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Friday, September 28, 2007

Seeing Stars!

Here's 3 stars on their way to a 1930's quilt that I have renamed "Emily's Quilt" from a pattern from Quiltville called Random Ohio Stars. Whew--I hope that made sense!!!! It has smaller Ohio Stars also. My plan is to make them in smaller versions of the bigger ones (if I have enough fabric) and then use muslin for the setting squares, so the eyes have a place to rest! But plans change as we go along making a quilt and who knows what might happen--it might turn out entirely different from what I first envision!

Do your quilts speak to you as you sew them? Mine certainly do and sometimes they have lots to say and other times they are happy with the proceedings and play along very nicely!!! Other times they go yelling, kicking and screaming into the sunset--somehow reminding me of how it is to put a 2 year old to bed at times!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Care for a spot of tea?

This little quilt hangs in my kitchen and I wanted to share it with you. It looks like Christmas fabrics, but it really isn't!! It's a line of fabric called Kaye's Kitchen from Kaye England. The teapots and cups are machine appliqued with a button stitch. Very fun to do!

Of course, I had to ask in the English way if you cared for tea (care for a spot of tea?) because I love all things English and have since I was a little girl and my aunt told me we were from England (don't know if that's true, but I liked to believe it!!) I especially like Royalty watching and seeing what the Queen is up to and always felt that Lady Diana died way too young. Someday it would be grand to go to London and see what it's really like, but don't know that that will ever happen!! Guess we are never too old to dream though--right?!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Two Finished Projects!

Finished the top for the Wedding Rings, so ready to have that quilted now. I like the contrast between the light and dark colors very much. The rings really show up well, I think!

Also finished the 3rd block for the Forever Flowers quilt--Sunflowers and Bluebird. The birdhouse hole will have some buttons around it after it is quilted. Now on to the next one. Half way done with this quilt.

This quilt has turned into more work than I thought when I first looked at it--but that's the way it is sometimes--the things that don't look like they will take too long end up taking the longest--I wonder why that is? Do we make them that way or is that the way they come?-- Give me patience Lord, but I want it right now!!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile


Monday, September 24, 2007

The Great Adventure--A Quilting Retreat!

Start with a lovely lodge, add a space of your own to sew, surround yourself with like minded friends and two + days of time to sew and what do you have?---a quilting retreat!!! What fun! We sewed, visited, looked at other's projects and patterns and magazines to our heart's content and only got up when the bell rang for the delicious meals. We were pampered and spoiled. Plus we had fun games to play--A White Elephant gift exchange where not everyone ended up with the gift they started out with and Fat Quarter Lotto, where you rolled the dice to see which way to pass the Fat Quarters and the last one left with a Fat Quarter won them all--tension was high on that one!!! I was surprised and very excited to win one round and brought home 24 Fat Quarters! Yippee!!

The first picture shows our work space and the second picture shows my winnings!

It was a wonderful week-end and I'd go in a minute with Debi as my partner! Was able to make a Yellow Brick Road, quilt on my Sweet Tea quilt, applique and finish 2 heart blocks which will go to a Quilt Pink quilt (we all made them for the quilt) and finish block # 3 for Forever Flowers BOM (I'll show you a picture of that one tomorrow.) There is no place like home though, is there!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Off to the Quilting Retreat I Go!!!

My sewing room is a mess--I'm packing up for the quilting retreat that starts today at 3:00. Sponsored by Quilt Mercantile and held at the Jan-Kay Ranch in Northeast Texas, it will be 2.5 days of sewing and quilting bliss! Can you tell I'm looking forward to it?! This is the first time I've ever done something like this, so it will be a great learning experience for me. The main theme will be applique with an applique teacher on site.

As he was helping me pack up the car last night and as he left for work this morning my husband told me with a smile, "You're taking too much stuff!!" And here I thought I was packing light compared to some of the stories I've heard!!!

So I'll "see" you in 2 days with lots of stories to tell, I hope.

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

My First Award--How Exciting!

Thanks to my friend Debi (Quilting With Debi)I have received the "You Make Me Smile" Award. How exciting--my first award--thanks Debi!

She also tagged me with a MEME in which I am to describe myself using the first letters of my first name. So here is that:

J = Joyful
A = Agreeable
N = Nice
E = Enthusiastic
T = Tender-Hearted

Now I am to pass along this MEME and the "You Make Me Smile" Award to 6 others which I will do. Some have already been chosen by Debi. so these are ones that I read often and enjoy: Kimberly (Kimberly's Quilts), Teresa (Using Up Stash), Joan (My Quilt Life), and Jeanne (Luv2Stitch).

