Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


Progress on Scrapitude




Here is a portion of the finished Scrapitude quilt top.  It’s about 80″ square, so it’s hard to get a picture of all of it.  I’m happy with results.  The background is several shell pink fabrics, which give it a warm look.  See more results from various quiltmakers at the Flickr page.

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I have about 3/4 of the quilting finished, and I like it a lot.  I’m especially enjoying the orange peel/overlapping circle motif I’m doing in the background.  It’s very relaxing to do.

I’m linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.




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Sunday Stash Report (II): 2/23/14

New post on Evening in the Garden Quilts

Sunday Stash Report: 2/23/14

by Valerie



Yesterday felt like spring, this morning it’s snowing.  The Sochi Olympic Games are coming to a close today.  Yesterday my son turned twenty, away at college, but we had some peeks through social media.  There’s “unrest” in Ukraine and Venezuela.  Life on Earth.

On the personal sewing front, I’m making progress on the stash.  Quilts of Valor sent me about 2.75 yards of fabric and a free pattern from Swirly Girls Design as my prize from the QOV Sew-In in early February.  The fabric is remnants donated by Connecting Threads, and also real star field (seconds, never part of a flag) from Embroidery Solutions (sorry, don’t know where to link this).  Very cool.  Makes me want to start a new quilt, which I’m sure is the point.  Thank you, all four organizations.

I finished the two commissioned quilts and mailed them off, so that’s 10.5 yards out.  Coming along.

This week:  +2.75 yards,  -10.5 yards YTD:  +30.25 yards,  -42.5 yards Net stash used 2014:  -12.25

Currently working away on a couple other all-stash projects, which feels good, a little like Spring cleaning.

Hope you’re doing what you want with your stash.

I’m linking up to Sunday Stash Report at Patchwork Times. .

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A Pair of Finishes


This week I finished this pair of special order quilts.  Both are made with the same fabrics and Kona Snow.  They will head off in the mail today to brighten a pair of loveseats in the customer’s living room.  Currently there are antique quilts there, and these will be a fresher and more washable alterative.


These quilts are great small sizes (40″ x 60″, 40″ x 65″), so they were quick and fun to put together and to quilt.  Well, this triangle one cost me a day, but that was due to my own math challenges.  Yes, to make HST blocks, you add 7/8″  to the finished size of your desired block.  I will remember that now!  I’m happy with the straight line quilting, especially now that it’s washed and crinkly.  I quilted in all the ditches, and then 1/2″ away on both sides with the walking foot and white Bottom Line thread.


The string quilt wasn’t really strings, but 1 1/2″ strips cut from yardage.  I quilted it in the ditches with Bottom Line, and then added huge leaves with white Sulkey rayon thread.  I didn’t count, but I think there about 32 leaves all over the quilt.


All and all, a fun project to brighten this oppressive winter.

Can’t wait to see what you’ve finished.

I’m linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


Putting It All Together (Scrapitude)




This week I finished the two commissions (pics on Friday!), and started putting the Scrapitude top together.  I was a little intimidated by it, but it’s going together pretty well.  I don’t set blocks on point very often, and I tend to get confused about it, but so far, so good.  There isn’t room to lay it all out.  I have more than half the blocks together, and just need to join these rows, and make the last three.  We’ve been discussing borders, but I think I’m just going to bind it the way it is.  It’s for my guest room, and I don’t want it too big.

Hope you’re making progress on your projects.
I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


Sunday Stash Report: 2/16/14


Nothing in, nothing out this week. 

This week: +0 yards, -0 yards

This year: +27.5 yards, -32 yards

Net stash used this years: -4.5 yards

I thought there would be finishes, but I hit a snag.  When I went to sandwich the finished tops, I found that the triangle one was way too large.  Not only would it not have fit the customer’s furniture (I had measured), but it didn’t fit on the backing fabric, and I didn’t want a pieced backing for this.  As I took all the blocks apart, trimmed each one, and sewed them back together, I realized what I had done.  I made my HSTs using the diagonal line method, and I added 7/8″ to the raw size I wanted the blocks (5 1/2″), not the finished size (5″) that I should have.  I think I’ll remember that in the future… 

Anyway, it’s all quilted now, and it’s companion is partially quilted.  I expect to finish both this weekend as I sew along with the #Twilters at the President’s Day Sew-In, #PDSI , which, of course we’re making last all weekend, because we’re like that.  Please join us.


I’m linkingvup to Sunday Stash Report at Patchwork Times.


