June OMG & Old Quilts

Well, here we are, time for another OMG with Elm Creek Quilts.  I love the push that Patty's program gives me to move forward on things that I've been dragging my feet on.  I decided to go ahead and make the next round of pieces on Grassy Creek my goal this month.  My daughter helped me arrange all the blocks, which barely fit on my design wall.  Also, she is short, so there are a lot of blocks near the floor!  This made it really hard to get a decent photo since the design wall is behind the long arm.  So here is a series of not so great photos, but you'll get the idea.

Here are all 25 blocks.

Left half of the blocks, minus the one at the top.
Blocks on the right side of the design wall.
Close up of a block.

Last week I mentioned my dislike of hourglass units and several readers commented that they didn't think the blocks looked bad.  That was because I strategically arranged my blocks so that the best ones showed. Here is a photo of one of the less ideal blocks.  Despite my efforts, I always have some that are really wonky when I sew them.  I do always line up the proper center point while trimming.  I guess my piecing of these units is just way off at times.

Moving along, if you stopped by last week, you know I was upset that my zig zag stitch was malfunctioning.  My beloved 440 is back with the repair person so he can undo whatever it is he did. Here's a picture of what was going on. Can you see how it just takes straight stitches every now and then? The needle actually pierces the fabric  on the left side of the zig zag, but no stitch is formed.

Meanwhile, I was freaking out over not having a machine for who knows how long.  My daughter's Bernette is okay, but it's not a 440.  I went looking for back up machines on eBay and look what arrived yesterday:

There was a lot of bubble wrap.  A lot.  The machine was even bubble wrapped inside the case! There is something sticking out on the left side under the Bernina logo, but I don't know what it is.  Anyone know?

(Edited to add: it is a clip to hold a Bernina magnifying glass system.  Too bad I don't have one of those.)

It does need a lot of surface cleaning, but according to the seller it only has 105 hours on it.  Mine has around 3000.  And he threw in a Bernina walking foot for me. Anyone know a good way to safely surface clean machines?  Mine still looks virtually new after nine years.  This one definitely doesn't. The buttons need help. They are pretty gross.

I have worked on a few sewing projects, but cannot share them yet.  Plus, no machine makes it hard make much progress.

I have done some quilting.  Here is a sneak peek of the back of one.  Can't show the front for a while yet.

And here are two of Sonja's in progress.

Last week Rebecca asked about old, unfinished quilts on one of her Instagram posts. I mentioned that I had two that were around 20 years old and she wanted to see them.  Maybe you'd enjoy seeing them too?

This first one is a lovely shade of navy and white--one of my favorite combos ever.  I pieced this no later than in 2000. The pattern was published in American Patchwork & Quilting some time in the 1990s.  I didn't go look for the specific issue.  Even though the points and intersections aren't great, I still adore this quilt. It's one of the first I ever made. I bought backing a few years ago, but I am not in love with it and I haven't decided yet how to quilt it, so that's why it's still like this. I sort of want to full-on custom quilt it with rulers.  Time is a problem for that.

Next up is this little apple quilt.  It is from around 2000 as well.  The pattern was in one of the McCall's magazines, maybe Quick Quilts? This was originally intended as a gift for my mother in law.  She had the exact wallpaper as the border print, only in yellow.  That thin green border is a jacquard fabric.  Not sure why I did that. Ha. I never got it quilted and of course she has redecorated multiple times since then.  This one should be an easy finish since it's fairly small.  Maybe this one is a candidate for trying out custom quilting on the IQ.

I thought those were the only old ones, but I was poking around in my closet and found this one. Notice all the Thimbleberries fabric? Maybe not because I didn't take a close-up picture.  Trust me, it's there.😏 Remember how that was like the height of fashion in the quilting world in the late 90s? Anyway, the pattern was published in 1999 in American Patchwork & Quilting. It was called Millennium Quilt or something similar. I think I worked on this right around 2000 based on my memories of where I purchased the fabric and where I remembered stitching the blocks. The reason this quilt never got finished is that it is supposed to have 12" appliquéd borders all the way around. If you've been here for a while, you know that while I love how appliqué looks, I HATE hand-stitching it. I decided that this top is a good candidate for the local guild's Community Quilts program. There's no reason that I need to add 12" borders, and I don't mind sacrificing a bunch of 1" wide bias strips. I will happily create a backing, quilt, bind, and donate.

(Edit 6/4/21: I now have a firm plan for this.  Check back Wednesday to find out more.)

Let's finish off with a bit of gardening.  My veggie garden is still limping along.  I replanted cucumber seeds this weekend.  The strawberry patches are producing like crazy. We spent four or five hours Saturday removing more spearmint that popped up from the lower flower bed (it's around 15 ft x 60 ft). I planted the lilac bush I'd been waiting on.  Went to water it Monday and saw that there was already spearmint coming up.  IT HAD ONLY BEEN TWO DAYS! 😩  I surely loathe that stuff.  The smell turns my stomach now. There was also a good bit of what I think is Johnson grass to remove.

A robin had nested in one of the clematis vines; I mentioned that last week.  She must have been too heavy, because the whole vine was off the support and the nest with four eggs was tipped precariously.  We attempted to pull the vine back up and fasten it to the support as best we could, but I think the robin abandoned her nest.

Finally: baby pears!

I hope you have a lovely week.  Thanks for dropping by.

Linking with For the Love of GeeseMy Quilt Infatuation, Alycia Quilts, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Sorry to hear about your 440, I had to send my machine away last year for two months. It was hard to get used to the loaner, I eventually brought out my singer 401 and had a better time. The metal thing sticking out of the left side may be a bracket for the magnifying glasses, or the eyelet cutting attachment. I chuckled at your thimbleberries comment, I was probably one of the only quilters able to resist its call.

  2. Oh my gosh, I totally went through a Thimbleberries phase! I kinda miss her. Still have a few fabrics and probs 4 or 5 books? The navy/white quilt is beautiful!

  3. Magic Erasers are the bomb for items like this, it will gently clean. I love your Grassy Creek blocks and oh that blue and white star quilt is stunning. Two color quilts are always beautiful. We have some wild strawberries growing along our driveway but I'm pretty sure the wild life will get to them before I can.

  4. I looked up the manual for your machine online and it looks like that's a needle threader. https://www.manualslib.com/manual/389058/Bernina-Aurora-440qe.html?page=9#manual Go back one page to see the identifying picture.

  5. I love your Grassy Creek colors!!! I had my Thimbleberries phase myself. We still have a few bolts of Thimbleberries at the LQS.

  6. 1. HOORAY for your new 430 backup machine! I'd just use Clorox bleach wipes to clean the buttons etc. I know the manual says something like "no harsh cleaners, only a damp rag" but I think it's fine for a one-time removal of grime and gook. 2. OH-MA-GOSH, I'm in love with your navy and white UFO!!! What if you cut down on the time investment by finding a couple of digital block designs to use in the stars and/or in the alternate blocks in conjunction with some light ruler work? Block designs are easy in IQ -- much easier than setting up a panto. Just saying... 3. Your Grassy Creek is looking amazing up on your design wall! The colors remind me of Florida!

  7. This was kinda a mini quilt show - I loved seeing them all. Grassy Creek will look so lovely when its all done!!