Monday, October 15, 2018

Autumn crispness is in the air...

… and my computer problems are over, hopefully for good.  Don't ask... even I don't understand how or what I did to resolve the issues.  I came close to hiring several high school sophomores, (fellow classmates of  my granddaughter, who confidently professed they collectively would be able to resolve the issues), but miraculously, when I fired up my desktop antique two days ago, I was able to access the Internet, my e-mail account, and everything else I attempted to open.  Oh happy days!!!  

A seasonal table topper is done!  This 36 inch square topper will forever be known as my Thread Head topper since the blocks used were part of a sew along tutorial I participated in (back in 2012), presented by blogger Joanne at Thread Head.  (More details posted on my blog on 9/10/2018).

The top picture was quickly snapped indoors when a few rays of sun finally peeked through the window blinds, showing the true colors of the fabrics used.   A few minutes later I snapped the bottom picture on my patio before the sun rays disappeared behind the gray clouds that were sharing space with patches of blue sky.  It was a quick photo shoot... early morning brisk temps dictated it so!   Once again my quilter did a beautiful job of overall stippling, because that is what I wanted for this quilt.  With the variation of block designs, I felt the quilting needed to unify them together, and stippling was exactly what I had in mind.  Thank you, Aimee... I absolutely love the results!  I used solid black fabric for the binding, framing the blocks and simple gold border.  This will grace my farmhouse kitchen table through the month of November, with special notoriety on Thanksgiving Day.

October is flying by and before you know it the Halloween decorations will soon be dismantled and packed away for another year.  Here's are a few pictures of my farmhouse kitchen table display in honor of October 31st!

The embroidered mini-quilt is a Buttermilk Basin design, made in 2003.  I added the fabric borders to the embroidery in 2016.  HALLOWEEN is a Blackbird Design cross stitch pattern found in their book, Casting A Spell.  The cross-stitched large eyed black cat, and "31" mini pillow are designs from The Scarlett House.  The witch and owl/moon mini's are from Boo Moon, by Prairie Schooler.  The Halloween fence fabric postcard was gifted to me in 2012 by a dear friend.  Most precious of all is the origami black cat made from construction paper by my granddaughter when she was 10, gifted to me in 2012.  I added the tape for preservation purposes.  And the 5" muslin mummy was a group project at a Minnesota quilt retreat in 2004. 

I've kept the display on my living room coffee table geared towards the autumn season.  I won't be ready to part with it until after Thanksgiving.  December and everything Christmas will just have to wait until... well, December!  My house, my rules!  

The circular woolie of acorns and leaves is a Wooden Spools Design entitled From Acorn to Oak, made in 2015.  October Word Play is a cross-stitch pattern from With Thy Needle & Thread, stitched in 2013.  The mini squirrel pillow is in the Prairie Schooler leaflet #90, Welcome September.   I stitched it earlier this fall, purposely omitting the word "September."  Falling Leaves Sampler is a design from Threadwork Primitives, stitched in 2017, and loosely attached with glue dots to an old breadboard that belonged to my Aunt Helen.  The narrow pin keep is from Autumn Splendor, another design from With Thy Needle & Thread.  The wool pumpkin head scarecrow was made so long ago (2000? 2001?), that I don't remember the designer or have the pattern any longer.  (So sorry because I like to give credit... please leave a comment if recognized.)

My days, nights, and weekends have been occupied with watching my youngest grandson's soccer games, transporting my oldest granddaughter to driving lessons, and watching the same granddaughter perform with her high school marching band in regional and state competitions (why is the shortest girl on the field playing a very long bass clarinet???).  And then there's the chatting with quilting/stitching peeps as we gather for our monthly get togethers, staying focused on "finishing" projects that currently occupy space in my sewing room, as well as quiet nights with a hand sewing or cross-stitch project, the warmth of the fireplace chasing away the draft hovering at my feet.   (Can't forget to mention the rather frustrating moments while watching my Packers struggle early in their season, and happily cheering for the surprisingly good Brewers baseball team as they further their season... what would life be without sports???)

Until next time... happy stitching and/or sewing!  

