A Finish!

Caswell Quilt, Inklingo, LeMoyne Stars - Star Garden, quilts, William Morris in Applique-Floral Fantasy, Winter Wonderland

After busily working on the binding off and on for 5 days or so I got the Star Garden complete and washed and dried.  No purple bleeding – in fact the color catchers the first time came out kind of a light green color which surprised me – the second wash they came out white.  This is about 70 inches square – I say about because no matter how much I tried to square it up it isn’t square.   The stars are hand pieced using Inklingo, the quilt is hand quilted.  I started making the stars about a year ago so I made good time on it considering I made quite a few other quilts at the same time.  It took 77 hours to hand quilt and this was over a 7 week time frame, which is amazing to me, I rarely work that fast.

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I used the Deluxe weight Quilters Dream batting on this one 100% cotton.  The top is all batiks and the backing is a cotton of some brand I don’t remember which.

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I got done with a lot yesterday  – I finished the varnishing in the kitchen yesterday morning while the quilt was washing!   This is one of my favorite table toppers – ignore the extra things on the table – until all the varnish in the kitchen dries the drawers for the cupboard are on the countertop and things are not put away.

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This quilt was made back in 2011 – 4 years ago.  We have been using it on the table off and on since then.  I will fold it back when we sit down to eat and yesterday I guess I just happened to look at it differently and saw this one line of quilting missing!  How odd that you can fold something back for years and all of a sudden see something missing.

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Maybe you can see it missing on the orange rectangle from the front!

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Now fixed!!  I couldn’t wait to fix it and as soon as our evening meal was cleared up out came the thread and got it done before I forgot where it was!

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This corner of Floral Fantasy got finished on Tuesday night and so the first border is now half way done.

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This is where I picked up on it last night.

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The light  color stack of squares are squared up leaving me two more stacks to work on.

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I decided to start on the applique for this 3rd Caswell Block late yesterday afternoon –  I was going to bring it with us on our upcoming trip this fall to work on but decided that seeing as some of the pieces were coming loose I would leave it home instead.  I discovered that using this wash away fusible makes the square a bit awkward to work with – you can not really roll the fabric up between your fingers like usual because of the stiff pieces.  I really want to give this stuff a chance and see if I like it – I do like the neat appearance it gives.  (I did not use it on all the pieces in Love Entwined so this is fairly new to me still).  I needed to glue some pieces back  down so I wouldn’t loose them and I have one stem and one leave stitched.  The block is about 1 1/2 inches larger than it will be when trimmed to size – they are small blocks – it will be trimmed to 11.5 inches, I’m pretty sure I cut my block at 13 inches.  I think the future blocks I will be only glue basting a few pieces down at a time which means I will have to constantly be working on placement for pieces but that might be how you have to do this kind of work.

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And as if I don’t have enough to work on I am starting a winter shawl with my crochet hook.  I have tried knitting with poor results and I have known how to crochet very simple, simple stitches for years and thought I would start a shawl mainly for working while Mike is driving the motorhome on our upcoming trip – sometimes I sew but over the years it has gotten harder to sew while in a moving vehicle (maybe because I’m always working with small pieces?) and I thought maybe the crocheting would work better.  I thought I would get started on it though just so it is easier to hang on to rather than start it while traveling.  A bigger piece to hold in my mind is easier.  I also want to see how far the first skein of yarn goes so I can try to figure out how much I will need and be able to purchase the rest before we take off.  I am making this up as I go – no pattern.  This yarn is about 56% wool and 44% polyester.

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I am so glad to be done with the varnishing chore in the kitchen – it was a pain in the butt – not my favorite thing to do.  Now that it is done I can get back to my routine of exercise for an hour in the afternoon, I had been skipping that so I could get the varnishing done.  Over the next several weeks I need to get more piecing blocks prepped and put in the travel box – they are the cogwheel type of block that I showed several weeks ago from the Inklingo Fancy Dresden Plate collection.  I have 4 prepped but without taking the applique on the trip I thought I would get more of those blocks prepped so I would have plenty to work on “just in case”  I would rather have too many along then not enough.

