Thursday, December 29, 2011

BOM blocks and a new project

The BOM blocks for January for my guild were fun to make.  There are two 12.5" blocks here.  I had fun going through my scraps looking for 18 different brights to make the 2.5" squares for the corners.  I love bright quilts, but I don't seem to make many of them so I don't have loads of brights.  I thought I would find some in the fat quarter collection I won at my December guild meeting (over 100 of them), but there weren't many brights in their either.  At least I have a good strong red group.

When I went on the Western Washington Shop Hop last June, I found this pattern I had to have.  I don't often use commercial patterns, but I fell in love with the example.  It is very hard to see in this photo, but there are some curves in this that are done in a Cathedral Window style.  Today, I finally got to the fabric store, gift certificate in hand, to buy the fabric I will use for this small quilt.

The color on the left is a deep rich plum that is repeated in the little pattern elements of the orange.  These fabrics are from different manufacturers, but they work really well together.  The middle batik is a much better color match than the photo shows.  I am pretty excited about getting started on this project.
This just makes my WIP list a little longer, but I really enjoy having several projects going at once.  That way I don't get bored.
I hope you are all planning a safe New Year weekend.
I am going to take a little break until at least Sunday.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wonky House 2 and a Mystery Quilt

Meet Wonky House 2.  I wanted it to have a Seuss flavor.  I added curves, window shashings, and fused trees to this one.  The problem I am having is that I want to keep the two I have made so far.  I have to come up with 11 to send in for the swap before March 1.  I am really enjoying the puzzle aspect to these blocks.  For the most part, I am piecing them.  For this one, I drew the design on freezer paper.  I labeled and cut out the different parts, then ironed them to the fabrics I wanted to use.  As I cut each one, I added 1/4" to each side.  I fused the window sashing to the windows before I sewed them to their adjoining parts.  I ended up fusing the trunk for the tree on the right, but the one on the left is pieced in.  If I do include this one in the swap, I hope the other person who gets it likes it as much as I do.

I am in charge of the Mystery quilt for my more traditional guild for 2012.  I have decided to use one of my own designs. These are the fabrics I am going to use.  The quilt is called Pinwheels in the Garden.  I am going to figure out how to link PDFs to this blog so I can share the clues here for anyone else who wants to join in.  This quilt will be a 48" square lap quilt without borders.  Borders can be added to make it bigger, or the number of 12" may be increased to make it even bigger.  I hope to put up the PDF for fabric requirements and cutting guide next Tuesday. I hope some of you will decide to join me in making this quilt.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wonky Houses and Four Patches

Ever since I started blogging and found Victoria's blog where she had people making house blocks, I have wanted a house block quilt.  I just haven't gotten around to putting one together.  So, when I saw this opportunity over at Jane's Fabric and Quilts, I jumped on the chance.  I will be swapping 12.5" wonky house blocks with 11 other quilters.  There is room in another group for more swappers if you are interested.  Above is my first wonky house.  I made another house block earlier to send to Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt for a chance to win a few more.  She will do the drawing on January 1.

I have been working on these leaders and enders blocks for a while now.  I sewed a few hundred 2" squares into pairs.  Now I have been creating four patches.  I put a few of them up on the design wall just to see what it might look like.  I got these squares in a box at an estate sale a while back.  They were scissor cut and not all perfectly square, but I think this is going to be a fun quilt.
Today is my one year blog anniversary with this blog, and my 200th post on this blog.  All together, I have been blogging for over four years.  I love quilt bloggers the best.  You are the best, most supportive people out there in blogland.  Thank you so much for all your comments and encouragement.  I look forward to another year sharing my quilting life with you all.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bella and the doll

Bella liked the doll and has named her Dolly.  She even shared some of the stuffed friends from her bed with Dolly.  Later, Dolly went jumping on the new trampoline Santa brought Bella.  Dolly and Bella skipped nap today.

Dianne, Bella's other quilting grandma, made this incredible mini for me.  It is about 15" square.  I have always admired the Tree of Life pattern, but this is amazing.  Those HSTs are so tiny!  Thank you so much, Dianne.  I love it.

My SIL sent me these two wonderful fabrics from Africa.  The one on the right says it is from Ghana.  They are both "Guaranteed Wax."  Thank you, Willa.  I love them.

