Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


WIP Wednesday: I Won!


I’ll show you a little bit of new sewing in a minute, but first I have news to share.  My “North Dakota Landscape” won the judges choice in mini-quilts in the Holiday Memories Mini-Quilt Competition over at Celtic Thistle Stitches!  I’m so excited.  This is the first year for this contest (thank you, Fiona!), so there weren’t a huge number of entries, but go over and take a look.  They are really great entries, with diverse ideas for portraying vacations from all over the world.  So I am honored to win.  AND…I won a batch of Oakshot Cottons, which was exactly the prize for which I was hoping.  Thank you to everyone who advised and encouraged me in one of the few landscape quilts I’ve ever done.


I paper-pieced this little tree  (please hum carols- so far all I’ve gotten is a Halloween carol!).  I think it turned out beautifully, but I am not making another anytime soon.  I like to sew big patches together.  This was a pain.


I cut and sewed a bunch of triangles together for Step 2 of the Scrapitude Mystery Quilt over at Quilting for the Rest of us.  These are only part of that, but I did finish the step.  I found that I used a lot of a few medium and dark fabrics for this particular size, instead of being really scrappy.  I hope that doesn’t mess me up.


And I’ve been working away at the garden: harvesting, pulling, replanting, mulching.  At the risk of jinxing it, we’ve been having beautiful fall weather.  I hope you have, too.

And I hope you’ve been playing with fabric.


I’m linking up WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


WIP Wednesday



Happy May!  I’ve begun a scrap quilt to have ready for donation (my pink and gray one went to West, TX, #19 here).  I started with this beautiful piece of Japanese (I think) dobby weave fabric in blue, navy, and taupe, with a silver thread.  While this was not a scrap (half yard), it is a piece I have had a long time without being able to use.  I wouldn’t exactly call it loosely woven, but the dobby texture makes it stretch like crazy.  I tried starch, but it didn’t seem to help.  It really stretched too much to fussy cut the pieces one by one, so lined everything up the best I could and cut it into 6 1/2″ strips, and then 6 1/2″ squares after some more adjustment.  Cutting four layers actually seemed to help the fabric stick to itself and cut better.  Also, it helped when I used my revolving cutting board.  I can’t think what that’s called- the one like a lazy susan.


I pulled blue, cream, and orange scraps in 2 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ squares to sew into 6″ blocks to alternate with the textured fabric.  I like the way the shading in this fabric makes it look like tubes.


Here are a couple layouts with the blocks I’ve made so far.  Do you like one better than the other?




The Project Hope quilt is progressing.  I’ve cut and fused fabrics to the background, and I’m waiting for the mood to strike me to shade them with pens and thread.  Today I just wanted to sew stuff together.

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

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WIP Wednesday: Joining together


Well, my Work in Progress isn’t nearly as important as this lady’s.  She’s taken up residence in the dogwood outside my studio window.  Guess there aren’t eggs yet, because she comes and goes a lot.  Opening the window for a photo didn’t bother her.  Pulling down the window shades did!


I’m finished with all the quilting I can do on both halves of the queen Nicey Jane quilt.  Now it’s time for the big join.  I’ve done this different ways, depending on the fabric or pattern of the front and back.  This time I opened up the edges and sewed the two halves of the top together first.


After pressing that seam open, I cut through both layers of batting to make a good tight join.  I used this fusible product designed for joining batting.  The package is gone, so I have no idea of the brand, but it works well.  It’s a little pricey, so I only use it for this application, where it’s really convenient.

Next, I’ll whip stitch the backing together with water-soluble thread (guess I could use regular thread if I wanted to slow down and be carefull…), and it will be ready to go back on the machine to finish quilting the center, over the join.  I’ve had lots of comments on the pretty colors, and they have made this a joy to work on.  Can’t wait to see it on my bed!


Meanwhile, on my design wall, I’m playing around with some batiks (tag says only: “Aruba/Barbados”) to use in my contribution to the Project Hope Online Quilt Show.  This is being sponsored by Sandi (Quilt Cabana) and Sandy (Quilting for the Rest of Us), as we work through our feelings about Boston, et al.  Go to their blogs for details, and I hope there’s lots of participation.


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


WIP Wednesday: Spring Hangings, take II


Monday I cut, sewed (not really pieced), and sandwiched two 12″ x 24″ spring wall hangings for my Etsy shop.  Yesterday I quilted them, trying to make the designs I’d drawn on the spring prints pop by surrounding them with dense quilting.  This so did not work.  I practiced some new filler stitches, so it wasn’t a complete waste of thread and time, but one is a wadder for sure.  (Do quilters use the term “wadder”, as in wad it up and throw it away?  I think I picked that up from Carolyn at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic.  She sew garments, but you haven’t seen stash till you’ve seen her stash!)  I know, we so seldom throw anything away, reusing blocks and pieces, but this is a heavily quilted little thing.  I might save a little of the border fabric, but then it’s going out.


The other one I worked on with a green permanent marker (Bic Markit in key lime-  anyone have any experience with these?).  I may finish it.   We’ll see.


So, yesterday I fused and appliqued shapes to new backgrounds and am starting the process over again, in a different direction.  Wish me luck.  The Wonder Under already fought with me yesterday.  I am not in a very springy mood!


I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Maybe I’ll feel better after I see what everyone else is working on!


