Friday, December 21, 2012

Aunt Grace's Garden Party for mom

This is the Aunt Grace's Garden Party Block of the Month quilt I did a while back as a shop sample and class. I'm giving it to mom as a Christmas present. She saw it when I was just about done with the top and loved the colors. 

Lately I've been neglecting this blog but mom has been pretty sick and I'm staying downstate with dad so that I can be with mom at the hospital. She was just moved to a rehab nursing home. Now it's time to head home for a few days to celebrate Christmas with Al and our girls (and my new son-in-law). Mom is stable now after a very scary week. She's a super strong lady... been through so much and just keeps going and fighting. I have complete confidence that she will get past this set back. My brothers from CA are in to stay and visit for a bit... that's cheering up both mom and dad.

Hope all of you out there have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas projects, pillowcases and more

This is a Christmas quilt that I just started working on... it's been in my TO DO box for quite a while.
In 2008 I did a swap with some online friends and received the cornerstones which are foundation pieced ornaments. The in 2009 I participated in a stocking swap and finally in 2010, I won a drawing we did on a forum which gave me the red and green pieced blocks.
This year I decided to put all of them together in one quilt. The greens are different from each other and so are the reds plus there are white backgrounds, cream backgounds and some that are an in-between color.
Sashing it with a red dot keeps the blocks separated enough that this color difference doesn't seem to matter, and to incorporate the ornaments, I either had to put a bunch together to make a block or make my sashing wide enough to use the for cornerstones... I decided on the latter or course.
The more I work on this, the more I like it. If it gets done this year or next doesn't matter to me... I just want to get it going. This will be a very special quilt for me... has the dates, signatures and location of many quilters that I've swapped with over the years... lots of memories, you know?
Now this is what I'm MOSTLY working on... the Marmalade Spools quilt... I love playing with this one. The colors are bright and cheerful.
I picked up this aqua polka dot at the quilt shop today. After checking the pattern to see the finished size of this quilt I thought it could use a border going around it to bring it up to a twin size. So that's what the dot is for... I'll probably use the aqua floral for the back...maybe...
And finally, this cute snowman fabric below is for a pillowcase. Instead of the regular size, I'm making it king sized. I just use a full yard for the main part instead of the usual 3/4 of a yard. It's for a twin bed that has a king size pillow on it. Isn't it cute?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Worth it's weight in GOLD :)

We were chatting this morning on Facebook about the time we put into our quilts and crafts and it brought to mind this tablecloth I bought a while back at a Goodwill. I paid about $4 for it. It's a full sized cloth, fits my table perfectly, but I don't use it ...EVER. There is a TON of work into it and I know I could never replace it if it should get stained.
What really gets me is that someone took this treasure and donated it. After all the work that was put into it! I'm not sure if a family member made it or if it was brought back from Japan during the war, or what BUT someone put hours and hours into it.
I took a couple of close-ups so you could see the work. There are designs all ove this cloth, plus there's a matching card table sized cloth with it.

Check out the bridge... it's all done as pulled stitches (not sure what this type of stitching is called). And under the bridge there are some lines of pulled stitches. Then the cloth wasn't just hemmed, it has more stitching all the way around, pulled stitches again. Just amazing.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Block Frenzy

We do a "Block Frenzy" at Hearts to Holly... it's a drawing every month and a half. You make a 12" finished size block using the selected fabric line and for every block you make, your name goes into the pot.. make any block you like. If your name is pulled you win all the blocks.

Well, on Saturday Cassidy won the Santa blocks. I made her one extra... I didn't have mine done in time for the draw but finished it today. Congrats, Cassidy!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Two finished quilts this week

This week saw TWO finishes! The quilt above is for Al's friend that lives in Colorado. Al says he'll go nuts for it. His whole log cabin is decorated with moose, bear and wildlife pictures and statues. This is a large lap or a small twin.

And this is a baby quilt that I made as a sample for Hearts to Holly Quilt shop. They have this cute flannel in Take Five kits.... it's all pre-cut pieces so all you have to do is start stitching. It went together very quickly. I used Fig Tree minky on the back... a very soft and pretty cream. This should be nice for a future grandchild.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Ornament Mug Rug

This is my newest pattern and its FREE (don't you just love that word).... A Christmas Ornament Mug Rug Instructions.
And here's the template you'll need.. Christmas Ornament Template 
These are quilt as you go... no binding and no handsewing :)

I'm going to be posting a tutorial online later today. They're super easy. They're wonderful to decorate with also. My bathroom shower curtian looks so much more festive with this that I'm going to make a few more to hang on it.
Get a ribbon and string one on a door handle, tuck a magnet into the top, topstitch around the gold top piece to keep the magnet in place and then hang on the fridge. 
They're also good to add onto a present... write a nice message on the back... AND if you have an embroidery machine, how about stitching Merry Christmas on the front piece before adding it in!

