Food for thought.

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

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve 2010-2011

 I thought I would enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while I worked at gutting my sewing room today.  The hot cocoa mix was part of my Christmas gift from Nancy, one of the gals in my mini group.  The mug was part of  my gift to Nancy and Sharon.  We have called ourselves "the Quilty Chicks" practically from day one
and when I saw this mug, I just had to get it for all of us.   



So I enjoyed my hot cocoa. 


even though I barely made a dent in the sewing room.  

But, it's going to be a work in progress because I need to get in there and start working on my daughter's wedding quilt....like now. 

That's ok though.....tomorrow is another day year. 

Hope you all have a very Happy New Year and may 2011  be even better than 2010. 

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010


Just like that, all our prep is done.  Dinners are eaten.  Gifts are opened.  The children are happy with their new toys.  We just have the New Year to think about and then it will be 2011.  Time just flies by way too fast.  I guess it's really not that far fetched to start thinking of what we will be making for next Christmas.  I for one will probably be a procrastinator and be way behind again next year.

But, I do hope you all had a very Merry and Happy Christmas with family and friends;  and I look  forward to all the new projects we will be working on in the new year. 

Sit back, kick up your feet and enjoy yourselves and remember all the wonderment that Christmas brings

Merry Christmas to all my friends.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

It's really been cold here in Michigan, so I thought I would share just a  couple of  my "indoor" snowmen.







The one around my flocked tree are a little hard to see, but there are a few of the "ice cube" snowmen at the base. 

A couple weeks ago we were suffering through 12 below wind chills with temperatures going down to about -6 at night.  I was going to make my winter hat (knit), but I didn't have the right sized needles, so instead I got out my wool yarn and made myself a pair of socks. 



 I have to say, they kept me toasty warm  this past weekend when we did the Christmas Walk at Greenfield Village. 

Hope everyone is staying warm and that you are ready for the holidays.  I finally am; and I am looking forward to all the festivities with family and friends. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Check out the great giveaway!

If you love solids, P.S. I Quilt is giving away a whole bundle of Kona solids.  Check it out here and give it a try http://www.psiquilt.com/

Monday, December 6, 2010

Two more done....

I would have posted these last night, but a 1/4 of Michigan was without internet last night through to this morning.  Not sure why, but here are the final two blocks for now. 


Wow, there sure were a lot of pieces to this one block.  Almost lost my dotted fabric that I used for the background on this one. 

Well, that's it for now.  I have to prep more blocks before I work on them again.  Cherry Trees will be out in a couple of days, so that will be my next priority.  Also,  it is so cold here in Michigan that I am thinking of getting out my yarn that I bought to make a hat and get started on that.  The cold is my incentive.  

Happy Quilting! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

What I am doing in between The Cherry Tree blocks....

I was just reminded by a message board that I am a member of.  One of the staples for this board is....Motivational Friday....where we report what we have been working on for the past week.  So, I thought I would share it here, too.


My immediate priority is to keep up on the Cherry Tree Block of the Month, but when I am finished with that, I try to work on Hearts and Hands (although I should be devoting ALL my spare time on my daughter's wedding quilt).  Anyways, I had some of these prepped, so picked them up and started stitching.  I have been stitching a little on this one and a little on that one.  These three just got completed. 

These four are in progress and nearing the finished mark.



I think the wedding quilt is feeling a little daunting to me right now, but I know once I get to it, I will go gunho.  For now it just feels good to get some of these completed. 

Guess I had better get busy and get these four done.  Then there are plenty of other projects calling my name, too.   

Ok, got one more done tonight.


Last one to be added tonight....


Monday, November 29, 2010

What did you do before you started quilting?

I just had a blast from the past.  My grandson has to donate a few items  for the Children's Christmas Fair at school where each of the kids get to go shopping for their own family members.  It is preferable to have homemade items for the kids to buy.  So.....I went digging in the recesses of my basement for the boxes that contained the "hobby" I had before quilting.  It was tole painting.  I pulled a few ornaments that I had painted (just a few items amongst the enormous amount of stuff) for an open house that I had back in .....oh gosh...hate to admit this...'93 or '94.  These are the items I picked out for grandson #1. 


I have probably about 8 or 9 of the blue "quilted" santa, three of the checkerboard Santa and 5 or 6 of the angels. 

Over the years, I have dabbled in several "hobbies".....knitting, crocheting, macrame, counted cross stitch, embroidery,  ceramics, but tole painting was a big one.  I had all the bells and whistles for it and to this day I am having a hard time getting rid of some of those things.  Obviously, I can't seem to get rid of the pieces that I painted either AND and have a whole load of raw wood that still needs painting, but probaby won't ever get painted. 

