Sewing like crazy!

Wow; today has been a full on sewing day!  I went up to church at 9 am, and worked until noon; and then this afternoon from about 3:30 until nearly 7.  Todays project – the beginning of a “Senior Quilt”.  This is a project I chaired for 5 years, and now someone else is “in charge”. Yippeeeeee !!!!

I showed up with my machine in the tote, collected a ziplock filled with colorful 8 1/2″ squares (ALREADY CUT…how cool is that); and I sat down and started putting them together, a neutral block and a colorful block.  Got all 80 together in pairs, and put the machine away; got out the iron and set the seams and pressed them open. By noon, I had them packed up and after one “quick stop” at the local sewing center, I was headed home. 

(Somehow I had lost my “O” foot for my new Janome. That foot is the 1/4 ” foot with the guide along the side.  Secured a replacement.)  

When I got back home, I took care of some household business (grilled cheese sandwiches for the hubby and self) and got on to organizing the blocks into some sort of order.  Before I could lay them out, I had to “remove” my one-block wonder blocks (29), and my “summer in the park” blocks (60) from the design wall.  (Did I mention that I built about 35 summer in the park blocks in the last 3 days??)

Senior Quilt 2014 - final layout

Senior Quilt 2014 – final layout

Here is the final layout for my Senior Quilt 2014; and you may note that I have them sewn (and pressed) now into 4 patches.  I figure tomorrow afternoon I can get the rest of it together in a few hours.  My layout is our “classic” pattern. A bit boring, but I just didn’t want to expend too many brain cells doing something different.

I did play around a bit with the fabrics; made a few extra blocks to get a nice “color” balance. Hopefully the colors will show when you click on the photo.  I am not fond of the light green or the browns; but LOVE the stripes!!.

The bible verse in the upper left corner I stitched out on my Brother embroidery machine earlier in the month.  Many thanks to  www.designsbyjuju.com !! She has many wonderful designs on her website for sale; and has felt called to share Bible verses for FREE!!!

The photo on the bottom right of the quilt is one I took when I began coordinating the project ; and I printed it on the fabric, using freezer paper, bubble jet wash & bubble jet set process.

All in all; a good day sewing today! (And yesterday and the day before too!!)  If you are counting, this makes unfinished project # 4 for February…..yes, the t-shirt project is still on the layout table waiting on the ruler, the Summer in the Park is waiting on the desk, for me to cut more strips to make more blocks; and the One Block Wonder is on the layout table waiting for more hexies to be cut too.  AND …. I have the fabric out to do a Happy Birthday Banner project for my daughter. Still thinking about how I am going to make it; but it doesn’t count as unfinished; it is in the UnSTARTED column!!!

So; how many projects do you work on at any given time?

Keep on stitching…..

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One Block Wonder on the Wall

I completed 29 One Block Wonder hexagons at my quilt retreat. Today, I got my things unpacked and put away from the adventure, and got the blocks out. They are all pressed and hanging on the design wall.  I’m not sure what my end game is going to be with them, a table runner or something larger.  If I go larger, then I have a few more to cut and sew.

29 blocks on my design wall

29 blocks on my design wall

Be sure to click on the photo for a bigger view…the detail of the blocks shows so much better if you do!

After I got them all ironed and hung, I moved on to the Summer in the Park we started, and finished cutting 3 more strips into blocks.  I am looking forward to working with them and getting a look at them on the design wall too.  I know I have to make a few more strip sets!  I had some kind of trouble cutting these blocks during the retreat and just STOPPED before I ruined a whole lot of fabric!  Today, I just zipped right along, and they cut very easily.  Who knows…but I think it’s like playing the slots…if you are loosing …it is time to quit! Same goes for quilting, if the seam ripper comes out to often, it is time for a break, and heaven forbid when you make the cuts and they are too SMALL….

It was fun to work through both projects that I started last week.  I will probably put both away while I dig into a box of shirts sent by a friend and start her dad’s memory quilt. I promised “after Christmas” and she is on my list at # 1.

Happy stitching!

