The forgotten Files

As a blogger, you snap photos, you get excited, you blog. Your project moves, or your project stalls. Regardless, as a human, I forget some details along the way. I have done very little this past week.

A long time ago, I trimmed up several boxes and containers full of 2 inch squares. Here are my posted pictures from previous in the year.

In going through my blog files some of these squares were trimmed all the way back in Sept of 2020. I try to tame my scraps in spurts. And I try to tackle this at least once a month.

The above pictures were generated in Jan of 2021. These projects went together very fast since all the squares were already precut. I think back then I sewed a few red blocks, and a few blue blocks. These colorways of neutral, brown, red, and blue were the majority in this scrappy stash. And not all those colors made the quilts above. So another UFO is found (shaking head in disbelief). Tsk Tsk….

My design wall is temporarily out of commission because I have a couch standing up longways in front of it. Someone gave us a leather couch. I felt like the Jefferson’s and was moving on up! We kept the old couch, and used the new/used leather couch for about a week. The way the couch is constructed, all the cushions are affixed and not removable. All the cushions are depleted. And there is no way to tear into the couch and add fluff. When you sit on the couch, you can feel the 2 X 4s between the cushions and on the arms. This transpired about two weeks after I got my design wall and we are waiting to put it to the curb on the day agreed upon by waste mgmt. It will happen soon. In the meantime, I can share these blocks finally. So instead of having two couches in the living room and not being able to walk through the living room without great contortion, we stood it up on end, and there it resides. Right smack dab in front of my wall.

I wanted to lay out the blocks on the wall, but that was impossible. So on the floor I crawl (I am getting to old for this!)

I have many more squares to be sewn before I can call this patriot postage stamp quit even close to a usable size. The good news is, I have plenty! This will get me to the finish line soon!

And if you recall several weeks back, I decided to custom quilt a top for mom. I never snapped photos of the quilty finish. Here are those photos. I am very pleased with the results. There is just the right amount of quilting, not too much, not too little. Much like goldilocks, its just right!

I am a bit disappointed that the camera did not capture the puff accurately on this quilt. That’s ok, I snapped a photo of the back which you can clearly see the thread.

So, I have been gaining skills at using Imovie and decided to take some of the file movies I took long ago and compose a video of that. This was fun! Enjoy the Quilting Blues Backwards, LOL!

We had one of the kittens born back in April get into a snarl with something on Monday afternoon. We came upon the kitten apparently right after it happened. Said cat had to go to the vet. Its hind quarters were torn so bad by a fight with something, there is a two inch hole exposing the cats muscles and innards. The vet said cats are resilient and it will probably pull through. The cats temperament is fine. It is now an indoor cat. With antibiotics, sterile wash, and packing of vaseline and no cone or bandage, she is a trooper. My daughter had originally named our cat Caramel (Karah-mel). But I think it will get renamed Meatball, as it has a ball of meat showing on its right rear hip/leg. The good news, she is pooping and peeing, eating and drinking like nothing is wrong. I don’t like taking any animal to the vet, because then you assign a dollar amount to the pet and it changes the emotional state of this adult. I hope, if it pulls through, that it does not go and step in front of a car. Although this will be a life lesson for a couple little girls, it becomes a life lesson to the pocket book too as an adult. If it ain’t one thing, its another! I spared you the photo. I do not want to gross out or scare away my readers, even if it is close to Halloween.

There are still photos that I know I took that I cannot find. I suppose those will make a future forgotten file post.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!


MJ Kinman free pattern

To sum up this post, I was trying to find a video of a museum quilt that was loaded with buttons. I failed to find that video but I did come across other interesting quilt related topics I will share.

Did you know the international quilt museum has a free pattern of the month? Who knew? The great thing about this pattern other than being free? She lists multiple ways of contruction. Pick your method. You can click this link for the free pattern.

Here are examples out there of this pattern. This photo is a stock photo and not mine.

Here is the October block of the month if you are interested, click here.

