Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Attempting to reduce the fullness of my scrap bins, I've been doing lots of rotary cutting. From fabric pieces, I begin by cutting 5" squares. Then, 3" squares, 2-1/2" squares, 1-1/2" squares, and 1" strips. Those sizes have pretty much used up lots of my non-yardage prints. Slow progress.

The 3" squares and 2-1/2" squares are in this old sewing machine drawer. 

I'm making those patches into this block that I saw on Instagram. Victoria, who lives in Scotland and is @sewgoclimbing on IG, is making hers with 6" blocks. Following the photo of her quilt, and using EQ7, I designed my own version with 2" patches. My test block measures 12-1/2" X 12-1/2" unfinished. I love it... and now need only 29 more blocks to make a decent-sized quilt! I'm excited about using up those scraps, though.

From a bin of strings - 1"-wide to 2-1/2"-wide fabric strips I've collected over the years - I made six more 8" blocks to contribute to the donation quilt being made by the Central Florida MQG.

And, I got right on the Mid-Century Modern bee September block for Mary on Lake Pulaski. Mary asked us to make a Union Jack block (8" X 15-1/2" unfinished) following the tutorial by Mollie B. Sparkles. I'll admit that this one got the best of me! Those diagonal quadrants... let's just say I had to make more than one two of them before I got it right. After this, the Union Jack block is officially out of my system!

This quilt top is the second 54" X 60" design I'm offering to students in this fall's (September 25) Beyond First Time Quiltmaking class. I've named the pattern "Make it Easier," because it's a simplified version of the other pattern I'm offering. Lots of negative space that will demand some creative quilting. 

My Flower Ball quilt top is also done at 42" X 42" and is ready for basting and quilting. I finally decided to put the flower ball on a Kona Azure background. So, that means two more quilts need quilting...

...after this one is done. I've made very little progress on Happy Together, and what I've done I don't like. The curves aren't even. I've decided to move on to another block, and will revisit this one later. I sure love the texture that I get with double batting though! This is Quilter's Dream Wool on top of Quilter's Dream Request Poly. I'm quilting with Marathon iridescent thread and that's giving this a lovely sheen.

At the moment, I'm not my usual self. Sunday evening I was bitten by an insect - perhaps a mosquito. I'm having an allergic reaction. You're looking at my right forearm. The bite is oozing now. The hot, red, swollen area is about 4" across, and 6" from elbow to wrist. My skin feels oddly taut, and the itching is driving me crazy. Monday afternoon (Labor Day) I phoned a 24-hour nurse hotline, and am doing as suggested - icing it; putting on a paste of baking soda; elevating my arm; and I've taken some Benadryl. Don't like the pills though as they give me an upset stomach.

I know this will pass, though it has become apparent that my reaction to bites have been getting worse. Apparently, Florida's mosquitos are different than those in Iowa. Diligence about wearing repellent is needed. Did you know that Listerine is a great insect repellent? Just splash original, gold-colored Listerine on yourself. The bugs won't like you, and, you smell pretty good too! I need to take my own advice! Linda


  1. sorry about your arm hope its better soon. love the pictures of the scraps cut up! really helps when you want to whip up a quilt.

  2. That bite does look nasty! They breed vicious insects in Florida! Love all your scrap cutting- I wish I was disciplined enough to do that! I was looking forward to making the Union Jack block as I've made one before. But it seems this is a different pattern...

  3. ACK!! That insect bite looks horrid and all the OTC remedies have their drawbacks (I go right to sleep with Benedryl). I'm a mosquito magnet so I'm not sure I'd do well in your neck of the woods. Hope it heals soon.

    I have to say I'm glad you are moving on to another square on your Happy Together quilt. I had the same experience with my Lollypop Trees quilt--so critical of my own efforts on the first blocks. But now, with it hanging in my hallway? I don't even notice those awkward places on my quilt even though I know where they are. I think your quilting looks beautiful--it's going to be such a lovely quilt.

