Sunday, December 30, 2018

Only four finishes in 2018

I was totaling up my finishes for 2018 and there were only four.  That was pretty discouraging. 

 But then, I remembered that the quilt on my bed (the one that has the wool batting) took me over 5 months to complete the hand quilting.  That's almost half of the year.

The Chintz Quilt

 It was well worth it.  I love that quilt. 

Rejoice Quilt
And then I did all that applique on the Roseville project.

and pieced the Land of Liberty Quilt.  I don't have a lot of finishes but I certainly don't regret the progress on the other quilts.  

I also got 4 more UFOs to the quilt top stage.

Zip a dee doo dah


Chicken in a Basket

Midwinter Eve

I am on the last section of quilting for this one.  I'll be done by the end of the week.  It was almost a finish for 2018.

The other three finishes besides the Chintz quilt I started with are;
1.  The Slap dash quilt

2.   Be Mine by Cheri Payne

3.  The Farm Girl Vintage quilt which I call Grandma's Kitchen. 

 I guess I never took a picture of it because there is not one to be found.  (I finally found this picture when I had just completed the top and before I put borders on it)

It's been a good year~

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Find the needle without getting stuck!

I was in my waking up state where I turn over a number of times before I look at the clock to see what time it is.  It's always dark when I wake up so I never know if I'm just changing positions or if it's really time to get up.

Early Monday morning I was laying on my back.  I pushed my left hand under my hip because I was close to the edge.

Gasp!  I felt the metal shaft of a pin. 

I carefully grabbed hold of it and pulled it out from under me.  As I pulled, I felt thread glide under my backside.   


I had been sewing on a binding in a chair by the side of the bed before I turned out the light at bedtime.

The good news is that in my tossing and turning all night long, I wasn't pricked.  (Although I did tie a great knot in the thread).

The other good news is that when I was ready to sew the binding - I didn't have to search for the needle.

I'm sure you all have an experience with finding a needle the uncomfortable way.  I really lucked out this time.

Here is are cartoon  about needles.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It's about time. . .

I haven't posted for about 2 months.  Time is a precious thing and less time on the computer has been my priority.  While that has been a positive thing, I have missed sharing what I am doing in the creative realm.

It was a beautiful beginning to the day.

I started out the day fairly well.  The sky was beautiful but alas, the warmer weather has melted almost all the snow.  I do pray for snow - for it's moisture, for it's beauty, and for the added happiness it brings to this holiday season.

Sometimes breakfast can be the most important meal of the day.  Well, this day I managed to under cook my over-easy egg (the white was runny) and then I burned my toast.    Subsequently, I choked on one of the bites, you know, the kind of choking where you have to remove yourself from the table and end up wiping the tears from your eyes. . .

So, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to anyone who is generous enough to read this homely little blog.  It brings me a lot of joy to share what I'm working on, what I've finished, and what interrupts my stitching with thoughts of new and old ideas.

This sweet quilt is what I have been working on since my last post.  As you can see I am almost at the end because the top border is showing.  I put this quilt on the frames in October because I knew it would take me a while to hand quilt and wanted to be working on a holiday-themed project during December.  It worked.  I have enjoyed every minute that I have been working on this quilt.  It is the pattern called "Sleigh Bells" by Jan Patek.  Although I'm not sure why she called it that because there is not a sleigh and no bells on the quilt.  I call it the "Midwinter's Eve" quilt.  It makes me think of that Christmas song; In the Bleak Midwinter.

This is the backing fabric.  Isn't it fabulous?

It is a piece I found on sale a few years ago.  It is by Susan Branch.

I got out my Rising Sun blocks to add the border.  Because of the sheep fabric I used throughout, I wanted to put words on it from Luke 12:32 and D&C 35:27  "FEAR NOT LITTLE FLOCK . . . I COME QUICKLY"

The fabrics I have chosen are too start so I am going to have to go to plan "B".

I want to use this cute cute wooly fabric for the border (below).  I think the quilt needs a stop border.  I hope I have some more of that black, gold, and white fabric.  I'll just have to call the quilt "Fear not little flock" instead of putting the words on it.

I have been working on my grandson's outer space quilt.  All those circles are hand reverse appliqued.  It has taken me much longer than I expected but the top is done and it makes me happy.  I'll put it on the frames after I finish the mid-winter quilt.  My grandson is six years old and came downstairs to look at the quilt top all done a few days ago.  He slid under it to his chin like it was on his bed and just closed his eyes and giggled.  So cute!

