Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Winding down in 2014

Just a little end of the year sewing . . . and it was 4 more of these Traveling Stars blocks.  I still have quite a few of these to make from 6" squares shared by guild members.

Yesterday I prepped and sewed on several pillowcases from my stash fabrics. 3 of them have snowman fabrics, 2 pillowcases have motorcycles, 1 is bright yellow with kitties, 1 is butterflies, 1 is smiley faces, and 2 more are florals.  I have the tops on 5 of them, have 2 more pinned into the "tube" and ready to sew. The rest are cut and ready to go. 

And this morning I've been doing a little organizing in my sewing room and working on my 2015 UFO list.  I've found the past 3 years that having a list of UFOs to work on has helped me focus.  When I have a little time to sew and nothing planned, then I can check that list and choose something to work on.  2014 saw a LOT of projects checked off the list and that definitely made me happy.

We're going to spend New Year's Eve having supper and watching the kids open Christmas gifts at our older daughter's house later today. They had a house full of influenza over Christmas, but everyone is healthy again and we are looking forward to spending some time with them.

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

House Warming Party

This is month 4 of the House Warming Party quilt and is actually the last of the border blocks. Now the fun begins with the large center section of this quilt.  

The little red birds show up again in that center section.  I think there are 10 of them total, with 5 scattered in the border blocks.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Housewarming Party blocks

Month 3 of the Housewarming Party BOM was to make 4 of these blocks. Done!  And I looked ahead at Month 4. Can't wait to start those blocks, which will have more of the appliqued birds.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Trying to catch up

I have received quite a few "traveling squares" at the past couple of guild meetings and really need to get caught up on making the star blocks with them.  So, a little time on Christmas Eve morning and Christmas Day afternoon spent in the sewing room and there are 4 more Traveling Stars blocks done. Only a few more to go . . .

The blue fabric above is from Israel.  And the next 2 are from Sturgis SD (famous for its motorcycle rally every August).  The final star is made from a "fishy" print from a vacation to a tropical locale.  And I counted the ones left to do - 14 more have the star points and white background cut and ready to sew.  I'm getting closer to a queen-size quilt.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A new project for this week

Tonight I cut all of the pieces for a new project to work on this week. This will be a baby quilt for a friend of DD#2 who is expecting a girl in April.  The new mom sports the nickname of "Frenchie" - and that inspired the fabric I chose for her.

I'll share more about the pattern as I sew this.  It's a really great pattern for a fast finish.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Working on gifts

Another travel pillow done. A niece is having a new baby any day now and this pillow is for her toddler daughter so that she gets a present too.  I need to find the perfect book to add to this.  She is a little cowgirl, so this should be appropriate.

I also made a mint green flannel self-binding baby blanket this morning - in case the new baby is another girl. And I have a blue one ready to sew this afternoon in case she has a boy.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Just a tiny glimpse

I'm not really giving anything away with this tiny look at the latest round robin addition for our guild project.  We are all supposed to add at least 1 star somewhere this month.  I have this little star all ready to use. Now I just need to figure out what else I'm going to add to this.

Round robins are so much fun, but can be a little intimidating too.  Each month it's a surprise when I open that bag or box to see what I'm working with.  We need to add something that enhances the flow of the design and hope that we are going to make the original owner very happy when she gets the quilt back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Handmade ornaments

Two new handmade ornaments were just added to my Christmas tree. I finished the counted cross stitch ornament with a simple binding.  It has folded fabric star points for a little dimension and is about 5 inches across.

This little felt button ornament was a project from our Sew Vintage group this weekend. It's so cute and was easy to make. Some circles of felt blanket stitched together. The holes were punched so we could add the "thread" to make it look like a real button sewn on.  Thanks Pam for helping us with this little project.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Mystery Quilt

The mystery quilt that we've been doing for Saturday Sampler . . . it's a flimsy!  This photo is terrible, but we have a grey day with freezing rain and no sunshine. 

This mystery called for 6 fabrics of our choice and was done in 4 monthly "clues".  We had only cut into 4 of the 6 fabrics after 3 months so I was totally stumped about what this would look like. But on Saturday we got the final clue. On Sunday it took me less than an hour to add the big center square-in-a-square and then add those border pieces. Another hour to audition some outer border choices and add those.  This made a nice large lap quilt.

I'm linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday at

Sunday, December 14, 2014

President's Quilt traditions

Our quilt guild makes blocks for each outgoing president at some point during that next year and we give them as a thank you gift to that member.  This year we each made a scottie dog block. The dogs are all black (solid or dark print) with bright colors. We each had the same background white dot.  At our quilt show this summer we had a display and a "bed turning" of president's quilts.

This is my block and you can see that we sign them as well.  We presented these blocks last week at our December guild meeting.  It will be fun to see what she does with them.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

More travel pillows

More of the kid's travel pillows are ready for gifting.  I think this makes 17 of them in the past few weeks and I just might have to make more of them.  So quick and fun.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

More traveling star blocks coming soon

I've fallen a little behind making my Traveling Star blocks using the 6" squares shared by guild members after a trip.  Last month I think we got 5 squares, and this month we got 4 more.

The front 2 fabrics were from a couple of ladies who had just been to Israel. The blue one represents peacocks which was an important memory of the trip. The other has beautiful script in the background. The 2 fabrics in the back are from Wyoming (I hope I'm right).  

I just love this practice. Members have made some gorgeous scrappy quilts using these squares. My Traveling Stars blocks will make a beautiful scrappy quilt. And it will always be a wonderful memory of my guild friends.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Friendship quilt

A dear friend, fellow educator and fellow quilter, has just retired and 4 of us got together to make her a quilt to celebrate.  Sylvia loves cardinals, so our choice was this birch tree and cardinal design. There is a cardinal for each of us - making 5 total.  Yesterday was her big retirement party and we presented this to her there.  

I was so excited to finish this and give it to her. Each of the 4 of us made 3 birch tree blocks. Then the blocks headed 300 miles away to one friend who appliqued the cardinals. Next the blocks all came back to me and I cut all of the borders. Three of us got together to arrange the layout, and one took it all home to sew the rows together and add the borders.  Two gals picked out the backing and delivered it to the quilter (beautiful job).  Then I added the binding on Friday, finishing it up about 3 hours before the party.

I added a small label on a back corner, but we've talked about each of us signing a cardinal on the front.  And I'm hoping that the honored recipient's husband got a couple of good pictures of her with the quilt.  This was definitely a project filled with friendship and love.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Birds of a feather

When I saw this song bird fabric I just knew I wanted to use it to make an apron.  Loving the soft colors in this and had a hard time deciding which coordinated print to use with it. The plaid ended up being a good choice because it blends in nicely instead of standing out. And these little heart shaped buttons actually feel like tree bark.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My girls

I love my smart and beautiful girls! It has been really great having them and their families so close all of these years. But life changes, and the younger daughter's family has just moved 300 miles west to the Black Hills.  We will just have to plan ahead when we want to see them, instead of spur of the moment visits. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Design Wall Monday

My Sunday evening sewing included finishing the final 4 Heartstrings blocks for this set.  I laid them out this morning on the family room floor so that I can rearrange these into rows without similar strings meeting up.  The top will then be mailed off to a Heartstrings volunteer to quilt or tie, and then donate to a worthwhile location.

My 2015 set of Heartstrings blocks are going to be black and white, with either pink or bright center strings.  I'm leaning right now to using several different bright colors for those centers, or go with just pink scrappy centers.  Either one will be fun.