Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 UFO List

Even though Judy, over at Patchwork Times, is changing the way she is doing things for 2013 - I am going to stick with the process we used in 2012.  It worked well for me!  I finished or made significant progress on 11 different projects - which included finishing 10 quilts!  The only unfinished project is the Soul Blossoms quilt - which will hopefully be finished in January. 

So to keep me motivated to keep working on these UFOs - here is my list for 2013.  

1.  Soul Blossom quilt - Bow tie in a circle

2.  Orphan blocks

3.  Whipstitch fabric baby quilt

4.  Jewel Box quilt

5Ryan Walsh Christmas zig-zag 

6.  Bonnie and Camille fabric

7.  Wild flying geese quilt

8.  Maddie's dress quilt 

9.  Hand-dyed fabric quilt top/ table runners

10.  QOV

11.  QOV

12.  QOV

So who will join me in getting rid of more UFOs in 2013?   May everyone have a wonderful New Year!



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Final UFO progress for 2012

Subbing a whole lot in September, October, and November cut into my sewing time. Ian was sick the week of Thanksgiving - so I had a forced week long vacation. I was able to make some progress on my Soul Blossoms quilt. I have had this fabric for two years now - and have changed my mind about what to do with it almost a dozen times. My first idea was to do a Fig Tree & company pattern called Boardwalk. Has anyone else out there attempted this pattern? I didn't have the brain capacity to get through that one. So what to do with several already pieced blocks. Several other patterns caught my attention but nothing seemed just right. I finally came across a picture of quilt that I knew was "IT" - it was a bow tie block set with the bow ties forming a circle. I love it! The blocks are all pieced and even sewn into groups of four . Maybe I can get the top put together before New Year's!

Friday, December 28, 2012

We survived Christmas 2012

We made it safely home yesterday from our trip to Tennessee.  We got to see some snow without getting snowed in.  We got to enjoy several fires in the fireplace.  And of course, we got to enjoy lots of time with the family.  

We opened presents on Monday evening and the boys were all thrilled with their quilts.  Ian had not realized that I had even started on his quilt - so he was very surprised to receive his!   Mom and Dad handed down many family heirlooms again this year.  My nephew received a knife my grandfather carried during WW2 and Ian received my other grandfather's dogtags from WW2.   My mom kept having me and my sister open our gifts at the same time.  One gift I opened was a red holiday table runner, placemats, and napkins that were my Mimi's.  Meanwhile my sister is opening a vintage butter dish that I have been lusting over for several years.  Naomi looks at with a funny look and my mom says "Haven't you been asking for this for years?"   No - that was me!  Anyway - my sister was kind enough to trade presents with me!

Mom also made us each a wreath.  I decided to try mine out as a necklace.  What do you think?

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!  We have another week off until we return to school and I am hoping to get some sewing in!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Waiting for the FedEx man

A few weeks ago, my sister relayed a message from my nephew, Isaac.  He wanted me to know that he wants a Green Bay Packers blanket for Christmas.  I assumed he meant a fleece blanket like my kids have.  No, he wants a quilt.  And his little brother wants a quilt too.  And not to be left out, my son wants a NY Giants quilt.  Well, sure - I have nothing else to do between now and Christmas!  First I have to order the NFL fabric because nowhere in our little town carries it.  Wait several days for that to arrive and then head to Hobby Lobby to buy matching solids to go along.   I have two of the three tops pieced, so it is time to think about backing.  My Hobby Lobby doesn't have any gray Kona so I find some at a great price online at JoAnn's - and now I am waiting for my FedEx man to bring it to me.

In the mean time, I decided to get busy quilting my mom's spiderweb quilt that has been sitting here since the beginning of October.  Now I can return it to her when we head to their house in a couple of weeks.   I quilted it with all over free-hand baptist fans. I think it is neat how she did her "stars" in alternating colors.
After I finished Mom's quilt, I went ahead and pinned my spiderweb quilt onto the machine - while I was on a roll.  Mine I am quilting with a random spiral.   It is taking longer than I expected but I should be done by the time the backing fabric arrives.  

What are you working on?  Christmas presents?  We are supposed to get more seasonal weather this coming week.  The past 9 days have been 70 degrees or warmer.  Crazy!  

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

I can't count!

