Monthly Archives: June 2016

A Hot and Humid Wisconsin Weekend leads to…


Not much!

I seriously think that more time was spent staring at projects than actual progress! I did however spend a little time doing some cleaning out in my sewing room. Every now and again things reach an out of control status.  I removed excess things from the room… extra sewing machines, my Featherweight table, did a little organizing as well. I also came across this unfinished mini quilt.


While I used to enjoy them (mini quilts).. not so much anymore. Too planned for me?  Perhaps. Getting tiny pieces to fit without being wonky? Fail! I could have added one more row as the pattern suggests, but I was over it. Ready to finish it off. So I added the borders and am calling it done!

I found the pattern in this book by Carol Hopkins


Next the layering, quilting and binding!

What old project are you going to try and finish this week?


The 60’s Quilt – Before Borders


I continue to make progress on this smallish quilt. I needed to get it to a point where I could get it off of my design floor soon!

I have the center section put together now. I had this laying out on the floor, and gradually tweaked things. Thinking that I was now ready to sew it together as of the last layout shown here:


Well sometimes as I start to sew, I might just grab a piece out of order, and mistakenly sew the pieces together. I kind of like to think of that as a Happy Accident! I don’t run for the seam ripper immediately. I like to think that perhaps the quilt was self guided!

The way a quilt like this is put together is also not by any means standard. All of the blocks that were created are different sizes. I then put the quilt together by sections. Sometimes I need to add in a little something, and sometimes trim something out. Initially my layout started out like this:


The layout changed a couple of times, and right now this is where I have landed:


I still need to applique by machine the spheres and spirals. The spirals already have a layer of Heat and Bond on the back, but will also take this step with the spheres. It will help keep things from shifting during the applique process.


And then this Peace Sign fabric may make it’s debut as a border!


So Far So Good!



And Now… Some Eye Candy


Last weekend,  as I had mentioned we made a stop at this quilt shop in Ripon.


I had a certain print in mind that I wanted to try to find.. didn’t, but a few other fabrics called out to me. I love all things vintage, sewing related, fun graphics, and a great background. I got a bit of all of the above.


I tend to generally buy in either full yard or half yard increments. On occasion, if I really like a print, I may just take what is left on the bolt if I think I can use it as kind of a neutral background.

I picked up a solid black which is always handy to have, and this time even picked up a couple of chambrays. I love the texture, and they make a great background fabric.


As you can see, there is a little bit of a common thread in my purchase, as far as the sewing fabric, even though, I have no idea what they will become in their next life.


The peace sign fabric? I am thinking that will become a border on my 60’s quilt! There is again more progress being made on that quilt. Each time I think I have my layout worked out, something changes. I kind of let the piece take me where it wants to go. I will share some more of that next go around!


Progress Continues in the 60’s…


There was very little time spent sewing over the weekend. I am pretty sure that it will wait for me though. On the design floor…

But first on Saturday we went to Ripon, Wisconsin. I was grateful to be able to stop back at this shop called Bungalow Quilting and Yarn. They had a very nice selection of a bit more modern and graphic prints. I found a couple of treasures that I will share later.


I just love the beautiful stained glass window below the sign!


I found a little time at the end of last week to put this quilt on the floor. (my made up design wall works not so well unless I pin to it.) I laid it out, took pictures, tweaked it, took more pictures and then came up with an initial plan.


Yesterday I found a little block of time and started putting this together. As there is no pattern, and no real right or wrong to it, I started by piecing the sections that are obvious. These are the areas that fit well and will also certainly stay together.. like the word “LOVE”. In this type of quilt, I make it fit as I go, and there is not a whole lot of measuring that happens.


While this is my initial layout, it may get modified as I go, and I am also hoping to do an unusual (for me) border treatment. The spheres and spirals will also have to get appliqued down, and some of that may happen while it is still in a smaller section so that I can maneuver it easier under the sewing machine.

In the next couple of weeks, my sewing room will be a host to my Grandson Jackson, so I best finish getting this pieced!

Enjoy the first day of summer!


After a Dream I am Back to the 60’s!


My 60’s Quilt has kind of been in limbo lately. So much limbo that I have actually taken it off of the design wall! I never think when I take something down, or even put it away that it’s time is up. I just think that it needs time to simmer on the back burner while I work  on things. I very much trust that the ideas will come. I do think of possibilities while it rests. Early yesterday morning, I kept having dreams about sewing together black and white graphic fabrics and adding in a hint of bright colors here and there. See the zebras? I love what they add to the piece!


I start the process by pulling out the fabrics I am working with, the smaller the better in size! And I sew seams.. rather randomly. In this case, I cut a small piece of colored fabric in some kind of four sided shape, and then began to slowly build around it.  When that piece would reach about 4-5″ in size, I would start another one, and sew those together.


