Friday, December 29, 2017

Ringing In the New Year with Final Results

Well, it's that time of the year again.

Time to ring out the old
and ring in the new.

It's the time to recheck those lists
and evaluate how the year went. 

Last year I followed along with Meredithe,
from the blog pomegranate and chintz,
who organized the 17 UFO's in 2017.

It was a big challenge.
The idea was to move those project forward and 
see progress.
It was a challenge that was positive, not one
to make you feel discouraged.
It worked!

Here's my list now.

10 out of 18 projects DONE and 
off the list.
That's about a 60% completion rate.

4 more that have been moved forward. 82%
And 3 things I just never got to. 18%

I'd say it was a positive quilting year.
Add in the extra projects that were new and not UFO's
and it makes me feel pretty good.

In fact,
with the encouragement of all of you

I'm literally singing out loud.

So what are the plans for 2018?
I'm thinking about adapting the original idea just a bit.


6  "so close" projects (UFO'S) 
You just have to do it.

6  "just start
 I'm thinking about all those
projects where I've collected the fabric, the pattern, 
and it's just sitting in a pile
 waiting for me to find the time to start.
This year I'm going to make it happen.

6  "surprises"
Not quite sure what these will be.
Time will tell.

Check out Meredithe's blog, she's planning
something similar.

I'm hoping this plan will
keep me focused, yet, will be 
freeing and exciting.

Wishing you all a year
of immeasurable blessings and joy.

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

It's a Wrap for 2017!

Twas the week before Christmas
and all through the house,
there was so much commotion
it wasn't fit for a mouse.

13 stockings
hung by the chimney with care
while I was busy baking
trying to keep flour out of my hair.

When suddenly down in the sewing room
there arose such a clatter,
everyone raced 
to see what was the matter.

Vintage Ocean Waves
65" x 55"

"No problem", I said
not wanting a scene,
"I just finished the final project 
for 2017!"

It was started in the 40's
and now finished at last.
Stitched by two quilters,
one present, one past.

Just like a puzzle
the pieces were unstitched
and then sewn back together
with nary a hitch.

My eyes how they twinkled
as I looked at what was done.
So much work
yet so much fun.

It's all quiet now with
The fabric and thread put away,
so I'll stop just to wish you all
a very Happy Holiday.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Holy, Loose Tooth, Batman!

One of the most exciting thing to
happen to a six year old
is to get that first loose tooth.

You wiggle that tooth with
your fingers or your tongue
and finally to your great surprise
out it falls.
First grandson, first tooth!

I had been holding on to a pattern
that I had purchased off of Esty 
just for this occasion.

Everyone needs a special place to 
put that tooth so the tooth fairy can find it. 
This week I did some fun sewing.
I was making these super cute tooth fairy pillows.
They are made out of felt with
lots of details.

 The pattern is from 
Lindy J Designs.
You can find the link here.
She has a lot of cute things to make.

What little kid wouldn't love putting
their tooth into the pockets of these
fun pillows!

Look up in the sky.
it's a bird, it's a plane,

Complete with a logo pocket and a cape.

Holy, loose tooth!
It's Batman to the rescue!

You don't have to live in Gotham City
to have your tooth tucked away in 
this fun tooth pillow.

Now if you're looking for something a bit
more girly
How about a  9" dancing ballerina?
 Complete with a tule tutu,
glitter wings and 
a sparkly crown.
She has a special pocket
hidden under her wings.

Sometimes you just have to 
sew something fun and crazy.
Unfortunately, I missed that first tooth
but we'll be ready for the next one.

I'm not sure what the going rate is for
the tooth fairy these day, but at least,
she'll have fun leaving some $ in
these cute pillows. 
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Halo Medallion Quilt

It is so difficult at times trying to 
keep my halo perfectly centered.

And the same has been true 
as I've worked on my Halo Medallion Quilt,
the BOM available from The Quilt Show.

