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Friday, December 3, 2021

Cottage Garden Quilt - Riley Blake Block Challenge Finish

I named it "Cottage Garden" because that is the vibe I get from it!

I first read about this challenge on Amy Smart's Diary of A Quilter blog and am so glad I joined in because the blocks were truly fun! Amy designed the windmill block, one of sixteen varied blocks. I am discovering that I really love sampler quilts, because I never experience the boredom of doing the same thing over and over. These patterns were, for the most part, fun to sew and satisfyingly pretty; so much so that I became impatient when I had to wait for the next pattern!

Instead of solids, I chose mostly prints similar to the colors on the RBD fabric requirements page, and the resulting variety of colors and blocks was a happy surprise. At first the suggested sashing layout seemed too busy to me, but in the end I loved it, because it tied everything together and gave a pretty finish to the quilt blocks. Strip piecing the sashing was mind-numbing, but it got the job done quickly!

I quilted the sashing with a preset curvy stitch on my Janome 7700 and set the stitch length and width as high as they would go - would love to set it even higher but have not figured that out! Then I got the bright idea to "big stitch" the individual blocks. Well that didn't work out - hurt my hands! - so I loaded it up on the Simply Sixteen and quilted the blocks.

I hadn't intended to do a contrasting binding, but I love this fabric!

The backing is a Laura Ashley fabric from the early 1990s that reminds me of a vintage sheet

Cottage Garden Quilt Details:
Finished Size: 62" x 62"
Finished size laundered: 59" x 59"
Pattern: Block patterns here by various designers for Riley Blake

Block Fabrics
Various yardage from stash

Larkspur in Straw by 3 Sisters for Moda
Green Hobby Lobby Print
White Hobby Lobby Grunge-ish solid

1991 Laura Ashley yardage

Maywood Studios "In Stitches"

Superior Threads
50wt So Fine #503 Genoa Gray
40wt Magnifico #2068 Ingot
40wt Living Colors #515 Raspberry

I'm linking my post to Alycia's Finished Or Not Friday! Go read about all the hats Alycia has been knitting - it's amazing!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Linda Lou's Church Dress - DashAlong Finish!

Here is my long-awaited DashAlong finish! OK, why the name? I was going to name it "Life Is A Churnie" inspired by Wendy when she complimented my "churnies" (LOL!), but I decided to pick something more meaningful to me. I was named for Linda Darnell (movie actress from the 1940s) and Mom's beloved Aunt Lula, and "Linda Lou" is what both my Mom and Daddy called me all their lives! The floral prints and ginghams remind me of my childhood and the dresses my Mom made for me. She had so little time and not much money, but she picked out the prettiest fabric she could afford and sewed late at night so I could have a new "dress for church". I wish I still had all of the clothes she made me.

Here is the flimsy held by my #1 quilt model

This quilt began back in June with a quilt-along hosted by Kairlie Oaks. You can read more details about the quilt-along and about churn dash quilt blocks in my post on June 24 right here. And you can see more versions on Instagram #DashAlong

Churn dash is an old-fashioned block that looks great even without sashing, but if I make one again, I will probably add block sashing and cornerstones.

I fell in love with Gingham Gardens line by Riley Blake

I'm already cuddling with it

I like the back as well as the front, even though my blocks weren't very balanced. And I'm not sure what I did with those corner blocks either! But I love the fabrics, so that's all that matters.

Quilt Details:
Pattern - churn dash block
Finished size: 60" x 72"
Finished size laundered: 56" x 68"

Fabrics Front and Back
Gingham Gardens by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs

Piecing and quilting: Superior Threads 50wt #403 Genoa Gray

Meander on Handi Quilter 
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

November Color Challenge - Blueberries

Today's post for the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge for November is short and sweet. I'm pretty late to the party this month and am barely squeaking in my post to Jen's linky party, which ends later today! The theme for 2021 is fruits and veggies, and this month is blueberries. Jen provides a pattern (available free during the month, $1 after the month has passed) with options for 12-1/2 inch and 6-1/2 inch sizes. My 6-1/2 inch block is a blueberry with purply-pinky notes!