Or maybe it is Blogger that can't count.  When I posted my last post, it showed that it was post # 399.  This past Sunday I got online, all ready to do a big #400 post giveaway, only to discover that Blogger was counting several draft posts in it's count.  So after deleting these, I am down to only 394 posts.   Imagine a sad face!  Anyway - I am hoping to be a good blogger and get myself back up to post # 400 in time for the new year.

What have I been working on lately?

This quilt is made from the left over Denyse Schmidt fabric from my Swoon quilt.  And there were still leftovers after this one - enough to cut a fat-eighth bundle for a friend's birthday and make a baby quilt and have a pile of squares left sitting here!  Maybe it is miraculous fabric - it replenishes itself when I am not looking.  This problem is not helped by the fact that Denyse keeps coming out with more adorable fabrics for JoAnn's.  Yes, I bought a few more half yard cuts a few weeks ago.  

Anyway - this quilt was made for my sister for her birthday.  She is always trying to steal my Denyse Schmidt quilt off my couch.  I have to frisk her before she leaves my house - because she would take it with her if I wasn't paying close attention.  To try and remedy this problem, I made her own DS quilt.   Happy birthday, Naomi!

These table runners are made from more leftovers!  The border fabrics and the red fabrics are all from the Christmas table runners that I made for my mom, sister, and myself last year for Christmas.  These two were made for my two sweet neighbors (and sewing buddies!).  I gave them to them last week so they could enjoy them during the entire Christmas season.    April has already sent me a text picture of her dining room table, adorned with the green table runner.  

After two months of too much substitute teaching, I am enjoying some nice quiet time at home... in my sewing room...doing whatever I want!  I will share more in the next few weeks!

Is Blogger misbehaving for anyone else?  I just did spell check before publishing this post and it highlighted about a dozen words - but only partial words.  For instance, it high-lighted MYSEL but not the f.  What's up with that?  Wierd!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Winner, winner, turkey dinner!

I had my lovely assistant, otherwise known as Madeleine, draw a name out of a bowl. And the name chose was Elizabeth - also known as Gramsy. I was a little worried that someone would think this is rigged - but since I am related to two of the five commenters and another one is my sweet neighbor and another is a friend - I guess there was no getting around knowing the winner. So congratulations to Gramsy ! I will try to stick the box in the mail on Monday.

I also noticed that my 400th post will be my next post! I think that calls a really good giveaway !

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving day giveaway ??

I hope all my American friends are enjoying a Thanksgiving day filled with family and friends and of course, lots of yummy food. We had a small mishap already this morning - the turkey that has been sitting in the frig since Monday afternoon is still mostly frozen . So the turkey is now taking a nice bath in some cool water to help the thawing along. In the meantime, I have kept busy piecing the backs for a couple of surprise Christmas gifts. I have a good sized pile of left overs from these table runners - which were pieced from the leftovers of the table runners I made for my mom and sister last Christmas ! If you are interested in these scraps , leave me a comment telling me what you are most thankful for today! I'll pick a random number on Saturday to decide the winner.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Scraps, anyone?

I have a small USPS flat rate box filled with scraps from Denyse Schmidt's fabrics from JoAnn's.  Most pieces are bigger than 2 inches - but this is what remains from 2 quilts and cutting 3.5" squares for a third quilt.  These pieces would be great for crumb blocks ala Bonnie Hunter!

First one to speak up gets them!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

September's first finish!

It's done!  It's done!  It's done!!!!

I have been wanting to have my Swoon quilt on my bed all summer - but it is just now finished.  I was able to assemble the first row of blocks back on my sewing day for my birthday in June and then it just sat there, haunting me.  A few weeks ago I finally assembled the rest of the top and then had to decide what to do about the quilting.  Originally a friend was going to quilt it with a baptist fan pattern on her huge Gammill with a Statler stitcher.  Then she had the nerve to move to Utah in July.  I could have mailed it to her - but it is a huge quilt and since the background on the top and the entire backing are made of Kona cotton, I decided it would be too wrinkled by the time it got there.  So then how do I quilt it here, on my long-arm?  I really  wanted Baptist fans.  Was I brave enough to try them free-hand?   Nina does beautiful free-hand baptist fans.  She gave me several pep talks via email and I practiced on a small 1 yard square practice piece - and then just went for it.  This quilt is HUGE - almost 100" x 100"!   I love how it turned out.  It is in the washer now and will be on my bed tonight!

All photos should be clickable.   Now to quilt my yellow spiderweb quilt!  