But, I'm happy to say,
the top is complete
and everything does appear to be perfectly centered.

 92" x92"

 The quilt was designed by
the late Sue Garman.
And working over the course
of the last 12 months, I have come to a few
new realizations. 

1.  Paper Piecing is not my cup of tea.

The entire quilt was presented as a paper piecing project.
I learned early on
 that  I would use that technique only when absolutely necessary,
like with the center medallion and, of course,
the circular flying geese. 

Most of the other borders that were
 pinwheels or hst's I felt I could 
use other methods and be just as accurate.

Isn't it great that there are a variety of 
ways to achieve the same results?

2. Fussy Cutting is not for the Frugal Fabric Cutters

If you can't stand having your
favorite yardage ending up like this skip ahead to #3,

but for those of us who get a burst of excitement and pleasure
out of creating wonderful secondary patterns and designs with the fabric
this is just a natural consequence. 

3. Round and Round We Go

When a quilt is made with a center square and then entirely of borders,
we may not realize how many times you must sew around and around.....

This quilt consists of 19 individual borders beyond the feathered star center.

Do the math
4 sides X 19 borders = 76
That means sewing around the quilt 76 times 
and trying to keep it square!
As the quilt grows so does the amount of time
and the amount of yardage you're wrestling 

with each application.

4.  Floaties are a Life Saver
Okay, that's a good thing at the pool,
but it's also true in quilt making.

Knowing how to figure out the size
 of those floating border strips
between the pieced borders is essential.
Just because the pattern says to cut them a 
particular width and length, we all know
that isn't always right. 

As my quilt grew and grew, I found
I needed to adjust those floaties.

Learning to adapt a pattern keeps
everyone happy and merrily swimming along. 

Each new quilt and stitching project
can give you new insight into what you like
or not like to do.
It can add more tools for your tool belt
as we continue to create the quilts we love.

Both of myself and the quilt are super happy
to be finished.

In fact, I'm simply beaming.
 Until Next Time-

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Little Extra Gravy in November

For those of us who have just
finished enjoying a Thanksgiving meal 
with family and friends,
I'm thinking many of us might have added a little extra 
gravy to our turkey and mashed potatoes.

The extra gravy 
was not on my plate this year, but rather, it was
finishing the top I started only last month
with these Lady of the Lake blocks.

The pattern was designed by Jo Morton
for Quiltmania, issue 121.

I had been so faithful to my 17 UFO's in 2017 list
that I needed a diversion.
I loved the design,
I had plenty of fabrics that 
would work perfectly, so I opted
to temporarily take a side trail
and see what might happen.

The blocks went together easily
and soon became the center.

At this point, the pattern added the borders,
but it seemed to look unbalanced.
The photo in the magazine had half square triangles
on all four sides.

With a bit more stitching
the extra hst's were added
then the border, which was cut in an unconventional style. 
I only had a 3 long pieces of the border fabric left from 
a previous project.
With some careful piecing, I had just enough
to frame the quilt. 

Finishing this quilt top
seems like a little extra gravy for November.
It wasn't something I had planned on doing,
but it was just what I needed.
(No extra calories involved.)

Until Next Time-

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Good Ending

All good things must come to an end.
Things like...
Bee Hive hairdos?
Well, maybe that was a good thing to end!

For me this week it was
finally finishing my
leaders and enders quilt. 
A 17 UFO's in 2017 project.

Happy Memories Quilt
60" x 66"

It all started last summer with a free
pattern from 
It was to be a fun summer project.

I decided it was time to dig into my scrap bags and
use only what was there.

A couple of large trash bags worth of 
pieces had taken over a large portion of a closet.

It was time to use it or
pass it on.

It took a lot of cutting,
and a long time sewing.
I used the leaders and enders approach
and kept working on it for well over a year.

There were lozenger blocks ( 2"x 6") to make along with

and broken dishes (3") and nine patches (4.5").

