Red in Knots

In the month of March I was involved in a Garlic Knot Block swap.  At home we sewed our 2 1/2 inch strips.  Each person supplied the black and white fabrics, the red was supplied by the workshop.  (We all know that red is a difficult color to match).  Now, here I am trying to get these together.

After playing with the layout, I determined there was A LOT of red.  To break up the red, I am zig-zagging the blocks and sashing them with other 2 1/2 inch scrappy strips as well as black and white.  The way I am sashing is creating a secondary block which breaks up the red nicely.

The pro’s I have listed above, the con’s I will list below.

For those of you who have participated with swapping blocks, let me tell you, all 1/4 inch seams are NOT created equal.  *SIGH*  There were people there who did not know how to sew, and I knew this would create a problem.  I was unsure of the magnitude.

So far I have reworked more blocks than blocks that are good.  Two blocks I tore down all the way and realized when they cut, the cutting skills had not developed properly and so I kept the red, and the rest went into the scrap bin.  I then proceeded to sew two more blocks from the black and white fabrics I had on hand.

It is frustrating, and I am experienced.  I feel sorry for those who have no sewing skill set at all as these will not go together without being trimmed down as much as 1/2 and inch (YIKES!).  I have decided that trimming down blocks is not frugal.  Someone just paid $10 per yard for this fabric and trimming them down would just be such a waste.  This would equal 40 inches in the quilt.  That is throwing away one yard of fabric.  I refuse! Sometimes, things do not go as planned or the easy way.  Sometimes the best lessons in life as well as quilting are learned the hard way.


Will I participate in one of these again?  I have been invited to attend the TOGA association of treadlers in Lone Oak, TX.  I have no idea the skill set of the individuals attending as I have never met, messaged, emailed, or spoken to anyone from this guild.  They are having a block swap.  The blocks look simple and so perhaps I may delve into this again.  I would be required to make 20-25 blocks by April 21st.  Not sure if I can make that deadline.

I am excited about this meeting as I will get to meet a doctor of old machines who will give valuable information for caring for your old featherweights, treadles, and old machines in general.


Incidentally I have decided on a name for my new/old machine.  I am naming this machine Abacus.  I am really going to count on this machine for a long time, hence this unusual name.  Abacus will stay in the family, hopefully for at least one more generation to count on.  I had never heard of anyone naming their sewing machine a masculine name, but have come across an individual who calls her old featherweight Dean Martin (because he was a singer—too funny).

So, what have you named your machine?


Star Capella Finish!

Last night I put the final stitches in the binding.  I will be able to completely remove this one off my sewing work surface and make progress towards finish on something else, yay!

I started by making my own label from twill tape.


I then used my folded corners ruler for my scrappy binding.  I decided NOT to use bias as the majority of the edges on this quilt  were bias.  All those funny angles, this was quite a challenge for winging it.  But it all came together and worked out.


Sorry for the glare!


I had fun quilting this one.  It was so full of angles, the stitching came easy from the sewing machine.  And to make it look like it had movement I did lots of loop-de-loops as well as C swirls and random asters and stars in the star.  A star comet moving through the atmosphere, with gases burning off in a swirly trail.

And I chose a more traditional backing for night time, but less traditional for a baby quilt.  It all came together, and here you see the label affixed as well.  Spring has sprung at my house, just look at those weeds!


I hope the parents to be will like it.  I will make the delivery tomorrow.  What are your thoughts?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Paralyzed by the accumulation

My little sewing corner, is just that.  A small space to tune out current events, and therapeutically stitch and cut (I cannot say ironing as I am forced to do this in the kitchen).   Last weekend was crazy.  My sewing hobby corner temporarily uprooted to a workshop for half a day.  The remainder of the day was a whoosh of time flying by.  Time was flowing so fast there is not enough time to put up and back how you had the corner before.

