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!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

January 2016 FNwF

 A surprise arrived in my mailbox on Thursday! It was full of quilty goodness. My sister sent me a mystery quilt. She decided to kit up everything to make the blocks for Moda's Sampler Block Shuffle. Each block was in a sealed envelope with the fabric and directions. She sent me the first 18 blocks and put two more into the mail today. 
 I was signed up for Friday Night with Friends, so of course I had to start these mystery blocks immediately. I shelved working on a UFO because it would be rude of me not to participate in my sister's mystery project immediately. Right? Well that is my story anyway... I made the first 10 blocks Friday night--a very productive FNwF because my family ate leftovers and I binge watched Netflix in my sewing room as I sewed. Here is the link to what everyone else around the world did:
 The fabrics my sister sent are all Bonnie and Camille's Hello Darling with a creamy off white background--I love her choices. The blocks will finish 6 inches. Here is the link to their free patterns:
 I made the other 8 blocks this afternoon after returning from teaching my Quilty Fun class. I think the class was pretty successful--everyone got all their background cut for their first row and most of the ladies made at least two cocoa cups. It is going to be cool to see how different they each quilt will look because of the fabrics used.
Sorry, my lighting is bad because I finished these blocks after dark. There was only one appliqué block, but I chose to use Heat and Bond and my machine's blanket stitch. All 18 blocks are done!
 I have been making progress on hand quilting the borders of my Cottage Garden project.
I am about 75% done. One issue I have been having is some of my wool appliqué pieces are being pulled up by snap on hoop, so I am going to need to make a few repairs.  Any advice on how to avoid that? I will work more on this for Slow Sunday Stitching. Here is the link to that handwork inspiration:

This week I plan on unearthing another UFO to work on and starting to cut up a bunch of scrap squares for Carole's Scrap Dance Tango--Mystery Quilt 2016. I usually do not participate in mystery quilts, but since this one will be made with only the scraps I already have-- why not? I can always donate it to a charity unless of course I love it! Carole is kindly giving the numbers for different sized quilts too. You can find more information here:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Back to School Finished

This is Back to School and my first finish of 2016! I believe I started this back in the Fall of 2009--it was featured in Quilt Sampler magazine on the cover and was designed by Temecula Quilt Co. My plan was to make it from my scraps which I was able to do.
The top had lingered in my hope chest awaiting quilting for over a year or maybe two I confess. Machine quilting is my least favorite thing. I know I hit a wall with making the houses especially the small ones--templates and fussy cutting are NOT my favorite.
The pinwheels and snowballs were easy, but the baskets were a bit more challenging. The top and bottom borders were a little difficult because they were set on point, but I persevered and got it done.
I quilted it on the long arm with allover loops and natural colored thread--the quilting really only shows up on the black print border. 
I made a quick label. I have been attaching my labels before quilting and just quilt right on through them. This quilt measures 46 x 55 inches after washing. My tastes have changed to more bright and modern since 2009, but this country, traditional quilt will look lovely hanging in my country home.
I apologize for the rotten pictures, but it started dumping very wet snow as soon as I got outside. I took quick pictures and ran back inside to a dry and cozy sewing room where I did a happy dance for my first finish of 2016! This quilt was also my goal for the OMG January 2016 Challenge (see the link on the right hand sidebar)--DONE before the first week of January YES! I better dig through my cabinets and find another UFO to tackle.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Stash Quilter

 As I am preparing to go back to work tomorrow and for my first time teaching a quilting class next weekend, I am squeezing in some last minute projects. I am a total stash quilter. Many of my quilting projects begin in my stash, so it is a no brainer for me to join in with Jenn from A Quarter Inch from the Edge and her The Year of The Stash challenge. The linking party and info can be found here
or from the button on the righthand side of my blog.

My first stash project of 2016 is this door banner. I designed it myself using the cocoa cups block from Lori Holt's Quilty Fun book--the cocoa cups our are January BOM. I made four cocoa cups and used some 2 inch stencils to make the letters. I want to show my quilting students that there are lots of ways to use the blocks featured in the book. I made it completely from my stash and will finish binding it this afternoon for Slow Sunday Stitching
 My second stash project of 2016 is this Snowball Fight table runner also from Quilty Fun. We will be working on mittens for our February BOM. All the colored fabrics are from my stash, but I did have to buy the gray Kona background at Joann's--it was 40% off and I had a gift card. I need to attach the flying geese and another gray border, but I got it almost completely pieced yesterday quilting with my mom. We had such a great time in her studio. We cranked up the fireplace heater and binged watched Frankie and Grace the whole first season on Netflix. Plus, my dad made us gourmet pizza in his fancy pizza oven for lunch--what a great way to spend the day! I hope to get at least one more day over there before they depart for the rest of the winter in their motorhome and warmer locales. 
 Another no brainer is to join Heidi at Red Letter Quilts for her One Monthly Goal (OMG) group. Specific information can be found here
She is encouraging everyone to set one monthly goal and offering a giveaway. 

My goal for January 2016 is to finish up a major UFO--my Back to School Quilt. This quilt was featured in Quilt Sampler magazine Fall/Winter 2009 and designed by  Temecula Quilt Co.. I made it mostly from my stash over the last six years. I think the only fabric I actually bought specifically for this was the black border. 
 I quilted it with meandering loops on my mom's long arm yesterday. The backing was even a stash find--a Thimbleberries piece from 2003.
I dug into my brown bin and found a good brown/gold color for my binding this morning.
It is already to be bound by hand this afternoon during the final regular season Bronco game. I am wearing my Bronco gear and planted in front of our big screen with lots of stitching to keep me busy and productive. Have a great week!