Saturday, December 30, 2023


One star down. Eleven more to go. 
I've been wanting to use that brown and pink peace sign fabric for a long long time. 

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was making a few quilts I have had bookmarked for several years. This is Blueberry Farm from the book Scrappy Firework Quilts by Edyta Sitar.  Good thing I looked for errata before assembly or I would have had a few problems with adding in the background pieces. 

And speaking of errata...I made my own mistake when cutting strips for this one. I cut at 2 inches instead of 1.5 inches. I must have had my head somewhere in the clouds when I first read the directions. I only noticed after I had all 24 strip sets finished.  In the back of my mind I knew something was wrong when I was sewing the strips together but it wasn't until I started cutting pieces from the strip set that I realized my big mistake.  At first I thought I would just cut more pieces at the correct width and make more strip sets but 1) I don't have a lot of pink or brown fabrics to cut more pieces and 2) that seemed like an overwhelming task to me at this time.    Then I thought I would rip all strip sets apart and cut all of the strips to the proper 1.5 inch width. Again, that seemed like such a daunting task. I almost threw all the strip sets into a box to later cut up for Sixteen Patch blocks or something.  Then it dawned on me that I could leave the strip sets together, cut 1/4 off of the top and bottom of the strip set and then sew 1/4 inch inside all three seams within the strip sets and then trim those seams off.   That's what I did.  I was determined to get one star made before year end. And so I have. 

Now I need to change the name of my quilt from Blueberry Farm to maybe something like Peace Patch. 

And sew on...


Friday, December 29, 2023

Snowball and Nine Patch

 I started a new Snowball and Nine Patch quilt because I liked the one at Blue Elephant Stitches

I had a small box of 2.5 inch squares and dug out sets of 9 squares of the same color. I made as many 9 patches as I could and now I have to go through scraps and find some more 2.5 inch scraps for squares. That will be easy to do as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) project.  In the meantime I can make snowballs.

And sew on...


Thursday, December 28, 2023

Something Old. Something New.

December always seems to be a month where I flit around from one project to the next and it's also a month I always seem to start a lot of new quilts.  Flitting...that's a funny word, isn't it? 

Well, anyway, I worked on something old - Broken Wheels.  I started making these blocks in February of this year, made six blocks and never looked back. However, I have been adding purples, reds and aquas to the project box all year as I come across them. The little project box was getting too full of bits and pieces of fabric so I decided to flit on over to it, take out some fabrics that looked pretty good together and made six more blocks. Now hopefully I will make a few more, enough for a quilt, in the new year. These are nine inch blocks and I hope to have enough for a nice sized throw when all is said and done.

Something new - Hummingbird blocks - made with the Broken Wheel scraps.  These are also nine inch blocks. 

You may remember a few weeks ago I started making a different Hummingbird quilt. That will be my Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. I am using a different method to make those blocks. While researching how to make a Hummingbird/Periwinkle/Arkansas Snowflake quilt I came across a method at Susie's Scraps that uses squares to make a block appliqued to a background square. I thought it would be fun to give that method a try too. I used 3.5 inch squares cut from those Broken Wheel scraps and will use a yellow background - squares cut at 9 inches. That size background square leaves a scant 1/4 inch seam all around so I'm hoping the Hummingbird points will match up when blocks are sewn together. And if they don't...well, that's another story for another day.

So that's 
Something old,
Something new.
I'm old and blue.

Ok. Well, I'm not really blue. It's more like I'm old and gray.

And woohoo... I have a few more days left to flit around this month so flit I will. Stay tuned...

And sew on...


Wednesday, December 27, 2023

It's A Top! Double Irish Chain

It's a top! 
Double Irish Chain
71 x 91

All blocks have cream/tan/taupe backgrounds and dark brown chains. The other chains in the block were made from scraps in the RSC color of the month.  I made these blocks in order to use up a lot of 1.5 inch width scraps. 

