Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winding Down 2011 with Quilting

A few more days left to finish some things, make progress on others and, yes, start something new... 

First a look at a finish from earlier that had to remain a secret until opened. 

I love this quilt ... I may have to duplicate it but I probably never will.  The design elements were from primitive bom kits I got many years ago.  I didn't even realize what I'd signed up for until I started getting them.  After about 4 months and never making them I quit.  I just don't really do primitives.  One of the kits I donated to a silent auction at Faithful Circle Quilters in Md.  The gal who won the bid made it into a wonderful quilt for her husband.  Sorry I don't have pictures to share.  The rooster and the flower were from two different months.  I used some of my fabrics and some from the kits.  I used wonder under or the like to attach the elements except the fence.  I hand buttonholed around every thing but the fence.  There is a little bit of embroidery on the rooster... rats, his eye isn't big enough...should have redone it.  The fence was ripped fabric stitched down the center on the machine.  I used pearl cotton and big stitches to hand quilt it.  It was so much fun to do.  And I hope Patti likes it half as much as I do!  I tried the technique of cutting out the inside of the wonder under on the rooster.  It makes the whole piece feel softer.  I may start doing that on a regular basis. 

On to what I've been working on the past two days... 

More blocks for the FCQ Equilter's donation quilt to Komen.  I've decided I need to keep the outside of the blocks light and not use too much of the darker fabrics.  Hopefully I'll get 8 more blocks done over the weekend. 

Have you checked out Temecula Quilt Company's 12 Days of Christmas Mystery? It is a lot of fun and you would only have 4 blocks to catch up.  Oh, did I forget to tell you they are 3" finished blocks?  One a day for the 12 days of Christmas. there were fabric kits available but are all sold out.  So, I'm using reds and creams.  Here's a picture of the 4 blocks revealed so far. Um, notice one piece block, two pieces block, three pieces block, and four pieces block.  Yep, there is definitely a pattern going on.  They've said not to worry about 12 pieces in a 3" finished block.  Are they crazy?  Well, we'll see.  In the meantime I'm having a lot of fun and keeping up with no problem. The blocks are available on their blog which is the site listed above.  Come join me.  

Are any of you planning on doing mystery quilts this weekend? I had the choice between two.  One is Ann Smith's New Year's Eve mystery.  I've done Ann's mysteries for years over at Fabricholics Annonymous on Yahoo Groups.  (It's also available on , , , , , , and ) FA closes membership two weeks before the mystery.  I don't know if any of the other groups do or not. But you might want to check it out.  Ann writes a great mystery.  I'll be saving the steps and might do it later.  Of course, I will be looking before I make it... I'm not good at not peeking! 

The other is Planet Patchwork's New Year's Day mystery. But this year the Merry Mayhem Chips and Strips mystery tickled my interest.  It uses 2.5" strips -- either use a jelly roll or use strips from your stash... I'm using my stash strips.  I've picked the go-with fabric but need to go through the strip drawer to gather the rest of the requirements.  This will be presented on New Year's Day.  Normally I would be watching the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game but it's Sunday so all of those festivities will be postponed until Monday.  So, I'm making Chips and Strips.  It will start at 10 am and go until 2 pm.  Six clues posted hourly... except it seems to me that 6 clues hourly would go until 3 pm.  There are prizes and places to post your finished project or top.  So, join me and thousands of others doing Chips and Strips. 

As long time readers may realize, I'm forever taking self portraits of Sophia and me.  Here's the latest -- taken with an older iPhone on Christmas day.  At least I got a "good" part of Sophi!  But, my chin?  Yuck!

Time for me to hit the Y and then on to sewing.  I've got stuff to sew and other stuff to get ready for the mystery.  I'm shopping a bit tomorrow. 

Happy quilting!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Nothing to show on the design wall but I can show you a finished Christmas present. 

No, not the tree, the tree skirt.  This was a gift for Kevin and Aimee.  The green print was fabric that Kevin and Aimee got during their honeymoon in India.  I purchased the go-with fabrics on the trip to Mary Jo's.  The backing came directly from the stash.  They were thrilled to receive it especially with the fabric from their honeymoon. 

Here are a couple of photos taken on Christmas day.  We all gathered at Kevin and Aimee's house for their first Christmas. This year Sophia understood Christmas a bit more than she did last year.

She was fascinated with the curling ribbon. And, wow, her first bike according to Uncle Kevin.    

The two turkey cooks! Or perhaps cookers of the turkey. 

And this last picture -- Four Dogs and a Toddler.  Kona, Homer, Cassie, Raggs and Sophia.  

