Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 Wrap up

Here are a few quilts from this year that I never shared!

This one of three identical table runners that I made this Christmas. One for my mom, one for my sister, and mine is still at home in pieces!! But the important thing is that I got theirs finished in time.

This was a scrappy log cabin quilt - the kind where you sew on a strip and whack off the extra! It turned out so bright and cheerful. I used it on our Christmas presents table last week.

This quilt is currently residing on my bed and I love it. It came together very quickly. Someone shared a smaller version at our guild show and tell the day before my birthday. The next day, me and my friends had our own shop hop and I bought all the fabric. Over the next month, I pieced the top. When I went to visit Nina in July, I took the top with me and she helped me quilt it on her long-arm. The quilt was slightly too big to fit on my machine. I love all the shades of blue!

My mother-in-law mailed me Arkansas fabric and asked that I make something for a charity auction. I ended up making this wall hanging/baby quilt and a lap quilt. They ended up bringing $400 in the auction!

This (and its twin) were made from the leftovers of my Christmas tree quilt. I made one for my mom and one for my sister. I ended up buying border fabric for both quilts. I really love this pattern - probably because I am obsessed with flying geese! Mom has hers hanging in her living room!

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 UFO list

Judy, over at Sunshine Quilts, has once again challenged us to list our top 12 UFOs that we would like to finish in 2012. I didn't join in last year, but I know there are way too many half-finished projects sitting around here that need to be finished - so here goes.

1. Christmas quilt - this was a class that I taught at the local sewing center. The owner decided very late in the season that she wanted me to teach this so there was no time to make a class sample - I was making the quilt right along with everyone in the class.

This one needs the final borders and then to be quilted.

2. 2011 guild mystery quilt - this one just needs quilting

3. Birthday group blocks - These blocks were made by my very sweet guild birthday group. I need to put the blocks together and then quilt it. These blocks are huge - about 18 inches!

4. Soul Blossoms quilt - Hmmm.... this might be a challenging month. I splurged last Christmas and bought a Soul Blossoms fat quarter tower with a gift certificate a friend gave me. I thought I had decided on the pattern. When I started sewing, I discovered that not only were the directions very confusing, but it was a pattern where you needed to decide on the layout of the fabrics as you go. The alternating blocks had a piece of fabric that needed to match the four blocks it was touching. Way too confusing for me right now. So I have decided on a different pattern. Thankfully - I had not cut all the pieces!

This one needs everything - blocks pieced, top put together, and then quilted. Maybe too much to hope for in one month!

5. Kids' Kloset block of the month - Depending on when this number gets pulled, this one will keep me busy too. This BOM finishes in March - so I have 7 of the 12 blocks done. She has already given us the directions for the sashing strips and the outer borders so I could put what I have together.

This one needs the last five blocks, sashing strips pieced, top assembled, and then quilting!


6. Christmas table runner - this is the last of three identical Christmas table runners that I made. I have finished the first two - because they are gifts for family members. The third is for me. Sorry no pictures until after the big day!

This one needs about half of the blocks pieced, the top assembled, and then quilted.

7. Applique tree project - I started this on a over-night trip with a couple of friends this fall. The leaves are ironed on and about 1/3 of them are machine stitched down. Then it needs to be quilted.

8. The kids' pillowcases - I know this isn't technically a quilting project but the fabric has been sitting here for quite some time. My son reminded me the other day that he is STILL waiting on his soccer pillow case! I guess I need to get busy! These shouldn't take that long if I borrow my friend's serger.

9. Repeat of #4!

10. Repeat of # 5!

11. Denyse Schmidt fabric - This isn't a UFO yet - but the fabric has been sitting here staring at me for WAY too long. I have a lovely pile of the new Denyse Schmidt fabric from JoAnn's that I haven't cut into yet. I know what I want to do with it - Monkey Wrench blocks.

12. Spiderweb blocks - Does it count as a UFO if you have the paper cut for the foundation piecing? I also have the solid fabric for the stars. The spider webs are going to be scrappy so, of course, I have those ready!

Thanks, Judy, for inspiring us to get things finished!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Another quilt for Maddie

This quilt was supposed to be Maddie's first quilting project - but it didn't end up that way. I cut up all these black and white fabrics last summer for Maddie to make into 9-patches. We hauled her sewing machine and the fabric up to my mom's house where Maddie sewed for about 2 minutes. She said the machine was pulling everything to the left and was too frustrating to deal with. After she came home, I finished the blocks and then whacked them into disappearing 9-patch blocks. The pink sashing has a black swirly design in it.

The kids and I are up in Tennessee visiting my parents and my sister and her family. We are hoping to have a girls' sewing day (or two) while I am here - but it is difficult to keep 5 kids happy for very long when it is almost too warm to play outside. I suggested we duct tape them up and stick them in a closet but no one else liked the idea!