My sewing space is a constant shuffle, and acquiring a new machine this week, I had to make room for it while it is not in use.  I have 2 totes, and 3 boxes of fabric.  Anything I have sewn in the last 3 weeks, whether it was from on rings lake,


butter and eggs,


garlic knots,


star capella,


or fanciful flight,


or the tumblers quilt top


Remnants were strewn about.  I was armpit deep in a mess of my own making!  All of it here and there amongst my stack of stuff, that had become a pile.  I dislike throwing fabric away, and much of this pile was a direct result of the pile of scraps.  I had too many projects going on at once with no focus.  All of the above projects have been worked on since Feb 11th.  That is my problem.  Of this grouping, I have one needing to be quilted, one ready for hand quilting, one completely finished, and one almost finished, and lastly one waiting for fabric to come in the mail to finish piecing.

I should have slowed down my pace.  It caught up with me today.  I knew if I did not reorganize the mess I made, the creativity would die, and then cleaning would be more of a chore.  It was yet another joyful process to touch and remember why I had this piece of cloth out.   I have strategically put everything back where it belongs.  I should have done this as I went along.  Do any of you get paralyzed by your stash?  I have too many WIPs going right now.  Is it easier to just focus on one thing at a time?  I am a woman, a mother, and we learn to have eyes in the back of our head.  We can be on the phone while telling the children to stop whatever behavior they are doing, while cooking supper, and paying attention to what is blaring on the TV.  I suppose this mother lode dose of mom training is parlez-ing into all corners of my life, including the sewing corner.

So today was the day where I dared to cleaned up, and take a breath, slow down.  I am left with only one deadline.  The Star Capella baby quilt is being bound now almost ready for an April due date.  Sigh…… Slow and steady hand stitching the binding.

Now I am flummoxed with which project to proceed and enjoy.  The oldest?  The easiest to finish?  Aaaaaaarggghhhh!  Perhaps I am overthinking this.  This hobby is my enjoyment in life.  And the featherweight I just acquired needs to have a bag sewn for it.  After researching this, supposedly the wooden case weakens since its construction in 47.  Another fork in the road.  Eenie, meanie, miny, mo………

Well at least everything is tidied up.  What to work on next?  What should I select?  History shows when I pick just one to work on, all of a sudden out of no where a new quilt with a new deadline arises posthaste.  It is not a question if that is going to happen again, the real question is when?

One hour

Egads!  It is already daylight savings time.  Your schedule is the same, but you subtract that one glorious hour of sleep, and all of a sudden, your biological clock is hosed!  I love to gain the hour back in the fall, but springing forward, bankrupts my energy for about two weeks.  I will be in sleep craving mode much longer than that.  My productivity in the hobby corner of life will suffer!

Last weekend I was part of a garlic knot swap quilt block exchange workshop.  I finished my blocks, and left before everyone was done.  I got my blocks at the meeting Thursday evening.  Here is the design wall, er…floor.  This will not be my permanent layout.  I will sash with red and add corner stones in the sashings as well as in the corners.  I will layout my blocks in a square.  By adding the sashings I hope to achieve a continuous looking garlic knot.  I am going to admit, I am not a big fan of red.  My eyes do not decipher all those different hues anymore so I stay away from it.  This goes with nothing in my house.  It will be deemed utilitarian, used and abused, but I have to finish it first!

I see that I turned one of these blocks wrong! Glad they are not sewn together!
ThIs is the layout I am going for, but with sashings and corner stones for a continuous flow of garlic knot, much like an Irish chain.  Perhaps I will name it Irish garlic knots.

I am also going to get to know my new/old featherweight and service it.  I see all the places that you are to drop oil into.  I will be in research mode on this as well.  Maintenance is key to keeping a good machine sewing.  And I look forward to my new relationship/romance with this machine.


My Wednesday consisted of working a normal day, coming home and cooking a normal meal.  I had signed a roster at work and volunteered to make lemon meringue pie for a coworkers retirement party.  I had never made one.  My first pie was a fail, had to make a trip to the grocery store for sugar, washed the pots I had used to use again.  I did not get to sink into the cushions of the couch till after 9 p.m.  My second pie was better, and was put on the table at work, and within 15 minutes was gone.  Both pies I made had great flavor, but because I was doing too many tasks at once on the first pie, I did not stir the sugar gravy enough and the cornstarch clumped and would not unclump.  It is still in the refrigerator as a watery mess.  I will make another one and post that on my other blog.  But I refuse to volunteer that kind of pie again.

