Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'll be heading out to make the hour trip to my daughter's house shortly.  My contributions to dinner are ready to go - deviled eggs and BBQ smokies.  I'm thankful today that my son-in-law and daughter are cooking!   

Ten little ornaments are done, except 6 still need ribbon for hanging. But they are turning out so cute! I had most of yesterday off work and my husband spent the whole day sleeping off whatever "bug" he came home with.  So I had LOTS of quiet sewing time.  And he is staying home today so he doesn't share whatever he has with the rest of the family.  I promised to leave him some smokies as a treat.

I also kitted up ten more ornaments yesterday using scraps from my drawer of Christmas fabrics.  A couple more Santa faces will appear, plus stockings, and peppermint candies.  And last but not least I found the piece of fabric with the poinsettias and holly leaves.  

Usually my tree goes up the weekend after Thanksgiving, but it's so late this year that I've been wanting to get it set up NOW. However, this is all the further I got - 2 of the 10 branch sections up the stairs.  Everything else is still down in the basement.  The stairs are getting to be one of the biggest frustrations to navigate, so multiple trips carrying stuff just wasn't going to happen.  

Maybe tomorrow I'll get everything up here so I can set up the tree and get it decorated. I'm ready for some Christmas cheer in the house. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Saturday Sampler block #5

The colors on these photos are pretty accurate to the batiks we used this month for our Saturday Sampler blocks. Block #5 was made entirely of half square triangles so it was super easy. The hardest part of getting the units in the correct locations and turned the correct direction to make the pinwheel effect in this block. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Playing with scraps and fat quarters

I kitted up 4 more of the Christmas ornaments and pulled out a cute vintage reproduction fat quarter pack that I think will make some wonderful ornaments as well.  The kits are all from more scraps.  I don't mind cutting into the fat quarters for some ornaments because I think they will be VERY cute with the Santa faces fussy cut into the centers. That plaid will be a fun binding. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Distracted by squirrels - again

I saw these little Christmas ornaments online and just HAD to make some.  So - now there are 4.5” star Christmas ornaments.  I still need to add ribbon hangers. And I might need to make a few more.

This is another great way to use of scraps. 

Check out some Design Wall Monday posts:

Saturday, November 23, 2019

5 pillowcases done

All 5 pillowcases for the grandkids are done and ready to put into their stockings.  That's my little tradition - a new pillowcase at Christmas every year.  And sometimes they get one on their birthdays too.  The 2 bigger boys get the golf themed cases, and the 4 year old gets Batman, which will go great with his Batman bedding.  And the 2 girls get the reindeer/polar bear/gnome pillowcases.

This fabric was so adorable that I couldn't resist buying it - back in the summer.  Don't ask me what fabric line it is however, because I trimmed those selvages when I kitted up these pillowcases.  And the selvage is buried in the bin with thousands of other pieces of selvage. 

I had the morning home alone to sew today, so besides the pillowcases I made 4 little ornaments (photos coming another day), and sewed some about a dozen of the pink Hunters Star blocks together.  My goal next week is to make my 2 Saturday Sampler blocks, so the pattern and fabric for them is laying on my cutting board.  Then I can finish up those pink blocks and trim them all up so I can figure out my layout. 

Happy weekend sewing!!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Lunch hour sewing

Today work has taken over my life - except for my lunch hour.  I'm working on final revisions to a set of plans and specifications to prep for a bid letting.  As soon as I finish writing this post it's back to work, and sending out the notifications to the contractor and supplier lists.  Once that happens my email will probably begin to "blow up" for a few days. Yikes!!

In his younger years, Sammy would have gleefully rearranged these blocks that I was laying out on the floor while my lunch was reheating. But he's a more dignified old gentleman these days and just comes to supervise.  My pink block halves for La Caribe (Hunter's Star) needed to be paired up so none of the blocks end up with any repeated fabrics.  Two blocks are already sewn, but the other 22 are now pinned into pairs and ready to sew when I get a chance. 

The other little task I finished was to stitch the cuffs and trim onto 3 pillowcases for the grandkids.  I use the sausage roll method so all of the seams are inside the cuff.  French seams will encase all of the bottom and side seams.  Voila!!!  No raw edges.  I'll get these finished up over the weekend, or maybe Friday afternoon if I can get away from my desk.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Apple Basket finish

The most recent completed project is Apple Basket.  This mini quilt is a Kim Diehl design and finished at about 16" square.  It's one of my favorites from her patterns so far. 

