Monday, October 31, 2011

Fat Quarter Stars - Block #3 in Ellie II

Here is my quiltalong block #3 done in the Ellie II fabric line. I'm doing the Fat Quarter Stars quiltalong in 2 fabric lines. One is very cool spa-like colors, and the other is hot, spicy colors. Love them both!

Click the button on the right side for more info on this great quiltalong project.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fat Quarter Stars - Terrain block #3

Yum - I really love Kate Spain's Terrain line! Here is my third star block for the Fat Quarter Stars quiltalong. I used more green this time. The first 2 blocks had more blue in them. The fat quarter pack I bought also had a couple of Bella solids in it - and I used 2 of those in very small amounts this time.

These blocks are turning out just beautifully. Click on the button on the right to find the designer of this month's block, Mary Lou at Moose on the Porch is hosting the quiltalong and designed block #1. Then every 2 weeks she has a guest designer add another star block. This is a perfect block for me since I love stars and pinwheels.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Welcome to my house

My Amish House quilt is now hanging in my dining room where I can see it and enjoy it every day. This wall has needed a focal point since we moved here, and now it has one.

The dining room gets only north light, so no direct sunlight will touch this wall. And this quilt will be one of the first things a visitor will see once they step into my front entry.

So - welcome into my home!

Friday, October 28, 2011

An unusual project

My younger daughter is in her final weeks of clinicals for her master's program in occupational therapy. She will graduate in December - and has already had one job offer - YAY!!!

She asked me if I could help her make some vests for a project. I don't do any garment sewing these days, but I said yes because they look fairly simple to make. And because she is my baby - how could I say no?

She borrowed 3 vests (buttons, snaps, zippers) to show me what was needed, and these are sized for elementary school children to use to practice buttoning, snapping, zipping their own clothes.

But she wants me to make similar ones in a larger size for older students. I have the fabric and binding, so this weekend I will cut the patterns out of brown paper or newspaper, and get started on these vests. Only 2 shoulder seams and then binding. The button holes, zipper, and snaps will take me longer probably than the basic construction. I'm out of practice with those.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October block swap

This blue and white block is headed to Texas for my swap partner for October. My inspiration was the Fons & Porter episode on Saturday morning on PBS. They were making the Old Maid's Puzzle block, but renamed it Bachelorette and used contemporary fabrics. I love this block, although now I notice it needed better pressing before I took this picture. Hope that my partner likes it too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coming soon - November

It's all fused down, and ready to add the blanket stitching. I love fall colors! Check back tomorrow and I'll show you REAL fall colors.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A sneak peek

I am working on a project for someone else for a change. That "someone" doesn't sew, so I'm helping her out. Here is stage one - with more fun layers to come on this applique project.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday finish

My heartstrings blocks have finally become a complete quilt top! The color is much brighter than this photo looks - with bright lime green strips running diagonally throughout the blocks.

This top is being donated to the Heartstrings project where someone else will tie or quilt it, and bind it. Then it will go to a deserving project.

This was a great way to use up some of my scraps and make something for a good cause. Check out the heartstrings project at this link.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Odds 'n Ends

First of all I must thank the readers who gave me some great ideas for what to do with my blue/white star blocks. Now I have to make a decision and actually get these put together.

This whole week was spent in Spearfish for a meeting and a conference. The Black Hills and especially Spearfish Canyon are looking beautiful this time of year. There really wasn't time for shopping during the week, but yesterday afternoon when the conference ended I took a couple of detours to visit some quilt shops on my way home. Spearfish, Sturgis, and Rapid City all have shops very worth visiting if you are in the area.

This cute Thanksgiving fabric was my find in one shop. It is a border print, so I think I see a couple more 60 degree table runners in my future. This is a Henry Glass fabric called Hearth & Home.

Now that I'm home again I can finally get a little sewing time in, which is just the relaxing activity that I need.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I need some advice

I have been struggling with a plan for these blocks since winning them at Saturday Sampler last winter. I've played with several different layouts, with different sashing ideas, with solid blocks to add to the mix, etc. I think I need some advice.

