Monday, January 31, 2011

Another UFO pulled out

This is the next UFO that I'm tackling.  It is a french braid quilt top that I started about 4 years ago.  I have the braided strips done - and then I put them away.  I'm not even sure WHY I put them away. The hard part was done!

So this week I plan to cut and sew the divider strips that go between the braids and then add the borders.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Schnibbles progress

Yesterday I finished putting together the center of my small Schnibbles X-Rated quilt. It just needs a border and then I can quilt it.  My border plan is a narrow blue, then the orange daisy print from this fabric line - called Fresh Flowers.  The pattern called for a white background but I had this bright yellow laying on my cutting table when I got out the charm pack.  It just jumped out and screamed "use me"!

The only sewing I've done today is handquilting on the wedding signature quilt.  I have about 1/4 of the quilting done so far.  I'm sitting in my family room watching the snow begin to fall as I hand quilt and watch golf on TV.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New quilt hanger

Look at the beautiful quilt hanger that my friend Sylvia MADE for me for Christmas!  She's a quilter, a knitter, an educator - and now she's a woodworker.

We saw these at a quilt show this fall and she went home with the idea percolating.  I have no idea when she found the time, but she made some for Christmas gifts.  And I was lucky enough to get one of those gifts!

After plenty of deliberation about where to put it, I hung it up in my guest bedroom this weekend and finally decided which quilt to put into it last night.  It's now holding a lap quilt in blue/yellow/lime green/black.  Anyone walking by the room in the hallway can see it there.

Thank you Sylvia.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Looking for inspiration for sashing

Even though I have some bindings to finish, some handquilting to finish, and numerous other projects to finish . . . I'm still thinking ahead to a different project.  I pulled out a photo of a quilt I made about 4 years ago and gave away.  It has a very basic sashing with cornerstones.

I need to put together a couple of different sets of blocks, but can't decide on a layout or sashing options.  My question is this . . . how boring is this cornerstone layout?  Does it totally lack creativity?  Or is it tried and true?

I'm looking for some better ideas.  Help?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Here is another project from Sunday afternoon sewing.  I've started a small project from the Schnibbles Times Two pattern book. This is just one corner.  I think the next row will be the center of this little quilt.  This was "sort of" one of my UFO's.  I switched the original fabric I had set aside for something else that I purchased a couple of months ago.

It uses a charm pack and I chose Fresh Flowers from Moda.  I may use the original charm pack I had selected and make another one of these with a white background.

Can't wait to work on it again this week.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Another binding in progress

Another day of below zero weather with a nasty wind chill.  It was a good day to hide out in my sewing room.

You may remember an earlier posting about this quilt which was done with a set of friendship exchange blocks. This photo is the top, and the quilting is now done and I've added the binding this afternoon. Once I have the handwork done on the binding I'll show you the finished product.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wonderful mail from Portugal

I received a wonderful package all the way from Portugal today.  I love mail - especially packages!

Manuela sent me a mug rug for a swap we participated in from Aunt Pitty Pat's blog.  The package was to include a mug, a mug rug, a candy cane, a favorite recipe, and a beverage mix.

How could she know that red is my absolutely favorite color?  And I have a special place in my heart for snowflakes! The mug rug has an appliqued reindeer and there is also a little handmade ornament with a tiny little red reindeer attached to the clip.  I love them! The beverage is a "hot chocolate spoon".  Since it is so cold this weekend, that hot chocolate spoon will probably get used right away.  The recipe is for a traditional Portuguese orange cake which I look forward to trying.   And this snowflake cup will get used all through this long snowy winter.

Many thanks Manuela - I'm loving every item you sent.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another finish - UFO #3

I know it's small, but it counts.  Another finish - although this one wasn't on my original UFO list on New Year's day.  All it need was the second half of the hand quilting finished and a binding added.  Done! 

I'm not sure why, but the eggplant purple background looks blue in my photo.  Oh well.  This little table runner is just made of giant flying geese blocks. The original pattern has one more "goose" on each end, but this shorter version seems to fit spaces better. This is the 4th one of these I've made.  It's so fast and easy - and can be done with 3 fat quarters plus the background.  Below is a summer version I made a few months ago. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The wind chill is about -20 degrees below zero.  And we're anticipating the same the next 2 or 3 mornings. Yikes! 

