Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Post retreat progress......

Since I was so bummed about having to cut my mini retreat short last weekend because of the flu, I figured I would try and make up for it as soon as I started feeling better. 
One of my projects that I had taken was  this origami purse.  It was nearly finished ....for a very long time.  I just needed to add the handle.  Now it is done.
Not the best picture, but it has a pocket under each outside flap (front and back).
and a much larger pocket on the inside.
This was a pattern offered by a local quilt shop some time ago.  It would be great to just throw in a wallet and phone when you want to carry light.
At retreat, I started my alternating blocks for my Christmas Star lotto blocks.
If you don't know what a lotto block is....our retreat organizers suggested a particular pattern off of Quilter's Cache, they designated the colors (in this case, green, red with white background).  For as many blocks as you made, your name went into the pot that many times. I won the drawing of 17 blocks. 
Here is my alternating block.  I made 13 of these.
I just put this quilt top together this afternoon. (it's not pressed yet)
I only used 12 of the 17 blocks.  (Three were too small and two were made with a cream background.)
I have been auditioning some fabrics for borders. Not sure if I will do that or not yet. 
Then in my stash I had this bundle called "Twice the Charm".   Each fabric measured 5 1/2 x 22". I had been wanting to try a jelly roll quilt, so to do that with what I had, I had to cut each strip in half giving me two strips of each fabric (2 3/4 x 22).  I sewed those together with a straight seam.  Then I followed the directions given by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. and made my jelly roll quilt top joining  the "different" fabrics with a 45 degree angled seam. 
This was from Robyn Pandolph's line called Roses de Noel. it is the middle of January and I still have a Christmas theme going. 
Anyways, this isn't pressed either and it is not squared up yet.  I will do some measuring and see whether or not I feel that it needs borders or not, too.  Going to check my stash and see if I have an appropriate backing for this one.  If I don't .....minky might be in order. 
I did have another "Christmas" project packed for retreat, but I haven't had a chance to work on that one yet, so I will save that for my next post. 
For now...I am feeling pretty good about my progress.  Now I feel a little better about missing so much sewing time with my friends. 
Stay tuned.  I plan on there being more sometime this weekend. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Burst of Energy.....

Albeit for only a few moments.
I am in the throes of the flu.  I have bursts of energy and then downright in bed.
I just wanted to share the super gifts I received from my quilt-y pals at our annual January retreat (which was shortened for me when I came down with symptoms looking like the flu).
This was our Christmas exchange.
A great smelling Cranberry candle, an on-line organizer, some peach scented spray, a box of chocolates, a gift certificate to one of the new and local quilt shops, a lint roller for all those threads that are always hanging on us after we are done quilting,  a great panto,  the Steady Betty to keep control of my foot pedal on my sewing machine and a "top 15 UFO's for 2015 that we plan on getting done this year (and I say that one with tongue in cheek!).  All great things!
Here's a close up of the panto.
Love it.  Can't wait to have a quilt that I can use it on.  In fact, I am thinking of using up that jelly roll and using this to quilt that.  I think that would work out great. 
,....and now  there is this one which had us stumped for a few minutes.
Is it a thread catcher?
It's reversible!
No!!!  It's a microwave soup bowl holder.
.....and boy have I used it the last couple of days, too, since that is what I am living on.
You microwave your soup in its bowl in the bowl holder  and then you can get it out of the microwave without burning your fingers by holding on to the little corners.  I love it!  I think I need to make more or at least one for DH. What a great idea that Nancy says she got off of Pinterest.
So, I sit here in my pjs enjoying looking at my gifts.  I haven't even had the energy to unpack my sewing stuff yet.  For retreat I only made it through Friday afternoon and then Saturday morning when I started to not feel so well.  I got a text from my daughter who told me that the grandson whom I had babysat for on Thursday was just diagnosed with the flu and she was headed to the Clinic, too.  I have to say....the flu hits you like a truck.  I packed up quickly and headed to the Clinic and was put on Tamiflu within six hours of the onset of my symptoms.  Sure hope I haven't infected my friends.
I did manage to get my show-n-tell out for the gals just before packing them up again to leave.   I got the binding on my B/W/red Chinese Coins.
I had hoped to get them to hold it up  so that I could have a full quilt picture for you, but this will have to do for now.  I love my striped binding.
As for what I did get to work on Friday night and Saturday morning......well, I will have to wait until my next burst of energy to unpack things and then I will share the 13 alternating blocks that I was working on that are almost done. 
I had such high hopes for this weekend.  I planned on having three UFOs almost completed.
Oh well, that is life and that is what happens when you babysit a little one that goes to daycare.
Nap time.
Be back soon with more.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

So....what did you get accomplished on this first day of January?

