Periwinkles and Circles

Well, after a long week of working and deep cleaning of the house (not done), a nice long weekend extended further by one more day,  I am still pooped LOL.

Very little sewing happened.  I guess I am still not in the mood to sew.  I forced myself today to do about 7 blocks.  A few blocks a day and this may get done.

Nicely laid out on my design floor LOL


I really like the way the stars are all coming together with circles in between!

I have been commissioned to make a tshirt quilt, and all the supplies have arrived to get that going, so maybe I will shift gears.  But I have a bad case of the “I don’t want too’s.”

A quick post today, did you catch my last post?  I reorganized my sewing stuff.  Probably still not the best organization, what are your organizing secrets?  I would love to hear from you.

Well, I am off to make fully loaded baked potatoes for supper.  Have a great week!



To Vamp is to:

verb (used with object)

Potholder Mania!!!! A Miniature Quilt

Give me a bucket of scraps and I can sew like the dickens!  Yesterday, sorting out some sewn blocks I come across some 2 inch squares.  A quick potholder happened!  The miniature of miniature quilts.


And then I came across larger pieces that were sewn together like potholder number 1’s backing.  Had to use it up to move it out.  I came across a segment left over from En Provence, again this was an even quicker project and a little bigger.  The center part was already sewn.  The squares surrounding were already cut on a previous mystery.  These were left over from On Ringo Lake.  And this ended up being a nice hot pad.  Large enough to place a pot on, but too large for comfort with hands.

The funny thing about potholders.  No matter how many I make, they are used and get so grungy looking.  Throwing them into the wash does not seem to get out whatever is staying in the fibers.  I can never have too many pot holders and it has been about a year since I made my last one.  But ones from previous years probably need to be purged due to grunge.  Although grunge is in, I don’t think it is very appetizing for the kitchen, yuck!

These potholders were completely stitched and quilted using my featherweight including stitching the binding. I just love the professional seam it creates!

Whatever was laying near my table was used up.  Scrappy bindings for both, did not have to cut or press any of it either.  Doesn’t the pink look a little obtuse? LOLOLOLOL, a little triangle humor.  It actually looks like a beak.  That gives me an idea for a baby quilt one day.  Stitched in the ditch.  Started with pink in the bobbin and gray on top.  Ran out of pink and switched to gray in the bottom too.  I am not gonna fuss about a potholder.  I even ended up with a pucker on this one.  More substance to keep my hand safe from something hot.  On the other, I ran out of bobbin thread while stitching in one of the ditches and just left it.  Art is like that, improv quilting is art.  Quilting and art come together for a wonderful marriage of color and texture.  I am going to enjoy every seam and each quilt dream.

What does my future hold?  I bet a lot of piecing and quilting.  No goal is set for the upcoming week.  I suspect I will have too many interruptions to get much done, but I am back to working on the periwinkle.  Wish me far on this project, as I am eager to get going deep in another.  I refuse to commit to UFO status.

Thank you for stopping in and reading my blog!

The HoneySuckle Times

It is spring, and a lovely wet and cooler one it has been.  Everything seems to be to a late start.  Primrose was a month late.  So was Queen Anne’s Lace.  Honeysuckle has such a long continuous bloom time, I am uncertain if that is in right time with nature.  I do know doing simple tasks outside can be great aromatherapy.  If I take out the trash, it smells lovely.  If I walk to the car it smells lovely.  If I feed the cats, it smells lovely!  When it is gone I will miss it.  The smell is flowery fresh with a bit of country smell mixed in.  No perfume or lotion can quite capture this natural olfactory sensation!

The fence row Honeysuckle


It has been a non sewing week, it has been a buying fabric week!  I caught a $2 per yard sale and stocked up.  Went thrifting and bought some more.  All of that has been laying on my sewing table.  Now it is put up, a new tote purchased as my old one broke.  So all the fabric piles are now confined!

In the process of replacing the tote, I came across pieces cut for quilts in baggies.  I thought today would be a good opportunity to make a small.  A project that can be started and finished in a day, with other projects planned in the near future.

So here are some leftovers…..a new potholder is in my near future!

Mom was purging stuff and asked me to go through a box and take what I wanted.  My Campbell’s Soup Kid cloth doll was in there, snatched that right up.  She had a neck injury, but is now all stitched up, ready to be more modest.

Today is a full moon.  Full moon affects bodies of water, like tides and human beings.  When I used to be married you could almost set your watch to some horrible drama unfold as my ex’s family might as well have been werewolves howling at the full moon. Glad to be in a place in life where full moons mostly affect other people.  Every now and then I am affected, but I much prefer every once in a while to a constant monthly roller coaster ride.  I anticipate that this month may be the month I am affected or someone close to me, or a huge catastrophic event.  I hope I am wrong.  We shall see.