Sunday, September 02, 2012

August was very productive!

I wasn't very hopeful about getting much done in August because of several planned trips and then the start of school - but I was wrong!  I began the month with an internal debate about whether I was even going to finish my August UFO.  It was a small applique tree project - very little time invested in it so far and very little fabric - mostly scraps.  Eventually I dragged it out and was surprised to finish top stitching all the leaves in only about half an hour.  Then I pinned it onto the long arm and did a tiny little meander in all the open space.  I also echo stitched around the leaves and the trunk to help hold the batting in place - and it made the back of the project much more exciting.  I ended up loving this little project - but I sent it off to live at my sister's house.  She couldn't believe I was willing to share it!


Since the first project was such a quick finish, I moved onto another UFO - my Christmas table runner.  I had started three of these table runners last year before Christmas - one for my mom, sister, and myself.  It came down to the end and I had to give up on mine and just get theirs done.  Again I was surprised at how little there was left to do.  The biggest problem came in putting on the outside borders.  The outside borders measure almost 60 inches and I didn;t have enough yardage to do it legnth-wise - so I had to piece them.  And I couldn't seem to measure correctly and kept coming up with a border that was too short!   Eventually I got it done!

I made a lot of progress on other projects as well.  I got my Swoon quilt top put together and quilted with free-hand baptist fans (thanks to Nina!!)  She cheered me on and told me I could do it!  I think she was just nervous that I would stick this huge quilt in a huge box and mail it her to quilt for me!  I love how the baptist fans turned out.  Now it is sitting on my sewing table, waiting for me to tackle the binding.

I also got my yellow spiderweb top put together.  My mom and I  have managed to get some quality sewing time this summer.  We set up our sewing machines on the dining room table and got busy!  I can't wait to get this top quilted and washed up and on the couch!

My September UFO is to use my Denyse Schmidt fabric.  Technically speaking - the Swoon quilt will count for this - but I also have another secret project in the works.   More on this after the recipient gets her present.   

Are you getting your UFO's completed?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July's finishes

July has sped by at lightening speed.  We have one more month of summer break left and we intend to make the most of it!  We have a couple of trips left and then 10 days at home to recover and get ready for the school year.  I have managed to get some sewing done in the few quiet moments.

This month's UFO was the 2011 birthday group blocks.  I love these blocks!  Done all in greens - and flying geese!   These blocks once again showed me that everyone's quarter inch seam is different and that not everyone presses their blocks to death like I do.  After some major/minor wrestling, I managed to get this top together.  It is not quite twin sized - more like a good sized lap quilt.  It will get plenty of use this winter.

My second finish of the month was the block of the month from a local sewing store.  It has been quilted for over a month - but once again I procrastinated on the binding.  This month's quilt guild meeting prompted me to get moving and get it bound. 

This block is one of my favorites - I love the mannequin fabric!  The block was the 12th block in a year long series and I was impatient to be finished.  Working from known sizes in previous blocks and from a picture of the finished quilt, I figured out how to piece the block.  Not exactly how the pattern ended up telling me to do it - but I don't follow directions very well anyway!

This block is another favorite - because of the button fabric in the middle of the stars.

I took the time (and a lot of extra effort) to do three different designs in the three borders.  The outer border was was done in spirals; the next two borders were done in the in the same design, just adjusted to the width of the border.   The main body of the quilt was so busy anyway I just did a meandering loopy pattern.  

This is just some street urchin I pulled in off the streets to help me with the picture.  I am sure he was asking me to hurry up.   My black and white stash of fabrics is totally depleted!

This is a baby quilt for one of my cousin's first baby.  My mom pieced the top.  We are trying to make one quilt per cousin - but Mom has already broken that rule a couple of times. 

This second baby quilt is for new niece/nephew due to arrive in November.   I am so happy for my BIL and SIL.  I'm hoping this is generic enough for a boy or a girl.  What do you think? 

Friday, July 06, 2012

A Crafty Kind of Day

One nice thing about the nasty heat of summer is that it gives me an excuse to stay inside and sew.  Before moving on to July's UFO, I wanted to get the spiderweb blocks put together into one bigger piece - which would be harder for me to misplace!  This is the 10 blocks I made in June - and I need another 15 to finish the quilt top.

