ORL 9 Patches

ORL or also known as On Ringo Lake is a Mystery Quilt for us to join in and have fun and perfect our techniques.  Hosted by Bonnie Hunter annually, it is something to look forward to, an assignment, and a goal.

To work on this project, I wanted to deplete my scrap bin.  I started working on a string quilt, because all those scraps will give me a couple free, no cost quilts.  Well that is going well, but with the start of On Ringo Lake, I cannot continue as the demands of this mystery quilt will envelop my spare time making working on other projects rather impossible.


From this above, to this below…

To this flat, ironed, neat, trimmed, scrappy string block


This mystery quilt consumes me….drives me….I have an assignment with a goal and somewhat of a deadline to have it finished before I am bombarded with the next clue.  Just sewing without a deadline set is kind of undisciplined so, this deadline pushes me.  And I am the little engine that could…I think I can….I think I can…I know I can…I know I can.  A wonderful feeling, much like doing a good job on a paper in school when you were a youngster getting a star and a “good job” written by the teacher.  You are pleased because you pleased yourself and you impressed the teacher.  Even though I will never meet the teacher, I do this blog and there are other amazing, talented people who bother to read it and getting kudos from them is a wonderful feeling.  Their blogs teach me, I am their student.  They learn from my blog, they are my student.  Full circle.

The string blocks featured above stored nicely in the empty shoe box I had set aside for On Ringo Lake.  They fit perfectly inside.  Because I utilized this box for them, I had no shoe box for my ORL 9 patches.  What does this mean?  This means I had to empty the other one I was already using.

What was I storing in the one I emptied?  I was keeping my leader ender together inside. Most of my thimbles blocks had been sewn into groupings of 4.  Practically rows.  So I laid them out on the bed.  Once I laid them out, I did not want to fuss over this part again.  So I started sewing them together.  I have emptied the box.  I have covered the bed and sewn many rows together.  I will be putting a border on this thimble tumblers going in a different direction for the sashing.  I will continue on with this leader ender during ORL mystery quilt.  Great progress happened just by cleaning out the box to make room.

This is my thimbles leader ender.  I fussed so much over the layout because I used some of the same fabrics for the neutrals as well as the darks.  Because I did this I had to be careful what was surround that thimble.  The bottom row 4th from the left, this one I used as a light and a dark.  This is a fantastic way to get rid of ugly fabric that would otherwise be in my stash for years.

I have enjoyed emptying the box and gotten so much accomplished this past couple of weeks.  Here are my 9 patches for the mystery quilt.  I enjoyed this immensely as well.  The words used in that mystery quilt post, leaves me dreaming of a pineapple quilt using that folded corners ruler.  We will see.  Turquoise, an earth tone naturally occurring, with brown and neutral, all favorites of mine.


Here are all of these little critters just waiting for the next step.  At least I hope they are all there because my count could be off.  If so, as you can see there are few extra partial block pieces ready to be utilized in the event there was an error in counting.  Linking up with this post on the Monday after link up!

I owe I owe it is off to work I go.    I will miss having so much sewing time and returning to work after this Thanksgiving holiday.  I have enjoyed it at so many different levels.  *Sigh*…..this is a sigh of contentment.


Plenty of Leftovers

Thanksgiving meals have come and went.  Bellies are full and ready for round two, three, four, and five.  Leftovers are part of this holiday.  You cook way to much food, and try to eat on it for days before it gets thrown out or grows the fuzzies in the fridge.

In the scheme/spirit of Thanksgiving and their scraps, I have been duly working on a scrap quilt, all from leftovers that I have been saving for years.  It started out in an old pillow case.  Every time I would have a scrap, triangle, square, or selvedge I would put it in the pillow case.  Well, the pillow case burst at the seams.  The scraps were moved to their own tote.  This tote is at the top of the stack currently and easily accessible.  My goal is to deplete these leftovers or at least trim their fat.

