Churn Dash, Stars, and an UFR Break

Well, this time tomorrow I will be on the road to recovering from Carpal Tunnel  and Trigger Thumb surgery.  This is definitely a UFR (unforeseen requirement)!   If the CTS is successful on the right hand, then it will be the left hand’s time ASAP!  Think my summer is not going to be real productive for quilt projects.  But I have “been there done that” about 20 years ago with this surgery, I have forgotten how the recovery time is going to go!  This morning I realized that I can start typing in a week or so, but rotary cutting will probably be off the table, so I will probably work on Genealogy!  So I am hoping that I can be productive doing something.

I have had one of the best weeks this week in 6 months with my quilting.  I am working on 3″ Churn Dash and 3″ Star blocks.  I love the CD’s.  I am not sure where I am going with them, but plan on incorporating the 3″ Star blocks left over from Robin’s Nest into a quilt.  I am going to start with 10 blocks from different color coordination from reproduction (red, black, brown, green, etc) fat quarters and then making 10 blocks with the same fabrics for the Stars.  I am now having fun quilting since January.  My inspiration for the Churn Dashes was from Me and My Stitches A Gathering of Scraps pattern.

Not sure what this quilt will look like, but am excited about creating a design after surgery!

Churn Dashes and Stars – 3″ Blocks

I want to make more of Alexander’s Bean Pot blocks – They are so much fun at 5″.  I found this pattern in Carol Hopkins Civil War Legacies I book.  I believe that I have made about 15 of them last year.  I made this quilt in 2015 for Darryl and have wanted to make me one.  Love the Civil War Legacy books – there are I, II, and III available.

I also plan on sending out quite a few quilts to be quilted with pantograms.  This will be great to have them finished (except for binding).   I will not have so many yelling at me to get with the program when I walk into the Studio.  I am waiting on Sandy to let me know she is ready to quilt on her new machine!

So I end this post for now, and hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to cut and sew on my blocks!  Until next time – stay cool during the summer heat and happy stitching!

OMIGOSH, Gathering Scraps, and Jane Russell

Well, we finally received some – SOME – measurable rain but very little.   Things are very peaceful and quiet this month!  YEA.  Just having my right thumb operated on along with a carpal tunnel release on the 12th of June.  If the CTS release works on the right hand he will do the left hand – maybe I will begin to be able to do some hand quilting by August.  That would be nice since my new Grace frame is just sitting patiently waiting and waiting.  (might be a long wait) Just think, no cooking, washing dishes, etc for at least 10 days.  Think I could figure out a better way to get out of doing the household chores!

On the quilting front.  I wanted to catch up on a few things before the surgery and I have finished preparing 4 of the BAS Ms Potts blocks this last week.  They are ready for appliqué when I can start working my right hand.  Most of Ms Potts leans toward a different style appliqué block than this one. So I changed it and made it a little easier to appliqué by enlarging the flowers.  I may add some else to the block, but not at this time.

Block 37 Ms Potts

Revised Block 37 (First Cut)

I am sure I will not be doing hand work for a while, so I decided to select a pattern that I could cut out now for machine piecing.  I am sure that I will be able to do that because they told me that I could start typing after the first week.  So, I decided on OMIGOSH by Sue Garman.  I studied the pattern and tried making the double nine patch in reproductions and one in batiks.  My goal was to make one of the Shoo-Fly and the Double Nine patch blocks that make up the quilt to see if I enjoyed the process.  This quilt is labor intensive and deals with 2″ (unfinished) 9 patches and 2″ (unfinished) 4 patches in a square in a square setting.  The finished blocks are 5″ unfinished! Well, I think I have changed my mind on this one too, at least this year.  I made a few of the 2″ 9 patches and decided to see about enlarging them all the way up to a 2 3/4″ unfinished 9 patch.

Left to Right – 2″, 2 1/4″, and 2 3/4″ 9 patches (unfinished)

Then I made a Double 9 Patch block using the 2 3/4″ 9 patches – I did not like this one at all and I am sure that it would not have the same outcome to the quilt as Sue envisioned when she designed the quilt pattern.

Double 9 Patch Block – 7″ unfinished, 6 1/2″ finished. 1 1/2″ larger than the original block in the OMIGOSH pattern.

Well, I could not give up, so I tried to make the 2″ unfinished 4 patch in a Square in a Square setting.  But this time I enlarged the pattern by 1/4″.  I did try to go back and make a 2″ 9 patch using batiks – but what a mess – never finished making the Shoo Fly block!  I was done!

