Saturday, November 29, 2008

NYE Mystery Quilt Presewing Clues are Up!

In case any of you love a good mystery quilt and want something fun to sew on New Year's Eve Day I decided to tell you where you can join in! I have made Ann M. Smith's NYE for the past several years (and others mysteries of hers too) and have loved each and every one of them. She posts the directions on various yahoo groups that she is a part of (three of which I belong to) but if you want to join the fun and not have a ton of chatter on other quilting topics go to yahoo and find the QTMysteryQuilts group and join it. The fabric requirements (various sizes) and presewing information is in the files there. Next information comes on New Year's Eve Day.
It is so much fun and I will be posting pictures of my progress all that day. I look forward to this all year long. If you are already sewing along or decide to join comment me so I can be sure I am following your blog too!
If you participate in awesome mysteries please tell me about those too. I love them! I have done a few though where directions were not clear, info was wrong, etc. so when I find a good mystery quilt writer I tend to stick with them.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Railroad Crossing Block and I Spy Progress

I had some sewing time after that Black Friday shopping this afternoon! Here is my railroad crossing block all laid out. Notice that my end triangles are not big enough (ask me how I know).
The pattern they gave us with this block had no directions other than a little diagram with a few measurements on it. I need more than this to successfully put my underwear on! Really! I figured out that I could use my Eleanor Burns Flying Geese rulers and make flying geese instead of piecing a zillion little triangles so that helped alot. Took me one time to remember to follow her directions os that I would have enough seam between the geese--I did it the same way last time. Slow learner when it comes to this stuff!
So when it was mostly done I had to rip out all the four corners and put in a bigger piece (one had to change brown/orange color since I didn't have a piece of the same stuff big enough!) and redo it. It took way longer to do this block than it should have. I really admire those quilting folks back in the day who did this by hand or even by machine minus the special rulers, cutters and measuring mats. I suspect I would not have been a quilter then...lol. Anyway, no idea what I will do with this block other than bring it back to Zoe's to show off in December, but I really like these orangy brown colors!
Also, thanks to Sue and Philla I have now finished piecing the I Spy quilt! I added the last row today and a border and got it all pillowcased and sandwiched...it is waiting for whipstitching and tying...it might have to wait until tomorrow because I am tired! My honey just got home from work so I think I will head to the couch and cuddle before hitting the hay!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rubber Duckies!

I was searching for some Christmas or winter themed ducks for my next bingo prize bag (the kids love the ducks!) and came across these little cuties! I am thinking I am going to have to have one...how cute! They made me smile ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday we were talking about how it just didn't seem like Thanksgiving because the weather here is not what we were used to in Wisconsin. That is a good thing, but still an adjustment! So today I made four pumpkin pies and now it smells like Thanksgiving in here! I make them extra spicy which is the only way I like them. Not sure what Suli and company will think, but the spices are what make the pie good! Can't wait to break into one when it cools (I am not bringing four to Suli's :)).
So Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there who celebrate it. I am so happy that you are reading and sometimes commenting so I get to know you too.
I tried handstitching little cross stitches on my quiltlet, but don't have the hang of dragging the needle between the sandwich so no long thread lines are on the back. So gave that up for the moment!
I am watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and just heard "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins. I remember when that song first came out I had my kids with me and thought...hmm not so sure I will miss this, but today with my kids pretty much grown and none here with me I realize I definitely do miss it. Good song Trace!
Here are the lyrics if you don't know this one:
She was staring out the window of their SUVComplaning, saying "I can't wait to turn 18"She said "I'll make my own money, and I'll make my own rules"Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the schoolThen she kissed her head and said "I was just like you"You're gonna miss thisYou're gonna want this backYou're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fastThese are some good timesSo take a good look aroundYou may not know it nowBut you're gonna miss thisBefore she knows it she's a brand new brideIn a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops byHe tells her "It's a nice place"She says "It'll do for now"Starts talking about babies and buying a houseDaddy shakes his head and says "Baby, just slow down"Cause you're gonna miss thisYou're gonna want this backYou're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fastThese are some good timesSo take a good look aroundYou may not know it nowBut you're gonna miss thisFive years later there's a plumber workin' on the water heaterDog's barkin', phone's ringin'One kid's cryin', one kid's screamin'And she keeps apologizin'He says "They don't bother me. I've got 2 babies of my own. One's 36, one's 23.Huh, it's hard to believe, but...You're gonna miss thisYou're gonna want this backYou're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fastThese are some good timesSo take a good look aroundYou may not know it nowBut you're gonna miss this"

PS I copy these blogs to word and print and mail them to my son...all the spelling/typing errors come up and I fix them before I print to send him, then some anal days I come back to my blog and fix them. Is anyone else this crazy? Since my Master's is in English I feel like I need to be a good example, LOL!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Me, She Sent it to ME!

