Monday, July 17, 2017


the last time my quilty pal M and i went to a door prize event, she won a gorgeous Patrick Lose it was my turn....we ventured to the local quilty emporium to hear Alex Veronelli give his Aurifil presentation....and my ticket was drawn for the top prize....a luscious box of thread eye candy!

pretty terrific i'd's 12 weight, good for hand quilting and embroidery....i had to pinch myself as i was totally shocked.....thank you, aurifil, for making such a terrific thread that makes all my old machines happy....and me too!

and the 12 days of christmas wagon train rolls on and on!  here is the list again and be sure and leave comments to be eligible for one of the tula pink fabric prizes!  sarah has all the details....

Monday, July 17th

Tuesday, July 18th

Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th

Friday, July 21st

Saturday, July 22nd

Sunday, July 16, 2017

weekend report

so far it's been a fun weekend....friday the senior center quilty gals had a picnic and taught me how to eat maryland crab....

and once i'd mastered the task of finding the yummy crabmeat, they pronounced me an expert and presented me with my very own

how great is that???   in maine, there is atlantic crabmeat, which is very sweet and briny, but i wasn't sure i'd like the old bay seasoning....but it's delish!  easy to see (and taste) why crabs are a big deal here in maryland....i sure do feel like a native now!

and saturday fired up the old viking for some sewing fun and made these darling baby bibs....aren't they cute?  all from stash--just happened to have a small piece of those baby footprints fabric left and they were perfect.

now i've sunday to get back to a UFO project....and don't forget the 12 days of christmas hop!  below you will find the upcoming days' blog posts with lots of christmasy ideas....and then visit sarah for giveaway details.....

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Day 2 -- 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop!

welcome to today's edition of the '12 days of christmas' blog hop!   my focus today is on christmas stockings, specifically string-pieced stockings.  about me?  i'm a recent transplant to western maryland from my native new england, gave up lobsters for crabs--a southern yankee i guess!  60 years ago my mom sent me to 4-H where i learned to sew and was primarily a garment sewer--including a wedding dress and soft dolls--until 1979 when took my first quilting class at adult ed.  this was my first quilt...the ever-popular sampler!

i was immediately hooked and gave up all other crafts for quilting, though i still sew some garments.  amish quilts were the sirens that lured me into quilting...hand quilting is my favorite part!  in the 80s, string piecing was BIG and i made simple vests for myself and my daughter.  i branched out into potholders, christmas ornaments and stockings, pillows etc.  being primarily a scrappy quilter, had a plentiful supply of fabric even then.  strip piecing is limited only by your stash and your imagination.  i hope you enjoy the ideas here, and hopefully they'll fuel your mojo to make some for yourself or somebody special!  these stockings were my first and were made using a commercial pattern featuring the court-jester style of cuff with little bells sewn at the points.

you can see i kept to the traditional red/green colors.  that was me, the cautious, matchy-matchy grace who, thanks to bonnie hunter, no longer exists!   yes, they are nice and i liked them, but now that i have time to play in my stash, creativity has flourished and have branched out to other quilting styles!  here are some examples...

first, some kaffe fassett fabrics that make me swooon! i think i'll hang this year round....and how about a patriotic stocking for a vet or a summer holiday?  the stars on the cuff were done in a polyester lamé fabric, backed with a stabilizer, paper pieced.  yes, they are washable but be careful with the iron.

then there's a low volume style with some simple ribbon on the cuff....and a civil war repro stocking too...

finally, back to red and green, with something for the tree hugger or rustic retreat....inset paper pieced trees and a bright red ribbon...but a challenge for a beginning quilter as it's more fussy in construction.....then a mod style red/green with no cuff... as i shopped my stash for these fabrics, i was tempted to make a lot more!!!  now i'll show you some construction photos....caveat:  this is the method i use and might not be the method you to begin?

a muslin backing and piece of poly fleece cut larger than the actual pattern and pinned for stability...

then i begin to add my strips using all the same width or different widths...diagonal or horizontal

continue adding strips, removing pins as i work down the stocking....

