Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a gift given

It was a very busy Christmas. A houseful of people for 6 days and lots of kids running around having fun. I've never hosted a major family holiday before and I'm happy it went well.
This little table topper kept me busy for a couple weeks in November. It was a gift for someone in my guild. So I can now post about it.
It looked so nice on my table with my gingerbread man it was tempting to keep it :0)
I decided I wanted to quilt it by hand. It was a fun little break from working on my 4 block applique quilt.

Maybe I'll make one for myself for next Christmas. I'll need to find more of that red stripe I used in the binding though - I just love that part.
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A really good surprise!

It's getting close to Christmas! I hope I'll be ready :0) This little guy was the first of my Christmas sewing this year. I made one for myself and a couple more to give away. A fun little project.
Last night I stitched on the last applique piece on this block. It now needs embroidery. Quite a bit of embroidery. I'm not sure about starting in on it but I'm worried that if I don't do some - I'll end up with 25 blocks all needing some embroidery which will overwhelm me and cause the project to become a ufo.
I made a couple changes again. I took out the butterfly and replaced it with a leaf. I changed the feet a bit to make them easier. I decided after much careful study of the original block (shown here) that the brown shape in the top left might be a hummingbird so I tried to draw it more like the original. These birds get a whole lot of embroidery on their heads yet. Do I need to put something on the back to stabilize the background fabric?
A few days ago I was mixing up a batch of sugar cookies for DD#1 to take to school for her class Christmas party. The doorbell rang and when I answered the door there was a package for me from Carrie. I was so surprised!!
She very thoughtfully included a little something for each of my kids - they were so happy. And what a lovely assortment of things for me - an ornament, some fabric, a charm pack cut into circles and 2 cookie cutters! What a cute little vintage gingerbread man cutter.
Within 10 minutes of the package arriving I was putting that little guy to good use :0) I needed 25 trees for school and there was just enough leftover dough for 4 little men. They are SO cute. Thanks Carrie for your marvelous surprise package - it made my day! However did she managed to get the postal system to so perfectly time a cross continent delivery??
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I've been quilting away on this applique quilt in the evenings. I finished the center going one way and now I am going back the other way. Progress is slow but it's still progress.
I know I will do something different in the borders. Something with feathers I think :0) I really enjoyed quilting the feathers on my 9 patch quilt. I'm not looking forward to quilting the hst border - it's thick with seams but will need something I think.
I got some excellent new books for my birthday on the weekend. My Mom and DH know what I like to read. There are some gorgeous, unusual quilts in the West Virginia book and I must be disciplined and not start any new projects until I finish a few. :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

more Christmas sewing

I finished my 4th block for my Bird of Paradise quilt.
This block was a lot of fun to stitch. I wanted a red urn so I decided to
put pears on the table instead of apples. I opted for an extra flower instead of a butterfly in the lower right corner. I do like butterflies - I'm not entirely sure why I'm leaving them out of this quilt, but I am.
I have been doing some sewing for Christmas too. My guild was making this table runner with a different method for curves that I hadn't tried before. I'm still at the piecing stage. I am changing the pattern and still have some setting decisions to make.
As you can (hopefully) see the flying geese units are 3 dimensional. In theory they get stitched down to make curves. Some of the seams are very bulky and I've been thankful for my Featherweight machine which sews over the bulk easily. I'll have to stick to it to get this project finished before Christmas. I would like to as I am hosting Christmas for my side of the family this year and it will be the first time we're really home for Christmas. So, I'm thinking I'd like a few more more decorations. There's still time yet... right?? :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

arranging blocks

I finished all 9 of these blocks already. This was the perfect project for those few minutes here and there when I can sit down at my machine.
Now that I can see all the blocks together the busy background ones don't bother me anymore.

Now I can have lots of fun deciding how to arrange them :0)
This 2nd picture was how I had planned to lay them out but now I'm leaning toward the top arrangement.
I suspect this project will push ahead of the small stack of "waiting to be quilted quilts" It's a fun, happy quilt and I want to finish it asap so I can start using it.

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

a lovely surprise

Yesterday I finished sewing these Crowfoot blocks together. I want this quilt for my bed so it needs some borders to make it bigger. This picture gives an idea of how it will look. Next I will start the pieced border. I hope to quilt this by hand so it could be a couple years before we're sleeping under it. :0)

This is the inspiration quilt. It's in Betsy Chutchian's book "Gone to Texas". It's such a lovely book!

