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!