Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Ho, ho, ho! Santa brought me a stitch regulator for my mom's longarm machine. Funny how that works, huh?

It's quite nice. I got to use it today on Mr. Bunny, a small wallhanging that I had ready to quilt. My stitches wouldn't have been nearly as nice without the new gadget.

Here is a close up of the clouds:

Mr. Bunny Goes to Town is the full name of the piece and it is my first real attempt at hand applique. Now that the quilting is done, he just needs some buttons for his wheels, one for his eye, a binding and he's done!

Mr. Bunny went so fast, that I thought I would start another project, plus I wanted to use the stitch regulator more, so I loaded a baby quilt that has been around forever. Not just any baby quilt, but the second top that I have ever made! I've been procrastinating finishing it and it's day has come. I call it Birdy Nine Patch. Not too original. I'm having issues with thread choice and stencil application, but I don't want to dwell on those right now. Suffice to say that a yellow varigated thread is tooooo subtle (read: nearly invisible). I'm now using red!

Do you like my feets in that picture? Now guess which block has the yellow thread.

Tomorrow I hope to finish Birdy Nine Patch and move on to quilting the tote bag that I started last week (more details of the bag in a future post?)
I hope Santa has been good to you and that you have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


There was one more project that I worked on last week-- Shams for my "Pinwheel Quilt". I've been dragging my feet with these little sham tops for a few months now. I started them once and thought they were done, but they weren't the ideal dimensions. All that matters is they are done now! Hurrah! One less project on my unfinished list!

This quilt is going to my friend, Kathy, who has a bedroom that's painted Granny Smith Apple green. The room is bright and sunny and will be a perfect home the pinwheels. Hopefully I will be able to quilt it this winter. We (Kathy and I) have been browsing wide backing fabrics and haven't found anything that seems to work. The backing fabrics are usually conservative and traditional looking and the pinwheels needs something whimsical.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I'm in the blogosphere!

After lurking around the Quilt Mavericks blog ring for over a year, I've decided to join in the fun! Plus, I thought this would be good way to journal my progress on all of my quilts. Now that winter is officially in full force, I've been doing a lot of sewing. Just this week I've worked on:


This is a quilt that's been in the works for years. It's a group exchange that I participated in while taking a class through MATC. The exchanged strips had been sitting around for about 7 years before I had the inspiration to put them together into a twin sized quilt for the rollaway bed in my sewing room. Once I had that idea, I determined that I needed twice as many blocks as what I had. No problem! I whipped them up, laid them out and put them all together. Then it would be on to borders and the top was done. I started with a vision for the borders (scrappy 4 patches all in a row). After losing steam, I set this project down. Last week, I decided to open up the rollaway and check the size. Good thing! I need 2 more rows! What was I thinking before? So this week I added the requisite 2 rows and am back where I was before. Needing borders.

After fiddling around some, I am leaning toward making a scrappy checkerboard 4 wide (separated from the center by a 2" white strip). I like the checkerboard on it's own. I don't know if I like it with the woodpile. And I don't know if I like how much work it's going to be. =(

Meanwhile, during all the woodpile extra 2 rows of block making, I turned my leader/enders into a center for a baby quilt. I have a baby in mind, but haven't 100% decided who the recipient is yet.

This picture isn't the most recent one. I have added white squares in between the nine patches. Again--I'm stuck at the border stage. I have a few ideas. One option is to do a piano key type rainbow. I have a bunch of strips already sewn together that I could use.

They don't look that wobbly in real life. It's gotta be the picture! =O

Benjamin Smiles Pillowcases

On Tuesday, I was able to finish a project that I started earlier this year (mid-summer?) with my friend, Amy. We have been working on making pillowcases for the Benjamin Smiles charity.

They are for travel size pillows and benefit the kids at the Ronald McDonald House. It was a lot of fun working together, picking out the fabrics and they were easy-peasy to sew. We have about 20 cases done, but only 12 pillows. They don't seem to stock these pillows in the store during this time of year. So, we'll drop the first 12 off soon and when I run across the pillows again, I'll get more and then we can deliver another shipment. I'm looking forward to taking them in and seeing the Ronald McDonald House.

Mixed in with all of my other sewing, I've been making pincushions. The pattern is from May Britt and I found it through Lucy's blog.
This is first one I made:
Not bad! I thought this was fun and might make a great kid's pillow, so I blew the pattern up and made a BIG one (sorry, I don't have a picture of that one right now--maybe later). Then I made one for my mom (no picture right now). I had been on a quest to find a loose wool batting to stuff it with and had no success. Instead, I experimented with cutting up the scraps from the wool batt I used for my Bear Paw Throw.

It work marvelously! The addiction is in full force now! The directions call for this to be pieced by hand, but so far, I was making them on the machine. For some reason, I felt motivated to try one out by hand. After some wonderful guidance from Dianne and the other ladies in the UFO club of Millhouse Quilts , I learned English paper piecing. This is an "in-progress" pic of it:

Right now, it's completely pieced and turned inside out. My handiwork won't be winning a blue ribbon at the fair, but I'm ready to do more English paper piecing. Maybe even start a Flower Garden Quilt??!!??

On Thursday I was going to sew with patients at the American Family Children's Hospital, but

because I was barely able to talk, I missed out. I felt well enough to go to lunch with the three other ladies that also volunteer. It was Debbie's birthday and wanted to give her a small present. Hmmmm. What could it be? A pincushion, of course! This one is my best, yet! Unfortunately, prior to this one I made a goof on one. Instead of matching the points of the top up with the points of the middle, I tucked the top points into the "innies" of the middle. It's still cute, just not star shaped. =O I'll take a pic of it soon.

Whew! I think that about wraps up my week. I got a lot done!