May 18, 2023: The machine returns! Last of the basket blocks and more…

Greetings dear readers! I finally got my sewing machine back on Saturday, after 3 weeks! Apparently the shop I use (a fabric shop/Bernini dealer) has only one person, off site, who does maintenance and repairs and it’s a part time job, so prone to delays. Maybe this is an excuse for me to purchase a backup machine 😊; maybe a smaller and lighter one, easier to take to workshops…..😉. Anyway, I missed my routine of spending some time every morning doing machine work and am happy to finally be back in the groove. The first thing I did was finish the last 10 basket blocks:

That’s 98 of these done! I took them all off the design wall and will put them away for a few weeks while I finish other things. My older grandchildren got their “big bed” quilts when they were 7. Ursula, who is getting this, is only 4, so I have plenty of time!

The second thing I did on the machine was make the 4 corner blocks for the zig-zag donation quilt with the vine borders. These required machine appliquéing the petals.

The corner blocks are only 5 1/4 inches square and I was worried the machine appliqué would pucker and distort so I put a stabilizer on the back – the above pictured Sulky Totally Stable iron on – and it worked perfectly and was pretty easy to peel off and tear away after the appliqué was completed.

Next up is attaching the borders and corners to the quilt.

The third thing I did was make 6 more blocks for the curvy improv quilt I started in Cindy Grisdela’s class. Once they were done I played around, moving several pieces. Since this is a learning experience, I knew I didn’t want to overly obsess about it and quickly decided on a final layout. In the photo, the 4 blocks in the upper left corner are sewn together:

I actually don’t think it looks bad!! I like how the lower shape in the center looks like a basket. The challenge will continue with a border that uses curves and then a facing instead of a binding. Goal: finish in time to show at my guild’s July meeting in which members are to show a finished quilt started in a workshop.

Speaking of guild meetings, we had Timna Tarr as our speaker this week and she was excellent! I love her quilts, which have won lots of awards, and am especially drawn to her use of color. Here are some photos:

She said circles and strings are her go to design elements any time she needs to just sew something she’s comfortable with or struggles with what to make next. The next quilt is Cataena, the quilt based on the “endless chain” block and which inspired my own “Inner Reaches of Outer Space” – I used her basic pattern, but my own colors, values, etc.:

She is currently doing mosaic style quilts, mostly of animals. She showed a photo that was marked in a diagonal grid and the quilt made from it:

She did a workshop for the guild on the mosaic technique and I was unfortunately unable to take it.

I try to sew connector pieces to 1 or 2 hexagon stars each day. Here are the Row 14 ones done so far:

Last week I walked in the woods with a friend and her dog. She ended up taking more than 50 deer ticks off the dog and 2 off herself after she got home. I got one off my scalp. Where I live, in northern New England, we need to be very vigilant for ticks and aware of the danger of getting Lyme Disease. I usually am careful so not too worried about where I walk, but that dog was a magnet for ticks! Here are some of my recent “earthly delights”:

Fern opening up:

Close up on the fronds – are these some kind of spores?:

Chokeberry blossoms:


Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

18 thoughts on “May 18, 2023: The machine returns! Last of the basket blocks and more…

  1. Cindy Truman May 18, 2023 / 9:08 pm

    Congratulations on getting your machine back! It must have felt so good to work on those baskets again! They are delightful! I also enjoyed Timna Tarr and would have loved to spend a day with her in a workshop! I will definitely be going to the quilt museum to see her quilts in a few months.

    • gladiporsche May 19, 2023 / 8:45 pm

      Thanks Cindy. I’m sure I’ll be checking out Timna’s exhibit too!

  2. Cindy May 18, 2023 / 9:12 pm

    Congratulations on getting your machine back! It must have felt so good to work on those baskets again! They are delightful! I also enjoyed Timna Tarr and would have loved to spend a day with her in a workshop! I will definitely be going to the quilt museum to see her quilts in a few months.

    • pamdempsey May 18, 2023 / 10:00 pm

      Oh my goodness! Your guild is so lucky getting Timna Tarr ! I have her book on the mosaic style and I love her animals fabric and quilts 🥰 Again, I love those beautiful baskets, all so pretty! I want to try the hexagon stars, are yours epp or hand sewing regular? I don’t know about the ferns, don’t get too close 🤣

      • gladiporsche May 19, 2023 / 8:48 pm

        Thanks Pam! The hexagon stars are English Paper Pieced. Instead of hand basting the pieces, I use freezer paper templates and iron the seam allowances over, using sizing to keep them in place.

  3. Marie May 19, 2023 / 1:46 am

    Lucky you! I love Timna’s work. It must have been a real treat. As was your photo of the fronds – just beautiful.

    • gladiporsche May 19, 2023 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks Marie!

  4. Wendy Reed May 19, 2023 / 11:37 am

    Happy your machine is back. I must admit it is nice having a backup machine (or two) when needed. It is great to be back reading blogs again. Hope I can keep it up. I enjoy yours so much! And, I truly love how you end your posts with such beautiful nature photos. Enjoy the day!

    • gladiporsche May 19, 2023 / 8:50 pm

      Thanks Wendy for not making me feel guilty for wanting another machine!🙂. So glad enjoy the blog!

  5. Kyle May 19, 2023 / 1:12 pm

    It’s amazing what you can accomplish with small bits each day and it’s hard when your usual schedule is interrupted. Lots of beautiful color today. I always enjoy your walk in the woods photos. Hate those ticks!

    • gladiporsche May 19, 2023 / 8:51 pm

      Thanks Kyle! So, so true about a little bit of work on a project every day adding up over time.

  6. Jean May 19, 2023 / 7:35 pm

    An excellent backup machine would be a featherweight. I love mine. The dark on the underside of the ferns is their sex glands!

    • gladiporsche May 19, 2023 / 8:53 pm

      Thanks Jean. A featherweight would be wonderful! Thanks for identifying those dots! I figured they likely had something to do with reproduction!😊

  7. Nann May 20, 2023 / 1:09 pm

    Good to read that you’re back in action! All of your WIPS are wonderful to behold. I’ve admired Timna Tarr’s work. I have a FW but my backup is a Singer 301.

  8. gladiporsche May 20, 2023 / 8:34 pm

    Thanks Nann! I enjoy seeing all your projects as well – always amazed at how productive you are!

  9. marissthequilter May 24, 2023 / 9:00 am

    Glad to read that you finally got your sewing machine back. Thanks for sharing your recent burst of blocks.

  10. Cynthia @ wabi sabi quilts May 24, 2023 / 1:54 pm

    Ooo I really admire Timna Tarr’s quilts. Glad you got your machine back. I love my small Bernina 475QE. I purchased it as a smaller lighter machine to bring to Tokyo, and now it’s my main machine because I love it so much! I purchased it from Quilted Threads in Henniker NH.

    • gladiporsche May 24, 2023 / 7:57 pm

      Thanks Cynthia! I’ll definitely need to check out that machine. A good excuse to go back to Quilted Threads!😊

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