Friday, October 19, 2018

Garden Party DONE


I quilted each of the 4 borders in a different design.  Hey, a gal needs to keep practicing.  I did swirls, circles, paisleys and a leafy/viney thing in the borders.  Red on top, white on back resulted in "pokies" on the back.  The few pokies in the top just needed a permanent Sharpie.  No solution for the back pokies - many efforts -- I finally admitted defeat and called it good!  8-))   Thank you again, Ms. Bonnie Hunter for this fine project.  

The lesson I learned was that I used JUST WHAT WAS IN THE BOX.  No fiddling, trying new fabrics, trying to match, colors, etc.  I DID add the red and white, but somehow, forcing myself to just use what was available, resulted in a faster process, an amazing number of fabric combos that I would never have used before, and a delightful surprise when almost each block looked really fine!  There's a good lesson for all of us who struggle with colors, matching, to the point of over-analysis which leads to paralysis.  

This is 83 in. square - a big  machine quilting project on my domestic machine.  It's easy to make and you can reduce the number of blocks for a smaller quilt.  Bonnie's pattern is in her latest current book.

Fun backing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Garden Party - pluggin' along

I'm approximately half way into machine quilting this large quilt.  The first part I used Essential Pro quilting thread which has always worked wonderfully in other quilts but this project did NOT like that thread.  I experienced numerous skipped stitches, frazzled  and broken thread.  Despite the use of Sewer's Aid, 1 bigger needle, then a second new needle, the problems persisted.  So exasperating!!  I dug around in my threads and was delighted to find a large spool of a similar color from Superior Threads.  Wow, it works like a dream - I've worked 4-5 hours with not one issue!   Dig that backing!

 Yikes, what fun!!!

We installed a flag pole recently.  There is a solar light at the top, so no floodlight is needed to meet flag etiquette.

Every year we take a photo on my birthday under my HUGE Birthday Tree of 9 years ago when it was only a twig.  We now have some shade in the afternoon!   For whatever reason, I always hold a quilt for the photo.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Garden Party - Top DONE

What happened to my plan of "only smaller tops"???   This is 83 x 83".  Frankly it WAS just plain fun to keep using all the combinations of fabric.  mmmm I've said that about a previous quilt  ..."couldn't stop making the blocks." 

The backing is white with quarter-sized polka dots!  Exactly what it needs, MORE COLOR!  LOL 

And yes, it looks exactly like Bonnie Hunter's with same name.  I really didn't want to copy hers - it was just so adventuresome, and tedious, I was afraid to make it any other way.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Garden Party - Trepidations

I keep looking at Bonnie Hunter's Garden Party to be sure this is going to "turn out".  Hers is so cheerful and mine is pretty much a copy of hers so I'm feeling confident.  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it certainly will cause a few heads to turn, perhaps whispers, hopefully giggles.  My favorite response is "Look what she did!" 

Every block would make an interesting and attractive quilt by itself, even the odd combinations.  You probably figured the edge will be bordered and then points will be cut leaving a straight edge.   

The red chain sure does holds it all together. 

The most recent rows are laid out while I am balancing myself on crutches - arghhhh!  This is likely an ancient untreated injury, pre-highschool, which has raised it's ugly head.  Plans are underway for some kind of orthopedic repairs on my ankle. Might slow me down for a time.  8-((

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Garden Party - Beginning

I like it already!  Somehow that red/white alternate chain block holds it all together.  Each individual block is like a little quilt in itself!  Thanks Bonnie, of

A few more rows added today.

The blocks turning into rows have been the least demanding - they are all fitting together quite nicely.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Garden Party - WIP

Here are my parts and pieces, blocks, side setting triangles and corners.  I tallied up all the bits and except for 2 sets of borders, here is the total.  Frankly, I'm surprised that piecing it all did not take longer!   I dislike that my project is nearly the same as Bonnie Hunter's, but hers looked so good, and my colors were as varied as hers, I remembered that old adage, "don't change what ain't broke!"