When it came time to join the blocks I just could not figure out for the longest time what color(s) to use to finish out all the colored chains. Then it dawned on me to try a multicolored fabric. I happened to have enough of a multicolored piece of woven looking rainbows left over from the backings I used to make quilts for the friends of my deceased granddaughter. 

Now if I can find a backing it might just get quilted in January when the theme in my sewing space is "Blues and Browns". 

And sew on...

Health Notes - Hubby
About a week ago I noticed that it appeared hubby's G-tube was starting to come out. I made an appointment with the surgeon's office to have a new one put in on December 26. I had to go pick up the new G-tube from the pharmacy where we get the enteral feeding supplies and take it to the office visit.  Well, of course, the G-tube came out completely at about 4:30 on Christmas Day about 1/2 hour aftter I had hooked him up for his pump feeding. I know the stoma and tract in the stomach would start to close up immediately so we had to get somewhere to get a new one put in because we could not make it until the doc appt. on day after Christmas.   So I called 911 to ask what to do and they sent medics to look. They taped him up and told me to take him and the new G-tube to the ER and they would put it in.  So off we went to the ER. They tried to put new one in but could not. They put a foley cath in temporarily to keep tract open until doc appt. on 26th.   That took 4 hours. Then we went to doc appt. yesterday as planned. What should have been a 15 minute procedure to put in a new G-tube ended up to be a 4 hour wait in the doc office. It turns out the G-tube the pharmacy gave me was the wrong one. And that is why ER staff could not place it. Well, we had to wait to see if the correct type could be located. Then when they did find one we had to wait for doctor to see his other scheduled patients and then to make rounds in the hospital and then come back to the office to insert the correct G-tube. 

The surgeon advised me to watch the procedure and to keep a correct G-tube on hand at home so if this happens again I can actually insert the new one and avoid visits from medics, to ER and to doc appointments. It makes me queasy to look at holes in people or at other people's bodily fluids but I watched the simple procedure and am going to order another one of the correct G-tubes and if the time comes I will psych myself up enough to get it inserted. 

  I have to say I kept thinking of those old cartoons where a character has holes for whatever reason all over their body and then drinks something and the fluids starts spurting out of all the holes. 

What we do in the name of love! 
It's exhausting work. 

Think I'll go (try to) sew!


Sunday, December 24, 2023

A Biscornu Finished

I finished a cross stitched biscornu. 
I found the free pattern for the cross stitch and many others at a blog called Cross Stitch Happy. 
I looked at a lot of different websites on how to assemble a biscornu. 
I stuffed mine with small pieces of batting I cut up even smaller. 
I wanted to use a bead in the center but could not find my beading needles (I didn't look very hard) so used little buttons for the centers on top and bottom. 
Now I think I will start work on another biscornu.

And sew on...


Friday, December 22, 2023

Work On Three Applique Projects

I've been working on the appliqued fans for my Fan Flower blocks. 
I now have 11 out of 14 fans. 

More Fans of a different kind. 
Remember a week or so ago when I asked WITB? What's in the bin? What's in the bag? The bin had some small rose print scraps and the bag had some small valentine/heart prints. 

I was inspired by Linda's (Kokaquilts) Fantales blocks. My largest scraps in the bin and bag were about 3.5 inches in width so I cut some fan blades from those, made a few fans and appliqued them to some 6 inch squares I cut from some larger scraps that were not in the bin or bag.   I then cut some 1.5 inch scraps and added those to two sides of the Fan. I think I am going to take those 1.5 inch strips off. They overwhelm the little Fans. I might try adding some low volume strips but if those don't work I will just not use any sashing. Or I might sew four blocks together to make a Dresden Plate with no sashing and see how the busy sashing strips look between Dresden Plates. 

But now you know a little more about WITB! 

I have a whole bunch of fan blades cut and the tops to the blades sewn so there is no turning back now. 

I need to add some little circles to the body of this Fanciful Flower but otherwise the applique on this 18 inch block is finished. Now I need to make 5 more Fanciful Flowers. I'll be using different blues and oranges for the flower but keep that gold for what the pattern calls "pollen". 

