Tuesday, December 20, 2011

UFO Challenge for 2012

Patchwork Times is having a UFO challenge for 2012. I completed a lot of my UFOs in 2011, but I did not participate in the challenge for 2011. So for 2012 I only have a few things planned - I guess some are technically not UFOs since they're not started but ...Oh well, in 2012 I'd like to do the following:

1. Finish Home Tweet Home - needs binding & embellishing
2. Experiment with the 9-degree wedge ruler to make a bargello style circular piece
3. Lake Forest Block of the Month Club (from Keepsake Quilting) - all I've done so far is transfer some of the pattern pieces to fusible web - there are 6 blocks.
4. Create a challenge piece for our local Art-rageous Quilters group - must use a specific green fabric and the theme is "A Walk Through My Garden" - it's due in March
5. Make a Victorian Crazy Quilt from some blocks my mother has made but that have not yet found their way into a quilt.
6. I do have a cathedral window quilt I started several years ago for my son - tons and tons and tons of handwork left to do on it.

So, there you have it. Not terribly daunting ...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday 12-19

Hard to believe the year is coming to a close so quickly. Well, I broke my promise to myself about not starting a new project before the new year - I just felt at such loose ends without something to work on, so I found this project in the April 2011 issue of Quiltmaker - it's called "Sailing Away". I had appropriate scraps so I went for it. I've embellished it with some blingy beads. It's about 14" across so it's a super fast project to do.

Please visit Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday to see what others are working on .

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Design Wall Monday 12-12

No quilts this week - I have them all finished and have not started the Lake Forest BOM project yet. Will start that New Year's weekend.

As promised last week, this week I'm showing these adorable fabric boxes from the book "Fast Fun & Easy Fabric Boxes" by Linda Johansen. The book is great - the directions are easy to understand and there are tons of photos that take you through every step. The book gives you directions for making boxes in a variety of sizes and shapes. So far I've been hooked on making the 4" square boxes because I'm using them to "wrap" small Christmas gifts - a great fat-quarter project. One project in the book that I have not yet tackled but plan to, is a lunch kit - the "lunch box" folds out to be your placemat and also contains a drink coaster, and a place to hold your napkin and flatware. It's a fabulous gift idea for someone who takes their lunch to work with them.

The embellishment ideas for these boxes are infinite!

And once you understand the technique, there is no reason why the boxes can't be custom made to whatever size you want. I've got it down now and can make a box in a little over an hour, start to finish.

Visit Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday for incredible inspiration from so many talented and creative artists!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday 12-5-11

Visit Patchwork Times to see what others are working on.

The long arm quilter, Lilly Lucier (252-244-1988) finished quiting both One Particular Harbor and Jungle Dance. I was able to finish the binding on One Particular Harbor and add the label, so stick a fork in it - that quilt is done and can be wrapped for Christmas.

Jungle Dance (the binding and label) will be finished by Tuesday.

Fabric boxes ... more about these little gems next week. But in the meantime, they are too much fun! And they are a great way to use scrap fabric.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Design Wall Monday 11-28

I finished the Home Tweet Home quilt top (from Keepsake Quilting). I really like it and am looking forward to embellishing it with beads.
Also finished the barn raising quilt top which I've named One Particular Harbor. I'm looking forward to getting it back from the long-arm quilter (Lilly Lucier, Vanceboro, NC 252-244-1988). Other than finishing the binding and embellishments on these two pieces plus Jungle Dance, which is already at Lilly's shop, I do not plan to start any new quilting projects until after Christmas. Jump over to Patchwork Times today for Design Wall Monday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Saturday is Small Business Saturday. It's a reminder to visit some of the wonderful small businesses in your area and see what they have to offer. Maybe sometimes we just find it easier to go to the mega-marts instead of making an extra stop but I believe that small businesses are the backbone of our wonderful country. These small guys are struggling to survive in this economic environment. They offer some unique products (think Christmas gift ideas!) and a high level of personal service that that mega-marts cannot or do not offer. These owners are your friends and neighbors. Supporting them is well worth the extra stop.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday 11-21

Check out Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday inspiration.

