Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tango – A Fun Finish

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Yes! Another finish! I named it Tango because of the movement of both fabric and the quilt pattern and having another finish made me feel like dancing!! This is the second quilt I’ve made with this fabric and really love the colors. It will be a gift for a friend, just because and isn’t that the best kind?

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How do you like this “artsy” pic below – tilted with the shadow of me taking the pic! LOL

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November did see some progress. I really do a fair amount of sewing, so why doesn’t the list get noticeably shorter?? Although, there are 20 finishes so far! Even better, I did empty two project boxes. One I put jewelry making supplies in and the other is now home for my silk threads and pearl cottons for applique work. This project box works perfectly for these supplies!

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Scrapbuster Sunday – Scrap Rugs!

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My great scrap adventure continues. Actually, it’s more like a great video game that I think I am losing! A huge amount of scraps went into this project (I first posted about this project here) and it was fun and easy. A scrap crocheted rug! I cut strips of scraps, 1 1/2″ wide, choosing my longest scraps. I then chain pieced them together. I did several batches. I have seen that some press the strips in half – hah! Not going to happen. Some roll the “fabric yarn” into a ball. Double Hah! Not going to happen. By making several batches instead of one large one, it was quite manageable. I crocheted a chain of 25 stitches, then single crocheted. This first rug was not planned with color at all, until I did the last round around the whole rectangle, for which I chose yellows. I love all the color fun going on in this rug! It now lays colorfully on the guest bathroom floor.

Crochet scrap rug round

I liked it so much it was a no brainer to do another! This one is more planned – yellows, gold and browns. And this one is round. I really enjoyed crocheting it in a circle. It’s 24 inches diameter and may need a few more rows added to it. I’ll live with it a while and then decide.

AND…drum roll…no more yellow scraps! Of course, I am sure to need some soon for another project (Is “Quilter’s Law” something like “Murphy’s Law?!”)

Lots of July Sewing!

Puppy Town Quilt

End of July already?? The intense heat of this month has kept me in my quilting studio. Certainly not a bad thing, but I would like to enjoy the outdoors just a little bit more. I did just have a very special weekend escape to the mountains of NC, just outside of Boone. A very generous friend invited me to do my own personal little retreat. I did do some sewing, lots of reading, and mostly relaxing. It was a very special three days for which I am so grateful. And look – is this place not darling? Looks like its right out of the thirties, but they did build it themselves. It’s one big room – nice and simple. The temperatures were comfortable, even cool in early morning and the views outside were wonderful. Thank you friend!

I did have a few finishes in July. My biggest accomplishment was another of Ellen Guerant’s wonky houses. I call it “Puppy Town” – there are several puppies living outside some of the houses and one kitty! When my niece visited last year she mentioned (well, a little more than mentioned) how much she liked my wonky house wall hanging. Love her to death so it left me with no choice – make her one! The quilting went fairly quickly – one day of sewing. The binding and then it was in the mail – whew!

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I made the label to mimic the quilt block design – fun!

My Works in Progress chart is updated. How is it there have been so many finishes this year and the number of WIP have not decreased? It is at 23. Three of the WIPs just need bindings, so that will be a fairly quick finish.  I have promised myself that I will NOT start anymore projects until I have this list whittled down to five. Maybe it’s part of getting older, but the number has begun to overwhelm me. Today I’m off to my son’s house for two days of dog sitting – should get some sewing done.

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Workin’ It Wednesday – Borders On

Thank you for all the help last week with border fabric choices. The blue really was the best choice. The fabric, however, is a cotton voile, which is much lighter than quilting cotton. A very lightweight fusible interfacing came to my rescue.

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The camera has become a critical tool in my quilting process. I took a picture and converted it to grayscale and ouch! One of my greens was too dark. I took it out and replaced it – not a highly recommended process. It is a real pain, but worth it in the end.

I chose to do the second border as a pieced border. The third border is the blue again. I was so happy to get it off to the long arm quilter I never got a pic, but the “solid” outside border framed it just right. I can’t wait to get this quilt back – I have an idea of something to add to it, but am keeping that under wraps ‘cuz it may or may not work!

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Hope you all had a happy and safe Fourth – Enjoy the rest of summer!!

 

A Big Accomplishment – Goal #1 Met!

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Retirement Quilting Goal #1 – a large hand applique quilt.  I am over the moon to be able to say that the top is done! Because this one is so special, I am sending it to a professional quilter to be custom quilted. Her schedule is quite full now, so I’m in the line-up!

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Center portion – I love the stars.

 

This pattern is a Kim Diehl pattern, “Late Bloomers.”    Many of the fabrics are hers, and there are some Civil war prints in there and a few pieces from my stash. This quilt was so out of my norm, but from the moment I first saw this pattern it captured me and  I knew I had to do it.

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For the body of the quilt there were a lot of half square triangles, which meant that there was a lot of squaring up to do. This was a rather ambitious hand applique project for a first (before this, I did hand applique many, many circles.)  I tried needle-turn applique but soon found out that it just wasn’t the method for me. I then prepared all the pieces using freezer paper, an iron, and starch.  It was days of prep and I did it all at once. It was tempting to begin the hand sewing process but I knew if I did that, I’d finish one panel and it would be forever before I got back to the prep work for the second panel. I absolutely hooted when I finished the first panel – Yay!! The fourth panel was another story – it seemed to take forever (being anxious will do that!)

