Wednesday, June 29, 2022

June Update

eek!!!

That saying about as you get older…time passes more quickly…

I think that is true. No other explanation for June passing at high speed. 

I failed to blog about handwork finishes for a few months. Here’s what I have accomplished.

I started the year tackling two Bucilla kits.

Nordic Christmas Ornaments. Such a fun kit! This kit was given to me by the Plaid Bucilla company. I am an ambassador for their Bucilla felt kits. 


I finished this 3-D Bucilla kit, Christmas Tree Centerpiece. This was a 2008 kit from my stash, 


This kit was a nice little challenge. I spent years looking a the instructions and thinking about making it. As usual…once I started making it…everything came together pretty easily.

I have started a couple of more Bucilla kits from my stash.

I making a set of ornaments, “A Partridge in a Pear Tree.” 
Three ornaments finished.






Love the little French flag on the last ornament.

Cross stitch projects are getting stitched too.
The 12 Days of Christmas is a theme running through my projects this year. 
I’m working on a set of patterns from 2000 , by Heart Strings, that where patiently waiting in my stash.

Partridge in a Pear Tree


Two Turtle Doves


Three French Hens


Four Colly Birds


Five Gold Rings


I have also finished two more Mill Hill Jim Shore Santa ornaments.

Santa with Lights and Santa in Chimney.


Just a quick post to share my handwork finishes. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

April and May Quilty Doings

 Wow! 

Time just zips by once we gain our daylight hours.

I ended April with a quilt retreat with my wonderful group, "Material Girls."

The big event at our April retreat was a mystery.

Here we all our with our finished blocks.

 Yes!!! We look at this gorgeous background while sewing at the B and B we rent for a long weekend. 

 

The main goal was for everyone to finish one block. Below is one block from everyone. 


It was a resounding sucess. We all love our blocks. This is a Debbie Caffrey mystery, "Lasagna."


Our homework is to finish setting the blocks by our next retreat in October. 

Now onto the projects I took to work on at retreat. 

First, I had these scrappy triangle sets left from a completed top...


I had a lot of them! They were made into strip sets.


The colors are so hard to get accurate in photos. 
Below are q    the setting fabrics I think I will use.


This French Braid freebie pattern is my inspiration. Notice how many more rows I have made than required. My big decision is whether to make two lap quilts or one biggie quilt. 

If you've been reading my blog for a while...you are betting on the biggie.



Our group is always trying to come up with challenges. Sandy proposed pineapple block quilts earlier in the year. There were only three of us really interested in doing it .

Below is Sandy's scrappy pineapple. She used a Creative Grids Pineapple Block ruler and liked it very much.


She did a second version...she has a lot of scraps!!!


Joyce used foundation papers from the Fat Quarter Shop. She also like this method.


I immediately thought of a pattern from a magazine I had saved for several years.

I love the border as much as the center pineapple blocks.

Of course....it is a big quilt...finishing at 94-inches square.


The designer, Cathy Wierzbicki, has a really neat method. These triangle blocks will get cut into four, 1 1/2 -strips, mixed up and pieced backwards to make a mock pineapple block.


It took me weeks to pick colors and it was a chore to cut everything. I made a dent in piecing the triangle blocks at the retreat. I probably won't work on this during the summer months but I am excited about this quilt.

My biggest accomplishment at retreat was finishing all the blocks for the, "Sew by Row," quilt designed by Lori Holt. It took me a little searching on Pinterest to come up with a different border idea than Lori's version.  


After retreat, finishing the, "Sew by Row," quilt was my main project. 
Then I turned to finishing up a freebie quilt from my scraps on a previous project.


It seemed like I had thousands of little HSTs. These are the clipped corners that finish at 1 3/4-inch.
Pinterest inspired me to make this block.


It is from this Missouri Star Quilt Company design.


There were no shortcuts in this pattern for putting together all these HSTs.


I got to a point where I just needed to finish it! I came up with a border finish I love. It is a 42-inch square. I still have many HSTs left and I do have another little quilt idea in my head.

