Friday, December 31, 2010

Flying Geese are Done!

I just completed my 8 flying geese units for Glacier Star.

I am really enjoying this process. I've always enjoyed paper piecing, but this just makes it even better! We received the papers for the rest of the New York Beauty blocks yesterday and I'm getting ready to work on them.

As you can tell by the timing of this post, it's almost 11:00PM on New Year's Eve and I'm home. Jack and I decided to stay in this year and we've just been enjoying the two youngest grandkids and relaxing. Nikki and her family are still here so it's kind of crazy at times (a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old), but it's been wonderful. I've enjoyed watching both girls over the past two weeks and I swear that they've both grown and changed. For example, it sure is a challenge to keep Sadie lying on her back. As soon as you put her down, she's on her way to her stomach and she's reaching (and getting) things so I guess it's time to make sure the floor is super clean and there are no small items floating around.

Anyway, I'm headed back to the sewing room. Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday

There is nothing on my design wall right now, but that'll change soon. Between the holiday and having a house full of people, I haven't had much of a chance to sew. :-(

Since I've signed up for two UFO Challenges I hope that this "blankness" doesn't happen too often in the upcoming year.

I'm just sitting down to do some hand-piecing on my hexagon blocks but hopefully tomorrow will see me sitting at the machine sewing. I know that I have a couple of projects that are just crying for me to work on them.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by going to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

UFO Challenge

Ok, I've decided to join a couple of UFO challenges this year (Judy's Patchwork Times and Nancy's Patchwork Penguin) and I'm still trying to get the projects "lined up." Since I have a fair number of projects that are very near completion, I've decided to divide the projects into two groups - Near Done and Nowhere Near Done. I will label projects in each group 1-12. When the project numbers are posted each month, I will pull one Near Done and one Nowhere Near Done project. My thoughts are that the projects in the first group shouldn't take very long to complete (quilting and binding only, or borders, quilting and binding) and that will either be my "swift kick in the butt" to get busy or my "feel good" project because I finally finished something! Either way, I win because I WILL complete the project during that month.

Now, chances are that some of my Nowhere Near Done projects will end up in a 2012 UFO Challenge, but hopefully they will have switched groups.

Since I'm still going through my projects I haven't assigned numbers yet, but that should happen by tomorrow night. Here's a picture of what I have out so far.

I also decided that I would not include projects that are kitted but no cutting or sewing has been done yet. I don't have many of those, but I do have a few. I did this "kitting" after a couple of instances when I had specific fabric that I wanted to use for a project that I had inadvertently used for something else. I was sooooo bummed and had to find new "just the right" fabric.

Anyway, I guess that since I've made it official with this post, I'm getting excited to take care of some unfinished business!

What about you? Are you up for the challenge?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stash Report - Weeks 51 and 52

The final stash report for the year! It's hard to believe that I reported the whole year - well, almost reported the whole year. I did have a few times when I posted 3 or 4 weeks at a time, but I did finish the year and I'm proud of myself for that.

With the holidays coming in what seemed to be record speed this year, I had to make some adjustments to what I planned to make for Christmas gifts. I guess that I always knew that I wouldn't get them done because I had bought each of those recipients gifts a while ago - just in case. Now, was it a matter of being prepared "just in case", or did I not complete the gifts because I had a "fall back" gift? I don't know and I really don't care. I'm just glad I wasn't out shopping on December 24th trying to find just the right gift because I hadn't planned ahead. Hey, maybe those gifts will be done in time for 2011! Even better, maybe I'll be able to list them on my stash report next year. :-) I have a pretty good head start of some of the projects and the fabric hasn't been accounted for yet because they're leader/ender projects and I don't usually count them until the blocks are well on their way to being sewn into a top.

Here's the report for weeks 51 and 52:
Fabric Used : 4.00 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 267.625yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 147.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 119.875 yards

So close to 120 yards net used! Maybe next year! :-)

I'll be joining Judy and the group again next year and have really enjoyed reading the many weekly posts. I'm planning to participate in the Design Wall Monday and UFO Challenge as well, but I have yet to get all of the UFOs numbered and pictured yet. I'm hoping to get to that in just a little bit.

Anyway, our Christmas was wonderful this year. We did veer from our regular tradition a bit, but it was still fun. Nikki, Lynn, Zach, Ty, Quinn, Sadie, Jack and I shared a wonderful Christmas Eve luncheon after opening our gifts, and before they all had to go off to other family gatherings. Jack and I went to Sheryll's house for the first annual Christmas Eve Bonfire. We had a great time and the weather was very cooperative. Driving home was easy and it was wonderful to arrive home just shy of Christmas morning. Pictures and more to follow....

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stash Report - Week 50

Better late than never, right? I was gone for the weekend, attending the wedding of my nephew Bryan in Frankfort, Kentucky but I had some time to quilt earlier this week and I used 8 yards of fabric. YEAH!!! I used backing and binding fabric for a lap quilt and finished up the inside of my 10-minute block quilt. I'll post pictures and more info on the wedding later, hopefully tomorrow.

Here's this week's report:

Fabric Used : 8.00 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 263.625yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 147.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 115.875 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Four Blocks Done!

I got my 4 New Your Beauty Blocks done for the Glacier Star quilt. I love them!

Thanks Vaughn for helping me with the last step.

Now I'm anxiously awaiting the next set of papers so I can make 4 more blocks. I just know that when I get the rest of the papers, this is what I'll be doing. Of course, it's not like I don't have anything else I could be or should be sewing, but a quilter must do what a quilter must do to stay happy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Sometimes I hate it when I set deadlines/goals for myself. It never seems to fail that when I say things like "I'm going to have the scrappy 16 patch quilt ready for binding by the end of the weekend" something happens and I get distracted or the schedule gets really screwed up.

