Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Starting another round robin...

Here's my medallion for the quilt and needle round robin. This is going to be Al's quilt when it's finished. He really likes the southwest look like I'm doing for his brother. I found this horse pattern online for free at www.fatcatpatterns.com. Thanks, Sally! There were loads a great choices but this is the one Al like the best. It was his idea to put it on point but I don't think that's going to be a problem. I'm in a group with some REALLY talented quilters. I can't wait to get started on it.

Have a great NEW YEARS everyone!

Working on Jenn's Chair

This is the old "UGLY" blue chair that I'm working on for Jennifer. She needs a nice chair for her new apartment. We're covering over the old blue and putting on a soft cream (I know it looks white in these pics). There aren't any arms to it so it's pretty simple.
Al and I are going to TRY to put it in the trunk of the car tomorrow and deliver it to her.. I don't have a finished picture. I KNOW I took one but for some reason it's not on the camera. Maybe it didn't click when I pushed the button. I'm happy with how it turned out...she wanted clean and simple. She has a very busy pillow to put on it. I'll see if I can get a picture at her apartment tomorrow.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas EVERYONE!!



I wanted to show all of you a BEAUTIFUL present I received from my good friend Rebecca! I planned to save it until I got to Arizona but... well... it was just too pretty to not use. Don't you just LOVE it?! Rebecca, I've gotten DOZEN of complements on it. The other rolled up gift next to the purse is a kit from her to make a pillow to go with my Americana quilt. I'm packing that up to take with me on the trip so that I have a nice fun project to work on. It looks so pretty wrapped up that I had to rewrap it after I peeked inside :) I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful friend!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday!! I'm still doing last minute cooking and baking but hope to be done soon. Lisa is on her way home. It's a four hour drive for her and the weather is not being very nice. She is leaving early to avoid the sleet and ice storm that is coming later today. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cookie Time

Today was another baking day. Since I gave cookies as presents to half of my family, I need to bake for us. We love our gingerbread men the most. I made a few dozen of those.
Now I need to start the sugar cookies. Those make a HUGE mess because of all the sprinkles ... I always seem to end up with sugar sprinkles all over the floor. Guess I'm just a messy baker!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quilt for my brother in law...

Here you go, Rebecca. This is a picture of the quilt top as it is right now. I'm out of the blue print that is in the V's so I finished the three sides that I had enough for. Now I need to wait... I hope the fabric comes quickly. This quilt is supposed to be done in mid January to take to AZ with us. I still have at least two borders to go.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Online shopping today...

Today was a productive day for me in the sewing room. I added another border to my BIL's quilt. Then I started the one after that and got about 1/2 way when I realized I needed more of one of the Moda southwest fabrics... WELL, this is a fabric I bought LAST winter on our trip down south. Lucky for me, I found it online and ON SALE at www.thevirginiaquilter.com. This is the first time I've shopped this site and I liked what I found. They have some wonderful sale fabrics and shipping is CHEAP! Only $2.50 shipping for my yard of fabric (which was $6). This worked out to be less than a yard of fabric at the LQS! I'm a happy camper :) Just hope it gets here quickly so that I can finish up the next border.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

So this is what the drive was like the last hour home... NOT GOOD!
Pulling into our driveway? Where the heck is it?!!!


We wore tennis shoes and flats... who expected this? The weather was BEAUTIFUL when we left... what the heck happened? That's Al walking ahead of me with our overnight bag... Im trying to follow in his footsteps so that I don't get a shoefull of snow... I looked like I was out making snow angels by the time I got to the house :)
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas............

