Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Busy Little Four Patch

                                            *GIVEAWAY CLOSED*

I got the itch to stitch the other day and made this cute little 4-patch quilt. The blocks measure 1-1/2" square and are made of red & ivory & black fabrics. The finished size is 11" x 14-1/2".

I quilted it on a diagonal grid with straight lines. It puckered up quite a bit when I washed it and got a little bit wavy, but I think it'll flatten out eventually.

My birthday is on January 1st and I'd like to give this little quilt away as a way of celebrating my 59th. Please leave a comment telling me you'd like to win it and I'll draw a name Wednesday night.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Little Hexies

I'm still plugging along on my tiny hexie project - this is what I usually work on in the evenings while I'm watching TV with hubby. The hexies measure 3/8". Each one of the rosettes with the cream colored outlining takes me about six hours from start to finish, so there is a lot of time invested in this little quilt. I only have a few more units to complete and then I can start stitching them all together into a whole.

While taking Christmas down today I snapped a couple pictures of these cute garland I made several years ago - thought some of you might like to see it. I used #8 wool strips (1/4" wide) and threaded them onto a needle with crochet thread - added a bead from a broken garland - and then repeated until it was the length I wanted. 

I use this one on a small feather tree, but you could make one any size you want. Would be fun on a Valentine tree - or an Easter tree - or even a Halloween tree. Just change the colors of the wool and the beads and voila!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bride & Groom

Well, the wedding has come & gone - I enjoyed every moment of it immensely! Crazily enough, I didn't take a single picture and I have no idea when we'll get access to the professional photos, so for now I will share some of these that they had taken a few weeks ago at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

One Swap & Two Bee Skeps

Last summer my friend Janet (Rogue Quilter) proposed that we swap small quilts with a Christmas theme. It sounded like a great idea at the time. As the deadline grew closer I realized that the timing of our swap was perilously close to the birth of a new grand baby and my son's wedding. Fortunately, I was able to make mine and get it finished in early November. We met yesterday to exchange our little quilts and I think we were both pleased. Here they are side by side.

Janet made up this cute sheep quilt for me from a Lisa Bongean pattern - substituting Christmas colors for the RW&B that Lisa used. I especially love what she named it - Fleece Navidad - isn't that so clever? LOL

This is the quilt I made for her - the blocks are supposed to resemble wreaths - and I appliqued some wool holly leaves around the edges and added the teeniest tiniest red buttons that I've ever seen! It was a fun swap and I'm so glad she suggested it!

Today I met with my 1st Tuesday Rug Group and we had a wonderful time visiting. The bad weather that was predicted held off and made it possible for us to travel in safety.  Most of the gals are working on rugs that I've shown before, but I loved seeing that Sandy & Victoria are both doing the same Maggie B pattern. I wanted to share them here because they look so different with the different colors and worm sizes. I can't wait till they're both finished!

Wedding preparations are nearing completion - the special day is next Friday (the 13th). I ended up making a pencil skirt for myself and it worked up pretty quickly. I'll have family coming from California for the event and look forward to spending time with them.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Baby Stuff

DD#1 had her baby boy yesterday - five days after his due date - but he was definitely worth the wait - just look at this little cutie! His name is Sterling Owen and it was love at first sight for all of us! 8 lbs 8 oz & 20" long.

Here are pictures of his nursery - ready and waiting for him to arrive home. This is the daughter who loves bright colors and his room is certainly no exception to her preferences - so fun! All the colors really pop against the light gray walls.

We are looking forward to getting to know him and spend time with him! L-O-V-E-!

Monday, November 18, 2013

This & That

I have completed the quilt top for my Christmas wall hanging - I think - might end up adding some embroidered green pine boughs spilling out of the baskets. I knew I wanted the red & white striped border to be on the bias to suggest candy canes, but I was really worried that they would stretch and distort the quilt. I realized that I could stabilize them with a very lightweight fusible interfacing and I worked great. The appliqued parts are made with wool. Quilt measures about 46" x 22".

On Saturday I attended a bridal shower for my soon-to-be DIL. I made her a cute apron with ruffles.....

.....added some colorful mixing bowls that were on her Target wish list....

....and included a pair of dish washing gloves that I had embellished similar to these....

.... and packaged it really cute with the help of DD#2. It was a fun gift to put together.

Last week at my Salt Lake Rug Group we got to see Nancy's rug totally finished - pattern can be found in a Pat Cross book.

Vicki shared a darling snowman pillow cover that she made - she'll be able to display it all winter long since there aren't any Christmas motifs included on it. 

We're anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new grand baby - his due date was last Friday so he should be here any time now - can't wait!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Project Updates & Hooking Stuff

In my last post I shared a glimpse of a quilt I was making. The top is now complete so I'll show you the whole thing and tell you how it came to be......