A pile of Color Challenge blocks from this past year

Next month will be the last block for the year, so it will be interesting to see what kind of layout these make. In the meantime, go look at other versions of Jen's block right here.
Monday, November 29, 2021

To Do Tuesday 11-30-21

Welcome to To Do Tuesday! Tomorrow is the first day of December - eeek! It's time to reluctantly put autumn behind us and start the countdown to Christmas. Join us in posting about projects, activities, tablescapes, decorations, anything at all is welcome! Just click on the linky below to add your post.

One of the blocks on my completed RBD quilt - post later this weeki!

My "aim for" list last week was generous but unrealistic considering Thanksgiving week. Here is how I fared in accomplishments:
❌1. Sandwich, quilt, and bind Indian Corn. - Sandwiched and started quilting and ran out of thread! Thread was ordered and delivered and is now waiting for me to finish quilting.
❌2. Quilt and bind SAHRR quilt.
✅3. Bind RBD block challenge quilt. - Finished it! Haven't posted about it yet
❌4. Post about my quilts. - Still working on my posts for RBD and DashAlong
✅5. TV time slow stitching - I did accomplish a stitch or two

Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange Project

I did almost finish my upcoming project for the Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange at Just Let Me Quilt. My post is on December 9, so I will be working on that this week.

My goals for the coming week:
1. Finish quilting Indian Corn
2. Make Color Challenge block for November and post later today!
3. Make new Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail block and post
4. Finish Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange project and get post ready
5. Post my finishes
6. Quilt and bind SAHRR quilt
7. Work on Christmas stitching projects

Our Thanksgiving was fast but joyful and fun! I always forget to take a group photo, so the above are a few I snapped while the older grands played with the littles.

Here is a sneak peek at my DashAlong quilt - post coming sometime this week!

Now it's time to show us your stuff! Please add your post to the link below then go visit a few blogs to spread the blog-love! Be sure to visit Marsha's Spot, since my website is quirky with taking you there.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

To Do Tuesday 11-23-21 - Thanksgiving Week

It's To Do Tuesday for the week of Thanksgiving (for those of us who celebrate Thanksgiving). Today I prepared for Thursday with roll baking and cookie dough making (see our Thanksgiving menu below). Our kids and grandkids will all gather here on Thanksgiving. What are your plans for the holiday? Share in the comments below!

SAHRR quilt ready to be quilted, and Indian Corn in the background waiting for sandwiching
Here were my plans last week:
✅1. Bind DashAlong and post about it - Finished it, photographed it, washed it, and cuddled under it, but haven't posted about it yet!
2. Quilt and bind SAHRR quilt - No, but it is ready to quilt
3. Sandwich Indian Corn, quilt, and bind and post about it. I'd like to have it on the sofa for Thanksgiving! - No, but I still intend to finish it by the time everyone gets here!

I finished Autumn Jubilee aka "Oklahoma Sunset" mounted in our entry hall - blog post is right here

RBD Challenge quilt

I got squirreled by my own self this week! I had planned to hand quilt my RBD (Riley Blake Designs) block challenge quilt but after doing a few blocks, the strain on my hands was too much, even with one of those nice plastic snap frames. I ripped out stitches then threw it on the quilting frame where each block got its own unique quilting. It was good practice! I'm noticing some improvement in my straight stitching, which is very encouraging. The binding is cut but not yet sewn together - that might happen this weekend. 

