Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deck the Halls!

Started the process of decking the halls, or in this case, my kitchen table.
This quilt is my own design called Ribbons and Bows and is available from TOWQS
The centerpiece includes just a few of my favorite Santas from my collection.
This fella is my favorite!

Ran across another designer holiday event.  Some of my favorite designers will participate and share free projects.  There will be clues to collect and prizes awarded.  I haven't had much luck recently.  Neither Allie, the owl pincushion or the Snowman Candy piece are on their way to my abode!
Here is the lineup:
Day 1:
Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka’s Treasures at http://ankastreasures.wordpress.com/
Linda Lum DeBono at http://www.lindalumdebono.blogspot.com/
Little Quilts at http://www.littlequilts.blogspot.com/

Day 2:
Amy Hamberlin of Kati Cupcake at http://www.katicupcakequiltingco.blogspot.com/
Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt co at http://www.lavieenrosie.typepad.com/
Kari Ramsay of Fresh Cut Quilt Patterns at http://www.freshcutquilts.blogspot.com/

Day 3:
Jacquelynne Steves of the Noble Wife at http://www.thenoblewife.blogspot.com/
Jill Finlay of Jillily Studio at http://www.jillilystudio.blogspot.com/

Day 4:
Laurie Bird of Rose Cottage at http://www.rosecottagequilts.blogspot.com/
Barbara Jones of Quilt Soup at http://www.quiltsoupblog.com/
Dana Brooks of Lazy Daisy Cottage at http://www.lazydaisycottage.blogspot.com/

Day 5:
Chelsea Anderson of Pink Fig Patterns at http://www.pinkfig.typepad.com/
Brenda Pinnick of Brenda Pinnick Designs at www.brendapinnick.com/blog/
Beth and Liz Hawkins of Lizzie B Creative at http://www.dreamlaughcreate.blogspot.com/

Day 6:
Leanne Anderson of The Country Caboodle at http://www.thewholecountrycaboodle.blogspot.com/
Franchelle Contreras at http://www.franchellecontreras.blogspot.com/

Day 7:
Kim Diehl at http://www.henryglassfabrics.blogspot.com/
Janet Nesbitt and Pam Soliday of Buggy Barn at http://www.buggybarnquilts.blogspot.com/

I know I will just have fun exploring some new designer blogs.

Finally, a little of my DD's artwork.
 I saw these in an art gallery in Durango, CO. Didn't she do a great job.  She even did the woodworking that produced the cutwork edges.
Looking for a chandelier for it and then she will do a garden scene with a skeleton dog!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A new addiction, besides CHOCOLATE!

I can't stop drafting and making these cute little blocks. 
I found the perfect black and red fabrics at the OWQS on Saturday and now I am addicted. I have developed a fascination with these blocks and have come to realize that Barbara was a gifted mathematician.  I have the aid of my EQ program to figure out the dimensions.  I wonder how she did it.  Did she draw them, cut them up into templates and go from there? I don't think so because rotary cutting dimensions are repeating themselves in each block.
I do know I now need a housekeeper, full time cook, administrative assistant, accountant and someone to get my daily exercise for me. Wow, I think I need a clone, or better yet, a wife!

I am still working on my applique, but have not made any progress on hand quilting my SAL.
I would love to hear about your SAL quilt and where you are in the project.  But no pressure, since I am notorious for starting and rarely finishing projects.  Just curious.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

1880 Sampler Quilt Blog

There is a new button on my sidebar.
The blog is created and two patterns are posted.
The next step is to open up my EQ program and do some calculating of yardage you will need if you plan to play with me.  The patterns will post one per week starting Jan. 1st.
Of course, the first two are posted, so I am ahead of the game.
The blocks finish at 5". 
The quilt may not be an exact replica of the original, but will use the general design, setting and colors that Barbara Bucher Snyder used.
Quilting Traditions, Pieces from the Past, by Patricia T. Herr and published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd., gives a detailed history of the quilt and its maker.  Barbara made the quilt in the years prior to her marriage to John Stoner in 1884 while residing on Willow Spring Farm in Lancaster County.  Her mother, Fanny S. Bucher, made a similiar quilt worked in diamond blocks.  The inspiration for Barbara's quilt blocks came from patterns found on oilcloth flooring seen in homes and from the architectural details of the churches she visited.  I have no idea what the finished size of her blocks were, but I will make mine 5" finished.  I hope you enjoy sharing in my journey.

