Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31: Odd Day

I did have big plans to have my brother's quilt top pieced today, but the motivation was not there.  I worked on this week's menus but did not finish them either.  Not certain what was up, but I just kind of kicked back most of the day with the exception of doing 3 loads of laundry.

Blocks 1-4 of the Craftsy Block of the Month. - February's Chevron
 and Balkan Puzzleblocks are on the left side.  The blocks finish 12x12.

Then later this afternoon, I decided it was time to make my February Craftsy's Block of the Month.  I was frustrated by the fact that I really had a time printing out the directions, but once I started sewing, the blocks came together nicely.  I am making 2 sets, so I managed to have a little more time to think about the process.  I love making half square triangles so these blocks could easily have been done my way, but I used both methods presented.

The Balkan Puzzle block used a method that had me sew a quarter inch around the entire edge of my block and then cut it diagonally twice.  I use my rotating cutting board and it worked out well.  My blocks were for the most part exactly the right measurement, but I did need to trim off the dog ears.  Only concern about this method is the fact that all sides of the block are bias.  Worked out fine for this block, but I am not certain I would use this for larger blocks. 

The second block was a chevron and used the method I use.  Draw a diagonal and then sew a quarter inch seam on each side.  Then cut, press, and trim to size.  I did notice that I had more waste with this method, but the tool, the 6 1/2" Precision Trimmer,  I use to trim works like a charm. 

Both blocks came together without any issues.  I am more of a traditionalist, so I am anxious to see what happens with the other blocks.   I am enjoying using part of my stash of blues.

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30: Barter Trade Completed

In December I helped Rob Palmer by providing several yards of muslin and teaching him how to serge and hem fabric to make inserts in his 3 section floor screen.  In return he made me a maple French rolling pin.  I received it today and have already used it to crush pretzels for my Breaded Baked Apple Chicken.  I love this bartering idea!

January 30: My Brother's Birthday Quilt

50 x70
My one and only brother Jim is turning 60 in May.  I started a tradition with my sister Sue of making my siblings lap quilts for this momentous occasion.  So, while Kevin and I were out for our drive we discussed the fact that I would need to get Jim's quilt top finished and quilted by the end of February or wait until we were settled in South Dakota this summer.  Since I want him to have it on his big day, I decided to once again put the "eagle" quilt on hold because I am going to quilt that one on my Bernina.  Kevin had graciously cut fabric for me several weeks ago so all I needed to do was turn them into HSTs and lay them out in a pleasing yet random way.  140 HSTs later, this is my first layout.  Should be able to piece the top together tomorrow and quilt it this week. 
Have you noticed that HSTs are my fallback block?  This one is all plaids and sutle stripes in homespun and flannel fabrics.

January 30: Road Trip

Kevin worked up at school all day on Saturday and then we went to church.  So good to come home to the pot of chili.  Then on Sunday we both started the day by working on individual things - Kevin was working on sketches for a wall cabinet to hold his planes, and I was attaching the last of the bindings to all the table runners I quilted earlier.

About 10:00 AM, I got a wild hair to drive to Canada just so we could check out the Champlain Isands and actually use our passport cards. By 10:30 we were out the door.  As we got close to the turn off for the Islands, it was snowing but we decided to continue for a while since snow was not part of the forecast.
As soon as we took this exit we were in unexplored territory for us.  Then as we crossed the first bridge and entered the island the snow disappeared. There were lots of people ice fishing, which is not an uncommon sight to people who grew up in the northern Midwest, but there was an awful lot of open water, too. This phenomenon was true both in the USA and Canadian water so maybe these people knew that the ice was thicker and safer than either of us were guessing. We have had lots of warmer days and there are plenty of ice flows on the rivers, so..... Anyway here are some photos of of open water and some of these hardy souls out risking their souls for some sole.

open water

more open water

The little dots out on the ice are ice shacks.
When were crossed into Canada, I was busy with something and then realized I did not have anything to show that we really were in Canada, so I snapped several shots of road signs.  Always too late, except for this one.  As we were re-entering the USA I did take two photos at the border just for the sake of recording the first time we have used our passport cards.

