Monday, January 29, 2024

There's Something About Dresden's

Hello Quilty Friends!  Did I ever tell you how much I love the dresden quilt block?  If I could only make one quilt block for the rest of my life it would be the dresden.

No matter how big or small,  they are just too darn cute.  This little dresden measures about 7" across. 

It was made with the EZ Mini Dresden Jelly Roll Ruler.  As you can guess by the name, the template is two inches tall and is meant to be used with a jelly roll.  

I did not use a jelly roll.  I used scraps from an old Bonnie and Camille layer cake and charm pack.

The packaging says it comes with a pattern but it's probably one of the worst patterns I've ever seen.  They didn't even include a circle template for the center.  Not a problem for me but for a newbie quilter it might be.  I used the Karen Buckley Bigger Perfect Circles to make the center of my dresden.

Then added two little hearts using fusible applique made with Heat N Bond Lite.  Normally I would machine stitch the blanket stitch around the applique with Superior Threads Mono Poly thread.  This time I went a little wild and used pink serger thread from Wal-mart.  I'm not sure of the brand.  I love how it turned out.

I loved it so much that I cut a few more blocks.  I'm sewing without a plan.  Just making dresdens for the fun of making them.

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Friday, January 26, 2024

Pickin' And Grinnin'

 Howdy Quilty Friends! The pickin' is finished and I'm grinnin'!  My goodness what a chore it was to rip out the quilting on this quilt.  

Thankfully, only about a fourth of the quilt had been quilted.  The biggest problem was seeing the stitches.  When you quilt with invisible thread, guess what?  The thread is invisible.  Especially when paired with 100% polyester batting.  Pulling on the backing fabric helped but I was still flying blind.  I couldn't see the stitches but I could see where they were tugging on the fabric.  So I would try to slip the ripper under the invisible stitches.  Sometimes it took 3 or 4 tries to catch the stitches.  

Cutting them made them disappear into the batting. After ripping out all of the quilting it was time to pick the remaining threads out of the quilt top and backing.  Can you see the invisible thread?  Well of course not, it's invisible...HAHA!

Lets get a little closer.  If the light hits it just right I could see it.  In order to find them and not have my nose right on the quilt I would run my hand over the area.  The invisible thread had a rough feel and when cut it is very scratchy to the touch.  Not all invisible threads are rough to the touch.  This is a cheap brand from Joann's and was tossed it in the trash long ago.  I now use Superior Threads Mono Poly.

Wherever a thread was felt I would blindly grab at it with these Tula Pink tweezers.  This is the thread from the front of one chain block.  After picking all of the front of the quilt I had to turn it over and repeat the same blind unpicking on the back. Thankfully there wasn't as much on the back of the quilt top. It was mostly stitch in the ditch threads that I couldn't see or feel from the front of the quilt.

After the ripping and picking, some of the quilting left what I call ghost quilting.  The quilting is gone but can still see the design perfectly.  

The fix?  A little spritz with water then rubbed it with my hand.  I can still see some of the quilting.  But it should disappear as it dries.  If not, I'll spritz it again.  I've heard vinegar or fabric softener helps relax the ghost quilting but I don't have any liquid fabric softener.  And who knows when this quilt will be quilted.  Spraying it with acidic vinegar might cause damage if it's not quilted ASAP.

The plan is to quilt it sometime this year.  Right now I have a quilt on the frame and one waiting to be quilted.  I might get to this one in a month or two...or three.  You know how I roll....Squirrel!   She's not ready to be quilted anyway.  The backing isn't right for this quilt.  

I dug through my stash and all the hiding places looking for anything that I thought would work.  A  deep red, cream or indigo blue but came up with nothing.  I did find blue fabric scraps hiding in this picnic basket.  But they aren't big enough to make a backing. 

The selvages are still there  so why not see if the internet quilting fairies can find it online.  It was a good thought and I dug deep but luck was not on my side.   So I guess next week I get to go to the local quilt shop....and I'm a grinnin'!

Do you remember HeeHaw's Pickin' and Grinnin'?  Click image below to watch.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Oak And Reel UFO

Hi Quilty Friends!  This Oak and Reel quilt is one of three partially quilted quilts in my UFO stash.  It was started in 2013 and became a UFO because I didn't like the quilting design or the thread I chose to use.  So I threw a little temper tantrum, removed it from the quilting frame, stuck it in a bag and tucked it away....out of sight and out of mind.

The oak and reel block pattern came from the book Inspired by Traditions by Kay Mackenzie.  To spruce up the block a little I added a few dark red circles to each block.

Over the last few days I've spent my evenings ripping out the quilting in the border. 

The cheap monofilament thread from Joann's was a pain to quilt with and is a pain to rip out of the quilt.

This will probably take a week or two to remove all the stitches.  The quilting covers about 1/4th of the quilt.  The stitch in the ditch is the most difficult to remove.  I'm also considering a different quilt back.  The red in this backing is to bright. 

So far I've been using my favorite seam ripper to remove the quilting.  However, the cheap thread is dulling the ripper.

So, I pulled out this new to me style of seam ripper that I've had tucked away for a couple of years.  The packaging says it's the best little unpicker.  We'll see about that.  Have you ever used this style of seam ripper?  I'll let you know in a few days if I like it or not.

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Monday, January 15, 2024

A Weekly Update ~ Sugar -N- Spice Quilt

 Hello Quilty Friends!  If plan A doesn't work, there's 25more  letters in the alphabet.  In the last week all 25 were needed...and more.  It wasn't a bad week, I could think of far worse things that could have happened.  So we'll just call it an eventful week.  The picture below is the Sugar -N- Spice quilt.  The top three borders have been finally been quilted.