Fanciful Flowers is a Kathy Doughty pattern found in the book Material Obsession. 

And sew on...


Thursday, December 21, 2023

Starry Path

Starry Path

Over the last couple of months I've made a pile of blocks I sewed as leader/enders. To be close to an ailing husband I moved my sewing machine upstairs to the dining room table to be near him should he need attention. He is too sick and weak to do too much on his own right now. My ironing board and cutting mat are still downstairs in my little sewing space so I don't get down often enough to be able to iron and take photos of all my leader/enders. 

These blocks are called Starry Path. I have been making them with '30s repro fabrics and old shirts.  I was inspired by a vintage quilt and did not know the name of the block. I figured out how to make the blocks and asked visitors to my blog back in October to name the block.  

I'm aiming for 35 blocks and now have 10. 

And sew on...


Monday, December 18, 2023


I was looking at bookmarks sticking out of a few quilting books. 

Then I decided to do more than look and to make. So now I have a few new starts.

Blueberry Farm from Scrappy Firework Quilts by Edyta Sitar.

Mine might have to be called Strawberry Farm. I'm making mine with browns and pinks and have sewn about half of the strip sets required. 

Twilight Flock
From From the Cover (Quilter's Newsletter Magazine Editors and Contributors)

I did a few sample blocks with scrap I had laying near the sewing machine.

This will be a new Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) project using dark scraps. 

Fanciful Flowers
From Material Obsession by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke

Freezer paper applique ready for one block A.

From Best of Fons & Porter Scrap Quilts

My quilt will be in reds, whites and blues. I've been working on 25 blocks and have a couple of rounds completed. 

December has been a month of a lot of new starts for me. I have finished 76 quilts this year (a lot of them donation quilts and a few of them hand quilted) and busted a tiny bit over 400 yards of fabric so I guess I'm entitled to a few new starts! 

And sew on...


Sunday, December 17, 2023

A Few Leader/Enders Finally Trimmed and Ironed

I've been making little 3 inch (finished) Old Italian blocks for the last several months. I've been sewing them together as leader/enders. They just pile up waiting to be ironed and trimmed. This is only a portion of what I have finally gotten ironed and trimmed.  I have not counted how many blocks I have but I've been making them from 5 inch squares for a few years. I'm aiming for a large quilt so it will take quite a few. This was a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project but I'm taking it out of the list of 2024 projects because I've used up most of my 5 inch squares suitable for this quilt and need to cut more from scraps.  

Awhile back someone gave me a little baggie of 4.5 inch HST parts. I cut some neutral parts to match up with them and then made HSTs and then made Broken Dishes blocks. I have also been working on these as a leader/ender project and finally got some ironed. And again, I need to take count. I have been making Broken Dishes blocks from scraps for a couple of years. I have been putting them in the Parts Department. I may have enough of these 8 inch blocks for a quilt. 

And sew on...


Thursday, December 14, 2023

I Told You Something Fishy Is Going On Around Here!

Back on December 5 I blogged about a little pile of fish fabrics - some recently gifted and some I had on hand. When I have quite a few pieces of any themed fabric I like to see how many different quilts I can make from the fabrics.  Well, so far I'm managed to go play "Go Fish" and have ended up with three different kiddo sized quilt tops and have two more in the works. I usually make a quilt with bigger pieces and then work on down to a quilt that uses the smallest pieces. 

1. Life in a Fishbowl
To make the fishbowls I used a free pattern called Life in a Fishbowl by Wendy Sheppard for Michael Miller fabrics. 

The fish fabrics are cut 6.5 x 12.5 so that's why I started with this one hoping to get that size of piece from several different fish fabrics. 

I used a couple of different old green calico printss that were similar in value.  For the fishbowl stands I used some 2.5 inch width scraps that I had on the side of my cutting mat waiting for something to do. 

2. This one was inspired by the book Nine Patch Pizzazz by Judy Sisneros.   The book is more of a method and tips book that shows how to combine large prints with nine patches.  This book inspired a couple of other quilts I have made in the past but instead of using nine patches I used other 6 inch blocks with a large scale print. 

