Friday, December 30, 2011

Design Wall Friday

My design wall today is actually my living room floor. When I'm working on a large quilt then my real design wall becomes too small, and so does the floor space in my sewing room.

I cut the sashing pieces and border pieces for my black/white/bright version of this year's Saturday Sampler. We have 2 months of the sampler left to do, but this version is ready to just add the last blocks to each row and then sew the rows together. There is one full sized block to add, and then each row will get a half-width block added to one end.

This is the really fun stage, because I can see what the finished product is going to look like. I think my last block needs to have a bright pink accent to balance it out a bit. And I've started cutting the borders and sashing for my "official" Saturday Sampler blocks too. Maybe tomorrow I'll have that one in this same stage.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saturday Sampler

Love, love, love this latest sampler block! It was so simple to make and I really like the way that light background square pops out from behind the center section. And the colors in this block are so nice - that dark rich brown, the rust, and then the little hints of aqua.

I've purchase my sashing fabric which will really bring out the aqua in so many of these blocks. And my border fabric is mostly this rich brown, but with just a touch of the aqua again. I plan to start piecing my rows with the sashing this week.

And since I'm making a second set of blocks using black and white, with the bright accents I need to decide on sashing and border fabrics for that one too. I used lime green in this one. And I really like the little zebra print in the middle.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fat Quarter Stars block #7

Following directions should NOT be this difficult. But lately I've not done a very good job at reading directions before I've begun to cut and sew. You will immediately see a difference in the 2 blocks I'm showing today.

First is my Terrain block, which turned out lovely, but was only 11 inches square instead of 12.5. I love the block which used templates instead of just rotary cuts, but noticed right away that it was smaller than the previous 6 blocks. My mistake - I didn't read closely enough. We were to print the templates for this one WITHOUT scaling it to fit. What a difference that little change made!

I decided to just add a narrow background edge to this block for now. If I have enough fabric left when I finish the other blocks, then I will remake this one completely. If not - the narrow edge won't show that much when the block is in a finished quilt.
My Ellie block turned out just right - because I followed the directions!!! I am completely caught up now with my Fat Quarter Stars. And I can't wait to see what Block 8 is going to look like.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fat Quarter Stars catch-up day

This is Fat Quarter Stars block #6, called Cathedral Star, and it's done in Kate Spain's Terrain fabric. Each block is designed by a guest designer. This one is by Terry Griffin at . It has a small bit of a cathedral windows technique in the middle - done in the light blue on this one. Cathedral Windows is one of my bucket list quilts that I want to make someday. So this was fun. Now I just need to get the block finished in my other colorway (Ellie II). And then work on block #7 in both fabrics.

I fell behind since mid-November on everything connected to sewing. But today I'm starting my catch up sewing projects. Two goals: make my 2 Saturday Sampler blocks and get blocks 6 and 7 done for Fat Quarter Stars in both colorways. That means I need to finish 6 blocks today. I think I can . . . I think I can . . . I think I can!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wildlife panel

I am not usually a fan of fabric panels. I generally prefer to piece my blocks.

But I am making an exception and just couldn't resist buying a fabric panel recently. It has a wildlife theme and the colors are beautiful in it. This picture do NOT do it justice, really. This block is probably my favorite one out of them all because of the little birds and the fawn almost touching. I also bought a fat quarter set of gorgeous batiks to go with the panel.

Not sure yet what it will become, but for now I can just enjoy the fabric, right?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sisterly birthday gifts

I can finally show off the whole "Ruby Slippers" project!!

This summer my older daughter and I saw this cute little quilt at an outdoor quilt show. She later bought the pattern and kit at a quilt shop and asked if I would make it for her to give to her sister. Well that birthday was this weekend. So now that the birthday girl has her gift, I can show the whole finished wallhanging.

I added black crystals to dot all 3 of the letter "I"s. And the red shoes have a sparkly red star button on them. Just loved the scene in the Wizard of Oz where the witches striped legs shriveled up under the house and the Ruby Slippers appeared on Dorothy's feet.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Busy weekend

We had a busy - but fun - weekend and got to spend it with all of the kids.

On Friday night we all went to the University of South Dakota and attended the hooding ceremony for my younger daughter. She got her masters degree in occupational therapy. Following the hooding ceremony was a lovely dinner. We even got a quick family photo taken since we were all there.

Then on Saturday my husband and I went back to USD to attend graduation itself. And since Saturday was also Laura's 28th birthday, we celebrated both with lunch.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friends in Stitches

A small group of friends came over for brunch (and a goodie exchange) a week ago to celebrate the season. We are all educators, as well as quilters. We've worked together in schools, we've traveled together to plays, concerts, and quilt shows, and we've quilted together.

Merry Christmas ladies!! And happy birthday to the two of you celebrating December birthdays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fat Quarter Stars - Terrain block #5

The Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along is providing some really beautiful star block patterns every 2 weeks. It is being hosted by Moose on the Porch Quilts.

I've fallen slightly behind. This is block #5 made from Kate Spain's Terrain line. And I still have my "warmer" colorway block to do (Ellie II).

Block #6 is already out too. My goal is to get all caught up on Sunday afternoon. It's good to have goals, right? I haven't done any sewing in about 3 weeks so it is definitely time!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Odds 'n Ends

This block should have arrived in New Zealand by now for the block swap I've been doing. My partner for November said she likes roses and this piece of floral fabric seemed just perfect. I hope she likes it. I also received a very cute block from her but have not remembered to take a picture yet.

I believe this is post #396 - so I'm getting very close to another blogging milestone. 400 posts! I hope to have some things to share in the next week so that I can reach that 400th post before the New Year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas at the Capitol

That would be the South Dakota state capitol. Every year the beautiful state capitol building in Pierre has a display of Christmas trees decorated by various groups around the state. When our girls were younger we took them a couple of times. But I haven't been here for this display in over a dozen years. So I couldn't pass up the opportunity this week to go walk through and enjoy the lights and trees. This isn't the best photo, but I took this from the second floor balconey looking down into the rotunda. It was really beautiful.

Check out the official website to view the trees.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A quilting drought

I have nothing accomplished in terms of quilting from the past 2 weeks. Nothing new started, no progress to show on a WIP, no UFO dug out of a drawer. Between long hours at work and more importantly, a couple of very significant people who have passed away - my sewing has not been very high on the priority list lately.

I did press this pillowcase that I had made as a Christmas gift. The fabric is a pretty close match to the recipient's bedroom decor which has stripes and animals. It even has the colors pretty accurate. One Christmas gift finished.