Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve and Resolutions

What are you going to be doing this New Years?

I will be spending some time with my family as we don't have plans to go anywhere and hopefully spending a lot of time quilting. Tonight my daughter is having friends spend the night so my husband and I will probably stay downstairs out of the way in the sewing room.

I have completed my New Years resolution list or at least my "hope to accomplish" list for 2009. Have you done yours?

2009 Resolutions

1.Sew up at least 3 PIGS (projects in grocery sacks) during 2009, some of these I have had for YEARS.
2.Continue to piece at least half of my backings using 10 ½ squares.
3.When I finish a quilt top select fabric for a backing and piece before putting the top away. (I know I won't do this all the time but would be happy if I did this SOMETIMES. I think I would get more done in the long run.)
4.Finish two more UFOs left from 2007 UFO list
5.Buy less fabric than I use so that I can see a dent in my stash.
6.Charity quilting in 2008, I pieced 3 charity quilt tops and quilted 15 tops. I hope in 2009 to do at least the same amount, hopefully a couple more.
7.Do at least one project using up 2 ½ strips as that bin is overflowing.

For non quilt related resolutions.

1.Buy only when I need something (quilt related and not)
2.De-clutter, De-junk or whatever you want to call it my entire house. One drawer or one closet at a time I want to start tossing/donating things we don't use or need.

Have a great day and stay safe tonight, I am glad we won't be going out anywhere.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Interlocking Stars

Finished the top for the interlocking stars quilt. This picture isn't very good with it being not real smooth on the design wall and the glare of the morning sun but you can get the idea. I am pleased with the way it turned out.

I think I am going to quilt it with a variegated tan thread but I have two other quilts in line to quilt first.

I am trying to finish up my New Years Resolution listing. I always have way more ideas than I know I will actually accomplish so trying to be realistic and pick a few things I can work on and have a good chance of accomplishing.

I guess one of them (quilt on New Years Day) is a given. I have been doing that since I started quilting. It just seems to me a great way to start the New Year. Since my daughter is having a couple of friends spend the night on New Years Eve I am sure my mini retreat will start then. I tend to hide away from the noisy teenagers in the sewing room. With fabric, sewing machines, longarm and a TV I can be occupied for hours. The only problem is that it is downstairs and can be chilly in the evenings this time of year. Guess I will have to pop upstairs every so often to get hot coffee or tea to keep me warm.

Kathie L.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lets Go Fishing

I have been under the weather the last couple of days due to sinus problems and a severe sinus headache that just wouldn't go away. I didn't feel like doing much, including sewing but I did manage to sit on the sofa and work on the binding to my strippy fish quilt.

I made the quilt a couple of months ago during a sew-in and just got it quilted a few days ago. I uses a really pretty variegated teal thread on it in free hand swirls and I think it looks like water for the fish. The strippy quilt was made using the idea from Mary J's site (hope that is the correct link), I made the smallest strip just a little bit bigger for mine. The quilt really isn't wavy, it is the way it is being held. I purchased the fish fabric at our annual quilt guild auction probably 3 or 4 years ago and finally found a good use for it.

I also worked some on the interlocking stars quilt today. The whole middle section is done and I have started on the inner border. I don't post a picture again until I have at least the top done.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

My Stepdaughter Angie asked that I make a sofa quilt for her to give to her mother-in-law for Valentines day. She requested tan, cream and a light olive to go in her MIL's living room. Now that is not a color combination I would have bought so it was a challenge to buy the fabric. Then to pick a pattern. Yes I know you should pick a pattern first and THEN buy the fabric but I am a little backwards at times.

Even though the last quilt top I made was the friendship star in a star the pattern I picked out for her quilt was also a friendship star variation. This one is interlocking stars, which is very easy, the hard part is keeping track of all the pieces.

Here is the start to my project and even though it is not my colors I think I am going to like the look of this.

