Monday, October 31, 2011

PJs, Quilts and Towels

I have been sewing fast and furious here in my "spare" time.  Since last week I have managed to start assembling some of the things I cut out.  It seems like this assembly line kind of sewing will help me get the Christmas projects done.  So I guess I will spend a bunch of time cutting and then a bunch of time sewing, and finally a bunch of time quilting.
I took V with me to the LQS last Friday and we bought a bunch of batting-five and a half yards of 109 inch wide.  He was so cute and so funny.  The ladies there loved it.  He was very chatty that day.  He made a point to tell me he really liked all the Halloween fabric that was displayed up by the front door.
So now it's time to show and tell my progress.

 This is the quilt for the little girl in Vermont.  It is all basted and ready to quilt.  Just need to get some pink thread and cut out the quilting templates.
 These are some towels for my sister.  She reads my blog, so she will be super excited to see that I finished these for her.  I did dish rags for myself awhile back from this tutorial.  When my sister was here for the wedding she saw them and wanted some dish towels like them so we bought these at Target and I did them up in greens and the two extra with butterflies.  Her house is called the Garden House and I though these would go nicely.  I'll get them in the mail next week.  Gotta get a box.  If it fits, it ships Sis.
Here is the first pair of Christmas PJs from the Oliver+s pattern.  I am loving these.  I just need buttons and elastic.  Turns out I had the wrong size elastic so I have to go get more.  These jammies will be so great and the pattern I can't say enough nice things about it.  It's not too complicated but Liesl really thinks of all the details when she puts out a pattern.  So one more pair to make.  Also, I didn't take a picture yet because I'm not too far along on the Tic Tac Toe mats, but they are coming along nicely too.

I hope you have a great week.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I am going to try this and try to link up.  I've never done this before.  Here goes...

I started this quilt in the winter of 2006.  My oldest daughter was pregnant and we planned for me to go to Savannah for the baby's birth.  I knew I would be there for a week or so, and I wanted to have something I could do hand work on while I was there.  I got the pattern out of Quilter's Newsletter and started cutting and appliqueing and piecing.

I managed to get the top finished and basted the quilt sandwich before I had to go to Savannah.  But in her final two weeks, my daughter was put on bed rest and so I packed my things and headed south early to sit with her and wait...and stitch.
So as we watched a ton of TV I worked on this quilt.  I hand quilted different things on each heart and the surrounding background.  I let the patterns in the fabrics guide me.

My sweet little V was finally brought into the world and the quilt was soon forgotten.  I tried to work on it from time to time, but many projects got in the way.
Almost one year later I was with daughter number 2 waiting for the arrival of my number 2 grandson J and again I took this quilt with me to work on.  Once again some stitching was done, but not much as there was lots of baby cuddling to do.  When I came home, the quilt was put aside yet again.
Finally, in the winter of 2010, I picked it up once again, determined to finally complete it.  I made myself keep going even when I didn't feel like it because I knew that I wanted it to be finished so I could truly enjoy it.  I just had a hard time with all that hand quilting.  I didn't want to skimp on the later squares.

The quilt has been done for almost a year now.  It was my facebook profile picture for the longest time.  Everyone who has seen it loves it and wants one.  I just laugh at them.  Then I found it had a job to do.

My oldest daughter got married in front of it.  Her son V was there, looking on with the rest of our families and friends.  This was what she chose for the backdrop to her wedding.  This was its destiny all along and I never knew it while I stitched away.
I guess that's why I loved this quilt so much.  It is now a family treasure.

Here is the link to the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's creative side.  Check out all the great quilts.

<div align="center"><a href="http://amyscreativeside.com/" title="Amy'sCreativeSide"><img src="http://amyscreativeside.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Fullscreen-capture-9222011-123854-PM-e1316717452510.jpg" alt="Amy'sCreativeSide" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Monday, October 24, 2011

Progress... 2 by 2 and then some

Wow! What a difference a week makes.  This week I caught up on sleep (a little) I caught up on housework (a lot) and I made great strides in my sewing room.

Now having 2 grandsons 11 months apart in age makes it easy sometimes to think of gift ideas.  But the reverse is sometimes true when you have to then execute those ideas,  imagine...2 of everything.  So I don't do it often.  This time, though I just had to.  This is what I am working on with Christmas in mind:

My mother always made sure to give up PJs for Christmas.  I think the reason was that she wanted us looking good for Christmas morning pictures.  Whatever.  It became a tradition.  It's one I used for all of my girls and now for the grandsons as well.  We have bought Christmas PJs for them most years, and now that they are little men, we (my daughter and I) like this style, but it is hard to find.  I was wishing for a pattern so I could make them and now, BAM! Liesl has done it.  The pattern includes many sizes and I know I will be using it a lot.

For Christmas this year, here is my fabric choice:

Colorful Christmas-My Mind's Eye-Riley Blake

close up of the main fabric

I had to wash and iron all the fabric first

ready to go
I got all this on Stitch Steals for half of the original price.  And you all know flannel isn't cheap!  So I got it all cut out and ready to sew...both pairs.

