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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Deena's Stepping Stones Wall Hanging

Found enough fabric in stash to complete this cute wall hanging.

Pieced Backing Using Up More Stash

Quilted with stippling stitch

By using the new sewing/piecing technique this quilt can be made in half the time it used to take. The 9 blocks for this were made in one day, actually in just a few hours.  Spent more time searching for fabrics than I did in cutting and sewing. Loving the new pattern.

This is going to a good home.  Deena, my daughter in law - Ken's wife had asked me to make a wall hanging for their new addition. Nothing makes me happier than to make quilts and pieces for my family and friends. She told me the colors in the room, and I'm hoping these colors will work for them. 

Looking foward to taking this with us Saturday.  We are going to (grandson) Luke's birthday party and will bring this along to audition it in the new room.  I'm thinking if it doesnt work in the livingroom, maybe it would look good in the kitchen diningroom area.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

There's Nothing Wrong

I have spent the last week, thinking I had to fix Stepping Stones pattern.

Talk about a waste of mind matter.  I kept thinking the Fat Quarters wouldn't work and needed to change the pattern to yardage and other changes.

This morning I decided to follow my own instructions and cut the fat quarters as I needed to do a complete column.

It works just the way it is supposed to.  Have no idea why in my mind it wouldn't work with the new cutting and sewing technique.  So very happy it does. Didn't want to have to rewrite the entire pattern.

As usual when I'm working up a pattern I just grab some fabrics from my stash with no intention of actually making anything with the blocks.  And as usual I like the way the blocks look so much I just have to make something.  So after working the pattern and getting the 6 blocks necessary from a fat quarter, I had to dig out some more fabrics to make a wall hanging or baby quilt.

These are not sewn together yet, but once they are I will add borders and should have a decent size baby blanket, wall hanging or lap quilt.  The block to the side is just an extra, as there is absolutely no more fabric to make any more of these blocks.  Wish there was.  These fabrics look retro and I'm liking the looks of this.

Barb and Larry came and picked up their Sweet Surprise wall hanging, and they were very please with the outcome, and she also purchased Lazy Hourglass lap quilt.

All in all today has been a pretty good day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Barb's Sweet Surprise

Its all finished and looking beautiful, even if I do say so myself.

I am in love with this quilt. Just might have to make one just like it for me.

Did a flower stencil with free hand loops in inner border.  Every once in a while I like to pull a stencil off the wall and put that on a quilt.  Lets hope she likes it as much as I do.

Making progress in my sewing room.  Time to get some backing and batting and do some of my own quilting.  Right now I have 3 to be quilted and another to be sewn and then quilted and that does not include the Crumb blocks I keep putting together here and there. 

Still working on new patterns, and now I think I should be writing this one up too.

Making corrections on Stepping Stones, and that should be revised and printed next week.

The piecing assembly has been revised and is quick and easy assembly of blocks.  Takes away half the work it used to.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monthly Sew Day

Our monthly sew day was today and as usual had a great time with he girls.  Nope no pictures, forgot my camera.  I swear as my mom used to say "would forget your head if it wasn't attached"

Some of us sewed on quilts, some knitted and some did hand appliques and like always told stories and laughed.

I'm really tired tonight, sitting here in my recliner with my feet up catching up on my emails, CT and blogs.

I would like to share something I found extremely beautiful with you:

Our daughter Stacy made this beautiful mosaic plate.  This is a birthday present for someone she knows.

I'm looking forward to a mosaic wall hanging she said she was working on for me.  If its anything like this I'm going to love it.

Staying home tomorrow and quilting all day long. the plan is to finish the top of Barb's wall hanging and then going to Janesville to purchase the batting and backing and quilting on Saturday.  As far as I know I have no plans for the weekend so I might get one or 2 more quilts quilted.  That would make me very happy to get a few of my UFOs done.

A must do tomorrow is to work out all the bugs on my Stepping Stones pattern.  The pattern works just the way it is, but Teresa at Twin Turtle Quilt shop, found an easier way of putting the pieces together.  Her way works great, but it does throw off the fabric measurements and I need to get the pattern corrected and with the correct yardage required.    So its back to the drawing board  for Stepping Stones.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday Clinton Class

The class for Stepping Stones at Twin Turtle Quilt Shop, Clinton, went really well yesterday. 

There were 3 ladies signed up and with Teresa and myself that made 5 of us to play all day.

They were a fun bunch of ladies and I enjoyed every minute teaching them the Stepping Stones pattern.

Joyce, Tody, yes Tody (nickname), shop owner, Teresa, and Vivian

Joyce busy cutting

Tody appraising her blocks

Vivian working on sewing her strips together

Orange and Purple - Vivian's


Tody's and the quilt top with border is Teresa's she had put this together previously and wanted to show everyone how nice a multi color can look

It always amazes me how one pattern can look so different just by color choices. 

