Friday, December 23, 2011

Wow! I did not realize it had been a month since I had last posted on my blog.  I have accomplished quiet a few things over the last month including finishing the tree skirts, one of which is currently residing under my Christmas tree, and making two table runners.

I also finished 15 pot holders for gifts.  DH loves the one I sent my mother and gave my oldest son, little did he know that there were a few in his stocking also. He also dd not know that I found a matching table runner at one of the craft shows and he was the lucky winner.  He was very happy to get them.

I made several table runners for gifts and for myself, in wintery blues that can be used past the Christmas holidays.

I have been busy writing in my journal taking up Quinn McDonald's 30 Day Creative Challenge and working on getting my thoughts in order.

My youngest son arrived home for 12 of leave from his military training.  It is a joyous time.  We decorated Christmas Cookies and are enjoying spending time. We have not seen him since September and have had very few phone calls as they keep a tight reign on them during basic training and AIT.  When he returns home again in February he will be a military policeman in the Army Nation Guard. It is wonderful to have him home.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, or Happy Hanukkah
--> which ever you may celebrate. I wish you many blessing in the new year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Tools of the Trade for the Serial Quilter!

If you have not read Bonnie's blog today, it is a must read. Not only is there humor, but she has a few new gadgets that are definitely going on my Christmas list this year.

Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Tools of the Trade for the Serial Quilter!: A very funny thing happened on the way to --- Doesn’t that line just draw you in? Stories like this have to be good if they start with “A f...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quilty Weekend

I was a busy bee this weekend quilting away at the LQS with friends all day Saturday and Sunday.

I sandwiched and quilted both tree skirts and got the binding sewed on to the front of both. This took most of the time as it was a lot of work, and I had to mark and trim the top and bottom of the tree skirt opening to make sure it was even.

I finally got all the borders sewn on to my purple quilt and now have to figure out what to do for the backing so I can drop it off to be quilted. It is a huge quilt and will fit our four poster bed with a drop down to the bottom of the wood frame. I believe this is "Good Night Sweetheart" by Debbie Caffrey.  It was a mystery I started a long time ago, and misplaced the border fabric, so was at a loss as to how to finish it.  I found the border fabric and put it in my UFQ pile to finish and today it moved in to topsville.  Hopefully it will soon move off to visit the quilter, as I have a couple of ideas for backings, but for the moment it has moved down the list as I have some things to finish for Christmas, first.

I also sandwiched and quilted 15 pot holders, and started quilting my kitchen sink jacket. More pictures to come later.

Here is a picture of my good friend and quilting buddy, Jan, and the quilt she finished this weekend.Jan did all the piecing, quilting, and binding herself.  She also mailed it to her sister-in-law.  The pattern is from a quilt magazine, and I do not know the name of the pattern or the magazine.  I will have to check with her.

It was a very productive weekend.  If I can keep this up I will be rocking my UFQs. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lily's Quilts: Christmas Gifts for Quilters 7 (+ mahusive giveaway)

For my quilting friends out there. Here is an awesome chance to win not one but two Kona Bounty of Basics Boxes. One is the lights and the other is the darks. I know you are like me and hoping you can be the lucky winner. Click here to find out how to enter:

Lily's Quilts: Christmas Gifts for Quilters 7 (+ mahusive giveaway)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Tree Skirt

The tree skirt tops are done and the batting is cut.

Tree Skirt One

Next on the list is to buy backing. I had a couple of pieces of Christmas Fabric that I thought would make nice backings, only they are short.  I need 3.5 yards of backing fabric to do both tree skirts and of course there is not enough of either one.  I though of doing one on each, but I one does not really match the binding and if the skirt is used in reverse then it will look tacky, so I threw that idea out.  One of the local quilt stores has some 108" backing fabrics and they have a couple of reds and a bright green that would work, so am planning to look those over on Thursday night when I go to my hand work class there.  If not I am thinking I can just get a Kona cotton in green so it will go nicely with the binding fabric which is red.  I have included pictures of the tree skirts laying on the batting with the binding off to the side so you can see how they look at this point and will post them again when they are quilted.

Tree Skirt Two 

Though they both may not be done by Christmas as I have a few other things to get done as well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My UFQ Pile

The pile of UFQs at my house is growing. I think it is multiplying while I am not home.  It is like hangers, growing one step at a time.  I have quite a list and am posting picture of each to try and motivate me to Get'er Done. As one local quilt shop refers to the marathon type weekends of sewing.