I would be sewing/quilting a boy themed quilt top right now as it was told to me this past week that the next person in our group found out they are having a boy.  I have the top already done, but do not have any batting.  I will have to purchase a roll of batting because you get the best bang for your buck buying in large quantity.  I will wait for the right deal and take care of this as destiny defines it.

So, I was itching to use the sewing machine and sew.  The Mystery Quilt On Ringo Lake does not start until tomorrow and I simply could not wait to sew.  I have time off from work and wanted to keep my hands busy.

So I took the phone book I had been saving and am using it as the foundation to sew my scraps.


I grab a few scrappy leftovers out of my tote and the sewing begins.


They are wrinkled and crinkled, but oh so valuable.  To think people do not save their scraps.  With as much as fabric costs per yard this is insane.  I am sewing down my scrap stash to make it a tad more manageable.


Once I fill the whole page with strips/scraps I can then iron and trim them down to make a perfect block.  I am using an outdated telephone book (which by the way will become collectors items one day since everyone is going to cell phones and Ma Bell is dying).  My mother made one of these quilts and used a foundation of used Bounce dryer sheets which is an excellent idea since they are trash anyway and the smart thing about using those, you will not have to tear the paper away from the blocks once you are done.  Green and Genius at the same time Mom!

I am running my strings from opposite corners and will alternate my blocks when it is assembled.  This process is very fast and it is free fabric sew to speak.

So save those scraps, be thrifty with your nickels.  The farther you can make your yardage go, the better for your pocketbook.

Tomorrow once On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt starts, I will put these away and work on them later, but taming the tote of scraps feels good and I am enjoying this process.

Today–leftovers in my quilting realm.  Tomorrow I will make new leftovers and eat the Thanksgiving ones too.  Life is full, of leftovers.  Life is good!

Quilting and The Fire Ants

As the days shorten with daylight, one finds themselves trying to cope with less daylight and the same daylight hour activities.  Rush to rake leaves, or mow what is left of the lawn, or simply cook supper before the kitchen lights need to be turned on.  Rushing makes life no fun.  Preparing for the holidays some may get overwhelmed with less daylight (daylight has been known to help get rid of the blues), some get so taxed they get sick (this is usually me), and some take it easy and roll with the punches.  However your next week unfolds, slow down and take time out to pay attention to things that my otherwise pass you by, like a lady bug on the window sill, signifying it is going to get cooler.

Today I was trying to get a quilt finished to take pictures.  It didn’t happen.  And that is ok.  It is almost finished.  I am hoping to finish this before the thanksgiving holiday so it can be given to the parents before they vacation and it has to wait a little longer.  My goal is to be finished with it by the time Black Friday arrives and the Bonnie Hunter mystery begins.  I am well on my way to a finish.  But I am not going to push it.

Here are pictures of it unfinished.  Who said I have to show finished pictures, it is my blog eh?

bindingFirst I started making binding, and fell short, so revisited digging through my stash and reorganizing to find the snippet that I had already put up.

crisscrossbindingI received my simple folded corners ruler in this week and got to try it out with criss crossing my binding and using it to trim before sewing.  No more line drawing…woooohoo!  Those of you who have not purchased a binding tool, don’t.  Get this one instead.  It snowballs your corners wonderfully.  It makes flying geese perfectly.  And if you order directly from Antler Quilt Designs, Doug Leko may sign a note of thanks.  Nice highlight for the week.  A famous person, and I have their autograph sort of.


Binding attached and have started hand sewing…


And then while nestled in my chair needle-ing, threading, and thimle-ing away my oldest daughter screamed outside and started crying “ANTS ANTS!  Get them off me!”  So I threw down what I was working on to knock the fire ants off her and because she was now inside had to kill the ants with the vacuum cleaner.


I have not picked up this quilt since to bind because after that (she is quite the clumsy child) she fell flat on her face, literally.  I think she broke her nose.  She definitely had a nose bleed and a goose egg on her forehead.  Tsk Tsk…..this is my child that will probably break many bones in her lifetime, so accident prone.

