Wednesday, August 10, 2022

One more finish for the camp auction

 Another month has gone by and I'll admit it's been difficult finding time for anything but the absolute necessities of life of late.  And it's tomato canning season already.  Despite an abysmal start, having covid and Lyme right at planting season and never having a chance to weed the garden plot, our tomatoes and peppers are thriving and the romas are outdoing themselves with big beautiful fruit, the best we've seen.  I guess benign neglect can have its benefits, lol!

There is one small finish to write about, can I call this my August mini?

The little Asian quilt was completed last week. I wish I could say that I'd pieced and machine embroidered the top, but it came to me from Nann at With Strings Attached who had gotten it along with some completed quilts at a rummage sale. I decided to lightly hand quilt this one since machine quilting designs eluded me and didn't want to have to rip out any big ugly mistakes.  Maybe one case where hand quilting was probably faster than by machine!  And it was fun to quilt this on the floor hoop, a little bit every afternoon for a couple weeks.  Finished size 35x35 inches.

The backing and binding fabric:

In the floor hoop now is the circus baby quilt, though it remains untouched.  And for evening quilting with the hand-held hoop when the temperature allows is this log cabin top:

Also have begun working on Lori's (Humble Quilts) historic panel challenge.  Keeping it simple hopefully so it can be completed by the November deadline. Thought I had a few photos of the big pile of red, cream and blue pieces pulled from the scrap bins and now cut up, but you'll have to wait until something more is stitched onto this piece to see the glorious mess!

We've had a bit of rain in the past week and the cold front that came through late yesterday brought us a cooler night with much lower humidity.  So appreciated.  Hope all is well with each of you.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Puffins and Penguins is a Finish

It seems like I've been away from blogging for a long time,  and I guess it has been.  Recovery from covid and Lyme disease took quite a bite out of my energy level, and that is still not where it was before they struck.  But I'm finally back to doing a bit of quilting and have finished another donation quilt destined for the annual camp benefit auction.  

"Puffins and Penguins" - the second edition of black and white triangles finished at 72x72 inches.  I'm thinking of billing it as an I-Spy Quilt for All Ages, there's a lot going on in many of the prints.  I do like working with the equilateral triangles, though when cutting directional fabrics every other cut results in an upside down pattern.  Not really a detriment though since if the quilt is flipped around on the bed, there's always a lot of prints that read right side up.  

I think I prefer seeing it with the black triangles pointing up, don't know why.  

There are a few older prints in  this, dating likely to the 1990s, though I think most are newer.  I think that little medical/stuffed animal print in the top row in the above photo might be the oldest one. You can probably spot it if you enlarge the photo.

I really lost interest in the hand quilting project started early this year.  It sits on the table next to the recliner untouched now for several months.  Not sure why because I really liked this little top.  Thinking maybe it's time to set it aside for a bit and pick up something else for evening hand quilting.  

Yesterday I dug out this small top I received last fall and found a backing fabric and got it pinned and put into the floor stand hoop.  Finally, I'm finding joy in hand quilting again!  Nothing fancy, just some curving lines to hold things together.   The beauty of this top is in the piecing and machine embroidered motifs. Working on it in the afternoon when the light is good. This will also go to the camp benefit auction this year.  At 35 inches square I should have it finished soon.  

This is the entire quilt top:

As I pinned this it felt like the quilting would be difficult as most of the fabrics are batiks and the backing fabric is slightly heavier than usual.  But thankfully the needle is going through surprisingly easily, one stitch at a time.  Really happy I chose to hand quilt this rather than attempt to figure out a good machine quilting design for it.

The garden is growing, especially the weeds of course.  Some critter came by and ate our first banana pepper plus most of the plant.  We have cucumbers almost ready for harvest, thankfully there are plenty of prickly leaves protecting them.  Tomatoes will likely begin ripening in August and hopefully we'll have jalapeno and banana peppers for the salsa we like to can.  Blueberries are ripening now, we'll freeze any that aren't eaten immediately.  Gibbs loves to wait while I pick them and chow down on the less than perfect ones.  He would probably eat them right off the bushes, except these are very old and large bushes now and the berries are all too high for him to reach (thankfully).

