Friday, April 9, 2021

Quilt News from the Valley, Color of the Month Peach, Liberated 'Summer in the Park' Blocks, Orange X Blocks Medallion Progress, Fabric.Com

Orange X Blocks framed with Saw Tooth borders and Stars, pieced together so far.
Color of the month, Peach Kona Cotton Solid by Robert Kaufman
I've pieced more basket blocks using turquoise batik.
My Liberated 'Summer in the Park' blocks progress. The darkest solid is Espresso, a deep, rich brown.

Hello Quilt Friends!
We've had cool, sunny weather this week, great for walks.

I chose Peach for my color of the month.
I've been using quite a bit of it in my projects lately it works great with orange florals and batiks, as in my Orange X blocks, and is a good contrast with the turquoise batik I've been piecing together into basket blocks.

My Liberated 'Summer in the Park' blocks are now pieced together, not sure how big they will end up yet.
I used Jenny Doan's 'Summer in the Park' tutorial, on You Tube, a very good tutorial. I didn't use 2 1/2" strips, in liberated fashion, I used varying widths. More can be done along that line for an even more liberated look.
P.S. MSQC has a new tutorial out 'Summer Squares' a slightly different version of 'Summer in the Park,'
The center strip is changed to 1 1/2", take a look.

Also want to add that Fabric.Com is a good online shop for buying quilt fabric; great prices and fast shipping. I'm not paid to say that, they have excellent service, plain and simple.

And that is the quilt news from the valley where progress is being made and the resident grand muffin is growing and getting even more curious.

Before I sign off, if you're in need of color inspiration visit Jean Wells, for her Dreaming in Color series on using vibrant color. She has wonderful insight.

How are your quilt adventures going? Any liberated experimenting/designing happening?

Friday, March 26, 2021

Quilt News, More 'Easter' Basket Blocks, Quilt Blocks in Green, Improv Design Notebook and Happy Spring! And That Orange Thing.

Happy Easter (almost) !

                                                          More baskets pieced, just in time for Easter!

Green Hour Glass blocks in my 'parts department.'

Diagonal strip blocks in the green section of my 'parts department.

My planning/design notebook.


Sawtooth borders being arranged.

Sixteen Patch blocks in green, pieced together, adding to my 'parts department.'

Quilt news from the valley and happy spring!

It's almost Easter so I'm calling the baskets I've been piecing, Easter Baskets, good timing.
More baskets have been added to the collection this week. See my previous post on where to find the basket block tutorial.

I also had time to piece together my Sixteen Patch blocks to add to my 'parts department' section of greens. I added some Paprika and Espresso patches  (Kona Cotton Solids by Robert Kaufman) for contrast. 
Also I started piecing together saw tooth borders that will be added to a medallion style quilt I'm making of spare parts and fabric pieces I found while organizing my fabric stash a few weeks ago. I've drawn out a plan and am now making sure there is enough contrast to bring out the piecing design.
This quilt majors in orange, saw tooth borders, three big stars, 'X blocks' also called by me 'four patch butterflys.' 
I have no idea what to name it.

I figure it's best not to be in a hurry anyway. Maybe I'll call it 'That Orange Thing.'

Svetlana @ Sotak Handmade has a super tutorial on making a Classic Bag using french seams.
Stop by and check it out.

And that's the news here in the valley where birds are happy about spring and progress is being made.
I'll be by to visit!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Quilt News, Green for March, Sixteen Patch Blocks, A Finish!, New Basket Blocks

I brought out my sixteen patch blocks to celebrate green!

We had a hail/thunder storm last week, impressive.

Stack of blocks and pieces I've been adding to this week.

Townsend's Warbler outside our window, looking for bugs.

Green, color for March, 'Refreshing, generous, healing...'.

New basket blocks, with zig-zag handles hand stitched on.

My daughter-in-law's quilt finished, I sewed on the binding, she did everything else.


Quilt News from the valley, spring is just around the corner!

We had a hail/thunder storm, last week, everything was dusted with hail. The thunder was loud as was the hail beating on the roof. And afterwards there were still cherry blossoms left on the trees, surprising.

Flocks of little birds enjoy the cherry trees as much as we do. They're looking for bugs to eat, we enjoy the blossoms and leaves too, but for the color not the bugs!

