Sunday, December 30, 2012

Heartstrings Sew Along - A Finish

Heartstrings Quilt Project is having a New Year's Weekend Sew Along - make Heartstring quilts with purple centers. I don't have much purple in my stash and the strings I do have in purple I'm saving for an adult sized quilt to make and send to the Hospice where my mother died. During my mom's stay in hospice she kept remarking how she loved the purple quilts that covered her.   

I did manage to find enough purple polka dot fabric in my stash to use for centers and a small border.   I didn't have many long strings left either since I've used most of them on other Heartstring blocks (green centers and gray centers). So, for the rest of the weekend I will try to finish those two even tho' they don't have purple centers. 

 As you can see, I used a variety of different strings to make the quilt. Now I'm down to small scraps so won't be making anymore string quilts like this for a while. This quilt is going to Wrap- A -Smile.   Size of quilt is 40x56.

I free motion quilted spirals on my plain old sewing machine.  The backing is a purple stripe. And now biggest pieces of purple are gone.

Friday, December 28, 2012

I Stopped Counting at 73 But There's Probably More in Hiding

 I joined a UFO Challenge with some other ladies on the Stashbusters Yahoo Group.  Hopefully I will finish some quilts in 2013 and use up some of my stash.  In order to join the challenge you have to send in 2 Fat Quarters (FQs) and $1 and  count of UFOs.  I stopped counting at 73 and was shocked I had so many UFOs. I love to join swaps with the various Yahoo groups so that's my downfall and why I have so many quilts started and not finished. Most UFOs are in need of more blocks in order to finish.

Above are blocks from the Black, White and One Other Color 12 inch block swap with the Blockswappers Yahoo Group (No. 5 on my UFO list).  I have 17 blocks from that swap and needed 3 more for a 4x5 layout so that's what I worked on today since I was off work.

 Black, white and pink Box Kite block..., white and orange Rosebud block...
...and black, white and red Bear Paws block.

Now I need to work on the layout, sashing (black,white,black 1-1/2 inch strips) and 3 inch b/w 9 patches that will join the sashing.

The next couple of days I will be working on donation quilts for a Heartstrings sew-a-long and a Quilt of Valor sit-and-sew.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sweet! (Last Quilt of 2012) ?

I finished the final lap quilt I'm giving as a Christmas gift. This one is for my youngest son (John III, single, aged 28).  I think he eats a lot of junk food as a steady diet so I chose some of my candy fabrics to use as centers for happy blocks. This is similar to the happy block quilt I made for oldest son and his girlfriend. 

Happy back. 

Swirly quilting (with a few bumps in the road).
And I added an embarrassing label (no pic)-
Sweets for my Sweetie, Junk Food Johnny
Love Mom
Christmas 2012. 

Since I've finished it up and it's Friday I'm linking to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.   And, since everyone wants a Whoop, Whoop! I'm linking up to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crazy Basket Case - Still a WIP

 I've finished 3 more blocks for my Crazy Basket Case Lap Quilt.

 I still have 2 more blocks to finish in order to complete a total of 20 blocks.
Despite that fact, I've started assembling the rows 1-3. And, wouldn't you know it...there were some odd sized blocks in row 2 because of the bigger basket embroidery transfers I used and so I miscalculated the sizes of the other blocks needed for that row.  So, now I need to make a little 4 inch CQ strip for filler. I'm going to feather stitch along the seams where the blocks join. Then, I haven't quite figured out if I'm going to tie or hand quilt it. Decisions, decisions...

And, I've got 2.5 blocks already completed for my CQJP 2013 lap quilt.  I figure I need 20 blocks again so I'm going to try to make 2 per month. I'll show that project Jan 1. Today I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.  where everyone shows off what they are working on.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mishmash, Miscellany, Hodgepodge

 Grandkids (ages 8, 8 and 3) were here this weekend and we spent most of our time making cookies and playing games. I did get a little sewing completed, though.  A pair of pillowcases for a Christmas gift.
A couple of grab bags  for the granddaughters to hold their coin purses and manicure sets

 I made 24 string blocks with green centers that need to be trimmed to 9.5 inches. When completed it will be a donation quilt.
 I also dug out some of my civil war fabrics and started making 6 inch churn dash blocks for an upcoming swap.
And I used up some skinny strings left over from the string blocks above to make a different kind of string block - 10 inches in size.  I'm supposed to swap some of these but I'm not sure I will have enough strings left to make a bunch for swapping. I've also done some hand sewing but will save that for tomorrow's post.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Manicure, Anyone?