The 4 Patch for the Shoo Fly Block – did not work out!

So my thoughts turned to two quilt patterns that I knew would turn out accurately and that I would enjoy making with no-stress.  I had started on Gathering Scraps and Alexander’s Bean Pot  last year.  Julie Letvin from Me and My Stitches is a neat lady and Carol Hopkins has 3 books out on Civil War Legacies that I love dearly.  Both of these designers are great in writing their patterns.  I also have some 3 1/2″ stars left over from Robin’s Nest and decided to make some 3 1/2″ churn dash blocks and come up with a quilt pattern that works!   Julie and I had met over the Internet and I visited her booth in Dallas in March.  I really do like her quilt patterns.  Here is a picture of the quilt and she has a lot more on her web site.  I may do a combination of my stars, churn dashes and the alternating block from Gathering Scraps to make a neat reproduction quilt!  I am going to use a mixture of Richmond Reds, Union Blues and one other line from Barbara Brackman.  But for the time being, I love sewing these little blocks and will have plenty cut out to make while I am in a “limited” quilting status.

Gathering Scraps by Julie Letvin

Now for something different.  I love the old western movies to escape from all the ills of this world.  This week-end we watched The Tall Man with Clark Gable and Jane Russell.  I bet I have watched this movie 4 times in the past and remember the beautiful quilt.  I found this picture on the internet and wanted to share it with all.  The quilt has 4 large blocks and appears to be a Coxcomb block with leaves and stems.  Someday I am going to make this quilt!

Jane Russell from The Tall Man with “The Quilt”

If anyone happens to know if there is a pattern out there in the quilt world for this quilt that would be great!  But it would be easy to replicate to some extent.  I know that the quilt had some meaning, because Jane Russell kept that quilt with her throughout the entire movie!

I hope that everyone has a great Monday.  It is summer time and may as well get used to it here in South Texas.  I am just hoping that Fall does come and comes early and winter is winter this year!  Until next time.  Happy Stitching!

Moving Along and Time to Reflect the Past

Can you believe in 6 months it will be the end of 2017?  Once Daylight Savings Time comes that is it for the year – it just races by.   All the rain that has come this far South has missed us although we did get a few drops last night and rain is in the forecast the rest of the week.  Just maybe….

This  month did not go as I had planned it and it appears that June will be interesting.  One of my Unforeseen Requirements (UFRs) was a problem with my hands, on 12 June I will have CTS and release of a trigger thumb (yup like a trigger finger) that appeared about 3 weeks ago one morning.  So that has ended any ideas of entering quilts in the San Antonio Show this year!   They will repair the right hand and if successful he will do the left hand.    Looking like a “Surgery Summer” here.  Wednesday we find out how bad the meniscus tear is in Clay’s right knee.

I was unable to attend the Kerrville Quilt Show but Jan sent me pictures of the quilts.  I really missed a great show.  Here is a picture of the Best of Show, it is Sue Garman’s Twirley Balls and Pinwheels.  Sue passed away earlier this year and she has left a treasure trove of beautiful quilts for us to make!  The person who made this quilt did an excellent job and I am so glad that it won Best of Show!

To prepare for some limitations for a couple of weeks from surgery I washed some of the wonderful fabrics I purchased last year for my birthday to have them ready to select for different projects that I can work on after surgery.   I started that project on Friday and ironed for 2 days.  Here are before and after pictures of the amount of fabric that have been washed and ironed.


This is my ironing board – I love it.  I no longer have to lean over to iron.   The fabrics are ready to be put back in place for future use.  Our Studio is about 800 square feet and my two rooms are 14′ x 16′ and this room is 14′ x 19′.  I am so blessed to have this wonderful space to quilt in.  I have another room in the house where I have shelves for   more fabric and all of my batting and knitting yarn.  Now to just live to be 100 and have all my quilts made!  LOL

My goals for the next two weeks are to have all the new fabrics washed and ironed, Xmas Heart quilted, Nesting Block 2 completed, and 4 blocks for Ms Potts ready for applique.   I know that I will be able to machine stitch so I will cut out some more Dresden Plates and prepare one more quilt for stitching.   I think rotary cutting will be limited for a while.  Now the room is clean and the cutting table is ready for new “catch up” work.