once the top is completely covered, then pin pattern and trim.  for backing, i used a double thickness of cotton fabrics.  place right sides together, stitch around stocking (NOT ACROSS TOP) with 1/4" seam and then turn right side out....want to line it?  cut 2 stocking shapes and put right sides together; stitch around leaving a space open on the side about 3" in length....DO NOT TURN RIGHT SIDE OUT

now place stocking right side out INTO lining....NOTE that lining stocking is still wrong side out....the opening on the right side not visible but is there....

with top of stocking and top of lining pinned together, stitch around with 1/4" pull stocking thru the opening left in the lining....

it then looks like this....the red tree print was the fabric i used for the back side of the stocking...

then, i sewed up the opening on the side of the stocking lining and tucked it down inside the stocking...i made a hanger and pinned it to the outside (right side) of the stocking before adding the lining....this is the finish with lining for the stocking WITHOUT the cuff....

when i wanted to add a cuff AND the lining, here's how  i did it....first, i sewed the lining as usual but without the side opening....then i turned the lining right side out and slipped it inside the stocking, which left me with raw edges of both lining and stocking around the top.  then i made my hanger and pinned it to the INSIDE of the stocking to the lining fabric.  i measured across the top of my stocking, added seam allowances and chose my depth stocking measured 7" across the top (added seam allowances) and for most i chose a 4" depth, ending up with a 3.5" cuff after finishing.  

this is my cuff and facing with right sides together, both pieces stitched first at sides and then around the bottom.  if you're not math phobic, you could cut one piece of fabric and then fold it instead of using 2 different pieces.  if you want to add trim as in the civil war stocking, though, you will need 2 pieces, pinning the trim on before sewing the facing to the outside piece.  now turn right side out.  i then pinned it to the INSIDE of the stocking to the right side of the lining with my hanger pinned to the stocking and inbetween the stocking and cuff; then it was stitched 1/4" from the top, making sure all raw edges (stocking, lining, cuff) were evenly pinned together.  

then just turn the cuff to the, for those of you who want to tackle the inserted pieces as i did with the trees....first, i paper pieced my trees.  then i sewed strips to either side, essentially making it one very wide strip, then just pinned to stocking, sewed and flipped...sounds simple but the mechanics are more complicated than with a single, narrower strip.  i had originally thought about paper pieced letters spelling J-O-Y, but found the trees that i liked better...maybe another stocking? each insert must be treated individually by adding the strips to the sides first and then added to the stocking one by one. before trimming the stocking to the pattern shape, i made another pattern using a see-thru interfacing to make sure i trimmed the stocking with the trees equidistant as possible from all sides. so that's about it.  the first one of any of these is a bit time consuming, but additional ones go quickly, even with the cuff and lining.  as mentioned, i could have made a lot more very easily inspired by fabrics in my stash....indigo fabrics, some other pretty christmas-y fabrics, some rich-looking reds and plaids....oooh plaids!  now it's your turn and i hope you will find them as fun as i have....thanks for stopping check out these other great ideas!

Saturday, July 15th

Sunday, July 16th

Monday, July 17th

Tuesday, July 18th

Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th

Friday, July 21st

Saturday, July 22nd

Friday, July 14, 2017

it's christmas in july!

today's the start of 12 days of blog hopping fun offering you tons of ideas for your holiday sewing and gifting! sarah craig has organized this event that includes giveaways start right in hopping....and bring along that water container to keep snow in sight!

Friday, July 14th

Saturday, July 15th

Sunday, July 16th

Monday, July 17th

Tuesday, July 18th

Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th

Friday, July 21st

Saturday, July 22nd

and be sure to check out sarah's blog for giveaway details!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

quick fix

this is the RIGHT version.....

these are 2 rows finished of 6 i was sewing the 2nd row, i remembered there were 8 gray motifs in all (plus 2 halves), but with the 2 rows had only 2, so realized had missed a couple along the way....and now that have gotten this far with it, like it even more.  my mod muse is in!  hoping to get the flimsy done in the next week or so and retire the shoebox.  thinking the next UFO will be the tumbler top.  and september will be a basting marathon...

this saturday is "my" day of the 12 days of christmas in july blog be sure and hop on over to check out my projects, which just might give you some ideas of your own.  in addition to the blog hop, there will be some giveaways...friday is day 1, and all the blog links and the link to the giveaway will be posted be sure and stop by!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

fun evening!

tuesday night visited nearby Four County quilting guild where Pat Sloan was the guest speaker....

