Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Closing Out 2014 - Planning for 2015

As a wrap up for 2014, I have been taking note of the quilting projects completed for the year and what I hope to accomplish in 2015.  With the UFO challenge from my guild in 2014, I was happy to be able to finish 10 from my list.  Click this link to see photos.  In 2015 I would love to the last 7 from the 2014 list and those newly started and not yet finished. 
Also for 2014, other quilts were begun and finished.
-      6 for GCQ comfort quilts 
-      6 for SQG comfort quilts
-      1 gift from SQG
-      “Celtic Solstice” as gift to family member
-      “West Columbia Homestead” (JoAnn class sample) as gift
-      “Hole-in-Barn-Door” (JoAnn class sample) for SQG comfort quilt
-      “Pennant Love” JoAnn class sample

Last year I saw a blogger’s thread use count.  I decided to save the spool as I emptied one so that I could keep track of how much thread I used.  I counted this year’s collection and found that I emptied 32 spools of 225 yds. each, 2 spools of 350 yds., and  9 spools of 1200 yds. for a total of 18,700 yards of thread. I think it will be interesting to compare year to year. 

I don’t usually make New Year's resolutions but here are some quilting resolutions that I am thinking about.
1.     Donate those UFO's and fabric that I probably will never complete or use.
2.    Bring fruit or veggies to the next quilt retreat.
3.    Drink tons of water while I sew.
4.    Get up and walk around to break up your sewing time.
5.    Work on something that makes me happy.
6.    Compliment other quilters.
7.    Sew and quilt how I want, not how someone else does it.
8.    Play happy music or have a movie on as I quilt.
9.    Update my quilting scrapbook and keep it more up-to-date.

To close out the year I’m piecing scrappy blocks ( except same background fabric) for a graduation quilt gift.  The pattern is “Millennium Star” from Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth and Charlene Thode.  I like the blocks with more contrast better so some may not be used in this quilt.

I’m behind on the steps for the “Grand Illusion Mystery” and need to catch up.  Bonnie may be posting the finale this Friday.  

Hope you accomplish your goals in 2015. 
Happy New Year !

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

   I’m glad Bonnie suggested a Holiday Linky Party because I had forgotten to hang my Santa quilt for the holiday.  The Santa blocks were from a guild block exchange in 2005. 

Under the wall hanging is my grandmother's 1906 Singer machine.  Four generations have sewn on it and I'm looking forward to my granddaughters learning to sew on it. 

   My favorite Christmas quilt that I made is no longer in my possession.  It was a gift to my son and daughter-in-law. 

The pattern is “Dutch Puzzle” from a class taught by Anita Bowen.   This pattern is on my list to make again. 

    This evening I’m looking forward to the children’s Christmas pageant at church. For many years my family would to attend the 11 PM candlelight communion service but now I have trouble staying up that late.

Happy Christmas Eve

Hope Santa is good to you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Grand Illusion Step 4 and More Fun

    With all the holiday prep taken care of, it felt good to spend a relaxing day working on various projects.  I sewed Step 4 of the Grand Illusion Mystery. 

Because I have SO many projects already in process, I am only making ¼ of the units for each step until Bonnie’s reveal and then I will decide what size I want to finish.
I'm linking up with Bonnie's site so you can check out what others are doing on the Grand Illusion Mystery.  You can still join in. 

    I practiced more FMQ on my new machine and used a continuous point-to-point design using the seam intersections as points.

Hope you can tell from my rough drawing what I stitched. The top was pieced by Joan for SQG.

Today I plan to take stock of my unfinished projects, see what might be done quickly and plan for 2015.
Hope you can find some time to relax and sew. 

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.