I made a little more progress on One Particular Harbor - have to sew together the rows and add the border then it's ready for machine quilting which will be done by Lilly Lucier (252-244-1988) of Vanceboro, NC. I'll be asking her to use a teal color thread and a shore motif.

The Romancing Eastern North Carolina Shop Hop will take place February 1-4, 2012 and includes shops in Jacksonville, Morehead City, Washington, and New Bern, North Carolina. They have a Facebook page so please look them up.

Yesterday I had the privilege of seeing the performance "Stomp!" in Raleigh, NC. Awesome. Humorous. Energetic. Highly recommended if you get an opportunity!

Home Tweet Home - other than buying the fabric for the sashings/border, no further work on that. I hope to get a lot done on it over Thanksgiving, as well as finishing up the One Particular Harbor quilt top.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Be safe in your travels.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Design Wall Monday 11-14

Design Wall Monday again??? Yep - and jump over to Patchwork Times to see what some creative folks have been up to.

I started a quilt for my niece - I'm naming it One Particular Harbor. It will be quilted using a shore motif and teal color thread. Two rows down, 4 to go. Will finish this quilt top this week.

The pattern I'm using for One Particular Harbor came from an old quilting magazine and is a 16-patch quasi-log cabin block. The blocks will be put together into a "Barn Raising" pattern.

Also this past week I put together the 9 blocks in the Home Tweet Home series. I was quite delighted to find that so far, I've been able to use only fabrics from my stash. I still need to add sashings and a border but I think even that will be from my stash. I need to blanket stitch, or do some type of stitch, to secure the applique. And I think I'll machine quilt this myself in an overall meander. There are lots of embellishments that can be done to this piece - the pattern shows a couple of pieces with thread "nests", beaded chains for hanging the birdhouses from tree limbs, and I'm sure more opportunities for embellishments will appear once I start looking at it in that frame of mind.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Design Wall Monday 11-7-11

Hooking up with Patchwork Times today. A source of wonderful quilting inspiration.

Design Wall - just finished the Jungle Dance quilt top. It will be part of my son's Christmas. The center panel is a bargello design and I filled in the sides with simple borders and a piano key border. There was no pattern for this, just a jelly roll of fabric from South Seas Batiks, and then I bought coordinating batiks from Cotton Fields Quilt Shop.

I also just finished Front Street Memories, which is my whimsical tribute to my lovely hometown of Beaufort, NC. Sadly, time marches on, and most of the shops named in this piece are no longer in business. But Beaufort is still a delightful shore town. This piece is is about 6.5 feet long - yikes! and about 2 feet tall. I have not a clue where I'll hang it.

My goal this week is to start on the 9 birdhouses in the Home Tweet Home series. Each block is only 8.5" and there aren't many pieces in each block, so hopefully I'll have made some good progress by the next Design Wall Monday.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday - Halloween

Please visit Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Have been out of the circle for a while but am trying to get back into the swing of things. Just because I haven't been posting on Design Wall Monday doesn't mean I haven't been busy. Quite the contrary. In fact, what has been on my wall recently are projects I've recently finished.

Scrappy Scrappy Little Star - I think it has a very sweet look to it, and next time I have to make a baby quilt I think I'll do a smaller version of this.

Happiness - I love the colors of the bandanas - it just looks like a happy quilt to me.

715 Ann Street - a tribute to my Grandmother's house - one of the happiest places I can remember.

Just Hanging Around - everyone likes flipflops, right? I thought I had changed the orientation of this photo but guess that change didn't make it from Picasa to Blogger. Anyway, I used a real clotheslines and real clothespins in this piece. The inspiration came from an ad for a local shop. Made entirely of scraps from my stash.

The Blue Hour - named for the blue hue that is indicative of the blue hour in photography - that special time 30 minutes before day light and before sunset. Made entirely of scraps from my stash.

Shall We Dance - this was a pattern I bought from Keepsake Quilting. It was, to me, a very frustrating pattern. I'm sure the pattern was fine and there was just something lost in translation, however every single one of my turtle blocks was not square, and not square in the very same corner. But I was determined to get it finished and see how it turned out - it was sooooo not square and the borders were very wavy but I sent it to Lilly Lucier in Vanceboro, NC for machine quilting and what she did with it was nothing short of a miracle. It's still not square but it's much, much better than it was. I added fun buttons for eyes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Design Wall Monday 8-15-11

I rummaged through my fabric stash and found exactly what I needed for a backing and the batting for the flip-flop wall hanging, so it is now ready to quilt. After binding it the last step will be to somehow secure the clothespins to the piece.