I'll leave you with the prettiest blooms we have right now.  A couple years ago Barbara from Cat Patches sent me a few seeds from her purple poppy plants.  Her plants did not survive for a second year, sadly, so I didn't expect much when I planted the seeds last spring.  We had a few rather scrawny plants that each had one blossom and that was it.  Well, those few blossoms cast their seeds all alongside our back porch and we ended up with these beauties this summer.  This is at the northeast corner of the house, getting only an hour or so of sun each day, with a lot of snow and ice all winter.  Unlike the red poppies, these apparently don't like full sun.  Who knew?!  

Full moon this week.  I love when the nights are clear and the moon shines in the bedroom windows. Somehow sleep comes easier under the light of the moon, and that's where I'm headed soon.

P.S. Blogger is suddenly not allowing me to reply to individual comments on the blog post page, so if I do not have an email address for you I may not be able to reply.  But, I appreciate your comments whether from old blogging friends or those of you who might be visiting for the first time.  Thank you!

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Of Quilts and Flowers

 We finally had a day or two of sunshine between long spells of rain and gloom.  Yesterday was a beautiful day for wandering about the yard a bit and taking some photos of this smallish finish.

Finishing at 57x60 inches, a good snuggling size but not too big for a youngster to carry along for a backyard picnic and playtime.  This will be going into our donation bins at quilt ministry next week.  

Poppies have finally begun to bloom.  Everything seems late this year, probably due to the dank and cold weather we've had.  

This quilt was born of a big pile of 2-1/2 inch leftover squares from who-knows-how-many other quilts from the past ten or so years. The maroon alternate blocks are from a piece bought online several years ago in a failed attempt to match some solid fabric that was running short.  It finally found its home here.

I don't think I've posted since before the holiday weekend.  We had a grand time with the grandkids, though they unfortunately brought along an unwelcome visitor, and we tested positive for covid a couple days after they left.  Granddaughter developed a sore throat the second evening here, and though they left for home the following morning it was too late.  Most of their family now has the dreaded plague, though everyone had been vaccinated and boosted.   We are now in recovery mode, only the lingering fatigue and occasional dizziness remaining.  But, and you know there's always a "but" - I probably also have contracted lyme disease.  Seems I'm a bit of a tick magnet this year, having been bitten three times in the past month.  This last one has produced the red bulls-eye telltale sign.  So, off to the doctor I'll go on Monday to see if this is the real deal.  Hopefully they will just call in an antibiotic script and that will be that.  Always something it seems.

Anyhow, back to the quilt - when it came time for binding, I had in mind something multicolored with pink or purple.  But, knew I didn't have the energy to pull all the bins from the closet to find something. Opened the closet and there right on top were two cut-offs from the backing of the purple quilt shown in my previous post.  Serendipity I tell you!  Not only that they were wide backing pieces - nice and long - and only two lengths plus a bit more accomplished the binding.  Yay for keeping things simple.

The hayfield in the background is now well over waist-high and prime for cutting.  We've not heard from our local farmer who cuts and takes the hay each year.  They are pretty much subsistence farming guys, and I'm sure are having difficulty finding the money for diesel fuel in this economy.  We've noticed a number of fields along our road that have always been planted are lying fallow this year. Hard times are coming, way beyond the imagination of the younger generations I'm afraid.

So, what else is blooming out in the yard?  A few peonies have begun to open.

And the gentian put out its first blooms yesterday.

The rain toppled our favorite iris but I was able to salvage part of the bloom for the little bouquet on the bistro table.

The porch is abloom with hanging baskets, always a welcome springtime treat that lasts all summer long.

