Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

   Merry Christmas to everyone! I had a very nice Christmas. We did all our celebrating yesterday, since DH had to work today. Aren't we glad all the nurses and doctors that work on holidays are there? Thankfully, DH says the ER has not been too busy, which is always a good thing, any day of the year.
      Three of our kids and their godfather and I went to the movies and out to lunch today. The kids are gone out to another movie now, but I get a little ADD after a couple of movies, and we watched a DVD at home too. Didn't think I could sit through another one.

    This is the quilt I made for my MIL. She has an angel collection, and after searching for a couple months, I finally found what I thought was the perfect fabric for her. I used the same pattern I used on my DB quilt. The colors are so different, I don't think they look much alike. Isn't that the fun part of using the same pattern more than once, seeing just how different a different color scheme can make it? Evidently I did OK, since she's been cuddled up with it today, not feeling well. I'm sorry she's not feeling well, but glad I could bring her some comfort.
     I got such great quilty gifts! I got fabric from my MIL and sister, lots of quilting gadgets from my DH, and a new MP3 player from two of my kids. I like to listen to music when I sew, and the MP3 player I had didn't hold enough music for a long day of sewing. Now I have a new one with 8 times the memory of my old one! One of my other kids got me a quilting book, and the youngest got me a travel coffee mug that I shouldn't be able to spill while sewing. Don't ask why I needed that, just trust me, it is quilt related! My MIL also got me a subscription to a quilting magazine. I am all set up for a great quilty 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two sports quilts delivered


 I am never quite sure what to get one of my nephews and his Dad, my BIL. They are HUGE sports fans, and love their New England teams. Now they they are out here in AZ with us, I thought it would be fun to give them something with their favorite teams on it.
     Patriots and Celtics fabric was easy, Red Sox fabric is almost impossible to find in cotton, so I found a Red Sox sheet instead and used that. As far as I could tell, the NHL has never had cotton fabric, so I bought Bruins patches instead. My BIL's quilt has sports page fabric borders, and my nephew's has the red borders. They are backed with the same sports fabric. I figured with different borders and different colored bindings they could tell them apart. The squares are 8 1/2 inches, and the borders are 6 inches, so you can get an idea of the of these quilts. My BIL's quilt ended up with cornerstones because I ran out of the sports page fabric.  It was by far the most expensive fabric in either quilt, and I cut it too close when I purchased it. Sometimes you just have to make adjustments!

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Christmas ornaments

    Finally, I've finished the Christmas ornaments that were giving me fits!  I thought they'd be so easy, but they weren't.  No matter, they are done, and the few that have already been given away have been well received. I put a six inch ruler next to the ornaments, so you can get a feel for the size. 
     This was the last sewing project I wanted to get done before Christmas. Now I can try to get caught up on my baking. My next few posts may end up being food related, but right after Christmas I hope to post some pictures of some of the gifts I made.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

getting closer

   I finished the skirts I had to make, as well as the pajama bottoms. I ran into a snag on the Christmas ornaments. They are just not turning well, so instead I am backing the pinwheels with solid fabric, and turning it to the front as a binding. I wanted them double-sided, and I debated just binding them with bias tape, but this is faster. Of course now I'll end up with twice as many, so in the end it may not be faster. I'm writing the year on the solid backing with fabric markers. I think they are cuter with a binding than sewing them wrong sides together and turning them. Now they look like miniature quilts, which I like. Sometimes it works in my favor when things don't go according to plan. 
     I put the ornaments aside, and got the Christmas cards in the mail instead, which took all the time before DS soccer game. My goal is to finish all the Christmas ornaments in the next couple of days, and then no sewing at all until after Christmas. I am behind on my baking, but I think I've got Christmas dinner menu figured out. I'm flitting from project to project pretty badly, but still making progress. All should be ready by next week. I'll post pictures of the Christmas ornaments when I get more done.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Backing a panel