And finally, I found a fabric that I'm okay with for the border on the bandana quilt. I really struggled to come up with something I like. This black fabric has dots that are mostly the colors of the bandanas used in this piece so I think it works okay.

My new hobby, however, (like I need another hobby) is making these wreaths that are all the rage right now. Super easy. Not too pricey. And a lot of fun to make.

Visit Patchwork Times today for Design Wall Monday - a fabulous source of inspiration.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Design Wall Monday 8-8-11

My Design Wall has't changed much except that I did finish the scrappy star quilt - I love it! I also finished the bargello piece but it's quite slender so I'm definitely going to have to be creative about something for the sides - it's plenty long enough, just not very wide for a bed-size quilt. I didn't take a photo for today's design wall but will for next week. Don't forget to dash over to the Patchwork Times to see all the inspiring creations today.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday 7-25-11

Be sure to check out Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times!

Once again, my quilting and crafting hobbies have come to my rescue. Tuesday I had gastric bypass surgery and am recovering. While I didn't get much done Tuesday-Friday, Saturday and Sunday I sewed a lot. The up and down motion of sitting at the sewing machine, moving to the ironing board, moving to the cutting table, then back to the sewing machine, has helped to alleviate a lot of the discomfort I was having. I purposely left on my "to do" plate several very easy projects. Here they are.

I'm always surprised at where inspiration for a quilt design will come from. Several weeks ago a local boutique published an ad for a sale and the ad featured flip-flops hanging from a clotheslines. Oh my gosh - it was adorable. So I put my own spin on it. The twine line in this photograph will be replaced with a piece of real clothesline. I will also use real wooden clothespins for "hanging" the flip-flops. All I've done so far is the applique - I need to finish the raw edges, add the clothesline and clothespins and, of course, quilt the piece. It's about 18" x 30". And since one of the rooms in my house is named "Just Beachy", I suspect this piece will end up in that room. I also suspect it may get some bead embellishments ...

Scrappy stars - when I got home from the hospital Thursday I had 5 stars made. Now there are 28 - and that will be all because I ran out of white fabric - will buy more this week. The blocks are 9.5" square, so I'll cut 44 plain white blocks for a total of 72 and will randomly place the star blocks. I'll think about the border when I get there. I'm hoping to find a happy color fabric with a star motif, and I'll have it quilted using a star motif as well. Just a fun, fast quilt.

And the bargello from last week's Design Wall Monday - I'm sewing the strips together. Still no real plan for the border - after I get the center panel finished I'll take it to the quilt shop and see what batiks she has. Cotton Fields always has a nice selection of batiks.

Anyone interested in reading about my bariatric surgery, please visit my other blog Sally's Lapband Journey. I had lapband surgery in August 2008, lost a lot of weight but in August 2009 started having complications. In December 2010 the lapband was removed and the weight quickly started coming back so then I had conventional gastric bypass surgery.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday 7-18-11

Check out Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

After a 2-3 week hiatus from sewing because of an ill-behaving sewing machine, the machine is now good to go again and I'm off and running. Lori issued a challenge to me for the scrappy star quilt so here it is, in progress. Check out her blog for details on her scrappy star quilt. I'm going to use a scrappy white background, and each star will be from a different color family. I plan to make a bed size quilt - these are 9.5" blocks, so I have to make a lot more. After the first three blocks I settled into a nice rhythm so the rest will go much faster. These are quite fun to make - no pattern!

I've also laid out my next bargello quilt. This is a jelly roll pack from South Seas Batiks. I laid out all the strips and arranged them in a light to medium to dark value scheme. Then I sewed them together, evened up the ends of the tube, then just started cutting strips from .75" to 2.5" inches wide - no pattern! I took some time laying it out to get the look I wanted - I'm pleased with this wave effect so I'll go with it. To make it a bed size quilt, I'll need to add some kind of side borders, then a plain top and bottom border. Don't have clue yet what that will be. Will ponder it while I sew these strips together. Maybe "piano key" side borders?? Am planning to name it Jungle Dance.

