Friday, December 31, 2010

I won!

I visit many quilt blogs on a daily basis. As a result, I enter many drawings but seldom win. Today I am a winner! I won a charm pack (40 - 5.5" squares) of the Central Park fabric line at the Quilt Taffy blog! (http://quilttaffy.blogspot.com)
I love to visit the Quilt Taffy blog; Corrie and Des feature a melting pot of fabrics and ideas, sprinkled with humor! (Check out their video: http://quilttaffy.blogspot.com/2010/12/i-feel-song-coming-oni-thought-we-were.html ...it made me laugh!) Thanks Corrie and Des!

Anyways, I am excited about this fabric line; it is way out of my comfort zone. I guess when it comes to fabrics, I lean towards more traditional colors and patterns. So I am looking forwards to the challenge of using a modern quilt fabric line.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Many things going at once

(Sorry about the crooked photo. I cannot get it to post the right way.)
I am cutting more 1.5" squares. My MIL has very eclectic taste in fabric, so it is fun to cut up stuff I would not have purchased! She cut some squares too large or rather wonky, so I am cutting them down into square squares!
Husband is terribly hard on clothing. I mended his Gortex overmitts in anticipation of cross country skiing. I used some stretch denim. By the end of the season, the second mitt may need the same treatment.
I gave up on keeping Daughter's present a surprise. As a homeschooler, she is home all the time, and I cannot sew in secret. Here I am, working on American Girl Doll clothes.
When they are all finished, I will post a picture of the girls modeling their new "uniforms"!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cheaper than therapy

I spent the day cutting 1.5" squares, then sewing them together into mini nine patches. It looks like a huge mess, but it works for me to get the variety I want!
When I have had a difficult few days, piecing quilt squares is great therapy. I can understand why people turn to quilting during tough times. I sewed 28 squares today, for a grand total of 130 finished. Unfortunately, I need a lot more than that if I want a queen size quilt!
I'm also trying to make some progress on a table runner for my mom. I hoped to have it finished in time for her party, but it was a few days ago. Maybe I can finish it by January!
I will put machine applique snowflakes in the centers!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Few Projects

My MIL gave me a large bag of fabric scraps recently. Among the treasures was this project that she started years ago but never completed. I was so excited to take this one on! She had some nine patch blocks completed and lots of squares cut out. I never knew how much fun it could be to sew 1.5" squares together! Here are 92 blocks, complete at 3.5"! I have many ideas regarding these blocks; stay tuned, for I will post more in 2011!
Have you ever seen this book? It has the most adorable projects, all made from socks!
Daughter had a nice pair of knee high socks that sprung a hole in the toe. What to do? Make a snake and a chipmunk! So cute, and they go together so easily! I highly recommend the book!
The house is all decorated for Christmas. I did something different this year. This is my china hutch; I emptied it of the teapots and instead have made a little display in honor of my two sisters. One collects nutcrackers; the other was passionate about snowmen. So I honor both of them by displaying my meager tributes to each one's collection.
I collect carolers. Here are a few on my piano. I need to find a tall lampost and maybe a tree or two to fill in the space! (Next year, maybe!)
The tree is up and decorated. To the left of the tree you can see my newest carolers!
Nothing is exempt from decoration....not even Rosey!
(We laughed so hard at this...Rosey does not dare to move when we dress her up!)
I've linked this up with Design Wall Monday. Check out more great projects at

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Snowy Sew-ey Kind of Day

There is no better way to spend a snow day than sewing quilt blocks! I have now pieced all the maple leaf blocks that I had cut out. This is only half of what I need for my large quilt...
I think I will put it away for the rest of the year. After all, it no longer looks like fall outside! Here is the view from my sewing machine table...
I love to watch the birds when there is snow on the ground. They crowd the feeders and clean up the dropped seed and suet!
I'm posting this on Design Wall Monday (for some of us it is Design Floor Monday) at

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Laurel Burch Christmas Fabric!

