Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Goal Failure

 Happy almost New Year! Look what I got together--my Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt. Mine has 81 blocks set 9 x 9. Right now, it is about 85 inches square. This is going to be a quilt for our bed. We have a queen sized bed, but I always buy my comforters and quilts king sized to make sure they are extra long and I don't bother with a bed skirt.
I am a huge Bonnie and Camille fan and hoard their fabrics, but I dug into my stash for this beauty. This is part of a quilt along from Carole over at:
Isn't the design gorgeous? I love the curvy looking star that forms from the gray background!

I want it to be about 100 inches square, so I am planning on a 2.5 inch border in the gray and I ordered an aqua print from the Little Ruby line for an outer border and pillow cases. I hit a good sale on Etsy and found yardage at $6 a yard. I also got a striped red for the binding. I already bought some of the gray for the backing. My hubby even likes the design even though I did not bother to consult him. The quilt is so busy, so I don't need a lot of fancy quilting. However, I want it quilted pretty heavily to help it endure lots of being laid upon--I lay and read on our bed a bunch.

I have never made a quilt this big, so it was a challenge. I laid the blocks out on my living room floor to try to not have any of the same prints touching and sewed it together in thirds. As soon as my fabric arrives, I will get the borders attached. I hope my mom's longarm is ready for this quilting challenge.
I got together with my mom yesterday and worked on my Magic of Christmas blocks. These were my December OMG goal. This is a quilt along from Lisa Bongean:
Lisa has posted all 25 blocks, but I have decided not to use all of her designs. Some of them had nearly 100 pieces for a six inch block--NO THANKS! I also don't think of this project as a Christmas quilt, so I don't feel the need to only make star blocks. I dug out some of my quilt books and will be making more six inch blocks to get this project to a decent size--25 six inch blocks do not make a big enough quilt.

I feel like I did meet my original OMG goal, but work will continue on this project. You can see how productive everyone else was this month here: 
I got back from quilting at my mom's last night and took all of my Christmas quilts down and put my winter/snow/blue themed stuff up. I have a blank spot that needs a quilt. I remembered that Cheri Saffiote Payne had posted a pattern on Facebook that was a companion to one of my other quilts, so I headed into my sewing room and started cutting up some blues from my stash to make it. This comes from her Snow Village pattern and is the Saltbox Quilt. The blank block gets a snowman and the houses will get some wool felt roofs, windows, and chimneys. I also will embroider the trees in to top part. Nothing like an impromptu project to keep me busy for this weekend!

I totally sucked on completing my 2016 quilting goals! I wanted to:
1. quilt my Farm Girl Vintage top--not done
2. make my pigs quilt--blocks done, but not together
3. make my Down in the Garden as a BOM in 2016--two blocks are only done--FAIL
4. make examples for my Quilty Fun class--I did pretty well on this one--I made half dozen examples
5. get my daughter off to college---DONE--she is doing awesome at Colgate University

Since I was such a failure with my most of my 2016 quilting goals, I am not bothering with making any specific goals for 2017--no pressure either!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Holiday 2016 Sewing

Merry Christmas! I hope you are enjoying a lovely time with your family. My daughter made it home  from college after terrible weather delays--it took 26 hours instead of 8 hours and she ended up 5+hours away in Denver. Instead of midday on Saturday, she made it home on Monday night. Winter travel is not fun!

I have been off this week and I have been working on my Scrap Dance Waltz blocks. I absolutely love how they are turning out which is a good thing because I have to make 81 blocks. I have 42 blocks completed, so I am more than half way done. 
I finally dug into my Bonnie and Camille stash to make this quilt--there is a little bit of everything: Happy Go Lucky, Marmalade, Day Sail, Hello Darling, April Showers, Miss Kate, and Scrumptious. The dark gray background really makes the cheerful fabrics pop. I have been quilting for 22 years and I have never made a quilt for our own bed. This was one of my 2016 quilting goals (I pretty much failed at all of my 2016 Quilt Goals--that is a whole other post) and I will probably not have it quilted before 2017, but the top should be done. Here is the link for the pattern if you are interested:
I can finally reveal some of my secret Christmas sewing. First up was this Goody Goody Binding Kit for my niece.
I figured it would be a nice handwork kit for her and it coordinates with the bag I made her for her birthday.
 I had to make one for my sister too!
They are a great size and really handy. Now, I should take some time and make myself one. Here is the free tutorial, if you are interested in making one for yourself too:
I also made matching pin cushions for my niece, my sister, and my mom. Again, I used Bonnie and Camille fabrics. This pattern came from the book, Sew Organized for the Busy Girl. I checked it out from the library. They have a pocket for scissors and thread. I also need to make one of these for me too.

