Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hopping like a bunny

Seems like a long time since I've written, and it's time to catch up!
Not much quilting going on here, but I did a bit of sewing this week.  I'm making a few more pot holders for the Ashland, WI Museum.

The mitt didn't turn out too well, though it looks great in the photo. (It's a little small, and the thumb didn't turn correctly and is bunchy inside.)  I love the sailboat fabric I found for the back side of the hot pads! I need to run down now and pop them in the washer to fluff up the edges.

And... I've machine embroidered a couple of dish towels for hostess gifts for Easter.

But a big chunk my time these past few weeks involves this....

A couple evenings of rehearsals and lots of guitar playing!  Life isn't all about quilting....I play 12-string guitar for two different music groups at two different local churches.  (The one our family attends, and another where I used to work.) With Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter here I'll be hopping like a bunny to keep up with both music schedules.  Usually I only have to play a couple times a month, so my fingers are getting a workout now!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Oh Danny Boy...

I remember my Irish grandfather singing "Danny Boy" in his wonderful Irish tenor voice.  How proud he was to be an Irishman!

So I couldn't resist making up this block called 'Danny Boy' that came into my e-mail this week from Quilt-Pro System's Block of the Day.

Here it is, up on my design wall with three borders.  I didn't use the published size, but made my hourglass blocks from those 3.5-inch squares that I was working with over the past weekend.  I adjusted the rest of the pieces accordingly, and came up with an odd size of 3.25 inch blocks.  But that's OK.  With borders it's about 19 inches, which will make a nice little table topper or wall hanging.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, whether you are Irish by birth, Irish by marriage, Irish by association, or just Irish at heart today!

Monday, March 16, 2015

A turn of the hourglass

Spring is coming to Minnesota!  With the warming temperatures the snow has melted away earlier than normal this year and we couldn't resist heading to the Lake for the weekend.  Of course a few bags of fabric scraps for quilting came along too.

The change of seasons became the inspiration to try out hourglass blocks.  I loved how easily they went together!
Pull out one background and one color 3.5-inch squares.
Mark on the diagonal and stitch 1/4 inch on each side of the line.
Cut on the line and press to the colored fabric.
Flip one over so the seams nest and draw another line across the diagonal.
Stitch 1/4 inch on each side again.
Cut on the line and press open.
TA DA! Two hourglass blocks.  Then make two more the same way.  Pair up with three background and one gold 2.5-inch blocks (9-patch style) and they turn into Ohio Stars!
Adorable Ohio Stars!
Can you see the frozen lake in the background and the last of the snow along the shoreline?  Puddles were forming on the lake by Sunday afternoon, and it will only be a few weeks before we can put this dock into the water and launch the boat.  Hubby can't wait!  Do you think we'll have open water by Easter?

Monday, March 2, 2015

A trip to Temecula

Last week while visiting cousins in San Diego, CA, Hubby and I took a day trip to Temecula.

Once a stage coach town, the Old Town Temecula area is a delightful mix of shops, antique stores and restaurants.  We especially enjoyed the new Museum and we stopped at the Old Town Root Beer Company for root beer floats.  (Yum!)  

 In the newer part of town we made sure to stop in at the Temecula Quilt Shop.  Such a cute shop!  I had the chance to chat with owner Sheryl Johnson and share a couple photos of quilts I have made from designs she has shared on her blog.  She told me that she's working on a new mystery quilt that will be out fairly soon.

The area is booming as a wine region, and after we left the quilt shop we stopped at a couple wineries. What lovely scenery!  The vines are bare for the winter right now, but I can just imagine how lovely they will look in the summer.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Off on an adventure

Soon I'll be heading off on an adventure.  Hubby and I are planning a vacation to the San Diego area to visit relatives.  A cousin suggested a couple of wineries to visit in Temecula, CA.  Does that name sound familiar?  I have made up several of the free patterns that have been shared over the past few years by the Temecula Quilt Shop blog, and I don't think I can pass up the opportunity to stop in person!

Just for the record, there are the three quilts at my house that can trace their beginnings to that sweet little blog.
Temecula Blues 2013
which I believe was to celebrate the Quilt Shop's Anniversary

Countdown to Christmas -
a 2013 pattern that I finished last week
I made about half the blocks so it's smaller than the original pattern
Valentine Hugs and Kisses - Feb. 2015

If you enjoy English Paper Piecing, which I have to admit I've never tried, you should skip over to Sheryl's blog.  She is in the midst of a lovely series of blocks made with that method.  And, of course, her Little Letters alphabet series was extremely popular last year according to the number of times I saw those adorable pieced blocks on various blogs that I visit.  That one is on my wish list!

Monday, February 16, 2015

President's Day Red, White and Blue

Another UFO is quilted and bound!  This one was started in April 2013, so I've been working on it off and on for quite a while.  All that was left was binding and the machine embroidery eagle that I wanted to put in the center.  I finally made a decision on a grey binding fabric last night, and finished it up.
The backing is grey fleece, so it's lightweight and warm.
It's so much fun to use the embroidery feature on my Elna to quilt in special designs like this eagle.

The print fabric is deep stash that had been around for 20 years before I decided to use it.  But now it's ALL GONE.  It was leftover from making some Zuba style pants for my kids back when I was sewing most of their clothes.  Here's a photo of  my daughter wearing hers when she was 5 years old.  How time flies!
I just can't settle on a name for this quilt yet.  Maybe Red, White and Zuba?  Though it's actually Blue, White and the Zuba print, so... maybe not.  Any good ideas out there?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Hugs and Kisses

Just in time for Valentine's Day I've finished a little quilt called Hugs and Kisses.  The pattern is from Temecula Quilt Co. (sort of).  I used 1.5-inch strips and squares instead of their smaller size. They were already cut, and on hand in my scrap bag.  So easy!

Can you tell those alternate blocks look just like chocolates?  I wish I had bought more of that fabric.  It's such a rich chocolate brown swirl.
All finished, and I can deduct another 1.5 yards from my fabric stash log for the year!