Monday, February 28, 2011

A little of this and a little of that

This was a weekend without much sewing going on at my house. I went to dinner and to the movies (The King's Speech) with some girlfriends on Friday night. The movie was wonderful and so was the food and the company. That turned out to the high point of the whole weekend.

The man of the house is home sick (influenza or a really nasty cold) and it snowed again. So for the second time this week I spent LOTS of time shoveling snow out of our long wide driveway, off the deck, and from the sidewalks. BOOOOOO! I'm ready for spring - just like everyone else.

When I wasn't shoveling, I did work on some binding and finished up my Easter mug rug. But I can't show off the mug rug until after I've mailed it to my partner this week. I just need to find the perfect mug to go with it.

And last, but not least, keep my friend Sylvia in your prayers for tomorrow. She is having shoulder surgery tomorrow. She won't be doing too much with that right arm for the next few weeks so this will cut into her quilting. But she is confident that she'll still be able to knit while recuperating.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Schnibbles #1 is done!

Here it is - my first Schnibbles quilt is all finished. I used a charm pack of Fresh Flowers plus a little yardage of the blue and the orange for the borders. The bright yellow background was leftover from something else. It's handquilted in diagonals.

This was such a fun pattern to work on that I've set aside a new charm pack for another. New isn't really the correct term - the charm pack has been "aging" in my sewing room - just waiting for the perfect idea.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Binding and more binding

Here is what I'm working on this evening in front of the TV. Pink striped binding will match the outer border. Carli at the Pin Cushion quilted this one for me in December. Isn't the quilting pretty? It's a pink variegated thread.
I'll show the whole quilt later in the week.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blizzard projects

Just a little hint of things to come! I've joined the Easter Mug Rug swap at Aunt Pitty Pat's blog. This was one project that I worked on during our Sunday blizzard.
I put the binding onto my pink/black hearts and stars quilt. Now I just have to do the hand stitching on that binding.
I also cleaned out one of my big storage tubs in my sewing room, reorganized the contents - and found a couple more UFO's to add to my list. The pieces missing from an applique project I started last winter were found in the middle of that tub mixed in with some other fabric. And I found a couple of kits that may become giveaways in the near future as well.
Hand quilting took some of my afternoon and I finished up the hand quilting on my schnibbles project. I could sit in my family room and use the natural light coming in the south windows. At the same time I watched the wind and snow outside - and smelled the pot roast cooking in the kitchen.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Successful Saturday

I can check off another UFO from my list. This French Braid quilt was partially done - all 4 braids were made 4 years ago when I bought the book and the fabric kit for this quilt. But then it was put away and I don't remember why.
But the top is now done and it is ready to be quilted as soon as I find a suitable backing. This particular quilt has met my expectations. I fell in love with the border fabric which is a large floral with golds and blues and greens. And whoever selected the coordinating fabrics for the braids did a great job in matching the colors found in the floral. The blue seemed to be an odd touch at first, but I definitely like the end result.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Batik pinwheels

A new donation project has begun. 8 of us are making pinwheel blocks for a quilt that will be donated to raise money for a student performance group. More about that later.
We each got enough of the tan batik for the background and we each will use batiks from our stash to combine with it to make these pinwheel blocks. Each block finishes at 7.5 inches and the quilt will require 80 total. So we'll each make 10 blocks. I have mine done. They are one of the fastest blocks ever with no points to match.
Can't wait to see what everyone's blocks look like together! We've done 2 other donation quilts using this pinwheel and each had its own personality.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Slow and steady wins the race

I'm making progress on the hand quilting for my X-Rated Schnibbles. Slow and steady wins the race, right? That is what I keep telling myself.
On Sunday I really, really wanted to go to my sewing room and work on something NEW. But I resisted the impulse and kept working on this project. I'm not allowing myself to "play" with any new fabric or projects until the quilting is done and the binding is on this little quilt.
The finish line is in sight . . .

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Starting a new Saturday Sampler

One of my favorite quilting activities is our local Saturday Sampler held on the 2nd Saturday of each month. It is such a fun way to get together with quilting friends, see inspirational show 'n tell, and work on a project one step at a time. I've been doing this for about 8 years now. And before I go any further I will admit that I still have 3 sets of blocks from prior years that are not set together into anything. But that's OK with me.

The 2011 sampler started this weekend. It is called Color Me Happy and was offered in 3 colorways. I decided to exit my usual comfort zone of bright colors and selected the "traditional" colorway. It made my block Saturday afternoon. Such peaceful colors - makes me think of a spa.

