Friday, December 31, 2010

A Special Day!

Yesterday, I was honored to meet Barbara, my mystery visitor!
She made me this darling salt cellar pincushion as a thank you for my SAL.
She had a feeling I would like something so small!
I also got to see her quilt in person and it is lovely.  She plans to hand quilt it.
She frequents Scottsdale during her time off from teaching 4th Grade, so I hope we will see each other again. 
My kit for the Mistletoe project arrived from Debbie of Wooden Spool Designs.
A special thank you to her and I encourage you to visit her here.
If all this was not enough, we also had a snow storm here in the desert!
You will have to look closely to see it on Daphne's fur and flurrying in the air around them!
I know that you all experiencing real snow are laughing right now, but it was a treat for us.
Daphne, however, did not enjoy it as much as we did!
Happy New Year everyone!
Wishes for health and prosperity; but most of all, finishing all those UFOs and WIPS!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pieced, but not quilted, so...

...I guess I can't call it finished.
My mother brought me these antique scissors at Thanksgiving.
And, I bought myself an early Christmas present.
The photo is of my paternal grandfather, the quilter!
I am so glad Dee, of TOWQS fame, convinced me to use the green stripe in the border instead of the black.  It gives it a true turn of the century feel.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Celebration!

Hooray!
All four large squares of my Kim Diehl queen size quilt are appliqued. 
Next step is to assemble the connecting panels and do the center applique and then off to the quilter she will go! I might meet my goal of having it done in time for the Arizona quilt shown in March.
And here is my reward! 
A small quilt, another Kim Diehl pattern from her latest book, Simple Graces.
The intensity of the fabrics is refreshing for me. Her version, Welcome Wagon, is much larger than my miniature version.  I opted to increase the size of the hourglass blocks to 1 1/2" finished, instead of the 1" finished I originally planned.  At 1", I could not appreciate the fabrics as well. 
Right now, it will finish around 14" square. 
So many bloggers are talking about New Year's resolutions and the most popular one seems to be 'finishing projects'  before they start new ones.  OR, I like this one better--'finishing' a project a month.
That seems more realistic for me.
Even my Small Quilt Talk yahoo group is having a 'finishing' challenge.

What project will you finish in January?

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Sonoran Sunset

The clouds that will bring rain in the next few days sure made for a kaleidoscope of color on the horizon tonight.
If only I could capture the splendor of Mother Nature in my quilts.
I just have to share the tale of our Christmas feast. 
My sister does not have a large home and expected 21 guests for dinner.
She also expected a major storm front to move in.
To solve her dilemma, her engineer husband and she erected a tent structure off the sliding glass door to her backyard.  To make sure we were all dry and comfortable, they enclosed the sides with plastic sheeting from Home Depot.  To make this plastic scenario seem more festive, she festooned the side walls with twinkle lights and silver balls.  Each table had a unique and 'glitzy' centerpiece. (Must run in the family!)  Propane space heaters provided the warmth.
Never underestimate Yankee ingenuity!
My sister and her granddaughter.
Yes, she has 5 and is my younger sister!
I don't remember a better Christmas dinner!

A Request

I had an anonymous request for the layout of the Xmas wreath.
It uses 8 each of the red and green fabrics and 9 background squares.
Have fun!
A little addendum--don't forget to add the outer border of background fabric!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Test Post

While I am on my blog hiatus (which means I am somewhere where there is no Internet and I am going through withdrawals!), I thought I would test out posting at a predetermined date and time.
Hopefully, when you are reading this post, I will be in the car headed home from rainy California!
I finished drafting and piecing this beauty before I said goodbye to Bernice (stole that name for my Bernina from Carol!) 
How small is that center 25-patch???
Really small, but that is how I like em!

And I know this will shock you; but the night before I left AZ, I started a small scale version of Kim Diehl's Welcome Wagon.  OK, I also prepped all the applique to finish my big quilt and I will work on it while I am away.
Here are the first four hourglass units and a little perspective.
Only 86 more to go!
Yes, I love miniature work!
Hope everyone had a joyous Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A little peek and then a little blog hiatus!