And here is the almost finished/unfinished quilt. front and back.  Just pretend there are no raw edges.

Quiche is in the oven, with less than 5 minutes to go.  I will attempt to make apple pandowdy tomorrow and post that on my other blog as I have ran out of daylight today.  *sigh* time flies, the older I get, the faster the time continuum goes.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  And behave yourselves shopping during Black Friday!  May all of you have a safe, fulfilling holiday!

My Fabric Stash Grew! Zero Dollars—Priceless!

I have taken pictures around town with local landmark goodness of the En Provence quilt.  I would like to note the backing I selected was neutral with a tad of purple in rows much like the photo for inspiration the quilt was designed from.  I enjoyed this whole process down to the last 12 inches of binding.  I cut binding, going blindly on amount.  And low and behold, I had 12 inches to spare.  Usually I have way too much or not enough.  Win Win!

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For you local readers, can you guess where these pictures were taken?

On a huge, massive, positive note to my stash, I am the recipient of a co-worker’s grandmother’s stash.  Her grandmother downsized and new she would never get to make all the quilts she had fabric for.  I was the “winner” of the fabric.  Five trash bags and one box full of goodness. And just when I had gotten my stash manageable it multiplied.  I would never complain.  And I went through and picked out what I would consume right away and what would warm the inside of a tote for a while.  I gave 2 1/2 trash bags to my mother.  She will go through it and what she doesn’t want I will pass onto the Estitchers.

I wonder how many yards I did get today?   How many pounds?  It is much like the tootsie roll sucker commercial with the boy and the owl from the 70s.  How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop?  The world may never know.  How many yards did I have before this gift?  The world may never know.  LOL

I have received vintage Dresden’s made of 30s fabric.  I have received very nice appliquéd blocks with satin stitching to finish the edges.  There is enough there to make a quilt pretty darn quick.  Beautiful yellows, golds, and cheddar…oh yum.  There were blacks, purples, blues, greens, pinks, reds, rusts, neutrals.  There was even a panel in oranges and browns/rusts from the early 70s.  It had a hot air ballon on it.  I will cut that up and use it in my tumbler quilt I am making.  There was a panel to make a stuffed dog.  there was a panel to make a birdhouse vest.  Can you read the excitement in my text?  I can now shop my stash and have a brand new stash store.  I cannot wait to see what that fabric holds for my future projects.  YeeeeHaw!  What you put out there is what you get back.  It is great to enjoy the giving process of quilting.  And it is so nice that someone thinks of your efforts and singles you out for a gift like this of mass proportions!  I will pay this forward, as I usually do.  That is also something all of us could stand to do more of.  Thanks for reading my blog!

En Provence Finale and about the thimble

Last year at this time I was gathering fabrics ready to start my En Provence quilt Mystery hosted by Bonnie Hunter.

Fast forward to now, in one of my latest posts I shared fabrics I will be using in this years mystery On Ringo Lake.  I had just finished the quilt top Farm Fresh Deux, and wanted to get started quilting on it to gift it.  I guess I was just kidding myself as this baby quilt is not “due” until February.  So it is best to finish what I started in order right?  En Provence needed to be finished.  The quilting was about 85% done.  So I just wound my bobbins and brainstormed while finishing the orange peels.


This was tough going, especially in the middle of the quilt because I was quilting on point, so in the middle of the quilt, the longest distance from the center was the corners, and that was all bunched up in my 6.5 inch throat space.  Some, er….very imperfect quilting in that region.  But the quilting is done!  I chose a doodling pattern for the center of the stars.


The borders I just did circles as feathers would take too much thread and time.  I find the more thread you put into a quilt, the heavier and stiffer it gets, losing it’s cuddle softness.


I am binding now and only have one side and part of another to go!  Today is rainy dreary out so a photo finish will have to wait.

During the binding process, usually I bind baby quilts and my finger does not have time to get sore, but on this larger project I had to whip out the good ole’ thimble.  I got to wondering about the thimble and how it came to be as such.  Reading up on it I came across some neat historical information about it.