Last Friday was my birthday and I got to spend it having my very own shop hop with two of my quilting buddies. They both took the day off from work and we took off for Atlanta. We were able to go to five different quilt stores. I collected lots of beautiful blue/grey/green batiks to make a quilt for my bed. Nina won't be surprised by the color but she may be surprised by the batiks! I also found several pieces for my stash that were priced too good to pass up. I bought some fabrics to make the kids each a pillow case. Ian is soccer themed and Maddie's is a white back ground with a line drawing of a map of Paris. What excited me was that Le Madeleine was on the map! We were in Paris when Stacy spotted the Le Madeleine metro stop and fell in love with the name.

Here are the quilt stores we went to in case you want to check them out:
Sewn with Love - Newnan, GA - no web page yet
Tiny Stitches - Marietta, GA
In-Town Quilters - Decatur, GA
Stitch-n-Quilt - Mableton, GA
Red Hen Fabrics - Marietta, GA

Can I ask you all a question? How would you react if a store employee came within a hair of accusing you of changing the price on a bolt of fabric? One particular store made up there own little one yard bolts of fabric. My friend came across one that was marked $2.99 (with a $5.99 crossed out) - both written in Sharpie marker. When she took her pile of goodies to the counter to pay - the employee looked at the bolt that was mis-priced for a good two or three minutes. Then she said, at least three times, that they never have fabric for $2.99 a yard. She continued to be very short and curt with my friend. Either tell us that she is going to have to charge the correct price or give her the $2.99 and let it go - but stop being rude. Needless to say, we won't be going back there again! Yes - it is one of the stores listed above.

Does anyone have any fabric store suggestions in the Atlanta area or in the Nashville area? Where is your favorite place to shop on-line?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What should I share today?

We have been house-bound for two days now. The A/C on our CRV is misbehaving and we want to take it to Tennessee this weekend - so it needed to be looked at. The mechanic ordered the wrong part Monday and didn't realize it until late yesterday afternoon. When I called today at lunch time, the correct part had just arrived and wasn't yet installed. He has got an hour and a half left before closing time - or I am not going to be a happy camper. But being stuck at home leaves us a lot of time to accomplish other things. I have been making the kids help me clean up the hot spots around the living room and kitchen. I sort through the pile and hand them stuff to be put away. Each spot only takes a couple of minutes - so they don't feel like we have spent the day cleaning! This morning I was quilting a secret project and between rows I made myself come clean off one section of kitchen counter. Now the quilt is quilted AND I have a clean kitchen. I need to go trim it and get the binding put on. Even the label is already made and ready to go on!

This project was actually finished in December 2010, I think. These are the spiderweb blocks that my mother and I made together last summer. I love how it turned out. My mom also pieced the piano key outer border. Thanks to Bonnie for yet another great pattern! I have already bought some bright yellow Kona to make another version of this with bigger blocks.

Off to do the binding!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Alabama summer

We have had 17 days in a row of temperatures over 90 degrees and two of those days we hit 100! Not exactly the kind of weather I like to be outside in. Good excuse to stay inside and read, nap or maybe even sew. I have been working on several different secret projects - so I have no pictures of things I am working on - but if course I have several completed things to show you.

Yesterday Madeleine and I attended a baby shower for a girl we go to church with. He husband is currently stationed in Afghanistan and will get to come home in a few weeks for the baby's birth. They also have another baby girl that just turned a year old and her name is Madeline. My Madeleine help me to piece baby Charlotte's quilt and then we decided that big sister Madeline deserved a quilt too! It was so fun working on these projects with Maddie. I am so excited that she is getting into quilting. This is her 3rd & 4th projects in the past 2 months!

Here is Maddie's first quilt. She pieced this in about a week and a half! She made this quilt for a friend of ours who is getting ready to be deployed to Iraq. When my dad saw this picture, he said "No wonder Maddie was so motivated to do this project!" David is adorable - but he is also such a nice guy. He was debating whether he was going to take the quilt with him to Iraq or leave it at home with his mom and dad.

One last thing - Happy birthday to my dearest Nines!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Knock, knock, knock....

Is this thing on? Somehow I have lost the past five months. I can't believe it is mid-June already. My birthday is Friday - which means Nina's birthday is this week too! Nines - I really wish we could have our annual birthday date.

On to the important things - like quilts. When last we talked, I mentioned working on another Christmas quilt. It is finished and I love it! My friend with the expensive computer guided Gammill machine was kind enough to quilt it for me. We enjoyed a fun day of sewing while the Gammill did its' thing.

I ended up having to piece the trees differently than suggested in the pattern. For some unknown reason, they had you piecing the tree with a seam down the middle of the block - so that the diagonal sides of the tree are loose and three dimensional. I pieced one block according to the directions and knew that there would be no way to quilt this on the long arm with those sides flopping around. So I had to improvise! My way saved a lot of fabric and made it quiltable. I LOVE the fabrics in this quilt. This is the first quilt that I had to buy the fabrics that were used in the pattern. I loved them all right away. They are Figgy Pudding by Basic Grey.

