Thursday, December 27, 2012

At years end

I've taken a little break from blogging during the holiday season and have been doing a little reflecting on my quilting goals. When I first discovered blogs it was like a whole new world opened up to me and I love discovering new quilting trends. I still enjoy the new patterns and fabrics and the bright colors that are so prevalent in blog land but lately I am feeling that so much visual input has been a bit of a distraction from my own designs and the types of quilts I most enjoy. So I think it is time to regroup and use my blog as the quilting diary that I always intended it to be. Oh, I am sure I will still be drawn to the more simple patterns and bright colors of the modern quilters, from time to time, but I hope to spend 2013 finishing some UFOs, improving my machine quilting skills and working on a few projects that I have been thinking about for a while. Most important to me is to try to avoid copying others works and to use blogging as a way to inspire my vision and creativity rather causing me to be diverted from what I am working on. Or at least that is my goal - we will see how that really turns out. ;)

So work continues on my "Butterflies are Free" quilt, a pattern by Blackbird designs. Even my youngest son took one look at this quilt during the holidays and said, "Mom, this quilt is just so you".

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Butterflies are free

Though stitching continues on the Whig Rose, all that hand quilting is making my fingers raw so I need (ok, want) another hand work project. The reality is I feel almost panicky if I don't have some hand appliqué at the ready! While working on the basket quilt I purchased Blackbird Designs new book "In the Meadow" after falling on love with the Butterflies are Free pattern. I came home that day and pulled all the fabrics from my stash and spent the time while I was making the basket quilt searching for the background fabrics. I knew just the look I was after to create a botanical print look and I am excited to see it come together. Another fun one for the new house. This one has 90 butterflies and 3 flower blocks so it should keep me busy during my holiday travels.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

More lessons

Today my DIL came over for a few hours to finish this quilt top. It is a Christmas gift for her mother and is the fifth quilt that we have made together. While I still do most of the cutting and provide guidance she is now doing all of the sewing and ironing. With this quilt she learned a quick and easy method for doing half square triangles, setting on point and mitering corners when using a striped border.. It is such fun watching her excitement as she sees it all come together. Tomorrow is quilting!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The annual quilting of the Red and Green

Every year for the last 3 or 4 years I have gotten this quilt out do do some hand quilting. Though it isn't a Christmas quilt, the colors do seem to suit the season. Even though it will be a quiet Christmas this year and no decorating as I get ready for the move, it is nice to have this project laying about brightening the room. Plus I love relaxing with some hand quilting while watching a bit of TV. As you can see, this one has lots of quilting and I am just taking it slow and enjoying the process but maybe this will be the year I finish !

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fifty shades of green finished

I am so happy to have finished my little basket quilt today. Since I have no holder around I am posting this lousy photo but at least you can see how nice it looks draped on my sofa. Yay, start to finish in 3 months!

On another note, I am still having issues with my tablet and while I can read blogs I cannot post comments on most of them. So until this is fixed I won 't be commenting much but I will be reading. I can post comments from the computer but I am hoping there will be an IPad in my Christmas stocking. ;)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

With a little help from my sons

Thanks to those who tried to help with my blogger issue. After a lengthy phone call with one son and personal assistance from another I am able to read my blog on my tablet. But he had to change a setting and has warned me I may now have other issues but fingers crossed that all is OK. Since I am babysitting at his house tonight and the baby is finally asleep I took a few pictures if a couple of Christmas quilts I have made for he and his wife. The snowman one is called Snowbound and is by Bunnyhill and sadly I can't remember the other ones pattern details.

Blogger problems?

