Delilah 4 Patch Square Blocks Completed

November 18, 2017

The last two of these blocks have been completed:

mine 3Love the outward flying birds on this block, and just got the fussy cutting done from the small piece of fabric I received in the kit.  I’d actually like to purchase more of this fabric, but already own so much, I feel I should be using what I already own.  Nothing is to stop Santa from delivering some to me though.  😉

And here is the 4th and last block for the month:

mine 4Those fussy cut leaves ended up being a bit more dramatic than I thought.  They definitely overshadow the fussy cuts pansies, and I love the fussy cut pansies.

Those leaves are even dominate in the quilt layout:

Delilah 7It’ll be another week before I receive the next set of templates, so I will take this time to attempt making a top for myself.  I really need some new clothes, and might as well try.

Much as I love making quilts, they are piling up around Casa Diane.  I donate plenty, but somehow manage to keep a few, and I already own way too many.  I use about 40 of them for my trunk show – yes 40, but still have more in residence.

What I need are clothes, so I’m going to attempt making something for my three dimensional, curvy body.  Wish me luck with fitting myself.  I’d better figure out how, as this is the one I have, and it’s time to figure out how to adorn it.  😉

And yes indeedy, I used the word adorn.  I’m a senior, I’m not a conventional dress size, but I’m going to do my very best to shine in my me-made clothes.  I want my outer appearance to match my inner happiness.









Delilah 4 Patch Square Blocks

November 10, 2017


I’ve made two out of four blocks for this month’s Delilah TOM, and made one according to the pattern:

Mine 1

And one eliminating the center 4 patch, and placing a fussy cut piece of fabric there instead:

Mine 2

Both blocks contain fussy cut fabric squares – little birds in the first block, and roses and the center in the second block.  I had fun selecting fabric for these two interpretations, and have to admit, I like the first block much better than the second.  Why?  The 8 different border prints on the first block appeal to me more than the repetition of the blues and greens in the second block.  I’m slowly but surely morphing into the Jen Kingwell frame of mind – the more fabrics used, the better.  😉

Also, I made the second block the second day of catching a cold.  Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong.  Messed up the orientation of the fussy cut roses.  Took out the seams, realized I took out the incorrect seams, sewed them back together, ripped out the seams that needed to be removed, and jammed a pin in my sewing machine’s feed dogs.  Luckily, was able to remove it – intact.  It was a minor miracle.

Started putting the border fabrics on, and of course, tried to match areas that weren’t supposed to be sewn together.  Thought about forcing the seam, then thought, I’m not making great decisions today, and turned off the sewing machine.  Came downstairs, looked at the photo, and realized I had oriented the border pieces incorrectly.  They fit just fine.

The cold is still with me, and there are 2 more blocks to make for this month.  At one point, I had texted my friends and said I was only going to make one block from each month from now on, and make a much smaller quilt.  Then I thought, I’ve come so far.  It’d be a shame if I didn’t finish this, so am now all gung ho about it – for the first time in a long time.  You see, blocks of the month or templates of the month are not for me.  I don’t like working on multiple projects.  I like focusing on one project at a time and finishing it.  Finishing up a month, and then having to wait for the next shipment to arrive drives me bonkers.

Yes, I made the purse in between shipments, but I really want to work on the Santa quilt I started last year, and know I would just get into the Santa quilt, and then the Delilah templates would arrive, and I’d feel guilty about not working on them.  Seems I can only concentrate on one complicated design at a time.

It’s all good.  Santa can wait for December 2018, and Delilah will be completed on time, and I’m really hoping to squeeze a top or dress in between the Delilah blocks.  I sorely need some new clothes, and have a few parties to attend in December.  It’d be very nice if I had something new to wear to those parties.





Delilah Orbit Blocks 2

November 2, 2017

Finished the last two Orbit blocks, and put them into a schematic of the entire quilt.

master quilt 6aThe colored blocks are the ones I’ve made, and they were superimposed over a grey scaled image of the finished quilt.