House painting is getting close to DONE.  Happy Day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

House Painting

(This post is mostly for journal purposes, you know, when we reminisce, "when did we paint the house?" )

Where do these lilies come from????  NOTHING has grown in this area for years and then one day, up pops this charming flower.  We call them naked ladies, some say painted ladies.  The painter has already been working on this side of the garage.

NOTHING is charming about this mess but it will be better soon.  Our painter Dean is cocooning us with paper/plastic over all the windows.  It will be better soon.  We really missed being able to roll  out the awning as it was all wrapped in plastic as well!

We had to give up on shutter repairs, bite the bullet and buy new.  Hail and heat were hard on the old ones, now brittle and broken.  However, hail did NOT destroy my hostas this year - a new record!   Yeahhhhh!

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Energized - wash curtains!

The house painter is starting tomorrow and I'm excited, eager, energized, need to do some cleaning inside if the outside is going to look spiffy again.  I'll start with the curtains over the kitchen sink - they are a little faded, no longer bright yellow, facing south, but by gosh, I'll wash and rehang them.  

Here is the result.  And this was the washer that barely agitates!  Recalculate, recalculate.    Toooo funny!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

More is MORE (Garden Party blocks)

The finished blocks will be on point, with an alternate block between them all.  Hah, as I look, I'm see one block needing fixing!  Today I made about 10 -12 for a total of 31 so far - aren't they neat?  Whatever comes out of the box is pretty much what I'm using, but the corners are white or very light. Some of the blocks have a center strip of light, others are dark - interesting.   Digging thru this large box of pre-cut strips is much easier than digging thru my folded stash,.  I might make a Log Cabin or Pineapple of these left overs ... they are all strips of 1 1/2 inches. 

Thanks to Bonnie Hunter of for this delightful project.

(Large print motifs did not work well.  In the lower right of first photo you can see a mish-mash of nice little cowboy boots - can't even tell what they are.)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Long time - no see!

This has been the longest time between posting!   There have been Quilt Shows, quilt display, quilt gathering, and even quilt making!  Here is a Scrappy Bargello, ala Quiltville/Bonnie Hunter project.  This will be a donated "Hugs and Stitches".  The orange fabric is Lucy and Linus going Trick or Treating! Each of the blocks used the same 6 fabric combination.  There is an extra checkerboard row at top and bottom to making it rectangular, about 54" x 64".  The appendages belong to DH, about 6'4".

I vowed to use stash for the backing.  That second and 4th pieces are little foxes.

And, finally .... ta dahhhh, my LQS gave me a generous box of quality scraps.  I've looked at those scraps for almost a year and finally decided to do SOMETHING, and cut them ALL into 1 1/2 inch strips.  I saw Bonnie Hunter's "Garden Party" on Youtube and decided that was the exactly the right project. 

These blocks are small (5 in. finished) !  This project uses only 1 1/2 in. strips, and is featured in her book "Addicted to Scraps".  It took me 5-6 blocks to get into a rhythm and then they went faster.  I only finger pressed during construction - saved time.  Here are 24 blocks - 2-3 days worth.   My goal was to use up the fabrics, and I did NOT stress over what colors did or didn't "go" together.  Goodness  - you could spend days just trying to make decisions and matches - just get on with it!!  In the end, they all seem to "go together"!  I've not decided on colors for the second block with cornerstones - was planning to use greens but somehow, RED seems a better choice.  Thank you Bonnie for another great design!

(My New York Beauty block are all done, but not together in rows.  )

Sunday, June 24, 2018

New York Beauty - coming along

These are not as difficult as I had imagined.  I had several good books with wonderful patterns and ideas, but it was after watching a YouTube video/tutorial on the channel called "On Point" that somehow got me inspired.   Apparently the planets were in alignment and I just jumped in and started.  The 3 YouTube tutorials suggest freezer paper but after working with it, I went to Mylar plastic pattern pieces, and then made photo copies of the pointy arc.  The pattern pieces came from a Karen Stone book. 

These blocks finish at 7 inches, I need 36.  The pieces in the photo are on a flannel board - no decision yet on a setting.

