Hand Quilting & Machine Piecing

Murrieta Stars – Flannel, scrap quilts

Murrieta Stars got rolled down again and I am working on the second row of stars and part way down with it –there are 6 rows of stars so you can already see the half way point on this quilt.  The row above the area I am working on is row 3 – the one with the pink star.

Murrieta Stars - flannel quilt

This is the area I finished on Saturday night and Sunday I rolled it down and got going on the side in the above photo.  Grids go fast and by not doing all of them the same it keeps it interesting.

Murrieta Stars - hand quilting

The first 5 rows of the blocks are sewn – next I will sew those first five rows together then I will go to the second half.  Linking up to Em’s Scrapbag today and MCM#97 Cooking up QuiltsLove, Laugh, Quilt : Monday MakingSmall Quilts & Doll Quilts

half square triangles

Has anyone used these pins? I found them in my stuff in the move to the re-done sewing room – I have never used them and haven’t a clue when I bought them – I don’t remember buying them, maybe I won them in a give away I have won a lot of give away’s over the years.  Like so many things they get pushed aside behind this or that and turn up years later – surely I’m not the only person this happens to.


While I was at the sewing machine this is the few from the window as the sun was going down.  Reflections in the window but look how orange that sun was.


Last night we may have gotten our first frost – won’t know until this morning of course – I write and schedule my post the night before so I didn’t know as I wrote this – I decided to try to save the larger of the two ferns for a change.  I haven’t a clue if I can keep this fern alive until the end of March – I guess I will find out.  (I have never had luck with the ferns in the house in the winter and stopped trying about 10 years ago or more).  I have it sitting in a metal bowl hoping to keep plenty of moisture in the plant and will try to remember to mist it almost daily and to turn the plant weekly so all sides get light.  It stays a little cooler in the dining room as there is no heat vent in the room – it is a small room with the huge door way off the kitchen making it just an extension of the kitchen really and there is a heat vent on that side of the kitchen – the room stays about 66-67 degrees in the winter.  This was an $8-10 fern – I don’t remember the exact price but it really wasn’t very large when I got it – you could see the pot it was in at the time as the length of the leaves were about where the water saucer is.  I have a plant mat underneath it to protect the table top.  That is a sweet potato vine growing on the windowsill – it hasn’t gotten very thick, I thought it would be bigger by now.  I started it about 3 or 4 months ago it has been very slow to grow.

Boston Fern

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22 comments… add one
  • Gretchen Nov 20, 2017

    The quilting on Murietta Stars looks very nice. Using 2 different grid designs was a good choice. Good luck with the fern. I decided to take it easy this year and didn’t bring in any of my outside plants. I’m going to take it easy next summer and not have plants in pots that need to be watered.
    Gretchen recently posted…A New Embroidery ProjectMy Profile

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      sometimes we need to take a break from the plants don’t we. This is the first year I have had more than a Christmas cactus in the house.

  • Marianne Nov 20, 2017

    I’ve seen those pins before but decided not to buy them. I think they’re to mark blocks when you’re putting them together, but I find sticky notes work better for me. I can see them from a distance and simply pin them on.

    You are making good progress with the stars – should be finished in no time, Speedy!

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      I tried using the pins and kept messing up with them lol – I find it easier to pin one seam in the direction I want and then go to the ironing board and go from there with it. I put these away after I took the photo and put them away – I have a feeling I probably did that another time or two in the past and never got around to passing them on to someone else

  • Diann Bottrell Nov 20, 2017

    It sounds good to have both a hand and machine sewn project going at the same time! Lovely view out your window, too. I really like the wall-hanging in the photo with your fern – colorful and scrappy!

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      thanks Diann – that wall hanging was made quite some time ago – I will take it off the wall for the Xmas season and then put it back up – I have a different smaller one that I put there for December

  • Nann Nov 20, 2017

    I know those pins are made by Fons & Porter — I recognize the box. (Though actually F&P aren’t involved — Mary Fons gave a presentation at our guild a couple of years ago and said that Marianne and Liz sold the F&P brand.) I usually use low-tack masking tape (the blue kind) to mark blocks and rows. Hope your fern survives the season!
    Nann recently posted…Monday update: a finish and a startMy Profile

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      I don’t know if I will use those pins or not – are you suppose to use the pins from the front or the back – I usually just use one pin over one seam before I go to the ironing board and I know which direction I am going.
      I hope the fern makes it too!