Yesterday we also managed to make several crafty projects that have been sitting here since Christmas. Sad, I know!  I made my sister a reusable calendar like this for Christmas.  I used a 16x20" frame and paint sample cards.  You put the paint sample cards under the plexi-glass and then you can write on the plexi with dry erase markers!  When I bought the frame for my sister's, I also bought two extra frames - one for me and one for Ian.   Mine is the yellow and green one.  Ian chose blues for his.  In case you can't read his handwriting - the middle week of July says "Maddie goes to camp - YES!!"   Ahh, the love of a little brother!

Maddie also decided she needed a reusable calendar.  Her frame is smaller - maybe 11x14".  She also chose to use the paint strips with multiple shades of the same color.  Thankfully she is crafty enough that she handled making her own.  I think she is a little excited about going to camp too!

This last project is the one I am most excited about!  I made my own portable ironing table.  Oh, Frannson inspired me with her great tutorial.  I was surprised to find that Target sells individual TV trays.  My owl home dec fabric is from Hobby Lobby.  The husband helped me with the staple gun part.  I started off using a hand held staple gun - but the staples were not going into the tv tray deep enough - so he hooked up the compressor-driven staple gun and helped me out!  I love how it turned out.  Now to find a little iron to use with it.  I'm not sure what to say about Ian's pose!  

What are you doing to escape the heat?  
all pictures should be clickable for a bigger view!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June's UFO

Today is the 4th of July 5K and town festival in the little town that my parents and sister's family live in.  My son, husband, sister and niece all ran the 5K this morning in the crazy, record breaking heat that the middle section of the country is experiencing.  Everyone survived and we have made it back to Grams' house and the air conditioning!

June's UFO was my spiderweb blocks from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville page.  I had no delusions of having a finished quilt by the end of the month - but I think I made good progress.  I was able to piece 10 star blocks - so that will make two completed rows!
My 11 year old son has already laid claim to this quilt as his future couch quilt!

I also made my self put the binding on my 2011 guild mystery quilt in time to take it to the monthly guild meeting.  I love the colors in this quilt. 

I spent four days quilting my black and white block of the month quilt.  It took longer than expected because of I wasn't thinking clearly - I pieced the back out of 14" squares to save myself from buying 6 more yards of fabric.  All those seams combined with TONS of seams on the front make for lots of thread breakage.    I also decided to free-hand a different design in each of the three outer borders.   I was very glad to get that one done - now it is sitting there waiting for the binding.  I can hear Nina snickering all the way down here in Alabama!

 Wednesday morning as me and the kids were getting ready to leave the house to run errands, have lunch, and go see Madagascar 3, the phone rang.  It was a lady whose quilts I have quilted before.  She had two quilts ready for me to quilt for her granddaughters.   She lives on the far opposite corner of town from me so she gladly met us at Target.  When I asked when she needed them done, she said she would like to have them by the 5th.  We were leaving town on the 29th and not coming back until the 4th - so I told her I would do my best, but I wasn't making any promises.  Late Wednesday afternoon, I started pinning the first quilt on - with the help of Ian.  Ian only hung in there for about 10 minutes - mainly because the lady had sent sheets for the backings - and the thick seams were a booger to pin through.  I made myself get up Thursday morning and get them both finished up.  Ian stayed with me most of the day, just talking about whatever popped into his head.  We discussed the difference between banks and credit unions, the fires in Colorado, going to Papa's house, and accelerated 6th grade math.  He did help me pin on the second quilt and was amazed at how much quicker it is to unpin a quilt than to pin it on in the first place!   The lady was thrilled to get them back so quickly - and I was glad to have some spending money in my pocket!

July's UFO is my birthday blocks from our guild birthday group last year.  The blocks are all made and I have the backing fabric - so I just need to get the top put together and get it quilted.  I should be able to completely finish it this month!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

Yes, today is my birthday and I have made an executive decision that nothing I eat today has any calories.  So far I have enjoyed chocolate chip cookies for breakfast and steak and fried rice from the Japanese steak house.   Hmmm.... wondering what yumminess I can have for dinner!

I have finished up a couple of baby quilts this past week.   This first one was a comissioned quilt.  I had to cut back the number of quilts I was making for the new babies at church to one per family - otherwise I would have no time for my own quilting!  But this mama REALLY wanted a quilt - so the daddy hired me to make the quilt.  He bought the supplies and my part of the gift was making it.  She loved it!  Baby James should arrive tomorrow  - unless he decides to listen to my advice and come today! 

