Tuesday, December 19, 2017

So Cute!!

I finished piecing this top together this morning.  It is so darned cute!!  The next step is to embroider the white stripes between the rows.  The pattern says to add the batting, but not the backing and embroider through that.  This will be a new experience for me.

I love the little touches of pink and limey green that add some zip to the color scheme.  This is a pattern from Jen Daly Quilts.  

I think my shopping and wrapping and mailing packages are at an end for this year.  Christmas cards and letters are next.  My list seems to get shorter each year as more people lose interest in sending cards and distance and time seem to drift us apart.

Our daughter is in Saudi Arabia this year and we will spend a day with our son and daughter-in-law to exchange gifts after Christmas.  We also plan to visit friends in my hometown in Indiana after Christmas.  Looking forward to some new traditions and time with loved ones.

Merry Christmas to all.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas Sewing

Somewhere along the line, I found a nice blog called JenDalyQuilts.  Jen has some very sweet designs and has offered a mystery quilt-along the last 3 Christmases.  Her latest one just started this past week.  The good news is they are relatively simple, small and easy to fit into a busy holiday schedule.  I am making last year's mystery quilt right now, although it is not such a mystery to me as I have seen the finished quilt and I Love It.  Here are some of the pieces I have finished.
 A Little Forest

 Some fun ornaments
 Some pretty packages to put under the tree
And lovely pinwheels!

I have one more bunch of blocks to make this weekend and then it is time to assemble.  Much of this is done with paper piecing and goes very quickly.  Jen has  provided all the cutting instructions and made the pieces that are paper pieced slightly oversized so there are no mistakes and the whole thing goes together easily.  I am loving it.  It is fun to work with Christmas fabrics once a year.  

Lots more to do to get ready for the holiday, but we are enjoying the season so much.  Our first snowfall of the winter happened last night.  So we may just have a white Christmas.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Quilt Retreat and other stuff

Our local shops recently had a shop hop.  I only hopped to one shop to buy fabric for an upcoming quilt retreat.  The shop gave out a free pattern for an apple potholder.  I couldn't wait to make one and   even woke up in the middle of the night thinking blue and yellow.  So the next morning I got busy and made this fun little apple.  Cute Christmas presents, I think.

It is paper pieced and oh, so easy.

This past weekend I spent 2 ½ days with 63 of our guild members at a resort about 15 - 20 miles from my house.  We sew our own projects and also have a donation project we work on.  This time we made pillowcases for the pediatrics ward at one of the local hospitals.  We managed to complete 197 plus many more that were donated by members who were not at the guild.  I used some Cat in the Hat fabric and some Mario Brothers.  This is the only scrap I had left and I forgot to take a picture of the finished cases.  Oh well.  I got 5 done and was happy to move onto my next project.

I also  made a Soldier Quilt.  We make these for a group in Plymouth, WI that distributes them to returning service members once they have completed their service to the armed forces.  I saw a photo on Pinterest of a quilt similar to this.  I constructed the center like a jelly roll race quilt.  This was my first time to try it and it was really fun.  I cut 2 ½" strips instead of using a jelly roll, because I needed only 17 stripes.  I think it turned out great and got lots of positive remarks.

Close up of this cute fabric.  I thought when I pulled it out of my stash that it said things like America the Beautiful, etc.  I was a little surprised when I actually saw the words.  I hope it is well received.

The organizers of the retreat always like to make up some little fun gifts for everyone who attends.  This time it was a coin purse and a holder for a rotary cutter.  Both cute and needed.  

There are also door prizes on Saturday night that are donated from the local quilt shops.  I received this charm pack of Kansas Troubles fabric -- always a favorite.  The shop owner was sitting at my table for dinner when the gifts were handed out.  It was so nice to be able to give her a big thank you immediately as she has always done so much for our guild.

I am getting ready now for a great opportunity in January.  We leave for Florida after Christmas and this year I am taking my sewing machine for the first time.  Why?  Because Bonnie Hunter is coming to a quilt guild near me and I am all signed up for her class.  I am so excited and have already been organizing in my head all the things I need to take with me.  We will be making the Talkin' Turkey quilt which I think I will do in RW&B to donate.  Right now I am making a million 1 ½" blocks and strips to finish a Bonnie quilt I started last year.  I want to take at least the finished top with me for show & tell.

Lots going on in my corner of the world right now.  How about you?