Done Stripping

When I texted this to a friend of mine I thought how funny it sounded. Done Stripping, man can that give the imagination a run for the money.  For a quilter the meaning is very different than what a man thinks it means.

I sewed 88 strips in the last three days, as well as subbing all three days.  I am making a Chevron Christmas Tree skirt, well actually the pattern makes two because of the fact that cutting with a 9" wedge ruler requires you to flip the ruler for every cut and this gives you two different Chevron designs.  One going up and one going down.

I started with these fabrics: 
Then cut them into strips ranging from 1 3/8" to 4 1/2".
 I sewed them into sections either left or right, which are each made of eleven strips.

The strips are then pressed and cut into wedges:

Then the wedges are sewn together.

I have sewn together a few sets of two, as I am currently pressing the rest of the sewn strips so I can begin cutting them into wedges.

Hopefully I will get them all cut and sewn before class on Sunday, or at least enough to have one skirt sewn.  Then I need to buy either flannel or batting and figure out my backing. My goal is to have one done before Thanksgiving, or at least by the time we put up the tree.

I think I figured out the binding and I need to cut the square so I can make bias binding at class on Sunday.  It is a new fabric, not in the skirt.  I will keep you posted on my progress, and post the finished tree skirt, and if I am really good both finished tree skirts.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

I signed up for another mystery and I never finished the last one, now I have a new UFQ. I also have a list a mile long of things I want to make and projects waiting to be started. What is wrong with me. I have a pile of UFQs to finish and gifts to make and I started another long term project that will take me awhile to do. I must be a glutton for punishment.

I think I am one of those people who function well under pressure, but sometimes I put too much pressure on myself. I do the same with my quilting by overloading myself with projects that have deadlines. I also have a lot of UFQs that need to be finished and really should not be starting any more new projects, but start them I do. For
example last weekend I started a new mystery. I picked out my fabrics:

Then I spent over six hours cutting strips, rectangles, squares and triangles and another six hours sewing triangles together to make squares. I then sewed those together with squares and rectangles to make sections of the quilt prior to class. Then on Saturday I spent six more hours sewing and cutting and have only completed two panels of the quilt.

 I still have the last mystery I signed up for to finish,

and now I have added the one to the list.

I also have a baby quilt to finish and the baby is due very, very soon. I have to top done, but need to piece the backing and quilt and bind it.

Then I have a class on Sunday to start a Christmas Tree Skirt.

I also want to get my Kitchen Sink Jacket quilted and got put on the back burner when I broke my arm last spring.

Please tell me what was I thinking? I know I retired, but that did not mean I was suppose to fill every waking hour. I am still teaching as a substitute and working two to three days a week, and there are only so many hours in a day. I have hit the point of feeling overwhelmed which I was not suppose to do when I retired. Now don't get me wrong I love subbing and I love quilting, but sometimes I need to say NO! I have friends who convince me to take classes, which I love doing and I have a great time, but sometimes I just need to say, NO!  The good thing about subbing is it pays for my habit, quilting.

I need to rethink things and get some of these UFQs off my pile and onto beds or couches or walls, and I need to get more focused on my blog. Except that today my blog is frustrating me as I am having technical difficulties posting pictures.

I am working on the process of getting myself more organized and setting a schedule for myself that allows me to focus on both my blog and my quilting. I started out a plan and then got lost along the way. I just need to get myself back on track and stay on track. It will just take will power, which I do have. Now should I buy that batik kit Schoolrn1 posted that she bought, it is a beautiful BOM.........

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quilting Friday

     I spent part of today sewing on a variety of projects.  I pieced borders for my purple quilt, and now they are ready to put on. I also started putting borders on my mystery from hell.  I mitered the corners, so guess that I will need to miter the corners on the next five borders also. Yes, it has six borders. This is the quilt that came out so tiny because of an error in the cutting directions. I had to make like 32 more blocks to make it a decent size and now am adding borders to enlarge it.  There are six colors in the quilt and therefore six borders.  I will post a picture soon.
     I also finished cutting out the baby quilt, including the inner borders and realized that I do not like one of the greens so am off to the quilt store this weekend to find a different green, and I know exactly which one I want.  I started putting the rows together since it is a simple pattern, except for where the green fabric goes.
     I also did a few stitches on the binding of my rainbow quilt. I have two sides done and two to go.  My goal is to finish the binding by the end of next week at the latest.  I am subbing 2.5 days next week so that will cut into my sewing time, though I can take my small hand work projects like applique to work on during lunch.
     It is 10:00 PM here and I am tired so am heading to bed. Hope you are getting lots of quilting done and taking time to enjoy the fall weather. We had a lovely day again today, though the rain returned this evening.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Follow up to Sewing the Day Away

