Goodbye Baskets – Hello Civil War Bride (CWB)

Greetings from South Texas where we are in Spring Time!  I really missed the winter that was predicted – cold and rainy!  Oh well, try again next year.
Today I did a 10 hour push and finished the Basket of Scraps quilt now called Empty Purple Baskets!  I did not think I could stand another day of this quilt!  Ever feel like that when working on a project that could cause a quilter so many problems?  It feels good that I do not have to think about this one for a while maybe NEVER!  I am thinking that I may hand quilt this one someday!  I do not think it is show quality because there is minimal color movement in the quilt and I was not going to spend any more time on it appliquéing stems and leaves.  So the baskets are “empty”.

This is not the best picture of the quilt, I just wanted to take it and get this albatross off my design wall.  The quilt is now hanging on the “to be quilted rack”.  It may stay there a long time! Needless to say I am very disappointed in it!  The lavender background is overbearing but I chose that fabric in the throws of wasting my original fabric which was a pretty tone on tone!  Oh well, lessons learned ALWAYS do a practice block and if it does not come out right – throw the pattern away!  If I had not already completed 350 2″ 4 patches, I would have done that!

Empty Purple Baskets
Empty Purple Baskets

















Tomorrow I will be starting the preparation work for Civil Ward Bride – FINALLY after 4 years of wanting to do this quilt!  I am only 5 days behind schedule in getting 5 blocks prepared and ready for applique,  but who’s counting!  I have the Basket headache gone and it will be fun working on CWB!

Have a blessed day and am looking forward for Super Tuesday – There will be winners and losers – isn’t this fun?

Baskets of Scraps and Is it Summer or Spring here in South Texas!

The weather is lovely here in South Texas – we are now in Spring, birds singing, trees blooming, deer hiding out waiting for some February winter weather (none here) and no rain.  So I cannot imagine what summer will bring if I am already in shorts for the last 3 weeks!   Where is that crystal ball?  LOL

Here I am a week later thinking I would be caught up on all of my applique.   I have made some progress, but not as much as I wanted to.  I have completed 9 of the basket blocks (with appliqued handles) and 11 more to go.  As I placed the baskets on the design wall, I noticed that there is a space that really tends to stand out and I will have to figure out what to add that will make it look better.  It is almost a diamond, but then the top of the block below the first row stops that.   I am leaning toward adding stems and leaves in all of the baskets and especially something that will lap over into these spaces.   The baskets are not situation where they will end up in the quilt as they are randomly placed on the design wall as I finish each one.

9 Baskets
Baskets of Scraps

I have selected a beautiful dark purple batik that was originally purchased for another quilt, but it will add so much to this quilt.  When the blocks are complete they will be put away for a week and I will come back to the quilt to make a design decision on what to do with the basket background.

Monday and Tuesday are definitely off the calendar for quilting – we must make sure the doctors stay in business – so Wednesday is my drop dead day to start preparing my Civil War Blocks.  I will have about 6 days to prepare 5 blocks.  I am going to go with batiks!  As I look at my reproduction fabrics versus the batiks I will have so much more of a choice in vibrant colors for the leaves, flowers, birds and even the CWB Bride.  I will be changing some of the blocks as I prefer that the birds and animals are not as crudely drawn as the original.  So this will be a great learning experience.

I will be using The Lost Boy quilt pattern for the majority of the quilt, Bountiful Life, and Patricia Cox’s pattern for some of the animals or blocks. Patricia draws some wonderful birds and leaves.  This will be a fun project as 4 other ladies will be joining in with me.   We are planning to start on 1 March and will do 2 blocks per month so we will be through by March of 2017.  This will certainly take some dedication to the project.  We will start with Row A Blocks 1-5 (going down).  I am hoping to have all 5 blocks prepared and ready to go by the 1st.  BUT, you all know how life goes, I will be happy to have 2 block ready!

Have a great Sunday and keep on stitching!

Hello Applique Projects!

First I want to take a moment to state the following.   We have lost one of the most respected Jurist that this country has ever known, at least in my time.  I offer a prayer of healing for his wife, 9 children, and 36 grandchildren.  May Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rest in peace with God.

Here is a shout out to those who are in the middle of a snow storm and freezing weather.  South Texas is the new Florida for Snow Birds!  Looks like this year South Texas is going into a drought again and forget winter – We are in the mid-80’s during the day and I completely hate this when it is only February.  We will either go straight into a very hot and humid summer – bypassing Spring, or we will have a very cool March……….only time will tell.  So on with the air conditioners so I can pretend it is 68 degrees!

