Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


Sunday Stash Report: 10/16/2016

2016-10-13-11-08-35Yes, sewing happened!  It was just twelve string blocks for donation, but it used two and a half yards (they were on foundation fabric).

2016-10-13-11-10-14Some, um, fabric was acquired.  This collection of thirty-six half-yards of Grunge was on sale at the Fat Quarter Shop, and I needed it.  In fact, I’ve already cut up one piece for a new baby quilt…

This week:  + 18 yards,  – 2.5 yards
This year: + 104.25 yards,  – 126.25 yards
Net destashed in 2016:  22.00 yards

It’s a setback to my goal of destashing fifty yards, but think what I’ll be able to make with all these rich colors in my stash!

I’m linking up to Sunday Stash at Patchwork Times.


A Little Sewing

wp-image-932651337jpg.jpgThis week I began climbing the stairs up to my studio and sitting at the machine for half an hour or so at a time.  My knee is not pleased to be bent that long, much less push on the foot pedal, so I have to take breaks and walk around to stretch it out.

I did succeed in making a dozen 10 1/2″ string blocks for Kat’s October drive.  A good way to get back into sewing.

2016-10-13-12-22-18And yet, I can’t see any reduction in my strings…

2016-10-13-12-22-58aMy Bernina machine has been away at the spa while I was healing (getting her back today!), so I used this one instead.  This is SueAnn, a White, from the ’30s, I’m guessing?  Help me out if you know.

This is the machine on which I learned to sew.  When my parents were first married, my dad worked at the Boston Store in Erie, PA.  They took used machines on trade-in, and had a sale on treadles for, like, $10.  My mom had no machine, so she asked for one of those, but instead my dad brought home this used electric and the cabinet, which I don’t have.  All our clothes were made on this until my mom won a new machine when I was 11, and I started sewing on this one.

2016-10-09-16-25-15aI had a moment of panic when I went to thread her, but I just went ahead and let muscle memory take over, which seemed to work.  It’s not much different from a modern machine, but on the end instead of the front, and the bobbin and needle are turned sideways as well.

2016-10-11-12-22-33I have put the feet away somewhere, a very safe place, Jaye suggests, and I still can’t find them.  I used this walking foot, and, really, it wasn’t a bad choice for stitching the strings to a muslin background.  I like the way this machine purrs along.  In my dream studio I’d keep it set up in a cabinet.

Now I’m working on the design of that neutral Christmas quilt, and hope to do some cutting and organizing until my knee wants to sew some more!

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Sunday Stash Report: 10/2/16

Absolutely no sewing is going on here, but I was able to order fabric!  While lazing around, I conceived of a Christmas quilt using wonky stars of red and green fabric against a background of grays/neutrals (see yesterday’s post).

Other than the Grunges, this fabric was on a great sale at Fabric Shack.  The large piece has a larger print of faint green and gray snowflakes.  It’s a delicious batch of neutrals.  And I think I have a related piece of gray and cream “Glisten” (the ornaments) upstairs in the Stash.

This week:  + 9 yards,  – 0 yards
This year: + 86.25 yards,  – 123.75 yards
Net destashed in 2016:  37.50 yards

It’s in the washer now, and then I’ll be petting it for a while until it can star cutting.

How are you doing?  I’m linking up to the Stash Report at Patchwork Times.


September / October Goals

2016-09-29-10-43-59From the heat of the summer, our weather has turned suddenly chilly and rainy.  The cats tell me the best thing to do is to stay inside and take naps, so I’ve been listening to them.

It’s a little less than three weeks since my knee surgery.  It went well, and I’m now walking unaided, but the pain had been a lot worse this time, for some reason.  I’m using ice and cats.

September Goals:

  1. Take my machine to the spa.  Yes.
  2. Watch Craftsy classes.  Yes, one so far.  (Cut to It)
  3. Catch up on podcasts.  Not yet.  Soon!  Or at least get current.
  4. Heal from my right knee replacement!  Yes. Ice, cats, and physical therapy.  Ouch!


Bonus: I finished that blue and brown quilt.  

christmas-starsI bought fabric on line, then designed this Christmas quilt to make with it.  The background will be grays, not pinks.

October Goals

  1. Make string blocks for Kat’s October block drive.
  2. Start the Christmas quilt.

That’s all.  I don’t have my machine back yet, and I’m not yet climbing stairs, so I won’t be too ambitious.

Thanks to all of you who have been sewing in my stead.  Keep it up!

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Sunday Stash Report and a Finish!

