Friday, December 28, 2012

Thinking About Embellishing

As a New Years present, all members (even free registered members) of The Quilt Show can see Show 402 with Sue Nickels through January 1.


I watched it today.  In one segment Ricky Tims demostrates embellishing a quilt top with decorative machine stitches.  I started thinking about adding some to the butterflies quilt top.   Sue Nickels said she uses starch as a stabilizer when adding decorative stitches to background fabric so I could try that as well instead of a tear-away.  
If you are registered, I hope before the end of December you will check out the free shows on The Quilt Show.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Butterflies Top Done

     As this year 2012 draws closer to the end I am thinking of all I still have on my  to-do list.  I have finished adding simple borders to the butterflies so that is one more top ready to be quilted.

It is 50 by 62" so is a fair size lap quilt. I don't have a particular recipient in mind.  Would it need to go to a girl or woman?  I wonder if some men like butterflies.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


     I am on a mission to use up orphan blocks and finish UFOs.   I had 2 butterfly blocks left over from a quilt my sister and I made a couple of years ago for a niece.   I decided to make a few more to have enough for a small lap quilt.   I used the sew and flip method to add background and form the wings.  Only problem, I did not pay attention.  After I had trimmed the background away on 8 wings, I found that I had added the large triangle in the wrong corner of the rectangles.  There was no way to correct what I had done so I decided to use them anyway.  Nature is not perfect so why do my butterflies have to be.  Can you pick out the butterflies with the strange wings?  This part is all together.  I plan to add a simple border and I will have another quilt top to be quilted.   

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ready for Christmas

    All Christmas projects have been completed and I'm ready for Christmas.
I made several "Wonder Wallets" for presents.  They are easy.

After our big family gathering Friday evening, Saturday  and Sunday I found some time to finish piecing another adult comfort top from pieces left by a guild member who passed away this year.

I hope everyone has a Wonderful Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Another Top Together

  Today I appliqued raw edge leaves for the flowers and I  like the addition.

After I choose a backing, I will have at least 5 tops to be quilted.  With family gatherings between now and Christmas, I probably will wait until after Christmas to actually do some quilting.
    I hope everyone enjoys a holiday of  peace and love.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It Just Kept Growing

      I thought I would just make the 12 blocks and have a small charity quilt.

When I was reading quilt blogs, I saw an interesting border idea that I decided would go with these blocks.  As I added the border of bright 2 ½” strips, I also added another pieced yellow border.  With the borders, the quilt top measured 52 by 64”.

I figured with an additional 4 inch border the quilt would be a good size adult lap quilt at 60 by 72”.  I went searching in my stash and found a fabric of small bright multi-colored squares and this is how the top looks now. 

I still need to appliquĆ© leaves.  I plan to use 4 green fabrics leftover from my daughter-in-laws spring floral pinwheel quilt.  I will cut out a bunch of leaves and then I can play with where they will look best.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Progress on UFO

    I finished Christmas gifts and last package in the mail so last night I pulled out a UFO.   Some time about 2007 my sister's quilt group swapped blocks by the following pattern.  I made 4 sample blocks and tried to get my guild bee interested by had no takers so my 4 blocks sat.  I decided to make 8 more to have enough for a lap quilt. Pat Sloan shared the project information in the April 2006 "McCall's Quilting".
These are raw edge appliqued and I used some fancy stitches available on my sewing machine.
The flower pieces are appliqued to the background.

Then the blocks are cut into 4 parts.

Then they were switched and resewn into blocks.

I used a little water and a chenille brush to fray the edges.

The pattern has a leaf that I do plan to add. 

I just had to add a photo of my sister's finished quilt in her guild show the past fall.
Notice the butterflies made from 2 parts.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Stocking

    My youngest granddaughter needed a Christmas stocking so that was my task today.  I have made each member of her family a stocking.  I still have the pattern from when I made a stocking for her father, my oldest son. The original stocking was out of felt. Years later I made it over using the same design, only I used fabric that I quilted.  Here is Lily's stocking which will go in the mail soon.

