Hello, September!

September’s Baccalaureate
A combination is
Of Crickets – Crows – and Retrospects
And a dissembling Breeze
That hints without assuming –
An Innuendo sear
That makes the Heart put up its Fun
And turn Philosopher
Emily Dickinson

Even though the days seem to be endless, September has arrived. We are expecting a “cool front” this week, which means our temperature high will only be 89. It is better than the 100 degree temperatures we were having.

September does bring many happy memories, and some very special birthdays. My grandson already received the quilt I made for his birthday. This past week, I got busy making the birthday gifts for one of my DIL’s. Next, I need to make something for my brother.

For my DIL, I chose pink roses as my theme. According to FTD by Design, pink roses symbolize joy. The different shades of pink have different meanings. Giving pink roses as a gift is a token of admiration or gratitude. I have been drawing my own patterns for embroidery, but I wanted to find a new way to embroider a flower. I found a free pattern by embroideryloversteffi that was simple and easy to transfer and embroider. I chose three different shades of pink to embroider the roses. A few weeks ago, I ordered some decorative embroidery hoops that were just perfect for this project.
In my stash, I had some beautiful pink rose fabric, and a coordinating green print. Jordan Fabrics has a super easy tutorial for making place mats and cloth napkins. I used a coordinating gold and pink rose print for making double-sided cloth napkins. Since I only had a yard, I could only make the smaller size cloth napkin. There was just enough leftover fabric to make a drawstring pouch for the embroidery hoop roses. As for the place mats for my brother, I will be picking up some fabric tomorrow.

In April, Mary Puckett had posted about a Quarantine Quilt pattern that she designed. She used a Figures Zen Chi fabric from Studio Stitch, in Greensboro, NC. The fabric caught my eye, and I took up the offer of a free pattern and contacted Studio Stitch for some fabric shopping. The people in the this shop are so friendly and helpful. It is now one of my favorite fabric shops. Mary gives excellent directions and tips on her pattern. I was able to finish the quilt in two days; one for cutting, one for piecing. My friend, Linda Jennings did the quilting for me. This lap quilt is now on my recliner, waiting for cooler weather.

Studio Stitch has such an amazing selection of fabric. I found this super fun autumn fabric with crows, and squirrels, and everything fun. It reminded me of the poem by Emily Dickinson. I ordered six fat quarters and the backing fabric from the online site. Then, Carrie, helped me pick the remaining 7 fat quarters that I needed for my fall quilt. Sometimes, it is difficult to get the true color from their online site, and that is where Carrie stepped in and helped me make the right choices.  This was another two-day quilt to cut and piece. I dropped off the quilt top at Linda’s, and I am looking forward to having it back just in time for fall latte’s and pumpkin scones.

In between these projects, daily walks, and other tasks, I am continuing to work on a one inch stamp quilt. After making one 12″ block, I stored it in a UFO box, asking myself why I would even think of starting a quilt like this. Since then, my interest in this quilt has grown. It is now out of the UFO box, and I work on it every now and then.  All the pieces had been cut already. I began using an assembly line approach. Now, I have enough strips to make a total of 16 blocks. In order to keep myself motivated, I completed 6 blocks. I am thinking of making five rows of four blocks, plus some borders.  Still thinking about the final design.
In the meantime, I plan to enjoy these September days.
Hope you enjoy your September days.

 

 

Summer

“In summer, the song sings itself.” – William Carlos Williams

The summer season has always been very special. As a child, there was nothing better than playing outside from morning until night. As a parent, I cherished the time spent with my sons at the coast, swim meets, and fun-filled and lazy days.
The temperature has been hitting 100+. I take my morning walk before the temperature gets too high. Then, I am inside keeping busy. Since our Covid cases continue to rise in my state, I am pretty much still home bound.
In January, I began what was supposed to be a year long embroidery project. Whenever I would find time to sit or watch TV, I would pull out this project and draw different animals and plants on linen. I practiced old stitches  and tried new embroidery stitches. 2020 feels like it is dragging on too long, so I already finished the project.
This week, I finally got started on the Lone Star quilt for my niece. I chose this pattern by Jordan Fabrics because my niece says her heart is still in Texas. Donna, from Jordan Fabrics, has an excellent tutorial for this pattern. My hesitation to start this quilt was my concern for matching the points and seams. I had pieced a star quilt before, but it was with made large half triangles. This star was made with jelly roll strips. I chose Moda, Texas Wildflower jelly roll strips with a white on white floral background. Donna demonstrates how to cut and piece in a manner that will keep the fabric laying flat. On my first attempts, there was quite a bit of rip and redo. I finally got the hang of it, so the second half of the star was a bit easier. I thought there would be no problem with the top and bottom borders made from the extra triangles…wrong! After struggling with the top border, the bottom border was a bit smoother.
Now that these projects are completed, I will continue with my summer morning walks and listen to the summer song. I am looking forward to starting other projects. Thanks to Mary, Zippy Quilts, I already have some plans. 🙂

Stay safe.

Post Script:
I have been working on my Viking sewing machine because my Juki was on the blink.
Now, my Viking won’t start up.
Yikes!

