Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  The day we celebrate God's greatest gift to us.  The much smaller gifts at our house have all been unwrapped and I think everyone is well pleased.  The busy part of December is past and now I can relax and enjoy my family and get back to my regular sewing projects.
We spent a couple days at my parents where I noticed this card made by my aunt. Very pretty stitching!
 Most of my Christmas sewing was to make doll dresses for each of my daughters. They love these dolls.  It was very difficult to keep it a secret so their surprised delight was very rewarding.  It was fun choosing trims and fabrics for something different.

 I also made some potholders for DH's mom.  These had to be finished quickly so I tried something new - I sewed the binding onto the back and topstitched it down on the front with the machine.  The results were ok.  I was very pleased that it went so fast as I was crunched for time.

I was spoiled with roses for my birthday and  2 weeks later the white ones are still beautiful.  Outside there are piles of snow everywhere so it is lovely to have these inside.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

circle quilt update

I thought I'd post an update on my Circle Quilt blocks.  My friend and I have been getting together to work on them. Here are my first 4 blocks.  
 We worked on the double wedding ring block last night.  It was definitely out of my comfort zone.
My friend has been so patient with me. She puts up with much whining and complaining about the difficulty.  I could NOT be making these blocks without her!
 Here are both of our blocks.  Hers looks so calm and organized. Mine looks a bit wild and disorganized.  This could be a reflection of our personalities...  :0)
And a photo of the other blocks we have worked on. These will be 2 very different quilts when they are done.  It is good to be learning some new piecing skills and fun to be working on such a challenging project with a friend.

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

a gift made

I took the last stitch in the binding of this little gift quilt last night. I still need to get it in the mail but I think it can still be called an early Dec gift.
 What a fun little project this was. The pattern is called A Delightful Pairing by Kim Diehl in the Dec issue of AP&Q.  I haven't got the next issue yet so I think I got it made in under a month -must be a record for me :0)
 It warmed up to -16 degrees Celsius today ( in Fahrenheit that's 3 degrees) and the sun came out so I thought I would pop outside for a couple quick pictures.  They were quick!
I love the texture of hand applique once its been quilted around by hand. I'm so glad the sun came out today.  We've had blizzard conditions the last couple days.  Somehow the cold is more tolerable when the sun is shining.
Now I just need to get the rest of my Christmas sewing done...  :0)

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

small star blocks

I always find it difficult to resist the Temecula Quilt Co sew alongs.  I did not plan to sew along with their Countdown to Christmas but after resisting for weeks these cute little stars got me.  
I knew they finished at 2 inches but I didn't really grasp how small they would be.
It was when Sheryl posted the center block that I caved.  Her block looked so pretty posed on her wooden tray.   She takes such great pictures and uses props so creatively.

So I made the center block.  I don't think I will commit to making the whole quilt but I am looking forward to sewing a few more of these cute little stars.  I was wanting another little quilt to use for Christmas decorating anyway...  :0)

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

panel #8

I am always very excited to add another completed panel to my growing Susan McCord vine quilt. I finished panel #8 of 13 yesterday and today I added it to the others.  

My son walked by and said "Oh, you finished it!"  I had to correct him but I'm encouraged that it is far enough along to look finished to someone :0)
 I couldn't think of any creative new ways to photograph it.  I will have to work on that because it will soon be too big for any of my available floor spaces.
I will be prepping and starting panel #9 right away so I have lots of portable sewing for Christmas time.  I do think about embroidering on my Bird of Paradise blocks but so far no floss has made contact with fabric...