Goals for Week of 12/19/11 Yikes less than a week ‘til Christmas!
Finish secret Christmas present.
Find pattern, start and finish another secret project
Bind a third secret project and mail it out 
Send off FCQ Equilters blocks for Joan
Finish Christmas cards and mail Partly done and mailed, 12 or so to go √
Wrap presents
Last minute shopping?
Work on Carolina Christmas
Work on black and white
Work on FCQ Equilters Komen donation quilt  didn’t do anything on this one

Goals for Week of 12/26/11
Finish Christmas cards and mail
Make 4 blocks for FCQ Equilters Komen donation quilts
Make more log cabin blocks
Work on Carolina Christmas (finish clue 4)
Cut fabric for Planet Patchwork’s New Year’s Day Mystery
Start the Temecula Quilt Store 12 Days of Christmas Mystery
Begin working on another secret project. 

Don't forget to visit Patchwork Times to visit Design Walls across the internet.  I'm hoping to spend a lot of time in the studio -- some sewing going on and some neatening of the space. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 Sleeps 'til Christmas

I think I'd better start out with a nice cuppa... cranberry tea.  I usually drink just one or two cups a day if the tea is caffeinated.  I'm super sensitive to caffeine.  

Here's what I've been doing lately --

Log cabins as enders
Hearts for the new Quiltville Heart group 

And secret project that is almost done. Yeah! 

The other good news is I found the pattern and directions for the other secret project.  The third secret project is ready to be boxed up and shipped out.  2/3rds of the Christmas cards are done and ready to take to the post office.  Even if folks don't get them before Christmas, at least they will be post marked before Christmas. 

And, now, with no further to do, I'm out of here --- 

                zip------------off to the studio.  Oops, got to get my clothes on first. And finish breakfast and... Sigh. Eventually I'll be off to the studio. 

Happy Quilting All!  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday 12-19-11

Christmas Crunch time has arrived.  I've got 6 days to finish two projects, wrap all the Christmas presents, make a bunch of cards and get them in the mail.  Hey, no problem.  Or at least it seems like it is all doable. 

Here's what's on the design wall this morning.  Little bits of several projects. The most obvious is the FCQ Equilter's Komen donation quilt.  As I have time I keep making blocks for it. It definitely goes to the front burner right after the holidays.  I may need to replace some of the really dark blocks with lighter blocks or at least blocks that can "ease" in the darker blocks.  Sigh.  What does everyone think about them?  Some too dark?  Perhaps I should remake some of the blocks and put the white in them? I'm thinking about the last two blocks in the top row.  If I took out the green/yellow and replaced with white yellow? Same with the far right -- replaced the dark pink with white?  Opinions needed, if you have time please.

The log cabin continues as an ender.  And down at the bottom is a secret project that still needs a binding and to get in the mail early this week. Don't to forget to visit Patchwork Times to see bloggers across the internet start to panic as we all try to finish our projects in time for Christmas! 

On the voting front.  See last post for the details.  Evidently there was an error and the voting has been extended through midnight, so I'm asking everyone who hasn't voted to go to Quilting Bloggers to vote for my quilt, Aged Christmas Pineapple.  I'm very close to second place and I'd love to come in 2nd or first would be lovely too.  Here's the link:  

Goals for Week of 12/12/11
Make a block for the FCQ Equilters Komen donation quilt
Finish secret Christmas present worked on it but not done yet!
Start and finish another secret Christmas present argh need to find the pattern
Make Christmas cards and mail off started
Work on Carolina Christmas
Work on black & white log cabin blocks 
Post my Occupy My Studio finishes (hopefully!)
Raggs in for grooming√ he smells so much better
Hair Cut
Little Christmas shopping

I did pretty well on last week's goals... on to this week...
Goals for Week of 12/19/11 Yikes less than a week ‘til Christmas!
Finish secret Christmas present.
Find pattern, start and finish another secret project
Bind a third secret project and mail it out
Send off FCQ Equilters blocks for Joan
Finish Christmas cards and mail
Wrap presents
Last minute shopping?
Work on Carolina Christmas
Work on black and white
Work on FCQ Equilters Komen donation quilt

On to the studio.  Oops, need to eat and get dressed first and then -- on to the studio.  If I can get the three secret projects done it would help a lot.  Here's hoping there are enough hours in the days for all of you.  Happy sewing. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Will You Vote for Me?

