Monthly Archives: October 2017

I’ve been busy

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on I’ve been busy

I traveled to Mom’s on Sunday and we’ve been busy. She’s decided to make some Xmas stockings so I found a couple patterns before I came and we’re experimenting! I think we’ve found the best process by combining some from both patterns and I hope to leave her with a stack of stockings to work on.  Doesn’t she look like she’s working hard? 

Finn’s stocking was first but we marked some diagonal lines for quilting on it with a blue pen and the reds ran when we sprayed it to get rid of the pen marks. I’m so glad I didn’t use this fabric in a Strippie as I’d originally planned. 

Now we’re just marking the first diagonal line with blue painters tape and Mom’s using her walking foot to space the other lines. 

We’re going to remake Finn’s although it would really be fine … I like the cuffs we’re doing better on the 2nd and 3rd stockings anyway and Mom says she doesn’t mind. 

Quick and easy

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Quick and easy

I just finished binding the giraffe Strippie and thought I’d share another quick quilt idea. A couple years ago, Mom had a period where she wasn’t feeling up to spending as much time in the sewing room as normal but still wanted to keep making quilts so we came up with a simple “panel” quilt pattern that allowed her to add a touch of appliqué and have a quick quilt to gift. 

I’m using some of those leftover pieces in my Happy Blocks for Maine which made me think of them.  She has some cute applique dies for her Accuquilt GO but you could add any appliqué that you wanted. 

Animal Appplique Quilts

  • Cut center panel cut 27×35
  • Cut border and corner stones 6.5
  • Quilt will be approximately 39 x 47

Photos of a few more …


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Assembled!

Wow, does it feel good to be back to work even if I still have bins sitting on the floor waiting for me to finish sorting and deciding where to put the stuff in them!

The spool quilt is a finished top and will wait for quilting now until after I bring the longarm here to Florida. 

I’m linking again to the brief instructions on how I pieced my quilt – there’s also a photo of the vintage quilt that inspired me. 

Happy Blocks

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Happy Blocks

I had a couple questions about the Happy Blocks and I thought I’d share some of the quilts we did as part of a HeartStrings project years ago. 

This was the first one of mine that I made – they’re great for kids donation quilts. 

Then I made a twisted version

We collected lots and lots of blocks which volunteers assembled and quilted. These next two were group blocks that I quilted. We had so many blocks that we played with different color schemes.  This orange and blue one was fun.

This one was arranged in a rainbow setting. 

This is another one of mine – I started out with a charm pack for the centers of this one and pulled two fabrics from stash for the frames. 

If you’d like to make one I’ve got several links to help. 

The original happy blocks instructions 

The twisted version

The blocks we’re making for Maine have a larger center and those instructions are here. 

Finn and I had a great day – walks to the park, working in the sewing room ( I should have a finished spool top to show tomorrow), and for me a massage!

Finn has a little friend he looks for each time we pass this house. 


Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Progress

It’s going to take a while but I’m starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel. I’m still waiting to hear when the stairs will be carpeted but I’m able to sew and that’s what counts!

The last of my clear bins arrived today and all my yarn is in the closet and sorted by either type of yarn or by type of project. Handling it all again makes me want to knit more. 

My little office area is set up – I’m going to try to be better st keeping it neat. I’ll sort, file, or shred when the bin gets full – or at least that’s the plan. 

The Elna is set up in the alcove where the desk used to be. I want to keep two machines set up even after the longarm gets here. I’ve always wanted one for piecing and another set up for binding, piecing backs. or other small tasks that would normally interrupt my piecing. 

I think I’ve also resolved the issue of where I’ll put the design wall when the longarm gets here by moving my printer.  

In addition to binding today, I made my first Happy Blocks for Maine and posted the instructions on the website.  They’ll be our project for next September although we’ll make the blocks during the year and assemble and tie the quilts when we get there. These centers and blocks are a little larger than our usual Happy Blocks. 

I sewed today!

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on I sewed today!

The quilt studio organization is not yet completed but I did quilt today!

Until I bring the longarm and bookshelves here mid January, I’m using the space in the middle of the room for my table, ironing board, and design wall. I admit I’m not sure where the design wall is going to fit once I get everything in the room but I’ll worry about that later! The lighting will be an issue initially too but something I’ll figure out as I go. I have lamps and overhead lights in both alcoves where the sewing machines are so it’s just the middle of the room that’s the issue.

First up today, I got the spool blocks on the design wall. I’m liking this a lot but before I start sewing the blocks together I’m going to look at it for a couple days and see if I want to switch around any of the blocks. 

There are brief instructions on the website for the spools quilt.
After getting the binding on the little doll quilt, I started the freemotion quilting on the giraffe Strippie. I’d done some straight lines before shutting everything down for the carpet install and I wanted to finish it up with some freemotion quilting in the larger strips.