I’m learning quite a bit about color.  I purchased the fabric kit along with the templates, and can honestly say, I would never have purchased a good half of these fabrics.  Each and every fabric I receive will be used in this quilt though, and guess what?  They all play just fine with each other.  Oh, I’ve added some fabric from my collection, but the further the TOM progresses, I find I’m using more and more from the kit.   That’s a good thing.

This is the half way point.  Kit 7 (out of 12) arrived Monday.  4 more blocks will be added to the layout soon.  One is already cut out and waiting to be sewn.  Can’t be too long before all 4 blocks will appear on the blog.



Birdie Sling

November 1, 2017

I took a break from making the Delilah TOM, and made a much needed purse/tote for myself.  Now I’ve already made an Amy Butler Birdie Sling purse/tote, but wasn’t thrilled with some aspects of the purse.  I really like the design, so decided to customize it for my usage.

Here is a picture of the finished purse/tote

purse birdie sling

This suits me much better, and I think it still looks a lot like the original.  The changes?

1.  I altered the main panel so that it would fit on the fold of a 44″ wide piece of fabric.  This uses much, much less fabric, and I did it by folding the panel pattern piece  in 1″ on the edge that is supposed to be on the fold.

2.  Enlarged the small pockets so my cell phone would fit.  I made them a little wider and longer, and just made it when it came time to sew the gussets.

3.  Made 2 pleats across the top panel instead of 6.  This is a large purse/tote, but with 6 pleats, the top opening was pretty small.  It was hard to put large items inside.  Problem solved.

4.  The top band pattern had to be larger as the panel had less pleats.  I added 1″ on the band pattern piece at the fold, so got an additional 2″ for each piece.

5.  Removed 1″ in width for the base of the strap, and also added length to it.  I redrew the strap pattern piece, and the length is now 31″ + seam allowances.  I still think the base of the handle is too wide, and might change that the next time around.

6.  The handle was also made a lot wider at the shoulder.  I find a wider handle distributes the weight better on my shoulder.  Mine is now 4″ at the shoulder, and I fold it over for a 2″ doubled section that is nicely padded.

7.  I also eliminated the fusible fleece.  I don’t like a purse/tote that is too stiff and bulky.  This drapes nicely against my body,

Lots of changes, true?  And now comes the time of a big belly laugh. I happen to have a sewing machine with at timer on it.  It keeps track of how long the needle goes up and down.  It took me four 2-3 hour days to make this purse.  Fusing, redrafting pattern pieces, fusing, sewing, fusing, a little more sewing.  Can you tell most of the time was spent with fusing?  I would dearly and purely love a fusing fairy to move into my home when I make a project like this.

Back to time for the big belly laugh though.  It took a whole 41 minutes of actual sewing time to make this purse.  Yes, a mere 41 minutes.  Who would have thought?






Delilah Orbit Blocks

October 17, 2017

Nope, not finished with this month’s blocks yet, but thought I’d post a progress report.  Two out of four are completed:

Lots of points, lots of Y-seams and all totally done by sewing machine.  That means lots of stops and starts with short seams.

I am really pleased with how well the points match, but struggling with the color selection.  I love the first one, but the second one is “meh” to me.  I do love the little bunny in the center, and the rich orange and blue combo though.  And now that I’m dissecting the block, it’s not all that bad after all.  Guess I needed a little distance from it.  It isn’t one of my favorites, but it plays well with the rest of the blocks.

On a personal note, it’s the end of gardening season.  Yeah for that!!!  I love having fresh veggies, but I hate processing them for storage.  Some get frozen, some dehydrated, and anyway you look at it, it’s a lot of work.  I am so glad I’m done for the year, and now I can get out of the kitchen, although I have started baking fresh bread again.

I will totally enjoy using the garden veggies this winter though – which is why my dear husband puts in a garden.  They get served as side dishes, put in soups, and added to multiple recipes.  Just for the heck of it, I’m going to list everything I did.

Dehydrated zucchini and made plenty of meals with it.  That zucchini is one prolific veggie.

