Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


September/October Goals 2015

PicMonkey CollageIt was a great month, goal-wise!  I don’t set ambitious goals, because things always pop up that I’m not counting on.  This month it was twenty-four Wonky Hashtag blocks I made for the #Twilter exchange, and a little Super Secret block.  Plus canning and travel and life.  But I like this list because it does focus me and prompt me to get a few things finished.  The UFO wall hanging is a case in point.  It was old (five years?) and I wasn’t interested in it at all.  But I dragged it out because it was the only goal I hadn’t achieved and I wanted a sweep.  I decided that it should be a throw-sized quilt (The Gold and Turquoise Quilt), which is good because there was a lot of fabric there.  I did fix the mistake in the top, and add a narrow border, and now I’m working on piecing a bunch of scraps into the back.

September Goals

  1.  Finish coastal wall hanging.  Yes!  All done, right here.
  2. Quilt and bind Christmas quilt.  Yes!  Here it is.
  3. Make a baby quilt from some floral scraps I’ve pulled together, probably D4P.  Yes!  This one.
  4. Work on UFO wall hanging.  Yes!  Decided to make it a quilt.  The top is finished, working on the back.

On to October!

October Goals

  1.  Piece and quilt Boxed Elephant baby quilt commission.
  2. Quilt and bind Gold and Turquoise quilt.
  3. Piece top from Twilter Hashtag blocks.
  4. Make new baby quilt with elephant scraps.
Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup!

How did you do with your goals?  Hope you’re at least getting into the sewing room when you can.  Happy Autumn!


My Design Wall Today


This is what happens when you are sewing along in the zone and don’t pay attention.  It will look much better next time you see it, when the bottom two rows are turned the other way.  And I did a nice job matching those points, too…

Just thought I’d share my process!

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


Sunday Stash Report: 9/27/15


Lots of sewing this week, but the only finish is the last dozen of the Hashtag blocks for the #Twilters exchange, for two and a half yards.  If I was misleading in the last report, I’m sorry.  We are trimming them to 12.5 inches square.  (Oh, and a tiny, super secret block that used almost nothing.)

And then one and a half yards came in, some teal with white elephants that will go out again soon in a commissioned baby quilt.

This week:  + 1.5 yards,  – 2.5 yards
This year:  + 93.25 yards,  – 127.50 yards
Net fabric destashed  in 2015:  34.25 yards

Did you see that The Quilt Show is showing a 2 hour Feather Fundamentals program for free today?  I may need to watch that!

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


The Very Large Christmas Quilt, Finished!

IMG_2455So, how large is it?  It’s 64″ by 80″ now that it’s washed.  That’s not so very large, a nice twin size, but it’s just much larger than I meant it.

IMG_2461How did it grow so large?  Lack of planning on my part, I guess, and a series of design decisions based on scale.  I used the Four Patch Star tutorial from The Missouri Star Quilt Company. I understood that it makes 16″ blocks. (I really recommend this pattern if you need to make a big quilt fast!)  I can do the math.  I’m sure I started off thinking that I would just use six of these blocks for a throw-sized quilt.  When I mocked it up in EQ7, it was clear that the stars were too large and looked way out of scale.  That was when I went to twelve of them.  It looked much better.  I don’t think I considered the border.  Or how large the repeat was in my fabric.  Anyway, it’s a lovely large quilt, and I didn’t have much trouble quilting it on my dsm.

starOne goal of this quilt was to use some of my large stash of older Christmas fabric.  It’s all pretty, and I’m down to mostly red and green traditional prints that go well together.  I cut the smallest bits into 192 two and a half inch squares for the centers (I didn’t use Jenny’s speedy method).  Chain piecing these went quickly.  Then I used the tutorial’s method for making the giant flying geese from pairs of ten inch squares that I cut from my yardage. My background fabric is two white batiks and two white Grunges.  Unlike some MSQC patterns, this didn’t result in the dreaded bias edges, and it went very quickly.

IMG_2456When it came time for the borders, I found that my (newer) fabric had a ten inch repeat.  I wouldn’t have had to use it all, but I liked it all, and, again, a more narrow border would have looked out of scale.  I really liked how all the colors worked with my stars, and how it looked like I had pieced it from several fabrics.  I still didn’t realize how large it was until I measured it for my backing.

