Wrapping Up 2015

November

First up are a couple of things my sister made. I showed her how to make the folded fabric stars an zippy bags. She made two stars and sewed them together to make a tea cozy. Very cute!  Then she made several zippy bags for co-workers. I only got a picture of one, but the others are similar — with cute sayings and different fabrics.

 

December

Here is a picture of our house all lit up for our first Xmas in Cocoa, FL.

2015-12-03 house lights

 

This is the panel I quilted up to hang on the front door. The wreath has some little lights that look really nice at night, but of course don’t show up well for the camera.

2015-12-09 banner for front door

Wow! That was easy. I guess I didn’t get much done during the last part of the year.

See you next post.

What I did on My Summer Vacation

I spent a couple weeks over the end of June and the beginning of July visiting my sister, Laura. We had a great time.  Laura lives in Pearisburg VA near the foot of a mountain called Angel’s Rest.  Her house is about six hours from my home in Chattanooga.   I love visiting her.   We always have fun when we are together. Virginia is a beautiful state and the people are as friendly as Chattanoogans. I went over for a week and stayed two!  We try to fit in as many activities as possible when I visit.   We had a great time. Got to shop at half a dozen wonderful quilt shops, shared some delcious meals, spent a lot of time sewing, and re-designed my sister’s sewing room.

Here is her first one fabric quilt in progress on her new design wall. This technique is detailed in Wonderful 1-fabric Quilts by Kay Nichols. It is a fast and easy method and a great way to use border print fabrics. The design wall is just like mine, made from PVC pipe and a flannel sheet.

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This is a close up of the beautiful fabric she started with.

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And this is the new cutting table we put together with ClosetMaid cubicles and plywood.

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Here is her new pegboard — a great way to organize all those rulers.

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This little quilt was part of a challenge for the Pulaski  county fair. I didn’t get it finished in time to compete, but it was fun to make.

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This is a cuddle quilt Laura made. I showed her how to mitre corners, and then I quilted it for her.  It had minkee on the back which was a little tricky, but we managed to tame it with some quilt basting spray.

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Here we are at a Cracker Barrel on my last day of vacation. We had fun wearing matching shirts. When we were younger people often asked if we were twins even though we are four years apart.  I love my sister.

2014-07-04 me & my sister cropped

Again, sorry for the delay in posting on this blog.  Hopefully I will be getting caught up soon.

 

 

 

February Accomplishments

Here are a few of the things I have been working on this month.  There are more, but you will have to wait till March to see them. I had some things ready to take for show and tell at the Chattanooga Quilters guild this month, but the bad weather cancelled the meeting.  So after next meeting,  I can share the pics.  For now, this will have to do.

Every month, the Modern Quilt guild has a lottery block challenge.  If you make and turn in one of the designated blocks for that month, you get a chance at winning them all! I really liked this modern twist on the Dresden plate block so I made this version for the lottery.

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Here are the blocks I won!  They are all very different in style and color.  Somehow I have to put them together into a quilt top. I am still thinking about it and it may take a while, but I love them and the challenge.

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This is a picture of my little design wall. The big one is packed away and I am just using the smaller one. My sister gave me this gray checked fitted sheet and I was going to sew it and cut it to fit the PVC pipes that form the frame of my design wall so I could use the lines on the fabric to help make sure the pieces I put on the wall were straight. Turns out I was able to slip it right over the frame without any cutting or sewing.  Cool! I will probably take it down and do the cut and sew thing to straighten the lines a little, but for now, this is working fine.

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February for me is all about Valentine’s day and this year I made new covers for our TV tables. I used leftover pieces from another Valentine quilt and added borders till they was big enough. Then I quilted the dickens out of them, which turns out to be wasted since the fabric is so busy that it doesn’t show well. I left a heart-shaped bit in the center unquilted so it would puff up a little and you can almost see it in this picture.  To finish, I added casings and ran elastic around the edges so they would stay snug on the tables.

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Oh, and I made some changes on my blog pages. I was curious to see just how productive I am during the year, so I went back through my photos and sorted out all the actually finished projects for each year. Instead of making them blog entries, I decided to make a page for each year.   It is interesting to look through the years and see just what got done.

