Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another UFO and a little rant

Today I am heading out on the road again. First stop is to see my youngest son and I am so excited to see the show that he has just designed and made costumes.  He will graduate this May with a degree in Theater, majoring in Costume Design and in the fall will start Graduate School to major in Costume Design and Technology.  It is so exciting to see his work and to be able to enjoy the fun of sewing (though he clearly has skills I can only dream of).  Since we have many other things to take care of on this trip, we aren't sure of our return date so yesterday I scrambled to find some hand work to keep me busy.  I have one more Chinese block prepped for applique but figured I better get more.  So it was off to the UFO boxes again and this is what I found.  This quilt is called "Sweet Dreams" and is from the book "Tea in the Garden" by Cynthia Tomaszewski (hope I spelled that correctly).  It was just awaiting the applique sashing.  I thought that I might machine applique all those leaves with an invisible applique stitch and a turned edge but since I am not good with ironing over those edges, I've decided that this will make a good travel project.  I still have lots more to prep but this should keep me busy for awhile.  I'm wishing now that I had used a lighter background for the sashing but they were already cut so I guess it will do.

And now for my little rant.  As many people have noticed around blogland, the word verification in the comments section has become very difficult to read.  Like many others I often blog over my first cup of coffee and since I am just waking up it is even more difficult to figure out.  It means I am leaving fewer comments and receiving fewer as well.  So I have turned off the "word verification" setting and hopefully it is easier now.  Hope this helps anyone trying to comment cause I love hearing from y'all.

Happy Stitching.  Hope I'll be back soon.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Springtime pillow cover

Here is a pillow cover that I finished this morning. I still need to find or make a pillow form to stuff it with but it is ready to go. I am having fun doing a few fast projects  to be used in the rental home that my DH will be moving to when he starts his new job.  We have lots of spare furniture that we will be pulling from our current home and a vacation home in Charleston, SC that we are hoping to sell. 

The pattern for this pillow came from the Oct. 2010 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting and I think that it will make a happy addition to our home in Florida.  Lots of white, yellow, blue, green and pink should make everyday feel sunny and bright!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sewn together

After lots and lots of pinning I finally got this put together yesterday. Sadly I really don't think the picture does justice to all the piecing and it looks better in person. It is not as big as I need but I think that borders are going to be added instead of more blocks.  This was certainly a quilt filled with lessons.

1. Sometimes you just have to use pins.
2. Check your pressing instructions and be consistent.
3. Blocks made several years ago may be slightly different than blocks finished today.

I think the real lesson is that it is a good idea to finish a project like this in a more timely fashion, as it was rather tricky fitting these blocks together.  But a couple borders added and it will be a finished top, languishing no more in the UFO pile and that is a good thing!  Maybe fitting all those odd sized blocks together was good practice for me as I am in charge of the raffle quilt for our guild this year and who knows what trouble I may run into there. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winding Ways, a UFO in progress

This UFO, a green and yellow Winding Ways quilt found my way to to design wall yesterday.  Somehow with the new direction our life is taking "winding ways" seems very appropriate and I was really needing to just sit and sew yesterday so I would not be thinking about all the life changes coming up.  Somehow I don't feel as guilty not working on my "should do's" if I am working on an old UFO. :-)

Anyway this UFO had been lingering for about 7 or 8 years and since I had most of the blocks made and more cut it seems a shame not to finish it, especially since it can be used with all the furniture and stuff that DH will be using in his rental in Florida (where he has taken a new job).  Good job I still had the directions for making the block cause it took me a while to get in the groove of sewing these things.  Originally I had planned this to be a queen sized quilt but now a twin/throw size will do just fine. I only had to cut out 4 extra blocks and hopefully I will get the last 6 sewn today.  Though the colors aren't something I would pick today, I am looking forward to getting this one out of the UFO pile and made into something useful.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Super "bolt" sale

 I just realized that I forgot to post about my fun shopping this past Sunday.  My LQS has a super bolt sale every year and these colorful bolts are what I purchased. We not the white background ones on the right and two of the colored bolts are actually from the sale last year.  I am trying to add some brights to my stash this year and this is certainly a great way to buy backings. These bolts ranged from 5 to 20 dollars per bolt - a great deal and amazingly they actually look pretty good together, though that was not intended at the time.
Oops, this photo went sideways when it was posted, but maybe you can see the little eyes poking out of the pocket.  This is the center of the larger baby quilt from a few posts ago.  A tiny pocket with a little felt owl peeking out.  I want to make a few more surprises for the pocket but obviously not for when the child is a baby and the own is fully removable.
Off to the fabric store to buy the fabric for a guild raffle quilt, such fun.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

More Critters

 Well it has been a very busy week and I can't believe that it is already Friday.  The quilts from the last post are quilted and the bigger is just awaiting the hand stitching on the binding.  I am still slogging away on the applique for this quilt but I can see the end in sight.  Such silly blocks and so much fun to do but I am ready to finish and move on to other things.

