Monday, November 29, 2010

Design Wall Monday 11/29/10

Aimee was playing around with some of my extra bow tie blocks and came up with this layout. Hum, I never thought of offsetting the blocks. I still need to finish another bow tie top that I have been working on.  It got sidelined while I finished up the Million Pieces. 

The  turkey wall hanging was done and on the wall by Thanksgiving.  Yea.  Unfortunately, he'll be put away soon because it's time to bring out the Christmas decorations.  

We had a great weekend with Jen, Brian and Sophia and Aimee and Kevin.  Friday we went to see the new Harry Potter movie.  Brian, who doesn't really like HP stayed home with Sophia.  After the movie we all met at a wonderful Mexican restaurant. Yum.  Brought home enough left overs so everyone had at least one more meal.  And, of course, turkey left overs were and continue to be great. 
Here's Sophia and her mommy sharing some special laughs.  Sophia was great fun to have around. (Um, Sophia, how come you wouldn't fall asleep for your nap on Saturday? -- that wasn't so much fun!)  She's getting a real personality.  

Up today -- sew the rows together of the rainbow bow tie quilt.  Iron the backing. Load it on Ruthie and do free motion quilting. Oops... need to think of which thread to use.  Maybe a variegated thread.  I'll have to see what I have upstairs. Then on to the binding.  Hopefully the whole quilt will be done tomorrow.  

Don't forget to check other blogs to see what's on their design walls.  Visit Judy's Patchwork Times to start your tour. I'm off to breakfast and then sew.  

Happy Quilting. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Sorry to be shouting but I am thrilled to show the finished Million Pieces Quilt, also known as Scrappy Bricks or Mystery #6.  (You can participate in Mysteries for Relay also -- click on the button to the right to find out more about it.) It is ready for Jen, Brian and Sophia who are coming down tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holidays.  

I've been working on two different sewing machines recently.  This looks pretty funny -- but I was using two machines for a little while.  Well, not at the same time but going back and forth.  Unfortunately I can't have two people sewing like I like to have in this room.  But, I can work on one, push it over and then work on the other. (Being careful not to push it off the edge of the counter!) 

Tonight I should be finishing the turkey quilt. I have about 25% of the binding done and will finish it while I watch another Harry Potter dvd in preparation for going to see the newest one on Friday.  I don't think I'll get through all of them before Friday afternoon but I might.  

I wish all my blogging friends in the US a wonderful Thanksgiving this week.  We're looking forward to Aimee and Kevin and J, B & Sophia visiting.  And, we get to babysit Sophia for a few hours tomorrow.  

Tomorrow -- baking pumpkin pie, apple pie and making cranberry sauce.  And, then hopefully making some more bow tie blocks.  

Happy Quilting All 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Design Wall Monday 11/11/10

I am late this morning but I did succeed in ordering a holiday sweater.  I've been talking about it and finally decided to actually do it.  Yea. 

I am back to working on bow ties.  Ok, so I haven't finished the last bow tie work... This quilt is being made to use a 2 yd piece of fabric I bought at the guild auction.  I was going to cut it up to make foundations, then I decided maybe I should use it as a backing.  It's "sweet" not my usually cup of tea.  Pink and blue flowers with green leaves on a white ground.  I thought, hey, I can do a pink and blue and green bow tie quilt.  I'm sure I've got lots of bow tie blocks already made that would work.  I want to set it 6 by 8 so that it can be a donation quilt for a local hospital's NICU. One thing lead to another and now it is a rainbow. (well, not yet but it will be in color wheel order eventually.)  I've basically just slapped these on the wall trying to get 8 of each color.  I did the oranges on Saturday.  I've got more yellows ready to cut. This picture is a great way to see how the colors work with each other. I'll probably do this as I get closer to an actual layout when I try to balance the lights and darks in each color. Although you can't tell every one of the oranges are a different fabric! 

The Million Pieces quilt is now officially finished (um, er, except for the label that is still upstairs. Maybe I'll sew it on tonight.) And, Mr. Turkey is nearly done.