Afterwards, I will continue forth with the quilting of the stars quilt.  I have not touched my sewing machines and cloth since Tuesday.  I am looking forward to some stitch time.


I have been straining at my quilting leash to get back to sewing more of these.

Whatever may be on this quilters plate will be enjoyed.  Even with daylight savings there is a positive note.  I will not be hungry as I get to eat all my meals an hour earlier!    Happy trails to you!  And thank you for reading my blog!

Valentine Story

Well, first order of business, I am quilting the star quilt.  I got the top finished and have moved to quilting it.  Glad that I am getting this to almost complete as there is a long bill of things I want to sew/do with sewing/quilting.


The real reason for todays post is the following story.  This may not sound like much to any of you, but one thing leads to another and thought this is the perfect moment to share this quilters story.

On Valentine’s day, I played hookie from work.  Work was slow, so no worries.  I decided to hang out with my Mom and perhaps take her out to lunch.

I tracked her down at the Senior Center in town doing hand quilting.  The big story was it was Valentine’s day and the work they take in for hand quilting quilts, is donated back to meals on wheels and the snap center/senior center which feeds the elderly in our small town.

I learned much this day.  My mother was excited and wanted to stay through lunch because they had purchased ice cream cups for anyone eating at the Senior Center for Valentines day as a treat.  I did not look forward to eating bland, mushy food, but would not change the day for anything as it was a grand adventure.

As people arrived to pick up the meals on wheels and delivered, I saw many familiar faces, who really do for our community.  I must say I have a grandeur respect for those selfless people who help those that need it.

I also received a good dose of how to hand stitch a quilt, how to bury the knot, and how to end the thread.  I decided then, that I would take my tumbler quilt (which was in progress) to these ladies to have it hand quilted as they keep no money for themselves, and all the proceeds benefit the elderly in the community.

So we had lunch, I refused my tray but the lunch lady insisted!  So we had brussel sprouts (I am a big fan of brussel sprouts, but then tasted these.  They were cooked into oblivion and turned to mush.  Good thing the elderly have fewer taste buds as I nary heard any complaints), and sweet potatoes, ham, cake, with powdered sugar topping, a roll, and the special ice cream cup.

As I watched the elderly line up in front of a set of lunch ladies, it kind of  made me a little sad.  Here these people are before us.  All way past their prime, but doing fine.  One lady had a wet spot on the back of her pants, and all of them in a line, reminded me of young children in school.  I was taken aback.  When you get old, you go back into your second childhood.  I am forever changed by this day.

After this was over, Mom and I decided to hit the antique mall in the big town 30 minutes west of us.  She had also made a facebook marketplace contact to purchase thread holders.

Mom purchased nothing at the antique stores, but we both enjoyed looking.  I found an old book with jump rope rhymes and thought it was kind of neat.  Most of these in the book I had never heard.

We made it to the ladies house who was selling the thread holders, and mom snatched them up for the inexpensive price the lady offered.  She also said she had other things for sale and invited us in.  She had several sewing machines.  I spied a featherweight.  She said it worked and that she had not serviced it yet and would be willing to part with it.  Mom was interested in the baby lock embroidery machine, we both mulled it over while this quilter invited us into her house to see an old featherweight cabinet.  Neat, and a real beauty.  Next to this woman’s couch she had her rendition of On Ringo Lake, all complete and quilted and bound up.  Her colors were lovely with melon, dark blue, and a red with a touch of turquoise.  Absolutely beautiful.  We got to talking about that quilt and I confessed that I had made one as well, but mine is not yet finished.  She asked if I had done last years Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt and I said yes!  She went back to her bedroom and brought out her version of En Provence.  We talked some more, and said if we changed our minds about the machines, we would let her know.  It was the most amazing connection with a perfect stranger.  She was as sweet as sweet could be.