I hope everyone will have a wonderful Christmas Eve, have warmth even in the cold weather hitting most of the country and to arrive at your destinations safely.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I have had a couple of charity quilts waiting for me to quilt and I just have not had time to get to them the last couple of months. I pulled out a small one pieced by Julie from my guild, got the backing cut and managed to quilt this fairly quickly.

I think this bright lime fabric must glow in the dark!!! I had lime thread I used and did a version of Dawn's dwirling technique from her Pajama Quilter DVD, I just added lots more swirls. I have done 2 or 3 quilts with this method but I think I like the spacing of the lines and swirls on this one more than the others.

It usually takes me 2 or 3 times of doing a new quilting pattern to really like it. That is going to be one of my goals for 2009, to rewatch all my videos and practice new quilting techniques more.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Yet Again

You are going to get tired of seeing pictures of this quilt but I did get the top totally done yesterday so wanted to post a final picture. I really like how this little quilt turned out.

Very cold here this morning at 18 degrees. Now I know that is nothing compared to Montana or several other places but it is the coldest morning of this winter so far.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby Stars

I did manage to get all nine blocks to the baby quilt done yesterday.

You are suppose to be able to see the secondary large star in the background and after looking at it this morning it just didn't look right to me. I had followed the pattern, which is not usual for me, but I just didn't care for the setting.

My husband suggested that I redo the middle block and use the bright yellow for all backgrounds and I like it much better now. Always nice to have an extra pair of eyes when something doesn't look quite right.

Hopefully I will get the blocks sewn together and the borders on this today. It is dark and rainy outside here in Maryland today, a nice day to stay inside. I am so thankful that we are not having the winter weather that the New England and other parts of the country are currently having.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

What to Do

My daughter is at a friends out for the day and to spend the night. I have lots of time to sew and didn't know what to do.

I cut a backing for a charity quilt and loaded it and the batting on my frame but then didn't feel like quilting it. I want to sit and piece but had nothing in progress to work on. I didn't feel like cutting out a new project but went to look at my fabric PIGS (projects in grocery sacks) that I purchased at various times.

I found one package of baby fabrics with a pattern already stuck in with it. Must have been set aside for at least six months. Thought I would go ahead and get it cut out and before long I was sewing away.

Funny that the day started out not knowing what I wanted to sew and the day will end with a half finished baby quilt. Do you ever have a day like that where you want to sew, you just don't know what.

I will try and post pictures tomorrow.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stashbuster Christmas Quilt

Since I make so many Christmas table runners for fall/Christmas craft show I always end up with a box full of left over binding pieces and each year I make at least one Christmas scrap quilt in the hopes of using them up.

I have been slowly putting pieces together into blocks and finally got all the blocks sewn together. It ended up being about 52 by 72 which is a good sofa size quilt so I doubt I will even put borders on it.

Of course it didn't seem to even make a dent in the box of binding so guess this quilt will end up having a scrap binding also. Maybe once I get that made up I will be able to see a small dent in my pile anyway.

I am sure this will go on my shelf of tops done and waiting to be quilted but it will be nice to clean up all the extra pieces and get my sewing room a little more organized.

I have been doing so much quilting at the frame the last couple of months it was nice to spend an afternoon sitting and piecing.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 Resolutions Revisited

It is getting close to the time of year that people (myself included) start making new years resolutions. I thought that before I even consider doing that I should revisit the ones I made last year so I went back to one of my very first blogs.

#1 was to shop stash before going to the store and to try and make lots of scrap quilts. Well I did start shopping my stash more so that is a plus. I made a couple of scrap Christmas quilts out of left over binding pieces and one scrap top for Project Linus but guess that is about all the headway I made using up scraps.

#2 was to piece a lot of backings with 10 1/2 squares to use up some of those smaller pieces of fabric left from various projects. I did very well on this one as I probably pieced 3/4 of my backings this year.

#3 was to tackle my Projects in Grocery Sacks (PIGS) and either make up the project or return the fabric to my stash to use for other projects. I made up a couple of the projects and returned at least two more to stash so I would say I made good progress on this one. If nothing else it reminded me of a few projects I still want to do.

