Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mystery 12 Blocks

I've finished the 16 blocks of Mystery 12. I'm not going to be able to put it together for a couple of weeks. Rats. Here is my pile of blocks -- there are many different ways they can be laid out. I'm looking forward to having time to play with them. But, they won't be worked on until I get another set of blocks sewn together.
Remember this blog?
I've gotten LOTS of comments on the layout choices. Hopefully I will get that into a quilt over the next month or so. After I get those into a top I have NYE 2009 mystery to quilt. And, I have a pineapple quilt to quilt for a customer! Wow! That has to take precedent in February.

I was at Milford Valley Quilt Guild tonight. We got to see the Accu Quilt Go operate. One of the cool things Noreene showed us was the applique designs. She made this darling towel by cutting the fabric with something like Wonder Under already fused on into hearts. Then, a quick zig zag stitch or machine buttonhole finishes this off. How cute is that!
We've got hearts on our minds. Diann Becker designed this block to teach machine applique at our next meeting. Again, fusible web and machine embroidery makes this a quick block. I'm going to make one of these blocks -- now which fabric should I use??? Decisions, decisions! I'll share mine with you when I get to it.
I am also planning a couple of valentine postcards... shush don't want the people who will be receiving them to know about it yet. So, before I spill the beans, I'll wish you happy quilting.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Where Did the Week Go? Again???

I try to Blog a couple of times a week down from daily when I first started. But, honestly -- I haven't cooked all week either. Yes, I am married to a real keeper! I finished the binding on this quilt that I tried to get done before the end of the year so I would have used more fabric than acquired. I just got so tired of the darn binding I quit and didn't count it. Of course, I'll have a great start for 2010 with it!

So, what have I been doing with my free time? Not cleaning. Not laundry. Sewing and more sewing. One day we went to Scranton to get stuff. Another day I visited my friend Ruth and borrowed some of her pantographs. She's heading south for a couple of months so I didn't think she'd mind.
I finished the tote bag Kevin gave me on Tuesday afternoon. It's huge so will carry my stuff to Wednesday quilting quite nicely. It surprised me how easy it was. Thanks Kevin.

I spent Wednesday prepping another block for the A Tisket A Tasket hand applique. I now have 5 blocks completely done with embroidery. Seven to go. And, only one of them actually ready for me to hand stitch. I really need to focus on these blocks so they get done! I have at least 2 other unfinished applique projects. I'm not really good about finishing applique. I've added them to a list of UFO's I made up.

Thursday evening I prepped for the current Mysteries for Relay quilt. And then sewed most of Friday. Here are some of the pieces. I have NO idea where Marge is going with these units. I admit I got really tired of making half square triangles. After I post this I am going back up to work some more on it. I'd like to get the top finished this weekend. I do like the color combination -- won't "match" the house at all but I like it.

I'll try to be better about posting over the next few days. Honest. Really. Ok, so you don't believe me. Ragg's believes me. (what do you mean you don't believe Raggs!!)

Happy Quilting All! And, welcome to the new followers. I see I have some new folks keeping track.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In Results

I was in Maryland for the Friday Night Sew-In. And, I forgot all about it. But, never fear I did get some sewing done on Friday so I'm counting that instead of Friday night! As my reader's know, my kids sabotaged my fabric usage during the month of December, and, as it turns out, the whole year. Kevin gave me a nice tote bag kit from Connecting Threads. I was determined to get it made right away so I could use up the 2 3/4 yards of fabric in it. Well, truth be told I got a good start on it but I was making dinner that night and Saturday so I had to split my time between that and sewing. So, I've got the two handles done and the body of the tote with the pockets. Next I need to quilt it and make up the lining and bottom. (I think...) Monday I hope to finish it. I'm planning on using it to hold current knitting projects or to carry stuff to quilt groups. Hum, decisions, decisions.

One of the reasons we were in Maryland was to celebrate Kevin's birthday. (a week late but at least in the same month!) I got creative with his birthday cake. He couldn't decide whether he wanted chocolate or vanilla. So I decided to do a chocolate marble cake. No problem, buy the marble cake mix and get on with it. Except the grocery store didn't have marble cake mix. No problem, I can fake it. Which I did but turned out just a little drier than it should have been. And, then to get really creative, I made chocolate and vanilla frosting. I was going to make squares or circles (think quilt here) but decided it would be much easier to just do half and half.
And, Saturday afternoon Aimee
and I went off to Capital Quilts. I was looking for a fabric to go with the light print and the green. These are going to be used Friday for another Mystery for Relay mystery quilt. I am so excited. I've had the light for, um, er, 10 - 13 years or so. I really like it but haven't had any great ideas for it. I was thrilled when it was more than enough to make the next mystery quilt. And, I found the green in the stash too. But nothing else went with it so I was really looking forward to shopping for new fabric. Yeah. Capital Quilts had several pieces that went nicely but I decided on this one. Look for pictures of this later this week.

