Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In between decking the halls,

baking, and making the laborious trek to the post office,
 I have managed to start a new applique project.
Many months ago, Deb brought this project to my attention.

Country Whig Rose by Kim Diehl.

I have the first block prepped.
I have block #2 halfway prepped and all but the circles done on block #4.
I am trying to get all the fabrics chosen and the fabric requirements calculated so that TOWQS can kit it up for a class I have scheduled to teach in February.
Needless to say, after they are all prepped, I will be stitching, stitching, stitching!

This morning I will be finishing off this X-stitch stocking for my granddaughter.
I love how my DD copied her first stocking!

And finally,
this month's PFH block.
I love the stitch we learned for the stems...it is a keeper.

Hope everyone is enjoying the season!
It finally got cold here, so perhaps it will really feel like Christmas!
Would be nice to have some of the white stuff on the ground,
but only for a day or so.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hearthside Seasons

Here is my version of Kim Diehl's holiday freebie.
It was first brought to my attention by my quilting friend, Deb, and then I saw Karen's version here.
My applique is done in wool and I changed the placement of some of the holly leaves.
You can find the pattern here and the applique templates here.
My goal was to get it finished before the end of the month for Darlene's and Cheryl's 
Christmas Through the Year.
I don't think I will make it, but I do have at least one more gift almost done for the rapidly approaching holiday.  My goal is to enjoy the season and not stress the whole gift giving thing. I like the idea of giving gifts for local services and/or sold by local small businesses.
Needless to say, I did not shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Now,
it is time to decorate the house!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This and That

I am on a winning streak!
This time it is this awesome pattern from Linda of 
Click on her blog name to see the quilt up close. 
Both her design and the quilting are exquisite.
Her pattern reproduces one of the quilts from the 
Infinite Variety Show.
Perhaps this will inspire me to finish my red and white quilt.

The weather cooled down dramatically and I mustered enough energy to sew the binding on Pinwheels for Caroline.  I love scrappy bindings, so I chose to do this one in black scraps...perhaps not my best idea. However, I am using up my stash, which was my original goal with this quilt.  The one good decision I made was to go with a wool batt.
I love the texture and it hasn't been washed yet!
Ignore the dark stripe running across the quilt...poor photo.

Block 4 of PFH is done.
The BOM instructor gave us a new stitch for the stem.
She plans to show us a few more variations, 
so I will try all of them and then choose my favorite.
BTW, the #42 teal I ordered was the wrong color.
  It is so hard to tell from the pics on the computer the true color of the thread.  
So, my clorox lightened thread will just have to suffice...it is the thread on the darkest petals.

Company is coming!
Next week my DD and I will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner, as well as out of town guests.
Lots of work to get the house and all the meals prepared.
So, I will wish everyone a 
Happy Thanksgiving
now.   

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Small Quilt Show

Taryn,
is having a small quilt show.
This is my entry.
This is my small version of a quilt designed by Kim Diehl.
My goal was to use scraps of some of my favorite reproduction fabrics.
It finishes at 12 1/2" x 12 1/2".
It is on display in my sewing room along with my grandmother's scissors, a gifted saltbox pincushion,
my featherweight machine and an antique picture of my father.
Hop on over to Taryn's to see the other small quilts exhibited.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just a little finish...

 Punkin Seeds,
designed by Little Bits by Joan.
My versatile hubbie made the primitive frame for me.
While I was at it,
I made Woodland Winter #303 as well.
Both projects were quick and easy to do.

I am procrastinating yet again.
Pinwheels for Caroline came back from the longarm quilter and is ready for a binding. 
 I'll use the still warm weather as my excuse for not tackling it just yet.

Of course, I am itching to start something new, so I picked up one of the new
 Little Bites by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. called Tidbit.
I could not resist it when I saw the 3 little quilts made by Carrie Nelson for the October meeting of the Miss Rosie's Club at TOWQS.  If you want to see them, go to Carrie's post here.

I finally got the nerve to tackle the embroidery on my PFH BOM.  
Block #1
Block #2-the hardest part was getting the straight stitches of the sunburst equal.
Must have ripped them out 10 times.
Thank you, Anne, for suggesting a sunburst instead of the smiley face!
Block #3
I have been using seed beads instead of colonial knots where indicated,
but stopped after adding them to the aqua petals (the bottom two petals have the beads.)
Decided to wait until all the blocks are made to see if perhaps these beads are too much for my taste.

Next month's block is predominately aqua/teal, which has created a slight problem...
I don't own the perfect medium teal Valdani perle cotton.
They make it, but I cannot order it directly from them.  
You have to find a shop that carries it.    
Snowflake Memories has a good selection, but no #42.
So I cut off some of a very dark teal I did have and tried to lighten it in a bath of dilute Clorox.  When they said it was colorfast, they meant it. 
 It lightened only slightly even after drying it in direct sunlight. 
After all that, I did find the thread at Primitive Gatherings. 
Should have looked there first! But now I know it is truly colorfast!

Thoughts and prayers to those dealing with the aftermath of Sandy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Frenzy!