Almost immediately after entering the USA we were in familiar territory.  Think we were both really surprised at just how close we are to the border.  It was a great way to get perspective.  We have both loved taking these little excursions.  I know that Canada is a very large country and that the only Canadian that we spoke to was the border guard, but were we drove seems like many places in the USA with the exception of the signs being written in French.  Maybe later in the Spring we will have to really go to Montreal and get a bit broader sampling of the country.  (Our only other experiences in the actual country of Canada were as teenagers doing some boundary water canoeing northern Minnesota.)
**** A curious point to mention is that Vermont, at least a great deal of what we have seen is either valleys surrounded by mountains or mountain.  There are very few places where both of these don't exist together.  However, one we entered the islands, the small part of New York we drove through and where we ate lunch, and the 1+ spend in Canada had much different scenery. - LOTS of farmland or that is what this city girl perceived it as being.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28: Kevin Came Home Before I Posted, so..

Remember Thursday when I said I was going to see my friend Sandi in the afternoon?  She and I sat and pieced/bound and CHATTED.  Great time and I really did get some binding done.  Before she left, she also shared her almost finished quilt top.  She is using Bonnie Hunter's Blue Ridge Beauty design.  I fell in love with it and think it might be what I use for my Vermont Adventure greens/tans fat quarter collection.  Don't you love her version?

The evening at craft group was productive and lots of fun as well.  Lots of laughing and sharing, but I finished 2 sides of another QOV's binding.  The women in this group are very talented.  Some work on scrapbooking, others work on wool projects, others were knitting, and a few were doing felting.  One lady had crocheted the most adorable Nativity and was working on some playful animals.  Another was working on 3-D felted animals.  Her dragon was so realistic!  I am not starting any new hobbies, but I love seeing what everyone is doing.

Yesterday I quilted my smaller Twister quilt and two Christmas table runners.  Then while we watched a movie, I finished up the binding on the second QOV.  Feel like I did a great deal considering that Kevin and I left the house to do a few errands about 3:00 and did not get back until supper time.

This morning I finished the other runners that I made at the end of December.  Most are the longer version, but I did make several candle mats, and two non-Christmas ones for the center of our little kitchen table.  Here are a few more pictures to show how I managed to get so many on the machine at one time.  Not really rocket science or anything.  Just loaded 1+ yards of Christmas fabric and and then used up small pieces of batting and floated the runners so I could skip the pins.  Quick to do, so wonder why it is almost February and I just got to it.
Kevin is working up at the school today, so I am going to continue working on piecing until church.  His "eagle" quilt top should be finished this weekend.  The goal is to have it done and hopefully quilted by the end of January so that I can devote my attention to a wedding quilt gift.  My evenings should have binding set for a couple of weeks. Sure do love having pieces ready whenever I sit.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26: Binding and Friends

The plan for today is to work on binding, do far too much gabbing, and just enjoy being with friends.  Sandi is coming over this afternoon and then I am going to the craft group with Connie, so there will be lots of gabbing and hopefully one finished binding if not more.

In the meantime, I decided to use the morning to work on Kevin's "eagle" quilt.  This is one of the 8 stars that will be in one border.  The others are just about done, as well.  Since the center is a panel, the rest of the quilt is all about borders.  Should be able to mount it for quilting this weekend.

I mounted my smaller Christmas twister quilt, 60x60, this morning and will quilt it and a table runner tomorrow morning.   I really do like to load a quilt one day and then work on it the next so that the batting has a better chance of releasing its wrinkles.  I had to develop a schedule so that I can get everything quilted before the HQ gets packed up for our trip to South Dakota at the end of February.  Once the twister and the "eagle" are quilted it is time to seriously work on Amanda and Kyle's wedding quilt.  I will also be loading the table runners I made during the Christmas season.  After that I don't have anything waiting in my "needs quilting" pile.  Bindings are made, so they will be attached as I go, but the hand sewing will happen as it happens.  Of course at some point I will have to decide exactly which large quilt tops I will be piecing during the last couple months we are in Vermont.  They will be from the current UFO pile but can't decide which three will stay.  HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM ................................Better refocus or I will be in the stacks doing that instead of what is on the list.

