Catching up, again!

Well, my excuse this time is that I tried a couple times to upload pictures to make an ‘end of December’ post and had technical difficulties. Turns out WordPress changed things around a little and made it ‘easier’ to upload pictures. Ha!

Here is a cuddle quilt I made for Roald McDonald house from a kit prepared by Chattanooga Quilt guild. I love that striped backing fabric – I got that when I visited my sister last year. ??????????

Here is a heart shaped mug rug that I made from some crumb pieced fabric just to see how it would turn out. Maybe a little embroidery would look good.  I love the shape and you can bet you will see more hearts here soon.


That finishes up my December 2013 pictures.


D9P Experiment

Yesterday, I was thinking about the disappearing nine patch block and how interesting it is. You start with a simple block, cut it up a little, switch the parts around,  sew it back together and end up with something that looks way more complex than it actually is.  Then I wondered what would happen if you used pieced blocks in the four corners of the nine patch and what that would look like once the D9P magic had been done.

So I dug through my orphan block box and just happened to find a stack of hourglass blocks left over from another quilt. Serendipity  blessed me again, and I found that I still had both of the fabrics used in the blocks, so I cut the extra squares and made one block just to see.

Here are the nine blocks:



Now they are sewn together in the usual nine patch style:



One horizontal cut and one vertical cut later:



Switch a couple pieces:



Sew them back together and this is what you get:


I think this one ended up about 13″ square. I have enough orphan blocks to make five more of these.  Might be big enough for a cuddle quilt with a big border or two. We shall see.

This can’t be a new idea. Have you tried this with pieced blocks in the corners?

A Few Finishes for September

Cuddle quilts

I may have showed these little quilts before, but not in this close to completion. You start out with three pieces of fabric and by cutting them just right and putting them together in a certain order you end up with three super sized nine patch blocks just the right size for a little cuddler.  instead of binding, I opted to do the ‘birthing’ method which is a lot quicker and allows me to round the corners. I think that looks cute. One of these is nearly quilted and I hope to have them both ready to turn in at the next guild meeting.



Little Zippered Pouches

I visited my friend Pam M.  recently and she showed me how to make this little zippered bag. I love the technique for putting the zipper on and am now unafraid of zippers.  I think the goldish fabric on the inside matches nicely.


This is a perfect size for carrying sewing tools and can be made larger or smaller if needed.


The next day, I made another one for a birthday surprise for my friend Sandi S. She has a fondness for frogs, and I just happened to have the perfect fabric for her zipper bag.  I think it turned out really cute.


Pizza Box  Block

Here is the block I made this month for Josie’s pizza box. This month’s clue was to have some kind of star on the block.  This one is called ‘Rising Star’ which I think is a perfect description for Josie. She is definitely a rising star in our quilting community.


I didn’t finish the practice block out of my fabrics yet. Since this is applique, I knew I could get the size right.

And now for September

First up is my sunflower quilt. It was part of a row robin we had earlier this year in Crazy Quilters guild.  I made the center block then passed it along to Sharon.  She did the middle borders up to the yellow strip. Then Delores got it and did that fancy outside border.

I quilted it and added the binding as part of my UFO challenge for Chattanooga quilters. I am really happy with the quilt. I had no idea what to expect and think it is better than I could have imagined. Thanks Sharon and Delores for all your hard work.

Next is the quilt I made from the Pat Wys workshop that was arranged by Crazy Quilters Guild. My quilt is called How Does Your Garden Grow!

It was a lot of fun to make. I decided to use my reds ad pinks and valentine fabrics and I love the result — it is a very happy quilt.

Finally, hear are three cuddle quilts that I started at the Choo Choo guild cuddle quilt workshop. They werw fast and fun.

And because it is always good to receive critique on one’s work, here is Max’s opinion of one of the cuddle quilts:

President’s Challenge

Every year it in the Crazy Quilter’s Guild, the president issues some kind of quilting challenge to the members. This year our president, Cheryl, handed out four small squares of ‘ugly’ fabric and challenged us to add our own fabric and make a charity quilt out of them. One rule was that you can’t cut the ugly squares – you have to use them as is.  I gave it a lot of thought and came up with this:

It still needs to be quilted, but at least the top is done. I think the deadline is October or November so I am a bit ahead of schedule — that’s a unique sensation for me!

I added one ‘ugly’ square to the pack I received and then turned them into wonky stars. I think it came out pretty well.  One error I made was in the size. I forgot that it was suppose to be smaller than it is. I am sure Project Linus will find a use for it even if it is disqualified for the challenge.

September in Review

Well, doesn’t it seem like this has turned into a once a month blog? No doubt that will change, but it works for now. Here is what I have been working on this month.

I put together a couple cuddle quilts for Choo Choo Quilters. Some of us members got together one Saturday and stitched like crazy.  Here are a couple I pieced from kits put together from blocks we all made as homework. I like the contrasting values.

More of the same blocks, different layout. What a dramatic difference. Both of these quilts are sandwiched and ready to quilt.

