Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015!!


Happy New Year! Can you believe it's going to be 2015?? I can't! I hope it's a great year for all of us!

I'm off today and will enjoy New Year's Eve with my family. I'm working quite early in the morning so it won't be a late night for me.

Have a wonderful time tonight! Have fun! Be safe!! I can't wait to keep quilting into the new year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Late Finish 2014





 

It's all done! I just finished sewing down the binding this morning. I was thrilled to finish it before the end of the year. It's been washed and it's all ready to be used.


I usually add a label but due to the scalloped edges, I decided to just hand write my name and date. I really like the scalloped edge. It wasn't much harder than sewing on any other binding. I made bias binding and had no problem at all. I hope to make more quilts with scalloped edges. It's a nice finishing technique.


I couldn't keep Molly off of it! The quilt had just come out of the dryer and was still damp. She's got to make sure some of her fur gets back on it!





Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

 
 
 
 
Merry Christmas to everyone of you! Before things get too crazy, I thought I'd write a quick note. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Have a great time with your friends and families!
 
This is the first year we have two kitties. I bought them each a Christmas outfit! (I couldn't resist since they were both half price!) I know cats don't like to have anything on them but I tried anyways!

This is Molly. She's almost 8 months old. She has a red tutu! I think she looks adorable! (Looks grumpy)


This is Lily. She's a little over 3 years old. She's sporting a red cape. (Looks ticked off)


Both cats are rescue cats and we just love them! Hope they made you smile!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas to me!!


As I buy Christmas gifts for friends and family, I also manage to buy myself a few quilty things! I plan on making this quilt sometime next year. Part of the fun for me is finding all the fabric I'll need to make a specific project.  I always try to find it on sale somewhere.  I always feel better if I don't pay full price!

Each block uses 2 sets of fabrics. As you can see, one set is a little lighter than the other. I don't buy solids too often but I really love the way these colors look all together.


Each block also needs a light (white), medium (gray) and dark (black). That's what I have left to buy.
I'll have to see where I can get it at a great price!

I'm still wrapping gifts. I'm hoping to finish them up tomorrow. I want to be completely done with everything so I can sit back and enjoy the holiday. Hope you're all finishing up too!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Downton Abbey

 



I'm hand sewing the binding down on the Dresden Plate quilt. I feel as though that project is just about finished. .Doesn't that mean I can start a new project??  Well, I did anyways! I had bought fabric from the Downton Abbey fabric collection. I bought it last year not really knowing what I was going to make with it. When I saw this pattern, I thought it would be a nice way to use my fat quarters.


These blocks are nice and easy to make. And they're fast! They finish as 8.5 inches square. I made 5 blocks this afternoon. I've already cut out the next 5. I have to make 50 blocks total. The quilt finishes at 72" X 85.5". I don't think this quilt will take me too long. The holidays will keep me from working on it. Other than that, I expect to be done quickly! So nice!!


Here's the best part, the backing! I love that castle!  I expect this to be a fun project. And with the next season of  Downton Abbey about to begin in the US, it's so appropriate!

I'm still Christmas shopping. I'm almost done but I still have a few trips left. So glad shopping is almost over. Baking and cooking to follow!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dresden Plate Border




 I finished machine quilting the Dresden Plate quilt today! Finally! I wasn't sure how I wanted to finish the border. The pattern had directions for a scalloped border. I was afraid it would be too difficult. However, I cut out the pattern for the scalloped edge and it didn't look too awful. I'll have to make bias binding to accommodate the scallop. I think (and hope!) I can do it!


Here's a close up of the scalloped edge. My daughter helped me. It was so nice to work on my quilt with her. She doesn't sew or quilt but maybe someday!


We also had another helper with us. Molly, our kitten, had to get in on the fun! She mostly just laid on it. I guess she was trying it out!

I'm going to get the binding ready and finish it up next week. It's always so nice to finish a project you love! Such a great feeling!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dresden Plate Corners

 
The borders are done but the corners are not! I had to mark each corner first to continue the pattern that I started in the borders. I don't think this will take too long. The four corners should be done pretty quickly. I'm going to try and scallop the borders. I think that would be a nice finishing touch to the Dresden Plates. I found this pattern at Bunny Hill Designs. There is a template to use to scallop the corners as well as the borders. I think I'll mark it first to make sure it works out. I'll cut later. (If I ever get the courage!)


 
 
I received an early Christmas gift. I'm actually drinking it right now! It's Mrs. Patmore's Pudding Tea! It has a wonderful taste! I can't wait for Downton Abbey to start up Season 5. I think it's debuting after the New Year. It's something to look forward to after the holidays. Can't wait!!
 
Hope everyone is getting their holiday shopping done! I'm so sick of it. I'm not done yet but I'm getting there!!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Busy Times!



 
 
I'm so busy right now! I'm trying to get Christmas shopping done while decorating the house. My family has a few health issues going  on right now. I'm working and trying to get my projects finished! I like the holidays but sometimes it's just too much!
 
