Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Layout options

I made 2 more Traveling Star blocks this morning and then brought them all upstairs to my family room floor to play with layout options.  Here is option 1 - offset vertical rows and no sashing.  I am definitely looking for ideas and I know I'll keep rearranging them as I add to the collection of blocks.

Here are blocks 33 and 34.  And there are 4 more on my cutting table ready to sew.

Monday, December 30, 2013

A new project for 2014

I have something patriotic in mind for 2014. . .

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New quilt decor

We have all 4 grandkids here this weekend for our Christmas celebration. And since 2 of them are 8 months old we decided to pad the brick fireplace with some quilts.  Probably a good move since Olivia spent a lot of time crawling and standing there today.  She's attracted by shiny bows.  We'll open gifts in the morning with all 4 of the little ones. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas decor

I must admit that I love the seasonal things that help make my house bright and cheery.  A Jim Shore angel on my mantle was a new addition this year. She may stay out after the other Christmas decorations get put away.

And this little Christmas quilt is covering my coffee table even though it is a little too big.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Traveling Stars

More traveling star blocks . . . and a few more ready to go.  There are 32 finished now.

Folded Star ornament

Merry Christmas from our house to yours. I made this ornament in 1990 (cross-stitch date on the back) and now I'm seeing similar folded stars all over Pinterest. It's always fun to see a favorite design come around again. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Design Wall Monday - Playing with squares

I have the day off and I'm playing with the box of 2 1/2" squares I've been collecting.  So far this spiral is 20 inches square and growing rapidly. It's basically the log cabin technique but done with scrappy squares instead of strips.  Wonder how big this will be by the end of the day?

I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Snowman pillowcases

The 2 oldest grandkids will be getting new snowman pillowcases for Christmas.  I love making pillowcases and have donated a lot of them to local organizations.  They are kind of an instant gratification project because they are so quick to make.  I use a tube technique for the top and use French seams to encase all of the raw edges. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Eiffel Tower Mystery Quilt

The mystery quilt became a flimsy on Saturday morning.  Since the Eiffel Tower fabric was directional I had to cut the side borders lengthwise. Glad I bought extra!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mug rug exchange

I realized this morning when I set my cup of coffee on my new mug rug that I had forgotten to post anything on my blog about it. For our Christmas party meeting at the Heartland Quilt Guild we decided anyone interested would make a mug rug to exchange.  Each one was numbered and we just drew a random number. Mine was made by Carol and I just love the pretty Christmas florals she used. And the back is just as pretty.  It was been gracing my end table all month. Thanks Carol - Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A new ornament

I have a cute new Christmas ornament on my tree. Thank you to Cindy for the red work snowman. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mystery Quilt rows

Rows 1 and 2 of the Mystery Quilt are put together and I'm sure liking the light grey I used for the background.  Most of the rest of the weekend will be taken up by a holiday party and some college basketball so I may not get the other rows done until next weekend. But it's nice to have a little progress.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Favorite Christmas ornaments

I read a wonderful blog post from Wyoming Breezes yesterday about treasured Christmas ornaments from her childhood. And she recommended that I post something similar. My only childhood Christmas ornaments are the 2 little angels you can see in the photo. Both are made of cardboard, pipe cleaners, and other mysterious bits and pieces. But I do love them and hanging them brings back lots of great memories from childhood holidays.

My ornament collection is HUGE and pretty eclectic, and our tradition is to add something new every year to our tree.  Most of the ornaments have some special connection to places, or people, or events. And hanging those every year is a fun way to remember.  Some of my other favorites are these 2 photo ornaments from the 1980s when my girls were little.  I have new ones this year for grand-kid photos but I need to print smaller photos to fit before I can hang them.

I have given my girls each a new ornament every year since they were born, and now I'm doing the same with the grand-kids too.  This has been a tradition that I've enjoyed and I hope they get some enjoyment from it as well.  This year we've NOT hung many of the special ornaments because so many are fragile - and we'll have 2 toddlers and 2 crawlers at our house for Christmas. So we mostly kept the fragile things put away for another year and that is OK. But I had lots of fun looking at them as I sorted through ornaments. 

Do you have any favorite ornaments?  I would love to hear about them.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A "quilty" donation

This quilt top (with backing fabric and binding) is at the Post Office this morning ready to fly away to a new home. I'm donating it to a great cause rather than allow it to sit around my house with no purpose. Thank you to Jean at http://quiltingranny.blogspot.com/ who will take it from here.  It was a UFO that I recently finished after many, many years of neglect. I'm hoping that it ends up bringing some comfort and warmth to someone out there who needs it. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It feels good to give . . .