Every one admired the bold choice of purple and orange one of Vivian's.  Purple and orange are not colors one would normally consider but they are absolutely beautiful together.

Tody chose multiple colors and that is turning out great.  I like all the colors, lol, she unfortunately or fortunately depending on your view, sewed a few pieces together wrong and wound up with some different blocks, which Teresa and I kept moving around and finding new pattern to be used.  We like the look of the mistakes and by putting  the 2 mistakes together with a white sashing, gave it an entirely different look, one we like very much.

Finally Joyce chose to do 3 colors 2 different browns, and a beige and that is also going to be one gorgeous quilt.

I forgot to tell the ladies to give me a call when they are finished because I really want to see the finished quilts.   Maybe Teresa can call them for me and send them my email to attach pictures or meet up with me again at Twin Turtle Quilts.

There is another class I'm teaching 2/24/12 at TT Quilts - Lightning Strike and all of these ladies are planning on signing up for that class too.  I am so looking forward to teaching them again.

Also did a show and tell of French Braid, and I think there is some real interest in taking a class.

Tomorrow is the monthly quilt with the girls day and I have no idea which of my many UFOs I plan on working on. 

I could take Barb's wall hanging, but if I move the blocks off the design wall I would have to mark each one to keep it the right order. If I move just one out of place it would throw off the entire quilt

Sew many choices, Ill sleep on it and make my decision tomorrow morning.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweet Surprise

Saturday met up with an old friend and her new husband. 

Barb asked me to make a Wall hanging for their home, she came to audition patterns and colors with me.

Between the 3 of us we finally came up with a plan and then headed off to the quilt shop to find just the right fabrics.   What fun!!!!!  Barb is a non sewer, but she definitely knows what she wants and the colors she wants to use.  Her husband Larry came with us, and he was a big help.  He was pulling bolts of fabric off the shelves and helping matching up just the right fabrics.  Larry has a good eye for matching colors and we really appreciated his input.

It isn't often a husband will get that involved in the decision making of a quilted wall hanging.  Good Job Larry!!!

After spending quite a bit of time pulling bolts, the fabrics were chose and purchased.

While at the quilt shop I also met a couple of ladies that are taking my class tomorrow at the Clinton shop. I am teaching my "Stepping Stones" pattern.  How fun to meet new people.  They were picking out fabrics for the class.

Now for the fun part, cutting and sewing these gorgeous fabrics.

Our original plan was to make "Lazy Hourglass" pattern.  I was so excited about these fabrics I started  cutting and sewing Saturday night.

Color and placement are key to making an OK quilt or a fantastic quilt.  While I loved all the colors, when I placed them together in the Lazy Hourglass pattern, they just didn't look as good as I wanted them to.  So I started moving pieces around, and continued to do so until I came up with a pattern that was perfect for these fabrics.

Barb, of course did not know what I was thinking or planning, so I emailed her pictures of different color/piece placement and it was up to her to decide which layout she liked the best.

My favorite was the last and Barb agreed.   I have all the 16 blocks assembled, and up on my design wall.

This is the layout we chose with all 16 blocks.

Ready for me to sew the rows together and then sew on the borders.  I am so pleased with the way this had turned out and I am calling it Sweet Surprise because the pattern was a complete surprise.  Barb suggested Honeymoon Surprise, and for her wall hanging, we will call it that.
Tomorrow is the class at  Twin Turtle Quilts, in Clinton, and I'm so looking forward to this.

I am taking my French Braid top "Northern Lights" to do a show and tell with the girls.

Put the finishing borders on this afternoon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My French Braids

Ever since I received my book "French Braid Obsession"  by Jane Miller, haven't been able to put it out of my head.

Digging through my stash I found some fabric that I thought would be perfect for my first attempt.

Spent all morning and a good part of afternoon working on my French Braids.   Pleased to find out they look so much more complicated than they really are.  Quite simple once you get started.

My plan is to make a few of the French Braids and then decide what to do to finish a quilt top using these.

Really enjoyed making these, but for now I'm done for the day.  

How many UFOs does one need?  So far, still have "pinwheels" almost completed.  A few blocks of Gemstones in the works, now French Braids, not to mention I still want to make a quilt using my Mosaic pattern. 

I can say one thing for certain, I will never get bored.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Making Changes

For many years I have used every excuse as to why I don't lose weight.  I'm old, I'm a grandma, its OK for grandmas to be (my favorite saying) fluffy, who do I need to impress I'm happy being me etc etc etc.

Well the time has come to face reality. I'm over weight and its not doing me any good. 

Around Christmas time I made a choice to really look at myself and make a decision is this who I want to be or do I want to be a better healthier me.

