Monday, December 31, 2018
I have several things on my design wall today, none of which have a lot of chance of being finished by the end of the day. But it's a good way to spend at least part of this windy, snowy day. I need to take advantage of it since I'll have to go back to work on Wednesday.
I am working on a mug rug for an exchange I have coming up in a bit over 2 weeks. My plan today is to get the top of it done and ready to quilt. It will have a tropical theme, and this palm tree will be part of the design - once I find some appropriate scraps to use for the applique.
Second is to make the letters for another big floor pillow. My cousin would like one made for her nephew. His name is Lukas, so only 5 letters to make. This pillow is going to be all from my stash and she has requested blue and brown. His birthday is next week so I know it will be late unless she decides I should just mail it directly to Virginia.
I hope to get binding made and attached to Hourglass, which came back from the quilter just before Christmas. The quilting is beautiful as always and I'm looking forward to finishing this one. And I'll definitely be sharing some pictures of the finished quilt.
My 2019 UFO Challenge list is nearly done, but I have a few more spaces left to fill. So I need to do more cleaning and organizing while deciding on more UFOs to put on this list. I could fill out more than one page, even after identifying 3 per month instead of only 1 like the challenge.
Check out other final 2018 Design Wall Monday posts: http://smallquiltsanddollquilts.blogspot.com/
Saturday, December 29, 2018
Some projects seem destined from the beginning to become UFOs. This was one of them. But I stuck with it and my perseverance paid off with a finished top. It’s 36" square with a zillion pieces.
I struggled with the cutting and the sewing. And I hope the quilting will force it to lay flat. All of the plaids in this Kim Diehl pattern are flannel and I hate working with flannel. It stretches. Enough said on that topic.
When making those weird flying geese blocks in the border I ended up with bonus triangle leftover. I’ve sewn them together and sliver trimmed all 24 of them. There are just enough to make 6 of these 6.5" pinwheel blocks. I see another mini quilt in the future.
Friday, December 28, 2018
Thursday, December 27, 2018
The wind has swirled around and piled up the snow deeper on the deck than out on the lawn. But we’ve easily had 3 or 4 inches so far today with more expected.
Morning progress on Crackerjack has the center section only needing 6 more tiny churn dash blocks and sashing. This is giving me fits trying to keep things laying flat.
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Because everyone had gone home, I had lots of time on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to sew, but spent very little time doing that. Instead I did a little cutting, a little sewing, and then curled up with a good book. And there may have been a couple of naps in there too.
Kim Diehl's Simple Whatknots are some of those projects that I'm planning to tackle this week. And since we may be getting 12" or more of snow between today and Friday I'll have plenty of sewing time.
It's been snowing since dawn this morning already. So far we've only gotten a couple of inches, but Dave decided to run the snowblower over the driveway now and get a head start. Tomorrow is likely to be the worst day with LOTS of snow expected with wind. Probably a typical South Dakota winter storm.
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Friday, December 21, 2018
Some of the totally finished projects from 2018:
- Red Bird Christmas quilt
- Jelly Roll Christmas quilt
- Purple jelly roll race quilt
- 2017 Saturday Sampler quilt
- Quilt of Valor panel quilt
- pink One Block Wonder quilt
- Friendship Exchange quilt
- Polka Dot Pinwheel kid-size quilt (made from charm packs)
- Unicorn Stars quilt (made from parts of En Provence mystery quilt)
- ABC children's quilt
- Patriotic Lone Star wall hanging
- 2 more Sew Together bags
- 2 small pineapple wall hangings
- 3 Simple Whatknots mini quilts
- Old Glory
- Farmhouse Stars
- Small Talk
- 5 personalized floor pillows for grandkids
- 4 personalized Christmas stockings
- Numerous pillow cases (5 for the grandkids for Christmas)
- Grand Adventure Christmas quilt (made from layer cakes) is a flimsy
- Paris panel lap quilt is a flimsy
- sewing machine door hanging
- Saturday Sampler 2018 quilt is a flimsy
- Thimbleberries Hourglass quilt (from 2004) needs binding as soon as it comes back from the quilter
- French General wall hanging (Disappearing 4-Patch) is a flimsy
- Raspberry Cocoa (Simple Whatknots mini quilt) is partially hand quilted
- Patchwork of the Crosses - 3 blocks made, ready to add some "separator" pieces
Thursday, December 20, 2018
I've been collecting interesting Christmas ornaments for decades. And yes, it's a good thing I have a very big tree to decorate. I often purchased an ornament on trips over the years. I love hand made ornaments or those with a theme close to my heart. For example there are close to 3 dozen icicle ornaments on my tree of various shapes and sizes. Some are glass and others are not.
This metal Jackrabbit ornament was a gift from my grandchildren this year. I really love it.
