Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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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.

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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!


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Design Wall Monday: More Christmas

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Here’s what’s going on with more of the Christmas scraps.  Its a little dark and busy for my taste, but I’m choosing to regard it as rich and cosy for the winter time.  What do you think?

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The plaid centers completely used up a fabric remnant I’ve had for ages.  It’s truely beautiful, but I really don’t know what it was sold for, or why I bought it.  I was seduced by the gold threads, I guess.  It’s very thin (voile?), and when washed became a wrinkled mess, which ironed into a very crooked plaid.  Ater years of looking at it, I finally found the patience to cut into it.  I thought about using scissors, but I needed every inch of it.  After pinning it together every six inches, I was able to rotary cut it into mostly straigh six inch squares.  Stabilized by the fabric frames, I think it will work okay in this quilt.

So what’s on your design wall?  I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.


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Christmas Finish

IMG_2159Early this week I finished the Christmas Bird Quilt.  (Krissi is assisting here.)  A Christmas scrap quilt was on my September goals list, but I had no idea it would turn out like this.  I was thinking of something random and scrappy, maybe with white, or cut into strings.

IMG_2160When I opened my Christmas scrap locker (yes, I have one…), this bird fabric caught my eye.  I had a yard each of two of them (I think I bought them when my mom and I used to wrap Christmas gifts in quilt fabric.), but not much of the prettiest one.  It looked like Swiss cheese, as I had fussy cut it for a quilt years ago.  So I fussy cut it again, into four-inch squares and framed them in a similar, unrelated fabric to bring them up to the six-inch squares of the other prints.  Then I used a red batik and various holiday green scraps to frame each bird square, making them ten inches.

IMG_2162The whole quilt is 50″ x 70″.  I used every bit of the red fabric, doing some very creative piecing (this is patchwork we do, after all), but after quilting and washing, it hardly shows.

IMG_2161Some of the borders were bits of beautiful red, green, and gold swag prints that I had carefully cut and matched on another project a couple years ago.  In this case, all I could do was whack it up, throw it on, and see what happened.  And I like it.  In spite of the randomness, it really adds an old fashioned Christmas feeling.

IMG_2163IMG_2164I love the backing fabric.  It’s more green and gold than this shows, so it goes well, and it shows the quilting.  I used all Superior Bottom Line (50 wt.) thread, light green on the back, red and green and the front.

IMG_2166I think this will be a donation to my YMCA.  They have an auction every November.  Not only do I do my fitness there, but they sponsor my virtual farmer’s market, where I order on line and pick up produce there weekly.

And there will be a scrappier Christmas quilt this year or next.  Maybe.

I’m linking up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.