17 UFOs in 2017 Update

My main goal for the month of April was to make 2 quilts for our friends in Mineral Wells and I completed them before Easter.

Bobby and Belinda received them on Good Friday.

I was able to start on Robin’s Nest after Easter, but ran into many issues with the pattern, but as of today, the Medallion is completed (still need to sew the second ring of Stars together) and will be ready this next week to applique to the background.  Then on to the rest of the quilt.  My goal for May on this quilt is to slowly progress to ensure that it turns out perfect with no further issues to have to deal with.


I am working on another project called Nesting.  I finished one block this month.  There are only 4 blocks but they are large and then a large appliqued border will need to be done.  IF I can complete it in June, I will enter it in the San Antonio Show in September.  If not – then there is always another show in 2018!  It will be hand quilted.   I will put this project in line for my May projects.

Still working on Brinton Hall.  I have one more section for the top to hand stitch hexagons and then the real fun will start.  I will also put this on the May list.

Have a great week of sewing!

Success on Robin’s Nest!

It took some time, but I have mastered this pattern (at least the Medallion part).  Hubby fixed a neat set up to guide the fabric on my Designer 1.  I have always used the foot with the metal guide,but then I would have the “trail off problem”.  Start with a 1/4″ seam and end up with an 1/8″.   He took one of my old creative grid rulers, removed all the markings and cut a 1″ x 2 3/4″ piece from it.  Then he taped it on with painter’s tape.  I use painter’s tape on my featherweight for a guide and it works well, but this is absolutely wonderful!

The plastic is under the tape.  He has added a marker on the right side because I will have to move the guide each time I change the bobbin but who cares since I get such beautiful seams now!

Perfect 1/4″ seam allowance!

Now for the real accomplish – TaDa – Robin’s Nest Medallion on the Design Wall.

It is hard to believe that it took 2 weeks to make this – TWICE – When I was ready to sew the center Hexagon on – I found out that it was off at least 1/8″ off on 3 sides – not good.  So that problem was corrected and I appliqued it to the first ring.

Now on to the 2nd ring of Blue stars.  Yesterday and today I finished them and here they are on the Design Wall.  I will probably take a day off tomorrow from quilting and may do some hand quilting, or maybe just applique, OR we may do a day trip just to get out of the house!

I made 4 dark blues, 4 medium blues, and 4 light blues and the setting triangles are black with a wheat design.   I did not have one problem making these stars since I discovered Jenny Beyer’s video on cutting the Flying Geese background by cutting a square and then cut it in diagonally twice.  NO MORE BIAS PROBLEMS!  Each star would come out just perfect at 3 1/2″!  I also want to thank Clay for taking the time to help me with the guide for my machine!  Great to have an Engineer around.

A lot of frustrating and hard work, but it will be a beautiful quilt and I plan on showing it next year.

I hope your day went well and that you have plenty of time to sew this week.

3 1/2″ Star Block Correction for Robin’s Nest

On 19 April 2017  I posted my progress on Robin’s Nest quilt and why I did not want to use the templates provided so I reversed engineered the directions for rotary cutting of the Star!

These are the instructions I had posted and they are WRONG!  If you use them you will be working with bias on the Flying Geese and that will cause a lot of issues.

“There are 17 pieces in each star.

  • Cut 4 each 1 1/4″ squares for the corner from a 1 1/4″ strip from the light fabric.
  •  1 each 2″ square for the Center from a 2″ dark fabric strip.
  • 4 each 1 3/4″ squares cut once diagonally for the Star Points from a  dark 1 3/4″ strip
  •  2 each 2″ squares cut diagonally for the Flying Geese background fabric (light)

When I sew the Flying Geese I use a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, then I go back to the full 1/4″ seam allowance to put the rest of the Star Block together.  It comes out perfect.  I am using 50wt Aurifil thread and a Husqvarna Designer I.  (this is important because all machines are different)”

On 22 April 2017 I posted how I had problems putting the first ring of the pattern together and how the Hexagon was off on the measurements.  After doing a test pattern with plain fabric I knew I would have to completely start over if I did not want the quilt to be a bomb out.  Monday I made one star that seemed to be OK, then on the second star I began to realize that I had a Bias problem!  I was working with bias on the outer part of the block!

Then the light blue went on!!!  By using a 2″ square, cut once diagonally, I was making my Flying Geese with a bias edge on the outside of the block!  My first thought was to do a stay stitching line on each of the bias sides and maybe that would stop the issue!  I decided that I would give up for the day and go sit in my recliner and think about the problem.

After supper, I decided to google on any information on working with bias edges.  I found Controlling Bias Edges.  After reading this article I decided to check out YouTube and see what I could find there that would help me figure out how to get rid of the bias edges on my Flying Geese.  I found a very short 2 minute video from Jenny Beyer Understanding Grainline.  What a great visual for me!  For some reason, grain line has always given me problems so it was time to correct that and Jenny provided a great example.   I needed to cut my Flying Geese background fabric from a “Quarter Square Triangle” rather than “Half Square Triangles”!!!!!  If I had kept working the stars using HST’s the quilt would have been a mess!

