Friday, November 30, 2007

Quilt Bee

It's not really a Bee, exactly, but that's what we call it. A group of ladies from our church get together once a month. We have a devotional time, a delicious home made meal (each taking turns cooking), and then sometimes, we get around to sewing! This month we did actually do a "Bee" type project. We got Mrs. F's Bible Block of the Month Quilt basted. And I didn't even get a picture. Where was my mind? Well, maybe next time. We always have a great time together, this is one special group of ladies.

Each month, each lady brings 3 1/2 inch strips to share and that's what you see in the picture below. The other fabric (1/2 yd. cut) was a surprise, as Mrs. F brought one for everyone, straight from the Houston International Quilt Festival. I happened to choose a very special reproduction, hmmm. Who would have guessed that? And included is a picture of the book we are using for our devotional time.

The meal was delicious and the fellowship was even better. An added bonus? We actually got an entire quilt basted and ready for hand quilting.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gifts in the Making




Today was the day for cutting....lots and lots of 3 1/2 inch squares. I can't reveal much, but here a few pictures of some fabric I cut. Making gifts are such fun. The majority of people in my life are crafters or quilters and understand the investment of time when you make something to give. All my gifts are always appreciated. A lot of love goes into making things, don't you agree?

Speaking of making things, I can't believe only one person has signed up for my Pay It Forward Challenge. I sure would like to make something special for you, so comment on my Pay It Forward Challenge post and let me know would like to participate. You must have a blog.

And lastly, here is a little snowman that I made last Christmas. I wonder if the look on his face is frustration at having to sit on a shelf for a whole year. Poor little guy! I sure hope he enjoys his time out.

Happy Quilting!

Pay It Forward


I signed up on Jeanne's Blog for her Pay It Forward offer. I will make a gift in the next six months for the first three people who leave a comment on this post requesting to participate. They in turn need to post the same promise on their blog. Who wants to play? Let's keep the Challenge going!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Quick Run to the Quilt Shop and Starbucks

Quilt Shop and Starbucks? What a Day!

Dear Older Daughter, with time to spare before work, asked if I would like to run around with her for a few hours this afternoon. We headed over to the getting places and found Tuesday Morning and a few fabric stores, including a favorite Quilt Shop!



I did well, only buying what I actually needed to finish up some projects. One yard of Kona Cotton for yet another baby quilt (isn't it fun being an Aunt all over again?), a 3 1/2 yard piece of brown, green and red fabric you see in the picture for my Scrappy Sawtooth Top, (which can to be put together now), a couple of swap fabrics (those don't count....they are for someone else) and batting.



Here is a picture of my Scrappy Sawtooth Stars. I pulled out my overflowing 2 1/2 inch strip basket and started sewing. Even the star points are made using 2 1/2 inch strips. I just sewed across the diagonal, pressed and didn't even cut off the corner. I'm going with the theory that it stabilizes the fabric. I stopped when I got near 70 or so! The quilt will be named Country Stars....so, be looking for some progress.


Ms. H. will be getting a special squishy in the mail soon. A Dear Friend who reads my blog, asked for a Trees on the Table Topper, actually she begged! So, I made a sweet deal with her. I told her I would make her one if she would hand quilt mine. She bit! Hooray! I've seen her mother's quilting (exquisite!) and now Ms. H. tells me she is even better than her mom! Yippee! Here is a top that may actually get quilted!

I picked up the 100% cotton batting that she prefers, and just as soon as I can get to my local post office, two Trees on the Table Tops will be on the way to Latte Land aka Seattle! Can't wait to see mine completed. Thank you Deary.

Then, Dear Hubby took me to Starbucks and I got a very nice and warm latte. Hey, is this the first latte I've posted? I suppose it is! Another blogging milestone for me. Here is a Christmasy (is that a word?) picture just for you!

Just in case you can't tell, the two books under the latte are by Cheri Saffiote. Don't you just love her primitive Christmas quilts and blocks? The unfinished top in the background is a small quilt from one of her books that I made a few years back.....I know, it's STILL unfinished. I just get distracted easily! LOL

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Baby Quilt and Tree Topper

Several years ago, I purchased a yard of some Dick and Jane fabric at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I just fell in love with it, but why in the world did I buy just one yard? I don't understand why I do that time after time! Anyway, recently while rummaging through some fabrics I rediscovered it. And then the inspiration hit. Especially when my Dear Sister loved it and a yard cut of another piece of fabric. I've been holding on to it, trying to decide what I could do with it.