    Now that my parents received this, I'll post it so others can see. I bought this nativity panel last year after Christmas on clearance. It was a someday project, but with my mom in mind. After I finished my Exploding Star quilt, I had 20 leftover 2 3/4 inch WOF strips. I went to, Bonnie Hunter's awesome site, and was looking for an easy way to use up the strips. I decided on the Strip Twist, and used my odd-sized strips which made 9 1/2 inch blocks. I ended up with 20 quarter blocks, set 4x5, and it was exactly the same size as the panel. If I had tried to figure out the math, it never would have worked, but this was just a Christmas quilting blessing that came my way. The little pieces I had left ended up as one of my basket liners. Now I have no Christmas fabric from these projects to put away, it is all sewed into something. Not to say I have no more Christmas fabric, I have plenty. Just what I cut up is all used.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Playing with leftovers

    It doesn't seem right to call the parts left over from a scrap quilt 'scraps'. When you add into consideration that all of these mats were made from partially sewn pieces, it really doesn't seem correct. Therefore, these are my 'leftover' mini-quilts. I'm planning on using them as gift basket liners. One of these already went to my MIL without a basket or anything. She is decorating this week and I thought she could put one on an end table, or put a couple candles on it or something. I thought they came out very cute, and there was just too much fabric here to toss, and I didn't want to stick these Christmas prints back in my stash. If they go over well, I may have a new use for orphan blocks. I like doing gift baskets, because you can have a lot of fun picking what goes into them. 
    I got all the pajama bottoms cut out today, as well as finishing these mats. Tomorrow the goal is cutting and sewing one scrub top and one skirt. The pajama bottoms can wait until Thursday. I need to get Christmas cards sent, but I got the Christmas letter done, and bought stamps today when I mailed Christmas packages. Not too bad for two weeks till Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Big news and finish

   Here is the exploding star quilt finished. When I decided to add the piano key border, I knew it needed a division between the center and the border. I tried black, but it looked blah. Red or green messed up the look of the stars, cream disappeared. I found that goldish yellow, and it popped. I'm pretty happy with it. Now to get it in the mail.
    I've been working on my 2009 quilting to-do list, and I just found out I have a new one to add. I get to make a quilt for my first grandchild! I think my DD is due in July or August, she didn't tell me the due date. Since she lives in South Africa, that is winter for her. I think I'm going to make a couple different weight blankets/quilts. One of the times I sent packages, it took almost 6 weeks to get there, so I can't wait too long. This is a quilt I will really enjoy making, and I told DH I have a great excuse to go fabric shopping, not that I need one most of the time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Still Alive

I know I haven't posted in a week, but I've been so busy. I had my exploding star quilt turn into multiple projects. I finished the exploding star top, and it is pin-basted. I decided to use the extra 1 1/2 inch strips from my attempting to make pinwheel ornaments, and make a piano key border for the exploding star quilt. That took a while. I am hoping to get it done by Monday, and will post pics as soon as it's done.
I had leftover 2 3/4 inch strips from the exploding star center, and I ended up using them to make a simple strip quilt backing for a panel. That is completely finished, but it's a Christmas gift so no pictures.
I started playing with the leftover pieces from all those projects, and decided to make mini quilts to use to line a couple of baskets in which I will put yummy Christmas baked goods. I thought those would make quick gifts. Those are not finished, but I can get them done in a day. I will post pics of those when they are done. I doubt the people who will receive them will peruse my blog.
My Christmas ornaments are stalled, but I will get the pinwheel ones done. I decided the log cabin ones will have to wait until next year. I think I have enough pinwheels made for about 3 dozen ornaments. I've just been sewing those as leader/enders while I work on other things. Assembling them into ornaments should just be an afternoon project.
I'm hoping to have all of these quilted things done by Wednesday, then I have 7 pajama bottoms and 9 scrub tops to work on.
My youngest daughter and her BF came over yesterday and helped me decorate for Christmas. I'm hoping I can get her to come over next Friday too, and help with the Christmas cookies. I make so many, it is an all day affair. My youngest son, the baby of the family, is turning 16 on the 9th, so tonight is his family birthday dinner, and next Saturday is the friend thing. Tonight I'm actually cooking a nice dinner, but next week, I'll probably order pizza when they get back from paintball. We rarely celebrate birthdays on the right day, since we are trying to coordinate so many schedules.
It may seem like I'm coming down to the wire, but I ditched the projects I didn't think I'd get done, like making new stockings, and added a couple I knew I could complete, like the basket liners. I think I can get all the things being shipped in the mail on Tuesday, and I finished Christmas shopping this morning, so I think I'm doing well.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Working With Thangles