I didn't want to do that last little bit last night after 5 as I was getting tired.  So, I started the hand sewing after I finished the Million Pieces quilt and got about 1/3rd of the binding hand sewn.  I am in a middle of a Harry Potter movie marathon as we're all going to see the new one the Friday after Thanksgiving. So, I am refreshing my memory.  

Today's big plans include some laundry, but mostly vacuuming and making beds.  Kevin and Aimee and Jenny, Brian and Sophia (woot, woot!) are coming for the holidays.  I've recently gotten new drapes for the room K & A use along with some pillow shams to go on the bed.  And, a new headboard.  So I need to get the tie backs finished, the shams on pillows and make the bed.  Both guest rooms are pretty well decorated (oops, except for pictures/wallhangings.) Next up will be our bedroom.  Harder, cause I have to decide on some colors.  Not to worry about now though! 

Make a point of visiting a bunch of other design walls by stopping first at Judy's Patchwork Times.  I'm off to clean, make beds, think about making cookies... you get the picture -- pre Thanksgiving planning.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey's a Top

Thanks for all the input on the border color.  I finally decided to go with the black as the border.  Then I did 3.5" squares for the next and final border.  It took me a while to find a piece of fabric bigger than a half yard to back this thing.  (Note to self... start buying 1 yard pieces!)  I am in the process of tearing off the stabilizer I used for the zig zag stitch.   Tomorrow I hope to spray baste him and then start machine quilting.  I am right on track to finish him before Thanksgiving. 

Yesterday's shopping trip was great fun.  Just because I bought another 4 yards of fabric as fat quarters doesn't mean it wasn't successful.  (Gah -- I'll never break even with my fabric usage this year!  But oh so fun to have new to me fabric.)  I ended up getting 4 fat quarters to use with some fabric Kevin gave me for Christmas last year. I've picked a block out for it so hope to start it soon. 

Millstone Quilts shop runs a huge fat quarter sale once a year -- and we hit it. All fat quarters $1.00.  It's tucked away in the country and a good distance from where we live but it was fun to visit.  It's in an old mill with a lovely stream running by which obviously powered the mill at one time. This picture was taken before they opened up and put some quilt displays around the porch.  

There were a couple of bird houses near the creek that looked so charming.  

The stream at the side of Millstone Quilts.  
I'm making good progress on hand sewing down the binding on the Million Pieces quilt.  It needs to be done by Wednesday so I can put it on the bed before Jenny and Brian come down.  So I will work on that again tonight.  I've also been working on a different bow tie quilt (nope, I didn't get the last one done.... I got distracted.) I got a 2 yard piece of fabric last weekend and I decided I could use some of the bow ties I already have and make some additional ones pretty easily.  Basically I am looking for another quick finish.  I really want to stay even on the new fabric versus the used fabric.  I think I brought in about 20 yards so far this month.  I'm looking at using about 16 thus the need to finish a quick bow tie quilt.  Either that or I need to make some more pillow cases.  Talk about needing some quick finishes!  

On to the binding now and/or taking out the stabilizer.  Have a great weekend everyone.  Happy Quilting! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Help -- What Color Border?

I've finished the applique on the turkey wall hanging.  And I need HELP!  I'm going to add a border before I add  a border of dark, fall color 3" blocks. I auditioned several different ones.  What do you think? 

This is a deep purple moda marble.

This is a solid black. 

And, a goldish-brown directional print. (In fact, both of the goldish-browns are directional...just another hassle trying to get it to look right.) 

And the other goldish-brown. The directional part of this fabric is slight lines going the length of the fabric.  The above directional has lines with little circles on it.  

So, what do YOU think?  Any opinions out there?  I'm leaning to one of the goldish-browns. Rats... I didn't want to have to deal with the directional fabric but I guess it won't be all that hard.  

Tomorrow, Thursday, I am going on a field trip with Country Piecemakers Guild.  We're heading out to Mechanicsville and a quilt shop out there.  Then we'll have lunch. And, I suspect we'll come home after that.  I already know I'm planning on buying some fabric. Or at least I think I am.  Now do you see why I am trying to finish several smaller projects?  Everything is going to come to a screeching halt on Monday as I need to clean house a bit for Thanksgiving and do a bit of grocery shopping. I'd like to get some new pillows for the beds too. I'll be able to sew more this Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday afternoon.  I'm trying to finish this wall hanging, a table runner and a baby quilt all before the end of the month. YIKES!  Am I crazy. (Maybe but think of the amount of fabric I will have used when added to the queensize quilt!) And, there is always Sunday, Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving. I might actually succeed in getting all this stuff done. 