Same goes with my quilting.  Another BIG hobby, but I can see quilting lasting a whole lot longer. 

Looking at my Santas made me think just how much quilting was in my blood for a very long time....even before I thought of quilting.....especially when you look at the quilted Santa.

It was fun looking through those boxes.  If I don't touch them for another year or two, I can see going through them again when Grandson #2 comes along and has to bring items to school.  I will most likely gladly do it for the kids.  

Anyways, I was just wondering.....what did you do before you started quilting? 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

#14 is done


Cherry Tree block, that is. 

Just thought about this.  #13 was the "hump" block (like Wednesday is hump day of the week).  #14 means we are on the downslope.  Only 11 more to go.  OMG!  That's another year.  I sure hope I can hold out. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This one is for my friends....

....who say that I will be putting the binding on my daughters wedding quilt at the reception.  The wedding is in June and until tonight, I hadn't started the quilt.  So, here is the first block.



I had taken my time deciding on what pattern to use (wanted that perfect one) and finally chose Jack's chain from Quilter's Cache.  http://www.quilterscache.com/J/JacksChainBlock.html

My daughter hasn't been a great deal of help.  I thought she was contemporary, but she has chosen pink and brown civil war type fabrics ( I am also throwing in a few greens for interest).  Now that's NOT contemporary.  She likes the double wedding ring, but all those curves scared me ....or at least enough not to attempt a queen-sized quilt at this time.  Everything I showed her, I didn't get the most positive response, but when I saw Jack's Chain, I thought it was similar to a double wedding ring, but hopefully easier.  Well.....I had a heck of a time getting this block done.  There are a lot of y-seams AND the block was super wavy when I had it completed, so I ended up taking in a smidgeon on several of the triangles' seams.  It lies pretty flat now, but I sure hope that I am not going to have to do that for ALL the blocks.

Anyways, to make things a little easier, I am using Fons and Porters hexagon ruler and am using the largest measurement (outside edge) for the center of the block. 


Then once I have my fabric pieces cut out in the hexagon shape, I made a plastic template of this ruler with little holes (made by using my 1/8" hole punch) at the 1/4" intersections so that I can lay this onto the hexagon and just use a pencil to mark the points were I have to start and stop my stitching (the lovely y-seam). 


So, this block consists of a hexagon, six 9-patches and six triangles.  Now...would you think that I have a perfect triangle ruler?  No!!!  So, I have cut out a template for that, too. 

I wish I could figure out how to draw up this block on my EQ, so that I would know how many blocks I am going to need.  For now, I am just going to have to wing it. 

Wish me luck to have this quilt done WAY BEFORE the wedding.  I do want to have it done before the reception.  ;D


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

While I have had a few days free....

I mentioned that I finished Block #13 of the Cherry Trees a couple days prior to the next one being posted, so what have I been doing?  I have been trying to get a jump start on all those cherries that are in the border for this quilt.  So, I traced out a few 1" circles, cut them out with a seam allowance and have started doing the running stitch around them so that they can be drawn up into a perfect circle.



I just gathered up all  my reds and started tracing a few circles from each fabric.  I think there are close to 130 here and maybe just about half of them have the running stitch.  I was going to use my Perfect Circle templates to gather them on and press them, but there are only 4 - 1" templates and I am thinking that is going to take to much time, so I am thinking of ordering some paper templates from here....http://paperpieces.com/

My guess is that there are around 169 cherries needed for the border. I came up with that number by trying to count them from a very small picture of the full quilt, but it will be close enough.  I didn't want to be overwhelmed when it came down to making the borders and having to do 100s of cherries and 100s of leaves.   Ok...I am back to waiting for Block #14.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lucky 13..... and a toy, too.

Finally, I am caught up with block #13 of the Cherry Trees BOM with three days to spare, too.  Of course, that is my own schedule.  I am trying to get each block done each month.  I did fall behind there for just a minute, but now I have time to breathe....even if it is only for three days. 


I am reconsidering using that really light green stripe leaf, but hey...it will get lost in the whole scheme of things eventually.  Right?


As much as I complained about all the little fingerlings in the last block, I really like this flower. 

...and here is block # 13 complete.


Now, to complete my week, my husband won this for me on Ebay.





Isn't it adorable?  It is a toy from the 20s or 30s.  I haven't really done any checking on it yet, but after seeing a fellow quilter/sewing machine collector's blog and seeing some of the beautiful machines out there, whether they be full-sized or toys, I just had to have this one. 

My husband has it all cleaned up already.  I just need to figure out how to thread it and give it a try. 

If you would like to see some other beautiful machines and some beautiful quilts that Lynne is working on, please go to her blog and check it out
http://treadlestreasures.blogspot.com/

Now I figure I can breathe a little easier  until block #14 is posted.

