Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Look Back at 2011 in Pictures

Here are the 2011 finishes :)
Top from upper left:
1. Whoooo, who's the monkey?
2. Hip to be Square
3. Santorini table runner
4. Two Christmas gift boxes
5. Gift box
6. Pillowcases to go with Em's Loveliness of Ladybugs quilt
7.  Tunic
8. Pillowcases to go with my Mom's quilt

Middle from left:
9. Noah's Ark quilt
10. Small Seuss quilt
11. Zoology warm wishes quilt
12. Zoology warm wishes quilt
13. Large Seuss quilt (a.k.a. "Hi There Horton")

Bottom from left:
14. Scooter dress
15. Hushabye diaper bag
16. Halloween gift boxes
17. Maxine sewing machine pad, pincushion, and thread catcher
18. Pillows to go with Batik Strip Tube quilt

Happy New Year to you all!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Final Finish of 2011

Okay, I was looking at all sorts of blog posts about final finshes of 2011 and thought I'd make a run to finish up just one more too.  You all provide me with so much inspiration and motivation to get me off my lazy duff and finish up my projects :)

Noah's Ark Warm Wishes Baby Quilt



I snapped these pics right after the sun went down this evening, so they're a bit dark. 

I'm going to try to get a collage of all the 2011 finshes put together before New Year's Day, but we'll see how that plan works out LOL.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Day After Christmas

Sitting on the sofa in my PJs at noon ... aaaahhhh :)

I actually managed a finish on Christmas Eve day.  I would do some cooking or cleaning and then would take a break to sit and do a little of this throughout the day.


Before I knew it the binding was all sewn down and I wasn't exhausted at the end of the day.



I hope you all are enjoying a nice relaxing day too.  We had a great Christmas - everyone was happy and healthy. My best friend and quilting buddy came over last night and we enjoyed a pork roast dinner with all the trimmings while sitting out on the porch.  It was a very nice evening.

Happy sewing :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing You a Merry Christmas

I spied this little piece of seaweed while walking along the beach and thought it looked like a cute little Christmas tree (it's as close to one as can be found in nature down here).  It was 82 degrees yesterday, so it's going to be a warm Christmas for us.


I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas wherever you are.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sign of the Season

While picking up a quilt at the quilt shop today, I spied this sign


very cute.

Since I was feeling a little frazzled tonight, I just made some bias binding for the quilt and put it on.  I'll hand sew it down at some point when I feel like it.


Happy quilting :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ninety Blocks in Two Days

That's what happened this past weekend.  I was so excited to start a new project, sew and chat with good friends, and pair all those Kona solids with the Terrain fabrics.  Here's a small glimpse.


Looking forward to finishing up the rest of the blocks and then putting everything together into [I think] a couple of full size quilts.

Did some baking for a Christmas get together tomorrow.  This is how the Amaretto glaze soaks into the cake...oh yeah...this one is boozey!

Before


After

Hopefully in a few hours it will be a nice little cake and come out of the pan cleanly :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

What a Wonderful Surprise!

I just got home about an hour ago and there was a package waiting for me in my mailbox :)

I participated in Allie-Oops' Christmas Through the Year last month and the random number fairy picked my number *whoop whoop*

These two beautiful zippered bags were made by someone who wished to remain anonymous, so all I can say is "Thank you Anonymous" and "Thank you Allie"

This large bag will hold all sorts of goodies


The slim bag in the foreground has a key ring too - fabulous!  See the container with all the charms...oh my!  I know a little four year old who will wind up with something special adorned with these.

The workmanship that went into these bags is phenomenal - check out the very cool beaded zipper pull. 


 The zippers on both bags are adorned with these.

What a wonderful ending to a Monday :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Thistle, on Peridot, on Apricot, on Mocha!

On Purple, on Azure, on Holly, and Copen!  Guess who got a package of Kona cottons today?


I "neeeeeeeeded" more solids to frame the Terrain by Kate Spain :)

Oh, and by the way, it is supposed to get down into the 40's tonight - whoop whoop - it actually feels a little like Christmas outside.  Of course, it will be in the 70's tomorrow, but that is still fabulous for Florida since we won't have to have the house closed up and the air conditioning blasting.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Sew Day

I'm hibernating today - staying home where it is peaceful and safe :)  I got up and pressed the Terrain layer cake squares and started cutting them into 5" squares.  I am so thrilled with all the colors in this layer cake and the fact that there were very few duplicates (there were five which were all tone on tones - easy to use in another project).  I'm always a little leery of precuts because a few times I have been really disappointed in the large number of duplicates included. 