This happy little frog on the toadstool is one of my favorites.

As is the puppy grinning at the snail.  Hopefully I will finish the applique and get the top put together this weekend as our life is taking another crazy turn soon.  My DH just accepted a job 6 hours away and this means looking for a place for him to rent, and moving him in before April 1.  Don't know how this living apart is going to work out but we will need to start that way.  Youngest son graduates from college in May and will start grad school in the fall so I think there is lots of packing and heavy lifting in my future.  We really thought we would be settled when we moved into this house 1 1/2 years ago but that isn't how life is working out and I am just trying to go with the flow and hey there are lots of great fabric stores on that 6 hr. drive.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Baby Quilts are such fun

 Oh how I love sewing baby quilts.  They are small and with some fun fabrics they can be fast and easy but still adorable.  Yesterday I spent all day in the studio sewing these baby items.  The pattern for this one came from an old American Patchwork and Quilting magazine and is made primarily from the Frolic line of fabric by Wendy Slotbloom for In the Beginning Fabrics.  I spotted this adorable line of fabrics a few years ago, but with no baby needs didn't buy any and just kept admiring it in the store. So when my LQS put it in their sale room (40% off) I scooped up several yards for "sometime".  I added a few other pieces of fabric from my stash and am very pleased with it.  I find it so much harder to make something adorable and boyish cause I do love flowers etc. but this one fits the bill and with the few tiny flowers amongst the animals it would be so easy to add something to make it read more girly should that be required.

 From the same line of fabric I made this little bassinet sheet and bumper.  Seeing the bassinet really takes me back as it was made for my youngest son (now 22) when he was born, by a dear friend. 

And from the leftovers of the bigger quilt I whipped up this tiny one for the bassinet.  No pattern, just cut some leftovers into 2 in squares and used a little piece of fun fabric framed in the center.  I had intended to make it a bit bigger but ran out of squares and decided it was fine.  I have actually got it quilted now and am ready to hand stitch the binding tonight.  A happy and productive weekend.

Oh, and why is baby on my mind?  My DS and DDIL are trying to adopt a baby.  Though we don't know when it will happen I know I will be ready to welcome a baby with much love and of course, quilts.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Embellishments completed

 Another full day stitching, yay, and I have completed the embellishments for the first Sue Spargo BOM block. I took this close up so you could see all the little bullion knots and bullion loops.  I'm actually not sure that my loops are quite right as they started twisting, but I still think that they are fun.  Each month we practice some new embroidery stitches so I hope to learn a lot through the year.  Being left handed does make learning stitches a little more complicated but I did buy a book for left handed embroiderers and that is helpful.  Anyway I am having fun and should end up with a bright and happy quilt.

I really wish you could see this in person, so much brighter and the texture the embellishments add is great.

And finally a little project for a nursery.  These are little animals that I cut and then simply fused to fun fabric and framed.  The hopeful mommy-to-be and I also made a quilt for this room but I forgot to take a picture before I delivered it.  I will have to check out the room soon and see how everything is coming together! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sue Spargo BOM 2012

 Last June I was fortunate enough to take a few workshops with Sue Spargo when she came to our quilt guild.  It was so much fun working with wool and all her fun embellishment techniques that I wanted to do more.  While I love many of her designs I was uncertain about signing up for her 2012 BOM because the one from last year was not in my preferred color palette.  However after seeing a sneak peek of this year's colors, on the Sue Spargo Twee blog, I was smitten and signed up quickly.  Now this is not an inexpensive BOM (though I am not complaining cause you really do get some wonderful, unique materials) so it isn't one I want to linger forever in my "to do" pile.  I am in the week 3 mailing so I have only had the package for about 1 1/2 weeks, but other obligations have not allowed me to work on it until today.  A full day in the studio and the applique is complete and the embellishment can begin. Lots of embroidery on each block and hopefully I can start tomorrow. Oh how I am loving these happy colors!

 This is another wool project that I am trying to embellish using the same idea. The project is from the book
"Pennies from Heaven" but I am adding lots of extra stitching and some applique with silk.

And speaking of silk, a wonderful quilting friend recently gifted me with some wonderful Jim Thompson silk sample pieces. I am so excited that I am trying to plan the perfect project.  Maybe an applique project all in silk.  Makes me happy just imagining how beautiful that could be!