I keep coming back to just putting them together without sashing so that I have a solid white background. There are 15 of these star blocks, so now I'm leaning toward an assymetrical layout with just a few solid white blocks thrown into the layout. Or maybe I need to make some white star blocks to add into the layout. What do you think?

Monday, October 17, 2011

This took some thought . . .

Thank you to Sandie at for honoring me with the Versatile Blogger Award last week. I had to give this a LOT of thought over the past few days before I could blog my response. This was hard work!

There are 4 rules for this award, and I'm afraid I'm going to break one of them a little. So I will apologize in advance.

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself on the post.

3. Pass the award on to 15 bloggers that you think deserve it.

4. Lastly, contact all of those bloggers you've picked for the award.

So here are the 7 things about me . . .

1. I grew up as an only child in a small town in Minnesota. No other kids to distract me parents, so they had plenty of time to keep an eye on me. I hated being an only child!!!

2. This is my 28th year in education. I've been a high school teacher, district technology coordinator, and now work with staff development for a regional agency.

3. I used to do a lot of drawing as a creative outlet. I really liked working with inks. But quilting has taken over completely and I haven't done any drawing in at least 15 years.

4. I have 2 married daughters that I'm very proud of. They have brought into our family: terrific sons-in-law, one grandson, and another baby on the way in the spring.

5. I love to travel, but don't get to do it often enough. Maybe in about 7-8 years when I retire. I hope!

6. Reading is my other way to relax and escape stress. Currently I'm on a mystery kick, but love lots of different kinds of fiction. Not a big fan of non-fiction - I think I read too many professional books in my job.

7. My paternal grandmother quilted, but I only have a doll quilt from her. My mother, her mother, her sisters, my daughters, and several of my female cousins all enjoy fiber arts in some way: knitting, crocheting, sewing garments or home dec, quilting, scrapbooking, tatting, cross stitch, etc. I think my maternal grandmother started that love for fiber.

And - finally the bloggers I wish to nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award. This is the rule I'm going to break (SORRY), but I just can't decide on that many who have not already been nominated. The other thing is that I follow quite a few blogs that are really built around a business they run or charitable program and I just don't feel right asking them to do this. You can always check the blog listing on the right side to see more "award-worthy" blogs.

So - here are just 5 of my faves!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fat Quarter Star #2 reconstructed

OK - I am really glad I took the time last night to take the original all-white corners out of this block and put in more color. The fabric line Terrain was my choice because it had such rich colors. What was I thinking to put in too much white?

BIG improvement, don't you think? And it didn't take very long. I've even put the 4 white triangles that I took out into a bag with the other small scraps from this project, just in case I can use them in another block later on.

I am really excited about this particular quiltalong. I've probably said many times that I love stars and pinwheels. And I really love sampler quilts as well. Since I decided to do a second set of blocks, I'm even more pleased with the results. The Ellie II fabric line has more primary colors in it. Terrain has a more oceanic or spa-like feel to the colors. YUM - both are gorgeous and both will make beautiful quilts.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fat Quarter Stars - Terrain block #2

I made block 2 last night for my Fat Quarter Stars quiltalong using my Terrain (Kate Spain) fabrics. Now I wish I had used the background and another color in the 4 corners. Instead I decided to just use a solid with that background. Boring!!! It needs more color!

I may "unsew" this block tonight and replace those corners to make this blocke more interesting. And I still need to make this block using my Ellie II fabrics. Wish I had time to tackle that now, but my lunch break is not going to allow that. Bummer - work always gets in the way of play.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Boxed squares

Just had to show you one of the other projects I've been adding to during my recent random sewing. This is a set of 6" Boxed Squares blocks that I'm building from an old jelly roll that I had. Each pair of jelly roll strips will make 4 blocks. 2 of the 4 blocks are just reversing the colors of the others. The strips are all in cream, dark red, purple, green, and black.