I have heard it said that what you do today, you will do the rest of the year. 
So, I made sure I got into the sewing room today.
Made the binding for the last quilt that I took off the long arm.....Chinese Coins.
 I found this stripe fabric in my stash and decided to cut it on the bias for this quilt. 
My goal this year is to use up a lot of what I have, get a lot of my UFOs completed, and hopefully not buy any new fabric unless I need it to complete something  and I am going to try to avoid starting brand new projects unless they are meant for someone in particular say for a shower or something like that. 
Yesterday I was going through my stuff and pulled three different sets of blocks. 
Two sets I think I am going to incorporate into one project. (killing two birds with one stone)
The pieced stars were a birthday exchange with some friends from a message board that I am on.  The embroidered stars were given to me by my former long-armer. She was cleaning out her stuff as  she is no longer in business.  I have as yet to measure these blocks to make sure they are all the same size and I have been tossing ideas around as to how I want to put them together.  That is still up in the air at this point. 
The third set of blocks were some Christmas star "lotto" blocks.  If you made one, your name got put into the pot.  I won these.    
These were measured today and I found a couple that had some of their hst in the wrong direction, so I ripped out those and turned them and resewed them.  I am planning on an alternate block for this quilt.
On going through my stuff, I came across a project that I have been wanting to make for some time.  So, I started making the blocks today for that project.
So far I have 30 - 3 inch 9-patches.  The strips are cut out for the next 30 that are needed.  Once I get this one together, there is a little crocheting that needs to be done and then I will share the project. 
For now, I am happy that ....if it is true....what I did today, I will be doing all year long because is certainly puts me in a happy place. 
Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Just took another one off the long arm......

I am going to call this one my Black/White/Red Chinese Coins. 
Not sure if it is really a Chinese Coins, but that's what I am going with. 
This was my attempt at using up all my black and white fabrics.  Of course, I didn't have enough and had to go out and buy more.  Then to make matters worse, I just cut up ALL the black and whites and had enough to make one, two and going on three quilts.  Geesh.
Anyways, I started this one last winter.  It's a big one.  I think it was 92 x 111.   Wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt it so put out the request for ideas from a lot of friends and the majority suggested a panto that showed movement yet maybe had some hard edges to go along with all my straight lines.   My friend Ruthie suggested "turbulence", so that is what I did.
I am going to have to remind myself though that I really don't care for solid backings.  They show up all your little jumps and starts.  A print or a pieced or a minky would have been a much better choice, but I had this all prepped a year ago and I think I had made this decision about not liking solid backings since that time.  Oh well.  It all worked out pretty well. 
Now to get into the sewing room and find something that will work for a binding.  I don't want to go and buy something if I don't have to.  I am trying really hard to use up what I have and to get my old projects done so I can check mark them off my so-called UFO list. 
I usually have my bindings made as soon as I make a quilt top, but apparently I wasn't sure which way to go on this, white or red or black/white.  Time will tell.  I would like to mark this one off the list as done in 2014.  We will see. 
What's your first project going to be for 2015?!!!  Gosh, can you believe we are that close to another new year?  Where is the time going?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Green giraffes and alligators.....

Needed to hunt through my stash  to find a binding that would go well for this quilt.  I so did not need or want to run to the quilt shop for this. 
On looking through my solids bin, I came across a great green that matched the giraffes and alligators....aka....Kona Cotton's  "Melon".
Now the binding is on this quilt which makes this quilt done.
.....and I managed to do this during and after getting three double batches of Christmas cookies done today....which I might add, I had no intention of doing.....but daughter #2 said she wanted to come over and bake cookies and daughter #1 who has had the flu all week was complaining that she wasn't going to have time to bake any for the boys, I thought...."oh, what the heck".  We don't need cookies here, but I made several dozen and sent some off to DD#1 while DD#2 took hers home.  We have a few and will eat them sparingly. 
Hope you are getting all your Christmas preparations done!  Thanks for stopping by. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

I must have things under control......

Never in a million years would I think I would have time to work on a quilt a few days before Christmas's not even FOR Christmas. 
Either I am forgetting to do something or I have things under control.
I just took this piece of fabric off the long arm.
I have had this in the closet for a very long time. 
It's a Windham Fabrics.
It would be interesting to find out just how old this fabric is. 
I watched a video on YouTube  called "loopy clams" and that is the pattern I used on this quilt.  It is a free motion E2E (edge to edge).  Really pretty easy to do. 
I backed it in white minky.  (Yes, I am getting very comfortable using minky).
It really shows up the quilting nicely....AND....feels so soft and cuddly. 
Now I have to hunt up some fabric to make the binding and this will be added to the pile of quilts that are finished. 
Hmmmm...I wonder if I have some yellow dot fabric.  Maybe I will just have to make a run to the quilt store.  Heaven forbid!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Had some time the other day.....

so got out some linen/cotton blend fabric and quilted it on the long arm, did some stitching at the sewing machine and came up with this.
This is what I will be using as the "wrap" for my secret Santa gift at work. 
Hope she likes it. 
She received her gift today (December 18) and loved the stocking more than the packages inside.  Said she always wanted something quilted.  I am a happy camper.