I have entered my pineapple quilt in the Christmas Quilt Contest at Quilting Gallery.  I'd love you to stop by and vote for my quilt!  It's called Aged Christmas Pineapple as it took me more than 15 years to get the quilt finished.  Any way, I sure would appreciate a vote from any of your computers/cell phones.  Anything with a new IP address.  Here's the tiny URL to get there:

After you scroll through the quilts you can vote.  Thanks to each and every one of you!  Reminder to self -- vote from the iPhone.... 

I've been doing pretty well on my goals this week.  I mailed off the little quilties but, bummer, I forgot to take a picture of the finished products.  I got the Christmas presents that needed to be shipped, out in the mail.  I've got a good start on the Christmas cards.  I ended up making mine although I probably should just buy ready made cards.  Today I'm planning on vacuuming up the glitter from the cards and work on one of the secret projects.  

Tomorrow is Lessons and Carols at church followed by a choir party... not much will be getting done then. So today is a studio day whether I'm working on the cards or quilting.   Happy quilting all! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Occupy Your Sewing Room Results

Yea!  Some results even if there is nothing finished to show you.  Here's some of the things I worked on. I have lots of these blocks in various stages.  So I did get way more done than just what is shown here.  And, I have a surprise project that is an hour away from finishing but hit the back burner for a week. 

These are actually two different projects but I like how they go together.  When I finally finish the log cabin quilt I may have to try a border with these half square triangles.  Well, not these exact ones... these belong to Carolina Christmas that I am now using as a leader ender.  I think I will be putting the blocks together after this clue.

See the little button on the right side bar?  I'm trading quilties at Sandra Kaye?  These are two of my three quilties.  They need to go in the mail TODAY. I still need to label and hand stitch the binding. 1 hour tops. But this internet is sucking me in today.  I think I will vanish from here and head to the studio to finish these babies.  

Happy Quilting All!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday 12-12-11

A week or so ago I finished sewing the rows together on this scrap quilt.  I was ready to move on to the border ... but oh no!  I couldn't find the box with the directions, the triangle borders, 2 straight borders, and the extra 16 patches for another border.  But I knew where the quilt was.  I searched in all the clear boxes where I thought the pieces would be but nada, zip -- no pieces and directions!  

But the other day I was looking for something and had to move a basket and there they were... yeah!  Today I hung them on one of the design walls to get an idea of how it will look.  Am I really working on this?  Probably  not until January.  Heck, I'm already working on 3 quilts as is! 

Here's my neighbor Jennie growling at Pat after she rode the Lion's Club float in our local parade.  Ooops, I missed the parade but Jennie wanted to share her "scary" self with us.   She was probably the warmest person at the parade.  Love the nose Jennie. 

Have you finished your holiday shopping?  Nope, me neither.  I'm going to try to get a few things for the shortest person in our family today.  I know she doesn't read the blog so I can say that I have to make her a stocking to match all the others and also that I need to buy stuff to fill the stocking.  Hum, socks come to mind but will have to find little things to go with.  

Goals for Week of 12/5/11
Occupy my Studio
Finish secret little quilt put this away as my partner is leaving town before I could get it to her so will finish it this week and then mail late in the week.
Begin secret Christmas present
Make 3 quilties almost done... 
Mail off quilties, small quilt and a return
Start Christmas cards
Put Christmas quilt on bed, hang 2 others √√
Tie off threads on red, white and blue and give to charity
Work on Carolina Christmas
Work on black & white log cabin blocks
Make and wrap ornament for guild exchange gave up on this...
Wrap cookie cutter for guild’s exchange

Goals for Week of 12/12/11
Finish quilties and get in the mail
Make 2 blocks for the FCQ Equilters Komen donation quilt
Finish secret Christmas present
Start and finish another stocking for Sophia
Make Christmas cards and mail off
Work on Carolina Christmas
Work on black & white log cabin blocks
Post my Occupy My Studio activities
Raggs in for grooming
Hair Cut
Little Christmas Shopping 

Only 2 more Design Wall Monday's this year.  Wow, the year has flown by but I'm happy to report I have made a lot of quilts this year.  I'm especially proud of all the UFO's I pulled out and finished.  Hopefully, I haven't started and left unfinished a lot more projects!  Hop on over to Patchwork Times to see what every one else has been working on.  

Happy Quilting!  

Friday, December 9, 2011

Have You Shopped for Batting Recently?