I have the tools to do this.  Years ago I joined Weight Watchers and actually lost 25lbs on the program.  However, it didn't last because I made the choice to go back to all the old eating habits.

Now I'm back on the program. So far Ive lost 8 lbs, since really keeping track.  Actually, since my last doctor visit in December I have lost 12 lbs.  Not counting those lbs previously lost, just doing the counting since I started the program again. 

Was really hoping for 10lbs by this weekend, but its a struggle.  The first 8 came off really quickly, but I knew that wouldn't last.  Now my body is trying its darnedest to hang on to every ounce.

The main thing is to keep going and don't give up.  I will never be a skinny minny again, but would be so happy to reach a goal I have set for myself.  I wont tell you that goal weight, but I will let you know how I'm progressing towards it.

This may be premature, but I already feel better.  I have had more energy and noticed, when I go shopping my back does not hurt nearly as much as it did before.  Imagine how good I'm going to feel with each lb gone.

Now back to quilt talk.  Yesterday was a good sewing day.  I sewed practically the entire day. Finished the center of my "pinwheels" just have to do outer borders and then of course quilt it.

Today, not so much it was the Susie homemaker cleaning day, bank day and take Belle to the vet day.

Last Saturday Kylee stayed overnight and we managed to finish a bag for her sewing machine. Wrong, grandma measured wrong and she wound up with a large tote but not big enough for her sewing machine.  Its OK, because a tote can be used for many different things.  She said this one would be good for her Karate things. 

It was possible for me to set up her sewing machine on the back of my quilting machine frame and I sewed at my machine.  How nice it was for both of us to be sewing at the same time.

This is the fabric she chose to make another bag, big enough for her machine as we had planned.   I'm sure some you will remember this fabric from the wall hanging she made for her sister.  Glad she is using it up, don't know how I could possibly use this fabric.

Tomorrow I don't have to go anyplace or clean anything, its going to be a good productive day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lizzie Back In Action

Today I did my first large quilt since moving.   Lizzie worked great.  I was a little concerned the move might have given her a problem. 

Once I got the tension straightened out and and had to do a little adjustment to leveling, she ran fine. 

Customer quilt, "Margaret"  Exploding Pineapple pattern.  Customer requested freehand the letters FFA, as this is a donation quilt.  So I did as she asked, but wish I had drawn it out first and then stitched.  It looks OK and not bad enough to rip out, but would have liked to have made it a little better.  She liked it and that's the important part.

It was really nice getting back to quilting, cant wait to do another one asap.

I have several of my own to do, just have to get some backing and batting.  Maybe I can get around to do one or 2 next week.

Its strange quilting in a different room.  Who would have thought, but my machine actually sounds differently in the new room.  For some reason, I feel more relaxed and not as pressured to hurry the quilting as I did in the old house.  I'm wondering if it is because I am now on one level, where before I was "isolated" from the rest of the house.  I always thought I liked the isolation, my own little world, Or it could be I felt I had to stay with it, because I didn't want to have to go up the stairs and then back down again to finish what I had started.  Now I enjoy the fact I still have my own room, but feel more connected with the rest of the house and the freedom to stop and know its just a few feet away if I want to start up again,

I'm thinking I'm going to be doing some awesome quilting here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fun Filled Sunday

Its going to be an awesome Sunday. 

Today is our monthly Sew In Day on Connected Threadz.  I already started mine this morning at 5am. 

Yesterday I received presents!!!!!.  After returning from a family gathering, wishing well our snow birds Dick and Alice, they are leaving for warmer weather next week, mail man brought me my presents.

There was a contest for membership drive through Connected Threads and I came in 2nd.  Thanks to those who signed up through me.  By the way, still looking for more members!!!!! Click on CT button on my page to see what its all about.

Anyway, my prizes included a quilters book "French Braids Obsession "by Jane Miller (love it), a book and dvd "Feathers Of A New Generation" by Lisa Calle - fantastic.  Ky and I watched the entire video last night and she was amazed, as was I.  Gift certs to Urban Elements, Quilts Complete, and Digitetech.  I will have to take some time to peruse these sites to see what I'm going to use my certs on.

As I was saying, started my sew in early, and I have many choices:

Pinwheels, have one or two more rows and borders and it will be finished.  Gemstones, have a few strips cut and ready. Finally just had to try my hand at making French Braids. Love the French Braids. I see another project in very near future.

My room is a mess, but its all going to come together today.  Up front is Ky's pieces to make her sewing machine bag, so she doesnt have to carry her machine around in a box.

Now that's just the first part of this Sunday,  PACKERS PLAY TODAY AGAINST THE GIANTS, OUR FIRST PLAY OFF GAME.   I'll be honest with you this game has me a little nervous.  I fear its going to be a nail biter to the end.  GO PACK GO.

That's my day planned and I better get to it or I wont get everything done I hope to.