My Dear Sister is expecting in a few short months and the new baby inspired an idea. I am feeling the urge to make the child everything imaginable. I mean, don't all babies need 4 or 5 quilts? I find something that inspires me and I just have to make it "for the baby". So, I pulled out the two pieces of fabric (and a few more) and started sewing yesterday afternoon. By bedtime, and yes, we go to sleep very late around here, I had the little quilt finished (36 x 42 inches approx.)....binding and all. And since this is for the baby, I can't show you all of it, but here's a sneak peek. (I know that Dear Sister reads my blog, and I want it to be a surprise.) Don't you just love this fabric???


Today, after piddling around the house and getting everything settled, I pulled out some stash fabrics and began cutting out the Trees on the Table Topper from Patchalot Patterns. It's a free pattern and I've admired all the little quilts posted on blogs recently! I started sewing, thinking I would sew on it a few days, but it was so simple to put together and I was enjoying seeing it take shape, I just couldn't stop. I got the top finished in record time. So, here is my version of Trees on the Table. Thank you Marcie for sharing your pattern with us!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Depression Top Completed!




Well, it's done! At least the top. And I used only stash fabrics to do it. The HST's (half square triangles) came from my 4 inch strips and the borders came from my stash.

I decided to use the outer fabric even though there was only one yard. I did the math and math told me that one yard would be enough. When I started piecing the border and sewing it on, I did get a bit concerned when all I had left over was a 2 1/2 inch strip. Would seven pieces be enough? Then as I pieced the border......this was all that was left, a small 6 inch piece. Talk about getting your money's worth out of a yard of fabric. I really liked that piece.....wish I had some real scraps to work with!

So, another UFO marked off my list! (Don't even talk to me about quilting it!) And, I'll have to pick another one to work on. Maybe later in the week. All this sewing has given me a backache. I'm off to spend some time running errands with Dear Younger Daughter. Fun, fun.....I bet we end up at McDonald's. LOL

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Depression Quilt Top.....

Today was a lazy Sunday. While we didn't attend church, we did hear our fill in Pastor Dr. Adrian Rogers. This is really one of the toughest things about being a full time caregiver to Dear Hubby, missing church week after week. Dear Older Son was able to sleep in this morning before heading back to his East Texas Ministry. We did have lunch together, Dear Older Son, Dear Younger Daughter, Dear Hubby and me. It was nice to spend a few minutes alone before he headed out.

I spent the day today working on my Depression Blocks while Dear Hubby rested up after the crazy weekend. I got a lot done, and finished up all 30 Depression Blocks. I couldn't wait to see them put together, so I worked until I got the top put together. I even added the first small border, but I was too tired to take a picture of it. I'll finish up the outer border at some point this week and I'll post another pic. It sure felt great pulling out that UFO and making such progress in finishing up the top! I don't know how long it will have to sit unquilted, but at least the top is about done.

I hope everyone had a great Sunday, and here's looking forward to a great week.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Depression Blocks

It felt so good today to pull the house back together after all the rearranging of furniture to fit more tables and more family members for Thanksgiving. We had a great time. All the ladies got in the kitchen and pitched in and we got dinner ready in record time. Of course, it helped that Dear Mother had done so much the day before. Like shucking the corn and cutting it off the cob. Dear Niece and Dear Young Daughter snapped the green beans. Dear Older Daughter made two pies and I made a few dishes myself. Everything was delicious and the family time was even better. I have an amazing family!

I'm really glad to have my sewing area put back together. As I set the machine back on the table I felt inspired to pull another UFO (unfinished object) out of the cabinet. I already had 19 blocks completed and worked until I completed a total of 25. Now that they are all out on the floor, I'm thinking I need to make several more. This just won't be big enough for a queen sized bed, and that's my goal for all these scrap/stashbusting quilts. As I stated in an earlier post, the children, their future spouses and all my future grandchildren will need quilts! And they will want quilts to put on their beds, I'm sure! I better get busy.... I am really enjoying making quilts from my stash and from my baskets of strips, etc.

