Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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Blue Christmas Finish

Here is the latest of my quilts from the pile of panels I purchased this summer. I was aware that I had almost no blue Christmas scraps to use with it, so I purchased some tree yardage for the side borders, and a charm pack of blue and silver batiks, which became the stars. It finished about 50″ by 65″.

Unlike a pieced quilt, this had a large center with no seams to hide any “foundation” quilting to keep things square. Instead, I machine basted a roughly 12″ grid of Dissolve Extra thread on top.

The stars are quilted with gray Bottom Line, the buildings and sleigh with black BL, and the sky and border with navy and white Fantastico.

I really like the way the quilting in the sky looks. I made sort of flame shapes from the center out. Close to the center, the thread hardly shows, but the white parts begin to show up in the dark edges of the sky.

I backed this with a blue batik with silver metallic snowflakes.

And, yes, it’s been tested for snuggliness.

Good luck on your finishes!


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Friday Finish: A Country Christmas

2018-09-26 12.40.48 (1)And here’s another of my “quilts from panels” series.  This fabric really struck me as fresh and wintery.  The panel and border are “Holiday Wishes” by Henry Glass.  The red and green are also Henry Glass fabrics, but from other collections.  And the gray is Kona.  It was 50″ x 65″ before washing.

2018-09-26 12.43.08 (1)And I love, love the unrelated glittery tree print (Robert Kaufman) that I found for the back.

All of the quilting is with white Bottom Line, except for the red and green on the border, which is Magnifico and Fantastico.

2018-09-23 14.30.38Each block has a large snowflake quilted on it, surrounded by strippling.  This was almost totally ineffective.  Next time I would use a very heavy thread/yarn to do a snowflake outline in couching or bobbin work.

2018-09-26 12.41.27 (1)The gray border turned out much better.

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I think it turned out to be very fun and festive.

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Look for this soon in my Etsy shop.


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WIP Wednesday: Poinsettias

2017-11-08 12.11.34This week I’ve been working on these red poinsettia blocks.  This design is from Anne at Springleaf Studios.  In 2015 she hosted this Christmas Quilt-along, and I’ve had it on my list ever since.  Back in late 2014 I designed something similar, my Spring Violets quilt.  The units in my new project are 4.5″ instead of 3.5″, and the blocks finish at 16″.  I’m making a total of nine for this throw quilt.

Image result for eq8Also this week, I downloaded the update from EQ7 to EQ8.  (If you get it by Nov. 13, there is a discount.)  So far, so good.  I created a mock-up of this quilt on which I’m working (although I see I oriented the flowers differently!)  I can also, with a little fuss, access my old projects.

pointsettia quilt

Do you use EQ?  When did you start?  I came in on EQ2.  Later I had 4, and then 7 for many years.  I don’t use all the features, but I like to play with blocks and secondary patterns, and I love how it does the math for me!

IMG_2910And I’ve listed the Star Trek pillow cases in my Etsy Shop, if you need a gift.


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Grungy Christmas Stars

A while back I made a variety of wonky stars using Christmas fabric scraps.

I put them together with lots of negative space made of various white and creamy Moda Grunge and borders of Windham’s Glisten.  Then I took them apart and inserted a peppermint strip for definition. 

Oftentimes, after a quilt is washed I regret not having quilted it more.  This was not the case.  I quilted shadow stars in the plain blocks, and filled around all the stars in various ways.

I quilted holly and ribbons in the first, wide border.  I quilted roping in the narrow gray border.  

I quilted ribbons in the outer border. (For this I used my Leaves Galore ruler from Sue Pelland.  I just didn’t move it over as much as for leaves.  I guess long, skinny leaves look like ribbons.)

After the fancy quilting, I went back with my walking foot and quilted straight lines wherever they fit to try to make the border quilting a little closer in density to the center.  I didn’t succeed,  but it’seems also pretty flat, so I think it helped.

The back is a creamy batik with faint green snowflakes.

This time I really think I accomplished the vision I had for this quilt.  It’s here in my Etsy shop.


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Blue Christmas Finish

IMG_2183Yesterday I finished and washed up Blue Christmas, another in my series of procrastination scrap quilts as I ponder the quilting for the Slow Quilt.  In going through my Christmas and pine cone fabrics, I discovered an untidy pile of blue holiday and winter fabrics.

