All I Can Do Is Laugh!!

Well I had a great idea!  I am ready to start hand-quilting Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day’.  I have always quilted in a hoop, but I thought it might be time to graduate to a floor frame.  I did a bit of research on floor frames and decided I wasn’t ready to jump in that deep.  So I opted for an Omni-Grid floor frame.  I thought it might give me a feel for quilting on a frame without a huge investment.  I could not wait to get started!

So I marked my quilt under the watchful eye of Bruin.

I am doing cross-hatching in the background.  The lines are 3/4″ apart.  That is a lot of quilting!

I assembled the frame and put the quilt in it.  I gathered all my stuff (scissor, needles, thread and thimble).    I put on a pot of coffee.  Life was so good!

I left the room just for a minute  to pour myself a cup of cup of coffee….

…..and Bruin found a new cat bed!

I am making slow (but steady) progress on “Friends of Baltimore”.

Til next time….



Filling the Basket

The next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” has me thinking.  There is a bird in the basket surrounded by many flowers and leaves and I really I want the bird to stand out.  I want to make the bird blue, so I don’t want him surrounded by blue flowers.

So here is the bird.  I made him off-block, ready to place in the basket when the time is right!

And here are some of the leaves, flowers and buds.  Oh, and a bow!

Some of the flowers have tiny, tiny pieces!  So much fun!

Til next time….


Block 5 of Civil War Bride Finished!

The sun was shining and it was a very productive day!  I stitched the last leaf on the 5th block of Civil War Bride Quilt.

And  the top row is now complete!

Since my sewing machine was on the dining room table anyway, I stitched Aunt Eliza’s Star from Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice.  Even if you are not making the blocks, the stories that go with these blocks are very inspiring and moving and worth reading.

I went to go visit my quilt today!

Colleen, from Elite Quilting, is basting “Bouquets For a New Day” together for me on her long arm machine.  That will save me from spending a couple of hours on my hands and knees basting it by hand.  Life is good!!  Lucky for me, Colleen was just finishing up as I arrived, so now the hand-quilting can begin!

Til next time…..


Amused by a Butterfly!

Today was a “journey” kind of day, rather than a “destination” kind of day!

I had big plans for today and nothing was going to slow me down!   I would prep (and maybe stitch!) the next block of The Civil War Bride quilt.  First I stitched all of the stems in place.

Then I chose the fabric for the vase and the Granny Smith apples.   So far, so good.

After I prepped the flowers and glued them in place, I realized that I chose fabrics  that were  just not speaking to  me.  I made a deal with myself.  I would go have lunch and then look at the block again.  (Maybe it was a low blood-sugar kind of thing!)  If I still didn’t love it, I would choose new fabrics for the flowers.

So I went from this…

to this….

to this.

Needless to say I was a little disappointed that I did not accomplish more of the block, but the butterfly more than made up for it! I wanted to find a fabric that shouted BUTTERFLY!  So I searched through my stash and I found this!

I fussy-cut the wings and here is my butterfly!  I was so amused!!

Til next time….


Finally Finished!!

As it turns out, the blocks were the easy part!  This is one of the most challenging borders I have ever done.  I had lots of help!

Once I saw that the sawtooth border did indeed fit, I could relax a little.

Ta da!

Now that it’s finished, I have been rambling around the house feeling a little lost!  So I worked on the blocks from Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice.

Til next time….


The Luxury of Time

I am fortunate to have a large family and every year we take turns hosting major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Not only does this mean cooking a turkey with all the trimmings, it also means making the house presentable!  And that means using up precious time that could be spent quilting!  Lucky for me, this year was not my turn!  So I had lots of time this weekend to finish the last block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For a New Day.

I glued the stars and circles on the basket.

Next,  I added the ribbons…

…and finally, a bow!  All 12 blocks are Officially Finished!

The ribbon ends have very deep inner curves, which can be a little intimidating.

Here are a few tips….

First of all, I make 3 cuts at the base of the curve.  The first one is at the centre of the curve and about 1\8″ away from the freezer paper.  The 2nd and 3rd cuts are  on either side of the first cut.  Anytime I clip a curve, my scissors are always perpendicular to the freezer paper.

Using a stiletto and mini-iron, I fold the seam allowance over the freezer paper, just until I get to the first clip.

Then I put the stiletto down, and fold the freezer paper towards myself so I can use the very tip of the iron to get into the curve.

Next, I return the freezer paper to its original position and continue folding the seam allowance over.  There will be very little seam allowance around the curve.  Don’t panic.

Once the complete shape is prepared, I put a dab of Roxanne’s Glue at the base of the curve just to give it a bit of stability.  Once the glue dries, I remove the freezer paper template.

Since I wasn’t cooking a turkey, I took the time to stitch the blocks together and add the 1″ inner border.  So far, so good!

Til next time…..


Not Exactly Finished!

Once I finish stitching my blocks, I always give them a soak in the sink with hot water and soap.  I use marking pens, glue and starch on my blocks when I am working on them so I like to clean them up a bit.  You can read more about that here.

So while the block was soaking, I started working on the last (!) block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For a New Day”.  It is by far the simplest of all 12 blocks, so I should have it done in no time!  The pieces are nice and big and there aren’t too many of them!

This is the fabric I am using for the backing.  Bruin and I are getting it ready.

I bought the backing fabric 8 years ago and I always knew I would find a use for it!  I am looking forward to hand-quilting “Boquets For a New Day”, now that the skin on the tips of my fingers has grown back  and I have regained some feeling!   Colleen, at Elite Quilting, is going to machine baste the three layers together for me on her longarm machine, which has me very excited!  That means I don’t have to spend hours on my hands and knees basting the layers together.  Life is good!

Oops!  I guess I wasn’t exactly finished!  I wish I could tell you that this is the first time this has happened, but, sadly, that is not the case.  When I soak the block, I assume that I have stitched every piece in place.  It is not until I lay it out on a towel to dry that I see that I missed a spot!

Til next time.


Civil War Bride Block 4!

The 4th block of The Civil War Bride Quilt is finished!  I love the shadows on the bird created by the dark fabric.

I am stitching the blocks together as I complete them to keep me inspired and to keep the momentum going.  If you look at the original quilt, you will see that I have actually flipped this block upside down so that the bird is flying upwards, and not toward the ground.    Now, on to the 5th block!

Jenny is impressed with the progress I am making on Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice.  These blocks are an amazing way to use up some of that stash!  In my infinite wisdom, I decided to make 3 blocks a week instead of one block.  Here are the “Union Square Blocks” from Week 3.

I  hand-pieced one Kansas Sunflower Block from Week 4.  I think I will try English Paper Piecing the remaining 2 blocks.  The points are just a little daunting to attempt on the sewing machine! It is hard to believe that this…

can look like this!

The second last block of Sue Garman’s Bouquets For a New Day is finished!

Just one more block to go!  Then I can start to stitch it all together, and then on to the sawtooth inner border. Yikes!

Til next time…..