Is anyone else having blogger issues?   Suddenly I go to the blogs on my sidebar and as soon as they fully load they disappear. No problem if I go to the blog directly from  Goggle. I am just trying to figure out if this is a problem with my tablet or Blogger.  It started last night and is worse this morning?  I am not very computer savy and this has me stumped! HELP 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Today I decided it was time to start assembly on my little basket quilt only to discover that I had miscalculated the number of basket blocks. So I am either 8 baskets short or 8 over! Well I don't want to waste the extras so I made one more 9 patch and I have prepped 7 more baskets and 2 more setting triangles. Hopefully a happy accident and they will be ready soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our stocking tradition

Today I spent some time remembering many years of a favorite family tradition - the Christmas stocking. When I was a baby a friend of my mother gave me my stocking. I was one of 5 children and this family friend gave each of us this handmade gift. Every year Santa filled them with trinkets, toys, candies and even toiletries and this tradition carried into adulthood. When I became engaged I made sure to make a matching one for my husband to be, a sorta welcome to our family thing. When my first child was born my sister gifted my son with one and I made one for my other 2 boys. In the 1980's when I was decorating my home in the Country style that was so popular, I was tempted to change these for something that would suit my decor but somehow tradition won out and now that mid century modern design is popular they are actually on trend again! I have made matching one's for my children's partners and even pets over the years but this year is extra special. Today I was thrilled to make this stocking for my grandson who came into our family 9 months ago. My original stocking of 55 years ago sits next to his new one - a new generation to enjoy our family tradition.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bluebird block

Today DH headed back to our new house and I finally had a day of quiet stitching. Since my design wall is filled with DIL's project, I couldn't arrange my finished basket blocks so I decided to finish another block for the Civil War Bride quilt. I love this little bluebird but am now out of prepared appliqué. Eek, I guess that means it is time for some hand quilting!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Let the sewing continue

Well the traveling is done, for this month, the cooking is done and the company has gone home so let the sewing begin! We had a nice Thanksgiving with 2 of our 3 boys, our DIL and new grandson. So good to see the youngest and to hear the happy sounds of a full house but time to change gears and think about Christmas. It will be a small gathering this year so instead of making many gifts to give I am helping my DIL with hers. Here is the quilt we are working on for her mother. The outside border fabric came from my stash and was used as the inspiration. We picked out the star fabrics from the LQS and then went back to the stash for sashing, setting triangle and star background. Since I am moving it is great to be able to do some stash busting and save her some money at the same time. Today we put this on the design wall and she is pleased. Hope we get it done in time and that her Mom likes it!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A cardinal for the bride

Life has been crazy and stressful lately so I haven't had much time for seeing but while tiding my sewing table I realized I had not posted this block. I have been working on the Civil War Bride quilt off and on for over a year and I only have a few blocks left. One if these blocks has two birds that look like vultures to me and I decided to change them to cardinals. Much better I think.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Birdie Stitches finished

I finally got around to quilting and binding Birdie Stitches a 2011 BOM by Little Miss Shabby. I tried using a pretty random scribble type swirl that is seen in the border fabric. It was my first time quilting around embroidery and I decided to just use a background swirl design around the embroidery so that the designs would stand out. While it sure isn't perfect, it was fun to do and it is done!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making do

A few months ago I bought a cute pattern to hold my tablet. As I recall the pattern was a little bag that you slid the tablet into that would protect it when traveling. I packaged the pattern, fabric and necessary notions and took it to Florida as a quick easy project I could work on while there. Alas when I decided to work on it I realized that I had no batting and as I have so many scraps here I refused to buy batting and worked on other things. Fast forward a few months and today I decided that since I am flying later this week, I really need something to
protect my tablet but can I find that pattern anywhere? No! I can't even remember if I brought it home or left it in Florida and since it was sized for an IPad , which is not what I have, I decided it was time to just figure something out. So here is the result and actually I like it better than the pattern. This way it is protected when closed and not in use but the tablet can be used when it is opened up. Plus it just looks like a cute clutch. I think I need to just make do with what I have more often.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another TGWT update

I finished a few more hexagons for TGWT and laid them all out to see if I am happy with the direction I am heading. So far so good, I love the planned scrappy look and the fussy cutting is so fun. Lots more to go and hopefully the next installment will have some small diamond templates to make little stars.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