I made 12 blocks on Sunday to add to the growing pile. They are very quick to cut and make.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saturday Sampler

One more block for Saturday Samper is done - in both the "official" traditional fabrics and also in the secondardy black, white, bright colorway I'm doing. We also could choose to participate is a batik or a bright contemporary colorway. I chose the traditional because I really felt I needed to step outside of my normal gravitation to brighter colors. This is very spa-like colors: soft pink, soft aqua, soft browns and creams. I think it will be a very pretty quilt.

My extra set of blocks in black, white, and bright is also taking shape. I have not fallen behind this year at all which has to be the first time in all of the years I've done the Saturday Samplers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More non-focused sewing

Since making a dent in the UFO population in my sewing room, my brain seems to be back in a "attention deficit sewing" mode. All I seem to be doing right now is making individual blocks for a variety of projects. I'm doing a monthly block swap online, I have my Saturday Sampler going in 2 colorways, I'm working on block from a charm pack swap, I have blocks going from a jelly roll, and I just recently signed up for a Fat Quarter Stars Quiltalong.

But since most of my sewing opportunities lately have been short, maybe this is not all bad. The first block for the Fat Quarter Stars quiltalong turned out so pretty, so I just had to start a second set. This FQS set is going to use the Ellie II line from Studio e. This line came in 2 sets of fat quarters with 8 fabrics each. There is a light set and a dark set. Only 2 of the fabrics are repeated, so I decided this would work really well for this project.

Now - can't wait for FQS Block 2, which should be posted this week. Check out the button on my sidebar for more information on this quiltalong from Moose on the Porch.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Roller Dollz PINK

My daughter was hoping I would have a quilt to donate to a fundraiser that the Sioux Falls Roller Dollz are having to raise money for a big upcoming road trip. To London, England! This is the one she decided was just perfect because of the Dollz' color scheme - pink and black (with a little green).

I made this quilt top a few years ago, and then it became a UFO. But last January I promised myself that I would tackle that pile of UFOs and finish them up. This one got quilted and bond, and then was just waiting for a home. Now it has one. Hope they raise some money with their raffle tickets.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Halloween is just around the corner

My kitchen table is now the home of this little octagon which was done with the leftovers of my 60 degree runners (see below). I made 2 of the 60 degree runners out of the border print I had.

My mother would be proud because I "used it up" - meaning these are the scraps left after cutting the 60 degree pieces for the big project. These end up with the design reversed. The lime green is on the outside of the big project, and on the inside of the little one. And the size is perfect for my small round kitchen table.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fat Quarter Stars - block #1

As if I didn't already have enough projects in the works - I've started a new one - Fat Quarter Stars Quilt-Along.

Go to Moose on the Porch to check out the quilt-along they are hosting. I'm using a Kate Spain fat quarter set called Terrain. Yummy blues, greens, and lavendars - with just a touch of orange.

Block #1 has a small star set on point inside of a larger one. I decided to fussy cut the center to show off the orange.

Can't wait to see block #2.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween pillowcases

I finished a cute pair of Halloween pillowcases that I started over a week ago. The eyeballs even glow in the dark on that lime green one!!

The instructions for these gives a finished product with no raw seam allowances showing. And they are fast to make.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My mini-vacation

One guess where I was for part of last week . . .

My husband teases that once in a decade the moon and stars align so that we can travel together. They aligned briefly last week, and I flew to Orlando to join him for a few days of R & R for me. He was at a conference held at a Disney World resort hotel. I spent Thursday exploring on my own, but both Friday and Saturday we bought "after 2 PM" tickets. We visited Epcot and Magic Kingdom. This was our first visit, and we found ourselves thinking it would be fun to return with grandkids some day.

No sewing or quilting time for me today. I am trying to get the laundry done while he mows the lawn, because it's back to work in the morning. So much for relaxation.