Happy quilting everyone!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Not as liberated as I thought I was.....

I finally found the time to finish up my liberated baskets quilt.


I thought this would take no time at all to put on the  1.5" stripe border and then my 6" red border, but when I started taking measurements......my quilt was not square!  Argh!!!  I hate problems.  I couldn't just trim, but had to add fabric because I was WAY OFF.  "sigh".   So much for being liberated.  I need a pattern AND I need to work in my own environment, not on a 6' table amongst chaos at a retreat and trying to hang my stuff up on a loosely hung piece of batting on a wall. I squared up all my blocks, but I think trying to hang them up and make them fit just didn't work for me.  But.....the borders are now on and don't look too bad.  The quilt isn't perfect, but it is ready for the quilter and I think next time (if there is a next time), I will make blocks in a uniform size. 


Also, started prepping for block #13 of the Cherry Trees.  I have made my master sheet.


...and marked my background to get a general idea where my applique pieces will go. 



I will be stitching tomorrow. 





Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New blog regarding Beyond the Cherry Tree....

Keep an eye on this new blog set up by Sharon from  http://grassrootsquilting.blogspot.com/ .  We will be posting pictures and comments regarding our journey on the Beyond the Cherry Trees Quilt Album BOM; and I will be one of the contributors. 

http://beyondthecherrytree.blogspot.com/

It will be so exciting to see all the different variations of this beautiful quilt.  I for one am excited about this. 

Thirteen block patterns have been released and we are all at different stages of this process.  I hope you enjoy taking a peek as we get started on this new blog.   

Thanks Sharon for getting this started!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

YES!!!!

Can you tell that I am excited to have this block done?



All those little hairpin turns were very time consuming, but.....



Block #12 for the Beyond thc Cherry Trees if finished!  Yes!  I am so glad.  Now on to Block #13 which looks a little easier; and then if I get that one done by the 10th of November, I will be caught up again. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More going on than I thought.....

I don't know where the time goes, but I have been getting things done.  For one thing, I am working on #12 Cherry Tree block.  I know, I know, I am a month behind.  I think I have been in a funk, but I am slowly changing that.  Block # 12 is a doozy, but little by little I am whittling away at it.   Here's a small peek.



I, also, bought some fabric to border my liberated baskets with .....and I bought some more fabric to do the same.  I am having a hard time deciding since my original plan was to make this a "red" quilt and the first fabric I ordered on line was a rose and since I had added some of the rose color fabrics from the French General line into the quilt I thought it might work.....but I wanted a red quilt.  Here are my three options....





Also, there has been a little work on my Hearts and Hands blocks.  The completed one I have posted before, but the other two are works in progress....nearly done.



Then, if you recall my turkey wallhanging/table topper, I have been fretting over the fact that he seemed to be floating in air, so I decided to add some funky legs to him.  He is ready to be quilted.



Of course, my daughter saw him and said she thought he would look great in her house, so with what 5" charms I had left over from the "Amazing" charm pack (plus a few more added ones from my stash), I threw together another one and have all the applique pieces ready to get stitched down.  This one will get legs right away.


Then I have to mention my son-in-laws beautiful woodworking.  My daughter and he are putting things in their Etsy shop (located on my side bar to the right named Three Tiny Acorns) and he has just posted a black walnut quilt hanger.  He does beautiful work and will be adding more in the future.  Here's a good picture of the quilt rack with one of my daughter's wallhangings in it and the quilt rack alone.




Speaking of Etsy. my daughter has a friend who makes absolutely beautiful jewelry.  What woman doesn't like jewelry AND at an excellent price?    Her Etsy shop is called Vin29 and I just purchased a few beautiful pieces from her and I told her I would brag about her a little here.  I have photographed the pieces that I just bought.  


A beautiful green and brown necklace.



A pearl and crystal bead bracelet (very dainty).


A fall leaf and beaded  memory wire bracelet.



And she made me this custom turquoise necklace.  I owned the center beads for a very long time and asked if she could come up with a necklace that would feature them and this is what she came up with.  I love it. 

If you want to visit her site, the address is....


I know she would appreciate your visit. 

Well, that is it for now.  I need to get back to my Cherry trees so that I can get caught up. 

Thanks for stopping by. 



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Little more Gwen time......plus....

Just thought I would share a couple more pictures from my Gwen retreat. 

Nancy, Sharon and I are called the "Quilty Chicks" and we have had some really fun times together.  We originally met at our first guild and came together to form our own little mini group.  (Vicki, the fourth in our group, left us to move to Florida when her husband retired). 

Here we are enjoying something we really like to do.....eat.  This was at a restaurant in Elk Rapids called Siren Hall.  It was a converted "garage" and they had the best food and some really good drinks.