An update, I have one more gemstone complete and have puttered out on this project. This will be a lovely wall hanging or baby quilt one day. Sorry only half is pictured. It has been a very unproductive week and a half. 😦

In my searches I found a great example of the system I want to start, how to store quilts. No folding. Besides placing them all on one bed. I had seen another video by pieceocake blog. Both videos are below.

And while on topic of quilt museum, here is a share on that!

Lots of museums store their quilts flat. The average person usually folds them. Nothing wrong with folding. However, over time this degrades your fibers. And if you fold and stack your quilts and you want to preserve them, probably not the best approach. No quilt police here, just info for all to pick and choose what works best.

So the roll method is the direction I am going to take for my yellow and black quilt. I can fold it and there is nothing wrong with that, but if I send it to a show, the quilt will look creased in those areas. And because I doubled the batting and used flannel for the backing, it is heavy!

And one last video, this one is about the victorian era and how it changed the world. The most widely used textile in the world is cotton. This video is very interesting but long. There is also Alex Askaroff at the end which goes into the collection of sewing machines. Neat stuff there too!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Gemology Book/Seam Ripper ~ A Quilty Review

A few months back, I had watched a YouTube video by Just Get It Done Quilts, and she recommended this book. After watching the video (and thinking about my scraps) I purchased the book from Amazon.

Karen, in the video, explained there are many instructions on how to get color as well as build of the gems. When the book arrived, I was a bit put off by starting this project because of the dreaded “constructions”. I am usually an improv quilter, or one that goes by a simple pattern. Usually I refrain from purchasing patterns or books. But the seed had been planted. And now I will watch it grow regardless if it takes months or years.

While I was tidying up the sewing areas, I came across one of my magazine patterns for making a wallet, and thought, “oooh, I have everything to make a wallet”. But I had just made a wallet about two years ago and I am still using it. It has very little wear. No need to make a new one.

And just a little further back on my shelf (behind my pile of scrap batting), was a single stack of magazines and books I own, that have made my “to Make” list. I pulled the Gemology book from the stack and glanced at it inside the cover. Glancing at the pages, and pattern pieces. For some reason, when I looked at this on this particular day, the instructions seemed easier (what little I read.) Yeah, I did not read the instructions until after I built the first block).

I went and made copies of the shape of gem I wanted to make, and proceeded to the light through dark legend of fabric selection. Of all of this process I think the most challenging part is to get the fabric selection right. There are good instructions on color picking in the book. My next step was to see what I had on hand for fabric. After making the Alaska quilt below, I knew I would have several shades of turquoise. I started with that.

I took a small swatch of each color and assigned it Light, Light Medium, Medium, Medium Dark, and Dark. I also selected a neutral background.

This book is about foundation paper piecing. If you have never done foundation paper piecing or FPP, there is no time like the present to try. I recommend if it is your first time, select fabrics from your stash to play with until you get the hang of it. The good news about using solids or batiks, you will not make the mistake of placing wrong sides together because there are really no wrong sides. Additionally, there are no good instructions for FPP in the book, you will need to know FPP skill before you start. There are many great videos on FPP on YouTube. That is probably all you need to get where you need to be.

I will say, I used my seam ripper much during the construction of these blocks because I was using scraps. My main trouble was selecting the right size/angle of scrap. (There are no cutting instructions) What looked big enough under the paper, once stitched a folded, resulted in much seam ripping because it was just shy of being the right size, or being placed right before it was stitched. No worries, I got to use my new seam ripper my mother gifted me (scroll to bottom of post for that review).

After sewing your scraps together on your paper pieces, the image does not present any recognizable shape. You will not know you are successful until you have the block at least halfway finished. That is what I did not like about this. But sometimes we start building a quilt, we don’t know if we like it until halfway, eh?

One thing not mentioned at all in the book that I would have taken the time to present, was fabric prep. Usually before any project in fabric selection, I pre starch all fabric to be used. It makes pressing more crisp. In the book, the blocks they constructed and photographed looks sloppy and not crisp. No matter how much starch you use, there will be spots that may warp or not lay right during construction because of many bulk of layers in the FPP process. On my second block, when contructing the block seams to make the 4 quadrants of the gem, I removed the 1/4 inch edge of the paper and then stitched. Less bulk, and I noticed the biggest difference in the center of the block. This book also failed to mention a recommended stitch length. If you do purchase this book, make your stitches small, it makes the papers easier to remove.

