Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another Challenge

In keeping with my "I will not make New Year's Resolutions" resolution, I am taking part in another Challenge to make sure I keep on track with getting things done next year and using up the fabric in my stash.  The last challenge that I posted about was Judy Laquidera's UFO challenge and this challenge is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

See this site (and I have a button on my sidebar):

Superscrappy will post a different color selection each month and regularly post suggested designs to work with - no quilt police and no hard and fast rules!  If you have enough stash to sort some scraps by color, go ahead and get started.  I have some limitations (like I don't have much orange), but I can work around that. 

With both of these complementary challenges, I should be getting some projects completed and using up some stash, too.  I'm getting organized for a fresh New Year!  I'll keep ya posted ...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Taking On the UFO Challenge

I've decided that after the holidays I will put some more structure in my life (but in a fun way, of course).  This is not a New Year's Resolution because I don't do well with those ... LOL!

I have decided to get on board with Judy Laquidara's 2011 UFO Challenge.  See her blog and a description of the challenge over at Patchwork Times:

I've put a button on my sidebar and hope to keep updating my progress on the UFO finishes.  It should be interesting to see if I stick with pulling the number out of a hat and working on that designated UFO, but that's the fun part!  I'm going upstairs now to count my UFOs (and try to find where I've hidden them all ...).  Here's a peak at the first couple that are in zip lock bags or in the basket waiting to be quilted:
Blocks from block swaps
Waiting to be quilted

And, BTW, it is cold once again in Florida.  This is the frost that was on the ground still at 10:00 this morning (this side gets the afternoon sun).  Even with the frost, this little iris just keeps blooming ... what a cheerful plant.

This post is now edited with my first 12 UFOs for the Challenge:
30s Sampler
Trail to Treadlonia
Batik Squares
Pink/Green Antique Tile
Mary Englebreit Panel
Blue/White Monkey Wrench
Green Swap Blocks
Fall Square in Squares
Scrappy Strips
30s H Blocks
30s Scrappy Hearts
Bears in the Farmhouse

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Presents

Like most quilters, I was lucky enough to receive some quilt-related Christmas presents.  I can't wait to read the book ... I have trouble with just pulling scraps from my stash and making an attractive top, and this book gives you tips and pointers that will make your scrap quilts sparkle!  This is what I got:

Monday, December 20, 2010

What's On The Agenda

I’m sure you can guess what will be going on at my house this week … this is what I picked up at the grocery today in preparation for what'll be happenin' in the Kitchen soon:

So go ahead and laugh along with these fabulous (and TRUE) Cookie Rules:
Christmas Cookie Rules
  1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh from the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the Test Cookie and thus calorie free.
  2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.
  3. If a friend comes over while you're making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend.  Because your friend's first cookie is calories free, Rule No. 1 means that yours is too.  It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free.
  4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move.  This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.
  5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.
  6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories.  Red ones have three and green ones have five - one calorie for each letter.  Make more red ones!
  7. Cookies eaten while watching "Miracle on
    34th Street", 
    "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story" have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.
  8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking the cookie causes calorie leakage.
  9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate.  We all know how calories like to cling!
  10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes never have calories.  It's the rule!
A big *Thank You* for this list to:
Please go visit this great quilting blog site and be sure to stop by Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company (no affiliation – just like her stuff!).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pillowcase Gift

Let me say right up front that I do not like working with satin!  Satin just slips and slides and ravels and makes your life miserable.  Now that I have that out of my system ...
I just finished making a set of satin pillowcases for my mother.  She likes them because she says her hair-do lasts longer.  Whatever.  Anyway, I now have a greater appreciation of photographers who take photos for catalogs and make everything look great.  A cream colored satin pillowcase does not photograph easily!  Here is one finished and a detail of the decorative ribbon.  I  must admit, they did turn out well, but I'm glad to get back to my quilts and cotton fabric.
Merry Christmas, Mom (no, she doesn't read this blog).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Antique Quilt

Since I've been too busy to sew, I thought I'd post a picture of an antique quilt that I own.  This quilt was made by one of my great-grandmothers, but, since it has no label, I don't know which one (several of them were known to be quilters).  My mother has changed her story three or four times about who made it (her memories are no longer reliable) and there is no one left who can confirm it for me. 

It was made in the 1930s (or maybe early 40s) and it has more than a few worn places where the batting comes thru, as it was used heavily before I got it.  It was made in the days before queen size beds so it just covers the top of one in this picture.  The blocks are string-pieced diamonds making the spider web design that uses up every scrap - very modern - I guess quilt designs tend to return in cycles!  It also is bound in the method that brings the backing fabric forward onto the front (in this case, muslin).  It is hand pieced and hand quilted - I just love it.  Enjoy!