I put the pieced side borders on the scrappy 16 patch quilt and then realized that I needed to cut more 2 1/2" squares. While I was headed to the stash, the stack of fabric that I had picked out for my 10-Minute Block quilt jumped into my hands and said "Sew me!!!" Honestly, that's what happened, or at least that's the story I'm sticking to. Here is what's together so far.

While I was pressing this quilt, a friend stopped over and wanted to see my progress on the Judy Niemeyer project. She knew I had a class this past week and was sure that I had made tremendous strides on getting this project under way. (She's a non-quilter and has no real concept of the time it takes to make a quilt.) I showed her the block that I had worked on and explained that I had to leave the class early because I had to go to work, but she wasn't impressed with my explanation. Of course, pulling out the blocks distracted me again and I started working on them when she left and that left the 10-Minute Block quilt on the pressing table for "just a little bit." I started chain piecing the next 3 New York Beauty blocks and was loving them. What do you think? Once you learn the technique, which is a little different than the paper piecing I've done before, they go together fairly quickly and I just love the points!

Everything was going well until I got up from the sewing machine to check on dinner and when I took off my glasses, they broke!

Of course I tried to wear them with only one temple, but the clear plastic stuff that holds the lens in place broke and I was left with only seeing out of one eye. These glasses are very old and I knew that the chances of them being fixed were pretty slim so I've glued the lens-holder stuff back in and tried to sew like that. It worked ok, but not great so I quit sewing. I called the eye doctor this morning and I was correct. There's no fixing the glasses so I've ordered a new pair and they should be in later this week. In the mean time, I'm going to super glue the temple back on and even though it'll look nerdy, I'll be able to sew.

The morals of this long-winded post are:
1. Don't set deadlines, unless absolutely necessary when it comes to quilting.
2. Accept the fact that I am not a "single project kind of gal." I'm always going to have a wandering eye when it comes to quilting, and I just can't be tied to one project at a time. (I've heard of people who use this logic when trying to explain marital indiscretions! :-))
3. Don't plan to get anything done during daylight hours when you have a two-year old staying for the week. Then again, by the end of the day you are so tired that you can't get much done anyway.
4. It would be a really good idea to have a second pair of glasses on hand. My glued glasses will be kept just in case of emergency, and I'm sure I'll look so nerdy in them that no one will disturb me while I'm sewing.
5. Accidents (broken glasses, etc.) happen when you try to please everyone and feed them on a regular basis. Maybe they should learn to quilt so they too could get so engrossed in a project that they lose all sense of time.
6. Finally, but definitely not least, be cautious of non-quilting friends. They distract you, make you feel guilty for not completing a project which just forces you to put aside other projects just to live up to their ideals. :-)

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today. Go to Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stash Report - Weeks 48 and 49

Well, two weeks have gone by and I've only used 7/8 yard of fabric! My excuse is that it was Thanksgiving week and then Quinn was here for a week and my time was spent with her or working. Of course this report also means that I haven't finished a couple of projects that I had planned to and now I have to accept the fact that there are a couple of projects that won't become Christmas gifts this year. :-(

At least I didn't add fabric, right?

I'm hoping that tomorrow's design wall will have something on it, or at least a project or two finished to report.

Here's my stash report for the past two weeks:

Fabric Used : .875 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 255.625yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 147.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 107.875 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I try to remember to be thankful every day of the year, but I'm not always successful, so this day is really special to me because it makes me pause and think about my life and the wonderful people and things in it.

I feel blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.

My family is amazing!
Yep, grandchildren can be loud, but the sound of them knocking on your bedroom door in the morning, wanting to come in and jump in bed and chat or play makes up for the screaming that happens in the afternoon. (I especially look forward to it because they live 4 hours away and I don't get to hear it often enough!) I love the fact that I can always, and I mean always, call one of my sibling, at any time of the day just because I miss them and want to talk. It truly is a good feeling to know that you can always depend on someone to help you when you need it. Mom is still going strong and is a great role model for good living. Jack there are no words to describe your role in my life! I love you! Thank you. Nikki and Lynn - wow, what can I say? I am so proud of you both. Being your mom has made my life complete. Sheryll, Linda and David - you three are amazing. Thanks for making me feel welcome and allowing me to be part of your life. And by the way, you have great kids!!!

My friends (including my internet friends), are great and I often feel like they are a part of my family. I love celebrating the good times, and I feel honored to be with you during your struggles and times of need. (For you quilting friends, thank you for the inspiration you provide me when you share your ongoing projects, finished quilts, and creative ideas. You are truly all artists, whether you believe it or not!)

My co-workers are terrific, and I volunteer with the some of the most caring and giving people you will ever meet.

Thanks to each and every one of you for being part of my life and allowing me to be part of yours. (Of course, my family doesn't really have a choice now do they?) :-)

I hope you enjoy your day and that peace, love and happiness follows you always!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I've been doing something kind of dangerous. I've been organizing cleaning my sewing room. It's dangerous because whenever I do that I find projects that I had started and then put aside for some reason. Usually it's because I saw a new project that I just HAD to do. (Can we say, shiny objects, new fabric, or new patterns are distracting to me?) Anyway, I found this interesting "Tub of Joy."

In an attempt to find something to have ready for my design wall today, I decided to work on whatever was in this tub. Seriously, how hard could this be? It's just a small tub and there's not much in it!
Well, I found a bunch of Raw Edge Christmas Bullseye blocks that I've started to put together. I knew that I didn't want a large quilt from this, maybe just a throw so this is what I came up with part of the blocks. I'll add a border or two and that'll be done - hopefully in time for Christmas.