Happy quilting all. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Design Wall Monday 11.15.10

Ok, so it is a design table today.  I was tired of taking pictures of the Trip Around the World quilt and I didn't get anything done on it.   I have started this cute little turkey wall hanging.  He's missing a lot of his feathers and his cheeks.   You can find him at Sindy Rodenmayer's Fat Cat Designs web site.  Scroll down and you'll see the turkey pattern.  Spend some time looking around as Sindy has a lot of fun designs.  I'm doing mine as a quick Wonder Under project.  Haven't decided on whether I'll use a machine buttonhole stitch or a zig zag stitch.  I may have to do something about the eyes as he looks a little alien.  And, to see if he looks somewhat authentic here's a turkey picture from Pennsylvania. 

Today I hope to get some more blocks done for the back of the table runner and get to the stitching on the turkey. 

Want to be inspired by what other bloggers are working on?  Go to Judy's Design Wall Monday post.  Pop around the various blogs to see what others are doing.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stashbusting Shot to Pieces

Confession is good for the soul right?  Well, I'm confessing I went wild at the Country Piecemaker's auction on Saturday.  And, I only spent $23.  I figured I got about 16 yards of fabric.  The left photo shows most of the greens that I got while the right picture shows some of the other fabrics I got next to the pile of green. (The orange I bought at a quilt store on Friday.)  And in the back of the right photo is a bag with scraps in it. Yeah, scraps, several pieces were fat quarters.  And, a lot were pieces trimmed off quilts or left over binding.  

Now to start using some pronto.  I was going to be way ahead on my usage with the queen size finish this month but this has shot holes in my plan.  I made and donated two pillow cases to the Million Pillow case challenge. I've begun working on a little turkey wall hanging that I hope to finish before Thanksgiving.  And, I'm working on blocks for the back of a table runner.  Maybe, if I get all of those pieces done along with the Million Pieces finish I'll have used more fabric than I acquired.  Sigh, I was doing so well.  But, all the money was for a good cause.  

Visit again tomorrow to see something new on my design wall (even if it might just be the darn wonder under traced for the turkey wall hanging! 

Happy Quilting!  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Million Pieces is Quilted!

What more can I say.  I took the Million Pieces Quilt off of Ruthie yesterday.  Sad story was I was on the last border following a design I had chalked on and for no apparent reason I went straight when I should have turned.  Weird. Needed to rip out about 3" of stitching.  It was too close to when I needed to go to the hair dresser so I didn't finish until Tuesday morning.  I've been playing with other stuff a bit but I almost have the nearly 400" of binding made.  Today I should finish with it and sew it on by machine.  Then the tedious part of hand sewing it down.  The finish is getting closer and closer.  YEA! 

I promised I would show you  the finished tree skirt.  Here it is in all of its glory.  I finished it a bit differently than the pattern which basically has you sew all around the edges leaving an opening and "birth" it.  Ties are added down the edges. Yuck.  Ties were way too big.  So I sewed around everything but the center circle. I used bias binding to cover that and added little ties up there.  I'll be passing this over to Jenny and Brian over Thanksgiving.  

I hope to finish the table runner I showed here.  I'm making simple blocks with Halloween themed fabric to use as the backing.  That way I figure there will be two table runners for the price of one.  I will quilt it on my domestic sewing machine in straight lines once it is ready.  (I mention straight lines because a while ago I tried to do a light stippling on the DSM and it looked awful! I've lost the knack.) 

Do you try to take "artsy" pictures of your quilts? I do especially for the blog.  I'm not a complete failure at this but let's just say for every "artsy" photo that hits the blog there are 10 or so ho-hum photos hanging around. This was one of my artsy attempts using an evergreen in the front yard. Washed out, doesn't show the quilt well.  Sigh.  Heaven help me when I decide to take pictures of the finished Million Pieces Quilt... I don't have any where I can get far enough away to get the whole quilt in.  We may have to go somewhere else for a photo shoot! 