My husband gets me to join him on a little outing in one of his planes every now and then. My favorite quick trip is lunch in Talkeetna. There is an adorable quilt shop there, the Patchwork Moose, and a great restaurant, Mountain High Pizza Pie, that I love to visit. Here's our parking spot for our Cessna 185 at the Talkeetna airport. This photo is from April 3rd so I'm sure all that snow is gone now.


I do have more non-quilting projects to share…maybe another post later in the week…but it is gardening season…hopefully it won’t be September before I post another blog.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

March Recap

I had a nice walk today with the dogs and then grabbed my finished quilt for a little photo session with natural lighting. I love how the light blue in the quilt matches the blue sky. 


This is the pattern, "Eldorado Canyon," by Whirligig Designs. This was a kit I bought in 2015 at Hancock's of Paducah, the one and only time, I made it to the spring AQS quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky.


I am giving this quilt to one of my sons who just had a birthday. I tried so hard to have it done on time (March 25th) but I quilt at the pace of running turtle so it just didn't happen. 

The quilt went straight from the photo shoot to the laundry room sink for a nice hot soaking to deal with any possible bleeding dyes. The blocks were made with precut strips so I wasn't able to prewash all the fabrics. I expect all non-art quilts to get lots of use and be thrown in a washing machine. 

Despite really focusing on machine quilting, "Eldorado Canyon," I was also on task to complete the borders for three quilts I had pieced at Sew-Ins and retreats. 

 Last summer on a rainy day I went through my notebooks of saved internet and magazine patterns and pulled three to prep for retreats. 

The quilt below is a pattern from the December 1997, American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine.

I only used three fabrics for this quilt....just as it was designed. It is "Snow Stars," designed by Joy Hoffman. Tri-Recs templates were suggested for the design but I had a bloc-loc ruler for the triangle shapes in my stash of rulers...and it finally got used in making this design! My triangle units were perfect and this quilt top came together so sweetly


My second border finish was, "Autumn Elegance."  Hmmm....this quilt also has a connection to my trip to Paducah. I bought the border fabric from a vendor at the show. 

This pattern is a freebie on the internet, "Winter Elegance," by Jason Yenter of In The Beginning Fabrics. All the fabrics came from my stash. This photo is so washed out compared to the actual colors. When it is quilted it will get an outdoor photo shoot. 


I really like fancy or interesting borders...in case you didn't notice that after looking a the first three quilts. 

My third border finish, "Ice Castles," is also from a magazine, the February 2009 McCall's Quilting. I had many of the actual fabrics used in the magazine's version of the quilt in my stash. My first visit to a quilt shop after all the initial Covid shutdowns was to look for the white background fabric. Found the perfect piece of fabric...very surprising as batik backgrounds are so difficult to source sometimes. It has little gold to brownish colored irregular dots. There are some gold to brown tones in the blue batik fabrics, too.


Again...the colors in the photo look so washed out. This border required a template that came with the magazine...which of course I did not have...so I bought the issue on eBay just to avoid using my high school sophomore year of geometry. I still had to do a little extra math as I added a row...it needed a star in all four corners. After I made it bigger...I realized I could have made if one row smaller. Ha! Of course I didn't make it smaller but it is encouraging that I thought about it.

I have also been on task to work on cross stitching patterns I've collected over the years. The patten below came with the linen fabric, beads and some cute tiny buttons.  I found a piece of Nancy Halvorsen Christmas fabric in my stash that looks really nice with the floss colors. 


The pattern is, "Christmas Means More," from Heart in Hand Needleart, published in 2014. The stitching covers roughly a 4 x 6-inch area. Not sure how I will finish it...but I want it to stand next to a Jim Shore statue of the Grinch with Cindy Lou Who.

I really got hooked on cross stitch patterns by Pat Thode of Heartstings in the early 2000s. I made a darling series, "The 12 Days of Santa." That led me to buy several of her series and many of them came with fabric, cute embellishments, buttons and sometimes floss. 

Haven't touched them in at least 10 years.

So...I started the 12 Days of Christmas, released in 2000.
I finished Day 1 on my Kauai vacation.