My One Block Wonder fabric choice

I was remiss yesterday when I posted a photo of my One Block Wonder Hexagons without posting the fabric that they were cut from.

Below is the fabric I chose for the retreat project.  

Quilt retreat project - One block wonder fabric. The print was cut into triangles to be made into hexagons. The blue is my setting triangle fabric.

Quilt retreat project – One block wonder fabric. The print was cut into triangles to be made into hexagons. The blue is my setting triangle fabric.

This is my OBW; with a small Asian fabric in green; grey and blue with a touch of gold and tan.
This is my OBW; with a small Asian fabric in green; grey and blue with a touch of gold and tan.

 

I have 29 Hexagons cut and sewn into 3’s. Will be cutting another 2 strips of my fabric soon to make more !

Happy Stitching!

 

Fun at Ocean Waves Quilt retreat

I feel so lucky to have been able to spend a few days with 25 other women from Ocean Waves Quilt Guild at a retreat in Ocean City Maryland.  We stayed at the Dunes Manor Hotel, and were treated with such  courtesy by the staff.  Wonderful food; great desserts; all included in our fee for the retreat.  The hotel had afternoon tea each day; happy hour; and a lovely lady who played the grand piano in the middle of the lobby; and engaged everyone in a sing-a-long!  She passed out song books and everyone nearby found a place to sit and sing old favorites.

We did a lot of sewing between Wednesday noon and Friday noon.   We worked on two patterns – Summer in the Park and One Block Wonders.

Missouri Star Quilt Company has a video on the Summer in the Park – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5WgTyqB8Pc

The pattern can be found at http://englandstreet.blogspot.com/2012/10/summer-in-park-free-jelly-roll-pattern.html

The One Block Wonders pattern can be found in Maxine Rosenthals book – available here – http://www.amazon.com/One-Block-Wonders-Fabric-One-kind/dp/1571203222

I haven’t taken any photos yet of my Summer in the Park block.  I want to get a few more done before I do, so there is more to see.  Will post them when I get some more finished.

I did get only one photo of my OBW blocks when the instructor had them up on her design wall for demo purposes.    I made one of these quilts in the past, for my granddaughter and was looking forward to doing it again, and doing a much better job.  I was second guessing my fabric choice for a couple of days prior to the retreat, thinking the pattern was not big enough; bold enough etc.  I had an 8 1/2″ repeat, and that was the MINIMUM required.  Well, after I saw them on the design wall, I knew it was going to be ok!!  I have 29 of the blocks made, and will be cutting more fabric.

Enjoy the pictures of our retreat!

This is my OBW; with a small Asian fabric in green; grey and blue with a touch of gold and tan.

This is my OBW; with a small Asian fabric in green; grey and blue with a touch of gold and tan.

Judy used an Asian fabric that had a coral base. She cut her's larger than mine.

Judy used an Asian fabric that had a coral base. She cut her’s larger than mine.

Barbara use a fabric that was feathers in 3 colors.

Barbara use a fabric that was feathers in 3 colors.

This is Linda's  project.  She is thinking about adding the CUBES that she found in the book.

This is Linda’s project. She is thinking about adding the CUBES that she found in the book.

Cindy cut her OBW blocks from a panel. The photo shows the original fabric with her blocks.

Cindy cut her OBW blocks from a panel. The photo shows the original fabric with her blocks.

This is bold and bright. (Forgot who it belonged to tho....ooops)

This is bold and bright. (Forgot who it belonged to tho….ooops)

My table mates - Rita and Judy. They were both on the retreat committee and did a great job.  Fun getting to know them both.

My table mates – Rita and Judy. They were both on the retreat committee and did a great job. Fun getting to know them both. The view out the window is the deck, dunes and beach!! Fun to sit and look up at the waves!

The sunrise from our hotel room !!! While the rest of the Northeast was battling snow, we woke up to this!! Love the mid-Atlantic!

The sunrise from our hotel room !!! While the rest of the Northeast was battling snow, we woke up to this!! Love the mid-Atlantic!

