Wednesday, January 30, 2008

WIP Wednesday.......


This morning I pulled out all my strip buckets/baskets and put the strips I've been cutting in them. (Picture shows the baskets before I added to them.) They were already full and now they are stuffed! I still have a laundry basket full of odds and ends that need to be cut and placed in these baskets. Now, tell me, how in the world am I going to fit any more strips in them? And people wonder why I make so many tops...I'm just trying to use up my strips!


I also spent the morning pulling strips from my 2 1/2 inch strip bucket to make Bonnie's Scrappy Bargello Quilt, the lap sized one. ( I pulled out 128 strips and still the bucket is full!) She says that you can make a lap quilt in a day, and I'm willing to try! Diane, my sister in law is making one too, so it will be fun to compare fabric selections. Diane's not cutting any fabrics either, she has as much as I do, I'm sure, to choose from!


Then, I had so many leftover 1 1/2 inch squares from cutting Dear Younger Son's Double Four Patch blocks, that I decided I needed to do something with them. They are all Civil War Reproductions, and so I pulled out my shirtings and cut out a lot of 1 1/2 inch squares. I'm making Nine Patches out of them, but, just like me, you'll have to wait to see what I do with them. I've already got 33 or so Nine Patches made. Really, this isn't a new project, it's a recycled one. I'm recycling squares that were leftover! Besides, I was tired of cutting strips!

So, now you see the mess I'm in. Up to my eyeballs in fabric. Tired of cutting, wanting to spend quality time with my machine, trying to empty a laundry basket, needing to put away the strip baskets and generally making myself crazy. I must have ADD or something!!

Calgon, take me away!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By The Way......I'm having the time of my life!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pay It Forward Challenge

I had only one person who participated in my Pay It Forward Challenge. Cheryl posted that she'd like to receive a gift from me and in return, she would post on her site and make something for those interested in participating in her PIF challenge. She contacted me this morning and let me know that she had received her gift from me and now I am able to post pictures of it.









This little quilt is about 17 x 25 inches. Cheryl said she liked scrappy things, so that is what I did. It was so much fun to make. Thanks Cheryl for posting and I hope you have many more opportunities to "Pay It Forward".

Happy Quilting!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cutting and Cutting

The past few days, I've been busy cutting fabric. I put a new blade in my rotary cutter and I've been cleaning through my stash, cutting up pieces of fabric I'm just not in love with any more.



I've been using Bonnie's Scrap Users System for about a year now and I'm loving it. I once stored all those not so nice fabrics in my cabinets wondering, "what in the world will I do with them"? Now, they are being used in scrap quilts and I don't feel guilty about owning them. Some are not so pretty, but as scrappers say, "It just hasn't been cut small enough." I have also decided to start a collection of "Not so Nice" 10 1/2 inch squares for backings. See examples on Bonnie's site. The stack is about 6 inches tall, so I have a good start, don't you think? I am excited to be using what I have instead of complaining about it and fretting over unused pieces of fabric.



While I was in a cutting mood, I pulled out my Civil War fabrics and finished cutting the other 40 blocks for Dear Younger Son's Double Four Patch quilt. I need 100 blocks, now all are cut and 60 are sewn. Yeah! I'm feeling some progress! Baby Steps....baby steps....one block at a time..... The Double Four Patches are sewn by hand, maybe that's what's been holding me back!!!!







Today, I'm planning on going through my little laundry basket of ugly and not so nice fabric and reducing it to small usable strips. If I get that done, I'll dig through my 2 1/2 inch strips and start gathering fabrics for Bonnie's Super Bowl Bargello Quilt. Hmmm, sounds interesting, huh? Check it out! What a great way to use up more scraps!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Baby Strings!

Baby Strings is now a completed quilt! Yipee! It feels so good to have that one baby quilt done. It's all quilted, has the binding on and has even been washed. I don't prewash my fabrics and I used Quilter's Dream Cotton batting - it puckered wonderfully. I love that antique look in a quilt! And it's new, even better. I am hoping this quilt gets run through the mill and that my sweet niece or nephew enjoys making messes on it!