I love being productive, but visiting with friends today will be a wonderful change of pace. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25: What I Accomplished Today

I was fairly certain that even though I am not good at taking naps I would have one today since I was out of bed about 4:00 AM.  I did not.  Instead I did everything on my list and a little more.

Once I went into my studio to quilt the QOV, I decided that the moon must be full or lack of sleep was making my brain fuzzy.  After 6 broken threads, I was really frustrated and working hard to remember that I really love quilting.  I took a short break and read a chapter in my carving book.  Back to the studio and a complete rework of the threading.  Another breaking thread, and then I realized I had not changed my needle for 3 small quilts, so.... Amazing what a difference it makes.   I trimmed and attached the binding.  That means I did all the things on my list for quilting today.

Just a thought:  Many times when I do a QOV I do loops and homework stars.  As a former teacher, I used stars to show good effort and willingness to go a little beyond "just doing it", and when I explained my thinking to my husband he thought the stars made sense as well.  I like the texture of the stars and loops after the quilt has been washed, as well. 
After lunch, I read a little more in my carving book and then spent the afternoon making shavings, so to speak.  I did a little work on the shamrock, but was focused on the idea of excavating unwanted wood from around objects with curved and pointed sides.  Suffice it to say that I altered my design repeatedly as I remove yet another point, etc.  Decided that I really needed more control so started using the mallet for better accuracy.  Seems to be working, but the design certainly has changed.
When my granddaughter Zoe was much younger, she did not know how to tell me she needed a break from playing and goofing.  I was not much help with just knowing, so she would simply tell me in a grouchy little voice, "Go outside!"  Being who I am, I would scoop her up and take her with me.  That is how we discovered the moon and stars.  Since I was running out of designs that would work with such a small amount of the original wood left, I decided to make Zoe a moon.  That might seem wrong to some of you, but she now has the cutest bedroom done in a day/night outdoors theme.  Seems like a good place to hang the moon.  It is not finished, but I have a good start.  Now that I have worked down one side of the moon, I am feeling confident that I can do the other side as well.  Then I will skim the sky surface and texture the moon.  May even add color, but that is yet to be determined.
Tonight I am going to watch a movie and work on the other QOV binding.  Hopefully, sleep will come at the regular hour and last the whole night. 

January 25: Morning Came at 4:15

I tried and tried to go back to sleep, but morning wanted to arrive early!!!!!!  I feel guilty waking Kevin, so I got up and did my morning devotions and checked out what was on the schedule.  Figured I must have over planned the day or something, but that does not appear to be the problem.  Maybe I sleep too much the day before when I was feeling under the weather.  Whatever the case, it is not even 8:00, and the dishes are done, I have carved for an hour, and I have helped Kevin with the home loan paperwork.  I have also done one side of the binding on the blue QOV.  Quite impressive.

Wanted to quilt the QOV that is loaded in the machine, but of course, the downstairs neighbors have just recently gotten up.  I am going to be way far ahead on my day anyway, so I will just sit and bind for another 30 minutes before I fire up the HQ.  Would carve, but I am to the point where I will be using a mallet to pound on my chisels and I do not know if they would hear it.  I do try to be a polite person, especially in the morning.

Here's wishing you all the time you need to finish today's tasks!  Off I go to bind.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24: Been Busy

I was really under the weather yesterday (not because I had the PBJ either), but today I have been busy.  I quilted one QOV, loaded the other, and made and pressed the binding for both.  I also did some reading on carving and hand quilting.  Besides that managed to clean and vacuum every room.

Tomorrow morning is set aside for carving, but I plan to quilt the other QOV in the afternoon.  As I said before, there is always something waiting to be done.  Right now, I am headed back to finish attaching the binding on the blue and white QOV and then I plan to sew it down the next couple of evenings

Monday, January 23, 2012


Mystic Blues - BOM from Joann Fabrics - 2004
Beauty is in the eye of the owner in this case.  I have put on all the borders and am ready to set it up for hand quilting.   The points are not perfect and my stitch length definitely improved as I sewed, but it will always be part of our household simply because it represents so much of our traveling.  Might make some of these blocks in the future, but I will machine piece.  Love the feeling of independence from electricity that I experienced, but I know that hand piecing and hand quilting is more about the process for me than the end product. 
 I will not do anything more on this quilt until February. We purchased a wide backing, thread, and an 80/20 cotton/poly batting for it this weekend, but I promised myself I would have it all pieced in January and leave the rest until next month.  Might even just baste it together in February and start the quilting in March after my HQ moves to South Dakota in anticipation of our move this May.

