Sunday, December 5, 2010

Asian Cranes FINISHED!

Decided on the more copperish colored fabric for the smaller borders.  Probably not my most favorite quilt ever...not really sure why. But it will great on my walls during the fall.  In my house I always have at least five quilts hanging on the walls and one to two over the stairway railings.  For several years, I've been working on having enough quilts to change them all out during different seasons or holidays.  That is how I started working on this quilt due to the fall colors and trying to find something to use the outer border fabric on.

Since I had plenty of fabric for this, I convinced my sister to buy an extra panel, when we saw them on sale this summer.  Now there is a pre-cut kit waiting just for her in my sewing room to make this same quilt, but with the gold smaller border next time she is here!

Enjoyed the long Thanksgiving Holiday, but little sewing due to a great visit with my niece!  I am so thankful for the many blessings in my life!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Someone has had a good mail day

My sister and I joke that good mail days are when we go the mailbox and discover a new quilt magazine (isn't it about time for a new Asian Fabric?) or when fabric arrives via mail.  So, I decided to try sending fabric from my stash, or from shopping trips, to my sister at least once a month. 

Well the first few times went off without a hitch!  She had some good mail days and I had fun picking out fabrics to share.  Recently, while I was at the local quilt store, I fell in love with this fabric!  Have you noticed that the majority of Asian fabrics tend to be on the dark to medium side?  It is rare to find a good light that is not overly busy.  Of course, having gone to Mt. Fuji the last time we were in Tokyo made this the perfect one to send to my sis.  However, this last envelope has disappeared in the mail...So someone has had a good mail day...sorry sis!

It has been a crazy month since I last posted.  Still having some health back to work full time, but come home exhausted, so not much quilting has taken place.    Decided to start this Saturday backwards from what I normally do.  I usually start with all the regular stuff... laundry, picking up the house, etc., and by the time the afternoon is here, I'm out of energy for blogging or quilting!  So, started today with this blog update, next stop my sewing room!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Accurate stich widths

Recently after working on several quick projects, I realized that my blocks were smaller than expected.  It didn't really matter, as they were simple square blocks or triple rail fence blocks.  However, before I started on my next project (Window on the World from Asian Fabrics #20)  I decided to double check my stitch width.   

Everything looked fine on my machine, the needle was in center position, etc.  Then I realized I had changed feet awhile back, using # 34 (Bernina), which I purchased after a Ricky Timms seminar recommended for machine applique.  The clear foot makes it much easier to see the edges and your stitches.  However, the width is 3/8 of an inch rather than 1/4.

So, switching back to my favorite # 37, I was quickly back to an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Isn't it amazing how a little thing like a foot can make such a big difference!

Not much quilting has occurred, as I am back to work full time and come home exhausted.  It takes the weekend to just catch up on rest and get the basics done...hoping to sew this weekend!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Little Progress

I have made very little progress since I last posted, as I was in the hospital again. What I thought was going to be a quick trip to the doctors office turned into a week in the hospital that included two trips to the cath lab and a new stent !  I can truly say I am glad to be home!!

My wise sister suggested after my last posting that I put the borders on the quilt on the design wall before changing the blocks.  I normally would do that...but just not  thinking normally! 

Above is the quilt with a gold inner border fabric that was used in my last project.

Below is the original inner border which is a deeper gold/rust with small ginko leaves. 

Which inner border do you prefer?  The gold or rust ginkos?

Sorry to say, I won't be traveling to the Kona Bay open house in Washington next weekend.  I just not quite up to traveling yet.  Would love to hear from those of you that do go!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekend what??

It's been a good, quiet and relaxing weekend.  Have hemed pants for work, held the grandbaby lots, napped and even worked on a quilting project! 

I've had the panel below for some time and decided it was the project for the weekend...nothing too difficult, had lots of possible fabrics to use with it and even had a pattern set aside to try.  The pattern is Sidelights by Monutainpeek Creations.  Here's a link so you can see some of their other fabulous patterns.

Knowing that I tend to over work the design process, I challenged my self to use what fabric I had and to just put the blocks together without too much fussing or thinking...Now that the blocks are together, I'm not all that crazy about the outcome.  So I am rethinking the blocks. 
Here are the options:
A.  Change out the light border blocks for more dark and medium border blocks.
B.  Change out the dark border blocks for more light border blocks.
C. Rearrange a few blocks (they are sewn together).
D.  Leave it along and move on!

