Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christmas Preparations

It's hard to believe that it's that time of year again! Christmas is just a bit more than a month away--impossible!
Anyway, thanks to our Cerro Gordo Quilters group, I have 2 finished projects and more underway.
Our October lesson was this Poinsettia wall hanging. It's 3-D and embellished with beads in the centers of the poinsettias--very striking, I think.
Many thanks to Kathy who taught this lesson!
Our November lesson was no-sew quilted ornaments. Here is one of mine. They are made with prairie points pinned onto a Styrofoam ball--so simple. I have more in progress since I taught the lesson and needed samples. Also did a Christmas tree based on this design, putting the prairie points on a cone. Pretty little things and would make great gifts if one needs a little something for someone.

More projects underway--lots of gifts to make yet...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Delightful Stars Quilt Top Done!

I'm excited to have my Delightful Stars quilt top all finished. I put the final stitches in it yesterday.
Then, with some help from my husband Glen, I hung it from our loft railing--the only spot I could think of that would hold this size. The top is 93 x 108", an oversized queen.
It was a lot of work, but I think it will be worth the effort. In fact, I nearly didn't use all the borders, but I am surely glad I did them all--they help set off the center.
My plan is to put it aside for now so I can quilt my granddaughter's Christmas present (a quilt for her bed). Then I will get this one sandwiched and quilted.

Friday, August 1, 2014


It seems appropriate to show some photos of the quilt my mother made--in honor of her life on this earth.
Mom started this quilt in the late 1930s before she was married. Sometime after her 1943 marriage, she finished it (maybe the late 50s or early 60s).
It is displayed on our king-size bed in this photo. 

She had the women of the Cedar Rapids Church of the Brethren quilt it.
I have some recollection of her placing on her bed after it was finished. It is a beauty.
The applique is entirely hand done.

I have her pattern and some scraps of the fabric. She got the pattern from Minnie Slead, mother of Mom's best friend Mary Ellen.
Mom's work on this quilt is well-done, just as she lived her life, "for the glory of God and her neighbor's good."

Monday, April 28, 2014

Finished at last!!!

Yesterday I put the last stitches on Craftsy's 2013 Block of the Month quilt.
The fabric is almost entirely pieces I got out of a box from church when we were sorting through and washing up some of the few dozen boxes of fabrics that had accumulated in our quilting room.
I am positive at least 2 of those fabrics came from Glen's aunt because I either had a garment she had made or I have seen her daughters in garments she made using those fabrics. Maybe more, if not all, were Connie Krall's fabrics.
I added a small print calico and the flowers for the basket. I free motion quilted the entire thing on my home machine, using inspiration from Leah Day (Thanks, Leah!) and her Building Blocks quilt book that I purchased. There were 4 main sections of the quilt so I FMQed each of the 4 sections, then connected the sections, again using Leah's directions. Next, I added each of the borders with backing and batting. The outer border was to be entirely made of the half square triangles, but I changed it up a bit. It was difficult handling the 3 layers--top border, back, batting--and the quilt edge all at the same time. Finally, I sewed on the binding with my machine too.

You can see some of the different FMQ patterns I used on these 2 sections.

I also pieced the entire back. Each section had a different pattern. The block at the bottom right was an extra from the front. (I had made one block 2 different ways.)
I think all those seams on the back made smoothness of FMQ a little difficult, but I'm done.
You can't see my label but I used the 9mm lettering on my machine to put my name and date in one of the small rectangles at the bottom.

I'm SEW glad it's now done!!! I will eventually give it to a good friend/cousin whose mother had this fabric. Perhaps she will be surprised when that happens, so don't breathe a word to anyone! :)
Now, I'm going to start a quilt for a granddaughter...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring time and grandchildren

A few weeks ago we were able to go to Maryland to see our daughter and family.
Below are Connor and Hailey: Connor is holding the owl I hand-stitched with a tooth pocket in it; Hailey is modeling the skirt I made and her baby doll has on the matching outfit that I made. 
Then we got to visit in St. Louis with our younger daughter and family. Here is Amelia swinging in the back yard. Harper and I are looking at the things I brought the girls.

Now for a springtime photo: daffodils in our flower bed. They are a very welcome sight!

Isn't my block pretty? This is last week's lesson for Delightful Stars. I have the squares cut out for the most recent one but the stitching will have to wait a day or 2 longer.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Delightful Stars Blocks and Shopping

We were gone this past weekend so I couldn't get to my blocks for the Delectable Stars quilt-along. Yesterday after we got home, I got busy! The "practice" block is on the right. I like the purple and black but the brightness of the pinks and muslin is very pretty, if I do say so myself!
The week before, we were to practice paper piecing with a tutorial from Michele. My samples are in the photo below. I am going to make either a table runner or a wall hanging with them, I think. Haven't decided which.

My sister-in-law Denise and I went quilt shop hopping while I was there last weekend. Here is some of the fabric we bought that will be used in October when my aunt Harriette is hosting my cousin Lynette, Denise, and I for a quilt retreat of our own. We are going to sew log cabin blocks, enough for each of us to make a quilt. Yoo hoo! Should be loads of fun!

It's spring, even with the light dusting of snow overnight. The cardinals are busy with their mating/nesting routine. Redwing blackbirds are back, and the grackles are arriving in hoards. This cold weather can't last much longer!

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 11--It's Ruffle Time for ME!