I added a metal loop to mine but if you get a little bit of gold elastic or cording, you could catch it in the top seam and have the same look :) Enjoy!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Green projects and EASY pillow backs

While working on my civil war lone stars, I noticed I was getting quite a pile of triangular scraps. I decided to put some together in a crazy quilt block... minus the embroidery. This is the pillow below...very easy... just 6" blocks, sashed and quilted... then made into a pillow.

Putting zippers into pillows doesnt really bother me, but I found that using old shirts is quicker and much more GREEN.

 The shirts have been cut up (they're all cotton) and put away in my box of plaid scraps but the center of the shirt, the button area, usually ends up in the garbage.

With the civil war quilt, I picked a dark green and cream plaid, left about an 1-1/2" after the buttons and button holes, cut two pieces of coordinating solid and attached it to the shirt button area. Then I cut it into a square, the same size as my front piece. Stitched it to the front (right sides together), all the way around (used 1/2" seam) and the pillow was done... EASY!

For the challenge project in Hearts to Holly's spring challenge, I made this cat pillow. Usually when I'm at a resale shop I'll keep an eye out for linen or other really nice fabric. They had an xxl dress on the markdown rack (for about 1.99) that was all linen. This gave me the front AND the back for the challenge pillow.
The dress buttoned all the way up from the hem to the neck so it was a perfect back. And the back of the dress was just one HUGE piece of linen... I still have loads left over to make a few more projects.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chain stitching Log Cabin blocks for a border

Today I had a chance to work on all three of my current projects. Did some applique until, as usual, my hands starting acting up. Well, what to do but get working on the sewing machine.
The quilt that I'm making for Al's Colorado friend needed 22 log cabin blocks around the center, as a border. These were easy to chain stitch and so were finished pretty quickly... yes, that's a sangria next to my sewing machine... maybe that's why the time flew... hehe, hope my stitching looks as good to me tomorrow as it does today :)

Only one more border to go... a plain beige one... and it'll be ready for me to baste and quilt.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cranberry centerpiece

 You ever have a party or big get-together and just before everyone is supposed to arrive you decide to throw together a fast decoration? Well, I wanted to have a candle in the middle of the island where I was serving food. Checking out PINTEREST, I found some nice ideas using dried beans, peas, nuts, cranberries, etc surrounding a candle. Figuring this is a super quick and easy project, I got my pie weight dried peas, some dried northern beans and a bag of cranberries.

Well, when I turned my back for JUST A SECOND, the bag of dried pies dumped itself ALL over the kitchen floor... this was just minutes before the first guest arrived. I'm probably going to be finding dried peas everywhere. Glad I did it though, most of my guests loved this centerpiece. This is good for Christmas since it's red, white and green.
Nothing to post this time about quilting, today was all about cooking, cleaning and baking. Yesterday, I did do a little stitching, made three quick 10-minute table runners for the party....just didn't get a picture of them. Hearts to Holly has quite a few of these kits and they really are 10 minute sewing projects.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Working with Marmalade and discussing rulers...

 Daughter Jenn and I are both working with the Marmalade line of fabrics today. She's making the baby quilt in the picture above...isn't it CUTE?! She's putting a soft green polka dot flannel on the back so that it's really cozy. This is a gift for a friend of hers (no she's not pg YET).
This is my project with Marmalade... it's a cute pattern called "Spools". It'll be a shop sample at Hearts to Holly soon.... just waiting for some solid gray/tan to arrive for the spool bottoms. I LOVE THIS LINE!

 One of the other three projects I'm working on currently is this outdoorsy lap quilt for Al's friend. He let Al stay with him in Colorado when Al went there to pick up a sewing machine for me. Al got sick in the mountains... altitude sickness and his friend took really good care of he needs a nice thank you. There will be log cabin blocks on all the sides and then a beige border after that.
At chattertime.. or was it at guild?... we were talking about how many rulers/templates we own. When I got home I decided to count them and I found I have over 35! Now I didn't do this all in one or two years... I've been quilting and buying these things since the 90's. Some of them are out of date and need to be thrown away. Rulers have come a long way.. the quality is much better now... the plastic is much stronger... and now with the ones I buy in the quilt shop, there's those grippies on the bottom built right in! So how many rulers so all of you own? And do you use them? I use probably 90 percent of mine regularly.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Red and Beige Double 4-Patch is finished

Yesterday I finished up the quilting for this UFO and promised to show the back of it. This is using the leftover "opposite" blocks. The original plan was to make two quilts...opposites... but this got stuck in the UFO pile and wasn't touched to it's better to be a back than nothing.
I really like the design that the 4patch creates and that may be my next quilt.. just these waves. Maybe in blues and cream?
So here's the quilt as I finished the quilting and was trying to figure out which fabric to use as binding. The darkest red was perfect... finished sewing down the binding last night! Check off another UFO from the list! This is a large lap or small twin (60x80).

