Monday, December 27, 2010

Hugs and Kisses

well my list of waiting to be quilted quilts is longer than my list of in progress quilts.  I think I need to start a couple more ;)  I can only finish quilting the baby quilt Amanda (the machine I do the quilting on) is in the shop.  She's having a spa week, getting all tuned and cleaned up.  Hopefully she'll be back soon and ready to get some quilting done.

Hugs and Kisses is the quilt that I made for my husband, it was another mystery quilt.   If you tilt your head you can see the x's and o's.  I used up some more scraps on this which was very nice.   I think I'm going to piece the back together as well.  Some flannels would be nice and cozy for movie night.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

RRCB Part 6 - Done!!!

Oh I so wanted to get this part done before going back to work tomorrow and I did!!  My sister left early in the morning so I had no helper today and I felt it!!  That was a lot of sewing, ironing and snipping today.  And I'm now ready to go back to work tomorrow.

What a wonderful Christmas

My sister was in the Chicago area from Florida and we spent time catching up with each other in the sewing room.  Yep, she helped me with a couple of projects which was wonderful!!

The Snowman collector quilt has moved from the projects in progress to the waiting to be quilted list.  Hugs and Kisses, blocks and sashing complete, just need to finish the border.  And I made a bright and crazy ironing board cover.  I love to iron on that, just makes me smile every time I look at it.

On my last day of sewing before heading back to work tomorrow:  hugs and kisses, would be great if I could get that one on the waiting to be quilted list, and working on  RRCB.  What are you working on today?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

600 HSTs done!!

I finished the 600 HSTs for RRCB, holy smokes those went really fast.  I hope the next batch for a different project goes just as fast!

Thanks to everyone for the input, I went for Gold!  So I was thinking while I was trimming up those squares....there are 600 HSTs, there are 60 string blocks.  10 HST per block, 5 fit on one side and then there's that little solid square for the corner....maybe???  Oh and I sure hope we are done with the neutrals, I'm at the bottom of the barrel with those!  Santa, are you hearing this?  I need neutrals :)

And I also designed the black white and red quilt for my son in-law.  I am really loving the black and white string blocks so that's what I'm doing.  I'll add some more red to it than what shows in the picture and the red will be brighter.  Should be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Going for Gold

I took a break to make my sewing buddy a little bed (Rocko, a German Shorthair Pointer who loves to snooze in the sewing room while I sew).  He's now very cozy and I have a whole bunch of HST's to get to!  Going with the gold on this one.  It was my first instinct and others think it'll work just fine, the brown being a bit busy (I do like busy quilts...but the gold is just something that has to get in a quilt).

RRCB Part 5 - should I change the constant color?

I finally finished all my Christmas sewing and started on the 600 HSTs for RRCB.  I have about 100 sewed and ironed.  I have a deep red, med to dark blues and green as my colors.  I was torn between a brown and gold for the constant and chose the gold to brighten things up.  But my neutrals (the few I have left) are on the darker tan side.  Do you think the Gold will work?  I'm worried there isn't enough contrast between the neutrals and constant to really stand out.  Should I switch to the brown for constant?  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Finally done with all the Christmas Sewing

Yippee!!!  I finished the last thing for Christmas gifts.  I made a table runner for my daughters in laws. She is blessed with wonderful in-laws and I wanted to make something small for them.  I love making the table runners so it all worked out well.  It's a whole lot more traditional that what I normally do, but I think they'll like it.

And you know what that means.....on to all the HSTs for the two mysteries I'm doing.  Yippee!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another Item moves off the waiting to be quilted list

Finally finished my sisters quilt.  She lives in Miami so I thought brighter colors were required for this one.  Lots of free motion quilting on this.  One of these days I'll learn that less is more, but today wasn't the day that lesson came into play.

Now only one more Christmas table runner to make and then 600 HSTs for RRCB and 170 HSTs for hugs and kisses.  Can't wait!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Quilt to make for my husband

For those that haven't heard, the dog ate my husbands quilt.  I"m doing a mystery that is called "hugs and kisses" which I thought was totally appropriate for a quilt for my honey.  I'm a little concerned that hugs and kisses will be a little to simple of a quilt for my husband.  I'm still going to do it, but just in case I have a back plan!  I made this on the computer while I was travelling for work.  It looks pretty challenging, but I think I may be able to get this done in 2011!  What do you think, am I crazy?  Can I really do it?  It looks nice on the computer!  I think it's definitely manly enough.