a great time was had by all...pat is entertaining, inspiring and enthralling, all in one!  she brought many of her quilts, large and small, and gave a brief history of her quilting life, which is jam-packed with all sorts of quilty events....podcasts, blog, books, fabric designing etc.   i thoroughly enjoyed myself....four county is a pretty large group of talented quilters, and if i didn't already belong to 2 guilds, would join in a nanosecond!   their show is coming up later this year in my backyard and planning on viewing all the lovely works that will be on display.  ***  while finishing up my sewing for tuesday, had an arrrrrgghh moment.  it appears while i was trying to watch netflix and sew on my orange mod from a teeny, tiny black and white diagram, completely missed places where the gray design should have been.   today's task is to rrrrrip out the wrong ones and re-sew the right ones!  not too many, which is good.  ***  hot days here but cloudy and off and on showers.  so thankful to have my own apartment, climate controlled, electronically connected, all to myself....i am truly blessed!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

next up!

the orange mod is the next UFO to be worked on to the flimsy a perfect world, i'd have a complete wall for design space, but until that happens....

and here is the gray accent design with another block almost done...

oh yes, i am really liking how this looks so far.  out of white squares so all done for tonite....will it use up all my orange scraps??  surely you jest, but at least some of them....and since the shoebox they are in is cracked at one end, the leftovers will move on to another waiting place for another use.  this is another one i'm itching to hand quilt. it'll be a while, tho, since these blocks take more time to construct.  ***  got my summertime haircut the other day.  when i moved to maryland, found a terrific place and haircutter but SUPERCUTS has moved into the neighborhood with better prices, and since my follicles have a long history with that business, have switched.  ***  and what else have i been doing?  cooking up veggies...had several zukes, summer squash, peppers and was given some very large sweet potatoes so cooked all the summer squash, fried up some onions and peppers, used up 3 of 4 zukes--saving the last for lemon zucchini bread--and roasted the sweet potatoes and popped in freezer.  also got a few ears of delish corn and some tender little cukes and 2 huge tomatoes, so it's good eating now that summer fresh days are back to quilting the QOV and get THAT puppy done!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

great minds....

sometimes think alike....bonnie hunter just revealed the new leaders/enders project for the upcoming year and it's rail fence! how did she know?  went to my pile stash elfa storage drawer and unearthed this....

one of those things just sewed up on a day with no size or destination in mind.  these were probably leftovers from this flimsy....

it's up next to be quilted once the QOV is done.....saw this quilt in an old issue of alex and ricky's defunct magazine "a quilt life" was an article on antique photos with quilts featured, many of them from the prairie in the late 1800s or early 1900s...a traveling photographer would pass thru town and quilts were often used as backdrops for photos taken in front of a soddy or barn....this pattern intrigued me and now it's a flimsy....see?  quilty inspiration is everywhere! 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

our nation's birthday!

a glorious 4th to all....

and reminder that the 250th is coming up in just 9 short years....plans are already in the works....

and recommended reading for today is "the federalist papers" read about the process of establishing this republic by three learned founding fathers is awe-inspiring.....

Monday, July 3, 2017

monday task

it's monday again, another hot one and the eve of a biggie holiday as third of summer has flown by but plenty of sewing days ahead!  this is what i've done today....first thing this AM, attached the border to the ocean waves so it's in the flimsy pile now; then, this...

started with the new border for the scrappy 9-patch.  some suggestions were made by a blogger pal, they got impressed into my brain, which then started percolating some ideas and--believe this--woke up early one morning last week with the plan!  that's right, dreamed about this and how to spooky is that???   anyway, went to work removing both outside AND triangle borders all the way around and began the rework.  the final won't be as wide as the 2 separate borders would have been, but it'll fix the problem and get it to the flimsy stage.   in my careless, perfectionistic youth would have tossed the whole thing, but now older and wiser AND more frugal, realized it would have to be saved and fixed.  of course, now there is more time for such things'll preserve the look of the triangles, which were a big plus for this and the primary reason to find a fix.  ***  no doubt plenty of holidays plans on the drawing board and i've a few as well.  lots of memories of july 4th at reid state park with my extended family, nearly all of whom are now gone. what glory days they were!

and that would be me, the blondie leaning over, probably looking at lobsters...LOL!