Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

I can't believe it's Thursday already and to make matters worse, it's almost Thursday afternoon. Where does the time go???

I've finished the Quilt for Kids project and have picked out the fabric from my stash to make a second one to send with the kit I received in the mail. I hope to start sewing that when I return from work tonight. I mentioned in Monday's post that the kit included everything but the binding and batting. Well, Kat responded to that post and said that if I was careful while layering, I could get the binding cut from the backing fabric and she was right! How awesome is that?

Saturday and Sunday is our annual guild retreat and I need to spend some time tomorrow checking that I have everything ready. It's not an overnight retreat so that makes it easier to prepare, but I still seem to over-pack supplies because I don't want to forget anything and you never know if you'll need that obscure ruler that you've only taken out of the package once since you bought it. The funny thing is, I'll be less than 10 minutes from my house so I could always run home if I forget something. I guess that once I get there I won't want to leave, especially if it's snowing.

Speaking of snow, we've been getting a little snow today and I still love to look out the window at a fluffy snowfall. In the last week or so, our snow has been turning that ugly grey color and the new, white snow is gorgeous. I especially like to see birds at the feeder with the white backdrop. Can you see the 5 male cardinals in the picture below?

There is one female hidden in the trees so it's difficult to see her. How would you like to be that female with FIVE males hanging around you all the time?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I know that it's barely Monday, but I'm leaving the house by 7:30AM and not returning until after 8:00PM so I decided to get this posted early.

All of the pillowcases are washed, dried and ironed! I didn't want to begin layering a quilt late in the evening so I began to press and cut the two patch units for my totally scrappy quilt. If you recall, these were supposed to be leader/enders but I couldn't wait to get started and now all of my two patch units are done. YEAH!!

Since I'm working with 5" squares for the first time and am using the piecing methods from the book Nickel Quilts, I find myself excited to get all of the preliminary piecing done. For the most part, it's fast and painless piecing. Since I didn't have anything else that I wanted to work on, I decided to go ahead and sew the first two seams of the 4 patch units (I need 296 of these suckers). They're all sewn and about a quarter of them are cut into two patches, pressed and layered so they can be sewn into the four patch units. Even though I did all of this, these pieces are NOT on my design wall.

I couldn't resist the urge to open the package from Quilts for Kids and check out the kit they sent me. Of course when I saw the pattern and fabric I decided to go ahead and make the four patch units and maybe put the top together Tuesday when I'll have some sewing time.


As you can see, I did a little bit more than the four patches. I just have to add the top and bottom border and then I'm ready to quilt it. (I ran out of bobbin thread and decided that was a sign that I needed to go to bed.) The kit came with the backing, so all I have to provide is the batting and binding. This was simple to make and I'll have to go through some stash and make another one to send along when I return this one. Fast, cute and for a good cause!

Be sure to check out what everyone else has on their design walls today. Go to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog and get inspired!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stash Report - Week 8

This was a good week and I have good numbers to report! There was no fabric added this week but there was a lot out because of finishing up projects, using LOTS of 5" squares and making LOTS of pillowcases. Actually, there was some fabric added because I received a kit to make a charity quilt but I haven't even opened the package yet so I don't know what's there. I knew that if I opened it I would want to start the project and I had too much else to do. I plan on opening the package tonight or tomorrow morning and will report it next week. Wouldn't it be great if I can report it IN and OUT in the same week?!

Yesterday, a number of women from a local Curves made 36 pillowcases for area charities. I've been doing this on my own for a couple of years and last year not only did my quilt guild begin making them, so did some of the women at Curves. As part of our "Stronger Together" theme, I organized the Sweet Dreams Pillowcase Project for the group and we made 36 pillowcases in about 3 hours. (Not bad for a group that included some people who had never sewn before!) I'll be adding this number to American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge that I'm sure many of you know about. If you don't, go to to check it out. Below is a picture of our pillowcases ready to be thrown in the washer so they can be taken to the receiving charities later this week.

OK, here's my report:
Fabric Used This Week: 29.125 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 75.250 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.0 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 38.875 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 36.375 yards

Why not go to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog and see how other quilters are using up their stash?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Caffeine Chaos

Monday night I finished the coffee fabric twisted 9 patch top and while Jack was holding it up for the picture below, he said I should call this Caffeine Challenged. I thought that was pretty good but a little bit later I said something about Caffeine Chaos and we had one of those "oh yeah" moments, so Caffeine Chaos it is! (We like alliteration, can you tell?) Anyway, that's done and since I know how I want to quilt it, I hope to have this puppy quilted and bound by the end of the week.

