Archive for August, 2007

I can’t believe it’s August!

We had a beautiful day here in Minneapolis! Without the heat and humidity I couldn’t believe it was August and we took advantage of the weather and spent a good part of the day outside. Keith came home early from work with a picnic lunch that we took to the park to eat; then I came back home to work a bit before heading out for a walk downtown and dinner outside.

Our walk took us down to the Mississippi and across the Stone Arch Bridge. We could see the debris from the bridge collapse last month but it looks like they’ve made progress cleaning it up. The Associated Press reports that 13 people were killed and over 100 injured in the collapse, we were lucky that no one from Keith’s company was involved.

This afternoon I used the hearts as an overall pattern for a HeartStrings quilt. I was happy with the results but I could be a little more consistent. I like it best with one echo so I had to pay attention to which side of the heart I quilted first when I needed to change direction but it was pretty easy to get into a rhythm.

Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops – Chinese Coins #1 , RWB Heartstrings, Purple Project #2, Fran’s top

Piece 2 backings
Bind, label, wash, and ship quilt for my niece
Work on string blocks for my Half Square Hearts
Bind, label, and wash CC #4
Bind, label, and wash CC #1

I got all the way through my list!

More hearts

I finished quilting my 2nd Purple Project quilt this morning and was using the extra batting and backing for practice. I started just echoing some hearts and I LOVE this. It wasn’t even something I’d seen somewhere and practiced drawing for HOURS which is what I usually have to do. Isn’t it CUTE? Now hopefully I can find a top to use it on!

As I was getting the quilt set up this morning I had to pull out a new roll of batting. I almost had a heart attack until I realized this huge black streak was on the plastic NOT on my batting!

I should have been making blocks BUT

I just can’t wait to see what a particular quilt is going to look like so I took a break from making blocks to put this green section together. This is a UFO that has been redesigned so I’m using the half square triangles I already have cut. You could control the scrappiness of this quilt by using a single green fabric but luckily I like scrappy.

By the way, I don’t know if I made myself clear the other day but I had decided NOT to use this heart layout or any of the others I tried and to use the Half Square Strings design again – as you can see I changed my mind – again!

I’m working my way through my list. I’ll load another one this afternoon for quilting. Two HeartStrings tops are packed and ready to ship to 2 girls whose family lost a lot of their belongings in a house fire. I’m surrounded by HeartStrings Projects today and couldn’t be happier!

One fresh from the dryer (don’t you love the red binding!)

One being loaded on the longarm and another one *on deck*

One ready for the binding to be hand stitched down.

Two bound, labeled, and washed to be put in the chest for donation when needed.

Two in the bottom box ready to be shipped out along with a small box of strings for another member.

Ebb and Flow

I love this Ebb and Flow Pantograph from Lorien quilting on these Patriotic quilts. Here’s one I quilted the other day and just took off the machine today. It’s one of two HeartStrings Quilt made from donated blocks at the WI/MN area sew-in in July and will be donated to Quilts of Valor.

(It can be found at Willow Leaf Studio but their website is down for maintenance, the above link takes you to Columbia River Quilting Supplies and Kings Men Quilting also carries it)


I had a comment from Ann yesterday asking why we used a foundation for the HeartStrings projects rather than just sewing the strings together the Gwen Marston way. Since it’s a question I get fairly frequently I posted an answer on the HeartStrings Blog along with some of my favorite books on string quilts.

From a personal standpoint, when I do use a foundation I use muslin because I HATE to pull the paper off once I’ve finished piecing the block. Because I tend to work with strings and strips of different lengths and like to use even my little bits and pieces it usually is easier for me to use a foundation rather than trying to find strings of similar length to piece a strip set. For patterns like Chinese Coins and piano key string borders that are easily pieced without foundations – I don’t use them.

I didn’t get a lot accomplished today but did make and sew the binding on for one of the Chinese Coins quilts – I’ve got it about halfway stitched down and for a change actually thought to grab the label and sew it in the corner when I was stitching the binding on. Now I’ll just have to sew two sides of it when I’m done the binding. Why don’t I remember to do it this way more often?

Designing quilts

I spent a couple hours this evening playing with EQ6 and a group of string blocks trying to decide on a new layout. I had a UFO that is eventually going to be 2 (possibly 3) quilts by the time I’m done with it. I’ve already finished and donated the first quilt – Half Square Strings and loved how it turned out.

My intention was to create a second quilt called Half Square Hearts but wasn’t liking it too much when I started playing with the blocks I’d already pieced. So I played with a couple more options on the design wall and after vetoing all of them, ended up with the same setting as the first quilt.

It’s hard for me not to consider all this a waste of time that could have been used making more string blocks but I know from a creative standpoint it was valuable even if I didn’t like any of the designs enough to use them. I still have a bunch of blocks to make for this quilt so I’ll be working on them over the next week or so (or longer).

I did get the RWB HeartStrings top quilted. It’s still on the machine because I’m going to use the extra batting and backing for some freehand quilting practice. I’ve been practicing designs from Sharon Schamber’s Stipple Basics

My current To Do List
Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops – Chinese Coins #1 , RWB Heartstrings
Piece 2 backings
Bind, label, wash, and ship quilt for my niece
Work on string blocks for my Half Square Hearts
Bind, label, and wash CC #4
Bind, label, and wash CC #1
If all goes well and the HS quilts get done, load and start quilting one of Mom’s tops

Do YOU think Keith is playing golf in this weather?

I think they’re probably in the bar right about now! Hopefully he won’t come home too soon because I still have lots of work to get done.

Here’s the finished HeartStrings Quilt – titled so imaginatively as Chinese Coins #1 since it was the first one I pieced from the donated coins. This is the 2nd finished Coins quilt, one more is ready for binding, a 4th is pieced and ready for quilting and I still have a bunch of coins. I need to get to work and piece a couple more tops AFTER I get through my current *to do* list.

The quilt REALLY looks much better in person. I think it’s just one of those quilts that doesn’t photograph well. A close up of the Hearts and Loops quilting is below also. Click on photos to enlarge.

Not a work day but…..

Since Keith is working tomorrow, we spent today together. Went to brunch, ran some errands, dinner out. I did sneak in some work before and after dinner and I’m all set to load another quilt and get it done tomorrow.

My updated to do list for the rest of August

Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops – Chinese Coins #1
Piece 2 backings
Bind, label, wash, and ship quilt for my niece
Work on string blocks for my Half Square Hearts
Bind, label, and wash CC #4
Bind, label, and wash CC #1
If all goes well and the HS quilts get done, load and start quilting one of Mom’s tops

Back at work!

Since I get more accomplished when I set goals – here are some for the next couple weeks.

  1. Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops – finished CC#1 already today
  2. Piece 2 backings
  3. Bind, label, wash, and ship quilt for my niece – all but the shipping done yesterday
  4. Work on string blocks for my Half Square Hearts
  5. Bind, label, and wash CC #4
  6. Bind, label, and wash CC #1 (quilted today)
  7. If all goes well and the HS quilts get done, load and start quilting one of Mom’s tops

I can’t show the photo of my niece’s quilt until I ship it off and she receives it so I’ll share a photo of the quilting I did today. I was getting ready to pull a pantograph out for this Coins quilt but decided allover hearts and loops quilting would work fine and it probably went faster which is good with all the ones I want to get through.

Happy Birthday Debbie!

She was such a cute kid wasn’t she? I posted this photo on our family blog today but couldn’t resist sharing it here too! Happy Birthday again Debbie.