I found this Depression Block online where so many others get inspiration! Marcia's website is full of ideas just waiting to be created! I decided that I would use my 4 inch strip basket to make these blocks. Once the HST (half square triangle) is made, I just trim them down to 3 1/2 inches and make the blocks. I have decided that since I'm not the most accurate piecer in the world, I'd rather make them too big and cut them down than fret the entire time I'm sewing that they will be too small. Anything that makes me enjoy quilting more and stress out less..... I'm for it!



Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Now, on to the Christmas rush! LOL

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


I would like to say that this year is going to be the best Thanksgiving we've enjoyed as a family in quite a while! There are just a few family members missing this year, but most of us are home. There are very few families who can say, "We truly love and enjoy each other's company." Each one is a special blessing....

1. my husband, the resident preacher, who is an example to all of us of patience and endurance....running the race daily, and planting himself deeper and deeper within my heart, a man I dearly love and respect more than words can say.....

2. my brother who cares for us - takes care of us, even the day before Thanksgiving (fixing some light fixtures and the dishwasher without a complaint)

3. my sister who has become a wonderful friend, wife and mother to be, who will never change who she is for anyone, but has grown so much, we barely recognize her!

4. my mother who serves the family selflessly, day after day, a woman who gives the best hugs and doesn't mind fixing each family member their own favorite dish!

5. my sister in law who cracks us up and accepts us as a part of her family (quirks and all), and even puts up with my brother....the only one who could handle the job

6. my brother in law who is quiet, takes such good care of my sister and is the father to be of our newest family memeber!, and even though he thinks we're too loud, hangs out with us and is our resident go to man....

7. my children who are adults that I am proud to call my friends, who make their mother smile at their individuality as well as their similarities....each one different, but yet the same, who live their Christianity in serving others and loving their neighbors, and inherited their grandmother's work ethic! And one child who is still growing and changing, who is the sweetest little girl in the world.

8. my niece and nephews who were babies we held in our arms and have watched them grow into adults, children always (in our eyes) but yet great men and a great woman who loves family....and are single by the way! Call 1-800-FIND THEM A SPOUSE for more info. (right Alan???)

9. my mother in law who has taken such good care of the men in her life, leaving me a wonderful example to follow as I care for her son!

These are the wonderful people that I call family and friends. So, to you I say, I am thankful for each of you and the place you have in my heart. May the Lord bless us with another year together and may He continue to draw us closer to each other (and here's a prayer that our family grows by leaps and bounds!!!!).

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Few Wall Hangings...


This "Spring Trip Around the World" was made from a fat quarter bundle I got from our Quilter's Group Fat Quarter Club. It measures 27 1/2 inches square. Hand pieced and hand quilted April 2001. The colors looked so springy and happy, I couldn't wait to cut into them. Turned out pretty cute, even if the colors aren't typical me!



I made this wall hanging about two years ago, and it turned out looking a bit like Christmas. I pulled fabrics from my stash and Dear Sister in Law helped me pick out the border fabrics. I hand pieced and hand quilted it and it measures 31 inches square. I call this small quilt "Lone Star Christmas".





The next picture is a wall hanging that I started on Election Day November 7, 2000. As the craziness of the election continued (George Bush vs. Al Gore), I worked on the quilt, eyes glued to the television. It is hand pieced, hand appliqu├ęd and hand quilted and measures 31 inches square....and it was completed on December 13, 2000, the day Vice-President Al Gore conceded the election and President-elect George W. Bush gave his acceptance speech. I call it "Tulips in a Flower Pot....2000 Election Quilt". Fun memories! (Can you tell I was thinking spring when I started it???)




The little patriotic quilt is a panel with the "Pledge of Allegiance" on it. I added the borders and little flag buttons in the corners. Hand pieced and hand quilted July 2001, and measures 20 1/2 by 24 inches.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Off Centered Log Cabin Blocks

Do you think that there is a chance I'm ADD? I like to change from project to project and sometimes, even though I have 4 projects going, I'll read a magazine article or see something on the internet and just HAVE to make a block. It's awful the way I flit from thing to thing....just like a little honey bee.

