Friday, February 12, 2016

Snowball Fight Finish

 I am teaching a BOM this year using Lori Holt's Quilty Fun book. Our row this month is mittens. This is a table runner also featured in the book called Snowball Fight which is a combination  of mittens and snowball blocks. 
 I was able to find a big enough area of snow in my front yard for some pictures. We are finally having warmer weather, so the snow is melting quickly! I just quilted it with a cross hatch design. I really like the little flying geese border and the scrappy binding. I hope this will give my students some other ideas for their own projects.
 For January, everyone was making the cocoa cups. I promised a prize for anyone who got the cocoa mugs row done, so I made some small design boards using Lori Holt's tutorial 
I made these design boards 10 x 10 inches. They each only took one 2.5 inch fabric strip, a scrap of Warm and White batting, and glue gun sticks. I bought foam core board at the dollar store and was able to make six this size from each board--very inexpensive, but a little time consuming. I wonder how many I will get to give away... When we met in January, we had eight in the class, but several more have enrolled since then. I made a dozen just in case everyone got their homework done.
 My sister sent me more blocks from Moda's Sample Block Shuffle. They arrived on Monday and I worked a little bit on them each evening this week. 
There are only two more blocks left! The blocks are going to be set on point with flying geese in the border. All the blocks have been made with Hello Darling fabrics and are six inches finished.
 One of our night custodians stopped me on Thursday and asked if I was a quilter. Usually, I only get asked that question if someone wants me to sew or make something for them, but this time was different. He told me that his mom has a quilting business and he had done some experimenting on one of her machines. He went and grabbed this! His mother's machine is not your typical long arm, but a custom made machine that is fully computerized and was well over $30,000. He made this large  thousand dollar bill quilt. It is amazing! He said it took over eight hours for the machine to quilt it. He used four different colors of thread and the machine works its way from the outside in.
It was over six feet long and about three feet wide.  He said the machine can convert just about any design into a quilting pattern. I might just have to go check it out!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lucky Me

I have been busy sewing this week, but what I am working on is a secret goodie for my kind and generous sister. I cannot reveal my secret sewing until she receives it. She has a also sent me some quilty goodies, but they will not arrive until Monday. I was all signed up for Friday Night with Friends
so I decided to start prepping my Down in the Garden blocks. Above is block 1, my UFO goal for February os to finish up this block. I need to embroider it and make a Dresden plate to go on the green gingham square.
This is block 3. I am using a combination of Chantilly and Bonnie and Camille scraps--they are happy and cheerful just like this quilt is going to be! I love embroidered quilts and will be spending a lot of time embroidering these blocks for Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy and crew
My first lucky thing this week was to win this book. I had been drooling over this book that was featured on a fabulous blog hop and entering all the giveaways.  Yay for me, I won a copy courtesy of Kate Spain--look at the note from her! There are so many adorable rows and a really cute feature where each designer answers some prompts called "Here's the Skinny."

I thought it would be fun to answer the prompts and share them with you...

Here's the Skinny
  • I'm currently obsessed with using up my stash and making scrap quilts.
  • If I'm not quilting, I'm working most of the time unfortunately.
  • The best piece of advice (regarding quilting) I've received was the quilting police are not going to come and arrest you for breaking a "rule," so do what works for you!
  • My go-to snack food for a full day (or night) of quilting is an everything bagel toasted with cream cheese and jalapeño pepper jelly and Reese's peanut butter cups.
  • When I just can't get a quilt to come together, I put it away and grab another project.
  • My go-to color combination is aqua and white.
  • I can't begin a new quilting project unless I tidy up my sewing room--I have to make some more space for the mess I am going to make.
  • On my playlist while quilting is NFL games and the X Files on Netflix
  • Beyond designing, my favorite part of making a quilt is selecting the fabrics and finishing the hand binding.
  • One little tip that will make creating my row easier is I don't have a row, but my advice is to organize your scraps by color and it will make it much easier to create scrap quilts.

I also won three patterns from Carol Steely. It was hard to pick only three when she has so many cheerful and bright designs. I don't have a Go Cutter, but this heart appliqué pattern looks like a scrap buster to me!
These sharks looked like a cute and quick design and I can always use a new baby quilt pattern.
Lastly, I chose this adorable bunny pattern. The glasses on him are precious! Thank you Carol! You can see all of her patterns here
I am always saddened when the NFL season ends, but this year the last game, Super Bowl 50, should be a good one--GO BRONCOS! Hopefully, my lucky week continues and they win.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Welcome February