My family knows how much I like to cruise, but the trip Dunes Manor Hotel,(http://dunesmanor.com/) an ocean front hotel for a quilt retreat was the next best thing. (The really cool thing is I had only a 35 minute drive to get there!!!)

I had a great time sharing and learning with 25 other ladies from our guild. I love being in the guild, and think the committee from Ocean Waves Quilt Guild ( http://oceanwavesquiltguild.org/ ) picked the perfect setting for our retreat!  I can’t wait to go again!

Happy stitching!

Happy New Year

Hoping you had as lovely a New Year as I did!

(special note – this post has LOTS of links that take you out of WordPress – be sure to “right click” and open in a new tab or window)

My hubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary New Years Eve by going out to an early dinner and then to the movies. We have never been to the movies together, so it was a new event!  I love going out to the movies and we had a lovely time. We saw Saving Mr. Banks.  Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks starred in the movie produced by Disney & BBC.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saving_Mr._Banks ) I just want to say; if you grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and remember Mary Poppins as a child, you will be very surprised by the story behind the film.  This was a lovely film, and worth your time and money to go and see it.   I might actually get my hubby out to the theater again, since he now qualifies for the “senior” discount!  (He would much rather wait and see something at home on the television…but I love to go out!)

December was a busy time for me, getting the shopping and wrapping and shipping taken care of for Christmas. My husband belongs to a Model Railroad Club that has their annual Open House over 4 weekends, beginning in November and running through the upcoming weekend. It means two full days out of the house each weekend, on his only days off; and of course, I was drafted years ago to “greet” visitors and “sell” raffle tickets at the front door.  If you are in the Mid Atlantic area, be sure and come out for an afternoon of train watching!  Check out  http://www.delmarvamodelrailroadclub.org/events.html or on Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/DMRRC  We had a visitor at the club this weekend that put up some great photo’s too on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.692926050727709.1073741888.182368271783492&type=3

Meanwhile in December, I took a fast trip to Nevada to help my baby sister for a week as she recovered from a total knee replacement. Don’t get me started about health insurance and them releasing her home alone after 1 week in hospital/rehab!! Poor dear is suffering from infections (3 so far) and can’t get back to work for at least another month. We had a wonderful time visiting in between all the pain and agony the poor dear was incurring.

While I was there, I made a visit to her local quilt shop – Fiddlesticks Quilt Shop – http://fiddlesticksquilts.com/ .  They are located in the historic district of Boulder City Nevada in what was originally the hardware store.  I chatted with the very pleasant owner, who help me gather some things for ‘hand work’ while I traveled. I came away with a “scrap pack” of 5″ squares and some 1″ English Paper piecing Hexi’s. A quick trip down the street to the local Ace Hardware resulted in a package of scissors, and I was all set to commence building hexi’s.  I cut the 5″ squares into quarters, and got busy.  I had taken a small kit with me; thread, needles but no scissors due to airline rules. I learned that you can cut thread with the cutter on your DENTAL FLOSS container!  I had a fun time stitching in the evenings while she slept and on the flights home too. Apparently straight pins ARE allowed on the planes.

Hexis from 5" squares

Hexis from 5″ squares

Mad about Hexi'smy flower got a little lost with so many patterns

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Now that I have all these hexi’s; and paper to make more, what shall I do with them????  I was looking for some “solid” patterns to build in and around the ones I have already made so the flower “shows”.   I cut some solid red and blue scraps to surround the 10 flowers I built.  I really should find a pattern, but I am just having fun stitching in the evening by hand while I watch TV with the hubby.  (Secret is to prepare your 2.5″ squares of fabric ahead of time. ) Using up the scraps~!!~

Well…NEW Projects –( really; that is why you read my blog….I know…the rest is just my need to chatter about dribble)

I took one hexi “flower” and appliqued it to a larger piece of fabric and then turned it into a pin cushion.  I had read on Bonnie Hunter’s blog about filling with crushed English Walnut shells, so that required a trip to the local Pet Smart. I came away with the ONLY size bag they had, nearly 14 pounds.  I think I will have enough to fill lots of pin cushion in my lifetime!  (Looking for other ideas!!)  Of course, it was a gift for Christmas, and I totally forgot to take a picture, and now it is gone!

