Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quilt Sandwiched Plus Holiday Figure

     My sister and I made blocks for this quilt that will be a graduation present in December.  It is on my UFO list.  She put it together and added the border so I get to quilt it.  I pieced the back a couple of days ago and hoped I would get it sandwiched Monday.  I usually like to sandwich large quilts at church on the fellowship hall floor.  I could not do that the past few days or tomorrow so I moved my living room furniture and did it at home this evening.  It is so large I could not get a picture of the whole thing not standing on a ladder. 

   Have you heard of Beltznickel?  This morning at church quilt group, Beverley brought hers to show us.  She made it when she was working on a living history farm up north.  He is an 18th century Christmas character  and comes from the Pennsylvania German tradition. 

You can find out more at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Holiday Projects

     I had planned to get a large quilt project sandwiched today; but after arriving home from taking my mother for a doctor's appointment, I decided to start something simple first.  I made a couple more Christmas pillowcases and then made a set of holiday aprons.  I bought the matching kits for aprons to fit mother, daughter and doll. I thought they were cute and they were easy to sew. 

Tomorrow after church sew day I will get the quilt sandwiched. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More Christmas Pillowcases

    After family left this morning, I gathered sheets and towels.  While they were washing, I made 4 more Christmas pillowcases.   The technique for no raw seams is really nice and simple.  You can download the pdf of directions at
I still have a stash of holiday fabric but Friday morning my sister and I went in search of holiday fabric sales especially to make more pillowcases.  I plan to use up most of what I purchased Friday so not much will be added to the stash. I may just have to make some for myself.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Pillowcases

    Irene and and I spent a couple of hours last night sewing Christmas pillowcases.  We are giving a small quilt to each child in one family and decided that instead of using wrapping paper, we would pack each quilt in a Christmas pillowcase.  It was good to pull out my holiday stash of fabric and now I am inspired to make some more holiday pillowcases. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

More Lego Blocks

       I need some backing fabric before I can sandwich a large quilt project so I decided to work some on my Lego blocks.  This is my version using leftover 2 ½” strips and pieces.  I have 12 blocks pieced and still have many pieces left so this quilt will grow some more. 

       I took a break to stiffen snowflakes.  My 91 year old mother has recently finished crocheting 25 snowflakes.  The directions give 4 options for stiffening them.  I bought a bottle of  “Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid” at Joann Fabrics.  It is similar to white glue which was another one of the options suggested.  I had to dip a snowflake in the liquid ( I thinned it some), squeeze it out and pin it flat on foam board covered with plastic wrap.  I have only done half.  I thought I would see how these turn out before I do the rest and it takes LOTS of pins.  I’ll finish the others tomorrow. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Little Comfort Quilt

      Last evening I started quilting on this little comfort quilt for my church quilt group and I finished today.  The center panel is cheater fabric and the outer part was pieced.   I cut the kit, someone else pieced and then I got it back to quilt.  I used the walking foot to stitch cross-hatching in the outer part and for the sashing in the inner panel.  I did free-motion quilting of hearts in the red inner border and around each object in the cheater blocks.   I tried a making a curl in the corners for a transition between the hearts.  I don’t like how it looks but I hope no one will care. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Small Projects - Potholders

      Tuesday was a great GCQ guild meeting.  Members who participated in the Nov. challenge showed their work.  I’m sorry I did not take photos of them.  Projects ranged from single blocks to complete table runners and small quilts. The theme was “international”.  I paper-pieced a Japanese girl.  At this time I don’t have plans for her. 

 Show and tell was great as usual.  We have so many talented ladies.  The program was an art quilt trunk show from 2 members.  They shared some of their early pieces and recent work. It was very nice. 

      Today I took a little time for some yard work and then finished another quilt project that will be a Christmas present so I won’t show it.  Then I played with scraps and made 2 potholders.  

