Saturday, September 24, 2016

Secret Sewing--Mom's Birthday

I have been doing some secret sewing this last week for my mom's birthday. I have so much fun compiling gifts for other quilters. I made this 16 inch square pillow using mostly Bonnie and Camille fabric and the cottage pillow design from Lori Holt's calendar. My mom recently made Bonnie and Camille's Summerville Quilt using Vintage Picnic fabric for their bed, so I think this will fit in nicely with it.
I picked up this vintage picnic basket for her a couple of months ago. I bought myself one when we were antiquing for my birthday and she seemed a little envious, so when I spotted this one I bought it instantly. The weave on it is so cute. It has some water stains on the trim and top and I considered chalk painting it like mine, but I was not sure what color to use--I was leaning toward pink or green. I figured she can decide on that.
I made this Goody Goody Binding Kit. Here is an excellent tutorial to make one:
It is about 6 x 18 inches. The zippered pocket on the left is perfect for putting binding clips in it. Again, I used Bonnie and Camille fabrics from my stash. I went all over town trying to find a small pair of scissors to put in the strawberry pocket, but could not find a pair that would coordinate. Next to the strawberry and the wool rectangle, is a loop to put thread on. This would also be a nice sewing kit for English paper piecing too.
It folds up nicely into thirds. I am going to make myself one of these sweet binding kits soon!
I added a booklet of mini patterns from Cluck Cluck Sew because my mom loves mini quilts. I put a bottle of Best Press in there and a Scrabble tile holder spelling out "QUILT." I wrapped each item in tissue paper and tied bows around them with left over pieces of binding. I used a ribbon and attached a pack of buttons that I wrote on like a gift tag. Needless to say, my mom was thrilled with the gift! 
We spent today together sewing. She was working on a Sasquatch quilt for my nephew and I finally made the blocks for Lisa Bongean's The Magic of Christmas Sew Along. Here are the details:
Don't look too closely at my blocks as they are not perfect, but they are done and I am all caught up and ready for the next block! I am trying to live by the mantra: Done is better than perfect...
I did finish up the binding on my Bloom Quilt this week. I love how colorful and sweet this one turned out!
 I machine quilted it on the diagonals using my walking foot and wavy stitch. 
 I appliqued an extra tulip block to use as a label. 
After washing, it measures 38 x 48 inches. I am adding this to my stash of baby quilts as a future baby gift! This was my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for September and it has been met and early even. See what everyone else accomplished here:

I am not sure which handwork project I will be working on for Slow Sunday Stitching tomorrow, but I have plenty to choose from! Get inspired over at Kathy's

Enjoy your week!


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fall Is In the Air

This morning was crisp and beautiful with the golden sunshine rising and my pasture starting to lose the green--fall is definitely in the air here in western Colorado. I ran outside to take pictures of my latest finish--Kindred. I used a Bonnie and Camille Hello Darling Frivols kit and pattern. The pattern showed the background as white, but I used a gray instead and opted to add a border.
 I had planned on adding this quilt to my baby gift stash, but I think I may keep it for myself and use it in my sewing room on top of my hope chest. These are the colors I want in my sewing room, so why not keep it for myself?
I think my favorite part of this quilt is my quilting. I usually hate my quilting, but I decided to try circles again. I used some of my bowls and small Fiestaware plates to mark the top, I just used plain old number 2 pencil. The backing was from my stash and is aqua with circles, so it is definitely the circle theme.
The smaller circles were more of a challenge, but I reduced my sewing machine's speed and took my time. Before I knew it, I was done. I did work from the center out and the half circles in the border were so easy. I finished it up in two evenings this week. It measures 41 inches square after washing. I did not make a label, but just plan on writing on the backing in a corner the quilt's details.
I finished up Be Thankful last night watching Stranger Things with my hubby. This is a Jo Ann Mullally design. I made myself one ages ago, but I found the embroidery already traced onto some tea dyed muslin in my stash. I think my sister had traced it and gifted it to me as part of her big stash purge several years ago. This was the embroidery project I took with me back east to take my daughter to college a month ago. I am pleased to have it completed with a month and even before it is officially fall!
I used perle cotton #8 for the embroidery
and the quilting. Jo Ann recommended plain borders, but I decided to go with a checker board border and use this gorgeous autumn leaf fabric from my stash.
I used a brushed cotton for the backing because it is so soft and lovely to quilt through. It measures 19 x 23 inches. 
 Yesterday, I quilted my Bloom Quilt from Lori Holt's sew along and have it ready to bind for Slow Sunday Stitching and football watching. Get more handwork inspiration here:
I also got this wooly block all stitched up this week and another block started. I didn't realize how productive I was this week! Now, I am inspired to get back into my sewing room and get more done. Have a great week!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