    Love all your other projects--you are such an Energizer Quilter!


  4. Hope you are seeing an improvement in your arm. If not, I'd check the the doc tomorrow. There is a children's benedryl that may be easier on your tummy. Also, be sure to eat something.

    I really need to get to cutting up my scraps in to usable sizes. Looks like you are making progress.
    Take care!

  5. You poor thing! Antihistamine cream maybe?
    Hope it doesn't stop,your prolific,output.
    Love the quilt with the 2"squares.

  6. Eating Vegemite helps keep the mossies aways. I think the theory is the Vit B, so you could try taking a supplement.
    I cut all my scraps into 2, 3.5 and 5 inch squares. So far, I've made two quilts, and about half a dozen small projects - bags, boxes, etc from my collection. It was a tedious task, but so worthwhile.
    I still have a tub of scraps that I couldn't get a 2inch square from. After seeing your 1 inch strip blocks, I might try making some crazy patch, quilt as you go blocks from those.

  7. Yikes! Your arm doesn't look good. I'm hoping it is better by now.

    I think I've said this before but I love the old sewing cabinet drawer. Your scraps look wonderful in it!

  8. Poor you, that bite looks nasty. I have very similar reactions to anything that bites me. Not serious, but annoying and the itchiness can drive me up the wall. I use antihistamine creams or sometimes I even dab a bit of cortisone cream as that helps with the itchiness. Love how you cut your scraps into usable pieces. Great idea.

  9. Well obviously you need breakfast in bed until that arm heals up ; )
    All your projects are stunning. Now I'm really scared to try the Union Jack block. I will have to face my fear sooner or later...........

  10. Oh, your poor arm! I hope it heals fast.

    Your scraps are so cute in their drawer.

  11. So sorry to hear about your bite! Your work is beautiful. Yes, subcutting scraps is not fun.

  12. Love your scraps! The last time I was stung by a wasp I ended up in the ER the next day with cellulitis. Your arm looks similar to mine when that happened.

  13. Your scraps are being tamed, and look so nice and tidy in their container. The blocks are colorful and fun- love the Union Jack. And the Flower Ball quilt has such an illusion of dimensions-nice! Do you think it might have been a fire ant that bit you? Itching from those is intense. I read (and tried this, too) to tape a penny on a bite immediately. Somehow it quell the itching and reduces reaction. Had a fire ant bite on my foot and it actually did seem to help. I've heard a cold, wet tea bag compress helps too. Feel better! We do have some awful bugs.

  14. Love your sewing machine drawer for holding your scrap squares. I've been doing that off and on (mostly off) and have a few drawers of various sizes too. I just never seem to take time to make the quilts I have in mind! Be careful with that bite. Are you sure it's a mosquito and not a spider bite. Hope it heals soon. I love all of your pretty projects. Maybe when the snow hits our area I'll stay in and do more sewing. Take care.

  15. Your arm looks very uncomfortable!
    Love that you have the patience to cut up all those scraps, I need some!

  16. Your projects are all so lovely,Linda! I especially like your antique machine drawer storage idea. How awful about your arm...hope it is much better by now. While on vacation, aboard a train through the redwoods, I suddenly felt something bite me on my hip...still don't know what it was. It swelled and itched like your arm for several days....crazy bugs!

  17. Do sorry about the bite. Hope by now it's better. All your projects look inviting. Can't wait to see more of the flowers.

  18. I'm exhausted just seeing all of your on-going and beautiful projects. Nasty bite! I use lavender to ward off mosquitoes. I have lavender lotion to use at home and I keep a bar of solid lotion in my backpack for traisping through the woods. Smells better than listerine!

  19. Linda your arm is scary! Are you sure it wasn't a spider? That Union Jack block looks very difficult; I think I won't be trying it any time soon. :) And I love your latest quilt pattern for your class. It will be fun to see how everyone quilts it. blessings, marlene

  20. I hope your arm is all better by now. It is no fun having something so bothersome. Love your work as always. They are so happy and colorful and fun to see. The quilting is wonderful. You are such a good fabric user-upper!