Anyways, I just wanted to share with you the (little) progress I've been making. My applique is coming along as you can see above. The large pieces have all been sewn. This is a fun project I can work on while watching television or visiting my parents. I'm looking forward to the embellishing stage. I plan on embroidering a few things like the kitty whiskers! My kitten has all white whiskers except for one black one! I might do that on this kitty too!


I'm almost done machine quilting my Dresden Plate! It has been so slow but it's finally nearing the end. I decided to use straight lines to quilt the border. There are 2 straight lines are 1/4inch apart with 1 inch separating the pairings.


I must admit not all the lines are completely straight but the fabric is wonderful to hide little imperfections.  I'm also going to scallop the borders which will eliminate the edging anyways.

That's about all I can share. I have most of my shopping done which is a very good thing! It will give me more free time although something else will probably take it's place! So busy and so much to do! Aren't the holidays fun??!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


My baking is done! I worked today and made it home safely through the snow. I'm finally relaxing and looking forward to the holiday.

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! Count your blessings and enjoy the holiday!

 
 


Sunday, November 23, 2014

WIPs


I finished a project! It's a shawl but I'll be using it as a scarf. It wasn't too difficult and I really love the effect of the subtle yarn colors. I made the ruffle a little wider than the directions called for. I figured I had the yarn and a wider ruffle would only enhance the shawl. I'm happy I did it! I wish the built in sequins showed up a little better in this picture.


Here's my progress on my wall hanging so far. The sewing machine is next to be appliqued. I'm having a fun time with this.  I think I've missed the quiet and relaxing art of applique. So nice to be back!

Trying to figure out what to make for Thanksgiving. I usually make 2 desserts. We're eating at my parent's house.  Anyone have any ideas??

Monday, November 17, 2014

Machine Quilting Sort of Day



Today has been dark, dismal and wet! I had planned on staying home today because I planned on registering for classes at MQX East taking place this coming April. I registered for the classes I really wanted. I'll be taking classes with Leah Day, Judi Madsden and Karen Marchetti. I'm so excited! I can't wait! There are so many wonderful classes being offered. Registration continues for quite some time if you interested. Go check it out!

After that was over, I decided to continue machine quilting the Dresden Plate quilt. I finished the narrow inner border. I just quilted a simple loop design. This picture shows the different quilting motifs I've used so far in this quilt. All I have left is the wide outer border. I have a feeling this border will take much longer!

Time to cook dinner. I really wish I could take a nap instead! Hope you're having a good Monday!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dresden Plate Continued!




I finished machine quilting the main portion of my Dresden Plate quilt. I have one skinny border and one wide border left! I tried to get the quilt to lay nice and flat but I had a very fresh kitten who thought it was her job to jump all over it! I took the pictures without an overhead light. I think the quilting showed up better.


These are just a couple of different views. My older cat decided to join in the fun. Anyways, you can get an idea of the wonderful texture I got from quilting the background of each block.

 
I outlined each blade in the Dresden Plate as well as each center circle. I'm hoping to go back and quilt something in each circle after the borders are done. I plan on using a different color thread so I'll wait until I'm done the borders.

 
Here's a nice close up of one block. I have to agree that quilting makes the quilt! The quilting really woke up this quilt. I love running my hand over the surface of the quilt and feeling the quilted ridges.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New/Old Patterns

 




I didn't buy too much from the vendors at A Quilter's Gathering. I absolutely love the things I did buy! I bought this new pattern from Sassafras Lane called Arcadia Avenue. It's a paper pieced pattern. I think each block is absolutely beautiful! I could make the entire quilt or just pick a few blocks for a small wall hanging. I just couldn't leave without it! It could be a Block of the Month but the booklet includes everything needed to make the quilt shown on the cover.



This next pattern was found by my friend. She knew I had to buy it. I have 2 cats named Lily and Molly. Well, this pattern is from QuiltLily Designs! It would "fit" into my house very nicely! I can imagine that the 2 kitties featured on the runner are my 2 cats! I'm sure they would like it also!

The only other items I bought was thread from Superior Threads. I bought variegated blues for my mom's quilt that I will be quilting soon. I love the variety of colors as well as the many variegated threads available.


I also started working on a kit I bought at MQX awhile ago. It's entitled Sewing Cat by Edyta Star of Laundry Basket Quilts. I just finished the cat's head as you can see! I used my preferred  method of freezer paper although the pattern is written for raw edge applique. I haven't done applique in awhile. I'm so glad I picked it up again. I really enjoy it!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Quilter's Gathering 2014

 
A friend and I made our way to Manchester, NH yesterday to view the quilts (and visit the vendors)
at A Quilter's Gathering. I'm posting just a few of my favorite quilts. There were many more but I'm just showing six.
 

