Friday, December 03, 2010

Making Progress

I've been quilting on the longarm, trying to finish a Quilt of Valor. The pattern is Mystery 12 from Persimmon Quilts. Nothing too fancy, just some loops in the background and squiggles in the gold area.

An older UFO, "Hidden Stars" a block of the month from Marti Michell, started in 2005.
The pattern originally called for alternate squares of a busy floral, fussy cutting the large roses. I am not that kind of girly-girl! My first thought was to find a light denim blue to match the light blue in the patchwork blocks, which would have been a great plan five years ago. Alas, my LQS didn't have anything suitable when I went shopping a few weeks ago. Rather than spend time searching for something to fit that perfect mental image, I settled on this forest green. I think it looks great so far - just masculine enough while still being a soft complement to the other florals.

And, TA-DA!!!! A finish! I started this bargello quilt at my first Quilt Camp in the Pines, July 2004, just 6 months after I made my first quilt. The class was taught by Louisa Smith and she actually had us turn a section of the strips to create a twist in the design. Great idea, but six years have gone by and I can't even find pictures of that layout now.
When I picked out the fabrics, I had the local quilt show theme of Mardi Gras in mind, so I went with yellow, purple and green. I am still debating adding some applique to "explain" the Mardi Gras colors, but really, who am I kidding? A much better idea is just to get it quilted and donate it to the small quilt auction, or maybe keep it as a spring display for my classroom.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fall Update

Life with an extroverted four-year-old is B-U-S-Y!! Grandma cleaned out her spice cabinet and washed some of the empty tins, so now Kendra has a collection of ingredients to play with.

Here are some of the highlights from our day at the Arizona State Fair. There was a "Kids Zone" hallway with soft building blocks and a haybale maze, but the fan was her favorite.
Every girl needs a pony...
Kendra decided to be "Sparkle Barbie" for Halloween and she had lots of fun at the school carnival with her buddy Superman.
And just yesterday we went to the Great Arizona Puppet Theater for a performance of "The Little Red Hen."

Sunday, October 03, 2010

UFO Club

Thanks to some quilty knitters on Ravelry, there is now some incentive to get moving on my UFOs. We all pledge to work on specified projects, with a reward of fat quarters if we finish at least one thing in three months. Fall is really busy with school and clubs and life, etc. but I think I can focus on these things:
#1 - Reversible placemats for a Christmas gift
#2 - Quilts of Valor. I have several tops pieced and I need to load them on the longarm then get them in the mail. If any of you have time to devote to this worthy cause, check out the QOV website. The group in Delaware needs many more quilts for the airmen/women stationed at Dover AFB, which is the point of entry for fallen soldiers. A difficult assignment for sure.

#3 Marti Michell's 2005 Block of the Month. Ha, ha, ha. Yes, this is an oldie, but goodie. You can see some of the floral fabric that is supposed to be alternate blocks. Not in my version! I will be shopping for a light denim blue instead. (hubby breathes a sigh of relief...I want this one on my bed!)#4 Bargello...even older! I started this one in 2004 at Quilt Camp in the Pines, Flagstaff AZ. I got all the strips together and laid out on a "Block Butler" portable design wall. I was worried that years of being shoved in the back of the closet on sticky stuff would damage the fabric, but it looked pretty good today as I unwrapped it! My plan is to press a couple strips at a time and pin them in front of the TV, then sew them together in between other projects.
#5 My Centennial project...the 2012 piece Arizona Flag postage stamp quilt. Here is a section of the bottom half. I need to make steady progress on this because there is a call for entries in a Centennial Quilt show due next September! June is my best month for quilting on my longarm since there are no pressures from school, so that is my self-imposed deadline for this one. Phew! The journey of a finished quilt starts with a few stitches, and I've got quite a list!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hello out there!

We're back to the school year routine, which means I only get to sew on holidays! Well, on the occasional Saturday I can squeeze in time to do things like put borders on a QOV mystery from Persimmon Quilts:
Of course, my photo skillz are horrible, and I chopped off the borders. You can see a few bits in the upper right corner! Great pattern, but I have no idea how I will quilt it. I need to do something all over (pantograph suggestions anyone?) or it will languish for at least a year.

Then I needed a quick project, so I grabbed some fabric that I bought on a whim this summer during our vacation in Minnesota and made some placemats. Left side is stack-n-slash, and the reverse is a log cabin with the Minnesota fabric in the center. They will be a Christmas present for a snowbird friend who splits her time between Arizona and Minneapolis.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's that time again

Kendra had a birthday so I had to get the annual bunny picture. (Background: each month of her first year, I posed her on the couch with the same stuffed bunny. Now that she's older, it's a birthday tradition.) As a four year old girl, she is quite the drama queen, and she doesn't always cooperate with photo requests. Today, bunny was too scratchy.

