Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter Sunday! My parents will be joining us for dinner today. My kids are coming home from college. It will be wonderful to have the family all together. I'm off from work and look forward to a nice day at home.

I did manage to bake a cake last night. It's nothing fancy but uses lots of food coloring to give it that Easter look. The frosting is multicolored as well as the cake! I won't know how the cake came out until we actually slice it.

No sewing today but I will try to sneak in some knitting!

Hoping you all enjoy your holiday. Easter Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dresden Plate Quilt Top

I've been taking a little break from machine quilting so I decided to piece my Dresden Plate quilt. I loved putting this quilt top together. It was so easy to piece. It didn't take long at all! I felt like I had a nice break so tomorrow I'll be trying to pick a pattern to quilt in the border of the Puzzle Box Quilt.

I actually started to piece this quilt a few days ago. I put one row together before the weekend.

Then I put the 4 rows together.

Added the inner border.

Added the  outer border.


Done!!  A quilt top is born!

I was having second thoughts about the outer border. My husband encouraged me to go for it. I'm so glad I did! The quilt reminds me of Easter and spring. It's perfect after all the snow we've had. I really like the end result. The next step is to scallop the border. I'm not sure if I'm going to do it. I'm still thinking it over. I've never done it before. Not sure if it will be worth it. Will post pictures if I do!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

FMQ and the Puzzle Box Quilt

I'm so excited! I finished machine quilting the 36 blocks of the Puzzle Box Quilt. I still have the borders to quilt but feel great that I've come this far! I tried to do a little bit at a time. I found if I tried to quilt too many blocks at once that I would get sloppy. My quilting is not perfect by any means. Some of the lines are not exactly straight and some of my loops are a little pointy rather than round but I feel I learned so much. I'm much better at using rulers to guide my way. (Although I did end up bending a needle by sewing over the ruler at one point!) I really just wanted to add texture in a somewhat nice design that would suit the quilt. I like the end results so far!

The top picture gives you a close up of the blocks while the second picture is further away. I love that the texture is visible even from a distance. This quilt seemed so flat to me. I felt it needed something to add some character.

Here's a view of the backing after being quilted. I love that you can see the shadow of the block and it's quilting! I had to do some back tracking when travelling between blocks. Do you just leave all those layers of thread there or try to remove them? I was going to remove them but they're not as prominent as I thought they would be.

Now it's time to come up with some ideas for the border. I was thinking of free motion quilting a paisley or sea shell design. I have some variegated black thread as well as a variegated bright multicolor thread. I'm going to have to experiment and see what I like better. I bought the binding fabric last weekend. It's a multicolored stripe that alternates with black. It will make a great binding especially if cut on the bias!

So many ideas! So much to do but also a lot of fun!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Wearing of the Green

Although I'm not Irish, I still love to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I went to Ireland with a friend before I even got married. I loved it! The air was clean and crisp, the food was wonderful and there was lots of green! I remember flying into the airport and seeing green all around it. It may be different now but that's how it was back in the early 80's.

I bought Waterford crystal, linens and yarn! The yarn was just gorgeous. It was truly fisherman's yarn. It was thick and still had many of the natural oils. I bought 2 shades, a grey and green! I made this cardigan with the green wool. It's still one of my favorites of all the things I've knitted.

Here's a close up of the back. I wore it to my local quilt shop today. If you wore green, you got a free fat quarter. The sweater sure came in handy today!

Hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Baking up a Cathedral Window!

I've been diligently quilting the Puzzle Box Quilt. I'm about halfway through machine quilting the blocks.  I'm making progress but I wanted to actually make something. I needed a project that wouldn't take up too much time. I miss that feeling of satisfaction you get when you finish a project. 

I found the directions for the Cathedral Window Pincushion on the Moda Bakeshop site. I've always loved the way Cathedral Window blocks look. I've seen a few quilts made of these blocks and they look so work intensive! I thought making one block and making it into a pin cushion would be a nice way to try out the technique associated with this block.

