Saturday, January 20, 2018

My version of Piper

Here's my version of Traverse City's Airport dog, Piper. I made reflective (shinny knit) snow goggles with pleather trim. 
Eleven dogs finished, 4 to go.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Early morning stitching

Today I was at the sewing machine before dawn trying to get a bit done on two projects before heading to work. 
I made a few scrappy bow tie blocks... So now I'm up to seven 12" blocks. 


After work I pieced a few more dogs. Ten are done, 5 to go. They're getting done pretty quickly now. Maybe next week I'll be sashing these...fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Seven doggies done

Seven done, 8 to go! Almost halfway on this project. One of the dogs will have goggles, instead of eye glasses. We have a dog here in Traverse City that worked at the airport. He died recently of cancer. My grandson was very upset about it... He just loves working dogs. So anyways, the airport dog wore goggles as he worked and I'm going to try to replicate them on one of these guys. The dog was named Piper... Here's a pic of him: 

I found a reflective fabric, a knit, that I hope will work. He had a few pairs of these, one with black trim.... That will be the ones I'll copy since black will look better than yellow in this quilt. 


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bow Ties and Doggies


Ive been making LOTS of scrappy bow tie blocks and started putting them together into 16 patches. These are the first 4 16 patch blocks. Im going to keep this very scrappy, whatever leftovers are around are going to be added to this quilt. The background fabric is muslin... I have quite a few yards of it leftover from a project and thought it would add that vintage touch. Linking up to OH SCRAP... See the link button on the side of my blog.


So this is my main project this month...I want to get Henry's dogs in sweaters quilt finished up before we head south. Im cutting all the block pieces at once, then doing all the paper pieced parts and then I'll put the blocks together. The pattern doesn't have paper piecing instruction, it's just something I did on my computer using EQ7. It makes it much easier for me to assemble them this way instead of cutting tiny little squares and sewing point to point. Much more exact and easier on my eyes. 

I just came back from downstate and am glad to be back in my sewing room fooling around. The trip back was SCARY! The weather was so treacherous. We've  had quite a few storms here in Michigan this winter. I'll be glad for spring.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Scrappy blue bow ties and dogs in sweaters

I wasnt going to make a new quilt....really....but I just couldn't resist these bow ties. I saw a quilt on Instagram that I just fell in love with. It was all bow ties plus a pretty border. I may not do the border but the scrappy bow ties are calling my name. SO, as my scrap challenge quilt this year, I'm doing these... along with finishing up two I started last year.


I made a bunch of the blue blocks since that's January's color of the month. Then because these are so much fun, I made a ton more in all kinds of colors. I've done 60 or more blocks the past week and am now putting some together into 16 patches. This is going to be a fun old-fashioned quilt. 


So these dogs.... they're a pain in the ... well, they have about 50 pieces per block and some are so tiny I have to get out my special glasses to make sure they're on correctly. But, as much as I complain, I do love them. They are turning out so darn cute. I have 4 made now and will need 15 total. The next 11 Im doing all at once.... I'm making all the feet, all the ears, all the sweaters, etc for all of them, then I'll put all of them together at once.
And my third project that Im working on is quilting my husbands quilt, which is the UFO of the month. I'm hoping that by the end of the month Ill have two of these projects completed. Yeah, right. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!

It's a brand new year ...time for resolutions and fresh starts. I'm having an unusual January 1st... I don't have any resolutions and nothing I'd like to change in my life right now. I accomplished much of what I set out to change in 2017 and am pretty happy wiih life.
Al and I are comfortably living in our "last house"...if you know me, you know there's no such thing. The kids are happily married... we have a grandson and another is on the way. We both have fulfilling hobbies. And we both work VERY part time... as we feel like it.
I guess at 60 (something), I've learned to be happy, relaxed and just enjoy my friends and family. You just never know when it's all going to end so I want to just ENJOY. I hope all of you have a wonderful year, finding peace and contentment.

