Friday, December 30, 2016

Step 5 and 6, BKH Mystery

There has been lots of time to sew this week.  We had our Family Christmas on Monday, so the week was short, but uneventful.  I finished the mystery step 5 on Tuesday;
Easy, peasy HST's

     Then, step 6 went live this morning.  I read thru the instructions and thought "no problem".  I didn't buy the Essential Triangle tool because I have the Easy Angle and Companion Angle and have used it before.  I really didn't want to learn another method when I was familiar with this one (she said so confidently).  So here was the first one I made.  Notice anything?  Check out the ruler at the top.  Have you ever seen a 6-1/2" unit in a Bonnie quilt?  Neither have I.

Apparently I don't have the memory of a 20 year-old any longer.  I remembered the 3-1/2" measurement and cut my strips that size and used that size on the CA ruler.  Wrong!!  The unfinished hourglass is 3-1/2".  Luckily, I had only cut four blocks, but had cut enough strips to make all of them.  By the way, the purple is my green.  You thought I'd goofed again, didn't you?  Here are the correct units.
They are sure cute. 

     We are almost there.  I keep playing with the units, trying to guess how they will go together.  It won't be long before the big reveal.  

    Here is what I have started in between mystery clues.  There has been a lot of internet chatter about organizing and cleaning sewing rooms and I knew mine had some problem areas.  This being the major one.

This is my Civil War stash.  I cleaned all of the fabric out of my Dear Jane project box (no idea when I will get back to that) and now it won't fit in the bin.  I've been working on folding and sorting, but it will require another bin.  That is one of my goals for 2017, to use some of those CW fabrics.  There must be six or seven quilts in that stack. The open box on the shelf below holds all French General fabrics.  That needs to become a quilt also.  
What are your goals for 2017?  What quilts are on your 2017 list?  

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Greetings of the Season, 2016

If you have snow or if you don't, if you celebrate Christmas or if you don't, please enjoy the season with those you love.  

Monday, December 19, 2016

Clue 4, BKH Mystery

Linking up today with Quiltville

     I can't believe I'm keeping up with these mystery clues.  Are this year's clues easier or am I getting more proficient after doing them for three years?  I can remember getting my first look at one of Bonnie's books and thinking "I would never be able to do that".  And I did struggle with the first one, Grand Illusion, and didn't like it when I finished.  Then, in September 2015, my guild sponsored two Bonnie workshops and a trunk show and I've never looked back.  I'm saying all of this and hoping I won't be eating these words on Friday when the next clue goes live.  Meanwhile, here is Clue 4, as well as Clue 3, since I didn't do a post last week.  I'm only doing half until I see how it comes together and substituting blues for purples.

     After the second clue was posted, those of us in the guild that are doing the Mystery, had a Launch Party.  It had a French theme and we were all given berets to wear for the day.  Here is our picture.

     It was a lot of fun.  Gina is doing weekly emails with everyone's progress, so it keeps us all on track.  Our picture even made Bonnie's blog this morning!  (That's me on the left, with the green beret').  
    Some other sewing is going on in-between mystery quilt clues.  I'm making some placemats from the beautiful Holly Taylor collection, Town Square.

And one of this year's UFO's came out to play!  Here's the flimsy.

If I get it done this week, I will gift it to the two granddaughters.  They have a new kitten and will appreciate the cats playing with the ornaments.  This was a panel from a quilt store close out sale many years ago.  I think it was $3.99.  
     And finally, here's the reason I've had a pretty productive week.
See all of those icicles?!  We had freezing rain and sleet on Friday, then snow on Saturday, with below zero temperatures all week-end.
   I just kept on stitchin'!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

BKH Mystery, Step 1 and 2

     I hope to link up with Quiltville ( and ( tomorrow, so here is a post about my Step 1 and 2.  I am only making 1/4 of the blocks so keeping up easily.  I figure I can always enlarge later.
Step 1 , I'm using scrappy neutrals.

Step 2.  This red fabric has languished in my stash for years.
I think it came from a guild silent auction or stash sale.  I have no idea how old it is.  

My Christmas decorating is done and this is my newest addition. 
 I finished this quilt just in time to decorate the guest bedroom.  Love this fabric!  It is Richmond Reds from Barbara Brackman.  

