Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Playing with Stripes

I've seen lots of these blocks around blogland so I thought I'd give it a try.  Using the Companion Angler ruler these blocks are a snap.  Here's the start of a BASICS quilt for next year.

I've got about 5 yards of this stripe, so I should have a nice variety of blocks.  I'm making them in 4 different sizes, 8 1/2", 6 1/2", 4 1/2" and 3 1/2 " so they will all play nicely when I get a bunch of them together.
If you've make a quilt like this, please direct me to it, I'd love to gleen some ideas from others.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Counting and Sorting

This is what I do when I get over 1/2 way through a project. I start counting and sorting all the pieces. Then I start to break it down into sections. If I get 40 sashings done, then that's 10 blocks.....
If I make 40 sashings, I need how many corner blocks?.....
Then I start making piles and count.
So far I've got 51 blocks made.

I've decided on 9 x 9 blocks for this top, that will finish it out at 90 x 90 and that's perfect for my bed. So I need to make 40 more blocks. I've got the centers finished thanks to an online swap.
Now to make all the sashings with the star points.

I've sorted and counted and I'm good on all sections.

Now to find the time. I like making these sections using them as leaders and enders, makes this part of the project a little less tedious.
Oh, so maybe I have to start a new project!
Are you starting anything new this weekend?

Friday, November 25, 2011

New Door Banner

I just couldn't resist. I have given my Santa door banner away to a friend this fall. She always liked it, and I've used it a few years so I was ok with passing it along. But I needed something for Christmas, and today is the day we start to decorate, right?
I've had this border fabric for years, it's an Alexander Henry from 2000. Those AH fabrics are SO hard for me to cut into. But I did it!
This is from Tonya's Word Play Quilts book. I love this method of making letters and words, start to finish, less than 90 minutes. Seriously. That included picking fabric and pressing it to start. Now to quilt it. simple ditch stitching will work, but something tells me it will be hand quilted.
Are you doing anything Christmasy this weekend?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

BTCT Update

I'm still working away on this 25 BOM.  The patterns are out for 24 blocks, along with 2 borders.  I've just finished Block 18 which is block 15 for me and I've just prepped another at this time.  This job project has moved to the top of my list, now that I've finished the hand quilting on my Christmas runner and have the binding on my LOVE quilt. 

There is some travel time for me in December, as well as a list of 6 or 7 medical appointments between now and the new year.  Nothing serious, just all my follow ups and annuals with all my cancer dr's and my gp and dentist.  The usual.  The good news for me is that in 2012, I drop down to once a year visits with all but my medical oncologist.  I'm going to prod him into giving me a years prescription at my next visit. All these appointments demand that I have some take along hand projects!
I best get to prepping more blocks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Making it Count

I was teaching a hand quilting class on Saturday and I said something to the group that has stuck with me.  Make it count.  What I meant by that was to keep your hand quilting on projects that are special or in places where the stitching is going to show.  I love how the big stitch hand quilters use colored perl cotton which adds another whole element to the quilt.

The statement can be transferred over to machine quilting.  Making beautiful feathers and designs on busy calicos or dark civil war prints isn't the best use of ones time.  I just finished this, and I tried to make the quilting count.

This is going to be used as a wall hanging and it's a Christmas gift that my friend has made. Nice gift, don't you think?


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Red & White LOVE

Finally, this is finished. Well, it needs a label but my friend is making one for me, I just have to get her the information.

This quilt is for my bed and here are the particulars.
Bonnie Hunter pattern,  Pineapple Blossoms  Bonnie is the ultimate scrap quilter, but I tend to be more controlled with my fabric choices. 
Blocks constructed using her method of making the corners results in "bonus blocks"  You get 5 from each block so this quilt generates 550 1/2 sq triangles.

This quilt finished at 90 x 100  For batting I used a layer of Warm & Natural AND a layer of Hobbs Wool. 

**UPDATE** I used two batts, W & N on the bottom for the density and weight, it's a flat batt, and wool on top for the warmth and loft.  I like heavy blankets on me in the wintertime. **

Thread used was King Tut hombre reds on top and Signature Cotton in Holiday Red for the back. 
A scrappy binding finished it off.

I'm calling this my LOVE quilt.  I love red and whites, I used a triple heart motif on the quilting,

it's the first quilt I've made specifically for my own bed, and I absolutely fell in love with all the Red & White two color quilts while in NYC this spring.
What's your favorite color combination?


Quilting by Check

When I first heard this expression I really chuckled.  Then I realized it's the only way many of us get projects finished.  It is a bear to struggle with a full or queen quilt on your DSM.  I know, because I've done it myself.

This customer sent me a quilt shortly after I started quilting for others in 2005.  She's from the other side of the country and we have never met.  I did one quilt and then assumed she found a quilter that lived a little closer than 3000 miles away. Last month, out of the blue, I got an email asking if I could quilt a top for her.  She said she finally got another quilt finished.
Here is her latest work.  I absolutely love the color combination on this piece.  I had a multi colored King Tut, light pink and a greeny brown combo.  Perfect for this piece.  I did an edge to edge freehand swirl and spiral design.

