Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Pay Day Finish!

When the Cottage Quilters announced that our 2011 Challenge was to be based on a candy bar wrapper I knew there would be a lot of bright quilts inspired by M&Ms and Skittles.  I like to do things a little differently (if you haven't already noticed) so I went candy bar shopping just to see what I could find that was a little out of the ordinary.  I liked the wrappers for the Zero Bar and Hershey's Cookies 'N Cream, but I decided on the Pay Day wrapper because of the colors.  

I cut a bunch of squares from  blue, orange, tan and white scraps.

Then I made a WHOLE LOT of half-square-triangles........
.........and I started playing on my design wall.



My good friend, Angela,  quilted it for me and did an absolutely stunning job on it.  She's pretty amazing.  Check out her blog.

I cannot thank Angela enough for the gorgeous job she did.  We have entered this quilt in the AQS show in Paducah and got the entry form mailed just before the deadline.  Now we wait until the first week of March for news.  Here's hoping!   

Friday, December 9, 2011

What's on My Design Wall?

I decided that I would do my very first "Design Wall Monday" post this week, so I got the photos ready and before I knew it, it was Friday!  You faithful bloggers amaze me.  My "Design Wall Monday" posts would get pretty boring - my wall stays the same for long stretches most of the time.  So, here is what's on my design wall right now:

These are my blocks from the "Made Fabric" Block Swap.  When it was my turn I requested blocks made like the two purple blocks at the top.  I asked that swappers make a large square of fabric from neutral scraps and a second from monochromatic scraps. 

Then the blocks were stacked, slashed, and sewn back together after reversing the center strips.

Now that I have all these gorgeous blocks I need to decide what to do with them.  Should I slash them again and insert another color before sewing them together?  Or not?  Add sashing?  Slash them into smaller pieces and mix them all up?  Hmmm, this could be on my Design Wall until next summer.  I need ideas.  I need inspiration.  Or maybe a nap.......

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More "Made Fabric"

Back in May I told you in this post about making fabric out of scraps and using it in blocks for a block swap with the the 15 Minutes Play group to which I belong.  I showed you the January through May blocks, and thought you would like to see the the rest of the blocks I made for the year-long swap.  In June I made these leaf blocks for Glenda.    

In August Barbara sent each of us some pink fabric and asked for hearts.

San-Dee asked us to make fabric and then cut it into simple shapes so she could appliqué them onto wheelchair lap quilts for dementia patients in September.

Cindy posted directions for these cute blocks that she wanted us to make for her in October.

Then in November Melinda asked us to make any kind of star blocks using "made" fabric for the stars and black and white background fabrics.

I think the December star blocks Alexis asked for were my favorite of the entire swap.  Bright "made" fabrics for the center of the star with yellow points and a red background.  She said to "wonk it up" and I tried.  

You will notice that I skipped July.  That was my month to receive blocks.  I'll tell you about that later.

One thing I learned is that even though I enjoyed the swap, I do not like making fabric.  For one thing it makes me feel like I have to save smaller and smaller scraps of fabric.  For another thing, whenever I make fabric my sewing room looks like this.........

I think this coming year, I will stick to making quilts from "bought" fabric!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy Housewarming!

I love it when I get to finish a UFO and end up with a lovely gift for someone special at the same time.  This quilt was started several years ago when my friend Barb was in charge of the Lotto Blocks for our quilt guild.  She came up with this simple batik 6" block, so of course I was going to make a whole quilt from it.  I made 25 blocks, stitched them together and then it sat in a drawer until two months ago when I decided it had been a UFO long enough.  (You have heard this song before, haven't you!? LOL)

I did not want to make gazillions of the same block so I thought it would be fun to make this a sort of "One Woman Round Robin" instead.  One border at a time and it would be a real quilt!

I found a great eggplant batik at my favorite online source, Batiks Plus.  I used six different gold and purple batiks cut into 2 1/2" squares and had my first border done.

It was looking a little bland to me, so the next round was a colorful piano keys border.  No, I did not repeat a fabric.  Yes, I do have a great stash!

                                                                                                        I wanted to add a plane border next with appliquéd flowers and vines.  Everybody knows you need some curves to balance all those straight lines.  Well, almost everyone.  Hubby said it needed squares instead and sketched it out for me.  Huh.  Looks great!  Whatta ya know about that!?
I appliquéd the squares on and then embroidered around them and finished it off with another eggplant border.   I mailed the quilt to my nephew Tim and his wife Catherine in celebration of them buying their first home.  I think it will make a great snuggle quilt for them to use for many years to come.
So, Congratulations to Tim and Cat.  And Happy Housewarming!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This Quilt Needs a Baby!

