Monthly Archives: October 2014

I’m tired of playing

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on I’m tired of playing

I have gone round and round playing with layouts for my 3rd Drunkard’s Path quilt. The other two are simple layouts but I wanted to try something with the Devil’s Puzzle layout but couldn’t make it work in a size I wanted with the large Drunkard’s Path blocks so I think I’m going to do this one … at least, this is what I’ll cut out. There are an equal number of light centers and dark centers which is perfect since the die cuts an equal number. It saves me from having to cut extra of one and not use them all.DPv1


Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Quilted

My Strips and Strings Log Cabin is quilted … The pantograph is Blowing Leaves and it’s an old one and simple but I like it. It almost took me as long to find the laser light and reattach the post to the longarm and find the bin with the pantograph as it did to actually quilt it. Each day I get a little closer to actually having everything in it’s place and being able to just go down and start quilting without having to participate in a scavenger hunt first!


I’ve made several of these over the years from my string bins and they’re still a favorite of mine … In fact the banner on my website is a photo of one of them. The link above will take you there to instructions for the quilt if you’ve got some leftover strips and strings lying around!

Warning – I’m going to whine

Published / by Mary / 14 Comments on Warning – I’m going to whine

If my occasional whine bothers you … Go ahead and skip this post but it’s just a little whine. I know I’m lucky to have dedicated quilting space and very fortunate to have a generous stash but it sure is a challenge to have my fabric in bins rather than in the open on shelves after 14 years of quilting.

I thought that separating the fabric into colors and labeling the bins would make it work well for me and it helps but trying to pull specific fabrics without dumping everything in the bin …. Not so easy!


So why was I scrounging around in the bins? HeartStrings is doing a Sharon Quilt Challenge … Well, a few of us are doing the challenge. Sharon is one of the quilters from Maine and she makes a lot of planned HeartStrings quilts where she cuts her strips the same size and places her fabrics in the same location in the block. Here’s an example of one from last month.


The guidelines for the challenge are:
8 fabrics – I yard each

All strips cut 2 inches

Corner triangles same fabric on both sides of the block from 4 inch squares cut on the diagonal.

This is a planned quilt with the strips in the same place for each block.

Blocks made and top assembled by midnight Dec 31, 2014

I had to find 8 coordinating fabrics … Hiding somewhere in 16-18 bins. Not fun. Luckily, in the first bin I came across a stripe that I decided I’d use to pull my other fabrics and that made it easier once I decided I wanted brown, gold, red, green, and purple in the quilt. I pulled 11 fabrics even though we only need 8 because I won’t start this until I’m in FL and I want a little wiggle room once I start deciding where to place the fabrics in the blocks in case I don’t like one or two of them.


I think this might actually look good … What do you think?

A rug for Chesty

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on A rug for Chesty

I have such a good daughter in law! Our area rug was ruined from the leak and I hadn’t replaced it yet. Chesty can’t jump up and down by himself from the wood floor because it’s too slick so my DIL found and bought a new rug so I could bring it back with me on Sunday. Chesty is much happier and I am too because I don’t have to listen to him cry every time he wants to get up or down off the sofa!!


And everything looks better in the light of day — I’d started another little ripple last night and decided I didn’t like the yarn colors so I wasn’t going to finish it … This morning it looks fine. I might or might not add a 3rd color in.


More quilting on today’s agenda but first I’m waiting for the contractor to talk about painting the kitchen cabinets rather than replacing them.

Almost finished

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on Almost finished

I managed to modify the border of the shell afghan and crochet 3 more rounds with the last skein of yarn. The fun is done so I’ll put off weaving the ends in. It could probably use some blocking but with an acrylic yarn, I’m not sure how successful that would be. I’ve read articles about blocking acrylic before but I’m not sure the blocking would make a difference once the afghan was washed and as this is a donation blanket for a child, I’m sure it will be washed often so I’ll do a little more research.

Pattern – Shelly Baby Blanket
Yarn – KnitPicks Brava Worsted in Rouge


This is all that was left of the 9th skein


Not even close

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Not even close

I knew I was taking a risk ordering more yarn for my current project but hoped that a subtle difference in the dye lots wouldn’t matter as long as I started a new skein at the beginning of one of the border rounds … As it turns out the yarn isn’t even close in color and I can’t use it. I’ve finished 8 of 12 border rounds and found one additional skein of yarn with the same dye lot so the plan is to modify the design and do a row of half double crochet followed by a row of shells and call it done. I’m hoping one skein is enough for the two rounds!


Can you tell that the skein on the right is much lighter in color?

