Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I am going to be taking a vacation from blog land for an extended period of time. Thanks to all who have come by and posted kind comments.

I am trying to reduce pressures and clutter from my life. If you need to do the same, try reading the book, Clutter Busting by Brooks Palmer.

May your Christmas be blessed and filled with joy and may 2011 be a wonderful year for you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Liberated Quilting!

Wahoo! Tonya Ricucci's new book, Word Play Quilts, arrived via UPS today. So colorful and looks like it'll be fun to read and to use! Afraid all there is time for now though is to read it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My First Mug Rug!

Just in case you don't know - a mug rug is just that - a 'rug' to set your 'mug' on. That isn't good English but you understand what I'm saying, right? I've seen so many cute ones that I decided I needed to try and make one/some. Here are a couple of links to view and see more: Sew I Quilt and Stash Manicure.
So the first question was, what fabrics do I use? Since we are in the Christmas season, I looked for some scraps I had from a quilt I made in January. I had some nice sized pieces left (enough for many 'rugs', actually) so just began there but cutting some pieces and sewing them together. I figured if I could get the first one done then the next would come easier.
I put a little pocket on this so you can put a tea bag and your spoon in it. I just made it simple and then did some ditch stitching then more straight line sewing.
I sewed the binding just as I usually do for a large quilt with hand sewing the back but if I practice a little more I think I could sew it all on the machine. I've seen some nicely done like that, but it only took about 20 minutes to hand whip the binding. Ta da! One mug rug finished. This little mat is 7.5" x 9". They can be much smaller, too, just to hold the mug and maybe a couple of cookies!! It was a fun little project, especially easy to use scraps and let them help with your inspiration.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Inch by Inch, It's a Cinch!

Here is the right panel of my Flower Pots. It is so relaxing to sit and stitch a little each morning and sometimes in the evening also. I find it amazing how quickly it goes, just by doing a little every day. I never tire of looking at these beautiful fabrics either. So, I feel like the tortoise, just plodding along a little every day, but eventually I have a quilt completed. Thanks for viewing!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dr. Seuss Quilt

Okay, here is the finished Dr. Seuss quilt! It is a 'loud' quilt I must say, but maybe it will help the baby be more alert as he searches for all these colors and patterns. I actually took one row off the top because it seemed to large when I got it finished but it is still about 56" square.
Here is a close-up of the quilting and fabric. I used a variegated thread in primary colors and the hurricane pantograph.
The circles are the backing and the binding is the rainbow on the bias - a fun quilt to make!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Seasons & Charity Quilts

I was reading a blog this week and found out that I am in the 'winter years' of my life. I'll admit, that sounded a little discouraging to me, even though the writer said it was just another new beginning. Well, I'm well into that season so guess I better hurry and get things done before I pass from this life. I was thinking I was more into the Fall season, which happens to be my favorite time with the cool, crisp mornings and colorful trees, which are beginning to turn in our area of Georgia. Just this morning as I was walking and dreaming along, a deer quickly bounded across the road right in front of my path, whew, what a neat sight to see, though!

Anyway, as I was viewing my 'to do quilt list' I realize what I thought were quilting priorities turned out not to be so this year after all, since my list hasn't dwindled down near enough and it is October. However, I have quilted several charity quilts this year so I think I'll at least check that off my list. Here are some from this week, working on some freehand designs with a circle in a circle.
And here is the back of another baby charity quilt.
Guess I better go work on my 'list' (I love lists) while I still have some time left!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dr. Seuss Quilt

Are these not the most fun fabrics?? I don't think you could make a quilt that would not be cute using these. So, for a grandchild on the way, it'll be a Dr. Seuss quilt.
I'm using the above pattern by Atkinson Designs to feature all the fabrics plus a few pictures from the Dr. Seuss panel, featuring the Cat in the Hat.
Here is a much overdue block for a quilt friend's 50th birthday! Wow, that's beginning to seem so young..........Back to cutting out fabrics for the baby quilt!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Flower Pots, Finally!

Hmm, I know it's been a while since I posted but I have finally completed the left side pot of flowers on my current applique project, Flower Pots by Kim McLean. I am happy with all these flowers except for one and I keep debating on whether to change it. Do you see one that stands out and could use some improvement? I usually don't like to 'unsew' but I may have to do it to please my eyes. Maybe I've just looked at it too long. Thanks for any comments!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lollypop Trees

I'm finally posting the full picture of my Lollypop Trees quilt, (well, it will be a quilt once I get it quilted) the pattern designed by Kim McLean. I recently joined the blog, Glorious Applique, and posted it over there. If you've not been to that blog, you should visit - all applique projects by Kim McLean using some fabulous fabrics, not only by Kaffe but many other inspiring choices.The quilt is so large I could barely get it all in the picture and had to stand out in the foyer. I enjoyed every stitch taken. Btw, I think they have greatly improved the pattern from when I bought it 3 years ago. It was half a pattern and the circles were hand-drawn. My friend, Ille Waters, and I remedied that by making our tracing overlays and using Staedtler plastic circles for our templates.
Here are some close-ups for a better view. One of my favorites was the pastel block above.
If you want a long-term project with very easy applique, this is the one for you! So fun!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flower Pots - Block 2

I finished my second block of Flower Pots by Kim McLean and have now moved on to a side border with a vase of flowers. I enjoy working with 'happy fabrics' that make me smile!