  • Dottie bishaw Nov 20, 2017

    I have some pins like that, only with numbers. I use them to number rows before sewing them together. I have to leave my front porch ferns outside, they are too big. One year they survived the winter and I just cut them back and repotted them and they were beautiful all summer but froze the next winter. I have a huge sword fern on the back porch that is taking over the porch, I wish I could save it, but no room. Your quilting is just moving along so fast it seems! I like your half square triangle quilt too.

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      I will be amazed if I can keep this fern alive – usually any plant that I bring inside that has been on the porch dies on me — the plant I showed last month that had been a hanging plant and looked beautiful outside died within a month!! I hope by just watering and misting I can keep it going.

  • Roseanne Nov 20, 2017

    Hi Karen,
    That is a huge fern! I do wish you luck with keeping it alive. I have never had any luck with wintering plants until last year – my Gerber daisy made it through the winter and even bloomed in January/February. It was our ‘science’ experiment. You are doing a beautiful job hand quilting. ~smile~ Roseanne
    Roseanne recently posted…Weekly To-Do List #32 – Almost ThanksgivingMy Profile

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      isn’t it though – I was amazed at how large it grew. Like you I usually do not have luck wintering over the plants in the house that go outside on the porch – Hopefully March will be nice and I can move it back outside and have it in the house for only 3 months or so – I hope!
      I am enjoying quilting this flannel – I wasn’t sure how it would go but by using a bigger needle, heavier thread and not bothering with little stitches it is going well

  • Jayne Nov 20, 2017

    Love your Murrietta Stars! And your quilting looks fantastic! I admit to having a bit of a penchant for great sunset pictures. Thanks for sharing yours!
    Jayne recently posted…Busy Weekend; Busy WeekMy Profile

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      I’m really glad I purchased the flannel kit that made this quilt – I really like it and still have quite a bit of fabric leftover from it – I think I might make pillow shams and might still have enough left over to make a pillow or two also — I love sunsets too

  • Judy Hansen Nov 20, 2017

    I have not had much luck wintering over ferns. I find that they shed a lot and if I do get one to live over the winter, I give it a stern haircut in the spring, and it starts over with new growth. Hope yours makes it. The misting should help. Happy Thanksgiving, Judy
    Judy Hansen recently posted…Design Wall Monday – November 20, 2017My Profile

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      that is always what happens to my ferns they shed so much that I sweep up the floor constantly – I haven’t tried it in a long time – hope this time works! Happy Thanksgiving to you too

  • Emily Nov 20, 2017

    Your quilting is coming along nicely. Your fern is beautiful. I’m glad you saved it.
    Emily recently posted…Moving It ForwardMy Profile

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      Well I don’t know if I saved it yet – with my luck it won’t last a month but at least I will have tried!

  • Sandra B Nov 20, 2017

    Love how the quilting is coming along on Murrieta Stars, Karen!
    I have seen those pins, but have not heard exactly how they are meant to be used. When I need to keep track of pieces, or what piece gets sewn to what, I use masking tape….I can write on it if there are special instructions I need to remember, or if I need to keep track of rows before they are sewn together.
    Your fern is beautiful…Wishing you good luck on wintering it inside! I have not had good results in the past, but then I don’t have a “green thumb” either! Last winter I did bring in a peace lily and kept it in the basement…it did fine, so I will try again this winter. I cannot keep it in the house because the plant is poisonous to pets and we have a cat..not knowing if he would try to chew on it, I am not willing to take a chance… When I brought it into the basement last winter, I was afraid the lack of sunlight would kill it, but it did fine.

    • Karen Nov 21, 2017

      I do not have a good record of keeping plants well in the house – I hope because the dining room is cooler than the rest of the house that maybe it will do well in there, since we had the trees cut a couple weeks ago it looks to be a little lighter in there then it had been. I will be for about 4 months so I hope I can keep it alive that long! I am not sure how the pins are to be used either, I thought I had them right and had it wrong and ended up pressing a whole row wrong – tried it again and made the same mistake LOL – I put them back in the drawer I found them in 🙂

  • audrey Nov 20, 2017

    Grids do go fast and it looks good in the center blocks too. Hard to decide the best look sometimes, but you know it when you see it! Your fern looks amazing. I only have one house plant and it’s all I can do to keep it alive. I’m just terrible at remembering to water it!

    • Karen Nov 20, 2017

      I usually over water I think. but ferns need water so maybe that will work LOL – one can hope. yes I think the grid works out well, the flowers just disappeared in the flannel

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