I was a little over ambitious yesterday, but still accomplished a  lot. I now have two quilts waiting for me to do the hand stitching on the binding. I made and attached the binding to the front of my rainbow quilt and Bryce's guitar quilt. I also found the wall hanging that I need to finish the binding on, buried in my sewing machine carrier. I knew it was some where. I must have stuck it in there last spring, as I was working on it the weekend before I broke my arm.

I was able to cut the borders for both my purple quilt and the mystery, and pieced the borders for the mystery. I am thinking I may do a little more sewing this afternoon and see if I can get the borders attached to one or the other of these quilts. Both quilts have multiple borders, and I am debating if I want to add a checker board border to the mystery. I need to take a picture and post it to get input.

I have also decided that I want to make a quick run back to the quilt store to pick up some more fabric for my purple quilt so I can make pillow cases to match. If am lucky that they still have some of the one fabric and I have enough of the others to border the pillow cases. I want to make 4 pillow cases, and only have enough for two.

I did fussy cut the bunny fabric for the baby quilt and ended up buying a couple of fabrics to replace what I was originally going to use as they had pink and pale green fabric that was in the Christmas fabric section by the same company that matched the bunny fabric. Now I do not get how pink and pale green fit into Christmas, as they look like they belong in a nursery. They had pretty pink flowers on them and to me that is not Christmasy.

Although I did not get everything on my list completed, I made good progress and I feel like I accomplished a lot.

On a side note I took a break and went with a friend to visit a new long arm quilter. I liked her work that I saw, though she leaves more open space than I like, but I think I may give her a try on quilt or two.

I also found some gorgeous Christmas fabric that just had to come home with me. The dangers of spending the day at the quilt store.  I am off to the quilt stores to pick up pillow case fabric, and thread to quilt the baby quilt. Thinking a pale pink would would work well. (And yes, I do mean stores as one has the fabric and the other carries Aurifil thread.)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sewing the Day Away

Today is dedicated to sewing. I have the car loaded to head out to the quilt store where I have signed up to sew all day. There is a day and an evening group of ladies of get together to sew once a month. I have always been in the evening group, and now that I am retired I have joined the day time group as well. There are a few of us who do both.
I have several things lined up to work on today starting with binding the rainbow quilt since I finally found a fabric to bind it. I had one all picked out and ready to go, but it was too short and I had no more fabric and could not find any more, so bought a new one and am ready to go.
I also plan to bind Bryce's guitar quilt. It will still need to be embellished, but binding is a step in the right direction.
 I also have a quilt I started several years ago and misplaced the fabric so was at a lost to finish it. I found the focus fabric in my sewing room when cleaning, and some of the secondary fabrics. I was also able to buy more of one of the secondary fabrics and a fabric that blends well since I do not have much left of another secondary fabric and can finally finish the borders so I can send it off to be quilted. As you can see this quilt is in purples so yes, it for me. That will give me a total of three quilts for my bed, including the rainbow quilt.

The next project on my list is a baby quilt, but the fabric is already in the car, so no peeks until later, and to work on the mystery that I started last spring and had to stop working on when I broke my arm and another mystery that needs borders which already to go, I just need to attach them.
I will focus on the first three things to start and then see what gets done today, I am guessing it will be borders on the mystery and the baby quilt, as the other mystery still has a long way to go, and I am putting it at the bottom of the list. Today's goal is to make progress and get as much done as possible.
Hope you have a quilty day and accomplish a lot.
I am out of to sew.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Restricted use of the Rotary Cutter

--> My quilting had been reduced lately, as I am not allowed to use a rotary cutter. April 27th I flew end over end over the handlebars of my dear hubby's bike while out on a short ride. The bike landed on top of me and I got the worse end of the deal. I cracked a bone in my right arm near the elbow. They do not cast you when you crack a bone near the elbow joint as it can cause your arm to become stiff and you can loose movement.  Needless to say it is painful and has limited by ability to do things, especially since it is my right arm. I am very lucky I did not break anything else.