IMG_2460The three yards of newer fabric I had for the backing didn’t come close, of course, so I dug out a lot of older pine cone fabrics and added them in.  This now has everything you could want in a Christmas quilt!

IMG_2458To quilt it, I used Orange Peel quilting in the centers and a loop design I made up for the star points.  In the white areas I used feather wreaths and sort of a feather/snowflake/loop design.  Then I spent entirely too much time quilting the borders.  I did some loops, but also outlined every holly leaf and pine tree.  Yeah.  But it looks good.

needleI had some difficulty on the star blocks where my needle did this.  The #Twilters!, especially Sally, helped me through it.  Cleaning out the lint and slowing down helped some, but it really stopped when I changed to a size 90 needle.  I sew fast and I’m sure I was pushing and pulling this large quilt and bending that poor 70 I had been using.

IMG_2464And I topped it off with red and white striped binding.  Really, what more could you want in a nice large Christmas quilt?

wpid-cooltext-whoop-whoop.png.pngI’m linking up to Finish It Up Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

1 Comment

Sunday Stash Report 9/20/15

2015-09-19 14.40.12Beautiful sewing weather here!  This week I finished The Very Large Christmas Quilt, but I don’t have good photos yet, so all you can see is the binding.  Looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it?  All 300+ inches of it!  No, the binding went fast.  Machine binding is one of my favorite parts.  The quilt was heavy and unwieldy to quilt, but it used ten and a half yards of fabric, including a lot of old pine cone and Christmas fabric, as well as some new pretty yardage.

This week:  + 0 yards,  – 10.5 yards
This year:  + 91.75 yards,  – 135.50 yards
Net fabric destashed  in 2015:  43.75 yards

Fifty yards looks like a piece of cake now, doesn’t it?  Could I do one hundred?  Hmm.

Hope you’re doing well with your stash!  I’m linking up to Judy’s report at Patchwork Times.


Sunday Stash Report, etc.: 9/13/15

The weather changed abruptly here this week, and today is a cool, crisp, sunny fall day.  Did I work outside?  No, I sewed most of the day, till my thread started shredding, and I decided that retreat was in order.  Live to fight another day, etc.

2015-09-12 15.55.45I spent the last few days making these storage cubes from bird seed bags, so no fabric was used there.  Anyone interested in a tutorial?

2015-09-13 13.24.03I did make these twelve hashtag blocks for a #Twilter swap coming up, so I used two and a half yards there.  These aren’t trimmed yet, but they’ll be twelve inches square.  I have more to make, but I’d had enough so I took a break.

And, no new fabric came in this week!

This week:  + 0 yards,  – 2.5 yards
This year:  + 91.75 yards,  – 125.00 yards
Net fabric destashed  in 2015:  33.25 yards


I appreciate everyone’s comments!  Sometimes I’m bad about replying to them.  Sometimes they don’t really seem to need an answer, since they are already an answer, and someone has to hang up the phone!  Sometimes I just don’t get to them, or I’m on the wrong device and can’t see your email.  This week I answered a bunch of nice comments, and now I don’t see most of  them in my sent box, so I have no idea which ones got through.  Sigh.  Thanks for reading, anyway!

Good luck on your destashing!  I’m linking up to Judy’s report at Patchwork Times.


Finished Baby Quilt

2015-09-07 08.27.17This quilt began with rummaging though my 6.5″ scrap bin.  I pulled together these pretty florals and semi-solids.  Some were more recent, but some were OLD and needed to go.  It is nice and square, even though it didn’t want to hang flat for the photo.

2015-09-07 08.28.22Yes, I cut the four-patches different widths.  That was a… design choice!  I kind of like it.  I was originally going to use all twelve Disappearing Four Patch blocks for the top, quilt it, bind it, and be finished.  No matter how I turned the blocks on the design wall, they looked like…well, not good.

2015-09-02 09.26.00Sashing was in order.  The #Twilters and I looked at a number of choices.  The deeper ones were appealing, but not soft for a baby quilt.  In the end, I went with a soft blue dot for sashing and a two-tone green for borders.