I have started quilting the borders of my Granny's Strings quilt too. I am just going to do some straight quilting around the edge of the first border and then I'll decide what to do with the last border. It feels good to be marking things off my list.

Next, I'll be working on getting the last of the baby quilts, Heart to Heart, done. This one's going to be a bit tricky. I've almost worked out how I want to quilt it and even did one block to see if I liked it. I may have to modify the quilt design a bit, but I'm still mulling that idea over.

I cut the binding for Mom's baby quilt this morning and she got it all sewn by machine and then hand stitched onto the back. It looks so sweet. Just a few more spots to quilt around the outside edge (we decided to wait until the binding was on) and she'll be giving the quilt to the baby (or at least the baby's mama and daddy).

Today for lunch I made a pot of veggie chowder and yum, it was so good! Grandma made a pan of cornbread and we warmed up right away. Wish the entire family could have been here to share in the meal with us!





And here's a picture of a little booklet that I picked up at Half Price Books a while back for $0.98. It's got some really cute little pillows that I'd like to make for friends....someday!!! LOL

Now, we're off to bed, resting up for another day of quilting!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

WIP Wednesday!

WIP - Works in Progress.....

Today, I am at that loverly point in a quilt's life where you have to make a decision about the binding. The top is all hand quilted and just needs binding and the label. I will be digging through my stash to see if I can find some fabric to bind Dear Sister's Baby Strings quilt. It's really scrappy, so I'm thinking I need to do a scrappy binding, or maybe I should just do blue. That would set it off nicely. Maybe I'll just audition a few pieces and see. If I can't find something I love, I may have to run to the LQS and find something. I'm sure Dear Hubby is thinking, "You have plenty of fabric, just find something you already own!" LOL As soon as Dear Sister gets her baby quilt, I'll post pics.

Cheryl's PIF Challenge Gift is completed and is going in the mail today. It's sad to see it go, but, I know it's going to a good home. To a home where it will be loved and appreciated! When Cheryl lets me know she's received this gift, I'll post a picture.

I still haven't made a decision on the little 30's pin cushion, but I know it's not going to be a pin cushion. I am leaning toward putting some borders on it and making it a mini quilt. I can admire it that way and it will be finished! I really don't need another UFO, and if I pretend I'm going to make an apron, I'm sure I'll end up with another UFO!!!!!!!

And just so you'll have a picture to look at, here's a mini quilt I made for my Younger Daughter's purple room, using Dear Sister-in-laws hand dyed fabrics!



Happy Quilting and thanks for stopping by my little blog!

Monday, January 21, 2008

So tell me..... WHY?

We moved in the middle of June. I haven't looked at my quilt patterns since then. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know where they were! So, today, just out of curiosity, I started looking. I found them in Rubbermaid containers, in my closet. Nice!

I rummaged around in them a bit and found a cute little kit I received at one of Shop Hops I've been on with my Quilting Buddies. I pulled it out, thinking it would be nice to work on a small project. Here is the progress so far.



It is going to be a pin cushion. Now, I don't need another pin cushion, so what in the world am I going to do with it?

Tell me....WHY? Why did I feel compelled to work on this, when I don't even know what I will do with it when it's completed? It will be 6 inches square when I finish it as is. Maybe I should put some little borders on it and call it a doll quilt? Any suggestions?


While I was rummaging around I found a Ziploc bag (imagine that, a quilter with a Ziploc bag). In it was stuffed with, what I finally determined to be, the rest (or at least part) of a top I had folded on a shelf in my closet. When I ran across that quilt 2-3 weeks ago, I wondered if that was all there was to the quilt, or if somewhere there was a bag....hmmmm. Mystery solved. I unfolded this quilt and it was needing two more sides of the muslin border. And here in the bag was the two pieces cut and ready to sew, plus this hand drawn diagram of the quilt. And even some of the last four patch units for the outside edge of the quilt.