Now to attach and hand sew the binding for her.  What a way to finish your Christmas gift giving!  Works great for both of us.
What are you working on for Christmas?  Will have have it finished?  I'm talking about this Christmas, you know, the one that is going to be here in less than 40 days.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sharing the Beauty

I got this unexpected email today from Jackie who was in the Gwen Marston workshop with me back in May.
Jackie wrote the following:

I thought you would enjoy seeing my final product. It is a combination
of blocks I made from Gwen's class, plus from a class I took recently
from Karla Alexander. I decided to do the 'Karla' quilt in the same
fabrics, and as I was creating it I realized it was a natural to meld
the two class blocks into one quilt. Although the colors from the photo
taken on my iPhone are a little muddy (and the pale yellow walls of my
quilt room look more like a bright yellow border), I think you get the

 Karla Alexander is the the author of the Stack the Deck series of books

I definitely get it. This is fabulous.

Jackie, thanks for allowing me to share this on my blog.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hand Stitched

A photo of my non blogger friends latest project.

  Hand appliqued and hand quilted.

Oh, and just an FYI, it's best to remove your newly finished and bound quilt project off your cutting table BEFORE you start cutting your next project. 

Just some words of wisdom from the maker of the above quilt. 

Doesn't the binding look just a little bit newer than the rest of the quilt? 

Thank goodness it was only the binding that got cut and not a whole corner!

I love showing off  on behalf of DebS.  She's shy and doesn't blog, but her work is amazing!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

'Tis the Season

Well, it's not officially the season, but it's coming fast.  Finally, I have a current Christmas project finished in time to use in the same year!
This was fused and machine appliqued.  I did the blanket stitching after I had layered it so it got quilted at the same time. 
This started out as a 4 block quilt.  I'm glad I didn't get right on it at the time because I think this layout is more useful for me.
It's going in my entrance way, but for now it's hanging over the door to my studio.
It took longer to finish because I decided to hand quilt the background with perl cotton. 

And this baby is on my longarm, the binding is waiting by my sewing machine and I will have this on my bed by Thanksgiving!

What's on your Christmas list?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Shout out for BASICS

BASICS is still in need of quilts for this winter.

When you pulled out your fall quilts, did you see one that maybe isn't your favorite anymore? Or do you have one that just needs the binding?  What about a mystery quilt that didn't quite turn out as expected?  Do you have a class sample that you no longer use?
How about one from the Charity Quilts pile at your local guild?

This one was pieced by Donna K, and the binding was hand done by Lousie M.
If you go HERE you can see quilts that have been donated. Some have been made with left over blocks, some are very controlled, and others are just a freeform of wonderful piecing.

This one was pieced by Irene A and binding hand sewn by Deb S
Over HERE, at Pink Chalk, you can read more about this great quilt drive

This top was also pieced by Irene A, binding hand sewn by Louise M.

Victoria at Bumble Beans has been the driving force, along with Pat Sloan.

This top was pieced by Deb S, I did the binding.

They are in need of any size, quilts for boy and girls, Moms and Dads.
This little one was pieced by Deb S and binding hand sewn by Muriel F.

It took six of us to donate 5 quilts, I feel that having a longarm machine is a real privilege, I know I couldn't have achieved what I have without the help of others, so for me, it's important to use this to help others.

These families are transitioning from being homeless and in shelters to having their own place.  They are needing a "hand UP", not a hand out. 

Quilters are such a generous bunch, and I know there are many places always looking for quilts. But if you could spare just one for BASICS???


Monday, November 7, 2011

Before and After

This is why I was sewing binding this morning, instead of driving to work. I was waiting for "the guy" to show up. The Guy who was going to transform my bathroom in one day.
Don'tcha love the harvest gold bathtub?

Or is it the beautiful black tile with white grout that makes you swoon?

Maybe it's the fabulous fixtures??

No words necessary, except, "why didn't I do this sooner!"

So how's this for a one day transformation! Bathfitters and a credit card. :-)


Wait Time

Just waiting for the bathroom guy to show up. Yes, I'm getting really close to a finish. I think this is the first year I've started a Christmas project and actually had it finished for this calendar year!

Fall is here, I like the lighter a.m.s and the darker evenings. No guilt quilting instead of yard work!

Have a great day

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I will remember this day for the rest of my life.  Something very special happened to me on this day, something that most of you had happen when you were born and you don't remember it at all.  This is the day I became a U.S. Citizen.  There were 91 other people from 35 countries all bursting with pride and excitement right along side me.
I thought I was just going for yet another interview in the process that started back in 2004 when I got married.  There were roadblocks along the way, an application for permanent residency was denied 3 weeks after my husband passed away and it took 3 months to get someone to believe that yes, I was married but now, legally, I'm not.  With support of friends and family, Yeah sister Christine, who put together my appeals package, I got my PR card in the spring of 2008. 

Tuesday I drove to Seattle thinking it would be my second last trip, but after meeting with the immigration officer, and seeing him stamp my file "approved", I asked him "so what's next?"  He handed me a slip of paper, told me to be back in an hour and attend the ceremony and I'd be done.  It was a whirlwind day.  I wish I'd known, I didn't even bring a camera or a friend to take my picture.  So thanks to Camille, a fellow Canadain who was sitting beside me, I got one photo of the day.

Now to file all the adjustments to all my other documents ........