This is Nantuckety Day by Wendy Coffin of Rye, NH. This was quilted by Margaret Solomon Gunn. I absolutely loved the quilting! It added so much texture and dimension. It's beautiful! 94 X 94


This is Circle of Life by Lisa McCarthy of East Kingston, NH. The colors are stunning and the pattern just seems to sizzle. It's so vibrant! This quilt was quilted by Carrie Zizza. 67 X 67


This is Skyfall by Kathie & Mara Beltz & Novak of Greenfield, NH. I loved the way the stars seemed to spill across the quilt. My friend pointed out that some of the stars were machine embroidered. Such a nice effect! It was machine quilted by Mara Novak. 58 X 66



This is Vintage Button Bouquet by Linda M. Roy of Knoxville, TN. The quilting on this quilt was amazing especially after finding out it was all done by hand! The quilting was unbelievable! So much texture! Stunning! 83 X 83

This is A Midsummer Night's Dream by Sally A. Johnson of West Yarmouth, MA. She's a good friend and I was so happy to find her quilt at the show. This quilt had bling all over it. You could see it shining as you approached. It was quilted by Lynne McFern. 96 X 96


This is Enchanted by Jane Holihan of Walworth, NY. Amazing quilting and applique that was all done by hand! What beautiful work!  16 X 16

That's a sampling of the wonderful quilts displayed at this year's show. If you ever have the chance to visit this show, make sure you go! You'll be happy you went! I bought a few things at the vendors by that will have to be another post!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Count Twice, Knit Once!


I was working quite nicely on this shawl. The yarn is Rozetti Polaris. It's a light DK weight. It is made up of these gorgeous colors that seem to alternate. The sequins are built into the yarn. It's so fun to knit this shawl and have all the hard work done for you. However, today, I realized I forgot an increase. I didn't think it would be a problem. It was only 2 rows down from where I was. I dropped a stitch on purpose to make the increase and then all hell broke loose!

The sequins get stuck in the yarn so you can't just pull a stitch or two. It pulls 4-5 stitches at a time.I had loops of yarn all over the place! I ended up pulling out about 1/3 of my poor shawl. I suppose I'm lucky I didn't have to start over again.

Oh, well, I'm back at it! I'm counting every row to make sure I don't forget my increases. Guess I just learned a lesson the hard way!

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Mom's Request




I finally added all the borders to this old quilt top. It's at least 15 years old. I left it at my mom's house and completely forgot about it. I used Quilt in a Day. Definitely, a long time ago! My mother thought it would be so nice if I finished it for her. We decided on an orange and blue border since the calico has tiny orange flowers all over it. (Remember calico?!) I'm not sure I'm crazy about the color combination but it's done! It's what my mom requested. She loves it and I guess that's all that counts.

 
 I thought it would be nice if I had 9 patches sort of floating all around. I got out my trusty calculator and figured out how long the pieces should be in between the 12" square 9 patches.


 It actually worked up pretty quickly. I made the 9 patches last week. I put the 3 strips together for the border yesterday and today. I was a little scared my math wouldn't work out but it was fine! I'm almost embarrassed to tell you how large it is! My daughter helped me measure it tonight. It's a whopping 105" by 95.5"! It's huge! I'm going to try and find a nice backing on sale somewhere. I think a king sized batting will be fine. I hope I finish this beast in my lifetime! Doesn't it remind you of Halloween even though it's blue and not black?!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Matching Socks


My socks are done and I hope they make a great Christmas gift for someone on my list. I haven't written out my list yet so I'll decide soon.

I used self striping yarn to knit these socks. I challenged myself to try and make them as identical as possible. That's the hard part about self striping yarn, no control! I tried to figure out the pattern of the stripes. After much measuring and ripped out yarn, I think I came pretty darn close! Not perfect, but okay!

I've started a shawl with one of the kits I bought at the last yarn show I attended. The yarn is gorgeous! It has sequins already attached in the yarn. This is the kit I'm using.


The color alternates between a deep purple and a shade of pink! Very fun! I'll show a picture when I have a little more on the needles.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dresden FMQ

 
 
I'm making more progress quilting my Dresden Plate quilt. I've completed machine quilting 8 blocks and have started the 9th. I'm outlining each appliqued Dresden Plate and then McTavishing the background. I noticed the sashing was looking a little puffy from all that heavy quilting. I was afraid I might get puckers when I finally got to the sashing area. As soon as my bobbin ran out, I decided to try quilting the sashing.
 



As you can see, it came out fine! That was a load off my mind! I did pin the sashing at first, but decided it wasn't needed. I'm so happy to see it's working out! I had heard if you stabilize the whole quilt, you don't have to work from the center towards the outer edges. It's the first time I tried that method. I stitched around each block before I started my quilting.



 I'm liking it so far! Here's another area. So glad I can just keep going!


I joined the Mystery Quilt at my guild. These are the fabrics I chose. That middle fabric is gray. The colors don't look very good in this picture. The yellow is from the Grudge line by Moda. It has odd textures sort of thrown in all over the fabric. The accent fabric actually has purple in it. I couldn't find anything that looked good except for that gray. Hope it works out! Mystery quilts are a little tough when it comes to choosing fabrics.



Log Cabin FMQ

I've been machine quilting my neighbor's quilt for a few days now. She was not interested in any custom or ruler work. We decid...