Saturday, April 22, 2017

Christmas never seems to end. . .

around here.  I am currently working on three projects and they are all Christmas themed.

The first is all but done  It is my Peppermint Quilt from the book  "Quilting the Garden"  by Blackbird Designs.  It is all quilted and bound.  It just needs a label and a sleeve so I can hang it above my couch next Christmas.  I hate to put it away without the sleeve because when I'm ready to decorate it will be frustrating if the quilt needs a sleeve before it can be hung.

I quilted a baptist fan around the border.  It went fast and filled up the space well.  I would do it again.  I wanted a design that didn't call attention to itself since it would almost be lost in the floral fabric.

I quilted stars on the vases and baskets in red thread so it would not detract from the applique flowers.

It is a pretty little quilt, only measuring  61 1/4" square.

It took me 5 months to hand quilt it because of all the distractions.  Christmas itself was the biggest distraction but I spent a lot of my time doing cross stitch for the stockings below.

This is the 2nd project.  The cross stitching is all completed.  Now I need to make them into the stockings which shouldn't take very long except that I'm dragging my feet.  I get that way when a project is taking too long.  I push and push and then have to take a break before I finish it to refind the joy in sewing.

Above are the old stockings made out of red corduroy that I'm going to take apart for the backing.  The musical fabric is the lining already sewn together.  It is a deep cheerful fabric but only the back side is showing.

Here are the Mom and Dad's stockings made in 1990 and 2005 respectively.  My goal is to get them all finished by the end of April.  I'm running out of month - only one more week to go.

The 3rd project is this Christmas Row Quilt.  It is the 12 days of Christmas.  I'm sure this is familiar because they were all the rage around 10 years ago.  Gasp!  Has it really been that long?  It's time to get this quilted and out of the way.  I was able to big stitch two rows today.  It will quilt up quickly and then it will be time to embellish it.  That will be fun.

And now I'm thinking I want to make this little tree skirt quilt out of the plaids I have leftover from this little quilt for my sister-in-law.  NOT ANOTHER CHRISTMAS PROJECT!!!!

 How am I going to get out of this loop?

On another note, it was my DH 66th birthday this week.  I made a 3 layer Applesauce Carrot cake.  It is really yummy.

And, finally, I have six blocks done on my take-along project.  I'm in no hurry on this one.  I'm just enjoying the process.

Merry Christmas~

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Doll Swap Quilt Done

I finished hand quilting my Doll Swap Quilt (can't show you yet) and decided to make a little quilt out of the leftovers (above).  It is about 12" X 10".  I machine quilted in the ditch along the vertical stripes and then hand quilted down the center of the stripe.  It turned out so cute.

I rearranged the shelf above my kitchen.  I often decorate for holidays and once it was just full of my bear collection.  But this time I wanted to do nostalgic items.  With a few small quilts thrown in for color and Hey, I'm a quilter.

This is the left side.  I rolled up quilts and put them in my enameled kettle.  I put a small mug rug inside the 1/2 gallon mason jar.  My new little quilt is hung above my beehive muffin pan.  I put that in to balance the color of the cherry pitter on the other side.  Then a hand grinder that was my grandmothers, a 50's metal canister from my MIL's kitchen with a spool of lace on top is put into place.

The center section has once of my favorite pictures of a women with geraniums in her window.  I've probably said this quote before but it is one of my favorites so here it goes again;

"Long experience has taught me that people who do not like geraniums have something morally unsound about them.  Sooner of later you will find them out; you will discover that they drink, or steal books, or speak sharply to cats.  Never trust a man or a woman who is not passionately devoted to geraniums."

From Rhapsody in Green: The Garden Wit and Wisdom of Beverly Nichols

The bird on the nest pin cushion is from my friend Denise and the hurricane lantern is from my sister.

And on the right I have an old yellow ware bowl with a doily made by one grandmother and an old weaving shuttle (?) from the other grandmother inside.  Then I placed my y other cheddar item, the cherry pitter, another lantern of sorts, and an an old photo album etc.  It was fun to put together.

We have had beautiful weather.  The trees are in bloom, the daffodils and tulips are in abundance.

                                   AND THEN IT WENT AND SNOWED LAST NIGHT - GASP!

