Sunday, September 26, 2021

Playing Blogging Catch-up

Seems the calendar marches along way faster than I can keep up anymore! Now that fall is officially here I'm hoping to spend more time in the sewing room once again.  Our trees and the underbrush are just beginning to show signs of color, so we're finding the best color right on our back porch, floppy headed sunflowers and late zinnias.

Lately, I've been feeling the need to finish up some long term projects and "clear the decks" so to speak.  Trying really hard to resist the lure of any new squirrel invasions and fabric purchases, but then Gladi just blogged about a new Julie Paschkis Christmas fabric collection and we all know what's about to happen -sigh!  My granddaughter hasn't had a new quilt in several years, and this would be so perfect for her! And if you've ever perused my finished quilts over the years, you know I can hardly resist Julie Paschkis fabrics.

So, back to my plans for the remainder of this year.  They are to finish four large quilts, two of which are hand quilted!  Here's where we are with each at this point:

We all remember Audrey's Quilty 365 challenge, way back in 2015 (I think?)  This may be the last holdout in the world of completed Quilty 365s!  Adding all that sashing and then outer borders made this monster somewhere in the neighborhood of 114x118 inches!  It's slated to become a to-the-floor bedspread for my bed, if only I can get it finished that is!  Trying to spend at least an hour or two every day on it, and it is progressing, however slowly.  I think it's getting close to being about 75% completed at this point.  I long-since abandoned the idea of hand quilting the outer borders since they will sit near the floor, and they will be simply machine quilted.

Secondly, Lady Sings the Blues - this will be a birthday gift so needs completion by the end of November.  Mostly machine quilted on the Janome, but I'm hand quilting the individual baskets.  I love mixing quilting styles, and trying to add hand quilted touches to many of the quilts slated for machine quilting.  Hoping to have this one finished later this week.

Next up is my Diamond Jubilee quilt, now resting for a few days while the aforementioned baskets occupy my hand quilting hoop.   At this point ten of the thirteen sunflowers are quilted, along with a LOT of the flying geese.  This has been a relaxing evening project, and I'm loving hand quilting through the Hobbs Heirloom wool batting.  

I'm planning to add more quilting in the sunflower background fabrics, as in the green/red block below.  Will need to take this to quilt ministry next week to get the stencils drawn on each block.  So much easier to mark and pin quilts on the tables we raise on bed risers than to break my back trying to do that chore at home.

As I'm hand quilting and looking at my stitches, I recall a blog post some time ago, I think it was from Barbara Brackman on one of her blogs, where she said a quilt looked "as if it was stitched with an aging hand."  Yeah, I can identify with that, and that's what this quilt will be named when I get around to a label "Stitched with an Aging Hand."  Perfect!

And just because I'm itching to do some machine work, this is the fourth quilt slated for a hopefully quick finish.
Shown here as the nearly completed flimsy, it's now under the Janome's needle.  This one I'm planning triple lines of walking foot stitching within each of the triangles, nothing fancy.  This will probably end up with one of the grandkids at some point although I am loving it, so maybe not right away.

Then, there's this project I've been working on at quilt ministry for the past few weeks. Now at home clinging desperately to the design wall as I try to come up with a final arrangement for the blocks.
Those blocks in the left column are taped and pinned in an attempt to see what's happening.  And this is not the final layout.  The off-center layout isn't pleasing to my eye in this instance so I'm planning to move things around to a more symmetrical arrangement.  No hurry with this one, at least until the design wall is needed for something new.  And it always is needed for something new, isn't it?!

My evening companion as I sit in my recliner and hand quilt (or try to, lol!)

Sammy celebrated his first birthday this past week.  Based on his age when he wandered into our barn, he was born around the middle of September last year.  Now he's a big boy at 10.3 pounds, full of mischief and fun, and keeps Gibbs on his toes.  They get along wonderfully most of the time, at least until Sammy has enough roughhousing and wants to go outside to hunt grasshoppers or nap on the porch chairs.

Though I really wasn't out squirrel-hunting, a few weeks ago Nann at With Strings Attached offered up a couple of completed quilt tops she had found at her church's rummage sale.  Thinking ahead to next year's church camp auction, I added my name to the giveaway and she sent these two gorgeous tops. thanks Nann!

This lovely queen size (86x86) top is beautifully sewn with machine embroidered/appliqued flowers, and is the type of traditional style that always sells well at the auction.  
After a lot of searching online I did find a wide backing fabric with suitable soft colors, though more modern appearing, for this top.  Looking forward to quilting this one sometime after the new year.

The second is much smaller, wall hanging size, and equally expertly sewn and machine embroidered. I sure hope I can do justice to both tops.  They will be donated to next year's camp auction.

A closer look at one of the embroidered embellishments:

With all this going on there's no mini quilt made this month, but hopefully when the "big four" are finished I can get back into the routine.  In the meantime, I hope to have some colorful fall photos in my next post.  Fall is progressing in fits and starts it seems.  A couple weeks ago we saw no hummingbirds at the feeder for over a week, thought they had departed on their southward migration, but thankfully left the feeder out for any stragglers.  The past few days we've seen a couple again, though not as frequently as during the summer months.

