Thursday, January 31, 2013

Careful what you wish for

I've been wishing for a snow day so I could hunker down at home and sew. Well, today the sun is shining bright, but most of the state is in a wind chill advisory with estimated wind chills at -35 degrees. Yup - that is "negative" 35! Also, most of the school districts in the eastern 2/3 of the state are closed because of the severe cold, including the 2 that I was supposed to be at today. And including the building where my office is located.

So, I got my wish to have a day to stay home and quilt. I spent a couple of hours this morning and got my Saturday Sampler block done. It's called Primrose Path and had lots of little 2" half square triangles in it. Pretty in the batiks and black. This was block 10 in the series - appropriately named Wishin' For Spring.

I also attached the binding to the owl quilt so I can get the hand work started.

And I cut the 1.5" strips that will be the frames for my Fat Quarter Stars quilt. I decided that sashing these blocks would be one of my February goals, but I wanted to frame each of them first in this pretty blue Bella Solid. Then the white sashing will be added, along with a border.

Not bad for just a couple of hours. And I got to do this by daylight for a change.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Setting small goals for February

I have decided that I need to set some small goals for the month of February.  My UFO list has a bunch of things on it that only need binding and labels. Lots of other UFO items are literally "in pieces" yet and need much more attention.

So I'm going to try to tackle 2 easy finishes, work on at least 1 other UFO, and allow myself to play with some new projects.  Here are my February goals:

Needing binding and label:
1.  Hugs & Kisses baby quilt (pictured here)
2.  Owl baby quilt

WIP needs lots of attention:
1. Put sashing on Terrain version of Fat Quarter Stars

NEW project:
1.  Row Robin blocks for guild project (make my 4 blocks to start project)

Monday, January 28, 2013

I love striped binding

I really love the look of a striped binding, and this cute stripe is going on the owl baby quilt. The same stripe is on the burp cloths I made to match.

This is ready to sew onto the quilt. If it had not been so chilly in my sewing room yesterday afternoon I might have gotten that accomplished yesterday. So hopefully after work today.

We are expecting freezing rain and snow tonight. Is it wrong to hope for a snow day tomorrow so that I can sew instead of work for at least part of the day? In between shoveling my driveway of course.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Year to Crow About

I am doing a new BOM at The Pin Cushion for the next 6 months. It is called a A Year to Crow About and we had our first "sew-along" day on Saturday. We got our January and February blocks and could stay and sew them. I got my January block finished and was about half done with the second one, which I finished this afternoon. The blocks all have a rectangle cut from a panel with a different crow each month. And they all have some small checkerboard sections. Very cute asymmetrical layouts that I think I may adapt for some future projects.

It is too chilly in my sewing room today so I didn't spend much time there. BRRRRR! I finished the block and made binding for the owl quilt. Then I headed back upstairs. And we spent a couple of hours at a hockey game to watch our nieces twin boys play. Now it's time to curl up on my couch in a quilt and read a good book.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Creative quilting

Just picked up the owl-themed baby quilt from Carly today and as always it looks great. She alternated a cute little bird design and a vine in the stripes of the quilt. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the striped binding cut and sewn on. And I need to make some kind of cute label for it too.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Owls appearing everywhere

These are the companion pieces to the baby quilt that I made a couple of weeks ago.  The pillowcase on the right side will be for the baby when he gets big enough to have a pillow.

The 2 burp cloths will come in handy right away.  These are backed with organic cotton fleece and are very absorbent. I have to pre-shrink this fleece before using it because it shrinks about 25%.  But I love it for this purpose.

When the owl quilt comes back from the quilter I have lots of the green fabric for binding, but also have enough of the stripe. So I will need to decide which looks best but I'm leaning toward that lovely stripe I used on the burp cloths.