       I spent some time on a fabric hunt.  My granddaughter has requested that I make her a sparkly twirl-ly dress that she can wear to preschool.  I was hoping to find some sparkly fabric that could be machine washed.  Almost everything I found said to hand wash or dry clean.  I did find one that said to use a cold wash and did not specify by hand.  I’m still searching.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Spy Quilt Finished

  This morning I finished sewing the binding on this I Spy quilt.  It is made from units like the Disappearing Nine Patch with pink accent blocks.  I quilted a simple diagonal grid using the walking foot.  Now it needs a label and it will ready to be given as a Christmas gift.

I have a couple more that need to be finished before Christmas so I better get busy.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Scrappy Bargello Finished

      This morning I finished sewing the binding on the scrappy bargello quilt.  After I finish a couple of other projects I hope to make another to keep for myself.  This one goes to the VA Hospice unit.

In the inner borders I practiced some free-motion writing and a simple hearts border.  I hope the words will be meaningful to the VA patients who see them.

     While at the GA Quilt show I purchased a quilt chest from Kerry's Kollectibles.  There was a mix up and I did not get to bring it home.  Friday it arrived.  It is gorgeous.  I look forward to filling it with lovely quilts. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Afternoon of Quilting

     I have spent many hours today quilting on the scrappy bargello quilt. I have to make myself take a break about every hour.  

As you can see on the back, I am meandering except I stitched-in-the-ditch around the inner border so that after the other quilting is finished, I will go back and do some special quilting in that area.  The quilting is over half finished so I should finish tomorrow. 

I have several projects waiting that need to be done before Christmas.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Sew Day

     This was sew day for my church quilt group.  It was nice to have a new member join us today. She is a retired teacher.  I sandwiched the large scrappy bargello quilt so tomorrow I hope to start quilting it.  Then I cut some pieces of 2 ½” strips into 2 ½” squares, 4 ½”, 6 ½”, and 8 ½” rectangles.  I’m using 2 ½” strips for my version of Lego blocks instead of 1 ½” strips like Tonya and the antique one.
Someone has also called this design “compost blocks”.  They are very easy.  I chain pieced strips at equal 12”  and then join strips to make the 12” block.

       When I got home, I took a break and then I finished the 4 Pineapple placemats that were somebody’s UFO (not mine).   They may become a present for someone.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Favorites from Houston Quilt Show

       At the Houston International Quilt Festival, besides the competition quilts, there were many special quilt exhibits most of which we were not allowed to take photos.  Of the competition quilts I spent more time looking at the more traditional quilts and usually my favorites were not the judges favorites.      
      In the Traditional Appliqué category I especially enjoyed 2, which also happened to be the type of class I took. 
The 2nd place winner in that group was “Euphoria” by Deborah Kemball.  She happened to be standing by her quilt when I went by.  She was answering questions and telling about her quilt and process.  She also had fliers for her pattern book.

In the same group was “Mi Amor”, another Balitmore album quilt.  Here are a couple of close up photos.

   There were many special exhibits and I don’t have a record from which of those this next quilt came.  I think it attracted my attention because of the crumb piecing technique.   The quilt is “Green Tea” by Helena Scheffer from Quebec, Canada.  I paid special attention to the quilting.  Notice the quilted outline of a large tea leaf. 

     The show was dominated by art quilts heavily machine quilted and/or with a lot of crystals added.   The top winners fit mostly that description.  They were not my favorites.   

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Home from International Quilt Festival

    We left for Houston on Wednesday and arrived home this afternoon.  Two friends and I went to the International Quilt Festival for the first time. 

        I am tired and have some sore leg muscles but thought I would make a short post.  The convention center was a huge place and we did a lot of walking and standing.  There were almost 1000 vendors.  Many did not seem to be quilt related.  If I were an art quilter, perhaps I would appreciate the variety of “stuff” available. 

     We each took a different class.  I chose hand appliqué.  Here are some of my materials at 9 AM at the beginning of class. 

Here is my block at 5 PM at the end of class.  Notice all the pins in the ribbon star.  None is stitched down. 

 There is MUCH that has to be done before this block is complete.  I hope this is not headed to be another UFO.   That seems to be a big problem with taking classes.  Do you ever finish the project after you leave?

Tomorrow I will share some more about the show.