Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!


Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2014! Where have the years gone? I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. Unfortunately, I have to work tomorrow but I intend on eating some Chinese food with my family tonight. The kids will be here before they go out to their parties. I'll probably fall asleep on the couch as my husband watches the Three Stooges Marathon! Stay safe!!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas goodies



 
I'm so lucky to have many quilting friends. I'm not going to bore you with the clothes, lotions, etc. I'm going to show you my awesome quilt gifts! The beautiful tote bag above was made by Star. I thought she bought it because it's so perfectly sewn together! The accent fabric has all sorts of sewing articles. I think it will be a great bag to carry any of my projects in especially my knitting!
 


Look what else Star made! It's an ornament made from fabric. Too cute! Thank you so much, Star! I'll always think of you when I see the ornament or use the tote bag. Am I really supposed to use the fabric?? It's too cute to take apart!


My pen pal of almost 20 years sent me this knit doily. Her name is Sarah and she lives in England. She's a wonderful knitter and quilter as well as a pharmacist like me! I placed the doily on the television stand with a floral arrangement on it. Love the color!

 
 
Look at what else Sarah made me! A gorgeous zippered pouch! Another perfect item! Where do these ladies learn to sew so well?? I don't think my work compares to these lovely items. 
 


Sarah also sent me this kit to make origami flowers. I'll post them when I make them!

 
I had a Secret Santa at work who must know me pretty well! She got me this cute kitty fabric! I think Lily likes it too! (Lily is my kitty!)
 
 

She also got me this pretty sock yarn. Thank you, Susan! I appreciate your thoughtfulness!

 
And last, but not least, my work/quilt buddy, Maryrose, got me this incredible Hex N More ruler! I had seen it but put off buying it. She must have read my mind!

Maryrose also bought me this spray. I've wanted to try it since pin basting is so tedious! I can't wait to see how it works. Thank you so much, Maryrose!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I know I did! I can't wait to try out all my new stuff!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to all! We've opened our gifts and are busily getting dinner ready. Just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful holiday! I'm working tomorrow but plan on sewing Friday. I've missed sewing and hope to spend time with my sewing machine Friday! Enjoy the holiday!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Almost Christmas!

 
It's so close to Christmas! I've been sewing gifts but I can't show them! This is killing me! I thought I would share the backing to the latest quilt top I've finished. Isn't this the nicest batik?? I found it at my local quilt shop and just had to buy it. It's the backing to a quilt of my own design. I'm having a hard time deciding just how to quilt it. Once I get closer to completion, I will post it. I would love to get the pattern published or available for sale but I'm very new at this and have to figure out how. If anyone has any advice, feel free to help!
 
 
This is one gift I can post. My son bought this guitar and we're giving him money towards it for the holiday. He said it has a great sound. I can't tell but that's okay! He's the one who has to like it. He has multiple guitars but had to add this one to his collection. I guess he's like me when it comes to fabric, sewing machines, patterns, etc.
 
Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Make time to relax! I can't wait to start sewing for me again!!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Microwave Bowl Cozy Tutorial

 
Our quilt guild gave little demonstrations at our last meeting. I liked the microwave bowl cozy. I came home and googled it. The directions were similar but I added an extra step.
 
 


You start out by cutting fabric into two 9 inch squares. I used the same fabric but you can use two different ones if you like. You should also cut batting about 8 inches square. Do not use heat resistant batting. I used 80/20 cotton/polyester. I have a ton of scraps left from larger projects.



 Mark lines diagonally to each corner. Also mark lines horizontally and vertically between the diagonals halfway through each side. Then, you just sew each line!



The horizontal and vertical lines are pleated and sewn as darts. You can make them wider which will give you a deeper bowl. I made mine about 5/8 inch wide at the top and about 2 1/2 inches long. You do the same to both sides.

 
You sew the two sides together, right sides together. Leave a 4 inch opening for turning inside out. I clipped the corners and used my Purple Thang to get nice sharp corners.I also top stitched about 1/4 inch all around which also closed up the opening for turning around.  I also sewed over the horizontal and vertical lines in the center of the bowl. I felt it helped the bowl sit up better by making it just a little sturdier.

 
I've made 2 so far! I think they're great for Christmas. Fast, fun and easy!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Secret Santa Gift

 

My Secret Santa gift has arrived! This was so fun! This swap was set up by The Colorado Lady and you can see the original post here. I'm still not sure who my Secret Santa is but I would like to say Thank you! My gifts were definitely perfect for a quilter like me!