I'm a bit worried about the plants that were well on their way to spring.  The maple tree above has it's little helicopter seed pods already to disperse.

This lilac is heavy with blooms.

The forsythia had shown it's golden glory and is dropping yellow leaves and replacing them with the green ones.

The thing I'm the most worried about, and it distresses me a lot, is the snow on my wisteria blossoms.  I think I'm going to be disappointed this year - sigh~

But, I haven't given up hope.  Maybe the snow insulated the blossoms so they didn't freeze.  Time will tell.

I linking with Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's quilts.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sewing but not showing

I am excited to participate in the Doll Quilt Swap sponsored by Lori over at Humble Quilts.  I've wanted to participate in this swap ever since she started hosting it about 3 yrs. ago but I have been too busy, already committed to finishing other projects, or had company and just had to be satisfied with admiring  the work and excitement of everyone else involved - sigh.

This year I'm caught up with my commitments, my company left last Tuesday, and I was able to finish a little quilt top this week.  It's only 18" square so it won't take very long to quilt.  It needs to be in the mail by May 1st so I've got a whole month to get it quilted.  Wish I could show it to you so you could give me some suggestions.  Right now, I'm at a loss. . .

sneak peak

It's pretty cute.  These are the fabrics I used;

I have a number of pieces of fabric that would make fabulous borders but time after time the quilt kept calling for the border it got.

These little quilts can be quite demanding, you know!

We got a new railing on our front porch this week.  I think it dresses up the house a little, gives it a little curb appeal.  I'm very pleased.

The spring flowers are blooming; making everything look beautiful and smell so good.

Gotta love those little violets.  

Our poor poor turtles are really "the worse for wear" this spring.  We've had them about 7 yrs. and for some reason this last winter was terribly hard on them.  This is the biggest of the two "Atlas" and they both have developed a really bad case of leprosy.

The smaller of the two "Mariposa" can be lifted up and put into the trash.  But this big hefty guy,

is too heavy to move in spite of missing  some parts.   Makes me wonder why they did so well for so long and then this year they both decided to fall apart.  The only difference I can come up with is that we had an unusually wet winter.

My quilt club met last night and while I didn't take any pictures I still wanted to share some online pictures of the quilts that Lorraine talked about and demonstrated the technique for.

The Scrap Vortex QAL by Crazy Mom Quilts.

She still has all the instructions up on her blog, see link above.

Doesn't it look like fun?

Kathy of Kathy' Quilts  made one and has it posted on her blog.  She put letters in hers with the message SCRAP VORTEX.  One of the ladies at my meeting last night suggested that you could put your grandchild's name in the mix is you were making the quilt for them.  Fun idea!

I saved this picture from Lee Ann at Nifty Quilts. 

I love this quilt and would like to make one.
Along with all the other thousands of quilts I want to make................

The ideas for scrap quilts are endless aren't they?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Blockheads Week 1

It's one of those times when I need you to view this as you are galloping by on a horse.

This block is rather deceptive.  It looks fairly easy until the construction begins.  The part that was hard was matching up all those points and corners.  ( I probably should re-do the one on the left.) While I was making this little block (6") I thought I'd use this one to learn on and then make another one.

Once I finished the block, I said; "Good enough!"

(I should  have fussy-cut the blackbirds in the middle)
Always second guessing myself. . . . . . .

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Just lots of pictures

(Check out the GIVEAWAY in the March 4th post - here)

Charm quilt from 2007

 I'm finishing up some old UFOs and turning them into tops.  The only problem with this goal is that I am trying to reduce the tops in storage by quilting them and I just keep making more tops.  This hand pieced charm quilt has been hanging around for a lot of years.  It just needed a border.  I came up with a lot of ideas;
1. Applique border  (would take too long, I just want to get this done)
2. Pieced border with yo yos  (darling border from Simply Friends by Kim Diehl & Jo Morton)
3. Multiple borders  (can't decide)
4.The above border which reminds me of a circus for some reason.

It is about 85" square.

The Whimsey Quilt

 This little quilt was fun to make.  It was much brighter fabric than I normally use.

The thing about this little quilt top is that it is my sister's.  She bought the fabric and asked me to cut it out for her birthday one year.