Monday, October 2, 2017

More Banner Work

I spent quite a bit of time working on church banners in the last week or so.  We changed over to fall decor at church last Wednesday night.  That gave me a week to get busy and get the banners completed.  One of our ladies made the banners last year.  They have a fall leaf design on one side..
and solid fabric on the reverse. 

She asked me to do something to the plain side.  So I made ginormous leaves - one for each banner.I started by printing off simple leaf shapes from the Internet.  I like using coloring book designs for easy applique and they are free.  Then I copied the shapes onto transparencies, enlarged them with an overhead projector at church and traced them onto large pieces of paper.  These were my patterns. 

I decided to make the leaves as stiff as I could so they would hang well.  So I traced the patterns onto Tear Away stabilizer which was the stiffest interfacing I could find.  From there I stitched veins onto the fabric

 and glued the edges of the fabric over the stabilizer so I could applique them to the banners.  The process was pretty simple, but I did all the applique by hand, so that I could sew only onto one side of the banner and not have the stitches show on the backside.  That was the time consuming part.  I managed to come up with 5 different designs and fabrics and got them done in the week's time.

They are now hanging in the church and look pretty good.

I made one sunflower to have something a little different.  

I crosshatched a portion of the center and then dabbed on gold paint so it didn't look like a giant brown spot staring at you.

I also finished my mystery quilt from Kathleen Tracy's blog.  It finished at 30 x 30, so I am thinking I will hang it on the guest room wall.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Quilt Expo time again

I spent yesterday in Madison at Quilt Expo.  This is the show that is put on by Nancy Zieman and the Sewing  with Nancy show as a fundraiser for Wisconsin Public Television.  At the entry there was a table full of post-its available to write a note to Nancy.  What a nice idea!  She has been the driver behind this show since its inception and she is usually buzzing around and often stops to talk with people and sign autographs or take photos.  She was missed yesterday.

The quilts as usual were very beautiful and varied from some simple to the very complex.   The best of show was won by Claudia Clark Meyers and Marilyn Badger.  They are such a phenomenal duo.  Two quilters from the guild in Green Bay had quilts in the show.  One even won a red ribbon and cash prize.

I took a few photos to share.  I also found a few things that made their way home with me.  I had 3 friends with me and my ears were ringing when I got home from all the constant chatter.  What a fun day!

I saw at least 4 Dear Jane quilts.  This was the most unique having the blocks on point and all in B&W with red accents.

The name of this one is One Cake, Two Cake, Red Cake, Blue Cake.  The edges are colorful loops.

 Laurie Ceesay is a hairdresser and all of her quilts are about the hair.

This quilt is a game that quizzes you on the states.  It includes the capitals, flags, birds, mottos, flowers, and other factoids.  It is quilted as a maze with the start point at the tip of Washington.  The border has all the state flowers, flags and birds.  All the answers to the quiz are printed upside down below the map.  So fun and such a great teaching tool.  

 Wisconsin features Cheese, the Badgers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Harry Houdini and water slides.   Wisconsin Dells claims to be the water park capital of the world.
 Indiana shows the Indy 500, Larry Bird, and Dr. Seuss.  
I could have looked at this quilt all day.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Designing Monday

I have not posted in over a month.  No posting means no work done by me.  I wish I had a good excuse, but I keep telling myself I need to get back to sewing.  I finished this little piece yesterday.  I took a class from Linda Poole to learn how to use Inktense pencils and we made this bird picture.  Sort of like coloring in a coloring book.  The class was in Feb of 2016.  That was a long time ago.  I finished the coloring after the class in March of 2016.  I got it layered and quilted in April or May of 2016 and then it sat while I looked for a binding material.  I finally found this batik last week and now it is done.  Yea!

I completed piecing and assembling the mystery quilt from Kathleen Tracy's Small Quilts group.  It was fun, but ended up being 30+" square.  That's bigger than most of my small quilts and I will have to find a place to display it.  I marked it to quilt with a Frixion pen and hope it will come out when I am done.

Hope you are more motivated than I am.  I want to finish more projects and move on.

A friend brought me a bag of beets.  Four beets to be exact.

 Each was bigger than a softball.  I had to parboil them for an hour in two batches as my biggest pot would only hold two at a time.  Then into the freezer they went.  It took me about 3 hours to accomplish all this.  Good thing I love beets.

I am linking to Small Quilts and Doll Quilts today.