Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Retreat projects.

I have unpacked and sorted my sewing supplies, stashed my new stash, and photographed what I worked on. 

Because I was very busy before heading off to my retreat I arrived without doing any prep work.  I didn't have anything cut...just fabrics, patterns, and a couple WIPs.   That meant I spent a lot of time sorting, organizing, and cutting.  So, I felt like I didn't accomplish as much as I could have if I'd gone better prepared. 

The first project I made was a wall hanging from Gathering Friends by Kathryn Squibb & Deborah Jacobs in a book titled By Request. The pattern name is Pine Needles.

It's 32 inches square and made from a kit I bought at my local quilt shop.  While it looks very Christmas like...it doesn't have to be.  It's made with pine tree fabrics. 

The pattern was so user friendly...a joy to work with.  We all know how that's not always the case.

I was just thumbing through the book looking for something else to make now that I know the patterns are so well written.

Next I made this little wall hanging.

This one is using Christmas fabrics.  It's another small one...just 20 inches square made from a kit assembled by a shop.  The pattern name is Starflake and it's a Snap Sack kit.  Snap Sack patterns are put out for quilt shops to create their own kits from using the fabrics of their choice.  So, you may see the same pattern in several shops but the fabrics in the kit would probably be completely different.  I have made several Snap Sack patterns.  

My final project came home in pieces.

This Friendship Star pattern is a kit using pinks along side breast cancer novelty pinks.  It's a very slow and tedious quilt because the rows are made one by one with special care being sure everything points in the direction its supposed to.  I think I will be giving this to a coworker as her 'chemo quilt'.  Sad, I know.  Everyone expects everything will go well and the chemo is just a precaution. 

So, that's my 'big reveal'.  I hope to finish the Friendship Star quilt in the next week or two. 


Monday, February 24, 2014

Retreat update.

My first post-retreat post isn't about quilting but I went to pick this up at the frame shop while at the retreat.

January by Prairie Schooler.  

Such a perfect rustic frame.

Even though it's almost March...winter is having its way with us this year and this picture can be displayed for the foreseeable future.  

Don't you just love Prairie Schooler? 


Sunday, February 23, 2014

A quiet Sunday.

I am just home from a 3 day quilt retreat.  I didn't take a SINGLE picture so I don't have anything to share besides this one thought....

...and it says it all...

...there are so many ways to interpret this and they all apply.  

Group activities that last for days are an interesting experience.  We count down the days, we pack, plan, and hurry off expecting a fun filled 'working vacation'. 

Don't get me wrong...we have fun...but I am always so happy to be home. 

Once I unpack I will snap a couple pictures of what I worked on. 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's finished!

Celtic Solstice is finally finished and ready for its close up.  Orange is NOT my favorite color but I liked it in this quilt.  Since the quilt was inspired by Bonnie's trip to Ireland it really did seem appropriate to use the orange and green recommended.  I changed the hues of the original design but my colors are the same. 

I made the smaller version.  It is 75in by 75in so not all that small but I did not want a king size quilt.  I had enough trouble quilting this one with all those seams.  Phew.  I was glad to be done, that's for sure.  

I placed the border triangles bottom to bottom to make diamonds like Michelle did.  Bonnie's design placed them all pointing in the same direction but I did not like that look.  I think that the diamonds are a better compliment to the quilt.

For the corners I made a simple square in a square.

I did not buy a single piece of fabric for this quilt.  Every last piece including the final border, the back, and the binding came from my stash.  I don't think I have a very large stash but it's easy when making a scrappy quilt.  Just pull every bit of whatever color you're using and dig in.  You can even visit your scrap basket when making a quilt with this many small pieces.  

I have also started a block of the month project hosted by Quilt Doodle Designs.   

The log cabin is February's block. 

The row of 7 snowman heads is January's.  My heads are still just snowballs.  I will use orange wool for the noses and buttons for the eyes but they can't be attached until after it's quilted. 

My two main fabrics are from Primitive Designs' Snowmen Gatherings line.  I can't stop buying fabrics from that line whenever I see it.  I just love every single bit of it.

I can't wait to see what we're making for March.  I think I have another block of the month project that starts shipping in March.  I signed up for it last fall so it will be a surprise because I've forgotten the specifics.  It does involve some embroidery....which I like but am super slow at. 

