Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Orca Bay Update and Quilt Swap, Oh My!

You may recall my small quilt swap Lil' Twister that is currently on its way to Karen (still unpicking the red border one...) but here is a little parade of some of the other swap quilts. I hope Mary doesn't mind I lifted these pictures from her blog...and I am not sure if there are more or if these are it.

Love how they are all completely different! Just wait, I will show you mine but first...
I have one teeny tiny block sewn for Orca Bay clue two...but I did get yellow strips all cut up and ready to go and DJ cut the phone book papers to size. I have been battling the migraines and just haven't had energy for sewing (or much else) the past two days. It will get done though and I am truly enjoying all the blog posts about everyone else's progress!
Karen over at http://karen-logcabinquilter.blogspot.com/2011/11/swap-quilt-finished.html was my partner (her quilt is on its way to her now!) and this beauty arrived late Saturday when we remembered to check the mail. I absolutely love it. It is nothing I would ever attempt myself (you may recall the one blue and yellow Baltimore album applique block I did a long while back...the pieces are ironed on but now actual appliqueing ever took place!) The reproduction fabrics are so beautiful and and I really appreciate all the hard work Karen put into this. Of course, she hand quilted it too...I will absolutely treasure it forever. This is my first quilt exchange and proving Karen is half as happy as I am, it will not be my last. I have a thing for mini quilts anyway and am getting quite a little collection going too!
You can see all that hand quilting on the back...she even added a hanging sleeve (something I didn't even think of) and a label too. Shout out to Mary at http://mary-myneedlethread.blogspot.com/ for this genius idea and the work of coordinating everything. Count me in for the next one Mary!

I already moved other quilts to make way to hang this beauty. It is in the upstairs hallway right outside my quilting studio so I will see it as I come up the stairs and wander in and out of the room.
In case any of you want to know the pattern is from a Lori Smith pattern called "From My Heart to Your Hands" and it is exquisite. Do you love it as much as I do? Thanks Karen, this honestly might be my favorite gift this year!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Did I Mention that I am More of a Piecer?

I spent today finishing up my small quilt swap quilt-Lil' Twister. I spent thirty minutes trying to figure out what to quilt (after an hour of web research for ideas) and then I decided to add snowflakes to the center of each twist. I didn't realize how UGLY it was turning out til I had done them all. I didn't like the grey thread I had thought would blend in more and I was only happy with about four of the snowflakes.
So plan two...I cut and pieced up the second one (one is for my partner and one is for me) so that I could have another go at it (meanwhile I have been ripping out those everlasting snowflakes and it might take me all winter, lol).
Coming together.
Same fabrics but a green border on this one. Maybe no one will notice the swap, LOL! I then quilted this one simply (which is all I know how to do) and I actually like how it came out. I just hope it passes muster for my partner. I wish could have done the swirly thing I envisioned for this quilt, but maybe one day.
All bound and waiting for a label...will get it in the mail by the first, YAY! Alright, back to ripping snowflakes :)

The Quilt that Started it all...

Stamped Cross Stitched quilt I made while pregnant with Mac (who is now 19).

Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville challenged us to link up with our first quilt so.. this isn't the first quilt, it is actually quilt number seven which is really the quilt that started it all! I had sewn a few Christmas tree skirts and three quilts before this (scanned pictures from journal) but then didn't sew anything quilty from 1990 or so until 2003 when I got an itch to make this quilt which I had seen in a magazine. I so enjoyed the process that I have constantly been quilting since. I started out with one quilt at a time and now there are always a half a dozen or so in various stages and I am constantly looking for the next fix--ah I mean quilt! This quilt (modeled here with Randy's daughter Rachel) was for Randy's first granddaughter.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are my mom and (step) dad with Contessa Many Kisses enjoying Thanksgiving dinner outside at Suli and Diegos' place. He is a chef and here are the FOUR turkeys he made for the 22 people that came to dinner--smoked, buried, oven, and deep fried.