She had a studio to die for!  The price she wanted for the featherweight was way more than fair.  I had kept my eye on these machines when they pop up for sale and I could not find one for the price she offered.  Last night my mother called to say she was going back tomorrow to purchase the baby lock embroidery machine.  And I said let me run to the bank and withdraw some money as I want the featherweight un-serviced, as is!

I got at call while at work today stating she got both machines and because she bought both, she knocked a few more dollars off each machine.  Here is my new toy that I cannot play with yet, as I need to go through it and clean and lube it.  I am straining at the leash.  It came with a gob of singer attachments for the feet.  The ruffler foot is my fav, but will probably never get used.

The moral of the story….my day off cost me a day’s worth of vacation and a day’s pay three weeks later.  I have been wanting one of these for awhile, but could not muster to purchase one online with no guarantee.  Atleast I got to see, touch, smell, and run the one I have now sitting on my buffet, silently, quietly saying “come and sew with me!”  I need to think of a name for this gal.  I have never named any of my sewing machines.  One I think I should call Bobby as I only use it to wind bobbins for my janome.  The bobbin winder keeps fouling up on that machine.  I have another old machine from the 40s and rarely use her anymore.

This was my first machine my grandma bought for me when I was in the 4th grade.  I am so thankful she done this, as I have sewed a million or more miles in all these years.  I have learned much, some I learned the hard way.  I know the inside and out of all of my machines, and it all started with her.  Her wisdom carries me, and flourishes in my hobby.  Everything I make is because of my grandma.  Life is eternal.  She is with me.  She has instilled much in me.  I would not be the same person without my Grandma.  Grandma is long gone, but she lives on in every stitch!

Another Product dissection in other Quilty news

Today was our group sew day.  A bunch of us at all skill levels came together to sew the Garlic Knot quilt block.  I must say, the novice sewist were quite nervous and very intimidated.  I had no problems because I knew what was expected.  When I started quilting years ago I did not know of rules and was self taught.  I have learned much from trials and tribulations as well as great information on the internet.

I feel sorry for those intimidated/novice gals, I was their customer sew to speak.  I did a bit of pressing and cutting and the seams would not nest, their 1/4 inch was done so fast it was not accurate.  And this was a quilt block swap.  I narry had a problem, but sympathize for those that did.

I had part of the instructions of the workshop quilt block ahead of time and knew the next step but refrained because if I did this as “homework” before the workshop I would have nothing to do once there.  So I opted to sew my blocks at the workshop.

The women who thought they would be clever and ahead, had already sewn their blocks, were tyrants to those less skilled.  They hovered, constantly taking their work, or inspecting their work.  I wondered to myself long before today how this was going to play out, either you are a quilter and understand the rules or you are not.

I chuckle at the ladies who always seem to be bossy and in charge.  That main lady, could not take the pressure and probably knew her work was inferrior and dropped out halfway.  She left early.  Then you had another dominate figure that did not show up until very late, and after speaking with her found out that even though she quilts, she said she doesn’t do intricate work such as the garlic knot block.  I call hogwash.  I think again her self esteem is over inflated, and her skill set is over inflated as well.  Then you had the quiet one, that just goes with the flow, and I have suspected that she has not been enjoying the group much because we are not doing things she likes.  I will give her credit, she showed up and did very nice work.  But she was so slow.  Towards the end, one of the other matriarchs took her work and gave it to someone else to finish so we could all leave.  Nothing like a few holding up the whole class.  But also, slow and steady wins the race eh?

I hope there was much learned on this horrible dynamic.  I knew it would not be good, but was unsure how it would unfold.  My insight was right, and I learned today to trust what I know.


