Friday, February 27, 2009

Inching Along...

I'm inching along on the Blueberry Cheese Spread. I joined the blocks and inner sashing Thursday but it pretty much looks the same as here.

(No~this isn't me or DD~just a cute girl on an Inchworm riding toy that popped up when I Goggled

I pieced the sub-units to the outer borders earlier today. Next up is to work on putting these units together. I'm making this a twin size and I had forgotten when you add more blocks for a bigger than lap-size, it takes an equally longer time to sew and finish.

So I'll be here 'inching along' as time permits...


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I got nuthin'...well very little to share :)

I did make a batch of Mare's Crockpot Chili for Ash Wednesday dinner (no meat added). I thought it was yummy and look forward to the leftovers for lunch!

No sewing fairies live in my sewing room so the tops don't magically get sewed into flimsies while I attend to the more mundane household chores.

May I borrow YOUR sewing fairies to help?! Please! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Errand Day Tuesday

Monday was a sick day for DD and a trip to the Dr.
Diagnosis: garden variety cold with dry cough. Cool.
If head congestion doesn't clear up in 10 days...return to Dr. Cool.

That made today my errand day.

First stop: Packaged up the QOV quilts and pillowcases for Alycia. Had to smile when I saw what moving box I had picked up...that's right....Fabric from the sewing room! and this time there are quilts in it! :)

Second stop: Baby's Doctor. The 'Doctor' wasn't in but the 'nurse' took a look at her and asked the Mommy some questions. Okay, color me stupid, come to find out when I re-assemble the bobbin area after cleaning...I put it together in the wrong order and thus, throwing off the precision Baby needs to sew correctly. Ummm....that lesson would have been helpful 2 years ago! But the best part! The 'nurse' was free! I can hardly wait for tomorrow when Baby and I will be able to sew and *see* if that was the only adjustment she needed.

Third stop: I lost a whole box of vacuum cleaner bags so I headed way North to get some, like a 45 minute drive. Glad it was sunny and dry. Close to the vacuum cleaner shop is a Hobby Lobby! Happy to report that no fabric followed me home. :)
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Monday, February 23, 2009

A Monday Finish

Sewed the binding back and the label on this 'softer' QOV Panel quilt today. As I type this, it is in the washer. Another step closer to mailing my QOV's to their 'Forever Homes'. :)

I originally saw this quilt and modeled mine after it on Alycia's blog.
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stash Busting Report Week #8

This past week was a 'catch-all, catch-up' type of sewing week for me. No quilt finishes but very close on the QOV panel as it needs it's binding sewn back and label. Believe it or not, the label is already made! woohoo! A very sweet friend gifted me with 3.5 yards of a novelty fabric that will make an excellent backing for a child's donation quilt. With my use of brights, I somehow end up gifted with bold, bright, big novelty prints along with, "I thought you could use it on the back of one of your bright kids' donations!". :)

My report follows:

Fabric added this week: 3.5 yards
Fabric added this year: 17 yards

Fabric used this week: - 7.5 yards
Fabric used this year: -42 yards

Net fabric for the year: -25 yards

What I accomplished this week:

  • made 4 QOV pillowcases
  • made 8 QOV labels
  • pieced 4 wonky stars for the Bushfire Quilt Project
  • pieced and quilted QOV Panel
  • pieced blocks for Blueberry Cheese Spread

Goals for next week:

While I was playing at making another placemat purse, Baby suffered another injury. Top on the list will get her to the Baby Doctor. She just can't seem to sew through the many thicknesses of the seams on the placemats. My old Elna used to sew through absolutely any thickness. I think I either need to find a 'tougher' sewing machine or 'give up' my placemat purse additions. Any ideas on a 'tougher' sewing machine?! because, of course, I can't have too many placemat purses now, can I? LOL

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blueberry Cheese Spread

Today is the day that the FAB's (Cher, Norma, Pam and Linda) set aside for our virtual sewing day, which as luck would have it, coincided with JudyL's Quilt-a-thon. The pattern we are sewing is Cheese and Crackers by Terry Atkinson. I managed to sew together my 25 blocks and cut the background spacers for the center. Now I need to stop and get ready for the Milwaukee Admirals hockey game.

Here is my Blueberry Cheese Spread on the design flannel.

ps. Today was a good day to sew as Ole Man Winter is dumping snow on us. DH has been out twice to blow the driveway...Bless His Heart! :)
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday's Tally

7 quilts labeled

7 quilts washed

1 pillowcase made

1 quilt finished quilting
(this post)

1 binding made
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is it cold outside?

Then head over to Lynn's blog and her Ice Day Give Away! It will warm your heart as she is giving away a JELLY ROLL! Yummy! and Paushki Day is just around the corner! (ok, I'm not Polish and I don't know how to spell 'paushki' and neither does Blogger but I do LOVE to eat one!) Today is the last day to enter so hurry on over! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Today was a very productive day in the sewing room!

