Thursday, December 28, 2017

One last UFO finished up

This is a Row robin that my friends and I did in 2013. We each did a row and then passed it around until it came back to us.

I did the fourth row which are pine trees, from my Pats Pines block. I asked that everyone use Fig Tree fabrics or colors. 

I love that it reminds me of some very special ladies from Charlevoix. 

This year i will once again be participating in the UFO challenge at Patchwork Times. If you click on my UFO page, you'll see my huge list of started quilts. I plan to tackle these again this year and hopefully by 2019 the list will be half as long. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Dogs in sweaters quilt

Here's dog #2... 13 to go. I'm using flannel for the sweaters and kona solids for the rest. 

We are just about finished with Christmas shopping so we ducked into The Brew for a nice hot cup of coffee...the temps are dropping FAST! Highs are going to be in the teens then the single digits...brrrr. Great quilting weather though.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Starting a Doggie Quilt for Henry

I bought a cute little pattern called Dogs in Sweaters from the quilt shop in Suttons Bay Michigan. Henry loves dogs right now...that and army men and forest rangers. But dogs are #1 so I'm making him this quilt. It calls for 15 dog blocks... this one took me 3 hours! The reason it took so long is I made a few stupid mistakes like cutting out pieces 1/2" too long or short. Blaming it on my eye sight...

So when I looked at the pieces and the size of some of these little triangles I had to add, I decided I would be better off making some of the parts into foundation piecing. That's my pile below of all the parts that can be paper pieced. His feet, his eyes, his nose, the ears, his chest area.... Yeah, a lot of work but it'll come out much more accurate than if I just cut and pieced so I figured it was worth the time it took me to draw them out on my EQ and print them.

Before I started the dog quilt I did a quick little project... a Christmas Mug Rug out of scraps. I love doing these... they're fast and fun. I feel like I've accomplished something. I only had one Xmas mug rug and I wasn't too fond of it. Love this one.

So that's it for now. It's time for me to do a post of my current UFO's so that I can join in the UFO challenge at Patchwork Times. My list last year was 40+ and now I'm down into the 30's. The dog quilt will be added to the list too. I need a day to go through my projects and add up what I have. I know there are about 10 quilt tops... those just need quilting and binding so you would think I'd have them done fast but no... I get an idea and want to start something new. I just need to force myself to finish up what's started and doing the Challenge really helps.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

What quilters want for Christmas plus a finish

First up... I have one last (?) finish for 2017. There are a couple of projects that are close to being finished and you just never know... I could get in a FMQ frenzy and finish them up. But this one above needed to be done because it's a gift for my sister for Christmas. My daughter designed the block with the pines and I added the present in the border. It's a 15" pillow but could be a wall mini since I bound it just like a quilt.

So on to what I want to talk about today... QUILTER GIFTS!!

Sometimes we have family that wants to buy us quilters something special but have no idea what. Well, let me put some of MY favorites out here. Not all of these will work for all quilters so read below each item to see if it sounds like the person you have in mind. 

#1 COTTON THREAD... A good quality selection of thread is always needed. My favorites are Aurifil, Guterman and Mettler. White, cream and gray are my most used colors. And speaking of thread, how about winding some bobbins for her. My daugher winds a bunch of white bobbins for me for Mothers Day and I LOVE it. 

#2 NEEDLES for her machine... Look to see what she uses and buy more. We often forget to change our needles... They get burrs and dull after a bit so new ones are almost always welcome.

#3 ROTARY CUTTER and/or BLADES ... Getting new blades for a rotary cutter is like getting a new knife in the kitchen. It cuts like butter and makes you wonder why you didn't do it sooner. BUT they can be expensive. I watch for 1/2 off coupons at the major fabric and hobby stores. Make sure you know what brand and size cutter she has because they do differ. Or just buy a brand new cutter for her.

#4 FUN AND HELPFUL TOOLS ... If she does her own quilting on a domestic machine she probably bastes her quilt. Some quilters like to spray there's a gift. And some of us pin baste. Pin basters need curved pins and this tool below is FANTASTIC. It doesn't look like much but it has saved my fingers. 

#5 GLASS HEAD ULTRA FINE PINS. These are super sharp and fine. I love pinning seams with them and they are so thin if I "accidently" run over one it won't break or bend my machine needle.

