Catching Up

This is going to be a pretty long post since it has been a while (almost half a year) since my last one. It doesn’t seem to me that I’ve gotten much done quilt-wise, but it may look like it once everything is bundled together in one place.

Frist of all, I have been making a Quilt of Valor every month and sending them up to my dear friends, the Georgia Belles, to be quilted and gifted to an appreciated veteran.  There is a double benefit for me from making Quilts for veterans. The best thing of course, is having the opportunity to show my appreciation for those who served in the armed forces and helped to keep America safe.  Secondly, it is a practical way to experiment with different quilt patterns and techniques.  I enjoy trying new things and am learning so much with each one I make.

2015-07-14 falling stars qov

Falling Stars

This is the QOV for July. The pattern is called ‘Falling Stars’ and is in the Spring issue of Easy Quilts.

2015-08-21 qov stars

Summertime Stars

I made this one for August from a pattern called ‘Summertime Stars” in Quaint Quilts to Love by Joanna Figueroa & Lisa Quan.

2015-09-11 qov

This is the one I made for September. At the moment, I can’t remember what magazine I saw this one in, but I remember it was an old one — from the 90s.

2015-10-22 qov

And this is for October. I made it up using my favorite block, Mary’s Triangles from Sally Schnider’s book, Triangle Tricks. I’ve made several quilts with this block and it is so versatile.

A couple of months ago, the Community Service group of my local guild, Seaside Piecemakers, asked for patriotic lap quilts for a local hospice organization. Since I had a few patriotic panels on hand, I decided to make them up into lap quilts. Here they are.

2015-10-01 qov lap quilts

I turned these three in and was gifted with four more little panels to make into even more lap quilts.  Here they are (before the quilting and binding. Apparently, I didn’t take a picture of them finished):

2015-10-08 qovs

These were fun to make and fast – corner blocks and side borders around the panel and the quilt is all done. These were small enough that I could quilt them myself on my little Vikiing. Notice the Mary’s Triangles in the corners. I sure like adding them to quilts.

2015-07-26 fabric folded stars

Folded Fabric Stars

These are my folded fabric stars. I learned this technique from Diana Whitson at a Sunstitchers meeting in June. I liked it so much that when we went back to Chattanooga to get the last of our stored stuff, I showed Karen D. and Sharon G. how to make them and they shared the technique with the Chattanooga Quilt Guild. I thought I would make one or two, but I keep getting ideas for different color combinations and decide to do ‘just one more.’ Thus this fifth one:

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One more star

(and I am considering a few more color ways, so I don’t think I am done yet.)

Over the last few months, I also managed to get some knitting done. I finally finished the teal pair and two more pairs after that.  I have been knitting in the evenings while watching TV.

205-08-29 socks

Teal Sox

2015-10-08 red sox

Red & Purple Sox

2015-10-24 sox

Blue Sox

This makes 24 pairs of socks that I have knitted. I think I am ready for winter now — LOL!

Twin baby quilts

Twin baby quilts

I made these baby quit tops for my sister. She has a co-worker who recently had twin granddaughters, and I happened to have a couple ABC panels on hand that seemed girly, so I pieced the tops for her. She will take care of the quilting and finishing.

 

Well, I believe that has us all caught up. I left out any pictures of the studio although it has changed a lot since the last update on that. I am hoping to get the room all neatened up for fresh pictures, but I am having so much fun sewing in here that there seems to always be a mess of one sort or another.

Happy Day!

 

 

 

Checking In

Well, we have been in Florida now for about six months and in our house for about five, and I am beginning to feel like this is home. I suspect finally getting a washer and dryer helped with that feeling.  It is so nice to do my own laundry again and not have to take it out to the laundromat.

2015-06-03 washer & dryer

here are the new lovelies, happily nestled in their own little niche. And look at what we (‘we’ in this case means Raymond) had to do to vent the dryer! I don’t know how the previous owners did laundry as there was no vent for a dryer anywhere in the garage.  This setup is a little funky looking, but as long as it works I love it.