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There was still the task of putting it all together – lots and lots of sewing. When I laid the top out, I couldn’t believe I had done it. Woweeeeeee!!!!

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The top is now squared, all the seams are pressed open and lie flat, and all threads are clipped. The backing is just one fabric, an extra wide fabric. All is hung safely in a closet waiting for the call from the quilter. It will definitely be worth the wait!

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A BIG Finish!

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Not in size, but certainly in time and effort! This Kaffe Fasset table runner is made with shot solids and stripes from a kit I purchased last year.  I loved the pics of it but my excitement was shot down when the kit arrived. I didn’t realize how small each block was – 4 1/2″ paper pieced with 15 pieces in each of the four patterns!

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I probably broke a world record with how slowly I pieced the first two or three. I soon became more comfortable with it, but doing more than a few at a time wore me out. I finally got the hang of it and did the last ten blocks in two days. That’s when I took off like a shot (no pun intended!) In no time I had the backing and batting prepped and decided on my quilting pattern. Many suggested I just quilt in the ditch so as not to take away from the log cabin pattern, especially since the stripe fabric was so busy. Just couldn’t do it! The walking foot came out together with a variegated thread, and away I went with a wavy design.

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I think it suits this piece just perfectly – accents it but doesn’t take over. I like the way the back looks too.

Mostly I love the way it looks on my dining room table. Best of all:  IT IS FINISHED – A BIG FINISH!!!

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Retreat Charity Quilt Finish

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At the April Quilt & Sew-In, everyone made two hourglass blocks. Every retreater is given fabric and instructions and making the blocks is totally optional. Each person made two blocks and I was able to put together a small child size quilt  and this lap size quilt. The colors are fun and bright and I think it will bring much joy to the recipient.

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This quilt will be sent on to the ALS Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge sponsored by Quilters’ Dream Batting. They have sponsored the Quilt & Sew-In each year and am so pleased we can be a part of this very worthy effort. Many thanks to all who attended the retreat – fun and effort have been put together to make something very comforting!

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Retreat Fun, Fun, Fun!!

 

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This past Thursday to Sunday was the annual Quilt & Sew-In in Blowing Rock, NC. Is there a better word for “fun” because that is what it was! Twenty Two gathered to sew, share, laugh and play. They came from Georgia, Ohio, Virginia and several towns in North Carolina!

Everyone wore the name tags I made. They are perfect for staying in a hotel. They have a pocket in the back to keep your room key. Remembering twenty-two names can be a bit daunting, so the name tags are a great help to everyone. Look for the tutorial for the name tags soon.

AND – there were prizes!!

And a great hotel staff that were so very helpful!

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I am always in awe of how much these great sewers accomplish in three days. Whole quilts were put together! Everyone also got to enjoy some of the wonderful restaurants that Blowing Rock has to offer. We all went to dinner together on Friday night and had a blast. Many of us had “dinner” had Kilwins one night – the best ice cream and chocolates ever! And, of course, there was the shopping. Boone has two quilt shops, Sew Original and The Quilt Shop that offered us a 15% discount. Unwound, a yarn shop in Blowing Rock, also offered a discount. There are knitters in the group that took advantage of that also!

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Take a look at the great fun and join me again November 10 through 13!

And join the Quilt & Sew-In on Facebook!

 

 

Fab Fabric Sale!!

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Headed to Archdale, NC last Thursday for a big fabric sale at Pineapple Fabrics. They had tons of precuts of name brand quality quilting fabrics all at reduced prices. Better yet – they took an extra 20% off at the register! I did exercise great restraint and only picked up a 2 1/2″ pack and charm pack of solids. I have precut solids in my stash, but you can’t have too much, can you?? There was also a lot of yardage that they cut to your requested size.  Prepacks of fat quarters with a pattern seemed to be a big hit.

Absolute BEST of all…they are the newest sponsors of the Quilt & Sew-In! Two bags full of precuts for this year’s retreats and door prizes! Thank you Pineapple Fabrics!

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Gardening vs. Quilting – Can I do Both?

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Once upon a time, I spent most of my free time in the yard. I would dig, plant, weed and plan. Sun up ’till sun down and there were days I would put on the outside lights after dark so I could finish up a section. Somehow things began to change and I spent less and less time in the yard. Quilting took over and now going out in the yard to work is an obligation and no longer a joy. Too bad, really, because it is good excercise. Now that I am retired, I am making a conscious effort to go back to the garden and enjoy the time spent there. I have decreased some of the maintenance making some areas smaller and eliminating flowers from another and replacing with ground cover. Unfortunately, we had a super duper bumper crop of acorns this past winter and I have a zillion plus little oak trees growing!!

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These little oak trees are everywhere! Soon to be covered with newspaper and mulched on top.

 

I’ll admit that once I’m out there I am enjoying it more. It helps that the weather here has been so wonderful. Mid 60’s to low 70’s is my ideal range for working outside. If I do just a couple of hours a day, I will be able to make a good dent in it. The glory is when I go inside and sit on the porch and enjoy looking at the fruits of my labor.  A huge side benefit is that it is healthy!

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Shot Cotton Throw

 

Admittedly, there is still plenty of time to sew. And I have seen much progress with my projects. So off to the garden I go with a positive attitude and will return with hopefully not too many aches and pains!!

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