I know this quilt has been around a while.....it has the telltale marks of being a "VERY OLD UFO". Here are the clues....

Inside the baggie were the following:

1. A piece of graph paper with the hand drawn quilt diagram. This dates it to the period before EQ anything!
2. A piece of template plastic measuring 2 inches square. This tells me that this quilt was cut with a pair of scissors and drawn onto the fabric with a pencil.
3. Four patches sewn with thread of undetermined pedigree.
4. Four patches which were also sewn, by hand and with large stitches. (Dear Sister in law remembers these days in my quilting past, I am sure.)
5. There are not enough of said Four Patches in this Ziploc bag with which I can finish said quilt top!

Here are the pictures to prove my insanity!




So tell me....WHY? Why would any quilter in her right mind, leave a top unfinished when it has such a little amount of work left on it? Why would I stuff those muslin borders into a Ziploc bag, and not leave enough muslin left to finish the Four Patches? That muslin is probably in another project bag to finish some other quilt!!!!!!!! Have you ever tried to "match" muslin???? Ha ha ha! It's impossible!

So, maybe I will try, using my more advanced skills to do something to finish this top! I really did like it when I started it. My question? Should I continue finishing this quilt by hand or forget that all together and zip it out on the machine? Let's hear some opinions on this one!

And, can someone tell me....WHY?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Joshua!

Today is our Older Son's 22nd birthday! Joshua is our sensitive child and always has been. He takes things in and can sometimes brood, but in the end, he perks up and does the right thing. He is VERY giving to his family, thinks of things we'll enjoy and gets them for us. He (like his Dad and Mom) knows how to enjoy a good cup of coffee! He likes reflective poems, moving films and great classical music. Enjoys singing and playing the piano.

He's great to take with you to the theater (like the REAL theater) and didn't mind taking his Mom along with him to see Romeo and Juliette set in 1930's New York. Talk about interesting! He's smart and extremely creative. He started his own Graphic Design business a couple of years ago and is also enjoying working in a ministry 4 hours from home! (We're just waiting for him to move back home.....PLEASE!) He's independent and responsible, courageous and is willing to try just about anything.

Joshua I'm proud to call you my son and I'm grateful to call you my friend! Happy Birthday!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I'm Home

I made it back from my retreat/respite. I had a great time walking in the woods, quilting, reading and watching those Edward G. Robinson B&W movies that no one else in my family likes to watch!

I slept when I wanted, ate when I felt like it, and generally took it easy. I did take a walk and enjoyed the outdoors, something I haven't done in FOREVER. When I finally made it back to the little house in the woods, I realized I'd been walking for 1 1/2 hours. I took some pictures of some things I saw on my walk. Hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Respite and Sweet Rest

Every caregiver needs a time to refresh, relax and just plain rest and that is what I am doing this week. Tomorrow morning, I am leaving for a three day, two night retreat all alone. I've rented a small little cabin in the woods for two nights. My plans are to sleep, uninterrupted, to read my Bible and some wonderful devotional books I am taking with me, do some hand quilting, watch some old B&W movies, listen to some wonderful music, take a walk by the lake, a walk in the woods and have some time of quiet.

Dear Younger Son is on duty, with Dear Mother doing the cooking and Dear Older Daughter running the errands. It's wonderful to have adult children who will help out in times like these...I don't have to cook ahead, make meal plans, leave lists of things to do or instructions.

Here is a prayer that while I am gone my family will have a wonderful time together and I will get some much needed rest.

So, if you don't hear from me for a while, you will know where I am....taking in the quiet and quilting in the woods!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Staple Gun and Picture Board

As requested, here is the picture of my new toy. It's almost like a power tool! From Lowe's, $32.00 including tax.