I have also made a few Christmas presents; but because I don't want to spoil the surprise, I will not post photos or tell about them now. I still have at least one more to make.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

String Hearts Finished

My bright String Heart quilt is finished.  I finished quilting yesterday and finished hand sewing the binding today. 

I hope you can see some of the quilting.  I used the walking foot to stitch-in-the ditch outlining the hearts and borders.  I also used the walking foot to quilt the wobbly lines in the strip border. 

I hope you can see a little of the FMQ loops I did in the small borders.  I did FMQ loops and hearts in the yellow and FMQ heart shapes inside heart shapes on the red, blue and purple. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Comfort Quilt Top Done

     Last night I added the final columns to complete an adult comfort quilt top for GCQ.  The pieces and pattern were an unfinished project from Kathy H.  The pattern is “Rhapsody in Color” from Spring 2009 “Fabric Trends” except without borders. 

There are still pieces for another adult top.  I’m hoping someone else in guild will quilt this since I have 4 tops waiting to be quilted by me.  I also have other projects to sew before Christmas. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Two Tops Ready for Quilting

    Two UFOs are getting closer to being finished.
The string heart top and backing are ready to sandwich.

The blue sampler top is finished.  I just need to piece a backing.

    I am on a mission to finish projects and reduce my stash of fabrics.  I have been temped to start Bonnie Hunter's new mystery, Easy Street, but I have other quilts I have had on my list for a time that I want to make.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Blue Sampler

   I sewed sashing onto the blue sampler blocks today.  I have been looking through my stash for a suitable blue border with no luck.  A friend offer me the chance to look in her stash, but while I was out running errands I decided to buy fabric for the border.

I also bought a blue piece for the outer border of  the string heart quilt so tomorrow will be border sewing day.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

String Border On

  The string border for the string heart quilt is on and I like it.

I plan to add a 2" plain blue outer border which I hope will calm this quilt down a little.  I have searched my stash and I don't have a large enough piece of anything that will do so I will have to shop.  That makes 2 quilts for which I need to find a blue border fabric.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

String Border

Today was sew day for my church sew group.  I worked on a string border for my string heart quilt.  I have all the corners pieced and 2 border pieces.  I am piecing onto lightweight non-fusible interfacing.  After piecing, I will trim the border panels.  Here you can see some of the progress.  It is bright.

Bonney finished a quilt for the VA hospice unit.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Next UFO

    This evening I searched my stash for suitable sashing and border fabrics for the blue UFO blocks.  
I like this blue floral on white which could be sashing.

I also sort of like this blue texture fabric and it would do for the border.

However, I am not keen on the two together.  I’m still looking. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Finishing Up Projects

    One more UFO finished.     

     I participated in Hancock Fabrics BOM in 2004 and the finished quilt is on my bed. Since I made the quilt I planned to make pillow shams to match.  I made 2 more blocks but got no further.  I had all the leftover fabric and pieces in a box.  I finally pulled it out.  Today I Free-MotionQuilted the tops and added the back so I now have 2 finished shams.

Here is a photo of one top with quilting.

The FMQ shows up much better on the muslin backing that is on the inside of the sham.

Each block on the quilt has a different quilting design so I continued that on the shams.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Comfort Quilt Finished

    Yesterday I free-motion quilted an adult comfort quilt for GCQ and today I finished the binding.

I pieced the top a couple of months ago.  It is made from scrappy 3 1/2" squares and 2 1/2" strips.   GCQ usually makes adult quilts from 5 1/2" squares.  I wanted to do something different, and one day we cut a few strips and squares from color groups of fabric scraps.  This design goes together in 12" finished squares for simple construction. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

After the Holiday

    It was wonderful to have family here for Thanksgiving, but it was too short a visit.  Here is one photo from the holiday. 

      Before company arrived, I used scraps to make a tablet cover which will be part of a present for my mom.  I had seen some directions on the web but did not follow them strictly.   