I should be used to this since I've lived in the upper midwest my whole life. But I am dreading the task of going out to start my little car this morning. Usually my work car sits in a nice warm garage. But last night it sat outside - at a motel 100 miles from home.  I drove here through blowing snow and sleet so that I would be here this morning for a morning classroom observation and an afternoon classroom observation. Right now I'm still in my motel room working on some paperwork and wishing I didn't have to go outside at all.   I'm turning into a winter wimp!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Palm trees in winter?

This is just a quick look at the project that I'm handquilting right now.  I'm hoping to have this quilted and bound in time for Valentine's Day for my daughter. But if I miss that deadline I'll shoot for their 1st wedding anniversary in April. 

I made this wallhanging for their Jamaica wedding last April.  The guests all signed this half of the quilt which features a palm tree.  The bridal shower guests signed the 2 flip flop blocks on the other half. 

More on this one as I make some progress.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another UFO nearly done

I just put the binding on a UFO that was not in my New Year's list of projects that needed to get finished. However, when I pulled out my hand quilting frames this week, there was this little Halloween table runner that was 1/2 quilted and just waiting to be finished. So I finished the handquilting on it. Here is a little peek but I'll show the whole thing later in the week.  This morning I sewed on the binding and I'll do the hand work on the binding some evening this week.

And now that my frame is available again, I've begun the hand quilting on a very important UFO.  I'll post more about that tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Year of Wallhangings

I just have to share a great blog and the new project that the blogger has just posted.  Denise Russart at designs some wonderful quilt projects both large and small.  She has just posted about her newest project - A Year of Wallhangings.  Once each month she'll add another design and post the pattern.   

For a link directly to the wallhanging page, just follow the link on the button on the right side of my blog.  But while on her blog, check out her other lovely designs.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dick & Jane Quilt

This is not a new project, but . . . Just had to show off the cute Dick and Jane quilt that hangs in my office.  I made this a couple of years ago (handquilted) from fabric I bought on a vacation to Michigan with girlfriends.  They are also quilters so of course a quilt shop was on our agenda.  Since I work in education and my office is in an elementary school, this is a perfect decoration for my office.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sewing room storage

How do you store your WIP and UFO projects?  I have some of them hanging in the closet in my sewing room.  It's a huge closet and I'm not sure I want to admit what the rest of the space looks like right now.  It's a mess!

But here are 4 projects hanging on skirt hangers, waiting for attention: blue star blocks, summer friendship exchange blocks, X blocks, and some old Thimbleberries blocks.  Each set is hanging front and center so that I can't forget about them. 

I think the blue star blocks may be my next UFO after I finish the pink and brown Saturday Sampler top.  Unless something new catches my eye of course . . .

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

31 Below Zero

Yikes - just came home for lunch and the wind chill here is 31 below zero!! But the sun is shining and there is no snow blowing around for now.  Wish I didn't have to go back outside to go back to work. This would be a perfect day to curl up in my family room to do some hand quilting and soak up the sunshine pouring in the big south windows.  But it's not to be . . . work beckons.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day sewing

It's a snow day and I have made good use of this little gift of time by sewing.  Note: I could work from home and sometimes do - but chose not to do so today.  And this has been a wonderful "mental health" day. 

Here is my 2010 Saturday Sampler top all done and ready for quilting.  I am very pleased with the results.

I've also sandwiched another UFO to prepare for hand quilting.  More on that another time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saturday Sampler top is a WIP

The 2010 Saturday Sampler "show 'n tell" was this past Saturday morning. I did not have my quilt top finished to show, but I got to see a lot of inspiring projects.  Every year it amazes me how the quilts all turn out unique even though the blocks are the same. 

Today's project was to begin putting my top together since the blocks were done.  I have sewn together all 4 horizontal rows with 3 blocks and 4 sashings each.  Here are 2 of those rows on my design wall.

I have the bottom sashing row sewn together, and have all of the long pieces ready.  But I still have to make the rest of the 9 patch cornerstone blocks.   I have 15 of them left to do.   Maybe I'll have the top done by the end of this week if I get to do some sewing during the evenings after work.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

UFO #2 is done

I finished the binding on my Day & Night quilt.  That makes 2 UFO's complete, which feels good even though these were easy things to finish up.