I am a fan of Laurel Burch. Her artwork is so fanciful and her colors are bright and exciting! I bought some of her Christmas fabric in Canada a few years ago; I had not seen it here in our quilt stores at that time, and I paid a high (Canadian) price for her fabric! I made an Advent Calendar and a tree skirt out of the fabric. I now look forwards to unpacking these treasures each holiday season!
I have joined SewCalGal's Christmas Quilt Show!
See more wonderful quilted Christmas goodness over on her site:
http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2010/11/christmas-quilt-show-2010.html




An afternoon of sewing

A friend and I spent the afternoon working on quilting projects. I lugged my very heavy Juki over to her house and I was busy sewing on half of the sashings of this Christmas beauty. I can't make any more progress until I decide what color to make the corner squares where the sashing will meet.
I went on to work on some maple leaf blocks. I do have more to make, then this one will be put away for a while, for winter will be here soon. My car said it was 36 degrees on my way home!
(Sorry about the crooked pic; I don't know why blogger turns the photos and I don't know how to fix it.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Star Block--Before and After

The pattern for this block called for some fancy machine stitching to embellish the white areas. My machine does not have fancy stitching...so I had to improvise!

Before:
And After:

I used two simple embroidery stitches to give this block it's fanciful image!

I have never embroidered before; I skipped that badge in girls club. Good thing I have the internet. I am quite sure that you can learn anything if you search the internet! I found two simple embroidery stitches....the stem stitch and the french knot. I followed the pictures and voila! I did it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Slow progress

I'm ready to assemble some of the maple leaf blocks. On Saturday I did the half square triangles and the stem pieces. The assembly does not take much work now. This is only one-fourth of the blocks I will need.
I laid out the Christmas Sampler! The green sashing is just perfect!

I cut the sashing at 2.5" but might just trim them down a bit more. I moved the blocks around a lot and finally came up with this layout, and I really like it. Next I will have to figure out what color to make the little squares where the sashing meet. Right now the floor color is showing. I am happy to be making some progress on this one!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Autumn Beauty Quilt

I spent some time drawing diagonal lines on cut squares tonite. The maple leaf block for my fall quilt uses half square triangles, and my preferred method of making them includes diagonal lines on the background blocks.
Here are enough squares to make 30 blocks. It does not take much time, especially if a Star Trek Voyager dvd is playing!
I decided the background fabric (on the right) was too white, so I am using the wrong side of the fabric (on the left) as the right side! It is a softer look with the fabrics I am using for the leaves.
I have four blocks assembled! I am looking forwards to making blocks with more colorful fall prints...greens, oranges, reds, etc.
These will finish at 7 inch blocks. I need to figure out what size I want this quilt to be, and then I will know how many blocks I need.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

No longer discouraged!

Jo-Anns has a huge sale this week. I went to the big Etc. store by the mall, as it has more selection than my just-up-the-street location. I went straight to the half off the red dot fabrics and found this wonderful green fabric that matches my Christmas sampler blocks beautifully! I will use this for the sashing. Hip Hip
I have been looking for a creamy color to use in my fall leaves quilt. I searched at two local quilt stores, at Pacific Fabrics and Crafts, and at two Jo-Anns, and I could not find just what I wanted. But at this big Jo-Anns Etc. I found just the right fabric! It is hard to see in the picture, but it has leaves all over it, tone on tone. I will make up a couple of blocks, and maybe then the pictures will show up the fabric.
My greatest find is this print called Oil Slick Red. I fell in love with this fabric when it first hit the shelves at Jo-Anns. But I did not buy any because I had no plans for it. Well, I was thinking about my Christmas Sampler Quilt, wondering if I could use it for sashing or a border or something. I found it - - - in the half off red dot area!!! It was $1.50 a yard. GASP. I bought all 2.861 yards of it. (I just looked at my receipt...they charged me $2.50 a yard. Grr.) I am sure it will be used in something, for I love love love this fabric!
I am discouraged no longer. In fact, I think I will go do some cutting and sewing... :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Discouraged

