Thursday, May 31, 2012

Enjoying someone else's handiwork

I don't know who did the embroidery on this, but I get to enjoy it anyway.

This dresser scarf belonged to my mother's cousin Betty who recently passed away in her 80s. Her sons and daughters-in-law very graciously gave me some things of hers and I know I'll enjoy owning them. I remember seeing this in her house, but we all wish we knew who did the beautiful work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No progress to report

Nothing at all to report from my sewing room.  I have not had any time to sew in about a week.

We spent the last few days back in my home state of Minnesota for a memorial service for my cousin. Since it was also Memorial Day weekend, it was perfect timing for visiting my parents' graves.  The cemetaries always look so beautiful for this occasion with the flowers and the flags. My father was a proud veteran, and I am honored.

It was really good for me to have the chance to visit with family that I haven't seen in years.

And . . . I came home with some interesting old needlework belonging to my mom's cousin that I will photograph and share another day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Little mosaic tiles

This small table topper was one of my weekend projects. Considering it's size - 12 x 22 - it should have been a quick project long ago. It was cut out and then stuffed back in a bag with some other table runner projects.
I love the colors, but wasn't very excited by the blue toned fabric after cutting into it. That is probably why I set it aside to become a UFO.
It's a small finish - but it is no longer in my UFO pile.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Striped binding

Lots of striped binding - all ready to put onto my Polka Dots & Pachyderms quilt.  This stripe makes me think of a necktie. 

I have 3 big quilts to bind right now. The binding for all of them is ready to go. I just need the motivation - and a clean sewing table - in order to get them done.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend progress

I skipped golfing this weekend and tackled some things in my sewing room.  When the weather turns nice in the late spring, I will easily admit that sometimes I would rather be outdoors that in my sewing room.  I do not garden anymore, and don't enjoy yardwork.

But I do enjoy golf.  And this would have been a nice weekend for golf. However - I made myself promise to clear up some projects laying around before indulging myself.

Here is the list of this weekend's sewing accomplishments:

  • Worked on the picket fence border for my wildlife panel quilt. I have 4 of the picket blocks left to make. Then I can add my borders to the quilt.
  • Made my Saturday Sampler block. See yesterday's post. It's really pretty.
  • Pieced a backing for my black, white, bright Saturday Sampler quilt - used up close to 4 yards of stash. Yay!!
  • Stitched together and pressed the striped binding for the elephant quilt.  It's ready to go.
  • Pulled out a bag with 4 tablerunners that are UFOs, and that I didn't even put on my recent list. I decided that these might be quick finishes.
  • UFO #1 - Finished this jungle fabric table runner made with the Waffle Time pattern.
  • UFO #2 - Finished another smaller table topper - I'll show that later this week.
  • Made one more of the selvage half square triangle blocks. 10 out of 16 are done.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saturday Sampler block 2

Wishin' for Spring - that is the name of the current Saturday Sampler program at The Pin Cushion. I chose the batik colorway this time and I really love sewing on batiks. Plus I love the colors.

These blocks will be set on point.  The first block was a very simple design and did not "jump out" with a spring theme. But this one definitely looks like flowers budding out to me.

One of the best things about a Saturday Sampler program is the aniticipation as each new block is added. Sometimes I've really felt early on that I wasn't going to like the end result. And then - SURPRISE - the end result is beautiful.

The bonus block this month is red, green, cream and I really like that color combination. So hopefully I will get a bonus block made so that I have a chance to win the blocks.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Vertical rows

The 3 vertical rows of my Wash Tub Club quilt are all done.  I have 15 blocks with 8 of them set with pink triangles and the other 7 set in blue. Then I added white setting triangles that have both pink and blue in the tiny flowers.

Next month we should get the instructions for the vertical sashing and the borders.  Although we did have a small project in between the blocks and the rows, so that we had more time to anticipate the next steps.
Back to my sewing room today. I'm hoping to finish the picket fence borders for my wildlife quilt and to add the binding to the elephants. We'll see how much I actually accomplish.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Here is a quick peak at some cute cowgirl fabric I just had to buy for a future project for a niece having a baby.  It is a Michael Miller design. So cute!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quilted Elephants

Carly - my quilter extraordinaire - got my Polka Dots & Pachyderms quilt all quilted for me. It turned out just the way I wanted. It has spirals in the polka dots, the bowties and elephants are outlined, and the elephants have a simple octagon shape in the body.
My striped binding is cut and just needs some time at the sewing machine to stitch together and put on the quilt.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wash Tub Club

I really enjoy attending our local Wash Tub Club group each month. I have a pretty good stash of 1930's reproduction fabrics, but have not used them much in the last couple of years.
I have been working on this little quilt this spring however. I have the 15 blocks all done. This month we got the pattern for the setting triangles in the vertical rows.  My blocks are set with either pink or blue, so I found a cute white fabric with tiny little pink and blue flowers to use for the big setting triangles. Can't wait to find some time to work on this again.
There was no sewing done at all last week as I was out of town for work. And the weekend was totally consumed with activity too, so I haven't been in my sewing room in about 10 days except for putting some things away. I'm going through withdrawal . . . and need some quilting time soon!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

UFO list

How many UFO projects do you suppose the average quilter has laying around? How many do you have? I worked on finished some of these projects during the last year, but unfortunately there are still many to go.
I've been working on a list of my personal UFOs and it always scares me when I do this. I think of the money invested, and the time invested, and the space invested. Yikes!!