Here is the status of where I am on my projects.   I have finished with putting the basket blocks together and I was going to add them to the “stack” of applique that I already have patiently waiting for me to finish what I have started in the last month.  I have 7 Stonefield Blocks (Segment 3) to finish;  18 Basket handles;  2 Christmas place mats and one Christmas table runner “yelling” at me.  I could start another project, but have decided that I need a change from machine sewing to hand sewing.  So here is my “stack” to start working on this week.

Stonefields Blocks (Seg 3)
Four Finished Blocks Segment 3 of Stonefields (7 more to go)


A Lot of Applique - WIPs
The Applique Projects Patiently Waiting!

I will also be working on Civil War Bride (CWB) blocks.  I need to have at least 5 blocks prepared and ready to applique by 1 March and that will have to include a decision on whether or not to use Batiks or Civil War fabrics and then select the fabrics – oh Joy!  I am really leaning toward Batiks.   I am going not do the Australian version – I will be working on the Lost Boy Quilt.  Not sure but think I will be changing some of the blocks, but time will tell as I approach the blocks that I really do not care for.

I do hope everyone has a wonderful day – I have already walked 5600 steps by walking my 30 minutes, cooking breakfast, and cleaning the floors (a weekly endeavor that I am beginning to wonder why!)  It is terrible to be such the perfectionist.  I should be sitting in a chair just reading books!!! HA  never happen until I can no longer move this old body!    Enjoy the day – we are not promised anything!

Happy Valentines and Baskets of Scraps

Happy Valentines all!  Enjoy a day off of cooking and have a box of chocolates!

Well, Baskets of Scraps and I are almost through having so much fun together!  In the last 2 weeks since my last post I almost  gave this project away to anyone but me.  I decided to bite the bullet and really do a push and finish it because I already have so much invested and I am glad I did.

Yesterday I completed all baskets except for sewing the top and bottom together of each block (the top part is for the handle).  Then I will have to hand applique the handles.  So today is sewing the two pieces together (20 blocks) and cutting out the bias strips for handles.  Then this project will go into the “evening applique” stack.  I was going to do some flowers in the baskets because I am changing the patter a bit.  But now have decided to just use some of the vines and leaves in each basket – trying to cut down the work.  I would have enjoyed this project so much more if I had not had issues with the wrong cutting sizes but this happens.

I have 2 blocks completed.  When I put them on the design wall I realized that without flowers in the basket, or vines and leaves, or something to make it pop, that the quilt would be boring.  I like the deep purple batik that I have chosen for the border.  It should tone down the glaring background fabric.  This is the fun part in working with a quilt – adding design changes.  It means that creativity is working!  This quilt may have a new name when I am through with it.

2 Completed Baskets
Baskets of Scraps


Ready to Sew BoF
Ready to be sewn together and applique a handle!


Stack of BoF
The final 18 Baskets to sew together and add the handle and leaves and vines.

I was so happy when I finished the baskets yesterday afternoon.  But was so shocked and saddened by the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia.  What a sad day for our Country and for his family.  We may never see one as brilliant as he.  He was loved by all – even those who did not agree with his decisions.

I have completed all the hexagons I needed to start working on Brinton Hall Medallion.  I will also start preparing my blocks for Civil War Bride which a few of us will work on 2 blocks each month (boy what a dreamer I am!)  I am thinking that it is time to get with the long arm program and quilt some of my quilt tops that have been ignored for the last 2 years.  It should give me a nice break from what I have been doing.  I must now decide on whether or not to start Dear Jane, or go forward with preparation work for Sweet Surrender.  If I am not careful I will be swimming in applique work and probably drown.  I told Clay yesterday that I am so happy that we left Arizona early – my 2016 has been very productive!

Have a wonderful day!

Happy Happy Thursday with Basket of Scraps

As you well know if you read my last post, I was so upset about the problems with Basket of Scraps pattern.  Today I made up my mind to push through the negative experience and made 4 more baskets, and did not ONE problem.  I am 1/4 of the way through the quilt.  There are a total of 20 baskets.  The border has vines and leaves with broderie perse flowers.  I am thinking that I will change the border a little.  We will see how it works out.   Bottom line – all of the frustration and time spent reverse engineering the pattern has paid off!

The pattern is easy and so much fun to make the little 4 patches and the basket part goes together so easy now that I have the correct cutting measurements!   I made 4 baskets today and would like to have all 20 made by Monday – should be able to since they come together very fast!  It really pays to make that practice block, especially when the blocks are all the same.  Saves frustration in the long run

Saturday is Clay’s birthday so tomorrow we will be going to Clear Springs in New Braunfels, Texas for catfish.  I will have a baked potato and grilled chicken.  Clay is such a super husband.  What a blessing to have him in my life.  We will have our 20th wedding anniversary this year – WOW!  Time flies.