It is also interesting to note that there are fewer and fewer things the further back I look.  Partly that is because I didn’t have access to a digital camera way back then and took few pictures of projects that would need to be developed. Once I got a scanner though and figured out how to use it, I was able to scan smaller things, although the quality of those pictures are not that great. Then again, I started making traditional quilts around 2001 or 2002. Before that (in the early 90s)  it was just crazy quilt projects.  And before that was an assortment of needlework and crafts that I dabbled in for a while.  Nothing has been as captivating and intriguing as quilt making.

I don’t think the pages are complete.  Maybe they never will be. Every time I look through the pictures I have saved on my computer, I notice something out-of-place that I missed, and I add it to the appropriate year’s page.  And I have a few boxes of ‘real’ photos that are packed away.  When I get them out there may be a few more additions to the history pages.

Studio Rearrange

Big changes happened in the studio a couple of weeks ago — we finally got that pool table out of there so I have room to really spread out!

Here is the view looking into the room from the little hallway.  The tables are kind of in the same place, but turned around a bit.

2013-05-19 studio changes 01

 

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Still standing in the hallway looking to the right. There is the corner of my desk and a view of the patio window.

2013-05-19 studio changes 02

 

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A better look at the desk and the aquarium. Hanging that little quilt on the wall is a change too. Before, it was just an empty bit of  wall. That quilt was created during a round robin at Crazy Quilter’s Guild. I made the center block, Sharon G. made the inner borders and Delores D. made the outer borders. Needless to say, I love it.

2013-05-19 studio changes 03

 

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Continuing around the right — notice the treadle is by the window where the ironing board use to be.  In fact, I have a new ironing board thanks to my generous friend Carolyn K. You can probably see my old board tucked in that corner. I am planning on taking that one to my sister for her studio when I go visit her in Virginia later this month.

There was a narrow pegboard in that corner too, by the fabric shelves, but that is now on the other side of the room.

2013-05-19 studio changes 04

 

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This shot is with my back to the patio window and looking across the room. See — NO POOL TABLE! The little sofa is pushed closer to those small windows, but not right against the wall. I stacked all the big plastic totes full of crazy quilt and garment sewing fabric behind it. The totes were under the pool table before.  Also against the wall were a bunch of plastic shelves there holding all manner of things.  One stack of shelves is still there. See the new ironing board? And there is the little pegboard against the wall right next to my UFO drawers.

2013-05-19 studio changes 05

 

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Here is the fireplace, hidden behind fat quarters, my tool chest, an extra monitor and the old TV that had been hiding under the pool table.

2013-05-19 studio changes 07

 

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The bookshelves stayed put. That little wicker table down on the left was on one end of the little sofa. It holds a few binders where I keep papers from my various guilds. The treadmill is behind the wicker table and is doing a great job of holding some of the stuff that I haven’t figured out where to put yet. It is also a great place to ‘display’ a couple of finished quilts. They in turn keep dust off the treadmill.

On the table is a little project that I am working on that you will probably see more of in the next post.

2013-05-19 studio changes 08

 

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This is a better view of the ironing board. I haven’t had time to get anything new on that design wall for a while, but hopefully that will change soon.

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Another look at the ironing board, design wall, little pegboard, UFO drawers and part of the little sofa.

2013-05-19 studio changes 10

 

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Continuing around the room showing the sofa, the stacked totes behind it, the little design wall and a glimpse of some fabric drawers.  But wait, there’s more:

2013-05-19 studio changes 11

 

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Here you can see the pegboard holding rotary cutting rulers and tools. I rearranged some of the plastic shelves and turned them into a cutting table.  I think it is very cool and even better than the pool table was for cutting fabric.

You can also see the cork board I put on the wall to help me keep track of what I am working on.

2013-05-19 studio changes 12

 

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It is very handy having the rulers and cutters to the side there — easier to get to than before. The table is just a little higher than the pool table was too, so it is even easier on the back. I had to put a light there though as the big pool table light is also gone. This works great like it is.

2013-05-19 studio changes 13

 

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Here is a look at the cutting table from the other side.

2013-05-19 studio changes 14

So that’s pretty much how it looks now. It is even more fun to play in than it was before. I certainly feel blessed to have such a nice space to create in.  I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can — you never know when things might change — but that is a story for another post.