Shows the pieced diamonds

Close-up of some of the fabrics

One of the bad spots that needs repair - batting coming thru.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why I've Been Busy

I have had no time to update my blog or quilt since I finished the last baby quilt.  First came the lost dog.

This adorable Husky was wandering loose by a nearby elementary school on a deadend street.  I was afraid he would find his way up to the busy cross-street, so I took him home and got my dog's leash and started walking the nearby neighborhoods.  He had a collar, but no tags.  He was thin but otherwise healthy and well-cared for.  I thought it would be easy to find his owner nearby.  Too late I realized that I should have taken him straight to the vet and had him scanned for a microchip.  By the time I thought of it, the vets were closed and, of course, closed the next day on Sunday.  He was well-trained in the house, but not leash-trained and he was a strong dog!  I can see why they are well suited to pull sleds.  If only I was young enough to rollar-blade he would have been a blast.   Finally on Monday I was able to get him scanned and after a long song and dance (chip registration hadn't been updated), got him back where he belonged.  And that was almost 20 miles away.  Turns out he was just over a year old and still very much a puppy - loved to play, loved rawhide bones, loves stuffed animals and loved to run.  Way too energetic for our household and our 7 yr old furball.  I'm sure glad this story had a happy ending.  I guess the moral is to get those pets microchipped and be sure to update it if the animal changes owners or moves.

The second thing that has kept me from quilting is that while searching for a possible owner or rescue group on-line, I got a rather nasty virus.  Our computer was locked up for most of a day until we could get rid of any trace of it.  What a mess.

I hope to be back on track tomorrow!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On My Walk

I finally got back to walking regularly and I remembered to take my camera with me today.  I saw several things that reminded me of quilt projects that need to be completed:
First was the Beauty Berries

Second was the Pansies

The above reminded me that I had won the purple and yellow blocks from the Sunshine Quilt Guild block lotto and I needed to put together something.  I think if I get this quilt done soon, I will have a box full to send off to Wrap Them in Love.  I'll keep you posted.  These are the blocks (in no particular order yet) - the top right and left corner blocks have pansies - very pretty!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baby Quilt Finished

I had a houseguest and got behind in making the baby quilt.  I was going to hand it off last Saturday to a friend who is attending the baby shower (since I can't be there) but I'll have another opportunity tomorrow so I've finished it just in time.  The pictures were taken this evening and the colors aren't right so I hope to take some more tomorrow in natural light before I wrap it.  The fabric is Debbie Mumm and is called "Kitties at Play" - they are having fun with bicycles, pogo sticks, hopscotch, etc.  Here's the first shots:

Detail with Backing

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pause for a Baby Quilt

I was on a good roll with completing some UFOs for donating to my favorite children's charities, but today I had to pause.  I just received short notice of a baby shower for a friend's great-grandchild (all three generations were child brides apparently - my friend is only in her 60s!).  So today I'll show the first few blocks and some of the intended fabrics.  I hope to be done by Saturday ... maybe ....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Two Finishes

I finished quilting and binding these two.  Can't say much about those non-parallel lines on the star quilt (ok - enough true confessions - no more self criticism). Next time I'll be more careful with which corner I take the picture of  :).  I'm back to working with those scrap strips now.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Next Project in the Works

Strip quilts have become very popular so I took a look at the various strips that I have leftover after binding my quilts.  I almost always use a 2 1/2 inch strip for my double fold binding and I have a bucket full of short and medium length pieces that I've saved.  I took them out and sorted out the brighter, jewel tones from the grayed colors, threw in just a few lighter pastels and a few darks for interest and came up with this bunch.
I've now ironed these and sewn them together randomly.  The random part was hard for me since I'm more of a matchy-matchy kind of quilter.  I'm trying to do more scrap quilts and get away from the matching.  So I closed my eyes, plumped the pile up and picked a strip to sew.  I only threw two back using this method.  I layed them out on the floor, side-by-side in long continuous strips, but wasn't wild about that look.  So I've decided to go with a Bonnie Hunter design from Quiltsville.  It is a modified log cabin type contruction that I think will go together quickly and use my strips efficiently.  I need to cut some center squares and I'll be off to the races, so to speak!

