In The Merry Month Of May

Seems like each month finds me busier than the last with little to show as far as finishes. Well, here is what I have been up to:

Sewing Vest

I made this sewing vest for my Chattanooga Quilter’s guild exchange gift. It is based on a pattern called the “Mae West Bomber Vest” and has a bunch of pockets on the inside and outside to hold all your tools and even a pocket for scraps. I altered the pin cushion from a plain square pillow of fabric to the little hexie flower, but the rest is just like the pattern.

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I was so happy that I had this button in my stash — it looks like a rolled up measuring tape and goes with the sewing fabric perfectly.

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My friend Vicky got the vest and I think she liked it.

Paper Pieced Place Mats

I have been enjoying taking a paper piecing class taught by my friend Denise. We met once a week for eight weeks ending last Thursday.

Here are my second set of place mats — winter of course.  I had trouble with the nine patches in the one and decided to skip them in the other.  The trees were a little tricky, but I got them done. The snowflakes are fused applique on a paper pieced snowball block. These place mats are not quilted yet.

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are not quite assembled, but the paper piecing is done. I decided that rather than make two of each of these that I could make one of each and they would serve as our spring and summer set. That little flower block seemed to take forever, so one is enough.

Birds and bees — a fine combination.  I will probably take one of the bees and one of the cardinals and make them into coasters.

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Spiced Pumpkin

I started a new hand applique project – a kit by Jan Patek called “Spiced Pumpkin.” The picture shows the center block. When completed it will be about 40″ square.  Civil War reproduction fabric is a different style than I usually use, but I think  this wall hanging will be a great addition to the autumn decor. I have the leaves and one of the vines stitched down already.

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Sweet Hearts

I made these heart pot holders for my friend, Vicky’s, birthday gift and managed to get them to her only about a week late.

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More Hexies

Here is a new hexie experiment in progress. I had a bundle of fat quarters of the same print in different colors and thought they might work for this with a solid grey thrown in for balance. Not sure what I think about it yet.

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Quilt of Valor

I sewed a bunch of strips together in this red white and blue lasagna quilt. It needs nice solid borders, probably navy blue which I hope will calm down all the action of the fabrics and make a quilt that will comfort a veteran.

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Well, that pretty much catches me up for now. I hope your spring is full of love and creativity.

 

April

Here is the disappearing nine patch experiment. I guess I forgot to take a picture of it with the binding on, so imagine it with a purple binding the same color as those little blocks in the front. I gave this to Project Linus.

 

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These are the ATC cards I got from the March swap — the topic was “Feet.” This was a challenging one for me and I am delighted with all the clever cards I got back.

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Next is a panel that I quilted. It still is not bound, but when that is done I will give it to Ronald McDonald house.

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Although this is an old qult, the new part of this is that finally — FINALLY —  I got this crazy quilt hung up on the wall. I think I finished it in 2003, so it has been waiting for a long time.

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Here is  the 16th and final block for Pushing UP Spring. Now I need to work on the border and corner blocks before I can assemble this one. I am thinking of going over all the blocks and adding some hand embroidery before I assemble them. I think it would accentuate the big flowers and solid colors. It will probably take another year at my pace, but would be worth it.

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Next is the a green stripey quilt I made at my first Onderful One Fabric quilts class. I have made three quilts in this same style but somehow this one got quilted last. I really like it though. As you probably know, these are made with border print fabric cut and sewn together to make it look like lots of intricate blocks. This is similar to a technique called Hidden Wells where you sew fabric into strips and then cut them the same way. I had about four yards of this striped fabric and ended up using nearly every bit of it. I think I had less than a 12″ square of it left.

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Here is a chair we got at a yard sale that now resides in my studio.  Although it is in like-new condition, or maybe because it is, I have it covered with a throw to minimize the cat hairs that will inevitably attach themselves to it.

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Check out this hexie pin cushion. I think the hexies are 1 1/4″ on a side and this size makes a very nice pin cushion. I filled it with crushed walnut shells.

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I can mark off another one of my UFOs to finish this year. I allowed one month to get all these blocks assembled. I had all the smaller squares together and just needed to put the blue and grey flying geese around the sides. There are 49 blocks and I just finished them last week. Another month will go for sewing the blocks into a quilt top with borders.  I think I am a little ahead of schedule on UFOs this year. Hooray!

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This was my April lotto block contribution – a wonky log cabin. I really like it and plan on making some for myself.

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Finally, I signed up for a paper piecing class where we are making place mats for each of the four seasons. this is Autumn. I don’t have the faces on the scarecrows yet — that will be some hand embroidery. Oh, and of course I am making one for me and one for Raymond.

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Well that finishes last month.  Ok, there are a couple other things, but I have to keep them secret till after guild meetings and such. Check back again to see what I get up to in May.

 

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.

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.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Here is my contribution to romantic bliss:

So, how romantic are place mats? Well they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I don’t know if that is true, but I think these will look nice on the table.

I used the red strips from an abandoned bargello project and added the candy box heart design I used on last year’s  valentine wall hanging. If I knew how to add a link to it here I would, but you can probably click on the category cloud for valentine or hearts or something and get to the older post.  I used a little glue to hold the heart shapes on and then free-motion quilted around their pinked edges for a raw edge effect that will show up when they get washed. Then I echo quilted the hearts till it was all done. Sewed the binding on and they are all done.

Raymond has probably seen all the bits of fabric hanging around the studio for the last few weeks without realizing I was making anything valentinish, so he will be a little surprised. I love it when I manage to surprise him with something like this.

Hope your day is filled with surprises and love.

What’s Been Happening in July

I made this quilt for Ronald McDonald House which is the Chattanooga Quilters charity of choice. Since it was preprinted, All I had to do was sandwich and quilt it. I used my puzzle piece quilt pattern. Easy peasy!

Any kid will like all the dogies. I have enough of the same fabric to make two more quilts this size, so one will go to Crazy Quilters Project Linus and one for the Choo Choo Quilters cuddle quilt program.

This shows the back. I have enough of that fabric for the other two too!

This picture is the beginning of something new. I am going to attempt a bargello quilt. I found the pattern in the latest American Patchwork and Quilting. It calls for 116 different fabrics, so I went through my stash and cut strips from every one I had that was long enough (2″ x width of fabric”) and find I have just enough. I don’t know if I like all of them together though.

My next step is to sort them by colors and then by value to see how well the go together. I know I would like a few more in the yellows and violets. This quilt will look quite differently from the one in the magazine, but it seems a natural for Raynbeaugirl to make a rainbow quilt.  I will scan the magazine quilt and post it soon.

I made a few new things for the kitchen: new cushion covers and a couple of new place mats to match. Here are some pictures of them. The sun is kind of bright in the pics so the colors may be a little off, but you can get the idea. The kitchen walls are more of a tomato red than the purplish red they look in the first couple of photos. And the dark fabric on the blocks is a brown, not purple.

This is a single block I made into a mat to decorate the corner of the booth. All these kitchen projects are made with disappearing nine patch blocks.

The last two pictures are closer to the real color. I stipple quilted in a flying geese block above and below the pieced ones. These place-mats were fun to plan and make.

The next blocks are for a cuddle quilt. We had a demonstration at the last Choo Choo Quilters meeting on making this and two other quick and fun blocks, and so far I have made two of the three. I will post pictures of the second kind of block in the next post as they are still in my camera.  These haven’t been squared-up yet, but are even cuter once that is done.

That’s all for now. Time to go stitch something!