Today was another slow quilting day....at least for me. It's Sunday, and since we can't go to church any more, I feel a little guilty sewing....just a little! I should have cut the larger pieces for Jonathan's graduation quilt, but I just didn't want to. Besides, I have to drag out three Rubbermaid boxes of fabric and dig through them and all the big mess of cutting 4 1/2 inch strips and then cutting 2 1/2 in strips....nope, not today. I think I'll save that for another UFO Day at church....(any takers ladies????).

Instead, I decided to sew a few of my Off Centered Log Cabin Blocks and lay them out, just to admire them. This means I have to drag out my 1 1/2 inch strip bucket and the 2 inch strips instead! Anyway, I sat the strip bins on my Dear Daughter's bench (made by Dear Son several years ago), and made a mess on the floor, which is still there as I type! They are turning out so nicely.

In case anyone wants to know, I am making this top JUST BECAUSE. I really don't feel like I need a reason to dig through strips and scraps and make something beautiful. I do it just because I like to. And I just enjoy being creative. That's reason enough, isn't it? Plus, I know someday these four children of mine will marry and want quilts and then they will have children and they will want quilts, so, I'm amassing a stock pile from which all these wonderful people can choose their very own quilt. (No picking now children....wait until you marry!)



This is another scrap and stash quilt!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

String Pieced Tutorial

I didn't get much sewing done today. It's Saturday and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Too many things to do today. Like laundry, straightening the garage (where my overflow pantry is), dishes, and of course, a nap!

I did get a String Pieced Tutorial posted in my Picassa Album. (View it as a slide show if you'd like.) So, if you've never learned how to string piece, here's your chance. Take a few minutes reading through the tutorial before you start.....and then hang on to your block when it's finished. I'll have an opportunity posted soon on a way to donate it to a great charity!

Friday, November 16, 2007

UFO Day


Today, the ladies at church got together for a UFO day (Unfinished Objects). I chose to take my reproduction Civil War fabrics so that I could continue cutting squares for Jonathan's graduation quilt. (I know, he just turned 19....and he already graduated, but that's beside the point).

I am making a Double Four Patch Quilt which I found in the book "Quilts! Quilts! Quilts!". Here is the picture of my work.

The stack of 1 1/2 squares on the right is what I got accomplished. There are about 1000 of them now! I'm not worried that there might be too many, I'll just make another quilt.

And you can see some of the blocks I'm making too! I have 56 made already. These are all hand pieced and I need another 44, and that's a total of 100 blocks. Fun, fun....but special quilts (for my children only!) are being hand pieced and hand quilted, regardless of how easy they are. Just something special for graduation quilts. (Don't look too close, they aren't ironed yet!)

This is definitely a stash quilt, I've been hoarding these fabrics for years!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Granny's Strings




Here are a couple of pictures. My Dear Daddy was going through some stuff and thought I would enjoy having one of Granny's quilts. The story behind Granny's quilt was that he string pieced the top when he came home from the Korean War and Granny quilted it. I knew that someday I'd like to make my own version of this special quilt, and I'm so grateful that I have this piece of personal history.



And here is my version of the same quilt. The fabric choices are different and I've added a couple of borders to mine. You can see the tape on my quilt where I am still in the process of quilting it. I am quilting mine in the same pattern that Granny did. Instead of Baptist Fans, she did her quilting lines in a square, sort of....it's hard to explain, but maybe you can see it in the pictures.

By the way, this top was made entirely from fabrics from my stash and scrap bucket. Don't you just love using your scraps?

Pictures.....finally!




Here are some pictures to go with the last post. I'll add more as I can....



Everlasting Wreath Table Topper.....notice the bowl??? It was saved from a fire and flood 7 years ago. Mama always served potato salad from it and I couldn't leave it behind. Good memories are attached to that bowl.



Here it is without anything on it. Don't you just love hexagon edges? My only trouble with it was the binding. I'm going to have to work on that before a make a large quilt for my Dear Sister!

This one was made from scraps from my stash!

No Pictures???