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Do the Funky Chicken (Pin Cushion, that is!!!)

Cute and easy to do---here are my versions of the funky chicken pin cushions. The original pattern called for half square triangles like I did here, but the only pattern I could find now is the log cabin version. But the technique is the same for all of them and once you figure that out, the sky's the limit, so to speak! They each take on their own personality. I thought the biggest one was the mother and her name was Maude and these were her chicklets; Mollie, Mary and Mimi. Their father was from a good neighborhood!!!!

It's fun to take time from quilting and do fun projects like these just for something different to do, plus I wanted to start working on some Christmas gifts for our get togethers at Christmas time. Some of you will know what you are getting now--oh dear, but they were too cute not to show off!

Sometimes it's fun to not leave things until the last minute and as I've said before, I don't always like to do that!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!!


Monday, September 17, 2007

Wedding Rings Minus Borders!

"Weddings Rings" is finished up to the point where I ran out of tan and beige background fabrics. It has one more tan/beige border and then a burgandy border. Have to pick up some more at Sit N Sew tomorrow because now is not the time to mix in new!!!

This was fun to do and really went quite quickly despite have to sew lots of squares together! I like the contrast between the dark and the light very much. I hope my friend likes it, too!

It's hard to make something for a friend, isn't it? You think you know what they might like and yet there's always a bit a doubt in your mind. You think they will like it because YOU made it, but then they MIGHT just be making nice and saying they like it when they really don't!!! Ah, well, it's the thought that counts, I guess.

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Friday, September 14, 2007

Wedding Rings!

Here's a new to me version of Wedding Rings--I had tried the other kind and decided that kind was not for me, but this kind I can handle! This one block will be repeated 4 times and turned a different way each time to make up the lap sized quilt. I'm making it for a friend who is getting married in December.

It's a fun block to do, but you want to keep your wits about you as you do it because otherwise you will turn something the wrong way and all of a sudden your rings will not be intertwining the way they should be--don't ask me how I know!

So 3 more blocks to go and the borders and another one will be added to the quilting pile which has started to grow again--funny how it does that!

Now to get started on some more Project Linus quilts that I bought fabric for the other day at Sit N Sew. Quilt Mercantile had fabric on sale for just $3.50 a yard and not being one to pass up a bargain, I bought several yards for charity quilts--many are fun prints that will work well for "Just Can't Cut It," "Yellow Brick Road," and a couple of panel quilts with borders. There's always something on the "Things to do" list!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two Small "I" Quilts!

Last July, the grandgirls, Isabel and Ilena were playing with these blocks and having a great time arranging them into designs and shapes and playing match-up games with them. So now I've sewn them into quilt tops for them. We added pictures of the family and them, plus a colorful border. Very easy and I hope, a fun reminder of the time they spent with Grandma and Pop-Pop (Grandpa) playing with the quilt blocks. Perhaps their first experience "designing" a quilt??!!

Time spent with grandkids is so precious...just this last week-end we spent time with our grandboys to celebrate Evan's 4th BD with a party in the park where the kids did a craft and played, and best of all rode the "Sophie train." What a great day his Mom had planned out for him. He was a wonderful little host. I was so proud of him as he opened his gifts and "ohhed" and "ahhed" over each one and thanked his guests. All in all a grand day, even though all the adults were soooo tired!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Monday, September 10, 2007

Mini Iron = Mini Bag!

When I saw the pattern for this mini bag I thought I just had to have one---well, if I had only known then what I know now, as the saying goes----, but I did finish it and even though it doesn't look professional close up, it's OK and I like it-- it's a keeper!

It has a place for the cord and a place for the iron and you can put the iron in hot if you are leaving from a class because it is lined with teflon and insulbright batting.

It's a good thing there are no Quilt Police like we so often kid about because I would probably be one of the first arrested! My seams aren't straight and not always 1/4". When something doesn't line up at the end of a row, I'm liable to be like Ami Simms and whack it off so that it fits! It's not to say that I don't try because I do, but unless the mistake is really, really bad, I am one to leave it in and call it a character or humility block or whatever they call those mistake blocks! Sometimes we make a game of it and see if we can find the mistake in Mom's quilt--what a fun game if they can't find the mistake!!! HA! HA!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Friday, September 7, 2007

Strings Attached!