One final photo for Lizzy, the quilt sloppily slouched across the garden bench we found at the local second hand shop, with the pillow covers stitched from someone's cast off home dec fabric from the early 2000s.  Just a bit of clashy boho madness ...

If you're still here, thanks for rambling along with this cloudy covid-brain.  Next time will be better ...

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

May's One Finish!

 Welcome to my merry month of May blog post, complete with a finished quilt to show you! 

This sweet vintage, almost Victorian looking quilt is a big one, finishing at 94x86.5 inches.  The top came to me from Nann of With Strings Attached who had found it in a group of finished quilts at a rummage sale last fall.  She subsequently offered it as a giveaway, and graciously donated it to our quilt ministry.  It will be heading to our local Christian camp auction over Labor Day weekend.  Thank you Nann!

I don't know when the top was pieced, but another member of our quilt ministry said she began her first quilt about 1983 and used the same green leaf print that is found in this one. I will say the creator of this quilt top had some serious piecing skills.  This was about the most perfectly stitched quilt top I've ever seen, all seams matching, neatly pressed down, and the outer edge serged.  The little Drunkard's Path blocks that make up the entire quilt measure 4 inches square.  The flowers and leaves are machine embroidered appliques, also beautifully done.   

I dithered for a long time how I was going to quilt this and finally decided an all-over meander of some type would be about the best I could do.  So, my go-to leaf and loopy thing predominates in the quilting.  Never have been very good at an all-over design and tend to work myself into a corner and need to break thread and start again a lot more than should happen.  Oh well, it's finished and ready to go as soon as a label is attached.

This very modern Michael Miller wide back became the reverse side.  It turned out to have more pink than purple, but I do like it and it hides the little erratic stitches and some slight tension issues that occurred occasionally.  

We will be having kids and several grands here for Memorial Day weekend, and the sewing room floor will be covered wall to wall with sleeping bags and 'tween gear.  I doubt any sewing will be accomplished for the rest of the month but it will be a wonderful break from the usual.  Warm sunny weather is currently forecast and I suspect there will be fossil hunting and dam building along the creek. Good times!  

Til next time, happy stitching and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, April 29, 2022

April's Monthly Minis

 This month's mini is actually five small pieces, three are full size 12x16 inch placemats, a smaller perhaps luncheon size placemat, and a hot dish mat or mug rug.

These are mostly leftover pieces from my Marrakesh quilt of a few years back.  After piecing all the 2-1/2 inch squares and assembling the larger mats, the remaining small bits were randomly pieced into rows for the mug rug.  Some leftover less-than-a-fat-quarter size pieces make up the bindings.

I had this piece that was just large enough (with some seaming) to make the backing for all the mats.

Another swiffer box of scraps emptied, but why does the scrap pile in the corner of the room keep growing??

After two lovely 80 degree-plus days early this week, we've had a day of snow and this morning there was snow on the deck and a cold north wind blew all day, though the sun shone brightly.  We've covered the iris plants tonight as our low temp is expected to be in the low 20s.  Brr!

I hope it is warm and sunny where you are!  Please check out Wendy's blog at The Constant Quilter to enjoy more monthly minis.

Monday, April 25, 2022


The seasons change, and so too the seasons of life.   Quilting is slowing as other demands on time and energy for caregiving for my sweet DH increase.  I'm still enjoying reading your blog posts in the quiet moments, though you'll have to forgive me if I don't always comment.  

Over the past couple months I have been able to complete two simple quilt tops, both will eventually become donation quilts through our little ministry.  This first one used up a bunch of 2-1/2 inch squares that had accumulated in the bottom of my "work box" that travels back and forth to our meetings, and was completed entirely during our weekly get-togethers over the past several weeks.  The top measures 56-1/2 x 60 inches.

