Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dazzling Stars

Since the beginning of the year, I had been working on this quilt for my in-laws.  "Dazzling Scraps" (Quilt Magazine Jan/Dec 2012) was chosen as our Sew Day group project for the year.  It was a fun scrappy project to put together!  I named my version "Dazzling Stars" and that's pretty much what we've all called it from the beginning anyway!  

"Dazzling Stars"
My mother-in-law asked me if I could make a set of "regular" pillowcases to go with it, so when they came to visit, I made the guest bed up with their new quilt and pillowcases.  I guess my father-in-law thought that the pillows were for him as well and packed them right up in the car.  I guess making up the bed wasn't my best idea because I used my husband's Marriott pillows that I bought for him last Christmas!  Uh-Oh!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Prairie Women's Sewing Circle

We've just ended Journey 2 of our Prairie Women's Sewing Circle.  It's been such an interesting study in the women's lives in the 1800s.  I've really enjoyed using some of the civil war fabrics I've been collecting and hoarding over the last few years and we even get to swap small samples during our meetings.

Over the last few months I've gotten several lessons in yo-yo making and my friend, Debbie, taught me to applique felted wool.  I'm not sure she trusts me with a pair of scissors, though, since she cut out every piece of wool for me!  It was great fun!

"Peace Among the Flowers" & "Scraps from Home"
Both of the projects above required lots of yo-yos.  I got better at the technique over time.  The idea was to leave as little space in the center of the gathers as possible.  The first project, "Peace Among the Flowers,"is the wool felt project that Debbie helped me out with.  It was the bonus project at the end of Journey 2.  Notice that all of the yo-yos have button centers.  Can you guess why?  Yep, the centers are all huge!

In the second project above, I chose the best yo-yos with the smallest centers.  "Scraps from Home" was actually the final project of Journey One, but I ended up making so many yo-yos that I wanted to make this project, too!

"Remember Me"
"Remember Me" was the first project of Journey 2.  I altered it just a bit by piecing the signature blocks and adding star points around the outside cornerstones (the originally pattern calls for appliqued circles) and plain square in a square cornerstones).  Most of my blocks have been signed by ladies in the PWSC and my Sew Day groups, but I still have a few more to fill before I can get it quilted up.

"When this you see, Remember me!"

Scraps From Home
Prairie Women's Sewing Circle - Journey 1, Bonus Project
Pattern Designer:  Pam Buda, Heartspun Quilts
Quilting Design (Freehand):  Checkerboard on the Diagonal


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Charity Quilting...Military Quilts

We've had a big push this year in the guild for military quilts.  With so many of our soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and so many wounded warriors, we really wanted to make sure our community's heroes are recognized.  So we got to work...

You've already seen some of the quilts that I've made for Veterans this year, but I also volunteer to quilt and bind some like these...

I was also asked to teach a workshop for a quilt that would use 2.5" strips.  Of course, I couldn't just use 2.5" strips, I had to add in lots and lots of strings, too, and piece in anything else I could find into the backing...
And after the workshop, a very new quilter came up to me with all of her blocks and several that were cut off pieces and asked if I could do something with them.  Well, I squared them all up and got the top together and pieced everything else right into the back...

We are so thankful for our nation's protectors!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Christmas Table Topper

A few months ago, a family friend (and my wonderful realtor), Marianne, gave me a call.  She told me that she had a ton of "crafty stuff" that she was cleaning out of her house and wondered if the quilt guild could use some of it.  I told her that they probably could and offered to come and pick it up!

While at her house, Marianne pulled 4 blocks out of the bags and explained to me that years ago she took a quilting class and she had hand pieced a few blocks together.  She never finished the quilt and had no idea how to even put the blocks together.  Her point was...all the pieces are here if someone just wants to finish this project.  Well...

Christmas Table Topper
Here is Marianne's Christmas Table Topper all complete.  This was on of the very first projects that i meandered on my new longarm.  And, yes, I brought it right back over to her all finished.  She was so thrilled!  She couldn't believe I found fabric that matched to finish it up.  She couldn't believe that her hand work could look so good.  And she is so proud of it that it's been sitting on display in her dining room since I gave it back to her in July!  Hopefully she'll put it away with her Christmas things after the holidays!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Calendar Quilt

Last year, the historian of our quilt guild hosted a block of the month.  Each month she gave directions as to what needed to be included in each block such as "bugs for May" or "green for March."  After I heard the first set of directions, I immediately decided that I would make a calendar quilt and try my hand at word play lettering.

"Calendar Quilt"
The blocks were really fun to put together, but I really made some bad decisions on the setting.  I guess I didn't plan very well when I chose the block colors because I had a really hard time putting everything together to make a cohesive quilt.  Yikes!  Oh well!

 I pieced in a couple of orphan blocks into the teddy bear backing (which is always fun).  I figure this quilt can hang around the house for a little while, but likely it will get donated at some point because I am just not too crazy about it.  I'm sure that the right person to donate to will come about one of these days!  Maybe a kindergarten class???


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Lazy Sunday - Part 3

Is anyone still playing along with Bonnie Hunter's "Lazy Sunday" Mystery in Quiltmaker Magazine?  I'm really loving it, but boy oh boy is this one BRIGHT!  

