Sunday, December 6, 2015

Zig Zag - Finished!

I'm happy to report that I'm all done with the quilt I'm making for my coworker!  This has to be one of my fasted finishes ever!  I started this quilt on 11/14 and finished the binding on 12/4.  My co-worker is supposed to be coming to the office on Wednesday this week and I can't wait to give this to her!  It has been hard to decide what to write on the label.  (it's not on yet).  I looked for inspirational quotes and words of encouragement.  What I'm thinking is "Something special for someone special".  Simple and true!   

This is the second time I made this pattern.  The first was in 2012 for my friend's son. I didn't realize that this was originally from Crazy Mom Quilt's tutorial in 2009!  Her style really speaks to me!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

100 blog posts!!!!

It's time to do some celebrating!  This is my 100th blog post!!

I'm not the most prolific blogger, much like my sewing speed, I'm the tortoise in the tortoise and the hare.  But I'm ok with slow and steady.  I started blogging December 9, 2007, because I wanted to have a record of what I've made.  Many of my quilts are gifts-- I have very few of my own quilts!

I first started quilting in fall of 1998.  I had just moved to Madison and didn't know very many people.  During the summer, I started league tennis (and still play!!  I love it!).  When the season ended, I wasn't sure what to do.  I was looking through a flyer from the community college that had adult enrichment classes and decided to give the quilting class a try.  I can't imagine how my life would be different today if I didn't take that class!

Here is a retrospective of some of my quilts It's pretty amazing to put them together here!!! (not a comprehensive listing of all of my quilts, but definitely some of my favorites).  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of my first 2 quilts.  One thing I would like to work on is to improve the photos I have of my quilts, especially once they are completed.  Too often I am rushing to send them to their recipient and forget to take nice pictures.

Clockwise from upper left:
Trip Around the World - baby quilt for friend Sarah H
Zig Zag - child quilt for Felix
Quietude - commissioned quilt for coworker
Catvent - wallhanging (I've got this quilt!!)
Stars - baby quilt for Sara J

I've got all of these quilts-- they are small :)
Clockwise from upper left:
Boo! - mini wallhanging 
Prism - wallhanging - my design
Kyoto - wallhanging  - from Modern Quilt Studio
Sparkler - mini wallhanging 
Itty Bitty Log Cabin - mini wallhanging

Clockwise from upper left:
Twirling Stars  - baby quilt for friend Lisa
Stars - baby quilt for friend Sarah N
Flip Flops - child quilt for Ella
Funky Boxes - baby quilt for Amelie (My favorite quilt I have made!)
Froggy Star - baby quilt for Olin
Wonky Stars - baby quilt for friend Sarah I (and another version for Kris)
notice all of the Sara/Sarah friends with babies!!!

Clockwise from left:
Wedding March - Bed quilt for my parents (1st large quilt I made!)
Sylvie's quilt - child quilt for Sylvie
Agean Dream - throw quilt for Carol

Clockwise from upper left:
Woodpile -  (I've got this quilt!!) And it's on my bed!
Nine patch - baby quilt for friend Carolyn
Disappearing Nine patch - baby quilt for friend Kim
Jewel Box - baby quilt for cousin Kelly

These are some older quilts
Clockwise from upper left:
Star BOM -  block of the month - still in progress
My bed quilt - still in progress
Bear Paw - my couch quilt
Log Cabin - wallhanging (at my parent's house)

Thanks so much for reading!  And here is to 100 more posts!  I can't wait to see what the next years will bring! =)


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Quilt in a day!

As a quilter, it is very common for me to hear news and have the reaction, "I should make a quilt!"  Whether someone is pregnant or not doing well, I always want to make a quilt.  The problem is that there isn't enough time to make all the quilt I would like to make.  =(

One of my co-workers is fighting cancer and I wanted to make her something to comfort her through her treatments and recovery time.  I picked a simple pattern and recruited my friends to help out.  Heather did all of the cutting and helped sew the rows together.  Kimberly and Bethney helped with the pressing.  I sewed, sewed, sewed.  We started yesterday around 2ish and finished around 10 pm! (We did take a break for crockpot shredded chicken tacos- yum!)