We're back home after a long drive home in the rain. I was cold nearly the whole trip for some reason. But now I am toasty warm sitting by the fire! I'm going to read a novel for a while and then maybe knit some. Tomorrow -- clear the decks, I'm sewing again!

Happy Quilting All!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cute Little Things

I've been having a great time visiting my friends this week. Wednesday night I had dinner with my stamping buddies. We taught at the same school for many years but now only two are still there. Four of the five of us were there. Good times and good Chinese food.

Thursday I spent much of the day with Sharon. She graciously allowed me to share photos of a couple of cute little things. First is a pin cushion made by a fellow member of Faithful Circle Quilters, Jeanette. (forgive me if I have spelled it wrong and/or have the completely wrong person!) Isn't this just the most darling little pin cushion. Neat embroidery all around. The bottom is formed over a soda bottle cap. Just too cute for words!

This next one is a little basket. It is made out of fabric, quilted, satin stitched over the edges and then made into the basket. Sharon and I can't figure out if there is something between the layers or not. We think it might just be starched fabric. But, again, too, too cute. This was made by some one in FCQ as it was given out to everyone in attendance at one of the luncheons.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that I am suppose to be quilting or knitting tonight. Yikes, I was making marinara sauce tonight so that I can make lasagna for Kevin's birthday celebration tomorrow evening. But I did sew this morning and have the tote bag kit Kevin gave me for Christmas more than half way done. If I have time I'll try to finish it tomorrow. (I'm aiming to use the 2 3/4 yards of fabric I had to add to my totals last year.) The bag is going together well and should look really cute. And, heaven knows I can always use another tote bag.

Tomorrow I'm planning on SHOPPING for fabric. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am planning on purchasing some fabric -- not just look. I need a piece to go with two others I've pulled from my stash that I plan to use on a Mystery for Relay mystery next Friday. (It's not too late to join click on the link and tell Marge you want to have some fun too. Remember this is a fund raiser for cancer research.) I'm also going to get a small piece to make a little basket quilt for a challenge on Small Quilt Talk on yahoo groups. Unless I fall totally in love with it I plan to donate to Faithful Circle for a silent auction we'll be doing at the quilt show in April.

Time for me to get to the airport to pick up Pat. He's been in Texas attending a conference. We'll be heading back to PA sometime on Sunday. Weather here was up to the 50's today. I sure hope northeast Pa has moderated temperature-wise.

Happy quilting all!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In

I was working diligently on NYE Mystery 2009 last week. Here is how it turned out pre quilting.

I'm committed to sewing or knitting Friday night for the Friday Night Sew-in. Visit Heidi's blog to sign up for it. I've never participated so this should be fun. I am going to try to make a tote bag that Kevin got me for Christmas. Remember I said my kids sabotaged my efforts to use more fabric than I acquired? He got this nifty kit to make a tote bag from Connecting Threads. Who would have thought there was 2 3/4 yards of fabric in the thing? Not me, that's for sure. I hope to get it made this week. And, I have all the supplies to do so. I know I can put it to good use.

I'm going to be working on a secret project the rest of today and until I finish it. Sorry I can't share it for a while. I am tickled pink to be working on it though.

In the meantime I went through some of my old (and I mean so old I have no clue when I would have gotten it) yarn the other day. I've had a pattern to make a hood tube (I don't really know what it is called) but you put the tube over your head so that it nestles around your neck to keep you warm. If you need it you can pull it up as a hood to keep you warm. I definitely need it to keep my head warm. I was quite proud of myself for using yarn from the yarn collection. Hopefully I'll get it done in the next few weeks. It's been cold up here and my current hat isn't quite warm enough on those 15 degree days!
Raggs has been up to his old tricks -- he's chewed the arm off this snowman. The brown pieces are coffee beans and he got one off the other snowman. Poor snowman. Wrong, Raggs, wrong.

Happy Sewing All

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More Adventures with Raggs

Ah, isn't he cute? Well sure but that doesn't mean he isn't having adventures.