  You start with these, Thangles and strips cut 1/2 inch larger than your finished HST's will be.
Lay strips right sides together with the lighter strip on top. This will insure the seam allowance being pressed to the darker fabric. Pin the Thangles paper on, with pins parallel to the sewing lines (dotted lines).
I chain sewed my Thangles, only cutting the first strip off each round to start the next row of stitching. I found they were easier to handle when I didn't cut between them until after I was done sewing.
In this picture you can see that they are all connected at all sewing points, except the first since it was my leader/ender.
Here they are all cut apart into strips and I am cutting the first strip on the solid cutting lines.
Here are the final steps lined up. Press open the HST, leaving the paper on. I had never done any sewing where I had to pull  paper off, so I found it easiest to rip down the center of each triangle and take half of the triangle section off at a time. Once both of those are off, the last bit of paper in the seam allowance comes right off. Now you can flip it over to the right side and there will be one dog ear to cut off.

    So the question remains, what did I think of using them? I found them to be easy to use and very accurate. I know some people have problems with accuracy on HST's, so if that is a problem for you, this could be a solution. I liked not having to cut anything at 7/8 of an inch, and because each strip makes a certain number of HSTs, I found it very easy to keep count. The pinning on of the paper strips seems to take about the same amount of time as drawing diagonal lines on squares which is the only other way I personally have ever done HST's. There was no squaring up to do, because the accuracy was great. I did not care for tearing the paper off, although it did get easier once I found a method that worked for me. Would I use them again? Probably. I don't drive so going out to a LQS frequently to pick up more is not always convenient, nor is always paying $5 a package. I will continue my search for the method of making HST's that will work best for me, but I will probably come back to this method as well. HST's are sometimes tedious, and these did make the process move right along.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas quilt progress

   This is the top half of the Christmas quilt I'm working on. It is not sewed, just laid out. The table is only big enough to lay out one half at a time. I plan on getting most of this sewed together on Friday, and then start working on the bottom half of the quilt. All of the HST's are done, it's just layout and assembly that need to be done. I've had a couple people post asking me about the Thangles I used, and I decided to take step-by-step pics in a few days. I can see in the picture some of my fabrics are reading differently than what I expected, but I am on a time crunch, and since the overall pattern is still there, I'm going to leave it. I think the mixed fabrics show up more in the picture than in person. That is actually good to know. Next time I can't decide how a color will read in a scrap quilt, maybe I'll just take a picture of it and look at it on the computer. I seem to learn best by my mistakes, why can't I just do it right to begin with?