Here is what I've come up with in the last few evenings of contemplation:

  1. Cream block set (blocks are done, I like them, but what to make?)
  2. Snowman table runner (top is done, needs quilting)
  3. Boxed Squares (blocks are half done)
  4. Rail fence (20" squares are done, needs to become something)
  5. X-Blocks (blocks are done, needs to become something)
  6. Flannel sampler (blocks are done, partially put together with the sashing)
  7. Red, white, black sampler (needs more blocks)
  8. Count On It monthly mini quilts (need to finish Dec., Feb., Aug.)
  9. Purple Dresden plates (too much purple involved in this one, maybe add some golds?)
  10. Dr. Seuss baby quilt (cut out and ready to sew)
Every one of these projects has been set aside with a reason. In some cases I finished the blocks but don't know what to use them for. In others (purple Dresden plates) I decided I didn't like it as I worked on it. In the case of the flannel sampler, I just hate sewing on flannel. 

Adding these projects onto my WIP list is really overwhelming!   So . . . now what? I need to pick something from this list that I feel would be easy to finish and JUST DO IT.  How about alternating my projects - finish a WIP, then work on a UFO. A girl needs a plan, right?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

April Block Swap

My mailman delivered this today! Isn't it pretty?
I've been doing an online block swap for several months now, and this was made by my April partner Cecelia. It is going to fit in nicely with my other black and white and bright blocks I've received. Although I had this sudden thought that maybe this block needs to be the start of a new project. This block design would be great done with a different color in each block center. HMMMM . . . inspiration comes when you least expect it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Picket fence borders.

Sunday afternoon was spent putting my wildlife blocks together with the background sashing. Then I cut the pieces for the picket fence border I'm going to add to both sides. I'm using the same fabrics I used to make the drop shadows on each block. And I added a black narrow inner border to both sides.
Now my decision has to be which direction to lay the borders. Do I put them on with the background pickets facing out, or facing in?
I have to thank Dakota City Quilter for the inspiration for this border. I was having no luck in figuring out what would fit with this particular design . . . and voila, she posted about a quilt she used this picket fence on. I just knew it would be perfect for this quilt. Thanks Lori.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Stormy morning

About 9:00 am this morning it got very dark, the thunder and lightning started . . . and then the hail fell.
It fell so fast and hard that it filled up our rain gutters and started just flowing over. We ended up with 2 drifts of hailstones on each end of the deck.
My husband just went out with a shovel a few minutes ago and pushed them off the deck onto the lawn. In 2 hours they still had not melted.
Guess it is a good day to settle in with some sewing because we won't be playing golf. The course just sent out a message asking for help from members willing to come out and help fix the damage on the greens. What a morning!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tracking 2012 Progress

I was inspired by Moneik this morning when she listed her quilting progress in her blog.  So as I ate my lunch I've been jotting down what I have finished and what I have been working on since January 1. Wow - it really does add up.  I was afraid to start listing the UFO items again, but I need to do too.

Finished Projects
*Stepping Stones baby quilt (for my niece's baby)
*Yellow Brick Road baby quilt in racing theme (for daughter's friend)
*Strip Tease baby quilt (for my granddaughter Sophia)
*Heartstrings top mailed to Mary J in Minneapolis (quilted by her & donated)
*4 ditty bags

Tops Finished
*Polka Dots & Pachyderms (at the quilters now)
*Color Me Happy Saturday Sampler
*Black & White Color Me Happy Sat. Sampler
*Fat Quarter Stars (Ellie II fabrics)
*2 fall table runners (60 degree pattern) - in danger of becoming UFOs!

Works in Progress
*Blue Stars (needs borders)
*Lil' Darlings blocks - all 15 done for Wash Tub Club project
*8 wildlife blocks finished (needs sashing & borders)
*selvage half square triangles 10" (8 of the 16 blocks done)
*Fat Quarter Stars (Terrain fabrics) - all 12 blocks done, needs sashing & borders
*Watermelon table runner (hand quilting has stalled out)

Needs Binding
*Friendship Exchange quilt
*Pink/Brown 2011 Saturday Sampler

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Final wildlife block

By the time I got home from work yesterday the thunderstorms were rolling in. So, it became a perfect evening for sewing.
My final wildlife block is done - it's Grouse. At least that is what I think it is. I'm definitely not a bird expert.
Now I need to figure out my layout plan for sashing and border. I plan to use the background fabric for sashing so that the blocks are floating with their shadows. Then I'll add a narrow inside border around the whole center area with the same black that I used in the folded accent around the block edges.
And I'm toying with a picket fence outside border. But I need to figure out sizes before I can try that.