#4 was to de-junk the sewing room and the rest of the house. This of course is an on-going process but did get a little accomplished on it.

and #5 though I never wrote it down was to quilt 12 charity quilts during 2008, an average of 1 per month. To date I have quilted 14 quilts for various charities during 2008 so actually a little ahead on that one.

Since it looks like I actually worked on and made progress on each of my resolutions guess I will start thinking about next years.

How did you do with your 2008 resolutions?


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Love Quilt

I was going to put this as part of my last post but decided it deserved an entry all on its own. Everyone knows that there are certain times, certain people and certain circumstances where you just HAVE to drop everything else and pitch in to do something for someone else.

A lady in my quilt guild teaches several young students (11 - 13 years old) how to quilt. One of them came to her a few days ago and told her that a girls she knows, only 12 years old, had just been diagnosed with acute cancer and that she wanted to make her a quilt to comfort her during her long expected stay in Children's Hospital. Everyone's heart goes out to a young child struggling with something that no child should have to go through.

The quilt grew into a mini community effort. The fabric was picked out with the assistance of the quilting teacher, one girl was the primary person but a couple of other young girls assisted her with some of the sewing and the quilt teacher with some of the cutting. One girls mom took all the fabric to prewash, another lady contributed money for fabric and last night I quilted it. All this happened in less than a week and the quilt will be ready to be picked up and bound later today and hopefully delivered to the hospital later this week.

I wanted to show the lovely work that 3 11-13 year olds accomplished in such a short time and that giving of your time and hearts can start at an early age.

I quilted the quilt with a bright king tut thread call Joseph's Coat (of many colors) and I thought the title was kind of appropriate as so many peoples efforts were "patched" together into this quilt, the quilt that love made.


This Weekend

Every day I have said to myself that I should blog but have either been to busy with holiday and other things or just couldn't think of anything to say or have any pictures to post. Now all of a sudden it seems like I have several things to show and to talk about.

First I wanted to post a picture of a recent customer quilt I quilted. I just wanted to show how nice a totally scrap quilt comes out when there is just a little pre-planning. She didn't plan the colors but just made sure that there was nothing really dark or really bright in the quilt and it came out great. I really should follow her example and make better use of all my smaller pieces like she did with this framed 4 patch.

Second photo is getting ready to go to a sew-in our guild has once a month at our local library. I love sewing in their big conference room. You can either do the project of the day which was a bag yesterday, work on charity quilts or just do your own thing. I had all the pieces cut for a Christmas quilt (for next year) so took that with me and made good progress. Its not in the picture here but I carry the project back in forth in a plastic 9 x 13 cake carrier. I think it was Bonnie Hunter that posted about that on her site and I ran out and purchased a couple. They are so great to organize all your pieces in.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Crazy Time

Wow it has been a crazy week. My last craft show of the season was this past saturday, yesterday was my daughters performance in the Nutcracker and I went into my old job today for a few hours to turn over documentation to my replacement. In addition to this I have been trying to finish customer quilts and haul my daughter to many Nutcracker and high school dance team practices.

I am hoping that maybe starting tomorrow things will be a little more "normal" whatever that is. I want to finish up things for Christmas, give the house a good cleaning, finish quilting the last few quilts with a Christmas deadline and then maybe have the time to work on a project or two of my own and to get another charity top together.

Hope everyone else can slow down and enjoy the holidays.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fabric Finding

We live in a split foyer home. Many years ago my daughter used to use the space under the stairs for a playhouse and had pillows, a bean bag chair and all sorts of other items under there. She quit using it years ago but we never cleaned out the area. My husband was doing that the other day so that we can store the Christmas tree and ornaments under there instead of in the attic.

What did he discover under there??????????? Fabric, yards and yards of fabric that she has used for curtains under the stairs. There must have been 10 to 15 yards of fabric under there in larger pieces. Sad to say that I never even missed it!!

I guess I am set with fabric for charity quilt backings for awhile.