We've been in downstate Michigan for the last few days (and Ohio) getting a new used car for my youngest daughter, Lisa. She loves Volvos so we've been searching for the perfect car for her. Not only does it need to be reasonable (CHEAP) it needs to be the right model, the right year, the right color... yeah, a piece of cake! So Al found one in Ohio... just 4-1/2 hours south of Lisa (who is 4 hours south of us). We drove down to the Detroit area, spent the night at moms, took off before dawn to drive down to see this "perfect" car in Ohio, buy it, and drive back to the Detroit area so that she could still make it to work on time... what a rush trip! The next day she had school so we took her "new" car to a mechanic just to make sure all was okay with it before we left town. This took all day but gave me a chance to shop for fabric (found some batiks!). The car checked out ... they thought we had gotten a GREAT deal so Al's happy, Lisa's happy and that makes me HAPPY!

The trip gave me LOTS of time to sew on the road. I finished the mountains and cactus on the center of my BIL's quilt. Now that I'm home I'll add the next part which is sort of a Native American design. It's snowing right now... has been all day and all last night... we're supposed to get 1-2 FEET! ..(humming).....it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A sneak peek...


This is the western/native american quilt I'm making for my BIL. Months ago, I made the beginning of this quilt and then decided I didn't like it so I sent it to the scrap heap. This is the center of the new one. The colors are much nicer this time... more what I had in mind. The darker fabric that is in the HSTs is something I found in a sale scrap bag. I would love to find more of this fabric so if anyone knows what it is... or who sells it, let me know. It's a nice cotton but looks like suede and the color is so rich and warm, kind of a golden rusty brown. Not sure the computer does it justice.
The center is a 6" preprinted piece that came on a panel with lots of other nice squares. I may use some of the other later in the quilt. It's hard to tell but the beige in the outer HSTs are a creamy beige "crackle" fabric. I just love the antique look that gives it. I used my trusty SPEED GRID for the HSTs and had them finished quickly. The next part will be to keep this block on point and add corner triangles of a sand color with appliqued cactus... after that ....hmmm...not sure...

Monday, November 23, 2009

November Roses?

I just had to show you what is growing outside of my sewing room door. This IS November isn't it!?! LOL

Making EASY Half Square Triangles for a quilt

Maybe it's just me, but I just love these Speed Grids! I found this one at a resale shop and thought I would give it a try. WOW! It's so easy! I haven't ever noticed these in the quilt shops but I'm sure they must still sell them. I had to make 64 HSTs to make to finish up a border on a quilt that is on my UFO list. I put it off because I was dreading these. But, boy, this was easy...


I was thinking that if I've never noticed this tool before, maybe there are others that haven't seen it :)



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This is a really fast, easy applesauce recipe. I double, triple etc the recipe for each 5 large apples I have. Yesterday I had to multiply by 6 for my 30 apples.
Here's the recipe:
DEB'S EASY APPLESAUCE
5 Gingergold apples ( you can use any apple but may need to adjust the sugar)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
optional: cinnamon to taste

Peel and core apples. Cut into large pieces and add to a pot along with the lemon juice, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until apples are starting to get good and hot. Put lid on and turn down to medium low. Let them steam and cook until semi soft. Mash up any large pieces and taste. Add more sugar if needed. Add optional cinnamon.
This makes a nice side dish served with pork....mmmmm

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quilting and Making Applesauce

Today was a perfect fall day... perfect for quilting and making applesauce... I had 15 pounds of apples left from my 50 pound bag I bought a couple of weeks ago at the farm market. It was quite a deal... 50 lbs for $5!! Couldn't pass that up!
I cut up MOST of them... still have a few left... and they filled the pot to the top. Almost couldn't get the sugar and cinnamon in.
Some of the apples had brown spots and were getting a little soft... doesn't hurt the sauce a bit :) Sure tastes yummy! The extra apples will just have to go into a pie.
Now back to the sewing room.....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Neutral Basketweave

At www.blockcentral.net/eve we are doing a neutral strip swap. I've pulled out an old UFO that will be finished up now thanks to this swap.
I started this one LONG ago and kind of forgot about it. It's a basketweave in all neutrals. I am hoping that once the quilt top is done, I can applique some big bold flowers on it, right over the basket weave... but first I need to get the neutral part done. This is a REALLY easy project. The quilt is 64" square. I think I might add an 8" border to all the sides so that it's 80" square. The main part takes 64 strips, 2-1/2" x WOF (width of fabric).