One of my best online quilting buddies recently announced she was sending out a surprise package from Australia...she posted clues for days and today I arrived home to a package and it was from her FOR ME! Smile. It really was overwhelming that someone I have never met face to face would take the time to pick out things to send me, wrap them all and spend the money to send them too...I love quilters!

So after I got myself in the door I opened it and peeked in and look at all those goodies! It was definately an early Christmas at my house!

I managed to remember to grab my camera to take pictures so I could blog about the whole thing though it got buried under all the wrapping paper at one point!
Here are all the goodies out of the bag and the card too!
My flash washed out this picture, but the card is handmade with a cute little Christmas tree on it! I will be hanging this up for the next month or so!
Here is all the wrapping paper!
I got so much stuff! Lots of fabric for my I/Eye Spy quilt I am making for Ben! A few quilting magazines that I have never seen before...can't wait to page through them this evening, a cool Australian animal calendar for 2009 complete with all the Aussie holidays in it! Also got some cookies (they are a hit...never had anything like them but they taste good!), some jello (they call it jelly--so what do you call jelly? jam? interesting the language differences), Vegemite which I have heard of and Sue tells me is great along with a recipe for it...we will be trying that soon and I will let you know how it is. Also a cute little key ring template for a tiny triangle! I love little things and it is just tiny!
Here is a little closer picture of the fabrics, all of which will go well in the I Spy! Ben loves "buggies" and there are several different fabrics that he would call buggies so that is awesome! My favorite one is the fish fabric..I am going to fussy cut a clown fish because he looks like Nemo and a few weeks ago I had Nemo on with ben and so he will like that one too! Tomorrow I will hopefully have time to work on this quilt and some others around the Thanksgiving festivities. I am going over to Ben's mom (Suli's) house and bringing pumpkin pie. My honey is working so may have to snag some leftovers!
I am thankful today for Sue in Oz not only for her generous nature and gifts that flew across the pond, but for all her comments and emails and her friendship...I hope one day we will meet and and sew while our partners drink beer and saw wood or whatever it is that they do when the gals quilt.....smile ;)
THANK YOU SUE!

PS I picked a few lemons...look how good the tree is looking!



Sunday, November 23, 2008

My First Mini Quilt Top!

Last night I couldn't resist taking this picture of Rosie and Jade hanging out together on top of my library book about quilts!
What do you suppose I am going to do with these sweet strips? I bought this fabric at the Chicago Quilt Show last Spring and had a hard time cutting into it for other projects, but this one....I couldn't resist!

So now my strips are sewn together and cut apart...much like a bargello quilt!

You can see when I stagger them how the pattern forms as I gently rip the bottom boxes off and realign them on the top! I took my time to make sure I did it right, because reripping is not so much fun (as me know I know this lol).
I couldn't resist showing you how the back looks since I stopped and ironed each row! I used to skip this step but it really does make for better quilting and gets me out of my chair for a good stretch too!
Here it is! Isn't it sweet? I think it is just adorable! I plan to hand quilt the little cross stitch x's on it which should be fun! I am backing it in a brown I didn't use for the top...may look for the perfect binding because I don't have any with little stripes like the one in the picture and I like that effect. Thanks for checking out my "A is for Adaminaby" mini quilt!
I also added a bit more to my I Spy...I went through a bag of scraps and also through Kathy's little scraps and found some more but think I am o-u-t from here. LOL. It is looking good. The other thing I did today was in that same bag I cut lots of strips like Bonnie at Quiltville recommends...it is nice to get those scraps in a useable place instead of just stuck in a bag with no future! I made a lot of progress on that...I was apparently in a cutting mood and that doesn't happen too often!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sewing Bee Prize, some I Spy Fabric and Shirttails!