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

next comes quilting

I finished the applique for this little table mat.  I had trouble putting it down once I got started.  I really should make small projects more often.  
The pattern is in the current AP&Q magazine - a Kim Diehl pattern.   I plan to machine quilt the pieced border and outline the applique by hand.  I think I can still finish this as a early Dec gift :0)

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

quilting progress

I thought I would share with you the progress on my handquilting project.  I have 5 blocks quilted and 5 sashing sections as well.  There are 25 blocks in the quilt as well as a wide border so I'll be at this for awhile yet :0)  
 Then there's this new project I started yesterday.  This one I can blame entirely on a friend!  We were browsing the LQS a few weeks ago and she picked up this pattern and suggested we should make it together. 
 I've been wanting to make a quilt with round blocks for a long time but felt unsure of whether my sewing skills were up to it.  My friend is unafraid of the challenge these blocks present so together we will work on them.
 As much as I liked the quilt on the pattern - I would need an entirely new stash to make anything like  it so I dug out all my Minick and Simpson fabrics and will use those instead. 
 You can see how different her quilt will be.  We made these together last night.  I picked the easiest block to start :0)
DH and I had a weekend trip to LA planned for this past weekend.  As it turned out Friday was not a good day to fly into LAX.  With a detour to San Diego and a bus ride up to LA we made it just in time for the basketball game that evening for which the trip was planned.  I could not believe the weather.  It was like a beautiful summer day. We saw these beautiful roses as we cycled by the beach.  At home it snowed- nearly a foot.
It was good to enjoy the warmth before heading home to boots and winter coats.

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

small new project

The new issue of American Patchwork and Quilting arrived in the mail the other day.  I flipped it open to this project by Kim Diehl and without even looking at the rest of the magazine I went down to pull fabrics from my stash to make it.   
This is one quarter of the applique done.  It should be a quick project.  A gift for Christmas. (if I get it done)
The directions are for machine applique but I chose what I find more relaxing - to applique by hand.  I did try one new thing :0)  I basted the straight stems on by machine.  It worked well - I would do it again.  I should try new things more often...

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

coffee table cover up

I finished my cover-it-up coffee table runner.  
 I even fussy cut a little birdie for one of the stars :0)
 I did very simple machine quilting.  The more hand quilting I do the less I like my machine quilting!!  Oh well, I can't hand quilt everything and this quilt will get used hard in its spot on the coffee table.
I love the intense fall colors of this little quilt.  As you can see we don't have a lot left outside anymore...
It almost completely covers the top of the table, the worn spots are well hidden and the drawers on the front are easily accessible.  Done!

Happy Quilting!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bird of Paradise blocks done

After a few years, I finally finished 20 blocks for my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I started with the Threadbear pattern but made changes. Five of the blocks are of my own design. I included my DH, my 3 daughters and 1 son.  I'd be elated if these blocks were really completed but...  there is a lot of embroidery to do on them yet and I really don't enjoy embroidery.  I shouldn't have left it all to do at the end.
 I think this is how I want to lay out the blocks - I have played around with them a lot.  I would just love to sew them together and start on the borders but I suspect the embroidery would be even harder to do then. 
My son's block was the last one.  I pondered a long time what to put in his block.  I decided on a fishing rod  after this summer as he enjoyed catching many fish.  My drawing was like this first picture but it turned out too empty and boring.
So I added a couple butterflies.  I hadn't included any in the other blocks but I wanted more color and I thought he would approve of butterflies over flowers  :0)

So, I guess I better go find some floss and an embroidery needle...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

some progress

I finished all of the red/orange and black stars I needed for the border.  I love this simple block :0)  I decided on rail fence blocks for the center of the runner and I chose a stack of fabrics from my stash and got started.
 After laying out the first batch together with the stars I wondered if maybe I should include some black in the center too.
 I think it works better - it helps tie the 2 parts together.
So I made some more...  At this rate I might have a finished top by next week.
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

from the outside in

I caved and started a new project on Friday.  My kids had a day off from school and there were a few extras kids here too. I figured I could sew and supervise at the same time.  I pulled out some reds, dark oranges and blacks and started sewing  :0)  I thought I'd start with the border and make some hourglass or rail fence blocks to fit inside it later.
 I have this coffee table that my husband built over 15 years ago.  It has been used hard and is banged up/ drawn on/ punctured...  I don't really like the color of it anymore either so mostly I just want to cover it up.
 I found this quilt did the job nicely.  But there are 2 drawers in one side of the table and the remotes are supposed to reside in there and I have heard some mumbles about the quilt being "in the way". 
Actually the table looks more like this by the end of the day.  It gets tidied up at the kids' bedtime and usually stays tidy until they come home from school.  It has a big shelf loaded with library books under it and it is the perfect height for putting your feet on.  It's a very functional piece of furniture and I guess I could haul it out to the garage and paint it but after I'd still want to put a quilt on it  :0)  So, for now I will make one that fits better, covers up more, and does not get in the way of the drawer.  There, did I justify that new start well enough?  lol!

