Monday, January 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday 1-31-11

Wall 1 is a repeat with a bit more blocks added and several sewn in rows. 

I pulled out this mystery for relay quilt from last March. I had several ideas for finishing this last night as I hung it.  Even started figuring out sizes of borders to make up.  Then this morning as I was slowly waking up I thought of something else I wanted to try.  So, I'm ready to go on this one but will work on finishing the quilt on Ruthie today. 

I will be quilting this with a free motion something... probably a meander as it goes quickly and I want this finished this month! And, darn, I don't have enough of the green to do the binding.  I'm hoping I have enough of the stripe being used as a backing. And, there was NO purple left not even enough for a string for a string quilt.  (Yep, I am coming to the time where I admit to used and acquired fabrics.  OMG.  I was so bad... but had a great time being bad!  I'll share pictures tomorrow of what I brought into the house.) 
Lest you think I am ignoring my knitting.  Here's the little hat I finished last week.  The shrug is being put together.  Auntie Aimee is holding Sophia.  And, look she's found her thumb.  Sophia did really well on Saturday as everyone gathered at Auntie Aimee's new house to celebrate Christmas and Aimee's and Kevin's birthday.  
Let's see how I did on the most recent weekly plans:

     • Finish pinwheels & 16 patches   Pinwheels done, still need some more 16 patches, started on border pieces. 
     • Make a sample block for the snow quilt  Didn't even think about it...
     • Finish putting together the shrug for Sophia (knitting)  It's getting closer but not finished yet.
     • Finish the hat that goes with the shrug for Sophia (knitting) Yep, doesn't she look cute in it? 
     • Layout the center of the scrap quilt and sew into a top  In process.
     • Start making the triangle borders  Started
     • Quilt & bind one baby quilt -- or two... One done, 2nd ready for quilting... 

Not too bad but didn't get everything done.  Was busy with other things Friday and visited Kevin and Aimee on Saturday.  

This week's list: 
     • Finish rail fence quilt. (on Monday!)
     • Finish the center of the scrap quilt. 
     • Finish the shrug? 
     • Start the border on the Mysteries for Relay quilt. 

That's it.  I'm not going to make it all that long in hopes I can get it all done. Plus, I'm thinking of having a tea for some of the ladies in the neighborhood so would end up having to clean house a bit if I do that.  

Don't forget to visit Judy's blog for more Design Wall Monday. 

Happy Quilting All!  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Books Times Three

  I have kept some photos under wraps for 2 years.  Yes, me, quiet about something for 2 years.  And, boy did it pay off handsomely.  Background notes... I am a member of Kathy Tracy's Small Quilt Talk yahoo group.  More than two years ago she asked members to make some signature and go with blocks that she wanted to use in a quilt for a book she was working on.  I happily sent her two blocks and casually offered to quilt the quilt.  Yep, she agreed.  So I made the backing, adding in all of the blocks that didn't fit on the front.  And, I must say, I felt inspired that day cause I love how the backing came out. 

Here it is on Ruthie during quilting. 

And OMG!  Here it is on the front cover of Kathy's new book nearly two years later. And the full quilt on the inside. Wow!  I feel like I hit a gold mine!  Thanks Cathy for giving me this opportunity.  It was great fun to do. 

If you would like a copy of The Civil War Sewing Circle by Kathy Tracy just visit her web page, Country Lane Quilts where you can order your own signed copy. And go to her home page for information about her yahoo group, Small Quilt Talk.  I am going to enjoy reading the historical information and making several of the small quilts.  I often am a rebel and use bright colors with Kathy's quilts but they all turn out wonderfully! 

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post here.  There was great interest in the book the scrap pattern came from.  Here it is --

It is Better Homes and Gardens Scrap-Lovers' Quilts.  There are 14 projects in it.  Published by Leisure Arts.  I paid $10.95 for it. It is available from Amazon if you want your own copy.  I was looking through the book the other day to see if there were any other quilts that caught me eye.  Although there were a few others I liked none called out to me to make them the way this one did.    Ok, done with that commercial.  

I am making slow progress on my to do list this week.  Although I did make it to the quilt store Monday.  YIKES!  I did some major damage.  It was hard not to when I could get 40% off fabrics if I finished the bolt.  So, as I was looking through fabrics I found several bolts calling my name -- I answered and finished them off.  The one disappointment was the fabric I bought thinking it could go on the back of the scrap quilt -- probably isn't enough fabric for the backing.  I will worry about that later and try various methods to make it fit!  

Today I am warming up Ruthie and will be quilting a baby quilt.  (now if I can decide on a pattern/style to quilt it!) 