RRCB Part 5 is a really something!!

600 2 inch HSTs!!  Holy smokes.....600 of anything is a lot of something!

I walked into the sewing room this morning and on the sewing table was the Christmas quilt for my sister anxiously waiting to marked, quilted and finished.  Oh the dilemia.  My sister would be pleased as punch with quilted place mats ;)  There's always her birthday in June for a nice quilt.  Yes I know, finish the quilt for Christmas, who wants a quilt in June!

Ok, I'll just cut for an hour, then mark for an hour.  Cut for an hour, then quilt for an hour.

That seems like a wonderful compromise.  It's going to be a fun weekend!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Great weather for quilting!

The snow storms missed the Chicago area, but we still had a lot of wind and cold.   So I spent the day quilting.  One of my daughters gave me a a very special Christmas present!  She helped me get all of the Christmas Lights (without the the Christmas) together, how wonderful!!   I have 2 rows of 2 sewn together, so excited as I didn't expect to this far until January!  I think I'm going to use the pink as the first border (1 inch) and then the second border will be random strips from 1 inch to 2 inches of the jewel tones and purple.  Still need to figure out the second border and then followed by another thin 1 inch border of orange.  Any suggestions for the second border are greatly appreciated.

I also started quilting the Ricky Tim's quilt today.  I love free motion quilting.  I'm doing a simply echo quilting around the shapes.  I have to have this one done by 12/24 as it's for my sister for Christmas, but still have time and it goes quickly.

Christmas lights (without the Christmas)
Hope everyone is staying warm!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The dog ate my husbands quilt

Can you believe that?  And it's the not the first quilt this dog has nibbled on. Why do they like to get the quilts???

Since I'm having so much fun with the RRCB mystery I decide to try a new mystery.  There is one called "hugs and kisses", now isn't that so appropriate for a replacement quilt for my husband?  I think so.  It does call for lots of lights, more than colors so I'm switching it around.  It will be darker than it will be light, but hey it's for a guy.  I used sooo much of my limited neutral stash on RRCB ( I really hope we don't need a lot more neutral for that one). This quilt is a two color quilt so I'm going scrappy with the blues and then adding a tan, just one fabric.  

RRCB Part 4 - and easy one!!

All done with this part.  I have no idea how this is going to look.   This is my first mystery, is this how they all are?  It's just killing me!!  Can't wait to see how it turns out.  And what about that constant color?  We haven't even used that yet.  Where do you suppose that will go?  I hope there aren't too many more requirements for neutrals, cuz I'm just about here....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another item moves off the waiting to be quilted list

I finished the 6 snowman place mats last night, yippee!!  The snowman pattern is the same that I used on my table runner at the ends.  Is it bad that I finished the one for me first???  Nah, I think of it as warming up so the ones I give as gifts have all the kinks worked out!  Had a little extra time so I jazzed up a couple of kitchen towels (one of my favorite things to do).  No sewing today.  But at list the lists are moving a bit.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So close!

I had the perfect green for the 4th border for the snowman collector.  When I was done, I had 2 1 inch strips left....oh man that was way too close!  I measured like 3 times and said I think I can do this, I think I can do this.  And yeah, I did!  Sad that there is no more of that perfect yummy green left for the scrap pile, but very happy that only one border is left. Then I can move one more project from the "in progress list" to the "to be quilted list".

Monday, December 6, 2010

Finally did a little machine quilting

I can move at least one small item from the "to be quilted" to the "finished in 2010" list!  Yeah, small victory but I'll take it.  I finished the snowman table runner.  All my girls will home next weekend for our Christmas together so I wanted to make the table festive. 

I did finish all 60 string blocks for RRCB.  A couple of people mentioned using the back of the fabrics which I did unintentionally on a couple but then intentionally towards the end.   I wish I would have thought to do that from the very beginning as I would have had a bit more variety in the blocks.  I love seeing all the different blocks.  The purple as neutral - one of my favorites.  I think a string quilt in 2011  will be on my to-do list. Especially since I cut soooo many neutral strings!  I've been seeing a number of quilts that I really like with strings.

I can move at least one small item from the "to be quilted" to the "finished in 2010" list!  Yeah, small victory but I'll take it.  I finished the snowman table runner.  All my girls will home next weekend for our Christmas together so I wanted to make the table festive. 

