Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Almost Done

I can hardly believe the year is almost over.  For some reason I don't feel like I have accomplished much.  Some of my days really stand out, but most just blur together.  I guess that is true for most of our life.  This sounds like a resolution coming on, but I'm not going to kid you or me.  I'll just keep plugging along and focus on the good stuff that is happening around me.

I just finished the 11th block of the Threads of Memory from Barbara Brackman's Civil War blog.


 I have enjoyed this so much.  She provides some really detailed stories about the lives of people who lived through the horror of slavery and  many resources to learn more.  She and her mignons have also provided a great BOM that is not very stressful and results in some beautiful blocks.

Only one more to go!

Next month  she is providing setting options.  I think I have one picked out already, but I could be swayed.  I still have the December block to piece.  The pattern was posted this past Saturday so I may be able to finish it still this year.  I took the day off today from everything else except laundry so I can sew without interruption.

We so enjoyed having our family here for Christmas.  This is the first time we have all been together for quite a few years and it was such a fun time.  Our son's girlfriend even joined us.  It was the first time our son had been home in a year and a half.  Our daughter came home from Japan - another stopover between foreign teaching jobs.  We were truly blessed.

Such a cute couple!

Wishing you a truly Happy and Pieceful New Year.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Designing Monday

Who has time to sew when it's Christmas time?  I quilted and bound the Cascadia quilt from Lori's Humble Quilts mystery.  That was all I could manage.  Too many cookies to make and lots of decorating going on.

I love the blog, Between Naps on the Porch.  The author has wonderful decorating ideas and shares tutorials and tons of photos.  If you love looking at magazines or creating a pretty table for the holidays, you should definitely take a few minutes to look around her blog.  So now I am making a fancy garland loaded with ornaments based on her tutorial here.

The Dollar Tree is my new best friend.  I have had this bare garland for years and lots of strings of lights with no use in the basement, so I brought them out and did a quick scouting trip to Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby and came home ready to work.

 I worked on it Saturday night and got half way through before running out of some of the ornaments, so I made another trip to $$ Tree yesterday to load up again.  So far I spent about $15.00 on ornaments.  My goal is no more then $20.  Hobby Lobby had a similar finished garland that was not half so nice for $140 (currently half off at $70).  This is my project for tonite.

 Hop over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Designing Monday

Just a little sewing this week.  I finished the Cascadia Sew Along mystery quilt top from Humble Quilts.  I really like the small blocks on point.  I read in another blog that it was referred to as Seminole patchwork.  I haven't done that before, although it wasn't any different than sewing large blocks on point.  Just lots of them.  Hope to get it quilted this week.

I also finished sewing together my block of the month for Threads of Memory.  Here are all 10 of my finished blocks so far.  It just dawned on me that a new block was posted this weekend and I haven't even looked it up.   I better get at it quick before the December rush hits me.

I found a few photos of our church sanctuary that I took this week.  We took down the fall decor and put up the Advent trimmings on Wednesday.  I didn't think to take any photos of the new look, but will get that done this week.  Thought you might enjoy seeing how it looked.

The altar was topped with burlap and silk leaves.  
The urns are stuffed with corn stalks and pumpkins and leaf garlands.

We flipped over a beige banner and pinned a burlap ribbon and a silk leaf on it.

This is a large wooden chair that nobody sits in because they are so uncomfortable.  (We have two.)
There is a command strip hook on the back of the chair hung upside down.  The wreath has a burlap ribbon with a wire on the end that loops over the hook on the back.  Our church is very historic and we are very sensitive to using nails and tacks on anything.  Those command strips are a life saver.

Hop on over to Judy's blog  to see more beautiful designs.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Designing Monday

I pieced a top for the local homeless shelter this week.  We were given a packet of 6" squares at the last guild meeting and asked to piece a top that is 11 x 15 squares.  As I started sewing, I found that some of the squares weren't cut quite right.  Some an inch or two too long, which is okay.  But some were cut skewed or 1/4' too short.  I also really don't like the idea of trying to match all those corners. This is a utility quilt that will be washed over and over, so it doesn't have to be perfect piecing, but I still want to do the best I can.  So I decided to offset the blocks like tiles.  This meant adding a few pieces from my stash which I am always happy to downsize.