Life is good!  For now!  :). Have a great weekend and thanks for reading my blog!

The Dreaming of Big

My Mom bought me this panel a few months back.  I kept brainstorming on the project it would become.  I finally caved.  The urge to quilt was too great.  I checked my thread.  A lavender and a teal, but no purple.  I decided to go with what I have.  I am unable to finish as an encoder wheel fell off my quilting machine.  I could fix this myself.  But why should I, it is still under warranty.  So it will get fixed when it gets fixed!

I still have a tremendous urge to quilt!!!!  And now can’t….

I was going to take a video of quilting the feathers within the petals (which is easier than I thought), when the malfunction happened.


dreambbigbackHere is the back.  A purple batik that I have made sooooooo many quilts from.  This bolt of fabric never seems to end.

This will probably end up on my youngest’s toddler bed.  And she will probably drag it about the house, putting it through several stages leading up to a tattered rag.

For those of you that love to quilt these panels to death, and then use them, you will find them drafty!  Practically unusable.  I see so many quilts these days with custom quilting that are great eye candy, but not utilitarian.

Some make quilts and store them in pristine condition, never using!  My quilts are used until they become unusable.  Just in the past 2 years 3 quilts have bit the dust.  Mostly these did not last because of potty training, and abuse with the washing machine.  The other abuse was the polyester content acting as a brillo pad on the cotton fibers.

I currently used 100% cotton batting for that reason.

And the quilts that I did use cotton batting, and quilted them to the inth degree, will probably never wear out as no one cuddles with them because they are not warm.  If you think about it, poking hundreds of holes into a 5 inch area has created a draft, plus you are compressing the loft of the batting, again removing warmth.

These are the quilts I got fancy with all the detail of quilting.

Green lemonade is drafty, and Just Smurfy (the names of the two quilts above) is really drafty.  Three months of time each, quilting every day until they were done!  If you look closely at the quilting detail you will see hundreds of stitches very close together.  They turned out gorgeous!  But unwarm!

If I were to describe the texture of these quilts, the word full comes to mind.   This full texture would make a great moving blanket.  One day if I move, I will be able to use these two quilts especially for the delicate stuff.

Ah the lessons we learn along the way.  ‘Tis what makes us better, good old hindsight.    Flaws in execution translate into a better way next time around.

I am off to do the rut of a routine for the weeknight days.  Have a great week, and thanks for reading my blog!

What is Old is New Again!

While looking for a pattern this week, my Mom came across a book that used to belong to her Mother, my Grandmother.  My maternal Grandmother was already deceased before I was born.  I never got to meet the woman.  She must have had a bit of wonderfulness to raise so many children, having her last one in her 40s.  My Mom has a picture of her in black and white.  She has a twinkle in her eye.  I see this same twinkle in my oldest daughter.  It is a look of mischief, and a snicker all at the same time.  It communicates much with no words.  🙂

This book is amazing.  The book being printed many times, has a date of 1943 which is 3 years before my Mom was born.  My have the times changed of etiquette and such since this printing.   The book is coming away from the spine and I will have to treat it ever so gingerly.  There is also a pencil scribble in the book on one page, undoubtedly by one of many children in the house at the time.

And now all it’s glory belongs to ME!!!!!  Items from their estate were shared by oodles of children, so pickings were meager.  Possessions were more meager back then.  Mom ended up with this book, and now it is mine.

So besides the inheritance of this book, what makes it so amazing you might ask?



When looking at the inside of the book gave me a few chuckles, and I will share a bit more of that in a minute.  You can actually purchase this book on Amazon for a whopping $43.  Not sure of that print date but there is oodles of info that is timeless and utilitarian if you sew lots of projects, this book may be for you.  There is even Quilty stuff in here.



Apparently continuous bias binding is continuing from more than 75 years ago.  This is NOTHING new.  New to the internet relatively, but not new.  Who knew!  LOL!


A chart depicting the right needle size for the project at hand or machine!


Choosing the right posture and one deemed ugly!  I think of the way ladies carry themselves today.  We are ALL UGLY according to this!  But we sure are comfortable!  Look at that bob hairstyle!


It touches base and shows the proper way to use the girdle to avoid wrinkles and fat showing!

sewingb odyimage2

This book makes me smile as it shows both body types, and the wonderful bob!

Within the pages tucked away was my Mom and Dad’s wedding announcement!  With dress details of taffeta and lace and a sweetheart neckline.  Mom still has her dress and put it on her dressmaker mannequin and displayed during their 50th wedding anniversary.  A different time indeed!  It’s all in the deets.  Deets is the urban dictionary word short for details.  It is slang, and has so much more meaning than that to us.  I write this cryptically to protect the information of many!  Forgive me.  Those who read this and understand it, keep it under wraps.  Those who are clueless, will remain so!  Sorry.