I also got the snowman collector quilt top almost done.  Still have two and a half more borders to put on and then the top will at least be done.   I hope I'll have it quilted before the snow starts to melt here!!  I really like pieced borders better than solid borders, but at least there are a few of them and that helps.

All in all not a bad week for quilting.  Won't get much done the rest of this week nor next week end.  Hey I had 3 good sewing weekends in a row, it couldn't last forever ;)

Friday, December 3, 2010

RRCB Part 3

Well this one is going to take a while!  I've got 10 blocks done, 50 to go.  Turns out that I'm not that big on neutrals.  Had a hard time finding things and not as large of a variety as I would like. But I did finally get to use the chicken wire fabric that has been in my stash for a very long time!  So what do you think? Too dark?  I tried to limit the number of white on white fabrics but think I might throw a few more in the mix.  This is the first time I'm doing this type of block so not really sure what to expect.  My red, blue and green are are fairly dark so there will be a lot of contrast with these.  Oh and I cut way too many strips.  I'll be looking for another project in 2011 that needs these types of strips.  I think I cut enough for more like 160 blocks.  I just couldn't stop!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Lights quilt without the Christmas

I was able to get a few rows sewn together rows sewn together on this one this weekend.

I know I'm suppose to be machine quilting, but the scraps were screaming to me when Bonnie posted Christmas lights.  I had a lot of batik scraps from a couple of Judy Niemyer quilts (did anyone else get some of her patterns when they were on sale?   I got 6 for under 30, sooooo happy).  Scraps where mostly hot pinks, hot orange and jewel tones.  I love the Christmas lights pattern but wasn't sure how to do it with the scraps I had. So I made the block in EQ7 and started playing around.  I think I finally decide on the using only one of the blocks (not using the star block) and twisting things up a bit.  I"m using a purple as my constant.  Everything is cut and I'm trying to do this as a leaders and enders quilt, so I don't feel quite a guilty.  We'll see how it turns out, I think for a teenage girl it'll be nice.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Flower Blocks

These blocks will be a wedding quilt some day.  Right now I'm having too much fun with Christmas sewing and RRCB.  Wedding quilt not required until late in 2011 so I have some time.  I was very inspired by an Australian quilting magazine that had unbelievable borders and sashing.  I'm trying to figure out how to make this quilt just as wonderful...going to take a while.  There will be only the nine blocks, I plan on adding a maroon sashing as soon as I can figure out what kind of curve I want it to have, then borders, I love borders, they will be yellow, green and maroon, certainly with embroidery on them as well.  You can also look at the post that has the coasters, I pulled 4 of the flowers out of the designs for coasters for my daughter.

The embroidery pattern is Art Nouveau Floral Square Design Pack from Embroidery Library -  Lots of stitches, I finished a quilt top while the 9 blocks were stitching out!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

One more day of sewing then back to reality

One more day of vacation then back to the real world.  Lots of things accomplished this week - baby quilt (oh that wasn't part of the plan, but very pleased with the outcome), Snowman collector quilt - all button hole stitching completed on all blocks, pillow cases for great nieces and nephews (Justin's is hard to read but hey he's only 3, he can't read yet ;).  And the design wall got redone and I absolutely love it!!   Before I just had batting hanging on the wall, nicely trimmed of course.  But it was not a strong batting and was starting to sag.  I saw a posting from someone on Quiltville board regarding insulation foam and wrapping that with batting.  So my husband had a nice afternoon project and I absolutely love it!! I love that it's so easy to use pins.  I love my machine embroidery and the stabilizer doesn't always stick as nicely as I would like to the batting, but now it's so easy to pin things to it.  Oh and I  finished clue to of RRCB, ya...can't wait to see how that's going to turn out.  I love scrappy quilts.  Tomorrow, I need to start on some of the machine quilting, a few projects are starting to stack up.  They are all laid out nicely in the guest bedroom.  We have guests coming in 2 weeks....must do quilting tomorrow.  Oh, it's just so much fun to do smaller projects and see some quick results.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My first EQ7 Quilt top done

Well there we go the top is done.  There are a few things that I still want to tidy up a bit.  But I'll save that for Friday.  What I learned - look closely at the pattern of the quilt.  While EQ7 had this as one block, I should have split it up into two blocks. This would have avoided the whole twelve pieces of material coming to one point.  That is really too much for my skill level.    So look closely and redesign the blocks if needed.  I learned that pinning really was important and that I really don't like it all that much.  I need to improve my pinning skills.  Use long, thin, sharp pins (watch the fingers - I still poke myself way too often), push the pin in parallel to the material, or as close as you can get and for the points I pinned just above by a thread or two.  Still lost a couple of points, but what can you do?  I never said I was an expert quilter, I just like to have fun and try new things.  