This has certainly been another great hop. The different ruffled projects have continued to amaze and inspire me every day. Thanks to Amy as cheerleader and to Madame Samm as creator!
I decided to make skirts for my granddaughters, ages 8 months, 4 years, and 5 years. Below is Grandma (that's me) reading to Amelia with Amelia's big sister Harper reading right beside us. They are sure a couple of cuties! (My husband took the picture--he gets the blame for lack of centering.) I just noticed that the heart on Harper's dress is ruffled! Yea!
At Christmas time I took this picture of our older daughter and family. Aren't they a lovely family? Hailey is my 4 year old granddaughter.

The "big" girls love pink, so the skirts had to have a fair share of that color. I wanted to make Harper's and Amelia's to match. Harper loves bold colors, so the pinks are quite bright. I made the ruffles the way Madame Samm has shown, make 2 pleats, sew them down, 2 more, sew, etc., etc. It was a little tricky when I didn't know how long the ruffle had to be. However, I figured it out by marking halves, quarters, eighths. It worked. 

After I made the skirts, I figured Harper would like a matching skirt for her baby doll, and I knew the doll would need a matching top as well. (I had made doll clothes for Christmas presents too.) My poor baby doll's hair is in terrible shape so I made a headband to hold it down a little.

You can see I trimmed Amelia's skirt with ribbon, as I had done the doll's skirt, but I didn't like the way the ribbon seemed to pucker somewhat so I didn't put it on Harper's.

Then it was Hailey's turn for a skirt. After the skirt came the doll outfit, complete with headband too.
I sure hope the girls all like their skirts! I think they are pretty cute!

Here they are, all together. (The Dresden plate quilt on the bed is an old one that may have been my husband's grandmother's. Unfortunately, we don't know for sure. It is a beautiful quilt--I sure love it on that bed.)

Last, I want to show the tea cozy I made from Madame Samm's kit. Isn't it pretty? It just matches my blue teapot.
I hope you enjoyed my projects. Don't forget to visit the others today too.
March 11th
Just Sew Quilter  (You are here!)
Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Think Ruffles has started

The "Think Ruffles" blog hop started today, but first, I want to show off my blocks for Delightful Stars, Aiming for Accuracy. They both turned out well, if I do say so myself.

Our next lesson will be paper piecing. I'm looking forward to that.
NOW, here is the schedule for the Ruffles Hop:
(For the record, I have no idea where these beige background lines come from and haven't figured out how to get rid of them--oh, well.)
March 5th
March 6th
March 7th
March 10th
March 11th
Just Sew Quilter (That's me!)
March 12th  
March 13th
March 14th
The hop is starting out great today--looking forward to seeing everyone's creations!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

More Delightful Stars

This is last week's lesson for Delightful Stars. I'm ready to start on this week's today.
I like the orange against the black background--not a color choice I use very often but it turned out well.
I started making "practice" blocks after Kathy mentioned how much easier it made the "real" blocks.
These are the 1st four of those. Most of them were catch-up, so not really practice. From now on, I'll use muslin and scraps to practice the technique for the week and then I'll use my batiks and black background.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Aiming for Accuracy--Delightful Stars

Four of us from the Cerro Gordo, IL, Quilt Club are participating in Michele Foster's (Quilting Gallery) Aiming for Accuracy Quilt-along, using her design "Delightful Stars."
I think it is amazing that FOUR women from a small town of 1500 are doing this--and we didn't even know Terry Sue was in on it until we saw her comments. We are: Carol (that's me), Kathy, Betty Sue, and Terry Sue.
Below are my first 3 star blocks.

Kathy is making 2 quilts, one being a practice quilt and the other the "real" deal. I think they will both be great when they are done! I decided to follow her example (belatedly) and now have 1 of the 3 done, using muslin for the background/contrast--so far anyway--and scraps for the other pieces. That's what Kathy's doing too. It will be fun to see what all our quilts look like when they are finished!
Thanks, Michele Foster! I'm looking forward to each lesson! (and am I ever glad I am retired so I have more time to do this!)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

She Who Sews--my turn--January 27

Today is the first day of She Who Sews blog hop and I get to share first--talk about pressure! (Wink, wink!) Many thanks to Madame Samm for her creativity and to our cheerleader Carla for seeing after us!
After seeing a thread catcher in American Patchwork and Quilting magazine, I decided I would make one, having never had one before. BUT, the thread catcher sat on the table, and I wanted it to hang OFF the table--time to put on my thinking cap!
What you see below is the finished product. (Now, I won't hang it there--it will be in the way--but the right side of my machine is too cluttered--what? was this hop about organizing?-- to have IT on display for all to see.)
And this is what it looks like lying flat.

Below you see the pieces are apart. I sewed the flat back to connect the thread catcher to a pin cushion.
The pin cushion is a tube I filled with crushed walnut shells. A scrap of batting is on each end of the tube to keep the shells from leaking out. Then I put Velcro on all the pieces. I thought there might be times I would want the pin cushion or thread catcher separated from the rest. If I make another thread catcher, I will make it a little shorter--this one seems awfully tall (7 or 8").

I also made a cozy for a coffee or tea cup. We were to have that lesson at our Quilt Club meeting this month (cancelled because of weather) so I made one anyway out of the Handmaids fabric.
Now, I don't have the right kind of cup for it, thus the one you see.
In the background I displayed the Handmaids fabric, my pincushion separated from the thread catcher, and a mug mat I made for the Be a Hexie Queen blog hop last year. (That was a fun hop too.)
Lastly, I made a wall hanging--not organizational, I know, but, gee, it looks nice on my sewing room wall!

Thanks again to Carla and to Madame Samm!
Please visit everyone else today and see the wonderful things they have made.

January 27th

  Just Sew Quilter You are here!