Our weather here in the desert southwest has finally gone into cool down mode!
Our nighttime temps are in the 60's and our highs are under 3 digits!
The next 8 months are why we tolerate our sizzling summers.

To celebrate the arrival of FALL,
I have gone into pumpkin overload.

October Brings,
by JoAnn Mullaly,
graciously gifted to me by my friend, Deb,
is in the process of being machine quilted.
Wish you could see the stitchery better.

Primitive Pumpkins,
designed by Rita Briner, of the Quilters Station,
is officially a finish and
adorns my dining room table.

I purchased #308 Punkin Seeds
and plan to start on it soon.
Should be a quick and fun project and will look great on my sideboard!
TOWQS has samples of several of her framed wool creations on display
and I want to make one of each!

Amidst all this fall frenzy,
I continue to stitch away at my Pennies From Heaven BOM.

Introduced the first aqua wool in block #3.
Did you notice I actually did a little embroidery...the stems.
The inner black circles are not embroidered yet...I am a chicken.
Struggling with the little lazy daisy stitches.


I have also started on Izzy's park quilt...
one cannot live on handwork, quilting and binding alone!

#469, from the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Blog Tour.
I don't know how many blocks I will make or how I will set them yet,
but I am enjoying playing with bright fabrics for a change.
Lee plans to publish a pattern for her setting in the future.

Last week we took a needed vacation on Maui.
The diving was not all that great,
but that is the foot of my flipper in the upper corner
and I hope you can see the dolphins that swam next to us.
What a thrill!
However, the best part was getting to see my granddaughter experience the ocean for the first time.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

FMQ Fun!

Primitive Pumpkins is quilted!
Remember when I said I looked forward to doing the borders?
Well,
this is how I did them.
I cut templates of oak leaves from freezer paper,
ironed them at 4" intervals in the border 
and then quilted, 
using them as guides.

After the outline of the leaves were quilted,
I turned the quilt over and did all the fill work from the back.
I did the same thing in the body of the quilt,
using the 3 pumpkins as my theme.
After I was done,
I showed it to my hubby, who exclaimed,
"A work of art!  You should hang it up backwards and forget all that piecing in the future!"
Men!

After much deliberation,
I have gone a new direction with my Pennies From Heaven.
Here are the first two blocks.
I changed the background to a soft brown print and
went from lime green to a blue green wool called Meadow,
by Weeks Dye Works.
I am so pleased with the changes I made that I have almost all the stitching done.
That is, except the embroidery....
not my best skill.
Cannot wait to add some of my vibrant aqua wool to the mix!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Don't Just Pin, I Do!

When I first started blogging,
I was obsessed.
Now it is Pinterest.
I follow so many DIY sites and quilt sites that if I do not check new pins every 30 minutes,
I am overloaded!
BUT..
I don't just pin,
I do!
I have tried several recipes and my favorite is a crockpot chicken cordon bleu.
I substituted my own seasoned Panko bread crumbs for the packaged stuffing.
What quilter does not love a good crockpot recipe?

Then,
a furniture refinishing project,
inspired by all the tutorials I have repinned.
We did not use Anne Sloan's chalk paint.
We simply barely sanded it,
sprayed with KILZ primer, 
painted with a flat interior country beige,
distressed it with some sanding 
and then glazed it with Valspar Mocha Glaze.
The final step will be to wax it, but my daughter wants to paint the bottom a darker color.
New knobs courtesy of the World Market.

Next,
my daughter and I executed a wall treatment pin.
Viola...
my granddaughter's new bedroom.
We need to make sheer coral window treatments and a matching crib ruffle,
but how fun!
Here is the other side of the room with a quilt I had made for my DD.
Obviously,
the theme is an underwater one.

I had so much fun with our DIY projects that I am on the prowl for more flea market finds.
And yes, Primitive Pumpkins is just about quilted,
so stay tuned.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Thank You, Darlene!

Last month, I won a contest over at Quilting Daze
Darlene was cutting several projects at the same time 
and challenged us to guess which pile of fabrics went with which pattern.  
It was a fun puzzle to solve.
My prize was 4 charm packs of 

Thank you, Darlene, for your generosity and for such a fun game!

I owe Darlene yet another thank you for motivating me to get my machine humming.
She has been sewing up a storm in honor of September being 
National Sewing Month.
I am an early riser.  
During the wee hours of the morning, I get the most accomplished.
It doesn't hurt that I am fueled by my morning cup
(okay, CUPS) of coffee.
As a result,
my Pinwheels for Caroline,
designed by Lori Smith,
is pieced!

What I like best about this quilt is that I gave myself some slack.
I tried my hardest, but could not figure out how to make my ocean waves blocks come out just perfect.  Some points float
 (well, it is an ocean block, right?) 
and some (okay, a lot) 
of those diagonal seam intersections are just a little less than aligned.
But you know what,
I love it with all its imperfections.
And it busted some (although not enough!)
of my stash.

While I was cutting the border,
I also took the time to turn these

into these.

