Archive for September, 2018

They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!

September 27, 2018

If you’re of a certain age, you might remember the song with this refrain:

And They’re coming to take me away Ha Ha
They’re coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time, and I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats
and they’re coming to take me away ha ha

I’ve been told before that I’m nuts, so why are they coming to take me away this time? I saved a bunch of bonus triangles from one of the Bonnie Hunter mysteries (Allietare, I think) and started making the Triangle Gatherings blocks, a free sew-along in 2017, from Primitive Gatherings. The free blocks are no longer available. I believe they’re working on a book or pattern or something.


That green square is 2.5″. The blocks are made with 16 1.25″ (0.75″ finished) half-square triangle squares. If I’ve done the math correctly, the blocks finish at 3″. They’re so cute!

I forgot to mention last time that Patty came over for company while she stitched the binding on this quilt:


One of my procrastination tasks was to prepare this block from Anna’s Blue Baskets/Jo’s Floral Album for applique.


I made more border strip sets for T for Two like this:


I might have enough of the narrow border pieces but I probably need to make one more set of the wide border.

Here are the two options for the top border.

I was originally picturing it with the version on the left. Linda suggested the version on the right. I think she’s right – I like that better now that I’ve seen it. I’m waiting to hear from my friend which one she likes since she’s the one who has to look at it. Next week I need to start getting the borders on so I can get the quilt to the long-armer and git ‘er done!

Still in procrastination mode, I decided it was time to add the cut scraps from Genie’s stash to mine. They were in a box in the storage room – 3 shoe boxes full of strips plus some loose stuff in the box. The 2.5″ strip box had mostly short strips. I took the strips that were long enough and paired them up for 16-patch blocks. The short strips were dumped into the string box. I got enough blocks for a kid quilt (In the Pink) plus 3 extra for my collection.

There were some sewn pieces in the scrap box as well which went into what I call the ABS (already been sewn or parts bin) bag. Linda likes to do improv piecing so I told her before she came over last week that her mission, should she choose to accept it was to take the ABS scraps. ABS scraps are anything that’s been sewn to at least one other piece of fabric. Might be half-square triangles, strip set, partial blocks, etc.

Then, while she was sorting them into piles of things that sort of go together, I shoved the pile of random scraps from Genie’s box and said, “take these, too.” Then I ran over and grabbed the pile of 2.5″ short strips from the string box and gave her those also. Hey, it’s rare for me to want to fling fabric out of here so I have to take advantage of my mood. By the time she finished sorting, she went home with two filled shoe boxes, a shopping bag and the bag the stuff was in when she started.

The 2″ and 3.5″ strips from Genie’s box went into my strip bins to await inspiration.

Circa 2012/2013 I made this bargello (I Used to Be a Layer Cake) wall hanging from a pattern and layer cake that I picked up at Linda’s store. I liked the fabric but didn’t want to buy yardage so this was the perfect solution to get a taste. It looks like spring to me. It’s been waiting for a back all these years.


I had chosen a backing fabric that would only be big enough by doing the John Flynn diagonal seam back technique. Unfortunately, the fabric I chose was a stripe which meant that after the pieces were slid to make the width, the stripe would need to be matched. I finally decided that was a stupid choice and went with this fabric from my stash. The picture on the right shows the binding fabric.

The bargello piece went to the quilter yesterday. It was made from this pattern, layout #2.


More string blocks were made.


More leader-ender twosies . . .


and foursies.IMG_20180926_171923.jpg

I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday already. Last Friday Patty, Linda and I met our friends Caren and Paul and Caren’s friend Carrie at the Baltimore Modern Guild’s bingo night. Everyone in the group won except me won a door prize. Patty won two bingo games. I’m happy for them but it’s always more fun when I win.

Tomorrow I go to my guild’s 3-day weekend retreat at Pecometh retreat center.

Stringing Along While Bordering on Boredom

September 14, 2018

September began with our monthly Sew & Tell meeting. Kathy showed what she’s been up to the last several months.


Kathy’s yarmulkes for the princess’s upcoming Bat Mitzvah.

She had a lot of fun choosing the fabrics. Each one has a novelty print on one side and what she called a “sane” fabric (tone on tone) on the other side so the owner can wear it on the sober side if preferred. This one is really cute:


Yarmulke with a llama wearing a yarmulke!

Kathy commissioned the shawl and other bits from a local maker. They’re hand-dyed silk and are absolutely gorgeous.


I’ve been making string blocks.

Last time I touted my new tool for slicing the paper on the back of the blocks. Apparently I need to be more careful if I’m slitting the paper on the starting strip where I’ve used glue to “pin” it to the paper because this happened:


Yup. I slit the fabric. Not the end of the world. Here’s what the back looks like at this point.


I got out the ripper and removed the center strip. Then I sewed the two sides to a new strip.

I’m working on this for the border on T for Two. I love the look of the mirrored border print but it is painfully boring to prepare and sew. The prints have to be matched up and pinned a lot so the fabric doesn’t slip out of alignment. Then I stitch very slowly so I can stay on the line.

You might have noticed that the narrow border print isn’t actually mirrored because I am alternating the motifs. In the case of this border print, I felt it looked better to have the blue blob in the center of the one motif bounce from one side to the next instead of being lined up in lockstep.

I’ve got two of each stripe sewn so I’ve got 3 more sets of each to do to have sufficient length for the borders. Then the hard part comes. More about that when I get there.

While making strings I pulled some large half-square triangles out of the box. I decided to turn these into squares instead of cutting into strings and crumbs. They weren’t the same size but I just paired them up and used the smaller one as the guide for where to sew. I used my new triangle trimmer rulers to trim them.

What will I do with them? Who knows. For now, they’ve been added to the ABS (already been sewn) bag.

I finished the last leader-ender spool block so am now sewing green and white for a checkerboard quilt. They were already in pairs so now they’re being turned into 4-patches.


Linda, Patty and I were supposed to go to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza today. After checking the forecast on Monday evening, we decided to go yesterday instead because it looked like we were going to enjoy a weekend with rain from Hurricane Florence. By yesterday morning the forecast had changed but it was still a better day for going than today.

As with all the regional shows in this area, over the last several years we have noticed a decrease in the number of vendors and the contest quilts. Every year this show seems to add more special exhibits. There were some very good quilts but I found a lot of the quilts this year to be ho-hum. I went through all the quilts and vendors in record time. We arrived at 11:15 or so, ate lunch and Patty and I were ready to leave by 2 pm. We have never done a major show in that short a time. After we tracked Linda down, we left before 3 pm.

I was disgusted to see that First place in the Modern category went to a friggin’ panel quilt. Really? Don’t get me wrong. It was a pretty quilt and I liked it a lot but it was a panel with a pieced border. Not award worthy in a major regional show, in my opinion.

One of the special exhibits was Threads of Resistance. First time I’ve ever seen a quilt exhibit that was draped off from public view with warning signs at the entrance. Some of the quilts had a phone number to call to listen to an audio message about the piece. I didn’t take the time to do that. Some pieces were thought provoking, others too in your face for my taste but on the whole, the exhibit made me sad and depressed. Being confronted with the enormity of happenings the last two years brought me to tears.

I’m pleased to say I didn’t buy a single piece of fabric at this show. Nor did I buy any patterns. I did pick up a few things from Brooklyn Haberdashery, a new to me vendor.

Writing this post has allowed me to procrastinate on sewing more border print stripes together. 🙂