Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!!!

I am wishing everyone a very happy and joyous Holiday season.  Enjoy your family and friends and hold those that you love close!

I am sewing and making gifts for family and friends.  Just haven't had time to post.  Maybe by the end of the week, I can provide you with an update.

Happy Holidays!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weathering the Storm

Sandy has come and gone, but there are so many people who have been affected by this storm.  Erin who writes the blog "My Patchwork Life" has sent out a call for blocks to make quilts for those in need.  If you would like to help, please go over to Erin's blog.  She has posted a short tutorial and instructions for mailing the blocks.  The quilt block is the Disappearing 4-patch.  It was my first time making this block and it was very easy.  I am contributing the 2 blocks pictured here. Thanks Erin for coordinating this effort.  I know many people will be very appreciative.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I am a Winner - Part Two

I received this package in the mail containing 2 really great items from Laundry Basket Quilts.  Edyta Sitar's 2013 Journal -- too beautiful to write in and a pack of her Paint Box charm squares.  I am a happy quilter.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I am a Winner!!!

I usually do not enter giveaways.  When I have entered them in the past, my number just never comes up.  However, I think the dry season is over for me...I have won three giveaways on three different blogs in the last month.  Yep, I am a winner.   I don't spend a lot of time reading blogs.  Especially those announcing "Giveaways."  Usually you have to leave a comment and when I scroll down to the bottom of the comment section and see that 1,256 comments have been left for one prize...well....let's just say that those odds are not in my favor.  I usually power through them and keep moving, but it started with Debby Kratovil's new blog.  She is a local quilt star and I was excited to see that she had started a blog.  She had a giveaway, I left a comment for Debby and I won a beautiful set of fat quarters in browns and pinks.  I  am using them in a new quilt...more about that later.  Love them...

So my winning streak continued a few weeks later, when I was reading Mary Elizabeth Kinch's new blog (maybe it's a new blog thing...) and I left a comment on one of her entries.  And guess what?  Yep... the random number picker was kind to me and I won again!  How awesome is that? If you have not experienced Mary Elizabeth's quilts, please visit her website gallery and blog.  You will be amazed.  She is a small pieces enthusiast and so am I.  I absolutely love her quilts.  She didn't pay me to say that...I was hooked way before I won the giveaway.  This is my prize...  I can't figure out why blogger rotates the photos, but you get a good picture.

Soooo...(who says lightning never strikes in the same place twice or even 3 times) this morning I had an email from Edyta Sitar .  Congratulations to me for winning yet another giveaway.  I didn't even remember leaving a comment on her site, but I love her quilt designs, so I am quite happy.  I don't know what I've  won, but I will post a picture asap.

This winning thing is fun and I could get quite used to it.  Well, I mean I would have to start reading the whole blog post and then I would have to leave a comment...sometimes you have to be more specific with your comments, so you have to think about a witty response, etc., etc., etc.   But I think I  like this winner stuff even though I know all good things eventually come to an end! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Trinity Celtic Knot & Architectural Gems

The weather has finally turned to comfortably cool temperatures and it is just right to finish up some long standing projects.  Jennifer's wedding quilt is finally complete and I am sending it to her this week.  This week is her one year anniversary, so I made my self-imposed deadline to have her Trinity Celtic Knot quilt all done by her first anniversary.

I found this quilt pattern in a McCalls magazine.  It went together really fast and I used assorted bali pops and Michael Miller black, both staples in my stash.  I would make it again because it was an easy quilt to create.  My friend Carrie quilted it for me on her Tin Lizzie and we used a King Tut variegated thread.  I think it turned out quite nice.  The quilt pattern name is Architectural Gems and I can now cross this one off my every increasing in length WIPs list.  Sorry about the lighting in the pictures.  I really need to take a class on taking pictures :0)  Hope to have another quilt top completed by the end of the week.  Keep your fingers crossed. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A little bit of this...A little bit of that!

So, I haven't posted in quite a while.  I wanted to, but this past summer has been the summer from H@#$L literally and temperature wise.  I am not a lover of all things hot, especially the swamp hot days in the Washington, DC area, long summer, hello autumn.  The temperatures are a perfect 75 to 80 degrees during the day and cool 50s at night.  Just perfect.  So now I am trying to get back in the swing of things. Here is a short update on a little of this and that...

The ocean waves quilt has moved up to the fore front again and I am trying to complete the top and be done.  I have been working on this way too long and everyone keeps asking for the status of the ocean waves quilt. I need one full uninterrupted day and it should be done.  You can see a photo here.

So lately I have become intrigued with English paper-piecing and Hexies.  I have been following Bonnie Hunter's progress with her hexagon quilt and Kelly Jackson over at I Have a Notion posted a tutorial on her blog on how to do hexies.  I am hooked...  Not worried about when a quilt gets made.  This is a long term project and who knows...I may tire of it, but right now, it fills in available time.  So here is a little stack of hexies and I keep everything in a ziploc baggie.  Who knew???

