Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


String Finish on the Snow

IMG_2572This week I put this together this little string quilt.  Nope, still can’t tell any difference in my string baskets, but it did use a big pile of them.

IMG_2574I quilted it with five rows of feathers in white Bottom Line.

IMG_2573The back is the last of this alphabet print.


I think it’s a sweet little quilt.

What are you working on?


Chevron Strings Finished


Late last week I finished up my baby-sized string quilt.  Then one day I dashed out between the snow and the sleet to take a few pictures.

Sherbet Strings

The blocks are 9 inches, pieced on paper.  The sherbet colors are all strings from my bins, but the cream floral was yardage.  It was a good use for  an older piece of fabric, and I had just enough.


This was inspired by the batik backing I had left over from Disappearing Pinwheels.


I stitched between all the blocks with the walking foot.  Then I flipped it over and quilted all the dragonflies, using white Sulky rayon in the bobbin. (Well, I skipped the side-view dragonflies, because I found they didn’t look like anything identifiable from the front.)  The Sulky isn’t very heavy, so the design on the front is subtle, but I like it that way.  It’s there if you look for it.


I used a green with a variegated stripe for the binding.  No new techniques this time, except for a different layout for the string blocks.

Hope you are enjoying the satisfaction of finishing things this week.

I’m linking up with TGIFF and Whoop Whoop Friday.  (Please DO NOT go over to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, because *I* want to win her great giveaway!)

tgiff-button-blogcooltext whoop whoop





This week I finished two construction-themed baby quilts (pictures coming!), and started a project making throw pillow covers from a vintage tablecloth.  That stalled because I didn’t have the fabric I wanted for the backs, so I ordered some (sorry, Stash!).  While waiting for that, I started some string blocks using the trimmings of dragonfly batik from the back of the Pinwheels.  Yes, some of the pansy fabric got in there, too.  This will be another baby quilt, with the blocks set to make zig zags.  I have enough of the batik left for the backing, too.  Yum!

Hope your projects are progressing nicely.
I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday http://www.freshlypieced.com/2014/03/wip-wednesday-stacking-cutting-stitching.html?m=1 at Freshly Pieced.


Chevrons is Finished!

2013-12-06 11.30.53

The snow made a nice backdrop for this quilt.  I seemed to plod along on it, but it was worth it.

2013-12-06 11.29.32


50″ x 66″

Cotton prints, solids, and batiks.

Warm and white batting

Superior Bottom Line, Art Studio, and New Brites threads.


2013-12-06 11.30.02


I try to do something more or different every time with my feathers.  These have a double spine and echoing.  That really gives them some definition.

2013-12-06 11.30.28



Today we’re remembering Nelson Mandela, and the difference one person can make in the world.


Snow is falling rapidly here.  The schools are closed, so that makes this a Sew Day, doesn’t it?  Time to work on Christmas gifts.  What have you finished?

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



Two Finishes











Here are two little baby quilts I finished yesterday.  Both are aqua and gray, very popular colors.











I finally got these log cabin blocks oriented correctly.  You might have said something after Wednesday’s post, or did you think it was something artsy I was doing?  I found two to fix after that post, but I didn’t see the last block till I had it sandwiched.  Fortunately, it was in a corner, so it wasn’t too bad to un-sew and re-sew.  If you spot a problem now, please don’t tell me.




















This one with the chevrons was more of a minty aqua, and hard to photograph.  I like it, though, and I had fun doing the feathers.  I even remembered to add extra batting to the gray areas when I sandwiched it, so the feathers pop more.  The odd triangles are seersucker, and the texture is  great.


I like the flying geese backing.

These are smaller than I usually make, 30″ x 36″, which I still think is a useful size.  Usually, mine are around 36″ x 42″.  What do you think is the ideal size for a baby quilt?

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




A Finish: Midwest Modern Zig Zags

I just mailed off this new quilt to Timeless Treasures to be part of the Luanna Rubin’s 5000 Quilt Challenge for Hurricane Sandy relief.  It finished 70″ x 86″, which is about as large as I like to quilt on my home machine.  For larger ones, I usually quilt in two pieces, join, then quilt the joined area.

This is a very different color palette for me, mainly inspired by spotting the large amount of Amy Butler fabric in my stash and finding I could easily pull enough coordinates to go with it.  My donation blocks were bright and cheerful;  here I went with soothing.  The whole thing has a feeling of butterscotch about it.  I hope it warms and soothes someone in need.

I pieced the top in one day, but the quilting took about 12 hours, which I spread over several days because it was a little hard on my shoulders and back.

