Thursday, April 28, 2011

Favorite Tools

You may have noticed this little tool in the photograph I posted yesterday.  It was given to me by a quilting friend whose husband made it.  It is simply a block of scrap wood with a hole drilled out that can hold an inexpensive seam ripper.  It is very useful when separating chained pieces and always makes me smile when it use it because it reminds me of Jeanette.

I have a new favorite “non-quilting” quilting tool as well! 

This air filled disk is really made for doing balance exercises, but it also serves as chair cushion that helps keep my back and shoulders from getting too stiff when I sit for long periods.  Don’t you just love discovering little tricks that make quilting more fun!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Yesterday was Sit N Sew day at the local quilt shop.  I had a great time and got all 96 of my half square triangles completed for this month's Civil War Chronicles quilt blocks.  It was a fun, relaxing day, and I was pleased that I was able to accomplish so much.  I hope I can keep up the pace.

Yesterday was only April 26, but our high temperature was 98 degrees.  I believe we are in for an extremely hot a summer.  We’ve been through them before, however; it is part of the weather cycle for this part of the world.  Time will tell if it will just be hot or a record breaker.

There were thunder storms in the state last evening.  This is a photo of a super cell we could see from our yard.  Surprisingly, it did not produce much rain for the people under it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 04/25/2011

I’m in that in-between stage on a number of projects leaving me with little to actually display on my wall.  Fortunately, I managed to get this block (#B-2) from the Jane Stickle quilt completed last night.  At first I thought this was going to be a really difficult block.  When I realized it was just two pinwheel blocks, it turned out to be one of the easiest ones so far. 

Last week I got the April installment of the Civil War Chronicles quilt and I spent some time yesterday cutting.  This month’s blocks require 96 half square triangles, so I know what I’ll be doing at Sit N Sew this week.  At least the fabrics this month are not directional, which should make putting the squares together easier. 

Despite the chaos associated with a home move, Judy Laquidara continues to host Design Wall Monday at her Patchwork Times site.  Stop by and check out what other quilters are up to this week.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


April is an extremely busy time for us, and although this year has been no exception, it has proved to be a much lighter one than the recent past.  I had another catch up day today and it gave me a chance to send out greeting cards on behalf of our church's Congregational Care Committee; enjoy a massage, my first in many months; and put together this mid-week post. 

Here are the blocks I completed last weekend during our monthly Dear Jane (Dear Jane ® -- is the registered trademark of Brenda Papadakis)  Club meeting at the local quilt store.  They are B-9, Tinker Toy; B-5, Hot Cross Buns; B-3, Mirror Image; and B-6, Wild Goose Chase.  I hoped to have no fabric repeats, but discovered that despite a system I devised to prevent them, some have already occurred.  This is partially the result of batiks having significant color variations within the same cut, and I probably will not re-do the blocks.  I have some very kind quilting friends who continue to give me batik remnants for use in this project.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 04/18/2011

The collection of blocks from my Wisconsin purchased kit is growing slowly:  only eight more to go.  This is not the final layout; it’s just they way they went up when I pulled them out of their project box.  Since I will pick up my next installment for the Civil War Chronicles quilt this week, work on these blocks will probably have to halt for a while. 

As I work on these, I’ve been pondering what quilting motif I want to use.  I have a new pantograph that would work, but I would like to do something different.  Any ideas or links to possible examples would be greatly appreciated.  The blocks will finish at 15 inches and the design does not call for sashings or borders.  Also, what thread color….decisions, decisions.

Monday is my favorite day to look at quilt blogs because of all the design wall links at Patchwork Times.  Check them out!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 04/11/2011

I finished the latest installment of the Civil War Chronicles quilt that I posted about last Monday and have put the Wisconsin Stars blocks back on my design wall.  Since I haven’t finished any more of those blocks, however, my design wall looks exactly like my post two weeks ago.   All I’ve done is sew, press, and subcut the strip sets for each of the remaining 12 star four-patches.  Hopefully, having that step done will make it possible for me to pick up the pace. 

I finished the handwork on the binding for Mix Master Brights which I can now move to my “Bound, Labeled, Done” category.  Bob, who rarely comments about my quilts, liked this one, so it is now his.  It was a $5 a block club I participated in last year.  If I had kept up with the blocks, it would only have cost me the $5 for the first block.  Since the group of friends that were doing it with me never could arrange to be available on the club days, I fell behind and had to pay for the last several blocks.  Nevertheless, it was a fun project and I’m glad I did it.

We had thunderstorms roll through the area last night giving us some much needed moisture.  The weather alert radios (yes, we have two) kept me up and down much of the night with its alarms, but nothing severe here.  In a while I’ll check in with Dave and Bob who spent the night at the ranch, and see if there was any damage there.  It looked like the radar was showing them more directly in the path of the activity. 

Be sure and check out what others are working on this Monday at Judy's Patchwork Times and find lots of inspiration!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday – 04/04/2011

Bob and his brother, Dave, spent the day playing doing chores at the ranch and I unexpectedly found myself with some time to sew.  Yippee!  Much of the time was spent working on the March installment of the Civil War Chronicles Block of the Month.  This quilt has a lot of points to match and a lot of piecing, but the most challenging part so far has been dealing with some fairly obvious directional prints that are used in the half square triangles.  The blocks are made and the top row is sewn.  With any luck, it should be ready for our group's gathering later this month and I will be able to stay on schedule.

Be sure to check out Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times  and see what others are up to! 

Happy stitching!