The one large print fish was one that would lose the fish if it was cut much smaller. 

The other large scale print was a seaweedy looking fabric with blue, pink and yellow flowers. 

For the Nine Patches I added in a mottled blue and a variegated green wavy print. And finally there's a swirly blue border. 

3. Smooth Sailing
For this one I made 8 inch sailboats using the free pattern at Generations Quilts.  I had a few sky fabrics and all had white sails - the same white I used in the fishbowls.  And the boats are cut from the same 2.5 inch pile of scraps as the fishbowl stands.    But instead of adding "water" to the sailboat blocks...

...I sewed the sailboats together into rows and then added rows of fishy sea water below the sailboats. 

And now I'm going to play "Go Fish" and maybe end up with a couple more tops soon. 

And sew on...


Wednesday, December 13, 2023


It's no secret that I love roses. 
I've made a series of quilts (and tops) with rose themed prints. 
And now I have a lot of scraps of rose themed prints.

What's in the bin? (14 quart size)
I'm going to find out as I process the rose themed scraps and empty the bin.
One quilt? Two?

What's in the bag? (plastic grocery bag)
I like hearts and valentines too. I've also made a series of heart quilts.

And I have a lot of valentine/heart scraps.

I'm thinking I'll combine rose and valentine scraps and empty both bin and bag.

I've started processing those scraps and so far I have a lot of 3.5 inch fan blades. Or are they tumblers?
Time will tell. Not quite sure where this is headed yet. I might also dig into the pink, red and aqua scraps too before all is said and done. 

And I have a pile of rose and valentine strings. 

And sew on...


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

There's More Than One Way to Make A Hummingbird

Hummingbird Quilt Blocks
9 inch finished

Last week I posted about a Hummingbird orphan block in a finished orphan block quilt. I said " I really wanted to make a quilt of Hummingbird blocks but just did not like the process of making them at the time I tried. I made two blocks and said "no more"."    The reason I wanted to make a Hummingbird quilt was because I saw a vintage one I loved in the July/August 2011 issue of Quiltmaker made by Minnie Jacoby Schultz c. 1930.  I liked that there were two ways to make the block - templates for piecing or a four patch with applique pieces. I had seen paper pieced instructions for making the block; however, I don't like to paper piece so I was excited that there were instructions for piecing the block. But I didn't like the curved piecing in the small block after all.  December 2019 after making a test block I decided that although I really wanted to make a Hummingbird quilt I didn't really want to make it with paper piecing, or using either of those two methods in the Quiltmaker article. 

So, after giving the little history of my Hummingbird orphan block  Nann's (With Strings Attached blog) comment was " IMO the Hummingbird block is easier when constructed as a 9-patch with an hourglass unit in the center, four isosceles triangles, and then plain squares for the corners. "

Oh, why didn't I think of that?  Well that works for me. I may actually make a Hummingbird quilt after all. I had a piece of muslin that might be enough for blocks for a lap quilt and the muslin might give it that vintage look. And it is easy enough to find more muslin if I don't have enough.  I was thinking I should make 6 inch blocks but ended up making 9 inch blocks. I also decided two of the Humminbird triangles should alll be in browns. I used my Tri Rec rulers to cut the triangles and sides from 3.5 inch strips of scraps and I used my Companion Angle ruler to cut the pieces for the center QST from 2 inch width scraps.  

In the process of researching ways to make a Hummingbird Quilt block I came across other names for the block - Periwinkle and Arkansas Snowflake are a couple of aliases.   

I was almost tempted to try the Periwinkle version made from 4 inch squares and then appliqued to a background that I found at Susie's Scraps. Actually, I might even give that method a try in another quilt. Might be fun. 

So, in summary, I guess I'm making 9 inch Hummingbird blocks on muslin background with two triangles in browns. And I will add this to my list of Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) projects for 2024. The other two triangles will be made from scraps in the RSC color of the month. 

