Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


WIP Wednesday: Donation Blocks and Star Wars

Today I finished the other five D9P blocks for Kat’s August block drive.  It’s straighter than it looks, I promise.

And here are all six together.

And then I started cutting up fabric for a Star Wars baby quilt. (No, not on my goals list at all…)  I’ve rearranged the colorful “nebula” squares.  It still lacks pizazz, but I have a plan!

I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who loves Kona Solids.  I like the colors, and I really don’t have any trouble with them fraying.  I like how substantial the fabric is, especially after I’ve starched it up and it reminds me of construction paper.  So I was pleased to see Rita’s post today at Red Pepper Quilts.  Leave her a comment to win a Kona bundle, and check out Stash Fabrics “Gimme the Konas”.  Be still my heart!  I don’t like fat quarters, and the larger cuts are a little pricey, but I may just need to do some stash enhancing on my own.

Hope you’re making progress this week.


Another Chevron Finish

IMG_2136Here’s the commissioned chevron quilt in the more dramatic colors.  It quilted up pretty quickly once the backing fabric arrived.  


It’s perfect, isn’t it?  It will match the other bedding in the nursery.


I don’t know if it’s obvious in the photos, but the extra batting under the feathers does make them stand out.  It’s all quilted with Superior’s Bottom Line thread, top and bottom.  The binding is a charcoal color.


I know you’re missing Yuri in these shots, but he must have been chasing chipmunks, because he missed the whole thing.  Not like him, I know.


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



Oh My Stars: Two Finishes!

Here is the first of my two finishes from this project.  I love the fabrics and the minty green background (Kona “Mint”!).  This one has lots of crinkly texture from all the stippling.   I don’t have too many UFOs, but this one has been nagging me, and I’m glad it’s finished, and in time for Christmas.


This project came from “Oh My Stars! ( a Quilt-Along)” by Sheila of Thought and Found.  She organized this almost exactly two years ago, and she did a great job offering twelve different versions of Sawtooth Star.  I never intended to make all the very detailed versions with my large-scale Christmas fabric.  I stuck with four of the simplest, and I’m happy with the result.  Some quilters did amazing things with this pattern, though.  Check out the Flickr group to see some.


This first quilt measures 52″ x 72″.  I quilted all the blocks in the ditch, and stitched the diamond design into the plain blocks.  In the border, I quilted 8″ and 4″ Sawtooth Stars, and stippled everything else in the green background.  That was a lot of stippling, and I was glad it was finished.  The texture is great, but it’s not very original.


The backing for both quilts is a busy green print from my mom’s stash.  I had in mind all this time that it had stylized Christmas trees on it, but they’re just triangles.  Looks good, anyway.


The second version had a few problems.  I needed more Kona solid for the borders and to fill in the empty spaces.  I like the effect of the extra space in the design.  Unfortunately, when the Kona came, it was not the same color as the original.  As a sometime knitter, I know all about buying enough of a dye lot for a project,  but I hoped that Kaufmann had it down to a science.  Also, it seemed a little thinner than the original.  The difference doesn’t show much in these outdoor pictures, but under artificial light it’s pretty noticeable.  Not awful.  I did arrange it carefully, and hope it looks like a design decision.


Then I made the decision to quilt the feather border using a red, green, gold metallic thread.  I can’t blame Sulky for the problems I had with this.  This thread is really old (and I still have a spool and a half!), and seems to have sort of formed to the spool.  My machine does very well with all kinds of threads, and I did a test first and had no issues.  The thread didn’t behave too badly for the spine and first side of the feather border.  It seemed like the farther I got into the spool, the worse it got.  It stuck to itself and seemed rough in the machine.  I found that if I manually pulled off a few lengths of thread first, I could sew a few feathers, but there was still breakage.


That, and Yuri’s interest in this process, didn’t make for very smooth feathers.  I thought this might be a job for Sewer’s Aid lubricant, but my JoAnn had never heard of it.  In desperation, I took the spool to the garage and gave it a good spray with a can of silicone showing pictures of cars and boats.  Wha la!  Magic!  Sewed like a dream.  Wish I had done it when it first started acting up.


Anyway, this one is quilted all over (in Bottom Line – no problems there!) in a four-sided feather design on every twelve inch block or group of blocks.


It shows better in the empty spaces.  I really think this is a much more interesting effect, and the border turned out okay after all the drama.  This is my favorite of the two (also voted on Twitter!), and it’s staying home to be my sofa quilt this Christmas.  It’s 48″ x 72″.  Krissi really liked the first one, but I don’t think she’ll notice.