My string blocks are finished and ready to sew together. It was like eating a certain brand of potato chips--you can't have just one! These blocks are addictive in a way! It was fun chosing the next string and deciding what to put with what or sometimes just throwing caution to the wind and using whatever I pulled out of the bin!

The bin didn't seem to go down in size though, but I decided that's because I "fluffed" it up every time I pulled out a string!

I found a very useful tool to use while trimming up these blocks--a revolving turntable cutting board. The first picture shows it revolving around. When you use it you only position the block one time and you turn the board instead of the block. The second picture shows the block in position ready to be cut. Much easier to do! (Not affiliated with the company, just like the product!)

This quilt probably won't need any batting since the foundation blocks of muslin will give an extra layer in the middle and it will be going to East Texas Project Linus where it is usually warm most of the year around. I'll probably quilt it with an all over pantograph design on the quilting machine. Or I should say Maynard (my DH) will quilt it!!!! He does most of the PL quilts. Every now and then I tie one off with a fatter batting or quilt one on the Bernina, but all in all he does most of them. It's good teamwork and I'm glad to be a part of this team!!!!

Now we're off for a week-end with the grandboys and to celebrate Evan's 4th birthday. In ways, it doesn't seem possible that he could be this old already and yet in ways he seems so much older and wiser than 4 years old! It will be a fun time. We'll get to see his brother Nathan, too who will be turning 1 year old next month! How time truly does fly by!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

String Quilt Musings!

A few weeks ago I decided that I must be the only one in the quilting community (at least my little community!) that has not made a string quilt---so I read up on the subject at Quiltville and started saving "strings".

To my surprise, it didn't take long at all to gather a bunch of "strings" and I soon filled my bucket!

So I made some foundations 10.5" and marked the centers so that they would remain plain (to give the eye a place to rest) and started in sewing. Ah, this was fun, not too much thinking involved!

Well, I should have know there would be SOME thinking involved and not turned my mind completely off or had a senior moment or whatever because I did manage to mess up a block by not paying attention to the back as I was flipping and ironing and had a big old crease down the center of the backing. Well, that one bit the dust and another takes it place because I had already cut and trimmed when I noticed it--oh well, a do-over!

And here are some of the finished, trimmed blocks. With the same color in the center of each block a design emerges, which I like about this design. Thanks go to Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville for all the good information she has on her site about string quilts. I thought my scrap bin would diminish in size, but it doesn't seem to be going down any--I wonder why this is?--it's like trying to use up your stash--that doesn't seem to go down any either--yet I still want new fabric and the manufacturers seem to know that!!!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Monday, September 3, 2007

Turning Leaves!

"Turning Leaves" is a good name for a quilt for fall. Not only are the leaves turning, but it's a time to "turn over " or start over again. To me, fall is a new beginning, not just New Years. The weather is cooling down and I always feel like starting up my walking regimen again and getting back on my diet and sticking to it (for awhile, if I tell the truth now!!!!)

I feel like starting those new projects that I just "looked at" in the summer and thought "Oh, it's just too hot to do that!" We get out the fall and winter clothes (although that's more a Midwestern thing than Texan thing, I guess! Hard to take the Midwest out of this Texan!!! LOL!!) and I always like to get a new shower curtain for the bath, just to make things fresh and clean again! ---Change can be a good thing!

It's nice to think of the cooler weather coming and being able to comfortably curl up with a quilt to hand quilt, finish the binding or applique without the sticky feeling that you get even with the A/C running.

And oh, the fall foods: acorn squash, crisp, red apples, apple cider with cake donuts at the hay ride, and orange pumpkins. One of the ladies brought pumpkin cake to Sunday School on Sunday and that heralded in Fall for me!!!! I did say diet, didn't I?

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Three Project Linus Quilts!

These 3 quilts have been waiting patiently to be quilted for a couple of months now and yesterday and today were their days to get ready to go to a new home!

The first one is called English Country Garden because the colors reminded me of that. I can't even remember what pattern that is anymore because it's been a few night's sleep since I made it, so I can't give any credits here, sorry about that!

The second one is called Blue Pansies Mystery Quilt. This pattern came from Terry Crawford at Quilting Passion. The pattern is called Cross-Over. It was a fun pattern and easy to do, once you figure out your fabrics!

The third quilt is named Olivia Exercising and features that darling pig Olivia who always has a comment or two --this time she says, "Exercising is good. Accessorizing is better!" Always a class act!

These quilts will go to the East Texas Chapter of Project Linus in Kilgore, Texas.

Let quilting help you make someone smile!