Tom had great fun in the fabric store.  In addition to a generous gift certificate, he picked out thesebeautiful fabrics.  Most are fat quarters, At least one is a half yard.  He also got me the clippies for hand binding.  He was laughing at me using my hair clips.  The green pin cushion is also from Tom and the red one is from Bella and her parents.  I am a very lucky woman to have so many supportive loving people in my family.
Have a joy filled day, everyone.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to all

I think I can safely post the things I have finished that will be delivered tomorrow.  Here is what I have been doing.

AAQI for December.  I hand quilted this one using cotton floss.

Mug rug for my son in law made from his old shirts. I used the stippling to add a little fun to the business like tone of this one.  I made another one like it for my BIL using his old shirts.

I made two of these mug rugs for the hunters in the family. I quilted it in a sort of plaid pattern.

Another mug rug for an in-law.  The quilting is very simple straight (or as straight as I get them) lines.  I used my new walking foot for much of the quilting I did on these small projects.  It is a wonderful thing.

The red and white mini for Bella's other quilting grandmom. It is 15" x 15".

I made six of these all together.  They are 7" x 10" and fully lined.

And then there is the doll.  I painted the bed white to match Bella's.  I made a little pillow and a Kaffe pillowcase to go with the quilt.
Everything is now wrapped and ready to go in the morning.
Wishing you all a very joyous holiday from my home to yours.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A pictorial year in review

I am really busy with finishing up Christmas presents, but I made this collage the other day of many of the projects I created during 2011.  The smallest is 9" x 9" and the largest is 70" x 70".  I realized as I was doing this that I had not photographed all the quilts I made, or if I did, I put them in a folder never to be found again.  I hope I will be more organized in 2012.  It great fun to have them all in one place to look at them and remember creating them.  Next year, I will have even more, I hope.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Doll quilt top done and ready to quilt

I went to our local IKEA today in search of a doll bed, and I got the last one in stock.  I am so glad I went today, or I would have been really upset.  It is very cute, and just needs a quilt.  I saved lots of fabric from Bella's quilt because I knew I wanted to make a doll quilt for her.  I decided to make on in the jelly roll race style.  I cut my strips 1.5" wide and various widths.  I foolishly thought I could control where the different patterns and colors went, but I won't do that again.  Actually, I really like the surprise element in the jelly roll race.  This little top is about 17" x 19".  Just right for the little bed.
It is now in the stack of little projects to quilt.  I made sandwiches of everything this afternoon, and made the bindings.  I have five mug rugs, one doll quilt, one AAQI mini (that I am hand quilting tonight), an 18" square red and white mini, and an exchange 12" square (that is also going to be hand quilted).  With luck, and patience, I will get it all done on time.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

One doll finished

She is done.  One pink doll with pink hair and pink clothes.  Just what Bella ordered.  Now I have to pick up a doll bed and make the quilt.  Then finish all the other folk's gifts.  Busy week ahead.  I will post as I go.
Joyful quilting everyone.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Making a doll and contemplating a finish

 Bella has asked me to get her a pink soft doll with pink hair and pink clothes.  I bought some pink flannel a couple of weeks ago and a pattern for a 15" baby doll.  Today, I decided to begin the process.  I had to iron on interfacing which I was worried about with the flannel, but it worked okay.  I have not followed a commercial pattern for a long time.  I would not recommend this pattern for beginners.  It is not user friendly.  I got called away before I was able to finish stuffing her, but I think she is looking cute.  I have to figure out how to create the required pink hair.  I think I am going to use yarn.

I don't think I have posted these blocks all together.  I have until mid-January to figure out how I want to finish this and get it completed.  I am thinking of using a Kaffe shot cotton in purple with red undertones and Kaffe print cornerstones.  It will all really depend on what I have in my stash.
Tomorrow night, I am going to see my husband, daughter and granddaughter in the Polar Express.  Tom has been playing Santa in this dance adaptation to the story for a few years now.  Until then, I am going to keep working in the studio.  Only one week to Christmas.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the Season