My goal is to make 2 blocks a day.  However, one day, after listening to latest horrible political news, I was so frazzled and upset, I made the block wrong 3 times, miscut, missewed, trimmed wrong, and finally had to throw it out.  That partial jaggey piece in upper right is another example of WRONG after listening to news - I cut wrong, tried to tape it back together, unsuccessfully. 

I was able to finish one block in about 20-25 minutes - see? not really hard.  Just go slow, a few stitches at a time, use something "pokey" to assist with the curves, concentrate with that paper piecing, use starch to stablize the bias.  The paper on the teeth part is regular copy paper - works fine. 

I followed Karen Stone's suggestion on fabrics, using just 5 in each block.  Black and white, white and black, turquoise, pinks, and purples, but used a variety of each color, and am not introducing other colors.   

Monday, June 18, 2018

Little Red Wagon

Quilt Guilt (LOL did anyone notice I said GUILT, not Guild?) meetings or an All Day Sew, require a conglomeration of supplies ... food, totes, machine, Show and Tell, notebooks, BOM stuff, white elephant sale, fabrics, extension cords, books, iron, mats, lamps ... you probably do the same ... and I always need a kind friend to help carry it all, or else have to make numerous trips back and forth to distant parking lot - I'm worn out before the event starts!   I've been seeing a handy rolling cart on sewing event videos. 

I even DREAMed! of what I might be looking for.  I'm out here in the boonies, with few shopping options and you know how a shopper likes to SEE what she's buying.  Last Friday my friend Machell called me and said she just bought one, "Shopko (local chain) has what you want!"  Off I dashed immediately after our conversation.  She got hers on sale somewhere else for $40.00 reduced from $80.00.  I found 2 left at Shopko for $60.00.  Here's mine!
Saturday was Guild meeting and for Show and Tell I bragged on it.  Works and rolls well.  Folds up easily by pulling on that strap you see in the middle of the basket.  Weight limit 150 lbs.   Has big wheels, and collapsing handle.  My car is not large and this fits in trunk with some room to spare.  It weighs about 10-12 lbs,  I'm happy.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Danged changes!

Uh oh - something has changed and I am not receiving comments on my e-mail, therefore I cannot respond to wonderful omments that kind viewers have sent me. 

I have no idea what needs to be done to rectify this situation.  Even managing my Blog is a miracle in itself - no way can I understand all the "Happy Day news for Bloggers" instructions from Blogger on what all this is about.


Friday, June 15, 2018

New York Beauty, Block 1

I've had this book by Karen Stone a long time - I've always looked at it, enjoyed it, slobbered at her gorgeous projects, and I DID make one quilt years ago using her techniques and methods - she sure has an eye for beauty and color!  I really want to make a New York Beauty, but the design seems daunting!

Last night I was watching a series of lessons on New York Beauty on You Tube, the channel (is that what's it's called?) is "On Point TV " and the instructor (Nancy Roelfsema) was building her New York Beauty using EQ8, (Curve Piecing the New York Beauty) I don't have EQ8 but her instructions for the block/quilt were so excellent, I became all inspired and made this block.  I haven't paper pieced for years, but  after a few missteps, it did come back to me.  This block, using Karen Stone patterns, is 7 1/2 in. and nice and square, despite camera angle.

Surprisingly, it sewed quite well and quickly, the first time.  (Remember, years ago, we DID set in sleeves in blouses - yes they were curved seams.)  I made freezer paper templates, and each template will be reused many times.  I'm not sure if my enthusiasm will last for an entire quilt, but in reality, the actual sewing took less than an hour, most of that was the arc and spikes, and I'm practiced now - will probably be faster now.  I didn't have to take out any seams in the curves - just slow stitching and my trusty awl/poker.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

"Hidden Wells" Technique in Borders

Mary Ellen Hopkins seems to be one of the originators of this clever design - many of us remember her quirky style.  I remembered her cleverness, but not her instructions.  Her book on Hidden Wells is seldom seen now but there are many others on the Internet displaying this technique but I could not find what I needed for a small border.  With determination and excitement, and a LOT of leftover strips, I jumped in and was practically in a frenzy (just ask DH!) trying to calculate what was required.  By the time I finished, being totally mentally exhausted, and after a LOT of remeasuring, I DID remember "starch", "staystitching" and "trim to correct size."  Voila! - a decent and interesting border, using much of my leftovers.  The border changed direction to repeat what was happening in the quilt. 

