Saturday, December 29, 2012

The holidays have been busy.

Christmas has come and gone so quickly.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday spent with family and friends. I know we had a wonderful Christmas here.
I had the week off before Christmas, so it was pretty stress free having all that extra time at home to get prepared, but for some reason I got into the gutting, purging, cleaning and organizing mode just before the holidays; and I am still in that mode.  Below is my emptying out of my hutch in the sewing room.
It consisted mostly of finished quilts, but I just couldn't find anything in there anymore, so the best thing was just to empty it, reorganize it and put it all back or maybe I should say "almost all" of it back.
I hung  holiday quilts in the closet....which by the way, I gutted, purged, cleaned and organized the week before Christmas (two double bi-fold doors wide--the width of the whole room!!!).  That was such a horrible job that I wouldn't/couldn't even take pictures of it.  I was almost in tears that I even "started" THAT project.  But it is all organized in containers with "like" things in their proper places.  I will post on that project another day.
I have decided to make a list of all my UFOs, .....oh lordy......I can't believe I put that in writing!  I said I would never do it because it would probably depress me, but after cleaning up and seeing just how many things there were, I need to do it so that I can "check" things off as I get them done and see that the list is getting smaller. 
Below are just a few of the ones that came out of the hutch today. 
First Saturday basket blocks (12 - 12 1/2")
Christmas Star blocks that I won in a drawing at a retreat (17 - 12 1/2")
Embroidered star blocks (12 - 12 1/2") These were given to me and if I can think of what to do with them I wouldn't be opposed to cutting them down. 
Birthday exchange Star blocks (19 - 12 1/2")
I think these are called Turning Twenty  blocks  (50 - 9 1/2")
There were a few more projects in there, but I will save that for another post, too.  I wouldn't want to overwhelm you!!!
I did come across my very first quilt though.
Oh my.....I just had no color sense at that time.  The green and red matched a chair I had in the living room and because I thought having "too light of a background was just not for me and stood out too much", I matched the carpet to the background.  Egads!!!  But it is hand quilted and I did do a pretty good job otherwise. 
I plan on organizing my lists under categories such as "blocks"; "quilt tops needing to be quilted"; "projects that I want to make and have the fabric for"; "blocks that are already in rows"; etc, etc. 
Eventually I will post my lists.  I was just happy to get to that hutch today and even did some drawers in the sewing room.  As soon as those lists are made, then I will feel free to get back to sewing in a clean and organized room that now welcomes me rather than distracts me. 
Hey!  I will start the New Year with a VERY clean sewing room so that means it should be neat and clean all year......right?  RIGHT!!!
If I don't get back here before.....have a Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

After the guild's Christmas party.....

I have been going through applique withdrawal, so when they asked for people to take blocks home and work on them for the guild's president's quilt and I saw that it was applique, I snatched them up. 
I am not sure of the layout of this quilt, but I love the colors. 
I, also, came away with a prize for our fabric bingo game (our fabric bingo "cards" were donated to the guild for charity quilts).
This is what I picked out from the pile of prizes.
The cover of this book sold it for me!  I think this quilt is on my bucket list....someday. 
Also, got the next two patterns for the seasonal calendar...Santa and a Snowman.  They BOTH have to be done by the next meeting.  Nothing like putting on the pressure what with the holidays. to do some applique

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Planning a scrappy quilt.....