This one is also from blocks we made as homework. I made all these and got to put them together at the cuddle quilt workshop. I love all the browns and how the wild animal print goes perfectly as sashing and border. This one is quilted and turned in. I hope the kid who gets it likes wild animals.

This is the last of my puppy panel fabric. I had just enough to make a quilt for each of my three guilds. This one went to Choo Choo.

This is a little block I made for Raymond for his birthday this month. It is a moon over the mountain block, but I used a brick like fabric and shaded it with crayon to make it look more like a pyramid. He hasn’t decided where to hang it yet, but I think he liked it. It is about 16 or 18″ square.

This is a little bag I made to carry at the East Cobb County Quilt Show this month. It was a wonderful show. I wanted a small bag that would just hold my essentials: keys, money, phone and camera. The pattern is sometimes called origami bag or sometimes called folded pocket purse. I learned how to make it via Seaside Stitchers in Florida. I made the strap long enough to go over my shoulder across my body so I could have my hands free. I used the latest fabric I bought at Sew Bee It. It has cute little buttons and stitching comments on it.  It worked perfectly.

I finally finished these socks. Seems like I have been working on them all summer. They will be nice and warm. I like the tweedy yarn, although it did seem kind of boring without any stripes. Maybe that is why it took so long to finish them.

In this picture one looks larger, but I think it is just because I had been trying it on more than the other so it is a little stretched out. It will go back to shape once it is washed.

I used a different technique on these socks. I saw a tutorial on Melody Johnson’s blog called  an “afterthought heel’ and decided to give it a try.  What you do is knit all the sock top to toe as a tube. Where the heel is supposed to go, you stitch in a couple of rows of waste yarn, and after the sock is done, you take out the waste yarn and put those stitches back on needles and knit a heel kind of like knitting the toe section. I will put Melody’s blog on my list of links and you can go search up afterthought heel and see what I mean. It was pretty easy, but I think I will stick with the regular way for now.

So, I finished those socks because I wanted to get working on my next pair. I got this beautiful yarn last time I was at Sew Bee It and wanted to see how the different colors would stitch out. I did this much in a day. Wow that was a lot of knitting. Then I noticed that I had too many stitches on and decided to take it out and start over.

I also decided to try knitting a simple pattern into the leg portion of the sock – a basket-weave pattern where you knit 4, purl 4 for four rows then purl 4, knit 4 for four rows.  I had thought that would look good in the previous pair of socks. Since they look kind of like a solid, I thought the pattern would make them more interesting, but I didn’t want to unstitch as much as I had done at the time of the idea.

When the new sock had gotten to the point that I noticed my error in the number of stitches on the needles (how I managed not to notice that for so long is a mystery), and I knew I had to unstitch it and start over anyway, I had seen enough of the stockinette pattern to know it would look good with the basket-weave. So, I decided to give it a try. And I am very happy with the result.

See the difference? I really like it. And I got so carried away with the pattern, that I finished one whole sock in about 4 days!  The rows of color are very interesting.  I have about 1/2″ of the cuff done for sock #2, too!

The bands of color are so wide though, that I don’t know if I can get them the same on both socks. I pulled out enough yarn to start with the bright pink at the top of the second one, but I don’t know if it will shade into that dark blue or go to the purple next.  Or, it may do something else entirely too.  I guess they will be fine however they come out.  They will be fun to wear, that’s for sure.

Here is a 10 minute block quilt I am working on for Chattanooga Quilters charity, Ronald McDonald House. It needs a back and quilted.

And Finally, although not quilt related, we saw Alton Brown at the Chattanooga Market last weekend. He was hosting a cook-off between local chefs. This is before the contest when he was signing autographs. We didn’t get one – the line was a hundred people long, and we didn’t stay for the cook-off, but it was fun to get a glimpse of him. He seems to have as much energy as he does on his TV show.

September is a wrap. I wonder what will show up here in October. I guess we will both have to check back to find out.

Goodbye July

I got a few more pictures to finish up the month.

I bet this one look familiar. This is the second one from this fabric. I have enough fabric for one mare after this.  I quilted this one last week at the Crazy Quilters sew-in for Project Linus. The third one will be for Choo Choo guild’s cuddle quilt program. It is just like the other one: same backing fabric, same puzzle quilting.

Not quilt related, but I just had to share. Raymond installed a beehive in the spring, and here he is with one of the honey-filled sections. His bees were so productive that was able to harvest some honey this year! Is that cool or what!

Here are some more cuddle quilt blocks.  These are a fun wonky nine patch. I made a mistake in the construction process, but I think they look good anyway. I cut some sashing strips from a wild animal print. I had enough of the animal print to make outer borders too. I think this will turn out to be a very nice quilt for some boy or girl.  I bagged up all the pieces to take to the Choo Choo cuddle quilt sew-in later this month.

I finished the last block for this little quilt. Once the blocks are sewn together there are a couple more little pieces to applique on the inside corners, then come the borders and quilting. This has been a fun little project so far.

I also managed a bit of knitting on my current pair of socks, but still have a long way to go on them so no pictures so far. So that wraps up another month. I wonder what next month will bring.