geese top on Friday evening.  And voilá, a quilt top finished, regardless if it small for a doll.

honkin wonky geese
from this to….
this!  By placing a neutral strip in between the rows of geese it created another pattern, Tree Everlasting!  Whoa!

So I completed my strips of flying geese, as wonky as they are (the doll will not care and neither will the children).  I have severely diminished my baggies of HST scraps.

Whoa, and I even got it quilted!

Binding will happen sometime this week.  I really wanted to quilt this with the fabric I purchased a whole bolt of at the thrift store.  The bolt did not say what kind of fabric it was.  I ironed it, it appears to be cotton.  Thicker than regular weave.  I think it is a jersey knit.  So this miniature version of a quilt was a rehearsal for the king size quilt I will be doing in the future with this same backing.  The quilting had issues on the back so I may rethink that for the human size quilt.


What else have I got going?  Well, I had this package of cotton clothesline.  It kept getting touched and moved from one spot to the next.  I touched it again this weekend and decided, this is the last time I will be touching packaged stuff, taking up valuable real estate.  Time to get stitching.

So I have been romancing the notion of looming socks.  I do not own the right kind of loom and have been window shopping on the internet for this process.  During my virtual shopping, I came across a yarn bowl.  They are wooden and expensive around $20.  I understand their purpose, and I also understand it is not a necessity.  But what if I make one!  So I did.  I did not make it very big, and turns out this is perfect for my tatting yarns.


What makes a yarn bowl, a bowl strictly for yarn?  A catch.  A place that you hook the yarn through.  The ball of yarn will unwind, never leaving your lap or table, or getting tangled up because it fell to far.

And I had extra clothesline left over.  I envisioned a purse.  Will probably finish this off with fabric later.  In the mean time, it is a perfect holder for all my yarn!  And the loom too!


These bowls are very quick and easy to make.  Select the widest zig-zag on your machine and get colorful with the thread.  A great way to free up your bobbins!

And wait….there is still more!  A while back, a co-workers quilting Grandmother gifted me a gob of fabric.  I have used this fabric, made many quilts with pieces here and there. I donated the rest.  While going through the pieces I did find some poly cotton that just would not make the cut in any of my quilts.  It got tossed aside.  Again, I am tired of touching, moving, and shuffling, again and again.  So, last night I tore them into 2 inch strips for a rag rug.  It is well on it’s way.


My stitching in the toothbrush rug is getting very symmetrical.  The pastel purple had some kind of staining on the fabric.  Stain and all, hidden within the fibers of the rug perfectly.  Also, there is some very dated 80s check in red and tan.  When I ripped this fabric there was so much sizing in it that it automatically curved the sides of each tear.  This stuff is stitching up nicely too, glad this is going into a rug.  The selvage said VIP on it which was probably from Cloth World or some other old big box fabric chain.  I will probably be adding to this as I find more pieces that are questionable about cotton content.geeseall

This picture sums up the weekend nicely.  Look at all that work and all the work to come.  Imagining things made with yarn.  Any of you sock makers know if you can use #3 or #10 tatting thread for socks?

Today will be a few household duties and relaxation, Boy Howdy Monday!

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