        Today was almost back to normal.  No shopping madness for me.  The house was quiet.  In the afternoon I pulled out a BOM kit from 2004.  The first BOM that I participated in was in 2005 with the quilt group at the Harbison Hancock Fabric store.  I bought the previous year’s kit on sale but did not make it.   Now all the pieces for the 12 blocks are cut and ready to sew.  I don’t have plans for them, but they are closer to being in a quilt.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Progress

    I feel really good about the progress recently to finish up projects and find homes for orphan blocks.  Today I took 3 small quilts to share with my church sewing group.  I also took several orphan block projects.  At church we found 2 green blocks to add for a total of  21and Beverley kindly took home the blue, green, yellow and brown blocks to put together that quilt top. 
I laid out the blue and white blocks at church.  With input from the group, I divided them so Joan took part to make a small quilt and I kept the rest for another small quilt. Here you can see some of them.
      I could not talk anyone into taking the children's blocks so I will work on them sometime.  They also gave me suggestions for the border of my string heart quilt so hopefully soon I will work on that, but probably it will be after Thanksgiving. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Orphan Blocks and Scraps

     I struggled today with what project to work on.  I have MANY WIPs.  Orphan blocks called me.  When I organizing recently, I pulled out a few 12” orphan blocks from MTC classes and border pieces left over from a quilt finished a couple of years ago.  Brown, blue, green and yellow were the predominate colors so I pulled left over strips and squares that blended.  I placed the border pieces on the diagonal and added triangles to 2 corners to create several blocks.
     I enjoy free piecing so that is what I did.  I now have 19 blocks.  I think I know where one more green block is.   With a simple border, this will make a nice size lap quilt to finish about 59” by 68”. 
I feel good about what I accomplished and I cleared out some scraps. 
Here are some of the blocks.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

More Fabric

  This weekend is the Veteran's Day Sale at my local fabric stores.  I made a New Years Resolution to only buy fabric I needed for a specific project.  I have been doing REALLY well until Thursday.  Thursday was the first day of the sale and I visited JoAnn Fabrics.  They had their clearance fabric 50% off plus I get an extra 10% off with my VIP card.  I came home with 48 yards of good quilting cotton fabric.  Most will go for my church group.  Several pieces are 6 or 7 yards so they will be good for a quilt back.  I have spent many hours the past few days washing and ironing.  I still have about 14 yards to iron.

    Yesterday and today we had beautiful weather so I had to take some time to work in my yard.  In the photo you can see where I stopped mowing so that I could rake pine straw instead of letting the mower bag it with the grass.

     There are many quilt groups collecting for Sandy relief.  Here is a good one. I hope you can help in some way.  I plan to.
Sandy Quilt Block Drive

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sewing Non Quilts

      I have been busy sewing the past several days but not quilts.  I hate shopping but really need some new clothes.  I also thought my mother could use a new fall dress.  I went through my patterns and drawers of fabric and came up with a skirt pattern I wanted to use and fabric for a dress for Mother.  I had to buy fabric for my skirt.  Mother's dress is finished.  My skirt has the hem pinned up but not sewn.

     Sometime ago I saw adorable sock monkeys on Bumble Bee Bliss blog made out of unusual socks (not the usual sock monkey sock).  I bookmarked her directions.  She has a great tutorial at
I had bought some cute pink and white knee high socks so tonight instead of hemming my skirt, I made my first sock monkey.  Here it is in progress.

She does not yet have eyes but I love her.  I will be on the look out for more socks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mug Rugs

   Today instead of sandwiching a larger quilt for quilting, I needed to do something more free so I pulled out some fabric for mug rugs.
    I had promised to make a mug rug for a friend of a friend with many cats.  I thought this large print fabric was perfect and it let me practice free-motion quilting. I did not focus on stitch length but following lines and drawing with the sewing machine.

I also pulled out some specially fall fabric and enjoyed free-motion quilting to enhance a couple of them. 

In all today I finished 4 mug rugs for gifts.