 

Staying Focused

One of my daily readings reminded me to focus on what I can control. This led to me focusing on making crafts, which is about the only thing I can control these days.

Sew Can She had a free pattern for making flat travel/storage bags. I won’t be traveling for a while, but I made three bags anyway.

I had some quilt squares left over from a Village House quilt that I made. I used the squares to make mug rugs.
Then I made some hexagon mug rugs/ coasters that open up. You can place the bottom of a wine glass inside the mug rug.

I had a Go Fish Pattern by Fishsticks to make potholders and oven mitts. I had just enough remnants and fat quarters to make three sets. The pattern calls for regular and thermal batting, which I happened to have.

My long arm quilter finished quilting the three Halloween quilts that I made. After binding the quilts, I decided to make a tote with the Halloween remnants and scraps. I made an envelope pillow, and placed a pocket in front. This tote can be used for carrying the quilt and a Halloween book in the front pocket.
I continue to make masks to have on hand, in case anyone needs one. Stitches Quilting has a tutorial on making a very easy pouch to store the pouch.

With some remnants, I was able to make a few buttoned coin purses. I made some in different sizes, lined and unlined.

After weeks of putting off starting a new quilt, I finally decided to get to it. I have studied the tutorial on the Lone Star quilt by Jordan Fabrics. Donna provides excellent instructions and demonstrations in her tutorials. Last year, I studied and followed Donna’s tutorial for making a strip tube Christmas quilt. This Lone Star quilt is quite a challenge for me, but Donna’s tutorial is very helpful. I cut the fabric on Saturday. I pieced half of the star diamonds yesterday, and the other half today. This quilt will be for my niece who now lives in New York. She loves everything Texas, so I used the Moda wildflower jelly roll to make the star.

Focusing on these crafts and starting a new quilt has made the days go by a bit easier. I hope everyone is well.
Stay safe.

Home Bound Again

Since my city and state are now experiencing a high rate of increase in Covid, I am  once again home bound. The only outings I had been allowing myself were with my Meemaws. We only met in the school parking lot, or in a park. We always wore masks and kept our distance. We took our last visit to a park this week. As long as our governor refuses to take the action needed, the situation will not improve.

That said, I am keeping myself busy. There are three quilt projects that I have in bins. The first quilt possibility is a modern quilt made of half log cabin squares that seems pretty interesting. It is a perfect pattern for using scraps.
There is also a curvy log cabin quilt that I had planned to make at retreat with friends. Since the retreat was cancelled, the quilt project was laid aside. The fabric I chose for this quilt is by Marcia Derse. I just love her design.
The third possible quilt is a Lone Star quilt for my niece. This pattern is a bit tricky for me, so I have been studying the tutorial by Jordan Fabrics. I have made a star quilt before, but I was not happy with how the seams laid out. The tutorial explains how to have flat seams.

In the meantime, I have made a few small things. Mary sent me the link to very cute block pattern by the Sewing Loft. The dragonfly block was made from tiny scraps. I did something wrong with each one.The heads of the dragonfly just didn’t work for me. I read, and reread the directions, but I could never figure out exactly where I went off course. I had to make it fit, so each one is different. I also made the butterfly quilt block from that same site. Thank you, Mary, for being so thoughtful. I enjoyed making these blocks. They will show up somewhere in a future project.

My DIL had told me about the site, Sew She Can. There was a tutorial for a lay flat storage bag that I found interesting. The patterns come in three sizes. I made three medium sized bags in one afternoon. I like these bags since they lay flat, but open wide. They hold quite a bit of stuff.

In the video, I have a picture of a very friendly dog who lives in the neighborhood. I have seen Luna grow up. She is now 10 years old now. Whenever I walk by her house, Luna wags her arthritic back side as she comes up for a hug. She makes my day.

There are also some pictures of ducks, a golden crown heron, and the vultures at Brackenridge Park. Apparently, the black vultures are uninvited guests in this park. They coexist with the animals in the zoo. I included a video clip of the vultures in the sky. There is also a tree filled with white egrets. There are so many, the tree looks white. I could not get a picture of the tree, since it is not a place you want to walk by or stand under. I don’t know when we will be able to enjoy our park outing again.

Stay Safe
Wear Your Masks

Seams!!!!!

Which way do you press the seams on blocks that have many pieces? There are multiple opinions on how to answer this question. I have read, watched tutorials, and asked other quilters what they do when it comes to pressing seams. One of my friends said to just press the way it fits best. Well, this is difficult to do when there are eight rows of  eight inch blocks made from four inch blocks made from two inch strips! The Tannenbaum tutorial by Jordan Fabrics, recommends pressing the seams to the dark fabric. Donna Jordan demonstrates that pressing correctly, even on seams that are going in the same direction, will solve the problem and result in a flat seam. I had to do this on some of the pieces and they did come out okay. One of my friends recommended pressing the seams open.  I did a little bit of both…open and to the side. There were still places that I had to redo in order to make a flatter seam. I am happy with the accuracy of my quarter inch seams. This helped a bit, but it was still a hassle.
There has to be an easier way. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
I finished piecing the center of the Tannebaum quilt top. I do not know if I will add just one border to make it a throw size quilt; or three borders to make it a queen size quilt.