Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!

2011 quilts and other projects
See you in 2012!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's Up Wednesday: Taking a Break

Hey did you notice I finally put my Christmas blog header up!  

Just in time for me to announce that I will be taking a break from blogging until the new year.  I am busy saying goodbye to my oldest who is moving far away, saying hello to my middlest who is home from college,  studying with my youngest who is in exam mode, and preparing for the holidays!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and/or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate!!!! See you in 2012!!!

Safe travels,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Whimsy

This is basically a duplicate post.  Last Friday, I was welcomed by Amy as a guest blogger for Sew and Tell Friday.  I posted quite a few pictures over there of the supersize Christmas shoofly quilt that I did not share here.  Since I want to order one of those Blog2print books,  I need to have the pictures shown here on MY blog.  So, if you were kind enough to read my post at Amy's, you can stop reading this now because for the most part it's the same ;-)

I followed Malka's supersize shoofly quilt pattern for this quilt which I have named Christmas Whimsy.   This quilt came together much quicker than the No Worries shoofly quilt I recently made.  The four Christmas prints used are Michael Miller Tree Trimmers, Michael Miller Folk Art Trees, Robert Kaufman O' Tinsel Tree and Robert Kaufman Groove.  The neutral fabric used for the background is from a bolt of Moda I had in my stash.

As you can see there are various quilting designs going on here.  I am determined to if not master, at least improve, my FMQ skills!  My plan was to quilt each quadrant densely yet differently.  However, when it came time to quilt, my machine had other ideas.

First, I stippled the center diamond area which worked fine.  

Feeling confident, I tried my hand at pebble quilting the Groove (dots fabric) quadrant.  That's when my machine rebelled.  Towards the end, my "pebbles" were getting larger and larger with more and more space in between just to finish and be done with it ;-)

I switched back to my walking foot and used that to quilt a spiral in the Tree Trimmers (peppermint fabric) section.  Let me tell you it was very difficult maneuvering (basically swirling) this size quilt on my machine.  I was very glad to finish the spiral.

For the O' Tinsel Tree (pink fabric) area, I again used my walking foot and echo quilted around the center of the block.  This looked boring so I randomly quilted lines and blocks in the center square.

Getting tired of using my walking foot, I switched back to FMQing and quilted loops for the Folk Art Trees (green fabric).

Since I stippled the center diamond, I also chose to stipple the triangular neutral areas on the top and bottom, whereas a walking foot was used to quilt organic lines in the four neutral corners.

I chose to use two different neutrals for the backing because I wanted to keep it simple and highlight the quilting.  I did have a hard time photographing that neutral background though.  For the binding, I went with the Robert Kaufman Groove dot fabric and Amanda Jean's machine binding tutorial.

Well, thanks for bearing with me as I take care of some blog housekeeping duties.  Back to regularly scheduled programming soon;-)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sew & Tell Friday #50

Whew!  What a week.  I am so glad it is Friday!!!!
I'm also super excited to announce that I am a guest blogger over at Amy's today hosting Sew and Tell Friday!!!!  Please head on over and say hello as I have never been a guest blogger before ;-)

I've also never made a Christmas quilt before....unless a table runner counts, so here you go....a supersized Christmas shoofly quilt!  {Malka's pattern and tutorial can be found here.}

I shared a ton of pictures and details on Amy's blog, but since my daughter had so much fun taking pictures, I have some extra to show you here.

Each of the four quadrants has a different quilting design (pebble, loops, lines, and squares) in addition to stippling in the neutral areas where the blocks meet and organic lines stitched in the four corners.

I chose a simple, neutral backing to showcase the quilting....not sure that was such a good idea...ha!!
I keep telling myself I am not going to get better if I don't keep practicing.  I will say I am enjoying the quilting part more and more.....when my machine cooperates that is.  My machine and I had some issues on this quilt too....Santa and I need to continue our conversation.....

I gave Amanda Jean's machine binding tutorial a try.  I am pretty pleased with the results, and would be happier if I had followed her advice to go slow and take my time ;-)

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!
Make sure you visit Amy's Sew and Tell Friday and Amanda's Finish it up Friday.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sew & Tell Friday #49

Progress has been made on the quilts I showed yesterday, but they aren't quite finished.  I DID finish two matching doll quilts for two sweet little girls this Christmas.

These quilted tops have been in my WIPs pile for several years now just waiting to be bound.  They are leftovers from a quilt and matching doll quilt made for another sweet little girl and were intended to be gifts for my daughter and niece at the time.  

Original quilt made in 2008 - before blogging and documenting with photos ;-)
 You can't really tell from the pictures, but the quilts were made to be similar yet different.  They each have a different border fabric, backing fabric and quilting design.  One is quilted with butterflies and the other with hearts.  

I'm pretty sure the original intended recipients are passed the playing with dolls stage (even though they would still appreciate the gift), so their younger cousins will be getting these.  The fun part is shopping for the baby dolls!

Before the binding

I am so happy these doll quilts are FINALLY finished, so happy there are little girls on my gift list, and so happy to link these to Amanda Jean's and Amy's blogs!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Going Big

Messing around with some new projects around here involving big pieces.