The only thing I did in the studio today was to cut fat quarters for a big Serious Stash Swap over at 15 Minutes Play.  I am swapping 20 fat quarters with Mimi in California.  I have them all in a box ready to take to the post office tomorrow.  I can't show them here just in case Mimi is looking.  I hope she likes them.
Instead of working in the studio, I cleaned the house and put up Christmas decorations.  I have a collection of Santa Claus figures that I have been gathering for many years.  I thought I would share a few of them with you.  Bella was over for a while this afternoon, and she enjoyed looking at all of them.
The next three days are Bella days, so I will be back Friday.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More bags and an AAQI mini

I am having so much fun making these little bags.  They are 10" x 7".  Each one is getting easier.  Today, I did a little production line work.  The most fun, of course, is creating the strata for the inset.  For this series, I have created strata.  I think I will do several other kinds of insets as I continue with this bag making adventure.  I need to find a good source for zippers before much longer.  What am I going to do with all these bags?  Think Etsy.

Each of these bags is fully lined.  Don't you love the fun lining in this one?

The other thing I did today was work on my December AAQI mini.  This one is about 7" x 9".  I have a small scrap of fabric that has red and turquoise flowers on a white background.  Every time I look at it, I like the color combination more.  I have quite a bit of red and turquoise in my stash.  Most of it is in pieces smaller than a fat quarter but that is okay if I am going to build fabric like this.  I really like the way the Kaffe in the middle pulls it all together.  I think I am going to hand quilt this one with turquoise floss and big stitches.  That should be fun.  This will be my 14th AAQI mini. 
Tomorrow, I have another full studio day.  Who knows what I will get done then.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hokule'a's top may be finished and a winner

And the winner is
Snoodles at Lily Pad Quilting.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone who played along.


Hokule'a is now a 46" square.  I think it wants to stay this size and be a wall hanging.  It is fun to see all our old shirts and my favorite muumuu in this piece.  The red centers in the log cabin blocks do not stand out this much in real life.  Interesting how they pop in the photo.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about the asymmetry of the center, but I am very happy with it.  I have really enjoyed the process of making this.  This quilt has done most of the design work along the way.  I will leave it up for a couple of days and see if it really is done.    I think I already know how I will quilt it, and I have backing and binding fabric. 
Tomorrow, I will work on more bags.  I just need to get some dark zippers.  I also want to start on the doll I am going to make for Bella.  That should be an interesting challenge.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Friday, December 9, 2011

My incredible sister

Before I tell you about my sister and the wonderful gift she gave me, I wanted to share this beautiful mini quilt made for me by Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt.  The triangles are tiny left overs from other quilts.  The hand quilting is done with varigated thread.  I just love it.  Look at the way the hand quilting on the tree makes a garland.  This piece is a little over 12" x 12".  I haven't measured it yet.  It is already up on the wall.

Now, my sister.  She is my baby sister and has had to put up with me all her life.  She had to deal with me when I was a spoiled child, a rather troubled and difficult teen, and a self-centered 20-something.  She has always been kind to me and shown me her love, whether I deserved it or not.  As I have aged, I think I have become easier to put up with.  She even invites me to play bridge with her friends.  She started making quilts a little while ago, and discovered the magic and power of the walking foot, something I only dreamed about having.  Today, she and her husband fulfilled that dream.

Just look at my new Bernina walking foot!  Look at the 28 log cabin blocks I have been building with it.  What a huge difference this foot makes.  I used one once in a class, and have wanted one ever since, but these babies are out of my budget.  I can't thank you enough, Kim.  You are a great sister, a wonderful friend, and a terrific quilting angel.
Tomorrow, I will draw the winner for the giveaway.  Good luck to everyone who has entered.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Giveaway Reminder

The chances of winning this charm pack and pattern are very good.  Only 15 people have entered so far.  If you are interested, and haven't entered, go to this post and leave a comment telling me about the best gift you ever received.  I will be drawing a winner on Saturday, December 10.
I have my last guild meeting of the year with the Cedar River Quilters this evening.  We are having an appetizer and dessert pot luck and putting on our own trunk show with our favorite quilts (even the unfinished ones).  I am looking forward to a fun evening with loads of quilted goodies as well as treats to eat.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Monday, December 5, 2011

More bags

Today, I made two more of these cute bags.  I used fusible interfacing this time.  I like the body, but I don't like the creases that show.  Maybe it is too heavy.  I will keep making these, trying new things until I get them just right.  I do like these, though.
If you haven't already, be sure and sign up for the giveaway here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Studio time and a giveaway reminder

Today, I played in the studio.  First up was this house block for Beth over at Love, Laugh, Quilt.  She is collecting 12" x 12" house blocks.  If you send one in before January 1, you will be put into a drawing to receive some of them back.  I love house blocks.  This started out to be a wonky house, but as you can see the symmetrical me took over at some point.  Sometimes that happens, and I just have to let it go.  I will get this in the mail to Beth tomorrow.