I solved that dilemma by having her wrap it in a blanket like a baby.Quilters with a sharp eye...look behind the bunny and check out the Dick and Jane quilt on the brown chair :-) Thanks to Grandma!!

Of course we had a celebration complete with cake:
And presents. ALL BARBIES. You should see the clothes and shoes, Oh My Goodness. I am the official "dresser." She has several of the Disney-themed dolls and it's funny to see Mulan in Snow White's outfit!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Quiltathon Progress

Change of plans since the last post. The quilt I wanted to put on the longarm was a bit too small to be a Quilt of Valor, so I added some borders. Then, I had no batting so I set that one aside and turned to the other mystery of the summer.

I've been working on LeAnn's QOV mystery #12 (check out Persimmon Quilts).I'm almost done with Clue #5. Of course, I'm a couple months behind the rest of the world...LeAnn has already started mystery #13!!

The Quiltathon was a success, I logged 6 solid hours in my sewing room. Now THAT'S a vacation day :-)

Mystery Solved!

Judy LaQuidara designed a great quilt. I left off the innermost border, since I did not have enough fabric and I could not wait for another run to the quilt shop! In my defense, I recently went on a shop hop, and the seven stores I visited did not have a match. The next question is how to quilt it...I may have to browse for some new pantographs!
I'm going to load up the longarm after lunch. Great quilting day so far!

Quiltathon Plans

JudyL over at Patchwork Times is "hosting" a quiltathon today and tomorrow. What that means in blog-land is that we all try to clear our schedules and hide away in our sewing space, emerging only to eat and post our progress! Hubby's at work, daughter's at daycare and Mama's gonna play!

I have two mystery quilts that I'd really love to finish today, plus ideas for quilting on the longarm so I plan to alternate my time between those projects. I'll be back in a few hours with pictures.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Barbie World

This summer is all about Barbie. Kendra got her first Barbie doll for Christmas, and just recently became enamored with it.
I wanted an easy project for my summer travels, so I asked Kendra if she'd like some knit dresses for her dolls. Of course the answer was yes! Luckily, I am used to working with small needles for socks, and these dresses were knit flat with a seam up the back. Easy peasy!

AND, Grandpa searched the garage and found my old dollhouse!
It is a wooden house whose walls are hinged so it folds flat to store. The furniture is wicker. The whole set was purchased in the Philipines while my dad was stationed overseas in the late 1970s. I think it held up rather well!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins

Hey's another theme day!! If you want to fill in your own blanks, visit Friday Fill-Ins.

1. I feel ___hopeful for rain__.

2. ___Run __ to catch up.

3. Do _you have a plan?____.

4. Snowflakes are ___ completely unique.

5. It's hard to know how much __spaghetti to cook___.

6. Card players_____ follow suit.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to ___finishing a quilt____, tomorrow my plans include ___movies_____ and Sunday, I want to _get back to church after a few weeks off____!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday 13

In an effort to blog on a regular basis, I will resort to "theme days." This week's list:

Thirteen places I've been this summer (in roughly chronological order)

1. Quality Inns in various cities.
2. US Airways Center for a Phoenix Mercury WNBA game.
3. Rose Chapel in Fort Worth for a lovely wedding.
4. Perini Ranch near Abilene for a dear friend's birthday.
5. Carlsbad Caverns
6. White Sands National Monument
7. A minor league baseball game: Brainerd Lunkers vs St Cloud Bats
8. Park Point beach on Lake Superior
9. Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
10. The dentist
11. The movies
12. Gettin' my kicks on Route 66
13. Swimming

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Other Projects

I needed an easy sock pattern for a recent road trip, so I cast on "Primavera" with some Lorna's Laces in the Franklin Habit Panopticon colorway. Fun pooling and the pattern had just enough difficulty to keep it interesting across Texas.
Our house is slowly being overrun with Barbie dolls, and most of the time they are nekkid. A quick search on Ravelry brought me to this...which will probably end up under the bed like the clothes the dolls came with!
And, my Arizona Centennial Postage Stamp quilt. 196 pieces done, only 1804 to go!! Hopefully you can see the gold star which is the center of the state flag. If you have any red, navy blue or butter yellow scraps, I can definitely put them to use!