I decided this quilt was big enough because I got bored with the layout. :-) (Does that ever happen to you?) Anyway, I started to experiment and came up with three different layouts for the remaining blocks.

Here's my plan. I'll make the two smallest pieces above (the ones on top) into pillows and the other one as a wallhanging. I'll put all of these in the spare room and give it an Asian/Christmas flare for my holiday guests. What do you think of my plan? Would you find that inviting or confusing?

Also in the "Tub of Joy" was a set of 24 blue and red log cabin blocks. These were pieced a long time ago (I can tell by the fabrics) and I know they've been pulled out, looked at, and put away MANY times over the last few years but no more. It's their time! I've tossed them on the design wall and this is just one layout (using only 16 blocks), but I'll play with them and make my final decision and sew them together.

I doubt that I have fabric in my stash that matches any of these, or at least not enough for borders, so I'll probably just quilt and bind this.

Speaking of stash fabric. I won't be counting any of this in my stash reports because I had decided that if I work on UFOs, the only fabric that I would count is what I add to them, such as borders and backing. I'm planning on keeping record of my UFOs next year and crossing them off the list as I complete them. I know a lot of you already do this, but I never have. Conceivably, I think I could work of only UFOs and have a full year of sewing ahead of me! :-)

Check out what other quilters have on their design wall today by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stash report - Weeks 46 and 47

This is sooooooo sad! I knew that my stash report was going to be really out of whack because I bought the fabric for the Judy Niemeyer time study class that I'm taking from Sue Wilson (see below for more details) and I hadn't used any fabric because I've been organizing and working on memory quilts. Well..... since I bought 18 yards of fabric (YIKES!!!) I made 8 pillowcases last night. I needed to use at least 1 yard or else I would dip below the 100 net used mark. (Is it safe to say that I'm a little competitive?!?!) Anyway, I made 8 instead of just 1 or 2, just for good measure - and I wanted to give myself some lead way for next week :-).

The Judy Niemeyer class that I'm taking (with my friends Kare, PJ and Vaughn) is being taught from a friend of ours, Sue Wilson. Sue is a Certified Instructor of Judy Niemeyer Quilting and she's doing a time study. Since this class is a time study, it was by invitation only and I'm thrilled to be included. Here's are a couple of pictures of the quilt. The first quilt was made by Batiks Galore in Joshua, TX

This second quilt was made by Quilters Market in Tuscon, AZ.

And finally, the third quilt was made by Time Treasured Quilts in Houston, TX.

Here are my fabrics:

Isn't it amazing how fabric choices change the look of a quilt? I was with Kare yesterday as she was picking fabric and she picked pinks and greens. (It's going to be gorgeous!) I LOVE it when I take or teach a quilt and everyone has completely different fabrics. (One time I taught a class in which all 12 of the participants had the exact same fabric as the sample I had made. UGHHH.)

Anyway, more about this quilt. It will not be available in stores - it's an exclusive pattern available only to Judy's certified instructors (10 of them) or certified shops (12 of them) scattered throughout the United States and Canada. This is a Technique of the Month project and when we have completed this quilt, we will have learned all of the techniques that Judy uses in her patterns. We don't meet again until Dec. 2nd, and I promise to keep you posted on the progress - or if I've changed my fabric selection:-)

Here's my stash the report:

Fabric Used This Week: 8.0 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 254.75 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 18.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 147.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 107.00 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Found It!

I found the Piping Hot Binding Tool! It was in the tub that I took to my friend's house, along with the small sample I make using the tool when I took a class from Susan Cleveland, way back when she was at Lake Farmpark. Go figure!

Now I have to call my friend and explain why I didn't think to look for the tub before I called her. Do you think I can get away with saying that I just wanted to say "hi?"

A "DUHHHH" Moment Can Be Good

Have you ever spent over an hour looking for something, knowing exactly where it should be, but for some reason it's not there? Well, I just did that. I went directly to this drawer to get my Piping Hot Binding Tool by Susan K. Cleveland so I could review the procedure before adding piping to the wedding ring quilt. (Mind you I haven't even layered this quilt yet, but I wanted to prepare for the piping. Actually, I don't feel like layering the quilt and I'm using this "be prepared" idea as an excuse and so far it's working.)

As you can see, the cording is there but not the tool! I haven't used this tool in a long time, but I was sure that I put it back in this drawer. Why would the cording be here, but not the tool? I looked in all the drawers of this little unit - twice - but it wasn't there. I started looking around the sewing room and NOTHING!!! I made a mess, but didn't find my tool.

Now here's the good part. While I was looking (and making a mess), I decided that I might as well organize some of this stuff so it won't be such a pain to go through the next time I misplace something. :-)

Did I find the tool? No, but I think I may know what happened to it. I know that I took it to show a friend how the tools works because she was thinking of buying one, but wasn't sure and wanted to try it first. Well, that's the last time I saw it, so I've placed a call to her to see if perhaps I left it there. She's REALLY organized and I'm sure she'll find it right away, if it's there. Of course, that means I have to plan a trip to Westlake to pick it up, but I'll worry about that later-once I know she has it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Design Wall Monday

There's lots going on here, and unfortunately not all of it's quilting. I have a number of project that need attention so I have three things "on" my design wall today.

I finished the top for the wedding rings quilt. (Does anyone else still have Halloween quilts up, or is it just me? Also, don't you love the feet that many quilts seem to have when we take pictures of them?)