Here is the top in progress.  Wow is that fuzzy!

Looks like I got a little carried away adding blocks on that row!

I'm currently trying to piece the September block from the Threads of Memory sew along on the Civil War Quilts blog by Barbara Brackman.  I seem to be making it a lot harder than it should be.  I'm sure I will get it figured out in my lifetime, but today it seems to be eluding me.

I somehow got sucked into the vortex of Lori's Humble Quilts Sew Along this week, too.  I don't know how that happened.  One minute I was reading her blog and the next I was dashing around my sewing room finding every little scrap I could find and voila!  Here are the first two steps of the mystery:

I received my silk scarf from the teacher of my class.  Here is the finished product.  I really love it.  However, I haven't been able to find anything in my closet to match it with, so I guess that means a little shopping excursion is called for.

Hop on over to Judy's blog  to see more beautiful designs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Artsy Fun

I have been having lots of fun with friends the last two weeks.  Last week I went to an evening class to make woven snowflakes using reeds.  Kind of like weaving a basket, but way easier.  My book club went on this adventure and we had a lot of fun.

This is Barb - she moved to Florida yesterday.  I am sad.

This is Chris ( Yes we have two people named Chris/Kris)

One of our members was sick so we all worked a little harder and faster and made her snowflakes for her.  So we each finished two for ourselves and jointly finished two for her.

This is Chris and Barb ( Yes, we have two Barbs, too.)

Finished Flakes -- They hang on fishing line

Yesterday I went to a Silk Scarf Painting Class with 2 friends from my stitching group, Fiber Friends. This was my second time to try this and I had forgotten more than I remembered, so it was more like my first time.  The lady who teaches this class comes to my church and she has made almost 1500 scarves.  Each one is more beautiful than the next.  There were only 4 students, so we got lots of help and had lots of time to gab while we contemplated our next step or waited for our scarves to dry.  We received a blank white scarf and then pinned them onto a frame.  We each chose the colors of paint we liked.  In the first photo you can see swatches in the back left corner.  In the center background, you can see lots of finished scarves that Sandy, the teacher made.   

Here are my friends with their nearly finished scarves. 

Vicky made colorful flowers in purple and pink and a grey and pink background.

Barb used Christmas colors in red, green and gold in a diagonal color wash. 
Sandy, the teacher is in the background.

Here is a better view of Vicky's scarf and the frame.

 I forgot to take a photo of mine.  Sandy forgot to bring a bottle of fixative which is part of the finishing step to fix the color in the silk.  So she took all of scarves home to wash and dry and then she is mailing them to us.  What great service!  I'll post a picture of mine next week.

Monday, November 10, 2014

And Then There Were Nine

My only sewing this week is the October block of Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilt called Threads of Memory.  I have now finished 9 of the ten published blocks.  I should get caught up this week.  These are some beautiful and big (12") blocks.  They go pretty fast.

 Block 10 - Britain's Star

9 Down, 3 to Go

Hope you are having a great week!  We have had a tiny bit of snow the last two mornings.  My hubbie is convinced it is time to move south.  

Hop over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quilt Top Finish

I have the borders on the Friends and Companions Sew A Long quilt that I constructed over the summer.  Congratulations to all of you who have also worked on this quilt.  Having the blocks revealed once a week was just the right pace for me and if I got behind a week it was easy to catch up.  I did find it a challenge to get all the alternating blocks done in quick order, but still there was enough time to catch up.  My biggest challenge was to get to the quilt shop and buy fabric for the borders and triangles.  Most sane people would buy all their fabrics at once, but I tend to buy what I need for the next step and then come back and purchase the next step.  Fortunately I am flexible and my favorite quilt shop has a great inventory of Civil War fabrics so I am seldom without options.