I will give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. You can make amazing gems with this book. I would like to remind all my readers that I make no money with my blog, and that I do not have sponsors nor any money from endorsing product. In other words, this is my opinion, free from pressure of the book manufacturer or author. Money does not come from saying yay or nay. Have fun playing with color! Gems come in all different facets and colors. Make one a rainbow! Make it your own little unicorn gem.

Does it sparkle? This would be gorgeous in grunge or blenders. Ooooo if you had gradient fabric that would also be very successful!

Adding white and the background to this swatch ended up being my diamond. I must say, I like the diamond second best. LOL!

And here I have an opal started. I am using my Fossil Ferns fat quarter box that I purchased eons ago. I like the fact the sparkle of this one is different. The fabric in fossil fern is more ombre or gradient. So a true pink same throughout it is not. I have used pastel blue, pink, coral, and lavender.

And now for the seam ripper review. How many of you have went to a craft fair, or quilt show with vendors selling very nice $30 seam rippers? I have had mine since July and when cleaning up my sewing area decided to place my cheapo Dritz brand in the drawer and use the large one.

Pros of this item. It is pretty and it is large so you will be able to find it on a messy table. It has a nice stiletto at one end if you use one of those. The actual ripper is very heavy duty. The quality of this product is very durable. If your ripper dulls, you can get it sharpened.

Cons of this item. It is heavy. After using the cheapo one for years and breaking those and replacing, the new one is heavy. Because it is heavy, it makes it awkward to use. The fluidity of motion is impaired. The bulk of the seam ripper itself did not work well on this project. Notice the length of the two in the photo below. This probably contributed to the awkwardness. This does not feel balanced in my hand. Usually my small Dritz has no problem just getting under the thread and pulling the top thread from the bobbin thread. That is how I undo my seams. I never use the ripper part in the seam. I learned a long time ago, aggressive use of this tool can actually rip your fabric in the seam which will come undone after quilted and washed.

The heavy part of this ripper is not the middle, like I thought, but when you remove both ends, these are very heavy. Because of the weight of this in your hand (now the right size in the pic below), it still makes me fumble to use it.

If you have the opportunity to buy this product and help the small guy out, by all means it is your money. Use it and make it earn its keep. If I were purchasing this for $10 I think it would be too much. The price for me helps make my rating. I will rate this at a 2.5 out of 5 stars. The Dritz is not perfect, but has a perfect price point, and is balanced in my hand. I would give a rating of 4.5 stars. I would give the Dritz a 5 star rating, but it is ugly, which is totally cosmetic. If the handmade seam ripper was ugly, the rating would drop another half point and make it 2 stars out of 5.

I hope my endorsement of product can help you in your quilting journey. Thank you for reading my blog!

Scrap Happy? October

I am questioning my happiness lately. I have no will to sew. I have not done much of anything. I don’t really want to do much of anything. I am not finding joy in my normal routine. I think the pandemic is really starting to affect my mind! Are any of you experiencing this? I am in quite a bit of funk. So not much scrappy sewing has happened this past month. (I somewhat feel like an old lady ready to yell at the first person who gives me any kind of crap. My intolerance of the once tolerable is odd and NOT me.)

I did get the spring brook blossoms quilt completed. That was not much sewing, I made one block and part of another. Sewed these large blocks together and added a border. I am still enjoying the quilting leg of my life, but I ran out of quilts! Mom has given one of hers to tide me over so I am currently working this.

No sewing, so I did get the design wall cleared and filled. I will probably bring this to a top next in my project pile. But I am just not feeling the sewing vibe lately.

I did find joy at the thrift store. I found two packages of rayon thread all brand new in their packaging.

This will eventually be put to use. I was thinking during some EPP. But I have no want or desire to do that either.

I searched out some scraps to cut down to 2 1/2 inch squares. Meh….eventually I will use these in something.