My sewing command center

     The argument over what to call one's sewing room, quilting studio, whatever, just cracks me up. I have decided to throw a twist into it, and call my new room my sewing command center. A lot of my life is spent sewing, so I figure I can call it whatever I want. It is still not quite done, no blinds or curtains yet (my windows have UV protection, but I'll get blinds up within the week), nothing decorative, it's just functional.
     The first picture shows my sewing area. I'm thinking a quilted wall hanging above my thread holders. The second picture shows my cutting area, that folding table I put on bed risers. I still haven't cut anything on it yet, but I did lay out the top half of the quilt I'm working on. The third picture shows my stash. The cabinet on the left has fabric sorted by subject, baby, juvenile, patriotic, holiday, the other two cabinets are separated by color. I actually have another cabinet in the basement, a little larger than these, that is full of fabric, but that is only for scrubs, not quilting. The next picture shows the cabinets closed, and you can see my plastic bins, and my shelves with bolts on them. I bought all of my bolts on ebay for amazing deals. The last picture shows the closet. I have my rolls of Warm and Natural in there (one crib sized roll, one queen, both bought at for 40% off and free shipping) along with my backing fabrics, denim fabrics, and things for other crafts. I am planning on hanging a roller shade with a flannel lining over the closet, so I have a design wall when needed. I will probably set up my ironing board in front of the closet as well, since I do not need daily access to the closet. Right now my ironing board is neatly stowed between the plastic bins and shelves with bolts.
    I don't have everything quite where I want it, and there is still much I can do to make it homey, but I have so many projects going on right now, functional was more important. Since my DH just finished painting Sunday, and I only worked on it Monday and Tuesday, I think I got  a lot done. 
      Today I cooked all day. Thanksgiving dinner is at MIL house, but I am bringing a lot of the food. I was hoping to get all my cooking done today, but I will need to bake a deep dish apple pie with cream tomorrow. I made seven other pies, and I was going to have the eighth and last be a plain apple pie, but deep dish apple with cream is DH favorite, and since he painted my room, how could I refuse when he asked me to change it? I also made double batches of both white and wheat rolls, a butternut squash dish, and dressing. Tomorrow I will make the apple pie with cream, and DD will assemble the green bean casserole, before we pack it all up to go to MIL. Last I heard there will be 26 for dinner. Usually I host all the holidays, and it might have been easier to host rather than moving all this food, but this way I didn't have to clean, and I wasn't sure how far I would get on the room switching, never mind cleaning the whole house!
     Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My sister's Murphy quilt

   I have named my sister's quilt Murphy. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. She ended up changing her design several times, to try to deal with things. She made this quilt for my nephew=her son, and his wife. Their favorite color is red, and they really like Asian things.  I was afraid several times that this quilt was bound for a ufo pile, or worse yet -the trash, as a WOMBAT (Waste Of Material, Batting, And Time). I am so proud of her for persevering and finishing! Everyone loves it when a project goes together easily, but it shows a lot of character to continue to the end when things aren't going well. The end result is a beautiful wedding gift. The border just inside the white one is a 100 wishes border, with 100 different red squares. I donated some of that fabric, and my wish for the newlyweds, is that they work as hard at their marriage, as their mom did on this quilt.
     Joanne, the quilt did not come out as you originally planned, but it is beautiful! Good job!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What I've been up to

It's been a few days since I've blogged. I have been playing around with the tiny Thangles, making small blocks that will hopefully become Christmas ornaments before Christmas. Those are the blocks scattered on the table in the picture. What I've spent most of my time doing is in all those bowls. They are all the HST's for the Christmas quilt I'm working on (made with the 2.25 inch Thangles). I had to make 400 HST's in combinations of red/light, green/light, light/light, red/red, and green/green. I finally got the last of them ironed today. I need to lay them out via my graph paper plan, but I am also in the process of moving my sewing room. I doubt I'll get much sewing done in the next week between Thanksgiving and rearranging.
     My husband finished painting the new sewing room today. I didn't have him paint the closet, so I'm going to start loading it tomorrow.  My exercise for the week will be climbing all the stairs moving supplies. I will try to get quite a bit moved myself Monday and Tuesday, and leave the furniture moving for Wednesday, when DH and DS are both off of work. They can move the heavy stuff while I do a lot of the cooking for Thanksgiving. What a deal, they do the lifting, I pay them in pie! It's a win-win situation.
     When everything is moved, I'll show pictures of my new sewing/quilting control center. My goal is to be back to sewing by the end of next week. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Progress on the new projects

I have cut all the strips for my new quilt project and the Christmas ornaments I want to make. I cut extra strips from the non-Christmas fabrics I'm using to put in my strip bins. My goal for the next couple of days- make one scrub top each day before I start sewing on my new projects. Hopefully, I can get the first scrub top finished by mid afternoon, and have this evening to play with the Thangles I bought. DH works until midnight tonight, so I should have some good sewing time. The kids will probably be in and out all day, so besides taking a break to make dinner, I should be able to have a long sewing session.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My new project