Hope everyone had a joyous Thanksgiving celebration. I ate too much as usual, but my son took the prize in that category.  I'll be hiking each and every day this week to combat the effects.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving surrounded by the ones you love!
My daughter is designing her own version of the dresden plate turkey seen over at the Missouri Quilt Co. We'll see what the final version looks like later today.  She wants it to be 3-D.
We'll work on it while the turkeys are cooking.

And yes...
another mug rug.  
 I had fun practicing the pebble quilting behind the appliqued penguin.

Drafted the first block for my 1880 sampler by Barbara Buchner Snyder.
The block finishes at 5".  I may not be able to draft many of the blocks without the aid of EQ.  The grid dimension of the blocks does not fall into simple rotary cutting formulas.  I will try to draft as many as I can and then resort to EQ for the rest.  Once I get further into the project and more confident about my ability to actually pull this one off, I'll start sharing my cutting instructions with anyone interested in sewing along with me. 

It is the coldest Thanksgiving on record in the last 80 years here in Arizona!
Kathy Tracy posted about a 'gratitude' journal this last week.
I think today is a good day to start mine.
I am thankful today for the warmth of my home and the plentiful food that will grace my table this afternoon. Now off to the kitchen to get busy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A few finishes...

Finished up two of Renee Plains' patterns for sewing rolls.
They are from her book, A Bird in Hand.
Also, I pieced the third block for the Paris in Fall BOM.
This is a pattern by Sherri K. Falls for This and That.
It is a BOM available at the OWQS.
I love the richness of these Moda French General fabrics.

Speaking of Moda.
Many of us enjoy the freebies out there in blogland.
Have you ever visited the Moda Bake Shop.
Click the button on my sidebar or visit them here.
There are many free patterns available using all the latest fabrics from Moda.

Hoping to put the finishing touches on Autumn's Bounty this afternoon.
Then my DD has cooked up an appetizer party for tonight.
I was her sous chef!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Sister's Art

Thought I would share a little of my Sis's artwork.  She doesn't quilt, but she expresses herself in another way. The following are stools, highchairs and rocking chairs that she has painted for her grandchildren and for charity auctions.

Wow, is she talented or what??
Someday, hopefully in the next decade, when I have grandchildren, she will gift us with a personalized rocker.  I have made each one of her grandchildren a quilt, so just maybe.
And look at this giveaway!
I would love to own him and find all the hoops I have to jump through well worth it.
My chances??--very small, but what the heck. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

And look!
The last big block of my Kim Diehl quilt is ready for hand sewing. Ok, it still needs 21 little berries, but that will not take long.
Yesterday, I had to take a long road trip south to Mesa to help my DD get to school. What a perfect opportunity to visit Zoe's and the Attic. 
I found three perfect fabrics for two different reproduction projects I have swirling around in my brain. The first is the JPN project that I mentioned before.  I did not get permission to run a blog group, but still plan to make a small version of it someday.  That is what that aqua fabric is for.
The pink and yellow are for a quilt that Kathie at Inspired by Antique Quilts posted about this last week. I ordered the book and plan to draft my own version of the Pennsylvania sampler quilt made by Barbara Butcher Snyder in the late 1800s.  I loved the black and pink border with the yellow setting blocks the best and these will be perfect.  I bought all the store had left.  Might have to do a web search for more.

Doreen at Aunt 'Reens Place and I are cooking up another quilt along/BOM for the next year. I may invite you to sew along with me while I make the sampler as well. So stay tuned and keep those pictures and updates coming on your SAL blocks and quilt tops.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A new winner, SAL progress report and a gift from down under!