The directions are not very difficult. There are so many pictures to guide you through the process. I loved the tutorial. There are a few things I would change but I'm pleased with the results. I decided to use scraps from my leftover Asian fabrics. I thought the bright colors would remind me of spring. (Much needed right about now!)

Here's the back! I think the hardest part was sewing that button! The cushion was stuffed and thick which made it difficult to sew into the back. I needed some elbow grease but I got it done!

Might be looking for another little project! Any suggestions??

Friday, March 8, 2013

Couch socks

I may have been sidelined with an infection, but I did keep knitting! I promised my husband I would knit him a pair of socks. I'm using a Berocco Comfort Sock yarn and size 1 double pointed knitting needles. It was a nice way to get over my gum infection. I could rest, watch television and knit my socks!

The sock pattern comes from the Jane Austen Knits Fall 2012 issue. They are called Tilney Socks, socks for gentlemen! The pattern consists of an all over ribbing pattern with a traveling stitch diamond pattern down the center of the back of the sock.

Here's a close up of the diamond pattern. This picture doesn't do justice to the cute pattern the diamonds make. The pattern isn't too difficult. I've memorized the allover ribbing pattern which makes knitting go so much faster. I hope to bring my sock to work tomorrow and get some knitting done when it's quiet.

We had another snow storm today. We got close to another foot. So sick of this snow! I'm hoping for spring. It seems nowhere to be found right now but I have faith! Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Too Busy to Quilt

I had planned to quilt all afternoon yesterday. I thought I'd get so much machine quilting done but it seems life got in the way. I ran out of bobbin thread so I had to go buy some. Since I had the quilt out of the machine, I decided to finish marking all the blocks. It seemed too late yesterday to start machine quilting so late in the afternoon. I hate to quilt when it gets dark.  I figured I would get back to quilting today.

I have had a bit of a tooth ache so I had called the dentist yesterday for an appointment today. I guess I've had an infection for the last few weeks. I'm now on antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory for the pain. I must admit I did do a little quilting but not as much as I would have liked. I just feel like laying down. I'm off tomorrow but then have to work the next 3 days. And to top it off, a new winter storm is on the way!

I also have another appointment tomorrow so it won't be a good day to get a lot done. I guess I'll just do what I can. We're supposed to enjoy the process. I just have to keep reminding myself!

Friday, March 1, 2013

FMQ Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak into the FMQ I decided to do on the Puzzle Box Quilt. As you can see, I've divided each block into segments that are parallel with the inner rectangle. I end up with five segments per block. I quilt back and forth loops into three of the segments.

I felt this quilt needed texture. It seemed very smooth and flat. I love the colors but it just needed another dimension. I've only done 4 blocks, but I like what I've done so far.

I'm using King Tut thread in a variegated soft pastel pink, blue and yellow. I think it's actually intended for baby quilts but it's working great on my quilt. It's adding a little bit of color fun without overpowering the actual block.

I got the idea for this FMQ from looking at examples of quilting found in blogs. I looked for awhile and nothing really caught my eye. However, when I found Green Fairy Quilts, I knew I'd find something! If you haven't done it yet, go to this blog and check out her beautiful quilting! It's awesome and inspiring! I can never do as great a job as Judi Madsen, but I just love checking out her beautiful projects.

I had planned on writing this post yesterday but I was quite busy.  It seems when my husband came home from work the other night, a skunk followed him into our garage. We couldn't lure the darn thing out! After many phone calls, we found a company that sent someone over and got him out of our garage. He did leave us a gift. He ended up spraying our garage as he exited. We had the garage treated but you can still smell it! I'm very grateful he's left our home and gone in search of another place to reside!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Watch out for those pesky skunks!!

Disco is Done!

Even though I'm busily working on my quilt Christmas gifts, I did manage to finish this quilt top! It's Disco by Jaybird Quilts...