Monday, January 30, 2012

Antique quilting

My mother would be 87 years old if she were still with us. This little stuffed pig is the only toy we have that belonged to her as a child. I also have a little wooden rocker that was hers that her father made. Otherwise, there are no surviving toys from her childhood.

No one knows anymore who made it for her. I wish I had asked her that before she died over 20 years ago.

It is made of unbleached muslin, with an embroidered face. It has cotton gingham overalls with tiny little white buttons. The ears and arms are attached with stitches that are pretty fragile now. And the center of the eye is missing on one side. I have to wonder if there were buttons in those eyes long ago.

It's a treasure.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

UFO progress

This is NOT the best photo, but I needed to capture some progress. These are the blue stars that I won over a year ago during the previous Saturday Sampler.These blue stars were the bonus blocks. I've tried out a couple of different ideas, but just never quite made up my mind about what I wanted to do with them.

Yesterday I pulled out some white that was in my stash for the sashing strips. I pulled out a blue snowflake fabric to make cornerstones. This will give a bit of a floating impressions. I'm also toying with the idea of putting a top and bottom border on this quilt using more of the snowflake fabric. And I need to dig out more white from my stash for the setting triangles.

I still have 2 blocks left and my plan is to make a pieced back and use those in the back. Or I may make them into a pillow sham to go with the quilt.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Block swap

My block swap partner Becca sent me this very sharp looking block from Spokane, Washington. It is the card trick pattern. It is going to fit in perfectly with the red, white, and black sampler that I've been working on for a long time. It was a UFO that was lost - and then found again.

The sampler has random blocks of different sizes and shapes with a narrow solid black sashing between them. I started it several years ago, and just keep adding a couple of blocks when I can. Because some of the blocks are fairly small, and some of the blocks are large, the quilt top will be very asymetrical (sp?) when I get it done.

Anyway - this block is going to fit perfectly in that project. Thanks Becca!

More fat quarter stars

Here are my FQS blocks 8 and 9 done in the Ellie II fabric.

Block 8 is called the Easy Spinning Star. It looks complicated but went together very easy. The key for me was laying it all out before starting to sew. The original had about 5 different fabrics in it but I chose to stick with 3 colors. I really love this block.

Block 9 is a "twin star" block called Make Mine a Double. The original pattern called for the background fabric in the centers of both stars, but I used one of my fat quarter fabrics. It turned out OK - but doesn't WOW me! I have the same fabric with a white background and I keep thinking now that I should have made the center lighter so the stars show up better. Maybe I will still make that change before putting the quilt top together. I have time to decide since there are at least 3 more blocks to go.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Custom quilting

It's great to have a super long-arm quilter to bring quilt to when I don't have the time or skills to do what I want.

Carly designed these darling quilting motifs for daughter Laura's baby quilt. The back of the quilt is this lavendar Minkee and it's covered with these cute monkeys and elephants that were designed to go with the fabric on the front. The color in my photos are not the best as it is so grey outside that even the natural light isn't good.

What can I say besides Thank You ? Just this - Wow!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More hexies

I've actually been sewing but just too lazy to get pictures downloaded from my camera.

Sunday afternoon's project while watching football was to make 3 more 1/2" hexies for my selvage basket project. These could become very addictive.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just a little snow day sewing

We woke up to fresh snow and no school locally. Normally I would just work from home on a day like this, because my office is in our neighborhood elementary school building. By 10:00 am the snow has stopped and our street has been plowed.

However - I am WAY over my contracted days already, had no scheduled school visits or webinars or conference calls - so I decided it was the perfect oppportunity to take some ME time. How's that for rationale? I'm lucky that my schedule is flexible enough to do this occasionally.

I used some time this morning to get up-to-date on my fat quarter stars blocks in 1 of my 2 fabric choices. Here is block 8 done in Kate Spain's Terrain. It looks complicated but wasn't too bad. The tough part was laying it out so the star spins.

Block 9 follows and this one is really different from the others because it has the 2 stars kind of snuggled together. The designer is celebrating her twin babies due soon with this block.

And finally I have to show off the 9 blocks done so far in the Far Quarter Stars quilt-along. See the button on my sidebar to check it out.

Can't wait for each new block that is posted every other Tuesday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A finished baby quilt

Over the weekend I added the binding to this colorful baby quilt that I made for a friend of my older daughter. The baby boy is due in 2 weeks. I put a fuzzy Cuddle Soft backing on this one.

The quilt is a Yellow Brick Road pattern which is one of my favorites for using 6 fat quarters with no waste left over. I think this is the 5th or 6th one I've made. Easy, fast, and turns out so cute.