I have this little nagging thought that I should try and finish one "Day," every month. So I became obsessed last week to finish Day 2.


My Bucilla felt kit stitching time in the evenings is getting squeezed by all these cross stitch projects so no finishes in that area but...

I could not resist purchasing a few felt kits from Merry Stockings with my birthday discount in the month of March.

The Easter kits really got me and I had to add a few Christmas ones. 


It is rare to get any photos of myself. There must have been a break in the college basketball game my husband was watching because he saw me on the back deck trying to get a good photo of my quilt and actually came outside to get one of me! 


When I showed my husband the finished quilt last night (binding was finally done) he said it was the best quilt I have ever made. He loved the colors! I was so surprised.

I'm still giving it to our son.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Aloha Paradise


 I’ve been missing from social media for several weeks. 
Just getting a little break from the cold and dark.
 Heading back to Alaska today.


I have a quilt on the frame patiently waiting for me to finish it.


I suppose the moose and snow will also be waiting for me on my return.

I made lots of progress on several cross stitching projects on my vacation and did a little bit of batik fabric shopping at the two quilt shops on Kauai.

Most of all, I’m ready to pick up my critters a snuggle with them.



Wednesday, February 9, 2022

February 2022 Update

 Wow…2022 is just flying by so far.

I had a Material Girls retreat last weekend which meant there was lots of activity getting ready and lots of accomplishments. 

First, we had a challenge to finish whatever Moda Frivols kit we were given last May. 


My pattern was, “Lakeside,” with Brenda Riddle as the fabric designer. I had to supply the background and binding fabric. There is no batik fabric in this one so that was the big challenge to for me as I like the tighter weave of batiks. But it is adorable and will make a great baby quilt.

I like to work on a different project every day of a retreat. I started with a quilt I kitted up from my stash with a batik border print being my inspiration. The pattern is a freebie from In the Beginning Fabrics. It is a design from Jason Yenter, “Winter Elegance.”


I am calling my quilt, “Autumn Elegance.” I just need to add the borders and this quilt top will be done. 
 
My second project was, “Ice Castles,” which I also kitted up from my stash using a pattern from McCall’s Quilting, February, 2009.


I got all of the snowball and star blocks made at retreat and quickly made up the border blocks yesterday. I  still need to sew all the blocks together. Then there will be a focus fabric for an outer border. 

And my final start at retreat was another blue and white snow-themed quilt, “Snow Stars.” I kitted this one from my stash…and I’ve not even made a tiny dent in my stash…but I am trying. 


I forgot to take my Bloc-Loc ruler to size these half-rectangle triangles so I moved to the second step which is making hundreds of four-patch blocks. 

Most of my show and tell at retreat where pieces I’ve shared on my blog but I added a Seminole border to the Chandelier top made with sewing-themed batiks.


Just a little info about our retreat group. 
Our Material Girls quilting group meets during the “school year,”…summer schedules are too hectic for us to meet. We schedule 3 retreats during our quilting season, October, February and May. We also meet for a Saturday Sew-In day at our local quilt shop, the second Saturday of the month, for the months we don’t have a retreat. 

I think I joined the group in 2016.
I love it!

We decide amongst ourselves what “challenge,” we might tackle during the season. 
Since we just finished a challenge we are weighing two options. One is a mystery quilt one of our ladies will select and lead or making a quilt with the pineapple block using whatever method you want. I believe there is a new Creative Grids ruler a couple of ladies have for making pineapple blocks. I have a magazine pattern that uses paper piecing. We will decide at our May retreat. 

As always…there were some handwork projects I stitched on recently.

My latest Bucilla kit project is a vintage kit that is a 3-D tree. I have to make the tree and all the ornaments. I think this will take me a couple of more months to finish.






I officially finished the 2020 trio of Mill Hill Jim Shore ornaments.


Feathered Friends Snowman, Gift Giving Snowman and Clean Sweep Snowman.

I am now working on the 2021 Jim Shore series of snowman and have one done, 


Snowman with Cocoa.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!