As usual, I did some quick drawing practice first … I love these ferns and they’re actually really forgiving and by that I mean that they seem to look pretty good even with my wonky quilting.

While I’ve enjoyed the challenge of quilting these last few years on the regular sewing machine, I won’t lie, I’m looking forward to having the longarm here and being able to quilt all my tops on it. This doesn’t look too bad though! Wonky but not too bad!

No photos

Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on No photos

I’m having problems uploading photos to the blog again and have been too busy to take the time to call technical support so it will probably be at least a couple days but trust me I’m making progress. I sorted through a lot of bins and started setting up the sewing room. Both machines are set up and ready to sew, the ironing board and design wall are up and more bins were purchased.

Keith and I came out of a restaurant and he pointed to a store and said that it was a store just for me – called The Container Store and boy was he right – I dragged him over to look and two shopping carts later I had two types a bins, a small filing cabinet and a cork message board to hang above my desk! I’m definitely go back there when I have more time to browse.

EDIT: I’ve found a work around for loading photos for now so here are the ones from the container store. Keith was deliberately frowning for the camera – he didn’t mind stopping and shopping for my bins!

How is this possible

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on How is this possible

How can I move all my stuff from a smaller room into a larger one and wonder where I’m going to put everything?! And it will just get worse when I move the GA stash and longarm here.

It actually looks worse than this because Keith brought all the stuff from downstairs. I move the last of the sewing stuff from the new “master” bedroom closet and built in. I have a feeling that some of this stuff is just going to be in a temporary spot and that I’ll have to do some adjusting.

EDIT: uploading some photos of the mess!

It all fits!

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on It all fits!

An empty room looks smaller! I’ve been worrying about how our furniture would fit in the former sewing room and am happy to say it fits fine. Keith said that the room was larger than our master bedroom in MN and I think he must be right. We certainly didn’t have room for a chair in there!

All the carpet is done except for the stairs – hopefully it won’t take them too long to get another piece in and finish but at least I can get everything set back up.  That’s going to be a lot of work but I should be sewing by Monday!

You can see the new carpet is a little darker and has a shorter pile. It also has a much nicer pad underneath and I’m very pleased with it. 

Once I get set up in the quilt studio, I’m sure I’ll be anxious to get the longarm here but that won’t be until the 2nd week of January assuming I can get the movers scheduled.  I’m really excited about having everything back in one room again. That hasn’t happened since we left Marietta in 2006!

Carpet is going in

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Carpet is going in

Finn and I are hiding out in Keith’s office while the installers are working. I finally got him to relax – playing loud ocean sounds on Alexa helps drown out the noise upstairs. 

Do you see that quilt? It’s 11-12 years old and the one that I use most frequently the last few years. I have kind of a love/hate relationship with A/C. In Florida it’s obviously a necessity but I’m usually cold and have a quilt across my lap when I’m sitting. 

I’ve had several people comment negatively about flannel from Joann’s but I think it’s wrong to say that all their flannel is thin and cheap. I tend to buy mine there for backing quilts and this quilt is an example of a good quality flannel that has held up well for years. Shrinkage is one of the negatives I hear but I LIKE my quilts to shrink a bit – it’s why I use a mostly cotton batting too. I like that soft crinkled look and feel and I don’t think the shrinkage is excessive although I always expect some and plan for it. 

Still no carpet

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on Still no carpet

The installer showed up but there was a problem with the plan for placing the seams which took most of the day to resolve and resulted in the installation not starting today. The good news is that the some of the seams were able to be changed and the others I’ll live with and they’re supposed to start tomorrow. Let’s hope! There is a possibility that they will need additional carpet and if that’s the case, they’ll order more and do the stairs when it comes in (same dye lot!).

In between dealing with all of this … I started another simple scarf – I don’t want to have to read a pattern or keep my place just mindless knitting that I can pick up and put down as people will be in and out of the house the rest of the week.

Finn and I also practiced learning to stay on command. I’m researching  local dog trainers because I feel like we could use help in a few areas but he’s smart and listens when he wants to and when he’s not not distracted.


Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Ugh!!

After all the work to get ready for the carpet installers they call this morning to delay starting until tomorrow. I am SO not happy especially since I was up early to finish stripping our bedroom of everything on the surfaces and the linens from our bed! I never did fall asleep last night because I was going over everything I need to get done in the next few weeks in my mind and I knew I had to get up early too … the two together are guaranteed to make for a sleepless night!

At least I did finish my red scarf. 

Pattern – Be Simple Variation – a free pattern on Ravelry

Yarn – Wollmeise Twin – fingering weight

Needles – US size 6

It’s a little hard to tell from the photo but the dark color in the scarf is a deep purple. 

This is the 4th time I’ve made this scarf – it uses one skein of my favorite variegated yarn and always looks great. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a knitting finish but I’m also making good progress on the striped blanket for the baby so I should have another finish by the end of the month. 

Now it’s time for a nap!