Once I had my detail guidelines marked and the ideas mostly in my head and a bit on paper, I was able to load and quilt.  I only got the detail quilting done and then the customer work was flowing in fast so I took it off my frame.  A hard choice to make but I knew I had enough quilting done, plus added a few pins for basting, that I could put it aside.


I used a turquoise and purple variegated thread; Superior Rainbows 802 Brasilia Blue.

This was on & off my quilt hanging rack 20 or more times while other quilts were photographed!

Some of the detail quilting —




So then it waited from early March until August.

I took a week to quilt a baby quilt and finish this mystery quilt.  The Olympics were on TV so I had that as my background noise a lot while I did the small fill-in quilting.  This took a bit over 10 hours of quilting time.  I quilted  during the day a few hours at a time and 2 nights until 10 p.m. or after to finally get it done.



I knew my current bobbin was nearing the end as I was nearing the end of my quilting and prayed I’d make it without having to wind one more bobbin.  I made it with this much left!  Yeah!  10:20 p.m.  #yawn


I had it just draped on a chair until a weekend when I could trim it and sew on the binding.  I walked into my studio one day and it was like this and I just had to have  a photo.  I was so glad to finally have the quilting done on one of my own quilts.


I added the soloist turquoise for binding and once that was on, it had really completed it!


I really like this and I’m not sure I want to give it away now!
Pattern is available at Colourful StitchesSymmetry Square  it is an e-pattern.  I suggest it!!  No special tools needed.

The last clue added the last row on the outside of the quilt.  The soloist continued a pattern to the centers and the corners.

She also suggested piecing the backing from stash and I continued in my neutral pile.  And you know …. there are still more fabrics in the bin!  Her instructions included a bit of “sashing” on the back and corner posts.  I did all of this in neutrals but many in the group did another design of colors with this piecing.


I wrote the label on one of the backing cornerstones before quilting.


Planning the quilting….  I took a photo of the complete top, printed it in black & white, and then used tracing paper over that master to draw some ideas on paper.  In this photo, some is marked and I’m looking at thread ideas.


Next up… quilting!

I corrected the previous post that we get clues for this every WEEK.  So the first few weeks slid past me quite fast!  One quiet weekend in January, I did the cutting. Then I worked in the long evenings that week in getting caught up on the clues.

Clue 2 had us making a pile of 9-patches and Clue 3 added in some long rectangles.  Also for clue 3, these sets were combined and added to the center like this.  I’m just pulling random neutrals for my scraps, though making the rectangle parts go together per piece.  She tells us where the soloist fabric goes.

clue 02

Clue 4 was another pile of 9-patches.  They get monotonous so it was OK to break those times up!  I was working about 1 clue a day still so it was good for me to have a change of pace.

clue 03 and 04 combined

Clue 5 is below and added the outer row, where I marked off the center already completed with the dashed line.  By now, some of the other quilts posted on the group are showing very fun color arrangements!  I’m trying hard to not be swayed.  The writer is encouraging my randomness.  Good to get out of a planned box!


clue 5 900 b

Below, Clue 6 has been added as an outer row again.

clue 06 b

More to follow….

New Serger

I’ve love to add this serger to my sewing room!  A Bernina (of course) and this is  an L 450.  I’m so glad Bernina has kept making the best machines.  I met them 31 years ago a few months before our daughter was done cooking.  Just in time for sweet little dresses!


First we’ll get new napkins made for the kitchen and then we’ll get on to more serious things like easy to wear tops for my mom & a fall coat for me!  :)

I was excited to join a mystery quilt group and this one started in January.  I didn’t follow her schedule very well with cutting the first weeks of January as I was trying to get things done before our trip to Ohio.

It is called a Mystery Quilt because the end result is a mystery.  We didn’t see any of the finished quilt or a photo of a pattern.  We had cutting instructions for 2 weeks and then a piecing clue each week.  When a new clue was posted, the old one was removed so we had a week to get our instructions for each clue.

After I had a week home to catch-up and rest, I did my cutting the next weekend.  Just for the neutrals it was 48 pcs this size, 80 pcs another size, and 392 pieces another size!  Plus soloist fabrics.  Whew!

mess 01

I chose to use all neutrals because that plastic bin is grossly (& embarrassingly) overflowing yet there is nothing in there that ever works with what I need it to do.  As well, I’ve liked seeing the low-volume quilts that came around a year or so ago.

fabrics 03

I gathered a big basket of fabrics (closet organizer basket) that were all smaller prints and not many added colors in the fabric.  We also needed a 1 yd piece of a soloist and I chose turquoise and found a piece a bit over 1 yard.