Here is the big reveal.

 Finalizing Layout of the Blocks
 Center Sewn Together
 Borders On!!!!!
Cute Border Fabric!!

Thanks for sharing this process with me and offering your words of advice and encouragement.  It always helps me get to the finish line a little faster.

I am linking to Judy's blog today.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Designing Monday

Goodness!  October is flying by like all the other months.  It is so chilly here.  We have had frost and we still have plants out, so it is time to get busy.

Quilting has taken a back seat to trimming bushes and all that other yard stuff that has to be done this time of year.  I made a trip to the quilt store last week and found fabric for the filler blocks for the Companions and Friends Sew A Long.  So this week I made those blocks and cut the setting triangles so here you can have a look.

I ran out of room on my design wall and every time I tried to put the triangles on the right side they fell off, but hopefully you get the idea.  I put all this up last night in my dark sewing room and didn't get a good look at it until I saw this photo.  I definitely need to move that orange swastika out of the middle.  Yikes!  There are two borders to add and I only have fabric for one, so that might dictate another trip to the quilt shop.  Darn!  

Have a great week and don't forget to stop over at Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Designing Monday

It's Monday again.  Our weather has turned really cool and wet here.  The leaves are turning pretty fast and some of the early turning maples have already shed their leaves.  We trimmed bushes and trees and cleaned out part of the garden yesterday.  Still more to do.

The good news is it is perfect weather for sewing and reading.  I got caught up on my Friends and Companions Sew A Long blocks.  Have you seen the final reveal?  Such a pretty quilt.  I will really have to get busy quick to get all the filler blocks done.  Here are the 3 blocks I finished this week and my design wall with all 9 blocks.

Have a great week and hop on over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Designing Monday

I have been way too busy to sew or blog lately.  I have been on a reading jag and did some traveling and a little yard work/ gardening.  Now I am trying to get caught up on the Friends and Companions Sew A Long.  Here is the only quilt type sewing I have done lately ( lots of mending, though):

Saturday I went to the Farmer's Market and got this haul.

Healthy veggies
My favorite - okra
Yummy plums and Honey Crisp apples

Our tomatoes were really late this year and my plant is still full of green ones.

Our grapes really produced for the first time this year.  We got a handful of purple ones and big bowlfuls of green ones.

We ate some of the green ones, but tired of them quickly, so I bought a steam juicer.  What a fun toy!  The juice was flavorful, but still not what I wanted, so then I made a big batch of jelly.  It still hasn't set up yet after 3 days, so that may be all that it does.  Haven't tried it yet. But it has nearly a full bag of sugar in it, so it can't be too bad, can it?

If you haven't seen the photos of Quilt Expo, take time to scroll thru my last two or three posts.

Then hop on over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful quilts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quilt Expo 3

More quilts to share.

 Summer's Bounty by Nancy Whitton
 Flamboyant Fascination by Linda Neri
 Little Red Schoolhouse by Caryl Brix
 Battle of Greasy Grass - The faces appear to be photocopied onto fabric and then thread painted or quilted .  The map around the people is quilted onto the background.  The larger words are machine embroidered.  The smaller words which are place names on the map are written in by hand.  Lots of beading and embellishment as well.  
 Roses for Katrina by Gail H. Smith
 Closeup of quilting and border 
 Piecemakers' 2003 Times and Seasons

The next few are called Winding River by the Rambling River Project.  There were a total of 17 panels, I think, made by 17 different people.  Each depicted a portion of a river and they were hung at different heights so that the river flowed from one panel to the next.  Very clever idea.

The next ones were made by several people and called the Whimsical Cow Stampede.  The makers all used the same cow block from a book called Out of the Box with Easy Blocks.  These are just a sampling of about 30 quilts.

 And the Cow Said Boo
 Cowmen Miranda
 Happy Moo Year
 Vino Cow  - the udder has corks for teats
 Moolah -- A Cash Cow
 The Three Cowballeros
Moooy Cowliente