I did get some lovely quilty Christmas gifts, but I will share those in a day or two. I will be embroidering this afternoon and evening while enjoying some football games and Slow Sunday Stitching:

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Changing My Mind

Hi Quilty Friends! I can hardly believe it is mid-December. I have one more week of work and then two week vacation. My daughter comes home from college on Saturday and I cannot wait! I spoke with her this morning and she said she just feels like being taken care of instead of taking care of all her friends. Sometimes being an adult sucks! I think some relaxing time on the couch with our dogs watching movies and mom doing her laundry should fit the bill.

I made this kitchen towel gift this morning for my boss. I struggle with making gifts for men, but this is a pretty good compromise--an appliquéd kitchen towel and Bath and Body Works hand soap like everyone else is getting, but with a more manly design.
 I have been planning on participating in Carole's Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt Along. I even cut all the muslin background squares for a queen sized quilt, but I have been struggling with the idea of a muslin background quilt on our bed. I spend lots of time lounging on our bed, so a darker background is probably better. My chambray comforter of 15+ years bit the dust a few weeks ago (a dog's claw when straight through the worn fabric) and I made a panic purchase of a dark grey linen like comforter at Target. It is warm enough and dark enough for our needs, but I would like to make a coordinating quilt for our bed. I found this dark grey swirl fabric yesterday--it is 108 inches wide. I picked up a couple of yards to use as a better background for my Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt.
 I have been hoarding Bonnie and Camille fabrics for years to make a quilt for our bed, but I have not been able to make up my mind on a design. I have four layer cakes, four charm packs, and three fat quarter bundles in addition to what is pictured here. I love scrappy quilts, so why not make a scrappy quilt with all Bonnie and Camille fabric? I will be making 81 blocks to set 9 x 9. By using the dark grey background, I can also use a lot of the white background prints for a good contrast. Here is a link for information about this QAL:
I better get cutting as there are about 2000 squares needed.
 Yesterday was our last class of Lori Holt's Quilty Fun Row Along. My student, Cindy, had two tops done and two more that she was just working on the borders for.
Cindy really enjoyed using up her scraps and stash for these projects!
I have one of my Xmas embroideries from Red Brolly all ready to go in my sewing box. Dinner is already in the crockpot. I am trying a new recipe--chicken tortellini soup--should be delicious. I am going to watch the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants game tonight and enjoy some Slow Sunday Stitching. Here is the link to see what everyone is working on:

Have a great week!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 2016 OMG

 Happy December! Winter has finally arrived in our neck of the woods--a little snow and really cold. I am frantically working on last minute Xmas gifts. I am making tea towels with Bath and Body Works hand soaps as gifts for coworkers. I got these done yesterday.
 Most of the appliqué designs are from Lori Holt's Bloom Sew Along.
I already had an entire plastic tub of kitchen towels waiting to be appliqued, so I ordered the hand soaps a few weeks ago.
I have just a couple of more to make. These will be my gifts for Secretary's Day in the spring, so I might make some more now.
 I also am going to make a Xmas design to take as a hostess gift to our neighborhood's annual party next weekend.
Speaking of Xmas, I am still plugging away with Xmas red work embroidery from Red Brolly's free designs. Here is the link:
This will be my afternoon and evening project for Slow Sunday Stitching:
 That leaves my December OMG--I thought about quilting a big UFO, but after struggling with my mom's longarm--we think there is something wrong with the stitch regulator--I changed my mind!
I have decided to make the rest of the Magic of Christmas Blocks my goal--I have 13 blocks done and 12 more to go and a couple I think I will redo. This is a free quilt along from Lisa Bongean and she just rapidly posted the rest of the blocks:

You can also check out everyone's December OMG goals here:

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ugly Xmas Sweater Quilt Finished!

