Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Weekend of Snow Leads to Quilting Progress

Today was beautiful and sunny after four straight days of nonstop snowing. I snapped this photo at the end of my driveway to post on Facebook for one of my neighbors who is vacationing in Maui. Too bad she will have to come home to this. It is beautiful but the temperatures have gone sub-zero and will be there for most of the week. 

I faithfully watch the weather report so Thursday I stocked up on groceries. When I got home late Friday afternoon from my Jazzercise class, the flakes were just starting to fall. I just happened to have a quilt top loaded on my frame with a snowflake theme. I'm pleased to be getting lots of time on my mid-arm quilting machine. I may have a third of the quilting done. I am really hoping to finish it for the Breakfast Club meeting on Jan. 26th.

I will venture into town tomorrow but hurry back home to quilt some more.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Week One

Welcome 2017...but first a little recap of the last few projects of 2016.

We had a fantastic Breakfast Club gathering on Dec. 29th. It is a tradition for us to tackle a mystery on our last meeting of the year. Our leader, Marcia, picked a pattern and made it into a quick mystery because we only have a few hours to work on it before it is revealed by the end of our quilting day. We had to show up with brightly colored rectangles, 2 1/2 x 5 inches, and about 4 yards of a dark background. We each made one block to determine if we were happy with our background fabric in relation to the rectangles we had gathered. Here's my block.

This is not the background fabric I brought to class with me...as soon as I walked into the quilt shop I saw this darker grey and grabbed the rest of the bolt. It is perfect with all my little rectangles that were cut from a Bali Pop called, "Splash." I did add a few pieces from my stash.

After we all completed our block, Marcia revealed the her top...borders still to be added. Marcia really did use her scraps for this as there is not one single repeat of fabric in her rectangles! All batiks. 

Now the majority of the day is spent doing other things than quilting...like shopping and eating. There is always great food and company but the shop also had a big sale on fat quarters. Huge selection and if you buy 100 fat quarters they are only a dollar a piece. You are allowed to combine with you quilting partners to come up with 100 fat quarters. I came away with 27 batik fat quarters.

Back to the mystery pattern details. Here is the pattern as it was made up by the designer, Cory Yoder. Marcia's twist is a great version!

It is just one of 15 quilt designs in this new book which I highly recommend. I'm sure our quilt group will be making a few more quilts from this book. I counted six other designs in the book I would like to make. 

There were other projects I tried to wrap up before the end of 2016. I needed to make a little bear for a stocking called, "Bear to the Rescue." I have made several bears for stockings and I never seem to get faster...this little devil took me four hours to make. Ridiculous! And I still have three more to make.

But he sure looks cute when he is all done and sitting in the little firetruck.

And...I just finished tacking green wool backings to all of the cross stitch ornaments I finished in 2016. My cat was obsessed with trying to pull down all the cross stitch ornaments I had hanging from garland on my stairway railing. I'm trying to figure out how to hang them out of "cat range," next year. Very difficult decorating dilemma as I have 168 cross stitch ornaments...so far!

Here's a quick look at one backside. The instructions call for gluing the felt onto the backside but since I've had some of these ornaments for almost 20 years...I have found the glue does not hold up for many years of storage. It just needs to last for my lifetime!

I am working away on Bonnie Hunter's "En Provence." Love it...but lots of piecing left to finish before I even start putting blocks and rows together.  You know how it is...sew many projects in progress and new ones I would love to start. I'm looking forward to getting lots of quilting done in 2017.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Sanity Requires Quilting

I did it...I jumped into a new quilt project. I've started Bonnie Hunter's mystery, "En Provence." I'm linking to her Monday progress post here.

I didn't have enough off-white fabrics or magenta yardage so I am awaiting a package from Hancock's of Paducah and also awaiting the template Bonnie is using for the mystery. That probably translates into no further action on this project until the weekend.

But I can pull out the quilt I was working on before the new puppy arrived and Christmas preparations took all my time..."Full Bloom." I managed to get all the big blocks cut and glued in November. Each of these blocks took at least two hours to put together.

I have 48, 8-inch blocks to make of single flowers. I need to glue all those parts into place. Then I will start doing the top stitching to permanently hold everything in place. 

I've also resurrected a set of dresdan plates...I think there is common train of thought in all my current projects...colors. A bit dreary this time of year but not in the studio. I found this background green batik on sale for $5 a yard and I think it was just what I had been searching for the last few years.

My first job today will be to take down the Christmas tree which the animals used as a base for playing tag with each other. I only had one ornament causality. I put up handmade ornaments that wouldn't lead to an emergency room visit if a puppy ate part of it. I made that mistake the last time I got a puppy in December. 

Oh...and Breakfast Club meets on Thursday to make it's annual mystery quilt. I'm still on the fence about attending...I better decide pretty soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Delivery

I picked up my present last weekend...