I decided to make a little manicure set for my 8 year old granddaughters who love getting their nails polished.  I was inspired by an old manicure set of my husband's grandmother that sits on our dresser (and I've been meaning to fix for years).

Unlike their grandmother my granddaughters love fancy and glitz. So I dug through my box of fancy fabrics (collected back when I made fancy Barbie doll clothes) and made up a couple of crazy quilt blocks 6.5 x 8

 Then I cut some fabric for the inside and some stiff interfacing 6.5x8 and basted the interfacing to the wrong side of the inside fabric.

I found some elastic at the store with places for buttonholes and some manicure set tools. 

Remembering there is a fold in the middle I laid out the tools, laid the elastic across the top of the tools stretching it a little and sewed on little buttons over the buttonholes. 

I then cut 2 lengths of ribbon about 10 inches long. (It didn't have to be that long but it gives little fingers more to work with when tying their manicure case closed. )  I based them over the elastic, keeping the ribbon to the inside. 

I removed the tools and with right sides together sewed around all side with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving about a 2 inch space at the bottom for turning. 

 Turn right side out and sew opening at the bottom shut with blind stitch.
 I sewed my "handmade by" tape on the bottom of the inside.
And then buttonhole stitched all around the outside edge. (Sorry for the dark, blurry pic. If I'm in the mood later I'll try to take a better one.)

And now my granddaughters have manicure sets that I hope last as long as the manicure set of my husband's grandmother.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Few More Handmade Gifts for Friends and Family

A couple more crocheted dish cloths...

...I added a dishcloth to the collection of gifts I made for my good friend, Marsha, who LOVES purple. I used one of my vintage Black Americana dish towel transfers on a large flour sack dish towel and embroidered it with 3 strands of floss and did a running stitch along the outside edges in perle #8.  (Doesn't the cat look like it has a moustache, not whiskers? That cat is kind of creepy. ) Previously I embroidered other days of the week towels for her. And then I made one of those quick and easy hot pads from 5 - 9 inch squares plus a square of Insulbrite and quilted it with perle #8. ..

 ...and I will gift it to her in this groovy reversible grocery bag...
...and finally, I made two totally groovy coin purses for my lovely 8 year old granddaughters. Little purses to follow in the next few days. Peace, baby!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Said I Had a Lot of Scrap...Not a Lot of Crap

My family is starting to think I'm a hoarder because of all the boxes in my sewing room. Several of them are filled with scraps. I can't bear to part with even a smidgen of fabric so even have a big box of mulch scraps ready for the spring garden. I told myself I would skip Bonnie Hunter's Mystery this year and try to reduce my boxes of scraps and prove to the family I'm not a hoarder. I'm going to see how many donation quilts I can make. Won't they be surprised!

I made a few more scrappy hearts with my 2.5 inch scraps. (All of the white was not from the scrap box but it has been around a while).

I've been working on a postage stamp quilt for quite a while with 2.5 inch squares. This one will be for me. I'm trying not to repeat fabric in any squares.  Repeats go into the hearts above. I made 4 more blocks. 

 I set aside longer strips for Heartstring quilts and used the shorter strips for some wonky log cabins which will be another donation quilt.
And, finally, I worked on some more wonky stars with crumb centers for another donation quilt.

And that's it for my Scrappy Saturday. (I haven't gotten rid of any boxes yet )

I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. Go look at all the other Design Walls!
And, today is Tuesday so I'm linking up to Linky Party Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.  Party on.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Crazy Basket Case Update

Every month I've made a block for my Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012 (CQJP 2012) challenge which is a lap quilt called "Crazy Basket Case" which uses a lot of vintage transfers of baskets, is mostly done in reds and white, and hopefully I have finished each seam with a different treatment.

For December I have two blocks finished and ready to submit. But then I have several more blocks to finish in order to complete enough for my lap quilt.