Occasionally I would stop to starch and press and look at it. At sometime during the process, I started adding spikes of bright fabric. And at one point, I thought I could sew a curved seam… that ended up in a wavy gravy mess. So, I straightened it out. It still wasn’t much to look at. And then it hit me! Inspiration! I would use my new Accuquilt Circle die to cut some spheres. Awesome!



These little spheres of goodness are a whole lot of fun, and I look forward to adding them  to the rest of my 60’s blocks.


Moral of the story… follow that dream!


Flag Day


I can’t believe it is already almost the middle of June.  Everything is blooming and my windows are open wide letting in all the breezes.  With all the outdoor yard work and gardening, quilting has slowed down just a little bit.  I have however taken the time to finish a project I started many years ago.  In my closet are many quilt tops just waiting to be quilted.  I have vowed this year to make a dent in what is hanging in there, so I pulled out a little patriotic top I made while at a quilt weekend in Rosemont IL during the big quilt show.  Every year since I have wanted it done before the 4th of July.  This was the year I finally got to it.

My goal this year was to get it done by June 14th, which is Flag Day.  Every year on Flag Day my dad would hang out our American flag.  I can still see it in my minds eye hanging there at the house where I grew up.  He would then leave it up for June 15th, which happens to be my birthday!  It made me feel so special.  So this quilt is made with love in memory of my dad.

Happy Flag Day everyone!


A “Y Seam” Tutorial


Why Not Make a Y Seam?

Have you ever looked at a block, and you are intrigued by it, but ultimately you give up the idea of trying it out? Why? because you can’t quite figure out how it will be constructed, and you realized that you would have to do a Y Seam. You could go out of your way to make the block happen by perhaps cutting the corner square (that you would have to use a Y Seam on) into half square triangles. OR…you have an isosceles triangle you want to put together using 3  – 120 degree triangles. Instead of using a Y Seam, I suppose you could seam the final third triangle. Don’t let your never having done a Y Seam stop you, the amazingly and creative quilter, from doing the block you want!

I am currently working on a quilt that is made using the Creative Grids 120 Degree Ruler.


I am making Isosceles Triangles to make these stars for a quilt. This involves many Y Seams, and at the end of the quilt, I have only had to fix one unit! That my friend is success!

I will give my example using the triangles, but will add a paragraph at the end for making Y Seams when joining a square. If your machine has a needle down option, use it! If not, when you stop at the corner before pivoting, put your needle in the down position.20160606_200625-1.jpg

  1. Lay out the triangle as shown. 20160606_200247-1.jpgBegin by sewing the center straight seam RST, from the outside edge toward the edge where you will make the Y Seam join. STOP 1/4″ before you get to the edge, backstitch a couple of stitches. Press this seam open.
  2. Lay the piece you just stitched Right Side Up, with the point toward you and the V edge where you will join the 3rd piece away from you.
  3. Take the 3rd piece Wrong Side Up and insert a pin through it 1/4″ in from the corner point where the 2 short sides of the triangle meet.20160606_200514.jpg

20160606_202101-1.jpg4. Take the 3rd piece and place it over the pieces you previously joined with the RST , and insert the pin through this 1/4″ in from the V. Note: this is where you did the backstitch. Very often I place the pin after the first visible stitch.20160606_200514-1.jpg20160606_201521-1-1.jpg

5. With the pin in place through both layers RST, line up the raw edges to the left of the pin. Then pin all layers in place with the point of the pin facing to the left.20160606_201620-1-1.jpg20160606_201735-1-1.jpg

6. Stitch from the left hand point toward the center, removing pin as you get close. Stop at the center (where you can most likely see the pin hole).


7. Raise your presser foot. Take the remaining right hand side of the top triangle and swivel it to match up the raw edges with the bottom piece. 20160606_202149-1-1.jpg

8. Lower presser foot making sure everything is even. Continue stitching to the outer edge. 20160606_202226-1-1.jpg

9. Press seam toward the triangle you just joined.    20160606_202510-1.jpgThere you have it! Not so hard really! I have to confess though that by the time I was done with all my units, I was kind of tired of Y Seams!

Sewing a square block into a corner using a Y Seam:

Take the corner block piece Wrong Side Up and insert a pin through it 1/4″ in from the corner point.

Place this over the top of the piece you are joining it to, RST and place the pin 1/4″ in from V.

Continue from Step 5 above. Press seams out toward corner block.


Hope the tutorial helps!






Some Saturday Pictures


Before the gentle rain started, I wandered out and got a couple of pictures.


20160604_110314-1.jpg20160604_110533-1.jpg20160604_110353.jpgThen, I listened to the rain, some classical music, lit a candle and sewed. Very nice! I continued to work on my string quilt and will share soon some of that progress in the next few days. Many “Y Seams” involved! I am finding them not so bad to do these days. So far I have only had to do any unsewing on one of them!

Following the rain…


Enjoy the day!


Happy Birthday shout out to Pam T!!!