WIP Pick and Mix

Over the weekend, I laid out all 80 squares for my king size Pick and Mix. 

It took about 2 hours, and I still wasn’t satisfied with the final block arrangement. The values of some blocks that were next to each other weren’t working for me.

I number each row and square.  For example; Row 1/1, 1/2 and so on. I will lay it back out again and move the blocks around until it works.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the New Quilter’s Blog Hop which I will be participating in. My post will be Wednesday, June 4, as well as some of the other new bloggers. The hop continues into July, and I will post links to other blogs so you can read about their experiences too. 

Thank to Plum and June http://plumandjune.blogspot.com/for organizing and sponsoring this blog hop.

And, I’m linking this WIP Wednesdays with Freshly Pieced, http://www.freshlypieced.com/2014/06/wip-wednesday-with-guest-host-lucy-from.html

Machine Quilting, Hand Quilting and WIP’s

I learned how to hand quilt before I learned how to machine quilt. Actually I enjoy both. But today I am going to focus on hand quilting.  One reason is that I can share this WIP with you today, which I am so excited about. It is a single size bed quilt, that I am hand quilting. That bottom row is almost finished. Then the edges. Sew up the binding, and it will be finished!!

This pattern is Attic Windows, and the pattern was published in 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts, by Judy Hopkins and Nancy J. Martin. Bothell, WA., Martingale Company, 1998, pp. 37-38.

It is almost finished.  I hand quilt the edges using this half circle hoop. It is great for hand quilting the edges and the corners. 

I always have one hand quilting project in my WIP projects. Even if it’s a king size quilt. (Not kidding I’ve done one before, and after this I am going to do another king). 

Doing hand work, is very relaxing and very Zen for me. It’s great to pick up when I’m waiting for a repair person to show up, or I don’t have enough time between two activities to start sewing on the sewing machine. I love to have some hand work to do at night when my husband and I are watching TV.

AND, in my bee, we only do hand work, which does not mean just quilting and hand applique. Some members bring crochet and knitting. We meet in a church basement every other week, and it would not be easy to bring a sewing machine down the narrow stairs, and all the stuff we need to work on, when piecing or machine quilting.

The really interesting part of this story is; halfway through this quilt I was introduced to the Prescencia Thread line. Pepper Cory http://peppercory.blogspot.com/, http://www.peppercory.com/,swears by this thread, and encouraged me to try it on this quilt.

I was already halfway finished with another brand’s neutral color. The color shades are slightly different, but I decided to try it, and ended up changing to the Prescencia hand quilting #40 thread anyway.

Here’s why;

1. The thread moves so smoothly through the quilt. It glides like skates on really smooth ice, through the three layers. I can do 4-5 stitches at a time.

2. The thread is really durable.

3. I looked at some of my other quilts that are hand quilted.  They have been used, washed and dried in home machines, but the color of the thread has faded over time. I know Presencia doesn’t fade. 

I learned about this when I interviewed Jim and Tom Collingham from Colonial Needle, and they showed me a minor’s jacket with the Ralph Lauren logo on it, which are made using Prescencia threads. The jacket was washed over 50 times and bleached. It is still the same bright color. http://www.hudsonvalleyquilts.com/2014/01/a-visit-to-colonial-needle-in-white.html

BTW – I am not being paid to write about this. I’m just passing this on because it’s a relatively new discovery for me, and I love this product. While looking at this quilt that’s in the home stretch, I am awestruck by the color of this thread next to the other thread. I am so happy with it, and am excited to share a great new quilting product.

Can you tell the difference between them?


Feel free to guess which is the Presencia.  When I post next Thursday, I will tell you which one it is. I am not revealing the manufacturer of the other thread, because this is a positive blog. They make a good product. And, I am not interested in negativity.

On another note, I did finish all 80 blocks for my Pick & Mix quilt over the weekend – goal accomplished!!

These are just a few….

Linking up with Freshly Pieced!

Once again, I want to wish everyone a very happy Memorial Day.
I am sending out special prayers, and many “thank you’s” to all those who have served, and are serving our country, and their families. You all do so much for us in so many ways.

WIP – Pick and Mix Quilt

I finished 50 out of 80 blocks for my Pick and Mix Quilt. (Design by Angela Davies). Not all 50 are shown here. The flannel that’s underneath the squares isn’t big enough to hold all the blocks for a king size quilt. 

Eight rows by nine rows of blocks. Then the corner blocks and triangles from Fat squares along the boarders. After that a double row boarder. 

My goal is to have the other 30 blocks finished by the end of Memorial Day Weekend. I am pretty sure that won’t be a problem.

I am adding in some new fabrics as you can see. I am happy with it, but feel it needs a little more variety and some pop. Just a bit, because I envisioned it to be very scrappy.


So I did break my fabric and diet, and purchased a few more fat quarters from https://www.etsy.com/shop/sewmeasong. Thank Becca, for getting these mailed out to me so quickly.

BTW – I will be interviewing Becca in June about her Etsy shop.

I am really excited to see the top finished, and can’t wait to see the top finished.

On that note, I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday weekend. 
I am sending out special prayers, and many “thank you’s” to all those who have served, and are serving our country, and their families. You all do so much for us in so many ways.


Work in Progress – I Found Gold in My Stash

Besides blogging, I have been doing a lot of sewing. I have three WIP’s. Two of them are King size quilts, and one is a single size quilt. 

I am going to share just one today, because it ties in with a new challenge I just began, which is “going on a fabric diet.” 

And here’s the story; I began this quilt, called Pick and Mix, designed by Angela Davies. I am using 1930’s reproduction fabrics, and purchased a jelly roll. The pattern is for a 58″ x 85″ quilt. That comes out to 39 blocks, that are 8″ squares. It also has a 5″ border. That said, I need to make 72-80 blocks for it to be the size I want. I am also planning to incorporate a few of those blocks in the back. These are the some of the 30 I finished.

I was feeling a little repetitious with the same fabrics, and was considering purchasing one more jelly roll from a different manufacturer to provide me with more options. 

That’s when I looked at a lot of photos of quilts made with 1930’s reproduction fabrics. I put my credit card back into my wallet and scoured through my stash. 

What happened? I found at least 10 more fabrics that are perfect and stay in the style with the jelly roll and finished squares. 

Then what happened? 

There are fabrics I absolutely love and have been hanging onto for more than 10 years waiting for that “just right” project. That “just right” project is staring at me right now. 

So, here I go, and I’m really excited and happy about this outcome. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately, and cannot remember which blogger said she was going on a fabric diet. If I remember or come across it again, I will share and give her credit. At least for me, it is a fabulous idea, and well needed. 

Before this enlightening experience, I did order a custom bundle from Sew Me a Song, that Becca customed designed for me with lots of greys, and text prints. It will soon come to the door. (This reminds me of having that last piece of cake before you go on a real diet). Of course I will share when it arrives. 

So my official first day of the great fabric diet is 5/5/14. Let’s see how long I can last. Hopefully at least until fall market in Houston!!