Oct 28 2019

Exciting News

I have a new addition to my sewing room.

I have been thinking about getting the Simply Sixteen with the Little Foot Frame for the last 4 or 5 years. And every time I talked myself into buying one, I talked myself out again. But this time when I decided to do it, I did!

The frame takes up a little bit more room that I had anticipated, so I had to reorganize my sewing space. It is all good because I like my new layout even better than the old. I haven’t machine quilted a top yet, but that will be happening soon. From Thanksgiving Day until the end of the year, I plan to devote myself to machine quilting and see how many tops can be moved to finished quilts.

And speaking of quilt tops – the Space Invaders quilt hit a snag forcing a return to dry dock. The center of the quilt was completed, however the Space Invaders border fabric appears awkward and uninspired when placed next to the center.

After considering the matter for a couple of days, I decided that two issues were causing problems. The first is the direction of the colors. The border fabric has horizontal stripes and the center has vertical stripes. The second issue is the size of the designs on the Space Invaders fabric – they are too small.

My solution is to have the Space Invaders fabric become the accent instead of the border fabric. This change means a LOT of unsewing and resewing, but I will be so much happier with the end result. Right now I don’t know what fabric I will use for the border, but I have some time before I need to make that decision. Once I have a couple of the strips converted from solid black to Space Invaders, I will post a picture.

Below is the second of four wallhanging that were made as gifts. Two grandchildren take piano lessons, so when I saw this pattern I knew just where it would go. The “Music is Life” is the beginning of a quote. The whole quote is printed on the label and reads “Music is Life – that’s why heart’s have beats”.

Happy Halloween,

Marlene

Sep 29 2019

Hello – I’m Back

I know that it has been awhile since my last post, however I do have some quilty projects to share.

First up, the Elephants on Parade quilt top is completed. I think the rings really showcase the elephants.


The next project was a wallhanging for a grandson to hang above his bookcases in his bedroom.

The name of this pattern is Mini-Bookshelf Quilt by Elizabeth Dackson and can be found at https://www.dontcallmebetsy.com/blog//2011/04/mini-bookshelf-quilt-tutorial.html

I made a change to the pattern by increasing the size of the bottom border so that I could add the words at the bottom. It was fun finding selvedges to use as book titles.

JP’s wallhanging is actually my second attempt of this pattern. The first time the background fabric for the leaning book was short. If you look close you can see the extra fabric added to the top right corner. Going with the philosophy of making lemonade, I turned it into a placemat.

I have a couple more finished quilt to show, but that will be for another day.

Happy Autumn,

Marlene

Jun 16 2019

Periscope

My Periscope quilt top – a free pattern on the Quilted Twins website – is completed.

I made quite a few changes to the pattern while constructing this top from recycled shirts. The first thing I did was scale the block sizes down to 3/4 size. The original pattern finishes at 100″ square which is way too big for me. My Periscope is 75″ square and contains multiple background fabrics (second change to the pattern).

Originally my plan was to go all scrappy, but after I had a few blocks on the design wall I decided it was too chaotic as shown below.

Continuing the background from the Shoofly block out into the Courthouse Steps block gives the top a calmer appearance and more interest. The next design change was to add Hourglass blocks to the center of the Courthouse Steps.

It took some attention to detail to make sure the background was positioned in the Courthouse Steps block correctly, but I think it was worth it. The final change was to the border – instead of piano key borders, I used larger rectangles.

I am glad that this quilt top is finished, but I will admit that it is not one of my favorites. If I was going to make it again with the intent to keep it for myself, I think that I would downsize the blocks again and use a scrappy two color combination. However at this time I have no plans to make another Periscope quilt.

The recycled shirts have been put away and now it is time to let the animals run free.

How do you build an elephant quilt? One stitch at a time.

Marlene

Jun 09 2019

Recycled Shirt Quilt Top

A recycled shirt quilt top was completed over Memorial Day weekend. I know – I am so behind in my blog that it isn’t even funny.

Anyway, the pattern that I used for this quilt top is called Stonehenge Square Dance by Kate Mitchell.

This isn’t the type of pattern that normally catches my eye and to tell the truth, I am unsure why I actually bought it in the first place. However I am very pleased with my recycled shirt version.

It is unusual for me to make a red, white & blue quilt, but it worked with the shirts that I had and was fun to do something different. The stronger contrast and scrappy border are two of my favorite things in my version of Stonehenge Square Dance.

Marlene

May 12 2019

Prettiest Flower in the Garden

Last Monday I took my youngest granddaughter to the Denver Botanical Gardens for her fourth birthday. I think she had fun, don’t you?

It was a beautiful day with a beautiful granddaughter.

On the quilting front – my projects are going slow, but some progress has been made. The binding and sleeve for Starry Night Hexies was sewn down

and all the hand-stitching was completed yesterday.

