Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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Quilt of Valor Finish, #it’llquiltout

These last two weeks I pieced and quilted this quilt for Quilts of Valor. I try to make one every year, but I may have missed last year.

I used the Four-Patch Star tutorialfrom Missouri Star because I had just used it for the Scrappy Stars quilt, was still in the mood, and because it fit the patriotic scraps and yardage I had.

After it was pieced, though, I found a problem. The stars lay flat enough, but the negative areas were billowing in the breeze. Apparently, the trouble was with the main background fabric, off-white with printed white stars. I received it as a prize during a sew-in. It must have been a very inexpensive fabric, and did it ever stretch as it was sewn. Whew!

To correct the problem I did several things.

  • I sprayed the areas with water and steamed them. It didn’t really shrink them much, but it directed the fullness toward the centers.
  • I cut the borders to the “correct” measurements, rather than measure the quilt. I always do this, but this time it was really importan t.
  • I spray-basted this quilt on my Ping Pong table, pushing and tugging until the borders lined up along the edges.
  • I quilted between all the blocks using my walking foot. I don’t do this religiously anymore, but this quilt sure needed it.

I used the same orange peel quilting I had used in the last quilt. I have already planned to, because I thought the “stars” in the negative space would look good, but it really proved to be the perfect motif for controlling fullness. The curved lines directed the fabric toward the center, and then against the seamlines, where I eased or tucked it in.

And flatness ensued. It looks pretty good, aside from some minor tension issues. I’m happy to donate this quilt.

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Sunday Stash Report: 2/11/18

I bought no fabric this week! That’s an improvement. And I finished this Scrappy Stars quilt. Back into the black! Just barely.

This week: + 0 yards, – 8.75 yards

This year: + 33.75 yards, – 34.00 yards

Net destashed added in 2018: .25 yards

Not much, but I’ll take it.

And I bought my studio this very cute tote, as I continue to declutter, dust, etc., a little at a time.

Go sew that stash!


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Friday Finish: Scrappy Stars

2018-02-09 15.24.09

I used the last of our rapidly melting snow to photograph this new quilt. This started out as a way to use up some scraps, and it grew from there.

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I used Missouri Star’s Four Patch Star tutorial to make the nine stars in the center. I made my ten inch “layer cake” squares from strings, then cut them apart for the star rays. (The quilting is done with Superior’s Fantastico and Living Colors on top, and Bottom Line on the bottom.)

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That was when this quilt got demanding. It didn’t like the background fabric I had for it, so I had to buy the golden snowflake fabric (on sale!). So much for using my stash. Then it told me it needed a curvy bias design in the border. And then, of course, it needed wavy edges. More bias binding. Sheesh. But I love the result. This is roughly 60″ square.

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Where have your quilts been taking you?

I’m linking up to Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

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Sunday Stash Report: 2/4/18

I bought nine yards of fabric this week. Isn’t it pretty? And obviously necessary?

And I used three and a half making Star Wars #13.

This week: + 9 yards, – 3.5 yards

This year: + 33.75 yards, – 25.25 yards

Net destashed added in 2018: 8.5 yards

Clearly, this can’t go on forever! I can’t buy fabric every week, can I?

Hope you’re doing a better job using your stash!


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A Finish, and Other Progress

This week I finished the other commissioned baby quilt I was working on. This was special because I had made one for her older sister, accented in purple, and now grandma has ordered this in, well, rose. Then we went to see The Last Jedi last night, and I kept thinking, “Those are x-wings! I’ve appliqued those a lot lately!”

I’ve been working on my studio, partly prompted by a Twilter call for “as is” photos the other day, and partly just a New Year’s clean up. I have a lot crammed into a small room, and some has to be out and messy, but I’m doing what I can.

These birdseed bags have been lying under my cutting table for…a long time. I’ve finally started making them into shopping bags just to get them out of there. They’re straight, not cone-shaped as this picture looks.

This bulletin board was a complete wreck, several layers deep in expired coupons, old project directions, etc. Now it’s ready to tack up something I need currently.

My old webbing baskets on top of my lockers literally disintegrated this winter. I hope it was sun damage from before we installed the current windows that are supposed to protect against uv rays. I shopped my basement for the center basket and Hobby Lobby for the pink ones. One holds a mystery quilt in progress, one has leaders and enders kits, and one has extra shipping supplies.

And I vacuumed!

I’m currently re-reading this book. Not too much is new to me, but it’s interesting to see the small things she does differently, and her work is beautiful. She goes over all the steps involved, so I recommend this if you’re just starting, or getting back into, free motion quilting.

There! What have you been doing?