Thursday, May 31, 2018

tip #42, bundle your project for storage and travel

In preparing my projects for taking to the longarm quilter, I protect what is most fragile--the raw seams and the edges. (I always stay-stitch the edges of the top.)
I fold the top and the back with the right sides out, folding to keep the edges within the bundle.
I stack the top and back, and tie up the whole thing loosely with a length of selvedge.
This keeps it all tidy on the shelf and on the trip.

My longarm quilter and I unbundle and decide on the quilting plan. She stores them on hangers until they come up in her queue.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

tip #41, make the sleeve and label while making the back

I am in backing production here, readying five tops for the longarm quilter.

One thing that trips me up when I receive a quilt back from my longarm quilter is all that is involved before attaching the binding.
-choose the fabrics for binding and sleeve
-make the binding
-make the sleeve
-make the label
I often make the bindings ahead of time, but just recently included making the sleeves and label at the same time as the back. I no longer have to hunt down the leftover or coordinating sleeve material.

I just finished piecing three backs and made the label and sleeve to set aside.
I pinned a piece of paper to each to remind me what goes with what.
The sleeves are hemmed on the edges and pressed and ready to go. If I find the quilt shrunk up a lot when quilted I can trim the sleeve down and quickly re-hem

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

star, top completed

81 by 99 inches
99 blocks set 9 by 11

Block finishes 9 inches

Solid: four triangles cut from 3 1/2 inch strips with EZ angle or Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle Tool
Print: five 3 1/2 inch squares, four triangles cut form 3 1/2 inch strip with EZ angle or Bonnie's tool

Points pressed to solids
Rows pressed to prints
Block pressed to center row

Rotate every other block and all will nest

My design, use at your pleasure.

Monday, May 28, 2018

round-robins and reunions and rhubarb dessert

Rhubarb time bring memories of my mom's rhubarb dessert. We loved it. We never tired of it. It was so sad when the rhubarb bolted and we had to wait another year to have it again. It was rather recently when I discovered you could buy rhubarb, I thought it was only available in your own yards.
This dessert was a regular item mom would bring to pot lucks.

Mom received the recipe for her dessert from a friend at the annual Company K picnic. This was a reunion held at Terrace Park in Sioux Falls by the families of  men who were called up to the draft  and sent to serve from Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota in 1952. They were Company K at army boot camp. For decades we would gather for this.

Another army related group we had reunions with was a group that had gathered at the DeHamer home in South Carolina near Fort Jackson in 1952/53. Mr. and Mrs. DeHamer were Dutch-American transplants from Michigan who at church invited service members and spouses to come to their home on Sunday afternoons to eat and relax. Most who took them up on this were other Dutch-Americans, because, well, that is what we do.
This group would have reunions every 3 years and has (yes, continues to this day for 66 years) a round-robin letter. It is like a group-chat in letter form.  It arrived at my mother's when I was there last week.

A third reunion we had was annually with a group of my mother's childhood friends. They have been so for over 80 years and also have a round-robin letter.

I love these connections my parents made that continue for decades.
Round-robin letters
Rhubarb Dessert 
(adapted and annotated, because I cannot leave well enough alone)

Crust (use food processor, metal blade)
1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pulse til coarse, press into ungreased glass 9 by 13 pan, bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes

Filling (use mixer, paddle)
7 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pour over 5-6 cups of chopped rhubarb on top of crust, bake 1 hour

Meringue (use mixer, whisk)
7 egg whites beaten stiff
slowly add mixture of 6 Tablespoons sugar and 2 Tablespoons corn starch
Spread evenly and bake til brown, about 12-15 minutes.

Tastes best at room temperature, but we usually start on it while it is still hot.

Friday, May 25, 2018

olympic sew-a-long with Temecula Quilt Co., quilt completed

Temecula Quilt Co. had a sew-a-long during the 2016 Olympics.
I made two of them, one with all solids and this one in the suggested color way, with Civil War type fabrics.
I love how it turned out.
Thanks Temecula Quilt Co.!

48 by 56 inches

Thursday, May 24, 2018


The barn paintings in my sewing area inspired this simple block.
It could be done with a single piece for the roof and lintel, but that would involve several techniques I do not enjoy. I am using up some triangles left over from the hourglass blocks for these roofs. And, I kind of like the separate lintel! It gives a place to play with directional fabrics.
My first sample block used a flying goose for the roof. But, I realized that would be a lot of point watching in putting the quilt together so I decided to float the roof by over-cutting the sky pieces.