Friday, September 28, 2018

This has not been fun...

I have been having MAJOR issues ever since installing Windows 10 on my computer.  Accessing my own blog so I can post is like a game of chance... sometimes it works, sometimes not. I usually have to shut down and start up about 4 times before I'm allowed access.  And getting help from the Microsoft Support team has been next to impossible.  So, while I'm here at last, on my own page, I'll give it a go!

It was high time I spent a day (or two) "finishing" numerous counted cross-stitch projects.    I have at least a dozen  more than two dozen designs that are completed as far as the cross-stitching is concerned, but remain in a "flimsy" stage, to borrow a quilting term.   I don't frame the small designs, especially if they are seasonal... I'm too cheap to spend lots of $$$ on something that will be displayed for just 2-3 months.  So I usually make mini pillows that can be grouped together on my sofa table, or in a wooden bowl that graces my farmhouse kitchen table.  It's easier to change out what goes in the bowl than rearranging a wall of framed mini designs... well, it is for me anyway.  

Welcome September, Prairie Schooler book #90.  Stitched on 28 ct. mushroom lugana, 
one strand over one thread, using DMC floss.  Mini dot pompoms from Lady Dot Creates.

Autumn Splendor, a pinkeep companion from With Thy Needle & Thread designs. Stitched on 36ct. 
linen, one strand over two threads.  The linen was in my scrap pieces... all I know is it's 36ct.
I pulled fall colored overdyed threads from my collection, which includes
Classic Colorworks, Gentle Arts, and Weeks Dye Works.  The mini rickrack
is from Lady Dot Creates.

Bittersweet September by Blackbird Designs.  Stitched on 36ct linen, one strand over
two threads.  The alphabet, except for the W, is stitched over one thread using
Gentle Arts Sampler threads.  Medium orange rickrack from Lady Dot Creates.

Gobble Pillow Tuck by Country Rustic Primitives.  I stitched this and a companion
piece in 2017, on 36ct linen, one strand over two threads... I omitted GOBBLE which 
is stitched between the two flowers on the pattern.  DMC floss.

Casting a Spell, by Blackbird Designs. Stitched on a scrap of 36ct linen, one strand over
two threads, using Gentle Arts threads.
I was happily sewing the last of the four seams to the companion piece of the turkey shown above, when the thread in my machine jammed, and jammed, and jammed again.   I shut it down and walked away, as I could feel my blood pressure rising... perhaps tomorrow???  My luck with technology isn't the best as of late.  


I had a great visit with family on my recent trip to my home state of Wisconsin.  My younger brother and I spent a day walking the wooded acres my parents purchased many years ago in central Wisconsin, and visited the lake where many happy childhood memories still live.  My uncle had a tiny cottage on that lake, and I still visit it in my mind with my eyes closed, and a smile on my face.  So many happy times!  The cottage is no longer, replaced with a year round home that seems oversized among the birch and pine trees.  I'm happy for the new property owners, so long as I can keep visiting this summer sanctuary in my mind.  

My sister and I enjoyed the time we spent at Lambeau Field, yelling, screaming, and cheering on the Packers, in the company of 80,000+ other friendly, fanatic Packer fans!  It was my first overtime game, and although I would have hoped for a win instead of a tie, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything!

A great NFL rivalry... Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings!

I didn't visit any quilt shops in my days away... rather proud too!  Because I don't need anything, and if I stop, I know I would shop!  There are plenty of patterns and fat quarters filling the shelves in my sewing room closet, each of them begging for place on the cutting table!

Until next time, happy stitchin' and sewing to all of you!  


Monday, September 10, 2018

It's Only Been Six Years...

… since I pieced together my first block for a Quilt Along hosted by a fellow blogger.

This picture first posted on 9-24-2012, showing the first completed
block and the fabric selections for my
first ever Quilt Along, hosted by blogger Joanne at Thread Head.

