Friday, December 27, 2013

A little Friday Finish (sort of)

Busy week with Christmas and spending extra time with friends and family ~ I never get tired of seeing our tree lit up every day and I usually leave it up until January 2nd, the day my youngest daughter was born (almost 33 years ago!)

So the only thing I finished were the blocks for the Cat Quilt-Along ~ 25 cute little kitty faces ~ but I hope to have at least the top done by next week!

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for TGIFF

Sunday, December 22, 2013

For next year ...

I think I've found my next quilt-along project!  Terry @ Terry's Treasures is hosting the Good Night Irene Sew-Along for 2014.  What hooked me was the video tutorial for the blocks put out by Missouri Quilt Co. that showed a couple of finished quilt tops that I fell in love with.  And the blocks sound fairly easy to do ~ bonus!

Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A little finish for Friday

Just one little finish today ~ not quilting exactly, but it involves the use of my sewing machine!   

I tried out a new tutorial to make some last-minute gifts ~ microwaveable fabric bowls by Kathy at Tamarack Shack.  Kathy defines these as "a hot pad that allows you to take a hot bowl right out of the microwave without burning your hands!"  Here are a couple of pics from her tutorial:

I made my first set (just the 8" and the 10" for now) out of some nautical/beachy fabrics.  The tutorial is well written, with lots of photos ~ easy to follow ~ and I LOVE the way they turned out!  The only change I made was to stitch across the diagonals on each side.

As you can see, they're also reversible ~ bonus!

Linking up with Gingersnaps Quilts for TGIFF and crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Kitty Update

I'm three/fifths of the way through the Cat Quilt-Along over at Oh, Fransson!  

As of yesterday, I've made 15 of those cute little kitty faces.  :)

So here's my dilemma.  I'm planning on doing a black background and the same type of quilting as the original, but I'm trying to decide what color thread I should use to do the quilting.  If I use black thread to match the background, should I use a white thread to do the cats?  Or should I just use the white thread to do the all-over pattern?  Hmmmm.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Finish(es)

Tree skirts are done!  I posted pics of the first two here.  The last two are on their way to their forever homes  :)  So I think it's safe to post some pics here.

First up ~ tree skirt #3.  I used fabrics from A Merry Little Christmas by Zoe Pearn and this pattern I found at Moda Bakeshop.  Here's the front:

I actually had to piece the back since I didn't quite have enough fabric, but I love the way it turned out!  (BTW, I hadn't put any ornaments on my little tree when I took pics of this tree skirt.)

Tree skirt #4 was a more traditional patchwork, although I used this pattern that I found at Craftbuds as sort of a basis for the design.  Same fabrics as #3.

I love the way it looks under my little tree (with the ornaments on!)

It's almost kind of sad ~ I've been working on these for almost 3 months and almost hated to let them go.  :)  Oh well ~ time to make something for me!  I have a few WIPs in the works and lots of FMQ to practice up on, but for now I can take a deep breath and relax!

Linking up with Quilt Matters for TGIFF and crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday tidbits

I'm beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel ~ that tunnel of tree skirts I started back in September. Two of those have been sent out and received (and loved ~ whew!)  I took pics of those under my own little tree:



The third one is finished (but not sent out yet) and the fourth is in the quilting stage and should be done by Wednesday!

Saturday was class day ~ Free Motion Quilting (finally!)  I've been scared to try this, but I learned to just relax, have a glass of wine and go with the flow.  A few other tips were taught as well but I liked these the best.  :)    I started with meandering, went into some loops and in the midst of that did a little flower!

My next practice block included some swirls, a few pebbles, some paisley, a feather, some little hearts and a leafy vine.  Oh ~ and a design that I remembered seeing at Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project (although it's not exactly like hers ~ LOL).  I need LOTS of practice ~ but at least I'm not scared of it anymore!  (linking up with FMQ Friday)


Finally got all the ornaments on our skinny little tree ~ I love sitting here with a fresh cup of coffee or Ovaltine with the tree in view, listening to The Nutcracker.  It's just a feel-good kind of thing that can only be experienced at this time of year.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WIP Wednesday ~ more kitties and a beginning

A couple of (super)quick WIPs ...

Two more kitties finished for the Cat Quilt-Along over at Oh, Fransson!  This is such a fun and simple block-a-day project and I can't wait to see it finished!  My blocks so far:

FINALLY got started cutting fabric for Christmas tree skirt #4!  It's the same fabric collection (A Merry Little Christmas) I used in #3, but the pattern I'm using is totally different.

That's it!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday Progress and a Cat Quilt-Along

Almost done!  I ended up sewing the binding on to Christmas Tree Skirt #3 yesterday (not Thursday as I had originally planned).  I discovered a great way to keep the binding handy while I did that ~ I'm sure a lot of people have done the same, but it was an AH-HAH! moment for me.  :)

I grabbed my Wonder Clips and spent some time last night hand-stitching it on the back and I'm hoping to finish it tonight.