I am still making blocks for the Farmer's Wife Sampler in the Japanese taupes.  This is block #16.  I only have 109 more to make. 

Out of the blue, my four year old granddaughter asked me to make her an owl pillow.  I have never made anything like this ever, pillows and stuff like that, but her request was so sincere, I felt I needed to do this.  So I made Hootie for Niani.  She loves it...even got into a tussle with her Mom (my daughter) because she wanted to take it to school and mean ole Mom said "No."  I think he is kinda cute.  And my granddaughters think that GiGi can make anything:0)

My watching TV project is putting the binding on this quilt that I made over a year ago.  I think I found the pattern in one of the McCalls magazines.  It is named Architectural Gems and I used bali pops.  It was easy to put together, just big.  My friend Carrie quilted it for me.  I don't think I have ever posted a picture, but it is on my WIPs list and it will soon come off. I will post a photo when the binding is done.

And lastly, I have been kitting up a couple of quilts that will fill in the void when I get bored.  The first is a pattern from Fons and Porter magazine in all pink and brown reproduction fabrics.  I had a lot of them on hand and I even won a giveaway on Debby Kratovil's blog for a new line of pinks and browns.  It is named Rootbeer and Bubblegum. 

Then I am having a new love affair with Mary Elizabeth Kinch and her small pieces.  So with more repro fabrics I am cutting up the pieces for one of the quilts in her book "Small Blocks, Stunning Quilts," called "Leap of Faith."  Both contain lots of small pieces and HSTs.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, July 16, 2012

I Love a Challenge...Jennifer's Quilt

Especially when it turns out looking like this!.   If you have been following my blog while I was working on this quilt, you know that I ran up against a few little obstacles...sewed a block upside down...sewed a block together in the wrong direction,,,didn't make enough blocks of one group, stuff like that.  But the top is completed and it will be soon on its way to be quilted.  It is a wedding gift for Jennifer who has been very patient since she got married last October.  Would I make this quilt again...probably, I think.  It really is not that hard to put together except that there is a lot of precutting and sewing and you really, REALLY have to be organized and have your blocks sorted as outlined in the pattern.  All of the blocks are 9 patch blocks in various sizes.  I used 2.5 inch strips (mostly bali pops) and everything came from my stash.  I did purchase the wide backing and it was on sale.  The second time around, I would use smaller strips, maybe 2 inch so that it would not turn out so big, but that is the only change I would make.  Maybe I would not make it so scrappy.  Just 3 or 4 solid colors or prints that read as solid.  Anyway, it was a blast.  Now I can move onto my other long-suffering projects.  We had a sew-in yesterday with my friends and I finished 2 sets of pillow cases that I promised my daughter's college room-mate back in October.  Brynna has also been very patient with me, but that doesn't keep her from asking about the pillow cases every time she speaks with Rayna.  So I can scratch them off as well.  It feels good to complete something and move on!  Thanks for stopping by! and enjoy your week!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Trying to catch up...

I have been off the radar for a while.  I had to put the ocean waves quilt on the back burner to work on the wedding gift quilt for a family friend.  It has been an ambitious undertaking but I am almost there.  I think it will finish as a king sized quilt with the last 2 rows that I need to add.  The pattern is named Trinity Celtic Knot.  It looks hard, but it was quite easy once you got started.  The trick is organization of the 9 patch blocks.  So this will be off to the quilter soon.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Riding an Ocean Wave...Not yet!

Needless to say, I did not make the May 1st deadline that I set for myself to complete the ocean waves quilt top.  I did get more blocks completed.  This is going to be a humongous quilt. Right now it is measuring approximately 40 x 40.  I am not putting borders on it and  I am really thinking about making it smaller.  So I am giving myself another week...because I need it.  Here is a  pic showing a few more blocks.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Riding an Ocean Wave

I haven’t posted much in the last several weeks. I have had a lot going on…Dad having major heart surgery (he is doing much better now); work issues (our CEO resigned to take another job), totally unexpected, so my office was in an uproar and just plain ole stuff. However, because quilting is so calming to me, I made time almost every evening to do a little. I set the egg timer (quilt timer) for about an hour, sometimes 2, so that I could work and not worry about timing and to remind myself to go to bed within a reasonable time. Because once I get started, it is hard for me to stop.

I am working on the Ocean Waves quilt and it is coming together nicely. The blocks are big and take up a lot of space, so getting detailed pictures is a pill, but below is a picture of 2 completed blocks. They measure about 20" each and there are 20 blocks.  A pretty big quilt.  I hope to finish the top by the end of the month, so ring my bell if you do not see a picture of a finished top by May 1.

