Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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July and August Goals

Wow, almost August already!  Those of you who are teachers (and parents!), there will come a time when August is no longer a frantic countdown to school, but opens up as a pleasant time for sewing, travel, and deck-sitting, I promise!  We are doing a little traveling, a little entertaining, and helping return DS to college, so my goals are modest, but I will enjoy the month.

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July Goals

1.  Finish the blue and gold quilt.  Yes, this one!  Really like how it turned out.

2.  Attempt a photo transfer technique for a Coastal wall hanging.  Yes.  First attempt is pictured.  We’ll see.

3.  Get another leaders and enders project organized so that it is available when I’m piecing.  Yes!  And, see, I wrote a note, because it will be months till this is done and I have no memory.

4.  Make a baby quilt from an animal panel I purchased.  Yep, right here!

Yes, I made these goals!  And this bonus quilt for donation/stash reduction.

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August Goals

1.  Complete coastal wall hanging.

2.  Work on UFO geometric wall hanging.

3.  Make a top from my new Christmas fabrics.  Looking at these tutorials:  Four-Patch Stars  and Big Star Quilt  from Missouri Star.

4.  Source little zippers for earbud pouches.

How did you do on your goals this month?  Eh, it’s summer!  Cooler, more productive days are around the corner.  Enjoy!


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Sunday Stash Report: 7/26/15

IMG_2427This rail fence quilt used 7.5 yards, and I didn’t buy any new fabric.

This week:  + 0 yards,  – 7.5 yards
This year:  + 81.5 yards,  – 111.25 yards
Net fabric destashed  in 2015:  29.75 yards

How did you do this week?

I’m linking up to Judy’s Report at Patchwork Times.


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Rail Fence and Ribbon Candy

IMG_2424Today I finished this quilt, destined for donation.

IMG_2428I made it to use this backing, which I like a lot but for which I have never found a use.  I also wanted it to be in “boys” colors, since I have plenty of florals to donate.

IMG_2425I quilted it with wavy lines, but I didn’t think they were enough, so I added these flowing lines between each set of vertical waves.  I knew they had a name, and my friends supplied it:  ribbon candy!  Even more fun than quilting them.  I used Superior’s So Fine thread in a variegated light green.

IMG_2427There are two different blocks, one with three patches, and one with four,  just because I wanted to mix it up a bit.  I still think that has potential, though it isn’t great here.  Doing this again, I would use the same fabrics (yum!), but mix up the values more.

I still like it, and I hope the recipient will, too.


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Thoughts on Sandwiching

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I just spent ten minutes basting my newest quilt, and, as always, I gave thanks to the inventor of spray adhesive.  Without it, I wouldn’t be making many quilts.  My back just won’t take leaning over a table, never mind a floor, for the time it takes to pin baste a quilt.  I have jars of the right kind of pins, but haven’t used them in years.

I know some people can’t use spray baste because of allergies, and I’m really sorry.  If you just don’t care for the smell or residue, I have some suggestions.

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I’ve tried three or four brands, but my favorite is June Tailor.  Its cheap (50% off at JoAnn at the moment!), it has less odor than some, and its not as sticky.  It doesn’t gum up my machine needles, which I hate.

The other important thing is that I don’t use much.  Lately, I’ve read bloggers talk about using a whole can for one quilt, or for three.  I think that’s craziness!  I can’t tell you how many quilts one can will baste if used lightly, because I use one for so long I lose track.  My guess is fifteen to twenty.  I shake well, then make a single light, zig zaggy pass over the backing or the batting.  That’s all it takes, and I don’t have problems with shifting.  Today when I picked up my can, it was very light and I wondered if I had enough.  Yep.  Can probably do the next quilt, too.

Also, I don’t handle it a lot.  I’ve read about basting, then turning the sandwich over to smooth the back.  I don’t understand why that’s necessary at all.  I tape the backing down to the table (floor), putting it under a little tension, so there are no wrinkles.  I spread out the batting, pull half of it back, spray the backing with spray baste, smooth the batting back down, do the other half.  Then I carefully arrange the top over the batting.  I pull half of it back, spray the batting, pat, not smooth, the top into place, then do the other half.  Then I remove the tape from the back, and consider where I will be starting the quilting.  I won’t have another place to spread it out like this again, so I use the opportunity to roll it up from each end.  Then I carry the “sausage” up to my studio and lay it on the sewing table.

And, I love my ping pong table!  I know a lot of you work in very small and/or crowded conditions, and my hat is off to you that you get anything made.  My knees and back are long past getting down on the floor for any length of time.  If I didn’t have my table, I guess I would cultivate a relationship with a community center, Y, church, etc., and push some of their tables together.  But you can often get a used ping pong table at a garage sale, and they fold and stand upright, so you can keep it in the garage and open it in the driveway when you need it.  Mine is in my unfinished basement, which has good ventilation.  Did I mention I don’t use much spray adhesive?  I’m still breathing.  Really.

Thanks for listening to my two cents on this.  Now I have some quilting to do!


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Sunday Stash Report: 7/ 19/15

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This week I used 3.5 yards to make the Cute Animal baby quilt.  I cut up a yard of poor-quality fabric to make plant ties for the garden.  Last week I used the last of the Michael Miller bird fabric to make a pillow case to go with the Scrappy Blue and Gold Trellis quiltimage

That’s good, because while traveling, I bought four yards of batiks at Patchwork Plus, Dayton, VA.