More hexie love

Oh how I love "This Goes with That" the hexie BOM by Sandra Daley. Tuesday I was able to pick up the second month's templates and have made a few more little blocks. I am still working on my little baskets, only 18 more to go and 10 of the setting triangles but I think I will save them for next week when I will be flying to the inlaws and need a portable handwork project. This week I am helping my DIL with a quilt for her mom for Christmas as well as other gifts she wants to make. Wonderful to spend time with her and my sweet little grandson before the big move. I should be packing but the hexies are calling.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fifty shades of green

Still working on this tiny baskets quilt and I think the end is in sight. I think it will be a square with a 9 x9 on point setting but I am still deciding. These are just thrown on the design wall in no particular order but so far I am happy with this one. Better get back to stitching while I have some free time!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sneak peek

Since this a gift I can only give a little peek of what I have been working on.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Granny's lessons

One of the things I love about quilting is that you never stop learning, no matter how much you think you know! this quit taught me a few things. One is to trust my gut especially when it comes to color. After removing the block that was bugging me and changing out the centers of some other blocks I started liking this quilt more. But I also realized that I really don't love working with whole lines of fabric and actually would have preferred this in a more controlled color pallet. Frankly I prefer each block individually to the look of the whole quilt but maybe it is more that I prefer the fun of
pulling my own fabric collection together. So now I am trying to decide to just finish this or make it larger and
maybe even add back the block that I'm not in love with. Hmmm, so many choices.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More great granny squares

Work continues on my Great granny quilt. I will probably eliminate one block that still doesn't seem to be working. I am now thinking of each block as a little quilt as I choose the fabrics and I like that process better than the ones that are more random. I am hoping to make 25 blocks but don't think the jellyroll with stretch that far. Sure wish I didn't hate that one block but perhaps adding a few new fabrics will help. Lol. I can almost hear Tim Gunn telling me to "make it work".

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Great Granny quilt along

Back in the summer, Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet hosted the Great Granny quilt along. I loved the blocks and knew they would be a fun project for the Summer House jelly roll that I had. This week I decided to finally get going on this project and I am having fun so far. Since I like to add my own spin to a line of fabric I added a bit of orange and while I am happy overall, one of the blocks is not quite working for me but I am withholding judgement til I have made more. I still need to square up the blocks but don't have the right ruler here. I guess that means a trip to the fabric store to buy one!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sewing therapy

If you have been readings blog for awhile you know that I am in the process of moving house. Again. I figured out that this will be the 7th move in about 3 1/2 years, involving 2 countries (China and the US) and 4 states within the US. We currently own 2 houses in 2 different states that are 400 miles apart and I am going back and forth between the 2 while my husband works and I try to get one house ready to sell. Needless to say I am tired and often cranky about moving once again but fitting a little sewing in does help to keep me sorta sane. Last week I finally quilted this little wall hanging I made back in June and I was able to bind it this weekend between bouts of painting. It is hanging in the new sewing space that I am filling with bright happy things to make me smile.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A few more hexagons

I am heading back to the new house today for some more painting. I have finished a few more hexagons and look forward to getting the second set of templates and papers on my return. I also quilted and bound the machine pieced hexagon quilt that I pieced in June. I wasn't really sure how to quilt this one but am happy with the all over swirly design. My long arm has been playing nice this week, what a treat!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finished toddler quilts

My DIL and I finished these two quilts this week. She made the quilt for her friend's son James and I made the other one for her little guy. I am trying to teach her a new skill with each project so this time we tried machine blanket stitch appliqué. It was such fun coming up with these little critters to add to the basic pattern that we found on the Moda bake shop. We also had fun with the label. Yippee, 2 finishes this week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another hexagon

Just another hexagon from This Goes With That. I think I need to go get more papers today so I can do more!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This goes with that BOM

Oh dear, I promised myself no new starts but since I signed up for this several months ago I don't think I'm cheating. This is a BOM by Sue Daley offered at my LQS called "This goes with that". It is much like "Candied Hexagons" which I have loved ever since I first saw it in blog land. Each month we get papers for the Enlish Paper Piecing, the acrylic templates for cutting and patterns for a few blocks. This goes for 8 months and I found lots of extra patterns for the hexagons on Sue Daley's blog. My LQS is also including a few other notions and some small cuts of repro fabric that can be used but I have decided to go in a different direction and I an loving it. The fussy cutting really makes this fun. I do love hexagons and EPP.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

More baskets and a little fabric

This week I am back in my main studio and excited to add more finished baskets to the design wall. I have 76 baskets stitched and about 30 more prepped. These setting triangles are stitched and I have more prepped. These are just thrown up for a size check but I like it, though it is time to make a few more 9 patch blocks.

