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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Quilt Inspiration - Tips And Tutorials

Each month Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing hosts a Tips and Tutorials linky party. In her monthly post she includes links to some great tutorials and invites us to link up any that we have found to be helpful. You can check out all her tutorial posts right here!

Last week I read Sherrie's post about how she had her adorable Salt and Sand quilt in the hoop for tying. Sherrie blogs at Food For Thought, and I asked her if she had any tips for tying. Well she wrote up a tutorial! It's the best tutorial ever for tying a quilt, and she has great photos to click on to see exactly what she is describing. Go read about How To Tie A Quilt right here!

40 year old "quilt" for my husband

Back in the 1980s I made my husband a "quilt" with cheater fabric and a flannel backing - that's it pictured above. Look how long and narrow it is - lol! Since I didn't know how to quilt, I tied it with yarn. After many washings and LOTS of use, most of those ties have disappeared. My son and daughter have always loved that quilt, and it was their standard for a "quilt". So for Christmas in 2018 I made them each a quilt and hand-tied those quilts so they would be "just like Dad's". You can read the details of those quilts right here on my old blog.

Hand-tied quilts for my son and daughter

After I read Sherrie's tutorial I realized I had left out an essential step in order to keep those ties strong throughout the life of the quilt! It involves the use of a second piece of yarn for each tie. I highly recommend you read her post "How To Tie A Quilt" right here.

Thanks to Sherrie for the excellent tutorial and thanks to Kathleen for hosting this event each month! I'm linking this post to Kathleen's link party.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

To Do Tuesday 9-21-21

It's To Do Tuesday - time to share the status of your goals and make a list for the coming week. The linkup is below, so join in the fun!

Our area is due a fairly strong cold front today and lower temperatures tomorrow will coincide with the Autumn Equinox. That really puts me in the mood for fall! My autumn fabric love got the best of me when another Squirrel-spiration fought for dominance in my sewing room last week (see photo above). And it won! You can read all about it here.

The "chains" and nine-patches are ready to pair with the solids

Let's see how I did on my goals from last week:
1. Sandwich Exploding Heart - Nope
2. Sandwich DashAlong quilt - Nope
✅3. Slow stitching at night - Welcome Autumn, RBD quilt, and Christmas project - Progress on RBD big stitching
✅4. Indian Corn blocks - Finished sewing all the components, now to put the blocks together
✅5. Catch up on Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail blocks - Progress. I have three blocks and I need eight.

I took my Janome in for service yesterday, and it won't be ready until next Tuesday. That should give me plenty of time to do my goals for the coming week:
1. Sandwich Exploding Heart
2. Sandwich DashAlong
3. Slow stitching - Welcome Autumn, RBD quilt, and Christmas project

I can't wait to see what you're up to this week! Please add your link below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Pumpkin Patch Mini Quilt

Pumpkin Patch mini (metal pumpkin purchased at Hobby Lobby last year)

Squirrel-spiration this week came in the form of an ad by the Missouri Quilt Co for their Pumpkin Patch Espresso Ornament Kit. I kept looking at the photo and thinking what a cute mini quilt it would make. With a real "cold" front (50s at night) due here next week, I was perfectly happy to welcome another squirrel invasion, especially since autumn officially starts on Wednesday!

Missouri Quilt Company Ornament Kit

The above photo is Missouri Quilt Co's kit, which is for a 5 inch tall ornament. I wanted a mini that would fit on our bar table, so the easiest conversion for me was to use 2-1/2 inch squares and HSTs. As usual, the most time I spent on this project was choosing scraps!

I wanted to feature a darker leaf against the pumpkin, just like the kit. I used one of my favorite dark brown fabrics for this  - one that I cannot find any more! For the "stem", I found a piece that looked stem-ish.

The backing is a metallic blend, perfect for the metallic thread

For quilting, my first inclination was to use big stitch. But then I found a spool of Superior Metallic in Variegated Gold on my shelf that was perfect. There was a bit of breakage at first, but then I used Superior's suggestion to lower the tension on my Janome to "1" and to use a 90/14 needle, and it sewed flawlessly.

I love this "edible gourd" fussy cut from Carrie Bloomston's Dreamer collection

This table serves as our bar, and the end is the perfect spot for a seasonal mini quilt!