Dehydrated tomatoes and enjoyed lots of BLTs

Froze green beans, and made lots of green beans, potato and spaghetti suppers.

Froze corn and had not one, not two, not three, but 4 plantings of corn on the cob being harvested.

Froze sweet red peppers and stuffed enough of them for 22 main meals.  Also made lots of sweet red pepper sauce with them.

Froze onions – chopped them for easy use in Instant Pot meals this winter.

Used carrots, parsnips, onions, leeks and Brussel sprouts in meals

Lettuce for fresh salads

Made marinara from zucchini and cherry tomatoes

Roasted Chinese chestnuts

It’s a wonder I got any sewing done since the garden started doing it’s thing.  😉




Delilah North Star Blocks

September 28, 2017

Ta-da, I finished up this month’s blocks, the day after I received next month’s blocks (Orbit).  No breather in between blocks this time, and it is all good, because everyone who has already done the Orbit blocks, says they are not easy – not one little bit.  It was great to get them a little early this time around.

You see, Orbit has the dreaded Y-seams in them.  Ah well, I’m not going to borrow trouble, but instead bask in the glory of completing the 5 North Star blocks:

These were a joy to sew, and I’m oh so pleased with how well the points match.  They finished to the correct size too.

These blocks are a mix of kit fabric, what I already owned, and what I purchased for this project.  The recently  purchased fabrics were primarily low volume fabrics.  I did not have a lot of them in my fabric collection, and one of my local fabric stores – Sew Creative – came to the rescue.

The oldest fabric used in a block was from the 1970’s.  Yes, the 1970’s.  There were only scraps left, but that’s why I have a scrap drawer, and to be honest, my scraps have way outgrown their “containment” area.  There will be a lot more projects featuring fabric scraps appearing here soon.  And then again, maybe not so soon.  😉  I’m not exactly a speedy maker, but I do so enjoy creating.


Delilah Fairhaven

September 15, 2017

I almost quit making this quilt over these blocks:

I love the design.  Did not like making them one little bit.  The centers are definitely wavy, and it was my fault.  I used a combination of regular weight quilting cotton, with some lightweight lawn.  The weight difference between the two fabrics caused the waviness.  As a result, I’ve collected all my lawn fabrics, and placed them aside so they can be used together in another project.

The first block I made was the one on the top.   The second block was the one on the bottom, and I like the rainbow star quite a bit.  The third block I made was the one in the middle and was the waviest.  I really thought I’d get better at making this design with practice, but alas I do believe this didn’t occur. It does appear to be the scrappiest, and that was the effect I wanted to create.   There are actually more different fabrics in the first block, but the border fabrics all kind of blend with each other – which was my intent – so I don’t think that block appears as particularly scrappy.

I don’t have a favorite block here, and all I can say is I’m really glad I’m done making them.  If I had to make more, I’d fuse those darn melon shapes in place.  They were a royal pain in the you know where to sew, and I’m hoping I can iron them flatter, or that the quilt batt will absorb some of the waviness.

The design is awfully pretty though, isn’t it?  And I did do a great job of matching points – even if I do say so myself.  😉


Comfort Quilt 15

September 8, 2017

I’m sure I’ve made more than 15 Comfort quilts, but this is number 15 since I’ve started taking pictures, posting them on my blog, and remembering where the photos have been kept.  There were 2 laptops, and 1 desk top involved with storing photos, so it’s no wonder I lost track of some of them.

Comfort Quilt 15 blog

The bottom half of this photo is an accurate color representation of the quilt, and I absolutely loved making this one.  The colors are so happy.  It was hard to give up, but I have a lot of quilts in my home, and I do so hope whoever receives it will love it as much as I do.

This has some batik fabric I purchased in Tucson, some Japanese themed fabric, some florals I received in a swap, some 4th of July fireworks printed fabric, and some Christmas fabric I purchased from JoAnns in it, and they all played very well with each other.

This is the last of the woven themed designs I’ll be making for now.  Creating Comfort quilts is an excellent way to explore variations, and I thoroughly enjoyed making the 5th in this series.