Trying my hand at an oversize Friendship block (#39  Farmer's Wife Sampler) with leftover Tula Pink Plume layer cake squares.  I've been too lazy to install the CD or make any of the blocks, so just started cutting and piecing this one based on how it looked.  Not really happy with the proportions though, so this one will probably be quilted for a quick wall hanging.  

I find making HSTs is so much easier when working with 12" squares!

No trimming required and the seams matched up perfectly.

Orange Delight came together so quickly that I am using the same technique to make another charity quilt, this time for our guild's charity drive.

I really need to finish these by the weekend, so hopefully there will be finished pictures to show soon!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's Up Wednesday: I went shopping!

Darn you Santa and your practical side!  I put this on the top of my Christmas list and even got an up close and personal look at it when I dropped off my current machine for it's first ever since getting the machine for I don't remember how many Christmases ago service.

Well, my machine works good as new after that service, and Santa is right in saying that a new machine is not needed at this time.  I was a good girl and didn't pout (much)....after all, I know what I am asking for when my 50th birthday rolls around ;-)

I haven't named my sewing machines like many of you do, but decided it was about time I did.  So, let me introduce you to Nina!  She and I spent some quality time together yesterday sewing two quilt tops.

I didn't participate in Black Friday, but took advantage of a couple Cyber Monday sales.  As much as possible, I am buying handmade gifts from local and/or small businesses.  I ordered this amazing stocking from my friend Shelly!  I have admired her boot patterns for a while now, and when I saw she had a boot stocking in her shop already made, I jumped on it!  I have seen Shelly at work, so I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was totally blown away at the quality of her workmanship on this stocking!  The stitching  is incredible as well as the attention to detail!!!!  Thanks so much Shelly....this boot stocking is destined for Montana ;-)

My daughter and I did some antiquing and found some great bargains.  How cool is this sewing machine pencil sharpener and tiny iron?!!!

I was so excited to find this typewriter, and it actually works!  Now, I don't know if replacement ribbons can be found or not, but my daughter (who wants to be an author) can be found banging away on it at odd times throughout the day (when she should be doing her homework).

I am still waiting for some of my handmade purchases to arrive, and there are other gifts that still need to be ordered.  Does anyone have suggestions for some great handmade gifts to be found online?  There are some blank spots on my gift list.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Family Photos

It's that time of year when families are gathering and mothers are taking advantage of the togetherness to get that all important group Christmas card photo.

Got Pink?, Horizons and Pina Colada quilts that now live in Mississippi
Maybe it's all those years of the kids complaining and rolling their eyes when I pull the camera out, or maybe it's because the quilts don't talk back, but whatever the reason, instead of taking pictures of family members I haven't seen in a while, I took pictures of quilts I haven't seen in a while!

SuperStar quilt now living in a college dorm room.
My son even let me borrow his dorm quilt for a good washing, even though he was quite nervous that I would not give it back somehow mess it up.  

The back of SuperStar...sideways.
I will say it was nice to visit with this quilt and cuddle up with it on the drive back.....oh, it was nice to visit with my son too, of course!

 I was happy to get some pictures of this quilt outside.  As is the case with family photos, I didn't get to take as many pictures as I wanted.  Everyone is always in a hurry to be done. 

Batik quilt for my mom made by my sister last Christmas.
My sister and her family were unable to join us for Thanksgiving (probably because she didn't want to be in my pictures!), but I visited with the quilt she made for my mom last Christmas!  Isn't it beautiful?!  I think this was one of about ten quilts she made last year, and she is cranking out a dozen more this year.  That overachiever....making me look bad ;-)!!!!!

All joking aside, I did take the obligatory family photo for the Christmas card, but I was told not to publish that picture here.  Max is the only one who doesn't mind having his face plastered on my blog!  For the family picture, we were dressed in white shirts and denim jeans.  Max is also dressed in white and denim, sporting a brand new denim bandana made by his mom!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Star

Here's my November Priority: Alzheimer's mini quilt for the Quilt-a-Month Club.

Christmas Star (AAQI #8827) measures 8.5" square. 

In the center of the wonky star is a little free-pieced Christmas tree.  The Kate Spain Flurry fabrics were part of the FTLOS swap package received from partner Jessica.  

The backing is a fun candy cane print from my stash.

Christmas Star is virtually headed to {Sew} Modern Monday and physically headed to AAQI headquarters to join hundreds of other art quilts up for sale or auction to raise funds for Alzheimer's research.  

Finished with your Christmas shopping?  No, you say.  Well, on this Cyber Monday, why not check out the plethora of lovely quilts on the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative site.  You are sure to find the perfect gift for that special someone on your list, and for those hard to please hard to shop for loved ones, gift cards are now available!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings

This week I have been (and still am) traveling and spending time with my family.... no sewing machine, no shopping malls, just lots of good food, time spent with family and time to ponder and count my blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving from Peaceful Dove!
Wishing all of you celebrating in the States, a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!  May you have many blessings to count, special time spent with family and friends, plenty of good food, and safe travels!