I have to add the embroidery, quilt and bind it. I think I'm going to add a red piping when I do the binding. I was just going to bind it in red, but I think that will be too much, so I think just a sliver of red next to black binding will be perfect. I'm going to be using some gold metallic thread to quilt parts of this and I can't wait to see how that turns our. Cross your fingers. :-)

I laid out 26 of the 30 hexagon blocks that I have done just so I could take a look at it. I'm really liking how this is turning out.

I'll be adding half blocks to the sides and filling in with white hexagons rather than applique this to a background like I did with this wallhanging. I know this will take me a while yet, but I know I'll have some "hand work time" soon and I wanted to get excited all over again about this project. I'm not setting any goals here for completion time, but I'm hoping to be quilting this at the next sisters' weekend in June.

Here are the "waste" triangles from my scrappy 16 patch and x block quilt.

I decided to keep these and make them into half square triangles for a miniature project. These will finish 1" and I'm not sure what I'll make, but I'll think of something. I've been sewing these as leaders and enders and I'll continue to do so until they are all done. The scrappy 16 patch and x block quilt is all sewn into rows and I've started sewing the rows together. Next up, the borders. I've been playing around with that and will make my final decision soon. Check back soon for pictures of that!

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stash report - Week 45

I had hoped to get more done, but then again, I always hope to get more done. I added some more blocks to the scrappy 16 patch quilt but I already counted that fabric in last weeks report. I did make up my mind on the Wedding Ring quilt and I'm very pleased with how that is turning out. I hope to get the top completely done today, but it's such a beautiful day so I might end up outside instead of quilting. :-( The good news is that there was no fabric added this week!!!

Anyway, here' the report:

Fabric Used This Week: 5.50 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 246.75 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 129.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 117.00 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fun Pictures

As promised, here are a some pictures from the weekend. Nikki and her family were here and even though there was a lot going on, I found some wonderful photo opps. Proud Grandma Warning: There are lots of pictures that made me smile, and I hope you enjoy them. If you're a proud grandma, post your pictures and I'll check them out.

Take a look at Nikki's Halloween pictures. Nikki made her costume as well as Quinn's and they turned out great. Lynn also made her's and I think it looks wonderful, especially since she's wearing a skirt, top, and bed skirt from Goodwill! Check out everyone's hair. Love the look, guys! :-) Here are two of my favorite pictures.

Here's a couple of my Halloween pictures. Quinn was a cowgirl at Zach's family gathering Saturday night. The outfit was one that Bella had worn for a dance recital and Quinn looked great in it. For some reason, Quinn LOVES to sit on the stairs. Here she is with Lynn and Ty.

It's hard to believe, but Sadie is 3 months old. Isn't she adorable?

Quinn was helping me make cookies Sunday morning.

We kind of had an accident.

Whoever says that a shop vac is not a kitchen appliance has not tried to bake with a 2 1/2 year old assistant!

I have a great video of Sadie telling me all about it, but I can't get it to load here. UGHHHH I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm such a proud grandma, and it's not just because Quinn reads quilting books! I just know she's going to be a quilter. :-)

Just like most quilters, Quinn loves her notions. Look at what she can do with empty spools.

Of course, Quinn loves her hats and found one to wear this weekend!

Ok, I guess you're probably tired of all the pictures. I know Sadie is.....

Design Wall Monday

Here it is Monday again and I don't have the Scrappy 16 Patch X Block quilt done yet. It's not on the design wall or even on the design floor anymore, but I haven't quit working on it (A.K.A. another UFO). I HAVE finished the additional X blocks and I'm working on the scrappy 16 patches so nothing has changed regarding this quilt and I figured that there's no reason to post a picture. If you want to see it, go the last Monday's post. Now, just imagine that this quilt is going to be two rows wider and longer. Also, it will have a small inner border and be finished with half blocks making up the outer border. Maybe I'll have a new picture next week.

Here's what I do have on the design wall:

This is a small "trial" version of the quilt I'm making for a wedding gift in December. (This is an adaptation of the Wedding Rings pattern by Seams & Dreams.) Since I've decided to make this a throw, I played around with some layout options in EQ and this is what I've settled on. There will be some embroidery in the quilt, although I'm not sure where yet. I want to put the bride and groom's names and the wedding date on the quilt some place.

I showed this picture to Quinn and she said "oh, nice." I think I like her critiquing skills. :-) By the way, I have some great pictures from the weekend with the girls and grandkids, including one with Quinn reading a quilting book. Hopefully I'll get them posted yet this morning.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by checking out Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stash Report - Week 44

Well, I was so proud of last week's numbers and then I realized that I never counted the 6 yards of fabric that my friend gave me for the pillowcases. Of course the yardage was counted as going out, but I forgot to add it as coming in. DUHHH It's recorded this week!

If you read my Design Wall Monday, you know that I that I wanted to increase the size of my 16 Patch X Block quilt but wasn't sure if I had enough of the red fabric that was a constant for the Xs, and I really didn't want to buy more or know if I could even find it. I had a number of people comment that I should add another fabric from my stash instead of buying more, since this is a scrappy quilt. I decided to take the challenge and see what I could find. Well, I was sooooooo lucky because I found a fabric that is just a hair lighter than the original and I decided to use that. You really can't even tell the difference! Needless to say, I'm pumped and I've made all the additional X blocks and I'm working on the 16 patch blocks.

I also started a small project that will be a wedding gift for my nephew and his bride. They are getting married in December and I plan to have this done early. I know, famous last words. :-)

Here's the report:

Fabric Used This Week: 3.75 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 241.25 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 7.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 129.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 111.50 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Problem Solved

Before I went to work today, I figured out how much more fabric I would need to make this quilt larger - keeping the same fabric for the X Block. I really wanted to do this WITHOUT purchasing additional fabric, but it didn't look like it was going to happen because I was about 1/3 yard short. I had a couple of comments to my last post about possible solutions and I was contemplating them while driving to work. Then, I had a thought (scary, I know).