Has anyone else noticed that there seems to be less thread yardage on spools these days?

Have a great week everyone.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday 7-4-11

Happy 4th of July! Visit Patchwork Times today for Design Wall Monday.

Nothing to speak of on my design wall but the knitting is coming along nicely. This is an oven towel pattern by Rachel van Schie. She has a fabulous selection of knitted washcloth patterns, for all seasons. It's difficult to see on this towel because the design doesn't show up well until it's been blocked, but the wording says, "Grandma's Kitchen. Kids Eat Free." Too cute.

Each year I choose a word to live by - the word is used to help guide me in decision making and as a way of looking at life. Last year my word was "adventure". This year my word is "simplify" and I'm also trying to make it a point to use what I already have. Repurposing when possible ...

So, keeping the word "simplify" in mind, I looked around at what I had on hand that could be used for propagating plants, one of my hobbies. The plants need kind of a "greenhouse" effect. Hmmm ... what could I use? Empty two-liter soda bottles worked perfectly. I cut the top third of the bottle but not all the way through, and drill drain holes in the bottom. I have 12 azaleas, one rose, one honeysuckle vine, a camelia, and 4 hydangeas propagating. The plants get the greenhouse effect they need but rain can still get in, and there is enough ventilation that the plants don't get too hot, and they're easy to move around. A simple idea that repurposes a trash item, too. Cool.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday 6-20-11

Today I'm linking to Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday. What's on my design wall is the bandana quilt. I did pick up some fun fabrics from Cotton Fields fabric shop that I'd like to somehow use for the borders and backing for the bandana quilt. I'm thinking of using the oranges fabric as 4" square cornerstones, then use the limes fabric as the vertical borders and the lemons fabric as the horizontal borders. Then I'll piece together the backing out of these three fruit fabrics. It's a summer time quilt so I'm hoping these will work. I'll audition them and if I'm not happy with it then I may skip adding borders to this quilt and just use the fruit fabrics as the backing/binding.

I've also picked up my knitting again and am knitting the drop-stitch scarf Judy posted on her blog - I've finished the blue scarf and have started a 2nd scarf. The yarns I chose are from The Loopy Ewe and are Malabrigo in the colors Plena, Saphire Magenta, and Whales Road.

Finally, I've pulled out a block of the month kit I ordered last year from Keepsake Quilting, "Lake Forest". I've started tracing the pattern onto fusible web for the first and most extensive block, but that's as far as I've gotten.

It feels good to have picked up the knitting again. In addition to these projects I also am ready to get busy quilting 715 Ann Street and Sister Chicks III which I posted about during the last 2-3 weeks.

Guess I have enough to keep me busy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Design Wall Monday 6-13-11

I'm linking today to Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

This quilt is called "Shall We Dance" and is a kit from Keepsake Quilting. I purchased this kit about 4-5 years ago, started it, became frustrated with it, put it down and it became a UFO. Last week I pulled it out and tried to figure out where I left off on it and was determined to finish it. Here it is, such as it is. It's not square so the borders are ruffly. The machine quilter I use, Lilly Lucier out of Vanceboro, NC, is sometimes a miracle worker so I'll take it to her and see if she can do anything with it. Regardless, it will just be a lap quilt for me.

I'm not sure why it turned out so un-square. All of the turtle blocks should have turned out 12" unfinished, but one side, the same side on every single block, was 11.5". I couldn't trim up the squares too much or the legs would have not have lined up like they were supposed to.

Oh well, it's another one I can tick off my "to do" list even if I'm not especially pleased with it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday 6-6-11

I have several pieces in progress right now.

Sister Chicks III is ready to be quilted (designer Debi Hubbs).Wow, it took a long time to satin stitch around each applique piece, but I'm pleased with it. I'll quilt it using a simple diagonal cross-hatch design. I haven't selected the binding fabric yet. The final finishing touch will be the jiggly eyes for the hens and the cow, and birthstone jewelry for each hen - amethyst, aquamrine, and topaz.

