Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Another Mission (Almost) Accomplished!

I've slowly but surely been chipping away on my checkerboard blocks for the ThimbleCreek mystery quilt.
Once the units on the left are sewn, all 500 four patches will be finished--yay!
Of course, then the pressing begins.....
These will measure 1.5" when finished. 

At least my November UFO is finished!
It's quilted with an edge to edge design:
 Feather Feather using So Fine color 425. 

I had a nice big chunk of an old Thimbleberries print that I used on the back.
 It was nice not to have to do so much piecing for the backing. 

I think the Lozenges resemble a carpet of leaves and will make a nice autumn throw.
It feels so good to have another finished project--one more to go for 2015!

Image result for thanksgiving thankful images
What ever plans you have for Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful day and don't forget to count your blessings!
Linking with A Lovely Year of Finishes HERE

Sunday, November 22, 2015

What I'm Stitchin'

It's getting to be very cold outside!--perfect excuse for staying in and doing some stitching! This week we got our first snow (not very much) and Saturday morning, we woke up to an ice covered lake. It will be a while before the ice is thick enough to walk on though.
I finished the latest Buttermilk Basin block during an applique meeting at Colorz on Friday.... 

and now, since I'm finished with my Stars in the Garden for the time being, I needed a Slow Stitching project. I thought it would be a good idea to revisit Mrs. Billings--it's been too long!!

I have the four corner rosettes for Border Nine finished and when I have the 24 sets of rosettes needed for the rest of the border basted, I will start to assemble them. There's still Borders Five through Eight to deal with, but I'll think about that tomorrow--lol! 
Have a great day stitching!
Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sewing Test Lab

Just as I suspected--a bazillion checker board blocks are needed to finish the ThimbleCreek mystery. Well, not quite that many, but if you don't hear from me until sometime in December it will be because I'm sewing checkerboard blocks!
I have a couple new additions to my sewing supplies.
This is the new Clover Wedge. It has a very slim and pointy tip--perfect for pressing back applique edges.

Although I love the Rowenta travel iron, I am so over the constant need to replace them when they die. I've also stopped adding water to all of my irons, so I'm not bothered that this little iron doesn't steam. See...no vents!!

It has three heat settings, an indicator light and a side cord that doesn't get in the way (unless you are left handed, maybe?). It also stays on until you turn it off!

One drawback--the spray bottle that comes with the iron is about the size of a bottle of nail polish!

This is what I use to mist my fabrics--a re-purposed Best Press bottle.
 It's a lot more practical and saves lots of trips to the sink.

I showed these Primitive Gatherings triangle papers last week.
 I really didn't need them since I have a Triangulations CD, but I needed to use up some credit I had accumulated  at the quilt shop by the end of this year.
 I decided to compare the two versions and printed out the 3/4" size Triangulations on Carol Doak paper. 

The Primitive Gatherings package says the papers are specially designed for charm squares. You can see they barely fit on a 5"charm--in fact, since I starched the charms and they were slightly shrunken, I had to turn the fabric because it was too short in one direction.
The Triangulations has room to spare around the edges of the charms as the triangles are set next to each other rather than stacked as the PG triangles are.  

This is the back of the charms after sewing--Triangulations on the left, PG on the right.
The Triangulations are sewn in a criss cross fashion and the PG triangles are sewn in rows with a space between them. The instructions along the edge of the PG papers say to follow the arrows to stitch, but I was unable to find any arrows on my papers. There are little scissors the show the cutting lines.

I would say the ease of removing the papers is about equal if you use the Carol Doak paper for the Triangulaions.
My real concern is the seam allowance. The PG papers allow for an eighth inch seam. The Triangulations has a 3/16" allowance--not a huge difference, but if you have a fabric that ravels easily, an eighth inch could be a problem when you remove the papers.

Both of the papers created perfect little 3/4" half square triangles and this little basket went together like a breeze!
So...draw your own conclusions. 
The Primitive Gatherings papers do have that cute factor!

This isn't a new tool, but I had to give it a little love!
I'm so glad I remembered I had this Flip-n-Set tool to make setting triangles for one of my exchange block quilts. I didn't have yardage of this fabric--just strips left over from a quilt back. Instead of cutting my setting triangles from large squares, all of the math is worked out on this tool to be able to cut them from strips. 

