Friday, January 31, 2014

Bowdacious! Progress Report

Since I've made some progress on my UFO list this month (though, I neglected to take down my Christmas decorations until this week, shhhh....), I've given myself until the end of the month to get a bit more done on my Bowdacious! quilt.  Here's where I'm at...
Bowdacious! blocks
The inner sashings (pink) and cornerstones have been added to the bowtie units to finally form blocks!  I worked on all of the bowtie units last year as part of my RSC13 project and I have not added to my UFO list because I intend to keep working on it a bit at a time until it is finished.  This one is NOT getting stashed away into the cabinet!
Bowdacious! blocks with sashing & cornerstones
After all 49 blocks were assembled, then I wanted to pay around with the setting.  I got the next set of sashing strips (sagey gold) cut out and popped them up on the design wall with a few of the blocks and more cornerstones.  So far, so good.  I think I'm liking this!

If you're interested, Bowdacious! can be found in Bonnie Hunter's book Adventures with Leaders & Enders.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Downton Abbey

Do you watch Downton Abbey?  If're missing something!  I love the shows on PBS these days...Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge...they're really good!  Have you had the chance to check out the line of Downton Abbey fabric by Andover Fabrics?  Ahh...

Downton Abbey by Andover Fabrics
A couple of weeks ago, our LQS, Jackman's Fabrics, hosted a Downton Abbey Tea Party.  Kayla and I were there...
Kayla & I
The national sales representative for Andover Fabrics, Dennis Bevins, came and gave a great overview of what we can expect from the show this season...
Dennis Bevins, Andover Fabrics
He brought with him a fabulous display of quilts and projects that can be made with the new line...
So cute...


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baby Quilts for March

This is the current pile of quilts ready to go to Missouri with me in March.  So far, I've finished 1 Veteran (widow) quilt and 3 baby quilts to give to the guild to donate in support of our charities.  I may be able to squeak a couple more out before I go.
I already posted about the larger HST/4-patch (widow) quilt on the bottom when I finished it.  Now I'll tell you a bit about the other 3 baby quilts, but there's not really much to tell...
Paper Pinwheel baby quilt (front & back)
I've been really enjoying blowing up traditional quilt blocks into "big block" quilts.  It's too much fun tripling a 12" block into a 36" block and that's exactly what I did here with a paper pinwheel block.  Many of the donated fabrics were odd sizes.  These trucks on the blue background was a piece of fabrics that was fussy cut, so chose a pattern that I could cut the pieces between fussy cuts...challenging but fun!  This is every last bit of the trucks on white background was a little rectangle that I measured to see how small I would have to cut this tiny border. It's all about using up that box of donated scraps!  

For the binding, I knew I wanted to use this rainbow stripe that was in the box, but when I use a piece I really want to finish it up if I can.  Well, I pieced the rest of it and the last couple of pieces of the truck fabrics into that striped backing!  So fun!
Rail Fence & Stripes baby quilts
These 2 quilts were also fun to make!  They began with the girl & bear fabric which was cut into 5" strips.  I had a bunch of the burgundy spotted fabric (all cut into FQs), so I used it in both quilt designs. The rail fence quilt also incorporated the beige spotted fabric in the front.  I also backed it using 5 FQs of the beige.  Stripes was backed the same way using the burgundy and both were bound with the same burgundy spots.  A couple of years ago, a retailer donated boxes of these spotted FQs to the guild...and we've been using them, but most of the guild ladies are a bit tired of these poor spots.  Not me!  I love them!  You'll see them in many of my baby the grey spot above...and the quilts here...and several more quilts to come!  I've got lots of spots!

Linking up to Michelle for Let's Make Baby Quilts!


Monday, January 27, 2014

What's on my bed?

Jo over at Jo's Country Junction asks, "What's on your Bed?"  Well, here's my answer... (don't judge...the beds are not made...not even for my photos for you friends...sorry...not really...

FYI, I don't usually make the beds with quilts; I use feather comforters with white covers for the most part, but I do usually have a quilt on the end of each bed.  We love to pull them up on a cold winter night!

This is what's on the end of my bed at the moment.  It's the warmest, most comfy quilt I own.  I've had it since I was a little girl and I still sleep with it in the wintertime (under the feather comforters and only on my side of the bed).  This quilt was made by my mother in the 70s.  It's pieced with big blocks of scrap sample fabrics, tied with green yarn, flip turned (not bound) and filled with I don't know what, but its warmest, most cuddly quilt ever.  It really needs some TLC as many of the seams are loose and the backing is worn, but I wont give it up...not even if asked nicely!  Check out some of the fabrics...

