Monday, December 30, 2013

My Last Quilt of 2013

Winter Trees

My Winter Trees is finished, hot off the sewing machine, and it will be delivered tonight. I am a little anxious about giving this one away because I am not sure if the recipients will like it or not. Of course they will be gracious and say they do but......there is always that little doubt.

Sorry about the picture quality, it is over cast today and I can't get a good picture.
This shows some of the close quilting that I find I enjoy doing, sometimes....

I changed the direction of the quilting in each section. Some of the quilting even looks a little like the grain of a tree, a happy accident.

None of the lines are straight which makes it a whole lot easier and a lot more fun to do.

I think I may make another one in different fabrics or maybe not, my list of "to do" is a long one.

Kevin, Jim, Caitlin and Ann
Did you have a nice Christmas? I had almost all of my husband's family for Christmas Eve, all 36 of them! It was a lot of fun. Next year it will be 37 as my niece is expecting her first child in the spring. I do notice that the older I get, the more it takes out of me and by Friday I was about to turn into a not very nice person. It passed and I am back on track.

Jimmy, Rick and Bob
Three of the 6 brothers, which one do you think is the oldest? Most of my pictures did not turn out, lucky you!
Back soon with a real post and some sewing.
Go Eagles!
Happy New Year!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Free Pieced Tree Tutorial

I thought I would show you how I made my free pieced trees. This is a super heavy picture post, but if you want to make one it will show you how.

Pick a background you like, any size you like. This is about 12 x 18.

Using a ruler {you don't have to} cut a line down the center. Mine is a bit on an angle. You could make it straight down the center or even a little more off to the side.

I started to my right  but do what works for you. Start cutting some angles for your branches. After each cut, pull each section away so you can see what your tree will look like....

keep cutting....

and cutting....

just don't get too carried away with difficult angles because you have to sew them together. I think this is enough for one side. I did not use a ruler for any of these cuts, you can it you want but it is not necessary for them to be perfectly straight. They might even look good a little curved, I might just have to try that one!

Keep all the right hand pieces in place you do not want to move them, trust me they will get mixed up! Start on the left hand side.

Continue to cut your angles and pull them out until you get something that is pleasing to your eye.

You now can get an idea of what it will look like.

I am happy with this and will now start to add the branches.

Cut out some branches on the straight of grain (unless you have curves) that are about 1 1/4" wide. Depending on the size of your block you may want these bigger or smaller.

Take a piece of branch fabric and place it next to the 2 pieces that it will be attached to, trim it to be as long as your longest piece of background fabric.

Sew it to your first piece and trim the ends even with the angles. I did not use a ruler but just eye balled it with scissors.

Attach the next piece of background.....

It is important to lay out each branch next to both pieces so you make sure it is cut long enough. Ask me how I know this ( :

It helps a lots to trim off the tails when you are matching up the next piece.

Continue on in the same manner and it should look like.....

this.......your outside edges will not be even. Mine look like they are but they are not. We will square it up at the end.

Now start on the other side and continue as you did with the first side.

When both sides are finished use your ruler and cut a fresh straight cut on the inside edges. This is not totally necessary but it does help to sew the center trunk rather straight. The most I took off was about a 1/4".

Cut out a strip of tree trunk a little bit longer than the block. Mine was cut with the bottom bigger than the top, the way a real tree looks.

Sew one side .....

then the other. With the extra length of the trunk you could move your branch sections up or down as needed. Press well, maybe use a little starch to keep it nice and crisp.

All of the seams were pressed towards the branch fabric, to make them stand out.

To square it up I laid it on the cutting mat and looked for the smallest measurement. It was at the section on top with all the branches. I trimmed the sides first and then the top and bottom.

This was a lot of fun to make and I loved not using a pattern. I am quilting the 4 blue tree blocks I made last week and hope to get it done before the end of the year to show you. It is going to be a Christmas gift for friends we will see after Christmas.

I am still on a red and white kick and need to get some projects ready for our getaway in February. I am not sure I will be able to wait that long!
Merry Christmas to everyone!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter Day

It's cold today.....a good day to sew.

I like where this is


Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Friends that quilt are some of the best friends to have around. Many years ago I belonged to a bee. In January we met and everyone decided on a theme for their quilt. All the members made a block for your quilt throughout the year. In December we had our Christmas party and gave each other our blocks. My theme was snowman and these are the blocks that were given to me. Sorry for the dark pictures, it is snowing again today!

This one was made by my friend Suzanne. Some of you may remember her quilts from our quilt show. She is an amazing appliquer {is that a word?} and really captured the wind blown hat. You can tell how old this is by that blue background fabric that I chose and gave to them.

This was made by Mryna, who can sew anything and it turns out perfect. I love how daring she was with the purple and green.

The embroidery in this makes it extra special and again adds some unexpected touches.

This one was made by Terry, who I have not seen for a long time. Life goes that way sometimes. Everything except the overalls is made of wool, a cozy snowman! I love how the scarf which is flannel has the little fussy cut nest.

Cynthia made the biggest one in the quilt! She is a prolific quilter with a wonderful color sense who we all miss very much ever since she moved to Arkansas. Hi Cynthia!

Her snowman had a little blush and a flannel scarf.

It was fun to find these blocks that I had put away and forgotten about. I found them when I moved my sewing room. It's one thing not to finish your own UFOs but quite another to let blocks languish that your friends have made for you. I am still surprised to look at these and see the date 2001! It seems like yesterday.
I am not thrilled with the way I set it together but the memories of that time are really what matter.


Monday, December 16, 2013


Wow thank you so much for all the nice comments on my Lone Star, I really appreciate all of them. The winner of the potholder scraps is Lynne L. Congratulations Lynne!

A few of you guessed that is was my birthday and you were right! My husband took my out for dinner and then Saturday we went shopping and I bought these.........

This is an aluminum ruler that is 6' long! and about 3" wide.

At Bob's insistence I also got a carpenter's square.

I also got a laser level that tile guys use to lay tile on floors. It shoots out a perfect 90 degree angle and also the diagonal line to make sure things are square. My plan is to use these to square up my quilts. Bob of course will use the laser for work but technically it is mine! I will let you know how it works.

And because I have the attention span of a gnat, I thought I would show you these....not sure where I am going with them yet.