In the back of the book was a newspaper clipping of a painting of a church.  It was done by George Sha________the newspaper clipping cuts off the name, but it was printed in Picture Magazine.  It is a third in the series on Iowa’s main streets.  The church was built in 1886 and still stands today in Clayton, Iowa.  In 1950 the population of Clayton, Iowa declined to 136 people.  The churches congregation consists of 59 people at this time of printing I assume after census in the 50s.


I have googled this and the church still stands as of last week and in remarkable condition.  They really know how to take care of property in Iowa.  With all the flooding and the location of this, it may be affected more than once, and maybe now!

I want to frame this picture and hang it, but because it is a newspaper clipping it will fade.  I will tuck it back into the book and preserve it as long as I can that way.  In the meantime I will be seeking out this painting to frame for myself.  If anyone out there can give me the deets on this reproduction painting please share as my searches are goose-eggs so far!

I wonder why my Grandmother slid this clipping into the book?  Obviously it has been well preserved.  Perhaps paintings of worldly things were pretty limited in rural Minnesota.  Perhaps she liked the picture.  Perhaps it had more meaning.  No one will ever know.

I write this post as this is Mother’s Day weekend, and this is on my mind.  Life is eternal.  Amazingly both of my Grandmothers were good with the sewing machine, Mom too.  I suppose this skill is something to pass onto my girls when the time is right.  Or perhaps just me being me, sewing at the machine, they will pick up on it all on their own, become self taught.  I mean it is possible.  Even though I have all the matriarchs in my family who sewed, I am for the most part self taught.  Learned things the hard way.  Sometimes the hard way is the best way.  Being a mother, sometimes I want to pick my children up after they fall, kiss their cries goodbye.  And sometimes you give them a bit of tough love and let them cry.  Being a Mom is hard work.  Knowing if you are doing the right thing is impossible.  Hindsight is 20/20.  As long as my children recognize hindsight, then all will be right!

Happy Mother’s Day and thank you for reading my blog!

Periwinkles are forming

Just in time for full blown spring!  This “UFO” had stalled.  I loved making the blocks, but there was an awful amount of tan, keyword AWFUL!  I was afraid to go fourth.  I was afraid I would run out of tan, and since this solid jelly roll was in my stash for a while, I could not find another.  So it sat in it’s own special little drawer.  Would you like to learn how to make these?  It requires a less than $5 template.  Click here for my tutorial.  This is probably not for a beginner as it has bias edges.


In last weeks post, I said I had ordered a gob of Kaffe Fasset fabric.  These blocks were in the back of my mind during order placement.  The silly thing about this UFO, because the Kaffe jelly roll I was using in this block was called neutral (still colorful earth tones), I was going for as neutral as possible.  That was mistake number one!  Going neutral with Kaffe Fasset fabrics is plain crazy!  (it would be like having ice cream made of soy!  or eating Smeat!)   I am glad to announce all this color in to these blocks as well as into my stash!

I just love the transformation with color and I see a secondary shape now showing itself, a circle where the 4 blocks join!


I am itchin to quilt on Ursa!  My Purple Nolting Machine!

I have only one top left, my good fortune.


I am still brainstorming of what motif I should quilt into it.  I purchased a new pantograph and am pleased with this design.  The reason I purchased it, it accommodates 4 inch, 6 inch, and 8 inch passes.  I went for the 6 for my brick road quilt top.  After cutting these pantos apart I came across the very end which shows a medallion of the panto design.  I took some measurements and may go this route while quilting Good Fortune.

So this new panto got some table time on my frame and I finished quilting the Brick Road quilt.  In between passes, I did just a smidge of free motion echoing.  For those of you who longarm, do you mix up free motion with your pantos?  I really like being at the head of my quilting machine, not at the rear.

b rickroadquilted2

Here is a pass of the pants I guess this is like a tree with hearts at the bottom.  As you can see I echo around their tree tops.


The quilting above does not show up that well, but this pattern does not take away from the design of the top, so it is a good one to go with in future quilts.

Here is the backing, I chose a light pink thread which blended nicely in all the color on the quilt.


Because I only have one quilt left to quilt, there may be some UFO finishes.  I have my embroidered block quilt in mind and some fabric was just released that will go beautifully with it, and will be inquiring about that fabric at my LAQS.

I am in no hurry to finish with the binding of Brick Road.  I am currently enjoying the sweet success of the periwinkles in full color!  No goals for the coming week.