Wow!  Groovy!
No this be isn't made either...we just had house guest and the bedding is coming off to be thrown in the wash.  I just snapped a quick photo.  On the guest bed is another quilt made around the same time.  This one is a rail fence and was hand pieced by my husband's grandmother using the polyester fabrics from her clothing, both solids and prints.  The top was given to me after her passing and it was the first quilt I ever had to square up and bind by myself (about 18 years ago).  My mother-in-law advised me to tie it with DMC floss and that's how it's held together.  I even matched the DMC color to the middle fabric of each rail fence have to look had to see it!

This is Kayla's bed.  She's on an internship in Africa.  Her bed IS made, even if everything doesn't match.  The quit folded on her bed is her favorite quilt.  She did all the work herself (except the binding) and you can see the process in this post.  She chose a super lofty polyfil batting and lots of farmy inspired fabrics.  She just loves it!  The little quilt on the basket was also made by Kayla.  It was the second quilt she made and chose each and every fabric in the quilt shops of Japan herself.  So cute!

Now, I guess I should get to laundering all this bedding....oh well...don't think too badly of me :)


A Quilt for a Widow

The Gone To Pieces quilt guild in St. Robert, MO does a lot of quilting for local charities.  My daughter, Kayla, decided to take on one of those charities for her GS Gold Award project and made a bunch of quilts to donate to a local women & children's shelter.  Once she completed that project, we still had a box full of fabric, blocks and UFO quilt tops that were donated to her to finish up to donate to charity.  We still have that box...and have been slowly dwindling down the contents by donating, through the guild, the finished quilts to that same women & children's shelter, babies born at Ft. Leonard Wood hospital, and local wounded warriors/veterans and their widows.

This one is designated to go to one of the widows.

This scrappy HST/4-patch top center was someone's UFO.  It was really cute and there are tons of really cool fabrics in there!  Kayla added the little border, made the muslin binding (a surprisingly suitable choice) and packed it away unfinished again (usually that just means it's waiting for quilting).  Well, I pulled it out this week and quilted it up!  Isn't there nothing better than hand stitching the last few stitches of binding down on a quilt you can't wait to see finished?  I LOVE hand stitching a binding!!!

The red & white backing was also one of the donated fabrics, as was the stripe of birdhouses (and the last of the HST & 4-patch blocks).  It's a thicker cotton weave, not sure what it would've been used for...a tablecloth maybe?  It's a heavy fabric and layered with dream cotton batting...this is gonna be a warm quilt!

Linking up to Kim for Scrap Basket Sunday & Kathy for Slow Stitching Sunday.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lazy Sunday

In 2013, Quiltmaker Magazine published a multi-issue quilt mystery entitled "Lazy Sunday."  The quilt is designed by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville fame who also writes the "Addicted To Scraps" articles.
After keeping up religiously all year with each and every mystery step, I packed up the completed top (prepared binding and pieced backing) to get ready for our impending move to Illinois.  
Lazy Sunday
Last week, I pulled Lazy Sunday out of the cabinet and decided it was time to get it quilted up.  I got it loaded up on the frame and discovered I did an extremely poor job of piecing the backing (it was not at all square)!  So, I left it...until Lisa and Debbie arrived...and we fixed it (actually they fixed it...)  Why is it that I just had NO motivation to "figure it out" until they got here?  It's really not that difficult, just frustrating when it's all loaded up and has to be unpinned and taken down again, only to be put right back up hours later...grrrr....
Lazy Sunday quilted with a freehand meandering rose
Oh well, it's done and I'm very happy with it!  I did have some issues with those beautiful pointy borders.  A few of the pretty purple points got caught up in the binding making them not so pointy, but I've decided that I'm just not going to worry about them.
Lazy Sunday label
And this weekend, I truly had a Lazy Sunday...we did spend a couple of hours out walking through a couple of local "flea market" antique malls.  Then came home and watched several hours of prerecorded movies...ahh...lazy Sundays....
Lazy Sunday
Linking up to BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, & Scrap Basket Sunday at Kim's Big Quilting Adventure.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Stitch & B!+(#

This weekend my family left me.  One daughter is back at university; one is off on an internship in Africa.  Hubby went on a business trip to Alaska; I stayed home.

Enter previous quilt guild/sew day friends.  They came up to keep me company for a couple of days and to check out the new house.

At the kitchen "bar"
As soon as they got here, we made a plan:  Fabric shopping, guild meeting, food and sewing.  Then, we left the house on a fabric shopping mission.  We stopped at a primitives store called Calico Moon and another called Ben's (just before they left to drive home, we also hit the sale at Jackman's fabrics...$1 FQs!!!).  Next, we made a quick stop for dinner and the gals accompanied me to the first guild meeting of the year (and my first ever at this new guild).  The speaker of the evening was an AQS quilt show judge.

After a good night's sleep (and breakfast) (and catching up on all the news of all of our common friends and acquaintances), we got to work... 

