Thursday, December 18, 2014

20th Anniversary

 Yesterday was our 20th wedding anniversary! It is hard to believe it has been that long. Besides being married to my fabulous husband for 20 years, it also means I have been quilting for 20 years. My hubby encouraged me to get a hobby soon after we married and I think I started my first quilting class in January 1995. Anyway, I woke up to this beautiful arrangement in my kitchen first thing in the morning.
 Then, he had this sweet little arrangement sent to me at work later in the day! He and my friend,  an amazing florist, conspired. This one was sent anonymously. He is always a trickster! We are heading to Las Vegas for to celebrate, enjoy some delicious food, and football wagering on Saturday. I am planning on bringing some embroidery for handwork and loaded a couple of new books on my Kindle.
I pieced my Journey of a Quilter blocks of the month together and tried to find a border at my LQS, but was not sold on anything. How about some advice on a border from blog land? HELP!!! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What a Relief!

I got a call Saturday afternoon from the sewing machine repairman that my Pfaff was ready to be picked up. I rushed down there before they closed and before the rain/snow hit. It was not a major repair just a good tune up was needed. That was a big relief! Now, it is ready for major sewing during my Christmas Break in a week. While my machine was in the shop, I managed to finish my embroidering 
on my Journey of a Quilter BOM block 8 and I pieced together block 9 Saturday morning with my Singer Featherweight.
I got started on the hand work last night and made some good progress!
 This morning I worked on this part of the block for Slow Sunday Stitching. Even though it is supposed to be slow stitching, I am trying to finish up the embroidery like a mad woman because
this is the final block and I really want to finish it up quickly, so I can get the whole top pieced together to see it! See what other Slow Sunday Stitching is going on today over at http://kathysquilts.blogspot.com

I have a few more things on my to do list today and this week:
 1. sew all the Journey of a Quilter blocks together
 



2. pin baste both Little Letters quilts for machine quilting
 
3. pin baste my Love Blooms Here quilt for hand quilting
4.  trace some embroidery blocks to take with me to Las Vegas next weekend

My to do list is probably a little too ambitious with this being the last week of work before Christmas Break, but whatever does not get done can be done when we get back from Las Vegas...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Little Letters Bright Top

 I signed up to participate in Friday Night With Friends which is an Australian link up, so it is funny that they have their Friday when it is still our Thursday in the U.S.  I actually had plans to meet friends for dinner and gossip, so I sewed before I went out. I made binding for my Little Letters Country quilt and a label for it too. See what the other FNWF participants were up to here http://stitchingcubbyhole.blogspot.com/2014/12/friday-night-with-friends.html

 My daughter and I spent the morning doing some Christmas shopping, so I did not get into my sewing room until the afternoon. I went to attach the label to the backing so I could get it ready to pin baste and quilt. I like to use the buttonhole stitch on my Pfaff, but my machine had other ideas and was skipping terribly. I tried all my trouble shooting tricks to no avail. The machine is due for a tune up, but December is not the best time for a repair! I tried to take it down to the sewing machine shop, but I was too late and the street was getting closed for the Christmas Light Parade. I will have to take it in Monday afternoon...I hope it is nothing serious!!!
I got out my Singer Featherweight and pieced my Little Letters Bright quilt. My Featherweight is not as fast as my Pfaff, but it sure pieces well.  This picture is not great because I took it after dark in my sewing room (the M block is orange and the N block is fuchsia, but in this lighting they look virtually the same). I found a backing in my stash that is royal blue with green that will be great. With my Pfaff going to the repair shop, I won't get either of the Little Letters quilted this week...I have another quilt I can piece on my Featherweight in the meantime.
 For Slow Sunday Stitching, I am concentrating on this block from my Journey of a Quilter BOM. The flowers on this part are about half way done, but there is quite a bit more work to go on the rest of the block.
I expect the last block for this BOM to arrive this week and hopefully, I can get it all pieced together before the new year! I am thinking about putting a design wall up in my sewing room and rearranging  some of the hanging quilts to make room for the Journey of a Quilter quilt. Get inspired by slow stitching at Kathy's weekly linking party here http://kathysquilts.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Little Letters Country Top