I finished piecing the top over spring break - at which point my mom and sister both wanted to steal it. Nice try, ladies - but it is mine! Maybe I will let them sit under it if they come to Alabama in the winter.

I hope I haven't lost both of my faithful readers during my long silence. Speak up and let me hear you! What wonderful project as you working on right now?

Monday, January 31, 2011

A couple of January finishes

January has slipped away from me. We started off the month with the stomach bug and then went on to have an ice storm. Ian finally went back to school on January 12 but Maddie was still home with the stomach bug until the 18th. I wasn't sure I was ever going to get rid of them! This past week I subbed all five days and in the evenings tried to work on the year end tax stuff for my husband's business. I am thankful that this week seems to be a little slower! In the midst of all this I have been able to sew. I have finished up a couple of UFOs - always a good feeling!

These star blocks were last year's birthday blocks from our quilt guild birthday group. My goal was to get this finished before I get this year's blocks in May. I also send a block packet to my mom and to Nines every year - and so far they have always been kind enough to comply! I think this one might end up being Ian's Christmas quilt. The black makes it boyish.

These are Nina's (pink) and my mom's (green) blocks. The background fabric is snow flakes and I found it at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago.

This second one is for my daughter. Surprise, surprise! I made this same quilt using the smaller 6" blocks and Maddie of course wanted one just liked it. Because I have a great fear of running out of a fabric, I had more than enough fabric to make Maddie's 12" block version. I just had to buy half a yard of the green to finish the sashing and the binding.

I did very dense quilting on this one - spirals everywhere! Took forever to do - but I love the finished look.

I am working on another Christmas quilt now - made from Basic Grey's Figgy Pudding fabric. You can see an example of it here. Can't wait to see this one finished! I have already requested that my dear hubby install a curtain rod on our big blank wall in the living room - so I can hang quilts up and enjoy gazing at them from my couch.

To all my northern friends - stay warm during this coming storm.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A new post for Nina!

Sorry Nines, but the blocks aren't for you! I just thought you would like to see these batik blocks I have been working on. These were all made for a member of my birthday group from quilt guild. I had to order some batik fat quarters and then I got addicted to making them and couldn't stop. I only needed to make one block - but ended up with six! The one in the bottom right corner was my first attempt - and I misread the directions and ended up with a 14 inch block instead of a 12 inch block. I am going to give it to the birthday girl anyway - maybe she can piece it into the backing!

Tomorrow is our monthly birthday lunch - at my house. We are having corn chowder and potato soup. For desert we will have Kentucky Derby pie and vanilla ice cream. Can't wait!

Hope you are warm and safe where ever you are. We have had two snow days from school because of ice. Lots of people from town who had gone to Arizona for the national championship football game are still stuck out west! Great reason to stay inside and quilt!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

One of my resolutions for 2011 is to blog more often - mostly because I want to keep a better record of the quilts I make. I would also like to use more of my stash - instead of just adding to it!

One of the unshared projects of the last few months is yet another baby quilt. Baby Turner was born right after Christmas! The baby shower snuck up me so I needed a pattern that was quick and easy. I love the look of the rail fence - three fabrics and an hour or so and you end up with such a cute top!

And because I don't have enough unfinished projects sitting around here, I decided to start a new project yesterday. This summer my mom and I worked on blocks for a spiderweb quilt following Bonnie Hunter's directions. I loved the pattern but wanted bigger blocks. After checking into how much a ream of 11x17 paper costs ($25) - I started looking for alternatives for the foundation pieces. Since my husband is an architect, he has a whole box of old plans sitting in his office, waiting to be recycled. They measured 24x36" - so I cut them down to 12 inch squares. My star blocks ended up being about 17 inches. The problem with this project is that although it uses scraps - it always seems like I end up with more scraps than I started with!

Right now we are waiting for an ice storm to arrive. They have already cancelled school for tomorrow. It is already icing and snowing north of us - but nothing here. I never expected to have to worry about an ice storm in south central Alabama! Stay warm and safe!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Hello, 2011!

So sorry that I have disappeared for three months. I have been sewing some - but mostly I got caught up in subbing, PTA things, and the usual Christmas craziness. But now it is January and things should slow down, right? Ha!

My main reason for posting today is to share a brief moment of fame! Apparently I am not going to get my whole 15 minutes of fame at one time - but little bits are fine with me. If you read many quilt blogs, you probably have come across Blue Nickel Studios. Scott is one of those mythical creatures we have all heard about - a male quilter! His blog is a great read - go check it out! Anyway - if you read the previous post, you will have already seen the quilt I made following one of Scott's patterns. Today he featured my quilt and another quilt made by another blog reader.

Thanks again, Scott, for such a great pattern!