Carly quilted it for me and as usual she did a great job. This one has a variegated thread in a rounded off square design. Love it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Block swap for January

My partner for January is Becca from Spokane Washington. She requested fall fabrics with rust, green, and cream. I had lots of those fabrics in my stash so that was easy.

I loved the block from last month's Saturday Sampler. It goes together really slick and has a nice impact. This block is in the mail and on its way to Spokane.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A new baby quilt

We are expecting a new baby in our family in March. This one is a girl so she needed something kind of girly, but not too pink. My daughter picked out this cute fabric with the monkeys, elephants, and alligators in shades of lavendar, lime, and orange.

This pattern is called Strip Tease (Heirloom Elegance Designs) and takes 3 yards total fabric. It still needs 2 narrow borders, but I haven't decided which fabrics I want to use yet. I will give this some thought over the next couple of days before deciding. I have plenty of all of them.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I've discovered hexies

I'm happy to say that a quilting friend has inspired me to try something new. On Saturday afternoon I went to the Pin Cushion to attend the very last Clothesline Club meeting. We are always encouraged to bring things to share and Cindy (who leads the group) brought some very small hexie flowers she stitched. BTW - Cindy loves tiny pieces!!

I had brought my selvage basket blocks to show because we had talked about selvage projects during a previous meeting. It was one of those "light bulb" moments for me! I had planned to make some yo-yos to put on these baskets as flowers - but instead I decided to try these 1/2 inch hexies.

Cindy recommended that I go online to find printable hexie paper (found a ton of them), and I also bought a hexie ruler which was a god send. Saturday evening was spent watching TV and making my very first hexie. Now I need to make more for the other blocks. Thank you Cindy for the inspiration!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gotta LOVE it

Awhile back I posted about the Heartstrings quilt top I made using the instructions from Mary in Minneapolis. This top used 24 blocks made using a muslin foundation, lime green center strips, and lots of scraps from my bin.

Well - Mary offered to quilt it and take care of passing it along to a good home through the Heartstrings project. And here is the quilting all finished. I really love the loops and butterflies she quilted all over.

If you have lots of scraps to use up and want a fun, quick, and easy project you may want to consider checking out the Heartstrings project. The guidelines are on the website. And all of the quilts are donated to local charities for distribution.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I love books!

I love to read and it doesn't make much difference whether I'm reading my Kindle, using the Kindle app on my iPad, or reading a REAL book. I just plain love books! I do have my favorite genres of course: mysteries, humor, history, and quilting.

Look at what the mailman just brought this week to my house - World War II Quilts. It is full of delightful photos and stories about the quilts made by World War II era quilters.

And I'm definitely glad this one is a real book and not electronic!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First new project of 2012

It's always exciting to start a new project isn't it? And the first project of the new year always feels like a whole new beginning.

This is part of the baby quilt I'm making for my granddaughter (due in March). My younger daughter is excited to be having a girl but doesn't want just pink "girly" stuff. Neither of my girls were into pink girls stuff growing up so I should not be surprised.

Anyway we shopped together for baby fabric and she picked out this darling jungle print. There will be additional sections with the lime green stipe and solid, and the tangerine stripe and solid. More about the pattern and fabrics another day, but the pattern is called Strip Tease.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hidden treasure

Cyber Cotton II (EY-4807)

Robert Kaufman

I made only 1 New Year's resolution this year and that is to de-clutter my house. I decided that I could tackle one drawer or one shelf, or one box at a time. And look at the treasure I found in a drawer last night. I was so excited that I didn't even finish going through the drawer.

I have a tall dresser in my basement that my grandfather made in the early 1950's. It sat in my sewing room in our old house, but has not been used since we moved into this house 6 years ago. I thought the drawers were empty - but instead it contained some real surprises.

I don't remember buying this fabric and know it was at least 6 years ago, but it is certainly my taste with the bright colors. So I'm thinking I must have planned to use it on the back of a quilt because I have 3 yards of it. And I really love it so this is definitely going back into my sewing room to be used in something fun!

Now I need to go through the rest of this dresser and see what other surprises it might yield.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Final finish of 2011

Happy New Year!

My last finish of 2011 is this bright flimsy done in the Yellow Brick Road pattern. It is a baby gift for one of my daughter's friends who is having a baby boy in January. His room is all done in primary colors with a race car theme.

I used a fat quarter bundle of primary colors that I bought several years ago. I have no idea anymore what fabric line it was and there were no selvages on any of the pieces to tell me. Bummer! Two of the fabrics are racing themed: the black and white checkered flag and the yellow one with different flags. I added a couple of black-on-black dot pieces in the quilt to balance the corners. And the stripe is something I bought this week for borders.

My plan is to put a yellow minkee on the back and then bind it with more of the red stripe.