I thought today might be the first day of Fall but according to my calendar, we have to wait until the 23rd this year - not sure about that. When I was growing up it was always the 21st and now it varies. I enjoy the cool mornings that are great for walking in the neighborhood - here in the south that means 60 degrees, yet it is still in the nineties in the afternoon. I don't recall a summer staying so warm for so long. I'm ready for some cooler days! Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cool New Ruler

I just discovered this 'cool new ruler' last week. I'm a huge fan of Omnigrid/Omnigrip rulers anyway and I know sometimes though, you just have so many lines and markings that you have to check really close every cut you make to be sure you are on the correct line. It looks like this ruler just makes it simpler for some very popular cuts.The ruler is 5" x 25", for starters. There are lines for cutting 1 1/2" strips (Honey Buns), 2 1/2" strips (think jelly rolls of your own!!). As you can see in the above photos, one end has markings for a perfect 5" square, and also 4 1/2" square, with the diagonal lines drawn, too.
The opposite end has a 4" square plus the 5", for all the charm squares you want, 'dessert rolls' (the ruler says) layer cakes with the 10" markings, etc. I'm probably way behind the times on this but maybe it's new to you, too, and I wanted to share my cool find!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


This quilt is called Flourishes and the pattern is by Piece O' Cake Designs. Sue Carrick made this quilt and I quilted it for her. I don't have a picture of the whole quilt but you can get an idea of what it looks like from these photos, or check out Scraps and Threadtales blog when she showed it at the guild meeting.
Sue chose some beautiful fabrics for this quilt, totally different than the pattern but definitely 'her colors'.
She made six blocks of applique instead of 12, so I filled the large batik blocks with feathers.
The continuous curve seemed to work well over all the squares and triangles on the edge.
Here's another close-up view of the feather designs.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Flower Pots

This is my first completed block of Flower Pots, another beautiful quilt designed by Kim McLean, using many Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I love the way all the colors interact even when you might not put them together on your own!! Fun and simple to do. This pattern is from Glorious Color, along with many others by Kim.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hydrangeas and Mt. Rainier

When recently in Washington, we went to a park where the absolutely most beautiful hydrangeas were blooming. They don't grow near so large in Georgia is all I can say. Just rows of them and so many beautiful colors.
Wayne was holding his hand out to show how large they are. You have to see them to believe it!
At this same park, Sondra and I stood in front of this rather large tree also.
And here is Mt. Rainier, revisited - two days of hiking with absolutely beautiful weather and the mountain in clear view. Quite a few snow patches still to walk through but with a walking stick, I managed. Wonderful memories being made!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More Freehand Fun!

Here are just a few more pictures of the freehand fun I've been doing. Above, large, puffy dwirling.
More dwirling and a close-up below!
This next pattern is spiked swirls, thanks to Jamie Wallen for this design, from his Mystical Cottontracks DVD.
A close-up below of the spiked swirls.
And, one more dwirling on the back!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Freehand Fun!

I recently had some charity quilts to do and decided to have some 'freehand fun' with them. Most of them are inspired by Dawn Ramirez, also known as the "Pajama Quilter". Fun flowers above.
And now we have some dwirling. Lots of curvy lines that cover the quilt - it is addicting to do and covers beautifully!
More dwirling. Just throw in some curves and swirls!
Above are some flowing flowers. . .
Next we have some wonky feathers. . .fun with freehanding!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Next Door Neighbor

My "Next Door Neighbor" quilt is complete, binding and all. It was on my UFO list - one of my older projects.
Here is a close-up where you can see the quilting a little also. Paisley Flower is the quilting design, but it blends in mostly with this quilt.
And, always, the back. This backing reminds me of the first time I did "backart". I made a quilt for my sister (when I hand-quilted even) and we had taken a class from Roberta Horton at Houston International Festival. She had showed us pieced-backs and so I tried it. Think I put three fabrics, similar to this. I was really stepping out of the box then in the late 80s. I really like interesting backs of quilts, even if it's just pieced as opposed to using something you don't like. Just adds something special to the quilt!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Charm Squares

Do you sometimes just want to 'kit up' a quilt to have your fabrics ready to sew? Even when you already have other UFO projects to do or quilts ready for quilting, you just want to gather some fabrics together and 'design' another new quilt. Well, I do, because that is one of my favorite parts, putting the fabrics together! This color scheme was brought together by two charm packs that I have on hand. The packs are similar in color so I think they'll work well together.
I recently received this book, Color Shuffle, by Karla Alexander as a birthday gift (it was on my wish list). As I thumbed through it, I found a quilt in the very back of the book which used the charm packs or 5" squares. Since I have two packs which total 80 squares, I thought I'd found the pefect project for them. I was not really thinking how many more I'd need to make 280 blocks but that's okay, I had plenty of stash to pull from.
Here are just a few of the 5" squares in the packs. I chose approximately 15 to 20 fabrics that blended with the charm squares and began cutting strips 5" wide and then cutting again into my squares. When I got finished, I was still lacking 85 squares so I was back into the stash to pull more.
Here you can see some 5" stacks cut. Next to it are some 'leftover' pieces which I just automatically cut into strips. Generally I now cut 2.5" strips since they are the jellyroll size and then I just make up my own jellyrolls. As you probably know, there are many books out there to 'help us' use those. I have a bin for 2.5" strips, 2" strips and Mixed Strips which take any that are not the above designated. They are great for string, log cabin or many other scrap quilts.
So, three hours later, here are all my 5" squares neatly stacked, ready to be recut into square in a square blocks, four patch and then some will just be left whole. Now my "kit" is all ready for me to sew when I get ready!!