Friday, February 5, 2016

here a little - there a little

I updated the blog from my quilt group "Bound Together" from our January meeting if you want to go check it out.

I put the corner diamonds on the 1st block and finished the 2nd block from the 1857 quilt.  I think I reversed the pattern for the 2nd block but it really doesn't matter.  I hope I can last with this quilt.  I still have one more block to finish for January and last Monday four more blocks were introduced for February.  I don't like to get behind so I'm feeling the self-imposed pressure.

I finished Billy's quilt here but as I was finishing the quilting I found a hole smack dab in the middle of one of the white triangles.

I would have understood finding a hole on one of the plaid pieces because they were from Billy's shirts.  But to find a hold on a new piece of fabric was rather annoying.

I unpicked the quilting and then the stitching, replaced the triangle, and sewed it back in using small applique stitches.  Then I re-quilted around it.  It looks great.  The quilt is all bound, labeled, and ready for Billy's family.

I made one of these quilts from Cherie Soffe Paine's (I know I'm spelling her name wrong) blog from last year.  Actually I made it last year.  I did the embroidery a few weeks ago.  Maybe next Valentine's Day I'll finally quilt it.  Above is a picture of Cherie's original version.

I put Welsh Quilt Study II on the floor hoop ready for intense quilting.

And I put the nosegay quilt on the big frames.  I can now quilt upstairs or downstairs depending on my whim.

I finished the 1st block of Sleigh Bells by Jan Patek.

The steeple is quite slanted - I wonder if it will "quilt out" ha!


Monday, January 25, 2016

This week

has been all about applique.

I couldn't decide if I wanted to join the new BOM over at Sentimental Stitches or not.  She is doing an applique quilt from 1857 and giving out the patterns free for the month they are introduced.  There are 64 blocks in the quilt so this would be a long term commitment.  I printed out the patterns and stewed, mulled, brooded over, considered whether I should take the plunge or not.

 I saw that Lori of Humble Quilts had finished the 3 blocks for January and was reminded that  I needed to make a decision or I would soon be three blocks behind.  At first I thought I would have to use the same red, green, and cheddar fabric throughout.  I knew I didn't have enough of any one piece for the whole quilt.  I am really into using up what I already have and not buying more right now.

Hey wait!  I could dig into my vast Jo Morton stash and use whatever colors I wanted.  Jo Morton fabrics seem to always go together no matter what you choose.  "It's like magic." (quote from Sleepless in Seattle - ha!)

But, unfortunately, I didn't have a good single piece of background fabric so I did have to purchase something else.  I love it though, it is Hollyhocks by Jo Morton 7750  Color RY.

Now, don't go buy it all up, I need some more...................

I finished the goofy flower block yesterday.  (What kind of flower is this supposed to be anyway?  It's like nothing I've ever seen.)  It was a tricky little stinker to applique too, let me tell you.  I need to put the diamonds in the corners and go on to the other 2 blocks so I'll be ready a week from today to copy the patterns for the next three.

The other applique I was involved in was for my "When the Cold Wind Blows" quilt.  I stitched down the stems on the "Coxcombs" on the left and prepped the "Rose Hips"block on the right.  The greenery at the top of the hips remind me of  mustaches. These blocks are so big (I know I've complained about that before) and so they take extra time and room to prep.  Laurie Simpson of Minick & Simpson just finished her version, it's lovely

I sewed this bird, a star, and finished a tree on the first block for "Sleigh Bells" by Jan Patek.  I just need to sew on all the windows on the church and finish another star to be done.  It shouldn't take too long if I don't get distracted by the other projects again!

Hope everyone has been able to dig out from the weekend storms.  We got about 6 inches of snow last night after it had rained all day.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Dazzling! Alletaire done!

It feels like I have been sewing for weeks!  Oh wait, I have. . . 

When I got ready to assemble the blocks I had a slight problem.

I didn't print out the first clue because all I had to do was make HST out of 2" strips of gray and neutral.  Easy, peasey, right?

The only problem was that I had only made 140 HST and I needed 240 - gasp!  So a straightforward sewing clue turned out to be more time consuming than planned.