I was so surprised when I looked in the mail today! Marcie sent me a copy of her 2010 Christmas pattern. I have made 2 of her Christmas patterns in previous years and just love them. Thanks so very much Marcie!! I won't be able to get this done in time for Christmas but maybe I'll make it up in spring colors. The seed catalog was in the mail today too so I'm dreaming of flowers and spring as I watch the snow come down...
Happy Quilting!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Christmas sewing has begun

I have started my Christmas sewing. Maybe this year I will have time to make all the things I have planned in my mind :0) I can't post that stuff though - at least not for awhile.
I've made a few more scrappy star blocks. I think some of my blue backgrounds are a bit too busy. I picked up a couple new medium blues today at the LQS. Some of these blocks may end up as orphans. They sure are fun to sew!
I finished my 3rd block for my Bird of Paradise quilt. I fussed and fussed over the nest on this block. After my third attempt I was satisfied. I looked back at the pictures I took of the nests and they really didn't look very different - lol.

Here are the 3 completed blocks together. I want to start another block but I'm going to be good and stick to Christmas sewing for now :0)

The ladies at my LQS very helpfully found me this egg fabric. I wanted slightly blue eggs so I used the Crested Lark eggs :0) I have no idea what a Crested Lark looks like. I want to use the Calandra Lark eggs in the next nest. We don't get a lot of larks at our bird feeder. Mostly chickadees, nuthatches and squirrels. :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

too much new stuff

Thanks for all your kind comments!! A couple friends helped me decide on one of the prints and now that both the "funny shapes" match, I am much happier with the block.I have not been very disciplined lately. I've started 3 new projects in the last week. I haven't got too far on any of them yet. I don't know how I'll ever get to the end of my ufo's if this is what I do. :0)

I have been wanting to make this scrappy blue quilt ever since I bought Kathleen Tracy's book "Remembering Adelia". I've had lots of fun rummaging through my stash choosing fabric. I have only one block made so far and I sized it down from 12 inches to 8 to make a smaller quilt.

I won a giveaway over at Megan's blog. She sent these 8 beautifully appliqued setting triangles and a stack of lovely blue fabrics to go with them. I don't know what I'll make with them yet - they will have to wait until after Christmas I think. Thanks Megan!

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bird of Paradise #2

I have almost finished this second block for my Bird of Paradise quilt. There are a couple of white ovals to applique onto the red and white funny shapes. Are they are supposed to be seedpods, buds, flowers or leaves? I'm not sure which red print I like best (I sort of thought they should match) so I'm going to let it sit for a while before I do the last bit of appliqueing. Maybe I'll change them both and go with green like in the original quilt. I've started the next block - this one has a bird in it. I am really enjoying appliqueing these blocks. They are so different from what I've done before.

This pieced block is made by my DD#2. She's working from a bag of cut off triangles I had saved. I love what she's doing with them. She was a bit disappointed with the center pink triangle that "shrunk". I think it's charming and I really hope she keeps going with this project.
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

a little progress

Here in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving over the weekend. I was thankful to find some extra time to do some quilting. I quilted all around the first corner - 3 more to go!

I was also thankful that the lines came around the applique straight and I didn't have to "fudge it". I do see that I definitely will need to quilt something in the large red center. The lines are just under 3/4 of an inch apart and I'm still deciding whether I am going to cross them with more lines. Probably just the one direction is enough quilting for this type of batting but is it enough quilting for me...? :0)

I'm still making these blocks in between piecing other things. I laid them out today to see how big they've progressed to. I definitely need more - lots more!

And I can't resist a picture of the pansies still blooming away in a pot on my deck. The flowers are lasting so well this fall - I love it!
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

antique applique quilts

I was so excited to have the opportunity to see up close 3 incredible antique applique quilts. We were allowed to take pictures and I only wish I could take better ones.
This first one is a Rose of Sharon quilt but my friend calls it the lobster claw quilt. It is blue, white and red - an interesting color combination for this pattern.
It has a wonderful scalloped border with stems of berries hanging down.
Does anyone else see a fried egg here? :0)

It was densely outline quilted but none of the applique pieces were quilted at all so it had large unquilted areas under the flower, leaves and scallops.
The next quilt I had seen as a black and white line drawing - even from that I knew I would love it but I was SO surprised by all the surprises in this quilt. I'm calling it the Bowls of Cherries quilt. It dates to 1840-1860.
The blocks were set together with piping - I had never seen that before. But it was the quilting that absolutely delighted me. It had so many different motifs. In the bottom corners on either side of the block were quilted maple leafs. This quilt comes from Ontario, Canada so those leaves are perfect!
Clamshell quilting was done in the sashing. It was interesting to see that the baskets were quilted with colored thread - yellow and green. I love the cheddar band.