Today I sewed the red and black grouped strips to the black and white strips group strips.  After sewing those I then sewed the red strip at the bottom and top of each of these pieces shown to complete the block.  Not hard, but to someone who has never done this before, who has a cheapo machine with no 1/4 inch foot, this would be hard.  (This is actually my block strip sewn and sub cut at home before our workshop)

I am glad it is behind me, I left before everyone finished.    I had 40 blocks, others done twice as many at a retreat a weekened ago.  All of these will get swapped with one another and I will get 40 back, probably duplicates of those who sewed 80 blocks.  I do not look forward to the discrepancies in size when I go to piece this all together and will probably change it up to hide those inconsistencies.

Again, glad it is behind me.  Enjoyed the sewing part immensely, the people part not sew much.

My pressing mat I had ordered a month ago (at wholesale) arrived and I have not got to use it yet.  I will let you know how I like it in the future.  What I do know, the Magic Pressing Mat can be purchased off Amazon Prime for around $42.

This is wool fibers made into a mat.  So it is made of hair.  It is flame retardant.  If you look closely, this is just like wool insulation you can purchase at the home depot.  The stuff there will cost about $42 for a package of 6 that are 3 inches thick.  I am thinking of getting this to go on top of my ironing board.   (I still don’t understand you are ironing cotton, and the wool setting is lower than cotton….)

Can you see what is peeking from beneath the product flyer above?  Yup, my stack of curved foundation paper pieced flying geese has grown to well over a gaggle.


Here is what I had a the beginning of the week.  And now I have a whole stack!  Parts A1-4, B1-4, and C1-3 have been stitched.  I really need to get in gear on the star baby quilt, but am not.  I am enjoying moments with my gaggle.  Stars are not included in the fun right now.


I did learn something valuable today.  My 1/4 inch has been off and I have had to adjust every time I power on the machine.  With all the equipment running at the workshop today, we tripped a breaker.  That hard shut down, made my needle go back to the right spot.  So instead of my setting being at 4.5, it is now back at 2.5.  Not sure if the computer was confused, but now it seems to be back to normal.  Slowly I have debunked all my sewing machine issues, from oiling, (which was causing tension problems on the underside) to the computer malfunctioning, which needed adjustments.  And adjustments are just that, adjustments.

That is the thing with quilters, what ever is thrown at us, we cope, reconfigure, and conquer.  It takes the right kind of person to have these skills.  Only certain people can be quilters, it is not meant for everyone.

Which leads me to my next thought.  I would like to thank all the bloggers with their tutelage, and magnificent tips.  I have grown and learned so much from this circle of the quilting community.  It is a great place to be!  Much obliged!

Being Colorful

Whoa!  They say “Time flies when you are having fun!”  Jeezo Pete, I must be having a blast.  February is already coming to a close, can you believe it?  It seems like last week was New Years.

My scheme for the weekend was to cut all my BOM parts for each of the foundation pattern pieces in the quilt kit called Be Colourful by Jacqueline De Jonge.  It was a bit intimidating at first with a 36 page booklet.  Most of these pages were cutting tables for each of the coded  foundation flying geese circles.

All day Saturday and a huge chunk of Sunday, I went through each color one by one and rotary cut various sizes.  I was worried about cutting wrong, but realized after the first color cuts, that there were predominately two sizes used with 1/4 inch loss.  By cutting my fabrics the way I did, so far I have ample fabric leftover.

The colors of fabrics amaze me.  Perhaps something I would not even look at in a quilt shop, placed with a couple of other fabrics all playing the color wheel game with one another, really speak to me.  The colors jump off the cloth and strike my eyes with the greatest beauty.  Boy does that sound cheesy!  I am rambling!

The colors in this quilt kit, some are so close in color my eyes cannot tell the difference, so when I cut, I assigned what I though was the right number to the swatches and will continue with that plan throughout the quilt right or wrong, no matter.  It will be beautiful regardless.

All my baggies are filled with rich, vibrant batiks.  Each baggie labeled with the correct number foundation piece pattern.  The layout of this quilt kit/pattern is rather genius.  I dreaded the cutting, but because everything was so precise, loved this part of the process.  Not too much of one fabric to cut, to get bored with before moving onto the next color.