I made three more QOV pillowcases bringing my total to seven.

DH was interested in *seeing* Valerie do some sewing, so I pieced together this *softer* red/white and blue flimsy. I saw a quilt that I used as my model on Alycia's blog, quilt here. This panel is a piece of fabric I brought at Hobby Lobby when it was marked down to 75% off. I finished the outer border this morning then loaded the top and back this afternoon.

Tonight after dinner, I sewed a few rows using the popcorn pantograph. Hopefully, tomorrow I will finish the quilting and perhaps get the binding made and sewn to the front. Maybe one more pillowcase, too. :)
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Monday, February 16, 2009

A Helping Hand

Last week as I was reading through blogs, there were opportunities presented to help others devastated by the Bushfires in Australia.

Tracy of Oz Country Quilting Mum is organizing a collection of 12.5 inch (unfinished) sampler blocks in burgundy, plaids, checks, and cream. The block is your choice. Her post can be found here.

Jan Mac of Sew Many Quilts is collecting 'Quilt as You Go' blocks. Her post (and tutorial) can be found here.

I was reading Jacquie's post about the Bushfire Quilt Project, which lead me to Tia's blog. Tia is collecting wonky 12.5 inch (unfinished) star blocks. The tutorial I followed is from Victoria and can be found here. Bonnie of Quiltville has given permission to use a variation of her Maverick Star for this project.

I decided to make 4 wonky star blocks to send to Tia (she provides an APO address to mail the package to...and I'll need a customs form, too). I had just enough of the black multi-colored stripe fabric to make the 4 blocks. The center is actually black with multi-colored polka dots. I decided on this Bushfire Quilt Project because my stash tends to be brights, novelties and, lately red, white and blue. Also I wanted to try the wonky stars without making a entire quilt from the stars. Making these blocks as a helping hand is a good fit for me! :)
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stash Busting Report Week #7

I had a few finishes this week so a good 'numbers' week for me. My report follows:

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric added for the year: 13.5 yards

Fabric used this week: -16 yards
Fabric used for the year: -50.5 yards

Net fabric year to date: - 37 yards (used)

What I accomplished this week:
  • quilted and bound Mi's T-shirt quilt
  • pieced, quilted and bound r/w/b S5 scrappy quilt

Goals for next week:

  • mail Mi's quilt
  • prepare labels and sew onto r/w/b quilts
  • make pillowcases for QOV's
  • prepare for February 21st FAB sew-in

Next Saturday, the FAB's are having a virtual sew-in and I need to prepare for that. This time we will be making the Cheese and Crackers pattern from Atkinson Designs. I was thinking about making mine with scrappy blues and a cream background. I also want to prepare the quilts to send to Alycia for her 'No Soldier Forgotten' Quilt Challenge. I always seem to wait forever before making labels then sewing them to the quilts. I wonder why that is?

T-shirt Quilt Final Ta-Da

I finished stitching back the binding last night and snapped this photo. Sorry for the poor quality but it was late and the light isn't so good in the family room. :)

I'd like to thank everyone who cheered me on while I was making this was definitely out of my comfort zone and has helped me to grow not only as a sewer but as a quilter also! I would like to especially thank LindaJ! Her 'Sorta T-shirt Tutorial is the pattern I followed and Linda was very helpful in the construction of this quilt!

Now to package this baby up and send it to its' forever home! :)
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Is Friday the 13th Lucky?

Mother Superior is having a Valentine's Day Give Away! Go take a look...signed up! Maybe today is a lucky day and one of us will win the gift certificate to Superior Threads!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

FAB Challenge #2 Reveal Update

As you might have noticed (or maybe not!), the FAB's have postponed the 'Reveal' date for Challenge #2. Norma of Silver Thimble Quilting was on holiday with her parents. Check out her posts as she traveled from the cold winter of Canada to the sunny winter of Arizona and her many interesting stops along the way. While Norma was on holiday, Cher of Marathon Quilter, a fellow FAB member had an unfortunate fall. Poor Cher has broken her pinky finger and is in a cast (that is purple and quite far as a cast goes!). So as a group, we voted to postpone the 'Reveal' until Cher is out of her cast and has a chance to heal properly. Stay tuned and I'll be sure to update you guys when a new 'Reveal' date is set for the Wacky FAB Challenge #2! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Done in the nick of time, almost!