I hope you are doing something fun this weekend!
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

To Do Tuesday 9-14-21

Welcome to To Do Tuesday, where we share our goals and accomplishments (or delays!) If you want to go ahead and link up and skip my To Do list, just scroll to the bottom of this post.

DashAlong flimsy done!

Last week's goals:
☑ 1. Continue to make blocks for Indian Corn - Progress - I made two more blocks.
☑ 2. Slow stitching at night - Welcome Autumn, RBD quilt, and Christmas project - Progress - I worked on all three!
☑ 3. Finish and sew together Dash-Along blocks - Done.
4. Sandwich Exploding Heart - No Progress.

Kit in the Corner block from Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail

A Squirrel-spiration that was not on my list took my attention last week, so I am allowing time for it this coming week! Melva Loves Scraps is hosting a Sew Along - Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail - and I finally succumbed to the temptation. You may read more about my inability to resist right here.

My list for this coming week:
1. Sandwich Exploding Heart
2. Sandwich DashAlong quilt
3. Slow stitching at night - Welcome Autumn, RBD quilt, and Christmas project
4. Indian Corn blocks
5. Catch up on Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail blocks

What do you have to share with us this week? Join the fun and link up below!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Sunday, September 12, 2021

9/11 - Never Forget and DashAlong Update

I intended to post this yesterday, September 11, to remember and honor those who fell on that horrific day 20 years ago. But my husband had a bad reaction to a new med, so I spent the day taking care of him. He is much better today, and he won't be taking that medication any more! We had been watching 9/11 documentaries all week and enjoyed the tributes at college football games yesterday, as well as the emotional pre-game ceremonies at the New York Mets-Yankees game.

Now on to quilty things. This DashAlong began in June, hosted by Kairle Oaks at Virgin River Quilt Company. I did not keep up with the quilt-along but have finally finished the flimsy.

I made a churn dash as one of four basic blocks in my first quilting class in 2010.  I did mine in Christmas prints for a table topper and it sat as a UFO for 8 years after the class. You can read about 2018 finish right here on my former blog. In the photo above, you can see that the churn dash block (lower left) has red HSTs turned opposite the "norm" for a churn dash layout, a rookie move on my part! So it is hard to see it as a churn dash, but I like it anyway.

I chose a Gingham Gardens layer cake and love the colors and prints. Because I used a very light background, I considered putting a sashing between blocks to showcase some of the lighter-value fabrics. But I am planning to keep this quilt for myself, so I like the simple, clean look. The flimsy is a good size at 72 x 72 inches, so I won't add a border.

On the advice of my chief quilt advisor (the DIY guy - he's one step above the kitties), I chose this black floral print from the collection for the backing and found it on sale at Etsy! I bought four yards, which should be enough, and it will be here Monday.

Hope your weekend is going well!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Late To The Party: Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail SAL

I started reading about Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail Sew Along on Wendy's blog several months ago, when Wendy posted some photos of a recent trip to New Mexico. (It's a great post - read it right here!) Melva at Melva Loves Scraps started hosting this SAL in April, and the blocks are inspired by the book Land of Enchantment, written by Melva's distant relative Marian Russell. 

At first I just admired Wendy's blocks, but then I began reading the excerpts on Melva's blog. Marian's memoirs of traveling the Santa Fe Trail as a young girl are evocative and memorable, and I don't use those words lightly. I liked the excerpts, which Melva manually types into her posts, so much that I bought the book. As I read more SAL posts I would occasionally save a pattern (they are free for 6 weeks), and this morning I downloaded the rest of them at Melva's Payhip shop (a bargain at $2.00 each!)

The first pattern in the series is called Kit in the Corner, so-named for the mention of a kitten in the excerpt read about it right here. Nine-patch blocks have always been a favorite of mine, and I like the little "kitten" in the corners of this nine patch. 

Back in 2019, I ordered several fabrics from the Elizabeth's Dowry line by Marcus Fabrics with the intention of making a quilt inspired by an original Mariners' Compass quilt from the 1800s. I never got around to making it, but when I was looking for fabrics for this SAL I was so happy to find this stash from which to pull!

I even have a panel from the same line that should work as part of the backing!