We needed some good sustenance so that we could get back to sewing all day and all night at Gwen's retreat.

This quilt is what Gwen calls her "floor quilt" challenges.  The whole quilt is made up from scraps that are picked up on the floor from everyone at retreat and then the next year they come back with a mini quilt. Some of these quilts are really beautiful and this one gives you an idea of what some of these talented woman can do with very small scraps that are thrown on the floor. 


Other than Gwen's retreat this past month, I hadn't gotten much sewing done, but in the last couple of days I did get one more Hearts and Hands block done.



Also, got my next (and I am really running late on this BOM) Cherry Trees blocks started.  Yes....I just have the freezer paper ironed onto pieces of fabrics, but that is some headway.



I'll be ready to start stitching on this real soon. 


Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm back from Gwennie's retreat....

LOL.  That's what she calls herself....Gwennie!  What a fun lady.

Nancy, Sharon and I attended her third week, Beaver Island Quilt Retreat up in Elk Rapids, MI from Tuesday through Sunday.  It was labeled as the Liberated Quilt Retreat.  What a fun time we had. 

Anyways, let me get to the pictures right away.  I worked on the liberated baskets. 


I did these basket in the French General line.  Much more tame than the fabrics that Gwen uses, but I knew these would go in my house.  Now mind you...I intended to make a queen sized quilt, but by the time I finished these, I was done with baskets!

Now let me show you Sharon's lovely quilt....small but beautiful.



She has the liberated basket (flower pot); liberated log cabin (flower); liberated stars and liberated flying geese and liberated spikey border.  As Sharon would say....two yards of black and several fat quarters later, she has a lovely, but small wall quilt.  She committed way too soon and did lots of ripping.  Still love it though Sharon!

Then we have Nancy's great quilt.  It started out as baskets, but she embellished so much that we decided it was liberated purses.  Aren't they adorable?


One night when Nancy went to bed earlier than us, we took some of the scraps that she had on the floor and made up a couple of the log cabin blocks and the star block.  She loved them so much that she decided to make more of them and make them her border.  Hey!  What are friends for?

Now on to some of the other great quilts that were up on the walls.  I don't know the owners, but I will give you a quick overview of some of Gwen's particular liberated studies

This gal was smart.  She made her liberated "fruit" basket blocks all the same height.  It made it much easier putting the quilt together, whereas mine was a big headache at times, but I loved the "fruit".


These are called Kathy's blocks and that is because during one of Gwen's classes, this gal wanted to learn how to make the liberated stars.  Well, she did them all "wrong" and thus this block came to be and Gwen called them Kathy's block and put it in her book.  It makes for a very pretty quilt.


This one is considered a medallion quilt.  I love the great witch fabric.   The flying geese got turned into  witches hats by adding the strip below each flying geese. How ingenious!



This gal used shirtings and made strips with lots of little, very tiny,  liberated blocks of all styles.



Now this one looks so Amish to me.  Maybe it was the colors, but I just loved this one.  I guess you can say these were liberated snowball blocks.  I loved watching this quilt develop. (Oh, look...there's Gwen).  She never stood still long enough to get a good picture of her).


Here's a great liberated star quilt.  Love it!!



Then there was this great quilt.  I am going to call it liberated sticks....kinda like pick up sticks.  Don't you just love the varying reds in the background.  Sorry this picture was taken on an angle.  It was hard getting good pictures at times with so many people crowding around. 


I really fell in love with this quilt.  It is all liberated  in a variety of styles, but the great thing about this one is that it is made with silk ties.  I have been saving my father-in-laws ties and I think I finally know what I am going to do with them. 


Finally, this one has the liberated trees and houses.  What a great way to use up Christmas fabrics, yet not look like a Christmas quilt.  I am going to store that idea in the back of my brain, too.


Now, this is about the best picture I got of Gwen showing one of her quilts.  Like I said, she was a very busy lady and didn't sit still long, but I just had to post one picture of her and tell you that she gives a great retreat; AND it helps to go with some great friends, too.



One more thing though.  I was amazed at how "messy" people could get.



and it wasn't until a day or two into the retreat that it was explained that all your scraps were to be put on the floor for people to "shop in your mess" and then next year they will come back with a little quilt made from "floor scraps" and their quilts are then called "floor quilts".  I saw some pretty good looking floor quilts, too.  Wish I had taken a picture of them, but I forgot my camera that night.  Take my word for it though, they were adorable.

Well, it's back to the old grind here.  I am hunting for fabric on line to border my baskets with and when I get them done (soon I hope), I will post a picture of the finished quilt. 

Wish you could all have joined us for Gwen's retreat.  Think about going to one of her retreats.  I think you would really enjoy yourself. 

Thanks for looking in.