I love the way it turned out.  The fabrics are all from my stash.  We didn't use a pattern (but should have!).  I made a version of this quilt several years ago and read a tutorial at that time.  Yesterday, after a few hiccups at the start, I was thinking-- why didn't I revisit that tutorial!!! =O  All's well that ends well.

This picture is a little washed out.  Once it is quilted, I'll get some better photos.  I'm thinking of using minky for the backing fabric.  Hopefully I will have this finished up as quickly as the top went together.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Stitcher's is closing =(

Sad news about one of my favorite local quilt shops, Stitcher's Crossing.  The owner, Sharon, has decided to close her doors.  It has been in business since before I started quilting (1998) and  I took classes there when I was new to sewing,  They connected me with a person that buys and sells Featherweights and because of their help, I have the fantastic machine I use for all of my piecing.

Yesterday, I stopped by for the first time since they announced their closing.  There was next to nothing left and it felt like a funeral!  But it was very nice to have one last chat with Sharon.  Hopefully I will see her around in other quilty places. I'm going to miss that shop quite a bit. =(

I did purchase a few odds and ends from what was remaining, but don't have a picture-- nothing too exciting.  The remainder of the bolt of the Maize I'm using in my Maize Maze quilt and a few fat quarters.

Speaking of Maize Maze-- It's moving along.  I almost have the center complete.

Last Sunday, I did some online stash enhancement from Thousands of Bolts.  It was a bit slower at work and I was tempted! No plans for these fabrics, they just wanted to come home with me!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles and Judy at Patchwork Times.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall Retreat

It is a beautiful fall weekend in Wisconsin.  The trees are changing color, the temperatures are falling, but still comfortable and no snow has fallen from the sky!!

I spent this weekend at a crafting retreat in Whitewater with friends.  This is my 3rd year participating with this group and it was loads of fun!  Each year we pick a theme to coordinate our meals and this year was Books and Movies'. We had a horror dinner, murder mystery
dinner (I coordinated that one), a romantic comedy lunch and a western lunch.  Costumes are encouraged!  The mystery dinner was LOL funny and I totally want to do another one.

The help-- Gardner, Butler, Cook

Me as the Butler

The cast: bookish aunt, hot shot grandson, wild child granddaughter, Lady Sutbury, gardener

Kristin the Kid!

I did get some sewing done, too!  Not quite as much as I wanted, but productive none the less!

I started a new generous sized couch quilt that intend to give for Christmas (if I can complete it by then!).  The pattern is Marcie's Maze and I'll call my version Maize Maze.  I started with a fat quarter bundle that I bought at Quilt Expo and supplemented it with some additional fabrics from the same colorway and added a mustard fabric for the sashing.  The pattern is written for a jelly roll, so I had to be creative with my cutting and assembly methods, because I am using fat quarters.  Keeps me on my toes!  So far, I have all of the blocks complete and sewn into rows. Just need to add sashing and sew the rows together.  Not bad!  I'm very happy with the way it is turning out.  =)

And I took a bit of time to get all of my Elephant Parade rows sewn together-- HOORAY!!  Just a few more strips on the sides and the top will be done.  I can't wait to quilt it up and call it finished.  If you look close, you will see new eyeballs on the frog and turtle.  Those little buggers were part of the reason this was not moving forward.  Without a zig zag stitch machine at home, it needed to wait for a time I could use somebody else's machine.

All in all, this was a great weekend!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Block Tote...issues! =(

My fellow Mad Mod Member, Trina, asked for pattern testers for her new tote bag pattern.  The timing was right and I volunteered.  The concept is to use an orphan block as the decoration, but I don't really have any! Instead, I spent half of my Saturday morning looking through books and pinterest to get block inspiration.  There were a few things that looked appealing, but I ended up deciding on making a block from some leftover bonus half square triangles.  These are from 'Quietude'- a baby quilt a co-worker commissioned.

I did the math and thought the block would be 10.5" The pattern calls for a 12" block, so I would add some coping strips and call it good.  I did the math wrong!!  I think this error was a sign and I should have found other things to do.  Like clean my house!!  The block was well over 12"!!  Ay carumba!!!  