A blog without pictures is like a day without.....chocolate? I don't know exactly, but I am excited to report that I will be posting pictures in the near future. We have only one digital camera in this house, and it doesn't belong to me! The person who owns this digital camera is gone a lot, and we have battery issues too (rechargeable batteries have to be replaced at some point). So, about a week ago, my dear hubby offered to buy me a digital camera as an early Christmas present and I have ordered it. It should be here soon! I'm too excited!

On the quilting front....I finished the scrappy table topper I was working on. About a year ago (???) my dear sister met me and Mom at the Quilt Shop where she discovered a pattern for a full sized quilt that she really loved. Here is the link to a picture of it.

Anyway, when I finally got the pattern and started looking it over, I really wasn't sure that I could do it. So, I pulled out some scraps and started paper piecing. I took me a bit to figure the pattern out, but once I did, I almost couldn't stop and ended up making about 20 blocks. They were fun and not difficult at all. Well, I didn't want to leave those poor blocks languishing in a drawer, and that is how the table topper came into existence. Once it became a topper, I stored it and let it stew.

I had decided recently to pull out some UFO's (unfinished objects) and finish what I started, and the Everlasting Wreath table topper was first on my list. It turned out so nicely and now has a home on the coffee table. Fits it perfectly.

On to the next UFO.....I just haven't decided which one.

"Granny's Strings" is a work in progress. I have started machine piecing finally, but I still hand quilt everything. (The reason I am a topper mostly, hand quilting takes some time.) I have about 6 blocks left to quilt, and they are 16 inch blocks, so this may take a while. Then I'll move on to the borders and binding.

"Cathedral Stars" is moving along too. I have all the rows pieced and half of the top put together. We had company last Sunday and I picked the quilt up off the floor and put it on a hanger. At some point, probably after Thanksgiving, I'll put the top together and get the borders on. I really like the way it's turning out. It is Bonnie Hunter's pattern, but my fabric choices were different. So it's my version of Cathedral Stars. When it's finished, I'll have to rename it. Here is the link to Bonnie's Quilt.

"Dear Sister's Baby Quilt" is stuck right now. I haven't been to the Quilt Shop in a while, and I need a solid baby blue (30's) fabric to finish the top. The baby quilt parts are all there, and I'm sure I'll get to the Quilt Shop....as a matter of fact, Dear Sister in Law will be in town next week and we may have to make a run to Painted Pony N Quilts. I'm sure we can talk Dear Sister and Dear Mother into going with us! Hmmmm, I may have to put a bug in someone's ear!

"Off Centered Log Cabin Blocks" is a sit by the sewing machine and add another log when you can project. I found the pattern on a link from AboutQuilting forum last year and dreamed of making one myself. It's paper pieced, so easy and accurate. I'd like to do one block a day....not difficult and takes just a few minutes. I have 14 blocks sewn and another ??? to go. I really need to sit down and think this top out, don't I?

And that is the list of current projects I am working on. Yes, I have several at one time, but I get bored easily. I like to switch back and forth frequently....and make a few stitches here and there. The best way to get something done is to take five minutes here and ten minutes there, and before you know it, you've got another top done. Now.........to get them quilted. Oh well.....everything good takes time.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Jonathan

Today is Jonathan's 19th birthday. Jonathan is the type of guy that even a mother can consider a friend. He makes me laugh, enjoys watching certain movies with me (forget Pride and Prejudice), and will run errands with me (if we take the 300 and he can drive). He makes me proud to be his mom and grateful that I can call him my friend. He has been the family's comedy relief since he was 4 and I don't know what I'd do without him. He's my right arm in helping care for his dad, yard man since Josh moved away, and can even wash dishes (better than most!). So to a great all around kind of guy I say, "Happy Birthday Son!"


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hello World

Well, I've done it! I have entered the internet world of bloggers. I suppose everyone needs a creative outlet and I'm glad I've found mine in quilting...and coffee just helps me stay alert while working feverishly on my quilts! LOL

I've enjoyed reading some really great quilting blogs and that's where this whole idea of blogging came from. I hope that you enjoy my ramblings and maybe you can get a bit of inspiration as I share my quilts and thoughts!

So, grab a cup of coffee and let's start quilting!