Happy December!  We had our first snow this morning.  
Looks like a sewing day to me.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

FMQ a Poinsettia

    My current project is a large quilt from a Missouri Star pattern called Quatrefoil.  It calls for a layer cake and I used Barbara Brackman's Richmond Reds collection.  It is predominately reds and greens, but doesn't really scream Christmas.  The biggest decision I make when machine quilting is deciding on a design.  Once that hurdle is overcome, I enjoy the process.  I browsed my reference book of quilting designs and decided on an adaption of a poinsettia design, adapted to my limited skills in the machine quilting department.  I think it could be used for most block designs, especially anything that is basically a 9-patch type.

The first step is to mark a circle in the center.

Here is the template set that I use.

Begin stitching at the top of the circle, stitching a pointed petal shape to the outer margins of the design, returning to the circle.  Stitch on the circle to the next petal location.  There will be gaps in the stitching line along the circle, but we will pick them up later.  Continue around the circle until you have stitched 8 evenly spaced petals.

To stitch the shorter bracts, follow the previous stitching line about halfway up the petal, then stitch another pointed shape, meeting the stitching line on the next petal, and following it back to the center circle.  Stitch along the circle until you reach the next petal and repeat the process.  This will fill in the rest of the circle stitching.

After all of the bracts are completed, move into the center of your circle (without lifting your needle) and stitch pebbles to fill the center.  I stitched one row around the perimeter of the circle, then stitched the center ones.  This seemed to push the fullness toward the center, making the pebbles stand out against the stitching.  I backstitched on the last pebble and cut my threads.  

Here is a completed one against all reds.  I think it shows up a little better. 
    My quilt has 30 blocks, so I have stitched a lot of poinsettias.  I'm ready for the Christmas season.
    Hope your Thanksgiving Day includes a little stitching.

Monday, November 14, 2016

November Activities

    Since the first day of November, I have been moving piles of fabric around the sewing room trying to decide on my choices for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery.  Currently, these are my choices.  That burgundy is well aged, so I especially would like to use it for my constant.

     I seldom use Bonnie's exact colors because brights just don't do much for my antiques and primitive decor.  I saw a Civil War fabric selection that was really pretty, so won't settle on anything until I pull some of those to look at first.  
     Our guild meeting was last week and it was the collection day for the quilts we are donating to the Baby Grace program.   You may remember that I have been making crib quilts from the monthly Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors.  Here is the selection that I took to the meeting.  

I kept two of my favorites for any baby gifts I might need and gave my neighbor a choice for a grandchild she has coming in December.  The parents never want to know the gender ahead of time, so she took a boy quilt and the only girl quilt I made.  (Just couldn't resist the pink and green month.)
Here is the pile of quilts that the Baby Grace representative took with her.  I think there were a few added after I took this pic.

As I remember, there were 41 donated.  This program is sponsored by the Methodist Church, so they plan to hang them in the church for awhile before they are distributed.  As you can imagine, I'm very proud of our members.  We plan to continue supporting this program next year, so I will probably be making more, although I don't think I will attempt one a month next year.  I have some UFO's that I should have finished this year, but they got pushed aside to make room for finishing the crib quilts.  
I'm going to dig one of those out this week and see what I need to do to finish.  
PS.  Hooking up today with SoScrappySaturday on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Monday, October 24, 2016

RSC October 2016

     The RSC colors this month were yellow and orange.  Those colors don't lend themselves too well to Civil War repos, but I could interpret the yellow by using cheddar and found a red shading to rust for the orange.  Those Father's Choice blocks make up so pretty in almost anything.  

     The Baby Grace donation quilt was a no brainer.  I have had a yard of this adorable bunny fabric for quite a while and was dying to use it.  There were also those little 4-patches lying around, yellow with polka dots, that went with it so well, so a simple design was born.  Is this called double 4-patch? Not sure, but it worked and used up those orphan 4-patches, as well as the bunny fabric.  I have some yellow thread to quilt it.  That will be fun.  

    Sorry, forgot to crop this photo.  You get to see my messy design wall.  
I'll be linking this post to SoScrappy.  Hop on over there (get it?) for some quilty inspiration.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

RSC September 2016

It's time to report on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for September.  The colors this month were rose red and yellow.  Since I'm making crib and toddler quilts for boys for a local charity, I chose to go with more of a primary red.  This is bricks and cobblestones from the Bonnie Hunter free patterns on her web site and went together really quick.  The yellow in the 4patches is Kona (Daffodil, I think).  A lot of the Reds were from a scrap bag I bought at a local quilt shop.  See the St. Louis Cardinals fabric?