 Happy Sunday! I spent a couple hours last night and some more this morning binding my Ugly Christmas Sweaters Quilt. After all it is Slow Sunday Stitching: 
It is finished just in time to adorn my kitchen table for the Christmas season. This was a quilt along in the spring from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts:
 I quilted it on my mom's long arm yesterday and just did big loops. I want the sweaters to be the focus, not the quilting. Plus, it is a utility quilt--it shrunk up nicely and will look good with my rainbow of Fiestaware dishes on top. After washing, it measures 60 inches square.
 I get lots of questions about using quilts for tablecloths and I have been using them for this purpose for 15+ years. I saw vintage quilts being used for this task at a family reunion in an old farmhouse in Missouri. I recommend using high quality fabrics because they get washed often. I use Warm and White or Warm and Natural batting because it is thin and dishes can rest on the low loft surface easily.  The tablecloth quilt also works like a protective table pad. I have not bought a regular tablecloth in years!
I love all the sweaters and had such fun digging into my stash for the right color combinations. The lime green with red and white dots is from the Chantilly line. 
The binding and backing was a $5 a yard Windham Fabric called Country Lane by Bari Ackerman. I have used this same fabric for a couple of other quilt backings because I love the red with pink and lime green plaid and I know the quality is top notch--plus I can't beat that price.
I have no will power--I traced another redwork Christmas design from Red Brolly. This is my third! You can find the free design here:

I am thrilled I was able to get the Ugly Xmas Sweaters Quilt outside for some pictures because I just looked up and it is blowing snow again. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to spend in my sewing room working on Lisa Bongean's The Magic of Christmas red and white blocks:

Have a great week!

Friday, November 25, 2016

November 2016 OMG

 My elf work has continued this week! I have been fortunate to have the whole week off from work and I confess I have gotten out of my pajamas on only half the days so far. Lots of what I have been making I cannot share as they are Xmas gifts. However, I did complete my November One Monthly Goal (OMG). Here is a link: 
This is a baby quilt I designed. I had a kit for a woodland animal baby quilt from the Fat Quarter Shop my sister had given me, but I really did not like the pattern that came with it. So, I improvised with a nine patch variation and added a bunch of fabrics from my stash because as far as I am concerned--the scrappier the better!
 The centers are the woodland animals fussy cut. I tried a quilting design I have not done before, but will certainly try again. I just stitched straight using the squares as a guide and my presser foot as the width. It was quick, effective, and gives the modern look I was going for.
Here is the back. I had 3.5 yards of the woodland animal novelty print, but why piece it and waste it all on a backing? I made some extra blocks and used them as a strip in the middle of the backing. Instead of adding a label, I plan to write on the bottom white block with the label information.
This Modern Nine Patch Baby Quilt is a gift for my friend Whitney. Her son is due in mid-December.  After washing and shrinking, it is 42 inches square.
 I made this Sewing Date Traveler Bag for my niece's birthday. It is a free design you can find here:
She likes to embroider, so I put an embroidery hoop, embroidery scissors, red perle cotton #8, and I traced a bunch of Red Brolly ornaments for her to stitch. I got to give it to her yesterday and she was very pleased. The bag is really big and it was a challenge to make!
I did take some time in the kitchen for my contribution to Thanksgiving--I was responsible for dessert. I made two pumpkin pies and a pumpkin chocolate chip cheesecake--the cheesecake was amazing! 

I have my Ugly Christmas Sweaters ready to quilt tomorrow when I go to spend the day with my mom, so stay tuned for that finish. Now, I should figure out what will be my December 2016 OMG...