First of all, all the items were found in this adorable box. I'm planning on keeping this box and putting it to good use. I'm thinking of storing buttons or ribbons in it. It would help me get more organized which I desperately need!


 
A nice scented candle to make my house smell like Christmas!


I got some lovely kitty fabric! It's so happy and fun! Just love it!


I got a lovely assortment of charm squares. I have so many patterns for charm squares so I'm sure these will come in handy.


And last, but not least, my Secret Santa made me a mug rug! This is already being used! I love it and will always think of her when I place my coffee on it.

Thank you so much for your generosity and thoughtfulness, Secret Santa! I can't wait to see who you are! I have a guess but I'm not sure. Time will tell!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hope You Vote!


I entered the Bargello Christmas Runner in the Quilter's Gallery Show and Tell. Hope you go over there and vote. You can vote for 4 runners and hope mine will be one of them! There are some beautiful table runners to see. You can vote here!

Here's my table runner.

I'll let you know if I win!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas table runner


I finally have a Christmas project ready in time for Christmas! There have been many years where I have tried to finish a project and was too busy to get it done in time. I started this back in September so time was on my side, for a change!

I bought gold ribbon from Joann's to simulate hanging ornaments. However, that took a few trips to the store. I bought gold ribbon and found I was short two ornaments. So, I went back to the store and bought another. Well, it was the wrong width! I didn't even realize there were different widths in those bins! There were 2 bins but no signs except for price. I went again and found there were 3 widths available. I quickly found the 1/4 inch width I needed. It took about 10 minutes to finish up.

I'm happy with how it came out. I've decided I really love bargello and hope to use this method again.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I think we'll be eating leftover turkey for awhile.

Linking to Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party for December. See you there!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Thank you, Mr. Mailman!

 
I've been receiving some interesting packages in the mail lately! I ordered Downton Abbey fat quarters from the Fat Quarter Shop. This lovely bundle is the Sybil inspired prints. Aren't they gorgeous?? The prints are very interesting and the colors are somewhat muted. I suppose it's indicative of the early 1900's.
 

This next set of fat quarters are fabrics inspired by Edith. They're similar and yet different in many ways just like the characters of Sybil and Edith. There are 2 more fat quarter bundles. One is dedicated to The Dowager and one for Mary. I may still buy those at some point but I bought my 2 favorite fat quarter collections.

I don't have any plan as to how I'll be using this fabric but I just had to have them! I love the show and wanted to have some of the fabric collection. I'm afraid they will sell out soon.

 
This next package came from my Secret Santa. I suppose it's not the typical Christmas gift but Lily loves it! My Secret Santa sent a very thoughtful gift to my cat! I unwrapped the gift and placed the little mice on my kitchen counter. Lily took the whole package in her mouth and started playing with them! After I saw her do that, I quickly took one of the mice out of the packaging for her to play with. She was nice enough to bring him into my bedroom quite early Sunday morning! I think she wanted me to play with her and her new favorite toy!

 
Here she is with her favorite mouse! She loves her new toy. I'm sure she likes the catnip too! Lily and I would like to say thank you to my Secret Santa! Thanks for thinking of Lily!



Friday, November 22, 2013

FMQ Loops


I'm just posting a few pictures of my latest project. I'm free motion quilting loops. This is a bit of a departure for me since I tend to meander as my background filler. I have to keep reminding myself that it's okay to cross threads! It feels as though I'm disobeying the rules! It's a nice departure and I like the way it's progressing.

 
I'm using a variegated pink from Aurifil which is 50 weight 100% cotton. It quilts so nicely and my machine seems to like it! I can never go wrong using Aurifil.
 
 
I'm linking up over at Leah Day's blog which you can find here. There are some great examples of free motion quilting there. Very inspiring! Go take a look! 
 




Monday, November 18, 2013

Thank you, Secret Santa!



 
It's not even Christmas but I've been receiving gifts from my Secret Santa! I received a Thanksgiving card with a very nice message inside. It was very much appreciated. I'm so happy she has visited my blog and has enjoyed viewing my pictures.

 
 
About a week later, I received a huge chocolate bar. She made my day! I've started to eat it but only allowing a few pieces at a time. I don't know about  you but I tend to have a hard time resisting anything chocolate! I really have to keep myself from devouring the whole thing at once!
 