Then many years later she hired a professional organizer to come in and help her get rid of stuff - I ended up with the quilt parts.  So (after storing it for a few more years to age it like cheese) I used it as my leader and ender project (kinda) and finished it up last week.  And then I gave it to her along with the backing so she can go get it quilted.  Guilt free for me!

I've been continuing to work on the hand quilting for my Peppermint Quilt.  I have been working on this since November.  I'm 3/4 done.  (Just keep swimming quilting----)

 I'm enjoying the process because I love the quilt so much.  It's so pretty in real life.  But, I'm anxious to work on other things too.

We had a gorgeous snow storm last week.  It really covered the mountains with a blanket.

My DH pruned the apricot tree and brought in a few of the trimmings.  We put them in water and watched the buds expand and then burst in bloom.  This is taken just before they opened up.

We'll leave the lights on for you

I finished piecing my winter quilt.  A pattern called "Sleigh Bells" by Jan Patek.  It kind of hard to get a good picture because it is so long.  It calls for wide side borders and narrow top and bottom borders.

Not the right border fabric

I think I want to use black for the border but I haven't found the right piece yet.  I wish I could get some of those black background florals by Brannock & Patek or Blackbird Designs from yesteryear.
I'll just have to keep looking.

I got out another UFO today that just needs the pieced border.  I'm in the process of cutting out the pieces for it now.  Then I will have yet another top to put in my closet (Under the Big Top) but at least it won't be weighing on my shoulders to get it finished.  And it won't be hanging around in pieces for someone else to deal with someday.

When I was apologizing for potentially leaving behind so many tops upon my demise, my younger daughter said; "Don't worry about it,  We'll just tie them and use them."

That sounds good to me.

Connecting to Slow Stiching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts
Check out the GIVEAWAY in the March 4th post!!!  (Link at the beginning of this post)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

January + snow = quilting

1st photo

I have put some of the blocks together on the design wall to see how "Sleigh Bells" looks.  I see some things that look great and some things I want to change. I pinned the red floral house block over a pink house that just didn't work.  I'm still deciding if the red floral works.

2nd photo

I decided that I want the deer block up higher so I'm going to take out the row with the angel (1st photo of design wall) and put it under the deer block.

I finished the little block with the kids in snow suits.  I remember those snow suits.  We used to stuff our full skirts (with full slips underneath) inside those snow pants to walk to school.  Do you remember those full slips from the 50's?  They were so much fun to wear and play dress-ups using the elastic waist as a headband around your head and letting the full fabric drape down behind your shoulders like really long hair.  Tell me that I'm not the only one that used to do that?

I'm working on the fourth large block (above and below).  I'm hoping to get it done today.  I've got the trees and the night sky done.  I just need to baste the house and swiftly (ha!) stitch it down.

I haven't had a chance to work on the Peppermint Quilt very much.  There are only so many hours in the day to divide between all my projects.  But I did finish the crosshatching for the basket above

This is a picture of the two blocks I have finished.  There are only four blocks so I'm halfway.

I made another 'Rising Sun' block, left.  I'm hand piecing so this is a project with which to relax.  (I didn't want to end my sentence with a preposition.)  Those Jr. High English teachers just stay with you, don't they?  I'm thinking about adding black to some of the blocks.  But then, it wouldn't be true to the original painting.  The block on the left is much nicer in real life.  The photo makes the small sheep print look very dull.

My granddaughter had a wax museum program at school.  The children wrote reports, made posters, and dressed up like the person they had chosen.


There was a button taped to the floor and if you pressed it then each child would tell you who they were and a quick piece of information about them.

We got to see Abraham Lincoln, Pocahontas, Jackie Robinson, Kid President. . . lots and lots of historical persons of interests.

 Look!  We even got to see Frida Kahlo!!!

Have you seen the new program 6 Moda designers are presenting?  Go check in out here.  It's called BLOCKHEADS and its a 48 week BOW.  The blocks will be 6" finished and each designer, in rotation, will present a block each week.

I ordered this;
called "Hope's Journey" by Betsy Chutchian to make the blocks for this block of the week program.  I'll use some of my reproduction scraps too.  I think it's going to be a fun and fairly undemanding in the time department.  (Don't you love those greens?)

If you stayed with me down to this point - I thank you for enduring.

Hope you have a great day and can sneak some stitching into it.