Combine all those different fabrics together
and what do you get?
A quilt filled with happy memories. 

A quilt made with
fabric pieces from so many past quilts.
It was a trip down memory lane.

It was machine quilted by my friend, Debi,
who kept the swirling feather pattern simple.

When it came to the binding,
it had to be scrappy too.
I found tucked away in the hidden part of a cupboard
some binding pieces
wrapped sweetly on antique wooden spools.
Use them up!

Yes, all good things do need to come to an end.

Don't you agree?
Until Next Time-

Friday, November 10, 2017

Let's Talk Some Turkey

No, I'm not quite ready to 
talk about this kind of turkey.

But rather,
about the only Thanksgiving decoration
that I usually put out.

It's my favorite.
Turkey Jack
(Sorry I can't remember the pattern.)

A long time ago 7 quilting friends
got together and made 8 of these.
We actually made an extra one to sell
to pay for the cost of our project!

The best part was that we split up the 
steps and each of us only did our individual 
part 8 times.

When the parts were combined
we each had our own special
Thanksgiving turkey.
It was a very efficient and fun way
to work on a "craft" project.
Especially, one that had so many different and varied steps. 

Some of us were better at stitching,
some were great at stuffing,
and let me say, that there is a skill to perfect stuffing,
both on and off the table, and
 we had some fantastic painters as well.
Here's our flock of handsome turkeys
already to head to their perspective homes. 
We certainly did talk turkey.
No foolin'.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Stolen Moments

This month's sewing
on my 17 UFO's in 2017
has only happened
with stolen moments of time. 
A little bit here and a little bit there.

Most of the items on my list
really don't have to be done by any particular time,
except for one.

#14 Make two new Christmas Stockings

 When my sister was 1 and 
I was 3 our mom made us our Christmas stockings.
Nothing elegant,
or Shabby Chic
just pure 50's.

 They were made out of felt,
sequins and  embroidery.
In fact, they are actually a puppet.

 So when Running Man and I were married in 1973,
 I made him a stocking to match mine.
It was the start of a family tradition. 

The number of stockings have grown over the years.
 Last year there were 11
and this year, well, there will be 13.

 With my stole bits of time
I've been sewing sequins,
and embroidering Santa faces
for the newest members of the family.

Each stocking from one generation
to the next shows a bit more wear.
 The colors may have faded a bit, but there
are many Christmas memories tucked inside each of those stockings.

With my stolen moments
the stockings can now be hung by the 
chimney with care,
In the hopes that Saint Nicholas will soon be there.

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Have an Itch? Scratch it!

What do you do when you have an itch?

Why, you scratch it, of course.

I've had a sewing itch ever since I 
got the latest copy of Quiltmania, issue 121.
What's got me so itchy?
The pattern Comfort and Joy designed by Jo Morton.

photo from the magazine

What has made the scratching so easy and pleasurable
is the fact that I had so many of her fabrics

 and the border print.
It seemed the perfect pattern to use
some of these fabrics.
I even threw in one of Di Ford's new 
Clotted Creams and Caramels

I jumped right in making
larger hst's
and then scrappy half square triangles
using the magic 8 method.

The Bloc-Loc ruler
was waiting it's turn to start

If I was a more careful stitcher, maybe I
wouldn't have to trim, but I'm not,
so a tool like the Bloc-Loc ruler is 
my very good friend.

These Lady of the Lake blocks
are sweet and easy to do
if the half square triangles are the perfect size.

But, then I had to stop.
I got a little busy
with another good itch that needed to be scratched.

I had visitors over the weekend
and we needed to play.

And that required a trip to the pumpkin patch

in search of the perfect pumpkin.

 Then there were these two little pumpkins
also at Nana's house.

Perfect too!

I'm hoping it won't be too long 
before I'm able to get the blocks sewn together.
You never know when I might have another itch.

 Until Next Time-