It folds in half for easy storage. I guess it's a tool that isn't needed that often, but it's a life saver when you need it! I was able to get all my triangles cut from the two strips I had and it helped me use up some of that stash!!
Okay--back to those checkerboard blocks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Finding Tucker a Home...

You can find the instructions for Tucker HERE.
I made a few changes to my project:
I decided to use a thin piece of flannel as batting since I was doing some hand quilting. 
Also, my single fold bias binding was cut at 1.25" and I used a scant quarter inch seam to attach it. I think a narrow binding looks nice on small items and the single fold stays softer and "drape-y".
After a tea-dye treatment and a spin in the dryer, I used a fine grit sandpaper and lightly sanded over the top puckering and the binding edges--just enough to soften the look of the fabric and make it look a little "timeworn". It's very subtle. I learned about the sanding technique from my friend Anne and have done it on a couple other little quilts.
This Dutch doll quilt is the first project I sanded. It's not hugely noticeable, but does soften the fabrics. 
There's no batting, and there's a knife edge finish rather than binding on this one.

Once Tucker was finished, it was a hunt and peck mission to decide where to tuck him.
Maybe in the jug next to the chicken...
....or in the firkin by the the Crow...

...or hanging out with these Pie Birds..
...or tucked in the drawer under the rest of the Pie Birds...

...the Sandpiper has already claimed another Pam Buda Pocket Patchwork,  "Busy Work" , so Tucker can't go here...

...maybe in the Apple Bowl....

...or on the bookshelf with the cats...

.....I think Yo Yo Monkey wins---look at that smile--he loves it!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Stitching

How is it possible that November is already half gone and there are only 11 days until Thanksgiving--crazy!
I finished the hand stitching on Tucker.....

....and then tea dyed and sanded him. That's right--sanded!
I'll have more on Tucker later this week.

My Stars in the Garden has been all together for a while now as I ponder what to do next.
It's too big to frame (I used half inch papers rather than the quarter inch cited in the pattern). I've been thinking I should keep going and make it a throw, but I may have come up with a better idea--we'll see what happens!!

I'm back to working on this little project. I'm just doing a little hand quilting in the border and then I may tie it with tiny buttons--still up in the air about that--another "we'll see" situation.
I hope you find a little time to do some hand stitching today!
Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE

Slow Sunday Stitching

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Trunk Show!

Online Quilt Trunk Show | Whims And Fancies
 I thought it would be fun to participate in the Trunk Full of Quilts Parade at
And since it's an online show, I decided to do a little show of some of my online "Sew Along" quilts. 
A Country Threads Sew Along using homespun fabrics from my stash. 

A Lori Holt/Fat Quarter Shop Sew Along using mostly American Jane fabrics from my stash. 

Temecula Quilt Company Sew Along using a new bundle of Jo Morton Blue Variety.

The Sassy Quilter Triangle Sew Along using Minick and Simpson fabrics (from the stash--duh!)

Little Letters Sew Along from Temecula using up those scraps from Blue Variety.

Barbara Brackman Jane Austen Sew Along--stash burner!

Joe Wood's ThimbleCreek mystery Sew Along--more stash depletion!
SewCalGal  Red and White challenge using two of my favorite stashed fabrics--that was hard to cut into!
Yes--I am a huge sucker for Sew Along's. This coming year,  I am determined to try to cut down on that affliction and concentrate on getting my Works in Progress under control!
Check out the rest of the Trunk Show HERE

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Stitching

This week, I wanted to get caught up on my ThimbleCreek mystery blocks before the finishing instructions come out on Tuesday.
 But before I could do that, I had to get all the pieces for Stars in the Garden off my cutting table. I managed to get them sewn into three pieces--only two seams left to go!

Yesterday, I finally got a chance to work on the mystery blocks.
I'm pretty sure this will be a row quilt, but you never know. I do know that Joe loves checkerboards, so I won't be surprised if the finishing instructions include a bazillion of them!

I've already mentioned that I bought this little book (and the rulers)....

...so I had to pick up the triangle papers needed for the patterns in the book(designed to be used with charm squares)...

...and this big bundle of Miniature Gatherings that includes twelve cute shirtings!
You can see in the background that I also added several (four!)  yards of blue Grunge to the stash--it's the perfect shade of denim blue, so I had to have it!

Before I do any Little Gatherings sewing, I'll be finishing up my tiny Tucker. I'm doing a bit of hand quilting on it--it doesn't need much! 
Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE
Slow Sunday Stitching