Sew 4 of the strips together... I put the darker strips on the top and bottom and the lighter ones in the middle. I think this will give it more of a 3D shading when finished. Now cut up the long piece into 8-1/2" squares. I have a NIFTY template called "Get Squared" that is exactly that size so it makes cutting them up VERY EASY! You need 4 squares from each long strip. You'll have some leftover pieces... I just add them to the scrap pile for my next crazy quilt.


I stack them in piles and label them. There are 8 rows and 8 columns. Rows run side to side and colums are up and down.



The easiest way to put it all together is to lay it all out on your design wall (or floor as I do :).
I lay row one, with 8" spaces between the 4 blocks. Then I layed out row 2, but these go under the empty spaces. Then I put down column 1, starting under row 1 and skipping spaces. Then column 2.
You want every other block of row 1 to be the same, every other block of row 2 to be the same, etc. Same with the columns... every other block in the column is the same. I used somewhat lighter blocks going up and down.. and deeper ones going across. I'll post a picture of my completed top in a few days. Guess I need to get sewing!






Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Going through my quilts...

I decided to go through some of my quilts today and check to see if I signed the backs of all of them. As I went down memory lane, I took a few pictures. Thought I would share this one with all of you. I made this one for my hubby and I also made a similar one for one of my brothers that loves fishing and boating. This was a pattern for a wallhanging that I expanded to make a bed sized quilt. I love how it turned out.... but then I LOVE PLAIDS.

Monday, November 2, 2009

My round robin top comes home!!

Today I had the BEST day! The mailbox was filled with all kinds of squishy and quilting goodies.
First of all, my round robin came home today!! Don't you just LOVE it?! It matches my living room PERFECTLY. I made the center and 5 friends from www.thequiltandneedle.com, each added a border to it. There's one more special friend that wasn't in my group, that will be adding her border to it and I'll do the same to her top. After that, I want to add a few more borders of my own so that it's bed size. I LOVE MY QUILT!!! I just so happy with how it turned out... CAN YOU TELL?!! LOL

The other things in my mailbox were: a beautiful Christmas stocking block, a couple of FQ squishies from a wonderful friend with a nice note, a fabric wallet made by another sweet person :), some purple squares, a thank you card from my sis (I shared some fabric with her and now she's a fabricholic) and a Quilt Mania quilt magazine (this is my favorite magazine). Feels like Christmas here!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gumdrop Twist Block Pattern

Here's my block for the December Favorite Block at http://www.blockcentral.net/eve. We're doing CHRISTMAS CANDY blocks!

This one I've called Gumdrop Twist (12" finished). VERY EASY!
You cut (5) 4-1/2" squares and (8) 1-1/2" squares (mark these with a pencil on the diagonal) of the white background, (2) 4-1/2" squares of the green and (2) 4-1/2" squares of red.
Then if you are familar with the snowball block, same method... All reds and greens are done the same....sew a small white square in the two top corners, sewing across the white block diagonally. Trim the excess off and fold/press the white back to complete the block. Put them together like a 9 patch.. SIMPLE! Just be sure to aim the gumdrops like mine so that they are dancing around the block :)
Email me if you need how to on the snowball corner... northerndeb@ymail.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Civil War/ 1800's Quilt


I've started a new quilt! AGAIN! BUT, this time I finished a quilt before I began a new one so I feel okay about it. This is the start of my Civil War Fabrics Quilt. I am SLOWLY collecting some very pretty civil war and 1800's repro fabrics.
I'm not sure how I'll be putting this together just yet. I have two options... I might make 16" blocks with this plate in the center and then just do a straight setting OR I might use this as the medallion center and work lots of different blocks around it. I'm leaning towards the second way since I get bored easily. I would be able to do some hand worked blocks and some machine ones to surround this.
I still need to decide on a background to set this on. I'm leaning toward a lightly printed muslin if I can find one in civil war prints that I like. Otherwise it'll be plain muslin. I also need to decide on a fabric for the center circle. I'll applique that to the plate, after I applique the plate to the background.