Congratulations, Sandie ~call me crazy!
You are the new winner of the pattern-fabric follower appreciation gift.
I learned that next time I need to have people leave at least a comment so I know they are actually reading my blog on a consistent basis and are interested in winning.

And apologies are in order.  Linda from Stray Stitches has finished her SAL quilt and I neglected to report on it.  I know she will forgive me with all the last week has thrown my way.
I like her choice of setting.
It truly shows off the intricate and precise piecing in each block.
Hats off for a fabulous finish, Linda!

Carolyn has decided to use a cheery, cheddar background for her first two blocks.
I can hardly wait to see this one when finished.  My idol, Sally Collins, is a proponent of using color in your 'background' fabric instead of a typical 'white on white' or 'beige on beige' background fabric.  Sally states, "...using one of the chosen colors in the background area help(s) to integrate the design and background."  I think Carolyn's version will demonstrate this quite nicely.  Add blue and this triadic color combo will have a very pleasing effect. (Can you tell I just taught a color wheel seminar!)

Finally, a perfect gift! A mysterious package arrived today from Australia. What could it be? My DD was as curious as I was.  First was a fall themed card with a lovely verse entitled 'Fall Thoughts.'
A chill is in the air, the days becoming short.
A time to settle down and give my quilting scraps a sort.
The reds, rusts and golds remind me of Fall,
These crisp autumn days are the best time of all
For planning, arranging and finally sewing,
Contentedly watching each quilt block growing.
I press them, inspect them and put them in order,
Measure and plan and add a pieced border.
Pinning and basting, happily knowing
I'll be ready for quilting when it starts snowing.

Elaine Brackett
'Quilt' magazine
Fall 1984

And then...
...this is what the box contained--an enchanting pincushion, taking its rightful place alongside my now rather extensive collection of pincushions. Merilyn participated in the Small Quilt Talk maple leaf block exchange and this was the 'thank you' gift she sent my way for being a hostess. Heck, if it means that I will receive gifts like this, sign me up again!
I especially like her sense of humor.
My husband can relate to this one!

Not much creativity will happen around here for the next week. Maybe a mug rug or two. Maybe even an applique shape or two.
Guests arrive on Saturday to begin celebrating Thanksgiving.
I know I cannot resist blogging again before turkey day, but just in case,
I hope everyone has a happy, tryptophan loaded, Thanksgiving celebration.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pincushion giveaway, a new blog, and more!

My friend, Kimber, over at Heirlooms by Ashton House is celebrating the publication of her pincushion pattern in the recent issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting magazine. She is hosting a giveaway and Allie, Oliver's sister, is the prize.  Visit her blog here for your chance to win.  I am the lucky owner of one of her hat pincushions and can attest to the caliber of her workmanship!
 Good luck to everyone, but the owl is mine!! 
A month or so ago, a few of my quilty friends took road trips to SoCal. They ranted and raved about a shop called Fat Quarters Quilt Shop. Well, now there is a blog to follow.  The last post was about Cheri Payne and featured her free pattern, Soot &Ashes. I wish I had followed along. It came out very cute. Perhaps a tad too prim for me, but there are a few of her patterns I love, including Thursday's Quilt and Sunday's Best. Pictures of both are in the collage. 

Next year, Cathi of Shakerwood Quilts will pair up with Sue of Quilt Times and present a Christmas BOM. Should be a fun one to participate in.
I did a Christmas BOM once. Did I finish it? No, but here it is.
One more block and a little embellisment to go. It just got put on my sidebar as one I want to finish. If it was finished, I could have entered it here.
Maybe next year!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quiltaid USA!