And here is the picture of Dear Older Daughter's picture board. Can you tell she likes blue? The top left picture (beside the heart) is Dear Older Daughter and Dear Older Son. Dear Younger Son is in the picture right next to it (far left). Other pics are of friends and family.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Getting Ready for Baby

Today has been another productive day. Actually, the past two days have been rather productive. I am getting ready for the new baby! With Dear Sister's blood pressure issues, we aren't sure if the baby will make it to his/her due date, and so the pressure is on (pun intended)! I've been trying to get things done and so has Grandma.

Grandma's baby quilt is halfway quilted. Pretty soon we'll be cutting some lovely striped fabric on the bias and finishing up her quilt.

Yesterday, I worked feverishly on some burp cloths. I found a great tutorial on a blog called A Chelsea Morning. The instructions are really clear and it's an easy, if a bit time consuming, little project. Six are completed, although Dear Sister and I picked out enough fabric and ribbon to make seven. I tired out and decided I would rummage through my stash and find more sweet fabrics to make the other five and do them all together. I just need to pick fabrics out and purchase ribbon to finish the other five. That will be another fun project for another day!



I also got the binding on this quilt which will be sent along to a young couple expecting their first baby any day now. The young lady's mother and I are quilting friends and when I first started working on this quilt, Dear Hubby said it needed to go to this couple. I sure hope they have a girl! It's on the pink side, wouldn't you say? If they have a boy, I suppose they can put it away for another day!




Last night, the quartet that two of my children belong to, came by and practiced. They will be singing at a church next Sunday morning. It was wonderful working in the sewing room while listening to them sing. I was able to get all six of my mother-in-law's placemats made. Next month, I'll start quilting them. I have got to purchase a walking foot for my machine. I know, I don't have one, because I've never machine quilted anything. I always hand quilt (thus all the tops and not quilts that I own). VBS......... I will machine quilt Dear Mother-in-law's placemats because she actually uses them and washes them frequently. I am going to cut this green fabric on the bias for the binding. Lovely fabrics that MIL picked out, aren't they? So cheery! They are Serendipity Sunflowers by RJR.





This morning Dear Mother and I got my two baby quilts basted. They are going to be wonderful. I love making baby quilts, and that is one of the reasons why this little one is getting so many (and the fact that we are so excited to have another baby in the family). I can never choose just one pattern, there are too many ideas running around in my head, so I made three! Not too bad, really. Quilts get dirty, you know.

I also cleaned out the sewing room. Not only was the table completely covered, but the ironing board was too. It was a total mess. Thread all over the floor, bits of fabric scraps. I folded the Country Stars quilt and the Star Over Texas quilt and tucked them onto the shelf with the other tops in my closet. Oh, the closet of dreams. I dream that some day those tops will grow up to be wonderful quilts!

Dear Older Daughter came home today from Walmart with fabric and ribbon so that I could "help" her recover her picture board. I REFUSED to help her as long as I had to use that retarded manual staple gun. I can barely pull that thing and then half the staple is bent and sticking up and you have to hammer it in and you know it's not going to stay! So, she and my younger son ran down to Lowe's and picked up an electric staple gun! Let me tell you ladies, get one! This one will even shoot those little brad nails! I am so excited! Anyway, the picture board is done and it looks lovely.

And, now, Dear Readers, I am about to fall out of my chair! I am tired. Chicken Spaghetti is eaten, dishes washed, Agatha Christie movie watched and clean sheets on the bed. I hear my pillow calling! So, goodnight Dear Friends.....sigh.......yawn.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Call Me Moody!

I've been in the sewing mood! I am in love with my machine, my fabrics, my UFO's, my stash, everything in my house that is quilt related! I've been inspired by the challenge, by the wonderful blog award and the nice things people are saying. Quilting is a wonderful hobby. Not only do you end up with a great quilt in the end, but along the way you meet a lot of wonderful people.

I had to sit yesterday and wait for my van brakes to be fixed and while I was waiting, I pulled out my quilt I've titled "Stars Over Texas". It's from Bonnie Hunter's website and she calls her version "Cathedral Stars".