15 comments

Pumpkin Butter and Quilting

Baking/cooking, gardening, William Morris in Applique-Floral Fantasy, Winter Wonderland

Another nice day – yesterday morning it was in the 50’s when I woke up, we had left windows open to air the house of the varnish smell and it was down to 71 in the house – down right chilly to me – last night more of the same – and the varnishing continues.  Today I will give the kitchen the 3rd and final coat of varnish – good thing too as the temperatures will be climbing back up again – it was so nice to be able to get this work done while the temperatures and humidity were lower than normal.  This afternoon I need to go shopping for handles for the drawers and cupboards that I just got varnished.  Hope to get them on this weekend and then I will take another photo.  I have been able to do all the varnish work in the mornings and then devote the rest of the day to my normal routine.

From my garden I had one pumpkin that survived.  It was a small pumpkin that I showed sometime back that was still a bit green as it had fallen off of it’s vine and it finished ripening in the house, the second one that was quite small had to be thrown away.  From the pumpkin that made it though I got 3 cups of pureed pumpkin which I turned into Pumpkin Butter.  I had never made it before and this is a crock pot recipe – turned out great!!

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I found this recipe off of pinterest.

Crockpot Pumpkin Butter

4 cups puree pumpkin
1 cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

place all in your crock pot, stir to combine and put the lid on.  Cook on high for 2 hours stir occasionally.  After 2 hours remove the lid and continue to cook stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 hours to the desired consistency.  I think I only  cooked mine for a total of 3.5 hours.  I also reduced the recipe a little as I had 3 cups of pumpkin not 4.  I got 1 1/2 pints of jam from it.  I did not process but put in the refrigerator as it is a small amount.  A very good consistency of jam from this – I have never made it before but I can see it will be a favorite – I can see doing this with apples as well.

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I finished my square in a square blocks and divided them up in color groups.  I guess the stack that I have in the front would be considered in the “white” group as they are much lighter than the tan and reds.  I now need to square the blocks up and see what I have.

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Monday nights quilting progress on Floral Fantasy.  I am linking to Freshly Pieced today and Sew Fresh Quilts and Esther’s Quilt Blog and My Quilt Infatuation.

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My frog is still in the fern planter, yesterday when I was sitting outside enjoying the nice day on the porch I could see him stretching out and had the camera near by so I got his photo once again but clearer than last time.

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The tomatoes getting very tall and scraggly looking but still producing more than I want to eat right now but not enough to can.  Instead every 3 or 4 days I will have enough to pulp up and put in a ziplock bag and freeze.  I have 4 pints in the freezer this way and each bag will go into a batch of chili or something like that – I must have about 15 tomatoes ripening on the dining room table right now.

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12 comments

Very Busy Day

Caswell Quilt, Postage Stamp Quilt, William Morris in Applique-Floral Fantasy

We are getting some wonderful weather this week and even though I didn’t want to I have been putting off a job of varnishing wood.  Last year we added a dinning room on to the kitchen and did a remodel on one side of the kitchen – we have a rustic look of wood – part of the dining room had the varnish on it and then the weather had gotten too cold to have windows open to air the house so it kept getting put aside – I was going to do it in the spring but it was raining a lot and humid – then summer came with heat and humidity – I really needed to tackle this and get it done – for the next 2 or 3 nights the temp will be down in the 50’s and daytime barely 80 – so yesterday I bit the bullet and got the paint brush and varnish and got to work.  So right now the dining room has 2 coats on the walls ( one from last fall) which might be enough and the kitchen is at 1 coat – I will be working on the kitchen again today.  Eventually the wood will all age to hopefully look the same.  The cabinets in the kitchen on this end were added and they all need the treatment too so needless to say the kitchen is a mess this week and the overflow on the dining room table.

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Fons & Porter Mechanical Fabric Pencil

Several of you asked what kind of marking device do I use with the black fabric of Floral Fantasy – this is the marking pencil that I use from Fons and Porter, I get all my replacement leads from Connecting Threads which usually has a lot of sales.  There are other brands of course, I got mine when it first came out years ago.  You can use regular chalk pencils as well, I just detest sharpening them.  My fabric is actually a textured print that is more gray then black but it reads as black.

In my break times yesterday I got a lot more squares in a square done – 40 of them, I now have 280 squares and I need 26 more (I think) I might still need to do a couple more but I will see about that as I get busy putting the quilt together.  I might be able to start putting Winter Wonderland together before the week is out!

