Monday, December 26, 2016

Sanity Requires Quilting

I did it...I jumped into a new quilt project. I've started Bonnie Hunter's mystery, "En Provence." I'm linking to her Monday progress post here.

I didn't have enough off-white fabrics or magenta yardage so I am awaiting a package from Hancock's of Paducah and also awaiting the template Bonnie is using for the mystery. That probably translates into no further action on this project until the weekend.

But I can pull out the quilt I was working on before the new puppy arrived and Christmas preparations took all my time..."Full Bloom." I managed to get all the big blocks cut and glued in November. Each of these blocks took at least two hours to put together.

I have 48, 8-inch blocks to make of single flowers. I need to glue all those parts into place. Then I will start doing the top stitching to permanently hold everything in place. 

I've also resurrected a set of dresdan plates...I think there is common train of thought in all my current projects...colors. A bit dreary this time of year but not in the studio. I found this background green batik on sale for $5 a yard and I think it was just what I had been searching for the last few years.

My first job today will be to take down the Christmas tree which the animals used as a base for playing tag with each other. I only had one ornament causality. I put up handmade ornaments that wouldn't lead to an emergency room visit if a puppy ate part of it. I made that mistake the last time I got a puppy in December. 

Oh...and Breakfast Club meets on Thursday to make it's annual mystery quilt. I'm still on the fence about attending...I better decide pretty soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Delivery

I picked up my present last weekend...

This is Logan...11 weeks old. He's a Gordon Setter just like my girl McKinley.

McKinley visited the groomer pretty!

It is a little crazy at my house this holiday season...because I also have a a seven-month-old kitten, Eli, who thinks he's a dog...when he's not playing tag with the dogs...he sneaks into Logan's crate. Eli doesn't look much like a kitten anymore. I know he weighs over 12 pounds at this point and can reach the top of the kitchen counter tops when he stretches his full length. 

I have delusions that I might still start Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, "En Provence," could happen! I really love the colors and the name of the quilt. Her inspiration photos call to me!

In the meantime...finishing up a few projects during "nap time."  Got the backing and hanger on this Bucilla stocking called, "In the Workshop."

Instead of cross stitch, I took some little redwork projects to stitch on when traveling. These are from a set of 12 ornaments from an Australian designer, Lynette Anderson. A cute little button will finish each ornament...or I may combine them for a mini quilt. I can't make up my mind but since I have nine more blocks to make...I've got some time to think about it.

Not sure how much posting I will get done for the rest of 2016...just to be on the safe side...

I wish you a Merry Christmas.
I think it will get here much too quickly!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Actual Sewing in the Studio

This could be it....the last quilt I make for 2016. Still needs some borders.

A few hours later and I was to this point...previewing a bigger final border from the original design. Love it! 

My inspiration fabric on the final border has been patiently waiting in my fabric stash for 12 years or more. I think it was the first batik yardage I bought on a trip to a Houston quilt show. I've pulled it out so many times and tried to find a design for it and then in October this pattern was on the line up for our Breakfast Club project...

It came together so quickly...just goes to show you sometimes it is so important to let your fabric "age." 

Counting the days until I go and get the new puppy! In the meantime, you must see how big Eli has gotten. He is such a wonderful cat...only seven months old. He plays great with McKinley...I know he will love having a new puppy too!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Houston Quilt Show Recap

I spent a great week in Houston with good friends.  The quilt show was wonderful...though I feel like every time I go there is less and less to buy or see that is actually related to making quilts. Still...I found a lot of fun stuff to "try."

The highlight was meeting Margaret Solomon Gunn and seeing her award winning quilt, "Banquet Royale." Margaret has a great blog and shares so much of her quilting process. She is also a regular writer for Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine. It was just great to see her quilt and ask her questions.  She hand-pieced the hexagon blocks and did quite a bit of hand applique but what sent this quilt over the top for me is her incredible machine quilting. Not a great photo but here is a link to her blog where you can see her wonderful work. 

On to my shopping finds.

 I bought a template set to make this quilt which is a paperless way to make blocks that are as accurate as the paper pieced method. The designer has a website, Kits by Carla, where I can view a video should I forget how to do it...since I expect it will take me months...maybe years to try this method. 

The last time I was at the Houston quilt show I bought the cutest pincushion kit and this time I really had to search for one. This was the winner. Since we had three owls visiting us regularly this summer, this was the kit that spoke to me.

The big winner of the quilt show was Cynthia England with "Reflections of Cape Town."

She has a very unique way of paper piecing...kind of a reverse technique as you do it from the front side, not the back. She won the quilt show many years ago and I bought her first book but never tried it. She is the nicest of course I had to buy her new book. I really need to try this technique!

And just for fun, I bought this apron pattern. The model at the show was so darn cute...and I have a pair of old jeans sitting at my sewing machine.

While I was flying to and from Houston, I worked on some little redwork ornament blocks. They were even easier to carry and work on than small cross stitch projects. first morning home I was drinking coffee with my husband, watching the Pioneer Woman make her stuffed turkey breast recipe. It sent my husband in motion for us to have or Thanksgiving dinner that day. Yipes! My husband leaves tomorrow on a work trip and won't be home until the 29th of November so that is why Thanksgiving came early to our house. 