This is my next fun project.  This one is for an exchange.  I showed a little peak the other day.  I had great fun figuring out how to get the three trees done.  The one in the middle is hard to see in the photo.  I made it light so it would look like it is in the distance.  I tried several fabrics for the border and the stars, but this red plaid just called my name.  This is for Shelly over at Prairie Moon Quilts.  She seems to like things with a western theme, which I think the plaid brings.  The stars and rays will be needle turn appliqued since Shelly has said that she really likes applique on a several posts.  I am going to hand quilt this using big stitches.  I hope she likes it.

Last, I made this little beauty.  This is my first zippered pouch and it will definitely not be my last.  A friend was here when I finished it and she has already ordered six.  There are some little tricky spots, but not so much to make me crazy.  These are fun to make, and will make great little gifts. 
Tonight, I will be working on some hand applique.  Tomorrow, I will make some more bags and work on Hokule'a.  I had misplaced it but found it today.  One of these days really soon, I am going to have to quilt the pieces I have been making.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway by commenting on yesterdays post here.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bell ringing, a gift and a giveaway

This morning, I spent a couple of hours bell ringing for the Salvation Army.  I am the one in the blue coat.  Chris B., on the left, is our new guild president.  I had a really good time.  It was great fun greeting people and sharing Christmas greetings.  I was pleasantly surprised at the generosity of the people who came by us.  In these hard times, and in this depressed area, it was really heartwarming to see just how much people are willing to share.  It was a good morning, and I plan on doing this again next year.

When I got home, after a side trip to Puyallup to the quilt store, I found a box on my porch addressed to me.  It was from Friends4Kenya.  I didn't know what it was, or who they were.  I brought the box in and immediately opened it.  Look at this beautiful basket that was inside!  I was stunned and couldn't figure out where it came from or why I would deserve such a thing of beauty.  So, I went online.  Friends4Kenya is a small group of women, mostly quilters, who work with women in an area outside Nairobi.  They have taught these women to make these beautiful cloth baskets.  Be sure and visit the site and read about these wonderful women. Once I found out who these women are, and that I am related to two of them my marriage, I began to figure out how this beautiful basket came to me.  Willa, I assume this is from you.  I love it.  Thank you.

And just why would someone send me this beautiful basket?  It is almost my birthday.  That's right.  I will be turning 65 next Saturday, the 10th.  I have thought of many ways to celebrate this event here.  I decided on a giveaway.  Then, I had to decide on something I could afford for the prize.  When I went to Puyallup, I found this Ruby charm pack and this very cute Schnibbles pattern that is charm pack friendly.  I love the Ruby line for Moda and hope you do, too.
If you want to enter to win these two things, please leave me a comment telling me about the best present you remember ever getting.  Why was it so special?
I will leave this open until next Saturday, December 10.
Good luck, everyone.  I look forward to reading all your stories.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Another sneak peak

I am working on another mini quilt for an exchange.  For this one, we are supposed to make triangle trees.  The max size is 50" total perimeter.  This little quilt will be about 12" x 12".  I didn't think I would be making mini quilts when I started this adventure, but now I love them.  It is a wonderful way to practice different designs, piecing techniques, applique techniques, and quilting.  I also love exchanging them.  If any of you want to do a mini quilt exchange with me, just let me know.  I am always up for the fun and challenge. 
I didn't get much more done in the studio today.  I had errands to run and swap ornament blocks to sort and get into the mail.  I had my usual dismal experience at the local chain fabric store.  It is getting so bad, I have decided not to go there any more.  I am sure that many of you have JoAnn Fabric stores where the store is clean, warm, and the people are friendly and knowledgeable  That has not been my experience at my local JAF.  Today, they had at least 15 people waiting to be helped somehow, and two people working.  When I asked if there would be a better time to come back when more people would be working, I was told that the shifts were all filled and that she was sorry I was having a negative experience.  I will find another place to get notions and batting from now on.  One of my biggest pet peeves is poor service, and I have given these people enough chances.
Okay, enough soap box whining.  Tomorrow, I am going to be a Salvation Army bell ringer for the first time.  Our guild has been doing this for a few years now.  I have the first shift, so I have the buckets in the back seat of my car right now.  I am looking forward to ringing my bell and sharing Christmas greetings. 
Until tomorrow evening, joyful quilting, everyone.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A tease and new thrift shop finds