Happy Day!

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!

Now for November and December

I realize this is a lot to put in one post, but I want to get caught up before next year begins, which is only a few hours away now.

In November, I finished the scrappy Xmas quilt. I am not sure why, but I love looking at all those odd blocks. They just make me smile.  Now that Christmas is over, I don’t even want to put it away! I may just keep it out all year.

2012-11-08 Xmas quilt

My sister came over for a few days at Thanksgiving and brought this quilt she was making for a friend’s baby. It’s partly made with minkee and she has more minkee for the backing. I have never worked with that fabric and it seems a bit fiddly.  I helped her with the butterfly applique. I am looking forward to seeing it finished.

2012-11-24 lauras baby quilt

Here is the cutest pin cushion that my friend Vicky made for me for my birthday. I love it!

2012-11-25 little owl

and here is a darling little change purse I got from my friend Sharon.

2012-11-25 little change purse

Here are some stockings I got finished to turn in at the December Crazy Quilters Guild. We always make stockings for charity.

2012-11-26 xmas stocking

I decided to join in on Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt called Easy Street. I don’t think I can keep up with everyone else but I will get it finished eventually. Here are the fabrics I pulled for it.  Gray, black-on-white prints, purples, teals and limey greens. I am very curious to see how it will turn out. For more information, go to

http://quiltville.blogspot.com/p/easy-street-mystery.html

The first step is to make four patches out of the gray and black-on-white prints.  The gray I had the most of may not be dark enough to contrast with the other fabrics, but I didn’t realize that till this step was done.  I can live with it.

2012-12-02 easy street fabric and four patches

Here is our little Christmas tree and the paper pieced mariners compass quilt I made earlier this year.

2012-12-04 xmas tree

These look like ornamets, but they are big enough to serve as placemats. I gave a few sets away as gifts and kept a couple that we used during the holiday. They were fun to make and turned out pretty cute.

2012-12-10 placemats

Next is the UFO for December.  I started this one several years ago and all it needed was quilting which I finally  managed to  get around to. I think this will go in the dining room on the wall. Seems like an appropriate place.  I was so anxious to get the binding on when the quilting was done that I forgot to add a hanging sleeve, so still have that to finish.

2012-12-12 cornucopia

This is the last pair of socks finished this year. I think they were the third or fourth pair that I started, but when I was burying the yarn ends after finishing the first one, I accidentally snipped a hole in it. You can see the irregular spot on the cuff of the top one in the pictue. It was also my first attempt at darning and I must admit, I am ‘darned’ proud of it. Once I fixed that little hole, I was ready to make the second one.

2012-12-24 socks

These socks are from the same pattern that I have made all my socks from so far – the same one I learned from, but they are the first I ever tried with worsted weight yarn. I like the bulky look and feel of them and have worn them a couple times already. They are nice to wear around the house and fit in my crocs to go outside.  I think I will make some more socks with the thicker yarn. They sure stitch up  a lot faster!

Next, are the flying geese for step two of Easy Street.   I used my favorite method to make them – the purple geese are sewn in one seam and are somewhat dimensional.

2012-12-27 easy street step 2

Here are some of the four patches fro step one. That one print has a cream background instead of white, and I hope that doesn’t cause too much trouble with the overall look of the quilt.  I tried to use a lot of different prints and have had to trade fabrics with my friend Sharon to increase the variety.

2012-12-28 easy street step 1 close

Here are all the four patches. Wow that is a lot of them. It fills up half my design wall.

2012-12-28 easy street step 1

That’s all the pictures, all the finishes and starts for 2012. In 2013, I plan on getting more organized and to finish a lot more projects.  I also hope to post more regularly.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I wish you the best of luck, fun, peace, love and happiness in the coming year. Oh and lots of creative productivity! Happy New Year!  God bless you.

 

Thanksgiving Adventure

Raymond and I decided to go to Illinois to visit the kids and my sister for Thanksgiving. According to my map program, it was 628 miles and would take around 9.5 hours to drive (it was way off). We decided to leave on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in the afternoon and drive till we got tired and stop for the night. It was fun packing clothes and goodies. I made three kinds of cookies and put them in containers: one for Christopher, one for Jennifer, and one for my sister, Laura. I also took the fixings to make pumpkin ginger bread, although I never got around to making it. Oh, and I took the Christmas tree skirt that I showed you in the last post.