I'm planning to finish the first eight blocks by the time Block #9 becomes available on September 23. If I can catch up, then you know it's not too late for you to join in the fun!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

To Do Tuesday 9-7-21

Welcome to To Do Tuesday, where we share our goals, accomplishments, projects on hold, and anything else we think is share-worthy! If you'd like to skip to the linkup, you'll find it at the end of this post. If you would like to add the To Do Tuesday "button" to your sidebar or blog post, you can grab the code in my sidebar.

Indian Corn blocks

As usual, I got side-tracked by Squirrel-spiration, this time in the form of a pattern called Indian Corn, and you can read more details here. I did finish two of the 20 blocks, and I like the results.

Completed embroidery block! You can get an idea how the embroidery will look with the blocks.

These were my goals from last week, and they were carried forward from the week before:
1. Work on piecing a backing for Exploding Heart - Progress - I found some nice fabric at Joann's to complete the backing, and I also bought some pretty binding! Tomorrow I plan to finish piecing the panel I made and start on sandwiching.
2. Start on Welcome Autumn cross stitch - Very little progress - I attached the linen to the frame - lol!
3. Continue to big-stitch on RBD quilt - No progress. The RBD quilt has been nothing but a cat bed this week.
4. Continue to stitch and piece on Christmas project - Progress - I finished one embroidery block (see photo above) and traced out another one.
5. Continue to make Dash-Along blocks - No Progress. However, I've been reviewing sashing options for the blocks, and I hope to have a post up soon.

Here are my goals for the coming week and hopefully will have some completed by next Tuesday!
1. Continue to make blocks for Indian Corn
2. Slow stitching at night - Welcome Autumn, RBD quilt, and Christmas project
3. Finish and sew together Dash-Along blocks
4. Sandwich Exploding Heart

Now let's see what you've been up to this past week and cheer on those lists for next week! (It's my very first link party, so if you encounter any issues, please email me at

UPDATE: For those of you who encountered a closed link and notified me, thank you and please try again! A big thank you to Roseanne of Home Sewn By Us for all her kind and patient support. 💖

Add your link to the Inlinkz party!

Click here to enter
Sunday, September 5, 2021

Labor Day Weekend 2021: Squirrels Welcome!

Somehow "Squirrel-spiration" entered my sewing room last week in the form of plaid and autumn, so guess what I will be doing on this Labor Day weekend!

I saw this pretty cross stitch on the Instagram feed of @fqsxstitch (Fat Quarter Shop Cross Stitch), and was squirrel-spired by the colors. I knew I had to make something!

I love all these colors! Don't they remind you of bolts of fabric? 😍

I am very susceptible to fall colors, and I wanted something plaid-ish, so I pulled out one of my older (2003) pamphlets by Teri Christopherson of Black Mountain Needlework called Mad About Plaid and found a great pattern for a quilt called "Indian Corn". It's the perfect name because those are all the colors in the cross stitch. 

I cut all the neutral pieces yesterday, and today I will get to cut the fun colors!

I hope all of you are doing something fun this Labor Day weekend!
Tuesday, August 31, 2021

To-Do Tuesday, August Color Challenge, And An Announcement!

From the front: Granddaughter #2, DIL, Papaw/Hubby, Granddaughter #1, Grandson #1,
Grandson #2 on Son's lap, me, Daughter, and Granddaughter #3.

Whew that was a fast week! Our kids have come and gone and it was just a blur of laughing and talking and eating. The sleeping situation was not the best, but they are a kind and tolerant bunch - lol! Because our guest rooms have become my sewing room and my husband's office, everyone was bedded down in our living room on the recliner sofas and an air mattress. Turns out the sofa recliners aren't the best sleeping options (although we fall asleep on them regularly - ha!), so we will get another air mattress for their Christmas visit!

If you have a second, watch this video of Everett with his contagious belly laugh
while playing with cousin Brandon!