Now I am actually sewing the foundations and am enjoying this process immensely as well.  Because all the pieces are cut, this is quicker than I thought.  My sewing table is not a mess because the cutting part of the job is behind me.  The play of colors, the contrast of the colors is beautiful.  I just had to sew these quick.  And will probably sew a few more, and get a bit of this out of my system before getting back to the Star quilt.  (The star quilt needed more fabric for the backing so I made a quick trip today and scored the backing.)


See how the royal blues are almost identical in color hue?  See how lovely the contrast is?  I am in awe of this whole thing, and it takes much to enthuse this old quilter!  I will probably one day in my future do another foundation paper piecing pattern.  This will be a hard act to follow no matter what I do.  I am already dreaming of the intricacies of FMQ and only have these 4 arcs sewn.  This will be the wind in my quilting sails for a good while, and am very happy I have chosen and am up for this challenge.


Fumbler Fan Flimsy Finish!

Boy howdy!  Say that three times real fast!  As promised (well not promised but noted) my goal was to have the tumbler quilt top finished by Saturday and I have met this goal.

Here is the main body of the quilt top
Borders added that look like this on two sides
Here is the top border, this is the short side and destined for under the pillows.  I really flubbed up on the top border of the quilt.  So tumbler became fumbler.  But I am not taking out a stitch.
A wide and narrow border come together.  It was not planned like this, but ended up like this.  Who says quilt blocks always have to be square?   This was a nice change.  The tumbler fans are stitched together and then with right sides towards fusible interfacing stitched to fusible interfacing.  The interfacing snipped in the middle, turned right side out and pressed into place and basted onto the quilt block.
And here is the plan for the drape off the foot of the bed.  Sorry for the blurry photo, but someone messed with my camera settings and I did not know it until I went to edit my photos.  Blurred photos are better than no photos?

I will probably blanket stitch around the tumbler fans before this gets hand quilted.  I did not take measurements but know this is not perfectly square.  It fits nicely with drape on my queen size bed.  I can’t wait to get this hand quilted and feeling the softness cuddle me while I sleep.

In lieu of getting the Fumbler quilt finished and off my work space, I have completely abandoned the baby quilt I am making.  I stalled on this because I do not want to buy any fabric.  Shopping the stash is work, you have to stack and unstack large totes loaded with many fabric pounds.  I managed to find some gray solid for the rest of the quilt top.  I will probably put little calico printed pieces for more action lines for the star randomly on the quilt top to break up the drab gray a tad.  Not sure if I will do this today or not, but am glad I did not have to purchase fabric. (I did discover I have nothing to go with this for a backing so I will be going to the fabric store).


If I do anything with this for the weekend I will get it finished into a strip and get all those y seams put in and get the hard part out of the way for mindless sewing when I need it.

And the kit I purchased arrived and I have read the instruction booklet.


This quilt is so complicated it has a booklet of 36 pages to explain things.  I can tell after reading through the whole thing,  it was severely edited because it doesn’t tell you key notes until halfway through.   It also recommended to check the website for mistakes and notations to be added to the pattern.  After doing this I marked up a small subsection of cutting instructions.  According to those added pieces will leave me just a hair of fabric left and gave the manufacturer information to get more fabric if needed.  This pattern maker prides herself with allowance extra for all piecing, but this mistake was large enough there may or may not be enough fabric.  The part I dread about kits is cutting and having a whoopsie moment.  The good news it is paper piecing and is very forgiving if the ruler slips.  I may start cutting my pieces for this and using the ziplock bag system and labeling as I go because of the difficulty level.

I am the kind of quilter that likes to sew one block for an audition before she cuts for a whole quilt.  With the ease of cutting of different short cut tools to speed up the process I think I am probably the only one who does this anymore and will probably go against my own grain and refrain from the audition block.  I think doing the same block consecutively will improve accuracy with each block and mastery before I complete all the blocks.