The last several days I was able to get a lot of hand work done while sitting beside the hospital bed of a loved one. I did all the hand applique on my BunnyHill Autumn Houses, and finished two blog hop projects. You'll remember the little candle mat that Heather Mulder Peterson posted a free pattern for during the fall blog hop and the needlepunch is from Brenda Gervais.  It isn't the project she posted, but one I purchased from her online store.
And speaking of Bunnyhill, I visited Anne Sutton's blog last evening and learned of the Quiltaid USA project.  I need to find out more, but I will encourage you to visit their site.  Things aren't perfect here in the USA, but when I read of the atrocities women endure in other countries, I thank God I live here. So in the future, you may see of few of the Quiltaid blocks appear on my blog.

Since nothing new came out of my sewing room this last week, I thought I would share the tree skirt I made several years ago.
It is a foundation paper pieced quilt of my own design inspired by a quilt I saw in QNM many years ago. It was one of the first projects that I machine quilted by myself.  I used a King Tut variegated thread and was very pleased with the result. Again, the back tells the tale of the quilting. Now that I look at it, I should do some quilting in the outer border. I have since learned that you need to keep quilting density consistent to get a flat, square quilt top! However, the presents cover it up when it is under the tree, so maybe there are other projects that have a higher priority. 
I'm praying for a pieceful and productive week. Lots to do in preparation for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Follower Appreciation Gift

Congratulations, Karen of Briarside Lane, your Grab 'n' Go will look great in Jo's Annadale fabric. 
And, Susan Balland, hope you like the French General Fabric!
Just email me a snail mail address and your gifts will be on their way.

Go check out Minnick and Simpson and the Quilts of Valor. Great patriotic idea for bees or individuals who want to thank our Veterans. I have a red, white and blue quilt in my UFO pile and now plan to donate it to this cause.  And it is made from their fabric line.

Taking a small break from blogging due LIFE.  Hope to be back soon.
Piece and Happiness,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Surprise, surprise...

...I started a new project!
My first block for my Autumn Houses Quilt by Bunnyhill.
Pam Buda is doing a tutorial on applique.
I use the same method to make my shapes as she does.
Check her out at here.
I only made the shapes and then put it all away.
HAVE to finish my Kim Diehl applique quilt first!
So back to the ironing board to make leaves!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative and more Maple Leaf blocks

My donation is about ready to mail, but I wanted to encourage you to visit Lori at Humble Quilts. Her recent post is about this very worthwhile fundraiser. 
Quilters Newsletter magazine and Electric Quilt have paired up for a contest.  The deadline is quickly approaching, so visit them here.
Pieced more of my maple leaf blocks together. Blocks in this one come from Australia, Canada, Idaho and Wisconsin. Don't know which direction I will take with this.  I may wait for other block exchanges in the future to continue to add on to it.

I selected the fabrics for my follower appreciation gifts yesterday.
Each cut is a 1/3 yd of fabric. 
Because I love reproduction fabrics, these are from Jo Morton's Annadale collection.  
And these are from the French General by Moda.  Red and aqua blue are becoming two of my favorite color combinations. Check back on Saturday morning to see if your name was drawn.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Secret SAL participant and 70 followers, all in one day!

Barbara in California, my home state, dazzled me with her completed SAL quilt top today. How pretty is this one. Until today, I didn't even know she was participating. Who told her my favorite color is orange? She even mastered the Kansas Troubles block, the most challenging block in the series!
Fantastic Finish, Barbara!

And my new quilty friend, Cheryl, became my 70th follower. How fitting that we share the same name.  She will receive a copy of my 'Grab n Go' pattern and the fabrics of her choice to make it.  She is in my class this coming Thursday and we will shop together!  I will still choose 2 other winners.  This time I will just put all the names in a basket and let my DD choose. No RNG gadget!  

Congratulations to Chi in Japan!

We have our first really totally finished SAL quilt!
Chi is definitely a finisher. 
I love her machine quilting and the way it enhanced the streak of lightening setting.
She does intricate needlework as well, so make sure to visit her website.

Anne-Mette has finished her main blocks and just has the half blocks to make.
She plans a blue setting fabric like mine.
I am slowly working on my hand quilting. I know this will surprise you, but I got a little distracted with other projects. One of them is the Mug Rug craze going around blogland. So this morning's coffee had me making this.
It is for my DD, made from the scraps of her table runner.
Need to find a good mug to match it.

