Monday, February 28, 2022

March UFO Challenge

The March number for the American Patchwork and Quilting UFO challenge was drawn Sunday.

My Number 3 “to be quilted” is A Walk in the Park, which I finished quilting last week. How providential is that? The February one got done, but I am waiting for Alan to bind it before I post a picture.

My other list has number 3 as the coffee filter block swap. 

I have it together… just needs borders. I’m pretty sure I can get it done soon.
I have no idea how I will quilt it, but that can be decided later.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Pressing Seams

I found this interesting:

Quilting Digest 

Do you press to one side or do you press your seams open? I mostly press to one side unless there will be too much bulk. As a long armer, the open seams don’t seam as desirable to me, as I worry about batting migration at the seam line, but I would like to know what other people think about it.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Good Advice

I got to go to the Victoria Quilt Guild meeting on Thursday. They had a guest speaker, Kristen Phillips, and she spoke about controlling the chaos. Specifically, the chaos creative people tend to create.

She shared five tips, and I confess I can’t really remember what they were……it centered around doing a 25 minute cleanup each day before starting the creating. Number 1 was to pick up and dispose of obvious trash. The others were to put all the tools away, put away things that obviously don’t belong in the sewing room, I really can’t remember the rest, but I did enjoy the program. When she talked about organizing, she said to spend some time thinking about what works for you as it is different for each person. In other words, all those perfect spaces on Pinterest don’t work for everyone. I have looked up organizing tips on Pinterest, but I got disillusioned when I saw one on how to organize your napkin drawer. I mean, who even has a napkin drawer?

The other think I was excited about—the guild is doing placemats for Meals on Wheels as one of their charitable projects. I took a few kits they had prepared, and I will add my own to those and turn them all in next month (I hope). Here are three of the four kits I brought home with me:

Well, I assume these are being kitted from donated fabric as it’s not very inspiring, but I will see what I can do with it. 

And, today I need to go to Lake Jackson and help Bill with some “getting the house ready” projects. That will keep me busy for the rest of the weekend, and maybe Monday. I will be so happy when this is all over, and I’m sure Bill will be glad to have it done too.

Friday, February 25, 2022

A Walk in the Park

 Not really. It’s too cold for a real walk in the park, although I did take the dogs out this morning in the cold and misting rain. We didn’t even make it a mile though, before I turned around and hot footed it back to the house.

The 2021 Gulf Coast shop hop had Villa Rosa patterns at each store with the corresponding kits. I bought the Victoria quilt shop kit and just today got it quilted.

I ordered some new digital quilting designs…..I love a Baptist fan pattern and got a couple of those. I think this one is called Asian Fan.

I was looking for a top that didn’t have a border to try out one of the new patterns on, and this was it. This shot shows the backing I used:
It is some of the yardage I bought when Hancock Fabrics went out of business…this took about five yards of it out of my stash.

I got the quilting done, but I still need to take it off the frame and think about binding. I think a check would be cute if I have any.

I worked a little bit on my organizing, but need to get a little more done before I share any pictures.

Thursday, February 24, 2022


I have been taking a loooong time trying to get things organized. I brought a lot of stuff from Lake Jackson that now needs to find a spot. I am not by nature a very organized person. In fact, I would say I am a disorganized person. But, oh how I try to be. I have a vision of everything having a designated spot and actually being in that spot. No more losing things or finding random things in crazy places. I don’t know if it’s a goal or a pipe dream but I keep trying.
I did get the racks for my sewing thread hung up.
I spent a little too much time trying to figure out where to put them. I finally just found a spot close to where I plan to have my Janome. 

Most of the tables are in Lake Jackson until we finish liquidating every thing; then I will move them here for the sewing machine and serger. I do have all my shelves moved though.

Getting these loaded up in an organized manner is what I need to work on today.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Two’s Day

Yes, it is Tuesday, and it’s also 2-22-22. That’s a lot of 2’s.

I haven’t had anything to post for a few days…..I did the Autopilot training on Friday, and it was a little more basic than I expected. It was geared more toward new owners, I think. I am new to this brand of machine, but I have been longarming about 15 years. That’s not to say I didn’t get anything out of the training. It was a good review of things that need to be reinforced periodically. I am signed up for a custom quilting class in April. That one will be all free motion. I hope I can learn some new things there. I would really like to have an advanced training on the Autopilot system and was told they are thinking of offering one at a later date, so I will have to wait or try to find something online. 