I still need to put the binding on this scrap quilt.  I can't decide who is going to get this quilt.  Too many choices.

I also got out my 'When the Cold Wind' Blows blocks.  I keep getting out my UFOs.  These blocks are so wrinkled.  I need to sew around the fused blocks but the sewing machine with the blanket stitch is at my daughter's house.  Her foot pedal broke to her 930 Bernina (my mother's old machine) and you know you can't get by without a sewing machine at Christmas!!!  It's just as well, I keep getting things out and don't end up working on them.  I've got more virtual quilting enthusiasm than I can keep up with.

My goal this season was to fill this 3-tiered tray with homemade ornaments.  Stars, hearts, and little animals.  I managed to find this cute llama ornament and the rest are from my boxes (and boxes) of decorations.

I just haven't been able to fit it in

It doesn't look that festive does it?  Sigh~

On December 2nd my husband was on a ladder cleaning the snow off of the  solar panels.  The ladder slipped and his feet fell through the ladder.  He landed with his head at the foot of the ladder.  The bad news is that he broke a rib and perhaps a hairline fracture in his right calf.  The good news is that he didn't hit his head on the patio concrete or injure his already compromised back.

So he's been flat in bed and while caring for him doesn't take that much time. . . it has done a number on my holiday decorating mojo.

This is the only decorated tree at our house - my miniature one.

He's healing well and sat at the table for breakfast this morning.  (His toast wasn't burned - ha!)


Monday, October 29, 2018

Playful Border

I finished getting the little outside blocks appliqued for my Fall - ish quilt.  I really have a new appreciation for all of you who did the 365 Quiltalong.  Those circles are tricky.

I sewed them on the outside of the four inner blocks.  I think they are kind of cute.

Measures 54 1/2" so far

You can read about this in a previous post if you're interested.

It needs another border or something, I'd welcome any suggestions.  But, I'm in no hurry so maybe I'll just hang it in the closet until I get some inspiration.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

What a sweet and generous gift.

I am so delighted by this gift of homemade pumpkins and Halloween treats that I received in the mail yesterday.  They are from the "Queen" of all things pumpkin, Wendy Kirby from the Quiet Room.   And here too.  She has boxes and boxes of pumpkins that she puts out on display each fall.  Go read her blog and look at her creative and wonderful decor.

I was commenting that I didn't have enough pumpkins to decorate with and that I needed to go shopping with her some time.  She replied by sending 5 pumpkins in a cute basket, chocolate, and trick or treat towels all the way from England!.  The lettering sparkles and you can see it reflect the light on the "K".

I can't quite decide where to put this little basket of autumn goodness.  Should I put it on my dining table on top of the orange tablecloth?

Should I put it on top of my piesafe so the squirrel with the skeleton mask can guard over it?  No, no, there's too much competition with the clock.

Should I put it with some other seasonal decor on my hutch.  (Can you tell my grandchildren did the decorating this year?)  No, no, there is too much clutter there.

I put it back on the table where everyone can see it as they enter the room.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Wendy.  You've certainly brightened my day!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Keeping busy

My youngest daughter shared some pears she had been gifted.  They were a little green so I put them in the refrigerator until I had time to do something with them.  Later I set them in the middle of the dining room table till they ripened.  Aren't they pretty?  Since I had more than we would probably eat and not enough to bottle - I decided to dehydrate them.  They are so sweet and chewy - yum!

I've finished 20 of the 32 border blocks I need.  This picture gives an idea of how I'm going to arrange them.  I think this quilt will need at least one more border before it tells me it's done.

I worked a little more on the Adhoc- Improv challenge of using "maps" as our theme.  I sewed the top and two side borders on.  I added six little Swiss flags since this is a map of the neighborhood my great grandparents lived in and they immigrated from Switzerland.  I think I will label the streets next and put in the some directional labels as well.

I finished the "Sleigh Bells" pattern by Jan Patek.  It is #12 on my UFO list.  So, I have completed 5 of my UFOs to the flimsy stage since September, only 10 more to go. The middle of this winter quilt has been done for over a year and just needed borders.  I finally found a dark fabric I liked and put the borders on yesterday.  The black piece has tiny gold stars and a red design in it.  I put it on the frames this morning.  I'm already to start the quilting but need to find a marking pencil that isn't too thick to go into my stencil.  I have all kinds of marking pencils but no white ones that will work.