The Christmas party for Heartland Quilters Guild was last Saturday and we all brought a donation of children's hats, mittens, or socks (or cash) for the Mitten Tree at the church where we hold our meetings. We gathered quite a collection to add to the tree. These will all go to the local Salvation Army next week sometime.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care

Don't you just love the cozy feeling you get when the house is decorated for Christmas?  Even the cat seems to like it.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Traveling Stars

I've fallen behind in making the Traveling Stars blocks, but today I had a chance to get 2 more made. These are numbers 27 and 28.  The 6" center of each block is made from the square of fabric that our guild members share when they've bought fabric on a trip - thus, my name for these is Traveling Stars. And I have a couple of them made with 6" squares sent to me by blogging friends. I love, love, love star blocks.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in my house

A small Christmas runner for my kitchen counter.  Red, green, and grey is a different color combo than I usually think of for Christmas, but I like it. See the little silver Santa figure hiding next to the centerpiece leaves?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Snow day - Sew day

My mystery quilt blocks are all done. And I cut the pieces for something Christmasy. And I did a lot of shoveling until my neighbor came and finished my driveway with his blade. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mystery quilt progress

There are now 4 of the 17 star blocks needed for the latest mystery quilt I'm working on. The pieces are all cut and ready to go for the other 13. The Eiffel Tower fabric will be my main border fabric and the design should really stand out then. It's a bit lost in these 7.5" stars.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I had to decide what needed the most attention this week and my sewing room did not become a priority.  On Sunday I did manage to sew on the binding for my Year to Crow About quilt, and now the little clips are holding a section ready to hand stitch.  And then my week was consumed by work and getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I love the quilting and hope to work on it a little over this holiday weekend . . . when I'm not playing with a grandbaby.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Hoping this will be one of my projects for this weekend, now that I'm home again. I have 16 more star blocks to make for the Mystery Quilt.  And I picked up my Year to Crow About from the quilter today, so I can bind that too.  HMMM - what to start with?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Airport art

This cowboy boot is in the Cheyenne WY airport. Now I have been sitting in the Denver airport for about 5 hours. I hate delays and am ready to be home again. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Snowman runner is done

I finished the binding on this table runner on Sunday before leaving for the airport for a work related trip.  It's nice to check off another UFO. This runner is made from a fat quarter set purchased a couple of years ago. I fell in love with the cute snowmen on the focus fabric. It's quilted in icy blue in a snowflake pattern all over.  No sewing take place this week as I am in Cheyenne, Wyoming for a work project. And since there may be snow when I get home I guess this runner was finished just in time.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A pink and brown finish

I finished binding this quilt back in early October and was able to check it off my UFO list, but I kept forgetting to post a photo of the whole quilt.  This one I'm keeping because I really love the colors and the blocks.  This was a Saturday Sampler from a couple of years ago. Why does it always take me so long to finish them?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Another UFO getting attention.

Binding another UFO.  This one is a winter-themed table topper with snowflakes quilted into it.  That will only leave 2 large quilts remaining to bind from the pile I had accumulated.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Flying Geese Pinwheels . . . it's a flimsy!

I am so happy that I've finally gotten this top done.  This is an old, old UFO that had been hidden in the bottom of a drawer in my sewing room.  There were 4 blocks done and the others were cut out and ready to piece.  And I had bought enough fabric to make this huge.  So the top is now done and measures about 66" square, which is much smaller than the original plan.  The binding is made out of leftover blue, and I still had enough yellow to make a backing. I'm thinking about donating it all (unquilted) to a good cause.  Any good ideas of where it can go?

And I had lots of supervisory help from my assistant the past couple of evenings.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

9 patch cornerstones

I made the last 7 cornerstones for the sashing of the blue and yellow UFO.  And I made binding from the same blue and cut the narrow inner border I plan to use. There is maybe a half yard of the blue fabric left.  Lots of yellow left yet so I can make the outer border fairly wide. I'll figure that width out when I get the rest of the top together. Another step closer to checking off this UFO.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just a peek . . .

It's that time of year when we work on things that we can't show off until after the holidays.  This is one of those projects. You get just a little peek . . .