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Elf at Work

 Happy Sunday! I was channeling my Buddy the Elf this week. I usually don't get that into Christmas, but since this year it means I get to have my daughter home for the first time since August--I am totally in the Christmas mood. Last spring, I started Lorna's Ugly Christ Sweaters Quilt Along. Here is the link: I thought the sweaters were awesome and so colorful, but I was dealing with major health problems last spring and did not keep up. I dug out my bin of completed sweaters last Sunday and realized I only had half done. I got serious and made eight ugly Christmas sweaters in one day!
 They are by no means perfect, but since they will be a used a utility tablecloth for my kitchen table they don't have to be! I got them sewn together yesterday and finished adding the outer sashing/borders this morning.
Lorna's directions are easy to follow and these cheerful sweaters will brighten up my kitchen table! Right now, it measures 50 x 50 inches which is a little small, but I think I will head to the fabric store either this afternoon or tomorrow to find a perfect border and backing. That will mean I have to get out of pajamas!
Here is my first Christmas Embroidery. I finished it and sent it to my daughter to help make her dorm room festive! She is using it as a mug rug.
 This week, I spent most evenings watching Spotless on Netflix with me hubby. All that couch time meant lots of progress on my second Christmas Embroidery. I only needed to finish the snowman part this morning for Slow Sunday Stitching. Here is what everyone else is working on for SSS:
Now, I will add a border and quilt it. I may also have to trace another Christmas Embroidery design from Red Brolly. Here is a link to those:
 I need some little gifts for people at work, so I dug into my stash of tea towels to start appliquéing some of them. Here is my first one. I am using some of Lori Holt's Bloom Applique Patterns for them.
I ordered some coordinating hand soaps from Bath & Bodyworks. I think these will be thoughtful, practical, and sweet gifts. I have many more to make!

I have this week off and I plan on spending most of it in my sewing room. This elf has lots more to do! I do not have to make Thanksgiving Dinner, but I am in charge of desserts, so off to Pinterest I must go!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Christmas Embroidery 2

 Happy Sunday! I finished my other Christmas Red Work Embroidery on Thursday and packed it up to send to my daughter as part of the dorm decorations I gathered to make her dorm more festive for the next month plus. I forgot to take a picture, so I will beg her to send me one when it arrives. This second Christmas embroidery is also from Red Brolly--they have three Christmas designs posted for free. Here is the link to this one:
My daughter loves Christmas and Elf is her favorite movie, so I sent her this t-shirt and expect that she will channel her Buddy the Elf as she decorates her room.
My Quilty Fun class is winding down, so I decided to sew some of my tutorial blocks together. They will be added to my random blocks stash and get used eventually for something--maybe some adorable zipper pouches.
I won one of the prices from the OMG October Challenge. Heidi sent me these awesome fat quarters and two spools of Aurifil thread. I have never used Aurifil thread because I am a frugal quilter and it is beyond my budget, but I am looking forward to trying it out.
Heidi also included this First Day of School pattern in my package. Such a great idea because it looks like it came from an old calendar! I think I will have to make this up, but in modern or country colors or maybe one of each. Thank you so much Heidi!

I got very excited this week when Carole revealed her plans for her next quilt along Scrap Dance Waltz. She is planning to post our first instructions this week. Carole designs the most amazing scrap quilts and I am in love with this one! I am thinking I might make it extra big for the bed quilt I have wanted to make. Here is a link about the design:

Today, I plan on spending some time cleaning up my sewing room, so I will be ready to dive in on the Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt Along. I also need to see how many more Ugly Christmas Sweater Blocks I need for my tablecloth and get cracking on that. I will also continue to work on my Christmas Red Work Embroidery 2 for Slow Sunday Stitching. Check out everyone else's progress here:

Have a great week!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Christmas Embroidery

 Greetings! Are you getting into the Christmas mood yet? I am, but it is not my fault. One of my classrooms is next to our music classroom and they started practicing for their Xmas concert two weeks ago. So, I have been hearing a variety of Xmas carols on three days a week.
  I also started my Xmas shopping on Saturday, so I am in the mood. I started this Christmas redwork embroidery right about when the carol signing began. I had been planning on making this and sending it to my daughter for a dorm decoration. I am not sure whether it will go in her next care package or stay in my collection because it is so adorable!
 The design is an amazing freebie from Red Brolly. Here is the link:
Be sure to explore their blog and website because I found three Christmas redwork designs (I already have another one traced) as well as some excellent embroidering tutorials.
Speaking of tracing, I saw a few weeks ago someone was raving about this Crayola Light-Up Tracing  Pad. I found it at Walmart for $20, but struck out at Target. I have a homemade light box my dad made me years ago, but it has gotten wobbly and is very bulky and gets rather hot. I am thinking of requesting this for Xmas, but I would love to hear your opinions.
I made this small zipper pouch yesterday. I guess it is not that small measuring just under 8 x 10 inches, but it gets smaller when you stuff it with goodies. I used some of my precious Bonnie & Camille scraps and already have this in my work tote bag.

I am so excited to spend the rest of this evening watching Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog's new cooking show on VH1--I think they both are hysterical and will be amazing together while I work some more on this embroidery