Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Decorating with quilts

One of the things I love the most about decorating my house for Christmas is using some of the fun "quilty" things I've made or received over the years.

On my family room coffee table is a square quilt and on the sofa is a pillow. That pillow is a stack and whack design that makes a circle that ends up like a modified Dresden Plate.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

Sunday was spent decorating the house for the holidays. I have always enjoyed that task, although it was more fun when my girls were around to be part of the fun.  But I have a wonderful ornament collection that is full of great memories of Christmas, so decorating is always enjoyable for me.

We decided to move the Christmas tree out into the living room this year so there is more room to sit in the family room when everyone is home.  Our big tree takes up a lot of space.  So I bought a new tree for the family room that is tall and skinny and doesn't take up as much space.  It is pre-lit and I haven't hung any decorations on it yet, but I like it already.  I am thinking it might just get some big red bows to keep it simple.

What is your favorite decoration that you enjoy every year?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

This is what I'm doing this morning while watching the Macy's parade on TV and enjoying my coffee. My eggs are boiled and cooling to make deviled eggs to take to my daughter's for supper tonight.  I've always enjoyed cooking for a big Thanksgiving crowd, but will admit it is nice to be a guest somewhere else sometimes too.

This is the Indian Cabins block from 100 Blocks magazine.  I'm doing just a little hand quilting on it before binding. It will be a mug rug.  I love the spinning effect this block gives so I know I'll make it again sometime.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Half Square Triangles

8 times 12 - that is how many little triangle sets I have saved when trimming flying geese units from a recent quilt.  That quilt had 12 star blocks and each star had 8 star points.  And I hate throwing away scraps that could have a purpose.

So these have become my leaders and enders as I've been working on other projects the past couple of weeks.  Stitch, press open, square up to 2.5", and they are ready to become . . . something. 

I think this will make a lovely center section for a wall hanging or maybe it will be a doll quilt.  Right now this section is just hanging on my design wall where I can look at it and try to visualize what it will be when it grows up. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

100 Blocks - Lattice

I really love the 100 Block issues of Quiltmaker magazine, but this latest issue has some of the best blocks ever. 

My Christmas fabric stash is being raided to make some mug rugs as gifts, and I'm going to use some of the blocks from the magazine. 

This is one of the blocks I'm trying out. It is 12.5" square and is called Lattice. The designer is Cindy Lammon at  And I think it will be a beautiful block done in any color combination. 

I'll show you more another day.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

60 Degree Runners

My body clock is messed up.  I am NOT a morning person and normally am perfectly happy to stay in bed until at least 7:30.  But I went to bed early last night and was wide awake at 5:00 am this morning. 

It is amazing what a person can accomplish during those hours when normally asleep.  I made my coffee, put in a load of laundry, and then headed to my sewing room.  The cat even had to come down about 7:30 to demand breakfast because I lost track of time.

These 2 new 60 degree runners are ready to quilt and bind. I still have a couple more of these cut and ready to sew together. It is really one of my favorites and make terrific gifts.

Plus I made another self-binding baby blanket, add 4 more rows of little half-square triangles to a scrappy project, and made a Christmas block that is going to become a mug rug for a gift.  And it's not quite 11:00 am. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More flannel

I have to admit that I'm kind of hooked on making the self-binding flannel baby blankets.  And I have added a couple of new purchases to my flannel stockpile.

Both of these prints will look so cute with the lavendar dot.  I also have a light blue with yellow rubber duckies to go with a yellow star flannel.  And last but not least I have a darling giraffe print in turquoise and orange. 

I have 4 of these self-binding blankets already made and I gave one of them to my daughter to see if she liked it.  Since she is pregnant with twins due in the spring, and her cousin is pregnant as well - I know that I can give away a few of these as gifts. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reading enjoyment

Reading instead of sewing this last few evenings.  And I finished Jennifer Chiaverini's newest book.  Her books are always a "feel good" read in my opinion and this one was no different.

She introduces us to some lovely new characters, and gives us an update on beloved "old" characters.  And I just may have to try out the Giving Quilt pattern.

