Friday, December 31, 2010

Are you Ready?

Goodbye 2010!  I wasn't all that fond of 2010 and I'm eager to get to work on my new goals.  How about you?  Today and tomorrow are GREAT days to tidy up your (home) work space, cut up some scraps that are piling up, put all your gear back into place, and maybe even dust and oil your sewing machine (and change your needle!!).   Once that's done you'll feel so much more like getting out a project that has sat for awhile or starting a new one!  I hope you'll try my block of the month!  It won't be hard, promise.  You'll even be able to work on other things inbetween if you're so inclined.  I should have the first block ready to post soon so choose your color scheme or get a layer cake that you love.   A layer cake is a pre-cut stack of 10 inch squares that Moda puts out with each of its fabric lines.  In it you'll get one square of each fabric in the line for a total of 42 squares.  I'm not sure how many I'll use yet but it won't be more than 42.  So, you can cut up let's say, some pink and browns, or some light and dark batiks, or, some red and greens or blue and yellows...whatever you like, or, you can buy a pack.  :)   

Goal #1:  To use up stash fabric:  I used 6 yards of fabric to make a pieced backing for a Log Cabin quilt I'll be teaching next semester.  I used another 2 yards for a couple of gifts.  And, I've cut up some backing leftovers so they don't clutter up my area.  It doesn't count for 2011 but it makes me feel like I closed out 2010 on a positive note. 
Goal #2:  Quilt 1 quilt per week on my long-arm.  Check!  In the past two weeks I have quilted the Log Cabin quilt and another one for Christmas which gets me on a roll.  I'm so pysched about doing more long-arming. 
Goal #3:  see above.  I'll post the first block asap!  

So, Happy New Year to one and all!  Get ready to rock and roll!  And let me know how you're doing!  I want to hear!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Year End Round Up & A Look At 2011

For my "almost" final stash report I have used almost half of what I bought this year.  Since there are still a few days left and a few more things to finish by Christmas and the end of the year the actual numbers may change a little bit but, I doubt the percentages will change very much.  Let's just say I could use Bonnie Hunter's new book, which promises to provide projects to use your stash, before it's release date of Jan 21.  Check out the cover at  I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't use more of what I've purchased so, there is challenge #1 for 2011.  I'd like to reverse those totals and use up twice as much as what I purchase.  I think I'll need a much smaller budget next year, too!  So, I'll continue to keep track of my stash and report on my progress occasionally. 

For my second challenge for 2011, I'd like to quilt one quilt per week on my long-arm.  Now that could be tough because I certainly don't piece that many tops in a year but I do have a plan.  I have enough tops to take care of January!!  And, I have several unfinished pieces and pieces of fabric which would look great with some neat fill patterns on them that I've been wanting to try.  So, this goal will run right along side my goal to do more freehand work.

Now that should be enough but, there's more!  Since I want to report on all these goings-on at least once a week and, so you have more reason to come back and visit, I'm also going to post instructions for a block made from layer cake (10") squares at least once a month.  By the end of the year we'll have at least 12 blocks and I'll have some setting ideas too.  The first block post will be early in the month but, I'm not sure what day yet.  So, get a layer cake or cut some 10" squares from your stash and stitch along!  I'll post more info asap.  Leave me a comment, let me know what you think! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stash Report

As of the end of September, I have purchased 177.68 yards and I have used 105.96 for a net of 71.72 yards added to my stash.  I have a few yards set aside for pillowcases for gifts and I'd like to make a couple for the pillowcase challenge, too.  I'd also thought about making a couple pairs of boxer shorts and a couple of aprons for gifts as well. 

I have added to my Short List three quilt tops to quilt for Becky for her breast cancer project.  And, there are two others to quilt for my SIL.  I plan to get all of these done in the next four to five weeks; I'll get one loaded this morning. That would leave some time for another quilt or two if someone needs one done by Christmas. 

I'm also debating about what classes to offer next session.  I've got lots of ideas but if anyone has any requests for something they want to learn about let me know!  I can work on a project for that! 

The days have been beautiful...hope you all are getting out for some nice long walks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blog Hop-Not Too Late To Check it Out

Ok.  So really it is Day 10 and the last day of the Blog Hop but, if you jump over to GE Designs blog and start there, there are 10 free patterns by 10 wonderful designers and I think you have until Friday to download the patterns.  There's always room for another project on the list, isn't there?  Terri of Whimsicals, a local designer is part of the blog hop too and you can go to her website as well and find the list. 

I have some catching up to do...a stash report among other things.  I've been busy taking pictures of my  finished projects and posting them on my NEW flickr site.  I'm also on facebook and twitter.  I'll get links up for those as soon as I can.  But you can check out my finished projects on the bar at right. :)

I've finished a couple more projects as well; the latest is a charity top that I quilted on my long-arm for the guild.  I bought a couple of tops on eBay very inexpensively so that I would have more tops to practice on.  When I complete those I'll either keep them or give them away.  It seemed like a good option; I bought them cheaper than I could make them and it certainly saves me all the time it would take to make them as well.  I'll let you know how that experiment turns out. 