I quilted it on my machine with a simple diagonal "echo" square, and used a medium tan thread on the beige, dark red, and black prints.  And as usual the colors look so different in the 2 photos.  This bottom photo is pretty close to the real colors.  I especially love the sweet black floral print used in the border. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Design Wall Monday

The 2 day class on Friday and Saturday was so enjoyable. This block is a Rapid Fire Hunter's Star and uses a specialty ruler by Deb Tucker.  The process isn't difficult, but it is time consuming and easy to mess up if you aren't paying attention.  We had an awesome instructor who had nice visual aids set up on boards with each step of these blocks.  

My grey blocks are sewn but still need to be squared up to the right size.  The pink blocks are not as far along. About half of the triangles are sewn to the star point strips.  So I have a ways to go with these.  But I'm anxious to get a chance this week to work on them again while it's all fresh in my mind. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Binding - with help


Sammy used to lay right on top of the quilt as I tried to add binding. But now - in his old age - he just lays next to me.  But he still supervises.  Today I’m binding “Sammy’s Garden” while watching a little football.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Quilt Clas

The 2 day class I took was a lot of fun, but I’m worn out.  The project uses the Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star ruler, and this is the second class I’ve taken using this technique. When these blocks are done I’ll have 24 of the light blocks and 24 of the pink ones. So far I have all of the halves ready to complete the grey blocks.  And I have half of the pink block halves put together. The remaining ones are pinned in pairs so none have the same fabrics together.  The technique is time consuming but results in very accurate units.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Apple Baskets - a little progress

Work has kept me out of the sewing room for the most part this week. But I did get a little time at the end of the day yesterday.  I made 5 tiny flying geese to join 2 of the apple basket blocks. These flying geese are 1.5" x 2.5" which is very typical of Kim Diehl's patterns.  

Three more of those geese sashing units to make, and then I can add the simple borders to this one.  I really think this is one of my favorite Kim Diehl designs.  

I'm really looking forward to Friday and Saturday this week because I'm going to be taking a quilt class.  I did my homework for the class last night, which was to cut strips of various sizes from my light grey background and 8 fat quarters of hot pink Kaffe prints.   

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Quilts of Valor display

I was honored to be invited by the local senior community center to bring some Quilts of Valor to display during the Veteran's Day celebration, and to speak very briefly about what QOV is.  Our display looked very nice. 

I took 5 finished quilts, 2 tops, and some of our next blocks.  A couple of the ladies in attendance picked up the block patterns I offered.  

They even hung one of the quilts behind the speaker's podium as a backdrop.  

It was a small gathering with about 40 people but very nicely done with a luncheon.  Veterans were asked to bring photos of themselves in uniform and a very nice display was set up to the side of the speaker.  The local Veteran's Service Officer spoke. He was our next door neighbor for a couple of years, so it was nice to see him again.  And a high school trumpet player did a wonderful job playing taps at the end. As always it gave me goose bumps.  

Sunday, November 10, 2019


OK - I have to admit that I couldn’t wait to work on the Apple Basket mini quilt.  After kitting up 3 pillowcases for the grandkids, I decided to spend just a few minutes starting this little project. Those few minutes stretched into a bit longer. And the 5.5” basket blocks are done. Next steps in to make 24 flying geese that finish at 1.5” by 2.5”. That will have to wait for another day however.

What is on your design wall this Monday?

A new mini quilt project

The parts and pieces of a new Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots project are all cut and ready to sew. This may be what I work on as soon as I get a couple of other items on my goal list completed.  I love having these little design boards.  This one is 14” square, but I have a bigger one too. They are so handy. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

A brand new bag

I've just finished another Sew Together bag - number 13.  This one was completely made from the scrap bins and leftovers from other projects.  For example, the end panels of the bag were from a recent backing used on a quilt. 

The inside of this one makes me think of lemonade with that bright yellow print.  The green binding strips were leftover binding already cut and ready to use. How handy was that? 

That yellow and lime green are just perfect to go with the cocktail print.  I have enough of the cocktail print left to make several more bags, or to use in some other way.  It's left from a 60 degree runner I made a couple of summers ago.  It was so cute I bought way more than I knew I needed for the runner. 

The first dozen of these bags . . . were in a wide variety of fabrics and colors.  Some were sold, some were gifted.  I am using 2 of them, and have one left to sell - plus this new one.  And now I've pulled together enough fabrics and zippers to get a good start on a second dozen.  Just call me crazy!!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Reunion Signature quilt is finished

My husband's family has a BIG family reunion every few years and the most recent one was in 2018.  There were about 150 people attending, and we had them sign quilt blocks that I made for that purpose.  Couples and singles signed a block, and their children went onto a separate block.