So, did I miss out on the sales frenzy?  Of course not...I let my fingers do the walking and ordered more Kona solids to include in this project.  Free shipping and 20% off  *happy dance*

There was only one slight mishap - my June Tailor Shape Cut bit the dust.  It's given me years of faithful service (and one really, really nasty rotary cut to the bone of my index finger when I wasn't paying attention and the blade wasn't in one of the grooves), but I picked it up by the edge and it snapped.  I might just venture out to Joann's tonight to see if I can use a Black Friday coupon for a new one...maybe.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

So is anyone else astonished at the advertising for Black Friday sales?  A lot of stores were even starting them today.  It is unbelievable.  We had a wonderful day today, and hope yours was fabulous too.  Trying to make sure the day and memories are captured.  I am so hooked on this digital scrapbooking (almost as much as quilting)  :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Things First

First and foremost, I want to thank you all for your sincere support after we had to have our wonderful dog, Alsley, put down last week.  The e-mails and virtual hugs we received helped get us through the worst of the darkness and sadness.  Every day feels a little more normal and we're attempting to fill the quietness by keeping Pandora on for background noise. 

Now for some quilting talk.  I was hoping to start on a new project, but I didn't get the package in the mail that I was hoping for today.  I will provide a sneak preview though :)  Remember the post about all the Kona cotton fat quarters (if you don't, click here)?  Well, check this out:


What do you think? 

The Terrain fabric in the picture is the quilt backing.  I'm going to pair the Kona solids with a Terrain layer cake to create a quilt inspired by this one created by Natalie and entered in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Isn't it just fabulous and amazing?  I love it!

I still need to add another light aqua blue and a few other Kona cottons into the mix, and wait for the lovely mail lady to come through with the layer cake :)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A time to cry


We had to let Mr. Good Boy Alsley go with the angels this morning.  He gave us so much joy over his fifteen years.  He was a gentle soul and made our house a home.  The sadness right now is unspeakable, but he isn't in any pain and I know he is at peace. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Do you have a "go to" pattern?

I sure do, especially when I need a baby quilt in a jiffy!  It's called Warm Wishes.  I originally downloaded the bed sized pattern because I had seen a quilt made using this pattern hanging in one of the local quilt shops.  It can be downloaded here.  I had wanted to make one for my bed, but then I thought I'd try making a baby quilt first, so I looked around on the web to see if I could find one for a baby sized quilt (mainly to get the fabric requirements).  I found this site here.  The reason this is my "go to" pattern is that I can start cutting fabric mid-morning and have a completed cute quilt top by late afternoon.  The only thing that I have found over the years is that, for most quilt shop fabric, you don't need as much fabric.  I can usually get away with just cutting 5 of each sized strip unless the usable width of fabric is not around 43".  I usually buy a yard of the focal print for the six inch blocks, a half yard for the two and three inch strips of the pieced blocks (you'll have some left over from the two inch strip fabrics). 

Another thing I have learned is that contrast within the pieced blocks and the focal print blocks is important if you want the quilt to appear more dimensional.  Compare this one where there is a lot of contrast:


with this one where there isn't


The bright blue in the pieced blocks is too close to the value of the lime green in the focal fabric, so some of the dimension is lost.

Well, my mother has a good friend who is our Church Deacon's wife and they are expecting their first grandchild in January.  She asked me if I would make a biblical themed quilt that she can give to her friend, so naturally I started looking for Noah's Ark fabric.  I don't know the baby's gender, so I kept the quilt gender neutral. 

I found Noah's Ark fabric and then picked fabrics for the pieced blocks. 


I agonized over the green fabric because I wasn't sure if I should go darker.  In the end I stuck with my first green choice that matched the both lime and medium greens in the ark bodies.  Now that it is done, I wish I had paid attention to my instinct to go a little darker, but it is cute and will hopefully be used a lot by a healthy little baby boy or girl :)



The other reason this is a "go to" pattern is that if I quilt it myself, the back doesn't have to be pieced.  As usual, I will probably take this to be quilted, so I'll have to add some fabric to the backing width.  Here is the fabric for the backing.


So do you have a "go to" pattern?  If so, what is it?  I'd love to know!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall 2011 Blogger's Quilt Festival

The quilt I am entering is Hip to Be Square done in batiks.  It was made for two of my friends' 38th wedding anniversary. I love batiks, but sometimes I have trouble putting them together so they have enough variety and colors, but still coordinate.  I decided to use a Hoffman fat quarter bundle as my inspiration.  I picked fabrics that were similar to those in the bundle and it turned out really well.  The quilt is large lap size and was quilted using a dark navy thread in a swirl pattern.


I hope you're enjoying your travels through the wonderful quilts out there - thank you for stopping by :)

Whooooo Hooooo's the Monkey?

This one is for a baby shower in a couple of weeks for the son and daughter-in-law of a friend of mine.

It's a blustery day here as you can see from the pictures :)


and back


The quilt finished at 46" x 57" and was quilted in a meander with light royal blue thread. 

I hope you're all having a great weekend!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Zoology Major

This is my second project using Michael Miller Zoology.  The first one was done in the Lagoon colorway - pictured below and posted about here



While browsing filling my cart on fabric.com, I happened to notice a newer colorway in pinks and grays.  The dotted fabric on the right is Michael Miller Dumb Dot in pink and gray and I don't remember whether or not the stripe was part of the Zoology line or not, but it coordinates perfectly.  I ordered Kona Bubble Gum Pink and Kona Peony for the coordinating solids.