    I know I said I had all these other projects to do, and they can wait. I'm stressed and I need something FUN. I ran across this exploding star pattern in one of the books my DH grandmother gave me, and it MUST be made. My best friend has another friend going through a tough time and she wants a Christmas quilt. It's been floating around in my mind all year, and when I saw this quilt, it was like God reached down and said "This is it." I've been wanting to try using Thangles, and I went to a LQS to get some. I wanted 2.5", but they were out, so I got 2.25" This will probably be a better size anyway, because I want to make something between a crib size and throw size. With the slighter smaller size HST's, I'll have room for a border.
    I had my graph paper and crayons out, and my rendition is to the right of the book. I will do it scrappy with lots of Christmas prints and some misc. red, green, and lights mixed in.
     I also got some smaller Thangles to try and make some pinwheel Christmas ornaments. I want to make some log cabin ornaments too. I need to play.
    My machine is back from the shop, but now it messes up in reverse. I ordered another sewing  machine on Amazon today, so this one may end up being my backup until I want to fiddle with it some more. It still sews great forwards, just not in reverse. I will still start my new projects on it.
     Sorry for the fuzzy picture. My DS has our good camera with him in Japan. I hope he's having a great time. My DH took this picture with his phone.

Monday, November 10, 2008

luggage tags

Here are some of my luggage tags. DH has delivered all the dog themed ones, so here are just a few I had around. There is a clear vinyl pocket on one side to put a card with your information on it. Other than that, they are just cute tags that help you identify your bags when you're searching for your luggage on the carousel. I would think these would be especially helpful if you have black luggage. The last several times I've flown, there has just been a sea of black luggage on the coming out on the conveyor belt. I've been glad my luggage has green leaves and lady bugs all over it so it's easy to spot.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

orders complete!

In the last week I have made 8 scrub tops, 24 luggage tags and 5 steering wheel covers. I am all caught up with orders, so now I have DH scrub tops, DD skirts, and POSSIBLY some Christmas projects.
I have a quilt in my head that I'm just chomping at the bit to start, but I can't decide between a disappearing 9 patch or attic window. I NEVER do this, but I think I'm going to make sample blocks to decide. I only have a limited amount of the fabric I want to use, and I figure making a couple of sample blocks may save me heartache in the end. My biggest problem will be, what to do with the blocks I decide not to use. That's why I never do samples, I don't want to waste anything.
My machine is still in the shop. I'm still using my sister's machine. She is so patient, and doesn't want me going through withdrawals. I am convinced I need a second machine. Don't try to talk me out of it, I am certain this is a necessity! I am also thinking about getting my grandmother's treadle up and going. I am going to have to do research to find someone who can restore it to working order. It is Free brand machine, with a beautiful tiger oak cabinet. Does using a treadle machine count as exercise? If it does, I could use that as a great excuse. Quilting as exercise, wouldn't that be great?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

machine in the shop

My sewing machine is tired and needs some spa treatment. You know, an oil bath, some massaging of the timing and such. With all I've made on it, I'm really surprised I've been able to go this long without having it serviced. It doesn't need anything major that I know of, just a regular TLC check-up. It's going in tomorrow. I'm borrowing my sister's machine to get me through the weekend. Now I know why people have more than one machine.
I did get five scrub shirts done this week, as well as the luggage tags and steering wheel covers. I still have lots of scrubs to make. Only two for someone else, the rest for my DH. My husband has acquired a scrub addiction, which compliments my fabric addiction nicely. Now we both enjoy searching for fabric. I found some Beatles fabric and he so wanted some Beatles scrubs. I also bought some Jetsons fabric to make him a scrub top. I figure being in the hospital is stressful enough, it's nice to have a nurse or doctor have a wild scrub top to take your mind off things.
I am struggling with myself to get anything done today, but I am working on cutting out scrubs, and cutting up shirts. I just keep making more and more scraps, and have no time to get it cut into scrap system sizes. I keep waiting for time to do it, but I really need to make time to do it. I am coming to the conclusion there will never be time to cut if I don't schedule it.
I will try to take some pics of the luggage tags. I've had a couple people ask about them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