So on to my UFOs and scrap usage... I'm joining Patchwork Times again this year with my list of 12 UFOs that I'd like to complete in 2018. For January we are working on UFO number 10. This was also on last years list but I didn't have batting for it so it didn't get worked on. This is Al's southwest quilt and is quite large. I decided that for me to be able to quilt it, I would have to find a batting that is super thin. What I found was a king sized flannel sheet that is preshrunk and will do the job... I HOPE. Al is anxious for the one to be done.

As far as stash and scraps go, I'm doing the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again with Angela on www.soscrappy.blogspot.com. This month's color is light blue.. probably my favorite color. I'll be making more of the same ones I was working on last year. I finished one of the three rainbow scrap quilts i had started so I'll work on completing the other two. I'll also be trying to make quilts and complete quilts using only stash. Im not sure that's completely possible but that's the plan. I will be starting one new scrap quilt as I follow along with OH SCRAP.  It will be a Courthouse Steps quilt done in low volume and brights ... unless I decide to do a log cabin quilt... still considering.

And in keeping with a stress free year, I'll be donating any fabrics, blocks, quilt tops and/or quilts that don't make me happy. I gave a few away last year and I don't miss them in the slightest. It's a relief to let it go and it makes a fun "find" for someone else. I gave family members 6+ quilts. I have a few more people on my list that I'd like to give one to... and a few friends that have asked. I also give the pediatric dept at the hospital some for children that have to stay overnight and are scared.. they get quilts and teddy bears to comfort them. Knowing someone will enjoy and use my quilts makes my hobby enjoyable.

So off to the sewing room :)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

One last UFO finished up


This is a Row robin that my friends and I did in 2013. We each did a row and then passed it around until it came back to us.


I did the fourth row which are pine trees, from my Pats Pines block. I asked that everyone use Fig Tree fabrics or colors. 


I love that it reminds me of some very special ladies from Charlevoix. 

This year i will once again be participating in the UFO challenge at Patchwork Times. If you click on my UFO page, you'll see my huge list of started quilts. I plan to tackle these again this year and hopefully by 2019 the list will be half as long. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Dogs in sweaters quilt


Here's dog #2... 13 to go. I'm using flannel for the sweaters and kona solids for the rest. 


We are just about finished with Christmas shopping so we ducked into The Brew for a nice hot cup of coffee...the temps are dropping FAST! Highs are going to be in the teens then the single digits...brrrr. Great quilting weather though.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Starting a Doggie Quilt for Henry

I bought a cute little pattern called Dogs in Sweaters from the quilt shop in Suttons Bay Michigan. Henry loves dogs right now...that and army men and forest rangers. But dogs are #1 so I'm making him this quilt. It calls for 15 dog blocks... this one took me 3 hours! The reason it took so long is I made a few stupid mistakes like cutting out pieces 1/2" too long or short. Blaming it on my eye sight...

So when I looked at the pieces and the size of some of these little triangles I had to add, I decided I would be better off making some of the parts into foundation piecing. That's my pile below of all the parts that can be paper pieced. His feet, his eyes, his nose, the ears, his chest area.... Yeah, a lot of work but it'll come out much more accurate than if I just cut and pieced so I figured it was worth the time it took me to draw them out on my EQ and print them.
 

Before I started the dog quilt I did a quick little project... a Christmas Mug Rug out of scraps. I love doing these... they're fast and fun. I feel like I've accomplished something. I only had one Xmas mug rug and I wasn't too fond of it. Love this one.
 

So that's it for now. It's time for me to do a post of my current UFO's so that I can join in the UFO challenge at Patchwork Times. My list last year was 40+ and now I'm down into the 30's. The dog quilt will be added to the list too. I need a day to go through my projects and add up what I have. I know there are about 10 quilt tops... those just need quilting and binding so you would think I'd have them done fast but no... I get an idea and want to start something new. I just need to force myself to finish up what's started and doing the Challenge really helps.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

What quilters want for Christmas plus a finish


First up... I have one last (?) finish for 2017. There are a couple of projects that are close to being finished and you just never know... I could get in a FMQ frenzy and finish them up. But this one above needed to be done because it's a gift for my sister for Christmas. My daughter designed the block with the pines and I added the present in the border. It's a 15" pillow but could be a wall mini since I bound it just like a quilt.

