Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year and Goals for 2013

This is my 6th blog post in a week.  What a way to finish up the year.  I did meet my goal of blogging more often this year!  I met a few more goals that I had set, but I feel that I fell short in the quilting area.  I will soon fix that.

In 2013 I am joining a group of quilters who apparently aren't concerned about completing UFO's.  They just want to have fun and enjoy starting new projects with a clear conscience.  That's why I am going to take part in the 2013 NewFO Challenge.    Barbara at Cat Patches started this challenge to give quilters the opportunity to build up their supply of UFO's. 


Here's how it works.  Each month, start at least one new quilt project -- any size from a potholder to a king quilt.  On the last day of the month blog about it and then link up to her linky party.  She will provide a prize for one of the participants each month to be chosen at random.

Now, MY goal is to not only start a new project but also complete most of my UFO's and keep that list from growing.  I have more right now than I have ever had at one time, and there are so many quilts in my head trying to get out, that I think this will be a good challenge for me.  

Then again, I may just be crazy.........


Sunday, December 30, 2012

I am so embarrassed!

I keep track of all my quilts and quilted projects on an Excel spreadsheet, and I just took a look at my totals for 2012.  Hmmm, something has happened to my momentum!  

In 2008 I completed twenty-eight quilts, nineteen of which were for charity.   This stack and slash quilt was made and hand-quilted for baby Seth....

....and I made this quilted stocking for our grandson, Aidan.

In 2009 I completed eighteen quilts. Two of my favorites are this "Wacky Blues"  quilt I made and hand-quilted for our great-nephew Phenyx....

....and this quilt I made for our grandson Noah's bed using a Hockey print for the focus fabric and red, white and blue alternate blocks. 

In 2010 I completed fifteen quilts.  One was a Black & White & Bright baby quilt for a friend's new baby, Max....

....and one was a little quilt for Noah's stuffed monkey, made out of the leftovers from his quilt. 

Then in 2011 I completed twenty quilts.  The only one I haven't blogged about in a previous post is the baby quilt I made for our great-nephew Christopher.  I used some blue strips I found in my sewing room and pieced them with white squares, similar to the Allegro pattern by Terry Atkinson, then hand-quilted it.  

That brings us to 2012, which will be ending in one more day.  That is not much time to bump up my totals, so I will admit that I only completed seven (yes, seven) quilts this year.  That includes not one single UFO.  ((sigh))  And I even blogged about all of them so there isn't anything else to add.  Except maybe one of the reasons.   Better make that THREE of the reasons.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Home-made Christmas Gifts

As I told you in my last post, I don't normally make Christmas gifts.  I find it very stressful to be making gifts and trying to get them finished on time while doing everything else that must be done for the holidays.  I know that I could work on them throughout the year and be ready in plenty of time.  My problem with that is waiting so long to give the gift!  I get so excited that I can't wait!  

Like this scarf I made for my daughter-in-law, Brandy,  earlier this year when I was just learning to knit.  It was so hard to wait until Christmas! But I did, and she loves it.

I made some pillowcases for my brother and his soon-to-be wife.  He is a Steelers fan and she is a Packers fan, so I thought these would be fun.

The next three things are special gifts I made for Morgaine!   She's a bit of a free spirit so I thought she'd like these pillowcases with Peace Signs on them.

These washcloths were fun to knit, and I love the bright cotton yarns!

The most fun thing was this purse made from one of my son's old ties.  There is a surprising amount of fabric in a tie!

That's it for this year, thank goodness.  I think I'll stick with my old way of doing things and just give gifts to people as I make them, all year long.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Happy Christmas!

Christmas this year has been a little different.  I wanted to stay ahead of the Fibromyalgia Monster so I decided to not decorate the house.  Surprisingly, I didn't even feel guilty about it.  In order to keep this post in the holiday spirit I will share with you a picture of our tree from last year!

It's a little out of the ordinary too, I know, but I kinda like to fit life into my own mold!

We celebrated Christmas at Adam and Brandy's house a few days early and had a wonderful time.  The food was delicious, the company delightful, and the grands were really excited about their gifts.  

Technology ruled the day.  Noah loved his super-duper headphones....

.....and Gavin and Aidan were surprised with their iPad mini's.  

Six and a half year old Aidan exclaimed, "You have GOT to be kidding me!" when he realized what it was.  By the end of the evening he was snapping pics with it and emailing them to us!  I woke up the next morning to a text message from him asking me if I wanted to Face Time with him!  

We got to open presents, too!  

This iArm that Adam and Brandy gave to Hubby was the best present of the day!  Too funny!!

Even though this Christmas was unlike other years, the best part of it was unchanged -- focusing on and spending time with people we love.