Well, the Yankees made it into the post-season and then there's football to watch so that means knitting time is here too.  The other day I got out a hat I had started and it is now almost done!  Woo hoo!  I love finishing things!  I've also realized that it really bothers me to have sooo many UFO's and sooo much extra fabric; tubs and tubs of it.  Well, I'm rambling now so it must be time to finish this post and get to work on that hat. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Summer Review

The temperatures are finally cooling down and I couldn't be happier about that. Being over 50 those hot days are challenging! I did get a lot of tops completed though because it was too hot to be outside. It took 91 days from start to finish to get my HQ16 back to me in working order. I've had something on the frame every week since then and it is such a relief to get those projects moved forward. The pile is still tall; there are still 2 tops to quilt for the guild's charity effort, two more tops I bought off of eBay a long time ago that I'd like to finish (they are perfect for practicing on), some table toppers for Christmas gifts and two class projects from MQS in May. Now, if I could get through those I would be ecstatic!

Through the end of August I have bought 155 yards of fabric and used 93 yards. (-62 yds).

Really not so bad. Except for what I bought at the annual Ice Cream Social sale I would be nearly even! I've got plans for lots of sewing and lots of stash busting this fall so I'll go out on a limb and predict that by year's end I will have used more than I brought in. 62 yards is only backing for what...6-10 quilts?

My latest clean it up/clear it out project is to deal with the 4 tubs of batting scraps I have under my HQ table. I've sorted it into two piles and decided to keep 2 tubs worth of larger pieces which I can use for table toppers and tote bags and smaller projects. The remaining 2 tubs worth of smaller stuff I am cutting up for a flannel rag quilt which I can make for this year's donation quilt. If anyone is interested in donating flannel or needs batting to sew their own rag quilt let me know and we'll coordinate.

I used my starter today for some waffles and a batch of ciabatta bread. YUM! I also made two loaves of meatloaf and some roasted vegetables for dinner.

Happy Grandparents Day to all of you who are grandparents!

Hope you have a great week, too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stash Report and Bossy Pants

We're in the middle of one hot and humid summer. I suppose I shouldn't expect anything different in Indiana. Since it's been too hot to be outside I've been cutting up a storm. I haven't been able to finish anything though, because I'm still waiting for my long-arm to be sent back to me. It's been out of commission for two months :(. So, the tops are done for a bedrunner, a tree skirt, a graduation quilt, and a tote bag. I've been cutting up fabric to begin a triangle exchange with my guild. And, I have made progress on a UFO I'm using as my Leaders and Enders project. (If you are unfamiliar with leaders and enders, it's a great way to maximize your sewing time. Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville has an excellent tutorial AND a book on it so, hop on over to her website sometime and check it out.) So, with all that cutting I've kept pretty close, considering. For my stash report, I have just topped 100 yards of fabric IN and cut up about 85 yards.
One thing that has had made a difference is having a bag at the ready in which to throw 1" strips of leftover anything. Those will go into my crocheted rug. It keeps lots of strings of stuff from piling up all over waiting to be dealt with. I think Bonnie would be pleased with that idea, too! I like a clean, organized space and having bits of stuff floating about drives me crazy. And, when you can't find your gear because it's covered up with something that's a big time waster. Or, if you have to move stuff about all the time, that's another big time waster. And, most of us have precious little time to begin with so don't spend it moving things around or looking for something or worst of all, having to re-buy it because we can't find it! Sorry for wearing my bossy pants today, but you know all this is true! So, keep it cleaned up and cleared out! Happy quilting! Enjoy the cool of the indoors (sorting and organizing) if it's too hot for you out there.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's June Already!

Ok, so who switched the calendar on me? How did it become June already? I have way too much to do and can't figure out how to stay on top of it all. I am working on the graduation quilt for Mattie. The top should be completed over the next two-three days and then on to the frame it goes lickety-split! I have the choosen the panto I want to use on it. Dare I say that the quilt I ended up making for her is design idea #3? I've used some of the pieces I cut for #2 so some of the fabrics stayed but I had to change the overall look. I guess the wind was trying to tell me something....I had the whole thing up on my design wall one beautiful afternoon, window wide open enjoying the breeze when it kicked up quite a bit and blew off the pieces I hadn't yet pinned in place. Whooosh! Well, I wasn't in love with it anyway. So, back to the drawing board or, in my case, I peruse lots of magazines as well as they come through the shop...and this picture popped out at me. I didn't need a pattern for it. I just sketched out what I wanted to do for it and put together some numbers so I could make it the right size and voila! Design #3. I'll post a picture soon. Hopefully I'll get some pics of it before I give it away.

The Unofficial Stash Report: I know I used up a couple more yards in the process of making the above blocks but I had bought a couple yards for it while in Paducah in April. And, I haven't used some of the other fabulous stuff I bought there. That was supposed to be something I could dive into right away.....But, I have resisted bringing stuff home from work every day. I only bring stuff home every OTHER day!!! Hee, hee, hee. Oh well, I am trying to be more mindful even if I'm probably still bringing in more than I use up.