I am also working on the wedding quilt for Jennifer. Well she got married last October, but I couldn’t make up my mind what type of quilt I wanted to make for her. I didn't want to do another Double Wedding Ring.  I already have 2 on my WIPs list.  Then one of my blog friends decided to have a quilt along for the Trinity Celtic Knot quilt and I knew this was the one. It is a whole lot of cutting, sub-cutting, sewing and re-sewing, but I am having fun with it. It is very scrappy with lots of purples and greens.  And the entire quilt is made with 9-patch blocks.  It requires my full attention because of the many pieces, but it has been a wonderful diversion with all of the stuff going on. The quilt pattern is designed by Deborah Cohen with Arbee Designs. You can follow along on the blog set up to showcase our progress on the Trinity Knot Along here.  My deadline for completing the top and getting this quilted and delivered to Jennifer is July 1. Everything is going along smoothly with it right now after a few false starts. A picture of what the finished quilt should look like is below. Keep your fingers crossed. Thanks for stopping by and I will check in soon!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Seeking Inspiration

Sometimes you just have to take a  break from the sewing and quilting projects, step back, reassess, learn a new technique, refine an old technique and maybe indulge yourself with the luxury of enjoying another's work.  Over the last month, I had the opportunity to participate in a short retreat with friends in Hampton, VA as well as attending the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.  The retreat consisisted of late night sew-ins, eating, the jelly roll race, (we didn't race), eating, a visit to local quilt shop, eating and seeing friends that we haven't seen in a while and did I say eating...  I participated in a class for the first time in 12 years of attending this show.  I took "That Perfect Stitch" hand quiling class from Diedra McElroy to revisit and refine my techniques for handquilting.  I plan to do a little more hand quilting in the future.  The quilts at the show were wonderful and of course what would this show be without the vendors.  They add to the excitement of  the show with all of the delicious fabrics and awesome gadgets.  I returned home dog-tired but with some inspiration to create unique and different quilts.

This past weekend, I took my granddaughters to their first quilt show. It is a small local show thoughtfully coordinated by 2 local quilt guilds, The Cabin Branch Quilters and the Stone House Quilters. While I looked at the quilts, the coordinators had the children participate in a scavenger hunt with prizes for those that completed the hunt. They had a ball and I can honestly say that for the first time in a while I got a kick out of some of the unique and whimsical quilts. My camera even worked this time, so there are photos of some my favorites. There were quite a few that I gravitated toward, but here are some of  my favorites. Oh...while I visited the small array of vendor booths, I did not spend any money. A first for me...I think I am getting better. Enjoy my fav pics!!!  I am headed back to fulfilling my WIPs.  Thanks for stopping by.

I love this Cathedral Windows quilt.  It was hand-pieced.
You probably can't tell from this picture, but the windows were made from clear plastic.

I have a thing for circles in quilts.  The picture does not do the quilt justice.  The colors were so vibrant.
He is so cute.  The title for this quilt was "Stop and Smell the Flowers."

How cool is this?  The sunglasses are embellished with rhinestones.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One Down…??? To Go!

The last border has been sewn on Half-Square Triangle Madness (HSTM) and it is ready to be quilted. I even had the backing fabric in my stash and I have enough yardage that I don’t have to piece the back. I may piece it anyway to make it more fun…but I am happy that I am at this point. It turned out really nice and I am anticipating getting it quilted. Probably, a feather pattern in the big blocks and stitch in the ditch around the hst’s and borders. So, the next WIP on the list is the Ocean Waves quilt. I think this WIP goes back about 2-1/2 years and like HSTM, it has a heap of half square triangles. There are 800+ in the finished quilt. I am not even going to count them, because I don’t want to develop a mental block. This quilt requires 80 – 10-1/2 inch blocks. Well, I thought I only needed 40 blocks, but each ocean waves block requires four 10-1/2 inch blocks to make one 20-1/2 inch block. So, I have to make a few more blocks, but everything is cut out. I just need to sew them together. I am shooting for completing the top by the end of the weekend. And yes, I have the backing fabric for this one too…

I feel I am on a roll, but when this top is completed, I am going to do a little work on the Farmers Wife Sampler, may be 1 or 2 more blocks. And then, may be a little time on the Orca Bay mystery quilt. With Bonnie Hunter’s quilts there is a lot of cutting, sewing and cutting again, so it takes more time. But I want to complete at least 2 blocks to see if I am going to like this quilt. If I do, then I will keep working on it however long it takes. If not, then I am going to pack up all of the pieces and donate them. Pineapple Blossom is up next…

I learned a new quilty word yesterday from a new blog friend at . Flimsy is the word used to describe what we used to call "an un-quilted top" that has been hanging around for more than a year. You complete the top and put it away promising to get it quilted real soon. But it never happens. Just when I thought I was putting a dent in the fabric and WIPs backlog, here comes something else. So now I need to know…how many flimsies are lurking in a bag (I don’t do boxes) some where. How many flimsies do you have?  Below is a photo of the Half Square Triangle Madness quilt top.  It will not become a flimsy.  And now on to the Ocean Waves blocks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

HSTM revealed...