One other thought on books. I just finished a first novel by Alicia Bessette.  I usually read straight romance -- I love a happy ending -- there are enough unhappy endings in the real world.  Simply From Scratch wasn't a romance novel but it was about love.  Zell has been a widow for a year and all the material says she should be getting over the worst of the grief.  But she isn't.  This story shows her love for her late husband and how she begins to move on with her life.  It isn't all love and happiness and darn if there aren't really sad parts in the middle of it where I least expected it.  But in the end, I felt like I had read a love story and there was hope for the future for Zell. I found this book at my public library.  

Enough posting today.  On to Ruthie!  Happy Quilting All. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday 1-24-11

I've started putting together the scrap quilt.  My design wall isn't really big enough but it is all the space available.  I've added two columns on the wall -- notice the light switch on the side? 

Here's part of my blocks along with the directions & photo of the quilt I am working on. 

Don't forget to go to Judy's blog to see what is on other design walls. (In case you are looking after Monday, scroll down to find the correct entry for Design Wall Monday.)  

Do you review your lists to see if you have done what you wanted to do?  Sometimes I keep careful track because I am easily sidetracked.  "Ooh, pretty I want to" ... even though my goal is to finish something off. I'm quite pleased with my success in finishing last week's list. 

Here's the list from last week.

       • sew a bunch of pinwheels together All but 11 done and they are in pieces 
       • finish the 2 feet left on the quilt on Ruthie Done and I took the quilt off Ruthie
       • print directions for the quilt I'm making with snow fabrics Did it!  Yeah! 
       • make more 16 patches Still need 20 but have several units awaiting sewing
       • start cutting snow quilt  Ok, didn't even try this one! 

So, let's see if I can be as successful this week.  We'll be out of town all day Saturday so I might not get as much done.  

     • Finish pinwheels & 16 patches
     • Make a sample block for the snow quilt
     • Finish putting together the shrug for Sophia (knitting)
     • Finish the hat that goes with the shrug for Sophia (knitting)
     • Layout the center of the scrap quilt and sew into a top
     • Start making the triangle borders
     • Quilt & bind one baby quilt -- or two... 

Enough.  Hopefully I'll get most of those things done.  

Here's a new picture of Raggs -- part way into the "pink" room -- notice the raspberry sherbet colored carpet?  

Happy quilting all!  I'm off to a local quilt store to buy a bit of fabric... on sale. I've been going a bit crazy with buying fabrics this month.  Oops... but it is the beginning of the year so I have plenty of time to use it up.  Right? 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finished Quilts 1 -- 2010

Here it is -- my first attempt to use Photoshop on my blog.  Or maybe the second.  These are the quilts and projects I finished in January through April, 2010.  Not all that many unfortunately. However I was traveling a lot in April 2010 so not much got finished then.    Although I have owned Photoshop for quite a while I haven't really used it all that much.  So, in trying to use this nifty mask, I found that I had to stretch the pictures to fit.  (Note to self, see if there are any directions for using the masks.... might help!) 

Now back to current happenings.  The rail fence baby quilt is a top.  Yippeee.  And, that is about it.  Well, I have been working on a scrap quilt but not much progress to brag about.  60 of the 100 16 patches are done. 16 of the 48 pinwheels are done.  Yawn! This has been a leader ender for a long time. 

I spent yesterday looking at cabinetry, faucets and towel bars.  We are redoing our bathroom and need to get some of this stuff on order.  We had planned to rip out the sink cabinet and replace it.  However the space is an odd size. The cabinet is in pretty good shape.  We are evaluating cleaning and polishing what is there rather than replacing.  And, we need some additional storage in the bathroom and were thinking of putting in another cabinet.  Our thinking is changing.  Maybe we should just buy a piece of furniture to serve the same purpose.  So, I was thinking of an antique dry sink.  Or, something else.  I guess I'll have to go searching the internet and funky shops.  (Hum, would Pat go for funky? -- possibly subdued funky...) 

Plans today or this week if I don't get going soon: 
       • sew a bunch of pinwheels together
       • finish the 2 feet left on the quilt on Ruthie
       • print directions for the quilt I'm making with snow fabrics 
       • make more 16 patches 
       • start cutting snow quilt

More than enough for a day or two.... 

Happy Quilting All!  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday 1-17-11

Absolutely nothing new on the design wall.  

The only quilting I got done was on Ruthie and I ran out of bobbin thread with about 2' left to do.  I didn't finish it as I was tired and it was time to start dinner. 

Major cause of all this lack of sewing time was me coming down with the flu.  Luckily it was short lived.  But long enough for me to postpone my trip to Maryland. 