I am feeling somewhat discouraged with my Christmas Sampler Quilt. I am finished with all the blocks, and now is the time to decide on sashing and borders. When I lay the blocks out, I see a strong difference between the blocks with bright green and red and the blocks with darker greens and reds. Do I go with light sashing or dark sashing? Can't decide.
So I thought maybe I should make two quilts, one with lighter fabrics, one with the darker fabrics. So I made another block with the lighter fabrics.
It turns out that I really don't have enough fabric left to make more blocks. So I decided I could put the darker blocks in the corners and the lighter blocks on the inside. Great! How about auditioning some sashing colors.
Here is yellow...
I have a very fun red and green stripe...
I bought some green just to see how it looked....
Or how about no sashing?
I have always liked sampler quilts with sashing, for each block is unique and needs to stand on its own. I may just put this one away for a while. It won't be done for Christmas anyways.
Times like these requires some chocolate. But guess what I found in my cupboard? A jar of Kalamata Olives! Oh, boy, do they taste good and I am feeling so much better now!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Doing some machine applique!

I got out my old sewing machine to make a costume for daughter. It is fun to see the two machines, side by side!
The older machine has a zigzag stitch, so I decided to work on the Christmas quilt applique blocks. This is the first time I have done machine applique. I had to go very slow; it took patience to stitch around all the curves and tight angles. But I don't think I did half bad!



I thought I wouldn't like the precision work, but it was actually relaxing to do. Still, I am glad there are only six applique blocks in this quilt!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New projects

I've been cutting large floral prints (that came in a box of garage sale fabric) for a modern graduation quilt for the church. I love the vibrant colors! Black will be used for sashing.
I have been inspired by all the beautiful fall quilts showing up on quilting blogs. I found the gorgeous Thomas Kincaid fabric on the right at Joanns, then pulled some fabrics from my stash that I can pair up with the main fabric. I bought the leaf print and the light yellow stripe for some variety. Now I will wait for inspiration to strike! I already have an idea that involves appliqued leaves.
I have also seen some very fun fall quilts using whimsical fabrics. While at Joanns, I picked up a few pieces of Debbie Mumm's fall line...
...and started playing! This will be a smaller wall quilt. I have lots of ideas for this one, including turkeys, squirrels, leaves, sunflowers, pumpkins.........
I have so many quilt projects going; I am not one to sit down and make a quilt. I prefer to make bits and pieces at a time...variety spices up my sewing life! I am hoping in January to start machine quilting the five tops that are ready to go! For now, I am having fun with the creative process of all my WIPS.

Here is one last picture of my carrot harvest. These are so crisp and yummy! And there are more in the garden! Hip Hip

Monday, October 18, 2010

Applique Blocks for the Christmas Sampler

I picked out some applique blocks for the Christmas Sampler quilt. Since I had already cut out the pieces (with wonder under applied), it was relatively easy to iron the pieces into place. This first one is called "Love Bird", but to me it is a Christmas bird!


This star block will have some kind of fancy stitching between the points, at least that is what the directions say! I have yet to see just what I will do with that!
Here is an advent wreath. Incidentally, all these blocks are not originally set on point, but since that is how I am setting them into the quilt, I tipped them all so they will not be crooked in the quilt.
I am calling this block "Legend of the Three Trees"...a story about three trees that were cut down and used in service for Jesus. One was made into the manger, another was a boat on the Sea of Galilee, and the third was made into the cross. This block did not come from the magazine (Quiltmakers 100 Blocks) directly; there was one block that had a tree and a snowman with stars and moon. I just made three trees instead. I like how it turned out!
I love this last block. It is called Poinsettia. This is the only block that has absolutely no connection with the magazine at all. I saw a picture of a beautiful quilt using this block; I tracked the pattern down and made one square for this quilt--because I loved it!
Now the real work must begin. I need to stitch around all the applique pieces. I've not done that before and not sure how I will do it. It may take me a while!