One more pic for you, Ky stayed the night and slept on the floor, she used 4 quilts as a mattress and her sleeping bag.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Designing Juices Are Flowing Again

Thanks to one of my CT friends, decided I would call this Mosaic.

Made a decision on the other one I was working on and have a few blocks completed

This would also look nice if I didn't reverse the colors and went with all the same blocks throughout.

Poor "pinwheels" they are still on hold.  This Sunday is our monthly "Sew In Day" with girls.  The plan is to work on and hopefully finish Pinwheels. 

Ky will be here this weekend, and you know what that means. Sewing, sewing and more sewing.

Its January 12th and winter has finally arrived.   Yesterday I was sitting on patio in my sweatshirt, no jacket, 53 degrees, today its a winter wonderland.

This picture is early snow and ground was just getting covered.  Its still snowing!!!!!

Wayne and I finally got Kitchen and Dining Room curtains hung.  They look even better than I thought they would.  You know how it goes, in the store they appear to be just what you want, then when you get home, not so much.  In this case, I did good.

Normally on snowy days I would bake something.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, I am dieting, so its not a good idea to bake.  So far lost 8lbs.  Yippee for me.  Must stick to it. Have many more lbs to go.  I already feel better physically and with each lb gone I will feel even better.  I have let this go long enough. Its way past time to get serious about losing weight. 

To keep me on track with an incentive to continue I started a weight loss support group with my CT friends.  If I don't have a reason, or someone to report to, I will go back to my bad habits and just give up with excuses why I don't lose weight.  Forcing myself to be really committed this time.

I guess I gave away my skinny clothes too soon, or maybe I should have done it a long time ago.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Finished Plan B

After placing pieces every which way but loose, I finally sewed some pieces and blocks together into a wall hanging.

I turned it half turn and came up with yet another way of looking at it. So its a twofer.  Made some rough drafts for a future pattern. I like both of them, but cant decide which I like best.  Isn't it funny how a quilt will look totally different just by changing the way you look at it.  I do think this is going to be a keeper and will work on it some time soon.  I don't have anymore of this fabric, just pulled it from my stash. I will however, look for more paisley before making a full quilt with this pattern.

Looking for any suggestions on names for this one.  So far Ive had suggestions of Victorian Trellis and Roman Trellis, that is for the 2nd photo.  The first one reminded me a little of a honeycomb, but not quite so that cant be it.  Help!!!!!!!

Still going to develop the Turquoise one I showed you previously.

Yesterday, Ky finally got here and we played with her new sewing machine. Had to adjust the tension for her and she will be coming again this weekend, so we can do some real sewing.  We are going to make her a large tote bag for her to carry her machine in.  She brought it in the box it came in. LOL. She didn't even take it out to look at it until she got here for Gma to help her.  We should have sew much fun sewing together

She is one happy little girl.  She had to check out the new house and all of the backyard yesterday.  After getting her machine tension corrected, she baked a lemon poppy seed bread, which I sent half home with her.  I doing my darndest to lose some weight and if its here I would just eat it all.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Plan B

Messing around placing more blocks, found out cant make the Hearts as planned. They look like they would work on the design wall, but when you sew them together, the bottom wont line up with the top and you wind up with a wonky looking Heart. Back to the drawing board.  I can get Hearts but not with this cutting. Will have to try something else.

So instead I spent most of the morning just moving pieces around and around and found a couple of different blocks.

the top pieces are a combination of gemstones and stepping stones

name yet to be determined

I have plenty of the turquoise and paisley to make a lap quilt, but the browns will become a wall hanging as this is all the paisley brown I have. 

Its just fun to mess around with pieces moving them in different positions to get a different look.

I am still working on the "pinwheels" but got bored even though I'm almost finished with it.  That's what happens when life interrupts. I have been looking at "pinwheels" for so long, it has become boring to me.  Once I finish it and quilt it, I'm sure I will love it again.

Lazy afternoon. Stacy came and put up my rods, and we hung living room drapes.  They look fine, but I noticed they really are looking pretty old.  Hmmmm sounds to me like I should plan a shopping day.

Haven't done much of anything else this afternoon.  I had such a productive day yesterday, why cant I do 2 days in a row.  I think it comes from watching Wayne do nothing.  He also had a productive day yesterday but today he didn't even get dressed. I did  manage to make some homemade chicken noodle soup, washed a load of laundry ( sigh boring ) sorted through some fabrics (fun stuff) worked on my patterns on the computer. 

My best work is done in the mornings, when it comes to sewing.  Every once in a while I will pop in and out of my sewing room off and on all day.  However, that was not the case today.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day and whats the rush?

Ky is coming tomorrow, so that should really be a fun day.  She hasnt been sewing with me since way before Christmas. I miss my sew days with my Ky.