Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another one bites the dust.....

My 23rd Beyond the Cherry Tree block is complete.

It looked like this on the 27th of December.

and since it wasn't a very difficult block, I finished it up late (very late) on December 30.

Here's a couple close ups of the two different colorways for the flowers.

Block #21 is prepped as far as the freezer paper is concerned.  I will pick out my fabrics for each piece and get busy on it. 

Block #25 will be coming soon (patterns are offered up on the 10th of the month)  and then the center of this quilt can be put together.  It has been a long time coming. 

The border patterns are being offered one side a month.  I have three of those patterns, but I won't be working on them until the center is done.  Saying that, I don't feel so far behind on this quilt. 

It's been a long 29 month block of the month.  In the end, this quilt is going to be well worth it though. 

Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27, 2011

Wow....time is flying and I haven't had a chance with all the holiday preparations to get back in here and share a few things with you. 
First off, I have to thank Sharon for the wonderful blog prize that I won and it got here just in time for Christmas. 

This magnet (or should I say, several magnets) is such a great prize.  I for one was not able to attend the big Red and White quilt exhibit in New York, but this nearly makes up for it.  You can visit Sharon's blog here....  Thank you Sharon.  I feel so lucky!

For one of my gifts from one of my quilty friends (Nancy), I received the Cheryl Ann's design wall.  I put it up yesterday and thought I would try it out with my Beyond the Cherry Tree blocks.  This is what I have accomplished so far. 

I am a bit behind, but life has been a little crazy around here.  I will get caught up though.  This isn't going to be one of those quilts that gets put away indefinitely.

I, also, want to share the gift that my son made for his sister and her new husband.  It actually is a belated wedding present that he has been working on, but his life has been busy, too.

This is a maple TV cabinet.  It is his design and all made by hand.  The glass looks a little funky on the picture, but it is one of those glasses that looks like water.  He has made a few beautiful pieces of furniture and this is just his hobby.  Always good to have a man around that can produce beautiful furniture like this. 

Well, I am headed off to the sewing room today. It's been ages that I have had the time to do this, so I need to take advantage. 

If I don't get back in here, I wish every one of you a Happy New Year and may 2012 be a happy and prosperous one for all of us. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Not too many more days until Christmas.....

So, my gal pals and I got together for our annual Christmas/mini quilt group get together.  We had such a great time chit chatting, eating and doing our show-n-tell....and best of all our gift exchange.

I thought I would share our show-n-tell with you first. 

Didn't think I would be thinking Halloween this close to Christmas, but Nancy's quilt just makes you smile and wanting to have Halloween come soon.

and she always makes such great quilts with her primary colors.

Sharon shared her great baby quilt made with shirting fabrics.

and here's the backing.

and here's one of hers that will put you in the Christmas spirit.

Love that quilt!

I served Pasta Fagioli for our luncheon.

This was the first time I made it and it was quite easy and pretty tasty, too.

I just have to share all the wonderful gifts I got, too.

My friends know me so well.

If you know me, this little ornament is SO ME!  (yeah, I can see some of you smiling right now!!)

That was from Nancy.  She, also, got me this.....little carrying case.

and what's in it is this.....

an insulated shopping bag.  I so think that I am going to keep this in my car and when the three of us go to the French Laundry (a great little restaurant) and we have half of our sandwich to take home with no cooler in the car, this will serve the purpose.  I am excited!

Nancy, also, got each of us one of these nifty, portable design walls.  She has one that we have taken on retreat and it works great!  I have as yet to put mine together, but I will be doing that very soon.

Now, Sharon, was really thinking ahead.  She is going to make sure we make plans on going to our favorite little retreat getaway.  I got a gift certificate for the place along with a great candle.

Can't wait to start making plans for this trip.

Last, but not least, I thought I would share my one and only little contribution to the show-n-tell.  I have finally completed another one of my Cherry Tree blocks, #23. (which I completed today rather than yesterday) I am a bit behind, but all is not lost.  This quilt is NOT going to get put away and forgotten.  It is going to get done....just maybe a little later than the designated BOM  schedule

I'll show you a close up as it is hard to see the light green flowers with the busier background.

Lots of little reverse applique on this block.  I am so ready to move onto the next one.  Hopefully it won't be as long as it took for me to get this one finished. 

