Tuesday, December 27, 2016


All quilted--wow, did that give me fits. I decided to put feathers in each of the background spaces, and that was good practice for me since I hadn't done freehand feathers before. However, my thread  broke MANY times, especially when I was stitching the spines. I decided it had to be the fabric since I had changed needles, worked on tension, etc., etc. This shot is taken from our loft.

I had better luck on the color spaces, but my original intention for quilting--echoing the parallelogram--just was too much trouble and I would never finish by Thursday, the day I need to give this to one of my daughters. So, I did the loops, hearts, and stars--quick and easy.
Here's a closer look, with the toe of my shoe included. In one yellow corner I wrote "Natalie & Todd" in the quilting and in another corner I wrote "2016" and my name. I also put a label on the back, just to be sure there was one. This is Missouri Star Quilt Company's Starburst design and was in Block magazine this year--issue 4, I think. It uses 10 inch squares--sew around the 4 outside edges and then cut apart on the 2 diagonals to get 4 half square triangle blocks. I made it bigger than the original, so I think I used 36 10" squares from the pack I bought, and then I cut my own 10" squares from my background fabric out of my stash. The binding is from a leftover jellyroll of yellow that I had.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

December


Our Christmas cactus is ancient and has sat in the southeast corner of our sunroom since we built our house 29 years ago. I never do anything special to it, but it blooms every year. This year, most of the pretty blooms are between the curtain and the window.

My starburst (Missouri Star Quilt Co pattern) is done, sandwiched, and ready for me to quilt. Now I have to figure out my quilting design!


I worked on this nativity scene this fall--all handwork in wool. I don't remember who designed the pattern.


Leah Day's Waterfall design. I didn't quilt it quite the same as she did, but close.


A shark blanket for my grandson. All the granddaughters are getting mermaid tail blankets.


Three year old Amelia is doing stickers with Grandpa.


Nineteen month old Camella reads with Mommy.


My nephew Andrew and niece Marie and my new great-niece Bridget with the quilt I made for her.


I think I only managed to get two "bags" made for the Bag It QAL, but I kept all the patterns! Patty does an amazing job designing all those bags! This is a sewing kit.


The other is a little card carrier.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!!



Friday, September 23, 2016

Finishes

Sorry that you get views of my carpet but...
Below is my finished Vortex--quilted and bound--started in the class I took from Debbie Kratovil at the Quilt Expo in Des Moines in May. I quilted a spiral in the middle all the way from the center until I hit a seam at the edge of the white. Then I did pebbles in the white corners and stippling in the polka dots and border. I did the spiral by starting in the very center FMQ for about 3" and then using my walking foot to keep the spirals the same width apart. I saw a tutorial on this, but I'm sorry to say that I don't remember who did it. The thread I used is a variegated gray/white from Aurifil.


I used Superior's King Tut in a bright variegated yellow to quilt Repeat and used the Bishop's Fan pattern. Started to mark with a pencil but finished marking with a frixion pen, even though you're not supposed to use them. I can't get the pencil off but the frixion came off fine with heat. Love those polka dots (above and below) and that dark turquoise American Brand solid (above and below).


This table runner is from the Tangent pattern which I never would have bought if I hadn't seen a sample similar to this one at Gee Gee's in Yelm, WA. (Thanks, Gee Gee's!!). It uses a 60 degree ruler--yea, another use for it!--but who would think of using this lilac fabric with it? Not me! I bought the fabric they used in the sample, used decorative stitch to quilt like they did, BUT I added the green inner border, and I think it's better that way. Love it! More purple for my house.


Sorry this is sideways, but I don't know how to rotate it here... this is one of those Stitch & Fold wreaths, but in a hexagon shape, and smaller than the one with squares. Also, I used precut hexagon shapes and they were out of the very stiff stuff so I will not use it again--holding and handstitching the points together was no picnic. Next time I'll use foam. It is lovely though. Now I want to make a leaf-shaped one. 

One more--not sewing but this little gray hairstreak landed on my toe the other day when I was sitting outside with my feet up, and it stayed there for a long time--many minutes. It's little antenna-looking things on its back end are moving so fast you can't see them in the photo. Lovely creature!


Almost forgot--I won 2nd place in the Joy Studio/Handmaids pincushion challenge! I can't believe it! The creative juices were flowing for all those who participated--amazing!! Some of the pincushions I made are going to the Faith in Action sale this Saturday--at the craft table that HCE is running. Thanks, Janet, for having the Joy Studio pincushion challenge!!