I’ve acquired some fabric for future projects; as well as some LOVELY African Waxed Print fabric from my daughter for Christmas!

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African Wax Cotton Fabric – about 5 yards in each roll of fabric; 44″ wide

I am not sure what to make with the African fabric yet, but it will come to me.  Meanwhile, it was fun to unroll and measure and refold to fit in my stacks of fabric.

If you have ever worked with this fabric, I would LOVE to hear from you! I want to know how well the dye is set; should I pre-wash, etc?

 

My Project list is very long!!!

Celebration project

Celebration project

My daughter wants a birthday /celebration banner & maybe table runner/place mats along with some spiral swirly decorations, and I thought this would be fun, gender neutral fabric for that project.  I’ve got some pattern ideas mulling around in my head.  Thinking about cutting out the letters for Happy Birthday and dreaming I had a fancy machine to do that with (like that new one from Brother called Scan and Cut).  I probably will use my Embroidery Machine from Brother and do my letters with it. Lots to think about there!!  (Next birthday at her house is late February, with 2 week shipping time…so I am going to put it near the top of the list)  When I saw this strip and dot coordinated fabric, I knew it was just what my daughter had in mind!

Quilt retreat project # 1 Summer in the Park/Summer at the Beach

Quilt retreat project # 1 Summer in the Park/Summer at the Beach

I originally bought this fabric for the celebration project, then came across the multi color . So, I revamped my project stacks and will use this for the retreat project.  This will make up into a very “modern” looking quilt and I just love the polka dots I chose for the back!

The Summer project pattern can be found at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5shkCRirc5SSVczbXVDLVVjemc/edit

and there is a video for the project from Missouri Star on You Tube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5WgTyqB8Pc

Quilt retreat project #2 -  One block wonder fabric

Quilt retreat project # 2 – One block wonder fabric

I did one One Block Wonder in 2012, right about the time I retired.  I have Maxine Rosenthal’s books ( http://www.amazon.com/One-Block-Wonders-Fabric-One-kind/dp/1571203222) and the rulers, so I thought this will be some wonderful fabric.  I just hope I got the “right” repeat in my fabric.  I love the oriental fabrics, and this should make up beautifully.  Retreat is in February, so more about that later.

I just love this new Block of the Month project from Pat Sloan called Globetrotting.  It is just getting underway and you can find the info at  http://www.freequiltpatterns.info/block-one—washington-dc.htm    I want to use my Bobbins and Bits, but haven’t wrapped my brain around how to use the few pieces of fabric I already have of that line, along with the charm packs, instead of going out and buying MORE fabric. (I know….I want to really, but I am resisting….)  It is on my “list” of just for me projects; but down at the bottom.

Bobbins and Bits

Pat Sloan Pattern - Globetrotting Block of the Month

Pat Sloan Pattern – Globetrotting Block of the Month

So; that is all the fun stuff to look at.  I have been making lists, and making stacks of fabric; and sewing in the house by hand. My sewing room could only get to 58 degrees yesterday when we had a temperature of 8. It is above the unheated garage and it just could not hold the temp with the two small heaters I had going.  Today, we just broke 33 degrees at nearly noon, so I plan to bundle up and go play for a bit.

My project lists starts with repairing my grandpuppies canvas beds; fixing their chew toys; and then starting on “memory quilt” for a friend, made from her father’s shirts.  I haven’t even unpacked that box of shirts yet to look.  Then it just goes and goes from there.  I think I am up to 17 on the list!!  (And Globetrotting is not even on the “written list” yet.  I collected a bunch of fabrics from my stash to do Bonnie Hunters Mystery Quilt Celtic Solstice; but haven’t cut 1 thing. It took about 3 weeks to get the specialty rulers so I will add that to my list as well.

I’m having fun starting things for the new year, and still have a bunch to finish from last year!  I guess that is the nature of the hobby! My resolution this year is to CLEAN UP as I go – a bit better than last year!

Happy stitching!