I started setting the blocks I have made today.  I am so excited and pleased with how the quilt is coming out that I can hardly wait unit Jan. to start sharing the patterns.  I have settled on making mine 5x6 instead of 6x7 like Ms. Snyder made hers. I will eliminate blocks that are too, too difficult to draft and those that I simply don't like.  I plan to set the blocks in their original places, but substitute the outer row blocks for the inner blocks I eliminate.  I will choose blocks that have a similar look and color to them.
I've also found my perfect blue.  It is a periwinkle blue from Judie Rothermel's Lancaster County III collection, so how fitting. The next block to draft is the Pennsylvannia block and even though I don't care for it, it must be included.
Daphne is modeling the grocery tote my daughter designed and made for my sister for Christmas.
It is similar to one I shared this summer.
I'm all done with handmade gifts!
Two more gifts to purchase, but I know what I am going for, and then some wrapping and I will be done.

We will take off this week for Napa.
Could be a treacherous drive with all the flooding and expected snowfall between here and there.
Wish us a safe trip and I will return to blogland after Christmas!

 Merry Christmas to All and a Happy New Year too!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Some more handmade gifts and a mystery visitor!

Finished these for some very special people--
THE GIRLS!
That is how we fondly refer to the lovely ladies who own and operate the Olde World Quilt Shoppe in Phoenix, AZ.  Two sisters and one daughter.
If you ever find yourself in the area, give them a visit.
You will not be disappointed.
Besides their charming personalities and knowledge base, they have an awesome collection of reproduction fabrics to choose from.  It is rumored that celebrities like Renee Plains of Liberty Star and Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company frequent the shoppe.
I can assure you it is more than a rumor!

So, who is my mystery visitor?
I received an email from Barbara in California, who surprised me in November with her completed SAL quilt. I didn't even know she was participating.
She will be in Scottsdale soon and we plan to meet at the aforementioned Olde World Quilt Shoppe.
I am so excited to meet her.
Blogland has opened up a whole new world of associations for me.
Most remain faceless.
Hopefully, soon, I will put a face with her lovely quilt.
Speaking of SAL quilts, I would like to do a parade of SAL quilts before I start my 1880 sampler.
Please send me pictures of your quilts, no matter what stage of completion and I will add them to the pictures I already have.
Mine is still only half quilted. Maybe this will motivate me to get busy and finish it.

And if you are looking for a bubble gum pink fabric for your 1880 sampler quilt, check out this line available at Sew Unique Creations.  It is called Little Pink Stars by Margo Krager.
Wish the blues were not so dark in value or they would have been perfect too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm a Winner!

Remember this project from Debbie Busby over at Wooden Spool Designs.
She is one of the new designers I discovered during the Buttermilk Basin Home for the Holidays Blog Hop. And truly, this was my favorite project of the entire hop!
Thank you so much Debbie!

And a little more glitz!
I could not resist this variation of the Lil' Twister quilt I had seen in blogland.
Needs to be quilted, but what a great table topper for the holidays.
This one finished at 18" x 18", but I should have used the ruler for 5" squares!
It would have made a wonderful centerpiece for my dining room table this holiday.
I think I'll go back to TOWQS and get some yardage to make a big one next year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm keeping busy!

Finished another mug rug as a gift for my DD's friend at school.
Her last name is PEAR.  We'll add some hot cocoa mix and viola!
A handmade Christmas gift.
The best part of these simple gifts is that I get to do some serious machine quilting practice.
Look what I cooked up this am.
Cutest little sunglass case from Kim Diehl's latest book.
I know my mother is going to love this gift.
Tomorrow---power shopping day!
Wish me luck.
I have my list and coupons ready.
Hoping everyone else stays home!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just a note about my 1880 sampler quilt