Feels good to have at least 2 buckets neatly organized and a good start on the third.
Next up...
quilting Primitive Pumpkins.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Much Needed Change of Scenery

We took a brief, but much needed, break from the heat last week
 by escaping to our cabin in Colorado. 
 It was by no means cold up there and there were very few signs of Fall,
 but at least we could hike in the early hours of the day and just enjoy the fresh air.

While I was there, I took a break from technology...
except, of course, WWF and Pinterest...
and worked on hexies.
Here are my latest additions:
I am getting to the point now that I need to start making the setting hexies.
They will be from the background B&W fabric.  
Then I can start to sew them all together;
 and who knows,
perhaps the kids will have a quilt on their 5th anniversary
 at the rate I am going!

My primitive pumpkins quilt is basted for machine quilting.
I hope to get started on it next week.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Short, Sweet and Finished

And does it not look fabulous on my kitchen table!
Short and Sweet by Kim Diehl.
I kept the quilting simple...
Cross-hatching in the center and echo quilting around the border.
And, 
here is the gratuitous picture of my precious granddaughter on it.

Progress to report on Primitive Pumpkins.
The leaves are not in their permanent spots yet. 
 I like to sew down the vine and pumpkins before I iron them in place. 
 They tend to come off when I am stitching.
The hardest part has been finding wool that will contrast with such a dark background.  
I seldom buy kits, but it might have been easier to buy one from The Quilter's Station.
I shrank the quilt down to 2" finished squares, but did not change the size of the applique shapes.  I wanted them to be more prominent.
Cannot wait to do the leave quilting motif in the borders.

I have the first block of my Pennies from Heaven prepped.
  It is a BOM, but I know this will come as no surprise...
I want to change up the colors, but I am having a hard time committing to the bright lime green petals.  
Risky business, for sure.

Well, off to another buttonhole stitching marathon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Approaching the Finish Line!

I feel like a marathon runner at the Olympics,
 but I am quickly approaching the last of the 96 petals.
I wonder if they tire of the journey as the end draws near?
My fingers are aching from piercing the needle through wool and seams
 as I buttonhole stitch my way around the track.
Just a little disappointed my body has not become lean and mean like theirs!
So worth it, though.
I love this one!
I am anxious to stitch the last petal, 
quilt it quickly and
add the icing to the cake...
the scrappy binding.
Wouldn't a miniature version...
meaning only 5 snowball units...
I am not that insane...
be sweet too?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Short and Sweet

Nothing like a new book full of inspiration,
and some free time
to get the creative juices going again.
My version of Kim Diehl's Short and Sweet from her new book,
Simple Charm.

This is what it should look like when I finish.

I did resew Primitive Pumpkins, 
and with the help of a my friend,
Deb,
now have all the wools collected for the applique.

So between the two projects,
there will be a lot of button hole stitching going on around here.
In addition,
I start my BOM, Pennies from Heaven, tomorrow.
Wool, wool, glorious wool!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seriously!!...

I am in tears.
Thought I was done with the background for my Primitive Pumpkins, designed by Rita Briner, quilt top until I started to measure for the final border.
Yikes, why is it an 'unsquare'....inside joke.
Then I noticed the upper right corner.
I am short one row of HST units.
I redrafted the quilt to make it smaller, so I wasn't following her exact instructions.  
Lesson to be learned!
All the fabrics have been re-stashed and I was so done with the inner portion.
Hopefully, this post will motivate me to get the seam ripper out so this doesn't get stuffed in the back of the closet. 
I am struggling to find both time and enthusiasm for my quilting these days, and this certainly didn't help!

Monday, June 18, 2012

2 Gallon Crock

Finished my version of Lisa Bongean's 2 Gallon Crock.
Do you ever make fabric choices, complete the project, and then regret your choices?
It is hard to tell in the picture, but the sashing and the binding are two different blues from my stash.
After I finished the quilting, I realized I did not have enough of the blue sashing fabric to make my binding.  I used a nice stripe, but it looks odd on the bottom edge.
Sigh!
No going back.

I was, however, tickled pink to use a piece of fabric for the backing that I have had in my stash for a good 10 years.  
It is a Marcus fabric and has the lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner printed on it.
Just feels good to have an actual finish and in time for the 4th.
Now back to my Primitive Pumpkins.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm a Winner!

Lucky me!
I won this great magazine, packed full of ideas for using my bountiful stash, 
and a wool pattern for a Brown Eyed Susan Penny Rug.
What is it about a HST quilt that attracts me so?
This is my favorite project in the magazine.

Unfortunately,
I failed to finish my flimsy for May.
I have an excuse though...
traveled to Missouri with my DD and granddaughter to meet and greet all the family.
Shocked me when we discovered Southwest Airlines does not pre-board families traveling with infants!  Might have to check if all carriers do this before I make my next choice of airline.

Travel is a good time for handwork.
Making steady progress on 2 Gallon Crock by Primitive Gatherings.
The geraniums look like they would take forever to stitch down,
but...
no buttonhole stitching.
The hardest part is tracing them and cutting them all out.
I used beads for the centers instead of french knots.
Gives it some sparkle.
Back to work so I can reach my goals for June.
June???
Where has this year gone?