I spent Saturday and Sunday in Lake Jackson. We are working hard on getting the house ready to sell. Bill found a couple of bags of fabric in the garage. I am a little panicked about the amount of fabric I have accumulated. I’m working now on getting it organized and put where it needs to be so I can actually see what I have. 

It’s a challenge. My ADD makes it that much harder, but I keep trying.

We brought the refrigerator back with us, so I know have that in the kitchen of my shop. It was pretty grimy from the trailer ride and I spent most of Monday cleaning at the shop. I got the refrigerator done, and there is a stove that was there when I bought the property l it had quite an accumulation of dried grease, and I was able to clean it up reasonably well. I ended up using an automotive degreaser, and it worked on the grease, but it was a little hard on the paint. I can touch it up though.

I also pieced some backing fabric and hope to get a quilt loaded today. I need a break from all these “have to do’s”.

I haven’t been walking lately as I had twisted my knee a couple of weeks ago. I took the dogs out this morning and we did a little over a mile. They saw me putting on my walking shoes and got all excited. I hope I can get back into a routine. It’s good for me and for them.

Friday, February 18, 2022

More Training

 I will be in Richmond all day for Autopilot training. Autopilot is the software for my longarm robotics. I know only enough to be functional at this point, so I am really looking forward to learning more. I’m sure there will still be more to learn after today, but this will be very helpful. Sometimes I feel intimidated by how much I don’t know; I have to keep reminding myself that I can do this!

So, I’m really not doing it all be myself……thankfully, I have a great support group. 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Free Pattern

I have aspirations of making a bargello quilt. I bought a book, but all the quilts are pretty small. Besides, the book is packed and I don’t know where. 

Look at this beauty from Art Gallery Fabrics!

This one is 77-1/2” x 102”. So much bigger than the ones in my book. It takes 13 half yards. The pattern is here. I would love to make this quilt.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Washing a Vintage Quilt Part 2

This was the before:

This is the after:
I’m not sure the pictures do it justice. It looks so much cleaner and fresher, and the colors are more vibrant. There were a couple of really bad stains that didn’t come all the way out, but they are considerably lighter. This one in mainly a discoloration in the white square 
and this one looked like oil or tar.
I did rub it with some soap while it was soaking and was able to lighten it quite a bit. It took a while to get it dry, but it was so worth it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Washing a Vintage Quilt

I posted a picture of this quilt a few days ago.

It’s really dirty……some of the dirt may be stains that won’t come out. I decided I needed to try before this one gets put away. I am not claiming to be an expert, but I have had a lot of experience washing old quilts, and they usually come out so much better.

I use a cleaner like Retro Clean to soak the quilt in. I never use the washing machine as I have been told the agitation of the machine can tear up the quilt. I mix the retro clean in cold water in my bathtub. I put a clean sheet in the bottom and then put the quilt on top of that. Make sure it is completely submerged in the cold water. The sheet is used to support the quilt when lifting it from the tub. The weight of a wet quilt can definitely pop the quilting stitches, and I sure don’t want that to happen. I swish the quilt around a little to get the detergent solution into the fibers, and I will let it soak for a few hours. After soaking I drain the water and then fill the tub up with rinse water and swish it around some more. I repeat the rinse “cycle” until I am sure all the detergent is out of the fibers. I try to lay the quilt outside in the sun to dry. Lay it in a sheet and cover it with another sheet to prevent fading. If there were any odors in the quilt, the combination of clean water and fresh air will generally eliminate them. 

So in the meantime, I had also washed and dried sheets and remade the bed with a fresh vintage quilt.

The lighting in the bedroom makes it look a little peachy, but it is actually pink. It is the little things make me happy.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Cross Stitch Update

I am mainly working on this one:

It’s not fast, but I’m making good progress, and I only work around an hour a day.

I picked up my flamingo one from Hobby Lobby. I decided to get it framed there as I didn’t think I could do it justice. Well, I should have done it myself and saved the $$. This is what it looks like:

Not sure if you can see all the issues. It is not even straight. Here’s the top edge:
There is also some bagginess.