I did make it up for my visit on Friday.  Sharon and I worked on a couple of charity quilts for the guild. Saturday afternoon we went to Photo Scraps in Eldersburg to make some cards. We met up with my buddies Denise, Polly and Nancy.  We all had a great time. Later several of us went out to dinner.  It was so nice to catch up with these ladies who I had taught with. We used to get together quarterly to play with rubber stamping.  

The only other sewing I did this weekend was getting one more basket sewn on the background for my A Tisket, A Tasket quilt.  I couldn't find the finished blocks before I left so I will need to do some serious searching.  I think I have 4 blocks left to finish. And, I probably have some embroidery left to do on more than the four. I plan on hanging this quilt in one of the guest bedrooms so I need to get going on it!   

Don't forget to visit Judy's Blog to see what else is on people's design walls.  Stop back here next week for something new.  I promise I'll get going on something! 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Design Wall Monday 1-10-11

This will be a baby quilt for donating to a neonatal unit.  It is based on a design in a Ursula Reikes book. (Quilts for Babies: Easy as ABC or most likely one of the two that followed.) 

Close up shows the color more accurately.  3 rows are sewn together.  Will finish this before next guild meeting so I can turn it in.  I had exactly enough of the purple to make 7 rows.  Yikes, talk about cutting it close! 

A charity quilt for Faithful Circle Quilters is on Ruthie today.  The pantograph is called Popcorn by Willow Leaf Studios.  I tried it when I first got Ruthie and I thought I did a horrible job -- the curved parts were flat, the section where you move to the next "popcorn" were choppy and some really close together, some really far apart.  I think this is so much better.  It will never be exactly like the panto unless I computerize.  And, I just don't think that is going to happen any time soon! 

Go visit Judy's Design Wall Monday to see a long list of other design walls to visit. Lots of people are now participating in Design Wall Monday.  

I'm off to the Y and then up to the studio to finish the quilting on the charity quilt. If any time is left I'll work on the baby quilt. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Have You Seen . . .

the new block of the month over at Bunny Hill Designs?


Welcome to Henrietta Whiskers.  

Once again, Anne has done a marvelous job.  And, wow, a wonderful quilt design to go with Henrietta. 

Scaredy Squirrel
As some of you may know I was an elementary librarian for many years.  What I enjoyed most was sharing my favorite books with children and finding new books to share.  And, one of my all time favorites books is Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. 

Scaredy is a wonderful squirrel full of anxiety and angst.  Yet he triumphs over all of them.  Anne didn't use Scaredy Squirrel as her model, he's too modern and full of worries.  Kids love him.  The sad part is I've never purchased my own copy.  The good part is Melanie has written a few more Scaredy Squirrel books .  He's a perfect friend for the 4 to 6 or 7 year old set.  

As I searched through Amazon I realized there aren't a lot of wonderful squirrel characters in children's literature.  There's The Meanest Squirrel I've Ever Met by Gene Zion.  The school library had a copy of it but I can't recall the story.  There's Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter -- but don't recall even seeing that book. And, there are always a lot of nonfiction stories about squirrels.  If you are a children's author, here's a great opportunity for you.  Create a story about Henrietta Whiskers to go with the lovely blocks Anne will be designing.  Wouldn't that be a fabulous gift for a child -- a wonderful quilt with a storybook to go with it.  

I haven't been very productive the past couple of days.  I'm ready to load a quilt on Ruthie but I think I'm surfing the internet to not have to do it. (Hey, it's a charity quilt and it isn't the most attractive quilt around...) I've cut out one baby quilt for this weekend's sew in.  I doubt if I can get more than one done during the time.  I have fabrics pulled for a second one -- can't decide whether I should go ahead and cut it or not.  Decisions, decisions.  Looking back I guess I've done everything I said I should do.  Amazing. 

Next Steps:
    • load and quilt charity quilt
    • put away Christmas decorations after Epiphany
    • get the house cleaned for next weeks visit with my stamping buddies
    • plan some activities and meals for us 
    • Prep some more A Tisket, A Tasket blocks to work on when I visit Sharon next week 

Ok, enough procrastination.  On to doing things.  Happy Quilting All!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Finished Mystery Top

The finished mystery quilt.  The yellow isn't really so taxi cab yellow but it is intense and bright.  I found a leftover piece of blue/green/turquoise fabric exactly the right size for the backing.  It is pieced, ironed and ready to quilt when I feel like it. 
Today's Plans (from Monday, 1/3/11)
• Pick the 5 quilts I'd like to make from my books and patterns and list them somewhere. I came up with about 7 - help! 
• Make 2 kits for Baby Quilt Sew In on Saturday.  Fabrics picked no cutting done.
• Put the last strip on the Trip Around the World.  Determine if it needs to be bigger.  Added the strip and need 2 more strips to make it square and several more to make it into a rectangle. 
• Pick next UFO. Didn't even think about this one.
• Prep triangles for current scrap quilt. I sewed a bunch of the triangles but haven't trimmed yet.  Hum, this got on the UFO list so maybe I did pick the next UFO. 
• Sign up for UFO challenges. Tried Patchwork Times but it closed as of 1/1/11.  Oops.  A day late and probably several dollars short to boot.  I did send my UFO list to Fabricholics Anonymous's UFO Challenge.  So, I guess I did this one too. 