I also went to the Machine Quilter's Showcase in Kansas City last month. Fab-u-lous!! Loved my classes (most of them), loved the quilts (of course), loved getting away for a few days with S, even though we just spent the evenings together. And, we saw some very dear friends of ours as well. Kansas City also has some wonderful old architecture which we captured in photographs for me to use in machine quilting. I think I've found a new hobby!!

Happy quilting, y'all. And, happy summer, ready or not!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Starters and Stash Report

Hi everyone!

I don't know what got in to me but as I enjoy cooking, most of the time, I had been looking into making some good pizza dough. While on that little quest, I became interested in the cookbooks by the King Arthur Flour company. Reading recipes about this and that I decided to get my starter out of the freezer and spent some of my free time this week renewing my sourdough starter. With several of my groups meeting this week, I ended up "saving" each division of dough making more and more starter with plastic containers taking over the countertop! And, what's more, I gave away every one of them, except my original container of it. If you've never used or made starter before, check out King Arthur Flour's website and you might just want to start some of your own! BTW, I haven't made that pizza dough yet but I did make a wonderful sourdough carrot cake.

I haven't reported on my stash for ages but, I haven't done a ton of sewing lately either. I haven't worked on the mystery quilt for at least a month. I changed ideas for the graduation quilt I'm doing and that's all cut out. I bought a few small pieces of fabric to add to what I had in my stash for that project. Buy some, save some, cut some. My current standing for the 2010 is 55 3/4 yards IN, and 47 yards OUT. That's fairly close, but I'd like to do better; however, there's way too much FUN fabric out there these days.

It's almost time for the Paducah show and I'm going again! I'm not supposed to bring home another long-arm quilting machine....hmmm. Hope I can live up to that! If I bring home a machine it doesn't count under my stash report does it....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Quilt Pattern Published!

My second pattern as quilt designer has been printed and bagged and is ready for sale! It will be for sale at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show along with the first one I wrote. I'm quite happy with it except it cost an arm and a leg to make color copies of several of the pages. There's a really great technique in it along with an extra page of things you can do with it. My company is called Lucky Star Quilts and they are carried by Quilts Plus in Indianapolis.

Although I brought more fabric home from work this week I also used some up so I'm running about even in the stash. I brought home some 1/4 yard cuts of the cutest shirtings to replace some of what I had used in the mystery quilt since I still have more to cut for that. And, I bought some fabric that had written on it the whole verse of 'Twas the night before Christmas. I love that story and I thought it would make the cutest pillowcases to have on every bed guessed it...the night before Christmas. I had to get it NOW because everyone knows if you wait it will be GONE when you do want it. To use fabric I completed the two pillowcases I mentioned last time and cut up 4 more yards of strips for the crocheted rug I'm working on and a little bit cut for the mystery quilt.

Today I finished clue #2 of the mystery quilt. (I'm making it, not writing it.) It really feels good to stay on top of that. The clues are really well written and, so far, I like the way it has been broken down. I made 180 4-patches today and they are so cute!! Love them! The pattern was written by Debbie Caffrey.

I've been watching the Olympics also which is when I've been working on my crocheted rug. You can't hurt yourself with the big crochet hook I'm using either!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Day=Sew Day

I'm so happy to stay home today and SEW. I want to finish Clue #2 in the mystery quilt I'm doing. With a day like this I might just get it done! And then I have two snowmen pillowcases to make for the guest room; seems appropriate to have them done and on the bed asap, doesn't it?

I just finished a quilt based on my pattern called "Indiana Fields". It's in repro blues and creams, scrappy; I really like the way it turned out. I dug into my scraps for the whole thing! I did purchase the border fabric and backing, but, still.... I quilted it on my HQ and that worked out pretty well too; not perfect, but good. I'm still at the point where I need lots of practice to keep curves curvy and points pointy. I used a fairly dense pantograph so it would scrunch up alot...and it did! It lost 5" in each direction after washing. I wash all my quilts as soon as they're bound. It's part of the process for me. I love the scrunchiness of a washed quilt.

I've also started keeping a fabric log. In 2010 I have purchased 22.25 yards and used 16 7/8 yards. If I go downstairs NOW to sew I should be able to add another couple of yards to the OUT category...especially if I make those pillowcases! I started this effort to use stash on Jan 1 by opening my scrap drawer and sorting and pressing the whole lot so I could see what I had. I sorted by color. Now, when I go into that drawer it's SO easy to pull out the cream/tans and look for the shirtings I need for the mystery quilt! I'm so glad I did this. It feels so good to USE it! I'm also purchasing just for what I'm working on instead of for future projects. OK, there's always an exception...I did get a yard each of some new Kaffe fabrics that came in and I have no plans for them yet....

I'm excited about the mystery project. It's all scrappy and should look really old when it's finished. I'm making three times as many units as it calls for so I can make 2; one for me and one for my niece who is graduating this year. Shhh, she doesn't know it and may be wondering why I haven't asked her what she wants yet when everyone else ahead of her has gotten one. She really likes OLD things so I think she'll really like this. So, I'm off; I need to cut 65 squares of shirtings and some strips, too, for strip sets.