Traffic leaving Chattanooga was very slow but after a couple of hours it thinned out and we could go the speed limit. We drove till Paducah KY and stopped for the night at a Holiday Inn Express. When we got up Wednesday, it was drizzling rain and ended up raining almost all the way, which slowed our progress.

We had one memorable experience in Paducah. In the hotel lobby, I found a brochure for the Paducah Quilt Museum. It was just a short ways and even on the exit we had taken. If we had had more time, I would have liked to stop, but we would have had to wait for it to open and that would have us arriving late. Happily, we will be going that way again and can plan around a stop at the museum.

Then when we leaving the hotel, Raymond turned to the right toward a gas station to fill up before we got on the road. As we were leaving the gas station I glanced across the street and saw the legendary Hancocks of Paducah, a fabric Mecca! It was open and we got to go in and browse. What a wonderful store. So many bolts of fabric. Wow. It was hard to leave, but again, now that I know where it is, we can go back. You saw the pictures of the fabric I got there in a previous post. It was a wonderful little side trip.

Back on the road, the rain was steady slowed us a bit. We didn’t get to Jenny’s house till after three pm. The next couple of days were spent between Jenny’s house and Christopher’s house where we slept. Thanksgiving day was great. There was so much food, and we ate and talked and played games, and talked some more.

Joe and James, my grandsons, are both taller than me! That was such a surprise. I can’t believe how much they have grown.  And of course, they have gotten more handsome too. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of the three of us. I also got to meet my two grand-puppies, Dexter and Buddha.  Dexter is the beagle and Buddha is a great dane. He is only 10 months old, while Dexter is a year or two older. Both pups have the sweetest temperaments and are quite lovable.

Here are Buddha and I hanging out at Chris’ house. What a big puppy!

The weather was not much cooler than it was in Chattanooga at the time, but we did appreciate having heavy coats and lots of layers of clothing. Sight seeing was at a minimum because the real purpose to go was to be with the kids. We did take a little trip across town to Robert’s Sew and Vac, where I got a couple more pieces of fabric. And I got to show Raymond all the high points of Joliet. We got food one evening at Portillos. http://www.portillos.com/, a great restaurant with a pretty good version of an Italian Beef Sandwich (which I have searched for in vain here in Chattanooga and previously in Florida).

It was so good to see my kids and grand kids and grand puppies. They are all happy and doing so well. I love them more than I can say.I also got to spend time with my friend Lynn, whom I also love.

We planned on leaving Saturday morning to have time to hang out with my sister before heading south again. We stopped at her house and the three of us went out to breakfast at the Chick o Dee restaurant in Wilmington. That was where Laura and I would have breakfast with Aunt Lena and Aunt Mae on Sundays before going to visit Gramma Webster at the nursing home. It was quite a tradition for several years. After Gramma passed, we still had breakfast with the Aunts.

After that we drove all over Wilmington, showing Raymond all the significant places of our childhood – where we went to school, all the places we use to live and hang out. He even got to see the giant astronaut at the Launching Pad drive-in http://www.il66assoc.org/attraction/launching-pad-drive were we use to get ice cream. Laura drove us over to Morris where we got to visit our friend Lorraine in her shop, The Birds and the Teas.

This is my sister Laura, Lorraine and me. Laura and Lorraine have been friends since they were in sixth grade. I think that is very cool to have a friend for so long.

The last leg of our tour took us through Mazon and to Verona to the farm where Aunt Mae and Uncle Paul use to live. No one lives there now, but it is a place full of wonderful memories of summer vacations and ponies and horses and sheep and tractors and corn and soybeans.

Eventually, we had to say good bye and headed back home. The day was bright, the weather was clear and we made good time, ending up staying in Paducah again, at the same Holiday Inn. Again, we got up and on the road too early to try to visit the museum, but one day I will get there.  Traffic slowed down again as we neared Chattanooga.

As much fun as it was to go and visit and all that, it was also wonderful to get home. We had left the cats with lots of food and water and an extra litter box, and they managed fine without us.