Pour mes visiteurs français .... Merci beaucoup de votre visite sur mon blog.

1/29/2014 Update: I've had LOTS of questions and interest in this block. This is my own design but there are some patterns out on the market that are similar. I have an old Russian sunflower block pattern (1950's or older) that inspired me. I used a template for the petals from a company that is no longer in business but you could use any Dresden template. I folded long thin triangles in half and inserted them into the seams to get the white part. This quilt is one of my UFOs now... I used this as the center of a large block and have added rows to surround it. I am slowly making a medallion quilt. One of these days I will update with a picture. Thank you for all the interest. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Al's TV quilt made by Lisa!

This is the quilt Lisa made for my hubby, Al, for his TV/movie room. The sashing looks a little pink in my picture but it's kind of a gray/beige.


Al is a car guy, a fix-it guy, and a former state champion of foosball (we're talking WAY former ... as in the 70's). Lisa put all of his favorites into this quilt. He loves Ford cars and trucks, sports, Dots candies, and Route 66. She made this as a gift for him to have in his movie/tv room downstairs. She loves vintage/retro stuff so the TVs are designed as vintage ones. She put paper pieced foosball guys in two of the corners (her and I designed these just for him) and she put some really nice embroidery into the other two corners. One is a Corvette emblem and the other is his nickname, done the way he had it painted onto a shirt back in the 70s. Can you tell she put lots of love into this?! He's crazy about it, of course!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Here's two more stocking I finished for the swap on BC. I have two more that are done except for trimming the blocks and cutting off the threads. Tomorrow, if I have enough time, I plan to take a picture of a quilt my youngest daughter Lisa made for my husband. She did an amazing job on it and it's time to get it posted here. OK, JENELLL!!!!!???? LOL... It's just one of those things.... meant to do it LONG ago.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jenns second quilt

I just had to show all of you my daughters second quilt (not quite finished, she still has to bind it with the navy). Her first quilt was a gift to a friend for her wedding and this second quilt is going to be a house warming gift for her boyfriend. She made it using, mostly, a Moda Layer Cake. It's a paper pieced star that the two of us drew up. She quilted it herself on my Pfaff (no stitch regulator or anything fancy). Yes, you're right, Im ONE PROUD MAMA! This is the back of the same quilt. She had planned on adding a checkerboard border but after getting quite a bit of it done, she decided against it and added the other borders instead. SO, instead of scrapping these, she decided to put them together to make a two-sided quilt. I think it's a wonderful surprise to see this on the back.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Grandmas 100th Birthday Roses Quilt

This is my entry into the Park City Girl's Quilt Festival. I made this quilt as a gift to my grandmother on her 100th birthday. I wanted something that had lots of meaning plus something extra special since she was the one to teach me to sew. This quilt has 100 rose buds blocks in the center. I grouped them in fours. The 4 borders represent her 4 sons and families. The rose buds on each end of the vine are her sons and daughter-in-laws and the flowers are the children of that union. My father is the one with 6 flowers. One son died young and only had one daughter so I added some berries to help fill the vine in a little more.

I gave this quilt to her a year ago. We had a family reunion party at our house with all the cousins to celebrate her birthday. It was a wonderful chance to see family that lives in California, Washington and other parts of the US.
Grandma is turning 101 this month.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The top of the Americana "favorite block" swap is finally done (well, I might at side borders..not sure yet). I finished putting everything together and Im happy with the layout. Isn't it a beauty? I have to thank everyone at BC who made blocks for it because they all have such talent with picking designs and colors. These all look wonderful together and all the piecing of the blocks was perfect! Here's a closeup of some of the blocks. I added a year 2009 block , added BC in another and also my initials toward the bottom. This is my quilt to keep! I just love it :) I'll start quilting it next year because Christmas is coming and I've got quite a pile of things that need to be done first.
Here's a closeup of the top half. Time to pack it away for a few months but I just wanted to show everyone first. AND THANK MY FRIENDS!!