Honestly, I don't think I've spent much time looking at battings recently.  But today I was looking at the battings at JoAnns.   I saw some of the regular ones I'm used to -- poly, Rose Cotton (I think that is what it was called), Warm and White, Warm and Natural... all the regular ones.  But I also saw three battings on a flat "roll" or bolt.  I'd never noticed before.
What?  Soy blended with cotton.  48" wide isn't bad for lap sized quilt tops but not so good for queen or king.  Stitching can be 8 to 10" apart.  Doesn't say anything about shrinkage.

And, here's rayon.  I'm assuming it is all rayon. Quite a bit of shrinkage but stitching can be 8 to 10" apart.  But notice that gentle wash.  Hum, does that mean once quilted it can be only washed in a gentle cycle?
And, how about rayon from bamboo along with rayon.  YUCK -- hand soak, no wringing dry flat.  I guess I want to throw my finished quilts in the washing machine.  And, this is $12.99 a yard.  Hum, I wonder how wide it is.  I think it might be the same as the other two.  Wish I had thought to look at the prices on the other two.  I was so focused on getting a picture where I could read what was in each batting I didn't pay any attention to the price.  But I do like the Made in USA information.  I may have to give this one a try just because it is made in the US.

What's your favorite batting?  I think Quilter's Dream either the cotton or the cotton poly would be high on my list.  And, I tried a package of Tuscany that I won a year or two ago and I really liked it.  I mostly quilt on my long arm and I've had good luck with them.  When I first got the long arm I bought a roll of warm and white.  I have just a little bit left of it now.  Since cotton has gotten so expensive I don't think I will be buying a roll of it again even with 50% off from JoAnns.

I'm still working away on my goals and a few things that should have been on the goal list but didn't make it.  Sigh.

I'm back to stitching on a label and a binding.  Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Can't Show Much

Here's one of the blocks I've finished for the Komen donation quilt. Oooh... I may need to fix that big miss on the corners in the bottom quarter square triangle... how did that happen? 

And, just to tease someone -- Hi Patti! -- Here's a little peak at something I am currently working on in private.  Hum, looks a bit wrinkly there.  Perhaps it is suppose to!

I'm hard at work on a couple of swaps as the deadlines are looming.  Hope to spend the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon working on these projects and listening to an audio book.

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Design Wall Monday 12-5-11

I still have the applique block now with 3 blocks around it on the design wall.  I'll show it again as I have more blocks done but I'm giving you a break for the time being.  Here's what is on my cutting table doing dual purpose as my design wall.... kind of!
I blame Elaine Adair for these blocks.  They are ALL her fault.  She has made several really cool log cabin quilts that kind of dance across the quilt because they get cut apart and then resewn into a slightly different block before she sews them together.  I had to try it! And, then she posted a tutorial on her blog.  Well, you see why I had to make them.  

Two Christmases ago Jenny gave me a roll of black and whites which I thought would go perfectly in this quilt and even better, they are 5" wide so I can get a lot of 1.5" strips out of them.  It was kismet -- how could I not do them?  So they are like my second leader and ender project. (I know, I know how can I do two ender projects? Easy -- sew a couple of the Carolina Christmas units and then a couple of the logs onto strips. While I was visiting Jenny I raided her scrap bag.  She made a black, white and red bargello quilt several years ago.  I grabbed a bunch of her blacks, whites, reds for the center pieces and darn, a soft purple, a yellow a... well you get the idea.  Her stash is way newer than mine and I like it! I wasn't planning on counting it until I realized how much I took.  So, now I'm measuring the strips and will add it to my statistics in December.  Why not, I've added so much to my stash this year I'll never make a dent in it again. Ever. Honest! 

Goals for Week of 11/28/11
Secret little quilt for a swap…
Layout beige and turquoise quilt, start sewing rows together (put on the back burner)
Make more blocks for the FCQ Equilter’s Komen quilt
Finish Clue 4 of Carolina Christmas, start putting blocks together
Make a quiltie started all three…
Baby sit Sophia
Sew with Sharon

Not a bad week in terms of getting my list done.  This week's is a bit longer but hopefully just as doable.  

Goals for Week of 12/5/11
Occupy my Studio
Finish secret little quilt
Begin secret Christmas present
Finish 3 quilties
Mail off quilties, small quilt and a return
Start Christmas cards
Put Christmas quilt on bed, hang 2 others
Tie off threads on red, white and blue and give to charity
Work on Carolina Christmas
Work on black & white log cabin blocks
Make and wrap ornament for guild exchange
Wrap cookie cutter for guils exchange
Make a couple of pillowcases to go with the Christmas quilt (?) 
Make more blocks for the FCQ Equilter’s Komen quilt
What are you working on?  Have you seen what folks are working on all over the web?  Go to Patchwork Times to take a look.