Laney loves the quilt I made for her (quilt details right here)

As far as sewing? Not much got done, but that's OK! Here was my list last week:
1. Work on piecing a backing for Exploding Heart - No Progress
2. Start on Welcome Autumn cross stitch - No Progress. I did get this lighted magnifier from Joann to help me see the 28ct squares!
3. Continue to big-stitch on RBD quilt - No Progress. While at Joann's I got this lap frame to give me better access to each block.
4. Continue to stitch and piece on Christmas project - No Progress
5. Continue to make Dash-Along blocks - No Progress

Mushroom blocks for August Color Challenge

Here is what I did get done. Each month Jen at Patterns by Jen hosts a color challenge, and 2021 is based on colors of fruits and veggies. The color for August drew inspiration from "mushrooms", and with that I got to rifle through my brown and tan scraps. I am really enjoying Jen's patterns, and this one was easy. Each month a free pattern is offered with instructions for 6-inch and 12-inch included. I made the 6-inch size yesterday and was only going to make one, but it was so cute I had to make another one!

See more "mushroom" blocks right here at Patterns by Jen.

My goals are simply the same as last week, and I should be able to make some progress. I have included time for a Squirrel-spiration, and more on that later! Hint: think "fall" and "plaidish". 😉

This week you can find more inspiration for To-Do Tuesday right here at the blog of Chris at Chris Knits. After today, Chris will be stepping down as host of To-Do Tuesday and I will try very hard to fill her awesome shoes. She has been a wonderful host -  funny and kind and supportive - and we will all miss her. Thank you so much Chris!

Be sure to check back here at Texas Quilt Gal next Tuesday for the first September To-Do Tuesday!
Tuesday, August 24, 2021

To-Do Tuesday

My first Wensleydale block from Jen Kingwell's Quilt Recipes

I'm joining other bloggers for To-Do Tuesday, an event hosted by Chris at Chris Knits. This linkup is open to those who want to keep track of goals and cheer on the accomplishments of others. Let's see what has happened in my little sewing room in north Texas since last Tuesday. 

Jack says "Welcome to my playroom!"

Rosie says the jury is still out on the new arrangement

After trying my new room arrangement (brought about by the installation of Longmire) for a couple weeks, I decided to change things up a bit. My desk and sewing machine traded spaces, so now the Janome is next to the window - much more light for sewing and no glare when I try to see the laptop. I had my husband sell the printer that occupied space on my desk (now I just use his printer), so that created more space on my desk for things that make me happy. The kitties miss their desk lounging space, but I like it just fine!

My DIY hubby has been trying out a new laser engraver and I'm happy to be the recipient of his experiments!

Here are a few of the DashAlong blocks

Big stitch (with a few cat hairs thrown in)

My goals for last week:
☑ 1. DashAlong blocks - PROGRESS - I chain-pieced 6 more blocks
☑ 2. Embroider and piece blocks for Christmas project - PROGRESS - I am slowly embroidering (almost finished the first one!), and I pieced two more blocks. This one is FUN!
☑ 3. Big stitch experiment on RBD quilt - DONE - I am using Sulky 12wt in Gold, and I love the thread and the big-stitch effect. This will be a slow project, but I will certainly enjoy it.
☑ 4. Piece a backing for Exploding Heart - PROGRESS - I did pick fabrics for piecing!
5. Start on Welcome Autumn cross stitch if fabric arrives - NO PROGRESS - The Lambswool 28ct linen from Fat Quarter Shop did arrive and is so beautiful, but I am finding it difficult to see the little squares. I purchased this hands-free magnifier  and will pick it up this week at Joann's. I'm really hoping it helps.
☑ 6. Make a Wensleydale block - DONE - The templates I made from craft acrylic are so thin it was hard to accurately cut the fabric, so my block is a bit skewed. But I love the block! I have decided to purchase the acrylic template set, and my LQS has promised to call as soon as they receive them from Jen Kingwell.

My list for the coming week:
1. Work on piecing a backing for Exploding Heart
2. Start on Welcome Autumn cross stitch
3. Continue to big-stitch on RBD quilt
4. Continue to stitch and piece on Christmas project
5. Continue to make Dash-Along blocks

Our son and family are scheduled to come on Friday night for the weekend, but now we are waiting to see if our DIL has Covid! We were hoping to have all of our children and grandchildren together for the first time since last August. If Susan tests positive, this will be the third time Covid has postponed their trip north. 😞

UPDATE: Susan's test was NEGATIVE! As long as she feels like traveling Friday, they will be here - yay!

It is always fun to see and be inspired by new and on-going projects, so be sure to check out posts by other bloggers right here!