Our stuffed turkey breast turned out great and is really perfect for two to four people. Here are a couple of slices we have for leftovers. Here's the link to her recipe for Turkey Roulade.

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Breakfast Club for November comes early this in two days from today. I still haven't unpacked from our October meeting. It is that time of year when I always feel like I am behind the power curve.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

More Breakfast Club Show and Tell

Enjoy the eye candy. If I know the pattern name I will put it above the photo. 

Himalayan Pink

Little Boxes - Cozy Quilt Designs - Strip Quilt

Gypsy Wife - set took Kathy six hours of math with a pencil and paper to get her layout established.

Pattern from the book, " Town Square," by Doug Leko. Runner is called English Fountain.

Center block for both table toppers is a panel of wildflower blocks.

Hunter Star from the Missouri Star Company.

Quilter's World Autumn magazine, "Fall Frolic,"

It was a great Show and Tell session this month. Many ladies were gone last month so it was a treat to catch up with everyone.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Breakfast Club Speedwell Quilts

Last Thursday we had a great number of quilts at our show and tell. I will post more pictures in the next day or two. It is always fun to see the many different versions of quilts we have made in Breakfast Club. 

In August we made the pattern, "Speedwell," from Moda's Bakeshop. 

Great pattern that uses charm squares.

Gail's very unique version.

This is a pattern we all agreed we could see ourselves making again. 

My version...on the design wall. I was thinking about adding a border or two with the leftover half square triangles but just not so sure...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What a Difference...

The weather guessers were right...we did get snow last week, six inches by Friday afternoon. A little bit of it has melted but our temperatures have dropped into the teens so not loosing anymore snow for a few days.

Kinley and I went for a nice walk up the mountain. She got a pretty new pink harness. 
She does love the snow!

Our destination was a waterfall. Lots of icicles hanging from tree branches and rock edges. 

The view from our deck...

Kinley is taking her afternoon nap and I also played with Eli so he is taking a nap. I am going to try and cut my pieces for the quilt we are making at Breakfast Club this Thursday. 

I will be going to the Houston Quilt show this year...almost time for that trip. Then, after Thanksgiving I will be flying to Wisconsin to pick up our new puppy. So much fun stuff to look forward to the next few weeks.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Winter is Coming

It surprises me to see it has been ten days since my last day of rest from my landscaping projects. I am pretty much done for the season. The ground is frozen so about all I can do is move rocks.

The big reveal.
Rock slope completed to the shed.
 Flower bed outlined. 
The fire pit is our current favorite spot. 
We've been enjoying it for a little happy hour.

Love that pano setting on my iPhone camera.

My new rock slope looks like a pretty nice place for taking quilt photos...didn't even think of that until today when I wanted to get a quilt photo in some sunlight. I love this quilt. I wasn't sure if the leaves would pop when I was quilting them. I'm very pleased they are prominent.

It took me many months but I did finish a Bucilla kit project. 

I've started playing with the next quilt top that needs to go on the quilting frame. Mr. Eli is always right in whatever project I am tackling. He will be six months old at the end of October. I just scheduled his neutering for next week...sorry big guy.

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Day of Rest

Sunny but slightly chilly weather has meant most of my time has been spent outside working on my landscaping projects. I have some pictures of that stuff later in this post.'s a bit more fun to talk about some of my quilting and needle work projects. This was the quilt I was able to take to Breakfast Club last month for show and tell. I love how it turned out but I'm not doing a "final" photo shoot and presentation until I get the binding finished.

Like a typical cat, Eli thinks everything is his. Only 5 months old and his is soooo big. 

Here's a block detail...I threw in a few leaves. This one came out particularly nice.

This was the project I worked on at Breakfast Club...a kit I picked up at a good price on eBay. I had seen this pattern and wanted to tryout this technique of sewing an unattached triangle that is pulled back and stitched down to create a curve. Very simple and a quick one to make. The pattern is, "Mexican Stars," by Southwind Designs. It is going to be fun to quilt! 

I'm trying to get back in the habit of working on my Bucilla projects at night. These bears need a toy train to complete their ornament status.

And I finished the last Santa in the Jim Shore series, Early Morning Santa, with the rooster.

Back to the landscaping progress. I had two more loads of rock delivered since my last post. The one on the right only has about a quarter of the original amount left to move...but I needed big rocks so had to get another load before I was finished with the last load. 

This looks so deceptively small in this photo but I added a rock border to the other side of the house front. I have so many more plans for this area...just don't know if anything else will happen this season.

My all-consuming project has been our fire pit. My husband set the steel ring in a few years ago but really didn't do much else. We were sitting to far away to feel the heat so I made the painful decision to dig out a sunken seating area and line it with rock. I have spent at least two weeks on this project and have gotten enough done to enjoy the area as long as the weather holds.

I've got three other areas in the yard at various stages of progress but not enough to show that is interesting. It certainly keeps me busy and I have definitely toned up more since taking on these jeans are a little looser!