I started quilting but using the walking foot to quilt a stabilizing grid of lines between all the blocks.  For this, I rolled the quilt to fit under the machine.  To support this long sausage, I assembled several surfaces.  The white is my machine cabinet; the brown is the wooden cabinet that always backs up against the machine cabinet;  the silver is my ironing board, lowered to line up; and the white table is a narrow folding table.  This table was new this spring for the graduation party, and this is the first time I used it in the sewing studio.  It was the perfect size for my cramped quarters.

For the straight lines in the chevrons (are “zig zag” and “chevron” completely interchangeable?) I used the walking foot, where I would usually free motion them.  However, the large size made it possible to use the walking foot, and I know it made my lines a lot straighter (notice I didn’t have to come on Twitter to beg you to chant about crinkling for me).  This was the least fun and most time-consuming part.  Shoulder tiring.  I found that moving the white table around to the left side of the machine gave me the support I needed for this step.

Finally I got to my favorite:  free-motion feathers.  I know I’m in a little bit of a rut with these, though I am stretching and doing different things with them sometimes.  When I get stuck on something like this, I often just go with it until I get them out of my system.  Or get good at them.  Or sick of them.  So far I am getting pretty good at them, though I find that some days I can form feathers and some days I really can’t.  More and more I can.  And, as Kati R. said, I may just make them forever.  So versatile and traditional, but I like the contrast for modern things, too.

For the feathers, I used the flatten and smash technique (is that right?  Leah Day?).  I used the stitch regulator on my machine, but I’m alright without it, too.  I just marked the spines (which I quilted before I took off the walking foot) and went for it.  I’m pretty happy with them.  There’s some glitches and size variation, but I won’t point those out to you.  I think it washed up beautifully.

I bound it with the coordinating stripe, which is wavy, giving the binding an interesting slanted look in places.  It’s all machine bound.

This all came from stash, front and back.  I enjoyed it, and I hope it comforts someone.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Sunday Stash: Meeting My Goal

Yaaah!  I did it!  I’m in at over 100 yards of net stash reduction, and it’s not even Dec. 31!  I suppose the numbers could change between now and the end of the year, but I’m pretty sure I’m good for the 100 yds.  What did it this week was today’s finish of a twin size quilt to send to Sandy survivors through Luana Rubin’s 5000 Quilt Challenge.  I used large pieces to show off a large scale print, and, in spite of being a pretty quick quilt to get mailed right away, it has received some nice comments.  I’ll do a post on it tomorrow.  The sun is not currently cooperating for good photos.

Next week you won’t hear from me.  Our family aways travels to spend Thanksgiving with relatives, so there will be no posts, and definitely no stash reduction, so it’s good that I met my goal now.

This week:  o yds. added, 15.5 yds. used

YTD:  114 yds. added 218.5 yds. used

Net used in 2012:  104.5 yds!!!!

How are you doing on your goals?

See more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times.


A Finished Top

Here’s the finished top on my bed (no walls large enough).  Actually, it looks pretty good in my room… No, this is headed to the east coast.

I always feel finished when the top is done, and then  remember that I have to piece a giant back.  And the batting.  Ah, well.  Back to it.

Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


Finish It Up Friday

The Red and Gray Zig Zags is finished!  I’m very happy with it.  I thought it would be quicker, but I kept adding more quilting, and that’s usually a good thing.

This quilt started from this intriguing but odd piece of fabric (“stash dog”).  “Germania” by Jay McCarroll.  I loved it when I bought it, on sale, I’m sure, but it never worked with anything and never made any sense to me.  Finally, decided to cut it up and put it with various luscious grays.  This gave it depth without being any more busy than it already was.

I usually make my HSTs by cutting squares 7/8″ larger than the finished side, placing right sides together, drawing a diagonal line down the center, then sewing 1/4″ inch from the marked line on both sides.  I rarely trim them, as they are usually very accurate, and these were just fine.

I pressed them open, which I think helps a lot with preventing stretching, and I think it helped in matching these particular seams.

Lot of them, though.  Except, remember, that I had cut them all wrong at the beginning.  So I adjusted the block sizes to 3 1/2″ finished.  Didn’t really know what size that would be on the finished quilt, because I misfiled or failed to save my design on EQ7.  The quilt washed up at 48″ x 61″, which is okay for a throw.  A little longer would have been nice.

Our “crinkle” chants worked pretty well, and the straight line quilting is presentable.  I really like my free-motion feather border.  This is the first time I made a double spine, and also outlined the feathers on the outside.  The stippling next to them makes them pop a little.

The binding is the last of the red fabric with a little Kona “Lagoon” and “Rich Red”  thrown in to extend it.  The batting is Warm and White.   The back is pieced with 12″ squares of grays and three blocks made from scraps with pops of red.  I think it has just enough quilting, and I’m in love with the crinkly grayness of it.  A good finish.

I’m linking up to Finish It Up Friday on Crazy Mom Quilts and to Owen’s Olivia.