These two jokers were lots of help.  Kind of takes the “free motion” out of free motion quilting!

I’m sighing with satisfaction and linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Can I get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

cooltext whoop whoop


Design Wall Monday: Strings!


Yesterday I made forty 6″ string blocks, and I am in love with the colors.  No, I can’t tell a difference in my string baskets.  What is up with that?  but I like to sew string blocks, and I always feel I’ve created something from nothing.  I’m sashing them with Kona White, and using this nice gray and white Kaufman leaf print for the borders.  This will make a throw size, 50″ x 74″.

Are you playing with fabric today?

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


WIP Wednesday: Lots of HSTs

2013-05-14 14.43.38

I spent yesterday making HSTs from aqua and gray fabrics for this baby quilt.  The solid is Kona Azure, until I ran out, so there are also patches of a tire track print in with it.  The grays include Fairy Frost and Mirror Dot.  They do lend a little glitz and sheen.  Oddly, what appears to be the very shiny parts of the zigzags is a gray and white “bubble” or dot print, a plain cotton that’s not shiny at all.

2013-05-14 17.37.15

Observant viewers will spot two turned patches, and numerous places where I need to redistribute the blocks so that the colors don’t clump.  I went though and fixed a lot, and left it to percolate overnight before I sew it together.  The design wall is so helpful for this, and so is a camera.  I just use my phone, and sometimes don’t even snap the picture.  Just looking at it on the little screen helps me see things.  Then I see more when I upload a photo to Twitter for the Twilters to check out.  If early quilters had had camera phones there wouldn’t be nearly so many “intentional” mistakes.

(Okay, Spellcheck, I didn’t expect you to know “Twilters”, we just made that up last month.  But “quilters”?  You thought I meant “quitters”???  C’mon!  Get with the program!)


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



Kona Love

Sew Thinky


I had to link up here today because this one doesn’t require much thinking, just reacting.  The truth is that I just like COLOR, so choosing my favorite Kona Solid is tough, but I’ve narrowed to down to Ash as my favorite neutral, and Azure as my favorite “color”.  I use this in a lot of quilts.  First, the name is delicious, and, second, it looks so good with the Ash!  I almost used it to bind my current quilt, with all it’s orange, aqua, and brown, but went with a print instead.  Kona is my solid of choice, not so much because I don’t like the others, but because I started with Kona and I thought I would keep things simple.  Ha!  But I do have the color chart and I guess it is easier to keep up on just one brand.

This solid love is odd, because for the first thirty years that I quilted I used almost no solids.  Remember that in the late seventies, all quilting fabric was pretty tacky, and solid 100% cotton was almost nonexistent.  Using solids meant using cotton/polys or thin,  cheesy cottons. White seemed like the background for everything, and it was transparent, as well as boring.   Also, prints were just beginning to appear that “read” as solids, and those were cool to use.  Not that we could communicate about it much then, but I was in good company with my all-print quilts.


The fresh look of Modern Quilts finally brought me around to solids, and I was delighted to discover the great feel and opacity they have today.  A bit of solid appears in many of my quilts now.

A great place to collect colors is the solids bargain bin at Hancock’s of Paducah.  I had a great deal of fun this fall rummaging through it and pulling out a variety of colors, 1/4 yard to 3/4 yard.  So nice to touch them and see the colors in large pieces.   I need to go back.  I wonder if they stuff grab bags of them for online buyers?  If they don’t they should.

Find more solid love at Sew Thinky Thursday at Mommy’s Nap Time.

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Sunday Stash: After the Vacation

Obviously, no sewing was done in the last three weeks, so nothing was used that way.  And, yes, I did make Hancock’s of Paducah my last stop… so there’s no net use to report.

Still, these are good purchases, don’t you think?  I mostly stuck to my list, and stayed on my budget.

The lovely pile of Kona solids came from a discounted bin of remnants (they are generous about what is a remnant there!). 

The rest (mostly batiks, also from a discount table) are great neutrals and blues I need for a prospective quilt.  No regrets here.

To help the numbers a little, I decided that this would be a good time to donate some  large pieces of fabric that are neither pretty nor first-quality, and will never get used by me.  Someone else can have a stab at them.

This week:  12 yds. added, 7 yds. donated

YTD:  +114 yds., -192.5 yds.

Used 2012: 77.5 yds.

See more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times.