Back in June of this year at my St. Louis retreat and during one of our show and tells, my friend,  Rita,  showed a scrappy black and white quilt that I just fell in love with.  She was on a year long mission to use up all  her stash and scraps without buying any new fabric.  I think she had her mom's stash to go through, too. I thought, well heck!, I have a lot of black and whites, so I think I will do this one, too.
hmmmm....I don't know where all my black and whites went, but this was all that I had.  I could have sworn I had a whole lot more.  I am not even sure what I made to have used it up.  There probably isn't even enough there to make a wall hanging let alone a queen sized quilt.
So anyways, my daughter had let me know that one of the quilt shops nearest me (Cristina's Quilt Shop in Rochester MI)  was going out of business . This was the shop I would have headed to for blacks and whites anyways because she always carried such a nice array of them; and it was such a surprise to find out that she will be done and gone by the end of this month as her lease is up December 31.  Even though her sale was only 15% off everything, I stocked up on a few black and whites.
Brought my husband with me and I think he was starting to sweat,  especially  when he saw the number of bolts I was pulling down and how many fats I had in my hands, but really...I only bought FQs or 1/4 yard pieces because once I am finished with this quilt, I really don't want to have a lot of left over  pieces.  So 34 FQs, one full yard of the upper left fabric (because I may use some of that for another project); and 13 - 1/4 yard cuts, I am hoping to get a queen sized quilt made that looks similar to Rita's.
Isn't it beautiful and I am thinking super easy to make, too. 
I have yardage of white, but may have to run to another shop to find a plain red to throw into the mix.  I am excited to start something new and something that I am hoping will be quick, too. 
Thanks to Rita for the inspiration!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Been a charity type week.....

Everything I have done this week is charity driven. 

At my guild's Christmas party next week we will be playing bingo, so we were to make bingo cards from scraps. 

After the party, these will be collected and put together for charity quilts.

Sandy over at put out a challenge to our retreat gals to make pillowcases to donate to a local hospital in St. Louis.  Her personal goal is to make one a week for one year.  

I pulled a bunch of fabric last weekend and cut out 11 pillowcases.  So, 11 yards of fabric later, I have my pillowcases.

I was  in between my own projects, so this seemed like a good time to do something quick, easy and gratifying.

Also, pulled a name from the "giving tree" this week at work and bought a gift for someone in need.  

It's been a good week.  

Now.....onto something new.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey is done!I


I should have posted this yesterday for Thanksgiving.  Hopefully everyone has recovered from their overeating of all that turkey.  

The turkey I am talking about is this one.  

He's the next installment to the seasonal calendar.  

While I am at it, I should also mention that Nancy, Sharon and I finished up our Salvation Army's mens shirts string blocks and Sharon has them altogether here. 

I think it looks great!.  Sharon has bought some chambray for the backing and will be getting to quilting it very shortly.  Then it will be off to New York for one of the Sandy hurricane victims.  

Also, got a little package in the mail today from a great little, very contemporary quilt shop located near St. Louis, MO, that I discovered when I was at retreat there in June this year.  The place is called Fabric Nosherie.  If you google it, you can find it and they are on Facebook, too.  

On Facebook, I saw this great chevron fabric and just had to have it.  

It's very wide and I am going to make a holiday table runner out of it...maybe two.  

Also picked up some cool little gadgets that I can't post here because they are for Christmas, but if you are looking for something different or very contemporary, this is the place to go AND the service was fantastic.  I called Shannon on Tuesday and I got it today, Friday, and that's even with the holiday stuck in the middle.  

Anyways, it felt good to be back in the sewing room today.  So, I guess you can say that I am thankful for the time I got to spend doing what I love.  

Stay tuned.  There will be more soon.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Busy, busy last few days.

First off, at the end of last week my friend, Sharon, put out a challenge to gather five men's shirts in blues and greens to cut up and make into a quilt for a Sandy (hurricane) victim in New York. Her daughter lives and works in New York and personally knows people who have lost everything.
So, here are my five shirts. (L, XL, XXL which gives you lots of fabric to work with)
In fact, you should see Bonnie Hunter's video on how to deconstruct a shirt to use it as fabric.  I wish I had seen it before I cut up my shirts!
On Sunday, there were three of us who had a sew-in for about 4 hours and between ripping these shirts apart, cutting them in strips  and sewing them back together, we made a few blocks, but we went home with homework.  We each needed to make 11 more blocks.
Here are my blocks.
I should say that these blocks consists of strips from all three of our collected shirts.
Thank goodness I was off work today to get these together. 
There will be 48 blocks to make up this quilt and as it comes together, I will send you all over to Sharon's blog where I am sure she will  post pictures of the quilt's progress.
Then last night I attended guild and we had Sue Nichols as our speaker.  Why oh why did I not sign up for her quilting class this coming weekend?  I am going to be sorry that I didn't.  Her work and her sister's are absolutely beautiful.
Here's Sue
and here are some closeups of some of the projects that she brought along to show us.
Their machine applique and machine quilting are absolutely awesome and if you haven't been to the Paducah Quilt Museum to see two of their quilts, one being the Beatle's quilt, you are missing something just magnificent. 
Ok....back to work tomorrow and back to my normal quilting tomorrow night. 
Hope you enjoyed the show.   

