Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A family treasure

My mother-in-law (who just passed away at the age of 90) made one last quilt almost 20 years ago. A couple of years ago she gave it to me for safe-keeping with specific instructions. Her wishes were that when she died all of the grandchildren's names were to be put into a hat and draw to see who got her quilt.

So, when she died last week, we draped her quilt over the casket. And later that evening at our house with most of the family gathered, we drew a name.

The state fair blue ribbon she won on this quilt even went with it to my niece's house. A real family heirloom!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gone but not forgotten

My mother-in-law passed away peacefully yesterday at the age of 90. She was a farm girl from a large family, an elementary teacher, a mother of four, grandmother of 18, and great-grandmother of 24 (plus one on the way). She was fiesty and energetic up until the past year, when the energy failed.

We'll miss you Natalie!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Look what came in the mail

Yesterday my mailbox had a soft squishy little package - and it contained this beautiful charm pack of Fairy Frost fabrics. The label on the back says "50 new colors"!!! Can't wait to take it apart to see all of the colors.

Thank you to Moose on the Porch for selecting me to win this lovely charm pack. Her Fat Quarter Stars Quiltalong has been such fun so far. Every other Tuesday a new block is posted. In between, she draws some winners from those participants who have posted a picture of their completed block in the quiltalong's Flickr group.

And thank you to MamaSpark for designing Block 3 and for providing this beautiful prize. I love it. Here is my finished block from that week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Humility block is fixed

As I indicated in yesterday's post, I didn't follow my own rules about laying out my block pieces before stitching and trimming. So I had to purchase a little bit of extra fabric to fix my mistake. But I'm glad to say that the final result was very good.

We received the layout instructions for this Saturday Sampler this month. Granted, this is just the designer's layout and we can certainly create our own layout. My plan is to follow her basic layout with just a little change in the borders and sashing. And I bought the fabric I want to use for those borders and sashing so maybe over Thanksgiving weekend I can start to put the rows together. That way all I will need to do is add the last couple of blocks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My humility block

I love this block! It is this month's Saturday Sampler block, so it is going into a sampler quilt. But I think it would make a striking quilt using just this block.

Most months I cut all of the pieces from the pattern, then lay them out on my ironing board or sewing table to make sure I have them all right. But not this month. I just started sewing . . . and guess what? I had made a major error with my pieces from the traditional colorway! Big enough that I had to run to the shop and buy a little more fabric to fix it. So my black, white, bright variation block is done first. I'll finish my traditional one later today. It has a new name and will now be called my humility block.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas table topper

Finished the hand quilting and binding on this little table topper on Sunday. My daughter asked if I could make something for her to give as an exchange gift for a Christmas party. This is a simple pattern - huge flying geese and made from 3 fat quarters. And I did some simple hand quilting inside the goose triangles.

Check another small project off my TO DO list.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Upgrading the toys/tools

Say hello to my new investment. I've been thinking about a new sewing machine for quite awhile and even had money saved up toward the purchase. And this week I made the leap. I traded in my old Pfaff 2036 model for this gently used Pfaff Creative Vision.

This machine is a "two-fer". It is like having 2 separate machines - a regular sewing machine and an embroidery machine. I'm going to learn the basics first, and then will snap on the embroidery unit and learn some more. Can't wait for the weekend and some time to play!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another donation project

My regular readers may recognize this quilt because I blogged about when I finished the top. Now it is quilted beautifully - thank you Carly - bound in blue, and ready to deliver this evening.
I am donating this one to a silent auction being held this coming weekend for an old friend who is battling cancer. There are no words to express my sorrow to hear that his cancer has returned. But this is my way of helping right now.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fat Quarter Stars block #4

Block number 4 is finished, in both of my fabric choices. This one is using a couple of fabrics from Kate Spain's Terrain line. The fussy cut center is one of them, and the flowers in the stars is the other. I really love the purple in this line, but didn't have a solid purple that looked good and I wanted the star tips purple. So I bought a fat quarter of the purple dot to add into the mix. It is not part of the Terrain line, but really fits in to showcase the purples in several of the pieces.

Since I'm making 2 of these at once, my other fabric choice was the Ellie II line. It has lots of red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, green, black - right out of a primary crayon box. I played with this block a bit before making a decision. Red tips or blue tips? Blue won out and I really love the results. I fussy cut the center of this one too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Clever ideas from friends

Inspiration comes from many different directions, and I must say that I'm often inspired by what I see on blogs or by comparing notes with friends. Friends are the source of much inspiration!! Well I must share a very clever idea that a friend (Tina) shared with me just this morning. She is a very talented quilter, and our little quilting group usually relies on her mathematical logic when we are working on a group project. I hope she doesn't mind my sharing her idea here.

Tina found several Christmas panels in her fabric stash recently and decided to get them quilted and bound for holiday gifts. The panels were all different. But she has come up with a fabulous way to quilt them faster and more efficiently. She is going to zigzag them together into one big panel - adding a small piece of muslin to fill a corner - and then quilt all of the panels together like a big quilt top. Much faster than loading several small projects onto the frame. Then she can cut them apart again and bind each one separately. How clever is that?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Missing in action

I have been missing from blogland for the past week. Too much going on and no time for sewing lately. I did spend a little time yesterday finishing the hand work on a couple of small projects. Nothing worth photographing however.

My husband received a 25 year award at his company's employee recognition party on Saturday. It was a year late because with the merger last year they didn't do any awards at all. Now he just needs to slow down and not work 80 hours a week! No awards are given for that! We had a few people in for a "pre-party" gathering before the actual party.

I was in Chicago for some training last week and picked up this book in the airport. But I didn't really get a chance to start reading it until yesterday. I love the Elm Creek series so I'm always glad to see a new book come out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Too young for trick or treating

Just because he's too young to go trick or treating, and too young to eat candy - doesn't mean he completely missed Halloween. My grandson Mason will be 5 months old next week. His outfit was a big hit at day care.

My cousin knitted the darling punkin' hat for him!! I guess the other kids would pull it off by the stem. I'm surprised he actually leaves it on.