I really don’t know what to do about this. I’m not typically a complainer, but this is just disappointing. I don’t know if I’ll go back and talk to the manager, or if I’ll take it out of the frame and try to fix it myself, or if I’ll just try to live with it. <sigh>

Sunday, February 13, 2022

A New Charm Square Quilt

I went by the quilt shop to look for some backing fabric and ended up buying charm squares.
I’m not sure why I can resist charm packs…..I bought two and pulled them out as soon as I got home. Right now I’m sewing them into rows of 10 squares.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this. Well, I know what the middle will look like, but I’m still figuring out the border. I bought three packs (that was all they had) of the mini charms.
I will have to see what I can do with the three packs. 

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Vintage Quilt Top

When I found the tote with the vintage quilt, I also found three unquilted tops. I truly have no memory of how these came to be in my possession, but I am guessing either a flea market or an auction as I am a fan of both. One of my very favorite patterns is the improved nine patch, so I have no doubt I bought this one.

There are definitely some problems.
I think I can remove the damaged pieces and use them as a pattern to cut new pieces. The top is hand pieces. 

Im not sure what to do about the border. I think I will need to turn it under and appliqué it to a solid piece of stable fabric. That, of course, is easier said than done.

You can see how frayed this is. Here’s a word of advice. No matter how dirty an unquilted top is, never, never, never launder it. Wait until it is quilted, and then it is washable. This one was laundered, and the seams, especially the outside edges, definitely suffered for it. I know people don’t know any better, but it made this one a challenge.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Quilt Discoveries

The thing about south Texas winters is that they’re mild. It t is hard to enjoy sleeping under a quilt. We have had some cold nights these past few days, and I’m taking full advantage of it. 

I can only put one on my side of the bed—Bill would be too hot, so he pushes all the excess to the middle of the bed. 

I used to have my long arm setup in the formal living room (which doesn’t get used otherwise), and after moving the old machine out, there were some totes that had been stored under the frame. I finally got around to going through them yesterday, and look what I found:

It’s pretty old, but I have no clue where I got it. Probably from an auction or a flea market. It has some stains—I will try and get them out and hope for the best.
It’s a pretty patter, and there’s no damage other than those stains. I am hopeful I can get them out.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

A Craft Project

I stopped at the dollar store to pick up some swiffer refills and saw a little plaque that said “So much happy”.

And, the price was right.

I wanted it to say “Sew much happy”. Can you tell in the first picture that I started painting over part of the “o”? I had some craft paint that’s a silver color, and that’s what I used. It took several coats to cover up the black.

Once I got it covered, I used a sharpie to change it to “sew”. I realized after I drew with black sharpie that the letters are more of a dark brown. It’s okay; for $5, I am happy with it.
In fact, I think it’s pretty darn cute!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

February Quilt is Quilted!

 I'm happy to say I got the quilting done!

I keep looking for a picture where the lighting doesn't wash it out so much.....
It really is much more vibrant in person. I used a quilting pattern called "bamboo swirls".
It's a nice open pattern like I prefer, so I am happy with that. I cut some solid red for the is all sewn together, pressed, and ready to go on the quilt. Alan said he would bind this one for me. He know I really dislike binding. In fact, I have some quilts here that are have been quilted for ages that are just waiting for the binding. I probably need to add them to my UFO list and see if I can just get them done.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Cross Stitch

First, let me say I haven’t had much spare time lately. When I sit down to take a break (the older I get, the more often I have to take a break), I try to do a little stitching. I haven’t done a lot on this one:

Still, it’s progress, and that makes me happy. I was intrigued by the idea of doing a one-color project in February. It’s a stitch-along sponsored by Colorado Stitcher called #wintercrossstitchcamp. You can find it on Instagram. I bought this beautiful kit  
and could hardly wait to start. In order to qualify for some prizes, everyone was supposed to post a picture of their unstarted project on February 1st, then post a picture of the finish at the end of the month. I was so excited to start, I forgot to take a picture before I started the stitching. It doesn’t really matter, as I don’t care about a prize, and the one I picked is so big, I most likely won’t finish it in time anyway. Here’s what I have so far:
I will have to say, I am enjoying just stitching and not having to change colors. 

I also dropped the flamingo one off at the framing department at Hobby Lobby. I should have it back in about a week.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

February Goals - A Quick Update

Good news—I got my February quilt loaded and got started on the quilting. 

I also remembered to get a picture of the backing.
I had six yards of it and only needed five, so a yard is back in my stash. That kind of bugs me as I am trying to get the older fabrics used up, but it couldn’t be helped. I need to figure out something I can make with that extra yard.