Another gorgeous day

We had another beautiful day so we spent all afternoon outside.

We continue to walk around downtown and talk about where we’d like to live if we decide to stay here and buy a place. We like the area we are living now and one on the other side of downtown by the river. Today we walked by some townhouses by the river that we looked at when we first moved. A lot will depend on Keith’s job and we really do need to sell our Condo in GA which is still for sale so we won’t be moving in the near future but it’s nice to look.

I pieced together the doll quilt tonight after Keith went to bed. I’m not crazy about the top and bottom rows of blocks – intended to take the quilt from square to rectangular but I’m going to live with it. I think once it’s bound and those center white edges are framed I’ll be happier.

I received my book from Amazon and have paged through it. One of the things I found very interesting was the discussion on how obsessed we are with symmetry in quilts today. That’s me to a T so I guess I’ll have to work on being more spontaneous and asymmetric.

Now I have to see if I can find my safety pins, quilting betweens and some quilting thread and get this basted tomorrow.

Why am I crawling around on the floor at 2AM?

I’ve always admired the small quilts that Tonya makes and hand quilts and I’ve been watching the quilts being exchanged in the doll quilt swaps. I don’t have any desire to swap but I decided I could always make some quilts, buy some dolls, and donate them together.

Inspired to finally act by Lucy and a mini quilt she made recently, I ordered a few books from Amazon including the book she referred to on hand quilting – Quilting With Style: Principles for Great Pattern Design by Gwen Marston & Joe Cunningham.

So while I’m waiting for my books to arrive, I remembered an old UFO that’s not even on my working list because it will just never be finished and this is where the crawling around on the floor at 2AM comes in!

These drunkard’s path blocks are appliqued not pieced (needle-turn applique believe it or not!) all from Joann’s calico’s I bought the first year I was quilting. So I think this is going to become my first doll quilt and who knows it might be my last too since I certainly don’t need more projects, we’ll see how it goes.

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?