I'll prepare a tutorial soon.
My design, use at your pleasure.

Finishes 8 by 6 inches

Print: cut one 2 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch rectangle, two 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch rectangles, one triangle from a 3 1/2 inch strip using Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle Ruler or the EZ Companion Angle ruler
Solid: cut one 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch rectangle, two triangles from a 4 inch strip using Bonnie's ruler or the EZ Angle Ruler

After sewing left sky to the roof and pressing to the roof, use ruler to trim away excess

Press left sky to the barn roof; press right roof to the sky
Press away from the door to the barn
Wait with pressing the lintel. Press half of the blocks going up and half going down. This will allow seams to nest.

The barn on the right looks like it may have a still...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

keyhole, top completed

I was inspired by my friend Donna's quilt. I changed the proportions. There are quite a few variations of this out there.
This version is mine--use at your pleasure.

78 by 90 inches
99 blocks, 15 half blocks

Block finishes  6 by 12 inches
Solid: cut one 2 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch rectangle, three 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles
Print: cut one 2 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch rectangle, three 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles
Pressing:towards solid pieces, then to solid side of the block

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Temecula 2016 sew-a-long, quilt completed

In 2016 Temecula Quilt Co. had a delightful sew-a-long. I finished the top on LeClaire and Sue DiVarco quilted it while I was in the midst of settling in. She used an all over design that I am quite pleased with.
The quilt now lives with my sister, Beth.

Quilt measures 57 by 69 inches
Center blocks sized 2 1/2 inches finished.
Outer blocks sized 3 inches finished.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ella and her daughters

My grandmother, Ella with her daughters, Henny, Grada, Jeanette, Betty
Boyden, Iowa

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


I've been wanting to do a star quilt for this series and decided on the simplest star.

9 inch finished block
Cut from 3 1/2 inch strips
Points pressed to the solid
Rows pressed to the prints
Block pressed to the center row--this pressing pattern should allow all seams to interlock by rotating every other block.

Planning on 99 blocks, set 9 by 11

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

the cows and chickens watch me sew

The Hoard's Dairyman calendar is an annual gift from my sister Janna.

The paintings clockwise from upper left:

Pollarded trees and Maas-Rijn-IJssel cows by Ada Schurink
Ella and her chickens by Steven Johnson, done plein-air style from a photograph of my grandmother
Barn by Hendrika "Hattie" Scholten
Roadside landscape by Lucian Lupinski

Monday, May 14, 2018

window, top completed

I made this pattern while watching our building under construction. I loved how the window shapes stood out as it progressed.

7 inch finished block
143 blocks set 11 by 13
77 by 91 inches

Solid: one 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangle
Print: one 4 1/2 by 7 1/2 inch rectangle, one 1 1/2 by 7 1/2 inch rectangle, one 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch rectangle, one 2 1/2 inch square

My design, use at your pleasure.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!
Eve and Mom, the Scrabble Queen.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

visiting my quilts--Eve's apartment

Chinese coin/postage stamp
I love this one. Pieces were cut 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches, finishing 1 by 2 inches.

Friday, May 11, 2018

alice comes out to play

Working on the projects started back in my LeClaire attic studio was making me a bit melancholy so I decided to cut into some of the fabric I've bought since the move.
This Wonderland fabric from Cotton + Steel Rifle Paper Co. was just the thing to make me smile.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

party line, top completed

Party line is put together!

Block finishes 9 by 10 1/2 inches
Three solid rectangles 1 1/2  by 9 1/2 inches cut
Three print rectangles 2 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches cut
One print rectangle  2 by 9 1 /2 inches cut

81 blocks, set 9 by 9
Measures 81 by 94.5 inches

Still not getting good photography angles and lighting. I hope I do better with completed quilts hanging for pictures. Believe it or not, I have several completed ones to show you soon!

Thursday, May 03, 2018

unit blocks, top completed

Unit Blocks
120 blocks set 10 by 12, 80 by 96 inches

Block size finishes 8 inches
4 solid rectangles cut 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches
4 print rectangles cut 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches

My design, though there are many similar ones out there.
Use at your pleasure.
I am very happy with how it turned out.

I am trying to figure out good photographing spots here at our new place. Getting the angles and the lighting right is not proving easy.