#6 CURVY LOG CABIN TEMPLATE.  Getting new templates and rulers is always appreciated. This is a fun one that can do traditional or modern blocks. Look on Instagram or Pinterest for ideas and patterns. There's a lot of fun templates out there. 

#7 LED SEWING MACHINE BULB ...I didn't even realize these were a thing but WOW what a great gift. If you can't find the right size bulb the quilt shops can get stick on LED lights. Or a light that clips on to a machine would be another nice gift. Many of us are older and extra light is always welcome.

#8 SEAM RIPPER Now this could be a fun gift if you can find a fancy one. ETSY has some pretty wooden or glass rippers. I have a nice brass seam ripper from a quilt shop. Ripping is a nessecary evil so if you have to do it, make it more fun with a pretty ripper.


#10 CHOCOLATE Who doesn't need chocolate after sewing block pieces backwards. Actually, who needs an excuse. This is always the perfect gift.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Almost Christmas

I'm still in hexie mode... These pretty Kaffe fabrics are going to become hexagons that I will appliqué to background fabric. Sashing? Maybe. Quilt? Pillow? Who knows. I'll see what it needs to be later...  
My class will be to teach English paper piecing, fussy cutting, and appliqué. I want the project to be fairly easy so I'm going to include a mug rug pattern (Link to my HEXAGON FLOWER MUG RUG PATTERN)  made with just one hexie flower... that way it won't be overwhelming if someone is struggling with the hand work. Linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching.. Kathys Quilts

And since it's almost Christmas, it's my annual cookie bake week, I've started getting the 10+ different batches baked. These have to go in the mail by December 15th. My two bachelor brothers that live out in CA and OR, look forward to this treat. 

And to think I was (somewhat) complaining that the temps were too high for December... missing the snow... well, not anymore. We've had snow EVERY DAY since the day after I mentioned the lack of it. We have plenty now and it keeps on coming... Sure is beautiful!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pattern testing and making soup from turkey bones

Don't you just love these trees? I'm testing a pattern for @lizafranfran (Instagram name). This tree block will become a cute pillow. It was foundation pieced and so was SUPER simple!

I'm also working on a shop sample for my EPP class. I think the hexie flowers will become a pillow too.

So with a Thanksgiving over I'm making soups... Lots of soups. I froze the turkey carcass and the ham bone. Turkey bones are fantastic reroasted. I pull them out of the freezer and bake them, uncovered, for an hour or two until the bones are nicely browned. Boil the bones... Deglaze the roasting dish...add veggie scraps and cook it all till everything gives up it's favors... A few hours?

After that, strain the whole mess into another pot, picking out any good bits of turkey meat and adding those pieces and some diced onion, carrot and celery. I throw in thyme, dry minced onion, tumeric, pepper and salt or chicken bouillon. Boil till the veggies are tender.

Look at this weather!! Thunderstorms, warm temps, no snow...hard to believe its December in northern Michigan! Not that I'm complaining. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

American Jane sewing

I had time this week to add a few more borders to my scrappy American Jane quilt. First, a little blue 1/2" border then a 2-1/2" red & white border and finally a 1" red border. The last one may not stay a 1" border... I might cut it down to 1/2" and add a yellow "ruler" border. Or I might take the red right's one that I'm just not sure I like. After I decide what border to use/keep, I'll add some sideways triangles...arrow heads. I started making these... I need 52 arrow heads so that's going to take some time. 

How was YOUR thanksgiving? We had a great time... A house full of family and friends. These munchkins, below, we're enjoying being together... They don't get to see each other very often. 

We had a chance to get outside for a walk in the woods. The weather was perfect. Both my daughters were together so of course I enjoyed that. November is done today... Where does the time go....?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Very little sewing going on...

With all the holiday happenings going on, I really didn't get much done on this quilt top. I finished off the star points and added the 4-patch corners. 
I DID get to sew up 14 Thanksgiving napkins ... One for each dinner guest. And I made a toy bag for Henry's blocks. Now that my company is gone and I've rested, I should be able to get back to this and a few other projects.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

American Jane beauty

My American Jane quilt is coming along nicely but not without many HICCUPS.
I added a small border on the New York Beauty center... A black one.. Didn't like it so I took it off. I added the tape measure border instead, a 2" border. That was too bold so I cut it down to a 1/2" border...much better. Then I added a1-1/2" text border which I liked but felt it needed something bolder to frame it. So I cut a1/2" off and added a 1/2" black border. Didn't like that so got out the seam ripper AGAIN and replaced the black with a red. BETTER.