Here is the 5th in a series of quilts using r/w/b 2.5 inch strips. Our sewing workshop is Thursday February 12th. For this pattern I followed Kairle's Strip Tutorial here. I was trying to think of an interesting name for this quilt but all I could come up with was 'the S5 Quilt'. When you follow the tutorial, you SEW 6 strips together, SQUARE the block to 12.5 inches, SLICE on the diagonal twice, SHUFFLE the triangles and SEW 2 of the quarter triangles together to get an 8.5 inch (unfinished) block! S5! Each 12.5 inch block yields 2 ~ 8.5 inch blocks. I was getting a little low on lights but, thankfully, I found the leftovers from this quilt here and I was back in business. I was a little worried as the exposed edges are bias. I used magic sizing and while I did have some stretching, I was trying to be careful! I still have the binding to sew to the back yet.

Inkblot was on the table and I didn't feel like changing out the panto so, inkblot is on this quilt, too. :) I'll probably use inkblot on the next quilt, too. The big open quilting leaves the quilt soft and cuddly.

I just wanted to say that for Mike's T-shirt quilt, I followed LindaJ's 'Sorta T-shirt Tutorial' and chatted/emailed with Linda about that quilt. Linda is very helpful and was willing to answer every question I had as I was piecing it. In fact, Linda told me what to sew and I did~it was like having my very own private teacher! :) Thanks Linda! You Rock!
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another step closer... finishing Mike's T-shirt quilt. I completed the quilting this afternoon using the Inkblot panto from Willow Leaf Studios. Next up: trimming, making the binding and sewing it on! Mike chose black binding to match the outer border.

Here is a close up of one of the t-shirts.
This weekend I 'stole' some time in the sewing room and I made this purse. Yes! It's another placemat! I had the handles in the sewing room so I opted to use them. I didn't have any matching grosgrain ribbon for the handle tabs so I made the tabs out of some purple fabric scraps.

I also made a Valentine for Connor. (His address is in this post) and mailed it on Monday. I already had the Fast2Fuse cut to shape so all I needed to do was dig into the red scraps to make the background then into the 'already fused Moda Marble' scraps and woohoo! a postcard ready to mail in about 10 minutes!
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stash Busting Report Week #6

Did I tell you that the local quilt shop, Patched Works, gave out coupon books in December? This is bad (or maybe good?) news as I find myself heading over there every few weeks to *check out* what the coupon will spending wasn't too outrageous this week. I did receive the backing fabric for Mi's tshirt quilt but that will go back out when the quilt is done, so I'm not counting it in and I won't count it out either. My report follows:

Fabric added this week: +3 yards
Fabric added this year: + 13.5 yards

Fabric used this week: -10 yards
Fabric used this year: -34.5 yards

Net Fabric for the year: -21 yards

What I accomplished this week:
  • quilt and bound Scrappy Rail Fence
  • pieced backing for Mi tshirt quilt
  • loaded tshirt quilt/backing onto frame

Goals for next week:

  • quilt tshirt quilt

This week is the day guild meeting, so I need to prepare for it. We will be hosting a workshop using the r/w/b 2.5 inch strips. This meeting will be *the ending* of my fascination with all the different patterns that can be made with 2.5 inch strips! well...maybe not *THE END* but I am going to take a break from the 2.5 inch strip club and focus on other patterns.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Night Highlights not football or basketball or hockey or baseball or soccer or (insert your fav sport here!) highlights but the highlights from my sewing day! :)

First up: I was able to finish sewing the binding back on the scrappy r/w/b rails. This project is just what the Quilting Doctor ordered. Mindless sewing and a pretty quilt at the finish. I only have about 1 1/2 yards (and miscellaneous strings/crumbs) left from the blue Moda Marble Stars, which should be enough for the outer border and binding on one more QOV. Pretty amazing how fast the fabric does get used at times. This was a 10 yard bolt at the end of September 2008!

Here is a close-up of the Inkblot panto. I really like how this turned out.

Last up: I washed and seamed the backing for the t-shirt quilt and was able to load both the front and the back today. I was hoping to practice Inkblot on another quilt but this one is ready to be quilted. So this one, it is.

This is the end of my highlight reel for tonight. :)
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

WIP Thursday (?!)

Yesterday...WIP Wednesday...was a blur for me. I went to the Quilt Club meeting in the morning (which ran late) then I drove across town as Baby's Doctor said she was ready to come home. Her diagnosis was 'cleaned, tune up and adjustment'. Ummm...wonder what the adjustment was as her feed dogs were not working after I cleaned her! I came home and had a bite to eat (being frugal here and eating at home), then onto the grocery store. I barely had time to unpack the groceries and it was bus time! I like to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour talking with DD and DS about their days. Whatever they want to share...then I want to listen. I was getting ready to do some sewing and in walked DH, almost 2 hours early from work! okay, it was 5:15 pm but that is way early for him to be home! So onto dinner and cleanup. DS found one of my favorite movies on TV and I was hooked! Next thing I knew, it was bedtime!