We got a foot of snow yesterday to end January. In most places that much snow would mean a snow day, but not for us! I had my fingers crossed for a snow day/sew day, but it did not happen--I still managed to run home after work and piece my first Ugly Christmas Sweater Block. I am glad that I decided to use a gray for my background, it will make the bright cheerful fabrics from my stash pop. Plus, the gray will help hide spills as this will be the Xmas tablecloth for my kitchen table. Sorry for the bad lighting, but it was after dark--that is pink not red.
There is still time to join us for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Quilt Along. You can find all the details for this FREE event here:
My hubby and I were huge fans of the X Files back in the day and we are very excited about the new episodes too. I have been binge watching season 1 on Netflix as I sew, so much better than all the politics on the news channels. I have vague memories of some episodes, but since they were from 15 years ago they seem fresh to me. They are definitely better without commercials!
Heidi is helping to keep me and many other quilters motivated with her One Monthly Goal Linkup 2016. She has even arranged prizes! To join you can go to this link:
 February is a very busy paperwork month for me at work, so I am keeping my OMG goal small, but I am also really chomping at the bit to get started with this. My February OMG 2016 goal is to get my Down in the Garden Block 1 prepped and sewn. It could be a little ambitious with that small Dresden plate...
I have collected these mostly Chantilly fabrics along with some of my Bonnie and Camille stash for the quilt. I need to dig into my perle cotton to find all the right colors for the embroidery. I had such a great time making Leanne's Journey of a Quilter in 2014-15, so I think this will be awesome too.
I signed up for FNwF over with Cheryll
After my power sewing this past Friday night, I want to get into the sewing groove again. I am hoping to get a package of quilty goodness in time from my sister. She has promised to send the next Moda Quilt Sampler Block Shuffle blocks and the Lori Holt Bloom templates, so I can get started on that. However, even if they don't arrive, I have plenty of projects to keep me busy!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mission Accomplished!

I was a woman on a mission last week to get my Buttermilk Basin Mystery 2015 together and my mission was accomplished! The sashing half square triangles finish 1 inch. I found a very dark green from my stash to use as a border. Here is a link for more information about this project
I embroidered a label for it last night and found this tan and dark green brushed cotton in my stash that I am going to piece together this afternoon for a backing. I am planning on hand quilting it with perle cotton on the same diagonals as the half square triangles. Now, I can start on the Buttermilk Basin 2016 mystery--the theme is let it snow and I am going to design mine in grays and blues.
Carole is hosting a mystery  quilt along called Scrap Dance Tango. You can find more information here 
Well, I power sewed on Friday night after a stressful day at work and sewed all my 315 HSTs, turning them into 730 units which I cut and trimmed yesterday. Now, I am ready for the next instructions. Scrap quilts are my favorite to make and I can't wait to see what these will be turned into.
Speaking of scrap quilts, I started these blocks last year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I only made blue and pink blocks before they became a UFO. Well, I want to turn them into a WIP again. The color for February 2016 is brown, so I am cutting up some browns and background squares. I hope to make some brown blocks in February and get back on track with this project.
Since it is Sunday, I am going to slow down for some Slow Sunday Stitching on my Love Blooms Here. It is dumping snow here today after it was 58 degrees yesterday. We are expecting between 4-8 inches between today and tomorrow, but I think there is already nearly 4 inches and it has not slowed down at all. Perhaps, we could have a snow day tomorrow--fingers crossed! See what everyone else is working on here
Speaking of tomorrow, February 1st is the start of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Quilt Along. I picked up 2 yards of a gray bella solid yesterday for mine and will work on that each week. 

I also need to make my OMG goal for February. It is a short month and I have a few work obligations, so I need something small--I am going to get my block 1 for my Down in the Garden started. Have a great week!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

On A Mission

 About half way through last year, I discovered Buttermilk Basin's wool felt mystery quilt. Of course I could not resist. I quickly got the first three blocks done and then I stalled. Well, this year they are also doing a mystery wool felt quilt and the theme is Let It Snow. I want to dive right in, but I won't let myself start that one until I have the 2015 top together. Here is a link to the information:

I whipped up the candy cane block last night while I watched my favorite 48 Hours. Isn't it adorable? This week I have been on a mission to get my blocks done--and it has worked! Some nights I even got two blocks made.
 I think I am going to remove the wool felt "buttons" and replace them with real ones.
 The design for this block showed a cat, but we are a dog household--so I changed it. I made a brown lab looking dog in honor of our sweet Dora who died back in May.
 I love the sweet blossom with the strawberry.
 Anyone up for a slice of watermelon?
 Corn, pumpkins, and crows are plentiful in our town during the fall.
 I think this is my favorite--a blue canning jar with a cheerful sunflower!
 There needs to be a jack o' lantern for Halloween. I have my last block all prepped to stitch during football this afternoon for Slow Sunday Stitching:
 Friday night was Friday Night Sew In (FNSI) for January 2016. I cut, marked, and sewed all my half square triangles that are the sashing between all the wool felt mystery blocks--there are 239 and they will finish at an inch. As soon as I finish my last block, I will be ready to sew them together. Here is the link to see what other people worked on for FNSI:
My scrap bins are overflowing, so I decided to join Carole and her Scrap Dance Tango Mystery. Here are the details:
 She has us cutting all of our fabrics first. Here are 315 squares for half square triangles. I have been digging in my neutral scrap bin and stash for all my background squares which I hope to cut today. At this time, I am planning on the lap size version, but if I love the design I may switch to a king size for our bed. Making a quilt for our bed is one of my goals for 2016. Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Quilt Along

