Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!


Happy New Year to all!! I worked all day today and will also be working tomorrow. However, I still plan on joining the twitter quiltchat for New Year's Eve. I took part in the chat last year and it was a lot of fun. I won't be able to stay up quite as late as I'd like but I will try it for a little bit. It's so much fun to talk to other quilters and they give away some great prizes. All the directions can be found on the blog or on Stitchin Heaven's facebook page. Maybe I'll see you there!

How is everyone celebrating? We had Chinese food for dinner. It's just my family and whomever the kids want to invite. It's very low key and just time to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. I usually cook some appetizers but working all day sapped my energy. I plan on watching The Twilight Zone marathon for awhile. My husband wants to watch the Three Stooges but I hope to talk him out of it!

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's Eve and a great beginning to 2012! See you next year!!






Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blogger's BOM #4


I was very excited to make the fourth block of Blogger's Block of the Month! I got a new cutting table for Christmas and felt this was the perfect opportunity to try it out! I wasn't surprised about the cutting table since I bought it from Joann's during a sale. I just kept it in the garage and told my husband that the box was from him. He figured it was some quilting item and didn't seem too curious about it. I did make him put it together for me Christmas afternoon. My son helped him. With a minimum of swearing, it was put together and ready for me to use!! I have a sewing room that I share with our computer and this table is great for the space I have. It folds up and easily tucks into a corner when not in use.



Here's a photo. I only used half the table. I also got a mat that covers the whole table when fully opened. So nice to have my own space. I have been using the kitchen counter. It never works out when someone wants to eat or use the counter to cook.  Imagine interrupting quilting and sewing to cook!! I just love my new table.


Here are my 4 blocks so far! I just love those Kaffe Fassett fabrics. So colorful and fun!! Looking forward to making more of them!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!


From my home to yours, Merry Christmas!! Enjoy the holiday!! Eat, drink and be merry!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

More Christmas decorations.......

I've been decorating the house and thought it would be fun to post a couple of items. My dad was a tailor before he retired. He made us Christmas stockings when we were little. As we got married and had families of our own, he would make stockings as close to the ones he made me and my brother. They weren't exactly alike since the material was a little different. When I look back, I think this may have been my first exposure to quilting or patchwork, as my dad called it.



He had fabric that was commercially available with embroidered Christmas items. He would cut around the embroidery and make a stocking. He knew someone with an embroidery machine who embroidered our names on the top. My stocking is exactly the same but the colors are just red and green. This is my son's stocking which is the last one he made since he's the youngest grandchild.



I took a hand applique class with Mary Sorenson quite a few years ago. This is the quilt she gave us to practice some of her techniques. I actually display it year round. She had some very neat techniques to teach us. I'm not sure if I remember them all but I did keep all my class papers she passed out. This was fun to make. I also hand quilted it but machine quilted the borders and also sewed the binding on by machine.






This was a stocking we bought for our cat, Ricky! I didn't want him to feel left out so I decided to add this also. We've had it for years and actually put a few toys in there for him every year. He doesn't always like what we got so we end up playing with them hoping he'll join in. He usually doesn't! I think he may be laughing at us when we're not looking! We just like including him whether he appreciates it or not!!





Thursday, December 15, 2011

Almost Christmas!


Last week was a tough week to get through. Between the shopping and decorating, my son's school apartment had a fire. At first, I was told it was relatively small and nothing to worry about. However, 2 hours later, the fire was finally under control but the building is now condemned. The school was wonderful and made sure Ben and his roommates had food, shelter and clothing. We only live about half an hour away, so Ben came home at the end of a very long day. The fire started around 9am and he got home around 8pm. We're happy no one was hurt but Ben lost quite a few electronic items. Needless to say, I am somewhat behind decorating but thought I would post a few things I've made and am finally getting to put up.



This is an ornament I made using directions I bought from Ann S. Lainhart. She vends at many quilt shows and owns The Quilted Gallery in Gloucester, MA. I made an ornament from her directions but she also has patterns to incorporate this kaleidoscope into a pocketbook. She makes bargello jackets as well.  The trick is to find the right fabric. She explains it all in her pattern. I found this fabric at Joann's and it's the same fabric used in the pattern instructions. I really love how it came out.