String Top Assembled



Yesterday I got the string blocks sashed and assembled.  I’m really liking the small size of these quilts (40″ x 60″) for quick, fun construction.  I said I might use a few pins, but I didn’t use one!  The sashing was Kona Snow, cut to size, with cornerstones, and it stuck to the blocks like velcro.  I had no problems getting this together.


The result was termed, “Bright and cheerful”, which is exactly the look this customer requested, so I’m on track.  Today I’ll sandwich both quilts and get started on the quilting.

Hope you’re making good progress.

I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.



String Blocks

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Yesterday I finished the forty little (7″) paper-pieced string blocks for the second commission top.  I pulled the paper off during the Men’s Downhill and team Figure Skating last night.


A question was raised about me pulling the paper off before they were sewn together, and without stay-stitching them around the edges.  I usually do string and log cabin blocks this way, unless I have a lot of bias or some other reason to think there will be a problem.  Stitching around all the edges is probably a good step for newer quilters, but it really adds a lot of time to the process, and I am far too impatient.  Again, sewing the blocks together with the paper still on is another option for fool-proof results, but I have real sensory issues with all that crinkliness, and then there’s paper in the seams to pick out.  I find that I can get good, accurate results by handling the blocks gently and using the occasional pin (radical, I know!  Not really a pinner, either).  I use thin paper (this was phone book pages) or sometimes no paper at all, if I’m doing vertical strips.  I press them well all along the way, trim carefully, and remove the paper gently, and I don’t have any trouble.  How do you deal with these kind of blocks?


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Here they are with the coordinating quilt top.  There will be Snow sashing between all these string blocks, so the result will be much lighter and will match the first quilt better.


I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.



Sunday Stash Report: 2/9/2014


Okay, some fabric was purchased, but I can justify explain.  It was backing for Scrapitude, and White and Snow Kona solid. And some of the Snow is for the current commissions.  So it was necessary.

AND, the Log Cabin QOV was finished, so that’s ten and a half yards out.

This week: +12 yards, -10.5 yards

This year: +27.5 yards, -32 yards

Net stash used this years: -4.5 yards

Hope you’re using the stash this winter!

I’m linking up with Sunday Stash Report at Patchwork Times.


Log Cabin Finish

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This quilt has been a while in the making, but it’s all finished now.  I completed the blocks in the middle of July, 2013, and put the top together sometime this winter.  Then I quilted it during the Quilts of Valor Sew-In and Sports Ball Sew-In this past weekend.  Monday I added a bright blue binding that I think is perfect.

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This quilt is all made from stash.  The red “chimneys” are 2 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ patches from my bins.  The “logs” are all strings, except for the wolf and owl fabric.  This seemed like a good use for it, except that their eyes do stare at you!

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This is being donated to Quilts of Valor, so I was planning a quick job on the quilting.  I stabilized it by quilting in the ditch between all the blocks using Bottom Line thread.

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Then I marked a wavy line down either side of the columns and rows of blocks (I think straight lines would have looked odd on these really wonky cabins), and switched to a medium blue Masterpiece thread so the stitches would show more.  I used the walking foot, thinking I would sew on the marking and a line on either side.  I found I wanted to add one more line in each area (24 extra trips across the quilt), and that came close to catching every strip of fabric in at least a bit of quilting.

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The plan was to quilt a star outline in each red patch, but, again, that didn’t seem like enough, so I stippled around all thirty-five of them.  I’m really happy with the effect.  It has enough quilting, and the waves make a nice effect as they undulate across the surface.


As always, I enjoyed sewing with the #Twilters and others who joined us for Super Bowl weekend.  The QOV Sew-In was very quiet by comparison, at least on Twitter.  Maybe Facebook and Instagram were more chatty.  I also got the idea folks were sewing in groups, so they had plenty of live company.  Maybe they got more done than those of us who sew with one hand and tweet with the other all day!  I won a prize from QOV, so I’m not complaining.

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This will be heading off to Heather as soon as I get finished looking at it hanging over my stair railing!

What have you finished?  I’m linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


Progress on Commissioned Quilts


I finished the first of two tops for a customer.  These are both 40″ x 60″ quilts to fold over the backs of love seats.  They will replace antique quilts that don’t need the wear, tear, and washing that these will be able to handle.  We’re using Kona “Snow” for a slightly softer look than bright white, and I’ve had fun working with it.  These 96 5″ HSTs came together quickly.


The 40 6.5″ string blocks will take a bit longer, but you know I don’t mind sewing these!  They’re not tecnically “strings”, since I’m cutting yardage to width, but the same process, using old phone pages.

Hope you’re making progress and staying warm.
I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.