Here is another one of the shapes used for filler in the border.

I really liked these circles quilted into the scalloped border than ran around 3 sides of the quilt.

The next quilt is a Whetstones and Chips quilt that was said to have come from Scotland. Dating to 1840 - it was a beautifully pieced and appliqued quilt.
It had triple rows of fine quilting with feathered wreaths everywhere.
I just loved the border design.
The yellow flower centers were fussy cut and reverse appliqued so that the flower in the yellow print wasn't visible.
The pieced blocks were circles appliqued onto the background fabric which was 2 lengths of cloth joined down the middle. There were some interesting repairs done to this quilt - if only the quilt could tell it's story...
I rambled a bit with this post - I just wanted to remember all the incredible details about these quilts. I hope you enjoyed them too!
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Peahen block and a finish

I finished my first block for the Civil War Bride Quilt/Bird of Paradise quilt. It's supposed to be a peahen - from my internet search (studying their feet mostly) I learned they are not really this colorful. Oh well - I like this block and am excited about starting the next one.
The feet were a real challenge. My first attempt at them was pretty bad. I redrew them, picked different fabric and tried again. Spreading out those toes helped a bit. I know it needs an eye and that head thingy (crest?) those are to be embroidered when I work up the courage to try that.
This was my first attempt at the feet. My 2 year old declared they look like hands. :0)

I was very happy to finish this quilt for India. Friday evening at 11pm I finished sewing on the binding and Saturday morning after breakfast I delivered it to the church. There's nothing like a deadline to get things finished up!
I did some very simple machine quilting.

I hope it brings some cheer and warmth to the child who receives it.
Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I finished 2 more Crowfoot blocks. One more and I'll have 25 made. They are so fun to make but I'm excited to be getting close to putting this top together.
We haven't seen much sunshine this week - it has been very rainy and overcast and I've been potty training my 2 year old so you know... I've had better weeks. So when Monica over at Diary of a Quilt Maven passed this award on to me it really made me smile. :0) Thanks Monica!
What a pretty blog button - I must figure out how to put it in my sidebar. I am supposed to choose 12 blogs to pass it along to but all my favorite, inspirational, quilty blogs are in my blogroll and I don't think I could choose only 12 of them.

I've had this book out from the library - WOW - what a great book!! So much inspiration! This book will get checked out on my card a lot.

I've been working on my first Civil War Bride block. It's taking awhile and I don't want to post it until it's done but I've been thinking about some blocks I want to design to replace some of the blocks in the pattern. I've been looking at applique quilts in this book and getting ideas. I think I'm going to give my bride a husband and 4 children (kind of like me only I guess it's been a few years since I've been a bride - lol) A couple of the kids could be sitting on a swing like in the center block below.
It was hard to get a clear picture of the block from the book - its a fabulously interesting quilt to look at - it must have been fun to applique. It's called The Burdick family Child's Centennial Album quilt.
I think there's lots of potential to personalize the "Bride" quilt and it will likely be an enjoyable project for years to come :0) Yeah it's going to take me years to applique all those leaves!
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

2 tops done

It has been a good weekend for finishing things (rainy) :0) On Friday evening I finished up with the border for my Corn and Beans quilt. I decided to leave the corners without the extra leaves. Valentina put in words what my DH sensed about the corners. "I like the fact that it visually rounds off the border keeping your eye looking toward the quilt" Thanks Valentina!

The deadline for finishing the quilts bound for India was moved up so I'm glad I was able to finish getting this top together yesterday. For the border I used up lots of little scraps leftover from making the blocks.
I pretty much used them all so I'll have to figure something out for the binding. Now I have a couple of weeks to quilt it.
And the weekend isn't over - there's still holiday Monday yet... :0)
Happy Quilting!!