I purchased this little birdhouse ornament at an artist guild shop in the Blue Ridge Mountains many years ago. It's only about 4" high, but has that tiny little perch. I love the bark texture mixed with the silky smooth sections of wood. You can just barely see the artist's signature along the bottom. This was purchased sometime in the 1990s.
This little lighthouse was purchased in Maine in 2002. I had just started a new job after teaching in the same high school for 18 years. It was a big change for me, and I was sent to Maine for some training. This ornament, and a tiny red metal lobster magnet (on my fridge to this day) were my mementos of that trip with new co-workers. Notice the red berries? I also have lots of "picks" stuck in among the branches. Most have red berries of various types, or have something sparkly on them.
We probably all have items in our homes that bring back good memories every time we see them. I can feel the memories flowing as I lift the lid on the ornament boxes every year.
Monday, December 17, 2018
I have the pillowcases done for both families of grandkids. These were kits that I bought this fall at The Pin Cushion with the kids in mind. This has become a tradition - getting a new pillowcase at Christmas and on their birthdays. Last year I matched the theme of the pillowcase with the book they received (like dragons or Bambi), but this year they are all Santa themed.
Check out today's Design Wall Monday posts: http://smallquiltsanddollquilts.blogspot.com/
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Friday evening I got a text message from my daughter on behalf of Sophia. She said "grandma we have a big problem. We don’t have Christmas stockings."
I felt immediate guilt as I’ve been avoiding the finishing step on their stockings that I started over a year ago. So here we are - with appliqué names instead of machine embroidery names. I think they turned out cute. Edited note: I was asked how I did the names. It is simple iron on appliqué. I printed the names using a font I liked on my computer. The size is 90. I traced them backwards then traced that onto fusible web, ironed them onto fabric, and cut them out.
I chose some vintage looking fabrics for my daughter’s stocking as she likes vintage things.
And my son-in-law’s stocking has a bit bolder fabrics.
With another week of absolutely no sewing time I am beginning to panic about getting things done before next Friday when everyone arrives. Why do I procrastinate so much? But I got the final pillow quilted and assembled this morning. Next is getting the pillowcases all made. And then I must get the names on a couple of new stockings.
I only bought of the big gift sacks - like garbage bags only Christmasy. The really big pillows will go into those and hopefully the other 3 will fit in large paper giftbags. I really don't want to venture out to Walmart to find more of the big bags.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Sunday, December 9, 2018
One step closer to having Sophia's pillow done - the front is made. Now to get it quilted and then add the envelope backing. And I'm happy now that the 28" pillow forms I bought for Mason's pillow came in a 2-pack because this one ended up 28" square too.
These letters are all from Lori Holt's book Spelling Bee and they go together so easily. She has patterns for both upper and lowercase letters, and in 6" and 12" sizes. The other blocks in the book are mostly pictorial, such as the canning jars, camera, typewriter, and more. I really love her books and instructions.
What's on your design wall today? See what is on more design walls at: http://smallquiltsanddollquilts.blogspot.com/
Saturday, December 8, 2018
The next step in our Saturday Sampler mystery quilt was given out today. And now that I have this step done I can report that the ultimate design is still a mystery to me. I suspect that something diagonal is going to happen to these units. And we do have triangles cut but they don’t seem to fit. So the mystery continues - which is the whole idea, right?
Friday, December 7, 2018
One of the very best things about social media is being able to share ideas with other quilters. I get so much inspiration from the blogs I read regularly. I first saw these blocks done by Lori at https://dakotacityquilterii.blogspot.com/, who shared with me the link to the tutorial on Moda Bake Shop. This block is so versatile, but really lends itself to a scrappy quilt.
I made about 150 of these in a rainbow of colors for our family reunion last summer for signatures. It's going to make a fun quilt. Which reminds me that I need to get those blocks sewn together soon.
This fall Nancy, at https://wyomingbreezes.blogspot.com/ began making these in red and blue to use in a Quilt of Valor. What a fabulous idea! On her blog she shows them all laid out with blues and reds alternated. It's going to be a really striking QOV.
Our guild members have been making Garlic Knot blocks for our QOV for the past year and a half. We have enough for 3 or 4 quilts, which are in various stages of completion. So maybe it's time to make something fresh and new. And the Ritzy Cracker block could be the one. It's fast and very easy. And because we square them up after sewing, they are very forgiving when many different people are sewing them.
My design board has the pieces for a block all laid out and ready for the demo at our January guild meeting. I have a couple of blocks made as samples, and I have condensed the instructions to 1 page for a handout. I'm hoping 2019 will be a productive year for our newly formed Quilt of Valor group, started by several guild members.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
It is always such a good feeling when you put in the final stitches on a top, and can lay it out for a look. Since these blocks were begun in 2004 and completed in 2018, I have an even bigger appreciation for the work I've put into this quilt.