On Saturday, I got an early Christmas present from my awesome hubby ~ I think he got tired of watching me stack pillows on the kitchen chair I've been using.  It's a Koala chair and it's SO comfy!  We picked it up at my favorite LQS ~ Flash Sew & Quilt in Naples.

 Speaking of Flash, I was there for a few hours with a group of great ladies making pillowcases for the military ~ one of the teachers there has a niece in Afghanistan who's collecting them for the troops in her unit.  We ended up with 70 (collected in the last month or so) and they're being mailed out today.

I know I've had a lot going on lately (for me), but I couldn't resist getting sucked into this new Cat Quilt-Along over at Oh, Fransson!  

Starting December 1st through December 25th, a new cat block will be posted ~ or you can purchase a pdf from her shop (30% discount now through December 7!).  Check out the post for more info.  

I found a charm pack at Joann's that I loved in yellow, turquoise and grey prints and I decided to make the quilt with a black background (kind of unusual for me!)  Here's my first two cat blocks:

Should be fun!  This is about as close to cats as I get because of my allergies!  :(

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday finish ~ In From The Cold

Finished my In From the Cold quilt top!  Which I'm really happy about in the midst of all these tree skirts.  I love this pattern!  :)  I'm sure it won't be totally finished and quilted until I learn to FMQ (free-motion quilt) ~ probably after Christmas.  

Linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.  :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday ~ Quilty Progress

I'm happy to say that Christmas tree skirt #3 is coming along nicely!  I finished the quilting on it yesterday, the binding is ready and I'm planning on working on the that tomorrow while my hubby is lost in a day of football and the Godfather marathon.  :)  BTW ~ I'm using this pattern which I found on the Moda website.  (I'm only showing a few peeks until I send it out.)

Moving on with my In From the Cold quilt ~ I finished all the sashing and cut the borders  ~ getting there!

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday already?!

Where do the days go?  I guess I've just been busy enough not to notice.  :)

Saturday was our last In From The Cold class, so we got some help with sashing and chain-stitch embroidery.  And by Sunday afternoon I had all of the blocks and most of the sashing done ~ next up: side sashing & borders.

Today was all about Christmas tree skirt #3 ~ binding cut and pressed ~ backing pieced together ~ basting done.  And I finally decided what kind of straight-line quilting to do (my new year's resolution? learn free-motion quilting!).   I even managed to get 1/4 of the tree skirt quilted ~ so I feel really good about today!

Almost forgot to say that I tried out a new tool today!  It's the Creative Grids Non-Slip Bias Binding Simplified Ruler  ~ so making the binding was quick and easy!  The ruler itself has the directions printed right on it for cutting 2-1/2" and 2-1/4" binding, as well as how many inches of binding you get out of 1/2, 3/4 and 1 yard of fabric.  It's nice not having to stop and look up that kind of information online.  I'd highly recommend it!  (Click on the pic for a video.)

Have a good week!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday and a missing camel

Guess what day it is?  Has anyone seen that camel lately?  Here's a little "behind the scenes" video in case you miss him as much as I do!

This week I'm working on finishing up my mug blocks for the In From the Cold quilt for our last class on Saturday.  As of this morning, I had 6 mugs done (although one still needs its steam).  So today I worked on the most difficult one ~ the dreaded pinwheel mug!  I started with 36 1-1/2" half-square triangles:

pieced them together to make nine 2-1/2" pinwheels:

sewed those together:

and ended up with this mug

The pinwheel points aren't perfect, but they're good enough for me!  And here's my progress so far (still need two more blocks and some steam).  Can't wait to see it finished ~ I want to cuddle up with it this Christmas Eve.  :)

We're halfway through the Hop Skip & Jump Block of the Month over at Sew Lux Fabric.  These are my 6 blocks so far.  Lovin' the Happy Go Lucky fabric!

Linking up at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday progress and lots of trimmings!

I'm working on my "In From the Cold" Christmas mug quilt today ~ trying to get all my mugs finished before the last class on Saturday.  At the moment, I'm working on 9 little pinwheels made up of 1-1/2" half-square triangles ~ that's where most of the trimmings came from!  


I love the way the blocks are turning out ~ I have six (mostly) done ~ one still needs its steam, but that I can embroider in my comfy chair while watching some TV.  :)

Linking up with Show and Tell Tuesday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finish Friday

Finis!  Tree skirt #1, that is.  I spent all day catching up on episodes of Sleepy Hollow and The Blacklist while I hand-stitched the binding and added a label.  Can't post a full photo of it, but here's a peek.

Only two more tree skirts to go!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.