At that time my goal was to make 9 blocks so I would end up with a 38" wallhanging/tabletopper.  I was worried about time constraints, and evidently I felt 9 blocks would be my limit.  By November of 2012, because I was enjoying Joanne's awesome block construction instructions, and I was pleased with my progress, I decided to increase the block total to 16.  (How ambitious!!!)   Scrolling through previous posts, it doesn't appear that I ever blogged about these lovelies again.  They were stored in a basket along with all the fabrics I had selected and used, plus a few matching fat quarters I thought would work with what I had, just in case I wanted to make more.  I purchased the backing fabric at a quilt shop in Hayward, MN, on a trip back home to Iowa, from the annual Threads fall retreat in Hackensack, MN.  That was in September, 2013. 

Apparently, my concern about time constraints was spot on, because these blocks didn't see the light of day until this past January.  Snatched off the shelves of my quilt/sewing room closet upon retirement this past December, it was the first unfinished project I wanted to tackle.  I sashed the blocks with different black fabric prints, and alternated cornerstones with rusty red and gold prints.   Won't this work well all the way through to Thanksgiving?  I'm doing a happy dance.  

Tomorrow I will deliver this flimsy to my quilter, Aimee.  (Nope!  I have not mastered attempted free motion quilting, and I really want this to be stippled, something Aimee specializes in!)  Considering it's taken me another 7 months to move this project along, I feel the need to schedule some time to think about why I seem to have issues with time... 


Retirement has allowed me to rediscover my love of counted cross-stitch.  I especially like stitching on linen, 36 or 40ct... provided I have my cheaters hanging on the tip of my nose, and my Ott light is illuminating like none other.

Pumpkins and Bittersweet, design by The Scarlett House.  Stitched on 36ct linen, two strands of floss over two threads, except "Bittersweet," which is stitched using one strand of floss over one thread. 
 Bittersweets remind me of growing up in Wisconsin, 
combing country road ditches with my Mom, Grandmother, and siblings,
while my Dad gently loaded our pickings in the rear of the station wagon. 

Blogger is giving me griefs with this post... I started at 6:30pm, and have walked away several times because of frustration.  So I'm going to quit while it's going good.  (It's approaching 11pm.)  Making a quick road trip to visit siblings in Wisconsin this coming weekend.  Plans include sitting (probably more standing than sitting) in Lambeau Field Sunday afternoon, to watch the Packers and Vikings duke it out for division 1st place bragging rights.  The Packer organization should consider providing oxygen tanks to those fanatic Green Bay fans that cannot simply rely on their blood pressure pills to control the range of emotional stress experienced at any given game... guess I'll pack a brown paper lunch sack, just in case!  

Happy sewing! Happy stitching! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

I'm back...!

It's been a long time... over three years.  After much consideration, and encouraging words from family, friends, fellow bloggers, and in particular a cousin who lives in Maryland, (you know who you are, Barb) I'm going to blog again, about the simple pleasures of piecing fabric scraps into small quilts, and other fabric wonders.  I'm still addicted to mini quilts... mostly because I lack the patience for large projects.  

There have been a few changes since I last slapped away at my keyboard, preparing a post... the two biggest being, I moved, but still in central Iowa, staying close to my daughter and son and their spouses, grandchildren, quilting peeps, and non-crafting friends alike.  I travel back to my home state of Wisconsin as often as I can.  It still has a strong pull on my heart.  And, I retired!  But that doesn't necessarily mean I have more time... I've just found more to do!  

Mini quilts made over the past years grace the entryway to my home.

Future posts will also include multiple ramblings and pictures of counted cross stitch projects, as I rediscovered my fancy for putting a different type of needle, and a different type of thread, to a different type of fabric, resulting in mini's of another kind.  In truth, I have been cross stitching more than quilting in the past 2 years, and loving every minute of it!

A 2017 project, Oktober Feast by With Thy Needle and Thread... stitched on 36ct Legacy linen over 2 threads
(NOT a typo for October; actual pattern name)

When I stopped blogging in 2015, my Stars in the Garden hand sewing project was still in the works.  The first 3/8 inch hexies were hand stitched together in January 2014.  I'm happy to say it's one project that I finished!

Framed in a simple dark wood frame, this hand pieced project was completed in February 2016.
Design by Vicki Olson and Jill Shaulis of Yellow Creek Quilt Designs, and featured in
Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine, Spring 2013 issue.