The border is not yet sewn to the quilt, but the light dotted strip is now providing stability - live and learn.   I think I like it.  3 more sides to go.

Monday, May 21, 2018

C-130 overhead, and Caribbean Strings Progress

I'm not sure why we were visited by this C-130, and the close flyover - perhaps because this town used to have a huge airbase during/after WWII.  There are still veterans  or families of veterans at the nursing homes, and the plane went right over their residence.  I just stood next to the road and took the photo - it went around twice.  Lots of folks were out in lawns, parking lots, fields on this beautiful day.   

This is my progress on Caribbean Strings.  From center to what appears to be the top is 5 rows and there is yet another row beyond this top, still not figured out, but using dark strings .... I think.   I am leaning towards a Hidden Wells design but ....  That last dark row/border will make it 10 x 12 blocks finished, about 86 x 100 something.  This is too large for my DSM quilting, so I'll break it into sections.  All these blocks have paper on the back for now.  I definitely used up a lot of leftover strings and strips.  The center white strip was consistent in size, but the others were not. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

"Whirlpool", and Nebraska Breeze - both D O N E

"Whirlpool" - This is a large quilt, MQ'ed on my DSM.  86" x 106".  Due to the difficulties of bulk and a heavy project, I added the last border "QAYG and pre-quilted" with marginal success, due to my own lack of knowledge.  There is no way I could have quilted it while all one piece - waaaay too large.  I will use this technique on my next large quilt now - I think I learned the tricks.  

Kaleidoscopes have always been one of my favorite blocks!

Here is part of a border.  This was all my own design.  Those triangles on the border - another part that was not as difficult as I had guessed, but you need to measure carefully and sew accurately to get them to turn the corner accurately.  

Nebraska Breeze -  I posted this earlier, but now it's ALL DONE.  This is a design by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville - her instructions are excellent.  She calls hers Texas Tumbleweeds. There are 2 sets of blocks and the settings is straight.
I tried quilting serpentines in this border, fairly easy, not yet uniform but pretty good.

I tried wishbones, or figure "8"s on this side of the quilt.  It's easier than it looks.  Once you sew 10 or so, your hands know what to do.  The curl in the green border is another favorite .   

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Caribbean Strings

I need 120 (10 x 12) - no border, but might come up with a border-like color placement.  It's astonishing how much fabric a person can have in just a few colorways.  If remembering correctly I purchased 2 FQs to add to the mix.  The plan is to make 2 halves, quilt them, then put them together.  It's too unwieldy to handle MQ'ing 86" x over 100".   Blocks go fast - this is 2-3 days of sewing, doing just 4 at a time, so I don't sit too long in one position.   These are on foundation paper.  I tried various settings, but liked this the best.  I'll fiddle with individual block setting, especially the center 4.

"Caribbean Strings" kinda sounds like evening music, fresh breezes, ocean waves. hmmmm ...I like it.

Many years ago, I actually had the good fortune to sail in Caribbean waters and yes, the sky, and water really look like this.   Up until then, I thought the travel brochures were just color enhanced.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Texas Tumbleweed, Nebraska Breeze, progress with MQ'ing

Finally, after 3 years in NO progress, I'm getting this D O N E!   This is a free design by Bonnie Hunter of  I've renamed my version, "Nebraska Breeze."

Several gals on an e-mail list asked for photos of machine quilting designs, but my photos would not load properly there, so, here they are.  These designs are casual, large floppy plumey motifs, with a few surprises (missteps!) along the way.  My thread is a soft green.