I searched my string baggies and fetched out some more neutral prints and made a scrappy binding for the spring brook blossoms quilt. The egg fabric always makes me smile….breakfast eggs/cracked eggs on fabric LOL.

I did get the quilt bound and had a finish, but it does not excite me. If anything for years, when I finish a project there is a let down after. The joy you had bringing the project to its finish, means that it is all done. No more to look forward to in that project. Does this make sense?

I just can’t bring myself to start much of anything.

And we all know all too well when we sew anything, we make more scraps! I have another pile ready to file away in my scrap system.

Apologies for not much scrap work to show you. But I am certain if you visit these other ScrapHappy bloggers you are sure too see some exciting projects!

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,

Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,

Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,

Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule,

Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,

Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear,

Carol, Preeti, Edith, Debbierose and Esther

Thank you for reading my blog!

Quilts on the Frame

The Spring Brook Blossoms, is now a top! And oh sew scrappy! Not very photogenic, but cute and humble. That is fine and dandy with this household, it will fit right in with this rag-tag group!

And I had the urge to quilt. Because this is a humble gem, I thought it was best to quilt this in a nice geometric pattern that would add nice texture for snuggling. A pantograph it is!

Goal achieved. Lovely Texture! I feel snuggles in the future!

And BAM, just like that, it was quilted! I really like this pattern, but if I ever quilt for others I will not offer this to customers as it is very hard to follow a straight line. This pattern shows every wobble. You probably can tell when I would take a step while stitching at the rear of the machine. I suppose part of this is because I did not clean my rails (clears throat). But when you start, there is no turning back!

I snapped this photo at around high noon over the weekend. It was shady in this spot. Since this photo was taken, these shade trees were cut down. I am a little sad about that, but there is no threat of said trees crashing through the garage and damaging my quilting machine. On the screen on my camera, I did not like how this photo looked so I retook one in full sun.

And it probably was not full sun because the sun disappeared behind a few clouds. This shows off the hexagon texture beautifully.

And I had a piece of floral that I wanted to use for the front border, but then realized I would not have a decent piece for the backing. So I found this border instead in the stash. It is perfectly muted to frame this out. The backing was perfect as well except for one thing. It was not big enough. Long enough, yes, wide enough, no. So I got some solid and sewed to each side of the floral, and a backing was born.

And I have no more quilts to quilt! So I reached out to a resource (MOM) and she had a top ready with backing. So I am working this now at the machine. I decided to custom quilt this one. I am very pleased with the outcome so far. One of mom’s quilting friends came over today and saw my work. I got complimented by a very advanced quilter. This made me feel good. Mom’s top is beautiful, I just wanted to accentuate it just right.

A tad of ruler work. The border is getting quilted in a scallop, and the squares are perfectly simple quilted in a grid to match the patchwork. And then the stars are getting a bit of ruler work too. I like this even more!

I have not done any sewing this week. My thoughts are a bit stressed. I have no desire to sew. I did get out a bunch of scraps and am cutting those down to 2 1/2 inch squares. As I work through my thoughts (I will probably post about this after my decision), and sewing/quilting is put on the back burner, I tackle the fork in the road which I am currently at.

Much deep thought, the stuff that will wake you up in the middle of the night, and steals your sleep. I think one night I only had 4 hours sleep. But my brain must work this problem out, and be confident in the road I take. I suspect it is the rocky road and the road less travelled. I still have a few weeks to really think hard, deep, and ask as many questions as I can before I take this leap of trust.

So….as my jury summons… stitches stop. I am the type of thinker that thinks while hyper focused on something tedious. It works for me. Some of my best ideas and thought come while I focus. Some how it focuses all my thoughts. Not sure how my brain does this. I guess it likes to multi task all the hard stuff at once. I feel sorry for those of you who cannot focus. Without focus, life would be so scrambled. That would be no good, unless you are an egg!

Thanks for reading my blog.

Playing with Walls

If you think about it, a wall with nothing on it, is rather like a blank canvas. It is ready to have assignment. Paint, mural, nail with a picture frame hanging on it define most walls. My wall is now my design wall. I have padded walls! hahahahahaha! The IRONy of this crazy hobby is that it does keep you sane, pads your walls, and you can make punny IRONy jokes! LOL!