Lisa & I
First things first...I put the girls to work helping me to fix a wonky backing I pieced.  I tried pinning it on the long arm and I was waaay off and really didn't feel like fixing it.  Debbie was sweet enough to come up with a plan to square that puppy up without losing too much fabric; I cut and she sewed.  Thanks Deb!Now, I've got to reload everything back onto the machine...ugh, re-pinning is the worst!!!

Debbie completed a really cute baby quilt top using HSTs that she will donated.  Lisa completed a patriotic quilt top from a magazine pattern using wedged piecing that she will give to a veteran.  I worked on MORE 4-patches for my current projects (Bowdacious! & 4-patch Revisited) and I am sure you're sick of reading about that!

All in all, we had a fun time and I hope we get to do it again including a few more of my old guild pals!  I hereby dub these "Stitch and B!+(# Retreats"!  HeeHee!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Slowly, but surely

A little bit more progress is being made on my blocks for "Bowdacious!" & "4-Patch Revisited."  With our move at the end of last year, I never really had time to make the blocks for the colors chosen for the last few months.  I've still got 2 months worth of work left to do to catch up and then I can begin at least putting the "Bowdacious!" one's together into a top.

4-Patch Revisited (right) & Bowdacious! (left)
I think as part of this year's RSC14, I may work month-by-month on the setting of the 4-Patch Revisited blocks.  Each 4 patch still needs to be set on point and that will take plenty of time, too.  I'd also like to follow along on Angela's sampler block challenge, (and, no, I haven't even started yet...but I will...) so that will make 2 RSC projects for this year!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Co-op

Since moving to Illinois, I got a tip from my friend Liz, whom I met in The Netherlands, about the local co-op.  I had never heard of a co-op, so I asked her to explain how it worked and then...I was sold!  Basically, the idea is...a bunch of people get together (like hundreds of people) and buy produce in bulk, therefore getting the best prices for the freshest groceries.  And then there's the local items...yep, I'm sold...just check this out...
Every two weeks, our local co-op chapter gets a delivery.  The week prior, we have an opportunity to order what we need (depending on what's available and/or in season) with the best value being the "produce basket."  This week, I ordered the produce basket and a couple of extras, a case (11 lbs.) of cherries and a bunch of cilantro.  

For around $23, the produce basket is packed full of a variety of fruits and veggies chosen by the co-op gods (yeah, really, I don't know who determines what goes in the basket).  This week's basket included:  carrots, onions, broccoli, grape tomatoes, potatoes, brussel sprouts, mescaline mix, a pineapple, kiwis, navel oranges, clementines, pink lady apples and bananas!  Wow, yum, and can you beat that?


Friday, January 10, 2014

Wild Child!

I've got a great Friday finish to report today!  Yay!  A UFO crossed off the list, a million scraps used, and one of my RSC13 projects done...

"Wild Child"
Pattern: Wild Child, found in String Fling by Bonnie Hunter 
Pantograph:  Jessie's Swirls Simplified by Jessica Schick

I began Wild Child as part of my guild's color challenge and the RSC13 in January 2013.  I finished tacking the binding down just last night!  Woohoo!

Linking up with...
Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop, Whoop?
Angela over at So Scrappy for RSC Saturday!
The Facebook group, Quiltville Friends!


Another hobby

Here's what I do when I have no bindings to hand stitch down while hubby is watching tv (and there has been A LOT of tv watching going on over the, football, football...)...

I can't remember the name or information on this cross stitch pattern off hand other than it's one of two patterns and I think it's just referred to at the Family Sampler.  This project was started by my youngest daughter a few years ago and it was going to be a gift for me at some point.  Surprise...I get to finish it and I'll probably do the companion pattern, too...a wedding sampler, to commemorate our 20th anniversary this past summer!


Thursday, January 09, 2014

I'm back!!!

Wow!  It's been a while!  So much has been going on...

My last post was in October...why?  Well, we up and moved!  As most of you know, my husband retired from the Army after 20 years of service.  Now, he's got a new job...working for the Air Force!   With the new job, came another move, but not far away...just 2 1/2 hours up the highway from Missouri to Illinois.  Now we're all settled in, the holiday hustle and bustle is behind us and I'm back into my old routine...

Wild Child blocks
I'm working on finishing up one of my projects from last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge hosted by Angela over at SoScrappy.  For RSC13, I chose to work on three of Bonnie Hunter's patterns thoughout the year.  This one is "Wild Child" from her book String Fling.

Wild Child on the long arm frame
I just took "Wild Child" off the frame this evening, and sewed on the binding.  I'll spend a few hours tomorrow hand stitching the binding to the backside tomorrow and adding the tag.  Hopefully I can snap a couple of photos of the finished project the SNOW!

As for the other two RSC13 projects, "Bowdacious!" and "4-Patch Revisited" from Bonnie Hunter's book Scraps & Shirttails, well, I'll be working on them again during this year's RSC14!  I may also jump in on Angela's new RSC Sampler as well making bunches of 6" blocks...we'll see....