I made this tree skirt about 15 years ago. I found a pattern in a quilt shop. I had just started to sew and quilt. I bought the fabrics from Keepsake using their catalog and actually received advice from the woman taking my order over the phone!  I still like how it came out although I had no clue what I was doing when I made it!

Hope you enjoy my photos. I'm still trying to get my house back to normal. I have many of Ben's things in boxes in my formal dining room. I didn't expect to deal with more boxes this time of year but I'm just thrilled everyone is okay. It could have been so much worse. I guess boxes aren't so bad after all!!






Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Santa



Just finished this Santa wall hanging. I started it the day after Thanksgiving. My daughter, Becca, was home and chose most of the fabrics. It's a Debbie Mumm pattern from one of her books. I've had the book sitting around for ages. I cut the pieces out on Friday and then started to sew on Saturday. I've always hoped Becca would get interested in quilting but she was working on her homework when I actually started to sew this together. I did teach her to knit and she has knit a few items. This Santa is now hanging near my fireplace. It was nice to add another Christmas decoration to my collection.

I've been knitting constantly trying to make good progress on socks for my dad. I'm just about turning the heel on the first sock of the second pair I hope to give my dad for Christmas. I love to knit but working with a deadline takes the fun away. This pattern is a little different. It almost forms a thermal sock with ridges that are supposed to really keep your feet warm. I hope they work!

My house is all decorated except for the actual tree. The kids will be home this weekend and we'll get the tree all done. I've even wrapped a few gifts. All the gifts that have to be mailed are well on their way. I guess I've made some progress but I still feel I have a long way to go!

Ricky, our cat, got his gift early this year. His old bed had been washed too many times and the stuffing was starting to come out. He now has a brand new bed.
 I think he likes it!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas decorations


We're a bit slow decorating the house. I've started putting out a few things but the big items are still up in the attic. I usually wait until either my husband or one of the kids is around to help me set up.  I did put up some of my quilted decorations so I thought I would share them with you.   

   
I made this table runner last year. I found the pattern on the C & T website. I'm not sure why but I love using free patterns. I have so many books but love to find a freebie! I just loved the whimsical look. I also like to applique so it was fun to make. I did all the applique by hand but machine quilted it.

I made this little door hanger last year also. I used a pattern from Quilting Arts. I suppose I should say I adapted this pattern since I did change a few things. I hang it on the door knob of my front door. My kids really like it.  It's also machine quilted and I did hand applique the tree. I added little Christmas bulb decorations to the tree. You can see a few of them in the picture.

                     
I also finished one pair of socks for my dad for Christmas. They're just very basic knit socks. He uses them to keep warm. It's sort of ironic that my dad, the tailor, used to make my clothes and now I'm knitting for him. I guess we use whatever skills we possess to help each other out. I've already started his next pair. They're a little different. I wanted to try something new. I'll let you know how it's going when I finally reach the pattern. Ribbing can take awhile!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blogger's BOM #3 and a finish!

The weekend was rather busy with the kids here. My brother and his wife also had Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house. It was a very nice time. Great food and great company! However, not too much time left to quilt or knit. But I did manage to get a few things done.



I chose these fabrics while trying to work on a Christmas wall hanging. That's not even close to being done yet. You'll see that another time. I chose 2 Kaffe Fassett fabrics as well as my usual background. I didn't have a striped fabric so I chose a marbled aqua.


 I really like the result. My kids both said they liked it too! That's always a good seal of approval! I still have to square it up.

While my kids were home, I thought it would be a good idea to finish the lace cowl since I made it for my daughter. So I blocked it and gave it to her to wear.




It was great fun to make and I love how it looks on her. Her boyfriend liked it too! That means she'll wear it often.

I've been shopping all morning since it is Cyber Monday. I'm almost done shopping for both kids. I love when they give me a list nice and early. Not sure what to get my husband. So hard to decide. I think I'll go work on my dad's socks. I'm almost done the second sock of one pair and then I have another pair to go. Holidays are so busy!!










Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Hoping everyone has a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your time with your family and friends. Enjoy your awesome dinner. There's always time to knit or quilt tomorrow! Let's all be thankful for everything we have. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

List

I have been sitting here this morning trying to make a list of my projects and what I need to get done before Christmas. I just hope I haven't added too much of what needs to get done. The project I am working on for Christmas the most are 2 pairs of socks for my dad. I have one complete sock done and close to half done on the second. I also hope to make him another pair. He loves wearing them around the house. He is having health problems and know he would rather have home made socks than anything I could ever buy in a store.

I am also working on a lace cowl for my daughter. It's about half done. She knows I'm working on it. It's not for Christmas but I wanted to use up the nice yarn I had left over from the lace scarf. I will post a picture of it when it's done. It's not much to look at right now. However, I did block my scarf and would like to share the result!

I think you can see the pattern much better. It's not quite as wrinkled looking. This next photo is even better!
The pattern is much easier to see here! I am really happy with the look of this scarf. It's so airy, light and delicate. It's exactly what I wanted.

As far as quilting goes, I have a few things going on there also. I always have my hand sewn hexagons although I haven't worked on them lately. I am making the Blogger's block of the month but that only takes up a day or 2 at the most. I am working on a mystery quilt with my guild. That took up a lot of my time this month! We only get directions monthly but they can take awhile.

Just 100 half square triangles this month! I just have to square them up a bit and then I can wait until next meeting which is in 2 weeks!

I have a quilt to machine quilt. It's all pinned and ready to go but I need a little time I can devote to it. I'm not sure I should even start that before Christmas. Machine quilting is always a big project to me.
And then, finally, I would like to make a Christmas wall hanging. I found one that I hope is sort of quick. I just need a day or two. I always need the time above all else. I have plenty of fabric, thread, etc. I just need to be able to sit down and get to it. Too bad I have to work, clean, cook and all that other fun stuff. I think I can do it and I'm going to give it a try!! Anyone else out there need to clone themselves this holiday season? Suggestions?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lace scarf



I am so excited to say that I finally finished my first lace scarf! I love to knit but had never tackled any lace project. I didn't think it would be too difficult but I was wrong! I did have to rip out rows, find where I was on the chart and try to keep going! The yarn is so fine that it was hard to find a dropped stitch. I kept going because I just loved how the scarf was coming out. It is so delicate. I really love the finished product.

However, it really isn't finished. I have to block it. I have no idea how to do that. I have been doing some research and will attempt it soon.  I think after the whole blocking process, the lace pattern will be even more evident. I will post that picture whenever I complete the blocking process. I was just so happy to finish it that I had to post the picture right this minute!


This is the book that I found this pattern. It is written by Kristin Omdahl. I love the projects in this book. Lots of  great stuff to look at!

Happy Veteran"s Day to all! This includes my dad who is a Korean War veteran! Thank you for all your sacrifices!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Drawing Fabulous Feathers

This past Saturday, I took a class with Sue Nickels at A Quilter's Gathering in Nashua, NH. She taught us all about drawing feathers for our quilts. The material in her class can be found in this book which I already owned. Sue is writing a new book with more updated information. I brought the book with me but ended up using her handout for the class.  There were 12 students in the class. I was afraid I would get tired since I worked most of the day, but I wasn't tired at all. I found the class so interesting and fun.

The handout basically had us practice drawing feathers using guidelines that Sue uses when she draws. I was pretty awful at first. Sue was very encouraging. I did improve as the class progressed. I actually enjoyed it and thought the class flew by! We drew feathers on straight lines, curved lines, circles and even hearts! I think this is a technique that needs much practice. We all did seem to improve in just the span of the class. She also taught us how to plan feather and vine placement on our borders. She had some great techniques and the hands on practice really helped get her technique through to us.

This is an example of one of her whole cloth quilts. They are just gorgeous. Her machine quilting is exquisite. However, we all know there is a huge difference between hand drawing feathers and machine quilting them onto a quilt. We all need to practice, practice, practice!! I am hoping to make some time to get the practice into my day. It was so inspiring to see her quilts. Just gorgeous!

If you ever get the chance to take a class with Sue Nickels, take it!! You won't be sorry. Time for me to get back to pin basting my star sampler quilt. My poor back!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Quilter's Gathering

It's finally Friday. This past week was rather difficult. We had the snow to contend with as well as the lack of electricity for a few days. Once the power did come back on, I felt I had so much to catch up on. I did get a little knitting done but that's about it. However, this weekend should be much better.