But, diligence pays off and here is the "Dazzling" Alletaire quilt top from Bonnie Hunter's most recent mystery QAL.

I wanted to create this solely out of my stash.  When it came time to do borders I only had one gold piece of fabric that was big enough for the whole border but I didn't love it.  So, I decided to piece two other golds in long strips for the inner border.  The colors are pretty close so it isn't very noticeable at all, especially with the striking outer border grabbing all your attention.

I also had a hard time coming up with a piece from my very small black fabric stash, that would work for the other border.  That is, until I found this piece of Giverney fabric by Bernartex that was left over from the border of my "Votes for Women" quilt that was a QAL with Barbara Brackman a few years ago.

I only had a few 8 1/2" strips and one very long 6" strip so I figured I could cut my borders 4 1/4" and have enough to surround the whole quilt top.  It turned out to be 79" X 86".  I won't be scalloping the borders like the original but a smaller size means less to hand quilt and that is fine with me.

Heads up -  I had quite a time with all the bias edges made from trimming the rectangles along the outside of the quilt.  I'm sure glad I didn't lay the top aside for a while before sewing the borders on. Just sayin'. . . . . . .

Four inches (border) was meant to be today as I woke up to this lovely fluffly four inches of snow.

Billy's quilt is on the frames.  Now that the mystery quilt is done I can focus on working with the plaids.  I should have this done in no time.

What are you working on today?

Monday, December 28, 2015

A little quilty - a little yummy

I'm sure this is a familiar picture about now.  I finished clue #4 today and hopefully will have time to do #5 tomorrow afternoon.  I think I'm on the home stretch.

I'm anxious to see how it will turn out and I'm ready to continue on with my other projects.  It has been fun.

I made Carmelized Butter Tarts today from this recipe.  It needs some tweaking.  My husband says more crust and less filling.  I say too much butter.  If you like raisin filled cookies (which I do) then you will really like this. The crust has butter, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest in it so it's very flavorful.  The recipe makes 18 tarts.  I don't know what I was thinking - there are only two of us to eat them!

This is the first time I have made a recipe where I weighed everything instead of just using measuring cups.   It called for 4 oz. of egg.

The filling is especially good so when I make it again I'll probably just put vanilla and lemon zest in my regular (tried & true) pie filling recipe and use the yummy filling recipe.

The sky was bright and clear Saturday when I took this picture but we now have over a week of inversion status.  Makes me not want to go outside at all.  That and the 20 degree weather . . .

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I have been sick for over a week but that doesn't stop Christmas from coming

I've been working on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt called Alletare.  This is clue # 2 and I'm well into #4.  I've enjoyed working on it, little stress during a busy time of year.

The gray yardage I chose to use throughout the quilt even has the word mysterious written on it although I don't know what language it is.

I finally finished decorating.  It seemed like my new tree just didn't have enough ornaments on it. I couldn't stop looking for more decorations.  Then I counted how many ornaments I used for the display on my hutch (27) and decided maybe I should use a different arrangement next year.

A home in our area had an open house with all their naivity sets on display.  I saw this clever nativity.  They took pictures of everyone all dressed up and then mounted the pictures on wood.  I need to try this!

I also loved this carved Tagua nut nativity made in China.  I really wanted to hold the donkey or the camel but I refrained - drat!

We have had snow storm after snow storm.  The weird part is that it melts in between storms.  We have another big one expected Christmas day.  The poor birds are already scavenging for food.

We had a family Christmas party last weekend.  My granddaughter whom I haven't seen for about 4 years was able to come and spend a week with us.  Here is Uncle Nate giving her a mouthful of whipped cream.

I tried to insert a video of three of my children, who like to get together and play their instruments every Christmas.  The sweet part is that my grandson promptly got out his chimes and played along with them.  He acted as if it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. What a cutey.

Christmas is about family.  I hope you and your family can gather together and share the joy of Christmas this year.  For us, all of our celebration will be beforehand.  This will be the first time since our first Christmas together in 1973 that we won't have children spending the night and waking up to see what Santa has brought.  We're starting a new era.