I should have said they have been quilted several times.  You can see the ripped out stitches in the picture below.  The circles and arcs were suppose to line up.  I made a couple circles too small and thought it look okay.  After completing the entire top white border I stood back to admire my quilting.  YUK!  I could leave it as is, rip it all out and start over or rip out some of it.  As you can see I decided to rip out the arcs.  For now I'm happy with change and will continue to quilt the rest of the border the same.

Below is the backside of the quilt.  See that big ole pleat?  In all my 12 years of quilting on a frame I have never had this happen.  The only reason I looked under here is because my machine made a odd noise as I was quilting the inner red border.  To fix the pleat I would need to rip out quite a bit of the quilting on all three borders.  
Y'all, I ripped out the stitches on the top red border earlier in the week because I didn't like the design or thread I chose.  I'm not ripping out anymore stitches unless it's absolutely necessary. So the pleat is staying in the quilt.'s been a week.

Other happenings last week.

  1. The needle bar shifted on my quilter.  Three hour fix.
  2. My dog has a UTI and is incontinent. She's leaking all day and night.
  3. Got a flat tire on my car while it sat in the drive.  They are brand new tires, about a month old.
  4. Car wouldn't start, something was draining the one year old battery.
  5. The handle on the microwave broke.
Well, that was my week.   A good week because I didn't pull out my hair or slap anyone, so all is well!


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Monday, January 8, 2024

Quilt Top Finish

 Hi Quilty Friends!  Just a quick post today to share the denim and flannel quilt top.  It's a big one measuring 92 x 92 and it weighs a ton. It'll be interesting to see how much it weighs after it's quilted and bound.

I'll be using two layers of batting to make this quilt extra warm.   Now I just need to decide what type of batting. I've made a couple of quilts in the past with two layers of batting but it was for the poof and quilting definition.  

What do you think?  An 80/20 and a 100% cotton?  Two layers of cotton?  Wool and cotton?

It'll be a couple weeks or more before starting the quilting.  Right now I need to focus on getting the dresden quilt quilted. 

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Saturday, January 6, 2024

Follow Me ~ It Snowed!

 Hi Quilty Friends!  I wasn't going to write a post today but it snowed...

...and I've added a new follow my blog subscription on the right hand side of this blog.  Over the last few weeks I've had several request for a way to follow my blog.  I was putting it off because...sigh...techy stuff can sometimes be a pain.  Back in the day I would get excited for new technology but the older I get, the less I like change.  So let's hope this new FOLLOW-IT thingy over in the sidebar works.  To be honest I don't have a clue if it will send you a link to here or the Follow-it website.

I've also put the followers list back in the sidebar.  It's a little bit farther down in the sidebar so no one will confused for the same thing.   I'm not sure if it works either.  So you have two options to follow me, if they work.  If they don't work I'll have to try something else.   My next blog post will be on Monday morning.  I'm crossing my fingers that one or both of these work.

Thanks for hanging in there with me while I'll figure out the techy stuff.  Here's some more snow pictures for those of you who love snow as much as I do.  It was only one inch of snow.  But one inch of snow is prettier than mud and brown grass.  This was taken from the back porch.  

And this one from my quilt studio window.  

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Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Getting Back To Normal

 I've put it off long enough.  It's time to un-holiday the house.  Decorating for Christmas only happens when we know we'll have guest during the holiday season.  And it's very little decorating compared to most.  This should only take 3 hours tops.   What you see here is about 2 hours after I started bringing decor in from the rest of the house and have taken down most of the decorations in this bedroom.

This bedroom is where the grandkids sleep when visiting.  The rest of the year it's pretty much a storage room and pantry.  That's why you see a small freezer in the corner of the room.

After a few hours of cleaning up the holiday mess I started down a rabbit hole #1 of organizing other areas in the house.  The first area was the closet in this room.  The closet stores my finished quilts, 3 partially quilted quilts(in the pink, yellow and white bags) a few holiday decorations, a carpet steam cleaner, pillow forms and batting scraps.  The picture below is my closet after cleaning and organizing.

The batting scraps and pillow forms are stored in vacuum sealed bags.  I love the vacuum bags for batting and pillow forms.  It condenses them down, making them easier to store.  As you can see these bags are not holding a vacuum seal anymore.  So I've tossed them onto the bed until I get new vacuum bags.   

The larger bag in the picture above is one of two that is normally stored in the studio under my cutting table. This is rabbit hole #2.  I came in here to get the bag of batting that I knew needed to be replaced and put it in the bedroom with the others.  And just like that I was cleaning and sorting the cutting table cabinet.

Before I knew I had pulled everything out from under the table.  It was a huge mess.  I was in the zone and didn't think to take pictures.  A small mess of fabric was the last thing to sort and put away.  What is it?

Do you may remember last summers cleaning and organizing of the studio?  I took down all the displayed quilts in the studio.  The walls in here are pretty much bare now.  The mess in the above picture was a fabric covered embroidery hoop I made years ago to hang a quilt on the wall.

It no longer suits my fancy and has been stored away since last summer.   So I took it apart, pressed the fabrics and will add them to the scrap bins.

What a day!  A simple plan to take down the Christmas decorations turned into an all project.  By the time Mr. Podunk came home from work I was plum tuckered out.  That's hillbilly for tired with an aching back.  It was time to shut down the studio for the day and relax.  

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