WIP Wednesday: Pink and Gray Donation Quilt



This quilt was started in January, I think, inspired by Jaye’s donation blocks at Artquiltmaker.  It is on my March Getting It Done list, so I dug the blocks out this week and set them together.  The solid blocks are Kona Ash and a gray batik.


Quilting all the diagonal lines through the 2 1/2″ squares was a bit tedious, but the free motion flowers and leaves went quickly and were lots of fun.  The thread is Sulky variegated pink rayon, 943.


Now for labeling and binding!

What are you working on?

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

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WIP Wednesday: Quilting Sultry



Feels like I’ve been quilting this “Sultry” fabric quilt all week.  I like the look of straight line quilting, but it takes forever.  This seems even longer, because I thought I was finished with the lines, and then I added more.  Like, double.  I had a grid quilted that was twice as large, but kept comparing it with the way I want to quilt the borders, fairly densely, and there was a big discrepancy.  I think fairly even quilting is a good thing, where possible.  This will not be equally dense, but at least there will be twice as much as there was.  If I ever finish.

What are you working on?

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


WIP Wednesday: Lightening it up with heavy quilting

Urbana-20130306-00698This is the view from my studio today.  The dogwood is really stacked with snow.


I’m almost finished quilting this donation quilt.  I have 2 1/2 sides of borders to finish.  I’m quilting it fairly heavily using Superior’s Brytes 30 wt. thread in “Atlantic” (1133).  It’s always a little intimidating to use a heavy, shiny, contrasting thread, since every little bauble shows.  I just have to get over myself.  Galloping horse, you know, watching The Waltons.  I am sure it will all scrunch together beautifully.  I do think the thread is brightening up these dark fabrics and picking up the aquas.


The stitching 1/4″ from the seams is done with the walking foot.  All the lines in the squares and on the border are free motion.  Some freer than others.  Hmmm.  But pretty good.


Thinking about binding, which I hope to get to today.  On the other hand, my DH has the driveway clear and is making noises about going out for lunch.  We’ll see.

Thanks to Heather at Based On A True Story for showing a picture of my QOV in her post today and linking to me.  That was a fun to surprise to see.

What are you working on?


Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


WIP Wednesday 2/27/13


Low volume, schmo volume!  I’m excited to be diving into rich colors again!  I’m putting together another quick donation quilt for the east coast.  Luanna posted this update yesterday on quilt distribution to Sandy victims, and I realized how many people are still without heat or their own homes.  I already sent one, but sitting here warm and dry with all this stash makes me feel that sending one more wouldn’t hurt.


Knowing your stash really helps.  I could visualize most of the fabrics I wanted to use for this.  I have so much floral, not really sure why, so lots of things turn out very feminine.  I wanted to make this deeper, suitable for anyone, though I didn’t completely avoid florals.  I really did dive in to choose, cut, and stitch these blocks without over thinking them, and I’ve really enjoyed working with these great prints and colors.  I know the blocks merge a bit and are rather dark.  I think the quilting I want to do in turquoise thread and the light brown border will lighten it up a bit.  Yes, it’s exactly like my Quilt of Valor and Quilt for Husband, but with these colors it will really look different, and that large orange and aqua floral couldn’t be cut up any smaller, could it?  Nope.


Are you playing with your fabric?


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



WIP Wednesday, and a Special Quilt for a Special Little Girl


I’m turning down the volume again with these Disappearing Four Patch blocks.


I really like this little girl w umbrella print, and like the way this is coming out.

Quilts for Urbana 027

A while ago I sewed together a baby quilt for no real reason, except that I had some favorite fabrics I wanted to try out together.

Quilts for Urbana 030

I thought this aqua and lavender print with the sleeping moons was precious.  Also, I had some strings in coordinating colors, and I had never tried string piecing.  I put these two ideas together, added a fun border, quilted it up with moons and stars, and finished it off with blanket binding.  I personally was in love, but no one else seemed to feel it.  It sat around my Etsy and Artfire shops for some months.

Then J, an expectant mom, spotted it, totally loved it, and added it to her favorites in hopes of getting it for her shower.  She showed me her nursery border paper and it matched perfectly.

Pillow case 500

She also requested a matching pillow case, and I was pleasantly surprised I had enough of the moon fabric for the cuff.  Soon after, her mom quietly bought both items.  I went on vacation for the month, and while I was away, the shower was postponed because J went on bed rest.  Little One was born two months prematurely,  weighing only a little over three pounds.   J messaged me pictures on Facebook, never mentioning the quilt.  After a while I realized that she didn’t have the quilt at the hospital, and probably didn’t even know it had been purchased for her.  The hope was that Little One would be home for Christmas, but she didn’t get there until December 28.  Then J let me know that her mom had surprised her with the quilt, and that she loved it even more in real life than from the photos.  Just last week she posted the “going home” photo on my Facebook page showing L.O. and her quilt.  Wasn’t that thoughtful of her?

Now I know why I made the Moon and Stars quilt, and I will always picture it with this little miracle baby.   Thank you, J, for sharing Little One with me.  Aren’t quilts wonderful?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


WIP Wednesday: 2/6/13



I made a lot of progress on this quilt yesterday, quilting scads of feathers in all the gray areas.  Started out poorly, with funky feathers I had to rip out, but then I began to feel them, and they took shape for me.  The only trouble with that was that I got so lost in making them that I lost track of the alternating directions I was trying to do.  I don’t think it’s very noticeable, and I love the effect.


Now time to trim and bind. I’m using the darkest floral for binding.

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