Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday packages

There has been quite a bit of snow on the ground here in Minnesota the past few weeks and it's put me in the mood for the Holidays a bit early this year.  Fortunately, thimblemouse and spouse shared their pattern from the Florida Row by Row Experience called "Tied Up With A Bow."  

It's just adorable, and I could not resist piecing it up!  As it happens, I started a row-by-row quilt top a few years ago, but stalled out.  I do have November done, and July.  August is halfway done.  But the rest... not yet.  The original pattern idea had applique poinsettias for December.  Hmm....how about a substitution?  You bet!

I had to make Tied Up With A Bow twice for it to be 72 inches long - but that was no problem.  It goes together so quickly and was such fun to make with scraps from my Christmas fabric stash box.  What do you think?



 Makes me want to get my own Christmas shopping done and start wrapping packages already!  


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stepping Stones

Today I had the joy of presenting a quilt to a dear young man from our church.
 I have known him many years, particularly though our son's Boy Scout troop.   He was just starting his first year in college when he suffered a brain aneurysm.  It was a miracle that someone saw him collapse and called for help immediately.

He survived, and after over a month in hospitals, he is now home and continuing his recovery there.  He has a long way to go, but each stepping stone takes him closer to recovery.  Each rehab session is another brick that rebuilds his life to normalcy.

I had started this quilt a long time ago, but pulled it out of the UFO pile and finished it for him with a fleece back.   Sometimes it's a blessing to have those unfinished quilt tops around, just waiting for the perfect moment to be finished with love and go to someone who needs a warm hug.

The quilt is Bonnie Hunter's "Bricks and Stepping Stones."  (I've linked that name to her free pattern.)


Monday, November 17, 2014

A whole lot of friends

Here's the last of my Moda 'Friends & Companions' mystery quilts.  It is closest to their original color choices.  I did change out the setting blocks to blue, and the black border to gold just to pull out those colors a bit more.  This time I ran out of red and green (who is surprised?)  After trips to three fabric stores to find some more, no luck for an exact match.  The red fabric I eventually bought for the border has a subtle stripe, so I mitered the corners and they turned out great!  It's been years since I've put mitered corners on a quilt.  (I'm so lazy!!)

Friends & Companions
And just so we can have all the Friends and Companions together, here are the other two.  Which do you like best?

Friends & Companions - the Musical

Autumn Friends & Companions
It was fun to try the same quilt in three different colorways.  Next time, though, I really need to just make a decision and pick ONE.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sewing Expo

The past several years the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo has made a stop in the Twin Cities, and that's where I spent part of the day Thursday.  There was lots of excitement, laughter, and some good deals to be had too.  It was fun to talk strike up conversations with other quilters and sewing enthusiasts, and have that instant connection of a common interest.

I didn't take any classes, but enjoyed browsing through the vendor booths.  I picked out a couple new quilting books, a bit of fabric, two embroidery cd's (half price), sewing machine needles and a cute little bobbin holder.  Elna did not have a booth, so I couldn't replace my walking foot - which is still MIA. (Missing in Action)

There were lots of lovely quilts on display.  Quilts made by Fons and Porter staff were in one area.  Another display area featured lovely art quilts.  A third group of quilts were entries in the "Double Wedding Ring International Quilt Challenge."  This one clearly stood out, and was the Best of Challenge Winner.  Isn't it fabulous?  Karen Williamson used the Pickle Dish block, a variation of the Double Wedding Ring.
Organic Pink Pickles by Karen Williamson

I have not made a Double Wedding Ring quilt yet.  Maybe someday...  How about you?  Is a Double Wedding Ring on your quilting wish list?

Monday, November 10, 2014

A bit of an Irish Puzzle

As I was searching through my scrap bag this weekend I came across an unexpected surprise.  A piece of light green that was just big enough to finish up this little 32 inch square quilt top!

The center block is an orphan "Sarah's Choice" left over from my son's wedding quilt.  The teeny tiny HST's that make up the Irish Puzzle blocks are bonus blocks from Celtic Solstice.

It was a bit of a puzzle to make them fit together, but that's what it's all about isn't it?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Window week

It's been a crazy week around our house.  We had nine windows replaced.  The workmen were here two days, and for the rest of the week hubby has been putting a finish on the wood windows and frames.  They are looking great, and are even slightly larger than the old windows.  Everything looks so much brighter without the storm windows and screens.

But, with construction work comes a serious MESS!  Everything had to be pulled 4 feet away from every window. The middles of the rooms are stacked with things.  But, by next week I hope we will be on the road to normal again.

Monday and Tuesday I hid in my sewing room/office for most of the day while the workmen were here.  I was able to get a few things finished up.  First, I made a few more little pumpkin ornaments.  Here's their 'selfie'.  Can you see the window in the background that is being installed?









Next, I put borders on Countdown to Christmas.  Took me long enough! It was a mystery quilt by Temecula Quilts from last December that had been in my UFO pile.  The pieces are so tiny that I did about half of what they called for and made a smaller quilt. Each of those star blocks finishes at 2 inches!  Tiny is cute, but I only have a limited amount of patience for it.  

This quilt languished because I didn't know what I wanted to do for borders.  Do you find that setting a quilt aside for a while can be a good thing?  I finally decided on red, white and blue.  Keeping with the star theme, the blue and the red border fabrics both have stars.

I can get some quilting done as soon as I find my walking foot.  It has apparently gone for a walk somewhere, because it has been missing all week.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Friends and Companions - the musical

Here's my second version of the Moda Sew-Along "Friends and Companions."
'F & C the Musical' on the piano -
which you can't see at all!

Silly me.  Why would I think to look at the fabric requirements before starting a project?  I just started pulling scraps and put together color groupings.  There was no chance of finding more of my light background fabric. It's a piece that's from deep stash. We're talking 30 years back.  So, when it came to making alternate blocks I looked for something with the same density of pattern.  Music notes to the rescue!  And so this version will be "Friends and  Companions -the Musical."
Trying for similar pattern density.











The red border is narrower than the original.  You guessed it, not enough red left to make a 6.5 inch border.  Well, 4 inches of red will do just fine - and it's all used up!  Can you tell the setting triangles are a different fabric too?  Yep, not enough green either.  I'll just call it "the creative process."  (smile, wink)

My stash report is doing much better this year than the past two.  Purchased 38 yards, used 60 yards. Over 20 more yards used than purchased!  The only fabric purchased for this quilt was the music notes, and some additional solid black.