So this week I have been digging through my projects. I have too many baggies! You know what I am speaking of, all stashed in your stash waiting to be finished. The three letter bad word for us quilters….UFO. Unfinished object

Items that seemed like an inspiration when started but quickly lost their sparkle. Or perhaps hung up on a fabric choice, or just too dreadfully hard to proceed. Or fill in the blank why we do not finish our projects.

Last week I showed you on of the spur of the moment sew-tastic days I wanted to create a new pattern.

Meeting the spinning 9 patch in solids

After the post last week, I decided to rearrange in a more color coded wheel. As I sew more blocks there will be more options to spin out into different colors. This is what I have so far that matches.

And then I remembered when I went to TOGA, we had a block swap. I got those out as well as a stack of other 9 patches that I sewed to be incorporated into a pattern one day. I decided to lay those out into the spinning 9 patch. I really like this one.

Sorry about the blurred photo, just squint when you look at it, can you see it spin? It sparkles and spins. I have left this one up. I want to proceed this into a top, but did not have any sew time this week.

I have a clamshell baggie going with oodles of clamshells cut out raring to go. These are really hard and have went back into the bag.

Here are some scrappy strings that used up a gobs of scraps. I stopped working this because I felt my scraps were the same ones over and over, so I opted to stop. This can be picked back up at anytime.

And this is a bunch of charm packs (I think I purchased 4). These charm packs only costed me 99 cents (that may be a clue as to how long ago I purchased them.) If I recall this fabric line was called OP Art. This has been shelved for years because I was waiting to buy fusible. I now have fusible and I even have white yardage to affix this to, but it has kind of lost its luster and no longer really interests me right now. Perhaps if I have more time, I would just whip this out in a few days. For now it goes back into the baggie.

This is jack’s chain, ring cycles pattern. This is a gob of y seams. This is hard and probably at the hardest part of making it all come together. This will happen, but not right now. Incidentally I think I ran out of onasburg fabric and bought more, which is darker tan so I shelved this. This is actually in two plastic craft totes.
And then I came across this vintage top. I got this at TOGA, when you bring everyone else’s crap home LOL. I was really excited about getting this because I had just gotten my longarm. However, this quilt is so wonky, it would be quite the job. There are some beautiful vintage fabrics in this which is worth some sort of save. Not sure at this time what this will be purposed into, other than stealing the vintage feed sack fabric from it.

So this has not only feed sacks, and poly cotton blends, it has indigo (which is older than dirt), sateen, and the dreaded double knit!!!!!

Some of this quilt top is hand stitched, some of it is sewn with a sewing machine and looking at the stitches looks like a vintage singer. And the seams are not 1/4 inch. They vary by up to an inch and all the way down to the norm of 1/4 inch. Wonky wonky.

And then there is the damaged portion which is too far gone to save. Most of the sateen seams because those pieces were not cut on the bias frayed into oblivion and disappeared in some instances.

These projects represent my good intentions, and the sad thing is, this is not all of them, I have some foundation pieces in two different projects which would not stay on the design wall.

As far as the Spring Brook Blossoms, I have selected a border fabric and will get going on this hopefully over the weekend. And with cooler temperatures, hopefully this will become a quilt very soon. I have not looked for backing fabric for this in my stash, but it can be anything because I have put so much color and scraps into this top.

I failed to snap a new photo, but it is a top now, just waiting for a border.

I did manage to hand stitch a sleeve onto the Radiant quilt. All it needs now is a label and it will be ready for a show. Which brings me to my next delihma. I have folded my quilts and when they get unfolded, you can still see where the quilt was folded. I am trying to find a large cylinder to wrap the quilt on. So far all I can find is PVC which is too dang heavy at 87 inches long, plus would not stand up in the closet. Still trying to figure out a cheaper option. Perhaps making a poly filled pillow that is 4 inches round and 87 inches long.

I need to come to terms with my projects, and pick one and get it done. Currently my sew jo is not what it used to be. I have not put my finger on it. Eventually it will come back. I hope I have content for you soon.

Thanks for reading my blog!