What would you do?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Window on the World from Asian Fabric # 20 is FINISHED!!

Window on the World from Asian Fabric # 20 is finished.  It is actually straight, only the photo is a bit wonky from being taken while it hangs on the design wall.  I'm pleased with the color combinations and looking forward to sending it on to my favorite long arm quilter Jean.  You can check out her work at http://www.santiamriverquilts/. com . 

Yesterday, as I was checking what is in my stash, I realized I have the same fabric as used in the magazine, but in a brighter blue colorway.   Perhaps I'll make the one up with this pattern some day.

So what is next?  Here are some possibilities:
--Pumpkins gone wild panel and coordinating fabrics from last year.
--Asian crane with golds and browns, with just a hint of blue.
--Michael Miller giant poinsettias to be used in a 9 patch pizazz.  Plan to play with doubling the block size.
--Bright green flannel bug quilt for the most wonderful little grandson...
--Two minkee strip quilts that were suppose to Christmas presents last year...I never promised when they would arrive...
--Batik squares from Sisters, Oregon with black lattice for my awesome niece in Olympia...sorry even if I start now it won't be ready by my visit later in September on my way to Redmond.
--Asian lady panel project picked up last year at the Long Beach show...
--Make more Japanese blocks from the book purchased in Tokyo with traditional blue fabrics
--Piecing a top from butterfly squares found last summer during cleaning out a family estate.  There are 50 plus butterflies in various states...
--Hemming three pairs of pants for work  :-( (You can see what I think about that chore!)

These are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head...I'm sure there are others if I went to my sewing room!

So which one do you think I should start?

Thanks sis for the good mail day...a package with fabric butterflies from N. Carolina arrived today.  Now I will have 12 red ones to put together for the red and white quilt.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Window on World--OOPS!

Well, I took a deep breath cut into the panel.  Little did I realize that I was cutting it wrong!  After looking at the photo of the quilt and the measurements of the quilt (41 1/2 x 32) and the first cut of the quilt (24 1/2 x 22 1/2) I had assumed that the panel was to be cut with 24 1/2 as the width and 22 1/2 as the length. 

So when I was at the stage above I realized when I added the top and bottom frame to the five sections on the right, it would be too long and not match up with the framed panel on the left.
 So, I sent an email to the magazine editor.  What did we do before email?  They quickly explained that there is a note that the quilt uses directional fabric and the first cut was parallel to the selvage edge. I had assumed...that only applied to the frame and border fabrics.  Oh rats...I had cut it wrong!

So with a little creative trimming of approximately 1/2 inch from four of the side pictures, I was able to stitch it all back together and the left section is now the same length as the panel!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Window on the World progress & process

Making good progress, so thought I would continue to share the process.  Have you ever struggled to cut a large panel?  Here's my process:
--View panel on design wall, deciding which portions you want to focus on. 
--Make preliminary marks at approximate edges, being sure you are not cutting key design elements.  For example, not chopping off the head of a major bird, etc.  Sometimes it just can't be avoided.  One of my pet peeves!  But that is a  topic for a different day!
--Straighten at least one to two edges, using rotary cutter and ruler.  Be sure you are outside of your final cutting marks.
--Using a 24.5 inch ruler and marking pencil (I like the white, green and red ones pictured above) draw cutting lines at the exact location.  Be sure to start by using one of the straight edges as a reference point.  My pencils came from the Tokyo show, but I now see them in stores here.

--Next step is to draw all four cutting lines using the same process of using what you know is a straight line.  Be sure you have included seam allowances in your measurements.
--Then using the largest square ruler you have, check all four corners, to ensure you have a square panel, not a wonky one. 
--If not square, remeasure and remark as needed...that's where multiple colors come in handy!
--Final step, using ruler and rotary cutter, take a deep breath...and cut out the panel.  This is always the scariest part for me, as I am always wondering if I will mess up this panel!

When I purchased this panel, they had half of the previous panel, so of course I wanted that too!  Good thing since this pattern calls for five 4.5x6.5 additional pieces.  I hate to destroy the second panel with fussy cuts!  So, I still have several good sized scraps to include in other projects.

When I need to fussy cut images, I often will use sticky notes, attached to the ruler, to identify the actual size of the piece I am cutting.  It is a quick way to be able to view only the final image.