Make sure you get out and VOTE today!!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stars and UFOs

 The fourth of 16 star is done so that means I'm a 1/4 of the way done! :) :)
To give myself a break from this very intense piecing, I started working on another UFO. This beige and red quilt top has been done for a while and hanging in my sewing room closet. It was a quilt that was started to help clear out my over abundance of reds.. many were from the late 80's and 90's!
Today while going through the room and cleaning, I found some fabric that I bought a couple of weeks ago and then decided against for my lone star quilt. I had planned on putting a border on the above quilt but then decided I wanted it more authentic... no border... just stars. Well, the fabric was a perfect color for the quilt below.. just wasn't enough. SO, digging through some more boxes I found some blocks that were the opposite of these red and beige ones. There were enough blocks to piece two rows of them. Stitching them together and placing them between two strips of the backing, made the back large enough for this top... YEAH!! Love working from my stash! I'm pinning the quilt today and hopefully will get it quilted this week.

I'll show the back when the quilting is done. Al says I need a very dark red binding.. gonna go with his opinion... sounds right.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's not offically winter on the calendar but looking outside, that's what it looks like. This is the first snow of the season (the first one that stayed on the ground that is). That means it's time to get Christmas shopping done... it'll be here before you know it!
Time to head to work.. have a nice all... AND STAY WARM!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Working on my stars

This quilt is slowwwwly coming together.... I have 3 of the 16 blocks done. The one block on the right looks like it has pink and purple but it's not.. they look much nicer up close. These take a LOT of patience but it's going to be my quilt so it's no rush.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

 I'm starting Ellens Sewing Basket Quilt from Minick and Simpson. Some of the fabric will be Independence Trail as the pattern suggests and some will be French General and other civil war FQs I have in my stash. Also picked up a few new pieces at work today know I can't go home with at least a LITTLE piece of something! ;)

This is the first block of 16 I'm going to make.... well maybe 16. I may stray from the pattern a bit because if I make 9 blocks and then make a border all the way around with 1/2 blocks, the 9 will center on my bed nicer.... we'll see..

These blocks are a bit of a challenge to make. The first attempt at this block I used the English paper piecing method but I wasn't happy with the way it was going. And, it was SLOW.

After reading a bunch of magazine articles and online suggestions, I decided that Minick and Simpson's way of doing the block was probably the easiest. I'm sure they went and tested all the different ways prior to making the pattern but I just have to do everything the hard way.... had to see for myself.

In an old copy of Quilter's Newsleter, I did find one interesting article on lone star blocks (which this is). They suggested that you draw the 9 piece diamond (8 of these diamonds make up the star block) on a piece of paper the exact size it will be before being set together... then BLOCK each section of the star to the drawn paper block. Using a starch sprayed on the diamond allows you to block the pieces so that each of the 8 diamonds is the same size. This helps ALOT! The other really good suggestion is to handle the pieces as little as possible so the bias edges don't stretch out of shape. Also press and starch your fabric BEFORE cutting so that it's a little stiff and doesn't want to stretch as easily.

So that's not all I was shopping for today. The quilt shop got in these little "Candy" sized pieces of Marmalade from Moda. LOVE THIS FABRIC! So I picked one up for someone that likes this line. Isn't it cute?!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Purple and gold batik scraps

Today I'm playing a bit with some of my purple and gold batiks. With the help of a wedge ruler I was able to create these large zigzags. After making about a dozen blocks I decided to put them into a table runner.... may change my mind before I'm done but that's the plan for now. 
That's it... short and sweet! :) 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Charity quilt and a pinkish one

