Friday, December 30, 2016

Last Post of 2016-What I'm Working On

So another year has come and gone. A tough one, to be sure, but I am trying to keep everything in perspective. Ever the optimist, I have hope for the future. I want 2017 to be a good year for me and for everyone else too. This new year will be bringing big life changes for me.

I will be retiring. I just can't physically handle the work any more after the cancer and the treatments to get rid of it. I am moving...clear across the country! I am leaving my beloved North Carolina behind and going where weather is milder...Southern California. It will be hard to leave, especially since my children and grandchildren are all here, but that's what airplanes are for, right?

I will be able to sew so much more and I want to continue to create. So, that said, in the midst of all the chaos of moving I am doing two things. I signed up for Rachel Hauser's Penny Sampler class. I am taking the 12 month version. I figure if I get behind in the beginning of the year, I can catch up later. I want to push myself and this class looks like it will do that.

The other thing I am doing is working on assembling a new small quilt for the holidays next year.

 I bought this book awhile back and I am not really into buying many books these days, but this is a great basics book. There are 50 blocks in this book. It gets my creative mind working. (Amy is doing a quilt along this next year using this book)
 I fell in love with this block and just had to make it first. I thought about starting at the beginning, but hey, that's not me.
 Next I played with placement. I don't have any fancy programs to do this. I just use my colored pencils and some graph paper. I'm old fashioned like that.
I've been cutting and pressing. I love how these fabrics are coming together. I hope to be able to keep a project going that I can just step in and sew a bit while the chaos goes on in the house.

And these are the first two blocks together. I am only making nine blocks for an approximate 36 inch square quilt. I may add a border, I haven't decided yet.

One more goal I have is to blog more, once I get moved. I love the way Barbara at Cat Patches blogs almost daily. I love stopping by to see what she is up to. So there's that to look forward to later in the year.

For now, I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy new year, filled with hope and promise. See you in 2017!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Quilts from Christmas Past

This will be my last post before Christmas, and maybe for the year. We will see how next week goes. I thought is might be nice to show some of the quilts I have done for Christmases past. So here goes:
In no particular order, since my computer has way too many issues...
 Cherry Christmas fabric by Aneela Hoey. Made from a charm pack, this is still one of my favorite Christmas collections.
              A tree...Lizzy House meets Sherbet Pips.
 Two charm packs of a Sweetwater Christmas line Countdown to Christmas, and the sashing is yardage from the same line.
             A QAL done with Christa from Christa Quilts a few years back.
                   Fun fabric on the back of a pillow.
                        A Christmas table runner.
               My very first ever quilt. And yes, I still have it.
             Trees from some book I no longer own. This is an older quilt also.
 This was a gift for the boys. It has bean bags so you can toss them and play tic tac toe. Made from Aneela Hoey prints from Little Apples.
              My first Fair Isle quilt made in a QAL with Lee at Freshly Pieced.
                                   Fun reindeer heads.

                      My second Fair Isle made for my daughter.
                             Another from a book I used to have.

Houses in Christmas fabrics. Love this one.
A Christmas Ticker Tape pillow. Not Christmas fabrics, but the colors give the feel of the season so that's how this one came to be.
I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas, or what ever holiday you celebrate. Love your families and enjoy any time you spend together. See you back here soon.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Two Hello Kitties

I finally finished quilting and binding the second Hello Kitty quilt for Miss N for Christmas. I took it up to the soccer park this afternoon to take pictures of it with the large, older sister quilt.  That is where I took the pictures of her as well.
 This is little miss with here purple border. She is 1296 tiny one inch finished squares.
 Here she is with her big sister. Big sister was made up of 1296 2 inch finished squares. Yes, I am a little bit crazy.
                           I love seeing them side by side.
                             Little Hello Kitty
                              Big Hello Kitty.
 Here is the back of Little Hello Kitty. I used a Heather Ross print for the back.
              Well, the light is starting to fade. It gets dark so early these days.
Bye, bye Kitties. You sure are cute together. Talk to you all again soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Times They Are A'Changing

I have been a quilter since about 1991. Well, let's say I have been quilting since then. I didn't consider myself a quilter until about 1994 when I had gotten more into it and had tried more sewing and quilting. This has been an interesting journey my friends.
I have made probably almost 200 quilts during that time. I did not document all of them, but enough to get a rough count. When I first started quilting I learned by reading books about it. I finally took a class on how to quilt properly in about 1995. Machine quilting wasn't even on my radar at that point.
I bought myself a subscription to Quilters Newsletter, which I kept for 10 years. I finally saw that they were changing in a way that I was not, so I stopped. I have not missed it, as I have grown and changed as a quilter myself.
During much of this time I hand quilted. In my hand quilting hey day, I even built a hand quilting frame from a kit I bought through Quilters Newsletter. I did quilt several large quilts on it during that time. Then came the computer age of quilting for me.
I discovered blogs. I discovered on line fabric shopping. I fell in love with quilting all over again, and started this blog in 2011. I did a few on line quilt alongs. When my job changed in 2010 I suddenly had more time to quilt and I threw myself into it with happy abandon. I became very prolific and really learned how to machine quilt on a domestic machine. I bought a Bernina Quilters Edition.
I found endless inspiration on line. I found Flickr and had my own on line bee for 3 years. Now, things for me are changing again. I am getting ready to retire and am moving and down-sizing. I am culling and sorting. I will never stop quilting, but I am getting rid of stuff I no longer use.  This is the strange thing to me, even with all the good stuff I have, no one wants most of it.

I had a yard sale and sold very little. So, I donated almost 100 books to the thrift store for them to sell. It is local and benefits our schools. I guess, like me, most quilters find what they need on line now and don't need to encumber themselves with lots of books. I only kept about 2 dozen of my newest ones.

No one wanted all my back issues of Quilters Newsletter either, so I sadly threw them in the recycling bin. And the quilting frame sits here in pieces with the directions and small pieces in a zip bag, hoping and waiting for someone to take it and use it. I almost had a taker, but she didn't have enough space for it.

So my craft has changed so much that the old tools are no longer wanted or needed I guess. That makes me a little sad. But change is necessary for growth. So I will donate the quilting fame too. Maybe someone will buy it or maybe not. I will never know. Back to packing and culling. I will talk to you soon.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Stash

This is my first Sunday Stash in a very long time. Two reasons for that: I am a bit lazy with taking photos these days and I am mainly sewing from my stash this year.  I have not been buying too much fabric. Here is my new addition:
From left to right, Spot On in Strawberry, Carolina Gingham in Periwinkle and Whispers Muslin Mates by Moda. Nothing flashy, but I wanted to go visit my local quilt shop for the last time. The owner is retiring and the shop is closing. It is a sad thing for my community. There are other shops, much more of a drive away from here. Many, myself included, will not make that drive. We hope that someone sees the need eventually and changes this, but you and I know how hard it is to open a shop and keep it going these days.

My shop here is Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill NC. They had tons of fabrics, lots of batiks and solids. They were a Bernina dealer and had notions and threads galore. They offered many classes over the years. They started small and grew several times in the 23 years they were in business. We shall all miss them.

If you have a local quilt store, show them some love. Internet shopping is big and easy, but you don't know how much you will miss the ability to go local, until you can't. Have a great day all.
Linking up with Molli Sparkles.