Log Cabins are calling my name, but I’m not 100% sure I’ll go that route for my next group of Comfort quilts.  I have a few books on my dresser than have intriguing designs in them, so a little research is in order.  Till then,



Prep for New Project

July 16, 2017

I recently purchased a few of Jen Kingwell’s patterns, and haven’t decided if I’ll start It’s a Small World or Queens Cross yet.  Both use circles, so I thought I’d look into making applique circles.

One of my friends – Sue – lent me her sets of  Perfect Circles.  These are made of some sort of plastic in different sized circular shapes, and designed by Karen Kay Buckley.

Okay, I watched Karen’s you tube video, plugged in my iron, turned it on, cut my fabric circle, stitched around the edge, pulled it tight with the circle shape inside, and painted the edges with sizing.  Plopped the iron on top, and walked away for a minute or so, came back, lifted the iron, and the fabric was still soaking wet.

Hmm, I looked at the iron, and saw it wasn’t actually turned on.  Turned it to cotton, put the iron on top, walked away for a minute or so, came back, and the fabric was still soaking wet.  What the heck? Is my iron broken?

Traced the cord to the electric outlet, and it wasn’t plugged into the electric strip.  Oh there was an iron plugged into the electric outlet, but it wasn’t the one I was using. LOL

You see, I keep two irons in my sewing room: one small travel iron, and my larger one for yardage.  Seems I had plugged in the little travel iron, turned it on, but picked up the other iron to use instead.  This was definitely a “duh” moment.

Laughing out loud, I picked up the little travel iron, plopped it on top of my little fabric circle, and waited the recommended 20 seconds.  Lifted the iron, and this time I was rewarded with a nicely dried circle.  YES!!! Success!!!

circle 1

Lesson learned, love the templates, will purchase a set for myself, and have only about a few hundred more to make in my future.






Delilah Shooting Stars

July 9, 2017

I’m all caught up with my Delilah TOM and had a great time sewing these 2 blocks:

Block 3 a mine

Block 3 b mine

I’m really trying to use the fabric from the fabric kit, but find myself using lots of fabric from my collection, and altering the fabric I do use.  12 fabrics from the kit, and 20 from my collection in the above two blocks.

I’m pretty sure this situation has developed because I am not going with the flow.  I am approaching each one of these blocks with an idea in mind – like changing values.  No way could a fabric kit meet specific goals like that, especially since I change my mind with each month’s blocks.

I’m loving the fabric I receive each month, and am using colors outside my comfort zone, so am very satisfied with the fabric kit, and this entire project.  I’m learning something new, and having fun interacting with the Facebook community.

Now back to the blocks.  The first one went together quickly.  The second block not so fast.  I was attempting to do a color value with the lightest in the center, and gradually going darker towards the edges.  I found out there are not a lot of light orange fabrics.  My solution?  Dye some.

That little piece of light orange fabric came from my friend Beth – thank-you Beth – and had a stark white background.  First I tried changing the white, so I vanilla dyed it.  I use vanilla instead of tea as tea is acidic, and I’d really like this quilt to last awhile.

The vanilla solution darkened the background, but it just looked sad.  Out came my textile inks and clear aloe vera gel.  This is my favorite medium to use to color fabric – quickly, easily, and it’s washable after being heat set.  Well, it took me a good long time to mix the correct orange from my blue and yellow inks, but I got it.

That second block also has a piece of fabric from my friend Sue – thank-you Sue – the green and yellow squiggly fabric on the upper left.  This block will hold lots of good thoughts as I will always think of these two friends when I look at it.

Then I did a bad thing.  I cut one of the corner pieces of fabric off grain – as I really wanted the words to go in one direction.  It’s on the right side of the block, and I’ll have to make sure the block that goes next to it, will be on the straight of grain, because that triangle walks to a different drummer – not a nice precise drummer in a drill band, but a drummer who has a mind of his/her own, and wants to go on a walk about after having too much to drink.  😉