All the blocks and borders are cut for this quilt.  I have even cut the binding and set it aside...a trick I learned to do long ago, so that I don't accidentally use up the binding fabric in another project!  Hope to be sewing this evening!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fall quilt project--Asian Fabric Magazine Number 20

Recently as I was blog reading, there was a discussion about writing more about the process rather than just the final finished project.  Sorry, I can't locate who wrote it...but it definitely struck a cord for me...So here is an attempt at process writing:

I fell in love with this panel just a few weeks ago while shopping for some binding for a 30's fabric quilt (yes, the real stuff) and looking for possible borders and lattice for the 50+ butterfly blocks discovered during our estate clean out trip last summer. 

Of course it is a Kona Bay...nothing else would be that beautiful.

Last Tuesday, the latest Asian Fabric Magazine arrived in the mail.  That's what I call a great mail day...either a new magazine or fabric arrivals!   On page 58 is the WIndow on the World Quilt, a great use of a panel and then 5 smaller cuts from the same fabric.  Immediately, I knew just the panel I wanted to use and amazingly have discovered the other fabric in my stash. 

I had to force myself to finish the baby quilt below and do some basic household stuff (Laundry, pay bills, clean up the kitchen) before I could start the new Asian quilt.  I've learned to force my self to do some things, otherwise I would just be starting new project and never finishing anything!!  It's all done now, so when I return from Cardiac Rehab, it will be time to start!  I'll post pictures as soon as it is in progress!

Also in the new magazine are the details for the September 25th event at the Kona Bay Warehouse in Redmond, Washington.  Let me know if you are going, as I would love to connect with some other bloggers!

The borders are on the baby quilt, so it is ready to go off to the long arm quilter. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Little quilting, lots of touring Oregon

Not much quilting going on this past week.  Here is what is currently on the design wall...another quick baby quilt for a neighbors first grandchild!  Seems like we are having a mini-population explosion on our street as babies are born and kids move back home!  This was all from scraps...hoping to find a good border for it later this week.  I am on a shopping freeze...only allowed to buy something to finish new projects and no new stash fabrics!!  Let's see how long that lasts!
These next three pictures are from King Estates Winery near us.  It is one of my favorite places to take out of town guests and to buy wine!  We are so blessed to have so many choices in Oregon.  We had dinner on this patio, after a tour and lovely wine tastings...
Check out the web site at
View from the patio of the vineyard.
We spent one afternoon visiting many covered bridges.
A beautiful day at the Oregon Coast!

With all the visiting family moving on to other parts of the country, I was back to working on binding the sunflower and pumpkin quilt from last year's Fonz and Porter Magazine last weekend.  My wonderful wife (sister from N. Carolina) started the binding while she was here as I recovered.  I finished it on Friday evening.  I will post a picture once I get it hanging!

Since we are in the middle of a heat wave...all of 98 degrees for 4 or 5 days, I won't be spending time reading on the deck in the evening...I am hoping to work on binding the blue Asian quilt I posted on awhile back (see April 28, 2010).

Monday, August 9, 2010

Catching up with LIFE!!

I'm a grandma!!

My first grand child!!! Levi just a few hour sold, born on July 13, 2010.  Everyone says being a grandma is great...but it is even better than expected!
Levi's first quilt before it was quilted!
The back of Levi's quilt.
A minkie and flannel scrap quilt from odds and ends of leftovers for a friends grand daughter.  Every time I work with Minkie, I tell myself never again, due to the mess it makes and how it slips on the machine...but I seem to keep coming back to it!

Yes, this is usually a quilt blog...but a few things have happened since my last post that have kept me from quilting or blogging much this summer.  Most important is the addition of Levi Craig to our family in July.  He currently is living here with his parents, so I am thankful for lots of opportunities to hold him, then pass him back to mom and dad!

My surprise for June was my second open heart surgery in 2010.  Definitely not part of my low key summer plans that had no traveling, but lots of rest, gardening and quilting planned.  I even had planted extra flower boxes and planters to enjoy on the decks this summer!! 

In March I had an aortic valve replacement and double by-pass.  For some unknown reason one of the new grafts closed off and after some significant chest pain and several days of tests, there was a second surgery,  I now have two additional new grafts.  I'm glad that is all over and am progressing well, returning to work part time this week, along with continuing in Cardiac Rehab.

