Sunday, November 30, 2014

November in the rear view mirror

I really got a lot of things done in November, but quite a few of the things I finished were not even on my goal list.  That's OK - it's just a bonus!

  • 3 light blue pig tail blocks for RSC14 - DONE
  • month 3 tasks for Saturday Sampler - DONE
  • bind a UFO quilt (Wishin' For Spring) - DONE
  • Round 1 border for our guild Round Robin quilt - DONE
  • 2 self-binding baby blankets for gifts
  • 5 traveling stars blocks
  • 3 Heartstrings blocks - DONE
  • hand quilt another 1/4 of the cats quilt
However, my biggest accomplishments this month were spur-of-the-moment tasks and things I was asked to make as gifts.  And these have given me the most satisfaction.
  • Worked on my section of a group project
  • Apron with a coffee theme (gift for daughter's friend)
  • 12 traveling pillows with pockets for books (6 were for co-workers by request/ 4 as gifts for my own grandchildren/2 left to gift elsewhere)
  • 2 UFO finishes of 10 year old Thimbleberries projects YIPPEE!!!
  • Strip n Twist project finished from a guild class in April 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Basket wallhanging is done

One more UFO to check off the list.  This Thimbleberry design was made in August 2004, and then the flimsy just hung in my sewing room closet - until this month. It's now quilted beautifully, thanks to the ladies at The Pin Cushion, and it's bound.  This will hang in a guest bedroom so that it's the first thing you see when you walk in the door.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Busy hands

I was organizing a closet shelf earlier this fall and found my box of counted cross stitch supplies.  And I found myself doing the little star with year in it - because that pattern was in the box.  Fast forward to last night - and I added the folded fabric and it's about 6" across.  So now I have the beginning of . . . something.  Maybe it will become a Christmas tree ornament.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Not as old as I thought . . .

The 2 Thimbleberries UFOs that I'm finally finishing aren't as old as I originally thought they were.  In the baggy with the binding for the 2nd one was this little slip of paper: August 2004.  So they've only been marinating for 10 years, not the 15 I was guessing. Makes me feel slightly better.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Checking off another finish

It's done - YAY!!! This ancient Thimbleberry project is this week's UFO finish.  In the baggie with the binding were 4 piping strips all ready to add to that binding.

I really love this one and even though it technically isn't a Christmas project, I think it will look great on my dining room table during the holidays.

I'm linking up to Crazy Mom's Finish It Up Friday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quilting with my credit card

This is a little glimpse of a really, really, really old UFO that is now ready to bind.

I always got a kick out of Eleanor Burns comments about "quilting with her credit card", and I've taken that to heart this month. Earlier in the month I took a large quilt and a small quilt to The Pin Cushion to be quilted.  Happily, those 2 quilts are now completely finished. Yay!

And last week I took in 3 small projects that are wall hanging or table sized.  And yesterday I got a call that they were ready to pick up. And all 3 are just beautifully quilted. Thank you to the talented ladies at The Pin Cushion!  Hopefully I can attach the binding for this one tonight after work. And that binding was also made years ago, rolled up in a zip lock bag, hanging with this project in my closet.

Two of these smaller projects (including this one) are things I made many years ago in a Thimbleberries Club.  I sewed several really pretty projects that just never got quilted - until now.

My estimate is that this one is maybe 15 years old. Shameful isn't it?  What really amazes me is that I finished the tops and made the bindings - but still never got around to getting them quilted.  That must be the nature of UFOs: so close to the finish line but never quite reaching it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Another UFO finish - Wheels

This child's quilt is called the Quick Strippee and the pattern is free on Mary's blog.   Mary has several free patterns, but this one is really fast and easy.  She also leads the Heartstrings project, which is where I've sent my string quilt tops for donations.  This one - called Wheels because of the fabric I used - is a UFO that I finished this week. The ladies at The Pin Cushion quilted it with a fun star and stipple design.  It has a red minkee backing that really shows off the quilting.

You can find the links to both Heartstrings and to Mary's quilt patterns on the right side menus on her blog.  Check it out - lots of great ideas!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Secret projects

I spent the morning working on a project that I can't show, except for just this little peek.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Clue 3 for Saturday Sampler

Our mystery quilt project for Saturday Sampler is a bit different than usual. Instead of making individual blocks, we're actually building the quilt as we go. Here is Clue #3 steps all completed.  I have 4 of these units made.  And we have so far only used 4 of the 6 fabrics we chose.