January 23: What I Am Doing As Opposed To What Was Planned

Many of you know that I have been removing weight for almost a year, and am getting close to my goal, but I have lived with these last 14 lbs for the longest (Jamie is over 30 and that when I realized some weight had moved in for the LONG haul.), but I never dreamed they would be screaming to be left alone.  Today for the first time in 10 months I actually had food cravings and the wrong mind set to boot!  I caved and truly enjoyed a peanut butter and jam sandwich.  Not the most earth shattering thing, but I have not had one in a long time.  SO GOOD!    Even so, I am still plugging away at this little monster and will reach and maintain because I have learned so much about myself as I have been doing this.  (Maybe the PBJ was a direct result of all the pizza talk???)

Anyway, I had intended to spend today simply quilting the two Quilts of Valor, but instead, I finished cutting up all my red/white/ and blue scraps,  and bagged them ready for use.  Most of the fabric is similar to what I am using in the current pattern, but I also made lots of hsts which will become all white scrappy stars for the block centers.  This heart and star fabric did not fit with my other colors so I am doing a simple diagonal pattern.  I used this fabric to make center pieces for my husband's Navy retirement party and wanted to incorporate it into a QOV. 
Tribute to my Irish ancestry
Then after the PBJ, I decided that I wanted to carve just a bit.  My goal is to work on carving a minimum of 6 hours a week and last week I only did 2 hours because I got so caught up with quilts.  Last night I read a little about carving and decided to try some of what it told me.  Loved the way it worked.  Need to do a lot more including sharpening up the edges of the shamrock, but I am thinking that means about 4+ hours left if not more.  Today I ended up carving for 2 1/2 hours and wanted to show you what I did even though you will have to think upside-down. (Alycia , it does not help to turn this photo because then it looks like it is trying to fall off.

Janurary 23: Great Weekend - Back to Reality

Kevin and I had one last play weekend before he started back to  classes this week.  We slept in and then did a little stuff around the house before heading off to Montpelier, VT.  We made a few quick stops on the way including Joann's for a backing, Home Depot, and the credit union (needed lunch money).  We had intentions of going to a more specialized woodworking shop and planned to explore some antique shops as well.  And as always if we stumbled across an open quilt shop we knew we would stop.

There was a light snow falling as we drove east.  The snow on the ground seemed to increase the closer we got to capitol, but we still have not had any really heavy or deep snow this year.  Therefore, we are thinking that we will not be experiencing snowshoes this winter.  (Did I jinx us, Connie?)

Our first stop was at the specialty wood shop.  We found it interesting to browse and even found the rubber bumper feet we wanted for the trivets Kevin is making.  The other purchase was odd for that type of store.  We bought a cookbook for next summer.  It is called Pizza on the Grill: 100 feisty fire-roasted recipes for pizza and more by Karmel and Blumer.  It was fun to read and created a lot of discussion about what we would do with it in the summer.  (Wonder which of my siblings or friends would be willing to play.)

As we continued to explore Montpelier, we discovered a quilt shop named A Quilter's Garden.  It was a very cheerful shop and one that I would return to often if I lived in the area.  It had so many different fabrics to feast my eyes on, but Kevin was the first to comment on how much he liked the colors of the very first fabric wall - warm autumn and cozy.  As I have been doing since we started this adventure, I purchased a green fat quarter, and I was also lucky enough to find a new small leather thimble for my more slender finger.