I posted about it around November 15th, when I had to put it away because it was laid out all over the floor and company was coming over. I knew it would get put in the closet to stew, but what could I do with the holidays coming? Well, it sat, until yesterday. I was tired of twiddling my thumbs waiting to hear from the mechanic. So, I got the top put together and was so excited, I dug around in my stash and found border fabrics! My Dear Hubby loves it, but alas, it is Queen sized not King sized.

Then, after picking up my van, I still had some free time on my hands and I starting sewing....

I put borders on the Baby Strings quilt for Dear Sister. (actually her baby!)

I finished up the blocks for the Heart to Heart quilt, for Dear Sister. (her baby, again!)

And then, this morning, I put the borders on my Country Stars Quilt. The top is all done. This one is a King size quilt and when Dear Hubby saw it, he decided he liked it better for our bed anyway! So, now, I'm saving up my money and searching for a long arm quilter who likes to sew for free. Ok, I'll settle for reasonable, but I hope she does excellent work! If you have any suggestions, let me know, and I'll check into it!



Tuesday, January 8, 2008

You Make My Day!


I have been honored with the You Make My Day Award from Marcie at Patchalot More. Thanks so much Marcie!

In return, I have agreed to post the same Award on my blog and here is my list of You Make My Day Award Winning Bloggers!

The rules for this award say to choose up to 10 people whose blog brings you happiness & inspiration and makes you feel happy about Blogland. Let them know by posting a note on their blog so they can pass it on.

Diane at Dyed Quilting - yes, she's related, but we're quilting twins by marriage (she married my brother)!

Juliann at Unwritten

Marcie at Patchalot More

Megan at Megan's Blog

Karen at SewPrimitive Quilter

Mereth at Pages From Me

Helen at Quilts and ATCs

Jeanne at Luv 2 Stitch

Keryn at Quilting Twin

Libby at A Simple Girl

Thank you all for making my day! I've enjoyed reading through your posts, and looking at your pics. Each of you have inspired me in my quilting life! Happy Quilting fellow Bloggers!

Monday, January 7, 2008

UFO Challenge

I have been challenged to finish 3 UFO's by April 30th. So, I jumped in with both feet and here's my list....

1. Granny's Strings - finish quilting borders and bind

2. Baby Strings - add borders, baste, quilt, bind

3. Heart to Heart Quilt - complete blocks, assemble top, baste, quilt and bind


Number 1, Granny's Strings you've seen before. (Look in my Picassa Album for pics, link is at the bottom of my blog.) I am determined to finish this quilt.....it's been fun, but this quilt is so heavy that I only want to quilt on cold days. Fortunat
ely, we had a cold spell while all my older children were gone and I got the entire top quilted, now I have just the borders to quilt. Deciding on what to quilt in the borders will be a bigger challenge than actually quilting them.

Number 2 and 3 are baby quilts for Dear Sister, so I can't show pics otherwise there will be no surprise for Dear Sister! I know she reads periodically!

Several days my machine was busy as Dear Mother pieced her grandbaby's quilt top. It turned out beautifully and she is in the process of hand quilting it! Can't wait to show pics of it too!

Ummm, oh, I also got all the blocks for my Country Stars done and assembled. It turned out nicely, it just needs some borders now. I should get that done this week and I will post pics of it once the borders are on.

So, because blogs without pics are boring, here is a pic of a top I made a couple of years ago, the scrappy backing and a close up. (BTW, this was hand pieced...back before I fell in love with the speed of a sewing machine!) When I get a break in the "have to get done" category of my quilting, I'll move on to this one! I fell in love with this fabric (Porch Swing) and bought the scripture blocks while on a Shop Hop with my quilty friends! That was a fun time....looking forward to the Spring Shop Hop this year.

Have a great quilting day!



Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008



2008 has officially begun! Aren't you excited to see what the New Year brings in your quilting life? I am! I am looking forward to finishing some tops, quilting existing tops, making new quilts, finishing some UFO's, helping friends with their projects, using up stash, making scrappy quilts and learning some new things! Here's hoping you all have a great and productive New Year!