slow going

Family problems, emotional week, it makes for slow progress. I am determined to get that fleece jacket finished tonight, no matter how long it takes to do it. I'm a little more than half done. I did manage to get my Stars and Stripes quilt delivered to my SIL. She liked it. I managed to get a little mending done, some of which has been sitting for over a year. I made my husband a little bag to carry his mints in (he has a Starlight mint habit). I also started deconstructing my thrift store shirts to make quilts out of them. I haven't had a chance to cut any strips yet, but now I have several more scrub shirts to make. I've ditched almost all of my ideas for Christmas, and I'm going to try to get all these things I'm currently working on done so I can get to some quilt therapy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cutting, cutting, and more cutting

I have spent all weekend cutting out new projects, and I'm not even done yet! I have cut out 30 or so luggage tags, 7 steering wheel covers, several scrub tops, and a jacket. My scrap basket, which had been 6" below the top, is now overflowing and in desperate need of taming. I plan on making several other garments before Christmas, which will add to my scrap basket. I was hoping to hold off scrap cutting until January, but if I do that, there will not be room for the Christmas tree in the living room. I guess I'm going to have to go back to cutting scraps one day a week, and hope I can keep up. One great thing about all the scraps is, once I get them cut into usable sizes, I'll be all ready to start some quilts!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Racing quilt done

I finished the second t-shirt quilt I was working on. This one quite obviously has a racing theme, and I'm happy with how it turned out. I learned a lot from making the first t-shirt quilt, and that helped this one go together better. I guess the t-shirt quilts are being shown around, and others are saying they want one. We'll see what happens.
    My next projects include making that fleece jacket for Karen, more luggage tags, steering wheel covers, and  more scrub tops, all for others. I am supposed to be making my daughters some clothes to go under the tree at Christmas, and making a couple scrub tops for my husband as well. I guess I'll use all my "free" time to get that done.
    Another project I'm working on is recipe cards for everyone who is constantly asking for my recipes. I'm trying to type up a recipe or two every day, and hopefully by Christmas I'll have a good selection to give. I figured with recipe cards, I could add a few every year, and not be overwhelmed trying to do a recipe book all at once. The hardest part of this project is I've made up so many recipes, and I rarely measure, so trying to guesstimate amounts is tough. Even on baking, I tend to bake until it's the right color, not for a certain amount of time, but that would make for lousy directions. I'm doing my best.
     I don't think I'll have any time to quilt in the very near future, which is a shame, because I was just given a HUGE box of quilting books from my husband's grandmother. I will take time during breaks to look through them and mark a few patterns to make when I do have time. I already found one pattern I had just seen online, and admired. It is a snake quilt, perfect for  little boy. I'm thinking Project Linus here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two more finishes

     I've finished my first t-shirt quilt! This was my first t-shirt quilt ever. It has all rock band t-shirts. I had some problems with stretching, even after adding interfacing, so I started sewing with the t-shirt against the feed dogs and had much better results. Hopefully I'll have an easier time with the next one. No better teacher than experience, right?
    The second two pictures are of the Stars and Stripes quilt for my SIL. I think it came out really cute, and I love the way the striped binding looks. I added a close-up picture of one corner so you could get a good look at the border and binding. Hopefully others will like it too, and she can raise some money for her booster club.
    My finger is on the mend, so I'm having a little easier time sewing now. I think I'm still going to take it easy for a couple of days, but I did already start cutting up the t-shirts for the other quilt I need to finish this month. I bought some new fabric I'm anxious to get into, but I have so many projects to do first, it's a little frustrating. I already have enough projects in my head to keep me busy for years!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Top done and help acquired