Monday, September 5, 2016

Pincushions


All these pincushions are from She Who Sews fabric for the Joy Studio pincushion challenge. I had one more chicken but gave her away to Marie Sharma in WA. Marie is a quilter too and good friend of my brother and sister-in-law. The Dresden plate pincushion is from this summer's issue of Quilts and More. It's supposed to be rainbow colors, but I like this composition just as well.


I was SEW close to having these two little things done that I stopped what I was doing (a Fold 'n' Stitch wreath) and finished them up. These are both from Merry's Stitchins in Jesup, IA. Merry's is featured in this fall's Quilt Sampler magazine. I don't know if I had any influence on the magazine editors, but I had emailed them twice that they should feature this shop. I love it! Merry's daughter creates the Patch Abilities, Inc. patterns that are so darn cute. Anyway, on the left is a wool pincushion and on the right a small poppy wall hanging.


It was past time to take care of my barn quilt. Even though it really needs to be repainted, I just removed enough bubbly background paint so that it won't peel (I hope) and then put 4 new coats of urethane on it, lightly sanding between each coat. It won't hold up to close inspection, but it doesn't need that. In 3 or 4 years, I will either have to repaint it or buy a new one. We should be able to rehang it tonight or in the morning.


Today is daughter Sarah's 39th birthday!! Hope it's a good one for her. She was born on Labor Day too. :)

In 2 weeks, the Bag It 2016 starts with Patty of Elm Street Quilts. Hope to make several bags this time since I didn't participate in the 2015 one.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Washington

While here in Washington (the state, not D.C) to help out my brother and sister-in-law after her major back surgery, I have made a flock of new chicken pincushions,


a placemat using a pattern from Aunties Two (using part of a jellyroll and fusible batting strips from Bosal--very time consuming, by the way),


mended, including a new invisible zipper in my niece's dress--ye gads, I haven't put in an invisible zipper for at least 25 years!,


and finished some Triangle Frenzy table runners. The sunflower one will remain on this table in Washington.


In between some sewing times, we got to listen to old-timey music, here in my brother's "tune room" with 2 of their friends,


and at the Centralia Campout with lots of other friends. Other visitors also graced us with music in the tune room. My brother doesn't miss much opportunity to play his banjo, and I even got some dulcimer pointers from Susan, pictured just below.



The best part of the trip is seeing my sister-in-law able to be up and about, and especially seeing her get to take a short stroll in the yard on my brother's arm. Woohoo! She still has a LONG recovery to be back to normal, but she has taken great strides so far--in more ways than one. :)




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Baby Quilt and other things

Yesterday I finished a quilt for my new great-niece or -nephew due in early November.
I saw a sample of this pattern at Stitch and Sew in Arthur, IL, and had to buy the pattern and fabric.
Only 3 yards of fabric to do the top--not bad.
I backed it with Minky or Cuddle--not sure which it is--and thought some about self-binding but like the traditional binding better.


Here are some of our surprise lilies in full bloom right now--so pretty!
My sister-in-law calls them "naked ladies." :)


Did you know that there is a Highway 36 Quilt Trail in Missouri? A bunch of us went to Missouri Star Quilt Company last week, spending the night at the Home Inn Hamilton (B&B) south of town. While there, we learned about the Quilt Trail. The quilt below is of all the barn patterns you can get by visiting every shop. MO Star has 2 of their block in this one, at the top corners. We determined that we would visit as many as we could on our way home to IL, and we got to 8 shops besides MO Star (which is fabulous, by the way--if you are close by sometime, stop there). Be prepared to spend money when you visit these shops!! Now I have patterns for 9 barn blocks, plus the Row by Row from all who were participating. Fun! 


I'm excited about Bag It, Patty Dudek's quilt-along on Elm Street Quilts. It starts in September!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Finished quilt tops


I finished this top for a Vortex quilt soon after the American Quilt Expo in Des Moines in late May. I took a class on this design from Debbie Kratovil there. Loved it! The vortex in the center doesn't look like it, but it is a dresden plate--the tips of every other blade are white and don't show on the white background--tricky, huh? :) I really like the colors. Will quilt it someday...


I finished my top from the Repeat QAL, led by Patty of Elm Street Quilts. I used some basic colors for the words and the same green from the vortex quilt for the star and middle border. I'll get after quilting this one one of these days too... Now I've started on a baby quilt for my nephew and niece's baby due in November--that takes priority at this point.


Traded my Janome 8900 up for the 9400. Now that I've figured out some kinks, I love the new machine. Still have to figure out a lot of technical details, but that will come. Love the way it sews!!