I have 11 blocks drafted and Doreen has provided the names of all the blocks.
I originally decided to post the patterns one block at a time starting in Jan.
However, Homestead Hearth is offering a BOM program starting in Feb. based on the book, A Mother's Gift.
I am seriously contemplating my next move.
A big thank you to Lisa for bringing it to my attention.
My only saving grace is that I decided to draft them 5" and they were actually 4 1/2" finished in the original quilt.  Homestead Hearth's program will give you a historically accurate reproduction of the quilt.
Mine will not. 
 I don't even know if I can draft more than 3/4 of the blocks.
Check their program out.  From what I can tell, it is similar to the Farmer's Wife Quilt in that you use a CD with templates or foundation paper piecing patterns, which will make the complex blocks easier than my method. 
I felt you needed to know the facts up front.
I learned to hook yesterday afternoon--that is rug hook!
My new quilty friend, Debbie, is teaching me.
Just what I need! Another hobby/craft.
How many unfinished rugs can a person acquire in a lifetime?
Stay tuned for the answer.
But, really. There is one in my new Kim Diehl book I want to do, so I need to practice on this darling quilt sampler rug that Debbie gifted to me.  How apropos for me--a sampler fanatic!

 
And if you are looking for a visual treat,
check this gal's home tour out!
Puts my 'glitzy' decor to shame!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

If one is good...

...two is better!
I made another candle mat, this time using pinwheels.
I never do the same thing twice. 
This one is larger, and more appropriately sized for my snowgirl vignette!
My daughter actually loved the original and absconded with it.
The best part was binding it using my 'custom' binding clips from Merumo.
Aren't they just adorable!

I may have to make yet a third little quilted mat!
I think Kathie's original design is the best, only this time my finished HST's may be 1/2" instead of 1".
This guy needs a rug.
Found the frame on my road trip with the girls on Friday.
Perfect for my needlepunch project from Brenda Gervais.

And now I can share another mug rug.
This vegetable themed one went to a very dear quilting friend, Lin, as a Christmas gift.
I know she enjoys a cuppa joe each morning as she surfs blogland, and
I hope this mug and rug will be put to good use!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm a Copycat...

...but I love her quilt, didn't win the kit Kathi was giving away, and just had to have one of my own.
The stripe in the border and in the binding is what makes this quilt sing to me.
I quilted it with metallic thread in keeping with my 'glitzy' holiday decor. 
And the girls look just precious poised on it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A little tree tour!

Our antique glass ornaments from our families. 
My Santa Claus phase! 
Then my snowman phase. 
A few whimsicals. 
Of course, a Nutcracker representing the annual family trek to the Nutcracker Ballet. 
And finally, my favorite ornament of all.  This is my angel from my tree as a child.  It was given to me by my grandmother.  My grandmother is who I inherited my love of all handwork from.

Monday, December 6, 2010

SSQSG meeting on Sunday

My friend, Merumo, posted about our meeting and did such a grand job that I will just send you over to her to see all the beautiful work the ladies have done in the last month and a half.
You can find her here.
However, she had a purse she made with her that both my daughter and I adored.
We had picked up a book on felted, crocheted flowers on one of our visits to the bookstore.
Now I want to make a bag and decorate it with them.
Need to brush up on those knitting and crocheting skills first!
We were sharing stories at group, and I mentioned these trendy aluminum trees from the 50's and early 60's. We had one perched in our picture window in the first home I have memories of.  You had to use the color wheel to light the tree to avoid electrocution!
I have a collection of the 'antique' (if they are antiques, what does that make me??) glass ornaments that were used on both my family's tinsel tree and on my husband's.  Perhaps that is why I have a glitzy tree!
Here is my tree.
I'll be back with a photo collection of the ornaments and their significance soon (per Merumo's suggestion!) Don't forget to stop by her blog to see all the other ladies work!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Progress Report

The latest blocks for my 1880 sampler quilt! 
 Block #8 was a challenge to draft, but not all that bad to make.
Yeah, right?!?!
Doreen, from Aunt Reen's Place, is my historian for the quilt.
She is working on her license as a quilt appraiser and has kindly offered to identify the blocks and give me a little info on each one. 
Block #7 is Cross in a Square.
The name becomes apparent if you turn it on point and squint.

Otherwise, I continue to work on my applique quilt, determined to have it done by the end of January so I can enter it in the AQG show. 
Also trying to get in the holiday spirit. Experiencing a little 'Bah humbug' this year. 
Sunday afternoon, my small scale quilt group has our final gathering of the year.
I know there will be lots of inspiration and temptation to share with you all.