    I did indeed finish the star quilt top, but I haven't taken any pictures yet. My sister was very sweet, and came and pinned my two quilts for me. Unfortunately, my finger is not healing as fast as I'd like, so there are some things I'm really having problems with, pinning being one of them. I should have started quilting today, since they are both pinned now, but I didn't. I also had my sister cut my binding for the t-shirt quilt top, and I just sewed those strips together, so I probably will try to get it all ironed tonight. The binding for the star quilt I got ready last night. If I actually get around to quilting tomorrow, the binding will be ready to go on both of those quilts. I am debating on taking a week off to let my finger heal before tackling my other projects. I feel bad about doing things late, but I hadn't planned on getting hurt. Babying one hand is hurting my accuracy, so I think a week off may be worth it in the long run. When I get these two quilts together, I will defnitely post pictures of them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

more stars

Here is a medium and a large star. I thought about posting just a large star, but I realized the medium gets a little lost in the large, so I showed both. Since these stars are all made with star fabric, I'm getting a little starry-eyed, but I think it will be cute in the end. I have all my stars done, so I'm working on the borders, and I need to iron the striped binding. Tomorrow will hopefully be assembly day.
    Aren't these the cutest little stars? At this point the are 4 1/2 inches, so they'll finish at 4". These are for my SIL Stars and Stripes quilt. I actually have more done on this project now, but things are moving slow because I accidently cut the tip of my ring finger off while chopping onions, and I'm hurting and taking frequent breaks.
     These little stars are the centers of the medium stars, which are the center of the largest stars. I have all the medium stars done, and I'm just two seams away from having all the large stars done. After that, I can start quilt top assembly. That will mean two tops done, waiting to be pinned, which I'm not sure I can do very easily while babying one hand. We'll see, but right now I'm just going to concentrate on getting this top done. Maybe I can recruit help for the pinning.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A couple of finishes

OK, so I've done little blogging, but lots of sewing. I finished two quilts, these pictures showing one of them. The other is a Christmas gift, so I can't post any pics yet. I also finished one of the T-shirt quilt tops, but I haven't taken a picture yet. I cut out another quilt that got added to my list. My sister-in-law needs it for a gymnastics meet. They are raffling it off to raise money for their booster club. The only problem is, I need to get the two t-shirt quilts I'm making, the gymnastics Stars and Stripes quilt, and a jacket that was recently ordered all completed by November 1st. Three weeks to make three quilts and a jacket-hmmmm, I think we'll be eating a lot of fish sticks in the next couple of weeks. I am really wishing I had the quilting machine I was wanting, but it will have to wait, and these things won't. I am having fun making all of these things, but admittedly, a wee bit stressed with the time crunch.
    I did make one big purchase this week. I bought two rolls of cotton batting. One queen-sized, and one crib-sized. I have made so many quilts this year, and I'm so tired of running to the store for batting, that it seemed to make sense. Joann's had the rolls of Warm and Natural for 40% off without a coupon, so I jumped at that, and got both sizes I wanted. This way I got all cotton batting for less than I've been paying for polyester. I think it will serve me well in the long run, now just to find a place to store it. I was joking with my husband about adding on a quilting studio to the house. It sounds like a good idea, although very unlikely.
     I have not sewn at all today, but I did a thrift store run to buy some fabric and some men's shirts now that I have Bonnie Hunter's new book, Scraps and Shirttails. I use a lot of thrift store fabric in my charity quilts. There is usually a pretty decent collection of 100% cotton fabric at a thrift store, and paying less lets me make more quilts. Bonnie's new book shows ideas using 100% cotton men's shirts to make quilts. I love plaids, and I want to make at least half the quilts in her book. I bought about 8 shirts, so now I just need to cut them up, but I may not get to that until after Christmas. I will probably look for shirts a few more times before I have a huge rotary cutting time in January. My scrap basket is full of scraps again as well, thanks to my newer quilt finishes. I will just have to work on cutting them all up into usable sizes when I have the time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

pinning and pining

I am pinning my double sized quilt, but pining over the mid arm machine I saw at the quilting show today. It was a NewJoy Crystal quilting machine with a Magic frame. I am going to try to find out more info about it, but I am really hoping to be able to buy a mid/long arm someday. I tried out three different machines, and this is the one I liked best. I loved the fact you could put it against a wall, and not have to have the frame in the center of a room! Very efficient design. Now if I can just come up with the money someday, I'll be able to finish quilts as fast as I piece them.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Halfway to quilt top

Well, in spite of being sick, I did manage to get half the double size quilt top done. I'm hoping to be able to sneak in a little sewing today, but company's a'coming, so we'll see.