Clay and I would like to thank all the Veterans for their Service to our Country, those who lost their lives serving and to those families who have been left behind.  We so enjoyed the PBS Memorial Concert last night.  When all the UFRs are completed this summer I would love to travel to Louisiana to the WWII Museum.  We were born during WWII and lived through the Korean, Vietnam, the beginning of Terrorism, The Gulf War, 911, and the current wars.  We owe a great deal to those who served voluntarily, or during the time when we had the Draft.  Before the concert we watched the movie The Shack.  It was such a moving and inspirational movie. It is based on the book The Shack and the movie is powerful and a must see for those seeking peace and tranquility in their lives.

God Bless America and the President of the United States of America!  Have a great day with family and friends and be thankful for your gift from God, namely your Life.

The Difference Between UFO and UFR is Delay!

We all have our UFO drawer that holds projects that are unfinished and always hope to finish them.  Then there are UFR’s (Unforeseen Requirements).  The biggest difference between them is we can control UFO’s, but NEVER control UFR’s.  In case anyone missed me, I have been on a forced vacation with UFR’s for the last 2 weeks.  I prefer to drown in UFO’s.  I am down to 2 UFR’s for the month of May and the rest of my time is for UFO’s.  I just love acronyms how can we do with out them?  My UFR’s are just about finished for May and now I am going to see if I can get back in the swing of quilting on my projects.

About 2 weeks ago, I wanted to take a break from all the fun I had with Robin’s Nest so I looked for appliqué projects that had gathered a lot of dust.  This is one from 2010 (I think).

Pat Campbell’s Jacobean Holiday

Here is what is remaining to be appliquéd.  For this project I am doing back basting appliqué because of the large pieces!  (what a mess I have in this stack of UFOs)  Back Basting appliqué uses a technique that is different from traditional needle turn appliqué.   The pattern is traced on the wrong side of the fabric and pieces of fabric are cut and placed on the right side of the fabric, and then using the pattern on the wrong side of the fabric to baste the fabric pieces.  If interested in the technique check out How To Back Baste Applique .   The only thing I do different in the tutorial is to take a white appliqué pencil for dark fabrics, or a pencil for the light fabrics and mark over the basting stitches before I start appliquéing.  By doing that I have a line to follow while needle turning.

Remaining blocks for Jacobean quilt

While looking for the finished blocks of my Jacobean project, I ran across the following blocks from a 2007 BOM from Sierra Vista Arizona Quilt Guild.  Some of the blocks will need some embroidery work, but they are mostly finished.  Different Guild members provided the block for each month.  I located the remaining blocks from this project and some from a 2008 BOM.  I plan on finishing this project too (SOMETIME). During my search for the patterns I was surprised to find 5 blocks that I had designed!  So much to do, so little time.

I made this block a couple of months back to see if I wanted to make a quilt with the block pattern. As you can see I decided against that and made a pillow cover for a pillow to use when I am doing hand appliqué.  The pillow lifts my work so I do not have to strain my eyes.  My other pillow decided it was time to head for the trash can!

My New Applique Pillow

This morning I thought I was on the way to finishing Nesting Block 2, until I realized that I do not like the “grapes” outlined with embroidery thread!!!  YUP you guessed it – ripping time.  Of course the black thread will leave residue black circles, so now I will get some circles ready (think blue) to cover the marks up.  I was trying to take a short cut and not have to do those tiny tiny circles!  The bird’s beaks and eyes will be done when I finish the circle and then I will post the finished (at last) block 2.  Lesson learned – always recheck the pattern picture!!!!

I am hoping to get this block finished by tomorrow (LOL) what a dreamer I am!  Have a great Sunday and a great week – enjoy your stitching!  We are hoping that the rain really does happen today – so dry!

Robin’s Nest is Resting and some May 2017 Goals!

Today is day 5 of May 2017!!!  Can you believe it?  It seems like the months fly by after May and June and before we know it – it’s Christmas!  I hope this month goes by slower.  Today is a great day – feeling like my old self!  Did my stretches, walked, vacuumed the house, and made it out to the Studio by 10:45 to work on 2 post that were not finished Monday.

I have left Robin’s Nest for a few days (how about 5 days) to work on some applique and Brinton Hall.  I am still wanting to work on some embroidery and knitting (someday).  Now that I have RN started and know there may be pitfalls, I have had a nice break from it and will start sewing the 2nd ring tomorrow for sure.

I am working on a quilt called  Nesting for the SA Show in September – BUT if I cannot get it completed it will be next year’s quilt to show.  I have completed Block 1 and started on Block 2 – there are only 4 large blocks and a beautiful border.