I pin basted this little quilt that's been waiting for years.  The pattern is by Cheri Payne.  I just wanted something  mindless to work on while I watch TV.  It should be done in no time.

I finished "Big Stitching" the Slap-Dash quilt.  It was truly a scrap quilt.  I even pieced the batting.

I love the whimsy of the fabric that I used for the backing.  I picked it up on clearance a long time ago.  I knew it would come in handy at some point.

And now, a couple of my favorite Halloween decorations.  The one above is my first small quilt or wall hanging.  It is a pattern by Thimbleberries.  It's about 15 years old.  You'd have to see it in person, the colors are just so nice.

And this sweet witch was made by my mother in the 80's.  She flies over all our Halloween festivities.

Hope your day is bright and sunny and you are able to find time to create.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

October's Song

A number of years ago I saw this little quilt by Jo Morton online and couldn't forget the colors.  They were so rich.

I looked for the pattern and discovered it was from Quiltmania but by the time I found the picture it was way past time to get this issue - drat!  I could have ordered one from France but that seemed a little too pricey.

In the meantime, Kathleen Tracy at A Sentimental Quilter  had a free pattern for a quilt block that I liked so I decided to make it using similar Jo Morton fabric.

I  liked it a lot.  It looks much richer in real life.  In fact, I liked it so much I decided I wanted to make a whole quilt of this block.  I collected fabric that related to autumn but not so much Halloween. 
And then. . . . . . .

I put the block, the pattern, and the fabrics (so pretty) in a bag and stuck it in a closet for over five years.  I love to age things - like cheddar.  I tasted some 10 yrs old cheddar when I was in Wisconsin and it retained it's flavor but mellowed somehow instead of getting more sharp.  I found some 25 yr. old cheddar but it was more than I wanted to pay.  But, I digress~

Last  week I was floundering in my sewing studio because I didn't have anything to do.  The room is full of fabric and patterns and inspiration but I had completed four UFOs and even though there are many more waiting completion, I wanted something new.  I couldn't concentrate on any one thing.  I finally decided that I would make something seasonal and so I began to hunt down the Kathleen Tracy block project. 

I thought I knew exactly where it was - but I was wrong.  An hour and a half later I found it on the floor of the fabric shelves, almost right in front of my eyes.  I was rather peeved because I could have spent that hour and a half sewing - grrrrrr.

Anyway, I decided to make 3 more blocks like the first one and sew them together for a center medallion, sorta, kind of.

I made one with an orange border.

It looked terrific too.  A few days latter I made another block with an orange border.  I was tempted to stop here and just make a table runner.

But, after thinking about it for a while longer I made another block with a black border.

And hung them on the design wall.

It makes me happy.  I was going to sew them together but my iron started leaking buckets (it's only 3 months old)  and I need to replace it.

What is it about irons?  I need to go to the store AGAIN.

I came up with an idea for a little 6" block to go around the center squares.  It's an hourglass block made with HST blocks instead of quarter square units.  I am going to applique circles in the middle and set them alternately around the outside.

This block has some whimsy in it.  It kind of reminds me of a clown costume or something.  I need to make 32 blocks.  I have the HST units sewn and calling to me from the studio.  I was just going to sew on something till the muse found me and instead I found it.

Guess what?
I found this issue of Quiltmania on Monday.
Yet again, I love the colors of the quilt on the cover. . . sigh.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Sweet Land of Liberty - September

I finished the section for September.   I made the angel block 5 years ago when I first started this quilt so I was a little ahead.    I love the red bird on the star pot!  I wish I had used a darker fabric behind the 1776 but it's done and I'm satisfied.  I try to use a specific fabric in each quilt I make.  I used it on the left portion of the block the angel is flying toward.  I can't remember the name of that block pattern.  I also added a little Debbie Mumm Lady Liberty in the economy block on the right.

Since I finished that section I decided to make some houses for the bottom border, and then I made some stars.  And then I kept on going.  The the border was a little smaller than the lower portion of the quilt so I added my initials.

And it's done!!!  I don't know why the lower section was wide enough without the flying geese strip on the left.  I may or may not put the strip above the smaller stars on the bottom so there isn't such a gap between them and the angel block.  Hmmmmm?

It was such a fun SAL.  Thanks so much Lori.

I just wanted to show you some of our pumpkins.  The pictures above and below were taken on September 9th.

These two pictures are only 2 weeks later.

It's a fun time of year for the garden.


Not much sewing around here

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