2015-09-07 08.27.44Quilting was lots of vines and flowers, with minimal marking.  The largel-scale quilting left it nice and soft.  I used a variegated So Fine by Superior for all the quilting.  It shows up, but echos the soft colors.

2015-09-07 08.29.15A special thank you to my photography asisstant, Yuri.

2015-09-07 08.30.34This is headed for Project Linus.

Linking to Michelle’s Let’s Make Baby Quilts and Free Motion Maverics at  Lizzie Lenard’s.

Baby quilts

1 Comment

Sunday Stash Report: 9/06/15


Got a couple of things finished this week, and no new fabric came in!  I used three and a half yards for this baby quilt (currently in the dryer, more pictures later), and about half a yard for the PEI wall quilt.


This week:  + 0 yards,  – 4 yards
This year:  + 91.75 yards,  – 123.25 yards
Net fabric destashed  in 2015:  31.5 yards

So, creeping along toward my goal of 50 yards for this year.  How are you doing?

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


Prince Edward Island Art Quilt

IMG_2441Early this week I finished the little art quilt I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and working on sporadically for the last few months.  This was taken from a photo I took of traps (lobster?  crab?)  on P.E.I.  when we visited a few years ago.

QA1012I used a photo-transfer process from an article by Liz Kettle in Quilting Arts, Issue 48.  It involved making an ink jet print on water-soluble stabilizer (Paper Solvy by Sulky) and transfering it to the fabric (Kona Snow) using matte gel medium.

2015-07-26 10.30.17The process was messy and didn’t go flawlessly, as you can see in this picture.  It is forgiving, though, and I was able to straighten out and adhere most of the image, and to wash off the remaining paper.  Next time, I would apply medium to the fabric only, not the print.  For the bits that were missing, I worked back into it with fabric markers.  I have a print-making background, and was excited about the transfer process. I did find myself wondering what was the advantage of this method over simply printing on ink jet fabric.  Do you have any thoughts on this?

2015-08-27 16.01.23IMG_2442I used a number of variegated and solid threads to add dimension and definition, especially to the traps, which had gotten a little muddy.  I liked the random effect of the variegated So Fine from Superior.  I did not like that when I shaded in the side of a white float, it became flat from the close stitching.  I have a lot to learn about working with thread.

IMG_2444I’m very happy with the fabrics I found to use for the borders and the way I quilted them.  You can see it better from the back.

IMG_2440I think this was pretty successful.  It has some personal meaning to me, so I may keep it and make another version to sell.  We’ll see.

I’m linking up to WIPs Be Gone at A Quilting Reader’s Garden.


That’s No Moon!

2015-08-26 11.22.23 pmA long time ago… no, I won’t go there.  But this is the saga of the baby quilt commission that occupied a lot of August for me.

2015-08-26 11.19.20The order was fine.  It took a number of emails back and forth to work out the design and fabrics, but that was no problem.  Neither was the construction.  I had made the basic design three times before, so all went well.  Then I washed it.

wpid-2015-08-19-11.14.20.jpg.jpegI always prewash my fabrics, with Color Catchers.  I always wash the finished quilts with Color Catchers.  I so seldom have a bleed…  I checked the front to be sure that all my Crayola Washable markings had come out.  I forgot to check the back, and I dried it.  Big mistake.

I tried Shout and two different approaches with Oxi Clean.  I never made it to the blue Dawn, because the Oxi took all the color out of my silver light saber.  Sigh.  I’m ready to do the bleach-on-a-Qtip thing before donating it, but I’m just leaving it sit for a while.  Sigh.

2015-08-26 11.21.05So, I remade it with different blue fabric, different silvery fabric, and no blue ink jet ink on the applique sheet.  Whatever it was, it didn’t happen this time.  And the finished quilt has reached it’s destination.  Whew.

2015-08-26 11.19.54I will say that my quilting improved on this last one (#5 of this design!).  And I like how the trimmings of the chevron backing fabric made a striped binding.

2015-08-26 11.21.59Anyway, stay safe out there, and watch your backs.