Friday, July 30, 2010

She's gonna kill me...

Lynn had surgery on her wrist yesterday and even though I know she's going to kill me, I love this picture! I took it just before she was given her "make me goofy and drowsy" drugs. Of course I sent it to her boyfriend so he was updated on the progress of her surgery. :-)

Everything went well and she's doing great!

I'm not sure I can say the same for Nikki who still has not had the baby. She's overdue now and is hoping that this child arrives soon! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I've been working on a couple of UFOs (same pattern, just two completely sets of fabrics so I'll have two differently looking quilts). I'm finishing up the Rolling Star blocks for each of the quilts and that is what's on my design wall/sewing table today.

As you can probably tell from the photo, one of the quilts will be scrappy (the top block) and one will be repeating fabrics. I'm looking forward to seeing the difference. The last one of these quilts I made was a very controlled scrappy because I was still new to "stash quilting" and I was too afraid to let loose and go for it. This scrappy one will be somewhat controlled, but near as mush as the other one. Of course I don't have a picture of the first one I made because that had been taken with the camera that reformated the XD card. I lost 10-12 pictures of quilts when that happened, so now I try to be really good about making copies as soon as I can after taking the pictures. I also try to remember to print out the pictures so I have a hard copy.

Check out what other quilters are working on today by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stash Report - Week 30

As strange as it sounds, I had a pretty good week sewing wise even though I didn't really use that much fabric and I didn't finish anything. As I reported in a previous post, I worked on a quilt using Annie Smith's 2009 NYE Mystery pattern. I haven't finished the borders but I decided what to do and I have them about half done. While I was trying to decide the borders for that quilt, I pulled out two UFOs and began to work on them. They are the same pattern - Bonnie Hunter's Double Delight - a 2008 mystery. I made one of these quilts while the mystery was taking place, but I gave that quilt away. I decided that I really liked the pattern and I wanted one for myself. I also decided that I wanted to make one as a raffle quilt to have on hand since I always hold at least one fundraising quilt raffle every year. When I have one on hand or at least partially done, it's a lot less stressful than having to decide what to make, get the fabric, and get it sewn and quilted. When I have to make these decisions quickly, I almost always go buy fabric because it takes too much time to "shop" my stash and that does major damage for a positive stash report!

Speaking of stash reports, I've finally broken the 200 yard mark for fabric used year-to-date and I'm getting pretty close to the 100 yard mark for my net usage. I'd really like to reach that next week, but we'll see.

Here's the weekly report:

Fabric Used This Week: 6.75 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 201.625 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 104.25 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 97.375 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Well it's Monday and I have something on the design wall and surprisingly it's not a memory quilt! Since I completed two memory quilts this past weekend (see my previous post for pictures) , I decided to work on a non-memory quilt project yesterday and here's my progress.

This pattern is from a 2009 New Years Eve Mystery hosted by Ann M. Smith. I like participating in mystery quilts, but have to admit that most of the time I opt to make the smallest size available, just in case I don't like the finished product. (It's funny that I say that because I have NEVER participated in a mystery that I didn't like the final product. Perhaps I'm just a big old scaredy cat and haven't learned how to give up some of that control that I like to have!)

Anyway, this was one quilt that I really liked and knew that I would make it again, in a larger size. The original quilt I made was crib size, with no borders. This is a bit larger and will be used as a Quilt For Kids project or just another small quilt to have around the house - you know, we are on baby watch since Nikki is due to have her baby anytime. I'd used this focus fabric for another Quilt For Kids project and had fourteen 6 1/2" squares, plus a strip of 5" x WOF left over. I couldn't bring myself to throw these pieces away because I knew I had a pattern that would use them. I just had to find it in my notebooks.

Unlike the last quilt, I'll be adding borders, but I'm still playing with that. Here is one option.

I think that I want to continue the red and blue fabrics into a first border and "finish" the diamonds. I have to do some math and see if I have enough of these fabrics, but I really don't want to go out and buy fabric to finish this, except maybe the backing.

Do you have a border suggestion?

Check out what other quilters are working on by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Finally, the Pictures

I finally got a couple pictures of the two memory quilts that I finished this weekend.

Other than the borders, binding, and backing, this entire quilt is made from award ribbons that the young lady won while showing horses. As you can tell, the young lady won LOTS of ribbons!

This is actually a very large wall hanging (it will cover almost one entire wall of the young lady's bedroom) and I just couldn't get a good picture of the entire quilt but I think you get the idea. This was kind of a pain to make and the quilting was even more challenging. All of the ribbons are different shapes and sizes and some have lettering within 1/8th of an inch of the sides. Because there were so many ribbons and the young lady wanted them all included, we had to play with the layout quite a bit. In the end, the girl was pleased and I'm glad it's done.

This next quilt is the 4th memory quilt made using the clothing from a man that passed away last year. By the time I was asked to make this quilt, I didn't have very many large pieces left so I really had to think about what pattern to use. I was looking through my file of "must do quilts" when I saw a Heartstrings Quilt made by Mary and BOOM - it hit me that this was it!

I think this has become my new favorite pattern to use for memory quilts!

Stash Report - Week 29

I've been kind of busy the last couple of days and got two projects done that used up stash for borders, backing and binding. YEAH!!! I'm still waiting to get pictures (hopefully within the next hour or so) so I can post them.

For those of you who read my last post, as promised, I did not include my batting in my report today, although it was tempting!

Here's the weekly report:

Fabric Used This Week: 10.50 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 194.875 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 104.25 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 90.625 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Conversion is Complete

I think I have just made the real commitment/conversion to being a scrap quilter. Notice the "Tub o' Batting" that's been sitting around my sewing room.

