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.