  • Did you know the earliest existing bronze thimble is dated to Roman times and was found in Pompeii?  It is also known that the Etruscans who predated the romans also used the bronze technology in their thimbles.
  • Bone and leather thimbles were probably the first ones but because of content did not survive the centuries.
  • Early thimbles had to be extremely sturdy.  Because cloth was predominately homespun and tough as well as the needles not being finished/polished.  Can you imagine trying to push a needles with burrs through dense cloth?
  • During the 1600s threads/cloth became refined and so thimbles also updated to being thinner.
  • During Elizabeth I reign, it became fashionable to gift thimbles that were ornately bejeweled
  • Victorian times allowed much needlework and also began the collecting of thimbles
  • But did you know that a slightly larger thimble, usually two ounces, was used to measure spirits?
  • And did you know that 19th century prostitutes used them to tap on their clients’ windows and Victorian schoolmistresses used them to knock recalcitrant students on the head?

My thimble after studying it, is a size ten and I wear it on my middle finger, as it is the pusher finger.  It is awkward and my hands look so old in one (perhaps it is only because I have seen the old wear one).  But it helps preserve my tip for the finer, less painful things in life.  Mine actually says “Spain10”.  I have others but they just hit my fingernail funny on the side and actually cause more pain to my finger than the needle.

We are all sick at this house, everyone has sore throat and runny nose.  The children have had their rounds of puking because of too much bile in the digestive system (yay! a laundry party 😦 ).  I have had bouts with vertigo….not fun stepping out of bed and everything felt slanted and me running into walls high stepping with every baby step.  We will mend, not as easily as with needle and thread but our bodies will do the work.

Here is a picture of one of our kittens all dressed up in doll clothes.  Fight or flight it looks like to me.  Perhaps its pride got a little bent with the process, but as most cats, definitely did not like the process of dressing up.


Farm Fresh Deux

At the beginning of 2017, I finished a quilt called Farm Fresh using the Farm Girl Vintage pattern of a tractor.  Since the quilt was for a boy, I made it boy appropriate.  Here are those results.


Fast forward to this weekend.  I wanted to make a one block quilt again and since it is in the theme of pink, gray, and white, I thought I would build another tractor block.  I dug and dug through my stash to come up with this.  See my homemade alpha bitties?  They are just bread ties and potato ties and work marvelously.  Depending on the BOM system I am using, I can use blue tape if necessary to mark/re-mark the ties.  It works and hey I am a cheapskate.  Maybe not a cheapskate….I just prefer to purchase fabric with my money not gadgets.



I wish my clothes line was functional so I could just pin this up and get a full picture.  But you are only losing fabric border, no frills just fabric.  I really like the chuckwagon/purina style corners of this block and it makes it look farm fresh doesn’t it?


I wanted the dark pink for the centers of the wheels but thought two solids would be to stark and not enough pattern.  So it is a tractor why not green eh?


My father would not approve LOL (he worked for International Harvester for years so the red is what put food on the table, green was blasphemy).  I need to make this block in the future using whites.  You know International Harvester did produce a white tractor.  Not sure how I will accomplish this, but have years to figure it out.

I chose this paisley fabric for the perimeter of the block.  Farm meets chic.  It is soft enough with white that I don’t think the parents will mind the pastel blues and greens.  This weekend I will work to get it quilted, not sure what I will do for that either, perhaps I will script the words home grown over and over.  That part is still in the planning stages and I will be perusing Pinterest for examples to guide me in the quilting process.

Be looking for a completion of this in the next week, and thanks for reading my blog!

The Planning of a Quilt

When the creative juices flow, I find I have to have an outlet for it. With Pinterest in my life, my bucket list of crafting grows. There is so much inspiration on the World Wide Web.

I am currently in the planning stages for two quilts, one for a coworkers baby girl to be and one for myself. I got with the father to be and was told the colors of the baby’s room where going to be gray, white, and pink. So, I proceed to dig through my diminishing stash, to find I have no pink pieces large enough for a quilt. And my smaller pieces do not choreograph well together.