And last night after work I stopped at my favorite local book store and picked up volume 6 of Quiltmakers 100 Blocks.  I have all 5 of the previous volumes and this one is possibly the best one yet.  I can only say WOW!!  This magazine was just what I needed to put a little MOJO back into my sewing.  There are some gorgeous blocks in there that I just know I will try out.  The first one I plan to make is Wayne Kollinger's Indian Cabin block.   Check out his blog post that shows some variations in layout he suggests for his block.  I really love the strong geometric look of this one!    

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

UFO finish - finally

OK - this UFO has been very patiently waiting to be finished.  It was a Christmas themed friendship exchange that I was involved in - back in 2009!  There is a green ivy fabric that was used by everyone in their blocks.

I made my blocks that spring and summer (13 of them) - and we got together to exchange them in September 2009. The 13th block went into a charity quilt we donated locally.

In late 2010 I finally decided to set the blocks on point with a simple sashing and cornerstone layout.  Then Carly quilted it for me. 

In the fall of 2011 the binding was stitched on, but then I didn't get the hand sewing done on the binding before Christmas. So I set it aside. What was I thinking!!  So close to a finish.  I'm happy to say to I dug this out and finished up that handstitching  on the binding over the weekend.  The only thing left to do is to is write on the label.  I guess I'll have to put 2009-2012 on it as dates to remind me it was a LONG time getting finished.  But it feels good and is on my sofa to enjoy through the holidays this year - finally.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pretty stitching

I picked up my Twisted Witches Hat door hanging from the quilter on Saturday.  As always, she did a great job!  The quilting is a silver thread with stars and moons stitched into it. 

Now it needs binding and a hanging sleeve.  The binding I have planned is the same stripe that you can see in the picture.  Striped binding are always eye catching.

The hanging sleeve will require some thought since I plan to use it on my front door.  My other thought is just using some purple or orange heavy ribbon and hang it from the wreathe hook. That would be quick and easy.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pinwheel Star is finished

Happy to report that I made a deadline - and way before the last minute for a change.  This quilt is a pinwheel star quilt that I made at the request of a cousin.  The Minkee backing is the same pale blue as the monkey print on the border.

It is completely finished and even has a label. So now it is ready to put in the mail to a Kansas baby by way of Virginia. 

In Virginia, the "givers" can write anything they want on the heart-shaped label before sending it on to Kansas in time to welcome the new baby in early December.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More fun with scraps

What do you do with leftovers and scraps from projects?

Well, I can't bear to throw them away if I can cut them into squares and use them in something else later on. So, this is the leftovers from my recent Twister project for Halloween.

It is a lacey-looking bunch of squares all still connected by tiny strings of fabric. This is what you have left once you cut out the twisted sections. And these will be cut into 2" squares and dropped into my box of other 2" squares . . . just waiting for a project that needs such a thing. 

Just maybe I could sew these back together in the same layout and make a teeny-tiny twisted witches hat using the itty-bitty twisted ruler.  Or maybe not. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another sampler block

I've made the most recent Saturday Sampler block in the Wishing for Spring sampler. These will all be set on point which is a setting that I love to use. 

This one is really just a log cabin technique so it went together very quickly. Each of the blocks so far have a flower theme. It has been so interesting to see what color background people have been using.  I was not very imaginative by choosing black. It was a safe choice. Some of the prettiest blocks had much more creative use of color in the background.

It does remind me that I need to think outside of the box more often and take some color risks.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Labeling a baby quilt

The label is on and ready for my cousin to write anything she wants on it before giving this quilt as a baby gift to her friend. It is about 4" wide and tall but there is plenty of room to write on the tan section. 

I have to say the color is really bad in this photo, maybe because it was such a grey dreary day. The Minkee on the quilt is really pale blue but looks grey in this picture.  As soon as I finish the binding I'll photograph the whole quilt and post it.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Work, work, work

I am on day 6 of a work marathon, and totally worn out mentally.  And it leaves me with nothing to blog about.  Boring!

My workshop participants are working on a task, so I'm on my iPad trying to work the cobwebs from my brain.  I desperately need some sewing time to regenerate and renew.  The only sewing that has happened this week is binding on a baby quilt.  I NEED to hear the happy hum of my sewing machine.  Maybe tomorrow!