I did all the cutting and did not make a dent in the basket I had cut from and neither from the overflowing bin!

fabrics 02

(Since then I have sorted and pulled some not neutrals that had wandered into the wrong bin and have straightened what is in the bin a bit so it fits better.  There is still plenty!)

fabrics 04

Since I started late, I saw some of the quilts posted in progress.  After 3 or 4 clues had been posted I quit looking at the page so that I wouldn’t waver from my original plan of randomly placing my neutrals and have lights & darks all scattered.

I like my scattered look but also have loved seeing the color and value arrangements others have done.  Such fun to piece the same pattern in a group and see the myriad of options!

I had cleaned up and added new parts to my Featherweight this winter so had it upstairs for the short days and long evenings.  I pieced all of this top on my FW.  It sews a perfect seam.  It is a slower speed than I’m used to and no bells & whistles.  I had to relearn the habit of bring up the needle at the end of my stitching.  🙂

piecing on FW 01

The machine was ready but my arranging of my sewing corner was not but it actually worked well with the machine on the library table.

piecing on FW 02

The piecing goes better with the Little Foot I got before they made 1/4″ feet! Yes, there was a time…. LOL!  It is a bit wider than the FW foot and feeds easier.

Here is clue 1 —
clue 01
Maybe this will help explain my scrappy neutrals and the turquoise soloist.  The clues are just 1 page a week (or less) and we are only told where to place the soloist fabric.

(I realized I have a lot of photos so I’ll make this several posts.  Don’t hold your breath …. I’m consistently inconsistent in my blogging… as you may have noticed!)

Guild Challenge UFOs

The D guild has a lot of activities to participate in this year.  One I am working on is the UFO challenge.  At the beginning of the year, we turned in a list of 4 quilts we wanted to finish.   I just made the list off my head, without looking for what I had or was small or far along.

– wholecloth baby quilt
– Texas Swoon
– K’s 1930’s reproduction sampler
– Mystery quilt

I missed one line that the months to show these were specified and I took the baby quilt to show just 2 days before I gave it away in the wrong month!  When you show one off your list, your name goes in for the drawing in December for a good sewing light.

They are kind and checked me off anyway.  I have another baby quilt in progress so for my own sense of self, I may take that for another month to show UFOs.

I had the thought to get out the ’30’s quilt in April to see if I could get the top done for the May meeting.  Hmm… I can’t find it.  I worked in the winter on cleaning in my sewing room.  I didn’t see it then.

So on Sunday, I continued cleaning in there and doing more organizing.  Oh my!  But the tubs are getting stacked and organized and labeled with black sharpie marker on hot pink duct tape!  :)

No 1930’s quilt…..

Finally, a lightbulb lightly flickered in an obscure part of my brain.  I have sewing things in boxes in a storage area (under the light that turns on with switch #4).  By wiggling my way between boxes, rubbermaid tubs, and the curtain/wall, I started peeking in boxes.  I found several sets of exchange blocks just waiting to be joined for many more quilt tops!!

And I found the 1930’s quilt box!


I have 17 blocks.  ???   I found 2 more in a ziploc that need some hand embroidery so that has moved upstairs for the time I sit down.  Not often.  And then I’ll recount and do a layout and see what I would need to add.

For 3 years I’ve gathered buckeyes off the ground near the fitness center in hopes of growing a tree.

buckeyes 15 01


Finally, last fall was the first that any got planted!  P dug a big trench for me near the house & deck where they would be protected and I could know if any came up.  It was even hard for P to dig as we had a dry fall (good for harvest, not for digging) and this was like a brick of ground.

planting fall 2015


I did have a day when P was in the field and the dog had something she wanted under the deck and she dug up where I planted the buckeyes.  Most of this digging is on the weed-full side so not such a big deal.  When she moved to the side with my herbs and buckeyes, I wasn’t too happy!


I rearranged the dirt and straw for mulch after she was done with the digging/hunting fit and hoped for the best.

This spring I’ve been watching intently and about 2 weeks ago I knew these were buckeyes and not weeds!  They have jumped up out of the ground.  Now about 6″ tall.

buckeyes 02

Two are like this and a third one is struggling and only about 2″ tall.  They haven’t done much in the last week as it has been cold and rainy.

buckeyes 01

I’m excited! The tree at the fitness center is full of blooms right now.  I will nurse them along in this area until they are big enough to be on their own in the big yard.  I assume at least for another winter.

I didn’t do any soaking or turning or starting these inside.  I just put all those in the trench about 4′ long and a good 6″ deep.  Covered them with the clumps of hard dirt and mulch/straw.  I watered them in hopes the ground would settle.

ETA: Here is the mother tree at the fitness center the end of May.
buckeye tree at fitness center

In another generation, someone will be not so happy to have a messy buckeye tree in the yard.  I’ll giggle.