IMG_2186Two of them were coordinating fabrics with vignettes that I have previously fussy cut, hence the messiness.  I wanted to fussy-cut them again, but wanted something different from my framed squares quilts (see Christmas Birds and Christmas Plaid).  I was intrigued by the Economy Block (square-in-a-square) craziness from earlier in the year, and I thought it would display this fabric really well.  I stumbled across a great tutorial at Catbird Quilts.  Melanie gives a lot of info about the math and construction, and then does the math for us, creating a table for various sized blocks.  She also has a link to seventeen different sets she designed for this block, and I stole the very best one, Jewel Box.  Go there and look at this great stuff.  I had already made mine up on EQ7 and used their rotary cutting directions, which make the block to size, without trimming, so I didn’t try out her measurements.

IMG_2185This is quilt was straight forward and easy to sew, although it does require a tad of pinning, unlike my previous two.  I ran into a couple of snags, but that was just me.  First, just as I was congratulating myself for using up nearly every bit of the fabric, I discovered that I hadn’t made enough blocks.  It’s not that I can’t multiply; it’s that I can’t remember the total I planned to make for a particular quilt.  I’m going to have to start posting a sticky note above my cutting table instead of trusting my brain.  So out of almost no fabric I had to come up with six more blocks, three of each.  I dove back into the Christmas Scrap Locker and came up with some soft green and bits of navy and green reindeer to add into the previously all blue quilt.  Fortunately, I had more of the darker solids I was using.  And I like the way it turned out.

IMG_2190The other problem was with the quilting thread.  I honestly think I got a bad cone of Bottom Line.  I hadn’t changed my machine settings at all, but when I opened this new cone of light blue and started in, it did nothing but shred and twist and break.  New needle, rethreading, changing tension, etc., nothing really helped.  I slowed down and tried not to cuss too much, and it turned out okay, but with a lot more stops and starts than I like.  I see some tails and thread boogers I still need to clean up.

IMG_2189I’m not sure the photos show it, but this quilt has lots glitter and metallic accents on it, besides all the Christmas motifs.  And the back is a glittery, almost snow-flaky fabric for which I was glad to find a home.  Blue is not a color I use that often, but I like this quilt.

IMG_2192So, this may be the last Christmas scrap quilt this year… Who knows?  But I am making inroads into that old Christmas fabric!  Hope you are finding some time to sew and meeting some of your goals!


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Sunday Stash Report: 10/26/14

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As I stopped and started repeatedly on another project, I filled in the time by creating this Blue Christmas quilt.  More photos and a post soon when the light is better.  It used seven and a half yards, and I didn’t buy a thing.

This week: +0 yards, -7.5 yards
YTD: +113.25 yards, -179.75 yards
Net stash used 2014: -66.5 yards

Can I make one hundred?  We’ll see!

Carry on with your destashing!  I’m linking up with Sunday Stash Report at Patchwork Times.


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Christmas Plaid Finish

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Yesterday I finished the Christmas Plaid quilt.  I think maybe it looks better in person, with all its bling, than in the photos.  It’s a lot darker cozier than Christmas Birds, kind of Dickensian.

IMG_2170This quilt is 50″ x 70″, quilted with Superior “Glitter” , “New Brites” , and “Bottom Line” threads.

IMG_2168The plaid fabric continued to be uncooperative (see my whining here).  I probably should have interfaced it.  It washed up fine, though, and is all neat and square, in spite of how squishy some of these blocks look.

IMG_2172The backing looks kind of brown, doesn’t it?  I used a rose beige thread on the bottom, and had a lot of trouble even seeing it, it blended so well.

IMG_2173Actually, it is a pair of unrelated but very coordinating red, green, gold, and white Christmas prints.  I think they were my mother’s, and they hadn’t made it into the front of any projects because of the “brown” problem.  They are beautiful and interesting up close.

2014-10-11 09.00.10This may be the last Christmas quilt for this year.  On the other hand, I discovered more fabric under my pine cone fabric.  And I’ve been looking at my blue Christmas fabric, which is another category entirely.  Hmmm…

Thanks for looking, and I hope you’re finding sewing time!