Today's plans -- finish the back for the table runner, finish the last quadrant of the trip around the world quilt and decide how many more strips need to be added to make it fit a queen bed size.  Think about starting an easy Thanksgiving themed wall hanging.  (Check out the cute turkey at Fat Cat Patterns.)  I plan on piecing 4 1/2" squares from a lot of tan neutrals for the 16 1/2" backing fabric. Or at least I think I am 'cause I pulled way too many of them out yesterday and they now litter the cutting table.  I will need that table soon to trim -- you know which quilt.  So, with no further ado (or typing) I'm off to shower and then the studio.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Design Wall Monday 11.8.10

Not much different from last week.  I haven't been piecing all that much so maybe one strip was added to this quilt. I really like the colors and how they resonate.  I was afraid that they would be ho-hum when I first began putting it together.  No ho-hum but I think they "sing."

Woke up earlier than normal today -- must be the time change. So wanting to get a lot done today before the hair cut I ran up to the studio to grab this picture.  Yikes, the emergency heat was on it was all of 55 or so in the room.  And, then I noticed I'd left the blinds opened.  EEEK!  I won't be doing that again when I have a quilt on the wall. 

That's not so good for color retention. I was pretty good about closing the blinds during the summer because the room would get so hot.  But now that it is cooler I haven't been as vigilant.  Sigh.  One more thing to remember: turn off sewing machine and replace dust cover, unplug iron and close the darn blinds.  

I did make one pillow case this week that I will drop off at the local quilt store for the Million Pillow Case challenge. (yeah, a yard of fabric used!) I should probably make one a week and then I would make a dent in my stash.  Even though the Million Pieces Quilt will be done this month I won't see all that much of a benefit as I bought two borders and a piece for the back. Oh, who am I kidding I should be in the used more than acquired range quite well after that one!  Check back for how well I've done on Dec. 1. 

Speaking of that quilt -- I'm done with everything except the side borders. Today I will take it off Ruthie, pin the zippers on the sides and reload it.  Then I'll have to do three passes on each border and yippee!  The quilting will be done.  It'll probably take me all day.  I am marking some of it with chalk just to keep it looking more even. 

Do you want to see some more eye candy?  Visit Judy's site to see what other bloggers have on their design walls.  

Goals for today -- finish quilting the Million Pieces Quilt, hair cut and a quick grocery shopping trip.  

Happy Quilting All 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Still At It

This is the beginning of the quilting on the Million Pieces quilt.  I did this Wednesday I think.  I'm 2/3rd done now.  I'm so glad I took this photo as it will remind me how to quilt the other end when I get down to it, hopefully today. This is free motion and ruler work.  The center of the quilt I've used a pantograph.  It finally dawned on me that the handles are too low for me when I work from the back of the machines to do pantographs so I tend to slouch and curl up. Not comfortable.  I would probably be done with the center if I had done a free motion stipple on it.  After three passes my back hurts so I usually do that and then move on to do something else, laundry, reading or playing on the computer. 

Friday I went out and about especially to pick up some curtains that had come in at Country Curtains.  I also did a couple of more errands and ended up going to Sam's.  

I was pretty surprised to see these on the kitchen floor when I got home.  (I moved the knife from the living room to include it in the picture.) Raggs has been getting our kitchen towels off the towel bars and taking them around the living room when we aren't home.  Evidently, I didn't have any hung up so he grabbed one off the counter. (It must have been hanging off the counter slightly cause he is way too short to counter surf.) Any way, drying on the towel was this casserole and the grapefruit knife. Half of the knife handle had been chewed off.  The casserole survived the fall undamaged.  I was not amused.  

When we leave the house we make sure NOTHING is out for him to get.  If anything is available he gets it: books, catalogs, towels, baskets.  You name it he gets it -- including books off shelves which explains why there is nothing on any open shelves below 3'.   I'm getting pretty tired of it.  The crate is singing to me although Raggs would be highly insulted.  (and probably howl and slobber constantly while we were gone... not to mention chew on any part of a rug that might be within reach.) 