This is my sewing bee prize from Shelly in my Stashbuilders Yahoo group. Thanks! She sent on four Christmas themed fabrics that are very cheery. I especially love the one that has all the different colors that looks folksy. I may do a square from two of these for the I Spy then the rest will join the Christmas fabrics that are building up and will soon be demanding a Christmas quilt!
I went to JoAnn Fabrics to use my 40% off coupon (never EVER have I used it successfully, it gets me in the store but nothing I want is ever full price so the coupon won't work...it really irritates me and feels like a scam, but I digress) and wound up getting just an eight of a yard of fabric of four fabrics for the I Spy (about .40 each) and then 2.5 yards of a clearance Debbie Mumm fabric for the back of the I Spy.
= We also went to Goodwill in search of good bargains and found this fabric (in the form of a body pillowcase). It was so cute I had to have it. I may make a summer bag or two from it. Something simple I think.
I am sure you remember this book that I had to have...very inspiring, look at those awesome shirttails! So I went in search of my own and found a whole bunch of 100 percent cotton shirts...brought them home and washed and dried them and they are calling me to cut them up!
I am not sure that it is as good of a bargain as I would have liked (1 for 2.99, 1 for 5.99 and the rest for 4.99) but I feel good to be recycling and it was fun to search through all the choices and pick the ones I liked the best. I can't wait to see them take shape in a quilt. I think it will have to be one of Bonnie's too!
I also picked up Austrailian Patchwork and Quilting magazine and fell in love with this little quitlet called "A for Adaminaby" and it is the first in a series (A to Z) of mini quilts. I have never made a mini quilt and this will be my first. I know it will go together simply and I think I will even quilt it as the author did with little cross stitch x's on each square. How relaxing. I am glad I am off work a few weeks next month because I am going to need time to sew this. I think this will be my Christmas gift to me this year! What fun.



Friday, November 21, 2008

I Spy some Progress!

Thanks again to Philla who sent me some more I Spy squares I made progress on this little quilt. You can see her squares in the last three rows on the right and the first row on the left along with the ones I bought yesterday. I had fun cutting them up and making it grow! It is now 8 squares by 12 squares...goal is to get to 10 by 13 then add a border or two like the previous I Spy I made since the size of it was good. I know these quilts look crazy, but they sure are fun!
I also whip stitched Michael's ABC quilt closed so all that remains is to tie it. I might do that tonight while we watch Wall-E.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Fantastic Package in the Mail and a Quilt History Class!

I arrived home from a long day at work to find a package from my online quilting friend Philla (from my NewQuiltingClub group which is awesome). She took the time to go through her fabrics and cut up squares for me to add to Ben's I Spy quilt and sent them on to me! What a generous gal...of her time, money and most of all fabric. Thanks Philla! This picture doesn't show all of them, but when I get them into the quilt I will explain which ones came from Oregon.
After relaxing and watching the View and such I drove over to Zoe's Trunk Quilt Shop and decreased their inventory by a few fat quarters since it was their 40 percent off sale on precuts! All of these will also go into the I Spy quilt. I can get several different squares from two of the fabrics since there are lots of different shapes in there. I absolutely love the cute owl fabric--I can't wait to find things to stick an owl into! My mother used to collect owls though many years ago and they remind me of her.

I also had to buy these cute charm squares so that I could make another bag! I may make one for my mom. I told her about Suli's bag and she hinted that a big bag for her knitting stuff would not go unappreciated. I am not sure if she really wants one, or wants to help me find something to make for her so as to save money but either way she may get a bag. She loves little birds and we always say my Grandma Char (her mom now 20 years gone) is watching us in the form of a little bird. Long story, but we often buy each other and my aunt Nancy little birds so we all have the same one...I think a bird in her bag would be special if only for that...these little fabric birds are so sweet!
At the craft fair last weekend we bought Randy a jar of Ken's jalepeno jelly which is really good with some bite to it. I took the fabric off the top so I can add it to the I Spy...can you tell I am on a mission?
Tonight I went to the Quilt History group too. They were talking about post civil war railroad building time. I met seven ladies who were all really friendly and welcoming! They were well informed on their info too...apparently different people look up the topic and bring in resources to talk about and show and all that. It was really interesting and I learned alot. One gal brought in three different railroad fabrics (not from the time period) and told us all to cut a hunk off! That was really sweet...I forgot to tell her thank you at the end though since there was so much going on. Will try to remember next month! I can't remember her name either...learned 5 names, two I didn't catch--I hate that!
Don't you just love these cheddar fabrics? I had been admiring them in the shop and low and behold they are part of this month's quilt history kit! The Railroad Crossing block is a pattern from the Ladies Art Company published in 1895. I will be putting this block (which looks challenging to me) together soon so I can bring it back next month for show and tell. We also have to bring a period dessert (is my great Gma's Ice Box Pie old enough?) and will discuss the plan for next year...looks like we will be doing 20's and 30's style stuff! I am really excited to have found this group and I think it will be alot of fun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Biggest Loser--I Can't Hold it Back Anymore!