The good news with the complicated and  intricate pieces for the becolourful pattern, if I do cut this up and bag the pieces I will be able to sew and put away quickly if another baby quilt is needing to be stitched.  I figure with all the foundation paper piecing, it is going to be long and slow and will have many interruptions.  Who knows I may grow tired of doing the same one over and over and switch gears to one of my UFOs.  I really need to get going on at least two of those.  I have these two to choose from, one would be a quick finish, but it is the dragging everything out and putting away everything you are working on.  When you have a small space like mine, you don’t care for this part of your hobby.

Next weekend is my sewing club’s workshop and we will be making the garlic knot quilt blocks.  Mine will look like these.  All of us ladies will have the ability to swap 40 blocks with one another.  They claim it will be a scrappy look.  Somewhat it will, but there will be a lot of red in this quilt.  I am not really a red person.  It is a wait and see thing.  I am still dreading the 1/4 seam allowance on other people’s blocks.  Most non-quilters do not pay heed to the rule.  Perhaps when I get other peoples blocks I will tear them down completely and rebuild.  Not my favorite colors but the process is nice, and my optimism vs pessimism….well one of these will win in the end.  The jury is still out on the winner of that battle, another wait and see moment in life.


Whilst the rest of the house was sleeping I was editing and writing this blog.  I have the whole day ahead of me and look forward to the slow pace of weekend normal-ness.   We have gotten much rain, days and days of it.  I was excited yesterday to actually walk in to work without being rained on.  I will probably need to wash my jacket today as it has gotten wet so many times this week that it may be growing mold!  I am happy as a clam to be inside hearing the rain drops fall outside.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tumble Bumble Along

The trend these days in blog land is join/participate in a quilt along.  And some of you are participating in my sew along without even knowing it.  How is this possible you ask?  If you have ever sewn a leader ender, or are doing so right now, then we are participating in the sew along together.

A leader ender is a simple quilt pattern where you can have blocks setting next to your sewing machine albeit strips, 4 patches, HSTs or tumblers.  As you end a seam of your current project, you always sew part of the leader ender and have a piece under your foot so you don’t waste so much thread and it also helps older machines from getting hung up and nesting on the back side of your stitches.  I started work on my tumbler leader ender in October and got so far.  Then I set it aside to sew On Ringo Lake.  My leader enders at that time were the small HSTs that I trimmed off the corners of the flying geese blocks.  I wanted to make sure I utilized all that expensive fabric.  Now that the flimsy of On Ringo lake is behind me I wanted to get the tumbler leader ender out of my way.

I don’t know how many times I have moved it, touched it, picked it up, and put it down.  I had made great progress but still had all these single blocks as well as paired and quad strips that would be in my way and get relocated, until they were in my way again.  (A frequent occurrence if you sew in a small space).  Yesterday I sewed the main part of the quilt with one border side.  I counted the pieces I have left and will have to delve into the scrap bin and stash for the remainder of the three sides and start accuquilt cutting those.  This is what I love about a scrappy quilt.  You can add a different fabric at anytime with no one being the wiser.


For the borders of this quilt, I decided to turn the tumbler block 90 degrees and am happy with this effect.  I will do this on the remaining 3 sides.


This being on my mind for a good 24 hours, I kept wondering how am I going to do the cornerstones of the quilt and then it came to me in the wee hours of this morning.  I will sew them and create a curve and trim them up to fit the corners.  Not there yet, but hopefully by the weekend be done with this top.

I have already signed up on a long waiting list to get this hand quilted, and hurray it costs no more than if I were to get it long armed with a pantograph pattern.  Once I get this quilted (which is months out) I will pass on the price and contact information for those of you wanting their services.  All proceeds benefit our city’s senior citizen center for supplies and nice treats for the seniors lunch.  (On Valentines day everyone who came ended up with cake and ice cream)

After sewing my top I trimmed up the edges which looked like this and then sewed the flat tumbler tops and bottoms to the now trimmed edge.


I am still working the star quilt and am liking the affect of star tails.  I need to figure out an overall fabric for the rest of this quilt and will probably have to go to my LAQS to help with this as the only color I have is white.  And if a baby quilt is going to get used, white is not a friendly color for mom’s laundry schedule.star8

A balmy 70 degrees this evening and we will see what the night offers my needle and thread.  Thank you for reading my blog, Happy Monday!