First Football Sunday

 I woke up super early this morning with the excitement of the first football Sunday. Our Broncos played already on Thursday night and what a nail biter game it was, but in the end victory! I spent a bunch of time yesterday prepping some quilts for machine quilting. This is my Frivols Kindred top using Bonnie and Camille's Hello Darling fabric. I added the border, prepped a backing, and marked it with circles for quilting. I plan to pin it today. It is a pain for me to set up my pinning tables, but I have three quilts to get pinned and it is easier to do a bunch at once.
I also finished the embroidery on this fall wall hanging and added the borders. It is pinned and I started hand quilting it last night. I will probably get all the hand quilting done today with football on today. I am quilting it with chunky stitches of perle cotton on the diagonals of the border.
I am also working on this small wool felt block. It is a free design on FB by Jeni Gaston. I just need to add the flowers and start on the next block. Check out what other slow stitching is happening today here:
My favorite magazine of the year is finally available! I picked up my copy and plan to spend some time reading it.

I also used a 60% off coupon at Joann's last week to buy some Kona Rich Red fabric to join Lisa Bongean's The Magic of Christmas Stitch Along. She is recommending a two color red and white quilt for this. So far, all of the blocks are stars--they don't read only Xmas to me. The blocks are six inches finished and she plans on 25 blocks. I have always wanted to make a red and white two color quilt, so I could not pass up this stitch along. You can find more information here:

Wish me luck on beating my hubby and daughter on our family football pool!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Pigs and the Pigskin

 I spent yesterday at my mom's for a quilting day. I decided to start a new project--I know shocking! My sister gave me quilt kit to make Lori Holt's Sunflower Pig Quilt awhile back and I finally decided it was time to work on it.
 The quilt calls for 9 pigs, but I made an extra one to use for my label.
 The kit has some beautiful fabrics, but of course I changed some around.
 Now, I am working on the sunflower and crop blocks to go between the pigs.
I think the pigs are adorable and I really like the mud strips at the bottom of the blocks. This will be a fantastic quilt!
Since it is the beginning of September, I am going to participate in the One Monthly Goal (OMG) setting with Heidi over at 
My September goal is to finish my Bloom Quilt. I bought a backing last week and need to pin it, quilt it, and get her done! 
Today is Sunday which means it is time to slow down with some hand stitching. I will be putting the final touches on this fall embroidery. Kathy asked where our stitching went with us this summer and this project went with me all the way back to New York to take my daughter to college. I always like to tie a specific project to a travel memory! Check out everyone's projects here:

The NFL 2016 Football Season begins on Thursday night with a Super Bowl rematch between the Broncos and the Panthers. I can't wait to watch the pigskin get thrown around!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Shopping & Stitching

Happy Sunday! I have to say Sunday is one of my favorite days of the week--I get up earlyish 7:30am and go straight to Walmart and the grocery store and shop while everyone is either at church or still in bed. I am usually home by 9am with the whole day ahead. We have a new antique mall/shabby chic store in our town. My friend Cece is running it, so of course I paid her a visit. I bought this darling vintage tool box. It is metal and is painted flat white with some patina showing through.
I bought it with the plan of carting my handwork around the house in it. My hubby is an OCD neat freak and he really likes everything tidy throughout the house, so I figured this would be easy to just shove everything into and drop it back in my sewing room--out of sight when not being used. I have been more obsessed with handwork since I bought it! I love how my favorite Bonnie and Camille  pin cushion fits inside along with everything else I need at my fingertips.
I have several quilts that I needed backings for and hit an amazing sale at Joann's yesterday. All of the clearance fabric was 50% off what it was marked. I got these pieces--they are all designer prints and were originally $13 a yard, but I paid $3.50 a yard. I am a frugal quilter, so I could not pass up these bargains! There were more pieces I could have bought, but all of these have specific projects in mind.
Fall is in the air here and I have continued to embroider this fall piece and hope to finish it up this week!
Since I finished my Love Blooms Here Quilt, I allowed myself to start a new wool felt project. Jenifer Gaston has a Primitive Stitchin' group on Facebook and she is doing a stitch along each week with nine blocks planned. The blocks will finish 6 inches, so it won't be too big. I decided to join in, but use more modern colors than all my primitive wool felt projects. I have this block
and this one all prepped for stitching. I also have Buttermilk Basin's BOM from last year ready to pin for hand quilting.  Check out other inspirational handwork here