2015-06-03 washer & dryer2

I happened across a Quilting Arts episode (1210) on Create TV this week and saw two projects that seemed interesting — quick fabric flowers and a scrappy trip around the world block. That same day, I tried making the flower before I forgot how and here is my attempt.  I like it. I can see this being a cute addition to a purse or pillow or even a baby quilt. The one in the clip used ombre fabric and the first one I found was this brown to tan. It still looks like a flower.  It was as easy to make as it looked in the video.

2015-06-12 sample quilting arts flower

And here is the scrappy trip block. The original pattern is on Bonnie Hunter’s website,  quiltville.com.  I had seen it there but thought making all those little squares looked like a lot of work. Well after seeing the video on Quilting Arts, I found out it is a fun and quick little block to make. I am so tempted to cut up all my fat quarters into strips and start making more of these blocks.

2015-06-13 scrappy trip

Because the blocks are so busy, I think if I used the same color in the center (I decided to go with white) the blocks would have a little bit of order.

Sock it to me

Next, I am pleased to show a finished sock. I have been knitting on this one for over a year!  The yarn is wool, silk and a little nylon. It feels very soft. I started the second one right away but who knows how long it will take to finish!  Don’t you love the color!

2015-06-12 table sock #20

Studio Update

This week, we got a piece of pegboard and some 1″ x 2″s for the legs and frame and Raymond put them together to hold my rulers and rotary cutters. This one is bigger than the last one and I love it.  Here are some shots of the studio showing the new pegboard.

2015-06-12 studio 2

I moved the furniture around again as you can see. 

2015-06-12 studio 3The pegboard as well as the design wall just lean there against the wall. I love that I can move them around without leaving marks on the walls.  The only exception with that will be my next design wall which will be made of insulation sheets covered in flannel. They will be secured to the wall. Maybe next month I will get around to that.
2015-06-12 studio 1

And here is the pegboard with all my rulers arranged on it right by the cutting table.  I love it!  Now I better get in there and sew something.
2015-06-13 pegboard

Where did January go?

(note: when I look at this post, instead of photos I see little squares with an X in them. I hope this is some temporary blip on my computer and not in the actual post. Let me know if you can’t see any of the photos). My sister gave me this lovely lace heart and I decided it would be perfect as a pillow for the guest bedroom. The red paisley fabric matches the duvet and it looks very nice sitting on the bed.

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This is a UFO I was given. Some of the rail fence blocks were together, others needed assembled. If you look close, you can see the spot where I got the rails going backwards, but  I think it turned out pretty nice anyway and will make a cheerful cuddle quilt for some lucky  boy or girl.

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I have seen on a few other quilter’s blogs that they save up all the spools they empty during the year and then count them up to get an idea of how busy they have been.  I thought I would give it a try. Here are the 25 spools I used up in 2013.  I wonder how many I will use this year?

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I joined an artist trading card swap group and here are the cards I got for January. The theme was ‘bears’ and mine is there in the middle. It says “Love bears all things.” All the cards were very cute and each one is totally different. I love seeing how other gals interpret the themes so uniquly.

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Here is another pair of short socks. They are very warm, especially when worn over another pair of socks.

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This little cuddle quilt was a panel. I just stitched along the lines and gave it to Project Linus at the January meeting.

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This is one section of a quilt I am making. It is queen sized and I decided to try the quilt-as-you-go method to finish it. What you do is quilt the middle of each section, leaving the edges un-stitched. then you join the sections and quilt the bits between them. This is the first quilted section. Two more to go.  Zeena is checking it out.

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Here are some string blocks I made from patriotic fabric strips. They will end up in two or three different quilts.

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What I Did in December

 

2013 is coming to an end in a few days.  I must say I am going to miss it.  I had so much fun with friends and family this year, so many blessing came my way.  At the same time, I am looking forward to 2014 – doesn’t it feel like it may just be the best year yet?   Here is the final round-up for December.  Thanks for reading my blog. I hope 2014 is your best year yet too! See you next year.