Greetings Quilty Friends! I know it is hard to think of Christmas quilts so soon after Christmas, but Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts has an amazing quilt along planned. We are making ugly Christmas sweaters! 

Until Christmas time, I thought I was all set on Christmas quilts, but then I realized I never made a Christmas tablecloth for my kitchen table. When I hosted my book club's annual Christmas brunch, I actually used the backside of one of my quilt tablecloths--totally not acceptable! This is the perfect opportunity to make one of these. I am planning on the medium size of 16 sweaters. Of course, I will make some extra sweater blocks to use as door banners--talk about a nice hostess gift for the holidays!
Now, I have to decide on my background. These two pieces are from my stash and I have enough of them or  I was also thinking of maybe a gray background. What do you all think? My sweaters will be bright like Lorna's picture, but I will not be using just solids--I will be shopping in my stash and making it work. The bright colors will be a perfect complement to my Fiestaware dishes. 

You can find the schedule for the quilt along here:
and a list of fabric requirements here:
Directions for the first block start on Monday, February 1 and we will be done by the end of May. There is no charge, although you may buy the full pattern now if you wish.
Still not convinced, here is the Elephant Parade Quilt I made last year at Lorna's quilt along. I am so glad that I made this one, it is one of my all time favorites!
How about this one? I made this tribute to the dogs of my life last fall as part of her Dog Gone Cute Quilt Along.
Lorna generously shared her zebra block on her blog and I made this Zebra Baby Quilt last year too.
This reindeer block was Lorna's design featured in the last Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. She shared this door banner on her blog and I made two that same weekend.

Lorna's patterns are easy to follow with plenty of illustrations/diagrams and the designs are some of the best around, so start digging in your stash or even better stop by you local quilt shop and get prepared for the Ugly Christmas Sweaters Quilt Along. The button on my right hand sidebar will take you to more info. Quilting is more fun with friends--join us for this quilt along!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cottage Garden Finish

I started this project, Cottage Garden, back in June. I bought the kit with some of my birthday money and worked slowly on it--gradually putting together the fabric base, then appliquéing the wool felt blocks on, and I spent the last couple of months hand quilting it with perle cotton #8. I finished binding it on Friday night. 
Here are some up close pictures. The cross hatch quilting is perfect with the primitive wool felt.
I love how it turned out! My house is very country, so this will look perfect on display in the spring and summer. It is a small quilt measuring 30 x 40 inches.
I went over to my mom's and used her long arm before they headed to California for the rest of the winter.  I quilted this UFO Pineapple Quilt. I made the top before I started blogging and after I took a Buggy Barn quilting class at my LQS, I think it was the summer of 2012. I added the machine appliquéd "welcome" to the top and plan on hanging this in my entry hall. I will be binding this for Slow Sunday Stitching as I watch football--Go Broncos! See everyone else's inspirational handwork here:
With my Cottage Garden Quilt done, it was time to dig out another hand quilting project--my Love Blooms Here UFO. This was featured in Quiltmaker magazine all of 2013. I fell in love at first sight and thought it would look good hanging up in my house for the spring. I was also  pretty sure I could get it made completely from my stash--with the exception of buying some yellow wool felt, I did make it from my stash!
The backing is a striped brush cotton that is warm and cozy to have on my lap as I stitch.  This is larger, but I am only outlining the wool felt appliqué and the blocks with perle cotton.
I am not sure what to do with the border, but I will have plenty of time to figure it out as I work on the inside.
I finished my Cocoa Door Banner and washed it to get the crinkly effect which it did nicely, but the chocolate handle bled. I have never had a brown bleed before! Some Spray and Wash got most of the brown out, but I am really shocked with a brown bleeding.
These are the latest two mystery blocks my sister sent me. There should be two more on the way this week.
I hope to quilt up my Snowball Fight Table Runner this week.

Well, there are lots of projects underway here. It is a good thing tomorrow is a holiday, so I can make a dent on some of these projects. Have a great week!