I had lots of bricks left for another project and would certainly make this again.
My red scrap bin would barely close before I started.  Look how neat is is now!

And here are my Fathers Choice blocks from CW fabrics for my quilt I will keep. 
I will link up with So Scrappy for the show and tell.  We get a new color on Oct. 1., so must get this one finished.  I need to 
Keep on Stitchin'

Monday, September 26, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival

     At the last minute I decided to enter a couple of quilts in the online quilt festival over at Amy's Creative Side. There are some beautiful quilts to browse through, so hop on over and vote for your favorite. 
 I am entering Allitare in the Free Motion Quilting category.

And my Blue Orange Peel in the appliqué category.
There is lots of eye candy, I know you will enjoy the show.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Nine Patch Swap

     One of my favorite Quilt Guild activities is swapping stuff, any kind of swapping; strips, charms, blocks.  Our Swap Queen, Gina plans our swaps and they vary by the month and year.  We do some type of fabric swap every month and then do a block swap over a period of time, six months or a year. Currently, we are doing tiny (3-1/2") Civil War nine patches and little red/white blocks.  Last year, we did 6-1/2" scrappy nine patches in Autumn colors and I brought 80 blocks home at the end of the year.  Wow!  What a bonanza!  They have inspired lots of Internet and magazine browsing, looking for different ideas for using them.  I finally settled on Sisters Choice, a free pattern on the Bonnie Hunter website. My plan was to make it for a donation quilt, but I love it so much that it may have to live with me awhile before moving on.
All of the setting fabrics came from stash, some of it well-aged.  The star point fabric was originally purchased at a quilter's estate sale, so I'm sure it was well-aged too.  The sawtooth border was constructed from the bonus triangles from the sew and flip star points.  I still have more of those to use in another project.

Editing this post:
      We are having some beautiful weather here in Missouri.  Last week, while picking up our mail, I decided to take the Sister Choice along.  There's not much color in the leaves yet, but I found this fence rail to stage it for a photo.
  It's all finished and ready for the quilt show next week.

     With that quilt finished, I decided to have some fun with experimenting with a new technique.  New to me anyway.  
     I've had this book for awhile, and have been interested in trying this technique. I thought it would be fun to experiment with Halloween fabrics.
 You sew strips together into a tube, then slice into blocks, using the 90degree line on a ruler.
They look like a string block, but are much faster with no paper to tear off. The downside?  They have bias edges. So, out came the Best Press.  The instructions made an 11" block, but called for  42" strips.  Most of my scraps were from fat quarters, so I adapted the pattern and made strip sets with 4 strips instead of 8, avoiding a lot of wasted fabric.

     Now, what do do with those cute little blocks?  I found a panel in that scrap bin that someone had given me.  I had always liked it because of the dancing witches.  The little string blocks made a great side border and I soon had another flimsy to add to the TBQ (to be quilted) stack.
Often, my experimental blocks end up in the orphanage, so it was nice to have something to show for an afternoon's playtime.
The scraps got cut into these little pieced strips to use in something else.  What is my takeaway from this little experiment?  Not a good scrap buster, because it creates more scraps.  A quick method to make big blocks from WOF strips, like a jelly roll, but not as efficient for shorter strips.  Then there are those bias edges, which I dislike.  Will I use it again?  Probably not, but never say never.
Meanwhile, I'll keep on stitchin'.
PS;  I'm linking up with Cynthia at and Judy at today.  You'll find lots of fun there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

RSC August 2016

  My collection of Civil War blocks in the colors of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is growing, but as you can see, I didn't follow the suggested colors this month.  The colors were smoky purple or grey.  I had used my purples when it was assigned earlier, so didn't want to use it again.  I just chose some fabrics I hadn't used yet.  
     For my donation quilt, I had purchased this cute elephant fabric awhile back
and have been waiting to use it. ( Just watch, the September color will be red)  Anyway, I searched the strip bins for some reds and black/white scraps and made some framed nine-patches to go with my elephants.  Very simple, but some little guy should like it.
Here is the binding
   and the backing.  Now it goes into the TBQ pile, which really isn't too large.  I think this is #3 and they are all crib size.  
I probably won't link up with So Scrappy this time since I didn't use the assigned color.  Just in case there really is a quilt police department.