Other than being told to rest my arm, ice it and take Tylenol, the only other advice I got was really more of a directive. I was told specifically to not use my rotary cutter. Now the first two weeks I was not using my arm to do much as it hurt to write and I could not turn it to even type, so I used the hunt and peck method. Now I can do more but if I over do my arm aches, a lot. I have sewn most of the fabric I had cut, and so am now restricted to hand work, which I do enjoy but doing it for too long makes my arm ache. Knitting is currently out of the question.

It is a good thing we are going on vacation and I will not have access to my rotary cutter and sewing machine otherwise this restriction would be very difficult to enforce on myself as it is getting very old. I want to sew, but since I am out of cut fabric I cannot. I just hope that all this is worth the wait and when we return I hope I can cut away so I can sew to my hearts content.

In the future I think I will stick to riding the tandem, no breaks and no steering, that way I can avoid sand and gravel and flipping over.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Scrap Post (a variety of topics)

--> I have mastered posting photos to my blog.  I am very proud of myself as I have been trying for several months to get this to work and finally figured out what part of the code I have to take from Flickr to get things to post to my blog.

I have gone back and updated some of my previous posts with photos so they now reflect the quilts that I am discussing in my posts. I have been very frustrated up to this point with trying to post pictures to my blog.

I have also been very busy and am behind on posting at all. I am working to rectify this and have jotted a few ideas and shot posts in my notebook, and hope to transfer them to my blogs in the next couple of weeks.  Remember this is a work in progress, though once the end of May rolls around and I am retired I plan to be much more organized and timely.

My big project lately has been working on cleaning and organizing my sewing room and in the process I have discovered many new fabrics, or at least ones I had forgotten I owned. Along with the fabrics come ideas for new quilts and my mind is overflowing. I have discovered that I have a lot of blue fabric.  By blue I include anything that falls in the blue family including teals, and those that lean toward purple.  I also have a lot of black and whites, and white or cream tone on tones, followed by reds and I am not done going through fabrics. At the moment I am sorting and folding yards, and cuts larger than a yard.  This is my sorting method, size and color.  I am piling all the smaller cuts off to the side to deal with later.  I have one or rather two piles because of the cut of fabric that are novelty prints and that one is growing. I have not even touched my Christmas fabrics yet as I wanted to get through all the colors first. I think I could open a fabric shop, but wait that would mean parting with some of my stash before I had a chance to use it, not gonna happen.  I am having fun and think I may have actually found the missing binding fabric for my rainbow quilt.  I need to pull the quilt out and check.  I did find the binding fabric for Bryce's guitar quilt. (Pattern: Groovy Guitars by Robbi Joy Eklow) I also need to find the buttons so I can do the embellishment.  My plan is to have this one done by the end of May, but that will depend on if my thumb cooperates.

My sewing room is a long-term project as I am taking time to sew, read, write, and of course I have to go to work. Work is a major inconvenience at times. I wish it were already May 20th.  My plan is to finish up my sewing room before school ends and be ready to jump into quilting full time once we return from our trip around the lower forty-eight, along with taking long rides on our tandem.  Though it may be fall before I truly jump into quilting full time because I love spending the day riding on the tandem with my husband.

At the moment both my sewing and my blogging are hindered by tendonitis in my right thumb.  How I wish I could do a decent applique stitch with my left hand.  I plan to work on it.  I do plan to try and sew on buttons with my left hand; will have to see how that goes. I can tell you that life is difficult without your dominant hand thumb.  I have been in this situation once before when I broke my right wrist and it makes it very hard to do many things.  I am improving my typing skills though, so that is a helping.  I am learning to use my left thumb and alternate fingers on the space bar and the mouse pad of my laptop.

--> Stay tuned for up-dates 

Dayna's Quilt

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blogs to check out on line

If you have not checked out the following blogs I recommend that you visit them.

First up is:

Fresh Cut Quilts Pattern Co.: The Cutting Edge-- A Review--and Giveaway!

These rulers are the newest things and from what I hear they are great. I am hoping to win one from this giveaway and plan to order myself a couple to give as gifts to quilting friends. Please let me know if you have tried them and what you think.
Pat Sloan is awesome and if you have not checked out her blog go to:

I love her chat also.

I also recommend you check out the Aurifil Blog Hop and enter win prizes, as well as getting free patterns for 9 blocks.