So here is the corrected version for making the 3 1/2″ Star Block:

“There are 17 pieces in each star.   If you pre-wash your fabrics, spray your fabric with Sizing to prevent any stretching.  

  • Cut 4 each – 1 1/4″ squares for the corner (from a 1 1/4″ strip from the Light fabric.)
  • Cut 1 each – 2 inch square for the Center (from a 2″ Dark fabric strip.)
  • Cut 4 each – 2 inch squares – cut once diagonally for the Star Points (from a  Dark 2 inch strip.)
  • Cut 1 each – 3 inch squares cut diagonally TWICE  (Quarter Square Triangles) for the Flying Geese background fabric (light)

Sew the Flying Goose unit with a full 1/4″ seam allowance and finger press, then trim the unit to        1  1/4″ x 2″  It comes out perfect but make sure that the points are equal when trimming.  I use 50 wt Aurifil thread and have a Husqvarna Designer One machine.  Be sure to check your 1/4″ seam allowance on your machine as all machines are different. 

This morning I tried the new procedure and it has taken care of the problem.  Another lesson for me!  No wonder at times I had problems with some of my work!  I printed out the Hedgehog Hints on Bias Edges and a picture of Jenny’s information and that will be posted on my design board – never to forget again!!!!!

Have a great day – things are looking up for Robin’s Nest!

Caliper + Protractor = ACCURATE HEXAGON!!!!!!!!!

OK, those who follow my blog know that when I start a quilt and run into problems it means that there is a BIG problem with the pattern.  If you read my previous post you know that I had issues with the small templates that come with the pattern so I reversed engineered the templates for rotary cutting.  It took a some time to make a few samples until I achieved perfection! I was on a roll!  Well, little did I know I was on a roll like a large ball of twine that was heading downhill.

This is where I was yesterday, after I called a quilting buddy for some guidance and tips Thursday evening on attaching the first ring to the middle hexagon!

Notice I stopped working on the melons….. I realized that there was a problem with this pattern.  Not sure what, but a problem.  Puckers, star points cut off, and the hexagon not matching up with the seams on the triangles!!!! Grrrrr

This morning I decided to do an early morning house cleaning and then I am free to work the problem out!  Well, it has taken me 3 more hours to work on the problems.  In order to find the problem I cut out 6 each 3 1/2″ squares, marked the 1/4″ seam line, and 6 each setting triangles and marked the 1/4″ seam line.  NO PROBLEM – right – WRONG.  When I pinned the first square and triangle together the triangle was about 1/8″ larger than the 3 1/2″ square.  But I worked around that for the purpose of just getting this test started!  Here is the ring made from the background fabric!  Looks good doesn’t it – well now the problem is on the outside of the ring – the triangles are off about 1/8″ or 1/16″ of an inch and we all know what that will do if I continued on with the 2nd ring of the Medallion.

Test Pattern for the first ring in Robin’s Nest

After sewing the test ring, I thought – OH BOY – time to sew the test center hexagon on my new improved ring!  WRONG AGAIN.  I went to the pattern and started checking the pattern for the large hexagon – and it is off at least 1/8″ or 1/16″ on 2 or 3 sides.  I called for my Engineer and he brought his protractor and caliber and I pulled out Marti Michell’s large hexagon template and between us we now have a perfect Hexagon pattern for the center that should patch all points!  But that does not help the fact that we still have an issue with the lovely triangle template that came with the pattern.  Now the issue is the outside of the ring – to try to continue on without resolving that issue the entire Medallion will be a total disaster.  Thank goodness I stopped working on this quilt at this point because to continue on would be another total disaster.  Here is the hexagon pattern that was provided.  IT has the problem.  All sides should have been 3″ but the are not!  Another Grrrr!

Original hexagon pattern

This is the one that Clay and I worked on and it is perfect – 3″ on each side with 1/4″ seam allowance added.


Here is what I am working toward:

Robin’s Nest Medallion

I have now turned over the triangle template problem over to the Engineer – good project for him to work on in the morning!  ME – I am headed for my chair and watch a movie and forget that I have put a lot of hours into a quilt pattern that has problems.  Jaydee sent me a picture of Robin’s Nest being made by another quilter and it is easy to see that they had issues but kept going – Good Luck to them!  Maybe I am just too much the perfectionist, but when I pay good money for fabrics and patterns and have to totally revamp the pattern by making corrections that the Designer should have caught, it tends to be upsetting.

Tomorrow is another day and I will be ready to move on and hopefully it will work out.  I will have to remake by 6 red stars – too much ripping on the current ring!  When will I ever learn to double check anything these Designers publish?

Have a great week-end.

