After QuiltCon?

I always find it hard to get back into any sort of routine when I have been away. I can’t even begin to imagine having a “proper” job and needing to go to work at 8 the morning after I have returned from a trip.

So, last week I retreated to my fall back position of catching up on my recorded programs and knitting scarves for a few days.

Then I cleared up my “stuff” and did the laundry…

Fortunately Thursday was Naperville Modern Quilt Guild day and I had promised a hexagon demo so I had to work on that. Paper Pieces supplied us all with little kits to work on. I will look forward to seeing what people get up to with their new, or rediscovered, skills.

Svetlana brought her Single Girl quilt to share with us.DSC03191

Her sewing machine was at the shop so Svetlana had hand quilted it. Through flannel! She did admit her hands were a little sore. It was beautiful.

Enough sulking from me. It was time to return to my machine and I pieced a back for my log cabin quilt. Then I layered and basted it with a Pellon Legacy wall batt and I have started quilting…

A view from the back.


and a little look at the front.


I am half way through, but now I have to decide what to put in the negative space ? I am pondering the problem but I sent Steve off to work with my bag of Mini Eggs so I don’t have them to help me…

Back at the sewing machine!

It was about time I reacquainted myself with my sewing machine…

So, yesterday, I filled the dishwasher, put a load of laundry in the washing machine, watched the season finale of Downton Abbey

and having run out of excuses went down the stairs!

Jean’s quilt top had been sitting on the side for a few months. I said I would quilt it for her to donate to philanthropy at quilt guild. She only asked me a few times how I was doing… A good place to start?

I found a nice piece of fabric in my box for the backing and some Quilters Dream batting and soon got it pin basted. A few hours later and it was quilted too. Why not attach the binding? Then a quick wash and a spell in the dryer and it was finished! That wasn’t too difficult.

Here it is looking all warm and cosy against the sprinkling of snow we got last night. Jean is a master of the scrap quilt. Virtually no pieces are too small or too odd for Jean to include in a quilt. This one is a study of all shades of greens set off with a red and white check in the sashing and binding.


I just used my number 4 stitch, widened and elongated, for nice wavy line all-over quilting and 30wt Sulky Blendable thread. With the Dream Cotton batting it’s super soft ready to keep somebody warm in the near future.



What next? My stack of log cabin blocks from December have been waiting to be stitched together. It did take me a while to decide what to do with them. With no advance planning and no extra of the printed fabrics I just had to make them work. We need 36″ finished square quilts for our log cabin challenge at Naperville Modern Quilt Guild…  I added 32 solid squares to the 32 pieced ones. They each finish at four and a half inches so those logs are 1/2″ wide.

I think I like it. A sort of de-constructed barn raising setting?


Now it’s on the design wall, waiting for inspiration to strike on the quilting… I have some ideas but I think I will wait until I get back from QuiltCon…

I’m flying on Thursday morning. The excitement rises.


Sunshine and storms

The sun was shining brightly last week so I took the opportunity to try some sun printing. I signed up for a round robin fabric challenge at PAQA in July and the deadline for the first “layer” is September 1st so this gave me time for disaster…

But there were no disasters! I took my pfd cotton outside and wet it thoroughly. Then I took some red and some yellow Setacolor paints I just happened to have and splashed them on all over… adding copious amounts of water to help the blending process.  I set my table up just outside the garage where there is a shrub growing wild. There were plenty of branches waiting to be cut and arranged on top of the damp painted fabric…

and then I sprinkled a little salt down the middle and left everything to dry in the bright light.

Then, as if by magic, a few hours later, this is what I got.

I heat fixed (5 minutes with a hot iron from the back) thoroughly, left it to cure a few days and then washed the fabric in warm water with Synthrapol. No color came out so it’s ready to send to Sydney for her to add the next layer. I have the next one waiting for me already. I have some ideas!



Friday I went to the Weekend of Valor put on by Gazebo Quilters in Huntley. We were assigned teams to work on quilts to be sent to combat veterans through the Quilts of Valor foundation. This is the hard working team stitching on the table opposite us…

Jaki had never made a quilt before but under the tutelage of coach Stephanie they got their whole top finished. Marianne Fons was on hand for a photo shoot.


Kim Stauss and I didn’t get so far. We were working on a Pat Sloan design, aptly entitled Valor and made using the Tribute collection of fabrics donated by P and B textiles. Kim worked on all the hundreds of half square triangles needed for the twelve LeMoyne stars in the border and I got to grips with the center medallion. Seven hours later here’s what we had done…

At least we were both still smiling. Kim took everything home to finish the top ready for quilting and donation.


… and then I drove to Rockford where I proved very good at child minding a sleeping child…

Here are Benjamin and his mother.

Not too long now before Benjamin’s sister will be arriving on the scene. Yesterday I finally finished the log cabin quilt from a kit Sheila and I bought back on our epic shop hop of 2002 to McPherson, Kansas and back.

Those are 3/4″ finished logs. That makes this a special quilt! Steve says it looks very “nana-esque” . Julia calls it “grandma chic”. Could that be a new trend?

And here is a close up of the finished washed quilt. I love the soft Moda fabrics we bought. They feel like well washed handkerchiefs. I put a cozy flannel plaid on  the back.


So, this morning it is raining. I tried to get a picture of the rain on the deck but I didn’t want to go outside and get wet. This is my best effort so far.

The radar shows a big storm on its way through. It’s a great day for catching up.