I've been telling myself that I'll cut this up and use it for rag quilts. Well I have another tub full of rag quilt batting squares, plus a bag full and honestly I don't think that I need any more right now. Seriously, when was the last time I made a rag quilt? It's probably been a year! The pieces in the tub are pretty big, which is probably the reason I didn't cut them up as soon as they were produced. These pieces are just not big enough to be used in any of the quilts I've been working on lately.

Well, last night as I was layering a project that measures 60" x 70" I noticed the "Tub o' Batting" and decided to piece the batting instead of create yet another odd shaped piece. Now I know that many quilters have been piecing their batting scraps for a long time (bravo to all of you), but I've been blessed to have a fairly large sewing room and storing the scraps was not a problem. I don't know what made me do it, but I pulled out three pieces and started sewing them together.

While piecing this batting, something came over me. I realized that I've just been playing with being a scrap quilter and using up stash. I had to admit to myself that besides fabric, I also have a stash of batting that I can use. (Trust me, I won't count this in my stash reports, but I feel pretty darn good about using up this stuff.)

I just finished quilting and binding the project that used this pieced batting and I'll post a picture later when there's someone here to hold the quilt while I take a picture.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weekend Visit with Ann's Family

I spent Sunday with my sister Ann and her family. Ann had a DOUBLE knee replacement June 24th and she is recuperating beautifully. She returned home only nine days after surgery and I wanted to offer some help so on Sunday I drove to her place near Akron and spent the day.

Claire (their almost 11 year old daughter) and I fixed dinner, put together a couple of meals for the freezer, did a few household chores, and baked a cake to celebrate Ann and Tony's anniversary and celebrate Scout's (the dog) birthday. Claire decorated the cake below incorporating LOTS of components that both of her parents love, including chocolate for her dad and strawberries for her mom.

Not only was it fun watching her decorate it, it tasted great!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I've been working in the Heartstring memory quilt again and if I could just set aside a pretty good chunk of time I know I could get it done! I only have twelve more full blocks to sew as well as the bottom six in the picture. (I think I can. I think I can. I'm just like the little engine that could.)

I thought that this pattern was perfect for a memory quilt. I've made three other quilts from this person's clothing and when I was asked to make another one I wasn't sure what pattern I could use because the clothing was pretty well used up. This has worked out great and I'm really happy with how it's turning out. Again, I found the pattern for Heartstring Quilts on Mary's blog and when she posted a picture of this quilt in which strategic fabric placement resulted in a heart, I knew that was what I wanted to do! Thanks again Mary!

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by going to Judy L.'s blog!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stash Report - Weeks 25-28

This report includes weeks 25 through 28 so I don't feel so bad about the "fabric in" numbers, but I do wish there was more on the "fabric out" side - oh well....

I was introduced to English Paper Piecing recently and now I think I need to find a support group! I find it very relaxing and something I can do when I don't have binding to work on while I'm watching a ball game or TV in general. It's also portable so I have a little container packed and ready to take with me at a moment's notice. I LOVE my snapware containers! Have you tried them? I got mine when they were 50% off at JoAnn Fabrics.

Anyway, back to the report.... I showed the project to the owners of a local quilt shop while I was teaching a class and they liked it so I'm going to teach a class on the technique as soon as I make a sample. Of course that means I HAD to get fabric for that, as well as add to the reproduction fabric for my original project. Because I'm making a large bed quilt (probably an oversized queen) for myself and that will probably take me right up to my 80th birthday, I am making a smaller sample for the class. If you've never done English Paper Piecing, it's all hand-pieced. My husband reminded me of a hand quilting class we took in which someone brought in a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt that she had worked on for over 10 years. She was a flight attendant and worked on the pieces while she had layovers. Anyway, Jack reminded me that I said something like, "That is beautiful but you will NEVER see me make a quilt that is entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted." I guess I should never say never. Also, don't you hate it when men remember things like that. He can't remember that we had plans to go out to dinner, but he can remember something from 12 years ago!

Ok, really I will go back to the report now! I made another Patriotic Rail Fence (thanks Mary for the wonderful pattern) in honor of July 4th and I'm continuing to work on a couple of memory quilts even though they don't use much stash.

Here's the report:

Fabric Used These 4 Weeks: 10.00 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 184.375 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 12.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 104.25 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 80.125 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L'.s Patchwork Times blog!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Has it been a month yet?

I knew that I hadn't posted in a while, but I didn't realize that it has almost been a month. I have been busy (some sewing, some not) so I kind of have an excuse. Right after my last post, I attended our annual sisters' weekend (Thursday thru Sunday), followed by three days of extended family time. As usual, we had a great time and we were fortunate to have NO RAIN until right as we were leaving.

I'm not going to bore you with details, but the last couple of weeks have pretty much been a blur of activities but I did take some time to quilt so I will have an updated stash report tomorrow and something to show on the design wall for Monday. YEAH!

I just got home from Relay for Life. Of course it rained yesterday during the early hours of the event, but it did clear up by early evening so it wasn't all bad weather. As usual, the luminary ceremony was very touching. After the candles were lit, a bag pipe player led the procession around the field and I don't know why but bag pipes ALWAYS get to me. It was really something! I didn't spend the night, but I did return this morning to help start taking down the tent and cleaning up the site before our guild meeting, which starts at 10:00.

I'll try to add some pictures later, but I won't promise anything. I do want to sew today, but realistically I don't think that will happen until tonight. (I am trying to be realistic, but it sure is difficult! :-)