Friday, May 22, 2015

Hand Sewing Progress

I like the idea of measuring time by how much hand sewing I get done rather than by a clock. It sounds much better to say that I almost pieced a complete Grandmother's Flower Garden block than that I waited for over 3 1/2" hours.  

While waiting for Jack at his eye doctor appointment, this is what I accomplished. 

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

I started the wait with none of this sewn together, and I'm very happy with what I accomplished, even though I had a mishap.

While I was sewing, an older couple asked what I was making and then we got to talking. For those of you who know me, I know you can't believe that I was talking to strangers, right?  :-)  Anyway, this is what happened while I wasn't paying attention.

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

Can you see that hexagon sewn on backwards?  I hate having to rip and re-sew because I wasn't paying attention. It didn't take much to fix it though, so it wasn't terrrible.

Grandmother's Flower Garden, Reproduction Fabrics

And it didn't take much for me to start paying attention to what I was doing. Of course that could be because the couple were called in to see the doctor.  :-) 

I'm going to finish this block in a little bit before going to bed; and then I'm going to do a quick count of how many of these I've done and how many more I need to make. 

I know this has been a long time in the making, but I'm looking forward to sewing these into a quilt - FINALLY!!

And there's more good news than just the fact that I got this block done. Jack's appointment, although long, went very well. The recent injections have been working and he can wait until August to get the next one. He's very happy about that and I can understand why. :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tip Tuesday! - Stop the Creeping Foot Pedal

"Tip Tuesday!" - Stop the Creeping Foot Pedal

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!

Have you ever been sewing along and then just feel like that something just isn't right? 

You don't quite know what's wrong, but something just doesn't feel natural. It's almost like you aren't relaxed and enjoying the hum of the sewing machine.   

I try re-positioning my hands but that doesn't solve the problem.

I finish the pieces on which I'm sewing and get up to press. 

The proverbial light goes off when I sit back down to sew and I can't find the foot pedal.

It has slid under the cabinet yet again and now I have to fish it out with my feet. 

Ahhhh, I get it back in position and comfortable, productive, and enjoyable sewing returns.

So, what can you do to stop the pedal movement? 

You can buy special non-slip pads for your pedal like these below.

Pedal Sta II Sewing Machine Pedal Pad, , hi-res

Martelli Non Slip Sewing Machine Foot Pedal Pad

You can put some of that squishy shelf liner under the pedal and that seems to work well. I try to remember to keep a piece with my machine for those times when I'm not sewing at home (classes, workshops, etc.)

But, you can also make your own and here's a tutorial to help you do just that!

Sew a non-slip sewing machine foot pedal pad - a genius idea to stop the foot pedal slipping away from you.  I'm on it!

Make one (or two) for yourself, and then make some for your quilting friends. They will love them!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Design Wall Monday and Time for One More Quilt

It's Monday and that means it's 
Design Wall time!

I sort of have two things up today. One on which I'm deciding borders and one that is ready for binding. 

Here's the one that is ready for binding. It's a simple quilt using 5" squares. I'm still playing with quilt options for when I host Charm School Sew-Ins. I want the quilts to be quick and easy, especially since there are a fair number of new quilters/sewers who join us for these days. This quilt will fit right in. I quilted this with a 1" grid in all the white areas and then stitched in 1" increments around the big dark squares. I like the quilting a lot, even though it took me longer to do that than actually piece the quilt.

Just to try it out, I made a small version (6 blocks) but think I will make a larger, 12 block version during the sew-in. This one isn't a bad size, about 41" x 59" but I like making most donation quilts larger - closer to 60" x 80". 

I like the black and white blocks here and am glad I pulled them out to use. The backing is a print fabric with lots of pretty pastel birds, flowers, leaves, etc. (I forgot to take a picture of the back - sorry!), and I am going to bind this with black and include a robin egg blue flange. Maybe I'll have a picture of that tomorrow. :-)

Here's the quilt on which I'm trying to decide borders. It's the Yellow Brick Road baby  quilt that I used as "in progress" samples during a recent class. I wrote about it HERE

I've added a small red border that you can see here.

I'm considering leaving this as is and bind in red with the blue/red fabric as a flange. My original plan was to have this small border and then a larger border of the blue/red fabric but I'm having second thoughts.

I think I'll leave it up for a little while before I make the decision. What are your thoughts?

I plan to finish this and use it as another Hands2Help donation. I know I can get this done before the deadline. :-)

What's on your design wall today?

Check out what others have up 
today by going to 

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tip Tuesday!

Oops! I guess this Tip Tuesday! should be about learning to read a calendar.  

I told you last week that the next couple of weeks were going to be quite busy so I was going to "pre-post" some items. I had this post up and scheduled to magically appear at 2:01 am on May 13th. I did that because I thought May 13th was Tuesday - NOT Wednesday.

Imagine my surprise when I checked the blog before heading to bed and found that the post had not shown up. Upon checking I realized that I had scheduled it for the wrong date. ARRGGGGHHHH!

Anyway, here it is - a day late. Sorry!

"Tip Tuesday!" - Making Rugs Stay in Place

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!

I've made a number of rugs in the past couple of years - woven rugs, quilted rugs, chenille rugs, etc. Here are a few pictures. 

These two are from the Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop and were very fun to make. Read about these rugs HERE.  

Here are a couple of chenille rugs I made for Sheryll and Linda. Read about these HERE.

So, why am I talking about rugs on Tip Tuesday!? Because I've struggled with how to make these rugs stay put and not slide around. I've tried a number of options but I have yet to be totally please with the outcome.

I've tried lining the back with that squishy shelf liner. That works, but can't be washed in the washer or it will fall apart.