There’s good news

Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on There’s good news

This morning I loaded and quilted this HeartStrings top pieced by Beth … in non regulated mode … quilted with spirals like the one from the other day (you’ll see the quilting once it’s bound but its nothing too exciting)IMG_4509

Don’t you love the deep rich colors?

Next, I called Gammill for help with my stitch regulator and even though I was convinced it was a major problem, it was a simple mistake on my part in how I had the encoders plugged in … who knew they could be inserted upside down?

Then, I loaded and quilted this HeartStrings top pieced by AnnG … in regulated mode … quilted with dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD. Don’t you love the homespuns? I plan to eventually do another HeartStrings quilt in Homespuns and have a bag full of leftovers all ready to go.


A view of the back …


(Appreciating Tish and her pieced backs today!)

If that wasn’t enough … I popped the top on the purple and pink bin and decided to cut out some half square triangles to kit up a quick baby quilt to take back to FL.


From a pile of scraps … to half square triangles all ready to pieced thanks to my Accuquilt GO.


And Chesty was much more relaxed today too. He slept most of the day while I worked but now he’s hungry and crying for his dinner so I guess I’d better get off the computer and feed him!






Published / by Mary / 14 Comments on Waffling

I alternate between wanting to be stern with myself and hunkering down with a firm set of goals and letting whatever happens over the next couple weeks just happen.

This past week there was NO walking … I really need to do 3 days this coming week.

I’ve cut out 3 quilts and quilted 2 tops so I’ve made a little progress. I’ve been crocheting some in the evenings and I’m on the 3 round on the border of my blanket so there’s progress there too.

I’ve been organizing a bit here and there but I know things will still be in a state of disorganization when I leave. Sometimes I wonder if between the renovation still in progress after the major water leak in January and the dumping of our MN household in July, if I will ever get this place straight. The kitchen is not useable right now … I’d donated the stove and fridge with the understanding the work would be done before I returned this month … And they haven’t even started. Chris did put a small dorm size fridge in for me but there’s no way to cook, no stove, no microwave. I do have a coffee maker that lets me dispense a cup of hot water so here was my dinner tonight.


My master bathroom is also not useable after the leak … and still waiting on remodeling. Luckily there’s another bathroom just steps away. And you’ve seen the state of the sewing area. The longarm room is OK but I still have bins to sort through and store somewhere before I can move my sewing table down this weekend.

So with all that and the pressure to accomplish as much quilting as possible … This afternoon I got home from Chris’ and could have loaded a quilt and started the quilting but hey, chasing a 2 year old around is very tiring so Chesty and I took a nap instead and then I spent the rest of the evening reading and crocheting. I think I’ve made my choice about how strict I’m going to be about sticking to goals … Whatever gets done, gets done and whatever doesn’t get done, doesn’t!

A day with Rae

Published / by Mary / 15 Comments on A day with Rae

Lunch with her parents and then we had the day to ourselves.

Reading with Gram while Mom got ready


A visit to Barnes and Noble after lunch


This girl will read anything … She must have picked up my new crochet book and flipped through it at least 10 times this afternoon.


We even sent selfies to Pop since he’s home in FL



Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Quilted

Using the non regulated mode on the longarm, I quilted this HeartStrings top with swirls … I focused on quilting just one block at a time so I could concentrate on moving the machine at consistent speed. There are 9 swirls in each block and there’s a continuous path so that I could quilt all the way across one row and back on the next row.


Except for the little Strippie for Bree, all of these will go back to FL for binding so you’ll see photos of the whole quilt when it’s completed.

It’s a tight fit

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on It’s a tight fit

I’m still trying to arrange all the bins downstairs in some way that makes it easy for me to get to them. I also unpacked one of the batting rolls and loaded a quilt on the longarm. I’ll have to make sure I leave enough space for cutting batting as I start putting more bins under the longarm.


I didn’t get a chance to call Gammill today so that will have to wait until next week but I’m heading back down now to quilt … Just something easy that I can do without the regulator.

Drunkard’s Path

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Drunkard’s Path

I’d intended to cut just two Drunkard’s Path quilt kits to take back to FL to piece but one of the bins I opened up had homespun fabrics I’ve been trying to get rid of for years … So since I had the die out already … I cut a bunch of homespuns. I’m not sure how I’ll lay them out but I can at least get a medium size boys quilt from them and I have more of the border fabric I used on this one so I can always make it a little bigger with a border too. I like how the homespuns work up in a Drunkard’s Path.


Vicki posted a couple layouts on her blog today if you’re thinking of participating in her sew along. The hardest thing for me right now is making sure I cut the right number of light and dark blocks for the layout I want since I won’t have access to cut more blocks in FL if I get it wrong. I’ve also been playing in EQ7.