Backing fabric - what a great find!  Some artist did the work and I was lucky enough to have chosen the original front fabrics 3 years ago that coordinates perfectly!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Texas Tumbleweed

This is my next project to quilt on my DSM.  It sure looks better in the photo than in a pile in my living room!  It's about 76" x 86", and only pin-basted here.  From Bonnie Hunter at, who calls hers Texas Tumbleweed.   I might rename mine something like Nebraska Wind.   I LOVE those long diagonal green paths.  The orange was "iffy" but I've learned that every quilt I make profits from something "iffy". 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hugs and Stitches

For someone who has been busy, I don't see anything I've actually DONE, except this little project. (I think "LIFE" had something to do with it. )

4 patches at the top and bottom to will make it rectangular, then another border will be added.  It ends up being a generous size.  That orange fabric is Peanuts and Snoopy Halloween characters. 

Several of us played with this project and I'm happy that some of the quilters in my group learned how to make this easy and fast quilt.  Thank you to Bonnie Hunter at  She calls it Scrappy Bargello in her Free Patterns.  Our local collection point calls them "Hugs and Stitches."

Fabric needed:  I used 6 consistent fabrics, and calculated that I needed 20 inches of each fabric.  That was too much.  You get 2 blocks from each WOF strata, but, there is some extra at the end of each strip.  While I cut 8 strips for 16 blocks, I actually only used 6 WOF strata strips for the 16 blocks.  I will make up the extra blocks for the back or perhaps a pillow.   Bonnie suggests using shorter pieces of fabric, not WOF.  In that case a person might use all 8 strata strips.  (Clear as mud?)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Playing with Cell Phone

I am learning how to take a photo with the newish cell phone, share it to my computer e-mail, save it on desktop, refile it to appropriate photo gallery file, and retrieve it!  Yeahhhhhh!

"We can DO it!" 

This is a pattern from Bonnie Hunter of, called Scrappy Bargello.  I'm planning each block the same, with 16 blocks, for a Linus type quilt. Our donation center calls them Hugs and Stitches quilts

My Snoopy characters are kinda sparse on that orange background!  I had the other 5 fabrics in my stash, and plans for making 16 blocks at next All Day Sew, but had NO kids prints.  So today, I made a quick dash to my LQS and bought that last few inches of that orange. 

Some of the quilting gals have never made a quilt using this technique so we'll demo it next meeting.  Only trouble is that it's so easy and so cute, I might have it done before the meeting date!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

NQR - Cruise Control works intermittently

My car has under 40,000 miles on it, and in good shape.  However, my Cruise Control was intermittently not working reliably - it just would not turn ON.  Most of my miles are in town, not highway, but occasionally I need the Cruise Control.  Then, it just stopped working - no amount of coaxing would encourage it to behave. 

I Googled, "2012 Chrysler, Cruise Control works intermittently" and found the usual, TMI, but eventually settled on one forum where I learned the part needed was $49.00 and labor would be about $375.00.  Oh Great - another expense.  I read various suggestions, all waaay too technical , and one possible "troll" who suggested smart-alecky-like, "if all else fails you can always honk the horn".  Oh good grief, one of THOSE people who just likes to make trouble and smart remarks to see his name in print.  I put that repair on that back burner until I could research a dealer.  .

Shortly afterwards, I was driving in the country and remembered the smart-aleck who suggested "if all else fails you can always honk the horn."  Yeah right -  just to prove how stupid that suggestion was, I honked the horn, pressed Cruise Control and voila, it came back to life!  Yep, it worked perfectly well after the "honk technique".  Feeling sure it was just a fluke, I relayed my story to a technical friend guy who did not believe me, despite his auto-credentials.  The Cruise Control worked just fine for another 2 months, then started getting "intermittent" again.  This time I used the "honk the horn" technique with assurance, and yes, one honk, it turned on and behaved perfectly well again. 

I would like to apologize to the "smart aleck" for doubting his accurate advice. 

In the back of my mind, I'm remembering my previous Chrysler was traded in because Cruise Control no longer worked - mmmm  I DO wonder ...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Making Pouches with More Success

With my almost-failures of yesterday hopefully behind me, I tackled lined pouches again.  Well, seems I totally FORGOT how I made them yesterday, and had to do a lot of unsewing, but ... the end result is pretty good!