Normally I don't make any gifts for Christmas.  I find it much too stressful.  Besides that, when I do make a gift for someone, I just can't wait that long to give it to them!  This year I did make several things (probably because I saved so much time by not decorating!)  I'll show you those next time.  In the meantime, if you want to see the rest of our Christmas photos you can find them here on my Flickr page.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Exciting News!

You may remember this post about my Pay Day Quilt.  It was such a fun quilt to piece, and when my friend Angela from Quilted Joy finished with the quilting I really loved it.
It was juried into and displayed in the Denver National Quilt Festival which was held in May.  We didn't receive any prizes, but we did get very positive comments from the judges.   Right now I am waiting to hear if it is accepted into the QuiltCon show which will be held in Austin, Texas in February.  

Now for the really exciting news!  Angela wrote an article about the quilt, and the way she quilted it, and submitted it to Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine.  It will be in the January issue!  The article covers three pages and has some great close-up photos.
If you get a chance to pick up a copy or just flip through one at your local Barnes and Noble, check it out.  I'm pretty excited about it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Sewing

I don't normally do any Christmas sewing because it's just too stressful, but I did decide to do a little bit this year.  I sure do wish I could show you some of it, but as you know, it's for Christmas.  So I have to keep it a surprise.........In the meantime, I will show you the decorating I did this year.  That's too stressful, too, which is why this is all I did!

By the way, this sewing I mentioned has helped me decide not to do any Christmas sewing next year!  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Retreat Report

There sure was a lot of sewing going on at the Retreat I went to this week. Some people (like me) ended up doing more ripping than sewing and went home with four quilt blocks made.

Other people (like Jan) sewed like a fiend and got an entire quilt made, quilted, and partially bound.

And then other people (like Dar) kept the smoothies flowing!  Some were really healthy with spinach, oranges, apple juice and bananas.  Others were just smooth, with chocolate and cream and other good stuff.

In all fairness, Dar did also get some sewing done, like these beautiful string blocks. 

Reba wowed us with one great baby quilt after another.  She worked on quilts and brought lots of Show and Tell.

Joan got a T-shirt quilt put together......

...Barb made several cat or dog quilt tops to be raffled off at a charity event for Heartland Humane Society of Missouri

...and Katy used strips she won at a guild meeting to put a cute top together. 

Ree finished a Thimbleberries quilt top. 

This shows just part of the gorgeous homespun log cabin type quilt Lee Etta worked on.

This is one of the baby quilts Rita worked on.

Jeanne worked on so many things I couldn't figure out what she was doing, but her sewing kit/organizer made for a good photo.

Just like every other retreat I've been to, it was way too short.  It was hard to say goodbye to these special ladies. 

I hope it isn't such a long time before I get to see them again.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hitting the Stash Jackpot

Making pillowcases is a good way to use up some of your stash, but it's also a good way to find out what's missing from that stash.  I haven't had a lot of trouble coming up with a nice piece of fabric to use for the body of a pillowcase, but a lot of times when I pull a matching piece for an accent strip I find out it has a piece cut out of it,  (I'm always cutting up good pieces of my stash to use in scrap quilts) or it's a fat-quarter and isn't wide enough.

This week the owner of Fiber Art Work in Huntsville, had all of her quilting fabrics on sale for $5 a yard because she's only going to sell yarn and knitting supplies from now on.  I thought it was a good opportunity to stock up on accent fabrics for pillowcases!  I had quite a stack of fabrics when I checked out, and when she found out it was all for charity (St. Louis Children's Hospital) she gave me another 20% off. 

The next day I got a package in the mail from my friend Faye.  She thought that since I mailed her all those homespuns she had to send me something in return.  (Silly girl!)  Well, I did give her some ideas of what to send, since I knew I couldn't talk her out of it.

I did do a little more than build my stash this week.  I found a piece of pre-printed canvas in my cabinets with shopping bags stamped on it.  One of them I made into a bag to hang on the back of the laundry room door to keep rags in, and the other one I stitched up for a washable shopping bag.

So, I wasn't that productive this week, but I was busy.  Next week I'll be even busier.  I'm leaving for a quilting retreat in the morning!  WooHoo!!

(By the way, if you are wondering why I asked Faye for neutrals instead of brights, our Clara's Cottage Retreat Challenge for 2013 is "Neutrals with a Kick!"  Should be interesting......)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I don't normally post on Design Wall Mondays, but today I actually have something on my design wall!  Some of the members of my Guild are working on this Quilted Village pattern as a Block of the Month. 

Of course mine doesn't look like this at all.  I like to do my own thing when I quilt, so mine is going to be a colorful village on a background of black and white prints. 

Five of the blocks are finished so far along with the embroidered trees and plants.  I'm planning to use bright greens (naturally!) in the "town square" center, too.  I'm having fun with this one!