I remembered that I had a tub of fabric set aside for possible use in a Christmas wallhanging that included maroon fabric, because I had decided I wanted something other than the traditional Christmas red and greens. Needless to say, my work day seemed VERY long and I couldn't wait to get home. Well, after some digging around, I found fabric that is just a hair lighter than the original fabric and I think I can use it in the half blocks in the borders and for the binding without anyone knowing the difference. (Except all of you of course.) I'm excited!!

The best part of all of this is that 100% of the fabric for this quilt will be from stash. I'm even thinking that I have backing fabric and if I don't, I plan on piecing it. I love it when things work out.

Design Wall Monday

I'm so glad this isn't Design Wall Monday Morning, or I'd never be able to post, (I guess it is still morning here). I find that I tend to get busy with something when I first come downstairs, especially if Jack's on the computer that I like to use for posting and before you know it, it's 11:15...

There should be no surprise as to what's on my Design Wall, I mean Design Floor today. Yep, that's right, it's my 16 Patch X Block Quilt (the one for which I sadly need to decide on a new name). I have the rows sewn but need to sew them to each other. I stopped when I got to this point because I'm doing the math to see if I have enough of the X fabric to make this larger.

After the inside is together, I'll be adding a small border using the X fabric and half blocks of the 16 patches and X blocks. If I stop now, the quilt will only be about 65" x 81", but if I add more blocks and keep the symmetry, the quilt will be about 81" x 96" and I like that better. I just have to decide the following:
1. Do I have enough X Block fabric?
2. If I don't have enough fabric, do I want to, or can I even get more of it?
3. What am I going to do with this quilt?
4. If I'm going to sell it, would it be more appealing if it was larger? (My gut
feeling is yes, but then again I like large quilts.)

I guess I'll check out the fabric first and think about the other stuff when I get home from work tonight.

On another note (and one reason that this quilt isn't all together yet), we had to have 8 trees taken down Friday, 6 of which were Ash trees that had been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer. Of course 5 of the trees were close to the house so we couldn't take them down ourselves because a crane was needed. Even if we could have, I still was more comfortable having someone else take them down. The last time Jack and I took down our own trees was pretty comical so we figured it was worth paying someone else this time. Now don't get me wrong, we got them down with was no damage to any buildings, animals or humans, but it was funny.

We're now left with a pile of HUGE logs that we need to split. We've already been working, but this is what's still waiting to be cut and stacked.

I'm in the process of organizing a Lumberjack Party. We'll provide lunch, exercise, and an on-going bonfire (drinks when we're done, of course). You provide the muscles, teenager who needs to learn the importance of hard work and a rake. It's a BYOCS (bring your own chain saw) party but don't worry, we have some if you don't. How about it? Do you want to join us? What day works best for you?

Hop on over to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times to see what other quilters/lumberjacks are working on this week.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stash Report - Weeks 42 and 43

Sometimes I really like it when I skip a week of posting my stash report because it makes me feel REALLY productive to be able to report relatively big numbers, rather than small numbers two weeks in a row. I know I'm just kidding myself, but I have to admit that it feels good. I didn't report last week because I got busy and when I sat down to post it was really late. I decided that I didn't want to take the time to update my spreadsheet and them blog about it. (Can we say lazy?!?)

Anyway, I've been pretty productive the last two weeks, even though I had lots of non-quilting things to do. I made the pillowcases using the fabric that a friend left for me (I didn't want that sitting around and making its way into the "Fabric In" column and not right away go to the "Fabric Used" column!) I've been working on the quilt that I posted last week on my Design Wall Monday and I've gotten pretty far along. We've been having a discussion about the name of this pattern and the concensus is that nobody knows what it is. Possible names have been Hugs and Kisses and Xs and Os, but everyone has said that they've seen the pattern but don't remember the name. (I'm guessing that you'll probably see this quilt posted tomorrow:-)) I also finished 8 more of my Grandmother's Flower Garden Hexagon blocks - all hand-pieced.

Anyway, in case you can't tell, I'm pretty happy with my numbers so here's the report.

Here's the report for weeks 42 and 43

Fabric Used This Week: 12.875 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 237.50 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 3.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 122.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 114.75 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Design Wall Monday

It's Monday and I have something new on the wall. Amazing, isn't it, since I had so many things on my "to do" list last week? I got bored cutting up clothing for memory quilts so I took a break and started this. If I hadn't done that, you'd be looking at a pictures of cut-cup clothes.

A friend of mine who happens to be a new quilter, saw an advertisement that had a small segment of a quilt in it. She really liked what she could see of the quilt and decided that she wanted to make one like it. She showed me the picture and asked if I could help her with the pattern. Well, neither one of us could find the name of the quilt, its maker, or designer so I sketched it out on a piece of graph paper since the computer that has my EQ on it is in the "hospital". Knowing that I was going to see her Friday morning, I decided to play around and make a couple of blocks so she could see how easy the construction would be. Well, a couple has turned into 16 and I've decided to make my quilt large, at least a queen. I've already got lots of scrappy squares cut that I'll use for the 16 patch blocks and all of the X blocks are cut and ready to sew. I'm making all the light fabric the same within each block, but each block has a different light fabric. Does that make sense? The only constant fabric is the X fabric. This is an easy quilt, and I know that I'll feel good when it's done - and it'll use up lots of stash. I'll go back to cutting up clothing soon, but it's nice to be able to take a break and make a quick block or two.

