Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Projects

Here is a set of four napkins I made yesterday and sent to my mother for her birthday next week.  She will be 84 years young!  I wish I was going to be there but it's so unpredictable to travel in the winter that I avoid it.  Anyway, the napkins were made from 10" squares so they finish at 9 1/2".  She plays bridge a lot so I thought this fabric with tiny playing cards on it would be fun for her to use when it's her turn to host the bridge group.

Start with 2 10" squares layered right sides together for a napkin that finishes at 9.5".  Sew around with a 1/4" seam leaving an opening to turn and then edge stitch after turning.  So for a set of four napkins I cut 8 squares from 5/8 yd.   Did you notice the rooster pin cushion? It's cast iron with wool insert for pins.  Isn't it the cutest? It was a gift so it's one of a kind as far as I know.  Aren't I the lucky one!

And, here is another quilt I quilted, this one was made by my sister-in-law.  Her piecing is unbelievable!  It is so precise and lays so flat.  I think she called this one Chinese Candy Corn.  I used a pantograph called Froth and Bubble on it with a thread color called Wheat.

Finally, who can resist this shot of  Lucy, my father's pup, sitting on the hearth taken at my Dad's house.  He lives in a house built in the 1870's.  That is not a typo, it is almost 150 yrs old.  This is one of four of the original fireplaces. I'll have to share more of this historic house some time.  And I'll double check the date but I think I remembered it correctly.  
If you are where it is snowing again I hope you stay warm inside and have time to work on one of your UFO's!  I pulled out a knitting UFO to work on this evening.  Let's get those projects done!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I can't watch!

These football games are too hard to watch...so, I'll sew and cut and press and blog and take a peak every few minutes.  I wanted to share a little trick I've come up with to help me stay organized while I'm cutting scraps.  This may be something many of you have already figured out to do but I just began doing this and I hope it helps me stay organized and get more scraps cut up and out of the bin.  I'm using a Cheat Sheet!  I have several projects going at any one time, don't you too?  For some projects I already have baggies of pieces cut and ready to sew.  For most, I cut a little then sew a little.  Case in point, for the new little Ohio Stars I'm making ( 11 made so far on my one-a- day challenge for 2014!), I'm pulling civil war fabrics and selecting pairs.  Well, after I cut a couple of sets for stars, and some to share, I really didn't want to put those fabrics back in the bin to end up with even smaller scraps.  So, I use my Cheat Sheet to help me determine what else I could cut out of those fabrics....bow ties? four patches?  2 1/2" squares?  2" strip or squares? My Cheat Sheet helps me remember what projects I'd like to have more pieces for and what size pieces it requires.  It lists in size order what projects I'm cutting for making it easier for me to cut it up while it's already pressed and neat and on my cutting mat.  Who wants to have to press and straighten edges and measure again?   I hope it helps!  And I hope you get to sew today too!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First finish of 2014

I finished webbing Scrappy Trips whilst we were snowed in this week and I've chosen nine 1yd pieces to make the backing...I'm not buying yardage for this one.  It will be scrappy from start to finish!!

Here's one of the quilts I quilted on my long arm.  This is Natalie's second quilt she ever made! She did such a nice job on it.
 For the backing she chose minkee.  Don't you just love how it shows off the quilting?  It was quilted with an all over pattern called Tickle.
So I had a productive couple of days while the snow fell.

And, of course, I have to share this little video of our backyard...such a pretty scene.

Next time I will show you my Ohio Star blocks.  I have made eight so far, again thanks to all the extra sewing time I got in this week! Yay!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas is over

The decorations got put away today...and we are hunkered down for the storm which is supposed to bring several inches of snow.  I did some sewing and some quilting today too...while watching the Wild Card game with the Colts.  What a crazy game and how fantastic to have the Colts come out on top.
I continued webbing the top of Scrappy Trips- one direction is complete and now I'm starting the other direction and it's looking great!  I'm so happy with it!  I made a little bit of progress on Celtic Solstice...a few minutes a day and eventually blocks will come together to make a new quilt!  I have a cohort, J, and we've talked several times about projects we could make simultaneously and I think we've found one that just might get done..actually, she's much better about getting her projects done than I am mine.  We've decided to make 4 1/2" finished Ohio Stars!  Lots of them!  In fact, one every day this year, with a few days off for good behavior ( cutting days).  We both have lots of scraps in Civil War Reproductions so we'll be using light backgrounds with dark star points.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  I'll post pics of that once in awhile too.  I thought I had a pic of the baby quilt I quilted today for a friend but it's not here so I'll put that on later as well.

Happy sewing!  And if you're in the path of the winter storm stay safe and stay home and sew!  I know you have a project or two you could work on!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A perfect way to spend a snowy afternoon

We did inventory at the shop today so after I got home from that and had a rest and it was still snowing I could hear my sewing machine calling me.  Does your machine do that too?  I spent the rest of the afternoon making some more units for Celtic Solstice.  I'm not in any hurry to get it done but I'd like to get a little done each day.  I've used yardage and fat quarters so far but now that I have a good feel for it I'd like to add more variety by getting into the scrap drawers.  It's a spectacular quilt.  Bonnie did another outstanding job in color selection, pattern design and writing the clues.

Then I decided to finish the last block for Scrappy Trips and start webbing the top together!  I'm so excited to get to this stage and try another way of assembling a quilt top which will hopefully keep the blocks in the right place.  There are some gorgeous versions of this quilt on the internet.  My version is very colorful; it's quite a mish mash of uglies to pretties.  It only used up a little bit of  my 2.5" strip drawer because I kept adding to it when I came across something else I wanted to put in it.  I'm sure I have enough to do another one but if I do the next one will probably have more of a color scheme.  I cut up a bunch of my 30's prints for one...just in case!
Webbing the top together 

Hope you've had time to sew today!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New beginning for a new year

I love the new year.  So much potential and a chance to reset, recalibrate and acknowledge accomplishments.  If the past couple of years are any indication, I won't post often but I am doing so today so there's that.  In 2013 I completed 8 bed-sized quilts and I quilted about 60-70 quilts on my long-arm.  I sold my HQ16 and bought a Fusion, also a Handi-quilter machine.  I like the brand a lot and it does what I need.  I've had the new one since September and it's been a fantastic upgrade.
Some of my 2013 projects remain as UFO's: Hidden Stars, Bow Ties, And Cats to name a couple.  Some others got added to the list~and some were completed~hooray! In general I'm pretty happy about what I completed year!  
So, what will I change?  Not a whole lot actually.  I'd like to spend less on fabric.  I've got several stash quilts in the works, the one closest to completion is Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trips.  One more block to make and I'll start webbing it together.  I'm also working on her Shaded Nine Patch as a leader/ender project, and I started Celtic Solstice.  I LOVE how that one looks! I'll make the large size of that one.  Then I need to make a baby quilt for my first grand nephew!  And a graduation quilt for Emily which I was cutting strips for as I was cutting for Celtic Solstice.  And I will continue to quilt on my long-arm!
Away from quilting, I always need to work on the basics...exercise, eat healthy foods and watch my weight....so that I can keep quilting for a long, long time!  That "To Do" list doesn't ever seem to get shorter!
Wishing you all the best for 2014....and many fabulous finishes!