We might make a trip to the quilt store and get a demo of the Accuquilt.  I am leaning toward a “no purchase”, but would like to see one in action.  I guess I am nuts, but to me cutting is one of my favorite parts of making a quilt.  Call me old fashioned, or just a true blue traditional quilter who likes to do it all!

Have a great evening – I had a super day!  I should have some pictures to post by Monday – just in time for Linky Tuesday and Esther’s WOW!

Basket of Scraps and Frustration!

If you follow my Blog you know that I become a very frustrated perfectionist Quilter when I decide to make a quilt and the pattern has lovely “issues”.  Remember when the Farmer’s Wife 1930 Sampler QAL’s started I found out before I cut into my fabrics that the book had problems.  Well those have been resolved (again) and this time there are 19 pages to re-print of corrections!  So that project will either be next year or never – Anyone need the 1920 or the 1930 Farmer’s Wife book can contact me and I am willing to sell them both!

Then last year I made a quilt that I had to rip apart thinking I was doing something wrong – no it was the fabric – I purchased a bad run of that fabric line from Marcus Brothers!

So one would think that maybe that Black Cat needs to just go away, or the black cloud over our house needs to sit somewhere else!  But neither things will happen.  Last week I began working on sewing my baskets for Baskets of Scraps.  Well, no change here.  I assumed that things would go together great since it was not a rocket science quilt pattern!  But no – that did not happen.  I knew that I might have either pressed something wrong, or maybe the Sapphire (Husqvarna)  1/4″ was not as accurate as I thought it was, so I took the basket apart to correct any issues I was responsible for.  After correcting my issues, I contacted the Designer (Edtya Sitar) and advised her that I felt that the cutting measurements for the feet and the background were wrong.  I then proceeded to work with the background and feet pattern only to find out that things were off 1/4″ to 1/2″ for cutting.  The measurements that I figured out have allowed me to have a basket that looks great, but still does not match the measurements in the book.   The response that I received from the Designer was to purchase a Bernina or a Janome sewing machine that Husqvarna machines were not meant for quilting!  WHAT?  Then the next thing was that I needed to adjust according to my requirements.  WHAT?  Of course no one else has had problems so I am just the odd duck out of water.

I do contact a Designer when I find mistakes in their patterns to help them – not to expect anything, but to call attention to problems with the pattern.   Can you imagine if you were a new quilter starting out and trying to make this quilt and finding out that there would not be enough fabric to have a 1/4″ seam allowance when you put the basket blocks together?  I do believe this is why quilters now prefer easy fast quilt patterns.  It takes time to reverse engineer a pattern to figure out what the errors are and a newbie quilter will not have the experience to figure it out.  Additionally the Designer advised me twice that she has 5 professional people working for her to make sure things are accurate.  I think I need to become a professional pattern tester and charge them when I find errors.  (Can you tell I am a little ticked off?)  LOL.  All in all, she has some beautiful quilts to make, but publishers do tend to mess with the original design to cut costs and space and it should be up to the Designer to catch those problems before publication – I am not a beta tester of quilt patterns.  Microsoft used to send out those lovely “beta” software updates – only to mess with our systems!

OK – so much for my “complaining”.  I have now corrected the pattern,  but I was so upset (?) that I almost ditched this project, but alas,  being the persistent Scorpio and perfectionist that I am, I decided to continue on and will make this quilt.  Here is a picture of my “perfect” Basket of Scraps Block.  I used batiks for the basket and Nancy Crow fabrics for the stems, basket top and basket feet.  The handle is needle turn applique.  I cut a 3/4″ bias strip and applique one side, trim as necessary and then applique the outer side.  Less mess and quicker than using the Clover Bias tool!  Love the fact that I now have a nice 1/4″ seam allowance when sewing all the blocks together.  Notice that I tend to do controlled scrappy.  I selected 20 different batiks to make the Baskets so each basket will have the same fabric, but 20 different ones.  The 4 patches are 1 3/4″ finished.

Basket of Scraps Block
Basket of Scraps Block

Lessons Learned from this experience.  Now I will first check the finished size of the quilt and try to make sure that the blocks that I will be making will add up to those measurements.  Then, from now on (and I do make practice blocks OR read and re-read the instructions) I will make a practice block from muslin, and no more “trusting” that the well-known designer is selling accurate patterns.  This takes more time, but at least I will not become so frustrated when I find out that there are errors and have just cut out fabric that will not be used in this project!   Hats off to Laura Hird – she learned that she cannot trust her publisher.  The publisher made the errors in her book and now she has put a link to them and have them apologize for the errors in her book!  Hats off to her because she took action to find out what caused the issues in her book when I contacted her!  That speaks volumes.

Have a great day – I am now researching the GO Big Accuquilt!  Any reviews would be appreciated!  But I think I just need to go make baskets!

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