Do you know the pattern or name of this quilt? If you do, please let me know. I want to give credit to the designer. Thanks!

I did get some of my "to do" list done; but I still have a lot more to complete. I want to finish another Patriotic Rail Fence and Star quilt so I can donate it for the Girls' Night Out Silent Auction, and since I need that by Wednesday, I better get cracking. I just have to quilt and bind it and because the quilting is pretty basic, the deadline should be easy to make. I did make some pillowcases, so I was able to use the fabric that came into my stash last week. (I never did get around to doing a stash report yesterday. I guess I'll just have to do two weeks worth. Like that's never happened before!)

Speaking of Girls' Night Out, (I'm in charge of Bras for a Cause), the event is the Wednesday and I'll busy with that all day Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday should be my "day of rest", but of course I work. I'll try to get pictures and post them so you can all see the wonderfully decorated bras that have been donated, as well as the generous silent auction gifts.

To check out what other quilters have on their design walls today, go on over to Judy L's Patchwork Times. You may just find that sleep is overrated and you could be quilting instead!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pink, Pink and More Pink

I meant to change the color of the blog earlier in the month, but I just now remembered. I hate it when I forget things or get so busy that things don't get done. Anyway, it's pink for a while now. Hope you like it.

Okay, so I'm not going to reach all of the goals I set for this past week, but that's okay. I've made some pillowcases, finished the embroidery, cut some of the memory quilt clothing, finished the borders on Sadie's quilt and have the backing fabric ready, and then I sketched out and started sewing a new scrap quilt. (Thanks Carol for showing me a picture that I really liked and then just HAD to go home and work on it! :-) At least it's scrappy and I'll use LOTS of stash.

The guild retreat is this weekend and I stopped in for a bit today. It looked like everyone was having a good time and getting lots done. I sure wish I'd been able to go. I know I would've had a better chance of meeting my weekly goals, but then nothing at home would have gotten done. Of course, there's that thing called work that keeps getting in the way. :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Full Circle - Almost

Remember the other day when I wrote about the quilt I made that a friend purchased at an auction? Well, she brought the quilt to show me last night and we had an interesting discussion about it.

It seems that she went to this auction because the advertisement listed that "old quilts and other antiques" were going to be sold. There were a couple of old quilts (1957 and 1970s) and Liz was able to purchase one of them, but most of the quilts were not antique.

Now, here's what's interesting. My quilt was in the "old quilt/antique" category. Granted it looks old because it was made with all homespuns and homespun plaids, but this quilt is clearly machine pieced and machine quilted and there is the fact that it was signed and dated! Anyway, it didn't really matter to Liz that this quilt wasn't old. She wanted it because of the colors and the fabrics and she just loved it. Period! It would've simply been a bonus if it was an antique.

This situation does make me stop and wonder how many people have purchased a quilt (or other item, for that matter) thinking that it was old (an antique), when it really wasn't. I understand that "buyer beware" is important but - wow - my quilt had a date on it (black ink on a muslin label), so how did the seller (auctioneer) not see it and decide that this quilt was an antique? Anyway, this is just a reminder to all of us the look closely when buying "antiques." (I feel like I've just been on Antiques Roadshow and was told that my heirloom was a fake!)

One other thing about this quilt. I'm really glad that I've gotten more practice at things like machine quilting and binding. Maybe that's why the auctioneer thought it was old. It sure looked like an antiquated machine made those free-motion hearts in the cornerstones! :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Better Picture

Here's a better picture of my finished guild retreat class that I mentioned the other day. This quilt is big - about 100" x 120" and I really like it.

This is the first large Christmas quilt that I've made and I think it will remain with me. That doesn't happen too often, although I'm getting better. Until just a year or two ago, I only had one of the bed quilts that I made. All of the others had been given away, were custom orders or were sold. I've kept wallhangings and some lap quilts, but not bed quilts.

Design Wall Monday

I have a variety of things on the design wall today, although nothing is really ON the wall.

First up, someone gave me fabric for pillowcases yesterday (after I had made my stash report, of course) and since I don't want to "mess" with my relatively good stash reports, I've decided to use it right away. That means I should have at least equal amounts of stash in and out, in regards to this six yards. I'm not promising anything for other fabric though, but I should have to use some stash for the coordinating cuff on the pillowcases. Yeah :-)

Also, I have three more memory quilts to work on and since two of these will share some fabric, I've pulled out the clothing and I'm starting to cut it up. That will take a couple of days at least, so I'm sure I'll still be working in this next Monday. Do you notice the work clothing and plaid theme here?

I'm also working on some embroidery for another order. I have to work this afternoon so I doubt this will be done before I leave, but it will be done tonight. I'm cutting up clothing and pillowcase fabric while the designs are stitching out and I feel good about multi-tasking.

Oh yeah...I want to get Sadie's quilt quilted and bound. That child is 2 1/2 months old and she still doesn't have her quilt! (Bad Grandma, bad Grandma.) Maybe I should look at this another way. At least this'll be finished before she graduates from high school, right?

It sure looks like I might not sleep at all this week. Either that or I have to re-evaluate my goals.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by visiting Judy L.'s Patchwork Times. Who knows, you just might find the inspiration for your next project - I know I usually do!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stash Report - Week 41

Nothing in and a little used. Yeah! I finished a couple of projects (a wallhanging and bound a larger quilt) but I didn't start anything new. I guess the way to look at it is I'm working on finishing up things, not creating new UFOs.

Here's the report

Fabric Used This Week: 2.875 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 224.625 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 119.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 104.875 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sneak Preview of Another Finish

I finished the guild retreat quilt binding a little bit ago and I'm still loving the striped border that I mitered. Here's a sneak preview of what it looks like.