Friday, November 9, 2012

Up for a little show and tell?

I met up with my mini group today for some lunch, some chatting  and a little show and tell.

Thought I would share with you some of the lovely things my friends had to show. 

Sharon is working on completing her pink star quilt  that will be a gift for a little girl.

Here she has her little star blocks just pinned trying to figure if this is what she wants to do. 

She says it is still not big enough, so there will still be some designing going on. 

Sharon is, also, working on a chunky cowl.  She has made a couple and they have all been very gorgeous.  

and when Sharon doesn't have anything better to do, she is making some very tiny yo-yos

Nancy had plenty to show.

She has been putting together some charity quilts for our guild.  Here are four of them.


Penguins (flannel)

Jungle animals

and a quilt for a teen

For herself she has put together a few very pretty quilts. 

I don't know the pattern name of this one.

Scrappy quilt

Pickle dish with a little hint of the fun backing.

and this adorable Halloween quilt.

Such eye candy!   I am feeling sooooo motivated. 

Hope you enjoyed the little show. I know I did today.  

My stuff?  You've all seen it before here on the blog.  Nothing new for now from me, but stay tuned.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

taa daaahhh

Seasonal calendar is all done.  

Two weeks ahead of time before the next block (mini quilt) patterns are handed out at guild.  

Here is the Fall pumpkin completed.

with a little close up to see the vine stitch my Elna does. 

Base quilt is done.  (other than I have to get rid of my marking lines)

hmmm.....looks like "angry eyes" up there.  LOL

Here's a close up of my quilting.  


Finished project.

Next will be a snowman and a Santa. 

Stay tuned.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What am I working on?

I am going to call it a calendar, but it really isn't.

It's a block of the month, but it really isn't a block.

Our guild is offering a monthly pattern for the calendar/BOM and the first part is the background "quilt".  I am doing it mostly in homespuns, but my stash is made up of fat quarters  or smaller.  

So my friend Sandy over at sent me her "beloved" stash of homespuns (actually I can't imagine her using homespuns, so don't know how that happened) and I ordered some larger pieces  on line.  I couldn't really get started without the extra pieces, so lo and behold, they both showed up yesterday while I was watching my little guy, Cole. 

He was my helper and wanted to sew with me, so first we opened the packages and this is what I got from Sandy. 

and this was my order.

So I started cutting and laying out the first quilt (each month is its own little quilt).

Then sewn together.

Unusual, huh?  Well this is the base quilt "top" and  the lighter section is where little quilts will hang that represent each month.

Next step is fusing the hearts and letters down the side  in either the family name or "welcome".  

This is the little quilt for October that is all stitched and ready to quilt.

This shows the "welcome" added to the background quilt. (both are just flimsys here)

I still have a lot of work to do on the  background quilt.  Machine applique the hearts and the letters, layer the quilt and quilt it, then bind it.  But as you can see above the little quilt is a little farther along.  

I have to have both of these 100% done before I can get next month's patterns and I believe we will be getting two ....a snowman and a santa.  

If you have the fabric, it makes getting things done a lot easier, so I am hoping to have these both done in plenty of time.  

I'll post pictures of the two completed quilts hopefully very soon. 

I said I wouldn't......

I meant it when I said it. But I failed and ended up doing it. I picked up the knitting needles instead of getting back to my pile o...