Following up on my previous post, I wrote that I would take pictures of a quilt that I started on about 4 years ago.  I saw it in a magazine and absolutely fell in love...knew I had to re-create it, however challenging it might become and sealed the deal on what would become my love affair with everything half-square triangles (hst's).  This quilt has a little bit of everything that I enjoy working with: taupes, batiks,  black, and of course lots of hst's.  It is a variation on the ocean waves quilt pattern and I finally counted the hst's.  There are 120 (480) in each border and approximately 1200 in the quilt top.  It will finish at about 80 x 80. They are all 2.5 inches.  I used the Tada fusible triangle product to make them and it was a breeze somewhat...I can't believe I am admitting to this, but I stopped working on this quilt because I became overwhelmed by so many of the hst's.  And then I miscalculated the border triangles and they did not fit and I had to take them apart. Sheesh... It just made me crazy.  One of my coworkers named it half-square triangle madness (HSTM). Mariah is not a quilter, but she didn't realize how right she was. The name stuck and I folded it, not so neatly, along with unsewn borders, bias edges and all and stuffed it in a tote bag.  From time to time, my friends would ask about it and I would claim ignorance on its whereabouts.  But I was thrown up in the back of the closet in the tote bag. :0)   Up until this weekend, I didn't even have a picture of it.  So feeling guilty about the number of WIPs, I moved it to the top of my to do list,  I pulled it out of the bag, my girlfriend Wendy (thanks again Wendy) pressed it a little for me and I am back to work on it.  I have one more border to construct and put on and then I will have it quilted and decide on a home for it.  I may keep it for myself, but I haven't reached that decision yet.  So, here it is ... revealed at last.   I will post a pic of the completed top very soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recovering and regrouping…

Can you believe that we are in the 2nd week of the New Year? I am still recovering from all of the gift making and gift giving of the holiday season and frankly I am pooped! Now that the new grand daughter has arrived safely and is too cute; and the holiday rush is over and after much reflection, I have resolved to complete the quilts that I started on last year for myself. I gift quilts and I love that part of the craft, but I love them for myself too. So, if you look at my WIP list on the right side of this blog, I am going to work my way down the list. Maybe not in that exact order, but it is going to happen and I will keep at it until I am done. There will be a few new projects, but I just can not resist starting new stuff before I finish up the old stuff. I do that all of the time, so it will be a hard habit to break.

So for a brief update, I am continuing work on the Farmer’s Wife Sampler quilt. This is my diversion project and there is no rush here. The Ocean Waves quilt is moving back up the list. I am done with making the blocks. Just need to lay them out and create the top. I don’t want this one to continue to be a UFO, so it will definitely get done. Then, there is the Nine Patch Pineapple quilt that I started as part of an online challenge. It was definitely a challenge, required my undivided attention and I had to put it aside. I could not keep up. But it is going to be a gorgeous quilt and I do want to finish it. In 2010, I went to a retreat in Smithfield, VA where I had 2 classes with Bonnie Hunter. Lots of scraps, lots of blocks and not enough time. So the Pineapple Blossom and the Holiday Blue Ridge Beauty are moving up the list. And finally, a quilt that has become sort of my trademark for my obsession with half-square triangles. I started this quilt probably 4 years ago. I don’t think I have ever mentioned it on the blog, because, well, I worked on it for so long that I had to stop. It had started to overwhelm me and every time I looked at it, it was just too much. A co-worker  named it Half-square Triangle Madness and the name stuck. You will see what I mean when you see the photo.

So that is the short list of to do’s. Remember I wrote in a previous blog that I am going to start a Dear Jane. I intend to do that, just not until I finish something on the UFO list first. And I am also doing Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay Mystery quilt. It has been revealed, so I am taking my time on this – no big hurry. The Trinity Celtic Knot quilt is on the list and may move up faster than others because it will be a long overdue wedding quilt. All of the quilts on the WIP list are in various degrees of completeness, but here are photos of some of them, so that you can share in the fun. I will post a picture of Half-square Triangle Madness as soon as possible. It is a big quilt and I have to think about the best way to photograph it. I plan to do more frequent updates as I scratch them off the list, so stay tuned. Thanks for following my blog and have a great week.

       Ocean Waves

       Nine Patch Pineapple

     Farmers Wife Sampler

     Orca Bay Mystery