This is the Quiltsville design I will be using:

I hope to have a design wall featuring these strips soon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Not Bound, but Quilted

Today I quilted the Dandy Blocks top with free-motion clamshells.  My mind drifted and so did some of the clamshells!  You might say they drifted with the tide, if you look closely (no - I don't recommend looking closely).  A member of one group I'm in told about a quilt she made that had a traditional top and a modern backing (both in kids' fabrics) that made it sparkle.  Well, I borrowed the idea and did the same with this Dandy quilt.  The top has the 30s reproduction fabrics and a classic block design, while the back has very modern butterflies ... I think a little girl will like both sides.  I'll get it bound tomorrow morning.  Here's a picture of the detail with the backing showing:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quilting Finished

Last night I finished quilting the 10-Minute Block quilt.  The photos show the quilt and a detail of the ring of hearts that I quilted into the squares that look like applique but that really result from the block's construction.  The rings are free-motion quilted, so don't expect computer-driven perfection!  Another top is on the frame and I hope to finish it tomorrow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bag No. 5 and Quilting

I finished Bag No 5 for the Zihuatanejo Bag Project and those 5 bags are in the mail.  There is a posting on the Creative Chicks blog that, due to a change in plans, they now have enough bags.  I have an email into them to see if I need to send in the original 10 that I signed up for or just this five that are done.  I sure wouldn't mind sending 5 more since these bags are cute and easy to make - and it is such a good cause.  We'll see if any more are on the horizon.  This fabric was leftover from two earlier projects - one is the top called Laundry Day at the Beach that is in the stack waiting to be quilted.  It'll be done soon ...
Bag No. 5

Laundry Day at the Beach

I also have actually started quilting tops like I said I would.  This is the one that is on the frame now.  It is the 10-Minute Block top made with the leftovers from another quilt.  The middles of the blocks (here it's that center block with the butterflies) will get marked with a template for a ring of hearts, so this top is taking a little longer to quilt, but I'm making progress now!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Did You Celebrate Fibonacci Day?

This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image is from
the user Chris 73 and is freely available at

Why did I picture a Chambered Nautilus today?  Am I finally making an art quilt?  Oh no, not me … but the Golden Ratio [and in geometry, the Golden Spiral as in the Chambered Nautilus above] does make for a lovely quilt – see a wonderful link at the end of this post.

Yesterday was Fibonacci Day and I missed it.  It is called Fibonacci Day because the first four numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 1123 (although a zero precedes it).

Leonardo da Pisa (nicknamed Fibonacci), a mathematician, was born in Pisa around 1170 AD and is best known for a simple series of numbers called the Fibonacci sequence.  The series begins with 0 and 1. After that, it uses the simple rule of adding the last two numbers to get the next:            1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, etc.

The Fibonacci sequence appears consistently nature – in various ways in seeds, flowers, petals, pine cones, fruit and vegetables, among others. Some plants branch in such a way that they always have a Fibonacci number of growing points. Flowers often have a Fibonacci number of petals, daisies can have 34, 55 even 89 petals.  Seeds of a sunflower appear to spiral outwards to the left and to the right - and there are a Fibonacci number of spirals.  This arrangement keeps the seeds uniformly packed no matter how large the seed head.  Isn’t nature wonderful?

Read more about Fibonacci at these sites:
This is the basis for a quilt that I mentioned at the beginning of this post ... Successive points dividing a golden rectangle into squares lie on a logarithmic spiral which is sometimes known as the golden spiral.
Image Source:

You can see some gorgeous pictures of quilts designed and made using the Fibonacci Sequence at

Happy Quilting!

Monday, November 22, 2010

One More Top

OK - I know I said I was going to quilt, but these blocks were just begging to be put together into a quickie top.  Our Sunshine quilt group has a monthly block lottery whereby half the blocks sent in are made into Sunshine donation tops and half the blocks go to that month's winner.  Each month has a different color scheme and I won the month that had black/white/red blocks.  It always amazes me how well the blocks "play" together when so many different people send them in.  This top has lots of polka dots, checks, puppies and kittens.  Just a fun top.  You probably would have wanted to work on it, too, right?!
And now my little basket where I keep unquilted tops is full so I should will get to quilting up a few!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finished Another Flimsy

This afternoon, I decided to clear my "design floor" and finish up the top that I began showing in a previous post.  Of course, I went with the simplest sashing and borders.  Sometimes you just want to get something done and move on.  Know the feeling??  I'm calling this one Garden Critters and it will go to WTIL (Wrap Them in Love).  I wish I had made the background of the blocks the dark brown and then the design would have really popped, but live and learn.  It still is a cute top when you see it up close because of the cute printed fabric.  A good fabric can cover a multitude of sins!

