“I’m Done.. I’m Going To Read One Of These!!”

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Don’t you just love that commercial where the mom finishes dusting and she announces she is going to read a book. A book her daughter has obviously already read and her daughter proceeds to tell her, “can you believe the twin did it!!” I smile every time. The look on the mom’s face is priceless, as she tosses the book over her shoulder.

So.. what does that have to do with me? With anything, you ask.

Nothing. I just like that commercial. 😀

But I do have something I can say I’m DONE!!

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After working on these string circle blocks for so long (over two months), I still Love Them. I wasn’t sure if the seams would line up at the cross sections. I think I did OK. I need to get better at making sure my 1 1/2″ strips actually ARE 1 1/2″ strips. A few look wider when sewn together.

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My only regret. That I didn’t foresee yellow as a “stickouter.” (I just made up a word.) Up on my design wall, they seemed to blend well enough.

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BUT with the borders and sewn to the other blocks, they stick out like a sore thumb. Oh well. It is what it is. (I love that saying.) It is what it is.

Now I have to decide on which fabric to use for the back. I have been auditioning several and narrowed it down to three. One is a WILD print. I will probably use it. I like wild!!

Quilt top measures 75″ by 76″. I added an extra row on the right and also on the bottom. Seven blocks across and seven blocks down for a total of 49. It is going to be a challenge getting it quilted on my “little throat” Janome. I wish I had a sewing machine with a wider/longer throat. Not looking forward to the game called Pushing and Shoving. But I AM looking forward to seeing a finished quilt.

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Speaking of Pushing And Shoving, did you go out to mingle with the masses on Black Friday? Or did you do your shopping on-line on Cyber Monday? I did a little of both. Got some nice bargains on fabric. Got a few things at Office Depot and Best Buy. Bought two new pairs of shoes at DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse). Love one pair. Had them on yesterday while running errands. Very comfortable.

Well, that does it for me.

Are you a Black Friday Shopper or a Cyber Monday Shopper? What all did you buy? Do tell.

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Added Borders To My String Circle Blocks

Want to see what I have been working on for two days?

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I decided to give my String Circle blocks some love. Last you saw them I was pondering whether to add borders on all four sides of each block.

As you can see, I went with just two. An “L” design. That way I don’t have so much of a color conflict on all sides. Looking at the blocks, one kind of flows to the next without being a standalone block.

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Six blocks across and six blocks down. Each block measures 11″ by 11″. I started off with a 10″ square for the back and added 1 1/2″ borders. For the borders, I selected two fabrics from the circle.

I am thinking I may add a seventh row. I have 10 blocks leftover. But for now, I am going to start sewing the rows together.

Wish me luck that the seams line up!!

Happy Thanksgiving.. don’t eat too much turkey and pumpkin pie. 😀

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String Circles: Starting Over… With Applique #3

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Thanks so much for commenting on which of the three applique techniques you liked and why.

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Three, it is… Not only did #3 get the most mentions, my eyes kept scanning all three and I have to agree with you that #3 does have the “cleanest” look. The applique blends with the circle and doesn’t stand out as much.

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It wasn’t the easiest. Sewing-wise. That would be Applique #1. But I took my time and did my best to be consistent. Trying for the same look.

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Those circles done with Applique #1 have been ripped out, redone and finished. I got different results from the various background fabrics. Some I loved how the applique turned out.

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A few others. Not so much. This ivory fabric with black dots acted so ugly. I think it was too stiff for applique.

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I was only able to get two using the ivory with dots to lie flat. I ripped out and redid them so many times, the fabric looks like swiss cheese. For sure headed to the scrap bin. Or the Trash Bin!!

Remember the yellow ones I HATED? Well, I have to retract that. I am liking them more now. Here is one of them.

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It looks OK. Better this way than before.

Now that the applique decision is behind me, I can move on. I have to decide whether to go borderless or with borders. Log Cabin borders.

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And if I go the Log Cabin route, where should the border go. Sides? Top and bottom? Two borders? Four. More decisions. Or I could just sew all the blocks together plain, no individual borders. And do sashing horizontal or vertical under or between the rows. Decisions. Decisions.

It will be more work and more scrap bin diving but I think I like the individual border arrangement.

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A border on each side using four of the fabrics used in the circle. We shall see. It depends on how much time I want to spend working on it. I have so many other quilt designs in my head. Itching to start on something “fresh.”

Thanks again for commenting and helping me make my applique decision. Hope you will stick around and come back to see my progress.