I'm at the binding stage on my guild challenge large wallhanging and I have to admit that even though I planned on working on my scrappy nickel quilt only as a leader/ender project, I got really excited and just made all of the 2 patch blocks at one time. I also took the time and paired up squares to make the 4 patch blocks. I didn't strategically match them, but I thought it might be easier if I have them together and ready to sew by the machine. Of course that's I how I got into trouble with the 2 patch blocks and now they're all done. Wouldn't it be a shame if the same thing happened with the 4 patch blocks. :-)

I'll post pictures of this project later and realize that this is the easy part. The real challenge will come when I have to sew these scrappy blocks together without planning every step of the way. I'm learning that I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to quilting, but I'm ready for this.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I have lots of stuff going on this week and today I'm trying to get organized so everything gets done early and I won't have to rush around like a mad woman later. I've started to pull fabric together for a pillowcase sew-in Saturday that I am organizing for local charities. I'm excited because that will certainly bust some stash!

I'm ready to start adding borders to my coffee fabric Twisted 9 Patch. I'm auditioning border fabrics but think I know what I'm going to use. I'll post a picture when I'm done with the top.

Since the 9 patch blocks were my leader/ender blocks, I had to pick something else to use, and I decided to pull out the 5" squares from a guild exchange a couple of years ago. Here are the stacks of squares separated by value, etc.

When it was time to use them, I just started pulling fabric and sewing them together to be used in a totally scrappy quilt from the book Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth and Charlene Thode. I'm really excited about this because this will be my first TOTALLY scrappy quilt - no planning, no matching, etc.

Below is a picture of the first couple of rows (actually, only part of the rows). Since the piecing of the blocks will be mainly from leaders/enders, this will take a while to complete, but I can't wait.

Check out what others have on their design walls by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog. Who know, maybe you'll see something that will get your creative juices flowing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Stash Report - Week 7

I almost forgot to post this report! The week started out "quilty" but didn't end up so much. I've been trying to finish up some projects (and succeeding), but they haven't required using up stash because they include finally sewing rows together, layering and quilting, etc. Oh well, at least things are getting done and I can start new projects soon!

Here's the report:
Fabric Used This Week: 2.66 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 46.125 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.0 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 38.875 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 7.25 yards

Monday, February 8, 2010

Design Wall Monday

It's another Monday and I have multiple projects going. The one that started as a leader/ender project but is now taking center stage is a Twisted 9 Patch made with the coffee fabric I received at the guild retreat last year. When I saw Mary's original post on this quilt I thought it would be perfect and when she posted the finished quilt I knew that I had made the right choice. I thought it would be funny to name this something like, "Life Without Coffee Sure is Twisted!" What do you think? Check out her site at She is a very prolific and generous quilter and I would love to make just about every quilt for which she provides instructions.

Below is a picture of the Guild Challenge Quilt I told you about. I was originally going to make this a full size quilt and had it all designed but then realized I didn't have enough of the dark blue that I wanted to use (and I didn't want to buy anything). I switched plans and made this a large wallhanging instead. This was pretty much a design-as-you-go project, especially the borders. I really like the end product and will hopefully layer it tonight and get started quilting. Do you like the hand at the top right hand corner? That's my wonderful husband!! To see a close up, click on the picture.

Below is the finished Weaver Fever top. The picture doesn't do it justice, but I really like how it turned out. The original pattern calls for plain borders but I didn't like that so I used some of the leftover strip sets to add some interest to it. I like it so much better and I didn't have to waste the strip sets. I know how I want this one quilted also and would like to get started on that soon also. My goodness, there just isn't enough time in the day is there?

Check out how many seams are in one block of the Weaver Fever.


The previous message is from my 22 month old granddaughter Quinn (future quilter and blogger) who wanted to help me type this post. I can only assume that she is saying hello!

Stash Report Weeks 5 and 6

Well I was on a quilt retreat last week and we all know what that means...I bought fabric!!

Even though I did buy fabric, I had a specific use for all of it except some of the black fabric. I'm always looking for good, dark black that will continue to look black even though it might be placed next to another dark fabric. I really get ticked when I think I have the perfect fabric only to find that it looks more grey or blue than black.

I had hoped to post some pictures of what I bought (and used), but I'm having some technical difficulty with the camera. I hope to have it fixed by tomorrow so I can post pictures for design wall Monday.

While on retreat, I did complete the Weaver Fever top and I really do like it. There's a lot of piecing to that project and it took quite a long time to finish it, but I'm glad I stuck with it and got it done. I'm pretty sure how I'm going to quilt it and hope to get busy with that later this week. I finished the guild challenge quilt and began another project that started with some coffee-related fabric that I received at our guild retreat last year. Hopefully I'll be able to show pictures of these tomorrow.

As you'll see in the report below, I did buy fabric, but I've also been able to use some this week so I've still used more than I've brought in for the year. YEAH!!!

Here's the report:
Fabric Used This Week: 8.75 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 43.5 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 12.25 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 38.875 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 4.625 yards