Here is my "aim for" list:
1. Sandwich, quilt, and bind Indian Corn.
2. Quilt and bind SAHRR quilt.
3. Bind RBD block challenge quilt.
4. Post about my quilts.
5. TV time slow stitching

Here is our menu for Thanksgiving:

Charcuterie Board
Roasted Turkey Breast
Apple Cranberry Sauce and Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes and Dressing and Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Rolls
Toffee Pumpkin Cream Pie
Brown Sugar Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Our son and DIL and three oldest grands (ages 22, 20, and 18) will have an early Thanksgiving with her brother in Austin then drive here on Thanksgiving and spend one night before heading back to their home north of Houston. Our daughter and the "Littles" (ages 5 and 2) who live about 50 miles from us will come for the day. We are sad for our daughter as she navigates a divorce during the holiday season, but on a positive note she is doing better and most days dreams of a happier future. She is strong, she is a wonderful mother - the kids are her priority - and she is determined to get through this as amicably as possible. We are so proud of her!

Sweet Potato Rolls - recipe is Amish Potato Rolls from King Arthur Baking.
I tweaked it by using sweet instead of russet potatoes and honey instead of sugar

Please feel free to link up a post at the linky below. I enjoy reading all your posts, and I learn so much from each of you. Thank you all for continuing to link up each Tuesday, but if you are too busy this week, it's OK! Just a reminder for those of you who schedule your posts ahead of time - the linky opens at 12:01am each Tuesday and closes the following Monday at 11:59pm. UPDATE: Those are the times when I put in the correct dates! Sorry about the late opening this morning!

ALSO: My website continues to have an issue linking to "Marsha's Spot" blog. Inlinkz support reportedly is "working on it". In the meantime I encourage you to go give Marsha some blog love - just click on this link: Marsha's Spot.

Happy Thanksgiving!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Oklahoma Sunset Quilt

Meet Oklahoma Sunset, named for my home state and my favorite time of day!

Inspiration web photo

This quilt was created from a compilation of influences, starting with the above photo of leaves in an unbelievable array of colors, sparked by squirrel-spiration on Diann's blog, and brought to life through a pattern by Carole at From My Carolina Home.

Although Carole's pattern calls for an additional 3-1/2" outer border, I was aiming for approximately 36" x 36" so I could hang it on the wall, so I stopped with the scrappy border. Carol's PDF patterns for the quilt were in her weekly tutorial posts and were well written and easy to follow. The quilt was part of Carol's Autumn Jubilee, which was a celebration of fall with tablescapes, recipes, embroidery, and all sorts of fun projects. I didn't know about the jubilee until after it started, and now I can't wait for it to start next year!

Mr Quilt Model, showing the backing, expected me to crop him out of the photo, but I love his bald head!

The batik binding perfectly matched several pieces of fabric in the quilt, such as this green Grunge

The colorful batik backing was a serendipitous find at Joann's Fabrics, and it has every color from the front. It even has purple, although it's hard to see in the photo. I also used it for the binding and love how it occasionally matched parts of the scrappy border.

Our entry hall contains a refinished console table that belonged to my mother-in-law. It serves as a decorative "bar" as well as a place to feature seasonal decorating. I've wanted to hang seasonal wall quilts for a long time, and Oklahoma Sunset is the first!

Carole's leaf pattern is a keeper!

Quilt Details for Oklahoma Sunset
From Carole at From My Carolina Home

Finished size
36" x 36"

Front Fabrics
Mostly from scrap bins and partly from stash

Backing and Binding
Joann's Fabrics batik

Piecing: Superior Threads So Fine 50wt - #402 Pearl
Quilting: Superior Threads Magnifico 40wt - #2068 Ingot

Meander stitch on Handi Quilter Simply Sixtten

-To Do Tuesday 11-16-21

Welcome to To Do Tuesday for this third week of November! How is it that November is halfway over? It is going faster than ever! Please join in our fun today by linking your post to the linky below and show us your latest projects. Last week 24 joined up!

Jack critiques quilting on Autumn Jubilee before I sew a quilt hanger on the back.

Here were my plans last week:
✅1. Bind DashAlong and post about it - Binding is sewn on one side but waiting to sew it to the back
✅ 2. Sew together blocks and sandwich Indian Corn - Partly done - flimsy is made and backing is pieced..
✅ 3. Quilt and bind Autumn Jubilee - Done and will get its own post later today
4. Quilt and bind SAHRR Christmas quilt - Not yet but it is next up on the frame
5. Night-time slow stitch - None

DashAlong binding is sewn on and waiting to be hand-stitched to the back. Since we rearranged furniture in our TV room, I no longer have a table or light next to me, so I ordered a task light to sit next to my side of the sofa. I thought I could live with the lack of direct light, but I was mistaken!