Quilting Designs

All I have left is the background meandering! Oh, and then binding, ugh. Well, I needed a project for the dog days of summer...
Front view:
I couldn't get the hopping foot over some of the points, so I just avoided them!
I used a circle design in the blue diamonds, so I brought that into the border with a "Bubble Curtain" (courtesy of Leah Day's 365 freemotion designs).My staple "Flame Flower" in the green diamonds and green border:I've used matching thread throughout the project, so the back will be as interesting as the front. The backing fabric is a navy blue tone-on-tone print and the first picture is truer to the actual color.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I am working on two mystery quilts, destined to be Quilts of Valor.
Mystery #12 from Persimmon Quilts...traditional red, blue, cream and gold. I'm working on Clue 3.
JudyL is designing this one. Bright colors with cream background and green accents. Working on clue 3 on this one as well!On the longarm is the wedding quilt, which was paper pieced. The wedding is this Friday. I totally blew the deadline, as explained in the last post :-) So, now I can relax and enjoy the process of stitching. The jewel blocks are in purple, blue and green, and these stars appear in the corner. I am quilting a feathery pinwheel in the purple area, and I will use some concentric teardrops in the turquoise triangles.The view from the back - I am using a different design in each jewel block. I love this purple thread, it's King Tut and it is working like a dream in my machine! At the top of the photo is the over/under feather I used in the inner border.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Time flies

My mind is filled with quotes like "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" and something about best-laid plans.
There's no way around the fact that June kicked my butt.
Over the past few years, I have dedicated my summer vacation to quilting. This year, I got a wild hair and volunteered to teach summer school. We are running a three-week math class, from 7:30 am til 12:30 pm. A little extra money, and afternoons free for quilting.
HA - another quote: Man plans, God laughs.
Mondays filled up with swim lessons. There were a few year-end parties, and a weekend church retreat. Then I got sick, and laid on the couch for a few days.
So, I have accepted the fact that the quilt I have been working on, which was planned as a gift for a wedding on June 25th, will not get done since I only have about 8 free hours between now and the time we leave. (heavy sigh) I was so optimistic when I started this project back in January! I still had hope when I was taking the paper foundations off in April! But darn this June - the fates conspired against me. Emily Post says we have four months to deliver gifts, right? (Or is that the rule for writing thank yous...I can never keep them straight.)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Quilting Time!

I've started the quilting phase of my paper-pieced gift. Nothing too complicated, although I am in the process of ripping out a row since the backing puckered...what a bummer!
To reward myself after an hour with the seam ripper, I have started a mystery quilt-along with the Quilts of Valor group. This one is designed by LeAnn at Persimmon Quilts. She uses a great method for the flying geese! (Look for clue #2 on quilt 12)

I thought I'd share a tip I learned from the Yarn Harlot - a counting thread.
That is the sleeve for a raglan sweater, and I need to decrease every 4th row. So, I grabbed some contrasting yarn, and laid it between stitches in the middle of the first decrease row. It's very easy to count those four rows, then bring the red yarn forward. You can use this method to keep track of how many times you've decreased along with counting the individual stitches.

And a tip for the quilters...I was getting stuck with the corners of some blocks on the mystery quilt. My machine was eating the tips and creating a tangled mess of thread.
So, I flipped the fabric so I could start sewing on a wider edge rather than the tip.
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Projects

Thursday afternoon I had some time to kill, so I decided to go to the quilt store. I planned to get fabric for a mystery quilt that Judy is hosting. Of course, I browsed the sale rack while waiting for inspiration to strike. Great sales technique - 20% off when you take the rest of the bolt! That explains about half of those fabrics. Hey, I don't shop very often, so when I do, it's definitely a SPREE.
Then I picked out some fat quarters and fat eighths, whatever struck my fancy.

The greens here are my accent fabrics with the marbled tan/cream background for the mystery quilt. I am hoping it has somewhat of a manly look so I can put it in the QOV pile.
Then, I joined the Block Lotto group. You can find a link in my sidebar --->
Each month there is a different pattern, and when the winners are announced, you send your blocks to that person. It's a fun way to try some new patterns, and maybe I'll get lucky sometimes and win enough blocks to make a quilt.

Have you figured out that I am *not* a monogamous quilter? LOL. Time to go cut more squares for my centennial project!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

No patience

This is the cutting table in my sewing room. I had some very nice internet buddies who sent fabric for the Centennial Project, and I have been cutting my little pieces out. I wanted to see how the scrappy fabrics would look in the stark solid design of the Arizona flag, so I concentrated on the center star - re-drafted, counted each color...
and just couldn't wait to start sewing! Even with the darker pieces thrown in, I think I have a decent golden star for the center. My red and yellow rays start as nine-patches.At this point I am about 5% done with the cutting! I worried a bit that I should finish collecting the fabric first - if you remember from the first post, I wanted to use each fabric only twice, but in my rush to start the golden star, I included some fabric about 10 times. Of course this project should wait - I have a quilt that needs to be loaded on the longarm, but I was too excited about my postage stamps!