I have been through my stash about five times this week pulling fabrics for “On Ringo Lake” Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt, so there is no mystery what I have in my stash.

The creative juices are flowing but no plan. Frugalness through the years of some hard times refined my quilting talents to “make do” and so that is what I am going to do.

I have enough coordinating pices to make a quilt block with yardage that is soft and girly and will make do, even though there is only a hint of pink. I have decided to make one block for this quilt. I have chosen to make a pink tractor from the farm girl vintage book. I will probably embroider the words “home grown” to go under the tractor keeping it simple.

I have made this block style quilt once before at the beginning of the year. You can see that quilt here.  I will use these fabrics….er….I think.


I have determined the colors I will be using in the quilt along. Brown and neutrals are plentiful. Turquoise is a must, melon I only had one piece. I shopped my mothers stash and she had 5 pieces that might have equaled a yard. I did go to the quilt shop to see what they had and totally scrapped the idea of melon. I changed it to orange.


My excitement is high for both these projects. I cannot cut or sew a thing yet. The farm girl vintage book is at my mothers. And of course the other is a mystery quilt so no progress on that till Black Friday. I suppose I can make a quick trip to the store for starch and start ironing my pieces and drap them over my dowel rod accordion clothes dryer until the great sewing event of either project.

I knew the minute I started fmq on my mystery quilt from last year I would have interruptions. But last years mystery is still an option for the creative juices. Quilt on!

I have chosen lavender thread 30wt for the top and 50 wt for the bobbin. I see this picture captured a tad of what I am using for the backing.

Dual Stars Bound and Delivered — And Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Start

This baby quilt was easy and fast and I enjoyed the design/winging it process immensley. I will be doing another one of these soon and will give directions for accomplishing this easy quilt top.

The parents wanted gray and no girly girl pinks.  I think I followed the rules.  The father to be loved it and could not wait to show his wife.


While making the half square triangles in this top I cut just under half of each of these away.  Knowing that this color scheme goes with nothing in my stash, I knew I had to incorporate it into the backing.  So I made half square triangles from the scraps.  Again following the rules made the backing gray as well.


Here is a close up of the hst’s.


With the dual stars I tried to stay with that theme in the FMQ and decided to do crescent shapes, so it is dual stars with a little moon showing.


This line of fabrics is discontinued and the charm pack is called Nomad.  The diarrhea greens in this really made it hard to match other lines of fabrics.  I finished binding this last night and have another baby quilt in the planning stages.  These parents are wanting to go with pink, grays, and whites.  I will have to dig more into my stash as I made a mess this evening.

You see, Bonnie Hunter announced the colors for her mystery quilt for this year.  It is called Ringo lake and expecting she would call for plenty of neutrals I had ordered early this month the little house on the prairie fat quarter pack.  Some of these neutrals I grabbed from my stash will not make the cut.


And I also guessed brown would be a color.  That is being shipped to me as we speak.  Here are a few pieces from my stash.  Some of these will not make the cut either.  I love their audition though.


And my favorite color is being used this year, turquoise.  I have plenty of that.  They all look pretty to me, but some seem to clash with others and will be voted out of the quilt.


She has also called for melon or coral.  Coral is the color I used in last years mystery quilt, so the jury is still out on the last color.  I have a little over a month to decide and shop.  🙂

I really learned a lot from last years mystery quilt, this year I will pace myself and not worry so much about keeping up (my competitive side may show itself).  Who knows I may wait until the reveal to decide if my fabrics are worthy.  With the amounts of yardage called for these 4 colors, they must be small pieces.  Small scrappy pieces would be pretty with these colors.  Check out her post here for more info.

So I have three baby quilts, one due on the 24th of Feb, one due in March, and one is much later.  We will see what ends up transpiring.  I don’t even have En Provence quilted yet, it is in my WIPs pile.

All is well at my quilting table, for now.  Have a great week!