Another crazy week ahead with 3 classes, another tennis match (just in case you are wondering, I won last time!) and a long overdue coiffure. The following verse came in yesterday's electronic post from Rosie's grandson.
 "Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life."    Proverbs 16:31
Oh, boy! Now I am wavering on whether or not to color my hair!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Semper Fi Fund!! and a follower appreciation gift!

These wonderful gifts came in the post on Saturday. 
Two patterns, a Moda handkerchief, a charming chain necklace, and a sample packet of fabric.
This is Minnick and Simpson's newest line, Charlevoix.
I love the hues and the textures.
I see a great beach picnic blanket.
So, how did I acquire this lovely gift? 
This patriotic rug was offered as a fundraiser for the Semper Fi Fund - an organization dedicated to serving wounded Marines and their families, Polly's favorite charity. I bid on it, but did not win.  They were gracious enough, however, to send me this thank you gift.  I just wish I could have given more than I received. You know I will be making a donation on behalf of Minnick and Simpson.

And now for the follower appreciation giveaway!

I am verging on 70+ followers.
Since I am a child of the 70's--graduated high school, college and got married all in the 70's, plus brandished more than my fair share of bell-bottom pants and crop tops, I am giving away 2 of my bestselling patterns --the 'Stash N Go' and 'Grab N Go'-- along with  the fabric (you will need to purchase a few more supplies to make it, but not many) to make the 'Grab N Go.'
The 'Stash N Go' was designed to carry all the gear needed for taking classes.
The 'Grab N Go' is a handy tool carrier that fits into one of the pockets of the 'Stash N Go.'
All followers of my blog on Friday, November 12th at 12 Midnight, Arizona time, will be eligible.  I will draw 2 winners.  No comments or blogs about the giveaway are necessary.
However, if you decide to become a follower, I hope you will enjoy your time spent with me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A SAL finish!

Chi in Japan finished her SAL quilt top.
I love the stripe border she added.
Here are Jill's latest blocks.
Looking good!
I pieced half of the maple leaf blocks I received from the Small Quilt Talk block exchange into this table runner this morning with the aid of my coffee. One block in this quilt came from Spain, another from France, several from Canada and the rest from around the good ole US of A, including Alaska!
It is my first experience with a block exchange and I enjoyed it.

Today will be a special day! How do I know this? 3 bobcats walked through my side yard this morning. How lucky am I! Too bad there isn't a GO giveaway to win today ;O)
Sorry the pictures are so poor quality, but I didn't have my telephoto lens on.

So, several of my followers have queried whether or not there are more hours in the day here in the southwest. I had to laugh. No, we have the same number of hours, although no daylight savings time. There is something everyone should know about me.  I start a lot of projects! I finish very few of them. I feel good when I finish something, but I don't fret over all the UFOs in my quilting closet.  I have to cook, clean the house, etc., but I don't have to finish my quilting projects. I take them to a point of satisfaction. If I tire of the process, I simply move on.
No regrets.
So you can call me the starter, but not the finisher. 
That is Kay!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An afternoon finish!

I was so intrigued when I saw this quilt, I spent the last two days piecing my version of it called 'Puzzle Time.' When my daughter saw it, she said it looked like a puzzle to her. Putting puzzles together is a favorite pasttime for both of us.
It was made with the Primitive Pinwheels tool by Primitive Gatherings. 
I drafted and added the border design. 
This is what the construction process looks like. 
The tool was inspired by the Lil' Twister tool designed by Marsha Bergren, owner of the Country Schoolhouse Quilt Shop in Superior, Wisconsin.  There are 2 sizes for use with 5" charms or 10" layer cakes.  I have so much fabric that I think I may purchase one of the tools to make a larger quilt.  It uses up a lot of fabric and was fun to make. 

Checking In!

I have been busy since my last post,  but cannot report that I have accomplished any of my sewing goals. I finished quilting both In the Woo...