The Quilter's Gathering takes place this weekend in Nashua, NH. I have signed up to take a class with Sue Nickels who will be teaching us Drawing Fabulous Feathers. I have machine quilted before but am rather limited as to what I can do. I can sew an all over meander and can also quilt in the ditch. I would like to expand my abilities and hope I can start to make feathers. I know much practice will be involved once the class is over but hope the basic skill that is taught will get me started.


I have two quilt tops to machine quilt. You have already seen the Puzzle Box Quilt. I also have another top designed by Bradie Sparrow called Star Sampler. I made it last year and used only my stash. My daughter helped pick out the fabric with me.



I would like to use some of my stash fabrics for the backing. I have some great 1-2 yard cuts. But since I am going to the quilt show this weekend, I am keeping my options open and looking for some fabrics that might catch my eye. Quilt shows are so much fun!

I have to go out now and buy supplies for my class. It seems I leave everything for the last minute but this past week was a bit out of the ordinary! Can't wait to let you know how the class goes!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Puzzle Box Quilt top

I finally sewed the borders onto my Puzzle Box Quilt top. I had sewn the blocks together a few weeks ago. I decided on a plain black border. I was sort of surprised at how many different blacks are out there! I decided on a Kona Bay solid black. It was my favorite.  I also found out that many solids are cheaper than prints. I've never bought too many solids in the past.

According to the pattern, the borders were supposed to be 15 inches wide but I settled on 10 inches. I felt that 15 inches was too wide. Also, I plan on machine quilting this quilt on my domestic sewing machine and felt a smaller quilt would be easier to handle.  I really don't need an 81 X 81 quilt.
I really like the final result! Let me know what you think too!!




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blogger's Block #2

I had a doctor's appointment this morning and didn't think I would be able to get the new block completed for Blogger's BOM but I did!! I did find this block much more difficult than the previous block. I still enjoyed it and it really didn't take that long. These are the fabrics I used.
The bottom 2 fabrics are Kaffe Fassett which I love. My fat quarter pack is coming in handy for this project.

This is my block #2. I like how the colors came out and the points were easier to match than I thought. I find these blocks are great learning experiences. I rarely iron open my seams but these 2 blocks have opened seams. I'm learning to think a little differently and my blocks are coming out great. Thank you to the wonderful designers of these blocks. It's such fun. Now I can't wait until next month!!



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lace Scarf/ New Hexagons


This is just a little update on my lace scarf. It started out to be extremely difficult. I cannot say how many times I had to rip out rows. Then came the task of trying to figure out just where I was on the chart. However, I think I'm getting a little better at it now. I didn't seem to be ripping out as much yesterday. I worked today so I haven't even attempted any knitting. I'm not even sure I will try later on. I'm so tired that I will probably screw it up! This is not the sort of pattern you can knit if you're tired and cannot pay close attention. It probably doesn't look like much but I am so glad I've come this far!


While making myself crazy over the scarf, I have been working on my hexagons. I am happy to say I have two more to add.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mystery Quilt

Our quilt guild is offering a mystery quilt. I haven't done one in a long time and thought it would be fun to do.
The quilt is supposed to measure 48" by 60" but I plan on making the borders a little wider. The only information we received this month was to pick 5 light prints, 1/4 yard each.
Also, 5 medium prints, 1/4 yard each.
 And last but not least, same with 5 dark prints.
 I think this is a great way of using up some of my many fat quarters that I seem to have collected over the years. My daughter helped my pick out the fabrics. We "shopped" from my stash. This will be a free quilt in my eyes!! Hope I can get the borders out of my stash too. We'll have to see.

I also started to knit a lace shawl/scarf. The yarn is so thin! Very slow going. I will post pictures when there is more to see. For now, 20 rows looks very small!!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend


Not sure about anyone else, but this past weekend was very busy for me. Even though it was a long weekend, I had to work Saturday and we celebrated my daughter's birthday Sunday night. My son stayed over on Sunday night and spent most of the day home yesterday.

