Posts Tagged ‘fussy cut’

When you fall off the horse …

May 29, 2019

Get back on. No, I haven’t been horse riding. The horse I fell off of was keeping notes about what I’ve done in the studio and writing about them. Even though I wasn’t keeping notes all the time, I’ve got a lot to share.

4/23 – I sorted the scrap bin from the garage. Yay! All the scraps have now been sorted and I have an empty bin to put to use doing other things.

I also completed the assembly of the fussy cut animal quilt body (i.e., no borders yet). I have since ordered and received fabric for the outer border and backing. Inner border comeing from stash. Hopefully, the piece I have is large enough. More about that soon, with pictures. Here’s a picture of the body sewn together.

4/24 – Linda, Patty and I went to the Blue House fabric sale in Westminster, MD. I didn’t find much, even at 40% off. They used to have a lot of grunge colors so I was expecting to find some of those. There was very little, nothing that interested me. The sale made me suspicious. Sure enough, a few weeks later Linda got the email that they are going out of business. Linda is sad because their fabrics were in her wheelhouse. Me, not so much.

4/25 – I had sweatshop with Polly at Spring Water Designs. I did the inking on most of my ship blocks.

When I got home that afternoon, I worked on the step-outs for my guild demo scheduled for May. The demo has since been rescheduled for August.

4/26 – Linda came over. I worked on prepping one of the Baltimore Garden bird blocks.

4/27 – Baltimore Garden class.

One of my ship blocks had bleeding from the ultra-suede. I took a deep breath and followed Vicki Welsh’s instructions and started the block soaking in hot water and Dawn (some clear version with no dyes or perfumes). The bleed did come out. Whew! Polly did like the idea of making the ship look like it was burning because the bleed looked like smoke around the masts. I’ll post pictures of all the ship blocks one of these days.

I worked on the hand stitching of the binding on the T for Two quilt.

4/28 – More work on the T for Two binding.

And, here’s where I fell off the horse. No notes for the next month. I was in Illinois for Dad’s 96th birthday so no sewing happened while I was gone. His birthday is Star Wars day (May 4th). I asked him if he knew that. He just keep saying, “Huh?” He’s extremely hearing impaired so it’s very exhausting to talk to him. Mom said she didn’t think he knew what Star Wars was. I said I’d wondered about that. He looks pretty good in this picture but he’s gotten quite frail.

Red Lobster is Dad’s favorite restaurant. He had been talking about the Red Lobster lobster fest promotion for a couple of months. He fretted because it was over. My brother and I kept telling him “if you want lobster, order lobster.” Usually he orders coconut shrimp, probably because that’s what mom orders, and then complains about the breading, insisting that it didn’t used to be so thick. Mom and I and the waitress always tell him it’s always been that way and to order something else but he never did. This time they had a new lobster and shrimp dinner so he ordered that and, as you can see, was quite happy afterwards. My brother and I also ordered it. It was pretty good. Came with corn on the cob and roasted potato wedges and some sausage. Too much for one meal but made for nice leftover meals.

My brother and the dog sacked out. Smokey is his last dog. Smokey has really declined in health since the previous dog died. Sounds like he may not last much longer. He’s the last dog because my brother wants to travel and he can’t do that with animals to care for.

I was only there a few days so Becky and I didn’t get to do our usual get together stuff. We met for dinner one night and I gave her the T for Two quilt. I wish I’d gotten better pictures of it but I didn’t.


A couple weeks later I was off to my guild’s spring retreat. Four days at the Black Rock Retreat in Quarryville,  PA. Actually, the retreat center is out in the country in the middle of nowhere. I took eight or nine projects just to be sure I didn’t run out of things to do. I didn’t touch two of them, which is fine. I try to take things that don’t require much thought because with 28 people in a big room, there is lots of distraction.

I assembled two smaller quilts the first day.


Ignore the extra bits on the left. I didn’t hang this straight enough to crop out the other project on the design wall. This 16-patch from strips from Genie’s scraps. It will be donated to charity as that is what her family wanted done with her fabric. Charity was a big part of Genie’s being. I’m calling it In the Pink.

I also assembled the Jacob’s Ladder blocks.


I’m working on the borders now. You can see a little of the inner borders on the sides.

The second day of retreat I assembled Sweet Poison. I don’t seem to have a photo of that. More on it when it comes back from the quilter.

I spent the third day making blocks for 9-patch Madness. I’d been using the broken dishes blocks as leader/enders the entire time. This happened.


It’s hard to see because of the dark fabric. This is a connecting corner square. I cut off the outer bit and then the following piece appeared out of nowhere.


Something definitely wrong here. This was my leader/ender. Where did it come from and why isn’t it square? Here’s why.


The bottom triangle is the piece I cut off the 9-Patch Madness block shown earlier. My leader/ender got caught up and sewn into the 9-Patch Madness block. Sigh. I’ve probably made every mistake in the book over time but this is a new one.

The last day of retreat is really only a half-day and not much work happens. Around 10 or 10:30 we have show and tell where we go around the room and everyone shows what they worked on. Then, it’s mostly pack up and leave because we have to be out of the room by 1 p.m.

Nothing to do with quilting but this happened. My handyman finally came over to install the ceiling fan in the living room. It’s the weird looking round thing – a bladeless fan. I also had him help finish assembling the dining room chairs.


He also attached my design wall to the wall. It’s no longer just leaning against the wall. I’m beyond thrilled. I did have to move a heavy piece of furniture though so the design wall didn’t block the outlet. Bless whoever invented hand trucks and those furniture slider things. I was able to move the cabinet all by myself.