The machine stitching in the background is straight lines alternating up & down and across. It was slow going, but gave me practice with ruler work. I am glad that it is finished and very happy with the quilt.

May is the month for quilts from recycled shirts. My sewing room looks like a tornado went through, but hopefully it will all be under control by the end of the month. It is all my own dang fault, since I started two new recycled shirt projects to go along with the four already started. The goal is to have at least two quilt tops completed by the end of the month. We shall see how that works out.

Happy Mother’s Day

Marlene

Apr 28 2019

Kiss My Stash

Kiss My Stash is an applique kit that I received as a birthday present in 2015. After waiting patiently for four years, it finally became a quilt top last weekend.

I didn’t notice until I saw the picture on the computer screen, but the grid lines from the flannel design wall show through the quilt top.

The pattern is by Sandy Fitzpatrick at Hissyfitz Designs with a finished size of 22″ x 37″. I made three color changes to the design – the cat in the original pattern was brown, however all my cats are grey in memory of Gus. For the flange around the sign I found a piece of orange fabric with brown stripe to represent a measuring tape. I wasn’t all that interested in marking lines on a long piece of yellow strip as the directions said.

The third change was the hands. The pattern had red hands. Really, red hands? I found a nice tan batik in my stash that looks so much better – at least in my opinion.

Once the top is quilted, buttons will be added to the crown points and the shoes. This was such a fun project and makes me smile every time I look at her.

Happy Quilting,

Marlene

Apr 10 2019

Good Fortune HST Leftovers

The green turquoise HSTs leftover from the Good Fortune quilt were begging and pleading for attention, so I went hunting for a pattern. I found an Ocean Waves wallhanging in Editya Sitar’s book “Handfuls of Scraps” that would take care of those pesky HSTs. Editya’s wall hanging had 24 – 4 1/2″ unfinished blocks, but I decided to make as many blocks as I could with the triangles I had and that would determine the size of the wallhanging.

I should have taken a picture of the pile of triangles, but got caught up in making the blocks before it crossed my mind. The leftover triangles had to be trimmed down to 1 1/2″ unfinished, but once that was done the blocks went together very quickly. There were only 6 HSTs left after the 16 blocks were made.

Once the center was completed, I auditioned border fabric. My first idea was to use the light green turquoise batik with dots thinking of bubbles & ocean waves, but the light color dulled the quilt.

So then the two darkest fabrics in the wallhanging were auditioned. I decided on the top fabric for the borders and the fabric on the left for the binding.

The top and machine quilting was completed on Saturday, so Sunday morning I added the sleeve and binding. It finished at 18″ square which is a perfect size for my quilt hanger.

The colors are bright and vibrant in my dining room while is snows outside. Who else is ready for spring?

Marlene

Apr 06 2019

More Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler Blocks

Sit back with a cup of coffee and view the next batch of SBS blocks.

D-10
G-3
G-7
J-1
J-2
J-3
J-5
K-2
N-2
N-4
N-7
N-8

I am looking at the silver lining – I didn’t meet my goal of 31 SBS blocks in March, but am very happy with the 25 that did get made. That makes a total of 77 blocks completed with 67 left to go. Officially the center is over 53% finished. Yeah!

Maybe I will devote another month later in the year to more SBS blocks, but for now I will be work on some smaller projects.

Marlene

Mar 22 2019

Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler Update

I will start off with a warning – the next couple of blog posts may be boring! My goal is to make 31 SBS blocks in March, so there will be a lot of pictures of sampler blocks.

D-9
F-4
F-10
G-10
I-2
J-4
J-9
K-1
L-3
L-6
N-5

When all 31 blocks are completed, it should bring my total of finished blocks to 83. That will be over half of the blocks needed, but still leave 60ish to make. Just whose idea was it to make a Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler quilt – oh yeah, mine.

Sampler quilts are not my favorite style of quilt to make, so I can’t understand why I have so many sampler quilt patterns in my library. I just need to remember that the tortoise won the race and as long as I keep moving forward eventually it will be finished. Does anyone else have such mixed feelings about sampler quilts?

Marlene

Mar 16 2019

HQ Machine Cover

Five or six months ago I decided that I wanted to make covers for my sewing machines and first up was the HQ Sweet Sixteen. After much online research, I found a great tutorial at Quilt Kisses.

Since my machine is a sit-down model, I did make a few changes. Instead of an open back with a velcro closing, I sewed the back pieces together since it is too difficult to reach behind the machine. Also the bottom of my cover has a hem instead of a binding.

It does look a bit puffy from the side, however it does a great job of keeping the dust off. The next cover will be for my serger, although I have no idea when that will be.

Have a good weekend everyone,

Marlene