Back to the drawing board...  One thing that I found while looking for an interesting block was the nested churn dash.  It's super cool!!  So, I paid the $2 to buy the block pattern from Quilt Jane (why not let her do all the math?  Clearly I"m not having a day for that)

All afternoon, I felt worse and worse, but kept plugging away... Note to self- If you aren't feeling well and aren't thinking clearly--STOP.  Look at the yellow!!!  I didn't see the MASSIVE errors until this morning!!  I can't live with that, so I will make corrections (or start over?).  What did I do?  I think I was referencing the wrong measurements for the half square triangle?  or didn't trim it up?  What a mess.   This poor little block tote-- I haven't even started the tote part!! =(

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Slow and steady wins the race?

Things are busier than ever and my free time is so minimal.  I have been able to sneak a few bits of sewing in here and there.  

I really want to finish up the Elephant Parade, but it's crawling along.  I re-made the blue flowers from the old style to the new one.  The scale seemed 'off' and I'm pleased with the results!  I have a few sashing strips sewn on (not pictured here).  The frog and turtle eyes are next up and then I can hopefully have a completed top.

A few years ago, I started making string blocks of green, blue and purple as a way to use up some scraps. The plan is to put them into a twin sized quilt and donate it to Project Linus.  Yesterday I had a mess of green scraps on my cutting table (in addition to orange and pink!!)

It seemed like a good opportunity to sew up some green string blocks!  I made four yesterday, which brings the running total to 12 blue, 12 green and 8 purple. (not the latest group photo and the new blocks are much more vibrant than in this photo!)

Why were my scraps laying out on the cutting table?  Because I emptied the scrap containers to bring for Show and Tell at my guild meeting.  

Why?  Because Amanda Jean was the speaker!!!  Woot!!! So.Much.Fun!!!  I'm a mega fan of her style and it was a fantastic talk and trunk show!  She signed my copy of her book and I treated myself to a few copies of her patterns. 

The last thing I have to share is a cute little basket I made following a tutorial from Hearts and Bees.  It went together very quickly and I'm hoping to make more!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Super Sunday Stash!

Quilt Expo was this week and it was all kinds of fun!  I did some serious stash enhancement.

I took this meme to heart and bought tons of fabric!

Some big splurges!  I bought two fat quarter bundles- one in lime green, grey, white, black and another in soft blue-grey and blue.  I'm thinking of making an equilateral triangle quilt with the lime greens and a simple modern squares + rectangles with the blues/greys.  I got the blue/grey fabric from Pincushion Boutique.

Nancy's Notions had Bali charm packs on sale for $5.99!!  Two made it home with me! I got several grey fat quarters from Graphic Impressions.

At the Gamill booth, I stocked up on a new panto, grey and white Omni thread, and an Omni thread card.  The last big splurge was on 2 more dies for my GoBaby!  A 1" hexie and an equilateral triangle.  Of course there were a few more goodies here and there...

I can't wait for some free time to cut into the new fabric and use the new tools!  I took pictures of the exhibit quilts and will (hopefully) share some of my favorites in another post.

Linking up with the Fabulous Molli Sparkles!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 Mad City Quilt Guild Mini Challenge Quilt - Complete!

I finished my little 12 x 12 mini challenge quilt!  Hooray!  I will celebrate any finishes, no matter how big or small!  Miraculously, I have this complete BEFORE the due date (by a solid 24 hours!). This will display in the Mad City Quilt Guild booth at Quilt Expo. In years past, I've stitched the binding down at Quilt Expo, in the booth.  =/  

This year's theme is "My Favorite Color" and we were to make a monochromatic block with white, black or grey as the contrasting colors.  This theme was interesting, because I like many colors!  Green is something I've always been drawn to and have made many quilts with green in them.  But when I organized my fabric this summer, I barely had any yardage of green!  I would also say I like royal blue, but again, I had very little yardage of it.  The pile of 'red' is quite high, but there are several bigger hunks that make the stack taller.  

(not pictured: all of the yellows and greys-- they are in a project tote)

What amazed me was the trend of fabrics that weren't a true blue or a true green.  More of "Blue-Green".  So that is how I decided on what color to use!

I've been wanting to make a 'Sparkler' style quilt for some time and this was a good chance to use that pattern and show off many different fabrics.

The quilting is 'matchstick' style and I did it on Heather's Bernina.  It was super nice to quilt with that machine!!  (but I'm not getting any ideas!)

