2014 was a busy year

2014 is almost over and I think about what have I accomplished and how much fun I have had. I have some great friendships that are continuing to form; and am learning new things.

Here is a recap of 2014 projects most of which you will find the full story on the blog – NOTE: Some are still UNFINISHED PROJECTS !!

January  – cleaning up the chaos in the sewing room and sorting the scraps; arranging my containers and playing with hexi’s.

February brought a guild retreat where we did a “summer in the park” and a “one block wonder”. Both end 2014 as works in progress.
There was 1 senior quilt  and a bus trip to the Hampton Roads Quilt Show

March brought snow and daffodils; and string piecing blocks for the Guild President Quilt, more work on my Summer in the park, my Lisa bag and the beginnings of a memory quilt from t-shirts for my friend Karen. It also brought a surprise in the mail from AVIS !  I also took a trip to the Lancaster Quilt show.

April saw  the finish  & delivery of the t-shirt memory quilt; a 5 minute table runner and the Celebrate/Happy birthday bunting.  There was a great sit & sew with 3 quilt bees for 3 days where the table runner was the focus.

May  brought Guild “sewing with silk” class; and a 2014 UFO finish of my 9 patch cupcake quilt that has been hanging around since 2012.  Worked on a charity baby quilt in flannel for our bee; bound senior quilts with flanged binding; recycled leftover binding into fun hexi’s and made a baptismal banner for my granddaughter. (Lessons from the silk class and stabilizing fabric were very helpful!)  There was also a trip to a quilt show at the Dulles Expo Center.

June  – Another guild class and a FINISH. Class was Bill Kerr teaching his SNOWDRIFT pattern, using a curved template. I called mine FLOWERS in the Snow.  I did 2 blocks for Ebony Love designers challenge, and watched the flowers bloom in the garden. I made a BEATLE BAG for my sewing supplies and we fixed the webbing under the sofa!


July— brought fun in the pool and fun in the mail. I won a Funky Chicken pin cushion; and then made 6 more; using log cabin blocks. My chickens were Blue Hens!  I also fixed the hubby’s POOL chair, new fabric in a bright cheery color.  I spent most of the time working on scheduling speakers / instructors for the next 2 years for our quilt guild; having been elected to serve as Vice President/Programs.  LOTS of meetings over the summer.

August— I took another guild class and made the Crusty crab. The crab STILL needs binding!   I worked on 6 flannel baby quilts for our bee; quilting and binding tops that others had pieced; and made birthday gifts for a 2 year old! And then I went to California for nearly 3 weeks!

September I spent Labor Day in California; finishing up a painting projects for my sister -and then the SECRET PROJECT was started; a quilt for my sister to go in the purple bedroom!  I left a few UFO’s in California; the doors needed to be rehung and the hallway needed 1 more coat, and the door trim need to be done…..ran out of time….ooops.

October– The grandkids and parents came to visit from Congo!  We had fun together playing! We collected 3 suitcases full of school supplies for them to take back to a local school. Of course there were the monthly Quilt guild meetings, the Material Girls Quilt bee, and a 3 day sit & sew at the end of the month.  I had so many extra strips from the SECRET PROJECT, I decided to make ANOTHER log cabin for my sister’s great granddaughter.  (Still a UFO…more quilting to do).

November started with a guild class “wonderful watercolors” (another UFO) and a visit from my sister. I gave her 3 pillows for her birthday (LOG CABIN).  When she got home at the end of the month, her quilt was waiting for her! It was also National Model Railroad Month; so hubby and I did lots of model train activities together, visiting train shows; and various layouts in Pennsylvania. I also spent the month promoting the Delmarva Model Railroad Club Open houses. I spent Thanksgiving weekend selling raffle tickets at the club to help out. And of course, started the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.  I also got very excited about finding panels for the MODA FLATS Dolls.

December started with another Model Railroad Open; and the “finish the gifts” rush.  Only previous photo’s here; as that box hasn’t arrive in Congo; so I won’t spoil the surprises.  I of course have been working on the Grand Illusion and have been blogging along all month about that.  So; check the recent posts for photos. And, lastly; my hexi project.  I started doing English Paper piecing Hexi’s (1″) in December last year, just to fill time in the evening. Well; I have made a few, and now am starting to think about what I will do with them NEXT year! Time to come up with a pattern!

Five minute block…4 days later

I finished a table runner today!!! Yeah for the first finish of MAY !!
I started this on April 29th; a 5 minute block pattern by Suzanne McNeill.  (http://blog.suzannemcneill.com/2012/05/16/5-minute-blocks.aspx)  ….so after 3 solid days of sewing at my quilt bees “sit & sew”; and an afternoon dedicated at home, I have taken my 5 minute block and  made it into the table runner you see below!

Note: this table runner is finished with Susies Magic Binding — (That is the little piped edge next to the binding that makes it so special)   Tutorial link: http://www.52quilts.com/2012/05/tuesday-tutorial-susies-magic-binding.html

If the fabric looks familiar, that is because it is made with “left over fabric” from my Happy Birthday / Celebrate Bunting —  posted about here: https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/celebrate-happ…unting-wrap-up/



Our Quilt Bee sit & sew was awesome. We were each given an 8 foot table to work on, there were irons available and lots of mentoring. The church where we were located provided a big lunch everyday, so we were well cared for.  We did a bit of show and tell every day, and there were some tutorials.  The table runner was an option, and I thought I had the perfect fabric to use.  (Yes, dear daughter, the table runner will be mailed with the bunting, but not until after I show it off at the Quilt Guild meeting on Monday).  (I demo’d the binding that is on this table runner!)