Well, I hope you are all ready for Christmas.  My decorations are up, the gifts are wrapped, I am late on my cards, and food will start getting prepared this week.  All-in-all, it will be here before we know it and then it will be 2012. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blog Giveaway

There is a blog giveaway over at Sharon's blog, but I would rather you NOT go over there because I want my chances to be better at getting this great memento from the Red and White Quilt show that was in New York this year. But...if you must, here's her website....  ;D

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New day.....

all be it that it was a rainy day all day, I am turning over a new leaf. 

Cleaned and purged the sewing room yesterday and I am ready to get back to the applique.

Knitting is what has been taking up some of my time lately.  I just finished this shawl.

Made it with the color changing cotton yarn, but now that this project is out of the way, I am headed into the the sewing room, but first.

Sheila came over to get the two bags of fabric that I purged yesterday AND she brought a beautiful show-n-tell to share, too. 

Sorry, there weren't enough hands to hold this up, but I think you get the gist of it. It's beautiful.  If you are interested in knowing the name of the pattern, let me know.  I will have to get that info from Sheila as I forgot to get it so that I could blog about it. 

She did this as a block of the month through one of her local quilt shops and learned many different techniques of applique.  I think she wants to stick with her favorite technique though. 

Well, I am off to the sewing room to pick up the Cherry Tree block that I was last working on, so hope to be able to show that one to you real soon. 

It's back to work tomorrow for me, but I hope to take a stitch or two each evening. 

Happy quilting.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Am I a hoarder?

I don't think so, but if I had to live in my sewing room, I might say that.

I haven't done any stitching for quite a while.  The sewing room has become a catch all for "stuff" making it very undesirable to go in there. 

The TV show "Hoarders" gives you all these descriptions of people who do hoard and I have to say that while I was in my sewing room "gutting" it today, I found myself saying....."but I could use this 1" strip of fabric for something.  Maybe I should keep it".  But....I was strong.  I went in there with determination. 

I pulled all of this.....

OFF the top of  my stash drawers and totes making it impossible to get to the top drawer AND the totes. 

I pared down.

Two bags full.

and one box full.

Now mind you, my stash buying was never  buying yardage like some of my friends, but a fat quarter here, a half yard there, or buying for a project and then keeping all the scraps from them, so unless I was to spend hours and hours making scrap quilts, this just wasn't going to get used up. 

Even finding out at our latest guild meeting from an AQS appraiser that fabric may go up to $15.00 a yard in the not too distant future did not sway me.  This fabric was not going to get used by me. 

So, my friend Sheila is going to get the two bags full to make scrap quilts for her CASA kids (these are children who are in foster care and she is their advocate) and the box is going to be donated to a local assisted living where they have this huge craft room with several sewing machines.  The manager of this assisted living was telling me how wonderful the ladies that sewed there were.  They made quilts for charity. 
So, I am not feeling too bad about getting rid of some of this stash. 

The good thing though is that I found several pieces that are large enough to make a bunch of baby quilts and some pieces that are big enough to back larger quilts.  So now the majority of my stash looks like this.

Each drawer has been pared down greatly.  One of the tubs was emptied totally and now all my larger pieces of fabric are now in the top bin or on top of the drawers nearly folded and in full view. 

I am feeling much better about my sewing room now.  Hope to get in there real soon now to actually sew.   

While on my hiatus from sewing though, I have been knitting, but I will save that for my next post.

See you soon

Friday, November 4, 2011

Motivation....where are you?

I have been so NOT motivated to quilt  lately. 

Don't know why, but it could be because my mom has been so sick, or the fact that it's Fall and the knitting needles keep calling my name, or just the fact that the warm weather has gone away. 

The latest knit project I have been working on is a shawl.  Remember this cotton yarn (looks more like floss)?

Well, this is where I am with that  right now.

This is the shawl that I bought the shawl pin for. 

Can't wait to use it.

Also, I had two more commitments with my birthday star block exchange.

Got Joanne's made for November.  She requested black and white with a black or white background.

Here is Ellen's for December.  She requested light to medium greens with cream.  I am not so sure the picture shows the true colors, but the block is a very pretty, soft green. I hope they both like their blocks.

I think my goal is to finish the shawl and then I will get back into the sewing room  and get busy on some of my Cherry Tree blocks.  I am so close to the end of this 29 month BOM, I can't poop out now.  Motivation will come back...I am sure. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Whirlwind trip to Chicago....