Sunday, October 4, 2009

Purple and Green Quilt

The purple quilt is coming along. I've finished the center 49 blocks and attached them to each other. Next I'm going to make a group to surround this. I'm going to bring in a warm golden beige in the final border plus two shades of purple... a medium and a very dark.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Latest projects

We've finished our round robin quilt tops on www.thequiltandneedle.com. This is last one I worked on... it's Sherry's top and I didnt want to post it here until she received it. Isn't it a beauty?! The colors are so striking. I was lucky to find the pattern that she used in the center so that I could add smaller versions of the center star. This was another top that was hard to put in the mail... It's been brightening up my sewing room for a few weeks.
When my top comes home, I'll post of picture of it. From the pictures I've seen, mine is a winner also :) I plan to add a few more borders to mine to make it a larger quilt. I'd love to be able to use it on my bed.




Guess what I've been working on since the round robin ...LOL?! Yup, Christmas stockings. We're doing a Christmas stocking block swap on block central. I have to make about 14 stockings. We are all using the same sock pattern with our own design of cuff. We each will do our own thing as far as patching the fabric together before cutting out the sock. This has been a nice project to work on in the evenings when I feel like sitting on the couch with some handwork. The sock and the cuff are appliqued onto the background fabric.


I've also been working on my second Americana quilt. The top is almost done. I think I'll wait until spring to quilt it. I have SO MANY projects that need to be ahead of it. Lots of Christmas presents need to be sewn up.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Making friends

I had a fun month of August doing the "Friend of the Month" swap on www.thequiltandneedle.com. Nola and I were put together as friends and had a chance to chat back and forth and share recipes. At the end of the month we sent each other a little gift. These are my surprises from Nola. I just love all of it! The navy has already been cut up and is getting worked into my Americana quilt. The pin cushion has travelled to quilt meetings a couple of times now and SOON I will be using the nail file. Im trying to grow mine out a bit first (I have the horrible habit of biting them). I think it's time to get them looking nice and isn't that the best incentive... having a pretty nail file to use (MAYBE I'LL EVEN BUY POLISH!) LOL

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Last night we had a quilt guild meeting and instead of our usual place, it was held in Bay View, Petoskey. This was a tea and trunk show. The picture below is the hall it was held in. The inside is just as beautiful.
Tammy Finkler was our guest speaker. She make OUTSTANDING "whole cloth" quilts. She is from Michigan and is not very well know, YET... Im sure that is going to change soon. Her work is very beautiful. It tried to take pictures (including a few close ups) but it's really hard to see the tiny work she can do.
This is a close up of the quilt that she's holding. It's a miniature version of an award winning quilt she had made. She tried out her ideas on this one before making the large one.

This last quilt took my breath away! It's done in regular old poly satin, that you would buy at JoAnns. She used two layers of batting and quilted it very close to bring out the details. WHAT A TRUNK SHOW!


Friday, September 4, 2009

This is what I was working on the past week. Im taking the weekend off from sewing because we have company coming plus some fun Labor Day parties. Yesterday the last block came in the mail (these are from a BC Americana swap I won). There were a total of 17, signed blocks. Didnt all the ladies at BC do a great job!?!! I wanted to create a quilt that uses all 17 and came up with this design. I'll be filling in the blank spots with piecing and different color pieces of Americana fabric. Bought a few this moring at the LQS ;) Hopefully, this quilt top will be done next week.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Arent these the cutest cards?! A good friend, whom I share fabric with, is also an artist. She found out I send out cards quite a bit and was looking for some new ones. She surprised me with these last Friday... HOW NICE, HUH?!! WELL, they're too cute to send out... I plan to frame most of them. They're so adorable. I've always admired her work. You can check it out at:

http://www.thegraphicweekly.com/archive/archive-artsy/Artsy080907.html