Pizza Box Blocks

Here are the pizza box blocks I mad this month.  The one on the left is the practice one from my fabric and the one on the right is Gayle T’s.  flying geese units were required this time, and there are eight in each block, although you have to look a little to find them.   This was a fun block that I got out of one of the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks issues.

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In January we all show our final blocks and the pizza boxes go back to their original owner.  I am excited to see all the blocks in my pizza box, but at the same time I don’t want this swap to end.

Artist Trading Card Swap

A new feature here is the group of ATCs that I got from a swap I joined.  ATC is short for artist’s trading card, which is a little 3.5″ x 2.5″ work of art that can be made from any combination of fabric, paper, paint, stamping, etc.   Veronica has been hosting a monthly swap for a few years now (you can find out more by clicking on her blog which is listed on the side).  The theme was black or white and I couldn’t decide so I went with shades of gray instead, just like I do in real life (just a few shades though — I don’t think I could handle 50).  Mine is the one in the middle. I just love every one and am looking forward to taking part in a lot of these swaps.

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Socks

Knitting is an interesting activity. I find it a peaceful  and love that I can relax for a while with my yarn and needles now and then.  Socks and gloves seem to be just the right size project for me — one day I may try another sweater, but for now I am enjoying socks. I still can’t believe I finally learned how to use double pointed needles. And it is so neat to have something useful once I am finished!

Here are the short socks I made with the rainbow yarn.  They are nice and warm.  This heavier yarn knits up a lot faster than skinny sock yarn — that’s for sure!

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There was a lot of yarn left after the socks so I made a couple of pairs of fingerless gloves.  I love this rainbow yarn.

Cotton Socks

I finished another pair of socks, this time with cotton yarn.  I had to use smaller needles to get them to the same size as the other socks, and I haven’t worn them yet so I can’t say if I like them or not.  The cotton is quite soft and if they can keep their shape, I think they will be very nice.  I got the yarn when Sew Bee It closed and thought it was sock yarn.  I usually make dish cloths out of cotton yarn, but this seemed too nice for dish cloths. I hope they work since I have another skein of the same yarn.

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Hexies

I finished my two-color spiral hexie project. It is only about a foot across and fits perfectly on that little table.  using just two colors sure is dramatic.

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BQ2

Here is the beginning of a new quilt. The pattern is BQ2 from Maple Island Quilts. I have had the pattern for a while and decided it will be just right for this busy print (those bright blue strips are actually dark teal).  It will be queen sized and is made up of 30 of these 18″ blocks.  Amazingly, it only took a couple of days to sew all 30 blocks together.  Now I am pondering the possibility of trying one of the quilt-as-you-go techniques to quilt it.

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Quilts of Valor

I made it to a Quilts of Valor meeting at Fran’s house in December and stitched on various projects that she has in progress. Then I brought home a stack of blocks and fabric to use to finish the quilt top. Someone else will do the quilting.  It was fun to put together. And I had enough fabric left for the presentation case too.  Here they both are.

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November Accomplishments

Well, it doesn’t seem like I got much done in November.  Here is the finished spiral hexie heart quilt:

Spiral Hexie Hearts

It measures about 30″ at the widest point. We are planning on hanging it on the wall as soon as we figure out how.  I have already started on another one with only three fabrics which should show the spiral and the hearts much better.

One I made a batch of mug rugs to give to some of my quilting friends. A mug rug is a little coaster that is big enough to set your cup or glass on one side and have room to put a cookie or little snack on the other side. Snacks are so important to quilters, you know!

I found a panel with a bunch of sayings about ‘friends’ and used them as the focal of the rugs. I spent a while trying to plan coordinating fabrics and finally settled on a bundle of 2.5″ strips that I got at the new quilt shop, Spool I knew they would all go together.  I marked a hexagonal shape around the sayings and then did some log cabin rounds till they were a good mug rug size.

Mug Rugs

I wrapped them and then randomly chose which one to give to which friend. It was a fun project, and I am sure I will make more.