When I made the "Black Magic" triangle quilt last year, there were quite a few leftover triangles and I knew there would be another one for donation to the yearly camp auction.  One of the names suggested for the first version was "Puffins and Penguins" though that quilt contained neither.  So I scouted out some penguin fabric, and when I won a recent giveaway from Sally at Objects of Design I asked for a square of puffin fabric if she had any, and she responded with several swatches of sweet little puffins. Thank you Sally!  The new quilt flimsy will be "Puffins and Penguins" and it measures 73x73 inches.

Shown in all its rumpled glory on the guest bed since the critters are all shedding their winter fur and this is the only room that remains relatively fur-free at the moment.

There are all sorts of wild and sassy animals and other wonderful I-Spy things in this top!

Have I exhausted my enjoyment of making these triangle quilts? Nope!  When our lives become more normal again, I'd love to make a Panama Pyramids quilt, maybe using some Kaffe Fassett pieces I've been accumulating. For now at least, I think black and white "might" be out of my system.

There might be a mini project at the end of the month, just the binding left to add if time permits.  If we are fortunate enough to have some good weather several of the kids and older grands are going to have a work party outside to help clean up all the branches, rocks, logs and other debris on the property left from last winter's windstorms and floods.  We surely need the help, and soon, the grass is growing gangbusters after our warm 70-80s weekend.  On a happy note, the daffodils have begun to bloom!

Til next time, happy stitching.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Book and Quilt Sale for Ukraine refugee relief

 The plight of the people of Ukraine has been heavy on my heart these past few weeks.  Since I've been (hopefully temporarily) unable to do any kind of quilting tasks due to extreme joint inflammation in my thumbs and wrists, it seemed like a good time to weed out some hand quilting books and offer them to you, along with a quilt I hopefully began several years ago but which I will never be able to complete given my thumb joint issues.

My plan is to donate the proceeds from this sale to Quilted Twins who are so generously forwarding 100% of all donations directly to Poland where they are used to purchase much needed items directly for both refugees currently in that country as well as being sent across the border into Ukraine.  You can read more about their efforts via Becky's blog here.

First, the books.  My plan is to ship all books via priority mail.  If you purchase multiple books I will  combine the shipping costs to try to give you the best rate.  Shipping is only within the continental United States for all items.

The price of each book is a $10.00 donation plus shipping cost.  I will accept a check or money order. Please leave a comment letting me know which book(s) you would like.  If you're not a regular commenter, be sure to include your email address in your comment so that I have a way to contact you!





Next is the quilt I am selling.  I purchased the vintage top online several years ago intending to hand quilt it for donation to our local church camp benefit auction.  The quilt measures 113" x 91" and is in excellent condition.  The top was completed by an Ohio Mennonite quilter and was sold at her estate auction.  It is marked for quilting including the borders and sashings!  I added batting and backing fabric, and it is pinned and ready for the quilting to be completed.  I started the quilting in one block as shown.  Along with the quilt you will receive 7 spools of Presencia No. 8 thread purchased for the leaves around the 12 hand-appliqued/embroidered blocks. Also included will be the provenance I received from the online seller.

Asking $100 plus shipping for this amazing quilt-in-progress.  Please note that shipping within the continental United States will be expensive for this item due to the oversize box needed to accommodate the bulkiness.  I hesitate to try using a vacuum-shrink type bag for this since it is pinned and I'd hate to risk any rips occurring.  Best-guess estimate for shipping via the postal service is between $25-65.00 depending on your location, UPS is even higher.  If you live within driving distance from my location in western NY, I'll be happy to arrange local pickup.


Not sure if the leaves around the hand appliqued/embroidered flowers were meant to be embroidered.  I chose to big stitch hand quilt them as shown below to cover the printed outlines, using the included Presencia thread.   This is the only block that has any quilting thus far.  I used regular white cotton quilting thread for a bit of outlining within the flower itself before I had to give up on the project due to my arthritis issues.

The backing fabric:

Leave me a comment if you have any questions or are interested in any of these items!  Have a great weekend!