Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from my family to you and yours!! Our new cat, Lily, is enjoying her first Christmas with us!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge 2012 Wrap Up

I can't believe the year is coming to an end. It seems we just started free motion quilting. I was so apprehensive at the beginning of the year. Anything new was rather scary. I just kept moving forward. I've become more comfortable at free motion quilting. I'm constantly trying to think of how I would quilt something as I piece my tops together. I would like to thank SewCal Gal as well as all the wonderful quilting teachers that donated their time to help us learn so much! Quilters are so generous in so many ways. The picture above just incorporates a few of the techniques I learned this year. There are swirls, pebbles and lines just in this small portion of a wall hanging I made. I'm so happy I'm able to choose from a few techniques. I was only able to stitch in the ditch and meander before I started this challenge.

Here is my year in review:

January featured Frances Moore who showed us how to quilt leaves. This pattern reminded me of ivy!

February featured Diane Gaudynski and her lovely (but difficult for me) feathers.

March featured Ann Fahl and her allover patterns of loops, flowers, stars and spirals.

April featured Don Linn who gave us a wonderful pattern with a new way of transferring patterns onto our fabric.

May featured the fabulous Leah Day who taught us railroad tracks.

June featured Cindy Needham who introduced us into using our quilt space to showcase different stitches to become a ZenTangle.

July featured Angela Walters who showed us how to quilt tiles and fill them with free motion quilting.

August featured Wendy Sheppard with her adorable (but hard) jester's hats.

September featured Paula Reid who gave us a lovely quilting design.

October featured Teri Lucas who had us use silk fabric and really machine quilt some great designs.

 November featured Sarah Vedeler who had us try spirals. This was such great fun to quilt! Loved it!

December featured Patsy Thompson but I opted for the bonus tutorial taught by Teri Lucas. She used Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 software that I just might have to buy!

That's been my year, so far, in free motion quilting! I enjoyed it and felt I learned so much. Thank you to all who helped us out throughout the year. Hoping to keep at it and continue to finish my projects!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December FMQ

Sadly, December is the last month for the Free Motion Quilting Challenge. The main tutorial this month was by Patsy Thompson. However, it seemed too involved for me to actually do this month. I've been so busy between work and shopping. I'm sure you can all understand what I'm talking about! I'm hoping I can get to it sometime in the future where I can give it the time it deserves.

Teri Lucas had a bonus tutorial using Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 Software. I didn't want to buy the software until I had tried out the sample Teri had supplied. I copied the image at work where we only have black ink. You could actually copy the image onto fabric and quilt around the image. It would have looked like this.


Since my copy was in printed in black ink only, I used a light box to trace the feathered star. I quilted using 50 weight 100% cotton by Robison-Anton. As you can see, it was a pink variegated thread.

I really love the result! I'm going to bind it and machine quilt the background. I think it will look nice on one of my coffee tables. 

The FMQ Challenge is over! My next blog post will recap the monthly tutorials so all 12 of my pieces will be in one place. This may take a while!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Blogger's BOM, so far

I've finally managed to get a little sewing done. I've been trying so hard to get my blocks all put together! I'm not used to sewing blocks on point and wanted to see the end result. Too bad it's holiday time and I have a million things to do! Anyways, I did find some time and got the blocks put together. The only thing I have left to do is the piano border. That border will definitely take some time. I'm not sure how much fabric I have left from the blocks so I'll probably be incorporating some of the solids I used. It measures 48 1/2 inches square.

I really like the look of this quilt. I'm not used to using a print for the sashing. I don't use much orange. But I think I like it! I'm a little bit out of my comfort zone but I'm happy with the end result!

The piano border is made up of 96 rectangles. Definitely a bit time consuming! I'll get it done at some point!

How's everyone doing with their holiday shopping? I'm almost done although my husband won't really tell me what he wants. I'll have to go to the golf store and take a look around. I love the holidays but love when they're over too!

Hope everyone finds some fun time for themselves to sew! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Early Christmas Gifts

My quilt guild held it's annual Christmas Party last night. We had tutorials on some quick gifts we could whip up as well as some great food and punch to get us through the evening. Every month we have a fat quarter raffle. Of course, the theme this month was Christmas. I was one of the winners! I love Christmas fabric and was thrilled to have won!

My dear friend, Star, sent me an early Christmas gift. She made me this fingerless gloves and sent me the cutest applique! I have always wanted to make these gloves but she beat me to it! I'm going to need them soon since I hear there's snow in the forecast. The applique is adorable and thought I'd use it on a tote bag but I haven't decided for sure yet.

I would like to introduce you to Lily Bouquet! My mom saw her picture in our newspaper and my husband called to inquire about her. Lily has been in a shelter since September. She gave birth to 4 little kitties that have all been adopted. She was getting depressed being in a cage for most of the day. Well, I just had to bring her home! We all miss our cat, Ricky. Lily will never take his place but she is helping us heal. She needed a home and we were missing our cat. I think it worked out perfectly! We named her Lily but the shelter called her Bouquet. I think the name fits her just fine! She's made herself at home and has adjusted very well. She seems happy to be here and we already love her.

I feel my Christmas is already perfect!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilter's Christmas Party for Operation Homefront

We are just starting to decorate our home for the holidays but I wanted to take part in Sew Cal Gal's Quilter's Christmas Party. Sew Cal Gal has sponsored the 2012 Free-Motion Quilt Challenge and now she is hosting two parties today. She is hosting a physical party in Southern California as well as a virtual on line Christmas Party to benefit our troops and their families through Operation Homefront. I live too far away so I can only attend the online party.

I thought I would share with you some of my decorations that I've made over the years. 

I made this wall hanging in a class I took with Mary Sorensen. It has holly and berries and reminds me of Christmas. I love to applique and enjoyed taking this class with her. She has a very nice method to make those tiny little twigs. I kept all my class handouts so I'll be able to make them again. It's the first time I made a ribbon border.

I made this cute little door hanger last year from a pattern I found in Quilting Arts. 

             I made this folksy little Santa Claus from an old Debbie Mumm book I had.

 I hope you're all decorating the house and enjoying yourself at the same time! Do you have your favorite holiday decoration that you put up every year? Are you getting much sewing/quilting done? I've been so busy trying to buy gifts and decorate that I'm so behind! I always want to get to the sewing machine but there are too many other things to do!

Hope you have a chance to check out the Quilter's Christmas Party! Enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Apron

There is so much to do this time of year! I'm not getting as much sewing done as I would like. I did manage to finish this cute little Christmas apron. My daughter was kind enough to model it for us!
It was a panel and only took a couple of hours to make. It had to be cut out and hemmed all around the edges. The ties had to be finished and the pocket added.  Here is the panel I bought.

I bought the panel this past summer while on vacation. It was a fun project to make and I plan on wearing it during Christmas dinner. We have dinner at our house for our family. I hope to hear some nice comments about it!

On a sad note, our cat, Ricky, passed away. He was 15 1/2 years old. He died quite suddenly. It took me awhile to be able to write about him. He kept me company while the kids were at school. We're all quite upset about it. We'll miss him dearly.

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...