I finished a pair of socks, I think this is the 20th or 21st pair. Wow!  These are more house slippers than socks because they are made with a worsted weight acrylic yarn which makes them heavier and thicker than socks. This brand is called ‘unforgettable.’ I gave them to my sister. There was almost enough left to make a second pair with short cuffs but I had to get another skein to finish them. I love these vivid colors. I gave this pair to my sister.

Rainbow Socks

I was telling a friend about the bibs I use to make for my grandmother and my mother-in-law out of dish towels, and decided to see if I could remember how before I tried to explain the pattern to her.  I use to call them ‘blouse savers’ when I made them for my mother in law. She liked to look her best all the time and these helped.

Bib

I am nearly done with ‘Pushing Up Spring,’ a block of the month I started two or three years ago. I love these bright colors too. There are sixteen blocks in all and this is block thirteen. Three more to go. Wow!

Pushing Up Spring 13

I worked on a few other things, but this is all that got finished.

PS: as you can see, I changed the look of my blog again. See that pesky little linky thing that shows up there on the left? I put that in a few years ago when I was in a block of the month and it only ever showed up half way and at the bottom of the page. Now I wan’t to remove it and can’t figure out how. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Happy Day!

What Happened to the Merry Month of May?

These first few pictures are from April. I finished the 12th Pushing Up Spring Block. Here it is:

2013-04-21 pushing up daisies block 12

and here are all the blocks to date:

2013-04-21 pushing up daisies four more to go

Only four more to go! I think I can see the light at the end of this tunnel.

At the Frogpond Retreat we had a day of shopping and I wandered into a rug store and bought this lovely rug. It fits perfectly on the landing and looks really nice.

2013-04-23 new rug

I also won one of the drawings at the retreat and brought all these beautiful fat quarters home.

2013-04-25 fat quarters

SOCKS Here is a new pair of socks. They are made with Lion brand “I Love this Yarn”  worsted weight yarn and are so soft and warm. I am sure they will keep my tosies toastie in cold weather.

2013-04-23 socks 17

PIZZA BOX CHALLENGE Here is the pizza box block I made for Cindye V. for April. She put in a lot of florals and wanted a garden theme and I thought this would work.  The key ingredient in this month’s block was to have a nine patch block. I made nine posies.

2013-04-27 cindyee v pizza box block

My first thougth for Cindye’s block was to make hexagon flowers with the different florals she had, but after starting a test block in my fabrics realized that it would take too long to be done in time.  So I switched to the above block and made one for each of us.  I finished the test hexie block so here is a picture of that followed by a picture of all my test blocks so far. I am enjoying this challenge quite a lot.

2013-05-10 pizza box blocks hexies

2013-05-10 pizza box blocks

With the hexie block, I have two blocks for myself this month.

I guess the next post will have to fill you in with happenings in May.

Catching Up Again

I don’t know where the time goes, but I find myself behind again. Here is a cuddle quilt I started at the February meeting of Chattanooga Quilt Guild.  I didn’t get it finished that day, but managed to turn it in at the March meeting.

2013-02-26 cuddle quilt

 

For no reason at all, my sister sent us this beautiful wall sculpture of ginkgo leaves. I have always loved ginkgos because the leaves are so unusual.  Doesn’t it look great above the TV?  I have the best sister in the world!

2013-03-05 ginko

 

I finished another pair of socks early this month — the fifteenth pair since I learned how to knit them. I think this is the fifth pair that is mostly pink. Hmmm, do I detect a trend?

2013-03-05 pink socks

 

I got another block done on Pushing Up Spring:

2013-03-05 pushing up spring 1-11

This is block  #11; only five more to go! This is going to be such a bright happy quilt.