The reason you only get a sneak preview is because Jack and I are the only ones here and this quilt is too big (about 100" x 120") for one person to hold it while the other takes a picture. I don't have a good place to put it and get a good shot. I've tried laying it on the bed, but you lose the design. I've tried draping it over my cutting/pressing station, but I can't back up far enough to get the whole thing in the frame; so since I'm planning on showing this during our guild show and tell, maybe I can talk a couple of people into holding it for me while I take a picture.

Here's another reason that it's not always "happy time" when your kids leave home! Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons why its good when they leave home. I'm just saying....

The Birds and a Finished Project - Finally

I woke up this morning and heard birds - lots of birds and I had the weird feeling that I was in a re-make of the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds. Check out this video and in the first few seconds you'll hear what I heard this morning. Of course I tried to take a picture of the HUNDREDS of birds in our backyard but my movement scared them away. Also, if case you don't know me and wonder what I look like, just watch the video and when you see a woman driving a convertible sports car, think "Oh that's what Joanne looks like!" That's right, I look just like Tippi Hedren and Jack looks just like Rod Taylor. The resemblance really is uncanny! :-) (A girl can dream, right?)

Anyway, I finally finished quilting and binding my hexagon star wallhanging and I love how it turned out. This project started out as a sample for the LQS Sew Little Time where I'll be teaching the English Paper Piecing technique using paper templates. As you probably already know, I'm making a large Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and I'm going to have samples of that block, but I wanted to make something different using the same technique. After seeing a Bonnie Hunter post in which she was working on a hexagon quilt I sat down with graph paper and markers and sketched out what I was going to make. Here's Bonnie's latest post on the progress of her quilt. Of course Bonnie's hexagon star is much larger than mine, but isn't it funny how you have a vision of how you're going to finished a project, whether its a border, the quilting, or binding and when it comes time to actually do it, you change your mind and do something completely different? That's pretty much what happened here and I'm glad. Here's my finished sample wallhanging.

When I was getting ready to quilt this, I looked through my thread stash to see if I had a black and gold variegated that would look good in the background and of course I didn't so I settled on black thread. Well....I had some trouble with my tension when I first started but I liked the way it looked because some of the gold thread was poking through to the front of the quilt. I decided to play a little with some scraps and I figured out how to change the bobbin tension so the gold thread poked through the front and made it look like I was adding gold flecks onto the front. I payed close attention to the stitch quality and wanted to be sure that the quilting wouldn't come out or that there weren't any "toenail stitches." I figured that since this is a wallhanging that won't get washed or toss around much, I could have a bit looser bobbin tension than normal and get the look I wanted. Here's a close-up of the quilting. I hope you can see what I mean.

Again, it's one of those things. You just never know how something's going to work out and you just have to be open to changes. I'm working on the binding for the guild retreat quilt that was started way back in Feb. and has been quilted since June. I don't know why I've waited so long to bind this, especially since I really enjoy doing binding! The fabrics used in the hexagon star quilt are scraps from this quilt. I'm not going to post a picture until the binding is on, so I better get busy and will hopefully be able to post the picture tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Design Wall Monday and Signing Quilts

I'm finally quilting my hexagon star quilt and should have that done tonight, if all goes well. I have some embroidery that needs to get done this evening, but I'll do that on one machine, and quilt on the other. (I love having two machines!) I'll post a picture of the finished wallhanging as soon as it's done.

As I mentioned yesterday, I making some flags/banners for my nephew's school and this is what they look like.

I want to make a few more and hope to finish these up by mid-week, but we'll see. If they want more, I'm going to have to buy black fabric because I've just about depleted my stash of solid black. It's funny, but I've been using a lot of black fabric lately. I've used it with my guild retreat quilt that I have yet to bind, the hexagon star quilt and misc. other projects. Isn't funny how we tend to find a "comfort color" and use it when we're just not sure what else to do?

Do you sign or label your quilts? I usually do, but every now and then I don't. Something happened this past weekend that has made me vow to sign or label everything that leaves this house. In 2001, deciding that I needed to get over my fear of plaids, I took a class called Stepping Stones, from Quilts and Kreations in South Amherst, Ohio. The quilt was made up of lots of 7 1/2" courthouse step blocks and since I was a relatively new quilter I didn't think about how it would be to work with 1 1/2" strips of plaids - all different plaids.

Of course the sample wasn't made with plaids, but I just knew that the quilt would be awesome in plaids. As with many classes that I've taken, I didn't get the top done by the end of class and the project was tucked away to be worked on at a later date. I'd pull it out every so often and think about working on it, but something else always caught my eye and would take precedence.

Fast forward to 2004 when a close friend Tom, was struggling with some health issues. When it became apparent that he didn't have long to live, I decided to finish that quilt and give it to him. Tom had seen it resurface a few times over the years and he always said that he loved the plaid look. I finished that quilt, signed it and made a special notation to him and his "next adventure." He used that quilt every day for the rest of his life and was wrapped in it when he passed away. Jack and I were there at the house when Tom died and I had such a good feeling knowing that the quilt I gave him had provided him comfort in his final days. (Isn't it a bit funny/ironic that the name of the class was Stepping Stones?) The man who inherited Tom's house (Caesar) asked me to add a sleeve to the quilt so he could display it in the main room of the house. Of course, I did and was again very happy that this quilt would provide comfort to it's new owner.