This week:  + 4 yards,  – 5.5 yards
This year:  + 81.5 yards,  – 103.75 yards
Net fabric destashed  in 2015:  22.25 yards

Creeping along toward my goal of destashing 50 yards this year.  Good luck on yours!

I’m linking up to Judy’s report at Patchwork Times.


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Piggy Bank Savings Challenge

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I’m joining Val from Val’s Quilting Studio again this year in her Piggy Bank Savings Money for Quilting Challenge.  The picher is ready!

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Last year I saved for Craftsy classes (haven’t bought any yet).  This year I think I’ll save for quilt shows or #Twilter (quilters on Twitter) meetups.  I had lots of fun in Kansas City, and might want to do one again.  I’ll have to be a better saver, though!  Working on a plan.  Maybe Yuri can pick up some odd jobs…

Good luck on your savings project!


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Adventures in Cuteness (a finish)

IMG_2412This week I made a quick baby quilt from a panel and it turned out awfully sweet.  There is no applique on this, it’s all printed.

2015-07-05 11.03.45picI started with this panel.  I don’t remember where it came from,  but I must have felt sorry for it and took it home.  I added two rows of patchwork (from my scrap bins) to make it wider, put a Kona Ash border around it, then bound it with a two-tone charcoal binding.

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There is an extra layer of cotton batting under the center to make it a little poofy.  I quilted on the printed lines, and added a few extra details.

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To quilt the background, I drew in bunches of leaves using my new “Leaves Galore” ruler (Sue Pelland), that I bought last month.  It’s meant for cutting leaf shapes, but I traced along the curves, moved it, and traced again to form continuous leaves that were easy to quilt.  That’s how I drew the leaves in the border, too.

IMG_2422The back is pieced from my stash.

2015-07-15 20.00.35This was fun to make.  Now it’s headed for my Etsy shop, unless I can convince someone to decorate their nursery in a woodland theme…

IMG_2423I’m linking up to Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and WIPs Be Gone at A Quilting Reader’s Garden.

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Time to Count Up

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Yes, its been a year since I joined the Second Annual Piggie Bank Savings =Money for Quilting Challenge at Val’s Quilting Studio.

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I forgot to take a photo of my finished collection of bills and change, but here is the pitcher half full.

I threw (gently placed!) change in here that I found in the dryer or around the house, and cleared my wallet of ones and change whenever it got too fat.

And the grand total is….

$76.05!

I’ll be using this “found” money to finance some Craftsy quilting classes, so let me know next time you hear of a sale, please!

For next year,  I may spend the next couple of years saving up to go on another quilt-related trip, since I enjoyed treking to the Kansas City Quilt Festival.  What will you be doing with your windfall?


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Sunday Stash Report: 7/5/15

With the finish of Blue and Gold Scrap Trellis I am back to making progress on my goal of destashing fifty yards of fabric this year. (We’re now in the second half of the year…). This quilt was great, since it came almost all from old stash and scraps, and made good use of that lovely piece of fabric for backing.

This week:  + 0 yards,  – 7.5 yards
This year:  + 77.5 yards,  – 98.25 yards
Net fabric destashed  in 2015:  20.75 yards

No sewing yesterday due to partying, so I’ll show some photos of my back yard and vegetable garden. 

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Yes, everything is really this green, we’ve had a ton of rain.  It will look a little less vibrant in August.

Have a great day, and good luck destashing!  I’m linking up to Judy’s report at Patchwork Times.


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Blue and Gold Scrap Trellis is Finished!

image Yes, I have finished it!  This is my first leaders and enders project, the little 3.5″ units pieced as I put together various other projects.  Did I like it?  Well…it did make for very neat, tailless piecing on the other tops.  I liked that a lot.  It was hard to train myself to do it religiously, and I could only go so far with it and still concentrate on the other work.  But, yes, I will do it again, with a simpler project of mindless squares. IMG_2406I made this quilt to use the backing fabric in my stash (French Country Journal by Michael Miller).  I’d been saving it for a while, and it is just too pretty to cut.  And there will always be more fabric.  So I decided to use it, and designed this quilt.  It’s inspired by a quilt in Scraps, Inc.  I haven’t seen the book, but I liked a project that Pam made, so I designed this in EQ7 to resemble a trellis.  I used all the yellow, gold,and blue 3.5″ squares in my bin, and sewed 2″ white squares to two corners to create the little lozenges. IMG_2404This was an odd shape. I bought fabric at Missouri Quilt Company for borders, but decided against them. I added another two rows at the bottom, removed the side and corner setting triangles, and substituted the floral fabric (potential border fabric).  This finishes it a bit without being heavy.  I like it.  It’s 51″ x 69″ IMG_2399I quilted it all with yellow Sulky on top and white Bottom Line on the back.  Most of it is done in an orange peel motif  [probably never again after all the terrible puns (redundant?) on Twitter!].  Those are butterflies in the centers of some of the white areas.  I would do them differently another time, but they are not  bad. IMG_2410This doesn’t have a purpose yet.  It may go into my Etsy shop, except that I really like it a lot.  But I only need so many quilts. IMG_2411Hope you had a finish this week. I’m linking up with Finish it up Friday and WIPs Be Gone.