I just might be finished by Christmas. 😀

One last thing to show you from October. My pillowcases. I made the usual charity ones PLUS I also made a few I will put in my Etsy Shop. So please come back to see them. I will post them in two days. Trying to spread out my posts so you aren’t overwhelmed. 😀

So… What Do You Think? Applique 1, 2 or 3

My String Circles project has stalled. I am still undecided on how to proceed. A week or so ago, I thought I knew what I wanted. I merrily appliqued the circles to the background fabric. You can see the ones done here on my design wall.

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I was still not thrilled. So I continued to experiment. (Actually what I was really doing was making a mess of my background fabric. Lots of ripping out and redoing.) 🙂

So… These are my current options. What do you think?

Applique #1: Top stitched directly to the background fabric.

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Applique #2: Muslin circle sewn to the back of the String Circle, turned inside out, stitched down.

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Applique #3: String Circle sewn to background fabric face down, background fabric trimmed all around leaving about 1/4″ to expose string circle, stitched down.

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I want all to have the same applique technique. So I am at a standstill until I decide which way to go. 😦

There are probably more ways to do this but of these three, which do you like?

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Testing, Testing… Dipping My Toe Into The “Applique” Waters

HELP!! I am so out of my comfort zone. Going to applique my String Circles.

I have only done mostly zig-zag stitches around raw fabric edges. I have to rewind back to St Pat’s Day to remember the first time I tried something different. Blanket stitching. Remember? But this time I wanted to try the applique stitch.

Got my sewing machine ready. Cleaned out the bobbin area. Put in a new needle. Swapped my quarter inch foot for the “F” foot and practiced making a few stitches to see if I needed to adjust anything. Nope. Stitch length seemed about right.

The first string circle I practiced on was one of the yellow ones.

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I pulled it from the pile for two reasons. It wasn’t my favorite. Kind of pale looking and I had been thinking it wouldn’t make the cut. Wouldn’t be used in my quilt. And also the strings crinkled when I ironed them. Meaning either bad fabric or bad sewing. So I figured, what the hay, stitch around it to see what happens.

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Not happy. Nothing to write home about.

On to the 2nd one. Turquoise/Aqua. A circle I liked and for sure wanted it to be part of my quilt.

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I got about the same result. Pulling in around the edges of the circle. Not the flat look I was trying for.

OK.. so what gives.. what was I doing wrong?

Ah, Ha. I know!! Something in my head said “stabilizer”. Some sort of backing. Off I went to dig out what I bought YEARS ago around the same time I purchased my sewing machine (which BTW, embroiders).

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Since I was clueless on which did what, I experimented with both, using the same background fabric.

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And they both turned out the same. No pulling, no ruffles. So… that is what I needed. A stabilizer. (It appears I spent WAY too much on one of these.) But glad to know I could achieve a flat look.

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These aren’t the best applique but with practice and perhaps using my embroidery thread, I should get better at it.

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Questions for you applique experts out there.

  • What stitch do you use for applique?
  • Do you use any special thread?
  • Any tips for me, the Newbie?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. 😀

American Heroes Quilt Update and String Circles Status


If you remember from my post back in July, I made a quilt top for charity, American Heroes. It was patriotic themed and would be presented to a wounded American soldier returning from the war. (Original post at bottom)

Just wanted to show you what my quilt top looks like now after being quilted. It was quilted this month by the amazing Nancy, from one of the many quilt guilds around the country working with charities.

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If you look closely, you can see the design. Banners and stars.

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Isn’t it wonderful!!

Pretty soon, my quilt will be headed to one of the hospitals charged with mending our wounded soldiers. It warms my heart knowing it will go to someone who almost gave their life making it safe for ME. To allow me the freedom to write this blog. Craft all day. Do as I wish. For that, I am truly grateful.

Thank you, American Hero Quilts, for founding such a worthwhile charity. Thank you, Nancy, for giving of your time, talent and supplies. Also thank you for the photos.


I haven’t done much with my String Circles since I last showed them to you. BUT… I did decide on how to connect them and make them into a quilt. I am going to top stitch (applique) the circles onto a 10″ fabric square of beige/cream/ivory.

This is what a portion looks like.

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Lots more to do. I am hoping for a this year finish.

Well, that does it for me. Working on more stuff but none at a stage I can share. Soon.

What are you working on? Do tell….

Go here to read my post on my American Heroes quilt top.