I finally got these put together, had it quilted, and the binding was finished this week.  I still need to add a label but haven't decided how I want that to look yet.  

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Saturday Sampler progress

We're 4 months into the current Saturday Sampler program and I'm still caught up. Yay!!  The big (24") blocks were an extra option but I'm glad I'm adding those. This month's big block has a kind of lavender center Ohio Star surrounded by green pinwheels. 

Each month we make 2 blocks from the pattern but with different colors.  Those colors so far are all kind of "dusty" shades, which isn't my favorite, and all batiks, which I really love.  The light backgrounds I've been using are also batiks but different ones in each block.  This will be very pretty together, even though I prefer brighter colors. 

The other colorway we could choose was 30's fabrics - which I love - and from what I've seen, those blocks are looking so cheerful.  But it's good to step outside of my comfort zone occasionally.  It's easier to give away a quilt when I haven't fallen in love with it. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The view from my desk . . .

The view through the window that my desk faces has changed a bit this morning - no hungry birds, but some wet snow has been falling all morning.  However, my view is about to change because I just sent off the contract revisions (90+ pages worth) that were my noon deadline today.  Now I'm going to go sew for awhile.  Yay!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Visitors make my morning . . .

A big blue jay has been hanging out the past couple of days at the bird feeder just outside my home office window.  Yesterday the little birds disappeared immediately when he showed up. But I'm watching this morning and the little birds are back and taking turns at the feeder . . . with the blue jay and with a cardinal and two red headed woodpeckers. 

This is the most activity I've ever seen at this feeder, from any birds except the house finches and a few goldfinches. 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Design Wall Monday - group sewing

This isn't my personal design wall . . . but was my Saturday project.  

My photos aren't the best quality, but I tried to capture some of the action from Saturday's guild work day.  We put together 3 baby quilts and 1 Quilt of Valor from blocks made by guild members.  The baby quilts even have backings and bindings all ready to go.  We traditionally give a quilt to the first baby of the New Year at the local hospital, and this year we are adding another small regional hospital to our donation. 

It's always amazing to me how much a small group can accomplish when we work together.  We had 8 ladies working away from 8 to noon.  The Quilt of Valor top that was finished is made with the Ritzy Cracker blocks from Moda Bake Shop.  We worked on the star block QOV top too, but are 6 blocks short of a finish so far. 

Two of the 3 baby quilts were made with this block. It's basically a charm square with sashing and cornerstone added to one side.  This one has lots of green, yellow, and blue. The other has lots of soft brown added in and all of the center blocks were from one cute fabric.  The third baby quilt used a different block.  

And a bonus - was this gorgeous QOV top made and donated by Pam.  She enlarged the star block pattern we are making now, and then added the other blocks.  All of this fabric was donated to her and I'm guessing the person would be thrilled to see the finished quilt.  Isn't this a great layout?  

What is one YOUR design wall today?

Friday, November 1, 2019

November goals

November has a lot going on with every weekend booked with fun things.  I'm signed up for a 2-day class one weekend and can't wait, although I'm still toying with my fabric choices for the class project.  And I've pulled out one of the 6 kits I put together this summer for another Sew Together bag.  I love, love, love this cocktail border print and it is working perfectly for this bag.  There is a pink floral one that is calling my name too.

I've been invited to attend 2 events to share about our Quilts of Valor projects which is exciting.  One is with an extension club next Monday. The other is spending the day at the local Community Center for their Veteran's Day program. I'm really looking forward to that one.

Modest goals for the month would be best:
  • Keep up with Saturday Sampler blocks
  • finish the paper-pieced Pineapple blocks
  • bind Sammy's Secret Garden quilt
  • finish binding Reunion Signature quilt
  • 3 more pillowcases for grandkids for Christmas (2 are done so far)
  • make 1 Sew Together bag (cocktail)
  • choose another UFO project to work on and make some progress
  • more progress on organizing my projects

The organizing has a good start now that my shelves are done. I worked last Saturday printing and putting together contract books to prepare for bids on a project for work.  My original plans were to sew and work on the shelves, but this work project was a priority as they needed to be shipped to the client on Monday.  My husband surprised me by putting the shelves together while I was working - totally out of character for him let me tell ya!!  LOL!!  

These cubes are smaller than the other unit next to it, but I wanted it to not be taller than my cutting surface on the right.  Now I can fill those bins with kits and precuts, and patterns.  And - I really need to do something about the lighting situation. It's terrible even when the sun is shining.