After lunch, we found a few antique shops and explored.   One of the shops we went to was one of the first we visited when we arrived in Vermont.  It is very pleasant and easy to navigate, as well as filled with little flashes of memories about our grandparents.  The second shop was smaller and very interesting.  We made just one purchase that will be part of our Ho! Ho! Ho! next year. It is about a family tradition, but I can't share yet. The third shop is just starting up and had a few interesting things, but NO HEAT.  Obviously we were not there too long.  Kevin commented that he actually thought it was colder inside that outside.
Since it was light out, I tried once more to capture the fish tails, but just as I snapped we hit a bump.  Can you make out the tails on the top left?  I am just going to have to keep trying because it is such an odd phenomenon to see in the middle of a field.

Thought I would also share one more shot of the mountains near our house.  There is snow, just not the amounts they usually have according to the locals.

Because we went to church on Saturday, Sunday was a lazy, at-home day.  Kevin worked on his portfolio and our home loan paperwork, while I pieced.  We did take time out for a few games of cribbage, as well.  My Sunday evening project was to put the last side of border on my hand-stitched quilt.  Did not get it finished, but hopefully I will get it done and have a photo for tomorrow.

Now to quilt the QOV tops I finished over the weekend.  ---Always something in progress!

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20: Blocks Finished

Figured that I had two quilts that I could put together fairly quickly for the Fort Riley QOV request.  Not sure I completely like this arrangement, so it is going to stay on the floor for the afternoon.  Kevin and I will eye it before dinner, re-arrange a few blocks if need be, and then I can sew it this evening.  It is going to have a red binding.  Decided to add my blocks to my spinning star quilt and sent it as a Quilt of Valor as well.  I only need 13 more blocks so I can get those done this afternoon.  Then I really have to refocus on two other quilts that have deadlines.

January 20: All About Friends

Yesterday really was all about friends.  I got up early and did a quick cleaning, wrote my blog post, and started cooking.  While I was making potato soup and a wrapped brie appetizer, my friend Sandi came over and we visited.  Usually we sit and sort of stitch while we talk away for a few hours, but this time we visited in the kitchen while I minded the pots and pans.  When she left, I sent a container of the potato soup for her supper. 
The soup recipe was my version of the one I got from Beth, a vegetarian friend, in Minnesota.  I am all about crockpot friendly meals, so I adapted what she had to offer and let the soup simmer in the pot all day.  The apartment smelled so warm and inviting.  Add the smell of beer batter biscuits and Kevin was in heaven.
Amanda and Steve showed up for dinner and games.  We had wine and the wrapped brie and visited for a short time first.  We also gave them time to fly our little helicopters.  That was a hoot!  Dinner was very tasty if I do say so myself.  The recipe is rich and filling, but definitely not low calorie.  YUMMY.  Amanda played to Kevin's sweet tooth and brought chocolate snack cakes.  Kevin added some Cherry Garcia to the mix and they were all humming to the chocolate monster tunes.  Afterwards we played games on the Wii.  I am sure the downstairs neighbors wondered about all the laughter.  I tease about always wanting to be the winner, but last night it was way more fun to watch newbies experience success.  Definitely a night to be repeated.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

February oops! January 19: Special Request -- I could not ingore.

When I read the HeartStrings email yesterday there was a very specific request for Quilts of Valor--400 for soldiers returning to Ft. Riley, KS. My nephew is stationed there but not involved with this particular group. Even so, I felt the need to do my part. There have been many requests lately, but I have been working on other special family quilts, etc. and, and, and. and.... However, this request brought me up short so I dropped everything and went in search of my red, white, and blue fabrics. Luck would have it that I had lots of hsts and 4 1/2 squares, so I stitched all afternoon and have these blocks made. I have not arranged them in any order yet, but thought it might help inspire others to help with this request or others. More blocks will be made in the next couple of days. Read about the request: http://www.qovf.org/content/quilts-needed.html

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 19: Quilting, Headaches, and Woodwork

I have been working on this "travel" quilt for a very long time.  It is not perfect, but it will be a treasure simply because it represents many of the times we have traveled and moved and I have been without a sewing machine.  It is a pre-cut Block of the Month offered by Joann Fabrics back in 2004.  It is really called Mystic Blues.  I have one simple border to finish and then I will start hand quilting it in the evening when I do not have any bindings calling out to me. 
I have saved all the block patterns and want to use some of the blocks in future quilts, but there is nothing in the planning stage at this point.  My ambitious and unrealistic goal is to have it quilted before we leave Vermont in May, but it will be quilted by the end of 2012!
I had a sinus-type headache for the past 3-4 days which gave me time for hand stitching on this quilt, but the nasty headache finally went away yesterday afternoon.  It is amazing what a difference I have in my outlook.  I popped out of bed ready to "DO"!  I am working on cleaning, quilting, and doing a load of laundry.  Then, this afternoon, I am finally going to go have my hair cut for the first time in 6 months.  This is going to be a GREAT!! probably SUPER SPECTACULAR day for me.  Life is good.