This next baby quilt is for another family at church.  This is for baby number 3 but they started worshiping with us after they had the first two.  I just love this color blue!  Quick and easy!

My June UFO for Judy's 2012 UFO Challenge is to work on my spiderweb quilt.  Last night I decided to get busy!  I was able to cut out enough yellow points for 16 blocks.  And then I realized I did not have a glue stick!  Lucky for me, I have a neighbor who is able to fulfill all my strange requests!  Can of black beans?  Sure!  Saltine crackers?  Check!  Swiffer duster?  Sure - a whole box in her car - to dust her car dash board.  Children's Tylenol?  Of course.  Glue stick?  Yes!  Can you tell that she is much more organized than I am?  I am still trying to figure out why she keeps me around!  Anyway - I was able to get some star points glued on and start sewing.  I started with 12 inch squares and cut them in half.  Bonnie's directions use a 8.5 inch square.  When Ian saw me working on this this afternoon, he asked who it was for.  I said "me!"  He asked that I not make it too big or too girly so we can use it on the couch.   He really liked that scraps from his quilts are in this block - can you see the soccer fabric and the Gator fabric?  And notice the rooster in the bottom left corner?  That is in honor of my mom!

I am setting a goal of making one star block a day - this should take maybe an hour.  Friday me and two quilting friends are celebrating my birthday with a pedicure, lunch, and an afternoon of sewing.  Maybe I can lure them into helping me!

Friday, June 01, 2012

The 11th Hour

At about 4 p.m. yesterday (May 31st) I decided I really wanted to finish my assigned UFO for May.   It should have been a simple thing to have done earlier - all this UFO needed was to be quilted.  So yesterday afternoon I dug out the top and the backing and got to work.  When it came time to pin it on to the quilting machine, my daughter was amazingly helpful and was willing for me to show her how to help me pin it on.  It goes so much quicker when two people are pinning.   

I got another boost in finishing it because hubby was late in coming home - extra time to work on it!  I finished the last three passes before going to bed last night.  All that is left to do is the binding - my (least) favorite part.  I'll post a full picture when the binding is done.

June's UFO is working on the string blocks for another spiderweb quilt.  There is no way this one will get finished this month but hopefully some progress can be made!

Thanks again, Judy, for inspiring us to finish up these old UFO's.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

April UFO - mostly done!

How did it get to be May 5th already?  The school year is drawing to a close and life around here is busy.  Maddie was in her school's production of Annie.  Thankfully the play is over and her life is back to normal.  Ian and Stacy have a couple of weeks of soccer left and then we can relax for the summer!  

This BOM was April's UFO.  All that was left to do was add the outer three borders and quilt it.  Getting the borders on was easy enough but then I decided to piece the back.  I wasn't in the mood to go out and buy 6 yards of fabric for the BACK so I dug thru  my black/white stash box and came up with enough fabrics to piece the back.  I am using 14 inch squares - a weird size, I know - but it was the size required to use several of the pieces.  So finishing this quilt did not happen this month but maybe I can get it done in May.

Now then - what is May's project?  My guild's mystery quilt.  This one is ready to be quilted.  Maybe I can get it on the machine today.

What are you working on?

Monday, April 02, 2012

March UFO - Pillowcases

This month's UFO was a pile of fabric waiting to be made into pillowcases for my kids. As I was digging out the fabric, I found some fabric I had purchased to make my nephew a pillowcase over a year ago - Oops! I had made his little brother one for Christmas and my SIL said Denver would love one too. So Denver was the first on my list of to-do's. Thankfully my sweet neighbor lets me use her embroidery machine!

Ian was the big winner this month - scoring a total of three pillowcases. Unfortunately that means he probably stole some pillows off my bed to fill those pillowcases. You can easily figure out the two big loves in Ian's life - soccer and University of Florida football.

Last year on my birthday shop hop, I came across this fabric which is a street map of Paris - and it includes Le Madeleine - the church in Paris that inspired us to use the name Madeleine. We were in Europe for three weeks right before I got pregnant with Maddie and my husband noticed the French spelling of Madeleine and fell in love with it. I was just thankful he had moved on from "Mathilda".

April's UFO is the block of the month - again. This was also January's UFO. Last month was the last block so now there is nothing left to do but put on the final three borders. I got to go to JoAnn's last week in Nashville and found three fabrics to use for the borders. Then on to quilting and binding!