Indian Corn flimsy is ready, backing is pieced together, just waiting to be sandwiched!

Here are my plans this coming week:
1. Bind DashAlong and post about it
2. Quilt and bind SAHRR quilt
3. Sandwich Indian Corn, quilt, and bind and post about it - I'd like to have it on the sofa for Thanksgiving!

Next week will be Thanksgiving week! Feel free to share your plans, your projects, your bucket list - your lists are welcome in the linky below, and check back during the week to visit the latest linkups!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Sunday, November 14, 2021

New Mexican Block - Pieces Of The Santa Fe Trail

Here is this month's block for Pieces of The Santa Fe Trail Sew-Along, hosted by Melva at Melva Loves Scraps. This sew-along follows the memoirs of Marion Russell, who traveled the Santa Fe Trail in a wagon train during the mid-1800s. This block is the New Mexican Star and is representative of an excerpt from Marion's story about meeting her future husband, her marriage, and the birth and death of her baby daughter.

Marion's love story is so simply written, yet it is riveting and poignant. Melva encouraged us to write down our own love stories to preserve for posterity. Our kids know our story by heart, and there is not a whole lot to it! We met in elementary school when my husband and family moved from the "big city" of Tulsa to where I lived in a tiny town south of Tulsa. We started "going steady" when we were 14, went to the same college, got engaged at age 20, and married when we were 21 in 1969.

My Mom and Daddy dating in northern Oklahoma

The more interesting story to me is the love story of my Mom and Daddy. My Mom was raised by her aunt and uncle in rural southern Missouri. Mom was born in 1912, and her real mother died when Mom was 2. Her real Dad was forced by the hard financial times of those years to ask Mom's aunt and uncle (who were childless) to raise her. When Mom graduated high school, she became a teacher and taught in a one-room schoolhouse in her hometown. During one of her breaks, she went to visit her real Dad, who lived in the tiny coal-mining town of Catale in northern Oklahoma. After Mom arrived she walked to the post office. My Daddy was standing on a porch reading a newspaper as Mom walked by. As she glanced at him she caught him peering over the newspaper to get a better look at her. They soon became acquainted at a church service and fell in love.

Mom about age 20 circa 1920s and a later photo of Daddy in the mid 1940s

Mom was 20 and Daddy was 17! They had a three year long-distance relationship and corresponded by letters. They were so much in love and only had infrequent visits, and they became so lonely for one another they decided to get married. Daddy had only gone through 8th grade and finding jobs was hard, so he worked as many odd jobs as he could find. What Mom earned as a teacher was very little, so their decision to marry was a difficult one with an uncertain future, especially during The Depression. But they were young and in love!

This photograph Mom sent to Daddy in 1933. It was made in her aunt's front yard in Missouri
and the caption on the back reads "Don't I look lonesome? I was thinking about you."

My fashionable Little Mommy early 1930s. She made her own clothes!

They married on a clear and very cold December day in Catale in 1935 and honeymooned that night at the home of one of Daddy's aunts. Daddy's youngest brother lived with that aunt, and they both kept knocking on their bedroom door, asking if they needed extra quilts or wanted something to eat, purposely being pests and telling them jokes through the closed door and making them laugh. Mom and Daddy had three children and never got rich, but they were successful in SO many other ways. The fact that I still pine for my childhood and our home in Oklahoma indicates what a happy upbringing they gave me! They were happily married almost 50 years before Daddy died from a heart attack at age 67. Their sweet love story still makes me cry even as I write about it.

There is only one more block to come on the sew-along, then the blocks will become a quilt! This sew-along is so enjoyable and meaningful. You still have time to catch up! You can see more details on Melva's blog and view the linky party for other versions of the New Mexican Star right here.