Now, to do a little Christmas shopping and think about dinner tomorrow and then back to my regularly scheduled snowman quilt that I have been avoiding.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Dang it, I should have paid more attention

I thought the EQ quilt was so cute and was so pleased that the checkered border worked correctly.  However as I was on the last row of the border (which I had on top (another dang it) I noticed that the checkered border does NOT line up so nicely.....ughhhhhhhh.  I'm leaving the checkered border but really need to move the the two squares in a row on the bottom side.  Time to redo, and I really wanted to have the quilt top done before I started things for Thanksgiving.....well may next year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pinning is really hard for me

I struggle with pinning, usually I don't because I actually get better results without pins.  However there are times when pinning is just necessary, like in the example of the baby quilt I'm working on.  I did manage to pin things correctly for the most part and I'm satisfied with the results.  By the time I got to block 9 I think I was pretty good at, still working on it though.  My poor fingers have been pinned and re-pinned many times.  Now that the blocks are done, lets see how I am at pinning the blocks together!!

I got a lot of good tips from the cyber quilters that really helped!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Made some coasters today, was suppose to be working on the snowman quilt

How could I work on a snowman quilt when we had tornado warnings today?  Really, tornado's in the mid west in late Nov???  So I worked on the baby quilt.   Oh it's coming along so nicely. All the embroidery is done and I should have some blocks ready tomorrow.   While I was piecing on one machine I made some coasters for my daughter on the other.  I think I just might keep these though I really like them.  the flowers are a from a design that I'm using for a wedding quilt for my nephew. That one is on hold until after the holidays.  There are just too many quick fun things to make this time of year.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another productive sewing weekend

How long can this last?  Two great sewing weekends in a row!  I finished step one for Bonnie's RRCB mystery quilt.  This is my first mystery quilt and the very excited about it.  I just can't wait for step 2.

I have been playing with EQ7, I've created dozens of quilts on the computer, now to make one real!  Starting with a baby quilt (I love making baby quilts) and the embroidery has started.  I'm using the left over blues from the snowman collector quilt for a baby boy quilt.  While the embroidery is going I'll be working on my snowman collector quilt.  I have all the blocks cut and fused, now just need to add the button hole stitching.  Lots to do while I wait for clue number 2.

Oh and I have the week off so there will be plenty of sewing this week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

EQ7 finally going to make a quilt!

I've created dozens of wonderful quilts on the computer, now it's time to turn the bits and bytes into something tangible.  I'll be making a baby quilt.  There will be embroidery in the big blue diamonds, very exciting.  I have the embroidery started and all the material.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Productive weekend!!

Wow what a productive weekend.  I finished 8 sets of coasters (nieces and nephews getting coasters for Christmas), the tops of two sets of place mats are done (siblings getting place mats for Christmas) and my first attempt at cathedral windows.  Someone sent another technique that I will try.  I want to master this and someday make a cathedral windows quilt, but I'm not quite there yet.  Since it was such a productive Saturday I have started on a holiday table runner for myself!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Learned about fabric decorating in 4D

Just learned about this and having some fun with it, not sure if I really like it but it's fun to experiment

Colts quilt completed

This is a surprise quilt for my grandson.  I don't normally like doing surprise quilts, that's a lot of work if someone is disappointed!!  But I think he'll like it.  And if he doesn't I do and I'm a colts fan too.!

Organized Thread

and here's the picture without the thread, just simple screws

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Organized Thread

I love organized thread.  My husband made these for me out of 1x3's and a whole lot of screws.  They work wonderfully.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Irish Stars

As you can see, I don't normally do traditionally pieced quilts, but this one I really liked.  I purchased the kit at A Pieceful Gathering in Cary, IL.  this is the first quilt that I quilted features.  I copied them on tear away stabilizer and then pinned and quilted.  Now that's one of those things you only  do once.  It took a very very long time to pull out the stabilizer.  But I do lover the feathers.  The next quilt I marked with chalk, and then started doing them free hand.  Sometimes you just have to jump.