I also went to a Tuesday Mornings store yesterday to see if they had any fabric like I had been reading about. Sure enough I found these 2 fat quarter packs with 7 fat quarters each priced at only $10 per pack. No I didn't need them but I couldn't resist.

Monday, October 8, 2012

My new sewing space

Though we have moved in with only the essentials, while waiting to sell our home in Georgia, a start has been made on setting up my sewing room in the new house. It is just a start as my "real stuff" has yet to arrive but at least I can now see the potential in the space. Looking forward to many happy hours stitching here. It is much smaller than my space in my other home but at least I have windows!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Not much time for stitching

Last Friday we closed on our new house in Florida. Since we still have yet to sell our home in Georgia we are only moving the stuff from the rental place which is good since there is much to do a the new place. Mostly painting and the first room on the list was my main sewing room. It was a dreadful brown color but now is a wonderful shade of white that looks just like Kona Snow. I have always had a lot of color on my walls but I am feeling the white and am going to use lots of this white. It is White Dove by Benjamin Moore and truly brought the room to life.

I have stitched a few more baskets so at least I am making a little sewing progress.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A fun toddler quilt

Lat week my DIL and I worked on a fun quilt for a friend's little boy. When cutting it out I realized that there was enough leftover squares to make an almost matching quilt for her little
guy too. This is not quite finished as se appliqué will be added to the white strip. I love this fabric line called backyard baby and this pattern let's the fabric do all the work. So cute!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More baskets

Work continues on my little basket quilt. I am finding these baskets to be addictive and a perfect project during this busy time. Lots more to do but by prepping about 8 a day I am making great progress and enjoying the process.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Recuperating with a UFO

Last week while going through boxes of stuff in my sewing room, I stumbled upon this UFO. As with most projects, it was started with much gusto and the double pinks, black and white shirtings and black reproduction fabrics were collected on a shop hop in Michigan. That was about 7 years ago and while I had vague memories of the quilt and knew that it was all cut, I had no idea that I had completed so many blocks. Originally I had planned for a setting of 12 x 12 blocks but when I realized I had sewn just over 100 of them decided this was big enough! Assembling them was a great way to have some mindless sewing while I am recovering from a nasty cold bug. And I actually like how it turned out. Now about those other 44 blocks that are cut.....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fun with my DIL

For the last few months I have been teaching my DIL to quilt. She comes to my house to sew and I watch the sweet little grandson while guiding her along. It is a winning situation for us both! Yesterday she finished this quilt for her friend. She did the quilting on my longarm machine and I finished the binding so it would be ready for giving tomorrow. This is her third quilt and I think she did a great job!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Giveaway winner and new a new beginning

First off congrats to Carrie P who is the winner of my little giveaway. I have ailed Carrie and hope to get the kit posted as soon as I have the address details.

Lots of new beginnings happening soon now that the house we were selling has closed. To reward myself and as a birthday treat I started work on a new quilt. This is a pattern called Trick or Treat by Blackbird designs and should be a great travel project in the weeks ahead. Originally I planned to do multi colored baskets but I an really liking this white, black and green color scheme. Perhaps it is "Fifty Shades of Green".

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Drop in for a giveaway

Last week I reached 100 followers and in honor of this amazing feat I am celebrating with a little giveaway. Last week I made this cute Halloween pillow for my DIL and I am giving away the pattern and a kit to make it. A few things are missing from the picture but you get the idea.

To enter just leave me a comment and I will announce the winner on Sun september 9 which just happens to be my birthday. Please make sure I have a way of contacting you.

Thanks for dropping in!