"Lazy Sunday" part 3
I finished part 3 just as soon as the e-magazine arrived on my iPad (directions published in Quiltmaker issue Jul/Aug '13).  It's all packed away in a plastic container box at the moment ready for the big move, but I'm not sure I won't be able to break into it before then!  I've really been wanting to get this top done, but I'm not really looking forward to even more cutting of small pieces.


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Color Challenge - Yellow, Teal & Red

July - Teal/Turquoise/Aqua

Since I took a summer vacation from blogging, I haven't had a chance to post my blocks from the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  So, here they are...
June -Yellow

August - Red

I'm pretty excited about how these blocks are coming together.  They are going to make 3 very fun quilts at the end of the year:
Left:  "Wild Child" found in Bonnie Hunter's book String Fling
Center:  "4-Patch Revisited" found in Bonnie Hunter's book Adventures with Leaders & Enders
Right:  "Bowdacious" found in Bonnie Hunter's book Adventures with Leaders & Enders


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Farmer Boy

Kayla loves to begin her projects...she's not so good, however, at finishing those projects (I know a few people like that?!?!).  Anyway, Kayla got really excited to find all of this John Deere fabric and decided to make a quilt for her boyfriend's birthday.  His family began dairy farming just a few years ago.

Before I know it, she had drawn out a bunch on square-in-a-square blocks and cut out everything she would need.  Those pieces sat scattered around her room for much of the summer.

"Farmer Boy"
I hate to see a messy room, but even more...I hate to see a project begun and never finished!  So, mom made her a deal...I'll quilt both "Tipsy" and this quilt on the long arm if she'd just get these poor pieces up off the floor and put together.  Over the next week or so, she pieced the top together between summer classes and sleep.  And once again...I added the binding 'cuz I just can't help finishing up a quilt!


Monday, October 07, 2013


After several years, and lots of pushing my mom...Kayla finally finished her "Tipsy" quilt!  Actually, I finally finished Kayla's "Tipsy" quilt (which is exactly what she was hoping for)!


"Tipsy" is based on the pattern "Uneven 9-Patch" found in Fon's & Porter's Fun Quilts Summer 2007.
Kayla and I began the piecing of this quilt while we were living in the Netherlands (she dated the piecing as being done in February 2010).  Three years later, she finally convinced me to just do the quilting for her and of course, I added the binding, too.  Who can resist putting the binding onto a completed quilt?  It's my favorite part...the finishing touch!


Saturday, October 05, 2013

Christmas Lights

"Christmas Lights"
How much have I wanted to do this quilt???  I have wanted to make this ever since Bonnie Hunter first posted the mystery in Quiltmaker Magazine last year!

Last winter, I contacted Bonnie and asked her if I could use the Christmas Lights directions and host it as a mystery for our quilt guild and she said yes!

Bonnie's original directions are broken down into 3 parts.  I broke it down into 6 clues for the guild and results have been so beautiful!

I am also a big fan of the specialty rulers that Bonnie uses all the time like the Easy Angle and Companion Angle rulers used to make Christmas Lights.  The one thing I did request permission to alter in the directions was to write directions for those ladies who do not have those rulers.

We have had such a great time putting this quilt together and I can't wait to be able to share with Bonnie the photos of all of the completed quilts - I think we had almost 15 participants!


Friday, October 04, 2013

Another Sew Day...July

Just thought I'd share a couple of photos from a Sew Day get together a couple of months ago.

Sew Day - July
Top (left to right):  Viola quilting a baby quilt, Kathi finished the inside of her Christmas Lights mystery and Lisa working on her Bowdacious color challenge.
Center (left to right):  Kathi's & Heather's Dazzling Scraps tops
Bottom (left to right):  Judy checking out what everyone's doing, June teaching Sabrina a new crochet stitch, and June getting mad at me taking her picture :)


Thursday, October 03, 2013

Tying the Knot

My little brother just got married earlier this summer.  I wasn't able to attend the wedding but, I sent the happy couple a wedding gift...

"Tying the Knot"
This pattern is called "Not Too Many Neutrals" by Jacqueline Paton for Red Rooster Fabrics.  It was offered as a free pattern and I picked it up at one of my LQS shop hops last year.  To be honest, I haven't worked with so few fabrics in one project for a very long time, so I found myself getting a bit bored with it (especially since I had to almost triple the pattern to get a queen size).  All in all, I am very happy with the result and the newlyweds seemed to love it!


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Sew Day - June

And...some more pictures from our monthly Sew Day.  As you can see, I often take candid shots without warning (and this often gets me in trouble with the ladies?!?!?).

Sew Day - June
Top:  Lisa choosing civil war fabrics for a Prairie Women Sewing Circle project, June stitching fabric folded bowtie blocks, Susan working on a Veteran's Quilt, & Kathi making faces behind her machine!
Bottom:  Vicki cutting out more pieces of an old BOM & Judy and her sister (I forgot her name, oops!) working on a commissioned jean quilt and asking for lots of advice from the group!


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Just getting acquainted....

Are you wondering what one does to get acquainted with her new longarm?  Practice, practice, practice...

Dog Beds
...and then make all of that practice into dog beds to be donated to the local animal shelter!

There are lots of different quilting motifs and designs.  Practicing everything from meandering, flowering, pantos and more.  Remember, I've never had a quilting machine before so I'm really just getting started...there are lots and lots of mistakes, but the puppies won't care.  They'll be happy to just be off the cold ground!