Since completion, Stars in the Garden has been displayed in my home with a real sense of accomplishment.  (I say this because I have SO MANY projects that DO NOT fit into the accomplished category.  Some things never change!)

That's it for my first post in my second-time-around of blogging.  It's time for me to blog surf, visit old blogging friends, and discover new ones!  Pouring a fresh cup of coffee... heck!  I'll just bring the full stainless steel carafe and park it next to my mug, my computer, and me!!! 


(If you are interested, I'm on Instagram.  Search for kindredquilts.  My account is private, which means you will have to request to follow.  And if you have an Instagram account, I would love to follow you!)



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Taking a break... a long break...

Actually, I've been on a long break from blogging... since November 2014. 

Reason?  There are several.  Family, work, life... it's simply a necessity at this time. 

Thank you so much, to each and everyone of you, who have ever taken the time to read a post or two, leave a comment, or sign in as a follower.  I appreciate the attention you have given to me and the happenings of my quilting life.  

I've been messing around with Instagram... it's fun, and less time consuming.  Most of my posts have to do with quilting, sewing, embroidery, WIP's, etc., but once in awhile I'll throw in a picture of something totally unrelated to the world of quilting.  I really enjoy the snapshots of other quilters and crafters, and have found inspiration in the works of many!  (Not to mention patterns and quilts that somehow end up on my never ending "to do" list!)  I have been following several familiar bloggers this way, and some of them have become followers of my Instagram account.  If you are interested in following, I'm still Kindred Quilts.  My account is private... you must request to follow.  

Again, thank you EVERYONE for your kind words and encouragements over my blogging life!  Quilters are truly some of the most generous, warm hearted, and caring people in the world!



Thursday, November 13, 2014

About time!

Yes, it is about time... the lack of it, how fast it seems to pass by, what I do in my "spare" time... whatever that is!  I could list my excuses for NOT posting for so long, but they are in the end, excuses. 

Instead, I will allow them to pass into time...


Queen Dee had the most adorable Halloween quilt hanging on the door to her sewing room. 
She didn't have the pattern any longer, but she did have the witch, moon, and letters traced on freezer paper.  I took a cellphone photo of her quilt and borrowed the silhouettes to trace.  I made two exactly alike, one for my DD, and one for my DDIL.  I didn't have enough of the same fabric to make a third one for me, so I dug into my Halloween fabric stash.

What really makes this Halloween cutie is a layer of soft tulle over the entire top, and simple horizontal quilting.  Here's a close up of the two.

Chalk lines under the tulle... ready for simple machine quilting.

I used an ivory colored tulle.

Easy, quick, and so cute! 


Retreat!  This year the Threads quilt group travelled to northwest Iowa, to the lake home of one of our members.  Everything about the 6 days was wonderful... the sewing, the company, the space, the food, the shopping, the extra sleep, the laughs... everything!

Home Sweet Home for 6 days of Fall Retreat 2014

Eight sewing machines filled the sunroom,
with room to spare!

I took these two pictures after a Saturday of shopping... everyone
was admiring and sharing their purchases around the dining
room table... the sewing room was empty... for a short while!

A few retreat projects... large Great Granny Square blocks, fabric
pentagon balls, and a flannel and wool snowman runner.

 We've been invited back next October... already looking forward to it!


Back to those pentagon fabric balls... in August I ordered TIN PINKEEP, a Heartspun Quilts pattern by Pam Buda.   The fabric ball pin cushion fits into a vintage tin Jell-O mold.  I had so much fun making these, I could not stop at one!  I'm still on the look out for a few vintage molds, but in the meantime, I will keep filling my 1992 Longaberger basket!

These involve EPP, so of course I had to make a bunch!

 I recently joined the fun of Instagram... so much fun to quickly see the creativity of others!  And so much temptation to add to the ever-growing-to-do list!!!   You can find me by searching for Kindred Quilts... my account is private, so if you want to follow, just request to do so.  And if you are on Instagram, I'd love to follow you!

Happy sewing!