So on to what I want to talk about today... QUILTER GIFTS!!

Sometimes we have family that wants to buy us quilters something special but have no idea what. Well, let me put some of MY favorites out here. Not all of these will work for all quilters so read below each item to see if it sounds like the person you have in mind. 

#1 COTTON THREAD... A good quality selection of thread is always needed. My favorites are Aurifil, Guterman and Mettler. White, cream and gray are my most used colors. And speaking of thread, how about winding some bobbins for her. My daugher winds a bunch of white bobbins for me for Mothers Day and I LOVE it. 

#2 NEEDLES for her machine... Look to see what she uses and buy more. We often forget to change our needles... They get burrs and dull after a bit so new ones are almost always welcome.

#3 ROTARY CUTTER and/or BLADES ... Getting new blades for a rotary cutter is like getting a new knife in the kitchen. It cuts like butter and makes you wonder why you didn't do it sooner. BUT they can be expensive. I watch for 1/2 off coupons at the major fabric and hobby stores. Make sure you know what brand and size cutter she has because they do differ. Or just buy a brand new cutter for her.

#4 FUN AND HELPFUL TOOLS ... If she does her own quilting on a domestic machine she probably bastes her quilt. Some quilters like to spray baste...so there's a gift. And some of us pin baste. Pin basters need curved pins and this tool below is FANTASTIC. It doesn't look like much but it has saved my fingers. 

#5 GLASS HEAD ULTRA FINE PINS. These are super sharp and fine. I love pinning seams with them and they are so thin if I "accidently" run over one it won't break or bend my machine needle.

#6 CURVY LOG CABIN TEMPLATE.  Getting new templates and rulers is always appreciated. This is a fun one that can do traditional or modern blocks. Look on Instagram or Pinterest for ideas and patterns. There's a lot of fun templates out there. 

#7 LED SEWING MACHINE BULB ...I didn't even realize these were a thing but WOW what a great gift. If you can't find the right size bulb the quilt shops can get stick on LED lights. Or a light that clips on to a machine would be another nice gift. Many of us are older and extra light is always welcome.

#8 SEAM RIPPER Now this could be a fun gift if you can find a fancy one. ETSY has some pretty wooden or glass rippers. I have a nice brass seam ripper from a quilt shop. Ripping is a nessecary evil so if you have to do it, make it more fun with a pretty ripper.

#9 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO HER FAVORITE SHOP 

#10 CHOCOLATE Who doesn't need chocolate after sewing block pieces backwards. Actually, who needs an excuse. This is always the perfect gift.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Almost Christmas


I'm still in hexie mode... These pretty Kaffe fabrics are going to become hexagons that I will appliqué to background fabric. Sashing? Maybe. Quilt? Pillow? Who knows. I'll see what it needs to be later...  
My class will be to teach English paper piecing, fussy cutting, and appliqué. I want the project to be fairly easy so I'm going to include a mug rug pattern (Link to my HEXAGON FLOWER MUG RUG PATTERN)  made with just one hexie flower... that way it won't be overwhelming if someone is struggling with the hand work. Linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching.. Kathys Quilts


And since it's almost Christmas, it's my annual cookie bake week, I've started getting the 10+ different batches baked. These have to go in the mail by December 15th. My two bachelor brothers that live out in CA and OR, look forward to this treat. 


And to think I was (somewhat) complaining that the temps were too high for December... missing the snow... well, not anymore. We've had snow EVERY DAY since the day after I mentioned the lack of it. We have plenty now and it keeps on coming... Sure is beautiful!

My version of Piper

Here's my version of Traverse City's Airport dog, Piper. I made reflective (shinny knit) snow goggles with pleather trim.  Elev...