Monday, December 15, 2014

Present for Myself

   Step 3 of the Grand Illusion Mystery looks very easy but I have not taken time to work on it.  So no progress to report there.     
Instead ...
My Christmas tree was put up and decorated today.  I wonder how it would look to hang ornaments on my Cathedral cactus. 
Packages have all been mailed or wrapped and cards addressed.  I still want to do some holiday baking but I feel ready for Christmas.

  I took time from holiday doings to practice on my new quilting machine.  It was a present to myself. 
To get the feel of it I meandered a couple of small charity/comfort quilts. Now maybe I am ready to try a more complicated design and a larger quilt.

Are you ready for the holiday?   
Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Work on “Grand Illusion” part 2

      Bonnie posted step 2 for the “Grand Illusion” Mystery.  This step uses pink, black and a neutral.  My blacks are scrappy,  but I chose one white and black print for my neutral instead of being scrappy.


      Of the 3 methods Bonnie gave instructions for, I chose the last only I am not sewing and saving the bonus triangles.  

Instead, they go into my bag to fill pet beds.  So far I have finished and given away 5.  I think it is a great use for scraps of batting, thread and fabric bits. 

 I’m linking up with Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion link-upparty.  Check out what others are doing. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

One Oops, Another Success

     I have been making Christmas gifts the past couple of days and don’t want to show because a to-be-recipient may see.  For some of the gifts I am using upholstery samples that I was given several years ago and that is how my “oops” happened.  The item was almost finished and I noticed a hole. 

How did I miss that when cutting it out?  I fused fleece to the back and cut from that side so I did not take a good look at the front until too late.  The upholstery samples have been super useful.  I just need to be more careful.  I have not used them all up yet, but I have made a dent.  If you are offered some, don’t turn them down.  

    I also made a dent in my quilting fabric scraps recently.  I enjoy free-piecing scraps to “make fabric” which is what I did for the mostly blue squares. ( It's a technique from Victoria Findlay Wolfe.)  This quilt top is currently 52” by 64”.  
As it is would be a good size for a comfort quilt, unless I decide to make it larger. My collection of tops waiting to be quilted is growing.  I better get busy quilting.

Back to working on Christmas gifts.  Are you ready?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Beginning on “Grand Illusion”

     One of my quilting weaknesses is choosing color so I am using Bonnie’s suggested pallet for the "Grand Illusion" mystery.  I shopped my stash as much as I could.  I did not have anything in teal so I had to really shop.  I had trouble there also but I found one that I like.  It is more aqua.
     I am starting slow and think these first units will be great leader/ender units as I work on other projects. 

    I’m linking up with Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion link-up party.  Check out what others are doing. 

                                             Baking gingerbread
     For years I have had sets of cutters for 2 sizes of gingerbread houses.   Saturday I was able to cut pieces for both sizes from one patch of dough.  I hope my granddaughters will work on one and the other will be good to decorate at the guild holiday party. 


     At the GCQ holiday party Tuesday, Dec. 9 we can bring a handmade pincushion to exchange.  Sat. I made this Cathedral Window type pincushion.  For our Nov. program Sharon Golden shared her collection of pincushions and Sandra shared several links for patterns.  I used directions at

Sandra sold small bags of crushed walnut shells for stuffing.  I added a few scrap pieces of cotton batting to help fill.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Playing with Made-Fabric

        While I am trying to decide what type of border to add next to my hexagon quilt,
   I spent time playing with made-fabric for another quilt border. 

Thinking that I wanted to create some free-formed nine patches, first I made-fabric by sewing together neutral strips of various widths.

Then I cut out 10.5” squares and layered them with whole 10.5” squares. Next I sliced twice, shuffled and sewed them back together.

Next I stacked and sliced again. 

Then shuffled and sewed.  I trimmed these to 6.5” squares.

I sewed together pieces that had been trimmed off to create more squares.

Here is the border on the top. 

      The center star was made using a technique called “fast-and-easy made-fabric” from Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s book 15 Minutes of Play: Improvisational Quilts on page 44. 

This top is about 48" by 54" so it is a good size for small lap or baby quilt and not too large for a wall-hanging.  
Hope you find 15 minutes or more to play with fabric. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Update on Projects

     As the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving this week and Christmas close behind, I am distracted by events and my work on quilting projects may be more erratic.  I took the time to finish piecing another child’s comfort quilt top.  It used all scraps.  Some irregular, some standard size cuts like 3 ½ squares and 2 ½” strips. I just sewed what I knew would make a 12” finished block.
 I actually have 4 more squares left which will be the start of another top. 

    I also enjoyed some time working on my made-fabric hexagon top. ( Check out the work of Victoria Findlay Wolfe.) I added a breaker border, round of made-fabric flying geese and another breaker border.  I want this quilt to be full or queen size so it needs a couple more rounds.  I am still searching or considering what new technique to try for the next round. 

     Friday after Thanksgiving is the special day if you are looking forward to seeing how Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt for this year will start.  I hope to find a few minutes to sew or quilt each day even if I don’t find time to post. 

Enjoy a wonderful day of Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

“Pennant Love” Quilt

     Today was very cold so it was the perfect day to stay inside and sew and quilt all day.  I just need to add the binding and my lap size class sample of “Pennant Love” will be complete.

This will be a 4 day class in February for JoAnn Fabrics.  I wanted to quilt with the walking foot since the class is mostly for beginners.   Marking the design for quilting was helpful. It did not take long. 

    I also finished piecing a child’s comfort quilt top. 
A while back Bonnie Hunter was making similar ones on Quilt Cam (July 30,2014) - the link also has  the video.  She called hers “Carolina Chain”.  I pieced light and dark 6” finished blocks using 2 ½” squares and 2 ½ by 4 ½” rectangles.
  I really like the on-point setting and these are great easy blocks for using scraps. I have a collection of pieces cut up into 2 ½” squares and 2 ½ by 4 ½” rectangles so this block was perfect.