I must have done other things but no idea what they were. Actually, one is the project on the left of the design wall. More about it at another time. The one on the right is the May snowman.

Last Friday Linda came over. I realized at one point that she had stopped working and packed up her stuff. I was wandering around trying to find something to focus on. I had a brainstorm and said, “I’ve got something we can do!” Here’s the result.


We placed all the embroidery hoops I’ve been collecting for the last several years. Some I had, some came from guild freebie table, some from silent auction. Now, I have to choose fabric to fill them.

5/25 – Baltimore Garden class.

5/26 – Sew and Tell meets at my house. I cut and fused pieces for the June snowman. After S & T, I assembled the April and May snowman tops. So, during my not taking notes, I must have cut and fused the April and May snowmen pieces.

5/27 – I finished assembly of the April Snowman. No picture of the April snowman right now.

I made the back for the Genie 16-patch quilt. Was going to use a bunch of different blue fabrics but found this backing yardage, so used it. It’s an old Jinny Beyer print.


I also cut up the leftovers from that yardage. Some squares for the guild’s love quilts. Some for my pre-cut stash.

I started the back for Sweet Poison.

5/28 – Finished the back for Sweet Poison. Stay-stitched the edges of the top. Will have piectures when it comes back from quilter.

I nailed the hangers in the wall for the embroidery hoops. The picture I showed earlier was after this happened. When we were arranging them they were held on by blue painter’s tape. That made it easy to rearrange them until we were satisfied.

I filled two of the smaller hoops with scraps from the Sweet Poison backing.

I traced the four carrot embroidery sections for the June snowman. Selected the thread and embroidered one of them in the evening.

I cut the inner border for the Jacob’s Ladder and attached the two long sides. It occurred to me after I cut the two side borders that maybe I should miter them so the corners look better. The perfectionist in me wishes I’d done that but I’m going to live with butted corners.

The house cleaners just left so I’m going to get a late lunch and, maybe, head to the studio. I really need a cook. I’d be in hog heaven then.


Squirrel in the scrap bin

April 23, 2019


No, not that kind of squirrel. Wouldn’t that be an event? The squirrel in the photo is one of the famed albino squirrels of Olney, Illinois.

What I found was the kind of squirrel that takes us away from what we’re supposed to be working on and makes us start a new project. While sorting scraps (a lot of my scraps come from other people) I found some fussy cut squares of wild animals and some yardage for cutting more. I dutifully made a pile and took it upstairs to give away at the next guild meeting.

A couple of days later, while reviewing some older magazines, I ran across this quilt:

The creative juices started flowing and next thing you know I retrieved the pile from upstairs and designed a quilt inspired by the magazine quilt. The size of the squares in the magazine didn’t work for what I had so I modified it. I cut several squares from the yardage and put everything up on the board. Some of the fussy cuts of other fabrics weren’t quite big enough so I combined them and pieced to get squares the size I needed. Shades of our forebears from yesteryear. That didn’t provide quite enough squares so I hit the stash room and pulled fabrics and cut until I had the right number of squares. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of the interim steps.



No lions or tigers but bears a plenty, moose, wolves, racoons, opossums, wild horses, skunks. My dad always called skunks “woods pussies”. I remember one visit to my grandparents farm in Iowa when the skunk that lived under the feed shed came out into the yard. My brother who was quite little ( 2 or 3) lit up, said “pretty black and white kitty” and took off after the skunk. One of the adult males (my uncle maybe) who was nearest grabbed him by the britches and held him back while they said “no, you can’t pet that kitty”.

As you can see I used a 9-patch rather than the double 4-patch in the magazine quilt. My squares are 6″ finished (6.5″ cut). All the background and water fabric (the blue and green stripe) came from stash. I found 2 greens that were very similar but they still weren’t enough. I pulled some strips from the 2.5″ bin that resulted from participating in the Quiltville swap group on Yahoo several years ago. Some other fabrics were auditioned including light fabrics and a brown. After looking at the magazine again, I realized that what made the steps stand out was that the background is the same color as the background of the fussy cut squares. Green it is!

The arithmetic was fine except I looked at the wrong number when computing the number of step squares I needed. I cut twice as many as needed. Used up a second fabric as well as the first because I couldn’t get the full number out of the first fabric. Oh, well, now I’ve got a bunch of 2.5″ squares. As I cut the background pieces I pinned them to the empty spaces along with the water squares. Much easier to end up with the correct number of pieces that way.

It’s amazing how fast some projects come together. From conception to cutting, piecing, waiting for a friend’s opinion on the background fabric to being ready to assemble took just a few hours in a couple of afternoons. It’s now in the process of being assembled. I think the brown (peeking in from the left side) will be an inner border. I think I want a print similar to the fussy cut squares for the border. That will have to be a new purchase.  The day this was laid out the Keepsake Quilting catalog was in my mailbox. It has 2 potential border prints in it. Obviously, this quilt was meant to be. Hopefully, one of the prospective back yardages in the stash room will be acceptable for this. If not, maybe I’ll just piece a bunch of greens together. Maybe blue. I’ve got twice as much blue fabric as green.

I need a name for this quilt. Anyone have ideas? So far we’ve floated: In the Wild, Wild America, A River Runs Through It, Walk on the Wild Side.

The leftover pieces of the yardage went to Linda. Would you believe I later found more of a similar fabric? I cut a couple of squares for future use and the remaining fabric bit is waiting to go to Linda.