I'm starting to imagine different ways that these unit could go together, but of course it is only guessing for now.  Clue #4 will be revealed in December.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Finally - a big UFO finished

My focus the past month or so has really been on lots of small things getting finished, but it sure feels good to finish something big too.  Here is Wishin' For Spring - all done.

This was a 2013 Saturday Sampler quilt so it isn't an ancient UFO, but it was so close to done.  All it needed was binding and I got that done this week.  The quilting was done by the ladies at The Pin Cushion and is so pretty with the bright variegated thread with a flowery shape.  I love it.    

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Aprons make great gifts

This coffee themed apron is a gift I'm making for a friend of my daughter.  This girlfriend was so good to my daughter when she was on bed rest with the twins and then after they were born too.  So this little gift is a thank you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A wine caddy

The photo isn't the best (it's a very grey day outside), but I'm excited about the quilted wine caddy/bag we made at Sew Vintage Club last Saturday.  I found some ribbon and a snowflake button to add just a little extra touch.  It's all ready to add a bottle of wine and be a gift for someone at Christmas.

The pattern is in the latest copy of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.(Dec. 20140.  I may have to make another one of these because it was so quick and easy.  No hand stitching at all - except for the button.

American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Special tools

What kind of tools do you use to turn narrow tubes, such as straps?  My "go to" tool is the hemostat. It lets me reach way down into the tube and grab a section, then pull.  It works really well. But I'm wondering . . . what else is out there that works just as well?

Sometimes I also use the hemostat to pull things like elastic through a casing.  If the casing is long however, I use the safety pin method: attach a large safety pin to the end of the elastic and pull/push it through by feeling for the pin through the casing fabric.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A little weekend sewing

I managed a little sewing this weekend, including 3 HeartStrings blocks.  I thought I only needed 5 more to finish the set, but found that I really need 7 more.

And I'm thinking ahead to the next set of HeartStrings blocks . . . pink centers with black and white strings. I have a ton of black and white fabrics in my stash, and quite a few pinks too.

Friday, November 7, 2014

RSC14 - month 11

This month's RSC14 color is light blue and my blocks are finished. The photo is horrible as they look wrinkled and dull, but that is only because I need a better place to take photos other than my family room floor.

Now, I need to decide on the color for December, because that has been left up to us to decide.  I have some lavender fabrics pulled and some light brown ones, but can't decide if I want another lighter color or something bolder, like coral. We have a good balance of light and dark so far (red/pink, light and dark green, light and dark blue). Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

English paper pieced ornament

I found a photo online of this cute little Christmas ornament and decided I just had to make one. It's made of hexies, both front and back. I left the card stock shapes inside one ring, and then took them out of the other ring of hexies. All hand stitched and all ready to hang on my tree next month.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New goals for November

November should be a good month for sewing since our warm fall weather is bound to end and that means more indoor time.  Plus my husband will be doing a lot more travel for work, so I'll have some quiet evenings at home.  I'm going to focus on small projects again for now.  Here are my goals for the month of November:

  • 3 light blue pig tail blocks for RSC14
  • month 3 tasks for Saturday Sampler
  • bind a UFO quilt (Wishin' For Spring)
  • Round 1 border for our guild Round Robin quilt
  • 2 self-binding baby blankets for gifts
  • 5 traveling stars blocks
  • 3 Heartstrings blocks
  • hand quilt another 1/4 of the cats quilt

Monday, November 3, 2014

Looking back at October

October was a great month for sewing even though most everything I did was small.

  • 3 brown RSC14 blocks - DONE
  • 5 Heartstrings blocks - no 
  • complete Sept. Saturday Sampler tasks - DONE
  • month #2 blocks for House Warming Party BOM - DONE
  • mitten theme table topper (UFO) - DONE & given away
  • Halloween table topper (UFO) - DONE
  • complete another 1/4 of the hand quilting on Cats - yes!
  • bind another UFO - no
  • traveling pillows with pockets for the grand-kids (and other kids) for Christmas gifts - 9 are DONE

One of the highlights of October has been receiving the Halloween swap blocks from the swap host Denise.  I sent in 9 blocks (3 sets of 3) and received 9 back.  So, including my own blocks, I now have 12 blocks to make a fun Halloween quilt for next year.  

I also mailed 7 pillowcases to a great donation project in North Carolina.  I still have more to donate somewhere, and lots of stash to keep making them.