POST SCRIPT:      Quilter Error – I double checked the triangle template against the ‘test’ piece this morning with a fresh look.  I think I may have picked up 3 of the triangles where I did not cut them accurately – So now I  have CAREFULLY cut out a new batch for the ‘start over’!  I will also be making my notes that I have to pay close attention to when cutting, sewing the ring together.

Robin’s Nest Project Has Begun

Our internet service has had issues the last month or so and the service finally went belly up for good last Saturday.  I enjoyed the quietness and think I did progress in quilting…. Hum!  Today the technician came out to fix last week’s technician and customer services boo boo’s.  So now back on-line and in the fold again!

I started Robin’s Nest this week-end.  I have studied this pattern for 2 years and it has been on my 2017 Goals for 4 months now.  This is a fairly complex quilt and not as complex as Ms Billings and Phebe, and others, but it is a striking quilt.  Templates are provided, but when one is making 3 1/2″ UF stars, using small templates and a rotary cutter is not for me.

I made one block using the templates and was not pleased.   So I decided to reverse engineer the templates and convert to rotary cutting. I made 3 other test star blocks to ensure my rotary cutting measurements were accurate.    The 4th one appeared to be perfect (until I looked at the picture I took) and realized that one point was off.  So back to the drawing board on size of the strips.   The hexagon is 1 inch, so you can see how small the pieces are in making this star block.  Notice the bottom two points – Amazing how we do not see our little mistakes until we take a picture!  I have had problems with flying geese before, but now I know the secret in getting them perfect!

The “OOPS” Star

Points Corrected – I replaced the Flying Geese that was off!

Here are the measurements for a 3 1/2″ star block using rotary cutting and no templates!

There are 17 pieces in each star.

  • Cut 4 each 1 1/4″ squares for the corner from a 1 1/4″ strip from the light fabric.
  •  1 each 2″ square for the Center from a 2″ dark fabric strip.
  • 4 each 1 3/4″ squares cut once diagonally for the Star Points from a  dark 1 3/4″ strip
  •  2 each 2″ squares cut diagonally for the Flying Geese background fabric (light)

When I sew the Flying Geese I use a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, then I go back to the full 1/4″ seam allowance to put the rest of the Star Block together.  It comes out perfect.  I am using 50wt Aurifil thread and a Husqvarna Designer I.  (this is important because all machines are different)

I cut the center hexagon out using freezer paper (I do cheat on this – I purchase the pre-cut Jenkins freezer paper and print the pattern out – it saves me a lot of time).  The leaves, or whatever they are, will be hand appliquéd in either blue or black fabric.  I have 2 more stars for this portion to be completed and then I will cut out more triangles in black that will be the next “border”.  I am using the template for the triangles to connect all the stars.

Next will be 12 more Star Blocks and they will be in Blue.  I am using a mixture of Barbara Brackman’s Union Blues, Richmond Reds, and Pam Buda’s Cassandra Crossings.  I will probably be using more from other reproduction fabric lines as I work on each border in the quilt.

I have not loaded the Grace frame as of today, but maybe tomorrow or this afternoon.  Things appear to now be settling down and I will have more time to quilt.

We have a “cookie” sheet bird feeder.  Hubby took a picture of the Doves feeding – it is so much fun watching the birds and the deer feeding while I am sewing!  The cat next door sits on the ground just wishing for one of the birds to drop off the feeding tray for a good snack!  LOL

Doves on a Cookie Sheet – and One in Flight!

Have a great day and Happiness is peace and quiet and sometimes boredom! (well only today!)

Productivity is Good for the Soul of a Quilter

Here we are – almost half-way through April.  I knew the minute we lost that hour that time would race by!!  Today I have no brain cells – teaches me again that overdoing has a price to pay!  But, alas, yesterday was a banner day – I finished the sleeve and label for the Eagle and the label for the Batiks in 9 Patches quilts for our friends.

Bobby’s Eagle


Belinda’s Batiks in Nine Patches


This morning our babies were feeding when I was headed to the Studio.  They are so funny!  They let us know when they are out of corn, but yet still will run away.  I have found that if they are feeding I just keep my head turned the other way while I am walking to the Studio and they do not run away, but try to talk to them and only one of last year’s babies will keep eating.  Love to watch them at feeding time.  New babies will hit the ground in June – We feed about 5 now so it will be really be crowded this summer around the corn!  (excuse the blurred pictures)


I call this baby Daisy – She will stop and look at me while I talk to her.

I believe that these are the twins from last June! One is skittish the other one is the one who lets us know it is time to feed them! LOL

Today is a “slow thinking, slow selecting, and just SLOW”.  I think I am relaxing from getting the quilts finished and in the mail before Easter.  I am reviewing all the ‘want to do’s’ and making some real decisions on next step.  I will also load a quilt in the Hands Quilter and later will be putting the leaders on the Grace Z44 and loading the 24″ x 24″ wall hanging for hand quilting.

Have a blessed Easter season and pray for the USA and the World, especially pray for our wonderful President Donald J. Trump!