Now, as for the book from my last post.  I meant for it to be a giveaway - I guess I could have been more clear about that.  With 4 people responding that they were interested in it, as well as one non-commenter, that makes 5.  I put the number into the random number generator I found online and number 2 was generated.

Barb was interested commenter #2.  If you will email me your address Barb I will get the book into the mail for you.
Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

quilting progress

 This is the quilting design I chose for quilting the blocks for my Crowfoot quilt.  Unbelievably it took 5 evenings of quilting to get this far.  As my kids get older they think they need to stay up later  which then shortens my time to sit and quilt.  I think everyone around here could use more sleep except me - I only need more time to quilt  :0)
 Anyway, progress is progress!  I love this quilting design - it is perfect for this block as it misses all the seams.  I also love the Quilters Dream Request batting.  It needles beautifully!
 Here is the stencil I`m thinking of using for the sashing.  I`ve had it forever - even used it once for some free motion quilting in a border.  I won`t be posting a picture of how that turned out - lol.  I think I can mark it with chalk or soap.  I`m not sure how well it will show up with the navy print being a bit busy.  Oh well - it will be fun to quilt and will contrast with the straight lines in the blocks.  Hopefully it is dense enough.
This is the book in which I found the block quilting design.  It`s not a big book but has lots of ideas and lovely quilts in it.  I have an extra copy if anyone is interested. 

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

quilted and bound

My kids are all back to school.  I should have more time to sew but I just haven't managed to find it yet.  I did manage to get this little quilt quilted and bound.
 There is lots of Fig Tree fabric left over for more projects. 
I am slowly making progress on a number of other projects.  I started hand quilting my Crowfoot quilt.  Wow - is it ever big!  And heavy!  I've never attempted to hand quilt a queensized quilt before. But, I am loving the Quilters Dream Request batting as it needles beautifully.  I will post progress on it soon.
Happy Quilting!!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

a little project

I enjoyed sewing with these Fig Tree fabrics so much that I wanted to make something more.  I used a pattern in the Quilt Sampler magazine Spring/Summer 2012. 
It went together quickly - anytime I had 5 or 10 free minutes I would run down to my sewing machine and piece or cut a little  :0)
It's only 18 inches square so it shouldn't take too long to quilt.  The next couple weeks will be busy with lots of family visiting.  Hopefully there will still be time to take a stitch or 2 in the evenings!
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

vine panel #7

I'm always so excited to add a newly finished panel to my Susan McCord vine quilt!  :0)
I don't suppose this looks all that different from the last time I posted it after attaching panel #6.  But, it is growing and now I'm more than 1/2 way to a finished quilt.

 I can imagine it finished, quilted and draped over the bed.  Maybe in a couple of years...  :0)
I still find it to be such a relaxing and fun project to work on. 

6 more panels to go.
I'd love to get started on panel #8 but I will take a little break to make the last block for my Bird of Paradise quilt.  Watching Jane's progress with quilting hers makes me eager to get mine to that stage.  I think that designing the borders for it will be fun too.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

summer runner

I thought I'd do something brave and post a picture of me in a bathing suit - lol!   This is DD3# and I at the beach last week.  We went to stay with my parents for the week and it was so hot the only thing to do was to go swimming.  We had a lot of fun!
 This post is actually supposed to be about this table runner.  I finished it but I'm kind of disappointed with it.  I decided to use the blue fabric for the border. The green was fresh and pretty for spring but spring is long gone.
 I love these fabrics and the Nosegay block but, it turned out way too big and my machine quilting is pretty bad.
 Here it is on the table.  It's more like a blanket than a runner.  Oh well - I'll use it for now and make something else for fall.
We had to visit an orchard while on our holiday.  These pretty early peaches don't seem to mind the heat  :0)   I brought back a boxful to freeze for cobblers this winter - I better get at it!

Happy Quilting!!