I've used that same shelf liner and basted triangles of it in the corners of the rugs, but again; it doesn't last and has to be removed for washing.

I've tired using different fabrics for the backing but that's been a pain on which to sew.

And the search continued until I saw something on  that sounded interesting.


This has worked for me and there are a lot of comments with other suggestions.  I'm excited about this because I want to make more rugs this summer. 

So, if you have some slippery rugs, check out the link above and see if you can find a solution to the problem.

Have a great day Everyone!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Design Wall Monday and More

This is still on my wall, but there are more blocks done. I'm happy with the progress, considering I'm only working on this as a leader and ender project or in between other projects. Click HERE to see what I had done last week. 

If you read yesterday's post about my quilt challenge, then you know that I finished my Stepping Stones quilt before the challenge deadline. So did Sarah, and she sent me a picture of her completed quilt. She finished before the deadline too. Yippee!  It's beautiful!

And finally, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the grandkids are growing up. I got a call from Quinn yesterday, and this picture. She lost her first tooth! She is so excited! Most of her classmates have lost a number of teeth and she was thinking that she would never lose any. Well, she also said that the one next to it is loose, so I guess she was wrong. hehehe

What is happening in your quilting world?

Check out what other quilters have one their design wall.

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Quilt Challenge - Done!

The past January or February, my niece Sarah and I were texting each other about various things and the subject of our unfinished Stepping Stones quilts came up. We were encouraging each other get them done when Sarah said, "Let's set a deadline. How about Mothers' Day?" 

Shoot, that was over three months away so I said, "Sure! I can do that." After all, my top was completed and it just needed quilted and bound. guessed it. I waited until the last few days to finally complete that quilt, but it's done! 

I had never been totally convinced that the borders I made were quite right (I changed it from the pattern for a number of reasons) and I had that quilt out so many times trying to decide if I should change them. I finally just said, nope! They are staying as they are.

Then the decision on how to quilt it needed to be made. I had visions of specialty/custom/heirloom quilting, but no time or the skill to do that and that bummed me out. I kept thinking, maybe, just maybe I'd wake up one morning and realized that I'd been blessed with those quilting super powers of which I'd been dreaming. 

Sadly that never happened so I had to change my plans. 

Last month I decided on a design to use (Spilled Ink by Sarah Ann Myers) and happily and quickly got it quilted. I didn't have the time to bind it right away, plus I was thinking about adding a flanged binding, so this quilt was put in the "To Be Bound" pile. That was a big MISTAKE! It stayed there until finally on Friday I told myself that I HAD to decide on the binding and get this done.

I made it happen and here are the results. (The quilt is sideways in the picture. I guess I need to tighten my clothes line so I can hang longer quilts on it. Oh, and use it for drying my clothes.)


I love the backing fabric I chose. You can also see the quilting a bit better here.

Sarah is finishing her's up as well, but she has an excuse for waiting. Besides having three young children, she broke her wrist and just got the cast off recently. I can't wait to see her final quilt.  :-)

Another reason I am thrilled to have this finished is that I told myself I could not start a new Judy Niemeyer quilt until I finished this one. :-)  I think that perhaps I should inventory my UFOs before actually staring something new. I should quilt a few more, finish up the piecing on a few and then start the next Judy quilt. 

Yes, that's the plan. But of course, I can still start looking to decide which quilt I'm going to make. I just won't start it. Which pattern should I choose? Should I use one of the kits I have? Should I make a kit for one? Oh the choices! What a wonderful conundrum I have! 

Mothers' Day

Happy Mothers' Day!

I miss my mom everyday and I find myself gravitating to pictures when I feel like I need a mom "fix." 

Following are a few of my favorite "Mom" pictures.

I love this picture of Mom and Dad, and the fact that the frame is sunflowers makes it even better.  :-)

I know you've seen this picture many times before, but I absolutely LOVE it!
Mom was a trouper and spent the entire day in freezing rain waiting to watch Nikki and her rowing team participate in a race that never happened - it was called off because of the dangerous conditions of the river. Nikki's teammates were impressed that Mom stayed and called her a "Hard Core Grandma." (That's not what I heard when they first said it. Can you guess what I heard? It certainly wasn't something you'd want to hear anyone call your mother.  hehehehe)

Here's another picture I know you've seen before, but it makes me smile every time I see it.
Mom and Sadie spent a lot of time with those pumpkin placemats. Their laughter filled the house whenever the made a new face that was particularly "interesting." Of course, they got Lynn involved and it was even more fun. I still have those placemats and pull them out every Fall for the kids. And yes, they still have fun with them and I know Mom is laughing right with us. :-)

Here Mom is getting ready to help Lynn with the "wedding necklace." Every bride in our family since Mom has worn that necklace. The tradition continues and my niece Ashley wore it last month and Amber will wear it next month.   

And here's Mom on the dance floor at Lynn and Ty's reception. 
We are ALL dancing to "We Are Family!" 
It wasn't panned, but I love how Mom is framed here.

And here are a couple of my favorite pictures of 
two of my favorite moms. 
I need some updated favorite pictures.  :-)

Nikki and awesome, growing family
They'll be welcoming a new baby in mid-September! 

Lynn and her beautiful family
(Avery still loves Peyton, even after almost 2 months)

And finally, there are no moms in this picture, but whenever I see a humming bird I think of my mom and sisters and the years we spent at Burr Oak. We enjoyed many wonderful hours just relaxing, talking, and reconnecting with each other. 
We no longer go to Burr Oak but we still get together. Last year, the sisters made the trek to my house and it was wonderful. They'll all be here again this summer and I can't wait.   

This picture was taken from the kitchen window, so doing the dishes wasn't so bad after all.  :-)

Happy Mothers' Day!