I tried (very little) to resist, but you know how that goes *sigh*

I started the quilt Friday night and finished last night.


The backing



The weather here has been just gorgeous.  No heat or humidity and there is a beautiful breeze.  I'm a happy quilter :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Halloween Goodie Bags

Two are for Em's wonderful, patient and kind teachers and one is for Miss Cheryl the school's after-care angel.  The one on the right is for Em - she loved the candy corn fabric when she saw it and asked, "Grammy, will you make something for me?" :)

How could I possibly resist?


and goodies to fill them up



I'm starting a new project tonight, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

8 Pound Bundle of Joy :)

...came in the mail today from Fabric.com - LOL

Here's a peek at some 1/2 yard Kona cotton cuts that my best friend and quilting buddy and I are going to split so both of us will have a fat quarter of each one.  I'm going to pair mine with some Kona Snow.  Have I ever told you about my Kona Snow obsession strategy?  Well here goes - anytime I order fabric and need to add some yardage to get the maximum amount of fabric for the shipping charges or to get free shipping, I fill in the order with Kona Snow.  I think I probably have about fifteen yards on hand right now...sick I know *blushing*

Now, feast your eyes on this:


isn't it just yummy?

Now to figure out how to use it...I'm open to suggestions, so feel free to chime in with ideas :)

There is more fabric as you may guess due to the 8 Lb. hint, but I'll share the rest with you later.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What was and what is to come (I hope)

Two weekends ago I finished two more Halloween bags and incorporated the changes I mentioned here, only instead of sewing down the side seams, I used Steam-A-Seam 2 quarter inch tape to fuse the edges down...much, much easier and I think they look just as neat.


Now, for the "what is to come (I hope soon)

A Christmas gift bag for little Miss Em ( I want to do this project this weekend)


A warm wishes quilt similar to this one using these Michael Miller Urban Zoology fabrics and a couple of Kona Solids that I'm ordering tomorrow.  I think I might even order a bit more and make a matching diaper bag.

What are your near-term quilting plans?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ahhhhh....Autumn

has finally arrived, even if only for a few days.  It was 60 degrees when I woke up this morning, so the windows are open all around the house.  I am a happy camper when I can enjoy my morning coffee al fresco :)


I made a pilgrimage to the quilt shop with a friend yesterday so she could drop off a quilt to be quilted.  Since is was the first Saturday of the month, it was end of the bolt Saturday where the deal is 20% off if you finish a bolt.  It's a great time to go if you need backing and they always have a ton of bolts set aside that have only a yard or two left.  This shop also has a club that costs $20 to join, but it gives members 10% off all fabric, and one free fat quarter per month. I behaved myself and only bought 2 yards of fabric.

The first fabric is for binding for "Who Whooooo's the Monkey" because I don't have enough of the striped fabric used for the sashing (on the left) to do the trick.  I think the fabric I bought (on the right) will do just fine.  Now I just have to wait for the quilting to be finished.


The second piece of fabric I bought was a risky move, because I had two pieces of fabric at home that I thought might coordinate with this very cool paisely (on the left), I ljust oved it.  Sometimes when I do this, my memory doesn't serve me well and I come home with something totally wrong...not this time :)


I think today will be spent doing a few more Halloween treat bags.


Found this at Joann's and I think this 1/4" Steam-A-Seam2 may be a better solution to keep the turned out edges flat against the bags without having to try and sew them down (which is very painstaking, especially with the small size bags).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I've Gone a Little Batty

Over this selvage


The fabric is Trick or Treat by Deb Strain for Moda

I wanted to make a few Halloween gift bags, so I picked up this and another fabric today.  I decided to make a few changes in cutting and constructing the bags this time. 

The first change was to use my wavy rotary cutter to make the pressed open trim look a little more decorative.

The second change was to sew down the pressed open trim.  I really didn't like the way it did not sit flat against the bags I have previously made.  This wasn't an easy task, but I think it was totally worth it. 
Here's the result


I think this looks much better


This one will be filled with candy for Em

I think these would make cute teacher gifts too :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

First Day of Autumn

I love fall....in New England.

It's still hot, sticky and 90 degrees here *sigh*  Allergy season is still in full bloom as well and this has been a particularly bad one from my perspective, so I'm staying indoors in the air conditioning.  I decided today to start working on some Christmas projects because I really, really look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I made three projects, but can only show you two because the person for whom I made one of them checks out my blog and would know the one not shown was for her if she saw it.  They start like this:


Then they look like this


and this


a little more sewing


and finally...


these little gift bags

I'm so excited that I've got something this month to enter for Allie's Christmas Through the Year.

These two are the small size gift bag and measure 5" tall with a 4.5" square bottom.  Perfect for some fat quarters, candy, pretty much anything.  I'm going to the quilt shop tomorrow and I think I need to pick up a little Halloween fabric to make a few goodie bags for some special folks (one is four years old).  The other night we were talking about growing up, and when I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up, her perfectly serious answer was, "a ladybug" .... everyone together now.... awwwwww. 

I bought her these to go with her ladybug costume


She'll go bananas!

Have a wonderful quilty weekend :)