The Only winter squash we harvested from our garden!  This has been a terrible growing year, and it seems many of the seeds we purchased that did germinate either produced nothing at all, or sent out something totally unrelated to the package label.  Very discouraging, but we're fortunate to have a large farm stand in a rural crossroads hamlet a few miles north of our nearest shopping center that has fabulous prices.  We filled the van a couple weeks ago and plan a return trip tomorrow for more squash and apples and whatever else we can find.  The winter squash sell for 2 for $1, and the spaghetti and butternut squashes are huge, each one yielding at least 6-8 servings.  Thankfully we both love squash!

If you're still with me, thanks for reading!  Happy Stitching!


  1. Great Post! I was interested to hear you were quilting three quilts at the same time. Your are very ambitious to do that. The 365 quilt is lovely and will be a treasure. The basket quilt is so delicate and pretty. The sunflower quilt is amazing! Love the colors in this one. I love the picture of your cat on the back of your chair. It could be a framed photograph on the wall. Sorry you didn't get more squash in your garden but it sounds like the local fruit stand is taking care of you. You hand quilting is wonderful aging or not.

  2. I loved seeing all your beautiful projects! My favorite is the sunflowers - they are just gorgeous with all those different colors. I had to laugh about your reaction to my posting of those Christmas fabrics - they are indeed wonderful and I look forward to seeing if you ultimately decide to get them :). Have a great week!

  3. Love the first picture of your flowers. So beautiful. Three huge quilts to hand quilt is quite a challenge. I should get back to hand quilting too. I love the name Stitched with an Aging Hand. I can also relate to that. The tops from Nann are wonderful. Love the colours in your Log Cabin quilt. My garden didn't produced much either. We got 4 cucumbers so far and I might get some carrots. ;^)

  4. I am new to your blog. It is always nice to find a new hold out blogger, as so many have fallen away in favor of Instagram. I am loving seeing all of your quilts and hearing your plans. Your Diamond Jubilee is especially lovely. Happy Fall!!

  5. Oh my, what a post! You are on a roll with your "to finish" list. Love your Quilty 365. And, I wouldn't worry about how long it has been. I have seen several recent posts of people just finishing up theirs. It was such a fun sew-a-long, I'm thinking of doing it again! I love the term, "quilted with aging hands" - we've earned it!! I am looking forward to seeing your Christmas quilt. I too love Julie Paschkis fabric. Her designs remind me of Ivan Bilibin's illustrations of Pushkin's poetry. I hope I can resist buying anything new this Fall, but....

  6. I love the colors in that log cabin quilt. Sammy is so cute….and so lucky to have found a good home. We too have barn cats that have become house cats. Carol in Texas

  7. Wow! You are going to be busy! I love all of the quilts but especially the Diamond Jubilee and the Quilty 365! Our growing year was strange this year too. Some things didn't come up or did very sparsely. Hardly any beans, corn, but the zucchini and tomatoes did well. Looking forward to next year! Jan in MA

  8. You are a girl on a mission. Love the "big four". Finishing up so many at one time really takes perseverance. You'll be dancing for joy to so many finished and ready to use. I can't believe how big your circle quilt ended up. Whew!

  9. What a wonderful post! Love that you are working on so many projects to get them to the finish line. Your Quilty 365 is one huge quilt. And you are hand quilting it except for the borders? Our zucchini and squash didn't do very well this year and neither did the tomatoes. Oh, well. Next year we'll give it another try. The leaves are beginning to turn here, too. Love this time of year!

  10. I like the off-center arrangement of your log cabin blocks.

  11. So much going on, so many beautiful projects. I love the Baskets and especially your Jubilee quilt, it's fabulous. Your first and last still life photos are lovely. Nice table quilt underneath.

    Sammy DOES look just like the wooly ginger cat in my Silent Night. He is a beautiful color, peaches n cream!


  12. What lovely quilts, and the darling kitties! Beautiful autumn vignettes.

  13. So much fun to see all your current quilting projects! I'm cheering on your Quilty 365 progress. It was such a great challenge and produced so many wonderful quilts! I also appreciate seeing your Sunflower quilt; I still plan to tackle this project myself, so your progress helps keep me motivated! Can't wait to see what you do with the donated quilt tops. The bargello/embroidered one is beautiful!

  14. Oh, my--there is so much to love here! You have some incredible quilts that you are hand stitching. The Diamond Jubilee quilt is definitely a stunner! All of your hand quilting puts me to shame. The quilt in my hoop has been there for years. I really need to focus on it.
    I got a kick out of the cat photos. The first one would make great note cards. :)
    The tops you received from Nann are two beauties. Are you planning to hand or machine quilt them, or do a blend?
    I planted nothing this year except a couple of pots for the deck. First time in decades that I haven't grown veggies and annuals.

  15. So many wonderful projects on the go here! I love mixing machine quilting and hand quilting. Some quilts are really receptive to the mix and it makes the hand work seem even more worthwhile. Your quilty365 is enormous! I had totally forgotten. Kudos to you for hand quilting it at all! I am about ready to get mine out again for use on the bed. When theres less and less sunlight, its a joy to see on our bed.:)


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