This is Logan...11 weeks old. He's a Gordon Setter just like my girl McKinley.

McKinley visited the groomer yesterday...so pretty!

It is a little crazy at my house this holiday season...because I also have a a seven-month-old kitten, Eli, who thinks he's a dog...when he's not playing tag with the dogs...he sneaks into Logan's crate. Eli doesn't look much like a kitten anymore. I know he weighs over 12 pounds at this point and can reach the top of the kitchen counter tops when he stretches his full length. 

I have delusions that I might still start Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, "En Provence,"...it could happen! I really love the colors and the name of the quilt. Her inspiration photos call to me!

In the meantime...finishing up a few projects during "nap time."  Got the backing and hanger on this Bucilla stocking called, "In the Workshop."

Instead of cross stitch, I took some little redwork projects to stitch on when traveling. These are from a set of 12 ornaments from an Australian designer, Lynette Anderson. A cute little button will finish each ornament...or I may combine them for a mini quilt. I can't make up my mind but since I have nine more blocks to make...I've got some time to think about it.

Not sure how much posting I will get done for the rest of 2016...just to be on the safe side...

I wish you a Merry Christmas.
I think it will get here much too quickly!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Actual Sewing in the Studio

This could be it....the last quilt I make for 2016. Still needs some borders.

A few hours later and I was to this point...previewing a bigger final border from the original design. Love it! 

My inspiration fabric on the final border has been patiently waiting in my fabric stash for 12 years or more. I think it was the first batik yardage I bought on a trip to a Houston quilt show. I've pulled it out so many times and tried to find a design for it and then in October this pattern was on the line up for our Breakfast Club project...

It came together so quickly...just goes to show you sometimes it is so important to let your fabric "age." 

Counting the days until I go and get the new puppy! In the meantime, you must see how big Eli has gotten. He is such a wonderful cat...only seven months old. He plays great with McKinley...I know he will love having a new puppy too!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Houston Quilt Show Recap

I spent a great week in Houston with good friends.  The quilt show was wonderful...though I feel like every time I go there is less and less to buy or see that is actually related to making quilts. Still...I found a lot of fun stuff to "try."

The highlight was meeting Margaret Solomon Gunn and seeing her award winning quilt, "Banquet Royale." Margaret has a great blog and shares so much of her quilting process. She is also a regular writer for Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine. It was just great to see her quilt and ask her questions.  She hand-pieced the hexagon blocks and did quite a bit of hand applique but what sent this quilt over the top for me is her incredible machine quilting. Not a great photo but here is a link to her blog where you can see her wonderful work. 

On to my shopping finds.

 I bought a template set to make this quilt which is a paperless way to make blocks that are as accurate as the paper pieced method. The designer has a website, Kits by Carla, where I can view a video should I forget how to do it...since I expect it will take me months...maybe years to try this method. 

The last time I was at the Houston quilt show I bought the cutest pincushion kit and this time I really had to search for one. This was the winner. Since we had three owls visiting us regularly this summer, this was the kit that spoke to me.

The big winner of the quilt show was Cynthia England with "Reflections of Cape Town."

She has a very unique way of paper piecing...kind of a reverse technique as you do it from the front side, not the back. She won the quilt show many years ago and I bought her first book but never tried it. She is the nicest lady...so of course I had to buy her new book. I really need to try this technique!

And just for fun, I bought this apron pattern. The model at the show was so darn cute...and I have a pair of old jeans sitting at my sewing machine.

While I was flying to and from Houston, I worked on some little redwork ornament blocks. They were even easier to carry and work on than small cross stitch projects.

Finally...my first morning home I was drinking coffee with my husband, watching the Pioneer Woman make her stuffed turkey breast recipe. It sent my husband in motion for us to have or Thanksgiving dinner that day. Yipes! My husband leaves tomorrow on a work trip and won't be home until the 29th of November so that is why Thanksgiving came early to our house. 

Our stuffed turkey breast turned out great and is really perfect for two to four people. Here are a couple of slices we have for leftovers. Here's the link to her recipe for Turkey Roulade.

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Breakfast Club for November comes early this month...as in two days from today. I still haven't unpacked from our October meeting. It is that time of year when I always feel like I am behind the power curve.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

More Breakfast Club Show and Tell

Enjoy the eye candy. If I know the pattern name I will put it above the photo. 

Himalayan Pink

Little Boxes - Cozy Quilt Designs - Strip Quilt

Gypsy Wife -  Warning...no set layout...it took Kathy six hours of math with a pencil and paper to get her layout established.

Pattern from the book, " Town Square," by Doug Leko. Runner is called English Fountain.

Center block for both table toppers is a panel of wildflower blocks.

Hunter Star from the Missouri Star Company.

Quilter's World Autumn magazine, "Fall Frolic,"

It was a great Show and Tell session this month. Many ladies were gone last month so it was a treat to catch up with everyone.