2013-03-05 pushing up spring 11

 

Here are some pictures of a sewing caddy especially for applique projects. My friend, Vicky K., came up with the design and was kind enough to explain how she did it so I could make one of my own. It is very a very handy way to carry a project with you and have everything you need at hand.  Here it is all ready to go:

2013-03-07 applique caddy 1

Here it is out of the container and ready to stitch. There are pegs to hold eight spools of thread, a pin cushion to hold needles, and special spots to hold scissors and a needle threader so you don’t have to dig around to find them. I also like that I can put any scraps of thread or  fabric in the bottom of the container to dispose of at home so I won’t leave any mess behind. There is even room to store the folded up block inside the container either under or on top of the caddy.  I love this. Thanks Vicky!

2013-03-07 applique caddy 3

 

Here are my pizza box blocks for March. The red one is the practice one and the other one is for Denise H.  The requirement for this block was to have a four patch.

2013-03-08 pizza box blocks denise h

 

Here are Sandi S. and Sharon G.  at my house a couple weeks ago. We had a great visit as usual and shared a ton of ideas. I love having quilting friends over. This is actually the second time Sharon and Sandi came over since the studio moved downstairs, but I didn’t think to take a picture before now.  Vicky K. came over once too and we had a lovely time.

2013-03-12 Sandi & Sharon

 

In honor of the Irish holiday this month, I made some quilted mats to go on our TV trays. I used some of the crumb blocks that I made a while back and just sewed them together till they were the right size. Then I did a little straight line quilting and finished the edges.  My plan is to have different mats for the different seasons and holidays. The fabric on the back of these two is a snowy woodland scene that will be great for the winter months. For February, I used our Valentine place mats, but they are smaller that the tray tops. I like this size much better.

2013-03-12 scrappy table mats

 

More knitting ahead: After I finished the beige tweedy socks that I tried as an experiment with knitting worsted weight yarn, Raymond expressed an interest in having a pair like them. I searched around and found a pattern that I though might work on Ravelry.com called ‘sasquatch slipper socks.” They are made using two strands of worsted weight yarn together so you can imagine how thick and warm they are.  Since the yarn is so much bigger, these socks knitted up a lot faster, and Raymond is happy with the result. I took a picture of mine and his together so you can get an idea of the difference in size.

2013-03-14 big socks

 

Are you still with me?  What a long post this has become. Well, hang in for a little longer and I promise not to take up too much more of your time.

 

My chosen UFO to have finished for the March guild meeting is one I started several years ago and set aside and forgot.  I got the idea from Scraps by Judy Martin.  The quilt she made is called Newport Beach and is with lots of bright fabrics on a white background with a darker fabric that give the impression of dimension.  I decided to use up some of my brown fabrics. The basic blocks start with a three-inch square of brown fabric that look like this:

2013-03-17 shadow squares

In Judy’s quilt the different colors are scattered around randomly and my original idea was to do that too.  When I dug out the blocks to start working on them for the UFO finish, I decided that I might like it better if the same fabrics were set together, and decided to make nine patches of the smaller blocks with a narrow sashing between to emphasize the shadow. I got a lot of blocks done but not in time for the March meeting.  Since then though I have assembled twenty-five blocks. Here they are all together:

2013-03-21 shadow squares

Each shade of brown with its nine sections ends up around 14″ square. I haven’t sewn the larger blocks together yet. Pretty cool, eh?  The next idea I have is to separate the blocks with a 2″ sashing. Today, I made a few just to see how they look. I think the space between will add a nice contrast to the busy blocks.  Raymond likes them all scrunched together better, so I am giving some more thought to it before I decide which way to go.  My plan is to make this big enough for the master bed which is king sized, and I want us both to like it. Which do you prefer?

2013-03-25 shadow squares

I don’t think I will have this done in time for the April meeting either.

 

The other day, I dug out this map of the world panel and made a quick quilt out of it for Project Linus. I probably should have added borders, but then it would have been too  big for the bit of batting I had for it and I would have had to wait to get to the store for more.  It is big enough for a kid as it is, and ‘finished is better than perfect.’

2013-03-23 Linus quilt

 

Finally, I though I should show you the latest addition to my fancy desk. We added two shelves to the center part that provide a lot more space to store this and that.  I have still been sorting and re-arranging things, but this is the only new thing.

2013-03-25 desk

That’s all for now. Happy Day!