Finished off the border of the this Christmas tablerunner today, yay.
Created a backing a la Bonnie Hunter style with leftover strips and hst's from Carolina Christmas. I also added a scrappy border to the front of Hannah's quilt (this is the back) and forgot to take a picture of it with the regular camera. So little puttering was done. I can't seem to get fired up to continue clue one since I don't think I have the right size triangulations paper printed. I did drag out an old phone book to start on clue two just so I can say I did. It might not happen tonight though because we have plans to watch Water for Elephants! **Edit: got the picture! I think I should have done a one color thin border in one fabric before adding the scrappy border. It needs a bit of an eye rest, but I think this is done anyway. I enjoyed using up those pieces from Carolina Christmas that I had left over!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday Night Sewing!

Not sure how my baby boy is turning 19 today, but he is! Happy Birthday Mackenzie!
I got completely lucky and didn't have to work last night (but as a freelancer, got paid!) so I came home and did some sewing. After looking around the net for a good boy idea I wound up sewing this tic tac toe board for Randy's nephew. Randy's transmission went out and money is TIGHT for him so I dug into my stash and made his four granddaughters doll carriers but the one grandson needed something. This is more Christmassy than boyish, but hopefully he will like it. We just need to find some large x's and o's or make some.

I also finally sewed Hannah's little Broken Crockery wallhanging blocks together. I have been looking at them on the design wall for ever and ever...and picking them us as they fall off forever and ever! I attempted to put the darkest fabrics in an X shape to add some interest too.
I think next it will get a solid purple border and then it may be done or it may get these green blocks added to it, but I am not nuts for the green blocks like I have laid out below.
And I finally sewed together Bonnie's Auntie's Anvil blocks. I only made six, but with a border it will be good size for my little wallhanging spot.
I have about 80 of the hourglass blocks together for Orca Bay. Since today is Thankgiving and the Packers are on then we have to head to Sulis' house I don't think much sewing will happen today...tomorrow I plan to start the next clue no matter where I am on clue one! Can't wait!

Parade of Bonnie K. Hunter Quilts!

I am not sure if I am the only one who has added EVERYONE who posted a link to Bonnie's Monday blog to reader so I can follow along with all the bloggers who are working on Orca Bay but I am really enjoying reading about the various methods everyone is using and colors and their love of Bonnie! This morning I was reading http://anniesquilting.blogspot.com/2011/11/blast-from-past.html and Annie had a little parade of ALL of her Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilts which got me to thinking I should recap too! Any excuse to post my Bonnie quilts again, lol! I did sew a bit more on clue one...after taking someone's advice I decided to use my triangulations for clue one. I am SO much more happy with how accurate they are for me. So I got out my half square triangulations (yes even after reading Bonnie's caution about the fact that these really are qst's not hst's) and made a page which oddly (HAHA) didn't look like qst's. Then I had to hunt for the qst trianguations which were oddly not on the same disc as the hst's. Finally with a little help from a friend I located it! Next I had to figure out what size to use (see why I am a direction follower?) so I went with the 2 inch finished. I made a page and hmmm..they are slightly smaller than the others. I cam make them work but not sure why they are smaller. Anyone doing triangulations or better at Math than me (that is most of you, folks!) who can tell me what size qst's I am supposed to be using?
Ok on to my mini parade of Bonnie Memories!
First up was Carolina Crossroads, but since I had just discovered Bonnie and the yahoo group
and they were already in progress on that I skipped it and waited for the next one. Orange Crush was next from March to October 2008 and I have to tell you I was LEARY of all that orange. I didn't care for this quilt all throughout the making and didn't yet know that I could completely trust Bonnie. Then as it came together (I actually made two when Kathy didn't keep up with the sewing but showing my main one) I suddenly LOVED it! I didn't want to give it away, but I did. It is on my list to make another.

Next up was Double Delight which may just be my favorite. I fell in love with Cheddar on this quilt! I spent hours on the border and learned that the time was worth it to really make this quilt perfect. December 2008-October 2009.

Christmas lights was in Quiltmaker Magazine over three months. This one was the easiest mystery Bonnie has done due to the limited space a magazine has compared to her blog. It was really doable and is a good one to start with it you are not sure about jumping in with all the little pieces of most of them! November 2009.