The method I am using to make my blocks is similar to the Triangle in a Star instructions found at Scrapish; however, like the instructions say....the Arkansas Snowflake has an hourglass center. 

And since I cut 3.5 and 2 inch strips from my scrap chunks I can also use anything left to make a couple of other RSC blocks I started  few years ago (2022) but have kind of neglected this year. 

This is a six inch block I called Dalarna.  A quilt called Dalarna can be found in an issue of Quiltmania (Issue 68, 2008, #4) and was made by Mariet Soethout-Mous.  Her quilt was inspired by a child's quilt found in Asa Wettre's book Old Swedish Quilts. Now I've been inspired by Mariet's Dalarna to make my own version of an Old Swedish Quilt. 

I make it with 3.5 and 2 inch width scraps and a solid.  With the scraps of the scraps left from making the Hummingbird blocks as well as an addition of some solids I was able to make a few more for my collection of blocks. 

I think I have a little over 30 blocks now and hopefully I won't neglect these blocks in 2024. 

And then another block started in 2022 that uses 3.5 and 2 inch scraps and solids is the Overlapped Nine Patch. Instructions for the 7.5 inch blocks may be found at Klein Meisje Quilts.

With the Hummingbird and Dalarna block scraps I was able to make 3 more Overlapped Nine Patches for my collection of a little over 30 blocks. This is another block I hope does not get neglected in 2024. 

And then you know how one thing leads to another...

...with some scraps remaining from making above blocks as well as a few 3.5 inch scraps within my reach I cut parts and made some 3.5 inch HSTs.  Last month when I went to assemble some blocks into a top (QST/4P quilt) I noticed I did not have the HSTs I needed for the border so I stuck the QST/4P blocks back into the SAR (Some Assembly Required) box and made a mental note to make some 3.5 inch HSTs whenever I am around some 3.5 inch scraps. I made 26 toward my goal of 100. 

As the 3.5 inch scraps got smaller and smaller if there was enough left for four 1.5 x 3.5 pieces then I cut those and made a few Switch Plate blocks to add to my collection.   And then I also cut a few 3.5 inch squares for my collection but forgot to take a pic of them. 

And sew on...


Sunday, December 10, 2023

Applique, X-Stitch, Crochet

A new project - Fan Flowers
I need to applique a bunch of "flowers" to their backgrounds. 

Fan Flowers is one of many free patterns at Tilda's World. My color scheme is nothing like the pattern. I'm using bits and pieces left over from making a couple of other quilt (tops) - Easy Sunday and Crooked Mile. 

I thought rather than make a template from what was in the pattern I would use my Easy Dresden ruler to cut pieces.  But when I went to pin the "flower" to the background there was too much fabric around the circle area so I put in a few basting stitches and gathered that area up a bit. I think all should be okay when I add my circles to the flowers. 

Then there's my cross stitch  for a biscornu. 

I have found I really don't like working with the Jewel Effects embroidery floss. I have only a couple of colors in my floss stash that I must have picked up on sale or something because I have never used them. It just so happened that one of the colors of jewel effects I have is what is listed for use in this pattern. Oh, (un)lucky me! I started with two strands on the dragonfly body and a needle with a larger eye in order to get through the holes in the fabric without fraying. But the thread kept fraying. When I finally got the dragonfly bodies finished I used one strand for the wings and I found that stitching went a little easier.  But then the 2 thread bodies started to have stitches come undone because evidently I had not anchored the beginning and ending threads enough.   I know I have some Thread Heaven around here from when I used to do a lot of crazy quilting but so far I have not been able to find it in my stitching tins of supplies I use for crazy quilting.   Frustrated, I set the cross stitch aside for a few days. When I picked it back up I decided to work on something other than dragonflies. Then I noticed one of my light purple "flowers" is not in the right place - it is one row off. So...I put it aside again. I need to pick it up again when I don't have so many distractions and can concentrate more on it. 

This is my goal for the top piece of the biscornu. 

In other news...I started crocheting another pair of socks since I was so excited about the last pair I made.  So far it is smooth sailing.  crocheting.