Final sharing of the day is the beginning of this cool cutting board that Kevin glued up yesterday.  It is made from all the pieces tapered from the maple and cherry legs of the hall tables made this past week in the 4-day workshop like we took in November.   He brought the board home to share and to discuss how to finish the edges.  Had to share what it looks like.    When it is finished it is going to be gorgeous.  Wonder if it will be mine, gifted or sold?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17: HMMMMMMMMMMM....

My thumb cracks are healed, but my sinus headache is lingering on!  Guess it will be another day of hand stitching rather than machine piecing or carving.  Just don't enjoy the pain when I am bending too far forward.  Again, on the positive side, I should have the last of the 2nd border bindings on today, and maybe even part of the last border.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16: Change of Plans

Still working on healing this cracked skin on my thumb, so I decided to do some hand sewing instead of working on the eagle quilt.  Don't have nearly as much thumb contact with the fabric this way.  I have three bottles of lotion in the house and visit them often.  Also broke out the rubber gloves for doing dishes. 
The strip you see is one of fourteen sections on the 2nd pieced border.  I am very close to finishing it.  Then there is one more simple border and I am ready to lay it out, baste it, and begin the hand quilting.  It has been in the works for a long time (since Texas? about 8 years), but it was my travel and pontoon project for most of the time and really got put to the side when we were home.  Without many more moves planned I set finishing it as one of my goals for this year.  My tentative plan is to finish the whole quilt before leaving Vermont.  Not too experienced at hand quilting, so that may be an overly ambitious plan, but I do think it will be finished before January of next year!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15: Cracked Skin Leads to Carving All Day

I finished off the binding for a delinquent Quilt of Valor and noticed that my left thumb was starting to split because of the DRY skin.  Boxed the QOV up for mailing and decided to give myself the full day off from fabric and really lotion up even more than normal.  Taking that approach has made a big difference, so I will be piecing the "eagle" quilt this afternoon.

However, yesterday I carved for about 6-8 hours.  The plan was to do 3 hours and then read but there is something very soothing about this carving.  Part of it might be that with ear plugs in, I am not distracted by much of anything.  It may not look like I have done much but I have. The heart on the left side is ready to take to carving class.  I used my craving chisels to outline the heart and to keep the shape throughout the excavation. Then, I spent over 3 hours excavating all the unwanted material down about 1/2" using my Dremel as a router and a extra piece of wood to keep it level as I removed material from the edge.  Not sure it is anyone else's technique, but it sure helped me.  You can only remove so much material with each pass (I made 8) and each pass took up to 40 minutes until I decided to get braver, or maybe smarter and bumped up the speed (less than 30 minutes a pass).  This is basswood and considered to be a carver's wood of choice, but probably not what I will carve if I ever put my carving on Kevin's furniture (He uses cherry, walnut, maple, and oak for most pieces). 
Then I decided to play with a leftover chunk of poplar (used for some inside portion of a piece Kevin was building) that is considered a hardwood but quite stringy.  Prep time to outline the heart took a little longer because my chisel curves did not match as well as on the other heart.  I decided to test my chisels on this one and then use another section with the Dremel.  Just want to understand more about how each wood behaves with various techniques.