Wow -- I did almost everything on my plan.  Amazing.  Hey, did you know you can change the background color of your type on your blog?  I learn something new every day.

Today I'm not going to be quite so goal oriented.  At least, I don't think I am.  
∆ Ugh -- a couple of loads of laundry. 
∆ Trim up the triangles.
∆ Prep backing for last FCQ charity quilt to be done on Ruthie.
∆ Cut fabs for the baby quilts.

The cute ∆ is made on my Mac keyboard by using the option key (maybe alt key on Windows)  and pressing "J".  The rest of the keys have different symbols but not as cute as the triangle and I used the • yesterday. (option and 8) ° oh my by shifting, option 8 I get the degree symbol.  Hum, I guess I'll need to see what other cute things I can find... 

That's it.  I'm not terribly motivated on ironing the backing of a twin size quilt and darn, the quilt itself will need ironing also.  But, I want to get it done so I can take it north next week. 

Enough goofing off -- although the first load of laundry is probably completely done.   

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Design Wall Monday 1-3-11

This is the result from the Fabricholics Anonymous' New Year's Eve Mystery.  Actually, this was as of Saturday morning.  Yesterday I added a 4 patch border.  I'll be taking pics of it soon.  I am really happy with how it turned out.  In fact, I'm so happy I'm keeping this one.  I'll take a picture of the finished top shortly. Don't forget to visit Judy's blog to do some Monday morning blog hopping to see every one's design walls. 

Christmas Pineapple -- a finished UFO started during 1997 appx.  And, boy do I like it now.  There really is something about finishing a UFO that is so satisfying -- especially if it turns out you LOVE it! 

 Bowties II.  I have used another group of bowtie blocks to make this donation quilt.  For the longest time I made bow tie blocks if I didn't have a specific leader/ender project.  Now, I'm trying to put some of the blocks into quilts.  I may have one more quilt worth of blocks.   Unfortunately they aren't bright like these are.  These two quilts were the last ones I did in December. 

Today's Plans 
• Pick the 5 quilts I'd like to make from my books and patterns and list them somewhere.
• Make 2 kits for Baby Quilt Sew In on Saturday.  
• Put the last strip on the Trip Around the World.  Determine if it needs to be bigger.  
• Pick next UFO.
• Prep triangles for current scrap quilt. 
• Sign up for UFO challenges. 

Way more to do than I really need but I want to get each of those things done -- sooner than later.  

As we get back into our normal routines remember to have fun sewing! 
Happy Quilting! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year and December Stash Report

A new year 
and no resolutions. 
I recently heard a life coach talking on the evening news.  She does not recommend making resolutions because most folks make unattainable resolutions that set them up for failure.  Not that I am much of a resolution maker any way but I'll use this excuse for no resolutions this year. I will be continuing my attempt to use more stash than I acquire.  And, I'm happy to say I succeeded at doing just that this year! 


Fabric used: 5 3/8 yards
Fabric purchased (acquired) :  1/4 yard
Net fabric USED from stash: 5 1/8 yards (yea!!!)
Year to date fabric used: 70 1/4 yards
Year to date fabric purchased: 65 yards
Net Year to date USED from stash: 5 1/4 yards

I didn't use as much fabric this year as last year.  Last year I used a bit more than 91 yards and my purchases were about the same.  So, using 5 yards more than I bought is great from my point of view. I was happy I could still pull enough fabric from my stash to make a New Years Eve  mystery quilt. 

Although I won't be making resolutions this year I have some quilting goals to share with you.  

      • Continue to finish UFOS
      • Continue to use more fabric than I acquire
      • Pick several quilts from my books/patterns to make 
      • Finish at least one applique quilt (of the 3 or 4 I've got going.) 

One of things I've noticed recently is that I don't often make from quilts from the many books I acquire.  I make a lot of mystery quilts which I enjoy but I'm still buying lots of books and patterns so need to use them too.  Therefore this year I'm going to make a list of 5 or so patterns that I want to make and I'm hoping to actually get them made. 

Check back for a parade of my finished quilts.  I'll be posting all the quilts I finished this year in the near future.  

Time to go back to really watching the Rose Parade.  

Happy Quilting All!