Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to All...

                             No snow this year, but it cools me off just seeing it.
                                                           A traditional picture.

                                              When this (now 9 year old) boy was smaller.

                                                      My hometown at Christmas.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A December Finish

This finish is one I am so excited to share today. I had to wait until I gave it to my daughter before I could share it here. This last year it has been very difficult to sew. I had started several projects back when I had energy and the motivation. But since about May, both were lacking. My creativity is finally back and I am enjoying sewing again. I am slower than before, but the more I sew, the stronger I get.

I made this wonderful quilt for myself last year from a pattern by Lee at Freshly Pieced:
My eldest daughter saw it and wanted me to make her one, so I said sure. She bought all the fabrics in February. She wanted the colors of hers just a bit different. I started cutting all the pieces and keeping them organized in zip bags. But after sewing a few blocks, I couldn't sew for such a long time.

 I slowly began putting in time in the sewing room. Making myself sew something for 20 minutes at a time. It became easier and I started to enjoy it again.
I love the shadow of the leaves here.
 I showed my daughter a picture of a few blocks early on, but then nothing. I made a baby quilt, but never mentioned this one.
 I love the Nordic chickens fabric she picked for the back. She's good at stuff like this.
 I kept plugging away and finished the quilt top. I am still kind of weak in places and crawling around to pin baste was really difficult. It took me probably twice as long to do it for this quilt.
 It took me a week or so to quilt. I used a silvery grey Aurifil thread. It shows up just enough on the top. I quilted it in all over swirls, just like I did mine. It took most of a large spool to quilt.
Before quilting

Before quilting

Before quilting

 I love the way it turned out. The reindeer and the berries being the only color really pop.
So last night I surprised her with it. She wasn't quite as surprised as I thought she would be. She said since I hadn't mentioned it in so long, she thought I might be working on it. But I am glad it is done in time for her to enjoy it for Christmas. That was my goal, and I did it!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chickpea's First Quilt

I have decided to only post finished quilts here for now. It is my way to keep track of them. Maybe at some time in the future I will return to regular blogging. This is the quilt for the new grandbaby due in January.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ten Years of Quilter's Newsletter

Last March my daughter helped me clean up my sewing room and we put 10 years worth of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine in a box. Then, I let it sit. It sits there still today, and I wonder what to do with it.

 I bought a few issues and fell in love with the magazine in the late nineties. Then, I got so into quilting I treated myself to a subscription. I don't have subscriptions to anything any more. I had a subscription for ten years and I kept every issue to use as a reference.
 Now, I am trying to get rid of stuff I don't use. But I hate to just put all of these in the recycle bin. So what do you, my readers think I should do with them? My library doesn't take magazines like this. Does anybody want them? Or maybe just some of them? I will give them away but I can't afford to pay postage on them to mail them.
I am hoping someone wants to give them a good home. If not, recycle it is. I need the room.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

To Blog, or Not to Blog

Hello friends. I know it has been a long time. I am much improved and actually hoping to return to work in a few weeks. I have had my chemo and my surgery and am getting read to start radiation treatments this week.  I have not been sewing for the past 2 1/2 months. I have had no energy for it, and now that I do have a bit of energy, the neuropathy in my fingers makes it difficult.

What does that have to do with blogging you might ask. Well, this is the thing: I read blogs for awhile, until the fatigue became too much. I had nothing much to say so I just read. I had no idea that this whole process would take away my creativity as well as my desire to create or blog.  Now that things are beginning to return to normal, sort of, I can't decide if I want to continue blogging.

When I first discovered blogs, it was exciting and fun and fueled my creativity so much. People shared pictures of their projects and tutorials of how to make things. The blogs I read and loved so much have changed. Some seldom post any longer, some have changed direction, which is certainly their choice. But I miss the way it used to be. What I see now doesn't inspire me much, with a few exceptions.  Is it just me? Maybe it is. Maybe I am just looking at the wrong blogs, for me.

I would love it if you are a blog reader, if you would please weigh in on this. If you have blog suggestions, I would love those too.

Thanks. Hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Q3 Finish Along Goals

Well now that Chemo is done, I hope as my energy level returns, I will begin sewing again. It has been about a month since I was able to do any work in the sewing room. But I have lots of projects and a whole 3 months to make progress on them. Here we go:
 This little sweetie needs a back and to be quilted. Shouldn't take long, once I can get going on it. It would be a sweet baby quilt.
 This pretty little one actually has borders on it now, and so it just needs a back and to be quilted. Another candidate for a baby quilt.
 This one is all together and the back has been assembled as well, so it's just baste and quilt. Need to think of how to quilt it.
 This one is partially quilted now, but I was fast losing my sewing steam and just didn't get it done. Shouldn't take too long to finish, once I get going again.  Soon I hope.
This one has so many components. The poinsettias are done, the trees are done. i am working on he checkerboard and zigzag rows . The reindeer will be last and I still may be able to get this one done in time for Christmas this year.