 Look what I finished piecing tonight! This is my Little Letters Country quilt. I have thoroughly enjoyed making these Little Letter blocks each week. This was a free block of the week pattern offered by Temecula Quilt Company. They gave directions for two letters each week. Here is the link to the instructions http://temeculaquiltco.blogspot.com/search/label/Little%20Letters
I dug into my scrap bins and made each letter with a different background fabric. I did buy a creamy Kona for the sashing and inner border, but I only spent $5 on that.
 I stopped by my local quilt shop on my way home from work looking for this brown fabric with the alphabet on it in red, medium blue, and navy. They no longer had it and I was kind of bummed, but I figured I would finish piecing the blocks and take it back with me either tomorrow after work or on Saturday and find a backing...Then a look in my brown tub and guess what I found-- the exact fabric I was looking for and enough of it to use for the backing! This was truly a happy dance moment. This is a pretty cute baby quilt for only spending $5. I have enough of the navy I used in the outer border for binding too. I want to get it quilted this weekend and start piecing the bright colored blocks I made. Any ideas for quilting it?
 We put our Christmas tree up earlier this week and my new tree skirt looks great under it.
This is the December block of my Count On It perpetual calendar from Art to Heart. Gee that Santa looks familiar to the ones in my tree skirt...Same great designer! I really enjoy this calendar in my classroom at one of my schools, I am even thinking of making another set for my other classroom...Perhaps, I should get some more UFOs done before I start anything else, but it sure is tempting! Any quilting ideas for the Little Letters would be appreciated!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful Weekend

I am thankful that my daughter had a wonderful Thanksgiving visiting her Gamma in California. This is them at dinner before they went and saw the Broadway show, Wicked. She also got to show off her driving skills, lay on the beach, go shopping, get a massage, and so much more. She was completely spoiled, but she deserves it!
I am also thankful my dad is on the mend after having an allergic reaction to his face peeling medication. He broke out in terrible hives and needed serious medication right after we attended the father-daughter dance a couple of weeks ago.  Now he can help my mom recover and get back to sewing with me!
I got my country colored Little Letters blocks done on Saturday
and the filler blocks to finish it up.
 For Slow Sunday Stitching, I finished up this block this morning.
 It is part of my Journey of a Quilter BOM.
 Football was really exciting today, so I managed to start and nearly finish this block while watching all the games. 
 Here are the adorable fabrics and embroidery up close.
I have a few more flowers to add before it is done, but I think I will finish it this evening and start on one more block for this quilt. I am thankful to get inspired by all the amazing handwork over at Slow Sunday Stitching http://kathysquilts.blogspot.com

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Tree Skirt UFO Done!

 Finally this UFO is done! I started this Christmas tree skirt two years ago. It is from an Art to Heart book my mom has.
 I appliquéd it on my Pfaff using a blanket stitch, but I decided to quilt it with DMC ecru perle cotton #8 by hand with large primitive stitches. I just outlined the appliqués and the design. It probably could use some more quilting, but it is just going to be under the tree with presents on top of it, so no need to bother!
 The colors and big hand stitches give a nice look.
 I added the button embellishments to the Santa blocks this morning. There is no need to bind it because I turned it and did not use any binding. I am not a fan of bias binding and wanted to avoid the circle in the middle, plus it saved on fabric.
 My daughter is still out of town for Thanksgiving, so I got into my sewing room pretty early this morning and made my final bright Little Letter blocks from Temecula Quilt Company. The X, Y, and Z blocks are precious!
I also made the filler blocks as they showed in the finished quilts just using simple half square triangles. Next up is to make the country colored Little Letters X, Y, Z, and filler blocks. I hope to get these two tops together this weekend. Now that the Christmas tree skirt is done, I can pin my Love Blooms Here quilt to start quilting it.
I also need to embroider on my Journey of a Quilter blocks as the new one should be here in a week or two. Plenty to do and two whole days left to spend in my sewing room. Enjoy the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Progress?

 I made my Little Letter V blocks this morning
 and the W blocks too. So far, I have not repeated any background fabric on either the bright blocks or the country blocks. We have three more letters to go plus the additional blocks to form the Little Letter Baby Quilts.
I am planning on using this layout for both quilts and have tried to spread my colors out fairly evenly with it in mind.
 I am stitching my last Santa block on my Christmas tree skirt today for Slow Sunday Stitching. I feel like it is taking so long and I am hardly making any progress because I still need to quilt the center and the borders too. See what handwork is going on today around the world here http://kathysquilts.blogspot.com 
I realized why I did not get that much quilting done this week was because I read this book! My book club selected this for our December meeting. I picked it up thinking it might take awhile to get through, but I was totally wrong. I loved it and could not stop reading. It is about a genetics professor on the Asperger's Spectrum who decides it is time to find a wife. He approaches it scientifically with a survey. It was so funny! One of our book club members recommended it because we wanted something light and humorous for this time of year. I highly recommend this and cannot wait for the sequel to be available at the end of December. It was refreshing to read something that was not all doom and gloom as so many books are!!!