And speaking of sins, the flaw is so obvious when you see the picture, but I never noticed until I uploaded it into this post ... and the row is going to stay that way ... I am greatly in favor of correcting the little things, but to fix this I would have to frog out (you know, rippit, rippit) the top border, part of each side, and the top and bottom of the top row, then sew it all back together - just not going to happen!  It'll be a test of some little kids' perception - keep 'em guessing if it was meant to be that way - I'm betting they won't mind.

I have now accumulated at least four tops (plus the one already on the frame) that need to be quilted and bound, so that will be on my agenda for the next couple of days.  Unless I get distracted .... a quilt magazine might show up and I'll have to stop and make sure I'm not missing out on the latest and greatest new projects  (and maybe it was a distraction that caused that top to go all wonky on me - better watch the distractions).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In Results

I was so glad that I decided to participate in the Friday Night Sew-In that I've added the button to link there on my sidebar.  Knowing that I was going to post my results really lit a fire of productivity!  I have been participating in quite a few block swaps, but never finishing anything, so I've decided to tackle one project every Friday.  Here's the process as I went along without a plan last night:
First I sewed the swap-blocks together

Then I remembered I had some dark blue in my stash, so I added a small border.

I liked the first border so much that I pulled a yellow fabric from my stash and added that - I'm going to miss this fabric when it's gone - it has cute tone-on-tone puppy tracks all over it.

And then I added some blue and yellow polka dot to bring the top up to the size I wanted (40 x 60).  I was thrilled that I was able to finish this top using up fabric from my stash.  This one will go to Wrap Them in Love.
I had a great time joining in with the other Friday Night participants.  I plan to do this again.  My thanks go to Handmade by HEIDI !!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In

Well, this is pretty late - but if you have nothing going on, hop on over to Handmade by HEIDI and join in with the Friday Night Sew-In.  There's even prizes!  Take some time for yourself and have a cup of tea and a cookie while you finish up a UFO or start a new project.  Tomorrow you can post your project and feel wonderful because you had some time to indulge yourself AND you got something wonderful accomplished.  What a good deal ...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunshine Lotto Blocks

You know how sometimes you just have to break down and go ahead and vacuum and mop and maybe do a load of laundry?  Don't you hate when that interferes with your great quilting ideas?!  I did make it to the local library today to see the eye-candy in the Quilter's Newsletter Magazine.  I never make art quilts, but I do like to look at them and to see the quilt show winning entries.  Other than that, I worked around the house.

So, all I sewed today were two blocks for this month's block lottery for the Sunshine On-line Quilt Guild (see sidebar note).  I had worked with this fabric before and it was printed so wonky that it could drive a person nuts.  I ended up making just one pillow out of it a few years ago and stashing the fabric away.  I pulled the fabric back out today and made the two blocks to send in and stashed the fabric back in hiding ... the printed panel is just too off-kilter for me to work with!  I'll get rid of it a little at a time ... hopefully.

Nov 2010 Lottery Blocks

The pillow I made several years ago.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tonight's Quilt Top Finish

The quilt top that I put together this evening was made from blocks I received in a block swap and is from a block pattern called The Dandy Block.  The block pattern can be found on Marcia Hohn’s website, called the Quilter’s Cache®.   That site has more quilt blocks than you can shake a stick at.  If you’re a quilter and haven’t visited, please take time to go see it … you’ll be glad you did!

Here’s the link:

And here’s my Dandy Quilt Top:
Made with 1930s reproduction fabrics - just like grandma used to make!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Whipping Along With the Bags

Today's finish was another one for the Zihuatanejo Bag Project (see sidebar button).  My Bag No. 4 uses another leftover strip from a 2009 quilt.  Here is the finished bag (showing a little of the pocket inside) and the original quilt.  The original quilt used blocks I received in a block swap from the Mailblocks Yahoo Group.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another Project Million Amigos Bag

I finished up another one of the bags for Mexico (see button on my sidebar) with a leftover strip from a quilt I donated in 2009 as decoration.  I was interrupted in the middle of making the quilt and when I resumed sewing, the half-square triangle strips weren't the same size (it's that 1/4 inch thing striking again), hence the leftover strip.  So inspiration struck and I found a use for it on this project.  Not a bad idea to have a few orphan blocks around!  This one has a matching pocket inside.

Here's the bag and the original quilt:

Looking forward to quilting another top tomorrow!