Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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July and August Goals

Wow, almost August already!  Those of you who are teachers (and parents!), there will come a time when August is no longer a frantic countdown to school, but opens up as a pleasant time for sewing, travel, and deck-sitting, I promise!  We are doing a little traveling, a little entertaining, and helping return DS to college, so my goals are modest, but I will enjoy the month.

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July Goals

1.  Finish the blue and gold quilt.  Yes, this one!  Really like how it turned out.

2.  Attempt a photo transfer technique for a Coastal wall hanging.  Yes.  First attempt is pictured.  We’ll see.

3.  Get another leaders and enders project organized so that it is available when I’m piecing.  Yes!  And, see, I wrote a note, because it will be months till this is done and I have no memory.

4.  Make a baby quilt from an animal panel I purchased.  Yep, right here!

Yes, I made these goals!  And this bonus quilt for donation/stash reduction.

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August Goals

1.  Complete coastal wall hanging.

2.  Work on UFO geometric wall hanging.

3.  Make a top from my new Christmas fabrics.  Looking at these tutorials:  Four-Patch Stars  and Big Star Quilt  from Missouri Star.

4.  Source little zippers for earbud pouches.

How did you do on your goals this month?  Eh, it’s summer!  Cooler, more productive days are around the corner.  Enjoy!


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Sunday Stash Report: 7/26/15

IMG_2427This rail fence quilt used 7.5 yards, and I didn’t buy any new fabric.

This week:  + 0 yards,  – 7.5 yards
This year:  + 81.5 yards,  – 111.25 yards
Net fabric destashed  in 2015:  29.75 yards

How did you do this week?

I’m linking up to Judy’s Report at Patchwork Times.


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Rail Fence and Ribbon Candy

IMG_2424Today I finished this quilt, destined for donation.

IMG_2428I made it to use this backing, which I like a lot but for which I have never found a use.  I also wanted it to be in “boys” colors, since I have plenty of florals to donate.

IMG_2425I quilted it with wavy lines, but I didn’t think they were enough, so I added these flowing lines between each set of vertical waves.  I knew they had a name, and my friends supplied it:  ribbon candy!  Even more fun than quilting them.  I used Superior’s So Fine thread in a variegated light green.

IMG_2427There are two different blocks, one with three patches, and one with four,  just because I wanted to mix it up a bit.  I still think that has potential, though it isn’t great here.  Doing this again, I would use the same fabrics (yum!), but mix up the values more.

I still like it, and I hope the recipient will, too.


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Thoughts on Sandwiching

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I just spent ten minutes basting my newest quilt, and, as always, I gave thanks to the inventor of spray adhesive.  Without it, I wouldn’t be making many quilts.  My back just won’t take leaning over a table, never mind a floor, for the time it takes to pin baste a quilt.  I have jars of the right kind of pins, but haven’t used them in years.

I know some people can’t use spray baste because of allergies, and I’m really sorry.  If you just don’t care for the smell or residue, I have some suggestions.

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I’ve tried three or four brands, but my favorite is June Tailor.  Its cheap (50% off at JoAnn at the moment!), it has less odor than some, and its not as sticky.  It doesn’t gum up my machine needles, which I hate.

The other important thing is that I don’t use much.  Lately, I’ve read bloggers talk about using a whole can for one quilt, or for three.  I think that’s craziness!  I can’t tell you how many quilts one can will baste if used lightly, because I use one for so long I lose track.  My guess is fifteen to twenty.  I shake well, then make a single light, zig zaggy pass over the backing or the batting.  That’s all it takes, and I don’t have problems with shifting.  Today when I picked up my can, it was very light and I wondered if I had enough.  Yep.  Can probably do the next quilt, too.

Also, I don’t handle it a lot.  I’ve read about basting, then turning the sandwich over to smooth the back.  I don’t understand why that’s necessary at all.  I tape the backing down to the table (floor), putting it under a little tension, so there are no wrinkles.  I spread out the batting, pull half of it back, spray the backing with spray baste, smooth the batting back down, do the other half.  Then I carefully arrange the top over the batting.  I pull half of it back, spray the batting, pat, not smooth, the top into place, then do the other half.  Then I remove the tape from the back, and consider where I will be starting the quilting.  I won’t have another place to spread it out like this again, so I use the opportunity to roll it up from each end.  Then I carry the “sausage” up to my studio and lay it on the sewing table.

And, I love my ping pong table!  I know a lot of you work in very small and/or crowded conditions, and my hat is off to you that you get anything made.  My knees and back are long past getting down on the floor for any length of time.  If I didn’t have my table, I guess I would cultivate a relationship with a community center, Y, church, etc., and push some of their tables together.  But you can often get a used ping pong table at a garage sale, and they fold and stand upright, so you can keep it in the garage and open it in the driveway when you need it.  Mine is in my unfinished basement, which has good ventilation.  Did I mention I don’t use much spray adhesive?  I’m still breathing.  Really.

Thanks for listening to my two cents on this.  Now I have some quilting to do!


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Sunday Stash Report: 7/ 19/15

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This week I used 3.5 yards to make the Cute Animal baby quilt.  I cut up a yard of poor-quality fabric to make plant ties for the garden.  Last week I used the last of the Michael Miller bird fabric to make a pillow case to go with the Scrappy Blue and Gold Trellis quiltimage

That’s good, because while traveling, I bought four yards of batiks at Patchwork Plus, Dayton, VA.

This week:  + 4 yards,  – 5.5 yards
This year:  + 81.5 yards,  – 103.75 yards
Net fabric destashed  in 2015:  22.25 yards

Creeping along toward my goal of destashing 50 yards this year.  Good luck on yours!

I’m linking up to Judy’s report at Patchwork Times.


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Piggy Bank Savings Challenge

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I’m joining Val from Val’s Quilting Studio again this year in her Piggy Bank Savings Money for Quilting Challenge.  The picher is ready!

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Last year I saved for Craftsy classes (haven’t bought any yet).  This year I think I’ll save for quilt shows or #Twilter (quilters on Twitter) meetups.  I had lots of fun in Kansas City, and might want to do one again.  I’ll have to be a better saver, though!  Working on a plan.  Maybe Yuri can pick up some odd jobs…

Good luck on your savings project!


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Adventures in Cuteness (a finish)

IMG_2412This week I made a quick baby quilt from a panel and it turned out awfully sweet.  There is no applique on this, it’s all printed.

2015-07-05 11.03.45picI started with this panel.  I don’t remember where it came from,  but I must have felt sorry for it and took it home.  I added two rows of patchwork (from my scrap bins) to make it wider, put a Kona Ash border around it, then bound it with a two-tone charcoal binding.

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There is an extra layer of cotton batting under the center to make it a little poofy.  I quilted on the printed lines, and added a few extra details.

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To quilt the background, I drew in bunches of leaves using my new “Leaves Galore” ruler (Sue Pelland), that I bought last month.  It’s meant for cutting leaf shapes, but I traced along the curves, moved it, and traced again to form continuous leaves that were easy to quilt.  That’s how I drew the leaves in the border, too.

IMG_2422The back is pieced from my stash.

2015-07-15 20.00.35This was fun to make.  Now it’s headed for my Etsy shop, unless I can convince someone to decorate their nursery in a woodland theme…

IMG_2423I’m linking up to Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and WIPs Be Gone at A Quilting Reader’s Garden.

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