  21. Oh I hope you are better by now Linda. Bites can be so frustrating not to mention serious. Looks like you're quite busy as usual. Keep it up.

  22. Ooh that bit looks nasty! Visiting FL in November so will make sure I bring Llisterene and any other repellant I can find. My last three has to be treated with antibiotics.
    Love making scrappy quilts

  23. Your arm looks painful.At first I thought you were sunburned. I have lived in Florida all my life and never heard of anyone having a reaction to a mosquito bite,much less one like that. From what you describes it sounds exactly how my skin gets when I am stung by a wasp! You can get stung by one and never see it happen. I'm not a doctor,but my daughter has hundreds of allergies and for years the only one I ever knew I had was a reaction to wasp bites,when I was helping my dad on the roof snaking a drain back in the 70's when I first discovered it and again when I was gardening in the late 90's when I accidentally disturbed a HUGE and potentially deadly nest in the tree next to my gardenia's when I dropped the hose and it hit the branch in the low sitting tree we recently had put in.I felt the bit on my stomach and ran to our mud porch,I had a one piece bathing suit on and had to strip right there on the back porch to get to my belly and make sure something wasn't still in there,then I got the wet tobacco from a smoke and put it on as I learned from my mother. My husband and I went back out later when things had settled down and were shocked at the sie of the nest. We had to get a professional to remove it. You can never take a bug bite lightly in Florida. You could have been bitten by a brown recluse spider. My brother was once and almost died from it. I hope next time you go to the hospital immediately. Allergies are nothing to be taken lightly and you could be dead in minutes from some bites. I love your quilt stuff. I found your blog from something pinned. I have the same sewing machine drawers still in the machine cabinet. The wood decals on the front have fallen off and need to be re-glued but I still have them. My last rescued squirrel did a number on the top but I want to do an abstract mosaic with broken china and purchased glass.I've never quilted except for smaller crazy quilt pieces for small pillows and other things. I recently saw the most amazing quilts on Pinterest that someone had pinned from the " Tokyo Quilt Show(or festival?) If you have never seen them you absolutely MUST take a look! I could not get over the beauty and skill and originality of those quilts,they are absolutely unbelievable. Gonna go now and check out some more of your blog. Hope you are is healed by now since I do not know when this post was made. Take Care.

  24. Also meant to say,I didn't think it was a brown recluse because those bites take on a nasty color and all sorts of other ugliness and you would have ended up in the hospital whether or not you wanted to . My ex-bf's daughter had one and let it go thinking nothing of it and ended up there when it turned into MRSA in the bite site! As for everyones home remidies for mosquitoes and warding them off, you must mae sure you have a bite spray or cream with DEET in it because it has been in the news a lot lately(Orlando news which covers all of Central Florida from Coco Beach and All of Brevard county to Orlando and all of Orange County to Ocala and surrounding towns like Leesburg where I live in Lake,Sumter & Marion County) they have been reporting cases of West Nile I think it was but there are many diseases it carries that cause serious problems for humans and animals alike. I have since my last comment read about reactions possibly like yours to mosquito bites and still a serious matter that needs checking into, Here are some of the other health problems,I hope you get checked as a safety precaution!
    Dog Heartworm
    Yellow Fever
    Eastern Equine Encephalitis
    St. Louis Encephalitis
    LaCrosse Encephalitis
    Western Equine Encephalitis
    West Nile Virus

  25. Bummer about your arm! I experienced some similar (but not quite so drastic) symptoms from Italian mosquito bites - go figure! haha. Anyway the scrap progress is great - I play around with that random cutting too but never get to the bottom of the basket. Good luck with your new block - nice!!

  26. Linda, you are so busy with your wonderful quilt projects.
    I hope that your arm is well again. Sometimes I also have such reactions but mostly in my legs. Terribel.
    Take care.


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