A special thanks to my wife (sister from N. Carolina) who was out here for 5 weeks to drive, cook, do laundry and most importantly shop for quilt fabric and help sew on binding!!

 I'm just playing around with the new tools on blogger...So, what do you think of the new design of this blog?  

Hoping to have lots of quilting progress to report very soon...heading to my sewing room NOW!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Purple 9 Patch Pizzazz -- Two versions

My Purple 9 patch version.

My sister Jayne's version.

Details of quilting on Jayne's quilt.
It is always fun to work on the same quilt, starting with the same center panel and basic pattern concept. I decided to focus on the purple and fuchsia, while my sister added more light pinks and greens, along with a Japanese red inner border. Yes, there was some stash raiding, so you do see some fabrics in both quilts. We have been known to raid each other's stash via email requests and then boxes arrive on our door steps. So much fun when we both live on opposite sides of the country!
Not a lot of quilting going on as I still recover from surgery and am back to work. Working and cardiac rehab takes most of my energy during the week, then it is recovery time on the weekend. I am currently working on three baby quilts. The first and most important one is for my first grandchild who is due to arrive in late July. The other two are for grandchildren of a dear friend. I have two of the three ready to go to a local long arm quilter by the end of the weekend. So, I need to get busy and finish the third one!
And now the question of this you ever wonder what happened to the authors of blogs that no longer have current postings. I have several on my side bar that I will removing soon, but I continue to wonder...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

3 Quilts from the same pattern in Asian Fabric Magazine

All three of these quilts are from the pattern "Picturesque Wall Quilt", page 56 of Asian Fabric Magazine, Volume 10 from 2007. I made the first one and my sister made the other two. While she was here in Oregon, as I recovered from surgery, they were long arm quilted by Jean from Santiam Quilts. Check out Jean's beautiful work at
You may remember my posting from August 20, 2008 when I was trying out various versions of the blocks around the center panel. Click on date on the right hand side to see the original posting.
Since I am just returning to regular blogging, some days it feels like I am starting over...there was a comment about being set to "no reply". Anyone know how to change that?
It is going to be a very good mail week around here! This weekend I ordered five missing Asian Fabric magazines for my collection. Now, the only one I am missing is issue number 1!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Open Heart Blue Japanese Quilt

Yes, it is a strange name for a quilt...but it reflects what has happened over the past month or so here. I had surgery in mid-March, planned for an aortic valve replacement to take care of a defect that I had know about for over 30 years. I also ended up with a double bypass due to some complications. I'm doing well now, back to driving, walking daily and hard at work at Cardiac Rehab! On Friday is the graduation for my MBA program and then back to work, at least part-time on Monday. I'm thankful that I was young, healthy and in good shape to start with as it was a tough surgery and recovery.
Of course I had a huge list of quilt projects to work on as I recover. Unfortunately, I felt too lousy to do much, except help work on the design of this quilt with my wonderful sister who has been here during the whole ordeal. She has been my driver, nurse, wife and companion during this time, keeping the house running and making sure I stayed on track!
We made two quilts almost exactly alike, except for the the gold borders. Her's is the square fabric and mine is the wavy one. They are off to the long arm quilter at this point. Looking forward to lots more free time now that school is finished. So you can expect lots of pictures and projects on the blog!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Irish Green Quilt & News

This is the second quilt I finished in 1978. It often comes out for the month of March, then quickly is put away due to being a bit dated, etc. I took a class where each week we made our own cardboard templates, then traced cutting lines on the back of fabric and hand pieced most of these blocks! It is a king size monster quilt that was hand quilted by the ladies at a local senior center.
I have been working on a few projects, mainly putting binding on and finishing a fall quilt that was in Fons and Porter last year. I still have five quilts needing binding stitched down by hand and plan to work on them over the next month, as I will be having surgery on Thursday to replace my aortic valve.
Two items of great excitement! First (not in order of importance) is that I finished my last MBA class on Friday, so I am finally free to quilt away without the guilt of homework!!! Second, I have stacks of new projects lined up for the 6-8 weeks while I recover, but most important is it includes two baby quilts for my first grandbaby due in July!!!!!! I can't wait to hold him!
Sorry for not posting for a while, but life has been crazy with school and medical stuff...looking forward to getting back to regular blogging in the next month or so!