Thank you, Secret Santa!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Applique Sneak Peak


I have finally started to applique my ornaments onto my bargello table runner. There are a total of 9 ornaments  to applique. I'm hand appliqueing using the freezer paper method. It's the easiest method for me. I've tried a few others but always go back to my trusty freezer paper.




Here's a close up. You can see the red embroidery I added to the edges of the purple strips.


 
I embroidered a snow flake onto this one.




There's some embroidery on both edges of the blue and red fabric. I just used an easy chain stitch to sort of outline the added strips.

The class schedule was just released for MQX East. Anyone planning on going? It was a great show last year. The classes were wonderful and there were many vendors to choose from. The quilts that get into this show are unbelievable! I'm hoping to take a few classes. It's so difficult to pick which ones. There are too many to choose from!

Have a great weekend! I'm hoping to applique a few more ornaments!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cable Socks




My socks are finished! My second sock was knit so much quicker than the first one. I'm not sure if it was the new needles or just my familiarity with the pattern. I really love this pattern. It's an easy chart to follow and I love the final product!

Here's a close up of the cables. I love how the cables are vertical but the yarn makes a diagonal pattern with the color. I feel this yarn adds so much interest to the socks. Too bad they're socks and won't be really seen while being worn. These are definitely one of my most favorite socks I've knit. I just may have to make them again!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Knitter's Pride Dreamz

 
I've been working on my socks and have been having such a hard time with the darn knitting needles! I've been using the Takumi Bamboo double pointed needles I bought at my local Joann's.  I've broken 2 and the rest of them are all bent. I'm not doing anything crazy with them, just trying to finish up my socks!

I went to the my local knitting shop and asked about alternatives to my bamboo needles. I'm so happy I asked! I bought a set of 6 color coded double pointed needles made of symfonie wood (whatever that is!).  The pack I chose is used for knitting socks.

I couldn't wait to try them out! I started using them right away and love them! They feel more sturdy and are a bit shiny so they yarn just glides over them. I feel as though I'm knitting quicker. I'm very happy with my latest knitting purchase.

If you ever have the chance, splurge on yourself and try them out. I think they'll make a better knitter out of anyone! (At least, that's what I'm hoping for!)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'm almost done my socks and will be posting them soon!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Quilters' Gathering 2013


I went to A Quilters' Gathering this past weekend. It took place at the Radisson in Manchester, NH. It happened to be their 25th anniversary. I love going to this show. There were over 100 quilts to drool over. There are tons of vendors as well. I have a few pictures of some gorgeous quilts to share with you!


 
Creating a Magical Christmas

This piece was a part of the anniversary challenge quilt exhibit.  It was made by Daryl Hillsgrove of Pelham, NH. This quilt show starts the season to make Christmas quilt projects in her family so she made her own tribute to Christmas for the challenge.

 
Twisted 60's


Loved these colors! It's made by Beverly Cook of Beverly, MA. She used paper piecing, 60 degree triangle and prayers!

 
Crossroads

 
This is an original design by Terry L. Crean of Northborough, MA. This quilt was inspired by her son's journey. He made a decision to enter a master's/doctorate program but decided he only enrolled based on what was expected of him but not what he really wanted. Love knowing the background to these quilts! Beautiful quilting which Terry did on her longarm. 
 


                                                                Flowers and Feathers

This quilt was made by Kristin Vierra, Lincoln, NE. This quilt is based off of a quilt called "Winter Bouquet" by Debra Wagner. Kristin changed the size and added her own touches to the background filler. Here's a close up of that gorgeous quilting she did on her longarm.

Beautiful!

 
Rainbow Nouveau
 

I just loved these colors! This was made by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME. I've seen her work in magazines before and was amazed at her intricate quilting and piecing. It's machine pieced but hand appliqued. She used some lovely batiks. The choice of colors and their placement is unbelievable!

 
 
Magic of The Rose

This quilt was absolutely stunning! It was made by Kristin Vierra of Lincoln, NE. It was inspired by a piece of an antique quilt. It was made for the Nebraska State Quilt Guild.

Here's a close up of that beautiful applique.


I have to admit this was my favorite in the show! It's so hard to pick one but the applique won me over!

There you have it! My personal highlights from a phenomenal quilt show! Hope you enjoyed it!




My Slabs

I almost forgot to post the slab blocks I made for our block exchange.  This block is about 8 inches square. It was supposed to be most...