The other project I am working on for the boys for Christmas is this one, found at the Moda Bake Shop.
It is a bean bag toss game that can be played inside!  Winter can be long people, especially with little ones in the house.
One I am making with a combination of Sherbet Pips and Little Apples by Aneela Hoey and the other will be Cheap Talk by Connecting Threads.  It's a great yellow, orange and red with a bit of blue and green.  Can't wait to see it all sewn up.

I cut out some of the letters just to see this.

Now that I have started these projects, I am really motivated!  I finished piecing this:
My Hometown quilt
And this:
My small quilt for my book/quilting group
And I got this done with 11 days left in the month:

Sew it's been going quite well over here.  I even managed to sew a few yo-yos this past week.  Yes, that project is still chugging along, although slowly.  I just hope I can keep this up.  The plan is to get all the tops done and then quilt my butt off until I finish everything.  Wish me luck.

Hope you all have a great week.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Feeling Whiny

I really just want to sew.  Uninterrupted.  For more than 30 minutes.  My stack of projects is pretty big right now and I feel like I'm not making as much progress as I'd like.  Why?

Well first there was my daughter's wedding October 1st and I was just beginning to recover from that and having to work 9 straight days afterwards.  Then this weekend...

Another wedding to go to, two hours away.  I love all these people and I really am happy for them, but now that there are no more weddings to attend in my immediate future, I want to sew, sew, sew......I just have to find the time!

Sorry for the lame post, but I will be back on track by next week.
Have a great week.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I think I can, I think I can

Sometimes I feel like that little engine and only if I keep "thinking I can" will I accomplish anything.  This is a tough work week for me and I am tired already, mentally as well as physically.  For my mental well being, I am trying to sew every spare minute I can.  So to that end, yesterday before I had to go to work, I got a couple of quilt tops finished.

The first one I got finished is my 36 Patch Quilt Along that I did with Crazy Mom Quilts this summer.  I am so glad to have it together and now I will begin piecing the back.  I already know what I want to do, so I just gotta do it.

The next one I finished is on my brother asked me to make for a special little girl on his wife's side of the family.  I had wanted to make a simple strip quilt, and that's how I started out.  But anyone who has quilted for awhile knows that sometimes a quilt wants what it wants and your best option it to go with it.  So this is what happened:

My strips needed a bit of something else, so I made some small strips going the other way and put them in.  This is good, I thought. I continued adding more strips and then WHAM! the quilt needed something else. So I gave it this:

Since there is a pinwheel print in it from Children at Play, it seemed to fit.  I like the scrapiness.  And then it seemed happy and fine with the progress.  I ended up with a thin green border and a larger pink border.  I measured all the leftover fabric and I think I have enough to piece the back without buying more fabric. YAY!

 I was also able to finish piecing these blocks and got the layout done.

And I did all of that in just about 3 hours before work.  So today when I got home, I pieced my October Birdie stitches block and started putting the hometown squares together.  Sewing soothes my mind and my soul somehow.  I can still think about problems, but they seem less urgent somehow and I feel calmer.

I hope you all get lots of sewing time this week so you can feel it too.
Have a great week.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I am a bit of a family history buff.  I am fascinated by the past as it relates to my family.  I love old photos and I grew up listening to my granny telling stories of her childhood.  As an adult, I have been pursuing family history.  I have been on Ancestry.com and made a family tree and I share everything I learn with my siblings.  So when my daughter's wedding brought my sister to the east coast and my brother and his wife south, they took some time to stop and talk to a couple of cousins we have had little contact with in the past couple of decades.  Busy lives and all... and they not only talked for 2 solid hours, they saw lots of family heirlooms.  Furniture and the like and yes, quilts and crochet work.

all crocheted by my great grandmother

this is on a queen size bed

beautiful design

the edges look like this
There were 6 of these I am told, one for each of the 6 sisters for their hope chests.  All were hand crocheted by my great grandmother and my grandmother and her 5 sisters.  This one is in perfect shape and is almost 100 years old in my estimation.
I was so excited to see this and to have it given to me.  But the other item was a quilt.  And with all the hexies on line right now this grandmother's flower garden is amazing!
this is the whole thing

look at the fabrics

love this one

the pink one is damaged

the binding is quite damaged too
I want to look at this a lot and maybe I will start making hexies.  My daughter wants me to and to recreate this quilt.  It is totally hand quilted and I am trying to decide if it is hand pieced or not.  It is hard to tell.  I don't know if I should have it restored or not.  I am out of my element here, so I am seeking advice.  But for now I am content to look and think about it.

So now, I need to create a new heirloom... for my sister.  She wants me to make her a quilt for her bed.  So while she was here, we went to the local quilt shop and she shopped for fabric.  I coached and helped, but I think she was happy with what she picked.  It is really her.  I am thinking of a modern quilt with a touch of heirloom.  Becaus some day 100 years from now it will be one.

Not the best pictures, but trust me, the colors are great and they will mesh beautifully.  I will keep you all posted as it progresses.
Have a great week.