I got one UFO layered up and pin basted, so I will be working on it’s quilting. I took 4 UFO’s with me, and spent so much time on this table runner, that I never got to them.  The UFO’s are a result of 2 classes I took in 2012 & 2013. In those classes we started a new project every week, and I never got back to the project from the previous week. The thing that was holding me back was uncertainty.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with a small quilt (36 x 36 ).  I have come to the conclusion in the last 14 months that small is ok.  I am thinking wall hangings!  I love the fabric of EACH of them so much, I can’t bear to part with any of them.

While at our sit and sew,  I took possesion of 2 of our Senior Quilts for church from a Bee member who donated her long-arm quilting skills.  Next up is to create some binding for those quilts, as they are due to be presented to the graduates in 3 weeks.

Life is busy; lots of sewing going on! Don’t mind the dust bunnies…the cats are shedding and so is the dog.  Time to fix dinner….happy stitching!

Celebrate – Happy Birthday Bunting wrap up

The project is complete! 

Background – Used my 12″ square up ruler to cut my triangles.  This gave a triangle that was 1 6″ across the top.  (I’m sure there is a fancy math name for that side of the angle….)  I made 3 4 triangles out of 2 fabrics.  I chose my letters from the skiptomylou.org website.  I chose the triangle size based on the size of the letters. 

Project process:

Each of the triangles has medium weight fusible (Pellon # 808 craft fuse) iron on backing.  This gives the quilting cotton fabric stiffness.  The letters were appliquéd on, also using a fusible product, Wonder Under.  I traced my letters onto the fusible product in a mirror image, then ironed the sheet of wonder-under to the back of my fabric, and cut the letters out.  Cool trick I learned from my quilt friend Barbara; I took my clear acrylic table for my Janome, put a small LED OTT LITE under it, and used it as a light box. Made tracing the letters quite easy.  (Did have a couple of “do-over” when I forgot to mirror image the letter. Doesn’t matter with the I or the T, but certainly would matter if I ended up with a backwards R or B !!   After I ironed the letter on the triangles, I top stitched using an appliqué stitch on my Janome.  I have a Janome 8900 and used stitch 47 and stitch 51.  When I did the CELEBRATE (in the brown circles) I used the standard settings; which was 4.0 width.  After reading my Wendy’s bog I adjusted the setting to a much narrower width.  So, the Happy Birthday stitched out at 2.0. 

I cut 9 strips of fabric 3.5″ wide for the binding & ties.  I folded the edges to the center making my own “double fold” binding.  I overlapped the triangle points (using my 8.5″ ruler between the triangles) to “shorten” the overall length of the bunting.  (17 triangles x 16″ is 22.6 feet of bunting!).  As it is, the bunting, without ties is 206″ long  —- 17 feet!  I put longer ties on the ends, and added 3 additional sets of ties across the top of the bunting.  If they aren’t needed, they can be “tied in a bow” at the top of the bunting. 

This was a fun project to make.  I had to engage the brain when I was thinking about the layout of the letters.  I originally laid the letters out on a spreadsheet, and played with the spacing etc.  Having a chance to “sleep on it”, I came out to the sewing room and re-arranged the letters for the “back side”.  Had I done it the way I had originally planned, the letters on the back side would have spelled out ETARBELEC….not CELEBRATE.  Glad I slept on that thought!

All in all it was a fun project. DO-OVERS:  Keep it simple and don’t try to do a reversible.  The original concept was CELEBRATE – 9 letters; 9 triangles. Because I went a little nuts, and decided to do HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the back, we ended up with 17 triangles. I hope wherever my daughter lives in the future, she has room for a GIANT bunting.  It looks pretty good on my porch!  So, time to pack it in a box and ship it out!  Middle grandchild has a birthday soon…so there may be some use for it. Luckily, it stores pretty flat and doesn’t take up a lot of room in between birthdays and other times of celebration.

Celebrate – Happy Birthday Progress report # 2

Well…the decision is final…it WILL be C E L E B R A T E….and on the flip side…since I am making it…it WILL be H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y ..
Got all the stitching done for the Celebrate, and have all my letters cut out for Happy Birthday. Of course, today, when I was tracing the letters, I forgot to flip the B & the P and the R…and had to “re-do” them to a mirror image….I was going high speed…and was more worried about which colors I was using for which letters…. Nothing like a minor glitch. Was glad I only goofed up 3 letters, as my supply of wonder-under is almost gone.

I still need to cut some more interfacing to go behind the H.B. triangles. The quilters cotton is just to flimsy with out the interfacing on the front and back triangles. Did the “c” and got it turned easily with the interfacing on both pieces. I left the top of the triangle open for turning. It will get enclosed in the tie fabric anyway. Had to make myself a little “diagram” so I don’t sew the wrong letters back to back….  I am also alternating the fabrics; polka dot and stripes to make it more interesting.
Here is a quick peak at an early stage this afternoon.wpid-fb_img_13981043443728689.jpgwpid-fb_img_13981043946985448.jpg

If you zoomed in the T  you will see I had some trouble making the corners turn.  I got better as I went along.  So, my darling daughter, when she recieves this bunting, will know that it is NOT perfect, like me.  But it is done with love, and I am learning as I go.  And of course, now that I have done this, I have read a blog post with tips and techniques from Wendy Sheppherd’s blog :  Ivory Spring — http://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/tell-all-applique-tips/   Love the information she presents and the techniques!!

Thought I would finish today, but forgot how long it takes to trace out the letters, press them to the fabric, cut them all out.  (DEADLINE FOR MAKING DINNER interrupted the sewing project. )Maybe tomorrow afternoon.  Deadline for mailing is looming.  Thinking how I can manage part 2 of this project with remaining fabric….spiral hanging decorations.  To be continued…………

Happy Stitching.