This last week my daughter-in-law finished the crib size quilt she had been working on for the little grand muffin. She pieced it and quilted it and I helped by sewing on the binding. Looks like spring!

I've also been cutting out and piecing blocks for various projects and to keep my 'parts department full.'
If I loose steam on designing a project, I start piecing more blocks and parts that I think might work and before long the 'log jam' breaks apart and the design moves forward.

And speaking of design, visit Audrey to see her new quilt project, Wing and a Prayer, it's a beauty and a great example of clever improv at its best.

Mieko of Mieko Happytime has many fun tutorials on You Tube, her tutorials are for quilts, hand stitching, making cute bags and pouches, etc. Recently she posted a tutorial on making Basket Blocks. I had to give it a try, the instructions were easy to understand and the blocks turned out super cute. 
She made a bag with her basket blocks, which is a cute idea I might try.

And that, Quilt Friends is the quilt news from the valley, where projects are getting finished and 
I'm enjoying the sunshine today.

I'll be by to visit.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Quilt News, Finish in Turquoise Improv Plus Blocks, Old Projects Dusted Off, Log Cabins and Orange Triangles

Ornamental Cherry blossoming outside the front door!

Close up finished binding, Turquoise Improv Plus Blocks.

The 1 1/4" binding sewed to the front of Improv Plus Blocks here.

Some extra Log Cabin style blocks from another project, dusted off ready for a new start.

Can't get enough of those cherry blossoms!

Binding machine sewn down, back view, on Improv Plus Blocks.

'Improv Plus Blocks in Turquoise', finished! 15"x 35"

Two projects here, one I'm picking apart; the orange triangles, the squares are being cut out for Log Cabin blocks. 


Quilt News from the valley!
Where it's been sunny but cool and ornamental cherries are blooming around town.

I've been busy helping watch my little grand muffin and doing some spring organizing.
I dug deep into my 'left over' pieces and blocks and found some old parts that looked promising.

Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran in their book, Freddy and Gwen Collaborate Again, talk about why keeping a 'parts department' to use for new projects is important. It's how one project can inform and lead to the next project.

I found left over Log Cabin blocks and unneeded pieces of a Half Square Triangle project.
So I've started two 'new' projects, not knowing how I'll decide to finish them up. Maybe I'll put them both into one? Keeping the design momentum up by arranging and making color decisions is something 'my little grey cells' need. 

And as we quilters know, Log Cabin blocks and Half Square Triangles are full of design possibilities. They can be used in so many different arrangements and color choices leading to exciting results.

That Quilt Friends is the quilt news.
Have any of you done any organizing lately or found inspiration in past projects?

Here in the valley, I'm remembering to be thankful and I'll be by to visit.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Quilt News! February Color of the Month! Improv Plus Nine Patch Quilt Blocks in Turquoise, Blossoms

Hawthorn is blooming in the valley!

A new yard of Eclectic Elements by Tim Holtz 'distressed' turquoise.

I started these Improv Plus Nine Patch blocks a couple of years ago.

Pieced and finger pressed, blocks are 3. 5" finished.

Hawthorn trees blossoming down the street.

February color of the month, pink! I'm changing it out for turquoise however.

Front of my Improv Plus Nine Patch quilt top, 15" x 35".

Back of Improv Plus Nine Patch quilt top in Turquoise, batiks and solids.

Close up view of back....


Quilt news from the valley where Hawthorn Trees are blossoming and skies are bright and blue!

The blossoms are gorgeous and cheery, spring comes early here.

This week I pieced the final row of my Improv Plus Blocks in Turquoise quilt top measuring, 15" x 35", I started it a few years ago inspired by Irene @  and her YouTube tutorial, "How to Make an Improv Plus Nine Patch Quilt Block. " Her tutorial is fun, inspiring and easy to follow.

After doing some research on Plus Nine Patch Quilt Blocks I realized that my blocks technically are  Improv Plus Blocks.

The blue skies reminded me of those Plus blocks I had stashed away so I pulled them out and pieced them together. Then I pieced the back from scraps and left over blocks. The top and back are finished, layering, basting and quilting comes next.

And my color calendar says pink is the color for February but I'm changing that to turquoise because I finished my quilt top in turquoise batiks and solids and my turquoise 'distressed' yardage by Tim Holtz (for another project)  came in the mail from is, in my opinion, the best online fabric store. They have good prices and selection and your order gets shipped quick. I'm not paid to say that, I'm a satisfied customer.