We also have the option of making a bonus block each month and earn the chance to win the whole set of bonus blocks. I won gorgeous blue and white star blocks last November. This bonus block is to be black and white, with a bright accent. I have that one done too - actually I made 2 of them. I plan to keep one and may use it in a black and white quilt. I know, I know - just what I need to do is start one more project. But I feel the need . . .

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another small project is done

I can check off another project from my list. This little table topper is called Hearts Aplenty and was in danger of becoming a UFO while I tried to decide how to finish it. I actually did machine quilt this one - with a stitch-in-the-ditch between the spokes of the wheel and a blanket stitch around the center. But I left off the stippling recommended on the outer spokes. It definitely needs a better pressing to sharpen the edges too.
If I make this pattern again I will select fabrics with more contrast. Fabric choices also played into my reluctance to finish this because it wasn't quite turning out how I envisioned it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quick quilting

Here is the X-Rated Schnibbles quilt that I posted about yesterday. I couldn't upload any photos until I switched my post editor back to the "old editor" in my global settings a little while ago. Bummer!
Anyway - I'm working on simple straight line quilting on the diagonal through the centers of the X's and all the way out to the edge. The binding will be the same blue as the narrow inner border.
This could become one of my favorite "go to" patterns. It's fast and easy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Schnibbles progress

It was a really good weekend, but I don't have a lot to show for it.  But I did go to a girls basketball game and a Super Bowl party.  In between sporting events and laundry I put the binding on our scholarship fundraiser quilt (previous post), added another divider strip to my French Braid quilt, and started the quilting on my Schnibbles X-Rated small quilt. 

And for some reason tonight, blogger will not allow me to add any photos. I'll add them later if I can solve the problem!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Scholarship Fundraiser Quilt

Here is my first weekend project - binding this quilt.  This is the friendship block exchange project that will be donated to the local school district's scholarship fund drive.  The fund drive will use it as one its larger prizes for donations over a certain dollar amount. 

More on this project later on.

South Dakota winter

Here is how I just spent my lunch hour - photographing the snow in our yard with my husband. He has coworkers in their Houston office who have shared photos today of the ice and snow they are "enjoying".  He just felt the need to show them our beautiful winter day in return. 

And actually it IS a beautiful winter day - sunshine, upper 20's, no wind. But that will change tomorrow when we are expecting sleet in the morning and 2-4 more inches of snow in the afternoon.  Wednesday was 30 below zero wind chills.  South Dakota - Land of Infinite Variety!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hearts Aplenty

Just a quick little peek . . .

No machine quilting done yet on this little round table topper.  The pattern suggests stitch in the ditch between the spokes and a decorative quilting stitch around the center piece.  Then a little stipple quilting, but I'm not sure that is what I want to do, so I'm "living with it" for a few more days. It's hanging on my design wall so that I have to keep looking at it.  I certainly do NOT want this to turn into a UFO!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

French Braid progress

I got the 3 divider sashes put together yesterday afternoon.  Each one has 3 strips.  I have the center one sewn to 2 of the braid strips. There will be a divider and another braid outside of each of these. 4 braids total - then a narrow inside border and a wider outside border. 

And it's the outside border that will bring together all of the colors in the braids from the rusts to greens to blues.  I can't wait to see how it all comes together.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January revisited & February goals

All of the schools around are closed today, but unless you leave the house you would never understand why. The sun is shining on all of the fresh white snow. But the wind is blowing enough to keep drifting out in the countryside. And it's COLD - a high of about 2 degrees is expected.  A low of about 40 below zero wind chill is expected tonight, so lots of late starts in the schools can be expected.  I've lived in Minnesota, Iowa, or South Dakota most of my life, but just can't get used to that kind of cold.

I've spent the morning doing a little correspondence and organization of materials for work and cleaning up my home office a bit.  This afternoon I plan to sew a little.

My January accomplishments look small:
  1. Saturday Sampler top - finished & ready to quilt
  2. small felted wool candle mat - finished
  3. binding on my red/yellow Day & Night quilt - finished
  4. Halloween flying geese table runner - finished, quilted & bound
  5. binding on Christmas friendship block exchange - handwork in progress
  6. handquilting on wedding signature quilt - in progress
  7. Scnibbles X-rated small quilt/table topper - top finished & ready to quilt
  8. round spring table topper - ready to machine quilt & I'm going to try it myself

February GOALS are not very ambitious:
  1. next UFO is French Braid quilt - ready for sashing strips & borders - maybe today?
  2. binding our new friendship block exchange donation quilt when it is ready
  3. binding my Frolic quilt with the fuzzy backing (possible wedding gift for a niece)
  4. binding my pink/black Hearts & Stars crib quilt
  5. start a baby quilt for my grandson (he's due in June)
  6. machine quilt the round spring table topper
  7. finish handquilting the wedding signature quilt (a slow process)