Have fun surfing in blog land. I am off to quilt.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Designing a Quilt

I took a quilt drafting class last weekend and I really enjoyed it.  I learned how to look at a picture and draw the pattern so that I could then make it using fabric.  I learned how to tell if a pattern or block is a 3 by 3 or 5 by 5 type of block, simply by looking at the picture. It was so simple once the teacher put it into words and pointed things out on the page, or the block.
The teacher, Diana Bradley, is a local quilt shop owner. Her shop, The Quilt Zone, is new but I love the industrial loft layout of the shop and the individual tables she has for classes.  But I digress. She made it sound so easy to take a picture of a quilt and transfer it to fabric.  
We covered how to determine if what the leg and hypotenuse of a triangle or square is simply by knowing the layout of the block. If the block is a 12-inch block and is a 3 by 3, then the leg of the corner square is 4 inches. She gave us the magic numbers for finding the hypotenuse or diagonal of a square to figure out flying geese and half square triangles, as well as some tips on cutting and sewing with bias edges.  We drew some blocks and looked at others dividing them and determining the legs and hypotenuse of squares, half square triangles, and triangles, and flying geese for different size blocks.
We also discussed adding seam allowances and the different secrets to triangles when cutting them. One very important thing to remember is to add your seam allowances after you draw your pattern, before you cut it from fabric.   
At first my head was spinning trying to follow her, but as we went along the picture cleared and it all made sense. At the end of class I told her to let me know if she did an advanced class, because I was hooked and ready to learn more.
I also learned that large sheets of graph paper are very expensive.
I am planning a new quilt as I type looking at the lines in my head and seeing how two different blocks might form an additional pattern.  I will let you know what I come up with and how it translates to fabric.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quilting Friends, Classes, and Shopping

I had a wonderful weekend with my quilting friends. Friday night we meet at the quilt store for our monthly quilting group.  There are four of us who go together, Sally, Jan, Lisa, and I, but the class is actually about 16 ladies who all get together. We pay a small fee to meet there and bring what ever we are working on to sew. There is a teacher who is there to answer questions or help when needed.
This month I brought a Yellow Brick Road I am working on for advice on an inner border.  The quilt is a gift, but I cannot say whom it is for, as I do not want to spoil the surprise. I love all the suggestions and help that everyone gives. I had a fun time.

The four of us had already signed up for another session of this class which started Friday night, and three of us have also signed up for the Piecework by Hand class, which meets once a month and is hopefully going to get me moving on my applique projects. I have several in various stages and need to get them done.  Sally, Jan, and I are also doing a marathon in February to get more things done and Sally and I are doing another in March. Sally and I are taking a tote bag class in February, so now I need to find a jelly roll or Bali pop, or go through my stash and cut strips to prep for it.

On Saturday one of my friends picked me up and we made the rounds of the three quilt stores here in town.  We went to Quilt Tree where we each purchased quilt kits that we wanted as it was class sale day and they were discounted 20%. We had already signed up for classes the day sign ups opened, which was a good thing because the classes we wanted were all full by the class sale day. I also bought some new quilting gloves.  Sally bought her two kits and a machine needles.
From there we headed over to the newest store in town for class sign ups, The Quilt Zone. We signed up for the February mystery, which is called Black Tie, along with another friend, Lisa. Sally and I also signed up for what is called Get'er Done. It is a work session where you bring in those projects you need to get done, or want ideas on so you can get them done. I also signed up to take Basic Drafting for Quilters.  I want to try my hand at drafting a quilt.  I have several designed on paper, but I have to translate them to fabric and to do that I need to learn how to draft a pattern.  I am looking forward to this class.  While we were there I bought the backing for the Yellow Brick Road, and some Aurifil thread, an awl, a book on drafting quilts, and one of the Buggy Barn quilt books.  I love the buggy barn quilt patterns, but I give them my look with bright colors and wild prints. This book has the tractors on the cover.

Once we were done there, we said goodbye to Lisa and headed over to Seams Like Home. None of the classes interested us, but with fabric on sale we had to look around and I found a wonderful fabric to use for applique backgrounds, so bought the 2 7/8 yards that was left on the bolt at 20% off.  I also bought some of the stuff you can use in potholders to keep from burning your hands, Insulbrite. (Thank you hm for giving me the name.) I cannot think of the name of the stuff at the moment, and a couple yards of cute Christmas fabric at 40% off. Sally also bought some Christmas fabric.

From there we stopped to grab a bite to eat before heading home.  It was a fun day with one of my favorite people.

When I got home I started reorganizing my sewing room, but that is another story, for another day.