 CQJP 2012 December block 1
 CQJP 2012 December block 2.
 And here are all my finished blocks so far laid out with the rest of the remaining  baskets embroidered and ready for cq blocks to fill in some blank spots. That means I have 5 blocks to complete before I can start assembly of my lap quilt. (Actually, I've got the top block that is unfinished in this photo almost finished but have stopped working on it in order to finish up Christmas gifts. I will add a scrappy red border and I'm not sure how I will quilt it but I'm mulling over a few ideas. I think I'll remove that large crochet flower with button center that sticks out like a sore thumb in the middle of the quilt and replace it with a few smaller crocheted flowers.
And here's a weird photo that makes it look like I have a design wall instead of a design floor. I took the photo from the other end of the one above this one and rotated it. So, here's my quilt from a different perspective.   Finished size will be about 56 x 66.  And this won't be a gift for anyone else but will be all mine. I rarely keep anything for myself but I don't think anyone else I know would even appreciate all the work that went into this so I'm not sharing.

Now I've signed on for CQJP 2013 and I will be making another lap quilt. In fact...I've already started on it because I'm so excited about it.

I'm linking up to Sharon Boggon's Pintangle blog for Work in Progress Wednesday. If you want to learn to crazy quilt that's definitely a blog you have to visit.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Three Christmas Gifts

I took advantage of some time off work to finish up a few lap quilts I'm giving for Christmas.  

Wednesday I did some hand embroidery between some Thursday dinner prep - pumpkin pies with crust from scratch. The pumpkin was from the garden.  Thursday morning I got the  broccoli au gratin (a tradition with broccoli from the garden), deviled eggs, candied sweet potatoes (kids don't like them but grandkids love them), sage dressing (sage from the garden and bread homemade) and mashed potatoes (potatoes from the garden) as well as the turkey ready for dinner with kids and their spouses and grandkids.  I always like Thanksgiving because we use cloth napkins and grandma's china and everyone goes around the table to say what they are thankful for. Even the little ones look forward to telling what they are thankful for which is usually family. And, of course I wish I would have remembered to take a family photo for the scrapbook...but I didn't. 

And, without further are the quilts I've finished hanging out on the clothesline soaking up that good outdoor smell. 

 "Attic Windows" is for my daughter and son-in-law who love the great outdoors. I used some real looking animal 6.5 inch charms I swapped with the I Spy Yahoo Group last year.  And one square is mushrooms since they are avid mushroom hunters also.

 I wasn't sure how to quilt it so it wouldn't take away from the 3-D window effect. I finally decided on invisible thread for the front and tan for the back and quilted in what I hope are straight lines. I don't see well enough to stitch entirely in the ditch and that measuring bar that comes with the walking foot doesn't work anymore with my walking foot because the plastic that holds it in broke off.  This was also my first time stitching with invisible thread even though I have a couple of spools in my thread drawer that I tried to use for some hand sewing that didn't work out. I also figured out what those little mesh things that come with the sewing machine are for - to put over the unruly invisible thread that kept getting caught on the spool spindle until I used the mesh thingy.
 The back of attic windows - a collage pattern of outdoorsy things.
 "Autumn with a Twist" is a lap quilt for one of my sisters and her husband.  She and her entire family of kids and grandkids come out every Christmas for dinner and we all play games like we did at Christmas when we were growing up.
 These blocks were from a swap on the Mailblocks Yahoo Group. For all participants you had to make one 12 inch block, two 6 inch blocks and six 3 inch blocks in fall colors with cream colored background.

I quilted it with freemotion pumpkins and leaves. I used cream colored thread for the front and variegated purple on the back. 

 "How Sweet You Are" is for one of my sons and his girlfriend. It is a bunch of Happy Blocks with sweet treat centers - candy, cupcakes, suckers, etc.

I quilted freemotion swirls. 

 And I used a soft flannel sheet on the back that I found at the thrift store for $2.50 to make it extra warm and cuddly for my sweeties and granddaughter when they watch TV or cuddle up with a good book.

You will find me at the Sew Darn Crafty linky party. Party on! 
I'm also linking up at Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times (even tho' I don't have a design wall - just a design floor for now). And, finally, I'm linking up at Freemotion by the River.