Carli (at the Pin Cushion) quilted this one for me too.  She used a yummy orange/gold variegated thread that is just perfect on this crazy yellow, orange, red quilt.  This one was definitely outside of my comfort zone.  I'm not a fan of yellow normally and would have NEVER picked that gorgeous batik fabric to go with the red. I was looking at boring whites and creams.  But I'm so glad that Cindy (at the Pin Cushion) guided me to that bolder choice.  It was very satisfying to try something new and I'm extremely happy with the end result.  I used the same batik for the binding.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Saturday Sampler block 11

On my UFO list I mentioned that I only had the December block left to make for my Saturday Sampler quilt before putting the top together. Turns out I was wrong.  I also had my November block (#11) to as well.

So this was one of my Sunday afternoon tasks. I made the Pyramids block and then got the last one ready to make.  Since the Sampler Sampler "show 'n tell" is this Saturday morning I know I won't have a completed top to show. But that's OK because at least I know I'm close.

Monday, January 3, 2011

UFO #1 is complete

I have UFO #1 done - it's the Hip Holiday wall hanging that needed binding.  I finished that binding on Jan. 1, and moved on to another UFO project on Jan. 2.

The Hip Holiday wall hanging was a kit that I purchased a couple of years ago while visiting a cousin in Minneapolis.  I bought it because the fabrics really caught my eye. The background fabric features navy blue cats on ice skates and funky trees.  The border print is all ornaments and trees. I found a great backing fabric this summer that is lime green but has dark green, red, and white snowflakes. It was a good match and kind of fun.

I had finished the top earlier this year and finally decided in November that it needed to be quilted by someone other than me if it was going to get done in a timely manner. So I dropped it off at the Pin Cushion along with 4 other quilts with instructions to "quilt as desired". 

Carli did a lovely job quilting this project.  It has a large swirled pattern that really lets the fabric be the star.  I'm very pleased with the results. 

Anyone want this pattern?  I'm willing to mail it to the first person who declares an interest in a comment here.  I'm trying to pare down my pattern collection slightly by giving away the ones that I have finished with so that someone else can enjoy them as much as I have.  So . . . if you would like this pattern, just let me know.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Felted Wool was a quick project

I generally like to do hand applique, so I've been intrigued by some of the felted wool applique projects I've seen in the past couple of years.  I bought a kit for a small candle mat early in December with the idea that I could work on it while recuperating from my surgery.  Well . . . I got it finished a few days ago, and it was definitely a fun quick project.  It's only about 9 inches across.  The pattern is a Little Stitchies by Bareroots.

I am willing to GIVE the pattern to anyone who could make use of it.  Leave a comment if you are interested and I'll drop the pattern and my leftover wool into the mail for you.  First come . . . first serve.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

UFO goals for 2011

I'm not a person who usually makes New Years resolutions.  But I've been working on a list of quilty UFO's that need finishing and decided that MAYBE if I put them in writing, then I might actually remember to finish them.

So here is a partial list - in no particular order . . .

  1. 2010 Saturday Sampler quilt (pink & brown blocks).  I have my December block left to make, then decide on a layout.
  2. bindings on the 5 quilts that I had quilted at the Pin Cushion.  I've picked up 4 of the 5 so just need to get the bindings on.  (Hip Holiday wall hanging, yellow & red Day & Night lap quilt, Frolic quilt, pink/black/green Hearts 'n Stars quilt, Christmas friendship block exchange quilt)
  3. hand quilting/binding needed on Jerilyn's wedding signature quilt
  4. Summer friendship block exchange quilt (still need to decide on a layout for this one too)
  5. Blue & white star block quilt.  I have 2 different layouts that I'm considering. I may show both and ask for some feedback before making that decision.  I won these 15 blocks at the November Saturday Sampler session.
  6. selvage basket blocks need to "become" something.  The big question is . . . how many should I make? Do I turn it into a wall hanging or a quilt?
  7. snowman table runner
  8. fruit table runner
  9. reversible apron
  10. bag using the Laurel Burch cat fabric that Sylvia gave me. The pattern is pinned on - just need to actually work on it.
  11. Schnibbles project using a charm pack I'd been saving for spring (last year)
  12. Dr Suess quilt - this was started as a baby gift for a baby who has already arrived.  It needs to be finished and gifted soon!
  13. Package quilt (purple/black/aqua) - this one needs to be taken apart and the dark purple sections replaced with the new black fabric I bought.  I shouldn't have let myself be talked into that purple! UGLY!  But it has some potential.
  14. French braid quilt (the hard part has been done over a year now - just need to put the braids together with sashing, quilt and bind)
OUCH - this list is longer than I thought it would be and I'm not even done yet.  I'm starting small - working on binding one of the 4 quilts at the top of the list.