A Star is Born

After receiving my star making template I delved head first into making stars.  I wish now I would have made large solid stars for my first one as it would give me an audition of the block without the complications associated with pressing.

Making the centers spin on this is not working for me and I will have to figure out what I need to do differently.  I think the next one I make I will make my triangles and then sew the triangles together instead of piecing the 30 degree pieces to make a 60 degree, and then a 90, and then a 120…etc,  going around the star I think was the wrong approach.

This template is made by Csoki-folt and is called the Capella 10 inch template.  I think I will get my moneys worth out of this.  It makes a perfect block, but you must mind your 1/4 inch seam.  You need to make it a scant seam, meaning stitching just outside (by a thread) of the 1/4 inch line.  If you fail to do this, you will give your seam ripper a workout!  (Don’t ask me how I know.)

If I ever make a large bed size quilt using this pattern I will have to have some kind of place to lay it out and be able to sew while looking at it.  Otherwise, all the angles and flips/flops my mind will not track, kind of like an old VCR!  Too much snow globe in the noggin sometimes!

The reason this template works so well is due to the lines for your strips.  Without the lines on the template,  it would be impossible to layout and cut.  I am going to experiment one day with this and add some highlighter tape and stager the strips in the stars for a stair step affect.  Not sure if that will turn out.  I will try it out on my scraps.



Not sure about the background fabric I will use for this.  There is really nothing that goes with this in my stash except some white and I  really don’t like using white because I have children and they cannot keep their mitts off with their grubby hands!  (I cant name them, who doesn’t like to pet beautiful fabric!). I know I will have a lot of left over fabrics and may do a piano key border around the edge or perhaps make this a row quilt on the diagonal. That is still to be determined.

Fun learning something new, something no one else has done.  This template came from Hungary and we had to pay in pounds.  It translated to around 30 USD for those of you interested.

Earlier this week as I mentioned in my previous post, I abandoned my fabric diet for a day and and purchased a kit online.  It hasn’t arrived but was on sale and looks very advanced.  I really like doing really advanced patterns because the payoff is beautiful.  The only thing I dislike about a kit is if I have a cutting accident, and it leaves me short, with nothing for a replacement.  Cutting is my nemesis in quilting.


This kit is now sold out where I got it, but is probably still available in other places.  Be careful as it is expensive because it includes the foundation papers.  I admire quilts with such great contrast!  This is called Fanciful Flight by Jacqueline de Jonge.

My volume of sewing this week is not as high as it has been.  The last two days my feet have hurt so bad.  Something is causing inflammation on my heels.  It feels like they are bruised with blood blisters (much like when you were young and going barefoot and stepping on a rock and getting a blood blister/bruise on the bottom of heel.)  If I elevate my feet, they throb with pain.  Pain taxes my system and pills are not my go to, so I do without pills and keep the pain.  Perhaps I will fudge on my no pill rule and do some Aleeve before the end of the day.

Sad, because all the cold weather we have had, this symptom had gone away.  One warm humid day of 73 degree weather and bam, it came back that fast and doesn’t want to leave.  I think there is something putting a lot of pressure on the nerves in my heel.  I think I may have nodules growths causing my pain and this is associated with arthritis.  These nodules are on my knees, my toes, my knuckles and are quite disfiguring.  It limits your mobility, and the one on my knee has spread greatly, it is from giving so many baths to the children being on your knees on the hard tiles, those gristles bursted and are now large under the ligament that hold my kneecap.  Thankfully the ones on my hands do not hurt, only when you press on the gristle under the skin.  I hope I get as much quilting in now, while I am healthy because I fear my hobby will diminish as I age.  I know of no one in the family that has had this and this is something inherited. But in the past people did not speak of their aches and pains, they just lived with it.  And here I am complaining to you, and there is nothing you can do!

I am off to do laundry and vacuuming, Chicken and Dumplings from scratch for supper.  The rest of the weekend is to be determined.  Have a great weekend and thanks for reading my blog!