Months ago I joined hundreds of other quilters and started stitching Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street. I made nearly 70 of these sections - - - 

and then realized I had the colors wrong! What to do? (correct colors are below)

One day I was browsing through my quilt books and I noticed the quilt on the cover of Kim Diehl's most recent book. I realized it had the same block section as the one I had messed up.

So I did some more piecing and ended up with this. The center stars are scrappy reds & the churn dash parts are all scrappy green, but the background is only one gold fabric.

For the sashing I finally used a Moda paisley print that I've had for years - it helped me choose the colors for the entire quilt and I quite like it. After cutting the sashing and the binding strips, I had one small strip leftover so I barely had enough. Whew!

I had originally planned to set the blocks 4x4, but ended up doing a longer, skinnier version. Working with 12" blocks was a real different experience for me because I rarely make any that big, but it was worth it. Since this will be used as a couch quilt for watching TV, long and skinny will work just fine.

Another project I have been working on is a Christmas wall hanging. This is what it looks like right now.

I used this book for piecing all the alphabet letters and plan to add some applique somewhere before it's done.

I've used the book before to make this quilt that hangs in my studio- - -

- - - and this one that hangs in the bathroom downstairs.

Saturday at the Hook-In I was thrilled when my Row Rug won 3rd place in the People's Choice Awards! It was a fun, fun day! For more pictures from the hook-in, please go to the Guild's blog here.

On Tuesday Eileen showed me a small hexagon quilt that she made using the same pattern I've been working on. I think she said her hexies were 3/4". Mine are 3/8" and the size difference on the finished product is amazing. Her colors are so beautiful.....

Here's a picture of the rug that she's working on - a classic Emma Lou Lais design. We brainstormed some ideas for the border - she's so close to having it finished!

I have finished polka dotting all the burlap on the twelve table runners for the wedding reception next month. I was pretty impressed with myself because I only made one single mistake on placement! Here's a sneak peek. They're not as shinny as the fabric you can buy at JoAnn's but I think the price difference more than compensates for that.

I've got nothing on my schedule today except to stay home and sew, so that's what I plan on doing.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Seeing Stars

A couple weeks ago I bought five 36" strips of lathe from Lowe's. I wired them together in the shape of a star and slapped on some blue paint. Then I wrapped some Virginia Creeper vines around it and stapled them on so they would stay put as the vines shrink.

Now it's hanging above the garage between two of my studio windows to make the house more interesting to see from the street.

I'm also seeing stars on my work table. I'm making a quilt using some 'oops'  from another project. Here's a sneak peek - I just have four more sashing strips to sew on and the top will be finished for a new couch quilt.

I started a small hexie quilt early in the spring when I took a couple trips because they're so nice and portable for traveling, and I've been spending a lot of sewing time with them while watching TV in the evenings lately. It's getting there! These are 3/8" to a side, so pretty small. I was struggling with the needle I was using - it was just too fat and hard to use while thread basting AND whip stitching, so I asked Jo Morton (on Facebook) what kind of needle she uses for hers and now that I've made the switch it's SO much easier! (John James 11 sharps, or Jeanna Kimball 11 straw - in case you're wondering).

Last week at a Quilt Shop Hop I bought myself a new rotary cutter cuz it was 1/2 price. It's made by Olfa and is designed just a bit differently than the one I've been using for years. Much easier to change the blade and it seems lighter too. The new blade slices through my fabric like butter!

This morning I stopped by a LQS that is closing and I bought this DMC floss organizer for $10. I took out the dividers and will use it for storing various notions and sewing supplies - it joins the other two that I have found previously. However, there is a lot of sticker residue on the drawers - any suggestions on how to remove them and clean it up before I fill it with goodies?

Tomorrow is our Guild's Hook-In in Salt Lake City so I'm looking forward to a fun day with friends. Hope I make some progress on my Maggie B rug, but that doesn't always happen at these events when I get to distracted with visiting and shopping and rug sharing! 

The wedding quilt is at the long arm quilter's, and I only have two more polka dotted table runners to finish 

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Bit of Fall & a Bit of Wedding

I don't decorate nearly as much as I did when my children were small, and I don't really do 'Halloween' - but I love pumpkins & fall leaves so here's the little bit I have on display - - -

This is a wool penny rug I stitched several years ago - I believe the pattern was in an issue of Create & Decorate magazine. The old wood tray is filled with pumpkins of every description.

Here's the front of the house. We grew most of the pumpkins, but some of them are fake and they'll remain till Thanksgiving after the real ones have been carved into Jack O'Lanterns for the trick or treaters. 

The wedding quilt is pieced and I'm waiting for a phone call from the quilter to tell me she's ready to start working on it - soon hopefully! (this picture was taken before the white sashing was added between the blocks)

This is a 12 yard piece of burlap I bought to make table runners for the wedding reception. 

They will be nine feet long and I will be painting metallic gold polka dots on all of them to look similar to this. I'll be using corks about 1" in diameter and should get the same effect for a LOT less money than buying it already painted at JoAnn's. 

That'll keep me busy for awhile, that's for sure!