I did dream of fabric last night, that was a first.  This is how it went.  I was at work and they called all of the groups separately to have a luncheon.  Low and behold, on our plates, instead of food was wonderful precuts of layer cakes, jelly rolls and charm squares, delicious!  It was a local designer and for her to come out at my job was amazing because what I do for a living has nothing to do with fabric LOL.  I recall my boss being there and no so thrilled there was not any food.  In error, I walked away from my dining spot and when I went to return, the whole she-bang had been cleaned up.  I had failed to grab my precuts.  I was very down that this happened.  I was surrounded in a room full of people who do not quilt, and the one quilter in the room failed to get the fabric.

I overheard the cleanup waiters.  They said they were keeping only the charm packs, the rest was going into the trash.  So I walked away with several charm pack they gave me, but still kicking myself I failed to get what was important to me.

I suppose this is a lesson in life.  I do take my hobby very seriously.  I mean seriously enough to serve cereal for supper, or fail to cook at all, feigning tiredness.  But in reality, I just want to sew with no interruptions.  I should start paying more attention to my girls.  They fight for my attention anymore and I do not want them to feed off affection of others, but at the same time I need to learn the right amount to give them without spoiling them.

Now that things are ramping down in the quilting dept, things are going at a more relaxed different pace.  I hope one day my girls will look around at the mass of quilts they inherit and remember me fondly of that process and not me yelling at them for touching things they shouldn’t or running the foot pedal on the sewing machine, me yelling at them for their ignorance/innocence.  Before I know it, they will be gone, all grown, much like the layer cakes and jelly rolls in my dream.

I posted a recipe on my other blog  It is a recipe for perfectly tired feet, a foot soak.  I also included some other uses.  If you are interested click here.

Well, I guess I will wrap up by saying thank you for reading my blog!

The New Direction

All of us quilters gravitate to what we like.  Each year at our quilt hop I see quilts with colors that are a reflection of them.  Some are primitive, other’s plain.  Many are exotic, while others are prairie.  I would like to think of my quilts as colorful and contrasting against the grain.  Eccentric, eclectic, scrappy. Perhaps this is a bit of my personality shining through.

Whatever your style is, every now and then you jump out of your comfort zone and do something with color that does not thrill you, nor speak to you.  And then when (if) you finish it, you really like it because it is so different from anything you have ever made.

Case in point, a year ago March I was involved in a group sew/block swap.  The focal color was red grunge.  Before this quilt I never understood grunge fabric.  I loathed the color red as the cones in my eyes do not see all the shades in red.  I steer away from that color all together.

All block swappers were asked to purchase one print, black and white with mostly white, and another black and white with mostly black.  Never in a million years would I have done this on my own.  I gave it a chance and was thrilled with the results.  It was my Garlic Knots Marinara.  It matches nothing in my house, stands out like a sore thumb.  All those fabrics married well with one another.  It was an unexpected success with no “divorce” in its future.  And scrappy to boot, I love scrappy.  Now it is a quilt of comfort on the couch, snuggled with love ones.  It works.  I urge all of you to try something you do not like or care for.  You may be surprised by the results.

Whoa! The cosmos of angles going on here. The quilt is perfectly rectangular, not trapezoid as pictured. That is so weird!

I have caught up a-lot of my quilting projects, but still have my periwinkle waiting for direction.  The direction is changing/morphing into new blocks with greater color.




kaffe fasset periwinkle blocks

This week I purchased a huge scrap box full of Kaffe Fasset fabrics.  Talk about explosion of color in that box, wowsers.  I am facinated he can design objects in nature and see them so colorfully.  Toadstools, Elephant Ears, Mums, Agate to name just a few of the magnificent examples of his translation of nature.

kaffe fasset

kaffe fasset periwinkle

This box has led to a change, a change for the better.  Just the few I have made will balance the blah solid I chose for the contrast.  No more will I look at this fabric and think blah.  The drab will be smothered in color which masks it’s drab.  Perhaps this is why I was not really into going forward with this project.  I tried to make it too netral as a theme.  You cannot neutralize Kaffe fabric, but I came pretty close.

kaffe fasset periwinkle 1

In the weeks ahead I will be sewing periwinkle blocks of all kinds of color together.  I look forward to touching, cutting, stitching, ironing and assembling each one.


  • Assortment of sewing periwinkle blocks
  • Finish quilting my Brick Road quilt
    • I am currently using a panto on this and then echoing free motion style between the pantos.  Have any of you chose this mixture of quilting before?


  • Tat some more Lanyard


Quilting is thrilling!  If it isn’t perhaps you should take a good evaluation of what works for you and what doesnt.  There are no rules in quilting. and perhaps holding yourself to others peoples’ rules is interfering with a quiltin’ good time!

And as promised some kitten picture goodness.  The oldest set of 5 are to the point of rambunctiousness and would not be still for the camera.  I see one of the sleeping kittens does NOT belong to this mother.  They are only a week and a half apart.  Usually when they are this close together the mothers take turns nursing.



Have a great weekend and thank you for reading my blog!