I know I usually talk about quilting and occasionally throw in stuff about my life or what I am reading, but I just can't hold it back anymore...What is the deal on The Biggest Loser? I think that Vicky on there is a horrible person. She is seriously mean spirited and no one I would want to represent the Biggest Loser! I can't believe that Amy voted off Coleen who is seriously the absolute foil to Vicky and one of the nicest people I have ever seen on the show. I have been rooting for her all along. Vicky, Heba and Ed will all stick together and Amy will wind up out on her butt. I seriously will force myself not to watch next season if one of the three of them wins...mainly Vicky...wow. Some of these shows just really get me torked....
Ok now that I have that off my chest....I sewed the fourth ABC quilt layers together last night so that one is on its way to done. I haven't taken a new pic of it yet though.
I am so excited to have two days off work next week for Thanksgiving. I really hope to get some sewing done...oh and my quilt history class is tomorrow night!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Boxy Stars Block

Last night I was itching to make a Boxy Stars block from Bonnie at Quiltville's pattern. http://www.quiltville.com/ go to her site to find all kinds of awesome scrappy patterns. I used mostly the same colors just to see what it would look like, but I think I like the scrappier version better afterall. It went together in just a few minutes and satisfied my need to create something! Off to work I go...wish I was home sewing!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Spy and some Nine Patches



I am apparently in a blogging mood. SMILE. Much better than yesterday's funk. I sewed a bunch of little 3.5 inch squares together into an I Spy quilt for my nephew Ben. He has one I made already at his aunt Tina's but needs one either at my house or at his dad's. He has two other quilts I made him, but I guess they are at his mom's...kid gets around and needs a quilt everywhere he goes of course!
I really love that I can look at this kind of quilt and be reminded of so many other quilts I have made. It isn't very big yet and I am out of 3.5 inch squares of different fabrics that would work. I think I am going to have to see if ebay has any for sale. I bought a set there for his first I Spy and it worked out well. I would like to get this one done in time for Christmas too.
The other day for fun I put together a bunch of leftovers from my sister's Burgoyne Star quilt into nine patches. There are enough for a doll quilt or something so I may get those into something too.

A Charm Square Bag

I decided to bust into my Flutterby Charm Square pack and make a bag this morning. I think it will be for Suli (my nephew's mom) for Christmas. Not sure she is into this sort of thing, but mom's always need bags to shlep things in so hopefully it will get used. This first pic is the front or back of the bag. It went together really quick--at least this part did! I hate making the handles, but got that done okay. I then broke off from the pattern which I got http://buttonberry.typepad.com/photos/charm_pack_tote/charmtote_pattern_image_final.html
After doing the front and back and handles. I decided I didn't want to get crazy with the side and bottom panels. I struggled a bit with catching all the edges on the bottom. I thought I had them all just so but LOL I did not!
So here it is all completed!

And the other side too!
I like it so much I might not give it away. It took all but one charm in the pack since I used 16 in the front, 16 in the back and 7 for the handles. I got the charms on clearance and used materials I had for the lining and batting so this was an inexpensive project...which these days you can't beat!
I signed up for a Quilt History class at Zoe's Trunk Quilts next Thursday too. Hopefully it won't get cancelled due to lack of enrollment...I am excited to meet some more quilters and besides a talk about Railroad quilts we get supplies and a pattern for a block too! I need to get out and meet some quilters or some Deaf people...I miss them!

Friday, November 14, 2008

ABC QUILT PROGRESS!

Tonight Kathy and I tied these quilts while watching "Planet Earth" so three out of four Christmas gift ABC quilts are done, done, done! A for Ayla.
S for Seth, Randy's slippers poking out there since he is holding them all up in turn (couldn't talk him into doing the tying though) and Daisy is on the couch there on the right.

Here is Kathy hard at work. I deleted the pic of me as it was not one of my best, lol.


C is for Critter/Christopher!
I also forgot to mention that about a week ago I finished the binding on Rachel's Outside the Box quilt. I will be SAD to send that one off to Norway. I am already grieving it...lol the pile of Christmas quilts is now 5 high with 6 soon to follow! Hooray for some Christmas stuff done, because I have lots to go...
I was pretty down earlier tonight, but getting my hands on some fabric seemed to help my mood and after about an hour I realized I was not so crabby. I hate that feeling and it just takes time to shake it off...or chocolate, or both!