I was hoping to get so much done but that never really happened. I did manage to finish a sock that I had been working on. I loved the lace pattern at the top of the sock. I had bought this yarn years ago at Joann's. I finally found the pattern I was looking for and started making this sock about a week ago. Not sure if I'm going to keep it for myself or give it to my daughter.


Joann's was having a sale so I went last night. I had had a headache all day but felt better after supper. I ended up buying this book with my 50% off coupon. I thought was a great idea! You can mix and match the 3 parts of a sock and come up with your own special item. Also, toe up socks are great since you don't have to graft the toe section when finished. Even easier!

Hoping to work on my quilt top later. Of course, I plan to sew but hope I actually get to it! My plans never seem to work out.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Yarn



A friend and I went to the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) in Manchester, NH today. We are not spinners but hoped to buy some great yarn at the vendor market. We had a wonderful time. I had been told in detail what my daughter wanted me to buy for her. She is making a cable and lace scarf. She wanted some sort of variegated blue. After much walking around, I did find something I knew she would like.


I also have a few projects in mind. I am always on the look out for some nice sock yarn. I'm not sure why but I love to knit socks. It's always more fun if you have some neat looking yarn. These are both hand dyed. I found the pink to be different and the gray was somewhat quiet. The pink was almost out of stock. The owner told me she only dyed 12 hanks in this colorway. The gray has a wonderful shine to it. The picture just doesn't show it.


I have always wanted to make a lace scarf/shawl. I thought a lavender would be a great color. This one caught my eye.

 That's what I have to show for my trip to SOAR. I found it very interesting watching people spin their own yarn. Maybe someday, when retired, I will look into it a little more. For now, I am lucky to complete the knitting and quilting projects I can find time for. I will show my projects once they really get going! So much to do! Just need to find time!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Penny Rug

I just finished this little penny rug. I have made a few and enjoy changing them with the seasons. I didn't have one for fall so I bought it the last time I visited Keepsake Quilting. It's a kit that comes with everything you need to complete one penny rug. The best thing about it is that all the shapes are already cut and just waiting to be sewed. I almost bought a Halloween themed kit but felt I could use this one for a longer period of time. I will probably make a Halloween one eventually. I just wanted something to change from my summer decorations. It's a cute and fast little project.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Almost Halloween

I usually start decorating the house for Halloween around this time. I have a few things I have made over the years that are family favorites. They aren't spectacular to look at but we just love having them around. My kids still enjoy seeing these decorations even though they're both college age.



I made this little wall hanging over 10 years ago. The pattern was free on the internet. It uses a little paper piecing and I also machine quilted it. First time I even tried either of those techniques. I usually hang it off my mantle. You can actually see it from the street a little.

I made this little ghost last year. I found it as a free pattern on a quilt blog. I saw it while at work so I copied everything I needed. I came home and worked on it. I hang it off my front door. Everyone loves this little guy! I found fabric with the perfect sized pumpkin and used that as his little trick or treat bag.

I also made this table runner last year. I had bought a few fall fabrics and looked for a small project so I could use them. I have a book of seasonal table runners that I just love. Not sure if you can see, but I have two little pumpkin buttons on either end of the runner. If anyone wants the name of the book, just leave me a comment. I am currently working on a little wool tablet mat with pumpkins. I will share when it's done. Hope everyone is getting out their own fall decorations. Great colors for a nice season.






Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Puzzle Box Quilt Along

I've been working on these blocks for a little while. I collected the fabrics over the summer since I didn't own too many solids. This quilt along actually took place in July and into August. I just collected the directions and knew I would make it when I had more time.

The blog that hosted this quilt along is called Farbstoff. I'm not really sure what that means but the blogger's name is Brigitte Heitland and she lives in Germany. I thought the instructions were very clear and easy to follow.
This quilt is considered to be a modern quilt. I love the lines and the solid fabrics. I feel it looks crisp and clean. I still have to buy a border for it. I am going to wait until I put it together so I can get a better feel for it. I was actually leaning towards gray or black. I will see what I think once the blocks are all sewed together. 

This is just one placement version. I may end up changing my mind a few times. The picture looks a bit fuzzy but you get the idea! Time for dinner! Have to figure out what to make!






Log Cabin All Quilted!

It's done! I finished machine quilting the Log Cabin quilt for my neighbor today. As you can see, I quilted a large meander edge to...