Carolina Christmas was made with purple since it is my daughter's favorite color. I wasn't afraid to use orange and did another wild border. November 2009-February 2010.
I had always been bummed that I didn't do Carolina Crossroads, so finally I got on that on my own and made one. Really pleased with it! June 2010-June 2011.

Last year I made Roll, Roll Cotton Boll. I think this was the only mystery I started and didn't keep up with! I had never done strings and eventually they won me over (see how much Bonnie has changed my quilting?) I didn't love this one as much until it came together. I think that is part of the fun of the mystery! This is the only one that isn't quilted. It is awaiting funds and not sure who will get it yet, so it just waits. November 2010 to September 2011.

So sans Tobacco Road I have completed six mysteries with Bonnie and now working on Orca Baby--the seventh! I look forward to it every year and know my quilting has grown leaps and bounds by following her CLEAR step by step with pictures directions. Everything is doable in small steps so she makes it seem easy! Thanks Bonnie for all that you do from your number one fan!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Little Bit of Sewing Today

I added a green border to the other Lil' Twister quilt and took a side by side picture for Shannon and anyone else wondering how much size you lose when going from the squares to the lil' twists. I didn't measure yet, but it really is a decent amount. There are about 2 inch size squares left over which can be re-purposed too so it isn't all waste. The look is worth it I think!
Here you can also see the size difference.
I decided to help myself keep it all straight by sewing the Eleanor Burns way..I left the attaching stitches on while I sewed. Worked really well for keeping this straight...took this pic and then noticed one block was sewn wrong (off the wall then added to this) so I fixed it before I got to sewing the rows. See it third block on the bottom left...ooops!
I did work on Orca Bay though just a little bit. I spent too much of the day watching the Packer game (10 and 0!) and grocery shopping. Also did a bit of cleaning and a long lost friend stopped over unannounced. Not sure where the whole day went! So close to 70 of step one are done. No more cut even...ah tomorrow I will try to do some more.
I am loving this Lil' Twister, I think I am addicted to them! Really lots to look at!

Our Christmas Card

I know it is teeny tiny but this is the Christmas card DJ and I just ordered. It was really fun trying to pick out our favorite picture from each month. We did cheat a little and December is actually from the very end of October!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Sewing :)

I finished piecing my Christmas tree skirt...you can see Hannah's too. I ordered some stripy fabric from this collection to do the binding with so hoping to get at least hers bound next weekend.
I worked this morning (after a late night out with DJ, first at Pink Spot and then at Charlies' Bar) and then had no energy to do anything. Eventually I went in and did some sewing. I added a border to this little quilt.
Then I cut it with that wicked Lil' Twister ruler and put it up on my wall. I have one more to add a border to and do. One of these is for a quilt swap I signed up for (what was I thinking!) it really stresses me out because I worry I am not sending the same quality work as I am getting. But time to bite the bullet and just do it! I thought this little quilt would be nice and I most likely will tie it because I don't want to ruin it with my quilting! I may do the other one is either green, brown or the light aqua fabric since I have chunks of each of those. The best one will be heading off (or the one that is done by mail date!).
I quilted another tablerunner for DJ's family. Of course the dogs took turns posing on it. This is Bug.

And this is Zoe.

I finally machine bound Christopher's Quilt of Valor. Not bad from that galloping horse I hope you are on!
Once again this was from Amy's Passions BOM last year. I added a Navy block to it since Christopher is in the Navy and I am really proud to give this one to him and his fiance this Christmas!
I did do some cutting and sewing of Orca Bay units, but didn't get any more assembled. Feels like a tiny drop in a big bucket, but I wanted to get some of that Christmas stuff going. I am SO looking forward to next week...I will be off work for four whole days! I plan to really be getting some stuff done, but of course Bonnie will give us a new clue on Friday so I will be lucky to be caught up on that. I still love it though!

A Whole Lot of News!

For some reason I do not think this Kathleen Tracy sampler ever made it to the blog after I quilted it with a baptist fan and bound it.  Lov...