Here is Block 1.  It is an easy quilt to applique so I should be able to finish this by July.

When I appliqué, embroidery or sew my bindings and sleeves, I take small stitches – like 1/8″.  Here is a picture of the back of this block.  And of course I am a traditional needle-turn appliquér – no glue or starch.  I cut about a 5/8″ of bias strips for the vines and sew one side down, trim and sew the other side – these are less than 1/4″ stems.  I always trace the pattern on my background fabric with a pencil (lightly) so it makes it easy to follow a line when doing stems.

I  finished the top and bottom hexagons on Briton Hall this afternoon (finally!).  Next week  I want to start working on the 4 left and right hexagon sections (probably more slowly).  This hand work is definitely hard on the ole’ hands so I will take a day when I want to just sit and sew a section at a time.  Maybe by the end of May I will be ready to start making the rest of the quilt – which MIGHT be easier!  I love Batiks the colors really pop don’t they?

Each section will have to be laid out very carefully and sewn together even more carefully.  I made a few mistakes and had to rip a couple of times and I do not like that because of the small stitches that I do.

I am going to load a quilt that I made in the 2003-2004 timeframe first thing in the morning!  It was one of the first appliqué quilts I made.  I used all different Christmas fabrics in it and thought it looked horrible.  I was looking at some of the hearts and I had fussy cut some Santa’s for the hearts!  Heck I did a scrappy quilt without even knowing what I was doing!  Too funny.

Christmas Quilt – 2003-2004


Christmas Quilt – Ready to Load! It is 60″ x 76″

Goals for May are to get the Christmas quilt finished, work on Nesting, Robin’s Nest and Brinton Hall.  Only 26 days left!  Have a great week-end!

Primarily Quilts 2 by Di Ford – Beautiful Quilts

Primarily Quilts 2 by Di Ford is one of the best books I have ever purchased – it is book to add to your library.  Especially for all quilters who love Reproduction quilt!  There are 3 quilts that I want to make from this beautiful book of quilt patterns, Mary Queen of Bedford, Giggleswick Mill Sampler, and Cloverdale House.

I have 2 yards of the border fabric and 4 different 1 yard fabrics from the Cloverdale collection for the Cloverdale House quilt.  I purchased it last year not knowing what I was really going to do with the fabric but loved it! So I will be able to use those along with my stash to make a nice quilt.

Giggleswick will be made from my stash.  I just do not need to purchase 12 or 13 yards of fabric for something that I know I can make with what I have.

Here is a picture of the Mary Queen of Bedford quilt.  This quilt was made with Mary Koval’s Tree of Life panel, along with Ophelia by Nancy Gere, and Charleston by Jo Morton fabrics.

I purchased two of Mary Koval’s Tree of Life panels when it first became available about a year ago or so thinking that it was a small panel.  About 2 months ago I took it out of the package and almost fell over – this panel is NOT small!  Almost the size of a lap quilt!  I quickly folded it back up and put it away for another day when I MIGHT be creative and do something with it.   Beautiful isn’t it?  Di Ford cut the panel up to make the center medallion using broderie perse appliqué.   Yummy!  In case you might not be familiar with that technique, here is the definition.

Broderie perse (French for “Persian embroidery”) is a style of appliqué embroidery which uses printed elements to create a scene on the background fabric. It was most popular in Europe in the 17th century, and probably travelled from India, as there are some earlier findings there.

The background will be difficult to match as it is not really a color that matches with any of my Bella Solids, or Kona Cotton samples.   I contacted Mary Koval and she will be in touch and advise me on which fabric would be best for the background.  I also did not have any of Ophelia or the fabric from Charleston, but after looking long and hard, I found 2 quilt stores that had a little over a yard left of each.  YUP snatched that up.  I knew that as soon as this book was released that any fabrics required would have to be purchased immediately as they would go fast.   As soon as Mary contacts me on a background fabric I will try to order some and then next year this will be on the cutting table.

Ophelia fabric for the First Border

Charleston for the Third Border










Now I just need to quit eating and sleeping and may have the quilts done in a year (LOL).  I lost a few days this week because (shame on me) I tried to eat like a normal person and it GOT me!  I am getting tired of losing a few days here and there due to eating something that I know better than to eat.  I have a feeling that part of my lost week was due to some medication that I was taking to help me with my tummy – tummy did not like it anymore!

Maybe this book and projects will keep me inspired and give me the control to only eat paper for a month or so….. that is another LOL!  Have a great day!  It’s Friday!!!

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!