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Several more Postage Stamp Quilt blocks where done giving me a total of 9.  Some have asked some questions about this one.  Yes I am thinking of making it queen size.  My blocks are 10 inches so that will be 9.5 finished – that is because my cutting and sewing are not accurate – I try but what can I say I am a sloppy cutter and sewer – I square my blocks up when I get done – that is one reason that I do not know if I will need more blocks for the Winter Wonderland quilt as I need to square those blocks up too.  Such is life in my sewing room.  And the final question – Do I have any idea how many 1.5 inch blocks are needed?  LOL – well if I figure right I will need about 7,200 pieces!!  But whose counting right – what else can I do with all these tiny pieces that I keep saving and no one is saying it will be done this year – right – I know I never said it would be done this year LOL.    I am linking to Quilt Story: Fabric Tuesday.

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This is where I stand with Floral Fantasy right now – I got a lot done on Sunday and I’m satisfied with what I am doing.  Maybe with this photo you can see this is not a true black?

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Yes this is the flower with the wonky piece in it – I never did redo it and now it is staring me in the face – Now you see why I do not enter into shows – I do my quilting for me!

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I was going to start prepping another applique block for the Caswell Quilt but time got away from me.  I have found this old piece on the shelf though that I will use for the vase and I well fussy cut for a change – I like the big print for the vase.  I might just go with the stripes instead though – I have to open this piece up and see what I have.

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I will move it around a bit though and experiment with it first – I need to find my package of old tracing paper which is most likely hidden in one of the drawers and cut a piece to lay over the fabric so I can see what I like I don’t think I have any clear plastic any place.

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This is the block the vase is in.

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So that was my busy day – how was your Monday!  3 sides of the Star Garden has the binding on it – I will try to squeeze in the last side today during break time from the varnishing if I sit long enough.

11 comments

It Always Happens

LeMoyne Stars - Star Garden, William Morris in Applique-Floral Fantasy

It always happens that if you loose a little something and order a new piece the original turns up doesn’t it.  Well – not usually this fast for me but several hours after I ordered a replacement metal thimble – the original turned up LOL.  I mentioned that when getting a new quilt onto the frame I always take everything off the notion holder and place on the table – well that included my hand brace – which got set on top of the sticky side up of the thimble – see it there on the strap LOL – well now I will have extras and well be able to put one in my travel box for applique and piecing and keep one at home ( and bring an extra with me (in its case) in case one gets lost while traveling).

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This is what I wear on my fingers when quilting – you do get used to it all after awhile.  The clear circle is a gripper for getting a better grip on pulling the needles through – sometimes I put one of these double up on my underneath finger as well.  Someone mentioned that she thought I used a different thimble – one that I hold in my hand – yes I did for many years but last year when arthritis struck my hands I decided to go back to the stick on thimbles that I used in years past with luck – the twinges of arthritis lessened after I did this so I am sticking with these for now.

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So onto Floral Fantasy – Saturday night I tried out both of the threads that I showed you – the purple/blue and the black/brown/gold.  I didn’t like either of them – they were just too dark – and everything I quilted on Saturday night got ripped out on Sunday.  Sometimes that happens – a thread just doesn’t do what you think it will do and you don’t like it.  The threads will get used in another project eventually!  (I am marking my lines with a mechanical pencil with white chalk -it comes out easily)

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Luckily I have plenty of thread hanging around and all of these colors are going to work out great – that’s right I am mixing them up – they go fantastic with the bright colors on the frame.  I liked them all and when you alternate a strand of thread every time you thread your needle it all gets mixed up – variegated in the true sense of the word I guess.

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Here is some that I redid on Sunday afternoon.  I decided to double lines in this direction on the outside border.  On the squares that make up the inside of the quilt  that each have a flower of some fantasy appliqued on them I will do lines in a different direction.  This photo is from using all three spools of thread.  See how well they blend together to make nice color.

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I changed the color a little on the photo above so you could see the colors of the thread better – they are hard to captured in a photo but the photo above is pretty close to the true colors.  Of course I am looking at a laptop  photo so maybe that makes a difference?

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I am almost done with two sides of the Star Garden – I will continue work on it this week and then washing it begins – I imagine with the purples that I have in it that I will be soaking it for a bit to make sure it comes out ok.

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Thank you to all that ordered anything from the Craftsy sale though my links – I appreciate it.