Monday, January 21, 2013

a little progress

Last week I worked 6 days in a row, so there was not much time or energy left to do anything else. But I did fit in a little sewing time yesterday afternoon. I finished a couple more Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks, so now there are 4 done and another one is in progress. I really need to make more than 16 blocks however because that will not be large enough, so I'll be on the lookout for more blue and green batiks to add.

I also made 4 more string blocks for a donation project, and finished a pillowcase and 2 burp cloths to go with the owl themed baby quilt I made a couple of weeks ago. I will show those off another day.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I got sidetracked

I've been admiring the frilly knitted scarves that everyone seems to be wearing around here. But I really don't remember my knitting skills enough to make one. However, this week I had someone show me how to make the same scarf using a crochet hook. That I can do!

So I stopped at Ben Franklin Crafts and bought some of the Sashay yarn used in these. So many yummy colors to chose from. And the good news is how fast it goes. This one is half done already. And I can work on it while curled up on the couch under a quilt.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Help . . . I need a THEME

I need to come up with a theme for a Row Robin quilt. Our local quilt guild is going to do a Row Robin quilt project, which is similar to a Round Robin and should be lots of fun for those of us who choose to do it.  The Row Robin will require us to provide the sashing and the initial center row for our quilt.  The center row will be 4 blocks (12.5") plus the sashing. Then the next person will add a row based on specific guidelines for size and a sashing strip, and then the next month another person adds a row and sashing. There will be 7 rows on the quilt.

 Right now I'm kind of leaning towards a summer theme or patriotic . . . something that I can enjoy before, during, and after the 4th of July.  Or a fall theme with lots of rich fall colors.  But there are so many other seasons, holidays, and color schemes to consider.  

So I'm asking for some ideas.  How about it readers?  Can you suggest some other possible themes for me to use?   

Monday, January 14, 2013

First 2013 finish

Blue Stars is done and is on the bed in my guest bedroom.  This means I can mark a UFO off of my challenge list. Our guild is doing a UFO challenge this year and I'm determined to get some things done. Since this one just needed binding and a label it should not have taken me this long.

These were blocks I won at Saturday Sampler a couple of years ago. I still have a couple of blocks left that I can use for something else too.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Getting old

My hands and eyes are showing their age, and I don't like it one bit. Lately I've noticed my hands ache when I do a lot of hand sewing like binding. So I bought a package of these cute little binding clips and have used them on my most recent binding project. Love them - I don't need to grip the quilt as hard so my hands don't hurt.

And the old eyes? Well I've learned that even with my Ott Light I do better with navy blue (and black) thread in bright daylight. I just see it better. I set this quilt aside a week ago when I had company here because needles, thread, and sharp scissors don't mix with toddlers. So today I'm finishing up the last side while watching football.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Scrappy Trip Around the World

 I recently saw a tutorial online for a Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt. It uses 2.5" strips and I had the perfect jelly roll of batiks sitting in my stash.

So this Island Batiks jelly roll (in Ocean Mist colors) is becoming a quilt finally.  I know I shouldn't start a new project, but I did finish 2 UFO's and a new baby quilt top over the last month so this is my reward.

And on another topic - blogspot was giving me fits this morning when I tried to upload photos. So I had to try again over my lunch break and it finally worked.  Just a little technology glitch!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Binding, binding, binding

This is the quilt I'm binding this week, but it will probably take me all week to actually finish it . . . or maybe longer.  The binding and thread are navy blue and I'm finding that even with my OttLite I have trouble seeing that dark thread in the evening after work.  I really hate getting "old eyes".  

I have to figure out a label for this one too. It needs to include the information that I won these star blocks at a Saturday Sampler session.  I really, really LOVE how this quilt turned out and I love the idea that the blocks were all made by other people - except for the ONE that I made.  And I also love the colors in this one.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

Our kids and grandkids were only here for 1 day right before Christmas, and it wasn't really enough time.  But they are all coming back this weekend.  It will be wonderful to have them here for the weekend and spend some relaxing time with them.  Plus it is great to have those grandbabies around to spoil just a little bit.