This is one of 13 four patch blocks I brought home from a guild meeting. We bring in orphan blocks, fabric we don't want, patterns and books that we are done with and then we share them with the other members. This block was in a bag of scraps. I found 12 4-patch blocks with the beige triangles attached and one without. I added the beige to the last 4 patch so that I would have 13 blocks (which is what I need to make the quilt turn out).
After that I added a very light creamy yellow solid so that the blocks turned on point again. Gives it a square in a square look. Going through some of my books, I found a setting that I liked... with a little adjustment.
The block below, with the solid pink and the polka dot green, will be alternating with my found blocks. The blocks are both 12" finished so with 25 blocks (12 of one, 13 of the other) I'll have a 5'x5' quilt. That probably won't be big enough so I'm thinking of adding a couple of borders, maybe some applique and then a scallop edging with the pink for binding. When I get a little farther, I'll put more pictures up.
Another project I'm working on at the same time is this charity quilt. Since I have LOADS of brights to use up I decided to put them into a child's quilt. Our guild makes quilts for children that are admitted to the hospital to help make it more comforting for them to be away from home. Going through my strips and scraps, I came across a bunch of strips from a swap we did quite a while back... on Block Central maybe? Some of my bright strips from the swap were used in other projects but I still had lots. I'm hoping this makes a small dent in the pile. The quilt needs the piano key border on three more sides and then it should be large enough. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wedding picture and hitting the resale shops

I thought I would post one of my favorite pictures from the wedding... what a perfect couple! Jenns dress was all lace... and beautiful!... cowboy boots under :) The photography was done by a very talented person from TC...
And this cute owl cookie jar, below, is a find at the local Goodwill store (you know how I love the resale shops!). Wasn't sure what I was going to do with him so I gave the girls first dibs... Lisa says she'll give him a home. It's pretty old but no chips... just a little crazing inside. Reminds me of Jonathan Adler stuff.
Now to get down to the sewing room and do some work. I plan to clean it for a few hours, then do some repair work on a certain quilt. Maybe later, I'll get to play with a new charm pack I have. More pictures later.....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ugly quilt is FINALLY quilted and done!

Not sure how many of you remember our "Ugly" fabric challenge at the Quilt and Needle ( I received a fq from Pat that was outdoorsy (is that a word?) and swampy and pretty ugly ... at least to us ladies. It was the perfect fabric to inspire me to make a quilt for my brother. I finished the top...oh... two or so years ago and started the back but just never quite finished the quilt.
I wanted the back to be more modern ... and to use up all the leftover ugly pieces I had in my stash. My brother is an outdoor kind of guy... hunting and fishing etc. I also threw in a few orphan blocks that were in my stash.
SO, check off another UFO from the list :)
Here's my post from WAY back... had just finished the top:;postID=2309909011419425883

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Time to get back to quilting... the wedding is over

The wedding is over and OH what a party! It was a beautiful day... couldn't ask for any better. It was a tad hot on the beach but it was perfect out under the tent at the winery. Jenn wore cowgirl boots and a beautiful full lace dress and just a flower in her hair. She borrowed a gold and diamond necklace from her grandma... she forgot her jewerly at her house but this worked out perfectly... need to have something borrowed. She had blue toenails and a blue bow on her garter so that was taken care of. Her dress and boots were new... so I guess the only old thing she had was her dad as she walked down the sand... (can't let him read this :)..

So she is married to a great guy and a really nice family. It's time for me to get back to quilting. I'll start posting once again now that I have lots of spare time.

Friday, August 24, 2012

One week till the wedding...

With only a week to go until the wedding, I'm working on making topiaries. Most of the tables will have a vase of flowers, a potted green plant and some kind of topiary. This is one I was fooling around with... it's thistle from my yard. The plants are turning dry and a beautiful dusty purple. I wrapped the stems with floral tape and then wound jute around it. The only thing I'm not happy with is the moss...  I think I'll fill the silver creamer with pea gravel and then tuck the stems in.
And here's the rest of the flowers I'm drying... These are some beautiful blooms a quilting buddy let me cut from her yard. In a couple of days they'll be preserved perfectly (and still a pretty green color). Last week I tried this process out on one bloom and it's dry and pretty and perfect for a topiary. Putting two or three blooms together (and using floral tape again) should make them tall and stiff enough to tuck into a pot of floral foam or more pea gravel.

Not much quilting going on here... I finished up the wedding quilt, and the table runners so not much sewing to do before the big day. Need to hem my dress still.. need to add the bustle to Jenn's dress..... almost to the finish line :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The wedding quilt is finished

Yesterday I put the last stitch into Jenn and Jon's wedding quilt. This picture washes it out and makes it look a bit more gray than it is. The main fabric is a really pretty beige gray with rusty red and aqua flowers. It should look really nice in the blue bedroom.
No time today for a long post... lots of other stuff to finish up before the big day :)

Finishing the baby's I-Spy quilt

I made the 64 block, stitched the rows together then finished the top but Jenn and I decided to make the quilt a bit bigger. It's 48&q...