Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 Christmas Quilt Show

I found the 2012 Christmas Quilt Show and just had to add my own Christmas projects! My main project is the above quilt. It's only about 3 feet by 4 feet so I suppose it should be called a wall hanging. I hang it over my railing on the second floor which is easy to see from my front door and foyer. I found it in a Christmas issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine many years ago. It uses paper piecing in some of the rows. I think it's the first quilt I ever machine quilted. My stippling in the borders isn't very good but I did finish the quilt myself! I was very proud of it when I finished it.

I've posted these before but thought it would be nice to show my Christmas projects all together. The above is an ornament made from a very nice fabric. This came out good my first try! That doesn't always happen!

I made this table runner a couple of years ago. It was a free pattern online. I just thought it was a fun and whimsical design. I hand appliqued but machine quilted.

I made this tree skirt when I first started quilting. It was summer time and I couldn't find many Christmas fabrics. I ended up calling Keepsake Quilting and mail ordered just about everything. I hand quilted this one. I was still too afraid to machine quilt at this point!

That's my Christmas Quilt Show! I have a few more little things but these are my major projects that I look forward to putting up year after year. Hope you take a minute to check out the quilt show at the above link. It's so fun to see what everyone else has made.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

FMQ Challenge for November

This month, Sarah Vedeler was our FMQ expert. She has been featured on The Quilt Show. She is also know for machine embroidery designs as well as quilt patterns and beautiful machine quilting. She had printed template pages of spirals for us to practice before we even attempted the spirals on our sewing machines. I found drawing the spirals by hand rather difficult. It's so hard not to make the circles wobbly. I wanted nice round spirals!

The above picture is my first attempt. I used a marker and made grids to quilt my spirals. Some came out okay and some not good at all! You have to really concentrate to get the circle nice and round. I waited a few days and tried again. 

I liked my second attempt much better. They're still not perfect but I could see an improvement. Of course, I need more practice. I do plan on using this design on some of my quilt projects. I think the swirl would look great in many different areas of quilts especially borders.

Thanks again to SewCal Gal for sponsoring these great tutorials for us throughout this year. One more to go!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families! We have so much to be thankful for! There are good times and bad times for all of us throughout our lives. Let's be thankful for all the good things today.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quiltmaker Bear

As you can see, the bear is all done! I sewed on his button eyes today. I have him hanging up in my family room. He was fun to make and I felt he was a great way for me to practice some free motion quilting.

I quilted pebbles onto the trim of his hat. I have only done pebbles a few times and still haven't found a technique I'm comfortable with. I try and go around the circle once but end up repeating the circle for the sake of movement. I try to sew the repeats over the existing stitches but it doesn't always go as planned. The lines in the red portion of the hat were very simple.

His whole body consists of lines sewed at an angle. I drew a few in just to keep my angle consistent. These lines are not meant to be equal divisions of his body. They're sort of drawn freely to give his body some depth.

Here's another view of the swirls. I also echoed a little square in his ear.

I truly enjoyed making this bear. I found the quilting was fun to practice. The final measurements for this piece is only 15" by 18". This was so easy to quilt on the machine. There was no bulk! It fit very nicely and I felt I had better control quilting him due to the size.

On to my next Christmas project! I have a little holiday apron calling my name! Until next time!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

FNSI November

I seemed to work on a variety of projects this past Friday night (and during the day as well!) I had cut all my pieces to finish the Blogger's BOM quilt top. I did not cut the piano key border yet. I'm waiting until the top is assembled and I can get the final dimensions. However, since this quilt is on point, I had to start sewing from one corner. Here's a picture of one of those corners. I really like it so far! This quilt is a departure from my usual choices. The sashing has a vibrant pattern. I'm used to solid sashings that are on the quiet side. I rarely use orange but I really like the orange corner stones. I have the next row almost done but it's still in pieces. More to come!

I also worked on some FMQ. I started the challenge for this month. I need more practice so I will show you photos when there is more to see! This month the challenge is swirls. They look so easy yet so difficult to keep your lines nice and rounded.

I also worked on my Christmas Bear by practicing some swirls in the background. I liked them much better than my practice piece. My little bear is almost done. I just have his body and face yet to quilt. My binding is all cut. I can't wait to have him finished. He'll be adorable to hang this Christmas season.

I also did a little sewing on my Dresden Plates. I'm on block #6 out of 12. Slow but steady!

And that's my Friday Night Sew In recap!

Hope you are all having a great weekend. Can't believe Thanksgiving is in just a few days! I'll be baking the night before. We're going to my mom and dad's for dinner. My brother and his family will not be joining us this year. He lives in upstate NY and is about 8 hours away by car. We'll all miss them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Christmas Bear

Isn't he adorable? I found this pattern in Quiltmaker Nov/Dec '12. It's actually called "You Got Cookies?". I just couldn't resist. I had to make him. It uses paper piecing which I love since it's so accurate. I printed the pattern on regular multipurpose paper used in printers. I find there's so much recycled content that it's easy to rip off your fabric as long as your stitch is shortened. There were 5 sections that made up the actual bear's face.