Finn has really taken to sewing and was happy to help out with the machine portion of the binding.

 The color of these plants sort of matches my theme!


Slow Sunday Stitching - Mini Style!

I've followed Kathy at Kathy's Quilts for quite a while now and she dedicates part of every Sunday to hand stitching and encourages everyone to slow down and relax with some hand work.  I work every Sunday at Urgent Care (doing X-Ray) and **sometimes** I'm able to sneak in some hand stitching.

Today I brought my mini challenge quilt that will be part of the Mad City Quilt Guild's booth at Quilt Expo.  [I canNOT wait for expo to start!!  I want to do some serious stash acquisition! =)  Seventeen more days before it starts!!!]

Hopefully I will have a photo of my mini to share by the end of the day.  It's due tomorrow, which is the start of the 2014-2015 year for my guild.  It's going to be a great one!!  Our scheduled speakers include Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts (LOVE her style!!), Laura Wasilowski, Lee Heinrich from Freshly Pieced, Chris Daly of Dye Candy and more!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lutherdale Gala Quilt

Big, big news!! A quilt I contributed to was auctioned off for big money last weekend!

Let me start at the very beginning...

For many years now (I can't quite recall how many...7?), I've attended a retreat at Lutherdale Camp in January.  It's been loads of fun and is something I look forward to immensely.  It really breaks up the long cold winters.

One of the biggest fundraisers for the camp is a quilt auction held in August.  Many, many people donate quilts (hundreds!!) to be auctioned off to benefit the camp.  During the spring, they have a 'Gala Event' to thank the donors for their support. It involves a luncheon, a speaker and instructions on a block to make and send in to be assembled into a 'Gala Quilt'.

In spring of 2014, I was invited to participate in assembling the the Gala Quilt.  It was loads of fun!  The block donated from the group was a simple half square triangle with a light/dark contrast.  We trimmed them down and assembled it into a stunning arrangement.  Each block reminded me of a Fresnell lens used in lighthouses.  I don't know the real name of the pattern.

Last December, as I was prepping for the annual retreat, my friend Janet (who has coordinated the Gala Quilt for many years) asked me for ideas on this year's quilt.  I brainstormed with her and another friend and came up with a pattern that I recently saw in a magazine.  It's a faux postage stamp called "Mosaic Flood".  We asked all of the January retreaters to bring strips to camp that measure 12" x 1 1/2".  We got tons!

Then, at the Gala Luncheon in April, I was tasked with speaking in front of the group (150+ people!!).   We brought the strips and asked each person to select a variety of colors and values and make a strip set of 12.  I was told that when I described the project, it sounded kind of "ho-hum", but then when I brought out a sample of the quilt that my friend was working on (specifically to show the group), people ooohed and ahhhed!  They said the back lighting made it glow!

We asked the group to sew their sets in the next few weeks and mail them back to camp.  Six of us gathered at the end of May and spent the weekend assembling the quilt.

This was a kind of crazy quilt to work on.  We didn't have a lot of variety with the sewing or cutting, so we entertained ourselves with conversation and stories.  The pattern is to cross cut the strip sets, sew the sub-units end to end into rows and then start sewing the rows into pairs, pairs into fours, etc, etc.  The seams are offset and don't match, so its very forgiving!  Hence the "faux" portion of the postage stamp style.

By Saturday night, we finished the top!  It's a MONSTER!! 101" X 103" And we all started to say, "I'm going to bid on this at the auction!"  The variety of fabrics and the tiny sized pieces were mesmerizing!

L to R: Me, Heather, Janine, Lynn, Chris, Janet

Casey from Lutherdale quilted it at The Quilting Connection and Heather did the binding.  I was able to help out a tiny bit with the binding. =)

And now for the big finale-- this has been a long story!  The auction was last weekend and Janine was in a bidding war and eventually lost to a person that bid $1200!!! AND there was a matching grant that brought in another $1200!!  TWENTY FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!  Woo-hoo!!!

I'm thrilled that we raised so much money for such a wonderful place! This journey has been fun, exciting, rewarding we need to start over at square one and start thinking about a pattern for next year!  If you have an idea-- let me know! (seriously!)