A.C. Moore had bandanas on sale for $1/each so I bought 12 to make another bandana quilt - I love these colors - so bright and happy; in fact, I'm naming this quilt "Happiness". Am looking for a good fabric for a border, maybe a white with multi-color polka dots. My other bandana quilt is red/white/blue and it is a great knock-about quilt - I don't worry if it gets put on the floor or if the critters waller all over it.

And though I have not been actively participating in the U.F.O. Challenge at Patchwork Times, the challenge has inspired me to pull out some U.F.O.'s and work on them, this turtle quilt being one of those. This quilt is a kit from Keepsake Quilting called "Shall We Dance" by designer Karen Brow. I started it 3-4 years ago or so and became very frustrated with it so put it down. However, when I pulled it back out a couple days ago and tried to pick up the thread of where I left off at, it wasn't in as bad shape as I remembered. So I'm off and running again with it and this time I'll finish it. I have the 6 blocks finished, the applique turtle ready to go; need to cut out the setting triangles then I can sew the whole thing together. I had forgotten that I'd already cut and piece together the borders and binding.

Take a few minutes to stop by Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5-30-11

Happy Memorial Day! Happy Birthday to my mother who turned 84 today!

Am linking to Patchwork Times today for Design Wall Monday.

I finished the 715 Ann Street - a whimsical tribute to my lovely grandmother's house, a home we all loved and adored when we were growing, a home that contains many happy memories. Though the house no longer is "in the family" the people that own it are terrific and take such loving care of it. My grandmother would be thrilled to see how beautiful her home is these days.

What's left to do on this piece is the quilting, of course, adding some flower buttons on the shrubs, and writing "715 Ann Street" above the front door. This piece has been a true joy to make.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5-23-11

Thanks so much to QuiltSwissy for her suggestion in my blog last week regarding Betty Alof's book "Quilt Your Favorite Photos". I ordered the book via the internet from Betty Alof's web site and received it in the mail Wednesday. The book is great. I learned that while generally I was on the right path regarding the applique wall hanging I'm planning to do in memory of my grandmother's house, Betty's book let me know I was trying to put way too much detail in the pattern.

So, I re-drew the pattern and am very pleased with the drawing now as a jumping off point for this project. I've pulled fabrics, and am ready to go.

I also have selected a series of teal fabrics in light to dark values that will eventually become a quilt for my neice. I have the idea/pattern floating around in my head - it will be a little while before I start it.

Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times is always fun. Please check it out.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5-16-11

I'm linking today to Judy's blog at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

I've managed to get a couple of tops finished and ready for quilting this week and am preparing to start another. First, I finished The Blue Hour scrappy quilt top. It was fun to do and I'm wondering if I have enough reds, yellow, pinks, greens, etc. in my stash to make other color tops like this.

I also put together a small wall hanging for my sister. I'm calling it Sister Chicks II because I've made a similar piece for my other sister that I called Sister Chicks I. The pattern line is by Debi Hubbs and this is really called "Out To Lunch" - the original has 4 crows instead of 3 but since my sisters and I make 3, I omitted one of the crows. They still need their eyes. I'll quilt it myself. And I plan to embellish it like I did the first one - one will wear amethyst beads, one aquamarine, and the other topaz - representing the birthstones for each sister.

My next project is called 715 Ann Street and is a tribute to the home my grandmother lived in for a gazillion years. My cousin, Patricia, is a watercolor artist specializing in old homes and churches. She did this drawing and I enlarged it to about 20" x 20" and will use it as the pattern for this applique wall hanging.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5-9-11

Since Mother Nature so kindly tended to my garden this weekend with her natural rain elixir, which in turn gave me a legitimate excuse to not mow the yard ;-), Ive had a couple of days to sew. Because of that, the Front Street Memories townscape wall hanging is ready for Lilly Lucier to machine quilt it. I'll have to take it to her and chat with her about the best way to quilt it.

I also started a blue & white scrappy quilt which I've named The Blue Hour. The final size will be 16 blocks square or about 54" square once the borders are added. The amount of blue fabrics in my stash dictated the size of this lap-size quilt. Should finish it up in the next day or two. Then I have two more applique wall hangings in the queue.

Today I'm linking to Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday - a terrific source of quilting and crafting inspiration.