IMG_2752Technically, Yuri and I didn’t finish this quilt until today, but I’m counting it on this Stash anyway.  This will be the last report I’ll write for a while, because of my knee surgery, so I want to include this.

IMG_2753This is a leaders and enders quilt that I made blocks for during the last year.  It’s very simple, two colors, because that’s about all I can handle for l and e.  I need to think about the quilt I’m doing, so this has to be fool-proof.  I have a lot of small scraps, but the main reason I do these is to eliminate starting and stopping threads in my regular piecing.  This cleans things up a lot.

IMG_2754It was fun to revisit some of the fabrics in here.  There are bits of peacock fabric from the 2008 Hoffman Challenge, and some from my nephew’s ocean-themed graduation quilt.

The quilting started with stitching in the ditch next to all the sashing using blue Bottom Line, so it’s nearly invisible.  Then I used a gold and blue variegated So Fine (Superior) 40 wt. thread for all the other quilting.  I used orange peel quilting on half the blocks, and free-hand spirals in the alternate blocks.  The border has a series of wavy lines.  I started that with the walking foot, but quickly switched back to free-motion quilting because it was much easier than turning the quilt for the walking foot, and, with the echo foot, seemed just as accurate.

IMG_2755.JPGThis quilt is 62″ x 84″ (or it was before washing!).  It used about 9.25 yards of fabric.

This week:  + 0 yards,  – 9.25 yards
This year: + 77.25 yards,  – 123.75 yards
Net destashed in 2016:  46.50 yards

IMG_2757We’re linking up to the Stash Report at Patchwork Times.


August/ September Goals

PicMonkey Collage 9-1-16September is suddenly here, so it’s time to check the goals.

August Goals:

  1. Hang the darned picture already!  Yes!  Done!
  2. Coastal-themed art quilt.  Nope.
  3. Piece top to Birds in the Air quilt.  Yes, and quilted and bound!  Here.
  4. Make autumn themed wall hangings / table runners. Yes, three.
  5. Make blocks for Kat’s August drive.  Yes, eight.

Bonus:  Assembled Blue and Brown Leaders and Enders top and made a lot of quilting progress.

2016-09-01 10.38.34

I finally just went up and hung that picture because I was too embarrassed to put it on the list one more time!  The photograph I hung is of my great, great Aunt Maggie.  She was Maggie Jane McMillen Mills (1864 -1916).  She was a seamstress, along with her sister Francie, and I have always wanted her to watch over my studio.  She made the dress she is wearing, which I wish you could see better, because it’s very elaborate in the front.  This very heavy portrait is behind curved glass, and I found it almost impossible to photograph, try as I might. The background is completely plain, everything you see is reflection. The background was tinted a rose tone, as were her lips.  I think some of the dress details were drawn in to help them show up against the dark dress.

2016-09-01 10.51.432016-09-01 10.53.11Anyway, Aunt Maggie is finally in her spot, and that corner behind the door has been cleaned up!




September Goals:

  1. Take my machine to the spa.
  2. Watch Craftsy classes.
  3. Catch up on podcasts.
  4. Heal from my right knee replacement!


Yes, light duty for September.  You’ll have to sew for me, please!

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Sunday Stash Report: 8/28/16

IMG_2745My only finish this week was Birds in the Air, but I didn’t buy any new fabric!  Thank you for the positive comments!  I can’t count most of the front, because the blocks came from other people’s stashes, but the back, solid blocks, and binding uses about 4.5 yards.

This week:  + 0 yards,  – 4.5 yards
This year: + 77.25 yards,  – 114.5 yards
Net destashed in 2016:  37.25 yards

I’m creeping up on fifty yards!

Jaye asked if I really found joy in the things I was making, like the leaf wall hangings, or if I did it to use fabric.  Yes, there’s always joy, or I wouldn’t do it.  I just report the fabric usage on Sundays.

I relish handling fabric and playing with color.  Sometimes a project begins with a need (in this case, a hole in my Etsy shop), or a desire to use a particular category of scraps, but it always ends up as a challenge to make something as beautiful as I can.  In the case of the wall hangings, I wanted to do them quickly so I used a single, previous design.  All the same, I’m very pleased with the fabrics I put together and thoroughly enjoyed the quick project and its results.

I also keep in mind Sandy’s injunction against ugly donation quilts.  Yes, I often use fabrics that haven’t found a home in previous projects, but I hope I do something attractive with them.  I never want to give someone a quilt that looks like Yuri’s breakfast.

And I want to continue to use as much as possible from my stash, so that I’ll feel good about replacing some of it with fresh, new fabrics!

I’m linking up to Sunday Stash at Patchwork Times.