Friday, September 26, 2008

one top completed

   Well, I finished the lap sized quilt top. I have it on the kitchen table waiting to be pinned. I am hoping to start sewing together the other quilt top today, but I am making a big birthday dinner for tonight, and another Sunday, plus my sister is coming down for the weekend. I may not get much accomplished on these quilts until next week at this point. 
    My stack of four patches is really growing, and my mind is churning with the possibilities. I haven't decided what my next project should be after these two quilts are done. My to-do list is so long, sometimes just deciding the order in which to do things is overwhelming. I have a huge list of things I want to make for Christmas, and I haven't hit my goal of a dozen charity quilts for the year. I have two t-shirt quilts I need to make for a friend of my daughters. Someday I'd like to start a quilt for my bed. I've given every quilt I've made away, and I'm starting to want one of my own. I may just save all those four patches until next year, so I can get to my Christmas sewing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

blocks done

    I got all the blocks done for the two quilts I'm working on. Tomorrow I will hopefully have time to start sewing them together. I'm doing leaders and enders while I'm sewing, so I have a good start on a couple of scrap quilts, but right now I just have four patches for those. I haven't quite decided what I want to do with those four patches, but I have a couple of ideas floating around in my mind. I need to finish laying out this full sized quilt, so I can get right to sewing rows tomorrow, but I'm stuck doing 3 rows at a time on the couch, because one of my daughters is making cookies and has the kitchen table covered. At least it smells good while I'm working!

Monday, September 22, 2008


I have been working on my newest two quilts, basically making snowball blocks. I got all of the four-cornered ones done, and now I'm working on the ones with odd numbers of corners done. I'm using the I Spy with a Twist pattern by Lisa Moore. She suggests leaving the extra corner on, but I'm double sewing to get all those extra HST's. I really didn't want the extra bulk in the corners either. I am hoping to have at least the smaller quilt top done by the end of the week. I love using new patterns and seeing how they turn out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Denim lap quilts

   This was my rushed denim quilt project. I only used about a third of my 6" denim squares in these two quilts, and I haven't used any of my 4" squares in years! I used different layouts to make it more interesting for me, and to balance which shades of blue I had. I am always so amazed how different denim quilts can look, even though it's all just blue jeans. Lots of our old jeans end up in my denim square boxes. I've been keeping up with the cutting them up, but not with the sewing them up. The back of both of these quilts is a red bandana fabric. I bought a whole bolt of that, and denim and bandanas just seem to go together.
    I didn't end up sewing at all today. I did get my fabric numbered for the quilts I'm wanting to get started. The pattern is reminiscent of Celtic knots, and I really need to keep my blocks straight or my knots won't connect right.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Anniversary Quilt

I just got back from a trip to Massachusetts. My husband, Howard, and I had a good time with my parents, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I made them an anniversary quilt. I looked online and couldn't find what I wanted, so I came up with my own design. It starts with a movie theater representing their first date, second is the church they got married in followed by their first apartment. Their hobbies are represented by stores, and places they worked are there as well. I basically just picked several things from their lives, and made quilt blocks for it. I used novelty fabrics for the windows. It is mostly pieced, but there is some applique as well.

No Blogging and Cooking at the Same Time

Ok, I'm going to have to get used to this blogging thing. I was trying to set it up while I was making dinner, multi-tasking, and dinner came out a little dark. It still tasted OK, but it wasn't too pretty. Dinner is now done, and I finished the two lap quilts I was working on, so it's all good. Tomorrow I get to start on two new quilts. They are done with the same pattern, and they're all cut out, so I'm going to be sewing them at the same time. They are both going to be gifts, so I won't be posting any pictures of them any time soon, but I'll see if I can get a pic of my denim lap quilts up.