Also take time to visit Svetlana  @ Sotakhandmade, her tutorials on YouTube are great, she specializes in bags and zipper pouches and designs quilts with a Scandinavian flair. Her tutorials are excellent.

And that, quilt friends, is the news from the valley where Hawthorn blossoms and turquoise skies are 'making spirits light.'

How are your projects and plans coming along? I'll be by to visit.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Quilt News! QAL Log Cabin Blocks Progress, Quilted Fabric Basket Finish, Quilted Thread Catcher From Last Week.

I finished this quilted, lined, fabric basket a few days ago.

View of the boxed bottom, it sits nice.

And it's handy for storage.

These are some current projects on my work table.

Close up of some fabrics I'm using in the QAL Log Cabin blocks.

QAL Log Cabin blocks, approx. 5" sq. when finished.

This is my thread catcher finished last week, given as a gift.

View of the thread catcher's boxed bottom, that sounds funny.


Quilt News from the valley!

Where we had balmy temperatures for a few days and now it's cooled off again more like winter.

This last week I made progress on my QAL Log Cabin Blocks inspired by the QAL, Down Home Darling, by Temecula Quilt Co. I'm working at a slower pace than the gals at Temecula but I'm inspired! My blocks will come out about an inch bigger than what the QAL suggested and I'm still not sure of the finished size, maybe 40" x 40".

I found an interesting free, lined fabric basket tutorial @ All People Quilt and I had to try it out! Changing a few things in the pattern to suit my preferences; like making the outside of the basket three layers instead of two; outside fabric, batting and muslin because I don't like to quilt batting without fabric covering it as it leaves too much lint in my machine!

Then I quilted those three layers as I wished for the outside.

The next step was folding in half and sewing the sides of the fabric lining and the sides of the outside quilted fabric together. Both were approx. 9" x 18". I then boxed the corners about 3".

Then right sides together, (outside quilted fabric and lining fabric), sewed around the top leaving an opening for turning. The opening was closed when I top stitched around the top to finish it.

And it turned out great for storage and it's on my sewing table!

I also had to take another look at the quilted thread catcher I made last week for a gift. The batiks around the side are bright and cheerful. 

 And I feel the need to sew up a zipper pouch or maybe a bag next, for the challenge.

And visit Queenie Patch to see progress on her amazing Log Cabin quilt, pieced by hand, it's amazing!

Also visit Debbie to see her gorgeous improv/color projects.

And that quilt friends is the news from the valley.

Where we are remembering to be thankful.

Have you made any zipper pouches or bags lately?

I'll be by to visit.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Quilt News! Color of the Month, White, Finished Red and Blue 4 Medallion Quilt Top, Thread Catcher Finish, Joseph Grant Park Hike


Lick Mill Observatory seen from Joseph Grant Park.

Joseph Grant Park trail meanders around historical buildings.

Oak tree in the park, a thing of wonder.

Red and Blue 4 Medallion quilt top finished, 60" x 60".

My Amaryllis, still blooming, a beautiful example of the color white.

Closer view of 4 Medallion top, the solid blues are Kona Cotton solids.

Yet another view, The black and white striped border by Cotton & Steel sets it off great.

January color of the month white!

My latest thread catcher finish, pieced with scraps/leftovers.

Quilt News! and Happy New Year!

My color calendar color of the month is white and I posted the photo of my white Amaryllis blooming, to celebrate, a stunning example of the color white!

I finally pieced the black and white stripped border onto my Red and Blue 4 Medallion quilt top, it's 60" x 60" and finished. I started it a couple of years ago just experimenting with the center medallions not knowing exactly what I was going to do with them.

The thread catcher I'm going to give as a gift is finished. I hand stitched the top binding down for effect.

Over the holiday we drove up to Joseph Grant Park in the Diablo Range Foothills, and hiked around. It used to be a privately owned ranch. Several years ago when we lived in Washington State we actually met one of Joseph Grants' descendants, living then in Washington.

If you want to be inspired and amazed by improv quilt design stop in and visit Debbie at her blog and see her newest design using the tumbler block.

And that, quilt friends is the quilt news from the valley, where projects are getting finished, maybe not fast, but finished all the same.

And we're remembering to be thankful, saying a kind word and giving a helping hand where it's needed.

I'll be by to visit!