Hourglass was a 2004 Thimbleberries pattern. The fabrics are all leftovers from Thimbleberries Club projects. I didn't finish all of those projects, but I did finish most of them. There wasn't enough of any one fabric for the outer border, so I pieced some red on the top and bottom borders to fill out the dark blue. Maybe it's appropriate since the rest of the quilt is scrappy to have a somewhat scrappy border.
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
All of the parts and pieces for both Saturday Sampler quilts are cut and in the project box just waiting for some sewing instructions - which we should see on Saturday. I can't wait to start sewing these together. Both options include a black print, but should look totally different.
And finally I prepped one of the 5 Christmas pillowcases for the grandkids. Cut and all pinned together into a "sausage roll" ready to sew the first seam that attaches the top cuff and trim with no raw edges.
Check out Linky Tuesday - https://conniekresin.com/2018/12/linky-tuesday-december-4th.html
Monday, December 3, 2018
What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your home?
Last week I was talking about just not having the motivation to get my Christmas decorations out and put up. But I did finish the tree the next day, and by the end of the weekend I had the stockings hung on the mantle, a few Christmas quilts out, and some other decor. I didn't get too carried away in the rest of the house this year, but it does look festive. This living room is open to the kitchen and the front entry, and the family room opens from it with French doors. So we can see this from nearly everywhere in the house.
When my girls were little we lived in houses without fireplaces so we always had to find someplace else to hang stockings. Usually they hung around the door frame between the dining and living rooms. But this house has 2 fireplaces and I love how the stockings look hanging here on the big brick fireplace. My older daughter has a fireplace, but her husband built a lovely rustic ladder to hang the stockings on.
Nancy at https://wyomingbreezes.blogspot.com/ suggested this morning that we show our front door with Christmas decor. Over the years I've usually had a wreath, but last year I found this fun swag with burlap, and bells, and wooden trees.
It's cheerful to hear those bells jingle when we open the door. However, now that I look at the photo it is kind of drab looking without much color. But I love the bells and the wooden trees. I think next year I'll use the wooden trees and bells as ornaments on the Christmas tree and go back to a more traditional wreath.
We mostly live in our family room where the big windows look out onto the back yard, and I have a huge round coffee table in that room. It's almost always covered with a small quilt and some seasonal decor. When the grandkids are here the quilt comes off and the coffee table is always covered with puzzles or Legos. But for now it has a quilt, a lantern, and some holly with twinkle lights.
Saturday, December 1, 2018
So far we haven’t seen the predicted winter storm. But I spent the morning hunkered down in my sewing room anyway.
I cut the sections for one of my Saturday Sampler quilts. I think the next step will be sewing and so far I have no idea how these will go together. Guess that is why it’s a mystery quilt.
Mason’s pillow is done. This one is 28" square. Jonah’s pillow top is quilted and the back pieces are ready. But I need another pillow form a bit smaller than this one. 26" would be perfect.
Time to cut my second Saturday Sampler pieces and then start working on Sophia’s pillow and the kids’ pillowcases.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Sitting at my desk this morning, I looked at my coffee mug and realized that it was a Valentine's Day mug. And I have several Christmas mugs in my dining room hutch. So I spent 5 minutes and put away some of the miscellaneous mugs in the cupboard and got out some of the Christmas ones. I don't have any "sets" of coffee mugs. They are all just single mugs that I've bought or received as gifts over the years.
I also have a couple of really cute seasonal mug rugs that I enjoy using this time of year. Now my desk looks much more festive.
Do you have Christmas china or dishware that you use this time of year? I always admire the ones I see but have never purchased any, except for a few serving bowls and platters.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Usually my tree goes up the weekend of Thanksgiving, and I begin to enjoy the Christmas decorations. I don't get too carried away with decorating the house, but I do love the twinkly lights and seeing how cheery things look this time of year all around our community. But I'm really struggling with getting anything done in my house this year.
We got home from Las Vegas late Monday night, which is where I found the Christmas trees in the boot planters. It was a mad scramble to get a little laundry done so my husband could leave again the next morning for 2 weeks on a job site. He did help carry up the tree and the ornament boxes for me before leaving.
So . . . after stringing the lights, I got about half of the tree decorated before losing my mojo. The rest of the ornaments are sitting in the box in the living room or laying on the top of the treadle machine next to the tree - waiting for me to finish the job.
We are having Christmas at our house the weekend before the actual holiday and I'm definitely not ready. I haven't done any shopping yet for the kids, haven't finished their big floor pillows or their new pillowcases, haven't bought any Christmas cards, haven't put any lights on the house, or done anything else yet that will make me ready for family in 3 weeks. Yikes!
And we haven't painted the walls yet in the basement family room and bedroom after installing those new egress windows. But I'll need to clean and move the furniture back so we can use that bedroom, and no point in doing that before we paint. Something tells me this isn't all going to happen in time.