These fully lined pouches are not for the beginner - you need clear directions.  Their construction, to me, is not logically or visually apparent, but with a LOT of unsewing, and watching several tutorials AGAIN, I figured them out.  The little one in front is totally lined, with square corners on the bottom.  I made a little macrame knot affixed to the zipper tab.   The larger one is made the same.  They each have fusible batting on the back of the fronts, making them stiff and cumbersome at the turning area near the ends of the zipper.  Each has the little tabs on the zipper ends, which does help them to turn them more neatly. 

I included the red "apple" pouch in the back because I affixed a little tassle that I made, on the zipper. 

IMHO, I think this was a lot of work.  There are still more methods on Internet I have not tried. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Tulips, and SEWING Went Wrong!

These are tulips, just peeking thru - early for western Nebraska but still, a moment of spring,  ahhhh, one of these days.

On the sewing front - today was a total disaster!  I am making small, flat zippered pouches.  I did my homework on Internet to find which method was the best, NOT the best plan because I have every method in my head and concentration is off.  DH always changes clocks early on a Saturday morning, which throws me more "off" than usual .  His fault, right?

I  used the lining for outside of the 3 layers, fused the batting on the wrong layer, sewed the zipper on upside down, used wrong color thread on the wrong side of product, forgot to change the foot and left machine in zig-zag and broke a needle, forgot to MQ layers together, forgot about making that little "tab" at the end of the zipper, then didn't leave enough room at the end of the "tab", a few more having to do with MEASURING, and the absolute worst one - cannot believe I did it -- I sewed the pouch 3 sides together and then even zig-zagged the edges and.... yes, I forgot to leave the zipper open!  Lesson ONE, beginner first lesson and I forgot - duhhhhh!   

If I dare, I'm going to try another method, moving the zipper to the front of the pouch, making it easier to turn.  And I'd still like to try one more method with a regular lining.

I DO have a tip - several of the zippers were not sliding easily.  I put a tiny drop of Sewers Aide on the teeth and the tab pull was much improved.  I occasionally use this silicone product on cranky thread when sewing. 

Saturday, March 03, 2018

"Box Kites" - DONE

Today is a lovely warm day to celebrate the finish of my "Box Kites."  It ended up about 72" x 88" - I really didn't want it that large, but apparently I am not planning well enough.  This is a Bonnie Hunter inspiration, from one of her books. 

DH held it high, but almost not high enough.  We've had so much snow, mostly melted now, but the result is a lot of MUD!  I had to jump in and hold up the bottom to keep it off the ground.

I really LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the diagonal lines we see with all the  light "kites".  Each border is MQ'ed differently in light-hearted, happy motifs.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

"Box Kites" -- close to finished!

Funny how sometimes a project seems kinda blah, but you MAKE yourself work on it, and by the time it's finished, it's looking pretty GOOD!  DH teases me how frequently I say, "Hmmmmm, it turned out much better than I thought ."  Is this because it's finished (or in this case, almost finished)?

This was my planned border, and it made up nicely but it just didn't "do"!  Tooooo overwhelming.  So, now I have a border with no quilt! 

I MQ with my domestic machine, a Janome MC6500.  It's a treasure!

So then I decided on an almost plain border.  White with little squiggles in it - much better.  Had to purchase this piece.  That last border is not quilted yet, but I DO have the binding made up, a stripe to match that inner border, only the stripe is on the bias - looks great!

I was inspired by Bonnie Hunter's quilt of the same name.  I wonder if she plans to include this project in her coming book?  I think this would look wonderful if the maker would gather similar colors in the diagonal rows.  Note that the kites are all light while background is color. 

 I included a couple of "cutesies".  This would be a great little girl's quilt.  Measures 72 x 88. 

This backing is wonderful - on sale when a quilt vendor wanted to go back home!  The stripes run vertical.  I quilted it all with Essential Pro creamy white on top and bobbin - this stuff is thin and quilts like buttah!