Today is better, sewing wise that is. In between working on laundry, I have been quilting and this is your sneak peek of my new panto, Inkblot. At 12 inches, it just about maxes out the throat plate on Valerie. I need to be careful when advancing my rows. One row I didn't advance quite enough and I has 'skinny' loops on the bottom row! This panto is big but it is a good study for me in following large loop-y curves with Valerie.

I'd like to thank Karen who sent me the link about Connor. He is the young cancer patient who is collecting postcards. Here is the link from Karen from a Milwaukee TV station. From this link, I followed it and found Connor's family CaringBridge web page. If you wish to send a postcard to Connor here is his info:

Connor Bourke
PO Box 185
Jefferson, WI 53549

I guess he has received so many postcards that his parents opened a P.O. Box for him! :) I mentioned this boy to DS and was surprised that he knew all about him. Seems like his English class all sent postcards to Connor last semester so he was able to get the address, too. I was impressed as DS is a high school senior this year. I'll have to check Connor's blog and see if there is a count on the number of postcards he has gotten. :)
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bella to the Rescue

After the pink bobbin thread ran out (which was like two rounds), I took the bowl off of Bella and did some piecing.

To warm up, I made this fabric postcard just like Mary's. I even used the same crystals which I didn't realize until I just looked up her post. I forgot Bella only has three sizes of the zigzag stitch...micro, big and even bigger. I selected 'big' and went around the perimeter twice. I was planning on sending this card to a boy in Jefferson, Wisconsin that has cancer and is collecting postcards. Unfortunately, I have misplaced his information. If anyone knows the link or his address, will you please e-mail me so that I may mail this postcard to add to his collection? Thanks in advance for your help. I did try to Google it but I came up empty, perhaps I was using the wrong wording?

Then Bella and I pieced this blue backing for the r/w/b rail fence. I am a little concerned as it seems to be a stretchy almost seersucker material with a blue metallic thread running through it. I was so excited to find it on the clearance rack that I guess I just got it without *really* looking at it. Cross my fingers that it works okay! As you can see, it is already loaded. I only need to wind some bobbins for Valerie and oil her up and will be ready to give my new panto Inkblot a whirl.
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Monday, February 2, 2009

February 1st View

With temperatures above freezing over the weekend, the snow has started to melt. I actually snapped this picture on Sunday morning but was busy the rest of the day.

What was I doing?

I was making snacks for our Super Bowl watching. A tradition in our home is that on Super Bowl Sunday, we have Super Snacks for dinner! You can see that the elves have already gotten into the pizza. DS cooked the pizza and the bread. I made cocktail wienies in the crockpot, some veggies, a taco bean dip (which I forgot to put out...duh) and spinach artichoke dip from A Year of Crockpotting. The spinach artichoke dip was really good although I skipped the jalapenos. Stephanie (the author of this blog) is suppose to be putting together a cookbook containing all the recipes she tried over 2008. I'm going to be watching for should be a good cookbook! We also had cheesecake and brownies for dessert. This was definitely a day to forget any diet plans.

Did you hear?

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter. Drats. Bummer. Brrr.
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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stash Busting Report Week #5

I pieced two tops to the flimsy state but no finishes this week.

A few weeks ago, I volunteered to send Lori a few 6.5 inch novelty squares for Happy Blocks (or a similar block!). We agreed that when she counted it in then I would count it out. Now, I just sorta took one square of this, one of that and maybe two of this...not really paying attention to the total amount. When I could stuff it in an envelope, I was done. Imagine my astonishment when Lori estimated the yardage at three yards! I say, "No Way!" I would have had to sent you at least 90 squares (with very few duplicates, I might add). Lori counted and confirmed that I had sent her 103! Sorry Lori! I think this is her first yardage added this year...

I really like the way Amy at Infinity Quilter reports her fabric each week. This year I wanted to keep better track of the amount of fabric so I'm going to adopt the way Amy reports her usage. Thanks Amy for letting me 'steal' your reporting ways. My report follows (just like Amy's):

Fabric added this week: +3 yards
Fabric added this year: +10.5 yards

Fabric used this week: -3 yards
Fabric used this year: -24.5 yards

Net Fabric for the year: -14 yards (used)

What I accomplished this week:
  • pieced T-shirt quilt to a flimsy
  • pieced r/w/b rail fence to a flimsy

Goals for next week:

  • quilt r/w/b rail fence
  • quilt SIL's quilt
  • piece backing for T-shirt quilt when I receive fabric

I'm not sure how much actual piecing I will get done as Baby is at the Doctor and Bella (the Janome Gem) might struggle a bit. I will have to sew with Bella and *see* how it goes. Now to find Bella's extra bobbins...wonder where they are?!