SO next I started adding the star point. The polka dot fabric is a scrap I found for 10 cents at a resale's vintage linen and I love it! Well, I had just enough to do 8 triangles. I started putting the pieces together ...above pic... And noticed the dots on the right formed a weird snake shape at the seam. So I got that darn seam ripper out again and restitched my blocks. It's not perfect but better. 

Now to start the corners.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A UFO and some secret sewing

This week I made a Christmas pillow for someone that sent me a HUGE amount of fabric without wanting/needing anything in return as part of #getyourquiltywishesgranted.

She likes Cotton + Steel Xmas fabric, something I don't have and couldn't find at our LQSs. So I used what Cotton + Steel I DID have and made this hexagon tree. There's a text print binding on this pillow because she works at a library.... 📚 Hoping she likes it. 

So the other project this week is getting this 4 year old UFO finished up. Its a row robin that a bunch of ladies from Charlevoix helped create. I did the row of trees and sent that off with some of my favorite Fig Tree fabrics. I had nine beautiful rows at the end but just never got around to stitching them together. The top is finished and basted. With any luck this will be a finished quilt before Thanksgiving. There are loads of leftover scraps so it looks like I'll be doing at least one more Fig Tree quilt. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Finishing a wedding quilt & starting American Jane medallion quilt

The quilt for my nephew and niece in law (?) is quilted and bound...just a bit more hand stitching of the binding and we can call it done!

That makes TWO finishes for October! Yay!

And since I have finishes, I don't feel a bit guilty starting something new. ...not a bit...well, maybe a teeny tiny bit but I'll get over it.

I participated in INSTAGRAMs #getyourquiltywishesgranted. I granted 21 wishes and received 6 WONDERFUL envelopes of American Jane fabrics. I've been wanting to make an American Jane quilt for years. 

So here's my center. I found the pattern for this block in my Quiltmania magazine. Now I'll add border after border until my medallion quilt is large enough to suit me. 

My next border will be either flying geese, half square triangles or some type of arrow. I love medallion quilts...I never know what it's going to look like till it's done.

Monday, October 16, 2017

An October finish!

This old UFO from 2009 or so is finished and on it's way to my brother in Northern California. If any of you were part of the Block Central quilt forum back in the day you might recognize these "happy blocks". We had a drawing between quilts from all over the world. Each of us that wanted in on the drawing would make two HAPPY BLOCKS (square in a square) using the theme picked by the previous winner. This group that I won was called Outdoors. It has bears, leaves, fish, ... Well lots of "guy" type prints. We always had two winners... Everyone sent one block to each of the winners. I decided, way back then, to alternate with off white blocks with plaid centers...something that would be in keeping with a mans quilt. Then I thought a brown and cream half square triangle sashing would really pop the blocks...and it does. BUT making those HSTs is why this has been a UFO for so long. 
Well, my brother turns 60 in a few days so I thought it was time to finish this up for him... Plus this is my year to get as many of these unfinished quilts done. #finishitup2017

And now onto the next project..I'm doing a wedding quilt for my nephew and his new bride. They picked this quilt above and now we are trying to decide on a backing. Hopefully this is finished up in October too.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The quilt tops are piling up

This very old UFO is a top! Yay!! 

Today I should be able to get it pin basted....get it quilted over the weekend,....bound on Monday...and mailed to my brother on Tuesday. His birthday is a week from Saturday. I think there's a little wiggle room in that schedule...

These blocks were from an online swap with quilter friends back in...?...maybe 2009? We all made blocks using an outdoor theme, then there was a drawing and I won. I've always planned on this being a guys quilt...just took forever to get it pieced. It's not my type of fabrics/colors so I kind of procrastinate working on it.

And here's project number 2...I have a nephew that was married and is now having a reception....I want them to have a quilt. Problem is I don't know what they like...don't know their colors...etc
So, I'm giving them a choice of one of the 5 quilt tops I have finished or almost finished.
These are the five:

Color and UFO for March

The UFO for March (according to is number 8 which for me is this improv quilt in mostly blue solids. I'm real...