10 comments

Quilt off the Frame, Another On It

LeMoyne Stars - Star Garden, William Morris in Applique-Floral Fantasy

It was a busy day yesterday.  Friday night I finished Star Garden – I can’t believe I finished hand quilting that quilt in 7 weeks and I wasn’t in a rush.  I just steadily worked on it almost every single evening of those 7 weeks for 1 to 2 hours – 77.5 hours of work.  Now on to the binding.  I will measure it again after I wash it – right now it is about 75 inches square.  Linking to Kathy’s Quilts and to A Quilting Reader’s Garden.

I got the binding cut and machine stitched to the front, now on to the hand stitching.  (the stars were hand pieced using the Inklingo LeMoyne star collection 4 inch if I remember right)

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Just a little bit of work was done on the hand stitching part of it I will work on it off and on all week I’m sure.

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You know I don’t like an empty frame so by two in the afternoon I had the next quilt on the frame!

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So here for the next several months or more is Floral Fantasy – this quilt is smaller than the Star Garden by about 10 inches making it about 65 inches square — but we will be gone a little bit this fall so this quilt might be on the frame until the end of the year.  (Floral Fantasy is designed by Michelle Hill.)

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Right now I am trying to decide which thread to use for quilting it – I am leaning to the shades of purple even though I just got done using a different variegated thread for the Stars in purples– this is a different shade.  The other although it shows as brown is actually blacks and brown to gold.  While I was working on loading my new quilt onto the frame I always move all the notions out of the holder here and put them on the table so they won’t get knocked around and I went and lost my stick on metal thimble that has good indention in it.  I ordered two new ones so I will have extra.  I will use the leather only for the next week I guess while I wait.

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I actually found the replacement thimbles at Craftsy – which today is the last day of the sale so you might want to check them out – notions, fabrics, supplies of all kinds – I didn’t realize they had the stick on thimbles until I was searching on line to order my new ones.  It is amazing at times what they do carry – not just classes and fabric.

The thimble I like for quilting the most is the one on the far left of this package – it fits my finger pretty good – the next one is for the underneath finger but I can never get used to it and I don’t use it – the leather one usually goes on my thumb and the one on the far left on my quilting finger.  I hate having to order the whole package to get the one for my quilting finger but most of the pieces will be used and at only $6.21 for the whole package that is not bad.  I ordered more leather stick ones at the same time they are $4.25 for 12.

Colonial Thimble Pack Plus Assorted Finger Shields - None

25 comments

More Squares and Quilting Almost Done

Baking/cooking, LeMoyne Stars - Star Garden, Postage Stamp Quilt, Winter Wonderland

A note on yesterday’s post – I have not used the wash away applique sheets long enough to have a finished quilt so I have not experienced a washed quilt with it and also after glue basting the whole block in yesterdays post I realized this will be a stiff block to work with – it will not be real flexible.  In the future I think I will just glue baste the center first and finish that and then go around the sides a little at a time so it will be easier to work with.  I will put the pattern in my travel box with the prepped pieces in an envelope and glue as I need to.

I got 20 more square in a squares done for the Winter Wonderland quilt and that brings the total up to 240 done.  Getting there! 66 left to do if I figured my numbers right.

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I worked on Star Garden Thursday night after Melanie went home and it is getting so close to done.

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This is the area I was working on last night after I wrote my post that I scheduled for this morning.  Did I finish it? I don’t know LOL

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The Postage Stamp quilt had one more block added to it last night.  There are 350 little squares just in this much of the quilt – what will it use queen size? A lot!!

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I made a blueberry crisp yesterday – this is basically the same recipe I used several weeks back with rhubarb –  the crust is the same as that recipe except I cut it in half to make a small pan 9×9.  Instead of the rhubarb mixture I used one can of blueberries that I had canned and drained and rinsed them.  On the stove I added a tablespoon of lemon juice and mixed 1/2 cup sugar with two tablespoons of  cornstarch, I mixed it together, stirring until boiled and then poured it over the crust and topped with the rest of the crumbs.   I baked at 350 for 35 minutes.

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Craftsy’s sale continues on on supplies!!  up to 70% off for 3 days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday!!   The sale is for more than quilting, all supplies yarn, cake decorating, all of the crafts that they have classes for they have supplies for as well.  Have fun shopping – relax and have it shipped to your door !!

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8 comments