A couple of days ago Pat pried a silver, dimpled disc from Ragg's mouth. He had no clue what it was and asked me about it. OOPS! That HAD been my leather coin thimble. We never found the leather part of the thimble. Mine wasn't in the wrapper but that's quite a bit of leather missing. Trust me, I'm not looking for it out in the snow!
Ragg's has also been waking up at night and wanting to play or talk to whoever or look out the windows. We've covered the two windows with paper where he tore up the blinds. Now, he's nosed off some of the tape. Around 1:00 to 2:00 am he's begun barking. He starts off with a little growl, then a little yip and finally works his way up to a full fledged bark. If he doesn't get quiet he gets sent to solitary confinement -- his bed in his crate with the door closed, in our bedroom. The good news is Kona doesn't start barking also. Raggs just goes off to sleep, no more barking so don't feel too sorry for him.

Thanks to everyone who commented on Plaza del Sol. I won't be sewing it together right away so I'm going to think about which one to use. Stay tuned for further info on it.

Today I spent time trying to get more of my A Tisket, A Tasket ready to sew. I was tracing the designs on my freezer paper. After tracing for about an hour I realized I was suppose to copy the designs from the wrong side. ARGH. Reviewing what was done I realized many of the pieces were fine as they were symmetrical. I'll be tracing the sheep, the witch and some of the other items over. I only have 3 blocks completely done. I have 2 close to done but several aren't even traced yet. What got me working on this again is Anne has a new, free, block of the month, Snowbound. Too, too cute. I will save the patterns but I don't think I will start them until I finish A Tisket, A Tasket. Plus, I have a hand applique quilt that I started years ago that I haven't done all the blocks for yet. I'm thinking of dragging that one out eventually and finish whatever number of blocks I need and then design a border for it. I made my blocks a different size than the instructor's so the applique borders don't fit. I can make up my own, I'm sure of it! But, the baskets come first.

Ragg's says "Happy Quilting All! (more fabric for me to grab!)"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Help Wanted!

I belong to a group I call Faithful Circle Quilters Equilters, or FCQEquilters for short. We are all former members of the Columbia, Maryand quilt guild, Faithful Circle Quilters. (except, I've maintained my membership as I try to go to some of the classes and meetings when I am in the area.) There are 6 members who each requests a specific block(s) that the rest of us make. Or sometimes many quilts from. Last year I designed a block that I called Plaza del Sol as I had taken the idea from a plaza in Cancun, Mexico during my vacation. I had put the blocks aside and continued with other projects. Yesterday I dragged them out and spread them on my design bed. (hey, all the company is gone so I can use the design bed again!)

Here are all the ways I could figure out to lay them out. Which is your favorite and why? (Ok, so if you don't want to say why that's ok too.)

Sample 1: (I have enough of the smaller blocks to add a colored row on the left and top so it would have a complete look to it.)

Sample 2:

Sample 3:
The colors are more accurate in sample one as I took the other two at night. And, in case you are interested, here's a close up of my block:

Share your favorites. I will be putting this together between my other activities. I am going to try to finish NYE 2009 Mystery today and use the Carolina Christmas Mystery as my leaders and enders. Once I decide on my lay out for Plaza Del Sol I will use that as leaders and enders. Things are getting busy around here so I need to focus on getting things done and staying warm! I'm hoping on staying in the house all day tomorrow and just go out tomorrow for the Wednesday Quilters.

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Final Stashbusting Results for 2009

First, remember my kids sabotaged me over Christmas. And, yes, I love all the fabric they gave me so I guess I shouldn't complain too loudly. Here's the final fabric usage report.


Fabric used: 7.75 yards

Fabric purchased (acquired) : 6.625 yards

Net fabric USED from stash: 1.125 yards (yea!!!)


Year to date fabric used: 91 yards

Year to date fabric purchased: 91.75 yards

Net Year to date USED from stash :(.75) yards

Not too bad even if I didn't really use more fabric than I acquired. I had planned to count the string X quilt as finished in 2009 however, I still haven't finished sewing down the binding. That will be counted in 2010. It will give me a nice start to the year! I was trying to decide if I was going to continue keeping track of my stash usage. Yep! You'll continue to see monthly reports of my fabric usage. Some folks ask why I do this. I think it helps me to use what I have rather than buy new. And, it really helps me to not buy random pieces of fabrics. Of course, I'm spending time piecing backings because of this but I AM using fabrics.

I'm working on a new quilt -- Fabricholics Anonymous' New Year's Eve 2009 Mystery quilt. I didn't start it until after the mystery was over so I'm not following the clues exactly. I have three blocks done cause I really wanted to see how my fabrics looked in the pattern. This will become my winter quilt to hang in the stairs area. Hopefully this will be done in January -- while we still have some snow.

Next blog I'll need your input on the setting for some blocks I have. Hopefully, it won't be another week before I blog.

Happy Quilting All!