This is all I can show of the red and white mini quilt.  I finished piecing the top this afternoon.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  Almost all the points survived and the corners match.  I will figure out how to quilt it next weekend.
I went to the doc to have him look at my ear, and he pronounced the infection gone.  On the way home, I stopped to pick up some King Tut thread to quilt the Jacob's Ladder and some small things to get ready for the gift exchange at my guild meeting.  Then I went to the local Goodwill.  I was really excited to find these wonderful things.

Look at all these wonderful shirts!

Intriguing plaids.

Hawaiian prints and a chartreuse plaid.

Look at the reds.

I even found a good sized piece of Grannies Flowers from 1997.  It is going to help create the back for the JL.  I also found a king sized floral on black sheet, a table cloth for our dining table, and cloth napkins.  All in all, a very successful trip.  I was excited to discover that the store had enlarged its linens section.  I will have to keep my eye out there.
Tomorrow, I start my week with Bella.  Until Friday, joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

WIPs or UFOs?

When I started the year, I had four completed quilts under my belt, and plans to make as many quilts as I could with the time and fabric I had.  I didn't even know what a UFO was, and when they talked about them at my guild, I had to ask someone what it was all about.  Now, things are a bit different.  I haven't counted the number of quilts I have finished, but I soon will.  I have been looking at the stack of projects I have in various stages of completion.  In other words, UFOs.
There are a few things I just don't have any interest in finishing right now, but the others will be put back on my to-do list for the new year.  A few of them need backs, quilting, and binding.  A few of them need more borders before I can even think about finishing.  Some need more blocks.  I have listed six of them for the UFO challenge at my guild.  As I finish each of them, I have plenty more to add. 
As I think about next year and quilting, I wonder if I will finally settle into one style.  Do I really need to?  When I look at the list I have started of quilts I want to make, it looks like I will still be trying a bit of everything.  Over the next few weeks, I think I will be posting a bit about what I have accomplished this year, and what I hope to do next.  This is mostly because I am making Christmas presents and won't be able to show much of what I am doing.  I am also doing it so I will have it out there and will have a list to compare to at the end of next year.
In the meantime, I am still quilting and having great fun.  I will show you all the things I am making after they have been given.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A new look for a vintage skirt

When I was young, my mother found a pattern in a magazine for a Seminole patchwork skirt.  I think it was the seventies, and I think it was McCall's, but I can't find the pattern or the issue.  Maybe one of you remember it.  It was made with bias tape cut into many tiny pieces and sewn into traditional patterns in rows.  The skirt had 3.5 yards gathered into a small waistband.  It was thirty inches long.  I have been saving this for a long time, only bringing it out to show occasionally.  Last night, I had a brilliant idea of how to have this incredible work on display all the time.  I decided to make it into a quilt.

Look at all that piecing!  I am going to have to figure out a way to quilt this that does not detract from the piecing at all.  Here is a look at the back.

When I think about all the patience it took to put this skirt together, I am amazed.  I am such a slow piecer, I think this would have taken me many years.  I don't remember how long it took Mom.  She was a very talented woman who often made complex and beautiful things.  One time, she made a mosaic coffee table where she cut hundreds of small square tiles into small pieces to create a seascape.  It was wonderful to grow up in a family where creating beautiful artistic things was celebrated. 
The other thing I did today, that I can show, was the mug rugs for the hunters.

The backs are plaid.
Today, I had an unexpected visit with Bella.  She has a nasty cold and both her parents had meetings, so I didn't get a full day in the studio.  I hope she gets well soon.
Tomorrow, I am working on a mini red and white quilt, and other things on my list.  The ear infection is almost conquered, and I am not in constant pain, so that is a good thing.  I hope you all have a joy filled day.