Friday, August 26, 2016

Love Blooms Here Finish!

I rescued this quilt from my UFO pile at the start of the Olympics--it was about half way done with the quilting.  It is Love Blooms Here. It was a Quiltmaker magazine BOM in 2014. It is a combination of wool felt and cottons--I made it completely from my stash! I only subscribed to the magazine that year for the patterns. 
The backing is a striped brushed cotton I had in my stash. I decided to hand quilt it with perle cotton #8 ecru. It finished 46 x 59 inches. I decided to use the rose color for binding to modernize it and make it pop a little.
The happy sunflowers make me smile! I outlined all the wool felt appliqué and stitched in the ditch on the pieced parts.
I cross hatched the border using 1.5 inch squares. Masking tape was my friend for the border stitching.
I made the label back when I finished the top in 2014, but it was definitely not complete until last night! I am pleased to have this finished and it will be hung up in February and stay up through spring. 

With the NFL football season only days away and my new empty nest status, I am planning on starting a couple of new wool felt projects to keep my hands busy as I stitch my way through many games. By the way my daughter is having an amazing time at college--
This is her freshman seminar class at their invocation ceremony! Do you notice the ratio of males to females? She sure did--she is the tall one in black in the front!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I'm Back Exhilarated and Exhausted

My week long adventure of delivering my daughter to Colgate University is officially over. We started off by seeing my college roommate, Lauren, for the first time in 25 years! She is exactly the same and it was like no time had passed.
Monday, we flew very early from Denver to Newark, NJ and picked up our rental SUV and drove 4+ more hours to Syracuse, NY. We went immediately to Target and bought a ton of dorm essentials. Tuesday, we went to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up all the gear we had selected back at the beginning of July. We also went to TJ Maxx and HomeGoods for more decor things. The shopping was intense and my credit cards got a huge workout! Tuesday was also Heather's 18th Birthday and we celebrated with an amazing seafood dinner at Bonefish Grill.

Wednesday, her roommate moved in and sent pictures of their room and suggestions for things we still needed to pick up. Back for some more shopping and organizing everything we had already bought. It was a good thing I had booked a suite style hotel room.
We moved Heather into her room early Thursday morning. My calves are still sore because moving involved going down three flights of stairs--no elevator! Then, of course up three flights of stairs for another load of gear. It was a good thing that I had a big Explorer and the whole backseat and back for everything.
Heather had been very organized with her packing and everything fit with room to spare. The bed was lofted with the dresser underneath. She added a small rolling cart, her laundry basket, and a shoe rack. Her suitcases fit in behind along with a storage tub. The wardrobe also had three drawers for clothing essentials. Her bedding is gray and coral. If you look carefully, there is no quilt! She did not want one...
After she was all settled in her room, we went around campus for pictures. There was a family dinner for her Alumni Memorial Scholars program and we said our goodbyes. I managed not to cry because it was clear that she is exactly where she belongs! Friday, I managed to find my way back to Newark and flew back to Denver. I spent Friday night with Lauren and then drove 5 hours back yesterday. I am exhausted, but exhilarated because her hard work has paid off.
 There was happy mail for me when I returned. This is a book about Einstein's first wife that I need to read and review by mid-September. I got started last night and I am looking forward to reading more.
My sweet sister sent me the Fat Quarter Shop's Crossroads Quilt Along Kit. I think this will keep me busy and the fabrics are absolutely gorgeous.
I did work on some embroidery while I waited for my flight on Friday and I also managed to read the new Harry Potter play. I plan on relaxing with some more embroidery for Slow Sunday Stitching

Now, it is time to work on the empty nest thing!