Usually I make baby quilts on an "as needed" basis.  It's not the kind of thing I normally keep on hand.  Actually, what really happens is this:  Even though I know for almost nine months that I need to make a baby quilt, I wait until the baby is here and then frantically work on nothing else until Baby has a quilt.  When Matt and Tiffany were expecting earlier this year I knew that method wouldn't work since the baby's gender would not be known ahead of time.   I made a baby boy quilt and a baby girl quilt, and little Eva got her quilt on time.  That means I have a baby boy quilt ready just in case I need one.   

Isn't this the cutest?  I liked this monkey fabric so much when I bought it for Grant's quilt a few years ago that I bought all that was left on the bolt.  I like to give credit to publishers and designers, but I can't find the magazine from which I took this pattern.  I have looked and looked, but it must be hiding somewhere in the deepest darkest recesses of my messy sewing room. Just know that it is not my design and that I'm reasonably sure it's from a QNM publication.  

Now.  This quilt needs a baby.  So.  I'm waiting......... 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Round Robin Found Its Way Home

A while back I blogged about a Round Robin group I had joined.  I had great visions of something really abstract when I sketched the semi-paisley shapes, but they ended up looking like drumsticks.  Was I ever worried about what the gals in the Round Robin would do with that!!  
Well, they behaved, although they said they were really tempted to add chickens, etc. to their borders.  Am I ever glad they restrained themselves.   This is what it looked like when I got it in the mail a few days ago.

The only thing I really hated about it was that goofy looking center block!  I had to fix it!   I borrowed some of the shapes from the last border and used them to add some appliqué to the center. 

All I can say is, "Wow!"  

Thank you SO much, Shirley, Jac and Marcia for making my Round Robin so beautiful.   I love it!  This is one project that will definitely not turn into a UFO.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Needle Troubles

I have been hand-quilting a long time, not to mention all the hand-applique' and hand-embroidery I have done throughout my life, and I have never had the problems with needles I have been dealing with lately.  Look at this......

 needles have been bending right at the bottom of the eye.  

It's hard to get much completed when this keeps happening!  One needle after the other in the most recent package has bent this way, and there's no way to continue using them in that condition.  (By the way, these two photos were taken with my cell phone.....impressive, right??)

Just in case you are interested in the quilt I am working on here is a sneak peak.

It's the Dutch Treat quilt I started in 2005, and it's more than half quilted.  I'm anxious to finish it so needle problems are not fitting into the schedule right now!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Oldest UFO is Finished!

In 2003, my "Secret Sister" at church gave me homemade quilt blocks, spaced throughout the year, each one having a special significance to our family.  She made one block each for my husband and me as well as each of our sons, with our birth dates embroidered on them.

She made a block that reminds us of our 15 years of home-schooling....

.....a block for Hubby's career (I added the retirement date!).......

.......and one commemorating our first grandchild.

 Log-cabin blocks display each of our wedding anniversary dates.

You can see other blocks in the quilt  --  

--  blocks for our daughters-in-law with their birth dates --  

--  and blocks I added for our grandsons who joined our family while all the rest of the blocks were sitting in a sewing room cabinet, being a UFO, and waiting to be completed.

I didn't know until the end of the year that Anna was my "Secret Sister."   The coffee cup block and cross-stitched stove block are very special because they symbolize the many, many hours our families spent visiting over the years.

This is such a special quilt.  I am so glad it's not a UFO anymore.  And not just because I wanted to check it off the list!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why I Haven't Been Blogging.........and Two Finishes!

The last time I posted a blog entry was the day before our movers arrived to haul all our earthly goods from St. Louis, Missouri to Huntsville, Alabama.  We have moved so we can be closer to our grandchildren, and am I ever having fun!!  But until last week this is what my new sewing room looked like...

I wanted to get the rest of the house unpacked and somewhat organized before I tackled the sewing room.  I mean, there were more than 70 boxes in there!  Believe me it wasn't easy going four weeks without playing with fabric.  And I'm sure my sewing machines were feeling neglected!

But, things are shaping up now, and even though it's not completely ready (and definitely NOT ready to show pictures of), I did get some sewing done last week. 

The first thing I finished was this Pink and Turquoise baby quilt for Eva Katherine.


I had made quilts for each of her older sisters when they were born.  Pink and Blue for Audrey Ann...

...and Pink and Yellow for Claire Elizabeth.

And last night I finished this 15" art quilt challenge made with all solids and inspired by a Kandinsky painting. 

I like it so much that I hate to mail it off to my swap partner tomorrow.  I'm sure that I will like equally well the quilt she will be sending to me, though!