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On my design wall

My design wall (floor) . . . showing some progress this weekend on this old, old, old UFO.  Maybe next weekend I'll have the top done.  This is looking better than I thought it would.  I think it needs a narrow blue border and a wider yellow border to finish it off.  And 7 more 9-patch cornerstones.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mama Kass

This is Mama Kass, and she is the small quilt I bid on - and won - in a silent auction yesterday. The Sioux Falls Quilter's Guild had their annual quilt show this weekend and I attended with a couple of friends. I love silent auctions and when I saw this little quilt made by a talented SFQG member, I just knew I had to bid on it.  The label on the back told me the name of the quilt is Mama Kass. Isn't the quilting beautiful, along with the applique? I just love it.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cathedral Windows pillow

This is another old UFO - probably about 10 years old.  I wanted to try the technique, but knew I would not do a whole quilt using the technique.  So I made my small section into a pillow.  I had used a Christmasy batik, so now I have a new pillow for the holidays to go onto my new sofa that should arrive by then.  Check it off my UFO list.

Friday, November 8, 2013

UFO on the design wall

This might just be my oldest UFO - by several years.  I found it this summer, buried in a drawer and finished the last of the blocks this week. So now it's on my design wall and getting sashing and 9 patch cornerstones.   Right now the plan is to make this using 9 blocks, but I do have plenty of the fabrics so I could make it bigger.  We'll see . . . right now I'm just thinking it needs to be finished up.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wintery weather

This was the view today when I came home from work. Guess it is officially winter, even if my maple tree hasn't shed all of its leaves yet.

Monday, November 4, 2013

60 degree Thanksgiving runners

Another thing that I did on Saturday at our guild sewing day was to stitch up these 2 Thanksgiving-themed 60 degree runners.  I want to get at least ONE of them quilted by Thanksgiving Day.  Both of these came from the same 1.5 yards of a border print. It had 2 strips of each of the prints in the width.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It's a flimsy

The pieced border became a reality yesterday - and my Summer Mystery Quilt is finally a flimsy. Now I need to find something appropriate for a backing.  Those blocks do make this quilt look totally different than it did with just the plain border. And it's bigger, so that is a bonus.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Binding a UFO

Step one in getting this binding done.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

November goals

Time to be realistic about these goals.  October was not a productive month for sewing, but I'm excited to tackle some projects again.
  • Fall Mystery Quilt (month #2 steps)
  • Summer Mystery Quilt (finish pieced border)
  • Year to Crow About (find backing & deliver to quilter)
  • clean my sewing room!!
  • mail baby quilt to my nephew & wife
  • bind pink/brown Saturday Sampler UFO
  • Thanksgiving 60 degree table runner (NewFO)
Anything else I accomplish will be a bonus, right? 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

One border left

These blocks are part of the pieced border on my Summer Mystery Quilt and they are the same as the center section of this quilt too.

I got some quality time on Tuesday night, and finished enough blocks for one of the side borders. So 3 of the 4 borders are on the quilt. Our guild has a sewing day on Saturday, so I plan to finish the last border there.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October goals

What goals, you ask?  I really did have some goals set for this month, but they probably were not very realistic considering what my month was going to look like.

  • Begin Fall Mystery Quilt at The Pin Cushion - YES - have month 1 steps done
  • finish the additional border on the Summer Mystery Quilt only - NO
  • make Thanksgiving 60 degree table runner - NO
  • 3 more flying geese pinwheels - NO
  • dragon fly applique on my wall hanging - NO
  • bind pink/brown Saturday Sampler UFO - NO
However I did get a couple more of the border blocks done for the Summer Mystery Quilt, and I made a couple of baby burp cloths as gifts.   

But I did spend some important time doing other things: a road trip with girlfriends for shopping and seeing Wicked, and a whole weekend with grand-kids, kids, and big dogs visiting.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

If you haven't yet checked out the online Blogger's Quilt Festival, then it's time to that.  Bloggers all over the world will be posting about their beautiful quilts, and you can vote for your favorites in many different categories.

My entry is in the ROYGBIV category, which is all about the color wheel.  I made Polka Dots & Pachyderms for my oldest daughter using a rainbow of charm squares from a swap and adding the pieced elephants from my stash. It is a long and narrow throw quilt, so it even covers the legs of a tall husband.

Go online to the Blogger's Quilt Festival to vote for your favorites from Nov. 1-7.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekend visitors

We had a busy, crazy, noisy house this weekend. But it was fun!

Mason is almost 2 1/2, Jonah and Olivia are 6 months - these 3 belong to my older daughter. And Sophia is 18 months - and belongs to my younger daughter.

You can easily see why there was no quilting going on at my house.