Here's the Halloween card I made this year for the kids. (Now that I'm sure they've received it I figured I could show it.)  I'm playing more with my Photoshop Elements and hope to show some finished products from that at some point.  And, I hope to redo my banner on this blog so it spreads across the entire top.  One of these days I'll actually do it. 

Today's plans:  iron and rehang the curtains that go in our bedroom.  Finish quilting Million Pieces quilt so that I can turn it and do the side borders tomorrow.  Not planning all that much as I know I won't get much more than that done.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Million Pieces Quilt Still in Progress

Yes, I am still working on the Million Pieces Quilt.  The backing is pieced.  The zippers are pinned on to both the backing and the top.  The batting is airing (or fluffing or loosening...) Thread has been chosen.

Today I will load it on Ruthie and quilt the first two borders.  Then I'll start on the pantograph for the center of the top.  When I finish the other side of the border I plan on turning the quilt so I get a nicer looking design on the borders.  Being a rather slow quilter I'm not expecting to take it off Ruthie until Monday next week.  You never know though.  I could get really jazzed about finishing it and whip through it.  

Needless to say, no matter whether it is done slowly or quickly I will be shouting about it on this blog.  In a change of pace below is a photo from our back door last week.  The weather had turned and there was lots of fog drifting around. Eventually it became a beautiful day.  I'm enjoying the cooler weather that has finally arrived in central Virginia. 

Digi club was fun and yes kwiltnkats, it does grab me. Some day I'll share some of the "stuff" I've been doing with it. Just searching the web for the digital elements ties me up.  But, today I've already spent a bit of time on that so I'm off to breakfast and the quilt studio.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Design Wall Monday 11.1.10

The trip around the world is still on the design wall. It is too big to see all of the design.  And, I actually have added a row or two. Who knows where I will need to take it to get a decent picture when the top is together.  With Jenny and Sophia here half the week I didn't get all that much quilting done.  But I did get a lot of snuggling and holding Sophia done.  Go see what is on everyone else's design walls by visiting Judy's site here

I finished the tree skirt but I won't be showing it off until I get all the threads buried.  But I did count it as finished in October.  I'm quite pleased with it.  

Did I admit to everyone I am now playing around with digital scrap booking? I've owned Photoshop Elements for a while and really didn't know enough about it to use it successfully. (I did do my banner for the blog on it...) I've taken a class on digital basics which now makes sense with the other small forays I've taken into the world of Photoshop.  Turns out my version is pretty old. (6th and now 9 is out.  How can that many happen in 2 and a half years?) And, wow, there is a ton of stuff on the web to buy for digital scrap booking.  Tonight I am going to a digi club to learn some more good stuff. 

What's Up This Week?

  • Iron and sew the backing for Million Pieces Quilt. 
  • Load the backing and the top onto Ruthie.
  • Quilt Million Pieces Quilt.
  • Bind Million Pieces Quilt.
  • Pick fabric for a couple of upcoming mysteries.  (There is still time to sign up for Marge's Mysteries for Relay.  The next mystery will be November 10. It is a great way to donate to cancer research.
That's enough for now.  I'm off to move piles of laundry -- washer to dryer, bed to washer.  Yick not my idea of fun but it has been a while.  Then it is on to the studio. 

Happy Quilting All!  

October Stash Report

October Stash Report

Fabric Acquired:5 1/2 yards
Fabric Used: 7 7/8 yards
Net Fabric Acquired  : (2 3/8) yards ( yeah used more than acquired!) 

Year To Date Report
Fabric Acquired:  43 1/4 yards
Fabric Used: 42 7/8 yards
Net Fabric Acquired:  3/8 yards  (Getting this back under control) 

I am feeling very positive about my fabric purchases/usage.  I have definitely gotten my impulse shopping under control.  In looking back over last year at this time my acquiring and my using of fabric is about half of last year. Perhaps it is time to score some finishes.  I've got a couple of quilts that are close to finished. YEAH.  But boo -- several I will need to buy borders and backing to finish them.  

Million Pieces quilt has the backing fabric and hopefully enough binding to be ready to quilted.  Today -- sew the backing together. 

Happy quilting! Bonnie