Fast forward again, to this past Saturday morning. I received a phone call from Liz. (I met Liz a couple of years ago when she called me up out the blue and asked if I would give her private quilting lessons. She'd seen a couple of quilts that I made for a local shop and she and her friend Tammy wanted to learn to quilt from me. I said yes and we spent a couple of years getting together every week to make LOTS of quilts, pillows, and other projects. We had a blast and we're all still friends.) Anyway, Liz had just been to an auction and bought a quilt that she knew would be perfect in her living room. As she was leaving the auction, she noticed something on the back of the quilt and decided to open it up and take a closer look. Liz saw my signature and note to Tom and called me.

At first I was taken aback by the fact that quilt was not still in Tom's house and that I wasn't given first dibs on it when Caesar didn't want it anymore. It didn't take me long to get over that and recognize that the quilt was now with someone who would love and appreciate it just like Tom had. If I hadn't signed that quilt, Liz wouldn't have known anything about the quilt's history or the fact that her first quilting teacher made it. Isn't it really a small and wonderful world?

By the way, I have a picture of Tom's quilt but it is on the other computer and I'm having trouble transferring it here. I'll post a picture later if I can get it to work for me.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by going to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stash Report - Week 40

The report isn't too bad this week. I brought nothing in, but I did use a bit. I've completed blocks 19-22 of my hexagon monster quilt. Yeah!! I have about 40 to go - I'm not exactly sure because I haven't made the final decision on how I'm going to lay this out, or exactly how big it will be. I hope to make it king-size, but I might get tired of piecing blocks and only make it queen. I don't want it smaller than that.

I'm also working on some flags/banners for my nephews school and that has used up a bit of stash. I'm getting close to using up all of the black and gold that I have on hand so I'll probably have to buy more soon. Hopefully I'll be able to use it right away and stay over the 100 yard net used mark! For a while there I thought I was on the way to a net used of 150 yards by the end of the year but I'm not so sure now. I have embroidery, memory and T-shirt quilts that I have to get done for Christmas orders and the only stash I might use on those would be for backing, but I'm not even sure about that. Oh well, I'll be thrilled to stay at or over 100 yards. There's always next year, right?

Anyway, here's the report:

Fabric Used This Week: 5.875 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 221.750 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 119.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 102.00 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday

It's Monday night and I haven't posted anything yet. I debated not posting but quickly reminded myself that it is way too easy to just say "I won't post this week because it's so late. I'll be sure to post next week." Well, as you can tell from my stash report yesterday, one week quickly turns into four weeks!

So, here's what's on my design wall......THREADS!!!

Now, this is what I wish was on my design wall....

Or maybe this......

I have a couple of T-shirt quilts that I need to get done, along with a couple of memory quilts and I had hoped to have them ready to work on today but I had to work extra hours - again.
Maybe tomorrow.......

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stash Report - Week 39

Wow, the time sure has flown by this month and after looking at my numbers, I realize that more fabric has flown into my stash than out of it! I also see that I've dipped under the 100 yards net used for the year. UGHHHH

Ok, now I'm going to do some justifying here so please indulge me for just a bit.

1. I've been working almost double the hours that I normally work and sewing time has been scarce.
2. I've had a lot of embroidery orders lately. It's amazing how true the saying "when it rains it pours" really is. I went almost 31/2 months without more than one order at a time and a total of 3 for that entire time, but I've had  11 orders in the last 3 weeks, including 3 at a time, twice. Since these are usually time-sensitive (needed for funerals) they take priority and everything else gets put on hold. Often these don't have a lot of embroidery (names, birth and death dates, etc.) but a couple of these later ones have been quite a bit more extensive. I've put the Lord's Prayer on one and the Irish Blessing on another one. If I'm embroidering a casket scarf, I have to take the pre-made scarf apart, embroider it and then restitch it. It's time consuming but worth it.
3. I was out of town for a week and very little sewing got done (just a bit of hexagon piecing), but some shopping did.
4. There was a quilt show this past weekend (Quilting with Machines) and I was there helping/shopping Wednesday - Saturday. I'm just thankful that I didn't decide to keep a report of my thread and notions purchases this year!!

Ok, after typing out my justifications excuses, I've decided that I would've felt guilty buying what I did if I hadn't worked the extra hours or done the embroidery. Besides, most of what I bought is for projects on which I'm already working. Also, I realize that this report is 4 weeks worth of buying/using so I've decided that it's not bad at all. See there - no more guilt!   

Here's the 4 week report:

Fabric Used These 4 Weeks: 1.875 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 215.875 yards

Fabric Added These 4 Weeks: 14.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 119.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 96.125 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks, as life and poor timely have gotten in the way. I've been away for the past week (more on that later) and I'm trying to play "catch up." Anyway, here is what's on my design wall...

Why a bra? Well, I'm one of the organizers for our local Bras for a Cause and I have yet to decorate my bra! This is a really fun event and it sure gets the creative juices flowing. I really want to make my bra quilt-related, but I'm kind of stuck on what to do. Of course, when I hung the bra on the design wall almost two weeks ago, I just assumed that inspiration would strike and the bra would magically decorate itself. Yeah, I'm still waiting for that to happen......

Often, the bras have a fun name (just like quilts), like "Mardi Bra", "Rhinestone Cowgirls," etc. Who has suggestions? I sure could use some help. Better yet, you come up with the title, decorate the bra and submit it. I'll be so busy with the entries that I won't have time to do my own. :-) I'd even be really thrilled for you if you won! Really, anyone can enter. As a matter of fact, my sister is sending one from Marysville, Washington. Don't worry, the winner is chosen by popular vote - not me. :-)

Check out the link to Girls' Night Out/Bras for a Cause and follow the "Bras" tabs to view pictures of last years 47 bra entries. I was really excited about last years entries, especially since it was only our first year. It kind of makes it a challenge to come up with something unique, doesn't it?

Check out what others have on their design walls by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.