You can see the 5 sections in this picture. I find every time I paper piece I have to think about what I'm doing. It's sort of backwards since the lines you sew on are on the back of the actual piecing. Once I get that orientation in my head, I'm good to go.

After the bear's head was done, I had to add the window panes and the rest of the background. These two pieces were quite easy since most pieces were large.

Here's the finished piece without borders or the bear's pompom! The finished wall  hanging should measure 15" by 18".

I used mostly fabrics I had in my stash. However, I did buy the gray solid fabric for the windowsill as well as the light fabric for his hat. His hat fabric is white with gold glitter. I bought both of these fabrics on the mystery ride. The pattern called for flannel but I thought the gold would add more of a holiday look.

I'm going to layer it and pin the layers together today. There is even suggested machine quilting as part of the pattern instruction. One of the suggestions is to make swirls in the blue sky. I'm working on swirls as part of the Free Motion Quilting Challenge so I'll get to actually use what I'm practicing this month! I'll post his picture when he's all done! I have so much machine quilting to do! I'll get there eventually!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Quilter's Gathering 2012

A week ago today, three friends and I made our way to A Quilter's Gathering. This quilt show has been held in Nashua, NH for the last few years but this year it was held in Manchester, NH. The venue was much larger and easily accommodated vendors, quilts and classes. Every room was larger which allowed everything to be spaced out in a much nicer way. We weren't cramped while shopping or while drooling at the quilts on display.

Here's a quick peak at the vendors. There's plenty of room. That was good thing since there were lots of vendors. I bought some fabric which I hope to use for the Blogger's BOM. You'll be seeing that soon, I hope! I also bought a few books. I'm not sure why but I always end up buying books! It was very hard to decide which to buy since there are many wonderful books out there. I also bought this:

Isn't this the cutest ornament!? I have embroidery floss from past projects. It's all stamped and just has to be embroidered!

Here's a look at how the quilts were set up for viewing. They were nicely spaced. The room was large with plenty of space to look at the front as well as the backs of the quilts. I took pictures of some of my favorites!

This quilt may be familiar to some of you. Carol Doak made this quilt a few years back and has been featured in many magazines and received many honors.

This is an antique quilt made from soldier's uniforms. It was very moving to look at it and realize all of these patches represents a soldier.

I loved this quilt for it's applique. It was just perfectly done. So beautiful!

I  loved the applique and quilting in this quilt.

 The quilting on this quilt was unbelievable! This is only a small segment. I wanted a closeup to remind me of what I'd like to do some day!

Just a cute little block with kitties on it! They made me smile!

Hope you enjoyed my little quilt show! Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blocks for Sandy Victims

I feel so bad about the victims of Hurricane Sandy. When I saw this request for blocks, I was happy to be able to help out. Erin of My Patchwork Life asked for blocks that could be made into quilts for those affected by Sandy. She has directions up on her blog. They're easy and fun. I used scraps and actually love the way they came out. They didn't take long to make and I'm so pleased to be helping out a good cause!

If anyone is interested, go on over to Erin 's blog and join the fun for a great cause! I'd also like to thank Livin! Blue Quilter for bringing this wonderful cause to my attention!

Hope everyone voted today. I'm so glad to be off tomorrow so I can stay up and watch election results. I had a very busy day today but did vote in between errands.

I had a great time this past weekend. I've already posted the Mystery Ride pictures and hope to post A Quilter's Gathering quilt show pictures very soon!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mystery Ride

Today was our quilt guild's mystery ride. We have it twice a year, spring and fall. They rent a bus and we all meet quite early. We left around 9am for parts unknown! It's rather funny to see us all looking out the windows and trying to figure out where we're going to end up. It's always such a fun day.

Our first stop was at Quilter's Stash in North Attleboro, MA. It was a really nice quilt shop featuring a huge selection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics as well as many other collections. They had a room in the back with fabric marked down that had some great deals. They had some great samples with accompanying patterns. They had a vast amount of batiks. They were just gorgeous! I bought a few fabrics for a wall hanging I hope to make.

We also visited a store next door, Right at Home Scrapbooking.  The organizer of our trip, Mary, always arranges for a Make and Take project. Today's project came from the scrapbooking store. We were to make 2 cards that show our love of quilting! I saved mine to make at home.

We grabbed lunch and ended up at Ryco's in Lincoln, Rhode Island. I had never heard of it. It looked like an old mill from the outside. This store was just amazing! We went inside and found there was a room for us to eat our lunch. On the way to our room, we saw tons of fabric displayed. There was a huge selection of fabric, notions and all sorts of trims. It was unbelievable.

These pictures don't do justice to the enormity of this store/warehouse! It was a quilter's dream! I bought fabric and a notion. I think it was bit overwhelming but I do always manage to find something to buy! I spent most of my time walking around the store and just trying to take it all in!

We got back to Tewksbury around 5pm. I think we were all rather tired. I came home and rested for a bit. I can never understand why bus trips make us tired. It's a nice tired. We got to be with friends and shop for our favorite activity. What else could we want??

Old and New!

I made this quilt about 15 years ago. It's called Starry Night. I signed up for a Block of the Month. I would receive directions as...