I don't have much to share about my trip to Chicago other than it went by way too fast. 
We drove 5 hours Friday morning to get there; took a train into the city from the little town we were staying at; walked the "magnificent mile" (although it felt more like 10 miles); did very little shopping (that's why you don't go with your husband); took the train back and crashed at the hotel.

One thing that really caught my eye though were the windows for this really neat clothing shop.

How can a quilter pass this up?

Then, of course, there was Marilyn.

I didn't get close enough to look up her skirt though.  There were a lot of men having their pictures taken  right under her and it was kind of funny.  Personally, I thought this statue just didn't fit in the area, but what do I know?

Saturday we visited friends who had just moved into the area and had a new baby boy just a couple weeks ago.  Then the main reason we were in Chicago was to go to a friend's son's wedding, so that took up pretty much all of Saturday. 

Up bright and early on Sunday and headed home. 

I think I will make plans to go back to Chicago with my daughters so that we can do some damage where shopping is concerned.  Of course, I did break the bank at the Ghiradelli store.  You know....quilting and chocolate go together. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicago weekend

No sewing for me this weekend.  We are headed to Chicago for some shopping, eating and more shopping and then we will be attending a friend's son's wedding and then heading home. 

The baby quilt at last Sunday's shower was a huge success.  I think it was the only "blanket", "aphgan", quilt that was actually opened up fully and shown in its totality.  That was a good feeling.

Also, want to shout out a thank you to my son who took "out" the "date" that appeared in my header picture.  I think he did a good job.  Thank you dear son. 

See you next week. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

In the knick of time.....

I have just completed my "zig zag baby quilt".

The shower is tomorrow afternoon, so this afternoon I was making the binding and sewing it on along with the label, too.

It is now in the wash to give it that comfy, "want to cuddle with" look after a quilt has been washed and dried (100% cotton).

I had seen the idea of the zig zags on someones blog and I believe there is a pattern out there somewhere, but I just winged it.  The random zig zags was the result of my friends' suggestions when I had it up on the design wall.  I have plenty of other zig zag rows that I could make another quilt or two....which is a good thing since baby showers are always popping up. 

Now, I guess it is time to get back to some of quilting projects that are calling my name....namely Beyond the Cherry Trees.  I have one block that is very near completion, so that will probably be the first thing I do. 

So, thanks for stopping by.  Hope you are getting some stitching in this weekend.  Enjoy...whatever you are doing. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Had a great get-away.....

Back from my mini retreat refreshed and with some things to show.

The first project on hand was to bind my Gwen Marston basket quilt.

What a great feeling to have this one done.  As you can see, I have decided to use this quilt as my header picture in a little vignette that was on the porch of the Harbor Star (the retreat site in East Tawas, MI).

I, also, got an apron made  that my daughter asked for.  This is  for my youngest who was recently married and is now Miss Suzie Homemaker.

She wanted something funky and fun ....and wouldn't show any stains.  I still need to add some buttons on the bib and the pocket.

Prior to going on retreat, I prepped all my half square triangles and had them ready to stitch together.

Got them all made and added them to the ones that I had already made and came up with this design for a baby quilt.

....and here is the quilting that I did on it. 

Just need to bind it and it will be ready for the baby shower this weekend.

As for my friends''s Nancy's projects.

ABC quilt ....and she has a blue one that she is making for her twin nieces. 

Here's the start of her jelly roll quilt.

and here is what she had done by the time I left.

Here's her granddaughter's solar quilt top.

Then we have Sharon's "men's shirt quilt".  She bought blue striped shirts from Salvation Army and some of them were 5 for a $1.00.  Isn't this striking?

and how about her orange shirt purchases?

and here it is in a vignette with the borders along with Sharon.

Plus she was busy quilting a baby quilt that has been on her pile for awhile.

Now, something new at the "Star" where we stayed.  Ever wonder what to do with your left over blocks?  How about this for an idea.

I, also, have to share with you one more thing that wasn't related to my retreat.  My youngest daughter is finally starting to follow in my crafty footsteps, but she has been knitting for a little while, but this time she tried something a little different than scarves, one-stitch baby blankets, etc.  She knitted herself a MONSTER.

Does a mother's heart some good. 

Well, I hope you can have a relaxing few days away to feel refreshed and ready to take on the world again.   Even if it is a day or two in the sewing room with nothing else requiring your attention.We all need this one time or another. So....happy quilting and thanks for taking a peek at my relaxing few days away. 

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