I better get busy.  I have a lot planned for the day. 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Sweets for the sweet.

Sweet treats are a nice way to start Valentine's Day.  My husband left a box of hand dipped chocolates from our local sweet shop.  All bleary eyed and not awake I saw the empty bag on the counter before I saw the goodies.  Took me a minute to figure out what must have been in the bag.  The box was on this cute little wall hanging that I only just finished yesterday.

Pieces from my Heart's 'Sweetness' by Sandy Gervais is a new Charm Pack Pattern  It's called a charm pack pattern because it's made using a charm pack.  This pattern called for one 'Table for Two' charm pack...which is what I used.  It was cute and worked up fast. 

It's not hard to see how I missed the box of chocolates on the table.  Besides still being dark out, the quilt for a table cloth, the wall hanging was there too.  

Happy Valentine's Day.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sewing challenges.

I was so close to finishing my Celtic Solstice by Bonnie Hunter but the quilting took longer than expected (as if that's news) and then I sat down to start stitching the binding down and found this....

Cooper loves a tent or fort.  He was all curled up and ready for a nap inside the heaped up quilt I'd left beside my stitching chair.  So, I left him and put off starting the binding for a day or two.  I am still not done but I will be soon.  

When the boys aren't snuggling up against the cold they are my very own Whirling Dervishes.  


I've been working on a variety of odds and ends in my sewing room.  I made this little piece as a challenge for my quilt guild.  We are supposed to make a quilt of a door.   Mine is modeled after my own front door.  We have side lights like this plus a half moon window above the door and windows.  I left that out because we don't need to get all crazy here!  (Curves....I don't think so.)  I fussy cut the snowmen from some fabric and appliqued them using my machine's blanket stitch.  It will be fun to see what other people made. 

I am optimistic that this winter will end...someday.  The layer of ice and snow pack on the drive has been my own personal challenge.  Grrr...melt....darn it. 

In the mean time...there is plenty of fabric awaiting. 


Sunday, February 9, 2014


Once again...I took a tumble from the blogging world. Lost my mojo, as it were.  I don't even want to tell you about the lost camera.  I need a really big one.  Or one with a pager.  I took it with me to make costumes at school and lost it in the bottom of my travel notions bag.  It is found.  There are still no pictures to post.

I have been reading a lot.  It's a good time of year for it.  Cold, snowy, and quiet.

My reading goals are simple.  50 books in a year.  One book a week, basically. Hardly a stretch for some people but I am kind of a slow reader.  I read every word...no skimming.  Also, my normal reading time is before bed and most nights I am so tired I can't stay awake for long.

I enjoy a couple different book blogs... Susan at Bloggin' About Books, Julie the Booking Mama, and my newest fave... Jenny at Alternate Readality.  You have to get past the strange typos.  Things that spell check doesn't catch because they are real words...they just don't belong where they are.  Possibly a little re-reading would work.  But, heck, I like her style.  I like the way she captures the first sentence.  I've been known to decide if I'm going to read a book or not based on the first sentence.   Book blogs are a fun way to learn about books I'd like to read that I might never run across.

Like everyone and their stash...I am trying not to buy more of anything...books included.  It helps that there aren't any book stores around to cause me to spend on books I didn't know I wanted to read.  Our tiny little library is part of a huge library system so any book I know I want can be found there.  Then there are those books I didn't even know I wanted to read...the ones I find on the library shelves that look good.  Nice bonuses to my already long reading list. 

So, what are a few favorites?  I went back to my Good Reads list and these popped right out at me.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson....this one was especially good.  Loved the premise and how it was carried  out.  
Sunlight on My Shadow by Judy Liautaud.
Lost & Found by Kate St. Vincent Vogl
Whisper My Secret by JB Rowley
The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell...kind of a gritty story.  I don't think this is for everyone.  

Some of these I got for free or next to free thru Book Bub.   Does everyone know about Book Bub?  If not, go look.  They send an email every day with 6 or 8 Kindle books available on the cheap.  Usually the deal is just for a short time.  Check the details, though.  Once or twice I've found the 'book' to be a short story ...a teaser for a new book being released by the author. 

Hope that all spurs some reading ideas for these cold winter afternoons.