Why a heart motif?  It has in and out curves and several points to deal with so I get to try different angles and approach each area with different turning techniques. I still a very newbie at this carving, but with a woodworker in the family I should have plenty of leftover wood to carve.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13: Blue Experiment

Remember when I said I can be distracted to play creatively, well I have been! 
Way back in August, 2010, I made these 4 blocks using some of my extensive collection of blue fabrics and considered trying to make a whole quilt with this star in the middle.  However, I then got busy with lots of other things and just bagged it.  When I decided to do the Block of the Month with Crafty I decided to revisit this bag.  I found that I had made 8 total blocks. but had a number of 10" white foundation pieces cut out with loads of blue strings, so I sewed up what I had in the bag.  It made 35 blocks so that is what I worked with to make my experimental quilt.  (Was not really interested in the star idea, anymore!)  It is 5 x 7 blocks and measures 45 x 63.  Not a bad size for an experiment.  I am not planning to make more blocks but may add a blue border to bring it to 50 x 68.  Fun to experiment, but not really my normal quilt - VERY traditional most of the time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12: Mostly About Quilts -- All About Sewing

I am doing the Crafty Block of the month.  Today I made my January blocks.  Actually made two sets.  Decided that I would make one for me and one as a gift for ????????????  The video lesson and the print outs were easy to follow.  I am going to use a Kona white background and blues from my stash for both quilts.  If I have enough of a print both quilts will have the exact same block, but if not...  You can join the fun by clicking on the icon on the side of my blog and signing up.  There are going to be 20 12" blocks or 2/month followed up with the joining, quilting, and binding.

Also went out and found the batiks for Amanda and Kyle's wedding quilt.  Might change the background to something else I have that is still gold, but on the less intense side.  I think these colors represent the ones she shared with me.  I will start working on it next week.  Need to have it quilted and bound by early March. 

Kevin was impressed with his lounge jammies.  I plan to hem them today.  Marked them last night.  His will just be hemmed, but I have decided to put a loose elastic in mine.

The remainder of the day is also about quilting.  I am going to work on Kevin's "eagle" quilt this afternoon and then go with Connie to craft night and work on a binding. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11: Lounging Jammies

The blue pair was made first.  It is definitely the prototype.  I forgot a lot of the things Mrs. Rischoe taught me in 7th and 8th grade home ec, but as I made this pair I decided to employ some of my newer skills.  It took me abut 1 1/2 hours to trace the pattern and cut out both pairs as well as sew the first pair.  The second pair is so much more professionally constructed.  I serged seam edges and did some double stitching at the waist.  The only thing left is to get the right length. 

Both pairs are medium size and plenty big, so I guess it is good that I made that size first.  For those of you that have been reading my blog for a while, you know I have been working to remove a great deal of weight so it was really fun to know that I fit in these jammies and could probably even have made the small size.

Will I make any more jammies with this pattern?  Maybe went I have settled into our new digs next fall, but for now I have made a few notes and folded up the pattern.

January 11: Happy Birthday, Kevin

Today, I am sewing lounge jammies in honor of Kevin's birthday.  The pattern says it takes 1 hour to make a pair.  I am guessing that it will take longer, because I trace my pattern on velliun so that I can use the different sizes.  This is a new pattern and I am planning to make a medium and maybe a large - medium first to see if that is really the best size for both of us.  I will time myself, so no dinking allowed for a few hours.

Then I am working on a quilt just for Kevin. It is the quilt I cut out yesterday.   He chose the kit this summer, and has been hinting that he would like to see the finished quilt.  His birthday present is to be working on it!  He said he does not need anything else, so the jammies and the quilt will be more than enough along with the steak dinner and ice cream.  Some day I will think of another way to wow him on his b-day!

I might be trying to do a monthly color challenge, I printed out the first set of colors and will contemplate it for a couple days.  It will be a stash busting activity!!  However, it is not part of my original plan of action, so I want to consider it for a few days, first.  I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10: Task Oriented

I truly love to dink, but I have been fairly task oriented the past week.  Today I cut out a quilt and also quilted and attached binding to another.  Life is good! 

January 10: Anna's Gifts

I packed up all of Anna's quilts and pillowcases and had Kevin mail them off this morning.  I do not think the photos do them justice, but then again maybe it is the fact that I use all of the fabrics that Anna chose.  The border on the Dora side of the big quilt is probably too wide, but to make a 2-sided quilt, adjustments needed to be made.  I know she will be pleased to have her favorites with her.