All this getting done is contingent on two things: my energy level going up and not finding other projects to distract me, although lack of motivation has kept that one in check lately. Here's to a successful Q3. I hope to see you here more often now.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Aurifil Block of the Month...I Won!

I know it's slim pickings over here this year, but every once in awhile I have something. I still read a few blogs when I am able and Pat Sloan is one of those. She has so much information and fun stuff going on..One of the things she promotes is the Aurifil designers block of the month. Now I see these and some I like, and some not as much. I appreciate the work that goes into designing each of these though.
This last month's block was designed by Lynn Harris of Little Red Hen. I fell in love with it. Both Lynn's version and the one that Pat made spoke to me and that doesn't often happen. Here is Lynn's:
This is such a great design. I borrowed the picture from Pat's interview post about Lynn's book.

Pat's version is quite different. Here is the link to her beautiful block. It was the color changes she made to the block that truly grabbed me to do one of my own. Here is mine:
 I felt the summer sunshine and the beach while doing this. I am thinking of making more to make a whole quilt. And once you make one of these wonderful blocks of the month, you can post it to the flickr group Pat has. If you do, and it is chosen, you win!!

And this is what you win:

Now how great is that? A great block, inspiration for another quilt and twelve spools of great Aurifil threads in the perfect neutrals to go with everything? So maybe this month, you should play along? Thanks again to Pat for such a fun activity and to Aurifil for the great threads. Sure keeps this quilter going.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Birthday Gift

Even though the sewing is slow going here, when it came to my best friend's birthday, I just felt that this year, I wanted to make something for her. She lives half way across the country and I haven't actually seen her in 15 years. Travel is expensive and so we keep in touch on line and on the phone. And it's just like we were together yesterday, each time we talk. She has been such a great support for me these last few months and I really wanted to make something small, that showed how much I appreciated her friendship.

 So, since her birthday's in April and I had these lovely bright spring colors in my stash, I decided a single Swoon block that she could either hang up or use as a table topper, would be wonderful.
 The solids are Kona, but I am not sure what the print is. I won it last year some time in a fat quarter bundle. But I just love it. The quilting is one, big mum, starting in the center.

 The corners I decided to quilt a leaf in each one. I love the way it turned out. I think it finishes the corners so nicely.
The back is a small chunk of Sweetwater's wishes line I also had in my stash. Just the perfect size.
So, Happy Birthday to my friend. I hope you love it and have many more birthdays ahead.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

5-6 Years in the Making

In an effort to spur myself on to finish some long languishing WIPs, and because I knew that fatigue would also hold me back this year, I joined up with Adrianne at On the Windy Side for her quarterly Finish Along this year. In trotting out the WIPs, I found this one and I am delighted to be able to share it as finished.
 There is a story here. You knew there would be, right? The fabric is the very first pre-cut I ever bought. A Jelly Roll of Fig Tree Quilts Gypsy Rose. The soft, beautiful colors called to me at that time. I pulled the jelly roll apart and played with the strips. I grouped them in color family order. I counted them to see how many there were. There were 7 groups of 5 strips, with 5 leftover that were grouped by default. I sewed the groups together and measured, divided and cut them into squares and set them on point, a first for me too. I played with them on my design wall and finally settled on this arrangement and sewed them together. I bought a border fabric, since back then every quilt still had a border in my world. And the top was done.
 And I was stumped as to what to do next. It hung on my design wall for a while. And then, I gave up and took it down. I folded it and put it away and moved on to other quilts...for almost 6 years.
I began looking at some of my older, unquilted tops about a year or so ago. I began with the smaller ones, so still, this one waited. I finally pressed the wrinkles out and hung it on a hanger to keep it better. I was waiting for inspiration on how to finish it. I finally got it. I have started making notes when the inspiration hits, because I will surely forget later on. I started quilting it in the first quarter, after finally piecing a back. It's hard to tell here, but each square is quilted with a large Mum type flower.
 The half squares along the edges are a back and forth loop in each strip of the square and the border is a wavy sort of zigzag that I have done before.
 One of the hard things was choosing the binding. These colors are so soft, and have a tone to them that is very much a Fig Tree Quilts specialty, in my opinion. I had to work from stash, so I went through everything, looking for a more subdued option.
 And I found one, confirmed by my daughter when I sent her a photo of the two options I thought might work. This beautiful pale green Dear Stella Confetti Dots. I had exactly a half yard and only one little 1.5 inch strip is now left. I love it so much more than I even thought I would.
And the back? Here it is. A big chunk of an Amy Butler print in pale blue, and bright borders of Birds and Berries by Lauren and Jessie Jung pulled from a layer cake that has been hanging around for about 3 years. I have used bits of it before. Now that I see it again, I wish I had more of it.
 Just look at all that crinkly goodness just out of the dryer. My favorite part of every quilt I make.
And so now, a mere 6 years after I bought it, I love this finally finished quilt so much more than I would have thought. Is it time that does that? This beauty is going to live at my middle daughter's house. Being the only female in the house means she needs some feminine touches and this one fits the bill perfectly. A happy ending.